Newsletter #1798

Next Game: Everton, away, 8:00pm Tuesday 31 January 2012

Domestic Cup exploits over with, it’s back to the hard core of the Premier League this evening with our typically tough battle with the Toffees.

Normally, the path of these games is the Dark Blues boring the heck out of all and sundry for 89 minutes before Cahill pops up with a late header. Let’s hope for something different this time.

At least we have one ‘Trial by TV’ victim back in the form of Kompany. Sadly our other ‘offender’ Mario is out for 4 games for being criminally off-balance.

It’s us versus the world from now on in… bring ’em on!

All the best, Phil.

P.S. – Can I please draw your attention to today’s “AND FINALLY” from Alex Channon, thank you.


City were outplayed at Anfield and were some way below our best and yes, Liverpool were the better team over the two legs. Even so, poor refereeing again cost us overall in this game. Phil Dowd didn’t award us what should have been a nailed on penalty when Dzeko was caught by Adam. It was clear as day that he had been caught yet Dowd, for reasons best known to himself, didn’t award the spot kick.

Then Liverpool were ridiculously awarded a penalty when a shot hit Richards’ shin and cannoned up onto his arm. The shot was at such short range, how was he supposed to get his arm out of the way when it deflected up off his shin? He doesn’t have a prosthetic limb that he can remove. In any case the shin deflected the ball upwards and, therefore, away from goal. No way should a penalty have been awarded. It is no accident or coincidence that United and Liverpool time and again get decisions like these and other clubs don’t.

Like all Blues, I totally respect David Bernstein, the FA Chairman. He was a great chairman of our club and our new stadium was conceived and brokered under his stewardship of Manchester City. Whilst I respect him and his view, I find it impossible to agree with his statement that referees act with integrity. They don’t act with integrity on the pitch because they don’t apply the laws consistently. In the wake of the injustices that City suffer: the Kompany sending off and suspension for a perfectly good tackle, which won the ball and didn’t touch anyone; the Balotelli ban for an accidental collision when he was off balance; the failure to send off Giggs for his scissor tackle on Agüero. We’re still pondering why Kompany was sent off, especially when Glen Johnson’s worse tackle on Lescott was unpunished, as were two similar tackles by Scott Parker last weekend, and an even worse studs in the chest challenge by Scholes on Bolton’s Mark Davies.

I’m sorry to say I don’t believe Howard Webb when he says that he didn’t see what happened with Mario Balotelli last Sunday. I’ve seen the footage and he is well placed and looking at the tackle. I firmly believe that he has bowed to Harry Redknapp and media pressure. He saw what went on and saw nothing wrong at the time, and that was how it should have stayed. Why did he have to change that stance?

What is going on amongst the referees is bias. A bias born of a fear to upset the likes of Ferguscum, Dalglish, Redknapp and Wenger. Nothing new, but it gets worse and it is not right. The FA makes this worse with their own failure to administer justice even-handedly and it is about time that they all improved.

Back to our performance.

As stated before, Stefan Savic is not up to the job of playing in the Premier League right now. The pace, and the aerial nature of it is too much for him and he does not seem to read the game well. Roberto changed the system to a back three for the first half but he still struggled. Roberto has some soul searching as to what to do with this young lad. Is there enough potential there to work with? Thankfully, Vinny Kompany will be back at Everton next week.

As a team, with Silva being the exception, we did not pass the ball well enough in the match, especially in the final third. Our intentions were either too easily read and our passing was not up to its usual standard at the sharp end of the pitch. We seemed to let Liverpool dominate us physically. They have been a big side for a few years now, reminiscent in physique to a lot of German sides like Bayern without the variation in attack. What they lacked in cutting edge they made up for in physical power and Bellamy’s pace. What a shame that Mancini and Bellamy could not work together, but that is football I suppose. It is still grating that he scored the winner for Liverpool rather than us and more so because they got him for free.

The feeling is that some City players needed to do more than they did at Anfield. In particular Samir Nasri needs to step up and do more. There is no finer example of someone who always shows than David Silva. He always wants the ball and his quality is there for all to see. We need to see better at Goodison next Tuesday.

Have a good weekend (it does seem rather weird City not playing at all). Let’s hope Liverpool and the Rags tire each other out and have a replay that goes to extra time and penalties. The odd red card and suspension for United wouldn’t go amiss either, but it will be interesting which side will get “the rub of the green” from officialdom. Tricky one.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


Liverpool win on aggregate 3-2! Liverpool, you will never walk alone – you have a ref on your side! Liverpool’s first goal came from a penalty that was without doubt ball to hand as Micah was falling down; more help from a ref!

The winning goal for Liverpool started as Lescott, with no pressure on him, kicked the ball wildly out of play, then Bellamy scored the Liverpool winner!

Yes there were two great goals from City and a lot of attacking football, but tonight the odds were yet again against City, playing against 12 men away from home.

Bellamy, a so-called misfit at City because of a previous injury who could not, or did not want to, train a full version of training. I was in Baltimore and went to the training session the day before the game with Inter Milan. Bellamy did more running around in training that day than any other City player and was never picked to play the next day. Roberto Mancini was not there at the time as he had gone home because of his father’s illness. Brian Kidd had taken charge of team selection and tactics. I will never forget Bellamy’s 100% commitment for City when he played for us and his goals against United!

So I shall put this win as a win for Bellamy, our loss (I bet Bellamy has a smile on his face tonight)!

Tonight a strong effort from the side City put out. Come on you Blues! We can still win the Premier League.

CTWD, Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I’ve not written for a long time – I seem to remember saying years ago on here that we would never again compete for the title as that would require someone to turn up and give us a few hundred million and that sort of thing never happens to us! How nice it is to be very very wrong!

Following our Carling Cup exit with the Red-loving press gleefully predicting our demise on all fronts, it is worth reflecting that we do seem to have received the rough end of rather too many refereeing decisions this season and boy have they hurt us:

Bayern – Two clear cut penalties not given in the first half hour when we were dominating the game, especially when Micah was brought down. We may still have lost as they overpowered us once they got going but who knows what might have happened.

Chelsea – One up and again dominating when Silva was chopped down. One of the clearest penalties you’ll ever see right in front of the referee and he bottled it. I doubt they’d have come back from 2-0, especially given the way we were playing then. To make the injustice even worse he then gave a penalty when the ball hit Lescott’s elbow, which was by his side. No motion towards the ball, no using the arm to gain advantage. Three points lost as a result.

Sunderland – Last minute winner, so clearly a yard offside but not given. Another point gone.

United in the Cup – Vinnie’s sending off changed the game and I believe also cost us the Carling Cup. Nobody will ever convince me that it was even a foul and I’m a qualified active referee!

Liverpool last night – I can understand the foul on Edin not being given as nobody really appealed and it was only obvious on replay but, barring amputation or advanced Riverdance lessons, I have no clue how Micah can possibly avoid that ball hitting his arm. I suppose we should be grateful for the fact that he didn’t send him off… That said, we were second best and clearly thought we could chisel out a win without playing the whole first team, which was a mistake with no game until next Tuesday.

Then we have the witch-hunt after the Spurs game. Quite how the media can claim that their beloved ‘Arry and his Spurs completely outplayed us as is being suggested in some quarters is beyond me. Without Savic’s generosity/incompetence we’d have run out 3 or 4-0 winners I think as at 2-0 they were gone. I felt sorry for Balotelli – some of these so-called experts need to stop treating everything their desired next victim as England manager says as gospel and think for themselves. Have a go at spinning out of control like Mario did and try doing anything different when someone contacts your standing leg. If he did mean it I’d be very surprised. Had it been Rooney instead of Balotelli there would have been no charge.

It’s not difficult given that in almost every game that has cost us, bar Napoli away, we have been hurt by useless refereeing. I’m sure there isn’t an anti-City agenda at work but it’s hard to stomach when the Rags continually year after year get away with all sorts of favouritism. I suspect Mancini is trying to build a bunker “them against us” mentality to make us strong for the title run in.

It will all be forgotten when we sweep the Rags away on April 28 to clinch the title. I think Mancini will enjoy his after match bottle of wine with Sir Purple Nose if we can do just that. I’m confident.

Finally, whilst I think Dzeko could do better, have a look at his movement for Nasri’s goal in the Spurs game. It’s very clever and not the first time he’s done it – Adam Johnson has scored a few similar goals courtesy of Edin’s ability to empty spaces at precisely the right moment. Sometimes it’s not what a player does with the ball that makes him top class, it’s what he does without it and this movement is top class.

Andy Clarke <andy(at)>


Silver tongued Kia Joorabchian has been talking again. He always sounds very convincing and yet I am never convinced. Apparently, Joorabchian said that Tévez had not really wanted to go back to Argentina to be closer to his family, or because of the lack of good restaurants in Manchester, or because of the executives at City, but because of feuds with the manager.

Now that makes the pair of them into liars at some point, either now or back then.

Moving on, Joorabchian says that Tévez won’t apologise. “What is he apologising for?” the clever agent asked. “It’s almost like a false ‘I’m sorry’. He doesn’t believe, deep down, that he did anything wrong.”

He’s quite right of course that Tévez ought not to give a false apology. But I am not sure why Joorabchian is labouring under the impression that that’s what Mancini and the club want. A sincere apology, on the other hand, might be nice. You know, one that demonstrates some ability to appreciate that in an important game at the highest level, it’s Carlos’s job to get off the bench when told and leave his gripes for the manager’s office on a Monday. Not to choose a moment of maximum impact to throw a strop.

As for a return to the first team, Kia rightly reports that “Mancini has said it is impossible”. In response, Kia points out that “[Mancini] has to understand Carlos has a contract at City for the next two and a half years”. Ermm yes, but Mancini said that it was impossible that Tévez return to the first team because Tévez doesn’t want to. If Tévez were to change his attitude, as far as I understand the situation, the door is open.

The problem that is moving the aggrieved Mr Joorabchian to speak his heart to the press is that City have priced Tévez out of the market. “We’ve been in negotiations with three big clubs but I don’t think anybody has reached the numbers that City are looking for, so it looks like Carlos will remain at City until at least the summer.”

Maybe – here’s a thought – Carlos should say that he is willing to play for wages of, say, 15 grand a week rather than 200? Then he could watch the aristocracy of Europe queue up for his signature. Despite City’s price tag, he would be playing by next week. For somebody for whom “it has never been about money” this should be an easy pill to swallow. I’ve heard that some resilient people are even able to survive on 12 thousand pounds a week. I know someone who makes even less but who still has a BMW.

Or maybe it’s all about money for you Mr Joorabchian? I don’t think you’re in it for love of the game.

“The relationship with Mancini, ever since Mancini came into the club, has not been good” Joorabchian mused. “You think about last Christmas, when Carlos wanted to leave and it was all about feuds with the manager and that just carried on and on… There was a point when Carlos said: ‘You know what, I can’t get on here.’ And he’s not the only one. Bellamy had to leave Manchester City in an awkward way, Adebayor had to leave in an awkward way, Shay Given had to leave in a semi-awkward way. Wayne Bridge has been isolated and is not even training with the first team.”

Yup, Mancini has form. Then again so does Carlos. And Adebayor. And Bellamy for sure. If you’re the kind of person who sometimes doesn’t get along with your boss, you’re pretty much guaranteed not to get along with Roberto. But in a way, Mancini’s history makes the opposite point. I mean, he wasn’t slow to get rid of people he had a bad relationship with, yet he kept Carlos around and made him captain. So there’s evidence here that Joorabchian is full of it, which is going to come as a shock to a lot of people, but there it is.

My favourite part was when Joorabchian was asked about the original incident in which Tévez refused to leave the bench. “There are always two sides to the story and, if cooler heads and maturity prevail, these things don’t get out of hand. I think it’s the responsibility of the older man, the manager, to control the players.”

