Distin unhappy with Dunne slur

Distin All is evidently not well at Manchester City. Despite getting a decent result at the weekend, trouble is still brewing. The latest in the Citeh saga is surrounding the contraversial attack by Richard Dunne on his team mates last week. Now, former skipper Sylvain Distin has revealed the depth of discontent within the Blues camp over Richard Dunne's comments.

Dunne condemned the effort of many recent signings saying that they had not done enough to justify their position at the club. Distin was one of the players he exonerated in his attack, which saw under-fire Stuart Pearce insisting that there was no division within his squad. However, Distin has felt the need to lift the lid on the anger Dunne has caused.

"The foreign players, particularly the French and Italians, have not taken it well at all," the French defender told Sky Sports' 'Premier League Show'. "They have taken it personally. I think you should discuss things face-to-face, man-to-man and try and understand one another. That is the best way to progress. It is a difficult time but we have to stick together. We have to communicate amongst ourselves and stop blaming one another for mistakes. Sticking together until the end is key."

The fans ire has largely been focused toward under-performing Bernardo Corradi and Georgios Samaras and their lack of bedevilment up top has been one of the major factors in City's slump. I'm certain that everyone at the club is aware of the problems on the pitch, and backbiting in the dressing room will not help matters at all. Whereas most City fans probably applauded Dunne's comments, a backlash was always inevitable, so perhaps it would have been better to stay quiet and berate them on the pitch instead? City need another good result and they can start thinking about rebuilding in the Premiership next season, until then, the dressing room needs some harmony. Is Stuart Pearce the man to halt the slide? [Mof Gimmers]

March 19, 2007 in Manchester City, News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

Joey Barton arrested on suspicion of assault & criminal damage

Bartonstf_228x220 Joey Barton's making headlines again, and again for the wrong reasons. The Man City midfielder/serial troublemaker has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage. Barton was questioned by police over an alleged argument with a taxi driver in Liverpool, that took place earlier this month. Merseyside Police confirmed that a 24-year-old Widnes man had been arrested and released on bail pending further inquiries in May. Classy guy.

March 13, 2007 in Manchester City, News balls | Permalink | Comments (2)

THE VOTE Who do you want to get relegated?

Around this time of the season I like to adopt one or two second teams to support in their relegation dogfights. I never like to see the three that get promoted go straight back down - and Reading have made sure that is not the case this season - but then you have to lose an established Premiership side. So who do you want to get relegated? Click below to see the candidates and choose who you would like to see in the Championship next season.

Manchester City Relegation outsiders. Level on points with Sheffield United, but with two games in hand. Don't think they will mess it up that much between now and the end of the season.
Sheffield United Relegation dead-certs have shocked a few people by sneaking up to 16th. Neil Warnock has brought colour to the Premiership, and I would like to see the Blades stay up.
Wigan Last season's Reading have been unlucky with some injuries, but their constant moaning makes me reluctant to offer any sympathy.
Charlton Alan Pardew has improved their chances of avoiding the drop considerably (relatively speaking, of course).
West Ham Overachieved last season and are as good as relegated already. And that's without any pending points deduction.
Watford I would love Aidy Boothroyd's side to get out of this one. They had some rough luck at the start of the season and their approach to life in the Prem has been excellent. It is difficult to see them avoiding the drop though.

Pick your three.

[Rob Parker]

March 2, 2007 in Charlton Athletic, Manchester City, Sheffield United, Vote, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (14)

DaMarcus Beasley waters the pitch for the groundsman

This video shows Manchester City winger DaMarcus Beasley having a crafty pee on the pitch while on USA duty at the 2002 World Cup (I think, but correct me if you know better!).

[Rob Parker]

February 27, 2007 in Funny old game, Manchester City, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (2)

Obscene season ticket prices to be slashed?

Money_4 News reaches us that Premiership chairmen are going to be forced into cutting 'obscene' ticket prices because fans have just about had enough of being the victims of daylight robbery every weekend, and as a result, football has reached a tipping point.

Two top-flight chairmen have expressed the same view, both of whom predict price cuts all round next season. 'It is a serious issue that has reached saturation point across the country,' said Phil Gartside, chairman of Bolton. 'We feel duty bound to make a stance by reducing the cost for our season ticket holders, and I'm sure other clubs will follow suit next season and listen to public opinion.' But surely the tickets are inflated at the chairs' behest?

This weekend saw ManYoo fans protesting about the amount being charged to let their fans watch their side at Fulham. They were asked for a whopping £45 to watch their team, and that doesn't include travel and grub... although they hadn't got far to travel from Essex eh? Ho Ho Ho... I'll get me coat. A senior executive from another of the Premiership's 'big four' clubs told Observer Sport that prices could not go any higher. 'Officially we are monitoring the situation,' he said. 'But privately we have realised that ticket prices have reached their maximum, at least in the immediate future.'

These warnings come slap bang in the middle of an attendance slump. Despite an increased capacity at Arsenal and Manchester United, the average attendance is down from last year, and whilst the big four continue to sell out their games, the overall Premiership average is down by more than 1,000 year on year and now stands at 32,775, not including this weekend. What is causing fans to stay away? Well, once, you could watch the footy and not dent the wallet too much, and know exactly when you'd be going out. Basically, high prices and amended kick-off times to enable saturated TV coverage aren't encouraging fans to get down the ground. 

Of course, a lot of money is generated by the TV rights, which obviously help clubs to bring in new players and the like. That said, the Premier League negotiated a new £600million, three-year deal for overseas TV rights to the Premiership. Add the £1.7 billion Sky and Setanta will pay to screen matches in Britain, and the £400m for internet and mobile phone rights, and it seems scandalous that ticket prices continually increase. Each club will be getting around £900m per season (starting in August).

Apart from drops in season ticket prices, a group are also want away matches addressed. The Football Supporters' Federation want a fixed price for all travelling supporters. 'Away fans in England are unique. You would not get 5,000 Milan supporters travelling to Juventus. If prices were to stay in line with the Taylor Report's recommendation, then £15 would be a fair price for those who travel to watch their team.' The report, published in January 1990 in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, stated that 'it should be possible for seating to be £6'. With inflation, that would mean fans paying just £9.60 now, rather than the average of about £30.

So what's the answer? Well, looking at Germany's Bundesliga, the average attendance was approximately 40,000, which is superior to our league matches. In fact, it's about a quarter more fans in through the turnstiles, shouting for their team. German fans can buy tickets for as little as £10 or £15 for all games, and in some cases, terracing is being used, which gives a fan a feeling of real unity, as opposed to the sterile stadia over here. What is interesting is that the Bundesliga is renowned for its competitiveness, with many teams standing a chance of winning it. Should we look at the German model to fix our game? [Mof Gimmers]

February 26, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, News balls, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (2)

Man City in takeover talks

Man_city Manchester City have announced that they are in "preliminary discussions" with potential investors that may lead to an offer for the club. The Citizens have revealed that, before Christmas, they were seeking fresh investment in the club but today's acknowledgement that they are talking to "third parties" suggests that a bit of headway is being made since then.

A statement to the stock exchange read: "The board of Manchester City notes the recent press speculation regarding the possibility of an offer being made for the company. Further to the company's announcement on December 7 2006, the board of Manchester City confirms that it remains in preliminary discussions with third parties that may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company. A further announcement will be made in due course as appropriate." Hands up if you think it may be an American? [Mof Gimmers]

February 22, 2007 in Manchester City, News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

FA Cup Quarter Final Draw

Facup_2 So the Quarter Final draw has been made for the FA Cup and the big guns have been kept apart once more.

Middlesbrough or West Brom v Manchester United or Reading

Arsenal or Blackburn v Manchester City

Chelsea v Tottenham

Plymouth v Watford

The matches will take place on 10 and 11 March. Who do you fancy for a spot in the semis? How about Plymouth getting there? 

February 19, 2007 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, News balls, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford | Permalink | Comments (2)

One to watch: Emile Mpenza

103895100_13Manchester City have taken Belgian striker Emile Mpenza on trial. The 28-year-old scored in a practice match against Blackpool last night. The former Schalke and Hamburg player most recently played in Qatar but has now ended his contact with Al Rayyan.

Mpenza was once a much sought after player, with Newcastle reportedly eager to bring him to the Premiership a few seasons back. It will interesting to see if he has the motivation to get back to his best, but he is certainly talking the talk. He said: "I am not finished and I will prove it in Manchester. I  make this move as revenge with respect to all those who criticised my decision to play in Qatar."

Click below to see a video of Mpenza in action.

One to watch: Emile Mpenza continued

[Rob Parker]

February 16, 2007 in Manchester City, Players to watch, Rumours & gossip | Permalink | Comments (0)

Was Barton's 'stamp' intentional?

Joey_bartonWhat does everyone make of the latest incident dogging Joey Barton? Man City gaffer Stuart Pearce reckons that the situation is becoming a "witch-hunt", with allegations and finger wagging come from all at Pompey.

Twitcher Redknapp claimed that Barton had set out to injure Pedro Mendes in the game at Fratton Park and that anyone who thought otherwise needed "their heads looking at". City's response to Twitchers comments were terse and to the point. "Mr Redknapp is entitled to his view," a spokesman said. "But we don't agree with a single thing he has said."

What do you reckon? Personally, I don't think Barton did anything wrong and Mendes was incredibly unlucky to come away crocked from an accidental clash like that... however, you may think differently... so tell us! [Mof Gimmers]

February 14, 2007 in Manchester City, Portsmouth | Permalink | Comments (1)

Andrei Kanchelskis hangs up his twinkle toes

Kanchelskis_1 Former Manchester United winger and all round twinkle toes Andrei Kanchelskis has decided to retire from football. Kanchelskis, now 38-years-old, said: "You need to leave at the right time. Now seems a suitable moment to begin a new chapter in my footballing life," added Kanchelskis, who will be deciding his plans in the coming weeks.

Kanchelskis won two titles and an FA Cup during his time at ManYoo won two Premiership titles before buggering off to join Everton in 1995. He then went onto have spells at Fiorentina, Rangers, Manchester City, Southampton, Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia and Saturn Moscow Krylya Sovetov. Despite being born in Ukraine, Kanchelskis opted to play for Russia following the fall of the Soviet Union, winning 36 caps and scoring five goals. His greatest accolade came last year when he was voted as the 47th greatest Premiership player ever by Pies writers.

Click over to see Andrei's wonder goal against Oldham in the FACup semi final, or alternatively, click here to see his hilarious showboating...

February 12, 2007 in Cult Heroes, Everton, Manchester City, Manchester United, News balls, Scotland | Permalink | Comments (0)