Newsletter #345

Perhaps I should start naming issues – after all, if it works for steam locomotives then perhaps it’ll work for MCIVTA, and by inference MCFC? This one would have to be “The Watershed” or perhaps “The Rubicon”. At any rate, something that sums up the fact that a line was crossed on Friday night, a line that many thought ought to have been crossed years ago but for our near legendary patience. This time however, something finally snapped, as thousands (and I mean thousands) sang – and sang clearly enough to be heard everywhere in South Manchester, the old favourites of: ‘What the ***k is going on’ and ‘We’re s***e and we know we are.’ However, the self-deprecating humour had gone, as was evidenced by the most poignant of all: ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt.’

I personally didn’t join in, but I did understand why others were singing. There was a strange mixture of anger and melancholy about the place – as if we were actually there at the moment of death, the moment when we all collectively and suddenly realised that MCFC is terminally ill, and all we can do is watch out the death throes of this once great club.

My 4-year-old wants a City shirt for Xmas and I tried to talk him out of it on Saturday, there seemed little point in prolonging the agony. My mood is one of total resignation, I really have absolutely no idea where we go from here.

Sorry to be so negative, but you’ll see from the contents of this issue that I’m not alone.

BTW, there are now 1,711 on the list!

Next game, Sheffield United away, Saturday 15th November 1997



Well, what can I say? It’s now Monday morning so some of the pain and sorrow that I felt on Friday night have subsided into just a dull ache, but nothing can take away the memory of the most inept City performance I have seen for years. No, change that, the most inept City performance I have ever seen. Words fail me. The “team”, if you want to call it that, were Margetson, Edghill, Vaughan, Symons, Wiekens, Whitley, Brannan, Horlock, Kinky, Kelly and Dickov. The first half was made up of 45 minutes of 10 clueless morons in Blue wondering which direction they were supposed to kick the ball. As they couldn’t make their mind up they just gave it to those nice men in red shirts instead. I counted one – that’s one – shot on goal in the whole half from City, a weak effort from Dickov that went straight at the ‘keeper. Huddersfield had all the play, all the possession and all the chances and really should have been ahead at half time. It was half an hour before we managed to play anything even remotely resembling football and even then it was frighteningly bad. Kinky was hacked down in the box – it wasn’t a penalty as the ball was on its way out by then, but it looked as if it really hurt. Edghill was replaced early on by Brown who couldn’t improve things. I can’t really say anything else about the first half as it was just too awful.

There was another silly penalty shoot out at half time, I can’t tell you who won as we were too busy sitting down and sulking to watch. Why had I bothered taking time off work and driving 200 miles to watch this crap? We’d said before the game started that we should stay at home and watch Corrie instead, how I wish we had.

The second half was slightly better – well, it couldn’t have got any worse. City actually managed to get the ball – they didn’t do anything with it, naturally, but at least they reminded themselves of what it looked like. Yes, it’s round boys, you’re supposed to kick it to each other. Every time we had an even slightly promising spell, someone (usually Brannan) either kicked it out or gave it back to a Huddersfield player. We were quite simply outclassed, by a team who were right at the bottom of the division – and deservedly so, we couldn’t even take away the consolation that Huddersfield played well because they didn’t. They were terrible, we were worse. Kelly went off and was replaced by Conlon, who got into a couple of good positions but unsurprisingly did nothing with them. Whitley had the best chance of the match, a lovely shot that was about to bulge the back of the net until somehow the Town ‘keeper got a hand to. Git. The fans got behind the team, there were many a chant of “stand up if you love City”, we put a couple of passes together (only a couple mind you) then… Huddersfield scored. They knocked the ball around the outside of our area as if they were taking the p**s, then a cross came in from the right and was volleyed into the net by Rob Edwards, the City fan. Naturally. Brannan did a really good job of letting the ball go through his legs as Edwards hit it. And that was it really. Scully came on for Whitley, who couldn’t have stayed on the pitch as he was playing quite well and was showing the rest of the team up. It was all too late by then. The chants of “you’re not fit to wear the shirts” were ringing out, there was despair and despondency all around. City sink to their worst defeat ever, and somehow we just weren’t surprised.

Final score: 0-1

Clark said afterwards that the “you’re not fit to wear the shirts” could be heard all the way into the dressing room. Good. Apparently the players all slinked off home knowing how badly they’d played and how much they’d let us down. I bet they didn’t feel as bad as we did. There is nothing we can take from this game as being positive and that they can build on, nothing. There are however some questions that Clark should think about answering:

How does Brannan get in the team? What gives him the right to be an automatic selection when he’s about as talented as a three legged lame donkey? A subbuteo player would make more of a contribution than him. Why, when by all accounts City didn’t play badly when losing to Port Vale, does Clark then mess around with the team so much? Those sitting around me on Friday night all said that Scully was the best player on the pitch on Tuesday, so why is he then dropped to the sub’s bench? Why wasn’t he brought on earlier?

Why doesn’t Clark realise that you are allowed to make substitutions at half time, you don’t have to wait until there are 15 minutes left and it is too late? Why was Kelly playing at all? This was not the night to give some poor lad a début, he did not have a good game and I felt really sorry for him as this will remove any confidence he had. No wonder the team’s lacking in confidence when the manager is treating them like that. Margetson was dropped for Port Vale and look what happened. I exempt him from any criticism by the way, he stopped us losing by about 3 or 4 when he made a couple of really good saves at the end. The booing stopped when Margetson turned and acknowledged the crowd as we all applauded him instead.

Why is it that whenever Brannan or Vaughan get the ball they hoof it up field? They must be being told to play like that, it doesn’t work. We haven’t got a seven foot striker up there who can win the ball and play it on, we’ve got Paul Dickov.

Finally, what do we do now?

I bought the MUEN on Saturday as we were front page news, what a load of rubbish. The chants we heard after the game were supportive, not angry. The crowd were not all looking for a fight, as the MUEN would have people believe. They weren’t even angry any more, it’s gone past that. They were just saddened and disappointed that a once great club finds itself in this position with seemingly no hope of turning things round. I’ve got no solutions to offer, I’m not even sure there are any and it pains me too much to think any more about what is going on. I know some people are talking about boycotting the games and that’s fine it you can do it, but I don’t think I can do that. It’s bad enough with the disloyalty and apathy that’s on view on the pitch, if I stopped going to the games I’d feel as if I was betraying my club. It isn’t the players, the management or the board that I care about, it’s Manchester City the club and what that means to me. And that’s why it hurts to see what’s happening. Sorry if I’ve depressed you, I’m not too happy myself at the moment either.

Sharon Bennett


I’m not going to attempt a match report, just my views on the game, the players, and what (if anything) can be done about our current situation:

As you’ll all know by now, City played with no commitment, team spirit, motivation etc., couldn’t even make short passes to each other (in fact most of them looked scared of the ball) and were deservedly beaten by a Huddersfield side that made up for a lack of skill with a bit of hard work, and in my opinion they played City off the park, which is an utter bloody disgrace. City consistently failed to create chances, although Brown had a pretty fierce shot well saved and Kinkladze wasted a free kick on the edge of the area, but then anything other than a defeat wouldn’t have done justice to what must be the worst City team ever, which they certainly are if the league table is anything to go by. The typically shambolic defence was worse than ever – being in the North Stand I didn’t see much of the goal but the newspapers reported that Huddersfield managed to string together sixteen passes before it went in, and I as I remember they managed to camp near the City goal more or less unchallenged for an awfully long time. Giving them that much time and space in such a dangerous position is absolutely appalling.

I won’t give the players any individual rating (0/10 for most of them) but here’s what I thought of them:

Margetson: No complaints. Had a good shout at Vaughan(?) during the first half, one of the few that came out with any credit.
Vaughan: Seems uncomfortable with the £1.3 million price tag, and desperate to prove he’s worth far less. He never seems at all keen to tackle. Distribution appalling.
Wiekens: Fairly solid from what I remember of the first half, but didn’t see much of him in the second. I must say that if any of the defenders was doing their job then they might have stopped that goal happening, and that must include Wiekens.
Symons: Some good tackling, but didn’t inspire much confidence. Not as bad a game as he’s capable of having. Distribution appalling.
Edghill: Still seems to be a committed tackler, but his distribution was appalling.
Brannan: Didn’t appear to be playing. Didn’t see him duck this time.
Horlock: Out of position again, should have been on the left side of midfield.
Kelly: Didn’t really notice him. But then I was watching the fireworks.
Kinkladze: Yet another poor game from the so-called Georgian Maestro. More an Austin Maestro sort of performance. One crap free kick, otherwise marked out of it.
Dickov: Ran around a lot, but largely ineffective.

Brown: At least looked like he was up for it. Had an excellent shot well saved. Should have replaced Brannan, can’t remember who he did replace (Edghill?).
Barry: City seemed to have a bit more going on up front when he came on, but that’s a bit more than f*** all! Looks a good prospect for the future, but not the finished article. One shot, which would have missed anyway, caught the ‘keeper’s fingers, but the ref (useless as usual, but that isn’t an excuse for a very useless team) gave a goal kick.
Scully: Didn’t seem to get the ball much. But neither did anyone else. Not as good as he has been lately.

The fans: I can only speak for the North Stand, but there wasn’t too much booing, at least until the end, and on the whole we got behind the team, so Clark can’t blame us yet again.

As for what’s to be done, first sell Gio. We’ll all be sorry to see him go, but it’s bound to happen soon anyway and City should learn to play without him. They seem to rely on him too much when he’s playing, and the whole team seems to work harder when he’s not. Does City employ a sports psychologist? Clark obviously needs some help in motivating the team. On the whole I don’t have much against the players (with a couple of exceptions); after all they’ve proved what they’re capable of against Forest and Swindon. We badly need Bradbury back (I don’t think he was a bad buy, although we did pay too much for him), and the money from the sale of Gio should be spent on a new winger and a new striker, maybe also a left back and centre back. For what it’s worth, here’s the team I’d play:

Goalkeeper: Margetson, he’s done enough to prove he’s worthy of the place.
Left back: New player, maybe van Blerk.
Centre backs: Wiekens and Beesley (when fit) or a new player.
Midfield: Scully on the left, two from Brown, Whitley, Horlock and possibly McGoldrick in the middle, new winger on the right.
Up front: Dickov, new striker, Bradbury when fit, possibly Conlon or Greenacre with a bit more experience.

I’m not going again for a bit, certainly not this month, I’m fed up with paying good money and wasting half my weekend watching this s***e.

City till I die, despite everything… Julian Griffiths (


Obviously City have massive problems off the pitch. Why don’t the fans know what is going on? I got so tired of the turgid football on Friday that I started watching players’ movement (or lack of it) off the ball. For virtually the whole second half Kinkladze stood motionless on the touchline at the half way line in front of the Kippax. If the ball came within 10 yards of him he made a token effort to run towards it, but that was about it.

The only plausible suggestion I have heard to explain City’s backroom problems is that FHL insists that every manager he employs must play Kinkladze if he is fit. This obviously gets the other players backs up as he is allowed to get away with playing poorly whilst still collecting a massive pay cheque. This would explain our low morale and also indicate why Steve Coppell really left. As we don’t really know what is going on how can we know the solution?

I just hope the Richard Branson rumours are true. This was easily the poorest ever City performance and for the first time ever I felt truly cheated out of my money.

Ratings: Margetson 7, Edghill 2, Symons 2, Wiekens 5, Vaughan 3, Brannan 2, Horlock 3, Whitley 4, Kinkladze 0, Kelly 2, Dickov 3.
Subs: Brown 3, Scully 3, Conlon 3.

Ken Foster (


I shook my head in disbelief at the teamsheet, realising that our two best players of Tuesday had been inexplicably dropped, another youngster had been thrown in, and the pitiful Symons and Brannan were still there. So, it was no width, no height, and the ball being booted up as if we were playing Niall Quinn and Wyn Davies up front! I can’t bring myself to describe the game, suffice it to say that the first half was just about the worst 45 minutes I’ve ever witnessed by a City side, but overall, we deserved to win!


Maggie (9): No chance with the goal but pulled off several fine saves when the rest had literally given up and let Huddersfield do as they pleased.
Edghill (2): absolutely rubbish, can’t control, can’t pass and gets caught out of position.
Vaughan (6): steady.
Horlock (4): out of position and out of the game for long periods.
Symons (4): Booed very loudly by the Kippax, and must surely be dropped and replaced for his own good, and also for ours! He looks totally inadequate as a captain and a defender.
Wiekens (7): as usual, he brings an air of authority to the shambolic defence.
Brannan (1): I’ve run out of words to describe this player, he’s not good enough for a pub level team, but is on the teamsheet every week!
Whitley (3): one great shot, but otherwise poor; gave the ball away regularly and was simply bundled off it by bigger, rougher opposition players.
Gio (3): totally anonymous.
Dickov (4): unfit and largely ineffectual, particularly dealing with balls hoofed up at 7 feet in the air.
Kelly (2): I feel sorry having to rate him as Shearer would not have impressed in this side.

Brown (5): usual bustling self.
Conlon (5): brought on too late to make any impact.
Scully (5): ditto.



Well now that I’m reviving from my state of shock, I can write a bit about Friday night’s débâcle.

The first thing to strike me was, with a game of this importance, to both clubs involved, what the hell was Frankie Boy doing giving a début to young Kelly? This game, and his being subbed could have a real negative effect on him.

From other postings in Mcivta it seems Scully or Conlon or even Morley would have been a better bet, strange one Frank. From what I could see it was just as well Margetson was on form, he saved us on more than one occasion. Symons has no organizational skills, so the captaincy should go to Weikens, then he could try to concentrate on sorting his game out. Vaughan looked to have had a reasonable game with Weikens, Whitley and Dickov the only others to come out of this rubbish with any credit. Dickov, as much as I love him, needs to score a few goals as well as running seven or eight miles a game. Has anybody told the staff at Maine Road that Quinn no longer plays for us so why keep toshing the ball up in the air all the time, even a pleb like me can see it doesn’t work.

The second half had a fifteen minute spell in which we played something resembling football. But as usual, just when you think three points could be on the way, the buggers kick you in the tabloids and chuck the game away. Plenty of ball watching on the City left as two Huddy players waltzed through and crossed for an unmarked player to score. From then on we had no idea what to do and we lucky to hold on to nil.

Just a few more points; MM why is it that every back pass to you has to be belted first time up field? There were times when you could have put your foot on the ball and started an attack rather than giving it away with your upfield punt. And Gio, if your back is hurting with all those stitches in it, please don’t bother to go out on the pitch and wander around in a complete daze. You weren’t really helping the cause were you? Anyway three easy games to come next, should see us climb the table a bit, play-offs here we come.

Geoff Collins – Bertie Blue (


Left home 9am for the trip to Oxford, picking up Noel and Leanne, then Paul and Neil in Northenden. The journey was uneventful except for pulling into the services near Oxford behind Neil Fairbrother. Arrived very early and went in a couple of pubs pre-match. Got to the ground with time to kill, so went looking for the souvenir shop. For those who haven’t “done” Oxford (this was my first time), the ground is completely surrounded by back gardens, with narrow passages and avenues going down to three sides of the ground. After walking three quarters of the way round the ground for what seemed an eternity, I found the shop, or should I say front room, and I forked out two pounds on my badge. Got inside at 2.45 and took up my position right behind the goals. We had the sun in our faces but the view was good apart from the corner to our right which was obscured by some old crap stand/box (I use the term loosely). Couldn’t hear any announcements as some kind person forgot to turn on the tannoys at our end. Pre-match entertainment was a relay race around the perimeter of the pitch six or seven times, between a team in yellow and a team in blue. Naturally we cheered on the team in blue, even though the kids all had Oxford shorts and socks on. The blues trailed for most of the race, until one blue kicked the ball ahead to a team mate, instead of carrying it. The yellows cottoned on to this and did the same, winning by a few yards. The fact that I am going into so much detail about this is because it was more entertaining than the match we had driven 175 miles to watch.

The game was mind-numbingly boring, so much so that I cannot remember any outstanding performances, with the exception of the referee, who stole the show by needlessly booking four or five City players within the first 30 minutes. He then managed to incur the wrath of the Oxford fans, by disallowing a goal for pushing. The second half was equally uneventful apart from an excellent block by Kit Symons in the six-yard box, which prevented a certain goal. The atmosphere amongst the City fans was muted to say the least, with many sarcastic comments about just about everybody at the club being directed at Tommy Wright, who was like a lamb to the slaughter, being stood in front of us. Towards the end we chanted for Scully to be brought on, but FC looked over, and ignored our “suggestion”.

We can think of this as a point gained, but when you see how crap the opponents are, it definitely has to be two points lost. Although I applaud FC for trying every option (David Morley came on as a centre forward), the team needs stability, and surely all this chopping and changing cannot continue.

In my opinion, Brannan is not good enough for the team, yet he is ever present (perhaps he is FC’s Inchy Heath). I also believe that Kit Symons needs to be dropped for his own good.

After the match we met up in a pub which Paul said “has an great atmosphere for away fans” (reading from his photocopied Oxford pub guide for footie fans). Well there certainly was an atmosphere because the only other Blues in the place were the ones that Paul had a “discussion” with in the Kippax against Crewe!

We left Oxford in thick fog, passed the City team bus somewhere near Birmingham. I took the right turning this time and arrived home 9pm.

Steve Kay (


Noel “Predictor” Bayley said pre-match, and I quote: “I think we’ll win tonight.” With those words of wisdom I strutted off to queue to buy my Stockport ticket, only to be disappointed, as they have all gone, with no chance of any more!(Has anybody got a spare please?)!

So-called comedian (he doesn’t tell jokes, he is a joke) Vince Miller announced the return of Kinky, saying “fresh from the Le Mans.” What is this man on? Certainly not this planet. The “joke” went down like a lead balloon. Barry Conlon and Tony Scully were given their first starts. Thankfully Vale’s leading scorer, Lee Mills was only on the bench.

City started brightly once again with Port Vale offering little in return. After 14 minutes Gerard Wiekens rose to head home a Horlock corner (an exact replica of QPR’s first against us, same minute as well. Spooky). Within a couple of minutes Vale had equalised when a low Snijders free kick skidded on the wet surface past the unfortunate Tommy Wright. That’s how I would have reported it had I been working for the Daily Mail Soccernet, but the truth is that the ball went through his hands and under his body into the net. Other than that, it was a good save!

Undeterred, City pushed on and deservedly took the lead again after 40 minutes when Paul Dickov’s long-range shot was deflected past the ‘keeper. Unbelievably another cock-up in the defence led to Vale’s second just before half-time, when a shot from the left side of the box went in at the near post. Half-time 2-2 With only five minutes played of the second half Tony Vaughan, about 40 yards out, headed a ball across the field towards Kit Symons. As the ball looped in the air, “City fan” Naylor launched a flying kick at the ball, and saw his effort loop over Wright, who was on the penalty spot at the time, into an empty net. The crowd sat in disbelief as City failed to convert their superiority into a goal. Kinky scored from a quickly taken free kick, only to be asked to take it again. Vale did everything possible to waste time, so much so that five minutes were added, but all to no aVale (get it? a-Vale? Oh, alright forget it), as City slumped to their third home defeat. The boos that greeted the final whistle were muted, probably because the ground was only a quarter full by this time.

Looking back, I thought Vaughan, Wiekens, Dickov, Conlan, Horlock and Scully had good games, Kinky was very quiet and probably should not have played, and the rest looked average at best. It is plain to see that the team lacks the confidence to kill off teams, or at least get two goals ahead. When Wiekens scored I thought we would go on to win well, but then a stupid mistake knocks the stuffing out of the team, and it’s back to square one.

