Newsletter #1609

News from Alex tonight with reaction to the recent games, international news and reviews. Despite the second poor performance against Stoke in a few days, we have moved up to 4th in the league.

We have views on the Stoke game(s), player and manager opinion and the usual requests.

Next up, Liverpool.

Next Game: Liverpool, home, 3pm Sunday 21 February 2010


General News

Kolo’s Cup Cry: Ahead of the Blues’ FA Cup fifth round tie with Stoke City, club captain Kolo Toure sounded the rallying cry. The pain of the Carling Cup semi-final defeat at Old Trafford is yet to leave the Blues’ squad but Toure feels that FA Cup success would be the perfect way to bounce back: “I think we have a squad capable of winning trophies and we are desperate to win something this season. It would be fantastic for us to get to the final of a major competition. When I was with Arsenal, the expectations were that we should win something every season and I believe it is the same here at City. Losing the semi-final in the circumstances we did was very hard to take for all of us. I missed the game because I was flying back to England at the time, but it hurt just as much. It has made us determined not to feel like that again and perhaps that’s the reason the FA Cup has taken on even more importance. I’ve been there and won this trophy and it’s a fantastic day for the players and supporters. I want more of the same with City! Stoke will be a tough game for us but we’re desperate to go all the way and will be giving it our all to do just that.”

Mancini’s Magic: Having won the Coppa Italia at all three of his previous clubs in the first season, it would seem that there is no better man to lead the charge to Wembley than Roberto Mancini and the Italian believes that Wembley owes him. The second City manager of the season has a massive ten Coppa Italia medals to his name as both player and manager but suffered the worst moment of his career at England’s national stadium when Sampdoria were beaten in the 1992 European Cup final by Spanish giants Barcelona: “The game against Barcelona – I have forgotten this! It was a European Cup final, so it was a fantastic day – before the match! We had a lot of supporters over from Genoa. It was a great occasion but when you lose a Champions’ League final, it’s a big problem for the next five or six months. I never played at Wembley for Italy. So would it be nice to go back there and win? Very nice! When I started managing at Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter, I always won the Cup in my first year. So I hope that can happen here at City as well.”

A Note of Thanks: An auction in support of the Royal British Legion has raised £8,000 for the worthy cause. The charity, that raises money for current and former members of the British armed services and their families, was the recipient of the donation after the club auctioned off match day tops from last November’s fixture with Burnley. Each top had been embroidered with a poppy to mark Remembrance Day and following the club postal auction, the club handed over the £8,000 cheque during last week’s home win against Bolton. Jim Baker of the Legion led the call of thanks: “The generosity of Manchester City fans has been unbelievable. We would like to thank all those involved in the auction for their contribution to this valuable cause.”

Squad News

FA Review Violent Vieira: The FA has charged Patrick Vieira with violent conduct following his petulant ‘stamp’ on Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan. The Frenchman was lucky not to be dismissed during the first half of Tuesday night’s league tie at the Britannia Stadium and now has until 6pm tonight (18/02) to respond to the charge before facing an inevitable three match ban.

‘Magic’ for England: The newly dubbed Adam ‘Magic’ Johnson may have only appeared a handful of times for the Citizens since his £8 million move from Middlesbrough but club boss Roberto Mancini believes the English winger could play his way on to the plane to South Africa this summer. The 22-year-old proved his worth against Bolton last week playing both on the left and right wings as well as just behind the striker. It is this versatility that Mancini rates so highly and having compared Johnno to United legend Ryan Giggs, City’s Italian coach sees no reason why his compatriot Capello would overlook such a useful player: “He can be an important player for the national team. There are three months to the end of the season. If Adam plays well and often, I think he could have a good chance. It’s important that a player can play in different positions for if we have to change tactics. You need two or three players who can do that – play behind the striker, on the right wing, the left wing … striker, maybe. If we have those, it’s good for the team. There are some good English wingers around. But usually in the national team we play a diamond midfield behind two strikers so if Adam can play at the top of the diamond, or on the left or right, that’s an advantage. It’s good for us, for the national team, and for Adam. I remember when Giggs was young, he has the same movement and that left foot. He works well and has a good chance for the future. I watched him train and knew he would be good against Bolton. He played very well but he is still young and can develop more.” City legend Mike Summerbee has also noted the winger’s potential: “There’s a breath of fresh air about him and if he carries on making progress, I can’t see how Capello could ignore him.”

