Newsletter #20

What can I say? The worst has happened, United have thrashed us and it’s a record victory into the bargain! Definitely the worst foreword to MCIVTA that I’ve had to write. As we’re used to taking the bad with the good and sticking with our team through thick and thin, we’ll have to cope with this one as we’ve coped with all the other downs of recent years! It’s annoying that this time there’s no game ’til a week on Saturday to get it out of our collective system. Paul has a lot of sensible things to say in his piece and also Mike! Let us know what you think (let’s talk about it 8-)). If I have enough material I’ll put an MCIVTA earlyish next week, otherwise Friday. Any offers of articles will be welcomed with open arms.

Next game Leicester City away Sunday 20th November.



10th November ’94

Those of us who can recall the 5-1 victory back in September 1989 without the aid of rose-tinted spectacles could draw many parallels with this game. In each, the game was much more even than the scoreline suggested but one side seemed to get all the breaks, all the run of the ball. Up until the first goal in the 24th minute, where Cantona managed to find himself halfway between the two centre backs and with a free run in on goal, City had looked the better side. Indeed, throughout the match they took the game to United and never sat back trying to defend or just keep the score down. Having said that, there was very little penetration from City, who created only two decent chances plus a few long range shots in the whole 90 minutes.

Cantona took his goal well, waiting for Tracey to spread himself and then knocking the ball over him into the middle of the empty goal. Top class finishing, which finally roused the home supporters into making some noise after being thoroughly out-sung by 1,700 vociferous mancunians up until then. This was definitely the turning point of the game, and there was an element of good fortune for United in each of the other four goals. The ten minutes after the opening goal were dominated by United who looked like they could score at any time, with City in disarray. Gradually City got back into the game and created their best chance of the first half. A surging run by Flitcroft saw him squeeze between the United centre backs with only Schmeichel to beat, but his flick over the sprawling ‘keeper was very weak and easily dealt with by two backtracking defenders. Most of City’s best play in the first half was in the centre of the field, with the wingers Beagrie and Summerbee never really causing United any serious problems. Quinn and Walsh showed some neat touches and hard work in and around the box but all too often somebody would lose control of the ball and it would end up with one of the red shirts.

The second goal was very similar to the second in the corresponding fixture last season (43rd minute again), with Kanchelskis finding space wide on the right and cutting in close to the goal line. No Cantona in the middle this time but it didn’t matter as his shot deflected off Terry Phelan and in to the net. This really knocked the stuffing out of City who were looking like they might get back into the game. It did the same for the fans who sat in virtual silence through the half time break wondering what had gone wrong. There was still hope; one of Horton’s regular half-time backside-kickings might turn the game around even though United had yet to concede a goal in a home league match this season.

United came out for the second half with Scholes replacing Giggs, who had been well marshalled by Richard Edghill (easier these days than it used to be). Edghill was having a good game, looking the player we know he can be rather than the confidence-stricken youngster he has appeared in recent matches. Beagrie had a good run at the United defence which came to nothing but the ball was played out quickly to Kanchelskis who was one-on-one with Terry Phelan. Phelan managed to keep up but the Ukranian’s strength was sufficient to hold him off. He ran right into the penalty box and his attempted flick inside the near post was saved by Tracey; unfortunately the ball squirmed out of his grasp straight back to Kanchelskis (not Phelan who was within a yard of him) who had no difficulty knocking the ball into the net. The United fans were ecstatic; they sensed that a famous victory was there for the taking and urged their team to score more goals.

Despite the worst possible start to the second half, City kept plugging away and the wingers (Beagrie in particular) came more into the game, sending in numerous crosses which were generally cleared by Pallister and Bruce. When there was a loose ball in the United area it always seemed to fall to a red shirt. Nevertheless, the expected tide of United pressure didn’t come and it looked like a semi-respectable score was still on the cards. Cantona had a chance with a curling shot to the far post which was well saved by Tracey and there were a few long shots by Ince (all off target). At the other end, City’s best chance of the game came when Lomas darted through the right flank of United, reached the goal line by the six-yard box and pulled the ball back for Walsh whose shot was well blocked by Schmeichel (may have been a defender – it was at the other end). Other than that, there was little to raise our hopes, particularly with Quinn being caught offside with monotonous regularity.

