Newsletter #120

This is going to be a cursory ‘intro’ as I’m pressed for time. We’ve a hatful of match reports and plenty of views about the game and about City’s current problems. Surprisingly, by far and away the most positive view of the team’s performance on Wednesday comes from none other than Dave Shepherd who’s a die-hard Evertonian! He thinks all is far from doom and gloom at Maine Road and that Bally will get it sorted. I hope he’s right but I also think that there is a need for quality players. I know we’ve heard these pleas before and we know that Lee doesn’t have a huge amount of money to spend but I can’t help thinking that £6-8 million now will seem like peanuts to the money we would lose if we had to spend three years in the Endsleigh league.

DALEK FUND; this will be my last appeal for donations for MCIVTA’s impending move, I promise never to mention it again 8-)). If you can spare a few quid then send them to Derbyshire, please email me here in Switzerland for the address.

Next game, Arsenal at home, Sunday September 10th 1995 (live on Sky!)


Manchester City vs. Everton, Wednesday 30th August 1995

Team: Immel, Phelan, Foster, Ingram, Symons, Brown (sub: Kerr), Flitcroft, Kinkladze, Summerbee, Quinn, Rösler.

My first match of the season and I was curious to see what sort of performance we would put in after AB’s public slagging of the team after the QPR game. There was an apology to the fans from Ball in Monday’s M.E.N. and a promise of a big improvement for this game.

I took my seat in the North Stand early as I had to travel down straight after work to ensure a ticket! The New Kippax looks a picture, but City could well do with Sir John Harvey Jones as a consultant to sort out their dreadful organisation and marketing. However, that’s another story. Any doubts about commitment were soon answered as City tore into Everton from the off. Brown and Flitcroft were snapping at Everton’s heels and it took a while for any sort of pattern to emerge. Anything Everton threw up the middle was dealt with comfortably by Symons but Barrett, having nobody to mark himself, was enjoying acres of space overlapping Kanchelskis. Phelan wasn’t playing badly but simply couldn’t cope. He got a little frustrated and narrowly avoided putting someone into row 10 of the new Kippax.

Kinkladze showed one or two classy touches, the best of which put Flitcroft clear but he dallied instead of getting a shot in. The nearest Everton came was when Kanchelskis shot over when he should have done better. All in all it was pretty even-stevens in the first half although we were looking a bit tired in the last five minutes. Brown, having given everything, was dead on his feet.

I don’t know what AB said at half time but the start of the second half was all Everton. We were just soaking up pressure and making no inroads into Everton’s half of the field. The breakthrough came when Amokachi got in behind Phelan, squared it to Parkinson in acres of space who calmly slotted past the helpless Immel. Our heads went down for ten minutes and the crowd tried to lift the players. Quinn who had been working tirelessly (although personally I think he isn’t quite up to the top level) turned and put Rösler free on the left wing. Rösler beat Barrett (the only time he was beaten in the entire match) and crossed an inch perfect ball for Quinn who had made his way into the box. He headed down for what looked like a certain goal but it hit Ablett’s foot and went over. If we had equalised then I think it might have been a different story.

Needless to say (I know you’ve heard it all before) a few minutes later Kanchelskis broke free down the right (again!) and his shot was blocked but Amokachi popped up to slide it through Immel’s legs. Goodnight Vienna! Reflecting on the match, I don’t think it was the disaster that tomorrow’s tabloids will try to describe it. Kinkladze and Symons look very good. The effort was unquestionable. The main difference between the sides was that Everton looked supremely organised whereas our players looked as if they had met each other on the way to the ground. The fullback positions are obviously a worry. Phelan needs a brain and Foster’s distribution is atrocious. If we can get an understanding going in midfield I fancy us for a marked improvement and let’s face it we can’t get any worse, rock bottom of the Premier Division tonight.

Man of The Match : Earl Barrett
       -For City : Brown

Final score: 0-2

P.S I’ve just watched Franny Lee having a punch up with Norman Hunter on Match of the Seventies and didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.

Ken Foster (


Manchester City vs. Everton, Wednesday 30th August 1995

City produced what can only be called another pitiful performance. A match report wouldn’t really highlight the poor performances against a reasonable Everton side. Everton were OK and they easily won 2-0; heaven knows what the likes of Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool and Rags will do to City!

Everton showed more commitment to the game and were willing to work for each other and make space. They created the most chances and with the likes of Limpar and Kanchelskis always looked dangerous, whereas City never really looked like doing anything. The most surprising aspect of the game was the length it took before Parkinson scored; it had seemed inevitable after the first 10 minutes. ‘Taxi’ had caused some problems which City couldn’t properly clear, the ball fell to Parkinson just outside the edge of the box and he stroked the ball home (very similar to Rösler’s at Ewood last season). Even that goal didn’t have the desired effect; City were still lethargic and unable to penetrate an impressive Everton back-line. City eventually managed to create one genuine chance, when Rösler beat Barrett, got to the bye-line and his cross was met by an unmarked Quinn, whose header beat Southall only for Ablett to hack the ball clear. That chance could have been the equaliser but within minutes Everton had gone 2-0 up. Kanchelskis did the damage; he ran into the box and his shot was half blocked but fell to Amokachi who reacted quickest; he controlled the ball, turned and prodded past Immel from six yards out! That signalled the end of City, they just couldn’t create anything concrete until a couple of minutes from the end when Kerr, who had come on as sub for Brown, unleashed a 30(ish) yard shot that Southall tipped over the bar.

