Newsletter #1468

The euphoria of Sunday’s result was soon brought back down by Wednesday night’s cup game at Brighton. Yet another “giant” killing and the only words that come to mind are Typical City. We have news from Alex tonight on the match reactions, player reviews and rumours.

Also opinion on recent performances, player comments, testimonials and usual requests.

Next up, the pie eaters.

Next Game: Wigan Athletic, away, 4pm Sunday 28 September 2008


General News

Manchester Sheikhy: The £210 million Arabian takeover has finally been completed and Manchester City is officially the richest club in the world. Good times. Losing to Brighton on penalties, bad times. Things are never easy at City but they may just be about to get a little easier with the new man in charge. Owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan (imagine how long it’s taken me to type that correctly) is the man in charge but has appointed trusted friend and colleague Khaldoon Al Mubarak as Chairman designate. Mr Al Mubarak was quick to lay out the long term plans for the future: “We’re extremely happy; we’re delighted that we are now part of Manchester City. We think that this is a wonderful club with a tremendous history and heritage. Our investment is one for the future. One thing that I think is important and that I want to emphasise straight away, is that the Academy is a priority. From the business perspective, the future of this Club is to continue to produce talents like Micah Richards, Michael Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips.” He also added that his charge will not be the same as that at collapsing Newcastle United: “Between Mark and Garry, I think we have a dynasty in the making. And I think we are going to have a blast doing it! I’ve made clear to Mark any player he wants comes from him. It comes from his requirements, his plan for the club. I’m a fan, but I am not an expert.”

Genuine Concern… Or Would That be Worry? Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been very quick to give his opinion on City’s new ownership. The Frenchman, who has forever worked on a small budget at Arsenal, seemed to genuinely worry about the game and its future if the Premier League continues to accept foreign ownership and yet as arguably the least consistent of the ‘big four’, it could be fair to say that City’s new found wealth is a major threat to the Gunners: “It doesn’t look like they are there to make any money. So if they are not there to make money out of it, then are they buying it out of love? Well, I am not sure these people are supporters of Manchester City from a young age. So then comes a further question: Why are they doing it? Why have they bought the club? I can’t really find a rational answer.”

Jamo Reserves Opinion: David ‘Calamity’ James, what a week for the former City ‘keeper. Having conceded six goals on his former turf at Eastlands and then allowed four goals to beat him on home soil, you’d think the week couldn’t get much worse for the England international. And yet for those who read the papers earlier this week, there was a brilliant article where Jamo was interviewed about what he thought with regards to new City star Robinho. “So David, do you know anything about Robinho? ‘I know nothing about him.’ Is he the sort of footballer you like to watch? ‘Don’t know anything about him.’ Don’t you watch much foreign football? ‘No.’ Did you see his goal last week? ‘The deflection? Yeah, I saw that.” Never before have mindgames failed so poorly and in an attempt to knock the confidence of the Brazilian striker he went on to dominate the game at CoMS.

Manchester vs. Madrid: For the first time in years Real Madrid, who have forever been a thorn in the side of Stretford Reds, didn’t quite get their way in the summer transfer window. The Spanish side, who seem to believe they have some divine right to any player who impresses them, not only missed out on their main target this summer (some Portuguese winger who apparently impressed last season) but they also lost one of their brightest young stars to Continentally unknown Manchester City. Yes, we’ve all been there, holidaying in France, Spain, Portugal and you reply that you support Manchester City you get the response: “Oh Beckham, Giggs, Scholes”. How terrible for Real manager to lose such a huge star to a club that hardly anyone in his country know of. Having questioned the intentions of Robinho and quality of the City side, former team-mate of the now Real manager, Mark Hughes had his say: “Straight away, it’s (the signing of Robinho) a statement of intent. It’s not our aim to be a mid-table club for a couple of years. Robinho has come to a team he feels is going places. Maybe, in a few years, Bernd will change his view on his decision.”

