Newsletter #369

If all’s gone well behind the scenes, this should be hitting almost 1,900 inboxes around the world – apologies if it doesn’t quite look its usual self (if anyone has a really unreadable version please let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help).

This issue has two more reports on the Tranmere game, another substantial news round up from Steve ‘Scoop’ McNally, news of a Tokyo Gathering (two participants and counting!) and the usual opinion and rumour.

If anyone is looking for a challenge, I’ve converted the all-time ‘1st Division’ table from the last issue (thanks to John Warrington) into an Excel 5 spreadsheet (roughly 30Kb if you want me to mail it to you) and tried to come up with a statistic which would put us top of the league. The obvious goals/game, points/season give no joy so perhaps a determined subscriber might feel like having a go and posting their findings?

Using my Editorial privilege, I’d just like to add my voice to those asking for a bit of dignity in connection with the planned minute’s silence at the Norwich game marking the Munich crash. Things are bad for us at the moment, but not that bad.

Enough from me … enjoy 🙂

Next game, Norwich City away, Saturday 7th February 1998



We arrived in Tranmere at about 2.40pm, having forgotten about last year’s débâcle trying to locate parking spaces. Having been down what appeared to be every street in the surrounding area, we eventually found a space about half a mile form the ground. We legged it down the ground, noting the fact that every car displaying a City mini-kit also appeared to be accompanied by a parking ticket underneath the windscreen wiper! How the traffic wardens must love match day!

Frankly, I wish we hadn’t been able to find a parking spot and had to return home. The match was an absolute waste of time. Seldom have I sat through a more boring match as this one.

Upon entering the stand and seeing it absolutely packed with Blues (around 5,500 apparently) I thought that the team could not fail to be motivated by the sight of such loyalty. How wrong can you be? With one notable exception the display was the usual ‘not arsed, I’m still getting paid’ type.

Make no mistake about it, this was a game that we had to win. A point was not good enough against a team two points behind us yet with two games in hand. But still the players displayed s***e all commitment. If we can’t beat Tranmere (be it home or away) then we are in serious trouble as they are absolutely crap. Having said that, on leaving the ground I reflected that our league position was not in the least bit false, it is totally deserved.

We really are one of the worst teams in this division.

There are 28,000 people who can see the problems with this side, so why can’t the manager? The way I see it the problems are these:

  1. a ‘keeper who cannot kick the ball.
  2. a defence which contains two players who would probably not get intoa side a division below us i.e. Brightwell and Symons (next time you go toa game, play the Bob Brightwell challenge and count how many times one ofhis ‘passes’ actually go to a City player).
  3. a lack of pace throughout the side.
  4. no wingers.
  5. no creativity anywhere in the side bar Kinky who turns it on when hewants (i.e. not against Charlton and Tranmere).
  6. the most toothless and totally unfrightening strikeforce that Cityhave ever fielded (and no I haven’t forgotten Trevor Christie and DerekParlane).

On this last point I feel very strongly. When was the last time you saw a side field two strikers (here I am thinking of Dickov and Rösler as I will reserve comment on the ‘new’ Bradbury until he has a couple more games after his injury), who had no pace, no tricks and are absolutely crap in the air? Uwe Rösler really is totally and utterly crap now and the amount of times he bottles it is synonymous with the general lack of spirit in the side. As my friend commented, you wouldn’t bet against Rösler in a race against one of Fred Dibnah’s steam rollers. Dickov runs about a lot, but never looks like scoring really. You could get a man of the street to run about a lot – a professional striker should be there to score goals.

The two alleged strikers are admittedly not helped by playing without a winger. To loan out our best winger to Stoke, and then expect Bradbury to lurk out on the flanks and also get in the box as he was apparently expected to do against Tranmere beggars belief. What are we doing?

