Newsletter #475

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A point at form team Bournemouth on Saturday, but at what cost? It seems the referee went completely berserk, booking 5 City players, 2 of which were extended into red cards; a view supported by supported by several Bournemouth fans! There are 3 match reports and 2 matchviews, plus a short report on the Internet game, where McVitee IFC ran out 3-1 winners, making it 6 out of 6 for them.

We also have some new Web info, including a forthcoming ‘live’ interview with the chairman, and a site with soundbites of everyone’s (almost everyone’s anyway) favourite commentator, Stuart Hall. There’s the latest form guide from Richard Mottershead, opinion and a Why Blue.

…and remember, news items for the next few issues should be sent, in Peter’s absence, to Geoff Donkin at: citynews@donkin.demon.co.uk

Next game, Macclesfield Town at home, Saturday 20th February 1999

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’ I

AFC BOURNEMOUTH vs. MANCHESTER CITY FC, Saturday 13th February 1999

Time, effort and money spent to watch that poor game, it wasn’t a thrilling encounter, it was more tedium than entertainment.

JR decided to make a switch and bring back Morrison and drop Vony (sic), so City lined up:

               Weaver
Crooks  Morrison  Wiekens  Edghill
Cooke   Brown    P*llock   Horlock
	 Goater  Taylor

Subs: Bish, Dickov, Vaughan

The game was delayed for 15 minutes to squeeze the 10k plus into the ground. That’s the easy bit done, line-up and formation was easy to remember, however the game itself pales into insignificance, well except for the on-field antics of the players and referee.

The first half, fairly easy to sum up, a bit of effort by the Blues, but a distince lack of chances created. I honestly can’t remember a shot saved by the Cherries’ ‘keeper. They were almost as devoid of ideas, with Weaver only having to make a few saves. The most talking points came with the ref’s decisions and the yellow cards that flourished. Morrison, Wiekens, Horlock(?) and the d******d of a captain P*llock were all booked. Wiekens for a misjudged tackle, his first foul of the game. Morrison, I’m not sure if it was for the first innocuous challenge or whether he opened his mouth. Horlock, I assume a mix of mouth and foul. As for Captain no brain, his was certainly for dissent; now I don’t know what he said, but no matter what you say the ref is not going to change his decision. Now why can’t P*llock learn from his mistakes? He was sent off earlier in the season for the same offence. So there were unecessary bookings.

The second half started and was much the same fayre, some commitment and effort but nothing to show. The game was heading for a listless 0-0 draw when all the excitement came in the last 10 minutes. Firstly P*llock fouls someone from behind in a genuine attempt to get the ball. The referee sees it as a second bookable offence and off P*llock goes. This causes a storm of complaints and anger, surprisingly the ref doesn’t get his book out. JR subs Goater with Vaughan, moving Edghill to the right and putting Crooks into midfield. City then have to hang on for the final few minutes with 10 men. City seem to have managed the task even after Vaughan gets himself booked and Weaver gets a crack on the head in a clash of heads from the resulting cross. Whilst Weaver is receiving attention, the players take it upon themselves to once more berate the referee, so obviously it really does prove how thick professional players are. Wait until the free-kick has been awarded and then taken, and then harang the referee who has already booked players for dissent, surely they should have kept their gobs shut? Horlock (acting captain) seemed to come over to act as peace maker, he ushered the other players away and then starts himself. Obviously the ref was out to make his name and immediately brandished the red card and Horlock finds himself walking.

After that chaotic situation calms down, Weaver takes the kick and the game is over. The ref gets an escort to the boos and abuse of the travelling Blues.

It wasn’t ’til the journey home that we found out that Horlock had been dismissed for “adopting an aggressive walk”; it sounds really comical but to be perfectly honest, both he and P*llock brought their sendings off onto their own heads; when will they learn to walk away? Is it really that difficult to do, especially after they’d seen the ref’s antics during the game?

So City got a point from the 0-0 draw, but at what cost? Morrison, Wiekens and Vaughan all banned for totting up, heaven knows about Horlock and P*llock.

BTW, the match kicked off late due to the crowd. I wasn’t on the road out of Bournemouth ’til 6:30. it was a nightmare getting off the car parks by the ground!

Martin Ford (mford@fs1.li.umist.ac.uk)

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’ II

AFC BOURNEMOUTH vs. MANCHESTER CITY FC, Saturday 13th February 1999

                Weaver
Crooks   Wiekins  Morrison  Edghill
     Brown   Pollock   Horlock
Cooke
           Taylor   Goater

After a very promising first ten minutes or so, where comfortable build up play created one or two chances, notably a weak shot from Brown, the ‘Cherries’ then started gaining ground, some good build-up play fortunately ending with weak finishing. The game subsequently began to get a bit scrappy. There was I believe a higher percentage than usual of players turning the defenders marking them on both sides. The second half, like the first, opened with a ten-minute spell of positive things from the Blues before Bournemouth began to virtually control possession, whereas in the first half it seemed that they could only do anything on the break. Dickov replaced Cooke who seemed to be tiring, which of course left us without width, especially with the other ‘wide’ players not in tip top form. The last twenty minutes was a farce, four or five bookings of City players including Jamie being sent off. Pretty innocuous challenges though, just good, solid tackling it looked like to me; Pollock did not deserve the sending off. In one incident, a Bournemouth player and Weaver were lying on the ground, and the physios came running on. Three or four City players had a chat with the ref about a booking but he waved them away. Forty seconds later he decided to book Horlock. The only explanation I can give was to get at us supporters who had verbally berated the ref for those 40 seconds, it certainly wasn’t the players. The ref then booked every City player who made a tackle! This man is totally c***s and shouldn’t be refereeing games at this level. He can’t even tell the time; we kicked off over 10 minutes late and allowed 20 minutes for half time (at least this gave me time to struggle back to my spot from the toilets!).

Weaver (9) Excellent in the nets again.
Crooks (6) Gave the ball away a few times and his distribution was poor.
Edghill (5) I had praised Edghill for his sudden form recently but it was back to his old tricks today.
Morrison (7) The solid performance we now expect in central defence.
Wiekens (8) As with Morrison, but better.
Horlock (7) Got himself about more than usual.
Brown (7) Poor in first half, but much better in the second.
Pollock (8) The solid, fiery defensive midfield performance we know and love him for.
Goater (6) Okay he’s learning how to play the ball on the floor, but is still too slow and creates little.
Taylor (6) Got to the odd header, but way off target.
Cooke (7) Not one of his better performances.

Used subs:
Dickov (6) Could have done more up front.
Vaughan (7) Shored up the defence at a difficult stage.

MightyG – Gareth Thomas (mightyg@easynet.co.uk)

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’ III

AFC BOURNEMOUTH vs. MANCHESTER CITY FC, Saturday 13th February 1999

Four of us travelled to this match. The following is a joint effort by 2 and is following a promise made to Ashley that there’d be a match report in return for helping us to find good homes for some tickets for the match which we did do thanks to MCIVTA (a pretty good response actually and apologies for not phoning all the unsuccessful applicants as I would have spent all week on the phone).

Pre Match:

Arrived about an hour and a half before kick off and had to walk for about twenty minutes before we found a pub where we could actually get served. The one pub nearer the ground was packed with no chance of a drink before kick-off (which incidentally was delayed for 15 minutes so they could get all the City fans in through the three turnstiles). Saw the team coach on the way to the ground. A member of our party jumped up and down and waved at them (her name appears at the foot of this) but they all looked at her as if she was a loony – nice way to treat a devoted fan!

Facilities:

The ground was full – just short of 3,000 of us packed like sardines in the Brighton Beach end. No roof and thus very little atmosphere until the last few minutes (see under “Ref”). Small huts sold Pot Noodles and pies (only kept slightly warm by tin foil) and customary unrecognisable hot drink with great speed and efficiency (only joking about the last bit).

Team News:

Morrison back after suspension for Vaughan. Edghill and Goater fit after knocks last week so no other changes. Stein missing for Bournemouth with ‘flu (shame).

Match:

Poor pitch and game. Both teams cancelled each other out really. We had two chances. Cooke put Brown through after about 10 mins but he mis-hit a shot and Nigel Spink wasn’t in goal for the Cherries. Halfway through the 2nd half a back pass set up Taylor and he had a clear run on goal. He tried to slip the ball past the ‘keeper who blocked it with his legs. We really need someone who can take these chances.

The poor pitch didn’t help passing. No moves really got going. Balls about to be hit down the line sat up and were sliced into touch and (five times I think) over the Subbuteo stand. Cooke was tightly marked and came off after about an hour to be replaced by Dickov.

We defended well and competed well (see “Ref”) later”. Weaver had a couple of bobbling shots to save from outside the box but the was no danger (he is cool though isn’t he?).

Brown did well in midfield and all the defence did OK. Wiekens was (again) probably the best player. Morrison had a good tussle with Fletcher (see “Ref” later again) who is the big bloke up front who scored at Maine Road.

Ref:

Dismal, inconsistent and eventually lost control of the game. Pollock dismissed for two late tackles. Neither was dirty and no damage done. We’ve seen Pollock often enough to know if he means it or not and these were just two he slid in for and didn’t get. No raised feet. No injuries. No warnings were given. A short time after the first card one of the Bournemouth players committed the same offence and was not even warned.

Horlock was booked early on for pulling down an opponent from behind. It was at the other end but looked a fair enough decision. Wiekens was booked for a trip on the wing and, again, no complaints there. Morrison was booked for arguing after a free kick was given against him. He tussled all afternoon with Fletcher and it was hard to say on most occasions who was fouling who.

Around this time, it was getting clear the ref was a homer. Only we were getting booked and for any foul we committed. Then came Pollock’s sending off.

Vaughan’s booking in the last couple of minutes (he had replaced Goater after Jamie was dismissed) was a joke. He was about to clear a ball under his control when a Bournemouth player ran in unseen and nicked the ball away. Vaughan caught him (but didn’t hurt him) in his follow through and all could surely see it was a complete accident. Not this berk.

Following the free kick awarded there was a melee in the goalmouth during which Weaver and a Bournemouth player appeared to be knocked out for a couple of minutes. Whilst they were still out, Horlock went over to protest, apparently, at Vaughan’s booking. He was then sent of for walking towards the ref “in an aggressive manner” (Sunday Times).

All this happened at our end. After a moment or two to realise this wasn’t a bad dream, coins started to be thrown towards the ref. Since half of our team (OK, only 4 by now) were still protesting, there was more chance of hitting them. Brownie(!) appealed for calm and the coin-throwing stopped. Weaver was fit to get up and take a goal-kick and that was more or less that. Ref left hastily, accompanied by police and stewards and, after applauding the team, we trooped away, slightly stunned.

We’d (us 4) have taken a point before kick-off but hope the suspensions and disciplinary points accumulated don’t cost us dear.

Sharon and John Marsland (S.P.Marsland@man0510.x400.icl.co.uk)

MATCH VIEW

I’m sure there will be detailed match reports forthcoming, so I’ll try to be different and offer a slightly different outlook on the day’s events. I hurried the missus along in the morning and we set off in light sunshine from nearby Wimborne to go to Slade’s Farm to catch the McVittee match. It seemed that there were 30-odd City and 3 Bournemouth and I think this was why the groundsman relented and allowed the match to go ahead (late kick-off), even though the ‘Ground unfit for play’ sign was out.

What a start! Kicked off, Bournemouth go forward, score! City kick off, go forward, score! Then, as was frequently mentioned around me, McVittee played like the first team – all the play, ball won’t go in. Unfortunately, because of the delayed kick-off we had to leave for personal reasons (we wanted a drink), just before half time with the score still 1-1. I hope Dave will inform us what happened after.

Refreshed, we got to Dean Court about half-two and took our seats in the Bournemouth bit next to the away stand, and listened to the Mancunian accents all around us. Unfortunately, the bloke behind us talked for England. I can put up with “Come on City! Stick it to ’em!” But it was just “… control it… good boy… pass it… not there… get up… run… blow your nose etc.”, for the whole game. He must have breathed through his ears ’cause I didn’t hear him take a breath. 10/10 for enthusiasm, 1/10 for content.

Observation time. The pitch is a postage stamp and cut up badly, so flowing football and wingplay were out. Cooke was subbed so boss man agreed. Pollock was busy and battling, so was Brown. Morrison is a tank but effective, Wiekens is class, Dickov posed more threat when he came on than Goater and Taylor put together. Crooks, Edghill and Horlock were doing a job reasonably well, which leaves young Nick. This was a game where two sides cancelled each other out. If a goal was scored it would be a winner. Shame our one chance (a one on one) fell to Taylor whose confidence is not 100%. At the other end the only way through for Bournemouth was Weaver’s kicking. Time and again he made a safe collection, only to roll it out to the edge of the box and kick it just as a red shirt was nearly on him. Whilst taking a free kick earlier he had slipped but recovered. With a bobbly pitch why put my nerves through it?

Overall it was solid stuff and the only down side was a referee who wanted 15 minutes of fame against the mighty City and was so biased and petty that the game was stifled. At the end, after a nasty collision between Weaver and Cox, City players took it in turn, like queuing for a bus, to walk forward and shout at him. You could see Black Spice climbing out of his pram, until, almost shaking with the inner tantrum, he delighted in showing Horlock the red card. As soon as the game restarted he blew the final whistle as if to say ‘Gotcha, now get off’. The City fans were excellent and didn’t let him have the last laugh by reacting in anything but a verbal way, although you can see how things kick off sometimes.

Finally, whilst on the subject, a personal thank you to all the Blues I met on the day, you have re-affirmed the reason why I support City.

DLTRGYD – Don’t let the referee grind you down, Stu Wells (wellss@flight-ref.com)

MY DAY OUT PLUS TWO MATCH VIEWS!

What a day. I set off at 4.30 to get to Bournemouth to play for McVitee FC. Got there at 10.30 to see a sign saying “Ground UNFIT for Play” next to a pitch that looked like Wembley (minus the stands, extortionate burger stands etc.). In true style we played on anyway and came away with a 3-1 win, 6 wins out of 6 now – who can stop us? This was the game of classic clichés such as ‘it’s a game of two halves’ or ‘it’s back to 0-0’. It was interesting to see the Bournemouth chairman play for their team (errrr… Mr Bernstein?…). They put up a good fight but there was only going to be one winner.

After a swift shower and a few pints we got to the ground. Kick off was delayed by 20 minutes after congestion around the ground. Unfortunately the game kicked off. The first half was very boring (as was the whole game). We had a couple of players booked including Pollock for mouthing off. No-one looked like scoring, Cooke was marked by 2 men at all times and our strike farce (yes farce!) had as much imagination as a dead slug.

The second half was very controversial. In total 7 City players were booked during the game, two of which were sent off (Pollock and Horlock). None of the Bournemouth team were booked. Pollock’s red was dubious. He lost the ball and went in for the tackle, Pollock played the ball, at which point their player fell over and the ref pulled out his red card. Towards the end of the game Weaver was injured in a couragous move on his part. Horlock walked over to the ref who sent him off. The report in the News Of The World said “Horlock was sent off for aggressively walking at the ref”. It has also been said that the ref had been banned from referee-ing for a year and had been allowed back.

During the period that Weaver was down there were some ugly scenes from a minority of City fans. Coins, plastic bottles and a loo brush (!?) were hurled at the ref. When the game finally got underway it was over in 2 minutes. 0-0 and the ref had an escort off the pitch.

The long journey lay ahead (including an hour and a half getting out of the car park and a tour of Bournemouth trying to find the way out). David Mellor was reporting on the travesty in the Arsenal Cup game and slating the ref / players / FA / God / Glenn Hoddle for the incident. He should try a trip to the lower leagues and look at what goes on there. I got home for 11pm weary and hoarse. I’d travelled 500+ miles to the seaside and hadn’t even seen the sea.

And finally… There were two parrots sat on a perch…

Andy Holgate (andy.holgate@tipeur.ge.com)

NEWS SUMMARY

Nine-Man City Earn Point

City earned a point from Saturday’s goalless draw at Bournemouth, but at a cost, with Jamie Pollock and Kevin Horlock both being sent off in the last six minutes. It didn’t sound a particularly inspiring match from most of the reports, but if it yielded anything positive, it was the fact that we stretched our unbeaten sequence to eight games, which have brought 18 points and in which we’ve given away a miserly two goals. However, we failed narrowly to break into the play-off zone, and are currently lying in seventh place, level on 48 points with Stoke but behind them by virtue of having scored one fewer goal. The Potters, who didn’t play this weekend, have two games in hand.

The results of those of our promotion rivals who were in action couldn’t have gone much worse for City on Saturday, with Preston grabbing a late goal to defeat Wycombe while both Walsall and Gillingham won away. It looks increasingly likely that our only realistic chance of promotion is through the play-offs, with Preston and Fulham both eleven points clear of us and Fulham having two games in hand. It’s not results like failing to win at Dean Court which are responsible for this, however. It was the failure to win seven of the first eleven home league games this season which left us in a position where we have to rely on others failing and have no margin for error whatsoever even if they do.

Suspensions to Hit Promotion Bid

City’s promotion bid will be hit by suspensions to Pollock and Horlock, each controversially dismissed by referee Brian Coddington on Saturday for picking up two yellow cards. Pollock was first booked for dissent and then for a foul while Horlock managed the same feat in reverse. Particularly bizarre was the reason for Horlock’s second yellow card in the 89th minute. Joe Royle’s query as to the reason for this booking was apparently met with a reply from the official that he’d booked Horlock for “walking aggressively” towards him. The City manager remarked that he was unaware of the rule change making this an offence and I have to say I share his bemusement.

I wasn’t there and might be accused of bias if I simply report a City view of Coddington’s performance. Instead, let’s quote one of the eminently reasonable handful of Cherries fans who’ve been hanging around Blue View this week (didn’t they provide a refreshing contrast to the previous week’s postings!) and who called Coddington “diabolical throughout the game.” In fact, he was so diabolical in Jamie Pollock’s eyes that the City captain risked a possible FA disrepute charge for labelling the official’s display the worst he’s ever seen, slamming the failure to allow our team to “compete” and claiming that City were “up against an extra man”. If Pollock is indeed charged by the FA he may receive an extra ban in addition to the lengthy one he can already expect. While the penalty for a sending off resulting from two yellow cards is only a one match ban, Pollock is likely to find himself in deeper trouble as Saturday’s dismissal was his third of the season. Speculation, even before his after-match comments, was that he could miss between three and six matches.

Meanwhile, Horlock will also automatically miss the one match, and having served a ban in November can’t now be too far off another suspension. Both Pollock and Horlock will certainly sit out the match at Chesterfield on February 27. And there’s even more bad news for City – the bookings of Andy Morrison and Tony Vaughan on Saturday may well mean that they miss the same game. Sorry for the uncertainty over who’ll be missing when, by the way. Some news sources don’t report anything about Vaughan and Morrison being suspended, while reports on Saturday that Horlock would be missing for three games seem not to have been repeated over the last 48 hours.

Weaver Signs New Deal

In a move which should kill speculation that City are looking to cash in on Nicky Weaver, the England under-21 squad goalkeeper has signed a new contract which will expire in the summer of 2003. Despite rumours that we could collect a £3 million fee for the young goalkeeper from Blackburn, Liverpool or Manchester United, Joe Royle has constantly insisted that Weaver’s not for sale. The player has said his ambition is to play in the Premiership with City, while his short-term progress will surely be quicker in our first team that in the Pontin’s League with a club whose senior side happens to be playing at a higher level than ours.

Community Scheme Honoured

City’s football in the community scheme, run by Alison Vaughan and former player Alex Williams, has become the first in Britain to be awarded charitable status. The scheme comprises a number of initiatives for schoolchildren, such as the learning through football scheme, which involves a day at the club where various topics from the national curriculum are covered, and the “Kick It” anti-drugs awareness programme. It also involves an after-school study support centre which will soon be opened by Education Secretary David Blunkett. It’s a feather in the club’s cap, and in an era when big business and football are ever more closely linked, it’s a pleasant change to read about the pursuit of a non-profit-motivated initiative.

Commonwealth Snub Rectified

Many City fans were outraged last week when the website for the 2002 Commonwealth Games was unveiled. The site has a section detailing Manchester’s sporting heritage, and when it first appeared there was rather a glaring omission – there was no mention of Manchester City FC even though not even our biggest detractors could say we’ve made a zero contribution to sport in the city and even though we’re due to make our permanent home at the Games’ showpiece stadium. In protest, Bob Evans (“Blue Mountie” on BV) sent an e-mail to Bryan Harrison, the Council’s Senior Economics Initiatives Officer. It turns out that Mr. Harrison is a staunch Blue and he delivered with considerable efficiency on his promise to Bob to make good the oversight, which apparently was the fault of the site designers. I think we all owe a vote of thanks to both Bob and Bryan Harrison.

My Absence

Well, that’s my lot for a couple of weeks. As I explained last time out, I’m off on an eight-day break (of which the highlight, of course, will be the Macclesfield home game) and my next news summary should be in MCIVTA 479, which is due to go out on 1 March. This was a fairly quiet note to bow out on, but there’s been virtually no transfer rumours and all the frenzied speculation about cash injections has died down. Still, Geoff Donkin will be rounding up the news in the next three issues and things have a habit of happening when he’s at the helm! Please send any items of interest to Geoff at citynews@donkin.demon.co.uk

Peter Brophy (brophy_peter@hotmail.com)

LIVE FORUM

Live Chairman Interview www.mcfc.co.uk

City’s Official Website will be hosting a live one to one with the Chairman, Mr David Bernstein, on the afternoon of Wednesday 17th February (time to be announced). This free event is the first of many that will take place with key MCFC personnel, after the launch of our total real audio package, which will also encompass match commentaries. To field your questions in advance of the event, visit the club’s home page <http://www.mcfc.co.uk/> and fill in the relevant form details. All questions to be received by 6pm, 15th February 1999

Steve Sayer (stevesayer@mcfc.co.uk)

MCFC OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS’ CLUB SITE

Time again to plug the Official Supporters’ Club Web Site at http://www.mancity.net/osc/. We have :- Details of all the branches that we have been made aware of. Links, Fixtures and Results Page for Blues wanting to make contact with other Blues, Fans’ Committee Minutes, Guide to the Grounds we visit, Links to MCFC Site and Blue View. If you need any info we are glad to help or if you want your details posted to try and contact other Blues please let me know (country, location and email address).

Andy Birkin (Oscar@maine.demon.co.uk)

STUART HALL SOUND CLIPS

Check this site for some classic Stuart Hall soundclips, including the superb “I wonder what Sharon Stone is doing tonight?” comment, with which he closed off his Nth goalless draw in a row at Everton.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk_politics/newsid_277000/277621.stm

(Above link all that is needed; a bug in Outlook Express 5 means the final element is not underlined)

Jeremy Poynton (jeremy@poyntons.u-net.com)

TNS F.C. – THE LONGEST FOOTBALL NAME IN BRITAIN

The story behind the name is quite interesting. The team until recently were simply Llansaintffraid F.C, the name of the village the team hails from. Then a company called ‘Total Network Solutions’ bought the club and changed the name to ‘Total Network Solutions F.C.’. However, all long names in football are abbreviated so it’s TNS or Man City in our case.

Firstly, Total Network Solutions are not a company I’ve know anything of apart from what you read here. So the abbreviation TNS helps the company’s general awareness little. Secondly, everyone still calls them Llansaintffraid. However ‘Inter Cable Tel’ used to be called ‘Inter Cardiff’ but are now known as ‘Inter Cable Tel’.

Gareth Thomas (MightyG@easynet.co.uk)

THE ANORAK’S FORM GUIDE TO DIVISION 2

There are no mid-week games in the Division as it’s reserved for Auto-Windscreen fixtures so I’ve posted the form guide early.

Not a good week for the Blues: we have to maintain 13+ points every 6 games to make sure of a play-off berth, let alone the dream of automatic qualification in second place – and this week we traded a win six games ago for a draw.

Team	     Pld    GS Pts L6-GS  L6-Pts Final Final
                                           GS   Pts
Preston NE   30(+1) 55 59  13(12) 13(13) 89.67 93.67(92.83) =1
Fulham	     28     41 59  6(6)   11(11) 59.00 92.00(92.00) =2
Walsall	     30(+1) 42 57  7(5)   11(8)  60.67 86.33(76.67) =4
Gillingham   29(+1) 46 51  12(12) 13(11) 80.00 87.83(81.00) =3
Bournemouth  28(+1) 47 50  12(13) 11(13) 83.00 83.00(90.17) =5
Stoke City   28     37 48  7(7)   4(4)   58.00 60.00(60.00)
MCFC         30(+1) 36 48  8(10)  12(14) 57.33 80.00(86.67) =6
Chesterfield 29     33 45  10(10) 12(12) 61.33 79.00(79.00)
Millwall     31     34 43  7(10)  7(10)  51.50 60.50(69.67)

Last week’s values/change since last week in brackets.
L6 = Last 6.
GS = Goals scored.

As I pointed out last week, we have to beat the teams above us to stand a chance of automatic promotion and we didn’t… Still, we do qualify for the play-offs with this week’s form guide, but only just! As it happens, we will still play Gillingham in the play-off semi-final, but this time in the third vs. sixth place game. It also looks like the title will be decided on the last day of the season when Preston visits Fulham.

For those statistical purists amongst us, I shall be adding a standard deviation column for points once a sample of 3 or 4 weeks has been achieved – but this is football, so it won’t count for much at the end of the day. However, a team’s league position is affected most when two teams play each other that are near each other in the table. These games are normally referred to as ‘Six Pointers’ and I have looked at the remaining fixtures (while waiting for a bit of software I am developing to hit a breakpoint) to see what six pointers remain. City (and Bournemouth) don’t have many of these games left: they will, however, have a large effect on our final league position and so we must not lose them!

Those remainning 6-pointers in full

FULHAM

Stoke City (A)         TBA (To Be Arranged)
Walsall (A)            27/03
Millwall (H)           03/04
Gillingham (H)         13/04
Chesterfield (A)       17/04
Preston North End (H)  08/05 [Last game of the season!]

PRESTON NORTH-END

Gillingham (A)        06/03
Walsall (H)           09/03
AFC Bournemouth (H)   20/03
Manchester City (H)   05/04
Millwall (A)          24/04
Fulham (A)            08/05 [Last game of the season!]

WALSALL

Chesterfield (H)	20/02
Preston North End (A)	09/03
Millwall (A)            13/03
Fulham (H)              27/03
AFC Bournemouth (A)     13/04
Stoke City (A)          08/05 [Last game of the season!]

AFC BOURNEMOUTH

Preston North End (A)	20/03
Gillingham (A)          10/04
Chesterfield (H)        24/04

GILLINGHAM

Preston North End (H)   06/03
AFC Bournemouth (H)     10/04
Fulham (A)              13/04
Manchester City (H)     17/04
Stoke City (H)          01/05

STOKE CITY

Fulham (H)              TBA
Millwall (A)            20/02
Chesterfield (A)        05/04
Gillingham (A)          01/05
Walsall (H)             08/05 [Last game of the season!]

MANCHESTER CITY

Chesterfield (A)        27/02
Preston North End (A)   05/04
Gillingham (A)          17/04

CHESTERFIELD

Walsall (A)             20/02
Manchester City (H)     27/02
Millwall (A)            09/03
Stoke City (H)          05/04
Fulham (H)              17/04
AFC Bournemouth (A)     24/04

MILLWALL

Stoke City (H)          20/02
Chesterfield (A)        09/03
Walsall (H)             13/03
Fulham (A)              03/04
Preston North End (H)   24/04

CTID, Richard Mottershead (richardjohnm@hotmail.com)

ARTHUR MANN

I was also very saddened to hear of the death of Arthur Mann. He has left with me memories of the day he took man of the match honours. I think it was against West Ham at Maine Road on a wet and windy afternoon. It was the most incredible performance from an attacking left back (more of a left winger) I have ever seen and have never witnessed one since. He took on the opposition single handed and never stopped for the whole 90 minutes.

Standing on the Kippax in those days was an electrifying experience and with the crowd singing his name, this was his day. He played an absolute blinder. The next day’s papers were full of his praises, a 10 out of 10 performance. Arthur, give our regards to Joe.

John Taylor (taylor@cpimsx.ptcpi.com)

YOUNG JIM PULLS ON THE FAMOUS BLUE SHIRT (WITH SOME HELP!)

As promised in my recent Why Blue, you can follow this link to see me wearing the Famous Blue Shirt for the first time. Can’t you tell how proud I am?

http://www.mancity.net/thought.html

Many thanks to ‘Uncle’ Bob Young (on whom I modelled my hair-style).

CSIWB, Young Jim Duncan (mrduncan@bellsouth.net)

OPINION – KAVALASHVILI

It has been mentioned both in MCIVTA and elsewhere on our need to bring in another striker. I have noticed that in the list of players at City and their transfer status that is provided from time to time, that he is still on loan to Grasshoppers Zürich. Someone told me this week that he is banging in the goals there. So why don’t we bring him back? I expect he’s probably on quite high wages, but the Swiss top division can’t be too far away from English Division Two and we didn’t really give him a chance when he was here.

Gareth Thomas (MightyG@easynet.co.uk)

OPINION – HUMBLE PIE

At this point I feel it is only right to hold up my hand and admit that I thought the appointment of Joe Royle was a nightmare. There was no way that he was going to sort us out, he was just another ‘big name’ manager who wore a stupid long coat and was out of work. Of course it was a job he couldn’t refuse – he was unemployed that’s why! Anyway to get to the point, my mate disagreed, thinking he was the man for the job. So it is with great humility that I now feel confident enough about our surge up the table that I am willing to eat humble pie and admit that maybe Joe is the man for the job. Indeed, if it gets us promotion, I’ll scoff as many pies as need be.

I also feel that I must add weight to the “get behind the team” brigade (sorry to bring it up again). Maybe it’s because I used to be a “boo-er” and have now seen the light or maybe I just became numb to the pain that my beloved club has inflicted on me, but I cannot see how booing can help. I personally think that some of the boo-ers will always boo even if (when) we become champions of Europe, it is in their very nature, they are naturally critical people. My mum and dad were/are like that and as a result of sitting with them so was I. However, and my intention is not to patronise, since I sat away from them I made a conscious decision to “boo on the inside” and I must admit I have enjoyed the matches so much more – quite some feat when you consider we have free-fallen in this time. One last comment on this matter, and I know all of the arguments about freedom of speech etc. but going to City is my choice of a hobby (for want of a better word), it’s what I choose to do to relax myself from work, I want to enjoy it but often other people spoil it for me. Compare this with going to the pictures; imagine how you would feel if you paid £12 for a seat only to find you are sat next to someone who spends the whole film shouting out criticism at the script/actors/director etc. – it would spoil the film. Before I get a whole barrage of e-mails telling me it’s not an accurate comparison, I know, but I hope you sort of get my point. Yes we all have a right to express our opinions but have we become so selfish as to feel that our need to constantly hurl abuse is superior to other people’s rights to enjoy the match. I know we all sometimes lose our rag (unfortunate term!) but for those people who spend all match, every match shouting abuse just one question – why do you go?

Elaine Clegg (elaine@city4eva.demon.co.uk)

REQUEST – LADIES’ TEAMS

Hi, my name is Hannah Butler and I am a die-hard Man City fan. At 14, as keen as I was (and still am), I tried to join the ladies’ team. I was sorely disappointed as they told me I was too skinny amongst those that were more strongly built than myself. Now, at 17, I am still as keen as ever and desperately want to join a team, failing that set up my own group just to practice with.

I would appreciate it anyone could send me some info about ladies’ teams.

Hannah Butler (bobvet@zen.co.uk)

REQUEST – NORWEGIAN

Could anyone tell me what happened to the Norweigan guy we where watching… Viggo Sandal or something… he looked a bit of alright?

Where are you now?

C.T.I.R.B.I.A.C.F. – City till I’m reincarnated back into a City fan – some people never learn their lessons! (Coran1@aol.com)

WHY BLUE?

My husband gave his version of ‘Why Blue’ so here’s mine.

I started watching City in the 60’s. My friend Ann Jones was a big City supporter. We met at Central Grammar School for Girls and she converted me. I began knitting my scarf, blue/white and maroon; it was finished for my first away match at Cardiff – result a draw. My heroes were Johnny Crossan, Chris Jones, Dave Connor and Tony Coleman – whatever happened to them? I have had some news from the City Mag?

As a teenager I was a home and away supporter – went to Wembley twice – who can ever forget the tear from Dave Nish of Leicester when they lost?

As a girl supporter in the Kippax Street, we had to put up with abuse from male ‘supporters’ – how many girls remember having parts of their body felt when City scored and the crowd pushed forward? Despite that, l loved the atmosphere.

Ann and I went to Colin Bell’s restaurant in Whitefield one Christmas Eve – he was in partnership with Colin Waldron (Burnley). They were both there and that really made the evening for us all.

A nephew of mine – who ‘supports’ United, said he used to go and watch City for a laugh when ‘United’ were away – obviously not a true supporter – when City were away l tried to be there watching them or else l supported the reserves. I am one of the fortunate supporters who saw players like Colin Bell, Neil Young, Mike Summerbee, Tommy Booth, Tony Book, Glyn Pardoe, Alan Oakes, Francis Lee, Joe Corrigan, Harry Dowd and many more. I have wonderful memories of home and away matches.

Since living abroad and then moving to Gloucestershire – I have always followed City’s results and have even ventured on the Swindon supporters’ bus to watch City play from my home town of Tetbury – we lost, so they let my husband and l on the bus for the return journey. I have been to away matches at Oxford and Reading and this season, and am planing to go to see City play at Bristol with another nephew who is a true Blue.

Having sent this message it would be nice to hear from some other supporters from my era – Chris Lee, Carol Royle – or her brothers or Jennifer Jones.

Bernadette Bell (bells@globalnet.co.uk)

FOOTBALL HUMOUR!

Someone sent me this – it seems like a joke with a 1,000 versions but I include it just in case readers haven’t seen it. We could use it for several managers we’ve known and loved.

A businessman on his way home from the centre of London came to a dead halt in traffic and thought to himself, “Sh*t, this traffic seems worse than usual. Nothing’s even moving.” He notices a police officer walking back and forth between the lines of cars so he rolls down his window and asks, “Excuse me Officer, what’s the hold up?” The Officer replies, “Glenn Hoddle became so depressed about losing his job, he’s stopped his Mercedes in the middle of the A40 and he’s threatening to douse himself in petrol and set himself on fire. He says everyone hates him, he doesn’t have the England job any more and he doesn’t have the income to support himself. I’m walking round taking up a collection for him.”

“Oh really?” says the businessman. “How much have you collected so far?”

“So far only about three hundred litres but I’ve got a lot of folks still siphoning…”

Bernard Paton (bernard.paton@unn.ac.uk)

RESULTS

Second Division Results, Saturday, February 13 1999

Bournemouth               0-0  Manchester City       10,946
Burnley                   1-1  Reading                9,366
Reid (89)                      Caskey (54)
Lincoln City              2-0  Millwall               4,613
Battersby (14)
Holmes (69)
Luton Town                1-2  Wrexham                4,759
Doherty (46)                   Edwards (56)
                               Griffiths, C (67)
Macclesfield Town         1-0  Oldham Athletic        4,038
Sodje (84)
Northampton Town          0-1  Gillingham             5,981
                               Smith (49)
Notts County              0-1  Blackpool              4,778
                               Bushell (5)
Preston North End         2-1  Wycombe Wanderers     10,686
Basham (9, 81)                 Cornforth (pen 17)
York City                 1-2  Walsall                2,969
Cresswell (73)                 Wrack (3)
                               Watson (50)

Second Division Table, up to and including Saturday, February 13 1999 (5:17pm)

                              HOME            AWAY
                         P  W  D  L  F  A   W  D  L  F  A   Pts   GS
Preston North End       30  8  4  3 32 17   9  4  2 23 13    59   55
Fulham                  28 11  2  1 27  8   7  3  4 14 13    59   41
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Walsall                 30  9  4  3 24 16   8  2  4 18 17    57   42
Gillingham              29 11  3  2 31 11   2  9  2 15 15    51   46
Bournemouth             28 10  4  0 30  7   4  4  6 17 20    50   47
Stoke City              28  8  3  3 21 11   7  0  7 16 17    48   37
--------------------------------------------------------------------
MANCHESTER CITY         30  7  5  2 21  9   5  7  4 15 14    48   36
Chesterfield            29 11  1  3 25 10   2  5  7  8 16    45   33
Millwall                31  5  7  3 21 16   6  3  7 13 21    43   34
Blackpool               30  5  6  3 18 14   5  5  6 14 19    41   32
Wigan Athletic          28  6  3  3 18  7   5  4  7 21 22    40   39
Reading                 29  6  6  4 21 19   4  4  5 13 20    40   34
Luton Town              28  6  3  4 17 14   4  5  6 21 24    38   38
York City               31  4  7  5 21 21   5  1  9 18 30    35   39
Colchester United       30  5  5  5 15 21   3  6  6 18 23    35   33
Burnley                 31  5  6  5 15 17   3  4  8 21 33    34   36
Wrexham                 29  6  3  6 15 19   3  4  7 14 25    34   29
Bristol Rovers          27  5  6  3 23 18   2  6  5 16 14    33   39
Oldham Athletic         30  5  2  7 16 19   4  4  8 14 21    33   30
Lincoln City            29  6  3  6 20 20   1  3 10  9 27    27   29
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Northampton Town        29  2  8  3 12 13   3  3 10 12 21    26   24
Notts County            27  4  3  7 17 19   2  4  7 10 20    25   27
Wycombe Wanderers       30  5  3  8 19 17   0  6  8  8 23    24   27
Macclesfield Town       29  3  4  7 10 16   2  5  8 11 21    24   21

Dorien James (dorien.james@btinternet.com)
With thanks to Soccernet

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


MCIVTA ADDRESSES:
Contributions: Ashley – mcivta@tollbar.u-net.com
News & Rumours: Geoff – citynews@donkin.demon.co.uk
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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 #475

1999/02/15

Editor:


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