After 70 minutes the fourth goal came to Hughes, whose initial shot from about the penalty spot had been well blocked by Tracey; once again the rebound went straight back to the United player who flicked the ball over the prostrate goalkeeper into the net. After this United started to take the mickey, passing the ball around in midfield playing keep-ball, with the occasional probing ball into the City area. Hughes missed a sitter, slicing well wide when presented with virtually an open goal by Cantona’s mazy run. The reds were baying for a fifth goal and we were praying for it not to happen. For five years City fans have milked the 5-1 at Maine Road, ramming it down the throats of reds whenever a chance arose. In my view, the satisfaction of that result had gone sour by the following season, when we lost at Old Trafford. We should have given up the 5-1 taunts then but we’ll be paying the penalty for many years to come now.

Amazingly it took until the 89th minute for Kanchelskis to hit the fifth and complete the first derby hat-trick since Lee’s in 1970 (United’s first since Alex Dawson’s in 1960). City were pressing for a consolation goal; even Edghill was forward. The ball broke loose again, Cantona sped away down the right wing, tracked by Phelan, whilst Kanchelskis raced through the middle. Edghill didn’t seem to have the heart or the energy to follow him so it looked like a foregone conclusion that Kanchelskis would score when he was found by Cantona’s low cross. Not so. Once more Tracey parried the shot but the rebound fell to Kanchelskis who scored. It was what the United fans had been waiting for and they were delirious. They immediately broke into a chant of “one, two, one two three, one two three four, five nil!”; you know how it goes. You’ll be hearing it a lot in the next decade.

Mercifully, we weren’t kept back at the end this season, so we could escape whilst the reds were savouring their victory. It wasn’t actually that bad a performance; looking back at the last three derbies, at least there weren’t the same gross tactical errors that lost us those games. The first half at Maine Road last season was magnificent but it wasn’t kept up and we threw away a two goal lead. That result hurt me more than this one, even though this is now United’s record derby win. I felt Brian Horton had made a disastrous tactical mistake in sitting back at half time. Similarly, in last season’s Old Trafford derby, the ludicrous decision to play Dave Brightwell instead of Terry Phelan had all too predictable results. I don’t think Horton’s tactics were to blame for this scoreline and I was pleased to see that there were no calls for Horton’s head in these days where a manager seems to be sacked every day. We’re playing our best football for years and I hope Franny keeps faith with Brian. He’ll get there in the end. Alex Ferguson did. The addition of a creative midfielder who can create something from nothing and reduce our predictability will surely help.

Something that does need to change is the attitude of City fans towards United. Once upon a time it was genuine local rivalry but with the unprecedented success United have had in recent years it has degenerated into the abject hatred of all things red that it is today. No wonder United fans call us “bitter blues”. We are masters of putting our foot in it. Last season at Maine Road we taunted them about their surrender of a two-goal lead against Galatasaray and then proceeded to do even worse by losing after being two goals up. This time it was Barcelona. Many City fans had Barcelona flags, scarves and tee-shirts and there were loud chants of “Barcelona” before and during the game. Which team do we support? Not Barcelona! What effect does all this have on United? It fires them up of course, as if they didn’t need firing up for a derby anyway. Half of the songs sung by City fans must be about United in some way, from the slightly subtle “Only football team to come from Manchester” to the disgusting Munich songs which were surprisingly notable by their absence for once. Let’s just remember that we’re City fans and sing about our club. We won’t be allowed to forget theirs for a very long time now.

Apologies for any errors but I won’t be looking back at the video to check.

Attendance: 43,738
Goals: MU: Cantona (24), Kanchelskis (43, 47, 89), Hughes (70)
Line up: Tracey, Edghill, I. Brightwell, Vonk, Phelan, Summerbee, Flitcroft, Lomas, Beagrie, Walsh, Quinn

Paul Howarth


I wouldn’t believe any reports of a ‘flattering’ scoreline. Utd could have had 8… that’s not a wind up. To put it into perspective for you, I listening to Piccadilly Radio for about a couple of hours last night. It was full of City supporters calling in about the game. A majority of them didn’t dispute the fairness of the scoreline. The rest were spouting the usual… MU shouldn’t be allowed to play in the Premier league coz all the fans are from London… a lot of it was just pure venom.

In my opinion, City didn’t play that badly. The defence was just naïve. They got taken apart by good attacking play, simple as that. Phelan didn’t get run ragged by Kanchelskis, but he just wasn’t smart enough. Vonk stuck to Hughes like glue… coz City thought that Utd were going to play everything through him. They didn’t! They spread it around and gave Kanchelskis a reasonable amount of the ball. Incidentially, Cantona is back and gave his best display of the season so far.

The front 4 were just looked after fairly well by the best defence in the league. No shame there. In fact, Beagrie and Summerbee, despite not being able to get round our full-backs that easily, crossed the ball with far more accuracy than any Utd winger this season. Quinn holds it up well but inevitably plays unadventurous balls off. Walsh was pulling Bruce all over the shop in the first half, but was picked up by Pallister in the second and was pretty soundly marked.

In the first 20 minutes City looked OK. But it was obvious that they couldn’t keep that pace up. They were clearly pumped up for the game and it showed in some of the tackling. But like virtually everyone else coming to OT this season, they ran out of steam in the second half. If they lost the game anywhere it was really in losing possession; Lomas and Flitcroft worked hard but just weren’t as committed as Ince.

I must say that I’m a bit surprised at the City fans. It was immediately… ‘Horton out… Fat Ron in’. City aren’t a bad side, they’ve just got a dodgy defence and need Ince. I think Lee ought to give Horton a fair run. He’s produced a side that he’d like to be a Utd clone side. 2 wingers, big man holding the ball up, skilful player floating and pulling defenders out of position, 2 central midfielders making up/down runs. It works!

I saw my pet rabid City mate this morning in UMIST (before I left for work)… the first thing he said to me was… ‘You were totally outclassed by Barcelona and that proves you’re crap’ … if City are going to successful, I think that City fans have to get this Utd chip off their shoulders and just concentrate on supporting City. I feel sorry for Horton coz he’s going to get hammered. At least, people enjoy watching football at Maine Rd now, that’s a good start! You can’t build a Championship winning side in a season or two.

Flixton Red


Nov 9, 1994 Liverpool – Chelsea 3 – 1
Wimbledon – Aston_Villa 4 – 3
Nov 10, 1994 Manchester_U – Manchester_C 5 – 0

Total Nov 10, 1994

Newcastle 14 10 3 1 31 – 13 33
Manchester_U 14 10 1 3 28 – 10 31
Blackburn 14 9 3 2 28 – 12 30
Liverpool 14 9 2 3 32 – 14 29
Nottingham 14 8 4 2 25 – 14 28
Leeds 14 7 3 4 21 – 16 24
Norwich 14 5 6 3 13 – 12 21
Chelsea 13 6 2 5 24 – 19 20
Arsenal 13 5 4 4 17 – 13 19
Crystal_Palace 14 5 4 5 15 – 15 19
Manchester_C 14 5 4 5 24 – 25 19
Southampton 14 4 5 5 22 – 26 17
West_Ham 14 5 2 7 9 – 15 17
Coventry 14 4 4 6 17 – 26 16
Wimbledon 14 4 3 7 14 – 24 15
Sheffield_W 14 3 5 6 15 – 22 14
Queen’s_PR 14 3 4 7 20 – 25 13
Tottenham 13 5 2 6 21 – 26 11
Aston_Villa 14 2 4 8 15 – 24 10
Ipswich 14 3 1 10 13 – 27 10
Leicester 13 2 3 8 14 – 25 9
Everton 14 1 5 8 9 – 24 8


Here’s the team for the Manchester ‘Derby’ (from an early edition of the Manchester Evening News):


Edghill Brightwell(I) Vonk Phelan

Summerbee Flitcroft Lomas Beagrie

Walsh Quinn

Subs: Brightwell (D), Mike, Burridge

United will select from:
Schmeichel, Keane, Irwin, Bruce, Pallister, Ince, McClair, Kanchelskis, Cantona, Scholes, Gillespie, Giggs

Martin Ford


  • Mike Walker (EVERTON), fired, new manager Joe Royle, plus Willie Donachie?
  • Ossie Ardiles (SPURS), fired, Steve Perryman as caretaker.
  • Ron Atkinson (VILLA), fired.
  • Gerry Francis (QPR), resigned but not accepted.



For those without access to the WWW, we have a text based reader (LYNX) on a machine here. To try it out, make a telnet connection to Login in with user name lynx. This gives you a home page here and entering ‘g’ lets you go to a new page without having to wade through the various actual work related crap.

Obviously you can’t view images but you can read the text of web pages.

Rob Clarke, Network Supervisor : Manchester Computing Centre


Accusations in today’s papers (9.11) allege that Southampton and ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar took bribes to throw matches. At one point, they allege he was prepared to receive 5,000 pounds if the Saints lost their game to us (on Saturday just gone) by one goal.

The big allegation is that he received 40,000 pounds for another game (against Newcastle).

James Nash


I made a mess of the WWW/RSS figures in MCIVTA 19. They should read as follows:

WWW & RSS: 30
WWW only: 3
RSS only: 3
Neither: 1

Well spotted Svenn!



TITLE           The Manchester City Quiz Book
AUTHOR          John Maddocks
PUBLISHER       Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd.
                7 Albany St.,
                Edinburgh EH1 3UG,
ISBN No         1 85158 196 0
PRICE           £4.95 (1988)

This is a card-backed A5 book of 142 pages, containing 38 black & white photos. The format is basically what you would expect; a brief foreword by Colin Bell leads straight into a total of 1000 questions which are grouped into sections, with the answers similarly grouped at the rear of the book. The book covers in the main, the post-war period up to the 1987-88 season. A few examples of the sections serve to give a taste of what’s on offer: Début Days, One League Game, Anagrams, Photo Quiz, Welsh Internationals, The American Connection, Arrivals and Departures etc. There is a wealth of information here, much of which would probably remain buried if it were not for a book like this. It’s not a book for reading, more for browsing through a little at a time, testing your knowledge. Be warned though, many of the questions are rather difficult! I knew Kazi Deyna had been in the Polish Army and that he had been in two World Cups but I had absolutely no idea how many caps he had won! It was 102 (Does this make him City’s most capped player?).

There are two things I must criticise and almost certainly these are down to the publisher rather than the author. Firstly, the curious practice of printing a photo which takes up the top 40% of the page and then three or four questions which relate to the photo beneath it. This might not seem odd until I reveal that the whole takes up only half the page, the bottom being left completely blank (this is done several times)! Surely a larger picture could have been used or perhaps a more efficient layout employed, publishing basics I would have thought. Secondly, the pictures are occasionally of very poor quality indeed; there is an almost ridiculous one on page 48 where we are supposed to answer some questions on the player depicted. Most of these are cases where you scratch your head trying to remember his name but in this case the print is so bad, it’s almost a lottery trying to guess who he is. I’m fairly certain that this was not what the author had in mind when he set the question. Strangely, the answer is Colin Bell but I’m afraid I just don’t buy it; my personal guess is that it’s the wrong print and that in fact, those chunky thighs belong to one Joe Royle esq!

This book is very reasonably priced, contains a plethora of interesting facts and should make an interesting read for any Blue. Perhaps we shouldn’t expect too much in the way of quality from a book which is aimed at a specialist market with consequent low volume sales. I do however, feel that Mr Maddocks’ unrivalled knowledge of the club deserves a better quality product than this. Let’s hope that he plans to do a definitive history or something similar.



Thanks to Paul, Rob, James, Mike & Martin.

Newsletter #20