Newsletter #1467

A commanding performance as the Blues gave Portsmouth a 6-0 drubbing yesterday, enough to wipe the smile of ‘Appy ‘Arry’s face for quite some time. We have opinions on the game tonight together with a look at the players’ performances in early season and a number of requests.

Next up the Carling Cup game on the south coast.

Next Game: Brighton & Hove Albion, away, 7.45pm Wednesday 24 September 2008


It was not just the score that impressed me, but the way City played. Ireland almost played his rôle as a playmaker to perfection, not coming forward to score himself, but feeding the hungry strikers instead.

Jo is settling down to his new environment of Premier League football and his new team, City. Robhino is just Mr Magic, whenever he gets the ball at his feet there is excitement ahead for what he will do next.

Elano’s not yet up to form, maybe he needs a couple of games to get his confidence back? He’s never been the same since his injury of last season but we all know that Elano can play, and I have confidence that he will come through.

SWeeP back to his old self again, some brilliant stuff. Good to see Sparky bring on the younger players once we were well in front, it gives them more confidence and experience. Today’s team looked more like a Sparky team, he is getting there.

If I have to be negative after such a great performance, then our left back position needs strengthening come the next transfer window.

Today’s performance – just terrific! A team performance, everyone playing for each other, everyone playing for City.

Come on you Blues! In Sparky we trust.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


A quite scintillating performance against Portsmouth, today. Other contributors shall no doubt feature match reports; however, I was pleased that Mark H also gave a nod to the Academy by bringing on Evans and Sturridge in this game at the same time, allowing those coming off the pitch to receive their well deserved standing ovations.

Devastating forward play in this game; we’ve been waiting a long time for this amount of style to be evident, and it really was a pleasure to watch. Confident, deliberate and commanding in many areas all over the pitch today.

One game at a time, of course, although the signs are certainly there, that’s for sure.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


I have watched City’s last 2 matches on TV, and thought I should air my views on both.

I watched the match against Chelsea with anticipation, hoping that for once we would get a well earned victory over them. We started off very well, and Robinho made a dream start with a début goal but it was nearly all one sided after that, apart from the chance Ireland made and should really have taken to make it 2-1 to us.

What really galled me as the game progressed and Chelsea having the lion’s share of possession and us looking like we were just hanging on at times, was that we did not get at them. I was shouting at the TV screen, “close him down, don’t give him time, press the play!” Did we do anything? No… all we were prepared to do is get behind the ball. We let Lampard, Deco and Obi Mikkel run the show. Kompany, Ireland, Johnson and SWP should have been biting at their ankles every time they received the ball, they should not get a chance to lift their heads up to make clinical passes. To me, this is the way we should set our stall against the better teams. Hopefully we have the attack minded players who can do the business up front.

Why do we stop putting a defender on each post at corners? And our defending at set pieces is awful, Dunne wasn’t too clever at the back. With Lampard’s goal, did anyone make a tackle? No, they just kept backing off. Why? Give the foul away as high up the pitch as possible. The 3rd goal was inevitable, the man on the ball had enough time to make a through pass to Anelka, who is far too quick for Dunne.

Then when Terry got the red card (in my opinion it was justified, it was a deliberate and cynical foul), we had loads of possession around their box, but did we even once try a long range shot? No, we were trying to be like Arsenal and walk the ball in.

Hart (6) not much chance with any of the goals
Richards (6) caught out by Lampard for the 2nd goal
Dunne (6) does OK for most of the match, but is now looking a tad slow
Zabaleta (4) looked awful, was caught out too often and gave the ball away cheaply: not impressed!
Ball (6) did ok generally, but cannot be compared to Cole who gets into goalscoring positions and also defends well
Kompany (6) has all the attributes to be a midfield general, will get better
Johnson (5) should watch and learn from Lampard
Ireland (7) was one of our better players on the day, and could have scored a cracker
Jo (5) wins a lot of headers but did not have much support, will get better
SWP (7) again one of our brighter players, who has energy and runs at the opponents
Robinho (5) apart from the goal, he did nothing other than a few tricks, gives the ball away too cheaply
Fernandes (5) does his usual, run about a lot
Sturridge (5) not much chance to shine but I like him a lot, and he will get better

We played a lot better against Omonia of Nicosia last night, without the finishing that would have seen us rack up at least 5 goals. Again, Robinho just flits in and out of the match, and SWP seems to be the danger man for us.

Our defence needs to get their act together as the opposition did give us a few scares. Elano was awful for most of the match and gave the ball away time and time again with hopeful, long passes. We are so much better when we retain possession, and play our way in, rather than knock hopeful passes to players on their own up front. I would like to see Jo and Sturridge playing together, that could be a good partnership, with SWP and Robinho/Petrov on the wings, Kompany, and Ireland in the middle.

Come on you Blues against the African Nations Team of Portsmouth this Sunday…

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


I just had to put fingers to keyboard after the scintillating display against Portsmouth, as I guess may others will!