If I were Frank Clark, my current line-up would be:

           Edghill            Sheliah        Vaughan      van Blerk
                Wiekens          Kinkladze          Horlock
                           Dickov                Scully

Subs: Whitley, Brown, Morley

As I left the ground I remembered that Noel thought we would win. Then I remembered that Noel seems to have that thought before every game.

Steve Kay (


From Ceefax:

Leicester are on the verge of signing a new player, and it is rumoured to be none other than Gio Kinkladze.

This seems ominous after FC recently told the Daily Mirror that he “would sell Kinkladze if it was in the best interests of the club.”

What would this mean to MCFC?

I know he’s not been brill the last couple of games, but I think being trussed up in a corset after his car crash had something to do with that. A sale would mean what – somewhere between £5 million and £9 million for FC to spend. Judging on FC’s past spending record, Weikens and Horlock (a fraction of the £9 million he’s spent so far) were the only buys that seem to have been useful – it will be another £X million wasted no doubt.

The problem is there seems to be no right answer at the moment. I don’t envy FC, but he’s brought a lot of the pressure on himself.

Bubbleman a.k.a. Neil Bundy (


This is something I’ve just come across on the Sky web site.

Georgian superstar Georgi Kinkladze could finally be about to turn his back on his beloved Manchester City, with reports linking him to Leicester.

Foxes boss Martin O’Neill, who is said to be ready to offload Steve Claridge and Garry Parker as part of a deal to land Kinkladze, admitted: ‘I have made a number of phone calls and there are some developments on the transfer front. There is money available and I will definitely spend it as quickly as I can – of that there is no doubt.’

Tony “Come on Glory” Moran (


The rumour mill was in full swing this weekend after two very bad results last week, and there have been lots of denials today (Monday). First there was a rumour that City were about to fire assistant manager Alan Hill and first team coach Richard Money; Bury manager Stan Ternent was one of the names linked with the vacancies thus created. Secondly, there was a rumour that Leicester City would offer Steve Claridge, Garry Parker and £4 million for Gio Kinkladze. Finally, one of the Sunday papers ran a story that Italian giants Juventus were looking to invest in an English club and that City were on their shortlist.

When questioned about his future with City after the defeat by Huddersfield on Friday, Clark said: “My position will be decided by other people. I am not naïve enough to think it [the sack] cannot happen to me.” Today he had a clear-the-air meeting with Francis Lee, and said afterwards: “I have seen the chairman, and he has assured me that all the stuff that had been said over the weekend was rubbish, garbage. He has told me we have to batten down the hatches, pull on the tin hats and battle our way through this. I imagine he will now be conducting his own inquiry among the members of his board and the administration of this club to find out where it has all come from, the substance and the strength of the claims. I was seeking an explanation and a reassurance because of what has been said. It started as innuendo and ended with names being thrown up. That was scandalous. The chairman told me he was not disappointed with the performances of my coaches, but he was – like all of us – disappointed with the performances of the team. We all have to accept a share of the responsibility for the position we are in. But there is certainly no inclination to make scapegoats.”

On Saturday, Clark appeared to dismiss press speculation and criticism, saying: “I know the whole of the country is watching us but that doesn’t bother me. There is a big spotlight from our own supporters and that’s all that concerns me. I’m not too concerned about attention from elsewhere. I believe we even got a mention in the London Evening Standard last night and that rarely happens for any team north of Watford. It’d be silly to ask our supporters to be patient, they’re sick of hearing it. They’ve waited for such a long, long time. We expected to be doing better than we are. I would like time. I’ve been here 10 months which isn’t time to totally transform the club but we should be doing better with what we have got. I don’t like using the word pressure but it goes with the job and if you don’t like it you should get out and do something else.” However, he had changed his tune after reading the Sundays and hearing the rumours: “Some of the things being said are scandalous. People who supposedly have the best interests of the club at heart are almost inciting the fans to riot if we lose. One or two of the other things said are designed to cause the club maximum embarrassment.”

The Kinkladze rumour was denied by both of the clubs involved: Frank Clark dismissed it as “total invention”, whilst Martin O’Neill described it as “absolute rubbish” and added that he had not spoken to Frank Clark or anyone else at Maine Road for six months. Leicester have money available following the club’s Stock Market flotation and O’Neill has been looking to sign a top-class midfielder but he is adamant that Kinkladze is not the target. Frank Clark has, however, admitted that selling Kinkladze is an option he would consider: “I would be very reluctant to sell Kinkladze, but if I thought it was right for the football club, I would do it. I understand the way the fans feel about him, but I have got to do what is right.”

The Juventus rumour was bolstered by the revelation that a delegation arrived for talks with Stephen Boler at Maine Road last week. Crystal Palace are another possible candidate for the Italian investment bid, which would see their chosen partners being used as a nursery for their brightest young prospects. How well this move would go down with the fans remains unclear.

City are hoping that new signing Murtaz Shelia will be cleared to play within the next two weeks. The Georgian defender is waiting for a work permit but he meets all the criteria, so City are optimistic that the formalities can be completed quickly.

Norwegian striker Stig Arild Raacket has been released after a week on trial at the club. It is reported that City were impressed by the player but have too many players on their books to consider adding him to the wage bill! Maybe the club was banking on a striker being sold in the last couple of weeks? City’s on-loan striker Gerry Creaney hit his eighth goal in 10 starts for Burnley at the weekend, and wrote himself into their record books for equalling the most league goals scored by an on-loan player. He could still have another month to go yet in which to claim the record for himself too.

Uwe Rösler has been to Germany to see a specialist about his ankle problem, but there is no news yet of the result of this visit. Eddie McGoldrick and Ian Brightwell will play in the reserves this week, and Paul Beesley and Nicky Summerbee may also be ready to return.

Paul Howarth (


I can see that we’re after Shelia from Alania Vladikavkaz. Although I do rate Shelia as a player, it seems like a desperate move for a club in deep crisis. I don’t know if the Georgian will suit very well into English football. He’s a typical man-marker who’s probably never played in a zonal defence all his life. Mind, who knows what kind of football is being played in our so-called defence these days.

Here’s some details on the Georgian;


Position:          Sweeper, Central defender, Defensive midfielder
Birth Date:             25/03/1969
Height/weight:          188cm/88kg
Current Club:           Alania Vladikavkaz (Russia)
Previous clubs: 1985-87 Amirani (USSR)
                1988-88 Dynamo Sukhumi (USSR)
                1988-89 Shaktjor Shakthy (USSR, during military service)
                1990-90 Amirani (Georgia)       28 games/3 goals
                1991-95 Dynamo Tbilisi (Georgia)  89 games/5 goals
                1993-94 Saarbrucken (Germany) on-loan (with Kinkladze)
                1996-97 Alania Vladikavkaz (Russia)  22 games/4 goals
National team:          27 games/3 goals

Description: Described as having the potential to become the best defender in the history of Georgian football. Physically very strong with an outstanding stamina, he could even play three halves without a break! Very hard shot, good tackling and ability to win the ball. With his 188cm he is a good header of the ball. He has got typical ‘German-style’ attributes to his game. His preferred position is sweeper or central defender, but he is usually being used to man mark the opposition’s best forward. He is a disciplined and responsible person on and off the pitch. He could be characterised as a hard worker, who has no problems to adopt to new places and quickly getting in touch with new teammates. Shelia has leader qualities, he can guide the team on the pitch. He has much self-confidence and is a very fair player (never arguing about decisions, professional behavior which rules him out to play for any other club in Manchester…). Shelia is rated as one of the best defenders in the Russian championship. Lost his place in the team for a while this summer after a fall out with the coach Gazeyev.

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


I don’t know much about this young Norwegian player that City has brought over. In fact, I’ve never heard about him before! The papers says that he’s from the same club as the crap player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, so I don’t think he’s much of a football player. A Norwegian at the Blue View had actually played against him, and he was no good. In fact, he scored 8 of his 29 goals in one match! And we’re talking Norwegian third division! What I wonder is: Why not try some good Norwegian players for a change? I heard rumours about Steinar Nilsen (now AC Milan), and Ole M Årst. And some Norwegian told me that Peter Barnes had seen the very talented player John Carew playing for his club Vaalerenga in Oslo. But what happens? He brings a little fella who we never ever heard of! Either he is a Ole G Solskjaer player, or otherwise he is no better than Ray Kelly… I think he is no better than any of the youngsters that are at Maine Road now. I wonder who recommended this guy. Was it you Sønsteby?

Bjørn Hunt (


Raaket is one of Norwegians most gifted talents, even considered as a better player than Solskjaer was, at this age. Raaket is relatively unexperienced, has not made any appearances for U21 yet (as far as I know). The big question is; could a possible move to Man. City be a boost to his career? I say; definitely not! This is not the man City need, he is young, has not proved anything over time, although proved in the Norwegian 3rd division which is not exactly high quality, and sitting on the bench in Manchester? Disgraceful. There is no use sending our best players and talents over, only to face the bench for their respective clubs, look at Flo, Bohinen, Grodaas, S. Johansen, and even Solskjaer – not having exactly that much playing time. Don’t tell me they’re not good enough. Having Raaket running around in the mud and disturbance of my beloved City would be a disaster, and for Raaket there would be a larger challenge moving to one of Norway’s best clubs. He’s somewhat strongly linked to Solskjaer’s old club Molde, and I hope he goes. Molde is truly a better club than M. City, and has a larger potential than Champions league strugglers Rosenborg. Molde is even qualified for UEFA cup next year. In otherwords: Hands off!

City till I die! (Or until Saturday), Svein Martinsen (


I would first like to say how much I admire the supporters of Man City for turning up each week to watch what can only be described as utter rubbish. I have only seen City 4 times this season (all on Sky) and for a club of their size and stature it would have embarrassed me to support a team that played like that. You were poor last season and appear to have gotten no better, though it must be said it’s partly your own fault. You hounded out Peter Swales (even if he was a b*****d, at least there was remote stability at the club) and chanted in Franny Lee. Now the hypocritical has happened and you want Lee out. It happens to other clubs and you never expect it to happen to yours, and it has. Bob Murray is seen by many Sunderland supporters as a tight fisted sod but he has sorted out the business side of the club and has created stability, the stability you had not so many years ago.

