Newsletter #1324

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Following City is never dull, amidst all the takeover speculation and squad performance issues we now have yet another incident involving the current incumbent of the number eight shirt to deal with. Only those exiled at the North Pole can fail to be aware of his latest exploits involving a team mate. He’s had more chances than a game of Monopoly and having been supported by the Club through one episode after another, and given help through the Sporting Chance clinic, it now seems certain that he will not and can not change. There is plenty of opinion tonight on this, with the majority hoping he is shown the door. Oh for someone worthy of that revered shirt number.

We also have previews of the derby game, and how fitting if people turn up in the classic black & red away strip – can the team wear that as well please? Derby weekend and anything can happen.

Don’s news tonight brings us all there is to know on the player bust-up, new coaching staff appointment, player moves and rumours. Richards is apparently recovering well from his operation [and a wuss according to some anonymous players/coaching staff compared to the Ed’s ligament reconstruction].

Finally, we have ticket and viewing requests for both the derby and Spurs.

Oh well, roll on Saturday. Travel notice in that Ashbury’s station is closed from 1030-1630 and the pubs around the ground are closed on police advice. Remember those black & red shirts. AIG – Almost In Greece!

Next game: Manchester United, home, 12.45pm Saturday 5 May 2007

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

The Elephant Man and the Idiot Boy: Have we seen the end of Joey Barton as a City player? After a long catalogue of misdemeanours, Barton finds himself suspended by the club after a training ground incident with Ousmane Dabo. Barton’s name was in the press on Friday, as SP made it clear that his opinionated number 8 would not be talking to the press again this term, following Barton’s comments that some of Pearce’s signings were substandard and saying that he would not pay money to watch City if he were a fan. “Joey has his own mind,” said Pearce. “I don’t think you take action against people when they express those views. But I do believe that anything that could be detrimental to the club should be dealt with internally. I have spoken to him and I understand how passionate he is about Manchester City. I just feel that there are enough people outside the club who are prepared to criticise; I don’t think you should do the job for them. I think some of it was frustration because Joey had not played particularly well at Watford,” he added. But we hadn’t heard the last of Barton this week, no siree. The club put out the following bald statement on Tuesday: “We can confirm that a player has been suspended until the end of the season, pending an internal investigation into a training incident at the Carrington complex. The Club will be making no further comment at this time.” That lack of info didn’t last long, and the media soon identified the participants in the training ground slugfest. The BBC Sport website even reported that Dabo had to go to hospital after suffering injuries to his mouth during the incident at Carrington on Tuesday. Next we had the inevitable comment from Willie Mackay. “As far as I’ve heard, Joey was defending himself. But because it is Joey it makes headlines.” McKay added: “It happens on training grounds all over the country, from Chelsea to Yeovil.” Apparently McKay was responsible for bringing Dabo to City from Lazio in June 2006, which will make the agent’s next Christmas party a bit of an interesting affair. And despite Barton’s reputation for cigar-stubbing, teenager-attacking and team-mate criticising, there’s already a queue of clubs waiting to take on the challenge that is Joseph Barton. Everton, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all being tipped to bid for him this summer. The latter club offers the intriguing prospect of Barton being coached and generally restrained by none other than that well-known model of restraint, Roy “Keano” Keane. Now there’s a partnership made in heaven – or somewhere else… Today Dabo described how his violent altercation with Barton left him looking like the “Elephant Man”. The 30-year-old told The Sun: “When I woke up this morning I looked at myself in the mirror with my face all swollen up and I looked like the Elephant Man. I’ve never known anything like this before in my career. I just pushed him away and turned my back to walk off. That’s when he hit me. I really don’t remember exactly what happened but I’ve been told by all my team-mates he hit me from behind, a right hook that hit me on the temple and knocked me out for a few seconds. As I started to fall he jumped on top of me, held my head and punched me twice more in the face. Apparently when I was on the floor he again punched me before being pulled off. When I came round, and it can only have been a matter of seconds, there was blood everywhere. I was spitting blood and my eye was clouded over and when I realised what had happened – I wanted to go after him.” [Thanks to Darren Wareing, Tim Roundwood and a host of other contributors].

