Newsletter #353

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This issue is a bit slim, but still has a match report and 2 match views, as well as news of Bradbury (good) and our opponents in the F.A. Cup. I’m not sure if everyone is becoming immune to the bi-monthly defeat at Maine Road; hardly anyone seems to have got hot enough under the collar to write about it! There’s also a good Why Blue – more needed.

This one reaches 1,780.

Next game, Birmingham City away, Saturday 13th December 1997

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’

MANCHESTER CITY vs. WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS, Saturday 6th December 1997

Quiz:

Consider the following list of (so-called) “footballing” teams, who at least try to play a bit:

Forest, Swindon, Crewe, WBA, Ipswich, Bradford …

and now consider the following list of “hoofers”

Sheffield United, Port Vale, Stockport, Bury, Stoke, Sunderland, Charlton …

Can anyone see a trend? Well, bearing in mind the fact that Wolves are the world leaders in “hoofing” and appalling football, was it any surprise to see the following:-

God I hate Wolves. The “City” (slum, more like) is the **sehole of the U.K., the fans are scum, the accent is a joke, the team are a disgrace to the general term of “football”, Mark McGhee is a complete and utter t***er and their kit is disgusting. Oh yeah – and they’ve now beaten us 3 times out of 3, which really sums up how bad things are at City at the moment doesn’t it!

Strange as it may seem, I couldn’t get too worked up on Saturday after losing (yet another) game to a bunch of long ball no-hopers. I must be getting used to us losing this type of game – thus ending another magnificent one game unbeaten run. However, the actual performance was significantly improved on the recent games that I’ve seen, although I don’t think we would have scored if we’d played for 4 hours – we just haven’t got even a blunt edge, never mind a cutting one! For once the fight, effort and commitment were there, as was the domination of the game in general. However, the lack of scoring power and the ability of the defence (and K.S. in particular) to give away another goal of stupendous incompetence brought about the loss.

Last year, lost at home 1-0 to Wolves. Outrageous defensive error by Symons lets in Bull.

This year, lost at home 1-0 to Wolves. Outrageous defensive error by Symons nicks the ball off Goodman to plant the perfect lob for an O.G.

Is this the consistency FC is after?

The match:

Basically Wolves came here to do a job and did it with ease. Stroll in to the Maine Road fortress and walk off with all the spoils. It’s just too easy! They were dirty and aggressive, and we just didn’t have the firepower (i.e. physical presence) to give it back. Even Curle was a dirty git (what was his poor reception all about then – I never had any problem with him when he played for us – wish he still did!). Gio was sorely missed – as we had very little creativity despite almost total possession for long periods. Wolves very rarely threatened in the first half. One long ball over Brannan’s head caught him desperately out of position but the shot was really tame. The goal came from a long punt which got a lucky ricochet off a couple of players in front of our defence (I think it was Wiekens) – and the ball was then played into space behind Vaughan, who as usual, seemed to be struggling with Goodman’s (what a good looking chap he is) pace. In strolls captain courageous to save the day with a powerful clearance into Row Z. Whoops, I’ve sliced it. Where’s it going – oh no. I’d better look concerned and hold my head in my hands. Nice guy and all that, but this is happening too often. Eject from the team forthwith and bring on the Georgian (or Beesley, what the hell has happened to him since the Swindon 6-0?). Just before H.T. as well!

Second half just the same. Wolves didn’t try for a second and only had one chance right near the end on the break. Guess who our covering player was on that occasion (having just been in their box) – yes, Dickov. Rösler looked good and quite fired up. Must be in the team next week.

Final Score: City 0 Wolves 1

Brimingham – errmmm yes, they’re hoofers aren’t they? Expect a 1-0 defeat then. Then a mini-revival against the top boys – before the real revival in the second half of the season.

