Newsletter #1644

Many thanks to Svenn for stepping in and doing a sterling job on the editorial front during my break.

Today we have news on the fixtures just out for the upcoming season, transfer news and rumour round-up, a new appointment behind the scenes, and international Blues – with a number of Blues still involved in the action over in South Africa and the inevitable game for England against Germany on the horizon.

We also have opinion on the transfer targets and a request for a number of programmes seeking new home(s).

Next Game: Sporting Lisbon, 8pm, Friday 23 July 2010 (friendly NYFC)


General News

And They’re Out: It’s barely six weeks since that trip to West Ham brought an end to City’s most successful ever Premier League campaign and now the 2010/11 fixtures have been released. In what seems to be some sort of cruel irony, the Blues will open their new campaign with a trip to Spurs, the side who qualified for the Champions’ League at City’s expense with a win at CoMS in the penultimate game of last season. Many Blues won’t be looking forward to the trip to White Hart Lane on August 14th as the Citizens don’t exactly have the best of track records but others will see the game as a chance to send an early message to their Premier League rivals. Mancini’s first home game of the season will be just as tough as his side come up against Liverpool on August 21st before a trip to the Stadium of Light to face Steve Bruce’s Sunderland on the 28th.

City will have to wait until mid-October to face newly-promoted opposition when they will visit Blackpool in what will be an eagerly-anticipated fixture for fans on October 16th. The Manchester derbies take familiar territory with the home tie to be played on November 10th and the return fixture at Old Trafford on February 12th. Tony Pulis’ Stoke visit CoMS for the Blues’ last home game of the season on May 14th and the season concludes on May 22nd at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium.

A full list of fixtures can be found on the official MCFC website though due to television commitments and the club’s Europa League involvement, dates and times are subject to change.

Worthington’s Original: Gary Worthington has been appointed as the Blues’ new Assistant Head of Player Recruitment. Worthington has been successfully involved in Leeds United and Chelsea’s academies in recent years and has been appointed to search for the country’s best talent and bring them to the club. Mancini has pledged his commitment to the youth set-up by handing débuts to four City youngsters since taking over, including Dedryck Boyata, and it will be Worthington’s job to ensure Mancini has the best young talent to choose from: “I’m very impressed with what I have already seen with the scouting department here. They have achieved a lot in the last 12 months and covered a lot of ground. They have made some fantastic contacts, not just in the UK but throughout Europe and elsewhere. If we continue to do that we will be in the market for the best players not just in the local area but in the world. I’m really excited by the challenge here. I had five great years at Chelsea, it was a tough decision to leave but I do feel that it is as exciting here at City as it was at Chelsea when I started there. Things expanded and grew in my time there, and I wanted to be part of the same story at City.”

Squad News

King Jong: Nigel de Jong’s eyes may be firmly set on helping his country achieve great things at the World Cup this summer but the Dutch midfielder has revealed that he has great ambitions at club level next term. Whilst most fans would settle for a top four position this season and the promise of Champions’ League football in the 2011/12 campaign, de Jong believes that the club’s multi-million pound squad must aim higher than that and even push Chelsea, United and Arsenal in the race for the title. The 27-year-old admits that City will have to be at their very best in order to come close to topping the table but believes he is not the only player in the squad who hopes the Blues can become kings of England: “Is there a chance we can win the Premier League next season? Yes, but we’ll see there’s always something special about winning a trophy and you always have to aim high, but we want the title – there’s nothing better than the No.1 spot. That’s our aim, but let’s just sees how the City players settle in again this year. Last year was our first season with a new squad. Next season we’ll be even better. There is only one goal at this club – to be the best. That’s why players come here.”

De Jong has also told of how appreciated he feels plying his trade in England where a good tackle never goes unnoticed: “In Holland, combative midfielders aren’t developed. It’s more a case of they happen to find themselves in that position, because they are obviously needed. The appreciation for this rôle is huge in England. I was a bit invisible in Germany, at Hamburg. In England I’ve been the Man of the Match a number of times already. It’s amazing that the people in England appreciate my type, but the City fans really enjoy and applaud a good tackle.”

Raring to Go: Having returned from his stint as a pundit for the BBC’s World Cup coverage, Emmanuel Adebayor has explained that he can’t wait to begin the new season. ‘Manu’ signed from Arsenal for a fee of £25 million with the hope of winning silverware after a barren run at The Emirates and the ex-Togo skipper hopes to be a major part of City’s push for success this term: “I can’t wait to get started. I’m looking forward to next season and though it’s going to be very difficult to get in the team, as a footballer at a top club, you expect to be challenged – that’s football.”

In the same interview, ‘Manu’ explained the reasons behind his retirement from international football, citing a lack of funding that in turn created security issues, something the attacks in January may do much to prove: “For nine years, I have put my country first before everything, but now the most important thing for me is my life. I have to put my life first before my country and I have a good family and children that I have to look after. If the organization is good and if our government is ready to improve the standard of football and not involve politics, yes I will change my mind. Because I love football and love playing football and also want to give something back.”

Joe Enjoyed Harty Challenge: This time last season, Joe Hart was unsure about his future at club level. The former Shrewsbury ‘keeper had had spells as City’s number one under both Sven and Hughes but upon the arrival of former Newcastle United goalie Shay Given, Hart’s future seemed uncertain. Yet after a season on loan at Alex McLeish’s Birmingham City, the 23-year-old has been named PFA Goalkeeper of the Year and earned a place in England’s World Cup squad. Hart remains grateful to ‘The Brum’ for giving him an opportunity to prove himself and now hopes to battle with Given for City’s number one jersey: “In my career everything has been positive but Shay came in and I had to move on. It was actually nice to have a set-back with not playing at Man City and a new challenge between my teeth. It has helped me playing consistently and being part of a good team and I have really enjoyed it. It has been great for me and I owe a lot to Alex McLeish giving me the opportunity and hopefully I have paid him back.”

The Next Generation: Carlisle United manager Greg Abbot has been speaking this week about the benefits to Premier League clubs when loaning out their younger squad members. Abbot, who loaned City’s Adam Clayton last season, believes it is advantageous to top clubs in the long run if their ‘next generation’ of players are given the opportunity to play competitive football week in week out, even if that does mean them dropping down the divisions in order to do so: “I’ve told Manchester City, Newcastle and Sunderland that players would be better off playing at this level – and their managers totally agree. All three have said that if they can get them in our team we would rather have that than them playing in the reserves, so it’s a good situation for us. Manchester City have also been brilliant because it does their players the world of good to get some real football rather than reserve football.”

Abbot isn’t the only lower league manager with his sights set on City’s youth players as Chesterfield manager John Sheridan revealed he would like 20-year-old Donal McDermott to return for another loan spell: “Everybody knows how much I rate Donal as a player and a person. I haven’t yet made an enquiry for him but he is the sort of player I would be interested in.”

The Rumour Mill

Signing Silva Would be Golden: The chase for Valencia’s David Silva has hotted up this week as City and Chelsea go head to head for the Spaniard’s signature. Earlier in the week, the player himself stated that “there is no reason why in the future Chelsea can’t be as decorated as Real Madrid” and so a move to Eastlands seemed to be off the cards. That was until Valencia Deputy Chairman Javier Gomez revealed: “As has been said, there is interest from Manchester City and we have permitted them to talk to the player, but we have reached no agreement and we have not talked about a fee.” So now it’s for City to go out and persuade the winger that a move to Manchester would be the best deal for both parties. Though many suggested that a deal had been done between player and club, this is not true and Silva’s agent has warned City that “We’re weighing up offers from three clubs and one is Chelsea.”

Mancini is Media Menace: After only six months in charge of City, Roberto Mancini has learnt that the media will link his side with any and every player ever to have kicked a football and in response the City chief has been up to a little mischief himself. When asked about his summer targets and possible moves for either Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko or CSKA’s Milos Krasic, Mancini claimed he was after one of them but wouldn’t reveal who: “We are used to raised prices, but in reality we cannot buy dozens of players. Of course we aim to strengthen. Krasic or Dzeko? One really interests us, the other doesn’t. Who? I cannot say.”

Re-Union With Robinho: Besiktas manager Bernd Schuster has admitted that he hopes to bring Robinho to Turkey. The former Real Madrid manager emphasized the fact that he always had a fantastic relationship with the Brazilian during the time in La Liga and if City were willing to sell, Schuster will be first in line: “He would bring a new identity to the team. At Real Madrid we had a great relationship. He’ll cost a lot, but will be fantastic for the team. If the club wants, I will speak with him personally.”

Rebuffed: The Blues have been linked with every player ever to wear a professional footballer’s jersey since their multi-million pound takeover by Sheikh Mansour and every now and again a couple of players reject rumours linking them with moves to Eastlands. Bordeaux’s Youann Gourcuff may not have had the best of World Cups but the French side are keen to keep hold of their wonder kid and are adamant that Gourcuff has no plans of moving to City: “Contrary to what I have heard, we have the means to keep him at the club next season. He can stay with us. There is no reason for him to leave. Anyway, we will see how he feels after the World Cup.” AC Milan’s Thiago Silva is another name that the Blues had been linked with but the young Brazilian has no plans to leave the Italian giants: “I have read something about [Manchester City]. It’s nice to know that coaches appreciate your work and that clubs are prepared to spend a lot of money to sign you, but I have other ideas for my future. Actually, I have a message for Milan. I am ready to stay in red and black until I am 40. I want to stay and win something with Milan.”

Best of the Rest: In a bid to strengthen his midfield further, reports this week suggested that Roberto Mancini may be tracking Marseille’s Lucho Gonzalez. The Argentine playmaker could cost up to £18 million and it is believed that Mancini will only chase the former Porto star up if a deal with Barcelona’s Yaya Toure cannot be reached. Werder Bremen’s Mesut Ozil has been making a splash for Germany at this summer’s World Cup and is supposedly a target with wingers Joe Cole and CSKA’s Mirko Krasic also possible additions to City’s wide options following the release of Bulgarian Martin Petrov. The City chief may also be set to sign a former player of his from Inter Milan as he chases 29-year-old Nicolas Burdisso. The Argentine centre back has spent time on loan at Roma this season and his agent has admitted that there are a number of interested parties, though whether City are in fact in for Burdisso is still at question: “Manchester City? The Nerazzurri have told me of the interest of the British club, I didn’t know it.” Mancini also caused a stir in the Spanish media this week having admitted that “In my opinion, Ibra (Barcelona’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic) is the best striker in Europe.” The Swede striker is said to be looking for a way out of the Nou Camp following the arrival of Spaniard David Villa and is said to be keen to re-unite with former boss Mancini. 17-year-old Florent Cuvelier was the shock name to be linked this week as the Belgian attracted the interest of a number of Premier League clubs. The Portsmouth starlet is almost an unknown entity amongst the masses though reports this week suggested City, Stoke and Spurs were all hopeful of stealing the midfielder away from Fratton Park.

Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop is believed to have turned down a move to City, with the promise of first team football elsewhere said to be the reason behind the decision. The Hungarian international spent the last couple of weeks of the season at Eastlands as part of an emergency loan deal following injuries to Shay Given and Stuart Taylor and Mancini is said to have offered Fulop the chance to return as the team’s third choice goalie. With offers reportedly on the table from Belgian side Anderlecht and Greek outfit Olympiakos, Fulop seemed to have ruled out a return to CoMS. Reports elsewhere have suggested that Santa Cruz has been offered to a number of European clubs in a bid to sell the Paraguayan whilst Arsenal have been linked with moves for both Wright Phillips and Ireland. One player likely to leave the club on loan this season is Vladimir Weiss. The Slovakian Academy graduate spent six months on loan at Bolton Wanderers last season and is set to seek first team football elsewhere once again in order to prove that he has a future at CoMS. His agent revealed that a move to St James’ Park is the most likely option: “On Newcastle, I only know what has been reported. We haven’t heard anything yet. Things will only be decided after the World Cup and I don’t know anything until then. Vladimir just wants to play football – and of course he wants to play at a big club. He must make the decision himself, though, and that will only come after the World Cup. We will see.”

International Blues

It’s almost success all round for the City boys as only Kolo Toure looks set to miss out on the second round of the World Cup. The Ivorian side’s back line was outclassed by a mixture of Luis Fabiano and Kaka as the Brazilians ran out 3-1 winners. Robinho wasn’t quite as effective as in the North Korea contest but his side did enough to book their place in the second round of the competition. Unfortunately for the Ivory Coast, Portugal destroyed underdogs North Korea 7-0 and as a result, whilst it remains mathematically possible for ‘The Elephants’ to progress, it would take a massive goal swing in The Ivorians’ favour when they face Korea and Brazil go up against Portugal.

Elsewhere however, it seems to be success for City’s boys. Despite the return of Gareth Barry and the inclusion of SWP on the hour, England failed to score in a 0-0 draw with an Algeria side that featured City old boy Djamel Abdoun. Robert Green was dropped following his howler against the USA but still Joe Hart was left to sit it out on the bench and another familiar face, David James, kept goal. That result hasn’t stopped England from qualifying though as Capello’s Three Lions won 1-0 in the decisive Slovenia match. Neither SWP nor Hart featured but Barry was integral as ever. England will now face Jerome Boateng’s Germany in the second round of the competition. Boateng made his first appearance of the tournament as his side beat brother Kevin Prince’s Ghana 1-0. There had been reports that the two brothers had argued a week back and haven’t spoken since and the anticipation pre-handshake was almost reminiscent of Bridge/Terry-gate. But the two brothers did shake hands, if grudgingly, and Jerome was to win the battle, though Ghana also qualified and will now face the U.S. If the Blues were to beat Germany, Carlos Tevez’s Argentina would almost certainly await them in the semi-finals after they topped Group B. Argentina have already qualified ahead of their 2-0 win over Greece and maybe that is why Tevez played no part in the fixture, but the former West Ham forward will be hopeful to return to the line-up for his country’s second round tie with Mexico.

Midfield anchorman Nigel de Jong was crucial to The Netherlands’ second consecutive clean sheet of the tournament as his side qualified with a 1-0 win over Japan. If they beat Cameroon tonight, de Jong’s Dutch side should avoid Paraguay who, despite a lack of goals by City target man Roque Santa Cruz, have progressed to the second round having beaten Vladimir Weiss’ Slovakia 2-0 and earned a point in a goalless draw with New Zealand. After the loss to Paraguay, Slovakia’s hopes of qualifying seemed to be all but over given their final fixture was a ‘winner takes all’ battle against World Champions Italy. Weiss’ team-mates however, were the unlikely winners by 3 goals to 2. Though Weiss played no part in the game itself, the Slovakian youngster was evidently chuffed to progress, embracing his father and manager at full time.

Ex-Blues’ News

La Revolution: The media may have been quick to criticise the England camp this week but across The Channel, the French media have been bemoaning a national side in disgrace. Following a dismal first night showing against Uruguay, the French were expected to up their game against Mexico. This wasn’t to be, and when United’s latest signing Javier Hernandez put the Mexicans 1-0 up, the French camp went into disarray. Never has a World Cup seen what was to follow as infighting led to players on strike, ultimately resulting in a governmental enquiry. It’s reported that City old boy Nicolas Anelka issued a foul-mouthed tirade at French coach Raymond Domenech during the half time interval against Mexico. Anelka was promptly substituted and sent home a day later after failing to apologize. This led to French captain Patrice Evra and his side refusing to train ahead of the crucial tie against hosts South Africa. In response, the outgoing Domenech dropped Evra and a number of his rebellious counterparts and Les Bleus lost 2-1. One point from nine, bottom place in the group and elimination in the first round, not quite how the French had planned it. It remains to be seen whether the soon to be installed Laurent Blanc will be able to talk Anelka out of retiring from the international scene.

Bulgarian to Bolton: Former City winger Martin Petrov has signed a deal with Bolton Wanderers following his release from CoMS. The Bulgarian spent three years at Eastlands before being deemed surplus to requirements and the 31-year-old will now move to The Reebok having opted not to uproot his family from the North West, despite interest from Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.

Leading the Pilgrims: League One side Plymouth Argyle are set to unveil ex-City boss Peter Reid as their new manager on Monday. The 54-year-old will leave his post as Stoke City assistant manager in order to replace Paul Mariner and Chairman Sir Roy Gardner is delighted with the high profile appointment: “The Plymouth Argyle board of directors are delighted to have secured a manager whose high reputation precedes him. Peter has a wealth of experience after a lifetime in the dressing-room and dug-out, which made him the stand-out candidate to progress the club on the pitch. We look forward to many years of success together.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


I totally agree with the comments made by Thomas Bodey in MCIVTA 1643. I appreciate we get linked with every available player, and a lot of the stuff we read in the media may be far from the truth.

I am not sure if Mancini is aware of just how many defensive players are currently on our books, yet the 2 positions in the back line that need urgent overhauling seem to be neglected i.e. left back and right back. I liked the look of Michel Bastos of Brazil at left back or the Mexican left back. On the right, I still think Lahm is quality player.

How many centre halves are we now going to have, assuming we include the likes of Richards and Onuoha to the list, as they are capable and have played there in the past? Then we go looking for more holding midfielders, added to de Jong and Barry, when it was so apparent we need an attacking midfielder. Why waste our time on David Silva (his price tag will be heavily inflated, apart from the fact, that he is looking elsewhere!), to play wide on the left… we already have a natural left winger in Adam Johnson, and a natural right winger in SWP!

Milner is a good, hard working player, and I can see why Mancini would fancy him… how much will he cost?

I just cannot believe how Mancini has kept Vieira on the books; Seedorf would have been a much better bet for an old boy with experience.

Watching the World Cup to date, the guy that we should be chasing is Mesut Ozil, the young and talented German. It’s a no-brainer; it should not matter who else might be looking at him, we can blow them out of the water! There is a very good attacking midfielder at Santos that we should look at, he very nearly gatecrashed the Brazil team, and is destined for good things.

Just thinking back to when we were reportedly chased Kaka for £100 million: wow, aren’t we lucky that did not materialise! That would have been the biggest waste of money.

The World Cup is now in the knock-out stages, so it won’t be long till the “transfer juggernaut” starts revving its engine.

Come on City!

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


I have about 60-ish match programmes from the late 70’s and early Eighties (some great haircuts, I was a teenager then so mine was a cracker too). A couple of odd ones in there e.g. 1976 Cup final versus Newcastle (odd because I didn’t go), mostly Maine Road home programmes.

I’d like to donate these to a City museum or City programme collector. I don’t want these to be sold on unless the money generated is then donated to charity.

A fairly big block, so collection (from Stockport) is OK, or I’ll post them (at the recipient’s expense).

Alan Barnshaw <alan.barnshaw(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0910.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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[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)?

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[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

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Newsletter #1644