Newsletter #1304

News and reaction tonight to the Preston game, Flowers’ departure and potential kit changes. There’s also some worrying news on the investment front.

We have match reports and views, and the Dabo question has thrown open quite a debate.

Next game: Wigan Athletic, home, 3pm Saturday 3 March 2007


General News

Oh the Yanks are Coming? There’s more takeover talk in the air, folks! On Wednesday night local radio announced that City could be the next Premiership club to be the subject of a multi-million pound takeover. City are in discussions with a number of parties about buying out current major shareholders John Wardle and David Makin, apparently. The report claimed that one of the parties was based in the USA, while the other was a management buyout lead by none other than Chief Executive Alistair Mackintosh. You’ll remember that at the AGM in December, John Wardle said: “The board is aware that we need further investment to maintain our challenge in an increasingly competitive and high-finance Premier League. We have identified a series of leads regarding possible investment in the club.” That lead to nowt, so let’s see if there’s a bit more substance in this latest version.

Flowers in Coventry: Tim Flowers has left the Club to this week to work at his hometown club Coventry City. SP was sad to see him go, but appreciated his reasons for leaving. “As far as I’m concerned, in the past and now, Tim Flowers is the best goalkeeping coach in the country,” opined the Gaffer. “We’re very, very disappointed to lose him, but he’s had the opportunity to join Coventry as assistant manager. It’s a step up from a scenario where he was purely a goalkeeping coach at our place and a very good one. He was a good member of staff and an absolute credit to the Football Club. I’m desperately sad to lose him, but I’ve got to respect his wishes and realise that it’s an opportunity for him. It’s the club he supported as a kid and is nearer his home having commuted everyday from down there. He just felt having spoken to him over a few days that it was an opportunity that he couldn’t turn down, even though we tried our best to keep him with us.”

Alright Me Old Coq: So there might be a change of ownership next season – might there also be a change of kit manufacturer for the club? In this week’s Mail on Sunday, there’s a claim that City will end their association with Reebok and will switch from next season to French company Le Coq Sportif, who beat off a £2 million bid from Puma. So is a return to a Keegan era style of kit on the cards? Remember that in last week’s minutes from the Points of Blue meeting, the club hierarchy were a bit evasive when asked if a change of kit maker was likely. Personally I always thinks that there’s a change afoot when the souvenir shop slashes the price on all the kits, not just the vile away shirts that are about to be replaced. We shall see.

Good Evans: And why haven’t we had any Reserves news, I hear you ask, testily? Well, I reply smugly, the second XI haven’t played in a month have they? A young Blues side drew 2-2 with Newcastle at the Athletics ground this week. Karl Moore put the home side ahead on 7 minutes, but a Gary Breen o.g. levelled things for the Toon. City were ahead again on the half hour thanks to Ched Evans, but couldn’t hold on for the win – Newcastle equalised with just 12 minutes to go.
Team: Matthewson, Logan, Williamson, D’Laryea, Breen (Mee 80), Marshall, Clayton, Williams, Evans (Ball 68), Grimes, Moore. unused subs: Mentel, Obeng, Mouritsen.

Stressing the Positives: It’s official: watching City is considerably less harmful than it used to be. That’s the surprising conclusion of the ‘Football Fever Report’, put together by Littlewoods Football Pools. They show the league table of the top four divisions, based on how stressful it is to follow your chosen team. And believe it or not, our beloved MCFC are only the twenty fifth most stressful club to watch. This position is even more surprising when you read the factors these ‘experts’ took into account:

  • The ‘yo-yo effect’, i.e. regular movement between divisions/leagues due to promotions and relegations
  • Narrowly missing out on promotion and/or relegation
  • Failing to win at home
  • Losing matches from a winning position
  • Losing in play-offs, particularly finals
  • Being involved in penalty shoot-outs, and cup ties that go into extra-time
  • Financial problems at the club, leading to uncertainty over its future and a detrimental effect on team performances
  • Changes in club ownership
  • Frequent changes in manager

Littlewoods justified this lowly position thus: “Once the archetypal ‘yo-yo club’, in seven seasons between 1995 and 2002 City were relegated three times and promoted three times. They went from the Premiership to Division Two and back again. The reason they do not figure higher in our Top 50 is that City now seem to be a much more stable club, more likely to be found mid-table than scrapping at either end of the league. Nor have there been any cup shocks since Division Two Cardiff City beat the Premiership boys in the FA Cup fourth round in 1994. The Blues also appear to have put the brakes on the managerial merry-go-round.” City were the second highest placed Premiership club (Portsmouth came in eighth). The most stressful club to support in England? Notts County, allegedly.

Transfer News and Gossip

Mpenza Pens A Contract: Following the utterances of Emile Mpenza last week, City completed the signing of the Belgium striker until the end of the season, subject to international clearance (which at the time of writing still hasn’t arrived). The Blues confirmed on the club website that Mpenza has joined the club on a short-term deal after impressing in a behind closed doors match against Blackpool last Wednesday, a game in which he scored.

Norwegian Would: There’s one report claiming that City have wrapped up a deal for Fjellhamar starlet Abdisalam Ibrahim. The 15-year-old midfielder has signed a three-year deal at the COMS and will now join City’s Academy as he looks to forge a career in England. A move to City represents a long standing dream for the Norwegian youth international and Ibrahim is hoping to earn a place in Stuart Pearce’s first team in the coming years. “I always dreamt of playing in England,” Ibrahim told Romerikes Blad. “My dream now is to play in the Premier League.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Dash for Nash: Sat on the Preston’s bench on Sunday was none other than City’s former shot stopper Carlo Nash. And next day, he was on the move again. Wigan signed the out-of-favour Nash on a month’s loan to cover while Chris Kirkland is out injured. Nash started the season in terrific form for the Championship promotion-chasers but lost his place when rumours of a transfer to Fulham emerged in January. Preston agreed to do the deal when they were knocked out of the FA Cup by City yesterday, allowing Nash to train at Wigan before he is likely to go straight into the line-up for Wednesday’s clash with Watford. Paul Jewell said: “Carlo is a great pro, exactly the right sort of player to come in for me in these circumstances.”

Shaun of the South: Shaun Wright-Phillips enjoyed a rare bit of first team limelight last Saturday, as he played in Chelseas’s FA Cup tie against Norwich (featuring Darren Huckerby and Lee Croft no less), and Shaunie scored in the 4-0 win, albeit thanks to a rather pronounced deflection on his shot, which hit a Norwich defender. SWP feels that he’s had to change his style of play since arriving at Stamford Bridge. “At Manchester City I played in a certain way and at Chelsea I’ve had to play another way. The whole point is that I’ve learned. At City I played more or less out wide all the time and I got the ball all the time. If the players could see me they would get me the ball. There were just a few of us in the team who were always trying to create something out of nothing.” And those hoping for a Wright-return will be disappointed to hear that he’s very settled back in the South of England. He declared: “I’ve settled in. I didn’t think it would have taken me this long but it has. Like I said, I’ve kept my head down and got on with it. I set myself high targets from the start. I’ve never had to adjust them and won’t stop until I get there. I believe now the things I used to do are coming more naturally, the way they used to do. I’m learning how to make an impact, make a chance in the time you’re given. I am settled in the South completely and I see myself living here for the rest of my life. I’ve been working hard all year. I’ve been keeping my head down and finding my feet the longer I’ve been here.”

