Newsletter #1723

More on the FA Cup semi tonight, player performances, Mancini and the usual requests.

Next Game: West Ham United, home, 4.10pm Sunday 1 May 2011


The contrast between City and United fans at Wembley could not have been more marked than it was last Saturday. City fans went to enjoy the day. After all we haven’t been here very often in recent years have we? Our end of Wembley was sky blue and adorned with flags, banners and bananas. Not many of us thought we’d win but we’d come to make the best of it. In contrast, United had everything to lose, sitting in a position of dominance, so it was a fairly joyless ‘been there, done that’ feel them as well as their trademark arrogance. Worse still, too many United fans came to intimidate, to be violent and behave in an anti-social manner.

The tension rose on our tube train heading up to Wembley Park with every passing minute. We were stood next to a group of United fans, wearing no club colours: a selection of green tinged checked-shirts and all black. It was immediately very clear who they were because they thought they would get a rise out of the Blues in the carriage with a stream of lame wind-ups. “I see they’ve got their 80s bananas… there they go, saying, it’s a train that goes underground”. They failed. One of them piped up: “I wouldn’t have come normally, but as it’s City…”, and his Rag mate agreed. So they aren’t bothered about us then.

There was a hold up a couple of stops before we got to Wembley Park when one of the other carriages was rammed full with fans. The United fans near us naturally blamed Blues for it. Again there was no reaction. The City fans just wanted to go to enjoy the day. One of the Rag idiots stuck his head out of the open door to see what was going on and took a whack. He nearly got it trapped when the driver tried to close the door. To compound his stupidity, he stuck his head out again after the driver had failed to get the doors shut, and he only just avoided another whacking. Idiot.

As we left Wembley Park station United ‘fans’ lined the route, especially on the bridge and path above, hurling abuse. We were told that they had been throwing bottles earlier and that a seventy odd year old City fan also got showered. How brave. Nasty, snarling faces, some red with anger were looking to goad City fans into violence all the way up Wembley Way. I am proud to say that the City fans did not react to this. Yet again we can feel a justified feeling of superiority to the pond life. Don’t let anyone tell you that they aren’t bothered about us. It is a lie, and always has been. We get right under their skin.

The Rags arrogantly chanted “We’ll do what we want, we’ll do what we want, we’re Man United, we’ll do what we want”. The authorities seemed to let United do what they want. The Metropolitan Police, who were too few in number, just filmed them. Yes, they let them get away with threatening behaviour. The press won’t report the threatening and violent behaviour of United fans because they turn a blind eye to it.

I’m not going to insult your intelligence and tell you that every City fan is an angel and that everyone associated with United is a thug. Of course not. However, United’s bad behaviour off the pitch is a reflection of their behaviour on the pitch. Both feed each off other and it’s very unhealthy. The unruly behaviour of Ferguson and his club who have always felt that they are above authority fosters this arrogant, violent attitude that runs deep through many of their followers.

United’s bad, arrogant behaviour makes them unpopular. Liverpool were not hated up and down the country like United are because they were generally not arrogant about their success. For all the money that MCFC’s owners have, the ‘neutral’ fan in general wanted us to win. I don’t recall any such ‘neutral’ on any phone-in saying they wanted United to win. I received so many good luck text messages for this game from fans from Luton in the Conference to Everton in the top flight. Are we popular or are United unpopular, or is it a bit of both? Much of the media might be trying to turn people against us with their nasty spin on matters City, but the fact is that the public aren’t buying it. Manchester City fans are not arrogant about our lucky situation, and neither is the club or its players. Manchester United manager, players, fans and club are very arrogant.

It was great to get amongst the singing City fans as we queued up to get in. Not only was it was a relief to be away from the Red aggressors but it was good to be amongst friends again. “We’re not really here” has a special poignancy, considering it was born in the dark days of the late 90s. Just before we went in, we discussed the behaviour of the Rags along Wembley Way with a friendly copper in riot gear (an oxymoron I know but he was wearing no helmet and was of a sunny disposition) and he asked us if we’d seen any bottles being thrown. He sincerely told us that he hoped we’d win, telling us he was an Arsenal fan. It’s no coincidence that people prefer us to the arrogant Rags!

In the ground, our end was bedecked with flags and most people were wearing sky blue or a City shirt/T-shirt. The United had as many flags draped on the stands but in contrast there were far less replica shirts or red. They have become blasé about Wembley. Our end seemed more joyful throughout the afternoon, even before the 52nd minute when Yaya scored that special goal. We were determined to enjoy the day, going through our repertoire of songs. The Poznan as the United team was announced was a great idea: dismissing the United line-up as irrelevant to us.

Within seconds of the final whistle United fans could barely be seen for dust (many of them off to some soulless Home Counties hovel). Typical Rags, no moral fibre. They’d been wondering around like they owned the place beforehand. No more. There can be no argument that we could ‘This Wembley is ours’, though inviting them to go back to London on this occasion probably meant anywhere in London except Wembley.

We decided not to go back via Wembley Way/Wembley Park Station after the game, due to the aggression that had been shown by so many United ‘fans’ before the game. Judging by some accounts telling us that even families were targeted indiscriminately by Red thugs, it was a good call. Why can’t these cowards look for someone to fight who is up for it rather than pick on the vulnerable? Why don’t the authorities ban these people from football for life?

As we walked up towards Wembley Central station there was a nice moment when a car full of four United fans in red shirts got ironic cheers as they slowly filed past in the opposite direction to us. There were no threats, no intimidation and no violence, and they knew it judging by the smiles on their faces. I was again proud to be a Blue on Saturday.

The local traders, particularly off-licences, did a roaring trade as we floated on air and celebrated this victory and our first Cup Final for thirty years. We really enjoyed the tube ride home in a carriage chock-full of Blues, going through even more City songs, some old, some new, ranging from “Feed the Goat” and “Niall Quinn’s disco pants”, to “Oh when de Jong goes sliding in…”. It was a very happy, unforgettable time. Indeed, if you managed to avoid being in the wrong end of Rag aggression, it was a great day to be a Blue on Saturday. I sincerely hope those people who were attacked have recovered fully and still managed to enjoy the day.

After all, enjoyment as well as victory is what we should be looking for at Wembley.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Got up 4:00 am local time to watch the semi game. My dear wife got up a few minutes later as she said I was making too much noise; guess we both were making more at the end of the game 🙂

What a win for City and all the City fans and a bonus of beating United as well. I went to the ’69 final, both League Cup finals in the 70’s and the ’81 final as well, both games. Made the move to New Zealand in 1982.

So what a great result to be ‘back’ in a final. Been to travel agent here to see if they sell return tickets to London and a final ticket but ‘no’ was their reply.

So we have to get up early again to watch the game here. But my heart will be with the City fans at Wembley and hoping it will be a win along with a top 4 finish this season.

Really enjoy MCIVTA and all the articles; many thanks.

Past was Red but the Future is Blue.

CTID, John Lim <johncity(at)>


The club are to offer Vincent Kompany a lucrative new contract in the summer. There is not a more deserving case than this highly impressive young man. What a super guy Vincent Kompany is. There is a lot of talk about ‘rôle models’ in football and it’s debatable whether footballers should be cast as rôle models.

Well, this guy is a rôle model. The way his lives his life, on and off the pitch. His eloquence, his charity work and his whole attitude bears this out.

I haven’t even talked about what a wonderful footballer he is. He is the best centre half in the world and a City legend in the making. He’s quick, he reads the game well, he is brave, strong and never bullied. He’s a decent passer also. He’s a classic, vocal leader that commands respect throughout the club. Love him.

Vincent deserves a lucrative new contract and to be captain of our beloved club for many, many years to come. That is not intended as a slight to Carlos Tévez, and Vincent is totally respectful of Carlos. It’s just that we’re blessed with fine leaders in this club (de Jong, Barry, Zaba, and yes Carlos leads by example) and the best in my opinion is Vincent Kompany.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I would like to congratulate James Gregson on his very good article about Roberto Mancini (last edition of MCIVTA). If City are to be a club to win trophies in the future, we have to keep Mancini as the manager; he certainly knows how to win trophies, he has already proved it.

Carlos Tévez might make it back into the City side to face Stoke in the FA Cup, but only if he plays in the game before the final, not only to prove his fitness but his commitment to play his best for the club, which I feel sure that he will, for he very much would like to be remembered as the player who helped City win the FA Cup, and a top four finish!

According to the Italian press Tévez has already agreed personal terms with Inter Milan for next season, but as we all know we cannot rely on some media reports. Around Christmas after Tévez asked for a transfer, and I did say “If Tévez stayed and helped City win a trophy and a top four finish, most City fans will forgive him as he leaves”; this looks like being more realistic now than ever before.

Sure I would love Tévez to stay – who in their right mind wouldn’t; when on top form he is the greatest. I just hope that Tévez is 100% fit and can play in the game versus Spurs before the FA Cup final, two very important games. I feel very, very sure that Tévez will give his very best for MCFC and its supporters so that we all can relish this fine player who, when fully committed to the cause, is one of the finest in the World.

Every game from now on is important, and Roberto will have a plan for every game!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


In response to James Gregson’s article in the last issue, most of those City fans have not fallen for anything – we just can’t be fooled by a one off game even if it gets us to our first Wembley final in 30 years. We aren’t bothered about that although it was good to watch and even more so when we beat the Rags. We just don’t look that good, in fact we looked much more exciting and confident with Sven in charge. Our ‘keeper was encouraged to pay the ball out from the back to his defenders and we worked it forward from there but now Joe Hart just punts a long ball forward and we are straight back under pressure because we don’t have a big, strong centre forward to win and keep the ball. The Stoke players will unsettle Balotelli and he will react costing us dearly; also they will compete for 90 minutes whereas we will p**s about Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass and Pass until they have 11 men behind the ball and then hit us on the counter like all teams do with us.

Winning in Italy means absolutely nothing mate, just like winning with Aberdeen meant you had no chance of winning in England! But it only took him about 13 games to get it together, and he is still doing it now. It’s about getting the right players together, not just buying any old c**p ’cause you have the money available.

Sam Duxbury <Sammi459(at)>


Does anyone who is travelling to the West Ham (1/5), Spurs (10/5) and Stoke (17/5) games from MK have room in their car? Happy to share fuel costs.

Martin Lever <martinlever(at)>


Desperate for a final ticket.

After 35 years a Blue I never thought I would see ’em win owt so moved to a better way of life in Oz. Even ran a supporters’ club for a few years.

If there is a fellow Blue out there who is willing to put a ticket or 2 my way? I am prepared to offer free furnished accommodation here in Oz for an agreed period! Not shared accommodation too I may add.

I am ready to book my flights, anyone? Mrs has said she would pay for the flights from Oz if I can get 2 tickets but quite honestly 1 will do.

Ian Hawthorne <kippaxian(at)>


Call to all Manchester City fans in Perth, Western Australia. Does anyone know where I can watch the FA Cup Final on the big screen?

Doug Payne <trishadoug(at)>


Is anybody going to be watching the final in South Florida in any pubs? I would love to watch the game with a group of City fans! Please email me.

Steven Kersh <stevenkersh(at)>


A group of Manchester City fans has called for the re-release of a popular 1972 tune as the club’s Cup Final anthem, and aim to have it in the charts by the May 14th showpiece.

‘The Boys in Blue’, which was written by Lol Creme, Kevin Godley and Graham Gouldman of 10cc and sung by the squad of the time, was played after games at City former ground, Maine Road right up until the day the stadium closed. And now a Facebook group has been set up to encourage its re-issue.

‘Let’s Get ‘The Boys in Blue’ in the Charts for Cup Final Day’ is the self-explanatory name of the campaign, which was set up by fan Jonathan Haggart. He said “The song was part of my very first match-day at the club, and its lyrics are engrained in me. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy, but it’s beloved by City fans. I reckon there isn’t a match-going Blue who couldn’t recite it on request. After the excitement of Saturday’s win I was surprised to find the song wasn’t available to download anywhere, because there will have been parties going on all over Manchester desperate for a copy, and that got me thinking that maybe we could co-ordinate it so that it made it into the top 40. Every team needs a Cup Final song. And the best thing is Manchester City’s could be already recorded. We just need to get it available to download on May 2nd, in the hope that enough copies will be bought so it can chart by 8th May and that means it’s in the charts when they walk out at Wembley. I tentatively emailed the writers and Kevin Godley has given the idea his blessing.”

Some 500 fans have signed up the idea in the first 24 hours, and now hope that they can arrange the re-release, and in turn celebrate City lifting the cup with a mass sing-a-long.

The song was recorded at Stockport’s Strawberry Studios by the three 10cc members. Released in 1972, it did not chart. The song is not to be confused with the Cannon and Ball record of the same name! For clarity this is the tune in question – This is Cannon and Ball –!

Jonathan Haggart <itsthehaggarts(at)>


24 April 2011

Bolton Wanderers      2 - 1  Arsenal               26,881

23 April 2011

Manchester United     1 - 0  Everton               75,300
Aston Villa           1 - 1  Stoke City            35,235
Blackpool             1 - 1  Newcastle United      16,003
Liverpool             5 - 0  Birmingham City       44,734
Sunderland            5 - 2  Wigan Athletic        39,650
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 2  West Bromwich Albion  36,160
Wolverhampton Wndrs   1 - 1  Fulham                28,825
Chelsea               3 - 0  West Ham United       41,656

League table to 24 April 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  34 16  1  0 43  9  5  9  3 28 23 21 10  3  71  32  39  73
 2 Chelsea         34 13  2  2 35 10  7  5  5 29 17 20  7  7  64  27  37  67
 3 Arsenal         34 10  4  3 31 13  8  6  3 36 23 18 10  6  67  36  31  64
 4 Manchester City 32 10  4  2 28 11  6  4  6 22 19 16  8  8  50  30  20  56
 5 Tottenham H.    33  8  8  1 27 17  6  5  5 22 24 14 13  6  49  41   8  55
 6 Liverpool       34 11  4  2 34 12  4  3 10 17 27 15  7 12  51  39  12  52
 7 Everton         34  7  7  3 28 22  4  7  6 19 20 11 14  9  47  42   5  47
 8 Bolton Wndrs    33 10  5  2 33 20  2  5  9 15 24 12 10 11  48  44   4  46
 9 Newcastle Utd   34  5  7  5 36 23  5  4  8 13 25 10 11 13  49  48   1  41
10 Sunderland      34  7  5  5 25 21  3  6  8 15 28 10 11 13  40  49  -9  41
11 Aston Villa     34  7  6  4 24 18  3  5  9 19 37 10 11 13  43  55 -12  41
12 West Brom A.    34  6  6  5 27 29  4  4  9 22 35 10 10 14  49  64 -15  40
13 Fulham          33  7  6  3 23 16  1  9  7 14 20  8 15 10  37  36   1  39
14 Stoke City      33  8  4  4 25 16  3  2 12 15 27 11  6 16  40  43  -3  39
15 Birmingham City 34  6  7  4 18 19  2  7  8 16 32  8 14 12  34  51 -17  38
16 Blackburn R.    33  6  6  4 20 14  3  2 12 20 40  9  8 16  40  54 -14  35
17 Blackpool       34  4  4  9 26 34  5  3  9 22 36  9  7 18  48  70 -22  34
18 Wigan Athletic  34  4  7  6 18 31  3  6  8 16 27  7 13 14  34  58 -24  34
19 Wolves          33  7  4  6 25 26  2  2 12 12 31  9  6 18  37  57 -20  33
20 West Ham United 34  5  4  8 23 27  2  7  8 16 34  7 11 16  39  61 -22  32

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1723