Newsletter #1917

Well that was something of a hiccough wasn’t it?! The pasting Arsenal dished out was at least in a friendly and let’s hope we have got a misfire out of our system ahead of the big kick off a week on Monday.

It’s possible we have concluded our business for this transfer window, though murmurings of a centre back persist, and you would have to say we have conducted significantly better business than the last two transfer windows with our attack having more variety and depth to it then the past 12 months.

Our Championship side had Plans B and C, which are so important, especially when being frustrated by mass ranks of opposition defences. The area of concern is our pre-season leaking of goals. Let’s hope the solidity of the past 3 years isn’t lost.

Next Game: 19 August, Newcastle United, Etihad Stadium, 20:00 BST


Looks like we are done in the market for this “Window”. My last piece stated that I felt we needed cover at left back as Kolarov wasn’t up to requirements. Well , obviously Manuel is giving him another chance.

Also cover for Vincent Kompany at right centre back. I said that if he didn’t get cover, he’d give Javi Garcia a trial there and he did against Milan and we all now know he blew it.

Then, lo and behold, he promotes someone I’d forgotten about, Boyata he is called and besides starting nervously and the mistake at the very end with Bayern’s second goal, he was frankly brilliant.

That tackle on Ribery was fantastic, even if the referee didn’t approve, so he’s got the “gig”.

An aside. As we went 5-nil up against Milan, my thoughts wandered to our old mate Roberto Mancini. If he was watching, and I bet he was, he must have been as sick as a chip. Kicking himself for his imitation of Malcolm Tucker (will they now need a swear box on the Tardis), when all he needed to do was be like, well, Pellegrini.

My other main point, last time, was City’s splendidly functioning executive set up, which is the reason behind our transfer success and how shabby the contrasting set up looks across at United. It just gets worse, every time I see that poor man Moyes, both out of his depth with vocabulary and body language.

Whether or not Chelsea get Rooney, Mourinho has dealt a massive blow to morale at United, further undermining the Red Regime. It’s catching, as Brendan Rodgers is looking and sounding ridiculous with every sound-bite he makes.

All playing into a real feel good factor as we approach the new season and unleash what Stuart Brennan calls our 4-6-0 formation on all and sundry.

Only 8 days to go.

Pat Knowles <pjamk(at)>


Sad to hear of the death of Waggy on Tuesday. I seem to remember we sold him to Wolves on a Boxing Day for £40,000 the same price we paid for our new floodlights! R.I.P.

Even sadder is the fact that the MuEN online hasn’t seen fit to mention it.

Dave Sterrett <blueds2(at)>


Just a brief note about David Wagstaffe.

I saw him play a few matches for City in the early 60s. The main thing I can recall about him was his party trick of feinting to go inside the full back then flicking the ball with his left foot outside and crossing the ball immediately and brilliantly with his left foot. It seemed to work every time leaving the full back looking foolish. As I was left footed I tried to emulate him and it worked for me occasionally when I started playing left sided striker. The sad thing for City was that in those days there was rarely anyone good enough to latch onto the superb crosses. It might have been interesting if he had stayed for another year until Mercer and Allison arrived. I think he might have slotted in well to that final celebrated formation instead of that hard man Coleman (also a great crosser of the ball).

The last time I saw David play was for Wolves against Sheffield Wednesday on 30th of September 1967 at Hillsborough in the old First Division (I had gone back to University early for training). A group of us were in the now infamous Leppings Lane End and watched a terrific game in which Wagstaffe, in the company of Dougan, Peter Knowles (brother of the Spurs player Cyril, Peter later giving up the game to become a Jehovah’s witness?) and the new sensation at the time, 18-year-old Alun Evans, played a significant part. The match ended up 2-2, with birthday boys Knowles and Evans both scoring, the latter getting the equaliser just before the full time whistle. The game was Match of the Day and highlights are on YouTube showing Wagstaffe putting a lovely cross in leading up to the first goal.

At the time it must have looked a good move for Wagstaffe to Wolves as there was a nucleus of a good side with the players mentioned above and the captain and midfield dynamo, Mike Bailey. The Molineux fans certainly took to him and he became a cult hero. In 1964 the prospects at City must have looked worse than bleak.

Graham Stephenson <graham_7979(at)>


Great memories of Bert Trautmann, especially for those of us of an age to remember his many fantastic displays in blue. I’m convinced that he kept us up for several seasons in the late 1950’s – early 1960s almost single-handedly. Like many contributors, he was my favourite player for years; rivalled a little bit at the time by Jackie Dyson – a very under-rated player – and later by Neil Young; but Bert was the best.

Among my memories was meeting Bert when he cut the ribbon for the inaugural Lufthansa flight from Manchester to New York (for aircraft aficionados, operated by a ‘Super-Connie’). As I was a keen aircraft spotter, the event combined my two great loves and I was among many queuing for his autograph, which I still have somewhere. This happened sometime in 1956, probably after the cup final. I remember it to be a balmy summer’s evening and an easy bike ride from my home in Benchill.

Thanks for all your hard work – great for a fan living on the west coast of Ireland for many years. All the recent signings look top class and I’m sure that we’ll have another great season under Pellegrini.

Barry Taylor <barryriley(at)>


David Conn has been on his high horse again with a piece in the Guardian (see link at the foot of this article), writing about human rights in the United Arab Emirates and linking it to City, quoting Human Rights Watch as saying “In this situation, a Premier League club is being used as a branding vehicle to promote and effectively launder the reputation of a country perpetrating serial human rights abuses”.

All this when David Conn could look out of his own window and see human rights abuses going on here in the UK, e.g. extraordinary rendition/aiding passage of prisoners to Guantanamo, Hillsborough, Orgreave, Stephen Lawrence and several others. Shameful cover ups, smears of the victims, denials of human rights by UK police forces etc. The list is endless. All disgusting and all happened/happening in Blighty. What about China, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US etc.? Why isn’t David Conn talking about human rights in the UK and those countries, to name but a few?

Indeed, if David Conn is so concerned about human rights, why isn’t he writing about Chelsea and Arsenal and human rights abuses in Russia and Uzbekistan through the shareholdings of Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov? It is rather strange that City and the UAE are under scrutiny in his piece and not others.

Furthermore, let’s not forget that amongst a few sporting clubs around the world, Arsenal are sponsored by Emirates Airlines and, furthermore, play at The Emirates Stadium! Again, Conn’s piece is selective in its targets, and we don’t see “Arsenal” and “launder” in the same sentence.

Our brave men and women went to Iraq based on lies about weapons of mass destruction. Many lost their lives and many innocent Iraqis died too. What about their human rights? Did they have a choice about being invaded by foreign forces? How much consideration for Iraqis’ human rights was given by the invading governments?

Don’t get me wrong. Let’s hope that human rights abuses stop everywhere but let’s not pretend that the UK is perfect. After all, who are we to lecture Abu Dhabi on human rights?

Of course people should have better rights in the UAE, whether they be Emirati citizens or the myriad of guest workers there, or indeed anywhere in the world, but shouldn’t also we better rights in the UK? For example, Sports Direct and other retailers have part time staff on zero hour contracts, and are at the beck and call of their employers. Poor working conditions and human rights issues can be found in many other countries.

If David Conn is going to talk about human rights, he needs to put it into context, rather than dragging City into it, and singling out the UAE. Are they really worse than anyone else? Looking at other examples above, it is reasonable to have serious doubts.

Conn makes a lot of comments in his piece based on a few other people’s statements, and their evidence is not necessarily reliable. Has he himself actually been to the UAE? Maybe he should go there and get some credible evidence, if any exists, if his writing on this subject wants to regain some credibility. It would be interesting to see what evidence, if any, he could gather.

Human Rights breaches anywhere are a concern, but the evidence presented by David Conn is untested and his article is unconvincing.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


A rather belated thank you to the supporters’ club in Hong Kong for their hospitality during the recent games there. Thanks to all the staff at Maya for dispensing copious quantities of amber liquid often into the wee small hours.

A final thanks to all the fellow City fans from all over the world who made the four days so memorable – you know who you are!

Philip Gregory <ph.gregory(at)>

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Newsletter #1917