I said I admired the supporters for going each week but do they honestly think that by barracking the board and the players during the match they will get better? Surely the best way to show your disgust is by not going? Wolves supporters stopped going and the state of the books scared the crap out of the board and the team was made to improve. While there is a steady cash flow at the club things will remain as they are.

I have supported Sunderland for over 10 years now and I know what it’s like to support a massive club that constantly underachieves. Sunderland were the masters at underachieving but our dreams seem to be coming true, our stadium reflects the way things are going at our club. Man City supporters will never ever go through the barren spell Sunderland supporters have. We are both massive clubs and it is only time before we are both back in the Premiership showing our neighbours how to win trophies.

Man City supporters are by no means on their own in the world of bewildered supporters. The faces at Maine Road on Friday night reminded me of the faces on Sunderland supporters at Elm Park. The look of why? (we got s**t on 4-0). Just in case you’re wondering why a Mackem’s subscribing to a Man City fanzine, it’s because I have a Blues supporter friend that doesn’t have Internet connection. Your team may be s***e. Your club may be going down the tubes but you’ve got one of the best Internet fanzines in football.

Keep the faith. Kevin Roper (STID) (


This week I nearly lost my job. Wednesday was bad enough; Cries of “Port Vale, ha ha ha,” from those little raglet scumbags was bad enough, but things were to get even worse. Following the Rags’ victory in Rotterdam, a group of about 15 nasty little swines in one of my classes got out their Man U pencil cases, waved them about and sang “Glory Glory” etc. This wasn’t easy to cope with, but then I got the usual “Miss, why do you support City? They’re just so rubbish… you should be like us…”

Once again, I bit my lip and tried to carry on with the lesson. But then it got even worse still. “Hey, Miss, your star player crashed his car, didn’t he?” I ignored the cretin. “That’s really funny, ha ha, Miss – he didn’t get badly injured enough for my liking though…” “No, Miss, he should have kicked it, it would have been the only thing he kicked this season…” That was it. I went over to this odious little bunch and felt an overwhelming urge to dismember the children responsible. I was shaking with rage as I saw my hand, independant of my mind and body, travel quickly through the air in the general direction of these irritating vile faces. At the last split second, I managed to stop just before contact, as the message “think future employment” flashed up before my eyes. “Oooh, had yer goin there, Miss, had yer goin…” God give me strength.

It was also sad to see that most of the kids who had “converted” to Blue recently are now denying ever having done so. Times are hard. Went down to the print room to hear Steve the lab technician singing the following; (to the tune of “Captain Scarlet”)

“He slices the ball away once more,
He stumbles, and opponents may score,
We lose again…
Captain Symons, self-destructable!”

Friday night… well, I’m too upset to even think about it now. But Steve, known for his pessimism, totally refused to join in with the chants of “What the f*** is going on” and “We’re s*** and we’re sick of it.” “It didn’t do any good in the past and it won’t now” was the verdict.

I can’t offer any solutions, all I can say is that I’ll be there. God forbid that I should ever sink as low as those sickening little raglets. Anyway, I’ve decided that the time has come to look for another job. As Ashley said, I’ve done 15 years in Ragland schools, and that’s a life sentence. Come next July, I hope to be walking off into the sunset… that’s if I haven’t been sacked by then for strangling a Raglet! Thanks to Phil Lines for his excellent article on the Top 40!

City Till THEY Die, Jules (


First of all I don’t mean to rub salt into the wounds but in the last five days six points have been taken away from you by two Blues fans. I must say that I have similar feelings for the City fans. I remember your visit to Vale park last year and I must admit that even then you were going through a rocky patch until we let you beat us but the supporters must be amongst the best, most loyal, and good humoured supporters I’ve had the pleasure to meet.

For that reason alone when I check the results I still have a wide grin on my face when I see the big money clubs like Wolves, Boro, Sunderland, Birmingham fall flat on their face to the likes small clubs like ourselves.

Good luck for the rest of the season. You obviously need it.

Tony Naylor recently spoke about his goal on Tuesday and said:

“That goal has to be my personal favourite because it came at Man City. After spending so much time watching games from the Kippax I had always dreamed of playing and scoring for City at Maine Road.”

“This was my first game at Maine Road – I missed out on a reserve game because the pitch was water-logged – and to score was just something else.”

“A few of my family are City fans but that’s not a great problem because I think they were just pleased for me. They knew just how much I wanted to play at Maine Road and score if possible.”

“I remember following the team home and away with my dad in the days when my heroes were Rodney Marsh and Dennis Tueart. I’ve a lot of sympathy for City right now because there’s no way they should be where they are today. No-one wants to see them back in the Premiership more than me.”

Gary Benson – Port Vale FC Site maintainer (


by Noel Bayley (editor of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet)

I remember Mike Doyle leading them out: Watson, Royle, Kidd et al. And Tueart. Ah yes, Tueart. My hero, the greatest ever, better even than Kinkladze although not quite as skilful. More goals though. With Tueart City were always going to score a goal and even if they didn’t they were virtually impregnable anyway at the back.

Last Thursday (6 November) was the 21st anniversary of that momentous occasion – my first visit to Maine Road. For anything else I’d probably have got a gold clock (although it’s usually an Argos barometer where I work) or is that for 25 years? No matter and besides, who cares? So here I sit, year after year, crossing them off. The 1976/77 season wasn’t too bad as it happens. Runners-up in the old First Division by a single stinking point to Liverpool. You couldn’t imagine that now, not even in the current First Division, never mind the Premier League. Yes indeed, how the mighty fall. One year gave way to two, three, four and before I knew it, I’d done almost a decade and they rewarded me with a trip to Wembley to celebrate. Full Members’ Cup it might have been, but they cocked it up anyway. Still they commemorated my twentieth year with relegation. Good old Alan Ball, eh!

And then came my long-awaited 21st: Huddersfield at home; like a death at a birthday party to quote John Cooper Clarke. Ten years to the day since the 10-1 and while no-one expected history to repeat itself, who’d have thought we’d lose again, three days after losing at home to Port Vale? Er, well I did actually. I gave the Hudd a 3-0 win in the Albert Bridge House Predictions’ League! There’s loyalty for you; still it gets me a point. But anyway, I celebrated the great day by having one more beer than normal down The Bee Hive so I was a bit merry at the match, much to everyone’s annoyance. Having a row with the bloke who sits behind me was all I could do stop myself from falling asleep; every week he comes up from Oxford, tells everyone as much, annoys us all, slags Kinkladze off for the slightest thing, and Clark, and Lee; so it came as no surprise to hear that he reads King Of The Kippax! He’s on drugs he is.

Yes I know that people are entitled to their views and he castigates us for not shouting enough, but why make a prat of yourself every week? Seats have got a lot to answer for I can tell you; five years ago we could have moved and stood somewhere else. As it is, I’m stuck with the City fan from hell for the rest of the season at least.

Talking of people who constantly criticise, this is something I’m often accused of doing in my fanzine and half the time it won’t even have been me who’s written the offending article/s! However, as I constantly point out to these people, a fanzine can only reflect events and let’s face it, things have been pretty lousy these last few years. Naturally, I think it’s okay to criticise the club in City fanzines and in other dedicated City media such as MCIVTA, especially when it’s constructive criticism. Keep it in the family and all that. However, two City fanzine editors and a few others besides couldn’t resist having a go at the club in general and Francis Lee in particular last week on the local radio and in the national press. And for what, other than having personal axes to grind? I find it embarrassing having to listen to and read this drivel and I know fans of other clubs are p***ing themselves laughing at these so-called City fans. Anyone can be rent-a-quote; the media know exactly who is prepared to stick the knife into City and, time and again, the usual suspects are perfectly happy to oblige. Seems to me that the media only love City when there’s a crisis on and I’m afraid that this is all too often, but is there really any point in shouting “Lee Out” if you can’t think of anyone to replace him?

It’s an old adage, but if you’re not part of the solution, you must be part of the problem.

Just to finish on a lighter note: in the cultural desert where I live, Guardians are about as easy to come by as witty one-liners from Frank Clark (although I believe he plays a wicked banjo) and so I obliged Rupert Murdoch on Saturday with ten bob for The Times. Now I know there are some women who know something about football (after all, I live with one) and there are some decent female sports writers around (Cynthia Bateman and Sue Mott to name but two), but there are some women writers employed by national newspapers who’d be better off at Family Circle or Woman’s Weekly. The aptly named Lynne Truss had this to say in a ridiculous puff piece about Andy Cole: “I mean, we’ve all done it, Alex; bought something ridiculously expensive and then regretted it, wearing it a few times to the wrong occasions but never quite believing in it, then pushing it to the back of the cupboard. ‘It doesn’t go with anything else I’ve got,’ you say lamely. “All my other stuff goes together, it’s hard wearing and versatile, but this incredibly expensive Andy Cole thing – well, it’s worth the money, of course it is, but it’s so hard to accessorise.” Naturally, she omitted to mention what incredibly bad item of clothing she was thinking of in her ludicrous analogy so maybe I can help her out. Andy Cole would, of course, be a tank-top: you thought they were pretty good in their day, but you wouldn’t want one now, would you?

Noel Bayley (


Further to the comments about the stupidity of singing Munich songs when Frank Swift perished there, my mother was Frank Swift’s daughter’s best friend and she always used to tell me what a gentleman he was and how he deeply loved City.

Tony Peachment (


It’s not much of a claim, and I was in the year below him, but I was at the same school for years. We were both at St Clare’s Primary School (Blackley, Manchester) and my memories there are of him being by far the best in the school at football and one of the biggest Rags there.

We played in the same school team for a year. I was the crap ‘keeper who lasted about 3 games, whilst he was the captain and our best midfielder.

