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Derby: Starting line Ups

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Manchester City and Manchester United Starting line-ups. Tevez has shrugged off his knee injury and starts in the Manchester City line up. Bellamy also plays and will be on the left flank, leaving Petrov back on the bench. Berbatov and Rooney start up front for United.

See the Match Stream link in the top navigation bar to see live.

Come On!

Man City: Given, Richards, Lescott, Toure, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Barry, De Jong, Ireland, Bellamy, Tevez. Subs: Taylor, Zabaleta, Garrido, Petrov, Weiss, Ball, Sylvinho.

Man Utd: Foster, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Park, Anderson, Fletcher, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Owen, Carrick, Nani, Jonathan Evans, Valencia.

Immortalised: Alex Ferguson & Mark Hughes Portraits

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Mark Hughes has had a portrait compiled of 1p coins and Alex Ferguson has now been immortalised in a portrait compiled of dog shit.

Artist Ed Chapman created a portrait of Mark Hughes out of 5430 1p coins. Ed was commissioned to produce the modern work of art to mark the launch of Championship Manager 2010’s Pay What You Want campaign.

Chapman said: "Being from Manchester and seeing the enormous spending power that Mark Hughes now has at City, what better than a picture of the man who has spent millions made entirely out of one penny coins.”

The above picture of Alex Ferguson is a collage of dog turds, creating an image that is truly full of shit. Over 500 pieces of dog shit were pain stakingly copied and pasted to make the portrait. To obtain a full sensory appreciation of the picture it is recommended that you take a sip of lumpy sour milk before viewing.

The portrait of the Manchester United manager is currently on show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. UK art lover's will be able to see the painting this month when it travels to the National Gallery in London after a brief stop at The Louvre in Paris.

Full of Crap: Alex Ferguson on show in New York

Ed Chapman and his coin creations of managers

Man United v Man City Match Preview

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The Manchester Derby is eagerly anticipated despite Alex Ferguson claiming that he considers Man Utd vs Liverpool as the real derby for United. Manchester United face Manchester City on Sunday 20th September at Old Trafford, K.O. 13:30.

Poor old bacon face is showing his advancing years as he attempts some kind of poor mind games ahead of the Manchester Derby. The aging red faced scot has claimed that the Manchester City match is nothing compared with the games against Liverpool:

"To me Liverpool will always be the derby game. It is just because of the history. When I came down here they were the king-pins of England. They had won four European Cups and quite a few league titles.”

Ferguson has still not managed to get the Carlos Tevez “Welcome to Manchester” poster from under his skin. He said in an interview prior to this weekend’s clash:

"That stupid poster upset us. It showed an arrogance. It was naughty. It showed a cockiness that wasn't required at the time because they hadn't done anything. The season hadn't even started."

Derby Press Conference

Ferguson does not seemed concerned at all at losing Tevez who was an integral part of United winning two championships and getting to two Champions League finals. Even though he publically stated he wanted to keep the player – United had even released a statement claiming they had reached the player’s valuation to make him a permanent player.

"It doesn't bother me one bit whether Tevez is playing or not," said Ferguson.

"I know their best player won't be. Emmanuel Adebayor has been their star player. There is no question about that. He has scored in every game. That is their loss."

"People talk about trying to get into the top four. That is not the question. The question is who is number one.”

Mark Hughes has responded to Ferguson’s comments, laughing at his former manager and claiming that United have been below par so far this season:

"It does seem to have really upset Sir Alex for some reason," Hughes smiled at his press conference in Manchester today.

"But I don't know, we'll just take it as a little bit of flattery, because obviously in recent years, and for a number of years, City haven't really affected the thinking of Manchester United to any great extent. Possibly that's changed now.

"I've watched a number of their games. I don't think they're playing as well as they did last year. They played well against Tottenham [Hotspur] – I think that's their stand-out performance. Prior to that, I think they've been below par."

You can see the previous posts on the Carlos Tevez poster campaign here, who photo’s of the poster and the mock posters created by both sets of fans in retaliation:


You can also see the Manchester United Cadbury Advert too that was released during the billboard wars:


United will obviously be without Ronaldo who left for Real Madrid in the summer. Ronaldo was key in all of the games where Manchester United managed success against City in the past.

City will not be worried by Fergusons comments in the slightest. If anything I really hope that Ferguson believes what he says and that filter’s down to his squad – then they will be likely to give yet another lacklustre team display in a Manchester Derby.

Let’s just have a look back at the 2002 Derby – the last at Maine Road. I still can’t help p*ssing myself when Garry Neville feeds the Goat for City’s second goal in the 3-1 victory. You have to feel sorry for Neville though who is clearly quite embarrassed, there’s nothing worse than being embarrassed and then doing something more embarrassing like spitting on yourself and then wiping it on your ear – 2 minutes 10 seconds:

City 3-1 United, 2002

With Adebayor now serving a three match suspension together with the injuries to Robinho and Santa Cruz, City will have limited choice of attacking front men. However Craig Bellamy will be sure to start after his fantastic display against Arsenal last week. Carlos Tevez remains a major doubt, however the Argentina striker has begun training again after a knee injury and could feature in the game if he passes a late fitness test.

Playing at Old Trafford with one striker may not be all bad news. City have shown this season that there main strengths are based upon quick counter-attacks. The pace of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Martin Petrov and Craig Bellamy – together with the acute footballing brains of Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland are sure to cause Manchester United problems during the game. Stephen Ireland is still a doubt for the game however and faces a race against time to be fit.

Man City will definitely be without Robinho (Ankle), Cruz (Knee), Kompany (foot) and Michael Johnson (hip). Benjani may be in contention if he can shake a thigh problem, but that seems unlikely.

Manchester United will be without Paul Scholes who is suspended after picking up a red card against Spurs last week. Rio Ferdinand who aggravated his groin injury against spurs also looks set to miss the game but will have a late fitness test. Long term absentees to miss the derby are Van der Sar (hand), Rafael (shoulder), Owen Hargreaves (knees), Gabriel Obertan (back) and Berbatov (shit).

United’s major threat has to be Wayne Rooney, Ferguson will have to decide if he’s got enough confidence in Michael Owen to play or Berbaflop. United have about as much choice upfront as City (who have extensive injury woes).

My match prediction – a 1-1 draw – which I’d be quite happy with, however I have a gut feeling and I’ll probably put a bet on City to win the game 3-1... William Hill are quoting City at 9/2 to win the game, not a bad bet really – it is a derby despite what the poor old chap says.

William Hill Odds:
United 8/13 Draw 11/4 City 9/2

United To Win:
1-0 5/1 ; 2-0 11/12 ; 2-1 13/2 ; 3-0 11/1
3-1 10/1 ; 3-2 25/1 ; 4-0 25/1 ; 4-1 25/1

0-0 17/2 ; 1-1 6/1 ; 2-2 14/1 ; 3-3 50/1

City to win:
1-0 10/1 ; 2-0 25/1 ; 2-1 14/1 ; 3-0 80/1
3-1 50/1 ; 3-2 40/1 ; 4-0 100/1 ; 4-1 100/1

Probable Starting Line-ups:

Man Utd: Foster, O'Shea, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Valencia, Berbatov, Rooney.

Man City: Given, Richards, Bridge, Toure, Lescott, De Jong, Barry, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Petrov, Bellamy.

Man City to contest charges: Adebayor & Hughes speak out

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Manchester City have announced that they will be contesting the FA charge of improper conduct regarding Adebayor’s goal celebration against Arsenal. Emmanuel Adebayor and Mark Hughes have both spoken out about the charge.

Adebayor is currently serving a three match ban for the heinous way in which he attempted to avoid Van Persie’s innocuous two footed lunge during the Arsenal match last week.

In addition to Adebayor’s charge of violent conduct the FA also served up a charge of improper conduct following Ade’s goal celebration. Mark Hughes has stated that City will contest the charge:

“It’s important you do not take emotion out of the game. He laid on his knees. It was his normal celebration... ...The circumstances of the game and the amount of criticism and vitriol that Ade had to take wasn’t nice.”

Adebayor himself has spoken out about the incident in an interview published in the sun newspaper. It would probably have been best for City to have silenced the out spoken Adebayor – at least until things have settled and the media have moved on – he will just be giving people more ammunition to fire at him, even though what he say’s is quite true:

"I was running on pure emotion and when you take emotion out of football we are going to have a big problem. People say I had time to think because I ran the length of the pitch but that is not true. I was abused all match and scored a goal I knew would win the game for us. Ten seconds is nothing. Your emotion is going to last a lot longer than that."

"I know a steward got hurt and I really do want to say sorry for that because he didn't ask for any of this - he was just a man doing his job. Emotions were running high for me and it is obvious they were for Arsenal fans as well. They had just seen me score the goal that meant they had lost the game and that was very hard for them to take.

Pride of Arsenal : Arsenal fan who protests like he's from Middle East

"The steward was just doing his job but if things hadn't been thrown and people had stayed in their seats then that wouldn't have happened.

"Players should feel like they can celebrate a goal without the fear of being hit by things.

"I think, in terms of class on the pitch, we have overtaken Arsenal and that was a reason for some of the hostility."

In respect to the Van Persie incident Adebayor added:

"Anybody who knows me knows I would not set out to hurt anybody and I would especially not mean to hurt an old team-mate.

"I really am glad Robin was OK because I know my stud was close to his eye but there was really nothing I could have done - there was no way I could have got out of the way in time."

Adebayor also explained that behind the scenes was some deep rooted animosity towards him from some of his old team mates before and during the game:

"There were players from Arsenal who refused to shake my hand before the match. I don't want to give you their names - that is not my style - but there's more than one of them.

"My friends, like Eboue, were fine with me. They are decent people. But I could not understand some of the Arsenal players being disrespectful towards me. These are people I have spent a lot of time with and people I thought were my friends.

"I can just about understand the fans' reaction because they don't know the full story.

"However the way some of the players behaved is just crazy. When a man offers you his hand, you shake it. For them to act like that was a disgrace."

Adebayor also wanted to clear the air regarding his summer transfer move to Manchester City claiming that the Arsenal fans do not have the full and correct facts:

"I'm not sure if the fans understand what happened during the end of my time at Arsenal but I have done nothing wrong.

"An offer came in for me and, as I understand it, Arsene and the club accepted the offer the same day. It was not my fault I left; it was Arsene who wanted to accept the offer for me.

"I wasn't making any comments in the Press about wanting to leave or being unhappy, it was the club who wanted to sell me yet I am being abused by the fans who once cheered me.

"It makes no sense. Arsenal fans just don't have the full picture. I have said many times I enjoyed my time at the club and I scored a lot of goals.

"If they were unhappy with me leaving they need to take it up with their manager and their board because I had nothing to do with the sale.

"Arsene has said many things in the Press but I only take notice of those who matter to me. I read his comments but, as the tattoo on my arm says, 'Only God can judge me' not Arsene Wenger."

Man City v Arsenal Match Report & Video

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Now are you going to believe us? (See the match goals and incidents in the video below). Manchester City sent a further shot across the bows of the top four with a 4-2 win against Arsenal. Robinho and Tevez were both missing through injury – however City have such a strong squad that they insured they kept a 100% start to the season.

Arsenal started the game brightly and should have gone ahead when Gallas missed a header from a corner. City took the lead after 20 minutes when Richards headed a Gareth Barry free kick towards goal, the ball struck the upright and bounced into the net off the head of Almunia.

In the second half Arsenal stepped up to the plate and pressured City’s goal. The end result was a goal from Van Persie on 62 minutes. Lescott making his home debut made his only mistake of the match when he slid in to win the ball but missed, leaving Van Persie to turn and shoot low to Given’s right. Van Persie then ran over to the City fans shouting “F*** Off”.

City regained the lead moments later when Richards did well to cut inside the box and slide the ball into Bellamy with pace. Bellamy struck first time with power to beat Almunia.

Shaun Wright-Phillips rode a heavy challenge to cross the ball into Adebayor who headed in City’s third goal on 80 minutes. I was really pleased for Adebayor to score against his former club, especially considering all of the abuse he has received from the Arsenal fans – which was on a par to a Spur’s welcome to a former player. Unfortunately my heart sunk when I watched him cross the half way to run the full length of the pitch to celebrate infront of the Arsenal fans. I was now witnessing a three match ban for inciting the crowd, not a goal celebration.

However Gary Neville did the same when celebrating a goal for Manchester United against Liverpool and he recieved a £500k fine and no match ban - see the video here on my previous post.

City scored a forth goal when the very impressive Craig Bellamy won the ball deep in his own half and then headed a counter attack with Petrov, Adebayor and Wright-Phillips all running at pace towards the Arsenal goal. Bellamy released Wright-Phillips who deftly chipped the ball over the advancing Almunia. Wright-Phillips will have been pleased to score after missing a sitter from six yards minutes earlier. Adebayor had dribbled past four Arsenal players before cutting the ball back to Wright-Phillips who miss hit the ball wide.

Rosicky scored late in the game after a fine Arsenal move, however it was too late to influence the final result.

The other clear talking point during the game was the Adebayor “stamp” on Van Persie. Slow motion replays show Adebayor making contact with Van Persie’s head after a rash challenge. Van Persie has released a statement about the incident on the Arsenal website and the FA have already started to review the match footage.

With City’s injury list increasing Adebayor will be sorely missed when he is undoubtedly handed a ban from the FA. The ban may even be in place by the time City face Manchester United in the derby at Old Trafford next week.

For the Van Persie Statement in full and video of the stamp incident then please see the previous post: click here.

Match Facts:
Manchester City 4 (Almunia o.g. Bellamy, Adebayor, Wright-Phillips)
Arsenal 2 (Van Persie, Rosicky)
Saturday 12 September 2009, 3:00PM
Att: 47339

Manchester City: Given; Richards, Toure, Lescott, Bridge; Wright-Phillips, De Jong, Ireland Petrov, 72), Barry; Adebayor, Bellamy. Unused subs: Onuoha, Zabaleta, Taylor, Sylvinho, Vidal, Weiss.

Bookings: Lescott (14) Adebayor (81) De Jong (90)

Arsenal: Almunia; Sagna (Eboue, 76), Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy; Diaby, Song Eduardo, 76), Denilson (Rosicky 52), Fabregas, Diaby; Bendtner, Van Persie. Unused subs: Ramsey, Silvestre, Mannone, Gibbs.