Squad News

Feed the Jo and He Will Score: Robinho isn’t the only one currently making the headlines for City at the moment; there’s SWP, Stephen Ireland and of course former CSKA striker Jo. The lanky Brazilian has already become a crowd favourite with his own adaptation of the famous “Feed the Goat” anthem and Sparky believes that the £19 million youngster will only go from strength to strength. Talking after the AC Omonia game, the manager said: “He’s still a young man, but he has a great future ahead of him. When you arrive at a new club you want to settle quickly, you want to score your first goal and sometimes you can a little anxious. I think that was the case with Jo, he was so keen to get the first one and he was not helped by the surface with that first one. Once he scored, he was fine; he worked really hard for the team and put in a big effort. I’m really pleased that he was able to get on the score sheet twice.”

Dunne Deal Pleases Skipper: It’s hard to believe a City side currently that doesn’t include fan hero Richard Dunne but the four times Fans’ Player of the Year has recently told of how close he was to moving to Portsmouth. With all the turmoil and upset that occurred during the latter part of last season, Dunne explains just how unsettling the period was but how he never wanted to leave the club: “It was an unsettling time for me, especially as my wife is expecting our second child, and the last thing we wanted to do was leave the Manchester area. But in truth, we just wanted to go away on holiday and for me to carry on playing for City – that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I didn’t need to think of my future anymore and I want to play for Manchester City for a long time. What has happened in the summer in terms of bringing in the players we have is just great.”

Invincible Ireland: The young Irish midfielder who was almost sold to Sunderland this summer has impressed on a grand scale so far this season and is enjoying the new adventure that City are about the embark upon. Both Manager and Captain have paid tribute to Ireland’s performances. Hughes claimed: “Stephen has arguably been our best player all season. He has put in some fantastic performances. He makes some fantastic recovery runs but myself and the coaching staff cannot take the credit for the condition he is in because he worked so hard during the summer and came back with a real determination to show that he wanted to be part of what we are doing.” Fellow Irish International and skipper Richard Dunne pointed out Ireland’s man of the match performance against Pompey as the pinnacle of Ireland’s fledgling career so far: “I think the Portsmouth game just topped it off. With all the flair players around him he doesn’t look out of place at all. The style of play that we are playing really suits him and the freedom that he’s getting is right up his street. He’s playing with a smile on his face and he looks like he’s really enjoying it.” Stevie Ireland himself told of the atmosphere at the club and how beneficial it is to everyone associated with City: “We’re ecstatic, we’re on a high, we’re buzzing and we are really looking forward to our next few games coming up with the form that we are in. At the moment we feel we are invincible, we are going from strength to strength and we’re in great form.”

‘Robby’ or ‘Ronny’? Though Stretford Reds seem to have a rather talented albeit arrogant youngster from Portugal, do his talents genuinely compare with the new hero at Eastlands? Personally I think not, I think Robinho has that extra edge and whilst I’d be stupid to say I don’t rate Ronaldo, Robinho just doesn’t make mistakes, every time he gets the ball the fans are awaiting something special. Jo seems to agree with me as he compliments his fellow Brazilian City Striker: “Robinho will be a massive hit. He is one of the best in the world in terms of going past people. For me, he is even better than Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Just for Laughs: Transfer deadline day was possibly the greatest in the history of the sport as City not only signed a world class player but also took the mickey out of United as they made a deadline bid for Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov. Now it seems that the Berbs deal has left United out of pocket and they are refusing to seal the Carlos Tevez deal until next summer (when his two year loan deal ends). In the meantime City (who are super rich just in case you’d missed the last 3 weeks) are preparing a £30 million deal with MSI, the company who own Tevez’s contract. Tevez’s adviser Kia Joorabchian was quick to deny rumours of any move to City and yet he was stood at Eastlands as he said it. Joorabachian has been hugely influential in various big money moves in the Premier League in recent years including the transfer of Robinho to City and reportedly has full access to the City boardroom. A move for a United striker? I’d pay £30 million to watch Tevez sit on the bench as Ched scores goal after goal for the Blues. City may also spoil the party for Ferguson as they up their attempts to sign French striker Karim Benzema. France’s brightest talent has been linked with a move to Stretford for 18 months now but Ferguson is yet to make his move. Hughes is prepared to make the first move with a £25 million bid yet is believed that the sell-out clause in Benzema’s contract is worth 100 million euros.

