Newsletter #1621

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Thanks to that man Tevez, taking his goal tally to 25 this season, City managed to turn around Monday night’s performance into a 3-0 win, match report from Phil and views here tonight on one or two other players’ inputs and abilities.

We’ve news from Alex on the recent games, behind the scene news and FA charges, together with the latest transfer rumours.

Next Game: Burnley, away, 5.30pm Saturday 3 April 2010

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

In Our Hands: Following last week’s disappointing 2-0 loss at the hands of Everton, City boss Roberto Mancini has told fans to keep the faith, at least whilst his side’s destiny is still in their own hands. Despite losing the game in hand that had been held as the club’s ‘trump card’ all season, Mancini believes that very little has changed. If City win each of their final seven games this season, including a home game against Tottenham Hotspur, Mancini’s men will qualify for Europe’s elite competition and the boss expects his players to play as if each of these final games was a Champions’ League final: “I just want the players to treat every game like it’s a Champions League final and always give 200% for the team; this is the only way we can improve and get to where we want to be. In many ways, our destiny is still in our own hands.” Nigel de Jong agrees with his manager and is well aware of the importance attached to the visit of Spurs in May: “We are behind Tottenham but we have got them at home as well. We have got everything in our own hands. Every game for us is a final now. Everybody wants to beat City.”

Charge! City’s Italian chief does, however, face a possible touchline ban following a charge of improper conduct by the FA. The former Inter Milan boss allowed Everton’s time-wasting tactics to get the better of him in last Wednesday’s league tie when he barged into David Moyes in order to retrieve the ball. Both were sent to the stands by referee Peter Walton yet David Moyes has only received a letter by the FA warning him of his responsibilities and will face no further action. Mancini, however, may now face a spell in the stands, or at best a large fine. The boss has until April 6th to respond to the charge and an FA commission will hear the charge either on or before April 19th. Vincent Kompany understands that what his manager did was rash but believes that Mancini’s actions were motivated by passion and not by any malicious intent: “Everyone at this club is passionate and wants to bring success so there will be times when emotion takes over. The boss showed how much he cares last night and I don’t see a problem with what he did. We were losing and he wanted to get the ball back in play, that was all there was to it. I think too much has been made of it already.”

City ‘Til He Dies: City’s long serving club secretary, Bernard Halford, has been named only the second Life President in the club’s history. Halford, better known as ‘Mr Manchester City’, has worked for the club for thirty-eight years and has developed a number of club initiatives such as the ‘Junior Blues’ and ‘Live4City’. The dedicated Blue was elected into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2006 and has worked tirelessly in his capacity at the club to liaise with both the FA and fans alike. Garry Cook revealed what a pleasure it was to confer the title of Life President onto Bernard: “His contribution to this club has been immeasurable. He is respected and adored by all the staff and we are delighted to make him a Life President, only the second in our history. Behind the scenes he is one of the most respected faces in English football recognised wherever he goes at all levels of the game. It has been our honour and a great source of pride for us as a football club to have Bernard as our secretary for more than three decades. He has brought wonderful commitment to his work and this is our way of saying a thank-you to him for all his tireless effort. He has kept this club on track at times and will always be remembered as someone who championed City and football all over the world. He will make a wonderful Life President and is a more than worthy recipient of the title.”

Squad News

Vote Now: Carlos Tevez may be set to finish the season in style, having been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award. The striker’s hat-trick against Wigan boosted the Argentine’s tally to twenty-five goals for the season and the tricky forward has been hugely influential for the Blues throughout the campaign. Tevez is in fact no stranger to recognition this season. Not only was he December’s Barclay’s Player of the Month, but he is also a double recipient of the Etihad Player of the Month award this season. Voting closed at midnight last night and the Blues will be hoping that the City faithful came out in force to support their new hero. Carlos explained after the Wigan game that he was chuffed with his own personal goal tally but asserted that the form of the club is much more important: “I am very happy with 25 goals I have scored, but I want to get more. But more important is to achieve fourth place for the team. I have a great feeling for the supporters of City and I want to win for them. The best way to thank them for their support is by scoring goals for them.”

Captain Kolo Backs Coach: Ever since joining the club on a six month contract, the future of Roberto Mancini has always been in question. Many considered him to be a stop-gap between Hughes and the eventual successor and though City continue to challenge for fourth place this season, various sections of the press expect the former Inter manager to be out of a job come the summer. Captain Kolo Toure however believes that this would be a bad idea and has urged the board for some stability when it comes to management: “It’s really difficult to beat us and what he brings is that every time we play, we feel really strong. He’s bringing experience and he knows what he wants to do for this club and he needs time. You can’t keep changing managers. Every time the players have to adapt to a new strategy and the thinking of the new manager, which is really difficult and takes time. With Roberto we’re starting to know what he really wants and he’s working well.” Again rumours have resurfaced of a possible move to CoMS for Kolo’s brother, Yaya, and City’s skipper has admitted that it is a genuine possibility: “I think Yaya would come. Why not? He doesn’t play enough in Barcelona and he is a very good player. Boss Pep Guardiola doesn’t play him enough because Barcelona don’t need a player with Yaya’s qualities that much. I’d tell him to come to Man City and help this team be one of the world’s best. Then he’d be a hero here.”

Committed to the Cause: 19-year-old Dedryck Boyata has signed a new long term contract with the club. The Belgian youngster, who found himself in the City XI for both Carling semi-finals against Manchester United in February, is hotly tipped by Mancini to become one of the Premier League’s best defenders and the club has tied him down until 2014. The City boss was clearly delighted to see Boyata commit to the club and explained that the opportunities are there for any of the Academy boys, despite the club’s enormous wealth: “I am delighted that Dedryck has signed. I brought him into the side in some high pressure contests earlier in the season and he showed he could handle the situation with calmness. I think he impressed a lot of people with his maturity, especially in the games against United. He is a young man learning how to be the best player he possibly can be and will continue to improve. I am a manager that puts a lot of faith in bringing players through the Academy system and have been pleased to give several City players their chance to play in the first team. They train often with us at Carrington so they are used to being around the senior players and it is not so much of a shock if I call them into the team. Hopefully, Dedryck will be the first of a several of our young players to win longer contracts with this club.”

Boyata himself is simply amazed by his rise since the arrival of Mancini and revealed, upon signing his new deal, that he intends to give 100% in order to be a success at CoMS: “I still can’t believe how fast things have moved for me in the past few months. I knew there were discussions going on about me but I stayed completely out of it and just focused on my game. I’m thrilled at thought of being here another four years and it proves that our Academy is as productive as ever. City are one of the best clubs in Europe and I couldn’t be happier.”

Boyata wasn’t the only youngster to commit to the club this week as James Poole also agreed new terms. The FA Youth Cup winner signed a one year extension to his existing deal and has subsequently moved on loan to League Two side Bury in order to gain some first team experience: “Signing the contract extension is a big relief for me, as I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, so now I’m floating on air. I’m really pleased to be staying because all my family are City fans as well, and they are really proud of me. Both my grandmothers died recently and if I score for Bury I’m going to dedicate it to them. Playing in League Two should give me some great experience, and I’d love to help Bury get promoted.”

Far from Perfect: Monday’s 3-0 thrashing of Wigan has helped the Blues bounce back from last week’s loss against Everton, though Vincent Kompany has claimed that losing their first home game of the season wasn’t that much of a set-back in the first place. Although end-of-season form is going to be crucial in the chase for fourth, City’s 23-year-old defender expects Liverpool, Spurs and Villa to all drop points before the finish and asserts that the Everton game should merely be considered a ‘blip’: “It would be nice to remain unbeaten until the end of the season and it’s something we’re definitely capable of doing. The teams around us will almost certainly drop points and the key is that we win the games we are supposed to. I think it will be one of the most exciting ends to a Premier League season ever because it’s not just the battle for fourth that will probably go to the wire – the title race and relegation places won’t probably be decided until the last day, too. The team who finishes fourth will be the team that deserves it because over the 38 games, they will be there on merit hopefully, that will be us.”

