Newsletter #1868

Joey… oh Joey! The priceless ‘Allo ‘Allo footage from his recent press conference is something to be cherished. Bob Sleigh (please let that be your real name) provides a nice piece and link on our friend from Huyton.

Elsewhere we have match reports from Sunday’s unusual goalless draw and some memories of former United manager, the recently departed Dave Sexton. Strangely, I always had a soft spot for him as he was never brash and showed humility – no wonder he was run out of the club.

Enjoy this evening’s game, especially if you are there and catch you later this week.

Next Game: Wigan Athletic, DW Stadium, 28 November 2012, 20.00


Roberto Mancini sees this draw as two points dropped and he is spot on.

Chelsea, with their vulnerable defence, were there for the taking and we should have put them to the sword, particularly in the first half of this game. In fact, we dominated possession for most of the game but we just couldn’t convert it into goals.

When we had chances, we weren’t clinical enough to put them away. Sergio Agüero’s header was straight at Cech; Pablo Zabaleta might have done better when presented with a chance in the box; and David Silva’s snap header from Zabaleta’s excellent cross, though more difficult given Silva’s lack of inches, was a missed chance nevertheless. Right at the end of the match, Nastasic’s header was too close to the Chelsea ‘keeper. As Roberto pointed out, our final ball was lacking, though to be fair to Chelsea, they were well enough drilled (by Roberto Di Matteo and/or Rafa Benitez) to get nine men behind the ball and cut out many of our through passes.

Maybe if we’d started with Tévez, our quick passing game would have had more of a cutting edge? That said, he made little impact when he was introduced into the fray.

The main plus in this game was how well the City defence played. Vincent Kompany, who played in significant pain after injuring his knee and ankle against Real Madrid, was very, very good at the back, as was his partner Matija Nastasic, and they very much look like a partnership now.

Stamford Bridge has not been a happy hunting ground for City very often, but we really should have capitalised this time because Chelsea’s defence has been porous of late and their attack was tentative, failing to stretch Joe Hart once.

City should, though, have had two penalties. Either Chris Foy didn’t see David Luiz having a firm grip of Vincent Kompany’s shirt at two corners or he simply chose not to award a penalty for unexplained reasons. Only he knows. It is high time that referees started awarding penalties for shirt pulling in the box, and they should also be giving post match press conferences to explain their decisions.

The fact that Roberto Mancini is not satisfied with this draw is good in itself, because it shows again that he has high standards and a winning mentality. We need to take that winning mentality, compete, take our chances and win at Wigan in our next game on Wednesday.

Come on City!

Hart: Did what little he had to do, well: 7
Zabaleta: Another very good performance from a top class full back. He was very quick to get on the front foot and nip attacks in the bud. His sharpness in the tackle prevented his opponent from turning, and he got forward at every opportunity: 8
Kompany: Played in pain to his knee and ankle and was back to his best. He read the game superbly, tackled and intercepted brilliantly: 8 (Man of the match)
Nastasic: Very good indeed. Mancini has made some signing with this young man whose mature performance made you forget that he is only nineteen: 7
Kolarov: Steady enough, got forward in support for the attack whenever possible without quite delivering the killer ball: 6
Milner: A prodigious worker as ever, but his final ball lacked penetration: 6 Yaya Touré: Important in City dominating midfield, but a couple of his passes were uncharacteristically sloppy and gave away possession: 6
Barry: Hard work in the engine room: 7
Silva: A key player in City’s dominant passing game, but like his colleagues, the final ball was not of sufficient quality: 6
Dzeko: Didn’t manage a shot all match and struggled to get into the game: 5
Agüero: Worked hard for openings, which were few and far between. Should have at least tested Cech with his header in the first half: 6
Tévez (for Dzeko 69): Didn’t manage to get into the game: 5
Balotelli (for Agüero 85): Too late to mark. Should not have been booked for body check – he might have been happy to have been brought down but it was not a dive: n/a

Best Oppo: Ivanovic: Solid defender: 7

Refwatch: Chris Foy: Expectations are low where he is concerned. Denied us two penalties, though in fairness, not many referees punish shirt pulling in the box. If they started awarding penalties the likelihood is that it would stop. Unfairly booked Balotelli: 3

Attendance: 41,792

Footnote: Rest in peace, Dave Sexton, who passed away at the weekend. By all accounts he was a gentleman of the game as well as a very good manager and coach who led Chelsea to the FA Cup in 1970 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup, the year after (beating holders City on the way). He then managed an exciting QPR side containing the likes of Stan Bowles and Gerry Francis to runners-up spot in the old First Division and our neighbours to runners-up spots in the FA Cup and League Cup Final. He also served England with distinction as an Under-21 coach, winning the Euro U-21 Championships twice. His minute’s applause was very well observed.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


A game that City should have won; they did most of the attacking, had most shots on goals, but could not score.

The efforts from all the City players deserves credit, but for the finishing.

I say give John Guidetti a chance. Last season on loan he scored 20 goals before he was injured with Feyenoord in Holland.

Of course only Roberto Mancini and his coaches can see what is happening, and know best.

Five goals in our last game versus Villa, but none today; it’s not as if City do not know how to score, but against Chelsea they had a stubborn defence that kept us out.

The City defence had a clean sheet against a team playing at home, so as much as we wanted to see a win, we came away with a well-deserved point, but could very easily been three points!

In Mancini I trust!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I’ve been enjoying City’s CL run, if only for the fact they we’re visiting Holland and I got the chance to watch them play a live match again. So for the good news, obviously, since both the matches I saw against Ajax, as the entire campaign, were plain disappointing, but were they?

A friend of mine wrote a perfect piece on City’s CL failure and debates it could have been better, but we should have seen it coming. I completely agree.

His name is Simon Gleave and his blog is ‘Scorebord journalism’ (read the ‘about’ to get the explanation). I would recommend everybody who is shocked by our fast exit to read. Enjoy!

Frank Heukels <frank.heukels(at)>


Hyde FC, 25th November 2012

An excellent and highly entertaining charity football match in aid of PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes held between City Old Boys (Legends) and Tameside Police Division of GMP in front of many guests, who included Tommy Booth, Paul Lake, Kenny Clements and Denis Law.

Starting Team: a back four of Edghill, Hendry, Bennett G, Pointon, a midfield of Brightwell I, Morrison, Scott, Melrose, and a strike force of Rösler and Dickov all in front of ‘keeper Nixon (Junior), son of Eric “the cat”.

A spirited Police team were overcome by a composed set of Legends who rolled back the years and put them to the sword, going in at the half time break 4-0 up with goals from Morrison, Rösler (2) and Dickov. During the first half the midfield was strengthened by Asa Hartford replacing Jim Melrose.

Further changes at half time for both sides did little to alter the flow of the game, with further goals from Scott, Whitley (Jeff), Dickov and Morrison (2) seeing the Legends run out 9-1 winners, the police reply coming from the penalty spot awarded late in the second half by referee Alan Wiley for a “foul” by Pointon – well he was the closest player at the time. The penalty was expertly put away by H/PS Kim Hines, the only female officer in the team who came on at half time and had a great second half midfield tussle with Andy Morrison.

Colin Darvill <colin.darvill(at)>


Greetings Blue Boys,

I suppose there might just be one or two exiled Mancunians out there who haven’t seen the press conference given by our old much-loved pal Joey Barton, now happily hacking people in France for lots of dosh.

However, for those who may have missed it because their local Internet cafe in Ulan Bator, Mongolia or Rottenegg, Austria or indeed in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India had server problems, do watch this (but please empty your bladders first!).

Steve McClaren… monsieur, he is rien!

It’s only a couple of minutes long but IMHO far more entertaining than anything that happened during the game at Stamford Bridge – apart from Mario’s bizarre booking, that is.

Bob Sleigh <Robert.sleigh(at)>


Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I will be in Singapore for the derby. Does anyone know of a Blue-friendly pub in the heart of United’s fan base? I know it will be a big call, but we will walk tall and be proud, for after all, we are the Champions of England.

I promise that I will act as an ambassador and undertake missionary work, to educate and enlighten the locals to the Blue three quarters of Manchester.