The Central Issue: One player who may be more likely to be called up by Fabio Capello for this summer’s World Cup is Joleon Lescott. Though the defender may have rarely impressed for City since his £24 million move from Goodison Park last summer, the former Everton centre back feels he can perform well enough during the rest of this season to be included by Fabio Capello: “If I can hit a level of consistency then hopefully I can get myself in the England squad this summer. It was horrible being on the sidelines. It’s never nice to miss games and I’m not the greatest company when I do. I just had to focus on regaining my fitness. I’m delighted to be back and happy with my form. I’ve had to work hard at getting fit, and I owe a big thank-you to the medical staff who’ve helped my recovery. We’ve a great squad Dedryck Boyata proved he can play and Vincent Kompany has been outstanding as always. But I like to think that if given the chance I can keep the shirt.”

A Bridge Too Far? After weeks of speculation about his private life, questions have been raised as to whether Wayne Bridge will ever play alongside John Terry in England colours again. The former Chelsea team mates have not failed to make the headlines in the last month or so and though some had suggested that the left back would choose to retire from international football following the betrayal of his former colleague and friend, Mancini has assured England fans that Bridge will play in South Africa this summer if Ashley Cole is not fit: “If he is picked, he will play. The national team is important for every player and it is the same for Wayne Bridge. He is committed to playing for England and it is important for any player to play at the World Cup, especially if they are in the first XI. I know the injury to Ashley Cole is a problem for England but Wayne can play in this position for the national team.”

Brothers in Arms: City skipper Kolo Toure spoke this week of his delight with the signing of Patrick Vieira following the Frenchman’s move from Italy. Toure, who played alongside Vieira during the golden years at Arsenal, explained that the friendship he, Vieira and Emmanuel Adebayor share is one similar to brotherhood and to all be playing at the same club again is something he could never have dreamed of and could boost the club’s chances of success: “It’s massive for us to have him here because of all the experience and maturity he brings with him to our club. When I first joined Arsenal I was like his little brother, and I’m really happy to have him alongside me at club level once again. Patrick, Adey and I are like a family and our families are very close, too – we are aiming to enjoy our time here in Manchester. Together, along with players like Carlos, Craig, Shaun and Shay, we bring our experience and a winning mentality to the team that will serve us well this season and in the future.”

Hughes Was My Kryptonite: Player of the Year Stephen Ireland has revealed this week that he felt he was taking a backwards step under former manager Mark Hughes at the start of the new campaign. The Irishman prospered under Hughes last season when playing in an attacking midfield rôle but following the £25 million signing of Carlos Tevez, ‘Superman’ no longer retained his favoured position and fell short of form: “The last six months under Mark Hughes was very frustrating for me. I was being played out of position. Maybe as a holding midfielder, left wing, right wing. It is not me. You have to adjust and think ‘I have to do it’ but if you want the best out of me you have to play me in my best position. Then I can be myself because the chains are off.” Of his new boss, Ireland had much praise: “It is difficult for anyone to come into a club, turn it round and get it going their way. The manager is doing different things but he has done a really positive job so far. We are still scoring goals but we have not conceded as many and are working hard. I would never say it was going to be easy on Saturday because you don’t tend to win matches like that these days. But we will stick to our game plan and try and control the game the best way we can.”

Transfer News and Rumours

Flattery Won’t Always Get You Anything: In the same week that City were linked with an audacious bid for unsettled United centre back Nemanja Vidic, media reports suggested that Mancini was already planning for next season with Italian Alessandro Gamberini top of his wish list. Rumours of a move have been scotched however, by the player’s agent, who claims that as long as the player is an integral component of current club Fiorentina, he has no plans to move away: “I have seen the reports naming Alessandro with Manchester City, but I don’t know anything about it. Alessandro is happy to be linked with Manchester City, but he is happy at Fiorentina and has a contract there. A move would be difficult as Alessandro is a very important player for Fiorentina and he is a candidate for Italy for the World Cup.”

Post-Match Reaction

The Stoke Saga Part I: On Boxing Day of last year, Roberto Mancini won his first game as manager of Manchester City in a 2-0 victory over Stoke, so who better to play in an FA Cup fifth round tie than a side you’ve beaten comfortably in recent weeks? Not the case. Despite going 1-0 up through the flukiest goal of Shaun Wright Phillips’ career, the Blues were disappointingly pegged back by a typical Rory Delap throw in. The former Southampton man punted long just before the hour and as men in blue shirts watched the ball fly over their heads, Stoke’s Ricardo Fuller was on hand to plant the ball in the back of the net. A disappointingly low crowd of only 28,000 watched the Blues stumble to a 1-1 draw, which means the game will be replayed on Wednesday 24th February.

