Newsletter #1494

A fine performance on Boxing Day lifted the spirits and City’s position in the table as we trounced Hull City 5-1; an impressive individual display from a resurgent Stephen Ireland was instrumental to the game.

Mixed fortunes at Ewood Park as we went 2-0 down to Blackburn but stuck at the game and thanks to timely substitute Sturridge ground out a draw.

We have match reports tonight thanks to Phil and Glyn on the two games.

The four points from the festive season see us move up to 13th spot in the table as we go into the New Year.

There is continued opinion on the managerial and player performances, and most Blues awaiting the transfer window with bated breath. We also have the usual requests.

All the very best from everyone at MCIVTA to Blues worldwide for 2009!

Next Game: Nottingham Forest, home, 3pm Sunday 3 January 2009 (FA Cup)


City get out-muscled!

How apparent it was that Blackburn totally out-muscled us all over the pitch. They won nearly every header, from the back to the front line, and their 2nd goal was the proof of the pudding. Guess what, Blackburn played a high intensity pressing game and gave none of our players time on the ball till the last 5 minutes, and boy did it work. We just could not keep possession for more than 10 seconds, and inevitably we began hoofing the ball forward and time and time again the Blackburn defence easily won the headers, and started to keep the ball. When they did hoof the ball forward, all their front players were able to win the ball, despite our defence trying to unsettle them, Jason Roberts was just too powerful for our defence, and when Samba came forward we could not handle him in the air. Look at the makeup of our team compared to theirs; apart from Dunne and Caicedo, we are tiny lightweights! Caicedo for all his bull like appearance, was nowhere to be seen apart from the first 10 minutes. We need a towering figure in defence and up front, if we are going to challenge any physical teams from now on.

Our full backs are just not good enough compared to the top 5 teams in this league, and need replacing. Robinho does not run at the oppo’s defence enough, and in away games is just too much of a periphery player; he should really be used as an impact sub, and should not start. Caicedo is just not good enough, I don’t care that he has scored 3 goals recently. Hughes could have brought on Jo and Sturridge, especially as Jo is well over 6ft and at least would give the oppo’s defence a problem in the air. But guess what, Vassell our ‘gifted’ forward comes on! We got out of jail, purely because of Sturridge. We really need a clearout of a lot of deadweight, and get in some huge physical players to complement our little geniuses. I used to be a fan of Elano’s, but now I feel he should go; he gives the ball away too much, and is not as influential as he was when he first joined us.

We will be linked to quite a few players in the next week, but a big centre half and a tall centre forward is a must… perhaps, Brede Hangeland and Peter Crouch, plus Glen Johnson and maybe Scott Parker in midfield?

Hart: (6) Did OK kicking was poor, not much chance with either goal.
Onuoha: (5) Did OK, but not great.
Dunne: (5) Generally had a good game, but got caught out for the 2nd goal.
Zabaleta: (4) Is not the best right back, and was beaten in the air on every occasion.
Ball: (4) 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.
Ireland: (5) Works his socks off, but not influential in this match.
SWP: (5) Tried hard, but did not impose himself as much as he has done recently.
Elano: (4) Flits in and out and gives the ball away too much with attempted long passes, poor.
Robinho: (5) Got a 5 because he scored our vital equaliser; other than that, he was poor and was out muscled way too often.
Caicedo: (4) Only noticed him in the first 10 minutes, went missing after that, very poor.
Sturridge: (9) Star man, what an impact he made in 10 minutes!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


Stephen Ireland delivered another brilliant, top class display to engineer a thrilling mauling of high-flying Hull and steer Manchester City out of the rough seas of the relegation zone. Restored to his favoured central midfield rôle and ably supported by an exciting forward line of the dazzling Wright-Phillips, Robinho and the emerging Felipe Caicedo, this impressive son of Cork had the savvy of Cap’n Jack Sparrow to delight a Boxing Day audience in a swashbuckling performance.

