Newsletter #1416

International Blues’ news, and updates on our loan players tonight from Don together with a review of the Bolton game and summer plans.

We also have the road to safety, tunes and requests.

We have experienced distribution problems with the email system this issue so apologies if you have already received – unlike those stranded at T5 who haven’t got anywhere!

Next Game: Saturday 29 March 2008, 3pm, Birmingham City (away)


General News

Two Grand – A Month: Thanks and apologies go to Our Neil, who sent me an interesting clipping from the Bangkok Post. I should have included it in last week’s news, but I ran out of time. The article’s called “Trio Seem to Have Been Forgotten”, and reveals what has happened to the three Thai footballers signed by City in December. The item begins with the claim that Thaksin had lost interest in City after returning to his country to fight corruption charges, and was indulging instead in one of his big passions – “As president of the Professional Golf Association of Thailand, he seems more interested in golf than football at the moment. He has played a couple of rounds since his homecoming”. The author Wanchai Rujawongsanti than claims that the three players were signed by City to help the pro-Thaksin People Power Party (PPP) to curry favour with the Thai electorate. The fate of the three players since the election makes interesting reading. “Suree, Kiatprawut and Teerasil… were not paid by City until anti-Thaksin newspapers reported the matter”. The trio failed to get Home Office work permits “for the obvious reason – they weren’t good enough”, so they were loaned to Grasshoppers in Zurich. “At first they only got tourist visas to Switzerland before Suree and Teerasil got work permits and flew to Switzerland at the weekend”. Kiatprawput hasn’t got a full permit owing to health concerns, so may end up at Brugge in Belgium instead. The thrust of the article is that the three lads have served their purpose, and now no one really knows what to do with them. It concludes: “Good luck, Suree, Teerasil and Kiatprawut. Looking on the bright side, they each still get £2,000 a month from Man City even if they do not play and do nothing.”

MCFC Blues International News: City’s players have been appearing in some far flung (and no-so far flung) places on international duty this week. Sun Jihai was in Kunming, playing for China in their 0-0 draw with Australia in a World Cup Qualifying game. The home side missed a late penalty, so forsaking a great chance to beat the group favourites. Sun thinks his nation can still qualify for South Africa. “Right now I think we should be looking more at where China’s team is right now and not so much at the results,” he said. “We can see that we have hope and that we have found our way of playing… after this match we have to build up our confidence and if we play to our level in the next match we can fight for eventual qualification.” Felipe Caicedo and Benjani have also been travelling the world playing slightly less important games for Ecuador and Zimbabwe respectively. Vedran Corluka shouldn’t be suffering from jetlag this week, as he turned out for Croatia at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Scotland managed what England failed to do twice, and drew with the Croats. Our boy Gelson Fernandes probably wished he hadn’t gone home for the mid-week friendly with Germany, as the home side were spanked 4-0 in Basel. Andreas Isaksson was in London, playing for Sweden versus Brazil at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. It took a goal from the latest Brazilian boy wonder, Alexandre Pato, to settle this encounter. And just down the road – Nery Castillo played 78 minutes for Mexico against Ghana in a friendly at Fulham’s Craven Cottage, a game which saw Mexico come from a goal down to win 2-1. Martin Petrov and his Bulgarian colleagues meanwhile staged a similar comeback (with the same scoreline) to beat Finland in Sofia. And in a night of comebacks, Wales’ Under-21 found themselves 1-0 down in Bosnia with four minutes to go. Reading striker Simon Church came off the bench to equalise four minutes from time and then Ched Evans rifled home the winner two minutes later. Joe Hart, Nedum Onuoha, and Michael Johnson all got call ups for England U21s against Poland at Molineux. Joe only played the first half, while Nedum and Michael played the full ninety. The game finished goalless.

