Newsletter #1658

News tonight from Alex as kick-off approaches with Mancini’s views of the season ahead, plenty of transfer wrangling given the 25 man rule, and a trip to Romania.

We have opinion on Bellamy’s exclusion from the squad and requests for online Blues and fantasy league.

And so to Spurs…

Next Game: Tottenham Hotspur, away, 12.45pm, Saturday 14 August 2010


General News

Let the Games Begin: Roberto Mancini may be ready to kick off his first full season in charge of the Blues in the hotly anticipated opener against Spurs this Saturday, but the Italian manager admits that his pre-season schedule could have better organized. With some players only returning from their post-World Cup holidays within the last fortnight, Mancini believes that the club would have been better prepared had the team had more time to gel: “I’m excited; it’s going to be a big year for us. I would have liked to have another 20 days together with the squad, because we want the whole squad to the same level, so for that reason it’s so important that we start the season well. That’s also why I wanted to build up the squad so we have plenty to choose from in each position. I hope we can start well on Saturday. It’s a big game to start with, so if we work well with the right attitude we can get a good result.”

For the former Inter Milan manager, there will be no excuses if the club under performs this season and he is keen to end the club’s 35 years of hurt: “I will win a trophy. I don’t know if it will be the Premier League, a European trophy or the FA Cup. But we will win something. This year we will change our history.”

For the Fans: The club hosted a supporters’ day last Friday with hours of fun and entertainment culminating in an open training session. The day, which attracted 8,500 dedicated fans, was an opportunity for the supporters to welcome the squad back from their pre-season tour of the US whilst also acting as an introduction to the club for new signings David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov, Jerome Boateng and Yaya Toure. During the session, players took part in a light-hearted competition of drills and ball skills, before taking time out to sign autographs for fans. Emmanuel Adebayor’s team ‘Ade’s Army’ were overall winners, outdoing Bellamy’s Boys and Tevez’s Troops.

To Eastern Europe: With not only the domestic game to focus on but also the challenge of European football, City were drawn against FC Timisoara in last week’s Europa League play-off draw. Mancini’s men will travel to Romania on August 19th before hosting the return leg one week later on August 26th. The City chief has highlighted the importance of qualifying for the competition’s group stages but has refused to dismiss the challenge that the Romanian side could post: “It will be a difficult game and any team from Romania will provide stiff opposition, particularly on their own ground. We will look forward to both legs and obviously look to ensure we move to the group stages of the competition.”

Be There or Be Square: In a bid to enhance the club’s match day atmosphere, City are in the process of creating ‘City Square’. The pre-match entertainment facility is set to include bars and big screens in a bid to provide fans with a safe and supporter-friendly area ahead of every home game. The square will be found on Joe Mercer Way and will also include activities provided by the City in the Community scheme. City Square will open at 5pm on the 23rd of August, the night of the club’s first home game of the season against Liverpool. Executive Chairman Garry Cook has been quick to praise the idea: “The aim of City Square is to greatly enhance the match day experience of our supporters by providing them with exceptional food, drink and entertainment facilities within a family friendly environment.”

Fresh Challenge: Academy coach Alex Gibson has left the club after twelve successful years. The former youth team boss will be remembered at the club for the 2008 FA Youth Cup success, but has also seen thirty-one of his talented youngsters graduate to the City first team during his time with City. Gibson has insisted that there is no underlying reason behind his unexpected exit from the club and has explained that he simply hopes to seek a new challenge: “It was a very difficult decision to make. Before I came to City I was with the FA, working with the national teams, and that was a tough rôle to walk away from, too. But it proved to be a great move to City. I’ve have 12 fantastic years here during which the coaching team enjoyed great success at the Academy, and long may that continue. I’m leaving for purely personal reasons. The Club have been fantastic with me, but I just feel it’s time now to change and seek a final career challenge before I retire.”

