Newsletter #1840

Another couple of friendlies under our belts since the last issue. An encouraging 2 0 win over Arsenal (thanks to Pat Knowles for the review below), then 3 1 against a Malaysia XI and a less resounding defeat to Paul Dickov’s Oldham – did anyone make it to that?

Mancini persisted with his 3-5-2 formation against Malaysia and the teamlined up: Pantilimon (Johansen 75 minutes); Savic, K Touré (Boyata 76 minutes),Zabaleta; A Johnson, Razak (Evans 64 mins), Suarez, Kolarov; Y Touré(Scapuzzi 58 mins); Tévez (Mancini 76 mins), Agüero (Lopes 70 mins).Today sees the squad back in Europe, playing Wolfsburg this evening anda game against Limerick on Sunday.Shortish issue today to without further ado, on with the show!

Next Friendly Game: Wolfsburg, Volkswagen Arena, Germany, 4 August 2012, 8.30pm
Next Official Game: Chelsea, Community Shield, Villa Park, 12 August 2012, 1.30pm


Because of non-returns and some still getting fit at Carrington, Mancini used his resources in a 3-5-2 formation, with Zaba and Kolorov as wing backs. It worked great. Whenever in possession, going forward, Z and K were right up the wings, causing Arsenal all sorts of problems.

Whenever under the cosh, they had a 5 man back line of Z, Kolo, VK, Savic and K. Particularly in the second half as Arsenal tried to get back in the game.

This could be interesting, as it clearly suits K, who was very good, not only going forward, but, surprise surprise, defending against Walcott then Oxlade-Chamberlain and the Arsenal full backs overlapping.

Perhaps that’s what he is. A wing back.

Having Savic tucked in behind/side of him obviously made him more confident and competent. Imagine him with Lescott there.

City were clearly the better team and were able to adopt tactics that reserved energy and play on the break more as the game wore on.

Pants in goal, was terrific. Second best goalie in the Premier League. Be hard to keep hold of him, once word gets out about this performance. Any Euro team needing a top class goalie will be on the case.

Zaba started where he left off. Scored from same position as QPR as Yaya played him in again. Overall a perfect performance from him.

Kolo gave a faultless performance too. Calm, strong and enjoyed playing besides two other CB’s, with Z as his RB when necessary.

VK as you’d expect. Nothing could get past him. Made it all look simple.

Savic was just Savic. 90% all OK, then a big blunder (Gervinho turnedhim in penalty area and VK to the rescue). Got to get someone in now toprovide cover in that position. Kolorov as above.

Three man midfield. Razak is not my type of player. Very industrious and putting pressure on opponents all the time. But nothing creative.

Biton on the other hand is my type. This kid is the next Sergio Busquets. Can do everything. Stopper and creative. His first touch is sublime. What they call at Barça “a half touch”. That is in one touch you both control and pass it perfectly.

Tall bloke, with a leap like Andy Carroll. Pants when he could, kicked out to him to head onto Tévez/Kun. Never worked yesterday but an interesting way to start an attack, getting the ball behind the opposition’s back four for the forwards to run onto. He also won one header at a corner, but put it wide.

He also broke forward in the inside left position, taking a great pass from Tévez, then feeding Yaya for the first goal. Not sure how old he is, but he looks ready for including in the first team squad.

In between those two was Yaya. Was able to get forward as per both goals and was the best player on the pitch.

Tévez and Kun were both short of that thing called match fitness. On many occasions, just a fraction out with pass, a shot or whatever. Interesting thing for me is that Mancini has started every game with Tévez and kept him playing nearly to the end.

That means to me he’s definitely staying. You watch. Tévez will have the best season of his life. He’s reached the golden age for a footballer. In two years he’ll be on the decline, but this and the next seasons will be his very best. Hopefully at City.

Patrick Knowles <patricknowles(at)>


I have read that Denis Tueart has expressed his opinion that if Robin van Persie should replace anybody then it should be Carlos Tévez. Had he said that 6 months ago I would have agreed, but things are different now. Carlos has shown towards the end of last season and in the recent friendly games how well he combines with Sergio Agüero. They are both Argentinian and obviously understand each other very well and could be a potent force in the upcoming season.

I wish he hadn’t said it because it might cause Carlos to become unsettled again after he had been expressing his happiness with Manchester City. In the end it may be wiser not to add any extra players and retain the existing squad, not only because of UEFA’s new rules on club finances, but also to maintain a settled squad which understands one another better. We do not want a repeat of what happened in 1972 when Malcolm Allison upset the balance of the team by buying Rodney Marsh, when City were looking good for another League Championship victory.

Philip van Gass <philipvangass(at)>


Greetings from a US Blue.

I will be in town for the first time in 12 years for Sept 23rd game against Arsenal, so before I empty the account online I wanted to check if anyone had two seats available.

If someone could re-open The Welcome that would be appreciated as well (one long shot deserves another).

Otherwise I look forward to walking around Manchester with the same S*#! eating grin I’ve had since Dzeko and Agüero made it all possible.

Marc Anderson <manderson999(at)>


The collapse of the evil empire… delightful reading.

Joel Perry <joel.perry(at)>


Final League table

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 38  64  89 *CHAMP16NS*
 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 #1840