Newsletter #1842

Do you remember Jimmy Frizzell? Lovely chap and the boss that introduced many of the fine FA Youth Cup Winning team in the mid-80s. Whenever he won, which, admittedly, was not very often, he would be on GMR after the game saying “One swallow doesn’t make a summer” and indeed it doesn’t.

However, one game can bring a trophy as happened on Sunday as we placed the Community Shield into the trophy cabinet thanks to some fine attacking and finishing in the second half. Phil B’s first report of the season covers the game nicely.

That said, a certain bunch won last season’s Shield by the same score last season (whatever happened to them?), so let’s keep our feet on the ground for the battles ahead and enjoy it for what it was, a great boost on the eve of the season.

Also worth noting Dave K’s Fantasy League reminder in ‘And Finally…’ Oh yes, Jack Rodwell – bright young talent and already an England international. Jack, good luck, you are welcome.

Next Game: Southampton, Etihad Stadium, 19 August 2012, 4.00pm


Manchester City sent out a statement to the rest of the Premier League that we are the team to beat in this year’s Premier League with this emphatic victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield.

That Chelsea had to play just over half the game with ten men after Ivanovic’s sending off does not detract from this victory. City had been the better team in the first half even when Chelsea had eleven.

A rain shower had greeted our arrival at Villa Park, which remains a terrific ground, steeped in tradition. Fans of both teams wore “CHAMPIONS 12” shirts and why not? Both have plenty to celebrate, but the game was to show that Chelsea have more work than City have to do to reach the summit of English football. I received the welcome news from an Everton supporting friend that Jack Rodwell was having a medical, so that was a good start to the proceedings.

Roberto Mancini continued with what was ostensibly an experimental 3-5-2 formation that had been used in friendlies this summer, and his charges started the quicker of the two teams, passing the ball with greater fluidity, without being at our best, which is totally understandable.

Petr Cech did very well to save a vicious, bending free kick from Carlos Tévez low to his right hand post. Samir Nasri, who took a while to find his touch, still managed to have an effort saved and Aleksandr Kolarov had a wicked in-swinging goal-bound corner tipped over by Cech, who really was earning his pay.

The formation gave City extra width, with Kolarov and Milner relishing their rôles as marauding wing backs. Behind them, Vincent Kompany marshalled the back three, which started off being Stefan Savic to his right and the ever versatile Pablo Zabaleta to his left. Forever lion-hearted, Zaba showed his customary bravery when sticking his head into a flying boot, and was lucky to emerge unscathed. Pablo Zabaleta… Corazon de Leon, indeed…

Sporting the natty new maroon away strip, City looked very much at home amidst the tasteful claret and blue trim of Villa Park. Chances came and went for us. Vincent Kompany also had a flick header saved from a corner, and Milner’s excellent cut-back resulted in Agüero forcing yet another save from Cech.

Chelsea’s new signing Eden Hazard seemed rather lightweight and more intent on going to ground rather than going for goal. His first foray resulted in a firm, thumping tackle from Savic (yes!), which had the young Belgian clinging to the ground for dear life. Welcome to English football! Then Hazard did a ridiculous back heel that went wrong to much mirthful derision from City fans. It’s far too early to judge whether we missed the boat or had a lucky escape in not signing Hazard but he seemed rather lightweight on his introduction to Blighty.

That didn’t stop our chant of “what a waste of money” though.

It seemed like a matter of time before City scored and it was 25 minutes before Chelsea had a shot: Lampard’s effort being easily gathered by Pantilimon, who was in after Joe Hart’s minor back injury. Mikel blasted over after Hazard’s powder puff effort drew an easy save for Pantilimon. There were, though, at least signs that the Londoners were at last coming into the game and they took the lead with their first move of true quality in the 40th minute. Ramirez drove at the City defence from inside left, dinked a pass to Lampard who took a touch to play in Torres who coolly lifted the ball over the City ‘keeper and into the net.

Not that Chelsea had much time to enjoy their lead, as Ivanovic was dismissed for a reckless two-footed lunge that left Kolarov in pain and lucky not to have broken a leg. It looked a borderline red from where we were sat in the Trinity Road Stand, but the replays later showed that the referee acted on the dangerousness of the tackle and the fact that he connected with Kolarov’s shin.

To be fair to Ivanovic, he is a hard player but not a nasty one. His tackle is not comparable to the fair tackle that saw Vincent Kompany unjustly sent off in January. That’s not City bias, it’s just the fact that Ivanovic caught his compatriot flush on the shin whereas the City captain’s sliding tackle made no contact and did not induce an appeal for a foul from Nani.

Despite being a goal down at half time there was no concern amongst the massed ranks of City fans at the break, given the array of attacking talent in our ranks. Chelsea had struggled to hold City back with eleven men, and they had a nigh on impossible task with ten. So it proved, as City tore Chelsea asunder in a devastating 12 minute spell of attacking football that decided the game. On 53 minutes Milner marauded down the right, his cross was deflected out by a Chelsea defender to Yaya Touré who thrashed the ball into the net just inside Cech’s left hand post. He gleefully slid to the turf in front of the City fans in the Doug Ellis Stand and a rehashing of 2 Unlimited’s “No limits” filled the air: “Yaya, Yaya-Yaya, Yaya-Yaya, Yaya, Yaya, Yaya Yaya, Yaya, Yaya Touré!”

Six minutes later City took the lead. Carlos Tévez cut in from the left and smoked an unstoppable swerving drive into the top right hand corner. It was such a good strike that the partially unsighted Cech stood motionless. Tévez loved the moment and looked like a man who had fallen in love with football again as we celebrated gleefully on three sides of the ground (the whole of the North Stand, Trinity Road Stand, and half of the Lower Tier of the Doug Ellis Stand).

City were running riot and Chelsea’s defence was in danger of drowning in a deluge of City attacks. Indeed it was 3-1 to City after 63 minutes. Tévez drove down the inside left, and played an inch perfect pass for the advancing Kolarov who crossed from the left hand bye-line for Nasri to volley into the net. “Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, Samir Nasri…”. Our joy was unconfined, and to sum it up we boomed: “That’s why we’re Champions”.

It could have been more but Samir Nasri blasted over. With ten minutes to go our celebrations were put on hold as spirited Chelsea pulled one back. Costel Pantilimon couldn’t hold Danny Sturridge’s fierce low drive and sub Ryan Bertrand was on hand to pounce on the rebound. It was shame because Pantilimon did very well except for that spot of “butter fingers”.

One misplaced Kolarov pass aside and a Sturridge shot, City were not unduly troubled by this and still created the better chances with the colossal Yaya Touré at the centre of the best moves. From Milner’s cross, Yaya forced a save from Cech, then after more lovely skill from the giant Ivorian, he played in Milner who teed up a gilt-edged chance for Sergio Agüero, who stabbed the ball wide. That’s how it goes for strikers, even legends like Sergio who score famous title winning goals!

The title was won last season with City able to adapt and change tactics within games. Nominally a 4-3-3 was very successful for us, but we could change that to various different formations to suit. There is perhaps too much talk about formations (particularly by lazy journalists) as the main things that win matches are quality passing and movement, and that was one thing the Champions (it’s great being able to say that!) have in abundance. However, one real positive from pre-season, and the Community Shield in particular, is that we have even more flexibility in our ranks to play with a 3-5-2 formation. Zabaleta and Clichy played either side of Kompany in the second half in this game and both showed the flexibility to become auxiliary full backs, when needed.

Of course the acid test will be when the League starts but when we are faced with inevitable massed ranks of opposition defenders at Eastlands, sacrificing a City defender to make it a three and the extra width of wing backs gives us another option. The worry with a 3-5-2 formation is that it can leave a lot of space down the flanks for the opposition to exploit, (the onus being on the strikers and midfield to press the opposition), but I suspect that that Mancini will return to the tried and trusted, naturally solid back four for most games.

Without wishing to get too carried away (whatever we call it, the Charity/Community Shield is after all, a glorified friendly), it was a devastating spell of attacking football from City that won this game. At other times City controlled the game with good passing and movement as well as a physical presence showing plenty of menace that can only bode well for the future.