Squad News

The Numbers Game: This season’s squad numbers have been announced, with Emmanuel Adebayor the only major change. Following the exit of Bulgarian striker Valeri Bojinov, ‘Manu’ has taken up the number 9 shirt. Martin Petrov’s transfer to Bolton means the number 17 was free to be handed to new signing Jerome Boateng whilst other new boys David Silva and Yaya Toure will be numbers 21 and 42 respectively. Aleksandar Kolarov is still awaiting his new number. Goalkeeper Shay Given was presented the club’s number 1 shirt and talk of a move away from CoMS for Robinho was dampened slightly as he kept hold of his favourite number 10.

Bell’ Tolls for Craig’s Career? Controversial figure Craig Bellamy has claimed that if he is not a part of City’s 25-man-squad this season, he may be forced to quit the game. The Welsh striker has been linked with a move away from the club all summer, having never truly settled into Roberto Mancini’s coaching regime, but has stated that he has no desire to play for any other club in England’s top flight or for any other European side. Though the former Liverpool man seems to be keen to remain at Eastlands, ‘Bellers’ revealed this week that he wasn’t sure he would be included in Mancini’s squad this season and admitted he would consider quitting the game if he weren’t: “I feel strongly that I can offer something at the club. But if I don’t get in the 25-man squad, I don’t know what I will do. I might finish, full stop, or look at every option I get. I sort of feel I am not going to be part of it (at Manchester City). I can see it from a distance. I am committed to stay where I am. I feel I deserve to be part of it, but I don’t pick the 25 or the team. I have to wait on their decision.”

Lesson Learned: When manager Roberto Mancini stated last season that Micah Richards wasn’t fulfilling his potential, the signs seemed to point to an exit for the 21-year-old. But the City defender has revealed that his manager’s words were enough to make him want to make his mark at this club and the academy graduate is hopeful of securing a place in the club’s first XI this season. The arrival of Germany’s Jerome Boateng has made competition for a first team place even more difficult, but Richards believes in his own ability and will push the each of the club’s multi-million pound additions to the wire in order to impress his manager: “What the manager said was a fair comment, last season I did ok but wasn’t at my best and hopefully this time around will be different. As a defender you are often the last man and mistakes stand out more. I certainly welcome the boss’s words because I know they are aimed at making me a better player and everyone wants to improve. I took on board what the manager said about my concentration levels on the pitch and I working at that.”

Competition Time: Under the new league rules, the pressure is on Mancini to trim his mega-rich squad down to a mere 25 players and Patrick Vieira believes the battle for a place in the first XI will be even feistier. Whilst many of the club’s players are hopeful of making their name at City, others know that they face a fight to feature in the Italian coach’s plans, but former Arsenal midfielder Vieira believes this will be good for the team. To have a number of top quality players battling for a first XI spot will give Mancini a most welcome dilemma every match day and Vieira hopes this will be key to the club’s success: “There will be frustrations because quality players do not like to be on the bench but when you are at an ambitious club like City you have to accept it. What we have to do is put the manager in a difficult position when he comes to picking his starting eleven. This is a great chance for the club to win trophies; I strongly believe that if every player gives all their commitment then this will be an exciting season for us.”

Believe in Blues: Greg Cunningham has championed the Academy from which he graduated and claimed the Premier League’s new rules will be a major progression for the club’s local talent. The rules state that at least 8 of the 25 squad members must be home-grown (to have played in England for at least three years before the age of 21) and Cunningham believes such a rule will be crucial to City’s hopes of staying committed to their Academy set-up, despite their mega-wealth: “The new ruling on Under-21 players is good for a lot of the home-grown lads because obviously we’ve had a lot of new players come in, but it means we are still very much part of the squad. What we have to do, is work hard, keep our heads down and continue to plug away. Hopefully, our chances will come.”

The Rumour Mill

Aleksandar the Great: Serbian left back Aleksandar Kolarov has joined the club with one aim in mind – to make City the greatest team in the league. The defender moved from Serie A side Lazio in a deal worth £19 million, though with Javier Garrido moving in the opposite direction only days later, it is believed the deal must have included a part exchange. Now here, the ‘Serbian Roberto Carlos’ will compete with Wayne Bridge for a place in City’s starting XI and hopes to bring much success to the club: “I’m very excited to be here at a great club like Manchester City. Even the training ground is fantastic, better than Lazio’s. I had the opportunity to join other teams – the names are not important. When I spoke with Mr Mancini, my choice was Manchester City because I know they are a good team. I think maybe a great team. The Premier League is the best in the world and he wants us to go further and win the Premier title and the Champions’ League. For a young player like me, this is the best opportunity. It’s the dream.”

Just for Now: The last fortnight has seen an exodus of players out on loan as Mancini looks to trim his squad down to that golden number, 25. Versatile defender Nedum Onuoha heads the list of Academy founded talent to have left the club in order to seek first team football elsewhere. Whilst Onuoha has made his way north to Sunderland, Academy talent Andrew Tutte has made the much more local trip to newly promoted League One side Rochdale. Rochdale manager Keith Hill also had his sights set on recruiting City’s Ryan McGivern and admitted he was shocked when the Blues instead chose to let him move to Walsall. McGivern, who spent last season on loan at Championship side Leicester City, explained why it is that he and other Blues are seeking temporary moves away from Eastlands: “It’s all about playing as many games as possible and helping the club (Walsall) to promotion. The challenge excites me.” 19-year-old Kieran Trippier has returned to Barnsley for a second spell at the club and will initially stay there for another six months whilst Adam Clayton obviously impressed Leeds United whilst on loan at Carlisle last season as he has moved to Elland Road for one month.

Who to ‘Keep? The biggest question facing Roberto Mancini this weekend may be which goalkeeper he should pick to face Tottenham on Saturday. Despite Shay Given never letting the side down during his 18 months at the club, Mancini will be well aware that Joe Hart’s fledgling career could be a special one and given the 23-year-old’s current form, which has seen him become England’s number one, should Mancini take a risk on the younger man? Rumours suggest that whichever goalkeeper is not chosen on Saturday will seek talks with the club and propose a loan move away from Eastlands. Shay Given has been linked with a move to Arsenal and explained: “I am at a stage where I need to be playing, I am 34-years-old and I have not got millions of years left to play. I hope to be playing Saturday (against Spurs) but whatever decisions the manager makes I will respect that. I hope it is going to me but if it is not we will see what happens. Ideally I would like to stay at City – it is a big club to be at, a very ambitious club with fantastic owners. I want to be part of that. That is why I joined in the first place.”

Hart revealed that he wasn’t keen on another move away, having spent last season on loan at Birmingham City, though if he wasn’t a part of Mancini’s first team plans then the Sunderland target may have to think again: “It wouldn’t be up to me, Manchester are in charge of me at the moment but if I wasn’t playing, I suppose I would have to reconsider.”

Double Trouble: The signings of Inter Milan’s Mario Balotelli and Aston Villa’s James Milner seem imminent as the revelations continued this week. Ghana-born Balotelli admitted this week that he knew where his future lay but was yet to reveal it whilst Milner-gate took a whole new twist as Villa manager Martin O’Neill resigned as manager of the club. With O’Neill’s resignation being put down to “financial restraints”, many media outlets have assumed that the former Celtic boss has left Villa Park because owner Randy Lerner had refused to hand him the whole £30 million expected to be generated from the sale of Milner. One clue as to how close a double deal could be is that Mancini has named only 23 of a possible 25 players in his Europa League play-off squad, Craig Bellamy and new boy David Silva not included in the list. It would seem that the City boss is keeping spaces open for a couple of imminent arrivals.

Best of the Rest: Champions’ League hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur have again been linked with moves for a number of City players. Micah Richards, Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland are all reportedly targets of Harry Redknapp after he stated: “I just need a couple of fresh faces that would make the difference – maybe from Manchester City.” Emmanuel Adebayor surprised fans by saying: “Until some time ago I would not have accepted a transfer to other clubs. I wanted to wear the City shirt and have a better season compared to last year, but I know there will not be many chances for me and so I am considering the many offers I have received.” Despite these words, no move seems to be in place for the Togolese striker. Roque Santa Cruz has been attracting the interest of Greek side Olympiakos whilst the Blues are preparing to use Robinho as a make-weight in a deal for Benfica centre back David Luiz.

Many fans will tell you that the Blues still need an out-and-out striker and Lyon midfielder Pjanic claimed Bosnian compatriot Edin Dzeko was still keen to move to City: “At the end of the day it is going to happen. Edin does really want to go to Manchester City and Manchester is a great team.” If a deal for Balotelli falls through then Giuseppe Rossi and Alberto Gilardino may provide alternatives to Wolfsburg striker Dzeko. Other targets include Bordeaux wonder kid Youann Gourcuff and recently released Gai Assulin who was tipped for great things at Barcelona before failing to make his mark on the first team.

Post-Match Reaction

Home Sweet Home: Goals from Gareth Barry and Jo were enough to grab a final pre-season victory, as the Blues ended an ultimately disappointing build up to the new campaign. Winning has been in short supply over the last four weeks, though the Blues have done some fantastic work off the pitch over in the USA and were proud to represent their club in the Ferrostaal Cup this year. In their first game back since the summer break, the Blues looked comfortable throughout, restricting the La Liga side to very few chances. Kolarov, Boateng and Silva were all impressed on the débuts, whilst Yaya Toure came away with the Man of the Match award. Shaun Wright Phillips and Micah Richards looked in form as England manager Fabio Capello watched on and a win for Mancini’s side was the cherry on the cake as Blues’ supporters began the 7 day countdown to the start of the season. Striker Adebayor stated that beating Valencia was a fantastic way to end a disappointing pre-season and asserted that success is now down to the players: “It was a good way to finish the friendly games because Valencia is a good side that keeps the ball very well. The win gave us confidence as we go into the match at Spurs next Saturday. Pre-season results do not really matter but as professionals we don’t like to lose any match and I think that the win on Saturday and some of the football we played showed we are ready. We have all come here to try to make history and to do well for this club. City has done everything they can for all the players to make sure we only have to focus on one thing – playing and winning. So now it is up to us.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Fulham Find Some Spark: Former City manager Mark Hughes has joined Europa League finalists Fulham, eight months after leaving Eastlands. The Welshman admitted that he was keen to get started in his new job and his arrival at Craven Cottage may see Fulham attempt to raid Hughes’ former club. Both Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz have been linked with moves to London of late. Though excited about his new challenge, Hughes did claim that he still believes he would have done a good job at CoMS: “I was disappointed because I felt I was doing a good job, given the circumstances that I found at the club and all the changes that we had to accommodate in my tenure there. I think no-one else could have done as good a job as I did, given the circumstances. I felt we were fully on track with the expectations of the owners. Unfortunately, maybe their mindset changed, and I wasn’t part of their plans.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


Dear Manchester City FC,

As a lifelong fan of four decades it’s great to see the backing of Sheikh Mansour and the rich potential of the club, the like of which we have never before witnessed. Like any City fan, I feel with our new found wealth, we could be on the verge of becoming a real power in the Premier League and, beyond that, the Champions’ League.

Whilst being fully appreciative of everything that is going in the right direction for ‘my’ club I write to express my grave concern that City are about to dump Craig Bellamy from the 25-man squad for the new season. Obviously I am not privy to what goes on behind the scenes or the relationships between playing staff, manager and administrators/directors but what is evident for all, is the passionate manner in which Craig Bellamy goes about his work.

I can only comment on what I see, and what I see is a player driven by personal and professional pride, a commitment second to none and a never-say-die attitude that should inspire those around him and be admired by the opposition. The word ‘feisty’ sits well with him, but he is also a genuine talent with pace to burn, notwithstanding his 31-years and dodgy knees.

It is unthinkable and logic-defying to say there are 25 players within the club who are either more talented than Craig or more hell-bent on delivering success to MCFC.

I am not naïve enough to think my opinion will in any way affect the decision-making process of either Roberto Mancini or the Club in general, but all I can do is make an impassioned plea for Craig Bellamy to be given a chance to make a positive contribution to the 2010/11 season for Manchester City. I believe my sentiments would be echoed by the overwhelming majority of City fans – fans who know their football and appreciate a gutsy, and yes ‘choppsy’, individual who for all of his perceived character traits, is the type of player you want in your ‘trench’.

In conclusion please at least make this correspondence known to Messrs Cook, Marwood and Mancini and even Craig Bellamy himself. As a season ticket holder I want to see Craig play his part in what could be – should be – one of the best seasons in the history of Manchester City Football Club.

David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)>


A brief note to all to let you know MCFCfans re-launches today with its first blog article of the season.

Thanks to all of you for your support since we launched – please get in touch to exchange links for each other’s sites.

Struan Malcolm <sm(at)>


Last chance if you haven’t done so to join the fantasy league before the big K.O. on Saturday.

As our club enters the realms of fantasy football I have set up a couple of leagues for subscribers to MCIVTA on the official Premier League fantasy football site at:

One is a ‘classic’ league based on your players’ weekly scores. The other is a head to head league where each week your team plays one of the other teams in the league (I actually find this format more fun). It is no extra work to join both leagues as the same team is used for both.

It’s free to join and just for fun (although there are prizes for the best overall on the site). If you want to join in go to the link above and follow the on-screen instructions to register. Then to join the classic league (called MCIVTA Fans), enter the league code 83894-26717 and to join the head2head league (called MCIVTA Head2Head) enter the code 83894-26769.

I would like to exclude any Yoonited players from squads but as this is impossible to administer I’ll leave it to your own conscience.

You can select a maximum of 3 players from any one team so choose your City players wisely. It is a bit unreal because you get £100 million to select your squad with and that would only buy a couple of City players in the real world, given our spending pattern.

It adds another dimension to what is hopefully going to be an exciting and rewarding season for us long suffering fans.

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


Please help nominate Carl Tilson for Pride of Britain 2010. An incredible young man and an inspiration who campaigns tirelessly for his condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and helping others in the face of adversity.

Carl Tilson has already exceeded the life expectancy, being at 23 years old, and is determined to fight until his final breath to help bring an end to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a devastating incurable muscle wasting illness.

He needs your help to achieve a huge amount of exposure for this terrible condition. Awareness is very poor so Carl Tilson would like to take the opportunity to achieve a Pride of Britain award so people like himself can gain benefit and save lives.

Please take a few minutes to watch his video:

How to cast your vote: Click here:

Type the reason why you think Carl Tilson is an inspiration to you and why you would like to suggest him to be considered for a Pride of Britain award; the aim is to impress the judges therefore please type from the heart.

To submit your suggestion by mail/airmail, use the address below:
2010 Pride of Britain Awards
One Canada Square, Canary Wharf
London, E14 5AP

If you’re an organisation nominating please dedicate one person to submit on the behalf of that establishment. For more information visit

Nominations must be received by midnight on Friday September 10th, 2010 to be considered for Pride of Britain 2010. All nominations received after that date will be considered for Pride of Britain 2011. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


MCIVTA FAQ [v1011.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Alex Rowen)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings 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?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club ( The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (

[6] Where can I find out about Points of Blue?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears on the club website under the “Fans” heading (

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

Live match commentary can be found on the club website. The Radio Manchester pre- and post-match phone-in is available on the web at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are,

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1658