Newsletter #1571

A good match report from Monday and plenty of opinion tonight. Thanks to Alex for the comprehensive news report, which came a little early to include the news that Ade has escaped with a £25,000 fine and a suspended ban for his crowd inciting antics.

For the unshockable amongst you, there’s a link to a very funny youtube video, but be warned, the language is very offensive, so please, no children!

Please keep your contributions coming to the usual address.

Next Game: Aston Villa, away, 8pm Monday 5 October


Selection Problems cause no Headaches: Mark Hughes left Blackburn Rovers last summer in search of a club with ambition to compete at the very top of the game – something he has certainly found. Despite being restricted to a very similar XI when coaching the Lancashire club, a side that boasted players like Ryan Nelson, Gamst Pederson and Benni McCarthy, Hughes acknowledges that the task he faces at City is entirely different and though he is well aware of the pressure he faces in the job, having to choose between Tevez, Robinho and Co. is something that he relishes: “I am going to have lots of options but it is a good problem to have. We have good players playing well and good players still to come back. Now it is down to me to make sure I pick the right options for the right opposition. It is exciting because people can see what we are capable of. We are in decent shape and things seem to be falling into place. We are playing well, with confidence. I am absolutely convinced we will produce even higher-quality football because of the quality we already have, and the quality that will be available to us in the future.”

All Kitted Out: City’s popular third kit went on sale this week and can bought from the Citystore at CoMS, the Citystore in the Manchester Arndale centre and also online. The white kit with the black and red sash made a winning début in August when the Blues travelled to Fratton Park and overcame a determined Portsmouth side 1-0. With a new deal in place with kit designers Umbro this year, David Blanch is the genius behind City’s new look and in an interview that he gave to me back in July, Blanch had the following to say about City’s new twist on an old classic: “For us it wasn’t a matter of creating a retro kit for City, we wanted the kit to be progressive. We wanted to create something new and exciting that touches on the heritage of the club, something creative and innovative but that also takes the good vibes from past successes and thrusts them into this new era of the club. You’ll notice from the third kit that it differs a lot from the other two but also takes an aspect of the past like the sash and rejuvenates it. This year’s sash goes in the opposite direction to most of the previous similar designs and it was the renovation of old ideas that was central to this change. By moving the sash we have allowed the crest to lie on the heart. It’s a small detail but it means a huge amount. We believe that the club crest should take pride of place and that’s why we placed it on the heart.”

Carling Cup Contest: Fans and media alike will tell you that City’s best chance of winning a trophy this season will come in the form of the Carling Cup and a home tie against Scunthorpe United in the last sixteen has brought dreams of Wembley one step closer. The Blues only have to win three more games to contest the final in the Capital and if Hughes continues with his policy of playing his strongest XI, few will tip the Championship side to cause an upset at CoMS when they come face to face with Tevez, Adebayor and Robinho. The fourth round tie will be played at 7.45 pm on Wednesday October 28th. The City boss has revealed that he will continue playing his strongest side in search of the club’s first silverware for more than thirty years: “We will keep putting out strong sides. We had a decent crowd in and it is important we show respect to them and to the competition. Maybe it is one of those that clubs feel is winnable as the title is out of reach to all but a select few. You have to make the most of the competitions you are in and maybe we have a real opportunity to win it.”

Squad News

Thank You: Three points were the order of the day when City outplayed Gianfranco Zola’s West Ham side on Monday night but just as important for City fans was the long awaited return of Michael Johnson. Johnno’s nagging pelvic injury has seen the 21 year old sidelined since last September and having received a fantastic welcome back on his return, the man who was dubbed “The next Colin Bell” wanted to thank the fans for being so loyal: “It was great to get back it has been too long and the fans were wonderful with me from the moment I warmed up to when I got on the pitch. I think I am the only Manchester-born lad in the squad at the moment so perhaps there is a special bond but City fans have always cherished their own and it was a special moment. I never felt like I wouldn’t come back but the whole absence has toughened me up mentally and that will serve me in good stead because as much as this game is about fitness and skill you need to be mentally attuned too. The worst thing about being out for so long is that it erodes your confidence and that is what I need to build up. I am still a young lad and I now appreciate more than ever what I have got. I am so keen to get back because playing football is the best thing in the world. There have been loads of changes while I have been out and we have gone from being a mid-table side to being genuine contenders for honours, which is the aim. Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong, and Stephen Ireland are all top class international players and there is still Vinnie Kompany to come back too so am I well aware of the challenges that are ahead of me. But that is in the future. For now my aim is to get physically fit and this week has been part of that. The reserve game was tough against a good Liverpool side but I got forty-five minutes in. I hope people don’t expect too much too soon. I have a year of not playing and I am just glad to get out on a pitch and get running around.”

Back from the Roque Road: £17 million signing Roque Santa Cruz débuted against West Ham and put in an assured performance after he replaced Shaun Wright Phillips with ten minutes remaining. The Paraguayan international now believes that City are capable of competing with England’s top sides to challenge for the title: “When you’re new at a club you always want to do your best, but I was really pleased with the reception I had and I just wanted to thank people for the way they have believed in me. We are not only looking for that to happen in the future, we are looking to do it now. The team showed great character against West Ham, doing its job in a fantastic manner. It is happening already. We came here to get the team into the top places. I’m very excited that Paraguay will be at the World Cup, but right now the only thing is to get better for my club. Once the time arrives, if I need to step out of the World Cup, if the club needs that, I will do it. I just want to do everything well. City have placed a big trust in me and so to step out, that is something I would do. I have played in two World Cups before, so I have achieved one of my goals in my career.”

Achieving our Goals: Captain Kolo was the hero of last week’s Carling Cup win against Fulham with an extra time winner and the former Arsenal centre back explained this week that the Blues will only progress if they put into practice all the aims they have set out for themselves. For this tie in particular, Toure admits that the Blues had talked about creating a threat from set pieces and with his headed goal coming from a corner, the skipper is clearly practising what he preaches. The Ivorian is keen on savouring his goal given the fact that they don’t come around too often: “We’d talked about scoring from set-pieces beforehand – but it was the ones we conceded in the derby! It was my first for the club and I’m really pleased for the team, because we definitely didn’t want it to go to penalties. I can’t remember my last one – I’ve not scored for a long time.”

City’s skipper also admitted that he had his own personal mission to achieve – to make Micah Richards one of the country’s best defenders. Richards, who was once linked with moves to Chelsea and Manchester United for a fee of £18 million, has fallen from the limelight in the last couple of years but Toure believes that the potential is still there and he is determined to help his young colleague catch the eye of England manager Fabio Capello: “It is really important to me that I help him get back. He is a great lad, who listens to everything you say. We talk at training about different situations. Micah is a young player who is learning. When I was 21 I made a lot of mistakes as well. Micah is a great player and one day will be one of the very best defenders in England.”

In Good Kompany: Things have changed vastly since Vincent Kompany was last fit enough to play a first team fixture for the Blues. £40 million spent on a brand new central defensive partnership, Gareth Barry brought in to shore up the City back line, and almost £100 million used to acquire the Premier League’s best strike force. The Belgian international spent the back end of last season playing through the pain barrier with a toe injury resulting in a trip to the operating table, which has kept him out ever since. Now Kompany believes that he is on the cusp of return after a summer of torment and he looks forward to playing alongside the league’s best talent: “It was quite disappointing for me the way it happened. After all the pain and discomfort I had gone through last season we decided to let the toe rest for a month during the holiday period. I had really high hopes especially because during that time I worked really hard to get as fit as possible to be flying for the season because I knew how important it would be but after two training sessions I knew that it was not going to happen and it was a case of starting everything from scratch again. Because I prolonged playing, everything was damaged in the end. I don’t regret it but it was a bit disappointing that the time off didn’t cure it. Playing on perhaps wasn’t the cleverest thing to do but it is in my mentality that if I could be around and help the team in any way then I would. I didn’t think twice about it. I have worked hard and apparently I am a good healer. I am two months into the rehab now and hopefully in two or three weeks’ time I might be back with the team training and adapting again. I have been injured before in my career. I was out for almost two years with consecutive injuries. The problems I have had have made me realise how lucky I am to play this game professionally. It has also made me mentally stronger.”

“Every signing we made, whatever the amounts involved, made sense to me. I could go through every single one of the moves to City during the summer and I could point to the reasons why. It all made perfect sense and as a player I was delighted with those who came into the squad. They all have good mentality and are fighters and warriors on the pitch as well. That is what ultimately I think will be the strength of Manchester City in the future. I want to become one of the main players in a very big team that wins trophies. City is heading in that direction. It is a very big challenge but it is something that I expect to achieve in my career or it would feel like a failure. I have to be patient when I come back but everyone has to be patient. Usually it happens in football that one player comes in and other goes out, whether that is through injury or fatigue. The game changes so quickly that there is always something happening down the line to give you a chance. The spirit and camaraderie is amazing because we have been under so much pressure and criticism for whatever reason. It has helped us become closer as a group and we are going to get better as a team. Whatever the aim is of the owners for us to finish this season is realistic. It is going to be a long season and we have a fairly new team, you cannot get around that but if the manager continues to keep the team as solid as we are now and every player performs to his best and brings his own input to make the team behave as a team – then everything is possible.”

Right Back in the Limelight: Pablo Zabaleta has had a tough start to the season, playing second fiddle to Micah Richards so far this term but the former Espanyol right back is determined to prove his worth to the side. An excellent performance by the Argentine in City’s 3-1 win over West Ham on Monday again proved the club’s strength in depth and Zabaleta has accepted that in the club’s search for success, he will have to work even harder to remain a permanent fixture in the first XI: “I was happy to be given an opportunity to show my quality. It’s not easy being on the bench, everyone wants to play but it’s so difficult – there are so many quality players, you need to work hard every day for your opportunity. There are a lot of games. We are fighting for every competition – the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Carling Cup. It’s important for us because we need an opportunity to win a competition. It’s not impossible to finish in the top four, but it’s not easy – the Premier League is very combative. We have good quality players, but we need to play very well to be in the top four.”

Not only is Zabaleta glad to be making an impression with his own performances but the South American full back says he is proud of Carlos Tevez following his move across Manchester and he asserts that the differing reaction from fans on derby day proved how right Tevez was to “cross the border”: “I know Carlos very well. We were friends last year, even though he was at United and I was at City, so I know what his situation was. The United fans blame Carlos but they should not because he was happy there. He wanted to stay and it was difficult for him to leave. But United missed their chance. And when it became clear City wanted him more than United did, his decision was made. Carlos has always been a player who gives his team 100 per cent. He helped West Ham to stay in the Premier League and the fans still love him there and he respects them. He gave United everything as well. He won the Premier League for them and the Champions’ League. He helped them be successful. To be treated as he was at Old Trafford made him understand he made the right choice when he came to City. Now, Carlos knows the fans weren’t genuine. He felt it was not his fault he left the club. People say Carlos joined City because he wanted money. No, Carlos came here because he saw this was a club that would reach the top very quickly. The City fans love him. They love him even more because he rejected United and now he wants to make history in blue.”

I am what I am: It seems that a three match ban is not enough to quell the emotional side of City’s Emmanuel Adebayor as the Togolese international promised not to allow his current ban stop him from celebrating to the full in future. The former Arsenal striker has sat out the last three fixtures following the infamous goal celebration where he ran ninety metres to brag in front of the Gunners’ travelling contingent. But that won’t stop Ade from showing such emotion in the future as the club’s top goal scorer questions what the game would be without such feeling: “I will still celebrate with emotion. When you start to take emotion out of football you are going to have a very big problem. For the fans and the players it is a very emotional game, and when you take out emotion you have to question if people still care about the game. It is just one of those things that happens in football when emotions are high. When you are being abused for the whole game it affects you. People are saying 10 seconds like it is a long time but it isn’t. The whole of that ten seconds I was running and I was running on pure emotion. I was not thinking like I would normally do. Just because we are football players it does not mean we have the right to be abused. People talk about the money we earn, but just because somebody makes a good living it does not mean they have to put up with abuse. I have already said I am ready for the return game. I don’t think there will be trouble, it is a long time away and people have a lot of time to calm down. It could be a big match for both teams, so I think people will just be concentrating on the three points.”

Hughes told journalists this week that losing Adebayor for part of the campaign may not have been such a bad thing and may actually act as a positive in preparing them to lose him in early 2010 when he leaves to play in the African Cup of Nations for Togo: “Ade has been a big part of the start that we have been able to achieve. But at times during the season, certainly when he is on international duty next year, we will have to go into games without him. We may as well get used to being without him and making sure we understand what we have to do when he is not around.”

Post-Match Reaction

Hammering the Hammers: Carlos Tevez may have had too much respect to celebrate his first Premier League goals for his new club when facing the side that brought him to England in the first place but his brace was the icing on the cake for City in an accomplished performance. If truth be told the Blues should have had this game wrapped in up the first fifteen minutes. The Argentine striker missed two golden opportunities himself, having opened his league account in the fifth minute, and it was City’s failure to convert chances that allowed Carlton Cole to equalize for the London side with a cheeky flick. After half an hour Martin Petrov took full advantage of his first start of the season by scoring a clever free kick to put Mark Hughes’ men back in front. To wrap up all three points Tevez scored his second in a game where Roque Santa Cruz made his much awaited début and Michael Johnson returned after twelve months out to rapturous applause. Hughes believes that the former United striker will prove he’s worth the £25 million that the club forked out for him this summer and took time out this week to explain why whilst also praising his squad for their fantastic start to the season: “Carlos was great – his movement and interchange with Craig Bellamy, Martin Petrov and the midfield guys. And as the season progresses, that will get better. Carlos is an outstanding footballer. He has an awareness, an understanding of where others are and the way in which he can affect the game. With players of that ilk you have a heady mix. You need players who have that ability to create the unexpected and make things out of nothing, because we will have games where we don’t play as well as we want. Then we will need somebody to create somebody out of nothing. He’s a gentleman as well as a great player. He and Bellamy were terrific tonight. It’s early days and we have hit the ground running. We are playing well and with confidence. We’re in good shape and I’m convinced we will get better. But we are running quite quickly. Maybe a little further down the line we will have to slow down.”

The City chief also had a few words of praise for Martin Petrov whose inclusion had an immediate impact as well as Santa Cruz and Michael Johnson: “The great thing about the evening from my point of view is that Martin Petrov came in and made a real impression. That shows what a great professional he is. He’s had to be patient and bide his time but he trains correctly and works exceptionally hard every day. He knows you have to be in the right physical state to make a positive impact. He does that every time he scores – he does it to the crowd as well! He had a really positive influence and that’s what we need – guys who, when they get an opportunity, are ready to perform, not sitting in the stands feeling sorry for themselves. We need that quality through the squad – when somebody isn’t available, we need somebody else to come in and make an impact like that.”

“It was important for them to be able to get on against West Ham. I’m glad I had the chance to introduce them again, and for Roque it was his début, so it was nice for him to get that out of the way. For Michael, it’s been too long that he’s been out of a City shirt so to see him out there was a boost for everybody. This is a good time for us. Last week was very intense, but we came through with two good results after the disappointment of the derby. We’ll just make sure that we recover, as we always do, to get fit and ready for Monday.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


An easy City victory in the end; in fact there could have been plenty more goals for city and it certainly should have been far more comfortable as they should have been out of sight by half time. Tevez could have had a 15 minute hat-trick, and Petrov, Bellamy and Bridge all had decent first half chances. In the second half there were further good chances for Barry, Petrov and how Santa Cruz missed I’m not quite sure.

West Ham were set up to play attacking football and hadn’t come to simply put men behind the ball. However, they were pretty poor and quite how they scored I’m not sure they knew. It was poor defending from City. There must have been 6 or 7 players in the box but all ran towards the goal line as the free kick came in, leaving no-one to challenge for the cleared second ball (similar to a large part of the second half of the derby really). Good chant from the Hammers’ fans at this point “can’t buy an atmosphere” was very true as for the next 5 minutes or so Eastlands was basically silent. Cole also had a good header saved low down by Given. I’ve read a couple of reports saying that the Hammers had a second goal “controversially” disallowed, which is rubbish. The free kick (a soft one, yes) was given so long before the final pass and shot that no-one challenged the player who shot and no West Ham fans celebrated as would be expected if it was a close call. The only other time West Ham threatened was just after half time when City just didn’t look like they’d actually come back out of the dressing room for 10 minutes or so. When they finally did wake up though, the game was soon put to bed thanks to some really poor defending, leaving several players queuing up for the header.

City played some nice, if occasionally over elaborate, passing, and were favouring the left side of the pitch, although Petrov played a couple of great cross-field balls. While a lot of fans have been knocking Richards (and while I fully agree his marking has been sloppy in the extreme recently and a spell of practice is warranted; remember there’s still many years for him to prove his worth), he does offer more of an attacking threat than Zabaleta, or maybe it was that SWP looked a little jaded and came central looking for the ball? I would have preferred Hughes had brought Weiss on for him and maybe given Santa Cruz a 10 minute run-out for Tevez. Hopefully the final 10 minutes, with long balls launched for a Santa Cruz flick-on, will remain a demonstration of an alternative option to add variety rather than a main attacking method. Personally I think Hughes should have rested players by bringing others on earlier in a game we were comfortably controlling and more than one goal up in. I’d like to see some of the squad given longer than a couple of minutes to perform (obviously players returning from injury is a different matter).

One final note is that City’s set piece delivery is vastly improved. However, just to reassure me, our defence of corners is still not great (I’m convinced there will never be a day when I can happily watch an opposition corner confident I the knowledge that it will be solidly and competently cleared). Overall Cole won far too much in the air (why was he continually up against Toure rather than Lescott – a player who looks to be lacking a little in confidence?) and the defence clearly still needs to practice. De Jong’s covering and breaking up of play was excellent though.

Player Ratings:

Given: Made the saves that were required of him; special note that he was prepared for the quickly taken corner that the rest of the team weren’t even looking at to make his best save of the game. 6

Zabaleta: Solid and competent defending although I’m not convinced right back is his natural position. Not seen that often going forward. 6

Bridge: More adventurous and linked well with Petrov. If only he had any right foot at all and the bit of pace he seems to have lost following injury. 6

Lescott: Solid enough without seeming commanding or stepping up. Maybe a goal may benefit him? 6

Toure: One outstanding last ditch tackle but should he have had to make it? Also solid without appearing impregnable. 6

De Jong: Excellent reading of the game and, at the beginning of the second half he seemed to be the only one playing. Uses his body well in challenges and turns. 8

Wright-Phillips: A few good runs but looked a bit tired and less of a threat. 6

Barry: Looked laboured at times and gave the ball away surprisingly often, presumably still suffering from his midweek illness, but kept plugging away. 6

Petrov: Excellent attacking threat and has clearly taken on board the Bellamy lesson, actually running most of the length of the pitch to get a foot in at one point. 8

Bellamy: Non-stop up front and tackling back. Often playing towards the left forming a triangle with Petrov and Bridge. 7

Tevez: Also all action, often dropping very deep to link play with several excellent passes. The fact is though that he’s not a goal scorer of the highest quality (he may help create for others, mind), otherwise he’d have definitely had a hat trick tonight. 7

Santa Cruz: On for SWP for 10 minutes. Won the ball in the air a number of times but by then many of his team mates were almost playing at walking pace so weren’t charging on to these flicks. Looked keen.

Johnson: On for Barry for a couple of minutes. Looks like some gym work could still be required but kept the ball tidily.

Referee: Chris Foy: Played some good advantages but inconsistent on determining what was an injury worthy of stopping play and what wasn’t. Also how he found SWP to be causing so many fouls and being fouled so little was something of a puzzle. Overall sensible.

Thomas Bodey <tbodey01(at)>


Ernie, couldn’t resist gloating, so I feel compelled to reply. I am still here and I know there are others who are still not comfortable with our manager. I am very unhappy at the money spent on Lescott when we let a better centre half and deeply loyal Blue go for relatively nothing. Typically, Lescott’s failures are overlooked or forgiven and he should be “given time”, whereas the level of abuse thrown at Dunnie for such howlers was simply disgraceful. I am also wary of a manager who spends £17 million on a striker who only managed 4 goals last season. Whilst I understand that at £4 million, the unknown seemed a revelation and absolute bargain when he first came to the Premier League, it is a less obvious stroke of genius to spend four times as much on someone who has subsequently failed.

Anyone who expressed doubts about Hughes being the best direction for City was roundly abused in MCIVTA last year, and I know there will be no difference this year. Despite my persistently asking why Hughes was being beatified despite all the failings, there was never a logical answer, merely abuse, so bring it on, fill yer boots!

I am less than happy at his strange determination to defend the indefensible, first Adebayor’s thuggery at raking van Persie’s head and then Bellamy’s cowardice at assaulting a man after both his arms were pinioned and he was being led away. When the nation saw these acts, and then heard Hughes’ response, it undermined not only his honesty and integrity, but also his credibility. Much as I enjoyed Mick Doyle, Neil McNab, Gerry Gow et al, I do not like the degree of thuggery consistent throughout Bellamy’s career and the fact that Hughes will allow the thug to do anything is a sorry sign for Manchester City. Despite his undeniable commitment, enthusiasm and skill, he remains little better than Joey Barton and ultimately an embarrassment.

So while we’re euphoric and gloating, how come no one has mentioned the fact that we were actually well on top in the derby until the great sage switched to 4-4-2 and the whole thing fell horribly apart. Hughes showed enormous anger and frustration as his cunning plan proved worthy of Baldrick. All he lacked was the wit to turn it back and win the day.

I recall Hull being in a similar position last year right up until Christmas. Anybody who takes league tables seriously after only 6 games is, at best, over-excited. I have kept quiet so far, because no one appreciates being insulted, but if the “I told you so” can begin after only 6 games, I think it healthy to keep the debate open.

Martin Hunt <martin.hunt(at)>


I think this is going to be one of the most intense battles for a place in the starting line up this season. For both of them, success will likely lead to appearing in the summer’s World Cup Finals. Failure, and you’ll be watching it on TV with the rest of us. Have been a big fan of Micah since he burst on to the scene and hopefully for both City and England he comes out on top. However, as things currently stand, Zabaleta is looking the real deal and is showing a genuine desire allied to great skill.

In many ways he is an old-fashioned, orthodox right back and in that category falls into the discussion of one of the best we have had. I can certainly see why Hughes has brought him into the side and can see him having an extended run and the chance to make the position his own.

No matter Micah’s physical attributes and greater attacking threat, particularly at set pieces, it must be remembered defenders are there to do exactly that, defend. The bottom-line question that decides things in Zabaleta’s favour right now is, would Owen have had that amount of time and space if he had been on the pitch?

I think we all know the answer.

Hitchin Blue <philipalcock(at)>


Having watched City’s last three games, I am thrilled by the progress City are making and believe they are full value for their joint third position.

What is really exciting is Sparky’s flexibility with the squad. Which other Premier league team could go without Robinho, Adebayor, Tevez, Ireland and Kompany and not miss a beat? Imagine how well United would fare without Rooney or Berbatov, or Liverpool without Torres and Gerrard or Chelsea without Drogba and Anelka. Yet City have played the last three games without Adebayor and Robinho and are still going strong. Bellamy has been a revelation and it was great to see Petrov earn that start against the Hammers.

I do not know how Robbie is going to get back into this team!

With Zabaleta taking over from Richards, there is only one weak spot and that is Lescott at central defence.

His lack of height was exposed by Fletcher (twice) and the way he was bundled off the ball by Cole on what should have been a legitimate goal was alarming to say the least.

Do not know why Hughes was so keen on signing him. What we do need is a commanding figure in the back four next to Toure to snuff out the aerial threats. Kompany might be a positive improvement. Otherwise our offence is positively scary and once everything falls into place, some poor team is going to get a right stuffing!

I just hope we don’t overuse Bellamy. This guy has been a revelation.

Watch out Dunney, we’re coming for ya.

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


This is very funny. Takes the mickey out of us a bit but, hey what’s new? It’s nice to see everybody having a go at us, it shows us that they’re really worried.

(ED – Bad Language Warning: This link contains really really really bad and very offensive language in the form of subtitles, but it’s too darn funny not to let you see it!)

CTID, Steve Roughsedge


Not wrote for a couple of years, but still read MCIVTA regularly.

Just a couple of points.

Feggie burger (SAF) said that it was the best ever derby, but he was playing us, not Liverpool. Amazing now that we have this money, he seems s*** scared and we are deemed as the derby team now.

Now, with all the hullabaloo about goal line technology, and wanting cameras, maybe it is time to sort out the injury time. At one time in football it was injury time, not added time, and it was really rare for a game to go 4, 5 or even 6 minutes over the 90.

Maybe this forum should start a campaign to have the game stopped at 90 minutes, no extra time. This would save a lot of bother and controversy.

Stephen Marks <salty12(at)>


Imagine you have been shopping and are now queuing to pay for your goods. The cashier is the goalkeeper and you are at the front of the queue. Your friend behind you passes you her new handbag for you to pay for; this is offside. If you are not at the front of the queue when your friend passes you the handbag you are not offside.

If, however, you are at the front of the queue when your friend attempts to pass you the handbag and another member of the queue (the opposition) intercepts the handbag and hangs onto it you are not offside.

The same principle can be applied for blokes waiting to get served at the bar.

Alex Channon <Alexchannon81(at)>


League table to 30 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 Manchester Utd   7  3  0  0  7  4  3  0  1 10  2  6  0  1  17   6  11 18
 2 Chelsea          7  3  0  0  8  1  3  0  1  8  5  6  0  1  16   6  10 18
 3 Liverpool        7  3  0  1 15  4  2  0  1  7  6  5  0  2  22  10  12 15
 4 Tottenham H.     7  3  0  1 10  5  2  0  1  7  5  5  0  2  17  10   7 15
 5 Manchester City  6  3  0  0  8  3  2  0  1  6  4  5  0  1  14   7   7 15
 6 Arsenal          6  2  0  0  8  1  2  0  2 10  7  4  0  2  18   8  10 12
 7 Aston Villa      6  2  0  1  4  2  2  0  1  5  3  4  0  2   9   5   4 12
 8 Sunderland       7  3  0  1 12  7  1  0  2  2  4  4  0  3  14  11   3 12
 9 Everton          6  2  0  1  6  7  1  0  2  2  3  3  0  3   8  10  -2 9
10 Wigan Athletic   7  2  0  2  4  7  1  0  2  3  6  3  0  4   7  13  -6 9
11 Burnley          7  3  0  0  5  1  0  0  4  0 14  3  0  4   5  15 -10 9
12 Stoke City       7  2  0  2  4  4  0  2  1  1  5  2  2  3   5   9  -4 8
13 Bolton Wndrs     6  0  1  2  3  5  2  0  1  5  4  2  1  3   8   9  -1 7
14 Birmingham City  7  1  1  2  2  3  1  0  2  2  3  2  1  4   4   6  -2 7
15 Blackburn R.     6  2  1  1  5  4  0  0  2  1  5  2  1  3   6   9  -3 7
16 Wolves           7  1  1  1  3  4  1  0  3  4  9  2  1  4   7  13  -6 7
17 Fulham           6  1  0  2  2  4  1  0  2  2  4  2  0  4   4   8  -4 6
18 West Ham United  6  0  0  2  3  5  1  1  2  3  4  1  1  4   6   9  -3 4
19 Hull City        7  1  0  2  2  6  0  1  3  4 13  1  1  5   6  19 -13 4
20 Portsmouth       7  0  0  4  2  6  0  0  3  1  7  0  0  7   3  13 -10 0

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0910.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Pete Johnson)          :
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 by 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. You can also follow on to get the latest updates.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at and the official club Twitter page at The club also has a facebook page 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]Pete Johnson,

Newsletter #1571