Newsletter #110

Not a lot to cheer about in this edition I’m afraid. First of all we concede our first goals of the pre-season whilst suffering our first defeat under Alan Ball at Wolves on Wednesday (we have two reports of that game and I’m still hoping to get a view from the Wolves list). Then we find out that Keith Curle has got a serious ankle injury, Martyn Margetson has a broken thumb and various other players (Rösler, Beagrie, Coton, Dibble … the list goes on) are struggling with various strains, and then to cap it all we have an `interesting’ choice as our new goalkeeping coach. Read on for more details…

On the up-side, we’ve signed another goalie as cover for Coton, Dibble and Margetson and it’s not John Burridge. He’s an international and he’s coming from Blackburn Rovers. Not Tim Flowers I’m afraid but he can’t be a bad player, coming from the champions, can he? Those of you going to Burnley tomorrow (you can pay at the turnstiles and STAND 🙂 ) should get to see him in action.

This one goes out to 324.

Next game: Burnley, away, Saturday 5th August.

Contributions to: Paul Howarth (


Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Manchester City, 2nd August 1995

Jones, Richards, Thompson, Emblen, De Wolf, Thomas, Goodman, Kelly, Bull, Cowans, Dennison.
Subs included Rankine, Daley
Margetson, Edghill, Phelan, Brightwell (I), Curle, Kernaghan, Summerbee, Walsh, Quinn, Flitcroft, Simpson.
Lomas for Curle, Greenacre for Quinn

Well, I arrived at Molineux, Wolverhampton, wondering what the new season would hold for the Blues, and to see if Alan Ball had already influenced the style of play. I was impressed with the stadium, all in gold, and it was very easy to get to.

Once the match had kicked off, City took control virtually immediately with Flitcroft starting very confidently. But within 5 minutes of the start, things took a turn for the worst. As Keith Curle cleverly outwitted Steve Bull in a difficult bouncing ball situation, he seemed to fall awkwardly and didn’t get up, and in the end had to be helped off the pitch. “Great”, I thought, “Five minutes into a pre-season match and our best defender gets injured again!!” Steve Lomas came on, with Ian Brightwell moving back into central defence. One minute later, Wolves were one up, with their first real foray into City territory. The ball was played in from the Wolves right flank, flicked on, and volleyed home by Dennison, with City’s defenders nowhere to be seen.

After these two setbacks, the Blues set about their opponents, totally outplaying them for the rest of the half. Flitcroft and Lomas took control of the midfield, helped out by Simpson on the left hand side, who had a very impressive match. Walsh was his usual tricky self and Quinn was the perfect target man, showing for his team mates and holding the ball up well, linking with the wide men and the midfield. The defence got its act together with Brightwell and Kernaghan keeping Bull and Kelly quiet, helped ably by Edghill, although sometimes he still finds it difficult to find a Blue shirt with his passes. Phelan was given a bit of a run around by Don Goodman, on the ground as well as in the air. Walsh had a shot saved when one-on-one with the ‘keeper after beating the offside trap, and Kernaghan missed a header from a couple of yards with the goal at his mercy!! Eventually City managed to equalise just before half time, Walsh again getting in on the ‘keeper, and this time making no mistake – for his first chance he had a lot of time to think about it, whereas this chance was taken a lot quicker.

After half time, Wolves came back into it with Margetson making some fine saves, including a great double save from Kelly then Richards. The game was evenly balanced when some substitutions were made – Wolves brought on three players, and City brought on Chris Greenacre for Niall Quinn, who’d had a sterling match up front. This change made a huge difference, as City were now unable to retain possession in midfield, leaving the defence more vulnerable.

With about ten minutes left in the match more changes were made, Wolves bringing on Tony Daley among others which got the crowd interested again, and he proceeded to make Richard Edghill’s life more difficult. Two or three minutes after coming on, Daley forced a corner from a cross, took the corner, which Margetson and the defender failed to clear and Kelly managed to chest the ball down and hit a low volley into the goal, Phelan on the line unable to stop it. Wolves had the better of the final exchanges, City having lost control of the midfield.

During the match, City played some brilliant football, including a lot of one-touch play around the box that lead to chances or half- chances which weren’t taken. A bit better finishing could see some good goals this season (famous last words?). Nick Summerbee had a poor game, not getting any decent crosses in from open play, but there could be some competition for midfield places with Flitcroft playing well, as too is Steve Lomas, back after his broken leg injury, and not forgetting Fitzroy Simpson who played a fine game on the left hand side. Martyn Margetson did well, showing what a good shot stopper he is, but still looks a little suspect on crosses. His kicking has improved and is certainly better than Dibble’s. Overall, a good performance, but the wrong result.

Final Score: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Manchester City
Attendance: 11,404

Geoff Clarke (


Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Manchester City, 2nd August 1995

This was, on paper, the toughest game for Ball so far. It proved it. However, we were still, for much of the match, the better side. The team was fairly stong, with only Coton, Rösler, Beagrie and Kinkladze missing from the squad. The starting line-up was

	Edgehill     Curle       Kernaghan     Phelan
	Summerbee  I.Brightwell  Flitcroft     Simpson
		     Walsh       Quinn

This line-up was on the field for under ten minutes when Curle went down injured and had to go off. Lomas came on to replace him, with Brightwell moving back into defence.

We hadn’t started particularly well and we were still reorganising our defence when, in the first attack after Curle went off, they scored. Poor marking on the far post could be blamed but it was quite a good goal.

After this early setback, we had a very good spell for the rest of the half. A lot of chances were created but only one was taken, by Walsh just before half-time.

In the second-half, we were still the better side but in the last ten minutes they played with more passion and were rewarded with a goal which was down to a goalkeeping error. Margetson came for a corner, got nowhere near and was left stranded during a scarmble for the ball which resulted in a goal.

Overall, there were some encouraging performances individually and some signs of progress as a team. However, the support in attack from midfield could be improved and the quality of crosses was poor – mainly because we rarely got into decent crossing positions.

How about individual performances though:-

Was excellent on shot stopping, Dibble-esque about everything else. Will need to improve his kicking, which was inconsistent, and on crosses, where he was very dodgy.
Solid game, didn’t do much wrong but his passing should be worked on.
Not on the pitch long enough, must hope his injury isn’t too bad.
Excellent game, what a change from a year ago when he was booed all the time. He even got a chant for him! Looks very solid at the back, and dangerous when he comes forward. Lacks a little pace but makes up for that in commitment.
Vast improvement on last season. Was rarely caught out of position, made some good forward runs and looked good in defence.
Ian Brightwell
Had a good game in defence but this is not his natural position and this may hinder him at times.
Put on the worst display I have ever seen from a City player! He is a winger who never beat his man once, rarely put in a cross, wimped out of tackles and didn’t seem to want to do anything. He was a liabilty in this game. Should not be in the squad, never mind team.
Outstanding display. By far the best player on the pitch. Made many good forward runs and was superb in defence. On this form will get into the England squad.
Good but could have been better. His passing needs to improve. Good tackling but maybe too similar to Flitcroft to stay in team.
Very good but is not a winger, perhaps should play in the centre?
Completely dominant in the air and on the ground. Won 90% of the ball played to him. Looks in good form.
Very busy, made some good runs and held the ball up well. Finishing was not quite up to scratch though.
Greenacre (sub for Quinn with about 15 mins to go)
First time I’ve seen him. Ran around a lot without getting much of the ball. Looks to have a decent touch but a longer look is needed.

So, encouragement despite the result, but we won’t win the championship this year. A cup, though, is not out of the question!

David Lamb (

NEWS – VARIOUS (Wednesday 2nd)

I see City sent a team to play Bradford Park Avenue last night (at Farsley Celtic), mostly the juniors but DB and Aide Mike were involved. What about the result, they drew 0-0, so someone has finally stopped the goals! The little report in the MuEN (not handy at the moment) said it was quite an entertaining game (both sides wanting to compete and win?). City tried out a Aussie goalkeeper (Frank Talia, I think he’s called) and he seemed quite competent (AB was watching, so maybe if he impresses, he could be signed; not a bad idea after hearing about TC’s injury).

Also mentioned in the article, was that City’s game in Germany has been cancelled (Munich 1080 I think). However, City have planned a two match tour in Scotland. They’re playing Raith Rovers (week Thursday) and then Hearts the following Saturday.

So City have 4 more warm-up games and then the disappointments, ooops sorry, the season starts. ;-))

Martin Ford (

NEWS – CURLE I (Thursday 3rd)

Keith Curle was taken to hospital after last night’s game against Wolves with an ankle injury and it looks like he will miss the start of the season.

Alan Ball said “It does not look good. I am already missing top men like Tony Coton, Peter Beagrie and Uwe Rösler, and now this happens.”

David Bowl (

NEWS – CURLE II (Thursday 3rd)

So we lost, but the more disturbing news is Curle’s picked up another flaming injury and according to reports he could miss the start of the season!!

There’s been some discussion about who to partner with Curle at the back. I wonder if the management team are thinking along different lines now, who to replace Curle at the back? He seems very prone to injuries over the last couple of seasons, but when he has played he’s done a fairly good job. Are we prepared to struggle in his absence? Makes you wonder … Alan Stubbs … ?

Martin Ford (

NEWS – CURLE III (Thursday 3rd)

After initially hearing that Curle had picked up an injury the (early edition of the) MuEN now reports that the injury could be either a broken ankle or serious ligament damage, although none of this will be confirmed until the results of an x-ray are revealed.

Other news is that Margetson has finally agreed to sign a one year contract after rejecting offers from City.

Also, Aide Mike could be on his way to Mansfield Town, the fee is around £100k.

Martin Ford (

NEWS – CURLE IV (Thursday 3rd)

An X-ray has revealed that Keith Curle has, as feared, broken his ankle. Furthermore, Martyn Margetson suffered a broken thumb in the same match. No news as yet as to when either will be available again.

The Mole

NEWS – FINANCES (Thursday 3rd)

What’s this on the Electronic Telegraph about City losing £6 million last year? I thought we turned a profit (slight)? Does anybody know any more than what was reported?

S.R. Barlow (

NEWS – MARGETSON (Friday 4th)

Following the news that Curle’s injury is most probably a broken ankle, it now appears as though Margetson also broke a finger in the Molineux game. With just over a fortnight before the season starts, are City going to have to buy/loan another goalie? TC will definitely miss the beginning of the season because of complications after an operation on his knee. Dibble is also injured and now with the news of Margetson’s broken finger, who’s fit enough to play in goal?

City have still got three friendlies to complete so I wonder just how many more injuries will be picked up? So far the injury list looks bleak, the three goalies, Curle, Rösler, Beagrie, how many more?

A bit of good news though, City beat Blackpool Mech 6-0 last night.

Martin Ford (

NEWS – VARIOUS (Friday 4th)

City have signed (Aussie international?) goalkeeper Frank Talia on loan from Blackburn Rovers in view of the goalkeeping crisis. The move is unlikely to be made permanent though.

On the subject of goalkeepers, GMR say that City have appointed a new goalkeeping coach … Alex Stepney! No kidding!

The news of Keith Curle’s injury is that he’ll have to have no weight at all on the affected foot for the next three weeks and then he’ll slowly have to build up to full fitness.

The Mole


After last season’s fairly successful predictions league, it’s been decided to re-establish the event after the summer break. So what is the predictions league?

Well it’s a little (non-serious) competition to find out who’s the best predictor of City’s results. Here’s the basic idea and the few rules invovled:

Each player will (try to) predict the result of all first team games, in the Premiership and Cup competitions. The prediction will involve match score and scorers. The points will be awarded as follows:

  • 5 points correct match score (e.g 2-2, 1-0, etc)
  • 3 points correct match result (draw, win, loss)
  • 1 point each for correct goalscorer (both sides)
  • 9 point bonus for the correct time of scorer

That’s the basic idea, however any suggestions or modifications are welcome.

Martin Ford (


I have been told that City (probably just ball boys) will be playing against Featherstone and Pontefract collieries on Monday 7th August.

Also are there any Blues out there in Yorkshire (especially in West Yorkshire) who might want to go to the odd away game together? Also if anyone is interested in going to (especially midweek) home games. If so you can e-mail me.

Tony Farrar – Salford Blue (


I first knew of my allegiance to City when I was about 7 or 8. My mum fantasised about this fellow called Bell who I had heard about but never seen.

Coming from Salford I was surrounded by Reds. The first encounters in the playground were always about `are you a Red or a Blue?’ Out of forty kids three of us were Blues. There were also about four or five Liverpool fans because this was about 1976-77 when Liverpool were digging their claws into everything.

In 1979 I went to my first match. This was on Wednesday 10th October – my birthday. This was a special treat not only as a birthday present but also to cheer me up as my mother had just died. I can still remember being taken to Maine Road by my sister’s first boyfriend (thanks Graham Young). That memory of seeing the floodlights for the first time will never leave my memory. I was privileged enough to see Kaziu Denya score a goal and then swing on the crossbar at the game against Middlesbrough. At the time I didn’t know that they had a team!

That season I went to 3 matches, seeing the Polish international score another goal on the Saturday.

The season after, my dad gave me the best surprise that I have ever had – a season ticket. My dad is a traditional Rugby League fan and I knew he would be bored stupid going to watch football but I was determined to enjoy myself.

I was lucky. That season was probably the best season we have had since we last had any glory. The games against Palace (and Big Mal) and JB’s ex-club Norwich were a treat to watch. I wasn’t at Villa Park for the semi or Wembley for the finals because that was a bit adventurous for a rugby fan. I was steadily becoming a True Blue – I still went to see Salford Rugby club (the proper game by the way – league) but City were becoming the most important factor in my life.

The next season my dad had had enough and so I only went when my sister would take me – 9/10 times. I then started going on my own and since then I have had a season ticket for most of that period.

Games that stand out include the world beating 5-1 against Stretford, 10-1 against Huddersfield and beating Liverpool first home game of the season. Not to forget the Charlton game which clinched promotion. Bradford away also was good, with Paul Stewart playing very well.

Low points include Luton (the start of the real problems) and defeats by Spurs in the Cup and times when City seem to have it won then bottle it (especially against Stretford).

I have to say that City have given me more heartbreak than pleasure but they always seem to make me come again to the Academy although I often say `that’s it – never again.’

Hopefully Franny, Asa, Bally and co will give me something to cheer about.

Tony Farrar (


Thanks to Geoff, David (x2), Martin, Tony & The Mole

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.

Paul Howarth,

Newsletter #110