Newsletter #1370

Tonight we have Don’s news round up, a match report of the Boro game, opinions on the game on Saturday and City’s season so far, a song for Elano, finished off with a True Blue story from Steve!

Monday’s edition will come to you from Don, so keep the articles coming to the usual address.

Next Game: Saturday 20 October 2007, 3pm, Birmingham City (home)


General News

International Blues News: It’s an international week, so there have been plenty of call ups for players from the City squad. But it’s a couple of players who won’t be representing their nations who have made most of the City-related headlines. Stephen Ireland has withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland’s squad to play Germany and Cyprus in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, stating that he “would not do his country or himself justice” if he joined up with Steve Staunton’s squad. A statement put out on behalf of the player read: “I have thought long and hard about whether I would do my country and myself justice if I joined up with the squad. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I would on this occasion. The support I have received from Mr Staunton and the FAI has been excellent and everybody at Manchester City has also been superb. However, I do not believe I can make a positive contribution to our efforts to qualify.”

Following his recent problems over his non-deceased grannies, the MEN speculated that Stephen is suffering from a similar problem to the cricketer Marcus Trescothick, who is unable to attend foreign tours due to stress- related problems. Who knows if the newspaper’s correct on this matter, although both his domestic and international bosses have pointed out that they’ve worked closely to ease Stephen back into his country’s set up. Steve Staunton said on Sky Sports that “The player’s health is the most important thing and we fully respect Stevie’s wishes and fully understand what he is going through and he has to sort this out himself. It is a personal issue, we know he has got problems, Man City, myself, the FAI (Irish FA) have tried everything to get around it, but at this moment in time he is not ready or prepared to play for his country. We know he is being well looked after, Sven Goran Eriksson and Man City are doing everything in their power, it is down to the boy now and we have to respect his situation, we know he has got troubles and it is only Stevie who can deal with it. It is unfortunate but you have to respect his wishes, but the most important thing is that Stevie has to get himself right. We have been in discussions for the last week, I went over to the Manchester City training ground but it is just one of those things – we named him but he just doesn’t think he was up to it – we tried everything, but we have to respect his wishes. We tried to get to the bottom of it, but it will take time because he has got issues and at this moment, we think he is safe in the Manchester arena. For him to come away for ten days he thinks it would be detrimental to himself.”

Sven made similar comments: “This is disappointing for everybody. Steve Staunton and I have been working together to help Stephen through a period that he is clearly finding very difficult. We together have left no stone unturned in our efforts to convince him he has so much to offer his country and that international football will greatly benefit his long term career. I hope that Stephen will soon feel stable enough to resume his international career.”

Meanwhile, Michael Johnson has had to withdraw from England’s Under-21 squad for more conventional, if equally worrying reasons. He had to leave the field early during last week’s game with Middlesbrough, and S-GE has revealed that his midfielder is suffering from a chronic groin injury. “Michael is not 100%,” said Eriksson. “He trains one day, then he misses one – and this has been going on for quite a long time now. He’s been to see the specialist and for now we think that he’s going to have a special injection and hopefully that will be it. We are not talking about operating at this moment, so I hope he can start training on Monday, but we are not sure yet. He has pain and has done for a long time and of course after training and after matches it’s gotten worse and worse. I appreciate very much Stuart Pearce, I spoke to him yesterday and they agreed that he will not play for the Under 21s. That’s very good for Michael and it’s good for the Under 21s as well because that means that means almost for sure that he’ll be ready for the games in November.”

Transfer News and Gossip

January Targets: He’s too cagey to mention names, but S-GE has made it clear that he will try to strengthen his squad in January. “I don’t know how much we’ll have to spend but I’m told there will be money available if we need it,” he revealed this week. “We’ll have to be very careful, if we want to buy someone it has to be someone who will make this team better, and the better we play the more difficult it is to find players that can do that. It won’t be shopping like it was in August, but this international break is also very useful to have a look at players who are involved with their national sides as well. We’re thinking about January,” he continued. “Tord Grip and some of the scouts have been travelling a lot lately, in fact I think Tord saw four games in three days last week in the UEFA Cup and Champions’ League. We are working on it, but I haven’t seen any papers so I don’t know what names are out there but I should be very surprised if some of the names that Tord, the coaches and I are discussing are in there – I don’t think so.”

Too Many Gios: Let’s try to read Sven’s mind shall we? Relax, we’ll only analyse his football thinking! Last week, the famous player Sven sought was thought to be Riquelme, but this week the ‘News of the World’ claimed that S-GE wanted to make a £6.5 million move for Inter Milan’s Patrick Vieira. The former Arsenal midfielder has played just 68 minutes of competitive football for Inter this season, and is said to have fallen out with coach Roberto Mancini. One player who’s not keen to join the Sven revolution is Barcelona’s Giovani. The 18-year-old Mexican born starlet was said to have been pursued by City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal amongst others. Giovani is adamant that he is more than happy to sign a new deal at Barça. “I have seen that several English teams are interested in me I want to stay at Barcelona and I am already in negotiations for signing my new contract,” he said. “I have always wanted to stay at Barcelona and play in the first team. I come from the youth system of Barcelona and I admire this club so much. Barcelona has given to me absolutely everything since I have arrived here. This is my first season with the first team and I am in satisfied at being able to play some minutes in a team with players that have a great quality.” Which is fine by me – having two players in a squad with such similar names (Giovani and Geovanni), would have been too much for a bear of such little brain as me.

On Your Way: “Man City transfer-list Samaras and Vassell” trumpeted one footie website this week – which is clever, bearing in mind the transfer window isn’t open for another two-and-a-half months. On closer reading it became clear that the report was a bit of speculation about who Sven might be moving on in the New Year. A more surprising story suggested that Torino were considering a bid for striker Rolando Bianchi. Italian press reports suggested that the Turin club are aware that Bianchi is unsettled and wants to bring the former Reggina striker back to Serie A when the market reopens in January. Torino will offer around £7 million to convince City to sell. The speculation was further fuelled by comments attributed to Valeri Bojinov. The injured striker is back in Italy for treatment, and was asked about Bianchi’s position. “I do not know, I’ve been away from Manchester for a month. I know he’s frustrated because in Italy he scored goals and played well. To score 18 goals in the Italian championship is not easy. I do not know why he isn’t playing, you’ll have to ask the coach.”

Mutu Poo Poos Move: Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu has confirmed that City are interested in bringing him back to England but that he has no intention of playing in The Premier League again. “It is true,” Mutu answered when asked if the Blues had tried to sign him. “But I have refused. I do not have any intention to return to England. I have finished with The Premier League.” The 28-year-old was at Chelsea before alleged cocaine abuse helped bring about an abrupt end to his Stamford Bridge career.

Ex-Blues’ News

Kiki Kicked Out: Sunderland will not pursue their interest in Kiki Musampa. The former Manchester City midfielder – who is a free agent – has been training with the Black Cats and played in their reserves’ 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Warrington last week. It was thought he might line-up for the reserves again tonight against Bolton Wanderers (Eppleton CW, 7pm kick-off), but the Congo-born playmaker is no longer on Wearside and the local newspaper reckons he’s unlikely to return.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! My how we enjoyed Joey Barton’s claim last week that City fans had him to thank for starting this season’s Sky Blue revolution by saving the club from relegation last term. I have to say I rather enjoyed Sven’s response when Barton’s comment was mentioned to him. As the Daily Mirror put it ‘Eriksson, asked about Barton’s comments said, deadpan: “I really don’t have any feelings about last season because I did not follow City then. But if that is the case, I would like to say “Thank you.”‘

We Love You, But You’re Sacked: League One strugglers Millwall have sacked manager Willie Donachie. Donachie, 56, took charge in September 2006 with the Lions at the foot of the table and led them to mid-table safety. But a 4-0 weekend defeat at Carlisle left the Londoners at the bottom again. Former Crystal Palace defender Richard Shaw will take temporary charge. “This decision was taken with a heavy heart,” Executive Deputy Chairman Heather Rabbatts said. “We all love and deeply admire Willie Donachie. We were desperate for him to bring us the success he so craved,” Rabbatts continued. “He will be greatly missed by us on a personal level but, as at the same stage last season, decisive action was necessary in the long term interests of the football club.” Donachie was Joe Royle’s assistant at City between 1998 and 2001, following a distinguished career in the 70’s as a player with the Blues. (Thanks Vince Docherty)

After-Match Reactions and Comments

We’re Still Third: A superb double from Elano ensured Manchester City’s best start to a season for 30 years continued as they stayed third in The Premier League with a 3-1 victory over a poor Middlesbrough side at Eastlands. Sven Goran Eriksson’s team were two goals to the good before half-time, as an own goal from Chris Riggott and another long-range strike from Elano gave them the advantage. Elano wrapped up the points just after the hour mark with a magnificent free kick, before youngster Ben Hutchinson scored a late consolation on his Middlesbrough début. At the end, Sven, while pleased to win of course, possibly felt that the performance hadn’t reached the heights of the previous week’s efforts against Newcastle.

“We played good football and there were good combinations and Elano scored two fantastic goals,” said the manager. “I was pleased we scored from a corner as well. I am very happy. Maybe we defended better last weekend than we did today but that is a minor criticism. We have been doing very well at home and if we keep going like this, that is very good.”

Elano continues to grab much of the media attention, and his manager is very pleased with the progress his Brazilian playmaker has made in recent weeks. “Elano has always been an important player for us,” said Eriksson. “If we give him the ball, we know he will keep it – and now he is starting to score goals as well, so I can’t ask for any more than that. The big difference between Elano now and when he arrived is his fitness levels. He is fitter and stronger and works in the gym as well, which is good. Maybe he will not maintain that standard all the time – but maybe sometimes he will do even better. I certainly don’t need to teach him about football.”

Boro’s Gareth Southgate bemoaned his team’s inability to defend: “We planned to keep things tight. But we were on the back foot after an early set-piece. We had as much possession as them and created chances. But we are giving away sloppy goals and that costs you games. We had to be more offensive after the break and we had a couple of chances, but they broke, we conceded a free-kick and they punished us.” Their only bright spot on a largely dismal afternoon was a goal on his déebut for Ben Hutchinson. “As much as I am disappointed about the result, I must not take anything away from the fact it is the best day of Ben’s life,” the manager added. “It would be easy for the current criticism to get us down – but it is only us within the club who can put it right. I am determined to do that and I feel we have enough players with character to do it as well.”

Second Best: On Tuesday the Reserves lost 2-0 to Everton. S-GE was in the stands of the Halton Stadium, Widnes, to see the Second XI’s first defeat of the season, brought about by two second half goals by the home team. New coach Ian Miller assessed the reverse as follows: “We had a lot of possession and I thought we controlled the ball a lot, but our end product into the box probably wasn’t good enough. We had a couple of chances in the first half and didn’t take them. The longer the game goes on without that goal you think something’s going to happen and Everton scored a good goal and caught us late on with a second. We didn’t pass the ball as quickly or as accurately as I’d have liked. We got into the final third a lot but we just didn’t have enough craft to open them up.” Team: Schmeichel, Williamson, M Ball, Breen, Logan, Dabo (Daly 79), Clayton, Sun, Etuhu, Grimes, Evans. Subs: Mentel, Vidal, D.Ball, Marshall.

Squad News

No Food Parcels Required: Two of Sven’s summer imports have been waxing lyrical about the advantages of moving to City. The most graphic account of why a move to the Premiership was so good came from Elano, who clearly hadn’t enjoyed life much in the Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk. “Every day I would pray to God that I could leave for another club,” he told the News of the World. “It was difficult for a Brazilian player arriving in the Ukraine, where it was 23 degrees below freezing. It was very difficult living there. The food was not so good. I had to ask my family to send some over from Brazil. Inside the club structure was quite nice. Otherwise it was very difficult for me. When you are not happy outside football you take your problems with you on to the pitch. It was not easy to adapt. When I realised I was not needed in the team it was time to leave. At Shakhtar I did not play very often. I used to play one game then it was one or two without playing. That caused me quite a few problems. I believe I missed out on going to the last World Cup because of the move. I was involved in the international games before the finals but after leaving for the Ukraine I was not called up any more. I felt quite sad about that but now coming to England has given me the stamp to get back into the national team.”

A more conventional account was given by Javier Garrido. The full back, who was one of many summer additions, said: “I did have a number of offers from other places but two things swayed my mind to agree to come to City. Sven is a great coach and I know his reputation and I was influenced too by the fact that City were signing a lot of internationals and that was a strong attraction. There is no doubt that to play in La Liga is fantastic, it is a great league, but I look at the Premier League and I see how the level has been raised in the last couple of years and that was a factor too. I am not just here for the football either. I want to learn another language and the culture and how to live in England. I am here as part of my education in life and to make new friends. I know I will benefit in many ways from the move.”

Emile Feels Mighty Real: And the players who were around last term are enjoying the new set up – Emile Mpenza is enjoying the competition for places, for instance. He told the club’s website: “I am very happy with the start of the season. Last year it was very difficult for me, the last games were very dangerous for the team, but now it is very nice to play at the top of the league and the play is playing very well.” He added: “There’s a new president (owner) at the club who comes with a lot of money and there are better players here than last season.”

Media Studies, Part 932 – How to Fill Sports Pages: Micah Richards has been in the news a few times this week – first we had reports that his contract negotiations had stalled over the club’s refusal to grant him an escape clause. Richards and his representatives were said to be pushing for a £40,000 per week deal (which the club are agreeing to), and for a deal whereby Richards would get a transfer if a club offered a particular sum for the 19-year-old (which City didn’t want). So forgive this correspondent’s initial cynicism when he was sent a couple of “Micah wants to play for Arsenal” stories which suddenly came to light this week (I’m grateful to Vince Docherty and Mikey Riley). The words ‘bargaining’ and ‘tool’ came to mind – until you checked out the context of Micah’s words. He’d been speaking to the cultural journal that is Nuts Magazine, Richards had revealed how been a Gooner as a kid. “I was a big Ian Wright fan when I was younger, so I supported Arsenal,” he said. “Wright and Patrick Vieira were my idols so yeah, if the opportunity came to play for them one day I’d take it. But right now I’m concentrating on trying to keep City in the top half, and we’ve got the players to do it.” The club was keen to stamp out any suggestions of a Micah move to North London, so we had the following words, attributed to Richards, on the club website on Wednesday. “It’s ridiculous. This was in a magazine I spoke to once, a long time ago, it’s very old stuff. That came from a silly question like; ‘I’ve heard you’re an Arsenal fan, would you like to play for them?’ I’ve said when I was younger that I’d like to play for Arsenal – one day – and that was it. Now they’re making a big thing about it. I’m just about to sign a new Manchester City contract and last week I said hopefully I’ll be captain one day.” On the so-called stalling on a new deal, he stated: “I’m in final talks and hopefully we’ll have something signed very, very soon, it’s just down to the finer details. But this talk of a buy out clause is just rubbish as well, totally rubbish, I don’t know who’s put that in the papers. It just seems like there’s people just trying to twist things. It’s certainly not the case that I want to move anywhere. I’m looking for a new house in Manchester, so why would I want to move anywhere now? I’m enjoying my football week in, week out and I’m playing for England, so what more could I want at the moment?”

You Want More? The Sun must have good sources within the club, because the paper claimed this week that both Didi Hamann and Geovanni, out of contract next summer, would be offered extensions. The German midfielder, 34, is showing his best form under Sven, form which was sadly lacking in the Stuart Pearce era. Geovanni meanwhile will be offered a longer deal after his 1-year contact runs out in June, mainly due to scoring the winning goal against United (OK I made up that last bit). The 28 year-old was quoted as saying: “I feel really wanted at City.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Elano delighted the adoring City faithful and inspired the Blues to a comfortable victory in another super City show, underlining what a class act he is with two goals of the highest quality. Was a player ever better named? The Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘élan’ as ‘vivacity, dash’. Elano certainly is a lively influence and has plenty of dash. Yes, he played with élan.

Sven’s impressive winners over Newcastle were unchanged with the Brazilian playing just behind the industrious Mpenza, and Joe Hart retained his place in goal after a steady show against the Geordies. Struggling Middlesbrough predictably lined up with a team that was designed to frustrate, with an isolated striker, but their game plan was soon unhinged. Johnson’s long range effort was deflected behind by a Boro defender and from Petrov’s inswinging corner, the ball deflected in off Riggott and a fumbling Schwarzer and we were set up for a game to enjoy.

Elano began to work his magic in a lovely move. He cleverly fed Ireland and from the young Irishman’s incisive pass, Mpenza’s shot was saved by Schwarzer. Boro had to attack now and they enjoyed a spell of pressure in which they gained three corners. Hart was forced into a smart save after Cattermole’s header from a teasing Rochemback cross.

City went through the gears with some terrific, fluent football, inspired by Elano, and it wasn’t long before our lead was increased. Mpenza laid the ball back to Johnson who brilliantly back-heeled a pass into the path of the advancing Elano who, from 25 yards out, scored with a powerful, low, raking shot low to Schwarzer’s left. It was a beautiful goal and Elano clearly loved the well deserved adulation that went with it! The only problem is that we don’t seem to have a song yet for this footballing genius. It can’t be long before the composers in the South Stand and Kippax Corner come up with a gem though.

Not that Elano and his team mates rested on their laurels up to the break. With the impressive Ireland cleverly feeding the Brazilian playmaker whose shot was saved by Schwarzer, ‘We love you City’ and ‘Blue Moon’ was the refrain as the football was very slick from back to front – an absolute pleasure to watch whether it was inspired in South America, or any corners of Europe, including these islands. The City team left the pitch at half time to a richly deserved standing ovation.

City certainly did not let up after the break either as we lapped it up in the stands. The midfield was, indeed, a well-oiled machine with Hamann and Johnson controlling it and Ireland intelligently using the ball and making good interceptions when tracking back. This season City are playing with refreshing variety, selectively using a direct approach at the right moments. Petrov with his pacy runs down the left and rapier like crosses is an important part in this, giving City width and quality service on the left. A perfect illustration of this was early in the 2nd half when Petrov crossed from the left early, Mpenza flicked on at the far post and Ireland’s goalbound shot was well saved by Schwarzer. ‘There’s only one Martin Petrov’ chimed an enthralled Kippax corner and South Stand. Petrov then fed Dunne, who also went close.

The visitors had their moments too with substitute Tuncay Sanli making an impact down their right. He fed Luke Young who blazed wide and then Hart made a good save with his legs from a goalbound effort from Boro’s Tom Craddock.

Sven then replaced the impressive Michael Johnson with Michael Ball in central midfield and after the match, the manager confirmed that Johnson may need surgery on his persistent groin injury. If Urmston’s Finest is out we will miss his drive, eye for goal and good, common sense use of the ball. That said, Ball did well in his place and there is Fernandes champing at the bit so we do have cover in this area. It’s quite possible that Sven has brought in Ball recently instead of the young Swiss U-21 skipper because Ball is more experienced and has better positional sense.

City continued to press for more goals in a display of cavalier football so beloved by the City fans. Mpenza was just about to pull the trigger in the ‘D’ outside Boro’s box when he was cynically hacked down in by Boro skipper Woodgate, who gained a deserved booking. The stage was cleared then for Elano who delicately and delightfully lobbed over the wall and into the top left hand corner of the net for 3-0. It was another thrilling free kick of sublime beauty from the Brazilian magician. It was in contrast to the supremely powerful strike of the previous week and showed that Elano has the ability to vary his delivery.

The footballing treat continued with a lovely moves involving Petrov, Ireland and of course, Elano, who came closest to a hat trick with a long range shot that Schwarzer struggled to gather. The whole team was fluid and showed an ability to switch play from flank to flank with some delightful passing. ‘It’s just like watching City’ chimed the Kippax Corner and the South Stand as we could still scarcely believe the transformation in style at Manchester City this season. Ireland, who had his best game of the season, and Elano both tricked Boro defenders with clever flicks and turns to gasps of approval from the stands. Before being subbed to a well deserved standing ovation, Elano’s final telling contribution was to float a free kick up to the far post, which Ireland volleyed superbly from a tight angle, only for Schwarzer to make a sharp save just under the angle of bar and post. We have had a good defence for years now and this defence gives the team the platform on which to build. Yet again, Dunne was imperious and he made a fantastic fair and full blooded tackle that flattened Tuncay. He was ably supported by Richards, Corluka and the quietly efficient Javier Garrido. On one of the Basque full back’s sorties forward, he was hacked down by Luke Young, who was rightly booked by referee Bennett. Young faced another form of retribution from Micah Richards a few minutes later, and he too was booked. Micah and Garrido had the briefest of handshakes as he ran back into defence – are City players ‘looking out for each other’ perchance? The team spirit certainly looks good, and it is an enduring feature of Eriksson’s teams. O’Neill was also booked for a bad challenge but it wasn’t a dirty game though, and Bennett got most things right, even if he did miss a blatant scrag on Hamann in our own box.

Boro grabbed a late consolation as débutant Ben Hutchinson scored after Hart parried Tuncay’s powerful shot. For once, a Boro goal against us didn’t matter. There was still time for Ireland to shoot over after substitute Samaras chested the ball down for him, and for Petrov’s powerful shot to be blocked and cleared before Geovanni could pounce.

How many times have Middlesbrough come to Manchester down the years, nicked a goal, then defended for their lives to send us home with a dreary defeat? Indeed they have been our bogey team down the years until last season when Stuart Pearce’s team did the double over them. This latest dazzling City performance and comfortable victory certainly confirmed that Boro have lost that status of bogey team. City, of course can improve on this and Sven is well aware of it, having said earlier in the week that he is always looking to improve. Boro did have chances in this game, and if City are to finish in a top six position, then the defending in midfield, particularly the tracking back, would need to improve a little. Not that this would have troubled too many Blues on this particular afternoon. Everyone on the bus that passed us down Ashton New Road wore broad smiles and it was a great sight. Indeed it makes a very welcome change to look forward to matches and not go home disappointed. There is a huge gulf in class between this City team and the one that stumbled through last season. What a pleasure it is to watch this team, and much credit is due to Frank and Sven et al for making it all possible. Roll on the next game.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


It’s a real pleasure to watch the current City team; defence, midfield and attack are all functioning together as one fluid unit. If we could find one more forward to put the ball in the net, City would be a truly terrifying force for anyone in the Premier League.

Two gripes though. Still can’t believe the acres of empty seats at Eastlands. Surely the word must be out that City is the real deal and the stadium should be bursting at the seams. I think this is going to be addressed by the time Birmingham show up.

I am also a little bit uneasy about Sven not playing Isaksson or even naming him on the bench. Yes it’s great that City have two under 21 international goalies but they still don’t have Isaksson’s experience. If he’s good enough to play for Sweden but not good enough to make the City bench, I am sure he will be pulling the plug in January.

I would feel a lot better if Sven would make a decision between Hart and Schmeichel and send one of them on a short loan, then everyone is getting a game.

Hope we make a realistic effort for the Carling Cup – beat Bolton and we’re in the quarter-finals. I believe this is still our best bet to win a trophy and get into Europe.

Come On You Blues, Keith Sharp <keith(at)>


It’s been said that when Sven looks for a new house in Bowdon or Alderley Edge the estate/letting agent must show a property that has a water based sunken receptacle at the bottom of the garden because it is his Sven’s favourite English word and he answers every TV pundits question beginning it with “well”.

The prelude to this was the pre-match hype from certain quarters of the press trying to stir things up between Sven and Southgate by reporting (allegedly) what young Gareth said about our beloved Sven during the World Cup. When will they realise he never rises to the bait?

Allegedly at the end of the game when we lost to Brazil, Gareth Southgate said that at half time when the score was England 1 Brazil 1 “what we needed was Winston Churchill and what we got was Ian Duncan Smith (the quiet man).”

“Sven what do you think of Gareth’s comments?”

Sven: “Well… if he thinks that…”

The fact of the matter is that as the nation sang 3 lions on a shirt, we expected 11 lions on the pitch and instead we got 11 timid little kittens with Gareth being the biggest pussy of the lot.

It would be an interesting press conference if Sven said what he thought sometimes. Allegedly.

Anyway Gareth we will see you next year, and suffice to say in spite of the own goal I thought Riggott was their key player.

I’ll leave everyone else to talk about Elano and his efforts to dominate MOTD with all his efforts for Goal of the Month. No doubt with mullet featured Mark (oooh shut that door) Laurenson picking the goals it will be won by Stevie Gerrard. I knew we were going to beat Toon and Boro because mincing boy Lawro had put us down for a draw both times. Not in the script is it Mark, City being where we are?

Both free kicks were sublime pieces of work that just leave you in jaw dropping awe and should be one and two in October Goal of the Month.

Even Alan Hansen called us the “neutrals’ favourite” – never heard that before. Is that why City were always on last on MOTD – because the producer would keep the audience as long as possible knowing that the nation’s neutrals’ favourites were on last and we’d all stay up late to watch 30 seconds? Not quite top of the bill but game number 3 for 2 weeks on the bounce isn’t bad going.

Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)>


It’s great news that Micah wants to stay with Manchester City FC.

The reports in the newspapers that some of us have read about him holding out for a get out clause in his new contract, Micah has just said on the official MCFC website that it is all rubbish, and the magazine who said he wants to play for the Gooners, he was once asked the question when he was much younger, and has never said in recent times that he would like to be a Gooner.

Besides, I think Micah loves singing Blue Moon to a rap version in his shower, and likes being in the ring with Ricky in a friendly kind of way.

May you stay with the Blues forever Micah. Phew, I can relax a little now.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>

A SONG FOR ELANO (as sung by Tom Jones)

I saw the bend on the ball as it entered the area
I saw the power of the shot as it whizzed past the wall
Top left hand corner
The poor bloody ‘keeper, he never saw it at all
My my my Elano
My my my Elano
He came from Brazil
And showed his awesome skill
The Barcodes and Smoggies just couldn’t take any more

I saw the sidestep and jink as he lost the defender
I saw the weight on the pass that found Petrov in space
He drops his shoulder
And the West Ham back four are reeling all over the place
My my my Elano
My my my Elano
He plays like a dream
And lifts the City team
Move over Taggart, the Rags aren’t the best any more

Ernie Whalley <bluevalentine(at)>


I have lived in Manchester all my life (50 years) and always supported both teams as and when I saw them on telly (yes I was an armchair supporter).

All that changed when a friend of mine who is a Blue asked me if I wanted to go to a match at COMS. With some reluctance I went to my first derby. The date was 14/3/2004 when we stuffed the Rag b******s 4-1. I have never looked back.

CTID and beyond, Stevieblue <steve(at)>


League table to 09 October 2007 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Arsenal          8  5  0  0 14  4  2  1  0  5  2  7  1  0  19   6  13  22
 2 Manchester Utd   9  4  1  0  8  0  2  1  1  3  2  6  2  1  11   2   9  20
 3 Manchester City  9  5  0  0  9  2  1  1  2  5  5  6  1  2  14   7   7  19
 4 Liverpool        8  1  3  0  9  3  3  1  0  5  1  4  4  0  14   4  10  16
 5 Portsmouth       9  2  2  0 11  6  2  1  2  6  6  4  3  2  17  12   5  15
 6 Blackburn R.     8  2  1  1  4  3  2  2  0  5  3  4  3  1   9   6   3  15
 7 Chelsea          9  2  2  0  4  2  2  1  2  4  6  4  3  2   8   8   0  15
 8 Aston Villa      8  4  0  1  8  3  0  2  1  4  5  4  2  2  12   8   4  14
 9 Newcastle Utd    8  3  1  0  7  3  1  1  2  6  7  4  2  2  13  10   3  14
10 Everton          9  2  1  1  5  3  2  0  3  7  8  4  1  4  12  11   1  13
11 West Ham United  8  1  1  2  4  4  2  0  2  5  4  3  1  4   9   8   1  10
12 Reading          9  3  0  2  5  6  0  1  3  5 12  3  1  5  10  18  -8  10
13 Birmingham City  9  1  1  2  3  4  1  1  3  5  8  2  2  5   8  12  -4   8
14 Wigan Athletic   9  2  1  1  5  2  0  1  4  3 10  2  2  5   8  12  -4   8
15 Middlesbrough    9  1  2  1  7  6  1  0  4  3 10  2  2  5  10  16  -6   8
16 Sunderland       9  2  0  2  4  5  0  2  3  6 11  2  2  5  10  16  -6   8
17 Tottenham H.     9  1  1  2 10 10  0  3  2  6  8  1  4  4  16  18  -2   7
18 Fulham           9  1  2  2  9 11  0  2  2  3  5  1  4  4  12  16  -4   7
19 Bolton Wndrs     9  1  1  3  6  7  0  1  3  3  7  1  2  6   9  14  -5   5
20 Derby County     9  1  2  1  5  5  0  0  5  0 17  1  2  6   5  22 -17   5

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Don Barrie)            :
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 Points of Blue (formerly the Fans’ Committee)?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears 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] 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

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]Madeleine Hawkins,

Newsletter #1370