Newsletter #1767

City emerged victorious against a typically defensive Everton on Saturday in a 2-0 win. With Moyes employing his usual 10 men behind the ball tactics, Balotelli scored his second in as many games and Milner celebrated his first league goal in a City shirt.

Tonight we’ve got a match report from Phil, a look at the game, opinions on defence and fitness, Champions’ League request and a couple of random messages which are either amusing or bemusing depending on your stance!

Next up we visit Munich and the Allianz Arena. I’m sure those making the trip will love the place, I can’t help but think of the trip for the 5-1 when England-Germany played at Bayern’s old ground the Olympic Stadium back in 2001. With a couple of ex-City players in Boateng and van Buyten combined with Bayern’s top form it is going to be an interesting game. Wherever you’re watching, enjoy.

Next Game: Bayern Munich, away, 7.45pm, Tuesday 27 September 2011 (UEFA)


City earned this hard fought victory over a quintessentially dogged Everton side to maintain our title challenge. For a long time it looked like the visitors were going to frustrate us with their deep defending and desperate tactics to stop our wonderful forward line. Everton were not exactly set up positively with no out and out striker in their side, so we knew that we had a tough assignment to break them down.

Yet Everton started brightly, and as they have done in the previous four visits here (all defeats for us) with a high tempo, squeezing the life out of our midfield and attack. Thankfully they didn’t nick an early goal this time, but they were proving as obdurate as ever: very difficult to break down and a consistent irritant with a stream of fouls. Gradually, though, City got a foothold in the game. Silva had to come deep for the ball and drag his man marker, Rodwell away from the Everton back four.

City still found it hard to break loose of the Everton shackles, and our two best efforts before the break were half chances: Agüero forced a good save from Howard with a curling effort and went loose with another effort but the visitors would have been happy to have reduced the effectiveness of Silva, Nasri and Dzeko. The latter two really struggled to get into this game in the face of Everton’s deep lying back eight (no, that’s no typo) with Cahill and Fellaini effectively playing as midfielders rather than strikers.

When we did seem to have a chance of cutting loose, Everton didn’t hold back in their illegal challenges. The odious younger Neville brother pulled down Silva near the half way line and earned a deserved booking which, of course, he disputed. At least there is plenty to laugh at with his older brother, but this one doesn’t engender any mirth, and is even more lacking in the charm department. He and Everton are made for each other.

City looked slightly more sprightly after the break but Dzeko was struggling to find space in the box. Nasri was switched to the right but he often found himself double marked.

But City, with Yaya Touré and Barry tough and resolute in midfield led by the teak tough Agüero and Silva, continued to prompt and probe for openings, never giving up the ghost, and Everton became increasingly desperate. This desperation was underlined by the five bookings that they received in this match. David Moyes’ Everton wouldn’t be David Moyes’ Everton without serial and, at times, serious foul play. They seemed to target David Silva in particular, but it is a measure of the strength of his character that he was totally undeterred by this and that he continued to play his sublime football.

It was disappointing that City were running out of inspiration in attack, so Roberto Mancini acted on the hour. On went Balotelli for Dzeko who was having no joy in a royal blue stranglehold, and the manager was rewarded almost immediately. Agüero cut in from the right, dribbling in front of the Everton box before back-heeling the ball to Balotelli who drove powerfully inside the right hand post. What a relief! And yes, it was good to see Balotelli smile and celebrate a goal for once!

The silence from the trackie-bottom-clad hordes from Merseyside was deafening.

Despite bringing on a striker in Saha and attacking midfielder in Real Madrid loanee Royston Drenthe (you’ll never leave!) Everton couldn’t really threaten us. In fact it only helped us as Drenthe passed the ball loosely across midfield, Silva intercepted, turned and played a gorgeous reverse pass to split the Everton defence. Milner timed his run superbly and finished coolly in off a defender. The points could have been sealed even before this when Balotelli fired only narrowly wide, Silva hit a post and then he was slightly offside when he swept a cross into the net. It was a very satisfying to finally beat our bogey team, and the players will take extra satisfaction for the work that they put in. We didn’t play that well on this occasion and weren’t allowed to for long periods, but City’s persistence was admirable. Mancini deserves credit for making the change when he did, and bringing on the in-form Balotelli when many expected Tévez (despite being off form) to be brought on. Looking at our results thus far, we have taken 3 more points than we did against Everton last season already and 2 more than we did against Tottenham. The future’s bright, the future’s Sky Blue.

Thanks and very best wishes to Heidi for editing and bringing MCIVTA to us. Her work is very much appreciated and I hope she will continue to write for MCIVTA when the chance arrives.

Att: 47,293
Hart: Not really tested. Got caught out of position in the first half once: 6
Richards: Didn’t quite offer the attacking width that we needed: 6
Lescott: A good solid display and wasn’t bothered at all by the Everton boo-boys: 7
Kompany: A good, mature performance: 7
Clichy: Really looking the part down the left, both in defence and attack: 7
Barry: Really worked well in midfield: tackles, common sense passes time after time drove us on: 8 (Man of the match)
Yaya: Another good afternoon’s work in the engine room: 7
Silva: Despite the close attention he had the class to make a significant mark on the game: 8
Nasri: Quieter than previous but some flashes of lovely skill: 6
Dzeko: Worked hard but unable to make a mark in this game: 6
Agüero: City’s most dangerous striker, he set up Balotelli for the crucial opener: 8
Balotelli (for Dzeko 60): Took his goal superbly: very little back lift, power and accuracy. Linked up well with his team mates. Bravo Mario!
Milner (for Agüero 78): Great to see him bag his first League goal for us. Seamless substitution and worked as hard as ever: 7
Best Oppo: Distin: the ex-City captain has still got class in abundance and a major reason why they held out so long: 7
Refwatch: Howard Webb: Did well to keep control: 7

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Let’s all use a 2 Pint glass, then, half full or empty, it still has a full pint in it!

I often cringe or disagree with many comments on here, but I know that we all support City. We all sing off the same hymn sheet. Sometimes we simply aren’t all in the same key and face it, that’s better than the repetitive dross and bulls**t quoted parrot fashion by Rag fans for the last God knows how many years. Everyone is entitled to an opinion on City’s defence and on the Mancini management and any other aspect of a club they support.

Has nobody ever heard the conversation on a packed bus leaving Maine Road? Happy or sad, win or lose, every decision was wrong and right, and every player was great and c**p at the same time. Listen to Five Live after any match… some people ring in and it’s as though they watched a different game of football! That’s what football is about and why we love it.

Here is my opinion…

If City were top of the league and 10 points clear of all “rivals”, it would not detract from the fact that I would make a better manager than Mancini. I wouldn’t look as pretty in my XXL city shirt and there is no way City would have made the great signings that they have made in the last few years. Mind you, they also wouldn’t have made the bad signings either (not many, but there are plenty named in previous issues). Mancini is a face man. Yes, he has won things. Someone always wins things, in the right place at the right time. The next manager at Ragsville won’t struggle but it won’t make them a good manager.

As for the players, they can all score on their débuts (and I hope they get a hat-trick in every game they play), but it wont make them any good in my opinion.

Owen Hargreaves? All I will say is that it’s better money spent than Peter Crouch, just (free or not). My opinion has nothing to do with his previous team.

In the last ten minutes of every City game I have ever watched… I wait expectantly for the opponents to score a goal. Important games (to me the ones I get the “rip” taken out of me at work) I am seldom let down.

Now forgive me if I have this wrong… a goal scored is usually the defender’s fault, or the ‘keeper’s fault, or tactical error (from the manager). I acknowledge that some goals are just about unpreventable. All the money we have spent, and we still look as though we expect the opponents to score in the last 10 minutes. No other team does this at top level. We cannot “shut up shop”. We cannot defend a 1-0 or 2-0 lead. A lead of 3 or more and I don’t worry as much nowadays, which is nice.

