Newsletter #181

We have a couple of match reports, both from the same perspective though, about one foot apart! There’s also a matchview from Norway as well as a piece on the way City train from the Platt Lane Correspondent. We have a Russian opinion of our new boy and some news of when the London Blues met the team and management.

For those that haven’t heard, Gary Flitcroft was sent off for Blackburn after only a couple of minutes of the game against Everton, for leading with the elbow in an aerial challenge; looked harmless enough on TV!

Despite the result we were entertained by Kinky yet again; you pay your money and something special may just happen – every game!

There are now 717 of us!

Next game, Manchester United at home, Saturday 6th April 1996


BOLTON WANDERERS (1) vs. (1) MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 30th March 1996

“We’ve got the best player in the land…”

This was a game both sides really needed to win, a crunch relegation battle and local pride at stake too. Arriving in Bolton at quarter past twelve, there was no problem finding a parking spot close to the ground so we headed into town for lunch and a beer or two. With none of the hostelries we passed looking very inviting, we ended up having a pizza (didn’t facny my usual spicy beef variety for some reason) and a couple of bottles of Italian beer in a pizzeria.

The Maestro

Having been to Burnden Park recently, I knew the importance of arriving in good time to find a good spot on the open terrace that is given over to visiting supporters. For those that don’t know, half of the away end is taken up by a Normid supermarket and half of what’s left has an obstructed view due to the building. A floodlight pylon further obscures the view from other parts of the terrace. It seemed that lots of other people had the same idea and the away end was already about a third full by the time we arrived a little after two. It was an experience to savour though, our last chance to stand at a Premier League match. Bolton’s new ground at Horwich, a 25,000 all seater, is already under construction although it doesn’t seem likely that Premiership football will be played there next season in any case.

City lined up pretty well as I’d expected: Immel in goal, Summerbee and Hiley as wing-backs, Curle and Symons as centre-backs, Brightwell man-marking Sasa Curcic, Bolton’s Serbian danger-man, a midfield of Lomas, Clough, Kinkladze and Brown and just Niall Quinn up front. On the bench were Buster Phillips, Michael Frontzeck and new boy Mikhail Kavelashvili who showed some nice ball-juggling skills during the warm-up. So, there was no place for the out of form Uwe Rösler; I assumed he’d been dropped but he apparently had a foot injury and may be back for the derby.

City got off to a great start, scoring in the second minute during their first attack. Hiley floated in a cross from the left flank and Quinn guided the ball in at the far post with a deft header. I think he was really just intending to lay the ball off for somebody to run on to but fortunately for us, the ball ended up in the net instead. Gavin Ward, the goalkeeper making his début for Bolton, hadn’t touched the ball until he had to pick it out of the net.

The rest of the first half was even but scrappy, as you might expect for a relegation battle such as this. The star players on each side, Bolton’s Curcic and City’s Kinkladze, both came in for some rough treatment; Alan Thompson himself admitted that he should have been sent off for a very late tackle that scythed Kinkladze to the ground. As it was, he got away with a yellow card, one of several in the match; I don’t think any of the booked players could have many complaints though.

The entertainment level rose at half time; first there was the obligatory half-time draw in which somebody won £2,000. A few seconds after the winning number was announced, a man leapt out of the stand and danced like David Pleat circa 1983 along the touchline holding his winning ticket. Given the announcer’s microphone, he had no problems conveying how pleased he was to the rest of the crowd. To follow that we had Bolton’s furry mascot. I often wonder why clubs bother with these Disney-like characters but there was something different about this one; the home fans were cheering him and even singing to him. As he came round in front of the City fans the usual stream of jeers started up; it wasn’t to last – this was a mascot with attitude. Whoever was inside the suit was a master of body language and soon had the whole ground cheering him on. You just had to be there really I suppose.

City kicked off the second half and had two great chances to increase the lead. Kinkladze, on top of his game again, jogged along the edge of the Bolton area inviting tackles before releasing a perfect ball to Summerbee whose powerful shot from 15 yards flew past the ‘keeper. I was just about to yell “GOAL!” when the ball flew past the post. How could he miss it? There followed a mad scramble in the Bolton area in which Symons had a shot blocked and Clough’s instinctive lunge sent the ball cannoning onto the underside of the bar and back out to safety. Surely a second goal would come? There was another priceless moment of skill from Kinkladze out on the right flank; a quick shuffle had Bolton left-back Jimmy Phillips tying himself in knots and falling over. Not content with this, Gio stood still, allowed Phillips to get to his feet and then beat him again. This had the away end in fits of laughter and was the cue for a new (?) chant, “We’ve got the best player in the land.”

As the minutes continued to tick away, Bolton got more and more desperate for an equaliser and threw more and more players forward. City’s defending became frantic and we completely lost our composure, hacking the ball away to nobody in particular, thus ensuring that the ball would return and put us under more pressure. Chief culprit here was Keith Curle, whose distribution throughout the game was quite appalling. He made some important blocks and tackles but I’d have to say that he’s been getting visibly worse with each game this month. Eventually the Bolton pressure paid off. Curcic’s initial attempt at a cross was blocked but he got it in at the second attempt; it deflected off the top of Summerbee’s head to the far post where McGinlay had escaped the attentions of Hiley and was able to head in unchallenged.

A minute later, City were down to 10 men. Summerbee aimed a waist-high challenge at Thompson (it looked worse at the time that on the TV replay actually) and was booked for the second time in the game. It was completely one way traffic now and Immel made a number of good saves, one in particular from Bergsson being absolutely world-class. Quinn was the only player to get into the Bolton half and although he gave 100% as usual, he was clearly exhausted. The only reason I can see why he wasn’t replaced by Kavelashvili was because of his aerial presence when defending corners. With a minute to go, Hiley limped off and was replaced by Frontzeck. In the end we were lucky to escape with a point in a match which we should comfortably have won. Alan Ball described the panicky second-half performance as “crap”. Can’t disagree with that but why didn’t he change something? God help us next week.

Paul Howarth (


BOLTON WANDERERS (1) vs. (1) MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 30th March 1996

My first impressions of the ground proved to be spot on, it looks like it’s been caught in some anomaly in the space-time continuum and transported lock, stock and barrel from 1950 to 1996. This would be almost believable if it weren’t for the NORMID CO-OP in the corner! I thought people were joking when they said that there was a supermarket in a corner of the ground but there really is a supermarket inside the ground. The Blues’ section had a diagonal yellow line right the way through it, on one side you can see the pitch and on the other you have a restricted view. It’s absolutely unbelievable, all I can say is that they must have been very, very hard up to allow them to build that!

City’s team saw Hiley in at left back and Quinn alone up front. Kavelashvili came over during the warm-up for some applause and, yes he does look like Nigel Clough but about 8 inches taller. City started by attacking the opposing end and before we knew it we’d scored. Hiley turned the right back and floated a superb cross over to the near post where Quinn twisted in mid-flight to nod it beyond the débutant Ward, whose first act in the Premier League was to pluck the ball from his own net. There was deathly silence for a few seconds, no one seemed to realise that it had gone in. Cue Niall Quinn’s disco pants!

It was a killer blow for Bolton and before long they were kicking Kinky continually, first of all Sellars, which elicited a mouthful from Gio who then aimed a tap at Sellars’ heels; luckily the ref missed it. A couple of minutes later Gio was out on their right wing with Thompson hurtling in like an express train; he moved lighteningly fast to the right and the ball must have been 3 yards away when Thompson smashed (literally) into Kinky’s departing legs. He saw yellow but we couldn’t really get a good view from our end. Later on MotD you got to see just how bad a tackle it was; it was truly awful and Bolton should have really been down to 10 men.

The game was very scrappy with balls continually going astray and looking more like a game of ping-pong. City seemed to settle for containment but had a chance to go two up after a goalmouth scramble when the ball came out to Brown who volleyed beautifully but unfortunately, straight at Ward. Bolton tried hard to equalise and put City under some pressure but all that resulted were two half chances, a Curcic shot which was excellently blocked by Curle and another over the bar.

Kit Shoots

The second half started with City playing football; within the space of ten minutes we should have been maybe 3 up. The first chance came when Lomas sent the ball right across the front of the goal; all it needed was a tap-in but it didn’t get one. Next came an excellent build up which ended with the Bolton defence attempting to shepherd Kinky onto his right foot and leaving Buzzer totally unmarked on the left of their area where Kinky thoughtfully placed the ball. In he steamed and blasted the ball beyond Ward; goal we thought, but then realised that it had missed the back of the net; a dire miss. The third chance was another goalmouth scramble with Clough hitting the bar and the ball bouncing down to be cleared.

Kinky seemed to be getting fed up and decided to show some of the Bolton defenders what footie is all about. He chose the lacklustre Phillips (left back); he stood on the ball on the byeline and watched as Phillips jumped around trying to get him to move, suddenly Kinky shot off to his left with Phillips in hot pursuit. I still don’t know what he did but suddenly he turned through 180 and shot back again, it seemed like Phillips took maybe three paces before it dawned on him that Kinky wasn’t there any more! He needn’t have worried, Kinky was waiting for him at the position they’d started out at, foot on the ball and hands on hips. He then gestured at the ball to say “want to try again?” This got great whoops of delight from the assembled Blues but it’s a dangerous thing to do making Premier League players look utterly stupid.

Bolton looked like they’d never score but neither did City with just Niall up front, who was kanckered by this time. Suddenly however, Bolton scored, Curcic lost his marker (Brightwell), crossed and Buzzer deflected the ball to the back post where McGinlay scored. A minute later and our day seemed ruined when Buzzer jumped in on a Bolton player and saw red (card). He had already (rightly) got yellow for pulling earlier in the game but having said that, MotD showed the challenge to have been much less serious than it looked at the time.

City ran around after the ball and we all wondered why Ball did nothing, but maybe his options were limited with Kav, Phillips and Frontzy on the bench. Immel was our saviour making two excellent saves, one of which was absolutely world class. Somehow we hung on and in the end we were lucky to get a point after having enough chances to have finished the game.

I hope that Bally plays two up front against United; Quinn was excellent but I lost count of the number of times he won the ball (almost every time) and had no City player within 20 yards of him. Whatever, Lomas is out so I reckon Mazzarelli will be in, and hopefully Brightwell out in favour of Kav. If we play with one up front next week we’ll never score and I’m quite certain that United will.

Immel (8) Three excellent saves, two in the game and the third our bacon.
Buzzer (6) What a daft challenge, he could almost have lost us the game with one moment of madness; looks less like a right back every week.
Hiley (7) Gives us lots of width on the left but my feeling was that he should have picked up McGinlay for their goal.
Symons (7) Covered well but needs to come and distribute the ball more.
Curle (4) This was a truly awful performance, interspersed with a couple of crucial tackles; his distribution had to be seen to be believed, the entire City contingent groaned when he got the ball. We should have cut him out and given it straight to Bolton.
Brightwell (6) Marked Curcic very well but lost him for their goal and his distribution is on a par with Curle’s. One excellent example was when the ball had been neatly stroked around midfield only to arrive at Brightwell’s feet to be immediately hoofed upfield, dismal stuff. The only thing Brightwell can do is stop someone else getting the ball, if he gets it he’s no idea what to do with it.
Lomas (6) Subdued, he looks agitated when there wasn’t an obvious pass on but it is relegation time!
Brown (6) Ran hard and tackled well but a bit below par.
Clough (8) Ran well, made some good moves off the ball and some crucial tackles.
Gio (8) Several pieces of artistry including the ‘piss take’ but failed to kill them off. Looked extremely displeased by some of the tackles and Summerbee’s woeful miss.
Quinn (8) great goal, excellent performance, won everything played into him, but what’s the point when no one is within a nautical mile of you?



I don’t really know what I should say. Happy to get the draw or disappointed by losing two points? Where did this put us? Thanks to Spurs & QPR, we still have some breathing space down there…

Some things to be commented:

  • The referee; How on earth could Thompson stay on the pitch after thatbrutal tackle on Gio? If the name was Jones or Dicks, the red card wouldhave been shown. It was one of the most violent tackles I have seen.Nothing to say about Summberbee’s dismissal, fair enough.
  • Why play Quinn as a lone striker when we are down to ten men and we can’tget outside the penalty area? Quinn worked hard but should have been takenoff some time before the end. As Bolton had to come forward, they leftenormous spaces for City to counter attack, but Quinn didn’t have the pace totake advantage. Both Phillips and Kavelashvili were left on the bench, theywould have been a great threat to Bolton. All right, Kavelashvili may not be100% fit, but why was he on the bench then?
  • City seem to play without any system to follow away from home. Someplayers don’t know their positions. It’s sometimes horrible to watch. Whatis AB telling the players in training? Are they following any system at all?Considering the players available, this team should never been in relegationworries. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: AB will never takeManchester City any closer to trophies than we have been for the past 10years. AB is probably a great motivator. He is a “workaholic” and is verycommitted to his job, but he lacks tactical knowledge.However, I am not doubting that he can “save” us from the drop. I don’tknow if “save” is the right word really, as he was the one who got us into troublein the first place.

Here are my ratings on the players:

Immel 8 – Rescued a point for us with a magnificent save ten minutes from time. Can’t be blamed for the goal.
Summerbee 6 – Got himself into trouble on many occasions. Stupid tackle which lead to the red card.
Hiley 7 – I would have given him “8” if he wasn’t to blame for the Bolton goal. Left McGinlay to score the equalizer.
Symons 7 – Good defensive display, but poor passing.
Curle 9 – Great defending. Kept the defence tight and worked ever so hard. Well timed tackles. Man of the match.
Brightwell 7 – Marked Curcic out of the game, apart from the situation where he allowed Curcic to deliver the cross to McGinlay… Who scored!
Lomas 7 – Priceless work in midfield. Did well when he came forward; delivered good crosses.
Kinkladze 8 – Some outstanding stuff. Looked likely to create something every time he got the ball. A bit too quiet in the second half.
Brown 8 – Ran his boots off on the day. Made some important tackles in midfield. Played with great confidence. Who misses Filtcroft?
Clough 7 – Should have scored midway into the second half, but crashed the shot against the bar instead. Not too involved, but his experience is vital for City.
Quinn 7 – Fine goal, but got too little support upfront.

Another thriller coming up next weekend. The game against the Rags will be televised over here. I don’t know if my nerves can bear a game like that. I almost had a breakdown during the game against Bolton, so I have no idea what it’s going to be like next time. Hopefully, we will not let the Rags have a go at us like last year. I have a good feeling for this game, as they won’t get away with some biased refereeing this time (I hope…).

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


Steve Lomas has received a one match ban for his sending-off at West Ham; it will keep him out of the derby match on 6th April.

John Foster played for the reserves on Thursday night in their 1-1 draw with Bradford City.

Mikhail Kavelashvili trained with City this morning (Friday) but (unusually) the session was behind closed doors. I wonder if they’ve got any surprise moves up their sleevs for the Bolton game?

The Mole


Scott Hiley broke a bone in his foot towards the end of Saturday’s game at Bolton and will be out for the rest of the season. This is particularly bad news as he has laid on Niall Quinn’s (and City’s) last 3 goals.

The Mole


Following his dismissal at Bolton, Nicky Summerbee will be suspended for the home match against Sheffield Wednesday on 13th April. Depending on how seriously the referee viewed his two booking offences, Summerbee may also miss the clash with Aston Villa at Villa Park a fortnight later.

The Mole


(Your training ground correspondent)

In response to Martin Ford’s enquiry in MCIVTA 179 about the training methods used by the coaching staff I would tender the following observations. I must make it quite clear however that I am not there 100% of the time and therefore my comments may not be complete.


The people involved with the first team players are Alan Ball, Asa Hartford, Tony Book and Alex Stepney (goalkeepers).


After a Saturday game most of the players arrive on the Monday at around 11.30am, some may have already arrived and have gone for treatment. Last week, after the Soton game, the players were sent to the Galleon hotel/leisure complex for saunas, swimming and relaxation. Occasionally, the team remain in the complex watching videos of the previous match, presumably discussing tactics. If neither of the above takes place then they appear to do “light” training for an hour or so.


The rest of the week’s schedule depends on whether there are any midweek games. If we are away on Wednesday night the team often leave on Tuesday afternoon, otherwise Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday are normal training days. The players have Thursday off.


On a typical day the lads arrive at 10.00, emerge from the changing room about 10.30 and go straight over to the pitch. This has usually been set out with plastic markers, portable goal posts etc. by the ground staff. At the moment Tony Book starts off the proceedings with Asa Hartford, Alan Ball arriving a little later on. First of all they do warm up exercises stretching, trotting and, jogging for about twenty minutes. A variety of activities can follow: heading tennis, dribbling around markers, keeping the ball off the ground, “piggy in the middle” passing games and much more complicated reaction games. By this time Alan Ball has usually arrived and then the “ball” work starts – excuse the pun. Two teams, defence and attack, play each other at one-touch, two-touch or even three-touch football over about a third of the pitch. The session end with penalties against the goalkeepers or with cornering practice with attack versus defence again. By 12.30 it’s all over and the players get changed and either go for a free lunch in the Platt Lane Complex or leave.


A while ago the agent for one of our continental trialists said that he visited many of the top teams in Europe and that he was impressed with our training methods and facilities. One surprising, and notable, difference between training under Brian Horton and Alan Ball is the way that Alan Ball doesn’t get them to practice shooting. Under Horton they practised shooting a lot but under Ball they concentrate on passing. From my own observations the lads seem to train hard and enjoy themselves.

Locked Out

Friday 29th March the first team squad trained at Maine Road behind locked doors rather than at the training ground. Alan Ball said that he was fed up with the stories being invented by freelance journalists and getting reproduced by the tabloid press. Rösler wasn’t training today and when he arrived at Platt Lane he said that he had an injured toe and couldn’t kick a ball (no comments please) and he was just going for treatment.


Garry Flitcroft was in the stand at the youth team game on Tuesday night. He clearly still has friends at Maine Road and loyalties to the club.


It was reported this morning on GMR that the roof of the Platt Lane Complex is being developed as allotments for the players to use during their recreation time. Kit Symons was interviewed and said that he for one would be taking up the offer of a rooftop allotment as he found gardening very therapeutic. This was of course an April fool as the player allotments are in fact at the far end of the car park completely away from the complex itself, but it made a nice story 8-))

Neale Hayward-Shott (


For the first time in four years the London Branch managed to arrange their social to coincide with City playing in London. The night before the West Ham game some 80 plus Blues gathered at the players’ hotel to spend some time with the squad.

Owing to the horrendous traffic jams the team coach didn’t arrive until gone 7pm, so the players were sent to get their evening meal. The expectant group of fans were joined instead by the management team and directors.

Alan Ball, Asa Hartford (our Branch President), Tony Book, and Roy Bailey along with Colin Barlow, John Dunkerley and Bernard Halford mingled amongst the fans, answering questions, signing autographs and posing for photos.

Of course this was the day we’d just sold Garry Flitcroft and everyone was keen to know what had gone on.

Colin Barlow suggested a Q&A session for everyone so we could all hear what had gone on. Alan Ball took the question on Flitcroft, stating that the offer had come from Blackburn and City hadn’t been seeking to sell him. However, Flitcroft was willing to speak to them and the offer made to him was extremely generous. Also, the transfer fee, which was to be paid ‘up front’ was considered about right. The decision was left entirely in Flitcroft’s hands at the end of the day and off he went.

Further questions followed regarding the new Georgian signing – Asa prefering to call him ‘Gio’s Mate’ rather than attempt to pronounce his name – as well as plans to move to the National Stadium – and the future of Quinn and Rösler (“they remain under contract”) !

Just turned 8pm and the players finally joined us much to everyone’s delight. They were very accommodating, willing to chat and be pestered. Queuing for a photo with with Gio was like waiting to meet Santa. He looked slightly bemused by all this attention and the constant flash of cameras.

What struck me was how young they all looked (or am I getting old?) and how appreciative they seemed of the fans.

