Newsletter #425

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The see-saw ride continues – but my word, 7-1! We even made it to a faraway newspaper for it. Although it is only Notts County we beat, we must remember that they are in our Division and they were the Division 3 Champions, too. I wish I was there. It is also good to hear that Edghill played well on Wednesday.

We have a ‘live’ report and a match view of the 7-1 win, a belated match report of the débâcle at Fulham (for good measure, to remind the readers that this is a City newsletter) and an interesting preview to the Wrexham fixture. We are also told of a fresh development to the Tribal Gathering II. More opinions on the Super League come from two readers, TC is remembered by another reader, while answers to the recent questions that were being thought of while driving from a City pre-season match (just how boring that match was?) and a good Why Blue? complete this issue. More of Why Blue is needed though as our stock has totally run out, along with some news bits if anyone wants to volunteer.

The latter would require some collating of news from various sources, rewriting them and adding your own two-cents worth. Paul Howarth and then Steve Kay (?) used to be our roving reporters. A book/City mag. review would also be welcomed.

Finally, thanks to all who sent me encouraging notes for my brave attempt at being the guest editor.

This one reaches 2,235 and counting!

Next game, Wrexham home, Saturday 22th August 1998

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’

MANCHESTER CITY vs. NOTTS COUNTY, Worthington Cup, 1st Round, 2nd Leg

Att: 10,063

Maine Road Madness

Another surreal night at Maine Road as over 10,000 watched City annihilate a Notts County side, currently positioned above us in Division 2. A game virtually won from the first leg, played in front of a 1/3 full stadium is perhaps not the best on which to judge the Blues. However, it was good to see City bounce back after the Craven Cottage catastrophe and builds the anticipation, and hopefully the crowd, for Saturday’s game against Wrexham.

Goater, Bradbury and Dickov played up front, with Nick Fenton making his début as one of the 3 centre backs with Vaughan and Wiekens. City completely dominated the first half and were 4-0 up by the time a full Kippax cheered them off. The goals came initially from good through balls slipped inside a horrifically slow and square County defence – Mason and Bradbury finished calmly in one-on-ones with the ‘keeper. Goater volleyed into the top corner following a delightful flick-on from Dickov, and Dickov himself scored following a quality foul and perfect early ball from Richard Edghill who threatened to open up County’s defence all night.

The rout continued in the second half when City interspersed long periods of simply keeping the ball in front a packed County defence with goals from Dickov and Whitley before conceding a late header. Goater toe-poked a late goal after a penalty area scramble to allay any fears that City were going to concede 7 last minute goals and take it to the wire.

The bad news is that Horlock was substituted following a knee injury. I am not sure if it was the same knee as was previously injured but this is a worry following his good performances and the Club’s recent luck with injuries. Fenton was not really tested a great deal, he did most things competently although generally refused to pass the ball anywhere except square. I suspect that we need to buy a centre half to cover for the loss of both Georgians, but unfortunately a bid for Monkou of Southampton has been rejected, much to his relief no doubt.

The front 3, particularly Dickov and Goater, were a real presence and threatened goals all evening until the attack was changed round with Conlon and Allsopp coming on. Allsopp looked lively and pacey, Barry didn’t! Pollock wanted the ball all night and looks considerably fitter, Mason looked capable when he had the ball to feet but rarely made a tackle when chasing back, personally I am not sure that he looks better than our Young Player of the Year, Michael Brown, who seems likely to be sold to Sheffield United for £1 million. Surely not?

Royle’s view was “I’d rather have had 3 points at Fulham but this result was really for the fans. They may not have seen many results like this in recent years, so it was something to savour.”

Final score: City 7 (9) – 1 (1) Notts County

Roll on Wrexham.

Dan Rigby (dan.rigby@man.ac.uk)

MATCH VIEW: MANCHESTER CITY vs. NOTTS COUNTY

Worthington Cup 1st Round 2nd Leg

A week is a long time in football, last Friday I saw City comprehensively outplayed for 35 minutes; this time I saw them outplay Notts County in a way I hadn’t seen them do since they beat Rotherham many years ago. True, County were without most of their first team but nonetheless 7-1 is fairly impressive. The first goal came from Mason who was set up by Goater. The next goal was perhaps fortunate in that Edghill seemed to take down a County player from behind but had the presence of mind to get up to his feet and play on quickly thereby crossing the ball for Dickov to score quite comfortably. Next, Bradbury was sent through by Dickov, rounded the ‘keeper just outside the area and slid the ball in from about 12 yards out. Around this time Notts County attacked and could have scored but for a fine save from Weaver. The best goal of the game followed as Horlock put a diagonal ball in which Dickov backheeled over his head and into the path of Goater who clearly enjoyed blasting it past the ‘keeper from the edge of the penalty area. Half-time came and went and Dickov scored, again from his favourite range having been set up by Bradbury and Horlock. Jim Whitley had come on as one of three substitutes (Allsopp and Conlon were the others) and he duly scored a fairly soft goal having been set up by Pollock. Fenton had had quite a good début but then got tangled up with Weaver in going for a diagonal cross and allowed Torpey to head one in for Notts County. Finally Goater got a second when passed the ball by a Notts defender in the area and turned and pushed the ball home from close range.

No-one played badly but Notts County were a very poor side on the night.

Final score: City 7 Notts County 1

Comment:

I said last time that, for the league, a target of 18 points from 10 games should be seen as a minimum. This match reinforces that view; there will be about 6 teams in this division that set themselves apart from the rest and if we are not in that group from the start then it will be very difficult to come close to promotion. Blackpool and Notts County will probably be also rans in this division and it is essential that we beat teams like these handsomely, as we have done. Bring on Wrexham!

Dave Lewis (d.lewis@au.sac.ac.uk)

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’

FULHAM vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Friday 14th August 1998

Being an exiled Blue in Surrey hasn’t been much fun in recent years. On most visits to London not only have we lost but once or twice we have been well and truly tonked. Pastings at Wimbledon and Chelsea spring readily to mind. But a new season and new hopes, good early season form and I was looking forward to the Fulham match.

Craven Cottage is a great ground, like football grounds used to be. It’s in a lovely location close to Putney Bridge and the local park and usually has a good atmosphere if there is anything like a decent crowd. In the last twenty years Fulham have been the Man City of London, flattering only to deceive and a friend told me that he reckoned that Fulham had a hundred thousand fans because every time he went to watch them, the four thousand that were there said they were never coming again.

Close to the ground there were many City fans and I can now see what you all mean about the new away strip, an understated little number.

As the teams came out onto the pitch there looked to be a lot of quality players in the game. Unfortunately they all played for Fulham.

City started with three at the back and Edghill (longest serving professional a.k.a. LSP) and Horlock as wing backs. Fulham had a flat back four and amusingly Symons started out marking Dickov. The early part of the match was competitive and the teams looked fairly evenly matched. Horlock found plenty of space on the Fulham right wing and put over two innocuous crosses, one of which Goater made contact with but bundled well wide. At the City end Salako put over a good cross which Tskhadadze headed away for a corner. Vaughan started to give the ball away as did Wiekens and even when they did find a City midfielder they were caught in possession. Pollock had a big moan after about ten minutes at Vaughan after he had hoofed the ball into the stand.

The turning point came after 15 minutes when Tskhadadze was stretchered off and City brought on Allsopp. Allsopp started in the middle up front but soon drifted out to the right wing. City looked outnumbered now in both midfield and defence and City’s aerial weakness was well and truly exposed by Lehmann – a £30,000 signing from Germany. He absolutely murdered Wiekens and Vaughan and when he beat Wiekens in the air and nodded down to Beardsley, he slotted home into the corner of the net.

Fulham were really steaming into City for twenty minutes and only LSP and Pollock looked up for it. Salako and Beardsley treated the City back four (or was it still a back three or a five – who cares?) as traffic bollards, pass either side. Excellent work by LSP snuffed out one good Fulham move and Wayne Collins and Pollock rattled into each other in midfield. One of the highlights of the first half was a superb reckless tackle by LSP on Bracewell. A nothing ball to Bracewell high in the air whilst he was stood out wide on the Fulham wing at the half way line and LSP clattered into him at full tilt. There was no danger to City, LSP just did it for the sheer enjoyment.

In one rare attack Goater fed LSP who hit a shot straight at Maik Taylor, otherwise it was one way traffic. Lehman made it 2-0 after his own shot was well blocked by Weaver but he hit in the rebound and scored an easy header for the third from a good cross. By now Wiekens and Vaughan had almost given up challenging Lehmann near the half way line and seemed content to let him have the header and tried to pick up the second ball from the knock down.

