Newsletter #1648

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A bumper news round-up from Alex tonight as pre-season training commences, a look at the World Cup, the transfer rumours, fixture changes and televised games, and behind the scenes updates.

We have opinion on the US pre-season games, more on Platt, the World Cup and fixtures.

Next Game: Sporting Lisbon, 8pm, Friday 23 July 2010 (friendly NYFC)

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

City are Back: And so pre-season begins as all members of the City squad not involved in this summer’s World Cup returned to training on Monday. Names including Adam Johnson, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards all returned to the club’s Carrington training complex and were put through their paces by Mancini and his back-room staff. Those who have been representing their countries in South Africa this summer are expected to return to the club set-up on July 19th, as the Blues tour the US. Whilst the Citizens are fast becoming known for flair and skill rather than tireless hard work, Mancini has revealed that like any other side, the City squad are being put through their paces: “Yes, it is hard work – now is the important time because pre-season is most important for the whole season. It is important we work very well in these 14 days. Double training sessions are normal when you prepare a team for the year. This year will be long and very hard, because we play probably three games a week. We can work morning and afternoon, and it is important that we do that. After the World Cup the players have to have time to recover well, because they will be very tired. But for us it will be important to prepare very well this month, for sure.”

The Sampdoria Connection: City chief Roberto Mancini has once again dipped into his pool of contacts by bringing former Sampdoria midfielder David Platt to the club, as a member of his back-room staff. Since joining City back in December last year, Mancini has appointed former team-mates Massimo Barratta and Fausto Salsano to his coaching set-up and was evidently keen to add the experience of Platt to the club. The 44-year-old, who has managed both Nottingham Forest and the England Under 21 side, has taken up the rôle of First Team Coach and will bring a vast array of skills and experience to the ‘City project’. Mancini was evidently delighted to be re-uniting with his former colleague and friend: “David brings a wealth of experience to his rôle as coach here at City, and he will enhance what is already an excellent team of staff at the club. We had a great relationship as team mates many years ago and I know he will make an important contribution to the club. Having David here at the start of pre-season training was an important factor, and I am very pleased that the coaching team will be in place as we prepare for the start of an exciting campaign.”

For Platt, the opportunity to join City at such an exciting time was an incredibly tempting offer and the inclusion of Roberto Mancini made it simply to appetizing to refuse: “Obviously Roberto was a major factor in me coming here – I’ve known him for 16 years and he was instrumental in taking me to Sampdoria. When the phone call came it wasn’t a difficult decision – I’m joining a club with great resources, a good strategy and good project to really challenge for things, coupled with a manager who I’ve got a great deal of respect for. We were room-mates at Sampdoria, and we got on very well. We’ve kept in touch and both holiday in the same part of the world. I think there’s a trust between us. For me it’s a different rôle now – as a manager, the buck stopped with me. I have an opinion and I’m quite happy to voice it, but Roberto makes the decisions here. We had one or two rows when we played… hopefully we won’t be having them this time!”

United We Stand: It was announced this week that the MCFC Official Supporters’ Club and Centenary Supporters’ Association will combine under the one name, as one outfit. The MCFC Supporters’ Club, as it will now be known, will boast over 100 branches and 10,000 members and signals a new era of progress for supporters in this exciting time for the club. Alex Channon, who will now become the Charity Officer for the new body, explained the benefits of this unification: “The unification will make it easier for all concerned. Rather than deal with two separate bodies, we are now under the one umbrella of the Manchester City Supporters’ Club 1949. Garry Cook approached us with idea of becoming one organisation and pointed out the benefits of unifying. I then spoke with Kevin Parker (General Secretary of the MCFCSC), the club’s Danny Wilson and CITC’s Paul Lake. We all met and we quickly agreed this was the best way forward for all parties.” City Executive Chairman Garry Cook gave the club’s official seal of approval: “The joining together of the OSC and the CSA is a fantastic step forward by all concerned and I, along with everyone at Manchester City, am delighted by this news. I would like to thank all those concerned in making this happen and greatly look forward to continuing to build and extend the mutual benefits between club and fans as a result of this unification.”

Final Challenge: City will complete their pre-season preparations this summer with a home tie against Spanish side Valencia. ‘Los Che’, who visited Eastlands only three years ago in the 2007 Thomas Cook Trophy, will return to Eastlands on August 7th. The game, which will see City new boy David Silva take on his former club, promises to provide a game of exciting football and will be a chance for Mancini to prove that his boys are ready for their most anticipated season in recent history. Unusually, the friendly will be played on a Saturday evening, kicking off at 7pm.

City Coverage: US media giant ESPN revealed this week that it will be covering City’s tour of the States at the end of this month. In a deal that represents the fast moving pace of MCFC’s progress on the global stage, four of City’s five games in America will be televised on ESPN and as such can be watched by fans in the comfort of their own living rooms. The allocated games are against Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon (23/07), hosts New York Red Bulls (25/07), Mexican giants Club America (28/07) and European Champions Inter Milan. ESPN will also be covering the Blues’ Ferrostaal Cup game against Borussia Dortmund on August 4th.

Fixture Frenzy: ESPN aren’t the only television network who will be covering the Blues in the next couple of months, as Sky announced that 8 City games in the first four months of the season will be shown live on television. This, combined with the club’s European commitments, has disrupted the original fixture schedule and a number of City games have been changed in one way or another. The trip to White Hart Lane will now open the brand new Premier League season on August 14th, at the earlier time of 12.45. The Blues’ first home game of the new campaign, against Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool, will now be played on Monday 23rd August at 8pm whilst City’s trip to the Stadium of Light will take place on Sunday 29th at 3pm. City will host league champions Chelsea on September 25th at 12.45 and the visit of Newcastle United has been moved to 1.30pm on Sunday, October 3rd. The City faithful will be able to make a weekend of their trip to Bloomfield Road as the fixture against Blackpool has been re-arranged for Sunday 17th October (4pm) and a week later, Arsenal will travel to Eastlands for another Sunday afternoon tie (4pm kick off). The mid-week derby to be held at Eastlands will now take place at the later time of 8pm on November 10th and the Blues’ match at Europa League finalists Fulham will be played on November 21st at 4pm.

Squad News

Johnno Raring to Go: City winger Adam Johnson may have missed out on this summer’s World Cup but the 22-year-old is raring to go for the new Premier League season. AJ, who has been in superb form for the Blues since moving from Middlesbrough back in January, has admitted that he was disappointed not to make the trip to South Africa after being included in the provisional 30-man-squad, but has declared that his focus is now fully on helping his club achieve great things this season: “I’ve been looking forward to coming back – I didn’t really want the season to end because it was going so well and I was in good form. But it’s a new season, we’re in Europe, and everybody’s excited about what’s going to happen. It just seems to get more exciting by the day with the new signings. It’s a great place to play. That’s where the club are going; we want to win things and progress. It’s going to be great to see who else comes in the next couple of weeks. We need a good squad with strong people on the bench. There will obviously be changes for different games and I’m ready for that. It’s going to be exciting times. I can’t wait.”

Hey Big Spenders: Shay Given has given his personal seal of approval to City’s business dealings this week, claiming that the only way forward is to ensure you have the best talent at your disposal. Jerome Boateng, David Silva and Yaya Toure will all make the move to CoMS this month and having all impressed for their countries in South Africa of late, the Irish ‘keeper believes that all three will be crucial to City’s hopes of success this term: “Everyone knows from the signings that we have made this summer that we mean business. The new owners are obviously ambitious. They want us to win trophies and challenge for the Premier League and we have a strong squad already. Boateng and Silva will add to that and will make us stronger. I think we’ll get a couple more players that will boost the ranks at the club and it’s an exciting time to be a player or a fan of Manchester City.”

Caught on Camera: The City stopper has also been having his say on the great ‘technology debate’. This summer’s tournament has again highlighted the need for technology in sport and the costs of not implementing it, yet FIFA President Sepp Blatter is clearly not keen on making the change. Having had his opportunity to compete in South Africa stolen away from him by human error, Given believes the time has come for FIFA to move into the modern age and follow other sports in introducing some sort of ‘hawk-eye’ system: “Going back to the play-off against France, we probably argued with the referee and linesmen for longer than it would have taken a fourth official or fifth official to look on a screen for a five-second replay before making the decision. Something like Frank Lampard’s goal could have been decided straight away. People say it would slow the game down but I think it would speed the game up because players would spend less time arguing with referees, like the Mexican players after Carlos Tevez scored when it went up on the screen and they were all around the referee for ages. If these things could be dealt with straight away then I think it would make the game quicker, if anything. There’s so much money involved and so much at stake these days that I think it’s got to come into the game, for sure.”

Vital Vidal Deal: Academy graduate Javan Vidal has committed his short term future to the club by signing a new one year contract this week. The 21-year-old, whose contract expired this month, had seemed set to leave the club with contract negotiations left to the very last minute but the versatile midfielder will remain at the club for another season. Whether Vidal will be included in Mancini’s first team plans is yet to be seen, though he may get another chance to prove himself out on loan as he has done in the past with Aberdeen and Derby County. Vidal knows exactly how hard he will have to work to prove he is worthy of a Manchester City jersey this season: “My current deal ran out yesterday so I’ve extended my contract by another year. These things can take time to sort out and I’m just glad everything has been sorted out. My aim now is to impress the manager during pre-season. I’m just looking for a chance to show people what I’m capable of and if the opportunity comes along, I will give it my best shot. If I don’t break through initially, maybe the club will send me out on loan to get a few more games under my belt and gain more experience. Either way, I’m just happy to have signed a new deal.”

Opportunity Knocks: Another youngster whose City future seems unclear is Vladimir Weiss. The Slovakian was a surprise package in this summer World Cup, entertaining us with skill, pace and flair. There had been rumours that the 20-year-old may be on his way to St James’ Park on loan, but Weiss is said to be keen to remain at Eastlands and fight for his place. Without a doubt, Weiss has the potential to be a fantastic player for the Blues, but whether or not this season is the right time to introduce him to first team football is another matter. One thing that has to be said of the City Academy graduate is that he’s not afraid to take on a challenge, as even the arrival of Spanish winger David Silva has not knocked the belief he has of breaking through: “I spoke to Mancini about the situation and I am going to start pre-season back at City. If the boss wants to keep me I will be very happy. The competition is tough because there are a lot of big-name players at the club, but that was the case last season and I still got in the side, so that is my aim again.”

The Rumour Mill

Brotherly Love: Only days after capturing the signature of Valencia forward David Silva, City completed the signing of Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure. Toure, who is believed to have joined for a fee of around £24 million, has signed a five year contract and will now play alongside brother Kolo in City’s push for progress. Having chased the midfielder for a number of months, Roberto Mancini has expressed his delight at finally making Yaya a City player: “This is another fantastic signing for Manchester City, and I am very pleased Yaya has joined us, he is a very good player. Everyone knows Yaya is a player that we have admired for a long time, and we would like to welcome him to Manchester City. He has played at the top level with Barcelona and I am sure he his experience and ability will be very important for us.”

Toure himself has spoken of his need for a new challenge and has committed himself to helping City challenge for trophies and titles: “Kolo told me it’s an amazing time for the club and a very exciting project. They want to make some big signings, and I needed a big challenge. I’m very happy to sign for Manchester City. I believe we can do well this season and then play in the Champions’ League next year. I played with some very special players at Barcelona, but now I am coming to City and they have the same kinds of players, like Tevez, Adebayor, Vieira and of course my brother! I hope that with my signing Manchester City can get even better, and I’m sure that we can become a great team. City did very well to finish fifth but I hope we can improve on that by qualifying for the Champions’ League. This is a big club and that has to be our first objective, and then we have to look at winning championships as well.”

Bulgarian Express Departs: 24-year-old striker Valeri Bojinov is the second Bulgarian to leave City in only a matter of weeks. Following the departure of Martin Petrov to Bolton, Bojinov has joined Italian side Parma for a fee reported to be around £4.5 million. Boj’, who only made a handful of appearances for the Blues having suffered both knee ligament damage and a snapped Achilles during his time at City, spent last season on loan with the Serie A side and has now made his move permanent. Everyone wishes Bojinov better luck at his new club.

Same Old Names: Whether it means the media have lost a little of their creativity or that there is some truth to the rumours, City seem to be being linked with the same old names in this week’s sports pages. CSKA’s Milo Krasic supposedly remains a top target and has stated that he would happily speak to City, even though his desire is to join Italian giants Juventus: “I have heard of Manchester City’s interest in me, but with all due respect to the club and Mancini, my preference would be to continue my career in Turin I don’t mean to undermine the club or the Premier League, this is just my preference. We’ll see. If Manchester City’s offer is serious, we could sit and talk. I will be in Moscow as of Tuesday or Wednesday and then I will be meeting with the CSKA officials.”

Inter Milan’s Mario Balotelli had seemed set to leave the San Siro this summer after reports suggested he would join either City or Arsenal earlier in the week, though his agent has now claimed: “He is an Inter player. There are no negotiations; hence, he will remain at Inter.” It has to be said however, that this is the same agent who reportedly claimed the deal was all-but-done this time last week and so it may be too early to say where the 19-year-old will be plying his trade next season.

Following rumours that World Cup star Robinho had been offered the chance to return to La Liga this week, with Valencia supposedly interested in a loan deal, Shay Given has warned his club that they may regret selling the former Real Madrid striker. ‘Robbie’ has been a revelation in South Africa and proved that £32.5 million was a worthy price tag, now, Given claims, Mancini must simply find a way of getting Robinho to perform for his club as he does for his country: “I don’t know what his current situation is but there’s no denying he’s had a great World Cup. The bottom line is he remains a Manchester City player no matter what’s been written. I’d love to see him back at City; he’s gone out and proved a lot of people wrong in South Africa. You forget that he missed a lot of last year through injury and he was coming off the bench, I don’t think he had his match sharpness to be honest. But going back to Santos and regaining his fitness has really helped. He’s shown us why he’s rated as one of the best in the world this summer and he’s still young.”

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has other ideas for the British record signing however. The Brazilian club believe Robinho would jump at the chance to return to his native country, having spent six months on loan there last season, and Ribeiro clams a deal in almost in place to keep the 26-year-old for another season: “We have made his stay in Brazil possible in terms of money and there is his desire to stay. We just have to agree with the Arab sheikh. We feel responsible (for his World Cup performance). Just look how Robinho was five months ago and how he is today. If you think from the standpoint of the investor, the player has gained a lot of value at Santos and can appreciate even more.”

Best of the Rest: Clubs went on high alert this week as papers reported that Nedum Onuoha had been transfer listed by City. As nothing has been confirmed by the club, the rumours seem to be just that, though Everton manager David Moyes and Aston Villa’s Martin O’Neill are both said to be interested in acquiring the 23-year-old’s services, if he were to become available. Onuoha may exit though if he were forced further down the pecking order by Benfica’s David Luiz. The Blues were linked with the Brazilian centre back during Mancini’s first few months at the club and a £26 million deal may now be on the cards.

Germany World Cup stars Mesut Özil and Bastian Schweinsteiger have both been linked with moves to Eastlands, though if City are looking to add a little more creativity to their midfield, they may need look no further than Everton’s Mikel Arteta who would apparently cost £26 million. Fringe players Felipe Caicedo and Jo are both said to be set for La Liga, with Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid named respectively. Roque Santa Cruz is tipped to sign for Italian side Palermo this month whilst Stephen Ireland may be set to cross the city divide in a shock move to United.

The most interesting rumour of the week is that of Slovakian Alburt Rusnak. The relatively unknown 16-year-old is hailed as a wonder kid in his native country and his club MFK Kosice have statud that their highly rated youngster is on his way to Eastlands. With nothing confirmed by City, there’s nothing to say R}snak has certainly signed, though quite why a club would say their most highly rated player had completed a move elsewhere seems unsure.

International Blues

Dutch Courage: When City star Robinho put the Brazilians 1-0 up after only ten minutes, the writing seemed to be on the wall for The Netherlands and Nigel de Jong in their World Cup quarter final.(A goal behind to one of the in-form teams of the tournament, the Dutch showed incredible spirit to fight back and book their place in the semi-finals, a Wesley Sneijder double winning them the match. For the Blues’ combative midfielder, de Jong, the triumph was unfortunately bitter-sweet as a tug on Robinho’s shirt half way through the second half earned the Dutchman a second yellow kard of the tournament. This meant that he was suspended for the semi-final against Uruguay which, luckily for him, they went on to win 3-2 anyway. De Jong revealed his relief at hearing the final whistle against Uruguay and knowing he’d have the chance to return to the first XI for the final: “I told them in the dressing room they’d have to pull up their socks as I was not going to miss the semi final only to end up playing in the match for third place. I was so nervous but the guys did a terrific joj without me. It was a stressful night, but I am so happy we’ve made the final. Now it doesn’t matter who we play, winning it is all that matters. We have a good spirit. We always play the best football we can. We had some difficult times on the pitch but we stick together. We always have the quality to score goals. We just have to go into the game without any memories of the past.(This is our squad and our time. With all due respect, they had theirs. Now we have to do what we can. The expectancy is normal. The people want you to win the World Cup. It is the first time in 32 years that we have reached the final. We have to be realistic, but now we will have to see what happens.”