Moving Forward: Kompany may believe that dropping points is part of the game but Micah Richards has his sights set on a perfect end to the season. Roberto Mancini has done much to tighten up City’s leaky defence since replacing former boss Mark Hughes and England’s under 21 skipper thinks City’s forwards will build on the foundations that the club’s back-line are laying. Richards understands why Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy continue to win the plaudits and yet City’s versatile defender has praised Emmanuel Adebayor’s ability to add an extra dimension to the Blues’ XI. He also believes that City are favourites to finish fourth given the amount of experience that can be found in the club’s changing room: “Emmanuel Adebayor is one of the best strikers in the league. He has had an up and down season and had to endure that horrific attack at the Cup of Nations in Africa but I am sure he will be fully tuned up for the last eight games. Ade was on fire before the latest suspension and hopefully he will be in the same form when he comes back into the side. Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy have been exceptional all season especially when it comes to goals but Ade will give the manager another option and offers a different dimension. If he finishes the season like he started it then we will really benefit. If we will all our games then we will be in the top four. That is a big task considering some of the games we have left but it is not impossible. That is what we have got to aim for. It is all about confidence and momentum at this stage of the season. We have plenty of experienced heads in the dressing room players who have won titles, Champions’ Leagues and a World Cup. We have players who know what it is like to perform under severe pressure and on the biggest domestic and international stages so we know we can cope mentally.”

All Good Things Come to an End: Pablo Zabaleta has received a two match ban for picking up a tenth booking of the season against Wigan on Monday. The Argentine right back saw yellow for a foul on Hugo Rodellega and is now set to miss the club’s trip to Burnley and the visit of Birmingham City. The two match suspension ends a run of appearances for Zabaleta that saw him start in every one Roberto Mancini’s fixtures this season – the only player to do so.

The Rumour Mill

Barça Bid and Boj: City are reportedly preparing a summer bid for Barcelona playmaker Aliaksandr Hleb. The Belarusian international, formerly of Arsenal, is currently on loan at German side Stuttgart having fallen down the pecking order at the Camp Nou and is expected to leave Spain in the summer. £12 million is the fee being banded around the newspapers though the Blues may face stiff competition from Aston Villa and Italian side Juventus.

More disappointingly, however, City striker Valeri Bojinov has revealed he has no plans to return to Eastlands. The Bulgarian powerhouse is currently plying his trade on loan at Serie A side Parma following two seasons of horrendous injuries at City. Given City’s potentially huge transfer kitty and current attacking options, Boj’ believes he will find himself out of favour at Eastlands and instead would prefer to stay in Italy: “I’m happy in Parma and I hope to stay here. I hope that Manchester City do not ask for an insane figure for me. I hope they understand my needs. They have many great strikers like Bellamy, Tevez, Adebayor and Santa Cruz. I have one more year left on my City contract, but the team that believed in me after so long out was Parma. I feel good here at this club and in this city.”

Post-Match Reaction

Clash of the Robertos: Sky Sports News… interview coming up… live with Roberto Ma… That’s right, the disappointment of realising that there isn’t an interview coming live from Eastlands any time soon but instead a press conference with Wigan boss Roberto Martinez. The spotlight was, however, on Mancini during Monday night’s visit of the boys from the DW Stadium. With talk of a possible approach for Jose Mourinho circulating in the press all week, Mancini’s furture at the club may have rested on not only his side’s result but also performance. On the other hand, Martinez’s side have been inconsistent, if nothing else, this season and with wins against Chelsea and Liverpool being followed up by losses against Portsmouth and Wolves, this was never going to be a simple three points for the Citizens.

The game got off to a slow tempo start and this continued throughout the first forty-five minutes. One shining light of the first half came when Chris Kirkland’s replacement, Vladimir Stojkovic, made the save of the night to deny Carlos Tevez’s overhead before Wigan made a hash of a couple of decent opportunities. The game finally sparked into life deep into the second half when Gary Caldwell was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Tevez. City’s top scorer then proceeded to score a twelve minute hat-trick in order to win his side all three points.

Mancini acknowledged that his side once again failed to get out of the blocks fast enough but was pleased with the way they eventually took control: “It was a tough game because Wigan played well. But I’m happy, and I’m very happy for Carlos because he played so well. I hope he can continue like this for the rest of the season. We were not good in the first half and it was impossible for us to be like that again after the break, and Craig did well after coming on as a substitute. I’m pleased with the clean sheet, and I am happy for Shay: it’s important to protect your ‘keeper! If we want to finish fourth, we really have to pay attention in defence but we also need a lot of goals. I hope Carlos and Emmanuel can continue to work together like they did tonight. It was hard for Emmanuel, he has been away for a month and he needs to improve, but he did well tonight.”

City’s hat-trick hero was evidently chuffed with his own and his side’s performance: “I play for the shirt. I am very happy with the win and very happy for the team. It was important we won and important to score the goals for the fans because I play for the team. All the goals I have got are for the fans and the team. It feels great to be here and get all this support when I am on the pitch.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Sven Goran Elephant: Former City and England boss Sven Goran Eriksson will take charge of the Ivory Coast this summer’s World Cup. Following the sacking of Vahid Halihodzic, ‘The Elephants’ considered a wide range of names to take up the post, with both Guus Hiddink and Mark Hughes short listed. Much is expected of an Ivorian side that includes names such as Didier Drogba, Kolo Toure and Salomon Kalou and though they only reached the Quarter Finals in this year’s African Cup of Nations, the appointment of Sven will have renewed hopes that The Coast will be able to progress to the latter stages of the elite competition. The Ivorians will meet Brazil, Portugal and North Korea in this year’s group of death but City skipper Kolo Toure believes Sven is the man to take his country forward: “I’m very excited about it. I’ve spoken to a few people at the club who remember him from his time here and I’ve heard lots of good things about him. He is clearly a top manager, and he did well with England in his time at City. I’ve never met him, but I am really looking forward to working with him. It’s a big challenge for him. The team needs a bit of confidence, but we have some very good players and we just need to get a bit of belief in ourselves back. We needed somebody with experience with the World Cup coming up, and now we really have one, someone who has done so much in football down the years. He is one of the world’s top managers, and with us not having much time to the World Cup we need to work with him when we can quickly and intelligently.”

Meanwhile, Sven’s agent, Athole Still, believes that City made a big mistake by sacking the Swede back in 2008: “If Sven was still at Manchester City I believe that Manchester would be doing even better than they are doing now. As far as I’m concerned Manchester City made a massive mistake in sacking him. It wasn’t Manchester, it was a person called Dr Shinawatra. I hope very much he is back in the Premier League and if he comes back he will do an extremely good job like he did at Manchester City until he was outrageously sacked.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)mcivta.city-fan.org>

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’: MCFC 3 WAFC 0

Carlos Tevez bagged a late 13 minute hat trick to win a game that was in danger of running away from Manchester City. Indeed it was a crucial three points on a largely frustrating match that threatened to derail City’s challenge for the last Champions’ League spot, and it could be said that the margin of victory against a spirited Wigan side flattered us somewhat.

For a long time victory looked beyond this City side, especially during a poor first half performance when City lacked creativity and movement in midfield. Vieira (in for the rested Barry in this game) is clearly a shadow of his former self, and de Jong’s strengths lie in winning the ball and passing it simply to more creative players. When the two central midfield players are more defensive players, the wide men need to provide the forward impetus, but unfortunately SWP continued to look out of touch and Johnson took a while to get into the game. We didn’t get the ball to our wide men enough during the first half.

City fashioned a chance early on: a combination of Wigan goalkeeper Stojkovic and Bramble thwarting Adebayor’s goal-bound effort after SWP’s cross, but it was to prove a fallow first half for the Blues with Wigan posing the greater threat with their pace periodically troubling the City back four: Scharner fired wide when well placed, then the dangerous Rodallega cut inside from the left and his shot was deflected wide by SWP and Given.

Adebayor was looking rusty with some clumsy touches. City’s passing was poor and our movement as a whole was limited before the break. To exacerbate the problem with the ill-directed passing, City players weren’t finding the angles or space to make passes easy. As a result City, were relying on the individual brilliance of Tevez to create and he beat two men down the left but his curling shot was agonisingly wide of the right hand post.

At the other end Scharner had a fine effort well saved by Given and fired over in another dangerous Wigan breakaway. It was a relief to get to the break unscathed, and it was clear that Roberto Mancini was not happy, spending the last five minutes of the break on the touch line giving instructions to Craig Bellamy, who was about to come on.

Given instructions to roam off the left flank, Bellamy’s introduction immediately brought a fresh impetus and upped the tempo for City noticeably. Johnson crossed from the right, Tevez’s shot was saved and Adebayor had the ball in the net but his effort was ruled offside. Back on the right, Johnson had another thrilling run at the Wigan defence, as did Kompany from the back. City certainly played with more purpose than before the break.

Wigan still posed a real threat, though, breaking with power and pace: Rodallega firing just wide with Given beaten, to much relief in the stands. Vieira (who was doing a very good impression of a man running through treacle) was just not offering enough protection to the back four and we looked in danger of losing another home game.

The game started to turn decisively in our favour, though, when Caldwell lunged recklessly at the ball and caught Tevez with his follow through as our striker jumped out of the way. Eastlands held its breath as referee Attwell reached for his red card and off went Caldwell. There was relief in the stands that Tevez was not hurt badly.

Wigan’s ten men weren’t initially bothered by this and twice went very close to breaking the deadlock through Moreno and Rodallega. At the other end Tevez latched onto Vieira’s lobbed through ball but his shot was deflected wide by a Wigan defender. Vieira didn’t endear himself to the crowd when he hit a back pass of a shot after Bellamy played him in. The deadlock was broken in the 71st minute when the veteran Frenchman lobbed a second pass into the box. Stojkovic inexplicably bottled the challenge with Adebayor who stabbed the ball goal wards for Tevez to run it into an empty net. Tevez celebrated by waving his shin pad (bearing the nickname of his daughter and a number 32) in the air. The screens in the stadium panned onto a “Fergie sign him up” banner, for good measure.

City were a team transformed, went for more goals with relish, and they soon added to the lead. Bellamy found Garrido on the corner of the box and his pass was cleverly back-flicked by Kompany to Tevez who finished at the far post. Out came the shin pad again, and Eastlands knew that the match was won.

By then Tevez was on fire and he completed his hat trick in the 84th minute with a clever shimmy and cool finish on the right: his best of the three, and his 25th goal of the season. He jumped over the advertising hoarding and embraced half a dozen celebrating City fans. Predictably he got booked, but some rules are really silly. Why kill the passion of the game? It was a great moment where players and fans celebrated together.

It is very clear that Carlos Tevez is a very special player: perhaps one of the best players ever to wear a sky blue shirt, and it is a privilege to watch him. His energy skill, intelligence and commitment are there for all to see.

He dragged City to another victory here with his exuberance and clinical finishing, on a night when we didn’t dazzle until the last quarter. City must perform better than this at Burnley, who cannot be taken lightly despite their poor relegation form. Hopefully we will see Barry and Bellamy restored to the line up so that we can play at a higher tempo. Richards will come back in for the suspended Zabaleta (his latest booking earned him a 2 match ban). We must also defend better at set pieces: we have a vulnerability after a ball has been cleared as we have a tendency to allow deep-lying opponents too much room to cross or shoot back into the danger area. This could be improved by stationing at least one of our players up field at corners and free kicks to close the space of such opponents, and it would also give us an attacking outlet, not to mention take at least one potential opposition attacker away from our box.

We are now two points behind Tottenham having played the same number of games, and the race is now very much on for that 4th spot. The question is: can City now show the consistency to win that race?

Att: 43,534
Ratings:
Given: Had to make some crucial saves to keep us level. Needs to keep working on that distribution: 7
Zabaleta: A good, intelligent performance against the jet heeled Rodallega: 7
Toure: Some shaky moments against Wigan’s pace: 6
Kompany: Some assertive aerial challenges were won, but his partnership with Toure looks vulnerable to pace. Works better with Lescott: 6
Garrido: We got away with a couple of times when he was caught out of position before the break: his skill helped set up the 2nd goal: 6
SWP: One decent cross aside, looked out of form and out of touch. Another opportunity to impress missed here: 5
Vieira: Looked slow and off the pace for much of the game: his ball helped make the opener, though: 5
de Jong: Had his work cut out, given Vieira’s lack of mobility: 6
Johnson: Looked more comfortable down the right and his talent dazzled on the ball in the second half particularly; worked hard off it too: 7
Adebayor: Rusty and out of touch, but got a crucial touch for the opener: 5
Tevez: City’s talisman took his hat trick brilliantly: where would we be without him? 9
Subs:
Bellamy: His introduction galvanised the team. Another crucial player this season: 7
Sylvinho: Too late to mark: n/a
Onuoha: Too late to mark: n/a

Refwatch: Attwell: Completely out of his depth: 3
Best oppo: Rodallega: Athletic, powerful runner: 7

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

OPINION: WIGAN GAME I

This was a game of two halves; the first half saw City as a sluggish and under pressure team. Wigan were by far the better side in the first forty five minutes.

When manager Mancini left the game to go down the tunnel a couple of minutes before the half time whistle, it said a lot; he was unhappy with his players’ performance – whatever Mancini’s plans for the game were, his players were letting him down.

