Newsletter #1500

Happy 1,500th! Doesn’t time fly!

No news roundup tonight as Alex is busy with work and exams, although we do have a bumper issue tonight given the transfer stories of the week, with the arrival of Bellamy and De Jong, and plenty of opinion on the new arrivals plus the non-deal with Kaka and the way the club dealt with the matter.

We also have the usual requests, match views and some thought provoking opinions on what the future holds and the MCFC we now find ourselves with.

Next Game: Newcastle United, home, 7.45pm Wednesday 28 January 2009


Well it’s good to know that even with all this money available, life as a City fan remains a rollercoaster. One minute we are about to buy Kaka and the next we hear Robinho has walked out and we’ve bought Bellamy.

A very rare visit to Eastlands for me, sadly brought about by a visit home following the death of my dad. My sister had a spare ticket so we went together to remember Dad. He had first watched City at the Hyde Road ground around 1920 and my sister and I inherited the genes.

The match itself was enjoyable if a bit nerve-wracking. There was certainly more spirit about City’s play than seems to have been there recently. Elano in particular, whilst not at his best, was certainly getting involved. Sturridge started brightly but faded a bit whilst Robinho came into his own once we were reduced to 10 men. Onuoha looked confident and Bridge was competent. Dunne, well no escuses for him although I noticed Stuart Attwell sent off a Brentford player for a not too dissimilar challenge to that by Zaki on Dunne. Zabaleta was clearly the man of the match and looks a lot better when he’s going forward.

So, a bitter-sweet day but I think the points may well be valuable at the end of the season.

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


I’m increasingly frustrated to read some of the negative postings about the manager and the direction the club is heading. We talk about tactics, team selection and whether the manager is the man to take City to the next level. For the record I thought City were excellent on Saturday (7 points out of 10). Not for the sublime attacking football but for their collective work ethic and the most balanced starting eleven I’ve seen all season. They worked their proverbials in order to grind out a result against a very strong and hard working Wigan team. There were no negatives in the performance other than of course Dunnie’s sending off, which clearly handed the initiative to Wigan.

There’s a notion that MH can’t be the man because he doesn’t come with a high enough profile, but let’s look at this. Hughes played for United, Barcelona, Bayern to name but a few so his reputation as a player is one to admire. Granted he has yet to achieve silverware as a manager but what’s the problem with that? Is it because he isn’t foreign and the fashion seems to be that only a coach from the continent will do? Take Rijkaard for example. Like Hughes, a great player but not a coach of any distinction until he was given an open chequebook at Barcelona where he built a team that ultimately won the European Cup. If Hughes is to be successful at City he needs the wholehearted backing of the club and the fans, doesn’t he?

If MH is sacked in the next week or so like some contributors would like to see, where’s the replacement coming from? Forget Mourinho, he has much bigger fish to fry until February at least and maybe until the summer. Not one of the doubters has come up with a viable replacement at all, yet no doubt if he was sacked you’d be there criticising the board etc. for making the club a laughing stock!

The fact is City had a very poor 2008 for the most part under the much lauded Sven who was not a tactical genius and it has continued under Hughes who to his credit has coped with nothing but upheaval at the club since he was appointed in June. I firmly believe we will see marked improvement over the coming months particularly if we continue to add to what is a very unbalanced squad, most of which MH inherited when he came to the club. Look at the list of players below and it’s easy to see that we have some way to go before we see a team built by Hughes.

  • Hart (Pearce)
  • Dunne (Royle)
  • Richards (Pearce)
  • Ball (Pearce)
  • Garrido (Eriksson)
  • Zabaleta (Hughes)
  • Elano (Eriksson)
  • Ireland (Pearce)
  • Kompany (Hughes)
  • Robinho (Hughes)
  • SWP (Hughes)
  • Benjani (Eriksson)
  • Vassell (Pearce)
  • Jo (?)

These players have featured more often than not this season and I agree some of them probably won’t feature as much in the coming months, particularly if the club’s transfer targets are fulfilled. The fact is Hughes initially bought budget players like Ben Haim before knowing about the Abu Dhabi takeover and has only had one day plus January to deal with the more high profile targets.

It’s hard but we’ve got to be patient and put our faith in the club to get things right. I believe they have been very professional so far and I have been happy with the acquisitions so far, including Mr Bellamy. As for Kaka, great story, not to be, move on…

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


So Kaka is not coming (for now at least), but that is only one setback in the City project, and well done to the club for trying to bring him in. It would have been a great boost if Kaka had come to East Manchester but there are more pressing areas of the squad that needed attention. Indeed it is heartening to see Wayne Bridge and Nigel De Jong come in to improve the balance and quality of this squad. At least one more class central defender and a quality striker would make this a productive transfer window for Manchester City.

The attempt to sign Kaka has brought a ridiculously negative press to Manchester City, and you have to suspect the motives of many of the members of the media and ex-players who have directed heavily barbed criticism towards the club.

Surely bringing perhaps the best player in the world today to England should be lauded? Why shouldn’t the fans of a team outside the footballing establishment enjoy the skills of a supremely talented footballer? The way that the media have handled the Kaka affair does have a familiar ring to it, given the treatment that Chelsea got when Abramovich first rolled into West London. It may be something that we have to get used to, given City’s new found wealth, but we should still challenge it, and I will set out to do that here.

Some questions have to be asked: why are City’s critics so against a club outside the top four bringing in a world superstar? Why are they so keen to protect the status quo? If Man United or Liverpool had spent such money, they would not have been so virulent in their criticism. Surely having more than 4 teams who can compete for the Champions’ League places is good for football? Of course I wish football wasn’t so dominated by money as it has been since the inception of the Premier League. Wouldn’t it be great if it was like the days when City, Derby and Forest could come out of the 2nd Division and win the title, but unfortunately those days are gone. The genie is out of the bottle and finance dictates who can and cannot compete for the very top prizes. It would be great for football in general if Hull could have sustained their challenge, but if, for instance, say, Villa suddenly found some more money under Randy Lerner’s mattress, then good. The more the merrier.

It can only be concluded that such critics of City are either jealous of the club’s money, or have a vested interest: either they are worried supporters of the top four or are just lazy journalists or pundits who want to spout the same lazy, clichéd fawning twaddle about United et al that we have been subjected to in our media. And yes, that includes members of the so-called quality press too. I expect objectivity from a paper like the Guardian, but they too have been found lacking at times. Maybe, in some cases, and God forbid, some of these people just don’t like Manchester City! They should explain themselves, because they do the British public a disservice with their disingenuous, unbalanced, anti-competitive stance. Indeed, this whole affair has seen some of the less appealing traits of human behaviour in the media.

The claims that the days that we were chasing Kaka were ‘the week football went mad’ are plainly ridiculous. People like Mark Lawrenson bandy around the words ‘obscene’ to describe the proposed transfer fee and wages for Kaka yet footballers’ wages have been sky high for many years now. Fernando Torres would not have signed for his old club, Liverpool, for buttons, yet did Lawrenson question his wages? It’s not as if City have suddenly created this situation. City have to be competitive in the current market. In any case, in all this, the press speculation of £500,000 a week for Kaka is just that: pure speculation, as City never actually offered that. It was Milan who pulled the plug on the deal when the going got too hot for them, and City would not have been able to proceed anyway as Kaka’s father refused to release details of his contract.

Well done to Garry Cook and his team for doing so as only a forensic examination of that contract would be acceptable to any club worth its salt. If we’re talking about ‘obscene’ things in the context of Football, let’s talk about how Wayne Rooney stays on the pitch after 90 minutes (plus stoppage time) of abusing officials.

One of the biggest displays of hypocrisy in all this has been from that master of fair play, Alan Shearer (isn’t it ‘obscene’ that Alan Shearer gets paid licence payers’ money for posing in an expensive shirt on Match of the Day and saying nothing of interest whatsoever?). Shearer volunteered “You can’t tell me Robinho has gone to Manchester City for medals because it looks like at this moment in time he has done it for financial reasons because Manchester City are a million miles away from challenging for honours.” I can remember Shearer earning £15,000 a week for Blackburn Rovers in the 90s and thinking it was rather a lot, but that was the going rate so we all got on with it without bleating. Whilst he won a title winner’s medal at Ewood Park, did he really go to Blackburn for the medals? If he’d really wanted medals (and money) he’d have gone to the Rags wouldn’t he? Footballers’ wages have been ridiculously high for many years now. Unfortunately for some of these ex-pros they are behaving like the proverbial green-eyed monster. Jealousy is a bad thing. So people like Mr Shearer and Dave Whelan, the Wigan Chairman, who had his usual two-penneth worth as well, should just butt out of our business because their warblings sound like rather envious ones to say the least and make them look even more ridiculous. If Dave Whelan cares so much about the game he should stop over-charging fans for tickets.

As for those fans who have felt exercised to moralise over the high wages that were speculated in the proposed Kaka transfer, it can be guaranteed that they wouldn’t be complaining if their club was spending £100 million and paying Kaka those alleged wages.

Most of the jealousy and spite has come in the media, though, and all this holier-than-thou moralising by these pundits and journalists is absolutely gut-wrenching. Amongst a mire of prejudice, self-righteousness and double standards, the biggest act of hypocrisy in all this was from the Daily Telegraph. The Telegraph chose to lecture us that the £100 million for Kaka would save British jobs like the 3,000 yellow pages workers who were axed as part of a pre-Christmas cost-cutting drive. Since when have the Daily Telegraph cared about working people? The Telegraph is the same paper that supported the Tories who wrecked the British manufacturing industry. They didn’t shed tears for all the miners, steelworkers and anybody who lost their jobs under 18 years of Tory rule, and they don’t now in this current economic crisis. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds, and these are Crocodile tears. In any case, it isn’t the job of a foreign national like Sheikh Mansour to bail out our industry and it is up to him where he spends his money. All this from the paper that allows perennial windbag, Michael Henderson, to give vent to his ‘objective’ spleen in its sports pages.

Now that we at ‘lil old Ciddy’ are getting ideas above our station, the talk of wage caps have come back. Isn’t it funny how they aren’t discussing wage caps when Fakeronaldo, Steven Gerrard or Rooney get another extortionate pay rise? But seriously folks, if we were going to have a wage cap, shouldn’t that have been years ago? If we were to set a wage cap now in the interests of fairer competition, then surely the highest wage has to be no higher than the mid-point of the salaries of the top flight, and that would mean the big four would have to sell a lot of their best players. I can’t imagine them voting for that!

Indeed, many editorial decisions in the media have been poor. Even Radio 5’s phone in was entitled “The week that football went mad”. Isn’t it more important to talk about the fact that in that same week, a UN complex in Gaza was bombed, adding to the death toll of well over 1,000 in that latest outrage? The one conclusion in all this is that there are several people in the media who really need to get a grip of reality and perspective, not to mention do their jobs properly.

City need to harness all this negative press and be still more determined to succeed, and Mark Hughes’ response to the media is very encouraging. He said “We will use the negativity that has been used by others as a strength. We will build slowly, build correctly and make sure we are stronger in the future.” Quite. More power to him.

Phil Banarjee <philban65(at)>


What is that defines a Manchester City fan? I’m pretty sure we all agree that different team’s fans have different characteristics, which have come about through a mixture of regional differences, the performance of their team, and the structure and history of the club amongst many other things. Our neighbours have been defined by their arrogance (remember the Sexton and Atkinson years when they thought they were better than Liverpool!), ignorance (their lack of care for the Munich survivors for the first 40 years after the crash, whilst still cashing in on the notoriety gained worldwide), greed (customers not fans), glory-seeking and lack of grace (led by Bacon-face’s example, they care only for themselves and are happy to let the rest of the football world go to pot). We, on the other hand, have always been known as a far friendlier club (the Junior Blues led the way) with charisma, and despite our far patchier success, have always had strong local support through thin and thin, which has brought about a self-deprecating humour second-to-none (33 years, and we’re still here). We’ve also had a strong surreal side too (remember the bananas, and of course ‘We are not, we’re not really here!’) and generous fans, not afraid to applaud star opposition players who’ve played us off the pitch (Zola and Henry spring to mind, along with, bizarrely, Nigel Clough who I remember getting applause when he played for Liverpool against us, just for trapping a long ball to him!).

Well, as a long time contributor to the MEN website (as ‘the Tblisi tearaway’) I fear things are changing. They began to change when we moved to Eastlands and some new faces appeared who didn’t appear to understand our history, but the biggest change has happened since the arrival of Thaksin. We now seem to be saddled (bizarrely!) with a lot of glory-seekers who have latched onto our club with all the grace and charm of the swamp-dwellers, and who show the same levels of arrogance towards other teams and their fans. Just because we are now ‘the richest club in the world’ doesn’t mean we have to behave like them, but my views appear to run against 90% of those posting on the MEN website.

