Newsletter #1932


Surprised there wasn’t a protest after the game. Good job Mr Swales wasn’t in charge as we’d be looking at a new manager for sure!

It sets us up for what, perversely, could well be the game of the season at the League’s highest (altitude wise) football ground, The Hawthorns. Another anti-climactic loss is going to be very difficult to stomach after seeing us perform as we have been doing.

Once senses the blame will land at Manuel’s door if we do. A tactical rather than skill/personnel failing. However, let’s put these negative thoughts aside and focus on the simply stunning form of Nasri, Negredo and Agüero in particular. Some of the most amazing football we have seen, end of.

Next Game: 4 December, West Bromwich Albion, The Hawthorns, 20:00 GMT


For those with an eye on the second round CL:

With only one match left in each of the Champions’ League groups to play, City’s chances of getting a favourable draw in the round of 16 look as slim as one of Mario Balotelli’s ex-girlfriends.

The R16 draw has the following rules: Group winners vs. Group runners-up, except no team can be drawn with another team from the same country, and you can’t draw the side you played in the group stage.

Confirmed 1st

  • Real Madrid
  • Paris St. Germain
  • Atletico Madrid

Likely 1st

  • Barcelona (need to avoid home defeat to eliminated Celtic)
  • Chelsea (need to beat already eliminated Steaua at home)
  • Arsenal (need to avoid defeat away to Napoli, but can still qualify 1stwith a loss if Dortmund fail to beat Marseille)
  • Manchester United (need to avoid a 4-goal home defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk)
  • Oh… and Bayern Munich, who need to avoid a 4-goal home loss to City!

I don’t see any of the groups coming up with another winner, with the possible exception of Arsenal slipping up at Napoli, giving us the chance of facing Dortmund. In that case City are left with:

  • Real Madrid
  • Paris St. Germain
  • Atletico Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • (Dortmund)

Hmmm. A 50/50 chance of facing a Spanish monster (though Barcelona won’t like to see Kun Agüero on the pitch), or a rising monster like ourselves in PSG who have added Cavani this season, or ‘easybeat’ like Atletico Madrid, who have beaten Real at the Bernabeu and played 0-0 with Barça at the Nou Camp already this season, and are undefeated in their (admittedly weak) Champions’ League group. I don’t fancy Dortmund much either, as they will be far better rested than City at that stage of the season, and despite losing Götze still have more than enough fire-power to give us the same nightmares they gave us last season.

At least there’s a very good chance the away leg will be somewhere sunny and easy to get to!

Paul Calder <p.s.calder(at)>


To anyone who thought my post-Sunderland moan in MCIVTA 1930 now seems out of odds with the Spurs result I would just say this: we have been here before! The term roller-coaster should give it away because what we seem to be witnessing at the moment is the return of the Keegan era. We are playing some wonderful attacking football, and at this rate will beat all scoring records – just as we did in our promotion season from the Championship under KK, also with two creative players, Benarbia and Berkovic, sweeping all aside, just as we have Silva and Nasri playing well together.

However, once back in the Premier League, KK was soon ‘found out’ as he had form from his days with Newcastle, and opposition teams knew exactly how to set up against us to thwart our attacking talent.

True, we are a much more talented bunch these days, but the Jekyll and Hyde nature of our performances with Keystone Cops defending only brings to mind the entertaining, but nevertheless fruitless years under Keegan.

We may get in a defender in January but that won’t completely solve our defensive problems, because Manuel has managed to set back the confidence of three good performers – Clichy, Nastasic and Richards – as well as persist with the hopeless Garcia, or the past-his-sell-by-date Demichelis, so the future doesn’t look great in that part of the team.

We also need a defensive midfielder (I think there’s a good one on loan at Everton who we wouldn’t need to shell out for) because Yaya and Fernandinho aren’t going to boss every other midfield for every remaining game this season, and they will need in some games (providing we ever come up with a Plan B) to change tactics to protect the defence more.

Oh well… at least we haven’t yet bought a crocked ex-Liverpool player to disrupt our attacking potency!

Steve Burrows <stevieburrows(at)>


After another very good win against Swansea, the games ahead in December are all going to be very important, with many away games. This is when the team has got to show that it can win away from home, starting with West Brom and the Saints before the game at Bayern Munich. Then, home to the Gooners, which is already a sell-out, a game that could go a long way towards deciding the title, provided City get the points away from home.

In the Capital One Cup, another game away from home at Leicester will not be an easy fixture. Then, back on the road at Fulham who are struggling for every point, with a new man in charge. To finish off the month of December, Liverpool and Crystal Palace at home. By this time Manuel Pellegrini hopes to see City at the top of the League; he has put out the challenge to his team.

That is eight more games during the festive season, five of which will be away from home. A tough road ahead, concentration in all games is a must and I have the belief that City can and will do it.

A Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings to all City fans in Manchester and all over the world. In Pellegrini I trust! Come on you Blues!

CTWD, Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I am still enjoying the footie more this season and it feels more like City despite the lack of local lads. More chance of academy players breaking through is vital to keep City grounded as a family club instead of a corporate giant.

I am ashamed at not helping to keep MCIVTA going. Without contributions it will inevitably fade so we all need to support it to keep it going.

Missed Phil B lately. All the best Phil. Look forward to your return.

Huge thanks to Phil A and the MCIVTA team. Your work is appreciated by most even though we are poor at saying it. Thanks to everyone involved.

Martin Hunt (<martinhuntctid(at)>)


I don’t think it is too difficult to understand the big variation in the results at home from those away. If you look at the Sunderland game compared to the Spurs game as an example you will have observed that Sunderland pulled as many men as possible back into their own half and were very effective in plugging the gaps that the City players are so good at exploiting.

If Silva had been present I think he would have made a difference but Navas was completely nullified by Phil Bardsley for most of the game and his style of play was very predictable and easy to counter.

With Spurs though, it was clear from the start that they were not going to play that type of game and there was ample space in their defensive formation that players like Agüero, Negredo and Navas could exploit, which is surprising since they were the visitors. I don’t understand what AVB was thinking because he also had 3 excellent strikers on the bench. Did he think that with Spurs’ excellent defensive record of only conceding 6 goals thus far they would be able to keep City out?

The same applies to Cardiff and Aston Villa, who although spending most of their time in the lower half of the table, are still not pushovers. Any team playing at home in front of their own supporters have their pride to defend and I predict that City will experience more difficult games like that before the season has completed, starting with Leicester in the Capital One Cup soon.

Philip van Gass<philipvangass(at)>


It has happened twice: in 1985 and 1990!

The game Phil Lines refers to was August 31st 1985.

My recollection of the game was that I couldn’t believe Spurs were allowed to play in their white shirts as they were so close to City’s ultra light blue. The whistle went after a few minutes (I recall the Kippax going mad as the linesman gave an offside that to us clearly wasn’t). The referee sent the Spurs players down the tunnel and then they emerged with the same kit on and City were sent down the tunnel to chants of “what the f*** is going on?” City then came out with the red and black chequered shirt as worn at the Full Members’ Cup final a few months later. City won the game 2-1 (Paul Simpson and Miller with an OG). The reason (I thought) at the time is that Spurs simply did not bring with them a change strip. The referee was the infamous George Courtney.

Then on December 5th 1990 it happened again. Not sure if the game had started with City in blue or not first, but City played in the away maroon shirt and again won 2-1 (Steve Redmond and Mark Ward) with J Key the referee.

ED – Phil is the winner here as his response was received first!

Phill Gatenby <gatenbyp(at)>


Regarding Phil Lines’ recollection of the Spurs match in the 80s with the kit confusion, I was there but have a different memory. Spurs didn’t wear yellow, they came out in their usual white shirts but, for reasons only known to their kit man, in sky blue shorts. The first couple of minutes were chaotic before the match was stopped and City changed into red and black. Can’t tell you the exact date though…

John Caley <johnrcaley(at)>


My memory of the change kit City vs. Spurs game is slightly different to Phil Lines’… I recall City running out in sky blue shirts and white shorts, with Spurs running out in white shirts and sky blue shorts, it being immediately obvious to all in attendance (except, naturally, the officials) that this was bonkers.

Why Spurs had ditched the navy shorts for sky blue ones that season one can only guess. Perhaps the chap who chose the kit was thinking of a future move to Cardiff… Can’t recall what the score was that day so it must have been a cracker. I have a feeling City won though.

Alastair Hayes <hayesa1(at)>


If anyone is in the New York area on 7th December (10am New York time), then you may wish to pop down to the Mad Hatter pub on Manhattan as not only will Southampton vs. City be on in the pub, there will also be the New York launch of the book Teenage Kicks (yes, another blatant plug, sorry!)! The Mad Hatter Saloon and Beer Garden, 360 3rd Ave, Manhattan, NYC (

The two authors will be together for the one and only time with Andrew Waldon spending a week in NY and me travelling down for the day from Boston!

Also joining us is David Boyd, member of the 1986 FA Youth Cup winning team, who has lived in New Jersey for the past 10 years.

After the game there will be a book signing / Q&A session and the chance to win one of 4 posters signed by the entire squad and Tony Book / Glyn Pardoe.

If anyone would like a copy of the book, please send me an email ASAP as Andrew is only bringing over a set amount of books.

The book will cost $12 (retails at $17). We can also post the book to anyone within the US for $19 including P&P. Book details:

Phill Gatenby <gatenbyp(at)>


Negredo is an anagram of GOD. With a few letters left over.

That’s all there is to it.

You’ve heard it from me.

He will be the best in the Premier League. We’re just starting to see what he can do.

As Ron Manager used to say, he reminds me very much of me when I was his age…

Andy Johnson <fastandyj(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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

The official club web site can be found at and the official club Twitter page at The club also has a facebook page at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club ( The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (

[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 (

[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

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A useful site for North American viewers is

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with Usenet, a basic explanation is available here:

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

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

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

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at!/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

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[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock,

Newsletter #1932