Newsletter #1903

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Welcome to this monster pre-FA Cup Final edition.

How wonderful it is just to type that!

I trust you are all looking forward to what I have this strange feeling might be something of an epic. Can’t explain why, just a feeling!

If you are wanting to go, but have no tickets, then the first thing I must do is lead you to the end of the edition and two offers of three tickets. Someone please bite the hand off Richard and James – thanks to them both for thinking of us all.

Aside from the ticket-fest there are revelations about the cause of our relegation against West Ham in the mid-80s and some sensible words of warning from Ernie.

Finally, for those of you who know Middleton, Derek Styles’ piece is a must-read.

Enjoy the game wherever in the world you watch it. If it’s on TV keep a look out for me – Row 2, Seat 5 right on the half-way line opposite to where the teams sit!

Oh me lads… you should have seen us…

Next Game: Wigan Athletic, Wembley Stadium, 11 May 2013, 17.15

CITY 1 WBA 0

City’s much-changed team guaranteed Champions’ League football with this narrow win against a decent West Brom side who showed why they are firmly ensconced in the top of half of the table.

It was the Baggies who started the quicker, with City adapting to the eight changes that Roberto Mancini made with Wembley in mind, including a completely new back four and a new central midfield partnership of Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia.

The lively Lukaku tested Hart with an angled drive after 2 minutes, fired just wide of Hart’s left hand post two minutes later then had a headed attempt that came to nought after another two minutes. With Morrison and Rosenburg linking up with the speedy Lukaku, City’s all-change back four was stretched as the mellowing spring sun set over Manchester. Much of our problems stemmed from midfield, where opponents got past Garcia and turned him far too easily.

City, though, came into the game as an attacking force and Tévez fired well wide after playing a neat one-two with Nasri. Then Rodwell blazed over from a decent position after Kolarov’s free kick was pushed out by Myhill. Then in the 27th minute, Milner squared a ball for Tévez who curled a shot wide of the left hand post.

City had to be wary of West Brom’s quick counter attacks and Hart wasforced to make an important save on the half hour to deny Rosenburg whenhe was played clean through. It was West Brom’s best chance of the match.

However, it was City who were looking increasingly more likely to score, Carlos Tévez leading the way with Samir Nasri and James Milner probing from wide positions and coming inside to make the play. Milner was frustrated when he fired wide after Edin Dzeko flicked on Nasri’s searching left wing cross. Tévez cursed after he hit the bar with a terrific shot in the 34th minute.

Tévez was celebrating with his team mates a minute later when he turned provider as City took the lead. Nasri showed good tenacity to win the ball just inside the City half, then Rodwell played a perfectly weighted pass down the right, which Tévez ran onto and picked out Dzeko who volleyed home a superbly taken goal. It was crisp, direct play that had much to commend: Rodwell showed good vision, and Tévez great running power and excellent patience and timing with his delivery. It was exactly the kind of service that Dzeko thrives on: the crossed ball that allows him to show his technique and score. Dzeko raised one arm in the air and put one finger to his lips, as if to say with feeling “my goals will do the talking”.

City turned up the heat up to the break. Rodwell was thwarted twice after good work from Milner then Kolarov. Milner hit the outside of the post with a rasping shot.

West Brom were s menace on the break and after a regulation save by Hart from a Rosenburg effort he had to be at his most agile to make a clean interception to get to nick the ball ahead of Lukaku, who had looked favourite to get there first.

The last action of the half saw Rodwell blaze a good chance over after he had been teed up by the ever lively Tévez.

It was great to see Andy Morrison summarising the first half at the break. Where would we have been without him? We certainly would not have been promoted so soon out of the third division, and who knows when our club dear club would have escaped that God forsaken division, if at all.

West Brom started the second half much the quicker. Indeed, the best Baggies team since that wonderfully entertaining Regis, Cunningham, Cantello, Peter Barnes et al side of late 70s and early 80s dominated the rest of the game.

In the 56th minute Rosenburg rattled the bar with a fiercely struck free kick and from the rebound Hart pushed Billy Jones’ header around the post. A minute later Morrison also forced Hart to make another good save to preserve our lead.

City had to soak up long periods of West Brom pressure but held our shape very well, which was a testament to the organisational skills of Roberto Mancini: skills that are often taken for granted in some quarters. Indeed, we have much to thank Roberto Mancini for and hopefully he will continue his great work here.

