Newsletter #1327

With Heidi off on her hols, I have stepped into the breach, and with the news from City today of the sacking of Stuart Pearce, I expect the couple of weeks I am standing in for her will be hectic!

The season has drawn to a close but I suspect the summer holds plenty of change for City.

Keep sending your articles to the usual address of <editor(at)>

Next game: TBA


City signed off the season and Stuart Pearce’s tenure with an undeserved third straight defeat to a talented Tottenham side: opponents whom a club of City’s size really should be competing with for a UEFA Cup place. Pearce’s side started off with Mpenza as the lone striker in his usual negative 4-5-1 formation. The formation, which has been solid of late away from home, but impotent at Eastlands, succumbed early on to Spurs on this occasion. It took just nine minutes for Robbie Keane (yes, him again) to latch onto Jenas’ chipped pass and coolly finish past Isakkson. It had more than a hint of offside about it, but, quelle surprise, the linesman did not flag. Vassell had an effort blocked as City pressed for an equaliser, then we were deprived of the services of Distin, who left the pitch perhaps for the last time as a City player, clutching his hamstring to appreciative applause and ‘One Sylvain Distin’ from the travelling City fans. Onuoha moved across to centre back, Sun slotted in at right back, and Hamann moved into the so-called ‘holding’ rôle.

Although City pressed for an equaliser, the home side looked dangerous with Lennon’s pace down the left flank, not to mention the silky touches of the classy Berbatov and the talismanic Keane. So it told as Berbatov made his own luck, got a lucky bounce off a defender in the penalty area, and steered the second past Isakkson. It was difficult not to fear a cricket score at that stage, but City didn’t give up, and showed character aplenty to come back strongly at Spurs. City got back into the game when the impressive Mpenza looped a header in from Hamann’s cross and the Blues were definitely on top and nearly drew level as we went into the break: Johnson headed over after Mpenza’s shot was parried by Robinson.

Half time saw the local Police commander honour Tottenham stewards for literally their putting bodies and souls into saving Spurs fans from more beatings by the baton wielding brutality of the Spanish police in Seville. Fair play to these brave peace-makers because English fans are fair game abroad to the sort of police tactics that make Life on Mars Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt look like a liberal. Having spent pre-match with some affable Spurs fans in the local Irish club, I asked them about their experiences in Spain. One confirmed to me what I had heard previously: that the Spurs fans’ initial crime was to ask why the local police were not allowing them to go to the toilet in Seville’s stadium, and their punishment for such an audacious question was to get a beating.

City played some lovely stuff after the break with Ireland, Johnson and Mpenza at the centre of some slick moves. We really should have drawn level. Mpenza’s header seemed goal bound but he was thwarted by a fine save from Robinson who dived backwards to tip the ball over. The Belgian was industrious up front and caused King and Dawson problems with his mobility, but he needs a partner to work with. The inventive Ireland’s talent is also crying out for genuine pace in front of him in order to maximise the young Irishman’s talent for playing the defence splitting through ball.

Late on, Hamman gave the ball away, casually putting the defence under pressure and Richard Dunne was harshly penalised with a penalty. TV replays later showed that it was a push outside the box. Camp Commandant Steve Bennett looked like he was going to send the City captain off, but Dunney had managed to walk far enough away into a group of players, and Bennett probably thought, oh, what the heck, it’s almost holiday time!

City continued to press but to no avail. Whilst it was the third defeat in a row at the end of a wretched season, there were some definite positives to take from this wet afternoon in North London. Onuoha slotted in seamlessly alongside the impressive Dunne at centre back. Ireland had a superb game as playmaker and combined very well with Johnson, whose link play with him and man-of-the-match Mpenza actually made City a pleasure to watch for long spells of this game. It was a pity about the result though.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Sorry John Nisbet if I was a few yards off by saying a 30 yards scorcher by Neil Young.

I have sent John Nisbet a copy of my ticket from the FA Cup final (which I have kept in a scrap book all these years), to prove to him that I was indeed behind that goal.

With the excitement of the game at the time, and being pushed around by the standing fans around me, it could well have been 30 yards by my vision at the time.

However, after doing some research into the goal, I find out that it was taken just outside the penalty box, and not around the penalty spot as John Nisbet has claimed.

If you go to you can see a photo of Neil Young score the goal (scroll down), along with many other fine pictures taken by a very good photographer who has captured many magical moments in City’s history. I recommend this site to all Manchester City supporters.

After 38 long years, I find the difference in distance a little trivial, the main point surely Neil Young scored a great goal!

Darn John Nisbet has made me feel my age going back to check this out! (LOL)

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I have not contributed for some years but this season has got my fingers itching for the keyboard again.

Let me start by saying that City have good players but no cohesion. Pearce has had his chance and must go on to the Under 21s where the tactics are 2D and within his capability.

City require an experienced manager who can make a team gel, regardless of playing staff. Look at what Coleman did for Fulham, Allardyce at Bolton, Curbishley (when at Charlton), and even Honest Harry at Portsmouth. Coppell at Reading is probably the one this season but will it last? I think not. Call it Wigan syndrome.

The candidate I would like to see in charge in the summer is Glenn Hoddle. Think of the teams he managed, and I include England in that, and you realise every Hoddle team played as a single unit with flair and diversity. Isn’t that what we all want to see? A City team with a Plan B? A City team with imagination and spirit?

Of course, some cash to spend is required for strikers; and ‘EPL established’ strikers at that. D Bent, Gudjohnsson, Lita, Zamora and ‘if only’ Defoe. However, I believe a new manager (Hoddlesque) could probably get more out of a fairly decent squad before using money more astutely to provide cover later.

I have high hopes that City will improve automatically with the right finance and manager. We have panicked before and got 2nd rate. Let’s go straight for proven quality on and off the pitch.

Bye Bye Barton, Distin, Richards, and Pearce. Hello Lita, Billy Sharp, Hyypia, James Collins and Hoddle.

Stu Wells <kipp(at)>


Re Jim Parsons’ comment on my radio 5 live pre-match ref to the Rags being despicable, I must admit too, that I was so taken aback that the radio (hooray Henry) people were so surprised at this, that I failed to follow up with at least the twenty reasons I listed in KK150.

This is a word I use (including many, far, far worse) to wind the Rags up in the pub, who think that no-one sees through them for what they really are. I was also comforted that the blokes round me at the game thought it was an understatement. Nevertheless 7.15 am isn’t my best time, but my previous pre-derby comments have inspired (?) 3 home wins and two away draws, so 5 out of 6 ain’t bad.

Regarding Jim’s words about it being “the best team talk Taggart could have asked for”. Hmm, even if they read the newsletter, I don’t think so, as to use Jim’s words “they were there for the taking”.

Finally, I thought that Fergie’s (not the patronising ‘Taggart’) comment about us being “happy with 1-0” was pretty despicable. Does any true Blue disagree?

So if anyone on MCIVTA would like to send me their phone number, so I can pass it on to the media next time they ask for a quote/interview at some unearthly hour I’d appreciate it.

Dave Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


I think that we can all say “Thank God the season is over”.

The football played at home must have been some of the most boring in recent history, the attack was very negative, from a club who has always had the brand of attacking football other clubs envied.

At least Stuart Pearce kept us in the Premiership, but at the expense of attractive football; in truth he did not have the players to produce it, and some decisions at times were not the best ones made.

I do not understand why SP wants to keep Dabo at City for next season; this puts Stuart Pearce with a minus as manager from me, what is he thinking?

I have always stood behind Stuart Pearce as manager/coach, he is a nice guy and an honest person, and I am not going to shout for his head, but if SP has to go, so be it, I have mixed feelings about it.

If SP stays I shall support him, but want better in the future, maybe bring in someone with more knowledge of attacking football to help?

The defence has been coached well, it’s the attack wHere we lack, starting from the midfield to give the support strikers need.

We have some great Academy players coming through; as long as the club does not sell any of the best, we just need the right experienced players to come in, and not loan players that other clubs do not want.

More drab football like we have just witnessed, and City will not survive next season.

Maybe the big meeting by the MCFC chairman and board on Tuesday will give us all more knowledge in which direction the club will be going.

Big changes are needed, big changes, we are supposed to be a big club.

Stay Blue,

Ernie Barrow. CTID <britcityblue(at)>


So Stuart Pearce leaves the club and the managerial merry go round turns again.

Before all the clever so and so’s get to saying, I told you so, I have mixed opinions about Stuart and his position as Manager.

When he was touting himself as the next Manager of Manchester City in the Keegan days, my initial reaction was, “You might make a great manager one day, but City is not the club to cut your teeth on”.

Then, when he was thrown into the position when Keegan left, I thought that he has as much right to be considered as the next man and we had 9 games, at the time, for him to prove himself.

City played out of their skins in those 9 games, winning 8 and drawing 1. I agreed with his appointment as Manager following that period. It seemed that he had all the players giving their all for the team and that motivation became second nature. If he could have added a bit more quality to the team, we could have had a winning side.

It’s not worked out that way and although, on occasions, the team has dominated games without getting the results that the performances have deserved, and come up with some surprise results against the top sides, (Chelsea 1-0 at home and 0-0 away the season that they only lost 1 game, Liverpool at home 1-0 the same season, beating United 3-1 last season, and Arsenal this season 1-0 not to mention breaking the bogey against Middlesbrough this year and a totally unexpected away win at Newcastle).

But the results listed above were the only bright spots in Stuart’s full managerial period and the standard of football and apparent lack of motivation, coupled with a seeming lack of respect by the players means that we are still looking for light at the end of the tunnel. Stuart seems to be, and you can only judge on what you see, completely inexperienced in tactics and reacting to opponents’ tactic changes.

They say that a manager needs 2-3 years to make an impact but at the end of this period, if you haven’t won anything, you at least need to see the progress curve going up but it’s not, it’s leaning down and looking worse.

Stuart hasn’t helped himself by his ‘stock’ replies to challenging questions and recently, when Samaras was subject to criticism, he retorted that it was unfair to criticise Georgious because of his price tag. I think that someone on this forum pointed out that it wasn’t the case, but that for £6 million we expect a player to be good enough to play for City and Georgious has shown few signs that he is. At least Corradi didn’t cost anything.

City may be bought soon by whoever and there may be substantial funds made available to the manager to invest. I’m often asked in my work, “If it was your money, would you do the deal?” Well I have to say, based on Stuart’s record, the answer would have to be no. I would worry that vital funds would be wasted on players similar to Corradi, Dabo, Trabelsi, and others.

City now need a manager who has a pedigree to take the club forward. I actually believe that the team is not that far off a club challenging for European places and with the right kind of manager, will achieve this. The step after that would be to try to qualify for the Champions’ League spots but one step at a time and, unfortunately, I agree with the board that Stuart is not the man to take us to that first step.

I saw on a MuEN billboard today that Ranieri might be a candidate. He’s certainly a likeable character and I have nothing but respect for the dignified way that he conducted himself when he was literally shown the door at Chelsea. But how would he fare with much smaller funds?

What about Big Sam? Well the football has been bad enough this season without Sam bringing his boring brand to the club. But here’s a dilemma. When George Graham was at Arsenal, they were the most boring side in the history of football but they won things. What would you have, a boring team that regularly lifted cups or an exciting team to watch that were always also rans?

At the moment, we have neither and no cups.

Some ‘Please don’t appoint him’s:

Houlier (Was rubbish at Liverpool, why would he be good at City)
Allardyce (Will probably, if he hasn’t already, go to Newcastle and they will enter yet another period of mediocrity)
Roeder (Not good enough)

Some ‘good prospectives’:

Martin O’neill (Too late, Villa got him)
Sanchez (Too late, Fulham got him)
Ranieri (Mmm, possible. Intriguing)
Wenger (Dream on. It would cost a fortune to prise him away from the Emirates but would, at long last, signal the ambitions of the club)

In fact, to sum it up, that last comment will announce the club’s ambitions but whom they appoint next? Let’s see.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


As many have predicted, City have repeated the Joe Royle act of 2001, and pierced Stuart’s heart the day after the season finished. Pearce was signed by Keegan within days of his appointment, and he has been a great servant for the club in those six years, being the fans’ choice to succeed Kevin Keegan. I would like to thank Stuart for everything he has done at the club, and wish him every success in the future. In spite of being given little money to spend by our frugal Chief Executive over the last 12 months, he can still leave with his honour and dignity intact, as he has represented Manchester City well and is well liked by football supporters in general. Pearce will be a success, but not just yet. But (there’s always a but), the turning point in his relationship with the fans and club was the débâcle surrounding the England Under 21 job. If he was advised about that one, he was badly advised, because the timing couldn’t have been worse. But as I say, good luck for the future.

My only plea now is for the club to avoid the morass of “promising” managers and coaches with skills similar to Stuart Pearce, and do something radical by appointing a proven European manager that can take the club to the next level. So, it must be no to Allardyce, no to Jewell, no to Coleman, no to Strachan, Curbishley, Dowie, Pardew, Coppell, Southgate, Roeder (need I go on?).

So it is yes to Ranieri, Houllier or even bloody Eriksson, just somebody who can raise the profile of the club around Europe, has experienced being with a club in European competition, who aspires to City being a European club, has the profile and respect to attract quality European players to the club who will help our talented youngsters.

We want a winner, not somebody who can win you a game on the last day of the season to avoid relegation. Know what I mean?

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


Forget the trials and tribulations of our mega stars, now’s your chance to show your prowess on a football pitch.

On behalf of the Centenary Supporters’ Association I have organised a 5-a-side football competition at the Platt Lane Complex on Saturday 16th June 2007. The competition is open to any group of City supporters willing to take part. If Heidi’s leg gets better she can lead a ladies team out. Our last 5-a-side had a team representing MCIVTA, it would be nice to see MCIVTA on the teams list again. The competition starts at 10-00am and ends at 2-00pm. The football is followed by a presentation and buffet in the Oasis Suite. Entrance is only £10-00 per team. Closing date for entries is Saturday 9th June 2007. For further details please contact myself on 0161-281-7517, or by email.

I’m also looking for a few more referees to cover the games. Referees must be qualified, any level, any age, currently active or inactive. Referees will be paid £25. I’m sure John Nisbet cannot be the only City fan and qualified referee who reads MCIVTA. Get your kit on and get in touch.

Alex Channon <alex.channon(at)>


13 May 2007

Blackburn Rovers      3 - 3  Reading               22,671
Bolton Wanderers      2 - 2  Aston Villa           26,255
Chelsea               1 - 1  Everton               41,746
Liverpool             2 - 2  Charlton Athletic     43,134
Manchester United     0 - 1  West Ham United       75,927
Middlesbrough         3 - 1  Fulham                29,556
Portsmouth            0 - 0  Arsenal               20,188
Sheffield United      1 - 2  Wigan Athletic        32,604
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 1  Manchester City       35,426
Watford               1 - 1  Newcastle United      19,830

10 May 2007

Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      35,974

League table to 13 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  38 15  2  2 46 12 13  3  3 37 15 28  5  5  83  27  56  89
 2 Chelsea         38 12  7  0 37 11 12  4  3 27 13 24 11  3  64  24  40  83
 3 Liverpool       38 14  4  1 39  7  6  4  9 18 20 20  8 10  57  27  30  68
 4 Arsenal         38 12  6  1 43 16  7  5  7 20 19 19 11  8  63  35  28  68
 5 Tottenham H.    38 12  3  4 34 22  5  6  8 23 32 17  9 12  57  54   3  60
 6 Everton         38 11  4  4 33 17  4  9  6 19 19 15 13 10  52  36  16  58
 7 Bolton Wndrs    38  9  5  5 26 20  7  3  9 21 32 16  8 14  47  52  -5  56
 8 Reading         38 11  2  6 29 20  5  5  9 23 27 16  7 15  52  47   5  55
 9 Portsmouth      38 11  5  3 28 15  3  7  9 17 27 14 12 12  45  42   3  54
10 Blackburn R.    38  9  3  7 31 25  6  4  9 21 29 15  7 16  52  54  -2  52
11 Aston Villa     38  7  8  4 20 14  4  9  6 23 27 11 17 10  43  41   2  50
12 Middlesbrough   38 10  3  6 31 24  2  7 10 13 25 12 10 16  44  49  -5  46
13 Newcastle Utd   38  7  7  5 23 20  4  3 12 15 27 11 10 17  38  47  -9  43
14 Manchester City 38  5  6  8 10 16  6  3 10 19 28 11  9 18  29  44 -15  42
15 West Ham United 38  8  2  9 24 26  4  3 12 11 33 12  5 21  35  59 -24  41
16 Fulham          38  7  7  5 18 18  1  8 10 20 42  8 15 15  38  60 -22  39
17 Wigan Athletic  38  5  4 10 18 30  5  4 10 19 29 10  8 20  37  59 -22  38
18 Sheff. United   38  7  6  6 24 21  3  2 14  8 34 10  8 20  32  55 -23  38
19 Charlton Ath.   38  7  5  7 19 20  1  5 13 15 40  8 10 20  34  60 -26  34
20 Watford         38  3  9  7 19 25  2  4 13 10 34  5 13 20  29  59 -30  28

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1327