I don’t blame our ‘keeper. I tend to criticise most ‘keepers for being too far off the line. Narrowing the angle is one thing, but being to close to react to the ball being kicked is another, especially if there is a defender on the striker. However, this is not a regular problem at City so the fault lies elsewhere. Defenders… well when the opponents score against us, the pundits, the fans and the other defenders usually know instantly whose fault it was. Sometimes it’s simply a defensive mistake, and often it’s a managerial mistake because the defender is somewhere further up the pitch, filling in for misplaced players who are attacking unnecessarily due to the manager’s tactics.

I am not suggesting City turn into the “boring boring Arsenal” of old, with 10 defenders, but any manager who would even consider taking a fit (head shaking) Silva off for any reason needs his head examining.

Before MCIVTA gets bombarded with replies, which may make the author feel better, please note you won’t alter my opinion. Don’t take up my points, make your own! Please write in with your opinion, but don’t try to change mine. Hargreaves can change my opinion, but it will take a full season, probably 5 games in his case!

New pluses with Mancini: We hope to win the league, the cups and the Champions’ League. And we have a chance. That’s got to be better than good. We can sign anyone, we can beat anyone. We are good, nay fantastic, to watch when we are winning. We have some Sky coverage. We actually score from corners occasionally. Our goalie doesn’t need Velcro gloves to catch a ball.

Same things since Mancini: When the opposition attack, they are very liable to score a goal, especially in last 5-10 minutes. This can only be cured with better defenders or better managerial decisions.

Worse things since Mancini: He substitutes great players for great players, which all too often goes wrong. Hopefully, this will be cured when he learns how to deal with each opposing team.

Fictitiously, if you want to pick at a point like a dog with a bone, please reply and tell me how good Crouch would have fitted into the team. Personally, I would rather play with 10 men than support a team with that inept, incapable, untalented plank in it – he may score important goals but I still don’t see talent. I also can’t convince myself that any manager who would even consider him could be a decent manager.

Finally can anyone answer this? How can a team with so much money not afford to pay Shay Given enough money to sit on the bench? Pay him Balotelli’s wages and he stays. He was more than worth it.

The glass is still full, I just hope it doesn’t get knocked over so there is a sip to be had at the end of the season in celebration.

Rant over.

May the light of a Blue Moon forever brighten your nights (the next Blue Moon is on August 31st 2012 but there may be a couple before the end of May).

Chris Duxbury <till1die(at)>


Fortunately for us, and in particular Vincent Kompany, the Merseysiders’ foul play rebounded on them when Cahill went studs up in a challenge for the ball. Luckily Vincent Kompany managed to avoid serious injury. Cahill cannot complain that he got hurt and couldn’t continue after a bad challenge like that. Moyes had the gall to accuse Kompany of a stamp after the game and the clapped out pundit Alan Hansen was fool enough to buy it and endorse the outrageous accusation on Match of the Day. Kompany was clearly focused on the ball with Cahill diving in from the side, and there was no way Kompany could have avoided landing on Cahill. On Moyes’ part it was an attempt to deflect away from Cahill’s serious foul play, which merited a yellow card at the very least. As for Hansen it is all part of his usual pro-Liverpool, and bitterly jealous spin (other recent comments about City include a rather rueful “They’re not going to go away”). The Match of The Day coverage in the evening, I have to say, was a disgrace. For them even to give air time to Hansen’s outrageous accusation and not talk about or show the other bad challenges by Everton players that drew bookings (e.g. Baines, Rodwell) was appalling. They didn’t even show Silva’s sublime pass for the 2nd goal in the post match comments. How standards have fallen. Sadly it would seem the BBC is now a party to pandering to the interests of Liverpool, United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham with its partisan coverage.

Along with many other Blues, I have made a complaint to the BBC about Hansen, and I would urge more Blues to do the same. Without wishing to sound like Mr Angry of Derbyshire (ok I probably do already), I don’t see why Hansen should be paid for by our licence fee.

