Newsletter #1783

Well, some unusual elements to this evening’s missive. First, a slight change to the running order, due in large part to draw attention to some useful local travel advice for those Napoli-bound from Vanes Marzoli.

However, of a more startling nature is the fashion advice provided by Phil B! He’s usually such a straight-down-the-road football man, that you don’t expect his Vogue-like guidance on kits!

Some nice responses too to recent articles and the final instalment of James Nash’s trilogy! It’s been a great read James and tonight’s final part is no exception. Thanks for all your effort.

Finally, I wonder if anyone would care to take on the mantle of Loanee-Monitor? As we have a number of our Boys in Blue at other clubs it might be nice for someone to report on their progress, once a month say. Let me know if you are keen.

Next Game: Napoli, away, 7.45pm Tuesday 22 November 2011


Dear friends, I thought I’d give you a little warning you over the trip to Napoli.

The official website is spot on about it. Napoli ultras gangs will probably be looking for trouble. Four Bayern fans were stabbed two weeks ago and I fear they’ll want to give the same treatment to City fans. Gathering for a drink and sing a few songs outside a bar might not be a good idea as that would attract them, and beware of scooters, especially those ridden by people wearing full-face helmets; they might be looking for foreigners to mug.

The place is sadly famous for its out-of-control high crime rate and its organised crime – where I think these ultras come from. Another thing is inflatable bananas. For its bad reputation Napoli isn’t generally liked by the rest of the country and the city and its fans were and still are racially abused among other things with inflatable bananas – I don’t think they know the real story behind them.

The majority of their fans won’t be bothered or will even be friendly, but these ultras represent a minority which isn’t small at all. So, beware.

Vanes Marzaroli


Some great attacking football from City versus Newcastle; at times it was non-stop attack.

Micah improves in this game yet again, scores a very good goal, and takes Man of the Match award.

City have got two great penalty takers in Balotelli and Kun Agüero; both made the ‘keeper go the wrong way!

I think that it is now safe to call Balotelli “Super Mario” after his last few games; keep it up!

Twelve games with forty-two goals scored, some attacking football! Many of us knew Mancini was building his team last year!

Next game in Naples against Napoli in Europe, a tough game in tough surroundings! Should I say Mancini knows the stadium?

We’re sitting on top of the league but with another tough game coming up next Sunday at Liverpool. I think that we can expect some fast, attacking football from Liverpool, who won’t lie down at home. I saw them play versus Chelsea and they were impressive.

City have proved that the team have many goal scorers from different positions; I put City to beat Liverpool but will have to work hard for it!

The next two games will be the hardest games for City this season so far; I don’t include the Evil Empire as a tough game – I wish we could play them every week!

And then after these two games City go to the Gooners in the Carling Cup, three games away on the trot!

Come on you Blues (you can do it!)!

In Roberto Mancini I trust!

CTWD, Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


A superb team performance by City gained a deserved victory to end Newcastle’s unbeaten run, leaving us as the only unbeaten side in the top flight. We were made to work hard for this victory, particularly in the first 41 minutes of a tight first half.

City were the dominant force for half an hour. Stephen Taylor cleared Micah Richards’ searching right wing cross then the Newcastle captain smothered a goal-bound effort. Yaya played in Agüero, who spun through 180 degrees with a lovely touch and shot just over the bar. Taylor, whose face mask made him look like The Phantom of the Opera, was forced to clear another cross away and a fierce de Jong drive. When Taylor wasn’t performing his heroics, Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul was on hand to deny City. Newcastle were compact and well organised, defending as a back eight when needed, but City were stroking the ball round patiently, probing for openings.

James Milner floated a lovely left footed cross in from the right wing and Balotelli’s sharp goal-bound header was tipped over brilliantly by the Newcastle goalkeeper.

Newcastle then had their best spell of the match with their short passing game, and would have taken the lead but for a combination of brilliant goalkeeping by Hart and a poor miss by Demba Ba. Firstly Ben Arfa, starting his first top flight game since he broke his leg here last season, played a clever incisive ball through for Ba who looked likely to score, but Hart made a top drawer save low to his left to deny him. Ba then made a total hash of a free header after he rose above the City defence at a corner. The Newcastle striker did in fairness look rather sheepish after that miss.

With these warning shots across our bows, City kicked on and took the lead in the 41st minute. Yaya Touré’s goal-bound shot was handled by left back Ryan Taylor and referee Foy pointed to the penalty spot. Newcastle players pleaded innocence, but Taylor could have no complaints as he had his hand outstretched. Krul did his very best to put Balotelli off, advancing from his line and sledging before being sent back by the referee. This had no effect on Mario who coolly stepped up with a calculated stutter and nonchalantly passed the ball just inside Krul’s left hand post with the goalkeeper motionless. Mario’s celebration was to take two paces forward towards Krul and stare, stony faced, with his arms folded. “Wooah Balotelli…”.

City doubled the lead decisively three minutes later when Yaya found Agüero who played a searching diagonal pass into the box, which got stuck in Ryan Taylor’s feet. Richards pounced with a touch with his right and clinically volleyed home with his left foot. The Etihad bellowed “We’ll score when we want, we’ll score when we wa-a-ant. We’re Man City, we’ll score when we want…”.

We were told over the tannoy and on the scoreboards that were to be no chips available at half time. Newcastle, though, did have Perch on the menu: substitute James Perch. I’ll get my coat… (Ed – Awful!)

Newcastle were wearing perhaps the worst kit in their history: a nasty, mainly black affair with two measly white stripes. When designers mess with tradition (and Newcastle’s strip is normally a classic design), they invariably fall flat on their faces and my Geordie contact informs me that sales of the shirt have been slow. Note to City’s kit designers: keep it simple, keep it smart and it will sell.

Nasri, who was enjoying his most influential game thus far in a City shirt played an incisive pass through to Agüero, and the striker very nearly increased our lead with a delicate goal bound chip over Krul from a tight angle, but that man Stephen Taylor was on hand again to clear his lines.

This decent Newcastle side were not finished, and inspired by the impressive Cabaye and Ben Arfa, they drove forward and went close three times to reducing the arrears. First, Kompany mis-controlled a loose ball, which Ben Arfa pounced on and the young Frenchman hit the post with his effort. Then Coloccini headed wide from a corner, and soon afterwards, Guthrie wriggled clear down the left shooting across goal from close range, but Hart was smartly down to his left to make a really good save.

After his arduous trip to Costa Rica in midweek, Silva came on for Balotelli and was soon in the thick of the action, prompting and probing, with his delightful passing and silky touches. He turned and played a beautiful reverse pass down the inside right channel for Richards, who has hauled down in the box by Ben Arfa, leaving referee Foy with no doubt that it was a penalty. Agüero scored low to Krul’s left with ease, sending the Dutchman the wrong way to confirm the victory. A celebratory “We’ll score when we wa-a-ant, we’re Man City… we’ll score when we want…” filled the air again.

There was a loud bang soon after the goal and several livid Blues in the Singing Section corner charged at the Newcastle fans, one of whom had thrown a firework into the City section. You could smell the distinct aroma of fireworks, even at the opposite end of the ground.

What possesses an individual to do such a thing? Someone could have lost the sight in an eye or worse. I understand that a City fan was treated in A&E for burns to a hand and at least one arrest has been made. After the firework was thrown coins were thrown from both sections’ fans in that vicinity and some Newcastle idiots broke seats and threw them at City fans. It is such a shame that this happened as there was a cracking atmosphere up to this point.

We’d enjoyed some really good craic with a couple of Newcastle fans on the way to the game (they readily said they’d much rather beat the Rags than us), as I have done several times down the years. I certainly wouldn’t want to tar every Geordie with the same brush, but the reality remains, though, that every club has its imbeciles who can spoil it for everyone else.

Disappointingly (aren’t we getting spoiled!), we failed to keep a clean sheet as our defence collectively switched off allowing Ba to shoot from close range, Hart saved well but substitute Gosling was on hand to tap home a consolation to give a widely-predicted 3-1 scoreline. Doh… should have had a few quid on it!

Roberto Mancini can be very satisfied with this victory, even if we were not at our best. Newcastle are a decent side, well organised and well managed by a very underrated manager, who will probably finish in the top 8 at the very least, if not top 6. We managed to beat them without Dzeko, Barry, and the brilliant David Silva who was on the bench after his arduous trip to Costa Rica, thus saving him for the Napoli game. At times, especially early on, it looked like we missed his excellent creative spark. Who wouldn’t miss a great player like that? It is, though, to the other players’ great credit that they stuck to the task in hand, created several opportunities and won this game comfortably.

Samir Nasri stepped up and took up the mantle of creator in chief, but there were others too who continued the superb form to take responsibility. James Milner is going to be a huge part of our future here and he was everywhere on the pitch yet again. Yaya also gets better and better, and is a key member of this team. We have so many leaders who can take the initiative, and make watching City such a pleasure right now.

And so to Napoli and on to Liverpool. Two very tough assignments where we will need to be switched on and at our very best. Come on City!

Att: 47,408

City: Balotelli (41, pen), Richards (44 pen), Agüero (72, pen)
Newcastle: Gosling (89)

Hart: Made two great saves to thwart Newcastle. Didn’t get the clean sheet he deserved: 8
Richards: Another all action day for England’s best right back, capped off with a fine left foot finish to show his superb technique: 8
Kompany: Great to see the skipper back, in another commanding performance. Will be disappointed that he presented Ben Arfa with that chance though, and at the collective defensive failure when Newcastle got their consolation: 7
Lescott: A good, solid afternoon’s work: 7
Clichy: Some great covering, good, solid defending and lovely skill: 8
Milner: Covered so much ground all over the pitch that it would be wrong to label him as a ‘wide player’. Good skill and passing range on the ball: 8
Yaya: Class touches all afternoon. His hamstring might be a worry in the next few games as he looked in a little discomfort: 8
De Jong: Getting close to his best now, he bossed central midfield well, taking no notice of the ridiculous Geordie boos. Hopefully we can get his new contract sorted very soon: 7
Nasri: A growing influence as he settles into life at The Etihad: 7
Agüero: Some delightful touches and a lot of hard work. Looked rather sore after a challenge and when he came off, though, which is a worry: 7
Balotelli: Leading the line well, intelligent touches and a very confident penalty. Maturing: 8
Silva (for Balotelli 69): Lovely cameo in which he was quick to make an impact: 7
A Johnson (for Agüero 75): n/a
Barry (for Yaya 85): n/a

Man of the Match: This was the epitome of a good team performance with everyone working hard for each other. There were so many good performances out there with no one standing out head and shoulders above everyone else.

Best Oppo: Stephen Taylor: The Phantom of St James’s Park was here, making 4 important interceptions to deny City goals. How is this lad not in the England squad? A good reader of the game, he’s quicker than Terry, and at least as good in the air. Like Micah, his non-inclusion is an injustice: 8

Refwatch: Chris Foy: Low profile, which is how it should be, this was one of his better games, though he missed a few infringements: 7

Dedicated to Basil D’Oliveira: England cricketing legend, gentleman and inspiration. RIP Dolly.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


In response to Dickie Denton’s top ten headers I must add another – which for me was probably the best I’ve ever seen. I refer to a match against Ipswich around 1977 when both clubs were vying with Liverpool at the top of the table. City won 2-1 that day and the winning goal was an immense header from Dave Watson, powered in from about 15 yards.

Great that we now have a team that is probably even better than the late seventies, with Corrigan, Donachie, Owen, Barnes, Tueart, etc. entertaining us every week!

Jon Miller <jon_chelle(at)>


Enjoyed Phil’s article re his Dublin trip and the meeting with a typical Rag (no wonder everyone hates them!). Bet the Rag bloke wasn’t at York when they knocked the Rags out of the League Cup there a few years ago! No doubt the legendary selective memory blotted that one out!

Dave Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


In parts one and two of this article, I mapped the long trawl through the lower leagues, the Arab takeover and the glory of finally winning a trophy after 35 years of anguish. In part three I take stock of where we are, give the naysayers a bit of a battering and look forward to a hopefully glorious future…

The FA Cup semi victory over United was arguably the more significant result in terms of trends, but it was finally winning a pot after 35 long years that brought me more happiness. Unlike the Wembley play-off, there was no need to cut short the post-match celebrations this time. It felt like the disgrace of the play-it-in-the-corner capitulation against Liverpool had finally been abrogated and the shame washed away. The wheel had turned.

Actually, I thought the tipping point was the injustice of Rooney’s shinner in the league derby at Old Trafford in February of this year. It took that extremely fluky goal to beat us but by then the patterns were in motion. The injustice of that result helped fuel the players at the Wembley rematch. United’s dominance was running on fumes and events like the FA Cup semi and the 6-1 were always inevitable.

The Scottish manager, whose name should never be spoken, has always stated that the seed of his on-going success was the first trophy he won. I think City will say the same, looking back in years to come. Success breeds success and last season’s FA Cup win has started the ball rolling, with no obvious loss of momentum yet.

In our next stage of development, we are starting to shed the mercenaries like Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tévez and meld in the truly world class players like Sergio Agüero and David Silva, to complement that now excellent backline and defensive midfield. Mancini’s team has fused beautifully and is currently expressing itself in goals galore. It is a real joy to watch us play at times and, in Silva, we have arguably the most talented player in the club’s history.

The team also has a winning mentality, with malcontents like Tévez given short shrift. I am particularly sorry to see Carlos act in such an ungrateful and petulant manner but so be it. He is history and my “Welcome to Manchester” T-shirt is now under the kitchen sink, ready to be used as an oily rag. If anything, the fuss has helped Roberto Mancini bring the squad closer together and it has kept the forward players happier with less rotation in Tévez’s absence. It has – perhaps ironically – left Mancini in a stronger position, the opposite of what the Argentinian was aiming for.

At the time of writing, we sit top of the table with a near perfect league record as well as being nine points clear of Chelsea and five points clear of the old enemy. Wins have become worryingly routine at the newly named Etihad Stadium. Away from home, we have routed both of the big teams we have played, including a memorable dismemberment at Old Trafford.

After we lost a meaningless pre-season friendly at Wembley, we were told we had been given a footballing lesson and that United had regained their place at the top of the tree. Well, we returned that sentiment in spades by giving the Rags a footballing master class at the Swamp, playing with a brio that Barcelona would have been proud of. It was a bravura performance for the ages and a sure sign that we will have more tin in the cupboard before long. One moment of pure genius stands out for me from that game. David Silva’s pass to Edin Dzeko for the sixth goal was almost obscenely sexy; the equivalent of football pornography.

If we can steer clear of any injury gluts, we have to be confident we will feature in the title shake-up in May. The Champions’ League is most likely a stretch beyond us this season so maybe we can put in another FA Cup final appearance. One other aim, incidentally, should be to keep the number of verses in Mario Balotelli’s song down to less than that in Beowulf.

Before anyone accuses us of getting ahead of ourselves, this is no house of cards. Abu Dhabi is in with us for the long-term. Arab owners don’t do short-term planning; just look at the nature of their investment in horse racing as an example of their “stickability”. Our owners have invested in order to increase the profile of the U.A.E. and Abu Dhabi around the world and the Premier League is seen as an ideal vehicle for this. They have invested in many other sports and they know their business. They’re here to stay.

As a result of our Arab-funded success, we will soon be joined on the journey by plenty of new Manchester City fans. We should welcome them and not be too sniffy about those who are latecomers or converts. Yes, a few will be chasing success and will depart at the first sign of trouble but I hope most will stay the course. Yes, they will not have shared the same path of pain as us. But we must remember we were all newcomers to the faith once, and, most importantly for me, we must never succumb to the arrogance of those who once were successful.

Do not let the foolish supporters of other clubs tell you that our coming success is meaningless, or that it is empty or hollow. They say it has not been generated “under our own steam” or, even more laughably, that it is not “organic”. That is arrogant, sophistic and hypocritical claptrap of the highest order.

Envy is a terrible thing, you know, especially coming from those who already own so much and have been so fortunate themselves. Yes, we got lucky. So what? Indeed, if anyone in the world deserves a bit of redemption, surely it is City fans given the despair we have endured in the past decade or three. I for one am quite happy to win hollow cups – if they were not hollow, how could you drink expensive champagne out of them?

We are also told by the same idiots that we have no history or class, presumably because we do not sell enough Ryan Giggs duvet covers in Kuala Lumpar. Two top flight League wins, four FA Cups (five now), two League Cups and one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, as well as numerous runners-up spots and lower League titles, obviously do not count as history. Oh hang on, I forgot that history started in 1992 with the Premier League and nothing achieved before then matters. So, if we are talking shelf life here, perhaps we should collectively agree not to mention the Munich disaster again? Deal.

It is a fact that people – including that Stretford lot – have been pumping money in to football and spending big to buy success throughout its history. We may be taking it to a new level but we are not inventing the wheel here. In my opinion, Abu Dhabi should be welcomed for bringing new money in to football, not criticised.

To argue against the growth of a club is to argue the status quo must prevail, as those with vested interests always do. What else were we supposed to do to gain success in a relatively short time other than spend cash – wave a magic wand? Besides, I would rather we do it this way than saddle ourselves with unsustainable debt. Also, let us not forget about the world class training and development project that is just getting under way opposite the stadium.

Michel Platini’s closed shop system – also known as Financial Fair Play – has been brought in to try to stem our progress and lock in success permanently to the big clubs. I envisage us as having just snuck in to that elite group at the last possible moment, in dramatic Indiana Jones fashion, sliding under the Masonic stone door as it grinds shut in the UEFA bunkers deep under the Swiss Alps, stacked with looted gold treasures ready to be plundered.

FFP does have its good points and it will benefit well-run clubs that want to stay within their means. It’s barely hidden agenda however is to ensure no-one will ever again become a giant from being a minnow. For City to allow that door to be sealed shut would betray our own recent history.

There are ways of balancing sustainability against the influx of new money and we must suggest these to UEFA and fight FFP in its current form. Who knows, one day we may be seen as the saviours of football rather than its ruin. We might be able to prevent a franchise system or European Super League. That, however, is a battle for another day.

I sometimes wonder idly, if we had avoided the agonies of the late nineties, would we now be in this enviable position? If Alan Ball had never come to the club, might we have pottered along in the Premier League, staying at Maine Road because of debt, possibly even winning a cup? Perhaps. Would we still have been picked by Sheik Mansour for global domination? That is impossible to know.

If anyone had predicted City’s recent history at the dawn of MCIVTA, they would have been carted off to the funny farm by the men in white coats, or perhaps stoned to death by fellow City fans for being a false prophet. Thinking back to that swearbox in the pub after the play-off final – unbelievable? Well, I have pinched myself enough times to convince myself it is real and I am loving every moment of it.

City being City, I still half expect someone to invent cold fusion and render the deposits of oil buried under Abu Dhabi worthless over night. Failing that, our progress feels unstoppable and any success will taste oh so sweet.

The laughter at our expense has been silenced, so send off the clowns and bring on the blue giants.

The golden age of Manchester City has begun.

James Nash <j.nash(at)>


20 November 2011

Chelsea               1 - 2  Liverpool             41,820

19 November 2011

Norwich City          1 - 2  Arsenal               26,801
Everton               2 - 1  Wolverhampton Wndrs   33,953
Manchester City       3 - 1  Newcastle United      47,408
Stoke City            2 - 3  Queens Park Rangers   27,618
Sunderland            0 - 0  Fulham                37,688
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 1  Bolton Wanderers      26,221
Wigan Athletic        3 - 3  Blackburn Rovers      17,392
Swansea City          0 - 1  Manchester United     20,295

League table to 20 November 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 City 12  6  0  0 19  3  5  1  0 23  8 11  1  0  42  11  31  34
 2 Manchester Utd  12  5  0  1 18  9  4  2  0 11  3  9  2  1  29  12  17  29
 3 Newcastle Utd   12  4  2  0 10  5  3  2  1  8  6  7  4  1  18  11   7  25
 4 Chelsea         12  4  0  2 16 11  3  1  2  9  6  7  1  4  25  17   8  22
 5 Tottenham H.    10  3  0  1 10  7  4  1  1 11  8  7  1  2  21  15   6  22
 6 Liverpool       12  2  4  0  8  5  4  0  2  8  6  6  4  2  16  11   5  22
 7 Arsenal         12  5  0  1 12  4  2  1  3 13 18  7  1  4  25  22   3  22
 8 Aston Villa     11  3  2  1 10  6  0  4  1  6  9  3  6  2  16  15   1  15
 9 QPR             12  1  3  2  5  9  3  0  3  8 13  4  3  5  13  22  -9  15
10 West Brom A.    12  2  1  3  5  6  2  1  3  6 11  4  2  6  11  17  -6  14
11 Norwich City    12  2  2  2 10  9  1  2  3  7 11  3  4  5  17  20  -3  13
12 Everton         11  2  1  3  7  8  2  0  3  6  8  4  1  6  13  16  -3  13
13 Swansea City    12  3  2  1  8  2  0  2  4  4 14  3  4  5  12  16  -4  13
14 Stoke City      12  2  2  2  7  7  1  1  4  3 15  3  3  6  10  22 -12  12
15 Sunderland      12  1  3  2  9  7  1  2  3  5  6  2  5  5  14  13   1  11
16 Fulham          12  1  3  2 11  9  1  2  3  3  6  2  5  5  14  15  -1  11
17 Wolves          12  2  1  3  8 10  1  1  4  5 10  3  2  7  13  20  -7  11
18 Bolton Wndrs    12  1  0  5  9 17  2  0  4 10 12  3  0  9  19  29 -10   9
19 Blackburn R.    12  1  0  5  6 13  0  4  2 10 14  1  4  7  16  27 -11   7
20 Wigan Athletic  12  1  2  3  8 11  0  1  5  2 12  1  3  8  10  23 -13   6

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

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[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page/Twitter 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. A useful site for North American viewers is

[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:

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Do any squad members have their own Twitter accounts?

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at!/MCFC/players

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth historical 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]Philip Alcock,

Newsletter #1783



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