Newsletter #1893

Everton… so predictable that I found it quite re-assuring in a perverse kind of way. Despite the surreal nature of the points difference between us and that lot (how has such an average side amassed so many points?), there are at least some things you can rely on!

A bumper issue tonight ahead of what is already looking a bumper ‘Special’ 1894 edition, which I’m planning to send out on Sunday morning for those of you planning to contribute.

However, that’s not what I want to draw your attention to. What is significant is that this 1893 edition of MCIVTA is brought to you from… the Alps!

As I type I’m looking out over the pistes of the French Skiing mecca of La Plagne and, having skied 5 hours in the sun today, I can honestly say I wish all future editions would have that whiff of Alpine air and Edelweiss!

As we reach a landmark, let’s have a hat’s off to young Svenn, who kick started this whole and rather remarkable e-phenomenon!

Next Game: Newcastle United, Etihad Stadium, 30 March 2013, 15.00


I have decided to write this report 24 hours after yesterday’s match as I was too disappointed to turn my PC on. I don’t think there were too many people surprised at what performance to expect from Everton after their Cup exit last week, bar our coaching staff and our players on the day.

If there is one trait you can label Everton with it’s hard graft and, from the first minute to the last, that is what each and every one of their players produced; compare the performances of the City players.

Ask yourself this: how many City players would get into the starting 11 of the Everton team? Not too many! Even though the Everton players are considered “lower” profile and probably, to a man, a lot less paid… more often than not they apply themselves, and put in a shift for their manager.

It has to be noted that we should have had a stonewall penalty, but for the incredible referee and linesman not being able to see where the foul was committed – that would have at least given us a point (assuming we scored the penalty?). Without doubt, Everton were generally first to everything and worked their socks off and deserved their victory.

As soon as I heard Yaya was not playing, I was thinking “Oh no, how are we going to boss the midfield… both Barry and Garcia are holding midfielders who hardly ever score or create anything.” Then I heard we were going to play with 3 at the back (probably because Wigan had done the same!)… why can’t we play to our strengths?

Mancini, why do you have to tinker with something that’s not broke? Then with Kolarov at left back, I just knew we were going to be pressed on that flank; he is just not good enough in that position. His taking of free kicks is reminiscent of the Brazilian Roberto Carlos: 1 in 30!

The following had such a poor game, it was unbelievable: Kolarov, Barry, Milner and Dzeko. You had Kolarov giving the ball away constantly when pressed, Barry was not much better and Milner, for all his industry, was just woeful. As for Dzeko, was he really bought for nearly £30 million? Absolutely rubbish.

Compare our squad to United’s: regardless of who is not playing, they have a habit of winning, because most of their fringe players are a lot better than our fringe players.

The way I feel right now (hopefully it’s only temporary), I cannot see us even holding on to 2nd place. Chelsea seem to be coming on strong, and we are lucky Spurs have thrown away 6 points. When are we going to play with a high tempo and plenty of pressing? It works for Barcelona, and look at Southampton – it’s working for them too!

If I was Mancini, I would insist that all the players give last week’s earnings to charity, because they did not earn them!

We really need some to make some big changes to this team if we are to challenge for honours next term!

In my opinion we need to offload the following: Kolarov, Dzeko, Maicon. Who knows how many will move on their own accord.

I really like the look of the young left back, Shaw, at Southampton – lots of pace – will probably end up at Spurs or Arsenal. We really need a centre forward with pace and a good touch who can hold up the ball well; Dzeko, more often than not, lacks all of these.

I really hope that the City management get over this 2nd horror show and the real City turn up for the rest of the matches.

Come on City, make me proud!

Glyn Albuquerque <glyn.albuquerque(at)>


City suffered a fourth successive defeat at Everton. It was the same old story. We just did not match Everton’s ferocious intensity and effort levels.

We could have been one down early on when Mirallas netted had it not been for an incorrect call from a linesman. TV replays revealed that Kolarov played him on by the merest margin. Not only were we struggling with Everton’s tempo and physicality, playing 3-5-2 disadvantaged us with Everton able to double up on the flanks, outnumber us and fire crosses in.

We seemed to have weathered the severe early storm and got some passing movements going. Dzeko twice stung the Everton stand-in ‘keeper’s gloves.

However, just after the half hour (which always seems a dangerous time for us at Goodison), Everton took the lead. Coleman played the ball back to Osman whose left foot shot curled away from the centrally placed Hart and into the top corner of the net. It was a great strike from a player who has curiously been overlooked by England until recently, and one can imagine if he played for Tottenham that he would have had many more caps by now than the solitary one that he has.

We did have our chances though. Zabaleta was twice denied by Everton stand-in ‘keeper Mucha at point blank range; Dzeko’s ball played in Tévez but Mucha was equal to that and Milner’s angled rebound.

Everton’s loss of Pienaar for raking his studs down Garcia’s shin disadvantaged them but their organisation, workrate and commitment saw them through. Application triumphed over ability again.

We should have had a penalty when Fellaini blatantly handled Tévez’s goal-bound shot. It was 2 yards in the box and Fellaini had his hands up and there was no valid reason why Lee Probert didn’t award a spot kick. Probert bottled it.

City cannot lay this defeat at the feet of an incompetent referee. The fact that Yaya was ruled out of this game with a migraine and Kompany and Agüero are still out through injury is not an excuse either.

We have a lot to be grateful to Roberto Mancini for, but he can do much better than this. When will he learn that 3-5-2 just doesn’t work for us? He was beaten tactically yet again by Moyes, who is no tactical genius despite his longevity in his post, and the very good job he has done at Everton. When will Roberto get our players to play a consistent pressing game? It was wrong for him to duck the post-match interviews and press conference. He must do better next time, and yes, he more than deserves a next time, given another transfer window and hopefully, the chance to get rid of the players who are not good enough and bring in some top quality replacements.

All in all, our performance was not good enough. We did not pass the ball quickly enough or well enough – at times the simplest pass went straight to an opponent. We also failed to get crosses in to test Everton’s recent weakness i.e. headed goals, particularly at set pieces (surely anyone scouting their calamitous defeat to Wigan would have picked up on this), and Heitinga is a stand in defender who is not noted for his aerial ability. Moreover, we will not get anything, let alone a win at Goodison Park (or against other teams who apply intense pressing tactics like Southampton) until we do match them for tempo, desire, workrate and physicality. In short: we must try harder.

Goals: Osman (32), Jelavic (92)

Att: 36,519


Hart: Punching not always the best. Had no chance for either goal though: 6
Zabaleta: Competitive and consistent whether it is at right back or right centre back. Might have scored if he had taken a shot first time: 7 (Our best)
Kolo Touré: Competed well with the physical Anichebe, and very unlucky to be replaced albeit tactically late on. Mancini’s comments ruing not signing another central defender are a bit off the mark, given the impressive performances recently from Kolo who deserves a new deal: 7
Nastasic: Generally did well, though Fellaini’s theatrics saved him from conceding a penalty: 6
Kolarov: Very slow and pedestrian defensively, he had a torrid afternoon up against Coleman. His free kicks were dreadful too: 4
Milner: Competed as hard as ever whether it was at wing back or wide right. It would be good to see him in his best position, central midfield, especially against opponents like Everton: 6
Garcia: Worked very hard and made some important interceptions. The Busquets/de Jong role suits him but we might be better with him pressing further up and trying to win the midfield battle: 7 (ED – We might be even better with him on the bench!)
Barry: His passing was woeful. Struggled with Everton’s intensity and was mercifully replaced: 4 (ED – largely as he is covering for Garcia!)
Silva: Always tried to create when he had the ball (which wasn’t enough through no fault of his own). On occasion he took an extra touch or played an extra pass when he could have shot: 6
Tévez: City’s best chance of a goal was always looking for openings. It is shame the service to him was inadequate: 6
Dzeko: Didn’t relish the physical battle at all but needs to get on with the game more rather than being a big mard-@rse. Some nice passes though: 6
Nasri (for Barry 70): Handed Barry’s central midfield role, he showed some nice touches but had no real impact on the game. Another opportunity missed: the exit door beckons. 5
Clichy (for Milner 83): Some uncharacteristically sloppy play. Gave the ball away for the 2nd goal: 5
Sinclair (for Kolo Touré 83): No impression in 8 minutes but his confidence must be through the floor. A move away is best for this dignified young man as he probably won’t get a game here: n/a (ED – I think we have messed this lad’s career up, he simply is not of the quality we need and he’ll probably have to take a step back just to get where he was)

Best Oppo:
Coleman: Teed up the impressive (if turf hugging) Osman for their first goal. Worked very hard up and down the right flank, tormenting Kolarov all afternoon. Crucially made a last ditch headed intervention to deny Tévez an equaliser. 9

Refwatch: Lee Probert: How can one man get so many big decisions wrong? We should have had a penalty and Everton were denied a valid goal (ED – Perhaps the linesman’s fault?) and a penalty. The one decision he got right was to send Pienaar off. At least he was not biased in this incompetent display: 2

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Everton beat City yet again at Goodison Park; ever since MCFC went against manager Moyes in pursuing the signature of Joleon Lescott, it has been a big game for Moyes to beat City and, so far, with success.

We have just lost an important game, that has taken us to 15 points behind the leaders. Roberto Mancini has not thrown in the towel, as long as it is mathematically possible we don’t give in. We must not look down on our team because they have lost a game but support City even more in all our future games.

To me as a City supporter now I want to see City win the derby game on April 8th at the Swamp, for City to win the FA Cup 2013 and to have a top four finish so as to compete in the Champions’ League in Europe next season.

Still a lot to play for and still an exciting season!

In Mancini I trust!
Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <BritCityblue(at)>


Well, wasn’t that shambles just so much a microcosm of our worst side throughout this season?

It would be very easy to say that the ref was against us, that we should have had a penalty and Fellaini should have been second man down the tunnel but that doesn’t detract one iota from just how much more Everton wanted to show up on the day.

The blue half of Merseyside are a (pun honestly not intended) blue collar team with just a couple of genuine stars yet they outworked, outplayed and outshone our bunch of world class players not playing as though they care to be seen as such.

Only Tévez, Zaba and Milner seemed prepared to bust a gut in the cause and if this sounds a tad down, I’m actually much better than I was last night. The Spurs defeat this afternoon cheered me up to a point. Had I sent in my thoughts straight after the match I’d probably have sounded as mightily merry as Morrissey with mumps and a migraine.

Whilst I’ve largely stayed out of the Mancini debate, surely he has to take some of the flak – I mean why-oh-why tinker with a defence that was working so well previously? Nevertheless, no manager should ever be blamed for such a lethargy bordering on ennui as shown by our not entirely underpaid on-field representatives.

Still, looking on the bright side, at least we’re better than we were in ’98 eh? Whoops, sorry Dave, that one just popped out; a clear case of accidental typing if ever I saw one!

Steve O’Brien <bodsnvimto(at)>


Like the rest of the faithful I can’t help feeling this morning, as I look out on a grey and miserable start to St Patrick’s day here in Christchurch, NZ, a bit flat and a sense of frustration after the result at Everton, meaning that bar a total implosion by the Rags, we have now kissed goodbye our chance of a successive Premier League title.

For me the reasons for this failure are not anything to do with Roberto Mancini, and once again the rumour mill has started about Mancini’s job, they are instead as follows:

  1. The selling of Nigel de Jong. Why? Well because with de Jong we had somebite in midfield, a scrapper, a player who got in there and won the ball,and who made the 50/50’s work for us; this year we have been toothless. (ED- Agreed!)
  2. The appointment of Brian Marwood. Why? I still cannot understand howhe got the job in the first place, and when you need the best person,to bring in the best, he was totally out of his depth! He lost us timeand opportunities. (ED – Agreed!)
  3. This connects to point 2, the failure to land van Persie. Now I’m surethis may be shouted down, but, look at the number of goals he has scored forthe Rags for a start, and this is the difference between us and them thisseason, and now £24 million is considered low, but we should have paidit, the club has it, let’s do, and then this… Re: Balotelli, the truthis a decision on Balotelli should have been made sooner last summer, andas much as I hate to say it RvP should have been brought in… (ED – Agreed!)

For me this season is not a disaster by any means. Okay the expectations are higher because of the last 2 years, but we are semi-finalists in the FA Cup and, if we can keep it together, will have another crack at the Champions’ League. Even the Rags and Ferguson didn’t always get it right, especially at the beginning of his tenure.

No, we stick with Mancini, get our act together off and on the field, and plan ahead for next season. (ED – Agreed!)

CTID, Peter Godkin <peterandness(at)>


In response to Gordon Hindle (MCIVTA 1892), the gist of the survey was to gauge the feelings of the supporters to the proposal of buying your seat at the stadium for life, which could then be passed on to the family at a cost which had not been determined.

You would still have to renew your seasoncard each year at additional cost.

The survey also said that you would not be forced to leave your existing seat should you not choose to purchase it under “Ever Blue”; you could, however, choose to move with some form of compensation given if you did choose to move.

It is just one of the ways the club is looking at to increase revenue streams to bolster turnover in view of the fair play regulations, so it would appear if you don’t want to buy your seat for life you can still sit in your existing seat so long as your continue to renew your seasoncard.

George Hamilton <georgehamilton(at)>


I’m heading over from Canada and would very much like to take in the game on March 30 and I wonder if any of the readers have two tickets available?

Chris Cobb <cobbsun(at)>


Reddish Blues’ next meeting will be on Thursday 28th March at Houldsworth WMC, Leamington Road, Reddish, Stockport, SK5 6DB, starting at 8.00pm (doors 7.30pm).

Our confirmed guests are Gary Owen, Dennis Tueart and Ian Cheeseman.

The following days is Good Friday so why not get your Bank Holiday weekend off to a great start with Reddish Blues. As always, everyone is welcome.

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)>


Yesterday, as mentioned, was such a miserable, miserable, miserable day for me – City’s woeful (non-)showing, then the RU (not that I’m into rugby but I hate seeing addled, furry, Welshmen singing in the hillsides at our expense when we were so close to top honours) and finally the overnight cricket conditions robbing us of a pretty sure-fire victory.

Just when I was starting to even consider our top four safety, Spurs this afternoon contrived to be even more abject than us. The equation is simple – if Bale (who was probably suffering today from being addled and singing in the hillsides last night) doesn’t show, Spurs don’t show. And, from our perspective, thank goodness for that!

Now we just need Rafa to weave his (ahem) magic so that Chelsea implode yet again.

Cheers and apologies/congrats to our brethren from that strange-spelling bit of Britain west of Shropshire and north of Devon.

Steve O’Brien <bodsnvimto(at)>


17 March 2013

Sunderland            1 - 1  Norwich City          38,625
Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 1  Fulham                36,004
Chelsea               2 - 0  West Ham United       41,639
Wigan Athletic        2 - 1  Newcastle United

16 March 2013

Everton               2 - 0  Manchester City       36,519
Aston Villa           3 - 2  Queens Park Rangers   38,594
Southampton           3 - 1  Liverpool             32,070
Stoke City            0 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  26,137
Swansea City          0 - 2  Arsenal               20,583
Manchester United     1 - 0  Reading               75,605

League table as at 21 March 2013

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  29  38  74
 2 Manchester City 29  25  59
 3 Chelsea         29  28  55
 4 Tottenham H.    30  14  54
 5 Arsenal         29  23  50
 6 Everton         29  11  48
 7 Liverpool       30  18  45
 8 West Brom A.    30   2  44
 9 Swansea City    30   2  40
10 Fulham          29  -4  36
11 Stoke City      30  -8  34
12 Norwich City    30 -18  34
13 Newcastle Utd   30 -11  33
14 West Ham Utd    29 -11  33
15 Sunderland      30  -9  31
16 Southampton     30 -10  31
17 Aston Villa     30 -25  30
18 Wigan Athletic  29 -21  27
19 Reading         30 -22  23
20 QPR             30 -22  23

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1893