Newsletter #1530

Disappointment on Sunday as we succumbed at the Swamp after our recent run of form. We have opinion on the game, individual performances and areas for improvement tonight.

There is also news on the latest Spanish links, 40 year memories and the usual requests.

Next up our old adversary Spurs.

Next Game: Tottenham Hotspur, away, 3pm Saturday 16 May 2009


Losing a derby always hurts, and yesterday was no different. Whilst we did not lack effort, we did suffer from a lack of belief and conviction, especially in the final third of the pitch. We enjoyed good possession but except for Elano’s defence splitting pass to Robinho in the 2nd half, the killer ball just wasn’t there. Even an accomplished passer like Elano had an off day, losing possession rather easily on at least half a dozen occasions, but he most certainly wasn’t the only one. He tried to create as much as anyone and it didn’t come off. So what have we learned from this? The City players all need to believe in themselves more, because this is a talented team. With more belief and conviction, we could have hurt United. Maybe we lacked a bit of pace down the flanks yesterday: a fit Shaun Wright-Phillips would have offered that down the right, as well as a goal threat.

Caicedo was isolated for too much of the time, and needed better support than he got. His struggle with Vidic was an unequal one, but of course he is only young and needs to improve his hold up play. This game again highlighted City’s need for a stronger, more powerful focal point for our attack and we should improve in this department this summer when Hughes brings in a proven scorer at top level. The talk is that we might be in for Tevez: as long as it’s legal and we don’t get into the same hot water that West Ham did, then why not? He works hard, holds the ball up very well and has great skill, and if he starts more regular games, he will score more often than he has for the Rags. Maybe Hughes can do a better job of making him part of the City family than they do. Stephen Ireland has spoken on more than one occasion of City feeling more like ‘home’ than the Rags was when he was a triallist so maybe he should have a word with Tevez. Whether we sign Tevez or not, we also obviously need a greater aerial presence to give us more of a threat at set pieces. Whoever we sign, the strikers will need better service. The fact is we didn’t pass the ball well enough at the Swamp, and our movement wasn’t up to scratch when in possession. We just weren’t bold enough on this occasion. It goes without saying that the derby was a difficult game, but the Rags are not invincible, and on another day, our players would have performed better, and got a draw at least.

If there was one positive (if it’s possible to feel positive immediately after a derby day defeat) it was that Nedum Onuoha showed yet again that he is a top class talent, and was clearly our best player. Dunne also made a few important challenges, though he and Bridge should have got closer to Tevez for their second. Micah Richards had a good game and was tenacious in defence.

We are a club on the up. Not that you’d think that if you believed some of the nonsense that some people spout about Mark Hughes, a lot of it born of petty prejudices about the fact that he played for the Rags. I detest Manchester United and everything that it stands for, as much as anyone, but the ‘Hughes is a Rag’ brigade conveniently forget that Hughes also played for Chelsea, Everton, Southampton, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and actually supported Chelsea as a boy. Impatience and/or prejudice will not bring us a trophy, or any kind of success. I’m so glad that the Abu Dhabi owners take a more balanced view of where City are than some deluded fans who arrogantly expect us to magically gatecrash the top four with the waving of a chequebook. Football just isn’t that simple. Hughes has added good players to this squad in SWP, Kompany, Bridge, Bellamy, De Jong and Given. Whether it was he or the owners who signed Robinho, Hughes has played him and he hasn’t done too badly either. We must give Hughes time to bring in more players who have the quality and the courage to perform consistently well. It will take time to build this club and I see a City team that is harder to beat than it was at the start of the season, whilst retaining plenty of flair. That’s good progress, and I expect that we will see more of it next season under Hughes, whether we have qualified for Europe or not.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I was very proud of the performance on Sunday. I’m not big on moral victories, but the game started brightly and City had chances. Our central midfielders held down the fort but we could have used an attacking presence in the centre of the park. Robinho was forced to drift too deep at times to receive the ball and although Bridge and Richards pushed forward, they never had the pace or guile to really whip in dangerous crosses. The team seems to be playing more consistently though and I think that’s due to continuity in the squad. I like Hughes. I think he’s the right guy for the job. Give him another season with his players, I say.

C’mon CI-TY!

Dillon Allie <dillonallie(at)>


I have visited the Swamp far more times than the vast majority of Man Ure followers. I have experienced bricks being hurled at us in the Kippax by the Salford nutters (or their London friends). I have never, ever felt as thoroughly ashamed at wearing a Blue shirt as I did on Sunday. I was actually embarrassed to be a Blue. There was no banter or ridicule from the Rags in the pub. They seemed embarrassed too by the gutless, mindless, zombie-like trance that our super strategist had induced. “Use all the midfield to block up the defence, one man up front so they don’t think we want to attack them and don’t do anything to suggest we want to score against them. When it’s far too late, I’ll change it round and put on some attackers (just like I did at home)”.

When I worked in Liverpool, I once called a colleague a “Mark”. Being scouse and therefore endowed with legendary wit, they didn’t understand. I had to explain in terms they might just grasp, so I patiently spelt it out for them in terms of “sort of like rhyming slang”; Mark Hughes: Tw*t (they had never heard of blank verse either).

He never had trouble grasping the passion of derbies when he was one of them. He claimed to show and excite passion when he was managing his country. Where was the passion at the Swamp? In the 3,000 suckers who paid to watch this utterly dismal and heartless performance. I am still thoroughly ashamed of “my team”. It will take a very, very long time to erase the memory of that and I hope to Colin Bell that we soon find a manger who understands that the best way to win is to attack more often and more incisively than the opposition and more importantly to fight with passion and commitment and never, ever give in (especially before the kick-off).

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


Memo to our Chairman – sign Tevez!

We were always going to come second in this one, United had too much to lose. On saying that, we are only two or three players shy of being a good side.

Thought the back two of Dunnie and Nedum were great. Good to see Dunnie performing like we know he can. Sure he was beaten at times but his tackling after being beaten was first class. The full backs are still a problem though.

I look at United with envy. They have systems in place that only other clubs can only dream about. They have players not rated, except by Sir Alex, and he gets the best out of them. I watch with amazement at Ronaldo and his skill (pity he’s such a prized prat!). Tevez, Giggs, Rafael, the list goes on. Tevez or Robinho, I know who I’d pick.

Good to see Boj and Petrov getting another run. So not all doom and gloom, I think Hughes is on the right track. Forget about sacking him, any other manager has been sacked, one, twice, three times and there’s no guarantee that the next manager will be any more successful. Let’s face it, Sir Alex was one foot away from being sacked at United, and look what he went on to do. Like him or hate him, his stats speak for themselves.

Still think we can get seventh.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Well let’s be very honest did we really expect a win at the Swamp? We were all just hoping for a win.

When Mark Hughes came out and said United had a 15 to 20 years start on us, that was almost like admitting defeat before the kick off.

Of course Mark Hughes is right, the Evil Empire have a great lead on us, but now with the City transfer money surely we should close that gap in a hurry.

The game versus the Evil Empire did help us for we should know from this game where our weaknesses are.

And now Sparky has to prove himself as a manager by bringing in the right players; this might not always be an easy thing for if we are not in Europe next season, some of the best players will not move for just money – they too have their own desire to win their own trophies.

P.S. After the game I just put on a Jimmy Buffett DVD and got lost about the result.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Please don’t take this story seriously. And please certainly do not judge the club on the logic of paying €40 million for an average player who is 31 years old. He’s not even worth €4 million.

This is the biggest non-story of all time. Complete and utter fabrication from arguably the pottiest and most deluded publication in the world.

Real Madrid get thumped 6-2 by Barcelona, so Marca won’t allow themselves to talk about football for the next few weeks because it might mean actually admitting that Barça are worthy champions and frighteningly superior to their beloved Real.

So for the last seven days, their hacks have simply sat around a table, played the most ludicrous game of Chinese whispers and come up with absolute drivel to fill the first 20 pages of their newspaper every day.

When I saw the front page in the local garage on Friday, I nearly choked with laughter on my bottle of agua. Still, it’s always nice to see “El City” make the headlines.

Obviously Raul comes out the next day and says he will never leave Real Madrid, the fans all bow down in adulation and everyone is happy once again. Until it suddenly dawns on them that they got humiliated 6-2 at home by their great rivals last weekend.

Mike Holden <mike(at)>


Having moved to an unearthly spot called Sault Ste Marie Canada, I was disappointed to find out that the 1969 FA Cup would not be carried live on TV but would be rebroadcast on the Sunday.

No bl**dy good to me, but I did find out that the BBC was carrying a live radio transmission. So there I was, huddled in my bedroom listening to the game on my cheap tranny. Believe me, there is nothing worse than following a football match on the radio. I remember the thrill of listening to Neil Young scoring off Summerbee’s centre, but every time the commentator described Leicester attacking, you could image the ball going in City’s net.

Fortunately we held on, but even watching the re-broadcast the following day, I cringed when Leicester attacked, even knowing that we eventually won.

A day of frustration but of ultimate joy for a then 14 year old who gladly puts up with the on-going frustration of supporting Man. City.

Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <Keith(at)>


I’m looking for a photo of the banner unfurled at home matches that reads: “We dream of wearing the shirt – today God chose you – play like we dream”. Anyone able to send that to me? Does the club sell anything with that motto on it?

Dillon Allie <dillonallie(at)>


Would McV subscriber Iain Sellers contact me ASAP regarding the sale of the Platt Lane ‘Penalty Spot’. I have tried to contact you via the 2 email addresses I have for you and they have all bounced back!

Thanks, Alex Channon <alexchannon81(at)>


10 May 2009

Manchester United     2 - 0  Manchester City       75,464
Arsenal               1 - 4  Chelsea               60,075

9 May 2009

Blackburn Rovers      2 - 0  Portsmouth            24,234
Bolton Wanderers      0 - 0  Sunderland            24,005
Everton               0 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     36,646
Fulham                3 - 1  Aston Villa           25,660
Hull City             1 - 2  Stoke City            24,932
West Bromwich Albion  3 - 1  Wigan Athletic        24,741
West Ham United       0 - 3  Liverpool             34,951

League table to 10 May 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  35 16  1  1 43 13 10  4  3 22 10 26  5  4  65  23  42 83
 2 Liverpool       36 11  7  0 38 12 12  4  2 34 14 23 11  2  72  26  46 80
 3 Chelsea         36 10  6  2 31 12 13  2  3 32 10 23  8  5  63  22  41 77
 4 Arsenal         36 10  5  3 27 15  9  6  3 37 21 19 11  6  64  36  28 68
 5 Aston Villa     36  6  9  3 26 21 10  1  7 26 26 16 10 10  52  47   5 58
 6 Everton         36  7  6  5 28 19  8  6  4 22 17 15 12  9  50  36  14 57
 7 Fulham          36 11  3  4 28 14  2  8  8 10 18 13 11 12  38  32   6 50
 8 Tottenham H.    36  9  5  4 19  9  4  4 10 23 32 13  9 14  42  41   1 48
 9 West Ham United 36  8  2  8 21 21  5  7  6 18 20 13  9 14  39  41  -2 48
10 Manchester City 36 12  0  6 39 18  2  5 11 17 30 14  5 17  56  48   8 47
11 Wigan Athletic  35  7  5  5 15 16  4  4 10 17 25 11  9 15  32  41  -9 42
12 Stoke City      36  9  5  4 20 15  2  4 12 15 36 11  9 16  35  51 -16 42
13 Bolton Wndrs    36  7  4  7 20 20  4  3 11 20 31 11  7 18  40  51 -11 40
14 Blackburn R.    36  6  6  6 22 23  4  4 10 18 35 10 10 16  40  58 -18 40
15 Portsmouth      36  7  3  8 23 28  2  8  8 12 27  9 11 16  35  55 -20 38
16 Sunderland      36  6  3  9 19 22  3  6  9 12 26  9  9 18  31  48 -17 36
17 Hull City       36  3  5 10 18 35  5  5  8 20 27  8 10 18  38  62 -24 34
18 Newcastle Utd   35  4  7  6 21 27  2  6 10 16 29  6 13 16  37  56 -19 31
19 Middlesbrough   35  5  8  5 16 19  2  2 13  9 32  7 10 18  25  51 -26 31
20 West Brom A.    36  7  3  8 26 31  1  4 13 10 34  8  7 21  36  65 -29 31

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1530