Newsletter #1587

News tonight from Alex on reaction to the Liverpool game, injury updates and behind the scenes activity.

We have opinion on being far flung Blues, current form, academy and the usual request. We also have a new feature giving City previews and updates via so do let us know what you think as after all McV is about the contributors and readers. We’d like to point out that we are not receiving any revenue for this as McV remains an independent voluntary run newsletter and website.

Finally some very sad news this week. All readers will be familiar with the articles submitted over the years from Steve Kay, the amazingly comprehensive website he and his son Ashley built and of course remember him outside the grounds with CTIC. Steve very sadly passed away last Sunday 24th November after illness.

All of us here at MCIVTA would like to pass on our condolences to his family. Steve; we enjoyed our chats, your views on things and like any great Blue your dose of cynicism, you will be missed. This one is for you. RIP.

Next Game: Hull City, home, 3pm Saturday 28 November


General News

Winning Mentality is Like Drawing Blood from a Stone (These Puns are Fast Wearing Thin): Be it unbeaten in six, or six without a win, all City fans are craving exactly the same thing. Three points. The trip to Liverpool brought yet another point to the party after the Citizens came from a goal behind only to go on and lose the lead later in the game and with Hull City coming to CoMS this weekend the Blue faithful will be expecting a first win in seven. First team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki explained this week that the club intends to overcome Phil Brown’s Hull side on Saturday in a game that he hopes will provide City with the momentum to progress to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup when Arsenal visit Manchester next Wednesday: “It’s a big week for us – we have some massive games coming up. We’ve all been waiting so long at this club for a trophy on the table. But it’s very important that we get back to winning ways. We’re very frustrated at the moment because of the draws on the board – we’ve been in winning positions and we’ve played some really good stuff at times, but individual errors have cost us. We’re talking about the little details, and on Saturday it happened again at Liverpool. That old adage came back to bite us – you’re most vulnerable when you’ve just scored. We’ll keep reminding the players to keep that extra bit of focus after we’ve scored. We can’t let the gap get too big. We have to keep it nice and tight and see where it takes us in the New Year. What we’re looking for is continuity over the season. It must be remembered we’re still a new team gelling together. The game against Burnley was only the second time that back four had played together over 90 minutes.”

City’s unsung hero Nigel de Jong also revealed that he is relishing the up and coming fixtures and, like his coach, hopes that the Blues can pick up some momentum before their ‘big’ games: “There’s a lot of hard games coming up but I think Liverpool was a good one for us. The final result was not what we hoped for a time but we did well, and we have a good chance for a win at home this weekend. Six draws in a row is not what we want but being at home should count for us. We want a couple of wins now even though we know Chelsea will be a difficult one, and we have the Carling Cup game in between. But the confidence is there because we are playing three times at home, which will give us a real boost. We know we can play against the best sides and that we can raise our game. We have showed that against Liverpool, we beat Arsenal and it was only a narrow defeat to United but we won’t underestimate Hull this weekend. I’m really looking forward to having all these games coming up. The other guys know what it’s like already but the more games you have the more you get used to it and you know what to expect. You can build up a momentum and we have the exactly the kind of squad to cope with it.”

Sweeping Up Manchester: Following the controversy of the “Carlos Tevez Welcome to Manchester” poster and the positivity created by the ‘face of Emmanyel Adebayor’ image inside the Arndale centre, City’s artistic masterclass continues. Ahead of the club’s home tie against Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea next week, City favourite and former Chelsea winger Shaun Wright Phillips has been posted around the city. The image, which shows SWP with the ball at his feet and leaving a trail of blue fire behind him, can be found around town with postings up in Deansgate and along the side of the Printworks. City’s Head of Marketing, Chris Kay, explained the design behind the poster: “With Shaun, it’s all about his speed and agility so what we produced is an illustration of what you see when you see Shaun running. We have him running around town now, from one billboard to another at the bottom of Deansgate, up the side of the Printworks and along the side of the Umbro building. People know about his speed and positioning and we wanted to highlight that.” The winger declared himself very happy with the attention he has been receiving: “I’m very proud, it’s overwhelming really! It’s nice to be the main feature of such a big game and see these posters about me around the city.”

Sheer Relief: City fans around the country breathed a sigh of relief this week as former Manchester United midfielder Phil Neville vowed never to play for or manage the Blue half of Manchester. The Everton captain, whose brother Gary still skippers the Red Devils, claims that given the opportunity to join City’s multi-million pound stars, he would instantly knock it back: “Joining City is not something that will ever happen. When you have got red blood you cannot see yourself with blue blood. You go there and they have blue ketchup… it’s just like ‘What are they doing?’ I am not being disrespectful to City. I grew up a Red, hating Manchester City. When I go back with Everton I get absolutely slaughtered. It makes me laugh in a way because I understand what they are feeling. I think it is fantastic as it makes football special.”

The ‘Real’ Deal: From one player who will never move to CoMS, to one that very nearly did. Real Madrid’s world class playmaker, Kaka, has told reporters this week that he doesn’t regret turning down the opportunity to join Manchester City last January and also spoke of how he has settled well in Spain following his summer move from AC Milan: “This was the thing I chose in my life. I spoke a lot with Robinho and he is very happy there, and Manchester City have bought a lot of good players. But now I am at Real Madrid and I am very happy with the choice that I took. And I don’t regret that.”

Two Sides in Manchester: Manchester United may have reigned all too long over their city rivals, but Red Devils manager Alex Ferguson has finally admitted that City have a good chance of breaking into the top four this season. Liverpool are currently all at sea and this could allow one other club to qualify for next season’s Champions’ League. Ferguson remains unsure as to who will eventually make their mark but is certain that only one of four clubs can replace Rafa Benitez’s men: “I could toss a coin and that could be my best chance of deciding who could break into the top four out of Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton and Manchester City with all the money they have. That’s a difficult competition in itself and any one of them is capable of doing that.”

Squad News

Family Values: City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has made no secret of how much he is enjoying life at Eastlands this season following his summer move from Arsenal and his relationship with skipper Kolo Toure has played a huge part in that. But the Togolese captain has explained this week that he thinks of all his fellow team-mates as family. Having watched Shay Given return from international duty last week, heartbroken, following the Republic of Ireland’s controversial loss in Paris, Ade’ believes that it takes real team spirit to then get the performance that City got out of Given at Anfield: “We’re all together when I saw Shay back in the dressing room I gave him a hug and some encouragement, as did everybody. It was great to see, and we needed everybody to be at 100 per cent for Saturday’s game. We are a family and we take on teams together. No player can be as good as he wants to be if everyone is not there to help him, so we’re all there together to help us achieve things together. At the beginning of the season we talked in the squad about how we would fight in the good moments or the bad moments, that we would have to fight for each other. We showed Shay when he came back that we are all behind him, and that in this bad time for him we would support him. Last week was very, very difficult for him, but he came back and showed just how good he is.”

For strike partner Carlos Tevez, ‘Manu’ reserves special praise: “We all know how good Carlos is; he was 100 per cent professional when he came on, fighting for the team in defence, keeping the ball and making it easier for me. People may be asking why he has not scored a lot of goals, but he’s one of the best around. He’s got the desire and we know what a talented player he is, he just needs a bit more confidence to start scoring goals.”

Keeping the Faith: City goalkeeper Shay Given may be devastated to have missed out on the 2010 World Cup following the antics of Thierry Henry last week but Mark Hughes thinks that the former Newcastle United stopper is capable of being part of the 2014 tournament. Given, 33, has consistently been one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers and seems to have reached the peak of his career this season with City. Hughes stated this week that a ‘keeper with such natural ability will always be in the frame for his country as long as he can stay fit: “I’ve spoken to Shay and it’s all a little bit raw for him at the moment. The decision’s been made and he’s lost the opportunity of this World Cup, which is a shame. It’s not over for him. He’s got to stay clear of injury but I can see him being the Irish goalkeeper for many years after this World Cup. He’s a fit guy who works exceptionally hard. If he continues to keep up his current levels, there’s no reason why he can’t be around for the next two World Cups. The thing for him now is to concentrate on his club football. You put that bitter disappointment behind you by playing exceptionally well at club level, and Shay will do that because he’s a top professional.”

The Bell’ Tolls for Craig: City sensation Craig Bellamy revealed this week that he expects his career to only last a couple more years following a series of niggling injuries but he hopes to make them the best two years of his career. The 30 year old has struggled throughout his career with knee and groin problems and was quoted only a couple of weeks ago as saying that he was considering international retirement in order to prolong his stay at City. But the Welsh captain now says that his career isn’t likely to last longer than a couple more seasons but he is hoping to flourish for Mark Hughes’ side: “I know there are not four or five years ahead of me with the injuries I have had. Maybe I have got one or two years at the most. It will be all over before I know it, so I am just enjoying it. Everything at Manchester City has gone well for me from start to finish. It is so professional here. The manager is clever – he doesn’t want to give any of the players reason to moan. He makes sure the only thing you have to concentrate in is football.”

