Newsletter #1668

With another European win under our belts, we have a view at the Salzburg game tonight and news from Don looking at the game, together with the Blackburn draw, international Blues news on and off the pitch.

We’ve also the usual requests.

Next up: league action with Wigan.

Next Game: Wigan Athletic, away, 3pm, Sunday 19 September 2010


General News

Carlos Cropped: Tuesday must have been a slow news day, both the Evening News and the club website featured this searing snippet: Carlos Tevez has had a haircut. And here’s me reporting it too. The really interesting Carlito story took place far far away…

Brother, Can You Spare a Crime? Families, eh? Back in the old country, the half-brother of Carlos Tevez tried to implicate his City superstar semi-sibling in an armed raid, believe it or not. Juan Alberto Martinez, along with Tevez’s brother-in-law Carlos Avalos Veron, staged a hold-up on a bank security van in Cordoba, Argentina. Martinez told police that one of the mobile phones linked to the raid belonged to the footballer, according to The Sun. He also claimed he was staying at Tevez’s home at the time of the raid, but it turned out the striker was not using that abode at the time. The pair had dressed themselves in police uniform for the raid, but had to flee. Both were jailed for 16 years, and Tevez cut his hair.

Alleged Tosser’s Case Thrown Out: It’s not up there with a bank raid I’ll admit, but nearer home the case against a man accused of tossing a coin at Craig Bellamy has collapsed after a key prosecution witness went missing. Adam Teese, of Heaton Chapel, was accused of “throwing a missile on to the pitch” during the Manchester derby in January. The incident took place during the heartbreaking second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final, where Bellamy fell to the ground after he was struck by a coin. Trafford magistrates dismissed the case and Mr Teese walked free. He had denied the charge and the trial had been due to start on Tuesday. But prosecution’s key witness, a steward at Old Trafford, could not be contacted by the court and the case was thrown out.

Fab England: Shall we talk about footie for a change, readers? Roberto Mancini has given a vote of confidence to his fellow Italian Fabio Capello, the England manager. “I think the national team has a fantastic manager. In the World Cup England were very unlucky,” said Mancini. “The referee did not award a goal. It changed their World Cup but under Capello they have a chance to win the European Championship.” Mancini was delighted that six City players (Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry, James Milner, Adam Johnson and SWP) finished the European qualifier against Switzerland last week. “I was very proud. It is a fantastic thing for the club to have six players in the England team. It is an incredible situation for us. I think all our players did well and England played a good game against Switzerland. They have young players, who can play for long time.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Past Tense over Future: City will be rivalling Barcelona in a bid to sign Palermo playmaker Javier Pastore, according to reports in Italy. Pastore, dubbed ‘the Argentinian Kaka’ (are you listening, Garry?), would only cost City a cool £40 million according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The 21-year-old sounds rather keen to play for Barcelona one day: “For an Argentine to play in the La Liga is normal, especially for the language,” said Pastore. “Wearing the jersey of Barcelona with Lionel Messi is a dream, but it remains such. Now I think only of Palermo and the league.” This last sentiment was recently echoed by the player’s agent, who said that his boy was at Palermo for the long haul.

The Real Deal: Karim Benzema was one of real Madrid’s Galactico signings last summer, but did not enjoy a thrilling début season in Spain. The 22-year-old has been a big disappointment at Real since moving to the Spanish capital from Lyon in the summer of 2009, starting only 18 games for the club. So where might he end up? Why, United, Liverpool, Juventus or City, of course! Not so fast, says the player’s agent. “The future of Karim Benzema will be at Real Madrid,” his representative, Karim Djaziri, told “He is a Real Madrid player and will remain a Real Madrid player.”

After-Match Reactions and Comments

Confusion at the CoMS: On Saturday it was frustration all round for City, as they were held to a draw by Blackburn Rovers at the CoMS. City had gone behind when a mix-up between keeper Joe Hart and Kolo Toure allowed Nikola Kalinic to steer in a shot from outside the area. Patrick Vieira tapped in to level as City piled on the pressure. Adam Johnson was denied a penalty before Carlos Tevez and Jo had late efforts blocked by Rovers’ Gael Givet and Christopher Samba. “My view is that in every season you have difficult moments,” said Boss Bobby, “and this is one because we have a lot of players out injured. We’re a bit unlucky, but we gave them a gift for the opener so we will just have to work harder to get through this. It was a bad goal to give away, but this can happen in football, and I thought after Sunderland we had stopped giving gifts to our opponents! But I checked after the game and we had 25 chances to score, so we have to be tougher when we are near their goal. At the moment the luck is against us, but we know we are a good team so we have to keep working well.” Of Blackburn’s gift of a goal, Mancini said, “It was a strange goal. It can happen. This is football. Joe Hart is a good goalkeeper.” And what was the opinion of that good goalkeeper? “I got there and Kolo was about to head it, he heard me coming and left it. It was me getting in the way if I am honest. I hold my hands up. I am sorry for that,” reflected Hart. “I thought we did ok after the goal but Blackburn defended well. Paul Robinson did great. The save from Gareth Barry was special; all the rest of the saves he would expect to make but it is not just as easy as that. It was a shame we couldn’t find the winner and we were all really disappointed. We are going to have difficult games this season where teams are going to come here and defend. Although we are disappointed with the result we must learn and keep moving forward. Like we did at Sunderland; we played some good football at times and just needed that break in front of goal.”

Fat Chance of Beating Sam’s Men: James Milner shared his ‘keeper’s disappointment, saying, “It was very frustrating, we know how Rovers play, they have a game plan that they carry out very well. We knew they would make it tough, sit men behind the ball and we have to prepare for a lot of teams to do that. When that happens it is down to us to break sides down, I thought we created enough chances to do that but we did not quite have the luck you need. We had the chances, so maybe we should have won, but there was a real sucker punch at the other end.” At the other end of the pitch, meanwhile, rather large Sam Allardyce was rather pleased with his point. He said: “We have measured up to a club that should brushing us aside in terms of the quality of players they can afford, the wages they can pay and the limited budget we work on. But good organisation, team spirit and a hard-working side can always cause an upset. Manchester City fans would see this result as an upset. Even towards the end we might have nicked another goal when Kalinic was through but Joe Hart made a good save. But hopefully this will boost our confidence. I was very pleased with our performance. We feel we got what we deserved after an outstanding team effort both in the way we defended and our possession of the ball. Nikola capitalised on their mistake and we were pleased he tucked that one away and put us in front. It was an unexpected opportunity to score. We looked very comfortable in the first half. I was disappointed Mame Diouf did not make it 2-0. That would have been an outstanding situation for us.” There are reports that Greater Manchester Police are investigating an after-match incident where a water bottle was thrown from the stands at Blackburn Rovers’ striker El Hadji Diouf. Diouf appeared to be taunting City fans by blowing kisses to them as he left the field. It’s a free drink, Hadji, don’t knock it.

Squad News

Silva Lining Soon for David: As if you need reminding, but City splashed out £24 million to land David Silva from Valencia in the summer, but the Spanish international has failed to shine so far this season. Silva has made only one league start for the club and has found himself playing a bit-part rôle. Roberto Mancini has blamed his international commitments with Spain as a reason for his slow start to life at City, “The thing with Silva is that we have been able to work with him only a couple of days at a time since he arrived,” he said. “He had just signed for us when he went off with his national team to play in Mexico. Then he came back and very quickly was off again with the national team again, this time to play in Argentina – another long trip. I thought he did very well when he came on [against Blackburn] but I always said that he would need time because it is very different here than playing in Spain. The internationals are over now and I think it will be time for him to play in the team from the next game.” The player thinks that City fans will soon see the best of the 24-year-old. “I am getting there, just more slowly than I would have liked,” he told the club website. “It’s not just about playing games, it’s about getting more training sessions under your belt – something I have been able to do more of lately. Physically, I am feeling better day by day. I need to get a few more minutes on the pitch to get to optimum fitness levels and I am sure that will happen with so many games coming up,” he added.

Not So Super for Mario: There have been even more pessimistic reports over the expected recovery of Mario Balotelli this week. The Independent suggested he’d be back playing in time for City’s trip to Blackpool next month, while the worst suggestion (in the Telegraph) reckoned that Mario would be out for 8-10 weeks. Assistant Manager Brian Kidd has insisted that these reports are “nonsense”. “There is nothing sinister in this,” countered Kidd. “Mario has had the operation, he has come back and is now on with his rehabilitation. Wherever these other rumours are coming from, they are nonsense.”

Vidal’s Vital Experience: Defender Javan Vidal is hoping to go out on loan again; the 21-year-old spent a stint with Championship club Derby last season. And after finding first-team chances restricted at Eastlands, the full-back is hoping to impress Roberto Mancini by plying his trade elsewhere. “If the chance came to break into the side at Man City then I would look to grasp the opportunity with both hands,” Vidal said on Sky Sport’s website. “But I reckon I will need to go out on loan first to catch the manager’s eye because he has already set out his team how he wants it. I’ve had a few clubs show an interest in taking me on loan over the summer, but I am at a stage where I definitely need to be playing games. So, it is important for me to choose the right club in the sense that I will have a good chance of playing regularly and they play the brand of football that suits my game too. This is the time when most Football League clubs will be looking to bring loan players in to bolster their squads, with injuries and suspensions causing managers to take stock of what they have got and where they need to improve.”

Shaun to Stay? There’s good news for Shaun-Wright Phillips fans, and I suspect, for the player himself. City are to offer the winger a new four-year £70,000-a-week deal according to The Sun. The 28-year-old expressed his desire to sign a long term contract at Eastlands last season, and some sources said he’d demand a transfer in the New Year if no agreement was in place. The news should put to bed any chances of SWP leaving Manchester for either Liverpool or Arsenal, in either January or next summer.

Late Extra: Europa League News

Hi Ho, Silva! David Silva scored his first goal for City as the Blues had a comfortable 2-0 win over Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, in a Group A game in the Europa League. The other goalscorer was Jo, who last scored for City oooh, ages ago. Vincent Kompany has certainly impressed by wee Davey Silva, as he made clear after the game. “He is an amazing player – and like every foreign player he needs time to settle in the Premier League. We’ve seen in training he’s an amazing player – he’ll be very important for us at times this season.” The Belgium international continued: “I think it was a good performance but we should have scored two or three goals in the first half. That would have made it an easier game for us – because it wasn’t easy. Early goals settle nerves. In previous weeks we have performed well but not scored from the chances we have had. The first chance went in for us in this game, but the second, third and fourth ones didn’t – but we are demanding of ourselves and are going to move forward. We definitely look like a unit already but some stuff is down to luck. I think in three or four months we will be even stronger than we are now.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Let me first start by saying after seeing on the official MCFC site, a photo of Carlos Tevez with his new hair style, and the heading “Captain Cool”, I now think that taking the captain’s job away from him and giving it to Yaya Toure would be a difficult thing to do right now. I guess the reason Mancini made Tevez captain in the first place was because of his work rate, thinking Tevez’s work rate will inspire the rest of the team.

Nice to see David Silva playing and scoring a goal in the eighth minute. Today versus Salzburg, City should have scored many goals, especially Jo who had so many very good chances to score on several occasions, but he did score an excellent goal to make it 0-2.

The Tiger (de Jong) was back in action, along with Wayne Bridge back after his long absence because of injury; if Bridge had been fit a little earlier, and made himself available for England selection, City might have had the seven players playing for England versus Switzerland, and if one of the foreign players’ Granny had been English, we might have had the eight or more.

Roberto picked a team to take care of business and the team succeeded with no real threat from Salzburg, and resting some players for the Wigan game on Sunday. The players selected did a good job, Joe Hart playing in this game was also rested with hardly any action against him.

Well done Roberto!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I do not ever recall seeing 6 City players on the field at one time playing for England.

Can anyone confirm if this is a record for us?

Martin Prendergast <martinjprendergast(at)>


13 September 2010

Stoke City            2 - 1  Aston Villa           25,899

League table to 15 September 2010 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  8  0  2  0  0  9  1  4  0  0  17   1  16  12
 2 Arsenal          4  2  0  0 10  1  1  1  0  3  2  3  1  0  13   3  10  10
 3 Manchester Utd   4  2  0  0  6  0  0  2  0  5  5  2  2  0  11   5   6   8
 4 Blackpool        4  0  1  0  2  2  2  0  1  6  6  2  1  1   8   8   0   7
 5 Birmingham City  4  1  1  0  2  1  0  2  0  4  4  1  3  0   6   5   1   6
 6 Fulham           4  1  1  0  4  3  0  2  0  2  2  1  3  0   6   5   1   6
 7 Aston Villa      4  2  0  0  4  0  0  0  2  1  8  2  0  2   5   8  -3   6
 8 Manchester City  4  1  1  0  4  1  0  1  1  0  1  1  2  1   4   2   2   5
 9 Wolves           4  1  1  0  3  2  0  1  1  2  3  1  2  1   5   5   0   5
10 Sunderland       4  1  1  0  3  2  0  1  1  1  2  1  2  1   4   4   0   5
11 Tottenham H.     4  0  1  1  0  1  1  1  0  3  2  1  2  1   3   3   0   5
12 Bolton Wndrs     4  0  2  0  2  2  1  0  1  4  5  1  2  1   6   7  -1   5
13 Liverpool        4  1  1  0  2  1  0  1  1  0  3  1  2  1   2   4  -2   5
14 Newcastle Utd    4  1  0  1  6  2  0  1  1  1  4  1  1  2   7   6   1   4
15 Blackburn R.     4  1  0  1  2  2  0  1  1  2  3  1  1  2   4   5  -1   4
16 West Brom A.     4  1  1  0  2  1  0  0  2  0  7  1  1  2   2   8  -6   4
17 Wigan Athletic   4  0  1  2  1 11  1  0  0  1  0  1  1  2   2  11  -9   4
18 Stoke City       4  1  0  1  3  3  0  0  2  1  4  1  0  3   4   7  -3   3
19 Everton          4  0  2  0  4  4  0  0  2  0  2  0  2  2   4   6  -2   2
20 West Ham United  4  0  0  2  2  6  0  0  2  0  6  0  0  4   2  12 -10   0

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1668