Newsletter #25

We got an unintentional mention (!) in the Match Magazine which has resulted in several new subscribers; see Paul’s article below. Although we intended the article to be about MCIVTA it was transmuted into the WWW! We hope to get a mention for MCIVTA soon (Arsenal programme).

I’m also getting mail about the unfounded(?) campaign against Horton. The Press would have us believe that Horton is about to be given the heave-ho (as soon as City stop winning, naturally!!!) in favour of Big Fat Ron. I hope that this is still idle speculation as in my opinion, Horton has done excellently at Maine Road with the resources available (see intro. to MCIVTA 23). What do you lot think? Mail me and I’ll put your opinions in the next issue, even if they are contrary to mine (what a nice guy!). This issue is somewhat later than usual due to the fact that there is a midweek game for which we can include Team News and also the lack of a ‘live’ Match Report 8-(.

So….. an appeal!

Martin Ford has done sterling work writing Match Reports for the home games but couldn’t unfortunately, make it to Maine Road last Saturday. Fortunately, Paul Howarth agreed to do one to help out but we can’t expect him to do this as well as the aways which he frequently attends. So, if you attend the home games and can find the time to do a Match Report, then anything would be most welcome. If you are a new subscriber please note that no one is ‘appointed’, everything is on a casual basis. If you do a report it automatically goes into MCIVTA. Anyway, it’s always good to get the game from more than one perspective and lately we have managed this, but curiously for away games!!! All submissions will be received with open arms.

We now have 76 subscribers including our first 2 ladies.

Next game, Newcastle at home, CCCup 4th round, Wednesday 30th Nov.



Considering that this fixture usually results in one of our lowest attendances of the season, a poor game and in recent years, very few points for City, this match was a pleasant surprise. The attendance of 21,131 was no doubt boosted by the special offer of each member being offered an extra ticket for five pounds when they bought their own ticket. At first I thought there were no visiting supporters at all as the Platt Lane end of the Kippax was completely empty. As the teams came out, it became apparent that there was a small group of Dons fans at the Platt Lane end of the Main Stand, the same place that Crystal Palace fans had been accommodated earlier in the season. Other than the Kippax, the rest of the ground looked quite full, with even the seats at the front of the North and Platt Lane stands sold.

City were on the attack straight from the kick-off and it came as no surprise when Flitcroft opened the scoring in the seventh minute, the first time City have scored in the first ten minutes all season. Some neat passing between Flitcroft, Walsh and Quinn ended with a delightful through ball from Walsh which Flitcroft managed to flick past the onrushing Hans Segers from the corner of the penalty box. Several more chances came City’s way in the following ten minutes and it looked like we might run up a cricket score, Hans Segers pulling off some excellent saves. After that, Wimbledon started to get a grip on the game and were the better side in the rest of the half, forcing some good saves from Andy Dibble. The long ball game for which Wimbledon are famous was conspicuous by its absence, as was the menace they always used to show at free-kicks and corners. John Fashanu, for all his faults, seems to be sorely missed by the Dons at present, who failed to create much in the way of chances and didn’t take the ones that came their way.

The closest Wimbledon came to scoring was in the second half, when an instinctive turn and volley from Dean Holdsworth crashed down from the underside of the bar close to the goal line and then bounced out. I thought it might have gone in (more so than Paul Walsh’s first goal against Saints the other week) but I think the Match of the Day replay showed that the officials were right not to give a goal. Wimbledon were still looking the better side in the second half but both sides were having brief periods of pressure. Following a City corner there was a goalmouth scramble during which Paul Walsh took exception to some part of Alan Reeves’ challenge and claimed a penalty. There was a loud shout from the Platt Lane end but that’s about as much as I know about it. Walsh squared up to Reeves’ stomach (slight height difference you see) but nothing else happened. The next thing I knew, the ball went out of play halfway down the Main Stand side of the opposite end and the linesman at the Kippax side starting waving his flag frantically. The referee went over to see what was up, as did Vinny Jones who was told to go away. After a brief discussion the referee walked over to the centre circle and red-carded Reeves for allegedly slapping Paul Walsh. Reeves claimed he just gave Walsh a big kiss!?! Nobody near me had the faintest idea what had happened and there was nothing on TV to shed any light on it, so I can only report what I saw in the papers.

With Wimbledon down to ten men, City then started to try to increase their advantage. Rösler came on for Niall Quinn and City started to fling in a few more crosses. There was an article in the programme about Nicky Summerbee having to be more positive; he was certainly trying but the left back seemed to have the measure of him. However, a cross from the other side led to a powerful far post header which Segers somehow managed to block when it seemed City were certain to go 2-0 up. The goalkeeper blotted his copybook in the 89th minute though when a Lomas clearance to nobody in particular was chased by Rösler and there was a cock-up between Segers (at least 40 yards out from goal) and the last defender. The defender obviously didn’t expect to see the goalkeeper so close to him and only managed to knock the ball past him towards the Dons’ penalty area. Rösler and Segers gave chase but there was only going to be one winner; Uwe duly knocked the ball into the unguarded net. Two-nil and victory was assured. During the celebrations Andy Hill, who had taken a knock earlier on was replaced by Alan Kernaghan. Good tactical move this, reintroducing him to the Maine Road fans whilst they were in a good mood! In fact, I bet a few people didn’t even notice…

So, two straight victories and two straight clean sheets. Another workmanlike performance with the occasional bright spots. Curle and Brightwell look to be a solid partnership in the centre of defence, Andy Hill is comfortable at right back but I still can’t see the left-back in Dave Brightwell. He was caught out of position and lacking in pace once or twice but I can’t really argue with 2 clean sheets, can I? Flitcroft spread the ball around well in midfield, aided by the industrious Lomas. Beagrie was his usual menacing self, though he usually found himself up against two or more defenders. We’re still to see the best of Nicky Summerbee; we saw how good he can be when playing for Swindon last season, with glimpses of it against Barnet and Forest. He puts in some great crosses but I’m sure he can put in more. It’s a tall order being compared with Beagrie on the other wing the way he’s playing at the moment, so let’s be patient. In the middle Walsh ran around all day and Quinn held the ball up and distributed well, but there was a definite improvement when Rösler came on; more mobility, more pace, more threat. Brian has one of the “nice” selection problems for Wednesday’s game, though I expect Newcastle to be a much harder nut to crack than either Leicester or Wimbledon.

Final score 2-0

Paul Howarth, with help from Mark Evans




In a week of more addiction than prediction, it was surprising how many players at Maine Road were caught in possession. It was poignant to see young footballers making their problems public. At one point, City’s lightweight central defender Ian Brightwell and goalkeeper Andy Dibble almost gifted Wimbledon a comically bad goal.

Brightwell dithered, Dibble – again demonstrating he is not officer material – stayed put and Dean Holdsworth toe-poked just wide. Holdsworth’s agony was completed later, when, returning from injury, he saw his snap volley strike the underside of the bar and spin out. The non-Russian linesman decided the ball had not crossed the line, though the club video replay suggested it did. Otherwise Holdsworth played with understandable rustiness and a lack of commitment that suggested he might be wearing a vest under his shirt.

The match never quite broke into life despite Flipper’s early goal, A clean shot after Quinn and Walsh had easily dissected the defence. It hinged on Wimbledon’s bad defending, bad luck and the dismissal of Alan Reeves for slapping Walsh. With less than fifteen minutes left, the sending off threw the Londoners’ embryonic passing out of synch and ended hopes of a deserved draw.

Earlier, City’s young players had taken the game to their opponents. The trickery of Beagrie and Summerbee lacked guile at times, but it was enough to unsettle Dons defenders who looked as if they could lose the ball down a sofa. They needed Warren Barton there, but he was in midfield, where his cleverness and athleticism stood out.

And so Wimbledon undid the fine impression they had begun to make – even Vinnie Jones was playing football – when a last-minute farcical back-pass by Scott Fitzgerald let in City sub Uwe Rösler to roll the ball in. For all Fitzgerald’s literary credentials, Wimbledon’s defence looks like a line of characters in search of an author.

Adapted without permission from the Independent on Sunday.

Phil Knight


Phelan didn’t make it into the squad for the Wimbledon game even though he successfully came through a reserve team outing. Has Terry shot his mouth off once too often? Are we seeing the start of his departure?

Also, City claim that there was a misunderstanding about Macca’s attempt to become Swindon’s manager. City have now given Swindon permission to speak to Macca about the post of player-manager. There will most probably have to be some sort of financial outlay by Swindon if they want to take on Macca. City haven’t waived the right to a transfer fee yet, so the deal could hinge on how much, if any Swindon are prepared to give to City. Personally I think City are penny pinching; which other club would want money for a 33 year old midfielder? They should let him go for free and stop obstructing his first chance at becoming a manager.

Martin Ford


Brian Little has taken over as manager of Aston Villa. It turns out that Leicester accepted his resignation on the basis of a written undertaking from him that he would not be the next manager of Aston Villa, so there is now likely to be a legal battle between the clubs, or between Little and Leicester. Aston Villa’s next league game… vs Leicester at Filbert Street!

Former Villa manager Ron Atkinson has been linked with the vacancy at Italian club Genoa.

Paul Howarth


My boss is a Newcastle fan; he came in moaning this morning (Monday) about the cup game because Howie, Lee, Sellars, Peacock and Albert are injured, excuses or what? I hear that Andy Hill is injured, that should even things up!

Mark Denton


Former City player Martin O’Neill has been given permission by the directors of Wycombe Wanderers (who he is currently managing) to speak to Leicester City regarding their managerial vacancy. It is by no means certain that he’ll take the job as he turned down an approach by Nottingham Forest when Brian Clough retired.

There is speculation linking City with Southampton’s 32-year old midfielder Paul Allen, possibly as a replacement for Steve McMahon. Saints apparently want £200,000 for him. Considering the way City play, we need players who can cover a lot of ground with only having two in centre midfield, so I don’t think there’s much substance in this rumour.

Paul Howarth


Garry Flitcroft has been banned from driving for six months after his third speeding offence. He was clocked doing 95mph somewhere in Cornwall. Twit!

Steve McMahon is Swindon’s new manager. The Mirror says his transfer fee was £100,000 and Brian Horton stepped in to offer this “cut-price figure”. Interesting but true?

James Nash


Steve McMahon has finally managed to sign a three year deal at Swindon as player/manager. City and Swindon eventually came to some sort of terms over his transfer and have let him go. So at last, after weeks of speculation and delay, Macca’s finally got his wish to get into management. I won’t hold any grudges against Macca, he helped City and played reasonably well until the end of last season when his form dropped. Good luck to him.

On the rags front it appears as though Schmeichel and Sharpe have both succumbed to injuries. Sharpe has a fractured ankle and damaged ankle ligaments, which will keep him out for 4 weeks. Schmeichel has damaged his back, both muscles and spine, and needs 6 weeks to recover. With Hughes’ suspension likely to last for 3 games and Bruce out for another 2 games through suspension are we likely to see the decline of United (yes!!!).

Martin Ford


In today’s Independent (Wed 30)

West Ham have signed the Northern Ireland international winger (ex-City) Michael Hughes on loan until the end of the season.

Anthony Johnson


As far as City are concerned there appear to be no problems other than whether to play the fab 3 up front or keep Uwe on the bench and play the same team that started on Saturday. Poor Newcastle alas have a full 11 players injured, the latest being Ruel Fox who pulled a hamstring in training; now either this is a cunning plan by wor Kev or they are giving us a very good chance of reaching the quarter-finals. Or maybe they were so confused by playing the rags’ reserves in the last round that they feel they should follow suit against us? So, that’s Howey, Peacock, Albert, Lee, Fox, Bracewell and 5 others out. However, that still leaves Beardsley, Cole, Watson, Clarke and Venison so it’s going to be tough. Looks like its a complete sell-out as well with about 4,000 geordies coming down; could be a good night under the floodlights!!.

Neil Foskett


The Sun (not mine, honest) says:

Newcastle now have 11 first teamers out:

  1. Ruel Fox
  2. Darren Peacock
  3. Philippe Albert
  4. Steve Howey
  5. Robbie Elliot
  6. Scott Sellars
  7. Robert Lee
  8. Paul Bracewell
  9. Nicky Papavasiliou
  10. Paul Kitson
  11. Malcolm Allen

If Newcastle beat us I believe it will go down as a bit of a giant-killing in the media, seeing as City have pretty close to their strongest squad available. There can’t be many times the Geordies have been underdogs this season…

Paul Howarth


Here’s the team news for the CC Cup clash against Newcassel (sic):

Hill  Brightwell (I)  Curle   Brightwell (D)
  Summerbee   Lomas   Flitcroft   Beagrie
              Quinn   Walsh

Subs from: Tracey, Edghill, Kernaghan, Rösler

Newcastle will select from: Srnicek, Hottiger, Beresford, Neilson, Venison, Holland, Watson, Clark, Beardsley, Cole, Mathie, Jeffrey, Drysdale, Brayson, Hooper

Martin Ford


Ever heard of Fantasy Football? If you live in Britain, the answer is almost certainly “Yes”, but for the benefit of overseas readers, I’ll explain. Fantasy Football is a game where you act as manager of a team made up of Premier League players. You pick a name for the team, and have a notional 20 million pounds to spend to create your squad. Depending on the variation of the game you play, the players are either given set prices, or all the managers in the league get together for a pre-season auction to select their players. From then on, you get points for every goal, every “assist” etc. that the players in your team score/make in the real Premier League. Defenders and goalkeepers score points by keeping clean sheets.

Why are you telling us all this I hear you ask? Well, an article in the MEN mentioned that Man United have their own fantasy league, with each player managing a team. David May, centre half and occasional full-back has called his side “MCFC”. The reason for this? It’s not because he’s got all the worst players – it turns out David is a lifelong City fan and has named his team after his favourites. Needless to say, he gets a lot of stick from his team-mates!

The Mole


Well, we got a mention in the programme for the Wimbledon game but it was nothing like what we were after. First of all it didn’t even mention MCIVTA, only the WWW. Secondly, and very embarassingly from my point of view, it mentioned only my name and not Svenn who is really responsible for it. The item read as follows:


Attention all computer buffs! Paul Howarth and Associates have set up a Manchester City bulletin board on the Internet. It can be located as follows:
All contributions are welcome and we wish the service the very best of luck. And as those in the know say (apparently), surfs up!!?!?!!?

The last line really made me cringe and wasn’t in my original letter. At least they got the URL right, although even that was split (probably unavoidably) across two lines.

What I intend to do next is to fax City to thank the club for plugging the WWW but explain that it was the mailing list that we were trying to publicise, in view of the fact that far more people have access to e-mail than WWW. Hopefully they will agree to a separate plug for MCIVTA and this time the credit will go where it’s due.

Paul Howarth


James Nash has sent a letter to the editors of the fanzines ‘King of the Kippax’ and ‘Electric Blue’. It was put together with help from Paul Howarth and is basically a brief description of the internet and e-mail in particular. It extols the virtues of a certain mailing list which can be obtained from a node not a million miles from where I am sitting right now! Hopefully it will help get word of MCIVTA around. Thanks to the authors.



I went to a pub quiz last Thursday (day after the Gothenburg game). I gave a rather flippant answer to one of the questions, which didn’t go down well in the pub (a lot of Man U ‘fans’)

Question: Who are the biggest wine-producers in Europe?

My Answer: Paul Ince and Man U :-))))

The actual answer was Italy (actually needed the country as the answer).

There’s nothing like rubbing it in, when confronted with an ideal opportunity.

Martin Ford


Nov 26, 1994   Arsenal         - Manchester_U     0 - 0
               Blackburn       - Queen's_PR       4 - 0
               Chelsea         - Everton          0 - 1
               Crystal_Palace  - Southampton      0 - 0
               Leeds           - Nottingham       1 - 0
               Liverpool       - Tottenham        1 - 1
               Manchester_C    - Wimbledon        2 - 0
               Newcastle       - Ipswich          1 - 1
               Norwich         - Leicester        2 - 1
               West_Ham        - Coventry         0 - 1
Nov 27, 1994   Aston_Villa     - Sheffield_W      1 - 1

Total Nov 27, 1994

Blackburn       16    11   3   2    35  -  13    36
Manchester_U    16    11   2   3    31  -  10    35
Newcastle       16    10   4   2    34  -  17    34
Liverpool       16     9   3   4    33  -  17    30
Nottingham      16     8   4   4    25  -  16    28
Leeds           16     8   3   5    24  -  19    27
Manchester_C    16     7   4   5    27  -  25    25
Chelsea         16     7   3   6    25  -  20    24
Norwich         16     6   6   4    15  -  14    24
Coventry        16     6   4   6    19  -  26    22
Southampton     16     5   6   5    23  -  26    21
Arsenal         16     5   5   6    18  -  16    20
Crystal_Palace  16     5   5   6    15  -  18    20
Sheffield_W     16     4   6   6    17  -  23    18
Wimbledon       16     5   3   8    17  -  28    18
West_Ham        16     5   2   9     9  -  17    17
Queen's_PR      16     4   4   8    23  -  31    16
Aston_Villa     16     3   5   8    20  -  28    14
Everton         16     3   5   8    12  -  24    14
Tottenham       16     5   4   7    25  -  31    13
Leicester       16     3   3  10    17  -  29    12
Ipswich         16     3   2  11    15  -  31    11

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Martin, Paul, Phil, James, The Mole, Mark (x2), Neil & Anthony.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #25