Newsletter #116

We’ve quite a lot of opinion/news etc. in this issue including another assessment of the players’ performances on Saturday. No word from the Spurs list on a swap so we’ll have to knock that one on the head, they’ll also not be one from Coventry’s viewpoint as they don’t have a mailing list! David Lamb has sent in a review of the new monthly City magazine which is an official publication akin to the glossy offerings dedicated to goings on down at the Swamp. Maybe someone could send in subscription details (if available) for any non Manchester-based MCIVTAers who would possibly like to subscribe.

I’m clean out of Why Blues with none in the pipeline. Anybody fancy immortality through the annals of MCIVTA? Mail me if you’d like to do one. It can be an epic description of how you became a Blue with memories of all those long, excrutiating trophyless years or merely a few lines saying how and why you plumped for MCFC rather than the Rags.

I plan to send the next MCIVTA out around 3.00pm (UK time) on Friday. So, match reports, news, opinion should reach me before then.

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


It’s been reported on SkyText that Peter Beagrie is likely to be out until the new year. The operation on his shin hasn’t worked and he’s no better now than he was before, so he’ll need another operation. Hopefully it will work this time.

The Mole


I have just received a release through Compuserve from PA News that said Keith Curle could be fit for tonight’s game with Coventry, but that if he does play it will be in place of Richard Edghill.

I thought he was out for 4 – 6 weeks, but who knows?

The release goes on to say that Alan Ball had praised the display last Saturday of central defenders Symons and Brightwell, so he would not split them.

Brian Scott (


Accoring to SkyText, Alan Ball is looking for a left winger as cover for the injured Peter Beagrie. One possible target is Sunderland’s Martin Smith; Ball may be considering a swap deal with Andy Hill, Michel Vonk or possibly even Andy Dibble.

Keith Curle is making a faster than expected recovery from his broken ankle and may be able to resume training next week. Not such good news for Tony Coton though, who is recovering more slowly than expected and is returning to Lilleshall for further treatment.

The Mole


Here’s the team news for the Coventry game:

Immel, Edghill, Phelan, Brightwell, Symons, Summerbee, Lomas, Flitcroft, Kinkladze, Walsh, Rösler; subs from: Margetson, Quinn, Kernaghan, Ingram

Ingram has been added to the squad as cover for Phelan who hasn’t been able to train since the Spurs game.

Martin Ford (


The London Blues (London & SE-based MCIVTAers) are meeting up for the QPR game for a pint and a chat. If anyone fancies a pint before the QPR game – the pub which always seems to be full of City fans is one called the ‘Springbok’. It’s situated on South Africa Road, which is the road you walk down from White City tube… another way of finding it is that it’s on the far left hand corner looking from the away end of Loftus Road.

Info from Russ Jenkins.

John Shearer (


Reading through Teletext last night, I noticed a piece about Eric Nixon at Tranmere. Apparently he’s very upset that they blocked a 1 million pound “dream move” to Manchester City, insisting that he was worth 50% more. Presumably this means we tried to sign him last week before buying Eike Immel?

I still remember Eric getting sent off against Palace at Maine Road, and Steve Redmond’s dismal efforts as his replacement in goal. I think we can safely say things have improved at Maine Road since then.

Paul Howarth (


On Radio 5 next week – Monday (Bank Holiday), programme in the early evening called, I think, “The Glory Years” … whatever, it precedes the Monday match; this one features City vs. Gornik Zabrze for our ECWC win. Then on the following Wednesday on TV (BBC), there is the ‘Match of the ’70s’, which features the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World; in the sky blue corner, Franny “one pen” Lee, and in the all white corner, Norman “Bites yer ankles” Hunter.

Jeremy Poynton (


Peter Reid has managed to sign our old boy Paul Stewart (on loan initially I think, with a view to permanency); his comment was “He was an England International three years ago; that says it all”. Strikes me that this could be interpreted in a number of ways, e.g. …

  1. 3 years ago, playing for England didn’t actually mean you could play football.
  2. 3 years ago he was quite a good footballer; now he isn’t.

I’m sure there are more deductions that could be made from the boy Reidy’s statement – feel free to carry this on …

Jeremy Poynton (


It may have been noticed by one or two people that some small, unknown football team from Trafford have, by some freak of nature, managed to get several magazines onto the shelves of newsagents around the country. Well now City have launched their own version.

Simply called CITY, it has a picture of Uwe on the front cover with the caption ‘UWE RÖSLER – Herr To The Throne’. At the bottom it says ‘NEW AND 100% BLUE’. So, I hear you ask what’s it like?

Inside there is a welcome message from the editor then two pages of news from City e.g. the new store in town, Rod Stewart playing Maine Road. Then it’s This Month In History – what has happened to City in previous Augusts, an interview with Lee and Ball (together), and a feature on Bell’s return to the first team after injury. This is the start of a regular feature on famous City matches.

An article by Curle previews the new season, assessing each teams’ chances. He thinks Blackburn will be champions and Trafford will be 4th, 5th, or 6th! The start of a series of interviews with City legends is done with Peter Barnes. Another series on celebrity fans is started with Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts out of Coronation Street), who tells us he is the only City fan in the cast of Coronation St.

Finally there are interviews with current City players in Uwe Rösler and Michael Brown. Rösler says that if City give him the chance he’ll be here for 4 or 5 years but that it was flattering when he was approached by some German clubs in the summer.

The mag tries to act like an official fanzine. At the moment though it doesn’t have enough fans’ input to be a fanzine. It claims its views are ‘not necessarily those of the club’ but obviously the club is closely connected to it so criticism is unlikely to appear in it.

It costs, at £1.95, slighly more than the average fanzine but has more access to players past and present, so may not become a discussion vehicle like fanzines have. However, it is worth it because it is interesting even if the interviews are more Hello! than Jeremy Paxmann.

Despite no great suprises it should be successful and let’s hope it is as it is another sign of the increasing commercial interest of the club.

David Lamb (


Here’s the way the voting went:

Hearts          17.5%
Aberdeen        12.5%
Celtic          12.5%
Rangers         10%
Berwick          7.5%
Dundee Utd       7.5%
Partick          7.5%
Cowdenbeath      5%
Others          20%

Others includes votes for various teams such as Airdrie, Dunfermline, Dundee, Falkirk, Kilmarnock, Morton, Motherwell, etc.

Surprisingly Hibs never got a mention!

The statistics were composed of answers from Newcastle Utd, Manchester City and Sheffield Utd fans. Many thanks to everyone who contributed!

Tats (


Following my trip to Maine Road on Saturday to watch the Blues’ opening fixture, I have to say that for the first time in a few seasons I can almost see this working. You know – winning something (even if it’s just two games on the trot).

For the record here is my reckoning of players’ performances with marks out of 10:-

Immel 6
A bit dodgy – looks like he might be able to stop a few shots butI don’t think he’s too happy on crosses.
Edghill 5
Not a great performance – seemed unable to remember which colour to pass to.
Phelan 6
Solid performance – someone has obviously reminded him he’s a defender.
Brightwell 7
Kept Armstrong out of it – Armstrong may be fast but Ianused his head and made sure he was always in the right place.
Symons 8
Maybe only deserves a 7 but it was his début and he willkeep Kernaghan out of the side (worth 8 for that reason alone).
Lomas 7
I didn’t think he was too bad considering the injury et al. Always busy.
Flitcroft 7
Not his best game but he always seems to be of a standard -you know he’s going to try anyway – just like…
Summerbee 4
I’m sure young Nicky is a great lad, but he’s just not a greatfootballer. He can certainly cross a ball – given enough time and no hasslefrom a defender. But he doesn’t chase back fast enough (if at all), he’s notquick enough on the ball and, basically, he always seems bone-idle.(Actually he nearly scored a winner on Saturday – if it had gone in I’d havegiven him 8/10 and be recommending him for England – such is the fickle fan)
Kinky 8
Man of the match. Looked like he’s destined to be a bigsuccess – he’s got the skill. He got the crowd buzzing. When he settles in Ithink we’re in for a treat. I just hope he doesn’t “do a Gaudino” and onlytry at home. Also looks like we may have found someone who can take free-kicks.
Walsh 6
Fairly quiet game – didn’t seem 100%. Did a bit of bobbing andweaving in the first-half but faded in the second.
Rösler 6
Similar to Walshy really. Obviously not completely fit, butstill a star!
Quinn 4
Completely ineffectual – although to be fair, I thinkthe heat had got to the rest of the team by the time he came on – so hedidn’t get any decent service.


Defence looked better (if Edghill gets himself together and Curle returns) – Midfield has the makings of being decent, Forwards – well with Rösler 100% and Beagrie back on the wing we may score a few goals.

Ideal Team!?!

Edghill         Curle         Symons       Phelan
Kinkladze      Flitcroft     Lomas         Beagrie
             Rösler           Walsh

Immel, Brightwell (who’d come on after about 48 seconds because of Curle’s hamstring trouble), Quinn (until he’s sold)

Bye Bye

  • Summerbee (maybe the Rags would have him after their start to the season)
  • Quinn (Rags could have him to replace Snapper Hughes)
  • Dibble (even the Rags aren’t that desperate)
  • Kernaghan (even Salford Paper Boys XI aren’t that desperate)


  • Le Tissier (Franny would have to sell some bog paper to get him)
  • A “midfield terrier” (you know the sort)
  • Defensive cover (wonder what Tommy Booth’s up to?)
  • Shearer (or someone like that in case Uwe gets injured)

Matt Cadman (


Last season the club announced plans for the redevelopment of the ground. This involved rebuilding virtually all the ground and the aim was an impressive stadium with a capacity of around 45,000. This was to take around 5-6 years to complete. However, the Kippax redevelopment cost £11m and it is obvious that, using this figure as a guide, completing the plans would cost at least £30m more! The club cannot afford this.

There is a nead for an increased capacity though; we were virtually full for Tottenham on Saturday. For bigger games against the likes of Liverpool and Trafford, a bigger crowd must be expected. Even when the top tier of the Kippax is open the capacity will only be around 33,000. We got nearly 31,000 on Saturday.

If the club cannot afford to pursue the plans at this moment it should say so, and make it clear that they intend to rebuild as soon as possible. The delay could also give an opportunity for the plans to be revised and the projected capacity increased to 50,000.

In the meantime, the bottom tier of the corner sections between the Kippax and North/Umbro stands could be built. This would increase capacity by 2-3,000 and would not cost more than about £2m (?). The look of the stadium would also improve as, despite the future plans, it still looks like the most unplanned stadium in the league.

The commercial developments should be finished asap, as they will generate income. It is, however, the team which should come first. All other developments should come when the team can afford to forego the possible expenditure on new players. At the moment, it can’t.

David Lamb (


A photograph in the “Complete Record” book shows Langford, Cann and Busby wearing numbers 22, 21 and 19 respectively.

Since the line-up is given as:
Langford, Cann, Dale, Busby, Cowan, Bray, Toseland, Marshall, Herd, McMullan, Brook

I think it’s likely that City were numbered in reverse order, starting at 22 with Langford and ending at 12 with Brook.

Of course I can only be sure about Langford, Cann and Busby (not even those really as “Complete Record” is known to be littered with errors) but I think the others are quite likely to be right.

Paul Howarth (
Svenn Hanssen (


Aug 21, 1995   Leeds    - Liverpool         1 - 0
Aug 22, 1995   Bolton W - Newcastle United  1 - 3

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Jeremy, Paul, The Mole, Matt, Svenn, David, Tats, Brian, John & 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 #116