Anyway, you will have noticed I have mentioned very little about the game. That is basically because there wasn’t one as such, as evidenced by the loud booing from the away end (and also from Tranmere) and the chants of ‘what a load of rubbish.’ It was that bad. Anyway, here are my player ratings:

Wright – 6 Didn’t have much if anything to do as I remember. Kicking crap again and nearly gifted them a goal when trying to dribble it past their attacker. Leave that sort of stuff on the training ground, not a vital relegation battle. Or simpler, bring back Margetson.
Edghill – 5 Looked generally disinterested, as if he was simply going through the motions. Gets about one cross into the box for every 15 times he reaches the byline.
Shelia – 9 Outstanding. If every player battled and fought like him we would be alright.
Brightwell – 5 Not his worst game by any means but crap nonetheless. His distribution his absolutely awful. Bring on the new Georgian.
Symons – 5 See comment on Brightwell above.
Brown – 6 Ran about a fair bit but didn’t achieve much. Bottled out of a challenge and ran out of steam at the end.
Crooks – 6 Fairly anonymous. Couple of good touches but looks like another one of our young players who are not quite good enough.
Russell – 5 Has got pace but his first touch seems very dodgy, though this may have a lot to do with the awful playing surface. Looks as if he could be alright up front – I think he looks a lot more dangerous than the snail Rösler.
Bradbury – 6 Tried hard but achieved very little. Seems to be stuck out on the wing a lot when he should be in the box.
Rösler – 4 May be a bit unfair but in my view he has totally lost it. Had our two best chances but apart from that contributed little.
Kinkladze – 5 Didn’t really look interested, but we rely on him far too much. Need others to take the creative burden from his shoulders.

Van Blerk did sod all and I can’t be bothered giving him a rating.

Sorry if all this is downbeat, but we are right in the mire now. I remember being at Tranmere a year ago for another dire game. Little seems to have changed.

Yours very depressed (but still going to Norwich), Paul Cooper (PCOOPER@KIMANCH.KIDSONS.CO.UK)



Poor pitch…

Took in the match at Prenton Park versus Tranmere. Went on my mate’s works do (same mob versus Blades away, sorry folks no blue hats this time). Hmmm what can I say (I know there’ll be different opinions)? Two average-poor teams who stifled each other; other than a couple of opportunities it was a dull, listless affair… which spoilt a good day out (coach, beer, meal, match, coach, more beer).

City lined up:

   Bob   Kit  Shelia
Edghill         Russell
     Crooks Brown
Rösler Bradbury

Subs: van Berk, Greenacre, Whitley.

After a few beers (slightly hazy and puddled memory of the game) and a meal at a Brewers Fayre boozer (The Acorn), we travelled the remaining mile or so to the ground. Once we’d got on the car park, it was straight out into the ground and find a seat. I thought Tranmere were asking for trouble making it a pay entrance rather than a ticket, but everything seemed to work out fine. Once more a splendid away following had turned up, if a little more subdued than normal. During the warm-up I noticed Brown make some sort of comment to Wright about the state of the pitch, yes it was a little bare, somewhat bumpy, but both teams had to play on it (they should try playing on a Sunday league pitch – then they’d have something to moan about – bluddy prima donnas).

City created the best chance of the opening half when Rösler turned on the edge of the box and saw his shot hit the upright; once more the expected onrush of players following in for a half chance failed to materialise and Tranmere easily cleared. Tommy Wright managed to give the Blues palpitations by trying to control a backpass and then beat Lee Jones, only for him to cock-up big time and fortuitously be awarded a free kick! As the game went on it became a duller and duller stalemate. City had a lot of possession but couldn’t actually create any real threatening chances, those that were created went high, wide or were easily saved. On the other hand, Rovers seemed quite content to soak up the pressure and counter-attack, or rely on set-pieces (namely their long throw-in). The only notable chance in the second half was a flicked header by Symons, which Simonsen did brilliantly to turn over the bar. The game always seemed destined to be heading towards the record books, Tranmere’s 5th consecutive 0-0 draw, a football league record and their 7th clean sheet!

