Newsletter #89

Plenty of things in this issue, including a Why Blue, an interview with Uwe and plenty of opinion (thanks) on City’s goalies which will ultimately go towards improving information on the WWW; more requests to follow!

We welcome our first South American subscriber, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We now have subscribers in all continents excepting mainland Asia (Internet’s not very well developed there though!).

Finally, if anyone out there is feeling homesick for the ‘Rainy City’ then try out ‘Virtual Manchester’ at URL:

This one goes out to 284 subscribers.


City have won the Littlewoods Premiership Award for Work in the Community; the award and the 20,000 pound prize was presented to Alex Williams.

The Mole


GMR reports that Maurizio Gaudino will fly back from Germany early next week to complete his transfer to City.

The Mole


Duncan Ferguson has been sentenced to 3 months imprisonment for his assault (head-butt) on a Raith player whilst he was playing for Rangers. The English FA also look set to impose the 12-match ban set by the Scottish FA after the incident. Ferguson is appealing against the sentence.

The Mole


John Foster has been named in the England Under-21 squad for the European Under-21 Championships qualifier against Latvia to be played at Burnley on 7th June.

The Mole


Uwe Rösler polled 71% of the votes to take the Supporters’ Club Player of the Year award, with Scott Thomas winning the Young Player of the Year award. The awards were presented in the social club on the evening of Brian Horton’s sacking and many of the players were in a rather subdued mood, my contact tells me.

Paul Howarth (


Last night’s MEN reported that City are willing to sign Gaudino and are trying to tie up the deal for 1.5 Million. The surprising thing is that Lee is prepared to sign a player; what will the new manager think, that is unless of course Franny has already spoken to his chosen man, who’s agreed the signing. Of course, I could be very cynical here and suggest that Lee has OK’ed the deal because he decides everything, regardless of what the manager thinks!!!

The other news is that City have received a bid of 2 Million for Niall Quinn, from Sporting Lisbon. Although Lee is a fan of Quinn he’s willing to discuss the offer with Niall. I wonder if Quinn will use this potential move to restart his career? This move depends upon whether Quinn wants to move abroad, although it’s reported he is interested in pursuing a career abroad.

Martin Ford (


The following is a description of an interview with Uwe Rösler during the football programme ‘Ranissimo’ on the German TV channel SAT1. This was kindly sent to us by Michael Brehl in Frankfurt, absolutely bloody typical that I should fail to watch it when I usually do. Any errors in translational are down to me.


Uwe was the main guest on the show and was greeted by the host with the words: ‘Now we would like to get to know a bit about you.’ Initially they spoke about the pronounciation of his name during which they played a clip of Maine Road with ‘Oo-vee Ros-a-la’ echoing round the ground. The audience had to laugh at, what for them was a pretty strange pronounciation (it should sound like ‘Oo-veh Rurz-ler’ [Ashley]).

Next he was asked about the reception he got in Manchester. He replied that he felt very happy and that the fans were brilliant and have stood by the team even though things haven’t gone so well this season. They then showed five of his best goals (absolutely top class) as well as a few scenes of when he was chosen as Manchester Player of the Month. His English was roundly praised considering the fact that he is an East German and would have had only Russian in school.

They then moved on to try and find out why Uwe felt so at home in Manchester. Uwe said that the living conditions were in a way similar to those he had experienced in his native East Germany. Manchester is a working class city and the football reflects this, being hard fought. Also, the problems with unemployment and the low urban living standards which he felt were a reason for the way the fans identify so strongly with football. People go to the pub after a game and stay ’til 10.30pm, a situation which just doesn’t happen in German football.

Uwe stated that he wanted to stay in Manchester for at least one year and he’d prefer two. He hoped that in this time a top German club would recognise his talents. They also talked about possible national honours and a clip of Berti Vogts was shown in which he described Uwe as a possible alternative to the current strike force.

They then addressed the problems of football in East Germany. Dresden have had their license removed and if Rostock fail to win promotion then there will be no team from the former East Germany in the current Bundesliga. Uwe said that he found this very sad, not only because of the great enthusiasm for the game there but also because it was yet another blow to the confidence of the East Germans who would now feel even more inferior to their western counterparts.

Towards the end of the show a clip of ‘Dino’ was played in which he sent his greetings to Uwe and congratulated him on his ‘Player of the Month’ award. Currently he isn’t giving any interviews. Uwe said that he hoped ‘Dino’ would stay in Manchester.

Finally, an example of British Humour was produced, none other than a ‘Uwe’s Grandad Bombed Old Trafford’ T-shirt! This was shown to a rather puzzled audience and Uwe stated that he, in no way felt insulted by it! (British humour is a total mystery to the vast majority of Germans and there is absolutely no way that they could begin to understand it [Ashley])

To sum up, he made a very good impression, no spoilt football star this one! He’s learnt what it means to have to work and to get by with very little. I believe that this has made him into the person that he is, open, honest and very close to the people (fans). With these qualities and his skill as a footballer, a great career should await him.

Greetings to Manchester (have a beer for me)!

Michael Brehl (


That business about Flitcroft not being happy was also mentioned in The Sun this morning (Tuesday). He was described as “3 million pound-rated” and he is said to have sparked interest from all the usual places i.e. The Geordies, Arsenal etc.

James Barton (


So another trophyless season. Frankly I was really depressed at the QPR game that nearly everyone was more interested in the Rags than our own players. Time to wise up, a lot of Blues seem happier if the Rags aren’t winning, regardless of what we do. If all that hate/anger was directed positively into getting behind the team, how much better would the players perform?

As far as BH goes, I was a bit disturbed at the way it was handled. I know Swales dragged the club down but that side of things should have changed the moment he left. Having the sacking in the papers before the club or Franny or BH had made any statement was a disgrace, and says a lot about the club. I hope there is a good excuse. BH was honourable to a fault and deserved a more dignified departure. I faxed the club to let them know how I felt, and have had no reply as yet. If I do I’ll pass it on.

As far as the future goes, we need a Bruce Rioch and patience; he’s done a great job at Bolton with little money, so he’d fit right in. He’s not tainted by other big clubs, so he could build a family the way Liverpool did. George Graham is obviuosly a good manager, but a bit dodgy and would expect the club to do things his way. Can’t see it working. Dave Bassett, God help us.

Sorry it’s so brief. the bulletins have kept me sane!!!!

Jim Parsons (


I didn’t want to comment on the whole Horton thing as I’d pretty much said everything I wanted to say in the article I wrote for the last Electric Blue (‘No More Mr Nice Guy’). However, some of the comments that came out of the wave of contributions following the sacking interested me.

Firstly, I don’t feel the sacking was handled badly at all. Horton’s dismal form throughout the second half of the season led to the inevitable press speculation on his job: if the fans were publicly debating it, then it’s no surprise that the press were.

Two seasons is, I admit, no time at all in which to build a trophy winning side, but I don’t think this was what was expected of Horton, either by the board or the fans. What was expected was a healthy mid-table position on a par with such great teams as Wimbledon. That Lee inherited a manager who clearly did not belong in the Premiership but kept Horton on for the whole of the 93-94 season was a gamble that only just paid off, and shows he is not the hire-and-fire merchant that Swales was. That he proceeded to give him yet another season to prove himself, I think, was a mistake (though he possibly only did this after he’d been turned down by other managers). Whatever, Horton had two seasons and both ended in near-relegation. Gambling on him pulling off the great escape a third time is just too risky.

The comparison with Ferguson has been raised a few times – everyone wanted his head but he was given 6 years and went on to build a great team – but let’s face facts: there are some managers who, given time and money, will be able to build a great team, and there are some who couldn’t do it if you gave them all the time in the world. Horton, alas, is one of the latter.

If a good new manager walked into Maine Road today, I guarantee that everyone will have forgotten about Horton by the end of next week. It’s very noble, supporting him in the interests of stability but City need a winner, someone who can turn the side around like Royle has done with Everton (they even won their derby – imagine that). Horton was only an embarrassment. City played a few good games against crap opposition earlier in the season and they managed to beat a Liverpool who clearly weren’t interested and a Blackburn who were bottling it in a big way. Apart from that, the whole season was dire and the man clearly did not have a clue. I’m glad to see the back of him. All I ask now is for a good manager who can motivate the squad, challenge for Europe, play exciting football (without the ‘excitement’ of getting thrashed by the Rags four times in a row) and who will be given 3 or 4 seasons before he’s expected to win a trophy.

Also, on the subject of Sky and Rags bias, I watched with interest the Sky News coverage of the FA Cup Final. The sports anchorman, one of your typical Media Rags who has made his armchair support of them known throughout the whole season, had as his guest (who else, following Everton’s win?) Tommy Docherty. They proceeded to ‘analyse’ the match, though this sounded suspiciously like a catalogue of whingeing excuses. Of course, the reason the Rags won fuck all is all down to that fateful night when poor Eric was goaded by a Crystal Palace fan. Some team, eh? One player out of action and they’re transformed from world beaters to mediocrities (even funnier when you consider that that player has struck fear into the hearts of European defenders in a series of thrilling 0-0 draws as captain of his country). Anyway, realizing that they’d whinged on long enough they decided to give Everton their due: ‘Let’s have a look at that goal.’ They then proceeded to talk for five minutes about the mistakes the Rags’ defence had made!

Andrew Conway (


I’ve read with interest and enthusiasm the variety of opinions as to who the next manager should be. It seems that if City are to become a great club again, winning League Championships, the FA Cup and European honours, then radical change is required. As we all know, City have had a series of managers who have had little success. Now, there are a million and one reasons why this is so: lack of money for players, not enough time, lack of tactical know how and so the list goes on. But what seems patently obvious to me is that if someone like Rioch (IMHO the best option of the names put forward so far) or Trevor Francis or heaven forbid Bassett then the same sad scenario will unfold over the next season or two. What is needed is radical change…

OK so what is this radical change? Well…

  1. Someone who is an out and out winner needs to be appointed to completelyrevamp the playing, coaching and training systems within the club. Thisperson or persons needs to have total autonomy with regard to buying/sellingplayers (within financial limits of the club), team selection,training/coaching systems. The new management team must start with a cleansheet. A new coaching unit needs to be brought in. It’s patently obvious theexisting coaching staff haven’t had much success. Wholesale changes in theplaying staff if that’s what the new management team want.
  2. The Chairman must use all of his energy to attract new investment intothe club. If we are to challenge the likes of United, Blackburn or Newcastlethen we have to have the same investment. I know the new regime has alreadysunk a fortune into City but more is needed. The board and chairman mustnot interfere with team selection, contract negotiation etc. They mustattract new money into City and quickly.
  3. The new management team have to be given at least a four year contractwhich is absolutely cast iron. The contract must be honoured even if we arerelegated. They must be given the time and the opportunity to put new ideasand systems into place. As the Deputy Headteacher of a junior school inDerbyshire I’m told I must produce a School Development Plan which outlinesthe direction of my school for the next four years. Why can’t this approachbe used by City? The new management team ought to produce a development planfor the club, outlining strategic objectives which they hope to achieve. Inreturn the board strive to supply the financial and human resources requiredto make the plan happen.

So who do I think ought to take over? Well now, that’s a tricky question :-). I’d like to see somenone like Franz Beckenbauer who has a history of winning both as a player and a manager being offered the job or even Kenny Dalglish. Now I know everyone is ROTFL at this point but if we don’t have a radical change of thinking and approach then just answer one question:

Why will Bruce Rioch and Colin Todd do any better than any of City’s previous managers in the last twenty years? Eh!

Stephen Booth (


I think we have to be careful. MCIVTA correspondents seem, almost unanimously in recent days, to be hoping for Rioch & Todd. I am not at all sure about this. Rioch managed a Middlesbrough team to relegation before doing very little with a Millwall team which seemed to prosper without him. He then spent some considerable time ‘in the Wilderness’ (a euphemism). There is also the difficulty of the relationship with FHL who, as has been remarked already on MCIVTA, may be reluctant or unable to sack a friend. Sure, Bolton have improved of late. They have some good players (as we saw in USA 94′). The question is whether Rioch & Todd are largely responsible for that and where they would be with other management. I’m not sure the case has been proved.

What we need is stability, brains and commitment. I have it on good authority that Steve Coppell made himself available just at the point that BH looked as if he was going to be sacked (in fact it happened a bit later) and he wants a return to the North-West.

He is our man.

Johnathan Seitler (


Well this is a ‘Why Blue’ with a difference because I was converted from another team from Manchester… yes, you have guessed it, it was from United!

When I was about 14 I was an armchair fan of the Reds and used to have arguments with City fans (i.e. my brother) until the day he asked if I fancied going to Maine Road. I was a bit dubious about going, being a Red and all but I’d never been to a football match so I thought why not. It was against Coventry in the 91/92 season. I was stood in the old Kippax (God bless her) with my elder brother. I still remember not knowing the words to Blue Moon, nor all the other songs sang there. We got beaten 1-0 but I’ve been a City fan ever since. I believe it was the atmosphere and the feeling that everyone adores when you’re at a game that swung it.

I did it to a friend of mine as well, this game was away at Loftus Road in the Cup when we won 2-1, and he did it to his friend and his friend’s girfriend, and I’ve converted both my younger sisters (still working on my girlfriend; she hates football but I’m getting there).

Can anyone beat that for a great love story?

Macca (True Blue).

Matthew McCurrie (


Well I go on holiday for 10 days and I miss it all!!!! Most people probably know that I have been a supporter of BH all the way, and greeted his departure with some sorrow. However I’m going to sit on the fence until the board pick a new manager, but if it’s one of the Sheffield duo they can use my season ticket for toilet paper!!!!

Anyway here are my views on the goalies:

Tony Coton
Probably the best shot stopper in the business but has never been able tocommand his area and this is probably why he’s never held an England place.Seems to have his feet nailed to the goal line. Has a healthy regard forreferees and is well known for the accuracy with which he can throw glovesin faces (and then get sent off!!)
Andy Dibble
Officer Dribble has had his moments but they have been few and far between,with sudden rushes of blood to the head occuring frequently. Training forDibble should definitely incorporate recognising the sound of a whistle. Ifa goalkeeper is judged on his mistakes then this guy should be on the rockand roll by now. Probably not the best No.2 now that Coton seems to bepicking up more and more injuries.
Martyn Margetson
Having not seen him since his disaster against Everton several seasons agoit’s hard to say anything. Seemed to have a promising future when playingunder Reid but completely lost his confidence on that fateful day. But ifJim Leighton can come back then why not Margetson?
John Burridge
Big heart but not much else.

Has the demise of goalies at City coincided with the departure of big Joe Corrigan to Liverpool (David James seems to be a hell of a lot better these days)?

Finally, everybody seems to have forgotten about our No.5 keeper… Niall Quinn. Pulled off a peach of a save against a Saunders penalty (when he played for Derby) after TC had been sent off. Maybe if we offer him a new contract with 10 per save…

Adam Houghton (


Might as well get involved; I saw Paul Howarth’s request for opinions on City’s keepers so here goes:

Little needs to be said about the abilities of this man. An Englandkeeper that never was. However, he is ageing and it would seem his kneesare feeling their age.
Seems thoroughly capable one minute and then in the bat of an eyelidis seemingly incapable of stopping a nose bleed let alone the ball. I havealways thought he lacks shrewd judgment; he stays on his line when he shouldcome off it and vice versa, a fine example being Forest’s late equaliser atMaine Road earlier this season. The infuriating thing is that when he ison form he appears an accomplished understudy; perhaps that is what he shouldremain as.
I don’t go to the reserves games, nor would I judge the ladon his nightmare first half against Everton that ended the ’92-3 seasonwith a 5-2 drubbing.
A prime example of the maxim that life begins at forty. An energetic,aggressive and very vocal individual. His physical fitness is beyond questionbut his ability to keep goal is not. The advantage he has on TC and Dibbleis that he is never afraid of letting defenders know what they should do andwhere they made a mistake; this is information Budgie usually shares with theentire ground.

Conclusion:- TC is coming to the end of his useful career and Dibble is not my preferred replacement. City should be looking to Palace to poach Martyn; he put up a storming display at the Academy this season. A possible contender, if not a sure bet for the future, is Kelly at Bury; relatively young, started out life as a defender until the Preston youth coach threw him in nets, this season he has registered 24-plus clean sheets! If anyone saw the highlights of the third division play-offs between Bury and Preston then they will know the lad I am talking about. However, I was tipped off about his ability by a good friend; it was his Dad who put Kelly in nets.

Patrick Bedell (


Here are a few thoughts on keepers; this is the one area of the team that it seems difficult to say more than a few words, though the other sections should be easier.

Still a very good goalkeeper and there aren’t that many good onesin the Premiership in my opinion. However, he’s probably not as goodas he was two or three years ago; he even got in the old Division 1’sTeam of Teams back then, so he was clearly the best keeper around inthe opinion of his fellow players. Injuries have plagued himrecently and he no longer commands his box like the old days. He’smade a number of blunders of late, most notably at The Dell. However,he gives the back 4 immeasurably more confidence than our otherkeepers. He should most definitely be kept. He does a lot of goodcharity work for Barnados!!!
Had a couple of prolonged spells given TC’s injuries recently.Has had some good performances last season and this, but has madesome absolute howlers. The most infamous of these was in the FA Cupat St James’, but the second and third goals against Forest at homethis season also deserve a mention. Given all this he probablyshould go because I’m not sure he’ll ever get his confidence backplaying for us after these nightmare performances.
Hardly seen him apart from the surreal nightmare that was losing 5-2against Everton on the last day of the season. He had a terriblegame and was subbed. There is no point in keeping him if Burridge iskeeping him out.
It’s all very funny having an ancient keeper, but the fact is thathe’s no good and we don’t want to be the Premiership’s novelty team;we’d quite like to keep clean sheets and win games. Get rid of him.

My only other goalkeeping thought is that we should buy Shaka Hislop, he looks a very good prospect indeed.

Dan Rigby (


Tony Coton
He’s been England’s number one for several years now, but hasrecently been suffering from injuries. If he recovers he is still goodenough to play for the very best (MCFC or England) but is now 32 and maybeage is catching up on him. However, should have two or three seasons leftin him. A long term replacement should be sought.
Andy Dibble
The ace cock-up merchant is good, on his day. Remember him winningthe Littlewoods Cup for Luton? However, he is too prone to cock-ups soshould be sold.
Martyn Margetson
A few years ago he looked very promising but has made littleprogress since. I haven’t seen him for a while but a spell on loan at a3rd division club might be worth a try.
John Burridge
Far too old to be anything but a stand-in when everyone else isunavailable. Should only be kept in case of emergencies.

David Lamb (


I have a feeling that the substitute goalkeeper for either Liverpool or (I think) Aston Villa used to play for City reserves.

Kevin Duckworth (


Fire brigade phones Ferguson in the early hours of Sunday morning…

“Mr Ferguson sir, Old Trafford is on fire!”

“The cups man! Save the cups!” replies Alex.

“Uh, the fire hasn’t spread to the canteen yet, sir.”


Today (24/05/95) is ERIC C*N*O*A’s 29th birthday and he will be having a meal with his teammates tonight. However, they will have to eat with their hands as they have no silverware (this would be a better joke if we actually won something, oh well)

Ashley Hevicon


Thought that this might brighten up everyone’s day. There’s nothing like taking the piss out of another team when your own one’s playing crap. It’s a bit old so apologies if it’s been posted before.

A guide to referees when officiating for MUFC.

Law 1
Field of Play: If the field of play is not surrounded by 40,000 plus people, do not allow the game to continue – the management would not be able to pay the wages.
Law 2
The Ball: The ball must be purchased from the MUFC souvenir shop.
Law 3
Number of Players: If the opposition begins to get on top, send one off.
Law 4
Players’ Equipment: Any opposing player who tries to confuse the referee by adopting a Ryan Giggs hairstyle must be asked to leave the field of play to remove the offending equipment.
Law 5
Referees: Referees are to wear cotton wool in their ears so that they do not hear Paul Ince use foul and abusive language.
Law 6
Linesmen: Ignore.
Law 7
Duration of the Game: Full time can be signalled if United are winning.
Law 8
Start of Play: Always allow United to call. Heads we kick off, tails you choose ends.
Law 9
Ball in and out of play: If a United player has the ball it must be in play.
Law 10
Method of scoring: See Cantona or Giggs.
Law 11
Offside: Kanchelskis cannot be offside – he rarely interferes with play.
Law 12
Fouls and Misconduct: Cantona does not foul. He is French and therefore does not possess the necessary intelligence to commit an intentional act. Any United player losing his footing must have been tripped.
Law 13
Free Kicks: When United are awarded a free kick, the opposing wall must stand wherever Ince or Keane tell them.
Law 14
Penalty Kick: Any United player missing a penalty must be ordered to retake the kick (even if the placed it in front of the spot in the first place … {JP})
Law 15
Throw in: Special notice should be taken when Cantona takes a throw in – he has mastered the art of getting his leg over but, as yet, he has difficulty getting both arms over.

Jeremy Poynton ( or


Thanks to Adam, Patrick, James, Jim, Stephen, Kevin, Michael, Ashley, Jeremy, Macca, Johnathan, The Mole, Dan, David, Paul, Andrew & Martin.

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 #89