The display for the whole 90 minutes took my breath away. Slick, assured incisive passing. Silky skills and fantastic atmosphere. The best win I can remember after watching City for close on 40 years. Sublime and the ridiculous?

Does not seem so long ago that we threw away a 2-0 lead against Fulham. There was never a thought of any sort of capitulation last night.

Highlight of the game (apart from making the bar owner in Shanghai switch half the TV sets over to the City game from the United Chelsea match!) has to be Shaunie’s backpass for the fourth or was it the fifth? Who cares?

City are back and in real style!

CTID, Philip Gregory <ph.Gregory(at)>


Happiness for any football supporter is a 6-0 scoreline. But can any of your readers remember when this last happened in favour of City? I can remember beating West Bromwich Albion by that score in the 1967/68 season, and I think it was in a League Cup game.

But if things continue in this vein, we may never need to spend any of the new owner’s vast reservoirs of money on players. I always thought that Wright-Phillips would be a better buy than Ronaldino or Ronaldo. At least he has City in his makeup.

Maybe the funds would be better spent in increasing the capacity of COMS or creating a fund to pay the airfares of fans like me who would have to travel thousands of miles to watch one of the finals that they will be playing in!

Philip Van Gass <philipvangass(at)>


Anyone noticed the comments about ‘Donkey’ Dunne on the MuEN website? Now people are starting to notice.

I noticed two years ago.

Did everyone see how easily Lampard and Anelka went past him? Almost as if he wasn’t there. Let’s hope Pompey still want him.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


With all the millions being spent on new players and their wages (Robinho is getting around £1,000 an hour, every hour, whether awake or asleep!), would it be too much to ask for the club to put its hand into its newly deep pockets and do something for Neil Young, a local lad and one of our greatest ever servants, whose goals helped City win the League in ’68 and the Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup shortly after. He was sold on to Preston after 11 years, so never receiving a testimonial.

I hope that the club now organises a decent testimonial for him, and perhaps for some of the others who made City great, though without receiving anything like the rewards that the favoured few do now.

Robert Sleigh <Robert_Sleigh(at)>


With the imminent change of ownership at the club, here’s something to pass a few minutes of your time, and see how your opinion compares with other Blues around the world!

I have listed the top 30 players of the current squad below, and all you have to do for each one is to predict if they will still be at City next September, or leave in one of the next Winter and Summer transfer windows.

Just mark each player as either Staying, Winter Out or Summer Out, and add the reason for your choice if you want. Loan deals are classed as Staying. You’ll get 1 point for each correct prediction after the Winter window closes, and the same again after the Summer window closes, so a maximum of 60 points.

Add your entry as a comment to this article on my blog and get your City mates to have a go! If there are enough votes, Mark Hughes may even take our collective advice into account when making the decision!

I will tally up the predictions for each player as they come in, and issue them, so we can see what the general feeling of the supporters is.

After the January window closes we will assess who is the most accurate pundit amongst you! Then we will repeat the process for the Summer transfer window only, and see how opinion changes.

14. JO

Here are my predictions and comments to get the ball rolling:

1. HART Staying, though may be as second choice by the end of next summer.
2. RICHARDS Staying. No reason to leave and good enough for any top team.
3. BALL Summer Out. Glauber can play left full back, but if we haven’t got a world class left full back or two by next September, we have an issue.
4. ONUOHA Summer Out. Good player, but will be kept out by international signings and move on to another Premier League club. Possibly out on loan in the Winter (to Villa?).
5. ZABALETA Staying. New signing.
6. JOHNSON Mmm, Staying. Hope I am right on this one, but it may slow his development if he is not a regular starter.
7. IRELAND Winter Out. I just think he is losing the confidence in his own ability as big signings are coming in. Also needs to decide what he is doing with his hairstyle!
8. WRIGHT-PHILLIPS Staying! Obviously!
9. BOJINOV Summer Out. With his unfortunate injuries he is not able to stake a claim for a place. May even have to go out on loan in January. If not, most appearances will be from the bench.
10. ROBINHO Staying. Will be the fulcrum of the team unless an even bigger signing arrives!
11. ELANO Summer Out. May be a controversial opinion, and I hope I am wrong. His body language recently seems like he isn’t happy. Not sure if he is Mark Hughes’ type of player.
12. VASSELL Winter Out. Can’t see a place for him any longer, and his injury has left him down the pecking order. May even struggle to attract a Premier League side.
14. JO Staying. The goals against Omonia should boost his confidence, and make him a regular starter.
15. GARRIDO Summer Out. One of Sven’s poorer signings. Lacks pace.
16. SCHMEICHEL Winter Out. I’d be surprised if we don’t buy a top goalkeeper in the Winter window. Too good a prospect to be warming a bench.
17. PETROV Staying, but must improve his defensive skills.
18. MILLS Yes, he is still on the books! Summer Out, when contract expires I believe.
19. FERNANDES Summer Out. I don’t think he will be good enough next season to contribute to the higher expectations of the team. If he stays, it will only be as a squad member.
20. CAICEDO Winter Out. Might last until the Summer, but he has made absolutely no impact so far.
21. HAMANN Summer Out, possibly retiring. Been a tremendous holding player for City, but struggles to keep up now.
22. DUNNE Staying. As the expectancy levels are raised at City, Dunninho may struggle.
24. EVANS Staying. The best Academy striking prospect in my opinion.
25. CASTILLO Winter Out. His 1-year loan deal is up, and may go sooner if he can cancel his contract.
26. BEN-HAIM Summer Out. A badly timed move to City for the player given the new owners.
27. BENJANI Winter Out. Difficult to decide because of his injury, but did he really want to leave Portsmouth? A sentimental return to the South Coast?
28. STURRIDGE Staying, unless his ambition or agent takes him away.
29. ETUHU Winter Out. Now permanently squeezed out of the first team squad.
30. LOGAN Winter Out. As Etuhu.
33. KOMPANY Staying. A brilliant start to his City career, and a superb prospect.
36. GLAUBER BERTI Staying. New signing.
Out of 30 players:
8 Going in the Winter
9 Going in the Summer
13 Staying