Shock of shocks came around the 75th minute when FC made a substitution; off went our ineffective winger Bradbury (I’m not getting into that argument again as to why our strikers play in wide positions) and he was replaced by van Blerk. “Eh?” was the reaction and why was Rösler being left to work alone up front? However, after about 5 minutes it became clear that Russell had finally managed to make his way upfield and join the strike force, not that it made any difference. The game finished 0-0 and left a bitter taste in the mouth. City should have gone there and won, Tranmere weren’t that good, mind you neither were City. I couldn’t believe my ears when FC came out and said it was a good point, we’ve got to be going for wins now, single points ain’t gonna pull us clear of relegation! So after the match it was back on the bus and away for a few more bevvies back home.

Final points, why when City get on the attack don’t players get forward? Many times it was Rösler, Bradbury and A.N. Other fighting against the whole Tranmere defence; surely the only way we’re gonna beat teams is to get a few more men forward?

As for the team (this game):

TW – Good shotstopper, too slow on backpasses, doesn’t dominate his 6 yard box and his distribution is poor (hangs onto the ball and doesn’t look for a quick opportunity).
MS – Best defender we’ve got (Man of Match), solid in the air and ground and distributes the ball well.
IB and KS – Just there doing the job, nothing spectacular.
RE – Got forward a lot but his final ball was poor, maybe a few more in the box would work a treat.
CR – On the pitch, a few good runs in the 2nd half, that’s it.
MB – Ran his nads off, showed a lot of commitment and was all over the field.
LC – Can’t remember making a single contribution to the game.
GK – Held the ball too long, often surrounded by 2-3 Rovers players, needs to learn to pass earlier.
UR – Hit post, ran around, bugger all.
LB – Didn’t hit post, ran around, still bugger all (bugger all potential?).

VB – Came on as sub, slotted in a leftback, errm
CG & JW Came out for a day-trip as FC doesn’s see the need to use subs.

FC – Listen pillock, how about trying to win a few games? A striker’s job is to be in the middle waiting for chances, not on the wings or in midfield! Two attackers against four defenders doesn’t work (with the obvious exceptions).

Another note – Funny as it may sound, other than playing on the pitch I’ve never seen a player in the flesh, this weekend I actually saw three.

1st, Friday night outside a local shop – County’s Sean Connelly.

2nd, In the Prenton Kop sat 3 rows in front: Whitley, girlfriend and mate (noone bothered him either).

3rd, In a pub back in Gmr Mcr, a City player who had played against Tranmere (won’t name him). One of the lads off our coach went and asked him what he thought of FC; his reply (paraphrased) “He’s picking me” – read what you like into that.

Martin Ford (


Tuesday 3rd February

Something’s afoot. I can smell it. Ged Brannan’s mysteriously out of the team completely for the Charlton game, not even on the bench for the first time this season with no word as to why. The day after stories start to filter out of a training accident where Braindead Ged may or may not have broken his leg; a scan carried out on Friday will prove conclusive one way or the other. It’s Tuesday now and the club are still officially waiting for the results. I know the NHS is in a state these days but that’s ridiculous.

Unsurprisingly Georgi’s day in court didn’t turn out to be quite the story the bloodhounds of the press were hoping for. Photographers’ dreams of a front page picture on the Manchester Evening News of Gio being led away in shackles to the deportation lounge at Manchester Airport (okay, there probably isn’t such a place) were shattered and a new front page was hurriedly knocked up featuring a boy who’d been bitten by a police dog.

As predicted Kinkladze didn’t even show up, leaving his solicitor to request an adjournment on his behalf. Which he was granted. Cue big anti-climax and disappointed editors up and down the country. The reason was to allow more time for legal manoeuvrings behind the scenes, and the upshot of it is that the case will now be heard in three weeks on Tuesday the 24th February, which coincidentally is the day we play Reading away. Presumably FC will be delaying naming his side then?