Bookings: Sagna (18) Song (72)

Match Goals and Incident

Mark Hughes Interview

Adebayor stamp on Van Persie (Video)

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During the game with Arsenal (12/09/09) Adebayor appeared to stamp on Van Persie’s head after a rash challenge (see video below). Van Persie has tonight released the following statement on the Arsenal website:

"I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor's mindless and malicious stamp on me during today's match.

"We are both professional footballers and I know that the game is physical, I too have made hard and sometimes mis-timed challenges but never with the intention of hurting an opponent. He set out to hurt me today.

"I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made. He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward. I find that deeply disrespectful. He has shown a real lack of class today, to me and the fans.

"I do feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards. He had his own agenda today and that is bad for football. It's bad for the game we all love.

"I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with the result of today's match. We do not hide from that disappointment but I need to speak out about his behaviour."

The statement released on the Arsenal website, and sanctioned by Arsenal football club is unprecedented in itself. Arsenal do not normally speak of their own players actions nor other clubs players. This just goes to show how deep the feelings are between Arsenal (club, players and fans) and Adebayor.

After Van Persie scored his goal he ran across to the City fans shouting “f**k off”, which has clearly been over shadowed. The challenge before the “stamp” was a terrible challenge that could have been worthy of a red card. Van Persie as we all know is no saint, and to claim that Adebayor set out to hurt him before the game is ridiculous. Takes one to know one eh?

The FA have released a statement that they will be looking at the “stamp” incident and will also investigate Adebayor’s celebration in which he ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans. The FA are moving quickly on this – unfortunately Adebayor will most certainly get a ban. With the amount of injuries City have at the moment, coupled with Adebayors fine footballing start to the season, this will be a great loss. He may even be banned from the Manchester derby next week.

What is unclear is will Adebayor receive a ban for the “stamp” because only he knows if it was purely deliberate or not, no matter how incriminating the slow motion replay. The likely outcome could be a one match ban. No matter how much Van Persie and Arsenal cry about it on their website.

Unfortunately there’s no way to brush this one under the carpet, the unimaginative DJ’s at talk sport will make sure this doesn’t go away until next Christmas. Sky have got to fill up a 24 hour news channel too.

The real shame is that Adebayor was clearly man of the match. He was fantastic. Tracking back, making telling runs, scoring. When he scored the third goal I was really pleased for him after the stick he had got from Arsenal and their fans which was over the top – even possibly matching Tottenham’s inability to just let players leave the club without a massive life long hate campaign. However, once Adebayor crossed that half way line my heart sunk – I felt I may be witnessing a three match ban, not a celebration.

However this has happened before – Gary Neville in a game against Liverpool in 2006 ran half the length of the pitch to celebrate a Manchester United goal infront of Liverpool supporters – see video below. Was he banned? No. So if Garry Neville can get away with a £5k fine for this then I really can’t see Adebayor getting a ban.

City v Arsenal Preview

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City face their toughest test yet in the Premier League this season when they face Arsenal today. City will be hoping to continue their run of clean sheets against a high scoring Arsenal side.

Kolo Toure will face his old club as captain of City today after the sale of Richard Dunne to Aston Villa. Adebayor also looks certain to start against his former club and will look to build upon his three goals and fine early form. City will be without Carlos Tevez today and Robinho faces a late fitness test after both players picked up injuries in the midweek international match between Brazil and Argentina. City welcome back Vincent Kompany to the squad for the game after his return from injury this week.

Arsenal are not without their injury worries with Arshavin out and Johan Djourou will miss the next six months after undergoing knee surgery. Arsene Wenger will be sat in the stands today after being sent off late in the game against United. Arsenal will get a boost from the return of influential midfielder Cesc Fabregas. Tomas Rosicky is also expected to feature for Arsenal. Theo Walcott is continuing his recovery from a back problem but has resumed full training.

Mark Hughes is expecting a tough game today and rates Arsenal highly, especially after their good start to the season despite losing to United last time out: "They are a very good side, I went to game at Old Trafford and was very impressed with them. I thought they were the best team on the day, and they should have won. I'm sure a lot of Arsenal people must have been scratching their heads after the game, wondering how they lost it, but that can happen in the Premier League."

Manager Mark Hughes is confident that City can continue their own excellent form in the league this season against Arsenal so long as City can manage to hit top form, which he admits they have not done so far: “They have great individual talents within a way of playing that lets them create chances, and if they get it right on the day, they can do a lot of damage. We feel we have that capability as well, but we have not yet showed it this season.”

Manchester City vs Arsenal
City of Manchester Stadium
15:00 kick off

Probable Line Ups:

Manchester City: Given, Richards, Toure, Lescott, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Bellamy, Adebayor, Robinho.

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson, Song, Bendtner, Diaby, Eboue, Van Persie.

Ireland Is Superman - The Cartoon

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Ireland is Superman – The Animation... Stephen Ireland tackles “Abramowitch” who is persuading a young lad to come and join Chelsea. The satirical cartoon advances from Chelsea’s Hansel and Gretel transfer policies to Sepp Blatter’s witch hunt of top Premier League clubs. A small script of the cartoon can be found before the article on Chelsea’s ban and Sepp Blatter’s latest crusade...

Ireland is Superman Cartoon Script:

Abramowitch: That’s it my child, go to sleep... ...and tomorrow you will be Chelsea!
Ireland: Kiss my Blarney Bone
Abramowitch: You will never defeat me!
Ireland: Ya Idiot!
Abramowitch: I’m Melting! Who would have thought a girl like you would destroy my beautiful wickedness
Blatter: Damn You! I will turn all your Premier Manager’s into witches! The Premier League will fall! Next time Ireland... Next Time!

In the wake of Chelsea’s ban from any activity during transfer windows until 2011, Sepp Blatter – the FIFA president has vowed that clubs other than Chelsea will be punished if found guilty of poaching young players from abroad. A move designed to protect the rights of very young players who may find themselves in limbo if their potential or enthusiasm for the game changes. Blatter said: "They are taken at 14 or 15 years old with clubs saying that their parents are going too. But they get put into another family, and what happens to them? One out of say 20 has a chance to go on in their career. The others are left, and they need to be protected."

Regarding the case with Chelsea - the ban and fine is well over due. Chelsea have gone lower and lower in their transfer dealings despite lesser fines and warnings. Their poaching of Gael Kakuta is an example littered with evidence. Francois Callado, the former president of Lens summed up the arrogance of Chelsea – as they continued to behave as if they were above the law: "The contract [signed between Lens and Kakuta when he was 14] was rubber-stamped by the French league and French football federation. But Chelsea took him and played in a tournament with all their reserves, even without international clearance. When I met with Kenyon and Arnesen at Chelsea I took the contract. I told Kenyon, 'You're risking a fine and a transfer ban'. I explained the Fifa rules to him. Kenyon spoke with Arnesen and he said they were sure of their intentions. We said this is what we want and they said no way. They proposed a ridiculous fee. I said I'll leave you and if you're sure then I'll go to Fifa and we'll see if you're not sanctioned. They said there would be no need for another meeting."

They couldn’t say they weren’t warned... Chelsea were alleged to have poached Arnesen from Tottenham, fueled by photographs taken of him on Abramovich’s yacht when he was still employed by Spurs. Chelsea however issued a statement to refute the allegations claiming that: "Mr Abramovich and Mr Arnesen know each other, were holidaying in the same location and Roman and his wife invited Frank and his wife to join them for lunch. It was purely a social occasion."

In a similar case to Kakuta - Sergio Aguero retired from Athletico Madrid instead of seeing out his contract – however he signed for Chelsea a month later as he was a “free agent”. There was also the well publicised “tapping up” of Ashley Cole from Arsenal for which Cole and then manager Mourinho suffered fines.

It is right that children are protected, however that’s not to say that all transfers should be banned and that all young players should be tied to a single “home” football club. A lot can change during the early years of a player’s career. Blatter insisted: "Our aim is to protect both young players and older ones The only people who are against this are the rich clubs. Even the English FA supports it. But if you talk to the representatives of the Premier League, they'll tell you it's a stupid idea. They are making lots of money."

Some clubs have claimed that their young players are not contractually bound to them and therefore they should not be punished, however Blatter stated that this was not good enough: "There are clubs now who are looking at their books, some have even announced that a certain player has no contract with them and he is an amateur. They have done this to try to make sure that the player does not come under the jurisdiction of congress,"

There have now been a number of clubs that have been put under the spot light since the Chelsea ban. Manchester United’s transfer of Michael Fornasier who moved from Italian club Fiorentina is under FIFA investigation. Manchester City have also been reported by Rennes over youngster Jeremy Helan; however City are confident that they have now case to answer. City went through a third party for Helan and did not go to the Clairefontaine academy directly.

Sepp Blatter however, in his usual controversial way, has set about targeting the Premier League. Together with Platini’s continued attacks on Premier League clubs (which are far stronger than those levied at foreign giants such as Real Madrid) Premier Chiefs have a right to be aggrieved at the perceived witch hunt.

It could be said however that the increased attention has been brought about by the Premier Leagues arrogant and ridiculous suggestions to play Premier League matches on foreign soil.

Premier Fantasy Football League Update

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Here is the current Fantasy Premier League table for the Manchester City Project. After the August games Jay Davis' XI Kelevra's top the table with 224 points. Jay Davis' team managed to secure 1st place with a great 102 points score in Game Week 4.

As the international break is upon us it's time to concentrate on any transfers you wish to make in order to creep up the league...

It's still not too late to join our fantasy football league - simply use the league code 431917-106812. Go to the Fantasy Premier League website by clicking HERE.

Portsmouth 0 Man City 1 Match Report & Video

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Manchester City continued to gel against Portsmouth despite not driving in full gear. City’s 1-0 win makes it three out of three in the league. City look solid at the back with new arrival Lescott and they look frightening going forward... ...there is certainly more to come.

Adebayor scored his third goal in as many games from a Gareth Barry corner after he lost his marker, the new Portsmouth captain Aaron Mokoena. City should have been 2-0 up minutes later when Bellamy crossed for Richards to slide in at the far post. However the goal was ruled offside due to Barry arriving in the six yard box, despite Barry not interfering with play.

Portsmouth put up a fight after the goal with David Nugent missing a glorious chance after scuffing his shot into the ground and Given stood tall and strong to chest the ball clear.

City could well have had a penalty in the closing moments when Belhadj brought down the impressive Wright-Phillips in the box, but replays show that Belhadj won the ball before making contact with Wright-Phillips.

Robinho was left on the bench for the game, with Bellamy taking his place on the left wing. Robinho was carrying a knock on his ankle and was not risked, especially as he will be featuring for Brazil in the important World Cup qualifier against Argentina in the next few days.

Match Facts:
Sunday 30 August 2009, 1:30PM
Fratton Park Att: 17826 Barclays Premier League

Portsmouth: Begovic,Kaboul,Vanden Borre,Belhadj,Mokoena,Mullins,Brown,Kranjcar,Hughes (Nugent 86),Smith (Utaka 68),Piquionne (Kanu 73) Unused subs: Ashdown, Hreidarsson,Ward, Basinas, Bookings: Hughes and Mokoena

Manchester City: Given,Richards (Zabaleta 60),Toure,Lescott,Bridge,Wright-Phillips,Ireland (De Jong 76),Barry,Bellamy,Adebayor,Tevez Unused subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Petrov, Weiss, Robinho Bookings: Zabaleta

Adebayor Goal Against Portsmouth 30/08/09

Mark Hughes Interview

Paul Heart Interview

Portsmouth vs Man City Live

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Live Commentary and Chat here today on Portsmouth vs Manchester City. Click here for stream.

Manchester Ciy head to Portsmouth today on the back of three straight wins and clean sheets. Mark Hughes could field an unchanged side, whilst it's anyone's guess who Portsmouth will select with all the changes taking place at Fratton Park. James is now fit and is expected to play along with old boy Michael Brown and new striker Tommy Smith.

Portsmouth: James, Kaboul, Mokoena, Mullins, Nugent, Utaka, Kranjcar, Kanu, Ashdown, Hughes, Begovic, Basinas, Belhadj, Vanden Borre, Piquionne, Smith, Niemi.

Manchester City: Given, Taylor, Richards, Zabaleta, Toure, Lescott, Onuoha, Bridge, Barry, De Jong, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Robinho, Weiss, Petrov, Tevez, Adebayor, Bellamy.

Carling Cup: City Face Fulham

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The draw for the 3rd round of the carling cup has produced an all premiership clash for Manchester City as they will face Fulham week commencing September 21st.

City made their way into the third roud after a strong team beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on Thursday night. Fulham start their League Cup campaign away to City after qualifying for the Europa League last term

City will go into the match after playing Manchester United in the derby on the 20th of September.

The League Cup third round draw in full:

Carling Cup third round draw:

Arsenal v West Brom
Chelsea v QPR
Bolton v West Ham
Barnsley v Burnley
Hull v Everton
Leeds v Liverpool
Manchester United v Wolves
Manchester City v Fulham
Sunderland v Birmingham
Peterborough v Newcastle
Carlisle v Portsmouth
Nottingham Forest v Blackburn
Stoke v Blackpool
Scunthorpe v Port Vale
Preston v Tottenham
Aston Villa v Cardiff

Busk for City!

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Manchester City FC have asked us if we can help to find some people with musical talent to play and or sing outside of the stadium on match days. Those with the x-factor will be given tickets for the game and proceeds will go to charity. The message from mcfc in full:

We are on the lookout for buskers and acoustic acts to perform outside the City of Manchester Stadium before City home games this season. In conjunction with the Umbro Playlist we need four acts each matchday to entertain the crowds as they arrive at the ground. Chosen artists will be asked to perform for approximately an hour before kick-off and will also receive a pair of tickets to the match. Any money collected through busking will be given to one of the clubs’ associated charities.

The first game we need buskers for is Arsenal on September 12th.

So, if you’re an acoustic act, guitarist, singer, violinist... anything musical, please get in touch by emailing us an mp3 of you playing or a link to a MySpace page etc to mcfc@mcfc.co.uk with ‘MCFC Buskers’ as the subject.

Crystal Palace v Man City Report & Video

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Manchester City secured a place in the third round of the league cup with a comfortable win over Crystal Palace. Goals from Shaun Wright-Phillips and Carlos Tevez ensured that City did not suffer a 2nd Round embarrassing defeat – again.

Joleon Lescott was thrust into the starting line-up after completing his move from Everton on Wednesday and helped City keep a third consecutive clean sheet. Palace threatened City’s goal in the first half with Moses very effective down the left and Sears coming close three times. Given was again on top form to prevent Palace gaining the lead.

City should have been ahead after 18 minutes when Robinho was ruled offside despite actually starting his run in his own half. This was one of a number of wrong desicisons by an inept linesman.