After half time then Fulham lead 3-0. It’s a good result for both sides. Fulham because scoring three goals at home in one half is creditable, City ’cause we could have been losing by four or five. On the rare occasion we got into the Fulham half Coleman, Morgan and Brevett dealt easily with us.

The second half was much more competitive. Fulham looked to hit City on the counter attack and to pressure our midfielders on the ball. After Mason had been caught once too often he was subbed by Whitley. Beardsley was looking to spin on the ball in midfield and find Salako with long crossfield balls. After one such move only superb defending by LSP stopped Salako on the edge of the City box. Fulham continued to pile on the pressure and Wiekens did well to head a Haywood cross over his own bar whilst Brevett wasted a good opportunity after intercepting a long crossfield ball from Whitley. City’s predicament was shown when in one goalmouth scramble Allsopp managed to clear the ball from 3 yards out after an inevitable Lehmann knock down and the other nearest City defender was Goater. Throughout all the Fulham pressure Weaver stayed on his line and never dominated the area.

In the latter part of the game Fulham obviously decided that 3-0 was good enough. They sportingly pulled off Lehmann replacing him with Moody – another big blonde striker but nowhere near as effective and City began to stake out the Fulham goal. There were a couple of decent attempts from corners and Allsopp looked to be clean through on goal only for Coleman to stop him with a great tackle. Pollock fired narrowly wide and Dickov blazed over the bar late on confirming that this was not City’s night.

A much better performance from City in the second half who must have bitterley regretted their poor twenty minute sequence in the first half when poor defending cost them dear. Pollock never stopped tackling and running and LSP had a good second half eventually getting the better of Salako.

My verdict:

Weaver 6 – never dominated his area, not much chance with the three goals.
Edghill – 7 – passing awful, superb booking, defended well in the second half.
Horlock – 5 – indifferent crossing of ball, disappeared on occasions.
Vaughan – 4 – poor passing, poor heading, poor altogether really.
Wiekens – 5 – murdered by Lehmann in the air, but made some good interceptions in the second half.
Mason – 5 – repeatedly caught in possession, ineffective on the ball.
Tskhadadaze – 8 – while he was on the pitch.
Pollock – 7 – worked his socks off, never stopped tackling and running but little creativity.
Dickov – 6 – worked hard but no service unless you count various punts from Vaughan about six feet over his head.
Goater – 6 – ditto, except only five feet over his head.
Whitleys – 10 – five each, see comments on Mason.
Allsopp – 6 – tried hard but no killer pace.

Still I am not going to let a little matter like a massacre stop me and I’ve just heard about the 7-1. My first visit of the season to Maine Road on Saturday with my two sprogs and it’ll be their first visit to the home of football. We’ll be in the North stand in block P! My eldest son supports Chelsea, but used to wear a City shirt to football training at his school. Man City are his favourite Nationwide team he tells me. “But who will you support when City are back in the Premiership?” I asked him. “Dad”, he said “Stop messing about”

CTIDCTINOW (City til I die cos there is no other way), John Horgan(john@pavilion1.demon.co.uk)

PREVIEW OF THE WREXHAM MATCH

A month or two ago, I suggested to Ashley that, given our new and unaccustomed status, it might be an idea for MCIVTA to feature pieces on our forthcoming opponents. A few such articles have now appeared, but as I haven’t seen one on Wrexham, I’d intended to put one together myself in time for our imminent match against them. I simply haven’t had time this week to do all the research I wanted to do, but I hope that this piece will at least give Blues some idea of what to expect from Saturday’s opponents.

Eleven years ago, I left Manchester to go to university. I soon met a bloke from Mold, in north Wales, and we quickly forged a friendship. I wouldn’t say this was because of our shared interest in football, but that interest certainly didn’t do the friendship any harm. Over the years, we’ve attended many matches together, from going to see Cambridge United five or six times a season in our college days, to seeing his now-local team Watford take on Blackpool last November (and wondering, as I watched Watford slam four past them, how on earth we’d gone out of the League Cup to Blackpool in a two-leg tie). Andy used to watch Liverpool, so we had a few trips to Anfield in the days when Kenny Dalglish’s Barnes and Beardsley-inspired team were both the best and most stylish in the land. His principal allegiance has always been with Wrexham, however, and I’ve watched them on several occasions over the last eleven years, just as he’s often been to City matches with me. For me to call myself a Wrexham “fan” in any way would be pushing it, but I do keep an eye out for their scores and I’m pleased if they do well.

In 48 hours, City and Wrexham will face one another for the first time ever in the League (apparently we beat them in the FA Cup in 1937 and have played them in the odd friendly). It’s rather unexpected, at least for it to be happening in this division, but, aside from the added personal interest I have, it should be an interesting pointer to the next nine months. A convincing performance and a win by City against one of the division’s most consistent and competent teams over the last few seasons (their last three finishes have been 8th, 8th and 7th) would help me feel that we basically have the measure of what’s required for success at this level. On the other hand, a draw or a win for Wrexham would put a few doubts in my mind (and give them confidence that they could travel more or less anywhere in the division and get a result).

Wrexham will be the first of several opponents for City this season who’ve never visited Maine Road in the league before. As has been said more or less consistently since last May, season 1998-99 will be a trip into the unknown for us, so in a sense, the unknown starts here. Most familiar face in their line-up is undoubtedly Ian Rush, recently arrived as player-coach as he seeks to prepare the ground for a managerial career. His presence might trouble Blues a little – he’s always had a habit of hitting the net against us, and we seem to have accounted for about a third of his career goals tally. Other key players in the last year or two have included experienced striker Karl Connolly, who may be played wide on the left to accommodate Rush, tall centre-half Brian Carey, an Irish international who started as a junior at the Swamp and played in the Premiership with Leicester, the captain Tony Humes, a former Ipswich defender, and ex-Forest goalkeeper Andy Marriott, a Welsh international who won’t be playing at Maine Road as he’s fallen out with the management and is on loan to Sunderland. A distinctive figure is the shaven-headed Kevin Russell, Wrexham’s star striker when I first watched them in the late 1980s, who was sold to balance the books, has moved round several clubs including Leicester and Stoke, and now plays in midfield.

However, it’s fair to say that Rush is the only household name and this isn’t mitigated by City connections which might familiarise us with personnel otherwise likely to be unknown to us. The only links are off the pitch – assistant manager Kevin Reeves was a million pound City signing in Malcolm Allison’s second spell in charge (and scored for us in the Cup final), while Youth Development Officer Cliff Sear was a Welsh international full-back who played 250 league games for us in the 1950s and 1960s (Wrexham beat City 6-1 in his testimonial a couple of days after we were relegated from the Premiership in 1996). For anoraks like me, the only other City links I’ve been able to uncover are that: Allison bought Bobby Shinton from Wrexham in 1979 for £300,000 – a classic City signing in that he played a handful of games and was sold to Newcastle at a loss; Ray Kelly was on loan there last season and a few years ago, they took Mike Quigley on loan; Wyn Davies, who had a year at City in the Bell-Lee-Summerbee era, started at Wrexham; and Les McDowall and Ken Barnes both began managerial careers at Wrexham after long playing stints with City, before returning to Maine Road for lengthy spells as manager and chief scout respectively.

What I find more interesting, though, is that they’re a contrast to City in so many respects. I don’t just mean the obvious ones of history (we’ve never played at this level before while they’ve been in this division or lower for their entire existence save for the four seasons from 1978 to 1982) and support (they had the second lowest Division Two gates last season while our average was more than double that of anyone we play this time round). As an aside, I should say that their history is far more interesting than might be hinted at by these facts, largely thanks to their Welsh location. Few teams at this level have a ground which regularly used to host internationals or have competed in Europe on several occasions – in the 1980s, Wrexham once knocked out Porto on away goals and narrowly failed to overcome Roma in the next round thanks, Andy assures me, to some highly contentious refereeing. They’ve also been a regular starting point or finishing point for some well-known Welsh internationals over the years; in recent times, the most notable have been Joey Jones, a European Cup-winner with Liverpool in 1977 who is still on the coaching staff, and the colourful, much-travelled Mickey Thomas, both of whom started and ended their careers at The Racecourse.

To my mind, though, the most interesting contrast is in the way the respective clubs have been managed over the last few years. In 1990-91, Peter Reid’s City side finished fifth in the top flight, while Wrexham were bottom of the old Fourth Division. Though the tables are fairly meaningless at this stage in the season, they’re actually now above us. In other words, they’ve closed a gap of 87 league places and overtaken us. The contrast in management of the clubs is stark and simple – one is a model of good management, the other a paradigm of bad management. What Wrexham have done is this: they’ve organised themselves sensibly and professionally, worked to a sound long-term strategy, haven’t spent large sums of money the club didn’t really have and have appointed a good manager and kept faith with him. I could write reams detailing what City have done (in fact, on occasions, I have), but suffice it to say that’s not it.