Still on the subject of our original Georgian, Clark has rubbished reports that Tottenham’s Christian Gross has made a bid for the player’s services. Indeed he stated that he hadn’t received a single enquiry about Kinkladze’s availability. Rumour has it they’ve had to change the recording on the phone system at Maine Road which now asks you to “Press 1 to speak to the manager, press 2 to hear him say we’ve received no bids for Kinkladze or press 3 if you know a way out of this mess and would like to leave a message of advice.”

City’s reserves returned to Pontin’s League action last night for the first game since December 15 last year. The result was a depressing 4-0 drubbing for the Blues’ reserves, even though the team contained many of our first team squad fringe players (Nigel Clough, Scott Hiley, Neil Heaney, Jeff Whitley, Jason van Blerk and Barry Conlon were all involved). Star turn had to be Oldham’s forty year old ‘keeper Bruce hand in the till Grobbelaar, whose standard of opposition may have plummeted but seems to be maintaining the quality of his game quite well, pulling off a string of apparently quite stunning saves!

Alan Ball is not only sniffing around Martin Phillips but now wants to take Gerry Creaney back to Portsmouth – the club he originally signed the fat waster from – as well. Both players were signed by Ball and now are available to any club who feels they’re worth their ludicrously inflated salaries (certainly in Creaney’s case, not so much Phillips perhaps). It’s fitting then that it’s Ball’s new club prepared to take them off our hands as he certainly owes us one or two favours after the mess he’s landed us in!

Port Vale have dropped interest in Paul Beesley completely now in what appears to be a fit of temper after Clark recalled him as cover for Saturday’s match. City were still interested in thrashing out a permanent deal for much less than the £500,000 paid to Leeds less than a year ago but despite being keen up until the recall, Vale’s manager has now informed the club that he will look elsewhere for a new defender.

Wednesday 4th February

Still no news on Ged Brannan. I’m starting to get worried! Could it be more serious than we thought? Career threatening? Maybe FC feels that the fans couldn’t deal with such a blow given the club’s current plight? Imagine the turnout for a Ged Brannan testimonial match against his old club Tranmere! He’d be set for life! Even worse, maybe the scan showed there was nothing wrong with him and Frank’s saving it up for us as a nice surprise when he names his team for Norwich.

Mustn’t get dragged down because I’m feeling quite positive at the moment. Why? Because Kakhaber Tskhadadze’s work permit has finally come through and he should be in the reckoning for the next game. Which in turn hopefully means that there’ll be enough confidence to slot him into a back four! Imagine Shelia, Wiekens, Tskhadadze and Edghill at the back! If the Georgian captain’s any good surely this is the stuff of dreams for City fans these days?

Ridiculously Tskhadadze had to fly out to Moscow and then straight back to Manchester because due to red tape complications work permits cannot be awarded to players already in the country! All we need now is international clearance and our third Georgian international is free to take his place in the team! Oh yeah, and we need to hope he’s not s***e as well!

Christian Gross, Tottenham’s enigmatic head coach has stated that he has no plans to make a move for Gio, and insisted that the players already at the club (including new signings Nicola Berti and Jürgen Klinsmann) will have to pull their socks up and drag the relegation haunted Londoners away from the drop zone. This of course means that Georgi is definitely not on his way to North London as all the recent reports seem to have suggested. What a surprise.

One place he definitely did go this week was the hospital where he underwent a minor operation to finally sort out the painful abscess that has been getting him down for a while now, and that a club insider told me he felt was the main reason he’s been fairly anonymous in the last couple of games. Rumours in the press that the hospital tried to buy him to play for the North Manchester General Irregulars second team where quickly discounted by Frank Clark who said again that “there have been no bids for the player, and certainly not one from the NHS.”

