Newsletter #1639

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News and opinion tonight on World Cup, International Blues, the potential transfer links over the summer and behind the scene Blues.

Svenn Hanssen is kindly stepping in to edit MCIVTA over the next few issues, so keep your articles coming through to the regular address please.

Next Game: TBA

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

Inside India: City have taken their latest step towards global domination, having signed a deal to set up a brand new academy in India. The club has emphasized that this academy will be one for all and not simply a place for the elite to prosper and the aim will be to incorporate sport as an essential part of the Indian education system. Having already created links in the Far East over in Abu Dhabi, the move to India again signals the Blues’ intention to top the world. Development will start as soon as possible and it is hoped that everything will be in place by the end of 2011. The Club’s Chief Marketing Officer David Pullan, who was in India this week to complete the deal, said: “We are setting up an academy in every sense of the term. Our physical and digital presence will be there all through the year. The entire academy training module followed at Manchester City will be replicated in Lavasa and we are positive of a successful result. The vision is that this will be ‘football for all’, not elite development. The vision is that a football programme eventually forms part of the school and college curriculum. City’s Academy will provide the coaching materials and methods of support. In essence we will train the coaches. We are getting involved where it really matters.”

Squad News

Given a Bit of Luck:Shay Given has revealed that he should be fit toreturn for the start of next season at thelatest. Ireland’s number one found himselfsidelined during the final week of last term dueto a dislocated shoulder that he sufferedagainst Arsenal and there had been fears that hemay not be fit for the start of the 2010/11campaign. Given has appeased such rumoursclaiming that he is recovering well from hissurgery and expects to raring to go by August:“It’s going really well. I’m still working withthe physios and the specialist says that, ifanything, I’m ahead of schedule, so that’s goodnews. I was told it would take three to fourmonths after the op. Three months is towards theend of July so I’m pushing for that if everythinggoes according to plan and there’s no setbacks.Everything’s going well so far and that’s all youcan ask. The physios have been really happy withthe way it’s responding. But I am a quick healerusually. I’ve had operations before at Newcastle,and the physios said I responded quickly. Thatwill stand me in good stead and I’m feelingreally positive. The first Premier League game ismy target and I’ll hopefully get a game in beforethat in pre-season. If all goes well I can be back for the start.”

Following the controversial events of last November when the Irish national side were knocked out of the World Cup play-offs by that Thierry Henry goal, Shay Given was well aware before suffering his injury that he would have a free summer but the 34-year-old admits that he will be spending his summer like every other football fan: “If I said I wasn’t going to be watching I’d be lying, because I’m as much of a football fan as the next man. Once it kicks off I’ll be glued to it, trying to get as many games in as I can. Every fan in the world wants to watch the World Cup. And I’d love to have been there playing, of course. But once it takes off you want to see how all the teams get on and watch the best players in the world.”

Of England’s chances in the tournament, Given asserted: “I’m a neutral in this World Cup; if I knew who was going to win, I’d be down to the bookies and a rich man! But Brazil are never far away in a World Cup, and I know Argentina struggled to qualify but if all those players click, they’ll be a top team this time. Spain are European champions, of course, but if England get the rub of the green then you just don’t know, because they have got some great players in the team.”

Hoping Not to be Left Back: After making a much-deserved début for Ireland last week against England’s World Cup opponents Algeria, City’s Greg Cunningham has his sight firmly set on club success. The 19-year-old left back is one of four Academy graduates under Roberto Mancini’s tenure and is reportedly rated very highly by his Italian boss. Now having made his name known on the international scene, Cunningham hopes to be a part of the City squad that travels to the US this summer in order to prove that he is ready to battle it out with Wayne Bridge and Javier Garrido for a spot in the first XI: “I’m just going to chill out at home with my family for a week then go on holiday and then start thinking about pre-season training. I’d love to be part of the pre-season tour to America. I’ve been out there before with the Academy a couple of years ago when we took part in a tournament and I really enjoyed it out there. It will be a good chance to catch the manager’s eye and great experience. I began this year just wanting to cement my place in the reserves first and foremost, so to be involved with the senior squad regularly, make three first-team appearances during the last few months, win the Manchester Senior Cup and then win my first cap for Ireland is all a bit unbelievable, really. Now I want to build on all those positives and come back sharp and ready to show the manager that I deserve to stay in his plans.”

The Rumour Mill

Summer Spree? As expected, the newspapers are once again full of names being linked with a move to Eastlands this summer and of rumours that the club is planning to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on some of the world’s best players. It’s something the City faithful have got used to since the takeover of Sheikh Mansour and it’s something we probably won’t ever get bored of given that five years ago a summer spree consisted of spending more than £500,000. But club boss Roberto Mancini wants to make it clear that the Blues will not be splashing out as they did last summer. The former Inter Milan coach admits that he has his targets and he knows how much he is willing to spend but he will not be held to ransom by any club for any player: “We know the players who we are interested in. It is a small list of names, because I only want to bring in players who will improve the team. Of course we have various options and it is not easy and it is not always possible to do things quickly. We must be patient, and do the right things at the right time in the market. We know the value of the players we are interested in and will not be forced into paying more than we want to. I keep reading that I am going to sign lots of players in the summer and am also going to sell lots of players. This is not true, and I am surprised because people know that I already have a very strong squad at Manchester City. It is important to remember the squad we have is improving and most of the players have not been here for a long time. City supporters do not need to be worried about us losing our best players.”

Building for the Future: Shay Given has backed his manager to strengthen the club in the way that he sees fit. Given was a part of the multi-million pound splash in 2009 but believes that the club has sufficient talent to succeed now and only requires a few additions. Many Blues had hoped that the club would spend big once again but Given understands why his manager intends to be more conservative with his spending: “I do think we have got a good squad of players now. If players want to join the club they will look around the players we have already got here and see that it is a club really going places, and they will like to join that and help move the club forward again. I think next season we will be stronger and better. I am sure the manager is working hard to bring in some players over the summer. We are a club moving forward, that’s for sure. We have got some great players in the squad and everything is set up for success. Rome wasn’t built in a day but we are building the blocks to be a successful football club and that’s where we want to go. We finished fifth last season, the highest finish ever for the club in the Premier League, so next season we want to step up to the next level.”

Of the rumours that James Milner may be on his way to CoMS, Given stated: “He has had a great season at Aston Villa. He played some fantastic football when I was at Newcastle with him as well. He’s a quality all round player. He has got bags of ability, a great left foot and right foot, so he’s a very good talent. If he comes to the club great, if he doesn’t he has had a great time under Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa.”

Boateng Bound for Blues: German international Jerome Boateng is the first player expected to join the club this summer after a £10.5 million deal was agreed this week. Rumour has it that City have been in talks with Hamburg ever since last February but the versatile midfielder now believes he is definitely on his way and hopes to have a deal tied up before the World Cup begins: “I am going to sign on (for City) before leaving for the World Cup and the deal will be completed. It has been decided that I am moving there. He (Mancini) came with two representatives to Hamburg and we chatted for one or two hours. He convinced me to make the transfer. He believes that I will definitely need a few months to get settled in once in England, but that he sees so much potential in me that he will improve me. Even if many people say that I am going to struggle to make the breakthrough, I am confident that I will. I am not afraid of anybody.”

Maicon the Best of the Transfer Kitty: European Champions’ League winner Maicon is another name hotly tipped to move to the Premier League this summer, though the Brazilian has his sights set elsewhere. The Inter Milan right back had been linked with Chelsea but with his former managers Roberto Mancini and Jose Mourinho now managing money bags City and Real Madrid, the Premier League champions may be priced out of the market. According to his agent, Maicon still has a number of options on the table: “I don’t know if [Inter president Massimo] Moratti and [Real Madrid president Florentino] Perez have talked about Maicon as well. If there was a discussion about him, Moratti will tell me during the coming days. Maicon has a very high value for a defender. I can’t say what the right price for Maicon is. Only Moratti can tell you what he thinks is the right price to sell him to Real [Madrid], Manchester City, Chelsea or Manchester United.”

The player himself though only has eyes for one club: “What I want is to play in Madrid and for me it would be an honour to be there and a great opportunity in my career. With Manchester City I have nothing, I assure you. I’ll say very clearly to avoid misunderstanding: I want to play in Madrid, I do not want to go to Manchester City. In addition, I repeat that I have nothing with the English club.”

Silva Lining: Spanish La Liga side Valencia revealed this week that they have held initial talks with City over the possible £25 million move of David Silva. The Spanish winger is a highly rated young talent with Chelsea, United and Barcelona having all expressed interest in the past but it seems it is only City who have made official contact. Whilst the Blues are hopeful of signing the 24-year-old, it is believed that any deal will not be completed until after the World Cup: “The news is true. City got in touch with us asking for a meeting, but then they informed us that they could not come and that they intend to do so a little further down the line.”

Tale of Two Citys: The agent of new Birmingham City signing Nikola Zigic has claimed that his client held talks with Manchester City officials before joining the Alex McLeish’s side. Milan Calasan was quoted as saying that Zigic had chosen to join Birmingham despite interest from Aston Villa and Manchester City and that Mancini’s side had promised Zigic first team football due to the ‘eventual sale of Emmanuel Adebayor’: “In Switzerland we met with a representative of Manchester City. We wanted to hear his plans before we met with Birmingham. They introduced into the game the eventual sale of (Emmanuel) Adebayor so it was immediately clear that everything was long term, so it was no surprise we automatically withdrew from everything.” Emmanuel Adebayor’s agent responded by claiming that ‘Manu’ had no plans to leave CoMS and the rumours of interest from AC Milan were simply not true: “AC Milan’s interest? I know nothing about that. I have not spoken with Milan or even with Manchester City. Emmanuel unhappy at the City? I have nothing to say about that.” Roberto Mancini dismissed the speculation: “In Emmanuel’s case, he is a top player who can score lots of goals for Manchester City. I know he can improve and I am looking forward to working with him in pre-season. In fact, the club has had no offers from any club for any of our players.”

Shock of the Season: Building on from last week’s transfer speculation that suggested Cardiff City manager Dave Jones was interested in attempting to entice Craig Bellamy away from the Blues, the Welsh striker has stoked the fire, claiming if he is to leave City this season, there is only one place he will end up. Despite having a fantastic season at Eastlands, Bellamy is reportedly unsettled and following rumours linking him with Celtic and Spurs, the former Liverpool striker set the record straight: “There’s more than one or two people run that club [Man City] so if I get the vote of confidence off five or six people then I’ll stay. But if it’s a couple in other people’s favour then it might be a little bit different because I do want to be wanted, like every player does. I’ve never once and I would never once sit back and pick up my money. I just couldn’t do that to myself it would be lying about who I am as a person so I’ll probably look for that next challenge. But I’ll be very shocked if it’s another English club, I’d be very, very shocked. And playing anywhere else in Europe would be too much of a strain on my family because they do live in Cardiff so it really only limits me to maybe on place so that would probably be it.”

