Newsletter #1512

What a difference a good win against Villa makes! As the Blues turned up the temperature last night to bring us a much-needed convincing performance, we have a match report tonight thanks to Phil and opinion on the game that takes us back into the top 8.

Alex brings us news on more new arrivals behind the scenes, player progress and reaction to the recent run of games as well as ex-Blues’ news.

Next Game: Aalborg, home, 7.45pm Thursday 12 March 2009 (UEFA)


General News

A City United: With only two million pounds to raise until the charity reaches its £20 million target, the New Children’s Hospital welcomed rival managers Mark Hughes and Sir Alex Ferguson in order to raise even more awareness for the appeal. The Premier League two met with both parents and project managers as they continued the clubs’ superb support of the charity. The appeal Chairman expressed his pleasure: “We were delighted to welcome Sir Alex and Mark to see how remarkable this new facility will be. Both managers and their clubs appreciate the difference our £20 million Appeal will make to thousands.” Hughes pledged his allegiance to the project: “The club is very proud of its links with the local community – we stay in tune with what’s happening in our own area and this hospital is going to be a fantastic facility for the families of Manchester. We’re hoping that in the coming months the final £2 million will be raised to put the finishing touch to a great project. City and United are truly united in this respect, because it’s Manchester and the region that will benefit.”

Take the Lead: City’s aspirations to become on of the world’s leading clubs were boosted today when the appointments of well renowned businessmen, Graham Wallace, Brian Marwood and David Pullan were announced. The new employees will work in a behind the scenes capacity in order to aid Hughes in his job to create a world force. Wallace comes in as Chief Financial and Administration Officer, Marwood as Football Administration Officer and Pullan is employed as Brand and Marketing Officer. Executive Chairman Garry Cook described the new employees as steps to a brighter future for the club: “I’m delighted to welcome Graham, David and Brian to Manchester City. All three are highly talented individuals with outstanding track records in their respective fields. The Club’s owners have outlined an ambitious vision for long-term, sustainable growth and these appointments represent a vital investment in our capacity to achieve our full potential as a Club and as a partner in the development of New East Manchester. In line with the strategy that Mark Hughes and I presented to the Chairman in February, we have created a new position of Football Administration Officer, which will ensure that the coaching, medical and playing staff at Carrington and the Platt Lane Academy get world leading support at every level.”

Our Season? Progress to the last sixteen of the UEFA Cup and a number of the ‘favourites’ knocked out of the competition, the Blues have hope. None more so than rejuvenated skipper Richard Dunne: “We have to believe in ourselves, that we can win it. We’ve been on runs in the FA Cup before and thought that it could be our year, then we’ve gone out. But if we can get past Aalborg, let’s see where we can go from there. Some clubs seem to look on it as inconvenient and rest players, but for us it’s an opportunity we want to take advantage of. It’s exciting to play abroad, even if it seems to be Denmark most of the time! But we have to make sure the opportunity doesn’t pass us by. We’ve played two teams from Denmark now and we’re getting familiar with the style. Aalborg have dropped down from the Champions’ League and will have that bit more quality. But we believe that if we play well, we can beat them. Then if we get to the last eight, it gets really interesting.”

Awards Galore: Following the awards for City in the Community and the Kickz project this season, the official match programme took a bow for their hard work over the years as they won the Programme of the Year award: “What tends to win awards is something out-of-the-ordinary, a little different, a touch of inspiration. For several seasons, the blend of features in the top-quality, substantial City programme has been made even more impressive with a perfect-bound finish. It’s not just good looks and plenty of pages which have decided the top award goes to Manchester City; in quality and diversity of content, it is the best in the country.”

Squad News

Brilliant Bellamy: Despite a career carefully balanced upon bright, shining moments and times of indiscipline, Craig Bellamy has settled perfectly into the City fold. The Welsh striker, who has scored four goals for the Blues (five if you credit him with the one at Anfield), has become integral to the 4-5-1 formation that the manager has tried and tested all season and Hughes himself feels Bellamy is a better player now than he was at either Blackburn or when a part of Hughes’ Welsh side: “He’s here because he has an immense respect for the likes of Robinho – he wants to play alongside the best in the world. Robby was one of the main reasons why he came here, and they can benefit from each other. I know his character and his qualities, not only as a player. I knew his demanding nature and willingness to work exceptionally hard would help us. He gives you what he’s got and is constantly trying to improve. I know that the Craig Bellamy I’m working with now is far and away a better player than the one I was working with for Wales and at Blackburn. We’ve got a heck of a player.”