A farcical situation has arisen over Paul Dickov’s upcoming suspension. The affable Scot was shocked when he received the news that his ban was to be extended to three matches and that he was also to pay a £1,000 fine to the FA. The reason? Comments made to referee Andrew D’Urso after the Birmingham match questioning his ability to tell the time properly (remember that one? The one where Birmingham scored the winner after 7 minutes 30 of time added on after we’d taken the lead in the 88th minute?). Fair enough, players should keep their mouths shut in that situation, but the size of the punishment certainly doesn’t seem to be in line with those dished out for more serious offences recently. Frank Clark fumed, “It’s the size of the fine that surprises us, particularly as it was only for a remark made in the heat of the moment. Paul was reported by the referee for his comments and I was critical of the official in my report. I queried the amount of time added and asked how it could be justified in a half that had few hold-ups.” Dickov himself added, “Like a lot of people I questioned the referee’s time-keeping after the match, but now I have had this fine it will teach me to keep my mouth shut in future!” The strange thing is that Steve Lomas, who was sent off and then punished for manhandling a referee only received a £500 fine. Something’s definitely wrong there it seems. Barring a change of heart from the FA, Dickov now misses Bury and Ipswich at home and Swindon away.

City are refusing to let the furore surrounding the unjust dismissal of Murtaz Shelia against Charlton die down, despite the match referee watching a copy of the video and deciding he made the correct decision. Having studied the video closely the club are so convinced that it was a fair challenge that the FA are being asked to take a look and make a ruling. I’ll be surprised if it makes any difference, but at least it’s nice to see the club taking a stand and showing a bit of fighting spirit for once!

It looks as though Nigel Clough’s proposed loan move to Preston has fallen through. The Deepdale club took one look at Nige’s wage demands (he’s allegedly on £5,000 a week at Maine Road) and fell about the boardroom laughing, assuming it was our little joke! It wasn’t and their representatives picked their ball up and went home. And quite rightly so! Cloughy is apparently desperate for first team football but accepts that this is unlikely under FC. And with the chance of a dream move to mighty Preston collapsing around his ears it seems he’s destined to turn out in the Pontin’s League at least until the next management change when we’ll probably appoint his eccentric father to the hottest seat in football and make him captain.

Thursday 5th February

After a long and anxious wait, it’s finally been revealed that Ged Brannan has not broken his leg after all. An x-ray has at last revealed that the City midfielder has merely suffered severe bruising to his shin following a training accident last Thursday. It was initially feared that Brannan would be out for the rest of the season, but scans have shown that the damage is not as serious as was first feared, and Brannan may well play again in the not too distant future. Damn!

The club today transfer listed a staggering fifteen players in a bid to rid Maine Road of some of its dead wood and also make way for some of the young talent which had been denied their chance up to now due to the top heavy nature of the playing staff. City have informed clubs through a circular that the 15 players are available, with some of the group requiring nominal fees, while most of the others are on free transfers. Only one of Frank Clark’s signings, Paul Beesley, is on the list; the defender was signed from Leeds United for £500,000 a year ago almost to the day, and has just returned from a loan spell at Port Vale. Six of the fifteen players were already on the transfer list at Maine Road, namely Gerry Creaney, Nigel Clough, Neil Heaney, John Foster, Eddie McGoldrick and Martin Phillips. The other nine players are Paul Beesley, Scott Hiley and Ray Kelly, plus six more without first team experience in David Wills, Anthony Callaghan, Ben Gallagher, Chris Pridham, Richard Acton and Ben Burrows. Five of that lot have had spells out on loan this season; Creaney at Burnley and Chesterfield, Clough at Sheffield Wednesday, Beesley at Port Vale, Phillips at Scunthorpe and Kelly at Wrexham. City’s assistant manager Alan Hill said: “We hope that by circularising names now, the players can get themselves fixed up with other clubs. It is necessary to reduce our playing staff to cut our wage bill and to give youngsters the chance to come through. It will also help us in signing promising younger players as their parents will be able to see that there is a good chance of them making progress at Manchester City.”

Georgi Kinkladze has been pulled out of the Georgian international squad who were scheduled to play in a four team tournament in Malta at the weekend. Kinkladze has stayed behind in Manchester, but his Georgian team-mate Murtaz Shelia has made the trip, and is therefore ruled out of City’s clash at Norwich on Saturday. Shelia will be away for a week but is suspended anyway for the Maine Road clash with Bury on Saturday week, even though City still cling to the faint hope that the FA will review his red card against Charlton last week. Kinkladze underwent a minor dental operation on Monday and has been ordered by medical experts not to fly for several days, forcing him to miss the international tournament for Georgia at the weekend. An angry Frank Clark said: “Some of this morning’s newspapers suggested that Kinkladze had been pulled out of the tournament because we didn’t want him to go, but nothing could be further from the truth. He had an operation on the mouth abscess that’s been giving him problems recently and was told he couldn’t fly. It’s as simple as that, but the story has been twisted round. I’ve never stopped players from going on international duty, and have no intention of starting now.” Meanwhile, City are still awaiting international clearance for Kakhaber Tskhadadze, who could be involved at Carrow Road if the fax arrives in time. Unlike Shelia, Tskhadadze is not on international duty at the weekend; the Georgian manager decided against calling him up for the Maltese tournament due to his recent lack of match fitness.

City had six Argentinean youth internationals on trial at Platt Lane this morning. The six teenagers will all play for the City A team this Saturday morning against Burnley, and will cost nominal fees if City decide to pursue their interest following their trials. It’s claimed that none of the players would command a fee in excess of £200,000. The six players have recently been on trial with Celtic but were released by the Glasgow club, and headed south to Moss Side. Assistant boss Alan Hill was watching the youngsters being put through their paces this morning. If you’re interested, the six players are Pablo Dos Rais and Miguel Manzoni, both midfielders with River Plate; striker Gaston Piaquadio, and central defender Martin Figueroa of Newell Old Boys; midfielder Martin Gomez of Independiente, and Pablo Modica of Rosario Central.

Gerard Wiekens’ hamstring injury has not recovered in time for him to return to the City side for this weekend’s game at Norwich. Murtaz Shelia is away on international duty but Jim Whitley could return to the side after a calf strain. Whitley could return in midfield for Crooks, while Tskhadadze could come in for Shelia in defence, if he’s available to play. Michael Brown and Paul Dickov are available for the game at Carrow Road before starting two and three match bans respectively.

Steve McNally (


Having recently become a ‘mature’ student, I have acquired the use of Goldsmith’s University computer facilities. Having decided to make the most of this opportunity, I have tracked down (after much searching) the MCIVTA, which now seems to be eating into most of my study time. However, the first assignment in the computing part of my course is to join and contribute to a listserv, so this had to be the one.

Being a London based City fan, I only venture to Maine Road once a season and confine my attendances to the Southern hemisphere (London, Portsmouth, Oxford, Swindon etc.). Therefore I can’t pretend to be as familiar with the team as some of your contributors. However, those calling for FC’s dismissal must have a remarkably short or selective memory regarding City’s recent history if they feel that sacking the manager is the best recipe for success. Obviously I share the dismay of every City supporter at our current position and I do not believe in continuity at any price (following that logic we would still be lumbered with Alan Ball), but it seems that the worst possible scenario at this stage of the season is to risk ending up in the embarrassing no-managers-land that followed Ball’s departure last season. How many managers with a track record better than Clark would be available and willing to take on what has become regarded as football’s poison chalice? Clark may or may not be ‘running out of ideas’ as he confessed at Nottingham Forest, but I believe that considering the options available right now, we must accept that he should be there at least until the end of the season. Having said that, unless there is significant improvement before then, it is hard to imagine Clark holding on to his job beyond that. Of all the realistic (i.e. not particularly good) candidates, I would personally like to see Joe Royle as the next in the ejector seat.

Putting cynicism aside for a moment, I do think there are reasons to be optimistic about our chances of eventually rising from our current depths. From what I have seen of Shelia so far he looks like the best central defender we have had since Hendry. The progress of Brown and (Jim) Whitley are also reasons to be cheerful. The imminent return of Horlock and Wiekens (two other half-decent Clark purchases) should see us operating at more or less full-strength for a change and we must surely be due for a bit of good luck, unless Rösler’s ability to win penalties (his only useful contribution to the team lately) has used that up.