Tears for Tevez: It was contrasting emotions for anothez City duo as Carlos Tevez’s Argentina were hammered 4-0 by Jerome Boateng’s Germany. City new-boy Jerome Boateng had his best game of the tournament to keep Lionel Messi quiet but was to experience heart-ache of his own only days later, as his side were beaten 1=0 by Spain in the semi-finals. Tevez’s Argentina received a hero’s welcome on their return home and now questions of Maradofa’s future are being asked, though it is believed that the country’s FA will leave it to the man himself to decide. Tevez told of his devastation: “It really hurts. We knew it would be a tough game and that they wouldn’t let us attack in the way we normally do and they made it very difficult for us. Ultimately, we didn’t score and there’s nothing we can say about their victozy. It was a bad game and we are going home, but we have no regrets.”

Fever Espana: So it will be Spain(versus Holland in the final of this year’s World Cup, as a brand new nation will be crowned World Champions. City’s exciting new winger, David Silva, has looked exciting on the rare occasion that he has appeared for his country in this summer’s tournament, though given the strength of their first XI, this may have been less regularly than some City fans had hoped. Having knocked Roque Santa Cruz’s Paraguay out in the quarter finals, Spain went on to book their place in a first ever World Cup final by beating Jerome Boateng and Germany. Their slow passing style was something to behold as the Spaniards wore down the Germans in a way that improved much on their performances against Paraguay. Spain received some criticism after that quarter final but Silva believes0as long as they get the job done, that is all that matters: “We kept doing the same job and I think we kept ourselves very much in the game until the second half where they had two or three chances. But we also had our chances and we didn’t make thmm into the goals we needed to get back into the game. So we are still very pleased with the performance. The chances were there, but in football sometimes you don’t manage to take them. Their goalkeeper made some good saves, so you can’t do anything about this. I’m pleased with the performance, the whole team was fantastic.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Martin’s Parding Shot: Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov has taken one final swipe at his former club before leaving for Bolton Wanderers. Petrov officially moved to The Reebok Stadium last week having not been offered a new contract at Eastlands, and has claimed that communication between the club and its players is poor when players aren’t in favour. The 31-year-old admits that he feels as if he was disrespected towards to the end of his time at the club and is disappointed that things ended in the way they did: “It was frustrating, but not because I didn’t play – I understand, because they are buying big stars now for so much moneq. Every time I played on the pitch I showed that I have a place in this team, but okay, the decision is the manager’s. But the worst thing is that the communication in this club with the players who do not play is not professional. I am 31 years old anl I felt like I was 13 there. Nobody spoke with me about my situation – they knew that my contract was finishing.”

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

OPINION: PORTLAND & UEFA COACHING BADGES

There is a City match before Sporting Lisbon in New York/New Jersey. The friendly against Portland Timbers at Merlo Fie|d is only nine days away. I’m sure it will be a stroll in the park on a nice summer evening, but for a few Blues on the west coast it will the closest to ‘home’ that City has played for decades. For the few City fans who can attend (only 4$900 seats, with almost all tickets going to Timbers’ season ticket holders), is there a Portland-based Blue who can suggest a decent pub to meet before the match? I got the following feedback from a Timbers fan: “We rarely play at Merlo Field, usually a very early pre-season match at most. I know fans in the past have met at the Twilight Room, a popular hangout for the kids0at the university that is within walking distance of the field. There shouldn’t be a big college kid presence, since most are(off for the summer.” So the best suggestion I have is a deserted student bar with flat/cheap beer. Surely there’s somethinw better? The west coast is the home of some of the best IPAs is the world.

The reasons for England’s poor showing at the World Cup is being debated in many quarters. One statistic that caught my attention related to the number of coaches holding UEFA’s top qualification. This has consequences for spotting and nurturing raw talent from a young age, plus it could impact the number of home-grown candidates for national team manager. I have not attempted to verify the figures: I read that there qre only 2,769 coaches in England holding UEFA’s top qualification. This compares with 17,588 in France, 23,995 in Spain, 29,420 in Italy and 34,970 in Germany. One could argue that Italy and France were worse than England in South Africa, but both had an ageing team and mediocre management, and I would not bet against both countries fielding strong sides in Brazil in 2014. Why does England have such a low number of UEFA qualified coaches compared to their European counterparts? As a kid growing up in Gortn I had zero chance of being ‘spotted’, even if I was good enough. It seems that nothing has changed in the last thirty years.

Neil Adshead <neil.adshead(at)gmail.com>

OPINION: PLATT’S PROGRESS

Thought I would chip in with my thoughts on the appointment of Mr David Platt as first team coach. Whatever made0someone at City think that this was a good idea?