Wrexham’s team manager since the spring of 1989 has been Brian Flynn. Many subscribers to MCIVTA will remember him as a player. For those who don’t, he was a diminutive and very tenacious, but not unskilful, Welsh international midfielder who began at Burnley when they were good, moved to post-Revie Leeds, returned to Burnley when they were declining and then moved round the lower divisions, his final port of call being Wrexham. He stepped up to the hotseat while still a player and reached the play-off finals not long after, only to lose in extra-time to Frank Clark’s Orient, but subsequent results weren’t so impressive. This was largely due to a conscious decision to blood young players, taking advantage of the knowledge that in 1991, there would be no relegation to the Conference. The policy paid dividends, and the club has been on the up ever since.

After finishing bottom of the whole League in 1991, Wrexham made mid-table next time out and also enjoyed a famous Cup victory over reigning champions Arsenal. Promotion came in 1993, and, following an initial period of consolidation, they have narrowly missed the play-offs in each of the last three seasons. This is despite regularly being forced to sell players for survival; the latest departure was promising young winger Neil Wainwright, who left this summer for Sunderland. Flynn’s is an excellent record, and it evidently hasn’t escaped the notice of other clubs, as he was interviewed by Burnley and Norwich in the summer, and I’m slightly surprised that he hasn’t moved up the leagues. I’m not sure he’d have been a popular choice for City in one of our many managerial upheavals, as I suspect he might not have been regarded as high-profile enough by many Blues. However, on one or two occasions, we probably could have done much worse.

Flynn has created a team which I’d say is more or less in his own image. They’re well organised – all the players understand the rôles they’re expected to fulfil and they all work very hard – but they don’t fit the stereotype of an uncompromising, long-ball lower-division outfit. They attempt to play constructive football; indeed, they have a reputation as one of the best footballing sides in Division Two. Last season, they drew too many games – with the money to buy a proven striker, they might have been promoted. My own view is that they might not be quite strong enough for automatic promotion, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the play-offs and they may shock one or two more fancied sides on their day.

Saturday’s match is a hard one to predict on the basis of early-season form – even at this early stage, both teams already seem to have shown their best and worst. If Wrexham play like they did when losing at home to Halifax and Colchester and City hit the sort of form they seem to have produced against Notts County last night, we’ll be celebrating another thumping victory. On the other hand, a repeat of City’s dismal display at Craven Cottage coupled with Wrexham showing the style which swept away a fancied Reading side would result in a depressing and decisive defeat.

Whatever happens, it won’t be easy and anyone who expects a City goal riot like Wednesday’s should forget it. Wrexham are really up for this one – they expect to sell out, or get close to selling out, their entire 3,000 ticket allocation which means they’ll have almost as many fans there as they drew for some of last season’s home games. Andy is driving up from Watford with a school friend who lives in Oxfordshire, which shows how big a game this is for them – they wouldn’t contemplate travelling up to Oldham, say, or Wigan specifically for a game unless promotion was riding on the outcome. Andy would be delighted with a draw and neither he nor I would be surprised if Flynn’s plan is to frustrate us, soak up pressure and hit us on the break. City fans need to be patient, because Wrexham have the ability to make it hard for us – they’ll be organised and committed, and in addition to Arsenal, the likes of Birmingham and West Ham can testify that they’re capable of raising their game for big matches.

I guess I should stick my neck out and have a go at predicting the outcome. At the risk of making a complete arse of myself, I take us to win, but quite possibly only by the odd goal and I won’t be altogether surprised if we don’t. We don’t need to fear them, but we do need to respect them. This is actually quite a tricky game, and if we don’t have the right approach, we could come unstuck. It might be that we have to grind out a result, and if we’re to be in with a shout of promotion, that’s something we have to be able to do on a fairly regular basis. I’ll be interested to see whether we can. This, more than any of the other four games so far, might tell us what kind of season we’re in for.

