Newsletter #1358

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Don’s news roundup tonight brings reaction to the Arsenal and Bristol City games, contract extensions for Johnson and Logan, latest transfer rumblings including Mills off to Charlton on loan, and ex-Blues’ news.

We have opinion tonight on the season so far and the usual requests.

Next Game: Sunday 2 September 2007, 3pm, Blackburn Rovers (away)

NEWS SUMMARY

Transfer News and Gossip

With the transfer window closing on Friday, there’s been a deluge of press speculation this week concerning dozens of players either coming or going from the club. At the time of going to press, however, there’s been no news of any purchases.

Never Go Back, Nico – Please! City and United were allegedly locked in a battle all week to sign Nicolas Anelka. Neither club did this week – perhaps these comments give us a clue why. Anelka told L’Equipe: “A lot of clubs are interested but they give up as soon as they realise my salary is big. I am not prepared to make any sacrifices on a financial level. I know my level and my quality. I will not accept any old offer. Manchester United is just chit-chat. At no time has there been a real desire to sign me. I have the level needed for a big club but I cannot force them to take me.” Clearly no-one else appreciated Anelka’s quality, because he signed a new four-year contract at the Reebok Stadium this week. “I seem to have been linked with every club in the country of late but my heart is with Bolton,” claimed City’s former no.39.

Latin Prizes? Inter Milan’s Adriano was mentioned as a target of City and West Ham United this week, with Inter claiming they were considering loaning out the Brazilian forward. “Our intention is to get Adriano back to his natural levels – which are very high – as soon as possible,” Inter president Massimo Moratti told Gazzetta dello Sport. “We will follow the best possible path, agreeing everything with him and the team. I think he can remain, but if the best option proves to be a loan, then we will take it into consideration.” City’s interest evaporated once the player let it be known that he was only interested in a permanent move away from the San Siro, and a £12 million fee got mentioned. “When I could have left the club, I didn’t do it,” the Brazilian said. “Now, if I have to leave, I would only do it on a permanent transfer. But my wish is to remain here.” Another Brazilian was mentioned this week – Arsenal reject Julio Baptista, on loan at the Emirates last season, but who returned to Real Madrid in the summer. Baptista is the latest player to come under Eriksson’s scrutiny, according to Sky Sports. Or how about a Brazil-born Portuguese international? Newcastle United and City were said to be monitoring Deco’s situation at Barcelona. Barça were said to be keen to offload the playmaker before the deadline, but that came to nought. Perhaps City would make a move for Inter Milan attacking midfielder Alvaro Recoba? Uruguayan Recoba is available from Inter and has attracted interest from Atletico Madrid and Torino after impressing in pre-season action for the Serie A Champions.

Boro a Big Club? Discuss: So will any current players be leaving City this week? In Italy, Siena’s Sporting Director Manuel Gerolin has admitted an interest in Bernardo Corradi. “He’s a player we have asked about,” said Gerolin last night, “but without things getting to an advanced stage. Something could develop this week.” And Middlesbrough fancied a move for Georgios Samaras, with a fee of £3 million being mentioned. “It is a possibility that Georgios could leave Manchester City before Friday,” the player’s representative Paul Koutsoliakos told Sky Sports. “We are still in negotiations to try and sort something out. There is interest from all over Europe in Georgios, but he wants to stay in England. Middlesbrough is a big club and we will wait and see what happens.”

Rich Pickings Not Encouraged: After such a classy display against the Reds last week, inevitably the papers were full of talk of Micah Richards leaving for Chelsea, or even (shudder) Old Trafford. Sven was having none of it though. Richards has been handed a new contract offer at Eastlands even though the 19-year-old still has two years remaining on his current deal. The contract was offered at the end of last month but as yet, it remains unsigned. Eriksson said: “I am not sure about Micah’s contract but I know there are some talks taking place. This club will do everything possible to keep a player like that. It will be very bad to sell him and we have absolutely no intentions of doing so.”

