Sunday, July 31, 2011

City, Inaugural Dublin Cup Winners: Andy's Corner

Periodic Analysis & Opinion from Andrew, Supporter's Club Social Secretary:

Okay, let's be honest. No one cares about this cup, especially considering I have toenails older than it. You can even see this sort of "How silly is this whole thing?" expression on Kompany's face in this picture. With that being said, it is of some interest to us fans, because these two games were essentially the last preseason matches of summer 2011 for City, as the Community Shield Manchester Derby is next Sunday.

Irish XI 0, Manchester City 3
With that being said, let's get the first victory, 0-3 against an Irish XI out of the way. Our 3rd string team, comprised of mainly youngsters and unknowns, was rather shockingly awful. Of course, they are extremely young and simply trying to get by, but that was one of the worst matches of football I've ever seen, haha - consistent loss of possession on both sides, confused and poor ball movement, weak defending. Oh well, we came away with the win, and not surprisingly Shaun Wright-Phillips, Gareth Barry, and Adam Johnson were the best thing about it. Another stunning goal by SWP left me confused as to how he could not receive a starting position, and Gareth Barry (a player I have been want to loathe over the years) delivered numerous excellent long balls to the attack. I might have to ease up on him. Vladimir Weiss, for all intents and purposes the only other player of note in this game, was a bit headstrong and pacey, but all together again showing promise for the coming years. Veseli, Guidetti, and many others were piss-poor, if I'm being honest. With that being said I'm rather shocked an international side would let themselves get thrashed by a 3 goal shutout in such a disjointed way. Don't know much about the squad so perhaps it was not a starting lineup, with many players likely away on club duties. 

Manchester City 3, Inter Milan 0
Now, this game was actually more of a shocker, and exponentially more entertaining. With City fielding perhaps their strongest side (sans newcomer Kun Aguero and club headache Carlos Tevez, of course) currently possible, and Inter fielding a strong if not all first team side as well, the match was sure to be European level competition, and it was. 

Defence - 8.5/10

I never thought I'd utter these words, but Dave's favorite player Aleksander Kolarov actually had a fantastic game. He seemed to be pushing forward just the right amount, but when needed could pull back and hold the back for, along with the ever-perfect Vincent Kompany (looking comfortable in a captain's armband), and the continuously stronger and more measured Joleon Lescott, who much like SWP, has been playing this preseason with a point to prove. Our defence was able to render world-class veterans like Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto'o to little more than pencil pushers on the field, with a few chances coming for Inter, but not many. The biggest complaint was several unmarked players on corner kicks, which could come back to hurt us in the season; experienced teams like United and Chelsea will not be so forgiving in the box - the same and more goes for our Champions League competition. All in all, I give our defence a resounding cheer of support though. 

Midfield - 9/10

Similarly shocking was the heroic workhouse effort of James Milner today. While showing flashes of brilliance over last year's campaign, Milner was decidedly hot and cold all throughout his first year with City. With that being noted, I am not going to put too much into this performance other that him showing what he could be when healthy and hungry, but he was a real difference maker today - he seemed to be everywhere on the pitch, taking possession, rushing down the wings, and providing thoughtful and resilient service to players like Silva and Balotelli. Similarly class was Nigel De Jong, but not shock should be there, he was aggressive, patient, and team-oriented the entire 90 minutes. Yaya's ankle injury seemed to be a distant memory, and Barry, when substituted on, actually looked good again as well. Great midfield performance. 

David Silva - 10/10

Now while I could evaluate the attack as a whole, which was good, I might as well just say what we are all thinking after a game like that: David Silva is our attack. Officially crowned "The Magician" by today's commentators (and others, I believe), #21 was essentially a man possessed today - cutting like butter through the Inter defence with the ease of a Saturday afternoon pickup game against a kid's team. Vision, pace, unselfishness - all displayed here today. Last year, Silva was great, today he was epic. If these kind of performances against world class teams like Inter is what we have to look forward too... and Aguero in front of him to pass to... 2011-12 could be a WILD ride. 

-We have to admit to ourselves Balotelli is moody even on the pitch. Today I saw him at one minute take complete control of a ball, focus, take blasting strike, head in a goal, pass intelligently, only to minutes later watch him walk around the pitch like a soccer mom in Fort Mason. Other times he would lazily pass the ball away - not as a mistake, but as if he was not even taking the match seriously enough to give his teammates a crisp pass. He has all the talent in the world, granted, but if Aguero is everything he says he is, and Dzeko can continue to improve and be the target-man, I may advocate for Balotelli to be our 3rd option striker purely off of the fact that I cannot predict which Balotelli I will be seeing this week. 

-Dzeko will be alright, I've decided. If the players around him are in full swing, he is, truly, an asset - a big man up front, physically imposing, and more and more getting used to knocking around players, the English way. His ability to trap and set the ball against an oncoming defence is high quality, and he does have great striking ability. He is, might I add, hands down the most effusive and objectively 'likable' player on City, and has the entire team behind him, as evidenced by the players (including the sometimes stoic Yaya Toure) jumping on him and giving him congrats after an admittedly easy goal for any decent striker. Perhaps he will truly become our Bosnian Diamond, and stop looking like coal.