Obviously they had to go to bed early, and so left just before 9pm. We managed however, to keep Uwe Rösler behind to present our Supporter of the Year award.

I spent a good deal of time talking to Bernard Halford and John Dunkerley and later Alan Ball in the Residents’ Bar. It’s a good job none of us were due to play the following day! Though the way some of the team played at West Ham you’d have thought they’d been up half the night as well.

I was impressed by Bally’s honesty and enthusiasm for the game in general and particularly Manchester City. He thinks the fans are incredible and believes he can build a team around the more exceptional players like Kinkladze much as he did with Le Tissier at Southampton. He sees Michael Brown as one to watch “he’s gonna be a star.” Equally, they are wishing Buster’s life away so that he might broaden out a bit. Roy Bailey’s fitness regime has already seen Phillips put on 10 pounds.

John Dunkerely was very proud of the Platt Lane complex and said it was proving a great success both on matchdays and with the local community. There are plans to build an indoor arena on the site.

Bernard Halford seemed impressed by the strength of support here in London and just how many of us get to most of the games.

All in all – a great evening enjoyed by every fan I spoke to. Off the pitch things seem to coming right for City and the right attitude seems to be there amongst everyone involved. Of course all failings on the pitch were displayed the following day, a timely reminder of what really counts and where a lot more hard work is needed yet.

Julian Cooke (


Hope this is of some interest. I sent an email to the Russian football email service re Kavlashvilly.

From: Rybnikov Konstantin
To: T.Farrar
Subject: Kavelashvili
Date: 29 March 1996 01:50

He is Georgian, but played last year (two?) for Spartak (Vladikavkaz), Osetian team. Kavelashvili is very skilled technically, as most good Georgian players. However, he is not fast and he has no strong shoot. Kavelashvili scored several beautiful goals in previous championship. This player is tough enough in struggle and sometimes very rough. If I remember correctly he received one or two red cards for these reasons in the previous season. Sometimes he looks like wonder-worker (unless he is being attacked by defenders). I watched him carefully in four games: two against Spartak Moscow and two against Lokomotiv Moscow. Against Lokomotiv he looked insipid. Against Spatrak Moscow, especially in the former game,- very good. Lokomotiv played from defence (and won both games 1:0 and 4:1), Spartak tried to attack (and lost the first game 1:2, the second 1:1). It should be remarked that usually Kavelashvili plays nice football against week teams and teams with week defence.

Tony Farrar (


April’s issue was on the news stands on Saturday and is graced by ‘Gio’ under the cryptic headline “Scorch Gio” (Scorpio?). There’s more ‘Kinky’ news inside with a double page spread on ‘that’ goal entitled ‘Unbelievable’. Some of the new ‘GIO’ range makes an appearance; this is a T-shirt with a Georgian flag with ‘Gio Sport’ and ‘Manchester City’ underneath; also available as a small logo rather than the full-chest version.

Once again there are three main interviews: the first one is with Michael Brown, the second with Scott Hiley (‘Hiley Rated’) and the third with Alex Stepney. The latter is an interesting one with Stepney rating the new City set-up highly, especially as it’s run by ex-players with an eye for the game. He seems fairly bitter about his post-playing treatment by the Rags and implies that they don’t care about ex-players. Hiley is another player who feels he has been badly treated, this time by the larger-than-life Birmingham City manager Barry Fry. His transfer to City was really a lifeline and he’s keen to do well.

The other major article is about our scouting system and its overhaul to get it fit to compete with the other clubs in the area. There are also pieces on: Rösler who has made a video for the Goethe Institute in Manchester (they promote the German language throughout the world, mainly by encouraging people to learn it); and on Mike Pickering, famous Blue and principal mover behind the Manchester band M People. He describes a scene close to many MCIVTA-ers hearts where he phones home from Japan, gets the receiver placed next to the radio and stays on the line for the entire Blackburn 3-2 match (last season)!

A new column is about Blues who have gone to extraordinary lengths (of deception) to attend games. The end result is quite close to a Why Blue.



Martin Ford inquired in 178 about the origin of Gary F’s nickname ‘Flipflop’. Yes – it was at the League Cup game at Bristol Rovers some years back – and I think Paul H can confirm this, as I think he was in Rovers’ sumptuous and well-appointed away end.

Being Blue through and through, but living in Bristol, I ended up with the Gasheads (as Rovers are known locally, from the gasworks that were near their old ground, Eastville Stadium in Bristol). There was an added spice in this, as we watch and support Bristol City as our local team, so we were truly in amongst the enemy.

Flipflop, the moniker, comes courtesy of a t**ttish announcer they have at Trumpton (alias, Twerton Park in Bath, where the Gas are exiled), by the name of Keith Valle. He comes on before the match and at half-time, to incite the gasheads, and generally make a complete t**t of himself. He also runs the PA.

Anyway, when GF came on as substitute, Valle goes (something like),

“And, coming on as substitue for City, is Gary Flit, Flip, Flip, FLIPFLOP” … cue loud applause, derision, etc etc.

In fact this guy has been dumped by Rovers twice for ‘inappropriate’ announcements. One was a comment on Bristol City’s winger, Junior Bent; I never got to hear what he actually said, but I believe it was a play on the word Bent. He was reinstated for the next season.

Also at the League Cup game, after his half-time prattlings, he retired to wherever he is closeted during the game, but … forgot to turn his mike off. Result, all his deranged mutterings, eg, “Come on Gas”, and “S**t, hit the woodwork” were broadcast to the whole ground for a good 20 minutes, until they realised what was going on.

To my surprise, having allied ourselves to the City half of Bristol to get our local football fix, we discovered that the rivalry between the two clubs is very, very intense; to the extent that a few years back, a few City fans tried to burn down the ‘grandstand’ at Trumpton Park. Interesting, given that the average combined home gate is only about 10 to 11 thousand, except for local derbies, and the less local Swindon derby.

We plumped for City, as the Gas had left Bristol by the time my lads were old enough to be introduced to the terraces; as City play in Red, I have to just stick to “Come on City”“Come on you Reds” would stick in the gullet somewhat.

Jeremy Poynton (


Writing to inquire as to whether or not this Saturday’s game against United will be televised on satellite or not. i am assuming that a match of this sort would get all the attention it deserves, so if I am correct, I would like to know what station I can find it on here in the States and when K.O. time is (time difference is 8 hours, is it not?). Reply personally and thanks for your time.

Rene’ Gonzalez (


Saturday, March 30 1996

BLACKBURN ROVERS        0-3    EVERTON                   29,468
BOLTON WANDERERS        1-1    MANCHESTER CITY           21,050
LEEDS UNITED            0-1    MIDDLESBROUGH             31,778
QUEENS PARK RANGERS     3-0    SOUTHAMPTON               17,615
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR       3-1    COVENTRY CITY             26,808
WIMBLEDON               1-0    NOTTINGHAM FOREST          9,807

Sat 30 Mar

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Manchester United     32     20    7    5     59    30        67
Newcastle United      30     20    4    6     55    28        64
Liverpool             31     17    8    6     60    27        59
Aston Villa           32     16    8    8     46    30        56
Arsenal               32     15    9    8     44    28        54
Tottenham Hotspur     32     15    9    8     43    32        54
Everton               33     14    9   10     53    38        51
Blackburn Rovers      32     14    6   12     47    39        48
Nottingham Forest     31     12   11    8     40    41        47
Chelsea               32     11   12    9     37    35        45
West Ham United       32     13    6   13     39    44        45
Leeds United          30     11    6   13     35    43        39
Middlesbrough         33     10    9   14     30    42        39
Sheffield Wednesday   32      9    8   15     43    51        35
Wimbledon             32      8    9   15     47    63        33
Manchester City       33      7   10   16     27    50        31
Southampton           31      6   10   15     29    46        28
Queens Park Rangers   33      7    6   20     31    50        27
Coventry City         32      5   12   15     38    59        27
Bolton Wanderers      33      7    5   21     36    63        26

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to Tony, Jeremy, The Mole, Tor-Kristian Karlsen, Neale, Julian, Paul & Rene.

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 #181