Newsletter #31

Life really sucks when City have lost to West Ham. It reminds me that I taped the equivalent match a few years ago, and watched it after coming home from training. It was dreadful and City lost 3-1. So it wasn’t that unbelievable this time.

We have a match report from Paul, some information about Horton and also some discussion and news.

NOTE: MCIVTA will be distributed during the weekends, but not quite as regularly as in the past. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday before the cup match against Newcastle, then there’s a break until next Wednesday. In the meantime I’ll be updating the WWW news-page if something new comes in. I already have an exciting article from James about a meeting with Niall Quinn last week. This will be included in the next MCIVTA, or in a Christmas (or New Years) special…


From: Paul Howarth

17th December 1994

Upton Park, like most of the top grounds in the country, has seen much development work over the last few seasons; since our visit last season the Bobby Moore Stand has opened at the end where the away fans used to be housed, the paddocks down the sides (including the famous “chicken run”) have had plastic tip-up seats bolted onto them and the other end has been completely replaced by a small double- decker stand, due to open shortly. Away fans will be housed in the lower tier of this new North Stand when it opens. The Bobby Moore Stand is an impressive structure which augers well for the new Kippax Stand which is a very similar design, two slightly overlapping tiers with boxes between them. The Kippax will be larger due to it being situated down the side of the pitch and having a (very) small third tier. I’d like to think that it too will be named after one our heroes, Joe Mercer for instance.

Despite the lack of terracing and one end being completely empty, the close proximity of the stands to the pitch helps to generate quite a bit of atmosphere. Looking at the upcoming fixtures (Newcastle, Blackburn, Liverpool etc.) I thought that this fixture presented us with our best chance of a win for quite a while. West Ham had only scored 12 goals in their 18 league games and star striker Tony Cottee was going through the most barren goal scoring spell of his career – 3 months since his last goal. Even with the addition of ex-City star Michael Hughes (making his home début) on loan from Strasbourg, our makeshift defence of Dibble, Kerr, D.Brightwell, Kernaghan and I.Brightwell should be able to cope. At the other end, City fielded Walsh, Quinn and Rösler against a defence containing 37-year old Alvin Martin at its centre.

It took only ten minutes to shatter any illusions that this might be any easy game for City. The Hammers came at City straight from the kick-off and had already created a procession of chances when Cottee opened the scoring in the seventh minute. He pounced on a loose ball in the City area, turned sharply to lose Ian Brightwell and fired in a good, low shot which was parried by Dibble. Unfortunately for City, the rebound went straight to Cottee who poked it home. Three minutes later it was 2-0 after a sweeping move down the right wing. The ball was swung in to Cottee, who had started the move in his own penalty area; he evaded Kernaghan’s lunging challenge and flicked the ball over the onrushing Dibble from 12 yards. West Ham continued to dominate the game with another ex-City star Ian Bishop finding acres of space in midfield and basically running the show. An excellent 20- yard volley by Mattie Holmes could have made it 3-0 but for the fingertips of Dibble which pushed it wide.

City seemed clueless as to how to create chances and were generally lethargic. Maybe all of them had ‘flu this time? Absentees Beagrie and Curle were sorely missed as neither defence nor attack seemed to know what they were doing. In the whole of the first half, City made two openings: firstly, Buzzer broke through from the centre of midfield but when he was caught and challenged by a defender, Quinn was unable to pick up the loose ball. The second came from a free kick by Buzzer which presented David Brightwell with a free header; he should have scored but was well wide. At the other end Dibble kept us in the game with a number of good saves. Without exaggerating, it could well have been five or six nil by half time.

Whilst browsing through the programme at half time, I noticed an advert for West Ham season tickets; they ranged from 145 pounds in the lower tier of the Bobby Moore Stand to 240 pounds in the middle of the upper tiers at both sides of the ground. Considering the typical prices for London games, I thought this wasn’t too bad until I realised that these were for the rest of the current season, not next season! I suppose we can be thankful for small mercies – City don’t rip us off for season tickets (yet).

Michel Vonk replaced David Kerr at half-time, with Ian Brightwell moving out to right back and Vonk and Kernaghan in the centre. There seemed to be a slight improvement after the break but City never looked like getting back into the game. West Ham got the killer 3rd goal in the 57th minute; a superb through ball from Ian Bishop bisected City’s midfield and defence and Tony Cottee ran onto it, near the right-hand corner of the penalty area. He cut inside Alan Kernaghan and hit a curling left-foot shot in off the far post, completing his first hat-trick for eight years. It was just a matter of how many more the Hammers would score now. Matthew Rush was booked for a unprovoked attack on Niall Quinn; he seemed to hit Quinn’s knee with his studs and it looked serious for a while. After a couple of minutes’ treatment though, Quinn was OK and fit to carry on. Shortly afterwards, David Brightwell was booked for felling Rush in full stride, which was met by cheers from the Blues’ fans. Between these two bookings, City created their best chance of the second half. Walsh broke down the right wing and squared the ball to Quinn who was just outside the penalty area. Quinn’s shot was aimed low, just inside the post but it lacked power and Miklosko was able to palm it wide. In the 65th minute, Kernaghan was caught in possession by Jeroen Boere just inside the centre circle. He pulled him down and I was amazed to see him get just a yellow card. With only Dibble between Boere and the City goal it was a clear goal scoring opportunity and I felt Kernaghan should have been sent off. Fortunately for City he wasn’t and he went on to make some important tackles later on. With two minutes to go, David Brightwell (who had picked up a knock a couple of minutes earlier and was clearly unfit to continue) was replaced by John Foster. The youngster made an immediate impact, using his pace to snuffle out the last couple of attacks before the final whistle.

The defence looked better in the second half but this was probably due to West Ham taking their foot off the accelerator after going three up. This was a truly dreadful performance, worse by some margin than the derby. At least the defeats against United and Arsenal were by teams playing very well. This was apparently West Ham’s best performance of the season but they still didn’t look a particularly good side. There was virtually no commitment from the City players who looked like they didn’t want to know. I hope they’re ashamed of themselves. I feel very sorry for the people who’ve only seen City in London this season; with the exception of the QPR games they’ve seen gutless, shambolic performances every time. Something needs to be done and it needs to be soon. Without Curle, City leak far too many goals and without Beagrie they don’t look like scoring any. I was at Maine Road on Sunday to collect my ticket for Notts County; the murmurs amongst the fans were that that is a game City must win if Brian Horton is to keep his job. The intervening games already seem to be lost causes.

Final Score: 3-0

City: Dibble, Kerr (Vonk), D.Brightwell (Foster), Kernaghan, I.Brightwell, Lomas, Flitcroft, Summerbee, Walsh, Quinn, Rösler
Att: 17,286

Paul Howarth


From: Paul Howarth

Kåre Ingebrigtsen has admitted to the Sunday Express that he accepted a “bung” to sign for Manchester City in 1993, and that he is being investigated by the Inland Revenue. The 29 year old midfielder, now back in Norway on loan to Lillestrøm, is alleged to have accepted 50,000 pounds from a company run by agent Rune Hauge.

Paul Howarth


From: Paul Howarth

Regarding Shane Kelly’s request for information about Brian Horton in MCIVTA 28, here’s what the West Ham programme had to say about him:

Brian Horton has taken up many challenges during his ten years in the managerial business, but even he must feel himself that the one he accepted at Maine Road in August 1993 was the most difficult of all.

The old regime had created a public outrage with the sacking of former manager Peter Reid and there were battles going on behind the scenes for control of the club.

Worst of all – City were in grave danger of losing their Premiership status.

Yet Brian achieved his first objective in preserving City’s membership of the Premier. Now he is rebuilding upon that and City are currently among the leaders.

It is just over ten years since Brian first turned his hand to management. With his playing career coming to a close, he gladly accepted the post as Hull City’s player-manager during the summer of 1984.

He celebrated his first season at Boothferry Park by leading the club to promotion to the Second Division. The following season they took sixth place.

Mr. Horton left Hull in April 1986 to become assistant manager of Oxford United under Mark Lawrenson. In October that year he found himself jettisoned back in the manager’s chair when Mark walked out after the Maxwell family had sold Dean Saunders behind his back.

The Oxford club was operating under severe financial restraints at the time – and indeed still does – so life was never easy for a manager at The Manor.

In spite of this, Brian kept the club in a position of safety and he was the steadying influence City went for when they found themselves in trouble during the early weeks of last season.

During his playing days, Mr. Horton served under – and learned from – many managers over a 16 year period which spanned more than 600 League games.

He was with Hednesford Town when Port Vale spotted him and he made his League début for them in 1970. He held a permanent place in the side until Brighton, who were chasing promotion from the Third Division, signed him in February 1976.

In 1979, Brian helped Brighton rise to First Division status for the first time in their history.

He left the Goldstone Ground in 1981 to join Luton in a 100,000 pound deal and collected a Second Division Championship medal at the end of his first season with the Hatters.

He remained a fixture in their First Division side until taking the player-manager’s job at Hull during the 1984 close-season.

One thing the programme didn’t mention was that Brian was part of the Luton team that won 1-0 at Maine Road on 14 May 1983, relegating City to the 2nd Division!

Paul Howarth


From: The Mole

All has gone quiet regarding City’s acquisition of a German midfielder which was reported on both GMR and in the MEN on Thursday. Does this mean that everything is off? Are there contractual difficulties? Is everything being kept quiet until he signs so that nobody else can get in and sign him instead? I think we should be told… Regarding Martin’s suggestion that it may be Steffan Effenberg – wasn’t he captain of the full German side for a while? I don’t think he’d be referred to as an ex U21 international. I doubt that anybody who doesn’t follow German football will know the name of the player IMHO.

How’s this for a suggestion – make Alan Kernaghan the captain whilst Keith Curle’s out injured. It’s not as daft as you might think. Alan was captain at Middlesbrough before City signed him and I don’t think anybody would dispute that central defence is a good place for a captain to play. He already does lots of shouting and organising, admittedly with little effect at West Ham. It might be good for his confidence too. As much as I like Niall Quinn, I don’t think the captain’s job is for him – it even seems to affect his form. Anybody agree with me?

The Mole


From: Paul Muschamp

The old jokes are always the best so here goes:

Man walking his three-legged dog on Platt Fields finds a lamp which he picks up and removes the cork. Out pops a genie.

Genie: Thank you for releasing me from the lamp, O Master. I have the power to grant you one wish – anything you desire.

Man: Can you make my dog win Crufts?

Genie: What, with only three legs? Wish again!

Man: OK, can you arrange for Man Utd to win the European Cup?

Genie: Let’s have a look at that dog again.

Happy Holidays from Virginia!!

Paul Muschamp


From: Paul Howarth

James’ letter plugging MCIVTA and the WWW has appeared in King of the Kippax (KK42), available from 17th December:


We would like to inform your readers about an electronic mailing list for Manchester City fans. The “INTERNET” has attracted a lot of media attention and City fans may like to know that there is a forum for their news, views and reviews (isn’t that what a fanzine is? – Ed) on the Internet. It’s called ‘Manchester City Information Via The Alps’, or MCIVTA for short. This mailing list is run by Ashley Birch – an exiled Blue currently living and working in Switzerland.
If you want to subscribe (it costs nothing), send electronic mail to Ashley at:
[To be able to use electronic mail, you must have access to a computer and mail program connected to the Internet.]

There is also a World Wide Web (WWW) site for Man City, set up and run by Svenn Hanssen in Norway.
The e-mail address is:
Apologies if all that looks gobbedy-gook, hopefully not.

JAMES NASH, on behalf of MCIVTA.

It’s the first time I’ve seen a WWW URL referred to as an e-mail address but other than that I’d say this was the best plug we’ve had so far. Well done James!

Paul Howarth

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.

Svenn Hanssen,

Newsletter #31