Newsletter #1670

News tonight from Alex of more sponsorship deals at City, rotation policy, fixture changes and a look back at last night’s cup disappointment against the Baggies and focus on the league game against Chelsea.

We have opinion on the Carling Cup and both our exit and ambitions, and the usual request.

Next up, Chelsea visit at the weekend.

Next Game: Chelsea, home, 12.45pm Saturday 25 September 2010


General News

The City Cash Roll: City welcomed four new sponsors into partnership with the club this week as Malmaison, Jaguar cars, Thomas Cook Sport travel and Heineken all signed deals. The world renowned names join shirt sponsors Etihad Airways as companies keen on being a part of the Blue revolution. Jaguar’s Managing Director, Geoff Cousins, explained that it is an exciting time in the club’s history and his company look forward to being a part of that success: “Manchester City is one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting sporting organisations and we are excited about the mutual benefits this partnership will bring to both our organisations. This partnership is a long-term commitment and one we hope will have global reach.”

Blues’ Executive Chairman Garry Cook praised the diversity of partnerships City have made over recent years: “Jaguar is without doubt one of the world’s most respected car manufacturers and a much loved national institution. Malmaison are at the helm of the boutique hotel market. They join the MCFC family of partners who are all recognised as world leaders in their respective fields from aviation, telecommunications, industrial projects, sportswear, tourism and now automotive and hospitality.”

Rotation, Rotation, Rotation: It’s what did for former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez but City boss Roberto Mancini has stood by his stance on rotation. With some of world football’s greatest names fighting each other for a place in the Citizens’ XI these days, Mancini has emphasised the need to switch things around in order to keep his whole squad fit. The Blues are competing in four separate competitions this season and the Italian is aware that keeping all his players fresh will be key to success: “Every game is important for us this season and it is important the players understand the situation. We can’t leave one competition. We must play at 100 per cent in every competition and that means in the Carling Cup we must change some players because we can’t play every two days. If we want to win something we must understand that we can also play without Carlos and Yaya. They are fantastic players but we must also be a team when we are missing them. If we don’t do that then we will not improve. At the moment we have a problem because we are missing four or five players but when all the players are back it is important we play some games without them.”

Brian’s Not Kidding: Assistant manager Brian Kidd has backed his manager to bring success to Eastlands and has called on the doubters to give the Eastlands club time before judging whether they have succeeded or failed. Unexpected results against Sunderland and Blackburn brought the critics back out of the woodwork this week, but Kidd, who lifted many a trophy and won many a title during his time across the city, believes the Blues must be given time to settle into their new status as one of the league’s ‘big’ clubs. Whilst admitting his side’s start to the season hasn’t been all they’d expected, Kidd hopes that the return of Balotelli and others will strengthen Mancini’s squad: “From the club itself there has to be patience. The boss has only been here a short period and this is a building job. It is going to take time. Unfortunately some of the players the boss has bought have not been available. They will enhance the team and the club itself when they are fit.”

Unlikely Ally: Forever a supporter of English ownership and often a critic of big money signings, Dave Whelan would always have seemed the most unlikely person to back City’s big money spending. Yet following the Blues’ 2-0 win at the DW Stadium this weekend, the Wigan Chairman was only too happy to back the City project and explained that it is no more than the City fans deserve. The Sportswear tycoon remembers the days of facing City in the old Division Two and feels that if one club were to be backed by multi-billionaires, then he is happy it is one with great tradition and loyal support: “People who keep saying what City are doing is not good for football would do exactly the same if they were in City’s boots. Everybody seems to want to have a pop at City. There’s so much jealousy around. Those who are knocking City would give anything to be in the same position and have the same kind of opportunities. I always look forward to welcoming City to Wigan, it’s always a good game and they have a great set of supporters who are as good as anyone around. The City fans are tremendously loyal; they deserve to see their team be successful. I remember playing City in the old third division in front of 40,000 fans at Maine Road.”

Changes at the Double: The Premier League announced two City related fixture changes this week. City will now visit The Hawthorns on November 7th, a day later than planned. The fixture will still kick off at 3pm. Everton’s trip to Eastlands had originally been scheduled to take place on 18th December but has now been postponed due to City’s Europa League commitments. A new date is yet to be announced for the game.

Squad News

Taking the Positives: When the Blues collected four points from their opening two fixtures against Tottenham and Liverpool back in August, the season looked incredibly promising. Three games later and there was a collective sigh of relief as the Blues beat Wigan in convincing fashion to combat poor results against Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers in between. Former skipper Kolo Toure accepts that the Blues haven’t quite lived up to the hype yet but has asked fans to focus on the positives rather than the shortfalls of the mega rich squad: “We know we’ve not made the kind of start we would have liked in the Premier League. But we’ve only lost one of the seven league and cup games we’ve played and conceded just two goals in that time, so it’s not that bad and we will improve as we go along. We have a lot of games coming up in a short space of time so we can quickly climb the table and hopefully make good progress in the cup competitions, too. I’m confident we’ll do exactly that.”

The Wembley Way: As most City fans focus on the delights that the Premier League has in store, midfielder Abdi Ibrahim has reminded the faithful that the Cup competitions offer a long awaited trip to Wembley. It’ll be thirty-five years since City last won a trophy by the time the club next gets a chance to visit the national stadium and with the FA Cup starting in the New Year, Ibrahim admits it’s the dream of the whole City squad to take their fans to Wembley this season: “We want to win everything we can this season; it won’t be easy, but we’ll be giving our all to be successful in each competition we take part in and the manager will only field a team he thinks can win a game. It’s exciting to think we are only four wins away from a Wembley final: that’s something all the players are acutely aware of and last season we came within a whisker of reaching the final, so we’re doubly determined to make sure we give each round our best shot. The thought of playing at Wembley one day is every kid’s dream. When I was small and living in Norway, I used to watch the FA Cup final and imagine what it would be like to walk out and play a major final there.”

Walking With Giants: Upon his £25m move to City from Spanish giants Barcelona, many criticised Yaya Toure as a player not capable of competing in the English Premier League and when former manager Pep Guardiola revealed that he never wanted the Ivorian to leave the Nou Camp, questions were asked of Toure’s motives. But the midfielder has impressed greatly since his transfer to Eastlands and expects to be a part of a new successful spell with the Manchester club. Only one of Mancini’s mega money signings this summer, Toure and co. were expected to challenge for titles and trophies from day one. The brother of City centre back Kolo is nothing but optimistic about the future: “The biggest change is that in Spain they play slowly but with a lot of quality. Here everyone is fighting and running for the opportunity to play football. I love that. I am suited to the Premier League. It is not so easy but I have a lot of respect for Chelsea and Manchester United. Manchester City are just starting with a lot of new players and a lot of big players. If we work hard I am totally sure Manchester City can have a good year and join these clubs.”

Making Small Talk: Pace, skill, talent… short. That’s how World Cup winner David Silva has been described in the press ever since his £24 million transfer to Manchester. Rather than focusing on the winger’s ability to dribble, to beat a man, to score goals, the English media instead decided to depict Silva as a player too short to impress in English football. Like Shaun Wright Phillips before him, the former Valencia man is keen to prove the doubters wrong and following an impressive performance against Wigan last weekend, the Spaniard feels he will soon settle into the English style of play: “I do not agree that I am too small. I know people say you have to be big and strong to play in the Premier League, but you cannot just judge a player by their size. You have to look at their other qualities too. Look at Spain; we won the World Cup with small players. In the Spanish team, we have the three main attributes of a winning team. We are good technically; we are quick, but also strong. I’m confident I can be a success in English football. As I have said all along, I just need time.”

Midfield maestro Gareth Barry has backed Silva to be a success with the Blues: “Any criticism of David is unfair because we all know the quality he has. He was always going to take time to settle because he has come into the Premier League from a completely different type of football. The more he plays the more he will improve. But he is still adapting. The more time he spends in England and around our players, the better he will become.”

The Rumour Mill

Shay’s Move a Given: Shay Given made his first start of the season last night in the Blues’ Carling Cup third round tie against West Brom. Despite never disappointing for Mancini’s side, Given has found himself playing second fiddle to an in-form Joe Hart this season and many expected him to leave before the transfer window closed earlier this month. Given instead decided to fight for his place, but having appeared only once so far this term, the Irish stopper may choose to walk out of the club come January. Whilst Mancini is keen to keep hold of the former Newcastle captain, he understands the ‘keeper’s need for first team football: “I have a lot of respect for Shay and I told him the situation before the finish of the [transfer] market. I told him. ‘Shay, you can choose. I hope that you stay here but I respect your decision and if you want to leave you can.’ I understand his frustration but I need that Shay stays here and puts in 100%. In January if he decides to leave I respect his decision.”

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has played down any talk of a return to St James’ Park for the goalie: “I can understand that one and it is a very emotional one as well, but no, I can categorically say that won’t be happening.”

Post-Match Reaction

Red Bull Gave Us Wings: City kicked off their Europa League campaign in style as the Blues beat Red Bull Salzburg in the tournament opener. As an outfit who progressed through last season’s group stages unbeaten, to claim the scalp of the Austrian side was no mean feat and with group rivals Juventus drawing at home against Lech Poznan, Mancini’s men have been handed an early initiative. David Silva’s first goal for the club put City in front after eight minutes and when Jo pounced to score his first goal since 2008 and double his side’s lead, the game was wrapped up. City chief Mancini was impressed with his side’s performance: “This is a great start to the group for us. It is always important at this stage of the competition to get a first win. I am delighted for Jo and for David; they have both worked really hard and are technically gifted players who are important to us. Juve drawing means we are in a good position, but we must play as well as we did in every game as we did tonight.”

Ever-consistent centre back Vincent Kompany praised the performance of goal-scorer David Silva and described the Spaniard as key to the club’s ambitions this season: “It was an excellent performance, and we might have had three more. In our previous games we have not had much luck in front of goal but tonight the early goal helped settle us down. David Silva is a wonderful player and we are really pleased for him. That goal will help him a lot, and we feel we are playing well but we will be an even better side in three or four months’ time.”

Roberto vs. Roberto: There was further success for the Blues at the weekend as City beat Wigan away from home for the first time in Premier League history. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins but two mistakes from Wigan defenders handed the points to City on a plate. Carlos Tevez took advantage of a missed header from a long kick by stopper Joe Hart, before Tevez was again involved to cross for Yaya Toure’s first for the club and City’s second of the game. The old adage states that the sign of a good team is play poorly and win nonetheless. Well the Blues didn’t play poorly, but they certainly never moved out of second gear and Mancini will simply be happy to take three points back to CoMS. The boss reserved special praise for his newly installed skipper and the fantastic travelling support that almost outnumbered the home fans: “I am very happy for Carlos. It was an important goal for him to score. He probably hasn’t been in 100 per cent form – he didn’t work for one month after the World Cup – but this goal will help. We must keep improving. But today we played well on a difficult pitch – Wigan have a fantastic manager and play football very well, and we were coming from the Europa League game so it was very difficult for us. I’m happy for the team and for our supporters, who are always behind us and were great today. Their support is very important to us, especially on days like this.”

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes City are capable of lifting the Premier League title sooner rather than later: “I really do feel it’s only a matter of time before City are competing to win the Premier League. They are going to be challenging for the title very soon – there’s no two ways about that – and we must try to make it difficult for them. City have assembled probably the best squad of 20 footballers anywhere in the world right now so that’s obviously a fantastic position to be in. We look forward to facing them.”

What a Waste: 35 years without a trophy. Ambitions of visiting Wembley. A multi-million pound squad. Why Mancini then chose to play his reserve squad in last night’s trip to The Hawthorns is beyond most City fans. The Carling Cup is often considered a club’s most realistic chance of winning domestic silverware and thanks to last night’s 2-1 loss against West Brom, the Blues have passed up the opportunity for another year. Ben Mee, Greg Cunningham, Javan Vidal, John Guidetti and Abdi Ibrahim all started for the Blues last night and though Jo put Mancini’s men 1-0 up in the first half, the second half belonged to Brom and the Premier League newcomers scored two goals in two minutes to win the tie. The pressure will be on City’s Italian boss to get a result against Chelsea this weekend to at least partly justify a decision that could quite easily cost him his job come the end of the season. Mancini admitted his decision had been a gamble: “We wanted to win this competition but we couldn’t take any risks, both games were important to us. But we play Chelsea at 12.45 on Saturday and have only got 12 or 13 players. The time for players to recover is very short. It needs to be three days’ minimum. It would have been better if the Chelsea game was an evening kick-off. I gave the young guys their chance in this game, and if they don’t play then they will never improve. I knew that there was a chance we would lose with six young players, but we did want to win. Saturday is more important, but if I had not so many players injured, I would have put out a stronger side.”

Alex Rowen <news(at)>


Here we go again: there will be the doom and gloom merchants moaning again because City came up short against a team they should have beaten in the CC.

Mancini will make mistakes with the choice of team but without playing the fringe and young players how will they ever impress enough to be playing in the 1st team? The challenge was there for them to prevail and get another chance to impress in the next round to stake their claim for 1st team squad selection; they came up short.

It’s a shame because it’s probably the easiest of the 4 competitions to win as, like City, many of the top teams played weaker sides, which has ended in only a few of the Premier League sides left in it. Let’s hope they can do the business against Chelski on Saturday.

Come on you Blues.

Steve Alcock <Salcock(at)>


So West Brom’s second team beat a team with 100 million pounds on the pitch at the end of the match. Typical City!

No wonder we don’t win silverware, with attitude like Mancini’s. Rest the players for the Chelsea game. S**t we aren’t good enough to win the League, and the two cups were both winnable this season. Still, we’ll probably beat Chelsea and all will be forgiven. Trouble is, Chelsea know how to win, and as their record stands this season, it will take a very good side to beat them.

The aftershocks are getting weaker in Christchurch; sort of makes you think about your priorities in life. I never want to go through that again. Still shaking (don’t know if it’s the quakes or the anger!).

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Mancini played mainly a youngsters side against WBA, thinking like most of the big clubs of the fixtures coming up on Saturday. Out go Chelsea, Liverpool, Sunderland, Bolton, Spurs, and Everton.

The League Cup has lost its value since City last won it in 1976. No question that Mancini and Ancelotti both had their minds on the match against each other this Saturday; it should be a cracker.

I was unable to see the game, so no comments from me as to how we lost! In a poll by MEN, 30% said that City would win the League Cup. The FA Cup only 9%. The Premier League 13%.

Many think that the League Cup is the easiest to win, maybe that’s because teams do not take it very seriously. If the League Cup got a team into the Champions’ League the following season, every team would make a stronger effort to win it.

Mancini and Ancelotti both have made it very clear that the City versus Chelsea game is more important. As City supporters and fans I guess we all want a trophy so badly that even the League Cup would have been enough to take down that sign in the Evil Empire’s Den.

It would have been a trip to Wembley, but I feel sure that the club is moving in the right direction and it won’t be long before City win a trophy. But if we can win one of the other trophies, it will mean more than the Carling Cup. I never drink Carling anyway, the club has better beers for sale!

When City beat Newcastle in 1976 in the League Cup final, I was listening to it on my short wave radio on the top deck of the ship M/V Canberra, in Hong Kong harbour. For the 1970 League Cup final I was there at Wembley; the game was nearly called off because of the snow and they marked the lines with dark blue so everyone could see them. In 1974 I was at Wembley when City were big favourites to win the Cup versus Wolves; a disappointing day for I was next to a Wolves fan who never shut up, and we lost (I might have drunk a Carling after that game, but only if I was forced).

Let us all forget the League Cup now and move on, there are better trophies to win, and I am very sure that everyone at MCFC wants to win a trophy.

Come out with a killer instinct against Chelsea.

Stay Blue, Come on City!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


For anyone suffering from insomnia, UEFA have published a Europa League Handbook. This runs to 172 pages covering the results up to the group stage and info about all the clubs in the group stage.

Looks like anyone fancying a pre-Christmas trip to Turin might be disappointed; Juventus are playing in a temporary home stadium with a capacity of about 28,000.

The handbook is at

Happy reading.

Finally, highlights of the Juventus vs. Poznan game can be seen at

The third goal from each side is well worth a look.

Roger Haigh <rogerhaigh(at)>


League table to 22 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          5  3  0  0 12  0  2  0  0  9  1  5  0  0  21   1  20  15
 2 Arsenal          5  2  0  0 10  1  1  2  0  4  3  3  2  0  14   4  10  11
 3 Manchester Utd   5  3  0  0  9  2  0  2  0  5  5  3  2  0  14   7   7  11
 4 Manchester City  5  1  1  0  4  1  1  1  1  2  1  2  2  1   6   2   4   8
 5 Tottenham H.     5  1  1  1  3  2  1  1  0  3  2  2  2  1   6   4   2   8
 6 Newcastle Utd    5  1  0  1  6  2  1  1  1  2  4  2  1  2   8   6   2   7
 7 Fulham           5  1  1  0  4  3  0  3  0  3  3  1  4  0   7   6   1   7
 8 Aston Villa      5  2  1  0  5  1  0  0  2  1  8  2  1  2   6   9  -3   7
 9 Blackpool        5  0  1  0  2  2  2  0  2  6 10  2  1  2   8  12  -4   7
10 West Brom A.     5  2  1  0  5  2  0  0  2  0  7  2  1  2   5   9  -4   7
11 Sunderland       5  1  2  0  4  3  0  1  1  1  2  1  3  1   5   5   0   6
12 Birmingham City  5  1  1  0  2  1  0  2  1  5  7  1  3  1   7   8  -1   6
13 Bolton Wndrs     5  0  2  0  2  2  1  1  1  5  6  1  3  1   7   8  -1   6
14 Blackburn R.     5  1  1  1  3  3  0  1  1  2  3  1  2  2   5   6  -1   5
15 Wolves           5  1  1  0  3  2  0  1  2  3  6  1  2  2   6   8  -2   5
16 Liverpool        5  1  1  0  2  1  0  1  2  2  6  1  2  2   4   7  -3   5
17 Stoke City       5  1  1  1  4  4  0  0  2  1  4  1  1  3   5   8  -3   4
18 Wigan Athletic   5  0  1  3  1 13  1  0  0  1  0  1  1  3   2  13 -11   4
19 Everton          5  0  2  1  4  5  0  0  2  0  2  0  2  3   4   7  -3   2
20 West Ham United  5  0  0  2  2  6  0  1  2  1  7  0  1  4   3  13 -10   1

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1670