Newsletter #1900

Well the last 6-pointer of the season lies before us today in what should be a pulsating affair at ‘The Lane’. Was hoping to be there but sadly I won’t be. However, do all enjoy yourselves.

Whilst we have a fraction of breathing space, not losing this game would be enormously useful and a win would probably pretty much ensure 2nd place and avoid an end-of season looking over our shoulder.

If you are reading on your mobile devices as you are travelling down, enjoy today’s edition, which has some thought-provoking pieces around racism and the FA Cup kick off time plus much more!

Next Game: Tottenham Hotspur, White Hart Lane, 21 April 2013, 13.30


City somehow managed to defeat a very decent Wigan side despite a poor, disjointed performance. Wigan indeed were very unlucky not to win as they passed the ball far better and showed greater cohesion than City for much of this game. We cannot blame the windy conditions, because in contrast to the visitors, we took an age to get our short passing going in this match.

It took a strike of the highest quality from Carlos Tévez to win the match. It had power, skill and intelligence.

However, it was Wigan who were the better side for 70 minutes, playing a neat, short passing game, constantly probing for openings. City in contrast were laboured and unable to find anything like the rhythm of the wins over United and Chelsea. Understandable in some ways given the fact that we had two very tough fixtures though our performance wasn’t helped by 5 changes (Kolarov, Lescott, Richards, Garcia and Hart in for Clichy, Nastasic, Zabaleta, Milner and Pantilimon). Roberto Mancini’s tendency to over-rotate at times, and change formation, does nothing for continuity and fluidity.

Furthermore, for 45 minutes we were playing with an unfamiliar “diamond” formation with Garcia at the base of it, Barry and Yaya the middle, and Nasri further forward. Despite Agüero being strangely stationed on the left, the team lacked width and balance. Sergio was making his runs from deeper but when he failed to connect with a Tévez cross it was probably more to do with his tightening hamstring.

We went in level at the break thanks to top class goalkeeping. It took a top drawer save from Joe Hart to thwart Di Santo at point blank range after Kone had tricked his way past Kompany and teed him up.

No one will take Wigan lightly at Wembley, especially after this game, and their 3-0 thumping of Everton at Goodison is a previous round should be a reminder to everyone. Shaun Maloney was Wigan’s most impressive player, prompting and probing like a true number 10, and it took Joleon Lescott’s clearance off the line to stop his curling goal-bound shot from giving the visitors the lead after the break.

After half time Mancini brought Dzeko on for Agüero and pushed the outpaced Javi Garcia into the centre of a back three with Richards and Kolarov pushed on. This didn’t last though as Wigan enjoyed long spells of possession and 3-5-2 was ditched with Milner replacing the totally ineffective Garcia.

Tévez led the way trying to get City going with Barry and Yaya trying to get a grip of midfield. For 70 minutes it was Wigan who dominated possession though without creating too many chances, which was a plus for our defence. When they did create chance it took some trickery from the skilful Callum McManaman, whose shot was saved by Hart.

Seventy six minutes had elapsed before City had a shot in target, with substitute Dzeko being thwarted by a point blank range Robles save after Yaya’s excellently timed through ball. Despite City belatedly looking threatening, it looked like it wasn’t to be, but with this team of many talents, anything is possible and sometimes when you least expect it.

Tévez’s goal was one that took our breath away. Taking Kolarov’s pass, he showed great close control and skill to dribble through the challenges of Scharner and Gomez, before thumping a powerful curling shot inside the left hand post. It was a goal that literally lifted you out of your seat.

It has to be said, though, that it was also a goal that wasn’t in keeping with City’s performance in this match. Wigan can justifiably feel very hard done by that they did not win this match, let alone draw (and good luck to them in staying up) but special players win games, and Carlos Tévez is one such player.

Goal: Tévez 84.

Att: 47,106

Hart: Made a great save from point blank range from Di Santo. One short pass out caused us a nervy moment, otherwise some smart distribution: 7
Richards: Good to see him back. Very rusty on his return from injury, getting caught the wrong side of the ball a few times. He will be better for getting this game under his belt: 5
Kompany: Solid as ever and some lovely touches: 7
Lescott: His clearance off the line thwarted Maloney. Looked a little too slow at times for Wigan’s quick forwards, his touch was not what it should be at times and at time he had to turn half a circle to bring the ball onto his favoured left foot, which didn’t aid fluidity: 6
Kolarov: Leaden-footed, his touch was dreadful and he was truly awful for most of this game. Made one good interception of a dangerous cross and had a shot that stung the Wigan ‘keeper’s gloves in the first half, whilst in the 2nd he played one good cross that deserved a finish and he passed to Tévez for the goal. In between these positives he was very poor indeed: 4
Garcia: Ponderous, slow, and frankly not good enough despite his best efforts. He never looked like being quick enough to intercept and in possession he tends to slow our rhythm down: 4
Yaya: Covered a lot of ground but spent a lot the time having to defend and try to win the ball back. His lovely through ball presented a golden chance for Dzeko: 7
Barry: Always industrious and trying to stoke the fires in the engine room. One of City’s better performers on a difficult night: 7
Nasri: Showed persistence in trying to create on a difficult night. Good to see this application in a lower profile game: 7
Agüero: Not at his sharpest and suffered a tight hamstring, which may have something to do with his considerable exertions on Sunday: 5
Tévez: It was a well-deserved goal for Tévez who was clearly City’s best performer, leading the way with his sheer will to win and considerable talent. We should be offering him a new contract, and if he doesn’t want one, we need him for the last year of his current deal because what he can do is worth more to us than the transfer fee we would get this summer: 8 (Man of the match)
Dzeko (for Agüero (46): Barely won a header. Touch wasn’t bad but save for one pass that set Tévez up for a cross, there was little of note from him: 5
Milner (for Garcia 59): Added tenacity and skill. We are a better team when he is on the pitch: 6
Sinclair (for Richards 82): managed one cross: n/a

