Newsletter #1548

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Opinion tonight on the transfer dealings and rumblings as we embark upon the pre-season games.

We have a report thanks to Paul in Bavaria on the recent 1860-City friendly and more views on the Blue Moon origins.

Finally, a request for Blues to participate in a documentary.

Next Game: Orlando Pirates, away, 3pm Saturday 18 July (pre-season)

OPINION: 1860 GAME

The game took place 40 miles down the road from us so I took my 9-year old son Carl for the experience.

The ground at Rottach is a modern sports field and we parked behind a sawmill (honest). We were met by 5 riot policemen who pointed to a table where I had to buy a ticket (Carl was free) and then we were standing by the side of the running track, very close to the pitch.

The ground sits in an impressive setting, surrounded on 3 sides by forested mountains with a pretty lake nearby. The sun came out as we took our places and when I saw Craig Bellamy in casual gear strut on to the pitch I guessed correctly that it would not be a hectic game (he did not play). The first 30 minutes strolled by before Zab legged up a 60’s player and Ludwig sent a screamer into the top corner with Taylor well beaten. I felt sorry for Stevie Ireland who had worked hard until then, but a few others were well off the pace. Petrov tried a similar shot from right under my nose but it was well over.

The half-time beer rejuvenated me and I assume City were on the same brew since they re-started at a higher tempo and with fresh blood, most of whom I admit I failed to recognise. Soon Bojinov tore into a Weiss pass and thundered it into the 1860 net and about a dozen fans cheered. There was no trouble and it was a truly friendly atmosphere. The rest of the game yo-yo’d and both sides could have scored but in the end 1-1 was a fair result.

We stood outside the clubhouse after the game and I was made aware of the loyalty of City fans when 2 old supporters greeted me and asked had I travelled from Manchester for the game as they had. My weak reply of “No it took us 35 minutes by car as we live not far away” was greeted with a stare and then a laugh, and it was pointless trying to convince them.

I spoke to young Clayton McDonald as he boarded the bus (nice lad) and my son had his photo taken with Weiss. I risk saying that some of the Academy boys still have a way to go to look the part, but there is hope. Not the best of games but a great experience. Unfortunately my son still leans towards Bayern and I’ve never argued, but I have a feeling that this year will be memorable.

After 50 years supporting City I think my turn has come. All the best to you all and stay Blue.

Paul Ardern <Paul.Ardern(at)panavia.de>

OPINION: MOMENTOUS WEEK

We stand on the cusp of another momentous week in the club’s history, and a vital one in the transfer market as Mark Hughes continues his careful reconstruction of his squad. Carlos Tevez is expected to sign on Tuesday for £25.5 million, City are talking to Arsenal about Emmanuel Adebayor, and we have made a bid of £30 million for John Terry. I’m really excited by the impending arrival of Tevez. He will give us non-stop energy, creativity, and goals. He is most definitely the sort of player who can help propel us into the top six, and possibly beyond. It will also be one in the eye for you know who, which is nice. Given West Ham’s shenanigans over Tevez, and how very lucky they were not to be relegated, we have to be careful to ensure that Tevez is a player whose contract is owned by City and City only. Regulations over ownership have been tightened, and it is important that we are absolutely squeaky clean on this one. This would explain the time taken by City in signing the Argentine striker since he became a free agent on July 1.

I’m glad that City have not let Samuel Eto’o become a long-running saga. It would be great to see another world class striker like Eto’o in a sky blue shirt, but we shouldn’t be too disappointed. There are other good players around, and where he is concerned, there’s always next year if he runs his contract down. Rumour has it he is waiting for AC Milan to bid for him, so we shall see.

Adebayor would, clearly, be a very exciting signing. He’s very quick and is a good header of the ball, though we can expect to face some opposition from Chelsea in the market, not to mention Wenger who would like to keep him.

I have reservations about John Terry, though. Clearly he is a very good captain and is a commanding figure at the back with the sort of ruthless streak that has won him several honours. He is very good on the ball and is also capable of scoring goals at set pieces. On the flip side, he has suffered from various injuries over the last two years, particularly a persistent back problem, which is my main concern. There is also a school of thought that suggests that he is past his best at 28, and that he is not as good without Ricardo Carvalho mopping up for him. That said, Mark Hughes’ record in the transfer market has been very good so far, and if he wants Terry then the City board will rightly back him. Tal Ben Haim has been the only failure, set against the quality of his other signings: Given, Zabaleta, Bridge, Kompany, SWP, Bellamy and de Jong. I’ve not included Robinho in that list as it is possible that he was chosen by a combination of Sheikh Mansour, Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Garry Cook, but it isn’t unreasonable to suggest that Mark Hughes could have vetoed his signing. Furthermore, he did play him regularly, and he was our top scorer, whatever his inconsistencies. Basically, Robinho was offered to Hughes and he, rightly, didn’t refuse!

