Newsletter #1563

No news tonight as Alex has been under the weather, so we’ll have the round up on Monday for you.

Meanwhile, we have match views on the Palace cup game, a look at the first few weeks of the season, opinion on Dunne’s departure and a hatful of requests.

No action this weekend, so enjoy and have a drink for our 15th birthday, which falls on Monday!

Next Game: Arsenal, home, 3pm Saturday 12 September


I know I was not too complimentary about Lescott in my last opinion but I will take back most of what I said… he had an excellent match (still not worth more than £12 million). We really laboured in our win over an energetic young Palace team who made Given work a lot harder than anyone expected. They probably had more shots on goal than we did!

Barry looked very assured in the centre of the park, SWP worked his socks off, and could and should have had another goal to his name. Robinho should have been taken off after 65 minutes – does not do enough. Ireland would be far better off on the left of midfield and did not have his best game. Tevez scored but did not look like a world beater and Toure had a good game too.

I am sure I am not the only one to have noticed but Micah Richards is absolutely s***e and would struggle in the Championship. I just don’t rate him as a footballer, whilst his defending is non existent and he was lucky not to have given a penalty away in the last minute. Zabaleta must be wondering what he has to do to get a game. Hughes please get rid of Micah, he is a calamity waiting to happen, and buy a quality right back like Maicon. Another possibility is Lescott at right back and Kompany at centre back.

Five players stood out for City: Lescott, Toure, SWP, Barry and my MoM was Shay Given – has to be the best ‘keeper in the Premier League.

C’mon City!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


I think it’s fair to say that tonight we showed how fragile we still are and at the same time, how awesome we can be.

Shay Given: £6 million? Everyone is saying how much we have paid for players in this transfer window. Well how much for Shay Given? Outstanding.

Palace were never going to be a pushover but how tough they were to beat took me by surprise. Makes you wonder why they can’t play like that every week.

Adebayor’s worst game yet but still good enough. Ireland not as good as last year so far but showed glimpses tonight. Barry awful tonight but everyone is entitled to an off day. Richards, apart from the silly early tackle, looked good and mostly kept the troublesome Moses at bay. Toure, also not at his best but good enough. Lescott, good début and showed glimpses of why he is so valued by Hughsie. Robinho, one of his best away performances. Quite pleased with him although gave the ball away too easily on occasions. Bridge, did OK but nothing spectacular. Tevez, worked hard but doesn’t look co-ordinated with his team mates yet. Well taken goal. Fergie sign him up.

Love the irony. Keep it up lads. Finally, SWeeP. Excellent, caused Palace problems all over the place and looked to be back at his best. What a shot for the goal. Where does he get that power from? Wriggled in and out of situations as we expect of him.

One final point, I was totally satisfied that we won numerous headers whilst defending corners and free kicks. I don’t care who I upset with this but I put that down to Dunne not being there. Good riddance.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


So far so good. Four clean sheets and our forwards are slowly coming together. Some poor team is on a hiding when Messrs Adebayor, Tevez, Bellamy, Robinho and Wright-Philips finely gel.

The only thing that is bothering me is Hughes’ fixation with former Blackburn players. I still don’t know where Santa Cruz fits in and now I hear he wants to strengthen the right side of midfield by grabbing Bentley?

I thought we had a player there called Wright-Philips and that Elano was moved out so Weiss might get the odd game? Please tell Sparky that enough is enough. We can only field 11 players at a time!

I do feel bad about Dunne leaving but I would also feel bad if Petrov is shipped out for Bentley to come in. It is one thing to have a relatively settled lineup but a number of players are going to be unsettled if they can’t get a game. And adding even more numbers is just going to compound the problem.

We have SWP on the right of midfield with Weiss as cover and Bellamy, Robinho and Petrov on the left. How much more cover do we need?

I am writing this at the start of the last day of the transfer window and I really hope that Hughes stays put and continues to work with what he has.

Can’t wait for the Arsenal and Rags games!

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


So far we have had all three league games, though I found the Setanta Broadband feed for Portsmouth awful. Did any other US-based fans have the same problem or was it my home computers?

Here are some very quick thoughts and a question.

First the question and one I ask almost every time I write: what is happening with young Mr. Johnson? Is he still injured?

Three wins is three wins even though they have all been a little nervy. I am glad the transfer window ends – we can now settle down to 4 months of the same squad.

Sorry to see Dunne leave with no last chance for appreciation for all he has done. It is probably a good move for the player and I wish him well (other than in the two games against us!). As many have said, the manager’s challenge will be too keep the remaining players happy. We now have very good players on the bench.

Pretty clear we will get a good sense in the next two games of how we are progressing. I would actually settle for two draws, is that the realist in me or the effect of years of experience in new beginnings?

And speaking of new beginnings, it occurs to me that it was thirty years ago this very summer that City found themselves in the headlines for the same reason as they do now. For what was considered extravagant spending. Then it was cartoons on the front page of the Guardian about City wanting to offer a contract to the first UK heart transplant patient. Now it is criticism for doing what every other team has always done when it has funds. Of course I wish City would win the league with 11 home grown players but that is not what happens in football these days. Anyway, back to 1979 and the summer of Malcolm’s clear out. I don’t think there is a parallel with Mr Hughes slowly but surely moving out every one of Sven’s players. Malcolm moved on a core of a good team that needed a few new players. If memory serves me Barnes, Owen and Watson moved on and we began the new season with a 0-0 home game against Crystal Palace and lots of new players. I suppose it was a real turning point in City’s history. The mid-late 70s had seen some good league finishes (in fact City could have won the league twice in that decade) but the summer of 1979 began years of decline. I still shudder remembering the player turn over that summer. I am sure we are not seeing a repeat of that: the players being brought in this time are good and the players leaving are, realistically, not going to be claiming a first team place. But history is there to remind us that fate is always lurking around the corner. I do have this continuing nightmare that I will wake one day to read the news that says this was all a mistake by the new owners.

Best wishes to all, John Pearson <john.pearson(at)>


A great start by City in the new season, and there are several things that impress me. First we have won the first two away games, next we have not conceded a goal against us, next I am impressed how the new players have all settled down so quickly but it is of course the mark of true professionals.

The next two games will be a true test for City. First the Gooners; this will be Adebayor’s game for sure; then the Evil Empire, the game for Tevez.

So now let us all wish our international players good luck playing for their countries, and come back to MCFC safe and uninjured.

Although Martin Petrov wanted his move to Spurs, I trust that he will not stop doing his best for City. He is a very good player and feel sure that Sparky will have plans for him in certain games. I am happy that he is still with us.

Now that the transfer window is closed, the more the players at the club play together, the better that they will get. Blue Moon is arising.

This is Mark Hughes’ City team, go get ’em!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


So, Richard Dunne leaves us after 9 years loyal service. He has given his best years to Manchester City and is one of the main reasons why City became established members of the Premier League. Dunney was a rock at the heart of our defence in some very tough times, when we were hanging onto Premier League status by our fingernails, and this was acknowledged and appreciated by the fans with his unprecedented four successive Player of the Year awards. His best years at City were when he and Sylvain Distin formed a rock solid partnership over five years. It was a classic, left-foot, right-foot partnership that was as good as any in the division, perhaps bettered only by Terry and Carvalho at that time.

Indeed, as the official MCFC website describes Dunney as ‘one of the best buys ever for the club’. The £3 million we paid Everton certainly has gone a long way, and even allowing for inflation, his £6 million sale to Villa represents a good deal for both clubs. I am disappointed, though, that he has gone as we look to build a squad here, but I fully understand and respect him wanting to get regular first team football and appreciate Mark Hughes’ decency in respecting Dunney’s wishes. As Everton took half the summer to discover, it’s no good keeping unhappy players. I don’t care to speculate on negotiations that held up the move, as he clearly has left City on good terms and with the best wishes of everyone at the club, as detailed in Mark Hughes’ statement:

“Richard has been outstanding for City. He is the ultimate professional and has served the club magnificently. Winning the player of the year award for four consecutive years tells you everything about him. We all wish him well for his future career at Aston Villa. It would have been difficult for Dunney to stay given his standing at the club and I understand that. I wasn’t going to stand in his way. I could have tried to stop him going and said I wanted him as a squad player but out of respect for what he has done for City I wasn’t going to do that. Not only has Richard performed exceptionally well for this club over the years, but he has been a terrific ambassador and is an inspiring person who commands the respect of everyone. He has conducted himself in an impressive manner throughout my time here and way beyond that.”

I’ll drink to that. Dunney has put his body on the line and literally shed blood for the cause and he will leave us with many happy memories. Yet it could all have been so different had he made the wrong choices when he was younger. At least even then when he was, er, a little larger, he gave some of us more rotund characters someone to relate to, and a new lease of life on the five-a-side pitch! Dunney literally grew up at City and credit is due to himself, Kevin Keegan, Manchester City Football Club and the PFA for turning him around into a model professional who has served us with great distinction to be a worthy captain of Manchester City.

I don’t doubt that Dunney will get a great reception when we play against Villa, he deserves it, though obviously we will want to beat Villa like we want to beat anyone! All the very best to him.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Manchester City have done a very good job during the summer transfer window; we certainly have a squad to challenge the top four this season.

There is a sense of sadness Richard Dunne leaving to go to Villa; once Lescott had arrived it was never Dunne’s intention to sit on the bench, after playing for so many seasons, and as club captain.

Dunne on many occasions has saved the day for City but there have been times when he has been frustrated with his reckless tackles and red cards. But Dunne should be remembered for the good things he did, and his loyalty for his club City.

Dunney Monster has always been a popular player with the fans on and off the pitch, having won “Player of the Year” four times.

The club has to move forward, and some changes will not always be popular with everyone. But look ahead we must.

I firmly believe that Dunne will do well at Aston Villa, and we shall meet again on Oct 5th when City visit Villa.

MCFC website has put together a nice video tribute to say “Farewell Dunney”; it is worth a visit. I wish Richard Dunne Good Luck (except when playing against his old club City).

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I am sorry to see Richard Dunne going, as he’s been solid for us for so many years. I know he’s had a few dodgy games recently and that we are building a new team, so maybe it shouldn’t surprise me how quickly he seems to have been moved on now we have new defenders in, but I really hope that we haven’t changed the team too much, too soon and in doing so, lost experience and stability, rather than just one player. The next two league games are a big test to see whether we can hold our own at the top.

On another topic, I thought fellow Blues might be encouraged to know that I sense genuine concern from Reds that City will present a genuine challenge to them. I live in Manchester and unfortunately both my brothers support United, as do a number of good friends and work colleagues, some of which have been going to see United for decades and when they are honest, they admit that they think City could do really well this season and are concerned that we’ll beat them. It’s hard not to smirk when they say this and I really hope that their fears turn into reality!

Andy Chard <ajchard(at)>


I’m a little worried! Mind you, that’s normal for me, but the concern is how many players have left City as opposed to those come in. Last year we had a very light squad and when we had a run of injuries, a couple long term, we were very limited in players.

We have signed eight and let go (or on loan) 15, and now with Richard Dunne leaving we are even lighter. Don’t get me wrong, I think we have bought very well, but let’s face it, the players we have are one tackle away from a long term injury (ask Modric). I just hope this selling policy doesn’t come back to bite us on the b*m.

On a brighter note, three clean sheets in a row (5 if you count Barcelona and Crystal Palace)! Is this the City I have followed for all these years? A very good start, the test will come not from Arsenal and United in the next couple of weeks but the lower placed teams that we usually slip up on.

To Steve Kay: does Nicky Weaver deserve a testimonial? Should have the keys to the City, a stand named after him after his exploits against Gillingham (one of the most important dates in City’s history). Just imagine where we would be if… doesn’t bear thinking about. The answer is Yes.

So the big fella’s off to Villa, and I for one am sad to see him go. A true servant of Manchester City since Joe Royle bought him. In the early days he battled through his demons (thank KK for giving him another chance), and that reflected in his performances on the park.

Unlike other players who have come and gone, causing trouble along the way, he was a true professional. Sure, he made mistakes on the field, gave a few own goals away, but he saved us far more. So good luck Dunnie, looking forward to the Villa games.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Aw, I’m going to miss Dunney, and I’m this close to being childishly resentful at Toure and Lescott. However, it’d be criminal if he wasn’t playing week in, week out and we do have depth in Nedum, Komp and Micah. Dunne will leave some great memories if/when he toddles off today (I’m writing on deadline day).

The joy of seeing Skip surprise a stadium with his pace and knife down the league’s best strikers from behind. The tension as the ref reached to his pocket for said tackle. The comedy as he hit the ball round his own ‘keeper. For years he’s been a wall and the only player to stand out as a Hero in Blue, which is why he should go down as one of our great skippers.

On that point I’d like to congratulate departing Tal Ben Haim for filling a gap at short notice for us even if he isn’t going to go into City lore like fellow Israeli Berkovic, no matter how often he tried to dribble round opposition or play through balls. Good luck to you mate.

Just a clarification, is Lescott really fifth choice centre back for England? That means behind Ferdinand, Terry, maybe Upson and Wes Brown? Leighton Baines? Ledley “Knees-no-good” King?

Lescott needs to simply fill a hole left by Micah and Dunne’s fall from grace last year and while he’s not god-like he has the tools. We need a new top face at centre back more than we’d like to admit. So how do I justify £22 million, which would buy two top ‘keepers or a couple of international wingers? It’s economics, there simply aren’t as many stand out centre halves as there are talented midfielders and strikers, so you have to pay a exponentially growing amount to pry away a pearl like Lescott. The very best of a dodgy bunch.

We tried for better centre backs and that was politely refused. I don’t think we’d have got Rio (or Terry) for less than the £30 million Scum paid Leeds 6 years ago. Wenger has his budget and won’t pay more. They all say that until they have the money and really want a player then the bank gets blown (Sylvain Wiltord anybody?). We could have scrapped the deal and played the season accepting Dunne’s gaffes while Ned mastered the trade.

However, we don’t have that budget and can pay. He is a player for now and the future, giving some cover at left back, with what Yanks call “intangibles”, a good attitude and intellect that can’t be taught. You pay for all of these factors from the seller. Moyes won’t replace Lescott until January and will have to rely on two old wing backs in Yobo and Jagielka so he isn’t going to be a smile on his little pork pie face. And, of course, who is going to move to Everton who is anywhere near Lescott’s ability? Just to throw a spanner in my argument, Vermoellen for £10-12 million looks an enviable bit of business.

Oh well, sucks to be us at the minute, doesn’t it? You want a player, you have to compensate the last club. How about we stick to signing unknown foreigners for their sticker price? That’s how Bolton approach the transfer market, not the best club in the land. And it’s a better deal than Jo, come on.

Also, remembering that I had a bit of a go in an earlier op, I’m glad Barry is being played in a system that suits him and some respect to the manager for that. His formation of choice (4-3-2-1 – Christmas Tree) looks exciting from what I’ve seen this past few games and we’ve abandoned two Claude Makaleles chosen from Zabz, VK and DeJong in order for SWP, Baz and Ireland (with some welcome assistance from Duracell bunny Tevez and Adebayor) playing box to box. I’m looking forward to seeing if this more liquid style will work in shutting out the better teams we’re playing next month as we struggled to hold ball against Portsmouth and were lucky that they’ve sold any players who can shoot straight.

Paul Hunt <paul.h.a.hunt(at)>


Can anyone tell me if the game against Fulham scheduled for Saturday 24th October will be re-scheduled for the 25th October? Fulham have the little matter of Roma at home in the ‘Ropey Cup’ on the 22nd so I am assume the game will be switched. I’m trying to plan flights for the trip (coming from Ireland) and it would be a great it someone could tell me.

Chris Hand – Athlone, Ireland <candchand(at)>


I have been meaning to do this for years and now I’ve finally got around to it. I am looking for a pair of Manchester City shorts.

The pair in question are the ones that City wore in the Gillingham play off final. The ‘Dickov’ shorts as I used to call them.

I had a pair and lost them about 5 years ago and have been waiting for a pair to come up on ebay for all that time. Not once has that happened so I’m now turning my attention to the good people of MCIVTA.

