Newsletter #156

Apologies all round for the lateness of this issue. I actually sent it out on Tuesday but our mail system went down so MCIVTA 156 never got further than Manchester. I only found this out today (Thursday) and as far as I know the system is still down. Rather than sending it out again, I’ve actually combined 156 with what would have been 157 and am sending it out manually using the master mailing list. Hopefully all will be well for the next issue. The original MCIVTA 156 might just turn up again as there is a possibility that it is queued somewhere and will be sent out when the mail system is repaired.

On to the actual newsletter… the first issue of the New Year and a win to celebrate it with but not I’m afraid, due to great football! Alas the news gets worse; Paul Lake has just announced that he has conceded defeat in his battle to regain fitness. Anyone fancy doing a career ‘obit’?

The MCIVTA ‘meet’ could safely be pronounced a success! About 50 people turned up and the venue, the 400 club is actually a bright, airy room with its own bar above the main dancefloor of the Social Club. We’ll try to do another before the end of the season, hopefully, and this time we’ll have to work out some way of identifying each other! Thanks go to Malcolm for suggesting and organising a most enjoayable event.

Next game, Leicester City away, FA Cup, Saturday 6th January 1996.


MANCHESTER CITY vs. WEST HAM UNITED, Monday January 1st 1996

Result: City 2 (1) v WHU 1 (0)
Scorer: Quinn (2)
Team: Immel, Brightwell, Summerbee, Symons, Curle, Lomas, Flitcroft (Ekelund), Kinkladze, Brown, Rösler (Phillips), Quinn.
Ref: Mike Reed

A Season Ticket in the Family Stand is like a weekly pass to a funeral (only more miserable). After witnessing first hand our brilliant away support at Leeds, and second hand on TV versus Blackburn my sentiments to sections of the crowd can only be ‘stop whingeing and get singing.’

Having got that off my chest, City’s performance today was well below par. We started off well (again). Kinkladze was seeing a lot of the ball and Summerbee was getting forward from his nominal full-back position. Niall had a header saved and Uwe blasted one over after Kinkladze put him through. Lomas and Flitcroft (together again at last) gave us a more balanced and ball-winning look in midfield. The goal came when the inexperienced ‘keeper underhit a clearance, Rösler nodded down to SuperNiall who was clear. He deftly dinked the ball over the ‘keeper and stroked it into the empty net.

Following the goal, Rösler had a good chance after being put through by Kinky but hit the side netting. Another through ball saw Quinn adjudged offside by the linesman but the ref. didn’t see the flag. The ball was cleared to Lomas who hit a screamer into the top corner of the net. Guess What? the ref then saw the linesman’s flag (still rigid) and instead of consulting him, gave the Hammers a free kick. A swift press on the self-destruct button saw us take our foot off the gas and West Ham began to dominate. They scored from a corner but the over fussy ref. (thankfully on this occasion) saw an infringement that nobody else did. We survived until half time.

The second half started with City in ‘Ultra lie down and die mode’ and to make matters worse Flipper came off with an ankle injury. Moncur looked impressive alongside Bishop (we’ll never forgive you Kendall) and another old boy Michael Hughes was peppering our box with crosses. Inevitably they scored when Dowie scored with a tap in from another low cross. The defence could not be blamed as we were letting them walk through us. As I started praying for a point, Rösler indicated that he wanted to come off (he didn’t look injured). AB sent on Martin Phillips for his début. Width on the left at last! He looks quick and skilful and keen to impress. Paul Power said he looked lightweight on the GMR phone-in, but it isn’t a prerequisite for a winger. Look at Giggs. I was impressed with him and in my opinion he had a big part in our winner. He attacked the defender before squaring to Symons! who hit a low cross into the box. It seemed to come off the post to Quinninho, who knocked it in.

Somehow we hung on for the win but my heart rate was resembling a geiger counter near Chernobyl. I wouldn’t say we got away with murder exactly, but ‘Buster’ helped us steal a haul akin to the Great Train Robbery.


Immel (6) – kicking is a joke.

Brightwell (6) – much better than Blackburn.

Summerbee (7) – is now consistently good.

Curle (6) – OK but tendancy to try out ‘Kinky’ side steps in his own box.

Symons (7) – usual dependancy

Lomas (6) – too much ‘pure genius’ last night?

Flitcroft (6) – yes we need him but his tackling will see him redded this season.

Kinkladze (7) – when he has movement around him, he looks world class.

Brown (5) – hard worker but needs to be more positive when in posession.

Rösler (5) – not sure if he is mentally right at the moment. He needs to get himself together or an Equity card.

Quinn (8) – faultless performance.


Ekelund (5) – nice touches but too anonymous

Phillips (7) – An exciting prospect, please keep him in the side.

Ken Foster (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. WEST HAM UNITED, Monday January 1st 1996

First match of the new year and a rather subdued atmosphere down at The Academy. We were with two Bulgarians who are related to my mate Stephen by marriage and were over from Sofia. They bought some City scarves as they are the same colour as the team they support – Levski Sofia. I was thus hoping for a good performance and if the first 20 minutes were anything to go by then I wasn’t going to be disappointed. City had Buzzer once again at left back and a midfield of Kinky, Lomas, Flipper & Brown. We comfortably controlled the play and set up several scoring chances, mainly from headers. Uwe looked out of sorts once again and totally messed up a good chance made by Kinky out of nothing. Gio ran across the park, through about 4 defenders, some perhaps twice, and then laid the ball off to Rösler who was relatively loosely marked on the edge of the box. He lent back and blasted the ball way over the goal when he really should have drilled it past Finn who was making his début and thus becoming the youngest player in the Premier League.

West Ham looked there for the taking and had absolutely no penetration up front, despite Dowie working hard. I’m always nervous against teams containing either ex-Rags or ex-Blues as they always seem to score against us; I needn’t have been worried as they didn’t get anywhere near our penalty area for the first half hour. We finally scored when Rösler gave the ball to Quinn who I have to say looked to be just offside; he ran at the young goalie and as he came out and spread himself Quinny chipped him. The ball was partially parried but it was a simple job for Quinny to control it and guide it into the net. City should have buried the Hammers at this juncture but just seemed to give up. The midfield was holding off and failing to support Quinn and Rösler. It was almost as though a switch had been thrown and the team returned to early season form. West Ham’s attacks became much more menacing and sure enough the inevitable happened; the ball was crossed from City’s right, Curle rose up, completely missed it and Reiper headed home from point blank range. I was as perplexed as everyone around me when the goal was disallowed; perhaps tellingly the West Ham players themselves didn’t complain so maybe a push had taken place?

City still managed to string some good moves together and another goal (disallowed) came from one of these. The ball was crossed in and headed away by the Hammers defence but Rösler was once again offside at the far post. The linesman flagged but the referee didn’t notice so play continued. The ball bounced around and perhaps a good 10 seconds later Lomas lashed an excellent dipping shot over the goalie into the top right hand corner. I just knew he would disallow it, rightly in my view but it was a little galling that play had continued for so long.

At half time I felt that we should win but the last 15 minutes of the first half hadn’t exactly been promising. The second half was all West Ham as City went utterly to pieces. West Ham played a tight offside trap which stifled many a City attack with Rösler in particular being caught several times. This was aided by the linesman who several times flagged when the ball was received rather than when it was played. After a short while Flipper was substituted seemingly due to injury, being replaced by Ekelund. The midfield was dire, passes going continually astray and the whole line sitting back defensively thus leaving a huge gap between themselves and our two front men who had no support whatsoever. West Ham exploited this to the full and it only seemed a matter of time before they scored! They only had one route to goal and that was aiming for the head of Dowie; the ball came over Curle & Symons, was missed by Brightwell, but not by Dowie who controlled it and rifled home, no excuses! Uwe was immediately substituted for Phillips; ironically he’d gone off once before when West Ham substituted their No 28!

I couldn’t see us scoring but amazingly we did with virtually the next attack. Symons persisted on the right and gave the ball to Ekelund who crossed for Quinn to hit it against the post; astoundingly it bounced directly back to him and he had a simple job to tap it home. We were ecstatic and immediately struck up a new ditty: “We’ve scored two”! We still tried mightily to lose by dribbling out of defence and general making hard work of it all. I was greatly relieved when the whistle went; it was a victory when we really didn’t deserve one.

We played great for 25 minutes but then looked exactly like we had earlier on in the season: abysmal passes; no running into space; no understanding etc. Let’s hope it was a one-off; make no mistakes, West Ham are a bad team and better ones will beat us with ease if we repeat this performance.

Final score 2-1

Immel (7) No real saves to make and didn’t stand a chance with the goal.

Buzzer (8) Played right back and right wing but was absolutely knackered with 25 minutes to go. He made a fool out of Dicks on several occasions and wasn’t at all afraid to get stuck in.

Brightwell (6) reasonable performance after the nightmare at Ewood but their goal was down to slack marking on his part.

Symons (7) Good display.

Curle (6) Back to dribbling out of defence and increasing the likelihood of cardiac arrest amongst our older supporters.

Brown (5) Ran and tackled hard but persistently held up play by passing sideways and backwards… Ray Wilkins eat yer heart out!

Flipper (6) Average game before the injury.

Kinky (7) Some good runs but faded and is once again hanging back and not going for goal.

Lomas (6) Average performance but gave the ball away repeatedly in the second half.

Quinn (8) Good game once again, great control and two goals into the bargain.

Rösler (4) Just awful, has once again taken to falling over at every opportunity and the fans are now getting on his back, he should be dropped, and now!

Phillips (7) Saw him for the first time and he is reminiscent of Beagrie, showed some nice touches.

Ekelund (5) Anonymous.



Following loan periods at three other clubs already this season, David Brightwell has been sold to Bradford City for £30,000. Who will be the next player to leave? Andy Dibble?

Paul Howarth (


City have signed another player on a two-month loan, this time defender Eduardo Abazaj from Benfica. Although he is Albanian, he holds a Portuguese passport and therefore counts as an EC national.

Paul Howarth (


GMR reports that the Southampton match has been postponed as the pitch is frozen. The Dell is one of only four Premier League grounds without undersoil heating.

The Mole


City have sold all of their ticket allocation for next week’s FA Cup tie at Leicester City.

Paul Howarth (


On the same day that Richard Edghill had his (apparently successful) knee operation, Peter Beagrie was prescribed “complete rest” by a specialist investigating the winger’s persistent shin problem. It seems he’ll be out for the rest of the season, which could mean an extended run in the side for Martin “Buster” Phillips, who made an impressive début as a substitute for Uwe Rösler against West Ham.

Paul Howarth (


The telephone ClubCall lines on teletext (going off the titles) report that Howard Kendall is interested in another City player and that Quinn could be being sold (are they serious?). I just hope that Judas wants Dibble as it’s rumoured that Leeds want Kelly. Probably this is just ‘paper’ invention as no other stories are breaking.



Although it is possible that Niall Quinn may end up at Sheffield United I understand that it is on hold at the moment. Sheffield have a 6’5 Peruvian (Maestri) on trial at the moment who is 22 and costs less than Quinn. He is a lot more attractive to them than Quinn for this reason. If he impresses and gets a work permit then Niall could be staying. City were told about this player but did not take up the offer of a trial.

Nick Mills (


Just a note in regret at Paul Lake’s retirement. It is easy to forget just how good Paul was as a player. He would have been a world class player. It’s a tragedy what happened to him but all we can do now is wish him the best in whatever he does.Surely he must have a testimonial?

On a happier note if you live near Warrington I highly recommend an exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery. It’s an exhibition of foootball related photos which are really good. It’s free as well!!

Mark Bailey (


Albanian international on-loan! I bet the dressing room is like the UN now – I believe the Americans are sending in 2000 troops to guard the oranges!!

