Newsletter #1853

An interesting edition tonight ahead of our Capital One game with Aston Villa this evening.

Some contrasting opinion and debate over our current form, a comprehensive match report from Phil B and a timely update on Dave’s Fantasy Football League.

Word in the press of changes being rung in the line-up tonight with the likes of Suarez, Razaq and Scapuzzi coming into contention. Sadly, no return for Stephen Ireland though who injured, possibly broke, his arm at the weekend.

Which should hopefully make for some entertaining fayre for those of you in attendance. For those not, highlights will be on tomorrow night on BBC1 at 23:15 BST.

Next Game: Aston Villa, Capital One Cup 3rd Round, Etihad Stadium, 25 September 2012, 19.45


Autumn is upon us, there is a slight nip in the air and City are still not firing on all cylinders. The Blues dropped valuable home points in this draw with Arsenal but we deserved no more as the visitors had more of the ball in this game. That said, both sides could have won had their finishing been better.

The Gunners dominated the first half but City had the first chance when Agüero cut in from the left and hit a fierce low drive that stung the gloves of the stretching Vito Mannone.

Arsenal had settled more quickly and moved the ball around smartly, with Santi Cazorla, Abu Diaby and the deeper Arteta dominating midfield. They could have taken the lead when the busy Ramsey opened up our defence with a perceptive pass inside to put Gervinho clean through. Luckily for us, the Ivorian with Brazilian-sounding name had a touch that was more Copa Cleethorpes than Copa Cobana and we breathed a huge sigh of relief as Joe Hart gathered. Freddie Ljungberg or a Dennis Bergkamp would have buried that opportunity.

Joleon Lescott has begun the season in uncertain fashion and he was robbed on our left by Jenkinson, who outmuscled him and crossed but Gunner’s new skipper Podolski blazed over wildly.

Then Clichy had to make an excellent tackle in the box as Gervinho closed on Santi Cazorla’s pass after a mazy run by the diminutive Spaniard.

Gervinho was closer to breaking the deadlock after he cut in from the left, but his right foot shot hit the side netting. Arsenal fans celebrated what they thought was a goal to much mirth in our home sections.

Roberto tried switching his wide men: Silva came over to the left and Sinclair went over to the right.

City then took the lead against the run of play in the 40th minute, with Lescott redeeming himself when he headed in Silva’s right wing corner at the far post. It was a very skilfully-directed header, which was high and just inside the left hand post. Hopefully it will give Joleon a boost.

We could have been even further ahead before the break when Agüero cut in and played in Dzeko whose powerful, curling left foot shot was tipped over brilliantly by Mannone. It was only the merest of fingertips but it was enough to thwart our Number 10.

HT: 1-0

The second half can roughly divided in two: the first part dominated by City and the rest by Arsenal.

Sergio Agüero fired narrowly over from a tight angle after a Silva free kick was cleared to him. Silva then went on an exciting run to play Agüero in down the inside right position, but the City striker paid for being honest. He was clearly fouled in the box by Koscielny stayed on his feet, just, and despite being off balance, he forced a smart save from Mannone. Referee Dean should have blown for a penalty as our best chance to score had been thwarted by that foul. Fair play and big respect is due to Sergio though for his sportsmanship, but Dean made a mistake. This was another instance to disprove the misplaced view that foreign players are to blame for all the diving. There are at least two Englishmen in Trafford and the captain of Liverpool and England who don’t need an excuse to hit the deck.

Both sides attacked as the game opened up. Gervinho fired over after being played in by Cazorla.

Yaya Touré drove forward in on one of his trade mark exciting runs, but he delayed his pass slightly too late for Agüero whose shot was pushed round the post by Mannone. Yaya also dragged a couple of shots wide.

Amusingly, both sets of fans by the Kippax/South Stand corner joined to turn round and chant in unison to the $ky commentary box “Gary Neville is a w…” (you know the word, but if they’d called him a banker would it have been any less insulting?).

Arsenal started to dominate possession again as City retreated and surrendered possession in sloppy fashion. Roberto Mancini was clearly concerned about developments and he was deep in conversation with David Platt. Before they could make an adjustment, Cazorla went on one of his mazy runs and forced a brilliant save from Hart with a powerfully struck curling shot. It was to only be a temporary reprieve as the resultant corner was only partially cleared by Lescott and Koscielny drove Arsenal’s equaliser in. TV replays showed that the corner took a slight flick off Garcia’s head but we might have done better. Visiting players and fans celebrated loudly as if they’d won the League for what seemed like an eternity. How times have changed.

Both teams went for the jugular and could have won it late on.

Tévez’s corner was too long but the ball was headed back in by Silva. Kompany showed great skill to chest the ball down and shoot a fierce overhead kick, which Mannone did well to stop. A defender’s failed clearance fell to Agüero who took a touch and fired just wide. How frustrating.

Arsenal’s chance came when the marauding Gibbs played in Gervinho but the Ivorian’s finish was high and wild: more Aberystwyth than Abidjan.

City paid the price for not putting our chances away after the break, but a draw was a fair result though. While neither side really deserved to win this game, we are still disappointed as we had enough chances to put the game to bed at 1-0. As the game went on, though, we again defended too deep and invited pressure. Surely attack is the best form of defence? We should be confident and remember we are the Champions!

Our passing out of defence was sloppy far too often in this game, particularly in the last twenty minutes. Bad habits are easy to pick up but harder to lose. No one player played particularly badly here but it is to be hoped that we improve our passing and are bold enough to push out and press our opponents further up the pitch. Also we will be better when we play at a higher tempo. More hard work is required in the training ground to work on our collective positional play when we don’t have the ball.

Plenty for Roberto Mancini to ponder but ultimately it is up to the players to deliver.

A difficult trip to Fulham beckons and we need to pick up three points there to keep up with the pace at the top.

Some things are more important than Football. We paid our respects to WPC Fiona Bone and WPC Nicola Hughes who were murdered in Hattersley this week. Our thoughts are with them and their families at this time.

1-0 (Lescott 40)
1-1 (Koscielny 82)

Att: 47,318

Hart: Made a very good save to thwart Cazorla, had no chance with the goal: 7
Zabaleta: Solid enough, some good aggressive tackles to win the ball back: 7
Kompany: Had a good game, read it well, was dominant in the air. Unblemished save for one misplaced pass out of defence: 7
Lescott: Unlike him to be muscled off the ball, but he took his goal well. Might have done better with the header that led to Arsenal’s goal but it did take a slight deflection before reaching him: 6
Clichy: Slow to anticipate Gervinho’s run in once before the break and over hit one cross after, but otherwise played a great pass to set up Agüero down the left and read the game very well, tackled sharply and covered well: 7
Silva: Industrious in attack and defence, his passing was incisive and Arsenal’s defenders had to be at their very best to intercept some of his clever work: 7
Yaya Touré: Didn’t really have his shooting boots on but still a massive, skilful presence in midfield: 7
Javi Garcia: Worked hard, made tackles and won headers when needed. Adjusting to the pace: 6
Sinclair: One thrilling run aside, he didn’t really make an impact here: 5
Agüero: It was good to see him back, using his pace to good effect. All it needed was a goal: 7
Dzeko: Led the line superbly well and was very unlucky not to score. His touch was good and he looked like he had found his rhythm again: 7 (Man of the Match)
Rodwell (for Sinclair 45): Steady: 6
Tévez (for Dzeko 68): Some good touches didn’t really get into the game: 6
Balotelli (for Agüero 85): n/a

Best Oppo: Santi Cazorla: Bright and inventive, he is a gem of a player shades Ramsey and Mertesacker: 8

Refwatch: Mike Dean: A below par afternoon for the country’s best referee: 6

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


It’s a big gracias to Joel, Aly, Mark and Jane for getting my tickets for the Bernabeu posted to Madrid and arriving so conveniently at the Post Office a mere 4 hours before kick-off!

Gracias to my son’s friend Emilio who was given a couple of serious neck nelsons by an Eddie Yates lookalike after our two glorious strikes three floors below us coz he’s a real Real fan and never winced.

Gracias Joe Hart for keeping us in the game first half.

Gracias to our City for giving us another memorable night of which we can be proud – my Spanish friends said you could only hear the City fans on TV.

Gracias to the Madrid supporters for giving David Silva such a send-off. Their way of thanking him for his superb performances with ‘La Roja’ and to say he’d always be welcome.

Gracias to the ‘Policia Nacional’ for not dislodging my two new hip replacements as they pushed me through the turnstiles!

Muchas gracias to Ernie, Phil and all the regulars, it’s a pleasure to read their pearls of wisdom.

I saw us lose at Crewe in the third only 14 years ago with Jinky Gheorgi, so a 3-2 defeat to the 9 time Euro Champs is not too shabby.

Harvey Marcus <Harvey(at)>


Settle down Glyn…

Your article in the 1852 Mk2 MCIVTA was alarmist at best and more likely ill-conceived.

Sure, we are all disappointed to lose after being 2-1 up with only minutes to go, but put this into perspective.

We were 2-1 up with minutes to go at Real Madrid. How could we have been playing so poorly and been so totally outclassed with this score? We are not yet at top form, but the season is long and this was our first defeat.

We don’t have players like Ronaldo and Di Maria, but we have a very different style of play, and let’s not forget that this style that Roberto has instilled has served us well thus far. We do have players like Sergio, Merlin, Yaya, Vincent and Joe.

This was an away fixture. Does it really surprise you that we did not press the ball as high as they did? Seldom does an away side do this and certainly not against top opposition.

Make your judgements after the home leg when we will be more expressive.

Don’t start talking about the “Old City”. This club is far removed from the problems of old. The “Old City” tag still belongs to a small group of supporters who have not got enough faith in Roberto and the squad. They have done so much for us already that they have more than earned my complete support and respect.

Adrian Kenny <lookwest(at)>


Having watched City this season, it’s been very obvious that we are not firing on all cylinders. Most, if not all the recent matches have been patchy… excellent for 10 or so minutes and ropey for a lot of the time. There does not appear to be enough cohesion, especially in midfield… must be due to Barry and de Jong not playing.

We have been defending too deep, way too often, especially when the opposition is good, and this invites too much pressure on our defenders. We have to learn to press the ball higher up the pitch. Our defensive problems are allied to the inability of the midfield to boss the match, and Javi Garcia might prove to be a good player for the future, but currently he cannot match either Barry or de Jong, yet Mancini persists in playing him. Why is Milner not getting a game, he has so much energy and is a lot better than Garcia.

In my opinion, City did not buy well in the transfer window, and way, way too late. What we needed, was a good backup centre half (we now have Nastasic), a very quick winger – someone like Aaron Lennon or Walcott, as we don’t have pace down the flanks. It was so noticeable when Arsenal counter- attacked, they did it with pace – look how Jenkinson bombed down the right, or Gervinho through the middle: we could not handle them. Everything with us is way too slow, allowing the opposition to flood back. As good a goalkeeper that Hart is, his kicking is very poor, for an international standard ‘keeper. Kompany is not as assured as he was last season, neither is Zabaleta… maybe it’s early days!

Maicon is player in decline, and it’s amazing we bought him. Even as cover for the injured Richards. Considering we were after Eden Hazard, why did we not look at a player like Santi Cazorla? Surely Silva must know which Spanish players he could advise Mancini to look at? Why buy Jack Rodwell when you needed a “quality attacking midfielder”, someone like Mousa Dembele or Fellaini… it staggers me!

Then we have Mancini and Balotelli, always some argument or disagreement. In my opinion, we should have flogged Balotelli when we had the chance, and bought a player we can rely on, someone without all the histrionics… someone like Piazzini or anyone who gives a bit more on the pitch than Mario (can you tell I don’t like him?).

Finally I will end by saying… don’t you think Mancini’s interviews are as bad as Capello’s? Again in my opinion, he rarely answers the question or just states “the opposition, they are difficult!” It would be better to have David Platt conduct the post-match interview.

Apologies if I appear to be quite negative but, considering we are the Champions and are supposed to have strengthened for this season… well, I don’t see too much to get excited about. Mancini does not really know his best team… it’s been a slow burner!

Come on City!

Glyn Albuquerque <Glyn.Albuquerque(at)>


You can see why the great Roberto was so vexed with our purchase policy. Bringing everyone in on the last day of the window has really unsettled the squad. We have no clear idea of who fits where and they are clearly not comfortable with each other as they need time to acclimatise to each other. We have not given one solid performance and are really not settled. The flow is not there, the drive and the confidence are intermittent.

I confess to being relieved and impressed by Matija NotSavic. I reckon the lad had a bright future for us. I cannot work out (as I have said before) what is going on in terms of formation. Milner has excelled for Hodgson and cannot even get on the bench for us. That worries me a bit. Silva is way off and I still await some consistent form from Nasri to convince me that he should be a first choice player. Sergio is struggling to come back and Mario has yet to perform. Vinny made a dreadful mess of the Madrid game but is allowed an off day because of the rest of the time. Lescott has lapsed into his habit of giving a crucial ball away at crucial times. Maicon is no more than a journeyman these days and I hope Micah is soon back to his magnificent best.

The whole thing is just a bit untidy and ragged. Yet, we are undefeated in the League and are showing the resilience to fight into Fergie-time for a result. If we were not Champions, we’d probably be content with the start. As it is, it’s all a bit messy.

Hopefully, we’ll get rhythm pretty soon and it will start to flow, but we don’t look convincing so far. What troubles me most is the nagging doubt about the last time we were champions. Our only response was to buy Bobby Owen (I never did get that) and we went off the boil, flopped in Europe and generally disappointed.

I am getting anxious for us to produce a sublime performance and show that we are not a shadow of our former selves.

Martin Hunt <martin.hunt(at)Wales.GSI.Gov.UK>


I have one ticket for the Fulham game. I’m unable to make it as I’ve been invited to a wedding and loyalty to friends trumps loyalty to City in this particular case. Please contact me if you are interested.

The ticket is a covered seat in the neutral end halfway back next to City supporters section. £56.25.

Glenn Chilcott <glenn.chilcott(at)>


I’m trying to gauge numbers for our first meet up/social. It will be very informal, just another excuse to meet and have drink with fellow Blues.

We are meeting at 7.45pm on Friday 28th Sept. at the Poole Ex-Service Men’s Club, Royal British Legion, 66 North Road, Poole, BH14 0LU.

Contact Rob at <robclarke18(at)> in advance to help gauge numbers.

Peter Birbeck <pjb1946(at)>


Next Points of Blue will be Tuesday 9 October, 6.30 p.m. at the Etihad (room yet to be decided).

Let me have any questions beforehand – if you want an answer there and then.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)>


So after game week 5 who are the movers and shakers?

The early league leaders are Daniel Halfpenny’s ‘SheikhaMakers’. Their score of 325 points actually ranks them at 19,354th out of a total of 2,389,179 on-line players, and 252nd out of the 38,349 players registered as Man City fans. Not too shabby at all.

In second place are Ayoob Khalid Hussain’s ‘ﺎﻠﺨﻴﻟﺓ ﺎﻠﻓﺍﺮﺴﻳﺓ’. However I have to report a yellow card here for the inclusion of van Persie in their squad. Two yellows is an automatic sending off. Mend your ways.

In third place are Kelvin Stephen’s ‘Kelvin’s Blues’ and in fourth place Michael Sokol’s ‘Heinz 58 Varieties’, both front runners last season if memory serves correct.

Keep an eye on new entry Prabhat Shrestha’s ‘Geezers’ who are bottom of the league courtesy of it being their first week but kicked off with an impressive 72 points, second only to Nikhil Gomes’s ‘Fat Chancers’ who top-scored with 78 points this week.

Ruari McLoughlin may, or may not, want to know that the most common team name amongst City fans is ‘Agüeroooooooooo’ with variations. Still, who could ever tire of hearing that?

There are now 92 teams subscribed to the MCIVTA league, so a big increase on last season.

In the Head2Head league after game week 4 there were 7 teams with a 100% record. This was scythed to 3 teams after game week 5. ‘Kelvin’s Blues’, Steve Wright (in the afternoon?)’s ‘Wrighty’s wrong uns’ and Kjartan Aanestad’s ‘CityTED’ left to contest a flawless record for game week 6.

The H2H league really does add another dimension as it’s all about who you are playing that week. A good score can still see you lose and a bad score can still be a win. I’m desperately looking for excuses as I languish with zero points from 5 games having been unfortunate with my match-ups.

There are 60 teams registered for the H2H league.

Now all we need is City to start winning and keeping clean sheets to boost everybody’s points tally.

Dave Kilroy <davekil(at)>


23 September 2012

Liverpool             1 - 2  Manchester United     44,263
Newcastle United      1 - 0  Norwich City          49,402
Manchester City       1 - 1  Arsenal               47,318
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 1  Queens Park Rangers   36,052

22 September 2012

Swansea City          0 - 3  Everton               20,464
Chelsea               1 - 0  Stoke City            41,112
Southampton           4 - 1  Aston Villa           30,713
West Bromwich Albion  1 - 0  Reading               23,854
West Ham United       1 - 1  Sunderland            33,052
Wigan Athletic        1 - 2  Fulham                19,284

League table as at 25 September 2012

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

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Philip Alcock)         :
News/rumour                      :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings by email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page/Twitter is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site. You can also follow on to get the latest updates.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at and the official club Twitter page at The club also has a facebook page at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club ( The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (

[6] Where can I find out about Points of Blue?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears on the club website under the “Fans” heading (

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

Live match commentary can be found on the club website. The Radio Manchester pre- and post-match phone-in is available on the web at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A useful site for North American viewers is

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with Usenet, a basic explanation is available here:

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Do any squad members have their own Twitter accounts?

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at!/MCFC/players

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth historical analysis try

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock,

Newsletter #1853