The 2-0 defeat and other results mean City are now officially bottom of the Premier. I’ve seen AB being quoted this morning as saying that there are some signs of improved form, especially from the youngsters; I may be a cynic but I didn’t see anything to get the least bit excited about. I think I’ll give a rundown on each players performance (and I’ll try to be fair)

Shot stopping OK, crosses dubious, communications with thedefence is the real problem; the sooner they can get something goingthe better.
Performed pretty reasonably, put in a few challenges.
Seemed OK with the step up from reserves but gave ‘Taxi’ toomuch room for the goal.
Reasonable, made mistakes though and didn’t get to the ballfirst, especially with Amokachi.
Didn’t let Kanchelskis have it totally his own way, but wasprone to getting caught upfield and was too slow recovering hisposition.
Had an absolute nightmare, must rank as one of his worst games ever.
Put himself about a bit, earned a booking, but was fairly quiet.
What more can be said, he didn’t show one spark ofimagination; just why is he still in the first team?
Showed his usual repotoire of skills and tricks.Unfortunately he’s surrounded by incompetents. And this might shockyou all but I can’t see him staying after this year unless thingsdrastically change. He must be so frustrated; he creates openings andthere no one to support him.
Battled, but once it went against him his head went down.
Pretty poor show, chased a few, but got little change out ofthe Everton defence (also why were both Quinn and Rösler playing aswingers?)
Actually managed a shot in the time he was on but little else.
89th minute sub.

Makes depressing reading.

This result does raise some questions:

  1. AB’s threatened players with being dropped. Well that didn’t work,will he now carry out the threat and bring in the majority of thereserves/youth team? They couldn’t really fare any worse than thecurrent first team.
  2. If this is all AB can produce, was it really necessary to sack BH?Has AB improved the team? At least at the beginning of last seasonCity were an entertaining team to watch (at home) and seemed tocreate numerous chances.
  3. Has AB touched a nerve with the players claiming that they are onlyinterested in money and don’t show any pride for the club and thathas hurt the players?
  4. Also, are the players really to blame for the dire games I’veseen. OK so they can be blamed for the lack of invention andcommitment, but the style of play and tactics are the responsibiltyof the manager. Has he created something the players don’tunderstand?
  5. If AB is such a motivator why the hell are City playing so crap? Imean bollocking should be enough to get the players going.


Martin Ford (


Manchester City vs. Everton, Wednesday 30th August 1995

Let’s not make any bones about it – City are on a one-way express elevator, going down. After battling it out for the first half, the Blues eventually capitulated 2-0 and only forced Southall into one save that I can remember. Catching the ball from Quinn’s two headers hardly counts, seeing as they were more like back-passes.

The team started with Immel in goal; Symons and Ingram centre-back, with Summerbee right-back but pushing up, Foster a sort of cross between right-back and third centre-half, and Phelan combining a man-marking job on Kanchelskis with left-back; Flitcroft and Brown patrolled midfield, with Kinky pushed a bit further forwards and free to roam (where he belongs); Rösler and Quinn up front.

Defensively, individual performances were not too bad. Flitcroft battled well in midfield and Brown had a fairly good game alongside him – he certainly doesn’t hold back in his challenges which is good to see, although one earnt him a yellow card, unfairly I felt. Symons was solid most of the game, well backed up by Ingram; Phelan had the best game I have seen him play for some time, given the difficult tasks he had to combine; Foster challenged well, although his distribution was poor (still better than Edghill’s); Summerbee began fairly brightly but whether through lack of pace, fitness, ability or interest, soon faded into the ineffectual shadow of his former Swindon glory that we are all so familiar with (I saw him play for Swindon against us a couple of seasons ago and he was brilliant – what’s happened?). Immel made some good stops when called upon, and came out quickly on a number of occassions to deal with under-hit back-passes.

Despite all of this, City still managed to concede two goals, and both came from pacy moves round the back of the defence – both down our left-hand flank (Sheringham scored a free header for Spurs from the left of our defence – this seems to be a problem area). Perhaps the key here is pace: we need more of it, especially in defence. We need Curle back as soon as possible. The defensive understanding could have been better, which is perhaps not surprising given the mixture of inexperienced youth and new players that we fielded.

Offensively, the individual performances were similarly not too bad. Rösler chased everything and tackled back well – doubtless a natural goalscorer, but needs service. Quinn ran his heart out, but failed to turn any of his three or four chances into powerful assaults on the Everton goal. Kinky wandered around, picking up the ball and looking desperately for a team-mate making a dangerous run before giving up and trying to take on the Everton defence single-handedly (which nearly worked a couple of times). Again, however, the whole was less than the sum of the parts.

The problems we have seem to be the same as they have been for the last three or four seasons. City do not seem to be able to play as a team. Watching Des and Gary’s football extravaganza later that night, it was refreshing to see people passing and moving. Every time a Newcastle player had the ball, he was either taking on a defender and beating him for pace or passing to any one of three or more team-mates who were offering themselves. City do not do this. We have no pace, and most players do not have a clue what movement off the ball is all about (with the possible exception of Rösler). Therefore, when someone like Kinky picks up the ball he has very few options and is often forced to pass backwards, away from the goal we want to score in and putting pressure on our defence. If players moved forwards for him, he would find them.

