Newsletter #1707

After the distraction of cup games and some good team performances we returned to league action on Sunday and could only manage a 1-1 draw against Fulham. Maybe they are saving themselves for Wednesday night’s FA Cup game.

We have a match report tonight thanks to Phil on last week’s Europa game against Aris together with a view of the game from Glyn. There is also opinion tonight on respect for the blue shirt and cause, ambition and a couple of European themed requests.

Next Game: Aston Villa, home, 7.45pm Wednesday 2 March 2011 (FA Cup)

MATCH REPORT: MCFC 3 ASFC 0 (3-0 aggregate)

Edin Dzeko underlined his supreme quality with a brace of beautifully taken goals to propel City into the next round of the Europa League.

City started off at a furious tempo, pressing Aris from the word go. Greek sides are notoriously poor travellers and this proved to be the case again with the men from Thessaloniki, but City deserve credit for the 100 mile an hour tempo that the Boys in Blue set. If only we started all our games (particularly derbies) like this.

Aris found it very difficult to live with this and City were soon in front in the 7th minute. A long ball was mis-controlled by Aris defender Michel who compounded his error by stumbling. This presented the ball to Dzeko, who showed razor sharp instincts to fire home a low shot from a tight angle on the right. Cue the first Poznan of the night!

Five minutes later Dzeko added to the score in equally impressive style. Silva found Tevez in an advanced position and the City skipper swept a ball out to Dzeko in the inside right position. The Bosnian striker still had much work to do, and he cut inside two Aris defenders and swept a low left-footed shot past Vellidis’s outstretched dive and inside the left hand post. He was mobbed by his team mates who looked pleased for him.

With a super attitude like Dzeko’s, that is hardly surprising. He always wants to improve. He might have had a deserved hat trick had he made more of Silva’s incisive pass before it was smothered by an Aris defender.

The rest of the game was fairly attritional fayre as Aris performed a damage limitation act and City dropped the tempo. Hart was forced in to one long range save in the first half but was largely unemployed against a limited Aris attack. Tevez and Zabaleta both went close as City still looked far more likely to score.

City’s third goal came fifteen minutes from the end when Yaya Touré received a clearance from a corner in a central area 25 yards out. His powerful drive received a couple of deflections on its way past Sifakis into the Aris net.

We chose to watch this match from the Singing Section and the atmosphere, there, especially as we were right next to the Aris fans was special. The Aris fans, bedecked in their colours of yellow and black, backed their team both loudly and constantly and never stopped backing their team. Their chants were all in Greek and ours were all in English so there was little in the way of ‘banter’, despite our best efforts, especially in enquiring “Aris? Aris? Who the #### are Aris?”, but it didn’t matter. I can happily recommend sitting in the Section or just next to it, for the sheer enjoyment of it. Doing the Poznan after a goal is just that bit more fun when everyone does it, chanting loudly.

So, we’re one step closer to a potential final in Dublin. Dynamo Kiev will probably present a much sterner test in the next round than the spirited Aris, but if we play like this, especially in the first half, City will be a match for anyone.

Hart: Kicking is not clever: 6
Boateng: A good, steady game at right back and centre back: 7
Lescott: Did what he had to do efficiently: 7
Kompany: His usual rock solid self until forced off after a nasty blow on the hip: 7
Kolarov: Didn’t find his hooting range and passing was a bit off at times: 6
Barry: Superb all action performance. Bossed midfield: 8
Yaya Touré: A willing lieutenant in a box to box rôle, which is perhaps where he is best employed: 7
Silva: A sheer delight to watch: his team mates were fed a banquet of delicate, incisive passes: 8
Balotelli: Was that a smile that we saw after Dzeko’s second goal? Great energy: 7
Tevez: Bright, busy, alert and inventive: 8
Dzeko: Two top class strikes and good link play: 9
Zabaleta: Solid, committed and assured, a terrific professional: 8
Wright-Phillips: n/a
Vieira: n/a
Best Oppo: The Aris Salonika fans. Relentlessly backed their team. Uncoordinated attempt at ‘The Poznan’ though: 8
Ref: Pavel Kralovec: Let it flow. Kep authority without fuss: 8

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Just watched our tremendous Europa League match versus Aris, and was very happy with the 3-nil outcome. For once, we made a very good start and Dzeko took his 2 goals very well, but really should have scored a 3rd when one on one; this is his 2nd bad miss in 2 games… he needs to practice 1 on 1’s. There were periods in the game when we played the ball around extremely well: short triangles, one touch passes and total confidence in possession. However, we needed to kill them off, and left it very late to get the killer 3rd goal. Overall, I thought the team in general played very well, our defence was very disciplined and looked comfortable throughout, with Hart not really tested. I thought 3 players really stood out in a City shirt tonight: Silva (a little genius), Touré and Barry; they were all very comfortable in possession, always available and rarely made a bad pass, in particular, I thought Barry had a very, very good game. Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov and Boateng all played very well too. I was happy that Mancini finally played Kolarov in the position he was bought to play in.

My only moan is Balotelli. I really do not think he is suited to City (I hope I am proved wrong!). For all his “supposed” talent, I did not, and have not seen too much end product to date. He can be described as a player who is encompassed in little “cameos”. He just does not put a stamp of authority on the game and at times he just wanders about. Added to his surly persona, that leaves you wondering “does he really enjoy playing football?”. We have paid a lot of money for him, and it just does not seem that he ever will gel into our team.

If Balotelli decides Italy is where he belongs, and we decide to sell him, I would like us to go in for Hoylett from Blackburn. He looks an exciting player, with a real turn of pace and should not cost a bundle. Don’t forget Nzogbia too. I am a great believer that all good teams have at least one player who has genuine pace, someone who would trouble most defences. Pace is what absolutely scares defenders. I would also like us to go in for Charlie Adam, especially as we need an attacking midfielder; he looks a very accomplished Premier League player and at most, he would cost us £12 million. He would give us something different, as he has an eye for a killer pass, short or long, and he is good at set pieces too (plus he would be considered home grown), and with our array of quality attackers, this would only benefit City.

Player Ratings:
Hart: 6 (did not have much to do)
Boateng: 7 (did everything in a very accomplished manner)
Kompany: 7 (was very good in the middle, and hardly put a foot wrong, shame he got injured)
Kolarov: 6 (played well in general, however his shooting and free kicks were awful)
Lescott: 7 (had one of his better games in a City shirt, looked a lot more assured)
Barry: 8 (I thought he was contender for man of the match, bossed the midfield in a very unfussy manner)
Touré: 7 (another midfielder who was central to most of our possession, kept things moving well and scored the crucial 3rd goal)
Silva: 8 (what an amazing player; great left foot, very comfortable in possession and played some wonderful passes)
Tevez: 6 (not one of his best games but can be excused for his good work rate and effort)
Balotelli: 4 (could have been on the score sheet, but just does not seem to enjoy playing, and doesn’t do enough?)
Dzeko: 8 (scored 2 very good goals and should have scored a 3rd; will only get better… plus he smiles)

Come on City!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


Mark Hughes came to the City stadium with his team well prepared for this game.

Mario scored a brilliant goal for City to take the lead but on the day there was not much more from the City team; it was Fulham who showed more ambition in wanting to win this game, and a well earned goal came to equalize the game. To be perfectly honest this City side looked half asleep for much of the game, whilst Fulham fought for every ball.

It said a lot when the game was over that Roberto did not look Mark in the eye as they went for the managers’ shake at the end of the game. In turn Mark kind of flicked Roberto’s hand away – no love for each other.

I still have feelings for Mark Hughes and wish him luck with Fulham. But Roberto is the City manager now, and it is Roberto that I want to succeed for City.

Only a point from this home game does not help with City’s fight for a top four finish; the games are coming one after another with FA Cup and Europa Cup games, and on top of that injuries do not help.

One thing that I have noticed from Roberto’s interviews is that he continually mentions a game every three days hurts; it is the same for most other clubs. So Roberto just get used to it, and prepare your teams accordingly, with a fighting team spirit.

Mark Hughes I respect. In Roberto Mancini I trust.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


It’s been a while and a lot of water has passed since my regular contributions to MCIVTA. However, in due deference to the Chelsea ticket appeal below, I felt the need to at least offer some input to the fray.

Attended the match last night. Extremely impressed by the Aris support; fantastic effort right the way through. We really need to start filling our ground to enhance our standing with football fans, not the media, around Europe. I hope last night was a launch pad. I know how difficult it is personally to raise the cash to go, but still the club are doing their part now and I hope we can step up as a support to enhance our deserved reputation as loyal supporters.

My controversy is about respect for the shirt. Two players in particular: Mario and Carlos. I do not believe for one minute either have any intention of showing disrespect to Manchester City. However, implicitly by his young brash and cannot be a**ed demeanour, Mario denounces what should be a proud shirt to wear. Our history and support demand that he undertakes his transformation into a professional approach much sooner than is happening now.

Carlos is different case in point. Whilst he claims no one gives more for the shirt, I think that is measured by physical effort. His goal scoring exploits back this up and long may it continue. For me, as captain he should not be turning his back on players and raising one arm in disdain for a mislaid pass by a new member of the team. No matter what temperament lies beneath, the captaincy belies a certain responsibility for a further change of characteristic. The goal scoring exploits are not mutually exclusive, although this maybe a point some wish to argue?

Whether this is populist or not, I hope both can be addressed for the good of the team, the club and the individuals by our steely manager. It was a professional performance last night. We are sowing some good seeds and Mancini’s winning philosophy begins to permeate. My expectations are already met for this season. After years of optimism and a heart full of the winners and internationals I began to support through family ties at the tender age of four (I mean going when I say support), I am now allowing realism to enter a mentality that has been thwarted by many years of front to other clubs, whilst the performance and levels decreased. Massive summer change, the manager stamping his mark, long bedding in period and people getting up to pace for a realistic assault next year. Realism and long term thinking. The faux outrage at Silva’s ability at the start of the season being a short term case in point. The guy is truly world class as too Dzeko will prove. Backed up by no lesser footballing genius than Walter with the Brolleter. I digress.

My model professional is Vinny Ko. I know all teams need a balance of characters. However, if anyone was to seek a rôle model look at the level of consistency Vinny instills. Phenomenal levels of performance maintained and bettered throughout the course of the season. The heights he reached at the derby were in the echelons that only hard work and focus can hope to reach.

Same consistent performance last night prior to early injury. Lovely to see a thoroughly professional performance from Gazza Bazza last night. My MoM, despite the obvious pick Edin’s two goal salvo might merit. Great effort lad.

Finally, to a plea for a Chelsea ticket for an excellent cause.

I met Ray at the derby the other week through a very good friend of mine to learn he was doing his first full season with a twist. In doing so, he was raising cash for a charity very close to his and many other people’s hearts, Francis House Children’s Hospice. Over a pint in Duke’s 92 after the game, we talked at length on the trials and tribulations of his task. The logistics, the time off work, the cost (close to £10,000 he reckons this year) and spanners that arrive during your right of passage. Mine was Peter Reid being the only Premier League manager to entertain a request from Exeter City to play in Steve Neville’s testimonial on a Tuesday night, a game we lost 2-1 with a goal from Jason Beckford for the Blues. Trumpet blowing, and credential establishing aside:

Ray is after one ticket for the Chelsea game. He has been home and away including Europe with a tough trip to Ukraine in the offing. Any one in Planet Blue that can help out would be supporting a good cause and a fine young man in his efforts.

Whatever you do, stay Blue.

Dave Clinton – Audenshaw and now Dobcross! <dave_clinton(at)>


I’ve read Noel Wells’s response to the Peter Llewellyn message from two MCIVTAs ago and I’d like to make a few responses to both.

Peter, I’d like to disagree with the idea that the arrival of megabucks means success/silverware is now expected. It is just expected to be a bit more imminent than otherwise. But I also expected success in the 90s after the spine of the 1986 Youth Cup team tonked United 5-1. At a time when we had a team genuinely and truly made in Manchester, I expected success then, and that was a time when paying £2.3 million for Keith Curle was met with gasps. Instead, United took inspiration from it and produced a team of their own who came to Maine Road a few years later and turned our 2-0 into their 3-2 in the 2nd half. The only things I’ve ever seen us lift was the 1986 FA Youth Cup and the 2001 Championship that’s as good as it has got.

Noel, I’m 38 in a few weeks, I was eight years old when we played Spurs. You don’t remember it – you’re lucky, I wish I could say that! I have a crystal-clear memory of that entire cup run from the hammerings of Palace and Norwich to the replay against Everton and the agonising wait for the result of the semi-final on Grandstand and jumping around wildly when I realised we were going to Wembley. My dad couldn’t get tickets, so I watched at home and it was a chastising experience for a young me to be nine minutes from winning it and then having it snatched away. The defeat in the replay has been something that has stuck in my craw for 30 years and it would be particularly sweet if we can win the FA Cup this year especially. It would put that one to bed for me once and for all.

I abhor booing. I think, and I’ve said for some time, that the best way to show approval if a performance has been so bad that grudging applause would feel insincere is total silence. Game ends. No-one says a word – and I mean no-one in the whole ground utters a sound. The players trudge off to eerie silence. I’ve always thought that would be far more effective.

The banner at OT… mark my words that banner, when it comes down, will be replaced by another one that has whatever the total number of trophies City have ever won and the number United have ever won. With any luck, though, maybe they’ll turn their attentions on Liverpool and years since 1990.

Marc Starr <marc.starr(at)>


My name is Slavik, I am from Lviv, Ukraine. I represent NGO “Karpaty” (we work with football supporters of Western Ukraine). Our web-site: Next year we will be holding the traditional international fans’ tournament EUROFAN for the 5th consecutive year.

Here is the EUROFAN page in Wikipedia:
You can also find many photos and videos from previous events on Facebook:

The dates: 23-26 June 2011. On 23 June teams arrive in Lviv and check in hotels, the tournament lasts three days, from 24 till 26 June.

Our tournament is rather a non-competitive one. Professional or semi-professional players are not allowed. Our motto might sound like this: play some football, drink some beer, make friends, have fun!

Tournament rules: 11-a-side teams, matches played in qualifying groups will have duration of 50 minutes (2 halves, 25 minutes each), matches played in play-offs will have duration of 60 minutes (2 halves, 30 minutes each). During games we arrange live comments and music (speakers are placed around the ground, DJ and commentator work with microphones). Number of substitutes is not limited.

Regarding accommodation: Depending on a hotel, its class, location and conditions, we offer up to 50% of discount on stay (excluding breakfasts) for all members of your delegation (the number of persons is not limited). Normally cost of one night per one person in a good hotel is about 25 EUR. If you prefer to stay in a hostel, then you pay for it yourselves (cost of one one night per one person in a good hotel is about 10-12 EUR). We will offer you several options to choose from.

Also during the tournament all invited teams will be accompanied by volunteers speaking in respective languages. They will meet teams in Lviv, help in finding hotels, checking-in and be helpful in different situations. After the tournament we organize a celebration party with prizes and mementos for all tournament guests.

Also we ask all teams to send us an entrance fee in the amount of €150 from each team as a guarantee of participation.

Travelling to and from Ukraine is at your cost. Lviv is the main city in the Western Ukraine, it’s located not far from the Polish-Ukrainian border. Our city is regarded the cultural capital of Ukraine, it is very beautiful and resembles Vienna or Prague. Lviv will be one of host cities for EURO-2012 to be held in Poland and Ukraine in 2012.

Below are some links about Lviv:
Best options of travelling to Lviv are via Krakow or Rzeszow (Poland) or via Kiev (Ukraine). Herewith we officially invite a fans’ team of Manchester City to take part in “EUROFAN-2011”. The final list of participants will include 24 fans’ teams from all over Europe. In case you are interested in participation please let me know as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance.

Slavik Vyacheslav Novytskyi <novytskyi(at)>


UEFA Europa League Last 16 Knockout Stage
Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine.
Thursday 10th March 2011

Manchester City One Night Trip

Depart Manchester Thursday 10th March 2011 at approx. 06:00hrs day of the game
Flights direct to Kiev
Transfer Airport – Hotel
Depart Kiev Friday 11th March 2011 at approx. 16:00hrs local time
Price £330.00 per person based on twin share
Single room supplement of £35.00 pppn.
For further information, call:
Manchester office 0161-775-7500
London office 0207-935-6129
Office open until 17:00 hours weekdays, Saturday open from 09:30 hours until 13:00 hours

Brian Campbell <brian(at)>


27 February 2011

West Ham United      3 - 1  Liverpool            34,941
Manchester City      1 - 1  Fulham               43,077

26 February 2011

Aston Villa          4 - 1  Blackburn Rovers     34,309
Everton              2 - 0  Sunderland           37,776
Newcastle United     1 - 1  Bolton Wanderers     48,062
Wigan Athletic       0 - 4  Manchester United    18,140
Wolverhampton Wndrs  4 - 0  Blackpool            29,086

League table to 27 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  27 13  1  0 39  9  4  8  1 22 16 17  9  1  61  25  36  60
 2 Arsenal         27 10  1  3 30 12  7  4  2 27 15 17  5  5  57  27  30  56
 3 Manchester City 28  8  4  2 22 11  6  4  4 22 14 14  8  6  44  25  19  50
 4 Tottenham H.    27  7  5  1 19 10  6  3  5 19 21 13  8  6  38  31   7  47
 5 Chelsea         26  8  2  2 24  8  5  4  5 22 14 13  6  7  46  22  24  45
 6 Liverpool       28  8  4  2 23 11  3  2  9 13 24 11  6 11  36  35   1  39
 7 Bolton Wndrs    28  7  5  2 25 17  2  5  7 14 21  9 10  9  39  38   1  37
 8 Sunderland      28  6  5  3 18 14  3  5  6 15 21  9 10  9  33  35  -2  37
 9 Newcastle Utd   28  4  6  4 31 20  5  3  6 12 19  9  9 10  43  39   4  36
10 Everton         27  5  5  3 21 18  2  7  5 14 18  7 12  8  35  36  -1  33
11 Stoke City      27  7  2  4 19 14  3  1 10 12 20 10  3 14  31  34  -3  33
12 Aston Villa     28  6  5  3 22 16  2  4  8 13 31  8  9 11  35  47 -12  33
13 Fulham          28  5  6  3 17 14  1  8  5 12 15  6 14  8  29  29   0  32
14 Blackburn R.    28  6  4  4 17 11  3  1 10 18 35  9  5 14  35  46 -11  32
15 Blackpool       28  4  3  6 22 24  5  2  8 20 31  9  5 14  42  55 -13  32
16 Birmingham City 26  4  7  3 13 15  2  5  5 12 20  6 12  8  25  35 -10  30
17 Wolves          28  7  2  5 21 19  1  2 11 10 27  8  4 16  31  46 -15  28
18 West Ham United 28  4  4  6 17 21  2  6  6 16 28  6 10 12  33  49 -16  28
19 West Brom A.    27  5  5  4 22 23  2  2  9 13 29  7  7 13  35  52 -17  28
20 Wigan Athletic  28  3  6  6 16 30  2  6  5 11 19  5 12 11  27  49 -22  27

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1707