On another point, I would also urge City supporters to respect the minute silence for Munich on Saturday. Not only in memory of Frank Swift, as one of your contributors pointed out last week, but for the sake of everyone else who died in the plane that day, not to mention your own personal dignity, if that means anything to you. When Shankly said that football is more important than life or death he was talking out of his arse.

There, I’ve said it. I’ll get down off my soapbox now. Finally, on a brighter note, if anyone knows of any decent, friendly boozers in Swindon for pre/post match tanking I would be grateful for any recommendations.

Pat Moore (


Now that Ged Brannan has fractured his leg and is out for the rest of the season, FC can’t pick him (or can he?)! As a result perhaps Michael Brown and Jim Whitley will get an extended run in the first team, playing in the same position. But then again, knowing my luck, perhaps FC might pick (or buy) another donkey that he selects week in, week out regardless of form. Here’s hoping…

Thank you Lord, but could you also consider answering my prayer concerning a pair of wing-backs…

Richard Mottershead (


I just read on Sporting Life’s City page that Spurs are going to offer £7 million for Gio. Anyone know if this is likely? I reckon we could get more than £7 million from Liverpool. Anyway… comments?

Cheers from Tel-Aviv. CTID, Benjamin Harry Bloom (


Come on you Blues.

The first of two back-to-back ‘Japan Blues’ Booze-Ups’ will be taking place in Hamamatsu on Friday night (the 6th) when the Hamamatsu Branch (membership 1) will be hosting the Okayama Branch (membership 1). The two branches will then be travelling en masse to Tokyo, the following morning.

In Tokyo the major event will see possibly the largest gathering of Blues in Japan ever! Saturday (7th) is the historic date when we meet for a few beers, then some more and even, I’ve heard, a few more after that! So if you’re up for re-living past glories, dreaming of future ones and completely forgetting the present – then get in touch.

You can call me, Paul, on 053 458 4605 (don’t be put off by the answer phone) or Colin on 03 5404 9129. Alternatively e-mail a message to or

The boy Colin has found a bar in Shibuya that does ‘all you can drink in two hours and tons to eat too for just 3,500 yen’ – so come on down, it’s a bargain.

Other likely watering holes include a British boozer and Futniks – the footie bar in Takadanobaba.

I also hope to have the West Ham video by then so if you want a copy let me know (and let me know if you want it NTSC or PAL).

If you can’t make it on Saturday but want to get together some other time – drop me a line.

Dolphin in a Tutu – Paul Banzai Burns (e-mail:


My dad has been a City supporter all his life after his dad started taking him to matches in the early sixties. My first match was away at Oldham in the 83/84 season when I was only four years old. My first match at Maine Road was the last game of the 85/86 season when we drew 1-1 with Luton. From that moment I became hooked on City, and this became even stronger when I first went in the Kippax the season after. I had never experienced anything like the Kippax before. All the blokes (and women) singing and willing City on from the terraces was brilliant, and is the thing I miss most about watching City today. Disaster struck in 1990 when my dad moved jobs from Manchester to Barnsley, but we kept travelling over for matches as I had a season ticket along with my dad and my brother. In 1997 I came back to Manchester, as I moved to Salford University and I have now started going to more City away matches. I went to Tranmere last Saturday, and today I’ve just got tickets for the away match at Norwich on the coming Saturday. My mum thinks I’m mad spending all my time and money watching City, but my love of the club has become stronger since I moved back to Manchester and I just can’t wait until City come good again, as I’m sure they will.

CTID, Andrew Jackson, Salford (


Full listing including mid-week results in next issue (Soccernet server down). Crucially Tranmere lost 3-0 to Middlesbrough last night so we’ve not dropped any closer to the bottom!


Contributions: Geoff –
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

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.

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Newsletter #369