Newsletter #1791

Now I’m not a great believer in odd-numbered years, but who can deny that 2011 has been one of and, dependent on your age, arguably the greatest year in living memory for the club?

What was your favourite memory?

It is a very difficult choice and one that will vary due to personal emotions and perspectives. For me, the moment Yaya’s shot smashed into the back of the net against United at Wembley. It was the exact equal and opposite emotion of Raddy Antic’s shot hitting the back of our net in 1983.

Two games I was sick to the stomach in fear of loss. One we did lose, one we did not.

Yaya’s winner in the final, well my dad was just shy of 74 and we shared it together. We all have our stories; aren’t they all wonderful?

2012, I don’t know nor can predict. All I can say, I simply cannot wait.

Next Game: Sunderland, Away, 3.00pm, 1 January 2012


It’s been a great year for Manchester City. That FA Cup win in May breaking our 35-year trophy drought was one of many highs. It was a magical Wembley day that followed an equally unforgettable day when the Rags were put in their place.

We qualified for the Champions’ League for the first time, humiliated the Rags 6-1 on their own patch and now City sit at the top of the Premier League on merit, playing football to savour. It’s been a great year for Manchester City.

Thanks to Sheikh Mansour, his board, his staff, Roberto Mancini, his coaches and of course the players for making it all possible.

It’s been a year of change for MCIVTA. Heidi has handed over to Phil Alcock after 10 years’ excellent service, and I’m sure you’ll agree, Phil’s doing a fantastic job too (Ed – bashful expression). Thanks to all the team at MCIVTA. I love receiving MCIVTA and reading so many cracking articles by fellow Blues. We can’t always agree, but that makes it all the more interesting doesn’t it?

MCIVTA is a great forum, and it’s good to see it going from strength to strength. It’s been a real pleasure to write about City, and make new friends along the way. Thanks for reading.

A very Happy Christmas and New Year to you all.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


City comfortably brushed aside Stoke City to be top of the League at Christmas for the first time since 1929. Two years ago, Roberto Mancini opened his account with a 2-0 win over Stoke City. City have grown and prospered under his expert management and this game underlined this. The evening started with a minute’s applause for all the loved ones that we have lost, and pictures of Neil Young and Mike Doyle were shown on the screen. For City Adam Johnson came in for Balotelli, Clichy came in for Zabaleta at left back and with Stoke’s perceived more physical challenge, Joleon Lescott returned in central defence for Kolo Touré.

Stoke, who had won their last four games, were missing Crouch, Whelan (injured) and Shawcross (suspended) and Tony Pulis made a few other changes to their side: Etherington was rested. The thinking in the Potteries from Tony Pulis (and many of their fans) was that they may as well save themselves for games that they can win, given their poor record here!

From the start it was an uneven contest as a full strength City side probed for openings against Stoke’s massed defence. A weakened Stoke team it may have been, but they set about to frustrate City with nine men behind the ball in two tight lines, and they managed to do this for just shy of half an hour.

City passed the ball around in the most pleasing manner that we have become accustomed to (having watched so much dross, rest assured, it isn’t taken for granted here!). City’s best chance in this period was when Nasri exchanged passes with Agüero and shot just wide under pressure from a couple of Stoke defenders. Adam Johnson fired a warning shot across Stoke’s bows when his powerful deflected shot cannoned off the post. It was only a temporary reprieve because there was an inevitability about City scoring, no matter how well set up Stoke were, and finally Stoke’s backline were breached after 28 minutes. Yaya Touré crossed low through the heart of Stoke’s defence, Kompany propelled it further with a touch and Agüero was on hand at the far post to deftly flick in.

From then on, it was just a matter of how many City would score. Stoke defended in depth. They tried to pass the ball around (rather than hoof it!) on the rare occasion that they got it, but they either surrendered possession easily (they managed just 28% all match) or found City hungry for the ball and eager to win it back. As the Stoke defence groaned under the increased burden of City’s mesmeric football, Whitehead played a pass from his own bye-line that was intended for a team mate. It proved to be a rather poor choice. Adam Johnson stole in and struck a stunning, low 25 yard screamer that almost burst the Stoke net. It was a brilliant goal that took the breath away.

Johnson was having a great game in every way. It was very good news that he signed a new contract, because it shows that this highly gifted individual is happy to listen to Roberto Mancini and improve his game. He could have easily left for more regular football at a mid-table team, but he has chosen well, because Roberto Mancini is very good at improving players (look at how he has taken Micah Richards’ game on). If Adam continues to perform like this, working as hard off the ball, chasing back and becoming a defender when we haven’t got the ball, then a he can become a world class player, because he has the ability to go all the way.

City gave a football master-class after the break, and served up a veritable feast of football. David Silva, with his magic wand of a left foot, delighted with his touch and vision. Nasri is clearly relishing playing in this side now that he has settled in. Not only is he a very skilful player but; like his team mates, he does work very hard too.

Sergio Agüero particularly enjoyed himself and delighted the crowd, cutting in from the left flank, leaving Huth standing, to unleash a powerful low shot, which Sorensen saved. Sergio wasn’t to be denied for long and in the 54th minute, from a Nasri cross, he bagged City’s 53rd and his 15th goal of the season. Agüero then thrilled us all with a super chipped pass that Barry volleyed from the left, but Sorensen saved smartly at his near post.

City continued to play lovely, passing football and delighted the crowd on an unseasonably warm night. The distinct feeling was that City could have scored more goals but with a glut of games coming Roberto sensibly rested Silva and Barry and the game gradually drew to a close with Johnson’s shot forcing a regulation save.

Stoke are not a bad side, and are not 8th by some fluke. They will be a completely different prospect when we face them at the Britannia in March but on this occasion they did not manage a shot in the whole match. The City fans in the Kippax and South Stand were chanting ‘Shooooot’ at Stoke players and taking the mick about Stoke winning throw-ins. Making mass “throw-in” gestures, we were treated to “let’s all do the throw-in” and “you’ve had your throw in…” followed by an “invitation” for them to go back to the Potteries! Fair play to the few Stoke fans that turned up, though, as at Wembley, hardly any of them left early. So that’s a whole year unbeaten at home for City. City did a very professional job in this game, but did so in a delightful manner. There was no showboating or disrespect shown to our opponents. Just progressive, sublime football that sent us home very happy and top of the League at Christmas.

Here’s to a very Happy Christmas and New Year to you all. Hopefully a New Year which will see City crowned as Champions.


Hart: Hard to mark, because he had very little to do other than make one very good punch to clear our lines and the odd goal kick! 7
Richards: Passed fit after feeling his hamstring, he showed his skills down the right flank as an attacker, before hobbling off after 54 minutes: 7
Kompany: Oozes class in everything he does: 8
Lescott: Untested, so difficult to mark, but decent on the ball: 7
Clichy: Started off a little weak in the tackle early on but settled into it: 6
Barry: Reliable as ever in the centre. So reliable that the City singing section chanted “What the ****in hell was that” when we saw that rare event: a misplaced Barry pass! 7
Yaya: Lovely skills on the ball and power in the engine room. Crossed for the opener: 8
Silva: His smooth, silky skills consistently light up our football firmament: 8
Nasri: A delight to watch, and Agüero: The star at the top of the Christmas tree. He has settled in well into Manchester City and has shown the right attitude here, as well his strength (he is only foot 5 foot 8 inches, but he is not knocked off the ball) and sublime skills: 9 (Man of the Match)
Savic (for Richards 54): Steady: 6
Balotelli (for Silva 68): Worked hard: 6
Milner (for Barry 83): n/a

Att: 46,321
Goals: Agüero (28, 54), Johnson (35)

Best oppo: Sorensen: He brought back memories of Wembley and how he kept our scoring down, most notably with his save from Mario Balotelli’s goal-bound curler. 7

Refwatch: Mike Dean: The Premier League’s best official had an easy game to ref, and was barely noticed, so he must have done something right 7

It was nice to have a chat with Dave Wallace before the game and pick up a copy of his book “Us and them”, which I started enjoying (and struggled to put down!) when I got home. I recommend it to any City fan.

Indeed it’s Dave’s fault that I overslept and was late for work the next day!

King of the Kippax is, of course, as good a read as ever and reflects the hard work that Dave and Sue put into it, not to mention the excellent contributions from its writers.

There was also a new fanzine 0161 out this week, so good luck to everyone there. I noted that Gary James has a contribution to the first edition.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


After watching the West Brom match and recently having been told it is not what you win in the short term but what you win in the long term that counts (like you may win the battle but not the war), I was more or less reminded of that sort of thing by certain relatives of mine who follow the Rags after the result of the last derby match and the results of recent matches of both City and that other team are making me feel nervous for the future. Have I cause for concern? Alternatively, should I be reminding myself this is City I am a fan of and it will be the usual experience of the last 57 years that I have seriously called myself a supporter for the rest of this season?

Wow, I nearly watched a match that had not one yellow card issued and then Yaya Touré spoilt the experience or was it the referee as usual who spoilt it!

Trevor Bevan <mate.bevan(at)>


A difficult game where City did enough to win this game but just could not score.

Two decent chances in the first half went amiss as David Silva shot over the bar from close range, and Sergio Agüero missed a great opportunity to score; on another day they would have both scored!

At times I felt that City were trying to walk the ball in. City just were not shooting on goal enough and then the Baggies’ defence were doing a good job in stopping City.

Mario Balotelli had the one great effort from long range that just clipped the wrong side of the crossbar.

To say that City were kind of off form in this game would be only half the story, for the other half would be how West Brom played their game under the guidance of a good manager in Hodgson (he has been around).

As we progress I feel that more teams will be watching videos of games like this, and with a feeling of not being able to beat City, will put all their players behind the ball, and just hope for a break away; this is why in every game it is important for City to get that early goal.

On the positive side City did not concede a goal, but were lucky on one occasion as West Brom hit a post with Joe Hart beaten.

City have got to take advantage of every scoring opportunity that comes their way, every half chance made into a full chance of scoring.

City have the class players to do better than today, and I have the confidence that they will do just that. Still top of the league, but with the Rags right with us and having scored ten goals in the last two games, the goals are going to be important; yes we still have a five goal lead on the Rags, but a long way to go.

Important games coming up in January, but City have got to just concentrate on one game at a time; someone else at the club scouting on the other teams plus videos will of course be used before each game.

Now Mancini will get his players ready for the next game, and City will come out fighting!

Roberto Mancini has just signed a new three year contract according to the press, so that is good news; it brings the stability that City have been lacking for so many seasons.

In Robert Mancini I trust, come on you Blues!

CTWD! Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Watching City’s style of play, one can liken it to a bit like Arsenal and Barcelona; however, the similarities with Barça only apply when we have the ball in the midfield and further afield. Our defence, good as it is, does not possess the quality of player who is able to hold or pass accurately when under severe pressure. I have noticed in several matches that Kompany’s distribution is very poor indeed, and as good a defender and captain that he is, this is the one area that prevents him being considered a “Top Notch” defender. He has plenty of time to develop and hopefully he will go on to that next level, and very soon. Lescott is a decent defender too, and at times is very good on the ball. However, he has made some real clangers and this has not helped our team. I was mightily impressed with Clichy, he has a good turn of pace and looks comfortable on the ball and pre-Chelsea, he was looking like a fantastic signing, especially as we have always had a problem at left back.

Then, against Chelsea, he needlessly got a first yellow when he pulled back Sturridge near the half way line, and then blotted his copybook with the challenge on Ramires. Too often our full backs play narrow, allowing the opposition’s wide players to receive the ball unchallenged, and then have the time and space to run at our defence, which is exactly what happened when Sturridge received a diagonal pass from JT to create the equalizer for Chelsea. Had Clichy been slightly nearer the wing, perhaps JT would never even have considered the pass in the first place! Apart from the first 20 minutes where our passing and movement were in cohesion, we then slowly became void of ideas, and Kompany in particular, began playing aimless long balls, which only handed back possession to Chelsea.

I am going to be critical, only because I feel there is a slight flaw in the way we play. We like to play possession football, but at times without really troubling the opposition or getting anywhere near their box, basically passing for the sake of passing, then at times we want to score the perfect goal (Arsenal of the past), and it’s very annoying when a decent shot at goal might prove more fruitful. If you witnessed Barça vs. Real Madrid game, Messi in particular ran at the Madrid defence, and this is what created chances, especially considering that no defence likes a speedy, tricky player running at them. In the Chelsea match, both Sturridge and Ramires made numerous runs with the ball, and this acceleration is what caused us problems. Why did Mancini not take off Yaya and bring on Nasri and possibly bringing on Johnson too, even if it was only for the last 10 minutes, as he can create a chance from nothing? We pass the ball well, but at times we need to do it at pace, to stop the opposition just getting bodies behind the ball and the occasional player should just run at their defence.

In the Chelsea match Clattenberg clearly changed the outcome of the match, by not awarding a penalty and booking Bosingwa when Silva was clearly brought down. Had we scored the penalty and taken a two goal lead, this would have forced Chelsea to attack and leave spaces for us to counter. I also felt that both Meireles and Kompany deserved 2 yellow cards for reckless tackles. It will be interesting to see who Mancini replaces Yaya Touré with, as he will be a big loss, with all the big matches to come in January, will he try to secure Daniele de Rossi? We definitely need to secure a top class central defender if we are to win the Premier League this season.

Come on City… get back to winning ways.

Happy Christmas to all Man City fans.

Glyn Albuquerque <GlynAlbuquerque(at)>


The only manager who at least has respected us as supporters, so as I do speak his native language wouldn’t it be nice to sing to him:

“Grazie tanto Mancini”

Thank you very much.

Tim Berry <timberry(at)>


It has been a long time since I last contributed to MCIVTA, largely because I’ve been somewhat non-plussed by events at Manchester City and I’ve been content just to enjoy the success. So I must belatedly state my thanks to Heidi for her editorship and to Phil for continuing.

Having just watched City and Stoke a thought crystallised in my mind and that was the similarity between Adam Johnson and Neil Young – does anyone else see the resemblance?

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


The FA are absolutely right to ban Luis Suarez for 8 matches and fine him £40,000.

Using a word that refers to someone’s colour in an argument/confrontation is not acceptable, no matter what some people in Uruguay do. Suarez has been found guilty, and it is not just on Evra’s word as Suarez has admitted using the language “negrito” (little black man). In any case, Suarez’s fellow Uruguayan Gus Poyet crassly tried to justify Suarez’s actions saying such language is seen as acceptable in their country? Lord knows why it is seen as acceptable there. The point, though, is that racism is racism, anywhere, and we don’t have to accept it.

The reaction of Liverpool Football Club and Kenny Dalglish in particular has been an absolute disgrace. By wearing those Suarez T-shirts, Dalglish and his players are effectively supporting a player making racist comments. It could be said that they are supporting racism. What’s next? Are they going to wear “Let’s kick racism into football” slogans? Liverpool are actually putting the fact that they don’t want to lose their best player above common decency. It’s pathetic and offensive. Liverpool FC should be charged with bring the game into disrepute at the very least.

In any other walk of life, referring to someone’s colour in a confrontation, or trying to goad someone using that language would earn that individual a suspension from work at the very least, with the sack following, if found guilty. Suarez is lucky that he is in a profession where he is unlikely to get the sack.

Suarez and Liverpool FC should take their punishment and stop bleating about it. It demeans a once great club.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


I’m after two tickets for Sunderland away on New Year’s Day. If you can help with any spares, please email.

Thanks, and a very Happy Christmas to you all!

Matthew Maxey <matthewmaxey(at)>


Merry Christmas one and all!

Great to be sitting on the top of the table like the fairy on top of the tree on Christmas day.

I’m back in the UK for an extended Christmas break and would love to go to the Liverpool match on 3rd January with my brother… unfortunately it sold out before we could sort out tickets 🙁

Can anyone help sort out two, ideally sitting together?

John Walker <johnawalker(at)>


Impossible to dislike…

Joel Perry <joel.perry(at)>


22 December 2011

Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 1  Chelsea

21 December 2011

Aston Villa           1 - 2  Arsenal               35,818
Manchester City       3 - 0  Stoke City            46,321
Newcastle United      2 - 3  West Bromwich Albion  51,060
Everton               1 - 0  Swansea City          32,004
Fulham                0 - 5  Manchester United     25,700
Queens Park Rangers   2 - 3  Sunderland            16,167
Wigan Athletic        0 - 0  Liverpool

20 December 2011

Wolverhampton Wndrs   2 - 2  Norwich City          27,067
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 2  Bolton Wanderers      25,570

League table to 22 December 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 17  9  0  0 28  4  5  2  1 25 11 14  2  1  53  15  38  44
 2 Manchester Utd  17  6  1  1 23 11  7  2  0 19  3 13  3  1  42  14  28  42
 3 Tottenham H.    16  6  1  1 17  8  5  1  2 15 11 11  2  3  32  19  13  35
 4 Chelsea         17  6  0  2 21 12  4  3  2 14  8 10  3  4  35  20  15  33
 5 Arsenal         17  6  1  1 14  5  4  1  4 19 20 10  2  5  33  25   8  32
 6 Liverpool       17  3  5  0 10  6  5  1  3 10  7  8  6  3  20  13   7  30
 7 Newcastle Utd   17  4  3  2 12 11  3  3  2 11 11  7  6  4  23  22   1  27
 8 Stoke City      17  4  2  2 12  9  3  1  5  6 19  7  3  7  18  28 -10  24
 9 Norwich City    17  4  2  2 16 12  1  4  4 11 19  5  6  6  27  31  -4  21
10 West Brom A.    17  2  1  5  7 11  4  2  3 12 15  6  3  8  19  26  -7  21
11 Everton         16  3  2  4  9 10  3  0  4  8  9  6  2  8  17  19  -2  20
12 Aston Villa     17  3  2  4 11 11  1  5  2  8 12  4  7  6  19  23  -4  19
13 Fulham          17  3  3  3 14 14  1  3  4  4  9  4  6  7  18  23  -5  18
14 Swansea City    17  4  3  1 10  2  0  3  6  6 19  4  6  7  16  21  -5  18
15 Sunderland      17  2  3  3 12 10  2  2  5  9 11  4  5  8  21  21   0  17
16 QPR             17  1  4  4  8 15  3  0  5  9 16  4  4  9  17  31 -14  16
17 Wolves          17  3  2  4 13 15  1  1  6  6 17  4  3 10  19  32 -13  15
18 Wigan Athletic  17  1  4  4  9 16  2  1  5  6 14  3  5  9  15  30 -15  14
19 Bolton Wndrs    17  1  0  7 10 21  3  0  6 12 18  4  0 13  22  39 -17  12
20 Blackburn R.    17  2  0  7 12 19  0  4  4 12 19  2  4 11  24  38 -14  10

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

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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?

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[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

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Newsletter #1791