Newsletter #1623

No news summary tonight due to Alex being on holiday, but we have opinion on results elsewhere this week and what this means for City, the fight for fourth spot, Burnley, TV pundits and the usual requests. We also have a sponsored article link from a City fan looking at Mancini’s prospective buys.

Next Game: Birmingham City, home, 4pm Sunday 11 April 2010


Well it’s been some week hasn’t? A fantastic 6-1 win at Burnley that showed just how thrilling our team can be – all that on a day when United lost at home to Chelski. A definite case of ‘I never felt more like singing the Blues…’

There has also been a veritable feast of footy during the week in the Chimps’ league. Ok, I try not to think about the Rags too much but hey, what rich entertainment that was on Wednesday night. We only turned over at half time (I don’t watch when I think the filth can win, except for when we are playing them, and in any case I’d booked the TV on Tuesday to watch Barça and in particular the brilliant Messi, so Wednesday night was going to be us sitting down to watch NCIS, House, which is fine, or heaven forbid, Australian Masterchef). Suddenly I became more interested when the score was 3-1! It was a case of, I smell the blood of an arrogant man! And how the World’s Biggest Cheats (TM) paid for having a team with average cloggers like Fletcher and the mediocre Carrick, not to mention a clearly crocked Shrek (they must think the world of Berbaflop!). Anyway, well done to Bryan Munich; what a great volleyed goal by Robben that was. Laugh? I almost cried. Is he worth considering as a potential target to supplement Tevez, Adebayor, Bellamy and Johnson? As for the Rags, we know that they can’t win with class, and they showed again that they can’t lose with any either. Then they wonder why so many fans of other clubs take delight in their failure. They just don’t get it.

So that’s twenty odd thousand flight tickets from Heathrow, Gatwick and ‘London Luton’ (‘London Luton’!) on 22nd May to be cancelled! Lou Macari’s chippy will miss out on a lucrative night’s business, and that’s a few less nasty looking red shirts sold. Shame.

There is a more serious point, though. Why is it OK for Ferguson to make racist comments about ‘typical Germans’? These would be the ‘typical Germans’ he says were trying to get Rafael booked (he was going to be booked anyway for his cynical foul). Those comments were not only racist but rather hypocritical too. What do Mr Personality Giggs and Ferdinand do when a decision goes against them or when a United player has been fouled? They do exactly what Ferguson accused the ‘typical Germans’ of doing. Remember that dustbin full of Rag players, led by a Keane (complete with popping vein) followed at least one Chuckle Brother and a few other Rag players chasing Andy D’Urso around Owed Trafford after he’d dared to award Middlesbrough a penalty?

Anyway, I wonder what Messrs Ribery, van Bommel and Olic think about being labelled ‘typical Germans’?

If UEFA won’t punish Ferguson then our FA should be disciplining Ferguson for his racist comments, but I won’t hold my breath. We know how disciplinary commissions only mete out punishment when it suits them, which is usually when they know they can get away with it, but has any other man brought football more into disrepute than Alex Ferguson?

Still, we can all take consolation that our club isn’t £700 million in debt, and that unlike the Rags, a bright future is ahead of us. It has been good this week to be asked about season cards in the Club’s survey of season ticket holders. It is nice to know that our views are valued by the club. On the pitch we just have to beat Birmingham on Sunday, and I don’t doubt that Roberto Mancini will have drilled his game plan into the players against tough opponents. More of the same from the Burnley game would most certainly do!

Right I’m off to have a Weissbier…

Prost! Bis spater…

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Watching City vs. Burnley on TV I was amused to see Ade (on scoring his 1st goal) stand to attention and salute Bellamy. Then when Bellamy scored, Ade went down on one knee and simulated giving Bellamy a ‘shoe shine’. It was very entertaining, but I would love to know what it means.

Can anyone enlighten me please?

City forever, Ron Frieze – Australia <rfrieze(at)>


What is interesting about people trying to project the run in for 4th spot is that no one I have seen has factored in the FA Cup or the Europa League. A dream Cup Final would be Aston Villa versus Tottenham with Liverpool qualifying for the Europa Final.

Surely the chance to win a Cup Final would act as a detriment to Tottenham, Aston Villa or Liverpool’s league planning?

And whilst we are at it, should United and Arsenal progress in the European Cup, you can imagine that they would be conflicted in their league plans. Arsenal are already half crocked and United are juggling dynamite if they risk Rooney against Munich.

There is a lot going for us. Just need to beat Birmingham and West Ham and see what state the other teams are in when they line up to play us.

City couldn’t possibly stitch this up! Of course we can… but let’s hope anyway. First off, let’s beat Brum with Joe Hart in the stands.

Keith Sharp <keith(at)>


It should not matter to any City supporter what one thinks of the manager, coaches, or any particular player in the team; we have to be 100% behind everyone at MCFC for the remaining six games.

