Thirsty for more?
Welcome to our second digital matchday programme as we prepare to host Burnley this evening. ..
The response we got to the Arsenal edition was fantastic and we hope you enjoy this one even more. Of course, there's nothing like having a peruse of your match programme and then folding up in your back pocket, but we hope you agree that this is the next best thing.
Once again, we've got Pep's manager notes along with a detailed focus on the Clarets. We also have a stat feature on Phil Foden, a head-to-head comparison between Ederson and Nick Pope and Ian Bishop's Dream Team.
All the above plus an homage to Colin Bell, Marc Riley's column and a guest columnist in the form of King of the Kippax fanzine editor Dave Wallace.
It's an evolving beast and we will aim to continue to serve the very best digital offering we can for you ahead of our remaining home games.
Keep safe and enjoy the game.
Pep's thoughts ahead of the game...
Good evening and a warm welcome to Sean Dyche and his Burnley players and staff.
Before the lockdown came into force and football stopped, Burnley were in a good run of form with five games unbeaten and we know the qualities they will bring with them this evening.
It was good for us to get a game under our belts on Wednesday in the 3-0 win here over Arsenal. After such a long lay-off and with no fans in the stadium, no one really knew how things would go, but I was pleased with the evening’s work that we produced.
In general, we played well but we can improve. It goes without saying that we missed the fans a lot. But we controlled the game well. We had a lot of shots on target, the statistics were good.
We felt really safe playing the game, the Premier League and especially the excellent City staff have done an incredible job re-configuring the training ground and the stadium to make sure we are safe and feel as comfortable as possible. It was weird because you miss people and the noise, but we must not relax in that respect and continue to be careful.
It was a good way to return. The start of the game was predictable after two months off. There was a lot of early energy, fizz, and excitement, but it eventually settled down. In the end we made a good performance against a good team.
We have incredible respect for Arsenal, it was a mystery to know how each side would perform but we have dynamic players who don’t need a lot of physical training. We controlled the game well.
The problem we need to solve in these opening weeks surrounds the amount of energy the players expend. We must be smart with the way we train and the way we use players over the coming weeks. Everyone will play an important part.
The players arrived back fresh and with no problems - just a lack of physical condition. To get physical condition you need to play minutes. The problems start when you are playing every two, three days. I will not change 11 players every time, but I will use the chance to make five subs for every game. And those in the best shape will be ready to play in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.
We are not looking further than each game now. We are concentrating on just one step at a time, on rest and recovery.
The best news from after Arsenal was that Eric Garcia feels fine and well and is home after the injury he sustained. It was unfortunate for him. He is an intelligent player who has been training well and does not make many mistakes. He is a very focused young man and he will be back soon.
Enjoy the game everyone
Club Ambassador Mike Summerbee's column...
We all miss the atmosphere of the crowd and it’s very difficult to comprehend what playing in an empty stadium is like.
As a spectator, it’s not what you want to see, but in my playing days, I never once played behind closed doors so can only imagine how it feels.
I watched our game against CSKA Moscow a few years back in Russia – technically played in an empty ground - but there were about 600 people there that night so it wasn’t quite the same.
Against Arsenal was the first time I’ve watched a genuinely behind closed door game and it was strange. I’ve found watching games on TV strange, too and without supporters, sometimes a difficult watch.
But we all know we have to go by the guidelines set and why we are doing it, but what I would say is that I thought our lads handled it superbly against Arsenal.
We were very positive and upbeat and we played really well. Our attitude is spot-on and I think Pep has got the players in exactly the right mindset to tackle this situation - plus we play such good football, you forget there are no fans there!
I looked at Phil Foden when he came on and he’s grown up now – he’s a man, not a boy – and he is going to be some player… he already is.
I think he will become a first team regular next season and I can tell you that he is going to take some shifting.
Tonight we face Burnley, a club I have an enormous amount of respect for who have an excellent manager in Sean Dyche.
Though we are at home, we all know nobody likes going to Turf Moor, and that’s because of the way Dyche has modelled his team and done so on a limited budget.
This is their first game back and you just know they will battle and fight for everything – that’s why they have established themselves as a Premier League club.
They are a good honest bunch and this will be a tough match, but one we will start favourites to win based on league positions.
And the games come thick and fast with Chelsea on Thursday but whether Pep changes things around or not, whatever team that plays will have the same attitude and camaraderie and that’s down to our manager and his backroom staff.
Enjoy the game tonight and cheer the boys on from wherever you are.
Trust me, they know you are with them.
OUR BEAUTIFUL HOME
Our talented Club photographers Victoria Haydn, Matt McNulty and Tom Flathers captured the return of football with a stunning range of Etihad images...
In the last English season to spill over into high summer – after the prolonged freeze-up of 1947 – Burnley took the first step towards a golden age in which they would become League champions.
Under newly-appointed manager Cliff Britton, the Clarets lost to Charlton in the 1947 FA Cup final but secured promotion, four points behind Manchester City. Wales international Billy Morris scored the last goal of their campaign in a 1-1 draw with Millwall on Saturday 7 June.
If the current season is not a replica - they are playing at the top level rather than in Division Two - there are similarities in the way they are developing club and team over a period.
This is their sixth term in the Premier League, five of these coming in the eight seasons since Sean Dyche took over from Eddie Howe.
Already there are signs of a Dyche dynasty, not yet, perhaps, in the mould of Harry Potts, the title-winning manager of 1960, but certainly in the way that Burnley have broken new ground.
Notably with a return to Europe after taking seventh place with 54 points two years ago, and now a season in which they flitted in and out of the top 10 up to Christmas.
If there was a wobble at the turn of year, it was quickly corrected with Dyche installed as Manager of the Month for February and his team eyeing a late challenge for a Europa League place.
Burnley have generally recruited well. Most of the current squad came from other clubs and if Dwight McNeil is technically in this category – he was with Manchester United in his early teens – the much-admired winger is more an advert for Turf Moor academy.
There could be more to come from a successful run in this season’s FA Youth Cup. The Young Clarets reached the last eight before going out to City.
At first-team level, up to the enforced break in March, McNeil was one of four ever-present starters. The others were goalkeeper Nick Pope – taking over as No.1 with Joe Hart on the bench – and the defenders, James Tarkowski and Ben Mee.
In the next group, all with 22 or more starts, were New Zealand striker Chris Wood and the midfielders, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood and Jeff Hendrick.
Wood is top scorer with 11 Premier League goals, five ahead of Ashley Barnes when the latter was ruled out in January after a hernia operation. Other strikers are Jay Rodriguez, in his second spell at the club, and Matej Vydra who won the Premier League’s goal of the month award in February.
Whatever line-up Dyche chooses, he will back his players to do the right thing. While there have been some knocks – as in conceding nine goals to City and Spurs in successive matches in December – there have been more good days. None better than the double in January, beating Leicester City at home and winning at Old Trafford for the first time in 58 years.
Here’s to bright blue skies…
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When you’re ready to start flying again, you’ll be safe in our hands.
Your wellness, our priority
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Using clever, self-scan technology, optimised seat maps and new queuing systems, we’ve limited touchpoints and made sure there’s more space between you and other guests at all times.
We’ve introduced additional deep cleaning at Abu Dhabi airport and on board, focusing on the surfaces that are touched most often. That includes our check-in counters, toilets, seats, and entertainment screens, so you can feel comfortable knowing that we disinfect every touchpoint of your journey more regularly.
All of our aircraft are cleaned and sanitised every time they reach their destination, and because we know that cleaner air means cleaner cabins, our filters on board remove 99% of microbes and regularly refresh the cabin’s air.
And for even more peace of mind, we’ve also introduced a team of Etihad Wellness Ambassadors. They’ll share advice, answer your questions and make sure you’re up to date with the latest regulations and guidelines for when you arrive at your destination. Visit etihad.com/wellness to discover more.
We’re here for you 24/7
Our dedicated team of Wellness Ambassadors are available 24/7, so you can rest assured there’ll always be someone available to help. Chat to our Wellness Ambassadors online, meet them at the airport or speak to them on board – they’ll be with you at every step to make sure your journey is as comfortable as possible.
Freedom to fly when you’re ready
Sometimes, plans change. And that’s ok.
To give you the freedom to change your plans if you need to, we’ve introduced more flexible fares and removed our change fees on flights booked before 30 June. So, if you’d prefer to travel at a different time, you can change your flight for free. Simple.
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We can’t wait to welcome you back on board and whisk you away on your holiday. Until that time, we’ve introduced Etihad Travel Vouchers, to give you more to spend on your well-deserved break in the future.
Buy an Etihad Travel Voucher before 24 June 2020 and we’ll add 50% to the value of your voucher for free. So, if you buy a voucher worth £1,000, you’ll have £1,500 to spend on your next trip.
Use your Etihad Travel Voucher to pay for flights and extras from 1 August 2020. Your voucher is valid for two years, so you have plenty of time to plan the perfect trip.
For our best fares and flexible holiday packages, book at etihad.com.
CITY V BURNLEY:
THE STORY SO FAR
Our 123-year history against our Lancastrian neighbours...
City and Burnley will lock horns for the 103rd time this evening in a fixture we've generally fared well in over the years.
The first meeting between the two Lancastrian sides was on October 30, 1897 and the Clarets would take the honours with a 3-1 win and the return game at Hyde Road ended 1-1.
Our first win was a 1-0 home success in March 1900 and in 1903, a 6-0 City win at Hyde Road was the first of many thrashings the Clarets suffered - including the next clash six years later that saw City win 4-0.
In fact, between 1900 and 1920, City would lose just once, winning seven and drawing the other two by a goals aggregate of 26-8.
The Clarets – who claimed their first top flight title in 1920-21 – recorded their biggest win over City to that point in April 1922 with a 5-2 win at Turf Moor and their first two visits to Maine Road ended as 2-2 and 3-3 draws.
However, in October 1925, City thrashed Burnley 8-3, winning the return at Turf Moor 2-1 - but while City were relegated that season, Burnley survived by one point.
After a 1-0 win at Turf Moor in 1933 saw City progress in the FA Cup, the Clarets would have to wait until 1948 to next taste victory.
Between March 1953 and March 1963, Burnley enjoyed their best run of success in this fixture, winning 11 and drawing three of the next 19 meetings, including 4-1 and 5-2 wins at Maine Road and a 6-3 win on their home soil.
Burnley had claimed their second top-flight title in 1959-60 and City faced the champions in the second and third games of the 1960-61 season – City winning both meetings 2-1 at Maine Road and 3-1 at Turf Moor – in the space of six days!
Between 1966 and 1970, City would then lose just one of the next 10 games and among the results was a 7-0 win at Maine Road.
But from April 1975 to the present day, a game against City has become something painful for Burnley fans.
The Clarets have managed just one win the last 23 meetings and the combined goals tally makes for painful reading for their supporters, both home and away.
City have won 16, drawn six and lost just once, scoring 67 goals and conceding 17 - that's almost an average of three goals per game and includes 6-0, 6-1, 5-0 (x3) and 4-1 (x2) drubbings.
It is now 57 years since Burnley last won away to City with their last success coming in 1963 and what had once been a fairly even fixture has been dominated by City for more than 46 years.
Pep Guardiola will hope that run continues this evening...
THE KING: colin bell
Renowned photographer and lifelong City fans Kevin Cummins has been celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Club photos he's taken over the years...
This week I’m featuring a few photos I’ve taken of one of our greatest players of all time: Colin Bell. The photo of King Colin signing an autograph was taken when I was at Art School in 1973.
I love how he’s ‘in the zone’ and barely engaging with anyone around him. The formal player portrait was a shot I took in the late 70's when City inexplicably asked me to take the team photos and head shots for a couple of seasons.
I managed to pluck up the courage to ask Colin to pose for me. I was so nervous, I’m amazed there’s no camera shake on it. I love the shot though. He looks so regal. The medal is his European Cup Winners’ Cup medal from 1970 and the boots are a pair he wore towards the end of his career.
Finally, I had to use a shot of Bell flanked by Lee and Summerbee, from Colin’s testimonial. In my mind they’re still the greatest triumvirate to grace English football, and no, I’m not inviting counter-claims here. They just were.
Former City favourite Ian Bishop chooses his all-time City XI – and it’s that good, even he didn’t make the cut….
Take it away, Bish…
"So, I’m going with a 4-3-3 and will start with Joe Hart – still a top keeper and was incredible for City. In defence I’m pairing Vincent Kompany with Colin Hendry – both good in the air and on the ground with a full-blooded tackle in them.
'My right-back is the truly gifted Paul Lake and on the left I’d have to go with Terry ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Phelan – he had some pace!'
"My midfield trio would probably set you back £500 million or more in today’s money – what price Colin Bell? Yaya was immense for City and Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best midfielders in the world just now and we’re lucky to have him.
"My forward three would be David Silva supplying Sergio Aguero and Rodney Marsh. Marshy would be pure entertainment, but he was also a wonderful footballer. No words needed for Aguero!
"And as much as I love Joe Royle, I’d have to go for Pep as my manager."
tales from the marc side
BBC 6 MUSIC DJ MARC RILEY'S SIDEWAYS TAKE ON LIFE...
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the movie ‘Back to The Future’. I accept that I have seen clips of it. Lots of clips of it. In fact, I probably have seen most of it…. but in short bursts. I’m sure, however, that there must be a part of the film that would eventually test the resolve of the viewer and send them hurtling towards an “As if!” moment.
In my mind, that moment would be when the Nutty Professor gets sent forward in time and finds himself watching a football match with no crowd - but lots of crowd noise…and where a match-winning goal gets ruled out because the referee’s watch had stopped working!
As most of you will know, you don’t need to be a time-travelling genius to have witnessed these turns of events. Oh no - you simply needed to be a football-starved supporter last (Sheffield) Wednesday night!
So, business as usual then! Not only was Hawkeye not capable of sorting this pickle out… nor was VAR! So, the question must be asked - how many failing systems do we need?
Well I reckon…er…THREE! So, with that in mind, I’ve come up with another rigmarole proposal.
I’ll call it The Dangling Drone system - and here’s how it works. Each club will invest in 23 sizeable drones. These (dangling) drones will be fitted out with a series of pulleys and straps, into which will be placed a man or woman of diminutive stature (let us say no-one over a certain weight for health and safety).
Each Dangling Drone would have a designated player who they would follow around during the game… hovering no more than two feet above their respective designated player's head. They would each have a big yellow flag which they would wave furiously when they spot something the referee… or VAR… or Hawkeye…have missed.
This new system would need to be marshalled by what would in effect be a cross between an experienced air traffic control bod… and an eagle-eyed lifeguard. She/he would also be fitted with a flying machine and upon spotting a raised flag would fly across the pitch halting the game by ringing a big fluorescent pink bell.
There you go!! Sorted! Don’t mention it!
I can’t see how this would be in any way problematic and indeed I do feel very stupid now as I have just unveiled my brilliant idea to the prying eyes of the world on the Manchester City website… before I copyrighted it…
What an idiot I am… as I’m sure you will all agree.
All this aside it was great to see it took only 15 minutes for City to hit their stride against Arsenal upon their return. It was a masterclass. Speaking as someone who hates being taken out of their comfort zone, I can’t even imagine how weird the prospect of playing in front of just a couple of people must have been for the lads, but they rose to the occasion.
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GUEST COLUMNIST: DAVE WALLACE
EDITOR OF CITY'S LONGEST-RUNNING FANZINE 'KING OF THE KIPPAX'
RECHARGING THE BATTERIES!
After an unprecedented five away games on the trot we were looking forward to returning home to the Etihad for the visit of Arsenal In March. It was not to be, as the Coronavirus struck causing that game and the Burnley game to be postponed, the Premier League taking the initiative in protecting players and fans.
For City, manager, players, fans, and fanzine producers (?), the season is relentless, with the fixture list virtually giving us a game every few days, in the League, cups and Champions League. So in a way it was a welcome relief, a chance to take a break and sort out all those important unattended jobs, like getting all my programmes catalogued and filed.
I’d had a continual cough and cold since Christmas, but since lockdown I’ve been clear, apart from a dose of toothache, for which my dentist has finally prescribed antibiotics. He is a Red, and a word of advice - i’s unwise to upset your dentist.
King of the Kippax number 267 was out for the Carabao Cup final, but no home games to sell at meant a few hundred being recycled. We planned to produce No. 268 for the Liverpool game and made the decision to print it with a limited print run, and it is now available.
I’ve not watched much TV or re-runs of games during lockdown, well just the ‘99 play off final, and the 3-2 QPR game, and the 6-1, and 4-1 United games, and the Vinny goal against Leicester, oh and the Saints Centurion game, and of course Brighton away last season, plus the Watford Cup final, and the Liverpool, Chelsea and Villa League Cup finals.
So not much really!
Then I watched again the ‘99 Play off final, 3-2 QPR game and all the rest, and I think I watched them all over again as well, so it was quite time-consuming really and nothing else was done apart from mowing the lawn to get some exercise.
Then news broke that the season wouldn’t be made null and void, and would restart for us with the Arsenal game. Football came out pretty well in lockdown, I thought, with lots of good work being done by the players and clubs.
Reservations were held on the restart with no fans, possible neutral venues, five substitutes, disinfected footballs, piped crowd noise, no goal celebrations and eerie stadiums. However when Raheem hit the goal trail again, Kev showed everyone how to take a penalty and Phil clinched it after Ederson proved “you don’t have to be mad to be a goalie but it sure helps”, (safe recovery Eric) I thought “this’ll do”.
Burnley tonight and it’s sixty years since they won the title at Maine Road, also on a Monday night. Traffic was bad from town to the ground and I remember jumping off the 76X and running the last couple of miles, getting in after kick off, finding room between the Kippax and the Platt Lane, swelling the crowd from 65,980 to 65,981.
I'm hoping for a different result tonight though...
King of the Kippax fanzine email contact is [email protected]