Newsletter #1825

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest


I’d like to start by quoting MCIVTA’s former editor, Ashley:

That match simply has to be the most memorable I’ve experienced as a City fan, and will most probably never be bettered as long as I live. I was driving along today (Monday) and it still seems vaguely surreal, how could any team – let alone City – recover?

The thing being, the ‘Monday’ in question was 31st May 1999.

“Most probably never be bettered”? Well it’s a debatable point, but the comparisons to our comeback that warm Summer’s day against Gillingham and what we witnessed at the Etihad on Sunday are incredible.

How do you compare diamonds?

Both games were battles for the very soul of the club and both produced quite the most seismic sporting moments.

Perhaps the difference in 2012 is the profile. We were part of one of the most astonishing days in sporting history and, for ourselves, given the context and the opposition I feel we can say with even more certainty it will most probably never be bettered.

You know what though? You just never know!

Might I now suggest, you pour yourself a coffee or, dependent on the time of day, crack open a beer or bottle of wine and read one of the best reads of your life.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you MCIVTA 1825 – The Champions Edition!

Next Game: Chelsea, Community Shield, Wembley, 12 August 2012, 3.00pm

MATCHVIEW I: CITY 3 QPR 2

Congratulations to every City player and everyone at the club.

To the owner Sheikh Mansour and Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Thank You!

Roberto Mancini’s father, Aldo, was in the stadium – I think that he has a smile on his face!

What a fantastic finish to the game and season!

I am totally emotionally drained!

In Mancini I trust!

Well done City!

P.S. Thank you bad boy Joey Barton for the five minutes extra time! Now may you be banned for a long time!

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

MATCHVIEW II: MANCHESTER CITY 3-2 QUEENS PARK RANGERS

Somehow, amazingly, improbably and most memorably, Manchester City came from behind to snatch victory and the League Title, with two stoppage time goals on a highly emotional day, the winning goal coming thirteen seconds from the end of an unforgettable match, at the end of the best season ever. A season that delivered our first title since 1968.

Into the second minute of stoppage time, we still trailed 1-2 to QPR, who looked like they were going to get a win to ensure survival from relegation.

City had huffed and puffed but QPR’s nine man defence were almost bricking the goalmouth up, making block after block after block, no matter how clever and intricate our passing was. It just wasn’t happening for us, and who really believed that it was going to change?

The City players clearly did believe, especially when Edin Dzeko headed in yet another David Silva corner to equalise two minutes into the five minutes stoppage time (much of it down to the Barton dismissal and substitutions). Dzeko, Agüero and Co. just ran back to the half way line, without celebration. Another goal was needed because United were winning at Sunderland. Not knowing the result of their relegation rivals Bolton (at Stoke), QPR continued to get everyone behind the ball and hoisted another clearance as far they could into the City’s left defensive corner.

Implored by everyone to take the throw-in, Joe Hart found Clichy, the ball found its way to Sergio Agüero, who played in Balotelli, just inside the box. The QPR area was a forest of bodies, but somehow Mario held off a defender, playing the ball round the corner for Agüero who advanced diagonally towards the right past a QPR defender before unleashing a historic shot that fizzed into the net. The net billowed so sweetly and extreme joy enveloped the stands as adrenalin coruscated through our veins. Yes! City fans everywhere went absolutely mad with delight. Bouncing, po-going, hugging, kissing! Oh yes!

“Sergio! Sergio!”

We were almost there, and it was such a relief when Mike Dean blew the final whistle just a few seconds and two touches of the ball later. We’d done it! We’d done it! Hugs, kisses(!), tears of joy (I wasn’t the only person to well up, honest) and outpourings of extreme joy flowed out of City hearts as the final whistle went. Yes, We are the Champions, my friend, as the song goes. It was great to hear that booming out around The Etihad Stadium.

There was a banner draped over the North (Family) Stand: “Veni, Vidi, Vici”. Indeed, Roberto Mancini must certainly came, saw and conquered English football.

This day was never going to be easy (it’s not the City way is it: no cruise into a three goal lead so we can enjoy a breeze to the title). QPR needed a point to ensure survival, with their nearest rivals Bolton two points behind and playing away at Stoke, and they were to prove extremely stubborn. Their organisation was a real credit to Mark Hughes and his coaches. Even though they fielded two strikers by name in Djibril Cissé and Bobby Zamora, they made sure that every man was behind the ball when we had it, and effectively had a back 8 with 2 midfield players for much of the time.

News had filtered through after twenty odd minutes that United had taken a lead at Sunderland (no one truly expected anything else as Sunderland have had their flip-flops on for weeks). The Etihad was tense but patient. Silva had tested QPR goalie Kenny at his near post with a rasping drive, but other than that City’s shooting was not as accurate as normal. Surely class would tell? It normally has done after thirty odd minutes or so this season, when the opposition have come to stop us in depth.

City didn’t disappoint. Zabaleta, who was revelling in his overlapping attacking rôle, had a cross deflected back. The ball found its way to Silva who cleverly played an incisive pass to Yaya Touré who slid Zaba in. The City right back unleashed a shot that Kenny could not hold and the ball looped over the goal line to give us the lead. The ever popular Zaba peeled away in sheer delight The “Do, do, do, Pablo Zabaleta” chant filled the air, as he blew kisses to the crowd. At last we were on our way, or so it seemed.

With City, though, we all know that it is rarely that simple. We had to go and make it difficult for ourselves, and a rare poor Lescott header early in the second half gifted possession to the advancing Cisé who buried the ball in the City net to the delight of the 3,000 plus visiting fans. The numbing reality was that City had a real challenge on their hands with this resolute, well organised QPR side who weren’t going to lie down for anyone. City picked themselves up and went for the second goal. Surely class would tell?

Our cause was aided when Joey Barton, the so-called QPR captain, elbowed Tévez just outside the City box, right in front of where we were sat. Referee Dean awarded a free kick and coolly went over to the far side of the pitch to consult his linesman before brandishing a deserved red card to Barton. In the ensuing melee (even staff from both sides including Roberto Mancini ended up on the pitch), as Barton protested his faux innocence, he preceded to kick Sergio Agüero and stick his head into a furious Vincent Kompany. Three lots of violent conduct from a nasty individual who will receive a very long ban at the start of next season.

How many more chances can this thoroughly distasteful individual have? Speaking as someone who believes in rehabilitation and tolerance, there comes a time when enough is enough. It is high time that Joey Barton is drummed out of the game.

It should be noted that it took the mighty frame of Micah Richards to get Barton off the pitch. Credit is due to Micah, who showed immense maturity.

City composed themselves and continued to probe. Tévez had a free kick blocked and Agüero had a potent shot saved.

The trouble was that our dominance left us vulnerable to the counter attack, so committed were we to getting a second goal, and the back door was left open again. Traore went on a quick break down the City right, advantage was played for an infringement and his high cross was headed in by the industrious Mackie at the far post. The QPR fans were in ecstasy. In contrast, we were experiencing a crushing agony: so near and yet so far to that title that our players had strived for, and we’d hoped for all season. Was this to be another day when we our dreams fell flat?

For a long time it looked like that as City, inspired by Silva and Nasri, tried hard to penetrate the almost immovable object that was the QPR back nine. City tried time and time again to pierce the visiting defence with incisive play through the middle, as is our style. When we did work the ball wide to our full backs Zabaleta and Clichy, a QPR defender stepped out to cut out the cross and concede corner after corner. When we did get a chance, hope ebbed away as time marched on and chances met with firm resistance. Tévez had a header tipped over by Kenny, Zabaleta had a shot deflected behind by a QPR defender, but for all City’s quality, QPR were looking strong and it was difficult to see where a goal was coming from. Yaya Touré’s injury was starting to look very costly indeed.

On came Dzeko for Barry to give us height and he was soon into action, but Kenny saved his effort from Nasri’s superb cross. Then Roberto brought on Balotelli for the labouring Tévez whose shooting was starting to betray his tiredness.

It still didn’t seem to improve our finishing initially and one of Dzeko’s efforts went out for a throw in. But as a warning to the visitors, Balotelli had an effort saved from another City corner then Agüero’s snap shot was deflected behind by Kenny for yet another City corner.

City piled on the pressure but still QPR just cleared their lines when they got the ball, looking to find the far corners of pitch with each clearance as the clock ticked down. No QPR fan could complain about the commitment of ex-Blues Nedum Onuoha and Shaun Wright-Phillips, who had received cheers (as opposed to Barton’s jeers) before kick off.

It didn’t seem like it was going to be our day. I looked at the time: 84 minutes. I have to confess that I thought we’d blown it. Like at Wembley 13 years ago, we stared into the abyss. How would our players get over losing the league like this, when we’d been expected to clinch it? What damage would it do to their confidence? Indeed, to our confidence as a club? Which player would want to come to City if the other lot were the ones who won it?

We chanted “We’ll fight to the end… we’re Man City, we’ll fight to the end”, and that is what the City players did. Somehow, they found that bit extra to produce two goals to make Manchester City the worthy Champions of England.

When you have watched the most terrible football over the years at times, and been on the journey that we have, to win the league title is very, very special indeed. Who would have expected to win the title when we were 8 points behind after Arsenal just a few short weeks ago? Who would believe that we would have to win a game in such dramatic fashion as this? This game was a microcosm of our season: how we’d taken the lead, and thrown it away to go behind; how we fought back to win it in the most dramatic style imaginable.

“Campeones, Campeones” filled the air as our heroes in light blue richly earned an ovation on a beautiful sunny day when the sky matched the colour of our shirts.

It was “1999 plus one” as one City fan memorably put it. For Super Kevin Horlock, read Edin Dzeko, and for Paul Dickov, read Sergio Agüero. Two special days in the life of this club and this day in 2012 surpassed even that great Wembley day in ’99.

Our nerves had built up from the final whistle at St James’ Park a week earlier. City skipper Vincent Kompany echoed our thoughts when he said he just wanted to start this game against QPR as soon as possible. Who wasn’t nervous all week, even if this game was against a team with a very poor away record? We expected it to be tense, especially with QPR needing a point to ensure survival but did anyone truly expect an afternoon as traumatic, exciting and eventually blissful as this?

The title was hard earned over 10 months from start to finish and City truly deserve to be Champions. We have played the best football, annihilated United at Old Trafford and beaten them at home. As the great Roberto Mancini said: “We scored the most goals and conceded the fewest”. City have been a pure joy to watch and the football has been top class.

Manchester City are the Champions. How sweet is that?

Our great manager Roberto Mancini, every squad member, every member of City’s coaching staff, and every board member and Sheikh Mansour deserve this Championship. So much hard work and skill has gone into it. Thank you Sheikh Mansour for making this possible and making so many people so happy.

Indeed, it was the best day ever for so many City supporters.

Goals:
Zabaleta: 1-0 to City (39)
Cissé: for QPR 1-1 (48)
Mackie for QPR: 1-2 (66)
Dzeko: 2-2 (90+2)
Agüero: 3-2 (90+5) to City

Att: Something close to 48,000, with more light Blue revellers joining the party at the end.

Ratings:
Hart: Couldn’t be faulted for any of the goals. We can be glad that he quickly took that throw-in at the end: 7
Zabaleta: A constant threat down our right. Outpaced for their second goal, but his overall contribution was far in credit. Like all his team mates, he never stopped working: 8
Kompany: Solid as ever and a leader in every sense. How sweet it was to see him raise the Premier League trophy aloft: 7
Lescott: Made only his 4th mistake of the season to concede QPR’s opener. he’s had that good a season: 6
Clichy: His delivery of crosses was uncharacteristically erratic. Still willing to take responsibility: 6
Silva: Opened up the QPR defence for the first goal, provide the cross for the second. Always busy, always inventive: 8
Yaya Touré: Took Silva’s incisive pass and turned it into an astute final ball for Zaba’s opener. We missed him when he was gone: 7
Barry: The highlight was one crunching tackle in the first half that showed Barton who is boss, and who is truly worthy of a title and an England shirt. Subbed to make way for more attacking options: 6
Nasri: Never gave up the fight. Always prepared to try something different: 8 Tévez: Worked like Trojan but and went close with a header, but it wasn’t his day in front of goal: 6
Agüero: A great, great memorable goal at the end won the day and the Title for Manchester City, elevating him to the status of City Legend: 9 (Man of the Match)
Subs:
De Jong (for Yaya 43): An important cog in the machinery: 7
Dzeko (for Barry 68): Certainly made a positive impact, took his header superbly: 7
Balotelli (for Tévez 75): The script was written for this young man, and he didn’t disappoint in playing Sergio in for that goal. Almost got himself sent off before he got on the pitch though!: 7

Best Oppo: Jamie Mackie for his work rate and goal shades it from veteran journeyman Shaun Derry who epitomised the bravery of QPR, but all the QPR players bar their odious number 17 can take credit for their resilience that lasted 91 minutes. Thank the Lord we broke them down in the 92nd and 95th! 7

Refwatch: Mike Dean: The Premier League’s best referee is a consistently fair arbiter and he did well to calm down a difficult moment when Barton showed his true colours: 9

The Aftermath

It was fitting that Tony Book and Mike Summerbee should bring the Premier League trophy out. It was such a joy to see our captain, the ever-impressive Vincent Kompany, lifting the trophy. We’ve not been able to even dream of days like this until four years ago. It was wonderful to share it with all the Blues around. Is there a better shared experience?

Even the relieved QPR fans to their credit stayed to see the presentation.

On a personal note, seeing the sheer joy on my wife’s face was unforgettable for me. It was great to see friends old and new Steve, Alex, Matt, Ged, Carin and Mick in City Square, where City hero Andy Morrison took the stage to celebrate with gusto. Once a Blue, always a Blue…

Dedicated to City fans everywhere and to my late dad for introducing City to me way back in 1980, and my mum of course for subliminally dressing me in Blue as a kid.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)tiscali.co.uk>

MATCHVIEW III: CITY 3 QPR 2

Manchester City 3 Queens Park Rangers 2

Attendance: 47,435

I’ve been for the appointment and the doctor says I have to stop watching City. He says it’s one thing to sh*t your pants regularly but quite another to keep needing CPR and valium. The day started badly with my lucky routines not working and then getting stuck behind some idiot only doing 30 mph in a 30 mph zone. Arriving miles too early, the car park was already half full and outside there were so many City fans I needed to check when the kick-off was. Everybody had the same ideas about celebration and quite a few were really confident – usually a sign of bad things to come.

The game started with the play mostly being in the QPR half – or more accurately in the last quarter of the pitch – and after 20 minutes it was clear that Joe Hart was going to have very little, if anything, to do.

This was the most unambitious side ever to nail up a goalmouth, but City seemed too careful, too slow thinking, too ponderous and the huge amount of possession didn’t lead to many panicky moments in their defence.

When Zabaleta finally got the goal, I thought that would be enough because QPR simply hadn’t even tried to attack. If QPR’s formation was supposed to be 4-5-1 they seem to have forgotten the 1.