Andy Birkin, Crawley Branch of City fans against the Red Hoard (


After the appearance of 2 members of Oasis on the Maine Road pitch I got home and read the Christmas NME where Oasis were asked about City –


“I haven’t had time to go to many matches. I went to Liverpool when City lost 6-0. And we did this thing on the pitch earlier in the year.”

“Are they going to go down?”

“No they’re not.”

“The United team rung to get on the list for the Manchester gig. We told them to f*** off.”


“A load of the City players have been to our gigs. And we got a fax off Francis Lee when ‘Some might say’ went to Number One. There’s a box in the new stand at Maine Road and it’s going to be called The Oasis Hospitality Suite.”

I’m waiting for the invite!

Geoff St George (


Because my internet provider is Pinnacle and they host the Soccernet I, and all other Pinnacle users, are being denied access to the Carling Premier League Web Pages. Apparently the Daily Mail update the pages and Pinnacle just host the pages. I think this is really fulfilling the ideal of the net – information for all, and also goes a long way to support the exchange of views between genuine football fans !!!

If you think this is wrong please e-mail and me It could be you next!

Andy Birkin (


I would like to wish all readers of MCIVTA all over the world a happy new year. I hope that we are entering a year which will be a little more encouraging for our beloved Manchester City F.C. If we can keep up the support to the club and the spirit I am confident that we can get out of our crisis. It was fantastic to hear the supporters singing “Blue moon” with all their heart at the end of the game against Blackburn, while we were losing 2-0. I believe we have to go far from Manchester to find a similar set of supporters. I would also like to give a special greeting to the providers of MCIVTA. You have done a great job in 1995. You are giving us oversea supporters the best way to keep up to date with our club. Great stuff!

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


Rumour has it that on the Wednesday before the Chelsea game many of the City team were seen “on the town” notably in Lloyd’s on Bridge St. They certainly played as though they had hangovers which is what I am lead to believe, many of them will have had!

On the phone-in on GMR one of the callers complained bitterly that after the Blackburn game, none of the players [except Coton] came over to thank the fans for what was the most fantastic carnival atmosphere. Blackburn fans told us that only Newcastle fans have been so supportive of their team and they have something to celebrate. It’s time Ball got the players to appreciate the fans and stop rushing off down the tunnel at the final whistle.

Brian Leigh (


It’s only at Christmas when I get enough time to sit down and think about City and life in general – here’s what I came up with:-

  1. 17 players down with flu ! – has anyone heard of a ‘flu jab’ – a commonplace vaccination at most companies -or can it be detrimental to players?
  2. We have no full backs.
  3. Kinky (sorry, ‘Gio’) usually dominates the midfieldfor the first half hour or so but has started to fadeaway after that. This is either because the defence by-pass him and go straight to Quinn,or Gio wanders away from the dead centre of the pitch and leaves the midfield open.
  4. Gullit was such a class act the other day – hetransformed a mediocre side into a good one.
  5. If we don’t get 4 points + against WHU andSouthampton we will be in big trouble.
  6. I’ve seen the last 270 minutes of City playing(OK, 180 of them on TV) and haven’t seenEkelund make an impact (or even a touch). Does anyoneknow if he is a decent player? I know he scored 2 goalsagainst City whilst at Southampton but even Batty cannow claim that feat. Is our squad (of 53 players) sothin that we have to play unfit, unacclimatised players?
  7. The City fans that went to Blackburn were all stars.Myself, a coward, opted for indoors on such a coldnight, but you lot made me very proud (and guilty).

That’s all of my burbling for know. All the best to you all.

Martin Reynolds (


My family and 1 have just returned from our Christmas vacation to sunny old England and have spent the past two days trying to get the ice blocks melted from my feet. It is cold over there. I might start a wooly sock knitting campaign from us in warmer climes for all you brave lads and lassies who follow the Blues to every match. While in England I did get to see the Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers games and I’d like to pass on my opinion on the City Team I watched during those games. Let me say that I have averaged about two games a year for the past several years and so I do not know much about the players and their individual skills. My opinions therefore are based on limited knowledge of past performances. I would like to focus on two aspects of the Blues’ line up that I believe require some urgent thought by the club. i.e. Centre Forward and Goalkeeping.