Kompany is a very clean player with no track record of setting out to injure an opponent. A cleaner and fairer tackler you’d struggle to find the world over. There is no one in football who is as modest, sophisticated and articulate than this highly impressive young man. Indeed, he embodies everything that is good about football and we are proud to have him as our captain at Manchester City.

As for Moyes, his complete lack of grace is no surprise. Indeed he is well cut out in that respect anyway to succeed Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.

Even though there is, thankfully, rarely any major trouble these days, there’s never any love lost between City and Everton fans. Yes, we have a lot in common (large, loyal followings and two worldwide money-machine ‘glamorous’ clubs as neighbours), and yet both sets of fans couldn’t be more different. For a city that prides itself in its humour, Everton fans collectively anyway, aren’t exactly familiar with the ‘h’ word, or an ability to laugh at themselves. Indeed, the excellent John Bishop apart (and he is a Liverpool supporter), you rarely find the words ‘Merseyside’ and ‘self-deprecating’ in the same sentence.

I have a dear, long standing friend who is an Evertonian. He is a cracking bloke with a brilliant sense of humour. Over the years we’ve even sat together at matches between our two clubs on occasion (I have to say, though, that I can no longer stomach listening to a load of bitter Scousers slagging off our own Boys in Blue). My friend knows that I really don’t like Everton and never have (they are just behind Tottenham in the “dislike stakes” for me with the Rags about a furlong in front of Spuds), and he didn’t care for Johnny Bond’s City side in the 1980s (to say the least) but this has never affected our friendship adversely, which is much to his credit. Unlike David Moyes, he was grown up enough to be sporting in defeat, and he certainly was last Saturday. I can’t help thinking that he deserves better than the niggly, ale house thuggery that Moyes serves up. In common with several Evertonians, he believes Moyes has lost the plot. Indeed, the club of Dixie Dean, Kendall, Ball and Harvey, not to mention Peter Reid, Ratcliffe and Sharp deserve better. What happened to the so-called ‘School of science’ that Everton like to think they have? I don’t buy the ‘Everton are hard up’ line that their club likes to peddle nowadays, because they still have a wealth of talent at their disposal. They still have a lot of good players: Howard, Jagielka, Baines, Distin, Fellaini, Cahill, Osman, as well as Rodwell, and they should be playing better football than they do. I can imagine Mark Hughes or Roberto Martinez serving up better, more watch-able football than Moyes does, and acting with far more dignity. Still, that’s their problem, not ours thankfully. It was great to take 3 points off them.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


The ever predictable David Moyes sends his team to the Etihad Stadium with the sole plan of kicking lumps out of the City team to get a 0-0 draw. They came away with nothing so what does he do?

He blames it on referee error/bias! One of those referee errors was not seeing the deliberate handball by Neville (who once famously said that he would never play for City, no comment) after he had been already booked. Moyes also made a big thing about the Cahill challenge on Kompany, again trying to deflect comments away from his own abysmal team performance.

Gary Osman <gary.osman(at)>


I would agree with Phil Banerjee that tiredness is no kind of excuse for players at the beginning of the season playing a Fulham side that also played just two days prior. However, it might be a diagnosis.

I am surely not the only one who is noticing that City’s performances are dipping dramatically in quality in the second half? A good example, apart from Fulham, was the Napoli game. We looked assured and commanding for the first half, passing around Napoli, first to every ball, only to look tired and jaded in the second half. Is there a problem here with the fitness conditioning?

Bernard Molyneux <molyneux(at)>


Amidst all the worries about our defence, so solid last season, it seems odd to me that no-one has mentioned the absence of Nigel de Jong. I really don’t rate Barry as anywhere near the class of de Jong in the position of defensive midfielder, and I think we will be back to our defensive best again with Nige back in the ranks.

Jeremy Poynton <j.poynton(at)>


Does anyone know how I might secure tickets to the Villarreal game in Spain? I’m not a season ticket holder as I live in Andalucía. Any advice, help or offers would be very gratefully received.

We’re going to stuff them by the way; I’ve seen their past 3 games and they look very ropey indeed at the moment, even in their 2-0 home win against Mallorca.

CTID, Andrew Lowrey <andlowrey(at)>



I’m a long time subscriber to MCIVTA (over 10 years I think). Many thanks for bringing news of MCFC for all these years. Just wanted to write a quick note to say that from an editorial perspective I do not think you should allow letters that encourage describing Man U supporters by the disaster that was Munich. The letter by Jeff Dale crossed the line in my opinion. Although without malice, the letter title and content could still be taken as offensive by Man U supporters and a change should have been made by the editor or a change requested of the letter writer.

Andy <andy_lea(at)>


How are you doing? Please I have a good soccer player, skilful and professional player, a good attacking midfielder and defender. If you are interested, the details of the player’s profile and previous club will be forwarded on your demand. I will be delighted to receive your response. Thanks.

Yours sincerely,
Eng Mayor Ofodile
Private E mail: <bennyhiggins51(at)>


25 September 2011

Queens Park Rangers   1 - 1  Aston Villa           16,707

24 September 2011

Manchester City       2 - 0  Everton               47,293
Arsenal               3 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      59,727
Chelsea               4 - 1  Swansea City          41,800
Liverpool             2 - 1  Wolverhampton Wndrs   44,922
Newcastle United      3 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      46,236
West Bromwich Albion  0 - 0  Fulham                23,835
Wigan Athletic        1 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City            1 - 1  Manchester United     27,582

League table to 25 September 2011 inclusive

                            HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                   P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F    A GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  6  3  0  0 14  3  2  1  0  8  2  5  1  0  22   5 17  16
 2 Manchester City 6  3  0  0  9  0  2  1  0 10  5  5  1  0  19   5 14  16
 3 Chelsea         6  3  0  0  9  3  1  1  1  3  4  4  1  1  12   7  5  13
 4 Newcastle Utd   6  2  1  0  5  2  1  2  0  2  1  3  3  0   7   3  4  12
 5 Liverpool       6  2  1  0  6  3  1  0  2  2  5  3  1  2   8   8  0  10
 6 Tottenham H.    5  1  0  1  5  5  2  0  1  4  4  3  0  2   9   9  0   9
 7 Stoke City      6  1  2  0  2  1  1  1  1  2  5  2  3  1   4   6 -2   9
 8 Aston Villa     6  1  2  0  4  2  0  3  0  3  3  1  5  0   7   5  2   8
 9 QPR             6  0  2  1  1  5  2  0  1  4  2  2  2  2   5   7 -2   8
10 Everton         5  1  1  1  5  4  1  0  1  1  2  2  1  2   6   6  0   7
11 Wolves          6  1  0  2  2  5  1  1  1  3  3  2  1  3   5   8 -3   7
12 Arsenal         6  2  0  1  4  2  0  1  2  5 12  2  1  3   9  14 -5   7
13 Sunderland      5  1  0  2  5  3  0  2  0  1  1  1  2  2   6   4  2   5
14 Norwich City    5  0  1  1  1  2  1  1  1  4  5  1  2  2   5   7 -2   5
15 Wigan Athletic  6  1  1  1  4  3  0  1  2  1  6  1  2  3   5   9 -4   5
16 Swansea City    6  1  2  0  3  0  0  0  3  1  9  1  2  3   4   9 -5   5
17 Fulham          6  0  3  0  3  3  0  1  2  1  4  0  4  2   4   7 -3   4
18 Blackburn R.    6  1  0  2  5  6  0  1  2  3  7  1  1  4   8  13 -5   4
19 West Brom A.    6  0  1  2  1  3  1  0  2  2  5  1  1  4   3   8 -5   4
20 Bolton Wndrs    6  0  0  3  3 10  1  0  2  5  6  1  0  5   8  16 -8   3

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1767