Newsletter #1632

So, another season over and we finished with a 1-1 draw at West Ham. Ultimately a successful season as we finished 5th, which I think most fans would have happily taken at the start of the season.

Tonight we’ve got opinion on the season, the clear-out, a look at good old ‘Appy ‘Arry’s latest whingeing and the usual requests.

Next Game: TBA


I don’t like Tottenham. Never have. Never will. It’s something about the misplaced arrogance that sticks in the craw amongst other things. I will, though, recognise that they were slightly better than us over a season and last Wednesday night and that they beat us fair and square to fourth spot this season. They are a good team and with players like Gomes, Dawson, King, Modric, Defoe and Crouch they may do well in Europe. Indeed there is no bitterness over that, though there is obvious fresh disappointment.

Putting all that aside, what annoys me is the conduct of their manager Harry Redknapp. In the run up to the City-Tottenham game last week, Redknapp claimed that City had “bullied” him and his club over the signing of Craig Bellamy, alleging that City would outbid him for Wilson Palacios if they did not drop their interest in Bellamy. How can anyone believe a word that man says? Quite rightly, City’s lawyers are examining his comments. Two points make Redknapp’s claim ridiculous. Why would City need to “bully” anyone given the finances at our disposal that would enable us to outbid even a rich club like Tottenham? In any case, surely Bellamy would be more likely to sign for his mentor Mark Hughes than old Rubber Face?

All this nonsense is from a man who has attracted serious investigations into his dealings in the transfer market and tax affairs. In January of this year, following further investigation by Her Majesty’s revenue and Customs as part of a corruption enquiry, Redknapp was charged with two counts of cheating the public revenue. The charge relates to an alleged $295,000 payment to Redknapp from former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric via a Monaco bank account. Of course time will tell whether Redknapp is found guilty.

Whether he goes down or not, anyone who knows me will tell you that there are few people for whom I have less regard than this individual, and that was even before he started trying to paint a picture of “big bad City”. Redknapp strangely enjoys popularity amongst leading journalists and their fawning over ‘Arry is absolutely nauseating. More so when they should be asking searching questions about his dealings. The suspicion is that he gives them a line and his time and it helps keep the wolf away from the door, and so many of the English media fall for this and fail to do their jobs properly. So, for what it is worth, I will ask a few questions. How can he afford such a lavish lifestyle, which sees him live in the very exclusive Sandbanks (dubbed Britain’s Monte Carlo, and the 4th most expensive place to live on the planet)? Is it all from earnings of the salaries from clubs that he has managed? Has Redknapp ever taken a bung? How does he sleep at night having spent lavish amounts of other people’s money, which has contributed to both Portsmouth and Southampton going into administration, not to mention getting relegated at least once? Good old ‘Arry, eh. It takes some doing to be loathed in both Portsmouth and Southampton. He protested that he was doing Portsmouth a favour in buying Nico Kranjcar from them for a cut price £2 million! Good old ‘Arry. He’s a good old boy, ain’t he? Ain’t he?

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


MCFC started the season with a target for a top six finish; we achieved that, but because we were so close to getting a top four finish, it made us feel a little disappointed that we never made it – we all got carried away.

The team got to the second stage of team building; next season stage three – it will be for the top four.

The season was shared by two managers, and both Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini deserve to celebrate a very good season. It has been a very exciting season, the best we have had for many years.

Against Spurs we came close but it just was not enough. Spurs looked like a draw was good enough the way they kicked the ball out of play whenever they got the chance when City attacked.

Kaboul, the right back for Spurs, looked as if he was out to get Bellamy with two bad tackles, the referee giving him a yellow card for the second bad challenge. Huddlestone should have been given a red card for his stamping on our Tiger Nigel de Jong; the referee was at the right place to see it all but Steve Bennett was lenient by just giving a yellow card.

Credit to Steve Bennett who had a good game; pity we didn’t get him to referee the game versus the Rags. Credit also to Harry Redknapp who is so often overlooked as being a good manager; he is a sly old swine.