A defining characteristic of these newcomers appears to be their lack of understanding of what is happening on the pitch, which after all is the main reason we all go to the games. I’ve taken to referring to them as ‘happy clappers’ because of their inability to see beyond the Sheikh’s billions and inject a dose of realism into their contributions. They are unable to see Mark Hughes for what he is, a distinctly average manager, whose best chance of success is to move to a Championship team and see if he can get them promotion. Good players never become bad players overnight, and the list of players whose game has fallen away under Hughes could make up a whole team. From having a good team which with a few additions could have gone on to become a better team, he has taken us backwards. I could go on and on (and have already done so!) about Hughes’ failings, but my point is that we seem to have a whole lot of new ‘fans’ who have no understanding or respect for all our years of support, and are happy to drag our reputation downwards. The owners don’t help, having allowed themselves to be misled by the incompetent Gary Cook into making our club look foolish, throwing money about in the most ridiculous and embarrassing way (a pointless bid for Kaka, who had been on record as saying that money wasn’t his motivation, has led to us paying £12 million more for Bellamy than he could ever be worth), without any realistic signs of associated success. But these new fans think we can buy everyone and it will bring us the world – and have started ‘lording it’ over other fans, which not only makes us unpopular but also a laughing stock. If this is the price of success, then can we have some actual success first please, before we all start behaving like the United fans in the seventies and eighties; at least they won some cups in that period. Noel Gallagher doesn’t help, his dumb-ass comments are just the kind of thing to feed the brainless contributions to a lot of websites.

At least on MCIVTA there is a level of maturity and common sense spoken, and I will be happy to write here in future, where contributors generally have a much better command of English, for starters, and, judging by the other contributions on here, appear to have actually attended matches on a regular basis.

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


This week, BBC’s Breakfast News ran a piece about a school for learning to acquire charisma, which will help people to gain an advantage in the rapidly worsening jobs market. It occurred to me, not for the first time, that human beings have a long way to go before achieving evolutionary perfection because we never learn. One of the reasons that the world is in a complete and bl***y awful mess is that people whose loudness is mistaken for charisma, and cleverness for intelligence, are allowed to run things, when instead they should be confined to padded rooms and only allowed to eat using plastic cutlery.

One such example is the last cancerous vestige of the Toxin’s reign, Garry Cook. The worry is that the new owners didn’t spot him for what he is when he presented his plan to take over the world using City as his vehicle and fizzy pop as his weapon.

His excuse for the Kaka deal falling through is that he was doing business with thick foreigners and cowardly club owners. I’ve got news for you Mr Cook, it probably had more to do with the fact that you don’t have charisma, you’re just loud, and the way that you approached the deal and the things you have said subsequently are evidence that you are ruthless, and you may even be clever, but you lack integrity and you’re not very intelligent.

The truth is probably very simple. I viewed the deal from Kaka’s point of view from the start: I’m living in a beautiful part of the world, playing for a club with more immediate potential than City will achieve for a couple of seasons, I’m surrounded by friends and adoring fans, and I already have more money than I can spend in 10 life times. In short, I’m happy! Why leave? Mr Cook seems to believe that offering an addition 10 lifetimes’ spending power will suffice.

Just like the old joke, “Q: What do you buy the man who has everything?”; A: “Nothing!”, it’s a dilemma that City are going to have to learn to deal with now that we’re looking to sign the world’s richest players, and Cook is patently not the man to do this.

Oh, and by the way, Mr Cook, I’m sure Craig Bellamy appreciates you telling everybody that he’s not a world class player. Well done you.

On the subject of Mr Bellamy, everybody must read this if you haven’t already done so: My hat comes off respectfully to the guy.

In conclusion, if anyone with any influence at City reads this, pleasec do City a favour and send Cook back to Disneyland before he breaks anything else.

Sutty <NetSutty(at)>


There was an article in today’s Guardian (22 January) by Marina Hyde and I thought it summed up quite well the buffoonish nature of the chairman of MCFC.

Cook after all is the man who accused Milan of being unprofessional having been so professional himself he led a team to negotiate with them with no speaker of Italian with it!

Graham Lister <graham.lister1(at)>


So, not everyone is, shall we say, ecstatic at the club’s purchase of Craig Bellamy.

I suggest everyone may wish to hold off judgement, at least until the guy has had a fair chance to prove himself exactly where it matters – on the pitch whilst wearing the blue shirt.

Should he score a winning goal against, say, United, I dare say all will be forgiven, and in fairly quick order.

Stranger things have happened, but, we may just have purchased the next club captain, so to relieve Richard Dunne of that burden and allowing Richard to simply concentrate on his own game.