In the second half City completely dominated. They started the half with a goal when Ireland fed the ball through to Wright-Phillips on the edge of the area. Wright-Phillips smashed the ball – beating Speroni at his near post.

With 20 minutes remaining Carlos Tevez put the game beyond Palace with a header from six yards out after being left unmarked from a corner.

The strong starting line-up was necessary in order to ensure victory but also to help the new team gel together, which they are doing with every minute of play. Manager Mark Hughes was pleased with Carlos Tevez getting on the team sheet: "I was hoping that by playing Carlos that it would be an opportunity for him to get off the mark and was delighted that he did so.

"Carlos is a quality player with great intelligence. He makes the right runs time and time again.

"He is working very nicely with Emmanuel Adebayor."

Match Facts:
Crystal Palace 0

Manchester City 2 (Wright-Phillips 50, Tevez 72)
Thursday 27 August 2009, 8:00PM
Selhurst Park Att: 14725 Carling Cup

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Clyne, Fonte, McCarthy, Hill; Ambrose (Smith, 71), Danns, Derry, Moses (Carle, 79); N'Diaye, Sears (Scannell, 71). Unused subs: Flahavan, Lawrence, Lee, Butterfield


Manchester City: Given; Richards, Toure, Lescott, Bridge; Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry; Tevez (De Jong, 86), Adebayor, Robinho (Bellamy, 72). Unused subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Zabaleta, Petrov, Weiss

Bookings: Richards (10)

Mark Hughes Interview

Warnock Interview

City agree fee for Dunne

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Manchester City FC have confirmed that they have agreed a fee with Aston Villa for Man City captain Richard Dunne. The defender is currently on his way to Villa to discuss personal terms.

The official mcfc website have said: "City can confirm that the Club has agreed a fee with Aston Villa for defender Richard Dunne and the 29-year-old skipper is travelling to the Midlands to discuss personal terms for a move to Villa Park."

Aston Villa are reporting the same story on their website.

The fee is reported to be around £6 million.

MCFC film - we want YOU!

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Following on from the cross media partnership between Endemol and Manchester City - Endemol are to make a film following City and it's fans during the season. MCFC have contacted this website to see if City fans would like the opportunity to feature in the film.

At the beginning of July this year Endemol - the worldwide maker of entertainment programmes announced that: "Endemol Sport will closely collaborate with Manchester City in developing both the media strategy and the entire media content output for the Club in both domestic and international markets."

A message for you from MCFC and Endemol:

We are looking for a number of fans to take part in a film about Manchester City.

We want to hear from all kinds of fans, old and young, male and female. If you want to take part, can spare some time during the ups and downs of this big year and are willing to be open, passionate and interesting, we like to hear from you with details of:

Your interest and love of the club.

The great City stories you can tell.

What you do outside your City life.

What are your rituals on match day?

Is anything big happening to you this year?

If you fancy getting involved, email Mcfc@endemoluk.com with your details.

The Manchester City Project - A Man City Fans Site

Joleon Lescott Unveiled as a Man City Player

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Joleon Lescott was finally unveiled as a Manchester City player today. See Joleon's press conference video below. Joleon said: "There are World Cup players and winners here and if we're all pushing in the same direction then we should achieve great things."

Joleon Lescott signed a five-year-deal after agreeing personal terms, in a deal worth around £22 million for Everton. Lescott will bring strength and depth to City's defensive options along with left back Sylvinho.

Joleon Lescott added today: "I'm excited to have joined a great club, and after talking to Mark Hughes I know that the Club's ambitions and mine are similar. Now I just want to get out there with the lads.

"It was time for me to make the change, and my target now is to just play as many games as I can this season - you don't join a big club like this and expect to go straight in.

"We want to finish as high as we can in the League of course, and fourth place is achievable when you look around the dressing-room. We've signed players from some of the biggest clubs in the world, and that shows the ambition here.

"I think we're better equipped than Everton to finish fourth. I reached the FA Cup Final last season, which is an achievement. The next step is to win a trophy. I sense that feeling here.

"I've a lot to live up to but not because of the money. I put a lot of pressure on myself and make demands of myself.

"It's a demanding season with a World Cup to follow. I've managed to get into the England squad, now I want to try and cement my place for the World Cup, a massive goal for me."

Manager Mark Hughes said of Lescott at the press conference today: "I fully expect him to become the best central defender in the country. He is at the stage of his career where there is further development in him.

"He is at a club on which there is a huge focus. He will have to deal with that. That makes players grow. We have invested a lot of money in him and with that comes a responsibility.

“Joleon can be as good as John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. That is the challenge for Joleon. It will not faze him. He is a driven young man and wants to be the best he can be."

Despite claims that the signing of Lescott will bring to an end Richard Dunne's Manchester City career, Mark Hughes has reiterated that Richard Dunne remains the club captain. Richard Dunne will along with all the other defenders now face a fight for a starting place.

Hughes said of Dunne: "There is bound to be speculation but what we are trying to do is make the squad stronger,"

"No doubt we will get calls in relation to Richard or other centre-backs, because people will surmise that now Joleon is here others may leave.

"That is not necessarily the case," he said. "It can be down to the individual or down to circumstances, but my remit is to make the club stronger.

"As we stand today Richard Dunne is the captain,"

However it is now being reported that Aston Villa have had a £6 million fee agreed with Manchester City regarding the transfer of Richard Dunne. The Guardian are reporting that a fee has been agreed and they will offer Dunne the Villa captaincy in discussions over personal terms.

Man City had previously had 2 bids for Lescott turned down robustly by Everton. The situation took a dramatic turn when Lescott handed in a written transfer request which was immediately rejected by David Moyes. Lescott however was determined to secure a move to Manchester City. David Moyes inevitably had sell Lescott to prevent any long term damage to the stability of the Everton dressing room. Moyes said: "The situation means we have to sell him, that's been the main reason. It has jeopardised team spirit, you saw how we were against Arsenal."

Everton signed Lescott from Wolves in 2006 and the player has gone on to become a regular for both Everton and England. Birmingham born Lescott now lives in the Manchester area and was reported to be interested in a move to City since the saga began.

Lescott is a versatile player who can play as either a left-sided centre back or a left back. Lescott responded today over David Moye's claims that Lescott's attitude was "disappointing" and how he insinuated that this was the cause of Everton's 6-1 thrashing by Arsenal on the opening day of the season:

"I was disappointed in the comments, I feel they're inaccurate," Lescott said. "I'd like to address them at a later date and talk more positively about my move here.

"I don't think I disrespected any of the (Everton) players. If I did I apologise. I'd like to think they thought I gave my all when I played.

"I know it wasn't my finest game for Everton (against Arsenal). It was a collective effort and obviously Arsenal were better than us on the day."

City manager Mark Hughes and the backroom staff have been keen to add premiership proven players to the squad, and preferably home-grown talent. City’s squad now has a number of high profile home-grown players including Barry, Ireland, Wright-Phillips and Bridge. Manchester City is clearly preparing a team that will be able to compete under any new “Home-grown player” rule adopted by UEFA.

The home-grown player rule states: At least four players in every 16-man match-day squad will have to have been registered domestically for at least three years before their 21st birthday.

This is not to be confused with the FIFA “6+5” rule which was abandoned after it broke EU laws on freedom of employment between European Countries. It would mean that players who have been brought up through the ranks of English based clubs would also qualify as “Home-Grown”, so for example Richards, Lescott, Barry, and Wright-Phillips fall in this bracket.

Everton are reported to have compiled a “nailed on” dossier against Manchester City – accusing them of illegally “tapping-up” Joleon Lescott. If found guilty City and the player could face possible fines. The club could also suffer a point’s reduction penalty. Ashley Cole and Jose Mourinho were fined £75,000 and £20,000 respectively after Arsenal reported Chelsea for “tapping-up” Cole. The original inquiry found Cole in breach of Premier League rule K5, which prevents contracted players talking to rival clubs without their employer’s permission.

Mourinho, who initially denied he had been at the meeting, was found to be in breach of Rule Q, governing managers’ conduct. Chelsea was also given a suspended 3-point reduction if they were found guilty of committing a similar offence in the future.

Under these circumstances Everton would have to prove that Manchester City had spoken to Lescott regarding a move without their permission. The only hearsay is that Lescott and Hughes were on holiday together, along with John Terry... hmmm. If Everton believe that the saga has been too public then they will fail in that accusation because it was Everton who published the following on their website before Manchester City said anything public:

30/07/09: "We can confirm we have received an offer of £18m for Joleon Lescott from Manchester City and that offer has been rejected outright."

Of course in all probability all of this will fade away – especially as David Moyes’ comments after the 1-0 defeat to Burnley suggested that Everton were simply playing games to get as much money for Lescott as possible from the outset. Everything else would appear to have been a smoke screen to appease the fans and get more money for “3 or 4 players” before the close of the transfer window. Moyes said:

"We shouldn't have been asked to wait this length of time for an amount of cash we think was the correct value for the player.

"Real Madrid came in with the money (£80million for Ronaldo) a week after the end of the season. If the money had been offered in June it would have been a lot easier for us. The time is against us (to find a replacement)."

Lescott Video: At Press Conference

Man City sign Sylvinho

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Manchester City have announced the signing of Brazilian left back Sylvinho. The 35-year-old has joined City on a free after being released from Barcelona at the end of the season.

Sylvinho has previously played for Arsenal, where he made 55 appearances. From there he moved to Celta Vigo before moving to Barca. The capped Brazilian has won three La Liga championships and two Champions League Finals - including the win over Manchester United last term (where he played the entire 90 minutes).

Mark Hughes said on the Official Website:

“Sylvinho has a wealth of experience at the very top level, having represented Brazil and played for some of the very top clubs in Europe,”

“When the chance presented itself to bring him to Manchester City as a free agent I saw it as representing excellent business for us. Sylvinho won the European Cup last season at Barcelona and he will strengthen our defensive options.”

Sylvinho has signed a one-year deal.

Sky Sports are now reporting that Joleon Lescott has passed his medical for Manchester City.

A Cheesey video from Youtube of Sylvinho
Sylvinho Honours

Campeonato Paulista (3): 1995, 1997, 1999
Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (1): 1998
Copa do Brasil (1): 1995

La Liga (3): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09
Copa del Rey (1): 2008–09
UEFA Champions League (2): 2005–06, 2008–09
Supercopa de España (2): 2005, 2006

Lescott Medical at Man City

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Joleon Lescott is currently undergoing a medical for Manchester City after being seen arriving at the training ground. The two clubs have finally agreed a fee for the English Centreback, understood to be in the reigion of £24 million.

David Moyes relucantly decided to sell the player after Lescott made his attentions clear that he wanted to move to Manchester City. Lescott's transfer request and attitude towards the rejection of that request has now persuaded Moyes that the player should move on to stop any dressing room unrest: "The situation means we have to sell him," Moyes told The People newspaper. "That's been the main reason. It has jeopardised team spirit -- you saw how we were against Arsenal. I would have preferred to keep the player. He's a good player and he can play two positions.

"I've been disappointed but I've had my say on how it's been and any more would be repeating what I've said.

"You could see the effect that it had last week. It's played a big part behind the scenes.

"Joleon had told me on the Friday that he didn't want to play but I had no options so I chose to play him but it worked against me. So, I've taken the decision.

"It's been difficult because Joleon's attitude has been so poor. We'd rather have him playing but if a player is going to behave in the manner he did, we had not choice but to keep him away."

Man City vs Wolves Report & Video

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Manchester City won their second game of the season with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak watching from the stands. The City fans produced a number of new banners for the game including one from bluemoon forums that thanked Sheikh Mansour.

Other banners featured were “Ireland is Superman” and “We’re Not Really Here”.

Before the game Mike Summerbee was introduced as the clubs new ambassador infront of the fans with Garry Cook and Mark Hughes.

Mark Hughes made one change from the side that won at Blackburn, replacing Craig Bellamy with Carlos Tevez, giving a three pronged attack of Robihno, Adebayor and Tevez.

City completely dominated the first half. Wolves placed 10 men behind the ball and frustrated City until the 18th minute. Bridge passed to Robinho who worked his way down the left wing before passing back to Bridge who hit a ball across the face of the 18 yard box. Tevez deftly cushioned the ball into the path of Adebayor who turned and shot low and hard into the bottom of the net. That was Adebayor’s second goal of the season. (See video below).

It wasn’t until the 40th minute that Shay Given was called into action. Matthew Jarvis broke through the centre of the pitch and sent a powerful drive heading for the top right hand corner of the net. Given matched it – diving high he pushed it around the upright.

City lost a little composure in the second half and failed to close down the opposition who had decided to make a fight of the match. Wolves came close on 69 minutes when Andy Keogh smashed the crossbar with a drive that should have resulted in a goal. However Ireland should have put the game beyond Wolves on the 57th minute when he miss hit the ball with the goal at his mercy.

Overall City deserved to win the game on chances created, they had 11 shots on target compared to Wolves 2 and dominated possession with 65% of the play.

After the game during an interview Mark Hughes acknowledged that City and Everton were now in dialogue over the transfer of Joleon Lescott (see interview below).

Match Facts:
Manchester City 1 (Adebayor, 18)
Wolves 0
Att: 47,287

Manchester City: Given,Richards,Dunne,Toure,Bridge,Wright-Phillips,Ireland,Barry,Robinho (De Jong 83),Tevez (Bellamy 72), Adebayor Unused subs: Taylor, Zabaleta, Onuoha, Petrov, and Weiss

Wolves: Hennessey,Edwards,Stearman,Craddock,Henry,Keogh,Ward(Vokes74,Halford(Elokobi46)Jarvis,Milijas(Doyle46,Mancienne Unused subs: Surman,Hahnemann,Jones,and Berra

Bookings: Stearman

Adebayor Goal against Wolves

Mark Hughes Interview

Mick McCarthy Interview

Man City v Wolves Match Preview

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Manchester City host Wolves at the City of Manchester Stadium for the first home game of the season today. Emmanuel Adebayor (groin), Robinho (ankle), Wayne Bridge (hamstring) and Zabaleta (calf) will all have late fitness tests before the game. However Mark Hughes is confident that they may all be available for selection:

“Emmanuel had a bit of discomfort but we fully expect it to resolve itself and Robi has discomfort just above his ankle and we also fully expect he will be available for selection too.”

Carlos Tevez is expected to get his first start of the season today.

