Newsletter #268

Frank Clark extended his unbeaten run to 4 games; I would have settled for a draw before the game but on the basis of the performance we really should have had all three. The latest transfer target is Kevin Horlock and it seems highly likely that he will sign before the weekend. Rumours also connect Sunderland with Rösler; maybe there’s more truth there now Clark is openly admitting talking to Kitson? The biggest news surrounds Barlow who has stepped down and is to be replaced by the ex-Commercial Manager at Anfield.

We have a match report and a couple of match views, news on the new Icelandic Supporters’ Club, opinion and another good Why Blue.

Other news is that City will launch an official WWW site at the Portsmouth game and this will include a Cybershop – no doubt a welcome development as far as many overseas MCIVTAers are concerned. I’ll include more on this later.

Next game, Oxford United away, Sunday 2nd February 1997

MCIVTA 270 & 271

Jeremy Poynton will be guest editor for Issues 270 and 271. These issues will go out on Monday and Thursday as usual but the deadline for articles will be mid-afternoon (please take note if you’re writing a match report). All articles after MCIVTA 269 (Monday 3rd February) should be directed to Jeremy Poynton:

I’ll send out Issue 269 as usual next Monday; all articles should come to me until then.



MANCHESTER CITY vs. SHEFFIELD UNITED, Wednesday 29th January 1997

Another good crowd (26,000) turned up in optimistic mood for what promised to be a difficult game. There were two surprises as far as the Blues were concerned: firstly, Beagrie was on the bench and secondly, we just had the solitary Rösler up front.

Sheffield started off brightly, constantly attacking us and penning us in our own half for fully ten minutes. Their main ploy consisted of pumping high balls into our box – this would have given me apoplexy a couple of games ago but Symons and Kernaghan dealt with everything without any trouble. When City finally broke out, they put the Sheffield goal under sustained pressure for 10 minutes but with the same result as Sheffield had had at our end. The only real danger came from Kinkladze who raced away from the halfway line, dribbled into the box but let the ball run away from himself. He was to be found in the box later in the half and somehow managed to dribble round 4 players in their area without being dropped – amazing!

Tommy Wright looked little better than anyone else we’ve seen in a goalie’s shirt this season; he made a major error when running out of his box to clear which nearly cost us dearly. He somehow mis-kicked and was dispossessed by a United striker who perversely managed to fall over and mis-strike the ball 4 feet outside the upright. The biggest revelation was again Summerbee who consistently beat his man and put some wicked crosses in, all of which went begging.

The second half was fought out in similar style with neither side looking like scoring though City did create a couple of good openings. The best was when Kinkladze was released goalward but was forced into a right-footed shot which went right of the upright. I could be wrong but I’d swear that this was the first time that I’ve seen him shoot with his right.

The most memorable event was the return of Beagrie – on for Heaney – he was given a standing ovation by the fans but failed to be given the ball by his teammates for what seemed an eternity! He eventually ‘did’ a couple of players but still looked a little slow, something that should change.

On the way home I was annoyed to hear the game described as “dire” and “dull”. I can honestly say that there was a great deal in this performance to encourage us. There was a lot of one-touch passing, something totally absent for about the last 2 years. Players were running into space and creating openings. Summerbee was very good once again and so was Lomas who constantly looked for the ball and moved purposely forward as soon as he got it. McGoldrick sprayed the ball around well but why oh why does he always look like he’s going to get caught in possession, and why does he beat his man but fail to stay goalside of him? The centre back partnership was solid; the tall Sheffield strikers hardly won anything in the air. Ingram also played well but Brightwell is not a right back and his distribution from this position is atrocious.

I’m looking forward to Sunday.



This should have been quite a good game, with Sheff. Utd. riding high in the League and City beginning to grind out a few results and gain some confidence. The line up seemed okay including Beagrie on the bench; we shaped as follows:

Brightwell     Symons         Kernaghan Ingram
Summerbee McGoldrick     Lomas          Heaney

The result was probably a fair one, neither team created many clear cut chances although City had far more possession.

Wright made two cock ups:

  1. With a mis-kicked clearance going to one of their players and the resulting shot going just wide, and
  2. A shot which he fumbled and was cleared.

These two mistakes aside I felt quite confident with him in goal.

Brightwell had limited defending to do. I felt that he could have pushed forward a bit more and linked up with Buzzer further up the pitch, although once in their half he tried on most occasions to cross the ball from about 40 yards out and the result was nothing.

Ingram had a solid game, pushed forward more than Brightwell but could have linked up better with Heaney.

Symons had another solid performance.

Kernaghan played well in the air, clearing any threat well.

Summerbee had another good game. He seems to be a different player since Clark came in; he takes on players and crosses some great balls in. It’s a shame there isn’t a striker trying to put them away.

Heaney never really tried to beat his man; his overall performance was poor and I don’t think that he will be keeping Beagrie out of the team now that he is fit.