Centre Forward

IMHO Niall Quinn was the best City player in the two games I saw. His work rate is phenomenal. He is a throwback to the old fashioned Number 9 of years gone by. I know this is going to date me, but he reminded me of Wyn Davies at his peak. Davies was an expert at heading the ball down and creating chances for the “inside forwards” who would run on to the ball. Quinn has this ability. The number of times he laid the ball off after beating the opposition’s central defence to a header doesn’t bear thinking about. But where were the forwards running onto the chances he created? Nowhere. City need to decide if they are going to support the concept of playing with a centre forward or not. If they are then they need to change the rôle of the other forwards to accommodate this style of play. This is not a new discussion. When City brought Wyn Davies from Newcastle in the early ’70’s there was complete surprise at the club because we had been playing so long without a big man in the centre it was thought that the balance of the team would be upset by bringing in Davies. Not so, the club adjusted to the style of play and didn’t skip a beat.

I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the heading opportunities came from clearances from Curle. The number of lobs up the middle in these two games reminded me of 3rd division soccer (or high school soccer in the US). I will return to this in a moment when I lay out my thoughts on the Goalkeeping situation. To persevere with Quinn the Blues need to provide him with crosses from the wings. Although Summerbee is capable of doing this from one side there is no threat to the opposition from the other flank. The second half versus Chelsea is a good example of what I mean. All of the midfield work was done by Brightwell and Summerbee. There was no threat from the other side and all the Chelsea team had to do was line up to take their opportunity to tackle the ball carrier. Let me restate that in my opinion Quinn was the best player in these two games and the Blues must try to capitalize on his play.


I had read the reports in MCIVTA about Immel and was looking forward to seeing quite a show. What I saw however did not live up to my expectations. I saw a player who cannot dominate his goal area, is reluctant to catch the ball and is prone to punching the ball out weakly (often to the opposition’s feet). I believe all this has had a negative impact on the defensive play of the back four. They are reluctant to commit to tackles and back away from the opposition. This is perhaps because they do not trust that the goalkeeper will catch the ball and clear up the situation if they miss the tackle. I believe that City’s back four have to play deep because of Immel’s inability to dominate the area. I also believe that the panic lobs up the middle come from the same cause. Incidentally the reason that balls laid off from Quinn go nowhere is because everyone else is back covering the opposition’s attack. I believe that the club should be urgently thinking about putting Coton back in goal. He does dominate the area and will give the central defenders the confidence they need to make tackles and to feed the midfielders. I will say that Immel did make some good saves during the two games I watched, but overall I was not impressed.

Just a final thought about the team’s play as a whole. They make a lot of chances that other teams would turn into goals. I think our lads have become so nervous about missing chances that they would rather pass the ball off to someone else than take a shot. At the Blackburn game City on several occasions missed good chances by trying to pass the ball in the penalty area. I really enjoyed these two games and although the Blues came away empty handed just being there was a fantastic experience for me and my family. All the best for the new year

Mike Edwards, Charlotte, North Carolina (


So much for the revival eh!

This has to be one of the worst Christmas’s in my memory. Firstly my grandad dies on Boxing Day and secondly City start to play like a team going down again. I don’t know which is the worse of these two events. I know that having to watch the Blackburn game on TV in Cardiff with all my mourning relatives wasn’t a good experience. The travelling support were superb and certainly cheered me up during a dismal night. In hindsight I am slightly pissed off though as I had a ticket to go but for obvious reasons couldn’t.

Anyway enough of that… I was going to do a summary of the West Ham game but on reflection that would be far too negative. Yes, yes, I know the results are important when we are down the bottom but if we play like that again we will get torn apart by better opposition and that will see us nestled firmly at the bottom with Bolton.

Instead, here are my thoughts on a few players over the Christmas and New Year period.

Rae Ingram – definitely a bright hope. Although he looked daunted at the task of facing Steve Stone he played quite well. AB had obviously told him to hold his position which he tried to do. Maybe if he gets a few more starts under his belt his confindence will grow. I’d like to see him go forward more in the way that Edgy does.

Gerry Creaney – against Chelsea I was pleasantly surprised to hear the Kippax give him plenty of encouragemnet from the start. “Maybe he will rise to it?” I thought!!!. Did he shite. When Chelsea started to dominate he showed no sign of getting stuck in and chasing back to help especially in areas like midfield. I don’t know how many times Michael Brown put in a good tackle on players like Gullit only for there to be no City player willing to go and win the loose ball. What was even more galling was watching Creaney continually criticising other players while showing no commitment to the task himself. As the bloke near me shouted, it’s time he watched his own game rather than that of younger players who are giving more commitment than this fat piece of lard ever will.

Michael Brown – although his choice of pass has sometimes been a bit dodgy he has shown good touches and an ability to be able to run with the ball. Just seems to lack a little confidence in his own ability though. Damn fine prospect.

Symons – already my player of the season. As long as he stays fit we have a great chance of staying up.

Kinky, Buzzer, Quinn and Rösler – Quinn is playing out of his skin and I take everything I said about him earlier in the season back. When he prodded home the winner against West Ham I wondered just how much he sold his soul for. The man is a star!! As for Rösler… how much more time are we going to give him? He has now missed a string of sitters against Forest, Chelsea and although not a sitter he failed to hit the target in a wonderful position after Kinky had run rings round the Hammers’ defence. I’m sorry but for a striker you have to hit the target not the executive boxes behind the goal. If he is still missing Walshy then maybe it is time that he was left out to get his head together for the good of the club which is after all what we all want. A few good touches against West Ham in the first half that made me think otherwise but then he slipped back to mediocrity again. The 15 minutes that Phillips came on against the Hammers showed that although not strong he has the fight and hunger that Uwe lacks at the moment. There is no doubt in my mind that he will disappear to Bayern at the end of the season. I also think that Uwe’s lack of form is affecting players like Kinky and Buzzer. Kinky especially runs his legs into the ground and always ends up taking on one man too many. This is either through a lack of movement ahead of him of a lack of faith in his strikers. Against Blackburn I saw Uwe make several runs away from defenders to Kinky’s right and he just ploughed ahead until he lost the ball. He is undoubtedly a different class but am I the only one to think that he needs to either release the ball earlier or alternatively have someone up front who he feels comfortable passing to. Buzzer also has made several good runs against teams where an early ball would split the defence, but there has been no support and he ends up getting bogged down in the corner with no options left for him.

There does seem to be a lack of understanding up front and communication on the pitch seems to be non-existant. Isn’t it about time that someone like Curle, the captain after all, started to try to get the enthusiasm into the team? In the games against Forest and Chelsea the players as well as the fans seemed to think it inevitable that we were going to concede one. If we are going to go down can we at least do it fighting.

Is AB telling the players to defend deep? In the game against Villa we gave as good as we got and won a cracking match. In every game over the Christmas period we have sat back and let teams come at us apart from the first 20 minutes when we do our normal form of storm out get nothing and let the opposition get into it. On Monday against a crap team we should have won with ease. Instead, their few players of class like Robbie Slater were allowed to run at us.

Please can we go into the next two home games against Coventry and QPR with an attitude of victory? We might just surprise ourselves again. Sorry to be a bit negative but there have been very few bright points. We can’t settle for 20 minutes of quality possession football and then lose concentration (that’s you Keith Curle!). Let’s turn the season around now while we have a 100% record for the year and try to get Ronnie Ekelund fit as he seems so obviously not to be. Well I bloody hope that’s the reason for his poor performances…

See you on the 20th (unless we need a replay!!). Up the Blues. City for the Cup. Why don’t we put a bid in for Vialli from Juventus if the press reports are correct about him wanting to come to England? Oh my, could you imagine that…

Mike Barry (


On my way to the West Ham game I stopped at the usual place for some petrol. The guy who works there is a Blackpool fan and we had a brief chat about the respective fortunes of our clubs. The strength of the Anti-Ball feeling around Blackpool is phenomenal and also quite widespread. He obviously did poorly for them as manager but it was very early in his managerial career and I’m hoping it was just a case of learning the hard way. On my way out of the garage he shouted to me that he was looking forward to playing us next season. I nervously laughed, trying to hide my apprehension.

The ‘atmosphere’ situation at Maine Road. is beginning to worry me and it brought to mind a radio interview that ‘Waggy’ did with the guy who runs the Independant MUFC supporters club. Because of the morgue like atmosphere at the Swamp this season, he was advocating standing areas in the seats. Personally I think this is laughable but the idea that does hold water is the possibility of singing areas. The logistics and extra admin. would be considerable but I think, worthwhile, for the team and club as a whole. Season tickets could be categorised as ‘Singing’ or ‘Non-Singing’ and the same could be applied to tickets on open sale. Just think, everyone in the ‘Non-Singing’ seats would feel obliged to join in and all of a sudden we have our atmosphere back.

Ken Foster (


Why does a Scot living in Geneva support City…

Well, when I was a wee boy, I was transported off to Manchester. When I reached the tender age of six, I began to express an interest in football. It was 1966 and at first I thought I was a Chelsea fan, on the logical basis that they beat somebody 10-1, I then decided to support United, because lots of lads at school were United fans. Fortunately my father told me in no uncertain terms that I would never be allowed anywhere near a football ground if I supported United, so in the Autumn of 66 my dad took me to my first football match, the Derby, City vs. United at Maine Road.

My memories of this encounter are sketchy, we were in the Platt Lane Stand, in the round covered bit next to the main stand that looks like a cow shed now. I think the score was 1-1, who cares, I was hooked, the atmosphere, the Bovril, the Wagon Wheels.

We saw five or six games that season, and I remember running round school after we won the league. The next season my father bought season tickets in block G, and we barely missed a match until we moved back to Scotland in 1973.

My main memories were the “ice ballet” (yes we really were there), Rodney Marsh eventually coming good against Derby, beating United 4-1 nearly every year and seeing Tommy Smith sent off at Maine Road. On the down side being knocked out of the Cup 3-0 by United in the third round, the season after we won it, Joe Mercer being sacked, My dad not taking me to the 69 Cup final, and both BBC and ITV showing the Chelsea-Leeds replay when City were winning the CWC in Vienna.

Great times to be a City fan; we moved to Fort William in 1973, and having been bitten I continued to follow the fortunes of the Blues, as best I could. We seemed to be on the right lines with Johnny Hart; it was sad that he had to retire. Tony Book created a very competent team, with the best back four I can remember City ever having. By then I was regularly visiting Manchester again. I couldnt believe the mess Allison made of City; he took a good top 5 team and decimated it. I was living in Edinburgh at the time, and City played in the Skol cup. We were crap, and matched the colour of the brown shirts used in one match.

I still saw the Blues fairly regularly at this point; just when Allison seemed to be turning the corner, Swales sacked him and Bond took over. He added a few hard men and gave Allison’s youngsters the backbone they needed. The cup run was great; I drove down to the 6th round replay against Everton, what a night that was… I went to the semi-final, an incredible day. Sadly I couldn’t get to the final; fortunately BBC Scotland showed the match, and the replay, nuff said.

It’s been downhill since then sadly; this season in my view is the crunch. I am not optimistic; after the November resurgance we seem to have dropped back down into the mire again, there is a lack of consistency in the tactics deployed but as I only see the Sky games I can’t really comment, I would be interested in hearing people’s views who have seen City all season.

I am living in Switzerland now; the Internet site is invaluable in keeping up to date, and for me Sky is great, although I would be really pissed off if I was living in the UK.