We had our chances to put the game to bed. Rodwell forced a point blank save from Myhill, then Nasri fed Milner who cut in to force another save.

After seeing Tamas cross for Rosenburg to force another save from Hart, Mancini switched to a 3-5-2 formation, pushing Micah Richards between Kolo Touré and Lescott, and it helped to frustrate West Brom for the last quarter of an hour. Long hit the side netting, but that was it.

So it was mission accomplished. Three points, a place at Europe’s top table guaranteed for a third successive year and no obvious injuries. Wembley here we come!

Come on City.

Goal: Dzeko 35.

Attendance: 46,152

Ratings:
Hart: Made some very important saves and interventions to more than earn our clean sheet, making one or two erratic clearances academic: 8
Richards: After a start when Lukaku was perhaps allowed too much room to run between Micah and Kolo he had a better game position wise. His pace was an key factor in making important interventions, and it was good to see him win some aerial battles with quintessentially powerful headers: 6
Kolo Touré: It will be a shame to see him go, and he was afforded a nice round of applause as he warmed up in the North Stand/Colin Bell corner. Whilst his pace is not quite what it was, he put in some good challenges and dug Kolarov out of a hole at least once: 6
Lescott: A good, solid performance again. We should keep this guy: 7
Kolarov: Some good crosses but first and foremost a defender’s job is to defend and he was a liability in defence: 5
Milner: Never lets us down with his hard work and showed some lovely skill on the right flank. He played for a full game so unfortunately it looks like he will have to settle for a place on the bench at Wembley: 7
Rodwell: A very tenacious showing with some thunderous tackles but his best moment was his lively pass that helped set up the winning goal. Was given the official man of the match award (slightly shaded by Tévez for this observer) and a well-deserved round of applause when he left the pitch. It’s been said before, but if he can stay fit, he is going to be a very important player for us, because he has everything: 8
Garcia: Much too slow and ponderous for the top flight of English football and struggled to get challenges in yet again. His passing is not up to the required standard either: 4
Nasri: Another very pleasing performance and his ovation was well earned. His being subbed and Milner staying on suggests that he will get the nod over James Milner at Wembley: 7
Tévez: His trademark relentless drive, skill and determination were a joy to behold. He deserved a goal but had to settle for a well crafted assist. Another who earned City fans singing songs about him again: another sign of forgiveness: 8 (Man of the Match)
Dzeko: Scored a superb volleyed goal and linked play well even if he doesn’t relish the physical side of the game. It was an improvement on his disinterested showings of late. Being a “rhythm player” who needs a run of games to show his best form, Edin has suffered from squad rotation and a lack of crosses from wide positions, so it is possible to have some sympathy for him. However, that does not justify some of his disinterested performances on other days. While he is paid by us he needs to be showing the same effort levels as he did against West Brom: 7
Subs:
Barry (For Nasri 73): Warmed up for Wembley with another good, reliable showing: 7
Maicon (for Rodwell 75): Some tricky moments in defence and one wild shot: 5
Razak (for Tévez 90): n/a

Booked: Kolarov, Nasri

Best Oppo: Lukaku: On a season long loan, getting top flight experience, he was lively, strong, skilful and very quick. Chelsea are going to have some player on their hands: potentially a new Drogba. If they don’t take him back (and they are linked with a player plus cash swap for Fellaini), City would do well to consider him for our squad. His countryman, Sir Vincent, rates him very highly and he should know: 8

Refwatch: Phil Dowd: Struggled to get his not inconsiderable frame to keep up with play. Literally doesn’t look fit to referee! Not very impressive: 4

The atmosphere:

“Doo, doo, doo… Peter Odemwinge” chanted the City singing section as a wind up to the Baggies who have a very dim view of a player who tried and failed to force a move to QPR in January. What a contrast between him and our very own Pablo Zabelata!

West Brom normally bring a good number of supporters who make a lot of noise, but not this time where their support was in the low hundreds. One can only conclude that the fact this was a midweek end of season game was the reason for their very low number of followers (who, to be fair made themselves heard at times), because the cost of tickets for this match was relatively low compared to other clubs.

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

WET SPAM

Enjoyed Phil’s piece as always, on West Ham. I was there in 1987 (and 1958!) and was responsible for their second goal, catching the ball in the crowd, throwing it to Mark Ward who sent over the corner from which they scored. Respect to the ‘ammers fans that day.

Regarding West Ham and the Rags, the rivalry goes back to 1967. The Rags won the title there 6-1 with some dodgy refereeing decisions, surprise, surprise. Rags fans took over the East End that day and the ‘ammers fans vowed for it never to happen again. It was the start of modern hooliganism – one of the few original things that United have managed. City played there the week after and the programme notes were critical of United fans from the previous week.

That same day United drew at home with Stoke, a game famous for Paddy Crerand spitting in the face of Stoke’s Tony Allen, caught on MOTD. “Och It was nothing” Paddy said afterwards. You won’t find any references anywhere else. Rags selective memory – legendary.

Dave Wallace <dw001e8104(at)blueyonder.co.uk>

ANNIVERSARY of PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP

I lived and worked in North Manchester until my retirement to the South West a while ago. Soon afterwards, I got lumbered into writing for “Memories of Middleton”, a thrice-yearly publication where we oldies go on a bit about the past and also describe our current interests. In the latest issue, John Beeston gives an interesting account of his career.

John was City’s physio during the 1950’s and he was at the Cup Finals in 1955 and 1956 when he had to take care of the injured Jimmy Meadows (1955) and Bert Trautmann (1956). He also had to take charge of Don Revie’s teeth after the team had been presented to the Queen – Don did not want to meet her minus his gnashers! There are photos of John treating Denis Law, Don Revie, Bobby Johnstone and Bert Trautmann. John was pleased to become a member of the Manchester City Former Players’ Association and to be a guest at the Etihad for the tribute to Bert Trautmann.

I did the enclosed article for “Memories” last year. It was not aimed at City fans but to be of general interest to Middletonians at large and perhaps to annoy those inclined to be Red. Anyway, I think it represents a “working man’s” view of 13.5.2013 and might be okay for MCIVTA. I will leave it with you.

AM I BLUE

This is the title of a romantic song and, in the lyrics, the author explains what it is all about. Now, if the question were asked of me I would answer “Yes and No”. Yes to Blue as a colour as I have been a supporter of Manchester City for more years than Alex Ferguson has had packets of chewing gum and sky blue has always been the colour of our home shirt. There has never been a dull moment as we have passed through eight decades, in peacetime, wartime, peacetime again, playing in the Premier League, in most Divisions of the Football League, in European competitions and in fixtures in Africa, North America, the Far East, and even the Isle of Man! There have been successes and disappointments to keep up interest and necessary changes of playing staff and management to keep the show on the road. So, in this context, it can be said that I am Blue through and through.

On the other hand I would say “No” to being Blue as melancholy. We Blues have never been ones to mope (well, perhaps on the odd occasion!) and we were fully rewarded by the events of Sunday 13th May 2012 when the final fixtures of the Premier League 2011-1012 season were played. The two Manchester clubs occupied the top two positions, each had the same number of points but City had the better goal difference and they had only to equal United’s result on the day to become Premier League Champions for the very first time. Both clubs had matches that, on form, they were expected to win. United were away to Sunderland, a mid-table club with nothing to gain or lose, and City were at home to Queens Park Rangers, a club in danger of relegation from the League. But wait a minute, as QPR were in danger of being relegated, needing one more point (that is a draw) to ensure that this would not happen, maybe it wouldn’t be an easy match after all.

The whole football world was watching, courtesy of the magic of TV and, at half-time, both City and United were ahead by one goal to nil. Everything in the garden was rosy as the Blues were incessantly attacking a defensively determined QPR when, midway in the second half, disaster struck. An attempted back pass to the City goalkeeper fell short, a QPR attacker intercepted and he scored an equalising goal! Worse was to follow as QPR made an excellent clearance from one of City’s incessant attacks to score a superb breakaway goal and take a 2-1 lead. This was not in the script; City needed two more goals to win and time was running out.

More attacks, more corner kicks, all to no avail as normal time approached. The time to be added for stoppages began as City were taking their umpteenth corner kick and a window on the TV screen showed United leaving the field at Sunderland as 1-0 winners. Was it all over? Had United retained the Premier League title? Well not quite, play was still in progress at City and, at that very time, the ball was being headed into the QPR net from the corner for an equalising goal! Too little, too late perhaps but City had at least preserved their unbeaten home record in the league.

Hang on a bit, there was quite a lot of added time due to a QPR player refusing to leave the field after he had been dismissed by the referee so maybe, just maybe… Then, following some excellent interplay between City’s two young strikers, they conjured a truly wonderful goal to win the match 3-2 and ensure that City were Barclays Premier League Champions. So “Am I Blue?” Answer “Yes and No”, as I have said before.

There was also a happy ending for our opponents as other results on the day meant that QPR had been able to avoid relegation.

Derek Styles <deranne1(at)aol.com>

FA CUP FINAL

The game Swansea versus City should ring out a warning to City in the FA Cup versus Wigan.

We can say the City defence played well against Swansea, having a clean sheet, but it was the missed opportunities to score that concerns me.

Whilst Wigan at West Brom came back to win their game 2-3, with an attitude of never saying no!

This is that time of year when Wigan always produce a determined team playing to avoid relegation; they are going to love being underdog in the final, so City must not take the Latics lightly.

Being overwhelming favourites can make a team become complacent, but to be confident without being over-confident, can be good.

The bookmakers will love a Wigan win, so beware!

Myself and other City fans cannot see this game being anything but a City victory.

May all the lucky fans have a safe journey to Wembley, whilst the rest of the world watches the game on TV.

Come May 23 2013, it will be nice for City to produce the Budweiser sponsored FA Cup in Saint Louis, the headquarters of Budweiser, when City play Chelsea in a sold-out post-season game.

Good luck City! In Mancini I trust!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

10 FAMOUS BELGIANS

Another Bosman…

Remember that pub game popular in the 80’s?

Can you name 10 famous Belgians?

The audience would um and err and, finally, one bright spark would come up with cyclist Eddy Mercx (well done, that’s 1 name after three hours of swilling). Then after 3 more pints the music hound in the drinking group would come up with Plastic Bertrand (that’s 2/10). In a mental twist we’d try for 3/10 with Hercule Poirot, but he was discounted as he was a fictional character, as was Tin Tin. It remained at 2, a very, very poor effort.

Of course, nowadays, it’s a piece of cake. Without too much effort we have an all Premier League Belgian national team. Mignolet (in goal), Vertongen, Vermalen, Mirallas, Hazard, Dembele, Benteke, Lukaku, Fellaini and of course our very own Vinny Kompany. Then ex-blue Daniel van Buyten on the bench.

(Belgium are my outside bet for a semi-final finish in Brazil 2014)

That’s 12 Belgians, then there is that idiot in Brussells – Basil van Rumpuy. Now I’m not an expert on pancakes but I know a to**er when I see (and hear) one.

From having difficulty in reaching 2, we now have 13 without breaking sweat. Of course the most famous Belgian of all time appeared in the football mind set in 1995 when a small article made the news on the bottom of page 14 of the Telegraph with an almost apologetic inclusion.

“Belgian 2nd Division footballer Jean Marc Bosman has filed a complaint with UEFA and the European Court of Justice stating that whilst he was out of contract with his club he felt it was unfair for the club to hold on to his registration papers and demand a transfer fee. If he were to find another club to play for and ply his trade he felt it unfair that his present club (who no longer wanted him) demand payment for the transfer. This action was tantamount to restraint of trade and prevented Bosman from making a living. He felt that that being out of contract should make him a free agent and move to a new club without any financial penalty” (Paraphrasing).

It seems so long ago and such an obvious nugget of common sense. The rest of course is history and the freedom of movement at the end of a contract is now known as “doing a Bosman”. I wonder if the Goal line Technology machine will be known as “Lampard”.

Well the lawyer who acted for Bosman who filed the motion, fought the case and defeated UEFA was Jean Louis-Dupont. Well, he is at again only this time it’s the Financial Fair Play regulations that he is tackling. A football leech (if you will) or, as they are properly called, a football agent called Daniel Striani, has instructed Dupont to take his case to the European Court of Justice.

The UEFA General Secretary is dismissive of Striani’s challenge but Dupont claims the FFP regulations are anti-competitive, and has outlined five effects of FFP: they will restrict investment in clubs, entrench the existing status quo, reduce the number of transfers, dampen the players’ salaries and adversely affect Striani’s income.

For City and Chelsea they will assert that FFP is unfair because it preserves the existing dominance of clubs like United and Arsenal by preventing newcomers to run-up losses while they break in.

The one quote I hang on to is from Sam Allardyce who says that FFP means West Ham cannot bid for Andy Carroll, which is a shame.

Let’s wait and see if Striani and DuPont’s legal challenge for FFP has got legs and see if they can punt Platini’s idea of FFP into the long grass. I never thought I’d be cheerleading a Belgian football agent.

Plus ça change!

C’mon you Blues And Striani…

Philip Lines <philipjlines(at)hotmail.com>

TURN OFF THE GRILL

Ladies and Gentlemen, the bacon is leaving the grill and there’s been some consumption of Jelly and Ice cream…

It will not surprise you that I am delighted the Baconface is packing it in, though Moyes, as we know to our cost, will be a fierce opponent who will not be taken lightly (though many Rags are whingeing about Gollum already as not being good enough for them, which sounds a bit like 1989/90 and a certain Scottish manager).

It has been quite amusing seeing Rags bricking it. We haven’t seen that since May 2012…

“It’s like a death in the family” wailed one on Nicky Campbell’s phone in on BBC 5Live. Oh, the humanity! Whilst they fawned over Baconface, several Rags couldn’t resist getting their digs in at City, like they did in previous weeks when they sealed the title. Too many have always been completely incapable of enjoying their own success with putting others down.

Where were all these Rags on September 23rd 1989 when City thrashed them 5-1? Half of their so-called “fans” left at half time as they trailed 3-0 to Mel Machin’s super changed young side. Most of the remainder chanted “Fergie Out”. What a bunch of hypocrites. As late as 1990 they had banners calling for him to go: “3 YEARS OF EXCUSES AND IT’S STILL CR*P… TARA FERGIE” being one of them on display at old Trafford. Hypocrisy and United have always been comfortable bedfellows.

Predictably, the coverage has been excessive and wall to wall. The eulogies have been over the top, and my wife and my mum are even more sick of them than I am! Undoubtedly he has been the most successful manager in the history of English football but there has been a lot of cheating and a myriad of refereeing decisions to help him on his way. Yes, despite the homespun image that United like to project, he spent a lot of money too, especially in the late 80s/early 90s as he built his first Championship side. There’s no problem with them spending money. It’s United’s quintessential hypocrisy and bumptiousness that irks.

I’ve hated the guy for years. He’s been a horrible bully who has intimidated referees and others. His teams have played a nasty, cheating, win at all costs style that has appalled a lot of supporters of other clubs too. My late dad, who by no means could be described as Manchester United fan, liked him because he was straight and no nonsense. I begged to differ because I don’t believe much of what he says. There’s been too much selective criticism and character assassination of referees, hypocrisy and snide digs at City and other clubs for that.

Surely, Phil, you’ve got to give him some credit? Actually I will. United’s very ordinary team (by their standards) last season would not have got so close to us last season were it not for our dropping some silly points and his force of personality, brow beating that team and referees onto the same number of points as us, but happily an inferior goal difference!

The City fan that I sit next to hails from the Stretford area and says that Ferguson always turns up to present trophies for his lad’s football team. He’s met him on a few occasions and says he is a nice, down to earth bloke who makes time to talk with no airs and graces. Another friend of a friend whose dad is a long serving scout at United says the same, describing Ferguson as talking to him “on the level” and asking after his dad.

Yes I despise him on one level, i.e. the football level. I cannot and have no desire to change that because I have seen too much appalling, graceless behaviour from Baconface for that. As a man outside his competitive arena, he appears to be different. I wish him good health, but I’m mightily glad that he’s gone (but wouldn’t be surprised if he returned).

It will continue to be all United, United, United in the media, but more so. We’ll still get our negative press, but it may allow us to step out of the spotlight a little bit.

The main thing is that we do what we need to do and keep improving under Roberto Mancini, our man for the job.

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

FA CUP TICKETS AVAILABLE I

I am hoping you can help me and 3 other people. I have been a subscriber to MCIVTA for a good few years now and have contributed a few times. Have been a season ticket holder for 11 years now and for a genuine reason I have four tickets for the FA Cup Final this Saturday.

Long story short, I’m going with the lads and have been given four tickets from someone I personal train (fitness wise). I’d like to pass on the tickets to proper fans and not on to touts etc. who will make a killing, sell to anyone etc.

I’m not sure how this kind of thing would work normally. I have already asked around the lads and further afield but no one needs. Thought I’d see if you knew anyone or someone who knows someone etc., make someone’s day.

Please get them to email me if you do and thanks for your help.

Richard Swallow <regswallow(at)hotmail.com>

FA CUP TICKETS AVAILABLE II

Due to a stroke of luck with a client I am the proud owner of two tickets for Club Wembley on Saturday, meaning I have some spare tickets. Three in fact, all next to each other. I wondered if there would be a pre-final edition going out, as I’d love them to go to proper City fans not touts.

We shelled out £85 each, so if there are any takers, please pass on my details.

James Sowden <Mcfcsowden(at)hotmail.com>

CITY PUB IN LONDON

I have a vague memory of there once being a big City pub down in Mayfair (or similar area) – run by a couple of City fans, with MCFC pictures all over the wall.

Does anyone know what it’s called? I always meant to go in there when in London but haven’t made it until now, and quite fancy it on the Friday night before the final.

Or am I imagining this?

Richard Ellor <richardellor(at)hotmail.com>

FA CUP FINAL IN RHODE ISLAND

Manchester City vs. Wigan Athletic
Saturday 11th May 2013
Kick off – 12.15pm East coast time USA

Will be viewed in the Mews Tavern, 456 Main St., Wakefield RI 02879. We have 69 draft beers on tap, mostly local breweries and imports. Real ales including Blue Moon. There will be a selection of $3.00 drafts chosen each day and decent prices for food.

If you’ve read my rants you will know what to expect, so I hope we can get some fellow Blues in for the game.

Obviously after my predictions of the past, like betting on MacManaman to score against Fulham and not getting off the bench, let’s hope for a great game and victory.

Philip Telford <telfordpnt(at)hotmail.com>

PADDY CRERAND CLASSIC

http://media.newstalk.ie/newstalk/media_uploads/upload_mp3/crerand1.mp3

Joel Perry <joel.perry(at)mac.com>

WEMBLEY TICKETS

Dear fellow Blues,

I’m desperately after three tickets for the Final, for a couple of mates and my Godson.

I know it’s a tall order – but if you hear of anything – let me know. A pair together and a single, if not three together.

Another fine Dzeko display today.

Hope everyone is well.

Joel Perry <joel.perry(at)mac.com>

AND FINALLY… FA CUP FINAL PREVIEW

Not long to go now.

On Saturday we are going to Wembley for the FA Cup Final and, yes, I’m stating the obvious but after waiting between 1981 and 2011 for a Cup Final, it cannot be taken for granted. They shouldn’t anyway, and I never want to get blasé about one, even if 2011 was special because of it being the first for 30 years and our first trophy for 35. The FA Cup will always be special, and perhaps even more so for having to wait 30 years to win it after being so close in 1981. I’m as excited as any little kid and I have that little tingle down my spine when I think about it.

Our kids are going to have their first sleepover at Granny’s without us (thanks Mum), and my friend Stephen has kindly agreed to drive us to London.

Wigan will not be taken lightly by Roberto Mancini and the players. They outplayed us with their neat passing game but we somehow managed to beat them with a brilliant late Carlos Tévez strike a few weeks ago. Their players possess good technique and skill in attack and midfield but are vulnerable in defence as their defeat to Swansea emphasised. They are capable on their day of defending well as we found out. They are likely to play their usual 3-4-3 formation, but it is fluid enough for them to withdraw two forwards into deeper positions and make it a six man midfield, which is something that they used to out-number us at times.

Not that City should get overly concerned or worry too much about any opposition. If we play our game to the best of our ability we should win. Not that superstition will allow me to predict the outcome!

Mancini’s main dilemma will be whether to select James Milner or Samir Nasri in midfield. A few weeks ago Milner would have been a shoe-in, but Nasri has played so well in the last eight games, including scoring the opening goal in the semi-final, that his claims are impossible to ignore. His withdrawal before the end of the West Brom game suggests that Mancini will plump for him on Saturday. It would be unfortunate on the popular, dedicated Milner, but one would expect him to feature at some stage like Pablo Zabaleta did two years ago against Stoke.

Mancini could of course play both Milner and Nasri and go for five in midfield, or alternatively he could play one those and withdraw Agüero onto the left or behind the striker, which would counter Wigan’s numbers. Hopefully Yaya Touré will make it and he is of course another option just behind the striker, or indeed up front.