Two sides to the story? Surely there are even more when Mr Joorabchian is around. The first story, told by Carlos when he interviewed right after the game, was that he refused to play because his head wasn’t right. The second story was that it was all a misunderstanding, and he just refused to warm up because he was already warm, you see, and apparently his head was ok to play after all. Now the third story tacitly admits that Carlos was out of control, but puts the responsibility on Mancini – being the older man – to control him. So in other words Tévez being younger, is not responsible, presumably because we cannot expect a multi-millionaire of 27 tender years to be mature enough to do the job he is paid such huge amounts to do.

“The explosion of that day – the manager’s comments – was so bad it created an unsustainable [position]. Carlos served a two-week suspension, then he was training on his own and then training with the reserves and at some point you have to say: ‘He’s served his suspension, now integrate him back’. But there was never any door to that, which is probably why he left.”

Alternatively, Kia might have said “But he left, which is probably why there was never any door to that.”

Finally, here’s the part where Joorabchian tries to drive a wedge between the club and the manager: “The hierarchy at City have been excellent. If it was the hierarchy, the people running the club, they would have handled it in a different way and things wouldn’t have exploded.”

I hope and believe the executives at the club are too bright to fall for this obvious piece of divisive flattery. Nonetheless, this Joorabchian is a difficult and odious fellow, and I’ll be glad when he is nowhere near our club.

As for Tévez, we shouldn’t get carried away and think of him as evil. He hasn’t killed anyone, and I believe he bought each staff member a television one Christmas, which was nice. But he has a bad problem with pride, and has made a really bad choice of advisor.

I wonder how he’d feel if he was allowed back in the first team, and had to go out in front of the crowd on match day.

Bernard Molyneux <molyneux(at)>


Don’t want to harp on this and get my fellow travellers upset again but is anyone willing to bet (rhetorically speaking) that Carlos Tévez will not be back in the City team in the near future?

Some clever diplomacy and pride swallowing will likely be required, but I for one hope he is and, frankly, I suspect City’s unrelenting stance on a transfer and financial penalties, have been part of a strategy to haul him back into the fold.

Welcome to Manchester, Carlos?

P.S. Somebody else agrees with me:

Chris Cobb <cobsun(at)>


It was possible to hear some great chants from the City fans at Anfield (even on TV!). Every time the Scousers came up with a dig, they were well and truly trumped.

“We only hate Mancs” was met with a response of “You only hate work, you lazy B******s”, which was later updated to “You only hate work, you racist B******s”.

Liverpool haven’t exactly endeared themselves to everybody have they?

And of course a certain Tax Evasion trial received a few references and a certain Sky pundit was serenaded with:

“Your dad’s going down, Your dad’s going down, poor Jamie Redknapp, your dad’s going down”

Unfortunately Liverpool scored after one of these, but the City fans quickly retorted:

“He’s still going down, He’s still going down, poor Jamie Redknapp, your dad’s going down”

Better still, I’m informed that some Blues on a coach came up with an adaptation of the Only Fools and Horses closing theme music:

“No income tax,
no VAT,
no Premier points off Man City,
In the dock,
face so pale,
Harry Redknapp’s going to Jail”

Of course this article in no way speculates one way or t’other which way Droopy’s trial is going to go, but we can hope that justice is done! Where would we be without our sense of humour?

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


I would like to comment on a few ‘hot topics’ of recent times. For ‘the Balotelli stamp’ my first impression was that it was deliberate and again it come to mind that he is such a liability to the team and could be why we miss out on winning the Premier League.

It is no use having someone in the team who is continually whinging about being tackled and then taking petty recriminating action at the expense of being yellow carded and possibly thereafter being sent off, or taken off by Mancini.

He is obviously loved by many fellow Blues and I base my opinion of what I see on the television thousands of miles away, I do not see the whole picture but my brothers who are both season ticket holders, agree that he does not offer enough for the team as a whole.

