Newsletter #1375

Well, tonight we have plenty of opinion on the disaster that happened on Saturday. Phil’s piece on the King of Thailand in the last issue has stirred up some strong opinions both for and against, and the Bresciano ‘is he isn’t he’ debate rumbles on.

If you were wondering where the news summary was in last Thursday’s edition – it was still sitting in my inbox, because I totally forgot to add it! Therefore, having profusely apologised to Don, I have included it in tonight’s edition! I don’t know… just can’t get the staff! ;o)

Heidi’s still on her break from her editorial duties, so I shall be standing in until further notice. Please keep the articles coming to the usual address of <editor(at)>.

Next Game: Wednesday 31 October 2007, 7.45pm, Bolton (away) (CC)


General News

It’s Pants: Meanwhile, back in Thailand – the country’s anti-graft body said on Monday it had begun a probe into whether Thaksin Shinawatra had paid for City with legitimate financing. The Asset Examination Committee (AEC) will ask the Central Bank to provide details of his money outflows, and the British government to help verify the takeover. “We want to know if Thaksin really bought the club. If so, where did he get the money from and whether that money had been declared with the Counter Corruption Commission,” as required by law, said one Committee Member. Another AEC member stated that, “If the probe shows he actually bought the club, we then will have to find out whether the money came from stock manipulation or legitimate businesses.” Thaksin’s Thai lawyer chose a colourful phrase to defend his client from the latest allegations. “We don’t need to pull our pants down to prove that we are innocent,” Noppadon Pattama told reporters. “He is not paying attention to this bid to discredit him, but working on how to make the City the number one club.”

Taxi Bills to Increase: Meanwhile, back in Alderley Edge – Dietmar Hamann has been banned from driving and fined nearly £8,000 for a series of motoring offences. Hamann lost his licence after his £70,000 Porsche Carrera crashed into a fence last year and he refused to tell police who was driving. Macclesfield magistrates heard two police officers stopped the 34-year-old running from the scene of the crash, which happened in the early hours of October 31, but did not breathalyse him. “They asked him if he was the owner of the car and he answered ‘No, I couldn’t drive like this,'” Nicola Roberts, prosecuting, said. “He smelt of intoxicants and said he had been to the Honey Bee [pub].” The two police officers, who suspected Hamann was the driver, left him to see the crash scene. They were unable to find him when they returned. Last month, the footballer was convicted in his absence of careless driving, failing to stop after an accident, failing to supply information to the police and failing to report an accident. The player’s barrister, Tom Gilbart, asked the court to impose penalty points rather than a fine. He said: “Nobody else was injured during the accident, no other vehicle was damaged, the only damage done other than to his vehicle was to the fence belonging to Manchester Airport and full reparations were made as soon as possible and paid in full by Mr Hamann. This isn’t a drink driving case. The offence is totally out of character for the defendant.”

Ken You Dig It? Shall we talk about football for a bit? Kenny Jackett is back in situ as Reserve team coach, and he pronounced himself pleased with the performance of the Pontin’s League team. The young Blues beat Chester 5-1, with two goals each from Ashley Grimes and Vladimir Weiss, plus one from Ched Evans. “It was a very good performance, we passed it well, scored some good goals, and the nice thing is that they were all home-grown players. We brought in one or two of the younger lads, like Weiss and Mee, in from the youth team to fill for some injuries to the older lads, so it was nice to see them taking the step up in their stride and playing so well,” he said. Team: Hartley, Vidal, Williamson, Mee, Breen, Laird, Etuhu, Grimes, Evans (Poole 88), Daly (Marshall 74), Weiss (Ball 79). Unused subs: Obeng, Clegg.

No Unto-Ward Approach: You may remember that Preston North End were reported to be courting John Wardle recently. Well, John Wardle’s cash, in any event. The Evening News has reported that Wardle ain’t going anywhere. He’s enjoying a sound working relationship with Dr. Thaksin, who is happy for Wardle and Alistair Mackintosh to run the club when the owner is not in residence. Wardle hasn’t commented on purported approach from Preston, but a ‘close associate’ told the M.E.N. “John is City through and through. He just couldn’t imagine missing out on watching the Blues especially how brilliantly things are going this season. Approaches were made through intermediaries but he’s declared he’s happy with City.”

Be A Man: Reports emanating from the Republic of Ireland last week suggested that Stephen Ireland had been a victim of bullying from other squad members during the team’s trip to Slovakia last month, and this in part sparked Stephen’s sudden departure. Squad member Stephen Hunt of Reading dismissed these reports, however. “If he got bullied I’d say it, but he wasn’t. We were disappointed he didn’t stay and play. He’s got his own problems and he’s got to deal with it, but only Stephen Ireland can deal with it and that’s it. We’ve all had hard childhoods and he has to be a man. He’s playing in the big boys’ world now and it’s difficult.” There was, Hunt said, banter, but “there’s always banter. You only don’t get banter if people don’t like you. Can you imagine how much stick I get over my hair?” But he denied Ireland had been subjected to particular banter over his hair. “There wasn’t even that. There was no banter about his hair, nothing was said about his hair. It’s grown four inches in a year. He knows that himself.” Back at club level, S-GE says he’s happy with Stephen’s approach at City. “I was a bit surprised, but he has to resolve some problems,” Eriksson told City’s website. “I think he’s doing that, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but it’s over and I’m quite sure he will play very well for us on Saturday. His reasons for not wanting to play for Ireland this time were very personal, he has things to sort out, the sort of things in a young man’s life that you get sometimes. It’s important that he plays well for us now, which I think he will. He seems very happy, and that’s very important also.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Clever Spending Sven: Sven has laid out his transfer policy for the New Year – he’s only going to buy good players (well, duh!) “I am told there is money available in January but how much I don’t know yet,” said the manager this week. “Before I get into lists of players in whom we might be interested I think it is vital to know what that spending figure will be. If we want to strengthen the squad then we have to be very clever about it. We must not buy average players. We have to buy top-class and for them to be better than we have already. That will cost a lot of money.” Eriksson added: “We have to compete reputation-wise with the big four who can offer Champions’ League football. But I am sure we are one of the teams that foreign players are looking at and thinking: ‘I would like to play there.’ And that is very good.”

Bianchi to Bail Out? Rolando Bianchi’s agent is doing a good job for his client, having drummed up interest from two Serie A clubs this week. Italian press reports suggest that Torino have compiled a striking shopping list for January headed by Bianchi. Tuttosport insists that Toro will match the fee that City paid in the summer. And, get this, European Champions AC Milan are also said to be interested in Bianchi. Corriere dello Sport says Bianchi is Milan’s top target for the winter market ahead of Palermo forward Amauri.

That’s Amauri: If rumours of Bianchi’s departure prove to be true, who will Sven be turning to? According to some press reports, Eriksson will be going for a Brazilian in the New Year. Lovely thought. And there are three South Americans in the frame. City have been linked with a swoop for Palermo’s Brazilian striker Amauri but face competition from Roma. The 27-year-old’s agent revealed earlier in the week he had already held talks with Roma but there are suggestions in the Italian media that S-GE is also weighing up a January move for him. Palermo will do all they can to keep Amauri but it is thought a move to the Premier League is an attractive one for the player. Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini insists the striker is going nowhere, however, adding on Sky: “There have been no discussions between Palermo and Roma. The agent, as all agents, has only one problem; he talks too much. What he says is fantasy, Amauri is fundamental to Palermo’s future.” Reports suggest Eriksson wants Amauri though and Australian midfielder Mark Bresciano and will make a double swoop for the pair in the new year with unsettled striker Rolando Bianchi possibly offered as part of the deal. If not Amauri, how about Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves? The centre-forward, who made his début for Brazil against England last June and earlier this month scored seven goals in one match against Heracles Almelo in the Dutch first division, bagged 34 goals last season and finished second only to Francesco Totti in the Golden Boot award for Europe’s top scorer. A price of £10 million has been quoted. Alves, 26, is in dispute with his club and, like Carlos Tevez, his economic rights are owned by Kia Joorabchian. So we say – buyer beware, if the West Ham experience with Tevez is anything to go on. Elsewhere, Chelsea and City are said to have made contact with the representatives of Real Madrid attacking midfielder Julio Baptista. DiarioSport says Real are ready to sell Baptista in January and the Brazil international’s agent, Herminio Menendez, has spoken with representatives of Chelsea and City in recent days. Italian trio AC Milan, Inter and Juventus are also in the frame. However, Baptista seems content at Real Madrid: “I want to continue at Real Madrid. I don’t know about offers from England. I haven’t been informed.” Baptista had a less than successful loan spell at Arsenal last season.

Elano to Go? Speaking of the Land of the Samba, I have to bring you news of unwanted interest in City’s star Brazilian. Elano is believed to attracting the attention of Chelsea boss Avram Grant. As we all know, Elano has been inspirational in the City midfield this season, scoring 4 goals in 10 appearances, but his impressive form has also brought with it the attention of big spending Chelsea. Grant is considering Elano after also discussing the prospect of landing AC Milan ace Kaka or Barcelona’s Ronaldinho. Our Boy’s in exalted company then.

Caring for Karin: Enough of such scary tales – let’s turn back to stories of who might be coming to the club. The People reports that City are targeting Lyon’s France international striker Karin Benzema but will need to pay around £14 million for him. Tord Grip has been to watch Benzema in action for both Lyon and France – and City are allegedly making enquiries about the starlet. Benzema, 20 in December, has burst into the national team this season and is also starring in the Champions’ League. Lyon are in danger of not qualifying for the next Round of the competition, so the French giants may be tempted to part company with the player.

Reinforcing the Defence: As a newly minted club, City are being linked with a range of new players much wider than in recent years. Here’s a selection this week’s other supposed targets. City are tracking Arsenal’s 37 year-old goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. The Mirror says Lehmann was unhappy on Friday after being told he was not playing against Bolton, especially as his dislike and bitterness towards rival Manuel Almunia is an open secret in the dressing room. The News of the World says that U*****’s Wes Brown is negotiating a new deal at OT, and City, Sunderland and Newcastle are monitoring his position should those talks fail. Chelsea full back Wayne Bridge is attracting rival Premiership interest ahead of the January market. The People says both City and West Ham United intend to bid for the England international when the transfer window reopens. Or, S-GE is keen on Lokomotiv Moscow defender Bransilav Ivanovic. A long-term target for Juventus, Ivanovic has also attracted a recent inquiry from City, says Controcampo. Eriksson is a big fan of Ivanovic, who can play at both centre-half and right-back. If they firm up their interest, City would be favourites as they have greater spending power than Juve, with Lokomotiv seeking £8 million for the Serbia international. And finally, City and Blackburn Rovers are chasing non-league sensation Jordan Follows. The 17 year-old Llanelli striker has scored 16 goals in nine games for the club’s U19 team and Blackburn Rovers hope to secure him for trials ahead of City.

Miller Time at the Hawthorns: Ishmael Miller’s having a storming season in the Championship, on loan at West Bromwich Albion. The Baggies were in midweek action, and Ishmael scored one of the goals that helped Albion beat Blackpool 2-1. Miller maintained his scoring streak with his seventh goal in just 11 appearances since joining on a season’s loan. Boss Tony Mowbray is anxious to land the 20-year-old on a permanent basis, and there are reports that the clubs have agreed a £2 million fee for the winger. The deal will go through in January, if the stories are to be believed. Albion are sat in fourth place in the Championship at the moment, and it’s thought Miller will look more kindly upon a permanent move if the Midlands club look able to mount a promotion charge.

Ex-Blues’ News

The Fun Ends: Ronald Waterreus, has announced his retirement from football. You may remember Waterreus spent a few months with City back in the latter end of 2004, when injuries restricted him to two League Cup appearances for the Blues. As soon as he got fit, he jumped ship to Glasgow Rangers. He’s currently enjoying life in the MLS with New York Red Bulls. “Over the past 20 years I have been lucky to play at the top level in a number of different countries and gain memories that I will never forget,” Waterreus, 37, said in a statement. “The whole ride has been a lot of fun.”

Ray of Light for the Saints: Ray Ranson sure seems keen to buy into a football club. Having already failed with attempts to buy his old club City and another Premiership side (Aston Villa), now the millionaire businessman is lining up a takeover bid for Southampton according to reports. Ranson has brokered the deal with the Saints, and has been acting on behalf of the hedge fund company SISU (which sounds like a sneeze to me), and would cost the group some £40 million. In a press statement, the club said “The investor has confirmed that it has the financial capacity and intention to support the ongoing development of the club.” It’s thought that Ranson will not take a place on the board of Southampton if the proposed takeover bid is successful.

Wherever He Lays His Hat: One of Psycho’s City acquisitions could be resuming his playing career in Germany. Released full back Hatem Trabelsi remains a free agent after leaving City over the summer and his agents are currently in talks with Borussia Dortmund.

