Newsletter #55

We have another good report on the Toon game as well as the more recent victory against Ipswich. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a ‘view from the opposition’ as their list is quite small and is almost run single-handedly by Paul Felton who didn’t attend the game. Leeds on Saturday and we have to be reasonably confident about this one after Wednesday and Leeds’ truly awful showing at the Swamp last week. Great to see Phelan has got back into the side and shown he can play like he used to a year ago; this kind of reflects the Kernaghan situation where he knuckled down, despite the attention of the boo-boys and came back from the dead. Still need a decent right back though and there’s much discussion about this in this issue. Does anyone know if Edghill is still injured or if he’s out of favour? Surely Foster is a better player in that position than most of the alternatives i.e Summerbee?

This one goes out to 161 subscribers.

Next game Leeds United at home, Saturday 25th February 1995


Sunday 19th February 1995, FA Cup 5th Round

Despite the fact that City were in the midst of a dodgy run I had good feelings for our match away at the Toon. Confident enough to splash out 30 quid in bets before the match!! Anyway I arrived up at Newcastle a couple of days before the match, enjoying the home comforts of a work-mate who is an avid Toon Army supporter. The day of the game, I had a strange feeling, not helped by the fact that the kick-off was a poxy 1:00 (minimal drinking time in the pub!). To drown my growing unease I headed off with my Geordie pal to The Strawberry pub for a few pre-match beers. The fact that the pub opened at 12:00 meant there was only time for the two (blousey I know). It was in The Strawberry that I was told that City had returned almost half of the tickets allocated to them. Apparently we had been allocated the entire Milburn (standing) paddock area and had only managed to fill half of it, though in addition we did have the same 880 seats on the opposite side which we got for the league game. Not a good omen thought I; if I could raise my bony arse from London to get here then why the hell couldn’t more Manc based fans get there!?! So, it was no surprise to me that the “You couldn’t sell all your tickets” chant came out so early in the game.

Before going into the game I saw the City team bus pull in. Brian Horton led the boys out and had a good laugh when a Toon fan asked “Have you come for a game this time Brian?” (Presumably in reference to our dour defensive setup on Jan. 2nd). The most notable omission from the team bus was that Terry Phelan wasn’t even on it. The mighty Rösler also endeared himself further to the City fans by stopping to sign a few autographs and even enjoyed a chat with some locals. Not that he could understand them but who can!!

Having gained my standing position in the Milburn Stand and unfurled the City flag I’d brought along, I eagerly awaited the teams. The first shock, of a shocking day, was that Walshy was out and Big Niall was starting. Not that I minded too much as I still reckon Quinny is an excellent player and a true City fan. The other shock, which was more disturbing, was that David “Sticky” Brightwell was again playing full-back. Now I know everyone slags off Sticky but to me he’s OK… but only as a centre-back. Played out of position he gets eaten alive by a decent winger (e.g. Fox, Gillespie, Kanchelskis, etc.) as the next 90 minutes was to prove. I still firmly believe that City should not have lost this game; all three of the Newcastle goals were the result of hideous defensive errors. The first was probably the dodgiest goal I’ve seen all season for not only was one linesman’s flag up but 2!!. Yes that’s right: both linesmen were flagging for offside, the first for when City were caught and the second for when Paul Shitson was blatantly yards offside… nevertheless the twat in black did nothing and we fans could only watch in horror as Sticky made a hash (again), Gillespie pounced and Dibble… well F**K knows what he was doing and before we knew it we were 1-0 down. The goal served to remind me of somethig we learnt in Schoolboy football – no matter how dubious the decision, always play to the whistle. Maybe that should be in the next practice Brian?

Thankfully, while City’s defence was asleep the midfield and strikers were doing their bit to make a game of it. Flipper and Dino were making Beardsley and Lee invisible in midfield and the Irish-German combination looked hungry for a goal. It duly arrived when Srnicek, under pressure from Quinn, dropped a Beagrie corner for Uwe to thrash in. So it was 1-1. However, not being content to concede 1 sloppy goal, City went on to repeat the feat another 2 times. John Beresford gained the second with an innocent looking cross which Dibble seemed to just watch float into the goal. Maybe Dibs was thinking about his next porno movie as he was definitely caught out of position. Beresford, allegedly told he was surplus to requirements at Maine Road by a note on his dressing room peg(!) clearly enjoyed putting one over on his old club. The final Newcastle goal was another horror show which seemed to happen in slow motion before us City fans’ eyes. The former rag Gillespie, who I gotta admit looked an excellent player all day, was on the end of a Beardsley cross which rolled in behind the City defence. Sticky Brightwell clearly had it covered but seemed to want an age before trying to clear it… the end result being Gillespie nipping in to sweep it home. Yet another Schoolboy maxim seemed apt – if in doubt, hoof it out. Another one for the training field perhaps?!

All in all, City should not have lost this game. The goals were gifts and the full backs (esp. Sticky) had a nightmare. The midfield and strikers played well with Flitcroft doing particularly well. Once again I must hold Alan Kernaghan up for special praise; he really was a rock while all around him the defence fell apart. Beagrie also had an excellent game. At full time I kissed goodbye to the FA Cup and 30 quid but the only real annoying point was the fact we played such a crucial game with 2 full-backs out of position. Tatically naïve perhaps?

Final Score: Newcastle 3 – Man. City 1

Roger Sharp (


Wednesday 22nd February 1995

Basically this is the match that City couldn’t lose for fear of relegation and for Brian Horton’s job. City started brightly with some neat passing but didn’t look dangerous in front of goal. However, an interchange between Summerbee and Gaudino created an opportunity for Flitcroft, who blasted the ball into the net. What looked a legitimate goal was then ruled offside much to the anger of the Umbro Stand crowd who had a good view of the situation.

This was a foretaste of the City performance in tonight’s game as they continued to pressure the Ipswich defence, with Beagrie spearheading the attacking play and getting plenty of crosses in for Rösler, who tested Wark and co. with some darting runs and headers. Beagrie came even closer to getting the first goal when a quick one-two with the rejuvenated Phelan enabled him to fire in a tricky shot which bounced in front of goalkeeper Forrest, who could only scramble it away for a corner.

City’s next attacking move came via the Summerbee/Gaudino partnership, where a short Gaudino cross was met by Summerbee who looked on for a shot but instead passed to Walsh, who in turn lost possession. Summerbee again looked like scoring but the wet surface took the ball away from him and it went out of play. City fans at the front of the Umbro Stand who thought that he could have done more made their feelings known, which drew an angry but muted response from Summerbee.

Then a challenge on Flitcroft put the City midfielder out for the rest of the game, and it was thought that a straight swap with Simpson would be the plan. Instead, Niall Quinn was brought on and he was straight into action for a free kick which broke down. Ipswich attacks in the first half were few and were only the result of City errors which the elegant Curle and the much improved Kernaghan mopped up.

The second half started like the first with more City attacks at the Ipswich goal and with Summerbee playing in his more usual right wing rôle. His full back position was filled by Ian Brightwell who looked totally out of place and tended to drift into the central positions when Ipswich infrequently attacked, leaving the wide player Gavin Johnsen totally unmarked. Johnson took full advantage of this and crossed a series of dangerous balls into the box. One cross found the head of Adrian Paz who hit the bottom of the left hand post and the ball scurried wide. This brought on a massive City onslaught during which a Brightwell cross met the head of the flying Summerbee who forced Forrest into an excellent save. City then had another three near misses as they turned up the heat on Ipswich. The breakthrough finally came in the 68th minute when a through ball from Rösler set Quinn on his way who then scored a fine angled goal. It sent the crowd wild and released the frustration of the players, who then played with more confidence and style. A second goal looked on the cards and sure enough a cross field pass from Summerbee to Beagrie gave the winger the chance to shoot. Beagrie’s powerful shot was only parried by Forrest and Rösler obliged by poking the ball into the net. That ended the game and after that City sat back a little and allowed Ipswich to pass around but they failed to penetrate the City defence.

City really need to sort out the right full back position and soon, as better teams will capitalise on the fact that Brightwell and Summerbee are both poor in that position. I believe that City’s season went downhill from the moment they lost both Edghill and Hill and the sooner they return the tighter City’s defence will become. Phelan, Curle, and Kernaghan looked very comfortable in defence; it just needs a proper full back to help them out (especially Kernaghan).

Man City:
Coton, Brightwell, Phelan, Kernaghan, Curle, Summerbee, Gaudino, Flitcroft (Quinn), Beagrie, Walsh (Simpson), Rösler.
Sub not used:
Ipswich Town:
Forrest, Yallop, Wark, Vaughan (Thompson), Linighan, Thomsen, Williams, Sedgeley, Johnson, Slater (Paz).
Sub not used:

Final Score 2-0
Goals: Quinn 68, Rösler 71
Attendance: 21,430
Man of the match: Phelan

Gary Wood (


Why can’t Horton have any luck when it comes to picking his team at this crucial stage of the season? He knew he would be without the services of Rösler and Beagrie through suspension but now he’s been robbed of Flipper, due to the ‘dead leg’ he picked up against Ipswich. That leaves BH with a headache of who to select. Quinn and Phelan will continue in their rôles. Walsh may be included in the team even though he’s not fully recovered from his injury. So, BH has to pick from:

Coton, Ian B, Curle, Kernaghan, Phelan, Summerbee, Gaudino, Walsh, Quinn, (from) Simpson, Vonk, Hill, Mike, Griffiths, Burridge

Martin Ford (


George Graham allegedly accepted “bungs” totalling 425,500 pounds, it was revealed today. The former chairman of Swindon Town, who were denied promotion due to financial irregularities, has demanded that Arsenal be relegated.

Brian Horton has been enthusing over the performances of Terry Phelan and Niall Quinn in last night’s win over Ipswich. Horton described Phelan as “man of the match” and claimed that Quinn “was back to his old ways”.

Tickets for the forthcoming home games against Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Chelsea will not be available on the day of the game. City secretary Bernard Halford has expressed his regret at having to take this action at such short notice (there will be many disappointed fans who won’t find out until Saturday) but it has been imposed on him by the police after the trouble at the derby. The ticket office will be open until 7:00pm on Friday.

The Mole


The next round is the quarter final against Sunderland at Roker Park

Roger Haigh (


Last night’s programme mentions the fact that City’s game at Blackburn on Easter Monday(?) will be broadcast by Sky. Could be a re-run of one of the Villa games in past seasons. Will it be the one where City win against all odds to retain top division status, or the one where City fans don’t mind a defeat if it keeps the title away from the swamp?

Roger Haigh (


The speculation surrounding Horton’s job has led some to believe that Coppell will be the one to replace him. My Sheffield Wednesday sources tell me that Coppell is also being considered to replace Trevor Francis at SWFC. After SWFC’s shoot-out loss to Wolves, many are calling for his head. If SWFC don’t make a good run towards the top of the table, look for them to take Coppell out of City’s hands.

Jesse McClure (


I haven’t been able to see as many games as I would have liked this season as I am at Sheffield Uni. Anyway, last night was my fourth game this season and the performances are getting worse.

City just don’t seem to be playing as a team any more. There just seem to be so many things wrong.

Phelan made quite a few overlapping runs for Beagrie which he didn’t use. There is no understanding between the two of them. Summerbee is absolutley terrible at the moment and needs a spell in the reserves if you ask me. He has become so lazy, shot shy and unwilling to take players on. The one time he did take a player on we scored! Ipswich did a back pass and did he chase and hurry the goalie? No. His passing is very wayward and indifferent and he lacks any passion or fight. To think he has played the most games this season for us!

City’s whole style of playing is wrong. From what I saw last night we seem to pass it around for a while in midfield and pass it to a striker who imediately passes it back to the midfield. After a while of this someone hits a hopeful ball into the air which is cleared; then we have to get the ball back and it starts again. Occasionally someone gets to the by-line but any cross-in lacks accuracy and doesn’t seem to unsettle the defence. No one seems to make any off the ball runs apart from Rösler and everyone seems to be scared of taking a shot from the edge of the area. We seem to be trying to walk the ball into the net. Again, when someone eventually did take a shot the goalie couldn’t hold it and Rösler scored with the loose ball.

Curle made a few runs from defence into attack which caused lots of problems for the Ipswich defence. They seemed genuinely worried by someone running at them with the ball. So why then was it left to Curle to make these runs and why weren’t more of the midfield making them?

Our attack lacked penetration and confidence. What happened to ‘Free Scoring’ Manchester City that I saw so much of in the media earlier in the season?

As for the defence I think the Curle Kernaghan partnership is working well. I am happy for Kernaghan that he has regained his confidence or whatever was missing from last season. Hopefully a few more games together without injury will result in a solid partnership. However, why have we got so many central defenders on the books? Vonk, Foster, David Brightwell and even Edghill prefers playing at centre back! Our Left and right backs are simply no good. Phelan is good at making runs but lacks positional awareness. I blame him for most of the goals in the 5-0 defeat by the rags and the 4-0 defeat by Palarse. David Brightwell is just too slow, no good and again lacks passion and a will to win. The same can be said of Andy Hill. Why doesn’t Horton use Foster more? I thought that his performances against Newcastle were superb and showed real promise. Even out of position I’m sure he would perform.

The other thing is after looking at the way the rags play, why can’t we play a bit more like them? They defend as a unit and attack as a unit. Their midfield seems to be everywhere. Ours seems to be knackered by half time.

As far as Brian Horton is concerned I was right behind him but my loyalty is starting to wear thin. The tactical mistakes he has made which hopefully he will learn from aren’t the problem. It is the lack of fight and guts in the side which he should have installed, like when we played Newcastle in the CCC.

Oh by the way, there was a rumour last night that the Ipswich No.8 was Brain Horton. Can this be confirmed? That’s all for now,

Andy Davies (


Tony Coton’s return was greeted with much relief. Andy Dibble’s name came in for a round of boos when the teams were announced. Hopefully Dibble’s pathetic performance at Newcastle will not be used to berate him for years to come – I expect he’s as pissed off with his performance as we are, although, as the saying goes “He who pays the piper…”

Terry Phelan played as if the penny has finally dropped regarding positional play. His performance was much more disciplined than any in the last eighteen months. If he continues to play the same it means we no longer have to wonder when we will next see a real left back in a sky blue shirt.

Gaudino seems to be adjusting to the English game. He now needs to learn how to tackle. He seemed to be much more involved last night.

Does anyone believe the Summerbee propaganda put out by the M(u)EN? He’s been a disaster at full back. He hasn’t done the job as an out-and-out winger. Last night he looked completely lost, more so when Flitcroft left the field. If his dad wasn’t a team-mate of the Chairman would he still be in the team?

Niall Quinn still looks to be in need of match practice following his injury. He took his goal well from an incredibly narrow angle and had another very good effort kicked off the line. Rösler is out on Saturday so Quinn gets a full match. Let’s hope Leeds defend the aerial ball as badly as they did against the rags. Rösler had three good opportunities with headers and fluffed them all. Could Quinn have done any better? Does Quinn play in the reserves if he doesn’t feature in a first team game?

Last night City played as if they meant it for only 25 minutes straight after half time. On Saturday it needs the same level of commitment for ninety minutes

Roger haigh (


Also spotted in the (very) small print in the football result section of this morning’s Guardian was a short note about BH & City. Apparently there was a board meeting at Maine Road on, I guess, Monday evening. BH said his position was not discussed and he was fed up with the tabloids giving him “only two more games”, as they had been doing it for the best part of the last three months.

Until recently he has always managed to pull out a result when needed; but it looks as though this gift has deserted him. However, I tend to agree with Ashley that he has been working with his hands tied behind his back and quite clearly there is no cash for him to go out and fill those full back positions. For sure we need a new left back; not so sure about the right back position. The little I have seen of Edghill looked pretty good … what do other folk think? And what about John Foster? There were rave reviews of him earlier in the season.

Midfield – I had high hopes of Gaudino but from the little I have seen and heard he doesn’t seem to be able to run the midfield; I think we have a problem here that is almost as bad as the full-back crisis – I believe Flipper to be a great player but I think he still needs an experienced (and probably hard) man alongside him, a Peter Reid or Macca in their pomp – but as things stand now I think he has too much on his shoulders for a youngster. I hope Steve Lomas stays – given time, he and Flipper will make a fine pair of central midfielders.

Up front – well, despite the fine escape act that Walsh, Beagrie & Uwe brought us last season, can they do it again? We do seem to have been rumbled tactics-wise of late and we are no longer scoring freely, even against the less well off (like us!). Niall … well I am very fond of him, I think he is 100% Blue and I would be sad to see him go. I know we haven’t seen the best of him this season but then we haven’t seen much of him at all. I still believe we are short of one major marksman up front.

Jeremy Poynton (


If, as seems likely, BH joins the long list of ex-City managers, how about Paul Walsh as player-manager? He’s enthusiastic, has played under some good managers (at Luton, Spurs and Liverpool) and is a popular player.

Alternatively, Franny could perform DNA miracles and graft George Graham’s skills as a tactician onto BH. All you would need is a strand of hair or some skin from the back of his hand 😉

Adam Joinson (


Having read the last few editions of MCIVTA I feel compelled to jump to BH’s support again. Even after the recent run of defeats I still fell that there is no better man for the job. People seem to be ignoring the fact that the club is in a terrible financial state (the legacy of Swales) and that we need a manager who can spot a bargain when he sees it and can get class players without paying for them for a year. Yes he has made tactical errors this year but it is a learning experience for both the team and the manager. In addition to this he insists on playing an attractive style of football, not seen at Maine Road for years, when the temptation must be there to pump the ball up to Quinn in the hope of getting a result. His handling of the Phelan matter has been superb, showing Phelan that the team will not fall apart without him and if he’s so great why have no other clubs jumped at the chance of buying him? Consequently Phelan played yesterday against Ipswich and played his best game for City in over two years.

Let’s be realistic, George Graham isn’t going to come to a club with no money for the big signings and Steve Coppell’s credentials are far from impressive. As I’ve said before, give Horton time and maybe the Glory days will come back to the Academy.

Finally, something I heard from a building contractor at Maine Road last night. The new Kippax stand will not be owned by the club as we can’t afford it. Instead, the builders (McAlpine I think) are going to lease the stand to the club. Although Franny seems to be doing a good job there’s still a lot to do, so a great deal of patience is going to be needed on our (the fans) part.

Adam Houghton (


Well the dust is settling after the débâcle in Dublin and I’d be interested to hear what fellow Blues think about what can be done about the problem of English fans overseas. Year-in, year-out the same morons are allowed to go overseas, trash a couple of towns on the way and return to England without any problems. Has anyone out there ever followed England abroad and experienced the absoloute f#$wits who give England such a bad name? I followed City home and away in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s and began to get bored with the same old grounds (relegation wasn’t so bad, at least we saw a few new grounds and won a couple of games!) and longed to follow the Blues into Europe. True to form, City build your hopes up and let you down. I had to make do with pre-season trips to Scotland and Ireland (1984) and the Isle of Man (1985) but this was not enough.

So I turned to England. I had been to 2 previous England games, a 4-1 tonking by Wales in Wrexham (heaviest ever defeat by the Taffies) and Scotland at Wembley. Serious crowd trouble occurred at both matches. Myself and a fellow blue chose to travel to Finland by train to watch England play in a World Cup qualifier thinking this would be a nice, safe adventure to a peace-loving country. Only 300 England “fans” travelled but the amount of fighting in bars, looting and arrests was unbelievable. Almost all the English were from the south-east, especially Chelsea, and what a neanderthal group they were. This group is probably the same ones who were the core in Dublin last week and the police in England must know who they are. Why can’t they stop them travelling overseas? I’m amazed they can hold a pen to fill the passport form in. We were treated like lepers in Finland and right through Sweden and it was embarrasing to be English.

Foolishly, we decided to stop off in Brussels on the return and try to get tickets for the European Cup final, surely the highlight match for any football fan? Sadly, this was Liverpool v Juventus at the rather run down Heysel Stadium. We got tickets and saw the same group of morons who wouldn’t even know where Liverpool was (although their fans are no angels) and everyone knows what happened. We were lucky to leave Brussels alive after being attacked, on our way back to the youth hostel, by a group of Italians with knives and bottles. My trips to see England overseas are definitely no more.

The bad old days appear to have returned. How do you think it is going to go with the removal of the fences? Problems at Blackburn and Chelsea suggest it’s not long before there is real trouble and somebody gets seriously hurt. Tensions are going to increase as championships, promotions and relegations loom for some clubs. Have the efforts of “kung-fu” Cantona had a rôle in this?!

I’ve rambled on. I’m back in the UK in 4 weeks and as a representative of the Aussie supporters club I’ll be trying to hoist the flag up where all the Blues can see it. So if you see it, come and say hello!

It’s only a game.

Neil Adshead (


Although DP may well be worse off than us now, at least they can look back on success in the seventies and eighties. All we can say is that we have survived – we can now talk in decades since we last won a trophy or even qualified for Europe.

On the subject of the speculation about Horton’s future, the big difficulty is in suggesting who could possibly be the person who could bring success to City. The names so far suggested are managers without proven success at a big club.

A new-appointment like Kinnear would perhaps bring short-term inspiration but I feel in 12 months time we would be back where we started. The majority of players at the club seem to have faith in BH; if he can keep that and get a bit of cash to spend he may survive. I would hate to see him go and us to end up with somebody like Phil Neal.

John Connell (


Came across this in yesterday’s Guardian; it rather tickled me – perhaps we should start a list of oddball MCFC references.

The article was about the motorway protestors (against the M65) who were attempting to prevent the demolition of some terraced cottages in the path of the new motorway, at Darwen – here’s the City clip:

‘Hugh Woolf, with a playing card joker in his trilby hat, was removed from the roof after beating his Irish drum for more than two hours. “No compromise in the defence of Mother Earth!” he cried as he was lowered to the street.

“I’ve been up here since December to protest against the Government’s road building,” he added. “One of the bailiffs up there was a Manchester City supporter, so I got on quite well with him. But we’ll see this out to the bitter end.”

Jeremy Poynton (


I think I’m correct with this, that Neil McNab jumped on board the “sinking ship” (Yes, recently I’ve lost every bit of optimism) as youth team coach at the start of this season. Interestingly, if I rememeber rightly, after one of his first games in charge he was banned from the touchline for a period due to his “over involvement” ???? It’s nice to know that people don’t change!!!!

Andrew Brown (


Feb 21, 1995   Arsenal         - Nottingham       1 - 0
Feb 22, 1995   Aston_Villa     - Leicester        4 - 4
               Blackburn       - Wimbledon        2 - 1
               Leeds           - Everton          1 - 0
               Manchester_C    - Ipswich          2 - 0
               Norwich         - Manchester_U     0 - 2
Blackburn       29    20   5   4    63  -  26    65
Manchester_U    29    19   6   4    53  -  21    63
Newcastle       28    14   9   5    47  -  30    51
Liverpool       27    13   9   5    46  -  22    48
Nottingham      29    13   7   9    41  -  32    46
Tottenham       27    12   7   8    45  -  38    43
Leeds           27    11   9   7    35  -  28    42
Sheffield_W     29    10   9  10    38  -  38    39
Aston_Villa     30     9  11  10    45  -  42    38
Arsenal         29     9  10  10    32  -  32    37
Wimbledon       28    10   6  12    33  -  49    36
Norwich         28     9   8  11    27  -  33    35
Manchester_C    28     9   8  11    37  -  44    35
Coventry        29     8  10  11    29  -  45    34
Chelsea         27     8   9  10    35  -  38    33
Southampton     27     6  13   8    39  -  44    31
Queen's_PR      26     8   7  11    39  -  45    31
Everton         29     7  10  12    29  -  39    31
Crystal_Palace  28     7   9  12    21  -  28    30
West_Ham        28     8   5  15    26  -  37    29
Leicester       28     4   8  16    29  -  50    20
Ipswich         28     5   5  18    29  -  57    20

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Gary, Martin, Jeremy, Roger (x2), Andy (x2), Adam (x2), Jesse, The Mole, Neil & John.

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 #55