The former West Ham man has told of the reasons behind his move to Manchester: “I could have stayed at West Ham with expectations that are completely different and seen out the end of my career. That’s no disrespect to West Ham at all, but I have earned my money and I am happy, as are my wife and kids. It is a challenge, you want to be involved in the best games and if you don’t play well then people can have a go at you. Instead of fizzling out my career I wanted to attack it as much as I could. We have the ability in the team, we need to get a stranglehold on games and work hard. When you do that and match the other teams, your quality players can make that difference.”

Boj’ is Back: After finally overcoming a ruptured Achilles tendon, Bojinov is back in line for the first team. The Bulgarian’s season has come full circle after his recovery places him in the squad for a home return against Aston Villa whilst the whole saga began when he suffered the horrendous injury at Villa Park back in August. Having scored in a reserve mini-derby versus Manchester United last week, Bojinov’s return to fitness was completed with a late substitute appearance at Upton Park. With Bellamy and Robinho now both set for time on the sidelines, it is hoped that the man who scored the winner against AC Milan in pre-season can spearhead the club’s attack: “I am pleased for Boj, it was important that we got him on the field of play because he has not had much Premier League experience. It was important that he got a taste of it as soon as possible and we were able to do that, so that was a positive. It is still early in his comeback and we will have to see how he goes. He is a good option for us.”

We Need to Talk: After reports of a changing room bust up at Fratton Park between Robinho and Bellamy circulated the rounds, Hughes spoke of his desire to ensure all his players have their say after a game. New Dutch signing Nigel De Jong has supported his boss in promoting an open and honest dressing room and claims that it is the only way to success: “We know how the English lads are. In Germany they are more laid back, maybe even polite. But you have to have your own opinion. And if you have something against me or I have something against you, you have to be able to say that. We are all adults, not children. Nobody is afraid to say anything to anybody else here, but the spirit is not a problem because that attitude helps to bring you together, and we will succeed if we all focus in the same direction. People here want something special for the future. But first we must try to make the best out of the rest of the season. We don’t think about what people are saying about us before games or when we get out on to that pitch.”

Transfer News and Gossip

To Be Frank: Last weekend played host to even more rumours that Robinho was on his way out of the club due to major differences with the boss and it is thought that a part exchange may be the most likely transfer. French Winger Frank Ribery seems the most likely target for the summer having declared a desire to play Premier League football in the near future. The move would cement a Champions’ League spot for ‘Robbie’ who left Real Madrid for the Blues and may move to Bayern Munich in order to play in the European Champions’ League again. Alternatively, despite the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari, Chelsea may still be interested in the Brazilian playmaker and could possibly offer skipper John Terry in exchange.

Post-Match Reaction

FC Copenhagen: Taking two away goals into a second leg having conceded in the final minute of the match in Copenhagen made for a nervy night at CoMS as the Blues toiled for 75 minutes. Television rights diminished the attendance and ultimately the atmosphere on what should have been a glorious night in the club’s history as we made the final 16 of a European competition but the crowd of a meagre 26,000 watched on as Bellamy proved his goal scoring prowess with an impressive brace. The manager gave his opinion on the game: “It was a strange night in lots of ways because we had the benefit of the away goals, but we knew that if we conceded they would go through. It was difficult to know which way to go with it; the tempo at the start was not at the level we wanted so we talked about that at half time. We are delighted to be through, that was the order of the day. A lot of good teams have gone out of the competition, but we are pleased to still be in the hat so let’s see how far we can go. Craig was excellent again, but he showed great courage and strength to play tonight. He has lost a close family member, so to put in a performance like that was a measure of what an understanding guy he is and what a good professional he is.”

West Ham: Trips to Copenhagen and Anfield provided the Blues with a couple of unbeaten away games and with West Ham failing to win throughout February, there was hope that City could possibly take all three points away from home for the first time since August; unfortunately it was not to be. The 1-0 loss caused Hughes to question just why it is that the Blues can’t win on their travels: “I thought our performance was good, on the balance of play we created four or five really good chances but did not take them. West Ham did not create a great deal, but in the second half they had one chance and took it. Unfortunately for us that has shaped the game. I thought it was one of our best away performances of the season, including Liverpool, but we did not take the chances and get the goal we needed. Goals change games, it’s an old cliché but it is absolutely true. If we had scored first West Ham would have had to come out at us, which is when we can pick teams off. But when we concede first we find it difficult to put pressure on. Overall the performance was fine but we are very disappointed to lose away from home again.”

