Newsletter #1862

Well mathematically… well you know… it’s not actually over… but… ok, I’ll shut up about it.

At least there was some fight in our comeback tonight but some crass marking (nothing to do with zonal systems, just individual failures to perform) cost us dearly. As did a perfectly good (in fact stunning) Agüero goal and a shocking penalty decision at the death, meaning the knock-out stages look like the longest shot since Pat Jennings in the Charity Shield circa 1967).

As an attempt to cheer you up, this edition is a bumper one with a really good spread of thought and opinion.

As ever, thanks to you all for your much-valued contributions.

Next Game: Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium, 11 November 2012, 13.30


City were unlucky in this game against Ajax; clearly they were the better team.

But goals at set pieces from corner kicks got Ajax two early goals: not the way to concede goals.

I might be a little old fashioned with all this technical stuff going around, but again I see no City players by the posts for corner kicks? Is it just me?

It put City up against it in less than twenty minutes.

City turned on the pressure in a fierce way, with some great effort from all the players.

In the last minute of play City were denied a penalty when Balotelli was clearly pulled by an Ajax player; it was just not City’s night.

Or indeed is it our time not to be in the Champions’ League? We are Champions of England but fail to show it.

Against Ajax we were very unlucky and did not get fair refereeing!

In the Champions’ League we just have not had the rub of the green.

It’s goals that decide games, and we just have not been good enough; with all the very good players that City have, no excuses.

Come on you Blues! In Mancini I trust!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


In a strongly-fought battle versus West Ham, City played some good football, but failed to score.

At times I just felt that City wanted to walk the ball in and score, but some efforts were made from outside the box.

There was a lot of good football despite it being a goalless game and City had the majority of possession.

Mario Balotelli missed a sitter early on in the game from about five yards; later in the second half he was substituted and went off in a temperamental mood.

I earlier mentioned that I was 50/50 as to Mario stays or goes; well now I am 100% that I would like to see him leave during the winter transfer window – he is a liability to the club.

I’m sure that Roberto Mancini will have tried very hard, and patiently, to get the best out of Mario Balotelli, but it looks as if it has all been in vain, he is a mystery.

Manchester City still the only English Premier League team with an unbeaten record so far!

Come on you Blues! In Mancini I trust!

P.S. I would like to see Roberto Mancini give his players a pat on the back when they do well. To have some discipline at the club is fine, but to rule with an iron fist does not create a happy dressing room . “My way or the highway” is not something that I like. It should be let us work this out together as a team!

Ernie Barrow <Britycityblue(at)>


The first half of this match was probably the worst 45 minutes I have watched City play for a very long time… just awful; you would never know we were the champions!

No energy, no desire, no pace, no action to speak of, just Hart coming to the rescue; you just have to ask why? All the anticipation of the “backlash” from the débâcle at Ajax… on the Richter scale this was a burp!

The second half was so much better. We were pressing much more, closing down in 2’s and 3’s – that’s how it should be every match. We desperately needed a goal, and thankfully Tévez scored with a thumping shot in the far corner… about the only time the Swansea ‘keeper was called into action. Due to 2 serious injuries there was over 12 minutes of injury time, and City needed a 2nd goal to calm everyone’s nerves, but as much as they huffed and puffed they got no way close. Swansea were always looking threatening on the break, and at times our defending was quite desperate. Well the whistle went, and we won 1-0… just… but still a very valuable 3 points, especially when we were well below par.

This match highlighted the following issues:

  • A lack of creativity in the team – no one is able to pick up the balland spray “killer passes” – when Silva is missing – (like Benarbia, Xavi,Iniesta, Gerrard)
  • Yaya Touré is playing well below par, and at times appears to bevery sluggish… how often does he go on one of his runs? Why not trysomeone else?
  • Gareth Barry is not quick or creative for a midfielder, or shall I sayhe is a lot slower now? How we miss de Jong, our pitbull!
  • We do not use the full width of the team, and have no pace or trickeryon the flanks (why did we buy Sinclair?)
  • We need to run at the opposition’s back 4, not just pass, pass,pass (have a look at Chelsea’s attacking quartet)!
  • Nastasic does not inspire me with confidence – does not appear to beany better than Savic!
  • We seem to have a problem on the left side of midfield: where is hewhen we are defending? Their right back plays like a winger? Why?
  • We don’t seem to want to shoot at goal – or when we do, it’s from 40yards out!
  • Balotelli is c**p! Was he better than Michu? I know whom I wouldprefer in our team.
  • As a team we have gone backwards this season (amazingly we are unbeatenin the league); our inadequacies are highlighted in the Champions’ League!

A lot of this is the down to the poor selection of incoming players. Ruud Gullitt eluded to this when he said sometimes City need to buy the players that will make them better, and not necessarily a big name but a quality player to strengthen the areas that needed strengthening, i.e. centre half, a creative midfielder, and a quick and tricky winger.

Kompany knew Hazard, Silva knew Cazorla!

Last week against WBA, Lukaku and Odemwingie gave our defence all sorts of problems in the last 10 minutes with their speed and trickery, and created enough chances for them to equalise… that’s exactly what we need!

It will be very interesting who Mancini decides to bring in, in January, especially when you see how badly we faltered last season just after Xmas!

Come on City!

Glyn Albuquerque <GlynAlbuquerque(at)>


While multiple officialdom clearly denied City a perfectly good Agüero goal, and a blatant penalty for the shirt tugging on Balotelli, neither refereeing deficiency is any excuse for an appalling defensive performance in the first half.

Both Ajax goals were the result of errors you can see every weekend when the pub teams play – I know because I play on one. How can a steel wall defence like City’s deteriorate so badly from one season to the next?

Don’t get me going on Garcia. Was there one pass he didn’t deliver to an Ajax player?

Once again, Mancini was left in desperation mode – using all his offensive ammunition in an effort to rescue a game the team should have won. If I was the referee being berated by Mancini at the end of the game – a sad sight – I would have politely told him to go away and mentioned that his team wouldn’t have been in such a desperate, humiliating situation if it hadn’t self-destructed and conceded two really stupid goals in the first half.

Chris Cobb <cobsun(at)>


So what if Roberto Mancini was talking to Monaco and one or two other clubs during last season with regards going there if he lost his job here?

Had he been sacked he would have been out of a job, so he had every right to look out for himself. Most people would start looking round at other options in that situation. It did not affect his performance on his own job here, so it isn’t a problem even if certain elements of the press are trying to make something of it. Roberto is only doing what any person would do if they were in danger of losing their job. The most important thing was that he was doing the best job that he could here.

He proved that by winning the title.

Come on City at West Ham!

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


A couple of points from the West Ham match.

It seems to be unanimously agreed within the media that Kevin Nolan’s disallowed ‘goal’ was onside and thus should have stood. Now I know we are all guilty of bias towards our own team, and I’m no different, but even without my sky blue goggles I genuinely thought the decision was not unreasonable. Yes he was standing in line with Dzeko but whilst Edin was standing fully upright, the West Ham midfielder was leaning in to an extent that any linesman would be likely to flag.

Is Mancini finally running out of patience with Mario?

If we go after a new striker in January (rumour has it that we’ll be in a shoot out with Chelsea for Falcao) then will this spell the end of Balotelli’s time with us?

At the end of last season it was presumed that Dzeko would be on his way but he’s showing great confidence – thus playing well – this season. Again he was one of our best players on Saturday. Meanwhile, on two occasions Balotelli comically (or it would have been had it not been us) missed sitters right in front of goal, one which he kicked straight into the air, the other he produced an air shot, both of which had me wishing it were Agüero… or Tévez… or Dzeko on the end of.

After all the superlatives that were hurled his way following his Euro performances, it is clear that we are being short-changed by him and his sulky half-heartedness this season.

Steve O’Brien <bodsnvimto(at)>


Why all the doom and gloom? This is how the story goes.

  1. City win our last three games (ED – oh well!)
  2. Dortmund beat Madrid and Ajax again (ED – oh well x 2)
  3. Ajax vs. Madrid, the result is unimportant (ED – yes but perhaps not in the way you hope for Ian!)

The end table is:

1. Dortmund w. 4 d. 1 l. 1 pts 13
2. City     w. 3 d. 1 l. 2 pts 10
3. Madrid   w. 3 d. 0 l. 3 pts  9
4. Ajax     w. 1 d. 0 l. 5 pts  3

Other results from the Madrid vs. Ajax game have no effect on the finishing order and only have effect who plays Europa League.

So always look on the bright side of life.

In one of the last issues someone said that the Champions’ League was less important than the FA Cup or the Premier League. I think that for the sort of players that City now want to attract, the fact that we are consistently in the CL and may have a chance of winning is very important.

Ian Nixon <i.nixon(at)>


I totally agree with Phil Alcock in his review on Gary James’ wonderful book, Manchester The City Years. It is very well written and I am loving reading it.

There is so much to learn about our dear club in Gary’s book, and it brings back so many memories. Indeed it would make a great Christmas or birthday present. Take a bow (again!), Gary. It is the definitive book on City.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I was delighted to read the review of “Manchester The City Years” by Phil in the last MCIVTA newsletter. It really is appreciated. Thanks (ED – No worries Gary, the book is a belter IMHO).

MCIVTA has been an ever-present in my life since the 90s – I remember referring to it and quoting it in my 1997 book “Manchester: The Greatest City” and so it really does mean a lot when I see a review of my latest book here.

MCIVTA, like the fanzine King Of The Kippax, has been a valuable resource for City fans throughout the last two decades. Today, with dozens if not hundreds of blogs, forums and so on, it is worth remembering that back in 1994 when MCIVTA started there was very little City material on the Internet or available via emails.

I have been a big fan of MCIVTA ever since I first accessed it, probably in 1995-96. Throughout those dark and depressing days that followed MCIVTA allowed us all to share our interest, frustrations and hope for the Blues. Somehow it made the pain of City’s struggles more bearable.

I know a lot of people have contributed to MCIVTA over the years and I feel that everyone who has been involved with the production of it deserves our thanks. Thank you.

As I said earlier, thanks for the review of “Manchester The City Years”. Dozens of copies of the book have been sent out to journalists and, so far, none of the nationals have reviewed it at all. In fact most of the publicity has come directly from the fans, so thanks to anyone and everyone who has helped with this.

The book contains half a million words, over 400 illustrations and over 600 pages. Every season is covered and I’ve interviewed over 100 players, managers, chairmen, officials and most importantly fans in the course of my research for it. Copies are available via my publisher or any major book chain.

Thanks again.

Gary James <gary.james(at)>


I am probably drawing a long bow, but worth a try. I recently visited Manchester, unfortunately for rather sad reasons, as it was to attend my sister’s funeral. While I was there I managed to visit the Etihad for the first time in my life and watch the Arsenal game.

During my visit to the game I lost one of my hearing aids, probably during the excitement of just being at the hallowed home of the greatest football team who I and my family have supported for generations.

This is where I need help.

I walked to the ground from my brother-in-law’s home in Droylsden via the footpath from The Pig on The Wall coming out at the Hadden Hall. We then walked down North Road and entered the ground from Ashton New Road opposite the Asda superstore and made our way toward the area where the police set up the cordon post-match. We did stop briefly and sat on the concrete seats in the gravelled area just before the programme booth. We watched the game from the Family Stand in Block “R” and at half time I noticed that one was missing.

As I said, I am probably drawing a long bow, but if anybody recalls seeing anything like this in this area or has possibly handed it in somewhere I would appreciate the info. I have checked with the Greater Manchester Police and also the Club. Thanks in advance to all you McVittees.

Graham Jones, Downunder Blue Till I Die <lgj69(at)>


Pleased to announce that we’ve given birth again and KOTK number 201 should hit the outlets – Aleef and the National Football Museum on Friday afternoon, at West Ham and subsequent home and away games.

It’s the usual A4 48 page issue, priced at £2.50 and can also be purchased direct for £3.80 from (cheques to) King of the Kippax, 25, Holdenbrook Close, Leigh, WN7 2HL.

Front cover has a James Bond theme and KK 201 includes a comprehensive review of Gary James’ book Manchester the City Years, articles on Atmosphere, National team, Chimps league, John Bond, referees, Kick it out, the Brit to the Bernabeu, Non-League day, Football Snobbery, Shindler’s (book) List, Daily diary, City’s academy, Racism, Tommy Caton, future and past matches… etc.

Sue Wallace <dw001e8104(at)>


First Ferran Soriano joined City from Barça, a replacement for Garry Cook as Chief Executive.

As from Sunday, Txiki Begiristain will replace Brian Marwood as Football Director.

I think that Roberto Mancini will like working with Txiki, reports always seemed to have Mancini and Marwood not working together very well in the transfer market.

As a City fan all that I can say about the last transfer window is City have a team from last season that were Champions; all we needed to do was bring in quality and not quantity!

Now Roberto Mancini will be alerted that if he underperforms, that due to the Barça influence now being at City, Pep Guardiola is available after his rest, being a successful manager at Barça. As things stand I see no reason for Mancini to be replaced and he has just signed a new five year contract!

Come on you Blues!

In Mancini I trust!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Does anybody still have a VHS machine?

I have 9 City video cassettes, mainly from the 90s and early 2000s, which are surplus to requirements. If interested please contact me direct and I will supply a detailed list.

Steve Willis, Stalybridge <woodside2(at)>


After a ticket for the Tottenham game.

If you can help please let contact me at the address below.

St. John Cox <stjohn.cox(at)>


Excellent article by Nadim Bedran in The Sabotage Times.

The point he makes about Mike Riley is telling:

“Riley’s bias was so suspected when he was awarded the Everton vs. Man Utd FA Cup Semi-Final to officiate in 2009, David Moyes actually called for an investigation on whether Riley was a United supporter. This is the man who now decides which Premier League games to assign to referees.”

We’ll probably have Clattenberg for the next derby game!

Dave Ball <david.fx.ball(at)>


4 November 2012

Queens Park Rangers   1 - 1  Reading               16,797
Liverpool             1 - 1  Newcastle United      44,803

3 November 2012

Manchester United     2 - 1  Arsenal               75,492
Fulham                2 - 2  Everton               25,699
Norwich City          1 - 0  Stoke City            26,072
Sunderland            0 - 1  Aston Villa           41,515
Swansea City          1 - 1  Chelsea               20,527
Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 1  Wigan Athletic        35,534
West Ham United       0 - 0  Manchester City       35,005

League table as at 7 November 2012

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  10  12  24
 2 Chelsea         10  12  23
 3 Manchester City 10   9  22
 4 Everton         10   6  17
 5 West Brom A.    10   4  17
 6 Tottenham H.    10   3  17
 7 Arsenal         10   7  15
 8 Fulham          10   5  15
 9 West Ham Utd    10   2  15
10 Newcastle Utd   10  -2  14
11 Swansea City    10   1  12
12 Liverpool       10  -2  11
13 Wigan Athletic  10  -5  11
14 Norwich City    10 -10  10
15 Stoke City      10  -2   9
16 Sunderland       9  -3   9
17 Aston Villa     10  -6   9
18 Reading          9  -6   5
19 QPR             10 -11   4
20 Southampton     10 -14   4

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1862