Newsletter #1408

A case of Typical City on Monday night as the team put on an after the Lord Mayor’s show performance and succumbed 0-2 to Everton.

News tonight on the youth team who are through to the FA Youth Cup semis, international developments and City becoming Thaksin’s “Pride of Thailand”, Hatton’s potential fight at CoMS, Micah’s injury and reaction to the Everton game.

We have match report and views tonight, opinion on form and the usual requests.

Next Game: Saturday 1 March 2008, 5.15pm, Wigan Athletic (home)


General News

Arresting Developments: Thaksin Shinawatra has been granted bail following his arrest on his return to Thailand, 17 months after his self-imposed exile began. First news of Thaksin’s return to his homeland was given earlier in the week by Sitha Tivaree, a spokesman for Shinawatra’s ruling party, who travelled to Hong Kong to meet Thaksin on Wednesday. “I have no detail about Khun Thaksin’s return on Thursday. But I will definitely travel with him back to Bangkok tomorrow,” he told The Nation, a Thai newspaper. City’s owner duly arrived in Bangkok, to be arrested and bailed after a court appearance. He was ordered by the Supreme Court to post 267,000 US Dollars (£134,610) bail pending trial on corruption charges, which will begin on March 12. He is also barred from leaving the country without permission. He had earlier told reporters before boarding the plane in Hong Kong: “I believe in the Thai justice system, especially the court system. Normally in justice systems everywhere, a person is innocent until proved guilty.” [thanks to George Alexander).

The Next United? Thaksin can’t be too worried about his future, because his return to Thailand was also linked to some football-related matters. Members of City’s squad – reportedly goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and midfielder Kelvin Etuhu – were on the flight and said they planned to hold some soccer clinics with Thai children and work out with the national team. Thaksin vowed to make MCFC the pride of Thailand. “It will be the team Thais are proud of”, Thaksin said. He also reiterated a commitment to spread the club’s name across Asia with a network of training and recruitment academies. “There will be Man City China, Man City Japan, Man City U.S. In the next season, Man City will be another Man United,” Thaksin said. Young Kasper Schmeichel told BBC Radio: “We are out here supporting our chairman. We will have to wait and see what happens but football-wise, and as far as City are concerned, he is a very good chairman, very generous and passionate. He wants the club to progress. Will he be distracted by all this? I don’t think so. He is a very genuine guy with very genuine feelings for the club. City lie very close to his heart and the way he has supported the club since he came in has proved that.”

Ricky’s Tricky Choice: Boxer Ricky Hatton, a massive City fan of course, has vowed to come back “stronger, wiser and better” from his 10th-round knockout defeat against Floyd Mayweather in December and will return to the ring either at the COMS on May 24 or Wembley on May 31 to defend his IBO world light-welterweight title against the 32-year-old Juan Lazcano of the United States. “HBO wanted me straight back in America, but I insisted on fighting in England for the fans. I have never been in this solely for money. It has always been about challenges,” said Hatton this week. “I’ve gone past all my wildest dreams in boxing. The last few things I want to do are to top the bill at the world’s greatest football ground, the City of Manchester Stadium, I want to top the bill at Madison Square Garden and I would like another crack at Floyd.” I’m no boxing expert, but perhaps the lure of being so close to his local pub at Hyde might just tip Ricky’s thoughts to the COMS.

We’re Not Going on a Summer Holiday: At last – a snippet about matters on the pitch! Sven-Goran Eriksson hopes that the threat of the Intertoto Cup will motivate his players to achieve UEFA Cup qualification via their league position. “If we have to play in the Intertoto, their holiday will be very short,” the manager said.

Transfer News and Gossip

Peeking at Per: There’s very little transfer speculation this week, I guess it’s the wrong time of year for such stories. Here’s a couple for you though – reports in Europe claim City have joined Arsenal and Spurs in the race to sign Rosenborg midfielder Per Ciljan Skjelbred. Skjelbred, who is understood to have rejected a youth contract with Liverpool several years ago, caught the eye during his side’s Champions’ League group stage and Rosenborg have already resigned themselves to losing their star asset. Speaking about the 20-year-old, Rosenborg director Erik Hoftun told VG: “At some point we will lose him, but I hope that it is many years until that happens. However, if a top club puts £5 million on the table it will be hard to keep hold of him.” Elsewhere, Sven is said to be battling it out with Real Madrid, no less, for Spartak Moscow striker Roman Pavlyuchenko. The Russian striker has finished as the Russian Leagues top scorer for the last two seasons and AS are reporting that Eriksson is keen on bringing the goal ace to Eastlands. City were linked with the player back in the summer and during the January sales.

