Newsletter #1365

A six goal thriller at Fulham with honours shared means we are still sitting in the top three for now.

Tonight we have player views after the first six weeks of the season, comment on the attendance figures, yet more trouble with MCFCTV.COM, the away strip, and the usual requests.

Next up, Norwich are the visitors as we continue the Carling Cup campaign.

Next Game: Tuesday 25 September 2007, 7.45pm, Norwich City (home) Carling Cup


We are second in the league, yet there is no feeling of great euphoria within me. Do you feel the same? We have won 4 league games 1-0 and lost two 1-0. It’s like “first goal wins” in games involving City. It’s not exactly a goal fest is it? A crowd of 38,000 tells a tale that fans won’t come back if they are not entertained. We couldn’t even sell out against Man Ure. I gave up my season card as I said I would, but have bought tickets for the first 3 home games. However, because of the lack of entertainment I probably won’t bother against Newcastle (despite the probable re-appearance of Barton). The one thing that does warm my heart are the performances of our home grown talent, especially Michael Johnson, Kasper Schmeichel and Micah Richards. I am also forming an opinion on our new signings:

Rolando Bianchi – Definitely potential there, but needs to start games to keep his confidence going so he doesn’t become a more expensive version of Samaras.

Martin Petrov – Extremely disappointing so far. Loses possession too easily. Does not get back to defend.

Javier Garrido – Extremely disappointing so far. Always outpaced by opponents going around the outside of him. Pushes too far up and doesn’t get back, leaving fellow defenders exposed. I’d put Ball back in.

Geovanni – Needs more starts, but promising so far.

Elano – Very good, but needs more support in midfield to help him flourish.

Valeri Bojinov – Not seen enough of him to judge before the injury.

Gelson Fernandes – I hate the term “one for the future”, as it can be taken as meaning “not as good as we thought he would be”, but I think he is one for the future.

Vedran Corluka – Outstanding. Most definitely has made the biggest impact on the team. 100% commitment.

Come on City – make me regret staying away!

Check out our blog at and the usual website for all your MCFC stats

Steve Kay <Steve(at)>


Andrew Downie impugns (delicious irony) Dr Mariani, but without questioning the underlying facts. John Nesbit leaves Dr. Mariani untouched, prefering to call me a liar:

“Unbelievable, as was the article.” id est, the facts as I related, are actually fictions.

If either of you gentlemen do believe Dr Mariani did something wrong, you will naturally pursue the matter with the competent Italian authorities, retaining counsel for the inevitable civil suit that will likely be filed against you as the basis for your statement(s) so far is unreasonable, and is so rash, as to raise questions of bad faith.

Dr Downie, you have obliquely accused a colleague (of impeccable reputation) of a serious ethical breach, which may well rise to a violation of law regardless of actual damage. This statement is precious:

“I would expect to face dismissal…” You mean loss of license? Or something less?

You whipped off a “If I’d have done that…” letter. Rather than make a direct accusation, you attempt to gain your point behind a hypothetical premised upon rules of conduct and legal schema that may or may not be the same as the jurisdiction in which Dr Mariani practices.

Whether any behavior is or is not unethical is a mixed question of medical ethics and fact. The further question of whether any ethical breach rises to a violation of statutory criminal or civil law is a mixed question of law and fact.

I doubt you are familiar with medical ethics in Italy. I doubt you know the Italian statutory regime nor case-law in this area. You certainly are not conversant with the facts in this case.

Now, however, according to Mr Nisbet I am simply lying, I made it up. I do not know medical-patient disclosure laws in Orwellian UK, but I can make an educated guess.

However, in North Carolina (and throughout the U.S.) a patient may opt-out, that is, may sign a waiver permitting the treating physician to disclose details, freeing from any liability (excepting arising from malice) and damages that may thereby result.

Waivers are presented to all patients regardless of treatment or patient registration. Ordinarily this waiver only applies to the medical profession or insurance business. However, it is SOP that on request (or on the treating physician’s own initiative) another waiver is presented for signature, which permits either blanket disclosure or disclosure to (non-medical) designated persons or institutions, e.g. spouses, children, parents, friends, schools, or anyone else the patient wishes.

After explaining to Dr Mariani who I was, and the basis for my call, I did ask him (according to my notes):

“Are you free to talk about the injury to Mr. Bojinov?”

He said he was. I admit, I did not ask, “has he[Bojinov] signed a waiver?” but this was why I asked the question. I have no reason to believe my meaning was not understood. His reply was a laughing:

“Yes… of course.”

Furthermore, if a patient is treated in a opt-out jurisdiction, and, generally, if the patient or their authorized agent disclose details publicly (has happened in this case before I made the call) to persons not explicitly covered by any waiver, does this not constitute an implied waiver, anything to the contrary notwithstanding?

For example, if I had not signed a waiver of any kind, but later stated to the Daily Mail, “yeah, Dr Downie cut out part of a vertebrae and one of my discs, but it should be okay, it was either that or end up in a wheelchair”, does that constitute an implied waiver so that if Tom, Dick, or Harry calls Dr Downie, Dr Downie is free to say (and be more precise), “It was a lumbar laminectomy, partial discectomy, at the S1-L2 level”? I would argue that my prior statement does constitute an implied waiver as to the injury (and that alone) freeing Dr Downie to speak.

Without a working knowledge of the law or facts I have to ask why anyone would assume Bojinov had not signed a waiver, or that Bojinov or his authorized agents in speaking about the matter publicly (and in layman’s terms) did not constitute an implied waiver. I also wonder why I am a liar.

Dr Mariani is the surgeon who saved Totti and Amauri from retirement, and I would expect a waiver (presented to a footballer in football-mad Italy) to be significantly different to one a nobody such as I would sign.

If waivers under any circumstances are forbidden by law in Italy, then perhaps there is a problem. It would seem wise however to determine the truth before proceeding.

It was good news though don’t you think?

As to Steven Ireland his personal web page is worse than Chav heaven. People have focused on his nickname, or his putative disdain for football and so on. Most worrying is his on-line “friends” seem to be examples of “beautiful people” and he appears to enjoy the appellation “Enrique Inglesias” whilst he posts multiple pictures of he and his friends posing and mocking people with Down’s Syndrome, you know, ugly, stupid people. Five year contract for someone who thinks mocking people with a serious genetic disorder is funny? As he says:

“The Mongs! Must See!”:

Jack Buckley <Jack10000days(at)>


Just a couple of observations after watching the Fulham game.

I wonder how many of your readers would agree with my opinion that Kasper Schmeichel is too short to be a really top-class goalkeeper. His technique and judgment are very good; it’s just that his lack of height prevented him from saving the Fulham free kick, which a ‘keeper like van der Sar may have saved. I wonder if it is now time to bring back Isaksson?

City’s away strip of all-purple is simply awful. I don’t think it would have been any worse if they had played in all-pink! There was no need for them to change anyway because their normal sky blue does not clash with Fulham’s white.

Philip van Gass <philipvangass(at)>


It’s been a while since I last wrote in to this fine publication and I know that many of the readers here are from far flung reaches of the planet. So I’m sure that if your local TV station or radio station don’t show the latest City match you might be wanting to listen to the commentary via the website, part of the website. On this you get to watch highlights, goals of games gone by and listen to live commentary. Recently they updated the site with a new look, which was nice of them, but…

Yes this is where we get into the nitty gritty of the affair. I’m getting seriously annoyed with the service, which I’ve paid a subscription to for the last 2 years. Within the first year I subscribed I was quite pleased with the service, of which I only use the live audio commentary, I stay in the UK but can’t afford the Sky Sports package. Last season though there were quite a few matches near the beginning of the season that were quite glitchy or didn’t play at all, I thought it might be teething problems as they had changed the radio service from Century FM (I think it was), to BBC GMR, then back to Century FM, but as the season got on, the worse it became, much like our performances on the pitch. It got to the point (coupled with performances) that I couldn’t be bothered with it anymore.

However, a nice man from Thailand called Frank got hold of nice man from Sweden called Sony Goran-Ericcson, so I thought ‘Cool, we are in for a fun ride here, the games will be interesting to listen to’. I go onto the City website on the opening day to listen to the commentary only to find they’ve taken it down until the beginning of September so they can re-launch it, and for what it looked like, they were only updating the video side of things, they could’ve kept the audio side up unless contractual reasons prohibited, but they could’ve said that if that was the case so I wouldn’t have been so annoyed. Luckily I still stay in the UK (I will be moving soon abroad), so I could log onto the BBC website and listen to Radio 5 Live commentary, but obviously this is interrupted by other sports, other games, or even not playing but getting updated every-so-often because another ‘High-Profile’ game is on. But as I type this it’s well into September and the games so far have been streamed via, so I thought good, they’ve got it sorted, but alas I am wrong, back in the old groove as it were.

It’s terrible that those of us that want to listen to the games can’t because of poor service, no service or because they can’t be bothered and we pay money for this. On previous occasions I’ve tried sending an email to them but I get all the usual replies like: have you checked your settings, have you tried plugging in your computer, all the stuff that doesn’t relate to their problems, not mine as I don’t have a problem – it’s them. As I mentioned luckily I currently stay in the UK so I can listen to games via BBC 5 Live, but for all the Blues in exile this is major pain in the beehookie. As it is so far within the past season and a bit, I’ve probably only managed to listen to about 14 matches (out of at least 38 league games), poor return for the money.

Has anyone else had problems with this service? I’m increasingly getting annoyed with it.

Gareth Croke <garethcroke(at)>


Anyone else noticed how tight it’s going to be this year? We’re six games in and everyone has won a game. No Watfords this time round.

All the better to make hay while the sun shines, points on the board and all that. Seems to me that Sven looked at the squad and saw that we just needed a few to turn a game. It’s fantastic that Johnson has been the one to do that in the last couple.

It’s also fabulous to win a tight game against a side like Villa with a back four all under 23. When you think that we could play this year with that back four, Johnson and Ireland in midfield, and Etuhu or Sturridge (get fit Daniel, and chin up, we’re all behind you) up front; the Academy staff, to a man, deserve knighthoods. Surely it’s the best Academy in the country? It’s like a gift that keeps on giving!

Set me thinking watching the England game the other week with SWeeP and Micah on the right. Imagine if we’d never had to sell SWeeP and Anelka, and we had the quality youth that we have now.

Anyway, thanks Michael. Joey who?

Jon Marshall <Jon_G_Marshall(at)>


Sorry but I do not understand why Bianchi only came on for just the last ten minutes?

I am baffled by this; what can a player do in just ten minutes? Surely this cannot be tactical? Please someone enlighten me.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


In response to Keith Sharp with reference to the empty seats.

Perhaps this is due to all those who didn’t renew in protest to the Shinawatra takeover. Well I for one would prefer to have 10,000 unfilled seats, where those that do attend are die-hard Blues. To have a stadium full of glory hunters or tourists would be to join that other lot from the city just outside Manchester.

Anyone can fill a stadium with 70,000 phonies and fakes. Disneyland probably gets 70,00 through its gates everyday when the sun’s out…

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


Just how much longer do we all have to put with MUFC cynically exploiting the Munich disaster as a sales and marketing ploy? First it was Ryan Giggs going on about the 50th anniversary and why they had to win the Champions’ League as a mark of respect. Then Bobby Charlton comes out with it (he just happens to have a book to sell!). It really is a disgrace to see them using this as a USP (unique selling point) to promote and market themselves and the club.

Whilst I will never condone Munich songs from us or anyone else, it really is no surprise that it happens. To constantly have the Munich disaster rammed down your throat every time you open a newspaper is disgraceful. It’s immoral and it is cynical exploitation, which is done in a calculating manner by the people who run and are involved in the club. It really is no surprise that old red nose gets assaulted on a train by a total stranger. This is the spite that is bred. Munich should be remembered but not promoted.

Ray Bardsley <rbardsley(at)>


I’ve just moved to Houston and wonder if there are Blues based here who meet up to watch games?

Gary Chapman <garychapman7(at)>


23 September 2007

Aston Villa           2 - 0  Everton               38,235
Blackburn Rovers      0 - 1  Portsmouth            19,506
Bolton Wanderers      1 - 1  Tottenham Hotspur     20,308
Manchester United     2 - 0  Chelsea               75,663
Newcastle United      3 - 1  West Ham United       50,104

22 September 2007

Arsenal               5 - 0  Derby County          60,122
Fulham                3 - 3  Manchester City       24,674
Liverpool             0 - 0  Birmingham City       44,215
Middlesbrough         2 - 2  Sunderland            30,675
Reading               2 - 1  Wigan Athletic        21,379

League table to 23 September 2007 inclusive

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

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1365