Newsletter #1293

Spoils shared on Saturday at The Reebok, but City came very close to securing all three points in a complete turnaround of our performance before Christmas. This was a game that several Blues decided to boycott in protestation at Bolton’s ridiculous pricing, a story that has been gradually taken up in the media. Let’s hope some constructive dialogue comes of this and, better still, sensible action from the clubs concerned.

Tonight we have views on the current squad, swap deals, a stress league and news on the rescheduled Arsenal fixture.

FA Cup replay tomorrow night as The Owls visit CoMS. With tickets at £15 and £5, let’s hope for a good turnout.

Next game: Sheffield Wednesday, home, 7.45pm Tuesday 16 January 2007 (FA Cup)


After my last opinion in MCIVTA there was a profound improvement in City’s results, with 3 wins over Xmas followed by the predictable poor performance against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup and then the good, but could have been great (if Barton or Corradi had taken their chances) result with Bolton.

Now that Thatcher’s off to Charlton, I dread to think how we will cope at left back especially as Jordan has been so poor (he never seems to mark the right winger, who always has time and space). If nothing else, Thatcher was a force to be reckoned with and had a bit (maybe a bit more than that) of menace about him.

If I am correct (via the Sun) there is a promising left back at Wycombe that would not cost much that Pearce or his scouts should take a look at. I do hope we look to strengthen that position with some urgency.

As for the midfield, now that it looks likely that Reyna will be on his way, the only 2 decent centre midfielders that we have are Barton and Ireland. Dabo seems to be off the pace and how he won 2 caps for France is beyond me! As for Hamann, when is he going to be fit to play more than one game? He was great for Liverpool but seems ready for the knacker’s yard right now. A very long time ago, possibly 2 years ago I suggested that City should try and get Jason Koumas (he was still at Tranmere) and look at him now at WBA, seems to be a big influence on the left side of midfield, creating and scoring goals. We seem to be investing in ‘keepers and young full backs, but not on decent creative midfielders. Sinclair is getting on a bit, Sun Jihai is not on the scene, Michael Johnson is too inexperienced, Trabelsi is really a right back. We have signed this young midfielder from France, I do hope he is thrown into the first team soon, so that we can see how good he really is.

Last but not least, our strikers are so hit and miss that you cannot rely on anyone for a goal. One week Samaras will be splendid, the next he will be a shadow of himself. Corradi just cannot find the net, and Vassell (I do like him as he is an honest tryer), he has the pace to trouble most teams, but his finishing is absolutely woeful (does he practice enough?). I know Thierry Henry is special, but I am sure he practices his finishing.

When was the last time Vassell scored on a one to one with the ‘keeper? Most of our forwards seem incapable of shooting from distance; only Barton seems to have a go. I am sure Pearce has a few loan signings or free transfers that he is looking at, I just hope they are a bit better than some of the fodder we have at the club.

Maybe Chelsea will loan some of the so called “duff” signings like Obi Mikel or Kalou, you never know.

I do worry that Distin will end up being sold in the January window, as there seems to be so many clubs vying for a decent centre half and it’s only a matter of time, as he still has not committed himself to us, especially as he lost the captain’s armband.

When is a rich consortium going to come in for City? There seem to be rumours, but nothing concrete. You only have to look at Portsmouth to see the number of players Redknapp is bringing in, all because of rich backers. Surely MCFC has a lot more to offer than Portsmouth.

Anyhow, hope we have a good result against Sheffield Wednesday and give us the confidence once more that things are back on track.

Glyn Albuquerque <GlynAlbuquerque(at)>


One minute Pearce is praising up Samaras, then he drops him for a cardboard cutout that couldn’t score in a … (well you know where!). Hardly good for a young man’s confidence is it? I know I’ve bagged him at times, but he’s just a kid and badly needs confidence, and this can hardly strengthen it? I’d be interested in learning the reason why he didn’t play.

Well a point and I’ll take it, another clean sheet (is there a better ‘keeper in the league than Weaver?), but we badly need a striker that can score at least once in three games. Didn’t Arsenal miss Henry when he was injured? Really pleased for Nicky Weaver, hope he gets the contract he desires, and he wants to play for us, something missing in a few of the players.

Well the first week of the year, and amazingly our NZ Knights in the A League in Australia are unbeaten in three games. City unbeaten in 5! Gosh, has the world gone mad?

Stay cool, stay Blue,

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


City should not entertain a swap deal for Paul Dickov with David Dunn, what they should do is offer him a post in the Academy if he wants to stop playing and still carry on his love affair with the Blues.

Kevin Keegan made the mistake in letting Shaun Goater leave the club, because he could not offer him a place in the side, but to have had the Goat working with the younger players – such is his love for the club – would have paid dividends further down the line.

There should always be a place at the club for ex-players who can give a feel good factor.

Gary Sullivan <gary(at)>


In recent weeks I have been taking a look through the message boards, on the BBC’s 606 site and in particular items related to our favourite club. What has surprised me is that there is still an undercurrent of opinion out there in 606land that is really keen on the idea of SWP returning to the club. It appears that as long as we continue to worry about our squad and SWP keeps a spot warm on the bench at Chelski week after week, this speculation is never going to go away.

It appears that a lot of people have very short memories, and have clearly forgotten how he left the club and did not think twice about dropping the club like a hot brick, when they came knocking, remember how it happened? So now after all this time, where not only has he failed to get a regular place at Chelsea, the plan to realise England ambitions has also backfired.

Yet if he had stayed at City? Well that’s something we will never know. What we do know is that he would have played every week, without fail and we would be in a better position.

He moved on, so let’s do the same. Does anyone agree with this view?

The time should be better spent moving on to matters we do know we can achieve, what SP has available to spend, getting rid of wasters like Reyna (nearly), Mills (nearly), Sinclair (a must), Thatcher (yes!), Distin (time to make up his mind once and for all), Corradi and Dickov (he is the classic case of you cannot put the clock back, reference again SWP and in the past Malcolm Allison, etc.).

I am an SP fan, but he has to put his foot down more often; the situation with Distin has gone on long enough and for me just causes problems and creates uncertainty, it appears that players’ agents can run rings around him.

Second item on a lighter note I think, is this, which I found again on the Beeb but this time on the Manchester pages. It’s an item on Supporter Stress, I didn’t see who came top, according to this survey we came in at 25th, which pleasantly surprised me given the ups and downs the club has endured and its suffering faithful. Apparently it takes into account a number of factors, for example, and I quote, “Analyzing such factors as the ‘yo-yo effect’ – regular promotions and relegations – losing at home, losing after being ahead, missing out in the play-offs, being beaten in penalty shoot-outs, financial problems, and changes in owners and managers.”

The link is

As you will see it focuses on Bury who come in at No 6.

Thought it might be of interest.

[I’m surprised we’re as low as 25th, I would have thought this is one table City were definitely Top 6! – Ed]

Peter Godkin <>


Dave Clinton, who’s your supplier and can he get me some?

Phil Gatenby – will someone please explain to me clearly and logically, what’s so clever about standing? The only reason we were ever standing is that football clubs were too mean to put in seats. We don’t stand at the cinema, the circus, the theatre. Will you Luddites please get real.

The one thing that will jack up the atmosphere in a football ground is having a team that’s good to watch. At the worst game I ever saw, City vs. Huddersfield, early sixties, two bad teams, you could have had your pick of seats in the ground.

Ernie Whalley <bluevalentine(at)>


Just in case people missed this:

The Club can now confirm the away fixture against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium will now take place on Wednesday February 14, 2007, kick off 7.45pm.

The fixture was originally set for Tuesday January 30 and is subject to neither club being involved in an FA Cup Fourth Round replay.

Darren Wareing <Darren.Wareing(at)>
Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)>


After last year’s huge success, we’re – not surprisingly – doing it all again (oh God!). We’re pleased to announce tickets go on sale today for this year’s “Versus Cancer” gig.

We’ve got Ian Brown, The Charlatans, Echo & The Bunnymen, Bernard Butler, Steve White, Denise Johnson, and three absolutely top drawer acts to be confirmed by Weds of next week (and I mean huge). But don’t hang around as the second wave of tickets are not as plentiful…

I can guarantee you’ll be impressed. If you don’t make it – you’ll miss out on musical history being made. It’s at the M.E.N. arena again and tickets are £40 quid. It is char-i-deee maaan. And importantly it’s in memory of Nina Rehman, who sadly died late last year. The inspiration behind the whole event. Rourkey’s doing loads of press at the moment – so keep your eyes peeled.

We’ve also got SuperBlue Kevin Cummins doing the photography (the Smiths, Joy Division, Roses etc.), which everyone is really excited by. along with Ian Curtis’ daughter Natalie.

Check out all the sites for more info.

Joel Perry <joel(at)>


14 January 2007

Everton               1 - 1  Reading               34,722
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 3  Newcastle United      35,942

13 January 2007

Blackburn Rovers      0 - 2  Arsenal               21,852
Bolton Wanderers      0 - 0  Manchester City       22,334
Charlton Athletic     1 - 3  Middlesbrough         26,384
Chelsea               4 - 0  Wigan Athletic        40,846
Manchester United     3 - 1  Aston Villa           76,073
Sheffield United      1 - 1  Portsmouth            30,269
Watford               0 - 3  Liverpool             19,746
West Ham United       3 - 3  Fulham                34,977

League table to 14 January 2007 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  23 10  1  1 29  8  8  2  1 23  8 18  3  2  52  16  36  57
 2 Chelsea         23  8  4  0 24  8  7  2  2 17  9 15  6  2  41  17  24  51
 3 Liverpool       23  9  2  0 23  3  4  2  6 12 13 13  4  6  35  16  19  43
 4 Arsenal         23  6  5  0 28  8  6  1  5 15 11 12  6  5  43  19  24  42
 5 Bolton Wndrs    23  7  2  3 17 10  5  2  4 10 11 12  4  7  27  21   6  40
 6 Portsmouth      23  7  3  1 20  8  3  4  5 14 15 10  7  6  34  23  11  37
 7 Everton         23  6  4  2 19  9  2  4  5 10 14  8  8  7  29  23   6  32
 8 Tottenham H.    23  8  1  3 21 12  1  4  6  7 19  9  5  9  28  31  -3  32
 9 Reading         23  6  1  4 18 13  3  3  6 13 18  9  4 10  31  31   0  31
10 Manchester City 23  5  4  2 10  6  3  2  7  9 19  8  6  9  19  25  -6  30
11 Newcastle Utd   23  5  3  3 16 13  3  2  7 10 17  8  5 10  26  30  -4  29
12 Blackburn R.    22  5  2  5 14 15  3  2  5 10 16  8  4 10  24  31  -7  28
13 Fulham          23  5  3  3  9  8  1  7  4 16 27  6 10  7  25  35 -10  28
14 Middlesbrough   23  6  2  3 13 11  1  4  7 11 17  7  6 10  24  28  -4  27
15 Aston Villa     23  4  4  3 12 11  1  7  4 12 17  5 11  7  24  28  -4  26
16 Sheff. United   23  3  5  4 13 15  3  1  7  5 15  6  6 11  18  30 -12  24
17 Wigan Athletic  22  3  2  6 12 18  3  2  6 11 18  6  4 12  23  36 -13  22
18 West Ham United 23  5  2  5 13 14  0  2  9  2 22  5  4 14  15  36 -21  19
19 Charlton Ath.   23  4  3  5 11 16  0  1 10  7 27  4  4 15  18  43 -25  16
20 Watford         21  1  5  4  8 12  0  4  7  4 17  1  9 11  12  29 -17  12

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1293