Newsletter #1499

Victory at last over Wigan on Saturday means we nudge back up the table a few places, despite the captain losing the plot.

Speculation continues over the Kaka deal, and we have plenty of opinion tonight on transfers, just who is doing the targeting, players and the usual requests.

News just in tonight that we have indeed made completed one signing in the region of £14 million for Mr Bellamy.

Next Game: Newcastle United, home, 7.45pm Wednesday 28 January 2009


There have been times over the years when my beloved club has tested my loyalty and patience, but this is going too far surely. How can my club justify spending that amount of money on this player?

I refer not to the proposed Kaka deal but the reported spending of £14 million on Bella… (I can’t even bring myself to type his name in full).

Yes he can play a bit, when he’s not in a strop or having bust-ups, but he is such an obnoxious person, with short man syndrome, I can’t bear the thought of him putting on a City shirt, and he’s already said he would prefer to go to Spurs; great start if he does sign. What happens if he isn’t in the starting eleven one week? Does he throw his toys out of the pram again? This may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Please Redknapp make an offer West Ham can’t refuse.

David Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


While I don’t advocate the tossing of managers/coaches overboard because of one bad spell, I also find it difficult to disagree with Martin Hunt’s “bemusement” at those who refuse to blame Mark Hughes for the current slump.

In MCIVTA 1497, Martin offers all the examples necessary to make the case for the prosecution. Professional footballers, overpaid boorish, self-obsessed jerks though many of them are, need motivating and it obviously takes a special talent to do that. There’s little point lamenting about the state of the game or the obscene amount of money these young men and boys are paid. It is what it is and it isn’t going to change.

During his post-game interviews Hughes is articulate and reasonable if entirely predictable (aren’t they all?). During games, when the going gets tough, he appears unsure of what to do. Beyond impressions gleaned from TV, I am concerned about Hughes for two specific reasons:

One, that apparent inability to manage and get the best from elite players of the sort that we can now afford to buy (Kaka, that means you). Unless they have personal problems (booze, rapid hair loss), elite players don’t suddenly stop performing without reason. Richards, Jo, Elano …

Two, his determination to buy a player like Craig Bellamy, a workman-like journeyman currently on a roll that, if past history is any indication, could end any time. A good player on his day for sure but also an unpredictable personality (I’m being polite) who could prejudice the spirit (being polite again) in any dressing room. And this pursuit of Bellamy is all the evidence needed to support the view that it is not Hughes who is driving the bizarre bid for Kaka. I doubt he even thought of it. Owners and manager are clearly not on the same page. Bad sign.

Who knows what it takes to handle a bunch of millionaire egomaniacs? It can’t be easy and if you’ll pardon the heresy, there is only one manager in the Premier League who seems to be able to do the job on a consistent basis. I won’t mention his name for fear this note is defaulted into Heidi’s junk mail.

One thing is clear, barring an immediate, miraculous turn around: Hughes is a dead manager walking.

Chris Cobb, Canada <cobsun(at)>


People are speculating that Mark Hughes is not in (full) control of transfer policy at MCFC. Big names are coming in whether he likes it or not. Even if true, that doesn’t mean he is less in control than any other manager, it just means that the regular situation is upside down. Hughes doesn’t ever experience the following:

“I want to buy Robbie Savage.”

“What? Savage would cost us a huge 8 million! Can’t we go for someone less expensive?”

But he experiences something similar with the words “a paltry” instead of “a huge” and “more” instead of “less”.

Bernard Molyneux <molyneux(at)>


So we came away from Saturday’s game with 3 points, but only by the skin of our teeth. Had it not been for Zaki’s missed easy header it would have been another day of frustration for all concerned.

Watching Dunne’s second dismissal of the season, I have now come to the end of my own personal tether with him. His form this season has deteriorated significantly from previous ones. He is clearly not a worthy captain. After the Everton defeat, when there was nobody positioned at either goal post for their goal, I was keenly looking to see if this fault had been rectified in the game against WBA, but it did not seem so. Surely it is the captain’s job to marshal his players so that these things are sorted out? You cannot rely on the manager who is yards away on the touchline. He has also been a professional player long enough to know that retaliation against provocative acts only results in dismissal and it is no use arguing.

I would like to see City make a bid for Matthew Upson of WHU. This should be a relatively easy transfer to make instead of Kaka, seeing as West Ham appear to be desperately short of cash. I think it would have more impact in improving the squad than Kaka, who is not keen to move anyway. Preferable to Bellamy as well, I think, who is seems to be a player lacking maturity. I rather suspect that spending 100 million pounds on Kaka will have the effect of strengthening AC Milan more than it will strengthen Manchester City. Think of how they could use that money to improve their squad even more!

Philip Vangass <philipvangass(at)>


I am a big fan of Mr Bellamy as I believe he has a passion and heart for the game. However, I am still worried about the tactics of Mr Hughes, he seems to blame everyone / thing bar himself.

Players get managers sacked by not performing; they do this when they decide they don’t like the tactics, ideas, beliefs, training and/or anything else they do. The Brazilians can’t be wrong can they? Now having come into money we have a manager who appears not to know what he is doing and owners unlike the rest who don’t seem to want to get rid of him. I now believe that players don’t want to sign for us and to cover this Mr Hughes has even condemned the January transfer window.

Ask yourself this: who has he actually managed? Hope that Blue Moon arrives soon.

P.S. the only people in football who rate him are the pundits and when did you hear one of them condemning one of their own?

City Till I Die, Sam Duxbury <SammY459(at)>


I felt I had to write in to express my absolute disgust with City and their current transfer targets.

No way in the world is one man worth a reported 500,000 sterling per week, the amount rumoured to be in the offing for Kaka.

How will City ever attract players who want to play for the club with amounts like this being banded about? Every top player in the world will come to City for a “testimonial” style of play and leave very rich while City’s league position will remain very poor.

What about the academy? How will upcoming talent, and let’s be honest it’s produced some world class players, ever be able to drop players into the first team squad with cash hungry superstars taking up all the slots? Would SWP be such a talent if he had been farmed out to a lower league side for first team experience while he waited for a superstar to fall out with Hughes and leave?

And, to top it all, why on earth would world stars even consider City while Mark Hughes is at the helm? How could Mark Hughes ever work (or give advice) to someone like Kaka or Messi, Buffon etc.?

I’ve never rated Hughes as a manager and I really don’t feel he has anything to offer Manchester City in terms of imagination or world reputation.

I’ve followed City through some of their darkest hours, but I really do believe the old saying that money never makes you happy.

I want players who want to wear the City shirt with pride. I don’t want players who think the club crest is a big pound sign.

I’m not sure what the emotion is I’m feeling at the moment, but in the current climate I really do think I am getting close to feeling embarrassed to be a City fan. And considering I used to shout my head off at Second Division grounds and wear the shirt with pride; I never thought I’d feel that about City!

Andrew <dolph_m(at)>


After many delays and complications I am now happy to report that Manchester City Babies in Ghana have now received the football kits and other items purchased with the £1,000 plus donated by MCIVTA readers. There were also many items of City shirts etc. donated by MCIVTA readers. The equipment eventually landed in Accra, southern Ghana on Christmas Day. Peter Amoabil, the founder of MCFC Babies, actually made no less than three 20 hour round trips from Tamale, northern Ghana, before he could actually collect the kits.

MCFC Babies is more than just the 4 junior football teams, it is a community affair. Many turn out just to watch the kids train and some of the City shirts etc. donated have been presented to local dignitaries. Thanks to the generosity of MCIVTA readers and the support of the Centenary Supporters’ Association, Manchester City is now an established name in that part of West Africa.

On a similar theme MCIVTA readers should be pleased to know that Manchester City FC (Sierra Leone version) have recently won the Sierra Leone FA Youth Cup. The senior team also boast in their captain a U/21 international.

Manchester City supporters and the Centenary Supporters’ Association in particular have done much to support football in West Africa and to promote the name of Manchester City FC in that part of the world.

In closing can I once again thank MCIVTA readers for their overwhelming generosity in supporting the Ghana Appeal. Watch this space for more news.

[Terrific news Alex, thanks for the update and let’s hope that one day we will see some of those boys in action for MCFC! – Ed]

Alex Channon <editor(at)>


Thanks again to all those who very kindly offered to help me out with tickets for the Racing game (not sure why I bothered going…).

Are there any other good Samaritans with lots of loyalty points (I am down in the mid-3500) who would be prepared to buy a ticket for me for the Copenhagen away game?

Many thanks.

