Newsletter #1368

Heidi’s taking a well earned break from the Editor’s suite at MCIVTA Towers, so for the next couple of weeks our august newsletter will be brought to you by either Madeleine or myself.

I hope you’re all still basking in that warm, rosy glow of last Saturday’s win versus Newcastle? I know I am. How nice to have friends and work colleagues offering compliments about how well Sven’s boys performed as well as comments like “That Elano looks good doesn’t he?” Time to forget the comments made in the summer about what the hell’s that hopeless Swede doing in charge of my club; instead one nods smugly and takes the praise. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

Tonight I bring you the usual heady Thursday mix of news, opinions and tickets offers along with answers to the following burning questions:

  1. Who do we thank for the City revival
    1. Mr. Thaksin
    2. Mr. Sven, or
    3. Joey “Cigar butt” Barton?
  2. Whatever happened to City’s scariest no.7, Spencer Prior?

Now read on…

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


General News

Held in Reserve: City’s Reserves drew 2-2 with Newcastle United on Tuesday night, in a game that saw Andreas Isaksson clock up a full 90 minutes, while the opposing ranks contained none other than J. Barton Esq., of whom more later. Barton played the first half for his new club. Ched Evans had given the home team the lead on the half hour, only for Emre to equalise a few minutes later. The same goalscoring pattern occurred in the second half – City went 2-1 up (this time through Ashley Grimes), but Newcastle substitute Mark Doninger grabbed a point for Newcastle. Team: Isaksson, Logan, Williamson, McDonald, Breen, Laird, Etuhu (Clayton 72), Grimes, Evans, Daly, Moore. Subs: Martin (GK), Vidal, Marshall, Poole. The club website featured an interview with new Reserve team coach Ian Miller, who has joined the club on a temporary basis following Hans Backe’s return to Sweden. “My background’s been in Academies for a long time. I was at Blackburn for six years, I was at City as a youth coach the year before that a long time ago,” Miller said. “A couple of years ago I got an opportunity to go with Colin Hendry to Blackpool as first team coach/assistant manager. I had a year and a bit there and it didn’t quite work out. Last year I was first team coach at Leicester for the season, then the Chairman in his wisdom changed things around, as happens at that level. That was in June, so I’ve not been up to much since then really.” His return to the club “came out of the blue really. I got a phone call to see if I’d come in on a temporary basis to help out and now I’m out there working with those young professionals out on the training ground and trying to pass on all my experiences to try and help them as much as I can. I love working with this age group because of their enthusiasm and I hope I can relate to them because I’ve got lads of my own at that age at home. It’s a lovely football club, going very well at this moment in time, it’s a pleasure to work here.”

Staunton Buries Granny Saga: Stephen Ireland is back in favour with Irish boss Stephen Staunton just a month after the infamous “Grannygate” affair and joins Richard Dunne in the Republic’s squad for the double header against Germany and Cyprus later this month. Ireland is back after he falsely claimed his grandmother had died in order to make an early return to Manchester after the 2-2 draw with Slovakia last month. “It is history now, just one of those things,” insisted Staunton. “It’s unfortunate but as he’s shown at the weekend, Stephen is back to his best. We know Manchester City are helping him out on a daily basis and whatever we can do to help, we’ll do it.” (You can blame the Daily Telegraph for the Headline, btw)

Trotting Off to Face the Trotters: The draw has been made for the last 16 of the Carling Cup, and it has sent City to the Reebok Stadium to play Bolton Wanderers. The Fourth Round tie will take place on either Tuesday 30th October or Wednesday 31st October.

Transfer News and Gossip

Jir Having a Laugh: Celtic midfielder Jiri Jarosik has revealed that ‘five or six’ Premier League sides showed an interest in him during the summer transfer window. The 29-year-old has stressed his desire to leave on numerous occasions, but still finds himself at Celtic Park, despite the interest from south of the border. “I was determined to leave. I agreed that with the management and the manager even though he wanted me to stay on,” said Jarosik. “Everything was heading towards me leaving. I had my things packed but eventually it did not turn out. A couple of good clubs showed interest, for example Middlesbrough and Manchester City. It was still possible on 31st August but then it collapsed. Portsmouth and Fulham [were also interested]. In total, five or six English clubs. Birmingham again contacted me too, but I did not want to return there. I also refused Dynamo Kiev and I now feel a bit sorry about it. I should have gone there.” Jarosik continued to state that City’s interest was so strong that they requested he did not speak to other clubs, and after agreeing to do so, he believes that the decision may well have cost him the move he desired. “As far as I was informed, I know that they wanted me to not negotiate with other clubs for two days. Perhaps, that was a mistake too. I lost some time.”

Calling the Gaucho Maestro: How times change. In the Stuart Pearce, pre-Thai money era, City were constantly being linked with players of Jarosik’s stature (no disrespect, Jiri!), but now the Blues are mentioned in the same breath as some world-renowned players. For instance – most of the Sundays lead with the story that Sven’s lining up a £6 million bid for Argentina World Cup star Juan Riquelme. City have identified the brilliant Argentinian playmaker as their top target (you can never have too many South American midfield maestros, after all), and agent Jerome Anderson is working on a transfer window deal for the Athletico Madrid player. According to reports, Eriksson is a long-time admirer of Riquelme, 29, who has played for Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Villareal. He has been capped by his country 41 times. Eriksson believes he can lure the striker to City after being given the go-ahead by Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra to spend again in January. Eriksson said: “The owner is ambitious for us to progress. He wants us to be in Europe and he has told me money will be available to buy the players we need to take the club forward. But I only want the right players to achieve that.”

Christantus Present for Sven? City are supposedly chasing a 17 year-old wonderkid. The Sun says City faces a battle with Stretford United for Macauley Chrisantus. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Ajax are desperate to sign him – and now City and United have joined the dogfight. Chrisantus’ advisor, Chris Nathaniel said: “Macauley’s a special talent. Just about every top club in Europe has inquired about him. The decision about where he goes will not be based on money. It’s about taking him to the right club to develop his football.” If that’s a Christantus present, how about a Christmas present for Osumane Dabo? Joey Barton’s favourite sparring partner is being linked with a move back to Serie A. The Frenchman is only on the outer fringes of Sven’s squad, and the Daily Mirror says he could move to Fiorentina in January. Meanwhile, Tottenham, City and West Ham United all could be set to make a January transfer bid for Everton striker Andy Johnson. Johnson has yet to find the net for Everton this season, so is allegedly pondering a change of scene to kick start his form. Spanish side Valencia are also interested in the pacy frontman.

Ex-Blues’ News

Joey Strikes Again! You can’t keep a good man down – or Joey Barton for that matter. Things have been a tad quiet in the orbit of planet Barton in recent weeks, what with Joey having broken one of his metatarsals (that’s a toe bone to you and me). He was spotted looking glum at the COMS on Saturday, watching his new team Newcastle taking a spanking from Sven’s boys. Manager Sam Allardyce was sure that it would be at least a month before Barton would be fit for first team consideration. He said: “Joey Barton has got no chance for Everton on Sunday. It will be four or five weeks, or at least three or four reserve games.” And as we know, his first reserve game took place on Tuesday at the mini-COMS. That wasn’t the last we heard of the Scouser by a long chalk. Next we had headlines like: “BARTON: I’M THE MAN BEHIND CITY REVIVAL – Joey Barton has claimed the credit for Manchester City’s revival under Sven Goran Eriksson because he helped save them from the drop last season.” That’s the Daily Mirror’s take on events. So what’s Joey been saying then? “I hope the City fans appreciate the job I did last season,” Barton told BBC Radio Five Live. “Were it not for myself, Micah Richards and Richard Dunne the club wouldn’t have had Shinawatra, the Premier League and Sven. I think they could easily have gone down last season but for a couple of results.” And just to complete his week – Barton appeared in the Magistrates court on Thursday accused of assaulting Ousmane Dabo in that training ground bust-up in May. JPs committed his case to Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on November 22.

After-Match Reactions and Comments

Elano’s Elan Brings Blues Victory: In City’s best performance of the season, Brazilian Elano delivered a virtuoso display as the Blues earned a 3-1 win against Newcastle last Saturday lunchtime. Obefami Martins put Newcastle ahead with a clever lob after 28 minutes, but Martin Petrov scored at the far post to put City level before the interval. Emile Mpenza headed home Petrov’s perfect cross to give City the lead two minutes after the interval. And Elano, who orchestrated City’s best play, hammered home a 30-yard free-kick three minutes from time to seal victory. A happy Sven said: “I’m very happy for the team and for the fans. It’s good and you can feel the fans like what they see and that’s important. The players were very good and I can understand that if you are a football fan, you like your team to win and play good football. Many of the games we have played at home this season have seen us play good football, but today may be have been the best, we beat a very good team 3-1. I wouldn’t say we dominated, but we created many more chances than they did, so I’m very happy. I said at the press conference on Thursday, the training that day was absolutely top class, and they showed that today. I don’t think we deserved to go 1-0 down because we’d played well and created chances without taking them. The first chance they had – they took it. Character wise we kept on playing and scored one in the first half and the second early in the second half before getting better and better.”

Suicidal Sam: Ashen faced Newcastle supremo Sam Allardyce blamed defensive frailties for his team’s defeat, while still acknowledging the quality of the final goal of the game. “Elano’s goal was wonderful, but the first two goals we conceded were suicidal. The second right after half-time was a real mess up and you get desperate as time goes on and you throw people forward. There was a lack of understanding, but we will just keep working on that. We need to make everyone more and more aware of the demands the Premier League makes.”

Baggio, Mancini, and Now Elano: S-GE said Brazilian midfielder Elano is one of the best players he has ever worked with. “It is impossible to hit the free-kick any better than that,” enthused the boss. “A centimetre either way and it hits the bar or the post. Elano is a great footballer. He can do a little bit of everything. I have worked with other top-class creative players in the past; people like Baggio and Mancini, but he is right up there with them.” He said he’d discussed the player with Brazil coach Dunga – who played under the Swede at Fiorentina – before making his move for the 26-year-old. “When he came here, he was not physically 100 per cent,” said Eriksson. “He was a long way off because he hadn’t done anything after the Copa America until he joined us. But now he is getting physically stronger and getting better and better. Every time he gets the ball you have the feeling something will happen.” Elano says he’s enjoying his new life in Manchester: “I’ve settled well in Manchester,” said Elano after the game. “In fact, I couldn’t be happier with the way it’s going for me. This league is the best I’ve played in. It’s watched all around the world. The defences are more professional, more physical and advanced than those I’ve played against before. The game in Brazil and elsewhere is more classical and a bit lazier. Here, everyone works a lot harder.”

Goalie Getter: Eriksson has explained why he’d chosen Joe Hart over Kasper Schmeichel for the game. It seems that Newcastle’s aerial threat from corners made the manager plump for Hart, the current England Under-21 ‘keeper signed from Shrewsbury for £800,000 by Stuart Pearce. “It was a very difficult decision because Kasper has done extremely well and kept a lot of clean sheets,” said Eriksson. “But I was a bit afraid of corners, free-kicks and crosses. Hart is physically taller and can handle them better.”

TV Commentary of the Season: Sky Sports, City vs. Newcastle. On 86 minutes, City are awarded a free kick later measured at 34.1 yards from goal. Andy Gray: “This boy Elano, when he gets himself a goal, being from the country he’s from, he has to do it from this sort of range.”
[Elano promptly arrows the ball into the net].
Marin Tyler: “What, like that you mean?”

Squad News

Martin’s Startin’ to Shine: Last Friday Sven was still being asked questions about the two goal star of the previous week’s match, namely Martin Petrov. So the boss paid the following tribute: “I knew, and the coaching staff knew before we bought him, that Martin was a great player. He’s been fantastic in Spain for Atletico Madrid and for his national team as well, but he’s getting fitter and fitter now as well. He’s got pace, he’s a great crosser of the ball and he has a superb shot as we saw at Fulham. He’s one of those electrifying players, something happens when he gets the ball and it’s exciting for fans to see that kind of player. Getting two goals away from home as well was great for us and for him. He’s of a very high standard and I think he’s going to get better for us.”

Contract Contact: Micah Richards’ contract talks with the club are progressing well, according to the England star’s agent. Richards, 19, has been in impressive form for club and country and hopes to agree new and improved terms despite being under contract until 2010. Alex Levack told BBC Sport: “Talks were on hold while Micah’s father and I were away but they resumed this week. Talks are ongoing and going well. Micah’s football takes precedence but we hope to get something signed soon.” Last month, Richards told BBC Sport he was keen to sign a new deal, saying: “I am very happy at City”. He added: “Hopefully we will have something signed in the near future. To me, the most important thing now for my England chances with Euro 2008 coming up is to be playing week-in week-week out. If I am at City then I am hopefully going to be doing that, so it will be the best thing for me.” Meanwhile, Sven has said he’s determined that there will be no get-out clause in Micah’s new deal. But the manager has warned that the club must be competing at the pinnacle of European football if the defender is to commit his long-term future to the club. “It’s important to remember in Micah’s case that he is 19 years old and he could play for another 10 or 15 years at the highest level. He’s happy, he’s recently made his début for England, he feels as though he is more and more important for his club, he’s grown up here, so I can’t see any reason why he wants to move away now. In five years’ time he will be 24 and, if we as a club haven’t played in Europe by then, then maybe the situation will be different.”

Three’s Company: Sven must be pleased – he now has three fully fit goalkeepers to select from. Andreas Isaksson came through Tuesday night’s reserves game against Newcastle unscathed, having suffered a hairline thumb fracture and ankle injury during the first two months of the season. “I think you need three goalkeepers in a squad,” says Sven, “but normally you don’t have three that are equal like we do. I’ve said since I came here that I don’t know who our best is from what I have seen of them, but two of them were injured when we started the season and that gave me a headache! You can expect to get an injury to one, so that’s why you have the three of them. I’m very happy to have this trio, now it’s up to the ‘keepers themselves and the coaching staff here to assess the situation. You can’t make all three happy every weekend, but that’s life.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


CENTURY CITY is a book due to be published in early November. It covers the 1957/58 season. A fantastic time in the history of Manchester City when we scored 104 goals and conceded 100. As you can imagine it was a season of high scoring games with some wonderful victories and appalling defeats – which just about epitomises the history of City. The book is not just a dry record of events, more of a jamboree, bringing together the players, fans and sports writers of the time, lovingly gathered together via football programmes, interviews, and match reports from the newspapers of that era. It is the result of many hours of research at Manchester Central Library, many hours of hobnobbing with wonderful people who played for City at the time, plus personal accounts from fellow fans. Throughout this current season much will be written and portrayed in the media about our neighbours and the special significance of the 1957/58 – The Munich Air Disaster, and that is not ignored in Century City – but it is viewed from a City perspective. So if you want to read the perfect antidote to the doubtless saturation coverage of T.M.A.D.- this book is a must. If you want to know more about the history of our magnificent club – this book is a must. If you want to just wallow in nostalgia – this book is a must…

If you would like to pre-order a copy for the reduced price of £12.95, send a cheque to King of the Kippax at 25, Holdenbrook Close, Leigh, Lancs WN7 HL (postage is free in UK) and if you would like to have your name included in the book – we have extended the deadline to next Monday, because of the postal strike. All enquiries to <dw001e8104(at)> or phone 01942 515739

Sue Wallace


From The Guardian’s tea time footy email, The Fiver:

“Re: Colin Dyer’s letter [yesterday’s Fiver] – ‘Gary Lineker, Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen aren’t getting any better, are they? Does anybody want me to take them out?’ As an ex-pat living in Australia perhaps he’d consider swapping them for Simon Hill, Robbie Slater and wait for it… Spencer Prior! Anyone who suffers through Fox Sports half-time analysis week-in- week-out knows what I’m talking about” – Derek Murray.

Neil B <Neilb(at)>


The Carling Cup tie v Bolton will be on Wednesday 31st October.

The first Points of Blue meeting of the season will be the night before, Tuesday 30th October, at 7 p.m. at the stadium. The subsequent delegate meeting with club officials is provisionally arranged for lunchtime on Tuesday 6th November.

Feed it items for the agenda, even if you can’t attend.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)>


Joey Barton is claiming that the revival of Manchester City is all due to him?

Well in part I feel that is true, Joey was the player who gave his best in midfield, and was the City engine there.

If City had not survived in the English Premier League, there probably would have been no Frank buying the club, and then no Sven and his new players.

So for your effort Joey thank you.

But I have no regrets that Joey Barton has moved on; it was his choice, and after the incident with Dabo he was not the popular City player he would have liked to have been, all Joey’s incidents off the field have been his downfall.

The alleged split in the dressing room between home and foreign players should have been dealt with by the Manager, Stuart Pearce.

Stuart Pearce was a popular manager, and I always supported him, but this is where he failed if the alleged split was true.

Now we have Sven with so many nationalities who are proving to everyone how to get along with one another; if only the world could do the same.

Sven has introduced English classes for the foreign players so that everyone cans communicate even better on and off the pitch.

Sven, it won’t hurt for some of the home bred players to attend the classes for English as well (kidding).

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


According to Stuart Latham in MCIVTA 1367, Sven said that he can bring City to the top in 3 to 5 years. I beg to differ. He can do it this season. Watching City play against Newcastle reminded me of 1967/68, when at a similar stage in the season they played Nottingham Forest at Maine Road, and outplayed them as they gelled into a cohesive unit. Nobody then thought that they were destined to become champions, but they did. Sven must not underestimate this team or his own ability. What is more remarkable is of course, the fact that the players have come from all corners of the globe, and are understanding one another so soon.

Philip van Gass <philipvangass(at)>


Can we get a big plate and put Steve ‘Stayaway’ Kay’s words from MCIVTA 1365 on them and make him eat them at half time in the centre circle against Middlesbrough if he bothers to go?

Remember, “However, because of the lack of entertainment I probably won’t bother against Newcastle” – let’s hope he didn’t!

Also it’s a shame (for him) his “first goal wins” theory doesn’t actually apply as we’d be four points worse off after Fulham and Newcastle. “Come on City – make me regret staying away!” I certainly hope the team did that on Saturday.

I, like so many other Blues, am happy for the moaners to have stayed well away and grumble into their half empty pint pots in the pub. I’d rather have 40,000 City ‘supporters’ in the crowd than those revelling in the glories of defeat.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are Blues that would much rather see us struggling under Sven and be saying ‘Typical City’; there would probably be bigger crowds if that was happening too!

Stay Blue, stay in the ground until the end of the game and for certain Blues out there – stay away!

John Baines <johnbaines76(at)>


I am a lapsed City fan originally from Blackley but now living in Horwich, Bolton (I must have done something wrong in a previous life). My pride and belief in City has never waivered, though, and I have penned the following terrace song, which I dedicate to all the True Blues around the world.

Sven Changes Everything

(To the tune of ‘Love changes everything’, and with apologies to Michael Ball)

Sven, Sven changes everything,
From the goalie to the wing,
Sven, Sven changes everything,
Now at last we can sing…

Sven, Sven changes everything,
From the bottom to the top,
Sven, Sven changes everything,
Now we don’t fear the drop!

Sven, Sven changes everything,
How we look and how we play,
Sven, Sven changes everything,
Now we’re truly on our way!

I hope you like it.

With best wishes for a memorable season, Christopher Fernie <jamesfernie(at)>


I have taken hospitality (Dads 80th) and transferred my season tickets from the Family Stand for other members of the family. However, due to family commitments I now have two adult tickets in the North Stand Level 1 halfway back on Row N that I would like to recoup some of my costs on (£25 each). If you can make use of the tickets please call Neil Hadfield on 07761 450049 or email and make me a reasonable offer. I am travelling around but will be back in Manchester on Friday night.

Neil Hadfield <neil.hadfield(at)>


1 October 2007

Tottenham Hotspur     4 - 4  Aston Villa           36,094

League table to 03 October 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 Aston Villa      7  3  0  1  7  3  0  2  1  4  5  3  2  2  11   8   3  11
10 Newcastle Utd    7  2  1  0  4  1  1  1  2  6  7  3  2  2  10   8   2  11
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 Middlesbrough    8  1  2  1  7  6  1  0  3  2  7  2  2  4   9  13  -4   8
15 Sunderland       8  2  0  2  4  5  0  2  2  4  8  2  2  4   8  13  -5   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.     8  1  1  2 10 10  0  2  2  4  6  1  3  4  14  16  -2   6
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

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Madeleine Hawkins)     :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
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[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 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

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( 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

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,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

[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

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]Don Barrie,

Newsletter #1368