Ex-Blues’ News

Cole ‘Assault’ Claim: City’s former striker for about five minutes, Andy Cole, has been questioned by police after an alleged assault on his wife. The 36-year-old, who is currently on loan at Burnley, was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning at his home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “At 2.27am on Monday, February 25, police were called to a house in Alderley Edge following an allegation of assault by a man against a woman. A 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and was taken to Middlewich custody suite. He was interviewed and released last night on police bail until a date in April pending further inquiries.”

After-Match Reactions and Comments

Flick Off, Petrov: City lost their second consecutive home game as Everton chalked up a comfortable 2-0 win at the COMS on Monday night. The Toffees, who climbed back to fourth place in the League, could have had a penalty when Tim Cahill’s shot hit Micah Richards’ arm and also went close when Steven Pienaar’s shot hit the post. Yakubu put Everton ahead when he met Cahill’s low cross and Joleon Lescott headed home a second soon after. City lost their shape (and their heads, apparently) after the break and had Martin Petrov sent off late on. It ended up as a ragged performance from the home side, causing Sven to comment later that: “This was a real disappointment, we did not play that badly and had a lot of possession without getting any penetration. But we conceded two easy goals, both at set pieces and that’s too dangerous at this level. We tried hard in the second half but with our attacks they were able to break and still create chances. Of course Everton are a strong team, well organised and they defended very well. It was important that they scored first, in a game like this you don’t expect too many chances, had we created something in the first half hour maybe we would have had a different result.” Martin Petrov now faces a three-match ban for a straight red card, shown after he had petulantly kicked Leon Osman from behind in stoppage time. The Bulgarian had just seconds earlier attempted a much cruder kick at Yakubu that referee Rob Styles missed, and of the incident Eriksson added: “If the referee is consistent he should have yellow-carded him when he tried to take Yakubu the first time. The second one was not really a yellow card, it was more of a flick and I saw Phil Neville’s reaction, which showed he looked surprised. If the referee was harsh it would have been two yellows, but he decided it was a straight red. It needs more than just a word from me with Martin now because we lose him for three games and that is hard for us.” Eriksson concluded: “We have been brought back down to earth after beating United but I thought we did well in the first 30 minutes. But in a few minutes we gave two goals away too easily and after that it was very difficult for us.”

Moyes’ Boys Please Their Boss: Everton manager David Moyes was delighted with his team’s performance. “It was a great performance because Manchester City, their lads won against Manchester United in front of a very big crowd,” he said. “For us to take six points off them this season is really good. To get 50 points at this stage of the season is fantastic and we have to keep building on it. If you ask what my motivation is, it is to try and develop the club. We want to get back to the stage it was many, many years ago. That’s the aim. This was an important result for us given that Manchester City are right in there for European football. It was as good as we have performed on an away ground and an excellent victory. The players are getting better and European football has helped us. There is a belief we can get good results – and I certainly believe in the players. We played well against City and defended superbly. We kept our discipline and made it hard for them to break us down.”

Dunne Defiant: Richard Dunne faced up to the press following this disappointing show. He said: “We went out and fully believed we were going to win. It was a great chance to put ourselves into a good position for the rest of the season. We are very confident on our home pitch and had a 20 minute spell when we dominated and then they scored. That knocked the stuffing out of us for about 10 or 15 minutes. We’ve dominated the game in parts but to be fair to them, they defended really well, and dived and blocked every shot we had. Despite going in two down we came out and played well again in the second half but never really created any clear-cut chances. I think Everton took their chances and that was it. Apart from the 15 minute spell when they scored the two goals, we dominated the whole game, that’s the frustrating thing.” Asked to compare City and Everton, Dunne replied: “I just think at the moment that it might be a little bit more experience they have of being towards the top of the table. We need to learn fast and hopefully now we start on Saturday and that will kick-start our season again.”

The Power of Youth: There’s no need to dwell on the under-performing first team though folks, because other City teams have done rather well for themselves this week. Take the Youth team for instance. Two goals in each half saw City’s youngsters cruise to a 4-1 victory at Plymouth’s Home Park. Danny Sturridge opened the scoring, and eight minutes from half time skipper Ben Mee crashed the ball home. After the break, the Blues made sure there was no comeback from Argyle, as David Ball and sub Alex Nimley doubled the Blues’ lead. There was time for the home side to score a late consolation. “It was another excellent performance from the lads though the scoreline didn’t really do Plymouth justice,” said Academy chief Jim Cassell. “We seem to be peaking at the right time and at least we didn’t fall behind at any stage. Plymouth didn’t get to the last eight by being a poor side but we controlled the game and played our football the way we want to play it. The only disappointment was not keeping a clean sheet. It is nice to be in the last four but we are taking nothing for granted and it is equally important that the team and the individuals are progressing.” City are now through to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, where they’ll face Sunderland. Team: Hartley, Trippier, McGivern, Boyata, Mee, Tutte, Weiss (Mak 75), Kay, Ball, Sturridge (Nimley 84), McDermott (Tsiaklis 68). Not used: Clegg, and Ibrahim.

Nothing Held in Reserve: Also on Tuesday night – the Reserves capped a fine night for the club with a 4-2 win over Everton. Felipe Caicedo, Emile Mpenza (2) and Nery Castillo were the scorers. While it’s good to see players pushing for first team inclusion providing the goals, the most welcome sight of the night was Michael Johnson playing for three quarters of the game. Coach Ian Miller commented: “Michael was excellent, he got 60 minutes in after the 45 against Newcastle, so hopefully he’s come through his injury now without any reaction and he should be in contention for the first team. He’ll be better for having played this game.” As for the game itself, Miller said: “We had eight experienced first team players out, and in the first half we were excellent. Our passing and movement were of the highest order, and we should have had a couple more. The game got a bit stretched as it wore on, and probably our best player in the second half was our goalkeeper. Andreas was excellent, he made four or five top class saves. What you ask of senior professionals in the reserves is a good attitude, and to be fair to them they all gave their best. The management staff were all watching, so I just told them to make an impression, which they certainly did.” Team: Isaksson, Jihai, Garrido, Breen, McDonald, Johnson (Marshall 67), Moore, Geovanni, Mpenza, Caicedo (Grimes 67), Castillo (Daly 67). Unused subs: Martin, Williamson.

Squad News

No Micah for a Month: Micah Richards underwent knee surgery in London on Wednesday, with reports suggesting that the 20-year-old will be out for at least a month. City announced that the operation was to mend damaged cartilage in his right knee, the problem may relate to the injury he suffered in a challenge with Kevin Nolan, the Bolton Wanderers captain, in a Carling Cup tie in November. City said at the time that there was “no serious or long-term damage”, but this injury is suspected to be related to that problem, having already forced him to miss two matches since the turn of the year. City were unable to specify how long he will be out other than to call it “a matter of weeks” but there have encouraging reports from the medical staff. “The operation has been successful and Micah will now begin a rehabilitation programme,” said the City doctor Mark Whitaker. “The medical team will monitor his progress over the coming days and weeks.” So this break in playing will give Micah a chance to live up to his promise to stay out of trouble, following all sorts of lurid accusations about him, a friend, a lady and a disabled toilet. He admitted in the News of the World: “Yeah, I was foolish to be in the video and I was devastated when it appeared in the News of the World. Until that point everything was going smoothly with my career, both for Manchester City and England. It was a real wake-up call to the fact I might have been doing things I really shouldn’t have been. It made me look at things differently, to think about the way I behave and what is going on around me. I would not want the England manager to judge me from one story in the paper. I would not want him to think that is what I am really like. I just want my football to do the talking and to be clean off the field.”

Edging to Edgeley: Shaleum Logan has this week completed a loan move to Stockport County. The versatile 20-year-old impressed S-GE during pre-season, and made his Blues’ début in the Carling Cup tie at Bristol City in August, followed by a first home appearance in the next round against Norwich. Shaleum has already had two loan spells this term, at Grimsby Town and Scunthorpe United. Now he’s a bit nearer to home. Sven said: “We don’t have any injuries at the moment and we have 12 games to play. He’s gone out on loan and maybe next week some other of the young players might go out on loan too. It’s better for them that they go and have some good football. Playing games is good for them, good for us and hopefully good for the club where they go.”

Don’t Jump on Caicedo: S-GE has insisted Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo will be a hit at the COMS but said Blues’ fans must be patient as he finds his feet. “Even though he has a bit of international football under his belt it might take time before we see the real Felipe Caicedo,” Eriksson said. “But you can see that he is a good player, he has a good left foot and is very strong. We’ll give him some time and he will probably sit on the bench to jump in every now and then.” Meanwhile, Valeri Bojinov has admitted that he would like to play for Italian giants Roma. Bojinov has made just 3 appearances for City since his move from Juventus in August and has revealed that he does have one eye on his dream to return to Serie A. “If I return to Italy,” said the Bulgarian striker, “my dream would be to play for Roma.”

Sea Air is Good for You: Paul Dickov has rediscovered his zest for football at Blackpool. “It’s been a new lease of life joining Blackpool and it is great for me,” said the on-loan veteran after yet again, this time in Saturday’s win over Charlton. “I know people go on about my age and I know before I came here there were a lot of clubs that looked at me and maybe thought my legs had gone. I like to think I’m proving quite a few people wrong about that. I’m loving it here. I’m getting chances, the lads are creating chances for me, and thankfully they are going in the back of the net.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


City sunk to a second home defeat of the season to an efficient and well organised Everton side who showed greater nous than our boys in sky blue and increased their lead over us to six points. Like one would expect from a team that is challenging for a Champions’ League place, the visitors started off bursting with confidence and pushed us back early on. Hart fumbled a ball and Dunne was forced to clear off the line. The dangerous Cahill had a shot blocked but City rode out the visitors’ early dominance.

City, who were unchanged after that wonderful victory at Old Trafford, then had a spell of sustained pressure but were playing in front of Everton’s well organised defence and lacked a cutting edge. Vassell fired over and also had an effort blocked after a neat interchange of passes between Benjani and the lively Gelson Fernandes, who was the pick of the City players with his tenacity and common sense passing. This City pressure was not to last and the dangerous Pienaar had a shot deflected just over the bar before, on the half hour, City’s defence uncharacteristically gave Yakubu the freedom of the penalty box for the Nigerian striker to side foot Cahill’s cross home. It was a poor goal to concede.

City tried to hit back: Petrov was wide with a long range effort and Vassell blazed over with another shot from distance. We did not create any clear cut opportunities though, as Everton’s rearguard snuffed out our attack. Petrov was double marked when he got the ball with Osman doubling up with Hibbert to frustrate him: Moyes had certainly done his homework and his players executed his plan to the letter. We didn’t test them enough though. Too many balls were played in the air up to Benjani and Ireland failed to get near him in support from his advanced midfield rôle.

The second Everton goal came after a free kick was cleared and the whole defence failed to push out. Consequently the ball was returned in to the far post where Lescott was given too much room by Dunnie and he looped a header over Hart to increase the visitors’ lead. We should have pushed out but if we are not going to do that then surely our defence has to mark much, much tighter than that? It was a relief that Everton didn’t add to their lead before half time.

At half time Frank Swift’s family were presented to the crowd in an understated, tasteful manner. It was a nice touch. It has been fascinating to learn so much more about one of the all time greats at Manchester City. May he never be forgotten.

Elano came on for Hamann at the break as Sven pushed Vassell up alongside Benjani in a 4-4-2 formation, but the game was littered with stray passes from both sides for a good while. Vassell had an effort scrambled away by the solid Everton defence after he had been played in by the Brazilian, who looked out of touch again, shooting well over in another move. City were having the better of it after the break: Dunne flicking over from a well executed Petrov free kick. Then Vassell had an effort deflected wide but the asinine referee Styles failed to award a corner.

Sven replaced the anonymous Ireland with Caicedo who made his home début, and then Castillo came on for the industrious Vassell who came off to warm applause.

City commendably stuck to a pleasing passing game to the end and we did get shots in, but Everton’s defence, led by the impressive Jagielka, got several blocks in to thwart, most notably Castillo and Ball, whilst Howard saved a left foot shot and a rare right foot drive from Petrov. The closest we got was when Howard saved Benjani’s header late on. It has to be said that Everton’s defending was mightily impressive, keeping City mainly to long distance efforts, and it’s easy to see why they haven’t conceded a League goal in over 6 hours. They are not in the same class as Arsenal, and are not a flair side like the Gunners but a defeat to Everton is no disgrace. Everton have been knocking on the door of the Champions’ League for some time now and have had more years to build under a very good manager. City did not play badly here – we just need more of a cutting edge and need to improve the movement and combination play. Our normally reliable defence also needs to concentrate a bit better than it did, especially at set pieces. Sven will have learned that Nedum Onouha is a good defensive right back but that Corluka has a better all round game and would have been better suited to a game like this where we had to take the initiative.

Petrov, who had had a decent game with some very good crosses in from the left, then got frustrated and spoiled it all, stupidly earning himself a 3 game ban. His sending off was a tad harsh as he didn’t connect with his target, but he did kick out twice at an Everton player and when you do that and get caught like he did on the second occasion, a self-important referee like Rob Styles is going to send you off. That said, it’s strange that Carsley only incurred a yellow for a far more dangerous two footed challenge earlier. This referee’s interpretations of justice are rather strange, but he is not the only one to have a warped idea of justice.

4-5-1 has served us very well for most of the time this season, but with Elano worryingly not finding his autumn form and Stephen Ireland’s form being inconsistent, maybe it’s time now to play two up front? Given the fact that we have Benjani, Caicedo, Bojinov, Vassell, Mpenza, Sturridge and Castillo who can play there, then we should looking to have better combination play up front with two strikers working together. Whatever he decides, Sven will use his intelligence and experience to ensure that he and his players learn from this defeat and continue with the progress that they have made.

Hart: One fumbled early on but solid enough and couldn’t be faulted for the goals: 6
Onuoha: Some ponderous and predictable distribution, and not his best game defensively: 5
Richards: Not great positioning for the first goal, but had good moments: 5
Dunne: In no man’s land for the first goal and allowed Lescott room to score the 2nd when the defence should have pushed out. Rallied in the second half: 5
Ball: Tidy on the ball, but like his colleagues afforded Everton far too much room for their goals: 6
Vassell: Worked hard and helped prevent us from being overrun. Got into good positions but his finishing was wayward: 6
Fernandes: Industrious and energetic throughout, he is a growing influence: 7
Hamann: Tidy enough when he got on the ball but outpaced: 5
Petrov: Again the most potent attacker with some good delivery. Stupid sending off that could cost City dear: 6
Ireland: Couldn’t get into the game: 4
Benjani: Worked hard but starved of quality service: 6
Elano: Unable to make a real impact: 5
Castillo: Like Petrov he is almost exclusively left footed. He tended to run inside into traffic from the right wing. Some signs of promise though: 6
Caicedo: Some good touches – looks pacy and powerful: 6

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


Before all the doom and gloom merchants come out with their damning assessment of City’s performance against Everton, I would like to make a few points.

Sometimes you’ve just got to admit that you have been beaten by a better team, there’s no disgrace in Monday’s result whatsoever. We can all allow ourselves to become wrapped up in the inadequacies of City’s display, picking holes in the performance of certain players and Sven’s tactics, but the fact remains that Everton are the most accomplished team we have played this season – and I genuinely mean that.

My assessment might fly in the face of media portrayal, the Toffees might not be as fashionable as the so-called Big Four but they are certainly a better team than their Merseyside neighbours at the moment. I thought they were outstanding and nobody can have any complaints if David Moyes’ men finish the season in fourth spot some distance ahead of Villa, Portsmouth and City.

At this point, I would also like to point out that this Everton team has been three or four years in the making. They finished in a Champions’ League spot four years ago and became victims of their own success when it all went pear-shaped for a while on the back of the Villarreal defeat in the qualifying game.

However, the fans were relatively patient, Moyes was allowed to get on with his job free from any real pressure, and they re-emerged as a force last season following the signing of a top quality striker in Andrew Johnson. The fact that Johnson now has to settle for a place on the bench following the arrival of an £11 million striker in Yakubu speaks volumes for the standards they now aspire to.

However, as much as we look at the two teams and compare the individual components, the fact remains that Everton’s biggest quality is the level of understanding in the dressing room. They look like a team in the truest sense of the word, the core of which has played together for three or four years. You don’t get to where they are overnight. You can’t just wave a magic wand, spend £60 million and expect to churn out that consistency of performance within 12 months.

Three years from now, I’d like to think that City will be in the same position, performing with the same consistency but perhaps playing football with a bit more attacking verve in the mould of an Arsenal rather than an Everton. In the meantime, we have 11 games to get the six wins that should guarantee a top six berth and UEFA Cup football next season.

Forget how the table looks now, forget about how the teams around us are playing. So long as we meet our target of around 18-20 points, the rest will take care of itself.

I think we will do it.

Mike Holden <mike(at)>


Sven decided to give the same team that had beaten the Evil Empire two weeks ago the reward of playing against Everton, leaving out two stars in Elano and Corluka who had to miss the United game due to suspensions.

City did win a lot of the ball in midfield but just could not break down the Everton defence, which blocked everything that was thrown at them. In all fairness Everton deserved their win, they scored two very good goals.

Being two goals down at half time, Sven brought on Elano, and a few minutes later our other two subs were used, as the new strikers Caicedo and Castillo were brought on in an effort to break down the Everton defence, which stood firm.

This was the first time that the three new strikers had been in a game together, that being Benjani, Caicedo and Castillo. Although they all showed some promise, it was a little obvious that they all need more time together to really click.

Petrov ran his legs off and gave his all in trying to rally the team, but at the end his frustration got the better of him as he deliberately tried to trip up an Everton player, which to be very honest was a very bad decision by Petrov, for now we shall miss him after he got a red card in injury time.

Ball and Fernandes were my men of the match; not only did Ball defend well but he worked well with Petrov down the left flank.

After this game it looks as if our effort for Europe has been lost, but let’s not say that just yet, it’s not over until we are truly mathematically out of it. However, after tonight’s game I am left of the opinion that Everton deserve it more than we do after their win tonight, and let’s not count out Liverpool who have a game in hand.

There were several celebrities in the stadium to watch the game, including the new England manager Capello, Peter Reid, Sam Allerdyce, Evil Keane, Steve Bruce checking out City for the next game City versus Wigan. Too bad it was a City’s night off.

Am I disappointed to lose against Everton? Yes, but overall looking back on the giant step forward that they club has made, and our double over the Evil Empire, I am very pleased with our manager, coaches, and all our players.

We have a lot to be proud of and we shall move forward, “Pride into Battle” and keep building for the future and a club that we shall all be proud of now and forever more.

Next good news I want to hear is that Richard Dunne has signed a new contract, I feel sure that he will, just a matter of crossing the t’s and doting the i’s and giving him the money that he deserves.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


The fact that it took all of 85 minutes before we seriously troubled Everton’s goalkeeper last night just about sums things up quite nicely, I feel. Coupled with abject displays, and Petrov’s inexcusable and immature petulance, the players surely owe a public apology to the City fans who paid to watch last night’s futile display. The supporters’ time and money were wasted. Somehow, though, I don’t feel their apologies will be ringing in our ears this time around.

The players rightfully basked in the glory of their superb win at Old Trafford. However, last night served as an exemplary reminder, if any reminder is ever needed, that they do not have the right to win any game, simply by just showing up. Past results count for absolutely nothing.

What I am now looking forward to is to see exactly how Sven handles this situation. The players he chooses for the next game, together with the tactics he decides to employ, should speak volumes for just how he is able to get hold of this club in order to continue to take it forward. He still has a markedly uphill task, so it will be interesting to see if most of the players have the stomach for the fight. I’m not too sure about some of them. Good luck to Sven, he needs plenty of it.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


After tonight’s performance vs. Everton I thought I should vent some dismay at the poor performances seen over the last 3 months. That’s right, the last 3 months. We’ve robbed a few teams and been lucky by playing poor football and been lucky to play teams who were prepared to play worse than ourselves when we got something from those matches. Before anyone gets picky and starts checking the records I don’t care what great performance was seen between now and the end of last October!

For me the Everton game summed City up as a club. Beat United and nothing else matters, bullocks! Champions’ League? We’re having a laugh. UEFA cup, distinct possibility but looking a silly bet. I’m only grateful we’ve 44 points in the bag. Yes the team is better off than this time last year but for me after the fantastic start the team had to the season it seams to have all gone pear shaped.

This is something that drives me mad as a fan. Before we kicked off I thought at home to Everton Elano will play; he didn’t start and after 10 minutes of him on the pitch I thought, wow, Sven great decision as he’s having a stinker. Not picking on any particular player here but he is of the mould that you pin your hopes on? Talking of which, Petrov. What planet was he on? Now I don’t think the red card for what it was given for was deserved but for crying out loud it could have been 2 bookable offences when he got sent off for lashing out twice in separate incidents, so he was deservedly sent off. Now we face 3 games without him, one of our best outlets attacking wise. What a prat. Talking of which, Richards, Deliberate hand ball? Say no more, love someone to comment on that in line with the penalty box from behind the goal, oh, not forgetting the diving hand ball and raising his arm! Lucky boy this time(s) methinks.

So, 11 games left, still sitting fairly pretty in the table. Before the season started I’d have jumped at the chance of a top 10 finish, now it seems pretty disappointing and the season is not over (talk about ungrateful). Oh, maybe something for Uncle Frank to think about here but the season tickets went on sale so long ago so maybe this is the time of the year to make us think that things are changing for the better and performances this time of the year must be good for business!

Hope I’m wrong, finish for Europe in the right way and not into the Intertoto as I feel this will burn them out for September!

Two weeks on it’s still 2-1 doo dah! Smiling again, feeling better. Roll on Saturday.

Mike <wythyblue(at)>


After the Lord Mayor’s show…

I’m coming to the conclusion that City can’t play in the wet; not good for a team based in Manchester.

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


There are some video clips of City vs. Bristol City in the Youth Cup at

Unfortunately they don’t seem to have bothered with the Plymouth match.

Roger Haigh <Roger.haigh(at)>


Habiting various message boards/blogs after the derby win, I was on one of the Guardian football ones, where there was a good ding-dong over the game and various goings-on in progress. Interesting for me was the behaviour of the older United fans there, those old enough to remember Munich, and old enough to remember better relations between the two sets of fans; their repartee was funny and to the point. Their Johnny-come-lately glory-seeker fans were the ones with the nasty retorts, indeed, one might almost suggest they might be bitter about something.

Anyway, after some rumination on the Guardian blog, there were thoughts it might even have been Scousers come to ruin the day. Then up popped a United fan, to say that it had been him and some mates. They had asked United if they could do this in the ground, to act as an eight gun salute for the dead players. United refused, so they did it nearby.

I felt no reason to doubt him.

Jeremy Poynton <Jeremy(at)>


Thanks to the Blues who responded to my request for Gold Coast viewing venues for the Everton game. Next stop is Toronto.

Do City fans gather at a downtown location for televised matches? If not, where is a good pub downtown to watch the match? It’s on Fox Soccer Channel at 12.15 PM local time.

Neil Adshead <neil.adshead(at)>


I have just left Manchester for the Scottish Highlands and wondered of there are any groups of Blues who watch games in the pub reasonably near to where I live. I live in Tomintoul so anywhere between there, Inverness, Nairn, Elgin, Forres etc. would be driveable.

Watching on Sky is fine but I felt annoyed at celebrating the derby win on my own with a few cans, it wasn’t right!

“Is there anybody out there?”

Rich Ellor <richardellor(at)>


If anybody has a spare ticket available, please could they drop me a line!

Many thanks, Russell Jenkins <russell.Jenkins(at)>


Now that the dust has settled on the Munich disaster 50th anniversary year, and City fans have proved themselves to be impeccable, perhaps we can turn our attentions to the particular significance of season 57/58 to all City fans. In fact it was a unique season when City both scored and conceded 100 goals.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this largely uncelebrated season, King of the Kippax has produced a book, Century City, written and produced by our editor, with inclusions from some KOTK subscribers and contributors.

Seen against the background of the nineteen fifties, when most football reporting was through the written word, and less so by radio, and even less TV, the book is a collection of wonderful match reports by the sports writers of the day (an appreciation of special talents, some of which were lost in the air crash), selections from programmes, plus personal memories from the author and other fans, including the wife of City player Ron Phoenix: “It hurts me when people ask if we resent the money paid to modern day footballers, because Ron was well paid in his playing days compared with the ordinary working man, so no, we don’t at all.” says Pat Phoenix, a lovely lady with a famous name!

There are player profiles with ‘kind caricatures’; ground diagrams in the ‘It’s a Fix’ style; programme covers, team pictures etc., all making this an easy and lively read.

Through press accounts, league tables etc. the book illustrates that, contrary to accepted opinion, United were not the team of the fifties, but Wolves, and all was not as wonderful as we are led to believe over at OT before the Munich crash, as various players were putting in transfer requests. Furthermore, within a month of the disaster people were beginning to be irritated by ‘all the bunkum’ written about United and journalists were having to defend the ‘prolongation of the agony which seemed to have gone beyond the bounds of genuine sorrow and sympathy’. Hmmmm… ’nuff said.

Meanwhile, City were experiencing a season that saw some exciting, high scoring games – including three penalties in one match, scored by Ken Barnes, and the fans were enjoying and enduring their football in equal measure – epitomising our history to date.

So, let’s celebrate our own history instead of lurking in the shadows of others’. Read about what 57/58 means to us.

ISBN: 978-0-9557056-0-1
by David Wallace – 104 Goals for – 100 against – the record of an historic season… “This hitherto unheard of statistic has provided football followers everywhere with a conundrum that has remained unanswered to this day: How on earth did they manage to score so many of those goals past the great Bert Trautmann? Read on, you may find the answer.” – says Fred Eyre in the Foreword. £14.95 from the City Store and most local book shops, or direct from King of the Kippax (01942 515739).

Sue Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


25 February 2008

Manchester City       0 - 2  Everton               41,728

League table to 27 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         27 12  2  0 31  8  7  5  1 25 12 19  7  1  56  20  36  64
 2 Manchester Utd  27 12  1  1 32  5  7  3  3 23 10 19  4  4  55  15  40  61
 3 Chelsea         26  8  5  0 23  8  8  2  3 15  9 16  7  3  38  17  21  55
 4 Everton         27  8  2  3 24 11  7  3  4 19 12 15  5  7  43  23  20  50
 5 Liverpool       26  6  6  1 29 11  6  5  2 14  8 12 11  3  43  19  24  47
 6 Aston Villa     27  8  2  4 24 17  5  6  2 26 18 13  8  6  50  35  15  47
 7 Portsmouth      27  4  7  2 16 10  8  1  5 21 16 12  8  7  37  26  11  44
 8 Manchester City 27  9  3  2 21 13  3  5  5 13 18 12  8  7  34  31   3  44
 9 Blackburn R.    27  6  4  4 17 14  5  5  3 19 20 11  9  7  36  34   2  42
10 West Ham United 26  5  5  3 16 13  6  2  5 15 10 11  7  8  31  23   8  40
11 Tottenham H.    26  6  2  4 33 22  2  6  6 15 19  8  8 10  48  41   7  32
12 Middlesbrough   27  4  4  5 14 18  3  4  7 11 23  7  8 12  25  41 -16  29
13 Newcastle Utd   27  5  5  4 18 23  2  2  9 12 29  7  7 13  30  52 -22  28
14 Wigan Athletic  27  6  2  5 17 14  1  3 10  9 28  7  5 15  26  42 -16  26
15 Sunderland      27  7  3  3 17 13  0  2 12  9 33  7  5 15  26  46 -20  26
16 Bolton Wndrs    27  5  4  5 17 12  1  3  9 10 27  6  7 14  27  39 -12  25
17 Birmingham City 27  3  5  5 15 16  2  3  9 12 24  5  8 14  27  40 -13  23
18 Reading         27  6  1  7 15 21  0  3 10 16 34  6  4 17  31  55 -24  22
19 Fulham          27  3  5  6 18 23  0  5  8  7 22  3 10 14  25  45 -20  19
20 Derby County    27  1  3  9  8 24  0  3 11  5 33  1  6 20  13  57 -44   9

With thanks to Football 365

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