Created in 1994, MCIVTA is the longest running unofficial Manchester City related web site and e-newsletter in existence.

ISSUE DATE: Saturday 10th January 2015

NEXT GAME: Everton, Goodison Park, Saturday 10th January 2015 (15:00 GMT)


Welcome to MCIVTA 1968. Ah, 1968, some of you will say, with distant but vivid memories of Bell, Lee, Summerbee, Doyle, Young and co stylishly strutting their stuff, and gloriously, winning the title in 1968. As much as I love our current generation, I still envy those of you who saw that great 1968 City team in the flesh. Anyone care to give us their account of that team?

With the ultimately tricky hurdle of Sheffield Wednesday negotiated, despite demonstrating some more FA Cup complacency, the good ship Manchester City sailed into the next round of the FA Cup. One can’t help thinking Middlesbrough will not be so easy to pull round if we give them a goal or two start.

As things stand, City are negotiating to sign Wilfred Bony from Swansea with the fee seemingly being the sticking point.

The extension of Frank Lampard’s contract and indeed the nature of his original signing last summer, sadly, does not appear to have been managed well by the club in terms of media statements, though we’re obviously delighted to have this great player for the rest of the season. We shouldn’t worry, though, about the hypocritical indignation of our rivals or those journalists who spin against MCFC and/or tell a pack of lies, whenever they can. Still, City have not broken any rules, though, clearly, we have some bridge building with New York City FC. This is a wonderful club that does many good things, not that you’d know that from the disgraceful coverage that Manchester City FC receives from a largely biased media. Hopefully MCFC will learn from this Lampard episode and normal service is resumed. This is covered in tonight’s issue amongst other details of our progress, a match report, details of a new City app and other gems. A really good, quintessential, classic editi!
on of MCIVTA (even if I say so myself!). Thanks everyone. Please keep the wonderful contributions coming.

Kind regards,

Come on City!

Phil Banerjee

There was something very reassuring about the Burnley match. One game from
a hundred year record, at home (sadly not the fortress it should still be)
to struggling side. It was inevitable that we’d blow it! Playing so
comfortably and so well, even I thought for a while that the 2 goal cushion
should grow, but it vanished and there we go.

However, “typical City” would have been losing to Wednesday after thumping
them so soundly in the League Cup just a few months ago. We feigned to do
it for well over an hour, but most untypically, we overcame the Christmas
pud and pulled the game out of the fire.

Even two years ago, I don’t think we’d have done it. The “typical City” tag
is no longer as certain as it was for most of our lives. There is something
gritty getting into this squad.
We have had few sublime games and have won quite a few in ugly fashion, but
we would have lost some of those even last year.

We are learning. As Yaya disappears again (an annual month out of the
season is a bit much – even England tend to play tournaments out of
season!) we are less frail-looking than ever before. We have survived well
without Kun, without King Vince, without the divine Silva machine and
without Yaya better than we have ever done before. Now we know we can do it.

Amazingly we are dead level at the very top. Having hipped too many points
far too early, I had given up on the league months ago, but we are very
different now. Despite my youngest’s abhorrence of Pellegrini, he has brought tremendous flair, but also a grittier resolve.

Where that went for the first few months, God knows, but it is there and we
need it. I just hope to see the flair come back and sustain for the bulk of
the season.
As the mighty Mr Greaves is wont to note, “Football’s a funny old game!”
martinhuntctid AT


Birthday boy James Milner celebrated by bagging a brace as City edged past a spirited Sheffield Wednesday, but the Boys in Blue left it late. Not for the first time in the cups in recent years, City were sluggish and uninspired in the first half, and Wednesday fully merited their half time lead. It didn’t help that Pellegrini left made too many changes to the starting line-up: Nasri and Silva on the bench for an hour – there was no incisive interplay until they arrived on the scene; and three of the back four were changed. The whole defence looked like strangers and this cost us a goal with a catalogue of errors in the 14th minute. Fair play to May who outpaced Mangala, checked on the edge of the box, and neatly squared for Nuhiu to crisply finish, but City’s defending left a lot to be desired. Boyata played them onside, Mangala got the wrong side of his man and Sagna failed to get across to cover and deal with the giant striker. As for Kolarov, he picked up where he left of!
f against Burnley and was woeful all afternoon.

