Newsletter #1492

After the disappointment of the Everton game earlier in the week, yet more with the performance and result from Spain tonight. We have news and match reaction from Alex, together with latest transfer rumours.

There is plenty of opinion on the recent slump in form, the way forward, players and management and responses to recent requests.

Next up the Baggies.

Next Game: West Bromwich Albion, away, 1.30pm Sunday 21 December 2008


McVittee Towers will be closed on Thursdays 25 December and 1 January; the festive editions will go out as follows:

  • No 1493 on 22 December
  • No 1494 on 29 December

We would like to wish all subscribers, contributors, readers and of course MCFC a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2009.


General News

(Executive) Chairman’s Changing Times: Following whispers of Hughes’ supposed impending sacking from the Manchester City post, Executive Chairman Garry Cook has once again spoke of the owner and Chairman’s devotion to stability at the club. Admitting that the fans have been ‘short changed’ of late, Cook told reporters that exciting times lie ahead and this period of what can only be described as ‘mess’, is one that will soon pass and then the trail to world beating will begin. The former Nike executive claimed: “Fans see those twists and turns but what we don’t want to do is change our direction and change what we’re trying to get done over the long term based on a couple of results. If they (the fans) don’t get what they want then they have a right to make their feelings known. At the same time the fans also have to know that this Club is going through radical change. We didn’t flick a switch and think everything was going to be fine. We’ve got infrastructure investments going on, we’re changing people, and there’s change all over the Club. More importantly the culture of the Club we are trying to deep root the future and the building of the future doesn’t happen overnight. It was clearly stated by Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarak that the team they have in place they are comfortable with. We move ahead with that in mind. We again don’t presume that anything’s going to go wrong. We’ll deal with what results happen over the next four, five months as we get into the second half of the season. Mark is an experienced guy and an experienced manager. He knows what success looks like and that he has a rôle to play in delivering that success.”

Euro Top Spot: Mark Hughes has told of his desire to top the UEFA Cup group going into the final game of the group stages away to Racing Santander. The Welshman knows of the importance of finishing in the top spot as avoiding a Champions’ League drop-out will be paramount to the struggling City side. Unbeaten and with seven points from a possible nine, the Blues’ chances couldn’t look better but traveling to Spain will be no easy tie and Steve McLaren’s FC Twente side are hot on the heels of the Citizens. Hughes explained: “We’ve had a look at the teams that we could face if we stay in second position, but of course if we win the group that won’t be a worry to us. You just have to look at the quality of the teams dropping down from the Champions’ League to understand that winning the group would be a real bonus for us, so that’s our mindset going into that game. There are some top quality sides in the UEFA Cup, even before this group of Champions’ League sides dropped in. The standard of the competition has been high from the start, it’s going to take a really good team to win it and we’re aiming to stay in to the latter stages and prove we are a good team.”

Auction Action: City’s appeal to raise funds for the New Children’s Hospital took a huge boost as the deadline for the derby day shirts auction passed. The shirts from last year’s victorious away trip to ‘The Swamp’ raised more than £11,000, all of which will be passed on to the appeal. The highest bid was that of £1,505 for Benjani’s shirt who scored on what was his début for the club and closely following the Zimbabwean striker’s top was that of recently rejuvenated Stephen Ireland, whose top was sold for £1,450. The club would like to thank all those who made bids on the online auction in order to aid such a good cause.

Squad News

Bounce-Back-Ability: The most consistent of City’s recent performers has been Belgian international Vincent Kompany and he believes that it’s time for City to turn over a new leaf going into the festive period. Whilst accepting that the Blues have been playing way below their potential, the midfielder believes it is only a matter of time before results pick up: “It’s hard, but the only way to deal with it is to keep our heads up, work hard in training and focus on the next game. I think if you look at the game and the chances created, Everton could have scored before, but we had our chances to score as well. With a little bit of luck we would have scored the first goal and then that happens with them getting a goal in the last minute from a set piece. That is the first thing a coach says can’t happen. It is frustrating but we have to learn from this.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Ramos’ Real Ruin Party: The number of players linked with a move to City since the lucrative sale of the club has been ridiculous and yet one of the more likely and promising transfer was that of Lassana Diarra from Portsmouth. The 23-year-old who has also played for Arsenal and Chelsea despite his young age looked set to move up North in order to help Vincent Kompany sure up the club’s leaky defence. However, Spanish champions Real Madrid have slipped in with a £24 million bid for the Frenchman and it is believed that even though City can match any bid and wage demands that Real set, the player himself would prefer a move to the Bernabeu having told Portsmouth when he first joined them that they were only a stepping stone to better things.

City Hammer Point Home: Confusion arose this week after weeks of huge names being linked with the club, this week threw up Craig Bellamy. Not sure quite why Hughes would go for Bellamy when he has unlimited funds at his disposal but there you go. Granted, Hughes managed Bellamy before at Blackburn but then he had a transfer budget of less than ten million a season and now if Hughes spends less than £10 million on a player, the fans will be in uproar. Rumours of a six million pound bid were followed by the report that the Blues plan to spend a combined £20 million on Bellamy’s West Ham team mates, Matthew Upson and Dean Ashton. As West Ham face financial meltdown due to the credit crunch, selling may be the only way that Hammers’ manager Gianfranco Zola has any sort of transfer budget in the New Year. Whilst Dean Ashton has spent weeks at a time sat on the sidelines for the London club, Hughes seems to think that his goal scoring abilities are the answer to City’s predicament. At the same time Matthew Upson has won international acclaim putting in a string of impressive performances for England. Competition is desperately needed for the underperforming Richard Dunne and Micah Richards and it would be nice if that competition was provided by home grown talent. Another option would be that of Joleon Lescott of Everton who would cost just as much as Upson at £10 million but may be harder to prise away from his club.

Recycled Rumours: As Elano is seen as the perfect replacement for Diarra down at Fratton Park, talk is still rife of a £50 million move for Fernando Torres who might just fancy the challenge at City. Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano could be another of the targets to solve City’s striker crisis but will cost £25 million from the former UEFA Cup Champions. Jo seems to be desperately seeking a loan move, having failed to find his feet in Manchester, with Everton, CSKA, and Espanyol all interested in the Brazilian youngster. Roque Santa Cruz is now considered a definite to sign come the transfer window given the recent capitulation of Blackburn Rovers and newly installed manager Sam Allardyce may find it very hard to turn down £20 million, almost seven times what the Lancashire club bought him for from Bayern Munich. Despite being offered a new contract at Newcastle United this week, it is assumed that Michael Owen will knock back a £20,000 a week pay cut in order to move to mega money Manchester City.

Post-Match Reaction

I find myself, week after week, taking yet another shot at the manager and the players and yet week by week they prove they can hit a new low. Finding myself sat behind the goal, with 60 seconds left on the clock and watching Hart slide in front of me to save the ball, I thought “well at least he’s trying”. Twenty seconds later we were behind to the sloppiest defending of the year and I didn’t even feel shocked. Having experienced the high of Portsmouth, I can only hope that Everton is the low because it is time to turn this around. Losing to Spurs at home was a joke, losing the lead against Hull was disappointing, and the effort made in the derby was farcical but the second half performance against Everton was the worst I’ve ever seen. There was no motivation, no tactical changes and (but for SWP’s pearl of a shot) at no point did we look like we were going to score. I’ll be honest and say I’ve questioned in recent weeks whether or not Hughes is the one to take us forward. I know he’s had only a little time to settle into job but he’s just not got it at the moment. I ignore the argument that he’s not brought in his own players yet because until you find a manager who would be disappointed that Robinho, SWP and Vincent Kompany had been brought in for them, I think it’s down to Hughes to create something from what he’s got. Look at Redknapp at Spurs who hasn’t brought in anyone of his own, his sheer tactical awareness and motivational skills have sorted out that mess. That decision is in the hands of Sheikh Mansour but if he plans to make City a European force within ten years, I’m not sure whether the Welshman will be in charge for the whole journey. Of the Everton performance, Sparky claimed: “It’s disappointing to lose the game and for Everton to win in the manner that they did. We have to be more resolute and make sure we get our job done. I don’t really feel that either team did enough in the game to warrant three points. Everton will look at their performance and think it’s a good away performance. We needed to show a bit more guile, craft and a little bit more personality on occasions to retain possession and ask more questions. It’s disappointing because of the timing of the goal because there’s absolutely no chance to get back into the game at that point.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


The reason why we were defeated by Everton has nothing to do with Mark Hughes, as many people have suggested, but was all to do with the quality of our centre backs and the intelligent management of David Moyes.

