Newsletter #1485

Match report from Phil and views tonight on a great game and result against Arsenal.

We also have opinion on the manager and team, in particular the Brazilian psyche, and more from Markus on the forthcoming Schalke game.

Next Game: Schalke, away, 6pm Thursday 27 November 2008 (UEFA)


Manchester City gave Arsenal a football lesson to deservedly win by three goals to nil at Eastlands. Yes, you read it right, and it could well have been five or six as City ran out comfortable winners to richly earn a scoreline that was last achieved when Imre Varadi (2) and Paul Stewart netted in a low key end of season game against George Graham’s fledgling side that included Paul Merson et al back in April 1987.

In a show of faith in the skipper, Mark Hughes restored Richard Dunne in defence for Tal Ben Haim. Shaun Wright-Phillips and Stephen Ireland continued in their central midfield rôles, either side of Vincent Kompany who was in his holding rôle.

Arsenal dominated the early stages, passing the ball around in quintessential Wenger style, with Samir Nasri, their chief prompter, drifting in from the left, and he was thwarted when Hart dived smartly to his left to push out his goal bound thirty yard free kick. For City, Vassell wouldn’t be most people’s choice out on the right and clearly lacked confidence, but the question has to be asked: how does it help us when certain so-called ‘fans’ get on his back? The visitors were also helped by City surrendering possession too easily in the early stages. Even the normally accurate Stephen Ireland was guilty of giving the ball away on a couple of occasions early on, but he more than made up for this temporary blip with his brilliant workrate and terrier-like tackling in central midfield, and he played his way into the game.

Indeed it was the tenacity of Ireland, Wright-Phillips and Kompany that started to turn the game for City, as Arsenal started to run out of ideas in a tight first half. The City midfield trio’s controlled aggression and sharp tackling denied Arsenal space and broke up their rhythm. City might have taken the lead after Wright-Phillips played in Vassell who crossed low from the right, but Benjani was unable to get enough of a touch and the ball flashed wide of Almunia’s right hand post. The highly impressive Wright-Phillips then exchanged passes with Zabaleta and teased an accurate cross into the Gunners’ box, but Benjani headed over.

Just as it seemed that the first half would end in stalemate, Stephen Ireland broke the deadlock with one of those runs from midfield that are becoming his trademark. No player deserved it more than this brilliant young midfield magician, whose self-motivated, extra training in the summer (even before Mark Hughes was appointed) is reaping rich dividends for City. Benjani played in the young Irishman who continued his run as Zabaleta played the ball through the back-pedalling Arsenal defence. Ireland was ideally positioned take the return pass and coolly lift the ball over Almunia into the Arsenal net for his eighth goal of the season. Eastlands crackled with elation and the icy air was suddenly warmed up a few degrees to the strains of ‘Ireland is Superman’.

Arsenal tried to hit back after the break, playing their intricate passing game, but their efforts lacked direction: Abu Diaby failing to give Javier Garrido much to worry about and van Persie’s free kick was wide of Hart’s left hand post at the South Stand end. A combination of Dunne and Garrido cleared Clichy’s searching cross but that was to be the last time that the City support was to be unduly worried.

With Wright-Phillips, Ireland and Kompany snapping into tackles, City took a stranglehold of midfield and we looked more likely to score than Arsenal. Vassell crossed from the right and Benjani fired wide.

‘Robinho hasn’t done much today’, said my wife, and it was impossible to disagree. Cue Robinho adding to City’s lead with a goal of outstanding beauty! Wright-Phillips broke down the middle and played a perfectly-timed, exquisite, defence splitting pass into Robinho’s path in the inside left channel, and the Brazilian superstar delightfully lobbed the ball over Almunia with great skill. Beautiful, brilliant, Braziliant! Robinho continued the entertainment by sucking his thumb again and bowing to us in the Colin Bell Stand.