After-Match Reactions and Comments

Jet Lag? What Jet Lag? It wasn’t the most outstanding performance of the season, but Elano guided City to a sixth successive home win last Saturday against Birmingham. The Brazilian put the Blues ahead in the latter stages of the first half, cleverly slotting home with a left-footed shot. The home defence had to weather a gritty Birmingham fightback in the second half, with Joe Hart twice coming to his side’s rescue, making a one-handed stop to thwart Olivier Kapo as well as a reaction save to deny Fabrice Muamba. Sven was pleased to win, whilst admitting that the Blues hadn’t been at their best. “For parts of the game we played good football and should have scored more goals – but one is enough when you don’t concede,” he said. Of the Brazilian and his winning strike, the Manager added: “Once again he’s scored an extremely important goal for us and a good one. I think he played very well as well considering he’s only been back about 24 hours from Rio. I think he stood up to certain tackles, which is good for him, because it shows he is not just an elegant football player he’s becoming physically strong. We had a lot of players away, and that is always difficult,” he continued. “You are not sure what shape they are in when they come back. Elano and Micah Richards had not done anything until the warm-up before the game. I asked Elano how he was. He said he was fine – and that was the case. I was surprised at the way he shook off the jet-lag. He is a great player and is scoring important goals for us. The way he took the goal today was something to be proud of. I believe Elano can get better – but if he goes on playing like this I will be happy.” Eriksson also had words of encouragement for his Birmingham counterpart Steve Bruce. “Anyway I think Birmingham were a little unlucky, but I think we deserved it in the end. They put in a lot of long balls and won the second challenges – credit to Birmingham – they played very well.”

No Brucie Bonus: You can tell that he sat at the feet of the Master Whinger himself, Sir Alex, for many years because, boy – did Birmingham manager Steve Bruce moan about City’s winning goal. Admittedly, at first watching it did appear that Michael Johnson fouled Fabrice Muamba in the build up to Elano’s goal. But TV replays showed that Johnson had got his foot to the ball before contact with Muamba, and the Brum player slipped as he ran. The replay didn’t convince ‘Fergie Junior’ though. “It was a blatant foul, and we feel really harshly treated,” bleated Bruce. “It was a ridiculous decision. The game hinged on it. We gave Elano one bit of space – and he scores. But we did not deserve to get beaten. Well the linesman is there to do his job and as far as I can see he’s five yards away. Now he’s arguing that there was a foul by Muamba in the first place, which you can accept, if he thinks that, but he let it go. There are two separate incidents and it’s a foul – it’s a foul and the linesman’s five yards away. They are big decisions which I seem to talk about regularly and you do wonder about the big club scenario, the big crowds, because the linesman hasn’t done his job properly. He can’t make a mistake, the whole stadium knew it was a foul. It’s not acceptable. Them decisions are going against us and the whole game hinged on that. You don’t like to be, is cheated the right word? You want the game to be fair.” And so on. And so forth.

Squad News

Keeper-ing It Real: Joe Hart has revealed how there’s a serious amount of competition between himself, Kasper Schmeichel and Andreas Isaksson for the first team goalie’s spot. The relationship between the three is still good, insists Hart. “Every day in training is brilliant and I think the other lads feel the same. They’re breathing down my neck for my shirt and you never know it could be the other way around soon, so I just need to keep hold of it, enjoy it and do the best I can while I’ve got it. The ‘keepers have been different class. We’re really close all three of us and both Kasper and Isak have been brilliant. They’re both as pleased for me as I would be for them. We need to stick together, it’s a difficult position and people come for you all the time, so as long as we stay strong together regardless of who’s in goal they’ll keep performing. Every second of training you can’t switch off because you could let one through your legs in training, whereas if you were the number one who’s been there for years, he could laugh about it. But here you know down at the other end someone’s making a brilliant save, opinions are swaying and people are thinking about it, so you need to be on form all the time.” Yet one of this happy trio left the club on loan this week. Coventry have been blocked from signing Kasper Schmeichel. The Sun says Sky Blues’ boss Iain Dowie wanted to recruit Schmeichel on loan, but Coventry are £28 million in debt and have been unable to meet payments to Southampton for striker Leon Best. And with the threat of administration now hanging over the Championship club, the League have stepped in and stopped Schmeichel from signing.

No System Change: Sven has praised the attitude of Georgios Samaras, and has compared his “three players for one place” dilemma up front to the situation with his goalkeeper. He said: “To be fair, he could have gone if he had wanted, but he came to me and said ‘I want to stay here and I want to fight.’ I’m very happy that he did that because he came on very well again on Saturday. He’s a fantastic boy, professional, works hard and is always open to discuss things. He has an opinion about his football and that is very good. Of course, he can learn a lot. I think he needs to decide what type of player he wants to be because I don’t think he’s one that does a lot of tricks. He should use his physical power, he’s an extremely good header and if he uses his body, the defenders will feel that. I see him as a central striker and a good one as well.” S-GE must now chose between Samaras, Emile Mpenza and Rolando Bianchi for that lone striker rôle. Regarding Rolando, Sven confirmed: “There’s no injury and he’s working extremely hard. The three strikers will soon give me the same problem as the goalkeepers. We saw George against Birmingham and he’s been working very hard, getting better and better, stronger and stronger. Tactically, he’s becoming more aware about what to do out there because it’s a big difference to see him today and in July when I first saw him. Mpenza works hard, Bianchi works hard, so in this moment I’m not going to change the system just to make life easier for two strikers. One striker and Elano has been working very well, so I can’t change that.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


I had the pleasure of being at COMS for the Birmingham game, which City just about deserved to win on their first half display.

For most of the second half City looked very ordinary and almost let Birmingham back into the game.

My first game back home and I watched the strengths of Chelski and weaknesses of City.

It does not take an International Manager/Coach to have seen where the weakness was in the game versus Chelsea, for Garrido was out of position time and time again as the Chelsea players played down their right hand side to score from that position with Garrido left flat footed as he ran back rather slowly to try to cover.

Micah tried more than once to cover, but was ball watching and not keeping an eye on the unmarked players for Chelsea coming in from the right. It looked as if City gave up after Ireland shot wide from the best chance that City had in the game; it would have made the score 2-1 if Ireland had scored and brought some life into City’s game, but it was not to be. I have made Garrido my worst player of the game for City, and without hesitation would put Michael Ball into the left back position for the next game.

Sorry no best player of the game from the City side in this game, a game to quickly forget.

We have seen some brilliant football from City this season, and we can all be very happy about that; in this game Sven has seen his weaknesses and I certainly don’t intend to try tod tell someone like Sven who to get when the transfer window opens. I trust in Sven, and in January the gaps must be filled if we are to get a place into Europe.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


A Family Notice

In loving memory of the “Sven is the greatest” and “Europe a certainty” headlines, which passed away not at all peacefully on the afternoon of the 27th October 2007 at Stamford Bridge, London.

Memorial service hopefully avoided, but may take place over the rest of the season if we’re not careful. All donations to the “If SWP isn’t good enough for the Chelsea bench, can we have him back?” fund.

No flowers please.

Paul Robinson <paul(at)>


It was inevitable we would be thumped by another side at some point in the season – so, it’s good to have it over with, versus Chelsea. Not to be repeated, and back to reality. However, we should not hesitate to thump any other side, at each and every opportunity, in the future.

What is far more important, now, is how the players will react to their completely well-justified embarrassment from today’s game.

Today’s result is no reflection whatsoever on Sven and his staff – as usual, it is all down to the players; they take the plaudits when the going is good, so, they must without question accept the blame for days like today.

Tomorrow morning’s session at Carrington should be eventful, to say the least.

The next half-dozen games will be particularly interesting in determining the quality of these players and how well they are up to the challenge of playing for Manchester City. However, I have complete faith in Sven – just as I had in Joe Mercer: two true gentlemen in football.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


I was at the ugly win vs. Brum at COMS; versus Chelsea, watched via fractured website. My thoughts are:

  • Kicking it to each other would be good, especially from defence to midfield.
  • When the ball is kicked towards you, if you run towards it, you might be able to own it.
  • If someone kicks the ball in your general direction, players of theopposition will run towards it and they will do the kicking it to each otherthing, if you’re not there first.

The honeymoon is over. We had an initial advantage because no-one, maybe even Sven, knew how it would pan out. The footage is out there and it’s been examined.

Against Chelsea, I thought we looked like the work ethic wasn’t there. The earlier games saw challenges and pressure topside, which helped the midfield, which helped the defence.

Dunney doesn’t look 100% lately neither. Ireland needs an RRRs-kick. Bianchi has seen his RRR’s and righly so IMHO. Samaras looks leaner too. How about a Samaras/Bianchi pairing? Emile looked very out of touch vs. Brum on his lonesome. Elano…. awesome. Someone else needs to score though.

Gary Higgins <balrog(at)>


Having seen the drubbing I strangely wasn’t as upset as I normally am at such a deficit. I put it down to the fact that we are at least playing some quality football, but today got it badly wrong. All of the goals seem to have stemmed from Garrido’s side though and I would like to see Onouha in there from Bolton onwards to give us some more pace back there – every through ball is left to Micah to deal with and while he’s bloody quick, he is only human. I applaud us taking Chelsea on instead of going for 0-0 and Hart seems to be finding his feet though I hope this did not dent his confidence (4 went through his legs)!

I would say it has at least kept it real for players and fans alike – we are not the top 4 finished article side yet and January will be most interesting to see what SGE does. The good thing is we have only Liverpool/Portsmouth of the top 8 before the New Year so we should be capable of continuing to accumulate points by continuing to play the way we have (with a sorted defence strategy).