Though Bellamy has asserted that he is in the final straight of his career, Hughes has backed the striker to shine: “Every time I have been involved with Craig, he has produced. Arguably, he is playing some of the best football he has ever produced. He knows he has a platform and the players around him that would allow him to be as successful as he knows he can be. Craig left Blackburn Rovers because he wanted to be successful and win trophies. When he left Liverpool maybe he hadn’t quite fulfilled the ambition that he had. This is another opportunity and you sense it is one he does not want to let pass him by.”

Strength in Depth: City defender Pablo Zabaleta acknowledges that his side’s aim to break the ‘big four’ this season is a huge task to have undertaken but is assured that the club’s strength in depth will be the secret behind his club’s success this season. Over the last eighteen months, £50 million worth of defensive talent has moved the CoMS, Gareth Barry, Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong have been added to the midfield whilst Tevez, Robinho and Adebayor have brought bundles of goals with them and it is this, according to Zab’, which separates Hughes’ men from the established ‘big four’: “Everyone works hard here every day to get into the first eleven. We all know it’s not easy because there are a lot of players with fantastic quality in this squad. You have to fight for your place because it seems that there’s two of everyone now! I think there’s a big difference with us this season, there have been a lot of changes over the year and we now have great players in every position. That’s what you need, because there are so many games in the Premier League of a high standard all through the season. We all have to work twice as hard now to get into the team, but that’s good for everyone and especially the team.”

Fitness Report: The long awaited return of Robinho may finally come about when the Blues take on Hull City at Eastlands this weekend. ‘Robbie’, who hasn’t appeared for the Blues since the club’s first home game of the season against Wolves, had been expected to make an appearance at Anfield last week but was omitted from the squad due to the high intensity of the game. It is now hoped that the club’s record signing will be fit to play against Phil Brown’s Tigers on Saturday though it is yet to be seen whether or not the Brazilian will start ahead of the in-form Craig Bellamy: “We were pleased he didn’t play with Brazil because he wasn’t ready. But he had good training and treatment with them and has come back looking sharper. Things look very promising for him in terms of the weekend, he should be up for selection.”

Though Vincent Kompany has been back among City’s first team stars for four weeks now, the Belgian defender is the first to admit that he is yet to fully recover from the toe injury that kept him out of the opening weeks of the season but after 90 minutes playing in the reserves’ 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers last week, Kompany is set to battle it out for first team football: “I finally got 90 minutes to run around and make some tackles and I really enjoyed it. I made a lot of good, strong challenges, which is a big part of my game. That was the important thing for me, recovering the ball and keeping possession for the team. I had a lot of positive moments and I think I reached a decent level of performance. I’m looking forward to pushing for a first-team starting place. The competition doesn’t bother me. I’m just as much competition to the others. I hope to be in there in the near future. I’m not there yet but I’m on my way. I’m starting to feel like I did when I first joined City last season. I feel like I can maybe reach even better levels than I did then. I’m happy, but I’m realistic as well. I know I need to be able to perform well consistently.”

They Think It’s Been Given, It Has Now! In the most bizarre story for a long time, Micah Richards has finally been awarded the goal for his powerful header in the 4-2 win over Arsenal back in September. During the game, the English right back was credited with scoring the header that bounced off the post, hit Arsenal goalie Manuel Almunia on the back and fell into the goal but it was later ruled to be an own goal by the Spanish ‘keeper. Now, two months down the line, The Dubious Goals Award Panel has decided that Micah Richards should be granted the credit, something the Academy graduate is very pleased about: “I think they should have a dubious offside and a dubious foul panel too then maybe I would have three this season! I still think those goals against Portsmouth and Fulham should have stood but nevertheless it is nice to get that one back because it was a pretty good header.”

Transfer Speculation

Right Back in the Frame: Rumours resurfaced this week that City’s right sided full back Micah Richards had become disillusioned with life at Eastlands and may be preparing to leave in January. Richards has reportedly demanded showdown talks with the club hierarchy having struggled to maintain a first team place and has sat out on the substitute bench as Pablo Zabaleta continues his good run of form. How much of the media speculation is true is another subject but Chelsea, Bolton and Aston Villa have all been alerted to the Englishman’s possible availability. Richards isn’t the only player preparing for a move away from CoMS as 19-year-old Vladimir Weiss is being linked with a loan away. Both Stoke City and Burnley have expressed an interest.

Santa’s Gift for Barça: In a week where the European Champion’s interest in Robinho seems to have cooled, Roque Santa Cruz admitted that Robinho had talked about one day moving to Barcelona. The Catalan side had looked set to give up in their attempts to prise ‘Robbie’ away from Eastlands as they expressed an interest in Valencia’s star striker David Villa, but Roque thinks that his team-mate would be a great asset to any side in the world: “Of course he talks to us about it. And the players are cracking jokes about it in the dressing room. In the English papers there’s a lot of interest about Barça and Robinho is not hiding his desire to play for them one day. But I guess we’ll see. It wouldn’t be difficult for him. To add a talent like Robinho to the quality of players they have would give a different air to Barça because he’s got great ability and is a player who pleases crowds because of the way he plays. A player that good wouldn’t have any problems being part of that side.”

No Love for Milan Maestro: Press speculation early this week suggested that AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso was top of Mark Hughes’ Christmas wish list but these rumours were quickly quashed by Milan boss Leonardo who declared Gattuso was integral to the Italian giants: “I often speak to Gattuso and it’s not true. There is no truth in claims that he wants to leave. Gattuso’s priority is to recover, he is out injured and it’s normal that a player who is recovering from injury is eager to come back to play. Milan’s project is to use all the players we have available.”

Post-Match Reaction

City’s Super Six: In a fixture billed as the ‘clash of the under-achievers’, City and Liverpool went head to head at Anfield this weekend. With Rafa under pressure on Merseyside following a season where his side have already lost three more games than they succumbed to throughout the whole of last term, the prospect of visiting Anfield wasn’t quite as daunting as usual. All the same, the return of Steven Gerrard meant that Hughes’ men were facing a very different side to the one that had struggled of late. The Blues of course have been consistent if nothing else in recent weeks with five draws in five games, and the tide wasn’t set to change today as neither side went away with maximum points. After an awful first half of football for the Citizens, Martin Skrtel put the home team in front four minutes after the break with his first goal for the club. Emmanuel Adebayor headed in his first goal in five games when left unmarked from a Craig Bellamy corner and Stevie Ireland scored to put City in front with quarter of an hour left on the clock. Unfortunately the Blues’ defensive troubles struck again and Yossi Benayoun equalised only 74 seconds after the re-start.

Despite gaining a hard earned point away from home, Hughes admitted that his side were frustrated to have let the lead slip: “To be perfectly honest we are a little bit disappointed, because it was a game we felt quite comfortable in. We restricted them to very few attempts on goal in the first half and we looked dangerous on the break. But in the second half we have not defended a ball into our box, and it was one of the few times they got the ball into a good area against us. We had to make a change, but the intention was always to bring Carlos on, and I felt around the hour was the right time. I thought he was excellent when he came on, he gave us a real spark up front and carried the fight to them. We got our noses in front but there is a sense of disappointment because there was an opportunity missed here today and I felt that Liverpool were there for the taking. I’m sure we’ll look back and view it as a good result because we are taking points off teams around us. That’s what we have to do, and it is only a matter of time before start winning again, because if we show the qualities we did today then it will happen. I was pleased with the general performance, we have switched off a couple of times but overall I thought it was a good display.”

The weekend’s game seem to turn on the introduction of Carlos Tevez from the substitutes’ bench but first team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki has shaken off suggestions that the Argentinean’s performance will lead to a new rôle as ‘impact sub’: “To label him in that way is completely wrong – it was the media making the most of a situation where we had a specific game plan and Carlos made such an impression when he came on. Because of the players we have and the size of the squad, there will be times when the boss has to leave out certain individuals or play a different system, that’s the flexibility we want. Carlos had just been away with Argentina, where there was a lot of emotion surrounding the national team. But he showed real desire when he came on and he changed what had gone on. He gave the team a trigger, and it was Carlos closing down the full-back that led to the second goal. He chased a lost cause and won the ball back in the corner. Having won the ball he held on to it, and then passed at the right time for Shaun Wright-Phillips and Stevie Ireland to play their parts in scoring a magnificent goal. Carlos is playing with a smile on his face and he loves to express himself on the pitch. I’m sure we’ll soon see him knocking the goals in like the talent we know he is.”

Pablo Zabaleta was also quick to hand Carlos Tevez the plaudits for City’s re-invigorated second half performance: “I’ve played with Carlos before in the international team. I’ve always enjoyed playing alongside him because he is such a good player and he does so much for any side he plays in. As well as being with him here now that he is with us at City, I want to get back in the national squad alongside him as well. Carlos changed the game when he came on, he played well as soon as he was on and gave us more chances to score. I was happy for him because it’s not easy when a player wants to start and always be part of the first eleven. But all players are important in a squad now, and Carlos showed that on Saturday. He was great when he came on and I was pleased for him.”

Emmanuel Adebayor scored his first goal since returning from his three match ban earlier in the season and the Togolese international is sure that with a little more experience, his side will learn to overcome the top sides: “We had a chance to come away from Liverpool with a win, but we just have to concentrate more. But we have not lost here, and if it was a choice between no points and one point I would always take one point! I don’t think there’s such a thing as a good draw and it’s always better to win, but that’s football. We just have to keep focussed now, and once we win again hopefully we can get back on a winning streak. So we have to look at the positives and we took a point from Liverpool and we fought back after going behind, which was a good thing for us. We’re nearly there. Leading 2-1 at Anfield is not something everyone will do, but we have to believe that we can finish games off, and if we do we can believe that we can finish in the top four. That’s what we are fighting for and the boys believe it, so there’s no reason why we can’t achieve that.”

Stephen Ireland’s performance was enough to earn ‘Superman’ the man-of-the-match award but the modest Irishman paid tribute to his team-mates who, he believed, probably deserved the award more than he did: “It was good to get man-of-the-match but I don’t think I deserved it. I’ve got to thank Shaun for my goal because he put the ball on a plate for me and made it really easy for me to put it away. Carlos was superb, he changed the game when he came on and we’ve seen him do that in big games before. He can make a massive impact, even late on and bringing him on was a great decision. He was buzzing when he came on and was chasing people down all over. We’re really disappointed, after going ahead we should have held out but we conceded so quickly after I scored. It’s so disappointing because it was a great chance for us to win at Anfield, which we’ve not done for a long time. That’s the ups and downs of football, and we just have to deal with it. It’s a proper kick in the teeth for us, it’s a shame that we ended up with a draw, but what we can take is that it was a draw and not a defeat. We might look back at this at the end of the season and be grateful for the point though. We are not losing, which we were not doing away from home last year, then it’s important that we at least are coming away from games with something. We all know what we want to achieve so we’ll never roll over and die. As soon as a goal goes in that seems to bring us to life at times, sometimes we need a goal to get us started which is not the right mentality to have. But at least against Liverpool, away from home against a difficult team we bounced back well.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


With thanks to MCIVTA who helped when I arrived, I now have a firm friend here in Hong Kong who I watch matches with in our local bars. Sometimes this means chasing the game down at different venues when there are competing games at the same time but we usually find a TV somewhere. This friendship started out with the frustrations of the tail end of the 07-08 season, all the ups and downs of 08-09 and now here we are in 09-10 with different kinds of frustrations with our new record draws!

We are both gentleman who are life-long Blues on the wrong side of 50 (only just!) and I recently suffered some heart issues: my first game out of hospital was the derby! Luckily my fellow Blue was there to calm me down as I sipped my ginger beer! I am now (thankfully) back on the real beer and if there are any other Blues out there in HK reading this who would like to join us in Wan Chai on game nights then do please get in touch.

So we have the new City to watch this season and we read all about the efforts to make the club a global name and business as well to compete with the unmentionables at the ‘top’. So imagine our delight when on our local satellite TV station that shows all Premier League games ran some clips advertising the sporting highlights for December and when it got to the football piece the voice over described seeing “the big guns” in action as we saw the usual foursome followed by our own Mr Bellamy stuffing it into the back of the net in the derby!

Graham Schofield <schofield65(at)>


Next game at home versus Hull City, a fixture that looks like an easy one to win. No game in the Premier League is a given, and Hull will be fighting for their lives, but this is a game that City desperately need to win, and by scoring some goals to help the goal difference.

Can Mark Hughes have more confidence in his defence? We saw a better performance from the defence versus Liverpool, although the Liverpool’s second goal was due to bad defending.

If the team can feel good about the defence, then they can do more attacking, with more shooting on goal, which should result in more goals being scored. Adebayor can be good if he can remain around the box; if he gets fed he is a goal scorer, but when he is up front on his own he looks like he is just trotting around, and looking very lonely; he needs Tevez up front with him. City have the players to play attacking football; when it happens they look good and they win games.

I remember from the late sixties and early seventies when we used to chant “Attack, Attack, Attack”; this is what I would love to see again. We know that football has changed with more emphasis put on technology and some games are like a chess game, but you still cannot beat good old fashioned fast, attacking football, you don’t give other teams much time to think.

I read somewhere a person calling Mark Hughes a defensive bore. I don’t think that is fair; in some games he has got to do this, Sparky having been a top striker himself I feel sure prefers an attacking team.

Some might think that I have given up on Mark Hughes after some of my comments but I can assure you that I am still for Sparky, I just make honest comments sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes indifferent, but always with City in my heart.

Come on you Blues, Attack Attack Attack!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I was very interested to read the comments of Ernie in MCIVTA 1586 regarding the changes at the Academy and the move of Jim Cassell and Alex Gibson to Abu Dhabi.

He has every reason to be worried with regard to the new regime and the handling of the Academy since the start of the new season. The team was unbeaten in the league during the last 2 seasons; to date under Andy Welsh they have played 13 and lost 6 already – we should all be concerned with this situation.

George Hamilton <georgehamilton(at)>


Please pass on my condolences to the family of Steve Kay. I never met Steve in person, but his MCFC Stats site has been an absolute mine of meticulous City information. His passion for City came through from the first click. Rest In Peace Blue!

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclintonabroad(at)>


Racking my brains on this one I came up with the following: Will Greenwood (Rugby World Cup winner), Stuart Hall, John Stapleton (TV news), Sid Little and Eddie Large.

Stephen Cox <stephen_cox(at)>


Adebayor not concerned by run of draws

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has dismissed claims that the team’s run of six consecutive league draws shows that they are unlikely to qualify for the Champions’ League this season.

Mark Hughes’ men drew 2-2 with Liverpool on Saturday to keep the run of all-square games going, leaving them 6th in the league and four points behind 4th place Tottenham. This follows an excellent start to the campaign when City were being talked about as title challengers.

Adebayor is convinced that the last few weeks have just been a blip in form for City though and believes that they will start winning games again soon enough. He said that big clubs ‘always have difficult moments’ throughout what is a very long season so hopefully their luck should change and their odds against Arsenal in the Carling Cup Quarter-final ( will improve.

The former Arsenal man went on to say that the secret to getting is ‘dealing with it well’ and coping with the ‘hard times’. These are the things that will test City’s top four potential according to Adebayor.

In reality though, a win against Hull City this weekend would be very welcome indeed. It is a home game against a team below City in the table and three comfortable points would go some way to dealing with the situation adequately. After all, it would be a win that stretched the team’s unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions.

As for Adebayor, he managed to get on the score sheet in the recent game against Liverpool for the first time since that goal and that celebration against Arsenal back in September. So, much like the team, Adebayor will be looking to kick on in the coming weeks and chip in with a few goals before Christmas.

The next few fixtures are important for all at Eastlands, that’s for sure. First up is the home game against Hull, followed by the Carling Cup Quarter-final with Arsenal and another Premier League match at Eastlands against Chelsea.

How Manchester City and indeed Adebayor fare over these three games could have a big say on what the club’s ambitions are for the remainder of the season.

Thomas Rooney <copy(at)>


The away fixture at Stamford Bridge coincides with my brother’s 30th birthday.

Unfortunately living near to London we are not season tickets holders and so our chances of getting tickets for the game are very slim. I was hoping to appeal to someone who may know a way that we can get 2 tickets for the game in with the away supporters?

Thanks, David Springthorpe <david.springthorpe(at)>


After several years of trying, it has been agreed this week that my authorised biography of Joe Mercer will be revised and published early in the new year.

The book was originally published in 1993 and sold out within 6 months. A paperback followed in December 1994 but that sold out within a year. This version will be updated to include different illustrations, new information and stories, and will also analyse the Mercer legacy.

Joe’s widow Norah gave her blessing on Wednesday 25th November to the book and it will be out in April 2010 (the fortieth anniversary of Joe guiding City to the ECWC). Much has been written (fiction and factual information) on the Mercer-Allison period in recent years without the support of the Mercer family, so it is particularly pleasing that Norah supports my work.

As the print run will be fairly small, copies are being sold as a subscriber edition. This is the only way of guaranteeing your copy, and means fans can buy the book for the discounted price of £15 (retail price will be £19.95) before it is published. For that purchasers will get their name in the Subscriber Section at the back of the book (see “The Big Book Of City” or “Manchester A Football History” for an example) plus they will be able to have recorded next to their name their favourite Mercer Match. That can be any game involving Joe Mercer as a player or manager (Newcastle 1968? ECWC 1970?).

It’ll be interesting to see if an Arsenal, Everton or City game is the most popular.

All subscription orders have to be made by 31st January to qualify for this offer, and once published subscriber copies will be despatched before the book appears in any shop or online retailer.

I am delighted that I’ve finally got agreement to do this update. This remains my favourite book I’ve written and it’s a great biography (though I am a bit biased!).

To order or for more information see my publisher’s website

“Joe Mercer, OBE – Football With A Smile” (ISBN 978-0-9558127-4-3) covers his full life from his father’s career (and death when Joe was only 6) with Nottingham Forest and Tranmere; through his Championship winning days with Everton; his captaincy of Arsenal (prior to Wenger’s successes, people still talked of Joe as one of Arsenal’s greatest and most successful players) and England; his managerial career at Sheffield United and Aston Villa (where he won the League Cup and Division 2 title); his many successes at City; spell at Coventry; and his period as England manager.

Joe was an inspirational player, captain and manager. The original book ended with his struggle with Alzheimer’s and his death on his 76th birthday.

Thanks, Gary James <info(at)>


25 November 2009

Hull City             3 - 2  Everton               24,685Fulham                3 - 0  Blackburn Rovers      21,414

League table to 25 November 2009 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts 1 Chelsea         13  7  0  0 20  1  4  0  2 13  7 11  0  2  33   8  25  33 2 Manchester Utd  13  6  1  0 16  7  3  0  3 10  5  9  1  3  26  12  14  28 3 Arsenal         12  5  0  0 20  4  3  1  3 16 11  8  1  3  36  15  21  25 4 Tottenham H.    13  5  0  2 21  7  3  1  2 11 11  8  1  4  32  18  14  25 5 Aston Villa     13  4  1  1 12  5  2  3  2  9  8  6  4  3  21  13   8  22 6 Manchester City 12  3  2  0 13  8  2  4  1 10  8  5  6  1  23  16   7  21 7 Liverpool       13  4  2  1 21  8  2  0  4  8 12  6  2  5  29  20   9  20 8 Sunderland      13  5  1  1 16  9  1  1  4  5 10  6  2  5  21  19   2  20 9 Stoke City      13  4  1  2  9  7  1  3  2  4  8  5  4  4  13  15  -2  1910 Fulham          13  4  0  2 10  5  1  3  3  7 10  5  3  5  17  15   2  1811 Burnley         13  5  1  1 11  6  0  1  5  5 20  5  2  6  16  26 -10  1712 Blackburn R.    13  4  1  1 11  7  1  0  6  5 21  5  1  7  16  28 -12  1613 Birmingham City 13  3  2  2  5  4  1  1  4  6 10  4  3  6  11  14  -3  1514 Everton         13  2  3  1  9 10  2  0  5  8 13  4  3  6  17  23  -6  1515 Hull City       14  4  2  2 12 13  0  1  5  4 17  4  3  7  16  30 -14  1516 Wigan Athletic  13  2  2  2  6  9  2  0  5  8 22  4  2  7  14  31 -17  1417 West Ham United 13  1  2  3 10 12  1  3  3  9 11  2  5  6  19  23  -4  1118 Bolton Wndrs    12  1  2  4  8 15  2  0  3  7 11  3  2  7  15  26 -11  1119 Wolves          13  1  2  3  5 10  1  2  4  7 16  2  4  7  12  26 -14  1020 Portsmouth      13  1  0  5  7  8  1  1  5  3 11  2  1 10  10  19  -9   7
With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0910.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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[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 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. You can also follow on to get the latest updates.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at and the official club Twitter page at The club also has a facebook page at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( 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

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,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

[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

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,

Newsletter #1587