Reserves: We’ve two Reserve games to tell you about this week. Let’s not spend too long on the first one shall we? Those pesky Reds (who cheated by having the highly experienced Gary Neville and Mikael Silvestre in their ranks) beat a highly inexperienced City team (some needed permission slips from their parents to play) 4-1 at Northwich Victoria’s ground. City had the temerity to take the lead after two minutes, as Clayton MacDonald’s bullet header gave the Blues’ fans a great start. Then after that… well we don’t need to concern ourselves with the rest. Coach Eric Steele said: “We gave a good account of ourselves for most of the first half, in what were terrible conditions for playing football. Unfortunately for us, they equalised just before the break, and it was bad luck that they stretched their lead with a deflection. The fourth goal was from a very dubious penalty, but we had a young side playing against some very experienced opponents so I hope that our lads can learn from tonight’s performance.” Team: Martin, Obeng, Williamson, Mee, McDonald, M Daly, Clayton, Grimes, D Ball, Marshall, Moore. Subs: Breen, Mentel, Mouritsen, Nimely-Tchuimeni, Tsiaklis.
Of much more importance, obviously, was the Pontins League side’s victory at those giants of football, Carlisle United. Goals from (that boy again) Clayton MacDonald, Alex Nimely-Tchuimeni and James Poole secured a decent win for the young Blues.
Team: Filip Mentel, Chris Ramsey, Sam Williamson, Matthew Brown, Clayton McDonald (c) (Ben Morris 56), Christian Mouritsen (Chris Chantler 75), Adam Clayton, Paul Marshall, James Poole, Alex Nimley-Tchuimeni (Jack Redshaw 87), Karl Moore. Unused substitutes: Gregory Hartley, and Dylan Robinson.

Double Chelsea: The club have confirmed the dates of some fixtures – The first leg of the FA Youth Cup Final will take place on Thursday April 3rd at Stamford Bridge, k.o. 7.00pm. Two weeks later, and the return leg’s at the COMS on Wednesday April 16th starting at 7.45pm. The date of the Premier League game between the clubs has finally been confirmed – City welcome Chelsea on Saturday April 5, at 3.00pm.

Transfer News and Gossip

It’s All (Golden) Balls: There’s been a lot of hoo-ha this week over David Beckham, who won his hundredth cap for England this week – so naturally this week’s Michael Owen award for being linked with Sven goes to old Goldenballs himself. The manager told the M.E.N.: “We haven’t talked about David Beckham and I think it would be very difficult to match his salary! I am very happy for David that he’s in the squad because I think he deserves his hundredth cap.” On City’s next signings, Eriksson said: “It has been our policy to have gone for younger players, but one of the things I discussed with Dr Thaksin this week was if we should take in, not an old but an older player this summer. If we do that it must be a very big name, a very, very big name who can fill the stadium.” So how about that very very big name being Dimitar Berbatov of Spurs? The Mirror claims that City are planning an audacious £32 million bid for Berbatov from under the nose of the Ole Bacon Face at Old Trafford. Martin Petrov is one of Berbatov’s closest friends in football and is keen to link up with one of his best pals. In fact, Berbatov was furious last summer with former Tottenham boss Martin Jol for failing to sign Petrov. One of Europe’s most wanted strikers is Valencia’s David Villa, who is being courted by some of the biggest clubs on the continent. So of course, City are one of those clubs! The Daily Star Sunday are reporting that Dr.Thaksin has given SGE the go ahead to sign the Spanish International, who has admitted he will be listening to offers at the end of the season.

Send for Santos: Barcelona’s starlet Giovani dos Santos has been approached by none other than our own beloved Blues, according to his father Zizinho. “Manchester City are interested, nevertheless we can’t say more because his representative is dealing with that issue, he is the one who is negotiating,” his father told El Universal. “I couldn’t tell you at the moment if Giovani is moving to a new club. The season is not over and he is focused on Barcelona. We want him to finish well this season and we cannot say anything more about his future. Clubs are interested, yes, but first of all he has to be focused on Barcelona.” Dos Santos has played 25 times for Barça this season in all competitions, scoring once in a Champions’ League game with Stuttgart. One fly in the ointment – the player’s denied all knowledge of any move away from Catalonia. “I cannot avoid rumours about me going to the Premier League or to any other place,” Dos Santos told a press conference. “I just live in the present. I am here now and what I would like most is to be here next season and for many more years after that if it is possible. It has never entered my head to leave Barcelona.” And these reports will have nothing to do with the 18-year-old trying to negotiate a new contract with Barça, could it?

Mpenza Chased by Foxes: Emile Mpenza is wanted by Leicester, according to his agent Rachid Tajmot. Leicester are reportedly aiming to seal a loan deal before Thursday when the window on such deals closes. The 29-year-old Belgian international is out-of-contract in the summer, and has seen his opportunities at Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side get limited following his injury problems. “I have already been called several times by the people of Leicester,” Tajmot told Het Laatste. “But we are looking at all the options.” The Daily Mirror thought that these options didn’t include a drop into the Championship. Another player who’s facing a more permanent exit is Rolando Bianchi. Lazio are ready to sign permanently the on-loan striker – La Repubblica says Lazio have agreed to pay £8 million to complete Bianchi’s signing, having already coughed up £1.5 million for his six month loan from January.

Go for Jo: And Sven is allegedly keen to flash some Roubles – apparently he’s made an offer for CSKA Moscow striker Jo Alves. The Mirror says Eriksson has wasted no time getting back into the transfer market with a £15.7 million bid for Brazilian striker Jo. After looking at CSKA Moscow’s Brazilian trio Vagner Love, Jo and Daniel Carvalho in January, City have tabled an offer for Jo. The 20-year-old came close to joining Valencia in the first transfer window of 2008 before the deal fell through.

Ex-Blues’ News

Bradley’s Bother: Bradley Wright-Phillips and his Southampton team-mate Nathan Dyer have been arrested and questioned in connection with an alleged theft at a nightclub. It has been alleged that Dyer was pictured rifling through handbags in a cloakroom, while Wright-Phillips stood watch after the pair broke a club curfew last month to visit a club in Southsea, Hampshire. The Coca-Cola Championship club have said that the allegations were serious and fined the players two weeks’ wages. Staff at the venue reported that three mobile phones, £145 in cash, student cards and cigarettes had been stolen from three handbags. An investigation was launched by Hampshire Police after two men were filmed on CCTV entering a staff room in the early hours of February 28.

After-Match Reactions and Comments

Looks Blank at Reebok: City extended their unbeaten run to two games (come on, glass half full attitude, chaps) at Bolton on Saturday. Notlob stay in the relegation zone after the 0-0 draw. Gretar Steinsson headed against the post as Bolton started brightly. City responded with a Stephen Ireland shot that Ricardo Gardner headed off the line but Bolton were dominant. Only a superb clearance by Joey O’Brien denied City substitute Felipe Caicedo but the home side almost won it when Kevin Davies’ header was hacked clear. Sven said: “It was a battle, but we knew that would be the case before we came here, and you have to be prepared for it. Our attitude and spirit were good, we defended well and that’s not easy against Bolton with their long balls and long throw-ins. But we need to play more football, take it down on the ground and the few times we did that we did create some chances. We always work on that, but it’s not easy, as they don’t allow us to play the way we want. One point here is not bad, and the spirit the boys showed proves that they have not given up this season, but we took a point, and at the end who knows? This might be a very important point. It was a fair result if you look at the chances, they had a few and we had some as well – Caicedo had a great chance near the end, but it was a superb block on the line. I always hope we can play on the ground more, but I realise it is difficult and some games are like this. It was important that we didn’t lose such a game today. Aston Villa lost, Portsmouth lost as well so every point is important to us.”

Sub Standard Behaviour: Bolton boss Gary Megson was trying to put a positive spin on their point from the game. “We have drawn a game we maybe should have won but not through a lack of effort,” he said. “We gave their goalkeeper a lot to do and we certainly could not have tried any harder. We had a lot of efforts on goal so there is a lot to be positive about but at this stage of the season it is all about getting the three points.” And for the second week running, an opposing player was none too happy about being substituted. Following Robbie Keane’s strop at the COMS last week, Ivan Campo was upset at being substituted on 63 minutes, shrugging off Megson’s pat on the back appearing to mouth something on the way past. The Bolton boss said: “Ivan has reacted like that a couple of times and I have spoken to him and the players about it. I don’t expect anyone to be happy at being substituted, but I expect us all to stay together.” Sven replaced Stephen Ireland and Darius Vassell with Elano and Caicedo, and although Ireland looked disappointed, his boss was keen to point out that it hadn’t been a Keane / Campo moment. “Nothing happened when he came off, and when we have players like Elano and Caicedo on the bench then I think you have to give them half an hour to see if they can create something. They both created chances, and Stephen was disappointed but that’s football.” Elano’s display earned praise from the boss, who added: “He was disappointed when I told him on Friday that he was not starting, and that’s fair. I think it will make him play even better when we play Birmingham next weekend. When he’s on the ball, he can control it so well and normally something happens when he is on the pitch. He had a couple of shots that forced saves after he came on at Bolton and he did well.”

They Come Over Here… Bolton’s Kevin Nolan was none too chuffed at being booked for a tackle on Vedran Corluka on Saturday, and slammed Corluka afterwards. The yellow card means Nolan will miss the next two games and he said: “I thought the booking was a bit harsh, I felt Corluka made a bit of a meal of it – that’s what these lads do when they come over here. We just get up and get on it with it – that’s the English mentality but from him I sort of expected it. There’s still 21 points to play for. This is not where we think we should be and we’re deeply hurt finding ourselves in it.” That’s right Kevin – and another thing, these foreigners – they’re all right when the sun’s shining on their backs, but once the winter’s here they disappear… (rant continues in a similar 1970’s manner for some minutes).

Squad News

Shal We Ruddy Well Report it Properly? It seems that last week’s reports of Shaleum Logan’s demise as a Stockport County player were somewhat exaggerated. If Logan did return to City, it must have been for treatment, because Hatters’ boss Jim Gannon announced this week that Shaleum and Everton goalie John Ruddy would be staying at Edgeley Park for the rest of the season. Gannon said: “To secure the strength and depth of our squad for the forthcoming run-in, I am delighted that David Moyes at Everton and Sven Goran Eriksson at Manchester City have allowed John Ruddy and Shaleum Logan to remain on loan for the rest of the season, subject to both being available for immediate return to their respective clubs if they are required for first-team duty. I hope they continue to enjoy the experience.”

Elano No Go: Elano has given an interview to the Independent newspaper. While admitting he is finding life tough in The Premier League, he has pledged his long-term future to City. “Before the winter the pitches are firm and that makes the difference for me,” Elano said. “The studs are higher then. Because of the weather and the way the pitches are, there have been difficulties for my game. I’m used to two weeks off in the mid-season, too. That’s been hard to adjust to. It’s just a question of development and adjustment for me. When I arrived here nobody knew me. I’d played here against Argentina and Portugal but not particularly well. For a time there was space, but now I find that I have to play on my own because I always have a player marking me. I’m coping with it – but that is causing difficulties for my game.” The playmaker likes what’s happening at MCFC. “The new signings Castillo and Benjani are important,” he added. “The strength of those players helps when things are tough. I want to be here for the next seven or eight years and then I’ll go back to Brazil to finish my career with Santos.” Meanwhile, Sven has revealed Valeri Bojinov could return to training this week. He told City’s website: “Bojinov has been for a big test and we should find out whether he can start practising football with us again or not, which is good.”

Kas-t Aside: Coventry City continue their slow crawl away from the relegation zone of the Championship, after securing their second consecutive 0-0 draw. The custodian for those two clean sheets? One K. Schmeichel Esq. Manager Chris Coleman praised Schmeichel after he helped earn a vital point at Southampton. “He’s got lots of confidence,” said the Sky Blues’ boss. “He’s still young and he’s only going to get better. We’re very happy to have him here.” Kasper meanwhile has admitted that he may have to leave Eastlands at the end of the campaign. “I am going to have a word with City to see what is going on,” Schmeichel told The Sun. “It might be that I will have to leave because Joe Hart is playing brilliantly and it is not the best for me. It’s no fun when you are training and preparing for a game all week, then you warm up before the match and just sit there on the bench. I have three years left on my contract, but I have a buy-out clause. If I don’t think there is any chance at all for me at City then I might have to look at something else.” Meanwhile Sven has revealed Valeri Bojinov could return to training this week. He told City’s website: “Bojinov has been for a big test and we should find out whether he can start practising football with us again or not which is good.”

Eyes on the Prize: Sven might be professing a non-discussion policy when it comes to qualifying for Europe, but Gelson Fernandes believes the Blues can still clinch that UEFA spot. “We want to play in Europe but we will see what happens from now on. But we will not earn that by talking about it. Sometimes there is too much talk about such things and not enough concentration on the games coming up. We have just to think of Birmingham next and then Chelsea, and if we keep doing that, then we can qualify for Europe.” Just take each game as it comes, Gelson?

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Being a City fan, there’s always a ‘Warped’ way of looking at things.

Did anyone notice that the point gained at Bolton means that we are mathematically safe for the season?

We are 23 points ahead of Bolton in third bottom with 7 games to go and with a maximum of 21 points available, Bolton can’t catch us.

Yippee! We’re safe! We never change, do we?

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


I know this shows a lack of ambition but, did no-one notice that the point at Bolton means we cannot mathematically go down?

We are staying up again (and with seven games left)!

Here’s to Europe! All the best.

Mark Jones <Mark.Jones(at)>


Now I know why Elano has been missing for the 2nd half of this season.

He’s been filming the Bear Grylls series on discovery channel. They must have been separated at birth.

Darren Wareing <darren.wareing(at)>


My first job after leaving college was for 3 months living in Bristol, which despite the two footy teams is largely rugby territory being close to South Wales, Bath, and Gloucester. The Gasheads (Rovers) and the Robins (City) were supported by west country nutters clearly let out of some semi secure government facility for weekend orgies of organised violence and cider. If you recall the 81 riots started in the St Paul’s district first.

City were back in Division 1 after promotion that Summer (remember the Charlton 5-1?). Clearly, going home to Manchester was not an option every weekend. Still very new to the company and Bristol so I had no-one to hang out with.

A glance at the fixtures revealed an away fixture at The Dell (70 miles away) and very clearly do-able living in Bristol. I’ll go on my own, why not. A Saturday afternoon in Oct 86.

So lunchtime on the A4 I was driving SE from Bristol, youngish cute looking female hitch hiker sticks her thumb out. “Can you take me to Salisbury?” So she hopped in. Interesting chat etc., both like the Smiths so on goes the tape and we listened to them for a while (relevance later). I asked “Why Salisbury?” that’s where her older sister lives and that she was running away from a children’s home in Knowle West and that she has until 2pm until she would be discovered, she looked 17 (honestly officer) but was only 14. Lesson learned: “never pick up hitch hikers”.

For the next hour I was waiting for a police siren in my rear view mirror and to be pulled over and carted off to some “deliverance” style police station in bumpkinville, Somerset (or is it Wiltshire?) to be charged with kidnapping or aiding and abetting a juvenile runaway. Anyway, Salisbury could not come quick enough and I discharged my passenger. Sweating cobs by now I continued to Southampton. Blimey, give me football violence any day.

What do you expect me to do, call the police, give a statement, they could ask all sorts of awkward questions and I might miss the game?

Have to say it was good 3,000 City fans packed in the away “rain drenched” section at The Dell and a large proportion were university students from Soton/ Portsmouth, either City fans or accompanying their City mates to the match with about the other half being the usual hardcore Manc based fans.

One nil down at half time, the disgruntlement was beginning to kick in and this was in the “Swales out” era and his incompetent chairmanship of the club was beginning to rear its ugly head. His poor stewardship at City was well documented but I am grateful to him as he did help me get an A in a college business study paper. I had to write about two business figures, one that I admired and one that I despised; it was a compare / contrast essay so I chose Richard Branson and Captain Combover.

Quote Swales: “I’ve just sold the image rights of the club (the old badge with the ship; he sold the rights to the souvenir shop) to an external company for £75 grand, that’s a great piece of business for City”. I think at the time Man Utd turned over £75 grand in one afternoon at OT.

Quote Swales: “I had to sack Ron Saunders, he was no good for Citeh.” Ron Saunders then took Aston Villa to 3 domestic trophies and I think he resigned just before they won the European Cup. Billy McNeill was sacked and Jimmy Frizzell was in charge. A masterstroke in Sept 86.

I get depressed thinking about him sometimes but the joy of getting a top grade in the paper numbed the pain of his rank amateurish business skills and he had the ability to make Mr Bean appear organised.

And so back to the Dell, a rain soaked uncovered away end losing 1-0. The 2nd half chants for Swales were getting more vociferous and more negative as chance after chance went begging for City and then it started. To the tune of Panic by the legendary Smiths.

This single reached number of 11 of the charts in July 1986, was still getting airplay by the decent jocks (Messrs Peel, Jenson) and had the catchy chorus “Hang the DJ” berating the sad old “smashy/nicey” guard of Radio 1 i.e. Dave Lee Travis, Gary Davies, Mike Reid and the mawkish Simon Bates.

We sang for at least a full 15 minutes: “Hang the Chairman, Hang the Chairman, Hang the Chairman”.

Then we equalised (forgot who scored but it was a header) and we sang “We love you City”. Final score 1-1. A point on the road and not arrested for abducting a minor was indeed a bonus. I drove home this time avoiding Salisbury.

I never heard the song again, I never picked up a hitchhiker again, I never went to the Dell again, I moved to London in Jan 87 and I never went to Bristol again. Although I have been back to Salisbury on business, nice place.

I hope the hitchhiker found safety with her sister.

Roll on St Andrews on Saturday.



Does anyone know if this is going ahead again this year?

I entered it last year, but can’t seem to find the contact details of the person who arranged it.

[If it’s the CSA one organised by Alex Channon, then I think it is happening David – Ed]

David Ford <>


League table to 25 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 Manchester Utd  31 14  1  1 37  5  9  3  3 27 10 23  4  4  64  15  49  73
 2 Chelsea         31 10  5  0 31 10 10  3  3 24 13 20  8  3  55  23  32  68
 3 Arsenal         31 12  4  0 33 10  7  6  2 26 14 19 10  2  59  24  35  67
 4 Liverpool       31  9  6  1 38 12  7  5  3 17 12 16 11  4  55  24  31  59
 5 Everton         31  9  3  3 28 13  8  3  5 20 13 17  6  8  48  26  22  57
 6 Portsmouth      31  6  7  2 22 12  8  1  7 22 21 14  8  9  44  33  11  50
 7 Aston Villa     31  8  3  5 25 19  5  7  3 27 21 13 10  8  52  40  12  49
 8 Blackburn R.    31  7  5  4 21 16  6  5  4 21 22 13 10  8  42  38   4  49
 9 Manchester City 31 10  4  2 23 14  3  6  6 13 20 13 10  8  36  34   2  49
10 West Ham United 31  6  5  4 18 18  6  3  7 16 19 12  8 11  34  37  -3  44
11 Tottenham H.    31  8  3  4 43 26  2  6  8 17 25 10  9 12  60  51   9  39
12 Middlesbrough   31  5  4  6 15 19  3  6  7 13 25  8 10 13  28  44 -16  34
13 Newcastle Utd   31  6  5  5 20 24  2  3 10 13 33  8  8 15  33  57 -24  32
14 Wigan Athletic  31  7  3  5 18 14  1  4 11 10 31  8  7 16  28  45 -17  31
15 Reading         31  8  1  7 19 22  1  3 11 18 36  9  4 18  37  58 -21  31
16 Sunderland      31  7  3  5 17 15  1  3 12 10 33  8  6 17  27  48 -21  30
17 Birmingham City 31  4  6  5 20 18  2  3 11 15 30  6  9 16  35  48 -13  27
18 Bolton Wndrs    31  5  5  6 18 15  1  3 11 10 30  6  8 17  28  45 -17  26
19 Fulham          31  4  5  7 19 26  0  6  9  8 25  4 11 16  27  51 -24  23
20 Derby County    31  1  4 10  8 25  0  3 13  6 40  1  7 23  14  65 -51  10

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1416