One tactical move by Roberto Mancini I noticed: he first did it versus Villa, he subbed Adam Johnson with SWeeP. At first SWeeP played on the right, then without too much notice he went over to the left wing. Against Villa SWeeP beat two players, then a smart pass for Bellamy to score a great goal but unfortunately it didn’t work against Spurs; if it works first time then try again – maybe Spurs were ready for it having seen the move on TV?

We must not be sore losers: now congratulate Spurs, they did the double over us so are worthy winners.

Roberto Mancini’s first job was to sort out our defence, by having more players fall back to defend when needed.

I vote for Mancini to continue to be our manager; it will be very interesting what happens in the off season, who comes in, who goes, etc. I shall not name players to go, but in my count at least five, then build up the squad.

Actually, I will name just one player to leave and that is prima donna Stephen Ireland; we should never have voted him player of the year – from that point he went downhill, and his head got big. He refused to play for his country simply because the manager of Ireland cut off his mobile phone and received calls whilst talking to Stephen Ireland (who knows how important the calls were)? He thought he was such a big player he did not like the position the manager of City put him in to play. His heart is not with City so let him go; no longer the “Superman” we called him. I truly wish he had changed his attitude – sad.

As much as I like Shay Given, I do hope that we bring Joe Hart back home, never to let Birmingham have him again.

Thanks to the City owners, to all the staff, coaches, and players for a good season.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Not been ranting on here for a while, but ultimately we can’t be disappointed by not making 4th. This has been year dot for the Blues and so to finish 5th is terrific.

The boss (Scarf-Ace) Mancini has been here from December. ‘arry (I’m going down) Redknapp has been there 3. Leave the concentrators to analyse that.

Keep Mancini, Bellamy, and the non-millionaires. Get rid of Tevez, Ade, Barry, Bridge. Next year we will win the ruddy league.

I on the other hand am considering not renewing my ticket next season. I will always love City and my decision may change consequently, but right now I’ve become more disillusioned with football than ever. No loyalty, no romance, no sentiment = no me… maybe?

Help please.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


I write this as a True Blue whose first City match was age 10 at Maine Road in January 1965 when we lost 2-1 at home to Swindon in the old Division 2. Not a great start but I was hooked and have stayed on the emotional roller coaster ever since, despite living “down South” for over 30 years. I have even turned my son into a True Blue despite the fact all his mates support Chelsea, Arsenal and (of course) Man U even though none of them have ever set foot in Manchester (or in some cases don’t appear to even know where it is!).

My thoughts at the end of this season are more positive than at any time during my 40 year “journey” with City. OK, it was a bitter disappointment to lose to Spurs, along with Stoke they seem to be our bogey team so I was not entirely surprised, but let’s look at the big picture. For the first time in the club’s history we have huge long term financial resources available and owners who seem prepared to take a long term view. Over time, this is bound to turn the club into a world class operator – our owners only took over 2 years ago and already there has been a complete transformation. We have finished in 5th place – when did that last happen? We have some truly world class players – more needed and won’t be so easy this summer now we’re not going to be in the Champions’ League but nonetheless we’re better placed than ever before. We have a world class stadium and infrastructure, which the enormous funds at our disposal will continue to improve – hopefully including increased ground capacity in due course. We have a first class manager who seems to have the confidence of the owners and will, I’m sure, have the ability to build a world class team in his own image. We are seen as a powerful force again, even by our traditional detractors (e.g. “Sir” AF), which cannot be ignored. So let’s be upbeat – I genuinely can’t recall a time over the past 40 years when the long term outlook looked so positive.

Of course some changes need to be made. I would suggest the following for starters:

Some players need to go; they were expensive acquisitions by Hughes who ultimately aren’t able to hack it at the highest level. I would include in this category Bridge (I’ve always thought he’s over rated, borne out in virtually every match this season), Adebayor (has the ability but ultimately no use due to poor attitude and lack of team spirit), Touré (past his best, too erratic) and – controversially no doubt – Bellamy (too much blood and guts, too many strops, too inconsistent and not a team player). Of course Robinho also belongs to this category. Some “old faithfuls” must also go; they have been given every chance to perform but can’t hack it at the highest level and should be moved on. That includes Richards, SWP and, sorry, but it’s true, Ireland. We need to be governed by our heads, not our hearts, if we are to be a truly world class team (think Capello: completely ruthless). Zero tolerance for failure to try and lack of team spirit. Look at Spurs: with far less money they have built a team that punches well above its weight and looks and plays like a united team that really tries hard. The huge wages earned by City players must at the very least guarantee maximum effort at all times, otherwise they must go.

Find some more truly great players: Tevez and Johnson have been great signings and have made a huge difference. We must keep Tevez and find some more great players of his ilk. Ensure we keep Joe Hart long term, a superb young goalkeeper who could be world class. This needs delicate handling but should just about be achievable. Let’s back the manager; he has already shown real potential and quality and could well, with the full backing of the owners and fans alike, turn out to be one of the greatest Premier League managers ever.

So plenty of reasons to be cheerful. I’m sure that over the next 5/10 years we will consistently outperform Man U (their future in the post Ferguson era looks highly uncertain, not to mention their financial problems) – what could be better than that?

Ken Woffenden <kenwoffenden(at)>


So City end up drawing 1-1 at West Ham while Tottenham fall 4-2 to Burnley and we end up 3 points off fourth place with a better goal difference… how cruel is that?

In retrospect, this season wasn’t all bad. We did finish 5th, beat the Premier Champions twice and under Mancini, we are starting to field a consistent team.

Looking ahead to next season, we don’t need to rebuild the squad, just cut adrift the deadwood and bring in a couple of major new signings.

In goal I would like to see both Given and Hart split the schedule if they would both agree to this arrangement. If they don’t, and Given is 100% fit, send Hart back to Birmingham for one more season but insert a call-back clause.

Defence wise, keep Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott and Onuoha plus Boateng (who apparently has already been purchased) plus obtain one tall central defender.

Midfield we keep Barry and de Jong but buy one creative midfielder. On the wings, we have Adam Johnson, we keep SWP and convince Bellamy he would be nuts to join Spurs.

As strikers we have Tevez and Adebayor. Plus we have Weiss, Boyata and Cunningham to develop.

So if we unloaded Richards, Vieira, Robinho, Jo, Toure, Bridge, Santa Cruz, Bojinov, Caceido, Martin Petrov, Stevie Ireland, Michael Johnson, Garrido and Sylvinho, this would give us enough funds to buy Gerrard and Torres, two ideal players for our team moving forward.

Yes, we know City aren’t in the Champions’ League next season… but neither are Liverpool. What we do need is for Cook, Marwood, Mancini and our Abu Dhabi owners to present a case to both players that City are the team moving forward and that they would both be valuable additions. Chelsea have already said they don’t want Torres and I am not sure Barcelona or Real Madrid would want to be financially competitive either. The goal for 10/11 should be the Premier championship and with Gerrard driving our midfield and Torres complementing Tevez and Johnson (with Adebayor as a fourth striker), City would be a force that could take on Chelsea and Arsenal.

Despite this season’s inconsistencies, we are not that far off the top. Let’s add those extra few missing pieces.

Can’t wait for next season.

Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith(at)>


Just to say that City, after two seasons under Sheik Mansour, are now one of the monuments of English Football and as endearing in failure as in success.

Here’s to next season.

Patrick Knowles <pjamk(at)>


My updated and fully revised version of “Joe Mercer, OBE: Football With A Smile” is now available. It came out a few days ago and copies can now be ordered from online retailers (including Amazon in USA and other countries). The book will also be in the City Store in the next few days.

This version includes 16 pages of colour images from Joe’s life, as well as many other different images and text. The cover price is £19.95 and the book contains 304 pages.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank anyone who has bought the book. I am delighted with the way it has turned out.

It is worth recording that my publisher James Ward is a small, family based publisher. Effort goes into the production of each book rather than into marketing and publicity. As a result James Ward tends not to have the profile of larger publishers in terms of media exposure and so on. Therefore, if you enjoy the book then please make sure you tell your friends; write reviews on Amazon and similar sites; spread the word on blogs/message boards and the like… basically any publicity or review you can make does make a difference, and allows James Ward to continue to produce books of this nature. As always thanks to everyone connected with MCIVTA.

2010 is proving to be a very busy year for me. I am currently working on a new book which, if all goes to plan, will be released in October this year. The book is one I am very excited about. It will be called: “The Journey: Rebuilding Manchester City” (ISBN 978-09558127-1-2).

It is too early to outline too much at the moment, but if you are interested become a ‘fan’ of “James Ward Publishing” on Facebook and details will be released over the coming months.

It’s worth adding that James Ward are down to their last 250 copies of “The Big Book Of City”. The chances are these will run out over the next few months.

Anyway, back to Joe Mercer – thanks to anyone who has already bought it – I sincerely hope you enjoy the book as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Gary James <city(at)>


I’m a London based Blue and feature on this World Cup single ‘Oh Happy Days’ by Scott and the Boys.

It’s a fantastically catchy tune, which has so far proved immensely popular. It’s been played at a number of London events including the London Marathon, but we want to get it out there to as many people as possible.

It can be downloaded from iTunes or any digital media from Monday 10th May. Please join us on Facebook or Twitter as well.

With the help of all City fans, we can make this the song of the summer!

Andrew Cleaver <cleaverandrew1(at)>


9 May 2010

Arsenal               4 - 0  Fulham                60,039
Aston Villa           0 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      41,799
Bolton Wanderers      2 - 1  Birmingham City       22,863
Burnley               4 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     21,161
Chelsea               8 - 0  Wigan Athletic        41,383
Everton               1 - 0  Portsmouth            38,730
Hull City             0 - 0  Liverpool             25,030
Manchester United     4 - 0  Stoke City            75,316
West Ham United       1 - 1  Manchester City       34,989
Wolverhampton Wndrs   2 - 1  Sunderland            28,971

Final league table for 2009/2010 season

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         38 17  1  1 68 14 10  4  5 35 18 27  5  6 103  32  71  86
 2 Manchester Utd  38 16  1  2 52 12 11  3  5 34 16 27  4  7  86  28  58  85
 3 Arsenal         38 15  2  2 48 15  8  4  7 35 26 23  6  9  83  41  42  75
 4 Tottenham H.    38 14  2  3 40 12  7  5  7 27 29 21  7 10  67  41  26  70
 5 Manchester City 38 12  4  3 41 20  6  9  4 32 25 18 13  7  73  45  28  67
 6 Aston Villa     38  8  8  3 29 16  9  5  5 23 23 17 13  8  52  39  13  64
 7 Liverpool       38 13  3  3 43 15  5  6  8 18 20 18  9 11  61  35  26  63
 8 Everton         38 11  6  2 35 21  5  7  7 25 28 16 13  9  60  49  11  61
 9 Birmingham City 38  8  9  2 19 13  5  2 12 19 34 13 11 14  38  47  -9  50
10 Blackburn R.    38 10  6  3 28 18  3  5 11 13 37 13 11 14  41  55 -14  50
11 Stoke City      38  7  6  6 24 21  4  8  7 10 27 11 14 13  34  48 -14  47
12 Fulham          38 11  3  5 27 15  1  7 11 12 31 12 10 16  39  46  -7  46
13 Sunderland      38  9  7  3 32 19  2  4 13 16 37 11 11 16  48  56  -8  44
14 Bolton Wndrs    38  6  6  7 26 31  4  3 12 16 36 10  9 19  42  67 -25  39
15 Wolves          38  5  6  8 13 22  4  5 10 19 34  9 11 18  32  56 -24  38
16 Wigan Athletic  38  6  7  6 19 24  3  2 14 18 55  9  9 20  37  79 -42  36
17 West Ham United 38  7  5  7 30 29  1  6 12 17 37  8 11 19  47  66 -19  35
18 Burnley         38  7  5  7 25 30  1  1 17 17 52  8  6 24  42  82 -40  30
19 Hull City       38  6  6  7 22 29  0  6 13 12 46  6 12 20  34  75 -41  30
20 Portsmouth      38  5  3 11 24 32  2  4 13 10 34  7  7 24  34  66 -32  19

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1632