Newsletter #1591

News tonight on the recent games, player views from behind the scenes and confirmed fixture dates/changes.

We have opinion on manager, referees, the direction the club is going and the usual requests.

Next Game: Bolton Wanderers, away, 3pm Saturday 12 December


General News

City So Far: With Christmas fast approaching, Nedum Onuoha has been assessing City’s season so far. One loss in fourteen speaks for itself but the Blues acknowledge that the club’s record run of seven consecutive league draws has gone a long way to deflate their start to the season. However, City Academy graduate Nedum Onuoha is keen to focus on the positives and last week’s wins against Arsenal and Chelsea proved that the Citizens can compete with the very best: “It’s been a weird season so far in that we started so well and then things levelled out a little. The drawing sequence has been incredible, but you can also point out the fact that we’ve only lost once in 17 league and cup games and when’s the last time Manchester City had that kind of form or success? We are trying to make our home a fortress and when things go right for us like they did against Arsenal, we’re a match for anyone. One thing I think people don’t realise is that Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal consistently finish in the Champions’ League places because of how they play against the teams in the bottom eight of the table. If you beat those struggling teams home and away, you’ve already clocked up 48 points and that goes a long way to a decent total. We haven’t won all our games against the lower-placed sides so far, but we haven’t lost any, either, so we’re definitely on the right track.”

Pride in Battle: City manager Mark Hughes feels the club’s motto has never been more appropriate than this season as his side play out their new never-say-die attitude. Despite having become known in recent seasons for almost certainly losing games as soon as they went behind, this season has brought a new look to the team where conceding a goal simply means battling harder for the points. The win over Chelsea last Saturday epitomised this but draws with Burnley and Liverpool both came from positions where the Blues were behind and even at Old Trafford, the Citizens equalised three times before being beaten by this season’s most controversial goal. Fielding a full strength side in midweek against Arsenal was a risky tactic before a weekend game with Chelsea but the manager believes he has the right players to justify that decision every time: “We had to pick ourselves up again and put in another high-quality performance after the high of Wednesday. That’s the sign of a good team. We targeted players that we felt had the right approach and mentality to go along with their undoubted ability. Games and performances like we have seen in the last week have re-emphasised what I already knew about them. It was a difficult week, we had to pick ourselves up again and put in another high-quality performance after the high of Wednesday. That’s the sign of a good team.”

Derby Days: The dates of next month’s Carling Cup ties against city rivals Manchester United have been confirmed with CoMS hosting the first semi final on 6th January (7.45pm) and the return leg being played at Old Trafford on January 19th (8pm). Should the Blues progress to the final of the competition, they will take on Aston Villa or Blackburn Rovers for their first trophy in thirty three years.

Much has been said of Alex Ferguson’s claims that he will field an ‘under-strength’ eleven, but City boss Mark Hughes doubts that his former manager will weaken his side’s chances of a derby victory: “Sir Alex never used to play weakened sides in the competition. I seem to recall during my time at Blackburn they were a pretty strong side in the semi-final. We will have to wait and see. That is his decision. We will enjoy it. Over two games we would back ourselves against anybody. We want to get to a Wembley final. This club has not had many experiences of that in recent times. We need to be in a domestic semi-final and we want to try to win the competition. I have picked strong teams because it is important. Certainly if we had not done that we might have gone out of the cup because we have had some really hard games. We have treated the competition with the respect it deserves. We deserve the reward of a semi-final. We want to go one step further if we can.”

Dates for Your Diary: City’s away tie at The Riverside next month will be played on January 2nd when Mark Hughes comes head-to-head with Gordon Strachan’s Middlesbrough for a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Not only that but Liverpool’s new found commitments to the UEFA Europa League means that Eastlands will now play host to Rafa’s men on Sunday February the 21st rather than Saturday the 20th, as first scheduled, though the kick off time is yet to be confirmed.

Squad News

Shay’s Given the Award: City’s goalkeeper Shay Given has been named the Etihad Airways Player of the Month with 38% of the vote. With Martin Petrov and Nigel de Jong trailing in Given’s wake this month, a run of spectacular performances by the Irishman has earned Given the award this month. Hopefully the 33-year-old will consider this small consolation for the heart-break of Paris-Gate last month and if Given can continue his superb form into the new year then the City faithful will be believing anything is possible.