Moyes knows that our two centre backs are useless in possession of the ball and can’t pass for toffee. They don’t have the confidence/ability to step forward to join the midfield with and lay the ball off to a more talented player. If you put pressure on them when they have the ball they end up aimlessly hoofing it up, passing it square or delaying release of the ball until all our good players are tightly marked. So, if you have hard working players like Everton who follow the manager’s instructions and put pressure on players who are uncomfortable in possession, it’s dead easy to stop us playing.

With the limited resources at his disposal, Moyes is easily the best manager in the league and has been for some time. All his players are his own and they all implicitly know what he wants. Getting goals from set pieces, whenever in the game the opportunity arises, is a crucial part of Everton’s game and for that alone they deserved the win.

Hughes, on the other hand, was forced to play just about the only 11 available to him on the day. We looked like misfits who, if we had a game plan, clearly struggled to execute it because the chemistry of the team was simply not there and was frustrated by Everton’s superb concentration and application.

I actually quite like the fact that Hughes plays Vassell in front of Elano and Benjani instead of Jo. It’s a sign of intent. He prefers players who work hard for the team and have bottle against those who do not. In time he’ll have at his disposal players who both work hard and are also technically excellent.

I’m backing Hughes, though whatever else he does in the transfer window, his first priority must be two/three world class defenders, at least one of which needs to be a centre back.

Paul Mooney <paul.g.mooney(at)>


Ray Bardsley says “Let’s first clearly understand we have gone from a top ten team under Sven who were making progress, playing decent, enjoyable, entertaining football to a team of relegation contenders in just 9 games.” That’s not quite right. In fact, we have gone from a top 4 team that were making progress playing decent, enjoyable, entertaining football to a team of relegation contenders in just 30 games, 20 of them under Sven. For those who don’t remember, the second half of the season under Sven was utter rubbish, culminating in humiliation at the hands of (of all teams) Gareth Southgate’s Middlesbrough. My best guess is that other teams just figured out the tactics, decided who were the men to stop and that was the end of it. Sven didn’t seem to have an answer, and he bequeathed the problem to Hughes.

Hughes, and this is where I agree with Ray, has been awful. He really hasn’t got any excuses for the dross he has been serving up. It isn’t like he was given Stuart Pearce’s budget. Even given that he only had a couple of hours to spend the really big money, he was given Robinho, gift wrapped, to solve the striker problem, and the tremendous Shaun Wright Phillips.

So what now? Hughes out? I still say no.

If it takes some chefs an hour to make a Christmas pudding, and some chefs two hours, then some kitchens will have to be more patient than others. But if a kitchen keeps firing its chef after 45 hapless minutes, that kitchen will never make one. So it’s all clear now, see?

For the moment, I’m willing to count it as teething trouble, and hope the man comes good.

Bernard Molyneux <molyneux(at)>


So, imagine you are at a job interview and you ask your prospective employer “What happened to the guy who had this job before?” “Oh, we fired him after six months.” “What happened to the guy before that?” you ask. “Oh, he was fired after 12 months.” “Well,” you ask “are the employees being managed any different from when the last guy took over?” Your interviewer tells you “No, this team is basically the same since last year.” Then you ask “So basically, you fired the last guy without giving him a chance to change the staff then?” Cue shuffling of feet by interviewer.

This is what those of you who want Hughes out have to face up to. Why would anyone take this job if we fire Hughes now? Who is going to be his replacement? Remember we all thought Stuart Pearce and Sven were the saviour, what makes you think you are any more correct now than you were back then? Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Ranieri, all these people the anti-Hughes muppets bleat on about are not available. And even if available, tell me how they are going to be any better? And no, “’cause he just will” is not an acceptable answer. Tell me specific, unique qualities that your replacement is going to bring that is going to make Elano give a crap, make Micah stop standing still staring at the ball, and make Richard Dunne four steps quicker.

Give Hughes time to have two transfer windows to put his stamp on this thing. If we are bottom half this time next year, then I will loudly proclaim that I was wrong. Instability has been killing this club for years. These players that we all love to insult are not going to listen to the manager if they know he is leaving after the next bad result. If you want Micah, Jo, Elano et al to act like pros, then they have to know that the manager is in charge and isn’t going anywhere. The have know that Hughes is in more control than “drunk Steve” in Row Z. I don’t want a mercenary manager who will only be lured by cash and nothing else (whose head we’ll be calling for after 4 matches anyway). Hughes has a long range plan, let’s at least let enough water under the bridge pass before we pass judgment. Or should your boss come in and sack you because you have achieved the same result as your predecessor with the same sub-standard tools without allowing you to buy new ones?

Jesse McClure <jfm3tx(at)>


Unfortunately, I have to question the accuracy and validity of the Everton match report submitted by Mr Banerjee. If I had not been at the game and seen it with my very own eyes I could/would have thought we played well and was just a tad unlucky. No way man! We were out thought, out fought and out played (at home!) by a team who couldn’t even muster a recognised striker of any description. They were the better team. More hungry, more hard working and more of a team by a country mile. Our defending was inept and the goal was a shambles. Dunne, Richards, and Ball should hang their heads in shame. It is clear Robinho is losing faith as each game passes and is wondering what on earth has he done joining MCFC. Overall the performance was poor to say the least. Both individually and collectively.

Please, let’s not start reporting games as we would like to see them, but as they actually are. Let’s not continue to make excuses for a under performing manger who is clearly struggling. It was another inept performance. As the weeks roll on this team are starting to look more and more like the team Stuart Pearce had and playing the same type of football during that dire period. We need 6 points out of the next possible 9 or we are in deep trouble. We are not unlucky or unfortunate. The league table does not lie. Let’s stop seeing things through rose tinted glasses and let’s start seeing and reporting things how they actually are. The truth often hurts. However, we have seen it all before and without doubt will see it all again some time in the future. It’s nothing new, it’s part of supporting the Blues and like many others I have been watching it for some 42 years! However, I don’t feel that making excuses for poor performances solves anything. Let’s wake up and smell the coffee, we are in trouble and the way we are playing does not fill you with any degree of confidence that we can turn things around anytime soon. A defeat against WBA on Saturday is unthinkable – or is it?

[Others are welcome to send in match reports and we’re very grateful to Phil for the time and effort he puts into his, which always seem well balanced to me – Ed]

Ray Bardsley <rbardsley(at)>


As usual, us City fans seem to be pretty split on Mark Hughes’ future, but it’s not surprising given that we’ve had so many false dawns in the past. With numerous previous panic appointments I can understand that some people want to give Mark Hughes more time, but really this is in complete denial of what is happening on and off the pitch. Okay, it is unlikely that the new owners are likely to cut and run so there is the unusual situation of there being a little more time for a manager to develop the team and put into place a blueprint for the future. However, Hughes is clearly not the man to do this for the following reasons.

Shortly after Sven had taken over it was easy to see the improvement in the style of play, plus the improvement in tactics, positioning and imagination from Pearce’s reign – small things, like putting men on both posts at corners, the goalkeeper being encouraged to roll the ball out, rather than just ‘hoof it’ upfield and the full backs moving wide to help improve width. The presence of new more able players such as Petrov, Corluka and Elano also helped. Despite all not being well under Sven, we managed to stay around the top four up until Christmas and then top ten for the rest of the season.

As City have recently been more secretive than the Cosa Nostra it is hard to be certain what went wrong under Sven, but continuing to play with only one striker up front didn’t help. He was certainly being undermined by Thaksin, and I think he sussed out from before last year’s January transfer window that the job wasn’t everything he’d been told it was. After that it was a slow, but inevitable death for Sven’s City.

Mark Hughes was brought in when City were still deep in crisis because he was available and therefore cheap. His level of ‘success’ at Blackburn (a 43% win ratio keeping them mid-table without ever winning anything) was now all that Thaksin and his advisors could envisage for City, but then the Arab gold arrived.

We are now in a position of having owners who like to shop at Selfridges with a manager who can only do well by shopping at Aldi. From the first few matches this season onwards it has also been quite clear that, despite Sven’s faults, we have gone backwards in terms of tactics. We now play how Stuart Pearce’s teams played – ‘hoof’ the ball up the pitch, bypassing the midfield where our most talented players are, and hope these midfielders can then feed off the scraps coming to them off of a front-man holding the ball up. Well, it is obviously news to Hughes that we don’t have that kind of striker as he continues to persist with this tactic despite it continuing to leave us short up front. He plays players out of position, chooses less able or unfit players, rather than keep the team balanced, allows a free-for-all at opposition set pieces and has never shown any ability to change the course of a match by the use of substitutes or a change in tactics. The squad that was in the top four this time last year has been added to yet is now fourth from bottom. He is so clearly out of his depth that to suggest he has any future at City is just to bury one’s head far too deep.

Not everything has been negative this season, and it would be unfair to paint an entirely negative picture. Steven Ireland seems, at last, to have developed some consistency to go alongside his obvious ability; SWP is back, a much improved player, filling a position where we have been weak ever since he left; Kompany and Zabaleta have been excellent and have improved the squad massively and given it more balance; Ched Evans and Daniel Sturridge seem to have made the step up to the senior squad well enough for them to continue pushing for a start; Robinho has provided some occasional excitement and a beautiful goal against Arsenal. How many of these positives are down to Hughes though is debateable because of the secrecy at the club, but I am prepared to give Hughes the benefit of the doubt and say that Ireland’s improvement and the acquisition of Zabaleta and Kompany are down to him.

Against these positives we have sunk to fourth bottom; we have a £19 million flop up front; we have a one-dimensional replacement in Benjani; Richards and Dunne have gone from being the model of consistency last season to a complete liability; Tal Ben Haim (!); Elano is no more consistent than last year, but is now unhappy as well; Geo is performing miracles for Hull; Richards is played at left-back (!); Vassell is played on the right-wing, pushing SWP into the centre where he is much less effective; instead of playing from the start and then being substituted when tired, Hamann is brought on as a substitute, despite not being an ‘impact’ player; Fernandes is played at right-back against Liverpool (!); players seem unable to concentrate for a full 90 minutes (and not just in the Everton game). Even being generous, only the acquisition of Jo (was this what pushed Sven into leaving?) could be said to have nothing to do with Mark Hughes.

We have the luxury of money and time now, so we could let him continue but to what purpose? We are now in a relegation battle, and we do not possess the kind of players who are equipped for that. So we have a choice – let Hughes go out and buy these players (Upson, Bellamy etc.) and build a mid-table squad that will never amount to anything more than that? Or do we take a leaf from Robinho’s comments about us not having a winning mentality (yes, he was referring indirectly to you Hughes!) and get the one or two experienced superstars (Messi, Villa, Chiellini etc.) who would enable us to play our way out of trouble and give us a future to dream about? Well, we’re obviously not going to be able to get those latter players in our current league position and with Hughes as manager. The only way they will come is if they think there will be continued European football, with a leading manager at the helm, who has experience of working with top players. We will not qualify for Europe next season via league position and much though I’d love it to happen, we have shown too much weakness in Europe so far this season to make it all the way to the final in Istanbul.

Therefore, we have no option. If the club is to progress and become one of the top teams then we need to move on from this low point, and not let Hughes take us any lower. At best Hughes will only ever provide mid-table mediocrity – at worst, and it is not an impossibility, we may become the richest ever team in the Championship!

Stephen Burrows – The Tblisi Tearaway <stevieburrows(at)>


Anyone who has read David Niven’s excellent “The Moon’s a Balloon” will know exactly what the tumbleweeds represent. He likened them to the periods in his life when everything in his garden was rosy. Then for no reason the tumble weeds would roll in and things would suddenly go from bad to spiting. It now seems that the garden Mark Hughes tends is getting overrun with tumbleweeds and there’s nothing we can do about it and from where I watch, there is little Mr Hughes can do about it either.

Still, nothing’s new at our club and it seems no matter who is at the helm, it will continue to be so. We keep dreaming and hoping but before you know it, it’s back to square one. Who would like to predict where we will be this time in 2009? I certainly wouldn’t dare.

How strange that the tumbleweeds started to appear about the same time Ernie Barrow’s contributions stopped. Ernie’s contributions were always positive and it’s time he they reappeared. I say, time to go Mr Hughes, trust in Ernie.

If you want cheering up try this YouTube of Jason Manford Top City Fan and comedian

[Well Malc, as if by magic, Ernie’s back! – Ed]

Malc Hough <malcinblue(at)>


After being away missing in action myself for the last few weeks (missing with any articles in MCIVTA). I have been watching all the games without any comments, but finally I feel compelled to give my two pence worth.

First of all I never ever agreed with a list of players to leave in the winter and in the summer. How would you as a player like to see your name on that list and at the same time hear and read all the talk of MCFC spending millions in January? It takes the confidence away from some players, whilst some others might get stuck in to prove their worth, but collectively the team’s confidence is shot.

To me it looked like Mark Hughes wanted to push Ched Evans forward, whilst not giving Jo the games to get his confidence back. Ched Evans is a good player but not ready for the Premier League; for the money that we paid for Jo he should have been given more chances. Jo when playing showed at times some nice passing, but failed to do what was wanted most of all: score goals. Ched Evans is young and I do believe that his day will come, for he is always willing to work hard, and just needs more experience; a loan out to a good club might not hurt?

Elano, who we all know can play some brilliant stuff, was again left out on the bench in many games to lose confidence.

Robinho in the last few games has looked like a player with no interest in the games. If he has some kind of injury then he should never have been on the pitch to risk it getting worse.

Mark Hughes has not been able to play the same team in every game, mainly through injuries or suspensions, but selections I feel have not been his best.

The game versus Racing might have had some other squad players in it, whilst others have been kept back for the important Premier League fixture against WBA on Sunday, so this game was never going to be an all first team playing anyway, and whatever the result versus Racing, City were going to qualify.

To think that City are supposed to be challenging for at least a top six place right now, we find ourselves on goal difference from being in the bottom three.

The one good thing that has happened, and a very important one, is that we are top of our division in the UEFA Cup, but got there only by luck of Twente losing 4-0 to PSG. So now we don’t have to play any of the eight teams dropped from the Champions’ League, at least not in the next game.

The game on Sunday versus WBA is very important; every game is important, but we must beat WBA or be in the bottom three.

We hear so many names in the press and media on whom City will sign in January. All of the names mentioned have not been fair to the present players. As I have already said, the team look as if they have lost their way, just no confidence in each other. We all know a very small number of players will be signed in January, they are supposed to strengthen an already good team, but suddenly it does not look like a good team.

Mark Hughes has not got the players playing with commitment and confidence, he has got to give the players a lift as manager/coach, and give the team that “spark” that is needed.

It could be that Mark Hughes is still going through all the players that he has right now, and is deciding which players should leave, and which he should keep, whilst we fans see bad football and bad results.

I still support Mark Hughes but some changes have got to be made in the players’ attitude and confidence, where’s that gone since the win over the Gooners?

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


In response to Stuart Latham, 30 Year Dates, MCIVTA 1491, I can confirm that the humiliation at Shrewsbury did indeed take place on a Saturday. It was 27 January 1979 and represented another twist in the downward spiral of a team that had finished 2nd and 4th in the top flight in the two previous seasons.

Team: Corrigan, Donachie, Power, Owen, Watson, P. Futcher, Channon, Deyna (Bell), Kidd, Hartford, Barnes.
Result: 0-2.
Attendance: 14,215.

This was an exceptionally good team in City’s history and came at a time when we weren’t expected to lose to teams from lower divisions as we are these days.

For the record, Stuart probably had one of these tunes in his head at the time:

  1. Ian Dury And The Blockheads – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
  2. Village People – YMCA
  3. Earth Wind And Fire – September
  4. Olivia Newton John – A Little More Love
  5. Three Degrees – Woman In Love
  6. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
  7. Racey – Lay Your Love On Me
  8. Paul Evans – Hello This Is Joannie
  9. Shadows – Don’t Cry For Me Argentina
  10. Chic – Le Freak

Johnny Clancy <johnnyclancers(at)>


The date is Saturday 27th January 1979, FA Cup 4th Round. It was one of only five ties that survived the weather that day. I seem to remember that their car park was more akin to a skating ring. We lost 2 -0, goals in each half, in front of 14,215 supporters.

