Newsletter #1927

Apologies for the recent radio silence. Have sadly been quite poorly but at least City have hit the ground running since the Bayern defeat to cheer me up!

As a result a small backlog of articles and apologies to the authors who have been waiting. Some cracking articles too and news of a couple of exciting up-coming events.

Back to Champions’ League action tomorrow and a “don’t lose” game against CSKA ahead of the return match at the Etihad.

Come on you Blues!

Next Game: 23 October, CSKA Moscow, Arena Khimki, 17:00 BST


Following on from the release of the book “Teenage Kicks” in May, Empire Publications and the Reddish branch of the Manchester City Supporters’ Club are proud to host an evening with the 1986 FA Youth Cup winning squad.

All thirteen surviving players will be present: David Boyd, Ian Brightwell, John Clarke, Steve Crompton, Andy Hinchcliffe, Paul Lake, Steve Macauley, Paul Moulden, Steve Redmond, Andy Thackeray and David White will be there in person along with Steve Mills and Ian Scott appearing via Skype from South Africa and the USA respectively!

Tony Book and Glyn Pardoe will also be present too.

At the end of the evening, there will be a special presentation being made, which is top secret!

The MC’s for the evening will be Ian Cheeseman and Susan Bookbinder – her brother John was also a member of the squad, who tragically died of cancer in 2006.

CITY TV are filming the event and the MEN / BBC Radio Manchester / Imagine FM will be there too.

Tickets are limited and are available for £2 per person / £5 per family (two adults and up to 3 kids). There are also an extremely limited number of VIP tickets costing £25 – includes a copy of the book, hot pot supper, seats at the front and exclusive access to the players before the meeting begins.

It all starts at 8pm on Tuesday 12th November at the Houldsworth Working Men’s Club, Leamington Road, Reddish. All monies raised on the tickets and raffle on the night will go to charities of the players’ choice.

For further details please access via our facebook page – type in ‘Teenage Kicks 1986’ and send a PM

For orders of the book –

Phill Gatenby <gatenbyp(at)>


Wonders never cease! City claimed a vital three points in a thoroughly-deserved victory against Everton. Encouragingly, City showed the appropriate battling qualities to win a traditionally difficult fixture.

There was little between the teams in the first half and Everton presented a physical and skilful challenge, which City stood up to. Everton were quickly into their stride as they usually are, with the speedy Lukaku, Mirallas and the impressive Barkley keen to run at City.

Manuel Pellegrini made six changes (in came Zabaleta, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Silva and Negredo for Richards, Nastasic, Clichy, Nasri, Navas and Dzeko), but the main talking point was taking the bold decision of sticking with Joe Hart and he wasn’t let down by the England ‘keeper, who took some steps towards rehabilitation. Indeed, he was forced straight into action to race out and dive on the ball before Lukaku got a shot in. Hart was also forced to make a desperate save from the young Belgian striker when he seized upon Fernandinho’s last ditch intervention. “England’s, England’s number one…” was bellowed out with gusto by the Etihad.

For City, Kolarov was a whisker wide with a bending free kick, and he headed over a well delivered Silva corner.

The Everton fans predictably gave Joleon Lescott some stick, which was met by a chant of “Joleon Lescott, he’s won more than you…”. There really is no answer to that for the ‘orrible little scallies who make up a sizeable proportion of Everton’s support who were too young to see Kendall’s teams! If you know your history… Everton took the lead in the 16th minute when Lukaku was allowed to run behind Lescott and Kolarov, skip through the former’s ineffective challenge, and hit a low, diagonal shot, which Joe Hart got a right glove to but could not prevent from going into the net. Could Hart have stopped it? In better, more confident form, he might have, but it was at fairly close range and struck well, going away from his right hand, so it would be harsh to pin the blame on him. It was a collective failure, and besides, blame cultures are destructive and do not serve anybody well. It’s always best to learn from mistakes, apply those lessons and move on. That’s the Pellegrini way.

Nevertheless, it seemed like the same old story (you know the script: Everton take a lead, hang onto the lead by hook or by crook, frustrate us to the point of total exasperation, and secure yet another win), but City had other ideas, and were back level within a minute. Silva flicked a ball back to Yaya Touré and the Ivorian skilfully threaded a perfectly weighted, diagonal ball through the merest gap of retreating Everton defenders, and Negredo fired into the net from the inside left position. What a relief! Yaya’s ball was world class as he found the gap through moving Everton defenders with a delicately weighted ball, and Negredo showed great poise to finish with enough power to beat Howard’s strong hands.

