Newsletter #1641

With the stunning average of one goal per game in the World Cup so far, and almost 50% of them have come as a result of errors made by the goalkeepers or defenders, I can barely wait for the new Premier League season to start. It has been a complete waste of time to watch the nervous performances in South Africa so far. I will put some of the blame on the new ball as it seems like players are constantly over-kicking free kicks and passes, and goalkeepers now punch the ball more often than before. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional mock up when players misjudge where and when the ball will arrive but this is getting ridiculous.

Former City player Elano scored a goal in Brazil’s 2-1 win against the mighty North Korea, while current City player Robinho seemed the most lively of the impressive attacking line. In the same group Kolo Toure led his country to a respectable 0-0 draw against Portugal. It now seems like the whole nation is demanding an end to the Gerrard/Lampard partnership, and luckily it looks very likely that Gareth Barry will be fit to play in England’s game on Friday. Algeria will be a tough opponent but England needs to win to keep the dream alive. It will also be interesting to see if Green gets a second chance between the posts. He probably should as he will go through fire to make up for his blunder in the opening game.

This issue of MCIVTA will be a bit shorter than the other night. A few requests, and Neil has spotted a similarity between our beloved Blues and the national team.

Next Game: July 23rd, Sporting Lisbon (New York/US Tour)


Referring to Phil’s excellent article on South Africa, and the St George’s Cross flag being displayed everywhere, and reclaimed by football fans from the far right organisations I have a query. If I remember correctly it was the Union Jack that was always displayed by England fans and it was this flag that was hijacked, making it an embarrassment to have such a flag on display (there was always a debate on it being upside down too!).

The St. George’s Cross flag appeared at a later date. I recall a letter in the press querying why football fans displayed the Union Jack for England when it should’ve been the St George’s Cross flag but I can’t remember the date when this flag took over. I wonder if any readers out there can remember if the above is correct, and what date the first St George’s Cross flags started to appear and supersede the Union Jack?

Dave Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


Manchester City (International) FC versus United States of America…

Well it was déjà vu all over again wasn’t it? But this time though there was some added insight thrown in to the mix: my Red mates all finally agreed that yes, England are in effect really ‘Man City International FC’! “So this is what it’s like to support City then?” they said when the ball went under Green, and we then perplexed/frustrated ourselves into achieving a useful(?) point against USA.

Well, yes actually it is! So who am I referring to here then?

We last won something decent at the tail end of the 1960’s, dined out on it ever since (only meal in fact!); we have promised to turn a corner sometime during the next 4 years (for the last quarter of a century that is), our name is definitely on the cup this time around (guaranteed) apart from the fact that some bizarre once in lifetime freak incident will scupper it from out of nowhere (e.g. conceding three, losing in extra time in the same season, to the same foe, goalie decides to let one roll in under his body, boot etc!), or the manager loses the plot completely (take your pick). We are scheduled to play minnows and arrive with magnificent, unqualified support from the fans but the team then fail to turn out for the game, to the mass disgruntlement/amazement/disappointment of the same set of loyal supporters. But that doesn’t stop them turning up en masse, ever hopeful, ever boastful next time around… only for the same performance to then re-appear! Any year, any squad, any manager, any competition.

Meanwhile, our oldest rival (Germany / Man United) steam roller on, efficiently as ever, brushing aside the minnows with contempt and picking up the silverware when needed, and deciding to be the losing finalist when they don’t. And no matter how old and past-it their veterans are, they still sneak out a vintage performance to roll back the clock just when it’s needed.

Meanwhile, no matter whom we appoint as chairman and/or manager, and no matter how gold plated the squad is, it just doesn’t click when it matters and despite having a squad full of internationals to pick from, we always seem to be missing 2-3 absolutely vital players that will (this time, honest) be the final piece in the jigsaw. Come the end of the tournament/season we figure that next time anyway, our new squad will be settled in and destined to collect finally the silverware: so we wait patiently for that new dawn to arrive.

You’ve got to laugh really. However, can I say that there is a blue sky on the horizon that could see this whole thing turned around… because inclusive to all of the above totally MCFC things, there is the ever-present plucky young genius waiting in our reserves, cooling his heels and just waiting to show what he can do. This time, he is called Joe Hart.

Now if only the ‘boss’ would pick him…

Neil Haigh <sonic(at)>


Do we think shock/horror that David Beckham is being lined up as being the next England manager? The F.A. seems to want him to be involved with anything and everything that is England football. Are there any other England players that are injured on the sidelines posturing in their grey suit? David Beckham will return after injury to surpass Peter Shilton’s total of caps, of that I have no doubt; any substitute appearance will do. It is pitiful really.

Getting to important things, Shaun had a poor game against the U.S.A.; he seems to have lost the ability to run at defenders and get past them. His confidence has taken a beating after playing so few games for us late last season maybe. He needs to get it back if he is going to have a future in the World Cup and indeed at City next season. Come on Shauny!

The number of players who are being associated with us is tiresome; Yaya and any good, reliable centre forward are a must. Full back has already been covered. Bring on next season.

Higgy <Tony.Higginson(at)>

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Newsletter #1641