Newsletter #1525

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A better performance on Sunday as we returned to winning ways with a 4-2 victory against struggling West Brom.

Tonight we have a match report on the Hamburg game thanks to Phil, views on the recent games and some great opinion on squad strengthening, recent form and a Why Blue from down under.

Next up, FA Cup finalists Everton.

Next Game: Everton, away, 3pm Saturday 25 April 2009

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’: MCFC 2 HSV 1 (agg 3-4)

Manchester City gallantly fought to the last against a talented Hamburg on a exciting European night, but it was not quite enough to progress to the semi-finals of the competition. It was breathless occasion packed with incident and drama. Indeed, it was a night when both clubs and fans can look back with satisfaction and take pride in an exciting contest that was played in a crackling atmosphere with great support from both sets of fans.

Vincent Kompany thankfully returned to help Pablo Zabaleta beef up the midfield engine room, Robinho returned up front; Elano came in for the injured Wright-Phillips, and Wayne Bridge was passed fit to come back in at left back.

City lacked conviction in the final third in the early stages, and Richards slipped when put through by Elano and Zabaleta. Hamburg took the lead with their first attack in the 12th minute: Guerrero turning and shooting low to Given’s left after Dunne had failed to cut out the tricky Pitriopa’s cross. ‘Hughes can pack his bags’ was one asinine knee-jerk reaction from one fan. Rather than whining and petty point scoring, the vast majority of the capacity crowd got behind the team, making it a special occasion.

The City team showed that they too are made of sterner stuff as they quickly tried to get back into the game, and we were rewarded in the 17th minute when Elano won a penalty after his shot struck a Hamburg arm. Reliable as ever from the spot, the Brazilian midfielder struck a good, powerful penalty just past Rost’s outstretched right arm for the equaliser.

City enjoyed a good spell thereafter with Ireland hitting the side netting after being played in by Robinho, who was all guile and invention. Unfortunately Caicedo repeatedly got himself caught offside, much to our frustration, and this stifled much of our attacking intent.

Hamburg still looked the more likely to score in the first half with Trochowski forcing Given into a smart save to his left. The Hamburg midfielder then failed to test Given with another effort. Indeed, for a while it looked like Hamburg’s superior quality – this is after all a team that is challenging for the Bundesliga title – would hold sway, with the muscular and highly dangerous Olic always a threat with his strength and intelligent link play, and the wily Trochowski pulling the strings in a well-oiled machine of a side who were retaining possession well. Our defence was working overtime and Dunne was lucky to stay on the pitch. Having already been booked for a professional foul early on, he made another challenge from behind and he was lucky that the referee was lenient enough to give him his last warning.

City came closest to scoring as we neared the break when Elano’s long range free kick rattled the bar. There was plenty to hope for in the second half, even if it was still a tall order.

Hope sprung eternal as City upped the tempo after the break, hassling Hamburg out of their stride and forcing them into errors and hurried clearances. Then in the 56th minute, Hamburg’s rearguard was breached. Ireland, who had hitherto had a quiet game, threaded a superb defence-splitting ball through to Caicedo, who swivelled past two defenders and calmly passed the ball, left-footed into the net. Eastlands roared in excitement. It was most definitely ‘game on’.

The dangerous Olic glanced a header wide as the game flowed from end to end with City’s tempo unsettling the German side. Kompany and Zabaleta were truly magnificent in central midfield – thundering into tackles and distributing the ball intelligently. They would run through the proverbial brick walls for the cause. Elano was having his best game of the season, adding industry to his trademark elegance. If only he approached every game like that. The same applies to Robinho who dropped deep and was always looking for openings. On one such occasion he was fouled on the edge of the box and from the free kick Elano’s shot thundered against the post. We collectively held our hands in our heads, and did so again a minute later when Elano’s low corner scuttled across the box, only for Caicedo to blaze over from 4 yards out. The elusive 3rd goal that would have forced extra time just wouldn’t come but it wasn’t down to a lack of effort or passion by the brave Blue battlers. Zabaleta, an ever willing ball carrier played a clever one-two with Robinho but his shot didn’t unduly trouble Rost. The Argentine Olympic Gold Medallist then crossed but Robinho’s header was saved. The Brazilian forward then played a clever one-two with Caicedo but his shot was easily saved. Amongst all this City pressure Caicedo coolly round Rost to finish but he was ruled offside again.

Hamburg always carried a threat on the break and in one of these breaks, Dunne committed the foul that earned him a second yellow and off he went. He could have no complaints. Whilst Hamburg had a little spell in which Given had to react smartly to save from Olic, City’s ten men carried the greater threat to the end with Martin Jol’s side hanging on. Richards played a one-two with Robinho but blazed over. There was still time for Sturridge to hit a speculative effort wide, but that was it: the end of a journey that has taken City from The Faroe Islands in Northern Europe to Santander in the South. We had the great performance in Schalke, the scrapes against the Danes of Aalborg and Copenhagen. We all crave more of the same.

Whilst it’s very disappointing for us to exit the UEFA Cup, losing the tie to a team of the quality of Hamburg was no disgrace, and good luck to them. They are a good side who played the game in the right manner. They noticeably didn’t take the ball to the corner flag in the dying seconds, going for more goals, which is much to their credit. Martin Jol, their players and their fans were a credit to their club. The same goes for Mark Hughes, his team and our fans.

If only City could play with this quality, conviction and belief every week then such European nights would be regular fixtures at Eastlands. When Mark Hughes has had the opportunity to bring in more players of the quality and professionalism of Kompany, Zabaleta, De Jong, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Bridge and Given, then those experiences will come again. Hughes is building firm foundations and it looks like he will be given time to add to these. As for this season, the City players must now pick themselves up and beat West Bromwich Albion. There can be no excuse for not doing so.

Ratings:
Given: Some good saves when called upon. His good distribution was important in starting off our attacks: 7
Richards: Better performance than of late but left gaps that Dunne struggled to cover: 6
Dunne: Failed to cut out the cross for their goal. Had to work overtime to cover for Richards but he mistimed several challenges, and in all fairness could have been sent off before he was: 6
Onuoha: City’s best defender was rock solid yet again: 8
Bridge: An intelligent performance: 7
Elano: Twice denied by the woodwork in a superb performance: he showed what an immensely talented player he is when he puts his mind to it. Why can’t he do this more often? 8
Kompany: Magnificently powerful, skilful: he and Zabaleta ran the midfield: 9
Zabaleta: Ran himself to a literal standstill with another brilliant all-action performance: 9
Ireland: Took a while to get into the game, but when he did he provided a lovely pass for Caicedo’s goal, as well as doing his share of defensive work: 7
Robinho: Always demanding the ball, tricky and intelligent: Another player who needs to produce this form more often. 8
Caicedo: Great finish for his goal in a hard working performance. On the other hand he should have scored more and was repeatedly caught offside: 7
Subs:
Sturridge: Inventive in the short time he was on: 6
Fernandes: Sadly not up to it: 5

Att: 47,009
Refwatch: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy): Giving so many offsides against us is frustrating but he did well overall. It’s a pity that so many Premier League refs are so keen on being personalities rather than getting on with the job: 7
Best oppo: Olic for his strength and all-round intelligence: 8

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)tiscali.co.uk>

MATCH VIEW: MCFC 4 WBA 2

City needed this win versus WBA but unfortunately for West Brom it pretty much seals their fate to the Championship, if it was not already sealed before today’s game. The elusive Robhino goal came in the eighth minute, when he hit home a volley from a nice pass from Superman.

Robinho has made it very clear he wants to stay with City and help the club. This is great news; if we are to progress next season we definitely need to keep our best players. Elano is showing his old form again; he is another player that City need to keep.

I would like to see young Sturridge sign a new contract for City. I know that I called him a greedy swine but in reality one can not blame him for trying get the best contract, as long as he signs one with City. I still see him as a future star. Great to see him get his reward with a fourth goal in injury time today.

All the rest of this season’s games are important but the big one for City supporters and fans is the encounter with the Evil Empire on May 10. Will Dunne miss the United game because of his stupid and reckless tackles versus Hamburg? Dunne had even been warned by the Ref, it was almost like he was saying “send me off Ref”.

The rest of this season will give a clearer picture of who has to go at the end of this season. I’m not going to name the players, everyone has their own ideas, but there are many to go so that Sparky can get closer to it being his City team.

It has just been revealed that Zab could be out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury he suffered halfway through the second half versus WBA.

Zabaleta, who has played very well in the right back position, and has helped out when needed in the midfield, will be missed in the team. This is another player who must be a part of the new City team next season.

Come on you Blues! In Sparky I trust.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)aol.com>

MATCH VIEW I: MCFC 2 HSV 1 (agg 3-4)

Well, a decent, battling performance, with a good amount of football. Have they checked the width of the crossbar and post, looked awfully wide! Elano man of the match – he was actually up for a decent performance, great free kick.

So we’re out of the cup, but we should glad that when we all turn up to play we can mix it with the best. All a coach and fans can ask for is effect and attitude, and we got plenty of both. Given, Nedum, Kompany, Ireland, Zab and Dunnie (the second card was a bit of a joke, but I suppose after all the tackles he put in).

With a huge technical staff we have can someone teach ‘the Beast’ what the offside rule is. Got talent that boy, took his goal very well. All we now have to do is to transfer that form into the run of the mill League games – yes, really!

Sorry, but Robinho has to go, and I think he may be playing for a move, his head is somewhere else. When Bellamy, Petrov and Boz get match fit again, we’ve got the basics of a half decent squad.

Stay Blue.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)slingshot.co.nz>

MATCH VIEW II: MCFC 2 HSV 1 (agg 3-4)

The team all showed a fantastic effort, not showing any tiredness in a non-stop true cup game; every player can hold his head high for the way that they played in this game.

It started the way we didn’t want this game to start with Hamburg getting the first goal. It gave us a bigger mountain to climb, but City did not show it – they played with spirit and heart.

My man of the match goes to Elano: besides playing a brilliant game, he did what he does best – score from the penalty spot. He was so unlucky when he hit the crossbar and the post; this was to me his best game in a City shirt, well done!

Micah, who was one of my three players to watch closely, did not come out on top having a couple of good chances to score missed when he could have been a hero. Towards the end Micah looked the player with most energy sapped out of him, but he gave a good account of himself.

Robinho played a very good game, with some brilliant football at times but sadly that elusive goal did not come. Caicedo scored a well taken goal as he skipped around a defender before hitting the ball home, it was now 2-1 and the stadium saw nearly every City supporter on their feet urging the team on.

Our captain Richard Dunne gave in a tough performance but he got a second yellow for a reckless tackle when it was never needed, the ball was already going out to the bye line.

Dunne gives his all but too many times we have seen him with reckless tackles, he has had too many red cards, and that is a liability to his team mates.

City continued attacking with ten men, and came so close on getting the equalizing goal to send the game into extra time. A thrilling game and the City players gave a performance that they can all be proud of, and watched in the stands by the Chairman of the board.

I think that we can all say we are proud of you for giving Hamburg a very good game. I think I shall go and get a hamburger to eat now, and wish Hamburg good luck in the competition.

Come on you Blues! In Sparky I still trust.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: THE WAY FORWARD CONT’D

Last time I wrote about the real reasons for a change of manager in the summer. Now it’s time to look at the playing staff.

Goalkeepers
I think Hughes has done well here, bringing Given into the side. Hart is young and promising and presumably can go out on loan to get some more experience. One department where we possess top 4 quality.

Full Backs
This is a big area for us I think. I have been a big fan of Micah, but it saddens me to say that he’s not up to the standard we need. First of all, watch him in possession. He takes a touch then thinks about what he’s going to do with the ball – I don’t think he reads the game. Good players in all positions are thinking about what they will do with the ball before they get it, whereas Micah gets caught in possession all of the time, because he doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. Yes he gets forward on the overlap occasionally but even then doesn’t deliver any great quality. Defensively, he is constantly out of position. Hamburg away was a case in point where he got caught twice and it happened in the Fulham game as well. He’s an athlete, which is why he’s got to this level, but he needs to go elsewhere now, top defenders do not rely on pace alone to get themselves out of trouble. Bridge is OK, but only that really. He’s more solid than Micah and better positionally. He was understudy to Ashley Cole for a reason though…. Zab is not quick enough, which is why he was moved into the midfield I suspect and Garrido is not good enough. Verdict: Cheque book time on both sides.

Centre Backs
Nedum has developed past Micah this year and gives the impression that he could go further. I’d keep him but maybe as a third choice? The skipper has been a wonderful servant but he isn’t a top 4 club defender and the time has come to move him to the bench or sell him on with our thanks for some great years. Kompany is OK, but we haven’t had a really classy centre back since van Buyten and now we need two of them. Please, please, please can we buy somebody who can head the ball at both ends of the pitch? Every time we win a corner it’s a waste of time and every time a ball is played into our box we are at panic stations. Basic stuff, but away from home in particular it is often crucial. How many times have Vidic or Terry popped up with headers to grab crucial points for their teams? Verdict: two powerful, classy, quick centre backs needed. They’ll cost a lot, but my understanding is that we’re not “challenged” in that area?

So that’s an entire back 4 to buy. I know that it is not ideal, but none of our guys are close to good enough. If we keep the squad we have, we will just finish mid-table again next year and lose most away games.

Midfield
Ireland and SWP are both decent players who would be in and around other top 4 squads at their best. De Jong and Kompany are OK and might get better, although I didn’t notice Europe’s Champions’ League clubs queuing up to pursue either when they were available. I suspect that both are good top 6 players but we need to add more. Petrov has been sorely missed this year but doesn’t work back when we lose the ball: can we afford that? His pace is a real asset, so maybe a squad player if fit. He’s one of the best left sided attackers in the league when on song. If you look at the top sides, you see stars in their midfield, not just hard working good pros like Hughes has assembled in the past. Think about it: Gerrard, Lampard, Fabregas, Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Essien, Ballack etc. All world class players, all slightly different, but all able to dominate games. All of the top 4 have 2 or 3 hard working highly talented midfielders who take charge away from home as well as at home.
Verdict: I think we need at least two big signings here. We need a talisman to take the workload off Ireland and we need athletes who can cover the ground. If we really have top 4 aspirations only the best will do. Essien and Fabregas would be ideal but won’t happen! Anyone from Barça would be good I suppose… In my dreams we’d buy Iniesta, who I think is exceptional, along with Xavi but again I don’t think that’s likely at the moment!

Attack
The positive thing is that at home we score lots of goals, so we’re not far off in this area. However, closer inspection reveals some big issues. Robinho was sheer class for 4 months, but since the assault charge he has been a liability. He is a world class player but he needs talent around him. I think the worry of the case, now dropped and the losing mentality we have developed have dragged him down. He isn’t a talisman but usually players improve for their second season in the Premier League, so with the right players around him and a more positive vibe about the place, I have high hopes for him come August. Bellamy is a decent squad striker but is always injured I don’t think he’s played a full season anywhere. He is proven Premier League quality but not proven top 4. The youngsters are not good enough, although Sturridge is probably worth keeping for another season to see how he develops, if he can be introduced to reality in his pay demands. I’m glad we didn’t buy Santa Cruz. He’s a decent striker but Ferguson didn’t buy him for a reason and that is that he is just a bit below the very top level needed to challenge in the top 4.
Verdict: we need a world class centre forward, probably two. To get anywhere near our objectives, a striker who can put 20-25 away every season is a must. Again, compare the opposition: Rooney, Tevez, Ronaldo, Adebayor, Van Persie, Torres, Drogba and the poor relation of the group Anelka. We need a presence, we need sharpness, we need a predator and we need someone who can head the ball! No change out of £40 million each I suspect with the City mark up. Maybe David Villa, although is he quick enough? Eto’o would be good, but I wouldn’t leave that Barça team, would you? Jo is definitely not the answer though…

Summary
It may all sound fanciful but this is what the owners want and let’s face it, none of us would complain! The first step is to get a manager in who can attract these players and then let’s get the deals done in the summer when we have the best chance. Realistically we’re looking at £100 million to fix the defence, £70+ million for the midfield and another £40-80 million up front. Beyond that, future windows can look to bring a megastar or two in. The sort of players we need are not the £10-15 million top 6 pros, but the next step up, players who know all about competing at the top level and don’t understand losing! I’m not thinking about a galacticos group here, but I would want genuine top 4 standard quality and a big step function in performance. The main challenge is to start winning away from home. At home we’re pretty close to being a top 4/5 side. Away games are where things get settled though and that is where class tells.

Andy Clarke <andy(at)shopwhykerovers.co.uk>

OPINION: PROUD TO BE BLUE

Bear with me, it’s been a long time since I last contributed and I’ve a few things to get off my chest…

Starting with the debate about Mark Hughes, I too have been bitterly disappointed with some performances this season. He’s made some strange decisions and has stuck by players who in my opinion should have been playing for the reserves and shipped out at the first opportunity. However, regardless of his perceived shortcomings, I believe we must stick with Mr Hughes regardless of how this season pans out. We’ve seen some awful managers at Maine Road over the years, but would all of them have ultimately failed if they had been given more support and more time to get things right? Do we really want to start from scratch again and waste another 12 months whilst a new manager with new ideas comes in and starts to build from scratch? I for one don’t.

As much as I have to say about the club, manager, players etc., the real reason I wanted to put finger to keyboard is to talk about the supporters of our Club. I’m married with kids these days and away trips are very few and far between, but I managed to get a pass for a trip to the game in Hamburg (the missus was clearly unfamiliar with the Reeperbahn). Three friends and I travelled down to Heathrow on the Wednesday morning, flying out that afternoon and hitting the town on Wednesday night. There was already a decent number of City fans around, propping up the bars with echo’s of Istanbul drifting down the streets and a real buzz about the place in anticipation of match day. Thursday morning was fairly subdued, we took a trip to St Pauli’s stadium and bought a few souvenirs, whilst receiving the best wishes of everyone we bumped into. Having dumped our stuff back at the hotel, we headed back to the Reeperbahn for a few ‘quiet pints’; the sights that greeted me will be etched on my mind forever. It was a glorious afternoon and hundreds of Blues filled every bar, with flags and the famous blue shirt on proud display.

It’s hard to describe the scene as we strolled down the street, but just off the main drag is a square edged with bars. I would guess than some 2,000 City fans had congregated in the square, with flags draped from every available vantage point, songs new and old being belted out by supporters aged from 5 to 70+ years, men, women, children and families. The hairs on my neck stood up as we approached the square and it still makes me smile as I picture the view.

Events on the pitch have already been consigned to the history books, but the memories of that trip will live with me for ever. I could have supported any club, watched my team win FA cups, Championships and Champions’ League Finals, but over the years certain things have reassured me that I made the right decision supporting City – Hamburg was one of those moments.

For the record, the people of Hamburg and the supporters of SV Hamburg were magnificent hosts (the most hospitable and tolerant I have experienced) and I sincerely hope they go on to win the cup.

City ’til I die – it was never in doubt really.

Nick Burgess <nick(at)nickburgess.me.uk>

OPINION: RECENT FORM

There have been some very good comments lately in MCIVTA, about what’s been going wrong with our team, from team selection, formation, players attitude, manager etc. and I am sure these debates will continue long into the summer. I watched 2 matches on the weekend, both FA Cup semi finals, and guess what? Two teams both displayed uncanny managerial decisions to the ones that have seen City showing Jeckyll and Hyde performances, and these flawed decisions ultimately led to both these clubs exiting out of the cup. Yes, Arsenal and the Rags could have prevented their exits had the manager played a) a stronger team and b) played players who were performing well of late, in the correct positions. Why didn’t Arshavin and Nasri start? Anyway, I am glad that the Rags got beaten, as all thoughts of the quintuple are now over… thankfully!

I had some trepidation about playing WBA, as we have a propensity of dropping points to the teams at the bottom, and it did not surprise me when WBA equalised after we were 2-0 up! Having only seen extended highlights, and listening to the pundits’ views on Setanta during the match, one cannot fail to recognise that we are absolutely awful at the back. We never seem to get tight to the opposition’s forwards, and also seem to give the oppo’s player on the ball too much time to thread a through ball… what are these guys doing on the training ground? I have been saying for some time now, that we need a big target man up front, as this is what upsets the opposition’s defence, and for all of Caicedo’s shortcomings, he still proves to be a handful when we get the ball to him in the box. Why Hughes persisted with 2 little’uns up front, for so long just amazes me. Why did Sturridge not celebrate his goal at the end? Never even congratulated Ireland for the pass, looked like he didn’t seem to care (maybe he is thinking of going elsewhere!) or is it just me?

It was a relief to see Micah Richards out of the starting line up, as I personally believe he has been one of the poorest players in our back 4 this season, and single-handedly cost us a place in the semi-final of the UEFA Cup. Richard Dunne has played some good matches and shows a desire to defend, unfortunately his lack of pace has proved to be his achilles heel, and we really need a good replacement for next season. I really feel for Shay Given, who left a colander of a defence at Newcastle, only to find a tea strainer of a defence at City.

I am pleased that Elano is showing more glimpses of the talent that we all know he possesses, and that Hughes is willing to give him pitch time, as this is what he craves for. Apart from Ireland (dead cert player of the season), we really lack a quality central midfield creator, especially as we play 2 holding midfielders. I am happy with Kompany but do not rate De Jong (£17 million, was way over the top for a mediocre player).

I was gutted at the way we lost to Fulham, especially being 1-0 up. Both Petrov and Bojinov should only have come on in the last 15 minutes. Bojinov lacks pace and struggled, Etuhu just is not good enough on this viewing. Why was Elano an unused sub on the bench? Zabaleta needs a deserved rest.

Now that we are safe from relegation, our aim is to finish as high as possible, and the thoughts will be on who will exit the club and who will come in as worthy replacements. We need a new back 4, or at least a couple of good acquisitions, and I know I must have stated this at least 10 times, but we must look to purchase Johnson from Portsmouth, before Harry Rednapp buys him. He has pace, good shooting boots and is a physical presence too, he can play at right back or right midfield. Maybe Hangeland from Fulham to play centre half? We need another good left back too. Tom Huddlestone in midfield and Luca Toni up front.

Between now and the summer, we will inevitable be linked with the who’s who of world football, I just hope we don’t buy primadonnas just because we have the dosh!

Come on City, make us proud in our remaining league matches.

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)blueyonder.co.uk>

OPINION: HAMBURG GAME

Note to City players. See guys. This is the level of commitment and effort that the fans have been demanding. That’s all we ask. You get paid a barrow load of money every week to perform like that. Now go out and do it against West Brom on Sunday. Oh and guess what. You’ll have the fans behind you again. Rocket science it ain’t. Application and commitment it is!

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)ntlworld.com>

REQUEST: POINTS OF BLUE

For our last meeting of the season, we’re using a date we hoped might not be available but should be free in most people’s diaries.

Thursday 30th April, 6.30 p.m.

The next meeting of Points of Blue, at the stadium (meet main entrance).

The club intends to be represented by Danny Wilson (Acting Head of Supporter Experience), Vicky Kloss (Communications Officer) and Peter Fletcher (Stadium & Safety Manager).

For catering (and room size after last time) it would be useful to know if you’re coming.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)ntlworld.com>

WHY BLUE

Back in 1984 my dad moved to Wilmslow with work. We moved into a fairly normal street with reasonable sized houses on a new-build estate (Summerfields if you know the area Thistlewood Drive as pictured here http://www.wilmslow.org.uk/wilmslow/wilmslow-summerfields.html).

However, this being 1984, things for footballers were a lot simpler back then. On our humble road and a few streets surrounding us lived Mick McCarthy (next door), Neil McNab, Gordon Strachan, Nigel Worthington, Alex Ferguson, Chris Turner and plenty more. Neil McNab’s sons were the same age as me, and we became family friends, which led to me and Dad getting a City season ticket and I’ve never looked back! I wonder where I would’ve been if we’d gone along with Gavin Strachan (who was also in our year at school) to watch United…

There were some great memories from those seasons for a 7 year old lad. The banana craze was a joy to watch, and being at the 10-1 demolition of Huddersfield Town on that wet bonfire night will stay in my memory forever. Footballers back then were much more accessible than they are now, and it was great being able to mingle with the players and get behind the scenes of the club (I remember Helen of the “Bell” fame being the tea lady in the players’ lounge!) and even though I only lived in Manchester for 4 years of my childhood, I can’t imagine supporting a team other than City. I even moved back there (to the glamorous suburb that is Gorton) as soon as I could at 18 years old!

I live out here in Sydney now, my move having coincided almost exactly with City being taken over by the Arab consortium. If we ever get to a cup final I’ll be selling the car and flying back! There are a good bunch of City fans out here, lots of Aussies who are quite confused as to how they ended up supporting City, but show some real dedication in flying back to watch games and regularly meeting up with the other Blues in the pub at 3am to watch games on a Sunday night!

Gavin Hudson <gavin.Hudson(at)dgm-au.com>

RESULTS

19 April 2009

Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 0  Newcastle United      35,850
Manchester City       4 - 2  West Bromwich Albion  40,072

18 April 2009

Aston Villa           1 - 1  West Ham United       39,534
Middlesbrough         0 - 0  Fulham                30,389
Portsmouth            1 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      20,158
Stoke City            1 - 0  Blackburn Rovers      27,500
Sunderland            1 - 0  Hull City             42,855

League table to 19 April 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  31 13  1  1 34 11  9  4  3 20 10 22  5  4  54  21  33 71
 2 Liverpool       32 10  6  0 31  8 10  4  2 28 13 20 10  2  59  21  38 70
 3 Chelsea         32  9  5  2 28 11 11  2  3 27  9 20  7  5  55  20  35 67
 4 Arsenal         32  9  5  2 24 11  8  5  3 30 17 17 10  5  54  28  26 61
 5 Aston Villa     33  5  9  3 25 21 10  0  6 24 22 15  9  9  49  43   6 54
 6 Everton         32  7  5  4 27 17  7  5  4 20 17 14 10  8  47  34  13 52
 7 West Ham United 33  8  2  6 21 17  4  7  6 17 20 12  9 12  38  37   1 45
 8 Fulham          33  9  3  4 24 13  2  8  7  9 15 11 11 11  33  28   5 44
 9 Tottenham H.    33  8  5  4 18  9  4  3  9 21 27 12  8 13  39  36   3 44
10 Manchester City 33 11  0  6 36 17  1  5 10 15 27 12  5 16  51  44   7 41
11 Wigan Athletic  32  7  4  5 15 16  4  4  8 16 20 11  8 13  31  36  -5 41
12 Stoke City      33  9  5  3 20 14  1  4 11 13 34 10  9 14  33  48 -15 39
13 Bolton Wndrs    33  7  2  7 19 19  4  2 11 20 31 11  4 18  39  50 -11 37
14 Portsmouth      32  7  3  7 23 25  2  7  6 12 23  9 10 13  35  48 -13 37
15 Sunderland      33  6  3  8 19 20  3  5  8 12 23  9  8 16  31  43 -12 35
16 Hull City       33  3  5  8 16 30  5  5  7 20 26  8 10 15  36  56 -20 34
17 Blackburn R.    33  4  6  6 18 23  4  4  9 17 32  8 10 15  35  55 -20 34
18 Middlesbrough   33  5  8  4 16 17  2  2 12  9 30  7 10 16  25  47 -22 31
19 Newcastle Utd   33  4  6  6 21 27  2  6  9 16 26  6 12 15  37  53 -16 30
20 West Brom A.    33  5  3  8 20 30  1  4 12 10 33  6  7 20  30  63 -33 25

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[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

http://www.mcivta.com/ 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 http://www.mcfc.co.uk/

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (http://www.mcfcosc.com/); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.reddishblues.com/CSAWebsite/CSA.htm) 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 http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/sport/manchester_city/index.shtml.

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at http://mcfc.videoloungetv.com/do/preLogin?clubSiteCode=MCFC&CMP=AFC-003.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/pl.html provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer, http://www.soccertv.com/, and http://www.livesoccertv.com/.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,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 http://www.mcivta.com/players/

[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 http://www.mcfcstats.com/.


DISCLAIMER
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, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1525

2009/04/20

Editor:


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