Newsletter #1367

Game of the season thus far, which saw us demolish Newcastle in a 3-1 win and earn damning praise from the numerous pundits out there. We have a match report tonight thanks to Phil, together with match views.

There is also opinion on where we are now, the goalkeeping conundrum and the usual requests.

Don’t forget to register for the McV competition, further details tonight.

Next Game: Sunday 7 October 2007, 3pm, Middlesbrough (home)


MCIVTA are pleased to bring you the first part of the October 2007 MCIVTA Supporters’ Quiz. The quiz will run through MCIVTA and our website over the next couple of weeks.

The prize for the lucky winner is a signed copy of Shaun Goater’s biography “Feed the Goat” kindly donated by Sutton Publishing. Goater was a true City legend, who made the most out of his career after moving to a struggling City side in 1998. City were doomed to play in the third tier of English football but Goater soon became a crowd favourite and his scoring abilities saw him net 102 times in 209 games for the blues, including 28 league goals during the 2001-02 promotion season.

To win the book you will have to answer 6 questions, three presented in this issue of MCIVTA and three presented in next week’s Thursday issue. The participant with the most correct answers wins the competition. If more than one participant has all the answers right (or there is a tie for the winning position), a draw will be made by the jury to decide who the winner is.

To submit your answers and view the competition rules, please go to the MCFC Supporters’ Homepage at: and follow the instructions to enter the competition. Answers must be submitted by Thursday 4 October 2007, 12:00 BST.

Which former City player had T-shirts saying that his “grandad bombed Old Trafford”?

Which English clubs has Shaun Goater played for?

Who was the 5th Captain to lift a trophy for City at Wembley Stadium?

Svenn Hanssen


Some days you go home from a game with a big smile on your face and spring in your step because you know that you’ve witnessed something special. This was one of those days. Manchester City vs. Newcastle is a classic fixture and this is nearly always a clash to savour between two fervently supported Northern clubs who have a great history in fixtures between us. This day was no exception as both teams served up a feast of football in a cracking atmosphere that was a credit to both sets of fans.

The only disappointing thing was that the crowd was only 40,606. Whilst Blues sang ‘Where were you when you were s###’, to the Geordie contingent, it might be more pertinent to sing ‘Where were you when we were great’ to the 7,000 City fans who didn’t make it to Eastlands! Hopefully all those Blues who couldn’t make it to the ground enjoyed it on TV because this was certainly not a game to miss.

The first half was very even and this was reflected in the scoreline. City were quickly into their stride and a thrilling move involving Johnson, Ireland, Elano, and Mpenza resulted in a powerful Elano shot that was tipped away at full length by the excellent Shay Given. We also went close when an Ireland cross grazed the crossbar.

Newcastle carried a very definite threat in an even game, though, with Beye and Milner exploiting Petrov’s failure to track back and support the solid Garrido, and Viduka yet again proving a real handful for Richard Dunne who had to work very hard all afternoon to eventually get the upper hand on him. The skilful Australian is very strong and uses his body to great effect, throwing in some nudges here and there that went unseen by referee Foy, so it was a real feather in the cap of the City skipper that he shaded this particular battle.

Newcastle could have had one if not two penalties. Replays later suggested that Richards got the ball in his last ditch challenge on Milner but one can imagine certain referees giving those, especially when we play against the so-called ‘big four’. Martins and Milner on the right were proving to be a real thorn in our side and even though it was an even game, it wasn’t a total surprise that Newcastle took the lead. Richards lost Martins for a split second, which allowed the Nigerian first run on a lofted cross that he expertly controlled and lobbed over the advancing Hart.

City could have been two down after Hart miscontrolled a Garrido backpass into his own goalmouth and had to scramble it clear as it almost crept over the line, but it wasn’t long before City were level.

Elano played a lovely chipped pass behind the Geordie defence onto the advancing Ireland. It looked like he should shoot but Ireland astutely delayed a low cross behind the back of the Newcastle backline, which Petrov crisply swept into the net from a fairly tight angle on the left. It was a very good finish that delighted us all.

City should have taken the lead before half time when Elano played Ireland in again clean through on goal with an exquisite pass. He had time to take the ball around Given but instead he tried to lift his shot over him and the ‘keeper made a good save with his body to deny him. Both teams left the pitch at the break to well deserved applause.

