Newsletter #1904

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest


A year ago to the day I was compiling the most amazing piece of written material I think I have ever been involved in.

365 days later I’m cutting and pasting a club statement, which will be breaking around the world as I type.

One year from uncontrolled elation to utter deflation.

Even worse, my lucky socks didn’t work at Wembley 🙁

Next Game: Reading, Madejski Stadium, 14 May 2013, 20.00

CLUB STATEMENT – 13/5/2013 10.22pm

It is with regret that Manchester City Football Club announces that Roberto Mancini has been relieved of his duties as Manchester City Manager.

This has been a difficult decision for the owner, Chairman and Board to make and it is the outcome of a planned end of season review process that has been brought forward in light of recent speculation and out of respect for Roberto and his extensive contributions to the Football Club.

Despite everyone’s best efforts, the Club has failed to achieve any of its stated targets this year, with the exception of qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions’ League. This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the Club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013/14 season and beyond.

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “Roberto’s record speaks for itself and he has the respect and gratitude of Sheikh Mansour, myself and the Board for all of his hard work and commitment over the last three and a half years. He has clearly also secured the love and respect of our fans. He has done as he promised and delivered silverware and success, breaking the Club’s 35-year trophy drought and securing the title in 2012. I would like to personally and publicly thank him for his dedication to the progress that he has overseen and for his support and continued friendship.”

Assistant Manager Brian Kidd will take interim responsibility for the remaining two games of the season and the post-season tour to the United States.


MANCHESTER CITY 0 WIGAN 1

“When I needed sunshine I got rain…”

City lost the 2013 Cup Final as Wigan thoroughly deserved to lift the Cup. The numb feeling of defeat in an FA Cup Final is new for younger City fans, and a distant memory for those who were around in 1981. The main disappointment is that our players did not show up, and they have no excuse for this poor performance.

The build-up to a Cup Final should be filled with positive expectation, and joy at being there, but something wasn’t quite right in the atmosphere amongst our support. We shouldn’t have had the manager’s future on our mind on Cup Final day, and it certainly affected the mood on a showery day in North London. The 2013 FA Cup Final began against this strange backdrop.

City started off on top and took the game to Wigan for the first 7 minutes. Yaya forced a smart save from Joel after a Tévez free kick rebounded to him in the third minute.

Wigan then began to get a foothold in the game and their precocious youngster Callum McManaman cut in and fired a left foot shot wide after Kone played him six minutes later.

Wigan grew increasingly comfortable in the game and forced us to chase shadows as they strung together several series of short passes, probing for scoring opportunities. Wigan’s forwards pulled our defence all over the place with their clever movement. Kompany in particular was pulled out onto our right by Kone’s powerful movement, leaving gaps into the centre for Maloney, McManaman and the late arriving Jordi Gomez to exploit. Scharner headed over from a corner in the 15th minute then Maloney fired wide in the 22nd.

Possession was fairly even though, and just before the half hour City had our best chance of the match. Nasri slid a ball through for Silva to cross from the left hand bye-line and Tévez’s goal-bound shot was somehow saved by Joel’s legs. It was so frustrating because he’d dived the wrong way. Tévez tried his luck again a minute later with another thrilling run from the right hand side but fired over at the end of it.

However, City were always vulnerable to Wigan’s attacks and there was a coming together in the box between Espinoza and Zabaleta. The Wigan winger’s eagerness to go to ground probably made up the mind of referee Marriner. Wigan were the better side after the first seven minutes. Led by playmaker Shaun Maloney, their neat passing was more composed than ours, and they passed the ball round Barry and particularly sluggish Yaya Touré. To compound this, Callum McManaman gave Gael Clichy a torrid time on our left flank with his trickery and pace. The feeling was that he always had the beating of Clichy, who is no slouch himself. McManaman gave us a heart-stopping moment as he tried his luck down our right, beating Zabaleta and evading two other challenges as he led our defence a merry dance and left Joe Hart stranded. We breathed a huge sigh of relief, though, as Zaba recovered to block McManaman’s goal-bound shot with the trunk of his body. The young Scouser (who had been released by Everton at 16) was having a terrific match.

Nasri was having some joy on the left and just before the break he cut in from the left and his curling shot was pushed out by Joel.

It hadn’t been a good first half from City, and we needed a significant improvement to beat Wigan. That improvement was not forthcoming. The second half didn’t start that well. McCarthy was wide and Nasri wasted a good crossing position.

Then, five minutes after the break, Tévez created a good chance with a searching low cross in front of us, but Emerson Boyce just got a toe ahead of Sergio Agüero to thwart him. On most days one would back Sergio to have scored, but sadly for us, he lacked sharpness on this occasion. That chance apart, we hadn’t started the second half well, and Mancini made a change within 10 minutes, bringing on Milner for Nasri and moving Silva into the centre. Whilst Mancini hadn’t been in the technical area as much as normal before the break, no one could say that he wasn’t animated or prepared to make decisions in the second half. Some of those decisions came off, some didn’t.

Milner and Zabaleta quickly started to interchange passes down the right and Zaba delivered a decent cross. All it needed was a good run and a touch, but disappointingly, there was no one on hand to knock it in. Silva’s delivery from free kicks was not up to its usual standard and he ballooned one over everyone. Increasingly Wigan teased and tormented with their passing, and McManaman’s darting runs, one of which was terminated by a Zabaleta foul, which earned him a yellow card. Jordi Gomez fired over in the 64th minute, then more intricate interplay saw Kompany have to throw his body in the way of McManaman’s goal-bound shot. The tension went up several notches. The longer the game went on, the more Wigan grew in confidence. Their passing had been more assured throughout and while they grew in stature, City shrunk.

Then, strangely, Mancini replaced Tévez with Rodwell. Granted, it allowed Yaya freedom to be pushed forward but Yaya never looked like going on one of his powerful runs, or creating anything. Tévez had been one of the more likely City players to make things happen. It proved to be a mistake.

Rodwell headed into Joel’s arms from Milner’s free kick. Yaya had a shot deflected behind for a corner. In between these two, Maloney increased tension when his free kick dropped onto the top of the bar. City were getting increasingly worried by Wigan’s patient passing, and our chances took a severe dent when Barry made a schoolboy error and played a blind pass across the pitch which the speedy McManaman seized on and drove goalwards. The covering Zabaleta desperately tried to stop him but it was a clear foul. A predictable 2nd yellow and red card followed and for all Kompany’s and Zaba’s protests, it was the correct decision. We were holed below the water line. Zaba and Milner had been our best hope of creating something, and with Tévez gone too, it was a matter of trying to hang on for extra time.

Outnumbered and getting increasingly desperate, we gave away two free kicks in dangerous areas, Barry earned a booking for the second. Crossing fingers, crossing anything, we watched Maloney fired the first high over the bar and the second one earned them a corner. Then, with three minutes’ injury time being signalled, came the fateful moment. Maloney delivered an excellent corner and Watson glanced a header high into a billowing net. The numb reality of losing this Cup Final gripped us as the Wiganers celebrated at the far end.

Mancini threw on Dzeko, but it was much too late as we’d lost our poise and were in too much of a frenzy. The final whistle blew, we applauded Wigan straight away, and the Wigan fans were delirious with joy, as their adopted song, The Monkees’ version of Neil Diamond’s “I’m a believer” was played for a second time. They were certainly rewarded for their belief. The day deservedly belonged to Wigan.

As for City, some of the words of Neil Diamond’s song ring true: “When I needed sunshine I got rain…”

Why did we lose?

First of all, credit to Wigan who passed the ball better than City, and therefore retained possession better. They deserved to win. Congratulations to them and good luck for the rest of the season. Like many Blues, I hope they stay up.

Whilst we struggled to get the ball back from Wigan, we were too slow in midfield. Wigan passed the ball round our central pair of Barry and Yaya. Yaya looked sluggish all afternoon, and didn’t look “up for it”, but he wasn’t alone. As a collective we did not match Wigan for desire. The players did not go out not to try, but they were rather flat. We did not pass the ball quickly enough or with the same zip and invention as the victors. Dissecting the goal, Watson ran across and ahead of Rodwell and glanced the ball in.

Maybe we could have done more to stem the flow of Wigan’s attacks. Rodwell may have been a quicker option in central midfield, and we should have had more support for Clichy up against McManaman. Left midfielder Nasri offered him next to nothing. Our failure is collective. Our players have passed up the chance of a trophy. With all respect to Wigan, for all their good skills and passion, they are in the relegation zone, and if the City players had applied themselves and performed at anything like their best, we would have won.

The fact that Roberto Mancini’s future is uncertain is irrelevant. These City players are experienced professionals and should give a performance.

We have to use the hurt of this defeat to our advantage, to regain our title and to get us back to Wembley next season. That should mean the club sticking with Roberto Mancini, and giving him at least three players to freshen up this squad, which is looking stale. The events of the last week suggest he will not get the chance he deserves.

Ratings:
Hart: Didn’t have a shot to save. Not at fault for the goal: 6
Zabaleta: Pinned back in our half for much of the first half, he had been linking up with Milner well after the break. Made a good block with his body to deny McManaman before the break. Sent off after two fouls on McManaman, the second of which was possibly avoidable, with Nastasic the covering defender: 6
Kompany: City’s best defender had his hands full with the strong Kone to mark, but did adequately. Made one crucial block to keep us in the game: 6 (Best of a bad bunch)
Nastastic: Nervous in his passing at the start, which is understandable, but settled down reasonably well. 6
Clichy: Struggled against McManaman’s pace and trickery all afternoon: 5
Silva: Unable to find a way through Wigan’s well-drilled defence. his passing lacked its trademark incisiveness: 6
Barry: Outpaced in midfield for most of this game. He still managed to make some crucial tackles, but then came the moment when he played a sloppy pass into McManaman’s path, and our defence was compromised: 6
Yaya: Strolled around too much. He was either unfit or lacked his usual hunger and desire. If he was unfit he should not have been playing, if he was fit, he more than anyone should be asking himself serious questions as to why he did not look anything like the player that strode round Wembley like a colossus in the semi final: 5
Nasri: A lively, creative influence down the left in the first half, before fading. Didn’t offer any defensive support to his partner down the left: 6
Tévez: Unlucky that Joel saved his first half shot with his legs. One of our livelier players, he didn’t deserve to be subbed, and he predictably didn’t look too happy about it: 6
Agüero: Didn’t look like it was his day from the start, and he lacked sharpness. With the exception of Tévez’s cross early in the second half, he was not on hand to convert others: 5
Subs:
Milner (for Nasri 54): Couldn’t be faulted for his effort, and he linked up well with Zabaleta down the right after he came on. If only the rest of the forward players could have done the same: 6
Rodwell (for Tévez 69) : Showed more energy in midfield than Yaya but was at fault for the goal in that he allowed Watson to run across him and jump ahead of him: 5
Dzeko (for Barry 90): His introduction was too late, but he tried frantically to get the ball into the danger area: n/a

Attend: 86.254.

Refwatch: Marriner: No dramas. A game well refereed: 7

Best Oppo: Callum McManaman: A real thorn in our sides al afternoon, combining pace, trickery and good passing. Gael Clichy is a good full back but he was given his hardest game of the season by this impressive young winger: 9

Particularly Proud

I was particularly proud to be a City fan on Saturday.

I was proud that so many City fans stayed behind to applaud Wigan at the final whistle and as they received the FA Cup. Without wishing to be too self-congratulatory (!) we have shown class and magnanimity in defeat. We were more than happy to shake hands and say “Well done, you deserved it” to Wigan fans. One lady Wigan supporter said to me “We wouldn’t have had that from United” after I congratulated her and her family on Marylebone Station. The Wigan fans were gracious in victory too and there was no hint of gloating. They were class. Whilst I am truly gutted to lose this Cup Final, I am genuinely pleased for the Wigan fans, and hope they stay up.

Our heads may be down, but we can hold our heads up high.

Our behaviour has not gone unnoticed. Let me give you a few quotes:

From the Wigan forum: “Thanks to all fans of all clubs for their kind words. It really does restore my faith in the football family. It isn’t (or should ever be) about slagging one another off. Well done everyone and can I just thank the many City fans who came over to congratulate us”

Gary Lineker tweeted: “Great dignity in defeat by Manchester City and their players. We seldom mention such things.”

Phil McNulty, BBC: “Man City will have been bitterly disappointed today but both club and supporters very magnanimous in defeat @philmcnulty”

If our club and our players can’t always make us proud, at least we can show them the way sometimes.

Deserving Better

“I never know, I never know, I never know why, you make me want to cry…” (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark)

It was a strangely flat atmosphere in the City end for much of the afternoon. Not the usual enjoyment of a day out at Wembley. Something wasn’t right. The increasingly strong speculation that Roberto Mancini is to be replaced by Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season certainly played a part in that. It certainly put more of a damper on the occasion than the elements on a showery day, Most of the City end chanted “Mancini woooah”, and small minority, probably not numbering more than 2,000 of the 50,000 plus City fans chanted “You can stick your Pellegrini up your…” (you know the rest).

Showing our support for Roberto Mancini by chanting his name is commendable but the chant about Manuel Pellegrini was disrespectful to our Board and Pellegrini, who is a well-respected manager. It must be stressed that it was a minority of our support who were chanting that. Pellegrini has won the League title in every country that he has managed in except Spain, where he got Real Madrid to a record points tally for them only to be beaten by the best ever Barcelona side. In Spain he took a small club, Villareal, to the Champions’ League semi-finals and Malaga to the quarters.

He also has a reputation for getting the best out of players wherever he goes. Soriano and Begiristain may see Pellegrini as a more avuncular presence than Mancini who has an unfortunate tendency to criticise some players in public, but that is not a reason to sack Mancini, who has been very successful here. We’re second in the League and have just been in another Cup Final. We’ve been in the top three in every full season under his tenure. Mancini has been let down by our failure to strengthen last summer. Many of us, myself included, will be very sad if Mancini, as it seems likely now, is sacked. His has turned our team into winners and winners with style. He has won our first trophy in 35 years, the FA Cup, and our first League Championship in 44 years. For that we should be eternally grateful and we should not be even contemplating replacing him one year on from winning the League. He needs backing with resources to add to the squad and move on its weaker elements.

The way this has been handled is poor. To allow the speculation aboutthe replacement of Mancini with Pellegrini to build without any officialstatement from City has undermined the manager before the Cup Final. Notthat it should excuse the players for their poor showing. The very leastthat the club could have done is to say there will be a review at the endof the season, but they have said nothing. Roberto Mancini is right toquestion “why they don’t stop this” speculation, though he should havedone it without naming City’s Head of Communications Vicky Kloss, whosehands were tied. The real power to stop this speculation further up thehierarchy and the Communications department had no authority to quash it.

Sacking Mancini and especially in this way is appalling. We are fully justified in being disgusted. This is no way to treat one of our most successful managers. No way to treat one of our most loved managers. Why do we never learn from history? Joe Mercer was similarly treated appallingly. Now another honest, essentially decent man is being shown the door without good reason. Even if the appointment of Pellegrini proves to be successful, and of course we hope it is and of course we’ll support him and wish him well if he comes, Mancini deserves better treatment than this and so do we, the fans.

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

FA CUP FINAL THERAPY

I’ve never written a match report before as I’ve enjoyed the job done by the MCIVTA experts in this field. However, in serious need of some therapy after the events of Saturday I sat up until 2am this morning watching the recording of the whole programme on ITV just to see if it looked any different, better or worse than actually being there. It didn’t.

So here goes, with a small amount of preamble:

We arrived at the Fusilier near Wembley for a few beers before walking the short mile to the stadium. My 18-year-old son and my 13-year-old daughter, watching her first City game, got tucked into their KFC and we headed straight toward the VIP entrance where we got some good photos of Liam Gallagher with his lad as well as Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton and a brief encounter with Robert Pires.

Into the ground early to soak it all up for 1.5 hours, marching band of the Grenadier Guards etc. and time to get the nails bitten down and generally worry loads.

To the game:

Well we started brightly enough and Sergio got us a free kick on the edge of the box after 2 minutes. Carlos hit the free kick into the encroaching wall with Yaya striking the rebounding ball at a nice height for Joel to comfortably push away from the goal. It soon became clear from our elevated position that Wigan would be playing a high pressing game, often with 4 closing in on our 4 defenders, whose only option was to lay the ball back to Joe Hart to kick up field. I counted this scenario at least 6 times in the first half with none of the resulting kicks being retrieved by a City player. And so began the pattern of the game. Wigan retained far more quality possession, passing quickly and sharply to each other while City passed slowly and often taking too many touches.

It became clear Wigan were trying to stretch the game wide whilst in possession, with Espinosa and McManaman hugging the touchlines but when defending forced City into a very congested area in front of their back four where they continually intercepted the passes we have become used to seeing in our short passing game. Wigan then hit us on the break and despite the quality of their possession never really troubled Hart thanks to some good interceptions and blocks from Barry, Nastasic, Kompany and Zabaleta.

In fact the best chance of the half fell our way in the 28th minute when a good run from Nasri led to Silva pulling the ball back for Tévez to score but it hadn’t gone in! The outstretched foot miraculously contrived to lift the ball just over the bar. City continued to create what could only be described as half-chances, which despite Wigan’s good play were superior chances and did trouble Joel in the Wigan sticks more than Joe in ours.

So the 2nd half began and you could sense the trepidation in City fans’ voices as the singing faltered a little. Then the heavens opened and the game seemed to flow more but still with minimal chances despite Clichy being skinned by the impressive McManaman for the 4th, 5th and 6th time, but why did he keep showing him the line? Milner came on for Nasri to great cheers from the City faithful and briefly injected some pace and passion into the right side of our attack but still we still failed to create the quality and quantity of chances we are used to seeing.

In an attempt to get a greater hold on the midfield we sacrificed Tévez for Rodwell and moved Silva slightly further up field. Sandwiched in between our 2 substitutions was Pablo’s 1st yellow card for a tug and a trip on McManaman, which on 83 minutes turned to a 2nd yellow following a dreadful pass from Barry.

With the benefit of hindsight he’d probably admit he didn’t need to make the sliding last gasp challenge, but he was placed in this predicament and had to make a split second decision. It was clear to see we had covering defenders but off he went and we knew, if we hadn’t realised already, that we were really up against it. So when the 90 minutes were up on the clock and McManaman skipped past Clichy for one last time only to get a corner it looked like extra time – but no such luck. The introduction of Dzeko for those last 3 minutes failed to offer any hope of us getting back into the game.

As much as it hurt, I felt we had to stay to the bitter end and so we watched them do what we had seen Vincent do for us 2 years ago. So the family tradition continues with my daughter. My eldest lad watched his first game in a 2-1 home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers 14 years ago and my 16-year-old saw his first game in a 1-0 home defeat to Southampton 12 years ago. One day they’ll all realise how far we’ve come when they remember their sister’s first game was an FA Cup Final.

Alan Frost <alan.x.frost(at)jpmorgan.com>

FA CUP DISAPPOINTMENT

I was very lucky that a friend of mine who worked for Budweiser, contacted me to say that I was the only City fan he knew, and would I like to join him for free at Wembley for the FA Cup Final… the answer was a definite yes. So off we went on the train from South London; this was the first time I ever watched City at Wembley, and my first ever FA Cup final, so fingers crossed.

Wow, what a crowd, 86,000 plus and a great atmosphere; I think City fans outnumbered Wigan fans 3-1.

Then I heard the team announced and Joe Hart was in goal: immediately I thought “bad omen” – I really could not understand how Mancini did not play Pantilimon as he has been excellent for us in every round to the final – and then he gets dropped! Both me and the City fan sitting next to me, just looked at each other and said “why?” Not a good omen!

City started off very well, but after that Wigan gradually took control and looked very assured all over the park. Tévez had our best chance just before half time, and somehow the ball struck the goalkeeper’s leg and went over the top. McManaman was causing us trouble with his runs and on one particular break, nearly everyone thought he had scored, till the ball went past the far post.

At half time, we all said that City were not playing with any tempo, and were playing way too slowly; we knew that City needed to come out in the second half and really impose themselves if they were going to win this game.

Bar a few patches, Wigan looked very comfortable, with City just not at the races. I really felt sorry for Agüero, who got very little service. We needed to boss the midfield but Wigan looked a lot better, they pressed and harried us and we never looked threatening. We probably needed to play one up front and flood the midfield; had we learnt nothing from our previous match with Wigan?

Zabaleta can have no complaints for his red card: to me they were two yellows, and the second one was so easily avoidable as we had possession, but a bad pass forced Zaba into the tackle that saw him sent off!

McManaman was giving Clichy a torrid time on the right wing, and just before they scored, it looked like Clichy had brought him down in the penalty area, only for the ref to award a corner… what relief we thought – very short lived, as Watson got on the end of it to break our hearts in the very last minute.

The final whistle went and the Wigan fans were ecstatic, with all City fans agreeing that they deserved it, as City were so poor.

They were not too many City players who had a good match, but our class players just did not deliver when it mattered. Yaya in particular, looked ponderous and was never really threatening. We played at such a slow tempo that all the Wigan players were able to get back and make it really difficult for us to get through. We never pressed, why I just don’t know: look what Southampton, Everton and Wigan did to us – it worked!

Why does David Silva take free kicks? Just rubbish, just floats the ball in. Compare that to Baines or van Persie, who whip the ball into dangerous areas. Our corners are rubbish too.

My first trip to Wembley, and utter disappointment… and to add insult to injury, I got soaked on the way home!

All the talk after the match was “What’s going to happen to Mancini?”

Come on City, let’s do better next season!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)blueyonder.co.uk>

OH NO MANUEL PELLEGRINI

Congratulations to Wigan on winning the FA Cup.

Whoever let the cat out of the bag that Manuel Pellegrini is taking over from Roberto Mancini, the bookies made it pretty clear, offering just 1/10 odds that this change will happen. The timing was outrageous, just before the FA Cup Final game.

As the City players were waiting for the train to take them to London, not one of them shared a smile; it looked as if the bad news had already been shared (see video on MCFC site)!

Our manager Roberto Mancini sent a signal when for today’s game he never wore his famous City scarf. I am not going to take anything away from Wigan’s win; they played well and deserved the FA Cup!

If Manuel Pellegrini is to take over, I would like the owners to give a realistic and honest reason as to why? Having just given Mancini a new five year contract?

Many will remember in one of my comments in McV: “If Roberto Mancini has a downfall, it will be because of Mario Balotelli”. Is this the reason? This was the only bad flaw that I saw. Sure, results in some games might have been different, and at times using maybe a different sub? That happens in games every day by all managers and by the best; hindsight is easy.

Maybe Roberto Mancini spoke the truth that the back room staff worked too slowly this season to get the right transfer players, with RvP going to our rivals.

I will be sad to see Roberto Mancini leave. If the change happens, I’m not going to be too excited about Manuel Pellegrini managing City.

Pellegrini only had one season before being fired by Real Madrid, after buying 4 players – Kaka, Ronaldo, Benzema and Alonso – for a staggering £200 million. He stated Real Madrid has a Galacticos policy but the President Florentino Perez of Real Madrid never liked Pellegrini’s style of football, Pellegrini appears to like spending money, but things are about to change with the “Fair Play Policy”.

In fairness to Pellegrini he has got Malaga into European qualifiers after becoming fourth in the League for the first time in their history, and without money to spend.

Full credit to the City owners who in the past have done so much good for MCFC. Thank You.

For City to be second in the League and into Europe next season, and FA Cup Final, it was a good season. Just hope that the MCFC owner does not start acting like the Chelsea owner!

At the end of the day, no one is bigger than our club Manchester City.

Writing this is just my opinion, everyone is entitled to theirs.

Right now nothing positive or negative has been said by the City owner, it is speculation by the British bookmakers, which has had all sports people talking.

Thank You Roberto Mancini. In you I trust!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE

Well done Wigan, that’s all I can say.

Had City shown half as much commitment, we would have been three-nil up at half-time. Wigan, however, were up for it, played above themselves and City looked as if they felt assured of the trophy before even kicking a ball.

We’ve been underdogs for most of the last 50 years, so let’s not be begrudge other outsiders their moments of glory. The best team on the day won in my opinion but I do hope that City learn the lesson from Saturday!

Robert Sleigh <robert_sleigh(at)web.de>

MARK HUGHES

I have never been a fan of sacking managers and was a bit apprehensive when Mark Hughes got his marching orders and was replaced with Bobby Manc. I felt that Hughes was more than capable of achieving what Roberto did in his first season and felt he had done little wrong. He seemed to be signing good players on the whole and we were making progress.

However, having seen what Hughes did a QPR, did our Middle Eastern owners spot something I clearly didn’t? To have spent the money he did at QPR and assemble that squad of useless mercenaries is frankly shocking. Not since Alan Ball blundered about at Maine Road have we witnessed such a shambles.

I think we might have dodged a nasty bullet there!

St. John Cox <stjohn.cox(at)gmail.com>

90 MINUTES OF RUBBISH

If I didn’t see the funny side I could have cried. A few things I find odd: why have we gone backwards, Rodwell for Tévez, where was the big front man, how anyone can think that Wigan were good is beyond me – they are one of the worst teams I’ve seen for a while apart from us.

Players should want to play for a team and not the money: show me the player with Blue blood!

Who will want to come and play at City now unless it’s for the money? The only players showing any interest are those who are stuck on expensive contracts and buy-out clauses that only City can afford.

I didn’t stay to watch Wigan collect the Cup ’cause I would have wanted to slap the City players for being so lifeless.

Sam Duxbury <sammy459(at)btinternet.com>

A SEASON OF UNDERACHIEVEMENT

Well there it is, it’s now official. After losing at Wembley, all we have to show for our efforts this season is a runners-up automatic Champions’ League place! Truly underwhelming! Even Rafa Benitez, despite the loathing of the Chelsea fans, could even land a trophy, and he won’t be there in a few months!

It’s bad enough not winning the FA Cup, which the NZ Media have gone overboard with, us losing to Wigan, which gave the Rags something more to crow about. No, they also get the chance to ‘wave the Premier League trophy’ in our faces; again the NZ media have gone overboard on showing now that Taggart has retired with a trophy!

This has also given the Rags-based paper MEN the opportunity to go delirious with reporting how their team have got one over us, and now local Wigan too. This has also been picked up by Phil McNulty at the BBC, who to be honest has written some of the most pro-Rag biased reporting I have read over recent years and will take every opportunity to stick one to our team.

Gutted, especially after the last 2 two years, and especially after the emotional euphoria of last year, standing on Princess St with my young son on my shoulders, watching our heroes go by with the trophy with pride. Yes, you bet I am and I know I won’t be the only one. To really rub it in, I keep getting sent e-mails from local and Aussie travel firms including Virgin down here for the Rags’ tour of Australia in the next month!

I know that even only a few years ago, finishing top 5 would have been hailed a success, especially with the resources the Rags have had over the last 25 years and we didn’t, but now we have, but the club have got to seriously ask themselves why we have gone empty handed this season? I don’t blame Mancini, he’s still one of the best for me, but if you don’t get the best players and buy rubbish (over the hill, and those who are not up to the level we now expect) and hire rubbish like Brian Marwood, like I said in my last post, then Mancini is not going to have the talent available is he?

Finally, and my rant is nearly over, the media is now spreading rumours that he’s going to be fired? To be honest, it’s the HR Director and a few of the directors, who should be fired!

Ok so now I say, get the season over, and plan better over the summer, clear the decks, move on those who are not up to the task, and let’s get the title back!

Rant over.

Peter Godkin <engineroomcreate(at)mac.com>

AND FINALLY… MANCINI

I’m furious, miserable, confused, bewildered and disappointed. I thought we’d have Bobby in charge for years. Charismatic, knowledgeable, enthusiastic… the guy had it all. Yes, he made mistakes in his substitutions, his transfers and some of his other strategy, but Mancini won us 3 trophies! His team brought us emotions and triumphs that few, if any, Blues had even dreamed of a decade ago. He brought us unforgettable wins at Old Trafford to boot. So, he failed at our first attempt in the Champions’ League in very tough groups… and for this he gets fired. We have craved continuity for 40 years. I really thought we had a stalwart manager in Mancini… and now he’s gone.

Back in the day, we were the laughing stock of football. Ball’s débâcle in ’96, the horrific Swales years. being middle of the third division. Now, after so many years of heartache, the good times had returned. I got over the FA Cup loss in a matter of minutes rather than months. It wasn’t that big a deal and I was genuinely happy for Wigan. I was looking forward to another crack at the title next year and was sure Mancini would get us into the knock-out stages of the UCL. I was and always will be thankful to Sheikh Mansour for getting us where we are (not where we should be… we have no right to be anywhere). But this is baffling. This is heartbreaking. This is depressing. This, my friends, is City.

After 37 years of following City, the Mancini sacking hurts more than the Ball débâcle on the last day versus Liverpool. It hurts more than being relegated to the third division. It hurts more than the years of ridicule from my Rag supporting family. I don’t know all that happens behind the scenes. I just know what I see. I think we are making a huge mistake. Sick to my stomach.

CTID, Benjamin Bloom, Miami, Florida <bennyblue25(at)yahoo.com>

RESULTS AND TABLE

12 May 2013

Stoke City            1 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     27,531
Everton               2 - 0  West Ham United       39,475
Fulham                1 - 3  Liverpool             25,640
Norwich City          4 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  26,837
Queens Park Rangers   1 - 2  Newcastle United      17,278
Sunderland            1 - 1  Southampton           41,988
Manchester United     2 - 1  Swansea City          75,572

11 May 2013

Aston Villa           1 - 2  Chelsea               42,084

League table as at 13 May 2013

                        P / GD / Pts
 1 Manchester Utd      37 / 43 / 88
 2 Manchester City     36 / 31 / 75
 3 Chelsea             37 / 35 / 72
 5 Tottenham Hotspur   37 / 19 / 69
-----------------------------------
 5 Arsenal             36 / 31 / 67
-----------------------------------
 6 Everton             37 / 16 / 63
 7 Liverpool           37 / 27 / 58
 8 West Bromwich Alb   37 / -4 / 48
 9 Swansea City        37 / -1 / 46
10 West Ham Utd        37 /-10 / 43
11 Stoke City          37 /-11 / 41
12 Norwich City        37 /-18 / 41
13 Newcastle Utd       37 /-22 / 41
14 Southampton         37 /-11 / 40
15 Fulham              37 /-13 / 40
16 Aston Villa         37 /-22 / 40
17 Sunderland          37 /-12 / 39
-----------------------------------
18 Wigan Athletic      36 /-23 / 35
19 Reading             36 /-26 / 28 R
20 QPR                 37 /-29 / 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 #1904

2013/05/13

Editor:


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest