Newsletter #115

First of all, thanks to all those people who responded to my request for Match Reports, keep ’em coming. Not a bad result on Saturday considering the situation i.e. the first time 3 of our players met was in the dressing room before the game (well not quite perhaps!). The big question on everyone’s lips was ‘is Kinky any good?’ Well, the answer to this seems to be a definite ‘yes.’ If he can adapt to the English game then he has the potential to be one of the most inspiring players to grace Maine Road for some considerable time. Let’s hope he can emulate Kanchelskis who’s one of the few former Soviet bloc players to have managed the transition to the Premier League.

We also have a Why Blue in this issue as well as news and opinion. I’m also endeavouring to get some views out of the Spurs list and hope to send the next issue out around 3.00pm on Wednesday. If anyone else has a ‘Match Report’ in the offing then please send it in, as well as any ‘News’, ‘Opinion’ or anything else of interest.

Next game, Coventry City away, 23rd August 1995.


MANCHESTER CITY vs. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, Saturday 19th August 1995

I began the day in Manchester Arndale at the new City ‘Superstore’ which amazingly isn’t bad. I got a cool t-shirt with ‘City FC- Definitely Manchester’ with the Oasis lettering (Oasis being the City-supporting rock Gods of the moment). Towards the stadium it was good to see almost everyone in City shirts of one type or another and the hot weather allowing outdoor drinking at the pubs.

In the stadium the crowd seemed to be quite small but in good voice. Only after the kick-off did I realise the stadium was almost full. All those in the pub must have made a late dash. I started the first chant of ‘Going down’ a few minutes before kick-off to set the tone for the new season. As usual there was a buzz of expectation; ‘Is this Kinky guy any good?’, ‘Can the new German keeper deal with a cross?’, ‘Is Kernaghan still crap?’ After five minutes all are answered yes. Kernaghan isn’t actually playing but we know he’s still crap – you just know. Five minutes later we’re not so sure about the keeper and a few minutes after that we go one down as Teddy ‘You’ll never score for England’ Sheringham somehow scores a header in so much space I was expecting the Space Shuttle to land.

City responded in their usual way with some totally forgettable football although Phelan attempted to kill the Romanian whose name I cannot spell with a horrible tackle – the real joy was that the referee didn’t even give a foul.

Half time was cheered by the fact that the Rags were 3-0 down and that we were given a break from watching ‘big’ Alan Kernagan’s bizarre warm up routine. The second half was better. The goal was hardly a classic – the ‘keeper came for a hopeful cross, Uwe went up more in hope than expectation and the ball bounced gently off his head into a disbelieving goal.

After that Kinky ran the show, his first misplaced pass coming in the 87th minute (whereas Richard Edghill had managed one pass on target in the same time). He is way too good for us, some of his passing was breathtaking and the ball seems to be tied to his foot with a bit of string. As for the rest of the team, Symons looks solid; he’ll do well with Curle if he’s ever fit again. Edghill had a nightmare, Foster must be happy. Brightwell played well and even lazy sod Summerbee was seen to put a tackle in. So no revolution at Maine Road but a solid display against a Spurs side who defended very well (hard to believe I know but true).

Final Score: 1-1

Mark Bailey (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, Saturday 19th August 1995

Attendance: 30,827
Manchester City:

  Edghill Brightwell Symons Phelan
Lomas Kinkladze Flitcroft Summerbee
     Rösler (Quinn 78) Walsh

Unused subs: Kernaghan & Margetson

Tottenham Hotspur:

Austin Nethercott Mabbutt Edinburgh (Scott 17)
Dumitrescu Howells Kerslake Rosenthal
       Sheringham Armstrong

Unused subs: McMahon & Thorsvedt
Referee: G. Poll

It’s hard to start this report. I had been waiting for this match for weeks and then the moment arrived. After about 10 minutes of the match I was wondering why I ever had any anticipation. Perhaps this is typical of the first match of the season?

The start of the match really didn’t have a rhythm and on reflection, the first half seems like a blur (or is that an oasis?). Tottenham had a couple of corners off Summerbee’s back which didn’t give me great confidence (watching the defence). Dumitrescu was booed as he came over to take the corners – is there a reason for this? On 17 minutes, Summerbee caught Edinburgh on the head with his boot when they both went for a bouncing ball. Mr Poll did not give a card which I thought was very fair and Edinburgh was substituted. Tottenham had a good chance when the head-bandaged Armstrong (I think) caught the backs napping and rounded Brightwell before being driven wide by Immel, whereupon reinforcements arrived.

I can’t really remember much about the Tottenham goal. Scott crossed and Sheringham was all by himself when he planted the header to the side of a helpless Immel. One-nil! I haven’t seen the highlights on TV. There were rumours of offside but it looked reasonable to me. There is more of a question over City’s defence than the linesman’s decision (as usual).

City had a couple of good chances in the first half; Walsh pulled a shot wide and Summerbee picked up the ball, ran at the defence, and unleashed a shot towards the far corner which Walker turned round the post. However, the first half had been quite a let down with City having about 3 decent chances and Tottenham having two (and scoring one). The players were still walking off when the half time score from Villa park was announced: Aston Villa 3 Manchester United 0. There was one hell of a cheer!

Half time score: Manchester City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Ian Walker is a fine goalkeeper (coached by Pat Jennings – say no more!). In fact I was thinking of picking him for my fantasy football team. However, in a moment after the second half had started, I looked towards him standing there pushing his locks out of his face. It made me a little uneasy about my choice. A couple of minutes later he was picking the ball out of the back of his net and then resetting his hair. City were looking more composed in midfield. After a number of square passes, Lomas launched a high cross into the box. It seemed like Walker’s ball all the way but the ball was curling away from him. He came, he saw, he flapped. Uwe headed it up and over Walker’s arms and the ball rolled into the net. One-one! The chant ‘Uwe, Uwe, Uwe’ resounded throughout the ground and some fans even went and congratulated their hero.

Suddenly, City had the upper hand. City pressed for another goal but moves seemed to break down either from bad communication or control. City did squander a few chances; Rösler returned Lomas’ favour, setting him up for a difficult volley about 8 yards out. Kinkladze had a 20 yard effort go past the post. Later, City had a free kick from about the same position which Kinkladze took and went a little too high and wide. At the other end there were a few anxious moments; Armstrong appeared to have a free header which was easily saved by Immel.

Then the match lapsed into a lull. Play seemed to alternate in each direction with possession breaking down in the final third. The hot sun was taking its toll and then there was a succession of fouls. As soon as there was a stoppage, out came the water bottles to delay things a bit longer – but you can’t blame the players in that heat.

Rösler did not play wonderfully well in my opinion although he did it when it mattered. Rösler did not look sharp and played poorly with his back to goal. He may he struggling for match fitness as he was substituted for Quinn with 12 minutes to go.

In the last ten minutes I got worried. I watched believing that City were going to concede a late goal. I think it would have flattered Spurs to win and been a disgrace to City who had been superior for periods of the second half. Twenty tired pairs of legs stopped dead on the whistle.

Final Score:   Manchester City 1    Tottenham Hotspur 1
               Rösler 51'           Sheringham 33'

Spurs seemed a very ordinary side without Anderton and now without Klinsmann and Barmby. I was disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to watch McMahon (a gutsy Northern Irish winger).

City played well at times but moves seem to break down near the box. Immel seemed to hesitate a couple of times when I thought he should have come. Flitcroft and Edghill didn’t really have good games in my opinion, they seemed to run around a lot and not achieve that much. Symons had a rock steady game. Kinkladze showed some excellent touches (which according to the paper left Ball purring) and had a couple of decent shots from outside the box. It could be the start of a wonderful friendship once they all get settled. On the other hand we might all be cynical and discuss a relegation battle again like two chaps I followed out of the ground.

Request: Does anyone have a list of the bookings for both sides?

Robert Watson (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, Saturday 19th August 1995

It doesn’t feel as though the season should be starting yet. The hot weather had me attending a match in shorts(!?!) which I’d never done before. Outside the ground thousands of packets of crisps were being given away for free! Samples from new football mags were being handed out and when we got in the ground, the club had employed a drum band to play in front of the stands for the hour before the match. Was this an attempt to create a carnival atmosphere? Whatever, it didn’t feel like a football match was about to take place.

By kick-off, the ground looked full (actually only 1,173 short of a full house – not bad) apart from the top tier of the Kippax which isn’t open yet! The crowd were in good voice with many chants before the teams even came out. Had this new atmosphere been created or was the return of the Kippax to blame?

City fielded three players who, until a few days ago, hadn’t even trained with us. The line-up was:

         Edghill    Symons    I.Brightwell  Phelan
        Summerbee  Flitcroft    Lomas   Kinkladze
                  Rösler        Walsh

Subs: Quinn, Kernaghan, Margetson

So, two players who can’t speak English (Immel, Kinkladze), two signed 2 days beforehand (Immel, Symons), and one who had hardly trained (Rösler). So why was I optimistic?

We started reasonably well but persisted in giving the ball away far too often. Summerbee started as he played most of last season i.e. useless. Symons, however, impressed early on. He looked solid and safe, he didn’t want any messing around and put the ball out if there was any danger. Looks a good signing and should be good alongside Curle.

The first time our defence was breached though, they scored. For some reason we left Sheringham free and his backpost header gave Immel no chance. Bad marking was the biggest problem our defence had but as Symons only arrived on Thursday, this could be a lack of understanding between the defenders. This, then, is a problem which should easily be overcome with time.

In attack we were looking good without threatening to score. Summerbee was starting to put in his best performance that I have seen, Walsh was full of running and Kinkladze was superb. He looks a bargain at £2m. He can take men on, pass accurately, control the ball but he did run out of space/support a lot. This is probably inexperience in the English game. He was the best player on the pitch by a mile. AB says he is just like Le Tissier and when he’s coached both, how can we argue/object?

At half-time, U****d were 3 down, so it wasn’t too bad. In the second half, we started well and were rewarded with an equaliser. Lomas crossed from the right, Walker came, flapped, and missed. Rösler didn’t and opened his account for the season with a header.

During the rest of the half the heat took its toll. Several things were clear though. Spurs will not do well this season, Flitcroft had a dire second half, Edghill cannot pass to save his life and Lomas isn’t much better. The team needs perhaps two more players at the moment. A right back and a ball-winner in midfield to take the pressure off Flitcroft.

The game petered out to a close with the highlight being Phelan being hit on the back of the head when a water-bottle was thrown at him! Overall we won’t worry Blackburn and Newcastle on this form but once Kinky settles?

David Lamb (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR, Saturday 19th August 1995

I arrived at the ground at 1.20pm, and I hadn’t seen the area around Lloyd Street so busy for ages at that time. The anticipation was felt by all around, looking forward to the new season. After seeing a few friends, we returned to the ground at 2.30pm, queues everywhere, the main stand and the ticket office (surprise) having the largest ones. When we went to take up our seats in the Kippax Stand, it was chaos, mass queues around programme sellers, no proper food outlets – “same old City” we thought, “can’t get anything right.” I must say that the view from the back of the lower tier was very impressive, and there was enough leg room as well!!

The team was:
                               21 Immel
     2 Edghill    12 Brightwell   14 Symons     3 Phelan
     16 Summerbee     10 Flitcroft     4 Lomas     7 Kinkladze
                     28 Rösler         8 Walsh
     Subs        13 Margetson,   9 Quinn,   15 Kernaghan
The Spurs team was:
                                  1 Walker
     2 Austin     6 Mabbutt     14 Nethercott     3 Edinburgh
     8 Dumitrescu      22 Kerslake     4 Howells     16 Rosenthal
                      10 Sheringham        11 Armstrong
     Subs         13 Thorsvedt,   19 Scott,   18 McMahon

In the first half it was mainly defence dominated, with clear chances at a premium. Spurs had the better of the half possession wise, but only had a couple of chances, one of which Sheringham scored from, with that familiar story of the City defence having gone AWOL for the moment. The four strikers were well shackled by the two defences.

In the second half the game was more open, both midfields unable to hold the ball up. City’s goal came from a deep cross to the back post which Walker seemed to have covered, but Uwe managed to beat him to the ball and nod it over him into the unguarded goal. Both ‘keepers made good saves – nothing spectacular mind, just safe goalkeeping.

For City, Kinkladze looks as though he could become a very special player. He had more skill than the rest of the team, was very rarely dispossessed, and was unlucky when chancing his arm from long range. Kit Symons had a steady game, but will need to settle down and become more dominant in the air, especially on crosses – I think Kernaghan is better than him in that respect. Eike Immel made a nervous start but should be a solid stand in until Coton gets back. A draw was probably a fair result.

Attendance: 30,827

Geoff Clarke (


Although not a match review (my wife yapping doesn’t enable me to concentrate sufficiently for that), here are my marks out of ten for the opening game as seen from my oxygen-assisted vantage point in cloud Kippax:

1. Immel (4)
Oh god! what is it about this club and keepers?
2. Edghill (6)
ok. Kept to his job quite well (but not stretched due to weakSpurs midfield) but must learn to distribute ball.
3. Brightwell (7)
Good performance. Worked well with Kit and kept Armstrong very quiet.
4. Symons (8)
should be 7 but gets a bonus point for having a solid débutdespite not really training with the side (probably an advantage!). Was goodin the air and safe on the ground – promising start.
5. Phelan (6)
Better performance than last season. Actually spent more than5 minutes in his own half and high work rate.
6. Summerbee (5)
Would have been 4 but for a brilliant high kick that halfkilled Edinburgh! I happen to think he could be a decent player; he certainlyhas a decent cross, but a few more “bottle” performances like this and hemust lose his place.
7. Lomas (6)
Not match fit yet and passing not yet up to scratch but game and got a few tackles in.
8. Flitcroft (7)
Good solid game although not particularly ambitious.Terrible effort when through on goal.
9. Kinkladze (8)
Showed class touches and only lost possession once. Butplayed a bit deep and with confidence (visibly building as game went on)should be a real match winner.
10. Walsh (6)
A bit disappointing and didn’t look fit to me. Tricky asusual but didn’t ever threaten the Spurs defence (who played pretty well).
11. Rösler (7)
Again, didn’t look fit but worked hard and produced classfinish from one of only 2 efforts on goal.
12. Quinn (6)
No point bringing him on when you don’t deliver any crossesfrom the byeline. As usual his one oppurtunity led him to head backwards.Quinn really has very little striker’s instinct when through on goal. Sellhim!

Well, that’s my view – signs of promise, a clear effort to play (overplay) football but a lack of cutting edge that will hopefully come with fitness. Seemed better at the back than last year but shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Spurs were injury hit and both strikers unfit.

David Bresnick (


Reported in the music press… Oasis were asked by the FA to do the official team song for England for Euro’96… their reply was “over our dead bodies, we’re Irish! Blur should do it, they’re English” Yeeeeesssss, Oasis, says me! There were 30+ Irish World Cup songs released Summer ’94 … and guess what? They weren’t all crap, they were feckin’ cringe-inducing… (Saw Doctors however did some fairly poignant songs, great for drunken football nostalgia), 1990’s “Put ‘Em Under Pressure” was pretty rousing… a collaboration between Larry from U2/Clannad/Jack samples/Horslips samples…

Oasis for Ireland then! Phew, if you’re Irish you don’t have to be a Rags fan after all, it’s official! By the way, it’s getting stupid; on the streets of Ireland, everywhere you go, town and country, the blue and white striped one…

In the last MCIVTA Martin listed the likely team for the Spurs game and he didn’t seem too impressed… I think it looks great! I think with a sharp jab of motivation, this collection of quality players could do something, and we’re told, Ball’s yer man in that department.

Whatever happens, enjoy, enjoy!

Garreth Ryan (


Report on training session at the Platt Lane Training Complex 18/08/95

The Platt Lane Complex car park was as full as on a match day with several hundred spectators turning out for this crucial training session as well as TV cameras. It was good to note that half the car park has now been tarmacadamed – the half kept for car park season ticket holders.

As a mark of the importance of the session, Chairman Lee was there discussing tactics and players’ performance with Alan Ball. Asa Hartford was in charge of actual training and was putting the players through their paces. Free kicks featured the new Georgian superstar Kinkladze whilst corners featured Summerbee – Beagrie was notable by his absence.

Present but not involved were Quinn and Kernaghan. They took no part in the team activities but were confined to the other end of the field doing heading practice.

Coton and Curle were changed and taking part in light activites and talking to Chairman Lee.

(Source : Brian Wood)

Neale Hayward-Shott (


The Daily Mail have started a set of football WWW pages. They announced them in this morning’s (Saturday’s) paper. There are pages for every Premier League team with reports, player profiles, club history etc. Sadly the pages have a slighty unfinished feel with various sections left with text such as “Put heading here”! The potential of them is excellent though.

The address for the City page is:

Steve Rushe (U9348913@Queens-Belfast.AC.UK)


As a Blue exiled in Birmingham I couldn’t be at Maine Road for the opener, but had the next best thing – the privilege of watching an amazingly ordinary bunch of kids in grey pyjamas being soundly thrashed by the Villa, watched in stunned silence by the travelling (? from anywhere but Manchester) fans. Uncle Alex’s usual whining reaction “we didn’t deserve to lose 3-1 etc.” Much more of this and there’ll be shorter odds on him losing his job than the Rags regaining their title!

Yours gloatingly,

Peter Gibson (


It’s been a long time since I last posted a message. The gloom hanging over me towards the end of last season simply meant that I couldn’t lift a finger to type. Until two weeks ago, the gloom was still there as I contemplated 1996-7 in Division 1. Looking down the fixture list, I just couldn’t see many Premier League teams that we were capable of beating. After Saturday, however, things are definitely looking up.

Our two main close season signings – Kit Symons and Georgiou Kinkladze – both had great games against Spurs. Symons looked comfortable both in the air and on the ground and dealt admirably with the threat posed by Sheringham, Armstrong and Rosenthal (apart from the goal, which was really down to a lapse of concentration by Ian Brightwell). Once Curle returns to the team, there’s a chance that we might have the beginnings of a real defensive partnership, with two footballers who can actually play. As far as Kinkladze goes, words fail me. I have been going to Maine Road since 1976 and can’t remember seeing a player this skilful in a blue shirt. His first touch is sublime. Many times during the game he was fed balls which would put another player under pressure – you were sure he was going to lose possession. But somehow, he wriggled through, twisting, turning, and then (get this) playing an accurate pass. I hesitate to make comparisons, but I really do wonder whether we might have found our own Le Tissier. He really was that good. God knows how good he’ll be once he’s match fit (this was his first full game, remember).

If I have one criticism it’s that he looks to lack pace. But with his passing ability, one touch control and turning and sheer vision he probably doesn’t need it. One through ball he played brought tears of joy into my eyes. Let’s hope he can keep this standard of play up; if he turns out to be half as good as I think people will be coming to see City just to watch him play.

Sorry to have got so carried away. Saturday’s team performance wasn’t great but I’m starting to think for the first time for maybe 16 years that maybe the good times are around the next corner.

All the best, in unfamiliar optimism,

Nigel Kendall (


Although I didn’t manage to get to the Spurs game on Saturday I thought I’d offer some thoughts on the matter:

Given that the goalie had been with the team for 48 hours tops before the match, (apparently) does not speak English, and one of the defenders (Kit Symons) had also had no time to train, is conceding one goal that bad? Granted Spurs were weakened by injuries but Sheringham and Dumitrescu will cause anybody problems.

Pleasing to see that Kinky had a good game (according to the papers).

Is Chris Armstrong nine times better than Uwe??? :-))

The high point of the weekend must surely be the Rags being beat by Villa “blah blah blah strength in depth, blah blah blah Fergie’s Fledgings, blah blah blah title favourites.” Blah blah blah bullshit bullshit bullshit if you ask me!

Draper and Milosovic looked the business, wish we had them! Isn’t that grey strip horrendous?

Yours in Blue,

Dave C. Bradbury (

WHY BLUE? (More detailed!)

I was born in Oldham, 7 miles from Manchester and became interested in football during the Championship season.

I was taken by my grandfather (Oldham RL fan) to O*d Tr*****d to see the Rags play. Best, Law, Charlton etc. – they lost. Next match was at Oldham, it was unusual because they lost but managed to win when the results were announced on TV. Next game MCFC – Love at first sight. It was great to see Bell, Lee (Won Pen), Young, Summerbee (the elder) and all the rest. Being knee high to a grasshopper I didn’t get to go to Newcastle but ate all my fingernails whilst listening to the radio.

Next season was the Charity Shield (West Brom 6-1 I think) followed by a typical season.

Some of the best memories were Villa Park for the semi-final, FA cup final vs. Leicester (great Neil Young volley). Other memorable matches were the derby games especially when we won away, Stepney’s ‘save’ from an indirect free kick which sent us to another final. Sad times too, we always seemed to outplay Liverpool but lost 3-0, Bell getting injured, Spurs Final (both of them).

I joined the Air force when I was 21 and managed to see all the Midlands matches; my girlfriend took some time to suss out that I only came home for matches! Postings to East Anglia were OK (Norwich & Ipswich) but Germany and Northern Scotland were real downers. I’ve now left the Air Force and live in Crawley. I plan to take my son to some of the London games; he’s already been to Palace and is awaiting his new kit.

Most of my supporting is now done from the armchair – the nasty Building Society seem to take most of my money but I try to see as many games as possible. For me there are no other teams; it will always be City and on Saturdays I will always be waiting for the result.

Some of the greats I remember are:-

Bell, Lee, Summerbee, Young, Hartford, Doyle, Booth, Watson, Corrigan, Tueart & Kidd. There do not seem to be too many defenders but frankly over the past few years we haven’t had a defence!

Andy Birkin (


As is mentioned in “Typical City” on the Manchester City Supporters’ WWW Home Page, the FA Cup Final in 1933 was the first time numbers were worn. The picture in Radio Times (15-21 May 1993) titled “FA Cup Souvenir; 70 years of Wembley Magic”, which happens to be at hand, seems to show that the player numbered 22 is going to save a ball in the goal. Does somebody happen to have info upon who wore which number in that epoch making game, please? Below is a list of players in that game.

Everton 3 Manchester City 0

Sager, Cook, Cresswell, Britton, White, Thomson, Geldard, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein
Scorers; Stein, Dean, Dunn

Manchester City
Langford, Cann, Dale, Busby, Cowan, Bray, Toseland, Marshall, Herd, McMullan, Brook

Jun Honda (


You might have heard me mention in the past a footie mag called ‘The Onion Bag’; there’s usually a joke about City somewhere in its pages and this month’s edition is no different. The mag usually does a funny article about a club and this time it just happens to be City’s turn. The 2 page spread is quite good and pretty funny and some of the points hit home. If you get the chance have a look, I think it’s a good laugh (mind you we Blues appreciate how to laugh at out own club, unlike other teams!!).

Snippets to make you chuckle:

What’s the difference between a hedgehog and the City team bus?
The hedgehog’s got the pricks on the outside ;-))))

Under the section headed ‘New words for a new age of Man City fans’

The name given to a defect of the brain that affects childrenwho are uncoordinated; for instance, they have great difficultycatching the ball.
Kenyan Massai tribesmens’ generic name for a giraffe
Someone who is plainly not as good at what they do astheir father was. For instance, Nigel Clough and Damon Hill aresummerbee’s
Dutch word, nearest English equivalent is the word ‘cink’


Martin Ford (


Aug 19, 1995   Aston_Villa     - Manchester_U     3 - 1
               Blackburn       - Queen's_PR       1 - 0
               Chelsea         - Everton          0 - 0
               Liverpool       - Sheffield_W      1 - 0
               Manchester_C    - Tottenham        1 - 1
               Newcastle       - Coventry         3 - 0
               Southampton     - Nottingham       3 - 4
               West_Ham        - Leeds            1 - 2
               Wimbledon       - Bolton           3 - 2
Aug 20, 1995   Arsenal         - Middlesbrough    1 - 1

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Martin, Neale, Rob, Andy, Gareth, Jun, Stephen, Mark, Peter, Nigel Barry, David (x3) & Geoff.

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 #115