Ian Reeves <>


If you don’t listen to Danny Baker then your life is poorer for it; his show (and podcast) on Five Live is fabulous (almost as good as Ian Cheeseman / Paul Lake on Blue Tuesday on Radio Manchester).

Danny is a superb individual with a humorous easy turn of phrase that comes naturally and is streets ahead of Stuart Hall (IMHO), who is good but is a little forced and rehearsed.

DB is one of those people that those of a certain age grew up with, very much like the dearly departed John Peel and Tony Wilson who are now replaced by such feeble and talentless interlopers as Simon Cowell and Russell Brand.

Danny, of course, is a consummate professional and is, let’s face it, the only acceptable face of a Millwall fan on the planet.

My twin passions of course are football and music.

  1. With football you have to be monogamous, loyal and faithful and, ofcourse, follow one team.
  2. With music you can afford to be a bit of a slapper and follow severalbands, even have a couple of favourites and change with the times. You canhave 1,000 bands on your iPod but only one team in your heart.

Danny Baker used to write for the bible of my youth (The NME) and regaled stories of bands / gigs and rock stars to make your hair curl and of course he rocks with mirth. He is getting on a bit now and knew the Dead Sea when it was just poorly but stands as a giant as a broadcaster and has survived cancer. Long may he live.

Now and again Danny turns his erudite diction to football and last week issued a stark warning to City fans.

He was asked to comment on the newly unveiled statue of SAF at OT (I can’t bear to type the names in full). Danny pleaded with everyone “not to go down to the stadium with a pot of red paint and dawb a small quantity over his nose; this would not be funny in the least and this presenter and radio show will not condone such action at all”… There you have it. No one must ever do that and in the age where twitters / bloggers are being sued for defamation, inflammation and incite to criminal activity those at MCIVTA must not countenance such an act (ED – MCIVTA wholeheartedly supports your campaign not to add to the factual accuracy of said statue by painting a red nose, especially as Santa may confuse it for Rudolph).

I for one would be absolutely appalled if anyone did such an act…

Nurse nurse…

PS1: As a BTW this terrible crisis that we find ourselves in, unbeaten all season in the league, the fewest conceded goals (=10), unbeaten at home since December 2010 and on the basis of all the fixtures we have played we are 3 points better off than last season.

PS2: Holiday season is upon us and the “C” word is just around the corner. I know this as I saw the clumping bits of glue, badly animated reindeer with fake snow, a flimsy looking sleigh be-decked on the plastic laser blue sign of the high street franchise of Greggs the bakery, as the stench of newly baked cheese and onion pasties made their way to the counters, it was so festive I could weep.

Merry Christmas everyone.

CTID! Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)>


27 November 2012

Sunderland            0 - 0  Queens Park Rangers   36,513
Aston Villa           1 - 0  Reading               28,692

25 November 2012

Swansea City          0 - 0  Liverpool             20,621
Southampton           2 - 0  Newcastle United      31,410
Chelsea               0 - 0  Manchester City       41,792
Tottenham Hotspur     3 - 1  West Ham United       36,043

24 November 2012

Sunderland            2 - 4  West Bromwich Albion  36,390
Everton               1 - 1  Norwich City          34,502
Manchester United     3 - 1  Queens Park Rangers   75,603
Stoke City            1 - 0  Fulham                26,921
Wigan Athletic        3 - 2  Reading               15,436
Aston Villa           0 - 0  Arsenal               34,607

League table as at 27 November 2012

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  13  14  30
 2 Manchester City 13  15  29
 3 West Brom A.    13   8  26
 4 Chelsea         13  11  25
 5 Everton         13   6  21
 6 Arsenal         13  10  20
 7 Tottenham H.    13   1  20
 8 West Ham Utd    12   3  19
 9 Swansea City    13   2  17
10 Fulham          13   2  16
11 Liverpool       13   1  16
12 Stoke City      12   0  16
13 Norwich City    13  -9  15
14 Newcastle Utd   13  -6  14
15 Wigan Athletic  13  -8  14
16 Sunderland      13  -4  13
17 Aston Villa     14 -11  13
18 Southampton     13 -10  11
19 Reading         13  -7   9
20 QPR             14 -16   5

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1868