An all out effort must be made by everyone to get the club into Europe for next season.

The remaining fixtures are (H) April 11 Birmingham, (H) April 17 United, (A) April 24 Arsenal, (H) May 1 Villa, (H) May 5 Spurs, (A) May 9 West Ham. Some tough games ahead, and only wins and not draws should be the targets.

I do have the faith if we play fast, attacking football, and with fast counter attacks we are capable of succeeding. It will depend on how Roberto Mancini approaches these games, and with plans to give us victory.

Congratulations to Carlos Tevez on winning the PFA player of the month.

Come on you Blues (stay positive)!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


When I was younger, I used to play a very popular PC football management game with some degree of success and after a few months of playing, to make things a little more interesting, I’d often load up an editor, stick a ridiculously large sum of money into the transfer fund of one of my preferred clubs and then load up the game ready to spend like crazy…

Which is kind of what Roberto Mancini must feel like this coming summer. Regardless of whether Manchester City clinch the final Champions’ League spot or not, the need for Mancini to change what is, in essence, a Mark Hughes squad is clear. The Italian wants to stamp his authority on his new team and the owners are expecting clear evidence of progress next season. This means a Champions’ League spot for certain and possibly a title challenge. For that Mancini is going to need every penny of the millions available to him, but unlike many other managers in that position, Mancini will have that level of funding available.

So who should he buy to take Manchester City onto the same level as Manchester United, Chelsea or even Barcelona?

  1. Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): Given the mess that hasbecome Liverpool’s season, the financial plight of the club and the fact thatCity have the money available to make Liverpool an offer for the pair ofsuperstars that they would find difficult to refuse, then they should do justthat. The question is whether Liverpool’s owners would dare to sell and facethe backlash from irate Reds fans? The truth is that given the club’s precariousfinancial state and lack of investors, they may have little choice and a moveto City would be easier to swallow for Reds fans than seeing either player endup at Chelsea or Manchester United.
  2. Jesus Navas (Sevilla): Shaun Wright Phillips doesn’t seem to haveimpressed Mancini a great deal in his time at the club and Petrov blows too hotand cold for my liking. Navas is a young winger with fantastic crossing abilitythat would certainly be a real supply line for Emmanuel Adebayor.
  3. Simon Kjaer (Palermo): The young Dane may well be one of the most in-demandplayers in the Premier League this summer. A tall, powerful defender whohas been hugely impressive in Italy and Mancini will know that City’s Achillesheel this season has been their defending at times. Kjaer would go a long waytowards addressing that.
  4. Lionel Messi and Dani Albves (Barcelona): Yes, it is cloud cuckoo land andit would require a fee of breathtaking scale and a wage offer that would makethe Sultan of Brunei go weak at the knees, but if you want to be the biggestand best club in the world then you need to attract the biggest and bestplayers and at the moment, there is no better player in world football thanLionel Messi. Barcelona would, most likely, not even consider selling and somefans may argue it is a futile gesture, but that does not mean Manchester Cityshould not try. Right back has also been a problematic area for the club attimes this season and once again, if there is a better right back in worldfootball than Daniel Alves then I’ve yet to see him.

So yes, it is a cloud cuckoo land list of players, especially the first and last selection, but if City are serious about elevating themselves into the upper echelons of English and European football then even given their level of investment in the past, they will need some signings of this calibre in the summer.

Messi, Alves, Gerrard and Torres in particular may be wholly unrealistic targets, but in a world where money talks, Manchester City would be foolish to assume that they can build a team to equal the greats by signing players who have not proven themselves worthy of being in the best sides.

To be the best, you need to sign the best. Mancini will know that and should make no apologies for trying to do so in the summer.

Now I’m off to load up my PC Game with £200 million in the account at Manchester C… A man can dream can’t he?

Ian John, <ian.john(at)>


I watched the Burnley game in the pub with a large degree of amusement as the Man United fans had come in early doors (or were already there) to:

  1. Have a pint with their fellow City / United mates
  2. Drown their sorrows after the lunchtime kick-off where they failed to showsufficient desire to win the league (admittedly they were sans Rooney but Ithought we were the 1 man team)
  3. Vainly hope for a Burnley win and to jump on the media bandwagon hell benton upsetting the City apple cart

Then, chuckle as we watched them file out to the pub next door (which doesn’t have a TV) after 20 minutes. However, the real comical ESPN moment for me was after about 70 minutes.

The set up to the gag was at kick-off when the camera panned to the stand to see a picture of the Scottish national team manager Craig Lavene who (it was announced by the commentator) was there to check up on Scottish born Burnley striker Fletcher. Then, much later when the score got to 1-6 the camera then panned round to see Lavene’s reaction to what in all fairness a well taken strike.

The camera showed an empty seat and the commentator said rather pathetically “Oh I have just been told Craig Lavene left at half time when Burnley were 0-5 down and unfortunately has missed Fletcher’s goal; never mind we’ll send him a tape”. He probably went to the pub with the defender (McDonald) who was subbed at half time.

The next day I had the pleasure of watching Sky’s “Sunday Supplement”, which also amused me. It is filmed in Sky’s studios near Brentford and is made up like a fake kitchen (resplendent with plastic croissants and jugs of un-drunk OJ). The pundits are all London based hacks pretending to have popped round for a spot of brekkie as they began pontificating on the weekend’s sports; they discussed Rooney’s knee injury like they were all Harley Street physicians on a conference at Geneva and then of course they were all invited to twist their knives (butter knives) into City.

Essentially they recycled each other’s bile like a bunch of incestuous mother crows regurgitating the contents of each other’s guts to each other’s mouths; they rehashed all the clichés you hear on every talk show (TV or radio) and re-fashioned the sound bites from loud mouth gits on the phone-ins and websites. A bit like a 3rd year media study undergraduate’s summer term essay, it lacked original thought, little or no research and comprises largely of a cut/paste exercise from other people’s work found online, such is the way with modern journalism and British students these days.

Here is some of the drivel of wisdom that they crowed about City:

  • Good individuals but no real team spirit
  • No improvement for Mancini over Hughes for me quite honestly, too negative
  • It’s their away form that lets them down, that’s for sure
  • They will bottle it and Liverpool will come good and take 4th

I don’t know whether to scream obscenities at the TV just like a homeless wee stenched tramp you see outside charity shops on hearing the news that cider has gone up in the budget or should I just sit and watch and smile at their cheap smugness that the natural order of things will play out with the big 4 maintaining the status quo? You never know what may happen but their stance on things was quite risible.


  • Yes, there are some good individuals but 1.4 points per game under Hughes to2.2 points per game under Mancini is a better than 50% team performanceimprovement
  • The defensive frailties of 2 goals per game being shipped to less than 1 goalper game points to a good defensive team effort; yes, the defensive team has beenshored up
  • Away form will let us down: hmm, Fulham, Chelsea, Burnley and a point atSunderland seem to amount to 10 points from 12 – double the away wins underHughes
  • I agree the Everton game was a disappointment (as was Bolton and Pompey) butbottling it is not right since the sign of a good team is to “bounce back” andwe have done

On one level the Sunday Supplement is quite a good show with seemingly intelligent blokes but then it is difficult to take seriously anyone who has a title of Assistant Sports Editor for the Daily Star (it’s a bit like campaign manager for the Lib Dems). However, the main pundit Patrick Barclay is usually quite on the money (the one that looks like the captain of the Star Ship Enterprise). The trick of course is to get past the idea that this is journalism (which has almost disappeared as an art form in this country) and has been replaced by the agenda of the paymaster.

An example of this the other day when Michael Winner (calm down dear) made a comment about northerners and their food: “Every restaurant in the north of England is awful” etc. droned on the tiresome little oik. Anyway, the media picked up on this and sought to get a comment from Northern TV Chef (Leeds man) Marco Pierre White who doubtlessly would be able to retort in intelligent style to counter this little man’s hackneyed and bilious drivel. The TV presenter said, “We are unable to get a comment from Marco because he works for the same TV company as Michael Winner and therefore found it inappropriate to say anything against a fellow employee.” Marco has just signed a deal with Bernard Matthews and will now promote the nutritional benefits of turkey twizzlers. God I hate TV chefs.

The discussion went on to speculate over Mourinho’s return to the Premier League and was quite interesting in and indeed it was Captain Jean Luc Picard that said, “Mourinho will only comes to the Premier League if he gets £9 million per annum salary after tax (i.e. gross salary of circa £17 million) and a £300 million war chest for transfers/wages.”

Then they drivelled over the runners and riders:

  • Man Utd – too much debt!
  • Chelsea – no, you never go back to an old girlfriend; it would be like putting sourmilk back in the fridge hoping it will freshen it up.
  • Arsenal – can’t see it.
  • Liverpool – poor as a church mouse, need £80 million to get a new ground and £15+ million topay off Rafa (is it Max/Paddy he looks like with the goatee?).

So who does that leave? Harrumph mutter under your breath the only team with that kind of dough is City… He won’t come to City – will he?

All that dough plus the prospect of getting one over old Bacon Face in his own back yard, working again with SWP and of course the chance to get the best out of Robinho. Things that make you go hmmmm… a lot will depend on whether we get the CL spot.

One interesting thought: Birmingham City are dying to ingratiate themselves with us to buy Joe Hart. My feeling is that if we do get the CL spot we will go searching for another world class goalie and Joe Hart will drop to 3rd choice for Man City and we would therefore consider selling him to Alex McLeish. Therefore, will Brum roll over for us (scandal) to help us progress and therefore make it easier for us to sell Big Joe? Which would be a shame IMO.

Enjoy the ride ladies and gentlemen.

Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)>


Can anyone recommend somewhere to watch the derby in Stuttgart please?

Jon Pickstone <jonathan.pickstone(at)>


I have just come across a Dutch City website and for all the Blues living in the Netherlands it may be of interest. It appears to be new as I have not seen it before. Congrats to the people behind it and let’s give it our support.

Bob Price <bob.price(at)>


Following some enquiries and questions I’ve been asked regarding the 5-a-side can I repeat the information with a little more detail:

Date: Saturday 19th June 2010
Start: 10:00am
Finish: 2:00pm
Venue: Platt Lane Complex, Fallowfield
Entrance fee: £35.00 per team (£5.00 per player)
Closing date: Provisionally 1st June 2010 or when I get 24 confirmed teams
Squads: Teams should have 7 players in the squad. Teams are allowed larger squads but only 7 trophies will be presented to the successful teams.
Refreshments: There are no refreshments provided, bring your own.
Confirmation: Confirmation is when I get your payment.
Application forms: There are no application forms, we have never needed them. Your application is confirmed when I receive your payment.
Trophies: Trophies will be presented to the successful teams by Paul Lake.
Format: Should we get 24 teams (and we usually do) they will be split into groups of six teams in four leagues, therefore all teams get a minimum of five games. The winners of each league then go into a knock out competition to decide the winners. Should time allow the top two teams in each league will go into the knock out stage.
Age limit: There is no age limit. There is also no youth competition to run alongside.
Qualification: The 5-a-side is open to any City fans who can knock a team together.
Pitches: All games are played outside on Astroturf.
Flags: All teams and supporter branches are invited to bring along their flags etc. to brighten up and Citify Platt Lane.

This year’s 5-a-side competition is in aid of the Sierra Leone Appeal, which is fully supported by the club. All money raised will go to the Appeal. The club have agreed to match all money raised pound for pound.

Because this is a charitable cause I am looking for referees who will give their services free of charge. To date I have three refs; I need another five. If you are a referee or know a ref who will give their time freely for this very good cause please get in touch with me.

Cheques to be made payable to MCCSA forwarded to me:
Alex Channon
Penalty Spot
11 Thirlmere Avenue
Manchester M27 5XD

All enquiries regarding the 5-a-side should be directed to me at the email below.

May I in advance thank all for supporting the Sierra Leone appeal and I look forward to seeing many of you at Platt Lane on the day.

Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


League table to 07 April 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         33 14  1  1 52 14  9  4  4 32 16 23  5  5  84  30  54  74
 2 Manchester Utd  33 14  1  2 45 11  9  2  5 32 16 23  3  7  77  27  50  72
 3 Arsenal         33 14  1  2 44 15  8  4  4 31 19 22  5  6  75  34  41  71
 4 Manchester City 32 10  4  1 33 16  6  7  4 31 24 16 11  5  64  40  24  59
 5 Tottenham H.    32 11  2  3 35 10  6  5  5 23 22 17  7  8  58  32  26  58
 6 Liverpool       33 12  2  2 40 13  4  5  8 14 20 16  7 10  54  33  21  55
 7 Aston Villa     32  7  7  2 26 13  7  5  4 18 19 14 12  6  44  32  12  54
 8 Everton         33  9  6  2 32 20  4  5  7 20 24 13 11  9  52  44   8  50
 9 Birmingham City 33  7  8  2 17 12  5  2  9 17 26 12 10 11  34  38  -4  46
10 Stoke City      32  7  5  5 23 19  3  7  5  9 16 10 12 10  32  35  -3  42
11 Blackburn R.    33  9  5  2 24 14  2  4 11 11 36 11  9 13  35  50 -15  42
12 Fulham          32 10  2  4 24 12  1  6  9 11 25 11  8 13  35  37  -2  41
13 Sunderland      33  8  7  2 30 17  1  4 11 14 34  9 11 13  44  51  -7  38
14 Wolves          33  4  4  8 10 20  4  4  9 18 31  8  8 17  28  51 -23  32
15 Bolton Wndrs    33  5  5  7 22 28  3  3 10 14 33  8  8 17  36  61 -25  32
16 Wigan Athletic  33  5  5  6 14 20  3  2 12 16 44  8  7 18  30  64 -34  31
17 West Ham United 33  5  4  7 25 26  1  6 10 15 31  6 10 17  40  57 -17  28
18 Hull City       32  6  5  4 21 22  0  4 13 10 44  6  9 17  31  66 -35  27
19 Burnley         33  6  5  6 21 24  0  1 15 11 47  6  6 21  32  71 -39  24
20 Portsmouth      33  4  3 10 20 29  2  2 12  8 31  6  5 22  28  60 -32  14

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1623