Newsletter #1502

Back to winning ways after the January break and off pitch shenanigans as City came out winners against Newcastle on Wednesday night with goals from new boy Bellamy and SweeP. We have a match report tonight thanks to Phil, and views on the new arrivals and shape of the team.

Alex is back with the news and catching up with all the latest on the transfer dealings with just a few days to go, match reactions, Academy progress and behind the scenes action.

We also have opinion on the new City, Joel’s campaign against the red tops and the usual requests.

Next up, Stoke.

Next Game: Stoke City, away, 12.45pm Saturday 31 January 2009


You take one week off to ensure you’re completely prepared for all your exams and all hell breaks loose. What is it with this football club? From Kaka to Robinho, I’ll try to help you catch up with the goings-on of the last fortnight.

General News

Kaka Collapse: Well we didn’t really want him did we? Yes, after weeks of speculation and apparently months of behind-the-scenes work, the Kaka deal feel through. If we’re honest, we expected it to happen, things never run smooth at CoMS so this was doomed from the outset. Whilst the Italian giants claimed that it was the player’s choice to knock back a move to the Premier League, Executive Chairman Garry Cook recollected a very different version of events: “I think the intention from AC Milan was clearly to sell their player and Manchester City’s intention was clearly to bring him to the football club. I think there was some political pressure and definitely media space that they engaged in. To be honest, I think they bottled it, simple as that. We never met the player, we only met the representatives, we never actually made him an offer on personal terms. So it’s very difficult to turn down something that you’ve not been offered. We’ve heard everything and there’s been a bit of mudslinging, but we’re going to choose not to get into that, our objective is that we’re building a football club for the long term. It would have been great to have had Kaka at this football club, the Premier League would have benefited, football would have benefited and we were willing to make that investment on rational terms. Unfortunately, the behaviour that they showed was not what we had expected nor had we anticipated.” Cook was also clear to state that the club will not be put off in their pursuit for top class talent in the future: “It certainly doesn’t put us off. We’re extremely proud of the fact that we actually had a seat at the table to discuss bringing Kaka to this football club. There are many clubs that would love to be in our position and there are only a few clubs that can bring that type of talent to their football club because it’s very complex. It’s not simply a footballer; it’s buying a business.” Despite Cook having his critics, you’ve got to admit he’s doing his job. The job description stated that Cook must make City a household name, and during a time when major trophies are not expected to be won, quite yet, for the third time this year the whole world is talking about Manchester City FC, following the pursuit of Ronaldinho, the purchase of Robinho and now the chase for Kaka.

Robbie Runs Off: From one Brazilian to another and this story has all the makings of competing with Stephen Ireland’s tall tales of last year. As most of the City squad enjoyed a training camp in Tenerife, one player was missing. In fact it’s rumoured that the club even reported him missing to the police. Yes, that’s right, ‘Robinho-gate’ has begun and no-one quite knows where it will end. The £pound;32.5 million record signing left the Tenerife training camp in order to see to an “urgent family matter” back home in Brazil. However, the former Real Madrid playmaker failed to let anyone know he was going. To cut a long story short, Robbie has been officially disciplined by the club and Hughes has made it clear that he will not be treated any differently to the less ‘glamorous’ players in the squad. “Robinho will be treated in exactly the same manner, given the circumstances, as any other player at Manchester City. Everybody knows that – there’s no special case here. Given a similar circumstance with any other player here they would expect to be treated in a similar manner. That needs to be made clear and that’s the top and bottom of it. I’ve touched on what I expect to happen and it really is at the point where we’ve moved on and drawn the line under it and we’re looking forward to preparing for the game against Newcastle.”

But that isn’t the end of it. Only a couple of days after the club had laid rest to the disciplinary procedures, yet another revelation occurred. Robinho was arrested and questioned by police with regards to a ‘serious sexual assault’ that occurred in a nightclub in Leeds. Though the arrest and questioning was planned by the player and his representatives, the severity of the claim may have a great affect on the player over the coming weeks. The devoted husband and father of one has promised to cooperate with police and strenuously denies the allegations that conveniently seem to follow ultra-rich megastars. The support of the fans is with Robbie and his family.

