Newsletter #1819

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I recall watching Match of the Day in May 1984. I’d spent the afternoon with 47,000 Blues watching an injury-ravaged Blues stick 5 past Charlton to secure a gleeful promotion back to the old First Division.

Barry Davies’ opening line on his commentary that evening was “The aspirations of a season come down to the perspiration of the next 90 minutes”.

It resonated with me and has stayed with me ever since; first time I’ve had chance to play it back.

A game of games in the most dramatic of seasons lies ahead.

Even when things weren’t going right a couple of weeks ago, admit it, you knew it would come to this!

I’m feeling strangely relaxed about it. Win, lose or draw we have improved vastly this season and next season we’ll be stronger still. This is all a question of when, not if.

…forget that last paragraph…

Please, please, please, please – lads – play like we all know you can, it means so much to all of us!

This issue is a tremendous MCIVTA: thank you all for your contributions no matter how big or small, no matter how frequent, your input makes this what it is.

Can I also draw your attention to the ‘And Finally’ from Gary James. I thought we had no history?!

Next Game: Manchester United, 30 April 2012, 20:00

MATCHVIEW: WOLVES 0-2 MANCHESTER CITY

City seized an opportunity to get back into the title race, so it’s now back in our hands again. The small matter of three City wins should (emphasis on the word ‘should’!) do it, though it is to be hoped that neither of the Rags’ other opponents’ (Swansea and Sunderland) defences have an off day. All three City games will be tough, especially Newcastle away, and even QPR will be fighting for their lives. For now, we can look forward to next Monday, when hopefully we will put Manure to the sword again (though 1-0 will do!).

The silence from the arrogant, cocksure Rags is golden after Everton (for once) weren’t patsies at Old Trafford, and City did the business. In fact Everton can justifiably claim that they did enough to win, and those “20 titles” T-shirts can wait for a little while at least.

City did what had to be done at Molineux. They made sure of the three points, but as poor Wolves are, we should have won by at least five goals. Sergio could have had a hat trick before he coolly slid in his first from Gael Clichy’s brilliant, curving defence splitting ball. Clichy was indeed excellent, both in defence and attack (again), proving what a superb signing he is, and he would earn the man of the match award for me. Our football before the break didn’t quite reach the heights of Old Trafford or Carrow Road away, but it was very good nevertheless: laced with intelligent, intricate passing and movement.

Being just one goal up for so long always gave the home side some hope and Joe Hart was on hand to make a brilliant save after the break. His powers of concentration as much as his supreme ability make him the sublime ‘keeper that he is.

Some of the Wolves fans were chanting about the Falkland Islands to our Argentine players, but it certainly didn’t seem to affect our Zaba, Sergio and the prodigal Carlos. Not that we expect any less from them.

It was a good win, without hitting the heights. A few more goals to boost the goal difference would have been nice but a win will do. Clichy deserves the man of the match award, and there were also some very good performances, particularly by Tévez and Barry. Barry underpinned midfield like he has done most of the season, and Tévez’s all-round quality and work rate were there for all to see and what a sublime ball that was for Nasri’s clincher. For all his problems, he clearly does enjoy playing in this team.

Who would have thought we had a chance after the Arsenal defeat that left us 8 points behind? Roberto has played a blinder with his “we have no chance” and “congratulations to United” lines. It has taken the pressure off City players, and if anything is going to motivate the Rags’ opponents (who may have been thinking of Factor 15 flip-flops and sangria), then this will. Even if we don’t win this year, he is, indeed, still a very clever gentleman.

Forza Mancini! Come on City!

Goals: Agüero (27), Nasri (74)

Att: 24,578

Ratings:
Hart: The fact the he comes up with top drawer saves in game when he is a virtual bystander is much to his credit. Greatness beckons: 8
Zabaleta: A creative threat down the right and solid defender despite Jarvis’ trickery: 7
Kompany: Class act again: 7
Lescott: A solid return to his old club. 7
Clichy: A class left back in every sense. Read the game well, tackled sharply, worked terrifically hard and distributed the ball well: 9
Barry: Sets the tempo with progressive passing in midfield and bite in the tackle: 8
Yaya: Class in the box to box rôle and a greater danger later on when pushed further forward: 7
Silva: Lovely skills and touches before we started giving the ball away collectively: 7
Nasri: Drilled his goal in well: the rewarded for another pleasing visionary contribution: 7
Tévez: A powerful presence in attack and midfield. Like Barry he sets the tempo of a match, and how: 8
Agüero: Not at his deadliest best but his terrific attitude and finishing ability was still decisive: 7
Subs:
de Jong (for Silva 59): Helped regain control of the midfield: 7
Johnson (for Tévez 74): Still managed to test de Vries in his little cameo: 6
Kolo (for Nasri 85): Too late to mark: n/a.

Best Oppo: Henry: Tenacious: 7

Refwatch: L Probert: An adequate, fair job, which is all we can ask for: 7

Footnote: We’ve experienced relegation here a few times in our history (1982/3, 1986/7, 1995/6, 1997/8 and 2000/1 in my time), so it is impossible not to feel some sympathy for Wolves, whose fans backed their team to the end with passion and dignity. They were truly awesome and deserve better. The person I most feel for is Terry Connor, who was thrust into the job after thirteen sterling years’ service to Wolves. He was almost in tears afterwards. It seems like five minutes ago when my late Dad took us to a match between Leeds and Crystal Palace (in my teens when we were passing through Leeds one afternoon back in 1980), when a very young Terry Connor scored a superb finish for Leeds after five minutes. We thought it was going to be a great game. Wrong! It was appalling. Leeds were poor and Crystal Palace were poorer still.

I was pleased for Connor, especially as it was an era when the far right had infiltrated sections of Leeds’ support. So, I kind of have a soft spot for the guy and, so too, has Joleon Lescott who came through the ranks under him. It says a lot about Joleon that he went to every Wolves player after the game and gave Connor a big hug. Hopefully Connor will keep a coaching job at least with Wolves. Best wishes to Wolves in the Championship.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)orange.net>

MATCHVIEW II: WOLVES 0 CITY 2

Attendance: 24,576

I got to Molineux ridiculously early, ate the butties (made by me of course because Mrs PL has a very liberated “mek yer own” disposition towards butty making) and set out for the pub where they have three screens but superimpose occasional betting odds in German over the match being shown, suggesting an illegal decoder. United vs. Everton was made all the more entertaining because the Wolves fans cheered every time United scored and an increasing number of City fans did the same when Everton (who we hate, remember) scored.

The match, which you will now have seen on MoTD, was a cracker with United’s attack looking deadly – they could have had more than four easily, and their defence deciding to take an early holiday. Either that or midfielders with big hair scare them witless. I’m reminded as Everton brought it back to 4-4 that Jonny Evans is the best centre half in the Premier League these days according to His Royal Purpleness. Honest.

A huge cheer went up when the final whistle was blown and the pub talk moved to how we might improve our goal difference at the expense of Wolves. This was utter foolishness of course because the fates can hear you boast and like nothing better than to bring an upstart to heel.

It had chucked it down for a while before the match began and I started to imagine long balls skidding off the wet turf past Joe Hart but by kick off the typical April weather had changed to hot sunshine. Wolves won the toss and chose to change ends so that Joe Hart had to cope with the sun. Wolves began with a hustle and we began nervously.

Passes went astray and their height ensured that any goal kick to our vertically challenged forwards from Joe Hart came straight back. Either straight back or it went for a throw in. I sometimes wonder if Joe Hart has taken lessons from a Rugby Union player, so often does he find touch in the opposition half.

It became clear that we were going to be able to break down their defence but it was also clear that everyone had forgotten their shooting boots. Eventually, after half a dozen misses, Agüero scored his 29th and at half time we consoled ourselves with our immediate scoring history, which usually entails more goals in the second half.

It did not happen.

The second half was a repeat of the first, arguably with more Wolves possession and Joe having to make a few very good saves. The second goal by Nasri was greeting with relieved cheers but really for all their endeavour, Wolves looked like a team even less capable of scoring than we did.

That’s not how it feels when you’re there though and towards the end the bloke next to me asked three times “How long to go” as there was no scoreboard, just a brand new stand only half full. The whistle went and we all cheered a great victory – not.

