Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Editor's UPDATE

England, lost to Germany. Micah layed on the goal, and played well.
Arsenal. What a journey down, problems at Stafford, and on the M1, but arrived in good time. Travelled down with the rugby league fans so heavy traffic. Why isn’t the final in May anymore? Why was the national stadium built at Wembley - another utterly stupid decision. And why is The Emirates stadium in London? What a scorcher though, and what a performance. Best I’ve seen us play at Arsenal. Denied a penalty on Johnson. Arsenal denied by Schmeichel, and we were unlucky not to get a point. BUT little punch up front. Needs addressing now Bojinov’s out until next year. So City knocked off top spot - temporarily!
Talk outside the ground was “has the money now run out” and “how much, exactly, has Thaksin put in?” We’ve got until Friday to make signings, and there’s talk of Anelka, Adriana or Elmander. Wait and see. Journey home was a bad one. Stuck on the M6 at a standstill for hours, but you just have to be glad you’re not involved in the accident.
Over the road the cheats got back into gear. Spurs denied by the bar in the first minute, then had two penalty appeals turned down, before Nani hit a hopeful one which bounced off Tevez 's bonce for one nil. Guess what. Yes. It was a great, great, goal and he did a somersault.

So we’ve got the bigger of the Bristols tomorrow, City. The only other club that could be called City. (as opposed to, say, Leicester, or Birmingham). Last time we played ‘em was a pre-season friendly in 1999, when we lost 1-0, to a Jim Whitley own goal.
This is the first time we’ve played them in a cup competition. In the league we played them twelve times pre-war, ten post, the last in 1980. And look away now. We’ve never won at Ashton Gate, so there’s always a first time and let this be it. Please. I can warn you that it’s a very, very red place to go to. Last season they won promotion to the Championship, and this season, after signing Lee Trundle, who’s scoring, they’re doing OK with 5 points from three games, are in seventh place with one draw and last Saturday's 2-1 win over Scunthorpe, at home. 12,474 at that game.
Bristol’s a tough city, and this is a tough fixture, and a stern test. Let’s hope we’re up to it.
Route is M6 , then M5 to junction 16, then A38, signposted Patchway, Bristol. Keep going until Taunton signs (A38) which take you across the River Avon (calling!) Bear left into Winterstoke Road, then left into Marsh Road and right into Ashton Road. We’re in the Database Wedlock stand.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Banter? No. Kick it out.

"Where's that fucking faggot?!"

A voice had shouted, from my left. I was at the Emirates to watch City and this plump bloke from further along my row was more concerned with the Arsenal fans in the tier above than the events of the pitch.

From half-time to full-time he spent probably 90% of the time making limp-wristed gestures towards that one fan and only turned around to watch Arsenal miss a penalty, Fabregas score and Schmeichel nearly head the ball past Almunia.

There were over 60,000 people in the Emirates yesterday and not all of the 60,000 could have been hetrosexual. Mathematically, it has to be very, very unlikely. So, why the gay jibes at a man who was a completely stranger and most probably straight?

Maybe it's a macho thing. Maybe by putting someone else down by using insulting language about a characteristic of someone's life that is beyond their control makes them feel big and better about their own insecurities? Homophobia is no better than racism, so why is it so accepted amongst football fans? It's most certainly not banter. It's offensive.

With racism now totally unacceptable on the terraces, why do we turn out heads to homophobia towards fans and towards players?

Portsmouth goalkeeper, David James, recently commented in a national newspaper that he was suprised that there are no openly gay footballers. It's not that suprising, considering the ridicule they'd get from opposition fans for an aspect of their life that they cannot control.

It's wrong. Don't do it.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? Arsenal v City

25/08/2007 ARSENAL 1 (Fábregas, 80) CITY 0

It's been a while since I've written anything for KOTK. And, despite selling the bloody thing to you lot week after week, I don't often read it, mainly because I'm either driving to games, or sleeping off a hangover after getting up at stupid o'clock for an away game. However, today I managed to read a large chunk of the (current) issue, including an excellent article by Colin Nicholls, probably the first time I've ever read one of his pieces.
It took me six hours to get home tonight. The Challenge Cup final at Wembley (what a stupid place to put a stadium eh!) meant we didn't chance the M1 out of central London (roadworks as well), but the detour up the A1 took ages, and although we were late enough to miss the backlog from the M6 closure from a serious accident at Stoke in the afternoon, we got caught in the tailback from the second accident and full M6 closure (in the same place), which must have happened about 5 minutes after we passed the helpful gantry sign saying "Time to J15 18 mins". Brill.
An hour sat waiting for the M6 to reopen provided ample time to peruse the 5 pages of Mr Nicholls' rant, and if you missed/ignored it, go back and read it, it's a nihilistic beaut.In the first half Arsenal were playing around us, but we encouraged them to leisurely play the ball wide and from there we just crowded the penalty area, a tactic which worked a treat for 70-odd mins thanks to outstanding battle defending from Richards and Dunne, constant harrying from Didi and Johnson, and another great performance by Schmeichel. Adebayor was a handful but just wasn't enough of a danger, despite leaping higher than Schmeichel could with arms outstretched.... I can understand why Kasper only tried to catch one cross, with that great lummox bouncing in front of you it's better to be safe than sorry, and it was punched/palmed/poked out to relative safety each time. The defence was absolutely outstanding again today.
We were supporting each other like a family and didn't give Arsenal many clear chances, but we didn't look clinical in front of goal despite some slick direct counter attacks. If we can build on this to produce goals in abundance as time goes on, that top 10 target might well be a foregone conclusion by Christmas.We'd spent a good 30 mins in control of the second half: not too much possession but reducing Arsenal to hopeful but useless through-balls to our keeper, and countering with dangerous intent but limited success: Mpenza having one glorious opportunity that, given a bit of extra sharpness, I'm sure he would have buried, but instead Almunia, standing in for this season's media-figure-of-fun Lehmann, saved well on the only occasion he was truly tested. Petrov was a bit of a waste of space at times, but it's clear that he could be something special if he starts to realise where his teammates are, rather than looking to shoot every time he gets the ball. On the other hand, if he can squeeze the ball just inside instead of just outside the post, those shots will do just nicely thanks. Elano seems to know where everyone (especially Petrov) is, and had a list of noteworthy contributions to a very tight match, during which there was a great deal of flowing attacking play from both sides, with the Brazilian once again the fulcrum of our play, but Ireland looking a little stranded on the right wing. He needs more support.It was a tackle on Elano just outside the box, ending his last attacking move, that was mimicked shortly afterwards by Richards at the other end, the dubious decisions in both cases going Arsenal's way to give them a penalty, which Kasper duly saved from Van Persie with his feet. "Maybe it's fate!", we dreamed in ecstatic delusions, but for the last 15 minutes Arsenal had already begun to penetrate our penalty area far more effectively, and finally scored the winner on 80 mins, Garrido dozily supporting the substitute Ball to prevent Hleb crossing the ball, but simply allowing Fábregas space to run into the area, leaving Richards no time to react before the Spaniard lashed the ball into the top corner. Game over. Really nice stadium though.
I'm glad it wasn't a dubious penalty that decided it, but still a bit gutted; we played Arsenal at their own game and certainly matched them for guile, if not "stickability", and had the ref been as keen to award a penalty to City for what looked like a clumsy challenge on Johnson at 0-0, or Mpenza buried his chance, the outcome might have been very different indeed. Yet another yellow card for Hamaan's first foul of the game, despite taking the ball, what's all that about? In fairness to the ref it was a bit "feisty" and it possibly prevented any other similar tackling, in which case, full marks to the ref for control as it shaped into a very gentlemanly match with no further boookings, but there was a clumsy challenge on Johnson in the Arsenal area a few mins before they got their pen, and it didn't look a definite penalty at the other end, so again we're having bad luck with refs and it's only four games in. Can't complain too much though, the four games have yielded more points than we expected. Bring on the bully boys of Blackburn, let's see what we've got!
TOM PARISH

Friday, 24 August 2007

IT'S A FIX - Arsenal

Arsene Wenger’s squad so far has lost Lupoli, Muamba, Connolly, Ljungberg (I’ll never leave Arsenal for another Prem League club) Reyes, Aliadiere, Henry, Poom, Mannone, pulling in approx £33M.
They’ve spent £20M on new players, Nordvelt, Sunu, Bartley, Sagna, Da Silva, Fabianski, o add to Lehmann, Toure, Gallas, Djourou, Fabregas, Gilberto, Hoyte, Baptista, Rosicky, Almunia, Denilson, Senderos, Flamini, Walcott, Diaby, Hleb,

Van Persie, Clichy, Eboue, Adebayor, Clichy, Diaby, Eduardo, Senderos, Flamini,

Last season : In late August we finally, somehow, laid the Arsenal bogey, winning 1-0 with Joey’s penalty in the 41st minute, before 40,699 including 2,846 Gooners. At the much postponed game in April at the Emirates we did ok, and at 1-1 it looked like we might get a result, but two late goals put paid to that romantic idea.
They finished up in 4th position with 12 wins 6 draws and one loss at home, were runners up in the Carling cup, and had a bit of boardroom turmoil with David Dein departing.

This season so far : Their first game was a home win against Fulham, when Lehmann did an early silly one but they came back and scored a late winner.….

Groundwise : Our second visit to the Emirates, not as good as Eastlands but not bad. We were in the lower tier and the view wasn’t great. Stewards stopped us selling after the game so eyes peeled for your KK’s. Tickets are £32.

Our form at Arsenal : Don’t?! We won 3-2 in ’75, but since the 0-0 in 93/94, we lost 6, drew 1-1 in ’05 and lost the last two.. Attendances ranged from 16,810 in 82/83 to 65,869 in 53/54,... but we're on a roll at the moment - so who knows!

Biggest results, lost the ’32 semi 0-1 at Villa Park, and Charity Shield 0-4 in 1934.

Comment: Sven v Wenger. Change of ground didn’t bring a change of fortune for City last season We’ve often said that there shouldn’t be football grounds in London, but to build a new one there with all the parking problems etc beggars belief – it’s even worse than Highbury, at least then we could park in the Emirates building site!. Some Arsenal fans are paying a fortune for their season tickets.

STATS : 54 pre-war and 94 post make it our 159th league meeting, and down there post war it’s ;
Played 47 won 4 (’54/555, ’/63, ’71/72, 75/76) drawn 13 lost 30.
Last pot : FA Cup 2005 (beat rags on pens)
Last Att : 59,913 (2,016 Blues, allocation cock up)
WWTWTW Shite : Averaged 23,824 in ‘84/85, so not bad.
Last season average ; 60,036 ish
Away Day Zines : The Gooner; The North Bank, Highbury High, Up the Arse, Arsenal Mania
The Steve P Routemaster : M6, M1 to jn 2, take A1 Great North Way, then follow signs for Central London onto A406 North Circular, then across A598, then bear right to A1 Falloden Way, continuing along Lyttelton Road, Aylmer
Road, and Archway Road then Holloway Road. After passing under the railway bridge by Holloway Road tube station, turn left into A103 Hornsey Road and the Emirates Stadium is on the right. Away end, as at City, is the south-east corner (Drayton Park). Residents-only parking all round.
Park and Ride: Holloway Road tube station is shut for matches; use Arsenal (Piccadilly line) as before. M25 jn 24 then A111 to Cockfosters (latest - heard that this is no longer an option - please check it out) or Southgate Big car park at Cockfosters station.
From central London by public transport, you can arrive at Drayton Park from Moorgate or Old Street but the last train back is 21 49. Otherwise use Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line) or Arsenal.
Pubs : The Drayton Arms, Drayton Park; White Swan 251-256 Upper Street; Tommy Flynn’s, Holloway Road.

Plugging

Hello everyone.

