Newsletter #175

Surprisingly, we have a match report as we played Athlone Town on Friday! On second thoughts, maybe played is too strong a word. Rumours are rife this issue with the tabloid press once again inventing a nice juicy story of drugs and four-in-a-bed romps, as well as a less than welcome hint that the Kavelashvili deal may be off; let’s hope not.

We have plenty of discussion and I’ve at last managed to finish off a book review that I finished reading months ago; more to follow! Still no Why Blues, so why not try your hand – around 80 people already have (see the WWW)!

Next game, Chelsea away, Tuesday 12th March 1996


ATHLONE TOWN vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Friday 8th March 1996 (Friendly)

Team: Margetson, Summerbee, Frontzeck, Lomas, Brightwell, Kernaghan, Crooks, Clough, Creaney, Flitcroft, Kinkladze.
Subs: Hiley for Crooks (9 minutes), Phillips, Rösler, Kelly & Dibble for Clough, Creaney, Kinkladze & Margetson (Half-time)

A crowd of around 5-6,000 saw a hugely disappointing City side take on Athlone who are destined for relegation from the League of Ireland Premier Division. The first real incident of note was when the youngster Lee Crooks had to be withdrawn with a head injury; he was replaced by Scott Hiley. Crooks had been playing just in front of the back four and with this change Hiley went into right back and Nicky Summerbee moved up to the right hand side of midfield. Flitcroft had the first shot after 12 minutes but shot well wide . The crowd came alive when Kinkladze went on a mazy dribble beating two defenders before losing the ball after 17 minutes. Athlone’s first goal came after 22 minutes, A long ball from defence was played to the edge of the City area, Alan Kernaghan hesitated then fell on his backside, Warren Parkes collected the ball and his inch perfect cross left Michael Collins at the back post to head into the net. City were showing a distinct lack of fight (effort?), and the pace rarely rose above pedestrian. City had another shot in the 40th minute but Nigel Clough missed the target by a mile. Then in the 43rd minute City equalised out of nothing. Summerbee crossed from the right and Flitcroft sent a glancing header into the net.

City made four changes for the second half; Rösler, Ray Kelly, Phillips and Dibble were introduced. City were caught sound asleep as straight from the kick off Athlone made it 2-1. Ex-Nottm Forest man Tommy Gaynor crossed from the right and Warren Parkes (later named Man of the Match) headed firmly past Dibble. Dibble then made a good save in the 50th minute. From a corner on the left Kernagahan had an overhead effort easily saved. Then Ray Kelly, playing in his home town broke through and clashed with the ‘keeper. Rösler was put through by Summerbee on 60 minutes but again the chance was wasted. For the last half an hour or so City began to pick up the pace slightly and they began to make some impression on Athlone’s back four. Rösler hit the side netting after 62 minutes and Ray Kelly had a shot cleared off the line after 75 minutes. The last chance came when Summerbee sent Kelly clear only for the ball to come off the surface, hit Kelly in the face and roll harmlessly wide.

IMHO City weren’t interested in this match; too many of them were strolling around aimlessly. Nigel Clough tried hard and won a few tackles in the first half, Steve Lomas tried hard but had nobody around to battle with him. Ray Kelly impressed but he was playing in his home town against his former club and obviously had something at stake. For the rest of them it was a waste of time as nothing can have been learned from this. The only highlights were the attempts of the combined Dublin and Galway Blues to make some atmosphere and the odd humorous comments to relieve the boredom. I don’t know why City bothered to play this fixture.

Final score: Athlone 2 City 1

Gerald McMahon (


I got some news on the deals through a friend of mine who is involved in international football;

Grasshoppers were also interested in signing Mazzarelli (24, 14.8.72) for this season but he prefered to stay at FC Zürich. This season he played a trial match for Fiorentina and had also an invitation by Coventry City, but the Zürich coach didn’t let him go to England then. Manchester City paid 60,000 SFr. (about £20-25,000) for him so far. He is a very talented player (one appearance in Swiss A-national team in a friendly against the UAE). His position is in the (left, “half-left”) midfield but he has also played as a defender. He is an intelligent, technically good player. Physically strong. Good heading. But he’s not considered as one of the biggest promises of Swiss football… but he will make his way in England.

Here are his statistics for this season so far: 21 matches (out of 22), 1765 minutes played, two assist points, 3 yellow cards. He is one of the team leaders at FC Zürich. He is half-Italian and his nickname in Switzerland is “Giusi” (pronunced “Chusi”). And his girlfriend is a model, as I heard… Today he said in a newspaper interview that to play in England was his childhood dream.

Some months ago I spoke personally to the coach/manager of Vladikavkaz, Gasaew, and the player was offered to us for 700-800,000 US$. Therefore I doubt that City had to pay £1 million for him. So far no Russian player has sold for more than about 2 million US$ but Kavelashvili is a fine player (very good heading!).

Sounds like an interesting fellow? Hopefully we can clinch the Kavelashvili deal as he is being praised by everybody. However, as this friend of mine is saying, it’s is very doubtful that City will have to pay £1 million for him; who cares anyway, as long as he will score the goals for us.

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


City came over to Ireland to play Athlone Town on Friday night. This just shows City’s bad away form. Athlone Town are in the relegation battle in the Premier division over here. My local team Finn Harps who are in the first division beat them 4-1 in the Cup. They are a bad side! City were beaten 2-1 by Athlone. Here is a small report from a newspaper over here.

Athlone Shock

The biggest crowd of the season at St. Mels Park last night witnessed a fine 2-1 victory for Athlone Town over English Premier division side Manchester City. After 22 minutes Athlone took the lead through Michael Collins who headed past Martin Margetson. City equalised a minute before half time through a Garry Flitcroft header before Athlone re-took the lead sensationally 15 seconds after the restart when man of the match Parkes headed past a hesitant substitute goalkeeper Andy Dibble.

The City team was: Margetson, Summerbee, Frontzeck, Lomas, Brightwell, Kernaghan, Crooks, Clough, Creaney, Flitcroft, Kinkladze.

No matter how important this game was, City still should not be getting beat by the worst teams over here. They should be able to send their youth team over here and hammer teams like Athlone. This might not be embarrassing for you but it is embarrassing for City fans over here in Ireland as there aren’t many of us over here. Fortunately this defeat didn’t get much publicity over here.

Paul Nash (


Runcorn, who are currently at the bottom of the GM Vauxhall have just acquired a talented Nigerian player called Okorie Kalechi. He is a versatile player with great technique and touch who may just be good enough for the Premiership.

The connection with City is Peter Barnes the Runcorn manager. Kalechi was at Maine Road last week for a look around and I have heard that if he continues to impress all those who see him he may get some sort of opportunity at City. The reason he is at Runcorn is that an injury kept him out of the game (uninsured) and he needs a way back in.

Nick Mills (


Today’s (Monday’s) teletext and radio reports that Nicky Summerbee and some Sunday leaguer called Lee Sharpe were in the NOTW at the weekend. Apparently they have a drug-fuelled lifestyle, or something. Unfortunately, I also lead a drug-fuelled lifestyle and the mother of all hangovers prevented me from leaving the house on Sunday to buy a paper and get the facts, or what passes for fact in the NOTW. The FA are expecting statements and the clubs concerned are looking into the matter.

What were the drugs involved?

It seems that as they weren’t discovered by the FA (like Stanislaus was) then they have a chance to recant à la Paul Merson and sort it out internally.

That’s what comes of hanging out with Oasis.

Roly Allen (


In response to the sordid accusations in one of the Sunday papers this weekend, City’s solicitor said today “Nicholas Summerbee denies the allegations made against him and has added that he has never taken cannabis or any other illegal substance.”

City’s £1.4 million bid for Mikhail Kavelashvili could be in doubt as City may not be able to get a work permit for him before the March 28 deadline.

Giuseppe Mazzarelli has gone straight into the squad for the trip to Chelsea, for which City’s only doubt is Niall Quinn who is still suffering with a hamstring problem. Keith Curle and Michael Brown will complete their suspensions with this match.

The Mole



I am still not convinced that AB made the correct decision in selling Coton to the Rags and installing Eike as our number one ‘keeper. During the GMR commentary on the Arsenal match Paul Hince, the MEN Manchester City correspondent, said that whoever coached the ‘keepers should tell them to come out to crosses and dominate the goal area.

As subscribers may be aware, our ‘keeper coach is Alex Stepney who was the Rags’ ‘keeper in their match with Benfica in 1968, whilst Joe Corrigan is training Liverpool’s ‘keepers. Stepney trains the ‘keepers every morning and he is always telling Eike to come for corners and to shout for the ball. There is also plenty of practice doing goal kicks. I don’t honestly think Stepney could do any more to try to improve Eike’s game. IMHO he is a typical European ‘keeper. Good at shot stopping but unwilling to come for crosses. Now Coton has gone we’ve got to put up with him as Margetson would be worse. The basic problem is that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and he does make good reaction saves, even if they are the result of a poor goal kick!

I was talking to our North Wales Scout the other morning. He told me that we have a sixteen year old ‘keeper on the books who is a good bet for future international honours. Maybe Eike can hang on for another year or two until he arrives. I don’t rate Margetson as a regular 1st team player.


City nearly landed a sixteen year old lad from Anglesey called Owen. Apparently he came to Maine Road for trials and also went to Arsenal and Liverpool. Arsenal offered him £80,000 signing on fee and Liverpool offered £60,000. Our board offered two years YTS and a two year professional contract to follow… he signed for Liverpool and scored a hat-trick for the Anfield outfit when they knocked the Rags out of the Youth Cup last week 3-2. According to the scout he s a future Dixie Dean.


The 1st team squad weren’t down at Platt Lane today (Friday 8th) as they have gone to Ireland for a few days prior to the Chelsea match. Curle, Symons, Stepney and one or two “A” teamers were left at home playing head tennis. I can understand Curle not going due to his current suspension but why not Symons? Perhaps he missed the plane? I m beginning to feel very gloomy about our Premiership prospects.

My Selection

If I was AB, all things being equal, no suspensions etc.

      Curle  Flitcroft(sweeper)  Symons
Summerbee   Lomas  Kinkladze  Brown  Hiley
                 Quinn  Phillips

Go for bust with Buster.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


Dear fellow sufferer,
I have one spare ticket (at the astronomical price of £17) for the game versus Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (City end, naturally) on Tuesday 12. If you’re interested, please contact me during the day at work on 0171 813 6084 (direct line) or 0171 813 3000 (switchboard) and we can arrange somewhere to meet.

Nigel Kendall (


I keep having these wierd dreams:-

  1. I see some men in City shirts stood in an open topped bus outside Manchester Town Hall.
  2. I see City scoring against the Rags to send us to the League Cup Final.
  3. I am at a football match in a strange ground watching City score their fourth goal against people who wear red shirts.

I suspect that when I went to see City at the age of 11 it may have had an affect on my brain. I live under the delusion that next year will be better, we are getting a great team together, we won some cups once etc. etc…

I remember standing in the Kippax watching players with strange names (Summerbee, Lee, Bell, Dowd, Coleman, Young, Hartford, Barnes, Tuert, Watson, Corrigan, Doyle, Pardoe, Heslop, Kidd, Law, Davis, Marsh). I remember a player called Ball sitting on the ball after we had knocked Everton out of the Cup, I remember cheering a player who scored against us (Lee for Derby). And strangely I remember singing ’14 games without defeat’ and chanting ‘Joe Mercer’ at Coventry City.

I remember the wilderness years in the airforce where Manchester was so far away, and going to see pre-season games in Holland and Caernarvon. Halifax and Shrewsbury in the Cup, being really embarassed at the result.

I have supported City for 30 years, it’s in my blood; when I die I want my body burnt on the world’s largest bonfire at the Swamp (no fire engines by request) and my ashes spread over the Academy. I was born in Oldham and rejected the other ‘options’ at first sight of those blue shirts and white shorts (do we have a strip share scheme with Lazio – even the shorts are the same and they lose by 1 goal at home). I used to go to the reserves (when they won things) and all the home games. I’m now down here in Crawley and have 2 kids who are as Blue as me. I go to the odd match and manage to time my visits to Manchester to to see games but evey match is lived next to the radio willing the team on.

Happy to be Blue.

P.S. Last Saturday my son spotted a City away shirt in a local sports shop. Enter assistant ‘Oh! City, I’m a United fan.’ Enter me ‘You would be living down here.’ Exit assistant (quickly).

Keep the faith – we’ll win everything next season.

Andy Birkin (


I read in Bert Trautmann’s Helmet (the fanzine, not a real helmet) that Nigel Clough took a pay cut of two grand a week in order to take part in a relegation battle. What a boy.

Roly Allen (


Here’s a collection of football quotes which has arrived via a number of other lists;

“The new West Stand casts a giant shadow over the entire pitch, even on a sunny day.”
CHRIS JONES, Evening Standard

“What will you do when you leave football, Jack — will you stay in football?”
STUART HALL, Radio 5 Live

“Unfortunately, we keep kicking ourselves in the foot.”

“I’ve got a gut feeling in my stomach…”

“I would not say he [David Ginola] is the best left winger in the Premiership, but there are none better.”
RON AKTINSON, Carling FA Premiership WWW Page

“Johnson has revelled in the ‘hole’ behind Dwight Yorke…”
Carling FA Premiership WWW Page

“An inch or two either side of the post and that would have been a goal.”

“Both sides have scored a couple of goals, and both sides have conceded a couple of goals.”
PETER WITHE, Radio 5 Live

“You don’t score 64 goals in 86 games at the highest level without being able to score goals.”
ALAN GREEN, Radio 5 Live

“What’s it like being in Bethlehem, the place where Christmas began? I suppose it’s like seeing Ian Wright at Arsenal….”

“And we all know that in football if you stand still you go backwards…”
PETER REID, Tyne Tees Sport Special

“I was saying the other day, how often the most vulnerable area for goalies is between their legs…”
ANDY GRAY, Sky Sport

“The lad got over-excited when the saw the whites of the goalpost’s eyes.”

“They [Røsenborg] have won 66 games, and they’ve scored in all of them.”

“If you can’t stand the heat in the dressing-room, get out of the kitchen.”

“The lads really ran their socks into the ground.”

“He [Brian Laudrup] wasn’t just facing one defender — he was facing one at the front and one at the back as well.”

“It’s now 1-1, an exact reversal of the score on Saturday.”
Radio 5 Live

“…but Arsenal are quick to credit Bergkamp with laying on 75% of their nine goals.”
TONY GUBBA, BBC Match of the Day

“…an excellent player, but he [Ian Wright] does have a black side.”

“We say `educated left foot’… of course, there are many players with educated right foots.”
RON JONES, Radio 5 Live

“That’s twice now he [Terry Phelan] has got between himself and the goal.”

“Mark Hughes at his very best: he loves to feel people right behind him…”

“Football today, it’s like a game of chess. It’s all about money.”

“Gary always weighed up his options, especially when he had no choice.”
KEVIN KEEGAN, Radio 5 Live

“We threw our dice into the ring and turned up trumps.”

“And I suppose they [Spurs] are nearer to being out of the FA Cup now than any other time since the first half of this season, when they weren’t even in it anyway.”

“… and he crosses the line with the ball almost mesmerically tied to his foot with a ball of string…”
IAN DARKE, Radio 5

Eric Lancake (


In keeping with my principle of always trying to know what the enemy are up to, I usually take a nose through the Sunday Business supplements :-)) Interestingly, the Independent supplement this Sunday had a couple of articles on the future of the Premier League and their BskyB contract, due to run out at the end of next season. Two main points – 1, the PL is likely to look for a far, far larger deal and 2, pay per view may become an option, with all matches being covered live (this with the projected increase in number of satellite channels over the next few years).

More interesting – or perhaps even more alarming (pace, Wythenshawe exile and Flixton Red – I have no axe to grind with the true Red {mind you, Flixton Red, I think you might have squawked had we got a penalty similar to yours in the Derby, Blues methinks being mindful that Pallister has often had to use Niall to carry him around the penalty area with no punishment – but, I digress!]) – apparently United have undertaken a survey to see whether it would be financially worthwhile for them to start their own TV channel.

Apparently they conducted an initial feasability study which concluded that the club had over 2 million fans in the UK. Now, whilst I would be the first to acknowledge that there is one born every minute, I have to say that that figure stretches the imagination more than a little. Mind you, I guess if it means that the Rags disappear from terrestrial TV, perhaps it would be a good thing!

Jeremy Poynton (


Here are the fixtures for all of the `relegation possibilties`. I have put by each one how many points I think they will get:

SOUTHAMPTON               WIMBLEDON                 COVENTRY CITY
------------              ---------                 -------------
Man City     (a)  0       Arsenal      (h)  0       Everton      (a)  0
Leeds        (a)  1       Everton      (a)  0       Nottm F      (a)  0
Coventry     (h)  3       Nottm F      (h)  1       Bolton       (h)  3
QPR          (a)  1       West Ham     (a)  0       Southampton  (a)  0
Blackburn    (h)  3       Man City     (h)  1       Spurs        (a)  0
Aston Villa  (a)  0       Middlesboro  (a)  3       Liverpool    (h)  0
Man United   (h)  0       Coventry     (h)  1       Man U        (a)  0
Bolton       (A)  3       Blackburn    (a)  0       QPR          (h)  3
Sheffield W  (h)  1       Liverpool    (a)  0       Wimbledon    (a)  1
Newcastle    (h)  0       Southampton  (a)  1       Leeds        (h)  1
Wimbledon    (h)  1
Season total: 38 pts      Season total: 33 pts      Season total: 34 pts
---                       -------------------       ----------------
Leeds        (h)  1       Aston Villa  (h)  0       Coventry     (a)  0
Aston Villa  (a)  0       Bolton       (a)  1       Sheff Wed    (h)  1
Man Utd      (h)  0       Chelsea      (h)  1       Man City     (h)  1
Chelsea      (a)  0       Middelsboro  (a)  3       Everton      (a)  0
Southampton  (h)  1       Arsenal      (h)  0       Chelsea      (h)  1
Newcastle    (a)  0       Man City     (a)  0       West Ham     (a)  0
Everton      (h)  0       Everton      (h)  1       Southampton  (h)  0
Coventry     (a)  0       Southampton  (a)  1       Spurs        (h)  0
West Ham     (h)  1       West Ham     (a)  0       Arsenal      (a)  0
Nottm F      (a)  0
Season total: 25 pts      Season total: 36 pts      Season total: 21 pts
----                                                End of season table
Southampton  (h)  3                                 ===================
West Ham     (a)  1                                 Southampton   38
Bolton       (a)  1                                 Sheff Wed     36
Man Utd      (h)  0                                 CITY          36
Wimbledon    (a)  1                                 Coventry      34
Sheff W      (h)  3                                 ----------------
Aston Villa  (a)  0                                 Wimbledon     33
Chelsea      (a)  1                                 QPR           25
Liverpool    (h)  0                                 Bolton        21
Season Total: 36 pts

Barry Foster (


TITLE          Steppes to Wembley
AUTHOR         Bert Trautmann
PUBLISHER      Robert Hall Ltd.
ADDRESS        63 Old Brompton St.,
               London SW7,
ISBN NUMBER    Not applicable (out of print)
PRICE          £4.95 (second-hand)

This is Bert Trautmann’s autobiography, written in 1956 in collaboration with his friend Eric Todd who was a sports writer on the erstwhile Manchester Evening Chronicle. Although published in 1956, the bulk of the book was already finished in 1955 and the triumphant events of ’56 are written as an epilogue.

The book is hardback (maroon), 141 pages with 24 black & white photos; I guess it once had a dust jacket but my copy, bought in early ’96 hasn’t got one.

The foreword is from Sir Stanley Rous, secretary of the FA who, probably quite acceptably for the period, but somewhat arrogantly by today’s standards, manages to sing the praises of the British for being so magnanimous in welcoming a German to our shores! The book itself is dedicated to Trautmann’s son who was tragically knocked down by a car in May 1956 after City won the Cup.

I won’t describe Trautmann’s life in detail as I’ve already summarised it in the more readily available (and recent) biography. Suffice it to say, he recounts some of his early years and in particular, his days in the Wehrmacht. He is constantly at pains here to underline (justifiably) the difference between ‘good’ Germans and ‘bad’ Germans; probably he had to justify his nationality almost continually in everyday life in England.

There are quite a few anecdotes in this book which are not repeated in the biography so the book is valuable to read in addition to that book. Indeed, I got the feeling from the biography that Trautmann had been less than honest in the dealings which led to his transfer to Maine Road. Here, things seem a little clearer; although the identity of the caller who lured Bert’s minder, Jack Friargate away to Manchester whilst the City officials were knocking up Bert (to sign him) at the other end of the East Lancs Road is unknown, here I get the impression that it was someone at the club, though the truth will probably never be known.

The other controversial Trautmann story was the ‘Kularz’ incident in which he met a former Eastern Front comrade who turned out to be an imposter and whose chief interest was getting Bert back to play football in Germany. Amazingly, instead of telling the guy where to get off, Bert played along, which inevitably led to the English thinking that he had staged the entire thing. Whether he did or not will probably also never be known but, even if he did, then who could blame him for wanting to go home when his family needed him most.

There are plenty of 50’s footballing anecdotes in here and it gives quite a flavour of the times and some of the characters who played in the City team; Revie deliberately giving away a penalty in a friendly against Frankfurt so that the crowd could see Bert save a penalty… he did; a penalty save versus Sunderland in 1950 which the ref. ordered retaken; Bert promptly saved it again and Westcott asked the ref. which one he liked best!

Of course this one is a good deal more sanitised than the biography, being based in a gentler and less intrusive time but it’s still a nice window on the period and into the life of one of its greatest characters.



Actually there is another up and coming band that are all keen City supporters that you perhaps ought to be aware of… Unfortunately The Interns have been up and coming for the last 23 years, or at least their constituent parts have.

I have to confess to playing Bass for the above outfit, who consist of 3 commited Blues (one of us was even brought up in Moss Side) and one scouser who can’t quite make his mind up. Now this is fine until you mention it whilst “working the audience” between masterpieces.

Invitably, and especially when playing in the nether regions of the GMR area, when we volunteer that we are all City supporters, and that basically we are just Oasis 25 years on, we get a few cat calls and “what a load of shite” comments. However, I like to think that, a bit like City, we have just been resting for the last 20 or so years and that any minute now things are going to start to happen and of course we let our playing speak for us.

All the members of the band have their footballing alter-egos which are discussed openly with the audience as part of the banter. These are mostly inherited based on reputation, looks or capabilities.

On drums we have Andy Dibble – OK most of the time but once a gig all hell breaks lose and then anything can happen.

On Rhythm Guitar we have Peter Swales – basically on the make and a terrible hair-cut…

Our scouser is named after Eric Cantona – as he is the one talented bastard in the band, and we all hate his guts.

…and modesty forbids me from proclaiming my own alter-ego other than to say he is loaded and a sex god.

Our roadie’s nickname is Ferremone Fred. This is because he is younger than the rest of us and seems to have a better knack at the old copping stakes. We put this down to a chemical imbalance as he’s not generally as good looking as the rest of us, and after all he’s only 21 so he can’t be anywhere near as experienced.

Now if you would like to take a look at The Interns and you enjoy good old R&B and music from the 60’s and 70’s, then we play pretty regularly in the GM area. In fact we quite often play the White Lion up in Disley which, I think, is not too far from Ashley’s home location. Let me know and perhaps we could combine this with an MCIVTA sesh.. (that’s rock star slang for session).

If I get a response I will post the gig list here. We have actually been offered a couple of sets at the social club but diaries and commitments have never quite made it come together.

I have even sung whilst Mike Summerbee’s kissed the top of my head.(Hair and height are not two attributes that I brag about). He was pissed at the time which apparently is not an unusual occurrence. In fact I think this gig provided one of my favorite moments at Maine Road when he came up to me, in my regular seat, the following Saturday to congratulate me on the previous night’s session and promise us lots of work. Nothing came of the promises of course but you should have seen the look on the faces of all the moaning buggers in the seats around me when Mike picked me out and dropped big hints about the pair of us getting pissed together the night before. Actually I never drink whilst I’m playing.

So let me know if you fancy a night of good old blue music. We’re a lot cheaper than Oasis and we actually look as though we enjoy what we are doing…

Paul Kent (


Curle charged with “adopting an aggressive shirt”, or some tripe reported by that fool from Looe.

It should be that Cornish yokel and his idiot linesman who are brought before the FA to explain how Asprilla was allowed to be on the pitch to play an influencial rôle in us losing 2 crucial points.

And for “adopting an ambivalent attitude”, instead of bottling the handball decision and blowing full time, only for one of his cronies to watch Faustino put the nut on Curle and proceed to report Keith for having an aggressive attitude?!

How is it when Symons is fouled and falls onto the ball we concede a penalty, yet when a player stops the ball going across the area with his hand in full view of the ref. all we get is the ref. wimping out of the decision?

Where do the FA get them from? Where do we get the FA from?

The justice, City are under serious threat of losing a key player on one hand, whilst the FA give United a leg up to the title by taking away the Newcastle bad boy on the other. Well thanks, that helps our cause no end.

And do you think they’ll follow the precedent they set with Cpt. Tosser and his moaning entourage after a match on Teeside; letting them off with a fine? Like S**t!

Instead of hauling our captain in front of the Lancaster Gate Alzheimers club, City should be receiving compensation for a string of glaringly pitiful decisions, or lack of them.