Form guide:

MM (8.5): Nothing to do – but a high mark for improved distribution and a great save at the start of the second half which would have sealed the defeat for sure at that point. Why doesn’t he pile in for the corners in the 90th minute (à la Rudolph) – we might as well lose 2-0 at that stage (goals scored in this league, not goal difference). In fact, when we had the 4 corners in the last few minutes why did we keep MM and 3 (yes three) defenders back?
Edghill (7): Better than of late. A mixture of good tackling and running but bloody awful passing.
Symons (6): Much better than of late. However, he did give the goal away which caused the defeat (well actually he scored the goal, of course!).
Vaughan (5): Looked a bit slow. Well actually he looked a lot slow. Goodman had him for pace every time. Admittedly he usually got in a last ditch challenge to deflect away for a corner – but they really were last ditch challenges when he looked most uncomfortable.
Wiekens (9): New captain. Excellent game. The business!
van Blerk (6): OK. I’m sure he would be OK in a flat back four with a decent left sided player in front (Scully?) – but looks out of it (like Horlock) with this 3-at-the-back-and-wide-full-backs malarky!
Brannan (4): Crap and anonymous. Hasn’t got the ability to beat a man or play penetrating passes. Would be OK as a full back but is taking the p*** by trying to play midfield.
Brown (8): Light years better than McGoldrick. Very, very aggressive and committed. What has been lacking. Would do a job as “Gio’s minder” if Gio was to play a bit more. Still a bit lacking in the skill stakes – his second touch is often a tackle – but fortunately he usually wins the tackles.
Russell (6): A bit anonymous and a touch lightweight (just right for our team of munchkins!).
Whitley (5): Crap
Dickov (8): Usual bustling self. Needs to start scoring (or look like scoring): i.e. basically the same as every game.
sub: Rösler (7): looked good. Missed an absolute sitter of a header with his first touch, but then nearly brought the house down with a 40-yarder which beat Stowell all ends up but just missed the top corner. Won most of his headers via flick ons, which went straight to Curle (ta very much mate). Rösler and Bradbury would be an OK pairing. Much as I love Dickov for his effort, he just hasn’t got it as a finisher. Maybe playing all 3 would be OK. Plus Gio – now there’s a thought. ***k Brannan off and get Horlock in with Brown to do the hard work. Scully on the bench. My God – we might even look like scoring a few!

David Johnson (D.Johnson@mmu.ac.uk)

MATCH VIEW I

I would try to write a positive report as really City weren’t all that bad if dross is accepted as their usual standard. Unfortunately, Wolves are simply a bunch of lanky thugs with little if any skill and they won. I’m sure a mere 3 or 4 years ago teams like this would have been given the beating they deserve (I remember a Sheffield United game from this time in which City easily won), but now we are just too bad for words.

Not a particularly thrilling game with a lot of head tennis, dire passing and scrappy midfield play. Few chances, with the goal being one of the few in the first half. For the third or fourth time the ball was swung quickly and deep across the box and with Goodman looking like he might get on the end of it Kit did, IMO, the right thing in trying to intercept. Unfortunately it just looped up agonisingly and as I willed it over the bar it dropped over the stranded Margetson into the net. A real sickener just before half time but the crowd responded briefly rather than the booing I expected.

Second half was better in terms of play but Wolves probably had the more clear cut openings. Russell was clearly fouled in the box at one point right in front of me though nothing was given, Uwe missed with a free back post header from a corner and was narrowly wide with a 30 yard+ lob attempt, but that was it really for City and I can’t be arsed to describe anything Wolves did.

Next the referee. What a t**t. I don’t think he was ever nearer to the play than 20 yards away, and if he was it was just because he was too unfit to move anywhere. At one point he let 7 or 8 bad challenges from both sides go without doing anything. How Wolves escaped with only 5 bookings and City with only 2 I’ve no idea. Basically abysmal would be far too kind and I really don’t want to see this sort of standard ever again, but I know I’ll see it next time I can force myself to go.

Player Ratings:

Margetson (7) – good again and definitely number 1 choice.
Edghill (7) – promising forward runs but never had the courage to put the crosses in that would have hurt Wolves as Stowell flapped at nearly everything early on.
van Blerk (5) – don’t thnk he really knew where he was meant to be playing and I don’t think he should have been on the pitch.
Symons (6) – pretty solid and it’s such a shame he scored the own goal as that’ll just have sent his confidence through rock bottom. Sod’s law I suppose.
Vaughan (6) – also solid but little else. As previously said, creativity is clearly not his strong point. Turned far too easily and then appeared to lack the pace to make a recovery.
Wiekens (9) – star yet again. We’d have been completely ***ked without him. Tackling and distribution were better than everyone else’s on the pitch combined. Lucky to stay on at the end but thank God he did.
Whitley (6) – looked so much more lightweight than last season. Seemed to be told to play wide which didn’t really suit him. Some promise.
Brown (8) – non-stop and as said before he has pride and cares that we aren’t winning. Throws himself around so much it’s surely only a matter of time before he gets injured though. Shame no-one else can match his effort.
Brannan (4) – if he had any pace there were numerous occasions on which he could have got a cross in. Ah but that’s just one of the many things he lacks. I feel he is our Silenzi.
Russell (5) – doesn’t really look like he’s going to score and doesn’t look like a centre forward either. Disappointing.
Dickov (6) – he tries so hard but he’s simply not going to get the goals we need. Needs a decent striker to play with.
Rösler (6) – came on for van Blerk and didn’t really do all that much. Having said that he did basically have our only 2 chances of the second half.

City’s major problem is the lack of a cutting edge. We need someone who will score a goal every three games at a minimum with this being supplemented from midfield and another striker. Surely a winger will provide some benefit and as Scully always looks so promising why isn’t he playing? Is it that we have to pay Palace every time we play him and so he’s just going to disappear like Buster has – it certainly appears to be the best reason for Buster’s absence. Why buy players if you’re not going to play them? We waste all our money on s***e and then refuse to play a player who appears reasonable because we fixed the deal to appearance money and we’re so stingy we refuse to pay up. That really p***es me off and it also seems just the sort of thing the board would do. After all we have to pay Barlow and Halford and all these others to sit on their arse for another year. Aaaarrrrrgggghhhhh. Sorry but that’s the only way I can find to relieve my anger short of breaking the computer at the moment. It really gets me down, it really does. When are we going to win two games on the trot? Will we ever? A good draw in the Cup, eminently winnable but will we? Right now I don’t think so, the players and board just don’t care. I don’t include FC in this as he gets sacked so surely must care unlike the others. Sorry that this match view degenerated but these other things need to be said, and clearly over and over again because it’s the same all the time. No happy note to end it on.

Thomas Bodey (mnqz5twb@stud.man.ac.uk)

MATCH VIEW II

Team: Margetson, Symons, Vaughan, Wiekens, Edghill, van Blerk (Rösler 57), Brannan, Whitley, Brown, Russell, Dickov. Unused Subs: Crooks, Shelia.

With 2 of our best players out injured I was hoping for at best a draw from this game. The commitment and passion which has been sporadic in recent weeks was abundant today. With Brown and Whitley beavering away in midfield my draw forecast was beginning to look a little conservative. However, for all City’s endeavour we looked woefully impotent in the last third. The lack of width caused us to head down the middle. Due to our lack of height anything in the air was lapped up and Wolves’ physical approach meant that the game was played in fits and starts due to continuing stoppages (I counted 5 or 6 bookings for Wolves). Curle (roundly booed after his first lunge at Dickov) and Sedgley looked a tidy unit at the back and were certainly too good for our insipid attack. After City had had 85% of the play a mistake by Wiekens (the only one he made) saw a harmless looking ball heading towards our goalmouth. Symons tried to cut it out but sliced a crazy banana over Martin’s head into the net.

0-1 down at half time (City had played well but didn’t look like scoring). The heads visibly dropped after half time. Without Gio, Horlock and Scully we were never going to have the guile to create much. Although we have a big squad, we have no strength in depth and any injuries decimate us. Uwe was brought on for the appalling van Blerk and his first contribution was to miss an open goal when a cross from Brannan (I think?) reached him at the back post. He seemed to miss it completely but could not really be blamed having just come on. The only other City attack of note was a speculative 40 yarder by Rösler which just dropped behind the bar. Uwe probably did enough to keep his place and given FC’s options he looks a certain starter for the Birmingham match. The last 15 minutes were absolutely dire. You’ll see better football in any Sunday pub league. Although not one of our worst performances, I left feeling depressed and angry because with our current squad nothing is going to happen for us this (or next) season.

Final Score City 0 Wolves 1.

A quick plaudit for Franny’s superb off the field success:- 8 windows open selling tickets before the game. 6 windows selling tickets for today’s game with no queue. 2 windows selling tickets for future games with big queues. Also, I heard people coming out of the City shop saying they had intended to buy Christmas presents but came away empty handed when they saw the till queues. Ratings: Margetson 8, Vaughan 6, Symons 6, van Blerk 4, Edghill 7, Wiekens 9, Brannan 7, Brown 8, Whitley 8, Russell 5, Dickov 6. Rösler 6.

Ken Foster (kf737@vossnet.co.uk)

NEWS ROUND-UP

City have been drawn at home to Bradford City in the third round of the F.A. Cup, which will probably be played on Saturday 3rd January at Maine Road. It’s a re-run of the Tribal Gathering, and here’s hoping we get the same result!

Good and bad news from the treatment room: Lee Bradbury is making good progress and could be back in action before the new year, but Kevin Horlock has strained the medial ligament in his knee and will be out for around six weeks. Bradbury is due to see a specialist next week but has already started some fitness training. Frank Clark said: “Lee is back in training after his hairline fracture of the back, and if the specialist decides it has healed, it’ll then be full steam ahead for him. He’s naturally fit, so it won’t take him long to step up his fitness levels and we could have him playing sooner than expected.” Gio Kinkladze, who missed Saturday’s game against Wolves with an ankle injury, should be back in action at Birmingham on Saturday. The Georgian felt some discomfort just before the Wolves game and was withdrawn from the squad as a precautionary measure.

Horlock’s injury means an extended run as captain for Gerard Wiekens, who was appointed to the job on Friday. Frank Clark said: “He speaks good English and I think the captaincy will enhance Gerard’s stature. He’s a versatile player, and the central rôle in three centre-backs is ideal for him. He reads the game very well and is a good defender who can also play in midfield.” Wiekens has previously captained the Dutch under-21 side. Horlock’s predecessor, Kit Symons reflected on the week that saw him lose the captaincy: “It was probably the lowest I’ve been in football to be honest. No-one likes getting stick but I’ve just got to carry on with my game. There are a lot of fantastic people at the club and I’ll continue to work hard for City on and off the field. Being captain was a lot of responsibility and it clearly wasn’t working out. I would never have gone to the manager and said I didn’t want to captain the side because it’s a great honour … but the manager called me in after training last Sunday and said he wanted to change captains. I’m the sort of person that worries about the club and how the team is playing, so hopefully now I’ve got rid of the job, it’ll relieve a bit of pressure. I can’t recall having had a worse week but there is no way I will go under and the same goes for the rest of us. We are still looking for that elusive second consecutive win. Sooner or later our luck has to turn.”

Frank Clark absolved his former skipper from blame for the 43rd minute own goal that cost City Saturday’s game: “It was unlucky for Kit but the mistake was made a bit earlier by Gerard Wiekens who I thought was outstanding and it was the only error he made.” The City manager also said of the team as a whole: “It was a good team performance but we did not get a break. They showed a lot of effort and commitment and I don’t think we could ask any more from them. We knew it was going to be tight and one mistake has cost us the game.” When asked if Kinkladze’s absence was to blame for City’s lack of firepower, said: “We haven’t been scoring goals even when Gio has been playing.” Turning to Uwe Rösler, whose 60th minute appearance seemed to perk up City’s attacks, he said: “We could not ask him to start the game and play for 90 minutes. He is not up to it yet. It was unfortunate that the best chance we had fell to him as he had only just come on. Another five minutes and he would have put that away.”

Former City skipper Keith Curle, who was jeered throughout the game, said: “We had a little bit of luck today but we knew if we worked hard and matched City physically, we could get something out of it. The manager expected us to win and maybe it was a good time to come here. City will come good again because when you have 29,000 turning up every week, you know it will – if they buy quality. They are in a difficult situation because they have had such a turnover in the 18 months since I left that they can’t expect to have continuity. There is no point in changing the manager every six to eight months. He needs a year to consolidate, a year to build and a year to get success. And Frank Clark will do it if he’s given the chance.” He also had some words of support for his former defensive partner Kit Symons: “I can’t understand the abuse he has been getting because he is an honest lad, City through and through and a good player. When things are not going for you, you just have to work harder. If you buckle, you end up playing in the Second or Third Division. If you accept the challenge, you come through it and he will.” When asked about his reception from the fans, he quipped: “Only good players get booed when they come back. I still live in the area and I can’t wait to get back to my local. There should be a few drinks on the bar for me.”

City will have more talks with Manchester City Council this week about the Millennium Stadium, though no formal announcement is expected until the new year. There is now some doubt regarding the capacity of the new stadium, which will depend on guarantees being received from various sporting bodies about their usage of the new facility. It could be as low as 40,000 in which case City would probably be better off extending Maine Road, whose capacity is currently just over 32,000.

Ian Brightwell has now completed a three match suspension and is available for selection once again, though it is by no means certain that he’ll be picked. Birmingham’s Paul Furlong has been banned for three games after picking up five yellow cards and will miss the game against City on Saturday.

Finally, City are involved in a new bung allegation, though there is no suggestion of any impropriety on the club’s part. Terry Venables is alleged to have received as a bung a £300,000 cut of the transfer fee paid by City to Portsmouth for Lee Bradbury. Venables, who is wanted by Nigeria to coach their World Cup squad following the elimination of Australia from the competition, maintains the money was an agreed fee for joining Portsmouth. “It was declared to the tax authorities and is on the books,” he said.

Paul Howarth (paul@city-fan.org)

DOSLA REFEREEING QUESTION

Division One Statistics and Leagues for Anoraks (DOSLA). Compiled by Steve “Statto” Kay – Update No 18. Up to and including 7th December 1997.

As I am a class 3 referee, I thought you may like to test your ability at making decisions. Each week I will set a question. The answer will be given the following week.

Last week’s question (supplied by Martin Ford):

An attacking player crosses the ball and then runs over the dead ball line. The ball is cleared but instead of immediately running back onto the pitch, the player stands behind the dead ball line to avoid being caught offside if the ball is played forward again. The clearance is pumped harmlessly back into the box. However, the player, still behind the line (still not entered play) stops the ball from crossing the dead ball line and crosses back into the box for a team-mate, who runs in from an onside position and heads the ball into the goal. What would be the outcome? Would the goal stand? What would you do to the off-field player?

Answer: You would disallow the goal, and re-start play from the point where the player stopped it crossing the dead ball line, with an indirect free-kick to the defending team. You would also caution the player, probably for unsporting behaviour, but equally justified would be to caution him for re-entering the field of play without your permission, in which case the indirect free kick would be given for offside.

This week’s question:

What is the minimum distance from goal that the following free kicks can be taken for the following offences committed inside the penalty area?

  1. Indirect free kick
  2. Direct free kick

If you have a query, or would like to set a question, send me an e-mail.

Steve Kay (Stevemcfc@aol.com)

BOYS IN BLUE

In response to Jules’ request in MCIVTA 351 about “The Boys In Blue”, she might be interested to know about a CD I came across in HMV at the top end of Manchester’s Market Street this weekend. Called “Blue Moon – a tribute to Manchester City”, the first track is the aforementioned “The Boys In Blue”. Priced at £9.99, the CD also includes various offerings from the likes of Frank Sidebottom, Francis Lee and “Alan Ball and Friends”.

Paul Howarth (paul@city-fan.org)

MONOPOLY

After another bad weekend (City lose at home to Wolves and United win at Anfield) it is time to take stock of the current football situation in the UK and particularly in the north-west. With reference to the two results as far, as City is concerned they lost by the same score at Maine Road almost twelve months ago (translate that into zero progress) and the thought of seeing the Blues win at Anfield, now as in the past, is just a pipe-dream. By tradition, Liverpool could always compete and even beat United, but now it seems not to be so. No other team in the area can compete with United, so the club just gets bigger and bigger, team apart, things like attendances, share value and own television channel are making this entity unstoppable, it won’t be long before they start making moves in politics. In twenty years time everybody will be a Red, with a second favourite team to support at lesser matches.

Re: City and Crewe or Stockport a couple of decades ago: it seems that every kid wants to be a Nited fan. This monopoly cannot be good for the game, so how can we combat this Red menace? By producing a team able to compete at the same level, preferably Blue. Time, however is not on our side, so something has to be done and quickly.