Just a bit of a shameless plug on my part, but I've started a new blog on current affairs and whatnot over at http://nothing-to-do-eh.blogspot.com.

Pop by if you fancy it!

Oh, and this might be of interest to some blues. A few compilations I made:
http://uk.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=43B470F12BFB84E0

David

UPDATE from the Editor

Well an interesting start to the season, what.
Three games and nine points!
West Ham: I must admit that I wasn’t too confident. prior to the game. It was the usual chit chat with loyal Blues - 'What do you think?'.... 'Well what do you think?' The usual sharing of opinions. And the usual mix of over confidence and total pessimism from KotK buyers. Personally I thought that West Ham’s Premiership experienced signings, their home advantage, our poor record at Upton Park, plus the fact that our new boys would surely need time to settle in, could mean an opening defeat. So I braced myself for the worst.
But what a wonderful surprise to see us dominate and go one up. And the noise from the Blues was absolutely deafening - it's been a long time since I've been able to say that. OK we had a few dodgy moments, but Geo clinched it near the end, as we went delirious. So a good and leisurely journey home, and needless to say we were on the MOTD first for a change, so we missed it by a minute!
Wow! What I didn’t bargain for though, was about ten pages of vitriol and hatred on the mancityfans.net website regarding my pre-match thoughts. With such nonsense as “ he wants us to lose so he can be proved right about Sven”. Posters harping back to my fan on the board days, and dragging up some ill-informed stuff about the BTH and CTIC zines which, I’m sure if Noel or Tom read them they could kill that part of the 'debate' stone dead. One poster even suggested that “if you send me a photo of him, I’ll twat the f**ker”. A bit rich this as I’ve stood outside every ground in the country flogging the zine for the past twenty years, as most long-term regulars will testify, and I've never hidden behind a pseudonym on a website, or wherever. Big talk from someone who fancies taking a swing at a guy who's supported City for more than fifty years and has the emotional scars to prove it! So there you go, express an opinion on the Blues, who are always liable to make any of us look daft and you’re likely to generate a hate campaign from supposed fellow Blues. Anyway, the 'boycott' ain’t working boys cos we’ve sold out of the last two issues!.

We were at the printers prior to the Derby County game, and went for the sleeping giant front cover. This issue has to last until the Fulham game so plenty of time to be proved right, or wrong! I was asked to do a TV interview before the game, and said that I thought we’d get a goal or two for the first time since New Years Day, and we did, and we won - not prettily, but we won, six points out of six. Sorry if you missed the zine sellers at the game, but we sold out early, and Tom from CTIC is having a rest at the moment, and who can blame him with the shit that flies around for fanzine editors. If you’re uncritical you’re accused of ‘sitting on the fence’ and if you’re realistic you’re accused of being negative! So you can’t win.

In between we had the EGM and well done to those Blues who had the balls to say their piece to the Board with such stirring stuff as “you got us in this mess” and “ those who sold out for the pieces of silver were a set of Judas’s”. Brill stuff! However, I do know that some fans sold because they felt it was disloyal to try to obstruct something which seemed inevitable, and some just needed the dosh for more important things, having bought them for the purely sentimental reason of 'buying into the club they love'. It won’t make any difference of course, the dream of fans taking over the club, like at Barcelona, has gone, and anyone who was prepared to stick there head over the parapet, like the Supporters Trust folk, were castigated, so we are where we are, and we’ve got what we deserved. Let’s hope it works out OK, but one person owning the club is still a worry, whoever that is.

We had the new issue (152) on sale for the Manchester derby and SkyTV thought it’d be a wheeze to film the zine coming off the printing presses (at Bob the the printers - no we don’t have a press in our garage!). Then a short interview when I said I thought we’d be happy on Sunday night. Did the more aggressive website contributors make as much fuss over my correct analysis I wonder. Didn’t look, so I don’t know!
Prior to the match the media were full of shit like “united don’t go three games without a win” and “City are getting giddy and will be brought back down to earth. Terry Christian continued his rag bitterness, and Fergie wound us all up with his. Last year's post match TV interview was shown where he said “ they gave them flags (the dumb c**t doesn’t know the difference between flags and scarves, though David McDonnell in the Mirror corrected that statement, as though purple nose had got it right, lying bastard), must’ve cost a fortune (well united would NEVER do anything like that for their fans) and they didn’t have a shot on goal".
Well we had a shot on Sunday Alex, Oh yes and that’s all it needed.
Blues walking past me, as I sold the new issue, were not convinced when I told them we’d be all right, and there weren’t quite the rag hate figures out there this season like Ronaldo, Rooney, Cantona, Keane, Smith, and Van horse – I mean camel gob, Brown, maybe the niggly Scholes, anyway who cares.
Nine points out of nine. But I was disappointed though with some of our lot. We didn’t do much attacking and were caught in possession on the break when we could have popped a couple more in. Overall, magnificent, especially Micah.

Despite Micah's heroics, however, England lost and bringing us up to date we’ve got the Arse without Henry on Saturday, where we haven’t won since 1975. So, game on, C’mon you Blues..

Monday, 20 August 2007

Facebook recognition for King of the Kippax

Well, I don't know about you, but much noise has been made recently about social networking site Facebook. So I have decided to try and spread the word about King of the Kippax and created a group on the popular social networking site designed to do just that. Called '* King of the Kippax- Manchester City F.C. Fanzine Appreciation * ', it is designed for all fans to join the group and share news and views, upload videos and pictures. So for all who are on Facebook already, join and spread the Blue love! Especially after such a fantastic start to the season.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

LATEST ISSUE NOW ON SALE

Latest issue (No. 152) is now on sale. A bumper 48 pages at £2.50. Read the second edition of Simon Curtis's 'Bangkok Bugle', Andy Dolan's 'Dunne and Dusted', Jinky's 'I'm Svent!', Colin Nicholls' 'Follow The Leader',Emily Brobyn's 'The Sky's The Limit', Neil Shaw's 'Searching For The Golden Generation'.... plus all the usual 'suspects'.

On sale outside the ground, at various locations, or in town from the kiosk at the junction of Cross Street and Market Street, and the excellent shop at Urbis.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

DUBAI BLUES

Dear KOTK
My name is Mark Lynch and I am a die hard Blue living in Dubai. I have recently set up a Dubai Manchester City FC supporters group which we are in the process of trying to get on the official supporters branch list by the OSC.
I was hoping that in return for us putting a link on our website you could give us a mention on your website to hopefully catch the attention of fellow Blues living or potentially visiting Dubai in the future. Please review our site at www.mcfcdubai.blogspot.com to show how serious we are at getting a real club going here. To get it bigger and better we really need the help of all our friends at other City mad websites
like yourselves to spread the word.
Many Thanks, Mark Lynch, Chairman mcfc Dubai

Friday, 10 August 2007

Here We Go!

So tomorrow the season finally starts. I expect us to struggle for a month as players gel, but within a couple of months I expect we’ll see the improvement. I hope Sven is given time. There will of course be fans on the players’ and manager’s back if we are not top 6 by the end of September. But it’s next season where our expectations should be highest, not this one. Just sit back and enjoy. Who knows, we might even see the occasional goal…….

says Howard Hockin

IT'S A FIX; WEST HAM

It’s here at last, the first game of the season, and a 3pm Saturday kick off too, here we go…………

West Ham, formed in 1900, joined div 2 in 1919/20. loads of ups and downs over the years, picking up the cup 3 times and the Euro Cup winners cup once.