Mark Hughes also restored Elano to central midfield and Richards continued alongside Dunne in central defence. There was an early scare for us when Marlon King turned Dunne easily and forced Hart into an early save. As if to redeem himself, Dunne tenaciously won the ball just outside his own penalty box in the 14th minute and went on a lung bursting 70 yard run. Robinho took his pass out on the left and at the end of a diagonal run, played a delightful lob into the path of the advancing Ireland, whose accurate low cross was swept home at the far post by Caicedo. The young Ecuadorian was clearly delighted to score his first goal at Eastlands in his first Premier League start. It wasn’t long before he added to his tally. Ireland made a strong run down the right and cut the ball back to Caicedo, who was there again to nonchalantly side foot home for his and City’s second, making it three goals in three games for the Ecuadorian.

Whoever said that his signing was Sven’s last laugh on Thaksin may well have underestimated both Sven and the young Felipe. By then, City were blowing Hull away like a force 9 gale. The third goal was also initiated by Stephen Ireland, showing how his all round game has developed at a pace. Out muscling and dispossessing Hull’s ball winner, George Boateng, near the halfway line, Ireland threaded an accurate left foot pass to Robinho who advanced into the box, checked inside the much talked about Michael Turner, and coolly slotted home a goal that made the game look so easy. It was an exhibition in two-footed artistry by Ireland and Robinho, and the latter celebrated with a celebration that resembled a Latin version of breakdancing and might possibly have earned 10s all round in Strictly Come Dancing. It was game over when City scored a well-deserved fourth: Elano found Wright-Phillips with a lovely lofted pass down the right and the winger’s run and accurate cross from the bye-line was easily converted by Robinho for his tenth goal of the season. It might have been 6-0 by half time: the scintillating Wright-Phillips forced Myhill to push a long range drive wide and screwed wide with his left foot from yet another intelligently threaded Ireland pass. Hull boss Phil Brown was so incensed that he forced his players to take their half-time rollicking, sat cross legged like naughty primary school children in front of the Hull fans in the South Stand. How refreshing.

The second half did see far more fight from the visitors who provided more of a test. The Blues were still the more incisive. Another instance of Ireland brilliance saw his grass cutting through pass poked behind by a Hull defender before Shaun Wright-Phillips could get a clean connection. Elano had a free kick deflected off the outside of the post, but it was to be the visitors who were to score the next goal after substitute Onuoha and Ball failed to clear Cousin’s powerfully driven cross and Craig Fagan was on hand to net a consolation for the visitors.

City instantly restored our four goal lead in another move that was started and finished by Stephen Ireland. The Irishman found Elano thirty or so yards out and he played a simple pass to Robinho in the inside left position and he threaded a diagonal ball onto the advancing, unchecked Ireland who side-footed a richly deserved goal. Ireland was brilliant throughout and so was Shaun Wright-Phillips. It is no accident that these two consistently produced high quality performances, given their skill and endeavour.

It was a beautiful, crisp Winter’s day in Manchester with the sun setting on a difficult, transitional year of football at Eastlands. Hughes’ team had unveiled a treasured chest of exotic skill and after the undeserved defeat to Everton in the previous home game, it was nice for everyone to go home basking in the warm glow of victory. Hopefully this easy victory will be the sign of better times, rather than another case of flattering to deceive. No one at City, least of all Mark Hughes, will get carried away by this win. When the seas are set fair there is no stopping this Manchester City team from playing football of the highest class, and Hull brought calm waters of the Humber with them on this occasion. It is all very well thrashing teams like Hull, Portsmouth and West Ham in a canter at home, but we have to be capable of scrapping and negotiating difficulties when the waters are choppy. Our central defence looks wobbly at times and had hairy moments early on in this game.

Kompany needs another physical presence alongside him in the midfield and we can be more clinical up front than we have been this season. Mark Hughes will doubtless be looking to add a strong centre half, a powerful central midfielder, a left back and top drawer striker to his squad, amongst others. After suffering consecutive last minute defeats that pushed us below the water line this Boxing Day was an enjoyable occasion, and one that shows that you can’t keep a good man down.

In his fledgling career Stephen Ireland had his critics who either harshly criticised this talented, developing player for being too lightweight, or just slated him because they had to pick on someone, but he came back stronger and better than ever. Also coming back from adversity, better and stronger than ever is another good man: Mark Hughes. He knows that he needs to improve on his squad and give it more quality and depth. Thankfully his bosses in Abu Dhabi have the good sense and patience to persist with him rather than to panic and start another destructive cycle of sackings. There has been a lot of rubbish written, without any foundation, saying that he has lost the dressing room, yet the facts don’t bear this out. His team put in one hell of a hard shift for him here, and have done most of the season. When we have our best players available we can be formidable, and at times against Hull it was just like watching Brazil. The Good Ship Manchester City sails on…

Hart: Not really tested for most of the game, but equal to it when needed 6
Zabaleta: Such intelligent use of the ball 7
Richards: Adequate, though untested after a shaky start 6
Dunne: Initiated the first goal with his drive. Some tenacious tackling 7
Ball: Unable to prevent their goal but otherwise steady 6
Wright-Phillips: Went from strength to strength with another assist in another thrilling all-action performance 8
Kompany: Vital to the cause and consistent with it 7
Ireland: Absolutely outstanding in every way: emerging into a top class performer 9
Elano: Graceful and clever passing at times, unlucky not to score with free kick 7
Robinho: An absolute joy to watch: so intelligent and makes football look so easy 8
Caicedo: Took his goals clinically. Enjoying a purple patch after a long settling in period. His emergence is a real bonus 8
Jo: Feeling his way but behind Caicedo in the muscle and effort stakes 6
Onuoha: Solid enough, but might have been better positioned to clear the cross that led to the visitors’ goal 6

Att: 45,196
Refwatch: Andre Marriner: Largely adequate standard of officialling 6
Best oppo: Marlon King: Kept Dunne and Richards busy with his muscular presence 7
Hull Fans: Amongst their number must be several lucky souls who have followed Hull from the bottom of the Fourth Division on a most wonderful voyage of discovery. They did their team proud with their fantastic backing 8
Home Fans: Festive cheer from True Blues: 8 But… and there must be a big but… Those who came to moan from minute one and demand that Mark Hughes walk the plank can award themselves a big fat zero. It’s no fun listening to them. Get behind the team!

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Here we go, just as Hughes starts asking looking for his CV to update, City pull a stunning (first half) out of the bag and save him. Now join all City fans in hoping this isn’t just another Pompey, but for me it served to highlight the Rags’ failures again.

I honestly didn’t expect another four goals in the first half, but certainly didn’t expect our most reliable forward to be taken off halfway through the performance of his lifetime for a £19,000,000 pair of shiny boots. And I can only assume the Richards change was for a knock. Hughes still hasn’t slapped the defence for trying fancy stuff though (watch the Onouha attempt at a back heel in his own 6 yard box) and playing a fit Ball against over a half fit Garrido is just asking the opponents to put the pressure on.

Last negative I promise, why the hell does Hughes still insist on hoofing up field? For the most part in the first half Hart played the ball out along the floor; granted, he missed some obvious balls to Zabber but he kept possession; half time team talk and we’re back to hoofing it up to Hull’s defenders and guess what, 1 goal and a hell of a lot of very nears; thank God for Dunney and his sight.

Positives come in the form of SWeeP (where are his MotM’s?), Elano, Robinho (just needs to step it up in the big games), Ireland (deserved his goal), Dunne (saved us at least six times), Kompany (just needs to stop shooting), and Zabber (improves every game).

I still want Hughes out of the Blue heaven and if Everton want Jo on loan let him go and they can break him into the Premier League, then when he’s ready he can come back.

Let’s drink a new-year drink to Colin the king the king the king (Bell obviously – I am not that narcissistic).

Colin Hunt <CFD(at)>


Finally, a long-overdue committed and competent display by our players today, versus Hull, and very good for the fans to enjoy. A great attitude from those representing the club on the pitch, which fully deserves to be commended.

Consistency now needs to be achieved and maintained, which is certainly Mark H’s main task at hand, right now. As for the encounter against Blackburn, another performance similar to today will do the club no harm whatsoever.

Much more sensible to play a fully-fit Robinho instead of playing him whilst he carries an injury. I fail to see the sense of taking risks of that nature, which never really paid off. Lesson learned for Mark H and his staff, I hope, and should not be repeated.

Caciedo looked very confident and every inch a menacing forward. Finally! Taken off at half-time due to calf problems precautionary and exactly the correct decision by his boss. First get him fit, then get him back out there.

If we can get a good groove going in the next several games, perhaps less of the negativity towards Mark Hughes may be another of the the positive outcomes of a decent run by the side. I still believe he’s the man for the job. Like everything else, time will surely tell.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


A lot has been made regarding the start to this season and as usual we have the murmurings that Hughes must go but I don’t recall the same being said of Sven last season, yet the 2 managers compare greatly.

Last season after our ‘good’ start, in Sven’s last 18 Premier League games his record was:
Won 5 Drawn 4 Lost 9 Points 19
Goals for 18, goals against 31 (minus 13 goal difference)

This season after the first 18 games Hughes’ record in the Premier League (with, generally Sven’s squad):
Won 5 Drawn 3 Lost 10 Points 18
Goals for 31, goals against 27 (plus 4 goal difference)

The downward spiral that Hughes inherited has continued and it shows that he needs to bring players in during the January and summer transfer windows to get his own squad together and then we can judge him properly on results as it will be his players on display.

Now is not the time to get hysterical about sacking Hughes especially if you weren’t in favour of Sven getting the push ’cause at the moment the two of them aren’t too far apart.

In each of Hughes’ full seasons at Blackburn he turned them into a consistent top 10 team; given a chance to spend money himself I am sure he will do well at City. Let’s face it, his buys so far have generally been good buys in Robinho, Kompany, SWP and Zabaleta.

Hopefully in the window he will get a decent full back to solve that position and at least 1 centre half to replace either Richards or Dunne. A strong, tough tackling midfielder to either complement Kompany or to allow Kompany to go into the back four. A midfield maestro to replace the disinterested Elano (he has shown in the last 3 games that he has played that he doesn’t have the heart to play for MCFC when he should actually let his football do the talking to prove to the manager that it was wrong to leave him out) and at least 1 forward. I would happily take Santa-Cruz as he is already settled into Premier League life and, dare I suggest, Messi or Kaka?

These signings would sort out the backbone of the team and give it more shape and balance. I would also look for another ‘keeper as Hart is getting to be more and more of a liability at times. He was at fault for WBA’s second goal and the free kick that was awarded in his favour when WBA ‘scored’ was very generous as he ran into the forward. I would also apportion partial blame to him for Everton’s goal, amongst others. He doesn’t have any control of his box whatsoever, something that all great ‘keepers do.

Going into the game against Hull on Boxing Day we are in the bottom 3; with a bit of luck and a bit more effort we could end the year in the top half and suddenly things don’t seem too bad although in general the year 2008 is still a shocker.

Back to the comparisons to the latter stages of last season and the start of this one, let’s see where we finish the season. If we are somewhere in the top half then it won’t have been any worse than last season.

Keep the faith.

Andrew Keller <akcity(at)>


It has been pointed out that we were in the top 4 at Christmas last year, in stark contrast to our current position. However, our points total from the last 18 league games of last season (under SGE, after spending £40 million+ and having six months to work with the players) was 19.

That’s one more than Hughes has achieved from the same number of games this year. Now, although I’m as shocked and disillusioned as anyone about our current plight, to suggest things were great under Sven just isn’t true.

Mike Maddox <mwm2240(at)>


I just read through MCIVTA 1493 and feel more depressed by our so called supporters than I am by the team’s performances. There are so many articles blaming Hughes and wanting him out, after half a season. City were awful in the second half of last season, and it is the same players who are letting the club down now. For me the only players who even look like they are trying are Zabaleta, Kompany, SWP, Robinho and Stephen Ireland. The first four have all arrived this season. Hughes is a good manager, he has proved that, he should have at least two years before any decision is made on his future. Elano is an example of a player who has under performed throughout 2008, talented but lazy and with a couldn’t care less attitude that is the hardest thing to accept for any fan. If you are not committed to the job, whatever it may be, you will not do it to the best of your ability.

I have total confidence that Hughes will build a strong side that will push for a top 4 position, but that will be next season after the deadwood has been cleared out. I have followed City for 50 years, the last 30 of which have been less than inspiring, we are well overdue a spell at the top and it is coming. It took Ferguson 5 years to build a team at the Swamp, Hughes will do it in 2 years. The supporters can help or hinder that. Get behind him, get behind the club, we are not only the richest club in the world (recent) we are also the greatest club in the world (always have been), bar none.

One further point, please remember that the only item that you can rely on in a British newspaper is the date, and you might want to check that.

Phil Taylor <Phil.Taylor(at)>


I haven’t made any meaningful contributions to recent debates – quite happy to see the more vociferous amongst you knock the issues around but I will just have two minutes on City’s present predicament.

I was one of the unfortunate souls who shelled out £40 to watch that shambolic offering at the Hawthorns and, like other MCIVTA contributors, the defeat did not come as any real surprise. Invariably bad karma at the Baggies for the boys in Sky Blue, albeit we’ve lost the last three in orange, yellow and black and red!

Whilst far from happy with recent performances, it has to be born in mind that Hughes is still saddled with some of Pearce’s and Sven’s dross e.g. the appalling Vassell, the witless Benjani, the spiteful little s***e Elano, the hapless Fernandes, a woeful Jo and perhaps most worryingly of all an increasingly error probe Richard Dunne who shows all the leadership qualities of a 2nd World War Italian Tank Commander and Micah ‘The Real Deal NOT!’ Richards who has gone from hero to zero status in the last year.

Hughes should be given a chance to exercise his considerable acumen in the transfer market just nine days from now. Apart from Ben Haim, Hughes’ signings have all performed pretty well: SWP, Kompany, Zabaleta and Robinho (if the mercurial Brazilain counts as a Hughes inspired move!).

Obviously being in the bottom three isn’t really what we had in mind at Christmas and it should signal a reality check that Kaka, Buffon, Henry, etc. aren’t going to touch us with a barge pole… at present.

We’ve been linked with up to 149 players but if Hughes can bring in players of proven Premiership pedigree e.g. the likes of Wayne Bridge, Kolo Toure, Jimmy Bullard, Matthew Upson, Roque Santa Cruz plus genuine international class stars such as Spain’s midfield hardman Marcus Senna from Villareal and France’s playmaker Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich they will make one hell of a difference. These acquisitions, aligned with the returning Bojinov, Johnson once he stops thinking he’s Billy Big Balls and doing the nightclub scene and Petrov will soon transform our position. I would also fancy offering Pompey a cash lifeline by taking Glenn Johnson to give us endless defensive options.

I would try to ship out Jo, Elano, Benjani, Vassell, Ball, Fernandes, Ben Haim, Dunne and Hamann for something around £25-30 million.

We should give Hughes until the end of the season at least and see if we’re in the UEFA Cup next season and if we’ve had a good cup run. Unless Mourinho fancies the lure of a massive salary and a real challenge that of sticking us on top of the Premier League and ramming it right up Ferguson’s fundament I suggest we break with tradition and show a little stability in the manager’s position.

As far as the season goes thus far Stephen Ireland is bang on for Player of the Season, SWP is an age old favourite and Kompany and Zab have made favourable starts. Richards and Johnson need to take their respective swollen heads out of their backsides and start earning a living as footballers rather than blagging big money to go with their over-inflated egos.

Final point and, a sour one at that, all the boys in orange apart from the willing but useless Fernandes snubbed the 2,000 or so City fans at the final whislte at WBA. Not one came over to acknowledge the support and it’s moments like that that make me question why I bother going. I support the institution that is Manchester City Football Club and some of these overpaid prima donnas make me want to puke!

David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)>


I cannot believe that after all that has happened since Hughes has been in charge there are still people like Ernie Barrow calling for Hughes to be given a chance! ‘He inherited this team’, ‘let’s see what he does in the January window’, ‘let’s wait until after January and give him a chance to build his ‘own’ team’, what a lot of nonsense.

He was supposed to be a highly rated young British manager, he inherited a team that this time last year under Sven was sitting in fourth place having been briefly top of the league, eventually finishing still in the top 10.

Add to this team the likes of Kompany, Zabaleta and Robinho, how can we now be in the relegation zone having won 1 in 10 games and having to watch embarrassing defeats against, frankly, second rate teams?

It is patently obvious that players are devoid of confidence, have no clue what they are doing and look a beaten team before they reach half time. Hughes plays players out of position constantly, some say he has no choice due to injuries etc., b****cks! Vassell on the right and SWP in the middle? What has that got to do with injuries? Ireland wide left? Ball playing instead of Garrido? Benjani gets caught offside about 20 times every game because he cannot look across the line.

Against WBA we went 1-0 down to another Dunne/Richards cock up. Dunne was so high up the park he was ahead of Vassell when we lost possession and had to sprint back down the pitch, Richards was sleeping as usual and should be dropped immediately along with Hughes and Onuoha and Mee should get a chance; they cannot be any worse and probably better.

Hughes never made a single tactical move in that game. We went 1-0 down and he just stood there. We pulled a lucky goal back and he did nothing. We lost another stupid goal and he did nothing. The only change was the forced one for Benjani.

What happened to the flowing, passing football we were good at? Now it’s the Blackburn-esque punt the high ball forward to the useless Vassell or equally useless Jo, bypassing one of the most talented midfields in the Premier League (usually) completely.

WTF is he doing? Surely he has lost confidence in himself and his players? He certainly seems to have lost the respect of the players and I fear we will soon lose Robinho and others and scupper any hopes we had for big names coming to our club.

I am not one to call for a manager to be sacked, I never have in 40 years of supporting City and no offence to Blackburn or Wales but he has managed a second rate Premier League club and a terrible national team and won nothing with either. Granted he had limited resources at both but what has he done that makes him such a highly rated manager? Nothing.

Steve Oatway <steveoatway(at)>


What I don’t understand is why Mark Hughes has not been sacked yet? Are the current owners going to let him spend their money in the transfer window then sack him when things go wrong, then appoint someone else who has not picked those players? Maybe the owners will be picking the players themselves?

Any manager who consistently persists in picking a useless player like Vassell week in and week out has got to go! Vassell has got to be one of the most overrated players in City history; is it just me or is he really a headless chicken running aimlessly around at great speed?

After watching the West Brom game on Sunday, I have also come to the decision that Joe Hart must also go. Any top class ‘keeper would have come for that cross instead of being rooted to the spot like he was. We need a ‘keeper, a tall one please, who commands the 18 yard box plain and simple.

Any comments anyone?

Andy Armstrong <AND_ARM(at)>


Results not going too well for City at the moment and it’s always easy to blame the manager. However, I could only see 2 players in City’s team getting into any top four team. That’s SWP; and, as a terrific but marginal player the likes of Fletcher/O’Shea at United; Steven Ireland who could end up as a City classic. SWP is in my opinion one of the best examples of a real professional footballer. Gifted, talented, hard working, skilful, modest and honest. You can’t ask for more.

Anyway, every best wish for the festive period and sure Hughes will turn things round in time for next season 🙂

Leo Fewtrell <leo50(at)>


Sometimes it’s lonely being one of the few Blues lucky enough to live here in paradise, but the few that are here are of one mind. We seem to be the only people in the world who see that if you play (park) the bone idle Darius Vassell in front of SWP then you deny Sweep the entire space in which he is so devastatingly effective.

Is it just us?

Trevor Fisher <trevorfisher(at)>


Having supported City for quite a while it really has been an interesting ride over the years and, it continues to be. Our current situation certainly continues to give us all food for thought and is keeping the newspaper reporters quite busy. Job security for them, safe to say, writing about the Blues, especially, in the club’s current plight.

I fully realise I’m likely in the minority, but I really have no objection to the orange strip, as is hated by others. After all, surely, no-one can deny that it does make a change to watch the side lose playing in orange shirts, than when wearing the famous blue?

In addition, since we may agree that many of the players, given by their recent performances, have not been ‘fit’ to wear the blue shirt, I therefore really have no objection to the guys wearing the more unfamiliar orange, as often as possible. Or, perhaps the side should now change to permanently wearing an all-white strip to include a bold, wide, yellow streak down the middle of the back of the shirt, just for good measure. After all, if most of these grossly high-paid players whom allegedly represent Manchester City are going to continue to play like idiots, surely, we may as well have them look like idiots? I wouldn’t object to that.

I still firmly believe that one of the main reasons we are sadly lacking is because there is too much money in the game. When our players continually receive these massive amounts of money each week, exactly what is their actual incentive to perform to a high standard, on a regular and consistent basis? When a player is negotiating his new contract how often do we notice he likely performs at a higher standard? And then, once this inflated contract has been signed surprise, surprise, his form will dip. And, collectively, the side will suddenly find itself 3rd from the bottom of the league or, worse. And, do these players care? I very much doubt it, since they have lost all perspective on reality. Money is king. Their money, of course.

It used to be that a player’s basic wage was not as grossly exaggerated. As a consequence, he would rightly be really motivated to play for his win ‘bonus’ each game. Not so today. These players are over-paid, to excess in the extreme. Some will say the players earn every penny, since their career is so comparatively short. I say, so exactly who is forcing them to play football for a living? Why not, instead, try working a longer career on a 2nd or 3rd shift for 40 years in a factory, or similar, just for a dose of reality. For these over-paid prima-donnas, naturally enough, not a chance.

The best days of Manchester City, without any doubt whatsoever, were during the Mercer/Allison/Bell/Lee/Summerbee/Young/Book/Coleman/Oakes/ etc. era. Many of today’s City players are not ‘fit’ to belong to the same club as the former, let alone pull on a Manchester City shirt (whatever its colour) and that, to the club and fans’ detriment, remains a great pity.

Mark Hughes is up against the wall in a big way, and I do not envy his position. And, his job has now been made even more difficult to bring in quality players due to our lowly league position. A coincidence? I think not, thanks to most of our current bunch of players.

I wish Mark Hughes all the luck in the world. And, I shall stay for the ongoing roller-coaster ride. After all, it’s still in the blood.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


Following the recent success by the readers in identify a match details for somebody (the FA Cup Shrewsbury game), could I get some help with these games?

I don’t recall exactly when I started going to games, but two early memories are firstly the WHU home game when Joe Corrigan kicked the ball forward and it was volleyed back past him from around the halfway line.

The other one which is very vague and may even be a trick of my imagination, is that we played Forest at home and Ian Storey-Moore either broke his leg or was carried off on a stretcher. Can anybody help place the dates and scores of those games? I’m guessing it was in 1969 or 1970.


Peter Carlisle – Bangkok <carlisle(at)>


The family of Carl would like to thank all the fans who have passed on messages of support and pledged to donate money. There has been a slight improvement in Carl’s condition but it could be many months till he is out of hospital. I am bitterly disappointed though at the lack of official response from MCFC. No-one from the club has contacted the family of Carl. Carl’s brother Andrew bought a card and asked at reception if they could get it signed for Carl. His request was refused. I have emailed Garry Cook 4 times without reply and have emailed the main email address 3 times without reply. Only when the MEN got in touch with the club did they belatedly offer a statement. The biggest concern though for the club should be that this sort of response comes as no surprise to the ordinary fan.

Once again many thanks, your support has lifted the family’s morale 100%. Messages of support can be texted to Carl’s brother Andrew who is staying in Germany till the new year at least; his number is 07972 172691. If anyone would like to make a donation please contact Ian on 07852 826 150. Once again many thanks.

All the best.

Don Price <donprice(at)>


28 December 2008

Newcastle United      1 - 5  Liverpool             52,114
Arsenal               1 - 0  Portsmouth            60,092
Bolton Wanderers      0 - 1  Wigan Athletic        23,726
Everton               3 - 0  Sunderland            39,146
Fulham                2 - 2  Chelsea               25,462
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     26,344
West Ham United       2 - 1  Stoke City            34,477
Blackburn Rovers      2 - 2  Manchester City

26 December 2008

Stoke City            0 - 1  Manchester United     27,500
Chelsea               2 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  43,417
Portsmouth            1 - 4  West Ham United       20,102
Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 0  Fulham                35,869
Liverpool             3 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      43,548
Manchester City       5 - 1  Hull City             45,196
Middlesbrough         0 - 1  Everton               30,253
Sunderland            0 - 0  Blackburn Rovers      44,680
Wigan Athletic        2 - 1  Newcastle United      20,266
Aston Villa           2 - 2  Arsenal               42,585

22 December 2008

Everton               0 - 0  Chelsea

League table to 28 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       20  6  4  0 16  6  7  2  1 19  7 13  6  1  35 13  22  45
 2 Chelsea         20  4  4  2 17  6  8  2  0 23  3 12  6  2  40  9  31  42
 3 Manchester Utd  17  6  1  0 19  4  4  4  2  9  6 10  5  2  28 10  18  35
 4 Arsenal         20  6  2  2 17 11  4  3  3 16 12 10  5  5  33 23  10  35
 5 Aston Villa     19  4  5  1 16 11  6  0  3 16 11 10  5  4  32 22  10  35
 6 Everton         20  2  4  4 12 15  7  1  2 15 10  9  5  6  27 25   2  32
 7 Wigan Athletic  19  5  2  3 11 10  3  2  4 13 11  8  4  7  24 21   3  28
 8 Hull City       19  3  2  4 10 19  4  4  2 18 17  7  6  6  28 36  -8  27
 9 Fulham          19  6  3  1 16  8  0  5  4  2  6  6  8  5  18 14   4  26
10 West Ham United 20  4  1  5 13 15  3  3  4 11 13  7  4  9  24 28  -4  25
11 Bolton Wndrs    20  3  2  5  8 11  4  0  6 14 17  7  2 11  22 28  -6  23
12 Portsmouth      20  4  2  4 14 17  2  3  5  7 16  6  5  9  21 33 -12  23
13 Manchester City 20  5  0  5 24 11  1  4  5 14 19  6  4 10  38 30   8  22
14 Newcastle Utd   20  4  3  3 16 17  1  4  5 10 15  5  7  8  26 32  -6  22
15 Sunderland      20  3  2  5 11 13  3  2  5 10 16  6  4 10  21 29  -8  22
16 Tottenham H.    20  3  3  4  7  7  2  2  6 13 18  5  5 10  20 25  -5  20
17 Middlesbrough   19  3  3  4  9 14  2  2  5  8 14  5  5  9  17 28 -11  20
18 Stoke City      20  5  2  3 12 11  0  3  7  6 22  5  5 10  18 33 -15  20
19 Blackburn R.    20  2  3  5 10 17  2  3  5 12 19  4  6 10  22 36 -14  18
20 West Brom A.    20  4  2  4 13 16  1  1  8  3 19  5  3 12  16 35 -19  18

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 #1494