In that first half, City didn’t move the ball quickly enough and there was not enough movement that would test a well-drilled Wednesday side who were clearly determined not to be humiliated like they were (7-0) in the League Cup earlier this season.

City’s best moment of the first half was when Jovetic ran at the Wednesday defence and teed up Lampard who fired just wide, but we only created half chances.

David Silva was warming up for a good few minutes and it was expected that he would be coming on at half time, but the only change that Pellegrini made at the break was to have Milner and Jovetic swapping positions, with the City number 7 moving inside from the left flank to centre forward.

The game only turned with the double substitution that saw the introduction of Nasri and Silva on the 62nd minute. Within minutes Nasri fed Silva whose beautiful reverse flick set up Milner to equalise with a finish through Kirkland’s legs. It was nearly all City for the last half hour save for a brilliant tackle from Navas to thwart a dangerous Wednesday break and Palmer firing into the side netting. Both Yaya and Silva forced good saves and Navas was testing the left side of Wednesday’s defence with his pace as it become more of a siege. Just when it looked like we were facing an inconvenient replay, Sagna released Navas, and from the Spanish winger’s cross, Sliva flicked the ball to Milner who got ahead of Palmer to gleefully finish. Wednesday’s impressive travelling army of 6,000 fans (their chant of “you’re just a sh1t Carlton Palmer” to Yaya had us in stitches) will rue the fact they could not hold on, but their team had not really been much of an attacking threat af!
ter the break and class won the day. Whilst it was cruel on the Wednesday fans their players are less deserving of any sympathy given the three brutal fouls which could have seriously injured David Silva.

Pellegrini should have started with a stronger team. Leaving both Nasri and Silva on the bench was rather complacent, like we were in the first halves against Watford and Wigan last season. As we found out in the latter game last season, we didn’t get away with it. We need to be better in the next round, compete to the point we are ahead enough to give youngsters like Pozo and Celina a chance to come on. Still, Pellegrini fixed the problem this time.

Silva and Nasri were an absolute privilege to watch, and not for the first time. The understanding between them is bordering on telepathic and they play off each other sublimely, without ego, making themselves greater than the sum of their substantial individual talents. Every player performs better for having them in the team, and they were brilliant yet again in this game. Their short precise little passes into little pockets of space made all the difference. Brilliant.

City: Milner 66, 91
Wednesday: Nuhiu 14
Att: 44,309


Cabellero: Had no chance with the goal and had little else to do. Proved to be alert to close down Liam Palmer (son of Carlton) late on. His distribution was excellent: 7
Sagna: Failed to cover for the Wednesday goal when he really should have tackled Nuhiu, and was generally very poor. His one positive contribution was to play the pass to Navas which set up the winner. He needs to do far more in defence and going forward.  Is he really an upgrade on Micah Richards? On his performances thus far, he isn’t: 5
Boyata: Played May onside for the Wednesday goal. Generally nervy and not confident on the ball: 5
Mangala: Failed to anticipate the speedy May’s run and allowed him to get goal side. He must learn to read the game: 5
Kolarov: Absolutely woeful. His passing was invariably atrocious and he was rightly substituted: 2
Navas: Some good deliveries and some not so good. He set up the winner with his cross. He will benefit when Aguero and/or Dzeko are back: one lovely high cross early on was begging for Dzeko to head it in. Navas may frustrate with his erratic delivery but he offers pace and balance to the team. His work ethic was epitomised when he ran 60 yards to make a great tackle deep in our half to halt a dangerous Wednesday attack: 7
Fernando: A good, solid game. He brought a lot of control to our game after the break and was proactive in snuffing out danger, winning possession and distributing the ball simply: 7
Yaya: He missed the presence of Silva and Nasri for the first hour and was unable to get City going on his own. Improved when they did come on: 6
Lampard: Battled hard and played one superb long pass for Navas in the first half but was unable to raise City’s tempo or find the target or an incisive pass this time: 6
Milner: Worked hard but to no real effect in the first half before having a good last half hour once Silva and Nasri entered the stage. Took his goals like seasoned striker: 7
Jovetic: Tenacious and active but struggled to make an impact as City’s most forward player, His best moment was when he ran at the Wednesday defence and teed up Lampard: 6

Silva (for Lampard 62): He has that wonderful ability to find space to receive the ball in the tightest areas, and play the most deft passes. His reverse touch to set up Milner was of the highest class. 8 *Man of the Match (joint)*
Nasri (for Jovetic 62): His play has a real maturity about it now to go with the intelligence. His timing of his incisive passes as he drifts in from the left flank is an enduring image: 8 *Man of the Match (joint)*
Clichy (for Kolarov): His introduction for Kolarov was a mercy for all: n/a
Refwatch: Michael Oliver: Weak and pathetic showing yet again. Failed to properly punish three thuggish tackles on Silva: 1
Best Oppo: May: Ran the channels really well and showed good poise to outpace Mangala, check and set up Nuhiu to finish: 7
Phil Banerjee
phil.banerjee AT

The home crowd was quiet for long periods but the Wednesday fans, like so many away fans, were in good voice. Not that this a new phenomenon. How many times have we been away (including Hillsborough’s library like atmosphere in the 80s and 90s) and completely out sung the home crowd?  The Wednesdayites were put right, though, on this occasion when they issued the ubiquitous “Where were you when you were s***?” with “We beat you when we were s***”. Their support was fantastic, though. All 6,000 made it a great atmosphere and the ones I spoke to on the train home were very sporting. There was no mention of our money or sour grapes that you get from some fans. Just good, proper, mature footy chat and reminiscence of playing them in tears gone by (they were often difficult opponents especially when they had the likes of Waddle, Sheridan and Hirst). I haven’t seen or heard of a hint of trouble. Just passion. The Wednesday fans were an absolute credit to their club. I hope they g!
et back up in the top flight as soon as possible. Without presuming anything, I’d love to be fighting for the title with Wednesday rather than the likes of Manure, Liverpool or Arsenal: too many of their supporters have a sense of entitlement that the Wednesday fans and indeed City fans, put to shame. Good luck to Wednesday for the rest of the season and the sooner a club with supporters like that (and closer geographically to City) are back in the top flight, the better.

Phil Banerjee
phil.banerjee AT

Manchester CITY move into the New Year being joint top of the Premier League.

CITY are still into the Champions League Cup with a major fixture coming up against Barca

CITY beat Sheffield Wednesday, with the help of two goals from James Milner  on his twenty ninth birthday, and advance to the F A Cup fourth round .

Major fixtures coming up, and yet if you look at the list of strikers on  the MCFC web site there are five strikers listed.Aguero, ..Dzeko,..Jovetic, Guidetti (now with Celtic) Negredo ( Gone back to Spain), this leaves CITY with just three strikers when all are fit  !

James Milner who scored is not a true striker!

Before MCFC can buy another striker the club must sell because of FFP rules, and have the cash needed to get another striker.

Therefore Sinclair and Nastasic to go, and perhaps another player?

It would be great if Sinclair could go in part exchange for Bony. If not QPR are interested.

PROS for Bony , He has played very well in the Premier League, and knows the league, has scored some very good goals, his work rate is good.

CONS for Bony , He would be leaving for the African Cup of Nations with YaYa Toure to go off to the Ivory Coast.

MCFC have not replaced Negredo (Beast) with another striker, however when he left he helped the club with FFP  rules.

I feel strongly that MCFC should sign another striker to advance with so many major fixture ahead, major injuries and we just can’t depend on mid-field  players to do all the scoring .

