Newsletter #1674

More on the Newcastle game tonight, opinion on the mindset surrounding City, de Jong, player and managerial conundrums and the usual requests.

No news summary tonight as it hasn’t arrived through the ether, and with the international break there’s no game for City either!

Next Game: Blackpool, away, 4pm Sunday 17 October 2010


Well, well, well. For a game that was so dull, it certainly had its share of incidents didn’t it?

I’ll start with Nigel de Jong. I’m sure you don’t need to be told what happened but just in case – very early on the game Nige made a challenge that he had every right to make. It was most unfortunate then that Hatem Ben Arfa would come out of the tackle with a broken leg that may yet see him out for the season. It’s awful from a personal point of view and it’s a shame for the Premier League. He has looked like a good player so far.

The thing to note from the incident though is that there were no appeals from the Newcastle players at the time for a free-kick. The referee didn’t see a foul. Having since it watched it back on ESPN, neither did Kevin Keegan or Nicky Butt. De Jong went in for a ball he had every right to challenge for. Was there any malice? No. Was it clumsy? Perhaps a little, his right leg certainly follows through but it was not two footed and he did not set out to hurt his opponent.

So to hear Stan Collymore talking of “anti-football” and the likes of Nige “stealing a living” on Talksport afterwards was a little hard to take. I’m sure Nige is horrified that he’s put a fellow pro out for around six months, so for Collymore (whose record is far from unblemished) to play judge, juror and executioner for the whole nation to hear is, in my opinion, bang out of order. I’m sure we’ll hear more of this as the season goes on.

Of the game itself, well it wasn’t great. But there would be another “controversial” incident that would see City take the lead. Boateng clipped a lovely ball over the top of the Newcastle defence that Tevez controlled beautifully. He made a dart for the box but was brought down by Newcastle defender Mike Williamson. The pundits all seem unanimous on this one: it’s not a foul. Well, I beg to differ. Williamson does get a touch on the ball, no question. For some reason though, everybody seems to have ignored the fact that he went through the back of Tevez to get there. You’re not allowed to do that. Honest. Check the rules. As he was the last man, and Tevez most certainly had a “clear goal scoring opportunity”, Williamson should not feel aggrieved by the decision. Rather, he should feel fortunate that he was allowed to finish the game.

Tony Burns <mailtony(at)>


After the Geordies had finished arguing with the ref, Tevez stepped up and hammered the ball into the net. 1-0 to City.

It wasn’t to be pretty from that point on. Newcastle had come to play and we were negative again, and possibly suffering a European hangover. The warning signs were there in the 22nd minute when Coloccini volleyed from distance. This time, Hart was his equal, pulling off a world class save to tip the ball wide. That wasn’t to be the case three minutes later.

Gutierrez got the ball outside the box and clipped it in around the six yard box. Kompany got something on it but couldn’t clear, and Gutierrez ran in to rifle a shot into the roof of Hart’s goal. There was no way he was ever going to stop it. 1-1. If we’re to place blame, and I think we should, Kolo fell asleep and failed to follow Gutierrez into the box, giving him a free shot.

There was little to talk about after that until Adam Johnson replaced Gareth Barry. It was clear to everybody in the ground that the game was made for AJ, so it was a relief when he came on. And it was a decision that would be immediately vindicated. In the 74th minute Johnson got the ball on the right. A jinking run into the box made a mockery of the Newcastle defence before firing a shot into the corner of the Newcastle goal. It would be the goal that would seal a 2-1 win. And it would be a goal fit to win any game of football.

Shortly after, Lescott blatantly tripped Ameobi in the City penalty area. Penalty to Newcastle. Or at least it should’ve been. Somehow, the referee and his assistant failed to see the foul and no penalty was awarded. City win 2-1.

Are we finally getting “big club” decisions? Well we’ve been on the wrong end of them plenty of times so I for one am not going to complain if we’re benefiting from the odd lapse in decision making from the officials.

