Newsletter #1655

As the US tour ends with disappointment on the City performances, we have views tonight on the pre-season so far. There’s also opinion on the squad rulings affecting Premier League clubs next season, a plea for an assessment on City and the movers and shakers and the usual requests.

Next Game: Borussia Dortmund, 8pm, Wednesday 4 August 2010 (friendly)


Inter Milan, the Champions of Europe, deserved their victory over Manchester City, but I question the way they went to ground whenever a City player touched them. Inter fielded a strong side but without the striker Mario Balotelli, the striker that City need to bolster the attack.

Patrick Vieira never deserved a red card for his alleged elbow to Materazzi. The large TV screen at the stadium showed the replay and even the Inter fans booed the decision, for Vieria was once a favourite of Inter. The Mexican referee made a bad mistake that changed the game, and the Inter fans knew it.

City replaced Jo with Richards, with Zab moving into midfield; this left Adebayor as the lone striker and he became well marked as City players tried to give him the ball.

With City down to ten men, Rafa capitalized on their numerical advantage, playing more from the wings to run out comfortable winners. The first Inter goal came in the 39th minute when Obinna scored with a slight deflection from Richards.

The second goal was an unlucky goal against City; when the ball hit Lescott, it appeared that Shay had the ball covered until it diverted into the back of the net – it was an own goal by the unlucky Lescott.

A fantastic goal was scored from about 30 yards out by Cristiano Biraghi; this must be the goal of the month as it flew into the back of the net like a rocket giving Shay no chance to save. It made Inter the 3-0 winners.

The best effort on goal by City came late in the game as SWeeP hit a rocket that the Inter goalkeeper did well to save.

Pirelli, the sponsors of Inter, presented Inter with the “Pirelli Cup”. So Inter had brought their own cup to present to themselves (not that they did not deserve it).

I would have liked to have seen Bellamy come on as a sub, but this might mean he is leaving to Fulham? With Mario not playing for Inter I hope this means he is on his way to City.

Before the kick off I had the pleasure of meeting Gary Cooke and old City favourite Buzzer (Mike Summerbee).

Although City lost the game I had a good day out, and remain positive on City having a great season once the new signings play.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Well most of the pre-season friendlies are out of the way, with I might say, awful results. Sure they’re pre-season and we used a lot of players who may or may not feature in the 1st team but come on, we seem to be (on this side of the world) totally disorganised, with far too many players for a squad of 25.

Unless things are sorted out quickly, the season will have started and we are not even at the starting gate. Another season where we have to start all over again… a familiar City ring to it.

I fear for this club, who I have supported since the late 60’s. We have a group of players that Mancini doesn’t want, on decent money, who other clubs can’t or won’t afford, so where to from here? A big financial loss on some players. Gee Ernie, you throw your trust about… it wasn’t long ago it was ‘in Sparky we trust’ and now it’s Mancini.

Hope Mark Hughes doesn’t have the last laugh over City, something that happens too much for my liking.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Just like to point out that Dave Kilroy got it all wrong with his squad list. The rules state that, to qualify as “home grown”, a player has to have spent 3 years prior to his 21st birthday as a member of an English club, not the club he currently plays for.

According to the rules, we have the following:

“Home Grown”

Given, Taylor, Hart, Richards, Onuoha, Lescott, Bridge, Johnson(A), Johnson(M), SWP, Barry, Ireland, Weiss, Logan, Vidal, Bellamy.


Garrido, Toure(K), Zabaleta, Kolarov, Silva, Vieira, Toure(Y), de Jong, Kompany, Jo, Caicedo, Tevez, Santa Cruz, Robinho, Adebayor.


Boateng, Cunningham, Ibrahim, Boyata, Nimely, etc…

So that’s 15 “foreigners” and 16 “home grown”. We will not be able to register 6 of these for the Premier League, but they can of course still be considered for Cup and Europa League fixtures. Chances are we will lose several of them to transfers (Garrido, RSC, Bellamy, Onuoha, Jo, Caicedo seem most likely) and a number to loans (Vidal, Logan, some of the U21s).

We are 2 “foreigners” under the limit at present, so Mancini can buy a couple of others with no worries (not including Balotelli, who as you rightly say is only 19).

Gareth Smith <gareth(at)>


I’m not sure that Dave Kilroy (MCIVTA 1654) is correct in his interpretation of the new Premier League squad rules and their effect on City. I think the definition of home grown is 36 months with any club in this country before the age of 21, not 36 months with their current club. On that basis the list of home grown over 21s at City is 15 strong, not just 7 as Dave suggests. The MEN seems to share that view – they did a full breakdown in the article below:

The problem will be getting the squad down to 25 over 21s, regardless of home grown or foreign!

Andy Carver <andy.carver(at)>


I read Dave Kilroy’s latest article with interest as I’ve also been intrigued as to the shape of Mancini’s 25 man squad. Having done a bit more research (there’s a pretty good article on the BBC website, which links to the Premier League website) I’d like to add my own interpretation (and of course a bit of guess work) as to who is likely to be named and who will be left out.

I think the first thing to note is that these rules only apply to the Premier League and not to the FA Cup, Carling Cup or Europa League. As I understand it we will be able to retain players who do not make the 25 man squad and they will be able to play in all of the other competitions.

Also Mancini has until the 1st September (the day after the 1st transfer window shuts) to name his squad. So for the games against Spurs, Liverpool and Sunderland he’ll be able to play who he likes. Ample time for some fine tuning perhaps?

Dave is indeed correct that the rules state we can have a maximum of 25 players over the age of 21. However, for this season an under-21 player is defined as someone born on or after the 1st January 2010 so unfortunately Boateng does not qualify. Dave is also right in saying that we need to have 8 ‘homegrown’ players in the 25. The Premier League’s rule says: ‘A home grown player is defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21)’. I take this to mean that they don’t have to have been with City for three seasons before they’re 21 but just affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA.

Now the rules are out of the way, let’s take a look at the squad as it stands:

GK: Given, Hart, Taylor, Gonzalez
DF: Richards, Zabaleta, Logan, Kompany, Lescott, Boateng, Kolo Toure, Onuoha, Boyata, Kolarov, Bridge, Cunningham
MF: SWP, Weiss, Yaya Toure, Barry, de Jong, Ireland, Vieira, M Johnson, Ibrahim, AJ, Silva, Etuhu
FW: Tevez, Adebayor, Bellamy, Santa Cruz, Jo, Robinho, Caicedo, Nimely

We have a squad of 36 players now Garrido has been sold to Lazio (thanks for your services and a couple of cracking goals Javier). Of this 36, 5 qualify as under 21’s (Boyata, Cunningham, Weiss, Ibrahim, Nimely) taking us down to 31, meaning that 6 of the remaining players will not make the cut. Increasingly it looks as if Stephen Ireland will be staying, hopefully to pull his socks up and other clichés and Milner will be staying put at Villa. It also appears that we will secure the services of Balotelli who does qualify as under-21, which means that still only 6 players need to be culled (not literally obviously although in the case of Santa Cruz it is tempting).

In my opinion the players who should go are Gonzalez (Colombian goalie signed as cover, no longer needed), Logan (not up to standard), Etuhu (not up to standard), Santa Cruz (total waste of money, let’s persuade Sparky to part with most of his Fulham transfer budget on his prize carthorse), Robinho (we don’t want him, he doesn’t want us), Caicedo or Jo (either would be useful squad players in my opinion but one has to go).

From the remaining players we have 13 who are home-grown as it were (Given, Hart, Taylor, Richards, Lescott, Onouha, Bridge, SWP, Barry, Ireland, M Johnson, AJ, Bellamy), meaning that we satisfy that criteria easily leaving us with an improved, slightly streamlined and extremely competitive squad.

I think the target for the season should be to break into the top four and to win one of the three cup competitions we’re in. Wouldn’t that be beautiful eh? Roll on August 14th!

Steve Baker <steve.baker83(at)>


As regular readers may know I wasn’t his biggest fan when he was at City, but to all those who claimed it was just because he was a former Rag, I say this… May I be one of the first to wish Hughes all the best at Fulham, now that he has found a club that will match his ability as a manager. It is not his fault that he was given a job at City beyond his capabilities, but I’m sure now he’ll be under less pressure as he’ll be able to achieve the mid-table ambitions required at Fulham just like he did with Blackburn. I’m glad he took all his coaching staff too, as they would obviously find it hard to get a job otherwise. Hopefully all that remains now is for him to take Santa Cruz off our hands, and then we’ll be quits.

At least we now have a manager with a track record and with the tactical know-how to take us forwards. Can’t wait to see Silva, Kolarov, Boateng, Yaya Toure and hopefully Balotelli play in a City shirt. This season is going to be a lot more exciting!

Steve Burrows <stevieburrows(at)>


City had a good training session but Inter Milan never showed up; from what I understand it was because of their late arrival. So the Inter Milan fans had to enjoy the training by City.

The weather conditions were perfect, in the mid 80’s Fahrenheit with a nice breeze. I saw a United fan in his ugly shirt, so I said to him “So you have come to see the real Manchester team?”

The City team started the training on the opposite side of the pitch from where the 5,000 approx fans were seated. There was no official attendance given.

During the training an Inter fan seated close to me asked “Where is Mancini?” for we could not see him anywhere. I answered he is busy signing your Mario. Across the pitch I could see Buzzer (Mike Summerbee) and Gary Cooke.

As the session came to the end, the City players kicked about 30 footballs into the crowd, a nice touch by MCFC.

Now for the game versus Inter Milan later today, in a very nice stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens play their NFL games.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I think it would be useful before the start of the season to do an assessment of all the changes at City, players, of course, but also coaching staff. Who are they? What do they do?

Who for instance is that longish-haired curly guy we see on the coach’s bench at all the Mancini-era games? He seems to sit there smiling but not doing much.

And what exactly is the relationship between Mancini and Kidd? From watching on TV, Mancini seems to consider him a nuisance. I find this intriguing.

Basically who fits where? Platt for instance. Where does the power lie etc. Even throw a bit of gossip and speculation in.

Many of us see most of the games on TV. Perhaps this is all simple stuff to people in Manchester but I think for the rest of us it would be good information going into the new season.

Perhaps one of your regular locals could chime in on this?

Chris Cobb <cobsun(at)>


Milton Keynes branch will be holding our next meeting on August 12th at the Caldecotte Arms Hotel in Bletchley. Meeting starts at 7.30 pm. One of the topics for discussion will be to plan the dates for meetings this season, with the priority of agreeing suitable dates for the visits of special guests Paul Lake and Gary James.

If you would like to join the branch or you are already a member, please come along and meet us on the 12th. The membership this season for adults is £6 and we are also having a prize draw at the end of August for all new members.

If you have any questions about the Milton Keynes branch or if you’d like any more information, please just contact me.

Steve Maclean <secretary(at)>


I’m going to be in Monterey for the opening game of the Premier League season. Does anyone know of any pubs or bars there that will be showing the Spurs game?

Martin Preston <Martin.Preston(at)>


After successful trips in previous European campaigns, Blue Chip (Spike’s Manchester office) and Flight Options are pleased to be offering travel packages for the fans to the forthcoming UEFA Cup campaign.

Our first game is in the Play Off Round, the draw to take place, next week, Friday 6th August. The games will be played on either 19th or 26th August.

Once we qualify, we progress to the Group Stage, to be drawn on 27th August, with potential away games throughout September to December. Once the draw has been made, we will email you all available packages.

In the meantime, if you need any information, please contact us see below.

Blue Chip (Spike’s Manchester Office) 0161 775 7500 or e-mail <info(at)>
Flight Options (London Office) 0207 976 5600

Brian Campbell <brian(at)>

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Newsletter #1655