And There’s More… Time for a bit more idle speculation about potential incoming players. City were launching a bid for Celta Vigo midfielder Borja Oubina, we were reliably informed by the press. The young midfielder is seeking a move from Celta after their relegation last season and Marca says City have offered £5 million for the player this week. Celta rate Oubina in the £7 million class and are also fielding interest from Villarreal, Real Zaragoza and Atletico Madrid. Elsewhere, at least four Premier League clubs were chasing Celtic hotshot Kenny Miller, according to the Sunday Mail – City naturally were one of the four. Sven was supposed to be looking at Benfica striker Nuno Gomes as a short term replacement for Valeri Bojinov. The 31-year-old’s agent, Phil McTaggart, was certainly pushing his client’s claims for a move. “There has been a lot of interest in Nuno,” McTaggart told skysports.com. “He is quality player who has played at the highest level all his career for club and country. He would be a good addition for any team as he has always scored goals, but it all depends on Benfica. We will wait and see what happens in the next few days.” West Ham United and City were said to be in the frame for unwanted Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen. “Eidur knows the situation,” said Barça sports chief Txiki Begiristain. “We now have six players in front of him.”

Mills Has ‘Ad It, and Joined the Addicks: Charlton Athletic have increased their contingent of ex-Blues players by signing Danny Mills on a season-long loan. The old slaphead will know a few faces down at the Valley, as Nicky Weaver and Ben Thatcher now ply their trade there. Mills has already had one spell at Charlton, playing for them from 1998-99 and making 51 appearances. Out-of-favour Mills has not played for City since 28 August last year, though he spent two months on loan at Championship side Hull later that season.

We’re Gonna Get You, Sukka: According to a Thai news agency, City will be offering a contract to one of the three players currently on trial with City from Dr. Shinawatra’s homeland. Suree Sukha, a 25-year-old defender, was chosen from the three, Thaksin’s lawyer Noppadon Pattama said Thursday. “Suree will be the first Thai player to play in the Premier League. His work permit is now being processed,” the lawyer told reporters.

After-Match Reactions and Comments

The Joy of Cesc: Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas had the honour of being the first player to pierce City’s defence this season with a late strike to give the Gunners a hard-fought victory. It was yet another impressive show by Sven’s boys, with Martin Petrov and Emile Mpenza missing glorious chances. But Arsenal took control, with ‘keeper Kasper saving Robin van Persie’s 65th-minute penalty after Micah Richards fouled Alexander Hleb. Fabregas then sealed the win, firing home powerfully with 10 minutes left. But there was almost a dramatic finish when Schmeichel joined the attack for a corner and forced a fine save from Almunia with a powerful header. The Blues’ boss was far from downhearted at the end: “As a performance, I am rather happy with that,” said Eriksson. “We stood up to Arsenal in a good way. You know they will move the ball but I think we played some good football as well.” He was reminded that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had complimented him on the way he had assembled a solid side so quickly. “It is good someone speaks well about me in England,” joked the former national coach. “No, I never thought I was a bad manager, not even after Northern Ireland. I am disappointed we lost but we created some good opportunities,” he continued. “We shouldn’t put our heads down – life goes on. The boys did a great job even though we lost. I’m very positive about the future. You have to accept in the Premier League you don’t win every game. It is not good to lose but good to come here and feel you can keep up with Arsenal.” Arsenal’s Arsene was both relieved to win and complimentary about his opponents. “It was a big victory because we won with style against a good side who keep the ball and defend well,” he said. “I always felt we would score but Manchester City are a good team and we had a good performance. They defended very well and they keep the ball well and we started a bit with the handbrake on. We look solid and strong and mentally very focussed and they are good signs.”

Grand by the Son: Many of Sunday’s headlines were taken by Kasper Schmeichel’s goal-saving heroics, and by his near equalising header in the last moments of the game. SGE was full of praise for the young Dane. “After I saw Schmeichel the first time, I said that we would only get a new goalkeeper if we found a new Petr Cech or someone like that,” said the City boss. “The way he is playing at the moment, we could ask no more from him. I don’t think he could do much about the goal, he saved the penalty and even though he is not the biggest ‘keeper, he has a presence. He is very brave as well.” Arsene Wenger was struck with a horrid sense of déjà vu when van Persie’s penalty was too close to Schmeichel, who saved with his legs. “Yes, when he had the penalty, 1999 came to my mind and it happened again,” said Wenger, recalling another Schmeichel saving from another Dutchman, Dennis Bergkamp, in that epic 1999 FA Cup semi-final won by Manchester United. “I hope we don’t face his grandson!” Kasper was asked about his foray upfront. “I’ll do anything to win, I wanted to win or at least get a draw but I’m not sure of it was me that headed it or someone behind me. I was in the mix, and if it had caused a bit of confusion for their defence then it would have paid off but unfortunately for us it didn’t.” Peter Schmeichel scored 11 times in his own lengthy career, and of his own first attempt in City colours Kasper concluded, “It was a bad header!”

Robins Rol-ed Over: Rolando Bianchi scored a superb winner to book City’s place in the third round of the Carling Cup on Wednesday night, as the Blues won for the first time ever at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate ground. City bossed the game for the first hour, but only had a one goal lead to show for their efforts – Emile Mpenza had put the Blues ahead with a powerful finish and Bianchi saw another goalbound effort deflected over. Bristol City were much improved after the break and Bradley Orr levelled from close range before Bianchi drilled home from the edge of the box to settle it. After the game SGE was relieved to have survived the Bristol comeback. “We should have finished the game in the first half,” he said. “We had a lot of chances in the first half, but you have to take them, otherwise you suffer. Bristol City played some great football in the second half. I wouldn’t say we were lucky, but Bianchi scored a great goal to win it. Every time he plays, he’s doing very well. He’s a goalscorer; his record in Italy last season shows that. With 20 minutes to go, it’s 1-1 and we know that we should have finished it earlier. So it’s good to come back and we did that. Over the last few days I felt that the team would go out and give everything to try to win the game and it was good to see that.” The Man of the Match Bianchi said: “It’s a very, very good feeling. It’s fantastic.” He also paid tribute to his strike partner Mpenza. “He’s very fast,” Bianchi said. “He moves quickly and he gives me the ball early.” Captain for the night Nedum Onuoha said that he hoped for a good Carling Cup. “All our games are big games,” Onuoha said. “We hope now that we can go on in this competition.”

Sven’s Pride of Lions: One of the highlights of the night was a jaw-dropping save by Joe Hart. Hart made a superb save on the hour to deny Michael McIndoe – having punched a cross weakly straight to the Bristol attack, Hart then redeemed himself with an athletic save of a seemingly goal-bound shot. SGE said: “I don’t know how he saved it, I thought it had to be a goal. I have two young lions in goal, in Joe and Kasper Schmeichel and I can’t decide who is best.”

Squad News

Danish Blue: Kasper Schmeichel’s performances this season have gained 20-year-old plenty of plaudits, although he accepts he may be forced to stand aside should City buy a new goalkeeper. He said: “Obviously, I’m enjoying the moment. Three clean sheets and three victories in a row is beyond all expectations. I am still young and have a lot to learn. I have a lot of respect for Eriksson. He is a great manager. I know City want to sign another goalkeeper with experience. It is the manager’s decision but as long as he picks me I will do my very best.” As for the win over United, he added: “It was a fantastic experience and a strange feeling as I always supported United in my early years because of my dad. But now I’m playing for City and this is where my loyalty is.” But SGE has reemphasised that he probably won’t be buying a new ‘keeper. “We have not completely forgotten about the goalkeeper but if you want to find a ‘keeper much better than the ones we have, there are few in the world to choose from,” he said. “I don’t think Chelsea will sell Petr Cech and Juventus will not sell Gianluigi Buffon. But it is that sort of level you have to reach. There was a lot of talk about buying another goalkeeper because, at that age, when the player has no experience of the Premier League, you cannot be sure whether they will be able to handle the situation. But the way Kasper handled the Manchester derby made me more confident and I am not worried anymore. Maybe these young goalkeepers will make some mistakes because they do not have the experience. But that is part of football. You can’t get experience sitting at home watching on TV. You have to be out on the pitch.” And after England’s Paul Robinson put up a dodgy game for the national team last week, some bright spark started a “Kapser for England” campaign. Although he’s has played for Denmark Under-21s he is eligible to play for the full England side through his residency. Dad was having none of this, however. “Kasper is Danish,” said Peter. “He has absolutely no chance of playing for England and the discussion should stop now. England is for English people, Kasper was born Danish, all his family is Danish and there is nothing that can make him English.” The Great Dane added: “If you ask him he says ‘I’m Danish and I play for Denmark'”

Shall We Sign – Yes We Shall: Michael Johnson and Shaleum Logan have signed contract extensions to cap a superb start to the season for both players. Johnson has been an ever present in the team this season, while Logan made an impressive début at Bristol City this week. Chief executive Alistair Mackintosh said: “In awarding new contracts to Michael and Shaleum we are once again demonstrating Manchester City’s commitment to investing in our young, home-grown players. With a spine of hugely-talented Academy-bred youngsters we have made an excellent start to the season and are delighted to have secured the long-term futures of both players at this football club.” Johnson said: “I’m really glad that everything is settled and negotiated now, it means that I can fully focus on doing well for the club. I’ve had a consistent run in the team, and it’s important for me to get games because each time I play I get more confidence and knowledge about the game. It’s great to play every week, I’m learning from the good players that I play with and against.”

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

OPINION: PLUS ÇA CHANGE I

Jeepers creepers, 2nd in the table, playing football unrecognisable from the dross manufactured so recently by the now (incredibly) young England manager, star quality in every part of the pitch and the first post I read from Mr Mills is so full of doom and gloom, you’d think he’d just landed from Planet Ostenstad itself.

Deary me, where do we get this nonsense from? Yes, Elano’s shocking isn’t he? That reverse pass, half dummied, out left to Petrov, who fizzed it just wide, was worth a whole season of ridiculous misplaced punts from Joey Barton alone. Lightweight, disinterested, lacking a decent hard shot? Give me a break, he’s Brazilian, just arrived, is adapting and has more class in one little sidefooted pass into space than any midfielder we’ve had for donkeys. Petrov may have had a poor game at Highbury, but anybody can see by his movement and touch that he’s not on the same planet as Riera and Musampa. We have the likes of Geovanni and Bianchi coming off the bench, whereas we had Miller and Samaras last year. The two full backs already look class acts alongside the towering presence of Dunney and Micah. Hamann has been excellent too in the presence of class players instead of the dross and dumb tactics they were made to follow last season.

How many goals did we score last year? How many 0-0 draws were we involved in? How many times did we all think, “this is it, I can’t keep shelling out for this crap”? We are clear in 2nd, despite suffering a defeat at Arsenal. which might reasonably, albeit perhaps a little luckily, have been a point, and the wailing has started already. Another three players otherwise we’re not going anywhere, blah blah. Wake up and take a good long, hard, meaningful sniff. Know what that curious smell is? Clear, clean air at the top of the table. Last season stank to high heaven. Maybe the fumes are still affecting some people’s vision.

Simon Curtis <np27ao(at)mail.telepac.pt>

OPINION: PLUS ÇA CHANGE II

Oh dear! Graham Mills! Where do we begin? Do you really have a half empty glass of sour milk? City are playing well, it is actually good football in patches and to only lose by one goal against one of the best footballing sides in the country away from home, is it really a tragedy? How long have you been watching? We sucked last year! We were lucky to beat the Rags this year but let’s be happy while we can. I think Sven has the makings of a good side, they are not quite there yet but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train coming. Let’s show some support for where we are so far.

Jim Heaviside <JHeavis502(at)aol.com>

OPINION: PLUS ÇA CHANGE III

We’ve got the best squad we’ve had (possibly) for the last thirty years. We’ve played four games, three without conceding a goal. We beat Man U. We didn’t look out of place on the same pitch as Arsenal. Yet the first letter in MCIVTA 1357 was from someone moaning about the squad. Petrov: doesn’t merit a start. Elano; too lightweight. Mpenza: squad player at best. Priceless.

Think back over the years of doom, gloom and despondency. Then sit back and give Sven time to work with his players. No wonder people in the game have little respect for the point of view of some fans. Last weekend vs. Man U, there were plenty of shouts of ‘Get rid of it’ any time our players were passing the ball around. What do some of you want? A team of labourers who lump it up to an agricultural striker?

Just try to enjoy the fact that we have a team who want to play football. It might not be the ‘style’ of football many of us have grown up with, thankfully, but FFS please get off their backs already.

Kevin Cummins <Kevin(at)kevincummins.co.uk>

OPINION: RESPECT

Just to say to Bernard Molyneux: that is the most well-argued and impassioned defence of a viewpoint that I have read in these pages and I can only agree with you.

Tueart is an overhead bicycle-kicking Blue-chip legend. Give him whatever he wants.

Martin Brown <lehrerbrown(at)hotmail.com>

REQUEST: BLACKBURN TICKET AVAILABLE

Due to work commitments I have one ticket for Blackburn on Sunday that I can’t use.

I live in East Yorks so if you live this way and fancy the ticket, can pick it up Friday evening or Saturday, ring me on 07903 229111.

MickB <koolfurmick(at)btinternet.com>

REQUEST: ALL STAND TOGETHER

Sunday 9th September sees the League 2 game at Adams Park between Wycombe Wanderers and Brentford.

The game has been designated a Fans United Safe Standing Day as internationals are taking place the day before and this game is featured live on Sky (1.30pm).

The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) are looking for fans of all 92 league clubs (and non league too) to come along wearing your own club colours and support the campaign for Safe Standing. All 140 MP’s who signed the Commons Motion in favour of standing have been invited, as has each of the 92 club chairman. Banners and flags will be on parade and Sky will cover the issue too.

The FSF are funding minibus / coaches from areas where there is demand, so where ever you live, if you are interested in attending, contact Phill Gatenby (email below) for further details.

The campaign has really picked up steam over the past few weeks with lots of developments happening. This gives us the opportunity to give the campaign a higher profile.

Phill Gatenby <safestanding(at)aol.com>

RESULTS

League table to 29 August 2007 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD  Pts
 1 Chelsea          4  2  0  0  4  2  1  1  0  3  2  3  1  0   7   4   3  10
 2 Manchester City  4  2  0  0  2  0  1  0  1  2  1  3  0  1   4   1   3   9
 3 Wigan Athletic   4  2  0  0  4  0  0  1  1  2  3  2  1  1   6   3   3   7
 4 Liverpool        3  0  1  0  1  1  2  0  0  4  1  2  1  0   5   2   3   7
 5 Everton          4  1  1  0  3  2  1  0  1  3  2  2  1  1   6   4   2   7
 6 Arsenal          3  2  0  0  3  1  0  1  0  1  1  2  1  0   4   2   2   7
 7 Newcastle Utd    3  0  1  0  0  0  1  1  0  5  3  1  2  0   5   3   2   5
 8 Portsmouth       4  1  1  0  4  2  0  1  1  2  3  1  2  1   6   5   1   5
 9 Blackburn R.     3  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  0  3  2  1  2  0   4   3   1   5
10 Manchester Utd   4  1  1  0  1  0  0  1  1  1  2  1  2  1   2   2   0   5
11 Aston Villa      3  1  0  1  3  3  0  1  0  0  0  1  1  1   3   3   0   4
12 Birmingham City  4  0  1  1  2  3  1  0  1  4  4  1  1  2   6   7  -1   4
13 Middlesbrough    4  0  1  1  3  4  1  0  1  2  2  1  1  2   5   6  -1   4
14 West Ham United  3  0  1  1  1  3  1  0  0  1  0  1  1  1   2   3  -1   4
15 Reading          4  1  0  1  2  2  0  1  1  0  3  1  1  2   2   5  -3   4
16 Sunderland       4  1  0  1  1  2  0  1  1  2  5  1  1  2   3   7  -4   4
17 Tottenham H.     4  1  0  1  5  3  0  0  2  0  2  1  0  3   5   5   0   3
18 Bolton Wndrs     4  1  0  1  4  3  0  0  2  2  5  1  0  3   6   8  -2   3
19 Fulham           4  1  0  1  3  3  0  0  2  2  4  1  0  3   5   7  -2   3
20 Derby County     4  0  1  1  3  4  0  0  2  0  5  0  1  3   3   9  -6   1

With thanks to Football 365

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 #1358

2007/08/30

Editor:


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