Newsletter #1493

With the wheels well and truly loose, if not off, we inevitably lost to the Baggies on Sunday and as to be expected have plenty of opinion tonight on just where the problem(s) lie.

Here’s hoping for better luck over the festive period, and a dose of reality for some of the playing staff, as we have Premier League newcomers Hull and Hughes’ old club.

Have a lovely Christmas everyone, next issue out on 29 December.

Next Games: Hull City, home, 3pm Friday 26 December 2008
Blackburn Rovers, away, 4.15pm Sunday 18 December 2008


If you look at our performances against the bottom 3 teams in the league in recent seasons, you will notice a familiar pattern … we cannot beat them or to be more precise, we get beaten. Losing to WBA came as no great shock to me.

Our forward line is really very poor, but it is defensively that we are throwing away games each week. Between Richards and Dunne, it is inevitable that one mistake leads to a goal conceded and that is now twice in 2 matches where we have thrown away a point in the last minute. As for our 2 full backs, the less said about them the better. Having watched the match live on Sky, I just never knew where Zabaleta played in the last 20 minutes, because the WBA forwards always received the ball with no one around them, whilst our forwards were totally shackled throughout the match. Compare Bednar to Vassell – there is no comparison. Bednar was a real nuisance and capped it off with the winning goal, whilst Vassell plays cr*p and still gets picked each week. How come?

I am sorry to say, but I want Hughes out; there’s only one place he is taking this club, and that is down!

If rumours are true, there seems to be unrest in the team, some players feel that there is preferential treatment to some, whilst the rest are neglected. Robinho and Elano are central to these rumours, and why would they want to stay at a club in crisis? Whatever the issue is with Elano, he is a lot better than some of the players on show. We need new management and new players and January cannot come too soon.

We seem to play good football for half of the match, and only really come to life when we are a goal down … why?

Ireland had a very good match, but needs to play in a more central midfield rôle. Let Gelson play wide on the left, as he loves running and defending; this would allow Ireland to be more creative and influence play in the middle of the park.

We really miss the likes of Petrov (in an attacking rôle), bombing down the wing and playing some good crosses into the opposition’s box.

SWP hopefully can do a similar rôle on the right. I hope I was not the only one to notice that our set pieces are cr*p; how often did our corners get easily cleared, and also how often did the opposition counter attack from one of our corners (I think both WBA goals came from one of our corners)? What is going on on the training ground. Every other Premier League club seems to have one of their centre halves scoring at corners, except for City! When are we going to get it right? or do we need a change like Spurs, Blackburn and Sunderland?!

Hart: (6) Did o.k., not much chance with either goal.
Richards: (5) did ok for most of the match till the end, when he was caught ball watching and paid a very harsh penalty.
Dunne: (6) generally had a very good game, but he scares me as his clangers often result in the ball at the back of the net.
Zabaleta: (5) is not the best right back, and in the last 20 minutes he played so far in-field I was not sure if he was playing at right back; we need to pursue Johnson from Portsmouth.
Ball: (5) similar to Zab, not good enough compared to other left backs in the Premier League.
Kompany: (6) works hard in the centre of midfield and covers a lot of ground, one of our better players.
Fernandes: (5) one good pass, but does not influence the play as much as he should.
Ireland: (6) works his socks off, attacking and covering back, another of our core players.
SWP: (6) same as above.
Benjani: (5) works hard, but is not clinical, compare him to Rooney, Torres, Adebayor and you notice we have a poor man’s centre forward.
Vassell: (4) I just do not know how he gets picked each week, offers very little in attack.
Caicedo: (5) took his goal well, but again does not look a top Premier League striker.
Mark Hughes: (2) has lost the plot!

Who can we get in January? If we carry on languishing in the bottom 4, I cannot see many good players being attracted to come to us, apart from the promise of a lucrative new contract! Well these are some of the players I wouldn’t mind seeing in a City shirt in the new year.

Jermaine Defoe – always electric around the penalty box area, a threat.
Michael Owen – purely because his record speaks for itself.
Glen Johnson – playing out of his skin at right back.
Brede Hangeland – towering centre half.
A quality left back, maybe Gareth Bale?
Xavi, but I don’t think Barcelona would sell him.
Anthony Annan – supposed to be a dynamic midfielder in the mould of Mascherano.

Who we actually get remains to be seen, and will depend upon who our new manager is going to be!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


Well three things are certain: Death, Taxes and City losing to a team that badly needs a win.

The usual things come to mind. Albion out thought, out muscled, full of attitude and really wanted to win; the horrible orange strip matched our performance. Even when we had scored, instead of holding on for a draw (which would have lifted us several places up the table), we became looser and looser. The marking on the second goal was non-existent, Hart and Richards at fault.

A couple of points: people consider City the richest club in the world. Well that’s wrong for a start, our owners are extremely wealthy, but not the club, and anyone in their right mind would steer clear of our club. Players that come, come for one reason and one reason only … money, and you can’t base a team on that. Chelsea were the exception, the players they bought hated losing, and it was a matter of pride.

Now the matter of the manager… He got players to walk over broken glass at Blackburn, but it hasn’t happened here and can we afford to keep him much longer? We need Joe Kinnear to put the fear of God in the players! Just kidding!

Well the replay is on now, I wonder if City have learnt their lesson this time? My granddaughter is watching the Disney Channel thank goodness.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


What a shambles! The game was simply frustrating to watch, as the sweeping attacks from the Baggies proved to be more dangerous.

So now we are in the bottom three; which top players want to come and join a struggling club in the relegation zone?

More than half the players who played today can take a point off my ratings, no one gets an extra point, although some deserve to be where they are before this game. City played no better than a bottom three club, and as much as I don’t like saying it, they deserve to be in the bottom three.

Before the game Benji was a doubtful starter because of his hamstring, and yet he played, only to pull up running with his hamstring injury; he must have told the coaching staff that he felt OK to play?

The City goal came from substitute Caicedo’s back heel, it resulted in a bit of a lucky goal as it took a slight deflection, but credit to Caicedo for his effort that caught the Baggies’ defence off guard.

We can’t always believe what we read in the press, for so many stories are made up by journalists just looking for a story, but I am starting to think about the story from the News of the World, which says the City dressing room is split and that there is a rift between manager and certain players.

All the players are professional and get paid by Manchester City, so when selected to play and put on a City shirt they should give 100% for the club; obviously that’s not happening.

In the economic situation around the world you would think that the players would be very grateful to be playing for a top club; many of us would lose our positions if our performance was like some of the City players.

I feel sorry for the City supporters that pay their hard earned cash to travel and see City play as they have in recent weeks. I guess the players get paid whatever because of their contracts and they just don’t get any bonus money?

We cannot blame all the players for there are some who keep on trying, for what appears a lost cause. Big changes have got to be made, and I mean big changes, enough of this trash football!

Mark Hughes show that you are in charge.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Yet another “amazing” performance by City last night. Yes we were already through, but to allow a 3-1 thumping by Racing Santander with a first choice line up should be the final nail in the coffin of a man who I can only assume to be being kept on for the January transfer window and hopes that he will bring in quality players.

The problem is, as every pundit across the UK continues to point out, the new players will need to gel and as Hughes has come into inheritance of a top half squad and added SWeeP, Zabaleta and Kompany (who are the only players consistently showing both talent and effort throughout this farce of a season) and still can’t make it work I seriously doubt he will do any better post January.

SGE had a good format and got it right, play from the back along the floor and keep the ball. Hughes seems to think this is a waste of good air space and instead goes for the tactic of hoof it and hope, a tactic that England fans are annoyed at whenever it is utilised in the last twenty minutes of a losing game, but City fans are expected to tolerate this for 90+ minutes week in, week out.

We are drawing to the middle of the season and have won only 5 games and lost 52.9% of our games. There is no feasible excuse for these results and the big men have to say enough is enough and sack the Rag. Fielding a defensive line-up against the Scum at home should have been the final straw and if I see Robinho taken off for Vassell at the 80 minute mark as an attempt to pull back again I’m going to scream.

Finally, if Hughes is being kept on for the January transfer window, he has two options:

  1. Buy Santa Cruz and the like and try to replicate what he did at Blackburn, a team who weren’t on City’s radar last year, or
  2. Attempt to sign the Kakas of this world and get turned down because there isn’t a cat in hell’schance that City will qualify for even the UEFA again with a tainted man with no tactical mind in charge.

I for one will be chanting for Sven-Goran-Eriksson from now on. Burn the Rag.

City Till I Die!

Colin Hunt <CFD.Hunt(at)>


Sorry to say, but that was one heck of a shocking performance in Spain tonight, from most of those wearing the blue shirts. A disgracefully inept and embarrassing display from our guys. Little skill, no fight, no guts and no character. To have these players making so much money for producing displays like this is shameful, so just what is their motivation?

This Robinho situation has to be sorted once and for all. If his ankle is not up to the job he must be allowed time to recover completely before he plays again in the side. As he is right now, he’s a passenger and a waste. Further, his body language is all wrong; it wouldn’t surprise me if Chelsea come in for him during January and he jumps at the chance to play with much more talented players than we have, irrespective of whichever new players arrive under Mark Hughes before that month ends.

