Newsletter #1713

News and reaction to the Dynamo Kiev and Chelsea games, which saw us bow out of Europa league and slip up in the Premier League. We’re still on course for a top four finish and of course the FA Cup semi-final but do we have the team and manager to take us there – there is more opinion on that tonight.

Next Game: Sunderland, home, 4pm Sunday 3 April 2011


General News

Top of Our Game: City boss Roberto Mancini has claimed that City can match United in their FA Cup semi-final next month, having come on leaps and bounds during his time at the club. The Blues struggled to a goalless draw when they faced Alex Ferguson’s side at Eastlands and were beaten by a Wayne Rooney bicycle kick when the two sides met at Old Trafford, but the City manager still has faith in his side to come out on top in Wembley and is glad that the fans will have their day at the national stadium: “We have improved a lot over the last year. You improve when you know what mistakes you make when you lose. We are very close to all the top squads now, but we still need to improve more. Maybe next year we will be at the same level as Arsenal and Chelsea. We played a good game at Old Trafford, and it will be a great semi-final. It is a great semi-final. You could see what it meant to the fans at the end.”

More than Money: Champions’ League winner and World Cup finalist Wesley Sneijder has warned City that it will take more than money to make a great team. In the same week that he claimed Mario Balotelli could become the greatest player in the world, the Dutchman admitted that City are fast becoming better known around the world but explained that the Blues shouldn’t expect instant success simply because of the money they have spent: “They are spending a lot of money and they are good players, but you cannot buy a good team. You can buy good players, but you have to make a team and you need the right coach there. It will take time. You have to take them seriously because there is somebody there who spends a lot of money.”

Squad News

SWP-ing Away the Opposition: A visit to Wembley next month will mean a lot to the whole squad but none more so that Academy graduate Shaun Wright Phillips. SWP was around when the club didn’t have a penny to spend and returned to the club ahead of Sheikh Mansour’s takeover in 2009. Having played for the Blues during the club’s relegation battles, the winger has admitted that the thought of playing in a Wembley semi-final is something he could only have dreamed of ten years ago: “The way Fergie has his team; they never get in a position where they don’t want to win a game, especially one that could take them to a final. If anything, we have to want it as much as them if we want to go all the way. It may mean a little bit more to me because I know what our fans have been through. I have been through a hell of a lot with them and hopefully as a team, we can realise their dreams as well as achieving one of our own.”

United We Stand: City defenders Micah Richards and Vincent Kompany have echoed the sentiments of Shauny Wright as the Blues prepare for the most important Manchester derby in recent years. Whilst Micah Richard simply stated: “We have United in the semis, which makes it more special. We can’t wait”, Kompany has dismissed some who have claimed City didn’t want the more difficult draw. Mancini’s side could have faced either Stoke City or Bolton Wanderers but were instead drawn with their local neighbours. Though some believe that a tie against United will hinder their FA Cup chances, Kompany has revealed he is looking forward to the tie: “I’ll let you guess how much it means and how much the next opponents mean to us. We’re happy to play them. There is no easy way to get to the final. We’re looking forward to it and there will be no complaints from us.”

Dutch Courage: Nigel de Jong believes that FA Cup success could prove the stepping stone upon which City build a new era of success but has assured fans that if it doesn’t happen this season then the Blues will achieve at some point in the near future. The combative midfielder understands how desperate the fans are for the club to claim their first piece of silverware in 35 years and has promised that it means just as much to the players. Whilst none have ever won anything in a City shirt, the likes of Yaya Touré, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez have big game experience and will be crucial to the club’s chances of FA Cup glory this season – something de Jong is all too aware of: “We know we have got a lot of individual quality in our team. What we need to do is combine them as one in the team. But it takes time. Rome was not built in a day. We just have to try hard and it will come. Our fans obviously really want to win a trophy. And so do we. We know all about the history of this club so we know how long it’s been since we won anything. We are often reminded about it. Everyone knows what’s at stake.”

Simple Mistake: Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has backed international team-mate Kolo Touré following the defender’s drug related ban last week. The Ivorian defender tested positive for an ‘A sample’ drug but former manager Arsène Wenger explained that the result was due to an honest mistake in which Touré took his wife’s diet pills. Staring down the barrel of a possible two year ban, Touré has received the backing of Drogba who believes any ban would seriously affect his national side’s chances: “It would be a difficult situation for us (Ivory Coast) if he is banned because he is one of the most important players, one of the oldest, most experienced players. It would be very difficult for us if something like this happens. I think we all know how stupid it was, the mistake, and I don’t think he did it to improve his performance. I think it was just a mistake and we feel sorry for him and he has all our support, and that’s the maximum we can do.”

Backing for Balo’: Only months ago, Mario Balotelli revealed that he believed only Lionel Messi could compare with his own football abilities; this week, Roberto Mancini has backed the Italian’s claim. The temperamental striker has shown glimpses of such brilliance during his time at City but has struggled to settle following a recurring knee injury. With rumours circulating that Mario could be on his way to AC Milan, Mancini has dismissed such speculation and told fans to expect great things from the former Inter player: “This year he has been very unlucky because of the injury to his knee, but he can change games by himself if he wants. So it only depends on him.”

Joe’s Goal – Match Seaman: Thousands of young goalkeepers currently look up to City ‘keeper Joe Hart as an inspiration as they seek to reach the heights of England’s number one, but the man himself has admitted that his own idol is former Arsenal man David Seaman. Now playing alongside Patrick Vieira and Stuart Taylor, who both played alongside Seaman during their time at the London club, Hart has often spoken to his team-mates about the former England number one and tried to develop his own game from these stories: “Growing up, David Seaman was a massive rôle model for me. Peter Schmeichel and him were the ones I looked up to. Seaman always made the game look easy. He never looked flustered and always seemed in command of his defence. I speak to Stuart Taylor a lot about Seaman because was at Arsenal with him and he tells me what a great ‘keeper he was. I’ve spoken to Patrick Vieira about Seaman too. He says he’s the best ‘keeper he’s ever played with, the way he prepared, his communication and his ability. That’s some praise.”

Rumour Mill

Ade-Galore: On-loan City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has stated that he is having the time of his life at Real Madrid and hopes to remain in La Liga beyond this season. Having fallen out of favour at Eastlands, ‘Manu’ made the move to Spain during the January transfer window. Short of strikers of his own, Jose Mourinho has made Manu very much a first team fixture in his Real Madrid side and the former Arsenal man has repaid that faith with three goals. Though it remains unclear as to whether the Spanish giants will make a permanent move for the former Togo striker, Manu has his sights firmly set on success this season: “No one can be as happy as I am now. Playing here is a dream come true and I now feel useful again. There is a great vibe in the dressing room. Everyone has been very nice. I try to repay their kindness by training as hard as I can and giving my all. I will do everything I can to stay here. All I want to do is win titles. La Liga is not over yet and anything can happen in the 90 minutes of the Copa del Rey final.”

Unloved: Potential City target Dani Alves has claimed that Barcelona are not working hard enough to renew his contract and he could be forced to leave the club in the summer. The attacking right back has been on Mancini’s radar ever since the Italian arrived at CoMS and now may be the perfect time to move for the Brazilian: “I don’t feel the club have been doing their utmost to renew my contract, but that’s just a feeling I have. I want an agreement to be reached within a few days. What I want is for the club to value me depending on my importance and influence within the squad. If they do that, I’ll be over the moon and if not, thanks for these years at the club.” Other rumours suggested that Spurs and City could be preparing a swap deal for Welsh wizard Craig Bellamy and England striker Jermaine Defoe, whilst Italian side Palermo claimed they received a £43 million bid for long time City target Javier Pastore this week.

Post-Match Reaction

Clever Sheva: Former Chelsea striker Andrei Shevchenko led the line for the Ukrainian giants as Dynamo Kyiv completed a shock 2-0 win over Mancini’s travelling side. Sheva scored one and Oleh Husgev another as a goal either side of half-time left City with a mountain to climb in this week’s second leg. Though the Blues looked comfortable in the opening stages, Shevchenko’s instinctive finish acted as a massive set-back to the travelling Blues, but Mancini still believes his side can overturn the two goal deficit at Eastlands: “In football, anything can happen and though losing 2-0 is not a good result, we will do our best in the second leg. If we want to get into the quarter-finals, we have to play better than we did and defend better. I think we played well and controlled most of the game, but made two mistakes – two big mistakes – and paid the price. You can’t concede goals like that if you want to be successful in the Europa League. Kyiv have the edge now and will be favourites to go through, but this match is far from over.”

City Pass Reading Test: Well they did it the hard way yet again but Wembley is calling for Manchester City as they beat Reading 1-0 last Sunday to progress through to the FA Cup semi-finals. A single goal from Micah Richards was enough to win the tie after the Blues had missed a number of more obvious chances. There were jubilant scenes at full-time as thousands of fans stayed behind to celebrate the club’s success and with fans now preparing to take ‘the Poznan’ to Wembley, a first ever Wembley Manchester derby awaits. The club’s Italian coach is confident that his side can go on and win the trophy but has warned his team to focus on each game as it comes. “We deserved to win, even if the score was only 1-0. We had 17 attempts on goal against one or two, but in football if you don’t score then you can have a problem. They made it very difficult but Micah scored a great goal. I am very happy for the supporters, going to Wembley is special. It could be our year.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


Chelsea’s resurgence continued as they leap-frogged over City into third place, and with the media having a field day at our expense and some knee jerk reactions amongst the City fans, Roberto Mancini is under the spotlight again. Is it fair, though, to judge him so harshly as some do, when City hold the pole position to reach the Champions’ League for the first time, and have reached an FA Cup Semi-Final for the first time in 30 years?

City opened this game brightly and gave as good as we got for 45 minutes. Unfortunately we lacked the killer touch to take our chances or play the decisive final ball. These problems were further magnified as the game went on and our challenge faded.

Clearly we missed Tévez but it is no good him playing and being out for a number of weeks through playing when he is not fit and aggravating his injury. Dzeko is finding his feet here, and did well for a while, but he couldn’t fill Tévez’s shoes. The Bosnian needs time and his qualities will bear fruit especially when he gets service from the flanks from Adam Johnson.

We were undone by giving unnecessary free kicks outside the box, giving Chelsea the opportunity to use their brilliant aerial prowess. Barry and then Richards were guilty of rashness that gifted the home side set piece chances. Luiz was on the touchline with his back to Micah so there was no need for Micah to foul him. He just needed to bide his time and block any turning movement by the Brazilian centre half.

Robbie Savage had been urging Roberto Mancini to buy Luiz in January and it’s very easy to see why. Not only is a brilliant defender but he is a very clever, skilful footballer; as complete a centre half as I’ve seen anywhere.

We do though, have an emerging partnership for City. Kompany has been excellent all season. He rivals Luiz as being the best centre half in the Premier League, if not in Europe, and he was brilliant again at Stamford Bridge. Superbly positioned, well balanced and tenacious. His partner Joleon Lescott is getting better by the game and is revelling in being first choice. He’d moved ahead of Kolo Touré before Kolo’s suspension and has been one of City’s best players in recent weeks. Like Kompany, he reads the game very well and in these two we could have a classic right-foot/left foot partnership: perhaps our best since Dunney and Distin.

City didn’t play badly at Stamford Bridge and made life very difficult for Chelsea for 80 minutes with de Jong excelling as well as Kompany and Lescott, but we have to do better, both in defence and in the final third of the field. Kolarov looks ponderous and Micah needs to be a little less impetuous and keep working on those concentration levels. As a team, we need more conviction in our passing and better movement. I don’t buy the theory that Mancini is too negative. His team is well organised and defends very well indeed for the most part and he deserves great credit for that, but how can a team that contains Silva, Dzeko and Yaya Touré in an advanced rôle be described as negative? Indeed, we took the game to the champions, but were unable to break them down.

