Newsletter #1630

A win over Villa at the weekend sees us still in contention for the fourth spot, and it all comes down to Wednesday night’s game against our old nemesis Spurs.

We’ve a look ahead to that game tonight, tactics in general, Villa and City in the States.

There are also the usual requests, and a Why Blue from Down Under. No results through for this issue: as it’s a Bank Holiday here in the UK, this one is going out early in a bid to get the first barbecue of the season on!

Next Game: Tottenham Hotspur, home, 8pm Wednesday 5th May 2010


Will Barry’s fitness determine the line-up on Wednesday?

With Gareth Barry not sure to be fit for the Spurs match, Roberto has a selection headache and a tactical decision to make.

If Barry is not fit, Mancini must decide whether to repeat the Villa line-up and play the fluid 4-4-2 featuring Tevez and Adebayor up top, or draft in another midfielder in Barry’s position and go back to the more conservative, but safer 4-3-3. The 4-3-3 with Zabaleta in midfield might be an option, but that would call for Richards starting at right back, and Mancini clearly lacks confidence in him.

As good as Vieira was against Villa, there has to be a question mark if he has the legs to do it twice in 5 days. So going for 4-4-2 with Vieira alongside de Jong would be a gamble, especially if there is no cover on the bench. I just pray Barry is fit and Mancini can pick his first-choice formation.

Spurs will be happy with a draw here, so I think we can expect them to play a similar game to their victory over Arsenal, defending deep and narrow, then looking to hit City on the counter-attack. This might convince Mancini to go for 4-4-2 for a couple of reasons: the need for the third defensive midfielder is minimal as Spurs will be sitting deep for most of the match; the 4-4-2 allows the City full backs to stay at home more, leaving less space for Bale and Lennon on the counter-attack.

I think this will be a battle of the right wings. Both sides have solid centre-back pairings protected by deep-lying midfielders so there will be little room to go through the middle. Both right-wingers must fancy their chances of getting at the other’s left back. Bale and Bridge are both far better going forward than they are defending, so Johnson+SWP for City and Bentley+Lennon for Spurs will give them trouble.

Spurs have a goalkeeping scare with Gomes borderline to be fit on Wednesday and Cudicini injured (maybe they can sign Hart on loan…). King is also unlikely to play due to a recurring injury, so there’s more encouragement for Mancini to go for it. I think we’ll see the same line-up as that which started against Villa, unless Barry is fit and takes Vieira’s place.

      Zabaleta Toure Kompany Bridge
       de Jong     Vieira or Barry
  Johnson                     Bellamy

Come on City!

Paul Calder <p.s.calder(at)>


Congratulations to the City players and manager Mancini on a fine win at the weekend.

City attacked more and it paid off, and everyone deserves a pat on the back for the way every player kept focused for the duration of the game.

The game on Wednesday is going to be a classic but will be a much tougher game. Spurs also play some good, attacking football. Playing the game at home against Spurs with the City supporters giving their best support should see City win this very important game.

We do not want a draw; only a win will do. Concentration, commitment, team spirit, 100% from every player; remember the game is not over until the final whistle!

I can’t help but look at young Adam Johnson and think what great value compared with the money spent on Robinho. Robinho is of course still a great player when at his best.

Come on you Blues, beat Spurs!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I’m finding all this a bit rich. Against the Rags if it had all gone to plan, Mancini would have been labelled a genius. Control the first half, keep the tempo down, don’t go for an all-out goal fest then nick 1-0 or maybe 2-0. It was a huge disappointment to lose, but again it shows how far we have come. I agree with the comments on the last MCIVTA; the Rags without Runty are a nothing side. Berbaflop? The Ginger Whinger – decidedly average. We should have beat them, and Mancini had a good (albeit not tremendous to watch) game plan. Likewise against Arsenal. Contain the first half then do them in the 2nd. Tevez didn’t have his best game and we did do enough to win it; Ade transformed the game. We’ve come a long way. Two things my old Blue mate Pete used to say to me back home… “ask me at Christmas” and “the table doesn’t lie”. Fact. The fact that we are not happy about a point away at Arsenal says a lot. I’m with the man. Stick with him. He’ll get it right. All we need is that b****y thing the Yanks out here call “team ego”. The Rags have it in spades. Chelski do on a good day. We need it and you can’t buy it. Mancini can install it. And I believe we will.

Andrew D. Johnson <ADJ9(at)>


I live about 70 miles from the games and have been in contact with a Lisa Becker about ticket prices and what discounts can be got for a group of 15 or more. I’ll advise when I get some more info and let people know.

Philip Telford <telfordpnt(at)>


Further to the query in the last MCIVTA, Nicky Weaver left Charlton last summer and signed a 6 month contract with one of the Dundee clubs (can’t remember which one it was). That expired and he joined Burnley where he is still there and was on the bench when we stuffed them 6-1 the other week.

Phill Gatenby <safestanding(at)>


Can anyone recommend a place to watch the City vs. Spurs game in central Paris next Wednesday?

Michael Donaldson <Michael_donaldson7(at)>


Desperately seeking ticket(s) for West Ham – ideally 2, otherwise 1 very welcome.

Please call / email 0790 873 8897.

Many thanks, Simon Hope <simonjhope(at)>


This is a Blues in Business event in partnership with City in the Community and will take place at CoMS in the 1894 suite on 28th May from midday. The event is to raise funds for the Sierra Leone appeal that the Centenary Supporters’ Association run and which is supported by the club. The price is £26 and includes a glass of wine on arrival, main course, dessert and tea and coffee and the opportunity for some business networking with fellow Blues. Or you can just enjoy the food, drink and company! It also includes the chance to meet and have a question and answer session with the legend that is Tony Book and to have a signed photo with him. And when I say legend I do not use the term lightly as this is the man who not only guided us to our last trophy as manager but also lifted numerous trophies for us in our last glory era as well as building some unbelievably talented youth teams.

And on that note probably the best ever product of the City Youth Academy, Paul Lake, will also be attending and there will be a presentation by City in the Community on their rôle at the club.

To book please visit

As we need to confirm numbers with the club, and pay in advance, we need you to confirm your bookings and pay in advance i.e. no-one can show up on the day without having booked and paid at least 4 days in advance.

David Djordjevic <david.djordjevic(at)>


All through the season I have watched my City at all odd hours on the telly. My Aussie wife keeps saying support somebody else. She doesn’t understand what it takes to be a City supporter. I was at Wembley when we beat Newcastle in the League Cup. I was 16, travelled down from Northampton on the train, without a ticket – being in old Northampton in those days you didn’t have a chance for Cup Final tickets. Anyway, I wasn’t worried if I didn’t get a ticket as it was just great being with all the City fans. It got to about half an hour before kick off and I kept on watching the touts trying to flog tickets and finally, to my surprise, I got a ticket for about a fiver. Well, about 2 months after that I got the chance to touch the Cup. It was brought down to Northampton by Tony Book at our branch meeting and it was a great night. Been here in Queensland Australia now for 30 years and will be getting back for some games in September, hopefully Champions’ League.

City till I die, Steve Gossage <palaceclean(at)>

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Newsletter #1630