Newsletter #451

A very small Mcivta to end the week with; I can only presume that one and all are so gobsmacked with our storming victory over Halifax, and subsequent fixture with Darlington (a game to please the groundhoppers), presuming it goes ahead there. The teamtalk web pages suggested it would go elsewhere, but just as soon as I had read that, mail came in from the ticket office suggesting otherwise; the message is included below.

Old Abbey attendees – I hope to be up in a month or so for the Bristol Rovers game; this I couldn’t resist having attached myself to the other footballing half of Brissle. Who should I get in touch with at the club to ask them to play Adge Cutler & The Wurzels’ “Drink up the Zyder” when Rovers run out? This being the local Bristol City song, I think it would confuse the living daylights out of them – even more than attempting to play football does.

And if anyone has a hotline to JR, tell him to play two wingers against the Rovers, and bang as many balls from the byline into the box – they can’t cope with that at all.

Anyway – on with the show.

Submissions to Mcivta to go to Ashley again after this issue – – in case you had forgotten.

Jeremy Poynton (


Is it some kind of Tyke phobia that is stopping JR from selling Michael Brown to Barnsley, after he also turned down a bid for City’s midfield hardman or perhaps JR isn’t keen to sell off one of our players for a laughable fee. The Blues’ boss admitted that the Oakwell club had made an enquiry for City’s Player of the Year last season, but added that it was “nothing more than that.” Royle rejected an approach from another South Yorkshire club, Sheffield United, earlier in the season. The 21 year old Brown has appeared as a substitute in each of City’s last three games, but has started only one game, the home defeat at the hands of Preston last month. Oh and remember this fella Hignett? well Barnsley are also being linked with a move for City target Craig Hignett at Aberdeen who last weekend pleaded to be allowed to leave the Scottish Premier Division club.

City’s second round FA Cup match with Darlington is the game without a venue, because Darlo’s pitch is under several inches of water thanks to a burst water pipe in the main stand (did someone leave the showers on?). Darlington’s first round game with Burnley was played at the (One Brain) Cellnet Stadium, but we can’t use it ’cause Captain Flasher’s boys have a game vs. Newcastle the following Sunday. There’s even been a suggestion that the tie could be switched to Maine Road, albeit that the notion came from the City end. A decision will be made by the FA before weekend, and knowing them we’ll probably have to play the match in Plymouth.

Our internationals did us proud on Wednesday; Both Tommy Wright and Gary Mason got bench sores, even though accordng to N. Ireland manager it’s the best performance he has seen from Tommy since he took over.

City have been forced to re-lay part of the pitch at Maine Road for the first time in twenty years because of problems with the weather. A 200 square metre section in front of the Main Stand has been replaced at a cost of £7,500 (Jesus what kind of grass are they using, did they buy it from a shady character seen lurking in the alleys around Maine Road?). The pitch is suffering from thatch disease which has been caused by the effects of a wet summer and the lack of air flow into the ground. It has left the pitch looking yellow and limp (I think one or two of the players have this too!), a symptom usually associated with the odd City away performance! Meanwhile, City are looking for a new venue to play their reserve matches. They had to switch a reserve game this week from Altrincham’s Moss Lane because of the state of the Unibond League club’s pitch. It meant that Maine Road has been in use for the last two nights (the reserves on Tuesday night, the youth team last night) and is needed again on Saturday for the Gillingham game. City agreed to play at Altrincham from November until March but are now looking for another venue. Rumours that they have approached Taggart at the swamp to see can we play there are unfounded.

City will be at home to Carlisle United next Tuesday in the Second Round of the FA Youth Cup after winning last night’s first round replay. The Blues beat Chester City 2-0 at Maine Road thanks to a scrambled goal from Shaun Wright-Phillips in the first minute and a Leon Mike header in the 12th minute. City had fought from two goals down in the first match at the Deva Stadium two weeks ago and this time learned the lessons from that game as they stubbornly refused to concede during a second half rally from Chester. Leon Mike had a couple of chances to have made the scoreline more emphatic as City won the tie quite comfortably in the end. The teenage striker is aiming for a first team call-up before the end of the season to underline the immense promise he is making at junior level. The 17-year-old Mike is rated as the hottest property in the youth team ranks at Maine Road and it is thought he could be on the substitute’s bench within the next few months for the first team ahead of likelier candidates in Alan Bailey and Chris Greenacre. “My goal is to play for the first team before the end of the season and I believe it is a realistic target,” said Mike, whose cousin Adie played for City in the early nineties, scoring twice in 16 appearances, and is now plying his trade for Leek Town in the Football Conference. Leon has made one reserve team appearance this season as a substitute in a 3-2 win over Middlesbrough. “I wasn’t really ready for it. There is a big step up from the Academy in terms of the strength and speed,” he continued. Leon is studying leisure and tourism at college after training and has a confession to make. “I’m a United fan,” he admits, “but I couldn’t be happier if I make the grade at City.” Well done lads.

Howard McCarthy


Does anyone know if Steve Coogan is a Rag? I went to see his London show last night and he made did 2 City gags (both old). I know he hails from Manchester but don’t recall seeing him at Maine Road or being listed amongst our famous celeb supporters.

Mark Leibling (

He is indeed – tho’ I can just about forgive him that for Paul Calf.



As AIK’s young goalkeeper, Mattias Asper, has been linked with City, I thought that MCIVTA subscribers might be interested to hear that the Stockholm club last week clinched the Swedish league title (their season corresponds to the calendar year) with, very appropriately, a 1-0 win. Asper replaced Lee Baxter, the son of English manager Stuart Baxter, after successive defeats in the 6th and 7th games of a 26-match season and was never on a losing side.

The statistics of AIK’s season make extraordinary reading and I wonder whether there is a Statto out there who can tell us whether a national championship has ever been won in such negative fashion. Out of 26 games, AIK won 11, drew 13 and lost 2, but the key statistic is that they scored only 25 goals, which is fewer than one per game and, almost unbelievably, fewer than were scored by any other team in the league.

Of the 11 wins, 7 were by 1-0 and in the 13 draws, the score in 10 was 1-1. AIK scored 2 goals in only 4 matches and never scored more than that. Only 2 games were won by a 2-goal margin.

There is a City connection with the second team, too. Helsingborg are coached by the Norwegian Aage Hareide, who had a brief spell at Maine road a few years ago. His team won more games (12) and scored a lot more goals (43) but they let AIK in on the last day of the season by losing to an already relegated side.

What price AIK for the Champions League?

Steve Willis (


Having supported City all my conscious life (and I’m 64), I am surprised to see Colin Jonas refer to Gio as City’s greatest ever player (MCIVTA 450). What about Trautmann, Swift, Herd? We have had lots of quality players.

Stuart Grundy, now alas N.Z. (

There was that Colin Bell bloke as well.



If I’m right, this is probably the 900th reply you’ve had to date, but didn’t we play Burnley at their ground in a cup game maybe 5 or 6 years ago? I seem to remember Colin Hendry getting a lot of stick (“You’re just a Blackburn reject!”) and every time their ‘keeper took a spot kick, the home crowd did this huge cry of “Whoooosh!” – don’t ask my why.

I got a lift up to the game, but a couple of my mates, who got the train, were chased off the platform on the way home and were pursued half way round the town by a gang of home supporters.

Might be worth warning people in case of a repeat…?

Pat McGibbon (


I would go along with everything John Hacking said in the last MCVITA. It’s a brill book and will make a great Xmas pressy and I don’t work for the publisher.

Paul Murphy, Chorlton (


This was forwarded to me by a Bristol City fan who thought it might amuse; it’s from a Lincoln City website, concerning our own Shaun Goater (that’s Mr Goater to you), and a Lincoln City defender (currently being eyed by BCFC).

I quote…

Just taken a look at a rather good Lincoln site and found the following report on Austin (sorry JP).

“Imps Get Royle’s Goater”

Imps defensive star Kevin Austin was questioned last night following the game with Manchester City, about the disappearance of Manchester’s Shaun Goater. Apparently he was nowhere to be found, and the Man City team coach was waiting to depart and a frantic search was going on to try and find him.

Austin who both scored and made a remarkable goal line clearance was the last person to see Division 2’s leading scorer, and the Police were rightly concerned that he should some knowledge of the player’s whereabouts.

According to our reporter, Mystic Imp, Goater was found when Austin was asked to turn out his pockets.

The site can be found at

Jeremy Poynton (


F.A.Cup 2nd Round
Darlington vs. Manchester City

This fixture will be played on Friday, 4th December, kick-off 8:00 p.m.


A very small number of seat tickets and an extremely limited number of standing tickets will be available to REGULAR SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ONLY (NOT 4TH, 3RD, 2ND, 1ST YEAR or MEMBERS) from 9.00 a.m. on Saturday, 21st November. Supporters are advised to queue from window 10 towards the Main Stand.

As long as tickets remain postal, Dial/Fax-a-Seat credit/debit card bookings will be accepted from 9.00 a.m. on Monday, 23rd November.

Full ticket details will be on our website shortly.

Manchester City Ticket Office


Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Howard –
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.

[Valid3.2]Jeremy Poynton,

Newsletter #451