Perhaps it all comes down to the fact that we have too many “not bad” players and too few that are good. I rate Flitcroft, but he isn’t a Redknapp or a Draper. Foster/Edghill/Phelan aren’t bad, but they’re not Kelly or Jones. Rösler may be God, but is he as good as Ferdinand? Perhaps ultimately, we are reaping the rewards of not investing big money in players down the years, therefore not having kept the best and sold the rest for a nice profit in order to buy in fresh faces. The job that Frannie and Ball have given themselves may be a lot bigger than they thought.

P.S. Barry Venison has been sacked by Souness, and is looking for a club. City need a ball-winning midfielder. 2+2=?

Matt Varley (


Manchester City vs. Everton, Wednesday 30th August 1995

Maine Road
Attendance: 28,432
Referee: S Lodge

Manchester City

Foster Ingram (Kernaghan 90) Symons Phelan
Brown (Kerr 77) Kinkladze Flitcroft Summerbee
              Rösler Quinn
[ UNUSED: Margetson ]


Barrett Watson Unsworth Ablett
Kanchelskis Horne Parkinson Limpar (Hinchcliffe 39)
        Amokachi Rideout
[ UNUSED: Barlow Kearton ]

Well when I arrived at the ground I was amazed that Steve Lomas was not even on the bench. This is sacrilege in my opinion, but then I know I am extremely biased. Steve may not be the most skilful player but he will give you 110% throughout the game. I would be interested to hear the opinions of people who went to the Coventry and QPR games. Anyway, new style of report this time with approximate times because I went prepared with instruments.

  • First minute and Brown goes in hard for a ball in the middle of the park. Myheart sank but no card was produced.
  • 08mins: Barrett gets behind the City defence on the overlap and pulls itback to Kanchelskis who knocks it over the bar when it seemed easier to hitthe target.
  • 09mins: Uwe booked for having a tussle with Limpar. This looked incrediblyharsh to me as Limpar wasn’t holding back either.
  • 15mins: Shot from Limpar had me worried but Immel was right behind it.Straight from the following kick, the ball came back from the midfield.Immel headed away from Amokachi (I think) at the edge of the box andRideout lobbed well over the bar. Actually the ball didn’t spend too muchtime in the middle of the park during the whole game.
  • 21mins: After a couple of flags it seems that Everton’s offside trap isbeginning to work.
  • 26mins: Horne went in badly on Uwe and earned himself a yellow. Just afterthat there was a great tackle by Summerbee who passed to Uwe but his shotwas blocked.
  • 32mins: Three successive corners for Everton but the monotony is finallybroken by Kinkladze who passes out to Flitcroft. Flitcroft runs up field,tries to get into a slightly clearer shooting position outside the box butthen the chance is gone and the ball lost. I think this is one of City’sproblems. Several times players got into positions in the first half wherethey could have had a shot but instead they just try to manoeuvre into adifferent position. Good shielding by Brown (or Foster) as he shields theball out for an Everton corner which he believed was a City ball.
  • 35mins: After a couple of good sorties down the right, Kanchelskis gets into ashooting position in the box. The angle is not bad and he tries to curl itinside the far post ouly to see it go past the far post. City losepossession almost immediately and an Amokachi shot is saved by Immel.
  • 38mins: City press again but their final ball lets them down again;Amokachi breaks and passes to Rideout who has slightly the better ofPhelan but somehow the ball runs kindly (for City). Once Rideout realisesthe ball is between his legs, Phelan is there and the shot is blocked. Cityattack. Rösler receives the ball wide and holds the ball, passes toKinkladze who squares it to Brown for the shot. Southall watches it goharmlessly wide of the post.
  • City have their tails up now. Kinkladze takes on the whole of the Evertonmidfield but loses his footing when he gets through to the defence. Amazingly hegets up and he still has the ball!
  • 40mins: Free kick for Everton, Kinkladze on Unsworth. Looked like shirtpulling by Unsworth to me.

So to half time. The game had been good. End to end without a lot of clear chances. Probably the Kanchelskis chance was about the best but the others for both sides were nothing great. Ball wanted fire and passion and he got it. Very spirited performances from Symons (no surprise there – he’s becoming Mr. Reliable), Phelan, Quinn, Kinkladze and Brown. Quinn was excellent in the air, knocking down a lot of balls for Rösler but shots were blocked or went wide. I thought on territorial play and possession City had definitely had the advantage, but on chances Everton were definitely ahead.

Half time score: Manchester City 0 Everton 0

  • 46mins: Immel comes out of box to take the ball off the breaking Amokachi’stoe. I was impressed.
  • 51mins: Rideout booked for something or other? (I thought it was Amokachibut not according to the paper). Shot saved by Southall – sorry can’tremember who it was but it was on target.
  • 54mins: Kinkladze’s final ball to Phelan’s greyhound run intercepted. Evertonimmediately get the ball to Kanchelskis with Terry out of position but Brownmatches him for speed.
  • 58mins: Amokachi gets round behind a defender and pulls the ball back tothe ‘D’ where Parkinson slams it into the corner past Immel’s outstretchedhand. Nil-One!
  • 60mins: They have not needed to seek him here or there. Michael Brown iseverywhere! His work effort was phenomenal but he picked up moredisciplinary points (yellow this time) for what looked a 50/50 ball. Goodperiod of pressure from City. Everton camped just outside their box. Decentrushed long range effort (well wide) from Symons.
  • 65mins: Ball from Foster to Quinn. I think Niall assumed it was headed forUwe and thus wasn’t looking when it hit him on the back!
  • 67mins: Ablett long range effort curls just wide of upright.
  • 69mins: Phelan unable to control ball, handles (or was he pushed?). Doeshis party piece ball throwing trick and sees yellow.
  • 70mins: Amokachi, a stride ahead of Symons, goes tumbling and wants apenalty. I was too far away to see.
  • 72mins: Rösler puts in his second great cross of the evening (a bettersuccess rate than some of the wingers), Quinn seems sure to score. Takesthe option of heading back across goal whilst Southall tries to cover nearpost. Ablett’s thigh gets in the way about 2 yards out and ball goes over.I don’t think Ablett knew all that much about it. Personally I thought heshould have gone for the near post. But then I wouldn’t have said that ifhe had scored would I?
  • 76mins: Kanchelskis away from Brown (seems his exertions have taken theirtoll as he played his heart out), two shots blocked but it falls forAmokachi who pivots round Foster and plays the ball inside the far post.Nil-Two!
  • 77mins: Summerbee fails to find touch. Ablett crosses and Amokachi headsover. City are starting to look ragged.
  • 80mins: Another Uwe cross, headed up by a defender, Quinn underneath gentlynods in towards goal. The game now takes a bit of a lull with no chancesbut a lot of controlled passed by Everton.
  • 83mins: Flitcroft ball to Quinn but then has 3 Everton defenders descend onhim. Seven minutes to go and people are evacuating the stadium. My heartsank. What chance has the team got if a large fraction of the crowd havegiven up in them? I thought it was disgusting. Supporting is like beingmarried: for better and for worse! Anyway, Everton had their tails up andwho can blame them? A quiet Rideout turns outside the box and shoots. Easysave for Immel.
  • 86mins: Summerbee cross, Southall palms and Barrett heads out for a corner.Corner header out to Kerr who shoots past the post.
  • 90mins: Kerr has another shot from outside the box which looked to bedipping under the crossbar before Southall tipped it over. Kernaghan comeson for the corner.

Final Score: Manchester City 0 Everton 2 (Parkinson 58, Amokachi 76)

City are bottom of the Premiership. I came away spitting blood. I felt bad for the players who had tried incredibly hard and achieved little. Everton didn’t seem that great a side and had few great chances although they had a couple more of these than City. Two-Nil flattered them although they were the better side. Things could have been so so different if Niall had equalised. Symons again played well with the rest of the team falling away in the last quarter. Flitcroft I thought was particularly poor as was Summerbee who I cannot remember taking anyone on. My mates reckon that money is the answer. I am not too sure. There is definitely skill there but the killer instinct and experience is missing.

So what do you think of this style; is it too long winded?

Robert Watson (

This is a ‘new’ way of doing a match report. Robert has put a lot of effort into it. So, mail Robert and let him know whether you want him to continue in this vein.



It’s Thursday morning and I am suffering badly from my hangover. Unfortunately I cannot blame drink, only the result of last night’s game versus Everton. Having only seen the Spurs game, I didn’t think that performance was all bad considering so many new faces and players back from injury; I chose to ignore the reports from the away games and keep an open mind in order to judge the team’s performance. IMHO I felt we started okay and were probably the match of Everton for the first half. However, as the second half progressed we seemed to increasingly lose our shape both in midfield and defence and once Everton took the lead you knew there was only going to be one result.

What concerned me most was not the lack of effort (for the most part I felt the level of commitment from most players was okay) but the fact that the team don’t appear to display the required level of skill or awareness to compete with an ordinary looking Everton side. So what that we have made a bad start, 1 point from a possible 12; many a side has done just that in previous seasons and survived. Take Everton, they were in desperate trouble when Royle took over; they were further into the season well adrift but managed to turn it around by tightening up at the back, supporting defence from midfield. They halted the run of defeats then went on to not only avoid relegation but win the FA Cup as well (for City fans a Cup is a shiny object with handles presented to the winners of a football tournament).

Why the hangover then? Can’t City do what Everton did last season and pull things around? My belief is we can but not without first strengthening the squad. Obviously a fit Keith Curle would make a difference as would the early return of Beagrie but this seems unlikely. The last time City found themselves in the situation of facing relegation in October they employed a certain Mr Kendall. He in turn introduced the players with the necessary experience to pull us around without breaking the bank in the process. In order for my hangover to disappear Bally is going to have to show the same abilities in the transfer market that Judas showed when at City. He cleared out a lot of players including some popular names like Bishop but in the end City were a better team for it. On last night’s performance Bally would be within his rights to trade up to half the team. Good, older players are available without costing the earth, look at Walsh. I would prefer to see players who have proven abilities rather than keep spending on players like Griffiths and Simpson who came and went without much, if any, impact. I realise this is short-termism but we cannot afford the Collymores or Coles, so until FL and Co. generate the cash through commercial activities I feel it is a better option than Endsliegh League football.

I feel better for my moan now, MCIVTA is better than the Samaritans, and with no Saturday game to depress me I might be in good spirits for Bergkamp and Co.

Alan Foster (


Well I’ve got to vent my frustrations somewhere, and as I’m not allowed to swear at Maine Road anymore (maybe I should and then I’d get locked out forever), this seems to be the best option.

I’ll leave the match reports to those who can come up with constructive criticism, because I’m afraid my opinion of the game is totally biased. We were absolutely crap, shit, bobbins, awful… we looked like relegation certainties!!! Earlier in the season someone asked if anyone could name 3 teams worse then City in the Premier. I think the question should be can someone name me 3 teams worse than City in the 1st Division!

I haven’t read the papers yet but I suspect Ball will say there was no spirit or pride in the City side… Bullshit. The main reason we lost last night was because the players didn’t know what the tactics were, quite simply because there were no tactics apart from playing for a draw. Throughout the match Ball played a lovely flat 5 in defence with the odd run by Phelan and Summerbee, who IMHO was useless and should be dropped ’til he sorts himself out. Personally I can’t fault any of the proper defenders, but when subjected to the onslaught of last night, and no support from midfield, any defence would concede 2 goals The midfield must be the least aggressive midfield in the country, with Brown playing well in stints and looking a good prospect, but I don’t think he’s ready yet. Flitcroft was simply pathetic, and clearly showed his lack of vision. Throughout the whole match I counted only one forward pass from him. As for Kinky he must be wondering what the f**k he’s got himself into, and arranging to put a contract out on the agent that persuaded him to go to City. In attack Rösler and Quinn were about as likely a partnership as Scargill and Thatcher, with no understanding at all. Rösler still doesn’t look match fit, but I don’t really think that he’s any good at feeding off long balls, which was the only service he was getting last night. When Quinn did have half chances he either tripped over the ball or thoughtfully headed them straight to Southall. All in all it was blatantly obvious that there was no strategy, and I’m afraid that’s not down to the players’ attitude but the coaching staff. We’re going to need more than Mr Motivator if we are to survive this season.

Lee must dip into pockets to buy at least three more players. If it’s not there he’s going to have to go and see his bank manager. This isn’t a quick fix but good business sense, as if we go down it’s going to be a long, hard struggle to ever get back, with several seasons of reduced gates and loss of Premiership money. A good first buy would be Fox from Newcastle, who can supply the good service to Rösler and score goals himself. Next we need a midfielder who can tackle and lead by example. Finally, if rumours of Walsh’s demise are to be believed then we need another striker because Quinn just doesn’t seem able to come up with the goods.

Now I’ve got that off my chest I feel a lot better… until the next time!!

Adam Houghton (


I arrived at Maine Road with a sense of numb familiarity at the situation. This was not encouraged by the size of the crowd, a large section of the Umbro stand being empty. The only plus was that there was plenty of ketchup to kill the taste of the meat pie I was eating. The crowd seemed miserable, obviously echoing my own feelings. This was not helped by the fact that the team looked more like Kippax Street Primary School under 8’s than Man City. In fact the two youngest lads played well. Ingram looked solid at the back and Brown in midfield.

City looked more committed at the start but never looked in serious danger of scoring. The breakthrough for Everton came after about an hour. Amokachi(?) waltzed past Phelan and pulled back for Joe ‘crap’ Parkinson to sidefoot in from the edge of the box. This was doubly traumatising for me as I have spent the last 3 months telling all the Everton fans at work (yes, there really are Everton fans – no I didn’t believe it either but it’s true!) that he is the worst player in the Premier League. Quinn was set up for a header that I would have put my house on him scoring but I’m glad I didn’t because somehow Gary ‘almost as ugly as Beardsley’ Ablett cleared off the line. Everton then scored a second after Kanchelskis caused mayhem in the box and Amo scored.

So, all in all another bad display, commitment up but skill still down. Kinky showed flashes of skill but had no-one to help him. Quinn played well, especially at the start but faded.

For them ex-Blue Earle Barratt played well and Amo looked quite good. The fact that the ground was half empty at the end said it all really.

Mark Bailey (


It was my first visit to Maine Road for quite some time and I was quite taken aback by the Kippax stand – a most impresive piece of footy architecture – of course it is completely out of scale with the rest of the ground and makes the place look completely daft, reminds me of Elland Road.

Anyway, you’ll have to excuse this rather crap report – my seat was on the very front row behind the goal; the view was absolutley terrible and I was in desperate need of a periscope – I imagine those of you who listened on the radio had more of a clue what was going on (particularly in the second half) – still, being on the front row gives you tons of leg room!

We seemed to have all the play in the first half, I cannot recall them having a single shot on target. Nevertheless, we failed to capitalise on it. Kanchelskis had two close misses and Ammo had a good break that he held up just too long. We seemed to have a stream of corners but with neither Hinchcliffe or Dunc on the pitch we didn’t really threaten.

Limpar vanished just before half time and was replaced by Hinchcliffe – Anders’ crosses hadn’t been that bad so I speculate that Anders may have had a slight injury – let’s hope it’s nothing too serious. When half time came I couldn’t help but feel that we really ought to be in front.

The second half was much more entertaining, the crowd came to life (at least we Evertonians did – there was no life in the City lot) and of course we got the goals. I won’t bother describing them ’cause you’ll see ’em on TV. However, Parkinson’s was a relief because we’d seemed reluctant to shoot from similar positions earlier in the game so it was good to see him “have a dip” – and it was great to see a break by Andrei being instrumental in the second.

All good stuff – the Blues started chanting “Alan Ball is an Evertonian”, which (judging by overhead conversations on the bus after the match) really wound the City lot up. Still, they didn’t have the wit to find a reply.

One moment that has stuck in my mind that maybe won’t be on Match of the Day but that must be mentioned was Ablett’s clearence off the line. City had a superb fast break, the ball was floated perfectly for Quinn who directed a strong header that beat Southall only to be headed away by Ablett, running backwards on the line. It was an even better clearence than Unsworth’s at Southhampton on Saturday – good fella!

PS Whoever decided to stick the gents and the snack bars where they did in the North Stand at Maine Road obviously never read the Taylor Report.

Everton List


Disclaimer – This report is written by an Evertonian for Evertonians. It is not an attempt at unbiased reporting, and no apologies are made for errors or ill-perceived impressions.

Déja-và in another shade of Blue

Few evenings are perfect for football but this was one. Not too hot, not too cold. Daylight to help the annual parking nightmare. A dozen chip shops with doors open letting the smell flood out. Pre-match pints could be quaffed outside the Parkside pub, making the inside spacious. A crescent moon hung over the family stand.

Maine Road is one of those away grounds I feel at home at. Say what you like about South Manchester – they know how to keep a good supply of hot pies and open the bar at half time… EFC please note! Our results are not too bad there either.

The new Kippax stand is now complete. Another skyscraping edifice, devoid of architectural flair. Its upper decks are shelf-like (like the Bridgeford upper). It looks prettier than the rusty iron and wood floor monstrosities that occupied the East and South sides only short years ago, but I know which I preferred.

From the kick-off City tipped their hand – they were going to win. This had been decided in the dressing room, and it showed (papers confirmed manager and ex-EFC hero Ball had told them to be confident and positive). They went for the ball as if it was their right, stabbed fearless passes into forward spaces, putting Rösler and Kinkladze (‘Kinky’ to his friends) through to dance and give a thorough test to Unsworth’s backpedalling skills and the away fans’ bike clips.

When Everton had possession City closed them down in seconds. Young Garry Flitcroft, who had skills and weedy constitution similar to Tony Grant, has filled out a lot and amazed with his hard tackling (a bit of McMahon influence perhaps?). Terry Phelan was determined not to let Kanchelskis burn City, and did a great job of it, often with the help of double marking, to the delight of the (“you’ll never seat the”) Kippax fans who booed AK’s every touch – from their seats.

Having survived about three of these breakaway chances, Everton’s first chance should have been a goal too. A crowded box, a lay back to AK, a firm shot just over the bar. But moments like this were all too rare. The darker shade of blue was not getting bodies forward, and not creating dangerous attacks. The main reason for this was Limpar. Obviously slow, his absence caused lack of width, leaving Amo & Rideout marked up… he was subbed off for Hinchcliffe before half time.

Just once Kanchelskis managed with Barrett’s support to step his way into position A, and he shot. It passed the far post but the force of it was enough to see why this player is worth every penny – without a runup he blasted it harder than any Everton player since Sheedy.

Otherwise, the game was dying. City’s early pressure cooled off, Everton couldn’t free the attackers and you could safely pencil in 0-0 unless substitutions or new tactics could be found at half time. The only good thing was that time passed quickly. I thought 15 mins had gone when the watch said 35, so it can’t have been that bad.

Unfortunately the second half started much the same. Hinchcliffe had improved Everton’s left but the same stalemate looked on. Then in the far corner a AK pass to Amo (who spent much time in wide positions), and a defender allowed him to run past along the bye line. A pass missed the crowd in the box and found Parkinson in an acre of space, and Joe sidefooted a firm 20 yard pass towards the right hand bottom corner.

Keeper Immel (wearing an identical yellow & black top to Southall) dived, and like Segers, seemed to have it covered. Unsighted by the distance and a defender, we didn’t know it was in until the players reacted. Joe was a bit pleased – it was his first long range goal not disallowed. It was a minute to nine – the moon had set behind the stand.

City tried to fight back and did a good job of it. Quinn (a player who seems to trouble Everton more than most) seemed to be involved in the danger a lot more than the fast men, and Kinkladze and the #17 (Ingram?) buzzed around in midfield with flair and skill. They certainly deserved a point on balance of play, and came closest to getting one when a left wing cross into a defence disorganised by pressure found Quinn unmarked 12 yards out. His header was perfect – beat Southall and would have hit the middle of the goalline, but Ablett was right there and hooked it away for a corner.

It was rough justice therefore when Barrett released Kanchelskis, who ran well covered into the box, but the ball ran to Amo in the corner of the six yard box with his back to goal – a dangerous place to have him, and he duly swivel-shot and scored.

There was still a good 15 minutes left and both sides had more than one scoring chance (in Everton’s best Hinchcliffe put a free but long range shot over the bar; City’s best produced Southall’s only real save). The sad thing was the way the City fans seemed to accept it all as inevitable, with almost no sign of anger or frustration or defiance. The players were not quite as bad, but still looked hauntingly reminiscent of Everton under Walker – bursting with talent but unable to turn it into points.

The result lifted Everton to 7th and the clean sheet run to 11 out of 13, but sent City to the bottom with just one point from four games. Last year a 4-0 abysmal defeat at Maine Road sent Everton to 19th(/22) with one point from three games. They look doomed to an autumn of the witless ‘going down’ jokes that we know so well, but they have the advantage that their new manager is already in place. All the ingredients are there, but the self-confidence is not, and luck is very much a fruit of confidence. Watch out for City.

If Ball can teach Flitcroft and Kinkladze a few of the tricks of the attacking midfielder’s trade, and get the kind of effort he squeezed out of them for the first 20 minutes over a whole game, they will be joining the UEFA hunt soon enough. For Everton, it was a success for Royle’s squad depth, coming without Ferguson or an effective Limpar, but not the kind of performance you would expect a championship side to produce against a team in the doldrums.

Southall 7
One save and about four of his risky punches.
Barrett 8
Good going forward (I think I’m going to have to mark himon the basis that he is supposed to leave his positionunmarked and covered by others, because it keeps happeningyet the defence keeps holding).
Ablett 7
An absolute master of adequacy. Preferred to Hinchcliffe,maybe he just bores attackers to death!? Goalline hero.
Unsworth 8
A complete performance. Yet again it would be fair to saya lesser defender would not have been enough to stop goals.
Watson 7
No high profile, but good work and could have been a dangerfrom corners if the referee did not tolerate ‘professional’defensive tactics.
Hinchcliffe 7
Allowed space, made good use of the ball with long & short passes.
Horne 7
Not very dominating today. Booked for a mistimed tackle,and risked a red with another one.
Parkinson 8
Busy but again not dominating. Extra point for well taken goal.
Limpar 6
Very out of sorts, slow and ineffective (injured?)
Kanchelskis 8
Clearly the best player on the night, but not by enough tomake the game a stroll for Everton. Well marked.
Rideout 6
I think the frustration is beginning to get to Paul. He isgetting no service, and is not being used as hold-up man.
Amokachi 8
A rare start. Amo worked hard as always, but still lacks themagical touch, and still wanders around the field too much…passes never find him, he finds them. A scoring habit makesall other sins forgivable, though.
Team Performance 7
Better, but still no ‘flow’ to the Everton game.
Ref: S Lodge
On the whole OK, but allowed air-ball fouls to destroy skill,and waved his card inconsistently.

David Shepherd


GMR reported this morning that Paul Walsh, Ian Brightwell and Peter Beagrie will report for training next week. Given that Beagrie was expected to be out until the new year, this sounds like a panic move which could have very serious consequences for the player in the long term.

The Mole
Tony Farrar (


It appears that there is now an official Manchester City World Wide Web site. This can be found at:

Although at the moment the site is “under construction”, it appears that a whole host of links are to be included. The souvenir shop will be “online” and you will be able to send messages to the “club staff or favourite player”. Indeed so “under construction” is it that none of the aforementioned links are yet avaliable! The site also contains a whole host of links to the other Premier League clubs.

Dave C. Bradbury (

This is part of the ‘official’ Carling Premiership WWW site and is called PremierNet. At the moment the whole thing is, as David says, definitely under construction! When it’s finished it should be very useful though it is of course commercially driven.



I had a wonderfull vision last night. I saw Franny Lee standing up for himself and striking down his critics and detractors. With a mighty flay of his arms he struck fear into those who dared opposed him. Then, mists clearing I saw the hallowed turf of Wembley and on it were gathered many rags who were crying because they had been beaten by a third rate team. Then I woke and suddenly I realised that I had fallen asleep during Match of the Seventies… Ah well! back to reality…

Stefan Franczuk (


I have been a City supporter for many years. I have always followed them in any way I can do from my country. I have even travelled over to England to watch my favourite team play. Back home I must stick to Radio 5, Sky Sports, newspapers and now the great MCIVTA to keep up to date with what’s happening. It’s also nice to read what the City supporters in England are having on their minds.

Anyway, my point is that; I have never ever felt so disappointed and so in despair regarding Manchester City. As all of us know, the results have been very poor and the play rubbish. But some supporters are keeping a brave face and saying “Don’t worry, just give Bally some time and he will sort it out!”. Then I ask myself; How can he sort it out and turn everything around with the players which City have available… Moreover, Francis Lee hasn’t got more cash to spend on new players..!

Before the game against Everton, Ball wanted to change things around by bringing in Ingram and also putting Brown into contention. How can Ball change anything by bringing in players from the reserve team, which is so poor that words can’t describe it! I mean, last season the likes of Barnsley, Oldham and Birmingham to name a few were finishing above us in the Pontins league Divition two!!! This reserve squad is even weaker now when we sold Griffiths, Simpson, Finney and Mike who were “key-players” in this team last season. I just can’t believe it.

What we need is a few players with hunger and ambition to contribute to build a new side. We must get rid of some of the players who are in the side just to get their salary. Then I think about players like Phelan, Summerbee, Lomas, Walsh (because he has seen his best days), Dibble, Margetson, Kernaghan and D.Brightwell (if he hasn’t left already). Then we should bring back David White and Andy Hinchcliffe, who are both struggling to win first team places in their teams. Provided they want to go back to a side which is heading for relegation…

But I as I presumed earlier, the account is empty and if Ball/Lee will bring in some players they are probably tracking Lee Chapman or Kerry Dixon. By the way, is Adrian Heath still around? I am sure we can get him on a free transfer!!! What a Bargain!!

Many of you are probably saying I am very pessimistic, but if any of you can see some positive things regarding the state of Manchester City F.C. at the moment I would be happy to read your opinions… I just don’t think the return of Beagrie and Curle will help a lot; we need more than that.

I have planned to travel over to England later this autumm; if I do I’ll go over to watch the game against Wycombe, then I could be witness to a City win..!

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


So after four games, we are languishing at the bottom of the table, and we’re still without a win. I gather the team performance was lacking again against Everton, and so Bally’s efforts to ‘fire-up’ his players, has failed. The next four games could see us humiliated – it scares me to think what Ginola and Newcastle will do to us.

Obviously, it’s time for Lee and Ball to make radical changes to the squad. Summerbee, Walsh, Phelan and Quinn have to go, and we need to get a decent winger down the right and a striker of quality to form a partnership with Rösler. Our lack of money is a problem, so it looks like we would have to look at the lower divisions for players. I hear Kyle Lightbourne of Walsall is a pretty good striker. He apparently scored 23 goals last season, and gave West Ham problems in the Coca Cola Cup – he might be worth a look. Any thoughts on other players?

Charles Pollitt (


Views from Beckenham

Well I’ve been lucky(!) enough to see the Blues three times this season: Wolves in pre-season, plus the Tottenham and QPR league games (as other people have said, there wasn’t enough in the QPR game to write a match report on). I must say that after the Wolves match I was feeling quite optimistic about the new season but that optimism has completely vanished after seeing the two games mentioned and hearing/reading about the Coventry and Everton matches. I really can’t believe the start we’ve made (my heart talking) but I can certainly understand it. As most City fans agree, our main weakness – player wise – is at full back and in midfield. Edghill is infuriating – bags of talent as a defender but cannot pass a ball to save his life! Phelan quite often acts like a headless chicken. Both of them get taken apart by natural wingers e.g. Trevor Sinclair at QPR, Edghill last year (twice), and Phelan on Saturday, not to mention a certain Everton Russian former Rags player. If we could get a settled defence I’m sure this would help, but injuries keep stopping that, especially to Coton and Curle, our two most influential players.

Midfield is in a dreadful state. Steve Lomas hasn’t returned to the form he had displayed before his injury, Garry Flitcroft doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing and plays more and more like Ray Wilkins every week, always playing across the pitch rather than passing the ball into dangerous areas. Nick Summerbee is a very good crosser of the ball, the trouble is he never gets in a position to deliver a good cross. He doesn’t/can’t take players on, he doesn’t make off the ball runs either behind or across full backs, so he always gets the ball passed to his feet, meaning he has to beat a player – which he never does!! He isn’t a great defender so at the moment he is contributing very little to the team.

Georgiou Kinkladze has bags of skill and ability, but his team mates give him nothing to pass to. He is playing too deep to penetrate opposing defences and create chances for Uwe. Without Peter Beagrie for a chunk of the season we have no width and not enough players that can hold the ball up. Rumours abound that we could be in for Ruel Fox, who would hopefully provide a decent service to the forwards and provide the pace to the attack that we have lacked since a certain David White was shipped off to Leeds (would we want Whitey back??).

As we know, good quality players are hard to find – especially full backs and wingers. Players who we could go after – Trevor Sinclair (and he is from the north west), Ruel Fox (who may struggle to get a game with Newcastle) Robbie Earle (may be out of our price range), Jeff Kenna (would have been ideal last year until he went to Blackburn and won a championship medal), Andy Hinchcliffe (who we should never have sold in the first place).

Well as new players seem as likely to arrive as Maine Road holding 45,000 in four years, what could be done to change the pattern? Perhaps playing Kinkladze just behind the front two; putting Walsh out on the flank with Quinn and Rösler up front like at the end of last season; playing three central defenders so Edghill and Phelan can go up field with less worry? Points for debate but the season isn’t that long and with Arsenal on Sky TV our next match (two jinxes in one match, à la last season), and a tough Cup tie at Wycombe, we could be rooted to bottom spot for a while and out of a cup if something doesn’t change quickly.

One last point; I think Kernaghan should be in the team at the moment; he seems to give everything for the team, is the best defender in the air at the club, and has come through his rocky patch of two seasons ago quite well.

Geoff Clarke (


Aug 30, 1995   Aston Villa     - Bolton Wanderers 1 - 0
               Chelsea         - Coventry         2 - 2
               Liverpool       - Queen's_PR       1 - 0
               Manchester_C    - Everton          0 - 2
               Newcastle-U     - Middlesbrough    1 - 0
               Southampton     - Leeds            1 - 1
               West_Ham        - Tottenham        1 - 1
               Wimbledon       - Sheffield-W      2 - 2
               Tottenham       - Liverpool        1 - 3

Aug 30, 1995

Newcastle United       4      4    0    0      9     1        12
Leeds United           4      3    1    0      6     2        10
Liverpool              4      3    0    1      5     2         9
Manchester United      4      3    0    1      8     6         9
Aston Villa            4      3    0    1      5     3         9
Wimbledon              4      2    1    1      9     7         7
Everton                4      2    1    1      4     2         7
Arsenal                4      1    3    0      4     2         6
Nottingham Forest      4      1    3    0      6     5         6
Coventry City          4      1    2    1      4     6         5
Middlesbrough          3      1    1    1      3     2         4
Sheffield Wednesday    4      1    1    2      4     6         4
Blackburn Rovers       4      1    0    3      4     6         3
Chelsea                4      0    3    1      2     4         3
Bolton Wanderers       4      1    0    3      5     8         3
Queens Park Rangers    4      1    0    3      1     5         3
West Ham United        4      0    2    2      4     6         2
Tottenham Hotspur      4      0    2    2      3     6         2
Southampton            3      0    1    2      4     7         1
Manchester City        4      0    1    3      2     6         1

With help from Soccernet!


Thanks to David (x3), Tor-Kristian, Ken, Adam, Charles, Martin, Stefan, Alan, Matt, Mark, Rob, The Mole & Tony.

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 #120