Newsletter #250

Apologies for the empty MCIVTA 249b; this was of course a cheap device to get you all to send me an Xmas card 8-)).

I’m afraid that this issue is somewhat curtailed as a copying error resulted in me deleting all I had just written – teach me to go to the pub first!

I’ve repasted everything else in but I’m afraid I haven’t got the time to redo my match report. All I want to say is that Margetson looked very good and made three excellent saves and that Heaney gave us another avenue and got us a penalty by running at the defender!

I’ve also not been able to redo much of the editing so apologies if the quality is down!

Next game, Wolverhampton Wanderers away, Sunday 1st December, 1996


MANCHESTER CITY vs. WEST BROMWICH ALBION, Wednesday 27th November 1996

Rejoice, rejoice a win!

Phil Neal introduced Lee crooks at right back and Heaney on the left wing; the Blues lined up as follows:

            Rösler  Dickov
Heaney  Kingkladze      Lomas   Summerbee
Brightwell      Wassall  Symons  Crooks

Subs: Stumpo Clough, Kavelash, Whitley.

I was mentioning to my neighbour that after Röslers performance on Saturday he did not deserve to start when up he jumped after 8 minutes and headed the ball into the Baggies’ net! Admittedly it was a free header from a corner but they all count and it certainly improved confidence.

Heaney was very bright on the wing and linked up well with Kinky, it was a revelation to see a Blue with pace! It was his running into the box which gave us a penalty in the 21st minute. Up stepped Kinky and as cool as a polar bear’s arse stroked the ball into the net!

2-0. Yes, the tide had turned. The Baggies fans began singing “Cantona Cantona Cantona”… he would have been at home with them as they were c**p. However, let’s not look a gift horse!

About 10 minutes before half time a WBA cross/shot found Margetson making a superb save but his parry was not enough; there was, sadly no one there to clear his effort and Peschioloioidididio took advantage. I thought Margetson may have been fouled but the goal stood.

Within minutes we attacked again, Dickov penetrating their box and then falling like a BSE infected cow at slaughter to he gain another penalty… you don’t look a gift horse… but if this was a penalty I’m Salman Rushdie. Up stepped Kinky again and cooly slotted it in to make it 3-1. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

At half time we discussed how we’d be hanging on for the last 10 minutes, how the Blues would once again defend at the edge of the 18 yard box etc. We discussed how it could go either way! Yes, we’re winnin 3-1 and yet defensively we are so poor that it could have gone their way.

For the second half Phil Neal made no initial changes even though the front men looked tired. Our passing was reduced to its usual poor standard and yes, within minutes they had pulled one back! Very poor defending from Kit Symons (though I heard today that he had flu and a 100 degree temperature) and then Wassall (who would be at home in any under 10’s league) gifted them a chance on the edge of our box and only a superb save from Margretson saved the day. Then they should have had a penalty but a wise ref saved the day. We clung on, the introduction of Whitley with a few minutes to go (Dickov was taken off) gave a little extra bite to the midfield (which with Lomas below par had been lacking bite), Kingkladze was once again exceptional; he made a run from our box to their box and nearly secured his hat trick. Anyone who suggests we should sell him needs gelding!

We may get a draw at Wolves, this is the best it’s been for weeks but there is still a long, long, long way to go. finally Lee Crooks and Neil Heaney both had good débuts.

There is hope!

Ian Ferguson (


Well a win was what was wanted.

City dominated for the first half hour playing well, got the goals and then sat back as I expected them to do. They actually kept trying after the first but relaxed after the second and only chased it again when West Brom got one back. After the third West Brom dominated for about another half hour either side of half time and looked like they were going to score loads. City’s defence was dire. The midfield sat really deep so there were always 7 or 8 men defending, about 4 attackers yet they always had a spare man. A case of everyone thinking someone else was doing the marking. Neal’s programme notes said they’d been working on their defending. Either he knows nothing about it or there’s a hell of a lot of learning still to do. Attack-wise City were still ok though. The last half an hour was scrappy from both sides, City clinging on a fair bit, both sides poor, neither really deserving another goal. Seeing the penalties on TV (I was at the other end) they both were quite blatant. Players:-

Margetson – couple of good saves, unlucky with first goal. Couple of Dibble-like moments as well though. 6
Crooks – not bad for a first start. I thought he was a centre back though? 6
Brightwell – pretty poor really. Not looking good at passing or tackling. 5
Wassall – I wish he’d p**s off back to Derby. Shambolic. 4
Symons – not much better really. Whole defence was pretty poor. 5
Summerbee – not as bad as has been but timing and delivery of passes is s***e and tracking back and tackling is worse. 4/5
Heaney – not bad. I expected him to go outside his man more often (not that there would often have been anyone to get to his crosses). 6
Lomas – made tackles unlike the rest of the midfield. Caught in possession a few times though. 6
Kinkladze – some good runs, linked well and put in more tackles than Summerbee. Took both penalties well. 7
Dickov – I thought he held up the ball too often when he could have got a shot in. Otherwise played as he always does, running all over the place. 6
Rösler – played well though still doesn’t run if the pass doesn’t go where he wants it. 7
Whitley – on for Dickov. Played ok but should we try to shut up shop when our defence is playing that badly?

Other things. Throw ins – ours – no-one moves and the opposiion mark us and often win the ball. Theirs – we mark sloppily and they usually keep the ball. It was taking a good while before we took our throw-ins as there was just no-one to throw it to. If we sell Rösler to Sunderland as reported how about buying Fjørtoft? Used to score regularly for Swindon and ‘Boro. I’ve no idea how old he is but he won’t get into ‘Boro’s team so about £1 million? Also how about getting Shay Given on loan? He was excellent for Sunderland last season and he’s got to be better than any ‘keeper we’ve got at the club at the moment.

Thomas Bodey (


City’s bid to sign the Georgian international captain Kakhaber Tskhadadze looks doomed after the Home Office refused him a work permit. He has not yet played in the required 75% of Georgia’s recent international matches to qualify. “We are looking at whether an appeal might be worthwhile but we are led to believe that once the decision has been made, then that is it,” said Francis Lee.

Oldham manager Graeme Sharpe has stated that he is reluctant to sell Gunnar Halle to a team in a similar position to Oldham, but that if an offer is received it would have to be put to the board. Halle is out of contract at the end of the season, which might be an encouragement for them to sell.

Leeds have joined Wimbledon in the Steve Lomas appreciation society according to the MEN, though manager George Graham remained tight-lipped. “I am being linked with so many players at the moment that I do not want to be drawn into commenting,” he said.

City are planning to ask Crystal Palace to extend Simon Rodger’s loan period for another month.

Francis Lee has denied reports linking City with an approach to former Leeds boss Howard Wilkinson, dismissing the rumours as “pure speculation. It’s news to me, I know nothing about it and there has been no approach from City,” he said.

Paul Howarth (


This morning there are rumours that Peter Reid is preparing to place a bid to take Uwe Rösler to Sunderland. City would be willing to let Rösler go but not for less than £2.5 million. Meanwhile, Oldham Athletic are denying any approach made by City for Norwegian International Gunnar Halle.

Benjamin Aaron (


Niall Quinn has denied reports that we was given a £450,000 “golden handshake” when he joined Sunderland. “The story that I received a pay-off of that size is totally untrue. I have had my leg pulled about it by friends and I can live with that. What upsets me is that City fans will be thinking I have contributed to their club’s current financial predicament. I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. In fact I accepted a reduced contract at Sunderland specifically to help Manchester City get the transfer fee they were looking for. It would be unfair to both clubs to reveal the actual details of my transfer. Those details are a confidential matter. But I can tell you that Manchester City made a healthy profit out of me when I joined Sunderland. And they had six years service out of me into the bargain, so it is grossly unfair to suggest that I have in any way cost the club money they cannot afford. I had a terrific relationship with the City fans and I would hate them to think that I have lined my pockets at the club’s expense. It is because of my affection for those supporters that I have decided to put the record straight. I believe sincerely that I gave Manchester City value for money – both when I played for them and when I left to join Sunderland.”

Paul Howarth (


City are reported to want Ian Rush in part-exchange if Leeds wish to buy Steve Lomas. It’s reckoned that he’s unhappy at having a wide r