City’s player of the month was keen to pay credit to a post-match ‘rollicking’ after the Hull City game which, he thinks, may have turned the Blues’ season around: “The odd rollicking never did anyone any harm if you take it in the right way. We’re all grown men as well and you have to take criticism when it comes along. I think the win over Arsenal was a really big effort from everyone. It was a platform for the Chelsea performance. We’ve fought tooth and nail for every ball. Maybe during a couple of the draws we had, we just weren’t all at it. We had to address that and we did. We’ve set the bar now and we can’t drop below it.”

Blue Flu: Swine flu reared its ugly head again this week as it was reported that both Craig Bellamy and Vladimir Weiss had contracted “mild forms” of the illness. Both players are thought to have come through the worst of it and are expected to return to training later in the week though non-playing members of staff have also been sent home this week complaining of ‘flu like’ symptoms. These cases aren’t the first at the club after Micah Richards found himself stranded in Cyprus with the virus back in July.

Fergie, Sign Him Up! Carlos Tevez’s £25 million move across the city border caused much controversy last summer but ahead of the Carling Cup semi-final, the Argentine is sure that he made the right decision. Tevez spent two seasons at Old Trafford with the Red Devils and, having become known for not celebrating against former clubs, the 25-year-old admitted he was disappointed with the reception he received from his former fans during his first derby in blue colours: “I was disappointed, because I don’t think I deserved to be treated that way by the United fans. When I was there I was a hard-working and loyal player who gave my all. But that’s football. Sometimes these things happen. Obviously I’d be delighted if we could beat United and reach the final, because our ambition is to win trophies as a new team still learning about each other, our final objective is to be successful and win things. But I still have some respect for the club and what they did for me, so I wouldn’t want to rub their noses in it. I have a great deal of respect for United fans, and I won’t celebrate if I score against them. Obviously, it will be a classic, we’re talking about two great teams. For me, the most important thing is for the best team to win. I hope that will be us.”

African Absence: The spine of City’s squad will take a huge blow come January when skipper Kolo Toure and striker Emmanuel Adebayor join their respective countries in the African Cup of Nations and neither player is overly thrilled with the fact that they’ll miss the club’s first semi-final in twenty eight years. The Blues beat Arsenal in last week’s quarter-final in order to earn a semi-final with United but the African duo will be away on international duty and though both are looking forward to the tournament, neither was willing to hide their disappointment. Manu explained: “I’ll be calling up my friends and checking how we’ve gone on. It’s very frustrating missing matches, but I’ll be following our progress through various means. If we are winning, I probably won’t need to call anybody because the lads will obviously be doing well. Missing the two games against Manchester United will be hard because, as I’ve said in the past, I’ve come here to make history and while we haven’t played in a cup final since 1981, we know we are just two games away from a Wembley appearance – and we know we can do it. I’ve played in the Carling Cup final before, but was on the losing side for Arsenal against Chelsea. I’d love to come back from Africa with an opportunity of another Wembley final and the possibility of leaving with a winner’s medal this time.”

Kolo asserted that it’ll be a huge wrench to leave the club before the biggest games in its recent history: “It is a difficult situation, having to leave your club when we are doing so well. We are proud to represent our countries, but we will miss several important City matches while we are away and that’s hard for us and the club. Of course, I’ll follow our results over the Internet – I’ll be checking what’s happening back at the club on a daily basis and I’ll be phoning the manager and Vincent Kompany, too. I’ll know exactly what’s going on and how we’re doing. It’s incredibly bad timing. This club has had to wait a long time to be in a semi-final and to not be part of it is really difficult. But we have the players to beat United and I really believe in my heart we’re going to make it. It’s going to be really hot out there in Angola and for me, it’s easier to play football in cool conditions. In fact, I’m really going to miss the rain!”

Confronting the Critics: Wayne Bridge may be an England international, he may have already won all domestic trophies and he may have been managed by some of the world’s greatest managers but the 29-year-old is still keen to improve and is never too proud to admit when he is wrong. When the Blues drew 3-3 with Burnley a couple of weeks back, Bridge and Joleon Lescott came in for much abuse from Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen but the left back claims he doesn’t need other people to tell him when he’s playing below par: “Alan Hansen said some things and Mark Hughes said some things back. I don’t like to think about it too much. I don’t have to watch Match of the Day to know that I have played badly or been caught out of position. He said a few things that I am not going to cry about. I have just been training hard and I am still confident. I feel I have done well the last few matches.”

