Newsletter #1429

A staggering performance and result on Sunday for all the wrong reasons. Was it “player power”, or did Middlesbrough show their class? Naturally a lot of opinion and views about just what caused an 8-1 defeat at the Riverside and such a pedestrian and abject performance by the team.

Meanwhile there is continuing speculation on the way forward, as the team and manager leave for a post season tour/holiday of the Far East.

Next Game: Saturday 17 May 2008, Thai League XI, Bangkok friendly


When I saw that City’s opponents were Middlesbrough I thought it would easily be a walkover. However, when I saw the final score I saw that it was 2-1: typical City to lose to a bottom table team. Having adjusted my glasses I saw that the score was actually in fact 8-1. 8-1?!!?

What is the team on? What the hell happened? It was only bl**dy Middlesbrough. This better be Sven’s last game or I’m going to smash my TV. What the hell was he thinking (probably of his 3 million pound pay off…)?

The man was given £50 million to buy quality players to get us to Euro. And look what has happened, 8 goals to 1. Six-nil to Chelsea was awful, fair enough: they are a good side. We did the double over United. But 8-1 to Boro!

I can’t understand. It was almost like sending an army of ants out against an aardvark! A warm welcome back to Micah Richards in defence (he clearly made a difference).

I need a sit down quite frankly. Looking forward to Sven’s interview on Match of the Day.

George Kearney <george_Kearney(at)>


Wherever we stand on Sven and what has gone on with the continuing mismanagement of our club, there is no excuse for footballers not giving their all in any circumstance. The uncertainty surrounding the club should be irrelevant when you cross that white line. Whatever their outrage over Sven’s unjust treatment the City players can never justify a lazy, disinterested and spineless performance. And, no, they cannot blame Thaksin Shinawatra for that.

There is no justification for any so-called ‘protest’, especially when fans pay so much money for their tickets and travel. Besides, these players have got form (if that’s the right word) in this respect: their non-show in the 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea and the second half capitulation against Fulham are not easily forgotten. Those players owe it to the fans to do their best every week. If they are not in form they should try even harder. Not just shrug and pick up their wages. They should pay their wages for last week back, refund all those fans who went to Boro and the rest can go to charity.

I recall a game in the early 90s at Maine Road where City were having a hard time of it. Normally Peter Reid was brilliant at winning the ball and passing it simply to a team mate and he came to City with two Championship medals to his credit, but on this occasion he was having a shocker and he couldn’t pass water. Every time got the ball he gave it away and impatient sections of the crowd shamefully got on his back. Did he shirk, did he hide? Of course not, he wanted the ball even more and won it back repeatedly (only to give it away again!). At least he tried and he was soon back to his best in the following games. When I look at the lack of effort of some of these lazy bottlers who play for City now, I cringe. And before someone says Sven signed all those players, he didn’t sign them all. There will be those Blues who blame the manager, but those players shouldn’t need any manager to motivate them to do what they are so handsomely paid to do.

Whilst he cannot be blamed for this abject capitulation, Thaksin Shinawatra should not be congratulating himself this morning. His actions have destabilised the club at a time when he should have been saying to Sven, what do you need to make this club grow and improve into a team that can qualify for the UEFA Cup on merit? Whatever happens, the uncertainty over the manager must be cleared up now and we must begin preparations for next season. If, as looks likely, Sven is to go, then we need as good a manager as we can get and he will need to clear out those who aren’t good enough and/or don’t care enough and he will need to strengthen this squad significantly. That means that we need to bring in players who are winners, who don’t give up, and who take a professional pride in their work – like Peter Reid did. Oh for a Reidy or a Mike Doyle in our midfield. They wouldn’t allow their team mates to bottle it like this shameful lot did. Something has to be done to get more men like them into our team because our club is more Holby City than Manchester City right now. It’s sick. And that hurts.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


If you read the various websites about the result and performance, there are various arguments for and against certain players and the management.

How many of Sunday’s team would get a place with one of the “big four” teams?

Hart, Corluka, Dunne, Elano, Ireland, Petrov, Benjani all reasonable players, but would they displace their opposite numbers at “the big four”? I doubt it. That makes City an average team, desperately short of class.

We are 2 full backs, 2 midfielders and 2 strikers away from being competitive and consistent.

We lost a defender in the first half, no excuse for 8 goals against. Other teams change their system if they lose a player. Pompey lost a defender against us and we “annihilated them” 3-1, including a dodgy penalty.

It’s a pity that it was the last game of the season as it would have been interesting to see if Sven had the nuts to deal with the “offenders”.

