Newsletter #1843

Here we go again!

Having bounced along all Summer on a Champions-high, it’s now time to face the challenge of defending our title. One senses it could be the mother of all scraps. That lot will be hell bent on wrenching the Title back from our grasp and none of us doubt our own strengths and capabilities to tough it out with them to the last. Let’s just hope the ‘last’ isn’t the 94th minute of the last game again… or actually… well, it was rather good wasn’t it! Enjoy the season folks, we’ll be keeping you right in the picture as always and looking forward to your contributions along the way.

Next Game: Southampton, Etihad Stadium, 19 August 2012, 4.00pm


Well it’s great to be back and very strange being top dog and still favourites. Unlike most, it seems, I have been very uneasy at the idea of signing van Persie. Given his age, injury record and showing in the Euros, I’m not convinced he could reproduce last season’s performance and we should settle for nothing less for the money it would cost.

Besides, why exactly do we need him?

Best case scenario would be for him to be another expensive flop at the Swamp. Worst case would be for him to go there and do the business, so I am rather sticking my neck out.

The one glaring weakness in our squad remains cover at centre half and it is a worry that we haven’t even tried to plug such a huge hole. I can’t share Phil B’s optimism that Savic was more promising on Sunday. I saw a lad off pace, confused, clumsy, lucky to go off with just a booking and at times a frightening liability.

I don’t think we gave Boateng a chance (and he doesn’t look bad now he has regular first team outings) and Boyata was hung out to dry for his derby gaffe whilst Savic simply goes from cock-up to calamity.

We can’t hope for Lescott and Vinnie to go all season without interruption, so we really need cover. I’d much rather have Nigel de Jong there than Savic. Worth keeping him for that until we recruit a suitable specialist.

Still, whatever “typical City” moments we will have this season, they will be fleeting and hopefully less disastrous than in previous years. We seem to have left that one for now and long may it continue.

Martin Hunt <martinhuntctid(at)>


Just want to drop a heartfelt thanks to everyone who so kindly responded with offers of help to supply a DVD-R copy of the season closing match against QPR. Everyone was really great and I appreciate all offers of copies and also links to great footage on YouTube as well.

Special thanks to Ged Wilson for supplying me with a great copy all at his own expense and again thanks to the McVittee family for the response to a needy Blue.

Cheers Blues.

CTID, Neil Higson <neil.higson(at)>


I am writing to let you know of a new smartphone app developed for the Football Writers’ Association. “Beat the Writers” gives football fans the chance to pit their wits against some of Britain’s top football writers by predicting the scores of each weekend’s biggest games.

Andy Dunn of the Sunday Mirror, Steve Bates of The People and Patrick Barclay of the London Evening Standard are among the writers taking part and fans can make their predictions before each weekend’s games and see how they got on after the games have finished.

The full list of participating writers is:

  • Patrick Barclay (London Evening Standard)
  • Steve Bates (The People)
  • Jason Burt (The Telegraph)
  • Shaun Custis (The Sun)
  • Andy Dunn (Sunday Mirror)
  • Des Kelly (Daily Mail)
  • Matt Lawton (Daily Mail)
  • Martin Lipton (Daily Mirror)
  • Jonathan Northcroft (The Sunday Times)

The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Paul Bullock <paul.bullock(at)>


Just wondering if I can use MCIVTA to give a shameless plug for my latest book – The talkSPORT book of PREMIER LEAGUE LEGENDS (Simon and Schuster, 2012).

Launched today, it details the 100 figures within the game who have earned the epithet ‘Legend’ but also includes a section dedicated to one player from each of the 45 teams that have played at least one season in the 20 years of the Premier League.

Despite supporting the champions, it was still a difficult book for a City fan to edit (given that we were rubbish for the majority of those 20 years while a team from Stretford enjoyed some limited success) but I hope there’s something in there for all football fans – including those who remember life before the Premier League.

The talkSPORT book of PREMIER LEAGUE LEGENDS is available at Amazon and in all good book stores.

P.S. I notice we’re seventh in the alphabetical league placings. Mancini out!

Bill Borrows (Twitter #billborrows)

AND FINALLY… Reflections on 13 May (and 1968)

I am not sure the dust will ever quite settle after that day. It seems to have reverberated around football. I said to a delighted Liverpool fan at work that I didn’t think I would ever see that sort of day again in my lifetime and he said “I don’t think any of us will!”

I am 58 and was lucky enough to be at St James’ Park in 1968 where I celebrated with my late dad. On 13 May I was with my 18-year-old son. So the moment that goal went in was poignant and unforgettable. I found myself hugging my son and the two blokes behind us in a dance of joy. My son disappeared and re-appeared on the pitch a few seconds later. All around people were shaking their heads in disbelief, as I had been doing – when I was not pulling out tufts of hair – for the last 35/40 minutes. And the fact that we pipped not any club – but United – just as we had in 1968. Disbelief was the theme from 4:20 to 4:55.

We all have our memories of the day, but I decided not to drive and I treated myself to a few drinks beforehand in the Waldorf, where I met an old friend with whom I had watched the 6-1 in London. He had no ticket but came up to watch the game in a Manchester pub. Post-match, I rounded off with red wine and champagne and beer (I am a great advocate of moderation in all things except excess) with the extended family in Didsbury, before being royally chauffeured home by my wife. We drove past the Crown in Didsbury and we were greeted with waving scarves and whoops of joy. We stopped in Northenden for petrol and a bloke got out of his car and came and shook our hands.

The contrasts with 1968 are marked. We can now watch the game on a loop if we wish but in 1968, as naturally United were on Match of the Day even though the title was for City to win, if you missed Granada on Sunday afternoon that was emphatically that. There is now only grainy footage on YouTube of the sort of quality you might expect from old film of the Russian revolution.

There were no tickets for the game in 1968 – we just drove up on spec. My cousin and I were chased by some Newcastle fans as we walked round the centre and we took refuge in a cinema – at the time my dad and uncle were in a pub having a pint and helping themselves to free tripe (I kid you not). My dad said we must have stopped at every pub from Newcastle to Manchester on the way home. Unlike this May, in the game itself we were never behind, however tense it was. I was in the great bank of supporters on the opposite side to the TV cameras. The team then was mainly local and home grown. Everything a world away from now.

My favourite clips from 13 May are as follows. First, the cream of the crop, a very professional compilation, including great soundtrack and brilliant interviews with fans:

Gillette Soccer Sunday also tells the story of the afternoon in memorable clips:

Chris Cassin <chriscassin(at)>


                    P  GD Pts
 1 Arsenal          0   0   0
 2 Aston Villa      0   0   0
 3 Chelsea          0   0   0
 4 Everton          0   0   0
 5 Fulham           0   0   0
 6 Liverpool        0   0   0
 7 Manchester City  0   0   0
 8 Manchester Utd   0   0   0
 9 Newcastle Utd    0   0   0
10 Norwich City     0   0   0
11 QPR              0   0   0
12 Reading          0   0   0
13 Southampton      0   0   0
14 Stoke City       0   0   0
15 Sunderland       0   0   0
16 Swansea City     0   0   0
17 Tottenham H.     0   0   0
18 West Brom A.     0   0   0
19 West Ham Utd     0   0   0
20 Wigan Athletic   0   0   0

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1843