Refwatch: Jon Moss: He sure gets the refereeing “culture”! By George, this was an incredibly incompetent display in which he got so many decisions wrong: 0

Best Opp: Maloney: An ex-Celtic starlet who returned North of the border after being homesick when he was at Villa (still found time to score a curling free kick at Eastlands against us though), he has developed into a highly intelligent playmaker of strength. He is very good in tight spaces, playing angled little balls into his forwards. With players like him, Gomez, Kone and Di Santo, amongst others, Wigan have a very good chance of staying up: 8

Chant of the day… or was it: City fans to the single block of Wigan fans: “Where were you at Wemberlee?” Well I can only presume that the 500 or so that turned up on Wednesday night are the loyal diehards who follow them to most places, and no doubt would have been in the Wigan (i.e. the civilised) end at Wemberlee!

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


That F.A. statement in full:

In relation to the information announced for the kick-off time of The FA Cup with Budweiser Final, The FA would like to highlight that the FA do not give a t*ss about football fans or indeed the status of the FA Cup itself.

Major stakeholders and broadcasters told us in no uncertain terms that they wanted the match broadcast early on Saturday evening and we complied otherwise we would put a critical revenue stream at risk.

In terms of transportation, a small percentage of Cup Final fans use the method of train travel. We should point out that additional coach services, including some directly from Wembley Stadium, are being provided by our partner National Express who incidentally are sponsoring Wembley and therefore giving us a small cut from every seat filled.

All this extra sponsorship money helps us to pay for the Wembley white elephant that was built in London, for Londoners, at a cost 8 times higher than a similar stadium in Birmingham at the NEC.

The kick-off time is unchanged from last year and this allows more football fans around the country to watch The Cup Final in its entirety as a warm up for the main event ‘Britain has no talent whatsoever’, hosted by Ant and Dec (or is that Dec and Ant?). The domestic viewing figures for last year’s FA Cup Final, shown on ITV and ESPN, recorded a combined peak in-home audience of 11.7 million people in the UK, which means that the broadcasters are more likely to give us additional money when the TV contract comes up for renewal.

This was the highest peak viewing figure The FA Cup Final has achieved under the current TV deal, which is ideal for the armchair fans (especially of Manchester United) who are clearly more important to us than real fans, especially northern fans, who may not get home till one in the morning.

Richard Mottershead a.k.a. Blue Anorak <richardhjohnm(at)>


City. Budweiser and the like:

Seems like the 5:15 kick-off is for the global viewership. Fox soccer over here in the colonies, is really pushing the Premier League. I was amazed at how many non-footie fans (Yanks) watched last year’s last day of the season. They actually got into it and rightly so applauded the tenacity of City. I for one am quite happy with the 5:15 (that equates to 9:15 in the Englander in San Leandro – full English with a cuppa for $10). And a beer after the final whistle.

Budweiser is owned by the Belgians now. The producers of Stella and Leffe. Which some people refer to as Belgian Budweiser. Not in the same league. Budweiser over here is much derided as most of the mass-produced fizzy pop, Miller, Coors etc. It is also known by less flattering names. Something “wiper” as I recall. They also use rice as the main fermenting ingredient (bit like Sapporo and that – but nowhere near as good), which accounts for the Dehli-belly if you ever have the misfortune of a session (ho ho ho) on the stuff. I drive past the factory in CA most days. A bland structure in the middle of nowhere on the way to Sacremento. If you want good brew the west coast has a ton of micro and macro breweries, all independently run and producing damn fine product. Sierra Nevada, Laguinitas, Anderson Valley, to name but a few.

Seeing as Barclays were such a mess last year, shouldn’t they be charged with bringing the game into disrepute? Just a thought.

Up the Blues. One trophy per season. I’ll take that.

Andy Johnson <Fastandyj(at)>


I have to take issue with Dave Kilroy. Adrian Chiles and Roberto Mancini are the same race (white Caucasian). Chiles may be xenophobic in his comments, but one could say exactly the same of his Black Country accent. It is simply not racism.

Racism is based on skin tone and the dilution of it to the current use is due to the white man’s pathetic need to be a victim.

