Newsletter #1680

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News tonight from Alex on the tributes to Malcolm Allison, reaction to the Arsenal game and former Blues’ news.

We have opinion on the Arsenal game and player selections and the usual requests.

Next Game: Wolverhampton Wanderers, away, 3pm Saturday 30 October 2010

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

Farewell ‘Big Mal’: It’s been a moving week in the history of Manchester City Football Club as fans said their final goodbyes to club hero Malcolm Allison. Initial tributes were paid to “City’s Brian Clough” at last week’s Europa League tie against Lech Poznan. As a clip reel was played on the big screens, City fans broke into spontaneous applause and the travelling Polish fans stood in silence as a mark of respect. The official remembrance of Allison was undertaken at Eastlands on Sunday ahead of the Blues’ game against Arsenal. Stars past and present took part in a minute’s applause. The City faithful were then given a final opportunity to say farewell as the funeral cortège made its way through Eastlands on Wednesday. In the most emotional tribute of the three, Allison’s hearse stopped for a moment outside of CoMS and fans again broke out into spontaneous applause whilst throwing flowers and club scarves on top of the hearse as it passed. The man will forever be remembered as someone who could bring the best of City players and over the last week he has also brought out the best of the club’s fans.

Cooking Up a Storm: What ‘Big Mal’ would have given to see a second era of success and prosperity at his beloved club. Though the current crop of Blues are a long way from achieving the heights of City greats Allison and Mercer, many will tell you that their own revolution is just round the corner. Executive Chairman Garry has declared though that this will not be done at any risk to the club. ‘Financial sustainability’ are the buzz words being banded around by FIFA and UEFA these days and City have been criticised for putting such a notion at risk. Cook claims that only those within the club understand the true position of Manchester City and has laughed off press speculation to the contrary: “We want to be properly successful and among the European elite but we must remember our roots and we must remember our supporters. The history and heritage of this football club are dear to us. Critics only have their own perspective. They’re not at the football club; they haven’t been part of the planning or the long-term financial strategies. People think we choose players from the fantasy football league but there was a clear plan for who Roberto wanted to sign. One of the perceptions was that we only buy foreign players, then suddenly people saw that six of the England team who finished against Switzerland were City players.”

Stop the Hunger: City were part of a global outcry to “end the hunger” last week as the Premier League involved itself in the ‘1 billion hungry’ campaign. An initiative that seeks to encourage world governments to give priority to the elimination of hunger, sixteen football leagues across the world used their influence to try to persuade fans to sign a petition addressed to the world leaders. City’s own UN Good Will ambassador, Patrick Vieira, has praised football bodies for taking on such an important issue: “I am really proud to be part of this campaign and that the Premier League is involved. As footballers we can send the right message to the world. It is really important to change the way people thing about poverty and the way we help people around the world. We should not accept the fact that people are dying because they do not eat. That is not acceptable to anyone.”

Follow Me, Follow Me: Former City favourite Paul Dickov has called on the Blue faithful to follow him to Boundary Park. The Wembley hero of 1999 is now manager of Oldham Athletic and in a bid to boost attendances, Dickov has pleaded with Blues to adopt The Latics as their second team. This weekend will see the clash of the City legends as Dickov’s Oldham take on Peter Reid’s Plymouth Argyle and the ex-City striker hopes that the fans who were so good to him during his time at the club will now support him on his new venture: “I had a fantastic time at City and had a special bond with the fans during my time at the club. It is difficult for clubs at this level to survive and we would appreciate the support of City fans. I am sure they will be in for a pleasant surprise as we have a young and enthusiastic team and have been playing some good football. Hopefully this is the first step towards rebuilding that special relationship.”

Squad News

Up the Tempo: Though last weekend’s result against Arsenal will be considered a stumble, the club’s excellent form and current position in the table is a sign of progress that can’t be ignored. Scoring goals, keeping clean sheets and generally playing to a high standard, City find themselves placed fourth in the table, level on points with both Arsenal and Manchester United. For Vincent Kompany, however, one decent run of form isn’t good enough – City must continue to press on for the rest of the season if they hope to be successful: “You always have to try to put in a good performance, and if the team is ready and puts in a performance, chances are the result will be good. We’ve not won anything yet, and these are great games to win, but give me the points against the smaller teams and I believe that will get us further. We need to keep the work ethic going. If that changes then we won’t be in the position we are at the moment, but if it stays like this, then I don’t see why we can’t push on and keep challenging at the top of the table.”

Have Hart: City’s greatest weapon this season would seem to be the club’s strength in depth. A mix of world class imports and home grown talent have made City a competitive force in the Premier League and this competition for places is something that Joe Hart believes is pushing players to perform above themselves. The stopper, who himself is under pressure every game to keep out former number one Shay Given, understands the concerns of some of the fringe players in the squad but thinks that if they focused more on pressuring their rivals than complaining about the situation then both the club and the players would feel the benefits: “The games will come thick and fast – that’s the good thing about being at this club, it’s so exciting! I was thinking how ridiculously good our squad is, with all these players at our disposal. Everyone’s position is being pressed, and that’s a real positive for the team. We’ve got players who put their bodies on the line, and nobody is going to out-muscle us. We’ve got some absolute brutes in defence; it’s not just the attackers who are running the show.”

Passionate, not Problematic: One player who has voiced his concerns about first team football on more than one occasion is City striker Emmanuel Adebayor. The former Togo skipper has fallen foul of City’s favoured 4-5-1 formation and has spoken of his desire to move to Italy if the opportunity arises. Talk of tension in the camp between players and manager have also filled newspaper columns but although ‘Manu’ admits that there have been ructions, he feels this is a positive thing, not a negative one: “I have had a row with the manager and so has Carlo Tevez. The reason we row is we are all so passionate. We just want to be part of a successful club. It’s not about money or egos. It’s because we all want what is best for the team. These disagreements show we care. We have a shout, then get on with it. I think it’s good. It shows we are hungry for success. I am committed to the club and the fight to win things and the fans should know that.”

Confidence is Sky High: Following an influx in talent and a number of new arrivals at CoMS this season, Micah Richards’ opportunities with City’s first team had looked set to be limited this season but an early season return to form has placed Micah back in the forefront of Mancini’s mind. The England-capped defender feels that his string of excellent performances are down solely to confidence, something that the current squad has in abundance and something the manager is instilling in his team: “Confidence plays a big rôle in football in general, and mine is back at a high level. It’s a great feeling to be a proper part of such a talented squad and play a full part in things. I’m listening to what the manager and others are saying to me and I’m happy with my work. Hopefully, they’re happy with it too. We feel as though we are improving all the time and we have the passion to go with our skill and are a match for anyone.”

Vidal Vying for Experience: 21-year-old Javan Vidal has put a loan move away from the club top of his Christmas wish list. The talented youngster, who has impressed for the Elite Development Squad this season, had planned to seek a temporary move much sooner, but a recent injury put paid to that. Now on the way back to full fitness, Vidal hopes that a Championship squad will have noticed his ability and will give him a chance to prove himself: “The loan switch has been put on hold for a bit unfortunately. That is still the plan when I regain my fitness because I’m looking forward to going out and getting some games under my belt. Obviously you want to play at the highest level possible, so I will be looking for a move to the Championship before considering the drop below that level. It is all about getting games under your belt and getting your name out there a lot more because reserve team football can’t compare with first-team level.”

The Rumour Mill

In For His Old Boys: Having signed former City striker Darius Vassell only last week, new Leicester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson has returned to his former club to sign 19-year-old Greg Cunningham. Cunningham has moved to The Walkers Stadium until January 2011 and the left back is hoping to gain some valuable first team experience during his time playing for the Championship club: “It will be a great chance for me to hopefully get some first team football, to continue my football education and work under another top class coach in Sven-Goran Eriksson. Leicester seem to be coming into form just now. They won at Leeds on Tuesday night and are climbing the table; I hope I get the chance to help them continue that rise up the Championship table.”

Santa to Leave After Christmas: Out of favour striker Roque Santa Cruz has declared his intentions to leave the club in the January transfer window. The Paraguayan forward, who cost City £12 million when he joined from Blackburn Rovers back in 2009, has never established himself in City due to a run of injuries and with competition for places currently rife at Eastlands, Cruz has revealed he plans to move on. Lazio, Benfica and Stoke City have all been linked with the former Bayern Munich hit man but it is believed that if Cruz is to leave City, it will be for Spain. Malaga currently lead the chase for the South American’s signature: “Unfortunately I`m not playing as I’d like. The club has invested heavily, competition for places is great and I’m working every day to try to convince the coach but I’m still not getting picked. The situation is very complicated; I wanted to think well of it, but I’m not getting the playing time to convince anybody and my priority is to leave in the January transfer market.”

Forward Thinking: As ever, the papers this week have been full of rumours linking City to a number of hot shots throughout the football world and after a move for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney was ruled out after he pledged his loyalty to the club and signed a new five year contract, strikers seem to be top of the agenda for the Eastlands club. Edin Dzeko is again believed to be a key target come the January transfer window, though whether the £40 million rated Wolfsburg forward would prefer a move to Juventus is yet to be seen. If a deal for Dzeko can’t be completed then City may instead move for Sunderland’s Darren Bent or Ajax’ World Cup star Luis Suarez.

Post-Match Reaction

Ade Pole-Axes Poznan: The craziest fans ever to have graced the City of Manchester Stadium were left disappointed as an Emmanuel Adebayor hat-trick put City top of their Europa League group with a 3-1 victory. If you thought the travelling Portsmouth support were rowdy then they’re nothing in comparison to the 8,000 strong Polish contingent from Lech Poznan that took up both the away section of the South Stand and a large part of the East Stand third tier. Dancing with their backs to the pitch and falling to the floor before jumping up and celebrating as if they’d scored were just a couple of their novelty acts – only for it to backfire on them as the City faithful mimicked both as Ade’ scored his first. A magical display from Spanish starlet David Silva helped Adebayor on the way to his three goals and pushed the Togolese striker hard for the man-of-the-match award. Despite conceding a scrappy goal and the odd defensive lapse, City controlled the game throughout and never looked like coming away with anything less than three points.

Hat-trick hero Adebayor hadn’t scored all season before this Europa League clash and he explained that those goals meant much more to him than simply taking home a match ball. ‘Manu’ has struggled to establish himself in the City XI this season but understands the difficult choices Roberto Mancini has to make in order to bring success to the club: “I felt that bad luck had been following me, I couldn’t shoot straight so after that first goal I told myself I had to wash myself of this bad luck. All of the players knew it was going to be very difficult during the season. Today you play, tomorrow you could be sitting on the bench or maybe not even in the squad. That’s football – that’s life! We are used to it, so the most important thing is to keep believing in what we love doing the most, which is playing football, enjoy ourselves and keep working hard.”

Gunned Down: It was a game that the Blues had hoped would set a marker for the rest of the season. Wins against Liverpool and Chelsea had created potential title challengers out of Roberto Mancini’s side and another win over one of their closest rivals would have seen City establish themselves in second place. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go to plan. Dedryck Boyata’s fifth minute sending off handed Arsenal the incentive to attack City in a way that they wouldn’t have had the Blues still had 11 men on the pitch. An injury to Carlos Tevez leaves City uncertain as to when their skipper will return and goals from Samir Nasri, Alex Song and Nicklas Bendtner completely overran the Blues. Manager Roberto Mancini exclaimed that he was proud of his side’s efforts in difficult circumstances and felt such a test will be good experience for his players: “I am very proud of my players because I think they played very well. We stayed in the game until the second goal; we always tried to play and to score. After today we can say we are one of the best teams in the Premier League. I think with 11 against 11 we would have won this game. We are a good team; I am disappointed with the loss. We have improved, today showed that but now it is in the past and we must start again at Wolves next Saturday.”

Penalty hero Joe Hart admitted it was a disappointing result for the Blues to lose at home but asserts that City have come a long way this season and the reaction to this result proves that: “Going down to ten men so early and playing against a quality side, it was to be expected that they would get the result, but the score in no way reflects how well we played. It was obviously a one-off in that Dedryck got sent off with four minutes gone, so you’re playing against one of the best teams in Europe and you’re one man short. We played really well and drew a lot of positives. We are going to push forward from this – we’ve had a very successful start to the season and we’re a well-oiled machine. We’re not clear second in the table any more, but we are still up there level on points – we’re level on points, second in the Premier League, and people are devastated! What does that say about this club now?”

Micah Richards has spoken up for fellow defender Dedryck Boyata and told him not to let his sending off get to him. The 19-year-old’s red card put City on the back foot from the fifth minute and very probably changed the face of the game but Richards, who has had to contend with his own set-backs in recent seasons, has advised Boyata to learn from his mistakes and become a better player for it: “It was just one of those things. Dedryck just mistimed the tackle; there was no malice in it whatsoever. Dedryck can look at the bench yesterday and be proud he got selected ahead of some experienced players. The manager has shown he has confidence in him just as he did last season when he played him in the semi-final of the cup. He will learn from the experience I am sure and he is going to be some player. He has all the attributes to make him a top defender.”

The right back described the Arsenal performance as much more telling than the end result and believes City still have the abilities to challenge at the top this season: “They are a good side but I still feel we deserved better than a 3-0 defeat. We came out fired up and ready for the challenge. We carved them open a couple of times in the opening seconds and even after we went one down there were chances for us to come back into the match. In fact our chances were more clear cut than theirs. It is never nice to lose especially when you have put so much effort and work into a match but our confidence has not been hit by the defeat. The manager came in after the match and told us to keep our spirits up and that to perform as we did and be in the game for as long as we were against a good Arsenal side with a one man advantage was a good effort.”

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

OPINION: ARSENAL AND ABILITY

Have just witnessed the match against Arsenal, where we fought hard after going down to 10 men and inevitably were well beaten at the end. I was quite surprised to say the least, when our starting eleven was announced. Now Boyata maybe a youngster with lots of promise but I would not have selected him against Arsenal; maybe against one of the weaker teams in our division, and I do not say this with hindsight.

Secondly, I have not been thoroughly convinced by 2 players: Milner and Boateng. As far as I am concerned, both flatter to deceive. Boateng is being used in way too many positions: he should be given one position for a number of games, and that way he can cement his place in the team. He is showing lapses in his game that were reminiscent of Richards; look how casual he was at times, on Sunday. He also fails to read the game well enough. He has all the attributes to be a very good player but must cut out these errors.

As for Milner, I must agree with Adrian Kenny, “he is all graft, with little end product”, and again in my opinion, he lacks the ability of the technically gifted duo of Silva and Johnson. How Milner gets picked ahead of Adam Johnson is just quite amazing. If Milner is going to be a success, he has to play in a central rôle, where his hard graft will be rewarded, not on the flanks. Perhaps he should be Barry’s understudy?

Against Arsenal, it was so obvious we had the beating of them on the flanks, and had it not been for Boyata being sent off, it would have been very interesting to see how they would have coped, with a fresh Adam Johnson on the wing, or even SWP.

I was surprised how offensive we were even when we went down to 10 men but fatigue was always going to play a part, and all 3 goals conceded were down to individual errors, in spite of Arsenal’s good teamwork. The nearest player we have to Fabregas is Silva, and perhaps he should be given a central rôle behind the striker and show us if he is capable of pulling the strings. We are so desperate for a quality left back, and yet we feel we cannot start with Bridge, who is considered England’s back up left back? Instead we play 3 players in that position that are generally accepted to be right backs!

My starting 11 would have been: Hart, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta, Richards, de Jong, Barry, Johnson, Silva, Tevez, Adebayor. Both Silva and Tevez can operate as attacking midfielders. Boateng, Toure and Balotelli still have a lot to prove to City fans. Toure is the most highly paid player in the league, but does not dominate matches like Fabregas, Gerrard or Essien, and yet he has the potential and physique to do so. I felt we really missed Kolo Toure in the middle of the defence; he has been playing very well recently, and he reads the game better than the rest. I thought Micah Richards had a very good game too; he was a bundle of raw power and nearly scored a great goal.

I should not be criticising as much as I do, but I do wonder what all our coaches see and really do, given some of the suggestions and views on this forum on which players are playing well and which are not. I would like Mancini to start playing Given in our Europa Cup matches and give Hart a rest. He also has to rest Barry and start playing Milner in the middle.

We have the squad and the potential to be champions this season; we just need to get the right eleven on the park.

Come On City!

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

OPINION: ALLISON TRIBUTE

I watched the video on the MCFC site of the tribute to the great Malcolm Allison, and it brought tears to my eyes. The video has been very well done, and the club can be proud of the tribute they have given our real legend.

So many memories of some great attacking football by a brilliant coach, and some great players. I watched it again, and again; I had tears in my eyes.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

REQUEST: ALLISON & MERCER BANNER

Did anyone take a good picture of the banner “There is a light that never goes out” in tribute to Malcolm Allison (and Joe Mercer)?

I was hoping the MEN would have shown it but sadly they didn’t.

Phill Gatenby <Safestanding(at)aol.com>

REQUEST: MONTREAL BLUES

I have once again exiled myself from the UK in what perhaps… no, definitely will be our best season ever (well since I was born anyway)!

So. Are there any other Montreal based Blues that meet up to watch matches, in particular a certain upcoming midweek skyjacked fixture against our poorer neighbours?

Contact me on the email below please.

Rob Hyslop <Rjhyslop(at)gmail.com>

REQUEST: ABU DHABI BLUES

MCFC are screening a première of Blue Moon Rising in Abu Dhabi on November 5th. The screening will be held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi and will be followed by an after party on the lawns of the Emirates Palace. It is an invitation-only event and if there are any City fans in the UAE that have not already registered an interest, they should do so by way of email through the Abu Dhabi Supporters’ Club (http://www.abudhabiblues.com/). It is open to adults and children and buses will be provided from Dubai (Ibn Battuta Mall) and Abu Dhabi (Khalifa City A / Etihad Plaza Area). There is also a competition to find the UAE’s Super fan of Manchester City, of which details are also available on the website.

Darren Ball – Abu Dhabi Blues <abudhabiblues(at)gmail.com>

BLUE HUMOUR

Some things never change.

As Wayne Rooney emerged from Alex Ferguson’s office last week, a smile appeared from ear to ear across his porcine featured face. He had managed to secure a pay increase to the tune of £200 grand a week.

The smile reflected the fact that Wayne had successfully shafted yet another pensioner…

Phil Lines <phil.lines(at)mandatacontracts.com>

RESULTS AND TABLE

League table to 27 October 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          9  5  0  0 16  0  2  1  1  9  2  7  1  1  25   2  23  22
 2 Arsenal          9  3  0  1 14  5  2  2  1  7  5  5  2  2  21  10  11  17
 3 Manchester Utd   9  3  1  0 11  4  1  4  0  9  8  4  5  0  20  12   8  17
 4 Manchester City  9  3  1  1  7  5  2  1  1  5  3  5  2  2  12   8   4  17
 5 Tottenham H.     9  2  2  1  6  4  2  1  1  5  4  4  3  2  11   8   3  15
 6 West Brom A.     9  3  2  0  8  4  1  1  2  5 11  4  3  2  13  15  -2  15
 7 Sunderland       9  2  3  0  5  3  0  3  1  3  4  2  6  1   8   7   1  12
 8 Bolton Wndrs     9  1  3  0  6  5  1  3  1  7  8  2  6  1  13  13   0  12
 9 Newcastle Utd    9  1  1  2  9  6  2  1  2  5  7  3  2  4  14  13   1  11
10 Aston Villa      9  2  2  0  5  1  1  0  4  4 12  3  2  4   9  13  -4  11
11 Everton          9  1  2  1  6  5  1  2  2  3  3  2  4  3   9   8   1  10
12 Birmingham City  9  2  2  1  4  3  0  2  2  6  9  2  4  3  10  12  -2  10
13 Stoke City       9  2  1  2  6  6  1  0  3  4  7  3  1  5  10  13  -3  10
14 Blackpool        9  0  1  2  5  7  3  0  3  8 13  3  1  5  13  20  -7  10
15 Wigan Athletic   9  1  2  3  4 14  1  2  0  3  2  2  4  3   7  16  -9  10
16 Fulham           9  1  2  1  5  5  0  4  1  5  6  1  6  2  10  11  -1   9
17 Blackburn R.     9  1  2  1  3  3  1  1  3  5  7  2  3  4   8  10  -2   9
18 Liverpool        9  2  2  1  7  6  0  1  3  2  8  2  3  4   9  14  -5   9
19 Wolves           9  1  2  1  5  5  0  1  4  3 10  1  3  5   8  15  -7   6
20 West Ham United  9  1  1  3  5  9  0  2  2  2  8  1  3  5   7  17 -10   6

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1011.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[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

http://www.mcivta.com/ 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 www.twitter.com/mcivta to get the latest updates.

[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 #1680

2010/10/28

Editor:


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