Shay Given asserted that the team was disappointed to have let the lead slip but expressed his desire to progress to a quarter final with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, come the repeat at The Britannia Stadium: “We’re disappointed because we had home advantage and thought we could go on and win the game but we’re still in the draw for the next round. Now we have got to go to Stoke now and battle to get through to the quarter-finals. I didn’t think we defended too badly today. It’s worth remembering that a number of good defences have conceded goals to Rory Delap’s long throw-in. The frustrating thing was we had about 10 players back and they had four in our box but still managed to score with pretty much a free header. We’re continuing to work on defending set-pieces and it does take time because there’s no magic wand you can wave over the defence as a unit. We watch videos and know what to expect, but it’s hard to defend against.”

New signing Patrick Vieira told his side that it was important to look forward to the FA Cup replay and ensure their place in the next round: “The FA Cup is really important to me, and I’m disappointed because I really believed that we should win this game. But we made it difficult for ourselves. Of course, before we can play our football we need to win the battle. It was a battle for 90 minutes. They make it hard for you; they are right in your face. But we knew it would be tough. Scoring first should have made it easier for us, but it didn’t, so we are quite disappointed.”

£24 million rated Joleon Lescott made his first start for the club since recovering from injury and felt that the 1-1 draw was an opportunity missed and one that the Blues must make up for in the replay: “I would say Saturday was an opportunity missed because we played well in the first half and I think we deserved to win but we needed the second goal because you know that Stoke can always be a threat. We know that we are not out of things and that we now have to go to the Britannia and win twice in a week. That is not an easy thing to do but we have the ability. Maybe they are favourites now for the replay with home advantage but with Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy back and if Shaun Wright-Phillips plays the way he did on Saturday then we always fancy ourselves to get a goal.”

The Stoke Saga Part II: For the second time in three days, City took on Stoke in a game that ended up 1-1. Following a disappointing goalless first half, the second half ignited when Abdoulaye Faye was dismissed for a professional foul. The impetus should have been City’s but Stoke characteristically battled on and when former Blue Glenn Whelan popped up with twenty minutes left on the clock, Stoke seemed to have snatched all three points. Gareth Barry had other ideas though and having struck from close range to equalize, the England midfielder earned his side a point. The Blues were lucky to come away with anything after match referee Alan Wiley controversially ruled out a last minute Ryan Shawcross goal for a push that the pundits failed to spot after various slow-motion replays. The City Chief was not impressed with his side’s performance and felt the Blues had let themselves down: “In the first half the ball was in the air most of the time and it was difficult for us to play. We had to fight; it was the only way to play. We were better after the break, but when it was 11 vs. 10 we should have created more chances. We should have got it down the channels for Shaun or Adam, but too often we played it down the middle. I made a change by bringing Shaun on and pushing Gareth to left back, but we should have been more aggressive to try to win the game. We were too quiet at times and we had some good chances to win this game. Sometimes football is like this, we made mistakes but in the end we got a goal when we needed it. But this was two points less than what we wanted. Fourth is not a bad position, but it would have been better with a win. Now we must recover, I hope we can come back and win in the cup next week but tonight, we should have looked for two more points than we got.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


A couple of quick points from the Stoke game.

Referee Alan Wiley may have cost us a point with his extended extra time at Old Trafford but he gave it back to us Tuesday by cancelling out a perfect legitimate Ryan Shawcross goal at the death. What goes around, comes around.

Interesting to note that Patrick Vieira’s future influence on City will come from the bench for the next three (critical) games. Definitely a Roberto Mancini decision that has already backfired. Dirty foul, no excuses.

Still liked the way Mancini shuffled the line-up for the second Stoke game to add height to the defence. I get the feeling that with Tevez and Bellamy back in the line-up, we can take that Cup game at Stoke. Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is another matter.

And finally, as much as we complain about refereeing in the Premier League, thank goodness we are not exposed to the clowns they have operating in the European Cup. If they weren’t so bad they’d be hysterical.

Come on you Blues. Let’s stuff the Scousers!

Keith Sharp <keith(at)>


Everyone knew this was going to be a battle and so it turned out.

From the kick-off Stoke did what Stoke do and got into our faces. For 30 minutes we were woefully inadequate at holding on to the ball in midfield, Stoke’s harrying forcing the City midfield players to hurry their passes, mostly astray, or getting caught on the ball. Stoke hunted in pairs and Patrick Vieira in particular had the ball taken away from him on too many occasions, the pace of the game looking too much for him to deal with (match fitness or past his sell by date?). Vieira was perhaps lucky not too receive a minimum of a yellow card and perhaps a red when he was fouled by Whelan and retaliated by lifting his boot into the most sensitive part of Whelan’s anatomy. Whelan, to his credit, did not make a big deal of the incident and Vieira got away without punishment. Towards the latter part of the first half City started to move the ball a little quicker to feet and seemed to be settling more into the game. Throughout the half Stoke’s set-plays were a constant threat but it has to be said we defended them better than we did in the cup game at Eastlands. At least there were no free headers. Micah Richards in particular was a colossus in the area, getting his head to many of Stoke’s crosses, which came as usual more from the hand than the boot. Although there was one great chance for Stoke when the ball was headed down in space to Sidibe about 10 yards out but he snatched at his chance and a weak effort rolled into the grateful arms of Given.

Just before the break City had a decent chance, their only one of the half really, when the ball fell to Barry 8 yards out but he sliced the ball wide of Sorensen’s goal with the outside of his left boot.

After the break City looked a little more comfortable in possession of the ball and a quick move forward saw the ball fed to Adebayor. Faye misjudged his attempt to intercept and the ball ran through with Adebayor starting to get away from Faye who grabbed his shirt and pulled him down with Adebayor bearing down on goal. Referee Wiley seemed to miss the incident but his assistant flagged and after consultation Faye saw red. Was he the last man? There was another Stoke defender level but further across the pitch getting back to cover but he may have been too far away to catch Adebayor.

Surely now City would take control of the game, which they more or less did but were unable to find any way to break down the Stoke defence. Mancini brought on SWP and moved Johnson over to the left as City looked for ways to get behind Stoke down the flanks, but all too often the final ball was crossed into the arms of Sorensen in the Stoke goal. It was quite noticeable that on more than one occasion SWP had opportunities to fire one of his trademark shots across goal but chose to cross. He gave the impression that he was playing with little confidence in front of goal. Something that is understandable given his now familiar starting rôle on the bench.

Remembering last year’s game against 10 man Stoke at the Britannia, and with the game still at 0-0, there was always a chance that Stoke would get an opportunity. And so there was an almost inevitability that on a now rare foray forward, the ball found Delap who crossed somewhat weakly into the box. The ball eventually fell to Johnson who had an easy chance to clear up-field but completely scuffed his clearance straight to Whelan who hit a good, low shot from about 30 yards. Given dived to smother the ball but somehow it went under his arms and into the goal. If there is any defence of Given, the ball did come through the legs of Toure and may have unsighted him slightly, but I think Given himself would put his hands up and say it should have been a fairly regulation save. Once again a former City player haunts us with a goal. How many times has that happened over the years?

City now pressed forward more and more and Stoke, obviously, got everyone behind the ball. What was perhaps most disappointing was the fact that we lost our composure and, with two wingers now on the pitch, we started playing everything down the centre of the field where it was very congested, something Mancini himself berated in his post-match interview (glad we agree on something).

City eventually got the equaliser, a little fortuitously when Barry latched onto a downward header from Adebayor 6 yards from goal but turned his shot on the turn onto the post. The ball came back to the now prostrate Barry who did well to lift the rebound over Sorensen into the far corner of the goal.

The referee indicated 5 minutes of stoppage time and there was perhaps still time for a winner. Still City ignored their winger and as time ran out looked unlikely to get any more from the game.

In fact we were exceedingly lucky to get anything from the game. In the last seconds of the extra 5 minutes Lescott, who had had probably his best game for City gave a needless push into the back of Sidibe. From the resulting free kick the ball was cleared into touch for another Delap throw-in. For the only time in the game Huth, I think it was, had a free header 3 yards from goal. Given came but got nowhere near him and the ball nestled into the City net. Whilst I was cursing Lescott for giving away the free kick I noticed Wiley had disallowed the goal.

Having seen the replays I am convinced it was a good goal. The Stoke player jumped straight up from a standing start and Given clattered into him. Stoke manager Pulis was somewhat rightly aggrieved afterwards and City were very very fortunate to come away with a point.

Just a few points on the players.
Given: At fault with the goal, and very lucky to get a free-kick for the Stoke second ‘goal’, but probably due an off-night.
Richards: Best game for a while from a defensive point of view, but not the greatest going forward.
Toure: Continues to fluctuate between brilliant and woeful.
Lescott: Probably his best and most commanding game for City.
Garrido: I’m not his biggest fan but he did OK. We did miss Bridge’s forward wing play.
de Jong: Continues to prove to be one of the best defending ‘break-up play’ midfielders in the Premier League.
Vieira: Miles off the pace of the game. Eventually got booked for persistent fouling, usually after he had had the ball taken off him.
Johnson: Had a couple of scintillating runs but playing on the ‘wrong’ wing had to cut inside to get his crosses in. Too often starved of the ball.
Barry: As always gave his all and deserved his goal, but he does look tired.
Adebayor: Didn’t start to come alive until too late in the game. Too many free headers for the Stoke defence.
Santa Cruz: Never really got into the game and his first touch let him down a lot. Perhaps a lack of games.
SWP: Couple of good runs. The Stoke defence looked scared to death of him. Relayed a lack of belief in front of goal (Mancini’s fault?).
Petrov: A couple of chances to cross but ineffective.
Zabaleta: Little influence and I don’t understand why he was chosen instead of Ireland when we needed some creativity.

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


All season I have been discussing with one of my work colleagues who is a Stoke fan “bless him” about how no team has tried to combat their long ball tactic. They’ve all accepted that Delap should be free to throw the ball as far as he wants without any challenge to his skill.

Even the week before that well known and highly acclaimed commentator Clive “the knowledge” Tyldesley suggested that the guy who has just had his name entered into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest throw in the world should make a living offering his skills to Premier League Clubs teaching prospective candidates how to be as effective as Delap. Arsenal once tried giving corners away rather than throw ins, but has anybody else offered an alternative remedy? I can’t think of any.

Until Saturday that is when finally a team seemed to offer a solution?

When I played football, if we played another team with a long throw expert weuse to tell our 6ft plus centre forward lump to stand in front of him on thepitch so that he can’t get any distance with his throws.

Well blow me Saturday finally saw our beloved City do exactly that, only guess who had the job of trying to prevent Delap’s misiles? Yes that’s right, 5ft something SWP, who stood about 5 yards inside the pitch. Why couldn’t it have been Adey or that useless lump RSC who seems to me to be overweight as well as a waste of time.

Hopefully over the next two games Mancini might get it right and show the league how to combat something that anybody who’s played football will realise is a good alternative to employing somebody who is as yet a nameless expert in this field.

My mate now reckons Pulis will throw (sorry about the pun) the cup tie because he knows that Stoke won’t be able to beat Chelsea, but will try their utmost to take the 3 points off us in Tuesday’s league game.

Let’s hope I can tell my mate what to do with his beloved S.C.

Come on you Blues!

Dave Bradburn <dabradburn2003(at)>


I have nothing to say!

Come on you Blues, we deserve better!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Dog food!

Stoke: hungry as dogs.
City: all over the place, like a dog’s breakfast. Mind you, a very expensive dog’s breakfast.

Steve Higginbottom <Steve.Higginbottom(at)>


Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

Not a good word for our Manager, now it’s a long time since you could actually find an MCIVTA with so many negative comments about a manager. Even some of better players are coming in for some stick, so just what’s going wrong? Is it another manager who does not know what he’s doing or is it a rebellion by the players who don’t want him to stay? Remember it’s players who get managers sacked and for what it’s worth here is my opinion.

Mancini is just keeping the seat warm for someone the owners have either signed or are hoping to sign, and what’s in it for Mancini? Either a good pay off and or a job for life; after all he is an ex-footballer so he will be used to getting an easy few quid.

Sam Duxbury <sammy459(at)>


I recently submitted my feelings following the abject display we put on against Portsmouth and then thought that maybe I had been a bit hard?

However, we have since had to put up with the Bolton, Hull and Stoke games. I now feel that I really do like watching paint dry.

I am also pleased to read in Monday’s McV that I am not the only one who is being put off by the style of play. When we appointed Mancini, I said to my son that I hoped we would not become typical of Italian football: boring sideways passing matches with 1-0 scorelines, enough to drive anyone to sleep. Well I’m afraid it seems to be coming to pass that we are becoming such a team. I don’t mind admitting that having seen the good times at Maine Road (gives a clue as to age!) and some other occasional times of Kinkladze, Benarbia, Goater, etc., I have to say that I would much rather be entertained than be falling asleep watching the aforementioned paint drying. Give me a good old 4-3 entertaining romp than a 1-0 “we kept another clean sheet, aren’t we wonderful” type of match.

When you think about it, all this effort to get into the top 4, which I would of course love to see, then you end up in the “Champions’ League”. Now be honest, how many entertaining games does that throw onto our screens?

I’m not saying that I would not like to be there, but does it really set the pulse racing?

Anyway, I also saw Phil’s comments about people moaning that Carlos had gone off to Argentina. I had not seen any of this, but cannot believe that anyone would complain, assuming they knew why he had gone. Well said Phil and I back you up 100%.

And Stevie Superman, I have been saying all year that he has been played out of position. I didn’t know there were rumours that he may leave. What sort of management can have the outstanding player of the year last season, then not use him in the same way the next?

Chris Ryder <chrisryder62(at)>


Here are a couple of reasons why I think Garry Cook is no good for City.

His constant banging on about how City are going to be the best in the world/take over the world to anyone that will listen. It’s fine to have that ambition but can he please stop telling the media as it just adds extra pressure and sets us up for a fall as everyone knows that this will take time. How about we win something first then start talking? Like as Mancini has said it is possible to be in the top 5, 6, 7, 8 in the world with a lot of hard work. This is a much more sensible and realistic statement.

Having attended the OSC’s annual bash and listened to Garry Cook inducting Uwe Rösler into the Man City Hall of fame only for his slip of the tongue to actually induct him into the Manchester United Hall of fame, my reaction was to shake my head and think you stupid “****”. A slip of the tongue can be forgiven but his reaction after this can’t. He tried to ignore the situation by moving on and pretending nothing happened, even though the crowd had started booing and jeering. This to me only made the situation worse, he had to say something, anything. Make a joke about it, apologise, anything, just say something. About an hour later I was up getting my photo with Uwe while Garry was sitting beside him. A few less than impressed supporters were giving him a piece of their mind and were eventually removed. This could have been avoided if he had have made reference to his gaffe. As another man beside me was telling him, we’ve all “******” up just get up and apologise. If he lets this situation develop into a disaster can we really trust him to be chief executive with the job of addressing the world media?

Mark Hughes’ sacking. I don’t know his rôle in this and it’s probably unfair of me to point the finger at him when there were others involved. However, the timing and handling of Mark Hughes’ sacking leads me to believe Cook was involved in how we went about it. Whether you agree with the sacking or not (I personally believe a decision should have been made in the summer), the way we went about it did not look good on City. Mark Hughes took the team into the Sunderland game when the media pretty much knew that he was going to be sacked straight away after. This kind of situation affects the players’ performances as well as reflecting very bad on City as a club. As chief executive along with his colleagues, surely the timing could have been organised better to so that the sacking and the unveiling of a new manager does not happen on a match day? Surely this is not too much to ask?

But my biggest gripe with him is Dunnie being sold to Villa. When Dunnie left for Villa the only negative things that he said to the press were about Garry Cook. We all know Dunnie well, he doesn’t speak out of turn and doesn’t have hidden agendas and is not the type of character to give out and moan to press and the fact that Cook was the only one mentioned confirms his rôle in this. From what I can gather Dunnie had said a number of times that he wanted to stay and fight for his place. Mark Hughes seemed to be happy with that and he only left after he found out that Cook was offering him around to other clubs behind his back. This was a disgraceful way to treat our longest serving player in what would have been his testimonial season. As it turned Dunnie would have been first choice CB a couple of weeks into the season.

If you add to this other things that he has said like AC Milan being a bunch of amateurs, Dunnie’s name not rolling off the tongue in place like China (what the hell does that matter, we want a decent defence – we had Sun Jihai but that didn’t make him a good defender) and comparing City to Coca Cola: you just want to cringe every time.

To summarise, I think Cook is more like a politician or CEO of a multi-national than a CEO of a football club. His behaviour and demeanour would much better be suited at the Swamp where he would be in good company with everyone over there from the manager right down to their horrible fans.

David Moran <david.moran(at)>


Prices for the Fulham game have just been announced. The Cottagers want the princely sum of £49 a ticket. Yet again another club want to rip off City fans. Bolton and Wigan have tried this before but a boycott by City fans saw their prices drop for the following season.

I suggest we boycott Fulham and send out the message that we will not be ripped off. We may be the richest club in the land but we’re not the richest fans.

Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


Glyn, you’ve just yourself in the foot. You’re not happy with the way City are playing… why, because we have overpaid, egotistical superstars who think they can swan about the park and collect their wages… no heart, no fight (bar a couple.

The difference between Chelsea and us is perfectly plain for any idiot to see. They bought overpaid, egotistical superstars but they hate losing, and to me that’s heart and soul! Pride. Sure, they slip up from time to time and have an ‘off day at the office’, but that’s a rarity rather than an everyday occurrence, where it’s the opposite at City.

Maybe Mark Hughes wasn’t that bad after all? Always knew the first three or four games under Mancini everyone would pull their weight, now it’s back to the norm. Maybe Hughes deserved more credit than he got. The old saying that ‘we think the grass is always greener on the other side of the hill’ comes to mind. The trouble is, we still have to mow the grass. Take from that what you like!

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


The next issue of King Of The Kippax fanzine, number 177, the “Everybody Hurts… Sometimes” Feb/March special, should be on sale tomorrow in the Urbis and Aleef outlets in Manchester and at the home game vs. Stoke on Saturday.

It includes the usual reviews and previews of games, derby semi-finals, Colin Savage’s peek at United’s finances and the situation at Notts County, an Everton vs. City story, 1989/90 season reflection, plus news, views, comment and opinion from all the Blue regulars/nutters.

It’s A4 48 pages, priced at £2.50, and is also available from 25, Holdenbrook Close, Leigh, Lancs, for £3.20, cheques to King Of the Kippax.

Sue Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


Stupidly forgot to get my ticket so if anyone knows of a spare would very much appreciate it if you could let me know.

Struan Malcolm <sm(at)>


17 February 2010

Wigan Athletic        0 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      18,089

16 February 2010

Stoke City            1 - 1  Manchester City       26,778

League table to 17 February 2010 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         26 12  1  0 39  8  6  3  4 22 14 18  4  4  61  22  39  58
 2 Manchester Utd  26 11  1  1 36  8  7  2  4 26 13 18  3  5  62  21  41  57
 3 Arsenal         26 10  1  2 36 14  6  3  4 25 16 16  4  6  61  30  31  52
 4 Manchester City 25  9  3  0 30 14  3  6  4 18 19 12  9  4  48  33  15  45
 5 Liverpool       26  9  2  2 31 11  4  3  6 12 16 13  5  8  43  27  16  44
 6 Tottenham H.    26  8  2  3 28  8  4  5  4 17 18 12  7  7  45  26  19  43
 7 Aston Villa     25  6  5  2 18  8  5  4  3 14 11 11  9  5  32  19  13  42
 8 Birmingham City 25  6  5  2 12  8  4  2  6 12 18 10  7  8  24  26  -2  37
 9 Everton         25  6  5  2 20 16  3  3  6 15 20  9  8  8  35  36  -1  35
10 Fulham          26  8  2  3 19  8  1  5  7 11 20  9  7 10  30  28   2  34
11 Stoke City      25  6  4  3 19 14  1  6  5  5 14  7 10  8  24  28  -4  31
12 Blackburn R.    26  7  4  2 18 12  1  3  9  8 31  8  7 11  26  43 -17  31
13 Sunderland      25  5  5  2 19 14  1  3  9 13 28  6  8 11  32  42 -10  26
14 Wigan Athletic  25  3  5  4 11 15  3  2  8 15 34  6  7 12  26  49 -23  25
15 West Ham United 25  4  4  4 20 20  1  5  7 12 20  5  9 11  32  40  -8  24
16 Wolves          25  4  3  6 10 17  2  3  7 11 25  6  6 13  21  42 -21  24
17 Hull City       26  5  5  3 18 20  0  4  9  7 31  5  9 12  25  51 -26  24
18 Bolton Wndrs    25  3  5  5 17 23  2  3  7 12 23  5  8 12  29  46 -17  23
19 Burnley         25  6  4  2 17 12  0  1 12  8 38  6  5 14  25  50 -25  23
20 Portsmouth      25  3  2  7 15 18  1  2 10  5 24  4  4 17  20  42 -22  16

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1609