Reactions and Comments

Preston Panned: On Sunday two late goals at Preston saw City progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The Blues fell behind on eight minutes when Nugent lashed home from close in after Nicky Weaver could only palm away Michael Ricketts’ header. And Preston threatned further goals until City responded when Michael Ball drilled home after Bernardo Corradi’s acrobatic effort hit the post. Preston seemed set for a replay before Georgios Samaras’ shot was deflected in off Matthew Hill and Stephen Ireland capped the win with a stunning volley. After the game SP said: “I thought we started extremely brightly and their goal came against the run of play. It was always going to be tough but over 90 minutes we deserved to win the tie. There were a couple of good finishes. Bally’s strike was excellent and Ireland’s goal was something special. My team showed character after going a goal down in the FA Cup away from home. It was never easy especially when we went a goal down. We were patient and we didn’t lose our shape or chase the game. We deserved to win the game and we played well in patches without ever keeping any consistency. We didn’t give them too many chances on our goal and we stuck at it.” He also revealed that bringing back goalkeeper Nicky Weaver for Andreas Isaksson had been “the hardest decision of my managerial life”. Weaver responded with a superb show in the 3-1 FA Cup victory against Preston at Deepdale after recovering from bruised kidneys. The shot-stopper’s marvellous block from Michael Ricketts with City trailing to David Nugent’s 17th goal of the season proved crucial. The City boss said: “Choosing the goalkeeper was the hardest decision I have ever had to make as a manager. Normally I know my team on Wednesday or Thursday but I didn’t this time. I left it until after training on Friday. I called them both over for a chat. Credit to Andreas, he took the decision like a proper professional. I just felt Nicky had that many games behind him it would be difficult to leave him out. He kept us in it at 1-0 with a good save and I was pleased for him.”

Flattery Gets You Everywhere: Richard Dunne was interviewed on the telly after the game, and said: “It was a very difficult game – we knew that before we came here. To go a goal behind early on, I think we’ve shown good character. It took a long time but we got our goals. I think we deserved to win. We’ve played some good football at times. Maybe the third goal at the end probably does flatter us a bit.” Preston boss, and former Blue Boy, Paul Simpson agreed: “They deserved to win but 3-1 flatters them. We came up against a quality side and in the second half we didn’t test their goal enough. It was a tough test and it shows we haven’t earned the right to go and play in the Premiership yet. Regardless of their position in the Premiership, there is a difference in quality between the two sides. City had that extra bit of quality in the second half and were a bit more forward-thinking. We went into our shells and the second goal was a real killer for us.”

The Wembley Way: On Monday lunchtime, City found out that they’ll face either Arsenal or Blackburn Rovers, away in the next round. It looks like the game will be shown on Sky in the UK, because whoever the opponents, the match will start at 4pm on Sunday March 11. SP can see the road to Wembley becoming less hazardous. He told the club’s website, “A lot of the Premiership teams are going to go out, looking at the draw. Chelsea or Spurs have got to fall by the wayside. Obviously, one of Arsenal or Blackburn have got to go out before we play either one of them. You look at Manchester United, Reading, Middlesbrough and West Brom and only one of those can go through there. By the time you get to a semi-final, Plymouth or Watford will be there. The quarter-final stage is where your focus shifts a little bit towards the final. We’ll have people at the replay game and it’ll give us a chance to look at them.”

Squad News

Bart Attack: Joey Barton will face no further disciplinary action for his recent tackle on Portsmouth midfielder Pedro Mendes. Barton was booked for treading on Mendes’ Achilles during the first half of City’s 2-1 defeat on the South Coast the other week. The FA has also deemed that the midfielder will not face any disciplinary action following allegations he made obscene gestures to Portsmouth supporters at the end of the game. Hampshire Police and The FA had been in contact following the claims, but an FA spokesman said: “From the investigations we have made and the information received there is not enough evidence to proceed with any action against Joey Barton.” This decision must have pleased SP, who had stoutly defended Barton earlier in the week, claiming that there was a witch-hunt against his boy. The manager said: “Everyone has a different view on Joey’s tackle. Some will say he did it on purpose, some will say he didn’t, it’s not cast-iron. But I see so many incidents in professional football and some are picked up on and some are not. My boy Corradi got vilified for diving at Manchester United and rightly so. And after the game I gave an honest assessment of whether or not I thought he had dived. I watched Thierry Henry try to buy a foul in the penalty box against Wigan and nothing was said. Why? Is it the individual or is it because Stuart Pearce gives an honest assessment? Let’s be fair across the board. Joey has to get on with it. People view you however they want to view you and you will be liked or disliked by certain individuals. If you’re a crash-bang-wallop merchant you might not see the good things in Thierry Henry but you might look at the more competitive player on the pitch and think he is doing more for the team than Henry. If you prefer the look of Thierry Henry on a pitch and you see someone else crashing into tackles then you don’t see the value in him. The important thing to do is to try to view all things and all individuals objectively and take things from there.”

Little B****r Better: Here’s two versions of the same story. Which one do you prefer? Version 1: Paul Dickov is closing in on a return after making quick progress in his recovery from a foot operation. The Scot underwent surgery for a floating bone in his foot in mid-January and was expected to be sidelined for up to two months. However, Stuart Pearce revealed that Dickov is way ahead of schedule and has joined the rest of the squad for a four-day training stint in Dubai. Version 2: “It’s pointless me asking the medical staff how long Dicky may or may not be because as normal he has fast-tracked himself,” smiled the manager. “We were recently at the City of Manchester Stadium training because of the weather and I am there expecting him to still be out a number of weeks and the next thing I know he turns up and asks if he can just do a little bit with the goalkeepers. I agreed to that and from that he is then asking if he can be the floater on the pitch when we have a game and I am looking at coach Steve Wigley and we agree that is fine as long as he doesn’t tackle anyone. Then Hatem Trabelsi gets injured and Dicky rips off his bib and is playing in one of the teams. He is a little b****r. But there is one thing for sure he desperately wants to get back playing for this club and he will take some holding back. You don’t ask the physios how long he will be because you know he will be back two weeks before he should be. He is will be in my face telling me he is ready. He has always been like that and as I have said from day one you need people like that around. The more players you have with that kind of attitude the more they help set an example and govern the dressing room.” Whatever your opinion on the manager – he certainly knows how to tell a story!

Don Barrie <news(at)>


The magic of the Cup may have worn off in some quarters but not for me. I love the all-or-nothing nature of a cup game, where reputations and form count for little and it’s all about bottle. Preston was the third Championship team we’d faced this season and we’d seen off Preston’s fellow play-off possibilities Southampton easily enough at CoMS. Ground renovations at Deepdale meant that we took less than we might have done but the 3,000 travelling Blues were in good voice in the distinctly un-February like sunshine as the teams took the field. For City, Weaver was back in goal, behind the 3-5-2 formation. Distin, Dunne, and Richards were the central defenders with Ball and Trabelsi on the flanks. Dabo, Barton, and Ireland made up the central midfield and in the absence of Vassell, Samaras started alongside Corradi.

The first few minutes were good for City, who forced a succession of corners and had a shot from Barton blocked. Then Preston got into the game and applied pressure down the City left. Ball was forced to give away a corner and, from that, poor marking gave Ricketts a header. Weaver saved well but could only palm the ball to Nugent, who lifted it over him into the net to put the home team one up. Given our record of coming back from deficits, things didn’t look good but there was a long way to go.

City came back and Samaras had a good shot well saved. The pattern was that City had plenty of possession but failed to do much with it. Then Preston broke and Ricketts did well to get himself into a scoring position but Weaver saved well then Dunne blocked the shot from the rebound. Dabo was having a poor game, not getting to the ball quickly enough and couldn’t seem to find a blue shirt when he did and the City fans made their displeasure loudly known. However, the mood of the fans was lifted ten minutes before the break, when Corradi received the ball in the Preston area and did well to control it and get in a rasping shot on the turn. The Preston ‘keeper was beaten all ends up but the ball hit the far post. It rebounded to Ball, who placed his shot against the same post but this time it flew into the net.

As the half drew to a close, Samaras did well to keep the ball and swept it out to Trabelsi on the right. He played it into Corradi, who then cleverly played the ball into the space that Trabelsi was making for. The Tunisian hit a fierce shot that just missed.

As in the first half, the first few minutes of the second went well for City with two corners. Unfortunately both were too close to the ‘keeper. That was it though for City as they started to come under pressure and reverted to type, with a lack of composure, aimless hoofs in the air and dropping too deep in defence. On a rare attack, Corradi had a good shot from the edge of the area. Then the Italian got a back-heel to a short corner but the Preston defence managed to clear. This was an all too infrequent moment of City pressure and two throw-ins summed up the way City were playing. They got a throw in to relieve some Preston pressure and could have broken if it had been taken quickly but they took too long. Then, shortly afterwards, a second throw in was taken quickly but instead of being worked forward, the ball was played back and eventually wasted.

It looked like SP and the players were happy to settle for the draw but the City fans were not happy as the game was patently winnable, with a bit of ambition. We finally showed some when Ireland played it out to Ball, who put in a superb cross that was headed over by Corradi. The Ball/Corradi combination was involved again as the wing back’s throw in was well controlled by the striker. Samaras couldn’t do anything with it but it fell to Trabelsi, who flashed his shot just wide again.

Samaras set up Ireland in the area with a little flick but the City man was tackled. Then the Greek took the ball on a mazy run but was squeezed out by two defenders. Preston were clearly tiring as the superior fitness of the Premiership players began to tell and we had a great move started from deep by Corradi. The ball was moved out to the City right then across to the other wing, where Ball’s low cross was deflected out.

Micah Richards went on a surging run and was brought down about 25 yards out. Barton tried to curl a delicate free kick round the wall but was well off target. His set pieces were not of the highest quality today and pretty predictable. It was looking like a replay at CoMS with five minutes left but Corradi did well to flick on a cross that fell to Samaras on the edge of the six-yard box. He turned but didn’t catch his shot properly. However, he got lucky as the ball hit one defender, taking it away from the Preston ‘keeper then cannoning off a second to creep over the line. It was somewhat fortunate but they all count in the Cup and we were finally ahead with just minutes on the clock.

It looked like a nervous last few minutes for the City fans. However, as the ninety minutes ran out and the PA was announcing the added minutes, the tie was finally wrapped us as Corradi was again involved, playing a pin-point cross in from the right towards Ireland, 25 yards out in the centre. He took the shot first time and it flew into the net. It was a much more satisfying way to win the tie but it’s probably fair to say that the score-line was more comfortable than the pattern of the game had suggested. But the job had been done and we were in the sixth round hat again.

Weaver 7. Not really much to do but one crucial save early on.
Trabelsi 7. Worked hard but end product still needs a bit of work.
Richards 6. Didn’t get much chance to get forward until near the end.
Dunne 7. Pressured by the Preston forwards but held firm.
Distin 6. Nugent tested him severely on occasion but held the line.
Ball 9. Not found wanting in defence and contributed well in attack, plus a good goal.
Barton 7. Ran the midfield but set pieces mostly wasted.
Dabo 4. Bad day at the office for him. Didn’t hide, to be fair, but should have been replaced by Hamann, who at least is used to FA Cup games.
Ireland 7. Took him a while to get involved but finished superbly for classic goal.
Corradi 8. I thought he had a very good game. Involved in all the goals and worked very hard.
Samaras 6. Usual Samaras issues but showed greater confidence than recently and seemed to be enjoying himself.
Subs: None used.

Overall Out-of-the-Seat Factor: 7. Not a bad cup-tie all-in-all but too little quality on show for much of the game. Good final ten minutes though.

Colin Savage <colin(at)>


A more even game than the result suggests. Preston were, for most of the game, quicker to close City down and perhaps in the end they just tired a bit towards the end. Preston’s goal came from a corner and left me wondering why there was no-one against the near post. Corradi had the best game I’ve seen him have and made the equalizer with a delightful turn and shot which hit the post and, unusually for City this year, we had a player in the form of Ball ready and able to hit the rebound. Samaras had been pretty anonymous for about eighty minutes but then managed a mis-hit shot on the turn that bounced off two defenders and into the net; cunning eh! The best was left to last as Corradi lobbed the ball across the edge of the penalty area for Ireland to hit a volley into the corner of the goal without breaking step.

Surprisingly, Mike Riley had a fair game. Like Corradi this was the best I’ve seen of Dabo – winning one challenge and only half his passes went to the opposition. Anyone know why he seems to be guaranteed a start when he’s fit? Weaver was OK, personally I don’t think that there is much to choose between him and Isaksson.

Looking at the Preston and Portsmouth games you have to think that our position last year and this year is about right – hovering between the bottom of the Premiership and the top of the Championship – underperforming compared with our financial position.

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


Being surrounded by hundreds of Preston fans at work, this was a perfect result for me on Sunday in my first away game of the season, apart from the abysmal passing performance of Ousmane Dabo. The “olé” chanting that immediately preceded the City equaliser by the way was not coming from the PNE fans as mentioned on the live BBC TV coverage, but from City fans ironically acknowledging that Dabo had just made two successful (albeit short) passes to team-mates instead of to opponents or into the crowd.

The added bonus was grabbing Bernardo Corradi’s match shirt as he threw it into the crowd after the match. I have to refute any claims that I pushed a couple of 7-year old kids out of the way to get it; they were at least 9-years old. I got Bernardo to sign it too as the players left the ground. You can see a photo of it on the front page of the mcfcstats website. I can confirm that the shirt was extremely damp and a bit sweaty, proof that he had given 100% effort during the match.

FA Cup 5th Round
Preston North End 1 Manchester City 3
Sunday 18th Feb 2007, 13:10
Attendance: 18,890

Team Changes: Weaver returns from injury to replace Isaksson, whilst Trabelsi and Samaras replace Sun and Vassell.
Line-up: Weaver, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Ball, Trabelsi, Barton, Dabo, Ireland, Samaras, Corradi.
Unused subs: Isaksson, Sun, Hamann, Beasley, Sturridge.

Goal times: (8) 0-1 Nugent; (35) 1-1 Ball; (84) 2-1 Hill (o.g.); 90 3-1 Ireland.

Bookings: None.
Sent off: None.
Referee: M. Riley.

Comment: The first time a referee (Mike Riley) has refereed two consecutive City matches since 2001 when Riley officiated at the last game of the 2000-01 season against Chelsea and the first of the next season against Watford. The last time this happened in the same season was in January 1990 when Keith Hackett was in charge for the FA Cup tie against Millwall and the replay three days later (not unusual in those days). This was also the first time in 83 matches that City haven’t used a substitute (the last time was Stuart Pearce’s second game in charge). Indeed, Pearce had used at least two substitutes in the last 70 consecutive matches.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


Dabo. Waste of space. Can’t pass. Won’t tackle. Crab-like in his movement and distribution. Sod him. Also let’s work on corners. Any club who watches the tape of the game won’t be quaking when they see what we do with them. As much as we like the boy wonder Barton, his corners are lacking. At one stage we had 2 in a row that went straight to their ‘keeper. All in all though, a good game. We missed the pace of Vassell obviously and Ireland had a quiet game.

At the risk of stating the obvious, we look great when we keep the ball down and run at teams. Richards scares the “good for the roses” (as Mike Harding used to say) out of defenders. Unfortunately we don’t do it so often.

So sod Dabo and let’s get some points in the league. And as a last note for football trivia, wouldn’t it be interesting if three teams all with the letter W as their first letter got relegated?

Keep the faith.

Andy Johnson <fastandyj(at)>


Otherwise known as ‘A Moon Abused’ or ‘Sumo, A Bad One’ – quite fitting really!

I have been subscribing to MCIVTA for quite some time now and I must admit, up until now I have never replied to an article posted by a fellow Blue, I usually just enjoy reading the many and varied articles, which I thank you all for!

However, after watching the game on Sunday against PNE I would like to express my disgust at that excuse of a player Dabo. This is in response to an article by David Walker and I am in agreement with every word you said! I have never witnessed such lethargic nonsense from a City-shirted player in a long time.

Is SP a subscriber? I hope he is! Get it sorted.

CTID, Gareth Leslie <gareth_leslie(at)>


I should like to accept David Walker’s invitation to debate the rôle of Dabo in the City squad and, perhaps, open it up to wider issues.

We have a history of signing players, with excellent pedigrees, that either cease or fail to perform when they find themselves in City colours. As a supporter, approaching senility, of 62 years, I well remember Rodney Marsh, the Thierry Henry of his day, arriving, and destroying, what was, arguably, the best team, at the time, in England.

In more recent times we have had Steve McManaman, Antoine Sibierski, Claudio Reyna and now Dietmar Hamann and Ousmane Dabo, to name just a few.

All these players have suffered abuse and demands that they be got rid of as “total wastes of space”.

The Sibierski and Dabo situations are very similar. Both are experienced players who arrived with good reputations and great expectations. Sibierski started quite well but then his performance deteriorated to an unacceptable level. He has now moved on and is playing to his potential. Dabo has not been with us all that long but seems to be heading in the same direction. His calmness in the centre of the field should be an asset to the team but, instead, is interpreted, by the fans, as lack of effort and laziness. His reading of the game and passing is destroyed by the failure of the players around him to move into space and allow for the killer pass that I feel he could deliver.

My neighbour at the COM stadium is an ex-professional whose views I value and he points out that, in City’s successful times, exciting young players brought into the side would be nursed along by having an experienced veteran at their side. It is for this reason that the presence of Hamann or Dabo could be invaluable in conjunction with the enthusiasm of exciting prospects such as Joey Barton and Stephen Ireland.

Today, times are different and, with the pace of the Premier League it is more difficult for slower players, such as the ones that we are debating, to perform but the players around them also have a responsibility to bring the best out of their colleagues.

I have always had respect for Joe Royle, Kevin Keegan and now Stuart Pearce. Joe was, perhaps, too obsessed with team work and work rate but he was the man we needed at the time. Kevin was biased towards glamour and personalities but gave us back our self respect. Stuart falls between the two and is still learning but I am sure that his support of players, against the fans’ wishes, such as Dabo, Corradi and Samaras, is based on a sincere wish to do his best for the club.

Fred Rosenfeld <fred(at)>


Now that Craig Bellamy is available wouldn’t he be the ideal acquisition for City? Just imagine Bellamy and Barton on the same team! Golf clubs at 10 paces!

Great win at Preston, only two more wins for a date in the Final.

Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith(at)>


I don’t know if anyone else clocked this, but I was watching Soccer AM on Saturday morning (17th Feb) and Tubes was stopping celebs on the red carpet at the Premiere of “Fuzz” – asking them who they thought the best player had been in the Premiership so far this season.

One of the people he asked was ex-James Bond Timothy Dalton.

His answer was – “I don’t know about who’s been the best player, all I’m bothered about is that Manchester City stay in the Premiership”.

Top answer!

Right… while I’m sat here typing, here are another couple of City things I’ve picked up on from TV – from the latest “Inside MCFC” show:

  1. In Carrington footage of a training match, Samaras is wearing one ofthose 2″ or so wide elasticated head bands, similar to the one Ronaldinhohas been using. I guess this is to keep the hair out of his eyes? So if hesees it as helping in training, why not in proper matches?
  2. Darius Vassell being interviewed as the Player Of The Month was askedabout the up coming (at the time of the interview) Preston cup game, andif it was a problem with it being an away fixture. He said it wasn’t aproblem, and that “… a lot of the players prefer playing away anyway…”


Ian <ID313(at)>


Good news and progress upon two fronts, recently taking place:

Excellent result versus Preston, and deserved credit to the players and management – our forward-momentum must continue in this great competition, at all costs. It would be fabulous for the club and fans, alike, to make it to the Final – a perfect setting to be able to put the name of the club “out there” in such a prestigous manner for all to see.

Prospective investor: this situation seems to be coming to fruition now with, apparently, four entities vying for controlling ownership of the club. At the successful conclusion, how apt it would be to have, perhaps, Mr David Bernstein once again resume his former rôle as Chairman. I have a lot of respect for the man.

Interesting and positive days ahead for us – makes a pleasant change!

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


I think the Premier League should introduce haggling.

Marc Starr <marc.starr(at)>


The next meeting of the Swinton Branch is on Thursday 1st March at the Swinton Conservative Club, Swinton Shopping Precinct, at 8-00pm. Our confirmed guests are members of the MCFC Former Players’ Association. James H Reeve is the MC for the evening. All Blues, including children, welcome and if you require further info please contact me on 0161-281-7517 or by email.

Alex Channon <alex.channon(at)>


21 February 2007

Everton               1 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     34,121
Watford               1 - 1  Wigan Athletic        18,338

League table to 21 February 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  27 12  1  1 35  8  9  2  2 28 10 21  3  3  63  18  45 66
 2 Chelsea         27 10  4  0 30  8  8  2  3 18 11 18  6  3  48  19  29 60
 3 Liverpool       27 10  3  0 25  3  5  2  7 15 16 15  5  7  40  19  21 50
 4 Arsenal         26  8  5  0 32 10  6  2  5 16 12 14  7  5  48  22  26 49
 5 Bolton Wndrs    27  8  3  3 20 12  6  2  5 12 16 14  5  8  32  28   4 47
 6 Reading         27  9  1  4 26 16  4  3  6 15 18 13  4 10  41  34   7 43
 7 Portsmouth      27  8  4  2 22 10  3  4  6 14 16 11  8  8  36  26  10 41
 8 Everton         27  7  4  3 21 11  3  5  5 12 14 10  9  8  33  25   8 39
 9 Newcastle Utd   27  7  4  3 23 17  3  2  8 11 19 10  6 11  34  36  -2 36
10 Tottenham H.    27  8  1  4 21 16  2  5  7 11 23 10  6 11  32  39  -7 36
11 Blackburn R.    27  6  2  5 16 16  4  2  8 14 22 10  4 13  30  38  -8 34
12 Middlesbrough   27  7  3  3 19 13  1  5  8 11 20  8  8 11  30  33  -3 32
13 Aston Villa     27  6  4  3 15 11  1  7  6 13 22  7 11  9  28  33  -5 32
14 Fulham          27  6  4  3 12 10  1  7  6 17 31  7 11  9  29  41 -12 32
15 Sheff. United   27  5  5  4 17 16  3  1  9  7 20  8  6 13  24  36 -12 30
16 Manchester City 26  5  4  4 10 11  3  2  8 10 21  8  6 12  20  32 -12 30
17 Wigan Athletic  27  4  2  7 13 20  3  3  8 15 24  7  5 15  28  44 -16 26
18 West Ham United 27  5  2  7 14 17  0  3 10  4 25  5  5 17  18  42 -24 20
19 Charlton Ath.   27  4  3  6 11 17  1  2 11  9 30  5  5 17  20  47 -27 20
20 Watford         27  2  6  5 11 15  1  4  9  5 23  3 10 14  16  38 -22 19

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 #1304