Woan, Woan, and Thrice Woan! Ian Woan has joined the coaching staff this week. It increases the contingent of former Nottingham Forest players now at the club to three – Woan was a team-mate of Psycho’s at the City Ground in the 90’s. “Ian will be helping Kenny with the reserves and around the place in general,” said SP. “The more bodies we have, the more attention we can pay to the players and their individual needs, that was the main criteria. Players nowadays want to stay out training more and more, they want more individual things doing so for us to do that we need the staff to help us. Ian’s still young, very active and new to the coaching world, so I think he’s going to be an asset to us.” Woan said he was delighted to take up this opportunity. “It wasn’t just that Stuart is here, it’s more to do with the fact that this is a fantastic football club. How often does the opportunity to work at a club like Manchester City come along? Stuart being here was a factor, and I’ve known Steve Wigley for a while but this a fantastic opportunity for me.”

Shin Guards His Interest: According to reports this week, the deposed Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, has emerged as the front runner in the race to take over the club. It is alleged that a bid of £110 million will be made. In a statement to the Stock Exchange, the billionaire tycoon has verified his position. The statement read: “Dr Thaksin Shinawatra notes certain press articles regarding the possibility of an offer being made for Manchester City. Dr Thaksin confirms that he and his advisers have made an indicative proposal that may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company.” Sam Allardyce’s surprise resignation as Bolton boss soon stirred things up, as the press put two and two together, and thought that Big Sam would be the City Supremo under a regime of Ray Ranson, who’s the head of the rival bid for the club. According to the Daily Mirror, Allardyce informed Phil Gartside, the Bolton chairman, on Friday that he intended to leave the club and take a sabbatical after eight years in charge at the Reebok Stadium. Gartside suspected that he had lined up another job and even contacted City officials to ask whether this was the case before reluctantly deciding yesterday to accept his resignation with immediate effect and to replace him with Sammy Lee, his assistant. However, Ranson has distanced himself from speculation claiming he has made contact with Allardyce. Apparently the City hierarchy do not believe that their former player has the funds to complete the deal he has suggested. Ranson has refuted the allegations regarding finances and is still awaiting a response to the further proposals he put to the City board on Tuesday evening. Although it is claimed that Pearce would go if Ranson achieved his aim of gaining control at Eastlands, it is claimed the former full-back has not spoken to Allardyce for over 12 months. It is claimed Ranson is concentrating his efforts on getting chairman John Wardle to discuss his plans, which are said to involve a £20 million summer transfer kitty. City have so far indicated a complete unwillingness to open dialogue, although, while no public statement has to be made relating to Ranson’s proposals, they do have to respond in private. And Allardyce denies any involvement in the Ranson consortium, saying: “I’m not a good friend of Ray Ranson’s. I played against Ray. That’s been speculation for weeks and weeks now and it was bound to happen more when I’ve made a decision like this.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Striking Early: In an admirable show of self-confidence, SP has been talking about his summer transfer strategy. He wants get all his transfer business done as quickly as possible, and he wouldn’t arf like to buy someone who can score goals. “In an ideal world, any manager would prefer to sit down over the next couple of weeks, decide what targets they are going to go for and then get them tied up in the first week of the summer,” Pearce told the M.E.N. “That is the plan for us too, although, as I have found out over the last two years, those plans don’t always work out as easily as that. But that is what I will endeavour to do, so we will see where it takes us.” After the defeat by Aston Villa, he added: “There’s a good nucleus here but we’ve not found the net enough across the board and it’s something we’ll have to address in the summer. Like any squad we need to invest. Build on what we’ve got.” The Daily Mirror reckons it knows a Psycho target – City are ready to make a £3.5 million move for Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse, who is currently on loan at Marseille. Or could SP be looking at Cardiff’s Michael Chopra, who’s enjoyed a fine goalscoring season in the Championship (that’s the Second Division if you’re my age, the First Division if you remember City winning it, and the Super Galactic Biscuit Boost Face Off if you’re reading this in 25 years time). Back in 2007, Cardiff Boss David Jones is none too pleased that a fee of £3.75 million is being bandied about for Chopra. “I even read one story that Everton and Manchester City are conducting a bidding war over Michael,” Jones said. “I don’t know who they are in a bidding war with, but it’s not Cardiff City. We have not had an approach from either of them, or any other club. Michael is a Cardiff City player, he has just signed a new contract and clearly we want him to stay.”

Go East, Old Man: Hull City’s protracted move for Danny Mills has moved a step closer. Boss Phil Brown has been told he can sign Mills from Manchester City permanently if he keeps the Tigers up, according to the Daily Star. And unless Hull lose 5-0 on Saturday, while Leeds win 5-0, there’s every chance the East Yorks team will be staying in the Championship. Shame about Leeds… Oh and the Mirror says five clubs are after West Brom’s creative midfielder Jason Koumas – Celtic, Aston Villa, Blackburn, Everton and our own dear City.

Ex-Blues’ News

Ex-Boss’ Funeral: Alan Ball’s funeral took place at Winchester Cathedral today. Legends of football past and present turned out in force to celebrate the life of the England World Cup hero, who died last week after suffering a heart attack while attempting to tackle a bonfire at his home in Warsash, Hampshire. Ball’s coffin was led into the Cathedral draped in the St George’s Cross England flag and with his trademark grey flat cap on top. Leading the mourners was Ball’s son Jimmy, 31, and daughters Mandy Byrne, 39, and Keely Allan, 35. Ball’s wife Lesley died three years ago from cancer. Wembley heroes including Jack Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Gordon Banks, George Cohen and Roger Hunt were present at the service. Ball’s close friend Mick Channon was present as was Lawrie McMenemy, the man who brought him to Southampton. Ball won 72 caps for his country and made a total of 819 league appearances for clubs including Blackpool, Everton, Arsenal, Southampton and Bristol Rovers. Apart from City, he also managed Blackpool, Portsmouth, Stoke City, Exeter City and Southampton during a 19-year managerial career. Also in attendance was City legend Dave Watson, who played alongside Ball for England and Southampton, who described his memories of the midfielder: “He was a model professional, always perky, always optimistic and a great example to everybody else. He was enthusiastic and it was catching, you know. You never saw the dark side.”

Reactions and Comments

Wrecking Carew: Another home game and, guess what – another scoreless City performance. But this time the opposition put the ball in the net a couple of times, as Aston Villa secured their first win against the Blues in 10 meetings. John Carew and substitute Shaun Maloney were on target as Villa piled on the misery for City and SP. Carew neatly headed in Ashley Young’s teasing right-wing cross to give Villa the lead. Then Joey Barton wasted a great chance to draw City level from the spot but he blazed over after ‘keeper Thomas Sorensen felled Darius Vassell. Villa sealed the points after the break when Maloney curled home a free-kick into the bottom corner from 20 yards. And unsurprisingly, the teams left the field to a chorus of boos. SP’s verdict? “We had opportunities to score without a doubt but when the pressure is on it’s more difficult at home. We are bitterly disappointed and I can understand the fans’ frustration. We started well but they scored and we were a bit shell-shocked. Once the game got stretched they looked more likely to score than we did. We’re disappointed,” he continued. “We had opportunities certainly and I thought for the first 25 minutes we were on top of the opposition, but we failed to take our chances and their ‘keeper made a couple of good saves. Then we went a goal down and it affected our confidence a little bit, but we’ve struggled a little bit at home. Maybe missing a penalty just before half-time’s sealed our fate in the second-half, but then Emile’s gone through and could have evened things up. We missed chances today and maybe it was costly.”

By George: Once again, Pearce was quizzed about his own position at the club. “I’m very confident I’ll be here unless there’s a better man out there to do my job,” he said. “I know exactly where the club needs to go with the constraints that exist, and no one has suggested to me at board level that I won’t be here.” And he leapt to the defence of Georgios Samaras, saying: “My assessment of George is whenever there are any misgivings here, George’s name is thrown into the mix. At 22 years old, I think that’s drastically unfair to keep naming him, after any defeat. I think it is very, very unfair to pick one individual out and blame everything on him. If you want to say that others have not done so well, or the manager’s done badly, that’s fine. We’ve been on a bad run at home but if you want to pick on one person as a scapegoat then you are missing the whole picture, and I think that’s a bit sad.”

Doubly Delighted: Villa Boss Martin O’Neill said: “After a shaky start we were in control throughout. We played really well after the initial skirmishes. I thought that we were pretty slow to start and they had good possession in and around our box in the opening ten minutes. After we came through that spell without conceding a goal, I thought we were great and played really, really well. We got the goal, which was obviously a big boost to us. Then we conceded a soft penalty just before half-time, but that went our way as it was missed. Then in the second-half we were great and on the counter attack we did really well.” O’Neill on Match of the Day admitted it was a penalty after Thomas Sorensen brought down former Villa boy Darius Vassell. He added: “I was delighted for Ashley Young to be involved with the first goal. I saw last week that he was getting back to the form that encouraged us to go out and buy him in January. It was a great cross for the goal and John Carew put it away well. I was similarly pleased for Shaun Maloney. It was a good free-kick and to get your first goal for a new club is always a big moment. It will give him plenty of confidence. In all, I was delighted with everyone and our brilliant travelling support can return home with smiles on their faces yet again.”

Squad News

For Richards the Poorer: Micah Richards will not play again until next season after surgery on a calf injury, ruling him out of England’s Euro 2008 qualifier in Estonia on June 6. “Micah had his operation yesterday, everything went very successfully but obviously it is now a number of weeks to recover,” SP said last Thursday. “There’s no rush to get him back, and we’re aiming to get him back for pre-season. He won’t play until pre-season now, whatever games are coming up, whether they be the full England squad or the Under-21 tournament.”

Is He Da Beas Knees? One football website claimed that SP was facing up to a “DaMARCUS D-DAY” this week. Apparently the ashen-faced under-fire City Boss had to agree a deal by Tuesday if he wanted to take the US international on a longer deal the winger is currently on loan from PSV Eindhoven until the summer. Well I haven’t heard a dickybird about a DaMarcus deal, have you, readers? One is tempted to say that Beasley might have taken the hint by now.

Don Barrie <news(at)mcivta.city-fan.org>

OPINION: WHAT NOW? I

Time for me to add my 2 penn’orth I am afraid. I am usually a lot more positive but it is becoming difficult.

Everybody has explained the problems, tactical ineptitude, poor warm up routines, pathetic scouting, and transfer bungling, need I go on?

I have always supported City for nigh on 50 years but the team I have supported had a cavalier attitude to the game. We have spent many years playing an attractive brand of the game that was always exciting; even when we lost we enjoyed the game. Now we are boring, we don’t score or let in many (just more than we score) but that is not what I think we all want to see. At least make it look good if you lose – let us think there is a chance of scoring.

I never thought that I would prefer to watch Arsenal but I am beginning to as we emulate the old boring Arsenal without scoring the odd goal. The reason most people outside of England watch the Premier League is because of the speed and excitement. Two things we do not possess. We need an exciting manager and new ownership that can bring that, Big Sam is adequate at getting results but not much flair. I don’t know where we go from here, it looks like down next year. Somebody give me some hope.

Jim Heaviside <JHeavis502(at)aol.com>

OPINION: WHAT NOW? II

In the wake of the Villa game I have to ask what the hell is going on at City this season?

You’ll probably guess that I’m talking about the seemingly increasing divisions within the squad, that is Dunne and Barton’s bemoaning the club’s lack of progress particularly with stop gap signings, hardly any of whom have pulled up trees for the club this season. Now in particular the incident that deprives us of Barton for the final two games of the season and more crucially Saturday’s derby match. It is easy to be sucked into the media bile about Joey, after all he’s got the form and the temperament for us all the put two and two together, but perhaps we shouldn’t be too quick to draw our conclusions. It’s a shame he didn’t choose to damage Dabo’s legs as opposed to his face given his contribution or lack of it to City’s season!

Are there any subscribers who feel that Pearce is on borrowed time? More importantly does he any longer command the full respect of his squad? I for one have been up and down about this all season. But my recent postings have probably indicated that of late I just don’t believe he can take the club forward. So why haven’t we scored at home since 1 January? Tactics, formations and selections for home games have been nothing short of awful. Is there a single game at home this season when we can say we were entertained? Barton was right wasn’t he? The best example is the recent home capitulation to a very average Villa side. We weren’t exactly played off the park but we failed to put them under any sustained pressure for the full 90 minutes. That isn’t the only example either – is it me or are we too negative going forward? Why don’t the midfield and defenders back up the strikers? At home shouldn’t we be the team that speculates and at times commits its players forward?

It might seem hard to believe but I actually feel that we’re not too far from having a decent Premier League side, so acute is the difference between the side that finishes fifth to the side that is fifth bottom. Sadly though the club’s lack of ambition and stupidity in not dropping its prices along with the increasingly uncompetitive and overrated Premiership has got me beat and I am not renewing my season ticket after a continuous 27 year period of watching the Blues unless there is a monumental change in the direction of the club. Let’s be honest, the club has for too long taken for granted the loyalty of its supporters.

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)ntlworld.com>

OPINION: WHAT NOW? III

Even I never dreamed or imagined it would get this bad! Enough said on the performance against Villa. It’s next Saturday that worries me greatly. As David Walker stated in the previous issue, there is a high degree of probability that the scum from OT will seriously embarrass us. Very seriously embarrass us! I do not believe for one single minute that we will do a ‘typical city’ and pull out a performance from nowhere to take a point or even three, dream on! It will be men against boys and I am honestly dreading it.

Speculation abounds regarding Big Sam and also the (potential) takeover. My thoughts for what they are worth:

Many City fans don’t want Big Sam as his brand of football is ‘ugly’, ‘boring’, ‘physical’, ‘unattractive’ et al. Well let’s be honest, has the football at MCFC this season been attractive, stylish, exciting or even fun? Answer: no. It has been dire, truly and utterly dire (and yes I have renewed my season ticket complete with a £10 ‘booking fee’!).

So why not Sam? He will get us results. He will get us organised. We will win more matches than we lose and the brand of football he delivers simply cannot be any more woeful, any more boring and any more pathetic than what has been dished up this season by Pearce, who is so far out of his depth it is truly sad for all concerned.

So why not Sam? Even if it’s for 2 or 3 seasons whilst he sorts us out, gets rid of the not inconsiderable amount of dead wood and sets us on a plan. If he can do with a joke of a football club like Bolton he can surely do it with us. Big Sam gets my vote.

The alleged takeover: Rumours abound… However, it seems the ‘mystery Americans’ were a figment of the imagination of the Board to placate the fans at the AGM. As I write it looks like a straight fight between Ray Ranson’s consortium and the ex Thai PM.

Now then it’s important we understand that Ranson’s ‘consortium’ are an equity fund that specialises in ‘distressed’ businesses. So they have certainly got city weighed up. However, as an equity fund based business they will undoubtedly take money out of City, not put it in! That’s what these guys do and that’s how they make money, lots of money. It’s no coincidence that the bid has been improved and firmed up now the guarantee of Premiership football next year is certain along with the obscene amount of TV cash that goes with it. They will make a number of financially cosmetic changes whilst sucking money out of every nook and cranny down at the CoMS.

When an ‘acceptable level of return’ has been made on the investment, they will simply discard the carcass to anyone who is silly enough to take it. Trust me, this is how these guys operate.

On the other hand the ex Thai PM is according to some sources allegedly bent as a nine bob note! However, he has cash! No debt, no leverage, no big mortgages, just cash and in the heady world of finance cash is king! It always has been and it always will be. However, as we all know you pays your monies, you takes your chances. If Ranson and his mates get hold of MCFC it is simply a matter of time.

Ray Bardsley <Ray.bardsley(at)smac-mca.co.uk>

OPINION: DERBY DAY I

I suppose like most Blues out there, I had a very large grin on my face last night, and I thought that it would be great if as many City fans as possible could dig out their old away jersey, you know the one from the 69 Cup final with the red and black stripes and the same as AC Milan.

I would love to see Fergie’s mush when he walks out on Saturday to a sea of red and black.

CTID, Paul Fegan <paulo9(at)eircom.net>

OPINION: DERBY DAY II

This year’s derby game at home is far more important for both clubs than just playing for the pride of Manchester (even though United are outside the boundaries of the City of Manchester).

The Evil Empire want the points for a very serious reason that we all know about; how we would love to stop them.

The City team have not scored a goal at home in the Premiership since Jan 1st when we beat Everton 2-1. Both City goals were scored by Samaras, yes Georgios Samaras. Since then he has lost his form; is there not a better time to find back his form than this Saturday?

The pressure must be on Stuart Pearce who has not been able to get his team to score not a single goal at home in the Premiership for too many games. I just hope that the team has been saving up the goals for Saturday’s game.

Stuart Pearce has been in charge for two seasons now, and although he has not been able to get us any silverware or get us into Europe (although last season we were just a penalty away), overall I think that under the circumstances, meaning lack of funds for players, and the hand he has been dealt, and at times facing tough criticisms, he just gets on with the job and sticks to his guns.

The last two years have been a learning curve for SP, and being honest he is not afraid to admit this. SP, despite everything, has kept us in the Premiership on a shoestring budget but of course we as City fans are so desperate for silverware, we know that our club deserves much better.

So I feel that this game versus the Evil Empire is going to mean a lot more to Stuart Pearce than just beating our biggest rivals.

With the speculation in all the media about new owners, and none are positive as of yet, we are all waiting with great interest, for whom ever comes in as new owners there appear to be big changes on the horizon.

I hope very much that we do get new owners for the club, as it needs investment for players to move forward. As to where the new owners come from, that is not my main concern, it is that the new owners will have City at heart and to make them great again. UK, USA or Timbuktu, it does not matter, just help us get better and win a trophy.

Come on City, beat the Swamp Dwellers!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: NUMBER EIGHT I

Thank God for Joey Barton’s behaviour.

I know I have said this before, but now feel somewhat justified in repeating myself and penning this with an almost satisfied glow. I dislike Barton. It’s an almost vitriolic dislike. Ok I hate him. Am I justified now? Am I finally safe to say so publicly again?

I have hated him for many seasons and in this the final, closing chapter of Barton’s City career, he’s just compounded my hatred.

I just can’t get over those people on the City forums still saying we should keep him, he’s great! Do me a favour. He’s not great. I can’t be bothered going into his dreadful passing, distribution, free kicks, corners, skin complexion. He is not that good. He is at best, a very, very average player. We won four on the trot when he didn’t play.

Do you know against Aston Villa, one of his passes connected with a City player? One, solitary pass. Skilful.

The people who misinterpret his endeavour as skill are sadly deluded. You may come back and say he got in the England team. Who picked him? MacLaren. We all know how well he is doing.

He is a disruptive child and if I were Dabo, I’d ensure he did a bit of bird. That would shut the gobby idiot up. If I had my way, I’d ban him from football for a year or two full stop. Too many narrow minded people are too quick to forgive and slow to blame. Transfer requests, slagging fellow players, missing pretty crucial penalties. How do you know we have not been playing so goddam atrociously due to the fact that this mouthy over rated/over arrogant scouser is in the team? There may be players in the team who may hate him just as much I do. If that is the case why do you think their heads drop with that big “I am” tear-arsing around all over the place misplacing every pass?

The other side of the coin is, did City put him up to this? Was it a big ruse to get rid after the ‘I wouldn’t pay to watch us comments’? Well either way, I for one, am glad this disease is leaving the veins of our club.

And it is important he does so. And of course no-one who reads this is likely to be Dabo’s biggest fan, but man, you can’t excuse those pictures of the poor geezer. Joey you are a horrible person end of.

With regards the proposed take-over.

We are in a relatively healthy position. Wardle wants out, he also wants (financially at least) what’s good for him and the club.

Ranson is a chancer. He’s got less cash than Wardle/Makin. All the funding he could bring would be loans.

Basically the position would remain the same. Wardle will think: ‘why would I want to offload the club to an owner whose interests reflect where we’ve been, for the last 5 year? He tried a year and half ago to try and buy himself on the board with £1 million. Cheeky. Some could argue that Tueart and Lee have got a place on the board for considerably less. You’d be right. They need to go, the pair of them. I feel they are creaming our club. Ranson also unsuccessfully tried to take over Aston Villa remember.

Shinawatra is a different kettle of fish entirely. He’s worth £2 billion quid. £100-£120 million ‘investment’ he wouldn’t be in this for a quick buck. It’s a long term business venture.

If anyone listens to Ranson and his romanticism, playing in the lowly football fans’ hands by saying all the right things, he may end up winning you over. Warning. Don’t buy a word of it. Football is about money, not sentiment, not family clubs, not history, not romance. Cold, hard cash. Shinawatra has that – and it’s that alone than can carry this oft unlucky club forward.

We have to become a top six club. We won’t even touch the top four and that’s because they would cease to exist without the Champions’ League dosh but to get near where we ought to be, that’s what we’ve got to aim for.

And if anyone thinks that Mr Pearce would still be our manager should the Thai take over, it’s all in the name of smoothening the transition. I’ve a feeling we’re going to be a bunch of slightly happier supporters in the up coming year.

Up Those Blues

.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)mondiale.co.uk>

OPINION: NUMBER EIGHT II

I hesitate to condone physical violence but I do feel that Barton has vented the fans’ fury caused by totally ineffectual players in the team.

Dabo is such an insignificant player that he has even been forgotten about when fans moan about the hopeless buys made by Pearce.

He says that he looks like the “elephant man”. That’s handy as I’ll be able to recognise him now as I know what John Merrick looked like. I don’t know what this waste of space looks like from what he has done for the team this year.

Joey has been suspended and is missing from the last two games of the season. No one has mentioned about Dabo missing the games because he has been so hopeless that he wasn’t in contention anyway.

We can fault Joey for his behaviour but can we fault him for effort in the City name? The answer is No. There are too many in this team where the answer is definitively Yes. Get rid of them.

Simon Clarke <simbadiow(at)yahoo.co.uk>

OPINION: NUMBER EIGHT III

If anyone doesn’t think that Barton should be sacked then read this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/05/03/sfnmac03.xml

He should have gone long ago, I only hope that someone at City grows a backbone and kicks this muppet out ASAP! But sadly I will not be holding my breath as the players have the power and backbone is not something that has been seen in the City board for over 30 years.

Tony Hulme <t.hulme(at)mmu.ac.uk>

OPINION: NUMBER EIGHT IV

We can thank Joey Barton for helping keep City in the Premiership. But he has shown time and time again that he is a liability on and off the pitch.

After his latest outburst, I felt that he would be off, maybe to Everton his childhood team, knowing that he has a clause in his contract City could not have stopped him with the right offer being made to MCFC. But now it will be MCFC that will be glad to see the back of this player who just can’t keep out of trouble.

Our team appears to have been weakened for the game versus our nearest rivals, but who knows, the players might go out now and each give 110% into their game, because Mr Joey Bigs will be missing. It’s still only eleven players versus eleven players,

Come on City.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: NUMBER EIGHT V

Interesting activity at City, recently:

Barton at fault for fighting with another player, according to reports. If true, he must never kick another ball for Manchester City; let another club deal with this tempestuous character. Plenty of suitors out there but ensure we do not give him away – sell to bring money into the club.

New ownership/investment; this will play out in due course. However, based upon Stuart’s below-par performances in bringing quality players into the club, I fear the worst if he is handed any amount of cash.

Moving forward: An ideal time to bring in Sam Allardyce as manager, ASAP, and re-assign SP as first-team coach to concentrate on defensive capabilities/tactics (not that I would expect Stuart to accept such a position, however).

Steve Ireland: wasn’t he recently awarded a new, improved contract? Since then, his form is lacking. Typical.

Lose a minimum of the following players: Dickov, Corradi, Samaras, Sinclair, at season-end.

Things can surely get worse if we don’t buck up our ideas, United will definitely give us a pasting come the weekend.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)yahoo.com>

OPINION: NUMBER EIGHT VI

I broadly agreed with Don Price’s piece in the last MCIVTA about Barton and his media comments, but then the true Joey Barton showed his colours and any sympathy completely evaporated. Joey Barton comes over as an unhinged thug and Pearce and the Board were completely correct to suspend him and indicate that he would not play for City again after his assault on Dabo, even if this is unfortunately just before the derby.

Apparently this “incident” was even witnessed by a team of school kids! [Apparently not, I know somebody who was there and there were no kids around, not that this makes it any better – Ed]

Well done Joey, you’ve excelled yourself here and so apparently has your (refound) mate McKay with his comments afterwards. If the guy was not earning circa £40,000 a week as a footballer he would be in prison now like his brother.

Yes, there are loads of things wrong at the club and Barton has clearly got very frustrated by this, but beating-up your colleagues rarely works as a way to build trust and team spirit. He may be one of the more talented players in an extremely untalented squad but we all know he isn’t that good really.

Hopefully there is a new regime around the corner (but knowing City, probably a very long corner). I would like to see wholesale changes from Chairman, Chief Executive, Board, Manager and yes players who are either useless or unstable.

Robert Barker <randr.barker(at)tiscali.co.uk>

OPINION: NUMBER EIGHT VII

It is time to sell Barton on. His behavior is that of a vicious two year old, not a mature 24 year old man. Let him be a problem for some other club. I’m heartily sick of his antics.

Mike Edwards <cityfan2(at)bellsouth.net>

REQUEST: DERBY BLUES VIEWING IN NEW YORK

Anyone who will be in New York this Saturday and wants to catch the Manchester derby live, get yourself to Nevada Smith’s. Kick off is at 7:45am, and Nevada’s is located in the East Village at 74 Third Ave., between 11-12th Sts. If you take a subway to the bar, get off at Union Square Station and walk east to Third Ave., turn downtown (right), and it’s just 2.5 blocks on your right side. Look for other Blues who will be there.

Donny Schreier <donny(at)streetsoccer.us>

REQUEST: SPURS TICKET AVAILABLE

I have a spare Tottenham ticket available, can meet outside the ground before kick off. Call me on 07772 862 987 or e-mail.

Mark Bowden <M_bow(at)hotmail.co.uk>

RESULTS

30 April 2007

Reading               1 - 0  Newcastle United      24,109

29 April 2007

Arsenal               3 - 1  Fulham                61,839

League table to 02 May 2007 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD  Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  35 15  2  1 46 11 12  2  3 36 15 27  4  4  82  26  56  85
 2 Chelsea         35 12  5  0 36 10 12  3  3 26 12 24  8  3  62  22  40  80
 3 Liverpool       36 14  3  1 37  5  6  4  8 18 19 20  7  9  55  24  31  67
 4 Arsenal         36 12  5  1 42 15  7  4  7 20 19 19  9  8  62  34  28  66
 5 Bolton Wndrs    36  9  4  5 24 18  7  3  8 20 29 16  7 13  44  47  -3  55
 6 Everton         36 10  4  4 30 17  4  8  6 18 18 14 12 10  48  35  13  54
 7 Reading         36 11  2  5 29 18  5  4  9 20 24 16  6 14  49  42   7  54
 8 Portsmouth      36 11  4  3 28 15  3  7  8 17 24 14 11 11  45  39   6  53
 9 Tottenham H.    35 11  2  4 31 20  4  6  8 21 32 15  8 12  52  52   0  53
10 Blackburn R.    35  9  2  7 28 22  5  3  9 18 28 14  5 16  46  50  -4  47
11 Aston Villa     36  6  8  4 17 14  4  8  6 21 25 10 16 10  38  39  -1  46
12 Newcastle Utd   36  7  7  4 23 18  4  2 12 14 26 11  9 16  37  44  -7  42
13 Manchester City 36  5  6  7 10 15  6  3  9 18 26 11  9 16  28  41 -13  42
14 Middlesbrough   36  9  3  6 28 23  1  7 10 12 25 10 10 16  40  48  -8  40
15 Sheff. United   36  7  6  5 23 19  3  2 13  8 31 10  8 18  31  50 -19  38
16 Fulham          36  6  7  5 17 18  1  8  9 19 39  7 15 14  36  57 -21  36
17 Wigan Athletic  36  5  4  9 18 29  4  4 10 17 28  9  8 19  35  57 -22  35
18 West Ham United 36  7  2  9 21 25  3  3 12 10 33 10  5 21  31  58 -27  35
19 Charlton Ath.   36  7  5  6 19 18  1  4 13 13 38  8  9 19  32  56 -24  33
20 Watford         36  3  8  7 18 24  1  4 13  8 34  4 12 20  26  58 -32  24

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0607.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings bu email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page

http://www.uit.no/mancity/ is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (http://www.mcfcosc.com/); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.reddishblues.com/CSAWebsite/CSA.htm) and “The International Supporters’ Club”.

[6] Where can I find out about the fans’ committee?

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. The Fans’ Committee has been relaunched as “Points of Blue”. It has appeared on the club website as a minor entry under “Fans Zone”.

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The Radio Manchester (née GMR) pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/sport/manchester_city/index.shtml.

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at http://mcfc.videoloungetv.com/do/preLogin?clubSiteCode=MCFC&CMP=AFC-003.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/pl.html provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer, http://www.soccertv.com/, and http://www.livesoccertv.com/.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at http://www.uit.no/mancity/players/

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the Plus Markets Group web site http://www.plusmarketsgroup.com/ or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try http://www.mcfcstats.com/.

[13] I hear there is a TV programme specifically about City?

InsideMCFC is broadcasted by ChannelM. It is available on the SkyDigital (ch.203) and NTL (ch.26) platforms as well as being transmittedtraditionally within the Manchester area (ch.39). In addition, theprogramme is available to watch via the web. More details and schedule:http://www.channelm.co.uk/features/city.html


DISCLAIMER
The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.


[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1324

2007/05/03

Editor:


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