Aston Villa: SWP lit up East Manchester on a cold March night with a man of the match performance, which he capped off with a goal in the 89th minute. The England winger ran rings around Martin O’Neill’s men all game and earned the Blues three precious points in the search for a European spot. Elano scored the only other goal of the 2-0 victory from the spot and made sure that the Blues fans knew just who he was despite spending much of the season warming the bench. The City Chief expressed his delight with the performance: “It was one of the best performances of the season, if not the one, because of the different elements we had to produce to win the match. We have shown that we can test ourselves on an equal footing with a team like Aston Villa. The first half was as good as we have been able to produce, if we are honest we should have been out sight by half time but you expect a reaction from Villa and we got it. Our forward players’ movement and understanding caused Aston Villa real problems; we were able to exploit the confusion they created. They had pace, skill and no little amount of technical ability. Dunnie was different class as well, we needed people to stand up and be counted, and he led from the front. All in all, a great performance, I am delighted.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Danish Direction: Danish left back Niclas Jensen told reporters last week of his joy at returning to play at CoMS and of how pleased he was that his former club was moving in the right direction. The defender, famous for his stunning goal against Leeds, told City fans to enjoy the impending success but to keep patient with what will be a long term project: “It feels good to be back. City are a great club, and the fans were always beautiful. They were good to me. The atmosphere at Maine Road was really great, with the crowd behind us. They were great times for me. Playing for Kevin Keegan was exciting. I enjoyed my life and my football. Quite a lot has happened in the years since I left here and it will be very interesting to see what happens now. The financial side is there now. But you don’t want to rush things; you must take it step by step. You have to try and stay calm, take a few years to pick the way you want to go and get things right. Then in two or three years’ time you can be up at the top with the Arsenals, Manchester Uniteds and Chelseas. With the money coming in, people will expect everything to happen fast, but it is important to take it easy and carefully.”

Morrison’s (Assistant) Managerial Metal: Struggling Blue Square Conference side Northwich Victoria have appointed their fourth manager of the season in Andy Preece in order to try to turn their year around. Preece, formerly of Bury has taken up the ‘Poison Chalice’ of amateur football and brought in former City skipper Andy Morrison as his Assistant Manager. Hopefully, the man known for his hard tackles and no nonsense attitude will have what it takes to aid Preece in his almost impossible challenge.

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


City deservedly defeated 4th placed Aston Villa in a very exciting encounter at Eastlands on a crisp winter’s night, advancing up to 8th place in the table. Indeed, this was an important win over a good Villa side.

Pablo Zabaleta reverted to right back to replace Micah Richards, who failed a fitness test on his hamstring, with Shaun Wright-Phillips returning on the right wing and Elano recalled to play in a five man midfield behind Felipe Caicedo. For the visitors, Emile Heskey passed a test on his Achilles to start up front.

City started off at a tempo that knocked Villa off their stride from the very start and the visitors were unable to get a foothold in the game for the whole first half. With De Jong and Kompany crunching into tackles and supported by the rest of the City team closing down space, working very hard and passing the ball quickly, Villa didn’t know what hit them. SWP sent a warning shot across Villa bows when he fired wide at the end of a thrilling run. SWP then fed Elano whose clever pass inside Villa left back, Luke Young, found Stephen Ireland in the penalty box. He should have scored from the inside right position, but inexplicably seemed to cross the ball and the chance was gone. In a terrific move that started with Zabaleta at full back, De Jong found Ireland and SWP’s shot was just wide. Villa were being cut to ribbons and the pressure finally told when Elano’s clever, angled pass found SWP in the box and he was brought down as he was about to shoot. Referee Foy pointed straight to the spot and Elano’s perfectly placed penalty just eluded Friedel’s valiant attempt to save and City were deservedly ahead.

It was a cracking atmosphere with good banter between the fans: “Small Town in Walsall” from City’s singing section and South Stand being countered with “Small town in Bury” from the Villans, and of course “Champions’ League, y’re ‘avin a laugh” from the Blues. It was perhaps the best atmosphere at Eastlands this season.

City continued to threaten as Villa tried and failed to get any sort of toehold in the first half. Good work from Caicedo on the left played in SWP again and his low shot just eluded Friedel’s right hand post. SWP was involved in most of City’s best work and it was a pity that we didn’t have someone on the end of his crosses – surely a powerful centre forward is what is required this summer. City should have been out of sight by half time but the feeling at the break was that we needed another goal against a side of Villa’s standing. Would we rue not having the harvest of goals that our total domination clearly deserved?

Martin O’Neill made some intelligent adjustments at the break and Villa were a different team in the 2nd half, with the dangerous Carew on for Curtis Davies, and perennial thorn-in-our sides, Heskey, dropping back into midfield. The huge Norwegian striker was straight into the action with a flick header from a cross by the dangerous Milner, but he failed to test Given. Villa went on to dominate the first 20 minutes of the 2nd period – indeed, we struggled to get out of our half in the first 8 of those minutes after the break. With De Jong having to go off injured, City missed his bite, and we tended to drop too deep: a dangerous thing to do with the likes of Carew and Heskey waiting to capitalise from the crosses of Ashley Young down the left and Agbonlahor on the right. The excellent Gareth Barry and the wily Stilian Petrov were dominating midfield and finding Young in particular with searching lofted passes. Zabalata had his work cut out at right back, but he stuck to his task well. Kompany snapped into tackles time after time and along with Ireland, provided the cover for Bridge’s surges forward. Then SWP and Ireland switched wings with SWP moving over to the left.

It was end-to-end stuff, or to use another cliché, a thriller against the Villa! City were playing on the break, but these breaks became more frequent as the half progressed. Elano fed the overlapping Bridge on the left with a clever lofted pass, and his cross was volleyed wide at the far post by Caicedo. It was a lovely move but a difficult chance to convert.

Barry forced Given’s first save from Agbonlahor’s clever pass, but Villa did not create any other real chances as the back four, superbly marshalled by Given and Dunne, held firm. Bridge ventured forward again in another thrilling attack and his cross was cleverly chested back by substitute Ched Evans into the path of Elano, whose dipping volley was saved brilliantly by the excellent Brad Friedel, very low to his left.

At the other end, Barry played in Young only to find the brick wall that is Richard Dunne, who deflected the ball behind. Young had another shot blocked as City’s defence showed great resilience.

City continued to counter. In another delightful move, Elano fed Ireland and his pass found SWP who fired over from a central position. Zabaleta’s long pass then found Evans and he too fired over as a thrilling game reached its climax. It was breathless stuff and there was no time to feel too nervous as the action was constant. Dunne had to be alert to head behind a searching Agbonlahor cross with Carew running behind him and ready to pounce. Whenever Given was called upon to catch crosses he was calm and assured.

The tiring Elano was applauded warmly as he was replaced by Bojinov, who entered to great applause and a chorus of Steve Winwood’s ‘Valerie’ from a gaggle of fans in the Colin Bell lower tier. Villa were reorganising as Cuellar went off with cut head.

Then came the moment that decided the game, a move of the highest class. Ched Evans showed great tenacity to chase a ball down the right flank. He won it, and the ball was squared to Ireland in the inside right position. Ireland moved inside, passed to SWP, who played a one-two with Ireland and from the return pass, swept home a deserved goal past Friedel’s outstretched left hand. What a goal, what a joy, what a relief! Eastlands celebrated loudly.

With the pressure off, City nearly made it 3-0 soon after. Bojinov smartly played in Ireland whose effort was saved smartly by Friedel. Then SWP delighted us with a Cruyff turn on the bye line, a fitting end to evening when he starred in a superb team performance.

This game represented the best of English football. It was very competitive, with slick movement from City and plenty of pace and power on display: it was two teams playing good football in a great spirit. Most of Villa’s attacks may come from wide areas rather than through the middle, but they are a real handful and City must take great heart from a satisfying win over them. Everyone in the City team worked hard for each other and we looked like a Mark Hughes team: competitive, resilient, tough and skilful. Now we need to do this away from home. It is crucial for City’s development that Hughes is given time to build this side because he is making the progress that we need. Indeed it was good to see him punching the air and celebrate with City fans as he filed down the tunnel.