We were actually only a bit better than garbage and ground out a result we hardly deserved, sending Wolves down to the Championship. Play like that against United on 30th April and we will lose the title but then United fans will be saying the same thing because their defence went AWOL against Everton. It threw it down at the end of the game and I got soaked on the way back to the car but rather enjoyed United fans moaning about their team on the 606 phone-in. I shout “You’re leading the English Premier League by three points with only three games to go!” More whinge, moan, whinge, moan.

One down and three to go but now it’s in our own hands. United have one winnable game (Swansea at home), one tricky game (Sunderland away) and one very difficult game (City away) but we have only one obviously winnable game (QPR at home) and two very difficult games (United at home and Newcastle away). So what are the odds? What do the tea leaves say? Who will blink first?

Well I haven’t a clue but you can bet than in this most unknowable of derby games the pundits will be pontificating like mad and most of them will continue to predict United for the title (I wrote most of this before MotD and true to form they predicted United for the title yet again). There is one excellent certainty though: United can’t win the title at the Etihad, so definitely no guard of honour.

My prediction for the derby is that it may turn not on skill, attack, defence or strategy but on whether in the heightened tension of this crucial game, a player from either side makes a rash tackle and gets sent off. André Marriner will be in charge and hasn’t given a red card to a home player this season but has given five to away teams. That tells you nothing though. However, I’ll be there whatever and at Newcastle too – my ticket came yesterday. The tension is building so fast my hair would turn grey if it wasn’t already.

So at this vital time in the history of our club, let us now stay calm and cool while remembering past teams, loyal if untalented players and our fine honour board of sporting failures and all stand for the City anthem, which is now sung at every away game regardless of outcome with the gusto of a Tennessee Revivalist meeting:

We never win at home and we never win away We lost last week and we lost today…

Peter Llewellyn <PeterJL(at)foxfield.plus.com>

MATCHVIEW III: WOLVES 0 CITY 2

Where do I start? Alright, I’ll begin at the point this afternoon when I looked at the clock and knew the United match must be over. I then switched on the telly expecting the obvious… but whoooaaah! It wasn’t the case. And here’s the daft thing: I instantly felt worse than I would have – albeit for all the very best of reasons – if we’d been back to square one. Rather than my usual tired acceptance, I was filled with queasiness and nausea, as my stomach instantly knotted itself up tenfold and shrank to the size of a pea. Yes, it was the return of that strange old acquaintance going by the name of renewed hope!

Usually I go into City matches, whether at the Etihad, on the telly, or even on the radio (most painful of all because I always imagine the worst), mildly nervous. This feeling then cranks up as the match goes on, until by about 80 minutes onwards I’m a wreck and every second feels like an hour. Today, because of the above result I was already at the proverbial Spinal Tap eleven, even before kick-off.

And so to the game itself, which I admittedly watched from my couch.

Slow start by City but gradually, after semi-riding our early luck, we gained absolute control of the first half. The back line was increasingly dominant, the midfield in full control and only the lack of “shooting boots” stopped the match from being all but over by half-time. The goal itself was superb. Just like the Cabaye to Cisse yesterday, if that were Xavi to Messi rather than Clichy to Agüero, the media would be drooling over and replaying it every day from now ’til Xmas.

Second half was different.

When we scored in the first half it was the end result of a heap of good play and pressure. It just felt like the opener was on its way, and so it proved to be. Thus I was equally convinced that an equaliser was on the cards for much of the second-half.

But then Carlos proved his worth in yet another fashion; he may not be the brightest of sparks in oh so many ways, but he showed a razor sharp sense of some alternative intelligence to set up our clincher.

Sergio got the Neville MotM award but I didn’t agree. I love the way he plays the game, all the very best in attitude, work-rate and enthusiasm, but he still hasn’t put away the chances like Tévez did last season.

For me, MotM would be probably Clichy, though Barry and Lescott deserve consideration. Lescott’s head seemed to be a magnet to the ball, Barry did what Barry does best (for us at least – he was much more box-to-box at Villa) and hardly put a pass astray, and Clichy had IMO his best game all season for us.

Johnson almost scored with his right foot. Would that have been a first for us? I honestly can’t think of any.

On the downside, I thought Yaya had a very poor game. The best thing he did was to get out from under Nasri’s feet for the 2nd goal (his brother looks like he’s packed a stone or two on, mind!).

Hart’s distribution was pathetic and, given that thought, it was equally rubbish that we kept going back to him to merely hoik it up invariably to a Wolves player or out of touch.

Nasri again had nothing better than a mixed-bag of a game. Too often attacks broke down at his feet.

Also, in the 49-60 odd minute period when we were somewhat under the gun, the commentators were warbling on about the tempo suiting Wolves. Erm, tempo or not, it was more the fact that we couldn’t string together three passes or even connect with a throw-in.

When the fourth official held up the board saying two extra minutes it was the first time I started to climb down off the walls since 2:25pm. And whilst you had to feel sorry for Terry Connor (he struggled to hold back the tears, eh?) and the Wolves fans, hey! At least they’ve been put out of their misery; no such humane treatment for us, eh? Why do I get the feeling that next Monday night is going to be a long, slow, excruciating affair?

Steven OBrien <bodsnvimto(at)googlemail.com>

ARTICLE: THE PLOT THICKENS…

OK so where are we?

  • 5 Points clear at the top
  • Then 8 points adrift
  • So we’ve shifted minus 13 points since new year relative to United

A bad 10/12 weeks clearly.

What are the reasons?

  • Balotelli’s antics on/off the pitch
  • The Kompany ban hurt badly (9 games played we shipped 2 goals, 9 games missed we shipped 14)
  • Tévez fiasco hurt internally and was great copy for the press, much to our chagrin
  • An overused Silva running on empty (and injured)
  • Nasri the bridesmaid not getting the run as top midfielder
  • The sad and continuing disappointment of Adam Johnson
  • The African Cup (which we knew about)
  • Savic (see WikiPedia for ‘useless’)
  • We should have had a penalty at Chelsea

Mancini is partly to blame for inadequate cover for Kompany when Yaya and Kolo went away as clearly Savic is like a traffic cone; he is also guilty of overusing Silva (in particular the Europa). This has fatigued him somewhat and now he has to come off before the 90, he has not nursed his ankle which is troublesome to him and why is his dodgy ankle known in the press? If I was Vicky Kloss I’d be banging my fist on the table demanding we keep this kind of information in-house. Anyone done a SWOT analysis? Talk about the positives, keep the negatives in house.

Tesco talk about huge brand, wide selection, low prices, good value and a loyalty card. They don’t tell you that the kids’ white polo shirts on sale for £1.99 are made in China by kids working for £2 a month for 14 hours a day. If I was Rio Ferdinand I’d be asking the question, which ankle hurts Silva – is it the left or right? Insert size 12 – Honestly schoolboy error – doh!

So these are criticisms for Bobby Manc to work on; they are not hanging offences (nor indeed sacking offences – God forbid).

Mancini has clearly had some additional media training recently, keeping schtum about the title chance; this continuous line to keep singing the Roy Orbison song “It’s over” works for me as it takes the pressure off the team and annoys the journos and relaxes the players.

For details see WBA, Norwich, Wolves.

In the end of year review I am hoping that Khaldoon and Sheikh will sit down with Bobby Manc and do a review tooth and nail of the above with a view to improvement:

  • Calm the abrasive style
  • Keep negative stuff indoors
  • Balotelli – either reign in or ship out
  • Tévez, play him the Clash Song – Should I Stay or Should I go?

Make him tell us now, perhaps if we can get 10 minutes with him and Zabaleta in the same room (as a translator) without that reptile agent. Very interesting to hear Gary Neville’s thoughts on Tévez over the weekend. In summary, “Tévez is a super bloke, great work ethic, great team mate, superb talent but surrounded by a team of advisors, agents and hangers-on who are cancerous parasites who are nothing but trouble”.

Don’t give the press quotes that come back to bite you re: Tévez and Balotelli. All he needed to say at Munich was “It’s been a bad night for us, things are not good with CT at the minute, we will speak with him tomorrow and all the management team and discuss what we are going to do”. Then three days later we will still stonewall them (à la Dalglish) and say “still not decided, come back in a week…”

Given the lack of urgency that the press need, the story will blow away in the breeze and the press will talk about something else like Andy Carroll and Ashley Young’s diving, or Ched Evans (from left wing to B wing) or Rooney’s hooker seen at Aintree… It would have been far less damaging as a climb down and then a retraction and looking weak.

The other managers in the PL (e.g. Bacon Chops) know how good a player Tévez is and very influential, he will say anything to make sure we don’t play him. Very cleverly Fergie says how impressed he is with Mancini for handling the situation. Absolute horlicks. This is merely a ruse for double speak, where what he really means is “at all costs stop Tévez from playing”.

So now:

  1. United were going to collect the trophy at Eastlands and a guard of honour parade – X
  2. United to beat City at Eastlands and win the title, that can’t happen now – X

Those two unthinkable scenarios have disappeared and we could (at worst) come 2nd with the highest ever points total as runner up. Or will things take another final twist?

This “Bet Fred” premature pay out and “champ20nship 2012” commemorative T-shirts could be very amusing. Fred Done has got form for this premature celebration and ended up with egg on his annoying face; could be a full omelette this time.

After jumping around when Pienaar banged in the 4th at OT on Sunday what a game…

Mentality, toughness, strength, experience, let’s see.

Buckle up boys and girls, it’s going to be fun, this is one pacey thriller…

Enjoy!

Philip Lines <philipjlines(at)hotmail.com>

ARTICLE: THE BIG DERBY GAME!

Monday April 30 and we shall witness the biggest derby game ever.

Roberto Mancini says “United have won the league title”. I think that this is what I will call reverse psychology; it takes a lot of pressure off the City players, whilst making them prove him wrong.

Roberto Mancini is not getting drawn into mind games. Besides, he has had a very busy schedule, going back to Italy to visit his sick father Aldo Mancini in between games. I know that we all wish his father good health, winning the league I think will put a smile on Roberto’s father’s face!

It is going to be a tough game and I just hope that there will be a just and fair referee.

Coming from behind in the league might just suit City playing at home, but must plan on playing for 100 minutes; Fergie minutes always seem to appear and the game is never over until that final whistle!

I bet this game will capture a massive audience on TV across the world, after all it is absolutely massive!

In Mancini I trust! Come on you Blues!

CTWD, Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

ARTICLE: SUCCESSFUL SEASON?

Greetings fellow exiled Blues!

I know that a minority of City fans have negative views on how successful our great club and Roberto Mancini have been this season but I and thankfully most sensible City fans, have a more realistic view.

For most of this season we have looked down from pole position on the rest of the PL teams, including the team from the dark side. We have played a lot of mesmerising football while being up there and it’s been a long, long time since I have been so chuffed to be a City fan.

Even if we finish runner up to them and end up with nothing this season, I will still consider it a successful season because we have played much better football this season except for a poor couple of months after New Year, we have gone out and taken the game to teams with a positive attitude unlike last season.

We now look like title contenders, which we didn’t previously; the team needs some slight tinkering in the one or two areas but we are definitely looking nearer the finished article than we were even a year ago.

We still have a lot to learn on the European stage but that will only come with experience obtained from regular forays into the CL, which I believe we are now well capable of achieving if our owners stay the course.

So let’s go with the glass half full mentality and stay firmly behind Roberto and the team, we are still on the up and we don’t want to become like the glory hunting Rags and only judge success by the number of trophies in the cabinet. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching City develop this season and look forward eagerly to next season.

CTID, Steve Oatway, Glasgow <steveoatway(at)hotmail.com>

ARTICLE: THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

The Good

We travelled down from a wonderful weekend visiting family up in the Scottish Highlands over Easter. We bumped into a young Blue called Scott from Dunfermline. He’s a Dunfermline fan but he has been following City since the year 2000, and is looking to move to Manchester next year. He was a tad reticent about how Scots are received “down South” (as they refer to England), and I assured him that Scots get a warm welcome down in Manchester.

We had a brief chat about Dunfermline and he expects that after their relegation from the SPL, they will have a few years in the Scottish First. On a happier note, having told him I was a Big Country fan, he told me that the Pars (Dunfermline’s nickname) run out to The Skids’ “Into the Valley” (founded by the late Manchester born, but Dunfermline raised Stuart Adamson, later of Big Country fame) – (ED – I interviewed the late Stuart Adamson for my Campus Radio as a student, what a lovely bloke he was).

