Newsletter #1910

Breaking news… we are not buying Cavani for £54 million! Thank heaven for that! He looks useful I’ll admit, but when I saw him running around like a headless chicken for Uruguay against Brazil he looked rather out of his depth.

Someone not out of their depth this past fortnight has been Isco. Some stunning performances for Spain U21 have turned this bright star into a hot property. There are rumours….only rumours… that he may be heading our way.

Please can everyone cross everything crossable that he does!

Some nice articles for you this evening together with an AND FINALLY from yours truly! Reaching for that trumpet…!

Next Game: 14 July Supersport United, Pretoria


I’m watching Spain Under 21’s play Italy in the Final and Isco has just scored a penalty for 4-1. He’s Osvaldo Ardiles re-incarnated. Same bandy/bow legs, the lot.

I still can’t get my head around the fact that my City are in competition with Real Madrid for the signature of the best player of his generation. Yes, he’s better than Neymar.

For someone of my generation it puts into perspective just how far City have come and, if he chooses City, I’ll be in Heaven.

This kid is going to be, in about 2/3 years, in that elite group that today has Messi, CR7 and Bale, in it. He was discovered by Jose Jimenez, Valencia’s Chief Scout (Jose also found David Silva and Juan Mata). Like them, because of Valencia’s dire finances, he was sold to Pellegrini’s Malaga and hopefully now on to us.

He’s a great playmaker already, with that great intelligence to find space where there is none, confusing the opposition a la Xavi, Iniesta and our own Silva. He scores great goals to boot. I’ve seen him dictate the play for Malaga, but the way he’s run the show for these Under 21’s is breathtaking.

He’s got three other very talented midfielders in the team (including Thiago Alcantara who’s scored three tonight) and they all have ended up as his “Water Carriers”. Obviously, the instruction to them is “just get the ball to Isco”.

He’s everywhere. One moment wide left, then wide right, then in the “hole”, then dropping back to receive deep to start off things. As I say, Osvaldo Ardiles re-incarnated. A full-pitch player.

He comes from a little village, overlooking Benalmadena on the Costa Del Sol, called Arroyo de Miel, which translates as “Stream Of Honey”. Please God, get him to choose City and bring to us that same stream of honey in goals, victories, trophies and fantastic memories.

Another thing in passing, coming from watching this Spanish Under 21 team beat everyone out of sight (and how Barça just keep producing from La Masia with teams and players all conversant with 4-3-3): it validates the long term planning of City’s owners and the current work of Ferran and Txiki.

This Under 21 team is based around 4-3-3 with a great playmaker and that is the formula now for all City teams within youth development, succession planning and Academy endeavours.

When the kids progress to the first team, this preparation allows them to play any formula/set up as prescribed by the then first team coach. Once comfortable with 4-3-3, you are able to adapt accordingly.

Only 8 weeks to go.

Pat Knowles <pjamk(at)>


This is laughable!

Welcome to Special Agent Gill.

I can’t wait for the legal challenge:

“UEFA give outgoing United chief Gill power to punish City and Co. if they fall foul of financial fair play. Former Manchester United chief executive David Gill has been handed power by UEFA to recommend bans on clubs such as rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.”

Phil Lines <phil.lines(at)>


Chris Cobb suggests fans might use ‘Volare’ to sing the name of our new manager. The extra syllable makes that rather clumsy in my opinion.

How about the ‘Hallelujah’ from Handel’s Messiah? Not the whole work, just the repeated word: “Pellegrini, Pellegrini, Pellegrini! Pellegrini, Pellegrini, Pellegrini!”

Not very imaginative, but it works.

I only hope we take to our new man and want to sing his name.

David Buxton <dbb26(at)>


I was stood outside the newly refurbished Kings Cross station. Stunning it looks too. It will be even better when the Plaza is completed at the front.

I was hoping for the arrival of any of numbers 63, 45 or 46 buses to take me down Grays Inn Road to where I work just near Chancery Lane… Sorry, you must think I’m a United fan right now. Fear not….. Manchester B&B and proud of it!

The 46 bus is a single-decker. Unfortunately, so is the 214, which heads in the opposite direction towards Islington and Liverpool Street. How do I know this? Because on Wednesday I got on it, so distracted by the book my head was in at the time!

Well that must have been one heck of distracting book I hear you cry (cupping hand to ear).

You would be right, it was.

It was Phill Gatenby’s fantastic new book “Teenage Kicks”. The painstakingly researched and imaginatively presented story of City’s 1986 FA Youth Cup winning squad.

Having been born in 1968, just a few days apart from Ian Brightwell, I followed these boys as they were living ‘my’ dream and progressing through the ranks and into the first team.

They pretty much rescued the club from a financial abyss and the situation we have today is in large part down to the platform these guys gave us.

What could not have been predicted though, is the variety of life-stories that these guys followed. The stories are beautifully recounted by Phill with insights that you simply cannot find elsewhere.

We all know of the journey of Paul Lake and, despite Paul being one of the stars of the squad, Phill G gives equal weight to the entirety of the squad and it’s a richer story as a result.

The tragedy of the young John Bookbinder being a case in point. I’ll not steal the thunder of the book but it is such a moving and beautifully related story that it puts this book in the simply ‘must read’ category for any Blue.

Phill, well done this is a tremendous read.

Phil Alcock <philipalcock(at)>


Final League table 2012 / 2013

                        P / GD / Pts
 1 Manchester Utd      38 / 43 / 89 CLQ
 2 Manchester City     38 / 32 / 78 CLQ
 3 Chelsea             38 / 36 / 75 CLQ
 4 Arsenal             38 / 35 / 73
 5 Tottenham Hotspur   38 / 20 / 72
 6 Everton             38 / 15 / 63
 7 Liverpool           38 / 28 / 61
 8 West Bromwich Alb   38 / -4 / 49
 9 Swansea City        38 / -4 / 46 ELQ
10 West Ham Utd        38 / -8 / 46
11 Norwich City        38 /-17 / 44
12 Fulham              38 /-10 / 43
13 Stoke City          38 /-11 / 42
14 Newcastle Utd       38 /-23 / 41
15 Southampton         38 /-11 / 41
16 Aston Villa         38 /-22 / 41
17 Sunderland          38 /-13 / 39
18 Wigan Athletic      38 /-26 / 36 R/ELQ
19 Reading             38 /-30 / 28 R
20 QPR                 38 /-30 / 25 R

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1910