Newsletter #1923

A one-article edition of MCIVTA this evening but it’s a good’un, as ever, by young Banerjee.

With us on the cusp of the First Pellegrini Derby, or is it the First Moyes Derby… or perhaps the First Without Rufus? Whichever, it all feels rather early in the season but that won’t dampen the atmosphere as both sides seek their first big scalp of the season.

Tuesday saw the welcome return of captain Vinnie and, with Silva back in training, it’s possible we may only be without Clichy at left back. That lot seem to be struggling to get Welbeck fit but there is a sneaky feeling here at MCIVTA Towers that he’ll play.

So let’s puff out our chests, gird our loins, check our pacemakers and give the glorious Boys in Blue the kind of rousing support that only we can.

Bring it on!

Next Game: 22 September, Manchester United, Etihad Stadium, 16:00 BST


What a relief it was to win our first game in our latest sojourn into the Champions’ League. We should have been well in front by the break, but spurned a handful of chances, and we could be forgiven for wondering whether it was going to be our night against spirited opponents. Thankfully City blew Viktoria Plzen away with three clinical strikes in 13 devastating minutes. After those first half misses it was a relief when Dzeko expertly slotted home the opener.

It was a very good, controlled performance from City, when most of our players played well in a fluid showing. Only Jesus Navas might look back on a quieter night when his delivery was not at its best, yet even he forced the Plzen goalkeeper to make an early finger-tip save to push over his rasping drive.

We did give away some free kicks around our box in the first half but we defended them well. Could it be that our team is actually better using man-to-man marking rather than a zonal system?

Good players make a team more than anything else though, and we have a very, very good number four. Indeed, we were so much better for having inspirational Vincent Kompany back. He is a great leader, and breathes confidence into the team. Quick and very strong, excellent both in the air and on the ground, and a superb reader of the game, he brings authority to our defence. Even though one of his back passes was so short that it forced Joe Hart to race out to sweep it away with his feet, Vincent Kompany brought the much needed assertiveness to our game that has been lacking since the opening game against Newcastle. Forgive me if I’m stating the obvious, but his skills are worthy of note and we really miss Vincent Kompany when he’s not in the team.

Yaya Touré controlled midfield superbly throughout. Often criticised in some quarters, his critics take for granted the control and poise that he brings to our midfield. He has time on the ball, athleticism, strength and a great range of passing. His decision-making his excellent, and of course he is capable of scoring great goals, and his strike against Plzen took the breath away, rivalling his crucial strike on our way to the title at Newcastle.

Sergio Agüero was the pick of our team on this occasion and his link play with Dzeko and Nasri was excellent. He was denied by the width of a post after he created a chance for himself with his intelligent dribbling in the first half, and after the break his superb link up play with Nasri resulted in him twisting and turning away from his marker and producing an exquisite finish, low inside the Plzen ‘keeper’s right hand post to round off our scoring.

Samir Nasri had a very good game in midfield, and linked up well with his team mates, and Kolarov was particularly impressive going forward and his delivery of the ball was good too.

With all respect to Viktoria Plzen, their town may be more famous for its brewery than anything else, but winning there was indeed, er, no small beer…

Weak (3.6% gravity, if that) puns aside, well done City!

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>

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Newsletter #1923