For all of those fans who travelled to Spain for tonight’s débâcle I hope the club gives each one of you an official apology and offers to reimburse you for your total costs of the trip. They owe you that much, at least.

All hell should break loose if we do not win the next game this weekend, and heads should roll. No excuses.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


I’m not going to make a list of players that should leave come the winter transfer window or summer transfer window. Instead I am making a list of the players with a score for their performances for the season so far. The scores are out of a top mark of ten.

9/10 Ireland SWeep
8/10 Hart Zabaleta Robinho
7/10 Schmeichel Dunne Kompany Sturridge
6/10 Benjani Evans Jo Elano Hamann Ball Ben-Haim Garrido Richards Vassell
5/10 Fernandes
Not played enough Berti Onuoha
Injured M Petrov Bojinov

Players have the chance to improve on their ratings, so come on, show us what you can do.

I know that I said in my last comments that Elano had some brilliant play; of course I meant when he first came to City. Of late when he has had the odd chance he has appeared lazy. Maybe this is why he has been on the bench?

I hope that Everton will take Jo on loan, for I feel that this player needs more games so as to adapt to the English game. Should he do this, then we can always get him back. If anyone in the game who should know who is a good striker, then it has to be Sparky himself, who whilst playing was one of the best.

I read a good article in the Guardian newspaper online. It said that City should be signing 149 players during the winter transfer window, of course meaning how many players have been mentioned in the press and media; everyone likes to predict who the club will sign.

I have a firm belief that Mark Hughes is not going to tell the world who he is going to try to sign at this stage, but one thing I feel is a certainty: Sparky will only sign players that will give 100% on the pitch and in training, he likes players that have a very good workrate about them, and who will wear the club City on their sleeves.

So to anyone who says Mark Hughes should go, I say this is the team he inherited, give him the chance to build his “Manchester City team”.

This was written before the WBA game. It will be interesting to know other readers’ ratings for the players so far this season.

In Sparky I still trust.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I was interested to read the comments of Paul Mooney in MCIVTA 1492 about David Moyes. In fact, only about 3 seasons ago Everton were in a similar position to what City are now, close to the relegation zone. I remember Moyes was looking particular depressed and miserable at the time and I thought that he would be the next manager to go. But Everton stuck with him and he has steered them to safety and a consistently regular place in the top half of the table.

Let’s take a closer look at the league table as at 20 December and we shall see that all is not doom and gloom. Consider this:

Position        Club                    Goal Diff       Points
8               Portsmouth              -7              23
17              Man. City               5               18
19              Blackburn               -17             13

You can see that the points difference between City and the other 2 clubs is 5. However, there are 8 clubs sandwiched between City and Portsmouth above them but only 1 club separating them from Blackburn below them, and City have a much better goal difference. Therefore it only needs a couple of results in our favour to propel us much higher in the table. It is very tight there and early days still!

But Ernie Barrow echoed my thoughts when he wrote: “First of all I never ever agreed with a list of players to leave in the winter and in the summer, how would you as a player like to see your name on that list and at the same time hear and read all the talk of MCFC spending millions in January? It takes the confidence away from some players, whilst some others might get stuck in to prove their worth, but collectively the team’s confidence is shot.” Or in other words, what is the psychological effect on the players knowing full well that the club is going to be bringing in a lot of new faces in January?

I have also been wondering if MH has a partiality towards his fellow Welshmen. He often plays Ched Evans, who on the times I have seen him play does not have the skills to impress at this level. Also the talk of Bellamy arriving, who is another Welshman and has been at many clubs, suggests that he feels more at home when being managed by a fellow countryman.

Philip van Gass <philipvangass(at)>


Time to throw in my two pennorth:

I know, let’s sack the manager, get a bunch of new players and change everything again because the same team that didn’t perform last half of the year is still inconsistent, with a world class striker that is injured and a bunch of other injured players that don’t play well out of position because of injuries to other players.

In the UEFA game, Hughes played the only players that were fit in a game that didn’t matter.

He has not sorted out anything yet due to injuries, we just have to be patient with a guy that had a second rate team performing above themselves for years. I think he is the right guy. We need some stability and a bigger, better squad. It would appear that the only people that realize this are the owners.

Note: Dunne can run fast enough, his brain cannot process what do with his feet when the ball comes to them. That has not changed.

J Heaviside <jheavis502(at)>


So we’re sat in the brown stuff over Christmas. Whilst we’re missing the injured Robinho amongst others, I don’t think we can argue that we are in a false position on current form. The league table is not lying. The performance at West Brom was very poor, despite the best efforts of Ireland, Kompany, SWP and Zabaleta who perform consistently well. The trouble is they can’t do it on their own, and they have been let down by others.

Several fans are being very vocal now in calling for Hughes’ head, and of course they are entitled to their opinion. I will sound like a stuck record but I totally disagree with getting rid of Hughes and firmly believe that Hughes needs to be given time and resources to bring his players in. I really don’t want to see him being sacked and another manager spending another six months finding out about these players, some of whom really need to be shown the door.

Whatever issues certain players may have with the manager, I don’t believe the team’s poor performance is the manager’s fault in this case. He inherited a thin squad and with the club’s ownership in doubt until the day before the transfer window shut, he had little time to bring in enough players to cover a long, gruelling campaign. Hughes has also inherited some bad attitude problems: Elano, for all his delightful skill, doesn’t work hard enough or show enough desire and hasn’t done for most of his time under Sven and Hughes in all fairness, so he cannot legitimately complain about being dropped. You only have to look at the excellent Stephen Ireland’s contribution to the team and see that Elano does not do anywhere near enough. If Elano is being divisive and a bad influence in the dressing room then Hughes should get rid of him in January. If Jo cannot bothered to turn up for the team coach in a fit of pique because his mate is not in the team, then he should go too. Such players are, I am sad to say, a burden on this dear old club of ours.

Our squad is thin and badly needs quality reinforcements, but Hughes should be allowed time to clear out the disruptive players who aren’t putting the effort in. I believe we have to trust Hughes in the transfer market, given his good record in bringing in Kompany, Robinho, SWP, and Zabaleta. We need at least 5 players: a centre half, two central midfield players, a left back and two strikers.

Hughes has stated that he needs players who can make an immediate impact, and that probably means mainly players who don’t have to settle into English football. I’d like to see Brede Hangeland (Fulham), Scott Parker (West Ham) and Wayne Bridge (Chelsea) for starters to stiffen the team up. We should of course continue to look abroad: look how well Kompany and Zabaleta have adapted to English football, so it could be that Cambiasso could come from Inter and help stiffen our midfield. If we need some more creative inspiration, then Jimmy Bullard is likely to be available, given his failing contract negotiations. I’d love to see him in a light blue shirt. As for strikers, I’m not sure about Roque Santa Cruz (is he a one-season wonder?) but if Hughes can get the best out of him like he did last season then why not?

For now, in defence it’s time to give Nedum Onuoha a chance at centre back instead of Richards, who needs to learn about marking and concentration. I expect that Hughes has the management skills to deal with Richards and the coaches to improve him as a player. Of course, it is up to Micah himself to take responsibility and learn from his mistakes. Up front, Caicedo has shown good improvement and why not give him a start? He’s certainly shown an eye for goal so his confidence is on the up after a difficult settling in period.

To sack Hughes would be the worst thing to do, especially now that he is rumbling problem players and had time to assess this failing squad. Some of these overpaid prima donnas have been found out at last and we should let Hughes get in the right kind of players with the desire and quality to succeed. I hope that the owners continue to back him and I am encouraged by the fact that they telephoned him straight after the defeat to the Baggies to reassure him about his position. It’s good to see that they are not panicking. The players now need to show similar gumption and take responsibility in the same way that SWP, Kompany, Zabaleta and Ireland are doing.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch, so things must be bad… again! I was delighted with the appointment of Mark Hughes, probably the best man for the job, or so I thought. By now though any lingering gloss on that image has been well and truly tarnished.

Firstly, it seems that we have another manager who thinks nothing of playing players out of their best positions. This has two effects, not only are the players not at their best in these new positions, but we are losing their best in their correct ones. Some early experiments were disastrous and started the rot. Micah is not a left back and Ben Haim is not a full back.

Neither Robinho, nor Stephen Ireland, nor Danny Sturridge are left-sided midfielders. Sweep is a right-winger, not a central midfield player. Is Glauber Berti so bad on the left that anyone else will be used there rather than give him a game? If so, why did we sign him? Have we any left sided reserves/youths?

Despite their honesty and workrate, Vass and Gelson don’t appear to be up to Premier League standard. Even more worrying, to me at least, is the apparent inability of the manager to give the players the necessary boot up the backside (particularly at half time in games).

I felt that, given Mark Hughes’ character as a player, that he wouldn’t stand for anything less than 100% effort. For whatever reason, he seems not to be able to instil that “never say die” fighting spirit in his players that he displayed himself (most notable exceptions being Stevie and Sweep). I fear the worst unless there is a huge improvement in attitude. As City fans know only too well, there is no such thing as “being too good to go down”. We need several key signings. A quality left back, a genuinely left sided midfielder, a proven goalscorer and a midfield enforcer (though less crucial with Vincent Kompany able to fill this rôle). Lapses in commitment and concentration have cost us dearly, these are the first things to rectify. Come on Mark Hughes get the boot out!

Here’s hoping for a happy Christmas and a successful new year for all Blues – players and fans!

Mick Murphy <mick.Murphy(at)>


On the day the Rags win the Club World Cup final by beating Liga de Quito, Hughes contrives to lose to the bottom club in the Premier League, West Brom. Quite an achievement as the Baggies had not won a match since 8 October, struggled to score goals all season, but still score two against us.

Last season our defence contained much the same players, except we now have Zabaleta not Corluka at right back, but we give away goals every game, last week to Everton, this week West Brom. The papers claim that there is dissent in the squad, and player unrest against Hughes and his tactics (don’t worry though, all will be well as we are going to sign Bellamy from West Ham!).

I can’t guess who is advising Skeik Mansour, but I don’t think they can be very impressed with the achievements so far. This time last season we were in the top four. Following the appointment of Hughes and millions spent on the likes of Jo, Robinho, Ben Haim, Zabelata, Kompany and SWP we have been transformed to a team in the relegation zone. The manager has alienated the fans and half the players.

How long is this pantomime going to be allowed to continue? Hughes definitely won’t be here next year because we could get a proper manager (Marcello Lippi or Jose Mourhino) with an international reputation and a track record of winning things. The question is will the owners get rid of him following (likely) defeats to Hull at home and Blackburn away? Or will he be allowed to continue spending millions to achieve at best mid-table mediocrity, only to be replaced by a proper manager in the summer?

Of course there is another possibility, that we actually get relegated. That way it will be much harder to get a really good manager. Blackburn, West Brom, Newcastle, Tottenham have all started to win. The only club on definite downward trajectory is us. It’s going to be much harder to attract the best players with Hughes in charge. Lassana Diarra has already rejected us. Elano may never play for us again; instead we can look forward to the likes of Lee Bowyer.

Most of us deplored the sacking of Sven, and were suspicious of Hughes. Naturally the Rags are delighted. He just needs a bit more time. Well done agent Sparky, your mission is almost accomplished.

Mike Dean <mikedean(at)>


I couldn’t face the Baggies match. No result has ever been more predictable. Playing players out of position and demoralising the team was what got Ince sacked, let’s pray that Hughes makes it a hat trick of Fergie’s flops.

Come on You Blues. In Sparky we’re f*cked.

Martin Hunt <Martin.Hunt(at)Wales.GSI.Gov.UK>


After the recent terrible run of defeats I am sure I am not alone in being totally depressed and wondering that the hell has gone wrong this season.

First of all I am not one of those ‘Eriksson-was-a-god’ types; while we came out of the traps flying last season, in the 2nd part of the season we were bobbins once teams worked out that stopping Elano stopped City. Hughes has picked up a weak and inadequate squad and added to it, but let’s all be perfectly clear here, the squad at the end of last season, beginning of the season and now is poor and inadequate as the Premier League table shows.

On this current squad, there was a very interesting article in the Independent over the weekend about Hughes’ problems with individuals in the team, and players’ revolt has been raised in other papers.

Hughes has added quality in Robinho, Kompany, SWP and Zabeleta who have all been excellent (only BTH bought has been poor), Ireland has been awesome, Garrido vastly improved. We have lost Petrov through injury, Johnson through injury (but we were carrying him 2nd half last season) and Corluka sold.

Elano does not have the head to be a top Premier player. The jury is out on Jo. Sturridge looks promising and makes things happen. Gelson… don’t get me started on that headless chicken! Dunne has been rubbish and in the comfort zone since signing his contract (I admit that I used to be a Dunney fan). Richards worse and gone backwards: where’s his pace and aggression? He looks too bulked up and has no confidence (at fault again for the 2nd week running for the killer goal). Hamann and Ball are past it (did you see Ball trying to run back on the first goal yesterday – he looked 60 years old); we can carry one oldie without pace but not several. Vassell has never been good enough but has lost his pace. Benjani looks off the pace though better yesterday so let’s hope that he has another miracle recovery period because we ain’t got anyone else. And on and on and… too many passengers currently!

It is woeful. Without Robinho linking up play, and scoring the goals, we are so average.

We have been slowly sinking but nothing has been done about it with too much focus on “the money in January”. Well now we are in the s**t (again).

I read somewhere over the weekend by a City fan that we all knew the script: lose to the bottom club 2-0 (he was nearly correct with 2-1), beat Hull and then lose to Blackburn with Hughes being sacked, and then we’ll be scratching our heads and back to the drawing board yet again. Act 1 happened Sunday!

Hughes does not look like he has it. There are times during games when it is crying out for a tactical change or substitution that we can all see but nothing happens. From his body posture on the touchline he doesn’t look like a motivator and from what we gather has man-management problems. We are weak in the middle of midfield alongside Kompany, don’t have a anybody who can play up front (a one in two type of finisher instead of all the one in four finishers we have is a must, e.g. Michael Owen), left back is still weak but the biggest problem has been the two centre backs.

This is an exceptional season in that there are so many teams together in a big bunch from sixth down to the bottom. Two wins and you’re laughing, two losses and it’s all doom and gloom. Let us hope we can pick up some decent committed players in the transfer season to turn this around in to just another average season (from a disastrous season if we don’t get some points in the bag soon).

Absolutely woeful and I am beginning to despair! I was thinking as I was driving here this morning, still very depressed, should I try to keep my 5 and 3 year olds from becoming football fans… too many downs and not enough ups.

The problem is, with Hughes and the malaise in general, is do we twist (sack him) or stick (and hope we buy well and get it sorted out to rise up the table)!

P.S. What happened to Caicedo in the past few months? Have you seen him? What a beast of a 20 year old! First time I’ve seen him this season, when he came on against WBA he’s so bulked up he looks like Jason Roberts on steroids!

Peter Carlisle <Peter.Carlisle.ext(at)>


I’m not sure about all of you, but I’m fed up of Man City’s form. Why? Well a few factors:

1 – Results

Last 10 games, 2 wins… They speak for themselves; that’s absolutely appalling. No, embarrassing. I can’t believe that after last season’s hype and expectations we sit in the bottom three, and lucky not to be bottom. Losses to Bolton (what?!), Wigan (it gets better…), Boro. Next thing you know it will be West Brom, oh wait. Having just watched a 2-1 defeat against West Brom, I’ve finally had enough. This is unacceptable and things need to change.

2 – Signings

Robinho has been ok. But let’s look at the players who need to be thrown out. Where do I start?

Jo – who? Exactly. He’s that one who cost £19 million and has done, excuse my french, f**k all. Money well spent, don’t you think?

Benjani – those of you who have read previous articles will know how I feel about him. A useless six-footer who’s better at getting offside than scoring goals, a rare talent.

Micah Richards – who last season, along with Richard Dunne (who I will come to later) was called the two best centre backs in the Premier League. Different story now. Richards who today, against West Brom, failed to mark Luke Moore, who scored, and not only that, decided to miss an open goal. How much is he paid a week again?

Fernandes – Arsenal.

Richard Dunne – saved the best ’till last. Well what can I say? How many times has he fallen over? Tottenham: cost the first goal, Fulham: cost the goal. What has happened?!

3 – Mark Hughes and his management team

Sitting on the bench, chewing gum, spitting, generally complaining and blaming anyone except themselves, are not up to the job. The real problem that I have felt is that Hughes has not got the credentials to manage the richest club in the world. Hughes would, in my opinion, have done a much better job if Thaksin Shinawatra was still the gaffer: there would be less pressure for results and less focus on January, which is a main factor of Hughes’ downfall. Since becoming the richest club in the world, all the press have gone on about who will be seen in January and Mark Hughes always never fails to bring up the January transfer window, and with it not being the best time to get players, who knows, we could end up with no new signings. If in the event Hughes does get new players, that will be his test. If there are no results in January or any time after it, then Hughes will be sacked, I guarantee it. He will have no excuses for defeats.

Next game: Hull (h) Boxing Day

Seeing as it is nearly Christmas, it would be appropriate for Hughes or someone, to maybe resurrect and save the club. If not there will be change. Who knows, maybe King Kev (Keegan) will pop back to Eastlands… actually, scratch that.


George Kearney <George_kearney(at)>


Two words to turn the current shambles around – Martin Jol!

Keith Sharp <keith(at)>


While I agree that Vassell gets an unduly hard time from the fans and putting Jo on the pitch does nothing but spoil the turf, there is no possible way that Mark Hughes can be seen as the way forward; if it wasn’t for goal difference we would be in the relegation zone despite the ludicrous amounts spent to strengthen a top ten team. Out of the 7 players he’s brought in (this supposed transfer genius) four are defenders so it can’t be said that it’s not his fault the City box is as easy to get into as Jordan’s knickers. He has bought players that perform and played them out of position, he has stuck with players who perform abysmally, he has paid no attention to form or tactics that benefit these players and if it’s workrate that gets your goat, then blame Dunne and Hughes for not motivating and Hughes for not coming down on Robinho for talking to the press but chastising non superstars; which could only have made Elano feel like c**p and left others wondering which side of the leniancy line they stand on.

If I had a job with half Hughes’ pay and half the amount of money and people reliant on my performance and half the experience and over half the time gave utterly atrocious results and then split the rest between poor and good, I think I would find myself out of a job too. There’s giving time and just being silly. Add to that the fact he is tainted and what’s your argument?

According to the papers Johnson and Bojinov being back or near, but you have to ask how effective they will be with Bojinov at left back and Johnson in goal. And on the off chance they get to play in position, will they make any difference with the ball being hoofed over Johnson’s head at every chance to a small man who won’t win against any Premier League defender in the air.

Support City all you want, but do if you’re going to support the manager please don’t say give him time and hope it comes out in the wash; he has proven he has nothing good to bring and logic must prevail.

Just for Ernie Barrow: “In Sparky we’re f****d”

Colin Hunt <cfd.hunt(at)>


Spot on, Mick B.

Where is the backbone? Get rid of the Rag. He should never have been allowed to come here. What a piece of waste…

Why does he insist on playing Vassell? Why can’t Onouha get a start? Why is Ben Haim allowed anywhere near Manchester? Why is Sven no longer with us?

Bringing ex-Rags has never done us any favours. Except for the Schmeichel case, of course, but the exception of the rule, you know…

Andreas Larsson <city-andreas(at)>


Another weekend and yet another defeat. We are now firmly below the dotted line on the league table that says; bye, bye Premier League football and hello Championship football.

How, just how can anyone and I do mean anyone both within the club and outside it continue to insist that Mr Hughes is making any form of progress? How can anyone continue to defend the constant selection of Vassell? How can they continue to defend the indefensible? I have said this before: many, many weeks ago, Mr Hughes has to go and quickly! It is in the best interest of the club, the players and the fans.

Against West Brom the passing and distribution was woeful. Possession of the ball was non-existent, there was a total lack of shape and balance; it was pitiful. It is crystal clear that Mr Hughes has lost the dressing room or at least a very large section of it. The players do not want to play for him and they are not playing for him!

Next game: Hull at home. Get your money on Geovanni to score. The games following that: Blackburn and Wigan. Take a good look at our track record against both of these teams in recent years. We are now in serious trouble and it is the fault of the Manager. He inherited a half -decent squad, has added around 7 new players and spent the thick end of £70 million.

No excuses or mitigating circumstances. Simply an inexperienced, tactically inept manager whose man management skills are laughable.

Hughes out! And the sooner the better for all concerned.

Ray Bardsley <rbardsley(at)>


I endorse the editor’s response to Ray Bardsley’s criticism of Phil Banerjee’s Everton match report. When I am unable to watch the matches I look forward to Phil’s reports.

When I am able to watch the games I find his reports balanced and fair even if I don’t agree with them 100%. I particularly like the way he can occasionally criticise a player’s performance without calling into question the player’s intelligence and personality.

Come on Ray, let’s see you put some effort into reporting it as you see it and not just reacting to Phil’s report. Differing views are the stuff of football argument but if you are more pessimistic than someone else you can express the difference without needing to accuse the author of seeing the game just as they want to see it? A bit “cheap” in my view.

More of Phil and more of Ray but as a reporter not a critic?

Bernard Paton <bernard.paton(at)>


Sorry for the delay in replying to this, as I have only just returned from 4 days in Santander (Tues to Sat night), and have just spent four hours updating the site with two miserable defeats!

As has been confirmed by a few others in the last issue, the Thursday match date was no more than a typing error, and should have read Saturday 27th January 1979. I am so pleased it stirred up memories of such a historic day out!

When you type over 5,000 matches manually, there is bound to be an occasional mistake. Thankfully there haven’t been too many and this one has now been corrected.

Thanks for pointing it out, and thanks to those watching the reserves at Satander on Thursday morning with me for saying a query had been posted on MCIVTA. City lost that game 2-1 and were as equally outplayed as the first team later that day.

Anybody can send any queries or typos to me via the email given.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


Those going to Copenhagen can find flights from Liverpool to Stockholm with Ryanair for £70 return.

You can then take a fast train from Stockholm to Copenhagen for around £70 return (it’s approximately 4.5 hours by train. Just a thought in case prices direct to Copenhagen are too much.

Martin Josephson <m.jos(at)>


Just a question: when we play away do we have to wear the away strip? Surely the blue home strip would have been a far better choice than the awful orange one, which is second only to the grey one with the yellow stripe up the middle. Come to think of it, they should have played in the grey – totally gutless.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Carl Ramsbottom (originally from Heywood) is still seriously ill in a German hospital after taking a tumble down the steps at the train station after the match at Schalke. He is still in a coma and the family are keeping a vigil at the hospital. They are now in financial difficulties and appeals are being made to fellow Blues to see if we can help in these sad times. A Liverpool fan who is a friend of Carl’s has already raised £700. Before the Hull game there will be collections at the following pubs: Mary D’s, The Manchester, Tawnley, Kippax, the Victoria, and the Waldorf. If anyone wants to help with the collection or collect in another pub please phone Ian on 07852 826 150. If anyone would like to send a cheque, please make it payable to Andrew Ramsbottom, 100 Miller Street, Heywood. Thank you for your support.

Don Price <donprice(at)>


Next meeting likely on 20 January. This sort of thing to be on the agenda…

Following on from today’s UEFA Cup draw, the Club wish to make fans aware of a possible change to the proposed fixture dates for the UEFA Cup tie against FC Copenhagen.

Difficulties have arisen in confirming the fixture for two significant reasons. Firstly, the pitch at FC Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium is being re-laid on Monday 16th February due to a previously booked event at the ground, which cannot be moved. This means that only the second of the two away leg dates (Thursday 19th February) would be suitable for competitive football.

In addition to this, City’s fixture at Anfield on Saturday 21st February, only two days after the proposed away UEFA leg, cannot move to the Sunday because Liverpool will travel to Spain for their UEFA Champions’ League fixture with Real Madrid, due to take place on Tuesday 24th February. There are no other suitable dates in terms of rescheduling this particular fixture.

Discussions are ongoing between FC Copenhagen and Manchester City FC, with consideration being given to switching the order of the away and home legs.

The Club strongly advises fans not to make any travel arrangements until dates and venues are confirmed. An announcement, finalising details for these UEFA Cup fixtures is expected to be made on Monday.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)>


21 December 2008

West Bromwich Albion  2 - 1  Manchester City       25,010
Newcastle United      2 - 1  Tottenham Hotspur     47,982
Arsenal               1 - 1  Liverpool             60,094

20 December 2008

Blackburn Rovers      3 - 0  Stoke City            23,004
Bolton Wanderers      2 - 1  Portsmouth            19,884
Fulham                3 - 0  Middlesbrough         23,722
Hull City             1 - 4  Sunderland            24,917
West Ham United       0 - 1  Aston Villa           31,353

League table to 21 December 2008 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Liverpool       18  5  4  0 13  6  6  2  1 14  6 11  6  1  27  12  15 39
 2 Chelsea         17  3  4  2 15  6  8  0  0 21  1 11  4  2  36   7  29 37
 3 Aston Villa     18  4  4  1 14  9  6  0  3 16 11 10  4  4  30  20  10 34
 4 Manchester Utd  16  6  1  0 19  4  3  4  2  8  6  9  5  2  27  10  17 32
 5 Arsenal         18  5  2  2 16 11  4  2  3 14 10  9  4  5  30  21   9 31
 6 Hull City       18  3  2  4 10 19  4  4  1 17 12  7  6  5  27  31  -4 27
 7 Everton         17  1  3  4  9 15  6  1  2 14 10  7  4  6  23  25  -2 25
 8 Fulham          17  6  2  1 14  6  0  4  4  2  6  6  6  5  16  12   4 24
 9 Bolton Wndrs    18  3  2  4  8 10  4  0  5 14 14  7  2  9  22  24  -2 23
10 Portsmouth      18  4  2  3 13 13  2  3  4  7 15  6  5  7  20  28  -8 23
11 Wigan Athletic  17  4  2  3  9  9  2  2  4 12 11  6  4  7  21  20   1 22
12 Newcastle Utd   18  4  3  2 15 12  1  4  4  9 13  5  7  6  24  25  -1 22
13 Sunderland      18  3  1  5 11 13  3  2  4 10 13  6  3  9  21  26  -5 21
14 Middlesbrough   18  3  3  3  9 13  2  2  5  8 14  5  5  8  17  27 -10 20
15 Stoke City      18  5  2  2 12 10  0  3  6  5 20  5  5  8  17  30 -13 20
16 Tottenham H.    18  3  2  4  7  7  2  2  5 13 16  5  4  9  20  23  -3 19
17 West Ham United 18  3  1  5 11 14  2  3  4  7 12  5  4  9  18  26  -8 19
18 Manchester City 18  4  0  5 19 10  1  3  5 12 17  5  3 10  31  27   4 18
19 Blackburn R.    18  2  2  5  8 15  2  2  5 12 19  4  4 10  20  34 -14 16
20 West Brom A.    18  3  2  4 11 16  1  1  7  3 17  4  3 11  14  33 -19 15

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 #1493