No problem – our defence is sound. We rarely make stupid mistakes these days and have a good record at successful last minute tackles and great saves by Joe Hart. The news at half time showed that QPR would need to attack, which I thought would lead to a more open game that we would exploit.

Then the first disaster: Lescott, who has really been excellent alongside Kompany this season, heads a ball straight to Cissé who scores. This is not how it’s supposed to be. I picture those pundits on Sky grinning as they put United at the top of their temporary League table.

We continue to attack and then Joey Barton plays the thug card. Some say that Tévez pushed him first but, subtle as bucket, Joey hits him in the throat and Tévez goes down writhing in that special way we’ve come to expect from certain players. The linesman flagged immediately and Mike Dean eventually consulted him and sent Barton off. After this Barton then appeared to knee Agüero, which I don’t think the referee saw so that looks like a minimum six match ban. Actually I think Mark Hughes will get rid. Remember that Barton has completed the anger management classes so this is the version of Joey Barton demonstrating self-control.

Obviously the sending off was a big advantage for City but we couldn’t camp much nearer their goal than we already were. It was beginning to remind us all of the Chelsea vs. Barcelona game – we kept trying the same things, which never seemed very threatening.

Eventually Mancini started to change things and Dzeko came on and later Balotelli. By then though, I had lost hope. Yes, we might score once, but twice was asking too much. That would be like the Gillingham play-off in 1999 – great but surely only once in a lifetime?

The added time board showed five minutes’ stoppage time, largely because of the Barton incident I think. Even then we didn’t look like scoring.

Then the corner, Dzeko’s goal, which was a cracker, and the possibility of saving the game crossed a few people’s minds. Finally, in what seemed like the fourth minute of added time, Agüero scored after outwitting Anton Ferdinand for the first time.

The noise, the jumping and the hugging were mixed with quite a few looks of disbelief. The bloke next to me deliberately hit his own face because he thought he was dreaming. City players celebrated for ages and I assumed that Mike Dean would add on another minute, probably two but after a punt into touch from a QPR kick off and a throw-in, he blew for time, adding nothing extra at all.

We had won the Premier League in the dying minutes of the game. If you scripted this in a football story the editor would ask for a re-write on the ground of ridiculous improbability.

I should be glad but the feeling was similar to the one after we beat United 6-1: puzzlement – did that really happen?

Pitch invasion. Pitch cleared. Podiums put up and then the nice touch of some of the 1968 team providing a guard of honour for the new City and Summerbee and Book carrying the stupidly large and vulgar Premier League trophy with which we have become familiar over the years, usually associated with the gurning trio of mirror-shattering faces provided by Rio Ferdinand, Rooney and Scholes.

I watched the players receiving their medals and the parade around the pitch for a bit but, like many such occasions, it gets a bit OTT after a while. Outside, fans were singing “We won the League in Fergie Time” and I suddenly remembered some of those many comments in the last few weeks by various football cognoscenti who one hopes will in future keep more of their own counsel:

  • City above United – not in my lifetime (SAF)
  • City win the league? – no chance (Beckham)
  • United have won it. I’m paying out on a 20th United title (Fred Done bookmaker [Cost £500,000])
  • How the wheels came off at Manchester City (Football 365)
  • United won’t lose it now (Giggs, with United 8 points ahead)
  • United know how to win titles (loads of unimaginative twits who don’t know prediction from cliché)
  • We have no chance (Mancini with a perfectly straight face)

The other thing we have learned is that Fergie has serious opposition in playing mind games but he was gracious enough to congratulate City. Bearing in mind that he couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge that City were even rivals at the beginning of the season, that represents progress.

Last year after winning the FA Cup the players said they enjoyed that and wanted more of it.

Well I don’t.

In future could we please have some really dull trophy wins City? Three early goals and lots of possession would do nicely but nothing like this.

Must go. Have to wash pants.

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

ARTICLE: WHAT A FINISH

“Wow” is the only word for it. I may not get my breath back until the start of next season. All week I had this nagging feeling that City would find some way of making clinching the League title a nerve jangling cliff hanger and they did not let me down.

All week friends and colleagues, even United supporters, have been claiming the title was a forgone conclusion and there was no way City were going to lose at home to QPR, but something in the back of my mind kept telling me things were not going to be that easy.

The first half was a really nervous affair. QPR defended solidly and were obviously determined to avoid shipping an early goal, a tactic that has undone City all season long. As time went on it seemed like the news that United had gone ahead at Sunderland filtered down to the pitch. When Zabaleta put us ahead I hoped the players would relax and we would put a bit of daylight between us and QPR. It was great to see Zabaleta get a goal, he is a great asset to the club and doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

A defensive howler from Lescott and a soft goal on the counter ensured anxiety and despair instead.

By the 90 minute mark I was convinced we had handed the title to United after clawing back an eight point deficit. I hated it but it was Typical City. Then in those five minutes of added time Dzeko and Agüero stepped up and delivered the title in epic fashion. By scoring twice in injury time we managed to out-united United. The sight of Rooney, Ferguson et al going from elation to despair within a couple of minutes was worth all the shredded finger nails and furniture.

All in all it has been a great season for City; we have built on last season’s success and can continue to progress next season and build lasting success – or at least avoid relegation! For the next few months I am just going to enjoy City being Premier League Champions.

It has been worth the wait.

Neal Barton <nealbarton(at)gmail.com>

ARTICLE: HAS IT SUNK IN YET?

Not good for the ticker that!

True to form City never do it the easy way and à la Gillingham they made us wait till the bitter end to erase 44 years of hoping. I guess you could sum up the new City in one word: backbone! City of old would not have got out of the hole they dug; this City has concentration, leadership and finesse and now the trophy is ours they will be more of a force because belief will be ingrained into them because they achieved their goal.

What, to me, makes it extra special are the obstacles they have had to overcome with the constant media bashing about FFP, money, any pic at training that looks like a fight being blown up, the Tévez affair, Balotelli off and on field nonsense, the 8 point deficit, etc.

I think having guys around Mancini that also have tasted success, like Platt, Kidd and Lombardo has helped immensely within this team. Then having the true City greats around regularly adds to that – Bell, Summerbee, Lee, Pardoe and Book. I guess the likes of Goater, Dickov, Rösler, Lake, Owen, Barnes, Tueart etc. were somewhere amongst the fans. Bet even Quinny had a wee smile at the SoL when the news filtered through (ED – he was commentating at the Etihad for Sky). The Sunderland cheer at the news was extra heartening and I think whilst envious of the Mansour millions most clubs outside the old 4 would have secretly wanted City to do it (cue a very happy Cissé congratulating Nasri like a City fan at the final whistle).

You could not script it could you? Our talisman of late, Yaya, gets injured first half, Zaba (one of my die for the cause favourites) scores his only goal of the season, a mistake under no pressure, a red card for Barton (that might of been in some scripts, fool that he is), an against the run of play second for QPR, Kenny having a blinder with second half saves from Agüero, Balotelli and Dzeko, then 2 injury time goals to seal it and send the premature celebrators at the Stadium of Light on a long, trophy-less bus ride home to London and the surrounding area.

Envy you guys when you head into work Monday, Reds in your gun sights at last, milking every moment for all those years of having to take their arrogance.

Kompany for me a great choice for Barclays Player of the Year – what a season he had, a great captain at City again in the Doyle mould and a great speaker, his interviews so well delivered – the team followed his example and gave him everything he asked of them.

Where to from here?

