Newsletter #1807

Gareth Leslie’s post in the last edition has proved to be a statto’s heaven! Actually some well researched responses, thank you.

A varied issue this evening, with a great insight into the Club from the perspective of a US-based, Manchester-born visitor. A couple of heartfelt requests and a view on the recent BBC Radio Mario documentary.

Back to Europa League action on Thursday. Obviously wanting to win, but please not at the expense of 3 points on Sunday!

Next Game: Sporting Lisbon, Europa League, away, 6:00pm Thursday 8th March 2012 (it’s on ITV4!)


City completed another win against near neighbours from Lancashire without being anywhere near as fluid or exhilarating as against Blackburn last week. That we weren’t owed itself to a combination of profligate finishing and some brilliant goalkeeping by Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal. City had enough chances to win two matches and, if Mario Balotelli had converted half the chances that fell into his lap, it would have been a rout.

The bullish predictions from younger Blues in City Square were of a 4-0 win. In contrast, older supporters who are more use to harder times were noticeably less inclined to be so confident, knowing how this game can surprise you when you least expect it.

Manchester was bathed in lovely Spring sunshine that had the Kippax and sections of the North Stand doing what looks like a military salute. After the hugely enjoyable win over Blackburn, we looked forward to the latest chapter in a richly enjoyable season.

Mindful of keeping players fresh after their midweek international exertions, Roberto Mancini left the magical and dazzling talents of David Silva and Sergio Agüero on the bench. Whilst it was disappointing not to see them out there, Mancini’s pragmatism paid off, as the players on show in this game had too much for a spirited Bolton who play a more open game than most sides that come here.

Bolton were perhaps too open, as City could have been three up within five minutes. Barely a minute had passed when Zabaleta marauded down the right and crossed, but Balotelli’s effort was smothered. A minute later the Italian hit a post after a brilliant defence-splitting ball by the sublime Yaya Touré, with Nasri’s rebound being saved at point blank range by Bogdan. Then, in a lovely move involving a clever one-two between Johnson and Yaya Touré, the City winger crossed from the right. The ball was behind Balotelli who still had time to stretch and pivot, but he fired wide. City’s attack was like a knife through butter, and Bolton should have been, er… toast! The trouble was that we weren’t finishing off the chances.

Mario Balotelli was reportedly seen leaving a Liverpool lap dancing club in the small hours of Friday morning. If it is true, then surely Roberto Mancini will tear a strip off him. As much as we love Mario, the bare truth is that we cannot have such flagrant breaches of club discipline. We need players to be in peak physical condition for training and matches.

If Roberto doesn’t get cross with Mario for that, he will let him know in no uncertain terms to play to the whistle. David Pizzaro, making his first start in central midfield floated a lofted pass that Balotelli latched onto, springing Bolton’s dodgy offside trap. Mario hesitated, apparently thinking he would be flagged offside, and by the time he realised he was actually in the clear, he slipped, lost crucial time and with Bolton defenders scurrying back in pursuit, he hurriedly shot over the bar.

City were not to be denied but the opening goal owed much to fortune as Clichy’s twenty-five yard cross-shot was headed past Bogdan by Steinsson; it was, indeed, a finish that any centre forward would be proud of! It was also no more than City deserved.

Bolton tried to hit back when Ricketts’ angled shot was saved fairly comfortably by Hart but it was City who fashioned the best chances. Balotelli just didn’t have his shooting boots on though, firing a free kick over the bar and spraying another effort wide.

The worry was that City would be punished for such profligacy, as Bolton, unlike Blackburn, showed attacking ambition and carried a goal threat. Ngog forced a sharp save from Hart and soon after, in the 37th minute, Kolo Touré (on for the injured Zabaleta), slipped, presenting the tricky Japanese left winger with a run at goal, and his goal-bound shot forced a brilliant fingertip save by Hart.

City were stung back into action with two superb moves. Kolo Touré played a give and go with his brother, forcing Bogdan into a sharp save. The Notlob ‘keeper was forced to push a goal-bound Balotelli shot round the post after a quintessentially thrilling Yaya run found Kompany who, in turn, squared for the Italian.

Mario really should have scored after the break after a superb diagonal, defence splitting pass from Barry, but he hit the ‘keeper with a low effort when he needed to lift it over him. City were clearly the better side and Kolo Touré fired narrowly wide after exchanging passes with Adam Johnson. Bolton’s Pratley almost gifted us a 2nd goal when his interception twenty two yards out turned into a shot against his own bar. The game was 68 minutes old when we finally put the game beyond Bolton’s reach. Adam Johnson danced through two Bolton defenders, reached the bye line, and impudently back heeled the ball through Bolton defender Wheater’s legs, before Balotelli smashed the ball into the net.

Johnson deserved a goal after that, and might have had one of his own after substitute Dzeko squared to him in a frenzied move, but the England winger scuffed his shot wide. Maybe we have been spoiled by brilliance of this team, but it was slightly disappointing that the game petered out as the rain started to fall. It hadn’t been a classic or as enjoyable as the feast served up in the previous game, but we cannot realistically expect that every week. It would, indeed, be churlish to complain!

Our home record of 19 wins out of the last 19, which stretches back just over a year, is a Premier League record (not that football history began in 1992). City have now rattled a phenomenal 69 goals in 27 League games this season.

The most pleasing thing is that we are showing the consistency to win comfortably even when the squad is rotated, leaving two top talents out. That is how far we have come. Yes, the absence of Silva and Agüero contributed to a lack of fluidity here, but the ever-shrewd Mancini knows this season is a long hard slog, and with two tough foreign trips planned (trying telling a Swansea fan that South Wales isn’t “abroad”), he has to be sparing with the use of some players.

Isn’t it great to be able to say, without a hint of sarcasm, that we have a manager who knows exactly what he is doing? Roberto Mancini and this group of players deserve to head the table and have the best chance of a League Championship since 1968.

Attendance: 47,219
Goals: Steinsson (o.g.) 23, Balotelli 69.
Hart: His brilliant fingertip save preserved City’s lead in the first half: 7
Zabaleta: Looking a real threat down the right in attack before calf injury ended his afternoon: 7
Kompany: As ever showed great authority in defence in everything he did, and a driving presence going forward: 7
Lescott: Immaculate yet again. Excellent reading of the game and razor-sharp tackling. He is having the best season of his career: 7
A Johnson: Lovely skills on the ball and an outrageous backheel to set up the 2nd goal. Deserved to be on the score sheet himself. Showed toughness and endeavour to win the ball back too: 7
Barry: Took a while to get into this game. His highlight was a terrific defence splitting pass in the second half, but some of his passing was wayward: 6
Pizzaro: A neat and tidy player with a full range of passes. Fitted in very well before tiring: 7
Yaya Touré: Strides the Etihad stage like a colossus. We take a sharp intake of breath when he hits the deck and needs treatment. He is that important to the cause. The national press will tell us that he is a powerful box-to-box midfield player, which is correct. What they miss, is that he is a very skilful player of the highest technical ability: 8 (Man of the Match)
Nasri: Worked hard to find openings, but surrendered possession a little too easily at times in the first half: 6
Balotelli: Showed good physicality to lead the line well, and always a threat, but should have scored a bag full in this game: 6
Kolo Touré (for Zabaleta 19): Got over his slip that almost gifted a goal to Notlob, to be decent in defence and very impressive going forward, putting his pace to good effect: 7
Dzeko (for Pizarro 60): Didn’t really impose himself: 6
Milner (for Nasri 84): Too late to mark: n/a

Refwatch: Clattenburg: The referee gave a banker’s performance (no spelling mistake – he let us all down again and left us feeling short changed). He made a plethora of bad decisions and denied City two blatant penalties for pushes on Balotelli that were impossible to miss. The frightening thing is there are even worse referees than Clattenberk. Very, very poor indeed: 3

Best Oppo: Adam Bogdan: It is easy to see why he is keeping the evergreen Jaaskaleinen out of the team. 8

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)>


Thank you Referee (Mr. Clattenburg) for a match without any yellow or red cards or did I miss one?

Thank you Adam Johnson for a fine back heel, about the only thing that went the City’s players’ way in front of goal, unless you consider the Bolton defender’s deflection for an own goal for City was another thing too!

A pity that one player’s inability not to play to the whistle when put through with only the goalkeeper to beat resulted in a completely botched effort, mainly because he stopped when no whistle had sounded!

I am happy with the win even if it is a against a team playing in black but sad about the Black Caps losing to South Africa and the NZ football team playing in black losing to Jamaica!

Trevor Bevan <mate.bevan(at)>


Next Points of Blue meeting will be on Tuesday 27 March, 6.30 p.m. at the Commonwealth Suite (East Stand)

Let me know any topics.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)>


I just wanted to write a note about my travels to Manchester last week.

I am a Manc who’s been living in Florida for the last 15 years. I recently placed a bid for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and I won tickets to a game, signed shirt, behind the scenes tour etc. I decided on the Blackburn game so that while only being in Manchester for 5 days we could get two games in.

My wife decided not to come on this trip (I had to feign disappointment!) and so my American best mate came with. He’d never been to any football game before and doesn’t really watch it (although I did drag him to to local pubs for the World Cup).

We arrived the Wednesday morning of the Porto game. Weather was great and we stopped off at my brother’s business – for anyone interested check out

We get to the game that evening and I was hoping for a good game and good crowd to hook in my friend. A 5pm kick off time I thought would secure a low attendance but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. We had great seats next to the directors’ box and obviously it was a great game.

After a few days of fish’n’chips and one Indian meal (I’m out of practice with that kind of food) it was already Saturday. We get to the stadium early and we go to the hospitality suites. We meet the beautiful Natalie Pike and have a chat and some pics. Then quick chats with Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Sir Alex Williams, Ian Brightwell and Paul Lake.

I was comparing these guys to NFL Hall of Famers to try to convey the significance of meeting them.

After the Porto game, a great 90 minute stadium tour and meeting the above, I figured a great atmosphere and game against Blackburn would seal the deal and make my Philadelphia Eagles buddy a City fan.

Finally we go pitch side and I am presented with a signed squad shirt by Lakey and Brightwell. We were treated like royalty.

Then it was game time. Our tickets for this game were in the corner next to the big screen and just under the TV broadcast box where I saw Joe Royle. The atmosphere was great and we were right next to the singing section. About 7 lads sat behind us and with the help of plenty of beer commentated throughout the game. The X-rated one-liners throughout the game were hysterical. Between the goals, the comedy show and the singing it was a great evening.

My buddy is now informing me of any news that happens at City now that he checks in at their website frequently. Little does he know that I check about 15 sites per day reading up on anything City. Just one last thing.

For anyone that checks the website and has seen CityTV, I have always thought that Sharon, the club photographer seemed like a good laugh. Well she was great. She had us cracking up and even though she was super busy she made plenty of time to take multiple pics using our phones and cameras.

MCFC really are a class act from top to bottom. If anybody from the club is reading this then please accept my gratitude.

Brilliant fans, brilliant Club.

Now let’s wrap up the title and maybe we can parade the trophy on derby day!

CTID, Steven Kersh, Florida <rudy502(at)>


How about:

2001/2002 Season (108 league goals this season): Goater 28, Huckerby 20, Wanchope 12
1990/1991 Season (64 league goals this season): Quinn 20, White 16, Ward 11 (9 being pens)
1987/1988 Season (80 league goals this season): Stewart 24, Varadi 17, White 13

Lots of twos, for example in the 1988/1989 season where 77 league goals were scored, shared by 17 different players, top of which was Moulden 13, then Morley 12, and just missing out on double figures was Biggins 9, with none of these being penalties. Penalty duties in the league that season were split between Hinchcliffe 3 pens and McNab 4 pens.

Colin Darvill <colin.darvill(at)>


Surely (without resorting to Google) the 3-man attack of Niall Quinn, Mike Sheron and David White must have managed this for us in the top flight between 1989 and 1993 sometime?

Peter Blyth <blythie44(at)>


In answer to Gareth Leslie’s question regarding strikers in issue 1806, I can advise as follows. The last time three City strikers hit double figures in the league prior to 2009-10 was in 2001-02:

Goater 28, Huckerby 20, Wanchope 12.

The last time this feat was achieved in the top flight was in 1990-91:

Quinn 20, White 16, Ward 11.

The greatest number of players scoring ten or more in one league season came in 1909-10 when there were no fewer than six:

Dorsett 13, Holford 12, Thornley 12, Jones 12, Conlin 11, Wynn 10.

John Clancy <johnnyclancers(at)>


Gareth Leslie asked about the last time we had 3 strikers who got into double figures. Not being a geek I really don’t know, but I do remember that when we won the League last time all 5 forwards (we played with 5 forwards in those days) got into double figures. Bell, Summerbee, Lee, Young and Coleman all in double figures! Another feat of that team was that all 11 were English!

Mulhearn, Book, Pardoe, Doyle, Heslop, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Young, Coleman.

Not a bad memory for a non-geek of 67 years lol.

So does anyone know if City were the last English team to win the league?

Jack Millington <jack(at)>


Some good comments on players being paid and not moving on.

Luckily some clubs will never have this problem.

We on the other hand have Wayne Bridge, plus a few others.

Philip Telford <telfordpnt(at)>


Back when I was 11 or 12 (1982) a school teacher I had used to give me a lift to Maine Road for every home game. She was a lovely lady and due to her age might no longer be with us. Her name was Mrs Tate. Her daughter also came along.

I really want to thank her as I have been going ever since and I am hoping that I can get in contact with her through MCIVTA.

I don’t know her or her daughter’s full name, but I do know she had a sky blue Datsun.

The school was Button Lane Junior School in Northern Moor.

Can anyone help?

Billy Watkinson <billy.watkinson(at)>


Hi, does anybody know where Blues congregate for City games in Singapore?

Arriving on Thursday and would be good to meet up with a few.

Paul Burgess <Burgepc(at)>


Does anyone have a spare ticket or 2 for the derby game?

I have the opportunity to fly in from Norway for the derby game if I can get hold of a ticket…

I guess this is the mother of all long shots but worth a try 🙂

Have been over a twice so far this season and I will travel for the Wolves away game the preceding weekend.

Thank you for a great newsletter!

Kjartan (<cityted(at)> / @cityted on twitter)

AND FINALLY… Ooh Balotelli!

I listened to the “Mario Balotelli” R5 live podcast with Pat Nevin being a journalist for a change instead of an English-hating pundit.

Very even handed and found myself agreeing with his analysis.

Of course his sister, agent and Noel Gallagher would make a case for Mario, all loving him to bits come what may, which of course is contra’d by the rest of the media.

Noel’s observations that Mario is upsetting the old f*rts is brilliant. The fact that Alan Hanson, Mark (shut that door) Lawrenson and Alan Green hate him is just great and even the 2 muppets on Breakfast time on Talk Spite – Alan Brazil and Ronni Irani – both despise him:
“We don’t want clowns like Balotelli in the Premier League do we Alan?” “No we don’t Ronni, totally agree with you, me old mate”

They prefer Wayne Rooney who plays for Man.Utd. and, whilst his pregnant wife was out shopping for maternity clothes, what did Wayne do to occupy his time? I know, octogenarian hookers in the marital bed (ED – erm… allegedly? …or wasn’t it denied?!).

“Know what you mean Ronni, how can you compare the likes of Mario with Ryan Giggs”“You can’t Alan no comparison, now back to live odds with Paddy Power…”

Ryan Giggs the man who is as welcome at family reunions as John Terry is at the MOBO’s.

Vialli’s comments were the most even-handed regarding his need for maturity and a steady hand, he had some awkward things to say about Italy’s attitude to race, quite revealing.

On the whole well worth a listen.

Guess he’s just an easy target.

OMG – In a strip club at night a 21-year-old man wants to look at naked girls, call the police…

Philip Lines <philipjlines(at)>


4 March 2012

Newcastle United      1 - 1  Sunderland            52,388
Fulham                5 - 0  Wolverhampton Wndrs   24,034
Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 3  Manchester United     36,034

3 March 2012

Liverpool             1 - 2  Arsenal               44,922
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 1  Aston Villa           20,717
Manchester City       2 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      47,219
Queens Park Rangers   1 - 1  Everton               18,033
Stoke City            1 - 0  Norwich City          27,483
West Bromwich Albion  1 - 0  Chelsea               24,838
Wigan Athletic        0 - 2  Swansea City          19,001

League table to 04 March 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 27 14  0  0 42  6  7  3  3 27 13 21  3  3  69  19  50  66
 2 Manchester Utd  27 10  1  2 37 15 10  3  1 29 12 20  4  3  66  27  39  64
 3 Tottenham H.    27 10  2  2 30 13  6  3  4 22 20 16  5  6  52  33  19  53
 4 Arsenal         27  9  2  2 29 11  6  2  6 26 27 15  4  8  55  38  17  49
 5 Chelsea         27  8  2  3 30 19  5  5  4 17 13 13  7  7  47  32  15  46
 6 Newcastle Utd   27  7  5  2 21 15  5  3  5 18 24 12  8  7  39  39   0  44
 7 Liverpool       26  4  8  1 15 10  6  1  6 15 15 10  9  7  30  25   5  39
 8 Fulham          27  7  4  3 29 19  2  5  6  8 17  9  9  9  37  36   1  36
 9 Stoke City      27  6  4  4 18 14  4  2  7  9 24 10  6 11  27  38 -11  36
10 West Brom A.    27  4  2  8 14 16  6  3  4 20 19 10  5 12  34  35  -1  35
11 Norwich City    27  5  4  4 20 17  4  4  6 18 27  9  8 10  38  44  -6  35
12 Sunderland      27  5  4  4 20 13  4  3  7 15 18  9  7 11  35  31   4  34
13 Everton         26  5  3  5 14 13  4  4  5 13 15  9  7 10  27  28  -1  34
14 Swansea City    27  5  6  2 18 10  3  3  8 12 24  8  9 10  30  34  -4  33
15 Aston Villa     27  3  4  6 14 17  3  8  3 16 18  6 12  9  30  35  -5  30
16 QPR             27  2  5  7 14 22  3  2  8 14 24  5  7 15  28  46 -18  22
17 Blackburn R.    27  4  1  9 20 27  1  6  6 18 33  5  7 15  38  60 -22  22
18 Wolves          27  3  2  8 17 28  2  5  7 13 28  5  7 15  30  56 -26  22
19 Bolton Wndrs    27  2  2  9 15 27  4  0 10 14 29  6  2 19  29  56 -27  20
20 Wigan Athletic  27  1  6  7 11 24  3  2  8 12 28  4  8 15  23  52 -29  20

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1807