I would love to see Joleon Lescott at City. It would be good to see him paired up with Nedum Onuoha in a left-foot/right-foot combination, with Richard Dunne and Micah Richards competing with him. I hope we keep Dunne, as he still has a lot to offer us and will thrive for having more competition for places. Whether he can be prised away from Everton remains to be seen, but he may attracted by the fact that City have the finance to compete for a top four spot eventually and of course that we can offer him better terms than Everton can.

I’m very impressed with how Mark Hughes and Garry Cook have gone about their transfer business this summer. They haven’t gone blabbing to the press about who they were going to sign and have dealt with dignity in the transfer market. We quickly signed Gareth Barry without any fuss, same with signing back-up ‘keeper Stuart Taylor and the Santa Cruz deal was done with Blackburn smartly too. Gareth Barry is a popular signing – just the kind that we need and our midfield will have a more steely look to it for having such a good all-round player. Roque Santa Cruz has been coming to City ever since Hughes joined us. My reservations with him are his poor injury record at Bayern and at Blackburn, and a suspicion that he might have been a one season wonder at Blackburn, having done well in his first season at Ewood Park as Premier League defenders didn’t know him. He didn’t leave Blackburn on the best terms or the best way, but he certainly wants to play for Hughes, and that may be the key to him being successful here. Santa Cruz certainly has ability; a good touch, and he is an excellent header of the ball, as we found out to our cost in that 2-2 draw at Eastlands a couple of seasons ago. So, working on the premise that Hughes got the best out of him before, we can reasonably expect him to do well in a sky blue shirt, with good service from the flanks from the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Robinho and Petrov, whoever is selected.

Despite City’s deft handling of the transfer market, we and our signings have still attracted criticism from supporters of the top four and some of their managers. Of course the top four are twitching now: Wenger has already whinged about City having money and yet it was ok for him to sign Henry for £10 million all those years ago, when most of us could only dream of making a £5 million transfer. Benitez, like the lover spurned, gracelessly said that Barry was 100% moving for the money. So, none of his myriad of Spanish signings didn’t move for the money then. “The market is now crazy. It is all money, money, money now,” he said. “We had to pay big money. But we were signing a good player, an England player (Johnson), and that is very positive.” And Barry isn’t a good player, an England player, and isn’t that positive? Isn’t there just a chance that he might have moved to City because he sees we are going places? People like Benitez just don’t like it when their cosy little party might just be gatecrashed. It’s ok if they spend £26 million on Torres and big fees on many others. He had to pay big money to keep Gerrard on his payroll not that long back. It’s not just the Rags that are hypocrites. Dirty ‘Arry, surprise, surprise, took time out from coveting one of our players (Dunney being the latest) to whinge, complaining that he couldn’t compete with our ‘manny’ when we signed Barry. Maybe he should ask himself: why would any top player want to go to Tottenham? Of course, if ‘Arry had a huge transfer budget at whichever club he is currently at/about to leave* (delete as appropriate), you can bet he’d be signing players left right and centre.

Talking of which, we have had the whinges from rank and file Rags and media Rags complaining that Tevez is coming to City for the money and that he is a mercenary. Not that anyone ever goes to the Rags for money. Perish the thought. No chance then that Tevez might be fed up with being benched and fed up of being undervalued by Bacon Face? I’m still waiting to see a positive story about City from Daniel Taylor in the Guardian. How did he get that gig? As Toyah once warbled, ‘it’s a mystery’. I have to say it is really quite amusing seeing these Rags cringeing at them signing an over the hill, injury prone (and lost his pace) Michael Owen, whilst we are looking to sign the likes of Tevez and Adebayor. On the subject of Owen, how can an ex-Liverpool player with any respect for them sign for the Rags? Immoral, isn’t it? He should have signed for Hull.

Whilst we’re going to have to endure irritants like the above-mentioned, I have to say that it’s fun seeing these people squirm. It will be even more fun if and when we beat them. C’mon City.

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

OPINION: TRANSFERS I

Two main points. First of all it has been reported in the Daily Mail that Richard Dunne does not want to leave Manchester City, he wants to stay and fight for his place. I think that this is very good news, for I must admit that I thought that Dunne would not want to sit on the bench if another central defender of quality came to City.

As I have stated, Richard Dunne is a very competent player and he has shown it in the past; my only doubts are his ability to be consistent and some reckless tackling, the tackling probably from frustration, which he will have to control.

Now I feel that the talk of Sunderland wanting him will only make Dunne a better player, so good luck to him. Yes, whenever he is playing for City he will always get my support. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but will Richard Dunne be eligible for a testimonial game for his services to MCFC, by staying for one more year at least?

The second point is about Eto’o. I, like many other City supporters, are pleased with how MCFC put an end to the efforts made to sign this player. Garry Cook gave the player 24 hours to sign or it was all finished; the club made it transparent to us supporters what was happening, and I admire them for it.

There are other very good strikers out there for the same kind of money, and ones that would be proud to put on the Sky Blue.

MCFC have time to find other players to strengthen the squad before the real season starts, but it will help if we can get them early so that players can get used to each other by playing in pre-season games, and it will be called a squad of players, everyone being part of Sparky’s plans.

I don’t think that I will be the only one who will feel better when Tevez comes and signs his contract, I guess because of third party ownership in his past, MCFC want no problems once he has signed; very good thinking by Garry Cook and MCFC.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: TRANSFERS II

I hope we’re not going to become top heavy with strikers and midfield players, where the big problem is the defence, more accurately the full backs are where we desperately need a bit of class and steel.

With the talk of Dunnie being off-loaded to a number of clubs who still think he’s still got something, I wonder. Here is a player who would walk over broken glass for the City cause, Terry (not a better option in my view and giving him a salary that would feed several African nations, hmmmmm), Lescott yeah a decent buy, but again a centre back, which leads me to ask are there any decent full backs about? Nedum came on leaps and bounds with Dunne and Given with his organisation was great, but we were too often caught down the flanks, leaving the pair to be constantly under pressure.

Scoring goals is not the problem, conceding them are, and that’s where we need to concentrate on. Wouldn’t be disappointed if Eto’o didn’t sign, but would if Tevez went to another club.

Still like van Buyten: big, strong and probably quite cheap. Barry, Santa Cruz, Rob and Boj, Bellamy, SWP, Ireland, de Jong, Kompany, Caicedo, Petrov, Zab, Nedum and Dunnie, Given – that’s a pretty decent squad; add a few others and Tevez and we’re cooking.

So it would be nice if everyone got behind Mark Hughes, let him coach with the players he wants, and put the petty ‘ex Rag’ in the rubbish bin where it deserves to be. Actually looking forward to the new season not after the world, just an effort that makes everyone proud to be a City supporter.

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

OPINION: BLUE MOON I

First time I heard the Blue Moon song at a City game was at the opening fixture of 1989/90 at Liverpool on our return to Division One. It was sung with a background chorus of One Banana, Two Bananas, Three Bananas four, Blue Moon… Guv’nor version for me always was that of The Marcels (played at Aalborg) but The Cowboy Junkies did a groovy one. Supra got the bom de de boms wrong in their version but it was still a pretty uptempo jazzy effort. Crewe, of course claimed we nicked it off them!

As for fifties songs, at the Cup finals in 1955 Blaydon Races and She’s a Lassie from Lancashire were listed in the Daily Express Community Singing Sheet, as was Keep Right On, adopted for Birmingham the next year (I see the Moon was in there too!) as no doubt Garry Cook knows all about.

As for fifties City songs, there were plenty: half a dozen of these were listed in the fifties book Century City. I still have a few, and I mean a few, copies left if Jack Millington or anyone else is still interested. E-mail address below!

Dave Wallace <dw001e8104(at)blueyonder.co.uk>

OPINION: BLUE MOON II

My earliest memories of Blue Moon go back to the 87/88 season and an away cup match at Huddersfield. A group of lads were singing it with One Banana, Two Banana in between!

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)ntlworld.com>

REQUEST: DOCUMENTARY BLUES WANTED

I am after some really good, ardent City fans for a series of web documentaries for Sky Sports and was wondering if you’d be able to help me.

Each film will revolve around fans from a specific Premier League club. We’re looking for ardent football supporters but also interesting characters in their own right. They can be any age or gender, the most important thing is that they’re also interesting people with stories of their own to tell. We’ll be talking to each person about their thoughts on the club’s 2009 season, their hopes for the coming season, and just more generally finding out about them, their lives and the cities they live in. These people must be willing to be interviewed and filmed for films that will eventually appear online.

The filming would take half a day between the dates of the 16-26 July. The films will be screened online website prior to the season’s start.

If you can help me at all, drop me a line at this email address or any time on 0207 4624005.

Thanks, Elliot Carr-Barnsley – Researcher, Stink Media <savowasgreat(at)yahoo.co.uk>

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[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

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[6] Where can I find out about Points of Blue (formerly the Fans’ Committee)?

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[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

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[11] Where can I find match statistics?

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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 #1548

2009/07/13

Editor:


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