Miles Webber <miles.webber(at)>


We’d like to bring you attention to the above play that is currently touring. It is all about the Manchester City legend, Bert Trautmann.

The play has received some terrific reviews (see link) and I’m sure any City fan would love it. Details can be found at:

The site is being updated frequently with new dates.

John Homer <slimjimrip(at)>


Carl has now been in hospital 11 weeks and will be in for at least another 2 months. A contact of the Bredbury branch called Marcus who lives near Schalke has met up with Carl’s brother and has been very helpful. He has also managed to publicise the situation on German radio. Manchester City FC has recorded messages of support from the Manager and players and that will be sent out shortly. Bluewatch vs. Bluemoon charity football match will take place at Platt Lane on Saturday 21st February. A charity 5-a-side is now being organised by Alex from the CSA. The Football Supporters’ Federation has also been in contact with us. We were hoping to organise a sportsman’s dinner at the stadium but unfortunately with the all the costs involved we would have to charge about £42 a ticket to make a profit. So we will either look for another venue or scrap it altogether. It is a shame really; we really wanted to hold it at the stadium but no-one I have spoke to wants to spend £40 plus on a sportsman’s dinner so there is not a lot we can do. We might hold a cabaret night at a local venue instead.

People at City have been very good to us in the last couple of weeks with Sam and Vick in particular being very helpful and keeping us up to date. They are allowing us in the ground vs. Boro to do a collection and we can also do it at half time and full time. They are also putting a bit of an update in the programme and making an announcement at half time and on the scoreboard and they are also sorting us out with some flags with Carl’s name on. We are desperate for volunteers to help with the bucket collection. If you can help, or have any other ideas to move the campaign forward please get in contact with me. If anyone would like to make a donation please send a cheque to Andrew Ramsbottom, 100 Miller Street, Heywood.

Don Price <donprice(at)>


I received this joke from a United fan friend of mine (come on we’ve all got them). Anyhow it pretty much sums up how we are thought of in Trafford but I’m thick skinned and it’s water off a duck’s back to me. If you can try to read it with a non-biased view it’s quite funny and gave me a chuckle. At the end of the day no matter what our mixed views are on our current plight, let’s not lose our sense of humour. I’m not going to to say read and enjoy but read it and take it for what it is… a joke!

I have come across this dialogue between Man City and Milan superstar Kaka. Unfortunately I only have the script from the City end but hopefully you will get the drift…

“Hello, is that Kaka? How do you fancy becoming the supply line to Craig Bellamy and Darius Vassell this winter?”
“No, your fellow countryman doesn’t like the cold and will be out until mid-April but you will play alongside Stephen Ireland”
“No, Kaka, Ireland is a person not a country”
“Yes, I fully appreciate that he is not Ronaldinho, Pirlo or even Beckham but many fans have him in their fantasy football”
“I know you are currently the richest man in Italy but we can double it!”
“Erm, well, we have had a bit of a slide recently and we are currently 15th”
“Erm, out of 20… but Mark Hughes once won the double for our neighbours”
“Ex Blackburn boss”
“Blackburn, Blackburn Rovers”
“No, Blackburn… Black… Burn”
“Hughes man, Hughes!”
“He once scored a good goal against Spain”
“No, that’s Gerry Armstrong… anyway, are you coming or not?”
“Usually about two thirds full but if when we play a big team like United it really rocks”
“Yes I know, but we don’t even have a car park ’cause all the fans walk to the ground they are so local”
“Relevance? Well, I suppose it’s all they have to brag about whether it’s true or not”
“Only the one to be fair, but it’s called ‘blue moon’, you will love it”
“Yes, definitely blue, always has been”
“No, no, no, they are in Trafford”
“Yes they are, steeped in it in fact but what good is history to you my ambitious friend?”
“Erm, 1976 I think” “it was the er, the er League cup if memory serves me right”
“Well, the plan was to get in the top 4 this season and then…” “Yes, I realise that but…”
“Aston Villa? What’s it got to do with them?”
“Yes, I know but we have been down this history route already” “How the heck does a Brazilian playing in Italy know about Nottingham Forest?”
“Yes, yes, and Leeds United also made a final but you are missing my point, this is all about the future”
“Give me strength… Hughes!” “Yes I know he did and he was a legend there but he is a changed man”
“Forget them, they are falling apart” “But all those trophies were won last year! They have won nothing in 2009”
“I have told you… 1976!”
“How the heck does a Brazilian playing in Italy know that Virginia Wade has won Wimbledon since then?”
“Yes she probably is in her 60’s” “I don’t know, probably about 10 league titles, 2 European cups and countless domestic cups, what has that got to do with it?”
“76,000 why?”
“Yes, every game, even minor cups I suppose, but where is this getting us?”
“Yes, the league cup is considered a minor cup over here why?”
“I know, I know, I know, ok perhaps they won the FA Cup in 1970 or something does it really matter?”
“Look, Kaka, we will treble whatever you are on now, buy you a mansion in Alderley Edge and give you a helicopter for your front lawn… are you joining us?”
“No!, it’s owned by the council what has the ground got to do with anything?”
“Well, officially it’s the City of Manchester Stadium but most people call it Eastlands”
“East!, not Waste”
“You will be adored there”
“No, not there, here I meant”
“No, that’s Old Trafford, I meant adored here at Waste… erm, Eastlands”
“Anderson? What does he know?”
“Ok I hear what you say, but other than Pride, Ambition, Achievement, History, Passion and a large car park what can they offer you?”
“What do you mean no credit left in your phone… I phoned you”
“Hello, Mr Kaka,.. Mr Kaka are you there? You Red b’stard!”

Don’t shoot the messenger. Here’s hoping for 3 points against Wigan (our bogey team).

Darren Wareing <darren.wareing(at)>
Also from David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)>


18 January 2009

West Ham United       3 - 1  Fulham                31,818
Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 1  Portsmouth            36,011

17 January 2009

Blackburn Rovers      3 - 0  Newcastle United      25,583
Bolton Wanderers      0 - 1  Manchester United     26,021
Chelsea               2 - 1  Stoke City            41,788
Manchester City       1 - 0  Wigan Athletic        41,262
Sunderland            1 - 2  Aston Villa           40,350
West Bromwich Albion  3 - 0  Middlesbrough         25,557
Hull City             1 - 3  Arsenal               24,924

League table to 18 January 2009 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  21  9  1  0 24  4  5  4  2 10  6 14  5  2  34  10  24 47
 2 Liverpool       21  6  4  0 16  6  7  3  1 19  7 13  7  1  35  13  22 46
 3 Chelsea         22  5  4  2 19  7  8  2  1 23  6 13  6  3  42  13  29 45
 4 Aston Villa     22  5  5  1 18 12  8  0  3 19 12 13  5  4  37  24  13 44
 5 Arsenal         22  7  2  2 18 11  5  3  3 19 13 12  5  5  37  24  13 41
 6 Everton         21  3  4  4 14 15  7  1  2 15 10 10  5  6  29  25   4 35
 7 Wigan Athletic  22  6  2  3 12 10  3  2  6 13 13  9  4  9  25  23   2 31
 8 West Ham United 22  5  1  5 16 16  3  4  4 13 15  8  5  9  29  31  -2 29
 9 Hull City       22  3  2  6 11 23  4  4  3 18 19  7  6  9  29  42 -13 27
10 Fulham          20  6  3  1 16  8  0  5  5  3  9  6  8  6  19  17   2 26
11 Manchester City 21  6  0  5 25 11  1  4  5 14 19  7  4 10  39  30   9 25
12 Portsmouth      21  4  2  4 14 17  2  4  5  8 17  6  6  9  22  34 -12 24
13 Bolton Wndrs    22  3  2  6  8 12  4  0  7 14 18  7  2 13  22  30  -8 23
14 Newcastle Utd   22  4  4  3 18 19  1  4  6 10 18  5  8  9  28  37  -9 23
15 Sunderland      22  3  2  6 12 15  3  3  5 11 17  6  5 11  23  32  -9 23
16 Tottenham H.    22  3  4  4  8  8  2  2  7 13 19  5  6 11  21  27  -6 21
17 Blackburn R.    21  3  3  5 13 17  2  3  5 12 19  5  6 10  25  36 -11 21
18 Middlesbrough   22  3  4  4 10 15  2  2  7  8 18  5  6 11  18  33 -15 21
19 Stoke City      22  5  3  3 12 11  0  3  8  7 24  5  6 11  19  35 -16 21
20 West Brom A.    22  5  2  4 16 16  1  1  9  4 21  6  3 13  20  37 -17 21

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1499