New Maradona: Years after supposedly missing out on a move for one of the greatest players in the sport’s history, City are reportedly intending to take advantage of their ‘second chance’. Whether it be hearsay or not, City were once linked with the great Maradona himself and now in this new era for the club, City have their eyes firmly focused on Argentina’s next young talent, Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid. The twenty year old Olympic gold medal winner is perceived as as great a prospect as Lionel Messi. It would mean breaking the British transfer record but the words ‘drop’, ‘in’, and ‘ocean’ come to mind.

Post Match Reaction

Istanbul Istanbul We Are Coming: Considering Midtjylland challenged City to the death in their previous UEFA Cup round, you have to be reasonably impressed with City’s win away in Cyprus. 2-1 will do for now and it could have been more had Jo been a bit more in touch with finding the back of the net. Manager Hughes stated: “In the end we got there and I thought it was a good, professional European performance and once we got our noses in front we were never in danger of losing the game I felt. On another night we would have won the game a lot more comfortably. Winning 2-1 is a good result in Europe and it was a good performance away from home.”

Manchester Sixy (vs. Portsmouth): Next up was the best result in about 32 years and though I like Portsmouth and respect their fans, it was nice to win if only to simply try to silence those drums! As Redknapp berated his defence and Sylvain Distin was consistently reminded of the score, Hughes gleamed with pride as he said: “It’s always difficult when you’ve had a European game on the Thursday and they have to prepare very quickly for a tough Premier League game, as we had today, against a good Portsmouth side. Straight from the off I thought we were excellent and never really allowed Portsmouth any foothold in the game at any point in the game. As a consequence along with fantastic individual performances, of which there were many today, the team ethic and work rate as well as our ability to recognise situations and make the most of them were outstanding today.”

Typical (vs. Brighton and Hove Albion): Of course we were going to lose last night! Whoever thought we could beat Brighton, City just don’t make things that easy. On the down side, we’re out of our most realistic chance of winning a trophy; on the up side, I hope to speak to you all about last night in Turkey around mid-May because less games means more focus (I hope). Hughes, who was clearly disappointed with such an anti-climax, explained: “Unfortunately in extra time we switched off again and allowed them to take the lead. We showed character to get level and get to penalties, but we should have never allowed it to get to that stage with the chances we had in the second half, when we should have put the game to bed. Credit to Brighton, they ran every ball down. Once it went to penalties it’s a lottery that could have gone either way. Unfortunately we missed out, we move on but good luck to Brighton.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


I remember us thumping Swindon 6-0 at Maine Road in the dark days of Frank Clark, a game also memorable for Barry Conlon’s début. He nearly scored too. “Barry’s Gonna Get You!” was the chant of the day.

Peter Sidell <rockcityblue(at)>


In reply to Philip Van Gass (MCIVTA 1467):

The last 6-0 win I remember is when we beat Swindon 6-0 at Maine Road back in Division 1 in the 97/98. This was with Frank Clark in charge if I remember right. Kinky scored a stunning free kick that day.

More info on that:
Man City: Margetson, Brightwell, Beesley, Wiekens, Symons, Edghill, Dickov (Scully 85), Horlock, Bradbury, Kinkladze (Conlon 77), Brannan.
Subs Not Used: van Blerk.
Booked: Dickov, Brightwell.
Goals: Bradbury 80, Casper 17 og, Dickov 50, 59, Horlock 37, Kinkladze 7.

Jason Coleman <mctid82(at)>


After watching such a dazzling display of attacking football against Pompey, I would not want to put a bet on when City will win 6-0 again, but hopefully it will happen again sooner rather than later.

