Newsletter #187

Some opinion, some info and humour with some pleas for help thrown in.

Next game, Aston Villa away, Saturday 27th April 1996


I don’t even want to touch the relegation issue – it’s out of our hands, now… However, a few points about AB. I’m 20. I am not a football historian – so, please, could someone tell us what sort of a player he was before he became a manager? I’ve read a couple of things about him – mostly he is “tigerish Alan Ball in midfield” which leads me to suspect something. In the main, the team this season has been disastrous in attack and heart-stoppingly, err, “free” in defence (Symons, Brightwell and Hiley honourable exceptions). Mostly, our best moments have come from midfield – not only Kinkladze (obvious) but also the improvement of Brown, the odd Clough pass and the occasional tackle. Is it plausible that Ball would make an excellent coach for “tigerish” midfielders (i.e. Lomas, Brown etc.) but is currently in the wrong job as he can’t cope with different temperaments in a team? Would this help explain why Kinkladze, Rösler, Quinn (and Phillips?) have under-achieved so drastically this season? I dunno. Just an idea.

Cheers – and thanks everyone for the 5-a-side as well, it was great.

P.S. Did anyone know that AB played in the World Cup once? He doesn’t like talking about it, you see…

Roly Allen (


Michael Brown has been called up for the England U21 squad today (Friday). Last time we had a player in the squad (John Foster), he dislocated his shoulder in training … fingers crossed for Brownie!

The Mole


(Your training ground correspondent)

‘A’ & ‘B’ Results

Two games were played, 20th April. The ‘A’ team, which is reported to be going to be dropped next season, lost 4-0 to Blackpool. The ‘B’ team beat Liverpool 3-1. I watched the ‘B’ team match, which was of a higher standard than usual, with about 200 other supporters enjoying the performances from both sides.

Management Style

Keeping my eyes and ears open it is obvious that there is great deal of disillusionment with Ball’s style of management. This comes strongly from among the lads who travel to the away games, watch the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams and regularly visit the training ground, i.e. the core supporters.

In reply to Dan Rigby’s question in MCIVTA 185, I have no inside information as to the Ball vs. Rösler and Quinn situation but I do have some comments on Ball’s style of man management. In the week prior to the derby and the Wimbledon game the first team trained in “secret” at the British Airways ground in Timperley. Several regulars surprised Ball by finding out where the team was and going to watch. Apparently they did exactly the same routine as they would normally have done at Platt Lane.

Last week the team were back at Platt Lane. Monday and Wednesday they were training with Asa and Tony Book. Rösler and Quinn seemed quite happy and enjoyed the sessions but Alan Ball was only noticeable by his absence. Apparently he was in his office but had more important things to do. Possibly he was planning how he will spend the £10 million that Chairman Lee is reported to have promised him. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday there was no training

One source, very close to the one of the players, said that Ball was very firmly in the driving seat and would certainly see out his contract as manager. His style of management is authoritarian, even despotic, and inflexible. He is boss and whatever he says goes. The main trouble is that Ball does not seem to realise that footballers are individuals and that in order to get the best out of them some may need to be bullied but others need to be coaxed. He appears not to take anyone into his confidence, for example he commented to Paul Hince of the MEN “I don’t care a damn what they (Rösler and Quinn) think, next game one of them will be left out.” Both Rösler and Quinn are articulate men; it was interesting to note what Quinn said after he was dropped for last week’s game. “I’ll fight all the way for Manchester City in the next two games but in the summer I’ll want answers from Alan Ball as to where I went wrong, and in turn I’ll tell him where he went wrong.” The mind boggles!!!

I understand that for each match the squad all kit up before the game, go out onto the pitch to warm up and only when they come back into the dressing room for their last minute pep talk are they actually told who is playing.

Whether we stay up or go down we seem to be stuck with Ball, and I don’t suppose that it would do very much good to change manager yet again. I would however suggest that the whole club would benefit if Ball went on a decent man management course. At the moment there are clearly tensions in the dressing room and they appear to be showing on, as well as off, the pitch.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


The time has come for some plain speaking. Uwe Rösler is a favourite of the fans but he should not under any circumstances criticise publicly the decisions of the manager, especially at time like this. He should fight for his place with his performances and not toss out some spiel to a radio reporter after the match i.e. “I play for the fans not the manager, I don’t think I should be dropped, I think I have been playing well in the second half of the season.” The fact is, he has not set the Premiership alight this season. I’m not saying he hasn’t tried, but it’s goals he’s there for and nothing else.

The decision to drop him for Kavelashvili was in my opinion the wrong one; to bring someone in at this crucial stage of the season and hope he settles down straight away is ludicrous, look how long it to Kinkladze to get going. Quinn and Rösler should be the strike force until the end of the season, with the Georgian on the bench to get the feel of the Premiership. If ever there was a time for the whole club to pull together it’s got to be now. Uwe should do his talking out on the pitch when given the chance and not in the press. If he’s got a problem with Ball he should sort it out at the end of the season.

P.S. I also think Ball should shut his mouth about Uwe and if there is a problem, sort it out in the manager’s office, not the press!

Terry Thiele (


Can you help please? I am planning to visit the UK from the US for the first time this year during May and I would dearly like to see the Blues in their last game against Liverpool (relegation issue notwithstanding). I called the ticket office and they are sold out. Is there any other way to get a ticket? Would it be appropriate to put out a plea on my behalf on the next MCIVTA? Whatever you could do would be most appreciated. Thanks,

Paul Muschamp (CONCERT/RSMPO03/


I know that this is not ‘Exchange and Mart’ but I have been left short of a ticket for the last game of the season. If anyone has a spare ticket I would happily be a willing buyer. Please respond via E-Mail or on mobile 0973-745578.

Martin Reynolds (100633.416@CompuServe.COM)


Down in the Dell, something had stirred
Who scored the first? Who scored the third?
Poor lads from Owd Trafford were all at sea
Those bloody shirts made them invisible you see.

Some silly bugger hung one on the net.
The goals were invisible, the froggy upset.

The moral of the story is sad but true,
if tha’ wants to see tha’ team
Dress ’em up in blue !

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Malcolm Plaiter (


Club Questions:

Thanks to Roly, The Mole, Neale, Terry, Paul, Martin and Malcom.

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.

Steve Bolton,

Newsletter #187