Newsletter #1826

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Do you know it’s tough being the Champions of England (nice phrase isn’t it?). For example, your poor Ed has the dilemma of working out the running order of articles for MCIVTA.

Previously an uncomplicated task: match views, articles, requests, results and table, acknowledgements, links. Simples!

However, since becoming Champions of England (I love it!) we have been deluged at MCIVTA Towers with a series of fantastic articles all worthy of ‘Headline’ status. The solution: using the timeline in my inbox of when articles have been received! I know, a cop out, but I think in itself shows our evolving mind-sets since Super Sunday.

Mind-sets which are already looking forward with comment on Micah’s astonishing exclusion from the European Championships and a look at Financial Fair Play.

Finally, oh yes, we are Champions of England! Woo Hoo!

P.S. Thanks to Ultan McGill for pointing out Villa Park is the venue for the Community Shield.

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

ARTICLE: A BIG THANK YOU

I just want to say how proud I am to be a City fan and to have the privilege of saying “Manchester City are the Champions of the Premier League”. We didn’t make it easy for ourselves and in true City fashion we nearly shot ourselves in the foot, but the players never gave up hope and the desire to win was thrilling to watch – even though I aged another 10 years in the process!

What a special day on the Sunday with lots of nice touches by the club. Especially to allow Mike Summerbee and Tony Book deliver the Premier League trophy to the main stage, like when we won the FA Cup last year!

I also want to thank the players for making this the best season in my life, all the staff at MCFC and also Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Khaldoon Al Mubarak whose loyal support has made all this possible.

I look forward to watching the boys in blue wearing those gold Premier League badges next season, CTWD.

P.S. I don’t want to get all “sanctimonious” about this but I’m pretty disappointed again with Carlos Tévez holding up the RIP Fergie banner during the Champions’ parade of the Premier League trophy. After all of the good publicity we have over the last few days this is the last thing our club would have expected. City fans will understand where it will have come from; where Taggart said ManUre will never be underdogs in the city during his time at that club but it’s the wider audience that will think we are crass and disrespectful. I would guess that the other players would find it just as uncomfortable as I do too?

I hope this just passes by and is now gift wrap in local chip shops. The club did the right thing and apologised immediately and the Tévez camp quickly said it was a silly mistake. To be fair $kysports had to broadcast the footage but didn’t make a big deal out of it. Maybe I worry too much?

Steven Ford <ste.ford(at)blueyonder.co.uk>

ARTICLE: In the Irish Pub – Fahy’s, Schiedam-Holland, last Sunday

I can assure you that I have deliberately omitted any possible form of slander to other parties, and we (City) only come out with credit. As I said earlier, you are going to have a deluge of weird and wonderful stories after last weekend, but I want to establish a precedent.

For the benefit of my son’s (Brendan and Sean) football club in Holland, VVGZ, I penned my account of Sunday afternoon for their website.

Dedicated to all our Dutch readers, and the expanding Lyons clan in Holland:


Lets wat ik moet delen met mijn familie en vrienden bij VVGZ.

Ik kon niet beschrijven wat ik gisteren allemaal meemaakte, maar ik vind het wel het proberen waard!

Scene: Ierse Pub Fahy’s-Schiedam
Ambience hoofdzakelijk van Engels en Ierse afkomst werkzaam in het Schiedamse Offshore industrie.

Plot:
City – QPR, City moest United’s uitslag matchen of verbeteren. City lag voor op doelsaldo t.o.v. United
QPR moest Bolton (elders) uitslag evenaren om Premier League status te verlengen.
Sunderland – United, Sunderland had niets om voor te spelen.
United moest winnen en hopen op een bananenschil onder City.

Script in stapsgewijs:

Steeds zenuwachtiger vooraf,
16.00 wedstrijd begint
In de put United voor,
in de lift City voor,
in de put City gelijk,
dieper in de put City achter,
heel diep in de put 90 minuten naderde City nog steeds achter en City moest winnen.
Het geluid van de United supporters in de pub werd steeds luidruchtiger en ik kreeg steeds meer pinda’s tegen me kop gegooid.
2de minuut van de 5 minuten blessuretijd City gelijk (te weinig te laat?).
4de minuut van de 5, City voor, en ik dacht dat mijn hart barste en mijn kop ontplofte.

Mijn zoon (Sean, haast in tranen een paar minuten eerder) en ik keihard dansen.
De neutralen allemaal glimlachen, en de rest van het publiek in een staat van schok met verwarde blikken, en compleet stilte heerste rondom die United TV scherm.
Ik kon nog steeds niet beseffen wat er gisteren allemaal gebeurden, maar het voelt nog altijd erg goed.
Schijnt, achteraf dat het niet helemaal in een waas voorbij is gegaan, want nu had ik niets te vertellen!

Het lucht enorm op, en behalve in de gang van zaken betreft VVGZ (licht blauw), Blauw moet altijd heersen over rood.

P.S. I can follow up with an English translation for the next issue (ED – Please do Dave!).

Blue Moon over Holland too!