Hughes the Man: Stephen Ireland has come out in support of manager Mark Hughes in the last week, claiming that sacking him would only cause disruption inside the club. Following a poor run of results during December and a loss of faith from the fans, Hughes’ position looked shaky but Ireland believes the Blues are now turning the situation round and the manager deserves some credit for that. “He’s a great man and I think is doing great things for the club. If any manager came in they wouldn’t do half the things he’s doing. He’s involved in every area of the training ground, the club and developing it. I think if some other manager came in they wouldn’t do things like expanding the medical area or making a gym like the one we have, they wouldn’t really care, but he cares a lot about the game, his job and his players. I think it’s really important he stays there and I think he’ll get it right – I really do. I’ve watched us and I know he’ll get it right.”

Squad News

Boj’ is Back (Well, Almost): Having re-joined the squad for light training for the first time since rupturing his Achilles tendon, Bulgarian Striker Valeri Bojinov is now only a few weeks from full training. Currently his focus is on his fitness and due to the severity of the injury, Bojinov is yet to do much work with the football but the most injury prone player in MCFC’s recent history is expected to be back in contention for the first eleven come the end of February. Hughes gave his assessment of the ongoing saga: “We’re pleased with the way he has come back, he’s very strong around the injury. His cardiovascular work is down because he has missed so much training, so we’ll try to improve that part of him. We are hopeful that in the next two or three weeks he will be able to start in group sessions, and that we can get him back in February.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Craig Bellamy: The Welsh international has joined up with his compatriot Mark Hughes by signing for his sixth Premier League club. Bellamy, who has previously worked with Hughes at Blackburn Rovers and the Welsh national squad, signed for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be about £14 million. The striker signed a four and a half year deal after weeks of speculation in which West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola had been desperate to keep hold of his star players and yet, due to the financial crisis at the Hammers, was unable to. The manager was clearly pleased to wrap up his second signing of the window: “I am delighted to be working with Craig once more. He is an outstanding player who provides us with qualities that we are lacking slightly. He has blistering pace, has bags of enthusiasm, has a superb attitude to training and will be a great addition to the squad.” Bellamy also spoke of his excitement about the challenge ahead: “I think it is going to be incredible here over the next couple of years. It’s not just for me, you speak to anyone in the Premier League and they would want to come to Manchester City. It’s rare for that to happen outside of the top four, but I think there are a lot of players who would like to come to this club. I’ve been given that opportunity, there are other players who would love it, and so it is up to me to make the most of it. This really is a club that in the next couple of years is going to be incredible. There are so many things happening here that are out of this world, for me to be part of it was an offer that I just could not walk away from.”

Nigel De Jong: Holding midfielder Nigel De Jong has joined the club in order to strengthen the Blues’ defensive options. The Dutchman, who progressed through the Ajax Academy to go on and become a star in the German Bundesliga, is rumoured to have cost the club anything from £14-19 million performed excellently on his début last night against the Geordies. Clearly De Jong felt that this was the next step on his career ladder and he told the website as much: “I feel very good and for me it is the next step in my own career after three years in Germany and I hope to be successful here at Manchester City. The ideas and the planning behind this club are very hopeful and it’s a new adventure so I’m delighted to be here right now. The stadium looks great and I think it can only be better when it’s full of people. I’m looking forward to playing here and everybody knows that the Premier League is maybe the biggest competition in the world.”

It’s a Given: With some papers reporting that Given has already signed for the Blues but Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear claiming he still intends to keep hold of the Republic of Ireland international, City fans have been left in a daze as to what the heck is going on but Given’s absence from the Newcastle eleven last night spoke volumes. £8 million may be enough to prise Given away from St James’ Park after eleven years in the North East and he has been caught on record stating he is searching for a new challenge.

Window Watch: Hopefully the Blues haven’t quite finished in their pursuit for quality players and Hughes has hinted that there may be one or two more walking through the doors of Eastlands before February the second comes round. Werder Bremen’s Diego is the latest name to be linked with the club though at £25 million, whether the Citizens will be happy to pay such money is another question. Danny Sturridge, who is out of contract in the summer, is still yet to pen a new one and could be set to join Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa’s English revolution come July. Didier Drogba’s absence has caused papers to link him with the richest club in the world and he may be the perfect striker for City’s system but Mourinho is lurking and Inter Milan maybe the more attractive proposition for the Ivorian striker. Ched Evans has been the most widely read rumour of the last couple of days with both Celtic and Cardiff aiming to lure him away from CoMS. The Welsh academy graduate may see his chances of first team football have become extremely limited and may seek a move away. Dave Jones has admitted it may be difficult for his Championship side to compete with Celtic though the fact that Cardiff were Evans’ boyhood club may work in their favour.