Whatever you do, stay Blue (C.F. Church Inn, Audenshaw)

Dave Clinton (


I would like to take this opportunity to dissociate myself and other “real” soocer fans in America from the attempt by a U.S. delegation to have the goals enlarged by 18 inches in width and height. I would also like to thank everyone who rightfully voiced their indignation that forced FIFA to scuttle even mere debate on the topic. Alan Rothenberg (head of the US Soccer Federation) and his allies are very good at getting adverts, sponsors, and stadia, but they don’t know jacks**t about the game (at least Rothenberg admits this). If anyone out there watched the “A-League” matches on Prime Network or HTS last year, they saw what rule changes did. This league gave teams 15 yards instead of 10 for free kicks. It meant that any schmo with a strong leg could score from one, instead of now where it takes a bit of skill to do such.

Basically, I am tired of the “tinkering” that the soocer elites in this country feel they need to do. When I was at the U. of Sussex, the Americans used to joke that baseball and American football are examples of improvements on cricket and rugby. This, however, is no joke. One of the reasons I love soccer is the fact that it isn’t so easy to score, and that one mistake in the third minute can doom your team for another 87. It creates drama, the kind of drama only found at the end of a football or basketball game (someone stop me before I start comparing it to poetry or a symphony like George Will would about baseball!!!)

Anyway, I want this sport to succeed at the professional level here. But if that takes changing the whole nature of the game and selling its soul through kick-ins and the like, I’d rather pay $5.00 a match to watch it at a bar on satellite.

Jesse McClure (


Neil McNab, Davie Dodds, hmm both Scotsmen. Quite a coincidence as I think Archie Gemmill is the ugliest bloke ever to put on a pair of footie boots. It does seem strange that some of the ugliest players seem to be Scottish Billy Bremner, Joe “Jaws” Jordon, Steve Nicol, Jim Leighton. Maybe it’s something to do with the haggis that they eat or something? I don’t mean to offend any Scots out there but you have to admit this does make a pretty frightning line up:

  1. Leighton
  2. Nicol
  3. Gary Gillespie
  4. Jordan
  5. McQueen
  6. Bremner
  7. McNab
  8. Gemmill
  9. Sharpe
  10. Dodds
  11. John Brown

Paul Coleman (


I can’t believe that nobody’s mentioned Eric Gates yet – or Ian Ure – or Gordon McQueen – or Matt Le Tissier – or Phil Thompson yet. Serious contenders all…

Jim Needham (


This has been bothering me for a while now. WTF is City’s nickname?

  • The 1972 Rothman’s Football Yearbook says it is “The Citizens”
  • The 1978 Boy’s Book of Facts says it is “City”
  • The 1996 Merlin Premier League Football Stickers album says it is “The Blues”

BTW I’m not a religious person but if there is someone out there who is, will they please start praying frantically for City’s survival?

Yours very worried,

David Yates, Maldon UK (


Saturday, March 9 1996

ASTON VILLA             4-2    QUEENS PARK RANGERS       28,221
EVERTON                 2-2    COVENTRY CITY             34,517
WEST HAM UNITED         2-0    MIDDLESBROUGH             23,850

Sat 09 Mar

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United      28     19    4    5     52    26        61
Manchester United     29     18    6    5     56    29        60
Liverpool             28     16    7    5     56    24        55
Aston Villa           30     16    7    7     46    28        55
Arsenal               29     13    9    7     39    27        48
Tottenham Hotspur     28     13    9    6     35    25        48
Everton               30     13    8    9     46    32        47
Chelsea               29     11   10    8     35    31        43
Nottingham Forest     28     11   10    7     38    39        43
Blackburn Rovers      29     12    6   11     43    34        42
West Ham United       30     12    6   12     35    39        42
Leeds United          27     11    5   11     33    39        38
Middlesbrough         30      9    7   14     28    41        34
Sheffield Wednesday   29      7    8   14     39    49        29
Coventry City         29      5   12   12     37    53        27
Wimbledon             28      6    8   14     40    56        26
Manchester City       29      6    8   15     21    43        26
Southampton           27      5   10   12     27    40        25
Queens Park Rangers   30      6    4   20     26    48        22
Bolton Wanderers      29      5    4   20     29    58        19

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to Eric, Paul (x3), Roly, Andy, David (x2), Tor-Kristian, Nigel, Neale, Nick, Jim, Jeremy & Jesse.

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 #175