On the day we fielded a pretty good side, but they did not seem up for it. Corrigan, Donachie, Power, Owen, Watson, Futcher P, Channon, Deyna (Bell), Kidd, Hartford, and Barnes.

We had struggled past Rotherham in a Third Round replay that season. Then in the next season we had our finest 90 minutes of cup football – not! – losing to Halifax Town but that’s another story.

Colin Darvill <colin.darvill(at)>


Saw the mention of the Shrewsbury game on MCIVTA. The game was actually played on Saturday 27 January 1979, not Thursday 25.

I have records of all first team games here at City and at home in my personal collection.

If you need any further information about the game (line ups, crowd etc.) let me know.

Best wishes, Gary James – Museum Manager, Manchester City Football Club <Gary.James(at)>


I am relocating to Dubai in January and was wondering if there are any City fans out there who get together to watch the games?

Derrick Doyle <eldoylo(at)>


Hello, my wife Valerie and I will be in England for the International Queen (Freddie Mercury) Fan Club Convention from March 27-30 and then will be staying on to visit Paris for one night, and then tour England for a week from April 1st until about the 7th. We have never been to Europe before… actually never outside of North America! We would love to be able to catch a Manchester City game while we are there. I have never seen a real soccer (football?) game before… other than to watch on the telly.

On April 4th Man. City team will be at Arsenal, and this is the only weekend that we would be able to see The Blues in action, something I have wanted to do for many years! When I try to go online to get tickets, they don’t seem to be available to the public until only about 10 days or so before the match – too late for me to order them, and then not even sure that they wouldn’t be all sold out to members!?

A fellow “Queeniac” from the International Queen Fan Club mentioned for me to write to you at this email address, explain my situation, and ask if you would be able to provide some help, so I am. You’d make 2 visiting Canadians very happy if we could somehow see this game.

Many thanks, Dave Webster – Guelph, Ontario, Canada <webby56(at)>


League table to 17 December 2008 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Liverpool       17  5  4  0 13  6  6  1  1 13  5 11  5  1  26  11  15 38
 2 Chelsea         17  3  4  2 15  6  8  0  0 21  1 11  4  2  36   7  29 37
 3 Manchester Utd  16  6  1  0 19  4  3  4  2  8  6  9  5  2  27  10  17 32
 4 Aston Villa     17  4  4  1 14  9  5  0  3 15 11  9  4  4  29  20   9 31
 5 Arsenal         17  5  1  2 15 10  4  2  3 14 10  9  3  5  29  20   9 30
 6 Hull City       17  3  2  3  9 15  4  4  1 17 12  7  6  4  26  27  -1 27
 7 Everton         17  1  3  4  9 15  6  1  2 14 10  7  4  6  23  25  -2 25
 8 Portsmouth      17  4  2  3 13 13  2  3  3  6 13  6  5  6  19  26  -7 23
 9 Wigan Athletic  17  4  2  3  9  9  2  2  4 12 11  6  4  7  21  20   1 22
10 Fulham          16  5  2  1 11  6  0  4  4  2  6  5  6  5  13  12   1 21
11 Bolton Wndrs    17  2  2  4  6  9  4  0  5 14 14  6  2  9  20  23  -3 20
12 Middlesbrough   17  3  3  3  9 13  2  2  4  8 11  5  5  7  17  24  -7 20
13 Stoke City      17  5  2  2 12 10  0  3  5  5 17  5  5  7  17  27 -10 20
14 Newcastle Utd   17  3  3  2 13 11  1  4  4  9 13  4  7  6  22  24  -2 19
15 Tottenham H.    17  3  2  4  7  7  2  2  4 12 14  5  4  8  19  21  -2 19
16 West Ham United 17  3  1  4 11 13  2  3  4  7 12  5  4  8  18  25  -7 19
17 Manchester City 17  4  0  5 19 10  1  3  4 11 15  5  3  9  30  25   5 18
18 Sunderland      17  3  1  5 11 13  2  2  4  6 12  5  3  9  17  25  -8 18
19 Blackburn R.    17  1  2  5  5 15  2  2  5 12 19  3  4 10  17  34 -17 13
20 West Brom A.    17  2  2  4  9 15  1  1  7  3 17  3  3 11  12  32 -20 12

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         :
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 #1492