Newsletter #1833

Mario versus England awaits us this weekend in what should be an intriguing battle with the Italians. Seeing Joleon and Mario competing directly against each other promises to be a particular highlight and let’s hope Joe is well protected as, judging by his goal against Ireland, Mario has taken his shooting boots with him.

I’m actually hoping Mario has a stormer as I think it will do his image a world of good, perversely. Just hoping he is not good enough that he actually knocks us out though!

Some interesting follow-up articles tonight and Keith Sharp turns his focus on the transfer window. Hasn’t speculation been thin on the ground – not even a whisper about Carlos!

Enjoy the newsletter and just to update you the Charity… sorry… Community Shield will be kicking off at 1.30.

Next Friendly Game: Arsenal, “Bird’s Nest Stadium”, Beijing, 27 July 2012, KO TBC
Next Official Game: Chelsea, Community Shield, Villa Park, 12 August 2012, 1.30pm


In response to Dave Kilroy’s end of season report on MCIVTA Fans’ League winners and losers (where I came a credible 6th but just outside the name-check zone) and his amusing fining of those not keeping their teams Red-free.

Back in the day when I was studenting, one of my good pals was a Sheffield United fan whose weekly habit was to head to the bookies on Saturday morning and bet on Sheffield Wednesday to win. His philosophy was that if they lost, he didn’t care 2 hoots about losing his cash and if they won, at least he had some form of recompense out of the sorry situation.

I have played Fantasy Football now for about 20 years and decided that every year I would use this philosophy to offset the misery of watching those lot over in Stretford inevitably do better than everyone else, so the first name on my fantasy team sheet was always United’s goalkeeper (so Schmeichel for many years then the following unmentionables). The approach being if they conceded goals, who cared about fantasy points and if they got a clean sheet, small comfort.

I wondered whether this would still reap the fines from the Kilroy administration knowing the reason behind the selection and whether others can see the logic here, or whether my participation in next season’s league is now under the same scrutiny as Bentner’s disco pants?

P.S. As a footnote, I did dispense with this approach this year after about 5 games and fared far better in all the leagues I entered than ever before, so maybe there’s the answer!?

Michael Sokol <mike.sokol(at)>


The more I watch Lescott and Hart play for England, the more I am convinced City will field the strongest defence in Europe next season. Hart, Zabaleta/Richards, Clichy, Kompany and Lescott is as strong as it gets and with one complete season behind them, this unit looks invincible.

Add to this a midfield of Yaya Touré, de Jong (please give him a new contract!), Barry, Milner and Silva, plus a strike force of Agüero, Nasri, Tévez, Balotelli and Dzeko and you wonder why we need any more major signings.

From what we have seen from Milner playing on the right flank for England, he could replace Johnson in that position and we may need one top flight defender to cover for Clichy, understanding Kolorov is on the way out and, yes, if Dzeko is going back to Germany, we may need one high profile forward, but that’s about it.

All this stuff about Skrtel, De Rossi and van Persie… please!

It took Dzeko two seasons to settle with City and I would rather keep him than bring a new face to the forward line. Yes to van Persie, if we could get him, but I am not sure he would settle into a rotation.

The key question going forward is if Mancini is prepared to organise a Plan-B attack plan that would allow for an orthodox winger like a Gareth Bale. City got undone last season when the opposition parked the bus defensively and clogged up the intricate passing moves of Silva, Nasri and Agüero. The same thing happened to Barcelona against Chelsea.

Mancini needs the option of switching tactics if their initial attack is running into trouble. This is where he needs to recruit attacking options if he has indeed given up on Adam Johnson.

For my money, getting Tévez back was like acquiring a new player, he just needs cover for Clichy. Otherwise, same again!

Keith Sharp, Toronto Canada <>


Great that there was a response to my article from MCIVTA 1831, from Ben, and I certainly do not disagree with everything that he said.

I did say that Mario Balotelli can play great football but I still maintain his downfall up to now is his hot head and, because of this, his reputation comes with it; refs are well aware of this and so are other teams.

If Ben reads MCIVTA on a regular basis he will have noticed going back since Roberto Mancini arrived at City, I have always said “In Mancini I trust”; his judgement I trust, but that still does not stop what some players do unfortunately in a consistent way. Mancini has been very patient with Mario.

Mancini still sees the potential in Balotelli and, like the majority of us, wants him to cool down but still play some brilliant football that he is capable of. Even Mancini threatened to sell him after not just the red card versus the Gooners but for stamping on another player’s, head which he got away with.

Now that Mario is a year older, let us all hope that he keeps a cool head, for he is brilliant when he is on form. Nothing would please me more than to see Mario have a great season with City!

By the way, the player who was with Feyenoord on loan from City is John Guidetti, I think that he is one for the future.

In Mancini I trust!

P.S. Just watched Ireland vs. Italy and Balotelli scored an absolutely brilliant goal; immediately a fellow Italian player put his hand across Mario’s mouth, to stop him from saying anything – good idea have team mates looking out to protect!

P.P.S. Check out:–and-he-might-snap

CTWD, Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


If anyone is interested in the actual video clip I put together from which the ringtone was extracted then here is on YouTube:

If anyone wants a copy of the clip here is a link to my dropbox to enable you to download the clip: was Dickov then along came Aguero.mkv

(I did it this way because it is a bit too big (13.7MB) to send as an attachment that most e-mail clients can’t handle)

The clip should open in your browser window for viewing. To save the clip (I am using Google Chrome as an example here) click on the tools icon (the ‘spanner’ top right in the browser) and click on ‘Save page as…’ that will open a save dialog box where you can save the actual clip on your PC. In Firefox it would be – click on ‘File’ then ‘Save Page as…’ and other browsers have similar functions.

Jack Millington, #Champ1-6ns <jack(at)>


Following on from Peter’s post in MCIVTA 1832, I’ve been informed by another fellow Blue that are doing it for £11.99 + free delivery – CHAMPION!

Helena Hulme <helena.hulme(at)>


If anyone is doing a Euro 2012 Panini sticker album please could they get in touch to arrange swaps?

Nick Phillips <nf.phillips(at)>


No doubt this will change dramatically when the TV listings are announced but the new season’s Premier League fixture list is as follows:


18 Southampton (H)
25 Liverpool   (A)


 1 QPR         (H)
15 Stoke       (A)
22 Arsenal     (H)
29 Fulham      (A)


 6 Sunderland  (H)
20 West Brom   (A)
27 Swansea     (H)


 3 West Ham    (A)
10 Tottenham   (H)
17 Aston Villa (H)
24 Chelsea     (A)
27 Wigan       (A)


 1 Everton     (H)
 8 Man Utd     (H)
15 Newcastle   (A)
22 Reading     (H)
26 Sunderland  (A)
29 Norwich     (A)


 1 Stoke       (H)
12 Arsenal     (A)
19 Fulham      (H)
29 QPR         (A)


 2 Liverpool   (H)
 9 Southampton (A)
23 Chelsea     (H)


 2 Aston Villa (A)
 9 Wigan       (H)
16 Everton     (A)
30 Newcastle   (H)


 6 Man Utd     (A)
13 West Brom   (H)
20 Tottenham   (A)
27 West Ham    (H)


 4 Swansea     (A)
12 Reading     (A)
19 Norwich     (H)

Phil Alcock <philipalcock(at)>


Final League table

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 38  64  89 *CHAMPIONS*
 2 Manchester Utd  38  56  89
 3 Arsenal         38  25  70
 4 Tottenham H.    38  25  69
 5 Newcastle Utd   38   5  65
 6 Chelsea         38  19  64
 7 Everton         38  10  56
 8 Liverpool       38   7  52
 9 Fulham          38  -3  52
10 West Brom A.    38  -7  47
11 Swansea City    38  -7  47
12 Norwich City    38 -14  47
13 Sunderland      38  -1  45
14 Stoke City      38 -17  45
15 Wigan Athletic  38 -20  43
16 Aston Villa     38 -16  38
17 QPR             38 -23  37
18 Bolton Wndrs    38 -31  36
19 Blackburn R.    38 -30  31
20 Wolves          38 -42  25

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1833