Of course we do need to improve our results, but with the international break and 2 weeks to the next game against Sunderland and a chance to banish any excuses about tiredness (Mancini really should stop spinning this line – these are young, fit athletes, not forty-something blokes with beer bellies trundling round a pitch), get on the training ground and work at our game; City should be refreshed.

Hart: Can’t be faulted for the goals: 6
Richards: Good defending in the main but needs to avoid giving away silly free kicks: 6
Kompany: Tenacious and a rock: 8
Lescott: Read the game superbly: 8
Kolarov: Not enough quality in his crosses and slow in defence: 5
de Jong: So many blocks and interceptions, but it’s a pity that his team mates ahead of him couldn’t do something constructive with his passes: 8
Milner: Industrious as ever but his final ball lacked quality: 6
Barry: Ponderous at times: 6
Yaya Touré: We need more from him in his advanced rôle: 6
Silva: Never really found his passing rhythm and range. A rare off game for the diminutive Spaniard: 5
Dzeko: In Terry’s shadow for most of the game: 5
Balotelli: n/a
A Johnson: n/a
Refwatch: Chris Foy: Might have punished some of the more brutal Chelsea challenges more firmly, but otherwise we can have no real complaints: 6
Best Opp: Luiz: The complete centre half: 10

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


So the European Odyssey ends for another season, with City bowing out with honour to a highly cynical Dynamo Kiev side. The honour is bestowed on the ten men who battled manfully for an hour to overturn the 0-2 reverse in the Ukraine, but most certainly not on Mario Balotelli, who thought it was a good idea to lunge, chest high, planting his studs into the Kyiv left back Popov’s chest. Whether he intended it or not, it was an act of sheer stupidity, and his sending off was one of the few decisions that the unspeakably weak Turkish referee got right all night.

By then he’d already missed an absolute sitter after a cross shot from Richards, headed a good chance over the bar, and managed to get in the way of David Silva’s hot. Yes, Balotelli had been fouled a couple of times and not been awarded a free kick, but that happens sometimes and grown up footballers deal with it and get on with the game. A lot of people’s patience with this petulant child has worn out a long time ago. With his dangerous act here, he has just been booted out of the last chance saloon by many of the more tolerant City supporters. The real question is how much longer is Roberto Mancini going to put with him?

It is an indictment of his lack of contribution that City were better off without him. Well for the rest of the first half anyway, but tired legs having to do the extra work took their toll towards the end. Indeed just a couple of minutes passed after Balotelli’s dismissal when Aleksandar Kolarov’s powerful low free kick squirmed through the Kyiv goalkeeper’s grasp to give City a deserved lead on the night.

City dominated proceedings whether they had 11 or 10 men, and Kyiv were happy to defend with 10 or even all 11 men behind the ball, not to mention waste time at any opportunity from very early on in the game, whether it be diving, kicking the ball away or feigning injury. Andriy Shevchenko, like one or two other arrogant so-called ‘stars’ seemed to think he could referee the game himself at times. He was getting to be a bit of a pain in the Urals, none more so when he appealed for a non-existent foul and the weak referee duly obliged. Dinamo were the worst example of cynicism. Unfortunately the pathetic referee fell for this, often giving free kicks for phantom fouls and he failed to allow enough time to compensate for it. Dinamo created very little and Hart’s only piece of work was a regulation gathering of a long range effort.

In the second half Lescott had to clear from the line and Iarmilenko fired a yard wide but they were a rare Dinamo forays into our half, as City pressed for a second goal. David Silva prompted and probed with his trickery and intelligence and his shot was smothered by Shovkovskyi. Richards couldn’t quite find the deadly accuracy of last Sunday when he headed over Silva’s superbly delivered free kick.

City laid siege of the Dinamo goal but it was difficult to break down an 11 man defence. Adam Johnson made a welcome return when he came on to replace Barry and Dzeko came on for Silva who had picked up a knock making a tackle, as Mancini looked for new ways to break down the stubborn Ukrainian resistance.

Yaya Touré found Dezko with a lobbed pass and, showing great technique, the Bosnian chest trapped the long pass, swivelled and hit a volley that was well saved. Touré also stretched the Dinamo ‘keeper with a powerful free kick but it was all to no avail.

This tie was lost in the Ukraine with our insipid performance there that lacked conviction in defending and in the final third. We didn’t play badly out there but the conceding of two sloppy goals and the failure to convert what few chances we had plus a poor final ball left us with a mountain to climb at home and teams like Kyiv don’t throw away two goal leads easily.

It would be wrong to say that we have played a lot of matches in Europe for no reward. For starters our team has gained a lot of experience of European football. From purely a fan’s point of view there have been some great trips away to places we don’t normally visit. We have experienced the fantastic support of Aris Salonika and perhaps most notably Lech Poznan. Their support both home and away was awesome. And of course, with Polish inspiration, we the fans, have adopted ‘The Poznan’ as our own now so there are plenty of reasons to look back on a respectable European campaign.

Now for the challenge to reach the Champions’ League.

Hart: Did what he had to do well, but not severely tested here: 6
Richards: Enjoying a purple patch: 7
Kompany: Solid and powerful: 7
Lescott: Looking like a class act: 7
Kolarov: Some driving runs down the left overcame a poor start: 6
Barry: Poor for him. Gave the ball away with his first four touches, but in his defence he has the strength of character to keep going and improve: 5
de Jong: Holds it together beautifully: 7
Yaya Touré: Energetic, worked hard: 6
Silva: Always looking for an opening. Hopefully his knock is nothing serious because he is one of our key players: 7
Tévez: Ran, chased, probed for 90 minutes: 7 (Man of the match, just from Lescott and Silva)
Balotelli: Another rash self-indulgent act from an immature child. The fact is that we were better off without him in this game because he contributed nothing and got in the way: 0 (Zero)
Johnson: Great to see him back. Ran into a brick wall of 9 defenders: 6
Milner: To late to mark
Refwatch: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey): What’s the Turkish for ‘weak and pathetic’? Worse even than Clattenburg: -1 (Minus One)
Att: 27,816

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


City don’t deserve 3rd place in the Premier League! City don’t deserve to be considered a club with ambition to win the League, FA Cup, Europe. They are, without doubt, noisy neighbours.

Believe it or not I am a life long MCFC fan. I live now in the USA and had perhaps the poor luck to watch the game live on Fox Sports on Sunday. Chelsea wanted to win that game. City needed to win that game, but Chelsea wanted to win. There is a difference and it shows the gulf between the top three and many that aspire to be top 3. As much as we dislike our neighbours, or rivals from London and Liverpool they play to win. United’s seeming luck to equalize or win in injury time isn’t luck I’ve decided. It is a desire to win and concentration from the start to the end of the game. Arsenal came from 2-0 down to get a draw. Why? Because they wanted that game to keep pressure up.

It is time for a change and Mancini must go. How can a side with any ambition set out a team like that? How can a team with any ambition go to try and draw and hope for a snatched goal? Enough. When City play with speed they can take apart any defence and have shown it. To go away from home in a game they must win to keep up with Arsenal and pull away from Chelsea, Mancini showed his true colours. He only wanted a draw, he didn’t care to win. English football isn’t Italian football. Before the City versus Chelsea game was shown the Inter versus Lecce match was on. Dull, boring and a typical Italian 1-0. The Premier League isn’t won with 1-0 games. It isn’t won by draws. It is won by going out and trying to win and attack so hard the opposition crumbles.

I’m tired now of watching Yaya Touré lumber up and down the field, of seeing a single striker slog away. I’m tied of watching sides attack us and having 4 to 5 options in and around the box and then watch City counter with 3. I watch Arsenal, Liverpool, United, Chelsea and there is always a pass on, an outlet and new direction. City seem to hunt for passes, struggle to find more than 1 other person to help. The Chelsea game was typical, 3 defensive midfield players, Milner who hasn’t scored since the opening day, and a single striker. Silva isn’t a striker, he is a very gifted creative attacking midfield player. It is time for a change when the season ends and it is time for Mancini to go!

But who to replace him? In my book it is very simple. Pay Jose Mourinio whatever he wants before he replaces Ferguson and continues the ever dominant run United have. Jose will attack, he will control players, he will get success and he will play to win. Love him or hate him, he gets results. The Chairman will let him run the club his way. He left Chelsea because that changed, and he isn’t happy at Real because the Chairman has too much influence on the team. Get him, get results, get success, and get a winning mentality.

Enough negative play and 0-0 hopes away from home. Let’s try and win something and not hope someone else loses.

Chris Marland <cnmarland(at)>


I, like many City fans around the world, sat watching our game on TV against D.K. with much anticipation and a great deal of belief and hope that we could turn this one around.

Then enter the idiot Balotelli and dash all our dreams and hopes by his selfish, thoughtless actions. We don’t need this idiot wearing our shirt. The only two things he is interested in is his massive wage at the end of the week and his image.

I say get rid of him – the sooner the better; he has zero respect for the club and us fans. We would be a far more effective team with Adam Johnson down the right crossing the ball to Dzeko and Tévez.

Justin Arthur <jarthur(at)>


I suspect that Roberto is now secretly breathing a sigh of relief because City do not have to compete in the Europa League any more. No more can he complain about having to play a game every 3 days and realistically it gives them a much better chance of lifting the FA Cup and even possibly the Premier League bearing in mind that United and Chelsea are still competing in the UEFA Champions’ League.

Even though Balotelli was sent off as early as the 36th minute City still won the game and might have won the tie if it had not been for him. So ironically Balotelli’s sending off may prove to be a blessing in disguise if this scenario emerges. I sincerely hope though that he does not step out in a City shirt again as I think he is more of a liability than an asset.

The journalists that I read on the Internet seem to have discounted City winning the Premier League but I don’t agree. If they focus and keep their motivation levels high they can still make it, provided they don’t play Balotelli again.

Philip van Gass <philipvangass(at)>


Mario Balotelli has proved to us that he can play football but also has shown us on too many occasions that he can be a fool making mistakes that have cost City dearly. Can we trust him to play in any more important games for City? Is this his way of sulking because he wants to go back to Milan?

If I was Mancini I would put Mario in the reserve team pronto, but Mancini might not feel that the right thing to do, having brought him to City himself at a big cost. And I will not blame Mancini, for when he played for Mancini before at Inter he must have been a different man?

We have some very important games coming up, and we just cannot afford more of Mario’s blunders if we are to get a top four finish, and a place in the FA Cup final. Roberto Mancini knows this player fairly well and he has got to put the team as a priority; players who care about trying to win a trophy for us the fans and the club. Sorry Mario, you are not “Super Mario” you are “Stupid Mario”. If Roberto gives you another chance you had better use it with the best that you have got, or there are many City supporters that will be willing to get you a taxi.

The luck of the Irish was not with City today. My many thanks to the players who played their hearts out for City’s cause today.

In Mancini I trust, to do the right thing.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Please inform Mr Mancini to get rid of Balotelli and fine him the £24 million he cost us.

He can go get a job as a card collector somewhere else. If no team will have him then drop a diet pill in his tea so he gets banned!

Dave Eddy <present(at)>


For anyone that would like to know, the Vancouver Whitecaps kicked off their inaugural season in the MLS with a 4-2 win over Toronto FC, with their second goal being scored by Canadian Terry Dunfield. Many of you may not remember, but some of you will, Terry played a game for City in 2001 coming on as a 36th minute substitute versus Cheslea. He was part of an Academy that boasted SWP and Barton and while he impressed on loan to Bury, and KK planned to offer him a new contract, asked to leave the best team in the land and all the world.

