Newsletter #1681

Woe at Wolves on Saturday and although we have no match reports tonight, stories of player unrest and lack of discipline that are circulating in the media are looked at here tonight.

We’ve also the usual requests and the distraction of the Europa game this week.

Next Game: Lech Poznan, away, 7pm Thursday 4 November 2010 (Europa)


Two defeats in a row is no justification for anyone to be discussing Roberto Mancini’s future as Manchester City manager, especially when it is in the context of a good start to the season.

What can be questioned though after the week’s events is the attitude and commitment of a few extremely highly paid footballers on the Manchester City payroll.

It is no good a team playing for 15 or 20 minutes in a match when it lasts for 90 minutes plus stoppage time. When an ordinary team like Wolves, who are sitting in the bottom 3, beat you, it is 100% certain that they have worked harder, which is unacceptable. Fair play to them: they deserved their win. The City players do deserve criticism though, especially those who thought it was a good idea to be binge drinking up at St Andrews last week.

Every advantage in this game counts. These players are very, very well paid to make sacrifices and give up drinking copious amounts of alcohol. They are not the man in the street. We can go and have a drink when we want to and as much as we want to, though I suspect many of us don’t drink heavily in midweek before work. Whilst the St Andrews drinking crew of Gareth Barry, Shay Given, Adam Johnson and Joe Hart were drinking on the Monday night before a day off, and it was not technically a breach of club discipline, they were not doing their bodies any favour, and they owe it to us all to be in tip-top condition for training, which they were due to be in last Wednesday. The body does not recover that quickly from excess alcohol and is prone to pulls and strains in the aftermath of heavy drinking, no matter how fit the individual is.

As experienced and senior pros, Shay Given and Gareth Barry should know better. Much, much better. Barry was right to apologise to Roberto Mancini. He let himself down, and he let us down too. What kind of example is he setting to the younger players? In any case, what was he doing at a student’s party? How old is he? Barry is normally a very dedicated professional, and he needs to get back to that.

I don’t want to see our players being treated like children and being banned from consuming alcohol, but if they do not respect the fact that they are playing in one of the most physically demanding leagues in the world, and they do not recognise that they need to refrain from binge drinking then they can have no complaints if an alcohol ban is imposed. If the players act responsibly and like adults they can expect to be treated like adults. If not they can expect to be treated like children. It’s their choice.

It is too early to suggest that Mancini has a problem with discipline, especially given the good start to the season. However, he has to be careful not to be seen to be showing favouritism. Whilst Carlos Tevez is clearly homesick and has been injured it is important that these trips back are not seen as giving him special favours, no matter how good a player he is.

I am not overly concerned with the odd argument going on between players. It is good for players to keep others on their toes. However, there have been a few instances that are worthy of note, and are worthy of comment.

Whatever James Milner and Yaya Toure were arguing about in the tunnel the other week, the latter needs to buck his ideas up. We need to see much, much more from him. As for Emmanuel Adebayor, he really is in no position to argue with City’s best player this season, Vincent Kompany. He is in even less of a position to be angrily gesticulating and showing dissent to Roberto Mancini. Adebayor is a player who only gives his all when he feels like it and by all accounts, Saturday was one of those days when he didn’t give his all. The manager is a good tactician and his results have shown that, but on Saturday he did get it wrong. He should continued with the 4-5-1, pushing Milner into a central rôle to cover for the injured de Jong, bringing Adam Johnson in on the wing to give us the badly needed width. Relying on an inconsistent Adebayor and a young lad like Balotelli who is still adapting to English football, let alone getting his fitness back, was a bit too much of a gamble. It is harsh in the extreme to be overly critical of the manager. Roberto Mancini has not made many mistakes since he has taken over, so he needs to be given a break, because he is doing a really good job here. The players though, need to look at themselves and ask themselves a few questions. Am I preparing properly for each game? Can I do better?

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Plus ça change … plus c’est la mâme chose. Which roughly translated, means however much money gets poured into City it will never be enough to erase that unconquerable spirit of giving that has followed the team from Maine Road to Eastlands and today is inhabiting the bodies of our new and infinitely richer players.

By giving, of course, I mean playing Santa Claus to teams like Wolves and gifting them points. ‘Here you go, you poor, hapless bunch of relegation-bound souls, have our points, it’s the least we can do.’

It’s what we’ve always done, it’s what we will always do and there is nothing to be done to change it. Not Italian managers, not Middle Eastern millions, not imported dilettantes, nothing. It’s in the City water.

That aside, this inevitable charitable inclination of our current players could be mitigated somewhat if they ever form into an actual team as opposed to a group of individuals who play like they just met five minutes ago. This was City on Saturday. It has been City on many occasions this season, except Tevez was usually playing.

Perhaps it is Mancini’s seeming indecision about who to play where, and when. Perhaps we have too many players who need to be stroked, as opposed to a tight squad able to become a team backed by some good Academy prospects thrilled just to sit on the bench. Perhaps it’s that defensive inclination that is a basic ingredient of Italian wine.

Whatever it is, it isn’t working.

And speaking of Tevez. I love the player. As an on-field performer he is ethically beyond reproach and as a generator of points for my fantasy leagues, he is a gold mine. But please Carlos, stop whining about wanting to go back to Argentina. If you’re missing people, buy them first class tickets and bring them to Manchester or Wilmslow, Prestbury. wherever. Money is no object, is it? But if you want to go back, just go. If you want to retire, retire. Just stop whining. We’ve all got problems and yours, amigo, don’t amount to a hill of beans compared to 99 per cent of the population.

And speaking of wine and speaking of plus ça change… plus c’est la mâme chose, how many recent generations of boozing and smoking English footballers has there been? I recall seeing George Best and a group of other players chugging in a pub on Deansgate after many home games with their hair still wet from the shower. It’s just today it gets onto YouTube or onto the website of some scuzzy tabloid. It is stupid, wrong and insulting to the fans but it isn’t new.

However, a word to Adam Johnson: Somebody needs to take you on a tour of job centres for a chat with some of the masses of unemployed. And then whoever takes you needs to get about half an inch from your nose and shout: ‘You’re a f****** idiot – how dare you even think about wasting this opportunity?’

He has the potential to be a really great player and Mancini’s decision not to start him is totally correct. Sticking him the reserves for a month would be even more correct.

But most important: let’s get a team together and start playing like one.

Chris Cobb <cobsun(at)>


On November 12th the Ajax and City youth teams will be playing each other. Any Dutch Blues interested in going?

No more information available at the moment but I think it will be played in the smaller stadium next to the Arena.

Bob Price <bob.price(at)>


MAN CITY 365 By Danny Pugsley
To be released December 2010
£9.99, hardback
ISBN: 978-0-7524-5782-6

A day-by-day account of the most significant events and landmarks from every day of the year.

In the two years since Sheikh Mansour poured his millions into the club, Manchester City have seen success unheard of since the days of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison. Currently sitting in the top four, the club are potentially poised to win their first league title since the 67-68 season and their first major trophy since 1976. To an outsider these facts alone epitomise City’s general history of mixed fortunes; at times excelling in the highest tier of English football and at others facing relegation and disappointment.

Man City 365 is a thorough almanac of these key events, the earliest entry dating back to the 30th July 1874 and the latest to the 11th July 2010. A life-long supporter of the club and a well-known face amongst the online community, Danny Pugsley has spent numerous hours trawling through the history of the club using a number of books, newspapers, magazines, programmes, websites and library archives.

  • Written by a knowledgeable life-long Man City fan and prolific blogger
  • Features quotes from players and managers
  • Fascinating facts and all Man City’s profuse triumph and tragedy
  • Man City 365 chronicles this history, coveringthe events, facts, figures and records for each and every day of the year

Danny Pugsley writes and edits the Manchester City blog ‘Bitter and Blue’ ( In addition, he has contributed pieces to the Observer, Yorkshire Evening Post, a number of magazines, BBC and Xfm and has been featured on BBC Radio Manchester’s Blue Tuesday programme.

If you review this title could you please credit The History Press as publisher and send us a copy of the review?

Christian Bace <Cbace(at)> –

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Newsletter #1681