NEWSLETTER #1978

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MAN CITY INFO VIA THE ALPS “McVittee!” (1978)

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

ISSUE DATE: Friday 27th March 2015

NEXT GAME: Crystal Palace, Selhurst Park, Monday 6th April (20:00 BST)

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EVOLUTION, NOT REVOLUTION

Beating West Brom was a relief more than anything after the recent poor run of form. City at least showed the required desire and quality to beat a team that we would normally defeat, but the real test will come in the remaining games, with trips to Selhurst Park, Old Trafford and White Hart Lane on the horizon.

We sit in 2nd place for now, as much looking over our shoulders at the teams behind as we are waiting for a slip up or two by Chelsea. United’s win at Anfield helps us put some distance between us and Liverpool in 5th place, but our limited neighbours are too close for comfort in terms of points. We really need to go on another winning run.

Whatever happens, it is going to be a summer of change. Should there be a change of manager Carlo Ancelotti is looking like the likeliest potential successor, though his assistant at the Bernabeu, Paul Clement, is thought to favour having a crack at managing elsewhere himself. City have strongly denied making any approach for Ancelotti though, but that doesn’t mean that they will not do so in future.

Some change in the playing personnel is needed as some members of this go past their peak, and fresh inspiration is needed, but there is still a lot of quality that has won four major trophies here, and is capable of winning more in the future.

For all his talent, though, Samir Nasri’s attitude and form has been disappointing in recent weeks, and again he has been found wanting against Europe’s elite. He could find that he is one of those players could be on his way out, whether or not Manuel Pellegrini stays in situ. As well as he has played at times, and he had a good season last year, there is a strong sense that when he is good he is very good indeed, but at other times, he is very poor. The disappointment is that he seemed to have matured last season, but he seems to have slipped back into bad habits. With his friend Yaya looking likely to be heading out of the exit door, it could be that Samir is showing less signs of commitment as a result. That is not really acceptable.

Hopefully there will not be too many changes in playing personnel in one go, and we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, but we could have a situation where we lose three midfield players: Yaya, Nasri and Milner, this summer. It would be good to keep two of those. Milner has been a fine reliable servant to this club over these five seasons, and still has so much to offer, but the nagging feeling is that he will be joining Liverpool or go abroad. Yaya could still be a match winner in a more advanced role. Time will tell what will happen, but it could be that the powers that be have decided that a fresh approach and new players are needed. The thought of the energetic and immensely talented Paul Pogba turning out for us is exciting, but we would face competition for his signature and UEFA’s so-called (and anything but) “fair play” strictures may make it hard for that to become reality.

We have a varied set of reading for this latest issue of McV. I am delighted to include two pieces from club historian Gary James, one of which clarifies who relegated United in 1974, and the other offers us a chance to download a couple of his ever-informative papers. We also have comment on City’s current form as ever, a West Brom match report, news of a new edition of King of the Kippax and a Derby ticket request.

Thanks again for you contributions. Please do keep them coming.

Kind regards,

Phil Banerjee
Editor

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Manchester City 3 West Bromwich Albion 0 (HT 2-0)

City comfortably beat ten-man West Brom to return to winning ways, but it might have been more than 3-0 had it not been for excellent goalkeeping by Boaz Myhill.

The main concern before this game was that it would be a case of “after the Lord Mayor’s show” with City, and Tony Pulis does not send out teams to roll over. We need not have worried as City attacked for most of this game with hunger and desire to score as many goals as possible.

Pellegrini had made seven changes from Barcelona: out went Yaya (achilles), Milner (who had a knock but was on the bench), with Fernandinho, Sagna, Demichelis, Kolarov, Nasri rotated/dropped; Zabaleta, Clichy, Mangala, Fernando, Lampard, Navas and Bony came in.

It wasn’t long before the game was turned in our favour. In the 2nd minute Bony chased short back pass by McAuley and arrived before the covering Dawson who trippied the Ivorian striker as he burst through. He would have been clean through so a red card as in order. The trouble is that referee Swarbrick red carded the wrong man, McAuley! The free kick didn’t come to anything but thereafter it became a game of attack against defence.

City were totally dominating and steadily got shots in. Silva hit a stinging shot which Myhill beat out. Faced with the Baggies massed defence, City did, though, try to walk the ball into the net at times.

