Newsletter #1627

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News tonight from Alex on the derby game, Mancini’s brush with the FA, another potential off-pitch award and player news current, old and new.

We’ve continuing opinion on the derby, a look at the upcoming Arsenal game and the usual requests with far flung Blues viewing.

Next Game: Arsenal, away, 5.30pm Saturday 24th April 2010

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

That’s Our Goal: If the City faithful expected anything from last weekend’s Manchester derby, it was goals. Unfortunately they were to be let down as the Blues were beaten by a single Paul Scholes header. Before this weekend, City had scored fourteen goals in three games and manager Roberto Mancini feels that if his side can return to their free-scoring ways, it could provide the difference between finishing fourth or fifth. Tottenham’s 9-1 thrashing of Wigan had given them the incentive earlier in the season but if Tevez and co. continue their good run of form, it may prove crucial should City and Spurs find themselves on equal points come the end of the campaign: “We know that it is vital we have a good goal difference because that could possibly decide who finishes in fourth place. We have been scoring a few goals in recent weeks, which is good. There is no reason we cannot continue to keep scoring if we play in the manner we have been of late, no matter the opposition.”

Off the Hook: Following the infamous touch-line scrap with Everton manager David Moyes, City boss Roberto Mancini has been handed an official warning by the FA and a £20,000 suspended fine. The Italian had been charged with improper conduct by the country’s football governing body when his attempts to retrieve the ball in the dying minutes of City’s 2-0 loss turned into a stand off between the two coaches. Mancini did apologize straight after the game and Moyes was merely warned for his part in the fracas. The FA released the following statement: “Having accepted the charge and requested a personal hearing an Independent Regulatory Commission ordered that he (Mancini) be warned as to his future conduct and fined the sum of £20,000, which is to be suspended in total until the end of the 2011-12 season.”

Super City Supporting Swindon: Swindon Town Chairman Andrew Fitton has announced an exciting new link between his League One side and Manchester City. Though the Blues are yet to confirm these reports, Swindon have had a fantastic season off the pitch by creating links with Celtic, Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers and see the partnership with City as a major coup. The deal will see young City talent moving to The County Ground in order to gain some first team experience and looks set to be a deal that will work for both clubs. Fitton explained: “Danny (Wilson, Swindon manager) knows Brian Marwood and there were a few contacts we had there (at Eastlands). Mike Summerbee came along and saw me when I was up there and with the links we have, we just need to make sure we are bringing them together in a positive fashion. We have developed some very interesting ideas. All the time things are developing and what I want is for clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool to know they can send a player to Swindon Town and they will do well here. I think there will be some interesting things to come out of our relationship with Manchester City next year.”

And the Winner Is… mcfc.co.uk has been nominated for a Webby. The Webbys, established in 1996, are the most prestigious accolades that those working on Internet sites can be awarded and the club’s official site has been nominated for the People’s Voice Award. The site has beaten off thousands of competitors and will now be voted for by the general public. Voting closes on April 29th and club has been pleading with fans to get online and have their voices heard. More details can be found on the club’s official website and voting can be done at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/webby. The winner will be announced on May 4th and honoured in News York on June 14th. The Webbys’ Executive Director, David-Michel Davies, had a word of praise for the City site: “Nominees like City are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet. It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the nearly 10,000 entries we received this year.”

City are In Fashion: A number of City stars found themselves in unfamiliar territory last week as they swapped the green turf of Eastlands for a fashion cat-walk. Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Javier Garrido were just a selection of the Blues to swap their footy shorts for trendy jeans as City stopper Shay Given and his wife Jane hosted a charity event in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. Lancashire County Cricket Club hosted the night and the fashion show was followed up by a Westlife mini-concert and an auction in which Craig Bellamy shelled out a massive £18,000 for a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Having watched her husband follow his team-mates onto the cat-walk, Jane Given expressed her delight with the outcome of her long anticipated event: “This is the fourth Fashion Kicks we have held – we have been doing it now for six years. This is the first one we have held in Manchester and it has taken a year of planning. A lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into a night like this but it is all worth it to raise the money.”

Squad News

What a Season: Carlos Tevez has made the final four of the PFA Player of the Year shortlist. Competing with Cesc Fabregas, Didier Drogba and bookies’ favourite Wayne Rooney, Tevez will be hard pushed to win the award but after scoring 29 goals in his début season at Eastlands, there’s no reason why the Argentine can’t go all the way. PFA Chief Exec Gordon Taylor explained exactly why Tevez continues to be given the recognition he deserves: “He is such an energy-packed player and you cannot fail to be impressed by the amount of work he puts in, week in, week out. He is the sort of player that is going to be popular with fans of whatever club he plays for. City followers love him, not just for his incredible work-rate but for his goals which look like firing the club into the Champions’ League next season.”

Tevez’s coach believes it will be a close call between his striker and Wayne Rooney but Mancini asserted that these two players have proved this season that they are up there with the very best: “When you pick the top players, you pick (Wayne) Rooney, Messi and Tevez. Messi is the best at the moment, but Carlos and Rooney are very, very close.”

Another in-form City star may has also been selected for an end of season award with Joe Hart nominated for PFA Young Player of the Year. Hart, whose goalkeeping heroics at Birmingham City this season have seen him tipped for the World Cup this summer, will also have to fight it out with Rooney and Fabregas as well Aston Villa’s James Milner. Of Hart Taylor claimed: “Joe’s loan move to Birmingham has proved a good one for both parties. He has benefited from the chance to play regular first-team football, and has not let manager Alex McLeish down.”

City Can Be Four-Midable: The Blues may have lost ground on rivals Tottenham Hotspur last weekend after both results went the way of Harry Redknapp’s men but City defender Nedum Onuoha says the battle for fourth is anything but over. If anyone knows what it means to the Blues to qualify for the Champions’ League this season, it is Manchester born and bred Nedum Onuoha and the Academy graduate admits that a couple of years ago it would never have crossed his mind that he may one day play in Europe’s elite competition alongside the world class talent who currently play for Eastlands. Not only that, but Onuoha believes finishing fourth would be the platform for City to become one of the world’s greatest sides: “It’s fair to say I’ve seen a number of ups and downs over the years and the highest I’ve ever known us to finish in the Premier League is eighth. It would be an amazing feeling to play Champions’ League football next season. In all honesty, it’s not something I thought would ever happen, particularly when you go back four years or so and think of the situation the club was in at the time. It would be fantastic to be competing at the highest level of European competition, but there is still a long way to go before we can start thinking along those lines. We are in a great position and, hopefully, we will end the season in fourth. With the calibre of players we have within our squad, I think we would do well in the Champions’ League and as a club, I believe we are ready for it. All we have to do, as players, is make sure it happens. This is without doubt this is the best team I’ve ever played in. To be where we are in the table and scoring goals in the manner we are, I think it goes without saying that this is the best team we’ve had for a long time.”

World Cup Would Be ‘Magic’: When asked which young Englishman had caught his eye ahead of next month’s World Cup squad selection, England manager Fabio Capello admitted that Adam Johnson was making his seemingly simple task much more difficult. Whilst the first XI may yet to be decided, the England 23 had seemed all but settled a couple of months ago but injuries to David Beckham and Aaron Lennon means there’s certainly room for a winger in Capello’s squad. Adam ‘Magic’ Johnson has been consistently excellent since his £7 million move from Middlesbrough last January and his pace, skill and ball control may add an extra dimension to the Three Lions. Johnson revealed he was very honoured to be mentioned by the England boss: “It’s brilliant to hear comments like that from the England manager and now it’s up to me to keep my head down and keep working hard and see what comes of it. The better I play in the remaining games, the more chance I will have, I suppose. I have to perform for City first and foremost and maybe England will come later. You can’t get any higher than representing your country and just to be named in a squad would be fantastic. I was desperate to come to City because I knew it would help my development. World Cups only come around once every four years and you’ve got to give your all for your club and if you’re good enough, hopefully you will get your opportunity. I feel like I’ve come a long way in a short space of time and things have moved so quickly. Coming here has been a fantastic and the calibre of players I’m playing alongside has given me a lot of confidence.”

Mancini acknowledged the difficulty of his compatriot’s decision but believes Johnson’s versatility may earn him a seat on the flight to South Africa: “Capello likes Adam, we know that. But Capello must decide between certain players, and it is very difficult. He has important players, and players with more experience than Adam. I don’t know what he will decide. I think that Capello is a top manager and he knows very well what Adam can do, as well as the other players he has to pick from. It’s not my decision whether he goes to the World Cup. But Adam can play right or left – the right side for him now is normal! He must still improve and keep thinking when he is playing, and he knows this. Adam is already a good player and he is also young. If he wants to improve, then he must keep working very hard. But he is a future England player for sure.”

