Newsletter #1911

Well it’s no go Isco, and bye bye Carlos.

That’s a lot of talent not at the club that’s for sure! That said Wallace Poulter’s article in this edition are worth noting on the former and as for the latter, one of the most controversial and at times divisive figures in the club’s history has gone. That said… he really was one hell of a player for us.

Two exciting players have joined us though and no doubt more activity will ensue, not to mention endless speculation. Pleased we had the strength to walk away from the Cavani deal though one suspects we might revisit if the Napoli board take a realism pill.

Onwards and upwards…

Next Game: 14 July Supersport United, Pretoria


After months of speculation Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that he is joining us. His teams are known for playing a possession game rather than forcing the play. The principle of letting the ball do the work and having possession being less tiring than not having it applies where he is concerned. He has said that (in common with Mancini and unlike Mourinho) his team will not sit on a goal lead and will seek to score more goals. He has stated that he does not want his teams to dive, cheat or any other bad behaviour so his philosophy fits in well with Manchester City’s ethos.

It has been well documented that he has a reputation for getting the best out of his teams, having worked wonders at Villarreal and Malaga. He can be forgiven for being given the boot at the highly political Real Madrid, where two players were sold against his will as he arrived there. His Real team did, after all, obtain a club record 96 points, which was only surpassed by Barcelona that season.

As much as we love Roberto Mancini, one can only hope that Pellegrini gets our full backing and that we don’t hear chants of “Mancini” if or when we get a bad result. Everyone deserves a fair chance and I know that most City fans will give Pellegrini that fair chance.

P.S. – I am very proud of Adam Keyworth and his friends for taking the trouble to get an advert in Gazetta Dello Sport to say “Grazie Mancini, Per sempre uno di noi (always one of us) Once a Blue Always a Blue” and was happy to be one of the 800 or so that contributed in a small way to the cost of the advert, which was around £7,000. Gazetta themselves made a contribution. I admire Adam and his pals’ persistence and tenacity in getting the job done. They make me proud to be a Blue.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Just wanted to say “well done” to Begiristain and Ferrano for securing the transfer signatures of Cavani and Isco.

You’re doing a really good job there lads, your influence in the Spanish transfer markets is really paying dividends.


Thankfully with Gus Poyet finding out he has been sacked live on TV by the Sky Sports ticker news and Joe (or should that be Roy) Kinnear with his radio interview (from hell) making reference to Johann Kebab and then changing the name of the famous sports bar “Shearers” to Bar 9 (because Shearer criticised him), it looks like the muppet news is in overdrive and our seeming failure to land our targets is down the pecking order of things to have a pop at.

I must admit when Alan Shearer goes on record of saying he’s upset that Newcastle is becoming a laughing stock due to the behaviour of a board member then I have to chuckle and reminisce on the travails of old shredded wheat bonce Captain (Swales) Combover…

See you on Day 1 of the new season – “haway the lads”

We need to get f*rt cushion for Joe Kinnear’s seat and serve him a large donner at half time.

Anyway you two in our boardroom you know who you are – keep us posted on the new signings, you’re paid to sort this out and do these deals or are you Waldorf and Statler in disguise?

Phil Lines <philipjlines(at)>


The transfer business has so far been brisk and done quickly with Fernandinho and Navas. Both will give us more pace in midfield – something that has been lacking for a few years now. Hopefully we will be able to break quicker on teams and have more width. Both are proficient at long range shooting, with Navas having shown a penchant for cutting in on his left foot and scoring some corkers for Sevilla. It will be particularly interesting to see how Pellegrini employs the speedy Navas, because Pellegrini does not like his wingers to hug the touch line. Like Roberto Mancini, he likes them to come inside and get involved as well as track back and do their defensive duties.

£30 million is a lot to pay for a 28-year-old with just 5 caps but Fernandinho has been very impressive for Shakhtar Donetsk in his 8 years there, with some eye catching goals, particularly in the Champions’ League. Hopefully he will give us that box-to-box all action style that we need. I am told that he is similar to Chelsea’s Ramirez and he is decent enough. Like any signing, time will tell whether he will be able to justify his fee but his attitude seems good and he waived a £4 million pay off to sign for us.

The pursuit of Isco understandably has taken longer, because of his commitments in La Liga, which finished a few weeks later than our League, and his mightily impressive performances as Spain won the Euro Under-21 tournament. It looks like those performances, though, have confirmed his quality to Real Madrid who have not been publicly interested until their recent offer to Isco.

“I would say I’m a bit of an antimadridista. One never knows where your future lies, but it’s a team I’ve never liked. I get the impression that Real Madrid are an arrogant club, likewise the players and you don’t get anywhere without humility.”

Who said that? Isco, four years ago. He doesn’t seem quite so “antimadridista” now though. His description sounds very much like another club not that far away from us!

Clearly, it’s very disappointing if Isco signs for Real Madrid. He would have given us a real edge competitively next season. Not landing him might not reflect that well on Soriano and Begiristain, who have pursued him for a while now, and one would hope that they have a very good back up plan.

In mitigation, it is difficult though, because Real Madrid are a big draw to players all over the world, especially those outside of Catalunya. Real Madrid have an aura about them that we sadly do not possess (well, for now!). We can try to attract players but their aura and name gives them an edge, as horrible a club they are with their racist fans and the club’s fascist past. Real Madrid will have been whispering in his ear and his family’s ears for a few weeks now, selling the club to them, pointing out to the 9 Champions’ Cup/Champions’ League trophies and 32 La Liga titles, and telling them that Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world. They’d have been informing Isco that Real Madrid are the King of Spain’s team (“Real” means “Royal” and guess where Spain’s monarch lives?) and how disappointed he’d be if he didn’t sign. They won’t, though, have been telling him they have a lot of arrogant, racist fans and that they are a club that has had strong links to Fascism.

If it was you or I and we were good enough (big If) we’d play for City forever if they’d have us, but Isco is a Spanish lad.

I am very disappointed that Carlos Tévez has been sold to Juventus. I’ve loved watching him play in his many great performances in a City shirt and he has been instrumental in our success in recent years. Of course he has made some serious mistakes in his time here but he is forgiven for those. Let’s not forget that he scored and created some crucial goals on the way to the title. I thank him and wish him all the very best.

It is debatable whether the £10 million fee (possibly rising to £12 million) plus the savings on his wages (£17 million on the remaining year of his contract including wages and bonuses) is worth it. Juventus are certainly getting Tévez on the cheap. He would have been worth keeping to win the title back and to do better in Europe and the Cups. Qualifying for the knock out stages of the Champions’ League is worth £20 million and Tévez could have played his part. Replacing Carlos Tévez will certainly cost far more than the potential £27 million in so-called savings with clubs like Napoli asking for £54 million for Cavani.

We are down two strikers now with Mario Balotelli having left in January. The onus is very much on Soriano, Begiristain and Pellegrini to find an adequate replacement. I hope we don’t make the same mistake we made last year in that we sold Nigel de Jong and bought a far inferior replacement in Javi Garcia.

Lavezzi is the nearest replacement for Tévez in terms of style but Paris St Germain snapped him up last year, so I would go for one of Robert Lewandowski, Álvaro Negredo (32 goals for Sevilla last season and good in the air) or Karim Benzema who is a class striker who could be available if Real Madrid sign Suarez. On the subject of the latter please, please, please can we have nothing to do with the buck-toothed, biting racist that will be banned from playing at the start of next season? He is more trouble than he is worth. Let Real have him!

Whilst the signings of Fernandinho and Navas are encouraging, we are very light in the striking department and we should not be settling for second best. If the right kind of quality is not available we are better giving youth more opportunities. We should learn the lesson of last year when we could have saved our money and given Abdul Razak or George Evans more chances rather than wasting it on Garcia? Why not give John Guidetti a chance up front to show that he can build on his impressive season for Feyenoord two years ago?

We are lucky to have Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarak and they are great for Manchester City. I am rather concerned, though, about how Soriano and Begiristain are running City overall. They replaced the best manager that we had for 40 years in a rather shabby manner. The price of watching City is going up when they have extra revenue. Furthermore, should Soriano really be saying that the next manager should win five trophies in five years? Isn’t it best to keep our own counsel and quietly set about achieving those aims? Begiristain particularly worries me. Whether he deliberately got caught talking to Pellegrini’s agent or not last season, it was not clever as it destabilised the club at the end of the season just before the FA Cup Final. Whilst he acted quickly to sign Fernandinho and Navas, the Tévez sale does not inspire confidence.

Soriano and Begiristain want to improve City but their actions thus far don’t inspire confidence with this City fan and others. I really hope that they can allay any such fears. I really do wish I could (as Martin Gore memorably wrote) reach out, and touch faith…

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I seem to be on a different page with most City fans concerning Isco.

Should the club sign him I’d love to be proved wrong, but when I’ve watched him he walks far too much, doesn’t look for space and doesn’t track back… I can’t see that working in the Premier League, especially the latter. The youngster has some wonderful skills, his goal against Norway in the U21 was well taken, but he’s nowhere near the complete package.

Thiago caught my eye much more.

Wallace Poulter <wallace.poulter(at)>


Whilst I’ve been keeping an eye on matters City all summer (hopefully it is still summer), and I was going to write about our new manager and exciting new signings but something has been really bugging me for some time now.

Without wishing to be sanctimonious, it has been very disappointing to read some City fans in various forums (fora?) joining in the Mancini-bashing, including this one. The assumptions that some make is that he is a terrible man manager, just because he made some public criticisms of players. Of course, it is not as simple as that.

For starters, we shouldn’t be putting too much store in what the tabloids write. So called journalists have been sticking the boot into City for years now (not just the tabloids). I personally, wouldn’t put any significance in what Ian Ladyman writes in the odious Daily Mail. In common with several other newspapers, the Daily Mail (the narrow minded, right wing paper of the “Little Englander”) has been particularly negative in its coverage of City so, no, let’s not take any notice of what is written in its pages.

Of course it’s not just the Daily Mail that sticks the boot into City. Which papers, tabloids or otherwise can really be trusted to write about City in an objective way? Personally I read Sam Wallace (The Independent) or Henry Winter (Daily Telegraph) because they are fair and objective. I am, though, very wary of the rest of the written sports journalists. Regurgitating what they write to criticise our most successful manager since Joe Mercer is a strange way of being “grateful” to Mancini.

Whilst I wish Manuel Pellegrini every success here and, of course, will support him like any other manager, I am still very disappointed that Roberto Mancini was sacked and believe that he should have been given at least another year. That said, I didn’t like Mancini’s public criticisms of players, though Samir Nasri’s was probably justified if he’d tried all else to get him to produce acceptable effort levels. It certainly worked by Samir’s admission and he finished the season well. Granted, public criticism doesn’t work for everyone and it can get people’s backs up.

Roberto was harsh on occasion. He shouldn’t have said that Joe Hart should stick to making saves after Joe’s honest assessment of our defeat in the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Whilst Micah Richards had a very rusty game on his recent return, Roberto didn’t need to say that he needed to improve a lot, even though that was a true and honest assessment. Public criticism is not normally a good way to communicate, but the significance of this has been blown way out of proportion by sensationalist journalists and sadly some City fans. However, all our players should all be big enough to take it like grown-ups. The story had broken that Roberto Mancini was going to be replaced by Manuel Pellegrini on the eve of the Cup Final, and the players weren’t exactly doing cart wheels on the big day. One would expect them to have looked happier than they did throughout Cup Final day, if they were so happy that Mancini was going. Instead they looked lost.

No one is pretending that Roberto Mancini was popular in the City dressing room and that he never upset anybody, but he still had the respect of the dressing room. Otherwise, there would have been players disobeying his tactical orders or leaving in their droves. Sergio Agüero said that he always spoke to the players with respect. Which manager in history has never had an altercation with any of his players?

No City player has tried any less harder because of a bit of public criticism. The City players struggled to find the same level of performance that they showed in 2011/2012. Opponents tried harder and were more savvy about how we played, and without a new attacking threat, we had no element of surprise or extra threat.

Mancini may have made some errors with tactics and selection, but he got it right more often than not. Let’s not forget that City have still played some excellent, beautiful football in 2012/2013. If we’d landed a striker of van Persie’s or Cavani’s ability we may well have retained our title.

Third, first and second in his three full seasons is a very good record. Mancini’s contribution in making City winners, teaching our players how to defend as a team and play wonderful, exciting attacking football, should not be underestimated or under-valued. I make no apology for repeating that he won our first trophy for 35 years and our first title in 44 years. Mancini deserves our thanks more than anything.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Surely Jeff Buckley’s “hallelujah” is a more terrace-friendly tune?

Jon Marshall <jon_g_marshall(at)>


Economically we’re still in tough times and yet we have another above inflation increase in season ticket prices at a time when people are losing jobs and when many employed people are getting below inflation pay rises, if they get a pay rise at all. It’s certainly not all City’s fault as Platini’s so-called Financial Fair Play regulations have been a major factor clubs to drive up their prices, but one would expect City to have a bit more sense. Sadly, some City fans are having to give up their season tickets because they can no longer afford them.

The club may point to season ticket waiting lists but how long will it be before even more of us feel like we cannot afford season tickets? Clubs should actually be cutting ticket prices with the increased TV revenue coming in. Of course, it’s not just City is it? Southern Premier League clubs are charging much more and, even allowing for higher costs in the capital, it is far too much. West Ham are charging £910 for season tickets and they are not the worst. But that doesn’t make it right. It certainly doesn’t justify the £600 cost for a City season ticket in the wings of the Colin Bell ticket right (the centre blocks are even more)… £600 is far too expensive. Football does not live in the real world, does it?

City are charging an eye watering £55 (yes, fifty five quid) for the new Nike home shirt (last season’s shirt was £45 when it was launched). Why is City’s Nike shirt £55 when Everton’s Nike shirt is £50 (both far too expensive)? Further research reveals that Barnsley’s Nike shirt is £45 (still too expensive). The latest City home shirt is a nice, simple design that reflects our traditions, even if it is made of 100% polyester as opposed to the more comfortable, wonderful Umbro shirts which were a poly/cotton mix (blimey, I’m no textile expert, but are we being asked to pay more for an inferior product?). Granted, the new shirt is £49.50 with a season ticket discount, but I’m sorry, as much as I want to support the club, I can’t afford or justify that on top of the £50 increase in our season tickets. Something has to give. One would hope that the club review their pricing structures all round, and reduce the cost to something realistic and affordable. Until then, for what it’s worth, it’s my Umbro or retro City shirts for me.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I was wondering if I could enlist the help of MCIVTA for my 8-year old son Alexander in a competition to win £1,000 for his school?

Below is the post we’re circulating and it would be great if you could get behind him to get as many City fans as possible to vote for Alexander! The competition closes on 13 July and we need as many people as possible to vote for him on a daily basis; I’m going to kick off the hashtag #VoteAlexander as well.

Thank you in advance for your time.

P.S. In a curious twist of fate the current number one Oscar Morrin seems to have QPR backing… City vs. QPR again 🙂

The post:

Help make young City fan with Asperger’s top of the league!

Seven-year old Alexander Lewis Roythorne has entered a competition on Facebook to design a card for the Royal Baby and win £1,000 for his school. The more votes he gets, the greater his chances of winning, so why not put a smile on his face by casting your vote and supporting a fellow true Blue. Simply click on the link below, look for the card with his name underneath (I think it’s on the first page) and vote! Thanks in advance to everyone who makes his day – Come on Alexander!

Pete Roythorne <pete(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 #1911