Given: Great distribution, cool handling and superb organisation of the back four. On the rare occasions that he was called on to make a save he did not disappoint 8
Zabaleta: Stood up very well to the considerable challenge of Ashley Young 7
Dunne: Some brilliant, crucial aerial interceptions and tackles against a physical Villa front line when it mattered 8
Onuoha: Strong and resolute, read it well and competed to the last 7
Bridge: Coped well with the pace of Agbonlahor and made some exciting, productive forays forward. It was no coincidence that he prospered for having better support with Ireland detailed to cover for him 7
Shaun Wright-Phillips: Thoroughly deserved his goal. He was absolutely scintillating as an attacker on both the right and left wings, and his support of our full backs was impeccable 9
De Jong: His and Kompany’s bite were key in setting the tempo. We really missed him in the 2nd half 8
Kompany: An absolute colossus 8
Elano: A highly intelligent and hard working performance 8
Ireland: His intelligence and hard work (especially his cover for Bridge) are there for all to see: a gem of a player 8
Caicedo: The 19 year old battled well against Villa’s big men and was part of some good moves without it really being his night 6
Fernandes: For all his effort, he struggled to impose himself here 5
Evans: Busy, intelligent, energetic and pushed his claim for a start very well here 7
Bojinov: A clever cameo 7

Goals: Elano (pen) 23, Wright-Phillips 88
Att: 40,137
Refwatch: Chris Foy: Allowed the game to flow, got most decisions right and was barely noticed, which is how it should be 8
Best Opp: Brad Friedel, due to his brilliance in goal shades it from all-action midfielder Gareth Barry and constant menace Ashley Young 8

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


One result doesn’t make a season, and much though I enjoyed last night’s match, there are still some huge tactical gaffes being made, which better teams will expose. We were fortunate that Villa put in their worst performance of the season in the first half, and that we’ve played them whilst they are in a bit of a slump, but if they played more like they have earlier this season (which they did a bit in the second half), then things could have been different. I am not naturally a Hughes hater, but when the flaws are there for all to see, it seems silly to continue in the vain hope that he will somehow get things right at some point. The inabilities Hughes shows will not go away, or be improved by spending wads of cash.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a much improved performance on our behalf, on top of which SWP, Dunne, and Zabaleta were on top form. Where we were weak was not in what the players did but in what they were asked to do i.e. the manager’s input. We had no left side of midfield for the first half and the start of the second, which bizarrely Villa didn’t seem to notice much. When they did, Elano, Ireland and De Jong were constantly being drawn out to that side to cover. Thankfully Bridge was in good offensive form, and seemed to relish playing without Robinho in front of him, so we coped. Ireland was played in a number of positions last night, which again prevented him from bossing his best position. We should be playing to his great strengths rather than wasting him by playing him out of position. Elano seemed to think that he had to show his full range of ‘tricks’ last night to win us over (or the manager?), which meant that he did it when it wasn’t appropriate and in the wrong part of the pitch; he could have ended up being far more of a liability the number of times he gave the ball away. Caicedo has promise but this will be knocked out of him if Hughes continues to play him as a lone striker. I’ve also mentioned before that no team has ever won anything using a formation with two defensive midfielders, yet Hughes continues with this, even at home. As soon as Villa decided to apply any pressure we were forced back deeper and deeper. I had to laugh when I saw Hughes have a go at Dunne during an injury break in the second half to try and get him to stop playing so deep. Well, if he chose a more offensive formation to start with then they wouldn’t be playing so deep! Doh! Substitutions were to Hughes’ normal standard i.e. bewildering! Fernandes was brought on to replace De Jong yet went on to the right wing where he did his headless chicken routine yet again, with a few dodgy tackles thrown in. He must be so desperate to be a regular in the team that he just loses it when he gets on the pitch; he was never like that under Sven.

A better formation last night would have been:

Zab,  Dunne,  Onuoha,  Bridge
SWP, Ireland, Kompany, Garrido
      Caicedo, Evans

At least this would have provided some balance. I don’t know what Garrido has done wrong to be left out when the team was crying out for a left winger, but I felt sorry for him last night. Evans deserved a run out to prove his worth and either he or Caicedo could then have been replaced by Boj if it didn’t work out. Of course there is no guarantee that this would have produced a better result, but if this team had played to the same standard as we did last night then I am sure we would have pummelled Villa, and really blown apart their season. We have some really excellent players who do try for the most part, but they are still being hamstrung by the manager’s tactics and selection. Bring on Wenger!

