Newsletter #1458

News from Sarah tonight as Alex takes a holiday (two games in and the season has got to him!) with some slightly disheartening reports of the owner and the financial situation, injury woes and reaction to the Villa game. The transfer rumours continue, although nothing concrete as yet.

We have a match report on the Villa game with thanks to Thomas, plenty of opinion on the early season displays and a hatful of requests.

Oh well, as Don would have pointed out – we’re above Stoke.

Next Game: West Ham United, home, 4pm Sunday 24 August 2008


General News

Blues Borrow as Thaksin’s Assets are Frozen and Hughes Admits We’re in for a Bumpy Ride (But He Likes it Like That!): With Thaksin’s assets currently frozen in Thailand, City have taken steps to prevent any cash-flow issues by securing a loan with the Standard Bank plc. The club has taken the loan against the money they are due from the Premier League, including the basic award fund payment to all the clubs, the overseas broadcast rights and the merit award that is based on their league position. Last season City earned £40 million through their television revenue and merit award. And although City have bought Tal Ben Haim from Chelsea and Brazilian striker Jo this summer they also owe further payments on players purchased last year. Earlier in the week Hughes was forced to deny speculation that he was on the brink of resigning due to concern over his control on transfers. Hughes, who left the comparatively tranquil waters of Blackburn for the tempest of Eastlands, is adamant he will put City on course and mould a team capable of running with the best. He said: “I could have stayed at Blackburn for four, five or six years and I wouldn’t have experienced the pressure or demands or expectations I have here. But this is what I wanted. It’s why I made the change. I know exactly the way I work and the way my staff work and we’ll turn this place around. We’ll be going in the right direction. We’re trying to change the players physically and mentally but that can’t happen overnight.”

You’re Not Fit… Mark Hughes has taken a swipe at his predecssor for leaving him with what he considers is an unfit squad. City’s calamitous pre-season with Thursday’s 1-0 UEFA Cup qualifier defeat to FC Midtjylland adding to their woes – had Hughes blaming his squad’s lack of stamina. He claimed he was forced to replace the training methods in place under Eriksson with a more high-intensity programme, which some players had struggled to cope with.

The Hunt for Shinawatra: Shinawatra is at the centre of a new political row in Thailand after police put up ‘wanted’ posters of him and his wife. The former Thai prime minister is now in exile in Britain, with £800 million of his assets frozen, having admitted his advisers are seeking new investors – a situation that has led to speculation that the club is effectively up for sale. The Supreme Court in Bangkok has issued warrants for the arrest of Dr Thaksin and his wife Pojaman after they fled the country last week, claiming they couldn’t get fair trials in Thailand in a number of cases involving alleged corruption and abuse of power. Dr Thaksin, who was pictured shopping in Surrey last week, has refused to comment on his situation. The Premier League may act under their fit and proper person rules covering ownership of football clubs if Dr Thaksin, who has yet to apply for political asylum to stay in the UK, is found guilty in his absence by courts in Thailand.

Donetsk Get Tough Over Outstanding Payment: To add more worry to City’s money woes, Shaktar Donetsk have reported the club to FIFA. Shakhtar Donetsk claim they are still owed £475,000 as part of the deal that saw Elano join Manchester City last summer. Donetsk believe City still need to a pay a ‘solidarity payment’, which usually equates to five per cent of the total sum of the deal. The payment is distributed between clubs that played a part in the youth development of the player. However, City reportedly think the selling club are responsible for the payment. FIFA have now confirmed they have received a complaint from Donetsk and that they will unveil their findings in due course.

Match Reaction

Welcome to Manchester City, Mark! In a week that saw City concede defeat to Danish side FC Midtjylland, in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, Mark Hughes then had to watch as his side, then demonstrated some appalling defending against Aston Villa on Sunday. The day started out badly when Bojinov was helped off the field at the end of the pre-match warm-up. After expressing his sympathy for his striker, Hughes reflected on the game, and felt the scoreline was an unfair reflection of the performance: “I thought we were well in the game, and when we got back on level terms (Elano’s penalty cancelling Carew’s early goal), I felt that we were in the ascendency and that we were going to go on from that. Unfortunately we invited pressure on ourselves, made poor decisions in key areas and were not able to recover. All the hard work evaporated in those eight minutes, and the game went away from us.” Bojinov’s misfortune gave striker Ched Evans his Premier League début. And Hughes thought “Ched was excellent, he chased everything down and showed endeavour. But it was a big ask for a young player to carry the fight in his first start in the Premier League.”

