Newsletter #1936

Remember us?!

It’s been a while hasn’t it? A mini sabbatical taken while moving house and having been troubled by various IT issues which are simply too boring to relay.

Normal service now to be resumed though!

Not that ‘normal’ is a word you could have used for City during the festive period. What a simply amazing period of time for the club. I’ve not seen the like of it before and I doubt even those of us who may remember as far back as Doherty, Brook, Tilson, Marshall and Toseland will be able to say they have seen a City team to match the fayre we have been served up recently.

Despite drooling at not just the results but the performances over these past few weeks, it only feels like a starter before the main course of Barça and Wembley (barring a 7-0 thrashing at Upton Park!).

It has been truly glorious and leaves us on the cusp of simply smashing the ‘first to 100 goals’ record by 9 matches if we score against Cardiff on Saturday.

That said, we are still ‘only’ second in the League so all to play for but, hey, if we can’t take a time out now to enjoy this then we are fools. What we are witnessing may be the best we will ever see… or will it?!

With that intriguing prospect I will leave it to my fellow contributors from the past few weeks. Forgive those that are time-lined pre-Xmas/New Year, still great reading.

Next Game: 18 January, Cardiff City, Etihad Stadium, 15:00 GMT


I spotted this nugget in the Honours List stuck beneath a photo of a swan herder (?!). Well-deserved recognition for true talent and we can only give thanks to the man who saved the club in the period between the hopeless optimism of Francis Lee (emphasis on hopeless) and the garish fantasy football manager (and cough international human rights concerns) style of Shinawatra.

As well as being a respectable and composed figure against a backdrop of a club that seemed to relish embarrassment, Bernstein left us entrenched in the Premier League and qualifying for the UEFA Cup preliminary rounds (fair play league counts!). Bernstein had Carrington built, negotiated moving us into the CoMS, hired Kevin Keegan – our best manager of the decade (IMHO), and splashed out on the best youth set-up in the country rather than over-priced players and impractical title pushes.

To say we’re indebted to DB is an understatement and a half!

Honourable mention to Karren Brady CBE of West Ham and the Apprentice, for services to being in a man’s game and having to do it backwards in heels. I’m not a fan but I think she’s worth some recognition for not just for being markedly competent, but mainly for being intelligent and dignified in the spotlight as a completely self-made female entrepreneur. Fair play to her and I hope football holds her off from taking up politics.

Paul Hunt <paul.h.a.hunt(at)>


Just before the New Year beckons, I thought I would give my views of the season so far.

To say I am pleased with City’s improvement and climb up the table is an understatement.

What a difference a new quality “man-manager” makes; he comes across as a gentleman, never really ruffled, and most importantly not at war with the players (Mancini take note!). This has had a profound effect on many players, not least Nasri, who has been a far better and more consistent player this season. He handled the goalkeeping issue, by rightly resting Hart (who could not have had any argument), and giving Pantilimon a chance, and to be fair he has not done much wrong.

We had a poor return from some of our earlier away games, though some of the performances were not that bad, though our defending was awful. Then we went to Sunderland with a changed team and lost 1-0, with Sunderland scoring from probably their only shot on goal and then defending like Trojans.

If you look at City’s performances when we rest a few of our players, more often than not the “reserves” look average (apart from against Bayern Munich away). Garcia has to be one of the poorest transfers. Especially the amount we paid for him… how did he make the Spanish national team? He has absolutely nothing special to his game and I would be certain that not one of the top 12 teams in the league would consider using him in their team. Yet he seems to be always on the bench, probably because Rodwell and Richards are always injured. I could never understand why we sent Barry out on loan… it should have been Garcia (no takers?). When fit, Everton look at him as a regular! City definitely missed a trick here.

Negredo and Navas have been really astute signings, and have added a potency to our attack that we did not have before. Think about it, who would you rather have, Balotelli or Negredo? Yes, a no-brainer. Dzeko seems to be a player that Pellegrini feels he can get the best out of. Personally, I think Dzeko is not world class, he is slow, does not hold the ball up well, and takes 5 or 6 chances to score, and will continue to be on the bench when Agüero and Negredo are fit. Personally, I would sell Dzeko and get someone else in, maybe Remy?

Where could City strengthen? Well at right back definitely. We only have Zabaleta, as Richards is always injured and should be offloaded a.s.a.p. A quality centre back is also an area we should look at. Left back is not too bad; Kolarov has improved and can hold his own, though he could do better defensively. Garcia, we should definitely offload, and his replacement should be the Benfica player Nemanja Matic, who at 6ft 4″ would provide the physical presence Manchester City miss, when Yaya Touré or Fernandinho sit out, plus he is a very good player who also scores from midfield.

We must learn from last season, that when you are at or near the top, make sure you strengthen, as I am sure Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool will be dipping into the transfer market. We should not be left behind, especially as we have to play nearly all the top teams away in the second half.

There you have it, my views.

Wishing everyone at MCIVTA and City a very happy and successful 2014.

Glyn Albuquerque <glyna1705(at)>


Happy New Year to all Man City fans.

A win is a win and they are doing just that.

So two Cup matches to look forward to in the near coming days.

If Mr Timpson reads these ravings on “MCIVTA”: I do like your swimming pool; nice idea!

Watching the Swansea match, I had to keep reminding myself it was Man City I was watching not the All-Blacks, with City of course playing in black.

By the way, I hope the FA do not agree to Hull City changing their name as I am not keen to see Etihad 2 Emirates 1 or AON 1 Etihad 5!

No New Year wishes because my wishes were at the beginning of the season and those were as usual the three relegated teams to be Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Then the pundits would be lost for words or at least City and other teams would get some coverage! I only by the way get to watch ESPN and you get the feeling any other club outside Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and maybe an Italian side (although I do look at the BBC website and that at times seems to favour those same 8 or 9 teams too) and the rest are seemingly lucky to get a mention.

Come on City!

Trevor Bevan <mate.bevan(at)>


Not having the ability to watch the games, I have to depend on reports, and the all-to-infrequent, televised matches (here in Ottawa) but I am prompted to ask:

  • Does anybody else, particularly the Manager and coaching staff, find the timing of Swansea’s two goals worrying?
  • Garcia? What’s Pellegrini’s problem with Milner? In my view he’s the second most committed, hard worker, and steely player after Zabaleta.

Peter Murphy <murphypdm(at)>


Thank you Manchester City for an extra Cup match!

This draw I am thinking was a lucky result!

Is it me or is it that the modern ball is not goalkeeper friendly, as I noticed that Robinson also had a unfriendly moment too but was fortunate in that the ball bounced directly back into his hands. I have noticed this happens to goalkeepers very frequently over last few years!

Now I read Mr Rodgers has upset the FA but what Mr Rodgers needs to think of is that referees are not consistent at any time within a match or between matches. Take the City/Liverpool match as an example: there I was screaming at the TV screen “show the red card” (no matter I am 12,000 miles away and the match played a number of hours ago) but no, the referee just showed a yellow. The incident was where Kolarov was breaking away with the ball at his feet and well clear of an opponent when a Liverpool player stretched out so very deliberately and tripped up Kolarov. The trip act was so blatant and premeditated that surely the referee should have shown a straight red card! Thus Liverpool from that point on should have been playing with 10 men or is that to be PC 10 players!?

Thus we come to Boyata; granted, it probably was the referee covering his bases and giving a yellow for the second time in the match to Boyata thus it had to be a red card that followed, but in some respects the Boyata action that got him his second yellow card could also be argued was deliberate and premeditated and so should have been a straight red card!

I am no fan of the card system because I have this theory the referees have to meet a monthly quota whereas with a strong blow on the ref’s whistle and the calling of the player to him, the player will get it quite clear whether or not it is a caution, a name taking and/or also a sending off, so I think that Mr. Ashton’s idea has now gone past the use-by date of that system because the position is more between the players and the referee than with the referee performing to the spectators. Referees are using a microphone these days and the TV commentator can listen in and then tell us whether it is a caution, name taken offence for the first time and then for the second time within a match the sending off is obvious to all and sundry!

I thought that at the beginning of this season here in NZ that having to watch City matches on the web would be totally against me but no, it has seemingly got me to be practically sure that I can watch all i.e. PL, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions’ League matches because of either City TV and the ESPN channel that NZ Sky TV can get access to and so I am quite pleased, whereas I did think by now I would be struggling to enjoy the City matches.

Will Garcia and Boyata now go in the January transfer window? I had thought Garcia had played his last game some matches ago when he simply was atrocious but to my surprise he has come back and this Blackburn match he was left on too when I thought Fernandinho should have stayed on and Garcia have been substituted!

I hope Phil Banerjee is now recovered or if not is he is well on the way to good health.

Trevor Bevan <mate.bevan(at)>


It was strange to see the players chatting amicably in the tunnel before the game, rather than staring stonily ahead, as is more usual. Our early goal relaxed me, and I sat back expecting more of the same. The whole game changed, however, after the decision to disallow Newcastle’s “goal”, and the atmosphere immediately became poisonous – friendly banter in the tunnel long forgotten.

At the time, I thought Newcastle had been hard done by and that the goal should have stood, but I’ve changed my view of that since. When the shot was struck, three attacking players were in an offside position, none of them blocking Hart’s sight of the ball. Gouffran, however, was standing close to the ‘keeper and moved away to avoid being hit by the ball. If he hadn’t moved, the ball would have hit him, and the decision would clearly have been offside. By moving, though, he played an active part in the goal being scored, and could therefore again be penalised for being offside. Perhaps the referee got it right, after all? The Sky pundits disagreed with me, and I didn’t see the BBC’s reaction. If I had been a Newcastle supporter, I would no doubt have felt aggrieved. Bill Shankly once said something along the lines of “if he isn’t interfering with play, what’s he doing on the pitch?” And that was relating to the old, simpler offside law!

Less has been made of the fact that Newcastle were lucky not to finish the game with nine players. The referee (understandably) was very reluctant to give Cabaye a second yellow for at least two offences that merited it, and the tackle on Nasri was awful – three attempts to hack him down. By the end I was just relieved to get three points, and look forward to what should be an easier task against Blackburn.

David Buxton <dbb26(at)>


‘Tis coming up to half seven on the Saturday evening before Crimbo.

After an afternoon listening to a comfy first-half and a largely nerve-shredding second period, I’m sat back, sated on Thai food, relaxing, having a glass of vino, and watching the darts at the Ally Pally, when what should the crowd break into singing?

I’m sure everyone reading this who is/was also watching broke into the same wide smile as me, upon the sounds of No Limits’ lyrically revamped “Yaya, Yaya, Yaya, Yaya, Yaya, Yaya, Yaya,Touré, Kolo, Kolo, Kolo…”

Happy Christmas to all.

Steve O’Brien <bodsnvimto(at)>

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Newsletter #1936