Newsletter #1348

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Don brings us news tonight of more signings as Sven rebuilds the squad, with dozens more linked. Several ex Blues are moving on too. Frank has now got control of MCFC and plans to delist the club according to his lawyer.

We have a view from Sweden on the recent tour, the question we all ask ourselves of “what is it with City”, opinions on the new signings and trialists and new for New York Blues.

Next game: Saturday 28 July, 6pm, Charleroi (away) friendly

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

Thaksin Takeover: It’s been reported that Thaksin Shinawatra has officially gained complete control of the club, over three weeks after taking charge at Eastlands. “The Shinawatra family has managed to acquire at least 75% of shares in the holding company of Manchester City football club. Total control has been transferred to the family,” said Noppadol Pattama, Thaksin’s lawyer and de facto spokesman in Thailand, at a news conference. A 75% holding allows Thaksin to delist the club from the London Stock Exchange and take it into private ownership, which Noppadol indicated was his intention. Also, “The next step is to recruit or to buy new players from several national teams such as Italy, Sweden, Brazil and Thailand,” said Noppadol. “We expect to select at least two Thai players from our national team to join Manchester City.” More of that later, but here’s an interesting snippet from the Daily Mail: David Dein, deposed Vice Chairman at Arsenal, turned down an approach from Thaksin because he still hopes to return to Arsenal. The former Gunners vice-chairman was kicked out after urging the Emirates board to consider the investment plans of Stan Kroenke. The American billionaire is weighing up a possible takeover bid, which could involve Dein. Maybe Mr Mackintosh shouldn’t be too settled, as it sounds like anyone’s replaceable…

Rioch at the Ricoh: Maybe it’s the fetching shade of Sky Blue they play in, but Coventry City have attracted yet another former member of MCFC staff to join them. Boss Iain Dowie has confirmed the appointment of Gregor Rioch as the club’s new Academy manager. Rioch has followed assistant manager Tim Flowers and coach Frank Bunn to the Ricoh Stadium from Manchester. “Gregor is highly qualified and I am confident he can take Coventry City’s Academy forward,” said Dowie. “He has held his UEFA A License for 10 years and comes to us with a wealth of experience of coaching at both Academy and senior level. Gregor obviously comes from a football family but he has forged out a career the hard way, by working from the bottom up, which I have nothing but respect for.” Rioch spent last season in charge of City’s Pontin’s League Reserves team.

Excited Psycho’s in Charge: Rioch’s former gaffer at City got a new post this week. Stuart Pearce got his dream job last week – he was confirmed as the full-time England Under-21s coach on a two-year contract. He’d staked his claim for the job by taking England to the semi-finals of the tournament last month in Holland, where they lost in a marathon penalty shoot-out to the hosts. Whilst City boss, SP was sure he could combine both domestic and international duties – but now he says: “The fact it’s a full-time rôle excites me. Looking to the future, it will be more helpful. Every game, you learn as a manager. I’m a wiser man than I was two years ago.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Sven’s New Pet: City have signed Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov for £4.7 million from Atletico Madrid. The 28-year-old has agreed a three-year contract and passed a medical, although the move is subject to a work permit. Petrov was strongly linked with a move to Tottenham, but City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has made the Bulgarian his fourth new signing. “Having Sven as manager proved to be a major factor in the player’s decision,” said City Chief Exec, Alistair Mackintosh. “Unsurprisingly given the calibre of the player, there were a significant number of clubs competing for Martin’s signature, and I am absolutely delighted that he has come to Manchester City.” Petrov, a left winger, began his career at CSKA Sofia and enjoyed spells at Swiss club Servette and Wolfsburg in Germany before signing for Atletico in 2005. However, the Spanish club have opted to cash in on Petrov after agreeing a £13.4 million deal with Benfica for winger Simao Sabrosa. Petrov has made more than 60 appearances for Bulgaria. On Thursday morning S-GE showed off both Petrov and Geovanni at a press conference. Sven said: “I’m sure that a lot of clubs wanted both of them, and I’m very happy that the board and Alistair were able to get them. They will do very well for us, I’m sure about that. They are experienced, and it’s important that we don’t just buy players around 19 or 20 years old. In the Premier League you need class and experience, and these two are top class players. Technically they are very good, Geovanni can play on the right or as a second striker, and Martin’s left foot is very, very good.” And there’s more to come, good buddies. “I don’t think we are finished signing, there will be more new faces coming in different positions, whether they are English or not I can’t say. I think that the new owner has shown that he means serious business when he says that he wants to build a strong team, which is not fighting at the bottom of the table but at the other end. This is one way in which he has shown that, and I’m very happy about it.”

It’s Nor What You Know… It’s not just in the boardroom where a Thai influence is being felt. Three players from Thaksin’s homeland have arrived for a trial at the COMS. Defenders Suree Sukha (24) and Kiatprawut Saiwaeo (21), and striker Teerasil Dangda (19) were all in the Thai squad for this month’s Asian Cup. Worawi Makudi, president of the Thailand Football Association who recommended the trio to City, told Thai newspaper The Nation: “I believe our football standard and player ability is as good as other countries. The only difference is that our players have not had the opportunity as many others. I think the three would fare well in the trial. They are still young and have a strong desire to play in the Premier League.”

Some Vassell-ation by Sven: S-GE won’t be selling Darius Vassell – for now, at any rate. City have already rejected a £1 million bid from Besiktas for striker Darius Vassell. “We have to see which players we sign before maybe we decide that someone can leave,” he told the M.E.N. “All the players start here with an equal chance with me as manager. To me it does not matter what age a player is or how much money they are being paid. They all start with an equal chance.”

Thacking Yak: That’s enough news, let’s get to the speculation. There were strong rumours over the weekend that Middlebrough’s Yakubu was a definite target. A ‘pal’ of the striker told the Mirror that “Yak is definitely going to Man City,” and that Sven would be holding talks this week. Well there’s no reports of a signing yet. Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate rubbished the reports, saying: “Yakubu is still part of my plans, absolutely,” he claimed. “He has been with us in Austria and worked very hard with everybody else. I read the speculation the same as everybody else but we have had no contact from any other club. Whether people are trying to unsettle the player I don’t know, but he seems very happy to be back with us having reported back from Nigeria and we are looking to him as being a big part of our team.” Another nouveau riche club, Birmingahm City, are also tracking the Nigerian international. Meanwhile, Romanian striker Ciprian Marica is a City target, apparently. The Independent says the 21-year-old had appeared set to move from the Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk – where he has failed to settle over the past two seasons – to the German champions Stuttgart but City have become aware of his availability. Shakhtar are understood to be prepared to agree a one-year loan deal with a view to a permanent £8 million transfer, double what they paid for Marica. If Sven does swoop, he’ll face competition from German champions Stuttgart. Toulouse striker Johan Elmander keeps being mentioned in despatches. If Sven wishes to purchase his fellow Swede, he’ll have to top Lyon’s bid of £7 million, which Toulouse have recently rejected. How’s this for a fine bit of “two plus two equals six” logic? The Mail on Sunday reports that Barcelona’s Eidur Gudjohnsen has been spotted in Manchester on a “house hunt”. Therefore, both Manchester clubs are trying to sign the Icelandic striker! It’s thought that if the Reds fail to land Carlos Tevez (for a full report on that saga – go somewhere else) they might turn up their interest in Gudjohnsen.

Italian Pair Pursued: City have offered £7 million for Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, according to the latest reports in Italy. The former Italy Under-21 captain stated last week that he was worried about his future in Serie A as he felt the Bianconeri had neglected him, causing Coach Claudio Ranieri’s irritated reaction. Chiellini was also a reported target for Liverpool, but the Reds only offered £5 millioj for the full-back, causing the negotiations to stall. City are now interested in signing him, with Sven allegedly ready to meet Juve’s £7 million asking price. According to Sky, the Blues have also finalised an agreement with midfielder Manuele Blasi, who recently returned to the Old Lady following a loan spell with Fiorentina. It seems that a defender may be on Sven’s shopping list, as he’s also been linked with a move for Sevilla’s Serbian hard-man Ivica Dragutinovic to toughen up his defence. Left-sided centre half or left-back Dragutinovic, 31, is an international teammate of U*****’s Nemanja Vidic and could be following him to Manchester this week if the clubs can agree a fee of around £2 million.

What a Fae Day: Here’s another story that won’t go away – City have been strongly linked with Emerse Fae of Nantes. Fae is either a midfielder, a defender, or a defensive midfielder, depending on which version you read. One website went as far as to report that a deal had been struck for the Ivory Coast international, for a fee of £2.7 million, but there’s been no official confirmation of this yet. Fae was previously a target for Reading, but the club recently revealed their interest has cooled following an injury- hit last season. Toulouse, Bordeaux, Monaco and Dynamo Kiev are also said to be showing an interest. Fae has made exactly 100 appearances for Nantes and has been capped 14 times for the Ivory Coast, playing in the 2006 World Cup and also in the last African Cup of Nations. If Fae does sign, this will offer Sven some consolation for missing out with a late bid for Lyon midfielder Alou Diarra. Diarra signed for Bordeaux, despite a late, and bigger bid, from the Blue Moneybags of Manchester. Bordeaux have now reached an agreement with Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas who said that “Unfortunately for Bordeaux, we received an interesting proposition from Manchester City.”

Sven Likes Blumer’s: … skills, obviously. So anyway – why have one Brazilian when you can have two? Reports suggest that City are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk over a potential £7 million move for Brazilian attacking midfielder Elano Blumer. The 26-year-old has several caps for the Brazilian national squad, and recently played an active part in the Copa America, including setting up a goal in the final against Argentina, before being substituted through injury. The Daily Mirror claims that Eriksson is looking to wrap up a £7million swoop for the Shakhtar Donetsk star, as he looks to revamp his squad ahead of the new season.

Dyer Consequences for Kieron: Newcastle United are prepared to let Kieron Dyer leave the club, sparking if we believe what we read, a bidding war between West Ham, Tottenham and (of course) City. Sven is considered a fan of Dyer, and included him in many England squads, when fit. After more than a week of speculation over the 28-year-old England midfielder’s future, Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has confirmed that “family problems” mean he could end his eight-year stay on Tyneside. Allardyce does not particularly want to sell Dyer and will attempt to help resolve his problems during ongoing discussions. However, while he admits the midfielder could be sold, he insists that will only happen if it is in the best interests of Newcastle. He said: “If it’s not right for Newcastle United, Kieron Dyer will not be leaving. If it’s right for us and right for him – it can’t just be right for him and not for us. Those discussions will continue over the period of time it takes to come to the decision one way or the other. If everything falls into place for both, for us and for him, then that’s fine; if it doesn’t, then from my point of view, I have to protect the interests of Newcastle United. Kieron Dyer is a top player. I would like to resolve his problems – that’s what every manager has to do. If it’s not possible to do that while he is here at Newcastle because of the family problems he has got, it might have to be somewhere else. We will have to wait and see.” The midfielder sat out Newcastle’s 4-1 pre-season friendly win over SPL champions Celtic last night as a precaution. Allardyce said: “We were just protecting our asset. There is a big value in him.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Steve Retrieves Career: Wolves’ boss Mick McCarthy has signed City’s ex-goal machine in the Reserves, striker Stephen Elliott, for a second time. McCarthy signed the Republic of Ireland international for Sunderland from City in 2004 and he helped them secure promotion to the Premiership that season with 15 goals in 29 appearances. On the new signing, McCarthy said: “He’s a good footballer, he’s always a threat up front and he gets goals. I want competition for players all over the park and we’ve really got it now up front. I wanted the deal done in time to get Stephen out to Ireland with the rest of the squad… That will help him settle in.”

Keano Strikes Again: Former Blue Dickson Etuhu has joined Sunderland from Norwich City for £1.5 million. The 25-year-old became Roy Keane’s fifth summer addition. “We received an offer from Sunderland for Dickson that meets a £1.5 million buy-out clause in his contract,” said Norwich chief executive Neil Doncaster. “We are very disappointed to lose Dickson, obviously. But the simple facts are that Dickson turned down the offer of a new, more lucrative contract from Norwich City that was already on the table, in favour of Sunderland’s offer. We are therefore forced to accept their offer under the terms of his contract.” Our old chum Keano said: “He’s a player I admire. He would give us something different to what we have got.”

Fowl’s a Bluebird: Robbie Fowler has agreed a two-year contract with Coca-Cola Championship side Cardiff. The 32-year-old, released by Liverpool at the end of last season, turned down an approach from Sydney FC to join the Bluebirds. A statement on Cardiff’s official website said: “Cardiff City are delighted to announce that Robbie Fowler has agreed to join them on a two-year contract.” Leicester and Port Vale were also said to be in the hunt for Fowler. “A few clubs came in. If you’re in a team that’s winning things, that definitely helps,” Fowler told SkySports News. “Obviously over the years there has been a lot of pressure on me. I can handle that. The next step is to get Cardiff City into the Premiership. I grew up playing Sunday League football, so it doesn’t really matter what division you play in. Ideally you do want to play in the Premier League, but there’s a good squad of players here so hopefully we can get that final push into the Premier League.” He added: “I’ve got a good few years left playing football. Hopefully I can help the manager, the players and everyone get out of this division. I just want to play football, that’s basically it.”

Barton Toes the Line: “Schadenfreude – satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune” – dictionary.com. Newcastle’s star new midfielder, Joey Barton, is set to miss the start of the new season through injury. The 24-year-old England international is understood to have fractured a metatarsal during the 1-1 friendly draw at Carlisle. You’ll be pleased to know that Barton, that fine example to all professionals, had been named skipper by Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce. “I am absolutely gutted and devastated, and it is all extremely frustrating, but unfortunately this is all part and parcel of modern-day football,” Barton told the Evening Chronicle. “I was desperate to be part of the team on the opening day at Bolton Wanderers which, of course, I won’t be now. Obviously it’s a blow to me and to the manager, but I am more disappointed for our supporters than anything else.” I’ve set up a website for City fans to make donations – just log onto www.ha-ha-ha-ha- ha-itcouldnthappentoanicerbloke.com and give him all he deserves.

Wanchope Fire-d: So what ever happened to Paulo Wanchope, I hear you ask? Well, the has reached an agreement on a one-year deal with Chicago Fire, to play in Major League Soccer in the US of A. “Wanchope has passed his medical and agreed all the details of his contract with the (club) president,” said Chicago Fire’s press officer Dan Jankowski. “We expect to sign the contract and give a press conference on Friday.” Wanchope left City in 2004 to join Spanish outfit Malaga. Since then he’s has played with Qatar’s Al-Gharafa, Costa Rica’s CS Herediano, Argentina’s Rosario Central and Japanese club FC Tokyo.

After-Match Reactions and Comments

Fantastic Four: Rolando Bianchi scored twice as City rounded off their tour of Sweden with a comfortable 4-0 hammering of Carlstad United. Bernardo Corradi opened the scoring, while Bianchi doubled the lead on 20 minutes. On 51 minutes, that man Bianchi struck again, following good work by Corradi and Danny Mills. Second half goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel had to save a penalty after skipper Micah Richards’ handball before another replacement, Marc Laird, struck a fourth from the edge of the box. After the game, Sven said: “The game against Carlstad was a good work-out, however I noticed that some players showed a touch of tiredness in the second half. I suppose you can put that down to playing three games in the last eight days. However, we’ve had many good training sessions here in Sweden. I know now that we have a good group of players who are very professional and have behaved well, they are working very, very hard to prepare for the Premier League. I was very pleased with the performances of both our young goalkeepers. Kasper’s penalty save being the highlight in the second half,” Sven continued. “Richard Dunne, Nedum Onuoha and Emile Mpenza were not risked because of minor knocks that they picked up in the first friendly, which was a much higher intensity than Saturday’s match.” Team: Hart (Schmeichel 46), D.Mills, Richards, M.Mills, Ball (Miller 53), Logan, Dabo (Fernandes 53), Hamann (Johnson 53), Ireland (Samaras 53), Corradi (Laird 70), Bianchi.

Squad News

Corradi Climbdown: Last week we reported that Bernardo Corradi was dead set on leaving the COMS – but after a goal-tastic start to the pre-season friendlies, Bernie’s having second thoughts about leaving. He’s enjoying the Sven sensation at the moment. He said this week: “It wasn’t a great year for me because I started well [really? – News Ed.] but I finished most of the season on the bench, however we now have a great manager in Sven. This week has been a confidence boost for everybody, Sweden’s been a great experience for the whole squad. Good training, great food, nice people coming to watch us and a good preparation for the season to come. A lot of my friends and colleagues at Lazio remember Sven and say great things about him, lots of things have changed at Manchester City since last year. We expect to do a lot better than last season, it’s not difficult to do better than last year and that will be my first aim on a personal level.” The 31-year-old took a swipe at Stuart Pearce, albeit in an indirect manner. The Italian striker was rumoured to have rowed with captain Richard Dunne after comments about imports slacking. But Corradi said: “I’ve no problem with Richard Dunne. Last season there was a lack of leadership in the dressing room – but not from him.”

Have a Hart, Boss! City’s two young keepers are waiting to see if the new manager will be including them in his plans. Kasper Schmeichel’s agent, Michael Johansen, said his client would be happy to return to Falkirk, if he is not part of Sven Goran Eriksson’s plans at Manchester City. The Danish goalkeeper spent the second half of last season on loan with The Bairns, who are keen to arrange another temporary deal. “Kasper is in Sweden at City’s pre-season camp and will have to show Sven what he’s made of,” Johansen told the Daily Record. “From then on, it’s up to the manager to decide whether or not he wishes to send him out on loan again. Obviously, with the likes of Swedish No.1 Andreas Isaksson in front of him, it will be very difficult for Kasper to get first-team football at City. He did very well during his time in Scotland. He really improved and picked up valuable experience. I think his spell at Falkirk was very good for him and I’m sure he would be happy to spend another season on loan there if Sven decides that is what is best for him. Kasper has one more year left until the end of his current contract and until then his future will be decided by Manchester City. He and I will sit down with Sven when they return from Sweden next week and I’m sure we’ll come to a conclusion.” Meanwhile, Joe Hart admits he’s waiting to see “where he fits” into Sven’s City plans. The England U21 squad member said: “It’s a new era for City, I’m waiting to see where I fit into things, but I’m ready for anything.”

Gels Just Wants to Have Fun: Last week’s new boy Gelson Fernandes is looking to make a big impact in the Premiership after revealing he chose the Blues ahead of Newcastle and Bolton. The defensive midfielder admits he could have gone to another Premier League club but is happy with his choice. “Newcastle and Bolton were interested in me but I felt City were the best team for me to join,” he told the M.E.N. “I was surprised when I was told that Sven wanted to sign me but excited too and I want to play as quickly as possible. I have no fears that I am ready for the Premiership. I have signed for four years but I don’t expect to wait that long to make an impression. I want to be in from the start of the season and that is what I will work towards. I watched the Premiership on television back in Switzerland and know what it is all about. For me it is the best league in the world.” Fernandes added: “I feel as though I will not have big problems adjusting to the pace of the game here. Problems such as that are usually mental more than physical and I do not have problems.”

Logan’s Run Into the Team? Shaleum Logan is impressing the new new manager. Shaleum has played at either left or right back in City’s junior ranks, but was it was as at right sided midfielder against Orgryte IS last week when he caught the Boss’ eye. “Shaleum is normally a right or left-back, but I think that he did very, very well and he impressed me,” confirmed the manager, after Logan had scored one and made one in the 4-1 win over the Swedes. “He’s yet another Academy player who looks at home, both in training and during matches. I’ve seen a lot of him in the last 10 days and he’s looked sharp. I like him very much. He is very versatile, which could be useful for us.” Michael Ball’s suspended for the first two league games of the season, so perhaps Logan is in prime position to cover against West Ham and Derby.

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

OPINION: SWEDISH REVIEW

Born and bred in Sweden during times when IFK Gothenburg was a great team. The manager, “Svennis” (as we call him over here) did more then a good job taking IFK to the final against Barcelona in the UEFA Cup and winning the league title.

I also think that he did a good job with the English national team. You may not agree but can someone remember when England won against Germany and when did they qualify for the EC and WC (advancing from the group of death)?

Obviously I think he will be good for Man City, not because he is a Swede, I like him because he has the integrity to admit when he is wrong and to hang the things that are wrong. The things that I don’t like is that he has a weakness when it comes to making substitutions at the right moment and his personal life… though, the last thing is not football.

I will not miss any of our former managers from the last years. Svennis will bring us football that doesn’t include tactics that neglects anything like Keegan or Psycho did. If it is like I think it is, Svennis and The Blues will have a long, fruitful relationship. That is if we all have the patience for it, I know that I have!

I also think that our current supposed scorers like Corradi and Samaras are good players. I would like to see any striker try to score against two or more defenders 50m from the goal on their own.

And finally I was at the game in Varberg. We were the better team. But Orgryte is a team on it’s way down. Carlstad, well never seen them but I know the quality (read poor quality) of football in the lover divisions. We can not compare Sweden’s Allsvenskan against PL, Championship against Superettan.

I will not hail any player before I see them perform against better opposition.

Finally I would like to excuse myself for my poor English!

Roger Pehar <pehar.r(at)hotmail.com>

OPINION: WHAT IS IT WITH CITY?

I am a fatalist. I believe in fate and I think things happen for a reason.

I am sitting here in my hotel room in Jakarta just a few days before the Asia Cup Final between Saudi Arabia and Iraq with nothing much to do but contemplate my life so far, when all of a sudden it dawned on me. My whole life has been dominated by two things.

First of all, my wonderful family of course, but the other underlying fact which has always been there in some part of my subconscious is Manchester City Football Club.

What is it about a football club from my place of birth in the north of England a million miles away from my home in Australia that has such a profound effect on my life? A football club that I last saw play live almost 40 years ago! It has dominated my life for as long as I care to remember.

Each day, no matter where I am in the world, I wait with baited breath for the next issue of MCIVTA or log on to News Now Man City to find out what has been happening in that mystical far away place The City Of Manchester Stadium. Is it a sense of belonging to an extended “family”, an old, comfortable friend that is always there for you.

A never-ending search for news of what is happening, what was the score? Who have we signed? Who got injured? It is like a strong magnet that draws you in, no matter where you are or what you do. It is impossible to get away from those compelling, invisible currents.

I am a very lucky guy. I guess I have always been in the right place atthe right time and my work has taken me all over the world. I work in theTV industry and over the years I have had the pleasure of working oncricket tours of the West Indies, Olympic Games in Seoul, Atlanta andSydney, French Open Tennis, and last year privileged enough to be workingin Munich on the World Cup, but my main bread and butter these days is theAsia Tour Golf.

We were in Delhi last year televising the Hero Honda Indian Open and a good mate of mine Dave Parkin is the Asia Tour tournament director. Dave is the self proclaimed president of the Wigan Football Club Supporters’ Association of Asia. In other words, it is himself and a mate.

That particular Saturday, Wigan were playing Manchester City so the opportunity for a bet was raised. It was decided whoever wins, the prize would be a bottle of Single Malt Scotch of the winner’s choice. Naturally, I jumped at the prospect of winning a bottle of scotch, I mean, we are the great Man City playing lowly Wigan. It was in the bag.

The match started at 5.00pm Delhi time and was being televised live in the main bar of the Delhi Sheraton hotel. I still don’t know how he did it but Dave managed to get the professional golfers to finish the day’s play at 4:30pm, which gave us just enough time to get back to the hotel for the much anticipated kick off. We got to the bar after changing into our respective shirts about 5 minutes after the start of the match. Dave resplendent in his striped Wigan shirt and yours truly in my new sky blue City shirt.

I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the score. Five minutes in and we were 2-0 down. I thought Oh No! Here we go again. But being the eternal optimist (remember the Spurs game where we came back from 3-0 down and only ten men to win 4-3) I said silently to myself “We will get back in the game after half time.”

I think it was the longest half of football I ever had to endure. To put it bluntly, we played like s**t! Final score 4-0. I had to put up with endless ribbing from everybody in the bar that night and the following day.

The trials and tribulations of being a City supporter. But my faith in the Blues never failed me once. The official ceremonial handover of the bottle of Laphroig Single Malt (Dave has expensive taste) took place a few weeks later on the balcony of the beautiful Royal Hong Kong Golf Club, much to the delight of golfers and caddies and anybody who wanted a sip. I was hoping to turn it into an annual event and I was delighted to see Wigan just manage to stay up in the Premier League.

According to my Man City screen saver, we play Wigan again on 1 December and with the team that Sven is putting together it should be an absolute certainty to win back my scotch. Yes, things do happen for a reason.

The other night in Jakarta, Indonesia played South Korea in the last group stage of the Asia Cup. There were 90,000 fanatical, loyal Indonesian fans packed into the Gelora Bung Karno National stadium and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. All they had to do was draw to qualify for the quarter finals for the very first time.

The game itself was a fantastic display of football but unfortunately for the Indonesians, South Korea scored the only goal in the match. The amazing crowd accepted their defeat with dignity and their pride intact. On my way out of the stadium after we had finished the usual post match interviews, we came across a sea of smiling Indonesian fans in red national team shirts all waiting to get a glimpse of their heroes boarding the team bus.

Out of the corner of my eye I caught one guy in a very familiar sky blue shirt with Thomas Cook emblazoned on the front. I managed to catch his eye and gave him a big thumbs up. I like to think that in that brief moment of recognition we became two mates with the same agenda. He waved and gave me a huge smile.

Even in this part of the world, the magic that is M.C.F.C. can still bring total strangers together.

What is it about Man City?

Dave Shellard (Tox) <davetox(at)ozemail.com.au>

OPINION: ON TRIAL I

While I still have a few misgivings about Frank and where his money has come from I’ve had no concerns at all about how he’s actually been running the club along with Sven. All seems calm and decisive, when we sign a player we just get on and sign him without unnecessary fuss (from where I sit anyway) and everything looks professionally done. I’ve just read a couple of reports though that have rung alarm bells for me, reports where allegedly the chairman has decided that we need to sign some Thai players.

I think we all know that one of the reasons for the takeover was so he could improve his profile at home but I’ll be starting to worry if his wish to do that impacts on what happens on the pitch. If the players are good enough then fine, but if we get in the situation where Sven is told to pick players based on nationality then I fear the worst. Even when the chairman is pushing the manager to play a recognised top level player e.g. Shevchenko then it doesn’t always work out and it’s the sort of thing that could easily end up with Sven deciding he doesn’t need the hassle.

Thanks for what you’ve done so far, Frank, keep it up, and let the manager you appointed do his job without interference as he appears to be rather good at it.

Paul Ruffley <ruffley(at)gmail.com>

OPINION: ON TRIAL II

So far all of Sven Eriksson’s signings appear to have been good ones, and all players with some years to go in their playing careers.

The latest, Martin Petrov, picked City above several other clubs including Spurs where his fellow Bulgarian countryman Dimitar Berbatov plays. The main reason Petrov says he picked City was because of the team manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

More signings are expected before the end of August says Sven. So far £17.5 million spent wisely on some quality. I must admit I could not have predicted the players signed by City, but I am happy about it.

I would very much like to see a City team ready to take on the Rags on August 19. Although to us City fans that game is very important, it’s the big picture of a new team that really counts; it looks like we are on the right tracks for an exciting season.

A trio of players from Thailand will be at Manchester City to have a trial with the club. This has to be taken in a positive way, for the young trio have already stated that they are at MCFC to learn.

Maybe no one in the trio will be good enough for the first team, but in the future a star from Thailand might come through, and then City will be the player’s first choice. There are several Asian players in England who have made it into clubs’ first teams, we never know what the future holds.

So we should make the players feel welcomed.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: FIGHTING BACK

For a few months now, we City fans have had to endure a relentless stream of articles in the press, on radio and TV from the political and the football ‘Red Brigades’. Boys and girls… maybe it is time for us to start the fight back!

Originally I did not believe Sven to be the ideal new manager for City, but hand on heart I now believe he is the best. Not just the best we could hope for, but the best there is bar none. Everything about him exudes professionalism – his manner, the management restructuring, what he envisages for City and the start he has made both on and off the pitch. And it is only a start – I said we have to be patient regarding new signings. I remember one of his early interviews when he referred to his database of 50 or so potential targets. We will eventually sign some of those players and who knows, like Sven, they may turn out to be the best signings of all!

We have also been ridiculed by the betting industry. Sky Sports’ City page still has a headline Skybet of 4-1 to be relegated and odds are offered on City as Champions at 1500-1 by some bookmakers. So, I thought it was time to take action – I’m not a betting man, don’t even bother with the Grand National, but I attempted to place £50 bets online. Oh dear, not so keen now – maximum bets allowed online ranged from £13.33 to £2.65! Although to their credit Stan James took the full £50 via a trader on an overseas phone line, who I don’t think knew who City was!

Now, I’m not expecting to win – I am just making a statement. But hey, wait a minute. The odds are a lot better than winning the lottery. And what if we sign 3 or 4 world class players (not necessarily the the over age / over hyped ones) as I think we will? What if by sheer luck we win the first 4 or 5 games including the game against the Rags? What if say 2,000 City fans each placed a £5 bet at 1,500-1 to win the Premiership (or even £1)? The betting industry would face a loss of £15 million. That would wipe the smile off their faces. There may be one or two anxious faces around the bookies by the end of September. And that £100,000 will come in useful. I am beginning to like the idea already…

Oh, I just had a lovely dream. Oh ****, whose are these betting slips…!

Alex P <p_6789(at)hotmail.com>

OPINION: PETROV

I don’t know where Sven is digging these players up from but if you go to You Tube and type in Martin Petrov, there’s an extraordinary plethora (bit sophisticated for me normally and not even sure I’ve spelt it right) of goals. The one against Holland particularly.

In one game, he appears to score about 5 goals, all of them quality. Can’t wait!

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)btinternet.com>

OPINION: THIRD KIT

In MCIVTA 1347 Paul Bond asked about the “two away kits”; here is a link to piccies of the Limited Edition 3rd kit: http://forum.mancityforum.co.uk/Topic81639-10-1.aspx

Hope this helps!

David Bewley <david.bewley(at)uk.vwr.com>

REQUEST: NEW YORK BLUES

Recently I informed MCIVTA readership that a new branch of the Official Supporters’ Club was forming in New York City. Unfortunately, just after sharing that information my email service faltered, and I did not receive many emails sent to me over the following two-week period. If anyone emailed me during that time and subsequently did not receive a response from me, I apologize and am requesting that you contact me again. In addition, the NYC Supporters’ Club is now collecting dues for 2007/08 membership and will submit an initial member list to the OSC on August 1. If anyone is interested in becoming a member of our club, please contact me. And please note that while we are based in New York, we welcome members from across the US and overseas as well.

On a separate topic, the Manchester derby will air live in New York at 8:30am on Sunday, August 19. If you or anyone you know will be in NYC that day, please meet with us at Nevada Smith’s at 74 Third Ave (between 11 and 12th Sts). You can also contact us regarding this match by posting in our forum at http://www.mcfcnyc.org/forum/index.php?topic=51.0

You don’t have to register to post on our forum.

Thanks.

Donny Schreier <donny(at)mcfcnyc.org>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[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 Points of Blue (formerly the Fans’ Committee)?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears 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] 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/.


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 #1348

2007/07/26

Editor:


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