Newsletter #1640

First I have to apologise for the delay. I meant to cover for Heidi from this Monday and only missing that issue, but alas family affairs came in the way and now we’re looking Sunday fresh in the eyes before my first issue is under way.

Still there’s not too much happening at the Blue camp besides the usual transfer stuff. Jerome Boateng flew in from Hamburg (that’s number three) and 16 year old Alex Henshall from Swindon. Nothing really big so far but supposedly James Milner is only a pen-stroke away from becoming a City player, and others like David Silva and Yaya Toure are also reported to be lining up. But the World Cup will definitely put on hold most transfers as both players, agents and selling clubs wait for the moments of glory to add to their bank accounts.

Speaking of the World Cup. I did have the benefit of watching England versus USA before shipping out this issue and even though City have 3 players in the England WC squad for the first time, only SweeP got to play during the match. He replaced the abysmal Milner (no glory there) but looked rugged. Is it the new ball perhaps? Still, Rob Green can not blame the ball for the equaliser. His sloppy fingers did that one all by themselves, and I bet that Capello would have liked to see all three City players on the field tonight, as England then most definitely would have won it.

Let’s hope Capello makes the correct decisions before the next game!

In this issue we have a bumper News part thanks to Alex, plus some Blue humour, Phil’s WC rants, and the usual requests.

Next issue of MCIVTA will ship on Tuesday so keep it coming! I guess there will be room for some reflections about the World Cup 🙂

Next Game: TBA


General News

City in Good Kompany: City favourite Vincent Kompany has come out in support of the club hierarchy this week after a number of sceptics questioned the Abu Dhabi United Group’s commitment to the cause. After FIFA revealed last week that a new financial rule will soon be introduced to ensure all clubs competing in European competitions are ‘breaking even’, various sections of the media claimed that the City revolution may be short lived. Kompany, however, who has been promoting his Congolese SOS Children’s Villages charity this week, believes that the City board will not bail out when the going is tough and success will soon follow at Eastlands: “Manchester City is all about a vision. The owner clearly didn’t come in just to buy a bunch of players; he came in with a vision – a project, something far more rewarding than just winning a trophy, something that’s lasting. It’s just a matter of time, because if people stick to what they want to do and don’t give up, they get there. What is happening at City is much more than flash and cash. For me it’s nothing to do with that, it’s somebody coming in with a vision and wanting to realize that vision through any means necessary. That’s the difference between a dream and a vision. City are prepared to do what it takes to succeed, and the Sheikh doesn’t see a problem as something that will stop him. The people in charge of City are the right people because they have the passion and motivation.”

Down in Dortmund: The club’s final pre-season game of the new campaign will be played at Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion as the two sides compete in the Ferrostaal Cup. The one-off fixture, sponsored by City sponsors Ferrostaal, will be played on August 4th and effectively replaces the old Thomas Cook Trophy. Following the Blues’ tour of America, Mancini sees the Dortmund friendly as yet another exciting challenge in preparation for the coming season: “I would like to thank Ferrostaal and Borussia Dortmund for inviting us to take part in this game. We have a very exciting pre-season schedule planned and this game is one of our last before the start of the Premier League campaign. Coming just after the end of our tour of America, this trip will get the players ready for the type of schedule we will face this season, with short visits to Europe for Europa League games.”

Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp admits his side are very excited by the prospect of taking on Mancini’s side in what he considers will be good preparation for his side’s Europa League challenge this season: “We have fought hard to reach the fifth place in the Bundesliga. Now we are glad to compete with European top clubs in the season to come.”

Old Boy Throws Mancini’s Name Inter the Hat: Despite reports that former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is set to replace Jose Mourinho as manager of European Champions Inter Milan, City chief Roberto Mancini continues to be linked with a return to his former club. Inter President Massimo Moratti did dismiss a move for the now City boss, upon the resignation of Mourinho, but former Inter legend Alessandro Costacurta believes Mancini would be the right man for the job: “I think his return to the Inter bench would be a good one. I have always supported Roberto because he is a friend of mine.”

Squad News

Future of Football: Craig Bellamy may be better known for his fiery temper than his caring, sharing side but the Welsh international has been proving recently that there’s more to him than people might first assume. Back in September, the City striker set up an Academy over in Sierra Leone and the former Blackburn man has been visiting Ghana this week to meet some of those involved in the project: “I visited the boys in Ghana and I’m really satisfied with the progress they’re making. They are willing to learn, they’re excited about learning and they’re fast learners. What matters for me most is their education and they’re doing very well in that area. The concept of education is first for me and football second.”

Nahim Khadi, President of the SLFA, has praised Bellamy’s initiative: “The Bellamy football academy is good for football in Sierra Leone because I believe the game should be developed from grass roots level in the country.”

Santa Over Roque Road:Roque Santa Cruz has pledged his futureto City and promised that he is over the worst of the injuriesthat kept him out for so much of last year. The Paraguayaninternational is preparing to represent his country in SouthAfrica this month though his club future remains unclear. Frenchside Marseille are rumoured to be interested in signing theformer Bayern Munich forward and despite having failed tomake an impression this term, Santa Cruz claims he has nointention of walking away from the best opportunity of hiscareer: “I’m proud to play for a team that has as manygreat ambitions as Manchester City. I want to win and makehistory with this club. I want to have a role within the team,which is why I hope my future lies here with the Citizens.”

One player who will definitely be staying for another year is midfielder Patrick Vieira. The former Arsenal skipper, who missed out on making the French national side for this summer’s World Cup, has taken up the option of remaining at City for another year and is tipped to join Mancini’s back room staff when he chooses to retire from playing.

City Buy Another Hamburger: Jerome Boateng has become the third player in two years to leave Hamburg and move to City. Following the signings of Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong, 21-year-old Boateng will officially more to the Premier League on July 1st in a deal worth £10.75 million. The versatile defender will represent Germany in this summer’s World Cup and Roberto Mancini believes the club’s first signing of the summer has the potential to become one of the world’s best players: “This is a very good signing for Manchester City and I am pleased to bring Jerome to the Club. He is a young player who is already of a very high quality, but I think he can continue to improve at City. He can play a number of positions in defence, which is important. He has proved his ability in Germany and I think he can be a very important player for Manchester City in the Premier League. It’s good for Jerome to have agreed terms ahead of the World Cup, so he can now concentrate on playing for Germany. And I will be very interested to see how he gets on in the tournament, before welcoming him back to meet his team-mates in pre-season.”

Boateng himself spoke of how important the manager had been in his decision but also revealed that experiencing the City faithful as a Hamburg player in that UEFA Cup semi-final last year was the deciding factor: “I am really looking forward to the World Cup and then to joining City. I spoke at length with Roberto Mancini and he impressed me with his plans for the team in the coming seasons. It was a very good conversation. And I know about City from when Hamburg played here in the UEFA Cup. I played in the second leg which we lost but won on aggregate on the way to the semi-finals. I learned that night about the passion and commitment of the City fans. They made it very hard for us and got behind the side in a great way. I can’t wait to work with so many top players and show what I can do and become a better player. I believe my strengths are my pace and reading of the game. I can play at full back on either side but I prefer the central defensive position.”

Fresh Start: Mancini has officially started shaping his own City squad as three first team names were released from the club. Sylvinho, Benjani and Petrov have all left the club as their deals expired. Sylvinho, who signed from Barcelona on a one year deal last summer, was always expected to leave the club but his experience will have undoubtedly benefited the likes of Greg Cunningham and Javier Garrido during his time at the club. Former Pompey striker Benjani placed his name in City folklore as he scored the winner in City’s first win at Old Trafford for 34 years but the Zimbabwean failed to impress under Mancini and was sent out on loan to Sunderland during the latter part of last term. Martin Petrov was the shock inclusion to the list of outgoing players. The Bulgarian signed under Sven’s tenure at the club three years ago and despite a tough period whilst managed by Hughes, Petrov made a good first impression when Mancini was first appointed. The signing of Adam Johnson signalled a possible end for Petrov and the English youngster’s good form effectively put the final nail in the coffin. Everton, Spurs, Villa and Bolton have all been linked with a move for the former Atletico Madrid winger.

The Rumour Mill

City Gaga for Yaya: Agent of Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure has claimed that a deal has been struck between the player and an unnamed Premier League club. This has led to much media speculation that Toure could be set for a move to City, to join brother Kolo at Eastlands. But with Chelsea, Arsenal, and Spurs also interested, it remains unclear as to which English club, if any, has signed the Barcelona player: “If everything goes well, Yaya will go to England. But we can’t talk about definite clubs. We already have a closed deal, and all will be resolved before the World Cup.”

Silva is Real Deal for Mourinho: It seems the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Spanish giants Real Madrid may have lessened City’s chances of signing Valencia winger David Silva. Last week it was revealed that members of the City board had been over to Spain to discuss the possibility of a move for the 24-year-old but with Mourinho now interested, the Blues’ good work may go unnoticed. The Spaniard is solely focused on this summer’s World Cup: “I am devoting myself to training ahead of the World Cup – that is the most important thing, nothing else. The club is in a difficult situation, but we did well to get into the Champions’ League, which was important. I have a contract signed up to 2013 and I do not have any problems with the club. I have heard about the interest from the Premier League, but any questions will be answered by my agent and the club.”

Serie-As About Duo: Lazio duo Aleksandar Kolarov and Mauro Zarate are both being linked with moves to Manchester. The Serbian centre back had been linked with moves to Barcelona or Real Madrid after impressing in Serie A last season whilst Argentine Zarate had fallen out of favour with the Italian club. Mancini, however, has dismissed the reports as mere speculation: “At the moment there has not been anything. I am not aware of anything, but I am used to City being linked with every player who is on the transfer market. He (Zarate) is an excellent player, even though he has been the victim of a poor season at Lazio. But, like Kolarov, there has not been any contact between both clubs.”

Lazio President Claudio Lotito has no plans to sell, though it is believed a joint £40 million deal could be enough to prise the pair away from Italian football: “15 million euros for Kolarov? I won’t even sell his boots for that price. He is not for sale, and we have not received any offers. He is probably the best in the world in his position, and we don’t need to sell him.”

Brazilian Barça Bound: The Robinho saga continues as his agent revealed this week that the club plans to sell him this summer. Whilst a permanent move home to Santos doesn’t seem financially viable, Robinho has been attracting the interest of Spanish giants Barcelona and it would seem the former Real Madrid striker is set for a return to Spain: “Any footballer in the world would love to play for a club like Barça. The relationship between Robinho and the board at Manchester City is very good, although it’s true that there are some problems with the coach, Roberto Mancini. We have a meeting with City on the 16th. I will travel to Manchester with Gilvan de Souza (Robinho’s father) and we will look at the situation with Robinho. We know that City are looking for a club for Robinho.”

Lennon’s List: Newly-appointed Celtic manager Neil Lennon is reportedly keen to sign City striker Craig Bellamy. The Welshman, who spent six months at Celtic Park back in 2005, is said to be unsettled at Eastlands but seemed to suggest earlier in the month that he would only consider a move to Cardiff City. With Lennon now in charge, Bellamy may be keen to move back to Scotland where he could join up with Spurs striker Robbie Keane. Bellamy has warned any potential suitors that he is very high maintenance but managers who treat him well always get the best out of him: “If you sign me, you’re taking on more than your normal. I am simply not like other people; I have always been fully aware of that. I’m very demanding, I’m demanding of the people around me, I want the best, I want everything to be right. If you want a comfortable life, you don’t want me. But if you get me right, you have a good player.”

Best of the Rest: Turkish side Besiktas are reportedly interested in signing two City stars this summer with both Robinho and Roque Santa Cruz high on their list of transfer targets. Ligue 1 side Marseille are also keen on City’s Paraguayan striker. Barcelona have expressed an interest in City target and Ajax right back Gregory van der Wiel which has led to suggestions that the Blues may raid the Catalan side for Brazilian full back Dani Alves. The Citizens are tipped to sign Liverpool’s Fernando Torres after Rafa Benitez left the club and his agent claimed: “City were ready to offer Fernando Torres a huge contract, and by that I mean the biggest for any footballer anywhere in the world”, whilst recently released Joe Cole has also caught the eye of Roberto Mancini. French midfielder Moussa Sissoko is said to be keen on a move to Eastlands, yet the Blues would have to pay Toulouse £15 million for the 20-year-old. Finally, questions have been asked of which side Lucas Barrios will play for in the Ferrostaal Cup after City were linked with the Dortmund midfielder. The Paraguayan has also caught the eye of Steve McClaren’s Wolfsburg but given his £25 million price tag, CoMS would seem a much likelier destination.

International Blues

Looks Like They Made It: After a season of highs and lows for City, nine of the current squad (and one for the future) will be playing in South Africa this summer.

Gareth Barry, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joe Hart were all named in Capello’s England squad last week, with the latter two both appearing in the training friendly win against South Africa’s Platinum Stars last Monday. Barry is set to sit out England’s first game against the USA as Capello admits he will not risk the City midfielder if he is not fit: “This is the worst period. If you go too fast, it’s really dangerous. I’d prefer he didn’t play against the United States and is fit for the other games. We have to wait, day by day. We have to see how the ankle reacts but he is improving every day and getting stronger.”

On a brighter note, Joe Hart remains in the running to take the number one shirt ahead of Robert Green and David James with City legend Joe Corrigan expecting great things from the City stopper: “I’m a great believer that if you’re good enough you’re old enough and Joe has proved that this season. He’s had a fantastic 12 months. I’ve seen Joe about five times this season and I’ve been very impressed every time. If he does get a chance on Saturday he won’t let anyone down. Joe is a great talent and he has had a very, very good season and whether he gets the gloves or not he will come back from South Africa a better goalkeeper because of the experience. My only reservation would be that you don’t want another situation similar to what happened with Scott Carson, where a young goalkeeper is remembered for one mistake.”

Elsewhere in Europe: City hard man Nigel de Jong will represent the hotly-tipped Netherlands whilst City new boy Jerome Boateng is in the German international fold despite his young age. Vladimir Weiss has been selected by Slovakia manager Weiss Senior and having received some extremely critical press, the City youngster is keen to prove he was worth a place in the 23: “There are a lot of people on the Internet, or wherever, saying that I shouldn’t be in there but there are also a lot of people who support me. There are a lot of haters, I suppose you call them, but I just try and get on with my football. Being a Slovak, this could only come around once in your career, so there are a lot of people who wanted to try and get in the squad, and a lot of opinions. It will be one of the highlights of my career.”

South American Contingent: On loan striker Robinho made the final cut for Brazil as one of three players currently competing in the Brazilian league and fast proved Dunga’s decision correct as he scored twice in their 5-1 win over Tanzania. Roque Santa Cruz will no doubt be crucial to Paraguay’s hopes of success during this summer’s campaign but Carlos Tevez understands why he may not be a part of Argentina’s first XI plans: “I do know that today I’m not in the starting line-up. It’s easy to explain, as I didn’t score 15 goals in the qualifiers. I had my chances with Argentina but I didn’t take them, so now I have to fight hard and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I want to play in the first game against Nigeria but Messi and Higuain are in great form. We have the greatest forwards in the world but we have to show that in the World Cup. We have to score at least 15 goals.”

Kolo on Tour(e): City skipper Kolo Toure will be the only Blue representing an African nation this summer and the former Arsenal centre back expects much of his side, despite their being involved in the ‘group of death’. The Ivory Coast will come up against North Korea, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Robinho’s Brazil but the 29-year-old believe his side are as good as any other: “We’ve got a talented squad, we’re well prepared and we will work very hard, but we know it’s going to be tough against Brazil and Portugal especially. Of course my team-mates and I have played against many of the Portuguese and Brazilian players before and I know Robinho well from City, so we know what to expect. North Korea are much less familiar to us and are something of an unknown quantity. If we can get through to the second round who knows who far we can go?”

The Ivorian is also keen for the first World Cup ever to be played in Africa to highlight more than just great footballing talent: “I hope people will understand that the World Cup is about more than just football. For one month the world’s attention will be on the continent of Africa and we must use this time to highlight some of the issues that Africa faces, like malaria. There are a number of other people like myself helping to raise awareness of malaria, such as Landon Donovan, Patrick Vieira and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The United Against Malaria campaign is bringing together a wide range of partners who are working to reduce deaths from malaria dramatically by 2015.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Old Dog – New Tricks: City legend Paul Dickov has been named the new manager of Oldham Athletic. The 37-year-old Scotsman was released by Leeds United at the end of last season and was the shock appointment to take up the post at Boundary Park. Dickov, who had two spells at City and will forever be remembered at the club for Gillingham ’99, has also registered himself as a player for the League One side though he admits that he remains undecided as to how much he will actually play this season: “Anybody who saw me play probably thought I played with a bit too much passion. I want to pass on that passion and enthusiasm to the players and I want fans to see a team which at the end of the game has given its all. I am at the end of my playing career and this is a fantastic chance to become a manager, which I am absolutely delighted about. Management is something that has always interested me. I have to be honest with myself and accept it is going to be hard to do both jobs [playing and managing]. I am going to do pre-season with the boys and if I feel I have something to offer I will play. I am not going to pretend it will be easy. I will make mistakes, but sometimes you only learn by making mistakes. But one thing for certain is that I will be giving it my all, and I will be making sure the players here will be doing the same thing. I had a long career and was not necessarily the most talented player, but the reason I had the career I had was through hard work, which first and foremost has to be the starting point.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


India is very lucky to be getting the Academy but I wish it was here in New Zealand. We have just had Everton start one up down the road and they are doing really well with the kids they’ve got. With New Zealand making it into the World Cup for only the second time there is a real interest in football from the nation again and we need all the outside help we can get to keep the momentum going after the team returns (with the cup of course, LOL). I hope if City open another Academy it will be here and not Australia where the Rags have got one.

Vince – NZ <vinniv1(at)>


Are you ready for the four week football jamboree that is the World Cup? Or are you just plain indifferent? Anyway, who’d have thought that South Africa would hold the World Cup during the terrible years of Apartheid? Whatever problems South Africa may have as a country now, it’s great for their nation to host this event.

It’s great to see the St George’s Cross being flown for the right reason i.e. to support our football team, rather than being hijacked by the far right. The flags are flying on many cars and costing their owners 30% extra in terms of fuel in some cases, but hey, it’s all good stuff. Why, though, do we have ‘England’ written across so many St George’s flags that are on display? How daft is that? Don’t we know our own flag? Do the USA write ‘USA’ on their flag? Do the Scots scrawl ‘Scotland’ across the saltire? Of course they don’t. Germany certainly don’t need to write ‘Deutschland’ across theirs either. So why do we? The answer may be in that we need to remind the idiots who used to give us a bad name abroad (and are probably banned from travelling) which team they actually support. Can anyone think of a more plausible one?

The papers are full of World Cup guides and wall charts as we anticipate what we hope will be a fair tournament. A few fools at Talksport and the written press are all of a frenzy (particularly the London tabloid press), and they are feeding us the usual deluded line that England can win the World Cup. Can we really? More of that later.

The shops are brimful of World Cup tat and every leading brand wants a piece of the big profitathon that is the World Cup. We are told that Carlsberg is the ‘Official Beer England’ (shouldn’t they be the ‘Official Lager Denmark’?). We’ve got the usual silly merchandise on sale from England World Cup undies to special World Cup cous-cous (ok, I made that last bit up, but if Morocco had qualified…). I saw a T-shirt with a St George’s drawn across the continent of Africa (have I missed the news that the whole of Africa has been colonized again?), and worse still ‘South Africa’ is printed below the Three Lions on England’s new Umbro ‘Special Edition World Cup’ red away shirt. Eh?

Some people are complaining about these vuvuzela horns that are going to make each stadium sound like a giant hornet’s nest. Whilst I wouldn’t want to be sat next to one (it’s bad enough being sat next to a klaxon), at least there’s one positive – it should mean that we don’t have to listen to that wretched England/Sheffield Wednesday band and their repetitive renditions of ‘The Great Escape’. Right, that’s the gripes over (well sort, of).

And so to the football itself. Congratulations particularly to our very own Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joe Hart. I’m particularly pleased for Shaun, though it looked like Walcott was going to go (if only for his blistering pace) for a long time, but Walcott couldn’t take any of his many chances so he can’t really complain. It’s all very well being able to run fast, but there has to be an end product.

England will do well to get beyond the quarter finals this time. There is precious little evidence to suggest that a team that is largely the same as the one that failed in Germany four years ago, is going to fare any better this time around. We still give the ball away far too cheaply. Thankfully most fans are grounded and realise the limitations of this England team: it’s a decent team but they are not world beaters. On paper it does not look as good as the team that heroically got to the semi-finals in Italia 1990. The ’90 team featured World Class players in Shilton, Gascoigne and Lineker, not to mention the richly talented Beardsley, Waddle, and a solid back line of Parker, Butcher, Walker, Wright and Pearce. The current crop has only one potentially world class player in Wayne Rooney (and he is still a red card waiting to happen), and very talented ones in the form of Lampard and Gerrard, though the latter has rarely produced his club form when donning the three lions and is beginning to look past his best for the Scousers. Hopefully Capello will not try to pair these two up in England midfield yet again. Please, no! When will England managers learn that they don’t work together?

We have the advantage this time of not being saddled with the mandatory selection of the most overrated footballer of all time, David Beckham, though he is making sure he gets in on the act with a bit of ‘scouting’/posing (delete as appropriate).

We have a canny, tactically aware manager in Capello and good players who should be capable of making the last 8. Gareth Barry is a very good international class central midfielder and Aaron Lennon can terrorise defences with his pace and trickery. David James is a better goalkeeper than many give him credit, and he should start. Our defence has looked rather dodgy, and without deliberately kicking a Rio when he is down (honest!), the departure from the scene of the almost permanently crocked and gaffe-prone England captain in history since Bryan ‘where’s me shoulder’ Robson, may be a blessing in disguise. Through luck rather than good judgement, England have two of the best three English centre backs out there in Dawson and King (if they’d taken Jagielka then they’d have had all three), so one of them needs to be quick enough to make up for Terry’s lack of pace, because the delightful Mr Terry will start. The trouble is they are not regulars or that experienced at international Level, and the returning Carragher has not played for England for a gazillion years. Why not pair the Tottenham two as they are a very good partnership, and King has recently got through more than one game a week. Unfortunately, Postman Pat will pick the sluggish Terry as he tends to go for experience. Glen Johnson is very good going forward but does leave big gaps and his defending does leave a little to be desired despite some improvements, but he is a risk worth taking, especially as he can combine with Lennon and overlap.

Gerrard may have been made captain in Ferdinand’s absence but his form doesn’t warrant a place for me. For the first game when Barry is absent I’d like to see the following team: James; Johnson, Dawson, King, A Cole; Lennon, Lampard, Milner, J Cole; Rooney, Crouch.

Heskey may make Rooney play better but Crouch will score goals and occupy people. After that opener against the US, I’d like to see England go for it and play with width and a high tempo with this XI as much as possible: James; Johnson, Dawson, King, Cole; Lennon, Barry, Lampard, Milner; Rooney, Crouch.

Milner and Lennon can swap flanks for variety and with the likes of Joe Cole, SWP to bring on we can change a game’s direction.

A quarter final place would be respectable. Anything less is a failure, but I cannot see this England side being good enough to win the World Cup. Tellingly this time, it is a few deluded hacks in the press who are talking about us deserving to win it and not the England camp, which, at last, has faced reality.

Who will win it though? Spain have has their injury problems (who hasn’t?), but if they can get the Catalan wizards Iniesta and Xavi working in tandem again and Torres to support David Villa up front, they may well win their first World Cup.

For all their wonderful talent (Messi, Tevez, Milito, Higuain, de Maria, Aguero etc.), I cannot see Argentina winning the Cup for one reason: Diego Maradona. He’s already left two top class players in Cambiasso (is that great United signing Juan Sebastian Veron really better than him?) and Javier Zanetti out of his squad (selecting instead Newcastle’s Jonas Guttierez) and his poor preparation will probably find them out at altitude. It’s not that long ago that they lost 6-1 to the mighty Bolivia at altitude in a World Cup qualifier.

The holders Italy have 8 members of their World Cup winning squad but they lack striking talent. I still expect them to do what Italia normally do. Under enormous pressure from home (with those stylish Armani suits and slick hairdos under threat from the massive vat of rotten tomatoes awaiting them at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport), they will play terribly in the Group stages, win at least one of them 1-0 with a dodgy penalty and then suddenly, with the pressure relieved just a little in the knock-out stages, start playing some football. That’s when they may get found out!

As for France, well the least said about this spent force the better. After Henry’s cheating, I am with the Irish in their ABF (Anyone but France) sentiments and I hope they lose every match.

If we had a pound for every time we’ve heard ‘You can’t write off the Germans’ then we’d all be millionaires. Who exactly are these people who ‘write off the Germans’? Do they know anything about football? Germany have had a few injuries including their captain Ballack, but everyone knows that their fighting spirit (cliché alert… doh!), great organisation, not to mention, quality will get them to the semi-finals at very least. Miroslav Klose may have only scored 3 goals in the Bundesliga last season, so expect him to bag the golden boot at this World Cup, and with the exciting Mehmet Ozil an up and coming talent (Roberto Mancini take note), they may even win the Cup. I just hope that, assuming we qualify, we don’t draw them in the 2nd round. That said, whoever England get in the 2nd round will be tough: be it Australia, Ghana or Serbia.

Holland with their multi-talented attacking line up of Sneidjer, Robben, van der Vaart, van Persie and Huntelaar will always be a threat but the ever charming Mr van Persie has already begun the usual Dutch squabblefest with a public snipe at Dirk Kuyt, saying that Holland are a better team without him in it. So much for team spirit… Nevertheless with such striking talent and a powerful engine room of our very own Nigel dDe Jong and van Bommel, they have to be a good outside bet.

Brazil are always going to be a threat with their brilliant natural flair and with a tougher defence they are quietly and ominously going about their build up and look the part. Without wanting to sound predictable (but failing miserably) Brazil are my tip to win the World Cup.

Anyway, good luck to all City’s players in this World Cup, and especially good luck to England.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I’m running an on-line prediction league for the WC 2010 at:

All City fans welcome. Mini-Leagues will be created for each City fanzine and message board as required.

Scoring is as follows:

  • 1 point for correct score for team A
  • 1 point for correct score for team B
  • 1 point for the correct score
  • 2 points for correct result

Richard Mottershead <richardjohnm(at)>


I quite like the idea of using Robinho as a make-weight to get Ibrahimovic and Torres. I can see that package working… but why stop there?

We could use Ned as a make-weight to secure Milner’s transfer from Villa.

We could send Bellamy to Spurs with the understanding they would back out of their pitch for Joe Cole.

Then we could package off Ireland and Santa Cruz to Liverpool in a straight swop for Fernado Torres… er, maybe not!

But we might as well use the excessive players we have to bring in key attractions. Definitely believe we could obtain Milner and Ibrahimovic this way.

P.S. Good luck Dickov at Oldham!

Come on England!

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


The annual 5-a-side football competition for Manchester City supporters takes place on Saturday 19th June at the Platt Lane complex. This year’s competition is in aid of the club-supported Sierra Leone Appeal. Any group of City supporters can take part.

The competition commences at 10:00 am and ends at 2:00 pm. City legend Paul Lake will present the trophies to the successful teams at the end of the competition.

To date 22 teams have confirmed their entrance. There is room for another 2 teams. Entrance fee is £35.00 per team with all the money going to the Sierra Leone Appeal.

Anybody wishing to enter a team should contact me, Alex Channon ASAP.

Cheques must be made payable to MCCSA and forwarded to:

Alex Channon
‘Penalty Spot’
11 Thirlmere Avenue
M27 5XD

I can be contacted by email at <alexchannon81(at)> or by mobile on 07985 229 313.

I currently have 5 referees who are prepared to offer their services free of charge as this is a charitable competition. I need another 3 referees to make sure the competition runs smoothly. Any qualified referees at any level are invited to contact me. Refreshments will be provided for the refs.

Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


Have seen that there is an ipod touch app entitled “Manchester’s never-ending clock” counting the time since the Mighty Blues last won a trophy. It has been developed by a non ManU fan (as manu fans would not be clever enough to do it themselves). Maybe if there are any City fans out there who can develop apps they could do a ManU debt calculator, although the ipod screen is quite small so the figure might not fit on!

Gordon <ghindle(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0910.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Svenn Hanssen)         :
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[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 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 to get the latest updates.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at and the official club Twitter page at The club also has a facebook page at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( 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

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,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

[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

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]Svenn Hanssen,

Newsletter #1640