Newsletter #1287

We head into the busy Christmas and New Year fixtures with some serious issues about performance, individual players and club.

Don’s news tonight brings reaction to the Spurs débâcle, hints of possible transfer targets now that the window is just a week away and we also have opinion on those recent performances, our lack of strikeforce and City in general.

We’ll be taking a break until next Thursday, so would like to wish all our readers and contributors a very Happy Christmas – and here’s to a few points on the pitch.

Next games: Bolton Wanderers, home, 3pm Saturday 23 December 2006
Sheffield United, away, 3pm Tuesday 26 December 2006


General News

In a Stu Over Honesty: Stuart Pearce was praised for his honest assessment of Bernardo Corradi’s red card in the derby – by neutral observers anyway. Some more partisan opinion felt that maybe SP was being a little too honest for his, and the team’s, own good. Pearce replied, “People at supporters’ clubs and members of the press ask me if I am too honest, and from my point of view I would like to think not. If I get asked an honest question, I will give an honest answer. I honestly do not believe in standing in front of a camera after a game and asking questions like, ‘Why did Ben Thatcher get booked for obstruction in the first 10 minutes?’ when there were three more in the game after that that did not get booked. Why, when Micah Richards was kicked in the face by Rio Ferdinand trying to score a goal was it not booked at the Stretford End? Or when Darius was trying an overhead kick and kicked Rio in the face it was a free kick? I don’t think it’s constructive for me to stand up with the emotion of a game and pose those questions, because no one’s got an answer for them. There are contradictions, but I mention them to the fourth official and if I am asked questions afterwards in respect to Bernardo, for example, I’ll give an honest answer. It’s probably helpful to referees if managers do it in the right manner, rather than with the emotion that follows after a game.”

Putting the Boot In: Ah, the perils of being a young footballing superstar! The Daily Mail reports that Micah Richards is at the centre of an acrimonious row involving Adidas and Nike. It claims that Micah “was wearing Adidas footwear when he broke into the England team for the friendly against Holland in Amsterdam last month. But problems over extending the agreement with Adidas led to Richards’ agents, Sports Entertainment and Media, exploring the possibility of their player joining the Nike stable instead. Richards wore Nike’s swoosh-branded footwear when Manchester City played Liverpool last month and the American company expected him to sign a deal with them. However, Adidas were furious when they saw Richards wearing the boots of their fiercest rivals and eventually persuaded the player to renew his contract. Nike, who believed they had lured one of England’s best prospects from the enemy, are seriously annoyed about Micah’s U-turn, which he explained by saying he felt more comfortable in Adidas shoes, which he had worn for a number of years. The dispute over Richards certainly won’t help SEM when they next discuss Nike’s kit deal with Rio Ferdinand. Nike feel they have been used by the agency to gain an improved contract from Adidas for Richards.” Micah Richards is 18 years old.

Transfer News and Gossip

Blades a Cut Above City: Just like having a row with a family member and getting heartily sick of eating turkey, a regular feature at Christmas is the Evening News speculating on the size of the budget the City manager will be getting in the January sales. This year is no different. This week, Chairman Wardle was certainly making the right noises. “We’re a stable club now. We do need investment,” Wardle said. “If it doesn’t come straight away, OK, we’ll continue on. We’ll find something for Stuart in January. The aim then is to stay within the Premier League, hopefully start pushing for a European place, and we’ll still look for further investment. It’s got to be the right investment; it’s got to be the right people. When it all goes together, then we’re away and running.” So far, so normal – but a couple of days later came word that wasn’t so welcome. According to Manchester’s premier evening journal, Psycho will have less than £5 million to spend. Rather gallingly, the M.E.N. reckons that City will be outspent to by those giants of South Yorkshire, Sheffield United. Apparently the Blades recently announced they are raising £10 million through a loan, half of the money going on team-building. “Sheffield United have probably got more funds than I have at the moment, but that changes very quickly,” admitted SP. “If someone takes over the football club, then the scenario changes. But one thing I can guarantee is that the chairman and the board of directors are doing everything they can to make my life easier in the transfer market. If they tell me there is X amount of pounds available, I know that is the case and they have stretched themselves as well as they can. And I know if they say there is no more money available you just have to get on with it. I speak with the chairman and chief executive regularly so am aware of the situation but I don’t think it will be a quick process. If I were a guessing man, things don’t get done very quickly, especially over Christmas. I can’t see it being done before the transfer window opens and shuts, but I may be wrong. Only time will tell.”

Going Ding Dong for Dindane: So where is Stuart Pearce looking to splash his huge pot of cash? He could be lining up Lens winger Aruna Dindane for a start. The Ivory Coast international can play out-wide or through the middle and is emerging as the top target for January, says the People, who optimistically describe Dindane as the “New Drogba”.

Will He Won’t He? Rotherham United’s young forward Will Hoskins has rejected a new contract offer from his current employers, and is being tracked by several Premiership clubs, including alleged moneybags Sheffield United and our own dear City. Rotherham boss Alan Knill said: “I’m disappointed because we feel that Will would be better off playing under a manager that trusts him, rather than going elsewhere and sitting on the bench. Will has been taking advice on this and he and his advisers have decided against what we put on the table. I don’t think it has anything to do with money.”

Upson’s Ups and Downs: Centre half Matthew Upson left Arsenal a couple of years ago to join a mediocre Premiership club that got relegated after having one indifferent season. Now he’s being linked with a move to City. Newcastle United, Portsmouth, Villa and City are all monitoring his situation, after the Birmingham City defender Matthew Upson declared his intention to leave for the Premiership next month. “It is a pivotal couple of months,” he conceded. “This is a big part of my career. I just have to focus on playing football – that’s all I want to do. I have done all this work for eight months and now I want to see some product at the end of it, and that’s me on a football field. I want to play Premiership football again, to play for England again. I want to be the best I can possibly be.”

City? Cham Must be Joking: Bordeaux’s Marouane Chamakh has played down talk of a January switch to City. It had been mooted the unsettled Moroccan striker could move to the COMS on loan when the transfer window reopens. However, Chamakh, who is tied to Bordeaux until 2009, wants to see out the season with the Ligue 1 outfit. “Manchester City? Agents like to create rumours,” Chamakh dismissively told Sud-Ouest. “This is a lot of fuss over nothing. I’ve met Bordeaux’s directors. I don’t want to leave now. I want to have a good season with Bordeaux until June. After, we will see.”

Wirth a Look? How many goalies do we need? It’s reported that Chilean goalkeeper Rainer Wirth has arrived in England for a trial with City. The shot stopper has been without a club since leaving Universidad Catolica, but through his friend Mark Gonzalez, the Liverpool winger, he has been able to set up a trial with the Blues. “It was an interesting option because of his desire to play in Europe,” Wirth’s father said. “We have received offers from Cobreloa, Everton and Colo-Colo, but England is his preferred destination.”

Going Dutch: Assistant manager Steve Wigley has revealed that he and the gaffer have been scouring the continent for fresh talent. “We went to Holland to watch four teams and saw a few players,” Wigley told the club website. “It was a perfect opportunity to watch a couple of games, we went to Feyenoord and then on to Heerenveen to take a look.” This helps explains why City have been linked with a couple of Dutch-based strikers. First, we heard in the M.E.N. that the management had been checking out “The Eredivisie’s latest goal sensation Afonso Alves”, who plays for (wait for it) from Heerenveen. Alves has apparently scored 17 goals in 17 games, so one wonders if City might face a little competition from other, richer clubs perhaps? And quiet at the back there, all those mumbling “did we sign the wrong Heerenveen striker?” Also mentioned in despatches this week: City are being linked with Groningen striker Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has bagged five goals in eight games for his Dutch club this season and SP has been credited with interest in the local press.

Reactions and Comments

It’s No Wonderland… So there goes the unbeaten home record then. Tottenham, without an away win this season, came a-visiting the COMS last Sunday, and naturally won. The visitors dominated the first half thanks to Calum Davenport’s 15th minute header and a superb 20-yard half-volley from Tom Huddlestone on 24 minutes. At times SP looked like Mr.Peevely watching Hair Bear and the Gang disappearing over the wall of Wonderland Zoo (R.I.P. Joseph Barbera). But City fought back when Joey Barton latched onto Paul Dickov’s cross and volleyed home in the 64th minute. Barton also had an appeal for a penalty turned down when he was felled by Steed Malbranque in the final five minutes. “Joey believes he was clipped,” said SP later. “I’ve watched the incident again and I thought Malbranque got Joey’s foot and none of the ball. The referee said he thought it was a penalty but the linesman didn’t flag so he didn’t give it. The team were very, very poor for 45 minutes. But in the second half we rolled our sleeves up when maybe it would have been easier to go under. And at the end of 90 minutes maybe we deserved to get something out of it.” Handing teams a lead, as Pearce admitted, is “unacceptable” and the City manager had sympathy for the fan who was carted away by police after attempting to clamber over a fence behind the technical area shortly after Tottenham scored their second goal, presumably to castigate Pearce and his players. “People pay good money and they can vent their feeling,” Pearce said. “I was frustrated and if I was a supporter I would have vented my frustration. That performance was unacceptable as a collective in the first half, but credit to the players, they rolled their sleeves up in the second half when it would have been easy to go under.” Pearce added: “I heard something behind me and, at first, thought it was my missus shouting some advice. The performance of the team dictates people’s reactions and rightly so. We were very, very poor for the first 45 minutes. That performance was unacceptable and there is no point hiding it.”

Jolly Jol: Spurs’ boss Martin Jol was pleased enough, although he felt his side had needed another goal to make the game safe. “It was our first away win and I think we deserved it. If you want to be a good side you need to get results away from home” Jol told SkySports. “We played some outstanding football in the first half and we could have scored three or four,” he said. “It got back to 2-1 and I thought we could have had a problem, but we held on. You know with their manager, Stuart Pearce, he won’t accept a performance that is probably below par, so they tried to grind out a result. But I am pleased, because after Europe we have seemed to do well, with four wins and a draw.” Jol also reflected on Tom Huddlestone’s first league goal for Tottenham, a stunning half-volley from 20 yards. “Tom scored his first goal and I still don’t know how he managed it,” Jol hailed. “He has a fine technique, he can play the ball anyway he likes and that is probably what he did.”

Compare and Contrast: Georgios Samaras was substituted at half time after an ineffective performance, and his manager gave him some advice. Pearce said: “I thought he was disappointing. He is 21 years old and he has got to learn quickly the rigours of the English game. Every minute he spends on the pitch is invaluable to him. You have got to be a jack of all trades in the Premiership nowadays. When you are not getting the rub of the green and the service you want as a forward maybe you have got to compete a touch better.” Micah Richards also had to be substituted, but for entirely different reasons. “Micah had not trained with us all week so credit to him as a young man, he got himself out of the treatment room and he desperately wanted to play. I don’t think he helped his cause to be fair, but he has been outstanding and I have got to admire the fact that he wanted to play.”

Squad News

Barton: I was wrong last week about Joey Barton’s next foray into the media. Instead of giving more reviews of potential Christmas presents, Joey has been presenting himself – as a potential England player. Talking to the Sun, Barton pressed his international claims with his usual diplomatic aplomb. “I’d love to be involved with England,” he said. “I’m not the best player in the world but I wouldn’t be going along for the ride like some players seem to do. You know, train a couple of days, wear the tracksuit but just shrug your shoulders when told you’re not playing. I wouldn’t be like Lampard or Gerrard, who are superstars at their clubs and want the limelight at England. If there were two balls on the pitch England would be successful but it’s been proven they don’t work together. If they want somebody to do the c**p jobs for them, then I’d like to think I was capable of doing that. Win the ball back, give it to either one of them and let them pull the strings – that’s fine by me.” Using the more usual form of football-speak, his manager supported his wayward midfielder’s claim. “Joey is not the finished article yet but he is getting better and better as the weeks and months go on,” said Pearce. “There is no doubt he has a burning desire to represent his country and he has plenty of confidence in his own ability.” And SP might face a fight to keep hold of Barton as Everton are said to be ready with a £6 million bid. This must be thrilling news for the teenage Toffees fan who had a “misunderstanding” with Barton in Thailand back in Summer 2005…

He’s on the Road to Hull… Again: Danny Mills thinks that there’s ‘a good chance’ he will return to Hull City once he is back to full fitness. Old Bullet-Head spent two months on loan with Hull earlier in the season before a stress fracture to the shin prompted his return to City. “There is every chance I could go back to Hull City and if that was to happen, I would welcome the chance to play my part in helping the club avoid relegation,” Mills told the Yorkshire Post. “Stuart Pearce told me at the start of the season that I was free to find another club and that is still the same situation. I came close to moving to Blackburn Rovers last summer until the deal fell through at the last minute and my main aim is to keep playing in the Premiership for as long as I can. But obviously the injury is going to hamper my chances of playing in the top flight again in the short term so there is no way of knowing what may pan out during the January transfer window. So there is every chance I might have to drop down a level to the Championship, which would not be a problem for me at all. I am happy living in Yorkshire and would want to play for a club in the north. I would like to think there is a good chance I might end up back at Hull.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


I wasn’t going to bother but I will (sounds like Sunday’s game). Travelled up from warm and sunny Lee-on-Solent on Sunday morning to watch the Spurs game. As I travelled north I could see the temperature gauge recording cooler temperatures (true I swear). “Is this a bad omen?” I thought.

However, armed with my trusty ticket – well actually unarmed is more accurate, because the club had promised to get my duplicate card to me in good time but it didn’t arrive – I sallied forth pleased with the knowledge that I had managed to secure a seat right alongside my brother and his friends, who are all season ticket holders in the East Stand. Sadly there is a tale in itself. Why was it so easy to pick my designated seat when I phoned?

Arrived at the ground. Here, efficiency lent a hand in the shape of the lost or stolen cards window at the ticket (sorry box) office. There was no queue there, probably a good idea they didn’t call it the lost and stolen souls window! Managed to trace my missing ticket/card without any trouble but then was refused entry due to it being blocked. However, the stewards were magnificent and got me straight in.

Went up to the concourse and did enjoy the beer and pie. Another warning. Why was it so easy to get served?

It certainly wasn’t due to the efficiency of the staff. I have never seen so many people who don’t know what they’re doing. In the end it all seems to be done by one or two supervisors who jump in and pull the pints, run the till, point out which pie is which etc. They would probably be even more efficient if they just did that and didn’t try to control the chaos the untrained staff around them caused. One guy nearly caused an international incident by asking for a ribena, which obviously hadn’t been covered by their extensive training programme.

On to the game. I have watched City for too many years to count but I think I can honestly say that the first half was the most appalling I have ever witnessed. In fact it was more than appalling, it was embarrasing, which was made even more so by Spurs’ large away following generally taking the p=e and singing songs about how bad we were. And having a pop about “you’ve only got one song” to the tune of Blue Moon. They might have a point. And anyway we should learn the second verse as it is more poignant, referring to saying a prayer for someone I really could care for.

To add injury to insult, Micah gets himself injured, or rather aggravates his injury, and goes off. We move Vassell to cover at right back and leave Samaras as the lone striker and I use the term with licence. I take Ernie’s point about him having his hair cut, but on the other hand it does swish nicely as he swings his head from side to side wondering where the effing ball has gone this time, having failed yet again to either control it, or more likely, get to it in the first place.

Half time comes with the blessing that we are only two down and not the four or five it was looking like.

Second half, or rather the second half of the second half, we started to show a bit of fight, particularly after Joey Barton’s equaliser. I was one of the ones who screamed “go” during the contract mis-negotiations. Thank God he didn’t. Where we would be now doesn’t bear thinking about.

Samaras hadn’t come out for the second half and I have to say it was a little while before I noticed. I’ll leave you to work out why.

Onouha had come in at right-back and Vassell moved back up front. Note to Stuart. A good tackling-back midfielder Darius is. A full-back he will never be as long as his bottom points south.

Stevie Ireland did a good job, apart from a glaring miss, and Joey’s rise in output seemed to coincide with him having a little of the workload offloaded. And hands up to Dabo who did well when he came on.

The depression was capped by Rob “wet lettuce” Styles turning down a stonewall penalty. A point later proved on MoTD2.

So we could have salvaged a point. Did we deserve it? Course we did ’cause we’re City. A bit like I say to my lovely partner. You’re a pain in the a*se, I’ll never understand you, and you make me happy and sad, But I’ll always love you.

Come On You Blues. Here’s to the next time.

Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for
And then
there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked the moon had turned turned to gold

Blue Moon… Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


Ramblings from a depressed man!

Spurs game. First half – what a load of bobbins. Total embarrassment and we should have been dead and buried at 0-4.

I was screaming at the telly for Pearce to take off Dickov and our softy Greek and put Miller wide left, Vassell up front and Ireland (when is he ever going to start?) in the hole. Well SP semi heard me but took off the injured Micah putting Trabelsi at right back (who was looking better than most at wide right – why move him?) with Ireland wide left and Vass going wide right (?), should have been a straight swap of Nedum for Micah.

At least SP saw the light by taking softy Greek off (we’d have been better playing with 10 men) at half time and sorting out the right back spot and suddenly we started looking like a football team again.

A game of two halves as they say.

Dickov came alive. Ireland, Barton and Reyna were bossing, Vassell was working hard, and even Jordan was looking comfortable pushing on but what about the shocking showing of Dunne and Distin – woeful.

Great goal. Definite penalty turned away five minutes to go but how important was Ireland’s blast over the bar when clean through!

Take a look at that table below (which shows the cushion between City and 18th team from games 3 to 17). It’s so close from 11th down to 19th now that a couple of defeats and you’re in the s**t. Those below us with games in hand on us win them and suddenly we’re around 17th and battling the drop!

3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17
3  2  1  4  3  4  4   6   3   4   6   6   6   6   6

From those next 3 games against Bolton home, Sheff U and WHU away we need a minimum 5 points and no defeats.

Reading the City forums, I don’t go with the view that we are so dire; we’re good on our day… and before you say it, yes our day comes round about 1 in 5 games. I certainly don’t think we’re any worse than we’ve been in the past 15 years or whenever the roller-coaster started, in fact for a change we have players to covet. Without throwing everything out of the pram, we are a left back short of a defence, a left midfield player short of a midfield, and a striker short of a forward line.

I agree with comments on Dickov who I believe they bought as a back-up player but with Andy ‘show me the money’ Cole leaving at the last minute plus the rough diamond and the one paced Italian failing to perform, Dickov has come to the fore, and let’s get this right, though he’s got as much chance of scoring as my wife letting me out of her sight night time, he does battle, he does come up with the odd bit of skill occasionally (the goal the other night being an example), but I agree that we shouldn’t be having Dickov in the team more than the last 10-15 minutes of a game, if required.

I’m sick of SP’s non-sensical use of substitutes I am every bl**dy week actually just as I was with Keegan. Some times it’s very simple but they seem like rabbits in the headlights unable to react. I reckon either SP or Wigley need to get up in the stand and take a calmer and clearer overview of the game as it pans out. From reading the various forums the knives are out for SP but I’m ‘anti-continually changing managers’; stability is the key to successful football clubs – if SP isn’t good enough then bring in an older head to offer him some guidance (isn’t Venables, the so called Golden man, looking to leave international football for club involvement?) and make a change in a summer, not mid-season when the rot’s already set in.

We’ve got to buy 2 forwards in the sales and sort out that wide left position, freeing up Vassell. Let’s throw Miller up front for 30 minutes and see what he’s like. Corradi seems to like a battle and works hard so is ok against lower placed teams with lesser ability defenders but not against top defenders.

I cannot understand why Ireland can’t get a regular game, even if it’s 30 minutes. And get Miller on more often – remember how Crofty’s enthusiasm used to gee up the crowd when he came on as sub? We are wasting Vassell at left midfield cause there’s apparently no one else – get him up front chasing Corradi’s knock downs (can anybody tell me how few games they partnered each other?). Samaras isn’t going to make it so get rid. In the papers “Aston Villa, Newcastle and Middlesbrough are ready to tempt Manchester City with a £5.5 million bid for Joey Barton”. Where the hell does that valuation of Barton come from, he’s got to be worth more on this season’s showing. I for one have been very impressed with JB’s application this season and I can see him being Player of the Season if things continue as they are (pushed all the way by Nicky Weaver).

Can somebody explain to me why Trabelsi, who’s on a pay-for-play deal, hasn’t been signed up on a contract to merit his performances? Any idiot can see the man is a footballer. Sign him up now!

Finally, here’s a simple solution based on our most recent showings. Show some spirit in the first 20 minutes to get ahead and win the game rather than have a decent second half showing when it’s just too late. Simple, isn’t it? I could go on, they depress me so much currently, but I can’t be chuffin mithered.

Sort it out City, now! It’s all looking very bleak all of a sudden!

Peter Carlisle <Carlisle(at)>


Season’s Greetings from Northern California.

First of all – best wishes to all City fans as we head into some important games (but then aren’t they all these days?) and a special thanks to Heidi and all the folks who work hard to send us twice weekly updates on the Blues.

We have been seeing a lot of City games recently on TV and I hope you will forgive a certain depressing tone to this message. I have lived away from Manchester since 1967 but City are never far from my thoughts and the annual trips back to Manchester are always focused on a home game.

Recently I have been forced to ask myself a tough question. If I still lived in Manchester, would I be a regular at all home games? I would like to think I would be there, come rain or shine (and also perhaps at some youth team games as well) but if I was to be honest I am not sure. I would never have said this a few years ago. Perhaps I am getting too old for this stuff or perhaps distance brings longing.

Or perhaps it is just that the games I have seen recently have been pretty dire and we appear not to be making any progress. It is one game won and then a defeat. Our home form has been built on sand… and we came back to reality against Spurs. I thought the home game against Watford was as bad a game at Premiership level that I have seen.

I know this is the season for glad tidings but I am now a little worried about the next few months. I’ve said before that nothing would please me more than Mr Pearce going on some unbeaten run and showing us all that there is a bright future – he is a genuine fan of the game and his honesty is refreshing (though I do wish he would refrain from suggesting he would not like players like Richards to leave, he should not even broach the topic). But I keep saying that and we seem to be running to stand still – we are in almost the exact same situation as we were two years ago when the first discontent arose around Kevin. The players that have been brought in recently appear to be adding very little to the squad and we are now a couple of weeks away from the chance to bring a couple more players in. With very little money available we may be back to taking chances on loan players. There are some good young players but we are a long way from having a decent starting team. I am just not convinced that our current management team can identify the right players. I know this is always a gamble but I would like to see a slightly better return.

I really don’t like writing these kind of notes. I’d much rather write about Richards’ 45 yard headed goal that beats United at Old Trafford or 4 consecutive 3-0 home wins or beating Barcelona 5-1 to win the European Champions’ League. But if I waited to do that you’d never have heard from me (that’s begging a response I know).

I will be changing my name to Scrooge if I keep this up so I will end with best wishes to everyone and to Xmas fixtures that see a maximum point haul!

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)>


I too watched the Spurs game with a sense of impending doom. However, I had a really bad feeling about this game before the kick off. So much so I had a decent wager on Spurs to win at 9/2 with Ladbrokes. Call it lack of faith if you will. I call it highly predictable – and it was! How many times do teams or strikers on a bad run turn up at City and break the cycle? The answer is more times than we care think of.

It is now pretty clear we are in trouble. At the time of writing only 3 points off the relegation places and a difficult Christmas / New Year run of matches coming up. Again, bitter experience tells me that we will be fortunate enough to claim a sum total of 3 points over the next 4 games. At this time we will be well into the second half of the season and heading south down the league table – fast!

If Barton goes in the January window we are doomed! If Distin goes too it is all over. And who could blame them for hanging around? Not me. Who wants to work for a Company or business that is struggling to compete, lacks resources, ambition (selling SWP), has a rapidly declining customer base (we are heading close to the 30,000 hard core fans turning up every fortnight) and we are heading for the Championship? In their position the vast majority of us would do the same and get a hefty wage increase in the process – it’s a no brainer!

For what it’s worth Pearce has to ditch Samaras. He needs to hold up his hands and admit (to himself at least) that he has dropped a very serious £6 million clanger! He is not the first City manager to do it and he won’t be the last. However, if we keep on doing what we are doing the outcome and results will keep on being the same. It’s time to change things. How about playing Miller and Sturridge? Why not? Can they do any worse than what we have been seeing? At least we will see effort and graft that Samaras clearly cannot be arsed to put in. Ireland must be given an extended run. If not I (and others) have serious doubts about the Manager’s judgement. If allowed history repeats. Ireland does not get a fair crack of the whip and moves on – he becomes an established player with another good club and we lose yet another ‘talent’. How many times have we seen it happen previously? How many times does it have to happen before we wake up and realise the cycle needs to be broken? It is clear to anyone that Ireland is a better playmaker than some of those getting a regular game; 35,000 people can’t be wrong every week.

Don’t expect big name purchases in January to save the day. Which top class player is going to risk his career by joining City? Answer: None. Again it will be ‘budget’ / bargain basement and ‘experienced pros’ who are brought in ‘to do a job’ In other words they are past it and looking for a 1 or 2 year contract and pay day. You and I could recite the list of previous ‘bargains’ but the list is far too long and far too depressing.

Doom and gloom this may be. But I am worried – seriously! I genuinely believe it we get relegated this season we will never recover. Money rules and we have none! Our crop of youngsters will be cherry picked by the big clubs (of which we are not – let’s stop kidding ourselves) and there will be no way back. Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United et al.

Can we survive? I truly believe we can. But not by doing what we are doing currently. Changes need to be made, gambles need to be taken (playing youngsters) and a different mindset on the management of the club is required to be adopted. If not, I see no way forward. Depressing it may be. We have been here before (history repeats!) but if we slip out of the Premiership this year we will not get the opportunity again to do what we need to do…

Have a great Christmas and 2007!

Ray Bardsley <ray.bardsley(at)>


Samaras, along with some fellow City players, have been off form in the last few games. In the first half versus Spurs there was a lack of drive and passion, the worst football that I have seen from a City team for some time; only Joey Barton showed any effort.

Stuart Pearce was right to take Samaras off, he looked not only without effort, but lazy. Samaras is a young player who showed us earlier that he can score with his head and both feet. So what has gone wrong with this young player?

His father used to coach him in Greece; maybe the club should contact him so as to help Samaras get his form and passion for playing football again; he appears to have lost it.

I don’t think the club can afford to overlook this young player, instead the right coaching to bring the best out of him is the right way. I know that I have made comments in the past about his hair being in his eyes, but that is only common sense.

I still think that Samaras will come good, just needs the right encouragement, and effort from him.

To all at McV, and Manchester City fans around the world, a Merry Christmas and a winning New Year! Thanks Heidi, Don, and all the others at McV thank you for all your good work.

Come on you Blues, give us something to be merry about!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


First impressions of the Spurs game. Spurs lack confidence, we’ll have them easy. Next thought. Why are we so slow and disinterested? Third thought, oh Spurs are getting into it. Fourth thought, carp. I could only bear to sit through the first half and it was just truly awful. What the hell is going on?

I know these questions get asked a lot, but this is what these players get paid to do for 90 freekin minutes a week for God’s sake. It’s what you are supposedly good at. As for Samaras, why pick him if he obviously doesn’t want to play? I reckon our esteemed Ernie Barrow albeit with a wig (I assume his hair is shorter than the Greek wizard’s) would have done better. Also we start with no strikers. I like Dickov but prolific he ain’t. Samaras couldn’t even keep the ball under control. And Psycho tells him to fight for his place. Everything about him suggests that he won’t.

I hate to cast doom and gloom as old JR used to say, but on the evidence of that game it will be a long and carp season, win, lose, draw and probably beat the Rags at home like we always do. Something seems to be very amiss at the CoMS. Barton shines so he’ll end up playing for a club that appreciates his skill and drive, on Sunday’s performance from the rest of the team could you blame him if he leaves? And Richards too. In American football over here they constantly talk of “team ego” – the sum of the team being bigger than the parts. City it seems have none. We’re boned.

Trying desperately to keep the faith and give a carp.

Andrew Johnson <fastandyj(at)>


Why are some of you waiting until a poor game before giving the team a good slagging off? The team is very poor and are lead by a very poor manager, and if Mr McClaren thinks that Joey Barton is future England material then he is stupid as well. If he is not stupid then he was trying to boost his sale potential with only a week or two to go to the transfer window. England have more midfielders than would sink a ship and decent ones at that. Joey is not fit to tie the boots of SWeeP and he does not get a look in. The team is rubbish and so is the manager. Who should go first? I believe that after 35 years I am entitled to say that. Why? because I’ve seen some rubbish City Teams and Managers in my time.

City Till I Die, Sam Duxbury <member(at)>


18 December 2006

Fulham                2 - 1  Middlesbrough         17,000

17 December 2006

Everton               2 - 3  Chelsea               33,970
West Ham United       1 - 0  Manchester United     34,966
Manchester City       1 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     39,825

League table to 20 December 2006 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  18  7  1  1 20  4  7  1  1 18  6 14  2  2  38  10  28  44
 2 Chelsea         18  7  2  0 16  4  6  1  2 14  7 13  3  2  30  11  19  42
 3 Liverpool       18  7  2  0 18  3  2  2  5  8 12  9  4  5  26  15  11  31
 4 Arsenal         18  4  5  0 18  6  4  1  4 11  9  8  6  4  29  15  14  30
 5 Bolton Wndrs    18  5  1  3 12  7  4  2  3  8  8  9  3  6  20  15   5  30
 6 Portsmouth      18  6  2  1 16  6  2  3  4  9 10  8  5  5  25  16   9  29
 7 Tottenham H.    18  7  1  1 17  7  1  3  5  5 15  8  4  6  22  22   0  28
 8 Reading         18  5  1  3 12 11  3  1  5  8 12  8  2  8  20  23  -3  26
 9 Aston Villa     18  4  3  2 12  8  1  7  1  9 10  5 10  3  21  18   3  25
10 Everton         18  5  2  2 15  8  1  4  4  7 12  6  6  6  22  20   2  24
11 Fulham          18  5  1  3  9  8  1  4  4  9 20  6  5  7  18  28 -10  23
12 Wigan Athletic  18  3  2  4 10 12  3  2  4 10 11  6  4  8  20  23  -3  22
13 Newcastle Utd   18  4  2  3 11 10  2  2  5  6 10  6  4  8  17  20  -3  22
14 Manchester City 18  4  4  1  8  3  1  1  7  7 19  5  5  8  15  22  -7  20
15 Sheff. United   18  2  4  3 11 13  3  1  5  3  9  5  5  8  14  22  -8  20
16 Blackburn R.    17  3  2  4 11 12  2  2  4  5 10  5  4  8  16  22  -6  19
17 Middlesbrough   18  4  2  3  8 10  0  3  6  7 14  4  5  9  15  24  -9  17
18 West Ham United 18  5  1  3  9  8  0  1  8  2 16  5  2 11  11  24 -13  17
19 Charlton Ath.   18  3  2  4  6 10  0  1  8  7 21  3  3 12  13  31 -18  12
20 Watford         17  1  5  2  7  7  0  3  6  4 15  1  8  8  11  22 -11  11

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0607.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings bu email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

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

The official club web site can be found at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club”.

[6] Where can I find out about the fans’ committee?

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. The Fans’ Committee has been relaunched as “Points of Blue”. It has appeared on the club website as a minor entry under “Fans Zone”.

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The Radio Manchester (née GMR) pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[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:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

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

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

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the Plus Markets Group web site or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try

[13] I hear there is a TV programme specifically about City?

InsideMCFC is broadcasted by ChannelM. It is available on the SkyDigital (ch.203) and NTL (ch.26) platforms as well as being transmittedtraditionally within the Manchester area (ch.39). In addition, theprogramme is available to watch via the web. More details and schedule:

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1287