City did not start playing well until Caldwell was given a red card for a reckless two footed tackle on Tevez. It was Carlos Tevez who brought the team to life with his first of three goals.

Tevez was man of the match, with his non-stop running, and his just reward a hat trick, which he dedicated to his new daughter lopy.

Adam Johnson has been a very good signing by Roberto Mancini, and gave another very good effort. But Vieira is a shadow of his past; he does distribute the ball well but has not got the pace needed for the Premier League.

A win is a win, and although this was not a convincing win, the last twenty minutes of the game proved that City deserved it. City can still win the fourth place spot, it is in City’s own hands by winning all the games including the Spurs game: no one can stop City, sounds easy doesn’t it?

It is going to be tough all the way, and City will have to play more attacking football to win the games, no sitting back, and passing it back and forth across the pitch, City must go forward and with fast, attacking counter attacks.

Come on Mancini and your City!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: WIGAN GAME II

Just watched City’s 3-0 win over Wigan. Epic performance by Tevez. Useless performance by Adebayor.

Big help that Caldwell got sent off but Wigan still had the better chances until Tevez took over. Can’t believe that Adebayor stayed on the pitch. Fell over his own feet on a complete breakaway, continually wandered offside. Has the killer instinct of a beer barrel. And worst of all, totally throws off Tevez. Surely Bellamy is a better striking partner? And then there’s Vieira. Have no idea what he is supposed to be doing!

Against Burnley, get Tevez and Bellamy back together, alternate SWP and Johnson and throw in Roque as an alternative. But please, please, please, bench Adebayor. The geezer is a total muppet.

Burnley next target.

Keith Sharp <keith(at)accessmag.com>

OPINION: WIGAN GAME III

Thank God for a win, an ugly win, but a win nevertheless.

Again, in the first half we looked decidedly average (being polite!) and only a couple of decent Given saves kept Wigan scoreless.

Why or why do coaches feel the need to rotate players? Ade’s been suspended for four weeks and walks back into the side. Love him or hate him, Bellamy is a must start (beggar his knees), we look far more mobile and likely to score with Bellamy and Tevez up front. Johnson vs. SWP, no contest, sorry Shaun, you’re not the player that thrilled us a few years back. Vieira a waste of space and money (would have been far better with a player at the start of his career). Toure is another who should be looking over his shoulder, Lescott seems a better bet with Kompany. Always preferred Garrido over Bridge but that’s just a personal choice, a better all-round player. And then there’s my daughter’s favourite Carlos – worth every cent we paid for him and are paying him, and if you need an example of a very good worth ethic, than look no further than Tevez – far better now playing for City.

Now he could ask for a pay rise Shaun, and get one!

Good to see you back Ernie.

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

OPINION: OUR MIDFIELD ARE RUBBISH

It’s half time in the game versus Wigan, and to say we are playing poorly is a compliment. If Mancini remains as Man City manager for next season, I will be surprised, as he has served up mediocrity and cr*p in equal measure. We all know how poor we were against Everton, and how desperate we are to get that 4th spot place, but that’s it… we are desperate.

In the first half, there have been probably only 5 players who could have walked off with any pride in their performance – Kompany and the 4 forwards; the rest are lucky to be in the team. If we didn’t have Tevez, how would we compete? Vieira has to be the biggest waste of money, a tortoise in a blue shirt. There is absolutely no way he should be in the team ahead of someone like Abdisalam: he cannot tackle, he cannot win the ball in the air, he hardly closes anyone down, he does not appear strong on the ball, and most noticeably he just strolls around the park. If Mancini keeps him on the park for the 2nd half, it’s time to say goodbye to Mancini.

Our 2 full backs are average, nothing more. Garrido is very poor, compare the top 5 or 6 Premier teams’ left backs, would Garrido hold a candle to any of them? We need to purchase Belhadj from Portsmouth, a rampaging left back, similar to Gareth Bale.

As for Zabaleta, I don’t think he knows what his best position is. He is our utility man, nothing more. We have “no” creative midfielder in the team; is there anyone who can do for us what Lampard or Fabregas does for their teams – a creative and goal scoring midfielder. We have all the money you can want, but we have not purchased the players for the positions that we are poor in i.e. full backs and midfield.

After witnessing 45 minutes of cr*p, I cannot see us finishing 4th, 6th at best. I watched Liverpool the other night, they would have murdered us with their quality play.

I want Mancini out… bring in Martin Jol.

Come on you Blues!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)blueyonder.co.uk>

OPINION: MANCINI

A lot of moaning and groaning on MCIVTA about the trainer and the players the results – everything in fact. Mancini has been trainer for a half season and there are enough people who want him out now. We are fifth, not fifth from bottom or in division five, we have a squad that has too many players that are about the same quality and thus a changing selection that is not well balanced.

We have enough strikers and a reasonable defence but the midfield lacks creativity. What we don’t need is a new manager who will bring in another load of players after a short period at the club. Who is going to buy all the players we will have to unload with money in short supply at most clubs? Which world class players are going to come to City when they expect that the man who signed them will be gone in six months? Just because we have money we don’t have to throw it away.

Give Mancini a chance to get rid of the deadwood and add a couple of his own choices and develop his own team. Great clubs are stable and do not go through two to three trainers in a season. I watched all the matches live on television in Holland and the trainer cannot be blamed for the chances that were missed in for example the game against Wigan. Instant success is an illusion and chasing it is the way to create problems that will bring the club back to the lower divisions.

Patience and money will bring success.

Ian Nixon <britnix(at)wxs.nl>

RESULTS

29 March 2010

Manchester City 3 – 0 Wigan Athletic 43,534

League table to 31 March 2010 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  32 14  1  1 44  9  9  2  5 32 16 23  3  6  76  25  51  72
 2 Chelsea         32 14  1  1 52 14  8  4  4 30 15 22  5  5  82  29  53  71
 3 Arsenal         32 13  1  2 43 15  8  4  4 31 19 21  5  6  74  34  40  68
 4 Tottenham H.    31 11  2  3 35 10  6  5  4 22 19 17  7  7  57  29  28  58
 5 Manchester City 31 10  4  1 33 16  5  7  4 25 23 15 11  5  58  39  19  56
 6 Liverpool       32 12  2  2 40 13  4  4  8 13 19 16  6 10  53  32  21  54
 7 Aston Villa     31  7  7  2 26 13  6  5  4 17 19 13 12  6  43  32  11  51
 8 Everton         32  9  5  2 30 18  4  5  7 20 24 13 10  9  50  42   8  49
 9 Birmingham City 32  7  7  2 16 11  5  2  9 17 26 12  9 11  33  37  -4  45
10 Blackburn R.    32  9  5  2 24 14  2  3 11 11 36 11  8 13  35  50 -15  41
11 Stoke City      31  6  5  5 21 19  3  7  5  9 16  9 12 10  30  35  -5  39
12 Fulham          31  9  2  4 22 11  1  6  9 11 25 10  8 13  33  36  -3  38
13 Sunderland      32  7  7  2 27 16  1  4 11 14 34  8 11 13  41  50  -9  35
14 Wolves          32  4  4  8 10 20  4  4  8 18 30  8  8 16  28  50 -22  32
15 Bolton Wndrs    32  5  5  6 22 27  3  3 10 14 33  8  8 16  36  60 -24  32
16 Wigan Athletic  32  5  5  6 14 20  3  2 11 15 42  8  7 17  29  62 -33  31
17 West Ham United 32  5  4  7 25 26  1  5 10 13 29  6  9 17  38  55 -17  27
18 Hull City       31  6  5  4 21 22  0  4 12 10 42  6  9 16  31  64 -33  27
19 Burnley         32  6  5  5 20 18  0  1 15 11 47  6  6 20  31  65 -34  24
20 Portsmouth      32  4  2 10 20 29  2  2 12  8 31  6  4 22  28  60 -32  13

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0910.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[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

http://www.mcivta.com/ 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 www.twitter.com/mcivta to get the latest updates.

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

The official club web site can be found at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/ and the official club Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mcfc. The club also has a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mcfcofficial

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (http://www.mcfcosc.com/); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.mancitycsa.com/) 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 http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/sport/manchester_city/index.shtml.

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at http://mcfc.videoloungetv.com/do/preLogin?clubSiteCode=MCFC&CMP=AFC-003.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/pl.html provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer, http://www.soccertv.com/, and http://www.livesoccertv.com/.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,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 http://www.mcivta.com/players/

[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 http://www.mcfcstats.com/.


DISCLAIMER
The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.


[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1621

2010/04/01

Editor:


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