Newsletter #1554

A draw at Barnsley on Saturday as the pre-season friendlies and warm-up games continue apace.

We have opinion on the major footballing story this weekend, the sad passing of Sir Bobby Robson, a look at the City website and the usual requests.

Next Game: Rangers, away, 7.45pm Wednesday 5 August (pre-season)


A Football Giant

When I was a lad in the early 70s, a few years before my first visit to Maine Road, there were a number of great football managers: Brian Clough, Joe Mercer, Don Revie, Bill Shankly, Jock Stein to name but a few. All of them great characters, with differing personalities. Against this backdrop, there emerged a new, rising manager, with a warm smile, who exuded enthusiasm for the game.

Sir Bobby Robson never lost that enthusiasm. Many have said it was infectious, and quite right they were too, even if you’d never met him. I can look back and say that it was people like him that helped to encourage me to get into football back then. His football teams also played pleasing, attractive football, and they invariably got results. He won the FA Cup and UEFA Cup with Ipswich and very nearly won the League in 1981, only to be pipped by a very good Aston Villa side. He won championships in Portugal with Porto, Holland (PSV) and the Cup Winners’ Cup and Copa Del Rey at Barcelona. Who can forget his ’86 and ’90 World Cup campaigns with England? Having been robbed by ‘the hand of a rascal’ (to quote Sir Bobby) in 1986, he managed a very good England team to the semi-finals four years later – a record that has only been bettered by Sir Alf Ramsey’s winners. Given the weakness of Argentina, it is fair to say that Gascoigne, Beardsley, Butcher, Lineker, and co may well have won the tournament had it not been for the old foe, the West Germans. Not that you would have believed that if you’d read the rabidly anti-Robson press at the time, many of them exercising their prejudices (plus ça change). Robson rose above all that, despite England’s sticky start. He was a manager well in tune with his players and to his credit he listened to what they had to say and changed his formation to a 3-5-2 on their advice. Some would say that’s a weakness. On the contrary, taking good advice and making it work – England performed better with that formation – is undoubtedly a strength, and Sir Bobby lost no respect in doing that. He had great managerial skills in being able to successfully handle different types of person: Gazza, God bless him, must have presented a different kind of challenge, but Robson must have handled him well, in a fatherly manner, because the errant Geordie genius performed brilliantly for him. In Thatcher’s eighties Britain, England was a country where football fans were often looked down upon. Italia 90 changed all that, thanks to Robson, Gazza, Lineker et al. Indeed English football has a great debt to Robson and his team.

Much later on, Robson used those fatherly skills to revive his boyhood team, Newcastle, to finish 3rd, 4th and 5th and even then, in his seventies, his boyish enthusiasm shone through. He united a dressing room riddled with factions and cliques and Newcastle haven’t been the same since their then chairman, Freddie Shepherd, ridiculously sacked him, and they are much poorer for that act of stupidity.

In an age where managers play childish mind games, Robson was above all that petty nonsense. He acted with dignity and love for the game. He was loved by football fans all over, even if he didn’t manage their teams. That’s been evident in all the tributes and chants for him at friendly games last weekend, including our own. Even if we didn’t agree with him, we respected him. Not only was he respected by his players, it is clear that they had great affection for him too, even if he got their names wrong! In an age of patronage where knighthoods are handed out willy-nilly to people who don’t always deserve them, no one would question the accolade being bestowed on Sir Bobby Robson, a footballing giant, and a gentleman. The game owes him so much. May he rest in peace.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I think all of us mourn the passing of this great man. A total gentleman on and off the pitch.

It’s a great pity that some of today’s managers and players didn’t take a leaf out of his book. He was everything that was good about this great game.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Kaka, who famously leaned out of his window and kissed the badge of Milan to show the crowd that he was staying, now tells us he was lined up for Real Madrid even then. I’ve been told our bid for Kaka was obscene. I’ve heard that footballers coming to City for the primary reason of doubling their salaries (but how many of us wouldn’t, really?) is obscene. But I see all that as pure business.

It’s when a player makes a gesture like that, milking the crowd’s adoration for his loyalty when he has already made his mind up to leave, that I feel that things have gone a bit yucky. If he preferred Madrid then power to him, but he should’ve sent someone out to soberly explain to the crowd that he was staying. The badge kissing, when he knew he was Madrid bound, was just gratuitous. And then all his interviews where he milked the world’s congratulations for his loyalty!

What a fake. I’m glad we didn’t get him.

Bernard Molyneux <molyneux(at)>


I have a complaint about the Manchester City FC official site. To be a member one has to give a Mobile text message to be activated.

I have a mobile phone but do not use text messaging, I simply have no use for it, I only use my phone.

I blocked the text service when several messages came through one month and I was charged for messages from people that I did not know. Of course the charges were not at a nominal fee because I had never signed up for text with my service.

So because I do not use text I cannot be a member of Manchester City FC website and be allowed to make a comment.

I feel that there should be another way to let City supporters be members on the site without the use of text. There must be more people out there just like me; I am fully aware most use the text on their phones, but not everyone.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


More news to get up Bacon Faces’ nose. In the final of the Audi Cup, United drew with Bayern 0-0 and lost 7-6 on penalties.

Johnny Evans missed for United and ex City player Daniel van Buyten stepped up to net the winner. My heart bleeds!

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


I have a couple of questions. We recently gave up on comcast ’cause they are a rip-off. I have to have City viewing in the USA for the next glorious season. What’s the best and cheapest way? Setanta via the internet? The MCFC official site?

Any input appreciated. I don’t miss c**p American TV, but I can’t live without my Saturday Blues.

It’s going to be a glorious season. I can almost smell it.

Andy Johnson <fastandyj(at)>


City fans are notorious for their “inventiveness” in making up original chants that even make those fans and players targeted by them smile. That’s part of the fun in going to live matches, even when we are the target for another set of fans’ chants.

Does anybody agree with me that we should try to have a catchy chant/song for every current City player, so they feel as “wanted” as Kolo Toure does? Once we get one for a player there would then be a concerted effort by everyone during the matches (via song sheets handed out at matches if required) so that these chants get a “lift off” and become part of City’s folklore history!

“Shauny Wright Wright Wright”, “Ireland is Superman”, “We’ve got Robinho”, “Benjani, oh-oh…” and Richard Dunne’s “he’s here, he’s there” instantly roll off our tongues when one of these players does something good, but what about Nedum Onuoha, Micah Richards, Wayne Bridge, Nigel de Jong, Craig Bellamy etc.? I’m not aware of a proper chant for these players (unless you know different of course).

What I’d like to do here is stimulate the creative minds of all City fans, and challenge each of you to submit a unique chant for each player before the start of the season.

When we signed Carlos Tevez, on my blog site I called on fans to “modify” the words of the chant we sang to Carlos last season, as it was no longer appropriate, and I got a great response. I have pasted some of them here so you can get a feel for things. Please, please, please let’s get away from the boring “Carlos Tevez is a Blue, he hates M*nichs” type chants that were heard as he arrived at the stadium to sign.

Hope this gets you thinking, you can see the songs on the website at

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


  • Season ticket only £99
  • Includes all games: League / FA Cup / League Cup / Friendlies
  • 10 minutes walk from Mary D’s
  • Less than 1 mile SE from Stadium
  • Brilliant for quick getaway on Ashton Old Road / Hyde Road / Alan Turing Way
  • Guard dog / 24-7 manned security / locked gates
  • No Match day cash at all for security reasons

Profile of Ideal Customer

  • Season ticket holder who wants his/her car looked after.
  • Comfortable with 10 minute walk to Stadium (pint at Mary D’s on way)
  • Can arrive anytime from 3 hours before and up to 30 minutes after kick off
  • Needs a reserved space
  • Needs car parked in a space manned constantly
  • Doesn’t need to bring cash for the car park
  • Can bring own car or come in a mate’s/wife’s car; the ST membership is valid to driver
  • Wants to avoid the traffic road blocks after the match
  • Quick exit to all points East, North and South of City

Phil Lines <info(at)>


The below is from a racehorse owning City fan for any of you that are interesting in part-owning a racehorse called “Feed the Goat”.

For more info contact Amy direct by phone or via the website below.

The other exciting news is that we have just purchased an un-raced and un-named 2 year old colt and we are currently awaiting his arrival in the yard next week sometime. We plan to syndicate him as we did with Whotsit and have a group of Manchester City fans already on board. We are planning on naming him Feed the Goat after the legendary Manchester City player Shaun Goater. You can still purchase a share if you are not a Man City fan, but do expect to meet a lot of mad ones at the races when the horse runs and feel free to become a City convert if necessary.

Amy Weaver – Amy Weaver Racing

Dave Djordjevic

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Newsletter #1554