Newsletter #1659

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And so the season commences with a point away at Spurs, a game in which we were lucky thanks to Joe Hart’s performance to keep a clean sheet. We have views on the game and team tonight, although it’s very early days for the new signings to be making their mark just yet.

With the news that Bellamy has today been training with Cardiff and given permission to talk to other clubs, there is opinion on his apparent fallout together with a look at the media and others’ views of City.

Next up a trip to Romania for an Italian dessert sounding Europa League qualifier.

Next Game: FC Timisoara, away, 19.45pm, Thursday 19 August 2010 (Europa)

MATCH VIEW “TV”: THFC 0 MCFC 0

We’re off and running and already one point better off than last season, when you consider that we got nothing out of Tottenham last term.

Granted, we rode our luck and had to rely on the brilliance of Joe Hart and several timely last minute interventions by Kompany and Toure, not to mention a brilliant last ditch tackle by Nigel de Jong. Yes, we were lucky that Tottenham didn’t score in the first half and some of those blocks and deflections would have gone in for them on another day and we could have been trounced, but the fact is we weren’t and we showed the resilience to grind out a draw. Most un-City like, I know, but success hasn’t crossed our path for so long so why not break the habit?

City must learn lessons from this game, because better teams than Tottenham will take their chances. After a first half when we repeatedly surrendered possession (that old chestnut) and allowed Tottenham to dictate the tempo, we rallied in the second half to the point where we dominated possession. We still moved the ball about too slowly and need to be sharper in our passing. That will come with time as the players get used to each other. It hasn’t been a satisfactory pre-season, mainly because several players haven’t reported for duty until later on because of the need to recuperate after the World Cup, and this has meant that the new players have not had much time to be assimilated with the existing ones. So we have to accept that it will take a week or two for our team to develop an understanding and find their sharpness. When it does all come together it could be a very potent mix. David Silva looks like a very clever playmaker and will be the key to unlocking the door. Yaya Toure (or should that be Toure Yaya?) gave us height as well as a physical presence in midfield, and he was well supported by the ever-tenacious Nigel de Jong and Gareth Barry who was stationed on the left just in front of Kolarov, who looked solid on his début before coming off injured.

It was a far cry from the 3-0 defeat last December when we fielded the weakest left side pair (defensively at least) in Sylvinho and Robinho. On this occasion Lennon always had two and sometime three men ready to snuff out his threat. The only City defender to get a real chasing was Micah Richards, who was up against the powerful running of Bale. Toure and Kompany were brilliant, though one would hope they wouldn’t have to be under as much pressure as this every week. I’m not a great fan of making strikers captain but Roberto Mancini may have pulled off a master stroke in naming Carlos Tevez as captain in that he is a leader by example. Furthermore, it gives him some extra responsibility and this should go some way to him buying into Mancini’s training plans. Tevez may have led a nomadic career so far, Boca Juniors are Tevez’s first love, and he has great affection for West Ham, but there is no reason why Manchester City cannot be a special club to him too, especially as he has the honour of being Manchester City captain.

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

OPINION: MATCH REACTION I

Well the much anticipated first match away to Tottenham, and guess what we do? we approach it with ultra-caution, and what happens, we are under the cosh in the first half. If not for the brilliance of Hart and the post we could easily have been 3-0 down at half time. We know what Spurs are all about and you have to be prepared to press them, close them down early, give them no time on the ball and push them back. Instead, we allowed them to push us back. City played a lot better in the 2nd half but with no real goal threat, with the best chance falling to SWP who took too long to bring the ball down. We passed the ball a lot better but were poor in the last third of the pitch. Adam Johnson made a big difference when he came on, and it was a big surprise that he did not start.

I will be honest, we were extremely lucky to go away from White Hart Lane with a point, and towards the end I was on the edge of my seat, just counting the clock down. Spurs had 2 or 3 chances in the last 5 minutes to win the match and we were very fortunate indeed, with Joe Hart Man Of The Match, which tells you everything.

These are the points I want to make:

  • Why are we playing with 3 holding midfielders?
  • Why are we not putting out a side to win the game?
  • Why are Mancini’s tactics so negative? Tevez was playing like a midfielder!
  • With all the “big name” signings, where is the creative midfielder we are craving for?
  • Why do we have so many defensive players?
  • Chelsea have an Italian manager, why are they scoring goals for fun?
  • Our 2 full backs on view today still seem to be “not good enough”; in comparison, Assou-Ekotto was excellent, and on less money!
  • Zabaleta puts in a lot of energy but boy, does he give away the ball a lot!

I love Bellamy for his passion and wholehearted desire but as anyone knows, once you cross a manager, your time is up and it’s just a question of which club he will now be joining. Robinho should be sold, the sooner the better. Santos have 2 very good youngsters and City should do a deal there.

Santa Cruz, mega bad buy for us, should be sold quickly. I hope Ireland is a make-weight for Milner, as his best days in a City shirt were a very long time ago.

I really hope we improve, and quickly too, as we are going to be under the spotlight in every match as we have spent so much money. I really hope Balotelli proves to be a good buy and he hits the ground running.

With a little luck, a lot of hard graft, and a manager who sends out a team to win, this could be our season.

Come on City!

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

OPINION: MATCH REACTION II

A point away from home against a rival is always a good point gained. We can thank Joe Hart in goal for his world class display in helping City get the point.

The first half saw City slower on the ball whilst Spurs came out attacking with speed and more direct passing. In the second half City came out playing much better football, and a glorious chance by SWeeP was lost as he appeared to have had the goal at his mercy. So we came away with a very lucky point.

Our next game versus Liverpool should be a cracker at home, when we shall see our new signing Mario Balotelli lead the attack with Tevez. The team will get better with time as the players get to know each other.

Sounds like bad boy Craig Bellamy will be playing for Cardiff City. Bellamy showed us some brilliant football last season with his fast runs down the wing and his goals versus United. What went on in the dressing room we probably will never know, but a player must show respect to his boss (Mancini).

Bellamy has never been afraid to give his opinions, and this throughout his career has been a big fault of his. On the pitch Bellamy always gave 100% and many will be upset that he has left the club; it’s a pity manager and player could not work it out but if you are a rebel against your boss you don’t deserve to stay.

Better that Bellamy has left now than stay and upset the morale of the dressing room.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: MATCH REACTION III

Considering they are our bogey team I was content with a nil all draw. I was impressed with Joe Hart’s game and after-match interview. I am looking forward to a great season.

Mark H Leahy <herbie1(at)paradise.net.nz>

OPINION: NO-ONE LOVES US

I went to the match on Saturday, though I’ll leave the commentary to others as I want to comment on the media reports and the MOTD and Sunday Times coverage in particular.

I guess it is official: City are now the most hated football club in the Premier League. The huge spending has caused jealousy amongst other supporters, anger amongst those commentators who think that the “big four” have a divine right to dominance in perpetuity and disgust amongst those fans who think money has ruined their beloved game. Whilst I have some sympathy with the last viewpoint, it isn’t City who started the so called “buying of the title” and it really is a cheek for the likes of Man U and Chelsea fans, in particular, to make these allegations. They need a greater self awareness of their own spending history before they start criticising us; we are just trying to catch up.

Most of the media reports of the match on Saturday were truly disgusting. Alan Hansen’s rant on MOTD was despicable. He may not think City can win a Champions’ League place on the evidence of Saturday’s first match (a match incidentally that we lost 3-0 last season) but when we do qualify I hope he has the decency to apologise, though I won’t hold my breath. But the vicious, nasty article by Jonathan Northcroft in the Sunday Times must surely get first prize for the ferocity of its bile and City-hating content. This is just one example in Northcroft’s article that should result in City banning him from all of our future home matches, if the player himself doesn’t sue the paper: “Aleksander Kolarov was so tortured he developed a sudden injury just before half-time and asked to be replaced”. The clear indication is that Kolarov couldn’t hack it in his first Premier League match and was unprofessional and let his team mates down by feigning a “sudden” injury so he didn’t have to play in the second half. This is totally untrue. What I saw at the match was Kolarov sustaining an injury within the first twenty minutes of the match, not “just before half-time” and he was clearly in discomfort for the remainder of the first half. Before he was injured I thought he played very well; he certainly wasn’t “tortured”. In fact, he looks like an excellent signing and a player who will adapt very well to the physicality of the Premier League. Northcroft’s comment is beneath contempt and if I was Kolarov I’d sue. Please feel free to vent your rage at Northcroft’s viciousness by emailing: <jonathan.northcroft(at)sunday-times.co.uk>

I hope that Mancini can take a leaf out of Taggart’s book by getting the players steamed up and determined to prove the City-haters wrong. We, and especially the players, need to stand together and prove our critics wrong and we need to make our voices heard when these so called journalists make their crude, biased comments against us in the media.

CTID, Ian Haworth <ian.haworth(at)hotmail.co.uk>

OPINION: OLD GREEN EYES IS BACK…

This summer I have been on the receiving end of the jealousy of some (and I mean only some) fans of other clubs about City’s wealth and spending. I’ve had it rammed down my throat the City are ‘ruining football’ with all our spending, and yet these people overlook the fact that United and Chelsea have been spending fortunes for years. Yet if you asked any of these people if they would like their club to be in City’s position it is a nailed on certainty that they would say ‘yes’, if they were telling the truth. Their sanctimonious hypocrisy is staggering. These hypocrites make me sick, and I am more than happy to put them in their place when the opportunity arises.

I’ve heard some (and again I only mean some) Liverpool fans moaning about City’s wealth last season, yet they are licking their lips with anticipation of the new wealthy owner that is going to buy out their club from their current appalling owners. Furthermore, Liverpool fans weren’t moaning when they shelled out all that money on Torres.

I really don’t care what these people think, but I don’t want to hear it. I just want City to win, win, and win again, so that we can enjoy some long overdue success, and I want us to stay at the top. Why not? In thirty years of following City I can only truly point to 4 ‘good’ years: two 5th place finishes under Peter Reid; the promotion as champions under Kevin Keegan; and last season’s 5th place. Other than that, we have watched mediocrity and worse still (and far too often), appalling rubbish including 5 relegations, the nadir being the demotion to the third division, for what will hopefully be the one and only time in our history. I know that City fans, in general, aren’t arrogant about our current good fortune, so why shouldn’t we days in the sun after all the rubbish that we have watched? It takes a very mean spirit for anyone to begrudge us that.

So come on City, use the antagonism to your advantage, and do your stuff. We’re right behind you.

I am going to close by saying genuinely and without a hint of being sycophantic, that I am most grateful to Sheikh Mansour for choosing City. You’re making a lot of people very happy indeed.

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

OPINION: FALLOUTS

I agree with Dave Walker that excluding Bellamy from the squad looks to make no sense. I’d be impressed if any of the new buys plays better than Bellamy. The fact that Redknapp wants him tells you everything. At the very least, you’d want to keep him around in the squad in case the new buys don’t settle in fast enough, or at all. I’ll be interested to see whether, say, Patrick Vieira is regarded as a better player by Mancini.

I’m reminded of how Shaun Goater was shunted to the back of the line when Anelka arrived, replacing a prolific ‘journeyman’ with a glamour name who scores fewer actual goals. Course, I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, and if Mancini is not working well with Bellamy, maybe it makes the most sense that he should go. But I’m beginning to get the sense that Roberto doesn’t get along with too many people especially given that, as Mike Edwards worries, Mancini seems set on shipping out most of the best team we have had in years. If that turns out to be the case, then yet again we will be starting from scratch.

Bernard Molyneux <molyneux(at)ucdavis.edu>

OPINION: BELLAMY

As it is extremely unlikely in these days of autocratic chairmen and owners that David Walker (MCIVTA 1658) would get the reply you seek, I would like to reply to your open letter about Bellamy on their behalf (although probably not reflecting their opinions!). It sounds as if you are of a similar age to me and like you I am enjoying the current backing of Sheikh Mansour, which will at last mean that we will become a real power in the Premier and Champions’ League, despite the rabidly anti-City press and pundits. Jealousy, methinks!

As you say, “none of us are privy to what goes on behind the scenes or the relationships between playing staff, manager and administrators/directors” but we can judge by what we see and hear players do and say. You say that Bellamy is a player “driven by personal and professional pride, a commitment second to none and a never-say-die attitude”, yet this is the same player who publicly berated Mancini in front of the cameras after the Everton game, high-fived Harry Redknapp after we lost to Spurs (as the MEN says “not the act of a man passionately committed to Manchester City”), and has given an ‘interview’ where he ridiculously claims that Mancini didn’t speak to him for six months. While Bellamy grumbled and moaned, Mancini only ever sang the striker’s praises and continued to play him despite having other options.

I loved Bellamy’s commitment on the pitch, his occasional flashes of skill, and the work he does in Sierra Leone but I do not wear such blue-tinted glasses as to suggest he is the player some people think he is. I think opinion may be skewed by the fact that he played the debtors off the park in our first derby last season but after that I think most objective Blues will admit that his contributions were at best inconsistent under both Hughes and Mancini. He was one of the most frustrating players because he has the potential to beat anyone and score but he actually only managed that in a few games and I don’t think he is as indispensable as many seem to think. Rather than a true world-beater he is more of a Paul-Dickov-with-pace, and although we always love players with that kind of commitment we need ability too and consistency with it. His lack of consistency (roughly one good game in five), I believe, is why he has never won anything in his career (a Scottish cup apart), and always moves on to another club before he is found out.

I would have liked him to realise that he is extremely well paid to do a ‘job’ many of us would like to do for free, and not moan to the press about feeling outcast. It takes two to talk and if Mancini is thinking about you not being part of City’s future then go and prove him wrong instead of whinging to the press. Patrick Vieira was spot on with his comments that “If every single player understands that the squad will win, I think we can go really far.” In other words he is prepared to sacrifice his desire to play every match for the greater good of the team. Bellamy (like Given) doesn’t seem to understand that only a team wins anything in football, and that they will have to share the glory with at least ten others! I remember a story from Tony Adams about how he challenged Bergkamp when he first came to Arsenal about not having won anything despite his talent and look what happened as a result. Vieira would do well to remind Bellamy of that story. No football team in history has ever succeeded by being a one-man team. Perhaps Bellamy thinks he is in Brazil where they have a star player who is treated differently from the rest, but then look what happens to those players (e.g. Robinho) when they come to a proper league.

It is not as if Bellamy has no history of this type of behaviour. At Newcastle, Bellamy had a very public falling-out with the manager, Graeme Souness. Despite the two claiming that the rift had been healed, it was announced on 23 January 2005 that the player had been omitted from the team for a Premier League match with Arsenal at Highbury stadium. Bellamy gave an interview saying he was prepared to play in any position for his club. However, with his Newcastle United career hanging in the balance, he later admitted that he had threatened to fake injury ahead of the Arsenal match, though in a later interview accused Souness of lying about him and his commitment to the club. Craig Bellamy has only ever been about achieving success for Craig Bellamy, and he is the last person I would ever want in the ‘trench’ alongside me. At any sign of trouble he’d start moaning and join the opposition, making sure he’d ‘shot’ you in the back first. I think most City fans with an objective viewpoint would realise that Bellers has had his moment and sealed his own fate. Again from the MEN, “Bellamy is a goner. And, while City will be momentarily poorer for it on the field, they will be better for his departure in the long run.” We are a team aiming to win things and to do that we need players who are winners, not whiners.

Steve Burrows <stevieburrows(at)wimsel.plus.com>

OPINION: GETTING SHIRTY AND GETTING SHORT

To shed some light on Phill’s comments about the kit at WBA (MCIVTA 1657), I would ignore a lot that Radio Manchester say (and I would extend that to Key 103 too) as they have been talking nonsense recently about MCFC.

The club announced on MCFC’s website that the home shirt will be worn at WBA and gave a good piece on stating what shirts will be worn at what games.

Just a quick word regarding Dave Walker’s comments from MCIVTA 1658, I share your comments about the commitment of Bellamy but for me, he signed his own death warrant with that unnecessary interview on SSN. Also, I heard something disturbing info the other day from that game versus Spuds at the end of last season; having given the ball away that lead to the goal for Spuds, he then, allegedly, at the end of the game was all smiles with Redknapp, high-fiving him etc.; not the actions of someone supposedly committed to the MCFC cause. I certainly wasn’t high-fiving the Spuds fans!

I think that you also have to factor into the equation the fitness of Bellars; his dodgy knees can and will go at any time so I think his time has come.

However, he can still stay even if he doesn’t make the 25 man Premier League squad as he can play in the cups; let’s face it, if we want a successful season then we will be playing as many cup games as league games!

I will trust the manager and his team (except Pratt) to decide on the best 25 for the Premier League season.

Whatever happens, keep the faith!

Andrew Keller <akcity(at)msn.com>

OPINION: MCV 1658

Dave, completely agree with you over Bellamy. He plays with a passion and commitment second to none, something that was missing in our first game.

Points from the game: Thanks to Joe Hart for the point. It was like we just turned up and introduced ourselves to each other. I guess that was due to not playing our strongest combinations pre-season. Spurs should have won by three, and I hope we can only get better or it’s going to be a long season.

And Go Blackpool! (3-0 half time). Just joking Ernie.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)slingshot.co.nz>

REQUEST: REDDISH BLUES

Due to City’s Europa League first leg game against Timisoara from Romania being played away, Ian Cheeseman and BBC Radio Manchester are now unable to do the live broadcast of Blue Tuesday from Reddish WMC on Tuesday 17th August and a new date is being organised for September.

Our normal branch meeting will still take place on the 17th August but now at the later time of 8.00pm (doors 7.30pm); details of our guests will be announced shortly.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused but it’s completely out of our control.

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)btinternet.com>

REQUEST: CITY TUNES

I am just in the process of putting together a website based around the music played at City on match days. Currently it features tracks played over the last couple of seasons but eventually will feature tracks from years gone by. If anyone is interested it can be found at the address below; please feel free to comment.

http://www.manchestercitymusic.webspace.virginmedia.com/

Dave <mcfc.music(at)ntlworld.com>

RESULTS

15 August 2010

Liverpool             1 - 1  Arsenal               44,722

14 August 2010

Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 0  Manchester City       35,928
Aston Villa           3 - 0  West Ham United       36,604
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 0  Everton               25,869
Bolton Wanderers      0 - 0  Fulham                20,352
Sunderland            2 - 2  Birmingham City       38,390
Wigan Athletic        0 - 4  Blackpool             16,152
Wolverhampton Wndrs   2 - 1  Stoke City            27,850
Chelsea               6 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  41,58


9

League table to 15 August 2010 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea          1  1  0  0  6  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   6   0   6   3
 2 Blackpool        1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  4  0  1  0  0   4   0   4   3
 3 Aston Villa      1  1  0  0  3  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   3   0   3   3
 4 Wolves           1  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   2   1   1   3
 5 Blackburn R.     1  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0   1   0   1   3
 6 Birmingham City  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  2  2  0  1  0   2   2   0   1
 7 Sunderland       1  0  1  0  2  2  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0   2   2   0   1
 8 Arsenal          1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  1  0   1   1   0   1
 9 Liverpool        1  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0   1   1   0   1
10 Bolton Wndrs     1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0   0   0   0   1
11 Fulham           1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  1  0   0   0   0   1
12 Manchester City  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  1  0   0   0   0   1
13 Tottenham H.     1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0   0   0   0   1
14 Manchester Utd   0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   0   0   0   0
15 Newcastle Utd    0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   0   0   0   0
16 Stoke City       1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  1  2  0  0  1   1   2  -1   0
17 Everton          1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  1   0   1  -1   0
18 West Ham United  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  3  0  0  1   0   3  -3   0
19 Wigan Athletic   1  0  0  1  0  4  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1   0   4  -4   0
20 West Brom A.     1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  6  0  0  1   0   6  -6   0

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1011.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page

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

The official club web site can be found at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/ and the official club Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mcfc. The club also has a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mcfcofficial

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club (http://www.mcfcsupportersclub.com/). The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (http://www.mcdsa.co.uk/).

[6] Where can I find out about Points of Blue?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears on the club website under the “Fans” heading (http://www.mcfc.co.uk/Fans).

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

Live match commentary can be found on the club website. The Radio Manchester pre- and post-match phone-in is available on the web at http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/manchester/hi/tv_and_radio/.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/pl.html provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are http://msn.foxsports.com/, http://www.soccertv.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 #1659

2010/08/16

Editor:


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