Newsletter #1763

We continued with our emphatic start to the season in another masterly performance, this time against Wigan. We’ve a match report tonight and more on the Mancini defence debate.

The main news surrounding City this weekend was off the pitch as Garry Cook was forced to resign. Although renowned for his gaffes, and this distasteful incident, Cook has been instrumental in the past couple of years behind the scenes in delivering a lot of the changes. And certainly not the worst senior placed executive we’ve had in recent years!

Finally I am delighted to announce that Phil Alcock will be joining the McV team as your new editor in October. Phil has been a subscriber and occasional contributor over the years so I’m sure you’ll join me in thanking him for taking up the challenge and welcome him aboard in a few weeks’ time.

Next Game: Napoli, home, 7.45pm Wednesday 14 September 2011 (UEFA)


Sergio Agüero scored a brilliant hat trick as City served up another performance of the highest class to blow away a hitherto unbeaten Wigan side. Early days it may be, but this was another reminder that City are intent on challenging for the title.

David Silva was at the heart of this wonderful City performance with his clever footwork, terrific work rate and superb vision. Both he and Agüero with their low centre of gravity and strength on the ball are very difficult men to dispossess. When they have the ball, the results are devastating for any opposition. Time after time they threaded balls through the Wigan defenders, often finding speedy overlapping full backs in Richards and Clichy who often doubled up as auxiliary wingers.

Mancini now has more attacking options than he did last season. Qualifying for the Champions’ League has given him the opportunity to bring in Agüero and Nasri to give us even more potency, so he can now place greater emphasis on attack.

Agüero earned his official man of the match award with ice cool finishing that took him to 6 goals in only 4 games. He has so many positive attributes: he is quick, incredibly strong, and works very hard. He has lovely skills on the ball, great vision and has formed an instant understanding with David Silva in particular.

Silva himself, who was instrumental in setting up all three goals, deserved to share the man of the match award as he dominated this game from start to finish. The standard of Silva’s play is very close to, if not on the same level as the brilliant Xavi and Iniesta.

Such was the quality of City’s play that we could have run up a cricket score and declared at half time. The opening goal was the product of industry and superb skill. David Silva robbed a Wigan attacker in the left back position, feeding Tévez who made a powerful run down the left, staying on his feet under some tough challenges. The Argentine cut the ball back for Silva who pivoted, sending defenders the wrong way in the process, and rolled a pass across to Agüero in the box. The powerful Agüero took a touch and cleverly steered a low, angled finish that nutmegged a Wigan defender and passed the unsighted Al Habsi low inside the left hand post.

Wigan’s burly centre forward Di Santo should have equalised when he had the rare distinction of outmuscling Kompany when chasing a long ball, but his finishing couldn’t match his physicality and he blazed wildly wide. Hart then had to make a sharp save from him to keep City in front, but that was to be the last meaningful attack from the visitors in the first half, because it was all City after that up to the break.

The fact that City only scored one out of fifteen attempts at goal before the break owed much to the excellent goalkeeping of Ali Al Habsi, as well as some near misses. Silva had a sharp drive well saved as did Agüero. Kompany’s header at a set piece hit the right hand post. Richards hit the bar with only Al Habsi to beat after being played in by Tévez’s superb chipped ball.

Johnson blazed over a couple of times, Tévez continued his poor penalty taking form with a weak effort that Al Habsi was always going to save. City have played a blinder over Tévez, playing hard ball with him, and it is a real result that we have retained his services until January at least. It is easy to take cheap shots at Tévez, and our support does not do that: we just get behind him like we do anyone else. Tévez may look like yesterday’s man right now, having been overshadowed by Agüero thus far, but he is still a very good professional and could not be faulted for effort. Hopefully he will be back to his best soon.

While they were only a goal behind, Wigan were a threat because of the pace and skill they possess on the flanks, but they were outclassed in this game.

The second goal was the result of more intricate, cleverly constructed build up play. Silva back heeled the ball (half way inside the Wigan half) to Nasri who fed a defence splitting inch perfect pass for Agüero who rolled the ball past Al Habsi skilfully. It was a case of precision from start to finish.

The third was the best goal of the lot. Surrounded by three Wigan midfielders just inside the opposition’s half, Silva dragged the ball back and took two quick fire touches to leave them all standing. The Spaniard advanced and played an incisive pass for Agüero to coolly roll in his 3rd goal with great skill again. The footwork of both players was of the highest class: Silva’s sublime quick feet and the delicate but assertive finishing that gave a really good goalkeeper no chance. It was one of those moments in the game that leaves you gasping in admiration. Simply awesome.

At half time The Kinks’ classic “All day and all of the night” was played over the tannoy rather fittingly. Indeed, City’s football was so good that you could watch them that long. These are very special days indeed.

Att: 46,509
Goals: Agüero 13, 63, 69
Hart: A little rash to come out for De Santo’s chance early on, but made a good save to deny him and Moses on other occasions: 7
Richards: Good, reliable defending on a scintillating runs forward. His highlight was a superb low cross in the second half: 80
Kompany: Reliable, tough and a true leader it was a rare sight to see him muscled out of it one occasion by De Santo: 7
Lescott: Did his job well with a minimum of fuss: 7
Clichy: Superb in both defence and attack with his lightning fast overlapping runs. He is another very exciting addition to this squad: 8
Milner: Shed blood (literally), sweat but no tears in the midfield engine room. Has settled down to be an important member of this squad: 7
Yaya Touré: Good energy , positioning and work rate, with no little skill too: 7
Silva: It is a true privilege to watch a world class talent like this: 10
Johnson: This was a bit of a missed opportunity for him to show what he can do. Blazed two shots over and his delivery wasn’t to his normal standard: 5
Tévez: On this occasion he looked like a player who needs a couple of games and a goal under his belt to kick start his season. His driving run did help set up the first goal, and he should have had another assist for his pass to Richards: 6
Agüero: A terrific finisher, but there is far more to his game than that. A world class performance: 10
Nasri (for Tévez 61): His first contribution was to play an inch perfect pass for Agüero. At times he did look a little reticent about falling on his broken finger: 7
Balotelli (for Agüero 72): Looked a little clumsy of touch, but this will come with more action: 6
Razak (for Yaya Touré 80): n/a
Best Oppo: Al Habsi: Did very well to keep the score down: 8
Refwatch: Martin Atkinson: Had an easy game to referee so not tested: 7

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


On his departure I thought I would share a memory I have of SWP. The first time I saw him play was when he came on as a substitute in the FA Cup tie away to Wimbledon as Selhurst Park in the late 1990s.

As SWP came onto the pitch he looked so small in his kit that his shorts met his socks and you could not see his knees. Some wag commented “at least they could have gone to the shop and bought him a kiddie’s kit”.

Loved watching SWP over the years, but his move to Chelsea was a massive mistake as Beckham would not have got a game in Germany if SWP had stayed at City and continued to improve as he had done in the previous 3 or 4 seasons. I never had too much sympathy for him as he went to Chelsea to chase a pay packet, you reap what you sow.

Still, I wish him luck and hope he has a great career at QPR.

St. John Cox <stjohn.cox(at)>


John Caley in MCIVTA 1762 you got it in one. There’s no pleasing some people, a 5-1 away win, and yes I’d be more concerned with the goals against.

We are three games into a new season with a team that I feel could/should win the Premier League. Let’s not get too caught up in whether Mancini’s tactics were right or wrong, just enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a long season, and there will be plenty of time to question his tactics… but after three games?!

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


In my opinion, Keith Sharp was spot on with his analysis of the last 15 minutes against Spurs. We were 4-0 up and for once had one of our bogey teams on the wrong end of a scoreline. We had the likes of Johnson, Tévez, Balotelli and Milner on the bench, so why we needed to bring an extra defender on, was strange to say the least. Could you see Fergie bringing on an extra defender in the Arsenal match? I don’t think so… they showed just how ruthless you need to be when you are on top. Remember the old adage: “attack is the best form of defence!”

I watched the game and we decided to stroll around at the end, rather than pin them back in their own half and go for the jugular. The little I have seen of Savic, I can’t say that he looks that great… but only time will tell.

I was very pleased with our win on Saturday and Agüero took all his goals really well, clinical is probably the correct expression; he might have been MoM for his hat trick, but the best player on the pitch was David Silva, a little genius. When we were awarded the penalty, I just could not understand how Tévez was allowed to take it. In my opinion, he is one of the poorest penalty takers around: just check his record from last season. The times he has scored, they have just gone in and then look at his misses, all with poorly taken strikes and not down to brilliant goalkeeping. He recently missed the critical penalty at the Copa America that saw the exit of Argentina; surely that should have been a good indicator to the City coaching staff? Dzeko, Johnson, Agüero or Silva surely would be better bets, if they are on the field of play? Penalties are so crucial and a 2nd goal on Saturday would have made things a lot easier, especially as Wigan created a few half chances and could have embarrassed us if they had drawn level, especially considering how many chances we had already missed.

I felt sorry for Dzeko, as he potentially could have grabbed a few goals, and been way out front in the race for the golden boot, but I can understand Mancini’s rotation policy, which is a real necessity this season. I know I have complained about Balotelli in the past, but I just don’t think his style of play suits our current City style… please send him back to Italy (he will probably make me eat my words!)!

So far, things are looking good, though we really need to be tested by one of the bigger teams, and maybe that will come in the Champions’ League… boy do we have a tough group! It will be interesting to see how good we really are, and who Mancini will select as our best starting eleven.

The future is Sky Blue.

Come On City!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


Don’t think anyone is really complaining about beating Spurs but we are vulnerable if and when we play defensively, mainly because we don’t have any quality defenders. Just spend a little time watching our defenders perform; they don’t appear to attack the ball or if we do manage to win the first ball we let the other team’s players pick up the second ball, putting us right back under pressure. Let’s see how good we are if we go 1 or 2 goals down!

Apart from now scoring we haven’t come too far in all honesty, remember the days of KK! Might have been a different division but the idea is just the same.

Sam Duxbury <sammy459(at)>


Garry Cook has left the club after making a horrible mistake; sadly mistakes were said before but nevertheless he deserves some thanks for the hard work he did to help promote this great club MCFC. Garry Cook did have his heart in making MCFC the best club in the world.

Manchester City will move on with their goal to be the best!

I close this short statement by wishing Nedum Onuoha’s mother Dr. Anthonia Onuoha comfort and a complete recovery.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Are you enjoying the ride? Isn’t it wonderful how City are progressing right now? City are actually talking about challenging for the title for the first time since 1977. Never before in my thirty years supporting Manchester City has that happened. I still can barely believe that we have so many world class talents to entertain us and hopefully propel us to a successful era. I pinch myself, and yes, we’ve still won the FA Cup. The ghost of Ricky Villa has been exorcised by Yaya Touré’s powerful finish and like so many Blues, I actually touched the FA Cup in the City store last weekend. Wow. If I sound like a child, that’s how I felt after I climbed the City Store (as opposed to Wembley) steps and touched that historical silver cup: thrilled.

The FA Cup, I can tell you, has a dent on one lip where Carlos Tévez dropped it! That does not take away from its beauty but I’d have been more worried if Joe Hart had spilled it!

City are now well run as a club, and well managed by Roberto Mancini, but we know not to get too carried away. The money that Sheikh Mansour is putting into Manchester City does not guarantee success. Indeed, we are particularly lucky to have Sheikh Mansour and Roberto Mancini and I really fail to understand how anyone can complain about Roberto Mancini’s tactics, especially after a 5-1 thrashing of Spurs at White Hart Lane!

Any City fan with a knowledge of what went on in the late 70s/early 80s will tell you that we spent big and achieved very little with disastrous consequences. Apart from a brief spell under Howard Kendall and Peter Reid, and an exciting time under Kevin Keegan, there hasn’t been an awful lot to cheer. The bad times that we have endured remind me how lucky we are now to see a renaissance at City right now. Some games that we experienced in those difficult times are unforgettable for all the wrong reasons, and they make me appreciate and enjoy what we have now even more. One particular tanking that we took at Maine Road in my teens is still vivid in my memory, and when I look at the League table now and see the likes of Liverpool below us, I see how far we have progressed.

MCFC 0 LIVERPOOL 5, 10TH April 1982

1981/82 was one of those all too common seasons of two halves that City have experienced over the last 30 years. City had enjoyed a good first half of the season and even topped the table just after Christmas, inspired by Trevor Francis’s supreme quality. He was a joy to watch, and had dragged a fairly ordinary City side to the summit of the old First Division (what we are in now may be the ‘Premier League’ but it will always really be the First Division to me, and the Third Division is the Third Division, not League 1! Thank you). Francis’s stupendous 40 yarder helped beat Wolves 2-1 and the City fans chanted “City, City top of the League” as we filed out of freezing Maine Road. The trouble was that December 1981 had been a bad month weather wise, and City’s hot water pipe underground heating system had kept our games on whilst others were postponed. So despite the flashes of quality, our League position at Christmas was a little flattering in all truth.

Come the Spring, reality bit. Despite the quality of Francis, captain Paul Power, Asa Hartford, Bobby McDonald, Tommy Caton and Nicky Reid, City were tumbling into mid-table obscurity. It may have been a less than inspiring period for City but going to Maine Road was always a thrill for this particular 16 year old. I’d never seen us play the then mighty Liverpool (Dalglish, Rush, Hansen, Souness, Lawrensen et al), so the game against the red Scousers had extra spice for me. I had no beef at all with Liverpool (still don’t, they are just rivals now). In fact it was a time when I wanted all English clubs (well, all bar one anyway) to do well in Europe. Like many people in those days, I’d also follow the English clubs in Europe on Radio 2 (no TV matches then, but the commentary of the wonderful Alan Parry and the late Peter Jones made “doing the homework” more interesting), and I enjoyed Liverpool, Forest and Villa’s exploits.

As much as I wanted to beat Liverpool, it was still something special to see them play. After all, they were one of the greatest sides in the history of English football.

Despite City’s patchy form (we’d only won two of the last ten games), City fans went into the game with some hope. After all, we’d even attained that rare thing back in December: a brilliant 3-1 win at Anfield (Hartford, Bond (pen), Reeves), a game in which a bright, but rather slightly built young midfielder-cum-striker called Steve Kinsey had dazzled.

Unfortunately for City, our best player, Trevor Francis was suspended for this Maine Road game against the Champions elect. Rather out of character for him, he’d been sent off in a previous game. I was always gutted when his name wasn’t on the team sheet (he was often injured and only managed 26 games (12 goals) in his one season at City) because he was so good to watch and more importantly, he gave us a better chance of winning. It was always going to be difficult against this brilliant Liverpool side, but without Francis, we were on a wing and a prayer.

The game attracted a big 40,000 crowd, including one or two celebrities, and as we passed by the main entrance we’d seen Liverpool supporting actress Pat Phoenix, who played the fiery Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street, navigating her way through the assembled crowd who were peeking a glimpse at the rich and famous as they took their places at Maine Road.

We normally stood on the Kippax in those days but on this occasion my dad paid for seats in the Platt Lane End towards the Main Stand. The huge terrace Kippax Stand stood to our right in all its magnificence, packed with City fans. There weren’t so many Blues with us in the Platt Lane End of the ground and the seated Liverpool fans were housed about twenty or so yards to our right, adjacent to the visitors’ standing section at the southern end of the Kippax.

City wore shiny light blue Umbro shirts (with a light blue ‘V’ within a white ‘V’) that season, but there was nothing shiny about this City performance. It was as grey as the skies above, and the result was darker still. It wasn’t long before the white flag went up and any hope was lost. Less than ten minutes had passed when Sammy Lee smashed a free kick into the top corner at the Platt Lane End. The Scousers to our right celebrated with glee. We just groaned inwardly.

Indeed it was an afternoon of pain, pain and more pain as City surrendered meekly to the Liverpool machine. Whilst too many experienced pros hid, City’s fresh-faced, enthusiastic youngsters floundered: Kinsey looked like a little boy lost, and Gary Jackson didn’t know what had hit him. Only a few City players carried the fight: Power, and one or two others strove manfully, but that wasn’t ever going to be enough. Liverpool retained the ball for long periods and we couldn’t get it back from them. Dalglish pulled the strings and the goals flowed for them against our compliant team.

A fight broke out as a couple of Liverpool fans who were sat in the City section stupidly celebrated their fifth and final goal (by Rush), but by then many Blues had had enough torture. This was the first thrashing that I’d witnessed in the flesh, and sadly the first of more than I care to remember, but we stayed to the end. I felt miserable. I knew then that following City was not going to be easy (not that I expected it to be).

Music has often played as a backdrop to my footballing experiences, and certain tunes remind me of certain matches. On this day the City DJ played ‘Freeze frame’ by saucy American rockers, The J Geils Band, and ‘More than This’ by Roxy Music. Freeze frame? It was more of a case of wanting to fast forward or hit the eject button and we City fans certainly deserved ‘more than this’ nonsense City performance. Lame puns aside, whenever I hear those tunes (rare nowadays on Radio 2), I am always reminded of the nightmare that was City 0 Liverpool 5.

City meandered to a mid-table finish the end of the season, winning only two of the remaining eight games. It didn’t bode well for the future, especially when Swales sold Francis to Sampdoria that summer. As we know, worse was to follow, but that’s for another day.

Corrigan; Ranson, Reid, Caton, McDonald; Kinsey, Hartford, Jackson (Wilson), Power; Reeves, Bowyer
Grobbelaar, Neal, Lawrenson, A.Kennedy, Whelan, Thompson, Dalglish, Lee, Rush, Johnston, Hansen
Goals: Lee (8), Neal (pen 42), Johnston (58), A.Kennedy (59), Rush (73)
Att: 40,112

Now we can look back and be grateful that we are enjoying better times, and hopefully the start of a long dynasty. That’s why I thank Sheikh Mansour, his board, Roberto Mancini, his staff and the players for giving us so much to enjoy.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


11 September 2011

Norwich City          0 - 1  West Bromwich Albion  26,158
Fulham                1 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      24,856

10 September 2011

Arsenal               1 - 0  Swansea City          60,087
Everton               2 - 2  Aston Villa           32,736
Manchester City       3 - 0  Wigan Athletic        46,509
Stoke City            1 - 0  Liverpool             27,592
Sunderland            1 - 2  Chelsea               36,699
Wolverhampton Wndrs   0 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     25,274
Bolton Wanderers      0 - 5  Manchester United     25,944

League table to 11 September 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   4  2  0  0 11  2  2  0  0  7  1  4  0  0  18   3 15  12
 2 Manchester City  4  2  0  0  7  0  2  0  0  8  3  4  0  0  15   3 12  12
 3 Chelsea          4  2  0  0  5  2  1  1  0  2  1  3  1  0   7   3  4  10
 4 Stoke City       4  1  1  0  1  0  1  1  0  2  1  2  2  0   3   1  2   8
 5 Liverpool        4  1  1  0  4  2  1  0  1  2  1  2  1  1   6   3  3   7
 6 Newcastle Utd    3  1  1  0  2  1  1  0  0  1  0  2  1  0   3   1  2   7
 7 Wolves           4  1  0  1  2  2  1  1  0  2  1  2  1  1   4   3  1   7
 8 Aston Villa      4  1  1  0  3  1  0  2  0  2  2  1  3  0   5   3  2   6
 9 Wigan Athletic   4  1  1  0  3  1  0  1  1  0  3  1  2  1   3   4 -1   5
10 Everton          3  0  1  1  2  3  1  0  0  1  0  1  1  1   3   3  0   4
11 Arsenal          4  1  0  1  1  2  0  1  1  2  8  1  1  2   3  10 -7   4
12 West Brom A.     4  0  0  2  1  3  1  0  1  2  2  1  0  3   3   5 -2   3
13 Bolton Wndrs     4  0  0  2  2  8  1  0  1  5  3  1  0  3   7  11 -4   3
14 Tottenham H.     3  0  0  1  1  5  1  0  1  2  3  1  0  2   3   8 -5   3
15 QPR              3  0  0  1  0  4  1  0  1  1  2  1  0  2   1   6 -5   3
16 Sunderland       4  0  0  2  1  3  0  2  0  1  1  0  2  2   2   4 -2   2
17 Norwich City     4  0  1  1  1  2  0  1  1  2  4  0  2  2   3   6 -3   2
18 Fulham           4  0  2  0  1  1  0  0  2  1  4  0  2  2   2   5 -3   2
19 Swansea City     4  0  2  0  0  0  0  0  2  0  5  0  2  2   0   5 -5   2
20 Blackburn R.     4  0  0  2  1  3  0  1  1  2  4  0  1  3   3   7 -4   1

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour                      :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings by email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page/Twitter is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site. You can also follow on to get the latest updates.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at and the official club Twitter page at The club also has a facebook page at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club ( The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (

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

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears on the club website under the “Fans” heading (

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

Live match commentary can be found on the club website. The Radio Manchester pre- and post-match phone-in is available on the web at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A useful site for North American viewers is

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with Usenet, a basic explanation is available here:

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

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Do any squad members have their own Twitter accounts?

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at!/MCFC/players

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth historical analysis try

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,

Newsletter #1763