The Forgotten Samba Boy: Bridge played his part in the 2-1 win over his old club last weekend but an injury to his medial knee ligaments means that he now faces 4-6 weeks out on the sidelines. Ex-Barcelona defender Sylvinho seems likely to replace Bridge and though the Brazilian is looking forward to taking his chance in the first XI, he insisted that his primary focus is on his team-mate’s recovery: “First of all, when you have somebody who is injured, the whole team is upset. It doesn’t matter if it’s Wayne Bridge or someone else who plays in my position. We all want the best for each other, but this is where having a big squad helps. Of course, if an opportunity comes along I will look to take it and it’s very important we have everybody fit for every single game in case you are called upon. That’s what I try to do each week be prepared. Every single game in the Premier League is hard and Bolton will be fighting hard and it won’t be easy. But I think we’ve got a lot of excellent technical players, backed up by a physical presence of our own and I think if you can match playing football with great spirit, you can have the edge over most teams in the Premier League. It’s been a terrific few months but people close to me know that I have been worried about my family and how they would settle in Manchester. My daughter was born in Spain and is only seven years-old and was learning Spanish and Catalan while I was at Barcelona and doing really well. Then, suddenly, I had to make a decision to move to England and I was particularly worried about her – but I shouldn’t have been! She is amazing and she has never complained once about leaving Spain, her school and her friends. She has settled in so well that I should have known better. She doesn’t miss Barcelona and is very settled in Manchester, making new friends and in a few weeks’ time, her English is going to be much better than mine!”

One Clear Goal: Top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor get himself on the score-sheet twice last weekend, only one of them will he want to remember though, and the former Arsenal striker has pledged his support to another, more important, cause. The Togolese international is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS and hopes to help the UN in their attempts to quell the current AIDS epidemic in Africa: “Young people are most affected by the epidemic around the world. Many of these young people aren’t aware of HIV and the risk of infection, and don’t know how to protect themselves. I hope I can help change this in my new role as UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador.”

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe stressed the importance of including world-wide names such as ‘Manu’ in their campaign: “Sports stars like Emmanuel are excellent rôle models for young people. I am confident that he will use the same skill and determination he has on the field in teaching young people about how to protect themselves against HIV off the field.”

Transfer Speculation

Under the Kosh:Emmanuel Adebayor’s trip to the African Cup of Nations may force manager MarkHughes’ hand in terms of signing a striker come the January transfer window butdespite constant interest from the likes of City and Chelsea, Atletico Madridhave stated that they have no intention of selling young star Sergio Aguero.The son-in-law of Argentina manager Diego Maradona is tipped to be the world’srising star over the next twelve months though a move from struggling Atleticomay be necessary in order to help the 21-year-old achieve his potential and itis suspected that a £40 million bid would be enough to prize Aguero from La Liga: “Wehave had another opportunity (to sell him) and again we have said no. We willpersevere and be stubborn because we want to keep players who can contribute.The position of the player is the club are the same. Aguero is someone who isgrowing with the club as we are with him. While there is a relationship oftrust, we shouldn’t break this. Aguero will leave Atletico when he wants to go,as happened with Fernando Torres.”

If City do fail to entice Aguero, they may battle it out with United, Arsenal and AC Milan for the signature of Wolfsburg’s Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko.

Benni is a Blue: One player who certainly won’t be leaving his current club, if he has any say in the matter, is derby day scorer Benjani. ‘Benni’ joined from Portsmouth under the ‘Sven regime’ but has fallen down the pecking order since the arrivals of Adebayor and Tevez. Last week the Zimbabwean was linked with a move to Bolton Wanderers but the 31-year-old is keen to regain his place in City’s line-up: “I am not going anywhere and I am going to put up a fight to ensure that I get my place. I still have a contract with Manchester City. I have had injuries. And every player goes through this phase. It will soon be over. I am not bothered about which club is after me because I am still a Manchester City player.”

Robinho II: City are just one of Europe’s big names being linked with a move for 17-year-old Brazilian Neymar, who has been dubbed ‘the next Robinho’. The Santos midfielder has been impressing all season but as his club slap a £20 million tag on the teenager, Neymar himself asserts that he has no plans to leave Brazil: “I only know what is being said in the press, nobody has spoken with me about a possible transfer, and for saying the truth, it’s not in mind the idea of leaving Santos. I haven’t been thinking of a move to Europe. I really don’t know what is happening and why it said that many European teams are interested in me because here in Brazil nobody has approached me and even the club hasn’t told me anything. Personally the only thing that I am thinking about is in giving my best to Santos and working very hard for next season as I would like to have a better season.”

Home May Not Be Where the Hart Is: Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish revealed this week that a permanent move for City stopper Joe Hart may be on the cards following a string of impressive performances by the 22-year-old. Hart is currently on a season long loan at St Andrew’s but McLeish feels that Hart has the potential to be England’s number one and is very keen to open negotiations with City for the goalie’s services: “Maybe we could come to some arrangement with Man City, if he continues to play to the level he’s playing at. I think England like him and he has got every opportunity. He’s got a great chance. He’s a massive presence, works really hard and he has tidied up his game on a couple of things. He looks a real prospect for England.”

Post-Match Reaction

Better L-Eight Than Never: Having drawn seven consecutive league games against ‘inferior’ opposition, the thought of Chelsea visiting Eastlands sent shivers down the spines of City fans. Birmingham, Burnley and Hull all gained a point from the Blues’ multi-million pound squad in recent weeks but Tevez and Co. turned on the style to gain a first victory in eight with a 2-1 win over Ancelotti’s men. When Shay Given’s save bounced off Emmanuel Adebayor’s back and into his own goal, City fans were pleading for an eighth draw in a row and the pleas seem to be answered when the Togo captain, Adebayor, made amends by scoring at the other end. Carlos Tevez’s second half free kick then wrong-footed Chelsea ‘keeper Petr Cech to put the Citizens in front. As Toure and Lescott defended gallantly, injuries to Micah Richards and Wayne Bridge meant that the Blues’ back line had to be changed. One of the replacements, Nedum Onuoha, went on to hack down Didier Drogba in the box and Howard Webb awarded the penalty. But even the ever-reliable Frank Lampard couldn’t break City hearts as the consistently brilliant Shay Given saved from twelve yards.

The Irish goalie has been hailed as City’s most valuable asset this season, having joined from Newcastle United for a fee of £5 million last January, but the Irish ‘keeper believes a lot of the plaudits for the Chelsea game must go to his goalkeeping coach: “Kevin Hitchcock should take a lot of credit, he did his homework on Lampard and had me well grilled before the game. I was delighted to keep it out, and then the lads cleared their lines when it came off me so all in all, I’m pretty happy! It was tricky conditions for goalkeepers with all the rain, but we are delighted with the victory. Chelsea were looking very strong this year, top of the league and rightly so it’s a big three points for us. We were unlucky with the goal, it came off me and hit the back of Ade, and I don’t think he knew too much about it! A clean sheet would have been nicer and we were pretty solid, so I think we deserved it. There’s belief and confidence again now. Football’s amazing, you get a victory and it gives the whole place a lift. The place was buzzing on Thursday, and we brought that with us tonight. Every single player worked their socks off and we deserved the win. It takes time when there is a whole new back four. In the last two games the centre-halves have been first class and we will look to build on that in the coming weeks. It does take time to gel and people need to be patient, but Kolo and Joleon were brilliant today. It’s a great result, they have been very strong and you look at their result against Arsenal, when they won convincingly, we knew this was a big game for us. It was tough, but it’s a brilliant feeling to have beaten them.”

Villain turned hero Adebayor admitted that he was gutted to put the Blues behind so early in the game but praised his team-mates for getting him back on track: “These things happen in football and you just have to keep thinking positive. I was unhappy at the own goal but my team-mates were very supportive. They knew that it was a difficult moment for me and they said, ‘Come on, you have the ability to score a goal for us’. And that’s what I’ve done. John Terry wasn’t happy about my goal, but I don’t care – I wasn’t happy about theirs either! He’s one of the best players around and he’s a winner, that’s why he was upset. We had gone a long time without a win in the Premier League and we knew it would be tough. It was tough, but we won, so we’re happy. What is most important is the three points. For us, the most important thing during the recent run was keeping our confidence and enjoying our football. Any football team goes through difficult moments during a season. We will carry on to the end, we won’t give up – we’ll keep playing for a top four place until the last kick. It will be difficult, but we believe we can do it.”

Dutch anchorman Nigel de Jong continued his excellent run of form by far outplaying opposing midfielders Ballack, Lampard, Deco and Essien and the former Hamburg man hopes that the Chelsea result will send out a statement to the rest of the Premier League: “We fought like lions out there. The belief is there for all to see. We are a very good side. The biggest statement you can make is to beat the number one side in the table and that is what we did. The fans were great, the team was great and the win capped a brilliant week for the club. That was as good a ninety minutes as I have played in my career and I am thrilled but credit has to go to all the team. The Premier League suits my style because it is so competitive. I used to be a much more attacking player but now I enjoy my more defensive rôle. From Shay at the back, who is one of the best in Europe and was a great buy for this club, to Emmanuel Adebayor up front, who showed great character to bounce back from the own goal, the whole team was focussed and determined. The challenge now is to produce the kind of performance we had on Saturday against the lower ranked teams. We are still learning and we have to make sure our focus is right. Everyone is excited about the possibilities here. We are and the supporters are. The message is that we are not going away in that battle for the top four. The win over Chelsea lets everyone know just that.”

Hughes was once tipped to take over from Jose Mourinho as Chelsea manager but the City Chief is settling in well at CoMS and hopes that this win will be his side’s platform on which to build the rest of their season: “It was a great day, a fantastic performance by the guys. We’ve been right on the money in the last few games, but we showed that you have to put a huge effort in to turn good performances into winning performances. Each and every player worked exceptionally hard to make sure we won the game. There were huge performances right through the team, and going behind to a team as accomplished as Chelsea is a big test. Your mentality and belief has to help you get something out of a game against the bigger sides in this league, but we never wavered. That was on the back of a difficult game on Wednesday, where we showed a lot of energy and emotion. I was a bit concerned about that, but I did not make wholesale changes as it’s important to keep core elements of the team together. I thought they might fade a bit today, but they never did and they were magnificent. Fitness-wise and mentality-wise, we’re in good shape. The fans have really driven us on, they understand what we are trying to do. If they see players in their shirt running and working hard for their team, and putting their necks on the line, they will respond to that. We had huge support on Wednesday which I thought would never be surpassed, but it was and I thought they were magnificent.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


I’m sure the Hughes in and out arguments will rumble on for the rest of the season, depending on results. And as discussion and different views are integral to football and has been since its formation, then why shouldn’t it continue?

But could I just ask one thing from those who support Mark Hughes as our manager? Please stick to the “facts” or at least those you know of.

Whenever I read the comment “Ah, but the real reason City fans criticise him is because he used to play for ‘them’…” I silently scream!

I read such comments on this board a couple of times recently, and it really does negate the arguments of the Hughes supporters. I’m all for listening to reasons of patience, stability, slow progress, meeting targets… all the usual stuff, but whenever I read someone dragging out the old chestnut that Mark Hughes is being judged differently because of his previous associations I shudder!

I was there at Steve Coppell’s first press conference when he was appointed as City manager; I and every other Blue in the room gave him a standing ovation. There was never a question that because he was a former Red that would impact upon on our view, at that time, that we were getting a top-notch manager. When we signed John Gidman and Terry Cooke, I was delighted. Andrew Cole and Peter Schmeichel were brilliant signings, at the time, and both were extremely popular. Throw in Terry Cooke and Peter Bodak, both of whom were never criticised for their former Evil Empire allegiances, it leaves probably only Sammy McIlroy who ever got grief… and that was because he was rubbish!

More recently, does Tevez get stick for playing at Manyoo for the past couple of seasons? Of course not. So the arguments that Hughes is criticised because of his former links is a total non-starter.

Whenever that argument is trotted out, I fear the originator is merely struggling to put up a strong enough defence of their position.

And no, I’m not a rabid Hughes Outer, but I am a fan who both criticises and praises based on what I see. The last couple of games have made my chest swell with pride and a large amount of that goes to the manager… in the same way I criticised when teams like Burnley and Hull City were taking points off us.

Argue your view on Mark Hughes, by all means, but please refrain from the obsession some have with his ex-Manyoo associations.

Tom Ritchie <Tom.Ritchie(at)>


Was listening to 5live last night and there was an article about Mark Halsey (our favourite ref?)

He has been stricken with the big C but after a period of treatment he has finally been told it is now in remission and his treatment finishes at Christmas (his wife has also been very ill I believe).

It was also mentioned that Wenger regularly contacts him to see how he is getting on as the last match he reffed was the Arsenal game at Everton, which finished 6-1 to Arsenal.

I am sure all Blues will wish him a very speedy recovery as the Premier League is undoubtedly missing referees of his quality at the moment.

Joe Ramsbottom <joeramsbottom(at)>


What a great piece from Iain Sellers (MCIVTA 1590) – doffs cap – about the doom and gloom merchants on this fine publication.

Seriously, if you have been away for a few weeks and read any of the last few MCIVTA editions you would think that City were:

  • languishing in the bottom 3 cut away from the rest of the league
  • one of the worst goals for and goals against records
  • playing football of such a poor quality that the ground must be half empty

Then you look at the league table and we are a ‘game in hand’ away from equal 3rd in the Premier League and about 6th best for goals for and against, in the semi finals of the Carling Cup and, get this, playing in front of full houses.

I really don’t know where these people get off. I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion but at least put forward an argument to support your ‘opinion’ rather than just blurting out anti-Hughes comments for the sake of it.

So little argument do people have, that, also in MCIVTA 1590, Keith Sharp has to revert to wanting Hughes out as he isn’t happy with Hughes’ comments after the Hull game. When, for example, was the last time that Bacon Face came in front of the cameras or in the paper and slagged his players off for their individual/collective performance? No, I can’t remember either. He will either praise them or blame other factors – the weather, officials (or their physical health/ability), the time of day of the kick off, or even the colour of the shirts. Rest assured he will have a different conversation with the players in the privacy of the dressing room.

Following recent comments in the Manchester Evening News this week it seems that Hughes and some of the players had the same type of conversation after the Hull match. It seems all wasn’t what it looks at face value. Maybe some others are more naïve to believe that what they see, hear or read is the end of the matter.

There has been no anti-Hughes comments at the match, certainly not vocally, so I don’t really see what people are basing their displeasure on.

Glad to see that Ernie has rediscovered his trust in Sparky!

Anyway, it’s off to Bolton on the train on Saturday lunchtime for a rare 3 o’clock kick off and hopefully another 3 points before a tricky game at Spurs. The fixture list then throws up a potentially good run of games to stake our claim for a top 4 place.

Keep the faith!

Andrew Keller <akcity(at)>


With Adebayor and Toure going away to the African Nations Cup, they will be missing both legs of the semi-final of the Carling Cup. This is when more than any other time Santa Cruz has got to come in on form and in a scoring mood.

The defence will have to make adjustments not only for Toure, but also Bridge who we are not sure if he will be fit in time, after his brilliant game versus Chelsea when he got injured in a collision.

We can see now more than ever why Mark Hughes wants two top players for every position in the team.

Before we start thinking about the Carling Cup games, we have some very important Premier League games starting with Bolton this Saturday. As per usual, Bolton will be all out to win in front of their own fans; we cannot afford not to win.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Many of us this week had the misfortune to read the article by Daily Mirror hack and, so it would appear, Arsenal lover John Cross entitled “Manchester City are the new club everyone loves to hate but Chelsea under Ancelotti are winning back friends”.

There are very few things in life that make me want to metaphorically punch someone in the face. In fact I would go so far as to say I am almost a pacifist (I probably would have been but I have never thought of a convincing argument why Churchill was wrong to have a pop at Hitler when he tried to take over Europe). I remember once trying a judo move on the school playing field when I was 14 because a 5th former had nicked my ball. That was 36 years ago and come to think of it the reason I failed was that he punched me in the face.

Anyway, for anybody who missed the article, good old John Cross says “we have gone from being the lovable perennial losers to being a club which now has a flashy, arrogant, rude, nasty, snarling, moneybags attitude”. Don’t mince your words then John.

He goes on, “City are now a team who everyone loves to beat to shut up and show the big spenders a thing or two”.

Now I acknowledge that for anybody who thinks the sun shines out of Arsène Wenger’s proverbial, coming to the City of Manchester Stadium 3 times running and seeing defeats of 3-0, 4-2 and 3-0 must start to get your goat. Particularly as you had turned up the previous season and seen a 1-3 victory for Arsenal with 2 impressive goals from, err, Adebayor (oops).

And all this meted out by the “snarling” Man City players. The ones with the lowest yellow card count in the league. The ones from the Club that every year wins awards for its City in the Community Programme.

The bit about City being the club everyone wants to beat I can buy. After all, only 1 team has achieved it so far this season, and as far as I am aware they were pretty keen to beat us when we were rubbish.

So in my usual balanced way I can see that Mr Cross is just a typical fan of a top 4 team who is getting ruffled and I better get used to the barbs that are going to come our way. But then again, maybe on reflection I’d just like to punch him in the face.

Mal Ogg <Mal.Ogg(at)>


Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Rob Booth’s story in MCIVTA 1590. What great social history, and told with such colour. Good luck in finding your photo Rob.

Jonathan Pickstone <Jonathan.Pickstone(at)>


Not really worth printing but I had a similar story. Threw a sickie from a casino I was working at. Went on a boozy trip with Bolton police to Paderborn in Germany. My dad was a policeman and dragged me along. Bolton Evening News – town hall steps, picture front page that Saturday of the assembled delegates from Bolton. I was front row center! I never got rumbled though, and what a trip…

Andrew Johnson <ADJ9(at)>

[Got caught in November 2000, Worthington Cup game at Villa. Told the boss I had a dental appointment and needed to leave work early, off we went on the bus from Denton. Dirge of a game and Horlock scores from the spot at the end of the game. Caught out on the TV sports round-up celebrating behind the goal! – Ed]


My husband has been a long term City supporter and season ticket holder for 40 years now, and we are a bit gutted that we missed out on tickets to see Blue Santa and the Children’s Christmas party this Sunday 13th December by a few hours.

Our son is 5 years old and would love to see Blue Santa (though think his dad is more excited!). We never got a notification email so hence us forgetting and not planning in advance. We are desperate to capture the innocence of this moment for a son George.

Many thanks, Suzie Howard <misssuziehoward(at)>


Provisional date for next PoB meeting is Wednesday 10th February (Bolton at home now on the 9th).

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)>


If there are any Blues in London who aren’t willing to pay the ludicrous £47 for a televised midweek game but fancy watching it with other Blues then a group of us will be in the City Pride in Farringdon Lane on Wednesday night.

A fair number of City fans now gather to watch televised games there and we also usually take part in the very entertaining quiz there on a Thursday evening, starting at 7pm (although Dec 10th is the last one before January). As a weekday exile myself, its been great to meet some new faces.

If anyone wants further details or encouragement then please email Tony Brett on <tony.b1(at)>

Colin Savage <Colin(at)>


Lift for United at home? I’m travelling from London for the semi-final first leg on Wednesday 6 January, but need to get back that night. Anyone driving up interested in sharing petrol costs?

Murray Withers <murraywithers(at)>


League table to 09 December 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         15  7  0  0 20  1  5  0  3 17  9 12  0  3  37  10  27  36 2 Manchester Utd  15  6  1  0 16  7  5  0  3 18  6 11  1  3  34  13  21  34 3 Arsenal         14  6  0  1 22  7  3  1  3 16 11  9  1  4  38  18  20  28 4 Tottenham H.    15  5  0  2 21  7  3  3  2 14 14  8  3  4  35  21  14  27 5 Aston Villa     15  5  2  1 16  6  2  3  2  9  8  7  5  3  25  14  11  26 6 Manchester City 14  4  3  0 16 10  2  4  1 10  8  6  7  1  26  18   8  25 7 Liverpool       15  4  2  1 21  8  3  1  4 10 12  7  3  5  31  20  11  24 8 Fulham          15  5  1  2 12  6  1  3  3  7 10  6  4  5  19  16   3  22 9 Birmingham City 15  3  2  2  5  4  3  1  4 10 12  6  3  6  15  16  -1  2110 Sunderland      15  5  1  1 16  9  1  1  6  5 12  6  2  7  21  21   0  2011 Stoke City      15  4  1  2  9  7  1  4  3  4 10  5  5  5  13  17  -4  2012 Blackburn R.    15  4  3  1 11  7  1  0  6  5 21  5  3  7  16  28 -12  1813 Burnley         15  5  1  1 11  6  0  1  7  8 27  5  2  8  19  33 -14  1714 Wigan Athletic  15  3  2  3  9 12  2  0  5  8 22  5  2  8  17  34 -17  1715 Everton         15  2  4  2 11 14  2  0  5  8 13  4  4  7  19  27  -8  1616 Hull City       16  4  2  2 12 13  0  2  6  5 21  4  4  8  17  34 -17  1617 West Ham United 15  2  2  4 15 19  1  3  3  9 11  3  5  7  24  30  -6  1418 Wolves          15  2  2  4  7 12  1  2  4  7 16  3  4  8  14  28 -14  1319 Bolton Wndrs    14  1  2  4  8 15  2  1  4  9 14  3  3  8  17  29 -12  1220 Portsmouth      15  2  0  6 10 12  1  1  5  3 11  3  1 11  13  23 -10  10
With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0910.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[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 #1591