Like it or not, Craig Bellamy is now one of us, so all should get behind him and wish for the best. If indeed Mark H has made a mistake securing the player, all will be revealed in due course. And, we shall move on, from that point.

Nothing is as important as taking 3 points from the next game however we can, as Mark Hughes well knows.

As if all the negative press coverage re the proposed ill-fated Kaka signing wasn’t enough, I’m sure the club could have well done without Robinho’s latest Houdini impersonation – his apparent unsanctioned disappearance from training re his return to Brazil. I guess the player thinks the rules don’t apply to him. Well, I’m quite sure he’s in for a real ticking off from Mark H and, must be said, thoroughly deserved, if indeed the facts are as above.

Thanks, Robinho, for adding fuel to the fire, smart move!

It has been reported the club will fine the player two weeks’ wages; a pity he isn’t fined at least twice that amount, instead. Perhaps only then will he realize the error of his ways.

For a player who tends to flit in and out of too many games, he needs to grow up and be more accountable both on and off the pitch. Otherwise, he’ll now possibly have the likes of Mr Craig Bellamy giving him a rollocking and, in front of 40,000 home-fans, that would prove to be quite an embarrassing moment for Robinho from which he may have trouble recovering. Craig B will take no prisoners, that’s for sure the old saying: “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” is as true today, as ever before.

Perhaps Robinho may prove to be too much of a loose cannon, in terms of his ego/personality; if so, he may be moving on sooner rather than later. We shall see.

Meanwhile, let’s see what today brings at Madchester City. After all, it’s never usually dull for too long. Very entertaining.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


Craig Bellamy is “… he is such an obnoxious person, with short man syndrome” according to David Kilroy in MCIVTA 1499.

Is this the same Bellamy that is building the Craig Bellamy Foundation (costing £650,000 of his own money) for disadvantaged children in Sierra Leone?

Jack Millington <jack(at)>


My article in MCIVTA 1498; I could very well have been writing exactly in the same words today.

As I have said, I admired Kaka for not making money his decision maker; there are not many players in the world who could have turned down such a crazy offer from MCFC.

Although we as supporters and fans tend to forget that MCFC were also looking at the commercial market with Kaka, and this it appears became a stumbling block in signing Kaka, although Kaka himself never became face to face with Gary Cook and the City delegation, he made it well known that he loved AC Milan, and he did not want to leave Milan. Kaka is not only a brilliant footballer, but a deep down man of honour, and a very religious man, yes this is why Kaka is great!

David Beckham made remarks that no one in the Milan dressing room would move for money. This might be true, I just hope that he himself David Beckham was not included in his remarks, after his move to LA Galaxy for what else but money? The Red Swine!

Whilst all the attention it seemed was being focused on the Kaka deal, MCFC signed Bellamy. I feel as long as he keeps his mouth shut, he has the skills to help the City cause, and who knows the player best? None other than Sparky, who knows how to get the best out of Bellamy.

As I write this on Tuesday evening, reports say MCFC have agreed a fee with Hamburg for the Dutch International De Jong, a midfield holding player who should be an asset to the club.

What concerns me are reports that there are some clubs after Daniel Sturridge, and City have yet to give him a new contract. This is a player who has very good skills and is part of Manchester City’s future, we must keep him at all costs.

We still have Robhino and Elano, our top Brazilian players; Jo has yet to prove himself. Elano in his game versus Wigan played more like his old self when he first came to City, so Elano keep it up. He might not be Kaka, but he will do us right now if he keeps his versus Wigan form and improves on it.

MCFC showed the world that they mean business by trying to get Kaka, and the transfer window is not closed yet, still time for another exciting player?

City must walk before they can run, in other words build up a team from very good players and not by trying to bring in mega stars, at least not yet.

Now Robhino has gone missing and has turned into a “Prima Donna”, sure we have all enjoyed him playing for City, but is he acting like he wants to be part of City?

Mark Hughes has stressed that he wants to build a team; is it the owners who want to bring in the mega stars too soon?

A team has to be built like a jigsaw puzzle, players have to fit into it, with 100% commitment to the club; bringing in mega stars does not guarantee a complete team of players, a “Prima Donna” can ruin the team spirit.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Just heard the news that either City passed on Kaka or Kaka passed on City. Either way, thank goodness that circus has been put to bed. Even the most devout City fan could not have been comfortable with the exaggerated fee we were proposing for one player.