The MLS is a poor league compared to the Premier League, but it’s all we have and I made sure to cheer as loud as I could when Dunfield got the ball as it’s a proud time any Canadian makes it across the pond let alone for my beloved team.

I wore my City shirt proudly to the game and managed to meet an old Blue who used to have season tickets to Maine Road. My granddad and dad had season tickets to Maine Road, and I was lucky enough to see two games there, so it was great to chat about the old ground and players.

CTID always!

Rob Simnor <simmsy8(at)>


I’ll be in Berlin for the Sunderland game on the 3rd April. Does anyone out there know if there is a Blue following in Berlin and a pub where they meet up to watch the games on telly? Or if there simply is a pub guaranteed to show the English Premier League on TV. If so, please e-mail me at the address below.

Thanks a lot, Christian de Lange <christian.delange(at)>


After a long day getting up at 5am, just spoken to the boss in my local (a Rag) and assures me the game will be shown, so it’s at Zagames in Caulfield.

We want to out-do the Rag fans with support; I will be handing out balloons that I want to see in the air as the teams come out, so if you’re in Melbourne, this will not be on Foxtel, so let’s head there.

Tim Berry <timberry(at)>


In case this has not been shared before, the channel Yesterday is showing “The Bert Trautmann Story” at 21.00, Thursday 24th March, repeated at 2200 on channel Yesterday +1. Available on Freeview channel 12, Sky channel 537 and Virgin channel 203.

Colin Darvill <colin.darvill(at)>
Lee Whitehead <lee.f.whitehead(at)>


The next meeting of the Reddish branch is this Wednesday 23rd March at Reddish Working Men’s Club, Greg Street, Stockport and our confirmed guests for the evening are Rodney Marsh and Mike Summerbee.

The meeting starts at 8.00pm (doors 7.30pm) and is open to everyone, so why not come along to what will be a great night out.

For more details please visit our website at or contact Branch Secretary Howard Burr on 0161 346 1368.

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)>


Let me start by saying that I was brought up in a lower middle-class household where self-sufficiency was prized and asking for unreciprocated help from others, especially strangers, was unheard of. However, the ticketing policy adopted by the club over FA Cup tickets leaves me with little option, so here goes…

On the Saturday 12th May 1996 our eldest son, Adam, was born. While in the maternity unit that afternoon we had the dubious pleasure of watching a Cantona-inspired United winning the FA Cup. His middle name is George and if you were a City fan in the mid-1990’s there is no need to ask why (and before you ask, yes he is left-footed 🙂 ). He had no choice really about being a City fan but he has borne this curse well over the years. And what years they were – Frank Clark, Steve Coppell, Alan Ball, the supernova that was Kevin Keegan, regular trips first from the south-west and then from Yorkshire to visit Maine Road and later Eastlands, even more regular stick from red-clad kids with non-Mancunian accents who had never visited their Theatre of Dreams ™, 100-mile round-trips for Junior Blues fancy dress parties and the annual panto, eventual move to Macclesfield and season tickets at Eastlands, pre-season friendlies at places like Rochdale/Bury/Port Vale, occasional ghost-writing in the King of the Kippax fanzine, being the City away team mascots for a friendly at Macclesfield on the day we sold SWP. Oh, and years of supporting the running joke of English football.

Still, that’s what loyalty is all about isn’t it? You put up with the rubbish, the thoughts of “why am I here?” when you watch teams like Fulham pull off miraculous comebacks and everyone just looks at each other and says “typical City, eh?” (or bursts into a bout of Tourette’s including random player names). One day your club will be in the ascendency and you will get the chance to support them battling it out for the major prizes and, you never know, maybe even win something.