Acknowledgement – The facts and other information in this piece have been taken largely from two sources: the Manchester City handbook 1997-98 and the Webbed Robin, an excellent unofficial Wrexham web site which is well worth a look for anyone interested in finding out about opposing clubs and their views (I don’t have the site address to hand, but if you search for “webbed robin”, you won’t have a problem finding it).

Peter Brophy (brophpe@moscow.whitecase.com)

NATIONAL PRESS COVERAGE

I had to move to Bermuda, but I’ve finally managed to read a National Daily and found reports on City. Okay it’s the “Royal Gazette” but it’s a National Daily. Everyone in Bermuda gets it!

The following report appeared in the 20th August Issue:-

GOATER ON SONG FOR MAN CITY

Shawn Goater netted twice for Manchester City as the former Premier League team proved a class above their Second Division colleagues Notts. County in a 7-1 rout at Maine Road in the English League Cup, First Round Second Leg, last night.

The teams were two divisions apart last season and that gap looked just as big as City, already leading 2-0 after the first leg opened the scoring in the sixth minute through Gary Mason.

Paul Dickov added two goals in the 16th and 58th minutes while Goater scored two himself in the 38th and 90th minutes. Lee Bradbury (21st) and Jim Whitley (69th) got City’s other goals while Steve Torpey, a team-mate of Goater’s at Bristol City last season, scored the lone goal for last season’s Third Division Chanpions four minutes from time.

Shaun’s mum is said to be very proud!

David S Lees, Flatts Village, Bermuda (enzosnose@northrock.bm)

RETURN OF THE TRIBE… IT’S TIME TO EMPTY YOUR PIGGY BANKS

We have secured the Manchester Evening News Lounge for the match including seats in the Upper Level Kippax and a programme thrown in for good measure (plus a few good videos of the action while we wait!). The cost for the match day lounge including programme will be £20 per person so if you still fancy it, please send a cheque or postal order for £20 per person to the following address as soon as possible because it’s first come, first served…

Bob Young,
5 Trois Chenes Court,
Mont de la Chenaie,
St. Lawrence,
Jersey,
Channel Islands
JE5 1HR

Don’t delay…

P.S. If you know anyone who came last time to TG1 or who wants to come along this time, please pass on this message.

It’s going to be a great weekend!

Clive Tysoe (harmony@candw.lc)

OPINION – EURO SUPER LEAGUE

Echoing the sentiments of Peter Wilman and in particular the comments about Rupert Murdoch (the dirty digger) you are right, at the end of the day it gets down to “Fan” power.

Not that I like the elliptical ball game but his foray into rugby league in Australia was only intended to monopolise the game so that it was only available on a “user pays” basis via Sky TV. Little regard for the average Joe Blow who had made the game what it was by going through the turnstile and standing in all sorts of weather. Yes there was another similarity to the Euro proposal: greedy, avaricious players who thought they were above the club and had no regard for the fans.

Unlike the UK, by the way I was born in Ancoats, here in Australia Television is totally free to air with no licence fees. What is required is self discipline. He can only be successful in this adventure if the suckers pay for the satellite dish so exercise buyer power by not subscribing.

P.S. check out Wollongong at http://wollongong.nsw.gov.au/

City for three generations, Graham Jones, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia (gjp69@bigpond.com)

OPINION – LATEST CHANGES TO THE CHAMPIONS’ LEAGUE

I wonder with the latest proposals for changes to the so-called (and increasingly inappropriately-called) “Champions’ League” how long it is before we can join in the fun? At the rate of expansion, we should get our invitation to play by the year 2000 – assuming we don’t get promoted before then!

Gareth Smith (Gareth.Smith@woolworths.co.uk)

SEVENTH HEAVEN

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

I was there last night of course on my freebie ticket, to see the mighty Blues brush up on their shooting practice against a hapless Notts County. Yes I know it was only the League Cup, but let’s not forget that they are in the same League as us and we visit them in the League in just over a week’s time. A similar score then will do me nicely. However, it was a new one for me last night; seeing City score seven. I’ve seen a couple of sixes, several fives (two against Notts County, not to mention a rather more famous one) over the years, but I’d never seen a seven. Eight would have been nice though, if only to shut the Rags up who are still bleating on about some match or other down at The Sty on Tuesday night.

Talking of whom I see that they’ve finally got their man today, Dwight Yorke. He was about tenth on their list behind the likes of Salas, Romario and God knows who else… not that they’ll ever admit it but to think that I would have liked to have seen City sign Yorke a few years ago, not particularly for his playing ability but more for the fact that he likes a laugh. We were playing at Villa Park and it may even have been the game we almost wanted Villa to win to give them a chance of pipping the Rags for the League. However, it was clear to Villa’s management that Dwight Yorke was anything but a potential £12 million plus player and so he spent much of the second half warming up at our end of the ground, both enduring and enjoying some good natured banter with City’s travelling contingent during which he was regaled by numerous verses of “It’s got to be Dwight Yorke, Dwight Yorke” not to mention the equally memorable shout of: “Come and play for us Dwight, these are s**t.” While Doug Ellis might not agree with such a sentiment, it was funny at the time. Somehow though, I don’t think Dwight Yorke would enjoy the same sort of bonhomie now that he’s opted to take the Cockney dollar, but just think, we could probably have bought him then for less than a million! How times change.

Noel Bayley (noelbayley@compuserve.com)

TONY COLEMAN

I remember Tony Coleman being the main reason we we won what we did in the late 60’s but he also used to come and drink in the Railway near Bredbury and never left ’til he was done, which was long after closing time. He used to have his kit on under his clothes sometimes. However, he was the best crosser of a ball we had and he never gave up. We needed that with Nelly on the team. As brilliant as he was if he made a header in a game it was cause for celebration. Fond memories from lago when we were in a different world. Thanks for MCIVTA, I love it, you are doing a great job guys.

J Heavis (JHeavis502@aol.com)

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Some while ago, I posed the following questions. The answers are at the bottom.

  1. Which player played in the World Cup of 1994, and has played vs. City in Europe?
  2. Which 4 ex-City players now manage 1st Division clubs?
  3. Who was the 1st player to wear the No.12 shirt for City?
  4. Who had a goal disallowed in the 1976 League Cup Final?
  5. Who scored in the 1969 and 1981 FA Cup runs?
  6. Which player played vs. Spurs at Wembley for 2 diffrent teams, one being City?
  7. Name the 5 players, in order of the move, that led to the goal vs. Bradford when City gainedpromotion in 1989.
  8. Who was the last player to leave City, and gain a Championship medal with another club?
  9. And who before him?
  10. Which 2 players have appeared in 5 Cup finals for City?

Here are the answers:

  1. Franco Baresi.
  2. Francis, Megson, McMahon, Reid.
  3. Eric Brook, 1933 Cup Final when numbered shirts were worn for the 1st time.
  4. Royle.
  5. Booth.
  6. Bennett.
  7. Cooper, Gleghorn, Moulden, White, Morley = mass delirium.
  8. Hendry.
  9. Power.
  10. Doyle and Booth.

Here is a question that should take no more than a minute. Name the 6 ex-Everton players that have managed City.

Steve Welch, by way of Bill Manning (Wmanning@man.ac.uk)

WHY BLUE?

Why blue? Why you? Why me?

A question I have often asked myself. If I had followed a winning team would success have bred success, would I now be confidently looking over my share portfolio? Does following City make me a supreme optimist? Surely anyone who follows City must soon become a realist? At what point does this turn to being a pessimist? Will I end my days, like one of those blokes you see walking along muttering to himself, occasionally looking up to shout profanities at nobody in particular?

My first recollection of anything at all to do with football, was when one morning my dad made a point of pulling me to one side and telling me that Manchester United had, last night, become the first English team to win something called the European Cup. All of this meant absolutely nothing to me, but I could see it was important to him so I tried my best to look impressed. Just as I did later that year when he bought an old B&W television and made me and my sister sit up half the night watching the first picture of the moon … but I digress. That morning at school, the teachers had us crayoning large United rosettes in class. I didn’t know the term blatant indoctrination then so I went along with it.

Time passed.

On my birthday, my 6th I think, I got a “Johnny 7 gun” (does anybody else remember them?). I played happily with it for a day until it broke. Mum, sis’ and I went in the car to take it back; for some reason Little Sis’ and I were left in the car. Bad luck no more guns, would I like something else? A football kit maybe? My mother as usual, rather cannily getting me to have, as a pressie, something she was going to have to buy for next term anyway. Yeah, I thought why not, I had seen a lad at school with a rather unusual kit on, All white with a maroon and blue stripe down the front. I understood this to be a Stockport County shirt, although whether it was or not, I am not sure, it looked more like the old Palace shirt on reflection, but I digress again sorry… Mum popped in, then out again: “no County shirts, only City or United.” My best mate at the time, Craig Johnson (no relation) had a United Kit, so, as my dad would say and still does “you have to be bloody awkward, don’t you?” so City it was, There that’s it. Little did I know what effect it would have on my life.

Time passed.

I always called myself a City fan from then on, but rarely took more than a passing interest, until I was about 13. By then most of the lads at school were actually going to matches. As with my first school (Fir Tree North Reddish on the border with Levenshulme), Two Trees Haughton Green/Denton was, I seem to recall, majority City but there were plenty of Rags to make things interesting and the rivalry was fierce. Eventually I convinced dad to let me go to a match. My first game was early ’76, football violence was very prevalent, which only added to the excitement I think, but no doubt was behind my dad’s reservations. He was, and still is a United fan of sorts, although he has never been to Old Trafford (familiar story). His uncle did take him to watch United when he was a lad, but United then played at Maine Road, thanks to grandad Rösler and his mates. “Showing your age, Pops!”

I will never forget the way the hairs stood up on the back of my neck as I walked through the tunnel into the Kippax, the noise! The atmosphere! A feeling I got whenever I went. I almost have tear in my eye, to think never again. Well I was hooked, I tried to get to as many games as I could but unfortunately I couldn’t get a ticket for the League Cup Final and it is doubtful if dad would have let me go anyway.

I was a season ticket holder for a few years, Barnes, Teuart, Hartford, Royle, Francis, McKenzie and even dare I say Brian Kidd.

I eventually succumbed to the pleasures of the flesh and got engaged. Being an electrician, I found it hard to turn down working Saturday overtime, when the money was so good and City were so crap, so my visits slowed.

I got married and moved to Australia; rather drastic you might think but City were going through a particularly bad patch. After I had been in Aus’ about 6 months I found a magazine called British Soccer Weekly; one week somebody put an advert in asking if anyone in Melbourne would like to form a City Supporters’ Club; well of course I replied, we got together and used to have BBQ’s and generally get drunk and talk about City etc.

Time passed.

In Australia once a year the British supporters’ clubs of Melbourne all play each other. Using full pitches, 11 a side (if you have them) teams, 10 minutes each way, no offside, no ring ins, only half cut ageing saddos allowed.

A few years ago with our recently purchased City kit we won the cup. I, realising a dream, imagine it all die hard City fans, City kits on, drinking from a real trophy, winners’ medals an’all.

No, United weren’t in it that year; they were thrown out for cheating a few years before! Since then we have won it again and been runners up. United are now back in the competition, in fact they have 2 teams, so they called the second one Newton Heath. We’ve been in different groups the last couple of years and haven’t met. But this year we played Newton Heath and won 1 nil, despite the ref’ giving them a penalty in time added on! Our boy Chidlow, a Welsh Blue, saved it and got carried shoulder high off the pitch for his efforts.

Joy

I honestly feel sorry for United fans, what a shallow existence it must be… once in a while in this faraway land I bump into someone in a City shirt, our eyes meet across a crowded room. We chat excitedly, sharing a genuine bond, of shared pains, shared false dawns. My brother in law who now lives over here is a Rag of the preverbial armchair variety, wears the shirt but has never been etc., he bumps into guys everyday, everywhere wearing the same gear but with even less knowledge than him. Where’s the brotherhood in that? They must go through life never knowing the joy of finding out your team scraped a 1 nil win away at Oxford. They just expect to win but there can be no real pleasure in that amount of predictability, can there? I wouldn’t know.

Lastly, Why Blue? When I talk to people over here and I tell them I’m from Manchester and follow City, they either say they have never heard of them or they give me the sort of admiring look you would give to one of those guys who ski’s down mount Everest in the nude. So there you have it, City’s my team, Premiership or bust!?

Paul Keelagher a.k.a. Abdom ex-Denton Blues, now Port Melbourne Blues (200yds from Danny Allsopp’s old club).
Drop me a line (paulkay@eisa.net.au)

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

MCIVTA ADDRESSES:
Contributions: Nizam – nizam@idea.com.sg
Subscriptions & Club Questions: Steve – sbolton@buxtonrd.u-net.com
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]Nizam Idris, nizam@idea.com.sg

Newsletter #425

1998/08/21

Editor:


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