Racism is evil. Complaining about someone’s English simply is not, particularly between two white blokes.

Please let’s get this clear, otherwise we will never kick it out. Racism is evil. Please don’t reduce it to this pathetic, petty level. We have to be clear on what we need to stamp out and this ain’t it!

Martin Hunt <Martinhuntctid(at)>


Gerard Wiekens (Mr Dependable – except for the goal that Wigan scored in the semi-final of the play-offs in the lower reaches of English football) has recently been made unemployed due to the bankruptcy of FC Veendam, the team he played for before he came to City.

After his time with City he went back to them as a player and later as a coach and seeing that he was one of the heroes that got us on the way back to the top, it would be a good gesture if City asked him to be at the Cup Final.

I have tried to find a contact address for him but have failed.

Nothing is beyond the reach of MCIVTA when it comes to our club so I am asking, does anyone know how to contact him?

Ian Nixon <i.nixon(at)>


Maybe now we can once and for all agree that Manchester City didn’t need to sign Robin van Persie this season – the player we should have signed is Gareth Bale! I’ll take Sergio Agüero over RVP any day. When all that fuss was made about City signing RVP or even Hazard, they were saying they wanted to be top of the salary tree. Imagine what that would have done to our already inflated pay scale. Hindsight might be 20/20 but just imagine if we had sold Balotelli and Nasri (who I still don’t rate), not bought Garcia (de Jong stays), Maicon, Rodwell or Scott Sinclair and instead spent the money on Gareth Bale.

Now there is a killer line-up. Still, there is always the off-season.

Speaking of Agüero – here is a true story. The day before the United-City derby, I am in Ottawa, Canada, attending my son’s baby daughter’s baptism. Also in attendance is my ex-wife and her new husband, a Polish chap called Piot, who is a priest and who baptised my granddaughter.

At the reception afterwards, Piot noticed I was wearing my City scarf so I jokingly asked him to bless it to ensure City beat United – but Piot refused, because he is a United fan (I pointed out their nickname is Red Devils!)! After our 2-1 win, I posted the following message on his facebook:

United may think they have God on their side – but we’ve got Agüero!

Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <>


I’m making a feature length documentary about Frank Sidebottom and his creator Chris Sievey, called Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (

As I’m sure you know, Frank Sidebottom performed many times for the City faithful, released songs such as the Man City Medley, and performed at countless Junior Blues meetings and Man City pantos.

In real life, Chris Sievey was also a massive City fan and was even the original performer inside Moonchester. He apparently once went to the Isle of Man to watch City in a pre-season tournament, missed most of the games due to being a little too merry (!) but did spend the entire weekend wearing his Man City slippers.

I’m planning to have a section of the film that covers Frank’s antics at Man City, and Chris’ love of the club in detail.

The film I’m making is being launched on the crowd funding website Kickstarter in May, and I’ll be asking the audience for the film (which is anyone who wants to see it) to go to Kickstarter during May and buy a copy of the film on DVD, Blu Ray or as a digital download. This money will help pay for the costs of making the film.

Here’s an article from comedy website Chortle that explains a bit more about how this film is being made:

This is an independent project about a genuine Manchester cult hero, and I could really do with your support. I’m wondering if you could possibly write an article for your newsletter, blog, fanzine, tweet about it, Facebook about it, link to our website, talk to other City fans about the project and generally help spread the word.

I have many great photos of Frank and Chris at Man City games that could be used to help promote the project and would be very happy to send them across if you can use them in any way.

Steve Sullivan <steve(at)>


Reddish Blues’ next meeting is on Thursday 25th April, at Houldsworth WMC, Leamington Road, Reddish, Stockport, SK5 6DB starting at 8.00pm (doors open at 7.30pm).

Confirmed guests for the evening are Tommy Booth, Joe Corrigan and our Branch President, Alex Williams.

As always everyone is welcome.

More details at

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)>


17 April 2013

Manchester City       1 - 0  Wigan Athletic        47,106
West Ham United       2 - 2  Manchester United     34,692
Fulham                0 - 3  Chelsea               25,002

League table as at 19 April 2013

                        P / GD / Pts
 1 Manchester Utd      33 / 40 / 81
 2 Manchester City     32 / 31 / 68
 3 Chelsea             32 / 31 / 61
 4 Arsenal             33 / 29 / 60
 5 Tottenham Hotspur   32 / 15 / 58
 6 Everton             33 / 14 / 56
 7 Liverpool           33 / 19 / 50
 8 West Bromwich Alb   32 / -1 / 44
 9 Swansea City        32 /  1 / 41
10 Fulham              33 / -7 / 40
11 Southampton         33 / -7 / 38
12 West Ham Utd        33 / -9 / 39
13 Newcastle Utd       33 /-17 / 36
14 Norwich City        33 /-21 / 35
15 Sunderland          33 / -8 / 34
16 Stoke City          33 /-13 / 34
17 Aston Villa         33 /-24 / 34
18 Wigan Athletic      32 /-21 / 31
19 QPR                 33 /-25 / 24
20 Reading             33 /-27 / 24

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1900