What is important is that the team play with the same spirit and confidence in our other games.

What a deal Sparky has made by letting Vedran Corluka go for £8.5 million, and bringing in Pabio Zabaleta for £6.0 million; so far I prefer Zabeleta – he is strong going into tackles, and passes the ball well.

Ireland looked very much part of the new City set up, playing as a playmaker, setting up some good passes that split up the defence; now can he be consistent?

Another good buy by Sparky has got to be Kompany who has been playing with so much enthusiasm and skill.

Bringing SWeeP back home was a masterstroke that was supported by many City supporters who signed a petition to bring him back to City.

I’m not going to be very concerned about Jo and Robinho, come the colder wet weather that Manchester can produce in the winter months. Put on some thermal undies and they will be fine, their enthusiasm for the game will overcome any weather.

Dunne and Micah will get their act together again as a good combination of a central defence; we saw it in the first part of last season.

Michael Johnson should be back from injury soon, and we all know what Elano is capable of doing. Petrov will be back soon from injury, another player with flair for attacking.

The club did try to offload some players before the season started but without success; these same players will probably not feature as substitutes in the main games, but come unexpected injuries, some player might get a new lease on his career with City.

Sparky is getting his “jigsaw puzzle” right, putting the players in the right positions, and building his team, which are mainly young players; the future looks great.

Steve Kay has worked very hard to build up his City stats site, which I have visited several times, a great website for City fans, I truly recommend it.

As regards to Steve’s list of who we will think will be leaving the club, come January or by the end of the season, I don’t think that I will be naming players so early, a good example of this how can you pick out Ireland to leave in the winter after a stunning performance against Portsmouth? it will remain now how he continues to play. Some players might excel given the chance to play in the company of great players.

The City squad is a very good squad and this is what is needed; some players that will be happy to stay with the club knowing that they might have to be on the bench for many games.

I think that it would be interesting to keep records of the players’ ratings from every game, and add them up every month until the end of the season.

Going forward, let’s hope that we keep injury free, and if we are able to stay in all cup competitions for good runs then Sparky will have to rotate some players to keep the players fresh. The squad is important, and keeping all players with a good morale is key.

After a brilliant game on Sunday, dare I say it “Typical City” out of the Carling Cup to Brighton. Brighton, who are in the middle of Division One table, took City to extra time then to a penalty shoot out.

I did not see this game so I cannot make comments other than the score against us after Michael Ball missed a penalty.

Agreed, it was not the same team that played on Sunday, but just hours after me making a statement that we have a great squad, what happened?

So much for my thinking eh! I said last season after going out of the Carling Cup, “I don’t like Carling beer anyway”.

Come on you Blues! In Sparky we trust.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


How ironic that the formal change of ownership will take place on the 23rd September.

This was the date (in 1989) of the biggest ‘false dawn’ up to that date when nearly half of the 5-1 team were the class of ’86 Youth Cup winning side and we were sure we were on the verge of having the best team since the end of the 70s.

Well this time it’s for real and our club will never be the same again.

We are already unrecognisable from only a few months ago. So here’s to the future, onwards and upwards!

Graham Aldred <graham.nina(at)>


Over the last couple of weeks a lot of comment has been raised over whether changes in ownership and the infusion of ridiculous amounts of money might undermine the traditions of our great club. A great club of which my daughter is now a fourth generation supporter – she may be the fifth generation but we’re not sure whom her great-great-grandfather supported.

It’s good to see that despite all these goings on, City have stuck with tradition after all and, having played like champions on Sunday, were perfectly capable of losing to the Dagenham Girl Pipers on Wednesday.

City are still City. CTID.

Jon Davenport <jdavenport(at)>


I know Steve Kay’s piece about comings and goings (MCIVTA 1467) was meant to be a bit of fun, but have to wonder why the player who has been our best man in the last 5 matches (Mark Hughes’ words not mine) will leave in the winter window … whatever hair style he chooses?

Jack Millington <jack(at)>


It was pleasing to read, amongst all the news and hype about the millions pouring into the club, the piece about Neil Young, amongst others, who have graced the hallowed turf of Maine Road down the years.

I remember these players with great affection, and even earlier ones such as Swift, Ewing, Paul, and Barnes, too many to mention.

It would be truly wonderful if a Testimonial/Benefit sort of fixture could be arranged. These players are our history and form part of our club’s heritage.

Brian Rawling <brian.rawling(at)>


I always read the MCIVTA with great pleasure, but never bother to write. However, I would like to back up the comment from Robert Sleigh proposing a long lost testimonial for Neil Young. I started supporting City aged 9 in 1972. There would be no finer way for ADUG to demonstrate its commitment to this entity we call a Club than to organise a financial and emotional homecoming for one of our favourites from that era. Otherwise, it’s just a toy for the boys from Dubai.

Let’s see how they respond to an idea like this.

Martin Brown <lehrerbrown(at)>


That Istanbul Chant Ian is:

Istanbul Istanbul we are coming
Istanbul Istanbul I pray
Istanbul Istanbul we are coming
We are coming at the end of May

I also enjoyed this one from the South Stand on Sunday:

Hi Ho Hi Ho
We’ve got Robinho
With Petrov, Jo and Elano
Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho Hi Ho

I think Jo needs his own chant; Feed the Jo was a poor effort.

Stephen Wadsworth <stewadda(at)>


A bedside rug, a bedside lamp and a bed cover, what is so important about these things? Not a lot other than 30 years ago these were the objects my father used to brainwash me with before I knew any better into thinking that City were the greatest and only team in the word, for these 3 objects bore the City crest. On a side note, the rug and the bed cover I still have somewhere and when the wife’s not looking they shall be passed to my son as honoured and revered family heirlooms that one day he may pass to his son, though with our new found wealth and stature in the world of football, he shouldn’t have quite as much trouble convincing his son that City are the greatest as my father had. Especially as my first games at Maine Road a few years later was a 0-4 drubbing by Liverpool!

Anyway, where am I going with all this wittering you may ask? It’s fantastic that City now seem to have everything in place and in a couple of years we could be on our way to challenging for trophies year after year but I’ve found it somewhat annoying in the last couple of weeks a lot has been said about our beloved City, and most of it negative, but only it seems from the “big 4”. Everyone one seems to be questioning why Robinho came to City, and indeed why ADUG would want to buy City? Well let’s see, City have a great Academy, great ground, great support, great young manager and as seen at the start of last season when for the first 3 months of the season we were being talked of as top 6 finishers, a lot of potential. For a player, what’s not to like, especially as he can earn huge wages, and for investors who could buy the ground and maybe some of the surrounding area and develop that, what’s not to like? Huge potential that just needs to be harnessed in the right way.

It’s got to me a little more than I should have let it I suppose, all of the jealously regarding City; it seems that the big 4 don’t like the idea of having their monopoly (although you can’t really have a monopoly if you have 4, more of an oligopoly, but I’m going off at a tangent here…) of Champions’ League entry challenged by City and indeed Villa or Everton. Seven does not go into 4 and whilst City, United and Chelski can handle the financial impact of missing out of the £20 million plus TV revenue, how well can the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal? Whilst I don’t see them imploding the way Leeds did (and how I’ve loved watching that over the last couple of years), if they miss out on it for a year or three it could have a big impact on them, and then where will they be? Not in the big 6 or 7, it could go back to the big 4. Nobody seemed to mind Blackburn getting the money, or Chelski, so why mind City getting it? We seem to have them on the run and we’ve not even started flexing the financial muscles.

The final point I’d like to touch on, not that I’ve really made any points at all so far in this ramble, is this, had this been a London side, would we have had all this negativity coming out? Let’s take Tottenham, who are it seems tipped to be the team year in, year out who are going to break into the big 4, and year in, year out they fail to deliver, just like now. I’m sure they will come good at some point this season, but had they been the ones to receive the money, would Arsene Whinger, sorry Wenger really have been putting them down as much as he has City this week, or any of the rest that have come out and questioned the reasons for buying us or Robinho moving to the north? I think not. Heaven forbid that Southern clubs should play second best to Northern ones. It does make me laugh to hear people go on about how London is so much better than Manchester, ha! I’ve lived and partied in both and I’d take Manchester on a cold wet Saturday night any time. Cockneys are so far up their own backsides, if you stopped and ask them for the time of day they would probably think you were after their watch.

One final request: going to be in Seattle Redmond area for a couple of months, anyone know where I can watch City?

CTID, Mark Forsyth <md_forsyth(at)>


I am in Dublin on the day of the Liverpool match and was wondering if anyone could suggest a decent Blue bar in which to watch the match?

Craig Jevons <craigjevons(at)>


I know it’s some way off for the derby on 30 November but I will be in Miami Beach on Collins Avenue and wonder if anyone knows of a sports bar or similar that will be open at 08.30 on a Sunday morning in or near the Art Deco area or a short drive away? Thanks in advance.

Fred Bullock <frederick_bullock(at)>


I wrote last year and got some excellent advice regarding my first trip to the UK. I was able to take in the 3-1 win vs. Boro, and generally had a great time in England.

Anyhow, it turns out I’ll likely be in London in early April, and as City play at Arsenal on April 4, just wondering how difficult it might be to score a ticket or two for that match?

Any info or advice appreciated!

Alan Jackson – Langley, BC, Canada <ajbj76(at)>


Shauny’s coming home

Another class song from Colin Rudd – now that SWP is home. Enjoy and check out some of Colin’s other City-related songs too:

Richard <r.barter(at)>


League table to 24 September 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          5  2  0  0  4  0  2  0  1  7  2  4  0  1  11   2   9  12
 2 Chelsea          5  1  2  0  6  2  2  0  0  4  1  3  2  0  10   3   7  11
 3 Liverpool        5  2  1  0  4  2  1  1  0  1  0  3  2  0   5   2   3  11
 4 Aston Villa      5  1  1  0  4  2  2  0  1  6  5  3  1  1  10   7   3  10
 5 Manchester City  5  2  0  1 10  3  1  0  1  5  4  3  0  2  15   7   8   9
 6 West Ham United  5  3  0  0  9  3  0  0  2  2  6  3  0  2  11   9   2   9
 7 Hull City        5  1  1  1  4  8  1  1  0  3  2  2  2  1   7  10  -3   8
 8 Sunderland       5  1  0  2  2  4  1  1  0  3  2  2  1  2   5   6  -1   7
 9 Everton          5  0  0  2  2  6  2  1  0  7  5  2  1  2   9  11  -2   7
10 Blackburn R.     5  1  1  1  2  5  1  0  1  4  6  2  1  2   6  11  -5   7
11 Fulham           4  2  0  0  3  1  0  0  2  1  3  2  0  2   4   4   0   6
12 Middlesbrough    5  2  0  0  4  2  0  0  3  2  6  2  0  3   6   8  -2   6
13 Portsmouth       5  1  0  1  2  2  1  0  2  3 10  2  0  3   5  12  -7   6
14 Wigan Athletic   5  0  1  1  1  2  1  1  1  6  2  1  2  2   7   4   3   5
15 Manchester Utd   4  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  1  3  3  1  2  1   4   4   0   5
16 Bolton Wndrs     5  1  1  1  4  4  0  0  2  1  3  1  1  3   5   7  -2   4
17 West Brom A.     5  1  0  2  5  6  0  1  1  0  1  1  1  3   5   7  -2   4
18 Stoke City       5  1  0  1  5  5  0  1  2  2  5  1  1  3   7  10  -3   4
19 Newcastle Utd    5  1  0  1  2  2  0  1  2  2  7  1  1  3   4   9  -5   4
20 Tottenham H.     5  0  1  2  2  4  0  1  1  2  3  0  2  3   4   7  -3   2

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1468