Newsletter #1403

An impeccable showing by the Blues’ fans at Old Trafford and by the Blues on the pitch as we emerged from derby day heads held high and 6 points the better of them this season, finally overcoming the 34 year hoodoo of OT. Despite all the hullabaloo, the minute’s silence was perfectly observed (the United fans then continuing with a 90 minute silence) and the team put in the sort of performance to put behind them the recent form and show what they are capable of.

Tonight we have match view and plenty of opinion of the Blues on and off the pitch, player views and FSF reaction to the Premier League proposals.

Next Game: Monday 25 February 2008, 8pm, Everton (home)


Have there been many more sweeter victories in Manchester City’s recent history than last Sunday’s? You will all have your own experiences of how wonderful it was that City won at Old Trafford for the first time in 34 years, and do the first double over them since 1969-70. Like you most probably are, I’m still positively glowing after this latest derby win. It was 1974 and I was eight years old and sat in my Gran’s house with my family, having a cup of tea no less, when Dennis Law scored the goal that relegated United, so on Sunday 10th February 2008 I experienced all sorts of flashbacks to that sweet day, and I was sipping something a little bit stronger than tea. I remember us all being very happy back then in ’74, even though my very first visit to Maine Road wouldn’t come for another six years!

There will be a lot of disappointed people in the media who were waiting for some idiots to ruin the minute’s silence so that they could sanctimoniously tar us all with the same brush. They were also waiting for United to go on to an expected win. Indeed, they love no more than sticking the boot into our wonderful club and its loyal fans. I’d love to see the faces of these largely tabloid-employed creeps right now. Their day, nay, their week, would have been ruined. The media coverage in the aftermath of this game wasn’t the greatest either. One of the late sports bulletins on Radio 5 Live gave air time only to Carlos Queroz and his quintessential United reaction of moaning about their players being tired following an International week. Excuses, excuses! In true, graceless United style, he gave no credit to Sven or any of our victorious heroes and had the temerity to whinge that the timing of this fixture was difficult for United with it being so close to the Munich anniversary. Wasn’t it difficult for City’s players as well? if not more so? In some people’s eyes – not ours – City were supposed to roll over and let United win – mere bit part players at the Theatre of Wet Dreams. City’s players and fans ripped up that script. Credit is, of course, due to Sven as well, who outwitted Bacon Face again and the latter was nowhere to be seen after the final whistle, leaving his equally graceless assistant to deal with the media.

And what of the City performance? We played very well indeed and didn’t allow United to play well. Yes, indeed, City were the better team. I’m delighted for every single City player: Hart, Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Vassell, Hamann, Fernandes, Petrov, Ireland, Benjani and our subs, Caicedo, Garrido and Sun. You did us proud, boys. I’m very proud of them all and I am particularly pleased for Darius Vassell. Having scored the opener this time, he now has 2 derby goals to his name. What chance is there now that his critics will give him a break? Great attitude, great work ethic, great lad. Nice one, Darius! Dunne and Richards were awesome at the back, Dunney having heroically climbed off his sick bed to have an absolute stormer. Onuoha and Ball completed a very solid back line, and behind them the impressive Joe Hart goes from strength to strength for his assured handling (incidentally, spare a thought for Tim Flowers who helped bring him to this club: he has just lost his job at Coventry and I hope he’s back in football soon). Hamann has so much time on the ball and is so clever with it, ably supported by the industrious Fernandes. Stephen Ireland is a talent and showed that he deserves patience with his intelligence in this game. How good were the quality of Petrov’s whipped in crosses, which proved decisive in this win? Benjani started off as well as we could have hoped with that poacher’s goal, and he led the line very well.

I don’t think City fans need congratulating by anyone in the media for observing the minute’s silence for the 23 people who sadly died at Munich in 1958. Like any section of society, 99.99% of us are decent and don’t need patting on the back for being quiet in a minute’s silence. The whole of the stadium honoured those who perished at Munich perfectly in the minute’s silence and ‘There’s only one Frank Swift’ brought a lump to the throat. It’s nice to hear that Sven is proud of his players, proud of the City support and proud of being manager of our club, a club that plays its football in England, and European matches apart, where it should always play its football. It’s always great to beat United with ‘Easy, easy, easy’ ringing in their ears! Indeed, it was a proud day to be a City fan.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


I take it all back, my worst fears were all unfounded. Impeccable, is the most often used word in the usually mischievous media, to describe the behaviour of the City contingent last Sunday. Honestly, the Rag-backed newspapers were waiting to ambush and jump all over you and not a single soul succumbed. The eyes of the sporting world were upon you and you came through with flying colours, putting due respect above petty and spiteful behaviour.

Congratulations also to my only ever club in a PR exercise, which shouldn’t really have been necessary, but in this world alas very so! Leading up to the game City have impressed on everybody what the tragic event all those years ago meant to Manchester. The team threw their recent form book out of the window, refused to be intimidated by the oppressive atmosphere at the Swamp and gave the dwellers the City message in the best possible way.

Thanks to the club for the positive approach to the game.

Thanks to the team for putting a superhuman effort in, in that most hostile of environments and letting their feet and heads do the talking.

Thanks to the City boys and girls on the terraces, for getting behind their team all afternoon, although expecting a hiding to nothing at the outset.

Thanks once again to the yobs for keeping their mouths shut at the right moments, and isn’t there a lesson in there for the future?

Always proud to be Blue, but these are the days when it’s a damn sight easier!

David Lyons <David.Lyons(at)>


Yesterday was the best and most important day in the club’s history since 30 May 1999, the day MCFC saw a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. It was even better for being so unexpected.

The silence was the right thing to do, not just for Frank Swift, but for the sons and brothers, husbands and fathers who happened to play for a less illustrious club than our own. They deserved to be remembered with dignity.

Had it gone wrong, City would have been slaughtered in the tabloids today. Instead, in some cases through gritted teeth, City have had the most positive press I can remember.

It then inspired our players and took the wind of out of United’s sails. I am sure Ferguson will have used the possibility of a disrupted minute’s silence to wind his players up pre-match, but it didn’t happen and that motivational tactic fell flat.

Then the game itself, and finally winning there for the first time since I was three; I think we had better tell Benjani it’s not always quite as good as this.

In the play-off final, as I said earlier, we turned the supertanker around. The win in the last Maine Road derby was significant as we ended an era on a high and re-established our status in that match as a genuine top flight club and not a yo-yo side. Yesterday, I think City established themselves as a top-half side (achieving the aim Keegan set himself in 2001).

Now for the next challenge: becoming genuine, regular contenders for trophies.

Mark Meadowcroft <mmeadowcroft(at)>


Nice. Now will United (and some City), please get over it? More was made of what we’d do than the damn event itself.

I am so proud of every one of us who went there and gave both United and the press nothing further to moan about. The “There’s only one Frank Swift” chant, followed by the gentle applause and concluded by the roar of “City, City, City” truly brought a lump to the throat. We are the greatest supporters. And that show of respect far outweighed any wreath laying by a gum chewing, bacon-faced Scot or those who worship him. United were embarrassed by that gesture of realness. How can you compete with that?

And I do have to say this. United need to remember the moment of silence when they jeer at Everton on Dixie Dean day (as per this season), sing about the Leeds stabbings, and Liverpool’s 96 horror, as they do sing don’t they, or is it just me? One rule for one? Those ‘fans’ probably don’t know about those players’ contracts that were terminated immediately after the crash by the club do they? Nice one United. They have exhumed those bodies ever since. Let them rest in peace now.

Today’s quick look at ebay confirms what some of their fans are like

MCFC. I love you more for yesterday. Absolute class City. World Class.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


The simple truth.

ManU have long been a case of the arrogant leading the petulant. Before the derby this soulless outfit were using the anniversary of the Munich disaster to further their claims to be a national treasure. People outside of O.T. and Singapore understood what they were doing, but there was the possibility, as contributors to MCIVTA like Alex Channon in Swinton were saying, that if City supporters disturbed the minute’s silence and U****d won the game then the Rags’ “holy reputation” would be increased at City’s expense. But that didn’t happen. So now City can say how it really is. They’ve had their taunting “32 years” banner hanging at O.T. and now City should reply.

Nothing ever summed up the difference between City and ManU better than that line in a poem on a City website, “Hell is red, the sky is Blue” and that’s what City supporters should put on the biggest bed sheets they can find and fix over the front of the stands for TV cameras and the world to see. Colour coded in blue and red, nicely painted, one at each end of the stadium, taken to every game, on permanent display. It’s the simple truth, TV will pick it up, and people will get it. Alex, how about seeing to this? It could make a good t-shirt too, if anyone in the MCFC shop reads this.

Ken Corfield <kc888(at)>


May I thank you all and eat humble pie. I was dead against the appointment of SGE. I was fearful of our behaviour at the Swamp and expected we would get a tonking in the press and on the field on Sunday. I thought the F.A. and Premier League wallahs were asking for trouble in persisting with this fixture on this date.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!

I’ve always been proud of being City ‘through thin and thin’ over the past 50-odd years and been there, at MR and COMS, at many memorable moments. However, never have I been so proud to be a Blue, when on Sunday, surrounded by local glory hunter Rags, one of whom is by common consent a ‘coc oen’ (buy a Welsh/ English dictionary/un-expurgated phrase book), who baited me mercilessly in the wake of the balloon débâcle at Sheffield ‘Nited than when ‘The Crown’, in Pwllheli, fell silent for the minute’s silence and we watched and marvelled at the compassion and discipline displayed. Never mind that we know that the Rags have marketed the tragedy for those fifty years.

No matter. The commemoration of lives lost is as proper and fit as Remembrance Sunday.

In this era of yobs, our behaviour was impeccable and deeply moving. This was sublime. One, only one, among our people could have broken the spell and, from a selfish, personal, point of view have made me and my fellow Blues in this part of N. Wales targets of derision and contempt.

Not at all.

In the aftermath of the match, I phoned up Keith and Lesley at the P&W to express my relief and sincere appreciation. My God! What a dignified statement of respect by our supporters.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot we won the game in style! But, we won, by an infinity, a lot more than three points!

CTID! Dafydd Goronwy-Roberts <dafydd.Roberts(at)>


In Rome, in the Lazio training complex, the fans put up a blue plaque as a thank you to SGE for his record in Rome derby matches. At this rate he will be getting a collection of them.

Oh what a perfect day Sunday was. My son and I watched the match on Sky, and I was explaining to him what the atmosphere was like in Manchester at the time of the crash. I was 13 in 1958 and it is still as vivid for me today as it was then. I explained for instance that, although the rivalry was just as intense, the hatred of today just didn’t exist in those far off days, in fact fans were not even segregated. The Munich songs came much, much later and I don’t even know (or want to know) the words to them. Anyway I digress. I just knew that if just one idiot spoiled the minute’s silence that we would not only get slaughtered for it, but that we also get thrashed on the pitch. So it was with pride and relief that it was observed so beautifully. I must congratulate United btw, on the way the whole day was organised and welcome the way that it was inclusive for both City as a club and for the City fans. I hope some bridges have been built between the fans, but I doubt it.

As far as the match is concerned City were back to their early season form, and made a United team that had won twelve on the trot at home look very, very ordinary. Doesn’t a double over the Reds feel good? I must say it was very decent of the United fans to keep the silence going for 90 minutes, and that the City fans were even more magnificent than the team. Just loved the “Can we play you every week?” chant near the end to a rapidly emptying OT.

Regards, a very euphoric Jack CTID Millington <jack.Millington(at)>


How very dare you.

The script for this game was written many moons ago: mindless MCFC idiots ruining the minute’s silence while Ronaldo and co rub our noses in it with a 6-nil thumping on the altar of Munich.

The minute’s silence was impeccably observed by both sets of fans, which must have had the useless tabloid hacks quivering in self-righteous indignation as paragraph one was consigned to the dustbin. Even worse as paragraph two went down the toilet as the Trafford onslaught was easily rebuffed with Vassell having two chomps at slapping the ball into the net via the despairing glove of van der Saar.

I’m sure that Fergie was preparing a hairdryer of a team talk when new boy Benjani fluffed one in off his shoulder to put TWGTTM down 0-2 with the whole of Christendom waiting for divine inspiration.

Second half came and went with the City back four committing heresy with every clearance and Sir Ronaldo Legend doing a passable impersonation of Ged Brannan of Frank Clark days done by. Oh how I laughed as each red-shirted buffoon went from failure to flop while the City tigers ripped them to shreds.

MOTM and England legend Carrick pulled one back for the losing team on 91 minutes, but to no avail as the MUFC remembrance half day sale was drawn to a close. Howard Webb was exceptional with his cool handling of would could have been a very tense affair. Well done for Sven and the boys for refusing to succumb for a post JFK assassination drubbing and thanks to those Blues who were there who all did their duty and remembered the great Frank Swift with honour. Why Blue? I don’t need a reason: you all did it for all of us today.

Well done.

Jeff Roycroft <jeff.roycroft(at)>


What a wonderful result. Not easy to view on broadband but a win at Old Trafford is long overdue and what a day to do it. I am sure others whose viewing was not confined to a screen a few inches square will have much more to say on the game. I look forward to reading it.

For the last couple of weeks I was tempted to write in about the whole Munich debate, but others, again, expressed my sentiments better than I could. Now that the day has passed can I offer a few thoughts.

  1. Why were all the papers so insistent that some City fans would break theminute’s silence? The Guardian (once a great Manchester institution) was notalone in almost wishing it would happen so that everyone could then blame Cityfor all the evils in this world. Why didn’t Colin Schindler et al just say “Itrust City fans” and leave it at that and not go on about how it used to be inthe 60s? I was around in the 60s and believe me there was not a lot of lovelost between the teams then either. This idea that either team values the otherbeing in the same league is nonsense. I wouldn’t care if United were in theUnibond League and I daresay United fans feel the same about City.
  2. Did I trust the City fans? Easy to say I did after the fact isn’t it? But Iwas extremely encouraged by the attitude taken by the club and Sven.
  3. I happen to think it was appropriate to mark the 50th anniversary of Munich.It has a stunning effect on Manchester when it happened and 50th anniversaryseem to serve as a last reminder. I am proud of the way City were involved andproud of the team for what happened during the match.
  4. On a slightly less empathetic note can I now suggest that all thesenewspaper reporters who were so waiting for City fans to do something now turntheir attention to fans of certain clubs who mock what happened at Hillsboroughetc. And that Mr. Scholes who seemed so certain that City fans couldn’t betrusted now turns his energy to those in his own support who actinappropriately. City fans have shown the way.

We seem to be getting almost every City game in some form over here. Today’s performance was one of the better ones recently. I’d make some observations as to why I think that but this is not the time for reflections on individuals. It is time to celebrate the fans who went and the 3 points the team delivered and use the game as a statement of intent for the rest of the season.

Keep the good news coming.

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)>


Wow, what a day. The team were heroes to a man and the fans were noisy heroes to a man (and woman).

Except for spoiling the headlines for tomorrow’s papers of course. It sounded like the Rag fans were having a 90 minute silence. What a bunch of losers. They are so up themselves thinking they just have to turn up and watch their team win. It hits them hard when they don’t, even more so when it’s City who stuff them. There were a few long faces outside when we were eventually let out and a big queue for the motorway south.

In years to come I will have great joy in saying I was there. Let’s hope it’s the first of many. Thanks Sven the team made us all very happy today.

I expect the ref is off Taggart’s Christmas card list as well. Wonderful to get an unbiased ref at O.T., and his watch worked on GMT, not Fergytime.

CTID, MickB <koolfurmick(at)>


Absolutely magnificent. All of those who went to the game, thank you for proving a point, thank you for proving that this club has respect for the loss of life, whoever it affects. By respecting that silence we have proved just how honourable Manchester City Football Club is and this is something I’m very proud of.

The message boards are full of messages saying how respectful we were and it was simply immaculate to hear a pin drop as no taunts, no boos and not even a whisper occurred. We were applauded by Sir Alex Ferguson and that says it all. Quite simply brilliant and at the same time, credit to United fans who applauded the Frank Swift chant. You all did his name proud.

We’ve set the precedent now and come the year 2058 when the next generation of sports media fear for disrespect at the Munich Tribute, they and the fans involved will be reminded of just how impeccably good the fans were all the way back in 2008. So thank you, I can honestly say I’ve never been prouder to be Blue.

Alexander Rowen <ajpr2007(at)>


I would have given anything to be there, in the theatre of swamp to witness our only win there in 34 years. I applaud the way the City fans respected the minute’s silence, you are a credit to all of us who support the best team in the land in all the world.

I have great pleasure in writing tonight about another fantastic chapter in the Manchester City story. I often come on here complaining about what has gone wrong after games, but I am so chuffed tonight, it’s hard to put it into words.

Paul Fegan <paolo8(at)>


I’m still out of breath, grrrrreat performance by City. Not going to name man of the match, but team of the match, led by a great team captain, Richard Dunne.

Sorry, no more comments from me, I’m off to celebrate, yippee!

Well done you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


On this magnificent day, a few songs come to mind.

(My Momma told me there’d be) Days Like This – Van Morrison
Beautiful Day – U2
The Winner Takes It All – Abba
Memories Are Made of This – Dean Martin
Heroes – David Bowie
Make Me Smile – Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel
Nothing Compares 2U – Sinead O’Connor
And, of course,
Blue Moon – The Marcels
sing as many as you feel like!

P.S. It might be considered a little churlish to leave out our Raggy friends, so I’ve included two for them…

Rolling Stones – It’s All Over Now
And especially for 11 February:
New Order – Blue Monday!

Tony O’Leary <aolearyster(at)>


I do so hope Johnson is not swapped for Crouch, or indeed, goes anywhere. Whilst I have not seen City this season, bar the odd bit on TV, it seems to me that our recent poor patch started when he got injured. Any regulars care to confirm my view? Something missing in midfield, it would seem.

Jeremy Poynton <Jeremy(at)>


I’m sure many City fans are against the proposal to play an extra Premier League game overseas.

The FSF is organising a series of events to counter the plans and we need your help.

Firstly, if you are against the proposal, please sign the online petition at

We are planning midweek meetings week commencing 17 February in Manchester, Liverpool, Gateshead, Birmingham and London for fans from all clubs to attend and air their views and to plan a campaign of action.

We are planning on picketing outside FIFA’s monthly meeting in Zurich on 14 March (for any fans based in Zurich, please come along!).

Football has faced many changes over the years, some for good, but mostly for the worse – our game is under threat like never before from those charged with running it. Please don’t just sit there and let the game slip even further away from the fans.

Please also forward this message to all of your football friend contacts, no matter what team they support.

Phill Gatenby <Safestanding(at)>


10 February 2008

Manchester United     1 - 2  Manchester City       75,970
Chelsea               0 - 0  Liverpool             41,788

9 February 2008

Aston Villa           4 - 1  Newcastle United      42,640
Bolton Wanderers      0 - 1  Portsmouth            18,544
Derby County          0 - 3  Tottenham Hotspur     33,058
Everton               1 - 0  Reading               36,582
Middlesbrough         1 - 0  Fulham                26,885
Sunderland            2 - 0  Wigan Athletic        43,600
West Ham United       1 - 1  Birmingham City       34,884

League table to 10 February 2008 inclusive

                              HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD  Pts
 1 Arsenal         25 11  2  0 29  8  7  4  1 23 10 18  6  1  52  18  34  60
 2 Manchester Utd  26 12  1  1 32  5  6  3  3 18  9 18  4  4  50  14  36  58
 3 Chelsea         26  8  5  0 23  8  8  2  3 15  9 16  7  3  38  17  21  55
 4 Everton         26  8  2  3 24 11  6  3  4 17 12 14  5  7  41  23  18  47
 5 Liverpool       25  5  6  1 26  9  6  5  2 14  8 11 11  3  40  17  23  44
 6 Aston Villa     26  8  2  4 24 17  4  6  2 24 17 12  8  6  48  34  14  44
 7 Manchester City 26  9  3  1 21 11  3  5  5 13 18 12  8  6  34  29   5  44
 8 Portsmouth      26  3  7  2 15 10  8  1  5 21 16 11  8  7  36  26  10  41
 9 Blackburn R.    25  5  4  4 13 13  5  5  2 19 18 10  9  6  32  31   1  39
10 West Ham United 25  5  5  3 16 13  5  2  5 14 10 10  7  8  30  23   7  37
11 Tottenham H.    26  6  2  4 33 22  2  6  6 15 19  8  8 10  48  41   7  32
12 Middlesbrough   26  4  4  5 14 18  3  4  6  9 20  7  8 11  23  38 -15  29
13 Newcastle Utd   26  5  5  3 17 18  2  2  9 12 29  7  7 12  29  47 -18  28
14 Sunderland      26  7  3  3 17 13  0  2 11  9 32  7  5 14  26  45 -19  26
15 Bolton Wndrs    26  5  4  5 17 12  1  3  8  9 23  6  7 13  26  35  -9  25
16 Wigan Athletic  26  5  2  5 15 14  1  3 10  9 28  6  5 15  24  42 -18  23
17 Birmingham City 26  3  4  5 13 14  2  3  9 12 24  5  7 14  25  38 -13  22
18 Reading         26  6  1  6 14 19  0  3 10 16 34  6  4 16  30  53 -23  22
19 Fulham          26  3  5  5 18 22  0  5  8  7 22  3 10 13  25  44 -19  19
20 Derby County    26  1  3  9  8 24  0  3 10  5 31  1  6 19  13  55 -42   9

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1403