Academy Talk

Trophy Trail: Jim Cassell’s famous work with the best academy in the country continues to impress as the City Under 18s overcame a tricky tie at Portsmouth to progress to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup. Dedryck Boyata’s header was enough to put the Blues through and Cassell was happy with his side’s victory: “I thought the boys battled well and we played some good football, particularly in the first half, and had we put our chances away then I think we might have had a more comfortable last 10 minutes. Overall you can win games comfortably or win them by scrapping them out and that win gives us a lot of pleasure because tactically it was very good and the things we worked on came off for us.” The club’s young guns will now take on Newcastle at home after the North East side overcame QPR at Loftus Road.

The Under 18s’ progression through the FA Youth Cup has been noticed from clubs around the British Isles with many of the academy talent being picked up on loan by more senior squads. Javan Vidal and Paul Marshall are the latest of these, with Aberdeen and Blackpool respectively signing the youngsters on loan. Vidal has moved to Scotland until the end of the season whereas Marshall moves on loan to the seaside resort for an initial one month period.

Andrew Tutte and Kieran Trippier are also reaping the benefits of playing for such a well respected Academy as Brian Eastwick has called them up for England Under 20 duty. The Under 20s take on Spain’s youth side on February the tenth and City’s young stars will be hoping to make a good impression on the international scene.

Post-Match Reaction

Wigan Athletic: Despite only losing one game of their last nine and that being to Stretford Reds the Wednesday before they visited CoMS, City proved too good for Steve Bruce’s surprise outfit. Pablo Zabaleta’s goal was enough to claim a 1-0 victory over the top ten side and even though Richard Dunne received a ninth career red card, the manager expressed his pleasure at obtaining back to back home victories: “Given the circumstances of the game we were excellent. We felt a little bit aggrieved at half time because I felt we had done enough to get our noses in front. We had two or three good chances in that opening 20 minutes, but got the goal after the break. It was a great strike from Pablo, who I thought had an excellent game in that midfield position. From that point I thought we would go on and win the game quite comfortably, but we lost Dunnie to the sending off and the game changed. We had to show different qualities, but we showed them in abundance. I thought we were excellent.”

Newcastle United: And a third straight win at home. Rather impressive taking into account the poor run of form that preceded Christmas. The Blues dominated the game throughout and impressive débuts from Bellamy and De Jong allowed some Blues to be ever so slightly optimistic about the remainder of the season. In Wayne Bridge, City have solved the issue of left back with one of the best in Europe. De Jong provides the extra defensive cover that the Blues have sought all season and Bellamy gives City a hunger up front, a player who actively looks to find the back of the net. For the first time in years I heard a supporter use the word ‘balanced’ at the Blues’ game last night and I had to agree. The defenders had the opportunity to push forward and yet when needed the defensive cover was found standing up to the test. Though there’s a long way to go, and with the impending returns of Valeri Bojinov and Martin Petrov, the squad has a firm foundation on which to build and hopefully the club can now push on to challenge the top six. The Boss claimed: “I was really pleased with our performance in the first half, the way we shifted it across the pitch at times was excellent. The interplay between Robbie and Craig was very encouraging, and Nigel linked things from back to front – two very impressive débuts. Once we realise when to release Craig a touch earlier, he will be key to how we play. Now we are in the top 10, and we don’t want to drop out of it. That’s the aim for the rest of the season. We want to look ahead, not behind us, and we have the quality to be confident enough in our ability to win more games.”

Alex Rowan <news(at)>


Craig Bellamy scored on his début to seal a deserved Manchester City victory over a poor Newcastle side who have a long struggle ahead of them. This latest win propelled us into the top half of the table and was a little easier than the scoreline would suggest, but City being City, we had to have a scare late on!

Skipper for the evening, Vincent Kompany, dropped back into central defence alongside Nedum Onuoha, whilst Pablo Zabaleta continued in central midfield and was joined by débutant Nigel de Jong. Bellamy came in up front, and after his one match suspension, Stephen Ireland returned in place of Elano. City’s board were negotiating with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley for the signature of Shay Given at this match, so Steve Harper was in goal for the visitors in his place. Another player who is linked with City (though he is more likely to join in the summer), Michael Owen, started off up front for the visitors but did not last very long, and walked off the pitch injured, to polite applause.

City started off passing the ball in pleasing fashion with Zabaleta and De Jong in particular, looking very impressive in the midfield engine room with their tenacious tackling and intelligent use of the ball. Kompany emphasised his class and vision when he stepped out of defence to play one exquisite, inch perfect long pass out to the left. The movement of the team was good as we probed for an opening against a struggling Newcastle side. Wright-Phillips’ header from Wayne Bridge’s accurate left wing cross was easily saved by Harper. City were certainly dominating without really testing Harper early on: Ireland having an effort easily saved, Robinho skying a shot over and shooting wide from a well positioned free kick.

It was no surprise, though, when City scored. Bridge’s cross from the left was controlled by Robinho who spun and played a clever ball inside the Newcastle left back, which the advancing Wright-Phillips calmly squeezed under Harper’s body and into the far corner of the net. Eastlands roared its approval.

City played some absolutely lovely football with Zabaleta and De Jong orchestrating it from their central positions. We may have increased our lead but Bellamy tumbled when running onto Ireland’s clever through ball. Kompany continued to impress with his probing long range passing, and Wright-Phillips tormented Newcastle with his pace and trickery. Zabaleta, who was running the show, made a thrilling, powerful run down the centre, which resulted in him shooting over.

City collectively seemed to take their foot off the pedal for the last ten minutes of the half and for a good chunk of the second half, as Newcastle competed physically and at times, illegally: Wright-Phillips being on the end of some rough treatment from Gutierrez and Enrique. How Gutierrez was allowed to stay on after his assault on the latter is a mystery. Indeed, this poor Newcastle side was more akin to Joe Kinnear’s Wimbledon rather than Keegan’s swashbuckling sides, and this may partly explain the uncharacteristically poor turn out and quietness of the Geordie fans. The ‘Worst support we’ve ever seen’ chant from the singing section in the Kippax was a correct observation.

Our two central midfield players played well but they were a little too deep at times and this left us a little short of supporting players in attack. In their defence, Zabaleta and De Jong did make plenty of tackles, and they are both getting used to each other’s games. Furthermore, De Jong is coming back from an injury, so it is understandable that he was not able to sustain his energy levels for the whole game.

With Colocinni and Barton working hard, Newcastle dominated for a large spell of the second half, but they failed to work Hart. The Geordies didn’t have a striker to convert Geremi’s accurate high right wing cross, and Bridge was forced to clear a searching, low, left wing cross from the hard-working Duff. City were playing on the break and Robinho failed to pick out a darting Bellamy run, and instead, Wright-Phillips was played in only for his effort to be smothered out for a corner. Bellamy might have earned a penalty when he was barged over when running down the inside left channel, but as with another legitimate Wright-Phillips claim, the young referee strangely didn’t give it, much to our disgust. Similarly, the Geordie fans appealed strongly when they too were denied a spot kick after Taylor went down under a Richards challenge. Specsavers, Specsavers, wherefore art thou, Specsavers?

City’s second goal was beautifully executed from start to finish. Wright-Phillips cleverly chested Kompany’s long pass into the path of the advancing Zabaleta who crossed to Bellamy. The Welshman swivelled, spun and hit a low left foot shot into the right hand corner of the net. It was class throughout.

City nearly added to this when Wright-Phillips played in Ireland but the young Irishman was denied by a superb block by Stephen Taylor. Then, typically, City gave us all a potentially anxious last ten minutes (plus five minutes of stoppage time), when Bridge was dispossessed on the edge of the box and Carroll swept home the resultant cross at the far post. Kiss’s ‘Crazy nights’ had been played at half time, and it would certainly have been a fitting choice had Newcastle stolen a point, but City were not unduly troubled by the poorest Newcastle side in years for the rest of the game. There was still time for Bellamy’s shot to be saved comfortably by Harper after clever interplay by substitute Elano and Robinho, and Bellamy saw time out by the corner flag with some intelligent running down of the clock that is normally annoying when we’re on the other end of it! It shouldn’t have come to that, as we were clearly the superior side and the scoreline clearly flattered Newcastle.

If there is one thing that this match showed it is that we are some way from being ruthless enough to dispatch such teams with ease. As new players settle in and our team develops a better understanding then we will get better. When Robinho and Bellamy get used to each other’s runs then we really could score a heap load of goals. Whilst we are nowhere near the finished article, the overall signs from this game were good, and Mark Hughes’s squad looks to have a better balance already. The club has had a lot of unwarranted negative publicity, so it was particularly sweet for City to follow up the win over Wigan. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks and the heat has been on our club, but there is no better way to silence the critics than to win matches. Mark Hughes can take credit for dealing with the negative speculation and Robinho’s disciplinary problems calmly and fairly, not with kid gloves, but with, as what Half Man Half Biscuit might say, Joy Division Oven Gloves. City remain a project that is ‘work in progress’, and progress is most definitely being made.

Hopefully Zabaleta (who was withdrawn late on feeling his calf) and the much-kicked Wright-Phillips do not have lasting injuries as they are key players for City, and we will need every bit of their character and quality to tackle the forthcoming fixtures.

This report is dedicated to my step-father and friend, Raymond Edge, who passed away recently. Ray was a lovely man. He was kind, considerate, warm and intelligent with a ready wit. ‘Tackle hard (but fair) and you’ll not get hurt’, he told me in my youth, and he was spot on. In his younger days, Ray was a coal miner, and later on in his career, a teacher in the Potteries and I will think of him in particular when we play his team, Stoke City, this weekend. He was an absolute privilege to know. We miss him dearly. May he rest in peace.

Hart: Not really tested. A little slow to come off his line at times 6.
Richards: Looking much more comfortable in his best position with some good runs forward 7.
Kompany: A classy, assured performance by the skipper for the evening, though he took a couple of chances with risky back passes 7.
Onuoha: Solid and dependable 7.
Bridge: Some delightful touches and decent defending for the most part. Blotted his copybook when dispossessed for Newcastle’s goal, which was a shame 6.
Shaun Wright-Phillips: City’s chief creative force who earned a well-deserved goal 8.
Zabaleta: Another all-action performance that underpinned City’s victory 8.
De Jong: Accurate, neat passing and several meaty challenges in a good début before tiring late on 7.
Ireland: Bright, inventive and hard working, if a little rusty 6.
Robinho: Clever pass set up SWP’s goal, asked questions without quite being at his very best 7.
Bellamy: Fine goal capped a good, hard working début 7.
Elano (for De Jong): Some lovely touches 7.
Caicedo (for SWP) : Too late to make an impression n/a.
Fernandes (for Zabaleta): Too late to make an impression n/a.

Att: 42,280
Refwatch: Mike Jones (Cheshire): An error strewn performance from a naïve young referee who clearly has a lot to learn 2.
Best Oppo: Barton: Booed at every turn by some but managed to keep his cool. Competed gamely and used the ball well until he went off injured 7.
City’s man of the match: Zabaleta just shades it from SWP.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Excellent article from Phil Banerjee in MCIVTA 1500. The top 4 clubs here are nervous that we are going to take away one of “their” Champions’ League places within a year or two so they will try to do all they can to stop us. And the big clubs in Europe are also afraid of us bursting into their select little group and taking away their hold on the best players. So we can expect lots of flak from all and sundry, and it won’t go away; in fact it will probably get worse as our performances and results improve.

We have been roundly criticised for offering “obscene” amounts of money to players. But of course we will only be able to attract the best players if we pay over the odds, precisely because we are not challenging for major honours yet and we won’t be able to challenge for them without buying the best players. Of course I would prefer it if we managed to get to the top on a shoestring, using Academy players and astute buying, but that is a dream not a reality (although Villa may yet prove me wrong).

So we should be applauded for our ambition, not ridiculed as we are in some quarters. OK, we didn’t get Kaka, and Robinho has been a naughty boy, but we are building a solid team on the quiet, and we are moving very definitely in the right direction, onwards and upwards. Let’s not get drawn into the negativity that is being flung our way. As long-suffering fans there is probably a part of us that think there is something to the “City-itis” theory, but we really do have a huge chance now to make the leap to the top.

One point to add to that which seems to have been overlooked by all and sundry as they moan about the wages we were offering Kaka: all this money is coming from Abu Dhabi, so it is adding to the British economy rather than taking away from it. In fact, the tax that Kaka would have paid if he had come, at about a quarter of a million quid a week, would put over £12 million a year into the public purse. We could regenerate East Manchester if we get a few more players like that, and all from Abu Dhabi oil money!