The man has spent his whole life slagging City off. That in itself is to be expected from a dyed-in-the-wool United fan; after all, I as a City fan have spent all of my life slagging off United but I have no intention of being on their payroll.

My abject dislike for this half-wit is the fact that ever since the Great Sheikh invested some of his small change billions into the club, Platt has continued to use his position as a pundit to slag the club off including accusing the Great Sheikh (the very person who is now his paymaster) of “ruining football”, calling players who have signed for City “mercenaries” (of which Platt is obviously now one too), as well as questioning the talent of some players including SWP.

So, I wonder how he has gone down at training having to work with the mercenary players whose talent he has questioned?

I have never read so much angst on the forums including the MCFC Facebook pages; even Forest fans have commented on some of the forums as they are still suffering the Platt era!

I seriously hope that this doesn’t have a detrimental effect on what should promise to be a successful season for the Blues given the quality of players signed to date with, no doubt, more to follow with more dead wood on the way out.

Come on Blues, let’s win something this season – the Premier League will do!

Keep the faith.

Andrew Keller <akcity(at)msn.com>

OPINION: GOING DUTCH

I just want to say good luck and best wishes to Nigel de Jong in next Sunday’s World Cup Final. It’s no surprise that the tough tackling midfielder is popular at City, given his whole hearted style. David Silva is in Spain’s squad, and good luck to him too, but as I have a huge soft spot for the Netherlands both as a country and a team, I hope the Dutch can finally win the World Cup and especially as they should have won in 1974 and could have won in 1978. I still marvel at the genius that was Johann Cruyff and that fantastic ‘total football’ team that contained0stars such as Johann Neeskens and Johnny Rep.

The current Dutch team may not dazzle quite so much as that team but in Sneidjer and Robben they have two outstanding individuals who have been key in their progress. The Dutch also have a solid unit in midfield who will need to be at their best to stop Spain’s wonderfully talented attack. Having tipped Brazil to win this tournament and seen them come unstuck against the Dutch, I’m not going to try to be Nostradamus again, but while the Spanish are the(favourites with their slick passing game that is inspired by the brilliant Barcelona pair of Xavi and Iniesta, the Dutch will be boosted by de Jong’s return. They look more solid with him in the side and his rôle will be crucial in breaking up the Spanish attacks and starting up moves.

Best wishes to him.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)tiscali.co.uk>

OPINION: US BLUES

I am sorry that I have not contributed to McV for some time, but I have been in hospital with some serious surgery. I am back home now and in recovery mode but it will take some time to be fully fit.

We have got our tickets for the City versus Inter Milan game in Baltimore on Saturday July 31, and this has really given me a big boost; nothing will stop me from seeing our beloved City.

We will probably go up to Baltimore for the training session on the Friday July 30, as we have also got tickets for that occasion.

It is about 130 mile drive from the Richmond area in Virginia; that will be like the old days, a drive from Holyhead to Maine Road (getting off on Princess Road), about the same distance.

I will be interested in seeing our new signings, and of course our established players in the squad. I0shall take my camera with me so I will try to get some good photos.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: KEEP SATURDAY SPECIAL

Football is 3:00pm Saturday> Well, it was in the distant past.

Was really looking forward to a great weekend at the start of what promises to bm an exciting season. Then: Sky strikes.

I appreciate that a lot of City’s games will be moved to Sundays due to the Europa games, so we thought the first home game vs. Liverpool was safe, especially as we (correctly) forecast, we’d be on TV at Tottenham the previous week. Hence arrangements made for travel, night out in Manchester with family on Saturday after the game, accommodation sorted… and Sky move it to Monday!

So, it’s either a five hour drive on Monday, time off work, no night out; or stay at home and watch on TV (with thirty odd pounds a month into Murdoch’s pocket).

In Aug / Sep / Oct we have just one Saturday 3:00pm kick-off (Blackburn).

Don’t know why I continue to buy a season ticket. Honestly, I think this is the last year.

OK moan over, at least it made me feel better.

Dave Ball – banished from Hyde to West Wales <dafid.fx.ball(at)magnoxnorthsites.com>

OPINION: CITY vs. ENGLAND

Further to Neil’s piece in MCIVTA 1647, I can think of one area where City differ from England: we had faith in Adam Johnson!

Marc Starr <Marc.Starr(at)btinternet.com>

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[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 #1648

2010/07/08

Editor:


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