Living the Dream: Despite only signing for City in 2007, Javier Garrido has fast become one of the club’s longest serving players. In his three years at City, the Spanish defender has had three managers, two owners and has found himself in, out and then in the club’s plans again. Now, playing for a manager who has great ambitions for the club, Garrido plans to firmly establish himself in what could be the most successful City team ever: “It’s true there have been many changes since I arrived in 2007, but that’s how football is. The club wants to grow and the progress made has been amazing, but hopefully this is just the beginning of a long, happy journey for everyone. I’m very content here at City and living in England. When I first arrived I couldn’t speak a word of English so I had to learn pretty quickly. Now I’m happy because I’ve learned a new language and have many English friends outside of football. It’s been a great experience for me so far and it’s seems odd that I’m now one of the longest-serving members of the squad – but that’s something I’m also pleased about.”

Whilst Garrido is completely focused on the challenges that lie ahead at club level, the 25-year-old left back still hasn’t given up the dream of playing for European Champions Spain: “When I was playing regularly before Wayne Bridge arrived, there was talk in the Spanish press about there being a possibility of a call-up for me because there weren’t too many left-backs around. It would be great if I was called up by the national team some day, but they would probably only consider me if I was playing on a weekly basis. I would obviously be very proud to play for Spain and there is plenty of time for that dream to come true.”

Bulgarian Express Halted: Martin Petrov has ruled himself out of the rest of the season as his recurring knee injury continues to cause him problems. The 31-year-old had hoped to play some part in the end of this season’s campaign having spent eight weeks on the sidelines but has now revealed that his campaign is over: “My season is over. I wanted to play in several matches at the end of the championship but the doctors said I should take a rest for three more weeks. I’m very disappointed.”

Slovak’ Searching for Starts: City’s Slovakian starlet Vladimir Weiss has spoken out of the frustration he has felt since his move to The Reebok Stadium. The 20-year-old Academy graduate has been tipped for great success ever since making his début for City and the move to Bolton was intended to give the youngster a taste of Premier League action. Unfortunately Bolton boss Owen Coyle hasn’t featured Weiss as a first XI fixture and Weiss admits he has been let down by the whole experience. The Slovakian proved his worth in Wanderers’ 2-1 win over Stoke City at the weekend, when he came off the bench with twenty minutes to go, but Weiss wants to play first team football and has can’t wait to return to CoMS: “I came here hoping to play a lot, but it hasn’t really happened, and I have been feeling really frustrated. I haven’t been playing much so it was nice to come on and do something positive. It’s really hard when you come on near the end, especially if you are losing, so I’m happy that I came on and we turned the game around. I’m hoping that, with three games to play, I’ll finally get to start after this. Looking ahead to the World Cup, I want to play as much as possible. I don’t really know what will happen next season, but City want me back and I love playing for them so I think I’ll be going back.”

Despite rarely playing the City loanee, Owen Coyle would like Weiss to join Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere in returning to the Lancashire club next season: “I would love to keep them because they know how I want to go about it. When the season finishes I’ll speak to their respective clubs. I accept that Man City won’t be as pleased with Vlad’s time here as Arsenal will be with Jack’s, because Jack has had more opportunities. Vlad is confident. He wants to play, he knows he can play and my job is to make sure that he feels a big part of it. It’s not just about the 11; it’s about the whole group, that’s where your strength is. I keep him involved and he knows, given the opportunity, I’ll have him out there playing. Who’s to say he won’t be starting next week?”

True Faith: 18-year-old City striker Alex Nimely is the latest young talent off the Academy conveyor belt and the Liberian youngster has praised the courage of manager Roberto Mancini in involving so many untested youngsters in City’s most competitive season of recent years. For the last decade, City have relied heavily on the abilities of their youngsters to keep them in the Premier League but the first worry when Sheikh Mansour bought the club was that the Blues may lose their true roots. Nimely believes that Mancini’s faith in City’s youngsters have in fact had the opposite effect and revitalized the Academy into believing anyone can make it into the club’s first XI: “It’s unbelievable that, at such a crucial time of the season and considering what is at stake for the club and our hopes of getting to where we want to be, the manager still has faith to play untried youngsters. He has shown great belief in so many of us and he is willing to give everyone at the club a chance if he thinks they are good enough and will work hard for him – that’s all you can ask for as a player. I believe if we can finish fourth, there will probably be even more chances for the younger players next season, too.”

Of his début, at Burnley’s Turf Moor two weeks ago, Nimely admitted that he was relieved to get on the pitch having watched the rain fall by the bucket load: “Shaun Wright-Phillips was sat next to me and he said he reckoned the referee was going to call the game off at any second. I told him not to say that because this was my chance to make my début. I was praying that the ref let it continue because I desperately wanted to play. Thankfully, he did and everything turned out well, even if I was considering putting my water-wings on before I came on! I was a little nervous, but there wasn’t too much pressure because we were already 6-1 ahead. When I went on, Emmanuel Adebayor said I should just play my normal game, and that’s what I did. It was a dream come true.”

Gunnar Keep Hoping: One other youngster hoping to make his mark at City is Faro goalkeeper, Gunnar Nielsen. Nielsen, who joined City from Blackburn when Mark Hughes was still at the club, is currently way down the pecking order at City behind Given, Taylor and Hart but following an injury to Taylor, has found himself on the City substitute bench for the club’s last three games. Having tasted what it is to be a part of the City match day squad, the 23-year-old is hopeful of becoming a regular fixture in the City line-up and has revealed he is prepared to step up to the first team should Shay Given pick up a knock: “It doesn’t take much for Shay to pick up a knock during a game and then suddenly you’re in the middle of everything so you’ve got to be ready. Being on the bench for the Premier League games against Burnley, Birmingham and United was fantastic and a great experience for me and obviously, it gives you a taste of the first-team that you don’t want to give up easily. You have to be focused and be mentally strong because it’s probably quite easy to just sit on the bench, watch the game and think you’re not going to play any part. You have to be ready before and during the game because as I say, you could be needed at any point.”

Of the rumours that Joe Hart could soon return to the City fold, Nielsen said: “It’s not really for me to say what is best for Joe to do, but I’ve been really pleased to see him do so well this season and I’m always pleased when young ‘keepers do well in the Premier League. Of course it will be hard for him if he comes back to City next season and sits on the bench for most of the year, particularly when he’s already proved himself at Birmingham, but that’s up to the club and Joe to decide.”

The Rumour Mill

City Trail Benfica Boys: Oscar Cardozo and Angel Di Maria are top of Manchester City’s wish list this summer, according to media reports this week. Both players have been in top form during this year’s Portuguese league campaign and have both been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent weeks but could cost City up to £60 million if a joint deal were to be completed. Whilst City supposedly hope to replace out-of-favour Roque Santa Cruz with his Paraguay team-mate Cardozo, Real Madrid target Di Maria, could be the perfect replacement for Shaun Wright Phillips if the England winger rejects the club’s latest £80,000 a week offer. City Technical Director Mike Rigg revealed the club’s interest in the South American duo: “Di Maria and Cardozo are two excellent players, very strong in their respective positions, and hence highly-rated in the international market. It is logical, there is no need to hide, that a club like Manchester City have to be attentive to players with such potential, who catch the interest of several clubs worldwide. I observe many players and I am well documented on these and also other athletes who play in Portugal, but I acknowledge that Di Maria and Cardozo are two fantastic players.”

Cardozo’s agent has refused to rule out a move for his client this summer: “Oscar will not close the door on anyone for next season. Let’s see if someone makes an offer this summer – if it suited Benfica then we would study it. The boy is happy at the club but it is normal to want to improve as a player. There is some interest from teams regarding Cardozo and where Benfica stand but no firm offers have been made yet. If an offer meets Benfica’s requirements a sale is possible.”

Media are Villains: Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has moved swiftly to deny any rumours that England’s James Milner is set for a £24 million move to Manchester City this summer and has accused the media of attempting to cause mischief. With reported ‘in-fighting’ currently going on at Villa and rumours that O’Neill himself may soon be on his way out of Villa Park, it had looked the perfect time for City to swoop for the versatile midfielder but O’Neill has claimed such reports are false: “It doesn’t do anyone any favours particularly because the player has had a fantastic time and is enjoying his football immensely here. James is still under contract with us and it’s a case of dampening fires that weren’t there in the first place. We want the best players to stay here at Aston Villa so we can keep the momentum going. It has got ridiculous now and I can categorically say that I have not heard anything from Manchester City. I spoke to my chief executive late yesterday evening and he never mentioned it so I assume they have not been in touch with him either. You almost get the impression that stories are put in there to kind of upset you at this stage of the season.”

Elsewhere… Udinese midfielder Gokhan Inler is another top target for City’s Italian coach as Mancini scouts his country of origin for some midfield strength. The 25-year-old midfielder has also caught the eye of Chelsea and Inter Milan in recent weeks and City would have to part with €12 million in order to beat off the competition.

Joe Hart was linked with a £9 million move to Arsenal as The Gunners’ goalkeeping crisis continues. Reserve ‘keeper Lukasz Fabianski fumbled to put Wigan back in the game in Arsenal’s 3-2 loss at the DW Stadium last week and Arsene Wenger is apparently scouring the world for a goalie to replace the inconsistent Manuel Almunia as the club’s number 1.

Finally, in a transfer that would rock world football, Carlos Tevez is reportedly a £40 million target for Real Madrid this summer. The Blues’ top scorer has proved himself to be one of the world’s best this season and having had their interest in Wayne Rooney swiftly dismissed, the Spanish Giants may look to his former team-mate when the transfer window opens in July.

Post-Match Reaction

Derby Day Devastation: It’s not a feeling you ever really get used to. A week of anticipation, excitement, expectancy even and it all comes crashing down within ninety minutes. For a third time this season, as City seemed set to earn at least a draw against arch rivals Manchester United, the Blues suffered from a final minute lapse and conceded with only seconds left on the clock. Just as Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney had done earlier in the season, Paul Scholes earned his side the bragging rights in the final seconds and maybe much before as the title race and chase for fourth take another twist. In truth, the match itself was nothing short of dire. Maybe a little too much had been expected of what Alex Ferguson dubbed “the most important derby in my time as United manager” but a lack of flair, chances and passion made the contest an impressive defensive display and nothing else. Yet the Blues tripped up in this department as Paul Scholes headed in, unmarked to send the travelling support into raptures.

The City chief was evidently devastated with the result: “Football is very cruel sometimes. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose in the last minute. But we never win in the last minute! I hope next time it can happen for us, that we win the game like that when we don’t deserve to win the game. We have improved a lot from the last derby but in the last two games against them we didn’t deserve to lose. They score a goal always in the last second. Now we are disappointed and I am angry, because I know football very well and sometimes you don’t deserve to lose. Tomorrow I hope that will pass, and we will start over again. If you don’t play well and you lose the game, that’s one thing. But when you play as well as the other team and have chances, and lose in the last seconds, you are very, very unlucky.”

When the anger had passed, Mancini later promised fans that the club would be playing Champions’ League football next season: “I am sorry for the supporters over this, but at the end of the season I think we will have a good gift for them – because I think we will get fourth position. Yes, it is damaging. But I still think that we will get fourth position because we have four games and the crucial game will probably be against Tottenham here. We will keep trying – we have a good position and we now meet Arsenal, Tottenham and Aston Villa. I think that we have a good chance. I still believe we will get fourth place.”

City’s man-of-the-match, Nigel de Jong has pledged to fight tooth and nail for that fourth spot in order to make up for the immense disappointment of last weekend: “When you lose a big derby to a goal in the last 20 seconds, everybody is devastated in the dressing room. We can be angry or disappointed, but now we have to focus again. It wasn’t a good day for us. Of course, we kept believing that we could win, we had our chances. United played it very well and had more possession, but we had a couple of chances. The belief is always there that we can score against them – we’ve proved that already this season in the first three games. But if you don’t score you’re vulnerable at the other end. We’ll keep giving 200 per cent but we have to learn from that. We’ve a lot of young guys, but we do need to remind ourselves about these last-minute strikes.”

The returning Wayne Bridge echoed the sentiments of City’s Dutch midfielder: “Losing like we did was agonising especially as we didn’t deserve to be beaten like that. I thought we deserved more than we got, even more than the draw that we nearly had. They have done it to us before and it has happened again. We just can’t afford to switch off like we did for the last ten seconds or so. We created a few chances, I had one myself late on, but I didn’t really have the energy to put my foot through it and score. It was a weak effort. Losing was a real kick in the teeth but the prize is still there. The momentum is perhaps with Spurs but at the same time we know that fourth place is still in our hands. If anything, losing like we did has just made us even more determined, that was the mood in the dressing room afterwards. We will be working even harder to make sure that we are in the top four come the end of the season.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Dan’s the Man: Ex-City right back Danny Mills has been doing his bit for charity this week as the 32-year-old took part in a fund-raising marathon in aid of the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus – a condition his son died from in 2002. Mills added a twist to events by completing the whole marathon in a wheelchair in order to raise awareness of the condition and the former England defender, who will always be remembered at City for that fantastic strike against Everton, completed the marathon in an incredible 2 hours and 43 minutes but admitted that it was much more difficult than his time suggests: “It took me a long while to get out of the chair afterwards, but it was a great day and a great event. Having the crowd there really spurred me on because there were some really tough hills. I averaged 10 miles an hour over the course but at some points I was down to about three. I don’t know whether I’ll do another one, possibly, but I’ll be driving back home tonight and I’ll be thinking about what the next challenge might be.”

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

OPINION: LAST LOST DERBY

In the last edition, Andrew Armstrong asked for opinions. I’m not sure whether that was about his expressed opinions or about another doleful derby display. If the former, then I am not sure that height in the middle is crucial. SWP should have been on from the start and maybe Ireland too. Academy lads with a real sense of pride and always up for a derby battle. They know what is required and they invariably rise to a derby.

Quite agree that taking de Jong off was absurd, but even more absurd was signing Vieira, let alone putting him on the pitch. The mighty, majestic, awesome Vieira is long gone and it was indeed embarrassing to watch his efforts last Saturday. I think that mistake cost us the game and (probably) Mancini his job (though I am definitely not advocating that).

We have beaten Arsenal with considerable style twice this year, so we (being City) are all but guaranteed to blow it this time. Our impregnable fortress is leaking points, so losing to Spurs and or Villa should not be a major shock. Even West Ham are likely to beat us if the points are crucial to either side.

After the way we have consistently bowed to United, why on earth do we even wish to play in the Chimps’ League? We can’t even stay consistent in the Premier League. Playing extra games in Europe would only weaken our domestic campaigns further. Maybe we should actually win something before extending ourselves too far?

Whatever, it will be a roller coaster next year, which is why we are forever Blue.

Martin Hunt <martinhunt1908(at)o2.co.uk>

OPINION: OUR MIDFIELD ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH

After witnessing yesterday’s highlights, I can honestly say we were very unfortunate to lose, especially so dramatically in the last few seconds. I left it overnight to write this opinion as I was gutted to lose for the 3rd time in the last few minutes. When I reflected on the match, I had to consider 2 things: one, we were on a very good run and scoring lots of goals, and two, ManU were coming off a bad couple of matches and not playing great, so this was a perfect time for us to capitalise… or so we thought!

In all honesty, we did not deserve to win, and as much as we hate ManU, they created more chances than us and bossed the midfield for long periods… Scholes ran the show! What did Mancini do to stop Scholes’ influence? Nothing! We did not start well, and our central midfielders are not attacking players, so we get overrun when faced by better opposition. We need to be able to keep the ball better than we did; look at the way Arsenal and Barcelona keep possession, whilst still probing. How Mancini thought Vieira was going to influence things, just astounded me! In games like these derby matches, we need to do everything “high tempo”, we should get players pressing the opposition, giving them very little time on the ball, but no, we revert to the “Italian” way, play safe and get men behind the ball. All this does is to invite the opposition on to us… I hate this “international manner” of playing football.

Look back to how Barcelona played in that first 20 minutes against Arsenal at the Emirates, they did not allow Arsenal any time on the ball, and with a little luck and better finishing, they could have been 4-0 up and seen out the game. I never see us pressing the opposition! What’s the point of double training and getting the players so fit?

To make matters worse, I watched the Spurs versus Chelsea match, hoping Chelsea would win, but again I have to admit that Spurs deserved to win and could and should have scored at least 5 goals. Gareth Bale was just outstanding, whilst Modric, was brilliant in midfield (we need a player like him buzzing in the midfield; I wonder if SWP could do that rôle for us?). I was glad Terry finally got his comeuppance; he has got away with so much, over the last few games, that’s karma for you!

I can honestly say as much as I pray we get 4th, the possibility is that we might not even get 6th… we need to be far more positive and defend a lot better than we did in the last minute!

Come on you Blues!

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

OPINION: 3 AMIGOS

So we have fiends re-united at the Emirates with the possibility of tres amigos taking the field against old colleagues.

With two defeats on the spin against Spurs (yeah, thanks lads) and then Wigan they will be absolutely mad for it. Add in the tension that Adebayor will be playing there will be a bit more than the odd tea cup spluttering in North London.

Now, since then of course, he has seen two close friends die, one in his arms, a volley of bullets ringing around his ears another colleague facing life saving surgery in a Jo’berg Hospital and of course a stand off with the local militia in Angola (think). The governing body of the ACN (or was it FIFA) decided in all their magnanimity, concern and sympathy that the best course of action was to ban Togo from the next cup for disobeying travel advisory plans. Well done lads you really know how to connect with people.

So, back to Saturday teatime. I am sure a few cockneys flicking the bird or the V’s and making references to his father’s alleged profession of cleaning elephants and his mother’s part time fictitious occupation as a lady of the night, sadly despicable song that it is, one would hope that the abuse will pale into insignificance as to what he has been through and keep in mind the eulogy of his deceased Togolese colleagues.

Play up Ade! Let’s have the team spirit like we did at Chelsea when Wayne Bridge was the target, time for a return to the team huddle during the inevitable cat calls at the team announcements.

Let’s register our 1st ever victory against Arsenal at the Emirates (might even be our 1st in the Premier League) and hope with the bit between their teeth that Man Utd do the honours against Spurs.

Well Baldrick, this plot has more twists and turns than a particularly twisty and turny corkscrew.

Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)hotmail.com>

REQUEST: BLUES VIEWING IN CAPETOWN

I’m currently stuck in Cape Town. Not that I’m complaining but in case I’m still here for the Arsenal game are there any “City bars” here?

Watching the derby in my hotel room with a Sunderland fan was a miserable experience.

Phil Clare <Phil.clare(at)admin.ox.ac.uk>

REQUEST: BLUES VIEWING IN CAIRO

I had the perfect weekend lined up, only for it to be spoilt by a volcano (ironic because I’m a geologist) and then events on the pitch.

I had tickets for James at the Royal Albert Hall last Friday night, train tickets to Manchester on Saturday morning, tickets for the derby and then a slap-up dinner lined up with the family for my mother’s birthday on the Sunday. Then the Icelandic volcano erupts and there is no way to get from Vancouver to the UK at very short notice.

The match result was the cr@p-flavoured icing on the cake. Never mind, it’s history, and the bad memory will be lessened with victory at the Emirates this Saturday. My attendance on Saturday has been spoiled by a business trip but thankfully, at this stage, I’m good for the crucial Villa and Spurs games.

On Saturday I’ll spend most of the day in Cairo and am wondering if there are any Blues in the city, or if anyone knows of a pub/hotel bar to watch live Premier League football. I have a few hours to kill between flights.

Great news too about the US tour. I’ve made my NYC hotel booking already and hopefully local Blues arrange a meeting place in Manhattan for a few pre- and post-match beers. It would be wonderful to gloat to Spurs fans in NYC about the Champions’ League spot.

Thanks.

Neil Adshead <neil.adshead(at)gmail.com>

REQUEST: WEST HAM TICKET

I don’t suppose anyone has a spare ticket for West Ham?

I managed to get a ticket through the London Blues. Unfortunately my mate couldn’t get one, despite being a season ticket holder, as he didn’t get to quite enough games, mainly due to living in Edinburgh.

Anyway, please let me know if you can help.

Thanks.

Pat Moore <citypat(at)hotmail.com>

REQUEST: REDDISH BLUES

The next meeting of the Reddish branch of the Centenary Supporters’ Associationis on Wednesday 28th April, 7.30pm (doors 7.00 pm) at Reddish Working Men’s Club,Greg Street, Stockport.

Our confirmed guests are Garry Cook, Steve Redmond and Paul Lake.

The meeting is a fund raising night for Sierra Leone and if anyone has any old football kit, boots etc. that they no longer want, please bring them with you on the night.

As always everyone is welcome and admission is by voluntary donation.

Howard Burr – Secretary, Reddish CSA <reddishblues(at)btinternet.com>

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 #1627

2010/04/22

Editor:


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