Having wished him and the Pars all the best and informed him of MCIVTA, we were on our way.

We meandered down across the border back into Inglaterra (why don’t we spell “England” with an “I” because that’s how we say it?), stopping off at the The Errington Arms on the A68 close to Hadrian’s Wall had an excellent lunch there (I can certainly recommend he Steak and Ale pie). It was a very pleasant journey indeed, until we arrived in Darlington to refuel that is.

The Bad and the Ugly

As I went up to the till to pay, and was about to put my card in the machine, I looked down to see a “Manyoo” mug on the counter. I did my best to avoid this monstrosity (call it superstition, or OCD, I had to look at my season card in my wallet to cleanse my eyes of this abomination), and I punched in the numbers to my card.

As I was taking my receipt, the woman behind the counter (spotting that I was wearing a 1972 City retro shirt) in a local Darlo accent sneered “You must be peeved after yesterday” (yesterday being the day of the Arsenal defeat).

“No”, I replied, “We’re in 2nd place – the best position since I started following City”, (which will be 32 years next Autumn).

“I am Manyoo fan”, squeaked the woman like a six year old would say “ner, ner, ner-ner-ner”.

“Where are you from?” I enquired.

“Darlington.”

“I’m from near Manchester” (my original hometown, Glossop, is fifteen miles away).

“I support Manyoo”

“Anyone can do that!”, I laughed (though why anyone with any taste would want to is beyond me).

She fell silent, and I was on my way.

At the time we might have felt like we had lost this particular title race, but for what it’s worth, it was a pyrrhic victory.

I’d rather, of course, City have the victories to propel us to the title. Unlike the Darlington Rag in the petrol station, I can guarantee that I won’t be so unprofessional as to sneer at or give it large to any of my customers who support United. No wonder that Darlington FC are going down to the Blue Square North at the end of this season with people like this Rag turning their backs on their local team.

As for Rags that I know outside of work, if/when we do win a title (and I have faith that Mancini will achieve that in the next couple of years) I promise that I will be merciless!

Am I guilty of having a double standard here in encouraging a Dunfermline Blue and mocking a Darlington Rag? No, not really. The Dunfermline Blue has clearly done the hard yards (relegation in 2001, the last few months of the Keegan and Stuart Pearce eras, so he’s hardly a glory hunter), plus he didn’t strike me as being the sort of lad who would readily sneer at fans of other clubs. The Rag on the other hand…

So, if you’re reading this, Scott, you know you’ll find a warm welcome here in Ingland!

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)orange.net>

REQUEST: STAG DO INFO

Hopefully you can help me out, I’m coming to Manchester on Saturday for a stag do – the stag is a huge City fan so after we complete the stadium tour I am looking for the best bars around the Etihad so we can have a few drinks.

I have been checking online for a while but nothing looks like a true football bar, so I would be very grateful if you could help me out.

Thank you, David Heraty <dsh06(at)live.co.uk>

REQUEST: BANBURY PUBS

Sorry to bother you but was wondering if you can help.

I unfortunately have to travel to Banbury on derby day.

Do you know of any supporters clubs’ or pubs in the Banbury area that are City based so I can watch the match with City fans?

Darren Bromley <darren-bromley(at)sky.com>

ANNOUNCEMENT: REDDISH BLUES

Reddish Blues’ next Meeting will be on Wednesday 2nd May at Reddish Working Men’s Club, Greg Street, Stockport, starting at 8.00pm (doors 7.30pm).

Our confirmed guest is former City favourite, Richard Edghill, who wants to tell us about the Summer Soccer School that he’s running in Stockport and of course talk about all things City.

Also, as most of you will know, Armani is currently over here from Sierra Leone and will be giving us a full update on how things are progressing with MCFC Sierra Leone.

For more details please visit our website at http://www.reddishblues.com/

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)btinternet.com>

ANNOUNCEMENT: LONDON BLUES

London Blues have moved due to our old base being taken over.

We are now at The Blue Anchor just off Chancery Lane.
http://www.blueanchorlondon.co.uk/

Expecting a good turnout on Monday.

London Blues <mcfclondonblues(at)gmail.com>

ANNOUNCEMENT: GARRY FLITCROFT vs. FC UNITED

MCFC supporters may be interested to know that Chorley FC (The Magpies), managed by Garry Flitcroft, are playing FC United in the EvoStick Premier League play-off semi final this Saturday April 28th, 3pm at Victory Park, Chorley.

I have some sympathy for the FC United crowd as they are obviously people of principle, but keep your fingers crossed for Gary and maybe we can claim a double victory over the dark side this weekend!

Peter Kay <pknw29683(at)blueyonder.co.uk>

ANNOUNCEMENT: NEWCASTLE KICK OFF TIME

MCFC confirm that kick-off for Newcastle away is 1.30 pm – not the 2 pm it says on the tickets.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)ntlworld.com>

TICKET REQUEST: DERBY PLEA #1,345

OK, so I know that the chances are super slim, but back in Jan when were 3 points clear at the top I pre-booked my return flight from Amsterdam, with the thought we would be clinching the title at home, against the Rags with two to go. A bit of a different situation admittedly, but still a must see derby game – the biggest of my lifetime (well maybe equal to the FA Cup semi last year). So I’ve got the flight – but not the ticket.

A die-hard City fan that’s seen it all over the years, since ’75 etc. – but of course exiled in the Netherlands, so no access to season tickets or ‘fan miles’ required nowadays.

So looking for 2 for me and our kid, but of course we would be happy with just the one right now – I saw a pair online for over £3,000 – I’m afraid we can’t quite reach that price level – but willing to ‘pay a bit over’ – any takers?

I can hear the ‘guffaws’ from here!

<craig(at)thisispirate.com>

AND FINALLY… “MANCHESTER THE CITY YEARS” DEADLINE 2ND MAY 2012

Many MCIVTA subscribers have been interested in my writing over the years (thanks to all of you) and so I thought I’d give everyone an update on my next book and how to order this at a discounted price now.

The book is “Manchester The City Years” and will detail the full history of the Club from the first activities in the 1850s that led to the formation of St. Mark’s through to the end of the 2011-12 season. Order before 2nd May 2012 at the discounted price of £19 (plus £5 UK P&P) and have your name printed within the volume, alongside details of your favourite City hero.

In 1997 I told City’s story in the highly acclaimed “Manchester The Greatest City”. Regarded as the definitive story of the Blues, the book went out of print a decade ago. Ever since then MCIVTA readers and others have asked me to update that book. For various reasons that couldn’t happen.

Now, however, I’ve finally got the chance to ensure City’s full history is given the attention it properly deserves. I’ve taken the original main narrative of that book, reviewed the content and brought City’s story right up to date in a new publication “Manchester The City Years”.

This eagerly awaited lavishly illustrated book will be published during the 2012 close season and will be the definitive volume on the Blues, detailing the exploits of the Club from its 19th Century birth through to the end of the 2011-12 season.

“Manchester The City Years” provides an in-depth study of the highs and lows that have shaped the Blues’ destiny from its birth as a church team to its modern day ownership by Sheikh Mansour.

Relive the successes from the Club’s first major trophy win in 1904 under Tom Maley through to glory in the Roberto Mancini era. Enjoy reading the stories of success in Europe, five FA Cup wins, two League Cups and, of course, the Blues’ League Championship successes (and whatever happens in 2011-12).

This book covers it all and brings the City story right up to the end of the 2011-12 season on over 540 pages (248x173mm, including 30 plus pages of colour) and illustrated throughout.

Order before 2nd May 2012 at the discounted price of £19 (plus £5 P&P) and have your name printed within the volume, alongside details of your favourite City hero.

To order your personal copy and be part of this entertaining and readable history either order via http://www.manchesterfootball.org/ by card, or by cheque (details on that website). All orders must be made with your payment by 2nd May 2012.

Your pre-publication subscription means your name will be placed in the pages of the book. In addition all subscriber copies will be personally signed by me, and for each copy ordered Subscribers will receive a £5 discount voucher redeemable against any book published by James Ward.

Each copy ordered by 2nd May 2012 will be despatched on publication (September 2012) and before the book is distributed to bookshops and online retailers (overseas people can order from http://www.manchesterfootball.org/ for delivery to EU, USA and Canada; Australia and NZ details will appear soon).

This is the only way to guarantee your copy.

You can also keep up to date with the latest details via my twitter: @garyjameswriter or http://www.facebook.com/garyjames4

Incidentally, my books “Joe Mercer, OBE: Football With A Smile” (£19.95) and “Manchester: A Football History” (£24.95) are still available now.

Thanks, Gary James <city(at)manchesterfootball.org>

RESULTS AND TABLE

22 April 2012

Manchester United     4 - 4  Everton               75,522
Liverpool             0 - 1  West Bromwich Albion  43,660
Wolverhampton Wndrs   0 - 2  Manchester City       24,576

21 April 2012

Arsenal               0 - 0  Chelsea               60,111
Aston Villa           0 - 0  Sunderland            32,557
Blackburn Rovers      2 - 0  Norwich City          23,218
Bolton Wanderers      1 - 1  Swansea City          25,401
Fulham                2 - 1  Wigan Athletic        25,689
Newcastle United      3 - 0  Stoke City            52,162
Queens Park Rangers   1 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     18,021

League table to 22 April 2012 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  35 14  2  2 50 19 12  3  2 36 13 26  5  4  86  32  54  83
 2 Manchester City 35 16  1  0 51 10  9  4  5 36 17 25  5  5  87  27  60  80
 3 Arsenal         35 12  3  3 36 14  8  2  7 31 29 20  5 10  67  43  24  65
 4 Newcastle Utd   34 11  5  2 29 15  7  3  6 24 27 18  8  8  53  42  11  62
 5 Tottenham H.    34 11  3  3 35 17  6  5  6 22 22 17  8  9  57  39  18  59
 6 Chelsea         34 10  3  3 33 20  6  7  5 23 18 16 10  8  56  38  18  58
 7 Everton         34  8  3  6 21 14  5  6  6 21 24 13  9 12  42  38   4  48
 8 Liverpool       34  5  9  3 20 14  7  1  9 20 23 12 10 12  40  37   3  46
 9 Fulham          34  9  5  4 34 25  3  5  8 11 19 12 10 12  45  44   1  46
10 West Brom A.    35  6  2  9 19 19  7  4  7 22 28 13  6 16  41  47  -6  45
11 Sunderland      35  7  6  4 24 14  4  5  9 18 27 11 11 13  42  41   1  44
12 Swansea City    35  7  6  4 22 14  4  4 10 17 31 11 10 14  39  45  -6  43
13 Norwich City    35  6  6  5 26 27  5  4  9 21 33 11 10 14  47  60 -13  43
14 Stoke City      34  7  5  4 21 16  4  4 10 11 32 11  9 14  32  48 -16  42
15 Aston Villa     34  4  6  7 18 22  3  9  5 17 26  7 15 12  35  48 -13  36
16 QPR             35  6  5  7 23 25  3  2 12 16 32  9  7 19  39  57 -18  34
17 Wigan Athletic  35  3  7  7 15 25  5  3 10 19 35  8 10 17  34  60 -26  34
18 Blackburn R.    35  6  1 11 26 32  2  6  9 21 41  8  7 20  47  73 -26  31
19 Bolton Wndrs    33  4  3 10 20 33  5  0 11 17 33  9  3 21  37  66 -29  30
20 Wolves          35  3  2 13 19 43  2  6  9 15 32  5  8 22  34  75 -41  23

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Philip Alcock)         : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour                      : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[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

http://www.mcivta.com/ 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 www.twitter.com/mcivta to get the latest updates.

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

The official club web site can be found at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/ and the official club Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mcfc. The club also has a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mcfcofficial

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club (http://www.mcfcsupportersclub.com/). The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (http://www.mcdsa.co.uk/).

[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 (http://www.mcfc.co.uk/Fans).

[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 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/manchester/.

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

http://www.satfootball.com/ provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A useful site for North American viewers is http://msn.foxsports.com/.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with Usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/Usenet

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

There are a number available and direct links can be found at http://www.mcivta.com/players/

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

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at http://twitter.com/#!/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 http://www.mcfcstats.com/.


DISCLAIMER
The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.


[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1819

2012/04/25

Editor:


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