Well, that’s how it’s supposed to go…

As well as following City, Adam also plays junior football. As the players get older, matches move to Sunday afternoons. We quickly found that the large number of TV-driven match changes meant that we could only get to about half of the home league matches (night matches on school days are usually out as we don’t get back till after 11pm) so at the start of last season we gave up our season tickets as we could not justify wasting the money on tickets we could not use. We are not in the cup ticket scheme as the Sunday afternoon junior football matches also stuffed our chances of going to most home cup matches (we got to the Villa match!). This now means that Adam’s 3010 loyalty points look like they will be useless in his quest for a semi-final ticket.

With the number of season tickets the club has sold and the demand for those tickets I suspect that our chances of getting tickets after the seasoncard sales window will be slim. As City are now a “more professional” club I also suspect that it’s no longer good enough to do what my mum did 25 years ago and go down to the ticket office and dump a pile of my old programmes on the ticket office counter in lieu of a ticket stub when getting an FA Cup 5th round ticket (I was away at university when the tickets went on sale).

So this is where I am now looking for anyone who has a junior and adult season ticket but who, for whatever reason, cannot make the semi-final. As I said at the start, this is not something I’m accustomed to but the ticketing policy doesn’t appear to leave me with much option. If you can help out at all then please drop me a line by email.

Thanks, Andy Longshaw <andy(at)>


20 March 2011

Sunderland            0 - 2  Liverpool             47,207
Chelsea               2 - 0  Manchester City       41,741

19 March 2011

Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 0  West Ham United       36,010
Aston Villa           0 - 1  Wolverhampton Wndrs   38,965
Blackburn Rovers      2 - 2  Blackpool             27,209
Manchester United     1 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      75,486
Stoke City            4 - 0  Newcastle United      27,505
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 2  Arsenal               25,729
Wigan Athletic        2 - 1  Birmingham City       16,421
Everton               2 - 1  Fulham                33,239

League table to 20 March 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  30 14  1  0 40  9  4  8  3 24 21 18  9  3  64  30  34  63
 2 Arsenal         29 10  2  3 30 12  7  5  2 29 17 17  7  5  59  29  30  58
 3 Chelsea         29 10  2  2 28  9  6  4  5 25 15 16  6  7  53  24  29  54
 4 Manchester City 30  9  4  2 23 11  6  4  5 22 16 15  8  7  45  27  18  53
 5 Tottenham H.    29  7  6  1 19 10  6  4  5 22 24 13 10  6  41  34   7  49
 6 Liverpool       30  9  4  2 26 12  4  2  9 15 24 13  6 11  41  36   5  45
 7 Bolton Wndrs    30  8  5  2 28 19  2  5  8 14 22 10 10 10  42  41   1  40
 8 Everton         30  6  6  3 24 20  3  7  5 16 19  9 13  8  40  39   1  40
 9 Sunderland      30  6  5  4 18 16  3  6  6 15 21  9 11 10  33  37  -4  38
10 Stoke City      30  8  3  4 24 15  3  1 11 12 23 11  4 15  36  38  -2  37
11 Newcastle Utd   30  4  6  5 32 22  5  3  7 12 23  9  9 12  44  45  -1  36
12 Fulham          30  6  6  3 20 16  1  8  6 13 17  7 14  9  33  33   0  35
13 Blackburn R.    30  6  5  4 19 13  3  1 11 20 38  9  6 15  39  51 -12  33
14 Aston Villa     30  6  5  4 22 17  2  4  9 15 34  8  9 13  37  51 -14  33
15 Blackpool       30  4  3  7 23 27  5  3  8 22 33  9  6 15  45  60 -15  33
16 West Brom A.    30  5  6  4 24 25  3  3  9 17 31  8  9 13  41  56 -15  33
17 West Ham United 30  5  4  6 20 21  2  7  6 16 28  7 11 12  36  49 -13  32
18 Wolves          30  7  3  5 24 22  2  2 11 11 27  9  5 16  35  49 -14  32
19 Birmingham City 29  4  7  4 14 18  2  6  6 14 23  6 13 10  28  41 -13  31
20 Wigan Athletic  30  4  6  6 18 31  2  6  6 11 20  6 12 12  29  51 -22  30

With thanks to Football 365

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