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

ARTICLE: THE BIG DAY

Having read many great articles over the years I thought the time is now right that I contributed to your excellent e-publication.

Having seen most of the ups and downs of our beloved team over the past 30 odd years I consider myself a true Blue but not to the extent that I have been to as many games as I probably should have while I was younger and in the UK. I moved to Saudi Arabia through my company in 2004; at that time I was sick of the weather and scraping by trying to bring a family up on rubbish wages. I kept my season ticket for the first two years out here but eventually gave it up deciding it was too expensive to pay all that money to see 1 maybe 2 games a season.

The timing of giving the season ticket up coincided with the arrival of Sinatra (or whatever his name was) who in my opinion laid the foundations for the next phase of our development with (to me ironically) the neighbours of Saudi Arabia. Abu Dhabi and their Sheikh Mansour, who for reasons previously documented, decided to bankroll a revolution in the English footballing world and chose Manchester City as the beneficiaries of their seemingly limitless wealth.

So from a small boy watching us lose to Wolves at the 1974 League Cup final (I never made the 1976 final), I found myself in 2012 stuck in Riyadh and City were 1 game away from winning the Premier League. All week I was undecided what to do. I had two choices, my company have a Sport facility where all of the Premier League games are shown, so should I go there, or should I watch the match from behind the settee in my villa (like the old Dr Who days) with the remote control readily to hand, just in case ‘Typical City’ turn up and our dreams turn into nightmares?

If it was the latter settee nightmare scenario, I could quickly turn the TV over to Criminal Minds or CSI (totty) Miami and forget what was transpiring live in Manchester. A week of torment followed the Newcastle game: I was being pressured to go to the Sports facility by fellow Riyadh-based Blues and my wife, but it just didn’t seem right. Then on Friday 11th May (my son’s 18th birthday) clarity came calling and I decided I wanted to be with my mates in the UK. I asked the wife, my manager and checked to see flight availability… all gave a thumbs up so I was quickly Manchester-bound on a very quiet BA flight.

On reflection there were two reasons for the decision to go home. Firstly, if we lost I wanted to draw on the strength of my mates and have the mutual support enjoyed by other victims of serious crimes or atrocities. Secondly, if we did manage to win the title I wanted to be with the guys who I had been through the lows and the not so highs with over what has been nearly a lifetime.

The big day arrived. Since Saudi is 2 hours ahead of the UK, my body clock is firmly set in Saudi time and I had been wide awake since the sun came through my Mum’s flat window in Eccles. I lay in bed mulling things over on how City were going to break down QPR defence and how Sunderland would actually beat ManUre.

As you can see at this point, all these musings were very positive. I enjoyed Mum’s full English breakfast and then the nerves started. My lifelong friend and City fan (Fynny) sent a text at 8am saying he was ready; we had previously agreed to meet at 11:00 in the Eccles Cross Pub right opposite the tram station in Eccles. I told him I was also ready, so we agreed to bring the meeting time forward to 9:30. I arrived in the pub at 9:15 and gratefully took my first sip of Stella Artois to pass my lips in nearly two weeks. At this point I have to thank that wonderful brew for dulling some pretty painful footballing experiences over the years watching both City and England.

I won’t bore you with the details of how we got to Mary D’s. but the place was packed by the time we arrived just after 1200; the DJ was doing an excellent job of winding the City fans into a footy fan frenzy. As KO time drew closer we slowly positioned ourselves into, in Fynny’s words, “our lucky spot” and watched the clock tick agonisingly slowly towards 3 o’clock.

At five past three we were still watching speedway or basketball (I can’t remember as my mind was in full panic mode!). For some reason, the owner of Mary D’s doesn’t have the full Sky Sports package and relies on some dodgy UAE package that comes on line just as the game is kicking off. Mary D’s must take a fortune in cash from City fans; they deserve better treatment than this, especially on such a big occasion… gripe over! Some unseen person finally found the correct channel and we settled down as best we could to watch the game of a lifetime, but alarm bells were ringing. Was this delay a bad omen for us and were we going to shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot again?

The match will be documented by MCIVTA writers far more eloquent than me, so I will leave it to them to craft the appropriate words for such a momentous match. I want to finish my little tale by saying how proud I am of all the City fans who have stuck with our team through thin and thinner.

The dark side of Manchester are already saying we have a long way to go before we match their success… they still miss the point! We do not follow City for their success; we follow City because it is in our blood any success is just a bonus. On a personal note, the look on my son’s face as Agüero scored on Sunday will be forever etched into my brain, and it has made the journey all worthwhile. However, if the goal had never come and we didn’t win the League, we would have been down this week for sure, but come August we would have been ready to continue the journey, regardless of whether we were Champions or not.

That said, I will not say no to 19 more league titles on the trot.

Craig Jevons.<craigjevons(at)yahoo.com>

ARTICLE: THE GREATEST DAY

Like many I had the most emotional and (eventually!) the greatest day of my City supporting life (that began in 1967 incidentally) on Sunday.

Hope you will enjoy watching these clips from around the world and they include QPR fans at our stadium cheering our goals and Sunderland fans doing the same at the final whistle of their game with United.

The best bit though?

Look at the clip towards the bottom of the list of “best fans’ reactions to the goals”! They sum up the emotion of the day on both sides of the Manchester fence. Priceless!

http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/the-best-commentary-to-sergio-agueros-title-winner-for-manchester-city-v-qpr/

Mike Roberts <mikegroberts(at)hotmail.com>

ARTICLE: YOUR CLAIM TO FAME

Dear Mr. A,

I do hope your realise you are the first ever editor of MCIVTA to be in charge of a Premier League winning team.

Probably a good time to ask young Ashley for a rise.

I got home early Sunday afternoon and totally ceased communication with the outside world so I could watch Match of the Day “live” in the evening.

Words cannot begin to describe it really as you and lots and lots of others know.

A little aside, we live in Norfolk now and I went out for a walk on the Monday after the game and there was a bloke walking towards me wearing a Man City bobble hat and whilst I didn’t know the guy from Adam I stopped him and discussed the game and when I told him I was at Newcastle when they last won the League he simply shook my hand.

There, that shows my age a bit.

Thanks very much for all your efforts although obviously as the team is doing so well you are now the official lucky mascot and have a job for life.

(Ed – Thanks John, it’s just a good job I’m behind the keyboard and not on the pitch, I’d have sliced Agüero’s shot I just know it!)

John <shearer4446(at)btinternet.com>

ARTICLE: PHEW AND WOW!

Well, who’d have thought it – a goal down going into stoppage time and we won! Just like Wembley all over again. I’m sure there will be a bumper set of contributions to this week’s edition so I won’t dwell on the game itself but highlight what I think are some of the key changes this season.

Firstly, we’ve learned how to score with headers – last season I think we got 3 or 4, this year it’s three times that number. Related to this is an improvement in our ability to score from corners/free-kicks; how crucial has that been (Villa and Wigan away, United at home)? It’s amazing how often key games are not won by silky football but by scoring from set-pieces. Lastly that crucial ability to grind out late goals that change the result rather than enhance the scoreline – Chelsea, Newcastle, QPR, and Sunderland all come to mind. A trait that all Champions have and hopefully we’ve now acquired.

I also have to say that the key moment may have not been in a Premier League game – if Sporting’s ‘keeper hadn’t saved from Joe Hart in the dying seconds in the Europa League, I don’t think we’d be Champions. A poisonous competition as far as League placings are concerned, please next season, finish first, second or even fourth in the group stages. Just not third (for the record, one of Mario’s more positive acts in my book was getting sent off in last season’s Europa League, because I don’t think we would have beaten United in the FA Cup had it been sandwiched in between Europa League games).

(ED – both this season and last were transformed the moment we were knocked out of the Europa League, not a coincidence)

Fantastic, but I’m completely emotionally drained – I think I need to lie down for the summer.

A day of days, one that will live me till my dying days, even if we go on to win many more trophies.

Alastair Hayes <hayesa1(at)sky.com>

ARTICLE: MICAH

Now that we are Champions, don’t we get special privileges?

Such as the right to point out how totally inane it is to go to Euro 2012 without the (our!) totally magnificent Micah Richards?

Losers (as winners we naturally know these things)!

Alan Hallsworth <a_hallsworth(at)btinternet.com>

ARTICLE: I’M GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS

Like everyone else, my Sunday last week was a tangle of nerves and, until very late in the day, anguish. Like a lot of other folk I cried like a baby when the final whistle went. I still can’t hear the clip of that goal without getting something in my eye. I’m still singing “City, we are City, we are City from Maine Road” in my head at random times.

I saw a good few games during the season we last won this League; as a nipper standing in the Kippax with my dad. Over the years I’ve moved away from Longsight but I can take the pulse of City through this august organ – somewhere I probably have the “specials” for the departure of each of the many managers we’ve ripped through.

I’ve contributed now and again; in 1999 when my dad died, this was a place to share with the wider Blue family and I’ve talked about my daughter and I watching the Wembley game in a pub in Kent. She and I saw games at Maine Road where we repulsed the might of Lincoln City and the power of Wycombe Wanderers.

She’s grown now and studying in Manchester. She’s Blue of course and tweeted pictures from the parade. I hope that she doesn’t have to wait as long to see us reach these heights again as I have. To use a line that was very popular around here some years ago… “I think we’ve turned a corner!”

Thanks for keeping the electronic presses turning for MCIVTA.

CTID, Nigel Gibson <nog(at)nogbad.co.uk>

ARTICLE: EDIN DZEKO

Just a thought from the other side of the world.

I recorded the match, but being superstitious I didn’t watch the game live. I’ve enjoyed it several times since, at least the last five minutes, thank you Joey.

I wonder now if Roberto Mancini will have second thoughts about jettisoning Dzeko? In the games I’ve watched when he played I have always thought that, though a bit slow, he reads the game well and tracks back to help in defence.

With so many short players up front we have seen what taller players in Kompany and now Dzeko can do when needed.

Is there any tall player on the radar to replace him?

P.S. I realise Balotelli is pretty tall.

Stuart Grundy, Auckland NZ <grundyjs(at)gmail.com>

ARTICLE: CITY

Thought I’d savour the moment a few more days before rationally trying to explain the irrational. City. Manchester City. Premier League Champions. The best fans, the best club, the best colours and now the best there is!

I’m an ex-pat Australian working in Hong Kong and one of the benefits down here is, if you subscribe to the right cable, you’re guaranteed of watching your club at a sensible time. Back in Oz, it’s Australian Rules overload, and Premier League at midnight, but in Hong Kong, we get the matches late evening, so dinner, a few ales and you’re ready. On Saturday, 12th May, I was. In front of the Samsung by 22:00, fantastic to see the support and sad to see the ex-City boys SWP and Onuoha in the hoops, but I guess that’s football. Never counted JB as real City anyway and it was only yesterday that it was “In Sparky We Trust”.

Nervous start, all in their half, and with 8 at the back, it was always going to be a grind with a risk of getting caught on the break, but Zab’s goal settled the nerves before we could get too panicky. Thought losing Yaya could come back to haunt us, but it is QPR after all, and they’re at our place. Reflections during half-time: getting tired, should I go to bed ’cause we’re safe now? Nah, stick it out until we’re 2 up, QPR will get found out and class will tell. Then they scored. Ouch, but we’ll hit back. Enough said about the sending-off and the image of big Micah assisting him out of harm’s way remains with me one of the more memorable images of the day.

Then they scored again. By this time, I was on my own trying to barrack loudly as quietly as I could, and memories of a certain 80’s Tottenham vs. City FA Cup game came flooding back. All the other times that we’ve shot ourselves in the foot. Circling the lounge room on the 47th floor, 6,000 km from my ancestral home and 10,000 km from the spiritual home, 2-1 down and the clock ticking. QPR defending grimly, no way we’ll get through their 8-man press, and then it’s Dzeko! He’s been in my Fantasy League most of the season, but I gave up on him at the end. Never again!

Ball goes back, 2 minutes left, will we see Joe Hart move up into the box? All or nothing now… and then it’s Balotelli to Agüero, a wall of players, a strike at 23:55 HKST, and I’m running around the room punching the air, screaming without sound, no texts, no Tweets, no SMS, just the pure joy of the miracle that never happens to us. Still can’t believe we did it, don’t care if it took billions, happy to have the best of the Spaniards, the Argentinians, the Ivory Coast, the French, the Serbs, the Bosnian, the Dutch, the Italians, the Belgians, and of course, the English. Vince Kompany, you are a legend. Mario, Edin, and Carlos, thanks for the memories don’t think we’ll see you with us again.

Thank you, Roberto Mancini, for being Roberto Mancini.

Mitch Geall <geall(at)netvigator.com>

ARTICLE: CHAMPIONS

Unlike one of the contributors to MCIVTA 1825 I can remember where I was 44 years ago. I was mopping the floor of the Co-Op greengrocers in Middleton.

I was there because the other schoolboy who worked on Saturdays was a Red and we had a deal that if our team was at home we got the afternoon of to go to the match. I was keeping my eye on the butcher who had a transistor in his back room and was a Red so any signs of joy from him would be a bad sign. He spent the last part of the afternoon looking miserable and came and told me that City had won while I was mopping up just before closing.

I saw that children were in the Etihad last weekend and I have decided to contact the NSPCC to complain about City and what they put those kids through.

I myself went from black despair, imagining the outpourings of scorn from everywhere Red to my brain exploding from joy to murderous rage that they had tortured us again in a way that would qualify as a war crime in any court in the world.

I have calmed down to a pleasant numbness and smile vaguely when my Dutch colleagues congratulate me.

Here is my thousand dollar question: why after 26 managers, literally hundreds of players, a new stadium and an injection of cash that beggars belief, has nothing changed? Except the fact that we won!

How is it possible that many football clubs, not just City, have a characteristic identity that allows you to say Typical City or Spurs or Rochdale?

Is it the fans? Is the credit/blame ours? How does it work?

Theories please to MCIVTA.

Ian Nixon <i.nixon(at)upcmail.nl>

ARTICLE: CHAMP16NS!

When I started supporting City in 1976 I was a naive little 10-year old who thought they would win the League and all the Cups year-after-year. This was very quickly knocked out of me as it became obvious that if it could go wrong it would go wrong big style with City!

Not on Sunday it didn’t (although it wasn’t going to plan for large chunks of it) and now, even on Thursday, I am still buzzing about it.

For me, there were some fantastic personal moments that, if it was possible, made it even more special (on top of all the obvious stuff of the goal, beating ManUre in Fergie Time etc.).

  1. My youngest son, 15, had travelled up as usual with me from Poole in Dorset and when we were 2-1 down his face showed such despair (despair that meant he would once again be back at school fighting his corner as the only Blue in the playground with all the usual ManUre supporters who have never been to a game) and to see that replaced with unrivalled elation when Agüero scored will fill me with joy and pride all my days.
  2. To receive a text from my wife – an Arsenal armchair fan that doesn’t understand what the attraction with City is – that said “Yessssssssss!!!!!!! You did it and I am crying!”
  3. To receive a call from my eldest son who was watching and cheering us on in a pub in Peckham to tell me there was a Rag dancing on a table with a pint in his hand with his back to the TV with 93 minutes gone singing about winning the League and promptly turned when the roar in the pub went up for Agüero’s winner, slipped and fell to the floor 🙂
  4. To be called a glory hunter for the first time whilst waiting for a tube in London on my way home!
  5. Getting home at 12.30am in the morning only to wake up at 5.30am to watch MotD to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

I am off to Abu Dhabi on Saturday for a holiday and look forward to seeing what they have done with the City Store in the Marina Mall and get some pictures!

I was lucky enough to be at Wembley in 1999 and at The Etihad last Sunday; if these things happen every 13 years I wonder if the finish to the 2025 season can beat them?

Well done to all at City, the players, the owner, the back room staff and anyone else – roll on August when it starts again!

Pete Timperley – Bluemoonpete <petertimperley(at)gmail.com>

ARTICLE: TOP AGAIN

So we all may have thought the open top ride through the city was an old school tradition, joyously featuring the right team at last, but according to a sponsorship industry trade website, it also showed our mighty Blues again winning the war against the evil empire… and everyone else.

Activative.co.uk wrote “Manchester City’s marketing team knew that not all fans could physically turn up in person in Manchester, so they used future facing media platforms to ensure that wherever Blues’ fans were in the world, they could join in and be on the bus with the team” and: “Manchester City are solidifying their position as one of the more innovative sponsorship, marketing and communication rights owners in football”. You can read the full story here (and there’s also a bit about naughty Joey literally paying for his crimes already):

http://www.activative.co.uk/sport/man-citys-live-social-parade-bartons-promoted-tweet-apology-4467

I never thought I’d see something like this in my lifetime!

Matt Broadbent <mb(at)gbp.co.uk>

ARTICLE: FAIRY TALES AND DREAMS SOMETIMES DO COME TRUE

When I bought QPR tickets for me, my son, and our friends in the front row of the family stand, behind the goal, and booked our stadium tour too, little could I imagine the drama to come! City were second, I was pretty well resigned to it, and all I wanted was just to celebrate, come what may, after what was a fantastic season.

A friend Neil says, ‘it’s the expectation that kills ya’ and I had already ‘died’ at Arsenal. From there on, I was determined not to allow ‘expectation’ to spoil things again. A friend Paul offered me a ticket for Wolves; I was still down and at first I said no, but saw inspiration and a flicker of hope in the Etihad against West Brom and rang him back straight after the game. A thoroughly enjoyable trip to sunny Norwich with Tony and ‘Vancouver’ Neil, a swift couple of pints and an exquisite tango from Agüero and Tévez only served to fan the flames. The Norwich fans stayed to the end and wished us well for the title. It was still a long shot and I strained not to get my expectations and hopes up again, to just enjoy the ride.

I drove to Wolves on my own listening to the Bahrain Grand Prix having decided not to listen to United games any more because, whenever I did, the Rags would instantly score! The broadcast was interrupted by reports of goals from Old Trafford. There I was, driving north up the M1 yelling like a madman at Sebastian Vettel, “c’mon Everton, c’mon Moyes, c’mon Jelavic, c’mon you Blues”. Everton went 1 up, United equalized and they went in all-square at half time.

Then another interruption. With Pienaar prone, needing treatment, United had ‘sportingly’ played on and scored. Moyes was raging, the whole Everton team were incensed and all I could think was, great you just kicked a hornet’s nest over and they are all gonna want to stick it to you now… but then to add insult to injury United scored again, betty swallocks that wasn’t in the script, but it just got them madder. C’mon Moyes, c’mon Distin, c’mon Fellaini, 3-2 that’s more like it. C’mon, c’mon you Blues, 4-2 damn, c’mon you can still do it. C’mon Jaelavic, c’mon Fellaini, 4-3 yes! C’mon Cahill, c’mon Moyes, 4-4 yea yea c’mon you Blues, c’mon Baines, c’mon Silvain c’mon Everton; by the time the final whistle blew I was hoarse. Game on! I parked the car and walked the last 1/2 mile to the Wolves stadium.

The sun blazed down on Moulineux, Gael Clichy delivered an exquisite curved ball to Agüero, who slipped it past De Vries. Nasri slotted in the second around 70 minutes to settle all our nerves. We sang ‘we’re stayin up’ and the Wolves fans reposted ‘I bet you’re disappointed you only scored two’!

Their support for their team was terrific on a very sad relegation day for them, but us City fans we don’t forget, we all turned, clapped and cheered them all at the end. Connor was heartbroken, on Match of the Day I couldn’t help but admire his dignity as he did his manful best to hold back his tears and wondered what I had to be so angry and upset about at Arsenal… ‘It’s the expectation that kills ya’… and ever since Arsenal Mancini’s ‘mind games’ had cleverly taken the pressure off our team.

I watched the derby in the United end on a complimentary ticket with Tony, a fellow Blue, so my nephew could use my season ticket. In my bones I felt this was the big one and wanted him to be in the Etihad to share it with his dad and from afar with me. It was an experience I will never forget. For me, Kompany’s goal will forever symbolise a seismic shift in the balance of power in Manchester.

The undercurrent of utter frustration, alarm, despondency and fear amongst United fans that night at the prospect of being the also-rans in Manchester was palpable and was laid bare for all to see in every twist and turn on and off the field. Fergie was indeed “crackin’up”, he’d taken fright and gone defensive, confirming what his team knew in their heart of hearts, that they were second best. There was an enormous roar and Oasis boomed out “Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you”. Then “Hey Jude”. Even at Maine Road, I never ever saw absolutely the whole stadium on their feet roaring, waving their scarves, punching the air and belting it out like that, ‘Na-na nah- nah nah na nah’ with such a passion as that night. We all seemed to sense that something momentous was happening and that we were all on the cusp of something great.

It was wonderful, the balance of power had shifted and now not even Ferguson’s mind games could paper over the cracks. The character shown by City at Newcastle and Summerbee’s tears of joy only seemed to confirm it. But even then the aftershocks would probably been missed by most had Agüero and Co. not driven it home in such spectacular Roy of the Rovers fashion in the final game against QPR.

Mancini had finally conceded we were now favourites and acknowledged the title race was now back in our hands. ‘Expectation’ was back at the Etihad. As the sun fried us all, we huffed and puffed, 81% possession, 19 corners, 10 shots on target, 15 off, 19 blocked against just 3 shots on target 2 goals. The QPR defence was superb and they’d taken their chances up front. Neil’s words came back: ‘It’s the expectation that kills ya’… but even in the dying minutes of normal time the Etihad found its voice again and we sang defiantly ‘We’re Man City, we fight to the end’.

By 90 minutes all expectation had gone, a few who had given up all hope and couldn’t handle it any more headed for the door. I wasn’t angry or upset, I was just numb, my head told me it just wasn’t our day and I steeled myself to take it on the chin, to stay and steadfastly cheer our magnificent team come what may just as I’d planned to do all along.

There was still 5 minutes of injury time and like many others my heart still ruled my head, I just couldn’t give up and, thank God, nor could my team. Yet another corner, Dzeko towered above all and headed home. I went crazy, madly waving the players back to the half way line but of course they’d already gone. Tony didn’t celebrate, just stayed slumped in his seat, he didn’t move, it was all too late. Then in the dying seconds it happened: a QPR throw, Lescott rose above Bothroyd and headed on to de Jong, from there on to Agüero to Balotelli who stretched every sinew to stab it back… to Aquero.o.o.o.h! The whole Etihad erupted and the shock waves resonated right around the world.

Every one of us, QPR fans too, exploded with joy, City were… CHAMP16NS… and we sang it again: ‘We’re Man City we’ll fight to the end!’ The final whistle went and it was onto the pitch. ‘Na-na nah- nah nah na nah.’ This was just unbelievable; never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined it would end like this. 44 years, 38 games, the title decided in the last 30 seconds against the ‘Dark Side’; was this really happening, when was I going to wake up?

Who can disagree with Mancini? We deserved it, scored the most goals, conceded the least, beat United twice, showed incredible fortitude and character and played the best football by far.

I’ve never seen anything like it. This fairytale Premier League title will be talked about for year upon year to come and I doubt it will ever be surpassed, least not in my lifetime.

It was fitting and poignant to see the Premier League trophy carried out onto the field by my heroes and icons of 1968, Tony Book, Francis Lee, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee. It always warms my heart to see them and other less illustrious but still very much loved icons of the intervening years all cherished by the club and fans, regularly interviewed and celebrated amongst their fans before and after games in City Square.

These days, belief, determination, spirit, confidence, joy and togetherness is oozing out of the Club at every seam. All a reflection of the thoroughly professional, considerate, attentive way the Club is now organised and run from the very top, Sheikh Mansour, through to the very bottom. Both on and off the field, the sense of purpose and the plans coming to fruition are truly amazing.

Yes, you need money, but this is about much more than that; if you doubt it, just take a look at Joe Hart and Gael Clichy’s celebration…

http://www.mcfc.co.uk/citytv/Features/2012/May/City-v-QPR-Hart-and-Clichy-emotion-slo-mo?play=1

Multiply that 48,000 times for those in the Etihad and 100’s of thousands perhaps millions who weren’t United fans watching elsewhere. Whether you’re Sunderland or Southend, it’s about hopes and dreams, that one day you and your team might have the chance to rise out of mediocrity and challenge the very best.

We’re so lucky and we’ve so much to look forward to. Winning the Premier League this year gives me more confidence than ever that we’ll win it rather more comfortably next year and be serious challengers for the Champions’ League to boot.

Please let’s never forget where we were 13 years ago, let’s be Blue, not be arrogant, let’s enjoy the banter and share our joy/ their dreams with other fans like we did with QPR and have in mind the oh so true clichés… it’s the expectation that kills you, to not get carried away, to just enjoy every moment, take it one game at a time, and continue to support our team to the end, come what may.

C’mon you Blues… we are Man City and we fight to the end!

Dave Parker <david.parker5(at)ntlworld.com>

ARTICLE: FINANCIAL FAIR PLAY

Now that the season is over we go into silly season of rumour and counter rumour.

I know one mate went into radio silence for the run up to the bonkers day at the Etihad last Sunday.

The next subject on the horizon is Financial Fair Play and a certain Monsieur Platypus has his guns out ready to point at Man City; he’s already fired off a couple of warning shots. We accept that and financial prudence is no bad thing for the game.

Arsenal have said for the “good of the game” they don’t want City to win the League; we accept that view (but it’s nonsense). The moose on Talk Spite says “we bought the League”; we accept that again but the ramblings of someone whose IQ if it was any lower would need watering twice a day again bears no relevance.

Essentially City have fixed the house over one summer as opposed to a decade. United and Liverpool both have history; that’s fine, so do Greece and Rome.

Now to Monsieur Platini. If FFP comes in to the mix regarding “spending beyond your means, financial doping, sugar daddies, over-priced market valuation for sponsorship and players’ wages etc.” – then in the mix for FFP he must include debt.

As far as sponsorship is concerned then the valuation is what someone is prepared to pay for it; a 2 bed flat in Hulme is now worth £250,000 – is it worth it? Well someone is willing to pay that amount so irrespective of your opinion it’s worth it.

Now City are criticised for spending £200 grand a week on Yaya and £160 grand a week on Nasri and similar amounts on Tévez, Agüero, Silva and and and… that amounts to, I guess, £1 million plus a week on wages.

That’s a lot, too much for Michel Platini, but that is what Sheikh Mansour wants to invest in City and the whole dynasty he wants to create in Manchester (in the run-down postal district of M11). The owners of Man Utd have saddled the club with just shy of £500 million in debt and the interest is £250 grand a day – that’s £1.75 million a week in interest alone (i.e. standing still). We invest in players on that amount while United pay off the interest with a similar amount.

I guess it’s what the owners want to spend their money on. My wish for Platini is that if he wants FFP then all manner of finance comes into the mix and a club’s debt must be included as a factor not, just revenue and operating costs.

Also if no Premier League club can negotiate individually with Sky, but only as a collective, then that’s fine. However, the rules for Real Madrid and Barcelona must also apply, because they negotiate separately, they get huge amounts, but the likes of Villarreal, Majorca, Valencia, Bilboa get crumbs in comparison, therefore it is an unfair playing field. I fully expect City’s lawyers will slap UEFA with an injunction that FFP is unfair and scupper the plans for at least 3 years while it goes to arbitration. Or as I suspect the teams and Platini will get round the table, see sense and get a compromise thus avoiding a breakaway group like Rugby League did from Union many moons ago.

Let the rumours and nonsense commence…

Looking forward to the Euros, gutted for Micah and Adam though and how Stuart (no goals and no assists) Downing gets picked is anyone’s guess.

Cheers everyone, enjoy the Summer.

Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)hotmail.com>

ARTICLE: EMAIL TRAIL TO REMEMBER

Alright each? I hope everyone has had a wonderful week of basking in the afterglow – I certainly have.

Here is a little back-story to what I’m going to reprint below:

Until eight years ago I had been living the best part of two decades in the US. Whilst there, I got involved in an online group of ex-pats and soccer-friendly natives. Even to this day, about a dozen of us more hard-core contributors keep in touch on a regular group-basis via email.

When I logged on the day after the match, I discovered that three of our group had been sharing a few emails whilst in front of the telly. I find these, when chained together, are a wonderful little snapshot of the moment for us all to relive. Yes, I’ve had permission off them to reprint these, though I promised complete anonymity so you’ll have to guess who said what. Two are ex-pats, one a Chelsea fan and one Spurs, the other is a Trinidadian United fan living in the US but a real Anglophile who lived many years in London.

Hope you enjoy the snippets they had to offer, and remember how we too were feeling at the time.


OH NO!!! CISSE scores for QPR… 1-1


Bad mistake by Lescott of all people. Great shot by Cisse.


And one BNV just hanged himself in the bog at the ground.


Amazing excitement. Flipping channels like crazy!


Now QPR will park the bus… they’re staying up with a draw.
Unbelievable…


RED CARD FOR QPR Joey Barton.
If QPR go down, he might as well pack his bags as he will never be forgiven.


I didn’t see anything wrong with Barton’s reaction… Tévez was kicking him and jumping on him.


Clear elbow. Deserved red.


He earned about 3 reds before they got him off. Unreal! And now they are ahead! Unfreaking believable!


QPR will park the bus now… OH MY G*D! THEY JUST SCORED!


I’ve turned the Spurs match over to the Citeh-QPR match… this is gripping. Can’t believe they haven’t at least equalized here.


I feel very very sorry for Bods and all City fans. This must be sickening for them. Unbelievable bad luck.


OH MH G*D!!!! THEY’VE DONE IT!


I just turned it over when I saw Citeh had equalized… can’t believe this… what agony they’ve been through in the last hour or so… unbelievable. Brings tears to my eyes… what an incredible finish.


UNBELIEVABLE!
Congratulations to City!


Most exciting finish to any season ever!
What a great season!


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

ARTICLE: THE GAME IN PACIFIC STANDARD TIME

If I can misquote Mr. Micawber:

90 minutes gone, losing 2-1, result – misery and despair.
94 minutes gone, winning 3-2, result – bedlam and joy (and removal from the mailing box my application to join the Foreign Legion)

I misquote Micawber in memory of the great Eric Todd, for so long a reporter on City’s games. Once, during the 1960s, he wrote something like: “On Saturday 30,000 Micawbers were at Maine Road in the hope that something would turn up.”

I have watched the final 5 minutes numerous times and each time I think Agüero is going to miss. I just can’t get over the fact he did what he did and Dzeko before him.

I was up at 5.00, way ahead of the kick off – nerves I think. I was 19 in 1968, first year in college at Swansea but saw games when I was home in Manchester. I wasn’t at Newcastle but a good friend at college was (and I spoke with him after Sunday’s game). I am now 63. 44 years… it is a heck of a long time. My wife came to watch most of the game and I could see a worried look come over her when we went 2-1 down and I began to talk of going for a long, long walk.

There were a few minutes, between 80-90, when I could not watch. I decided to watch the end, just to get the misery all over with. Then… well we all know what happened. Friends at the game asked me did I regret not going to it? Well of course but, on the other hand, would I have actually made it through the game if I was there in person? I am not sure, such was the emotional swing. I may have had to write this posthumously.

After some phone calls to friends around the world my first calm reaction was: don’t ever ever ever ever ever do this to me again!

Yes, the manner of the winning may in fact have done our PR a world of good, but it didn’t do my heart rate anything but harm.

Others have written of the game so there is no much to add. Sometimes we analyse games very closely. I figure this is not one of them… we won it, we had to win it, we should have made it easier to win, it shouldn’t have come down to extra time, but it did so that was that.

Champions.

One writer last time noted that some MCIVTA-ers had criticized Mancini in the past. I give our manager a lot of credit for how he pulled this team together to win the last 6 games (I really didn’t give us a chance after the very poor performance at Arsenal and also the draw at Stoke) but, as we look forward, I don’t think we can forget some strange and negative away tactics and some odd player management.

So should this title have been wrapped up long before the last game? I think so, but it really doesn’t matter at the moment does it? City won it and won it when there was no other option but to win the game. I think a lot of credit is due to the entire club for this. 28 games won out of 38 is pretty darned impressive. Why do I think there is room for improvement? Good heavens, how hard to please can someone be?

Now what? Who leaves and who comes in will probably be a source of discussion for the next few months. Do I get the feeling that this win may be followed by others? Well that is what we thought in 1968. We should have won in 71-72 and could have won in 76-77 but neither happened. We all know what happened the season after we won in 36-37. Perhaps this really is the start of something remarkable. As long as we don’t go making silly remarks like “we’ll terrify Europe”.

Like many Blues, I would like to win the League again next year and do well in Europe but I am old fashioned enough to think the League is a measure of how far we have come.

Finally, wasn’t it good to see some of the lads from 68, bless ’em all. Which leads me to finish on which of them would get in the current team? Bell, absolutely, not a shadow of a doubt. Lee and Summerbee, almost certainly, Mike Doyle, very probably. Tommy Booth really came into his own the year after but, yes, I think he could have played in central defence. It is nice to ponder these things as what happened on Sunday continues to sink in.

Ashley, Heidi, Phil and all those who have kept this newsletter going for 18 years… I hope you celebrated long into the night on Sunday (ED – you better believe it!). You’ve kept us together during the good, bad, very bad, almost too bad to believe, getting better and wonderful times.

When does the next season start?

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)stanford.edu>

AND FINALLY…

Though not politically correct I couldn’t help laughing at Tévez’s ‘RIP Fergie’ banner, a reference to Fergie being asked if he ever saw a time when his team would be underdogs against City and his reply… “Not in my lifetime…”

Dave Parker <david.parker5(at)ntlworld.com>

RESULTS AND TABLE

2011-12 Final League table

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 38  64  89 *CHAMPIONS*
 2 Manchester Utd  38  56  89
 3 Arsenal         38  25  70
 4 Tottenham H.    38  25  69
 5 Newcastle Utd   38   5  65
 6 Chelsea         38  19  64
 7 Everton         38  10  56
 8 Liverpool       38   7  52
 9 Fulham          38  -3  52
10 West Brom A.    38  -7  47
11 Swansea City    38  -7  47
12 Norwich City    38 -14  47
13 Sunderland      38  -1  45
14 Stoke City      38 -17  45
15 Wigan Athletic  38 -20  43
16 Aston Villa     38 -16  38
17 QPR             38 -23  37
-----------------------------
18 Bolton Wndrs    38 -31  36
19 Blackburn R.    38 -30  31
20 Wolves          38 -42  25


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 #1826

2012/05/20

Editor:


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