Newsletter #1517

A busy few days for the Blues as we nearly threw away our passage into the next round of the UEFA Cup only to win on the dreaded penalty shoot out and secure a tie against Hamburg, which many Blues will relish. Victory over Sunderland on Sunday sees us nudge back up the league table a couple of places as other results certainly kept the title race open.

We have match views tonight, continued opinion on the games and plenty of requests from travelling Blues.

Finally after recent debates, here’s one to mull over. One of the papers at the weekend produced some stats on our diminutive Brazilian’s effectiveness. Away games we’ve won with Robinho in the team = 6.66%, away games won without Robinho in the team = 50%. I know the stats can be made to fit any argument, but it’s the 666 that worries me!

Next Game: Arsenal, away, 3pm Saturday 4 April 2009


City made hard work of beating Sunderland by the one goal by Micah who had a great game until he had to go off with an injury.

Robinho took a penalty that looked like one of the worst penalties ever taken, especially by a high profile player. The City penalties are usually taken by Elano who has never missed a penalty; was Mark Hughes giving Robinho a chance to get a goal and get his confidence back? Sadly it never happened.

I know that I was so frustrated by the away game at Aalborg that I said Robinho should be dropped; today against Sunderland except for the penalty I thought that Robinho tried enough but has lost his form a little, and needs that elusive goal to bring him back on form.

Micah gets my man of the match, closely followed by Elano, Sweep, and Dunne. Boj had a good game and showed some brilliant moves, and he looks like coming back to 100% fitness.

In general City played some clever football, but Sunderland were desperate and showed it by some of their tackles, which brought many yellow cards plus a sending off for bringing SWeeP down.

No question that City deserved this game, but the final minutes got a little worrying knowing our record for letting teams score in the final minutes of a game as Sunderland tried desperately to attack and get an equalizing goal.

City are in a good position to get that seventh position in the Premier League. But personally my priority is the UEFA Cup, it would be nice to get some silverware that we haven’t seen for over thirty years (that’s not counting our Academy teams).

Come on you Blues! In Sparky I trust.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


A decent weekend: we gain 3 points at the expense of Sunderland, whilst Manchester United continue to lose their way, with Liverpool storming along. If this trend continues somewhat, our next visit to Old Trafford could be very interesting indeed, as we may still just have a huge part to play as to whether United can go on to win the League.

Bojinov to score the winner in that game would be the icing on the cake for him, as well as for Mark Hughes and the rest of his players, and our supporters. Time will tell, soon enough.

There has been press talk of the likelihood of several of City’s players leaving the club once the season is over, so it shall be interesting to see whether or not Joe Hart decides to move on. I would like to see him remain but he will surely be a target for some other Premier League team. The outcome will be as interesting as seeing the prospect of several new players arriving.

Decent performances are now mandatory versus Hamburg as well as for the visit to Arsenal, but obviously neither of these games can be taken at all lightly. Robinho, take note.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


Manchester City were lucky, very lucky. The first half saw City playing attacking football but never got any clear cut chances to score.

The second half saw City go into a defensive mode, and let Aalborg attack at will; it only looked like a matter of time before Aalborg would score, and once they did it brought new energy into them to get the equalizing goal, which came through a penalty in the last minute of regular time.

In the first half City showed lots of energy and dominated the game. In the second half we saw a team tired and not looking fit, they were slow almost in everything that they did.

I am not going to defend Robhino in this game except for his effort that hit the crossbar: I give him a 4 out of 10. I have to agree with others in the MCIVTA 1516 that Robinho should be dropped, – no player is bigger than MCFC. Only trouble is, who do we have to play in his place?

The way MCFC have pampered Robinho, letting him go back to visit in Brazil etc., he owes City to give 100%. Tonight if every City player had played with the determination of Zabaleta, we might have won comfortably. This is not to say that some other players did not put in an effort.

The tactics by Mark Hughes to play attacking football in the first half were good, but what happened in the second half? We live to fight another day because of Shay Given.

I’m glad I don’t bite my nails, for I would have none left after this game. If we have to play one bad game in this competition then let’s hope that it has already happened tonight.

Come on you Blues! Sparky has to do better, but I still trust in him.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Re. Steve Burrows who, in MCIVTA 1515, wrote along the following lines: I’ve never stated Mark Hughes is deliberately running down City – his past connections are irrelevant.

In MCIVTA 1513 Steve Burrows wrote: “In my opinion, the only Red in disguise running down City is Mark Hughes!”

Seems to me, when read in context, Steve Burrows has indeed accused Mark Hughes of running down Manchester City. In fact, for some time it has been quite obvious Steve Burrows is not a fan of our Manager, an opinion he is entirely entitled to, of course.

Further, Steve Burrows’ distaste for all things “Red” is, and has been, very apparent although, likely not at all helped due to the apparent close proximity of his residence to Manchester United’s stadium, as he has previously pointed out.

Finally, his addressing Ernie Barrow as a “happy clapper” is not exactly the most complimentary thing one could say about a long-time contributor of this newsletter. Very unfortunate and undeservedly derogatory, in my view.

No matter. What is important is the continuing progress of the club, and tonight’s encounter in Denmark. Hopefully we shall progress in the competition and, yes, under the continuing guidance of Mark Hughes and his staff.

[Steve has rattled a few cages with some of his opinions, but McV has always been about people being able to express those opinions without resorting to slagging off other contributors, unlike some of the message boards out there, and that’s the way we want it to continue. So please let’s keep the personal abuse out of it and the varying opinions coming folks – Ed]

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


I have just moved to Sofia, Bulgaria for a few months and wondered if there are any Blues out here who I could meet up with to watch a game or two?

Sefton Owens <sefton(at)>


I’ve given up my job and flat (apparently not the done thing at the moment) and on 1st April I will be embarking on a 3 month tour of North America on trains, planes and automobiles, then after that I’ll follow it up with a 3 month tour of Europe on my Vespa. See my travel blog at for details if the fancy takes you.

Anyway, to get to the point I’d like to catch as many City games as I can while there so if anyone can recommend pubs that are likely to show City EPL/UEFA Cup games that would be mighty fine of you. Here’s the dates of where I will be when the Blues are playing (or might be playing!):

4th April – New York
9th April – Washington DC
12th April – On a chuffin’ train
16th April – New Orleans
18th April – San Antonio
25th April – Flagstaff
30th April – San Diego
2nd May – Los Angeles
7th May – Santa Barbara
9th May – Yosemite
16th May – On a piggin’ train
20th May – Denver
24th May – Seattle

The thought of potentially missing Istanbul is a killer (though I didn’t think it would be an issue when Dunney stepped up for a pen last night!) and much to their amusement, my mates keep singing “Istanbul, Istanbul you’re not coming!”

Dan Bowen <devo.mcduff(at)>


I was wondering if any Blues from Manchester are flying from Stansted out to Germany on one of the early morning flights on Wednesday the 8th (mine is the 6:40am Ryanair flight to Bremen) and if they possibly had an extra seat that I could have if they are driving down to the airport? The other options for getting to Stansted for an early morning flight from Manchester look absolutely horrible. I would obviously contribute for petrol etc. I’m flying back on the Friday at 19:35 so I’m not too fussed about a lift back as it’s an alright time but again if anyone is driving back up to Manchester and wouldn’t mind driving me as well it would be greatly appreciated.

Joe Ryding <joeryding(at)>


Me and my mate have got flights and digs already booked when it slowly dawned on us that we’re unlikely to get tickets with the number of points we have. If anyone can help, please contact me (Baz) by mobile 07807716991 or email.

Thanks, Barry Stoddard <bluemooner1969(at)>


A benefit 5-a-side competition has been organised in aid of the appeal. The competition will take place at the Platt Lane Complex on Saturday 13th June with a 10:00am start. Presentation of certificates for the successful teams will take place in the Oasis Suite following the football, which is scheduled to finish at 1:30pm.

Invitations are extended to any group of City fans wishing to take part.

Entrance fee is £25.00 per team with all the money going directly to the Carl Ramsbottom Appeal. Cheques should be made payable to MCCSA and forwarded directly to me:

Alex Channon
‘Penalty Spot’
81 Milner Street
M27 4AS

As this is a benefit competition it is hoped to obtain the free services of 8 referees to control the games. Would any qualified referees out there (active or non-active) who are willing to offer their services please contact me ASAP?