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


I have a number of programmes from the 1980s onwards which, due to a house move, I need to get rid of. Whoever wants them will have to collect from the Stockport area.

Carol Darvill <casmcfc(at)>


MCFCfans Supports MCFC Babies in Ghana

Following Alex Channon’s final ‘Ghana Appeal’ post last week, it may be of interest to readers of MCIVTA to know that MCFC Babies have a dedicated page on the MCFCfans website.

The website address is:

The page has an MCFC Babies team profile and features regular updates from team coach Peter Amoabil. We wish the team all the best and hope that the assessment to apply to the Ghanaian league is successful.

Struan Malcolm <sm(at)>


Can anyone let me know what the words of the “Istanbul” chant/song are please?

P.S. Good to see Ireland and SWP have been given a new lease of confidence by the Brazil influence.

CTID, Ian Humphrey <ianhh(at)>


I’m looking for a spare ticket for the Brighton Cup game this week. If anyone can help, please call me on 07841 286596.

Paul Burgess <burgepc(at)>


21 September 2008

West Bromwich Albion  1 - 2  Aston Villa           26,011
Chelsea               1 - 1  Manchester United     41,760
Hull City             2 - 2  Everton               24,845
Manchester City       6 - 0  Portsmouth            40,238
Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 0  Wigan Athletic        35,808

20 September 2008

Sunderland            2 - 0  Middlesbrough         38,388
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 0  Fulham                19,398
Liverpool             0 - 0  Stoke City            43,931
West Ham United       3 - 1  Newcastle United      34,743
Bolton Wanderers      1 - 3  Arsenal               22,694

League table to 21 September 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          5  2  0  0  4  0  2  0  1  7  2  4  0  1  11   2   9  12
 2 Chelsea          5  1  2  0  6  2  2  0  0  4  1  3  2  0  10   3   7  11
 3 Liverpool        5  2  1  0  4  2  1  1  0  1  0  3  2  0   5   2   3  11
 4 Aston Villa      5  1  1  0  4  2  2  0  1  6  5  3  1  1  10   7   3  10
 5 Manchester City  5  2  0  1 10  3  1  0  1  5  4  3  0  2  15   7   8   9
 6 West Ham United  5  3  0  0  9  3  0  0  2  2  6  3  0  2  11   9   2   9
 7 Hull City        5  1  1  1  4  8  1  1  0  3  2  2  2  1   7  10  -3   8
 8 Sunderland       5  1  0  2  2  4  1  1  0  3  2  2  1  2   5   6  -1   7
 9 Everton          5  0  0  2  2  6  2  1  0  7  5  2  1  2   9  11  -2   7
10 Blackburn R.     5  1  1  1  2  5  1  0  1  4  6  2  1  2   6  11  -5   7
11 Fulham           4  2  0  0  3  1  0  0  2  1  3  2  0  2   4   4   0   6
12 Middlesbrough    5  2  0  0  4  2  0  0  3  2  6  2  0  3   6   8  -2   6
13 Portsmouth       5  1  0  1  2  2  1  0  2  3 10  2  0  3   5  12  -7   6
14 Wigan Athletic   5  0  1  1  1  2  1  1  1  6  2  1  2  2   7   4   3   5
15 Manchester Utd   4  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  1  3  3  1  2  1   4   4   0   5
16 Bolton Wndrs     5  1  1  1  4  4  0  0  2  1  3  1  1  3   5   7  -2   4
17 West Brom A.     5  1  0  2  5  6  0  1  1  0  1  1  1  3   5   7  -2   4
18 Stoke City       5  1  0  1  5  5  0  1  2  2  5  1  1  3   7  10  -3   4
19 Newcastle Utd    5  1  0  1  2  2  0  1  2  2  7  1  1  3   4   9  -5   4
20 Tottenham H.     5  0  1  2  2  4  0  1  1  2  3  0  2  3   4   7  -3   2

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1467