Steve Burrows <stevieburrows(at)>


A well-deserved win last night versus Aston Villa, especially going into the game without Bellamy and Robinho. For once our guys played as if each one had a point to prove, and the game plan worked perfectly. First half was by far our best display of the season, the way we moved the ball around and harried Villa at every opportunity. De Jong was solid and SWP was unstoppable tonight. Many excellent performances throughout. Well done to Richard Dunne, too.

Elano has come in for some well-deserved criticism from me, but not for the majority of his display last night. More of the same is needed from the player, and he can make himself once again a regular choice in the side. He needs to keep his head screwed on and adjust to the Premier League, as he did last night. Commitment is the key, with him, as he has the talent, when he decides to use it.

A solid crowd, too, 40k+, so I’m pleased the paying customers went home from this midweek game with a smiles on their faces.

Mark H and his coaching staff got this one right surely, all but the most dour can see the man is on the right track with the club so it would be good to have his doubters back off for a while. He isn’t going anywhere and why should he? Aided by the club’s financial resources during the coming summer, he’ll be in a position to make some good, strong signings, I’ve no doubt about that.

They’ll still be some blips along the way but, overall, I’m satisfied with the way things are shaping, right now.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


I start my comments by making a remark about what Steve Burrows said in the last edition of MCIVTA, talking about United’s manager. I quote what Steve said: “The difference is that Ferguson “came” to Trafford.” Now I as a City supporter would have said: “The difference is that Ferguson “went” to Trafford.” Is Steve a Red in disguise running down Mark Hughes?

The team versus Aston Villa minus two stars Robinho and Bellamy, played a terrific game, with the Man of the Match going to SWeeP, who came back after his three match ban on fire.

The first goal came after SWeeP was pulled down in the penalty area and Elano made no mistake with the penalty kick, keeping his record of scoring with every penalty that he has taken for the club.

This was a true team effort, and every player deserves to be applauded for giving a 100% performance. Special mention must be made of Dunne who kept the defence in control. Superman was at his best going forward.

The second goal was just reward for SWeeP who hit home a pass from Superman, to make it 2-0.

Good tactics by Mark Hughes, and worthy winners beating the present fourth in the Premier League.

Come on you Blues! In Sparky I trust.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


That was some performance against Villa. First half we pulverised them and everyone was magnificent.

In the second half Villa put on three centre forwards and Dunne was sensational. We played intelligently and absorbed all they could throw at us (although it was 70 minutes before Shay had a save to make) and hit them on the counter superbly as per the second goal.

As I pointed out in earlier message, we now have a squad with substance and depth to it and being without so many (it’s a long, long list) did not undermine us last night.

Very encouraging and hopefully we will keep this up (Istanbul here we come).

Patrick Knowles <pjamk(at)>


Here are some bits and pieces about the UEFA website and in particular the info on it relating to City.

Here’s hoping for a win tonight against Villa; it’s time to wheel out Darius again. I’m taking my boots and hoping for a runout in place of Bellamy.

UEFA Information

City’s squad for the UEFA Cup is detailed at

There’s more info about the squad in

The most obvious omission is Valeri Bojinov, while Jo is still listed.

The UEFA rules mandate a squad of 25 nominated players of which eight must be “locally trained”. This is List A. In addition to this list, the club can nominate any player born after 1/10/1987, who has been eligible to play for the club for an uninterrupted period of 2 years since his 15th birthday. These players comprise List B. List B players can be nominated at any time up to midnight on the day prior to a match. Daniel Sturridge and Ched Evans are among 12 List B players shown on the UEFA website.

While it looks somewhat negligent to include Jo and exclude Bojinov, the rules only allow three changes to list A before the last 32 matches. In City’s case this added Bridge, Bellamy and Given, leaving out Hamman, Ball and Ben Haim.

If anyone needs a cure for insomnia, then the UEFA website is full of possibilities. Try the UEFA Cup regulations at Rule 17 covers player nominations.

There’s already info on the site about the format of the new Europa Cup next year.

Happy reading!

Roger Haigh <rogerhaigh(at)>


Further to Rob Simnor’s question in MCIVTA 1511 about the last time we scored from a corner. Easy one. Dunne has cracked in 2 belters this season. One top corner as I recall, unmarked edge of the 6 yard. I think he bundled in the other. People have very short memories!

Or do you mean for City?

Andy Johnson <fastandyj(at)>


I am looking for 4 tickets for the Sunderland game on 21st March (2 adults and 2 children).

I will be in Manchester from Friday night (20th). Any advice on where I might get tickets would be much appreciated.

Brendan Thornberry <brendan.thornberry(at)>


The trip to Aalborg is filling up fast, as we are only running the Day Trip and not the overnight stay.

Aalborg vs. Manchester City
TBA 18th/19th March 2009
Aalborg, Denmark

It’s back to Denmark for City’s last 16 away leg clash against Aalborg. The game could either be on the 18th or 19th and our trips will be adjusted to whatever date is finalised. Aalborg is a compact city but has a wealth of nightlife concentrated in the Jomfru Ane Gade, a street packed with bars, restaurants and in the evening, clubs.

Day trip from Manchester

Depart Manchester early morning for the short flight to Aalborg, arriving well in time for lunch. Sample the delights of the famous Jomfru Ane Gade, a street packed with bars and restaurants. In the evening make your way to the stadium for the game. After the game coaches are waiting to take you back to the airport for the return flight direct to Manchester due to land back at around 01:00.
Price: £175.00

Depart Manchester 0730 hours
Arrive Aalborg 1040 hours
Depart Aalborg 0030 hours
Arrive Manchester 0145 hours
We will be flying with Jet2 again from Manchester Terminal 1

Prices are per person and includes direct flights from Manchester, transfers and all airport taxes and charges. Match tickets are not included and should be obtained from the club in the normal way. For futher information, email <info(at)> or telephone 0161 775 7500.

Michael <90-minutes(at)>


4 March 2009

Manchester City       2 - 0  Aston Villa           40,137
Newcastle United      1 - 2  Manchester United     51,636
Stoke City            2 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      26,319
Wigan Athletic        0 - 1  West Ham United       14,169
Blackburn Rovers      0 - 0  Everton               21,445
Fulham                0 - 1  Hull City             23,051
Tottenham Hotspur     4 - 0  Middlesbrough         35,761

3 March 2009

Portsmouth            0 - 1  Chelsea               20,326
West Bromwich Albion  1 - 3  Arsenal               26,244
Liverpool             2 - 0  Sunderland            41,587

League table to 04 March 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  27 12  1  0 30  5  8  4  2 18  7 20  5  2  48  12  36 65
 2 Chelsea         28  7  5  2 23  8 10  2  2 25  8 17  7  4  48  16  32 58
 3 Liverpool       28  8  6  0 22  8  8  4  2 23 12 16 10  2  45  20  25 58
 4 Aston Villa     28  5  7  2 20 15 10  0  4 22 14 15  7  6  42  29  13 52
 5 Arsenal         28  7  5  2 18 11  6  5  3 23 15 13 10  5  41  26  15 49
 6 Everton         28  5  5  4 20 16  7  4  3 16 12 12  9  7  36  28   8 45
 7 West Ham United 28  7  1  6 19 17  4  5  5 15 17 11  6 11  34  34   0 39
 8 Manchester City 28  9  0  5 30 12  1  5  8 15 24 10  5 13  45  36   9 35
 9 Wigan Athletic  28  6  4  4 13 12  3  4  7 14 15  9  8 11  27  27   0 35
10 Fulham          27  8  3  2 21 10  0  7  7  3 13  8 10  9  24  23   1 34
11 Bolton Wndrs    28  6  2  6 14 15  4  1  9 16 25 10  3 15  30  40 -10 33
12 Hull City       28  3  3  8 15 29  5  5  4 19 21  8  8 12  34  50 -16 32
13 Tottenham H.    27  5  5  4 15  9  3  2  8 17 23  8  7 12  32  32   0 31
14 Sunderland      27  5  2  6 15 15  3  5  6 12 20  8  7 12  27  35  -8 31
15 Stoke City      28  7  4  3 17 13  0  4 10 10 31  7  8 13  27  44 -17 29
16 Newcastle Utd   28  4  6  4 20 22  2  4  8 14 23  6 10 12  34  45 -11 28
17 Portsmouth      27  5  2  7 18 22  2  5  6 11 22  7  7 13  29  44 -15 28
18 Blackburn R.    27  3  5  6 15 21  3  4  6 15 22  6  9 12  30  43 -13 27
19 Middlesbrough   28  4  6  4 12 15  2  2 10  8 25  6  8 14  20  40 -20 26
20 West Brom A.    28  5  2  7 19 27  1  2 11  6 27  6  4 18  25  54 -29 22

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 by 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 #1512