Well we know there will be a few additions, probably more being moved on in the coming months. Really the dross need to be moved on i.e. Bridge, Hargreaves, Santa Cruz and I don’t see Pizarro and Michael Johnson staying around for long. Unfortunately it also looks like de Jong and Adam Johnson may be moved on as well but, so be it, if we need space for others who may suit our focus moving forward.

Goalkeeper and defence I am more than happy with. Savic needs time maybe, or will go, but we need another central defender of note because without Kompany/Lescott there we did struggle for a few games. Midfield is already strong but looks like Hazard may be added soon, so we can see what all the hype is about. I’d love to see Munain of Bilbao in a City shirt.

Up front I have no idea what will happen, but Agüero is the only safe one. I really like Dzeko, a good team man, and he clearly would benefit from a Hazard-type out wide. However, all reports suggest he will be sold. That means one of Tévez/Balotelli might stay – hard to say who I’d prefer – both are unsettling at times to the club. Tévez rejuvenated us late on and Balotelli can be awesome on his day (was superb in his cameo today). I think Guidetti should be given a chance as striker number 4 and we bring in at least one of Cavani/ Lavezzi/ Higuain/ Falcao or van Persie. We do have Adebayor as a makeweight for one of those apart from van Persie of course.

Still a bit breathless after my 2am roller-coaster ride. Will have to make a visit to the 2011/2012 Premier League Champions shop later this year all going well, to pick up my new Champions shirt. Wonder what the cost to get the entire squad’s names printed on it?

Loved the banners at the end “CHAMP16NS” especially.

To all at MCIVTA over the years and my fellow Kiwi and Kiwi-based Blues, we came and saw for a long, long time but now we conquered – enjoy – we deserve it!

Chris Loveridge <hawkeye11(at)xtra.co.nz>

ARTICLE: THROUGH THE MILL

Well, very interesting reading the posts before last night’s game. I forecast a 5-0 win, but how wrong was I!

In true City style they put us through the mill and nearly ended my life at the same time. I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest with the anxiety I was experiencing. Half time, 1-0 up and seemingly coasting, not one bit of it, how can I have been so stupid!

Watching the match in my house in rural Australia, wife in bed, son who is a Rag watching in another room, ninety minutes on the clock, head in the hands feeling thoroughly demoralised thinking how should I react to this when the text messages and facebook comments start arriving.

I decide to have a look into my son’s room to check on his demeanour and lo and behold my daughter is watching the game with him. She has never shown any interest whatsoever in football, regardless of my many attempts from a very young age to get her interested. Since she went to university in Perth someone has done a job on her and my suspicions are that she has leanings towards the Evil Empire. I growled at her “it’s enough that he is a Rag, but not you as well surely!” She makes her excuses and leaves and I return to my seat, my daughter joins me and we score. She can’t understand why I am not jumping with joy! “We need another one and there’s only two minutes to go” and then yes!

Agüero puts one in and the release of the emotion was immense, I’m running through the house acting like a man possessed; the wife understands not to complain although she has been asleep for a couple of hours!

I ring my dad in Radcliffe: “What do you mean we lost?” No we didn’t, we won (he had switched the radio off at 90 minutes)! Phone my brother who was at the match, message bank! B****r, I just wanted to hear some of the live celebrations!

Pure, pure theatre and only City in their true established style could have put us through it. At work in my shirt this morning and on cloud nine! Wonderful, wonderful and planning to go to Kuala Lumpur in July to see the champions! Did I say champions! Got a beautiful ring to it, eh!

Tony Higginson <Tony.Higginson(at)health.wa.gov.au>

ARTICLE: SWEET DREAMS

That was like living in a nightmare and waking up in a dream and I suppose fans from across the city lived in a dream until they woke up in a nightmare.

Congratulations to all players and staff.

Harry Ward <anneward1(at)optusnet.com.au>

ARTICLE: FINAL GAME

Just one word: ‘great‘ Up at 2:00am and by the 90th minute, looked out into the dark sky above and just wondering what was happening; my thoughts were about to be answered.

Words cannot really explain the feeling.

I think the quote that best sums it up is: “it’s not the disappointment, it’s the hope I can’t cope with.”

Even better than the drama of the Gillingham game – will this be the end of ‘Typical City’? Maybe not, but the start of great years to come for City!

The faces of the United team and Fergie while waiting for us to get the 2 goals after their game finished – incredible… was to be!

Maybe City are learning from them and Fergie Time does go around!

From one tired, happy, grateful City fan.

John W Lim, New Zealand <johncity(at)gmail.com>

ARTICLE: WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

So with “Blue Moon” and “We are the Champions” ringing in my ears I look forward to next season.

There is also a song made well known in Australasia called “Electric Blue” and of course with Mancini, Mercer and River Medlock connections there is also “Moon River” to enjoy too.

I will not comment on the Liverpudlian as I am sure you watched it all happen too! Otherwise I will get close to being an “…ism” of some kind in this “PC” age!

I see the reports of people leaving early; when will they learn to be patient – they are after all supporting City? Mind you, as I was watching the recording just before my breakfast on “MySky” and I was tempted at times to fast forward but then I could well have missed the “incident” or the goals at the end!

I tell myself to look at it from the point of view, that if I was at the ground I would stay to the end no matter the transport pressures! I made a point by the way of getting up before my wife this morning as she is usually the first to get up, being a morning person whereas generally I am a night person but this morning I wanted to be first before we watched my wife’s recording of Roger Federer’s win in Madrid!

Roger played in a Nike Blue shirt too! Well worth the effort I can tell you – “We are the Champions” after all!

Trevor Bevan <mate.bevan(at)clear.net.nz>

ARTICLE: ALWAYS BELIEVE AND NEVER LOSE FAITH

Yesterday’s conclusion to the Premier League title race was a hundred times more dramatic and astonishing than when City last won the title in 1968. I know because I was at St. James’ that day. Watching on the TV this time from my home in Cape Town, I saw scenes of fans desperately trying to scale the walls of the stadium when they heard the roar signalling that City had won. I say to them: shame on you for giving up on City!

Even during the final ten minutes I firmly believed that they would succeed, yet the question that has to be asked is: Would it have worked out this way if Barton had not been sent off? He even admits in his tweet that he was also trying to intimidate the City players that he assaulted afterwards, into getting sent off with him. That is pretty cynical and I will not be sorry if he gets a life ban because of it.

People that I do feel sorry for are Nedum Onuoha and Shaun Wright-Phillips who have been discarded by City and, therefore, cannot share in this triumph. They are both very decent footballers and did not deserve this. I always thought that Nedum was a better defender than Savic but maybe Mancini does not share this view.

Amidst all the euphoria, let us not lose sight of the fact that City achieved it by the skin of their teeth. It has been a topsy-turvy season and some decisions made by Mancini have been puzzling, viz, appointing Tévez as the captain when, from accounts that I have heard or read, his English is not very good. I am glad that he has eventually settled on Vincent Kompany, who is clearly the best man for the job.

Another aspect to this, which I have not heard or read about, is the fact that we have three Argentine nationals in the team, at a time when tensions between the UK and Argentina have risen over the Falkland Islands. I will not write any more about Balotelli, who remains an enigma.

Finally, it was a nice touch by City to ask the remaining members of the 1968 team to bring the trophy on to the field afterwards. I recognised Tony Book, Francis Lee, Mike Summerbee and Glyn Pardoe. Neil Young and Mike Doyle we know have both passed away, but what about the rest viz. Colin Bell, Alan Oakes, George Heslop, Harry Dowd, Ken Mulhearn and Tony Coleman? Does anybody know what has happened to them?

Philip van Gass <philipvangass(at)yahoo.co.uk>

ARTICLE: 44 YEARS! CITY STILL DO IT AS ONLY THEY CAN, THEIR WAY!

City, a family experience.

You’re going to be deluged with all the stories within the next couple of weeks, so I’ll get mine in now!

Spent the whole afternoon in a Paddy pub in Schiedam, Holland, with my youngest son. The second part of what follows came from my little sister in Chorlton, Manchester. She’s a rugby fan at heart but still believes in City in her inner soul.

Installed ourselves in front of the monitor that was City dedicated, in good time. Shouts of joy from the back as the wrong half of Manchester went into an early lead. When QPR went into the lead we were even treated to a cameo appearance from possibly the only QPR shirt in the lower countries.

The volume increased from the Sunderland monitor as the games neared full time. Was even treated to the odd salvo of peanuts to remind me who had the upper hand. What happened will now go into football folklore and I’ll re-live it over and over for many years. Needless to say I left the bulk of the pub-goers in an acute state of shock. The smiles on a few of the faces gave away who the neutrals were.

That is football, and that is City!

My older son told me, when I finally got home, 48 shots at goal, 80% of the ball, 3 shots at our goal and 2 went in, entering injury time behind, and we must win.

Don’t ask me how it happened but it did.

Baconface humbled and for the first time-ever gracious in defeat! The whole day set me up for the next 44 years, but I secretly hope it’ll be a bit earlier this time.

And from the Home Front:

I was just 12 years old and you were 18(?). I was at the end of my first year at The Hollies and had long brown hair and no wrinkles. You were still on your apprenticeship. Still in the ’60s and it was only a couple of years since England won the World Cup.

Football was still on a high. Little football hooliganism, we had to wait until the ’70s before that really took off. Everything was still possible. There was no Thatcher, no Scargill, no power cuts, no oil shortages, no rampant inflation, etc.

I am now 56 but still in Manchester. My hair is still brown(!) but everything else is going south. I couldn’t listen to (no Sky) the match today because I didn’t think my heart would take it. Luckily, a 4th round Challenge Cup Rugby League Match was on BBC2 but I listened to the score at half-time. City were 1-1 and United were winning (oh no! despair again!).

The rugby over (Warrington Wolves beat Catalan Dragons since you asked), I turned over to Final Score. Scanned the results at the bottom of the screen – ‘Man City 3 QPR 2 City are the Champions’, checked it again, and again: images of people cheering, crying, hugging each other – all were wearing sky blue. It was true. I couldn’t believe it! No matter how many times I read it or the commentator said it until I spoke to someone I’d find it hard to believe.

Luckily, Laura phoned. She was hoarse with cheering and screaming at the TV set. It was finally confirmed – Manchester City, League Champions, same points as Man Utd but ahead on goal difference; and just like always, they make the fans work and wait for it.

Only in injury time was the deal finally made – talk about taking it to the wire! Quixotic is a word that amply describes them. I shed a tear when I saw Frannie Lee, Tony Book and Mike Summerbee accompany the Cup onto the field. I would like to say that at the sight of them, the years just rolled by but, in all honesty, those 44 years seem like a very, very long time.

Blue Moon over Holland too!

Greetings to all of the Blue persuasion.

Dave Lyons <Dave.Lyons(at)hfg-heerema.com>

ARTICLE: DEFINING MOMENTS

They say history is written by the winners, so with the benefit of hindsight here are a handful of what proved to be the defining moments in City’s title-winning season:

28/08/11:
Manchester 13 – North London 3. For the first time it felt likethis might turn out to be a shoot-out between the two Manchester clubs.
27/09/11:
Tévez in Munich. Looked like an unmitigated disaster. Butthe players, the fans and the club hierarchy backed Mancini withoutreservation. City won the next 9 matches scoring 33 goals, including 6 atOld Trafford.
18/10/11:
Villarreal, Agüero, last minute winner. And a new mentality isbeginning to take shape.
23/10/11:
Darren Fletcher gives United hope. At 3-0 perhaps United just defendand write off the game as a bad result. But Fletcher gave them a glimmerof hope. United pour forward and a +10 goal difference swing in City’s favouris the result. Contrary to post-match comments from Old Trafford, in theend it proved to be more than just 3 points.
27/11/11:
Joe Hart vs. Liverpool. The unbeaten run remains intact and morecrucially City take a point following a display of world class goalkeeping.
08/01/12:
10 men score 2 goals. At half-time it looked like United weregoing to exact perfect revenge. 3-0 up with City’s captain sent off anda hammering was on the cards. In the end United were clinging on and Cityrealised that even just 10 of them were better than 11 of United.
22/01/12:
Spurs, Balotelli, last minute cool-as-ice penalty winner.
12/02/12:
Joe Hart vs. Aston Villa. City’s season is choking. Joe Hartproduces a save from the top drawer in the dying seconds and City takeall 3 points.
15/03/12:
City out of Europe. As Joe Hart dived to meet the ball I could seethe net bulging and City going through in the most dramatic fashion. Butit wasn’t to be. At the time I felt gutted but the reality is this teamprobably wasn’t quite good enough to be fighting on domestic and Europeanfronts deep into the season. A blessing in disguise.
21/03/12:
Mancini gambles on Tévez. And Nasri scored a late, late winnerafter being 1-0 down against Chelsea. First Villarreal, then Spurs, Citywere beginning to make a habit of these late goals.
31/03/12:
Another late show. 3-1 down with 5 minutes remaining. Balotelliand Kolarov rescued what seemed like a meaningless point at the time with2 more late strikes.
08/04/12:
Balotelli sees red. 8 points behind, 6 games to go. We’re doneand dusted. But Balotelli’s dismissal forces Mancini’s hand and Tévezwould start the remaining 6 games.
22/04/12:
United choke. 4-2 up at Old Trafford with minutes remaining. 4-4and unbelievably the title is back in City’s hands.
30/04/12:
Fergie picks Park. United can’t muster a single shot on goal evenwith a whole half knowing they need to score.
06/05/12:
Pundits slowly begin to realise that bringing de Jong on isn’tnecessarily a defensive move.
13/05/12:
Joseph Barton, Peter Crouch, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Agüero. Bartondoes his thing, Crouch does his and suddenly City need 2 goals against10 men who are staying up anyway. But the tension is palpable. Mancini -so cool over the last few weeks – is a wreck, crosses look more like shotsand shots look more like crosses. First Dzeko, and then the coolest manin the City momentarily turns into Paul Dickov and bookends 13 remarkableyears in the life of this perverse, subversive, bizarre, rock-n-roll,utterly bonkers, Balotelli-Maradona-Tévez rolled into one, football club.

Yesterday is why football is more than just a game. Because that moment at about 4:55pm on 13th May 2012 is a moment that me, my dad and my 8 year old son will always share and never, ever forget. It is now part of the fabric of our lives. Football – bl**dy hell!

James Gregson <jamespgregson(at)gmail.com>

ARTICLE: TYPICAL CITY

Let’s face it, we were never going to score 4 in the first 20 minutes as it just wouldn’t be City if we didn’t do it the hard way.

Congratulations to all the team, back-room staff and of course the manager and I hope all subscribers are suffering with a sore head the same as me. I can’t talk about the game at the moment, words cannot put a first title in my lifetime into context, but already looking forward to next season and here’s to more days like yesterday.

CTID, Peter Blyth <blythie44(at)hotmail.com>

ARTICLE: EDIN

Via the good offices of MCIVTA I would like offer a public apology to Edin Dzeko.

2-1 down, injury time, dream over. Silva swings in our 300th corner of the day and the big Bosnian leaps like a salmon to head in the equaliser.

My thoughts at that moment?

‘Typical City’: too little too late, another heroic failure, sack the board etc. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even cheer the goal, choosing instead to bury my head in my hands and contemplate the catastrophe of throwing away the title to ‘that lot’. I cried. Like a girl.

Cut to two minutes later and I’m crying again. This time for all the right reasons.

So, sorry Edin it wasn’t anything to do with you, it was me. I should have known that it would all be ok in the end. I should have kept faith. In mitigation I can tell you that I have cheered every subsequent replay of your goal on TV and radio, and will do for a while to come yet.

Dave Godfrey <d.godfrey(at)manchester.gov.uk>

ARTICLE: YOUR MESSAGE WAS PROFOUND

Hi Phil,

You forecast that it would go “To The Last Kick Of The Last Match”.

How accurate was that! (ED – Way too accurate for my health!)

Hell, that goal of Kun’s is worth the £38 million we paid for him alone.

Keep up the great work with your MCFC Blog and please would you let your readers know the following:

That my new Man City fans’ song, “On On On With City” is now available/downloadable from http://www.parrothouse.co.uk/ (just follow the link on the page that comes up first).

iTunes availability and details, later and will issue to you ASAP.

Patrick Knowles <patricknowles(at)gmail.com>

ARTICLE: CHAMPIONS

I’m sure there’ll be hundreds of MCIVTA subscribers who post their feelings about yesterday. I need to add mine. I haven’t lived in Manchester since 1989. My whole family are Reds. I became a Blue in 1981 at the age of 6 as my best mate in school was a City fan. I often wondered why I had taken the path of heartache and tears… but now, like in 1999, the answer is clear.

I am married to an American. She knows I have a serious case of Cityitis but she doesn’t really get it. Many of you have met me at Tribal Gatherings. I have Cerebral Palsy. So I kind of stand out. My voice is very unclear, but my yelling when City score or concede sounds like something from a horror movie!

Yesterday I banished myself to the upstairs bedroom as to not scare my wife, my in-laws or my kids. I was nervous but I thought we’d do it. I didn’t cheer when we went up 1-0. I was waiting for that 2 goal cushion as I am a City fan and know how we can take defeat from the jaws of victory. At 1-1 I let out a short but loud groan, covering my face with a pillow as not to wake up the napping kid or risk the ire of my wife.

At 1-2, the tears came. I was angry at myself for thinking City would ever bring me happiness again. I was angry for letting hope cure my Cityitis. I left the TV on and took a walk around the upstairs hall, admonishing myself for being so stupid.

The tears were wiped away as I moved the chair, took off my t-shirt and put another one on, hoping it might bring us some luck. The equaliser was greeted in the same way Kevin Horlock’s first goal against Gillingham at Wembley was greeted. Silence. Typical City. No time left, and they just gave us a taste of what might have been. Why are City so cruel?

Two minutes left, I knew it was over. So when the winner went in, the house shook. My wife might give me a telling off for waking up the kids from their nap, but this was what I had waited my whole life for.

I ran around like a lunatic, tears in my eyes, thinking of all my City mates around the world. I opened a bottle of bubbly while singing Blue Moon (quite a feat for someone with Cerebral Palsy! Video of this on YouTube soon!) and all the longing, wishing and bitterness was washed away.

So to all my fellow Blues around the world, let’s enjoy this. Let’s celebrate. But let’s stay Blues and not turn into gloating Rags. We’re so much better than they are and now we have what they said we never would.

Best Blue wishes from Miami.

Benjamin Bloom – bennyblue <bennyblue25(at)yahoo.com>

ARTICLE: WE’RE NOT REALLY HERE

Well we finally did it. It’s Monday afternoon now and I still can’t believe it. I keep thinking the FA will find some excuse to strip us of the title or Platini will invoke some new rule to ban us. I trawl the Internet but can’t find anything so, it must be true, City are the champions.

Being used to all manner of superstitions over the years, for some reason I thought that if I opened up MCIVTA I would somehow jinx our run in. I stopped reading the newsletters from around late March and have now only just finished reading them. It’s very interesting seeing the comments in hindsight. Some were spot on and some wide of the mark, in fact a good cross section of what it is like to be a City fan.

I also decided that I couldn’t watch the QPR game with anyone else, I would not have been able to take the jibes of “Typical City” etc. if we had lost, so I watched it at home hiding from behind the sofa. Oh my God, talk about a roller-coaster ride of my emotions. This was the craziest way to win a title but being City fans I suppose we would not have it any other way. Things taste so much sweeter if you really have to work for them.

Most touching thing of the whole occasion were the numerous messages of congratulations from friends and colleagues who knew how much it meant to me.

Thank you City, Roberto and our magnificent owners for making me a very happy and tearful Blue today.

Rhys Rowlands <rhysrowlands(at)hotmail.com>

ARTICLE: FINALE

Was there ever any doubt?

I didn’t know it was possible for a human being to experience such a wide range of emotions in such a brief period of time!

I opened a can of Boddingtons to celebrate Zab’s Championship winner and then sat there frozen, near full beer in hand as QPR scored their two goals and City’s title hopes were on the verge of disintegration. Watching QPR park their 10 players on the goal line during those last 20 minutes, watching City fans crying in disbelief as the Championship was stolen away… and to watch Dzeko and Balotelli enter the game and steal it back in those memorable final five minutes of extra time (thank you Joey Barton!).

Paul Dickov used to lay title to City’s most important ever goal with his tying effort against Gillingham. Sorry Paul lad but Sergio Agüero just topped you. What a goal, what a final five minutes.

You need to invest in a defibrillator to support this team, but would we have wanted it any other way? Just to go out and maul QPR wouldn’t have been any fun but to watch the look on Fergie’s face when the Rags realized what City had done was priceless!

Again, how timely was it that two players, Dzeko and Balotelli, virtually abandoned by Mancini, should come through in the clutch. Hey, give these guys a chance and you don’t need any more expensive additions to the club.

March 13th 2012 wasn’t just the day a team ended a 44-year hiatus to win the English Premier League title. It was also the day a dynasty was confirmed – one that will dominate English, European and world football for many years to come.

Now to finish off that Boddingtons, and a few more as well!

P.S. Just watched the tunnel cam footage of Sunday’s game with Barton meeting all his City buds, shaking hands and backslapping them. Then he goes out and tries to attack the entire team… what a psycho! Hope the FA throws the book at him.

Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith.sharp(at)hotmail.com>

ARTICLE: CITY vs. QPR

Last time we won it I was 11 and considered too young to go to Maine Road by my mean dad. Now I am 55 and live in Dallas, Texas. I watched the game by my lonesome, texting friends and calling my brother back in Manchester, who also could not get a ticket to save his life.

Don’t feel too bad, at least we won the darn thing.

My wife said my head was going to explode. I think it did!

Peter a.k.a. Cityfan Hyman <psh4257(at)hotmail.com>

ARTICLE: TRYING TO UNDERSTAND

I truly defy any non-long-standing City fan to really understand what Sunday meant for those of us who have suffered the slings and arrows of the outrageous City fortunes over the years.

From the highs (and there haven’t been many) to the lows (of Halifax, Shrewsbury… the list would go on if I had the time and inclination) – Typical City has proven to be a challenge so hard to cope with at times.

Facing possibly the most disappointing twist in the tail… the most frustrating dollop of unfairness – I growled at my 8 year old son who professes to be a United fan – I was harsh to a boy who couldn’t possibly comprehend what defeat might mean to his dad. Yes, I was ultimately ashamed – but it was a growl born of years of… I wont say humiliation – no – it’s only a game after all – but we all know just how City have had a way of getting under your skin, of meaning something to you each and every time they play – and to see one more disappointment would have been just so very cruel.

As it is – the boy can rest easy.

His dad has a smile that will stay in place for days to come, he’ll probably be allowed more chocolate than is good for him over the days to come, he’ll be indulged for his peer-induced United failings… but in return he’ll get so very tired of the constant humming of Blue Moon… 🙂

Gareth Hardman <gareth.hardman(at)three.co.uk>

ARTICLE: THE GREATEST DAY IN MCFC HISTORY

My synopsis on the greatest day in the history of Manchester City Football Club.

However, for the City fans among you I hope to generate enough stories in the close season to keep things simmering throughout the summer.

http://www.mcfcforum.com/latest-news/241-sunday-thoughts-never-in-doubt

David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)btinternet.com>

ARTICLE: MANCINI MOMENTS

Further to my post last week, I am so glad I took my sofa to hide behind. Never was it needed so much. At 90 minutes I was already making up my replies to the Reds in my golf club who are never particularly gracious when things go against us.

After 94 minutes I had a fantastic “Gillingham” moment being hugged and kissed by many lovely fellow long-suffering Blues, most of them I have to say, with tears in their eyes.

What a day!
What a season!
What a feeling!

Pity that our old friend JB had to kick off and ruin his own chances and his team’s chances of a future – but hey, what did we expect of him? What a clown/ idiot/ prat.

I hope all the MCIVTA family who watched on pub tellys around the world will regale us with tales of the atmosphere created at those venues.

I could not believe seeing people leaving the ground at 89 minutes – another Gillingham moment.

Did you see the quote from Fergie?

“City had an advantage playing on after we had finished our match”

What planet was he on when he said this? Did he think that all the City players had earphones and were tuned into Radio 5?

Anyway – “Fergie time” will henceforth be known as “Mancini moments”! Anyone got any better ideas? Roll on August – I can’t wait.

Chris Ryder <chrisryder62(at)googlemail.com>

ARTICLE: WHERE WERE YOU IN ’68?

In ’68 Julie was Johnny’s date…

‘The Sixteens’ – The Sweet

Being too young to remember, I don’t know where I was 44 years ago when we last won the title but, God-willing, none of us will ever forget the unbelievable, magnificent day which was 13/5/12.

Holy Moses, where do I even start? Well, I was lucky enough to have been there and yes I did stay to the end, although the champers we had ordered up in the Legends Lounge at half-time was cancelled and then hurriedly reordered right at the last moment.

I’m not going to attempt an insightful match report simply because so much of the details have been swallowed up in the fog of my emotional turmoil throughout. I will say, though, that watching it again today on Sky, we had many more clear-cut chances in the second-half than I had noticed at the time. I was at the far end and from where I stood it looked even grimmer than it actually was for the full 45 before injury-time.

Let’s not kid ourselves, this was not a great performance but who cares? It seemed we were too dependent on high crosses seeking out two small front men or else attempts to walk the ball through and packed and resolute defence. As if this wasn’t bad enough, we then seemed to run out of ideas and rely on highly optimistic, speculative long shots.

Our first solid chance in the match may well have had a part to play in our first goal though: Silva smashed a low near-post shot that clearly hurt the right hand of Paddy Kenny, and there was a distinctly weak looking attempt to stop the less-than blistering shot which netted Zab his first goal of the season. Magic!

We’d got the all-important breakthrough, just a few minutes prior to the break. Then a major worry, Yaya limping off, and thoughts that if QPR get one then we might struggle. As it happened, we had less time than any of us could have expected for said equaliser. Lescott did a Savic, Cissé capitalised. Not in the script!

The next major incident was the Barton meltdown. Clearly the linesman made the right decision, but how he saw across all those bodies to the far side of the offender I’ll never know. Thank Heavens he did! Thankfully also, neither Sergio nor Vincent took the bait from that vile footballer, and professionally refused to respond. One might wonder what Balotelli might have reacted with.

Ten men to break down, things start looking good again, surely now… oh wait, a QPR break and with only their third chance of the match, Traore feeds Mackie for their second goal. Definitely not in the script!

It’s huff and puff, possession by the van load, a handful of genuine opportunities but no end product. At around 87 minutes I turned to one of the lads I went with and said simply “It’s gone hasn’t it?” to which I got an inconsolable nod and shrug for a reply. This feeling was hardly lessened as the stadium clock hit the 90 minute mark and went off but, hang on, is it hope springs eternal or a case of too little, too late?

Either way, Dzeko has thundered in one of the very few decent corners we’d managed all day. A semi-celebration and urgency heightened knowing it’s down to seconds. Then the unthinkable, unbelievable, unimaginable moment when Mario sets up Agüero to clear a challenge that could have been a penalty (and could you have imagined the tension of waiting for that to be taken?) and lethally scorch the back of the net and give me hands-down, not-even-in-question, the greatest, most euphoric, ever sporting moment in my entire life!

I’ve never hugged so many strangers one after another!

Then just the slight worry of QPR having one last chance to upset the sudden party but they were safe and gave the ball up and, with said ball at the feet of Joe Hart, who just minutes earlier had been running round in circles like a mad man, Mike Dean blew his whistle and the surreal feeling of it all having come to fruition, all that worry, those sleepless nights and knotted stomachs all now seemingly worth every single minute.

Oh hellish, hellish day so instantly turned glorious beyond the wildest of dreams!

That’s City, I suppose!

For us it was the unbridled joy of the post-match celebrations and then getting well tucked into the aforementioned shampoo. Then into a taxi, down to Shambles Square and Deansgate; filled with Blue singing and drinking our hearts away.

Only this morning had it fully sunk in with me – the way it had gone yesterday I was half expecting to wake up and it still be Sunday morning. Watching it on the news this morning I finally allowed myself the tears which many others had shed on the day.

Cheers, best and bless you all, I just love the world right now.

Steven O’Brien <bodsnvimto(at)googlemail.com>

ARTICLE: 2 DAYS ON…

… and I still can’t believe it. No, even as I write this, I still can’t believe it. Did that really happen?

I can still see ‘MC 1 QPR 2 90 mins’ like an image destined to haunt me forever!

I could hear my late dad saying in my head as despair surrounded me “Son, I’ve watched them since 1946, they’ve never changed”. I admit – as I am sure many others did to their own footballing gods – I sent a prayer up to Dad at 90 minutes, a prayer for 2 goals, 1 for us, 1 for Sunderland. Our prayers were answered, albeit the 2 came for us. Much, much sweeter and now I see Kun’s right foot, with one swing, dispatching the Red peril and heralding a new dawn. Wow, wow, wow.

Hang on…? No, I still can’t believe it.

If someone had said 2 years ago “within 2 years you will have won both the FA Cup and the Premier League”… just read that over and over and think about where we are and where we have come from and what we have achieved. Pause… think… smile… shout it out… Champions!

To the doubters, firstly those from within, I really don’t want in thistime of rejoicing to start having a go at others, especially fellow Blues,so I have bitten my lip for weeks. Now the job is done, I want those people(without naming individuals) to dig out MCIVTA from about 10 editions ago,and to those calling for Mancini’s head, to those having a go at the teamwhen we went 8 points behind, shame on you.

There is not a single team out there that will not have a tough time at some point in the season. That will have dips in form and performance, look at what happened over the road on the run in! Also, look over the road for what it means to have continuity, unity and belief.

I am not saying we will all be happy or successful all of the time, this is City of course, but into context please everyone. 1999 we celebrated injury time goals to get out of the 3rd tier. 2012 to win the PL. I was in the club shop before the game reading the “achievements wall” going up the stairs, almost cringing as you read back what we did to our “successful” managers. Learn the lesson, through good times and bad. Long live stability, long live unity, long live Mancini.

To those knockers on the outside. Those that in the same breath congratulate us, add “a title well bought”, well 12 months ago “money couldn’t buy a team” they all said, so make your minds up. This was a triumph yes enabled by money but still crafted, created and delivered by people with vision, drive, ambition and inner belief.

Bob Wilson (who does get a lot of respect although clearly had his bitter Arsenal hat on) expressed a concern on 5 Live that we’d become like Scotland, with only 2 teams capable of winning. Er, Bob… aren’t we trying to break exactly that mould, where the 2 big spenders of the last 20 years, apart from the odd 2 blips, have won every PL? That is Scotland, so long live variety and a better more open league. You’d think sometimes the media et al just want the same team winning every year the way they queued up at times to have a go at us. Hmmm, maybe they do. Well sorry folks, we are now at the party and we’ll leave late.

This summer will be fascinating. How does he improve the squad even further, who’s in, who’s out, getting ready for Wembley in August again and the new campaign in England and in Europe. Magnificent Vincent summed it up on MOTD: I know we should be celebrating the title now, but we are already so excited about and can’t wait for next season to begin. We now have a team, a club and a manager to be proud of, and one people are now starting to notice.

My final point of reflection here is us, the fans. It has been well documented that we have endured decades of living in the shadows, of underachievement, of failure, of false dawns, of trips to the back of beyond. We have never deserted our team (take note Geordies!), never turned our backs, maintained our dignity, pride, sense of humour and love for City. I know every fan believes their supporters are unique, but we really really are. The reward is ours, we deserve it! The best!

Have a great summer to all Blues (even the knockers) and bring on next season. So excited.

Hang on…? Yes, I believe!

P.S. I am sure everybody has been reading every printed word over the last 2 days, listening to every broadcast, watching every newsreel. I have anyway. And this was my favourite piece, a few choice words that summed it up perfectly.

“If the Premier League lasts for a thousand more years there will never be a day like Sunday 13 May 2012… Incredible, extraordinary, amazing, astounding, oh what’s the point! No superlative will do justice to what unfolded at the Etihad Stadium at roughly 5pm last night… the City players went potty; the City fans went potty; the City bench went potty; come to think of it, even the Rangers bench went potty. It was that sort of moment, one that children not yet born will be hearing about from their grandparents in 50 years’ time.”

Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/football/premier-league/46894/man-citys-three-minute-heroes-wipe-grin-fergies-face

Michael Sokol <mike.sokol(at)btinternet.com>

ARTICLE: THE BIG LEWINSKY

SAF stars in the re-make of the cult film (The Big Lebowski) with the three new elements of being a suspense, a thriller and painful to watch. Will the heroes come good? Will the pantomime villain get his comeuppance? Would the film have its familiar arc, with it all going smoothly then going horribly wrong? A smoking gun (flare) and a Hitchcock twist at the end?

As always, in every single one of the great man’s suspense thrillers, the man himself, Hitchcock, makes a small but noticeable cameo appearance before the last minute twist.

Only this time it was QPR’s goalkeeping coach, Kevin Hitchcock, who ran down the pitch to tell the QPR players they were safe with 3 minutes to go.

Then the shattered QPR players relaxed and scarcely had the will to defend the corner, for Dzeko to head home the equaliser and then Agüero provided the shot that was heard around the globe. Gooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll Seeeeeerrrrrrrrrrgiioooooooooo as it was announced on Spanish TV.

QPR had given up the ghost…

Possibly this is the same ghost that SAF predicted that would haunt City for years to come if they were to lose the title, we’ll never know; perhaps it was Casper (Schmeichel) the ghost?

The crestfallen Sir Alex of Baconchops, with a wry smile on his face, trying desperately hard to hide his pain, congratulated “his neighbours” (he could not even utter the words Manchester City so neighbours we are) on a victory of the Premier League and as a final backdrop to the closing credits, 1000’s of Sunderland fans did the Poznan as a mock tribute.

SAF had blown it big time; 8 points clear he now realises he has blown it in “Lewinsky” proportions…

In cinemas near you: SAF stars in The Big Lewinsky…

Philip Lines <philipjlines(at)hotmail.com>

AND FINALLY…

Today there isn’t an ‘AND FINALLY’

Just a ‘NEW START’ for the ‘TYPICAL CITY’

The team that fights to the end, never gives up…

and…

… wins the League, in Fergie-time!

Phil Alcock <philipalcock(at)yahoo.co.uk>

RESULTS AND TABLE

13 May 2012

Chelsea               2 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      40,742
Everton               3 - 1  Newcastle United      39,517
Manchester City       3 - 2  Queens Park Rangers   48,000
Norwich City          2 - 0  Aston Villa           26,803
Stoke City            2 - 2  Bolton Wanderers      27,789
Sunderland            0 - 1  Manchester United     46,452
Swansea City          1 - 0  Liverpool             20,605
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 0  Fulham                36,256
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 3  Arsenal               26,358
Wigan Athletic        3 - 2  Wolverhampton Wndrs   21,986

Final League table

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 38 18  1  0 55 12 10  4  5 38 17 28  5  5  93  29  64  89
 2 Manchester Utd  38 15  2  2 52 19 13  3  3 37 14 28  5  5  89  33  56  89
 3 Arsenal         38 12  4  3 39 17  9  3  7 35 32 21  7 10  74  49  25  70
 4 Tottenham H.    38 13  3  3 39 17  7  6  6 27 24 20  9  9  66  41  25  69
 5 Newcastle Utd   38 11  5  3 29 17  8  3  8 27 34 19  8 11  56  51   5  65
 6 Chelsea         38 12  3  4 41 24  6  7  6 24 22 18 10 10  65  46  19  64
 7 Everton         38 10  3  6 28 15  5  8  6 22 25 15 11 12  50  40  10  56
 8 Liverpool       38  6  9  4 24 16  8  1 10 23 24 14 10 14  47  40   7  52
 9 Fulham          38 10  5  4 36 26  4  5 10 12 25 14 10 14  48  51  -3  52
10 West Brom A.    38  6  3 10 21 22  7  5  7 24 30 13  8 17  45  52  -7  47
11 Swansea City    38  8  7  4 27 18  4  4 11 17 33 12 11 15  44  51  -7  47
12 Norwich City    38  7  6  6 28 30  5  5  9 24 36 12 11 15  52  66 -14  47
13 Sunderland      38  7  7  5 26 17  4  5 10 19 29 11 12 15  45  46  -1  45
14 Stoke City      38  7  8  4 25 20  4  4 11 11 33 11 12 15  36  53 -17  45
15 Wigan Athletic  38  5  7  7 22 27  6  3 10 20 35 11 10 17  42  62 -20  43
16 Aston Villa     38  4  7  8 20 25  3 10  6 17 28  7 17 14  37  53 -16  38
17 QPR             38  7  5  7 24 25  3  2 14 19 41 10  7 21  43  66 -23  37
18 Bolton Wndrs    38  4  4 11 23 39  6  2 11 23 38 10  6 22  46  77 -31  36
19 Blackburn R.    38  6  1 12 26 33  2  6 11 22 45  8  7 23  48  78 -30  31
20 Wolves          38  3  3 13 19 43  2  7 10 21 39  5 10 23  40  82 -42  25

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 #1825

2012/05/16

Editor:


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest