Newsletter #1702

News tonight from both Alex C on Neil Young’s appeal and funeral details, and opinion on SWP and Tevez amongst others.

Alex R brings us the news round up with a look at Nelly, the 2011/12 pre-season plans, Tevez’s determination and a look at this weekend’s derby.

Finally, news of another fixture change for the Fulham game 8pm (Sky) on Monday 28th February (although this could change to Sunday 27th at 3pm depending upon the FA Cup result vs. Notts County) and if you’ve followed that, then put your feet up and relax!

Next Game: Manchester United, away, 12.45pm Saturday 12th February 2011


General News

RIP Nelly: City legend Neil Young sadly lost his battle with cancer last week. ‘Nelly’, who is revered for his performances in the late 60s and early 70s, had been ill for a number of months and passed away last Thursday following thousands of tributes from City fans. Given the chance to say thank you to their dying hero, City’s tributes during the club’s FA Cup ties with Leicester City were just a drop in the ocean as the social networks went into overload with messages of support for the club’s famous forward. Mike Summerbee spoke on the day of Young’s death in memory of his former team-mate and friend: “We’ve lost one of our favourite sons and as a former team-mate of Neil’s, I feel I’ve lost a member of my family. The team that won so many trophies in the late 1960s and early 1970s were a family and Neil was right at the centre of it. Everybody refers to those days at the ‘Bell, Lee and Summerbee’ era, but it really should be the ‘Lee, Bell, Young and Summerbee’ era because he was a great player who scored countless vital goals for us.” Club Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak spoke of how the club is aiming to replicate the success that ‘Nelly’ achieved during his time at the club: “Manchester City fans are the true historians of the Club. What is important to them survives the ages and is revered. Neil Young was and is important to Manchester City. What he and his team mates achieved remains the benchmark for all of us to aspire to.” England and City stopper Joe Hart revealed that ‘Nelly’ is a player that the current squad aspire to be as successful as and has assured fans that he will never be forgotten at City: “Neil was part of the history of this club and was held in high regard by everyone. It shows that by doing something like that at a great club like Manchester City can put you down as a legend.”

Super City: City will compete in the inaugural Dublin Super Cup this summer as part of their pre-season preparations. Competing alongside Ireland’s Airtricity XI (a side made up of the Irish domestic league’s best players), Celtic and World Champions Inter Milan, Mancini’s side will be put to their paces in this newly developed competition. It is yet to be revealed where else City plan to visit during the summer months, though there has been talk of a return to the USA.

Squad News

Hark Now Hear: Ahead of this weekend’s trip to Old Trafford, former skipper Kolo Touré has been stoking the fire between the Manchester rivals. Kolo believes that the City squad is in fact stronger than United’s and has warned the hosts that if they lose to City on Saturday, The Blues will make up vital ground in the title race – something Ferguson’s side really can’t afford to lose following their shock result at Wolves last weekend. The Ivorian centre-back has assured fans that City are fully focussed on getting a result: “We closed on United at the weekend and made ground on Arsenal and Chelsea too and now we must make sure that the gap does not widen on Saturday. It is a game we must aim not to lose. When you are on a good run like United were on and you lose, everything becomes harder. It shakes your confidence. Maybe that can happen to them but derbies are different games. We have the players that are capable of fighting against them and that has been shown with our results against them recently.” Versatile defender Pablo Zabaleta has called on his team-mates to use their ‘big game mentality’ to come away with three points on Saturday: “I believe 100 per cent that we can win the game, because we show our character when we are in games that we really need to win. We know it will be very difficult. United are very strong and are unbeaten at home, so it would be great to break that record. Everyone is waiting for the derby game, the players as well, because we know it’s one of the best games to play in and enjoy.”

Home Sweet Home: City’s Argentine right back has also been talking about the club’s star striker, Carlos Tevez. Following his fellow countryman’s turbulent December, Zab’ believes that Tevez is firmly settled in the City side and will continue to flourish in blue. Tevez’s goals will undoubtedly prove the difference between success and failure for City this season and when he handed in a transfer request before Christmas, many fans wondered if he could be replaced. Now, however, Tevez is as committed as ever and Zab’ believes the former United striker is just as in love with City as City’s fans are with him: “Carlos is a tremendous player and he has many more fantastic years ahead of him. He is very important to us as a player, as a person and as a leader; he’s one of the best in the business. I rate him as one of the best strikers in the world and I think he has found his spiritual home at City because his record is incredible. He is also right up there in the race to be the top scorer in the Premier League – he still has 12 games left to score many more goals, and we will do all we can to help him achieve that.”

Committed Carlos: Interviewed recently by the official MCFC website, Carlos Tevez has dedicated his future to the club. Whilst Zabaleta’s words will have assured fans of Tevez’s loyalty, to hear the striker devote himself to the club will be something City fans will have been waiting to hear since the captain’s transfer request. The club’s top goal-scorer has called on the City faithful to judge him on his performances and not on the words in the press: “I never walked out of the club or wanted to do any harm to the club, not for anything in the world. I do not think there is anyone who loves the shirt more than me. I show that in every game I play. I give everything I have got. People might want to have a pop at me but I am completely at ease here. I want to do my best for the City shirt.”

Silva Lining: With Tevez dedicated to the club for the long term, his eyes are firmly set on the club’s future and he believes David Silva has a big part to play in that. The World Cup winner has been in superb form for The Blues since his summer move from Valencia and City’s skipper believes a lot of his own plaudits should be going to the Spanish winger. Tevez’s goals inevitably win the acclaim and fans and media alike, but Tevez has asserted that he wouldn’t score half as many if it wasn’t for the excellent form of players like Silva: “David Silva is the best signing we have made. He is the type of player who can win you the game. He can provide you with the sort of pass that puts you through one and one with the goalkeeper. He is one of the best players in the squad – He has freshened up the team and brought a new dimension to it.”

Winging His Way to the Top Four: He might have won the support of captain Carlos Tevez but David Silva’s season is far from over. The Spanish midfielder has drawn comparisons with Georgi Kinkladze since his move to Eastlands and yet he is less interested with his own personal performances and more on how well the club does come the end of the season. Having reportedly turned down the opportunity to join both Real Madrid and Barcelona in the summer, Silva understands his quest for trophies will be more difficult than it could have been had he joined either of the Spanish giants, but he is determined to help City succeed in the Premier League: “A good first season for me would be to qualify for the Champions’ League or to win a trophy. We will fight for the league title all the way and try to win the other competitions but the target is to finish in the top four. Within two or three years it will be normal for City to be playing in the Champions’ League every year, so I hope we can be on a par and challenge the best clubs around the world.”

Leading From the Front: £27 million January signing Edin Dzeko has been named City’s Etihad Player of the Month for January. Having seamlessly settled into his new side, the Bosnian forward has been in excellent form for The Blues and even scored his first goal for the club in the FA Cup third round tie against Notts County. Dzeko beat consistent performers Carlos Tevez and Vincent Kompany to the award.

‘Keep’On Going: Despite a number of high profile mistakes, Roberto Mancini is keeping faith with England stopper Joe Hart. Uncharacteristic slip-ups against Leicester, Villa and Birmingham City have seen Hart come under some recent pressure and with Shay Given waiting in the wings, it would be easy for the manager to drop the goalie to the bench. But Mancini, who only last week described Hart as capable of becoming the world’s best, believes the former Shrewsbury ‘keeper will soon return to top form: “Joe for me is the best goalkeeper in England, but the problem of is when the goalkeeper makes mistake, maybe you lose 1-0. If a striker doesn’t score a goal, it finishes 0-0. This is the problem for the goalkeeper but my opinion does not change; Joe Hart is the best goalkeeper.”

Post-Match Reaction

Captain Fantastic: A hat-trick from Captain Fantastic Carlos Tevez led The Blues to a 3-0 win as City kept their slim hopes of Premier League success alive. Three first half goals were enough to win City all three points and effectively cost Roberto Di Matteo his job as he was sacked by The Baggies 24 hours later. Whilst City’s Argentine skipper may have stolen all the headlines, ‘Grandma’ was the true star attraction at Eastlands on Saturday. Like Salzburg’s Alan before her, ‘Grandma’ became a household name this week, thanks to the City’s faithful’s wry humour, as her appearances on the CoMS big screens instantly endeared her to the City faithful. Since the weekend clash, ‘Grandma’ has become a hit on the social networks and has even been interviewed by CityTV. It’s anyone’s guess as to who the next random City hero will be…

Moving the focus back to matters of football, first-team coach David Platt declared himself pleased with how City had performed against Brom: “It was one of those game where you don’t need half-time because you know that no matter how much you try to tell the players to go out and build on what they have done, they know the game is effectively closed down. You tell them to focus again and come out with all the clichés like ‘it is 0-0 now let’s go out and win the second half’, ‘goal difference is important’, ‘let’s go and get more’ but human nature means players take the foot off the pedal. They perhaps don’t close down like they should or push on when they should. The three points were vital that is the be-all and end-all. The clean sheet is a bonus.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


Having watched City’s 3-0 win over West Brom on Sunday, it’s evident to me Mancini desperately needs to utilize SWP a lot more in the coming months. He only played a couple of minutes on Sunday but that one run in the last couple of minutes summarized what SWP is all about. I fully appreciate David Silva’s brilliance but the sheer pace of SWP has been badly missed. Nothing against Adam Johnson but personally I am happy that Johnson’s injury made Mancini hang on to SWP. Yes he needs to play more to regain lost confidence but I still believe he can a valuable weapon, especially late in the game when the other team is pushing.

Speaking of confidence, I see Adebayor is scoring now he is getting playing time with Real Madrid and Santa Cruz is looking useful with Blackburn Rovers. I hope that Mancini’s insistence in playing Jo and Vieira over Adebayor and Santa Cruz doesn’t backfire. He does seem to be close minded about his team selection.

Finally, please, please, please, Roberto. Let’s go for the win against United! None of this park the bus defensive tactics like he employed against Arsenal and our first game against United. I’d rather lose trying to win rather than stifle United with blanket defensive tactics. To my mind, this game is the litmus test of how far City have progressed this year.

Come on Bobby, give us an excuse to do the Poznan!

Keith Sharp <>


In response to Glyn Albuquerque contribution (MCIVTA 1701) I have to agree with both Glyn and his mate; all Glyn’s comments are correct and his mate is correct: when Tevez plays we play when he doesn’t we struggle; anyone who can’t see that must be on another planet. Why would anyone pick Jo? And who would buy him? We might have come a long way but just like the Gooners, we aren’t really up to it.

Sam Duxbury <Sammy459(at)>


Following the death of Neil Young, the Neil Young Appeal organised by MCFC Supporters’ Club is to close on the 28th February.

The funeral of Neil Young will take place at Altrincham Crematorium on Tuesday 15th February 10:30 am. Supporters are welcome to pay their respects but are advised that the chapel there has a limited capacity. Therefore supporters are requested to remain outside the chapel to enable all of Neil’s family and close friends inside the chapel for what to a large extent should remain a private family funeral.

To date the Appeal has raised £17,800 but not all cash in has been counted yet and lots of cheques are to be banked. Further money is to be raised at the Neil Young Tribute Dinner at CoMS this coming Friday. There are also a number of the original black and red scarves for Nelly still on sale by the Supporters’ Club.

For those still wishing to donate to the Appeal, a Paypal facility is available until the end of this month. The Paypal button can be found by going to the Supporters’ Club site Cheques made payable to MCFC Supporters’ Club can be sent to me:

Alex Channon
Penalty Spot
11 Thirlmere Avenue
M27 5XD

Black and Red scarves for Nelly are also available from me at £8.00 plus P&P. P&P is £2.50 per scarf to UK addresses. I have a number of cheques and some cash from some of you that have pre-ordered and paid for your scarves. I haven’t got round to posting them yet but please bear with me, you shall get your scarves.

All money raised by the Neil Young Appeal is to be split 50/50 between Neil Young’s family and the Celia Cancer Unit where Neil received his treatment.

Alex Channon – Charities Officer, MCFC Supporters’ Club <alexchannon81(at)>


I know this is a very long shot, but does anyone out there in MCIVTA land have a spare ticket for Saturday’s match?

Yours in anticipation and not holding my breath!

Steven Page <stevenpage77(at)>


League table to 08 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  25 12  1  0 37  8  3  8  1 18 16 15  9  1  55  24  31  54
 2 Arsenal         25  8  1  3 27 12  7  4  2 27 15 15  5  5  54  27  27  50
 3 Manchester City 26  8  3  2 21 10  6  4  3 21 12 14  7  5  42  22  20  49
 4 Chelsea         25  8  2  2 24  8  5  3  5 22 14 13  5  7  46  22  24  44
 5 Tottenham H.    25  7  5  1 19 10  5  3  4 16 17 12  8  5  35  27   8  44
 6 Liverpool       26  8  3  2 22 10  3  2  8 12 21 11  5 10  34  31   3  38
 7 Sunderland      26  6  5  2 17 12  3  5  5 15 19  9 10  7  32  31   1  37
 8 Bolton Wndrs    26  6  5  2 23 17  2  4  7 13 20  8  9  9  36  37  -1  33
 9 Stoke City      25  7  2  4 19 14  3  1  8 12 18 10  3 12  31  32  -1  33
10 Newcastle Utd   25  4  5  4 30 19  4  2  6 10 19  8  7 10  40  38   2  31
11 Blackburn R.    26  6  3  4 17 11  3  1  9 17 31  9  4 13  34  42  -8  31
12 Fulham          26  5  5  3 17 14  1  7  5 11 14  6 12  8  28  28   0  30
13 Everton         25  4  5  3 19 18  2  7  4 14 16  6 12  7  33  34  -1  30
14 Aston Villa     26  5  5  3 18 15  2  3  8 12 30  7  8 11  30  45 -15  29
15 Blackpool       25  3  2  6 18 22  5  2  7 20 27  8  4 13  38  49 -11  28
16 Birmingham City 24  3  7  2 12 13  2  5  5 12 20  5 12  7  24  33  -9  27
17 West Brom A.    25  5  3  4 18 19  2  2  9 13 29  7  5 13  31  48 -17  26
18 Wigan Athletic  26  3  6  5 16 26  2  5  5 10 18  5 11 10  26  44 -18  26
19 Wolves          25  6  2  5 17 19  1  1 10  9 24  7  3 15  26  43 -17  24
20 West Ham United 26  3  4  6 14 20  2  5  6 13 25  5  9 12  27  45 -18  24

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1702