Fernando has a frustrating tendency to pass the ball sideways when can shoot. That is clearly his natural instinct, despite the crowd urging him to “shooot”. When Fernando did play forward pass, it paid dividends, with a double rebound off a defender and him to Bony, who took a touch, and he steered the ball into the net to give City the lead. Hopefully it will be a boost for him and he will settle in.

After nine minutes the Baggies fans raised their Justice for Jeff banner, with them and many City fans joined in a minute’s applause to raise aware of the Astle family’s campaign.

The chances kept coming for City. Clichy fed Navas on the edge of the box and the Spanish winger turned unleashed a powerful shot which Myhill was forced to palm away for a corner.

City soon doubled the lead when a Navas corner was hooked on by Mangala. A combination of Baggies defender Olsson, Myhill and Fletcher failed to clear, presenting Fernando with a tap in for his second goal of the season: both of which have come against West Brom. He might have been forgiven for thinking, if not singing “Podemos jogar contra voces todas as semanas” (the Brazilian Portuguese for “Can we play you every week?”).

The City Singing Section had reminded the small number of Baggies (many put off by the steep prices) that:

“Joleon Lescott, he’s won more than you…”

Only for them to retort “Darren Fletcher, he’s won more than yow…”

Then quick as a flash, the Blues chimed “He’s gonna sh## in a minute!”

It can’t be easy for the poor lad, but he must be glad to be able to play again.

We were told it was City’s “1,000 goal in Premier League History”. Forgive this correspondent for not going overboard with glee, because unlike $ky Sports,football didn’t begin with the advent of the PremierLeague.

Pulis wasn’t happy with Mangala’s high boot, and he may have a point, but he is a bit of a serial moaner, which doesn’t help his cause. He can’t seriously think that it changed the course of a totally one-sided game.

Silva forced another save from Myhill early in the second half after an inviting cut back by Aguero. The latter had a close range effort saved, then hit the post and Bony the bar from the rebound. West Brom’s goal led a charmed life. Zabaleta crossed and Myhill saved Slva’s close range effort.

West Brom could have scored but Olsson broke free at a corner, flicked on and Berahino headed against the bar from just a yard out, and Joleon Lescott headed over from a similar distance.

It was only a rare attack by the visitors, who conceded a third soon after. Clichy and Jovetic worked space on the left for the City left back to get to the by-line and cut back for the Montenegrin attacker whose shot was steered into the net via Silva’s shin. It was a well-deserved goal for the Spanish magician.

Some might say it is an opportunity missed to boost our goal difference, but the players showed the required levels of desire and credit is due to Myhill whom was inspired – Hartesque even! Overall it was a relief to get back to winning ways.

Goals:

Bony 27, Fernando 40, Silva 78.

Att: 45,018.

Ratings:
Hart: After the heroics and superhuman efforts of Barcelona he had next to nothing to do: 7
Zabaleta: Good attacking options. Untested in defence: 7
Kompany: Good to get a game under his belt that that enable to continue his rehabilitation. A couple of a grapples on opponents aside, he did well: 7
Mangala: Another game under his belt as he continues to settle in, but this wasn’t a test. Played a crucial part in City’s 2nd goal, which is commendable for his aggression and desire, even if it should have been penalised: 7
Clichy: Offered some support in attack, including the cut back for the third goal, on a day with little to do at the other end. What little defending he did do, was done well: 7
Navas: Lively down the right, but the chronic lack of accurate crosses continues. Tested Myhill with a stinging shot in the first half: 6
Fernando: Started off seeing a lot of the ball, in good shooting positions, but passed the ball sideways each time. His aggression in the Baggies’ area set up the opener
Lampard: Neat, tidy and progressive. Good to see him being given more time on the pitch: 7
Silva: City’s chief creator, he was forever trying to weave his magic and thread intelligent passes for others. Cleverly steered home his goal: his 11th of the season. 8
Bony: Up and running at last with his first goal for City, he was muscular, aggressive and his touch was good. This was more like the kind of performance that we would hope for: 7
Aguero: It wasn’t his day in terms of scoring goals but his work rate was absolutely excellent, best exemplified by his chasing back deep into his own half to make good tackles on a couple of times: 7
Subs:
Jovetic (for Lampard 65): Some intelligent runs. Thought he’d scored in the 78th minute, but Silva deliberately deflected the ball in: 6
Dzeko (for Bony 78): n/a
Milner(for Silva 82): n/a
Best Oppo: Myhill: An outstanding, performance which saved his club from real embarassment: 8
Refwatch: Swarbrick: If any proof were needed that referees need the help of another official correcting the big decisions, here it was. It wouldn’t take longer than 20 seconds to correct a case of mistaken identity. With high profile and crass exception of sending the wrong man off, he got most other decisions right. 5
Phil Banerjee
phil.banerjee AT orange.net
(Thanks, or should I say, “obrigado” Marc Starr for the Brazilian-Portuguese translation)
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BACK ON TRACK FOR NOW

Hmmm, I said this only a fortnight or so but sadly need to repeat it: Sometimes timing is everything. In this case I refer to the kind praise lavished upon me by Martin Hunt for my “calm reasoning” in the very same issue that I FINALLY LOST IT AND WENT ALL BASIL FAWLTY ON YOU!!! And whilst
I accept that the use of upper-case is generally considered brusque and bad form, I hope that if nothing else I caught the collective mood of the readership in the immediate aftermath of that Turf Moor debacle extraordinaire. If it weren’t for Joe Hart I may well have been back on the keyboard thrashing mode after the Barca match, although, unlike the slant the press have put on it, I thought that the second half in particular was by no means entirely one-way traffic. Obviously by chasing the game against such scarily dangerous opponents we were always going to leave ourselves open at the back but we too had our share of chances. The missed penalty seemed to portend the writing on the wall, mind. Still, sometimes you simply have to tip your cap, and Mr Messi, this I do to you. Wow!

Anyhow, a rare comfortable win yesterday but what did it tell us? I’d venture so far as to say very little indeed. We’ve had just two strolls recently and in both cases said ease came courtesy of our hapless opposition virtually handing us the reins within a minute or so of the whistle. If anything it brought up one or two worrying facts: 78% possession and 43 attempts on goal to score three against ten men. And I’m now going to do the seemingly unthinkable: I’m going to take a pop at
Sergio (albeit a minor one, and I’m going upstairs to indulge in a spot of self-flagellation upon finishing this contribution). At 2-0 it seemed he was playing much more for the Aguero goal scoring figures than for Manchester City Football Club. It reminded me of his desperation to get on
the sheet in the final game last season. And whilst in both cases no harm came, it must be said that when the Baggies hit the bar yesterday I’m sure we all had our hearts in our mouths thinking of how close we came to it putting a whole new dimension on proceedings.

Only a day apart we had a solar eclipse and City scoring from a corner. As they say things happen in threes I was hopeful I might see Lord Lucan riding Shergar down El Dorado High Street…or much more unlikely, Navas scoring. Hey! He came close a couple of times. Oh, okay, I’m clutching at
straws a tad on the scoring-from-a-corner angle. We scored from the result of a defensive fiasco after a corner seemed to have yet again been wasted.

Last time around I was yelling my concerns about our points yield being swallowed up by the three teams just below us. And whilst our form alone does nothing to tell me that I was wrong to do so, I’ve had a think about it, and the fact that the teams around us have to play each other so many
times means that points will be automatically dropped. This eases my mind to an extent. And if there is any silver lining to be found from the final match of the weekend, it’s that we are now seven points clear of Liverpool in 5th spot.

Phil B. amongst others of recent times, has raised the point that MP should not be fired for simply not winning at least one trophy per season, and of course that’s true. How on earth could we ever expect to either get the best out of our incumbent manager or attract top talent with such a Sword
of Damocles attitude? Nevertheless, I think us rank and file fans would agree that if he is forced out of the door, then Manuel’s worst enemy would be his combination of tactics, team sheets and formations. And because of the seemingly rather tenuous position of our manager – whether rightfully or not – I was not happy recently to see that Nastasic had moved on permanently. Maybe another gaffer would fancy giving him another chance, as we had had high hopes for him previously.

Cheers
Steve O’Brien
Bodsnvimto AT googlemail.com
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OFF WITH HIS HEAD

But who’s ? Mr. P’s or the two puppeteers, or a number of other non performers ?
Who wants to change our lovely sky-blue shirts to a darker shade and at the same time cross the “Bridge” into the land of the olligarchs where the moaning, muttering Mourhinos live ? Not I .

Of course we need a darned good shake up. What we don’t need is a reactionary bloodbath, but I’m not one of those who as Martin Hunt [whose reasoned sentiments I largely agree with] says “we pay a bloody fortune to ” I’m just an old-time fan with a frozen in 2004, U.K. State Pension.
I have a great deal of sympathy for Daniel Nellist {MCIVTA1976}; I too used to travel, was at St. James Park [or whatever pretend name they now call it ] on that Glorious 11 May,1968 Day; but I’m saved the heartbreaking decisions Daniel has made as I have lived in Canada since 1973 [ Am I in cuckoo-land or did my final year’s Season Ticket, in H Stand, really cost me Fifteen Pounds ?]

I was delight to hear of the multi-year commitments to our Club made by The Magician, Sergio and YaYa Toure. This last one because it means we might get some money for him. He bestrides the field like a colossus, and goes down like one when any passing breeze catches him anywhere between the half-way line and the opponents box. Whether it’s my mythical breeze or a perfectly good tackle his colossal rear hits the deck where he sits up, pounds the earth with his hands and looks around for toys to throw out of his pram . I know I exaggerate, and I have often marvelled at his juggernaut runs terrifying defenders, ending in great goals . That’s is why he is paid the obscenely large amount, but he’s also paid to get off his bum and run, not amble back, so that he remains a functioning part of the team. Sergio lost possession at least a couple of times at Barcelona, no prizes for guessing what he did.

On the subject of bringing on youth, who wouldn’t delight to to see a home grown Team, hopefully having a major G.B./Eire component. A dream you say ! I used to live right across Ashton New Road from what is now the Stadium. My Mother used to sell five Woodbines and a box of matches to Bradford Pit miners coming off shift ,from up the Road, You’d stand outside and take a deep lung-full of the “air” a mixture of coal dust, stink from the Aniline chemical works, particulates from Johnson & Sons steel works and others. All of these have been replaced, from what I have viewed and heard, by our magnificent stadium, training grounds and attendant services. That’s the bones of my dream already come true. This is not, however, a sequel to “If You Build it They Will Come” but the facilities must surely attract budding youth, and the route to first team involvement has to be seen to be achievable. Our owners are not stupid people, of course everybody likes to see a quick return on inv!
estment, but eventually wells age and run dry and non-stupid people plan for this. The last few years have been have been tremendous and, absence some wrong decisions, could have been breathtakingly successful. To those who struggled, sacrificed and worked, including our supporters, a great big thank-you.

On a final note, please don’t ever let us lose James Milner, the epitome of dedication, and no small talent. Can you imagine the guile of Frank Lampard and the talents of James Milner being used, at some future time to coach our youth !

Thank-you Phil et al

Peter Murphy
Kanata On.
Canada
Murphypdm AT gmail.com

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1974 Denis Law

Dave Wallace is of course right to point out in a recent MCIVTA that regardless of what propaganda you may be told Law’s goal was perceived on the day as sending United down.

The facts are simple and it’s only after the event that people started to say ‘oh, it didn’t matter’. It’s worth remembering our games V Luton 1983, Liverpool 1996, Bradford 1989, QPR 2012 to picture the scenario because in many ways United fans would have had those feelings (during the game) that we experienced. The day’s scenario was:

At the time the game was played no one knew that United were already down. In fact they weren’t down until results elsewhere went against them. According to almost every United history book produced between 1974 and about 1995 the Reds needed to beat City and hope Birmingham lost to Norwich with Southampton also defeated.

When the pitch invasions occurred – and there were two! – the feeling was undoubtedly that City had relegated United. The ref made the game restart after the first invasion because the other matches were still playing and results were not definitely known.

After the second invasion the players were taken into the dressing room. The plan was that they would go out again if results elsewhere went in United’s favour. When it was clear that the result would not alter relegation then the referee abandoned the tie. As with our games against Liverpool in 1996 and Bradford in 1989 there were lots of rumours about scores elsewhere and, as with 1996, it was the results elsewhere that ultimately relegated United, but on the day United felt – just as City fans felt in 1996 – that it was that game and our ineptitude that brought relegation that day.

Making direct comparisons with 1996 and some of our other last day dramatic scenarios shows it more accurately than some like to suggest.

Of course, we now know that had United won then they would still have been relegated, but that wasn’t known during the game.

One other point worth reminding people of as well which has developed into a myth is that this was Denis Law’s last goal in domestic football. Some United books claim he retired that weekend. This is not true, not only did he play in the World Cup for Scotland, but he also started the 1974-75 season with City. He even scored in the Texaco Cup, regarded at the time as a first team competition, and only retired when the new League season had commenced, shortly after City had signed Asa Hartford.

Gary James
City AT manchesterfootball.org

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FREE RESEARCH

Last year some of my latest research was published focusing on the period when Manchester found its footballing identity. It received a lot of attention, especially as it said it was City’s 1904 FA Cup success that promoted the sport and made Manchester a footballing city. It normally sits behind a pay wall, but I’ve managed to persuade the publishers to make this free to download for the next week or so. Give it a read when you get chance

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14660970.2014.961378?src=recsys

The paper carries loads of stuff that may be of interest, so please give it a scan all the way through.

It includes lots of snippets within it such as evidence that City had female season ticket holders in early 1900s (yet people claim women didn’t go to games); evidence of Jewish interest in City in the early 1900s; ticket price details compared with other costs showing that some of City’s tickets for a single game were as expensive as a week’s rent for a house in Gorton and much more.

This is all part of my ongoing research into Manchester’s football birth and more will follow. In the meantime it would really help me if you could take a few minutes to download the paper while it’s free.

My earlier paper on the period before 1885 for Manchester football (with evidence on Hulme Athenaeum – Lancashire’s earliest known football team; Manchester AFC; Manchester Wanderers etc.) is also free to download at the moment:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17460263.2013.873075?src=recsys
Thanks – get the free stuff while you can. Cheers.

Gary James
City AT manchesterfootball.org

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KING OF THE KIPPAX ISSUE 223

Pleased to announce that King Of The Kippax fanzine number 223 was out for the WBA game, and in the outlets at the weekend. This issue is A4, 44 pages with a colour front and back cover. Front cover has Van Gaalling and Pellers face to face for the Derby showdown with suitable captions, and Alan Pardew being his cheeky, and ageist self.

Included is the upcoming derby, Phil and Gaz (two sad rags), Scandinavian Blues, What’s gone wrong, Serrgio’s Wikipedia, referees, and all the regulars and much more.

It’s £3, and can also be bought for £4.50 inc P and P from (cheques to ) King of The Kippax, 25, Holdenbrook Close, Leigh, Lancs, WN 7 2HL.

Regards
Dave and Sue Wallace

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DERBY TICKET REQUEST

Hi,

Could you please include this “early” request for a derby ticket?

I’m looking for someone to help me out with a single ticket for the derby game on April 12th. I live in Norway and my first ever trip to Manchester to watch City live was in 1993 with my father (I was 14 so had to bring my dad 😉 to see City – United on Kippax at Main Road. My father recently turned 60 and as a gift for his birthday we (my borther, myself and our brother-in-law) are organizing a trip to Manchester for the derby at Old Trafford. I’m hoping to get hold of a ticket for myself through the MCSCSB in Norway and are looking for a ticket for my brother as well. Our dad will be sitting in the loosers end with his son-in-law.

If you are unable to attend or would like to help out please let me know. I may bring some bottles of homebrewed beer if I’m lucky enough to get a ticket 🙂

Cheers,

Kjartan (cityted@gmail.com  / twitter: cityted)
dw001e8104@blueyonder.co.uk

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MCIVTA ADDRESSES

Articles (Phil Banerjee): editor@mcivta.com
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.City-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul Howarth): paul@City-fan.org

Publishing deadlines are, nominally, 6pm Monday and Thursday evenings by email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

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MCIVTA LINKS

Web: http://mcivta.com/
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Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/mcivta

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USEFUL LINKS

Official Club website (http://www.mcfc.co.uk), Twitter (www.twitter.com/mcfc) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mcfcofficial)

Official Manchester City Supporters Club (http://www.mcfcsupportersclub.com)

Manchester City Disabled Supporters Association (http://www.mcdsa.co.uk)

“Points of Blue” committee : Sadly discarded.

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

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DISCLAIMER

Any offers to buy, sell or exchange tickets are made at the risk of the parties involved. MCIVTA has no commercial or insurable interest in any offer and plays no part in any transaction or arrangement.

Offers are detailed purely for the convenience of our subscribers only.

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