Some names/connections : Iron Maiden, Billy Bragg, Eastenders, Alf Garnett, Russell Brand, Brooking, Hurst, Peters, Moore, Marc Vivian-Foe, Trevor Sinclair, David James, Steve Lomas, Justin Fashanu, Ian Bishop, Trevor Morley, John Bond, Stu Pearce, Tyrone Mears…

Alan Curbishley’s squad so far has lost : Sheringham, Carroll, Re-Coker, Newton, Mears, Konchesky, Harewood, Benayoun, pulling in £18.5m plus the Tevez’s money and they’ve spent £27M ish on Parker, Faubert, Wright, Bellamy, Ljungberg, Dyer, to complement : Green, Collins, Ferdinand, McCartney, Spector, Mullins, Bowyer, Etherington, Kiraly, Zamora , Dailly, Ashton, Davenport, Gabiddon, Upson, Noble, Quashie, Katan, Cole, Ephraim, Boa Morte

Last season : After the success of 04/05 and the cup final appearance, it was something of an anti climax, with City-esque turmoil.
Dean Ashton did his ankle training with England, they got a new Icelandic owner, fired Pardew and set on Curbs. Trouble followed with difficulties with the Argentinian signings, an early exit from UEFA to Palermo, and some fan trouble, plus going out of the Carling at Chesterfield, plus an early exit from the F.A.Cup. BUT at the end of the season they picked up and
escaped relegation by winning their last game at O/T 1-0, condemning The Blades to relegation, who lost at home to Wigan. The goalscorer at O/T was suspiciously tevez and guess who he’s signed for?!
They escaped a points deduction for some unfathomable reason, and live to fight another day
So they finished the season in 15th spot with 41points and 8.wins 2.drawn lost 9 at home

At COMS last September we managed a comfy 2-0 win. Samaras netting twice in the 50th and 63rd minute.
41,073 there with a good turn out of Hammers, 2,747.
Down there in late December, after a result at Sheff U. on a cold windy rainy day we scraped a 1-0 win courtesy of Beasley scoring in the 82nd minute in a sterling defensive display. We thought it might be Curbs out Sven in?! This was in a run of 6 undefeated games, can you believe, but then we did OK in the Cup but struggled until the middle of March when the 3 away wins at ‘Boro, Newcastle and Fulham saved our bacon.

Our form at Upton Park: Not too good, but last season’s result was only our second win in the last nine visits, 2-1 in 91/92.was the previous one. Attendances there have ranged from 16,600 in ’63 to 35,550 in 02/03.
Grounddwise: Same again at Upton Park. We’re in the left hand side of the Centenary stand these days. Not as intimidating since they built the new main stand, with the pitch not as close to the crowd as it used to be, and no sign yet of the stand to our left being replaced. Tickets are £35

Comment : Not an easy start to the campaign as both clubs will be full of high hopes as we eagerly await Sven’s first competitive game. A bunch of players who hardly know each other and a rookie goalie.. they’ll be inspecting their new signings too, amongst them Bowyer and Dyer, plus Bellamy, could be interesting
Will we get a glimpse of Russell Brand’s mates, Noel and Liam, or preferably Steve P’s favourites, The Hammerettes “It’s the only reason for going” And how will we do? Anyone's guess.

Stats : 16 pre-war, and 62 post make it our 79th league meeting and down there it’s : played 31 won 8 drawn 6 lost 17
Last pot : F.A.Cup in 1980
Last att: 34,305 (1992 Blues)
WWTWTWShite : Averaged 17,679 in 55/56, so not bad.
Their current home average : 34,736
Away day zines : On the Terraces, Over Land and Sea, Knees Up Mother Brown

The Steve Parish Routemaster/pubs/parking :
M6, M1, M25 to jn 27, M11 (London NE) to end of M11 and onto A406 North Circular (the left lane). Continue past A12 and A118 junctions and take left slip to A124 roundabout, 4th exit into A124 London Road (heading for London). Ground is a mile on right (Priory Road).
Park up? No obvious places to park up and come in by train. Upton Park station is on District Line. M25 jn 29 then A127 toward Romford, and second left to Upminster (station car park, then 20 mins to Upton Park, £4.30 return).
Where’s all these cheap advance train tickets?
Pubs : Tricky, The Boleyn Tavern, Millers Well, Denmark Arms
Parking : On the street. Bugger to get away from!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Summertime Blues update

Shrewsbury, and a pleasant day out. The Blue Vicar had us visit the Hawkstone Follies on the way there and we survived the hill climbing experience, which is well worth the visit if you get chance.
Yet another of these new grounds where you can’t park, and no burger vans, much to Ged’s disgust. Parking was available at the Brookside pub, but did anyone else get food poisoning from eating the chilli? All ticket also ( £12 a throw and these clubs need all the financial help they can get), Shrewsbury not yet having a full safety certificate for the ground. Programme was a bit basic as well, but only 50p, and they missed the chance to have a gloat at the embarrassments they’ve given the Blues over the years and highlight ex City players like Ken Mulhearn and Alf Wood. Can 'arsed around' be acceptable in an official publication ? (Glyn Price’s ASFC Summer Update)
As for the game, first chance to see the new away strip. Looked OK, but sky blue would have been less of a clash with the home team’s darker blue. Some good stuff in the first half, but we couldn’t buy a goal. Second team out in the second half and we were dreadfully poor until my bladder got the better of me and we popped in two late goals whilst I was otherwise engaged – Corradi and Dickov – as an injury ravaged Shrewsbury visibly tired. Still, a win’s a win. The walk back to the pub car park was an eye opener. No pavement on one side and no safe road crossings, but an enjoyable day out overall.
The buzz was we were signing four new players, and so it came to pass – Valeri (so choice of two songs, Stevie Winwood if he’s crap and The Zutons if he’s good) Bojinov, (not to be confused with Bon Jovi) £5.5M from Fiorentina; Elano Blumer (not to be confused with Orlando Bloom), Brazilian mid-fielder for £7.5M from Shakhtar Donetsk; Vedran Corluka Croatian right back £7M; Javier Garrido, £2M Real Sociedad left sided defender.

Valencia next up. Tickets £15, bought when it peed down so even the pathetic canopy the club put up was welcome, plus umbrellas were doled out. Erm why not a proper enclosed canopy? Don’t shoot the messenger, and let’s try again eh with POB.
Thaksin showed up, and free Thai food doled out near the main entrance. Fuck all for us poor sods who pay the same price in the East stand, and only one burger van. Lots of fat old bald guys at the front of the west stand with their Thai brides apparently, according to Tom the KOTK seller at that pitch.
Cost of catering’s gone up too. As for the game, a midfield lapse let them in for their goal, then Michael Johnson hit the bar from well out, and Bianchi likewise with a great header. A bit of pisstaking from the south stand of their subs warming up on the touchline and portly Ricky Hatton, (too much Mr. Guinness) didn’t escape either. Despite a couple of previous assassination attempts on Thaksin, folk were seemingly happy to sit near him (thanks to John Rowan for that one) but the game was a stroll, and we still couldn’t score.
Then off to Albert Square to partake of the free Thai food, after queuing for a while, and to watch the entertainment, which to be honest was quite entertaining even though ‘My Way’ is the most done to death song of all time, followed closely by the dreadful ‘Mack The Knife’ which thankfully wasn’t renditioned!
Sven and the players appeared plus Dr Thaksin, and to be quite frank (?!) we did enjoy being amongst a vast quantity of Blues (not sure about 8,000 though) celebrating the 'Thomas Cook Finalists’, who were just happy to sing Blue Moon. OK it may have cost a fortune and just been a propaganda exercise but what the hell. Grandson Joe didn’t fancy the Thai food on offer so inevitably we finished up in MacDonalds!.
The rags drew with a depleted Chelsea team in the Community Shield 1-1. Van Der Sar should have been sent off for a foul on Chelsea’s goalscorer Malouda and then kicked SWP in the bollocks in the box – sending off and penalty? He then went on to make 3 great saves in the penalty shoot out and the media claimed it was a glory day and revenge for losing the cup final. When is this fucking drivel going to stop and the truth be told. Ronaldo was at it again too. Cheats, one hundred per cent!
Today’s news is we’re after the Aussie boy Mark Bresciano, midfielder for £3M and now Weaver’s gone, Isaaksson’s injured (again) Schmeichel isn’t fancied and Joe Hart is too young (?), though he did play a first team game last season, we need a new experienced goalie, before Saturday. Doh!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Update

A busy few weeks. First it was Sven’s unveiling at Eastlands described as ‘Svenmania’. Did the club open a stand to let the fans in for Sven’s introduction? Did they bollocks. Opportunity missed - again. Then it was Dennis Tueart’s sacking. Not by phone, or by Bernard Halford, certainly not in person, no, this is OUR City, so it was by e-mail. Is this the Thai way? Good job Dennis wasn’t involved in drug dealing, heaven knows what would have happened. So the only person with any football knowledge on the Board has been fired, and the contact between the Board and the Academy is now gone, plus, despite everything he WAS a City legend. Dennis reckons he was ‘stabbed in the back’ – who would do such a thing?! Nothing changes. So in this world of political correctness, so-called ‘dignity at work’, ‘investors in people’, ‘gay pride’, ‘pink preference’, the modern way is to fire folk by e-mail. Something’s wrong.

Sven’s number two was finally appointed and it was Hans Chew Backe, who likes the Arctic Monkeys. He didn’t make the O/T gig though as far as we’re aware – 2 hour queue for drinks and amp blown, so he wouldn’t have missed much.

Robbie Fowler’s gone to Cardiff. They have our sympathies.

Sven’s first signing announced as 24 year old Italian striker Rolando Bianchi from Reggina, 18 goals in La Liga last season, for £8.8M. Then it was Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandez, for £2.5M from Sion F.C. Third signing was Brazilian Geovanni Mauricio, nicked from under Pompey’s noses on a Bosman, and he once scored for Benfica v the rags in 2005 to knock them out of Europe. Fourth signing is Martin Petrov, £6M, who gave the two fingers to Spurs and Berbatov. So that’s £17M less £5.8 for Barton = about £11M net. We await the Shrewsbury friendly to see how good they are.

Talking about friendlies, we’ve beaten Donny 3-1 after being one goal down. Won the two games in Sweden, 4-1 and 4-0 but lost in Charleroi 2-0.
Donny then, 3000 points for 3,000 tickets, and no sales on the day. Who thought this one up? Hottest tickets in town, supposedly, then mysteriously we sold out our allocation of 1200, and a 6,000 crowd in a 15,000 capacity stadium. Words fail.
Sven got the team selection right for twenty second half minutes when we scored the 3 goals, finally beating Donny after the 2-2 friendly and the League cup loss. So don’t knock it.

Reserves have had mixed fortunes. Won at Stalybridge, Curzon and Morecambe with a halfway line volley from Ched Evans – imagine if a united player had done that?! Lost at Hyde 4-2 after 2-0 up and hiting the post at 2-0. Selling KK at the end of the Morecambe game, one sad bastard walked past pulled open his jacket to reveal the dreaded rag logo. “envious? “ he said. Now explain to me why some rag would drive up from London to Morecambe to watch City reserves, hopefully lose. I’m very envious of such bitterness.

What else? Blues now have a new coach, Finglands variety, and Carrington’s been spruced up so Sven’s opening it up to City fans. The third kit sold out within hours – who thought that one up – a limited edition of – 10, 15, 20?
Oh, and we’re having a party in Albert Square whether we win back the Thomas Cook Trophy or not. It just gets more and more embarrassing.
Never mind, 5-live programme on Thaksin last night didn’t tell us owt we didn’t already know, and it’s off to Shrewsbury today with high hopes. Time to get the team settled though there’s still loads more transfer targets. All quiet on the % shares Thaksin’s got – 75% at the last count. We need to know.
Oh, and the Daily ManuMirror’s pro united anti City (particularly), Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool reporting has been an absolute disgrace, and I’ve e-mailed them to tell them so on behalf of City fans – there that should upset some of the message board types. Will the DM do a feature on Rooney’s receding hairline?
Oh and Joey Barton’s out for 6 weeks with a broken metatarsal.
Dave