Roger Spruce (lot2do@jet.es)

OPINION – TRANSFER LISTINGS

In the summer, we made available for transfer a number of players obviously viewed by Clark as deadwood. Only Peter Beagrie actually left, and then simply because we cut the transfer fee to virtually nothing. Kernaghan, Clough, Heaney, Foster and Creaney are still on the books, apparently because no club which could match their wages is remotely interested.

What I don’t understand is why Clark went on a free transfer spree to bring in the likes of Scully, van Blerk and Conlon (all of them other people’s reserves or rejects), surely not the type of player to make a massive difference to the quality of the squad. All this type of signing achieves is adding to the wage bill and making sure that some of our promising home produced players (the likes of Morley, Crooks and Whitley) have problems getting a game in the reserves, let alone the first team.

Peter Brophy (Peter.Brophy@salans-shh.com)

OPINION – KEITH CURLE

Contrary to the opinion expressed in MCIVTA 352, Curle was one of the main reasons why City are now in the division of despair. IMO he has about as much pace and skill as an alabaster alsation. I remember an away match at White Hart Lane, …!

Incidentally he was in the main stand at Maine Road with Nigel Clough and that other defensive ace, Brightwell, at the Bradford match on 22 Nov. Perhaps he’s good luck (not).

I agree with the notion of some kind of collective show against poor performances, but you try turning your back on the pitch whilst seated! With best wishes from Peter The Bread Eater.

Peter Birbeck (peter@c-career.u-net.com)

WHY BLUE?

For me, the question Why Blue? has to be answered in two stages: why Blue in the first place, which is pretty easy to explain really, and why still Blue now, which is more difficult to justify in logical terms.

In retrospect, I don’t think I ever really had the option of supporting another team – my father, both grandfathers and uncles on each side of the family had all been avid City fans more or less since birth. From an early age, my father took me to see the reserves when the first team was away on Saturdays. However, I was desperate to see a “proper” game. I pestered my dad incessantly and, even though he’d always insisted I’d have to wait until I was older, he soon relented. I made my City-watching début at Christmas 1975. I was six years old. It was love at first sight, despite the game being a 1-0 defeat by Leeds (which ended an eighteen match unbeaten run!). What appealed to me was the drama of it all.

Over the next three years or so, City enjoyed success to a degree which seems unthinkable today as we lie eleven points behind Stockport with less than half the season gone. More or less two months to the day after my first game, we were parading round Wembley with the League Cup. We played in Europe for three successive seasons, in which time we managed to beat Juventus and thrash A.C. Milan. We twice finished in the top four in the League, attracting an average home gate of over 40,000 each time. Seven City players were selected by England at one time or another in this period (Corrigan, Doyle, Watson, Barnes, Royle, Tueart and Channon). We also had in Gary Owen the England Under-21 captain, while Donachie and Hartford were regulars in the Scotland side which went to the 1978 World Cup. Pundits and fans of both teams saw the Manchester derby as a game which genuinely could go either way.

However, my passion for the Blues did not develop because in my early days as a fan they were indisputably one of England’s top teams and had lots of star players. Given that these factors have now been absent for a good decade and a half, I’d have lost interest long ago if that had been the attraction. In fact, after the relegation in 1983, my enthusiasm increased and it has never waned since. From then until I went to university and in the three seasons I was in Manchester since graduating, I always had a season ticket. I’ve attended home and away games whenever I can, and obsessively sought out all the news I could find when my location has prevented me from witnessing events first-hand.

As I said, what appeals to me in the football supporting experience is the drama, and at Maine Road we have as much as anyone could ask for. There’s comedy, tragedy and farce each in liberal measure. Like any other Blue who’s been following the team for any length of time, I’ve witnessed three relegations, several humiliations at the hands of the Rags, cup disasters against the likes of Cardiff and Lincoln, and a host of pitiful struggles against mediocre Nationwide League sides. Obviously, I don’t enjoy these experiences, but I do enjoy being a Manchester City fan – I love the cameraderie and the joy of those unexpected results we seem to specialise in, like Tuesday’s at The Hawthorns.

Since I left Manchester to go to university in 1987, I’ve spent a total of about three years abroad and I’m now living in Russia. I’m convinced that, had I grown up supporting another club, I’d just be taking a passing interest from afar while getting on with my new life abroad. Instead, I make liberal use of all the resources available to me to keep up with the Blues. I’m at least as obsessive as when I was in Manchester and had a season ticket.

I realise that much of this piece makes me sound like some kind of masochistic nutter. I fear that this analysis may be a little too close to the mark for comfort, as it doesn’t only apply to my choice of football team – my personal life over the years can best be described as turbulent, while one has to question the sanity of anybody who turns down offers to work in London and Paris to come to Russia instead. However, I suspect that most other loyal Blues must have something similar in their character too. Why would they stick with it otherwise? But then where’s the adventure in making a nine-hour round trip to somewhere like Cardiff on a cold, miserable January Saturday and freezing for two hours on a platform at Crewe station if you can rely on your team to do a professional job and win?

Peter Brophy a.k.a. Subterranean Homesick Blue (Peter.Brophy@salans-shh.com)

RESULTS

Full-time scores and scorers for Saturday, December 6 1997

BURY                    0-1    MIDDLESBROUGH              8,016
                               Beck (60)
CREWE ALEXANDRA         2-5    HUDDERSFIELD TOWN          4,861
Charnock (41)                  Stewart (24, 70)
Adebola (47)                   Dalton (40, pen 83)
                               Allison (89)
MANCHESTER CITY         0-1    WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS   28,999
                               Symons (og 42)
NORWICH CITY            2-1    SHEFFIELD UNITED          11,745
Vonk (og 61)                   Deane (51)
Fuglestad (84)
NOTTINGHAM FOREST       2-2    BRADFORD CITY             17,943
Cooper (13)                    Steiner (72)
Bonalair (63)                  Pepper (90)
PORT VALE               0-1    BIRMINGHAM CITY            7,509
                               Cottee (18)
PORTSMOUTH              2-0    STOKE CITY                 7,072
Aloisi (31)
Svensson (43)
QUEENS PARK RANGERS     0-1    SUNDERLAND                15,266
                               Quinn (84)
READING                 2-0    CHARLTON ATHLETIC          8,076
Hodges (9)
Morley (pen 36)
SWINDON TOWN            4-1    OXFORD UNITED             10,902
Wilsterman (og 28)             Ford (24)
Walters (pen 34)
Finney (56)
Gooden (86)
TRANMERE ROVERS         1-1    IPSWICH TOWN               5,720
L Jones (63)                   Johnson (27)
WEST BROMWICH ALBION    3-2    STOCKPORT COUNTY          13,957
Sneekes (17)                   Armstrong (60)
Hughes (67)                    Byrne (90)
Hunt (85)

Up to and including Saturday, December 6 1997

Team                  Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Middlesbrough           21     12    6    3     35    17        42
Nottingham Forest       21     12    6    3     34    18        42
West Bromwich Albion    21     12    4    5     25    17        40
Sheffield United        20     10    8    2     30    18        38
Swindon Town            21     11    4    6     30    28        37
Sunderland              20      9    6    5     30    21        33
Charlton Athletic       20      9    5    6     38    28        32
Stockport County        21      9    5    7     35    29        32
Wolverhampton Wanderers 20      9    5    6     25    22        32
Bradford City           21      7    9    5     21    21        30
Birmingham City         21      7    7    7     21    17        28
Queens Park Rangers     21      7    6    8     26    33        27
Port Vale               21      7    5    9     25    26        26
Stoke City              21      7    5    9     24    28        26
Norwich City            21      7    5    9     20    31        26
Reading                 21      6    6    9     21    31        24
Tranmere Rovers         20      6    4   10     27    29        22
MANCHESTER CITY         21      5    6   10     23    25        21
Ipswich Town            20      4    9    7     22    24        21
Bury                    21      4    9    8     21    30        21
Oxford United           21      5    5   11     24    32        20
Huddersfield Town       21      5    5   11     21    34        20
Crewe Alexandra         21      5    3   13     24    36        18
Portsmouth              19      4    5   10     23    30        17

Russell Town (russ@the-edge.u-net.com)
With thanks to Soccernet

WWW MANCHESTER CITY SUPPORTERS’ HOME PAGE:
http://www.uit.no/mancity/


MCIVTA ADDRESSES:
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Technical Problems: Paul – paul@city-fan.org


DISCLAIMER
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, mcivta@tollbar.u-net.com

Newsletter #353

1997/12/08

Editor:


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