Overall then, not a classic, but it is three points. This time last season we could have (and probably would have) dropped points here. That we won today is a sure sign of progression. Still, we need to improve, but a win going into the international break is always welcome. And don’t they always say that winning games when not at your best is the sign of a top team?

The icing on the cake? We’ll spend a full two weeks (at least) sat in second place, above the Rags. Superb. I’ll be giving my player ratings in another blog shortly.

Ciao, Richard Burns <emailrichard(at)> –!/RichardTheBurns


As football fans we’re fond of rolling out the old trope that it is the fans that make a club. Players, managers, and owners come and go but the constant is the fans. Therefore, in a view that is likely to be unpopular, I submit that we the fans must take our share of the blame for the failures at Manchester City FC over the last 30+ years. I’m sure if/when success comes our way again we will pat ourselves on the back and claim we have played our part, come rain or shine, come Liverpool or Macclesfield. That being the case I think we ought to be brave enough to look in the mirror and take some collective responsibility for our failures. It’s far easier to wring our hands about players, managers, owners, etc., but far more productive to try to change the things in our control, e.g. our own attitudes. Why do I bring this up now? Because recent evidence leads me to believe that rather than augmenting the work done by the new owners, City fans may well end up undermining it. In particular I take issue with two things:

  1. Booing. Booing the players off at half-timeagainst Newcastle was pathetic. Some may claimthey were booing the ref or the mascot or anyother number of unfathomables, but what do youthink the players heard? I actually think veryoccasionally there is a place for booing infootball. But typically that should be reservedfor players or performances completely devoid ofeffort. Sunday afternoon was not one of thoseperformances. And I’m sorry to say this but asCity fans we have a history of this type ofbehaviour and it undermines the team. I rememberwith shame the treatment Richard Edghill got fromhis own ‘fans’. City through and through, one ofour own, and how was he treated? But mostsignificantly, in the immediate term, booing theteam undermines the manager. Which brings me to my second point.
  2. Failure to back Roberto Mancini. First of alllet me state the obvious because it seems a lotof City fans haven’t realized this: RobertoMancini knows more about football, league and cupcompetitions, domestic and European games,players (good, bad, moody, disruptive, etc.),chairmen, owners, youth development, manmanagement, injuries, tactics, training, talent,and most importantly winning, than any of us fansdo. Furthermore, he’s thinking about all thesethings a lot more than any of us are. I guaranteethat however brilliant or insightful you thinkyour analysis is, nothing you can say to the manwould be remotely surprising. 3 Scudettos, 4Italian cups, 2 Super Cups, with 3 differentteams in his first 7 years of management. Youmight want to read that sentence again. The onlyfootball thing that we the fans know more aboutthan Roberto Mancini is the culture of ManchesterCity FC. And to be honest, given what thatculture has been like for so long, the ability tosnatch the most unlikely defeat from the jaws ofvictory, we ought to be glad he doesn’t know asmuch as we do. So when the performance againstJuventus or Newcastle isn’t as dominant as wethink it should be, or when the man decides tobench AJ or Carlito or whoever, do you think itmight be because he knows something about how towin a competition or two over the entire lengthof a season, or even a few seasons? Do you thinkhe might know how to motivate or get the best outof players so that they actually, you know, winsomething at the end of the season(s), not just look good in one game?

My worry is that for all the praise we have heaped upon the new owners we actually know very little about how they will operate in the long term. So we don’t know how they will react to the booing of a team as talented as City currently are; or how they will react to the negative murmurings of critical and vocal fans against a genuinely world-class manager. If they are wise they will remember that Roberto Mancini knows a lot more about football than they or we the fans do. But we don’t know that. So here it is: if Mancini isn’t given the time due a manager of his obvious class and ability, I won’t be blaming him, or the players, or the Chairman, or the owners; I’ll blame us, the fans of Manchester City FC. In the end we’ll get what we deserve.

James Gregson <jamespgregson(at)>


The hysteria surrounding Nigel de Jong’s tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa is appalling. Anyone would have thought that he had murdered the poor lad in cold blood, given the out and out vilification that Nigel has faced. The behaviour of the Dutch coach van Marwijk and the Dutch FA has been absolutely disgraceful, let alone hypocritical, given the way van Marwijk quite clearly sent his team out with a game plan to try to kick Spain off the pitch in the World Cup Final. Interestingly there has been no condemnation in The Netherlands of van Marwijk’s son-in-law, Mark Van Bommel who was very, very lucky not to have been suspended for the final after several intentional bad fouls in the earlier rounds.

Not only is van Marwijk showing selective judgement and no small dose of nepotism, he is clearly is trying to deflect criticism away from himself by scapegoating Nigel de Jong. It is pretty tawdry behaviour, which is all about self preservation on the Dutch coach’s and FA’s part.

Nigel should have been red carded in the World Cup Final for his reckless, but certainly not malicious tackle. Play the video again and it is clear that Nigel was focused on the ball in that incident and not on Alonso’s chest. He probably didn’t see Alonso coming in at an angle. His fault was recklessness, not maliciousness. Nigel de Jong is not a malicious player.

As for the tackle on Ben Arfa, again there was absolutely no malicious intent and there was no recklessness either. De Jong was focused on the ball and won the ball. It wasn’t even a foul. The referee rightly saw it that way and play moved on. Yet the media vilify de Jong. If it was such a bad tackle as they make out (and the über sanctimonious and often wrong James Lawton of the Independent was still hanging him on the following Thursday), then why didn’t the referee, who was very well placed, even award so much as a free kick? It all comes back to the fact that no foul was committed.

In my experience of watching football for forty years, with the exception of the odious Roy Keane (there is a £5 penalty in our house if those two words are uttered together), the worst injuries have been accidents, and Ben Arfa breaking his leg was one such accident. I recall Gary Stevens of Everton and Jim Beglin both steaming into a tackle in the 80s, which left the latter with a badly broken leg like Ben Arfa’s. There wasn’t the same hysteria that there is with de Jong and rightly so. So why should Nigel de Jong be treated any differently?

Karl Henry’s challenge for Wolves against Wigan last Saturday was far, far worse than de Jong’s. It was high, very late and caught the Wigan player who was lucky not have been seriously injured and Henry was rightly red carded for his nasty tackle. Why has there been less fuss about Henry’s foul?

Several big stars who play for what are perceived as ‘the big four’ have deliberately perpetrated bad fools over the years and they do not face what Nigel de Jong is facing.

Roy Keane gloried in his appalling, deliberate assault on Alfie Haaland, yet he was not subjected to the same media witch hunt. In fact the press are constantly wetting themselves with excitement when they interview him. I wonder why?

Steven Gerrard has been given carte blanche to perpetrate some appalling fouls in recent years, and yet no issue is made about this.

Paul Scholes has been allowed to deliberately kick people for years and there is a much stronger case to cite intent in his tackles, yet he gets off scot free, unchallenged. I wonder why?

I wonder if there is an agenda to try to hound a fine City player out of the game? I question the motives of the kangaroo court who are hell bent on hanging Nigel de Jong.

I have to say that my view of this fine, competitive midfielder are unchanged. I absolutely love Nigel de Jong and the way he plays the game. I wouldn’t want him to change how he plays one little bit. I urge all my fellow Blues to stand up and chant ‘stand up if you love de Jong’ in the coming games in a show of solidarity with a wonderful, unfairly maligned, player.

Everyone at City wishes Hatem Ben Arfa the speediest recovery because there never has been any malice towards him. Only best wishes.

Accidents will always happen in football and bad injuries will follow. People need to accept that and move on.

The worst perpetrators of the de Jong witch hunt have been Talksport. I strongly urge all City fans to boycott Talksport. It is a London biased station with an already anti-City agenda, e.g. Hawksbee and Jacobs, with the latter, a Chelsea fan forever sniping about City like some spoiled brat basically because he is upset that there is a bigger player in town.

Alan Brazil and Ronnie Irani led the way with the anti-de Jong stuff on Monday and continued it on Tuesday. Likewise the ridiculous Adrian Durham who called for de Jong to be banned for the rest of the season. Both shows covered the de Jong/Ben Arfa incident on two consecutive days, and tried to whip up more anti-de Jong feeling. I am reliably informed that Collymore and Ian Abrahams were appallingly biased in Sunday’s commentary too.

Talksport unsurprisingly didn’t have any balance on this issue; they are a Kangaroo Court with a Southern/$ky four bias. Their coverage of this and City generally is poor. Maybe it is time for City to consider banning Talksport from Eastlands, given their inability to report accurately or fairly on us.

I contrast their coverage with the far more balanced coverage on BBC Radio Five Live’s Monday Night club. The BBC don’t always get it right, but this illustrated the difference between a proper, respected, professional broadcaster and a tin pot, nasty little right-wing outfit like Talksport.

Boycott Talksport. Hit them where it hurts i.e. in terms of listeners, which will hit their sponsorship; pass this on to your friends, whoever they support.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Oh dear, Terry Griffiths. A self confessed septuagenarian wine-swilling p*****k.

Like others I admire free speech in this newsletter and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this has to be the biggest load of c**p ever written in this forum.

Everyone else has touched on the reasons, no need to add my own.

Tim Parnacott <timmyparnacott(at)>


I think some need to take their blue tinted sunglasses off for a minute. De Jong’s tackle might not have bean vicious but it was meant to leave a mark.

Can you imagine the uproar if Joey Barton had scythed down Adam Johnson, or Carlos Tevez! While it may have made Billy Bremner and ‘Chopper’ Harris rub their hands with glee in another era, you’d want to give de Jong a wide berth on the football field. Remember Keane and Haaland and the furore over that tackle.

To those that say they should play ‘pub’ football and see the tackles there, doesn’t hold any weight at all. These are multi-million pound players, not some ‘wanna be’, ‘couldn’t be’ or ‘never were’ players.

I for one, applaud the Dutch coach for standing de Jong for whatever his reasons. I doubt whether City would have the guts to do the same. Not all in the garden’s rosy.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


You wouldn’t believe that City were sitting pretty in second place, given the laughable amount of negative headlines at City, but hey, let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story, eh?

Whilst the bust-up between Mancini and Tevez did happen, and there already have been tensions between the two men, it’s fair to say that the Argentine striker did not look at all happy in the first half with being so isolated up front.

Therein lies the conflict. Mancini’s tactics are working and we are winning matches, but at the expense of an unhappy player who’d rather have support up front. If Carlos has a problem then he has to talk to Roberto Mancini.

As for Tevez delivering a dressing down to the players at half time, well, Carlos has to realise that there is only one boss in the dressing room and that is Roberto Mancini, and not him. That is the way it should be and that is the way that it is at City. Again if Carlos has a problem with the tactics, he must talk to the boss first. The manager has to manage. Anything else is a recipe for disaster.

As for perceived ‘negative tactics’, I’d like to see a second striker there, but you look at what we have got and Adebayor and Jo don’t inspire right now. They are not playing well enough to merit a place in the team. Maybe when Balotelli is fit or Adebayor shows some decent form (and a better attitude) we’ll see more of a swagger in our play and more positivity in our formation.

Right now, it is churlish to criticise a system that is working with City sitting in 2nd place.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Just a thought, why can’t we play Joe Hart one week and Shay Given the next week? Both players are arguably of the same ability as each other, have played behind the same back four for a long time, so the understanding between player and ‘keeper should not be an issue! Shay should not be forced out in January, a huge mistake this would be.

So give the same playing time to both men and have done with it. Any thoughts on this please!

Andy Armstrong – Florida USA (formerly Clitheroe, Lancs) <and_arm(at)>


“Indeed, as last man, Williamson should have been red-carded”

The rule is “denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity”. This “last man” is an invention of TV talking heads.


Wallace Poulter <wallace.poulter(at)>


Sam Duxbury wrote in the MCIVTA 1673: “Take the Blackburn game: everyone knows what Big Sam’s team will do so why did our Manager not have a plan to get around it? When a team pack their defence why not wait with the ball in your own half until the come forward then hit them on the counter attack.”

Because Blackburn would be chuffed with a 0-0, so they needn’t come looking for the ball if we’re happy to keep it in our own half.

Bernard Molyneux <molyneux(at)>


Does anybody else remember Norman Wisdom on the pitch at Maine Road before a kick off, possibly taking a penalty?

I have a very vague memory of standing on the Kippax watching this although as I was very rarely in the ground at kick-off time it was either at half time or I imagined it!

Gre Lister <graham.lister1(at)>


Reddish Blues’ next branch meeting is next Tuesday 12th October.

This is “Blue Tuesday” evening where BBC Radio Manchester with Ian Cheeseman and Paul Lake will be broadcasting live from Reddish Working Men’s Club, Greg Street, Stockport. Joining Ian and Paul will be the one and only Tommy Booth.

The meeting is open to everyone and doors open at 5.30pm, with the broadcast between 6.00pm and 7.00pm followed by our branch meeting.

As City are playing Montenegro, sorry as England are playing Montenegro, the same night, our meeting will be finished in time for kick off so that we can watch the match.

As this is an early start we will be providing food so could you please let me know if you’ll be coming so that we know how many to cater for.

Howard Burr – Secretary, Reddish Branch, Manchester City Supporters’ Club <reddishblues(at)>


League table to 06 October 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          7  4  0  0 14  0  2  0  1  9  2  6  0  1  23   2  21  18
 2 Manchester City  7  3  1  0  7  2  1  1  1  2  1  4  2  1   9   3   6  14
 3 Manchester Utd   7  3  0  0  9  2  0  4  0  7  7  3  4  0  16   9   7  13
 4 Arsenal          7  2  0  1 12  4  1  2  1  4  5  3  2  2  16   9   7  11
 5 Tottenham H.     7  2  1  1  5  3  1  1  1  3  3  3  2  2   8   6   2  11
 6 West Brom A.     7  2  2  0  6  3  1  0  2  3  9  3  2  2   9  12  -3  11
 7 Stoke City       7  2  1  1  5  4  1  0  2  3  5  3  1  3   8   9  -1  10
 8 Aston Villa      7  2  1  0  5  1  1  0  3  4 11  3  1  3   9  12  -3  10
 9 Blackpool        7  0  1  1  3  4  3  0  2  8 11  3  1  3  11  15  -4  10
10 Fulham           7  1  2  0  4  3  0  4  0  4  4  1  6  0   8   7   1   9
11 Sunderland       7  1  3  0  4  3  0  2  1  3  4  1  5  1   7   7   0   8
12 Bolton Wndrs     7  0  3  0  4  4  1  2  1  6  7  1  5  1  10  11  -1   8
13 Blackburn R.     7  1  1  1  3  3  1  1  2  4  5  2  2  3   7   8  -1   8
14 Wigan Athletic   7  1  1  3  3 13  1  1  0  1  0  2  2  3   4  13  -9   8
15 Newcastle Utd    7  1  0  2  7  4  1  1  2  3  6  2  1  4  10  10   0   7
16 Birmingham City  7  1  2  1  2  3  0  2  1  5  7  1  4  2   7  10  -3   7
17 Everton          7  0  2  1  4  5  1  1  2  2  2  1  3  3   6   7  -1   6
18 Liverpool        7  1  2  1  5  5  0  1  2  2  6  1  3  3   7  11  -4   6
19 Wolves           7  1  1  1  4  4  0  1  3  3  8  1  2  4   7  12  -5   5
20 West Ham United  7  1  1  2  4  7  0  1  2  1  7  1  2  4   5  14  -9   5

With thanks to Football 365

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 #1674