McGoldrick played OK, nothing to shout about, got stuck in on occasions.

Lomas got stuck into the tackles, played a bit further forward than Eddie and should be trying to get into the box more or at least support his attackers more.

Kinkladze played far too deep to support Rösler and is not involved in the game enough; he may be a great player but if he never gets the ball he is never going to show his true genius. He had a chance of a goal but blazed it wide; to be fair it was on his wrong foot. He had two other dribbles in the area but apart from that nothing.

Then there was a German called Rösler… how this man is still playing for us is beyond belief; he showed no commitment to the team, he never looked like scoring and he should be sold while is he still worth about 5p.

The team seems to be finding more confidence under Clark but needs to start scoring goals. I feel that Rösler and Kinkladze must be sold; as good as he is, I don’t think that Gio will fit into a team where two wingers are being played – we need to invest in a new attacking midfielder and a striker.

We should play the back four as it is and keep Buzzer and Beagrie on the wings, move Lomas into the midfield position in front of the back four and drop Eddie, buy Lee Clark and play him in the attacking midfielder’s position. Up front we should give Kave or Creaney a go and buy Kitson.

Also, did anybody watch Granada Soccer Night and think that they were watching a totally different game to the live one?

Congratulations also to Stockport. I hope they stuff Middlesbrough and keep them on the downward spiral to the 1st Division.

Rumours also at Maine Road last night were that the Southend game was being moved to Friday night for Sky; does anybody know anything about this?

Barry Joynson (


Still unbeaten under Frank Clark eh? Perhaps there is a God after all.

Here are a few ramblings after the Sheffield United match:

Was I the only one who was totally bored for most of last night’s game? It was such a raggedy, mishmash of a game and it never really seemed to get going. There were signs of encouragement there: we actually seemed to be able to pass the ball better on occasions and I didn’t recoil in terror every time Sheffield United made a slight run because we did look strong at the back for a change; and Summerbee didn’t infuriate me as much as usual and is beginning to look like a decent player. But where the hell are the goals going to come from? We never once really looked like scoring and we never will if we have 8 men back all the time. Having said that, at least FC seems to have done something about our shaky defence. It’s a shame we can’t have a couple of extra players on the field – a couple more up front and we’d be laughing!

The band at the Port Vale game

Was this Tommy Wright the same Tommy Wright who had such rave reviews from the Huddersfield game? I had Dibble déjà vu-s for a few moments! It’s nice to know we’re keeping up the tradition of comedy goalkeepers. I sincerely hope it was first night nerves last night and he was trying too hard to impress the home crowd. I hope.

And did you see the picture of ‘the band’ in the programme? Cheeky gits, they didn’t mention the stick we all got from the stewards. You may be interested to know that my brother is writing a piece about it for next month’s City Mag. He’s also doing a ‘warts and all’ review of it for King of the Kippax where he can really dish the dirt (hopefully!). Eagle eyed readers will be able to spot my good self on the photo, at the back next to the trumpet player! Publicity mad!

And finally, I got a shiver up my spine at the reception Peter Beagrie got when he came on. Shame no one bothered to pass the ball to him for about half an hour but there you are.

Enough from me for now, Christine (


City are reported to be interested in signing Paul Kitson and Lee Clark from Newcastle plus Gary Smith from Rennes. The total payout for the three players would use around half of the £10.8 million recently made available for transfers by the rights issue. Frank Clark commented: “Paul is a player we are certainly interested in and we are waiting for Newcastle’s reaction to our enquiry. The position with Lee Clark is different in that Newcastle do not want to release him while they are still in Europe, so we face a wait on that one. We have been given a figure for Gary Smith and we are having at look at him in training with us this week. His club, Rennes, and his former club, Aberdeen, must agree on how the fee is to be split between them, but that is only when we have agreed that the price being asked is a fair one.” City face competition for Lee Clark; Sunderland and QPR are both thought to have had offers of around £2.5 million turned down.

Mikhail Kavelashvili and Lee Crooks were on the scoresheet for the reserves in their 2-0 win at Mansfield on Monday night.

Paul Howarth (


Mike Turner, currently commercial manager at Liverpool, is to become City’s chief executive on March 3rd, with Colin Barlow stepping down as managing director though remaining on the board “with responsibilities for special projects.” Francis Lee said: “Mike Turner has an excellent record of achievement in the sports industry. We believe he will greatly influence our commercial team.” Regarding Colin Barlow, he went on: “I would like to thank him for his valuable contributions over the last three years and feel sure that he will continue to be of great benefit to the club.” Barlow commented: “I am sure that with the infrastructure the club has put in place, the club is really ready to take off commercially. I have been three years away from my companies and would like to devote more of my time to them.” He remains on the board and as a shareholder in the club, and one of his responsibilities will be City’s involvement in the Millenium Stadium and the future of Maine Road.

The Mole


GMR reports that Sunderland are believed to be ready with a £2.5 million bid for City striker Uwe R