Roberto Mancini will not allow any complacency when Southampton come next week.

Bring it on…


City: Yaya Touré 53, Tévez 59, Nasri 65
Chelsea: Torres 40, Bertrand 80

Att: 36,394


Pantilimon: Handled the ball very well. Just a shame he blotted his copy book in failing to hold Sturridge’s fierce low drive, which led to Chelsea’s second goal. Didn’t let it affect him, though, and came out to punch a subsequent cross effectively: 6

Savic: A much more encouraging 45 minutes before being rotated with Clichy at half time: 6

Kompany: Strong, assertive, and a great leader who showed some lovely skill on the ball too. He was the king of all he surveyed, dominating Torres: 8

Zabaleta: A manager’s dream (amongst many others at City) as well as a great favourite with the fans (again, amongst many others!). Left sided centre back in the first half, he seamlessly moved to the right of Sir Vincent in the second half. Showed great flexibility throughout to move from centre back out to full back. A big plus: 8

Milner: Some good deliveries from the right created chances, but also made some poor decisions in the timing of crosses, hitting the first defender too often. Sometimes he took an unnecessary extra touch that allowed defenders to get back, but overall, he can be pleased: 7

De Jong: Fierce in the tackle as ever but clean with it again. Class: 7

Nasri: Took a while to find his touch but grew as the game progressed, scoring a lovely volley: 6

Yaya Touré: What a great player. Lovely skill, power and touches all afternoon and a joy to watch: 9 (Man of the match, just shading Tévez)

Kolarov: Revelled in his rôle as an attacking wing back and also did his job defensively too, making an important interception to thwart Torres in the second half. His one blot was a sloppy ball that gifted possession late on but overall, very positive: 7

Agüero: Not quite his day in front of goal, but he made the right runs and took up some good positions: 6

Tévez: Looked like he was back to his best and had not given the Chelsea defence a moment’s peace. Scored a brilliant goal and looks like he can score many more goals on this showing: 9


Clichy (for Savic 46): Like Kompany and Zabaleta he was very sharp in tackle. Adapted really well to a centre back rôle, mirroring Zaba’s flexibility in his ability to flit between centre back and left back. Looks ready and raring to go: 7

Silva (for Nasri 76): n/a

Dzeko (for Tévez 88): n/a

Best Oppo: Petr Cech: Some outstanding saves. Faultless: 8

Refwatch: Kevin Friend: Had a good game, getting most decisions right. Should have sent Ramirez off for his lunge at the end, though: 7

The atmosphere:

It was so wonderful to see so many City fans enjoying this team and its quality.

The atmosphere was a joyful coming together: The Champions of England and the Champions of Europe. There was no discernible trouble and it seemed ridiculous seeing so many riot police around the ground on the walk back to Witton Station.

Not that it was quite a love-in! Ex-City Youth Danny Sturridge took some stick for being “greedy” and was amusingly labelled a “sh** Balotelli” but he took it fairly well and Tévez ignored the booing from the Chelsea end.

The only really bad smell was hovering over John Terry (when isn’t it?) who was booed at every turn by City fans (and, it has to be said, cheered by his own supporters). Terry was found “not guilty” of racism towards Anton Ferdinand due to insufficient evidence by a court this summer but the verdict from a large section of City fans was very different.

“John Terry is a racist, is a racist” and “You should have gone down, you racist b******, you should have gone down” were repeatedly chanted by a large section of City support. He can expect more stick wherever he goes this season, given his standing, or lack of it in the game. Terry can have the most expensive lawyers in the world, who have helped him be found “not guilty”, but he has failed to save his reputation.

The stick he got may be labelled by some as tribalism but it is a credit to our society that alleged racism is exposed so vocally as being unacceptable. Terry still has to answer to the FA for his conduct in the Anton Ferdinand incident (the FA have charged Terry regarding the incident with “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour”, which “included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of (Anton) Ferdinand”), and he should not be alone in answering for his misdemeanours. It would only be right though that Rio Ferdinand were subjected to the same treatment after his disgraceful enjoyment of the racist “choc ice” label that was attached to Ashley Cole by someone on Twitter.

We can only thank our lucky stars that Mark Hughes failed to acquire Terry’s signature back in 2009. Instead of this odious individual, we have the wonderful, statesman-like, class in every way Vincent Kompany. Sometimes I cannot believe our luck.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Well the Community Shield is nicely tucked away in our trophy cabinet. It was just like the end of last season, we played some really controlled football, and fully deserved our win.

Tévez was superb, seems fitter than ever and enjoying his football again. To all his knockers, sure he made a mistake but Mancini I think let his temper get the better of him as well. Hopefully people will have learnt but I believe a fit, happy Tévez is crucial for City.

Well one down, another four to go, wonder the odds on winning all five?

I wish all City supporters a great season.

Scribbs <scribbs(at)>


I couldn’t help but notice Phil Banerjee’s reporting of this (see below). My wife (who studiously refuses to support City as she believes herself to be the kiss of death) on seeing what Phil described thus:

“On the TV pictures there’s a great shot of a family (there’s two middle aged brothers and a daughter and son) whose happy, traumatised, relieved etc faces say it all after Sergio scored that goal. The bespectacled daughter fans herself to stop herself from fainting. Her dad’s and uncle’s faces also show that they can hardly believe what they have just witnessed. They’re almost gasping for air too.”

“Poor lass. She’s had a fit of the vapours” – as indeed, she had. Certainly, it is one of my favourite crowd shots from the mayhem that ensued our victory. Whenever I see shots of the stadium just after Sergio’s goal, I cannot help but feel that must have been one of largest spontaneous explosions of joy ever witnessed anywhere. Not of triumph, or indeed, triumphalism – we can leave that to others eh? – just sheer and total joy.

Last season, United players and exs were telling us that the first Premier title is the hardest. Good old Wayne – he’s now decided that it’s the second one, bless him. Not the brightest of souls, is he?

Up the Blues. I can’t wait for the start of the season.

Jeremy Poynton <j.poynton(at)>


With the season looming ever closer another reminder to register for the MCIVTA fantasy football league at

We currently have 33 registered for the classic league and 22 for the head to head league. It would be nice to get to last season’s numbers of 75 and 44 respectively.

Don’t worry if you can’t decide your starting line-ups or are waiting for those last minute signings, there are unlimited transfers in and out allowed until the start of the season. You can even ask the software to automatically fill spaces for you.

You will need to register, which does involve going through several pages of accepting or declining stuff to be sent. Once done you can register and select your team and ask to join private leagues from the drop-down. If you took part last season then you should automatically be registered for the MCIVTA leagues, if not it will ask you for a code. If you would like to join the MCIVTA classic league the code number is 91824-29288. If you want to join the MCIVTA Head To Head league the code is 91824-29304.

Of course you are welcome to join both. You can register the same team with both leagues so there is no extra work to do during the season.

Once I again I ask you to look to your hearts and your consciences and make your squads united-free. As I’ve said before I don’t really have the time to police it, but if the worst happens and we drop points in the Premier League to the swamp-dwellers I may just purge the league and kick out anybody who dabbles in the dark arts. You have been warned.

I look forward to seeing your teams online. Good luck.

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


                    P  GD Pts
 1 Arsenal          0   0   0
 2 Aston Villa      0   0   0
 3 Chelsea          0   0   0
 4 Everton          0   0   0
 5 Fulham           0   0   0
 6 Liverpool        0   0   0
 7 Manchester City  0   0   0
 8 Manchester Utd   0   0   0
 9 Newcastle Utd    0   0   0
10 Norwich City     0   0   0
11 QPR              0   0   0
12 Reading          0   0   0
13 Southampton      0   0   0
14 Stoke City       0   0   0
15 Sunderland       0   0   0
16 Swansea City     0   0   0
17 Tottenham H.     0   0   0
18 West Brom A.     0   0   0
19 West Ham Utd     0   0   0
20 Wigan Athletic   0   0   0

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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

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

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

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

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

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

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

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

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

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

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

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

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

[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock,

Newsletter #1842