I’m willing to hand over hard earned cash for a pair in decent nick; I’m size XL. They were my fave shorts and I’ve been looking for a replacement pair ever since. If you have a pair of XL that have been sat in the loft or in the spare room drawers, email me and we’ll sort something out.

If you’re in any doubt as to what they look like. Here you go

Thank You, Walter Smith <citysmith(at)>


For those interested (and MCIVTA subscribers have always been very supportive), my latest book “The Big Book Of City” is now at the printers and will be making its way into bookshops by end of October. If you pre-ordered the book you should have your copy despatched by 15th October (you’ll be emailed a specific delivery schedule closer to the date).

If you’ve not ordered the book and would like to find out more (or if you’ve ordered and want to see what you’re getting!) then the cover and a few sample pages now appear on and

As the book will be published in mid-October many bookshops are unlikely to have the book on sale pre-Christmas unless ordered, so if you’re interested make your order via the publishers now or via a reputable bookshop, who should be able to obtain copies before Christmas.

For those interested, the book does include a variety of modern, historical, and miscellaneous material and imagery. This includes profiles of every City league ‘keeper, details on every European game played by the Blues, interviews with former players, one of the Trawler Twelve telling his story, the true story of where Maine Road got its name, Profiles on 4 Golden Goals (1 each from Rodney Marsh, Eric Brook, Georgi Kinkladze and Kevin Horlock), Lowry Was A Blue, Maine Road To Berlin and much more.

Sorry for the blatant plug!

Gary James <city(at)>


Looks like next meeting will be on Tuesday 15 September, 6.30 p.m. (Mancunian Suite).

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)>


The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) is offering free membership this season.

The FSF represents fans from all pyramid leagues throughout England and Wales, covering many different supporter-based issues. For further details see the website at

Phill Gatenby <safestanding(at)>


League table to 01 September 2009 inclusive

                              HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea          4  2  0  0  5  1  2  0  0  5  1  4  0  0  10   2   8 12
 2 Tottenham H.     4  2  0  0  4  2  2  0  0  7  2  4  0  0  11   4   7 12
 3 Manchester Utd   4  2  0  0  3  1  1  0  1  5  1  3  0  1   8   2   6  9
 4 Manchester City  3  1  0  0  1  0  2  0  0  3  0  3  0  0   4   0   4  9
 5 Stoke City       4  2  0  0  3  0  0  1  1  0  4  2  1  1   3   4  -1  7
 6 Arsenal          3  1  0  0  4  1  1  0  1  7  3  2  0  1  11   4   7  6
 7 Liverpool        4  1  0  1  5  3  1  0  1  4  4  2  0  2   9   7   2  6
 8 Aston Villa      3  1  0  1  2  2  1  0  0  3  1  2  0  1   5   3   2  6
 9 Sunderland       4  1  0  1  3  4  1  0  1  1  1  2  0  2   4   5  -1  6
10 Burnley          4  2  0  0  2  0  0  0  2  0  5  2  0  2   2   5  -3  6
11 West Ham United  3  0  0  1  1  2  1  1  0  2  0  1  1  1   3   2   1  4
12 Birmingham City  4  1  1  0  1  0  0  0  2  1  3  1  1  2   2   3  -1  4
13 Wolves           4  0  1  1  1  3  1  0  1  1  1  1  1  2   2   4  -2  4
14 Hull City        4  1  0  1  2  5  0  1  1  2  3  1  1  2   4   8  -4  4
15 Fulham           3  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  1  1  2  1  0  2   1   4  -3  3
16 Everton          3  1  0  1  3  7  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  2   3   8  -5  3
17 Wigan Athletic   4  0  0  2  0  6  1  0  1  3  2  1  0  3   3   8  -5  3
18 Blackburn R.     3  0  1  1  0  2  0  0  1  1  2  0  1  2   1   4  -3  1
19 Bolton Wndrs     3  0  0  2  2  4  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  3   2   5  -3  0
20 Portsmouth       4  0  0  2  0  2  0  0  2  1  5  0  0  4   1   7  -6  0

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1563