Let’s get serious. City is not a top four team and the only way someone like Kaka would consider a move to England would be to the Rags, Chelski, Liverpool or Arsenal. Let’s keep in mind that Robinho was a bench warmer at Real Madrid!

But give Gary Cook and Co, credit. They did show that they have the resources to pull off such a coup. Now what we need to do is keep on spending on players like Bridge, De Jong, … and yes Bellamy. Strengthen the team, take a run at the UEFA Cup, battle back to sixth or seventh in the League and get back into Europe next year. Yes it would have been a coup to pull Kaka… but at what cost? To pay one player 500,000 quid a week! To totally trash the transfer system, not only for City but for every other club? In the end, not worth it. We are not that short of a solid team. I like the idea of Given splitting with Hart, we probably need at least one big, solid defender plus one star striker. With all the money we have, the word must be out and we should be able to pick a big name player to keep Robinho happy.

And we also have Petrov coming back and Sturridge does not look out of place if Hughes would stick with him. End of the day, let’s hope some sanity returns to Eastlands. By all means, let’s keep the talent coming but let’s forget the superstars. I just watched Torres miss a sitter for Liverpool against Everton and Kaka could only do so much. But as a final comment, for all those outsiders rejoicing that City didn’t get Kaka, and that we are not big enough a club to pull big names – watch out! I really think City are going to start making an impact, just like to see us take baby steps this year but next season watch out!

Blue Moon Rising – Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith(at)>


Let me get this right.

Kaka is not coming. Bellamy is.

I think that tells me all I need to know about building for the future as opposed to 8th place. While I was always cautious about Kaka arriving I can’t come up with one reason why Bellamy is arriving… but I will be the first to admit I have been wrong before.

The Wigan game was on here and, in the context of how much trouble Wigan have given us over the years I thought City played well – until Dunne’s dismissal. Bridge settled well; Zabaleta played very well and grinding out a 1-0 home win will not do any harm.

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)>


Well now we know. Kaka ain’t interested after speaking to Elano and Robinho. Robbie himself has shown what he thinks of our training regime and all we have out of it is Bellamy. The City website front page today shows what looks like a naughty boy in an ill-fitting shirt standing in the corner of a darkened room. Says it all really.

On the plus side, Craig loves Mr Hughes’ training regime, is a well established disruptor of team spirit (cf Newcastle and Liverpool) and is not above dishing it out (with a golf club, if we let him) so Sparky has won the dressing room battle. Seems the perfect player for Mr Hughes’ new regime and those poncey Brazilians who don’t appreciate good old fashioned training regimes can b****r off and make way for some people who know who is boss.

At least we are spared the embarrassment of Hughes “bringing the best out of Kaka” by playing him behind Bellamy. No wonder it quickly fizzled out after that bold statement.

His diehard fans pleaded for this transfer window to see what Hughes would build. Has anyone seen enough yet?

Martin Hunt <martin.hunt(at)>


What the hell is going on at CoMS?

I for one am glad Kaka fell through, it shows there is some loyalty left in football and some sense; those amounts of money were disgusting plus it also means we may finally see the end of the Rag who hasn’t improved performances despite the vastly improved back line against Wigan. And now he’s shown he can’t calm or entice the players of calibre that our owners want to see in on the hallowed field. Robinho in Brazil, Kaka in Italy and very few rumours about anything else.

At least we’ve got Bellamy, oh what’s that? He’s still an inconsistent narcissistic brat who only plays when he wants to and spends as much time with the physio as Michael ‘where’s my hamstring gone’ Owen? Definitely worth £14 million then.

I have officially lost all hope for this transfer window and must just resign to imploring Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan to see sense and send the Red for a long walk off a short cliff.

The man makes mediocre signings, leaves the fans to hope and wonder, has no clue what to do with the players he’s got. Plus when first class prats like Senor Bruce make comments like ‘the referee felt bad for sending a player off and gave all decisions Manchester City’s way’ I personally would like to see Hughes engage it a little.

This Blue is tired of seeing red.

Colin Hunt <CFD.Hunt(at)>


At this point of time, it is pointless trying to rationalise (in monetary terms) any transfer deals made by our beloved club, so I will try the player comparison approach.

Bellamy is like a Dickov, hard tackling industrious forward, only with higher pace, higher on-the-ball ability and higher temper let’s not forget. I’m happy with this move, for I can see Vassell out of the first XI for good! Given Bellamy can continue his current form, I’ll be more than content to see him in our front line or on our right wing (clear the chairs in the dressing room please).

Bridge: was hoping for him to join since beginning of the season, he is way more consistent than Garrido. Budget of a deal comparing to Bellamy’s.

Big disappointment this term so far, my GF was converted to a City fan recently, and although we had a good time on Boxing Day, she is already a p****ed off City fan given the rollercoaster performances she’s witnessed thus far.

Barack Obama: “Hope and change is coming, people!”

Kyaaamon u Bluuues! Calvin Chan <mcfc(at)>


The truth is City got gazumped by Florentino Perez, who did a deal with Silvio Berlesconi on Sunday/Monday last, to buy Kaka in the summer. For rates as per City’s offer.

This allows him to repeat his “Figo” tactic of 2000, to regain the Presidency of Real Madrid.

All else you hear is BS and Gary Cooke will have to realise “they saw him coming” and he was out of his depth.

People do not realise the power and influence of Perez and his contacts. When he told Berlesconi that he would pay City rates for Kaka in the summer, there was nothing more to add. City were sent packing (it will be a long time before City go “Galatico Hunting” again) and Berlesconi’s plan worked gloriously.

They will have to do it the old fashioned way. Build a team from the bottom up, get respect from sustained consistent performances over a period of time and then think about Kaka type bids.

Still, it was a very interesting 2 weeks or so and anyway two great signings in Bridge and De Jong and possibly Bellamy might turn out OK. Hopefully a CH to replace Dunne and a good run in the UEFA Cup all the way to Istanbul.

Patrick Knowles <Patricknowles(at)>


Dear Mancunian Blues, hi from Torino/Italia! I hope all Reddish Blues are well!

Times are changing, as a certain Bob Dylan sang a lot of years before, and our beloved City seems to be victim of new crazy globalisation’s system. However, Kaka’s failed bid impressed negatively the majority of Italian media about Man City.

Rubbish were usually written on main Italian media about our board, the town of Manchester, UK football, England and British people. Obviously Italian Blue Moon didn’t be quite in these hard days and so …

So a young and brave journalist named Roberto Stracca decided to give an interview to me about our Italian branch. Corriere della Sera then taught of us on last 20th January as “more than a hundred Italian romantic and faithful supporters of Manchester City”.

Here below I sent to you a translation in English of this piece.

Warm greetings to all of you, mates! I hope to come back to the Eastlands for next Villa game with some new Italian Citizens.

The Italian fans of Manchester: “Stars are not for us”
ROBERTO STRACCA – Corriere della Sera

For the older lads, it was meeting in the 70’s with the English fans chanting “Blue Moon”, City’s anthem. For Filippo and the other fans from Siena, it’s been love at first sight through Sky. For those from Veneto it’s the charm of the sky blue shirt. For those from Lecce it’s a choice in the name of Jimmy Grimble and romantic football. There is in Italy a community of fans, all mad for the other side of Manchester. It’s 127, between 20 and 60 years old. They communicate through the Internet and as soon as they can they fly to England. And for this, they can’t stop thanking the low cost flights. Roma and Lazio fans fly separated though; some football distances can’t be overcome. Even if the common enemy is called United, “the club of the fat sons of rich butchers and the club which does marketing for foreign support”. But today, thanks to the Sheikh’s money, don’t our Citizens feel like the nerd going to the school ball with the hottest girl? “No, because he promised not to ruin City’s history: a young team, English or British” Renato Tubere, a 50 year old receptionist from Torino explains. “We don’t want a team of only stars. We are not Inter Milan” and he doesn’t say this because he is a Rossoneri fan too. He really thinks the Kaka saga was a “Kramer versus Kramer”. “I see it differently from the other Rossoneri. I would have preferred Kaka going to City because Milan would have been able to deal with the technical and financial troubles” but with the money saved in the Kaka deal, other stars can arrive at City. “As long as they don’t behave as stars. We don’t like that. Of course we want a growing side, to enter the Champions’ League, but without losing the club philosophy.” So you could think they dream Messi or Aguero or Ibrahimovic dressing a Blue shirt, but their heroes are those players discarded elsewhere and then become legends at City.

One over everyone else: “Georgiou Kinkladze, a Georgian footballer (at City from ’95 to ’98), often injured, but when he played he always put his heart in it” or the Scottish Paul Dickov, “the Bee”, scoring the equaliser in 1999 in the play off to go back in First Division. In Wembley, losing 2-0 to Gillingham with six minutes to go, City equalised and then won at shoot out, supported by 75,000 fans, Noel Gallagher and the other Oasis amongst them.

“Italian media always forget Citizens are at the fifth place in number of fans in England!” Renato proudly told and those from “Italian Blue Moon”, organized with even a board, want to let us know.

“In these days we have been described as a little club, but we won two National titles and two FA Cups in our centenary story. We are just like Sampdoria or Fiorentina in Italy.” But the best comparison is this one: “We are similar to Torino fans, proud of not being Juventus just like we are of not being Utd”. Renato and some other Italian City fans obvioulsy read “Manchester United ruined my Life” by Colin Shindler to know more.

There are things in football that even the credit card of a Sheikh can’t change!

Renato Tubere <r.tubere(at)> –


The Carl Ramsbottom Appeal is gathering pace. Much money has been raised by bucket collections at pubs and passed directly to Carl’s family to help cover travel costs etc. between England and Germany. A charity evening is being arranged with Tommy Booth attending. Two websites are holding a charity 11-a-side match and I will be organising a 5-a-side competition at the Platt Lane Complex in April or May with all proceeds going to the Appeal. MCFC are covering costs of using the 4 pitches. A former City player will be invited to present certificates to many taking part.

A bucket collection will take place at the ground prior to and during the home game against Middlesbrough next month. Volunteers are urgently sought.

In order to pool ideas together and perhaps form a Carl Ramsbottom Committee, a meeting has been arranged Blackley British Legion on Victoria Avenue, Blackley, Manchester, M9 on Friday 6th February for 8-00pm. All interested parties and individuals are invited to attend. A member of Carl’s family will be present.

If anybody is wondering what the Appeal is about it’s this: Carl sustained a fractured skull and some brain damage due to an unfortunate accident whilst attending the Schalke vs. City game in Germany. Carl was in a coma for 3 weeks and will remain hospitalised in Germany for up to another 2 months before he is well enough to be transferred back much closer to his home in the UK. His future remains uncertain.

If you are willing to attend this meeting or help in any other way please contact myself or Don Price <donprice(at)>

Kind regards to all, Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


19 January 2009

Liverpool             1 - 1  Everton               44,382

League table to 21 January 2009 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  21  9  1  0 24  4  5  4  2 10  6 14  5  2  34  10  24 47
 2 Liverpool       22  6  5  0 17  7  7  3  1 19  7 13  8  1  36  14  22 47
 3 Chelsea         22  5  4  2 19  7  8  2  1 23  6 13  6  3  42  13  29 45
 4 Aston Villa     22  5  5  1 18 12  8  0  3 19 12 13  5  4  37  24  13 44
 5 Arsenal         22  7  2  2 18 11  5  3  3 19 13 12  5  5  37  24  13 41
 6 Everton         22  3  4  4 14 15  7  2  2 16 11 10  6  6  30  26   4 36
 7 Wigan Athletic  22  6  2  3 12 10  3  2  6 13 13  9  4  9  25  23   2 31
 8 West Ham United 22  5  1  5 16 16  3  4  4 13 15  8  5  9  29  31  -2 29
 9 Hull City       22  3  2  6 11 23  4  4  3 18 19  7  6  9  29  42 -13 27
10 Fulham          20  6  3  1 16  8  0  5  5  3  9  6  8  6  19  17   2 26
11 Manchester City 21  6  0  5 25 11  1  4  5 14 19  7  4 10  39  30   9 25
12 Portsmouth      21  4  2  4 14 17  2  4  5  8 17  6  6  9  22  34 -12 24
13 Bolton Wndrs    22  3  2  6  8 12  4  0  7 14 18  7  2 13  22  30  -8 23
14 Newcastle Utd   22  4  4  3 18 19  1  4  6 10 18  5  8  9  28  37  -9 23
15 Sunderland      22  3  2  6 12 15  3  3  5 11 17  6  5 11  23  32  -9 23
16 Tottenham H.    22  3  4  4  8  8  2  2  7 13 19  5  6 11  21  27  -6 21
17 Blackburn R.    21  3  3  5 13 17  2  3  5 12 19  5  6 10  25  36 -11 21
18 Middlesbrough   22  3  4  4 10 15  2  2  7  8 18  5  6 11  18  33 -15 21
19 Stoke City      22  5  3  3 12 11  0  3  8  7 24  5  6 11  19  35 -16 21
20 West Brom A.    22  5  2  4 16 16  1  1  9  4 21  6  3 13  20  37 -17 21

With thanks to Football 365

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