Newsletter #1700

At last, after PC viruses and then a lengthy bout of human viruses, we’re back online. Thanks to all those who have been in contact and over the next few days will be sending out the back issues in a weekly format.

The main news today is very sad in that Nelly has finally succumbed to his illness and will be mourned by many. RIP Neil.

We have tonight a match report of the County game thanks to Phil and Sean’s take on Blue Tunes.

Next up the Baggies.

Next Game: West Bromwich Albion, home, 3pm Saturday 5 February 2011


City lived to fight another day against a well organised and plucky Notts County who very nearly ended our Wembley dreams again at a rocking Meadow Lane.

Indeed, there was a reminder (as if we needed one) of a Cup defeat here twenty years ago when Gary Lund’s late strike had knocked out Peter Reid’s City side: the afore-mentioned lanky striker and Notts’ goalkeeping hero that day, Steve Cherry, were re-introduced to the crowd to a rousing reception before kick-off. Their successors at the world’s oldest professional club did them proud, with a battling display, playing out of their skins in a cracking atmosphere to earn a deserved replay at Eastlands.

With Adam Johnson ruled out for three months and David Silva starting on the bench, City struggled to create chances, with the combination of Barry, Yaya Touré and Vieira looking proving too blunt an instrument to penetrate a tenacious Notts rearguard, which featured the impressive Krystian Pearce who gave Edin Dzeko a physical working over all afternoon. With Jo completely ineffective down the left, our best chance of success came down the other flank.

Chances were at a premium in a very tight first half, but the best of these fell to City. Dzeko played Richards through down the right and from his cross Notts goalkeeper Nelson somehow managed to push Yaya Touré’s goal-bound strike over the bar. Despite being out of his favoured central rôle, Milner was proving to be very influential down the right flank, but City found it hard to break down a stubborn, well organised home defence. As dominant as City were, Notts County weren’t set on defending all match and tried to take the game to us. In the first half they couldn’t, however, find a way through our defence, which featured a new centre back pairing of Jerome Boateng and Joleon Lescott, with Micah Richards at right back and Pablo Zabaleta on the left.

The only other event of note before the break was the lack of competence in the refereeing of Chris Foy who seemed to suffer from selective vision. He had eagle eyes for any infringement by City and allowed Pearce to blatantly push Dzeko in the back a few times without punishment. He also managed to book County skipper Edwards when it was Harley who’d committed a foul. Naturally we weren’t slow in reminding him of his, to put it mildly, poor performance.

City started the second half at a better pace but we couldn’t capitalise on the chances we had. Dzeko failed to test the Notts goalkeeper with his header from Yaya Touré’s cross, and he blazed Richards’ cross over after Milner had played the full back in with a slide rule pass.

Before kick-off, I’d suspected it wasn’t quite going to be our day when a flying beach ball knocked my Cornish pasty clean out of my hand as I walked down the stand steps to my seat. These fears were compounded on the hour when Chris Foy inexplicably awarded a corner after Hughes had headed wide with Bishop flicking in the resultant set piece to give Notts the lead. The corner should not actually have been awarded, as Hughes was pushing Zabaleta – yet another refereeing error.

So, City were staring down the barrels again. At last Silva was introduced as Jo left the pitch to deafening cheers. It was as if City got an immediate lift, not to mention the wily playmaking of the little Spaniard. Zabaleta crossed from the left but Dzeko headed over, and Barry’s rising goal-bound shot was tipped over by Nelson. In between these strikes Notts nearly scored again, but Hughes headed Harley’s searching cross wide. Sometimes you need a little luck as well as resolve.

Zabaleta, who had been one our better players, was surprisingly replaced by Kolarov, who offered us less going forward on this occasion. It may have been better if Vieira or the fading Yaya Touré had been taken off with Zaba moving into their position.

Just as it seemed like it wasn’t going to be Dzeko’s day after he headed over Silva’s inviting cross, Boateng played a delightful pass to the pacy Richards down the right and the full back delivered a perfect low cross, which the Bosnian striker thumped home to the delight of us all. Dzeko was mobbed by his team mates, whilst it was ‘Let’s all do the Poznan’ in the Jimmy Sirrel Stand.

It was sadly to be the last meaningful contribution for the impressive Richards as he fell victim to an ankle injury after a collision in the Notts box as City sought the winner. Silva crossed for Vieira but his shot was blocked.

Notts weren’t finished as an attacking force, though, and the City defence did just enough to force Hughes to head wide in the dying minutes.

A draw was a fair result, but with one or two injuries and our attentions also being held by the League and Europe, the replay will be one more fixture that we don’t need.

On the bright side, this was a fixture that we would have lost just two years ago.

One can draw one conclusion from this match: surely this is the last chance for Jo. He simply isn’t good enough for where we want to be. Judgements on Dzeko should be suspended until he has had least a dozen games in a City shirt. He is adjusting to football and life in England so, as Roberto Mancini said, he has to be given time to settle in. On a very positive note, he is already getting in position to score goals. When he gets into top gear, we could have a very special player on our hands.

Att: 16,657
Hart: Poor distribution on occasion. Otherwise handled well on the rare occasions that he was occupied: 6
Richards: Some really good runs forward, including setting up the equaliser. Good defending too: 8
Boateng: Distribution not always accurate. He is learning that playing centre half in England is a more physical occupation: 6
Lescott: Resolute: 7
Zabaleta: Some good defending up against the niggly Hughes and some super delivery of left footed crosses: pity that the strikers couldn’t capitalise. Surprisingly subbed: 7
Milner: One of our chief creative forces despite being employed out of position on the flanks. Great attitude, worked hard as ever in defence and attack: 7
Vieira: Some class touches in tight spaces but struggled to make an impact here: 6
Barry: Another who saw plenty of the ball but struggled to create anything. Always took responsibility though: 6
Yaya Touré: Saw plenty of the ball and was denied a goal early on but struggled to make an impact here: 6
Jo: Worked hard, but struggled. Nowhere near good enough: 5
Dzeko: Did well up against a physical challenge. Looked like he wasn’t going to find the target until his decisive finish saved the day: 7
Kolarov (for Zabaleta): Little impact: 6
Silva (for Jo): Turned the game when he came on, giving us genuine creativity: 8
Kompany (for Richards): Too late to mark: n/a
Best Oppo: Lee Hughes: A handful all afternoon: 7
Refwatch: Chris Foy: Almost clueless, and not leaving Old Trafford in this transfer window: 2

Phil Bannerjee <philban65(at)>


Just thought I would rewrite the lyrics as a tribute to Poznan.

“Do The Conga” Black Lace

Chorus I:
You you you. Come on and do the poznan.
You you you. It’s poznan time for sure.

It’s poznan
It’s poznan time so join the party everyone.
The match has just begun.
And we’re gonna have fun tonight.
When City score you’ll hear the roar.
We’re going to the top.
We’ll give the rest a fright.
So everybody…

Chorus II:
You you you. Come on and do the poznan.
Turn turn turn. Turn and face the wall.
You-you-you. Come on and join the poznan.
Turn turn turn – your back when City score.

It’s poznan. It’s poznan time as City turn on the heat.
They’re dancing in the streets.
It’s something that I can’t explain.
Jump together 1-2-3. Like waves across the sea.
We’ll be singing in the rain. Then everyone can…

Chorus II:
And when you do the poznan, you make our City stronger.
Make the train much longer and do the, do the, do the, do the…

Instrumental Break
Chorus II 3x’s with 2 key changes
Repeat Bridge
Repeat Chorus II

Hope you enjoy!

Sean Dentith <seancreole(at)>


2 February 2011

Birmingham City       2 - 2  Manchester City       24,379
Blackburn Rovers      0 - 1  Tottenham Hotspur     23,253
Blackpool             1 - 3  West Ham United       15,095
Bolton Wanderers      1 - 0  Wolverhampton Wndrs   18,944
Fulham                1 - 0  Newcastle United      25,620
Liverpool             2 - 0  Stoke City            40,254

1 February 2011

Arsenal               2 - 1  Everton               60,014
Sunderland            2 - 4  Chelsea               37,855
Manchester United     3 - 1  Aston Villa           75,256
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 2  Wigan Athletic        25,358

26 January 2011

Liverpool             1 - 0  Fulham                40,466

25 January 2011

Blackpool             2 - 3  Manchester United     15,574
Wigan Athletic        1 - 2  Aston Villa           16,442

24 January 2011

Bolton Wanderers      0 - 4  Chelsea               22,837

League table to 02 February 2011 inclusive

                            HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L   F   A  GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  24 12  1  0 37  8  3  8  0 17 14 15  9  0  54  22  32  54
 2 Arsenal         24  8  1  3 27 12  7  3  2 23 11 15  4  5  50  23  27  49
 3 Manchester City 25  7  3  2 18 10  6  4  3 21 12 13  7  5  39  22  17  46
 4 Chelsea         24  8  2  1 24  7  5  3  5 22 14 13  5  6  46  21  25  44
 5 Tottenham H.    24  6  5  1 17  9  5  3  4 16 17 11  8  5  33  26   7  41
 6 Sunderland      25  6  5  2 17 12  3  5  4 13 16  9 10  6  30  28   2  37
 7 Liverpool       25  8  3  2 22 10  2  2  8 11 21 10  5 10  33  31   2  35
 8 Bolton Wndrs    25  6  5  2 23 17  2  4  6 12 18  8  9  8  35  35   0  33
 9 Blackburn R.    25  6  3  4 17 11  3  1  8 14 27  9  4 12  31  38  -7  31
10 Newcastle Utd   24  4  4  4 26 15  4  2  6 10 19  8  6 10  36  34   2  30
11 Stoke City      24  6  2  4 16 12  3  1  8 12 18  9  3 12  28  30  -2  30
12 Fulham          25  5  5  3 17 14  1  6  5  9 12  6 11  8  26  26   0  29
13 Blackpool       24  3  2  6 18 22  5  2  6 17 22  8  4 12  35  44  -9  28
14 Aston Villa     25  5  4  3 16 13  2  3  8 12 30  7  7 11  28  43 -15  28
15 Everton         24  3  5  3 14 15  2  7  4 14 16  5 12  7  28  31  -3  27
16 West Brom A.    24  5  3  4 18 19  2  2  8 13 26  7  5 12  31  45 -14  26
17 Birmingham City 23  3  7  2 12 13  1  5  5 11 20  4 12  7  23  33 -10  24
18 West Ham United 25  3  4  5 14 19  2  5  6 13 25  5  9 11  27  44 -17  24
19 Wigan Athletic  25  2  6  5 12 23  2  5  5 10 18  4 11 10  22  41 -19  23
20 Wolves          24  5  2  5 15 18  1  1 10  9 24  6  3 15  24  42 -18  21

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1700