Wolves will be without striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who will be a big miss after firing Wolves to promotion last year. Keven Foley at right back (knee) will also miss the game. Forwards Chris Iwelumo (foot) and winger Michael Kightly (foot and hip) remain long term absenties.

Mark Hughes wants to play strong attacking football, however he is also aware that Wolves my come to get men behind the ball and stop City from playing:

“Our aim to always play entertaining football; that is how the squad is built and that is what we will be trying to do. We have a lot of quality in the final third and we want to replicate our home form of last season,”

“Wolves are off the mark all ready and their confidence should be high after coming into the Premier League off the back of a great season. Sides new to this league are nearly always more of a threat at the beginning of the season when their confidence is high and has not been pricked somewhat. They will be full of enthusiasm coming here.

“They will not come to us with any apprehension and we will see how they approach it. They could very well get lots of people behind the ball but they could also think ‘let’s be positive and see what happens.”

Probable line up for City: Given, Richards, Dunne, Toure, Bridge, Ireland, Barry, Wright-Phillips, Petrov, Adebayor, Tevez

If you wish to watch the game via live stream then click here.

Manchester City (from): Given, Zabaleta, Dunne, Toure, Ben Haim, Onuoha, Bridge, De Jong, Barry, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Weiss, Robinho, Adebayor, Bellamy, Tevez, Richards, Garrido, Etuhu, Vidal, McGivern, Petrov, Benjani, Taylor.

Wolves (from): Hennessey, Hahnemann, Ikeme, Stearman, Berra, Craddock, Mancienne, Zubar, Ward, Elokobi, Hill, Halford, Surman, Henry, Milijas, Jones, Jarvis, Edwards, Keogh, Vokes, Doyle, Spray..

Man City MP3 Chants

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Here are some mp3 files of Manchester City chants and the written lyrics.

Before Carlos Tevez signed for Manchester City the fans sung the "Herman munster's head" chant to the united player. However, since he moved to Man City the fans have quite rightly changed the lyrics of the chant - sung to 'When Johnny Comes Marching Home' which goes: "They couldn't afford his transfer fee, Tevez Tevez. Now he plays for Man Citee, Tevez Tevez. We're sorry for the hateful words, We're sure you've snogged loads of birds. Car-los Tevez is fitter than Cheryl Cole".

The Original Tevez Chant

He's neck scars proves he's lost his head Tevez, Tevez,
He'll never have a sexy bird Tevez, Tevez,
The argy t*at, the ugly c*nt,
They've sewn his head on back to front,
Carlos Tevez, Herman Munster head...

Since the Manchester City take over by the Abdu Dabi group City fans have ironically chanted at the full house at Blackburn "You're only here for the money" in response to the critism that City's new players have only signed for money - despite some fans from other clubs being quite happy to shell out money to watch them when they wouldn't have done otherwise.

Marching With Abu Dhabi

We're on the march with Abu Dhabi,
We're buying everyone we see,
And we'll really shake em up when we're winning all the cups,
'cos city are the greatest football team...

Are We Too Rich For You

Are we too rich for you,
Are we too rich for you,
Are we too rich for you,
Are we too rich for you...

You’ve got six fingers on each hand
Sung to such teams that come from Norfolk or Middlesborough

You've got 6 fingers on each hand,
You've got 6 fingers on each hand,
You've got 6 fingers on each hand,
You've got 6 fingers on each hand...

Fat Spanish Waiter
As sung to Rafa Benitez

Fat Spanish waiter,

You're just a fat Spanish waiter,

Fat Spanish waiter...

We’re Not Really Here

We are not, we're not really here,
We are not, we're not really here,
Just like the fans of the Invisible Man,
We're not really here...

Hark Now Hear

Hark now hear,
The City Sing,
United ran away,
And we will fight for ever more,
Because of Derby Day..

Blue Moon

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone,
Without a dream in my heart,Without a love of my own..

Na Na Na City

Nah nah nah, Na na na nah, Na na na nah,City...

Ireland Is Superman

Ireland is Superman,
Ireland is Superman,
Ireland is Superman,
Ireland is Superman...

Oh when the blues

Oh when the Blues go marchin in,
Oh when the Blues go marchin in,
I want to be in that number,
Oh when the Blues go marching in...

We Never Win

We never win at home,And we never win away,
We lost last week and we lost today,
But we don't give a f*ck,Cos we're all p*ssed up,

De de de de de de Martin Petrov

De de de de de de Martin Petrov, De de de de de de Martin Petrov...

Barcelona 0 Man City 1 Match Report & Video

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Man City fans were in good voice amongst the 94,123 crowd at the Nou Camp. They watched on as City beat the European Champions by a single Martin Petrov Goal and lifted the traditional pre-season friendly cup – the Joan Gamper trophy.

Vlad Weiss was named in the starting line up alongside Martin Petrov. Vlad Weiss had an excellent game on the wing, frequently showing signs of brilliance and he did not look fazed nor out of place amongst the likes of Lionel Messi, Ibrahimovic, Puyol and Yaya Toure. Based on his preseason form Vlad Weiss could well expect to gain some needed Premiership experience against Wolves on Saturday.

Martin Petrov who has been linked with a move away from Manchester City recently scored again to increase his chances of breaking into the City starting XI. Barcelona controlled the early stages of the match until City broke away after a Barca attack on 27 minutes. Stephen Ireland threaded a ball through to Martin Petrov who coolly slotted home.

City almost scored again just before half time when Petrov struck a freekick into the area and Gareth Barry watch his header fly past the post.

City’s back four stood up to a Barcelona backlash in the second half, with Dunne in good form at the back. Barcelona’s efforts resulted in a Jonathan shot hitting the cross bar and a Messi shot that went just wide.

Shay Given pulled off a number of fine saves to underline his importance in the team. Given saved brilliantly with his feet to deny a debut goal for Ibrahimovic. On this form Given will provided a firm foundation for City’s assault on the Premiership Elite this year.

In the final moments of the game Craig Bellamy had the chance to increase City’s lead after another Stephen Ireland pass. However Bellamy shot just wide.

Richard Dunne lifted the trophy infront of 94,000 fans at the Nou Camp – a major confidence builder ahead of Saturday’s first home game of the season against Wolves.

Martin Petrov's Goal vs Barcelona

Match Facts
Barcelona 0
Manchester City 1 (Petrov, 28)

Wednesday 19 August 2009, 9:15PM
Att: 94123 Pre-Season Friendly

FC Barcelona: Pinto; Montoya (Alves, 46), Puyol (Marc Bartra, 30), Fontas (Pique, 65), Maxwell; Sergio; Yaya Toure (Jonathan, 46), Gudjohnsen (Keita, 46); Jeffren Gai, 54), Bojan (Ibrahimovic, 46), Pedro (Messi, 46). Unused subs: Mino, Henrique, Muniesa, Thiago

Manchester City: Given; Onuoha, Dunne, Kolo Toure (Ben Haim, 46), Zabaleta (Garrido, 65); Weiss, Wright-Phillips (Tripper, 81), Ireland, Barry Etuhu, 69), Petrov; Tevez (Bellamy, 65). Unused subs: Taylor, Vidal, McGivern

Fan MEANS Fanatic

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There are some fans that are willing to go that extra mile. A Man City fan has “2011 Champions League Winners” tattooed on his arm, a united fan names her baby after Carlos Tevez – four hours before the striker switched to City and an entire Sunday League team changed their names to their footy heroes by deed poll to change their fortunes. Scroll down to take the Fanatic Name Change Quiz.

Man City Champions League Tattoo

Kirk Bradley is so confident that Manchester City will reach the Champions League Final in 2011 and win that he has had it tattooed on his arm.

Kirk explained the reason behind the Tattoo:

"While I was in the pub one night I was saying how I thought we'd win the Champions League next season and my friend turned to me and said 'if you're so sure why don't you have it tattooed?'

"He was obviously joking, so you can imagine his face when I turned around and said 'okay then'.

"I really believe we have the quality and ambition to go and achieve the biggest prize out there and I think we can do it that soon.

"With Mark Hughes at the helm and the money flowing in, we are going to not only challenge the big four, but the whole of Europe as well.”

Tevez Baby

Manchester United fanatic Claudia Thomas named her son after Carlos Tevez, unfortunately Carlos Tevez completed his switch to Manchester City four hours after baby Tevez was born.

Fortunately Tevez Thomas is fit and well after a brief spell in the new intensive care unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester.

Baby Tevez was the first baby to be born and treated in the new care unit.

Claudia said: "Tevez is a lovely name, I decided on it ages ago. I was gutted when I saw he'd transferred to City. We're all United fans in my family, I don't know what they're going to say when they find out.

"I'm very proud of him, he's already made history by being the first baby born at the hospital.”

The Sunday League Superstars

There’s a group of fanatics who play for Sunday League side Lynam Athletic in the Third Division of the Birmingham Coronation League. They were playing so badly that they decided they would all change their names in order to “strike fear into the opposition”

After changing their names by deed poll the team line up would strike fear into any opposition with the likes of Henry, Kaka, Rooney and Gerrard. Unfortunately they lost 4-1 to The Iron House after changing their names.

FULL SQUAD: Thierry Henry, Ronaldo (formerly Kevin Alban), Ronaldinho (Majid Ali), Carragher (Jon Barber), Alves (Paul Blears), Cafu (Dan Branch), Essien (Darryl Brown), Van Nistelrooy (Marc Clifton), Gerrard (Connor Edgcumbe), Terry (Ian Flatt), Messi (Chris Gray), Kaka (Nick Hall), Casillas (Pete Hall) Cannavaro (Neil Kimpton), Crespo (Andrew Mullan), Cech (Jon Robins), Rooney (Ben White).

The Fanatic Nutter Name Quiz

Not just football fanatics have changed their names in honour of their heroes... I've created the following quiz dedicated to various nut balls that have permanently changed their names.

To complete the small quiz match the photograph of the person to their legal title. Simply choose the correct name from the multiple choices.

After you have completed the quiz you will get the answers - scroll down the answers to see a little explanation and story behind the nut balls.

Lescott and Everton Part Company

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Joleon Lescott's move to Manchester City edged closer today. Lescott trained on his own away from the rest of the Everton squad and has been dropped for the European game on Thursday against Sigma Olomouc. Everton have declined to comment on the defenders absence.

Lescott will not feature in the European game on Thursday after missing team training today and being left out the Everton squad for the match. Lescott recently handed in a transfer request and also asked not to be picked for the 6-1 loss to Arsenal on Saturday. The public absence of Lescott from training could signal to Manchester City that Everton are now willing to do business - rather than disrupt their season any further. City are now believed to be in the process of making a third bid now that the amber light flashes.

Moyes will be disappointed to lose Lescott - however the transfer would enable him to look into the transfer market to bolster his thin squad. It has been reported that Moyes has enquired about two Spurs players - full back Alan Hutton and Midfielder David Bentley. The enquiry within the last 24 hours would again suggest that Everton are now resigned to losing Lescott and gaining some transfer funds.

The silence emanating from Everton regarding the absence of Lescott is uncharacteristic of a club that has used every opportunity to publicly deny the sale of Lescott. Everton said of the situation : "We will not be making any comment on this."

Expect Lescott to be a City player by the end of the weekend.

Blackburn Rovers v Man City Report & Video

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Manchester City has beaten Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at Ewood part on the first day of the Premiership campaign. An early goal from Adebayor and a late goal from Stephen Ireland ensured City’s first away win of the season – half of the total number of away wins City managed all last term.

Mark Hughes started with Adebayor upfront who had “shaken off” his groin strain sustained playing for Togo earlier this week; he was partnered by Bellamy and Robinho in a 4-3-3 formation. Tevez, lacking match practise started on the bench along with De Jong. Wright-Philips, Ireland and Barry made up the midfield, whilst Dunne, Toure, Bridge and Richards were in front of Given in net.

Throughout the first half City were dealing with Rover’s attacks unconvincingly in defence, however City looked to break away quickly and fluently each time they won the ball. 3 minutes in and on a counter attack Wright-Phillips pulled the ball back from just inside the area to Adebayor who struck with power and precision from 18-yards to beat Paul Robinson.

After 10 minutes of City dominance the Blackburn team pulled together and began to over run the midfield, leaving the competitive Barry to stop the Rovers push with numerous last ditch tackles. At the back City looked uncomfortable playing together. There were a number of mix ups between the back line with a number of collisions between players that Blackburn could not take advantage of. It will take a number of matches however before the team really begins to gel – once they do then it is quite clear that City fans will be enjoying a lot of flowing purposeful football.

Rover’s manager Allardyce is clearly correct in targeting a striker to add to the team before the end of the transfer window. Blackburn were unable to convert a number of chances. Steven N’Zonzi had a shot cleared, Jason Roberts smashed over the bar from 12 yards, McCarthy hit a freekick directly at Given who shortly afterwards kept out a Samba header.

City also had their chances with Robinho proving that whilst he can be anonymous for some of the game his contribution can be potentially match winning. Cutting in from the left wing the Brazilian hit a stinging shot that Robinson had to parry over the bar. He was also unlucky half way through the second half but was foiled again as Robinson brilliantly diverted the shot, low to his right.

Carlos Tevez made his competitive debut for City, coming on for Robinho. He too tested Robinson, who again got down low to save.

Blackburn were running out of ideas, the largely ineffective Diouf simply kept standing infront of Given each time Rovers had a freekick. The un-gentlemanly conduct almost paid dividends for Rovers gum munching manager as McCarty’s drive from out side the area whistled over the top right of the net, away from the beaten Given.

Stephen Ireland - Homegrown Superman

Stephen Ireland was to finish any hope for Blackburn fan’s in the last moments of the game. After another inspired break away Ireland found himself confronted by Robinson in the area after another pass from Wright-Phillips – he looked up and feigned to pass to Adebayor before coolly passing the ball into the net past Robinson. Ireland topped off another fine display with a cool finish, leaving the pitch to the sound of the 7,000 strong City travelling fans... “Ireland is Superman”.

Goals From the Game

Match Facts
Final Score: Blackburn Rovers 0 – Manchester City 2 (Adebayor, 3; Ireland, 91)
Starting Line Ups
Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Jacobsen, Samba, Givet, Warnock, Diouf, Andrews, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Roberts, McCarthy. Subs: Brown, Olsson, Khizanishvili, Grella, Hoilett, Di Santo, Gallagher
Manchester City: Given, Richards, Dunne, Toure, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Robinho, Adebayor, Bellamy. Subs: Taylor, Zabaletta, Onuoha, Petrov, De Jong, Weiss, Tevez

Mark hughes Post Match Interview

Sam Allardyce Post Match Interview