Feeling positive (at least until we get tonked by Newcastle or Stoke), John Edwards <jbmc30(at)>


I keep hearing that City need to bolster the defence, and apart from Bridge all the talk is of midfielders and strikers. Have the powers at be at City considered an offer for Daniel van Buyten I wonder? He was immense when on loan to us a few years back – he slotted in immediately and only played 5 games I think, and although at 31 is getting a tad old, we could do worse. I couldn’t believe it when we weren’t able to offer the money to keep him, especially as it was reported at the time that he wanted to stay.

Could we offer him enough money to tempt him away from Bayern though? Possibly not. But certainly we should be looking for someone of his calibre to give Dunne and Richards something to think about.

Andy Howarth <howarths(at)>


I’ve not met a fan yet who wants him. I’m completely underwhelmed too. He has an unfortunate reputation. At his best he is a 1 in 3 man, we need a 1 in 2 man.

I realise Hughes knows him, he seems incapable of working with players he doesn’t already know. They are at a certain level but are they better than what we have?

Bellamy? Yes, marginally perhaps.
RSC? Yes, marginally.

Let’s hope I’m wrong!

We must keep Sturridge and turn Johnson around.

Simon Moorehead <simonmoorehead(at)>


As much as I have disliked Bellamy in the past, he does work hard and he does want to win. That is obvious. Until I, or anyone else criticize him, first deposit 6-10 weeks’ wages in the charity of your choice. Neither he, nor anyone else, has to do that. Who amongst us has not wanted swing a golf club at an annoying person on a golf course?

Jim Heaviside <jheavis502(at)>


Three points tonight against what must be said to be quite a poor Newcastle side. But, to win games, goals have to be scored and we did just that, thanks to SWP and Craig Bellamy.

Several previous contributors to this newsletter had already dissed Bellamy and the club for his signing after tonight, I trust those dissenting voices may now be silenced, since the player’s display was not exactly shabby. It is quite clear Craig always knows exactly where the opposition’s goalmouth is, he’s certainly not afraid to make a go of it. A very determined player who is not averse to getting stuck in and having a go. It made for a pleasant change, especially, seeing this amount of determination from a player wearing a blue shirt. Sturridge and Caicedo will learn much from Craig Bellamy! Well done to him, and also to the tough-tackling de Jong, whom I also like the look of and, once he is totally match-fit, a player who should make an excellent pairing with Kompany and Co.

So, looks like a good couple of buys by Mark H, to add to his choices of SWP, Robinho, Kompany and Bridge, etc. Mark Hughes’ detractors may now decide to give him the benefit of the doubt at least for a while?

It’s results that really matter and the trip to Stoke for the next game.

Wish List: Another class striker needed to be brought in during this window, of course; also, a player I called for a few weeks ago, via McV, for us to purchase – Shay Given, from whom Joe Hart shall learn a great deal.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


I’m filled with glee each time I read a bleating quote about how City are ruining a perfectly good status quo. Remember what George Orwell wrote in his essay, Shooting an Elephant: “I was hated by large numbers of people, the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me.”

Keep it up, City!

Stuart Booth <stuwbooth(at)>


If anyone would like to express their concerns or register their umbridge at a certain red-top sports correspondent then here is his email address: <Ian.McGarry(at)>

I have written to him regarding the blatant lies that appeared in today’s Scum newspaper regarding Hughes, Robinho etc.

Even prompting him to respond; highly gracious given the man’s deluded arrogance. If you want to see the said email then please email me and I’ll send it.

I make no apology for the rather ‘flowery’ tone of the vitriol, and I am certain Heidi would ban me from this mailer if I had sent it in. I can safely say it’s blue.

There has been a campaign bubbling to chant certain songs aimed at the Scum and Mirror – it starts at Newcastle.

Onwards people, onwards.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


MCFCfans produced two blog posts reflecting on the Kaka saga drawing on the recent press vitriol and the reaction from fans all over the world, including MCIVTA readers. By the time you read these, the Newcastle game will have been played and the football will have begun talking again, positively with any luck!

Part I:$blog/2009/01/26/manchester_city_fans_defiant_ahead_of_newcastle_show_down

Part II:$blog/2009/01/27/manchester_city_fans_defiant_ahead_of_newcastle_show_down_part_ii

Struan Malcolm <struan_Malcolm(at)>


Bid to Play on your Field of Dreams!

It’s that time of year again: the weather is wetter, money is minimal and New Year’s resolutions are already redundant. But fear not: Football Aid are here to brighten up those January blues with the return of the spectacular annual event, the unique and fantastic Football Aid January Auction!

Together with the support of over twenty-five clubs around the UK, Football Aid are looking to raise even more money for a variety of charitable causes, as the launch of the fiercely competitive Football Aid auction gets underway. Imagine the pride in seeing your shirt hanging up in the changing room, the thrill of running through the tunnel and the adrenaline of playing on the pitch that your heroes have graced before you…

A host of club legends including Gary McAllister, David Busst and Football Aid’s Vice Patron, Danny McGrain have all supported Football Aid in previous years, either managing or playing alongside football fans as they graced the hallowed turf.

The 2009 Football Aid Auction at is already shaping up to be extremely exciting, with the new Maximum Bid and Buy Now options already proving very popular with bidders! Bidding positions will continue to close at regular intervals throughout the bidding period with the first position closing on the 3rd February and the last available positions closing on the 4th March.

So with bidding starting from only £170, there really is no better time to grab yourself the ultimate January bargain! So if you’re a dynamic defender, a midfield magician or a silky striker, there are positions to suit every player!

All funds raised from the events are distributed through Football Aid’s parent charity Field of Dreams and split between diabetes research programmes, and charities nominated by participating clubs. Football Aid has so far awarded over £1.3 million to charitable causes since the company was set up in 2000, and has enabled nearly 10,000 football fans to pull on their favourite club’s colours and grace the hallowed turf of the club they support. Please visit or alternatively contact the sales team at <info(at)> to find out how you can Live the Dream.

Conor Skinnader – Football Aid


28 January 2009

Chelsea               2 - 0  Middlesbrough         40,280
Manchester City       2 - 1  Newcastle United      42,280
Wigan Athletic        1 - 1  Liverpool             21,237
Blackburn Rovers      2 - 2  Bolton Wanderers      25,205
Everton               1 - 1  Arsenal               37,097
West Ham United       2 - 0  Hull City             34,340

27 January 2009

Sunderland            1 - 0  Fulham                36,539
West Bromwich Albion  0 - 5  Manchester United     26,105
Portsmouth            0 - 1  Aston Villa           19,073
Tottenham Hotspur     3 - 1  Stoke City            36,072

League table to 28 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  22  9  1  0 24  4  6  4  2 15  6 15  5  2  39  10  29 50
 2 Chelsea         23  6  4  2 21  7  8  2  1 23  6 14  6  3  44  13  31 48
 3 Liverpool       23  6  5  0 17  7  7  4  1 20  8 13  9  1  37  15  22 48
 4 Aston Villa     23  5  5  1 18 12  9  0  3 20 12 14  5  4  38  24  14 47
 5 Arsenal         23  7  2  2 18 11  5  4  3 20 14 12  6  5  38  25  13 42
 6 Everton         23  3  5  4 15 16  7  2  2 16 11 10  7  6  31  27   4 37
 7 Wigan Athletic  23  6  3  3 13 11  3  2  6 13 13  9  5  9  26  24   2 32
 8 West Ham United 23  6  1  5 18 16  3  4  4 13 15  9  5  9  31  31   0 32
 9 Manchester City 22  7  0  5 27 12  1  4  5 14 19  8  4 10  41  31  10 28
10 Hull City       23  3  2  6 11 23  4  4  4 18 21  7  6 10  29  44 -15 27
11 Fulham          21  6  3  1 16  8  0  5  6  3 10  6  8  7  19  18   1 26
12 Sunderland      23  4  2  6 13 15  3  3  5 11 17  7  5 11  24  32  -8 26
13 Tottenham H.    23  4  4  4 11  9  2  2  7 13 19  6  6 11  24  28  -4 24
14 Bolton Wndrs    23  3  2  6  8 12  4  1  7 16 20  7  3 13  24  32  -8 24
15 Portsmouth      22  4  2  5 14 18  2  4  5  8 17  6  6 10  22  35 -13 24
16 Newcastle Utd   23  4  4  3 18 19  1  4  7 11 20  5  8 10  29  39 -10 23
17 Blackburn R.    22  3  4  5 15 19  2  3  5 12 19  5  7 10  27  38 -11 22
18 Middlesbrough   23  3  4  4 10 15  2  2  8  8 20  5  6 12  18  35 -17 21
19 Stoke City      23  5  3  3 12 11  0  3  9  8 27  5  6 12  20  38 -18 21
20 West Brom A.    23  5  2  5 16 21  1  1  9  4 21  6  3 14  20  42 -22 21

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 #1502