He is singled out by referees, no doubt, I’m afraid it comes with the territory, he indeed is young but many great players who have gone before him have realised their potential by his age. Concentrate on playing football Mr. Balotelli.

With regards to the Liverpool game, Phil Dowd was perfectly placed. It was a ‘homer’ decision’, nothing more, nothing less! He likes to be seen as one of the ‘boys’ and there was no substance to his decision. He indicated that Micah was holding his hands up to block the ball; he clearly did not and if Phil Dowd had a modicum of honesty he would have come out and said “I got this one wrong”.

Overall I still feel that I can write the script for City so often (like an episode of Coronation Street) – nearly, but not quite. You never know what goes on behind the scenes at a football club; the reason I say this is the fact that Nedum was never given a fair go by Mancini. He was more than a competent player, however, I wish him all the best at Q.P.R.

In Mancini I almost trust!

Tony Higginson <Tony.Higginson(at)>


This morning papers in Cataluña tell a horrible tale of SpanAir.

Qatar Airways offer not to La Generalitat (Catalán Government ) liking, Qatar indicating Cat. Gov. is obstacle to acquiring 49%, putting SpanAir back on track thus allowing Ferran to leave for City.

Stalemate situation so Ferran obligated to stay, I’m told till a resolution.

Will learn more at 8PM tonight at a family gathering and let you guys have the inside track first before MEN, who never acknowledged my scoop to them.


Dave will say I’m biased because I stated out loud to him at Camp Nou (2009) that this kid is the new Figo. As you know he’s at Español and worked very hard to establish himself in first eleven. Yesterday played a blinder, scoring too. Marca says “Scores the goal and many good things”, and gave him 8 out of 10.

El Sport say “At last elevates himself to star status” and also 8/10.

This kid needs taking back pronto to Eastlands. He’d be a great help to challenge Adam and be a great impact sub.


Even worse than we thought. Guardian/Observer web site today has inside track on what’s gone on from day one of Mancini era, with this idiot.

Also, bewilderment of United support executives, when having to deal with aftermath of Tévez leaving for City. 30 grand in repairs alone to the apartment they had him in.

Will need judgement of Solomon to resolve this, once he shows up later this week.

“Feel the emotions, but do nothing”. Easier said than done.

Be back later on Feran/SpanAir/City.

Pat Knowles <patrickknowles(at)>


I’d just like to say thanks and best wishes to Nedum Onuoha who has signed for QPR.

As a City fan, it must be a wrench for him to leave, but he has to go where he can get a better chance of first team football and he clearly left a good impression with Mark Hughes, under whom he formed an effective partnership alongside Richard Dunne for the second half of the 2008/2009 season.

He’s been a really good servant to our club, especially in the tricky times under Kevin Keegan and Stuart Pearce. My firm belief is that he is good enough to challenge for a first team place here as he’s a good, solid, quick defender, who never let us down.

It’s a shame that he was not Roberto Mancini’s plans, but that’s football. Hopefully he will have better luck with injuries than he has had. He deserves to and he will leave with best wishes all round.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


Is Mancini trying to prove something by keeping Savic in over Ned or Zabz? I am becoming genuinely concerned that management are either in denial or are refusing to admit he was a waste of money.

His issues are clearly beyond confidence and finding his feet; he has a sub-standard awareness of the game and when strikers are marking him waiting for the inevitable opportunity as Defoe did last week, well it should go without saying.

A PS is needed now! Fuel’s been thrown on my fire with Onuoha sold. Good for him, he could help QPR stay up but why is there so much faith in Savic (no decision making or a special ability) and Kolo (who looks old and slow since coming to Eastlands)?

I disagree with my brother on Lescott; a lot of goals we concede come from his side but he does a lot of good things. I’m missing Garry Cook who might at least have made some obnoxious offers for Thiago or Pique by now. I feel I’m flogging the dead horse, but a last point – is Boyata ready yet? He looks capable, save for that one tackle at Arsenal last season.

Paul Hunt <paul.h.a.hunt(at)>


There is no doubt in my mind that Roberto Mancini should continue to be Manchester City’s manager; we need stability, here is our chance.

These last few weeks have brought about some unlucky results not because of Mancini, but because on inconsistent referees’ decisions. City have two players in African Nations Cup who are missing and have had the captain Kompany off for four games. The back four was weakened by this.

There have been other players missing because of injuries.

The formation by players who have been playing have sometimes had to play out of position; has the squad got enough depth? Should another player have been brought in?

Mario Balotelli has not only let himself down but the club, by doing silly things. Sure, I like Mario but I wish that he would stick to playing very good football.

Carlos Tévez is rumoured to be returning to City until the summer because no transfer deal could be reached. We see other players recalled by other clubs, but Tévez is another story. I still feel that supporters are not going to be giving him the greatest welcome!

So whilst certain media make remarks of changing managers, I say go fish!

In Mancini I trust! Welcome back Vincent Kompany!

CTWD, Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I have a box of City programmes and Junior blues magazines from the 1980’s and 1990’s absolutely free to a good home, please contact me to arrange collection or could do a meet. I live in Chester.

John Ireland <john_ireland(at)>


On the 3rd February 2011 City legend Neil Young passed away.

To mark the first anniversary of his passing, Neil’s widow Carmen and members of Neil’s family will be laying some flowers in the Garden of Remembrance at the Etihad Stadium at 4-15pm on Saturday 4th February prior to the home game against Fulham.

Carmen has never forgotten the support she received from the fans at the time of Neil’s passing. Carmen invites supporters to join her and Neil’s family to join at 4-15pm next Saturday when she lays the flowers in memory of her husband and our legend Neil Young.

I’ll be there and hope some of you can join me.

Alex Channon <alexchannon(at)>


League table to 29 January 2012 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 22 11  0  0 34  6  6  3  2 26 12 17  3  2  60  18  42  54
 2 Manchester Utd  22  8  1  2 33 14  8  2  1 21  7 16  3  3  54  21  33  51
 3 Tottenham H.    22  8  2  1 21  9  6  2  3 20 15 14  4  4  41  24  17  46
 4 Chelsea         22  7  1  3 24 16  5  4  2 16  9 12  5  5  40  25  15  41
 5 Arsenal         22  7  2  2 17  8  4  1  6 22 25 11  3  8  39  33   6  36
 6 Newcastle Utd   22  6  3  2 16 11  4  3  4 16 19 10  6  6  32  30   2  36
 7 Liverpool       22  4  7  0 14  8  5  1  5 11 13  9  8  5  25  21   4  35
 8 Stoke City      22  4  4  3 15 13  4  2  5  8 20  8  6  8  23  33 -10  30
 9 Norwich City    22  4  4  3 17 15  3  4  4 15 21  7  8  7  32  36  -4  29
10 Sunderland      22  4  4  3 16 11  3  2  6 13 13  7  6  9  29  24   5  27
11 Aston Villa     22  3  3  5 12 14  3  6  2 14 15  6  9  7  26  29  -3  27
12 Fulham          22  5  3  3 21 17  1  5  5  7 14  6  8  8  28  31  -3  26
13 Swansea City    22  5  5  1 15  6  1  3  7  8 21  6  8  8  23  27  -4  26
14 Everton         22  3  3  5 11 13  4  2  5 11 13  7  5 10  22  26  -4  26
15 West Brom A.    22  2  2  7  8 14  5  2  4 14 17  7  4 11  22  31  -9  25
16 QPR             22  2  4  5 12 18  3  1  7 10 19  5  5 12  22  37 -15  20
17 Bolton Wndrs    22  2  1  8 14 25  4  0  7 14 22  6  1 15  28  47 -19  19
18 Blackburn R.    22  3  0  8 16 22  1  6  4 17 23  4  6 12  33  45 -12  18
19 Wolves          22  3  2  6 16 20  1  4  6  9 20  4  6 12  25  40 -15  18
20 Wigan Athletic  22  1  4  6 10 21  2  2  7  9 24  3  6 13  19  45 -26  15

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1798