Following Thursday night’s defeat, Hughes had called for a big improvement, and he feels he saw that and refused to be downcast. “I don’t think the scoreline is a reflection on how we played, it hurts at the moment but we will pick ourselves up for a big game next weekend. Unfortunately everybody is flying off for internationals, but we will get the group back on Thursday and work on the issues that came out of today. I’m not going to criticise individuals, we were in the game for long periods and I saw a lot of things I was happy with,” he concluded.

The Future’s Bright, the Future’s Orange – Well the Kit is Anyway! City kicked off the new league season at Villa Park sporting their new Le Coq Sportif third kit (which will be available to pre-order before the end of this month). The blaze orange shirt, accompanied by navy shorts, will be available as a limited edition in the shops from 27 September, but can be pre-ordered from Tuesday, 26th August (cynics amongst us, who watched Thursday night’s shocker will speculate that perhaps dressed in orange the players might be able to spot a team-mate to pass to!).

Mixed Fortunes for Reserve Teams: It was a reserves double header yesterday with a win and a loss to show for it. The Central League side started their defence of the league with a fantastic 3-1 victory over Blackpool at Fleetwood Town. Blackpool, with a number of senior professionals in their ranks, were down to 10 men after 28 minutes as Alex Baptiste was given a straight red card for a professional foul on striker John Guidetti. The Seasiders were giving run outs to five of Simon Grayson’s summer signings and one of those gave them the lead on 55 minutes. Former Sheffield United striker Steve Kabba gave Green’s cross the nod of approval but City’s youngsters fought back. Greg Cunningham fired a fine leveller on 78 minutes before Omar El Abdellaoui rolled City in front moments later. The game was sealed in some style by the graceful Abdi Ibrahim five minutes from time as he eased through the Blackpool backline, shimmied the ‘keeper and made it 3-1. Afterwards, Academy coach Andy Welsh claimed: “It was a terrific performance from a very young team made up of mainly Under 17 and 18 lads. Blackpool had a strong and experienced line-up with a number of first team players, but in the second half we got hold of the ball and played some great football.” (Anyone fancy a match on Sunday?) Not such good news for the Senior Cup side who went down 3-2 at Boundary Park against Oldham Athletic. City were 3-0 down after 39 minutes, but despite that setback, City stuck to the task and Paul Marshall set up a tense finish with two goals in the last seven minutes.

Bojinov (Is it Bulgarian for Bad Luck?): City striker Valeri Bojinov faces more injury heartache as he had to be helped from the field by City coaching staff after rupturing his right Achilles in the warm-up to the Premier League match with Aston Villa on Sunday. 22-year-old Bojinov missed most of last season through injury. This must be an additional headache for Hughes as Bojinov scored a stunning goal against AC Milan and City are not over burdened with players who can find the back of the net! Bojinov had surgery on Monday and early reports suggest that the op went well. Let’s hope he makes a speedy recovery.

Benjani Back Sooner Rather Than Later: With Vassell and Bojinov injured and Jo at the Olympics, Hughes will be delighted that Benjani is hoping to be backer sooner rather than later. The striker who has been out for a month with a thigh injury sustained in training is hoping to resume running in the next two weeks and though he is taking care to return to full fitness, he hopes to be back before October as first predicted.

Micah Misses Out: Micah Richards is disappointed to be overlooked by Fabio Capello, but has vowed to win back his place in the England squad. Meanwhile, the City defender features in former manager, Stuart Pearce’s U21 team against Sloveia at Hull, along with Nedum Onouha and Michael Johnson. However, after a ‘man of the match’ winning performance on Tuesday, Pearce is predicting that the City star will soon get his England place back. Richards scored the opening goal in the U21’s victory against Slovenia.

Not Quite The Send Off He’d Have Liked! City youngster Ryan McGivern was sent off on his début for Northern Ireland last night. The 18-year-old left-back had looked assured but was given his marching orders with 56 minutes gone for a second bookable offence.


Keane targets Ball: Allegedly…

City Too Roque For Santa: City have finally accepted defeat in their chase for Roque Santa Cruz. The Blues had hoped to tempt Blackburn to part with their prolific 27-year-old striker with an improved bid of £14 million but have now accepted that Rovers do not want to sell the Paraguayan international. Instead, manager Mark Hughes is looking abroad for two strikers to add to his injury-hit squad and will use the loan system if he has to. And the Eastlands outfit have also missed out on United’s French international defender Mikael Silvestre who last night signed for Arsenal for an undisclosed fee. Hughes has also told executive chairman Garry Cook that he would ideally like a rightsided midfielder and a left-back before the transfer deadline passes on September 1 (suggesting that maybe the rumours about Ball going to Sunderland are right?). Both 28-year-old Honduran international David Suazo at Inter Milan and Real Zaragoza’s 29-year-old Argentinian Diego Milito have been linked in the past 48 hours though each is being courted by other teams. Milito, who is valued at around £16 million by his recently relegated club, is also attracting interest from Real Madrid and Everton. Suazo, meanwhile, is wanted by both Roma and Benfica. Inter may not fancy letting him leave to join Serie A title rivals and the Blues, should they firm up their interest, will hope that Suazo prefers the Premier League to Portugal.

Agent Claims Interest: Nery Castillo is attracting interest from Roma and Real Betis, according to his agent. Carlos Padilla told “Negotiations are quite advanced. I think they are heading the correct direction as it is quite interesting. I knew it was possible to happen and it is taking better and better shape.” So it seems Betis get first dibs, and next week it will get sorted, depending on Castillo’s future rôle within either club. Castillo signed for City on a one year loan deal from Shakhtar Donetsk last January but his season ended prematurely following a nasty shoulder injury.

Johnson To Get New Deal: Meanwhile, City are hoping to secure Michael Johnson with a new deal after the player has reportedly been attracting interest from Villa, Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool. Let’s hope this happens quickly and helps to restore his performance on the pitch, which has looked decidedly less impressive recently.

Ex-Blues’ News

Farewell To A Former Blue: Former Manchester City and Oldham Athletic defender Ken Branagan has died at the age of 78. The Salford-born right back made 196 league and 12 FA Cup appearances for the Blues between 1948-1960, scoring three goals in his Maine Road career.

Bring Back SWP: Vital Man City regular Carl Tilson a.k.a. mcfcthriller liased with Eastlands officials during the AC Milan friendly a few weeks ago and handed in the following ‘Bring Back Shaun Wright Phillips’ Petition. The former City player, who was sold to Chelsea in 2005, is believed to want to stay and fight for his place, even though Chelsea seem to be having a major clear-out. But since Ronaldinho snubbed City, the team at Vital Manchester City started a petition because they wanted to give a voice to the City fans believing that they are the heart of the club and their views are just as important as City Officials. The petition asks “Will those in charge of City owner Thaksin Shinawatra’s financial purse allow Mark Hughes to make a bid for the one and only Shaun Wright-Phillips? Everyone will benefit from this – SWP will get regular football, the fans will be happy, bringing more people to matches, we’ll finally have that cutting-edge and balance on the left and right of midfield with Petrov on the left wing and Shaun on the right wing, also it will give us lots of pace down the flanks.” However, it is also believed that Portsmouth are after the former City winger to join David James and Sylvain ‘Show me the Money’ Distin.

Sommeil Suffers Heart Problem: Former Manchester City and Sheffield United defender David Sommeil is in hospital after suffering heart trouble with Valenciennes. The centre back was on a bench taking in fluid and talking to team-mates when he fell backwards and lost consciousness. The 34-year-old was then taken to the city’s hospital, where he is being looked after. A statement released by the club read: “According to medical staff at VAFC, David Sommeil has been the victim of a heart problem bringing about a loss of consciousness. He has been admitted to the intensive care unit of the Centre Hospitalier de Valenciennes.” (I am sure we all wish him a speedy recovery).

Sarah Longshaw <news(at)>


Well, what a thoroughly disappointing start to the season. Having seen some of the Midtjylland game on Thursday on the TV, I would have happily taken a draw before kick-off when watching in the flesh and, having seen the striking options, would definitely have settled for one.

I’m not convinced that buying Santa Cruz is a sensible choice (highly overvalued and do we have the money anyway?) and actually wasn’t sure we really needed another striker but, assuming Bianchi is written off, we definitely could do with one now. However, as this game showed, the other areas of the team that we knew were weak, central and right midfield, left back remain so and, certainly in the midfield, are at least as pressing.

So the game, what I can drag from the memory anyway. Both teams had an early season look about their performances, as did the ref positioning-wise although he got most decisions right. Villa were dominant throughout the first half, although City came into it more before the interval, but 0-0 was still a good scoreline. City had the best move of the half through a quick break with Petrov coming inside, linking with Johnson and Elano, before the shot, which was somewhat disappointing. However, Villa had many more opportunities and certainly Barry(?) should have scored coming in at the back post, and I’m not convinced Garrido knew he was behind him. Hart made a couple of other saves and Villa also looked much the more dangerous from set pieces, a failing I hope Hughes works on. I don’t want City to become Bolton but I’d like to watch a game where I think “we could score from this” from our corners and don’t flinch every time the opposition’s are played in.

Straight after half time all the good work was undone and I didn’t know how we’d get back into it. Time and space to pick out the cross and an easy header really. Then a slightly bizarre passage of play in which both midfields completely lost the ability to put their foot on the ball and it was pinging from one end to the other with both teams racing up and down the pitch. Quite exciting but will have pleased neither manager. No idea on the penalty (live) as it was the other end from where I was sat but it was dispatched with aplomb. Then everything went wrong really. However, the second goal (which I could, as with all the Villa goals, see all too well) involved a clear push by Agbonlahor to remove the defender and create the space to finish. However, the hospital pass from Fernandes that allowed the whole thing to happen frankly deserved to be punished. The third was again down to the midfield failing to track back (this time probably Etuhu) so Corluka was bypassed, Ben Haim had to come out to help, and Richards could not mark two strikers. The fourth was ridiculous although if Hart had had a stronger right hand, maybe wouldn’t have gone it? Villa unsurprisingly coasted after that and City brought on Sturridge who made more of an impact in 9 minutes than Evans had had in the previous 81. I think starting with both may have been more productive. City now dominated, kept the ball well but with little penetration (with the exception of Sturridge), and the game faded away with silent City and angry Villa (as City kept the ball around their box) fans.

Player Ratings:
Hart – made some saves, little he could do with most of the goals.
Corluka – I think looks a lazy runner rather than a lazy player. I’d certainly keep him but we need a right winger to provide a good combination with him.
Richards – superb game and marshalled Carew (who I had been worried about after his performance in this game last season) well and put in some last ditch clearances.
Ben Haim – I didn’t see why he was bought. On this showing he’s a solid defender without enough pace or passing ability to get in the team if everyone’s fit, so why?
Garrido – gets forward well and then is caught out of position too far up field which is dangerous against any team, particularly one with wingers. Not very impressive.
Fernandes – worst player on the pitch, gave the ball away innumerable times and chased around all over the place without getting a foot in properly; by halfway through the second half most of the team seemed reluctant to pass to him (Hamann was on the bench, why not bring him on?).
Johnson – tidy but I’d have liked to see more box-to-box from him; seemed to drop deeper and deeper as Fernandes became more and more anonymous.
Etuhu – never outpaced Shorey, was given little support and so often isolated two on one; battled well (as the MUEN might say).
Petrov – why commentators insist on saying he beats his man I don’t know. Still the most dangerous outlet and linked well, particularly with Elano, on occasion but also did the usual standing still, pointing and, at one point, apparently booting the ball away in a hissy fit when in possession.
Elano – tightly and aggressively marked but stuck to it and did better in the second half.
Evans – also quite isolated but kept himself busy, a couple of half chances and did well on début.
Sturridge – deserves a mark even though on with little time to go. Looked exciting and a threat, which is what City lacked all afternoon.
Ireland – on for Fernandes but far too late. Didn’t do much but didn’t give the ball away as much either.

All in all not great, especially as it wasn’t a 4 goal performance from Villa either. Some serious training ground work to do and I wonder how much is really going on behind the scenes and how much it’s playing on the first team’s mind?

Thomas Bodey <tbodey01(at)>


Thanks to Daughter No. 2 coming up with complimentary tickets, we went to the KC on Tuesday to watch the U21’s.

The good news is Micah was awesome, made the game his own and deservedly got MOM. Playing full back and getting forward, maybe a case to switch him and Corluka? Nedum had a great game, looked fit and worked well with Micah.

Michael Mancienne from Chelsea was also outstanding and a name to watch out for. How I wish we had a player who could deliver a dead ball as accurately as Tom Huddlestone, and personally I think Milner is wasted at Newcastle.

The bad news is that Michael Johnson was c**p: first touch generally poor, distribution generally poor and athleticism virtually nil. He played like he did against the Danes last week and playing like this he will be lucky if St Johnstone come calling never mind Arsenal/Liverpool or others. Stuart Pearce did him a favour keeping him on for 15 minutes of the second half because on this showing he will not get a place in the next U21 squad. After watching the passion of some of the Olympians representing England he could have at least looked interested when he pulled the shirt on!

There is more good news though, the pies were great and the Fosters tasted like… well, Fosters? Shame they can’t do that at COMS. Looking forward to the KC again in Nov, an enjoyable evening.

No 2 son has turned out to be a bit of a fortune teller… after the débâcle against the Danes he said, “If we play like that on Sunday, Agbonlahor will have a field day!” So next time he quotes words of wisdom outside the City Store I will get a bet on sharpish.

Regards to all.

CTID, MickB <koolfurmick(at)>


Since the FA Cup final defeat against Spurs, it’s been the same old ,same old for me.

Far too many downs and not enough ups, yet here I am, still a long suffering Blue (and always will be I reckon).

Just a quick word on this season and then I’m off to see if I can find someone to invest some money into the City pot.

Team sheet as follows (subject to injuries (any of our strikers)/ tantrums (Corluka and Johnson)/confusion (Ireland)/lack of funds):

GK = Hart
RB = Micah / CENTRE = Dunne & Ben-Haim / LB = to be bought
RW = to be bought / MIDFIELD = Hamann (sparingly) & Johnson / LW = Petrov
STRIKER = Jo & Elano (playing just off Jo)

Use Kasper as cover GK
Nedum as cover RB & CENTRE
Ball as cover LB
Garrido as cover LB & LW
Etuhu as cover RW
Gelson as cover MIDFIELD
Ireland as cover to Elano
Sturridge as cover to Jo

We have some great youngsters coming through and Benjani / Vass / Bojinov (one day) all to return up front.

Sell Corluka / Bianchi / Caicedo (or stick him in the reserves) and lose Castillo and D. Mills.

It’s clear we need some quality 1st team additions (LB / RW / Holding Midfield) and use what we have as cover.

It’s always worrying at City, so why all the surprise? Just because we get bought by a “billionaire” doesn’t mean we have the funds to challenge Roman and the Yanks – that would be far too easy – keep the faith one and all.

Luke Todd <ekuldot(at)>


Things are not looking good regarding the lack-of-striker situation, especially since Bojinov has yet again fallen prone to a lengthy and serious injury.

Added to that, recent media quotes that suggest we may now not be successful in luring Santa Cruz from Blackburn if, indeed, we were ever in the running for the goalscorer? Difficult to tell these days, since there is so much press speculation about any and all events connected with the club whether valid, or not. Makes us look disjointed and somewhat disorganised, unfortunately.

Perhaps another route to take would be to enquire whether we should obtain SWP in a season-long loan deal (just in case the money has finally run out, who knows?). Somehow, though, I really don’t think the player would even consider returning.

Never dull at City. Mark H really has his work cut out for him, as if he didn’t already know that. Let’s hope he enjoys a challenge and is really in it for the long run.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written but the last couple of performances could not go by without comment.

First things first, I am gutted by the injury to Bojinov as, like many, I was looking forward to seeing him lead the line/partner Jo.

Secondly, I’d like to say that although we’re not a million miles off being a reasonable outfit (Milan), too many more performances like the limp efforts against FC Midtjylland and Villa and we’ll be really struggling. I apologise for the possible negative tone of this contribution but I was really down after walking away from Villa Park. After watching Thursday’s pretty horrible effort against the Danish league leaders I have to confess I was worried about the weekend, especially with the raft of quality recent signings that Villa have made. In the end, Friedel, Young and Shorey apart, the Villa team pretty much resembled the one that City have taken points off in their sleep over the last few seasons. The surprise for City was the change in formation (back to Eriksson’s 4-5-1) with Ched Evans up front on his own (I didn’t at this stage know about Bojinov) but why no Sturridge? He’s been by far and away one of our best players in the ties so far.

City were under the cosh from the start and in truth Villa could have been 3 or 4 clear at half time such was the ease with which they found space in the midfield and then the defence. City had a cross-cum-shot from Etuhu and a couple of blocked efforts to show for their work. Second half was a different story despite my brother and I thinking it was pretty much over when Villa scored as we hadn’t looked like scoring ourselves; we were given a route back in when Johnson was fouled in the box (a text from a mate suggested it was a soft penalty). The game was very open but slack passing, lack of tracking men and gifting of space to Villa meant that we just fell apart and conceded three very soft goals in 10 minutes. Sturridge and Ireland came on, both had well saved shots within 2 minutes of their entrances (Sturridge’s nearly took Friedel with it into the net). He looked very lively and gave City a focal point with their attacks but, despite Corluka’s tap in, the game had long left City behind. 4-2.


Richards – outstanding but how long can we rely on him as our ‘get out of jail free card’, covering every City defender across the back line?
Sturridge – looked class and in about 10 minutes posed more of a threat than City had for most of the game.
Petrov – showed a much improved work rate from last season – I still struggle to understand why a player with jet-heels never takes on his man, frustrating at times.
Etuhu/Evans – no shortage of work rate and effort but is that enough?

Fernandes – gave the ball away numerous times, not least for Villa’s second goal. Like ‘Lampard-Gerrard’ (but for different reasons) I am not convinced that Johnson and Fernandes works. Their positional play is poor and too often more experienced midfielders find acres of space in the midfield.
Ben Haim – distribution is as poor as Dunne’s at times. Slow and caught out for the fourth goal.
Corluka – never got forward in support of Etuhu, which meant that Etuhu was often isolated near the corner and lost possession.

I just don’t understand why we haven’t dealt with known problem areas of right midfield and defensive midfield. Frustrating. Oh and two final thoughts, how does John Carew get away with pushing so much?! And what is going on with our new kit…

Ed Bodey <edbodey(at)>


So… it’s Mikael Silvestre! I genuinely thought the days of bringing in ex-Reds who are well past their sell-by date were long, long, gone. Just how wrong can you be? You can change the Chairman, you can change the Manager, you can change the players, you can change the administrators, you can change the sponsors… But you just can’t change the DNA of this soap opera of a club! I for one don’t want ex-Reds who are past it! Is this the best we can do? Really?!

As for Michael Johnson, a big time Charlie! Very lazy, very casual, loses possession more times than you dare to think about and his distribution is not the finest. Yes, one or two fancy flicks here and there but no substance. It was only Elano last season who made him look better than he is. Basically a lightweight. Liverpool show us your cash!

I have also had just about enough of Mr. Hughes going on about lack of fitness. He has had the team for 8 weeks and a full pre-season. If the squad is unfit it’s his fault. Don’t keep blaming Sven, he left months ago (unfortunately). And why not play Bianchi? Who else have we got? Sorry, but Mr. Hughes is already causing me serious concern. It does not bode well. It really doesn’t. It will all end in tears, as usual! The soap opera continues…

Ray Bardsley <rbardsley(at)>


In reply to Phil Bannerjee talking about the defending at Villa: ‘The return of Richard Dunne from suspension should see an improvement in that department’

That’s the best laugh so far this season. Sorry Phil, Dunne showed his true colours against, well, the UEFA Cup first leg (I wasn’t going to attempt to spell it).

Thick as pig sh*t. Can’t mark a man, and a liability. Fed up of saying it. Fed up of seeing it.

Who would you drop, Richards? Ben Haim? No thanks, let Dunne sit in the stands and watch (should have let Portsmouth have him and spent the money on a talking midfielder).

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


So we’ve bought Blackpool’s cast-off jerseys and sprayed the Thomas Cook logo on them. Somehow I can’t see that orange/tangerine number being a best seller. Let’s see, shall I wear the classic blue, the red and black, or shall it be the bright freekin orange?

I think the Blackpool curse wasn’t limited to the jerseys. Sunday’s defending was reminiscent of a “gentleman’s excuse me” tea dance at the winter gardens. “No, after you”, “no I insist”, “after you, please”. I dunno. Our strength was supposed to be our defending. I appreciate that Dunne wasn’t available, but with gift week coming early we made an average villa team look good. The amount of space given was ridiculous, to say nothing of the loose ball midfield.

I’m not trying to cast doom and gloom as genial Joe was often to say, but on that showing it’s going to be a long season. Sturridge was great. The recently follically-challenged Ireland was lively. I won’t dwell on the bad.

Keep the faith as Ernie B says.

Andy Johnson <fastandyj(at)>


Just a quick appeal to anyone who might be travelling independently for the second leg against Midtjylland.

I have to be back at Billund airport within 90 minutes of the final whistle (please, no extra time!) and was wondering if anyone else finds themselves in a similar position?

If so, you probably already know that the public transport links covering the 60 km between Herning and Billund are virtually non-existent, so you might wish to share a cab because I’ve been on to the local companies and the cheapest quote I’ve been given is £70 (which, to be fair, isn’t too bad, but still a lot of money).

Alternatively, I’d be delighted to hear from anyone who is driving or knows someone running a coach towards Billund immediately after the game.

Any help would be very much appreciated, because I’ve done a few silly things in my time but I reckon waking up on a Friday morning in Denmark with no money, no flight and a stinking hangover would just about top the lot!

Not that I don’t trust myself or anything.

Mike Holden <mike(at)>


The new-season Premier League Excel spreadsheet file is ready.

I’m currently in the process of changing my hosting server, so temporarily the start-of-season file can be downloaded from the following URL:

I’ll be making the formal announcement when the new server is up and running.

As ever, I’d be most grateful to hear of any suggestions, or reports of any errors spotted.

Mark Vincent <caegwyntog(at)>


Greetings from the Boston, MA.

Looking for a bit of knowledge. I remember before the club was sold last time there was a lot of financial information concerning the team constructed by one of your supporters. I was wondering if this information was still available as well as if there are updates to the current financial standing under the current administration?

Thank you as always.

Marc Anderson <manderson999(at)>

[Hi Marc, the articles can still be found on the website here and then scroll down to the bottom, there’s a link to them – Ed]


I have a number of City programmes from 1951-2003 I am looking to sell. They are a mix of home and away plus some testimonial and friendly games. If anyone is interested, please get in touch and I can provide a list.

Andrew Cleaver <cleaverandrew(at)>


17 August 2008

Chelsea               4 - 0  Portsmouth            41,468
Aston Villa           4 - 2  Manchester City       39,955
Manchester United     1 - 1  Newcastle United      75,512

16 August 2008

Arsenal               1 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  60,070
Bolton Wanderers      3 - 1  Stoke City            22,717
Everton               2 - 3  Blackburn Rovers      38,675
Hull City             2 - 1  Fulham                24,525
Middlesbrough         2 - 1  Tottenham Hotspur     32,623
West Ham United       2 - 1  Wigan Athletic        32,758
Sunderland            0 - 1  Liverpool             43,259

League table to 18 August 2008 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD  Pts
 1 Chelsea          1  1  0  0  4  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   4   0   4   3
 2 Aston Villa      1  1  0  0  4  2  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   4   2   2   3
 3 Bolton Wndrs     1  1  0  0  3  1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   3   1   2   3
 4 Blackburn R.     1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  3  2  1  0  0   3   2   1   3
 5 Hull City        1  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   2   1   1   3
 6 Middlesbrough    1  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   2   1   1   3
 7 West Ham United  1  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   2   1   1   3
 8 Arsenal          1  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   1   0   1   3
 9 Liverpool        1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  1  0  1  0  0   1   0   1   3
10 Manchester Utd   1  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0   1   1   0   1
11 Newcastle Utd    1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  1  0   1   1   0   1
12 Everton          1  0  0  1  2  3  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1   2   3  -1   0
13 Fulham           1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  2  0  0  1   1   2  -1   0
14 Tottenham H.     1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  2  0  0  1   1   2  -1   0
15 Wigan Athletic   1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  2  0  0  1   1   2  -1   0
16 Sunderland       1  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1   0   1  -1   0
17 West Brom A.     1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  1   0   1  -1   0
18 Manchester City  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  2  4  0  0  1   2   4  -2   0
19 Stoke City       1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  3  0  0  1   1   3  -2   0
20 Portsmouth       1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  4  0  0  1   0   4  -4   0

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1458