Newsletter #1411

Alex’s February round-up tonight, along with match views on the disappointment at Reading where yet again we couldn’t buy a goal. As with Wigan, we continued our goodwill in giving them a lift out of the relegation zone!

There is opinion on the current strikeforce, lack of Sven’s Plan B or C and a hatful of requests.

Next Game: Sunday 16 March 2008, 4pm, Tottenham Hotspur (home)


February was always going to be the month in which City’s fight for a European place would be all but decided and two home losses wasn’t exactly the way to go about it. Granted, we faced top of the league Arsenal and yes it’s nice to know that we’ve done our part in keeping the title away from the Swamp for another season but we could have done with those three points ourselves. It’s hard to have too many complaints with the overall result against the Gunners as it’s fair to say we were outplayed by a superior side on the day and of course we more than made up for it against the so called ‘Champions’.

Fears that the minute’s silence would not be respected were soon eradicated by a simply magnificent showing by the Blue faithful. Not a word, not a boo, not a chant – best fans in the world? No question. Throughout the game the fans made their noise and gave the lads the strength to overcome a side unbeaten at home all season. A goal from Vassell to start the celebrations and one from new boy Benjani to make them carry on throughout the night. Thirty four years of waiting and there it was – victory at the Swamp and the double for the first time since 1970, life doesn’t get much better than that.

Disappointing therefore that the lads followed such a result up with such a timid attempt at a performance against Everton. A key game in the hunt for Europe and we came out like kittens. Not something you’ll often get to say about Dunne and his troops but after twenty minutes of good play, our game ended and Everton took full advantage. Goals from Yakubu and Lescott all but ended City’s hopes of a Champions’ League place, but let’s take it one step at a time. I’d much rather watch City facing the likes of Fiorentina, Werder Bremen and Osasuna with the hope of bringing the UEFA Cup to Manchester than having to see them struggle against the likes of AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid because we’ve jumped too many steps too early. Think of it this way, the UEFA Cup provides quality football with a genuine chance of success, the Champions’ League to City is very much like the Premiership to Derby County – wonderful football to watch but could cause problems if it comes before time.

Be it via the league or the Intertoto Cup, Europe is possible this season and it is for us to see the season out with the lads, support on the day is crucial and I still believe we would be in a higher position if more sections of the crowd chose to raise their voices. For the first time ever, I heard a chant initiated in the North Stand of CoMS and by a group of youngsters. They want to sing as much as the players need to hear it but they come to the games and watch the other fans sit in silence; this isn’t the atmosphere we need if we want a top six finish any time soon. Teams feared coming to Maine Road because songs sang throughout and that included the family stand. Petrov signals every game to the crowd to raise the roof for the players so what else do you need? Start chanting, start cheering and this year might be our year.

February Star Performer: Gelson Fernandes. It’s true that City have missed Michael Johnson as a vital part of the first eleven but the former Swiss under 21 captain hasn’t done a bad job covering his in his absence. His tackling, passing and dribbling have been an asset to the club this month and although the results haven’t particularly gone our way, he’s shown us exactly what is to come over the years ahead.

February’s best moment: Take your pick! I’ll write down Sunday 10 February and I’ll let you choose your own personal highlight.

Alexander Rowen <ajpr2007(at)>


Well Sven’s plan ‘B’ seems no better than his plan ‘A’, maybe he needs a ‘C’, ‘D’, and ‘E’?

We’ve bought all these strikers and none of them seem to know where the goal is, shades of last season with Pearce. It begs to ask the questions, “Why in Heaven’s name do we buy these players?” and “Have we actually seen them play?” We have spent a fortune on strikers this year and last, and seem to be running around like a headless chicken buying all these players, paying incredible money, and getting very little in return.

I don’t know about you lot, but for me, beating United twice this season is great, but I would rather have a decent side performing week in, week out. Take United, they have a bad game, then the next few weeks they knock three or four past the opposition. Just scoring three or four in a game would be nice!

Still, it could be worse, we could all be Newcastle supporters!

Stay Blue, Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Just back in from Reading and another lacklustre, witless and spineless performance by the City boys. I appreciate it’s going to take time for Sven and Thaksin to make us a genuine top team but for Christ’s sake lose the 4-5-1 formation – it’s ***** boring.

If we’re going to lose, let’s watch glorious rather than ignominious failure. I’m fed up splashing the bucks for tickets and travel and watching s***e.

Not overly constructive, I know, but I am pee’d off after a totally c**p Saturday.

CTID, David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)>


City’s goalscoring record for the first half of the season was low, and everyone was of the opinion that the team needed more strikers to change that. So come the Winter transfer window City bring in three strikers, Benjani, Caicedo and Castillo.

I am a great admirer of Sven Eriksson as a Manager/Coach, but I beg to differ in my humble opinion of his approach to the game.

Benjani is the lone striker; a single striker up front is easily marked out of the game by the defence.

When Benjani was at Portsmouth he played up front with other strikers and was a success, in fact playing his last game for Pompey versus Reading, Benjani scored a hat trick.

We brought in more strikers so why are we not using them, only as subs? I don’t like the single striker up front, it does not work. I know that the modern game is played more from midfield but I am very much against it, enough said.

City versus Reading was a much more open game than the game versus Wigan, but it was Reading who were always the more dangerous when attacking. City had long spells of having the greater possession but that does not win games if you do not strike and score.

Corluka had the best chance to open the scoring when it looked easier to score than to miss, but the ball fell to the wrong player, it fell to a defender and not a striker.

It was bad news to see our captain Richard Dunne get carried off with a lot of blood showing from his injured leg, but reports are that the injury is not as bad as it looked as he was being carried off. City missed Micah and Dunnie in defence, both have been fantastic all season.

After this game I truly think that is wrong to mention City getting into Europe through a league position, our only hope now the Intetoto Cup and the back door, which is really sad after a promising start to the season.

Injuries and suspensions are no excuse, I blame the system of only one striker, even Drogbog is not that good. I feel sorry for Benjani who has been asked to play a different game than what he has been used to.

Wasn’t the game of football great when it was about scoring goals and not stopping them?

From five forwards to one forward, how the game has gone backwards.

Come on Sven.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I haven’t watched every match this season, but I have seen a fair few and I can’t remember collecting a single point wearing the purple rig. Is this perception correct? I seem to remember something similar last time we wore purple too.

I might be wrong and it may just be coincidental, but there is a psychological aspect to team colours and purple does not seem to work for us.

Sean Cassidy <Sean.Cassidy(at)>


Not the usual comment about the team etc. but I have to clear my old room out of my parents’ house and have City programmes from the mid 80’s (shoe-boxes of them), videos, books etc. to give away.

Anybody in the lower mainland of British Columbia who’s interested can have them. Please reply to the email address below.


Steve Barlow <mancitysteve(at)>


In work at the minute, we are having some fun about famous City fans, so we need a bit of (confirmed) help.

We’ve gone through the John Stapleton’s and Bruce Jones’ of this world – but one of the lads has come up with Dean Saunders!

I’m sure this will have been done on McV before but… if anyone has any sensible suggestions, feel free to contribute.

John Baines <johnbaines76(at)>


I’ve created a MacOS X widget to show the latest news from Widgets are little mini-applications that run on MacOS X, similar to the sidebar in Windows Vista.

I’ve uploaded the widget for people to download at

Shaun Donnelly <shaundonnelly(at)>


The annual CSA 5-a-side football competition will take place on Saturday 14 June at the Platt Lane complex commencing at 10am. A buffet and presentation of trophies will take place in the Oasis Suite following the football. Entries are welcome from both CSA teams and non-CSA teams. Entrance fee is £10 per CSA team and £20 for non CSA teams.

All enquiries regarding the 5-a-side should be directed to Alex Channon on 0161-281-7517 or by email.

Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


9 March 2008

Sunderland            0 - 1  Everton               42,595
Tottenham Hotspur     4 - 0  West Ham United       36,062
Wigan Athletic        0 - 0  Arsenal               19,676

8 March 2008

Blackburn Rovers      1 - 1  Fulham                20,362
Liverpool             3 - 0  Newcastle United      44,031
Reading               2 - 0  Manchester City       24,062

League table to 09 March 2008 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD  Pts
 1 Arsenal         29 12  3  0 32  9  7  6  1 25 12 19  9  1  57  21  36  66
 2 Manchester Utd  28 12  1  1 32  5  8  3  3 26 10 20  4  4  58  15  43  64
 3 Chelsea         27  8  5  0 23  8  9  2  3 19  9 17  7  3  42  17  25  58
 4 Liverpool       29  8  6  1 36 11  7  5  2 17  9 15 11  3  53  20  33  56
 5 Everton         29  9  2  3 27 12  8  3  4 20 12 17  5  7  47  24  23  56
 6 Aston Villa     28  8  2  4 24 17  5  7  2 27 19 13  9  6  51  36  15  48
 7 Blackburn R.    29  6  5  4 18 15  6  5  3 20 20 12 10  7  38  35   3  46
 8 Manchester City 29  9  4  2 21 13  3  5  6 13 20 12  9  8  34  33   1  45
 9 Portsmouth      28  4  7  2 16 10  8  1  6 22 19 12  8  8  38  29   9  44
10 West Ham United 29  5  5  4 16 17  6  2  7 15 18 11  7 11  31  35  -4  40
11 Tottenham H.    28  7  2  4 37 22  2  6  7 16 23  9  8 11  53  45   8  35
12 Middlesbrough   28  4  4  6 14 19  3  4  7 11 23  7  8 13  25  42 -17  29
13 Wigan Athletic  29  6  3  5 17 14  1  4 10  9 28  7  7 15  26  42 -16  28
14 Reading         29  7  1  7 17 21  1  3 10 17 34  8  4 17  34  55 -21  28
15 Newcastle Utd   29  5  5  5 18 24  2  2 10 12 32  7  7 15  30  56 -26  28
16 Sunderland      29  7  3  4 17 14  0  3 12  9 33  7  6 16  26  47 -21  27
17 Birmingham City 28  4  5  5 19 17  2  3  9 12 24  6  8 14  31  41 -10  26
18 Bolton Wndrs    28  5  4  6 18 15  1  3  9 10 27  6  7 15  28  42 -14  25
19 Fulham          29  3  5  7 18 26  0  6  8  8 23  3 11 15  26  49 -23  20
20 Derby County    28  1  4  9  8 24  0  3 11  5 33  1  7 20  13  57 -44  10

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1411