The City players needed all their battling qualities and skills to win the war of attrition in the first half to lead at the break. Fernandinho in particular worked very hard and made several important tackles and interventions to thwart Everton attacks in in his best game for us so far.

City earned the right to play our football, creating a series of chances. We should have been in front from a brilliantly worked free kick. Milner fed Fernandinho and from the Brazilian’s pass, Silva played a diagonal flick that Agüero fired agonisingly wide of the right hand post. It was pleasing, though, to see the fruits of highly intelligent training ground workouts. Agüero might have scored City’s second when played in by Negredo’s side pass, but seemed to get his feet in a tangle and missed the ball. Thankfully, our Serge is not one of those players who dwells on his mistakes.

City’s course though is not always a smooth one, and worryingly, Vincent Kompany sat on the turf and had to walk off with a strained thigh muscle. With various recurrences of muscle injuries for Sir Vinny, surely we have to re-evaluate the training and conditioning?

Lukaku invoked some irritation when it looked like he dived in the box when chasing a ball with Kompany’s replacement, Nastasic, and we thought nothing of it. TV replays later showed that Nastasic was lucky to get away with a shove, and that referee Jon Moss, who was always off the pace, was probably unable to see the incident because his view was obscured by at least one player. Moss also missed a penalty to City in the second half when Silva was tripped by Jagielka as he skipped across the box. It was a highly incompetent display by Moss who somehow managed to book 9 players in game that was physical, but by no means, dirty. It was a minor miracle that he didn’t manage to ruin this highly entertaining match.

City were getting closer to scoring, and the more the first half went on, the more City seemed likely to add to our lead. Milner played in Agüero and his shot was blocked, then City took the lead on the stroke of half time as the Everton defence lost concentration after Seamus Coleman fouled Negredo and literally got in our Spanish striker’s face. Not that Negredo took the Irishman’s tactile approach lying down! City took advantage of Everton’s disarray. David Silva drove forward in the Everton half in the inside right position, and fed Sergio Agüero who powered forward into the box and smote an unstoppable shot past Howard into the far left hand corner of the net. “Sergio! Sergio!” filled the air. Sergio had plenty to do to get a sight of goal, used his pace to good effect and it was a terrific finish.

The half ended with Milner being booked for a robust challenge where he did actually make contact with the ball first before an Everton midfielder, who made the most of it. City’s number 7 did try to walk back to the dressing room as the whistle went, but referee Moss, between gasps of oxygen, somehow managed to call him back and raise a yellow a card. Some might say it was an air-headed decision.

Everton could have equalised straight after the break but Mirallas couldn’t control Barkley’s clever through ball on the run and Hart dived on it. The visitors could have conceded a penalty though when Jagielka clipped Silva as he ran across the box.

We did win a penalty in the 69th minute when Zabaleta was brought down in the box by Coleman as he ran onto another finely threaded Yaya pass. Everton protested and Howard picked up a booking for whatever he said (and it was probably full of expletives), but they could have no complaints about this particular decision. The replays later clearly showed that Coleman yanked Zabaleta’s left arm and spun him around, causing him to lose balance. Agüero stepped up and Howard pushed his shot onto the post only for it to hit the back of his shoulder and go in. There was no way back for Everton.

City dominated the second half, and with City having won the physical battle over Everton, the visitors surprisingly melted away. Negredo forced a save out of Howard. After yet another clever defence-splitting pass from Yaya out on the left, Nasri would have added a fourth in the dying seconds had in not been for Howard’s instinctive point blank save.

Any win against Everton is hard earned, and it should not be forgotten that Everton were previously unbeaten in the League this season. This was a very good City performance, and our fourth home league win out of four at home. Now we have to start winning away from home. Sam Allardyce’s West Ham will represent a robust physical and aerial challenge. There can be no excuses that our players have come back from the international break or are about to play in the Champions’ League. We must put our best foot forward against West Ham, especially as it will be bad enough without Kompany who is likely to miss out. City’s strongest and best balanced line up should include Silva, Milner and Negredo, and all three full justified their call ups.

Pellegrini deserves credit for sticking with Joe Hart. It was a bold choice as Joe has been struggling for a while. Both showed the strength of character in different ways and this turned out well for Manchester City.

City: Negredo 17, Agüero 45, Howard (o.g.) 69
Everton: Lukaku 16.

Att: 47,267

Hart: Not at his very best. It would be harsh to blame him for the first goal, and his handling was good otherwise: 6
Zabaleta: Some good runs going forward including the one that won the penalty. Aside from one incident early on when he dived in and completely missed the ball, allowing Mirallas a run, his defending was tenacious and decent enough: 6
Kompany: Dominated Lukaku in the air and was looking assertive and strong before yet another worrying injury forced him off: 7
Lescott: Allowed Lukaku to run behind him for Everton’s goal and his recovery tackle was weak. Otherwise, competed well as we asserted ourselves over his former club: 6
Kolarov: Good going forward and went close with a couple of efforts. Along with Lescott, he left gaps that cost us for Everton’s goal: 6
Milner: Another good, hard working display, with no little skill. One glorious long diagonal pass from deep in our half on the right hand side to the left wing emphasised his range of passing. We are a better team with him in it: 7
Fernandinho: His reading of the game, sharp, clean tackling and sensible quick distribution of the ball were pivotal in providing City with a platform to win the battle with Everton: 9
Yaya: So graceful, and accurate with his passing. Did his fair share of work to win the ball but his main strength is his creative talent, and his perfect diagonal pass for Negredo’s goal was a perfect illustration of this: 8
Silva: Yet again a pure joy to watch. Intelligent, elegant, very skilful and a delight with his incisive passing. He ran the game in the second half. A City legend: 9 (man of the match)
Negredo: There was one moment when Distin jumped for a ball, knocking into Negredo’s back but the City number 9 stood firm like a mighty oak and still won the header. He is a very good centre forward and it is easy to see why he is already thriving in the English game, but there is far more to his game than being physical, proficient in the air and being reliant on getting on the end of crosses. He also has the intelligence to make darting runs inside the penalty box as he did for his goal, and on Wednesday against Bayern. He must now be first choice ahead of Dzeko and he can form a fruitful partnership with Agüero: 9
Agüero: His movement and skill were top class, as was his terrific goal: 9
Nastasic (for Kompany 35): Slotted in well in Kompany’s place, though he was lucky not to give away that penalty. His positional play will get better with work and experience: 7
Clichy (for Kolarov 58): Seamless transition. One good run forward: 6 Nasri (for Silva 79): Nice little cameo that almost resulted in a goal: n/a

Best Oppo: Barkley: An exciting midfielder with all round talent, and one that we need to keep an eye on, both as an opponent and as a potential recruit. He has skill, can run with the ball, an eye for a defence splitting pass and a goal, as well as a good attitude and awareness when they don’t have the ball. He wouldn’t come cheap: 8

Refwatch: Jon Moss: Couldn’t keep up with play, made 9 bookings (Kompany, Milner, Silva, Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Distin, Howard, Coleman, Naismith) in a game that was competitive, but never dirty. This was a terribly incompetent display: 1

I love this fixture, even if I have often hated the result (well, prior to this one). There is no love lost between City and Everton. They will never rank amongst City fans’ favourite other teams and the feeling is mutual. We turn up to these encounters, there is an exchange of spiky Manc-Scouse stick flying around, then we all go home, with a minimum of trouble. I lost count of the number of times I have heard of City fans like myself, who have good mates who are Evertonians. The two clubs in terms of size and the quality of support are more similar than we care to admit. Hopefully we can do the double with a rare win at Goodison later in the season.

It was a pleasure to watch this game and write this report at a difficult time for me.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


A few things…

  • The support for Joe Hart from ell areas in and outside the club isheart-warming and valid (I say all with the exception of Souness, battingfor Forster, one good game against Barça and he’s Zoff Buffon and Trautmannall rolled into one FFS). Yes, Joe’s crown has slipped but only becausehis standards are so high and he needs to step up and correct. Had he beenan outfield player, Hodgson would have replaced him, but due the “Carson”effect he stays in goal for Montenegro and Poland, and I hope plays ablinder. Thankfully he stays as City’s number 1 and in my view should befor PL and UCL. We should let Pantilimon play in both the Capital One andFA Cup Including finals (hopefully).
  • Kompany crocked… again! What is going on? When he plays we win about70% of our games, but when he is absent the figure drops to around 40%(let the stattos flame me). I understand he is off to a specialist to sortout; at least it’s the international break and hope he can get fixed.
  • Bogey team snotted. Pleased that the Toffees didn’t park the bus,which is not what we expect from Martinez. Everton were just the teamwe did not want to play coming on the back of 2 defeats but it was agreat game to watch live in the sunshine. Once we had equalised we neverlooked back, well worthy of the win. I agree with MOTD pundits Hodgsonand Shearer that their opener was our defence’s fault (not Hart’s) -Lescott letting Lukaku through the gap and badly playing the offside trap,like we did at Villa… we can’t rely 100% on then linesman getting itright when the margins are tight. Yes, looking at the replay, Nastasiccould have given away a penalty and if Zaba’s fall was given then it washarsh. Yaya’s pass to Negredo for the equaliser was football pornography atits highest form. It was exquisite. Now as for our 2nd goal. As you knowthe only sin in life is the sin of stupidity (unless you went to Catholicschool where the sin list reads like the credits on Star Wars). WhilstNegredo and was it Barkley(?) were stag rutting each other (handbags,IMO) at the edge of the Everton penalty area after a tumbling, it meantthat Distin was distracted and pulled out of position; Tim Howard did hisusual arm waving and screaming girly histrionics drama queen routine (likeit was an audition for Glee). We took control and Agüero made it 2-1 justbefore the interval. Try as they might to deflect the attention to an offthe ball incident or a foul that never was, Everton’s defence messed up,created their own confusion and allowed us to take control. In the videoroom on Monday they will rue their lack of concentration and learn to playto the whistle. Tim Howard must learn to concentrate on being the great’keeper that he is and stop the Magnus Pyke impressions (that’s one forthe teenagers).
  • A hard fought game, not especially dirty but I think there were 8 yellowcards dished out from Jon “the conjurer” Moss. That’s an interesting careermove for former bass player with Boy George and Culture Club. I say bassplayer, he pranced around in an evening dress and full make up on TOTP inthe early 80s without the guitar even being plugged in…

Bring on England and West Ham who have just snotted cross town rivals Spurs 0-3 at the Lane…

Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)>


A confession: I actually enjoyed Wednesday night’s match. To my son’s amazement and disgust, I applauded Robben, Ribery, and Schweinsteiger wholeheartedly as they left the pitch. There are those who say that nothing matters except winning: the Swamp and the Bernabeu are full of them. But I don’t believe that you can follow a team through thick and thin unless you can get some pleasure even from the thin. On Wednesday, the Best Team in the Land were treated to a masterclass from the Best Team in the World. If you can’t enjoy that, why are you watching the beautiful game at all? You should be sat at home tossing a two-sided coin and winning, winning and winning again.

In that spirit, here’s my list of best defeats:

Manchester City 1 West Ham United 2 FA Cup 25 January 1998

We didn’t expect much: a division behind West Ham and soon to be two. We got a storming cup tie with goals from City heroes past (Steve Lomas), present (Georgi Kinkladze) and future (Eyal Berkovic). Kinky’s was a delight: gets the ball in space out on the right, dances past a couple of defenders, looks up to see the whole City front line calling for a cross, thinks “screw that” and bends it in off the far post. Defeat left us free to concentrate on the league, and a fat lot of good that did us.

Manchester City 2 Leeds United 5 FA Cup 9 January 2000

Maybe there’s a theme here: cup ties with zero expectation are fun. Our rise from the middle of the third division had been rolling for a year, and so we had a little hope – but not much – that we could rock a Leeds side whose debt-fuelled spending had briefly made them the best team in the country. And rock them we did, when the Goat scored (from an offside position, but never mind) after barely a minute. Six minutes later Eirik Bakke equalised; four minutes after that, Ian Bishop scored the goal of his life: I was sat directly behind his thunderbolt shot as a swerve of Roberto Carlos magnitude took it into the top corner. After that exhilarating quarter-hour, you just had to enjoy the style with which Kewell and the gang took over the match. When we started to look a bit tired, Leeds brought on this bloke called Darren Huckerby, who played like Usain Bolt would if he didn’t understand offside. Brilliant.

Manchester City 0 Manchester United 1 Premier League 18 November 2000

We’d clawed our way prematurely into a Premier League where we didn’t belong. United had just won it. Any dreams were killed within 90 seconds by a David Beckham free kick. So what was to like? First, that the score stayed at just one: for the remaining hour and a half, we kept them under control and even matched them. If only kick off had been delayed a couple of minutes, we’d have nicked a point. Second, the privilege of watching Beckham: after being pelted with coins, he applauded all four stands and was good-humoured about it in the post-match interview. A lot more class than some of our troglodyte fans, and step one in his rehabilitation from Public Enemy to National Treasure.

Manchester City 0 Arsenal 4 Premier League 11 April 2001

On the drive up to the game, my boss called to say that our company had gone bust and I was out of a job. Then we had a minute’s silence for David Rocastle. Then Arsenal scored four goals in half an hour; I think they only stopped because they felt sorry for us. We sang “boring, boring Arsenal” and “can we play you every week?”

Wigan Athletic 4 Manchester City 3 Premier League 26 December 2005

I wasn’t there for this one: instead I was on holiday in New Zealand, watching the game on a big screen in a house that we’d borrowed from a friend of a friend (Kiwis are like that: “I’ll be away for Christmas, just make yourselves at home”) An end-to-end seven goal thriller, we nearly pulled back a 4-1 deficit, we were safe in mid-table anyway, and afterwards there was still a whole day of NZ sunshine to enjoy.

Manchester City 1 Manchester City 4 Post-season Friendly 4 May 2006

For a couple of weeks after the season ends, the pitch is available for charity games. auction positions, playing alongside a City legend, benefiting a range of good causes. I played at the Etihad. I traded passes with David White. Who cares about the result? And I guess City won in a way.

Dorien James <mcivta(at)>


Were you on the edge of your seat as England qualified for the World Cup with those two wins over Montenegro and Poland? Many of us felt a similar tension 40 years ago on that night when Jan Tomascewski performed heroics to deny England the qualifying spot for the 1974 World Cup. Thankfully this time England did it. Well done everybody, especially our very own Joe Hart and James Milner. Joe made an important block to deny Lewandowski and Jimmy lobbed the pass that allowed Gerrard to seal the 2-0 win over Poland. Having seen England fail to qualify for two World Cups in my formative years, I always care that we qualify, and would feel it if we didn’t.

That all said, narrow minded little Englanders like Jack Wilshere put me off international football. His “you’ve got to be English to play for England”, closing the door to people who make this country their home are a big turn off. It’s as if Jack Wilshere has swallowed the odious Daily Mail. Wilshere’s line is “We are English. We tackle hard, are tough on the pitch and are hard to beat. You think of England and you think they are brave.” Like England are the only ones with those qualities! Spain, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Holland, Belgium and a few other nations are better tacklers, are tougher and harder to beat. Bravery does not win World Cups. Nowhere does Wilshere mention intelligence, patience, great passing, skill and pace: perhaps more important qualities than the ones Wilshere values, with his narrow-minded, outdated view of the game. Many England fans have talked about passion. Passion, whilst important, is an overrated quality.

I don’t know whether the latest subject of Old Trafford hype, Adnan Januzaj, is going to be good enough to play international football (I know he is a bit of a diver, to say the least), but if he is prepared to wait 5 years to naturalise and become qualified to play for England, then doesn’t that show a level of commitment to this country that is worthy of respect and an England cap? Personally I think the Belgian born winger (who could possibly represent at least 10 countries, given his diverse origins) would be better served playing for Marc Wilmott’s exciting young Belgian side, which has probably got better prospects than this ordinary England side.

The real problem with English football is not caused by the “too many foreigners” playing in the Premier League. The problem lies much deeper than that. There is not enough good enough talent. The problem starts with young kids playing on massive pitches, and the biggest kids prosper with idiotic coaches and parents yelling at them. The coaches can wear all the manager’s coats and tracksuits complete with badges all they like, and yell “boot it up pitch” and “get stuck in” but rarely do they encourage kids to dribble or learn how to control the ball. There is too much competitive football at a young age and not enough emphasis on enjoyment of the game and skill. Let the kids play 7-a-side games, maximum, on smaller pitches and express themselves with the result being unimportant. Let them develop their skills. Only when they are 13 or 14 should they be playing seriously and worrying about tactics. Then, we (England in this case), might have a chance.

It’s people like Wilshere who further convince me, as a person of mixed race, that I feel more comfortable with Manchester City and club football. It feels more inclusive. Don’t get me wrong. I love it when local lads make it in the City team, and I loved that 1986 FA Youth Cup winning side of Lake, Brightwell, Redmond and Co., but it wouldn’t bother me if we fielded eleven foreigners. I’d much rather see Fernandinho or Yaya Touré gracing our midfield than Wilshere who is just an overated, narky little Cockney. Our foreign players get this club. Pablo Zabaleta is no less City than Micah Richards, David Silva is no less City than James Milner and so on. After all, we’re all City aren’t we?

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


Good afternoon all,

I email you in my capacity as Commercial Manager of St Helens Town AFC.

I would like to make you aware of a very important match and ask that you pass on details to all branches of the City supporters’ club.

Our squad and hopefully one or two Merseyside football legends will be taking on a City past players XI in the official BERT TRAUTMANN MEMORIAL MATCH at Hope Street, Prescot on Sunday 17th November with a 2pm kick-off.

If you require any further info, please contact me. Please circulate and spread the word.

Darryl Picton – Commercial Development Manager, St Helens Town AFC<sthelenstownafc(at)>

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Newsletter #1927