Newsletter #1704

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After the draw in Greece earlier this week, City face an FA Cup replay against Notts County on Sunday afternoon.

We have opinions tonight on this season’s development and target, a look at the team, player power and the derby together with the usual requests.

Next Game: Notts County, home, 2pm Sunday 20 February 2011 (FA Cup)

OPINION: SEASON’S TARGET

City really need to win something this season; the FA Cup or UEFA Cup, it doesn’t matter, just something to make the fans happy, put in the cupboard and convince everyone that city can win something. At the moment, we just don’t have a winning mentality like United. Yes, we can go on and on about Rooney’s great goal, how many times will he score one like that but we are missing the point. If it wasn’t Rooney’s goal it would have been something else: refereeing, bad luck or whatever. The truth is that in the crunch games, the ones we have to win, City just can’t seem to win. Second half of the season we tighten up, the pressure gets too much and we fall away.

Last season we had United in the League Cup semi-final, beat them at COMS, went to Old Trafford, held on until the last minute and then what, concede a late goal. Then in the run in to Champions’ League qualification, City were in the box seat, lots of games at home, Spurs facing a much more difficult run in. But we all know what happened. Spurs beat both Arsenal and Chelsea against the odds (if memory serves) whilst City, who up until then had a great home record, lost at home to United (another late goal), Everton and finally, in the crunch game vs. Spurs, we lost again. We just could not win matches when it mattered. Now it seems like we are danger of doing the same thing again.

Four points out of 12 in our last four league games is not good enough. It has given Spurs the chance to get a march on us. Thank goodness Chelsea still seem c**p even with Torres. I don’t think it is the players; we have spent enough and have enough good players – we can’t just keep on buying over and over again. It’s not the manager; we have to stick with Mancini. City more than most know that the ever-changing managerial door needs to be shut for quite some time. It is something to do with a winning mentality. It is so long since City won something I can see doubt in the players’ faces, whereas United have won so much and have been in that position so many times that they have a belief that we simply don’t have yet. It is no coincidence they pip us in the games that really matter.

Yes, we could beat them in derbies a few years back when for City they were our cup final, we had no chance of winning anything and the derby meant everything to us. In that kind of game we always have a chance because there is nothing resting on the match beyond local pride for us in those games; there was much less pressure on us than United. Now it is different, and we are all glad for this, that matches versus United go beyond just local pride, they now mean something to City, the chance of winning the Premier League. That raises the stakes considerably and so far we have been found wanting.

That is why we need to win something, doesn’t matter what, just anything to give us that confidence that we are a winning team. So from now on in, we should play our strongest team in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup matches because we need to win one of them. Otherwise, it will be another wasted year with the same sense of doubt creeping in again. If we win something this year, I believe we can push on next year to win the title as we will have a sense of belief in ourselves. We will be able to win the crunch games when it matters. Whilst I want us to qualify for Champions’ League this year, I believe the most important thing for us is to win something. Once we have done that, we truly can go on and win everything in sight and dominate English football for years to come. But that first trophy is crucial.

Adrian <adrianb(at)vicnet.net.au>

OPINION: LONG TERM VIEW

As a TV only viewer, my view is that City really lack one thing: pace going forward. In too many matches this season, we have had enormous amounts of possession without really creating anything. All successful teams have been built from a strong defence and a solid midfield but with the ability to hurt other teams on the break.

United are a good case in point: this season, they have been pretty average in many games but don’t concede many goals and, particularly when Scholes is on form, can hit fast wide players with quick passes. City are just too ponderous going forward and Mancini is going to have to abandon the experiment of Yaya as an offensive midfield player. Ok, it works against the lesser lights but good teams get their midfield and defence together quickly enough to stop his runs.

SWP should have started against United as he is the only player on our books who can break quickly from defence to attack – look how much better we looked and how panicky the Reds became when he ran at them – and he isn’t even in good form. Like Yaya, Kolarov is much less effective as a left midfield player, while Zabbie, hard worker that he is, struggles against a quick winger and lends little to the attack as he can’t cross with his left foot.

Mancini has now got to come out of his shell, otherwise we will end up fighting it out for fifth. Play SWP on the right and Milner (a much better player than given credit for) on the left, with Silva and de Jong in midfield. Sorry Gareth, no place in the starting eleven, although I do admire your tenacity and game reading. Play Carlos and Edin up front, with Mario to come in as a sub.

Barry Riley <barryriley(at)aircom.net>

OPINION: DERBY GAME

Highlight of the derby for me was Mike Summerbee putting Dwight Yorke and Redknapp in their place after the game. All they wanted to go on about was Shrek’s goal till Mike pointed out that we were the better team for most of the match – excellent.

Gordon Hindle <ghindle(at)btinternet.com>

OPINION: PLAYER POWER

I have to agree with Glyn Albuquerque once more, especially as it is now starting to look like 4th place could be a struggle. However, some of the players are not Mancini’s and we are much better now than we have been for a long time. Harry’s ability is to get the best out of average players and if he had some of our more average players then they would perform better for him than they do for Mancini, that’s called man management!

As for Joe Ramsbottom I never said we always won with Tevez playing, just that we perform better but if Joe has time perhaps he could count the games won and lost with him playing.

Sam Duxbury <Sammy459(at)btinternet.com>

REQUEST: BLACK & RED SCARVES/NELLY

I have about 40 of the original black and red scarves for Neil Young left to sell. Scarves cost £8.00 each plus P&P. Anybody wanting a scarf should contact me <alexchannon81(at)gmail.com> Cheques made payable to MCFC Supporters’ Club should be sent to me:

Alex Channon
Penalty Spot
11 Thirlmere Avenue
Swinton
Manchester
M27 5XD

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

REQUEST: POINTS OF BLUE

It seems 28 February is not a good day, as several of the staff will (if we get through to the Round of 16) be in Turkey or the Ukraine doing the recce for our visit.

Thursday 3rd March is a possibility, but it may be later.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)ntlworld.com>

RESULTS AND TABLE

15 February 2011

Birmingham City       0 - 2  Newcastle United      28,270

14 February 2011

Fulham                0 - 0  Chelsea               25,685

League table to 16 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  26 13  1  0 39  9  3  8  1 18 16 16  9  1  57  25  32  57
 2 Arsenal         26  9  1  3 29 12  7  4  2 27 15 16  5  5  56  27  29  53
 3 Manchester City 27  8  3  2 21 10  6  4  4 22 14 14  7  6  43  24  19  49
 4 Tottenham H.    26  7  5  1 19 10  6  3  4 18 18 13  8  5  37  28   9  47
 5 Chelsea         26  8  2  2 24  8  5  4  5 22 14 13  6  7  46  22  24  45
 6 Liverpool       27  8  4  2 23 11  3  2  8 12 21 11  6 10  35  32   3  39
 7 Sunderland      27  6  5  3 18 14  3  5  5 15 19  9 10  8  33  33   0  37
 8 Bolton Wndrs    27  7  5  2 25 17  2  4  7 13 20  9  9  9  38  37   1  36
 9 Newcastle Utd   27  4  5  4 30 19  5  3  6 12 19  9  8 10  42  38   4  35
10 Stoke City      26  7  2  4 19 14  3  1  9 12 19 10  3 13  31  33  -2  33
11 Blackburn R.    27  6  4  4 17 11  3  1  9 17 31  9  5 13  34  42  -8  32
12 Fulham          27  5  6  3 17 14  1  7  5 11 14  6 13  8  28  28   0  31
13 Everton         26  4  5  3 19 18  2  7  5 14 18  6 12  8  33  36  -3  30
14 Birmingham City 26  4  7  3 13 15  2  5  5 12 20  6 12  8  25  35 -10  30
15 Aston Villa     27  5  5  3 18 15  2  4  8 13 31  7  9 11  31  46 -15  30
16 Blackpool       26  3  3  6 19 23  5  2  7 20 27  8  5 13  39  50 -11  29
17 West Brom A.    26  5  4  4 21 22  2  2  9 13 29  7  6 13  34  51 -17  27
18 Wigan Athletic  27  3  6  5 16 26  2  6  5 11 19  5 12 10  27  45 -18  27
19 West Ham United 27  3  4  6 14 20  2  6  6 16 28  5 10 12  30  48 -18  25
20 Wolves          26  6  2  5 17 19  1  1 11  9 26  7  3 16  26  45 -19  24

With thanks to Football 365

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

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

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

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[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

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[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

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[11] Where can I find match statistics?

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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 #1704

2011/02/17

Editor:


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