Newsletter #1527

Another much better performance on Saturday as we beat FA Cup Finalists Everton 2-1 with some sterling efforts put in from certain quarters.

We have opinion tonight on the game, the upcoming transfer window and requirements, lie of the land and the ongoing managerial debate.

We also have a few requests, one of which has pipped me to the post as I was about to launch the summer “40 years on” when Matt came up in with his book request.

So if any of you out there feel like reminiscing over the 1969 FA Cup Final as we did last season with the 1968 games, please send them in, and give us something to smile about.

Next Game: Blackburn Rovers, home, 3pm Saturday 2 May 2009


If only City had played some of the earlier games like they played the game at Goodison Park versus Everton, then City could very well have been challenging for a top four spot right now.

Robinho had an amazing game, and the chemistry between Robinho and Ireland was great to watch. Every City player challenged with a commitment for every ball.

A good away win that keeps City in a very good position to compete for the seventh spot. What I would like to see is the same commitment from every player versus the Evil Empire, and in the remaining games.

Good tactics by Mark Hughes.

Come on you Blues! In Sparky I trust.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


A very good win at Everton, coupled with our last two results, sees our improving side continue to move forward under Mark Hughes and his staff.

Not much more to add, really. More of the same.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


It was great to beat Everton on Saturday, our first win there since the days of Quinny and David White in 1992. They are always tricky opposition and are a team that always competitive and well-organised. Kompany and De Jong gave us a strong platform in central midfield, which allowed Ireland and Robinho to work their magic. And what a great pass that was by Elano for the first goal, not to mention a great left footed finish for the goal by Robinho. Given made a great save at 1-0 and Onuoha continues to shine at centre back. How calm and cool was Ireland’s finish for the second goal? it was a very good team performance so now we have an outside chance of qualification for the Europa League.

It was a very sad sight to see Everton’s Phil Jagielka sustain a bad injury that will keep him out for a long time. My Sheffield and Everton supporting friends have told me on numerous occasions how well thought of he is and it must be a bitter blow for him especially as he will miss playing in the Cup Final. I wish him a speedy and full recovery.

It is great to see Robinho on song again. Whilst he clearly needs to be more consistent, particularly away from home, it is very pleasing that he has silenced a few critics in the media, well for now at least. It is interesting that they have highlighted Robinho for criticism and yet they have overlooked Berbatov’s lack of form. The facts state that Robinho has scored 14 goals this season (13 in the League) and Berbatov 13 (just in the League), yet Berbatov has not faced anything like the level of criticism that the Brazilian has. I wonder why! The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor, who I understand is a United supporter, has peddled several negative stories about City throughout the season. In another negative piece a few weeks ago, he even made out that Hughes was going to drop Robinho at the Emirates. Wrong again. Hughes started with Robinho at Arsenal, so you wonder whether some of these journalists are making it up these days. I find it sad that a paper of the Guardian’s standing has been reduced to this. I’d expect the Guardian to be above that and be unbiased. How standards have fallen. The Guardian are, of course not the only ones to have been less than objective in their reporting. What these reporters have overlooked is that Robinho is settling into a new type of football in England, not to mention settle into a new way of life, and he has had personal problems to deal with. It is not his fault that an opportunist made allegations about him, which were found to be baseless. Of course it does not suit the agenda of some people to report the whole story. When it comes to reading about City, I would rather read what other Blues think (e.g. MCIVTA!) or from objective journalists like Chris Bailey, Sam Wallace, Tim Rich or Henry Winter.

Mark Hughes will be very busy this summer looking to add to the quality in his squad. Hughes’ priorities should be to secure the future of Stephen Ireland as a Manchester City player. It’s not that Ireland is angling for a move away, but clearly, City’s best player this season should be rewarded with a contract that reflects this. Ireland has shown the invention, skill, work rate and drive that has underpinned a good European campaign and his 9 League goals (13 in all competitions this season) thus far have kept us on course for possible Europa League qualification.

That said, surely a top class centre forward is the required as we have lacked potency up front in that department at times. Roque Santa Cruz has continued to have injury problems this season and there is precious little evidence to suggest that he is more than a one-season-wonder, so I hope that we are not going to spend big money on him. I’d love to sign Olic from Hamburg, but no matter how much money we have, it will be difficult to attract the very best players, as we are not in the Champions’ League, so we need to be realistic with our targets. The scouting network will probably find better value abroad than in the Premier League. Lucas Podolski at Bayern is a possibility that has been talked about by Blues for a while. He is young, hungry and powerful.

A new centre half is a must. This does not mean that we should discard Richard Dunne – far from it. We should not be discarding such a great servant to his club like that, and at 28 his still has time on his side. Whilst Dunne has made more mistakes this season than he or we want, what is often forgotten is that he did have very good spell in the early part of the year after he came back from suspension. Nedum Onuoha looks like our best centre back now, and it should not be forgotten that Micah Richards had an good season in 2007/2008, as did Dunne. Like many young players, Micah has suffered a dip in form, but he will come back. We need to improve competition for places at the back, so we need to adding to our squad in that department rather than weakening it. We may be able to spirit away a proven top class central defender from Europe. At home, I like the look of England Under-21 David Wheater at Middlesbrough. He is tough defender who is good on the ball and he could well be available this summer.

Whatever, given Hughes’ good track record in the market thus far, we can look forward with optimism and enjoy the ride, onwards and upwards.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


In MCIVTA 1526, Michael Maddox makes a very good Pro and Con regarding our manager Mark Hughes. I guess MH will have a further stay of execution after our fantastic victory over Everton, especially as it was an away match too. I have given MH plenty of flak in the last few weeks but if he can turn it around then I will eat my words and be fully behind his project. I did not get to watch the match but followed reports on Sky and the Internet, where, by all accounts, Robinho, Elano and Ireland were pretty special on the day and were the primary reasons for our handsome victory. I have given Robinho plenty of stick all season, especially in relation to his displays on our travels. I am a fervent Brazil supporter, and have read enough about Robinho to know that he is a special talent; however, talent without effort and end-product amounts to very little. I will appreciate that this is his 1st season in the Premier League, and he is in a new country too, but I and all the other loyal fans know that the “elite” footballers are extremely well rewarded for all the so called “hardships”, that they have to endure when moving sticks from their home country. They are well pampered in every facet that you can imagine, and live a life of luxury that the likes of us mere mortals could only dream about; that is why all we want from them is desire and effort in equal measures. If, and when Robinho shows consistent performances such as this, I for one, will sing his praises every week (I must add, I support every player that dons a City shirt), and lay off the criticism.

I was glad to see MH has finally started to see the sense in playing a big player up front, and I am sure Caicedo gave the Everton back line a hard time, which allows the likes of Robinho and Elano to play off him. If I am honest, I saw the City squad, and it did not fill me with any confidence, especially as SWP was still out injured. Kompany makes a huge difference to our team due to his size, whilst I am still not convinced with De Jong. I appreciate he is a Dutch international but he does not appear to be anything special (maybe he will prove me wrong?). What would we do without Ireland, just an inspiration this season (maybe it’s worked to his and our advantage that he has chosen not to play for Rep Of Ireland?). The same can be said about Shay Given; reports say he made a fantastic save to deny Fellaini the equaliser.

I wanted to comment on Patrick Knowles’ view regarding Vedran Corluka in MCIVTA 1526, claiming, that had he stayed with City he would have ended up a legend. I respect his views but this is how I see it. From what I saw of VC as a right back for City, it was a mixture of a few good games but generally, he was caught out of position and laboured tracking back, not ideal for a defender. Sven used him in more than one position, and I will be the first to admit that he is a stylish footballer who like to keep the ball on the ground. However, he appears to stroll through a game, and again, in my opinion he does not use his height to his advantage. I was absolutely delighted when we sold him to Spurs, as I felt he was not an accomplished full back (defensively speaking). Look at his “defensive” performance for Spurs against the Rags in the 2nd half on Saturday – he went AWOL. What we need is a mixture of Corluka and Richards; sadly both are extremely flawed, one is a good footballer with the ball at his feet but lacks pace, the other is all raw power and pace, but lacks positioning and the ability to read the game. We have managed to get rid of one, maybe the 2nd needs to be the understudy to a more accomplished right back (acquisition for next season) and to learn his trade and master his position before international honours can be considered. So in my opinion, Corluka was sold on when his valuation was at its peak, which meant we did not lose any money, and it inadvertently opened the door for Richards, who was looking calamitous at centre half.

Sadly, Richards has gone from “England” potential, to “error prone” full back, who needs to get back to basics. He is going the same way of another great prospect, Glenn Johnson. His early promise at West Ham was seen by Chelsea, but his error-strewn performances soon saw him sold on to a smaller club, Portsmouth. This, however, has been the making of him, and he is now playing with authority and confidence, which will now put him back on the radar of bigger clubs; he also scores some great goals too. Richards take note! Richard Dunne too, looks like he needs to be replaced, perhaps by Brede Hangeland.

It will be extremely difficult for us to finish in 7th place but perhaps some of the players are beginning to see the light, and have started to up their performances. Winning is a habit, and good habits come about through practice, teamwork and confidence. Both Robinho and Elano are now showing us why they are Brazil internationals; they are producing key performances rather than small cameos. I would like to think that MH has been able to get a message to both of them that he has faith in their abilities and they are key to our team. Elano in particular wants to and needs to play as often as possible (no good him being on the bench). From what I have been reading, Sturridge and his agent are holding City to ransom, and as good a player he is, he is still a rookie and his contact should reflect that. MH has so many “average” players in our squad, that a lot of them need to be moved on, and quality be brought in to replace them. This summer should be exciting, if MH is given an open chequebook.

I hope that Vladimir Weiss gets a chance to show his skills in the first team, before the end of the season.

Come on City!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


I recognise the arguments for some stability regarding the manager and his acolytes. However, Mark Hughes has demonstrated some worrying flaws through some of his decisions.

One, he let Jo go on loan, and now the club is desperately short of strikers. Oh, and a welsh international was brought in, do I smell fish? Second, anyone could foresee that Dunne would be sent off versus Hamburg in the second leg, following his first half booking. The guy should have been substituted at half time.

Sorry and all that Hughesy, but you are not the real deal.

Peter Birbeck <peter.birbeck(at)>


I haven’t written in to you for a while but I feel once again I must defend our captain fantastic, Richard Dunne.

I understand he has been sent off 3 times this season but Looking at the bigger picture he has brought the excellent Nedum Onuha on to another level while constantly being let down by our two so far overrated full backs. Week in, week out, he is always in the top three or four players that we have (on) the pitch. He is not one to hide no matter how he is playing at any time.

None of our previous managers (Royle, Keegan, Pearce, Sven) have doubted his ability; I think that should say it all. Please don’t always be looking for a scapegoat in defeat.

Tony Mac Manus <tonymacmanus1(at)>


To say that Corluka is world class and stylish is just ludicrous. Stylish I will give you, lazy is another word that comes to mind along with careless. These are the reasons he was allowed to go. I also believe that if someone is not happy and especially his wife and family, you should let him go. We are beyond the days of slavery where you just tell a player to “pull himself together and get on with it”.

We already had enough carelessness at the back with Dunne. At least he is fast enough, and has the desire, to run back and try to make up for his mistakes. Something Corluka never did. He would just stand there and look exasperated, hands on hips with his head down!

Just watched the Everton match and although a little disappointed with the scoreline that flattered Everton, a good display; especially hard work by Elano and Robinho and, of course, Stephen Ireland. Keep it up!

Jim Heaviside <jheavis502(at)>


I have two spare tickets in the City section for the derby that I want to swap. Have you (or do you know of anyone who has) by chance ended up with two tickets in the United section and would prefer to be with the City fans? I’m just trying to return a long outstanding favour for a Rag cousin (so please spare me any silly comments) who will be travelling from Plymouth for the game.

Dave Miller <djm68(at)>


If anyone has a pair of spare tickets for this game, please contact me by email or on 07790 776303.

Many thanks, Jon Pickstone <jonathanpickstone(at)>


Any questions for Thursday’s meeting (6.30 at COMS)? Give the club a chance to find answers.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)>


Can anyone out there help with this one? I have made abortive attempts to get away tickets for both domestic and European games this season to no avail.

As you’ll see from my email exchanges below (names and addresses of the individuals removed) the club haven’t really answered my questions or clarified this for me:

I am writing to try to get an understanding of how the loyalty point scheme operates. My confusion arises from the following:

  1. I am a season ticket holder of some 34 years standing and have 2500 loyalty points
  2. My eldest son is a season ticket holder of about 14 years standing and he has 2500 loyalty points
  3. My youngest son is a season ticket holder of about 9 years standing and also has 2500 loyalty points
  4. A friend of mine is season ticket holder of 11 years standing and has 3300 loyalty points

Consequently I would like to understand how “loyalty” is defined and calculated.

The Club Response:
Thank you for your email. The loyalty point system came into place the last season at Maine Road. You are initially awarded 190 loyalty points for renewing your Seasoncard, which is 10 points per home game. Once points are decided per game your points are updated at 3 separate stages throughout the season; points have currently been updated to 240. It may seem a lot of supporters have a lot more points than yourself; this is due to them attending a high amount of away games and cup games each season. Points are awarded at the time of purchase, meaning the total is always correct. We are unable to add or delete any points from files. I trust this is of assistance.

Me: Thank you for you email explaining how the points are awarded; this however makes me even more confused because if 190 points are awarded per season, even if I had never been to any away match ever (which is not the case), then based on me becoming a season ticket in 1976-77 season (32 years) my points total should be 32 x 190 = 6080, not 2500. Any ideas why that is?

The Club Response:
Thank you for your reply. As I advised in my previous email the loyalty point system came into place the last Season at Maine Road.

So this begs the question where do I go with my minor gripe now? I was thinking of emailing Garry Cooke as in the old days I would have written to the Chairman when the likes of Alexander, Lee, Bernstein, Swales and even Wardle were in place, but I get the distinct impression that after forty two years of supporting the club and being a season ticket holder throughout the drought, I’m a number not a person these days. Furthermore I still haven’t had the money for my shares off Shinawatra. Wonder who I should write to about that!

Ged Wilson <Ged.wilson1(at)>


I’m hoping some of your readers and contributors out there can help me. I am currently writing a book about FA Cup Finals at Wembley between 1966 and 1988, told through the eyes of fans who were there. I have contacted almost 200 fans of various clubs who went to these finals but, for some strange reason, have found it particularly difficult to trace Manchester City fans who were at the 1969 FA Cup Final vs. Leicester. I only have one City fan in fact and even have five Leicester fans.

Ideally I need about four City fans who would like to recount their experience and am sure there are plenty of you out there!

Many thanks, Matt Eastley <matteastley66(at)>


26 April 2009

Arsenal               2 - 0  Middlesbrough         60,089
Blackburn Rovers      2 - 0  Wigan Athletic        25,019

25 April 2009

Bolton Wanderers      1 - 1  Aston Villa           21,709
Everton               1 - 2  Manchester City       37,791
Fulham                1 - 0  Stoke City            24,997
Hull City             1 - 3  Liverpool             24,942
West Bromwich Albion  3 - 0  Sunderland            26,256
West Ham United       0 - 1  Chelsea               34,749
Manchester United     5 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     75,458

League table to 26 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  33 15  1  1 41 13  9  4  3 20 10 24  5  4  61  23  38 77
 2 Liverpool       34 10  7  0 35 12 11  4  2 31 14 21 11  2  66  26  40 74
 3 Chelsea         34  9  6  2 28 11 12  2  3 28  9 21  8  5  56  20  36 71
 4 Arsenal         34 10  5  2 26 11  8  6  3 34 21 18 11  5  60  32  28 65
 5 Aston Villa     34  5  9  3 25 21 10  1  6 25 23 15 10  9  50  44   6 55
 6 Everton         34  7  5  5 28 19  7  6  4 20 17 14 11  9  48  36  12 53
 7 Fulham          34 10  3  4 25 13  2  8  7  9 15 12 11 11  34  28   6 47
 8 West Ham United 34  8  2  7 21 18  4  7  6 17 20 12  9 13  38  38   0 45
 9 Manchester City 34 11  0  6 36 17  2  5 10 17 28 13  5 16  53  45   8 44
10 Tottenham H.    34  8  5  4 18  9  4  3 10 23 32 12  8 14  41  41   0 44
11 Wigan Athletic  33  7  4  5 15 16  4  4  9 16 22 11  8 14  31  38  -7 41
12 Stoke City      34  9  5  3 20 14  1  4 12 13 35 10  9 15  33  49 -16 39
13 Bolton Wndrs    34  7  3  7 20 20  4  2 11 20 31 11  5 18  40  51 -11 38
14 Portsmouth      33  7  3  7 23 25  2  7  7 12 25  9 10 14  35  50 -15 37
15 Blackburn R.    34  5  6  6 20 23  4  4  9 17 32  9 10 15  37  55 -18 37
16 Sunderland      34  6  3  8 19 20  3  5  9 12 26  9  8 17  31  46 -15 35
17 Hull City       34  3  5  9 17 33  5  5  7 20 26  8 10 16  37  59 -22 34
18 Middlesbrough   34  5  8  4 16 17  2  2 13  9 32  7 10 17  25  49 -24 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.    34  6  3  8 23 30  1  4 12 10 33  7  7 20  33  63 -30 28

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1527