By the time I joined him at secondary school (Our Lady’s, Blackley, Manchester), I couldn’t claim to be a friend of his but he was still one of the best players at the school. He went on to play for England schoolboys several times, and it was recognised that he would get a chance with a club.

All through, he was a well known Rag. So what he feels for City is open to question. Anyone else know (or have known) a City player?

CTID, David Lamb (


Someone, it seems, has been having a go at Gary Bailey, the ex-Rag goalkeeper, in charge of football on the South African pay channel, about showing some Manchester City games on TV here to balance up the apparently endless helpings of rag-mania-with-smug-presenter (he wasn’t so happy Sunday!). Unfortunately, he listened. Perhaps he felt sorry for us poor, deluded Blues, exiled at the southermost tip of darkest Africa. More likely, he has a vicious, sadistic streak.

Before Friday, we had seen the once-mighty Blues play away at Bury (poor) and QPR (anonymous). One draw, one defeat, one scored, three conceded. Average no. of chances created per game: 2. (OK I’m generous, but we did have a penalty against Bury). Now, at last, a home game! Surely we would beat Huddersfield – bottom of the league Huddersfield. surely!

Our local church team plays better! We don’t hoof the ball two hundred feet up in the air towards our six-foot-six centre-forward, because we don’t have a six-foot-six centre-forward. Oops, nobody told our defenders that Dickov isn’t six-foot-six! Oops, nobody told our defenders that we have midfielders! Oops, nobody told our defenders that you have to watch the opposition players and make sure that they don’t get into good positions behind them. These things are so basic that it is appalling that they even have to be mentioned!

It seems that the tactical master-plan to propel us out of this division is this:

Defence – hoof the ball as high and as far as possible, when you have it. When you don’t have it, watch it intently, irrespective of what your opponents are doing around you.

Midfield – report to the physio for treatment for whiplash sustained from watching the ball whizz back and forth over your head.

Forwards – run around like a headless chicken in search of a ball you will never get. In the unlikely event that you do get the ball, look surprised and fall over.

How is it possible that players can get paid so much and put in so little effort? What other business venture would structure its employees’ contracts in such a way that you can do next to nothing and get away with it? And now it seems that players can get a fat pay-off if they are sold on before they are ready! You don’t have to be a financial genius to figure that something is wrong somewhere. Is it not the manager’s job to motivate his employees? How are they allowed to play with so little enthusiasm (don’t even mention the word ‘passion’). Ipswich vs. Sheffield United on Sunday was a match so superior to Friday night’s game that I fear the worst. We could well be playing Blackpool twice again next season. And it won’t be in the cup!

I am not a violent person, but if I paid out hard-earned cash to watch that kind of drivel every week, I would also feel like smashing something.

And then the girlfriend asks, “Why don’t you just support another team?” And the passion and the pride (and the idiocy?) rise up in an instant. “I’d rather die!” Much more of this garbage and I’ll have my wish.

CTIKM (City Till It Kills Me), Philip Maund Cape Town, South Africa (



Made a deal and sealed it up on Sunday,
Tempted him with how much he could earn.
They think I’ll have to curb my spending someday,
but I can feel my pocket burn.

Is that all you can do?
Just buy someone new? Don’t you know
That money cannot save the Blues,
The problem’s in the way we choose to play!

Goals are hard to find but we’ll concede them,
Our team has to stick together more.
Far too easily we stop believing,
We’re happy to hold on to a draw.

So what’s the boss gonna do?
Just buy someone new? Don’t you know
That money cannot save the Blues,
The problem’s in the way we choose to play!

Stand by Lee – We don’t wanna go, to division three.
Stand by Lee – We don’t wanna go, to division three.
Stand by Lee – We don’t wanna go, to division three.

If you’re leaving take your wallet with you,
We’ve got enough good players of our own.
But don’t think that we will soon forgive you,
Our confidence in you has been blown.

So what is Lee gonna do?
Look for someone new? Don’t you know
We don’t care how much cash he’ll use,
What matters is the way he’ll choose to play!

Stand by Lee – We don’t wanna go, to division three.
Stand by Lee – We don’t wanna go, to division three.
Stand by Lee – We don’t wanna go,
Yeah, we’re gonna go, to division three.

Ste Miller – soon a.k.a. Blues Brother (


I have just read Kev’s latter about the 40th anni’ of the Munich Air Disaster. What he had to say was heart felt and should be printed and handed out before a few matches, as I feel that most (but not all) of the “people” that sing the Munich song have not got a clue (a) that the was any Blues involved and (b) who Frank Swift is. They are mostly 20-somethings who have grown up not seeing us do anything and who on the whole hate Utd. more than they love City.

I as many of you out there has sung this and many other songs about the Rags at derby games, but maybe next time this will pull me up short. I too have noticed that the anti-Rag feeling has grown over the last 2-3 years; maybe this is due to the amount of stick we have been getting? But as has been said before they are out of our league both in football and money terms and until we purge ourselves of past glories/hatreds and start to look forward we as a team/supporters will be waste too much energy. We should be more concerned with what is happing to our club and not anywhere else!

So let’s try and educate the “young’uns” before it’s too late!

On a lighter note thanks to Phil for his “hit” list of City songs, it made me feel very old, but also gave me a laugh or two!

Tony “Tubby Custard” Hulme (


This is a real-life nightmare. I’m all for giving FC time to give the club some stability but stabilty is mid-table not fighting relegation. This past week has changed my mind on this fella. I’d love somebody to email me privately with answers to these points and decisions he has made.

He said the kids are not the answer to be thrown in at this stage, then he throws them in and throws poor Kelly in from nowhere into the lions’ den! He has a go at the press for making up stories then I read in the Daily Mirror and elsewhere he’s not frightened of selling Gio if it’s for the good of the club. I’ll tell you what’s for the good of the club, selling the s***e we already have, we have about 40 of them. Why do we always talk about selling our best player? All that is going to do is create more transfer rumours. He said last week the answer lies in our own dressing room! The fans Mr Clark, persuaded Gio to stay, which he did to be loyal, he loves the club and fans and tries to help us get out of this division. It was your job to surround him with decent players who want to fight for the club, you were given the money to do that.

So Mr Clark, what you’re saying is that Ged Brannan and Horlock are more secure in their contracts than Mr Kinkladze are you? That would be a great way of rewarding a player for showing his loyalty and trying to help us out. Have a look around and see how many fans have Brannan printed on their shirts or Symons?

Let’s say we did sell him, we’re a struggling club so wouldn’t get much. And whatever we did get this idiot would buy more s***e. I wouldn’t trust him with 6 quid never mind 6 million.

Let’s have a look at the 3 main areas a quality manager must have or be good at.

  1. Transfers, well they speak for themselves, and we couldn’t affordMcGinlay for £650,000 and Bradford can.
  2. Tactics. We have over 50 pros on the books, yet every game a player ortwo is played out of position. Why can’t we play a player in his trueposition? Why play Gio on the right wing? He’s left footed. We’re playingthe long ball game with no target man? Why do they whack the ball 7ft inthe air to Dickov instead of to his feet. This BTW is coached by Money intraining. Also why is FC never at training?Morley plays well against Bury, gets dropped, Margetson plays well, gets dropped,Greenacre scores, gets dropped, Scully has a good game, gets dropped nextgame. C’mon people wake up, is this how you reward a player who plays well,by dropping them? Please, if somebody can explain this thinking then write tome ’cause I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s me and I’m missing something here. Ijust can’t see what’s going through this fella’s mind.
  3. Motivation, obviously non-existent. No passion for the club, easilyaccepts defeat.

FL made one big mistake in AB. The cock-ups with Coppell and Bassett weren’t his fault were they? Everything off the pitch is doing fine, he then gets a manager and gives him full running of the team affairs and ten million to spend. The manager does nothing with the money. Where do we go from here? It seems a new manager would unsettle things even more but we have to see some improvement and light at the end of the tunnel soon. Is a huge cash injection needed? Unlikely, and can you trust FC with the cash? I think the answer starts in the dressing room with pride and motivation; these players need the management team now more than ever. They need picking up off the floor and given some self belief and confidence, a good manager can do that. Please show us FC.

Paul Whittaker, Florida Blue (


From this distance I really do not know what to say or what to think. The whole sorry story of the past few years shows no sign at all of ending. I stayed at work late on Tuesday night so I could get the Electronc Times of Wednesday morning and read the score. Isn’t it a sad state of affairs when I was not at all surprised by the result? What sort of supporter does that make me – when I can’t even feel confident about a home game against Port Vale?

I think MCIVTA is the only thing that keeps me feeling that I am not dreaming all this. I am at a complete loss to know what the next step should be: what’s the choice? A new manager or keeping on with the FC in the hope that we will have a revival? Surely any hope of promotion has completely gone unless they can go through the season undefeated? I am still in quiet shock after watching them play at Charlton last season… I was sat next to a Charlton fan and at the end of the game I told him that his team could only get better: City looked a very poor team indeed.

Do you then go with all the young ‘uns and put your faith in them being willing to play with spirit and pride? I could care less if the big names are in the reserves. Some of the ones we now complain about have been at Maine Road two or more years with no visible sign of consistency or improvement. I don’t see another option but going with the young ones… there is no chance any player of substance will come to Maine Road. A couple of years ago I thought that players like McClair (I couldn’t care less about him being a Rag – we need to get out of this two team universe) or Barnes could be brought in to help the youngsters while still having a year or two themselves. But there is no chance now at all of anyone like that coming to City.

We need to be also careful of the Newcastle parallel of a few years back. The fellow who backed Newcastle (John Hall?) was really rich and Keegan had a philosophy of football that overrode everyone. I don’t see anything like this happening at City.

I worry also about the supporters like the regular contributors to MCIVTA. The attendances are astonishing but what will happen should it sink in that this kind of football could be what we will always have at Maine Rd? I think we will see a drastic drop.

I’ve not given up – I still wish Clark all the best – but wanting him to do well and the team not doing well are two different things. Is the answer money – to some degree it is – to have money to buy good players when the chance arises. Howaever, good players won’t be interested in City until there is some sign of improvement and consistency. I am not sure sure if I am that annoyed with Lee: it is the playing side that seems in tatters.

The trouble is I can’t even find excitement through another team… other than England. I watch all kinds of games on TV here but nothing remotely stirs me like City. I am off to Barcelona next week for a meeting and will get to see Barcelona play… which will be an experience but in no way a substitute because there isn’t one.

Enough… I remember writing once before of a pal of mine who is a season ticket holder at Maine Road who reckons that only once in a lifetime will you see City win the League, so you youngsters, born after ’68 have it all to look forward to. Me, well it is one game at a time, David.

Absolutely cheesed off in California.

By the way – Huw Thomas, were you running along Alameda De Las Pulgas (yes – The Avenue of the Fleas) the other morning in your Kappa shirt? Someone was, I am pretty sure it was the new City top.

Bring back Freddie Hill! Or perhaps Big Bill Leivers.

John Pearson (pearsonj@leland)


After watching City for over twenty years, I am one of those fans who have yet to see City win anything. I’m not one of those fans who have witnessed minor glory in the early 70’s, so why do I carry on going, year after year? I don’t know the answer to this question and I don’t have all the answers to the problems we currently face. I’m one of those sad gits who carries on going despite the results, despite the league positions and it’s not because I hate the Rags.

Last night at Huddersfield I had a really good laugh, the City team were crap as usual, but everyone carried on chatting, laughing and generally having a good time, that was until we conceded a goal in the 76th minute. Heads dropped, on and off the field. The fans can’t be expected to suffer week in, week out with the blues when we have the most inept manager ever seen as Maine Road – more so than Ball?

After a 4-point run in two games, Clark chopped and changed the team yet again. Most people on MCIVTA had praised Scully and his contribution to the game against Crewe a week earlier, so why has Clark dropped him? Why play different strikers every game? Whilst Rösler and Badbuy are injured, we could call on Creaney to return, but we don’t. I don’t rate him one bit, after all he is a pie eater, but he’s got a striker’s instinct and knows where the goals are. He’s got a decent track record in the division and has scored regularly at Burnley. Why throw kids into the deep end and expect miracles?

Another player who seems to get excellent reviews is Morley. Every game he’s played, in defence that is, he’s done well and could easily be picked every week, but isn’t. We’ve had numerous changes at the back, with several players playing in the central defence rôle, but Morley is overlooked. Of all the promise showed by the kids in the team at the moment, he shows the most.

With £9 million wasted on average players from average clubs with neither the ambition or the ability to get us up the table, surely the time has come to loan some from the Premier league or abroad? One thing about ‘successful’ managers over the last decade of so is that they’ve brought in quality players at the end of their careers with track records and passion… Walsh, Gow, McNab to name a few. In the side at the moment we have none of the qualities that these three alone had. On the loan side of things, we’ve seen Rösler and Gaudino come to City on loan, so why not others? The McGinlay thing from Bolton was a good idea, but Colin Todd was too busy settling old differences with FHL.

I did protest last night – the last time was years ago in ’85 or so, and I will protest again cause I’m not prepared to let City become the laughing stock of the football league. The fans hit the nail firmly on the head on friday by shouting ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirts’ – it was the most important chant ever heard at Maine Road.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big F*** Off to Vince Miller. Every game he welcomes teams to Maine Road (and their fans) and basically invites them to have three points. It’s the old Anfield tunnel thing… when players come out the sign reads ‘This is Anfield’, at Maine Road, the tunnel must read ‘Welcome to three points, an away win and a smarmy PA announcer who loves you.’ Sod the half-time entertainment of penalty shoot outs (which we lose), let’s just see 11 blue shirts winning with passion! Sod the style!

Meat Pie, Sausage Roll, come on City, give us a goal.

Ooooooh, we’ve got a corner.

Tony Shaw (


God knows City have given me many reasons to tear up my season ticket, but still I go.

I travel the UK and further in my job, and always plan my business visits with the fixture list in mind. For years the disappointments have failed to deflect my resolve. I have even forced my children (I bought you the season ticket so one of you is going) to come with me and my dad to the match (he’s 72, I’m 44, they’re 14/12).

However, now the excuse I have needed has now been presented.

Move from Maine Road? Yet another of Mr. Lee’s dismal decisions. Maine Road is my second home. I for one will vote with my feet. I’ll probably just go to away games.

Malcolm Plaiter (


I won’t comment of Friday; there will be plenty of others to do this no doubt! So I thought I would tell you about what happened to me the following day. I was invited to Anfield to watch Liverpool vs. Spurs which the home team won 4 nil.

Spurs were trying hard in the first half and gave Liverpool some problems. All around me there were home supporters whinging about their team’s performance and I have to say that first half Liverpool lost their way following a good start. Second half Liverpool got it sorted and it must be said that Spurs were absolute crap with only Ginola (real class), Armstrong and the little Dominguez who came on as a sub showing any interest at all. Are Spurs trying to become the City of the South?

Now to the point. The match reminded me of something I haven’t seen for such a long time and perhaps I could be forgiven for forgetting. This game of football you know is really quite simple. All you need to do is find a player who can control the ball then pass it to another player who can control the ball then pass it on again. Despite Liverpool running out of ideas after 20 minutes or so they kept on passing again and again and never once did I see a ball punted from the back of the defence. The other thing which stood out was Paul Ince’s captaincy and Captain Kit could do worse than go and watch him. I know he used to be a Red and all that but Ince did a super job marshalling the troops, shouting a lot and on one occasion gave Fowler a mother and father of a bollocking when RF went into a state of dreamworld.

Newsy bits:

  1. Did anyone catch a snippet in the Sunday Telegraph about Frank Clarkbeing “angry at leaks from inside the club claiming members of the boardare dissatisfied with the manager’s staff”?
  2. Teletext reports Martin O’Neill refusing to be drawn on transfer rumours about Gio.

Oh well, it’s off to Sheffield next week – still, look on the good side – we beat the teams at the top don’t we? Sheffield United only drew at Ipswich today, but that leaves Ipswich with a point more than us now.

CTID, Alan Lingard (


Where do we go from here? Well for starters, me and 3 other depressed East Yorkshire Blues are off to Bramhall Lane on Saturday for our first taste of ‘live’ torture this season. Don’t know where we’re going to be yet before the game; anyone else got plans? We’re in the Main (Laver?) Stand as we had no chance of getting in with the rest of the City hordes; looks like it’s a probable full house.

Logic says we should get stuffed by a team with their record this season, but when did logic ever have anything to do with City’s performances? Looking forward to a win then!

Geoff Donkin, Beverley (Geoff@Donkin.Demon.Co.UK)


If this jumps from one issue to another and then back then I apologise, but I’m becoming P£$*$d Off with what’s happening on the pitch. I’ll still support them till I die though.

After having watched that disgrace of a team on Friday night I just had to write something. I just wished I had decided to meet up with those MCIVTA’ers up in London and got drunk rather than have watched it at home stone cold sober. If you want a match report then here it is: crap, though my brother thought the Stoke game was worse.

I have never heard the “You’re not fit to wear those shirts” chant before in my time as a City fan but most of those players deserved it. In fact whilst out the other night in my laser blue shirt (yes I finally got one that fits), a Chelsea mate of mine mistook myself or my brother saying Laser and thought we said Lazy. I think he was right.

Even those that did try (Dickov, Whitley) don’t seem to be able to work together and so have no clue when it comes to the final third of the pitch. You can count on one hand the saves that the bottom of the table ‘keeper had to make against us. There seems to be no spirit within the team at all. They don’t even stick up for one another.

Kinkladze looked totally p£$%^d off and as far as I am concerned we should sell him. Unfortunately the only offer so far is Leicester City with Claridge and Parker in part exchange if you go off Ceefax. We can get better than that, can’t we? Maybe not, who wants to come to City at this moment in time?

What about the chairman and manager? I far as I am concerned they should stay, but certain other shareholders should go.

Thought I am no financial wizard it seems to me that off the pitch, business wide, things are improving. Unfortunately this is geared up towards being a Premiership club which we are certainly not.

Rodney Marsh was on Sky sports on Saturday and basically said that there was a “Cancer” within the club and until this was cut completely out they would go nowhere. Questioned further, he refused to comment, probably for legal reasons. I believe he may have been talking about the likes of Greenall’s and some of the long time shareholders. Perhaps someone out there has another view as to who he was talking about? He also mentioned that even though Friday night’s game was a disgrace the fans would be back the following week because “they’re the best in the world are City fans.”

As for the manager I still believe Clark can turn things around. If we got rid of him we would:

  1. Have to pay off his contract. As far as I am aware we haven’t paidoff Horton and Peter Reid yet have we? We haven’t money for players letalone paying off ex-managers.
  2. Get rid of his back room staff so that the new manager (what’s to saywe’ll get one straight away?) can bring his in. We would also have topay these off.
  3. The new manager would want to bring his own players in but with what,we have no money. If he was given money we just end up with more playerson the players list and more wages to pay.
  4. Have to start all over again.

What we need more than anything at this present time is some stability. I’m sick and tired of the comings and goings in this club. It’s time we stuck by a manger and gave him the time to sort things out. From that I mean at least 3-4 years.

If he is to turn it around then he must sell Kinkladze and use the money wisely. I would also offload Brannan, Summerbee and a few others but no one can afford their wages, let alone pay a transfer fee for them.

You all heard it before, but you need the backbone of a team. In Margetson I believe we have a good ‘keeper (I just wish he would use his voice a little more to the defenders in front of him). It could have been a lot worse on Friday if it hadn’t been for him, and why Frank dropped him when he hadn’t put a foot wrong I’ll never know.

One would be a new central defender. I know a lot of people did not like Keith Curle, but under his leadership Symons looked a class player. Now that he has the captaincy he looked totally lost. If not a new central defender then at least take the captaincy away from him and give it someone like Wiekens.