The second half was barely a few minutes old when Petrov sped down the left taking on England Under-21 skipper Stephen Taylor in a thrilling run before crossing superbly for Mpenza to cleverly stoop to head home and put City in front. Petrov – ever the showman – who loves to celebrate with the crowd and one of half the team partied by one corner flag whilst Mpenza made a bee-line for the other to conduct another celebration with the other half of the team as Eastlands erupted.

City could have added to this on several occasions as they played some lovely, fluent, attacking football. Mpenza might have scored with another chance in a pulsating game in a great atmosphere. The banter between the two sets of fans was brilliant. ‘You’ve got Joey Barton’ mocked the Kippax Corner to the noisy visitors and ‘Sven Goran Eriksson’ rang out in appreciation of the Swede’s impact on City.

Much credit was then due to Obafemi Martins for his sportsmanship for stopping play on a Newcastle break after Corluka lay in pain on the turf several yards behind him. He richly deserved the cheers that he got, and thankfully Corluka got up to hobble off for treatment. He was subbed a few minutes later so hopefully it shouldn’t be too serious.

Newcastle pressed for an equaliser without really testing Hart, and City repeatedly broke away at pace with the brilliant Elano orchestrating and prompting clever moves with Petrov and Mpenza in particular. We had the curious but exciting sight of Richards and Dunne charging out together on one such break with Richards unfortunate not to keep his feet when tackled in full flight. Micah followed this up with another exciting breakaway, taking a clever Ireland pass to the edge of the area but tamely shooting with his left straight at Given.

Then we had the coup de grace and the high point of the game. Elano lined up the free kick 30 yards out and hit a shot of such power, direction and ferocity that even a goalkeeper of the quality of Given had no chance and the net almost burst. It went like a rocket and took our breath away. What a great goal.

“Joey, Joey what’s the score?” rang out as the enfant terrible sat head down on the bench. Not that he is missed here. Michael Johnson has brought far more elegance, poise and class to the midfield engine room alongside his mentor Hamann. These two have a happy knack of keeping it simple, making the right decision time after time, and rarely wasting a pass. There was even time for the City fans to chime ‘Olé’ as Alan Smith repeatedly failed to win the ball back in a spell of City possession. Indeed, Johnson and Hamann did very well in dealing with the physicality and snide challenges of Butt and Smith.

In front of them, Martin Petrov, Elano and Emile Mpenza played lovely little triangles in a series of delightful moves. They could have been playing in carpet slippers as they caressed the ball round beautifully and to such effect. They made the game such a pleasure to watch with their movement and slick interplay. Indeed, Elano was at the centre of most of City’s best moves, and is a joy to watch in the same way that Berkovic, Benarbia and Kinkladze have been in recent years. Mpenza worked very hard all afternoon and fully warrants his place in the side, whilst Petrov is getting better and better down the left with his pace and skill. This was also a great team performance and it was perhaps the best home performance for many a year. It was that good.

Phil Banerjee <Phil.banerjee(at)>


I had to go in to hospital on Friday for a minor op on my shoulder. They wanted to keep me in overnight so I said not a problem as long as I’m home on Saturday in time for the game. This was accomplished and, feeling a little sore and sorry for myself, I settled down to watch the match.

What unravelled was the best pick me up and pain killer I could have wished for. For me the most telling thing about how far we’ve come was the fact that even when Newcastle scored it didn’t faze me. I fully expected us to get the goal back.

The football we played at times was breathtaking and justice was done when the incisive Elano sent Ireland away, who rolled a sublime cross across the face of goal into the path of the onrushing Petrov. Andy Gray summed up the second goal well on Sky’s ‘The Last Word’. Stopping the action when we cleared a corner he said “If I was to tell you that in 5 seconds City would score you’d think I was barking mad”.

What the freeze frame showed was five Newcastle defenders in shot with only Mpenza near them. Okay, there was a comedy header from N’Zogbia but the pace with which Petrov ran onto the loose ball and bombed past Taylor on the left wing was staggering. Thankfully, Taylor was naïve enough not to give a free kick away and bring Petrov down, many would have and I bet big Sam lets him know it. Having got close to the dead ball line, Petrov still had a bit to do with only Mpenza in the box, but a delightful chipped cross found the City front man unmarked. I think Mpenza was taken a little by surprise and it looked for a split second as if he was caught in two minds whether to bring it down or head it. He had time to do either and chose the latter, heading beautifully back across Given into the empty net.

The,n City being City, we failed to put the game to bed although looking comfortable, but we’ve seen that film before haven’t we? Not to worry. Up stepped Elano with, in SGE’s words, “the perfect free kick”. Petrov was fouled by Butt 30 yards from goal, and it has to be said was lucky not to be punished further for what looked like an elbow into Petrov’s head after the foul was given. The referee either missed it or, having not issued a card for the preceding 86 minutes, decided he wanted to get through the game without issuing one.

Given set his wall and stood to the other side of the goal to have a clear view of the free-kick. Clear view or not, he was absolutely helpless to stop the ball crashing into the roof of the net on the side he was stood. No bend, no dip, just sheer pace that saw the ball still rising as it entered the goal. I swear if the ball was square it would have fitted perfectly between the angle of bar and upright. What a fitting climax for a man who had run the show from start to finish.

Apparently somebody after asked big Sam why he didn’t have Elano man marked when he saw the damage he was doing. He said he did. Nicky Butt was detailed to mark him, but he was too busy spinning round to try to find him. You should be able to bottle things like this and make it available on prescription. It would put the pharmaceutical companies out of business.

Please don’t anybody mention three more home games and a winnable away day at Chelsea in the next four; damn, just did.

Come on you Blues. Don’t forget you can have another look at the goals atVirgin Media on the link below.,,12555~1123286,00.html~

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


What a weekend from New Zealand! Friday night in Auckland went to see Jeff Wayne, War of the Worlds. I believe it’s 30 years old for the music, almost as long since City won their last trophy! Saturday night at 11-45 back home in Hamilton, watched the live game of City! Not sure which was the best show, both great.

Watching City this season passing the ball to each other – not seen this for years, must go back to the great days of the of the mid 1960s and early 1970s. Great to see the young City kids playing and better every game but my heart almost stopped when Hart almost put into his own net.

The older players (if you can call 26-ish old) like Elano and Petrov helping the ‘kids’. What a great free kick from Elano, and Petrov finding his ‘feet’ – best since SWP left.. The Newcastle game was great to watch as the whole team play as a ‘team’.

My manager for the season: Sven-Goran Eriksson; can’t wait to see who he buys in January to ‘improve’ the team.

So two late nights for me, but would love it to every weekend. I am already making plans to see City in one of the cup finals (maybe both) in 2008 at Wembley.

CTID (since 1965), John Lim – Hamilton, New Zealand <johncity(at)>


Newcastle were outplayed by some glorious football from City, in fact the best football played by a City team for quite some time.

I think Joey Barton’s new team went back to Toon Town shell shocked. Every player in the City team played their part in this victory, but I have to make special mention of Petrov and Elano: fantastic.

Just brilliant City, brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! The more this team plays together, the better it gets.

A celebration pint always tastes so much better than a drowning sorrows pint. Cheers!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


In support of various entries (MCIVTA 1366) I would like to add my comments. I write this before the Newcastle game, so being a City fan I don’t know what will happen today, but there again that is how it has always been!


  • We finished last season with the lowest total of goals ever by a side in the top division
  • We hadn’t scored at home since January 1st
  • We had no money to spend and would have had less to spend in pre-seasonthan every other Premiership team, except Derby
  • Our 4 forwards were Corradi, Samaras, Dickov, and Vassell
  • Season ticket holders of many, many years’ standing were leaving in droves (me included)
  • The style of play was safety first, taken to the extreme (sorry, lack of style)

Need I go on?

We are now 3rd in the Premier League and our reserves are good enough to get through to the last 16 of the cup! We play good, attractive football, pass to feet, try to keep possession, we have a very astute Manager, a very young squad, a very rich owner. Need I go on?

The improvements we have made in such a short space of time are amazing and bode well for the future. Sven knows where we are up to and admits we aren’t good enough to stay 3rd. He is realistic, why can’t you moaners be realistic too?

Not every new signing that has arrived will settle straight away, some take longer than others. Not every young player from the Academy will make the grade long term. Give them support, maybe they are lacking in confidence and need our help?

It is less than ten games since Stuart Pearce was in charge with the previous administration and their restraints. Which do you prefer? Sven and Frank have said their plan to bring a team to challenge at the top will take 3-5 years, not 3-5 months.

Keep the faith, keep realistic and enjoy! Things aren’t perfect but they are moving forward swiftly, with good stewardship from Sven and good support from Frank.

Stuart Latham <LathamWS(at)>


Couldn’t agree more with the sentiments expressed in MCIVTA last week. Cheer up, doubters.

We’ve got a manager who seems to have persuaded the board that good young players can become great senior pros, and that they just need opportunities and long term confidence-boosting contracts. It shows the Academy kids that their futures should be at this club, and confidence has a snowball effect. Lads like Kelvin Etuhu can’t help but feel that if they want to make it all the way, this is the best place to do it.

Also, I’m fully behind Ernie regarding Samaras. When he’s on it, that lad has really got something, he just needs to learn application. If he could maintain his workrate and confidence throughout 90 minutes, and then reproduce it regularly, he’d be a hell of an asset, and would fit well into our young squad.

As for Barton, I agree about occasionally missing the tempo that he brought, but I don’t think anyone can have failed to notice the difference in the way that he failed to control the midfield and Didi’s performances this year.

One more thing. Don’t forget, it takes players time to settle in to new surroundings, and a new league. I work in motorsport, and driver confidence is the single biggest factor affecting performance. A fretting driver can lose any benefit that a quicker car offers. Even the senior pros we’ve bought are still young men (sadly, 27 doesn’t seem old to me any more!). Sven is clearly capable of putting an arm around the shoulder and offering the right words of encouragement at the right time. Witness the recent upturn in performance from Elano, and Petrov’s performances cranking up a notch from “strong” to “match winning”.

We have so many players that I look forward to watching week in, week out now. It’s amazing it’s turned around so quickly.

All is well. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Jonathan Marshall <jonathan.marshall(at)>


Well we seem to have a decent team now don’t we? A very entertaining game where we should have won and did. Will need to get an oxygen mask for our lofty position, but after years of promising much and delivering little, it’s a really nice feeling.

I don’t think Kasper will be too happy about being dropped, at least I hope he is. So he’s been a little lucky, but all good players have their fair share. I disagree about his lack of height being a hindrance; it’s more a matter of timing. I’ve seen plenty of 6′ plus ‘keepers have trouble with the high ball through a group of players. His positional play is good, his kicking is good, his shot stopping is good, I don’t think Hart is any better, and Andreas looks shaky under the high ball as well.

Older members will remember Paul Cooper, who didn’t let his lack of height hinder him. I hope Kasper gets another chance, the thing I like about him is his confidence in his ability, his big hindrance is being compared to his father all the time.

October is going to be a long month. City aren’t programmed on Sky at all in October; Spurs, Villa, Sunderland are on three times! Go figure.

My grandson is over a week late in arriving, sounds like a few players we have had at City recently!

Stay Blue, Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Could someone please advise me where I could get 6 tickets for City vs. Liverpool on December 29? Emigrated 19 years ago and bringing the family back for Christmas. Seems a lot harder to get tickets than it was 20 years ago!

Blackburn tickets on Boxing Day would be a good choice.

Thanks, Andrew Kavanagh <Andrew(at)>


I used to be a season ticket holder for many years at Maine Road, and was there to see City’s hammering of Huddersfield 10-1, which I also have recorded on VHS tape.

I was very happy to read all the glowing reports following the match at home this past weekend to Newcastle, although try as I did, couldn’t find any feeds anywhere (I am currently in the USA) to view either the match or the highlights, bar the goals on the Fox Soccer Channel which lasted all of ten seconds.

If anyone has the game recorded, either on DVD or VHS, I would be very happy to make arrangements to cover the costs of production/shipment in any format possible. I will be back in the UK December 14 for a few weeks (and hope to see all the matches while I’m in the UK) but would love to be able to see the televised recording of this game before then. Alternatively, if anyone would like the Huddersfield match in exchange, I would be happy to get a copy of this made in return.

Thanks to all at MCIVTA as always for everything you do for all who follow City!

Simon Kennedy Rose – Chicago, IL <alienUK(at)>


Just a note for all those bemoaning the non-availability of the white third kit; another batch is going to be made, and will be available only via the official website (ie not from the CityStore).

