Newsletter #205

We have a match report from Martin about that game last Wednesday and in the meantime, England have reached the last four. There’s also some City news, official news, opinion and a Why Blue. So far we have only had one design for an MCIVTA T-shirt; if anyone else fancies trying their hand at designing one, please have a go. Designs should either be sent electronically to Svenn Hanssen ( or, by snailmail to Paul ( who’ll then scan them in. One proviso: don’t use the club crest.

This one reaches 842

Next game, Athlone Town FC, Friday 19 July 1996


ENGLAND vs. HOLLAND, Wembley Stadium, Wednesday 19th June 1996

Oh what a night, that must have been the best England have played in a very, very long time. Who knows, if they can keep it up then it could be ‘it’s coming home, it’s coming home, Euro 96 trophy coming home!!!!!’

This time it was a bit of a lie in, only setting off at 12:30 and yes your alcoholic correspondent had some more ale for the journey (and for those who have seen me, you’ll now know how I’ve developed my “physique”). So it was once more rolling down the motorways, drinking the miles go past. One or two journeys is OK, but the trip gets a bit monotonous on the third leg. The sooner they decide to build a national stadium elsewhere the better. Just think lads (and lasses) come next May we’ll all be making the journey south for our glorious FA Cup final win! Upon arriving at our customary parking spot we decided to look for an open pub; honest guys it was to watch the France/Bulgaria match! Well OK another coupla pints sunk. After seeing the French beat Bulgaria, off we trooped to the Stadium. Knowing the results we knew that the necessary point would mean us playing Spain. I was pretty sure that both teams would settle for a draw that would mean both teams getting through. I wasn’t expecting a thriller, more a safe, boring draw which would enable both teams to qualify without over-exerting themselves.

Once again around the stadium there was a happy mix of English white and Dutch orange, and not a hint of trouble in sight; everyone was mixing together well. The steps leading upto ‘our’ turnstile were awash with orange; funny I could have sworn this was an English section only. Once more inside the ground everyone was mixing quite happily. Getting to our seat, we could see loads of Dutch fans all spread throughout the ground.

By now the team selection was becoming predictable with Venables sticking to the same team.

    Neveille    Adams   Southgate   Pearce
    McManaman   Gascoigne   Ince    Anderton
               Shearer     Sheringham

The game started as expected with both teams probing for weaknesses but we could see that England seemed to have the more positive attitude and began to press. However, the warnings were still there with Bergkamp missing a clear-cut opportunity. England started turning the screw though, and with a good bit of inter-play earned a penalty when Ince was up-ended by Blind. Shearer, with his confidence renewed, stepped up and put the ball past Van Der Sar. So 1-0 and my initial thoughts after the jubilation of the goal was whether England could hang on (I’ve got bitter memories of that November night in ’93 when Holland came back from 2-0 to earn a 2-2 draw in the World Cup qualifier) for at least the point. However, this time England were determined to win, never gave Holland a chance to settle and seemed to be dominating the game. Despite all the good work England only went in 1-0 up.

The second half I’d expected Holland to get back into the game, especially as Scotland were leading 1-0, but they were just unable to do so as England continued their domination. Everyone in the team was committed, it wasn’t just the forward players playing well. England started to press even harder and from a resulting Gascoigne corner Sheringham headed home to make it 2-0; the fans went wild with celebration. Holland just didn’t have a reply as England continued to dominate the game. The third English goal came after a neat bit of play on the wing between Gascoigne and McManaman, which led to Gascoigne feeding the ball through to Sheringham, whose dummy shot threw the Dutch defence before he rolled the ball to an unmarked Shearer at the far post who struck the ball home. This type of footie was the stuff dreams are made of; for all the Dutch artistry they had no reply to the way the England were playing the game, England never let them compete.

Just as we thought things couldn’t get any better Sheringham rounded the continuing celebrations with his second and England’s fourth. Anderton cut in from the left and unleashed a shot which took a deflection and Van Der Sar could only parry the effort straight into Sheringham’s path; he reacted first to stroke the ball home. So with a little over 30 minutes to play England had wrapped the game up; they had shown the world how we can play the game.

With the job done, TV substitued Ince (who was booked and will miss the quarter-final), Shearer and Sherringham with Platt, Barmby and Fowler respectively. Even with the mass changes England were still a force and continued to dominate the Dutch. Barmby should have had a penalty when he was brought down in the box but maybe the ref was showing some leniency. Just when it looked like Holland were on their way out with Scotland leading Switzerland, up popped Kluivert to nutmeg Seaman. Even at this stage it seemed more likely that Enlgand might score again rather than Holland. You could see the tension on the Dutch fans’ faces, there was a growing realisation that they could be on their way home. As it turned out though England eased home in the final few minutes, enjoying the moment; this certainly made up for the disappointment of Holland eliminating us from USA ’94. As it turned out, the goal from Kluivert was just enough to carry them forward and this news was met with the loudest Dutch cheer of the night.

After saluting the England team we made our way out. Once more the surrounds were awash with white and orange and again not a hint of trouble. There was plenty of handshaking and smiling outside, the Dutch had to admit they were beaten by the better team.

England played absolutely superbly, they never allowed Holland to settle or build real potential threats. Let’s just hope that they can continue this form until the final!!!

I’m not bothering with individual marks as all the team played well. The only downside was Southgate’s unecessary booking; he’s one of six walking the discipliary tightrope.

So here’s one very happy England supporter amongst many more millions.

Martin Ford (


City will not be entering the Anglo-Italian Cup this coming season according to Francis Lee, who says in the July edition of CITY magazine that “It’s far more important to concentrate on getting ourselves out of this League than b*****ing around in Italy…!” I’m personally glad to hear this as I’d like my first foray into Europe with the Blues to be in a rather more prestigious tournament! The Francis Lee quote is from a substantial, frank interview with the chairman which also covers his thoughts on relegation, plans for the future, Alan Ball, City’s loyal fans, Kinky and Kave plus our prospects for next season.

Matchday prices for next season have also been announced, together with season ticket prices for anybody yet to buy/renew theirs. These are as follows, all in pounds sterling:

Block                                  Season Ticket     Matchday
Main Stand, B & C                           320.00         16.00
Main Stand, B & C, Junior/OAP               235.00         16.00
Main Stand, G (OAPs only)                    95.00          5.00
Main Stand, other Blocks                    295.00         15.00
Main Stand, other Blocks, Junior/OAP        225.00         15.00
Kippax Upper                                285.00         14.00
Kippax Upper, Junior/OAP                    205.00         14.00
Kippax Lower                                235.00         11.00
Kippax Lower, Junior/OAP                    165.00         11.00
Platt Lane Stand                            240.00         11.00
Platt Lane Stand, Junior/OAP                210.00         11.00
Family Stand                                175.00          8.00
Family Stand, Junior/OAP                    130.00          6.00
North Stand                                 225.00         10.00
North Stand, Junior/OAP                     155.00          7.00

There will also be a special area in blocks K & L of the North Stand for Junior Blues and their families at a slightly cheaper rate than the Family Stand. The area will include its own souvenir shop, refreshment stall, pre-match entertainment etc. Places are limited to 250 and applications must be received before the end of July. For further information, call City on 0161 224 5000.

Paul Howarth (


I have it from a good source that:

  1. John Foster is having talks with Brian Horton at Huddersfield.
  2. Oasis may be playing in Cork, the night of the City match.

I think the first item is definitely true but the second isn’t confirmed yet. I should be able to find out if these rumours are true from a friend soon.

Geoff St George (


There’s not much movement at Maine Road; the manager it seems hasn’t been around for more than a few minutes, and with Euro 96 still on the go everyone’s looking in that direction. However, here are the answers to a couple of questions:


Are City going to be using squad numbers in next season’s Nationwide League? (I believe last year they were optional in the Endsleigh League)

Kevin Hopkins (pkh@Cs.Nott.AC.UK)

This isn’t clear at the moment; our contact has gone to find out. I should know by next week.


Is there any news on when Paul Lake’s testimonial game is likely to be and who the opponents will be?

Paul Howarth (

This is still being organised. The opponents and the date have still to be decided.


I have also been pursuing some of the questions that have remained unanswered. Briefly this is all I have:

  • There is no news of the 3rd Georgian or for that matter, any other impendingtransfer. Expect to see some movement here when Euro 96 is finished.
  • The new shirt is to unveiled late July. Possibly on the 23rd.
  • Finally, and most importantly, City are not entering the Anglo Italian Cup.This decision was made because trips to Italy would be seen as a distractionfrom the first objective of regaining a Premiership place.

Steve Bolton (


I thought I would share a thing that happened to me in the pub last Thursday. Enjoying a pint in my local (Kingfisher, Poynton) who should walk in but Mr Rösler and a friend. Being stoked up on Dutch Courage I wobbled over to say hello. It turned out Uwe’s friend was a commentator for German TV, who didn’t speak much English. Apparently Uwe and Eike Immel have been doing some commentary and analysis for RTL, who are based (as are the German team) at Mottram Hall Hotel, just down the road in Prestbury. Feeling pretty confident by now, I asked what Uwe thought of Alan Ball. He paused, took a sip of his pint, then gave me a bit of a grin, and said nothing. “Oh… like that is it?” “Yes” says Uwe. I ask the same question to Mr. RTL. He replies “Bally…” followed by a hand gesture that seems to imply that Mr. Ball and his right hand are best of friends.

So, there you have it, even the Germans think Alans a w****r!

Russell Town (


Working at Macclesfield Town I have met hundereds of Germans (mostly asking me why the training sessions have been cancelled, as if I know). I have been wearing my City shirt as a demonstration to Berti Vogts that he should pick Rösler. Many of the German fans have either looked at my shirt and said ‘Uwe Rösler Ha Ha Ha’ or been wearing blue themselves.

P.S. There was never any broken glass or stones on the pitch as the German spokesman said there was; they used the same trick in USA 94 to make people feel sorry for them.


After all the hullaballu during the season I thought we might have some inkling by now as to the make-up of the squad for the upcoming season. After all the first pre-season game is in approximately 4 weeks. All I’m reading is the syrup-coated palliatives available from CarlingNet who provide info like “Kernaghan is trying to regain his place”, “Beagrie accepts the Challenge” and “Edghill on the way back” etc. Is anyone going to be traded? I’m beginning to have my doubts. Surely by now the club has a plan – surely they are floating names of available players around the league? Surely by this time the press should have gleaned some rumours!

What’s going on?

Mike (


I’m from a totally football-allergic family in West London and have no distant memories of football-related activities at all except that my best friend when little, Ben Wood, supported Liverpool and had a poster signed by all of the 1983 (?) team including Ian Rush. His mum was from the Wirral so perhaps it wasn’t total glory-hunting. Anyway, I was completely unaware of football until the night when Norwich laid into Bayern about four years ago – I was babysitting for someone and there wasn’t anything else on the telly so I watched it and got a bit into it. Then I watched a few more Euro matches but still didn’t quite understand what it was all about. Anyway, I came to Manchester University three years ago and in my flat were a Norwich fan and a City fan; MOTD and all televised footie were compulsory viewing and I got into it a bit more and thought I’d best go and see a match. In my naïvete I thought that United sounded fun but (thank ***k) I couldn’t get a ticket – anyway, after a while (quite a long while) I roused myself out of an apathetic hole and saw City playing Southampton.

A recurring theme in Why Blues seems to be “the moment when I first came out of the tunnel and saw the stadium all around and a luminous green pitch in the middle and I haven’t been the same since.” I was like that – although from my seat near the front of the Umbro Stand I couldn’t really tell what was going on, I loved it. It was Dashing Cavalier Horton’s high point – Beagrie and Walsh playing hell around Soton’s defence. I think we were 6th in the table at the time, and the crowd was pretty upbeat – I don’t know exactly who scored but Beagrie did I think and then somersaulted – it was 3-3 and I was fully sold on City. The atmosphere, the people, the stadium…

I’ve managed to get to quite a few since then – also, the rest of my house are converts – although personally I think this is less to do with me than with Kinkladze. High points are mostly associated with him – his running the game against Leicester – the goal against Southampton – Newcastle. Low points – relegation, obviously – although it was so dreaded for so long that it almost wasn’t too bad when it happened. I think it was the Middlesbrough home game which was the most depressing of the lot; most of the crowd were fully convinced by then that relegation was certain.

Anyway – the point about following City is that you do it because you can’t cope with the pressures inherent in success.
Or not.

Roly Allen (


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions: Adam –
Club Questions: Stephen –

Thanks to Roly, Paul, Geoff, Russell, Martin, Mike & Steve.

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 #205