Who cares who is in charge next season, we want to be successful and winning.

Malcolm Clelland <clelland(at)>


If I was a betting man, I’d get the authorities to check on this result. If they didn’t throw that game, then even by City’s standards this was a shocker. Maybe the team should be sacked as well.

Joe Hart picked a good day to sit on the bench.

I found out that a friend of mine has terminal cancer, so it sort of puts things into perspective doesn’t it?

Staying Blue, Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Middlesboro 8 City 1. Frank did it his way!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I’ve just now (15.05 on Friday, 9th. May) learnt through the medium of the local, Pwllheli, City Taffia that we are in Europe UEFA Cup contention, next year, irrespective of the Middlesbrough result, which wouldn’t alter the final Premier placings (apart from the ‘merit money’, dependent on Portsmouth) anyway. Wow! It’s a pity that our owner doesn’t respect the principles of ‘fair play’ with respect to the manager.

According to the print media:

  1. The squad are deeply unhappy about the impending dismissal of SGE and, as aconsequence, we would lose Dunne, Richards and a number of others all productsof the Academy, and, therefore, our future – to our competitors in the Premier.
  2. Although not a lawyer, I would expect SGE to make a fist of claimingconstructive dismissal. I would expect his lawyers to make a sound case, thatin these circumstances, he was quite within his rights to open exploratorytalks with possible future employers (Benfica). If this UEFA qualificationrumour is true, it raises some interesting questions.
    1. The team will have exceeded Frank’s expectations by a full season. Will henow rescind his determination to get rid of SGE?
    2. If he does, will SGE agree to carry on ? If he does, would the playersstay?
    3. If not, and SGE goes, our best players will also go.
    4. As for a new manager Scolari will not budge until the Euro Championship isdecided. Even if he comes, that’s a full month (June) lost in terms of transferactivity propelled by a new manager’s judgement (if he’s given a free hand andthe funds). However, Rijkaard has just been sacked by Barcelona and Moyesappears unsettled at Everton. On the other hand, why would any of this triowant to come here and work with such a skittish owner?

That leaves the unappealing prospect of Thaksin’s ‘advisors’ suggesting such luminaries as Allardyce, Souness, Hoddle, Jewell etc. Oh no!

This could only happen to us. Last season we flirted with relegation. A new owner provided us with an internationally renowned manager who, at short notice, recruited a new set of players by watching videos. We then manage to double United but get expelled from the FAC thanks to a balloon. We finish at a minimum of 9th place and 55 points and, fortuitously, get into next season’s UEFA cup! Oh, and by the way, before this denouement, the manager’s told he’s gonzo! Why us? Why? Why? Why? How can it always be City that fuels comedians’ material?

All this after the exemplary and dignified way in which our supporters observed the OT minute’s silence and which attracted such world-wide lustre upon the good name of MCFC. All cast away by the irrational whim of a dictator!

Dafydd Roberts <dafydd.Roberts(at)>


Manchester City are in pole position to claim a place in next season’s UEFA Cup after the Football Association was awarded an extra place in the competition.

European football’s governing body revealed that English teams had topped their Fair Play competition, meaning an extra place in the first qualifying round of the 2008-09 UEFA Cup.

The FA has confirmed the berth will be awarded to the highest-ranked side in the Premier League fair play table that has not qualified for Europe by other means.

City currently stand fifth in the fair play table, behind Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool who are all already guaranteed a place in continental competition.

That means Sven Goran Eriksson’s team, with only a single league game at Middlesbrough remaining, stand on the brink of an unexpected European spot.

Thaksin might change his mind now as we have a top 10 finish plus could be in Europe.

Darren Wareing <darren.wareing(at)>


Back in October when we were humiliated by Chelski, I remember thinking that this was more than a 6-0 beating, but that something had gone seriously wrong with our ship.

The last few days we have had unbelievable amount of press coverage and it was all about Sven and his future at Man City. Yet we have had nothing from Shinawatra, neither negative nor positive.

To the best of my knowledge, and I stand to be corrected on this, Sven has not bought a house in the Manchester area, but has lived in a hotel since joining City, and if this is true, then does this show that he was ever committed to our club?

I did not sign the petition for this reason, and I feel sorry for those who did, and those who attended the protest in Manchester on Saturday, because I think they have been duped by a very clever man, who is more interested in making loads of money than in bringing success to our club.

Today we again were humiliated by Middlesbrough of all teams, and I hope Sven now goes and brings most of that team with him, because they are not fit and never will be fit to wear the shirt. Sven, you have used the media to great effect, showing you as some kind of a victim, but all you want is a pay-off.

To the players with your big cars and mansions and all that goes with the modern day footballer, your days are numbered because from talking to fans of different clubs along with our own, I sense that like me, they are p****d off with your indifference to us real football fans.

Paul Fegan <paulo9(at)>


Oh dear Tom, I criticise Thaskin and now I’m a racialist?! Good God man I don’t give a fig about the colour of one’s skin, but I do give a about how one goes about day to day life. An all ‘English’ team? Now there’s a thought! Good heavens boy there’s hardly enough players in England to get a decent international team, let alone a club side.

The Glazier’s haven’t made a scrap of difference on United (well maybe a little loose change!). They have the brains to let something that is working well continue. Pity our leader hasn’t that skill.

I could go on, but the whole episode is really getting boring. City have made a huge ‘cock up’ selling to Thaskin, but one thing I do know is that City will still be around long after Thaskin’s gone. Long after you and I are gone as well.

Just an end note, Joe Hart’s alleged contract to double his wages, is a disgrace. I admit I wasn’t his greatest supporter, but he’s proved how good he is and his reported wages hardly makes one want to stay at City. We throw money at overpriced European footballers, when we have a decent crop of young players right under our noses. Hardly good football and business sense.

Staying Blue, or should that be black, yellow or white. Relax Tom.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


I think it was I who credited the prompting of the Newcastle 40 years on articles to David Smith not Steven Davis, so apologies all round and thanks again for giving us the chance to relive them. There was a piece in this week’s Observer Sports Monthly re Don Fox’s Wembley miss for Wakefield, so at least my memory served me well on that one!

As for the Thaksin/Sven debate, well obviously Thaksin was the best they could come up with after years of searching/foreign trips to sunshine resorts etc. and refusing to take the Trust seriously.

Thaksin may well understand football as much as previous chairmen did but he doesn’t understand that we will not be happy with his own brand of Thai ‘culture’ being foisted onto City.

He was advised by many not to set Sven on, but did so nevertheless, and after Sven has won most of us over so that we’re happy to give him more time, he is now advised by many not to sack him, but is doing so nevertheless. So how sound is his judgement?

I hope the protest is well attended and it is pleasing that City fans are pulling together in this respect instead of the usual ‘turning in on each other’. It may not do much good regarding the Sven situation but at least it will show that we do care passionately about City and need to show Thaksin that no matter how much money he is going to put in at some point in time perhaps, maybe, possibly, he needs the fans on his side and should embrace that.

For me the dream has always been for the fans to own the club, and let’s hope that the Trust can re-emerge and become a powerful force for the dream to become a reality to the benefit of Manchester City.

Dave Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


Regarding my article in MCIVTA 1428.

First, it’s been mooted that I came across as being self righteous. That may be the case but it wasn’t my intention.

I have decided not to buy a season card while the good Doctor is in charge, but I haven’t, and wouldn’t, suggest that anybody else do the same. Why should anybody stop watching the club they love because of a newcomer?

Besides, the important revenue for clubs these days comes from TV, so even if 50% of fans stayed away the financial impact wouldn’t exactly be devastating; and Sky and Setanta would just turn up the volume on the crowd noise machine.

Second, if I’ve offended fellow Blues generally, I sincerely apologise. My comments were aimed solely at Thaksin apologists, and if I’ve offended them, good!

CTID, Sutty <NetSutty(at)>


May I thank all who attended the Save Our Sven rally on Saturday at Eastlands. Estimates of how many attended vary considerably. My own estimate is about 2,000.

It was a pleasure for me to initiate this rally and assist in the organisation. Can I also thank the 18,000 plus who signed the on-line petition in support of Sven. The petition was delivered by Kevin Parker and left on the desk at the main entrance.

The rally was very good humoured, noisy but most importantly 100% plus supportive of Sven. I was gobsmacked to meet some people who had travelled from as far away as Weymouth and one guy from Sweden to support the rally. City supporters continually amaze me. I’m sincerely hoping our rally has some effect on future events at our beloved club.

Hopefully there will be more contributions on McV about the rally but can I finish as I started by thanking all the noisy supporters who attended.

Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


Do any City fans who are going to the game on Saturday, fancy meeting up for a beer before the game? How about meeting in the Dubliner 440 Sukhumvit Road near Phrom Phong Sky train station?

Quite a few fans met up there for a few beers before the last City games in Bangkok. Four of us are travelling up from KL and Singapore for the game and will be in there from around 1 pm; it takes ages to get to the ground from anywhere in Bangkok.

Steven Humphreys <stevenhumphreys(at)>


By Gary James
ISBN 978-0-9558127-0-5
Retail Price: £21.95

I’d like to thank everyone who subscribed to my new book on Manchester football. All copies were despatched a week or so ago, and so everyone who pre-ordered the book should have received it now (overseas may take slightly longer to arrive).

For those who didn’t manage to place an order, the book is now available at bookshops across Manchester and at Waterstones branches across Europe. If your local branch of Waterstones hasn’t got it yet they can and will order it. The main shops in Manchester with stock are Zavvi (Arndale centre, they’ve been very supportive); Waterstones (Arndale and Deansgate); Urbis; Manchester Visitor Centre, WH Smiths (Trafford Centre and Arndale) and, of course, the City Store at the ground. Copies can be ordered direct from the publishers at £21.95 (including UK postage; non-UK add £15): James Ward, PO Box 822, Halifax, HX1 9FX.

There are a few signing sessions coming up in Manchester as well, which might be of interest. These will feature me and a former player:

  • Sunday 18th May (1.00pm) Borders at Manchester Fort retail park, with ex-City,United and England star Peter Barnes
  • Friday 23rd May (6.30pm) Waterstones at the Trafford Centre with Peter Barnes
  • Saturday 24th May (1.00pm) Waterstones at Manchester Deansgate with ex-City,Stockport and England star Mike Summerbee

Thanks again for all those who have bought the book or supported my research.

Gary James <info(at)>


MCFCfans has launched a new fans’ site for City fans. We’re hoping to build a community of City fans interested in quality editorial about the club and the club’s history. It’s early days but please come and visit us at

Comments, writers, feedback and input all much appreciated.

Struan Malcolm <sm(at)>


11 May 2008

Birmingham City       4 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      26,668
Chelsea               1 - 1  Bolton Wanderers      41,755
Derby County          0 - 4  Reading               33,087
Everton               3 - 1  Newcastle United      39,592
Middlesbrough         8 - 1  Manchester City       27,613
Portsmouth            0 - 1  Fulham                20,532
Sunderland            0 - 1  Arsenal               47,802
Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 2  Liverpool             36,063
West Ham United       2 - 2  Aston Villa           34,969
Wigan Athletic        0 - 2  Manchester United     25,133

League table to 11 May 2008 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD  Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  38 17  1  1 47  7 10  5  4 33 15 27  6  5  80  22  58  87
 2 Chelsea         38 12  7  0 36 13 13  3  3 29 13 25 10  3  65  26  39  85
 3 Arsenal         38 14  5  0 37 11 10  6  3 37 20 24 11  3  74  31  43  83
 4 Liverpool       38 12  6  1 43 13  9  7  3 24 15 21 13  4  67  28  39  76
 5 Everton         38 11  4  4 34 17  8  4  7 21 16 19  8 11  55  33  22  65
 6 Aston Villa     38 10  3  6 34 22  6  9  4 37 29 16 12 10  71  51  20  60
 7 Blackburn R.    38  8  7  4 26 19  7  6  6 24 29 15 13 10  50  48   2  58
 8 Portsmouth      38  7  8  4 24 14  9  1  9 24 26 16  9 13  48  40   8  57
 9 Manchester City 38 11  4  4 28 20  4  6  9 17 33 15 10 13  45  53  -8  55
10 West Ham United 38  7  7  5 24 24  6  3 10 18 26 13 10 15  42  50  -8  49
11 Tottenham H.    38  8  5  6 46 34  3  8  8 20 27 11 13 14  66  61   5  46
12 Newcastle Utd   38  8  5  6 25 26  3  5 11 20 39 11 10 17  45  65 -20  43
13 Middlesbrough   38  7  5  7 27 23  3  7  9 16 30 10 12 16  43  53 -10  42
14 Wigan Athletic  38  8  5  6 21 17  2  5 12 13 34 10 10 18  34  51 -17  40
15 Sunderland      38  9  3  7 23 21  2  3 14 13 38 11  6 21  36  59 -23  39
16 Bolton Wndrs    38  7  5  7 23 18  2  5 12 13 36  9 10 19  36  54 -18  37
17 Fulham          38  5  5  9 22 31  3  7  9 16 29  8 12 18  38  60 -22  36
18 Reading         38  8  2  9 19 25  2  4 13 22 41 10  6 22  41  66 -25  36
19 Birmingham City 38  6  8  5 30 23  2  3 14 16 39  8 11 19  46  62 -16  35
20 Derby County    38  1  5 13 12 43  0  3 16  8 46  1  8 29  20  89 -69  11

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1429