Pre-orders are being taken now, for delivery in November. So if anyone still wants one, now’s the time to act.

Paul Howarth <paul(at)>


News reaches me of the new broadband channel to be launched by ITV Granada. The website address is

It features a ‘Sport Extra’ programme. From the City angle, there’s full interviews and press conferences with Sven and other City related stuff. Plus, in the documentary section, there’s a 30 minute documentary entitled ‘City’ that looks at Malcolm Allison’s final days in the Maine Road hot seat. To find it, jus click on Documentaries in the left-hand menu, then in the list of subjects on the right-hand side, click on sport.

You can also sign up for a weekly newsletter for all the latest news, sport and all other content on the site. It’s free to receive and can be cancelled at any time.

Also soon to be launching is the Amateur Sports (Grassroots) Channel that will feature video clips sent in by the public. Initially ‘Grassroots’ will focus on football, rugby (union and league), netball, and equestrian, but will cover more sports as it gathers momentum.

Clips should be between 20 seconds and 1 minute long. Clips can be sent off a mobile by emailing <Granada(at)> or on DVD or Videotape to ITV Local Granada, Film Submissions, Newsroom, Quay Street Manchester M60 9EA. Film participants must be 16 years or above.

Also, contributors will get a link to their website so there’s mutual publicity for both sides.

Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


30 September 2007

Everton               2 - 0  Middlesbrough         31,885

29 September 2007

Manchester City       3 - 1  Newcastle United      40,606
Birmingham City       0 - 1  Manchester United     26,526
Chelsea               0 - 0  Fulham                41,837
Derby County          1 - 1  Bolton Wanderers      31,503
Portsmouth            7 - 4  Reading               20,102
Sunderland            1 - 2  Blackburn Rovers      41,252
West Ham United       0 - 1  Arsenal               34,966
Wigan Athletic        0 - 1  Liverpool             24,311

League table to 30 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          7  4  0  0 11  2  2  1  0  5  2  6  1  0  16   4  12  19
 2 Manchester Utd   8  3  1  0  4  0  2  1  1  3  2  5  2  1   7   2   5  17
 3 Manchester City  8  4  0  0  6  1  1  1  2  5  5  5  1  2  11   6   5  16
 4 Liverpool        7  1  2  0  7  1  3  1  0  5  1  4  3  0  12   2  10  15
 5 Everton          8  2  1  1  5  3  2  0  2  5  5  4  1  3  10   8   2  13
 6 Portsmouth       8  2  2  0 11  6  1  1  2  4  6  3  3  2  15  12   3  12
 7 Blackburn R.     7  1  1  1  2  2  2  2  0  5  3  3  3  1   7   5   2  12
 8 Chelsea          8  2  2  0  4  2  1  1  2  3  6  3  3  2   7   8  -1  12
 9 Newcastle Utd    6  2  1  0  4  1  1  1  1  5  4  3  2  1   9   5   4  11
10 Aston Villa      6  3  0  1  7  3  0  1  1  0  1  3  1  2   7   4   3  10
11 West Ham United  7  1  1  2  4  4  2  0  1  5  3  3  1  3   9   7   2  10
12 Wigan Athletic   8  2  1  1  5  2  0  1  3  3  6  2  2  4   8   8   0   8
13 Birmingham City  8  1  1  2  3  4  1  1  2  4  6  2  2  4   7  10  -3   8
14 Sunderland       8  2  0  2  4  5  0  2  2  4  8  2  2  4   8  13  -5   8
15 Middlesbrough    9  1  2  1  7  6  1  0  4  3 10  2  2  5  10  16  -6   8
16 Fulham           8  1  2  1  9  9  0  2  2  3  5  1  4  3  12  14  -2   7
17 Reading          8  2  0  2  4  6  0  1  3  5 12  2  1  5   9  18  -9   7
18 Tottenham H.     7  1  0  2  6  6  0  2  2  4  6  1  2  4  10  12  -2   5
19 Bolton Wndrs     8  1  1  2  6  6  0  1  3  3  7  1  2  5   9  13  -4   5
20 Derby County     8  1  2  1  5  5  0  0  4  0 16  1  2  5   5  21 -16   5

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1367