I would be delighted to hear from any City fan who remembers me, or other Blue masochists in Geneva… Keep up the good work.

Fraser Davidson (


Today, January 1st, I have officially launched a new Internet service called The Soccer Form Book. The service is aimed mainly at people betting on football games and the main area consists of statistical analyses of pending games in the major European football leagues.

In view of all the hard work you do in creating your own pages it makes me feel downright guilty to say it, but this will become a subscription service in February. This is necessary as the amount of time and effort spent in maintaining the service is just too prohibitive without some means of recooping the financial outlay (at least, that’s what my wife says and I have her permission to say so!) The good news however, is that I intend to leave the Premiership pages free as a sample and as I wish to try to create an online magazine around the analyses pages (in the true spirit of net anorakism), other areas will also continue to be free.

Therefore, I was hoping you might see your way clear to giving me a plug on your own excellent pages. You can find the service at:

Thanks for any help and all the best to you and your team in ’96

Chris Kemp (


Tuesday, December 26 1995

ARSENAL               3-0    QUEENS PARK RANGERS    38,259
ASTON VILLA           P-P    LIVERPOOL              --,---
BLACKBURN ROVERS      2-0    MANCHESTER CITY        28,915
CHELSEA               1-2    WIMBLEDON              15,238
EVERTON               4-0    MIDDLESBROUGH          40,091
SOUTHAMPTON           0-0    TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR      21,906
WEST HAM UNITED       P-P    COVENTRY CITY          --,---

Wednesday, December 27 1995

BOLTON WANDERERS      0-2    LEEDS UNITED           18,414

Saturday, December 30 1995

ARSENAL               1-3    WIMBLEDON              37,640
BOLTON WANDERERS      1-2    COVENTRY CITY          16,678
CHELSEA               2-2    LIVERPOOL              31,137
EVERTON               2-0    LEEDS UNITED           40,009
NOTTINGHAM FOREST     1-0    MIDDLESBROUGH          27,027
SOUTHAMPTON           P-P    MANCHESTER CITY        --,---

Monday, January 1 1996

COVENTRY CITY         1-1    SOUTHAMPTON            16,818
LEEDS UNITED          0-0    BLACKBURN ROVERS       31,285
LIVERPOOL             4-2    NOTTINGHAM FOREST      39,206
MANCHESTER CITY       2-1    WEST HAM UNITED        26,024
MIDDLESBROUGH         0-2    ASTON VILLA            28,535
WIMBLEDON             2-3    EVERTON                11,121

Tuesday, January 2 1996

NEWCASTLE UNITED      2-0    ARSENAL                36,530
QUEENS PARK RANGERS   1-2    CHELSEA                14,904

Wed 03 Jan

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United      21     15    3    3     42    18        48
Manchester United     22     12    5    5     41    27        41
Liverpool             21     11    5    5     40    20        38
Tottenham Hotspur     22     10    8    4     31    22        38
Aston Villa           20     10    5    5     27    15        35
Arsenal               22      9    7    6     28    20        34
Nottingham Forest     21      8   10    3     32    31        34
Middlesbrough         22      9    6    7     23    21        33
Everton               22      9    5    8     32    24        32
Blackburn Rovers      22      9    5    8     33    26        32
Leeds United          21      9    5    7     28    27        32
Chelsea               22      8    8    6     23    24        32
Sheffield Wednesday   21      6    7    8     32    32        25
West Ham United       20      6    5    9     22    30        23
Wimbledon             22      5    6   11     31    44        21
Southampton           21      4    8    9     20    31        20
Coventry City         21      4    7   10     28    43        19
Manchester City       21      5    4   12     12    31        19
Queens Park Rangers   22      5    3   14     17    33        18
Bolton Wanderers      22      2    4   16     21    44        10

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to Paul, Martin, Geoff, Paul, The Mole, Andy, Fraser, Tor-Kristian, Mike, Ken, Chris, Nick & Mark.

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 #156