-Give Shaun Wright-Phillips a chance on the first team. The man has given us Champions League, hell, world-quality goals, assists, and presence this preseason. We open with Swansea at home - not a tough match. Start SWP and see what he can do.

Well, that's I think enough for now... the Community Shield next week, a HUGE derby that both sides of Manchester (or should I say Manchester and some place in Greater Manchester? Ha) are taking extremely seriously, as well SF California Blues. 'Til next time.

Live Forever

Friday, July 29, 2011

City In The Dublin Super Cup - Weekend Viewing Schedule

What's up folks - this weekend we have our two final preseason matches in Dublin - one against a hand-picked Irish XI, the other against world football giants Inter Milan. While not of huge importance, these games will be an opportunity to see how we are looking a week before the Community Shield, but more importantly, will most likely be the first time we get to see our new crown jewel - #16, Sergio "Kun" Aguero!

The viewing schedule is a little bit funky, but here we go:

Both games are being tape-delayed on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus. Therefore, if you want to see the game live, I would suggest going to a streaming site like, or downloading SopCast and watching it that way.
Dublin XI v Manchester City will be played LIVE (in-person) on Saturday @ 6:00 A.M. California Time

Manchester City v Inter Milan will be played LIVE (in-person) on Sunday @ 8:15 A.M. California Time
Now, as far as the tape-delays and when the game is played, the schedule goes as follows:
Dublin XI Manchester City will be first TELEVISED on Saturday @ 10:30 A.M. California Time on Fox Soccer Plus 
(*Re-runs of the match at 1:30 P.M. on Fox Soccer Channel, and 10:00 P.M. on Fox Soccer Plus)

Manchester City v Inter Milan will be first TELEVISED on Sunday @ 11:30 A.M. California Time on Fox Soccer Plus
(*Re-runs of the match at 1:30 and 8:00 P.M. on Fox Soccer Channel, and 10:00 P.M. on Fox Soccer Plus)

**Note 1: Maggie McGarry's has all of these channels, and WILL be open
**Note 2: If you do not have Fox Soccer Channel or Fox Soccer Plus, I highly suggest going to www.MyP2P.eu, or googling "SopCast" the program.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LA Galaxy 1(6), Manchester City 1(7)

Yet another legendary outing with Supporter's Club this past weekend. About half of us headed down to Los Angeles to connect with the recently founded L.A. California Blues at On The Rocks in Redondo Beach, and they were as welcoming and friendly as only City fans know how to be!

After a few pints at the bar, we headed up in a chartered bus to the match at Home Depot Center... for many of us, it was a first time at the ground - beautiful arena with perfect weather, and a fairly nice set-up. There were alot of rags walking around supporting #23 who shall not be named but we held it down for the true fans of Manchester!

The first half was a well-played storied in grace from the Boys in Blue; a stacked starting line-up including David Silva, Mario Balotelli, Adam Johnson, et. al. took an early 1-0 lead in the 20th minute after a penalty kick taken by Super Mario. Unfortunately a few minutes later Maniacal Mario decided to continue his previous antics, and attempted a silly back heel kick at goal despite essentially an open net to score on, leading to front page disdain and contempt from both City and neutral press alike this week!

Our second half was a bit more confused, with the Galaxy scoring an admittedly class goal in the 53rd minute, unstoppable even for the likes of England's #1, Joe Hart! But no worries, we thought - what's the worst that could happen... the game could go to PENALTY KICKS?!

And oh, boy, did it ever!

On the 13th PK taken in the shootout, none other than keeper Joe Hart blasted one in the top right corner to give City the win, celebrating with a generationally relevant Ryu Hadouken pose (from Street Fighter) before giving fair play to the Galaxy and referees.

The club returned in fine spirits (no pun intended) to On The Rocks, and continued with our party.

All in all, another fantastic one for the Supporter's Clubs in California, all praise due to the L.A. Blues for showing us a great time, and much thanks due to the Almighty MCFC for giving us 3 wins in 3 games over here in our beloved North America!

Next stop, Dublin... and perhaps the first appearance of our newest signing... can you guess?

'Til next time, over and out from the S.F. California Blues!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vancouver Whitecaps 1, Manchester City 2: Andy's Corner

Periodic Analysis & Opinion from Andrew, Supporter's Club Social Secretary:

An impressive come-from-behind win punctuated City's victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Monday.


While the San Francisco match against Club America was a study in patience, in a very Mancini-esque sort of way, this Vancouver game was somewhat of a free-flowing spectacle despite its shockingly patchy pitch. Vancouver, despite being statistically the worst team in the MLS, took the game to us in the attack, presenting something of a double-edged sword for City: on one hand, it lead Vancouver to take on an early lead off of a floaty strike bouncing off of City's new Montenegrian defensive signing, Stefan Savić, while on the other, it displayed our considerable defensive resilience and depth. Savić himself was otherwise steady and clearheaded in the back, never too fast or too slow. The other new signing, Gaël Clichy, was fairly acceptable as well, delivering several well-placed crosses and long balls to Shaun Wright-Phillips and others. Kompany was class as usual, as was Lescott, who continues to impress with his aerial skill, and thoughtful acuity when it comes to an active opposing attack.


The midfield was a bit disjointed, with Nigel de Jong and Yaya Touré being their usual brilliant selves before Yaya went down with a nasty ankle injury. Milner was also his usual self: one minute a solid stud in the midfield, moving much quicker than one would expect, the next minute lazily passing away a ball to the defence. A year later, the jury's still out on him, but I'd say he looks better in central midfield. Barry was similarly on and off, alternating between good, quick passes and carelessly handing possession to the Whitecaps. Personally, I think he is regularly "meh", but at times a solid midfielder for mid-table matchups. 


Our attack was arguably our strongest suit - Vladimir Weiss, Slovakian national coming off loan from Rangers, is looking all parts of great - fast, unselfish, and ballsy in the final third. Johnson is still finding his footing since an injury prone 2010-11 season, but I see a big year for him he stays healthy. Shaun Wright-Phillips, far and away the man of both matches, delivered an absolutely firecracker of a goal, besting his strike against Club America in San Francisco. Fresh off of a renewed contract, SWP looks like he is out for a first team spot, delivering two world-class deathblows in the first two pre-season games. 

-Dzeko looked hungry and creative, but not very stable. An embarrassing miss of a goal here, an ugly strike there = he still looks a bit lost, despite him being one of my favorite recent signings, as far as temperment and loyalty go.
-Balotelli looked like he'd rather be receiving an enema than be on that pitch, but given the complaints and the obvious destruction of the grass, perhaps understandable? He kept his cool enough during a late skirmish to have the opposing player receive as card, not hin, so that's good. Also had a great crack of a shot, but it was well defended. 
-Mancini's son looked decent.
-Swedish player John Guidetti scored the first goal, a well placed header, glad to see even more depth with us. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he had a good game, despite missing a chance at goal after a counter. 
-McGivern and Kolarov were solid yet again

In general, I was happy with our perforamnce. Under the conditions of playing on our worst pitch since our 0-0 Notts County away tie from the successful FA Cup run, we managed to keep a cool head, play like a team, and come from behind with a win. I predict a very exciting match against the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday. 

Cheers and Live Forever,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Manchester City 2, Club America 0

An absolutely cracking day out seeing the City boys in their first match of the 2011-12 season, hosted in our home of San Francisco, California!!! 

We all started at Maggie McGarry's, with a high turn out of around 100, some from the supporters club, some from Manchester visiting on the tour.

Chris and Paul from the Club came by and shot an awesome piece on us as we travelled to and from the game, an absolute honor to be involved. You can view the video here:

We headed to the stadium as a group before taking pictures with the FA Cup (too cool): 

But perhaps the most pleasant surprise of all was meeting City god Mike Summerbee, who was kind enough to not only take pictures, but actually sign our banner. All praise is due to Ericha from the supporters club for hooking us up with the Man himself, Mr. Summerbee!

All this and the game hadn't even started!!!

After a funky but precise rebound shot from Ryan McGivern to give us a 1-0 lead, City legend Shaun Wright-Phillips gave us the 2-0 advantage, which, as the City announcer put it, "Even 6,000 miles away, the City fans embark on the Pozan!!" giving us our second big action as a supporters club on actual television this time. Check out the 33rd second of this video:

After the game our friends and families went our separate ways, but it was an absolute honor and a pleasure to be involved in such a big day for us, the fans, and the Club starting this year with a win!

Many of us will be attending the Galaxy game in L.A. in a week, so look for more stories soon!

Cheers from the SF Man City Blues!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

City v Club America Weekend Schedule

Friday, July 15th

We will be meeting at Maggie McGarry's at 7:00ish to meet up with the Official Supporter's Club President. If you will be in attendance please be on time and in City garb. We will also be unveiling our new club banner, and member cards if you have paid your dues.

So come by, grab a beer, and meet the rest of the San Francisco City faithful!

Saturday, July 16th (Matchday)

We will be holding a tailgate at Pier 30 at The Embarcadero in San Francisco from 2:30 to about 4. Feel free to meet us there or come meet us at Maggie's between 1:30 PM and 2:15 PM.

The game is from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, after which most of us will be going to Maggie McGarry's again for a post-game drink. Feel free to come by and meet us there if you miss the game or are looking for more Blues to hang with.

Cheers, and come on you Blues!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Hello Fellow Blues,

We are the San Francisco Manchester City Blues, a group of die-hard City fans culled from all regions of Northern California. We were officially founded in 2011, although all of us have been following the boys in blue many years now and are proud to represent the lovely Greater Bay Area with our support and love!

We currently watch matches at Maggie McGarry's, 1353 Grant Ave., San Francisco, CA, US 94133... a great local Irish pub, owned by a Blue, which opens as early as the matches start (yes even the 4:45 A.M. ones!), and have a regular following of fans to meet, discuss, and enjoy not only City but the entire English Premier League with.

Please join us, and look for more info soon!