I will pick Bony as my choice, I feel that he would fit into the team.

If not Bony, it will be difficult to find a player that is very good to leave a club at this stage of the season.,they could be fighting for their lives  to stay in the league or fighting for a place in Europe in our league or in  another league abroad.

Not the best time for transfers, but when a team falls short, now is the time to adjust.

It will also be difficult to stay within FFP rules, football today has become more of a business because of the new rules.

In Pellegrini I trust…. Come on you BLUES!

Ernie Barrow. C T W D.
Britcityblue AT


You might think it’s crazy for any City fan to think it’s a bad idea to sign Wilfried Bony, but I certainly do. Don’t get me wrong, I think Bony is a fantastic player with a proven track record of scoring in the Premier League. You just have to look at his recent record of 25 goals in 43 appearances. Compare him to other foreign imported strikers such as Soldado, Falcao and Balotelli (erhem) and it makes him look even better.

But is Bony really what City need?

Sure right now, we are suffering a striker crisis that has no doubt effected some results. Aguero, for all his ability, can’t stay injury free for a full season. Dzeko can’t always be relied upon to lead the line on his own. Jovetic shows sporadic flashes of his talent but isn’t consistent or durable for that matter. However, we seem to be getting all 3 back to fitness at roughly the same time.

We had a requirement in the squad for 4 strikers last season, but that was when City weren’t restricted by FFP. With the squad reduced to 21 players for the Champions League, who is going to be shifted to accommodate Bony? Even more importantly, would Pellegrini really favour Bony over Aguero or Dzeko once they are back and fully fit? I think not.  You also have to consider that once City have signed Bony, we won’t be able to play him to the Ivory Coast return from the African Cup of Nations anyway!

Then there’s the price-tag, an issue which seems to irk a lot of City fans. £30 million for proven and prolific Premier League goal scorer is about the going rate. But given the other areas of weakness in the squad and Aguero’s imminent return, is this £30 million being well spent? With Yaya (and Bony of course) leaving for the AFCON, we are going to have a gaping hole in the midfield with some massive games coming up. Lampard has been a revelation this season, but he can’t be expected to live up to Yaya’s level in games against Arsenal and a potential 6-pointer against Chelsea? Wouldn’t we be better off spending Bony’s fee on Yaya’s long term replacement? A Pogba, Barkley or Koke maybe?

If money was no object, like it was 2 or 3 years ago, then I would have no qualms about this signing. To me, I think City should be more concerned about plugging holes before adding more firepower. Then again, I won’t be complaining when he scores.

Curtis Simpson
Casimpson1988 AT

What the hell is going on? This sad saga is starting to leave a very sour
taste. City are now talking of errors (where blatant lies would be a little
more appropriate). Why has this happened? What was the point?

Even Frank seems pissed off with the mess of lies. We buy a club, great!,
we sign a player, great! We invent a tissue of lies, why

We used to be a family club and held our family values dear. To see more
and more actions of a corporate greed machine is unsavoury, to say the
very least.

I really enjoyed the outrage about us signing Lampard. I loved the
hypocritical indignation it caused and I loved seeing it pay off.  Now I
wonder what the hell to believe and I see absolutely no reason why City
have broadcast and sustained this tissue of lies. It rather takes the gloss
off the whole coup.

Very sad to see City sink to the depths of tremendous wealth being seen as
insurance against honesty.

martinhuntctid AT

For Christmas, I received a Manchester City mug which was inscribed “Keep Calm and support Man City” which aptly described the state of mind you would need to be in to watch the blues play Roma, Burnley, Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday in recent games. Maybe a defibrillator would have been more appropriate.

Considering the loss of Aguero, Jovetic and Dzeko and, Kompany and the pending departure of Yaya Toure, City are badly in need of  key reinforcements to bolster their bench. The loss of Negredo has certainly come back to haunt City and I believe Jovetic is too fragile to be counted on so we definitely need at least one top striker to work with Aguero and probably a back-up to spell off Dzeko. Still having Lampard commit to the end of the season is a master stroke and if Milner would commit, I think we have a great team moving forward for at least one more season.