Another alternative is a 4-3-3 with two from Agüero, Silva and Nasri either side of Tévez. Edin Dzeko is another option, but probably less likely, with him playing a full game in midweek.

Roberto Mancini is certainly not short of options, but I expect Roberto will go with:
Pantilimon; Zabaleta Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Silva, Yaya, Barry, Nasri; Tévez, Agüero.

Tévez and Agüero combine very well together in our short passing game and allow us to play at a high tempo from the front. If Milner were selected he would certainly aid this in midfield.

Nothing is guaranteed, but in Roberto Mancini we have a manager who gets it right for the vast majority of time.

I hope to meet some of you for the first time at Wembley. I hope you enjoy the day and most of all I hope City win!

Come on City.

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

STOP PRESS: EAST ANGLIAN SOS

I know it’s short notice but is there a City venue in Norfolk/Suffolk where I can watch the Cup Final with CTID supporters? Otherwise, it’s a pub in Beccles with lots of Rags fans!

Here’s hoping?

Come on you Blues!

I’ve been exiled in Suffolk for 20 years, followed City since I was 3. Funny story for you, I became a Blue when I was 3 (lived in Davyhulme, Urmston by rights nearer to Old Trafford). Peter Hargreaves, the boy next door, was a Red and he put a United top on me, the old 70s Bobby Charlton top. I didn’t like this. took it off and stood on it, and ever since I have been a Blue – Junior Blue, then season ticket in Platt Lane in 70s-80s and then season ticket in Kippax 80s-90s.

CTID, Mike <mike.baker(at)norfolk.gov.uk>

RESULTS AND TABLE

8 May 2013

Chelsea               2 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     41,581

7 May 2013

Manchester City       1 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  46,158
Wigan Athletic        2 - 3  Swansea City          18,550

6 May 2013

Sunderland            1 - 1  Stoke City            38,130

5 May 2013

Liverpool             0 - 0  Everton               44,991
Manchester United     0 - 1  Chelsea               75,500

4 May 2013

Fulham                2 - 4  Reading               24,087
Norwich City          1 - 2  Aston Villa           26,842
Swansea City          0 - 0  Manchester City       20,242
Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 0  Southampton           36,190
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 3  Wigan Athletic        25,756
West Ham United       0 - 0  Newcastle United      34,962
Queens Park Rangers   0 - 1  Arsenal               18,178

League table as at 6 May 2013

                        P / GD / Pts
 1 Manchester Utd      36 / 42 / 85
 2 Manchester City     36 / 31 / 75
 3 Chelsea             36 / 34 / 69
 4 Arsenal             36 / 31 / 67
-----------------------------------
 5 Tottenham Hotspur   36 / 18 / 66
-----------------------------------
 6 Everton             36 / 14 / 60
 7 Liverpool           36 / 25 / 55
 8 West Bromwich Alb   36 /  0 / 48
 9 Swansea City        36 /  0 / 46
10 West Ham Utd        36 / -8 / 43
11 Stoke City          36 /-10 / 41
12 Fulham              36 /-11 / 40
13 Aston Villa         36 /-21 / 40
14 Southampton         36 /-11 / 39
15 Sunderland          36 /-12 / 38
16 Norwich City        36 /-22 / 38
17 Newcastle Utd       36 /-23 / 38
-----------------------------------
18 Wigan Athletic      36 /-23 / 35
19 Reading             36 /-26 / 28 R
20 QPR                 36 /-28 / 25 R

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Philip Alcock)         : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour                      : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page/Twitter

http://www.mcivta.com/ is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site. You can also follow on www.twitter.com/mcivta to get the latest updates.

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

The official club web site can be found at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/ and the official club Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mcfc. The club also has a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mcfcofficial

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club (http://www.mcfcsupportersclub.com/). The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (http://www.mcdsa.co.uk/).

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

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears on the club website under the “Fans” heading (http://www.mcfc.co.uk/Fans).

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

Live match commentary can be found on the club website. The Radio Manchester pre- and post-match phone-in is available on the web at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/england/manchester/.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/ provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A useful site for North American viewers is http://msn.foxsports.com/.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with Usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/Usenet

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

There are a number available and direct links can be found at http://www.mcivta.com/players/

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

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at http://twitter.com/#!/MCFC/players

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth historical analysis try http://www.mcfcstats.com/.


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


[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1903

2013/05/09

Editor:


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