Two, would be hard tackling midfielder. This I believe we have at the club in Michael Brown but for some reason the lad only gets half a game every know and then. Horlock could also fill this spot. I’m a true believer that you need this in your team more than any other position. People would probably disagree and go for a forward, but you can’t score if you haven’t got the ball.

Three would be the forward, A proven one, though who I must admit, I’m not sure.

As for supporting the team I will never stop doing that, and will be there with the Denton branch of the Supporters’ Club on Saturday at Sheffield, though I’m looking forward to the p***-up more than the match. Then again it would be just like City to beat them. We’ve beaten 1st and 2nd, why not 4th?

Also, I don’t believe in having a go at the team and especially at individual players whilst the game is going on. They are totally low on morale and belief in themselves as it is without having their own fans jeering them. I was never a big fan of Summerbee and I never will be, but I would never jeer him when he was on the pitch.

At Oxford last week two lads moved up from the bottom of the terrace to about half way up. When some bloke in front started having a go at the players they hit back by telling him to support the team and get behind them. Quite so. 5 minutes later they turned to each other and one said “Let’s go back down to the bottom” to which the other replied “Yeah you can’t see this s**t from there” or something similar to that. Also one drunk lad turned to my brother and said could he have a lift back after the game. My brother told that we were not going to Manchester but in fact London to which he replied “that will do.”

One final point and this goes to one of you readers out there. A while back someone mentioned that Curly Watts sat right behind him. If this is in DDU of the Kippax (last season) then we must be only 2-3 seats apart as Curly used to be one row behind me and about three seats to my left.

Finally, if City are to turn this around then we do have a part to play which is to encourage them. So come, don’t give up, and please God let City start winning!

Synthetic Cream Blue (


Well what can I say about Friday night? Not having a P.C. at home I have had time to cool off a bit. Firstly to the bad points (as I like to try to finish on a high). We lost and with Ipswich drawing on Sunday we are now in the bottom 3 and looking odds on for going down. We did not have any bite up front and never looked like scoring (again). We had two tries on goal from what I remembered, which is just not going to win you any games! Unless we can get some support to Dickov we will not win many more games this season. If Dickov gets injured (and the way he puts himself about that will be sooner rather than later) we’ll have no-one up front at all. Morley was pushed up front, but he is not an out and out striker and could not make himself any space. Frank’s tactics this season have also worried me, the continual changing of formations and players would confuse anyone, let alone the players we have, who have no idea of what they should be doing and where! We need to get and stick to a formation (I’d like 4-4-2) and let other teams worry about us, not the other way around! Players are being played out of position time and time again, this then means they are not confident, this then means they make mistakes, this then means the crowd get on their backs, they lose more confidence, they are dropped, that means another change to the team and so on and so on… We look like we are a team that does not want the ball, and just wants to get off the pitch faster than we get onto it.

Lastly Gio. Yes he is one of the best players ever to pull on the City shirt, but after the last two games I have come to think that he must go. Go for his sake, for the team’s sake and for the fans’ sake. His sake because he is a shadow of the player he was 2 seasons ago and if he stays things will only get worse and it could take him along time to recover when not if he goes. I love him to bits and because of that I want him to go, it’s just too painful to see him slowly waste away! For the good of the team, because the team cannot play with him, we have players who cannot get onto his wavelength and who are now sick of carrying deadwood. Anyone can see this during the game; the two games he was out we got 4 points, the next two he played we get nowt! No it’s not all his fault, but I cannot help thinking of Bolton last season; when they let Curcic go they became far more of a team. Lastly for us fans, we have a unheathly fixation with Gio; last season in the last game there was a team playing, did we sing about any of them? No, it was all about Gio. We cannot forget the goal against Southampton (who would?), but we put so much pressure on him and we cannot understand why every player is not like him.

What all this does to the dressing room I’ve can only guess. Frank should have taken him off at half time on Friday, but did not as I think there would have been a riot! He was doing nothing, did not look like he would do anything but we the fans would have him still on the pitch. Why… any other player we would be baying for him to be taken off!

Now to the high points and there are one or two… I think. We got beat, but we did seem to have a bit more of a fight about us and with Martin back in nets the back four looked happier. We also looked good with Brownie on. All is not lost, we will not go up, but I feel if we all bite the bullet we could stay up. Before you all scream that’s nt good enough for City… we are a big club – I say wake up! We have not been a “big club” for ten years and until we the fans get more realistic and face up to the very long haul in front of this club, we will continue to rip the club apart and continue to be pitied and not feared! We have to look at where we are not where we have been! It’s going to be a long time (3-4 years I.M.H.O.) before we can again start to be called a big club. I am along for the ride I hope some of you will come along too, because if we start to turn on ourselves again we will, in 2 years max, fold! Sorry if this rant has been a bit long (Ash stick this at the end, so if they fall asleep they get to read the rest of MCITVA), but I had to say what I feel is the way forward and not back again. Feel free to tell me what a total git I am, but please do it through MCIVTA, as that’s what makes MCIVTA the best by far, and you will get a lot more of a debate going, rather than just folding my mailbox!

So to finish (at last you all say) stay Blue, stay true, but stay realistic!

CTID, Tony Hulme (


So did I make the right choice in missing the Udders game, well it looks like it. There I was imbibing a few ales, whilst you suckers were suffering the calamity kids. I had a really good time only ruined by watching 10 minutes of the first half and then having a couple of Rags taking great delight in telling me the final score, which made the beer seem hard to swallow.

With that result, I honestly now feel there’s only one way left for the Blues and that’s Div 2. Downhill all the way, the club’s in a mess, from the board down. We now have a board that is unwilling or more likely unable to provide funds for new players who could turn the crisis around. We also have a management team that seems unsure in its own mind of tactics and which players to use. Then we come to the players, completely bereft of ideas, totally scared and nervous, how are they expected to win games?

The one shining light is that we keep turning up in our thousands. However, I honestly think it’s the end of all empathy for the Blues following the Udders game. I wasn’t surprised at the demonstration after the game but what did surprise me was the numbers, I’d have thought far more would vent their feelings!

From a personal point of view, these continued results will only succeed in driving away the fans in vast numbers. After all, why should we the paying public line the pockets of, shall we say, players showing an inability if not passion for the game? As for me, being a season ticket holder it’s only me that’s going to lose out, after all I’ve already paid up front for this sh*te. From now on it’s an empty seat (bar the Tribal Gathering) unless the whole situation improves, I’m not going to let anyone use my ticket. I think it’s time to give my local non-league teams some much needed cash, b*****ks to the Blues – no doubt I’ll get flamed but enough’s enough, why should we have to endure the dire bilge? We’d all have been sacked by now if we gave this sort of performance at work!

Tribal Gathering – some suggestions

  1. If you manage to meet any players/management/board let them knowhow much time, effort and your own money has been spent getting tothis game. Make it clear how far you’ve come. OK if you’re from GreaterManchester I doubt it’ll have as much effect as saying you’ve comefrom the Carribbean, American, Europe, Far East, etc.
  2. On a related matter make it clear that this is most likely yourlast visit as you won’t spend any more money watching this s**t. Hithome for us all there and then!
  3. Bring a national flag from your adopted home. Let people knowwhere we’ve got Blues dotted around the globe. Those not able tospeak to the club directly can at least make a show of your currenthomeland.

Totally disillusioned, Martin Ford (


Will this nightmare ever end? As I’m sure most people saw on TV, Friday’s game was one of the worst displays of football ever to grace Maine Road. I’ve seen my local side, Stalybridge Celtic, put on better performances than that. Thankfully, Margetson kept the score down, and why he was ever dropped is beyond me. Again, Clark’s tactics have to be questioned. His continual chopping and changing of the team and playing key men out of position is getting beyond a joke. Why play an inexperienced striker in such a key game while Gerry Creaney is out on loan to Burnley? Creaney scored again for Burnley on Saturday, and I really think he should be given another chance. These are desperate times and they call for desperate measures. Gerry ain’t no Shearer but he has to be better than Baaarry Conlon.

The next few weeks will be make or break. We start playing the top teams starting with Sheffield United on Saturday, and I can’t see us getting any more points between now and New Year.

I also hear Kinky may be on his way to Leicester City. I agree that he should be sold, but can we trust Clark with the money?

Finally, Joe Royle appears to be putting himself forward for the job should Clark get the boot. He was quoted in the paper as saying his one regret is having never managed Man City. He was also interviewed on GMR on Saturday and said he loved the club and had a real affection for the fans. Would we want him? Would he be better than Clark? Would we get the Royle that transformed Oldham or the Royle that nearly got Everton relegated? Again, Royle seems to be one of those managers who finds it difficult to get respect from his playing staff.

Charles Pollitt (


We’ve spent nearly 9 million quid on a bunch of players that are no better than the ones we have got rid of or still have at the club, so what do we do?: firstly, let’s start at the back ’cause that’s where we are crap. Let’s get rid of captain chaos, boob Brightwell and replace them with Weikens and Kernaghan, yes Kernaghan with Edgy Edghill and van Blerk. In midfield the line up would be this: Whitely, Horlock, Brown and Summerbee. Up front Kinkladze, Rösler (promise him a Probe but get him a mini at the end of the season). On the bench would be Scully, Morley, Baree Conlon.

          Edghill  Kernaghan  Wiekens  van Blerk
          Summerbee  Brown  Horlock   Whitley
                   Kinkladze  Rösler

With what weve got left I’d throw them to the lions and put ’em in the meat pies next home game. Get rid of Brannan, Vaughan, Symons, Brightwell, Wright, Clough and Crooks, preferably to outer Mongolia.

Mike Ash (


Friday night again saw a small gathering of Bristol Blues at the Seahorse to watch Sado-Masochester City lose 1-0 to Shuddersfield. Despite later press reports that FC had said that this was our worst performance of the season, it seemed to me that we did not play badly, but had no cutting edge up front, a possible reason being that we don’t have any strikers.

Given the above, I had not felt too depressed about the game; furthermore, the Gunners’ resilient display against the team that Jonathan Pearce, during the Chelsea vs. Tromsø (“Sing when it’s snowing, you only sing when it’s snowing”) game, had referred to as “a team from Salford Quays” on the regular appearance of “Stand up if you hate Man U”, also improved my general mood.

However, checking the City teamtalk page this morning soon sorted that out. ( – all sorts of horror stories abounding; firstly, the Ceefax rumours about Leicester and Gio were confirmed, then it was stated that FC is to have ‘crisis’ talks with the board… apparently they aren’t happy with Richard Money or Alan Hill, and it is rumoured that FC would walk if they were axed. Then a wild rumour that one of the Milan clubs was interested in City and/or Palace as a feeder club; investing lots of money, but in effect, I would guess, ending any possibility of us returning to the top ranks of English football (ROTFL I guess).

All in all, what comes over loud and clear is that we are not a happy club behind the scenes; given that Franny Lee stated that making City a happy club was one of his priorities, this is another area he has singularly failed in.

Oh dear.

One good note, to end on – Niall returned to the Sunderland bench over the weekend, and got a few minutes towards the end of their game. Come back Niall!

Jeremy Poynton (


This club is now in serious trouble, I don’t care what Franny says. There are several problems and unfortunately, only one serious answer.

Problem 1: Frank Clark has wasted all the money on donkeys and no hopers.
Problem 2: Franny Lee & Co don’t have any more money.
Problem 3: We need to buy quality Division 1 players urgently (see 1 & 2).
Problem 4: There is no morale to speak of within the dressing room or on the terraces.
Problem 5: We are not going to get promoted this year or win anything.
Problem 6: Too many overpaid underachievers in the squad.

Solution: Sell Gio. Hard as it may seem, we have to do it and soon. He is the best thing since sliced bread but he is not a Division 1 player, he is not going to get us out of this Division, in fact he was part of the squad which contributed to us being here in the first place. What we need is hard cash for players. It’s reached rock bottom if we can’t raise £625,000 for the likes of McGinlay. This is beer money! That guy could do a job for us, just the sort of player we need to attract, i.e. one who can score and has proven himself in this division. This is the best thing Gio can do for us right now as £6-7 million will buy 4 or 5 of the type of players that are (a) suited to this division, and (b) can help us to win promotion to the Premiership. We can only afford the luxury of the likes of Gio once we get back there and re-establish ourselves. Gio will go anyway as we are certainly not going up this season and going down isn’t impossible either. Cash in now while the going is (relatively!) good, rather than wait until we are desperate and accept peanuts for him. If we wait until then Frank Clark will probably do a swap deal with Mr Dalglish – Gio for Rush – and think he’s got a bright new prospect to replace Bradbury! Sell him abroad though; if we do ever make it back to the big time, at least he won’t be there in the opposition to haunt us.

Mike Dunkerley (


Can anybody help me get a ticket for Stockport? If so, please contact me at

Thanks in advance.

P.S. Has anybody noticed where we are on Boxing Day? Crewe! With 5,750 capacity! Tickets will be like gold-dust.

Steve Kay (


Friday 21st November

13:00 Tour of the East Lancs Road, with Gio Kinkladze at the wheel
13:50 Visit to Casualty Department, Wythenshawe Hospital
14:30 Boardroom Games - Pin the tail on the White Rhino
15:00 Tour of the Maine Road Trophy Room -
......marvel at the display of Bog Roll Art - courtesy of FH Lee Ltd
16:00 Video - Ged Branonymous Magic Moments 1997
16:01 Video - Kit Symons Magic Moments 1996-1997
16:02 Micky the PeaSoaked Tailor - laugh along as the drunken clown from
......Summerbee's Silly Shirts Ltd tries to measure volunteers from the
......audience without throwing up on them
17:00 Visit to Francis Lee's Hairdresser, Ancoats School for the Blind
18:00 Bingo - do a line with Nicky Summerbee
19:30 Presentation and Debate - "Lingerie for the Fuller Figure"
......Peter Beagrie addresses the Burnage Women's Institute
20:00 Darts with Lee Bradbury
20:10 Visit to Casualty Department, Wythenshawe Hospital
21:00 Frank Clark's Tactical Masterclass - Prestwich Mental Hospital
......(Straightjackets are optional)
23:00 Horlicks with Horlock - bedtime stories for those of nervous disposition

Saturday 22nd November

10:00 Demonstration of Flaming Torch Juggling by Tommy Wright
10:10 Visit to Burns Unit, Wythenshawe Hospital
10:45 Anti-Wrinkle Cream Presentation by Barry Conlon
11:30 Down the Pub with the First Team - Gardener's Arms
13:30 Pre-match Curry with the First team
14:25 Help FC pick the team for today!
......Nb:- Please bring your own pin and blindfold
14:59 The Frank Clark Pre-match Mumble (repeat)
15:00 A choice of activities : -
......Siesta / Pick Nose / Collect litter in Platt Lane car park / Watch match
......Nb:- Book early for Litter Collection due to high demand
16:46 The Frank Clark Post-match Mumble (repeat)
16:47 Singalong outside the Main Entrance - all your old favourites, including
......Sack the Board / Frankie go to Hollywood / Frannie go to Holloway /
......Roll out the Barrelchest / Why Buy Bradbury / Swales Meet Again /
......Show Lee the way to go home / etc / etc
17:00 Brick-throwing Competition, Main Entrance
17:30 Pie-eating contest with Gerry Creaney
19:00 Arm-wrestling contest starring Buster Phillips

Sunday 23rd November

11:00 St John's Church, Bramhall.
......Special Resurrection Service for Peter Swales.
12:00 The 100-metre Sprint Challenge : Nigel Clough vs.  Alan Kernaghan
......Times may vary hereafter subject to completion of this event...

Robert Lever MoK (


Full-time score and scorers for Sunday, November 9 1997

IPSWICH TOWN            2-2    SHEFFIELD UNITED           9,695
Legg (50)                      Taylor (9)
Gregory (88)                   Ward (79)

Full-time scores and scorers for Saturday, November 8 1997

BIRMINGHAM CITY         1-2    NORWICH CITY              16,464
Devlin (pen 27)                Forbes (23, 36)
BURY                    0-2    PORTSMOUTH                 5,065
                               Aloisi (53)
                               Durnin (90)
CREWE ALEXANDRA         2-1    OXFORD UNITED              4,524
Westwood (31)                  Ford (14)
Anthrobus (41)
MIDDLESBROUGH           3-0    QUEENS PARK RANGERS       30,067
Beck (22)
Merson (37)
Ormerod (90)
READING                 1-0    STOCKPORT COUNTY           7,444
Morley (pen 42)
STOKE CITY              3-0    WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS   18,490
Kavanagh (8, pen 23)
Forsyth (60)
SUNDERLAND              1-1    NOTTINGHAM FOREST         33,160
Phillips (2)                   Hjelde (25)
SWINDON TOWN            1-0    BRADFORD CITY             10,029
Cowe (24)
TRANMERE ROVERS         1-2    PORT VALE                  7,063
Irons (51)                     Naylor (14, 67)
Hunt (34)

Full-time score and scorer for Friday, November 7 1997

MANCHESTER CITY         0-1    HUDDERSFIELD TOWN         24,425
                               Edwards (76)

Full-time scores and scorers for Wednesday, November 5 1997

MIDDLESBROUGH           1-1    PORTSMOUTH                29,724
Townsend (65)                  Igoe (85)
SWINDON TOWN            3-1    QUEENS PARK RANGERS       10,132
Walters (66)                   Peacock (14)
Taylor (84)
Hay (87)

Full-time scores and scorers for Tuesday, November 4 1997

BIRMINGHAM CITY         0-0    BRADFORD CITY             14,552
BURY                    2-0    NOTTINGHAM FOREST          6,137
Swan (16)
Johnson (63)
                               Freedman (14)
                               Muscat (63)
IPSWICH TOWN            0-2    STOCKPORT COUNTY           8,938
                               Angell (70, 81)
MANCHESTER CITY         2-3    PORT VALE                 24,554
Wiekens (15)                   Snijders (17)
Dickov (41)                    Talbot (45)
                               Naylor (50)
READING                 0-1    SHEFFIELD UNITED           8,132
                               Patterson (52)
STOKE CITY              0-0    OXFORD UNITED              8,423
SUNDERLAND              0-0    CHARLTON ATHLETIC         25,455
TRANMERE ROVERS         1-0    HUDDERSFIELD TOWN          5,127
Irons (3)
WEST BROMWICH ALBION    1-0    NORWICH CITY              13,949
Hughes (85)

Up to and including Sunday, November 9 1997

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Swindon Town            17     10    4    3     23    18        34
Nottingham Forest       16      9    4    3     25    14        31
West Bromwich Albion    16      9    4    3     19    12        31
Sheffield United        14      8    5    1     23    12        29
Middlesbrough           15      8    4    3     27    14        28
Charlton Athletic       16      7    5    4     30    19        26
Port Vale               17      7    4    6     24    21        25
Wolverhampton Wanderers 17      7    4    6     20    19        25
Stoke City              16      7    4    5     19    17        25
Bradford City           16      6    7    3     16    15        25
Stockport County        17      6    5    6     25    23        23
Sunderland              16      6    5    5     21    19        23
Queens Park Rangers     16      6    4    6     20    26        22
Birmingham City         17      5    7    5     18    14        22
Bury                    17      4    7    6     19    25        19
Norwich City            16      5    4    7     13    23        19
Crewe Alexandra         17      5    3    9     20    26        18
Reading                 17      4    6    7     17    25        18
Oxford United           17      4    4    9     19    25        16
Tranmere Rovers         16      4    3    9     22    24        15
Ipswich Town            15      3    6    6     15    20        15
MANCHESTER CITY         16      3    5    8     19    20        14
Portsmouth              16      3    5    8     19    24        14
Huddersfield Town       17      2    5   10     12    30        11

Russell Town (
With thanks to Soccernet


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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.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #345