Newsletter #1624

Another emphatic win at the weekend against the Blues of Birmingham sees us settle nicely into 4th spot. We’ve a match report and match views tonight, opinion on players old and new and the usual request.

Next Game: Manchester United, home, 12.45pm Saturday 17 April 2010


Manchester City swept away Birmingham with a thrilling display of attacking football that delighted another large Eastlands crowd. Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez with two goals each and Nedum Onuoha were the scorers as City proved too strong for the visitors, and this result leaves the Blues four points clear of Tottenham, having played a game more than them. It has, indeed, been a great week to be a City fan.

Yet the first half hour suggested that it was going to be a difficult afternoon as Birmingham came with the intention of getting everyone behind the ball, only breaking out rarely. There were no shots on target from either team in that opening half hour as City failed to breach McLeish’s initially well-organised defence.

Birmingham have proved tricky opponents for other top sides and City were largely restricted to long range efforts early on. De Jong, who was a last minute replacement for the injured Vieira, skied a shot after good work by Barry and Adebayor. After that, the Togolese striker played in Tevez but his effort was high and wide. Tevez then played in Adebayor, expecting a return cross but Adebayor elected to shoot, finding the side netting. It was getting rather frustrating but City held their nerve, turned up the heat on the unambitious visitors, and this paid dividends. In the 36th minute, and just after Roger Johnson had made a superb last ditch tackle on Adebayor, the Togolese striker spun in the box and Johnson’s challenge brought him down. Referee Dowd pointed to the spot and Tevez duly despatched the penalty to give City the lead, sending Maik Taylor (in for the ineligible Joe Hart) the wrong way.

Three minutes later Tevez scored his 28th goal of the season, when he got the merest touch to Nedum Onuoha’s stooping header from Andrew Johnson’s accurate left wing corner. Eastlands then seemed to sit back and relax, and unfortunately a lapse of concentration on the pitch led to McFadden crossing from the left and Jerome heading in at the far post to bring the Brummies back into the game.

Thankfully City were having none of it, and Barry flighted a long, lofted pass down the inside left channel to the advancing Bellamy who crossed for Adebayor to sweep in and open his account to make it 3-1.

It was exciting football that was played at a high tempo. Bellamy was running Birmingham ragged with some brilliant wing play down the left, and he induced a foul by Cameron Jerome when he cut inside. From Barry’s resultant free kick, Kompany nodded back and Bellamy had a header saved by Taylor who was getting increasingly busy.

After the break, City maintained the pressure: Taylor was forced to save a Bellamy cross, Adebayor fired wide from Johnson’s pass, and Onuoha headed over from Bellamy’s superb free kick when well placed.

Birmingham did have a half chance when Fahey forced a good save from Given with a long range effort, but they were about to collapse under the weight of City’s thrilling four man attack.

Johnson and Bellamy were giving virtuoso displays of wing play and it was exciting to watch them both running at Birmingham full backs as City, sensing that more goals were there to be had, attacked in waves: Tevez’s goal bound free kick was brilliantly saved by Taylor; Johnson fired over after Bellamy’s clever back heel; Taylor parried Tevez’s shot after he skilfully cut inside but Bellamy skied the rebound.

Nedum Onuoha boosted our goal difference further when he made a run infield from right back, and seizing on a rebound from a Birmingham defender, he sped through to score a superb left footed shot beyond Taylor’s despairing left hand dive. It was a finish that was worthy of any top striker. This prompted the home crowd to bellow “Shoot!” every time Onuoha received the ball, anywhere on the pitch!

Wright-Phillips (looking like a “Mini-me” of Adebayor with his red boots) came on for Bellamy, who received a warm round of applause after his wonderful performance down the left wing. Tevez also received a well-deserved ovation as he departed to “Fergie, Fergie sign him up!” How wonderful it is that Ferguson’s loss is our gain!

Adebayor completed the scoring with his 13th goal of the season when he won the race to a long straight pass and swept home a deadly finish past Taylor’s left hand.

It was a well-deserved 5-1 win after a difficult first half hour. City deserve praise for persistence and for keeping going for more goals despite being well clear of Birmingham. It was just the sort of thrilling football that Manchester City fans love to see. The great Bert Trautmann, who was reduced to tears after being rapturously received as guest of honour before the match, must have been delighted.

This was a very good, mature all round team performance and everybody can look back with pride. The team showed character, patience and poise and did not panic in that first half hour. Gareth Barry is worthy of special mention as he and de Jong bossed midfield with great vigour: indeed, it was a complete midfield performance from the England international, who looked like he benefited from his rest. Roberto Mancini also deserves much credit for fielding an attacking team with two exciting wingers. Indeed, who needs Mourinho when we have got a manager as good as Mancini? Our team is playing very well and Mancini can also take plaudits for welding them together into a highly effective unit.

Of course nothing is guaranteed until it is mathematically impossible for Tottenham and Liverpool to catch us, but City are now looking good for that fourth spot. It is ours to lose. We must apply ourselves and play without fear in the remaining fixtures against United, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Tottenham and West Ham. The way our players kept their nerve in this game bodes well for those remaining games.

A banner in the Colin Bell Stand/ North Stand corner proclaimed “1910 Mancunian Purification”. After winning 6-1 against Burnley and 5-1 against Birmingham, it would be nice to repeat our recent free-scoring feats and that unforgettable result back in 1989, but a 1-0 win next week will do to keep us on track. Come on, City!

Att: 45,209
Given: One fumbled cross apart, did what he had to do well 7
Onuoha: A super finish brought a well-deserved goal for the popular defender plus a powerful diving goal bound header set up Tevez. Should have got closer to stop the cross for Birmingham’s goal, but otherwise a good all round full back’s performance 8
Toure: Solid: his partnership with Kompany is developing 7
Kompany: Attacked aerial balls with vigour and solid on the floor 7
Garrido: A good, steady effort even if he might have got closer for their goal: always looking to help the attack 7
Johnson: Tricks and darting runs make him such a joy to watch and his decision making is very good too: he is a World Cup contender now 8
Barry: A top drawer performance in central midfield and what a great pass for the third goal 8
de Jong: Thankfully didn’t pick up a booking that would have induced a ban, but his industry and clean tackling never tested the referee’s patience 7
Bellamy: Like Johnson, such a thrilling sight. Both worked hard in defence too, when needed 8
Tevez: Such a consistently high performer and a tireless worker. A brilliant catalyst for City 8
Adebayor: Looks more and more like a top drawer finisher, and his clever turn led to the penalty 8
Wright-Phillips: Worked hard and his late run nearly set up Adebayor for a hat-trick 6
Santa Cruz: Too late to mark n/a
Cunningham: Too late to mark n/a

Refwatch: Phil Dowd: Got the one big decision right, and Birmingham can have no complaints about the penalty. He needs to be able to do this against the $ky 4 teams too: his failure to send off Vidic for denying a goal scoring opportunity after he’d awarded a penalty in the League Cup Final remains a nasty blot on his career. Referees must apply the rules fairly and even-handedly… always 7
Best Oppo: Taylor: Couldn’t be faulted for any of City’s goals and did well to keep the score down 7

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


It took 37 minutes for the first goal to be scored, then a goal blitz: four goals inside five minutes, three for City and one for Birmingham. Up until the 37th minute Birmingham defended well but it was City who dominated this game, and came out the worthy 5-1 winners.

City have now scored fourteen goals in their last three games; attacking football is paying off. Another brilliant team effort, every player playing for one another, well done!

City must just concentrate on their games, and not be too concerned about other results; keep winning and we will be in Europe.

I predict that if and when City make it into Europe for being fourth in the league, Joe Hart will come back home to MCFC for next season. If City are in Europe we shall need two first class ‘keepers, Mancini to work out a fair rotation system.

Next game is not just about the three points but it is a kind of a revenge game for the cheeky added time on for the Rags at the Swamp.

Come on you Blues! Beat the Rags!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Bert Trautmann, City’s greatest ever goalkeeper, and brave hero of that famous 1956 Cup Final win over Birmingham, was clearly moved by the reception that he received at Eastlands yesterday, and it was good to see him applauded by everyone in the ground, including the Birmingham fans. In a week where Alex Ferguson has been spitting racist comments about “typical Germans”, in contrast it was good to see Bert Trautmann, a figure of reconciliation back at his and our beloved City. I look forward to reading his story, warts and all, in the latest biography about him.

[Even more poignant given it is to be his last planned visit to the UK, Bert is a true gent and there are a couple of good books out there about him, if people are interested I’d recommend try to track down a copy of Steppes to Wembley – Ed]

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I’ve just read an article about Craig Bellamy, who doesn’t think much of footballers in general; the guy never ceases to amaze me. You see this whippet running everywhere on the pitch, mouthing at players, home and visiting, always giving 110% on the park.

Like him or loathe him, he’d be the first name on my team sheet (along with Carlos). I hope that he doesn’t get shifted off to another team any time soon. He seems a contradiction but Craig, keep on doing what you do, City have been better for having you here, and a Champions’ League spot would be good reward for your efforts… don’t change.

On the Birmingham game – gee I hate these early morning kick-offs! At last I think we could be on the way to a Champions’ League spot: played some decent football, held the ball well, attacked with pace and flair and it was nice to see Ade playing with a smile on his face again.

The front four of Ade, Bellamy, Tevez and Johnson continue to impress; nice to see de Jong snapping at ankles again, Kompany is all class with and without the ball, and who needs another striker when we have Nedum! Two cracker goals for the young fellow.

Well do we dare to believe we’ll be playing with the big boys next season? Hope Arsenal give Spurs a hiding next week, and then we can inflict more misery on United.

Oh happy days. Well, my granddaughter needs to be taken to kindie, the best job of the day.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


I take back all I said about Adebayor two posts ago. I must say he was terrific against both Burnley and Birmingham and does seem to be forging a great partnership with Tevez.

Now with Johnson and Bellamy in such deadly form I actually fear for United next Saturday. I can see us ripping them apart.

I just wish Bellamy would stop whinging in the press. He is in the best form of his life, he is loved by the City faithful and, if handled right and given sufficient rest next year, I can see him being a regular first team selection for at least the next two years. Even with new talent coming into the line-up, Bellamy epitomizes what City fans want in a player.

Come on you Blues, let’s keep the momentum rolling. Love to stuff it to United’s Championship hopes on Saturday.

Walking In A City Wonderland, Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith(at)>


I cringe every time I see this word pathetically diluted from the true horror that it represents. Racism remains to me, plain, raw hatred and bigotry about skin colour. It is evil and I despise and detest it. To see it diluted to the ridiculous level that it is now virtually meaningless is very disturbing. Very soon you won’t be able to slate the person in the next street because that will soon come under the ever-expanding misuse of the word.

This came about because “white” people resented that they could not be the victim of racism and therefore that was racist. But where were the oppressive black communities that had the power to oppress these poor, insecure saddos? Simply didn’t exist, and so they turned it into tribalism or parochialism. By this “logic?” it follows that we must never say anything that may upset Sir Baconface because we are from communities with different allegiances and therefore, it must be racist. Whether he is a Scot or a R*d, my comments about him are not and never can be racist!

The vast majority of Germans are white Caucasians, exactly the same race as the great majority of us, so Ferguson is not being racist in his tirade against them (just his normal, awful, whinging obnoxious self). We should not degrade the word racism by applying it to insensitive remarks about each other. Can we all, please recognise racism for the evil that it is and not trivialise it by such bland application?

On to things football. We are looking good for the derby and for fourth. This augers disaster and seems inevitable that Mancini will be sacked (we are City!). Whilst I most certainly would not wish this, if it does happen, I would hate to see us miss out on Martin O’Neill (an ex-Blue to boot). Furthermore, I cannot see why Gerard or Torres will not be with us next season. It all looks distinctly possible, but then, being Blue is more about faith than logic.

Martin Hunt <martinhunt1908(at)>


I’m searching for 2 adult tickets (either together or separate) for the match at West Ham at the end of the season. I’ll pay face value, any booking fee you’ve paid, and can either pay for postage or meet you in London and pay cash. Or my dad can meet you in Manchester and post them on to me.

If you can help, please email me.

Thanks, Harry Stopes


11 April 2010

Wolverhampton Wndrs   0 - 0  Stoke City            28,455
Blackburn Rovers      0 - 0  Manchester United     29,912
Liverpool             0 - 0  Fulham                42,331
Manchester City       5 - 1  Birmingham City       42,331

10 April 2010

Hull City             1 - 4  Burnley               24,369
West Ham United       1 - 0  Sunderland            34,685

League table to 11 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  34 14  1  2 45 11  9  3  5 32 16 23  4  7  77  27  50  73
 3 Arsenal         33 14  1  2 44 15  8  4  4 31 19 22  5  6  75  34  41  71
 4 Manchester City 33 11  4  1 38 17  6  7  4 31 24 17 11  5  69  41  28  62
 5 Tottenham H.    32 11  2  3 35 10  6  5  5 23 22 17  7  8  58  32  26  58
 6 Liverpool       34 12  3  2 40 13  4  5  8 14 20 16  8 10  54  33  21  56
 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 34  7  8  2 17 12  5  2 10 18 31 12 10 12  35  43  -8  46
10 Stoke City      33  7  5  5 23 19  3  8  5  9 16 10 13 10  32  35  -3  43
11 Blackburn R.    34  9  6  2 24 14  2  4 11 11 36 11 10 13  35  50 -15  43
12 Fulham          33 10  2  4 24 12  1  7  9 11 25 11  9 13  35  37  -2  42
13 Sunderland      34  8  7  2 30 17  1  4 12 14 35  9 11 14  44  52  -8  38
14 Wolves          34  4  5  8 10 20  4  4  9 18 31  8  9 17  28  51 -23  33
15 Bolton Wndrs    33  5  5  7 22 28  3  3 10 14 33  8  8 17  36  61 -25  32
16 West Ham United 34  6  4  7 26 26  1  6 10 15 31  7 10 17  41  57 -16  31
17 Wigan Athletic  33  5  5  6 14 20  3  2 12 16 44  8  7 18  30  64 -34  31
18 Burnley         34  6  5  6 21 24  1  1 15 15 48  7  6 21  36  72 -36  27
19 Hull City       33  6  5  5 22 26  0  4 13 10 44  6  9 18  32  70 -38  27
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 #1624