To save on all expenses and to ensure all income goes directly to Carl and his family, there will not be a buffet provided after the football.

If there’s anybody out there who thinks they can raise extra money on the day by perhaps organising a decent raffle or something similar, please contact me. Also if there’s anybody out there who thinks they can do something to help the day go with a swing, please contact me.

I am hoping to get somebody from the club or a former player to present the certificates in the Oasis Suite. This should be a fantastic day for Blues to get together and to support a worthwhile cause.

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


Travel to Germany to see City’s UEFA Cup, Quarter Final away leg against German opposition Hamburg.

9th April 1 Night Trip, direct from Manchester

Depart from Manchester at 08:00, arriving into Hamburg at 10:45. On arrival transfers are waiting to take you to your city centre hotel. Spend the afternoon at leisure, making your own way to the stadium in the evening. The following day, Good Friday, coaches will pick you up from your hotel to take you back to the airport for the return afternoon flight, due to land back at Manchester around 14:45.

3* £275 per person
4* £289 per person

Price are based on 2 sharing a twin room and include transfers and all airport taxes and charges. Match tickets are not included.

Manchester (90 Minutes) 0161 775 7500

Michael <90-minutes(at)>


22 March 2009

Wigan Athletic        1 - 0  Hull City            17,689
Manchester City       1 - 0  Sunderland           43,017
Liverpool             5 - 0  Aston Villa          44,131

21 March 2009

Portsmouth            2 - 1  Everton              20,388
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 1  West Ham United      21,672
Fulham                2 - 0  Manchester United    25,652
Stoke City            1 - 0  Middlesbrough        26,442
Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 0  Chelsea              36,034
West Bromwich Albion  1 - 1  Bolton Wanderers     25,530
Newcastle United      1 - 3  Arsenal              49,972

League table to 22 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  29 12  1  1 31  9  8  4  3 18  9 20  5  4  49  18  31  65
 2 Liverpool       30  9  6  0 27  8  9  4  2 27 13 18 10  2  54  21  33  64
 3 Chelsea         30  8  5  2 24  8 10  2  3 25  9 18  7  5  49  17  32  61
 4 Arsenal         30  8  5  2 22 11  7  5  3 26 16 15 10  5  48  27  21  55
 5 Aston Villa     30  5  7  3 21 17 10  0  5 22 19 15  7  8  43  36   7  52
 6 Everton         30  6  5  4 23 17  7  4  4 17 14 13  9  8  40  31   9  48
 7 Wigan Athletic  30  7  4  4 14 12  4  4  7 16 16 11  8 11  30  28   2  41
 8 West Ham United 30  7  2  6 19 17  4  6  5 16 18 11  8 11  35  35   0  41
 9 Fulham          30  9  3  3 24 12  1  7  7  6 14 10 10 10  30  26   4  40
10 Manchester City 30 10  0  5 31 12  1  5  9 15 25 11  5 14  46  37   9  38
11 Tottenham H.    30  6  5  4 16  9  4  3  8 20 25 10  8 12  36  34   2  38
12 Bolton Wndrs    30  6  2  7 15 18  4  2  9 17 26 10  4 16  32  44 -12  34
13 Hull City       30  3  4  8 16 30  5  5  5 19 22  8  9 13  35  52 -17  33
14 Sunderland      30  5  3  7 17 18  3  5  7 12 21  8  8 14  29  39 -10  32
15 Portsmouth      29  6  2  7 20 23  2  6  6 12 23  8  8 13  32  46 -14  32
16 Stoke City      30  8  4  3 18 13  0  4 11 11 34  8  8 14  29  47 -18  32
17 Blackburn R.    30  3  6  6 16 22  4  4  7 17 27  7 10 13  33  49 -16  31
18 Newcastle Utd   30  4  6  5 21 25  2  5  8 15 24  6 11 13  36  49 -13  29
19 Middlesbrough   30  4  7  4 13 16  2  2 11  8 26  6  9 15  21  42 -21  27
20 West Brom A.    30  5  3  7 20 28  1  3 11  6 27  6  6 18  26  55 -29  24

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1517