I don’t know what all the fuss is about with Lampard not playing with New York City until the end of the league season. It’s really no different than Gerrard agreeing to join the L.A Galaxy at the end of Liverpool’s season. Both New York and Los Angeles should feel lucky to have such soccer legends joining their league.

Anyway we survived Christmas without any major mishaps, we should have Aguero, Dzeko and Kompany back shortly and hopefully we will be set for those two back-to-back games against Arsenal and Chelsea at the end of this month.

Keep the faith.
Keith Sharp
Toronto Canada AT

Am I the only one who found it a blessed relief that we were spared the video featuring pretentious poetry on the screens ahead of the Sunderland game? It’s bad enough when it’s on the trailers on the BBC for the kick and clap. Or is this a plot to keep fans in the bars for longer?

Alastair Hayes

New app puts your team on the screen

Premier League defenders can only dream of this, but with the arrival of the official Manchester City keyboard app – you can have Sergio Aguero in your back pocket. Featuring fully-licensed Manchester City txt screen designs, access to news feeds and themed corrective functions – this is the must have app for Blues’ fans.

Available for all Android devices the app is free to download and available on Google Play. The app boasts these match-winning features:

Blue is the colour – The app allows fans to express their love for all things Manchester City. Official screen themes are provided, theme colours can be changed in line with home and away fixtures and even your virtual keyboard changes to City blue to ensure you can keep the flag flying high on your phone.

Extensive news feed – On downloading the app, your home screen will automatically link to all the key Manchester City news feeds – ensuring that you have the finger on the pulse of your club wherever you are. Once installed, you don’t even need to open the app as you will be notified about all City news and any updates from the club’s social channels as soon as it happens.

Manchester City themed corrective virtual keyboard – A sophisticated algorithm not only provides word correction and next-word prediction that learns your vocabulary and style, but gives it a City theme too! Type “Ag”, the predictive text will give you “Aguero” as an option. Struggling to spell Pablo Zabaleta? Don’t worry, it’s programmed into the virtual keyboard!

The innovative app is the brainchild and tech company Kibo, the app will be available in 10 different languages, ranging from English to Hebrew, French to Arabic, reflecting City’s international influence and there are more languages to come soon.

Oron Zell from Kibo said:

“Until now, a fan had to head to Facebook, twitter or the club’s website every time he or she wanted to be updated. With this app, everything is centred to the smartphone and mobile keyboard in real time.

“With the branded keyboard, every time a fan sends a text, email or WhatsApp they can do so with City blue at their fingertips. It’s the perfect combination of team spirit, advanced technology and real time updates to keep the fans connected to the team 24/7”.

Luke Strauss     @luke_strauss
Mangala? One great start and then constant anxiety. Why?  Nastasic has been
consistently good and reliable until he vanished this season and I see he
is now out of the door whilst the dodgy Frenchman continues. What happened

When Matija arrived, I hailed him as “Not Savic” as that was accolade
enough. Dumping Steve and getting Matija was a master stroke and then we
simply dump hi, whilst persevering with a very dodgy learner. This flies in
the face of the excellence he showed last season and his very young age.

I remember Lescott having a phenomenally dodgy spell and I knew we had to
bear it as we had no cover. And, boy, did he come good.

I remember Boateng and my excitement at signing him and then seeing him
dumped after misusing him for a single season.

I am mindful of Dedryck’s ups and downs (mainly the latter), whilst a far
more accomplished Academy boy was shown the door because we would not give
him any sort of run [Ed: Micah Richards, much as we love him, though, wanted to go despite having a new contract offer]

However, I am slowly losing patience with Mangala. Perhaps we should clone
Tommy Booth and Dave Watson? We’d be safe enough then!

martinhuntctid AT


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