Arsenal tried to hit back: Hart made a double save from the ponderous Bendtner, but City held sway with Ireland and Wright-Phillips pulling the strings in midfield. Indeed it was a matter of how many we would score. Robinho headed wide, and then was inexplicably denied what should have been a second. Wright-Phillips played in Robinho who played a one-two with Vassell and cleverly back-heeled in. Television replays later showed that the Brazilian was level when the ball was played back in.

Arsenal huffed and puffed with Song having a shot easily saved by Hart, Van Persie blazing over and Denilson hopelessly wide. The Arsenal laundry will need plenty of Persil to clean van Persie’s kit, given the amount of time he spent diving onto the turf They can scrub and scrub and repeatedly yell ‘Out, damn spot’ until they are hoarse, but they will never remove the stain of cheating.

Still City pressed for more goals, much to our delight. Wright-Phillips didn’t get the goal that his virtuoso performance richly deserved when his shot was deflected wide. City may have been awarded a penalty when Robinho’s shot hit a hand from the resultant corner. Substitute Elano cleverly threaded a defence splitting pass through to Robinho, who rounded Almunia, but his goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Djourou. Unfortunately, Robinho turned his ankle in shooting and that was the end of his afternoon as he hobbled off. He should hopefully be back for next Sunday’s derby.

Danny Sturridge, on for Benjani, went on a cheeky run into the box and along the bye-line, only to be tripped by Djourou. Referee Wiley immediately pointed to the spot and Sturridge grabbed the ball; there was no way that he was he going to part with it. Elano quite demonstrably expected to take the penalty in the absence of Robinho and his bottom lip noticeably protruded; he failed to show any joy as Sturridge and several team mates celebrated the young striker sending Almunia the wrong way for three-nil. Both players need to grow up a bit here, and Dunne, as captain should have sorted it out.

It would be wrong to dwell on this aberration on an afternoon of so many positives. Ireland and Wright-Phillips are not known for their terrier like aggression, but they are becoming even better for having this in their armoury. I lost count of how many times they robbed their opponents of the ball. This will only serve City well in the long run, even when Wright-Phillips is back out on the wing. Whilst it’s still early days in his City career, much credit is due to Stephen Ireland for his progress. Mark Hughes also deserves plaudits for harnessing Ireland’s talent and drive in a rôle that maximises those immense skills.

No one is getting carried away at City. Whilst it’s true that a transitional Arsenal are not in their best shape right now, with William Gallas on the naughty step, and one or two notables like Adebayor and Fabregas missing from this occasion, the Gunners still fielded some talents like Nasri, van Persil and other much-vaunted youngsters here, so City did what they had to do and did it very well indeed.

Mark Hughes got his tactics spot on, and deserves credit for the way that he set his team up to beat Arsenal. Indeed he, his coaching staff and the City team applied themselves very well to the task, and a win against a ‘big four’ side is not to be underestimated. Hughes is employing Wright-Phillips to bring more running power to central midfield, and City’s narrow three man midfield were instrumental in winning this game. Whilst Vassell is clearly struggling down the right, he did still create a couple of chances and provided more pace and closing down than Elano can. When another strong midfield player is signed, we will hopefully see Wright-Phillips freed to terrorise left backs up and down the land. Hughes has his critics, some of whom cannot get past the fact that he once played for the wrong team, but he and his coaching staff made the best of their resources in this game, and are making progress with this squad. After all, what is more important: City’s progress or pandering to a few petty prejudices? Thankfully, most City fans see the bigger picture. Crucially the board are showing faith in a very good young manager and his exciting, embryonic team.

Hart: Made crucial saves at crucial moments 7.
Zabaleta: Another good all round performance from the Argentine 7.
Richards: Did well in his physical battle with Bendtner 7.
Dunne: Solid, assertive and nearer to his best 7.
Garrido: Improving with experience 6.
Vassell: Started off very poorly, lacking in confidence, but creditably battled back to create two chances 6.
Wright-Phillips: Constantly tenacious in the engine room and always inventive. He and Ireland were the main influences in this victory 8.
Kompany: Several crunching tackles in a good aggressive performance: his physical presence was vital to City 7.
Ireland: A class act, all-action in midfield, finished his goal superbly 8.
Robinho: Took his goal brilliantly 7.
Benjani: Should have scored at least once in the first half 6.
Elano: One absolutely delightful pass in his cameo 7.
Sturridge: Cleverly won the penalty. City must secure his future 7.
Hamann: Steady 6.

Att: 44,878
Refwatch: Alan Wiley: Greater respect will be earned when referees don’t continually fall for diving and cheating 5.
Arsenal fans: Backed their team right to the end with a continuous ‘We lav you Arsenal’ 7.
City fans: Traded chants well with our ‘mates’ from North London. ‘Ireland is Superman’ was rousing. More patience needed from some 7.
Best oppo: Nasri: Skilful and very inventive down their left 7.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


City 3 Arse-nil. Not a match report, just some observations. If you want to beat Arsenal (and how much have we City fans wanted us to do that over the decades?), you have to ‘get in their faces’, i.e. stifle their passing game. I thought Mark Hughes got it spot on.

For instance, although Vassell was a (in my opinion, silly) victim of the boo boys, he kept Clichy fully occupied. Anyone who watches Arse-nil will know that Clichy is often one of their most potent attacking forces. SWP, Kompany and the wonderful Ireland bossed midfield. So much so that, from memory, Joe Hart had only one shot to save in the first half, and that was a set piece shot by Naffri. With Dunne and Richards back in sync together and functioning well, we killed off their attack. That gave us the platform for the second half, after the killer goal on the stroke of half-time.

Another delightful, thoughtful, finish from the ever improving Ireland. Add a dazzling piece of Brazillian impudence, after a determined SWP won the ball (from the nasty Persie) then releasing the killer through ball. Even the sight of young Sturridge not letting the petulant Elano have the ball for the last minute penalty made me smile. I might be wrong, but in my (aging) memory it was the early seventies, the last time we scored 3 against Arse-nil, definitely one to savour anyway.

There now comes a ten day period in which we have 4 matches, which could well define our season. Starting Thursday 27th November against Schalke away, United at home Sunday, PSG at home Wednesday, followed by Fulham away on Saturday 6th December. Truly a tough programme in so short a space of time. Especially as all 4 are running into form, just as we appear to be too.

Schalke beat M’gladbach 3-1 at the weekend, PSG beat Champions Lyon 1-0, Fulham got a very creditable point at Anfield, after stopping Spurs in their tracks with a 2-1 win. If like me, you cannot get to the matches, all 4 are on TV. Schalke away is on Channel 5 (at 6pm). The derby match is on Sky (1.30pm). PSG is on ITV4 (7.45pm) and Fulham is on again Sky (12.45pm). Incidentally Santander beat Espanyol 3-0 at the weekend.

With Everton (h), Santander (a), WBA (a), Hull (H) and Blackburn (a) completing the fixtures up to the January transfer window, we will be either contemplating superstars begging to come or wondering what dross we will be able to attract. Being an optimist I expect us to progress to the KO stages of the UEFA cup and be knocking on the door of the top 4.

Keep smiling Blues.

Jack Millington <jack(at)>


The game was on Sky TV here in New Zealand but not shown until 10.25 Sunday morning, so had a nice sleep in.

When the teams were named and Vassell was still in the team, thought what chance we had had gone.

Give him credit for his effort but I cannot see him or ‘off side’ Benjani still in the team come January.

With the first half looking like 0-0, which would have been good as from the last few games and all the silly goals being let in, then Ireland got a great goal to put City up 1-0 at half time.

The second was even better from (who else) Robinho; wish Vassell would take some lessons! With the 2nd goal and me shouting and cheering City, our cat (asleep) jumped up with all my happy noisy – funny sight, poor Jessie the cat.

Even with a two goal lead, still not safe: Liverpool game and the back four have been letting goals for fun.

But worry not as City got a 3rd and three points were most welcome. Just to make it even better, won a few dollars as City were 40-1 for another 3-0 win.

All in all, a very nice Sunday morning, let’s hope for the same next weekend (Monday morning).

CTID (from NZ), John Lim <johncity(at)>


Whilst I have been an avid reader of MCIVTA for quite a few seasons and will always appreciate the breadth of opinion of contributions every week, I have become aware that recent rants from the City faithful are doing serious damage to my mood on the days I receive your mail shot. So I thought it was time to address the source of my weekly black cloud.

I guess there are two main ongoing themes that are causing me to write:

  1. Mark Hughes’ tactical ineptitude and general poor management skills. not tomention being Welsh.
  2. Richard Dunne “more tactical ineptitude, an error prone donkey, get rid assoon as possible”.

I guess I should own up to the fact that I am a Welsh Blue albeit one that has been away from the valleys for quite some time, and not particularly bothered or sensitive to the whole Tafia racist debate, having been called a lot worse over the years – it’s water off a sheep’s(sic) back. Contrary to the Anne Robinson (mind?)set, some of us have a sense of humour and a perspective.

I know this view is probably easier to voice now that we have beaten Arsenal for only the second time in my long-term memory but give Hughes a break. After all, this is the same manager that faced up to our Swedish tactical mastermind last season with arguably 1/4 of the budget of his, and got 4 points, not to mention the 6 that his team got the season before whilst knocking us out of the cup and took them from dead-cert relegation fodder to Europe in two seasons. This is the same manager that got Wales within 1 game of World Cup qualification in a group that contained Italy and losing out to a drug assisted Russian team in the play-offs and we all know how many quality player he had at his disposal in that campaign (Savage was our best player of that era, say no more).

For me, the positives far outweigh the negatives. We are currently second top scorers in the league, way ahead if you look at the home record. It’s the best City side to watch in 30 years and a million miles away from the dispirited bunch I saw at Middlesbrough at the end of last season.

I think Stevie “Superman” Ireland has owned up to his new found confidence and form to a manager that believes in him as well as improved training and fitness (Elano take note!). To ask for Hughes’ head after 13 games, quite frankly, beggars belief (even Swales at the height of his egotistical powers would give a manager longer than that!). This year, the league is the tightest and most competitive in my memory and we are displaying the usual City predictable unpredictability but it’s early days.

Do I have to remind the Specsaver brigade, only a decade ago I was at Wrexham on Boxing Day freezing my nuts off, looking at a City side scrape a 1-0 win to prevent us slipping into the bottom six of Division 3 (2 if you were blinkering yourself to our plight then)!

As for Dunney, he is struggling at the moment, he will be the first to admit. We all have periods where things turn against you (City fans should know this better than most) and every decision appears to backfire on you; it’s just amplified if you are part of the defence of the richest club in the world. Winning the fans’ Player of the Year award for four straight years and the club’s longest serving player obviously counts for nothing in the eyes of the most myopic McV contributor.

Has he not earned our patience and support to boost that all important confidence after his eight years of loyal and dependable service? I would like to think he’s a victim of his own terrace chant “He’s here, he’s there, he’s every f**king where” it’s just unfortunate that being ‘there’ 2 yards from goal as the ball pings off your shins into the net is the one place he’d rather not ‘be’ at the moment.

Thing is with Dunney, he’s such a strong character he will turn it round regardless of what you throw at him you see, he’s stubborn and strong like that … another donkey family trait, I believe. I guess what I am saying to all those many doubters and subscribers to modern-day “quick wins ‘beggar’ the future” mentality is: we are at the start of the ride, the start of the project of unlocking the Champions’ League funded 4 club cartel’s monopoly chest. To that end, I would suggest that McV should be focusing on the positives, rather than overly promoting the negatives.

I can then feel more of what I am feeling right now as I meet and greet some of my long-term Arsenal church-going workmates and discussing our rather flattering win (note to Wenger: disappointed that after 10 years of immersing yourself in the English language you can still mix up the verbs ‘to batter’ and ‘to flatter’!). I think City life is going to get a lot sweeter. Maybe, it’s just a period of adjustment to having our beloved City being shaped by characters without a true Manchester base. To them I say leave City in the capable hands of the men from Aberdovey and Abu Dhabi and enjoy the ride (a weird combo I know but sometimes good things come from the most unlikely alliances).

Ian Humphreys <ian.humphreys(at)>


Ian Macrory calls for a “sense of perspective” and then suggests that white British Caucasians (that is our race) insulting each other is “borderline racism”. It horrifies me to see this word diluted to cover any spat that involves parochial or tribal banter. Racism is far more serious and odious that that and we should not diminish the word by using it so loosely. The notion that black people are descended from apes is about as odious as it gets and it is impossible to hide the colour of your skin. That is the root of racism and white people’s parochial tiffs are not in the same league. When white people abuse the word racism it shows a woeful lack of thought or understanding.

Having vented my spleen on that I have to confess that I am and always will be colour-prejudiced. I hate R*ds! (although I understand it is an affliction and not their fault and the vast majority have no idea how they got the problem, nor how socially undesirable it makes them).

Martin Hunt <martin.hunt(at)>


We are now long ball merchants!

I have just returned home after the Arsenal game. Great result – for sure! However, I am now more seriously concerned about Mr Hughes, his team selection, match tactics (or total lack of them!) than ever before…

Just what does he see in Vassell that 44,000 other people can’t? Well let me explain. He played Vassell on the right wing. Therefore he had to play SWP in a central rôle to accommodate this. Everyone and I do mean everyone is aware that the only real, true and natural position for SWP is on the right wing. Why did he do this?

Simply because he didn’t want to play Elano because he has fallen out with him. Therefore he plays SWP out of position to simply accommodate Vassell due to the fact he has let his emotions get in the way of team selection and tactics.

Bad move, bad management by a poor and inexperienced manager. The sooner he goes the better for the players, the club and the fans. Clearly, Mr Hughes has read the Alex Ferguson book of management which is simply ‘my way or the highway’! And when you have achieved as much as he has (as much as I hate to say it) then you can get away with it. However, if your only credentials are a managing a rough house, pub football style of team to mid-table mediocrity – I don’t think so!

The Brazilians have a totally different style, attitude and culture to both life and football. It simply won’t work with them. It is also becoming increasingly clear that if Mr Hughes has not already ‘lost’ the dressing room he is well on his way to doing so.

It is also become highly noticeable we are now playing more and more ‘long balls’ under the stewardship of Mr Hughes. Simply humping it forward at every conceivable opportunity. The days of fast, free flowing attractive football played to feet and on the floor are rapidly disappearing and it is extremely worrying! It is clear we are preparing the way for the imminent arrival of Santa Cruz. Thus more lumping it forward and booting it high and long. This is clearly the way Mr Hughes wants to play the game and will play the game. Also, noticed how Joe Hart now lumps it forward now instead of rolling out to one of full backs who can then play forward? Yes it is there for all to see. Hence the repeated recent choice of Ched Evans over Sturridge.

To briefly summarise: We have a poor, inexperienced ‘disciplinarian’ manager who only knows how to play long ball football, humping it forward and chasing it down the park. I said it in my last correspondence to this forum and I will continue to say it… Hughes Out! Please, please, please before it’s too late.

Ray Bardsley <rbardsley(at)>


One of the best reasons for going to watch a match live is because you are not forced to only see what the camera sees. The spectator chooses to look at what they want to. Those watching the City vs. Arsenal match on TV would not have seen the little things I saw.

The thing I am particularly interested in at the moment is the chemistry between Mark Hughes and Elano, because I believe that how this develops (or not) will give the City fans an indication of how Hughes will cope with a squad full of highly paid “superstars” that are bound to populate our club in the very near future. Later in this piece I have analysed this relationship in the Arsenal game, but first some background opinion on the philosophy of a Brazilian footballer.

Firstly let us understand what philosophy means so that Mark Hughes is clear when he asks the Brazilian about theirs after reading this article! Philosophy – noun – An attitude that guides one’s behaviour.

Brazilian footballers by nature are skilful, flamboyant and want to please the crowd, right? I have read articles in City publications where Elano and Robinho talk about the poverty that surrounded them as kids, and they knew that one of the easiest ways to escape death or a life of squalor or crime is to become a skilful footballer and earn money abroad. The trouble is that every other Brazilian boy has the same dream! Elano, Robinho, Jo and Geovanni don’t come from privileged families, and have been some of the very fortunate few to “escape” and currently find themselves in England earning lots of money for themselves, and more importantly, their families. All they want to do when they get here is please their employers and supporters by performing on the pitch. That is their philosophy on life, the attitude that guides their behaviour. I have spoken to Elano and Geovanni when collecting autographs and photographs at Carrington for my website, and I wouldn’t call them egotists; in fact I found them very polite and rather humble. Like most of us, they need to feel loved and wanted by those around them, and like being told to sit in a basket is alien to my pet dogs when they really want to be playing, being sat on the bench, or worse still out of the team, is just as alien to a Brazilian footballer I would imagine. If they are not in the team, they feel unwanted and realise how far they are away from home. I think it is that simple, as that is the main reason Robinho wanted to leave Real Madrid!

So, the sooner Mark Hughes understands the philosophy of these players, the better. Robinho, Elano, Geovanni (and Jo to some extent) are flair players who must be allowed a certain amount of freedom to express themselves, whilst at the same time having coaching skills imparted on them to make them understand the demands of the team. However, the latter is of secondary importance but more rewarding for a coach if it improves.

In much the same way that Geovanni wasn’t give a fair chance last season (and look how he has flourished at Hull because he is adored by the fans and allowed to express himself), Elano is this season’s version of Geovanni at City. It may sound strange but I will always think of Geovanni as a City player, because I know he always tried to please when he had the ball at his feet during a match. It just didn’t happen enough at City, but I can see how happy he is at Hull.

Looking at the Hughes-Elano sideshow during the Arsenal match, the first half was littered with errors from both sides. The only time the crowd broke into song and applause was when substitute Elano jumped up off the bench to warm up. Not surprisingly both events coincided with mistakes by Darius Vassell, the player that most of the crowd (and Elano obviously) feel is taking up the Brazilian’s place in the starting line-up.

Mark Hughes obviously got the vibes from the crowd, and eventually Vassell made way for Elano in the 73rd minute. Elano had made a worthwhile cameo contribution during the twenty minutes he was playing, but his match ended in personal disappointment when Sturridge was brought down for a penalty, and made it clear he was going to convert it by shielding the ball from Elano (like kids selfishly do in the playground). By “preparing” the penalty spot as the Arsenal defenders argued with the referee, Elano obviously thought he would be taking the kick (after all penalty-taker Robinho was substituted and he hadn’t missed one previously as penalty-taker for City), but after a quiet word from Shaun Wright-Phillips, Elano stood with his hands on his hips on the edge of the D and watched the penalty go in. I actually thought this was a little disrespectful of Sturridge, but may give an indication of the relationship Elano has with his own team-mates. Elano didn’t join in the goal celebrations and just walked back to his position for the re-start. At full-time he was the nearest City player to the tunnel area touchline, but instead of joining his team-mates in the victory celebrations he immediately sloped off unnoticed down the tunnel with his head bowed and deep in thought. It will be interesting to see how this situation pans out, because judging by the reception given to Elano when he warmed up and was introduced, most City fans want Elano to start matches for City and be substituted if and when he fades (as Sven did last season).

Hughes should remember that since we have been fortunate enough to have such skilful Brazilians at the club, we arrive at matches fully expecting to be entertained, and if they are sat on the bench or not playing when we know they are capable of entertaining us, we are more likely to complain or voice our disapproval. The problem is that we have now been spoiled, so removing the entertainers won’t appease us!

If Mark Hughes is to remain as manager at Manchester City during this transition period, rather than fining Elano £50,000 for talking from the heart about his desire to be playing, he must embrace their philosophy, because if Elano or any other foreigners leave the club for the wrong reasons, the word will spread that Manchester City under Mark Hughes is not the place to be.

Finally, how can the City fans help make the Brazilians feel more at home, apart from being attired in green and yellow and waving Brazilian flags? Well, one way is to come up with a really original and catchy chant that makes them feel loved. After all it worked for Kinky, The Goat and Shaun Wright-Phillips, and how much do we love them? Robinho has one, but let’s face it Elano’s is a bit c**p, and poor Jo hasn’t got one at all.

To get the ball rolling here is my entry for Elano. If you hear it sung at the next match, then it’s either me, or somebody who read this piece and entered into the spirit of things!

(Sung to the tune “D.I.S.C.O.”)

He is E, he’s Exciting,
He is L, he’s a Legend,
He is A, he’s Amazing,
He is N, he’s a Natural,
He is O, O, O…
(repeat until nauseous)

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


Sam Duxbury take a bow. I’m another who believes Kasper S is a better ‘keeper that Joe Hart. Kasper has supreme confidence, which is a must for a ‘keeper, and you could tell by him yelling at his defenders he knew what he wanted. I’ve noticed Dunnie’s lack of form coincided with Hart’s lack of confidence coming for the ball. Let’s face it, if Kasper can be half as good as his dad, he’ll do me any day.

A good result today, thought Benjani and Darius had good games, and Robinho and Ireland, well what can be said? If we play to Robinho we need players like Vassell and Benjani (know a lot of people don’t want them at the club), but you always need players that do the ‘donkey’ work. Dunnie’s not finished yet.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


As a resident of Germany (in the FC Bayern catchment area) I have managed to secure the very last 2 tickets for the Schalke game for my brother-in-law and myself. The snag is that it is smack in the middle of the Viktoria Tribune where the most ardent of home fans congregate.

So those of you attending the game (or even watching on TV) look out for two City fans being the centre of unwanted attention or (at worst) being ejected. We will try to stay quiet, but if/when we score then all bets are off. Bon voyage to all travelling fans. See you there!

Paul Ardern <Paul.Ardern(at)>


Some more advice for your stay in Gelsenkirchen:

If you like to visit our self-made meeting point just follow the signs with the City badge when you leave the main exit of the Main Station! It will be at Armin Street five minutes from Main Station. You will find Police there too, but it is only to avoid trouble with the local firm!

You will get pints everywhere in the city and in front of the Schalke Arena. In the Schalke Arena you will normally get non-alcoholic beer because of the UEFA but it is possible to take one or two pints (plastic) into the ground. You can drink and smoke at the stand and on the way to the ground. It is not forbidden to drink on the street.

In the Arena you have to buy “prepaid cards” for 5, 10 or 20 Euro. It is not possible to pay cash. The pints will be 3.40 Euro. When you leave there are some counters to get the rest of your money back.

When you buy tins or bottles you have to pay deposit. There will be people collecting the empty tins and bottles when you leave the tram and near the ground.

If you have to cross a road just look on the left side first and don’t cross when the light is red. You won’t be a good example for the children!

You have to use the tram 302 to the ground and you can use every entry you like. It depends not on the ticket.

It is necessary to pay ordered pints directly cash like in England. If you want to tip someone, you should give the handling money extra. Just give her /him the extra money and say: “It’s for you!” You will see it helps.

And please remember what big Arnie said. I’m a German and a City supporter, but I’m not responsible for the past and the second world war! Just show us the friendly face I enjoyed during my visits in Manchester.

Blue Moon!

[Brilliant Markus, thanks for all your help and hope the game goes well and people have a great time with the German hospitality – Ed]

Markus Rehse <markus(at)>


I have my ticket for Santander, but haven’t booked any travel yet. If anybody is travelling from my neck of the woods (Failsworth) and is flying from Stansted to Santander and you have a space on the drive down to Stansted, please let me know what flights you are on going and returning. Obviously I will share travel and parking costs. I flew to Midjytlland (Aarhus) from Stansted, so I am also prepared to take some in my car instead.

If anybody is doing the flights from Manchester to Barcelona, how are you getting from Barcelona to Santander? Again also let me know what flights you are on.

Any help appreciated.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


23 November 2008

Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 0  Blackburn Rovers      35,903
Sunderland            0 - 1  West Ham United       35,222

22 November 2008

Chelsea               0 - 0  Newcastle United      41,660
Liverpool             0 - 0  Fulham                43,589
Manchester City       3 - 0  Arsenal               44,878
Middlesbrough         1 - 3  Bolton Wanderers      24,487
Portsmouth            2 - 2  Hull City             20,240
Stoke City            1 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  26,613
Aston Villa           0 - 0  Manchester United     42,585

League table to 23 November 2008 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD  Pts
 1 Chelsea         14  3  3  1 13  3  7  0  0 19  1 10  3  1  32   4  28  33
 2 Liverpool       14  5  2  0 11  4  5  1  1 10  4 10  3  1  21   8  13  33
 3 Manchester Utd  13  5  1  0 18  4  2  3  2  7  6  7  4  2  25  10  15  25
 4 Aston Villa     14  3  3  1 10  7  4  0  3 12  9  7  3  4  22  16   6  24
 5 Arsenal         14  4  1  2 14 10  3  1  3 11  8  7  2  5  25  18   7  23
 6 Hull City       14  2  2  3  7 14  4  2  1 14  9  6  4  4  21  23  -2  22
 7 Everton         13  1  3  3  7 12  4  1  1 12  9  5  4  4  19  21  -2  19
 8 Portsmouth      14  3  2  2 10  8  2  2  3  5 12  5  4  5  15  20  -5  19
 9 Fulham          13  5  1  1 10  5  0  2  4  2  6  5  3  5  12  11   1  18
10 Middlesbrough   14  3  1  3  8 12  2  2  3  7  9  5  3  6  15  21  -6  18
11 Manchester City 14  4  0  3 19  8  1  2  4 10 14  5  2  7  29  22   7  17
12 Bolton Wndrs    14  2  2  3  6  7  3  0  4  8  9  5  2  7  14  16  -2  17
13 West Ham United 14  3  1  3 11 11  2  1  4  6 11  5  2  7  17  22  -5  17
14 Stoke City      14  5  0  2 11  9  0  2  5  3 15  5  2  7  14  24 -10  17
15 Tottenham H.    14  3  1  3  7  6  1  2  4 10 14  4  3  7  17  20  -3  15
16 Sunderland      14  2  1  4  6  9  2  2  3  6 11  4  3  7  12  20  -8  15
17 Newcastle Utd   14  3  2  2 11  9  0  3  4  6 13  3  5  6  17  22  -5  14
18 Wigan Athletic  13  1  2  3  3  8  2  2  3 12 10  3  4  6  15  18  -3  13
19 Blackburn R.    14  1  2  4  4 12  2  2  3 10 13  3  4  7  14  25 -11  13
20 West Brom A.    14  2  1  4  8 14  1  1  5  2 11  3  2  9  10  25 -15  11

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0708.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         :
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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1485