As an aside should we not be bringing Miller back from WBA – he is in a rich vein of form and it would be interesting to see how his physical, pacey presence would fit in with the Elano/Petrov supply line. I see Logan scored again for Grimsby today too – that’s two from a defender for them to date! So 0-6 is hard to swallow, but we would all have taken such a result at the start of the season if we knew come November we would be firmly placed in the top 4!

Bring on Sunderland.

Chris <hawkeye11(at)>


I’m writing to you in the vain hope that by committing my thoughts to paper it will in some way help me to come to terms with the grief I am currently feeling. Curiously I doubt I’m alone in this, either.

I rarely get to see City live these days. Living in London with three small kids means it’s tricky even to do much more than spend match days glued to the results via WAP pages on my mobile. When I do manage to get to see games it’s normally with various mates in the home team support… even got a full hospitality gig at the Emirates last season – at least the fine food and wine dulled the pain of a 3-1 defeat. And let’s be honest as City fans many of us are far happier in defeat than victory. It’s not a state of pessimism, more a state of realism. At least if you think the worst, you do stand the chance of sometimes being pleasantly surprised. However, this season, many of us have dared to dream, dared to speculate about the possibility of maybe being able to move on from our perpetual state of “realism”, into something almost resembling optimism.

So it was, with lifted heart that I accepted a free ticket from one of my colleagues – as a present to celebrate the birth of my daughter at the beginning of this month, I should add – to join him (a season ticket holder) at the Chelsea game. Maybe the foreboding signs were there from as early as the Thursday evening when I was phoning round my mates trying to find some other City fan to come with me (I’d managed to acquire a second freebie). OK, I admit sitting amidst the Chelsea fans wasn’t exactly going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but this was free, and it promised to be a cracking game. Sadly, nobody was available. Even the brother of MCIVTA’s own esteemed news writer was not to be persuaded (although that was on Saturday morning), and whilst we agreed that actually coming away from Stamford Bridge with anything less than a good thrashing was doing well, neither of us were prepared for what happened.

I’ll skip the pre-match ramble and cut to the chase: 2-0 down at half time seemed salvageable. I really thought it was just a matter of time and that we didn’t look that far off the pace, but how wrong could I have been? I have no idea how to explain the feeling of what followed… a lone City fan in the midst of jubilant Chelsea fans. Being the only one seated during every goal celebration (all six of them) was something of a giveaway. They were nice enough about it all – unsurprisingly, seeing as what they were witnessing – but somehow it did nothing to assuage the feeling of abject f***ing humiliation. At 4-0 down, I felt a hand on my shoulder from the row behind. At first fearing for my life, I was startled to discover I was not the only one at all. The hand belonged to another City fan, who had, I was informed, flown all the way from Copenhagen to see the game. Despite being united in adversity I could do little but mumble in disbelief at what was being played out in front of us.

I really have no idea how this happened. I think every one of us knew the wheels would come off at some point, but this? It wasn’t till I watched MOTD later – yes, it felt like a cathartic rite of passage to sit through it again – that I realised Garrido had gone AWOL for most of the match and that Elano’s first touch had eluded him. So I’m afraid I can offer no in-depth analysis of the match or ratings of the players. There just seemed to be a Chelsea player on the end of every pass. Where in previous weeks those passes would have been incisive and devastating, yesterday they were just not there. We were simply and comprehensively outplayed.

All I can do is offer my heartfelt sympathies for all those who travelled from far and wide to witness this débâcle. And indeed those that weren’t there that had still dared to dream. I can also promise that I will never attend another game again – after all, the only thing that can possibly explain this is that I’ve become a terrible omen.

CITD… which may be tomorrow, or certainly Thursday if we lose to Bolton!

Pete Roythorne <pete(at)>


As an Aussie-based City fan who has watched Bresciano many times can I please re-iterate he is not, never has been, never will be and probably has never wanted to be a holding midfielder. There seems to be this huge and completely incorrect myth going around that he is the holding midfielder we are looking for to replace Hamann – he is not!

Bresciano is very much a hard working, hard playing and attacking midfielder who would normally play either in the Elano/Sibierski type rôle or as a wide midfielder. In Italy he has sometimes also been used as an attacking centre midfielder. His main attributes have been his hard work rate, his ability with both feet and his good strike rate from midfield with him scoring goals of import for club and country.

So please, please, please everyone remember Bresciano is not a holding midfielder!

He is desperate to come to City as well and was keen long before it got into the press!

Richard Williams <richard.williams(at)>


Living in Australia I agree with Jack Millington in the last MCIVTA – Bresciano is definitely not a holding midfielder, especially when he plays for Australia. He plays much more as an attacking midfielder. In the Aussie team Vince Grella (who also plays in Italy) is much more a defensive midfielder. I would rather have Riquelme or Deco though.

Mark Jones <mark.j.jones(at)>


In MCIVTA 1374, Phil Gatenby complains about the King of Thailand messages on the scoreboard, saying, “… does he really think any of us actually gives a **** about the King of Thailand? Shame on City for allowing this to happen.”

Sorry Phil. As City is now owned 100% by Dr Thaksin Shinawatra, he can do whatever he likes. Maybe you should be saying, “Shame on City fans for allowing this to happen”. For if everyone had held onto their shares it couldn’t have happened. Shinawatra would still have held a majority share in the club, but at least we would still have our 28% share. Now we have no rights and no say in the way the club is run. I think it’s short termism. We are the Premier League equivalent of the rich man’s concubine.

Of course I’m enjoying the ride, but like many other fans I’m pragmatic enough to realise that it’s not going to last forever. Once Dr Thaksin gets tired of his new plaything/gets banged up (delete one here), we will be in a worse position than we were before he threw his cash at us.

Still, let’s hope we get a few trips to Europe before he looks for something else with which to amuse himself.

Kevin Cummins <kevin(at)>


In response to Phil Gatenby in MCIVTA 1374. Why on earth are you so bothered?

You are allowed to ‘buy’ a message to appear on the scoreboard if you do so wish. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Shinawatra had them emblazoned up there. We probably have the odd Thai fan now (can you believe it?) who may have been visiting the stadium on this occasion – and wanted to make a day of it?

If I were you, I’d be more concerned that Keith Barron of Duty Free fame is now appearing in Coronation Street.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


Following on from Phil Gatenby’s comments in MCIVTA 1374, the Birmingham game was not the first time that the scoreboard had been used to offer best wishes and the like to the King of Thailand. I’ve seen these in at least a couple of different home games prior to this one, possibly even from the start of the season, though I can’t remember exactly. While not being completely outraged by these overtures, I’m not particularly impressed either. Perhaps the biggest question is whether or not similar congratulations will be made to ‘Colin The King’.

Dan Bowen <daniel.bowen(at)>


In response to Phil Gatenby in MCIVTA 1374.

We’re third in the Premiership, best start to a season since 1957, 7 home games won on the bounce, beat the Rags, just won a close game against Birmingham City, we’ve got a top quality manager, more top quality players since Mike Doyle was shaking his fists in a City shirt, an owner who is prepared to invest like no other in our history, everything is at a level we wouldn’t have believed possible… and yet, in spite of me suggesting to you on the afternoon of the Brummie game that being a happy clappy at City at the present time is no bad thing… you devote your energies to some brief message on the scoreboard about the King of Thailand!

I’ve often thought that there is a culture at City, deeply ingrained and going back over 50 years, of always being pessimistic, of reliving the infamous Maine Stand Moaners of the 60’s, where, no matter what we won, or how we performed, some people were just happier at having a good moan!

Now, Phil, I’m sure you’re not one of those people, but if the biggest criticism you can level at City at the moment is that the message board showed some words of support for the King of Thailand, then I think Frankie must be on the right track! If I had a choice of not having those messages but keeping on the previous regimes at City, or having to accept them and have to endure the current regime… then I know where I’m placing my bets!

I think maybe it’s time some Blues realised that it’s no longer “our” club, as if it ever was, but when Frank antes up and buys the club, he’s perfectly entitled to put up any messages he wants! In fact, if he wants us to play in the Thai national colours, I’m not sure what we could do about it! Maybe those riots in the streets can wait for that day to happen, eh?

Do I care if the messages are on the board next game? Or the game after that? Or permanently? Not really. It is a price worth paying at the moment isn’t it?

Oh, and “shame on City for allowing this to happen”… I thought City were owned by Frank? So who should have stopped him then?

Just as I was hopeful that City had finally rid itself of all the doom and gloom merchants…

Tom Ritchie <tom.ritchie(at)>


I live in America at the moment and can’t get to any games. So a good part of the information of what happens at games comes to me from MCIVTA. I was disappointed to read that we’ve lionised the troubles facing Thaksin Shinawatra in song – the one about his assets being frozen for alleged crimes against humanity.

I don’t know enough of the ins-and-outs of this situation and will not judge him until we all know more. However, City fans have come in for a fair amount of stick for seeming ambivalent about his background. Now it seems we’ve openly trivialised it in song lyrics. Whatever the intentions of those singing this song, that is how it will be perceived by others.

It might seem I’m be being over-sensitive here but I’ve never met any football fans (apart from Reds) who’ve got anything less than respect for MCFC and its supporters. I’m proud of that and I don’t think this should change now because fans are insensitive to off-the-field activities.

We’ve got plenty to sing about so let’s get behind Sven, Elano, or even the Blue faithful ourselves, but let’s not be seen to be trivialise this issue- especially before Shinawatra has cleared himself in the eyes of the world.

David Allen <davidhrallen(at)>


I am an Irish fan that is seeking help getting to see a match.

I am looking to find out ‘the easy way’ that I can get two tickets from the Club to see a home match in the New Year. The ‘official’ gumf on the City website talks of being members and having City cards etc. … all seems a bit overkill for a long-distance supporter like myself!

Any ‘short-cuts’, etc, from the forum would be appreciated… I need to look into flights and accommodation as well so am looking for advance help.

Basil Sheerin <mcfc(at)>


I am an MCFC stalwart living in York. My wife and I are ex-season ticket holders; we had to give them up three years ago due to impending arrival of child one! Still passionate of course, and always an avid MCIVTA reader! I just wondered if anyone in the City would be going to a pub with Setanta for the Sunderland Monday night bash and would mind me joining them? If that is ok, then where? I know O’Neills has Setanta.

Similarly, if anyone from York travels to games and has a spare seat in the car from time to time then I would love the chance to go; I started my own IFA business around 4 months ago so I cannot justify the expense of going to every game! Please feel free to email me on either topic!

One footballing issue: unless I have missed something, Isaakson the ‘keeper is fully fit. Given his proven quality, why therefore is he not in the team? Yes, the two youngsters are good, but I remember the previews for the last World Cup indicating that he is one of the very best in the World. We must not sign Lehmann…

Mike Bains <MikeBains2006(at)>


28 October 2007

Bolton Wanderers      1 - 1  Aston Villa           18,413
Derby County          0 - 2  Everton               33,048
Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 2  Blackburn Rovers      36,086
Liverpool             1 - 1  Arsenal               44,122

27 October 2007

Birmingham City       3 - 2  Wigan Athletic        27,661
Chelsea               6 - 0  Manchester City       41,832
Manchester United     4 - 1  Middlesbrough         75,720
Reading               2 - 1  Newcastle United      24,119
Sunderland            1 - 1  Fulham                39,392
Portsmouth            0 - 0  West Ham United       20,525

League table to 28 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         10  6  0  0 16  4  2  2  0  6  3  8  2  0  22   7  15  26
 2 Manchester Utd  11  5  1  0 12  1  3  1  1  7  3  8  2  1  19   4  15  26
 3 Manchester City 11  6  0  0 10  2  1  1  3  5 11  7  1  3  15  13   2  22
 4 Chelsea         11  3  2  0 10  2  3  1  2  6  6  6  3  2  16   8   8  21
 5 Blackburn R.    10  3  1  1  8  5  3  2  0  7  4  6  3  1  15   9   6  21
 6 Liverpool       10  1  4  0 10  4  4  1  0  7  2  5  5  0  17   6  11  20
 7 Portsmouth      11  2  3  0 11  6  3  1  2  8  6  5  4  2  19  12   7  19
 8 Newcastle Utd   10  4  1  0 10  4  1  1  3  7  9  5  2  3  17  13   4  17
 9 Everton         11  2  1  2  6  5  3  0  3  9  8  5  1  5  15  13   2  16
10 Aston Villa     10  4  0  2  9  7  0  3  1  5  6  4  3  3  14  13   1  15
11 West Ham United 10  2  1  2  7  5  2  1  2  5  4  4  2  4  12   9   3  14
12 Reading         11  4  0  2  7  7  0  1  4  7 16  4  1  6  14  23  -9  13
13 Birmingham City 11  2  1  2  6  6  1  1  4  5  9  3  2  6  11  15  -4  11
14 Fulham          11  1  3  2  9 11  0  3  2  4  6  1  6  4  13  17  -4   9
15 Sunderland      11  2  1  2  5  6  0  2  4  7 14  2  3  6  12  20  -8   9
16 Wigan Athletic  11  2  1  2  5  4  0  1  5  5 13  2  2  7  10  17  -7   8
17 Middlesbrough   11  1  2  2  7  8  1  0  5  4 14  2  2  7  11  22 -11   8
18 Tottenham H.    11  1  1  3 11 12  0  3  3  7 11  1  4  6  18  23  -5   7
19 Bolton Wndrs    11  1  2  3  7  8  0  1  4  3  9  1  3  7  10  17  -7   6
20 Derby County    11  1  2  2  5  7  0  1  5  0 17  1  3  7   5  24 -19   6

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)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[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]Madeleine Hawkins,

Newsletter #1375