Best of the Rest: The chances of Belarus striker Edin Dzeko moving to the Premier League seem to have died after a clause in his contract expired. Said clause would have allowed the Wolfsburg striker to leave the club for a fee of 40m euros but after no European club made an offer for the 24-year-old, any future fee is likely to be upwards of £45 million. Various media outlets linked the Blues with Real Madrid’s Rafael van der Vaart, Fiorentina’s Juan Manuel Vargas and Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez but with little substantive content to back it up; these rumours seem to be only that. From a more domestic viewpoint, the Blues may be tempted to bid £6 million for Bolton Wanderer’s midfielder Fabrice Muamba, whilst City’s Dedryck Boyata has supposedly turned the heads of Newcastle and Sunderland who would like to sign the Belgian on loan. Finally, Everton’s Johnny Heitinga has claimed that Roberto Mancini is hoping to sign him. The Dutchman only signed for David Moyes’ side last summer, ironically from the funds that City spent on Joleon Lescott and the ferocious midfielder has claimed that given the opportunity, it would be hard to turn the Blues down: “I have heard the reports, but nothing is serious as yet. City have ambitions and I am always looking to move to a bigger club. But I have a contract for four years, without any get-out clause in it, so I will fully focus myself on Everton. I am very happy at this club.”

International Blues

Sa-ved by the Hand of Fab’: In the same week that midfield hard man Nigel de Jong was named a member of The Netherlands World Cup squad, Fabio Capello announced his final England 23 and to the delight of City fans everywhere, three Blues will be making the trip to South Africa. Though goalkeeper Joe Hart’s place was never really in doubt once the provisional 30-man-squad was revealed, a couple of excellent performances against Mexico and Japan have led to calls by various sections of the media for Hart to be named number one for the tournament. Despite his young age, Hart’s form whilst on loan at Birmingham City was nothing short of superb and earned him a place in the PFA Team of the Year. Now Capello must decide whether 23-year-old Hart is ready for the world stage or whether West Ham’s Robert Green or Portsmouth’s David James would be more suited to the challenge. David James has been handed the number one shirt.

Team-mate Shay Given has tipped Hart to shine if handed the opportunity to represent his country in this summer’s tournament: “It would be great for Joe to get a couple of games. He’s had a fantastic season. Rob Green and David James are two fantastic ‘keepers as well. It’s going to be a difficult decision for the England manager, but Joe has given him that difficult decision to make. He’s done really well.”

Gareth Barry eventually won his race against time to be fit, despite suffering ankle ligament damage during the penultimate game of the season and will now hope to force his way back into the first XI after the country’s midfield struggled to impress in either of last week’s international friendlies. Shaun Wright Phillips was also included after an impressive second half display against Japan. The former Chelsea winger was asked to play a period of the half on the left side of midfield before moving back onto his preferred right. Capello obviously feels SWP will be more than capable of filling in on either wing after choosing instead to drop Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.

Unfortunately for City’s Adam Johnson, there wasn’t room on the plane for all four Citizens. The 22-year-old winger was one of the shock call-ups in Capello’s provisional 30-man squad and was therefore probably more unlikely to make it into the final 23 than some of his more experienced team-mates. Questions do have to be asked of why ‘Johnno’ wasn’t really given the opportunity to impress after the England manager had spoken so highly of the former ‘Boro winger but whilst Johnson admits to feeling initial disappointment, he has been assured that if he continues his impressive form, he does have an international future: “Of course I was a bit down when I got the news and my first thought was that I wish I’d had more of a chance to show what I could do in the two warm up matches. I would have loved the chance to showcase what I can do on the biggest stage of all but I am not going to dwell on it. The England management made it clear to me that I have an international future and I am going to have a rest now and then get my head down and get ready to try and work my way into the side for September qualifiers. I suppose if you had mentioned the World Cup to me back in December I would have smiled but I had a thought in the back of my mind when I signed for City that if I did well I might have half a chance. I am going to take the positives out of the last two weeks. I have worked with the squad, I have an England cap, which is a wonderful honour and I know that I will be in the mind of the coach and his staff for the future.”

Living the Dream: City youngster Greg Cunningham made a long-awaited début for the Republic of Ireland this week in their 3-0 win over Algeria. The 19-year-old was tipped by club manager Mancini to make a splash in international football as soon as he arrived on the City scene and Giovanni Trappatoni has now given the left back a chance, admitting that he held Mancini’s opinion in high regard: “He (Mancini) has told me that he’s a good player; clever, young and fast, and I have seen that for myself over the last week. He is someone who plays well with the ball at his feet and looks to play a pass forward immediately. That is important because when the strikers get the ball quickly, it can give them maybe a yard or second of an advantage and that can make all the difference.”

Cunningham revealed that the experience was something he will never forget and he is eternally thankful to both his managers for having faith in him: “It was an amazing night, fantastic. I had an idea I’d be playing after the training session we had on Thursday, but I wasn’t certain. I played at left-back with what was mostly the regular starting eleven, so I knew I must be in with a chance, but I didn’t want to get too far ahead of myself until I found out for certain. Later, the team was pinned up and, thankfully, my name was on it so I called up my parents straight away and let them know. They were over the moon for me. My dad told me to give it my all and just enjoy myself because it would be something I’d remember for the rest of my life and he was right I will. It was great to see Shay Given before the game, too. He came into the dressing room before the start and wished me well and gave me some advice, which was really appreciated.”

City stopper Shay Given may have missed the recent friendlies due to injury but the established Ireland goalie admits that he was very impressed with City’s young charge: “Greg’s been training with City’s first team squad for most of last season and he’s settled in really well. I’m delighted that he’s won his first cap because he’s one of the nicest blokes you’ll ever meet. I had a quick chat before the game and he was a bit nervous which is only to be expected but once the game got under way I thought he did really well.”

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

OPINION: WORLD CUP I

When I heard that Adam Johnson was not picked for the World Cup squad, I was totally shocked, and angry… especially as all we have been hearing lately (via the press reports) is that Johnson was proving to be a shining light in the training camp, from players et al. How could they not select him, a guy that is comfortable on both wings and is “fresh”? As usual, England go for the same old “tried and unsuccessful” players. Heskey gets more chances that most, and look at his scoring record.

Why didn’t some of the “new” guys get a chance to show what they can do in the 2 friendlies? I feel for the likes of Parker and Johnson; we have seen the likes of Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and the other established players. Select a team that is dynamic, and on form, and there should be a place for a player who can make things happen, someone that the world has not already seen.

Capello, you have missed your chance! He has gone down the “Italian … cautious” way! Good luck to you and your team but I can’t wait for some of your choices to fail! I am sorry, but that’s the way I feel. I must say I am happy for SWP, he missed out last time.

I now also wait with baited breath to see who we get rid of and which new and exciting players we bring to our club.

Come on you Blues!

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

OPINION: WORLD CUP II

Congratulations to Shaun Wright-Philips, Gareth Barry and Joe Hart in making Capello’s final 23.

Would have been great for Adam Johnson to make it too but may be that was too much to ask for. Adam will get his shot in the years to come.

Really glad Capello gave SWP a spot over Walcott. Justice is done on Walcott stealing SWP’s spot in the 2006 squad. Have a feeling Shaun will play a significant rôle for England.

Come on you 3 Lions.

Keith Sharp <keith(at)ACCESSMAG.COM>

REQUEST: REDDISH BLUES

Please note that the branch telephone number has changed to 0161 346 1368 (which must be dialled in full even if you’re calling from the 0161 area) and if you want to travel with us to any away game you should now contact our new Travel Secretary, Neil Jackson, on 07981 844 156 or e-mail <awaytravel(at)hotmail.co.uk>

Membership is now open for next season and forms can be requested via e-mail at <reddishblues(at)btinternet.com>. Membership forms are also available from:

  • Reddish Post Office, Houldsworth Square
  • Reddish Working Men’s Club, Greg Street
  • Express Electrical, Unit 9B, Bankside Business Park, Coronation Street, Stockport

All those who renew or join before 1st July will be entered into a draw for City’s new home or away Shirt. The draw will take place on Saturday 17th July.

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)btinternet.com>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0910.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Svenn Hanssen)         : 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 #1639

2010/06/03

Editor:


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