Newsletter #496

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A quiet week, with Wigan winning again on Tuesday (Bournemouth once again losing), and then drawing 3-3 with Northampton tonight.

Tuesday night saw the reserves finishing off their season, and we have a detailed match report from that fixture. This issue is mainly filled with opinion, most of it focused on the relevance of Man Utd to City fans, and in particular, the emotive subject of Munich chants. We have an article on these chants from somebody who has sung them in the past, proferring his viewpoint. Now whether I agree with his views or not, is immaterial; I do however welcome an article from someone who’s prepared to stand up and take the flak that will undoubtedly come his way. I’d also like to take this opportunity to plead for sanity on behalf of Monday’s issue – the last thing anyone wants to read is a lengthy exchange of insults or a series of tirades.

Lastly, we have an Oz/Welsh Why Blue.

Next game, Bristol Rovers away, Saturday 1st May 1999

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’

MANCHESTER CITY RESERVES vs. TRANMERE ROVERS RESERVES, 6:45 pm, 27th May 1999.

This final fixture for the reserves was switched from Hyde to Maine Road with a family evening theme which went well as far as the organisers were concerned, as there was an estimated attendance of 2,500, with a preponderance of kids. As a result, the whole Kippax lower tier was swamped with screaming children chasing after one another with their parents trailing. It was quite unlike any other football match I have seen but must admit that it was good entertainment in the end.

City started with Hodgson in goal. Shaun Holmes and Neil Morley filled the left and right full back positions respectively, with Richard Jobson and Nick Fenton completing the back four. Captain Jeff Whitley partnered Gary Mason in the middle of the park with Danny Tiatto and Craig Russell out wide. Gareth Taylor and Danny Allsopp led the front line.

City started well, with the two wingers (especially Russell) providing some decent crosses. The hesitant Murphy in the Rovers’ goal made these crosses look more venomous, but the two strikers did not make full use of this. Given his first team experience and the high expectation that comes with it, Taylor was disappointing throughout.

Our first goal came on the 11th minute from Fenton. He fetched the ball from inside our own half, fed it to Russell then to Whitley on the right wing and then ran on to meet the resulting cross to show Taylor how to put the ball in the net. Very impressive indeed.

From the restart, City seemed in control. However, despite his height, Taylor did not win many headers and was restricted to shots from outside the box which Murphy had no problem handling.

On the first occasion Tranmere threatened, they scored. After some good work by their No. 7, Ryan Williams (definitely the smallest man on the pitch) on their right flank, Jason Koumas scored with a volley which left Hodgson stranded.

On the 25th minute, Taylor was put through by the impressive Mason but, with head down, he chose to have a crack from 30 yards out instead of laying off to Russell who was charging towards goal from the right. A few minutes later, this was reciprocated by Russell who received a pass from Whitley just inside the Rovers’ box. As he was facing the wrong direction, he should have played it back to Taylor who was screaming for it but instead tried to have a shot on the turn which Murphy saved easily.

Right up to half time, City kept the pressure with a long-range shot from Allsopp and Tiatto which the ‘keeper saved well and a disallowed tap in goal by Taylor for offside, much in the same way that his goal was disallowed in the match against Luton.

During the break, there was more entertainment with Moonchester and some giving away of balls which kept the kids screaming at the top of their voices. They soon settled down and the match got on the way again.

We started from where we left, with a cross from Russell. Taylor got his head to it but once again did not trouble Murphy. Then Tiatto got booked for standing his ground when Koumas ran into him and landed on his back.

Tiatto’s industry paid dividend when he scored from 15 yards out after some good work by Russell. The goal was well taken and Tiatto was obviously well pleased.

City then increased the pressure with more chances at goal. Russell had a good effort from the edge of the box well saved, then Taylor was clean through only to be denied by their No. 5 Jones who recovered well to get a touch of the ball from behind Taylor. From another corner, Jobson was denied twice, once by the inside of the left post and then by the flailing ‘keeper with a shot from the rebound.

Up to now, you may be thinking that I have forgotten Rovers but no. In truth, they had not threatened the City goal much, while their raids were very competently dealt with by our back four, especially the impressive Fenton.

On the 73rd minute, Russell injured his ankle rather badly when he was tackled from behind. From the ensuing free kick 25 yards from goal, Tiatto hit a sweet volley to bulge the net again for City’s third and his second. Russell did not recover from the injury and was replaced by young David Laycock.

With the 2 goal cushion, City lowered a gear and was duly punished on the 81st minute. From Laycock’s misplaced pass in the middle of the field, Rovers’ Williams and Koumas came charging towards our goal, culminating in Koumas getting his second.

City then had to resist a strong Rovers recovery but as soon as Koumas wasted a chance for his hat trick 3 minutes from time, City regained control to cruise home. There was still time for Taylor to miss another chance after good work from Whitley in the middle and Allsopp hit the crossbar with a delicate chip when put through by Mason.

All in all, the scoreline did not reflect the possession and domination City had (very much like the first team). Fenton and Mason were impressive. Allsopp worked hard but lacked the killer instinct while Tiatto’s goals were brilliantly taken. The young ‘uns did OK but I thought Holmes always had his head down when in possession, which did not help his vision. Although City controlled the midfield, I still feel Mason and Jeff Whitley in the middle of the park are a little too lightweight. Fortunately, Rovers do not have big players. Also, it would have been nice to have Wright-Phillips on for Taylor but sadly he was not even on the bench.

Finally, on to the crowd. They were too distracted to start any kind of cheering in the first half but were in better voice in the second, clapping good moves and cheering the goals. One disturbing pattern though was that they were quick to boo when Rovers scored. I hope these are not the making of the future boo boys.

Nizam M Idris (msrahnm2@stud.man.ac.uk)

NEWS SUMMARY

Pete Brophy has more faith in my alleged Midas touch in the deputy-newshound rôle than I do, and whilst the purely logical part of me says automatic promotion is not (yet) impossible, just improbable, I think it would take a miracle of the proportions to which only the celebrated Edmund Blackadder could probably do descriptive justice, but if Oldham do manage to ‘do a Wycombe’, we’ll go into the delayed kick-off pay-per-view match against Bristol Rovers knowing that the faint glimmer is still there … so I’ll leave it at that.

Bristol Rovers Preview

The team that had such a collective off-day last weekend looks set to turn out at Bristol Rover’s Memorial Ground (here’s hoping we bury them) more or less unchanged providing minor injuries sort themselves out. One likely change is the replacement of Richard Edghill – only rated 50-50 after a recurrence of a thigh injury in training – by Lee Crooks who is fit again after missing the Wycombe game. Messrs Morrison, Brown and Dickov are on the mend after minor knocks and Kevin Horlock survived playing his 17th game for Northern Ireland against Canada midweek. Our erstwhile captain Jamie Pollock is not going to be playing for the first team, but instead is trying out his calf strain in the reserves hoping to be fully fit again for the play-offs.

Play-off Update

Bournemouth’s defeat in their game in hand on City (2-1 at Colchester) leaves them looking over their shoulder at Wigan who won 3-1 against Lincoln. We’re almost mathematically sure of a play-off place but there has been much debate on Blue View this week about who our preferred opponents would be. I prefer JR’s logic when he advises forgetting about Wembley, warning “We’ve done nothing yet”, going on to point out that complacency could trip us up in the final run-in. “It’s good that people feel buoyant, but we mustn’t get carried away,” said Royle. “I know some fans are already talking about Wembley, but there is still a great deal to do this season. We cannot let our expectations run riot. At the end of the day, we have not even reached the play-offs yet. I have not totally ruled out the possibility of automatic promotion, but we need to win our last two matches. It’s so important that we don’t repeat the complacency of previous seasons. Let’s be confident, but sensible at the same time.” Michael Brown was quoted as feeling City’s large following – average attendance has topped the 28,000-mark again this season, equalling the level reached last year – can play a big part. “They can be a big help to us. I know we didn’t give them much to cheer about on Saturday, but they can lift us as well. We need everyone to get right behind us – even if things aren’t going too well. Obviously, it is a tense situation at the moment but our crowds should give us a massive advantage over other teams.”

The “final” game against York on May 8 is now sold out, and the Blues are also urging fans to apply for tickets for their possible play-off semi-final clash at Maine Road. Secretary Bernard Halford said: “We are encouraging our season ticket holders to help us and help themselves. “If they send in cheques for their tickets, it will stop them having to queue at the ticket office. And if we don’t qualify for the play-offs, then those cheques will be destroyed.” Halford is also discussing the possibility of switching City’s play-off semi-final first leg from Sunday May 16 to the previous day – Saturday May 15. “There is no objection from the Football League about moving the game, but I need to get agreement from the other clubs,” added the City secretary. “I have also suggested that our away leg in the play-offs should be screened pay-per-view as many of our fans will not be able to get tickets for the game.”

Gamble Pays Off … Perhaps

Who in their right mind would bet good money on City’s performances? Paul Deane Bookmakers in Manchester must have thought they were on a safe bet in taking the cash of optimistic Blues (or canny hardened gamblers perhaps) at the fairly generous odds of 20-1 on auto-promotion around the time of the Luton game. They happily took a flood of £50 and £25 bets, but had second thoughts last week following Walsall’s defeat at Preston. The £10,000 they could have lost if City had done what we all wanted them to do seems safe barring a miracle of biblical proportions. Wouldn’t it be funny if they still had to sweat on the remaining games if Walsall wobble in the final straight?

Reserve Action

The reserves beat Tranmere 3-2 this week, a performance notable for the contributions of some of our fringe players. Craig Russell came back from his hernia op to play a pivotal rôle in the victory that also saw Danny Tiatto score twice, the third coming from Nick Fenton. TeamTalk speculated on Russell getting a recall in the remaining matches, and whilst I for one feel we could do worse I suspect JR has made his mind up about Craig and he’ll be well down the pecking order if changes are needed.

Transfer Rumour

TeamTalk reckons JR and Willie D were checking out a couple of York City’s young players in their win against Blackpool on Tuesday, as well as running the rule over our opposition for the final game. Alan Pouton has been linked with a move to Maine Road before. The 22-year-old central midfielder has been tracked by the boss for some time now, whilst 18-year-old Martin Garrett could well be the answer to City’s left back problems.

Almost certainly going in the opposite direction is Murtaz Shelia, who will not qualify for a work permit next season having failed to play in the 75% of City’s 1998/99 campaign to qualify for an extension. He’s been given a free transfer but given his age and injury record the lack of interest is perhaps understandable.

Rae Ingram

Bad news for former City defender Rae Ingram this week as he’s been diagnosed as suffering from ME, raising fears that his career in football could be ended. The 24-year-old Macclesfield player had to leave the field early in Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of York. Ingram said: “I am very worried about my future. It is looking very serious. I have been told that people do recover from the disease but I don’t know how long it takes.” Former Manchester United defender Billy Garton also suffered from the illness and Ingram will talk to him soon. The first signs for Ingram were when he had blood tests in November after coming down with glandular fever, and he is now under the care of a specialist. Ingram is getting married on May 29th so best wishes to him on his big day and for the future.

Allsopp Goes For Gold

Danny Allsopp is earmarked to play for Australia in the Games in Sydney if his commitments with the Blues allow him to compete. Allsopp, who recently signed a new two-year contract at Maine Road, could have problems getting the necessary release from his club, though, with the Games taking place in the last two weeks of September when the Nationwide season will be well underway.

Man Utd Ruined…

… our lives, and not, I’m afraid, financially. Martin Edwards is on Blue turf in two weeks time for the paperback launch of Colin Shindler’s best selling book Manchester United Ruined My Life. Former City stars Mike Summerbee and Dennis Tueart will also be there to make sure the Blue half of the city is well represented. City chairman David Bernstein is lending his support along with renowned City fan Howard Davies, the chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority. The event is being held in the Millennium Suite at Maine Road, and tickets costing £5 can be obtained from 0161 491 1350.

Colin is also trying to bring together Pearson TV, Chrysalis TV and MCFC to make City videos for sale in WH Smith and elsewhere for Christmas 1999, and he’d like to gauge the interest from McVittee subscribers fed up, like him, of seeing the shelves groaning under the weight of MUFC memorabilia. Views via McVittee please.

And whilst we’re still on the subject of our Salford neighbours, I’d like to add my congratulations to them for the tremendous performance in Turin. Yes, it galls me that we’re not as good as they are, that they’ve got loadsamoney, that we’re not in the Premiership etc, but as one or two recent, brave but honest posts on McVittee have said, the gulf is so great that not to recognise the quality of the performance would be churlish. I’d like to think if, when :-), the situation is reversed their supporters would do likewise. I can dream can’t I?

And finally…

Frank Clark has been linked with the vacant managerial position at First Division Barnsley. So you see, things could be worse!

Geoff Donkin a.k.a. Beverley Blue (citynews@donkin.freeserve.co.uk)

TICKET NEWS

MCFC vs. York City, 8th May 1999, Kick-off 3pm

This fixture has now sold out.

Possible Play-Off Information

As previously advised, Season Ticket holders can reserve their seat for the possible home play-off semi final tie by taking advantage of our priority postal booking scheme. Over 1,000 applications have already been received for this convenient time-saving scheme.

You too can benefit, full details are available on the Club website at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/extra/playoff.html

Ticket Office – Manchester City

PAY-PER-VIEW IN OXFORD

Manchester City vs. Bristol Rovers will be shown at the Magdalen Arms, Iffley Rd, Oxford.

If anyone needs directions mail me.

Billy – Oxford Blue (william_turnbull@unipart.co.uk)

PAY-PER-VIEW THIS SATURDAY

The point of Pay-Per-View is to enable those who can’t attend the game to watch it as a substitute. Unless I’m very much mistaken this was the justification for Pay-Per-View put forward by Sky, that everyone who wanted to see the match would be able to and not that they wanted to further line their coffers with our cash.

How come then after several phone calls I am still unable to receive the broadcast at a friend’s house in Glasgow if Sky are so dedicated to bringing the game into our homes? The reason given was that there would be no demand North of the border so quite what mine and my friend’s repeated attempts were only the operators we talked to will know.

Economics of extending the transmission? Not a chance, there’s a pub in Edinburgh showing it which I can’t get to due to other commitments. So, perhaps that gentleman who works for Sky and who wrote in a while back – on the subject of Pay-Per-View around the time of the Chesterfield game – could explain this situation to me (you’ll have to excuse the lack of your name as I can’t find the issue with your article in it but I remember it all the same).

As I understand it the situation is much the same in Ireland as it is up here. Was this a decision by Sky or is it left to the individual cable companies involved? It seems a somewhat ridiculous idea to deny Pay-Per-View to those fans who are furthest from the city or was the last outing also exclusive to England?

Good luck to the lads on Saturday, hope everyone sees a good game.

Peter Blyth (9800076B@student.gla.ac.uk)

OPINIONS – VARIOUS

Lordy, McVittee (495) gave me a good dose of enjoyable reading, sent thoughts whizzing and images scurrying through the “Old Grey Matter”, some of them I’ve jotted down.

Tony Burns, once again a descriptive match report, you’d have to be deadly serious to take offence at his “Descriptive Licence”, but he always manages to give it an air of “The way it was”.

Walter Smith, so it was your fault we lost the Wycombe match, what possessed you to leave your “Lucky Jumper” at home, just because it was smelly? You should have sent the jumper and stayed at home yourself. Don’t do it again! – yellow card shown. Oh and good luck with the treble.

Negative Supporters, the general consensus would seem to be

  1. Get off the players’ backs, if you don’t like it – lump it
  2. Cut out the vitriolic Rags-Munich type abuse
  3. Those that brick visitors’ coaches are not True Blues, just mindless yobs, please move on to pastures new

If my reading is right I can only fully agree with the above.

Tom Tait for keeping us abreast of the good works done by all the MR staff, as far as I know, they’ve been doing this kind of thing for over 50 years, most of it untold and unsung.

Richard Mottershead, thanks for your “Anoraks” guide over the past few weeks, it’s been great, also for a very individualised match view of the Wycombe game.

Lonn Paul and Richard Jenkins, what terrible fathers you must be allowing your sons and daughters to do what they want, all willy nilly, PNE, Wolves, Ipswich, pwhuuh! Good job the Spice Boy was nipped in the bud (I wish). Whereas I myself have 4 children, 2 boys 2 girls and every single one of them doesn’t support City , but then again, now living in rural Ireland “Ballykissangel” is my village, I have some excuse, no other City fan in this area.

Finally on a serious note, the “Why Blue-Epilogue” by Nigel Gibson, for his father Frank, hit me hard as only yesterday 26/4/99, I was told that the cancer that has been affecting my 84 year old father, also called Frank and an ex-season ticket holder, has now become inoperable and no further treatment is possible. I hope to take him one more time around The Academy fairly soon.

Frank Harrop – The Ballykea Blue (fharrop@iol.ie)

OPINION – MUNICH CHANTS: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

In true AA fashion, hi my name is Paul and I’ve chanted Munich songs. I find it hard to believe in over 2,400 subscribers, no other City fans reading MCIVTA have done the same. It’s all very well saying how bad and how terrible and morbid it is, maybe I can shed a little light on why people do, because like it or not there are plenty of City fans that do and I would go as far as to say the majority of hard core City fans do, away games especially.

My explanation isn’t the same as everyone’s, but I’m sure it’s pretty close. I’m sure most of you after reading this will still think how terrible it all is and my aim is not to try and convince anybody singing Munich chants is the way to go. Quite simply, Manchester United are the the size and power they are today as a result of the Munich air crash. If the size of a club was determined on its accomplishments on the field then Liverpool winning almost twice as many league titles and four European Cups to the Rags one would be bigger. That is a fact. Ok, yes they’ve been very succesful in the 90’s but they won nowt last year and they’re still all over the place, always have been, always will.

I followed City home and away in the 80’s when football grounds were battle zones, 99% of the Kippax sang Munich songs, the Rags sang Hillsborough songs and Shankly songs after those events. A million wrongs don’t make one right and those days are thankly, for the most part behind us. All seater stadiums, more women and children have I think made the game more friendlier (if you don’t agree you weren’t next to me frightened to death going to Elland Road and Chelsea 15 years ago). Although, unless I was on a different planet, there was a majority singing some Munich song at the away game vs. Notts County earlier this year.

In the 80’s I sang the song and I knew nothing about the event, it meant nothing to me, still doesn’t, everone knew though that it wound them up. But here’s the funniest thing, I now know more and more about the event as time goes by and I live 4,000 miles away? Why, cos the Rags have simply glorified the tragedy, it’s been their best marketing tool ever. We celebrate every 6-month, 5-minute and 3-second anniversary of it! It’s all supposed to be “shh don’t talk about it” yet there’s the Munich this and the Munich that all over the place from statues to clocks. The so called Munich testimonial last year was a perfect example of this, it wasn’t recognizing or respecting those who perished, it was an Eric Cantona testimonial, he threatened to sue the club over merchandise deals, they agreed to stage this game and give old Eric the money earnt off the video. Why didn’t they play City and show respect to Frank Swift? If it was a Manchester tragedy then both Manchester teams should have played? Why weren’t the crowd singing Duncan Edwards’ name instead of that french thug all game? I’d love to know.

I’m 30 years old and it’s obvious different generations see things differently. I’m guessing the Princess Diana death is on the same magnitude in my lifetime? How many of us heard and told jokes about that tragedy? Yep most of you, does that make you all sick? I would only hope that tragedy is still recognized 40 years from now, I doubt that very much though. Football is all about opinions and mine’s just another. I’d hate to see MCIVTA bombarded with Rag/Munich opinions especially at our most crucial part of the season, but I’d love to hear other people’s opinions if you want to write to me personally. Let’s all dream of a Blue Wembley…

CTID, Paul Whittaker – Florida Blue (mancity@leading.net)

OPINION – RATTLING THE RAGS

by Noel Bayley (editor of Peter Hargreaves’ Rag Shirt)

Re the last MCIVTA. Ha, ha! I’m quite pleased in one way that I have managed to flush MCIVTA Rag Peter Hargreaves out of the woodwork; even more pleased than he’s rattled. I wonder if Peter will be watching the big United games on a big screen in The Throstle’s Nest? Don’t bother answering that one Peter as I couldn’t really care less what you Rags do to keep yourselves amused.

But isn’t it funny how they all appear, lemming-like, whenever they are on the verge of glory, which, coincidentally, goes a long way to answering Leo Fewtrell’s question. Perhaps Leo’s been in exile for too long and has forgotten just how it works in Blighty. If you have forgotten Leo, it goes like this: if you support Liverpool you dislike Everton intensely and vice versa unless, of course, you swallow the media’s twice-yearly crap that rival friends, neighbours and family sit side by side at Anfield or Goodison wearing their respective shirts, have a spiffing day out and all live happily ever after. For a dose of realism, try reading one of the Mersey clubs’ fanzines.

Furthermore, if you support Arsenal, Spurs are the locally despised side; in Newcastle it’s Sunderland or Middlesbrough, Palace hate Brighton, why even Blackpool hate Preston… I’m sure you’ve got the drift by now, but it’s no different in Wythenshawe or Manchester as a whole. It’s about local rivalry and local pride: we’re better than you, no you’re not, yes we are etc. Or at least it used to be. I shouldn’t even have to tell you this, but it’s about who you are and where you’re from. It’s galling to go to one-sheep towns like Colchester, Gillingham, Bournemouth and yes, even supposedly proud Preston to be confronted by the local Rag shirt-wearers who wouldn’t be able to navigate their way to The Sty from the tram station at the bottom of Warwick Road (which had to be renamed a few years ago because, yes, too many Rags were getting off the tram at the wrong stop!). Not even an ounce of local knowledge there or even a hint of being able to understand a map, never mind local pride, but I digress.

For most of us, I suspect, being a Blue automatically brings with it a loathing of the Rags. Certainly, that’s the impression I’ve had at Maine Road these last twenty-odd years. If I’m wrong then correct me, but I very much doubt it. That’s not bitterness; real bitterness is singing songs about Munich at City matches; something I don’t condone. As I have said before, I hated them when they were crap in the days when, no doubt, people in Colchester, Gillingham, Bournemouth and yes, even supposedly proud Preston supported their local clubs rather than a multi-national company based in Stretford.

But don’t, for one minute, think that Rags are any better than us and they don’t give City a second thought, because they do. Half of the Rags I know talk about us more than their own team, probably because most of us know twice as much about their team as they do and they get a bit embarrassed every time they betray their lack of knowledge! It’s funny isn’t it, but I’m told they’ve even been singing songs to us and about us in their recent big games. You know the ones I mean, the greatest Cup game ever at a below capacity Villa Park and that other one in Italy somewhere. Can’t quite remember where it was now, not having a big screen in my local!

Noel Bayley

OPINION – MAKING THE RIGHT NOISE

Andy Noise was spot on with his comments about the Wycombe game. I’m a great fan of both Wiekens and Morrison and their partnership has been the cornerstone of this season’s success. However, they were both well below par last Saturday and Morrison was particularly to blame for the second goal.

In stark contrast, Edghill and Vaughan, the crowd’s favourite whipping boys, did little wrong – the latter subbed only to make way for a more attacking formation when two down.

The abuse of Goater is quite unbelievable. He’s no Ginola when it comes to touch, but he won headers against a Wimbledonesque defence, worked hard and scored again. Yet the crowd around me took constant delight in dishing out the abuse.

In an uncanny resemblance to the Oldham game, we came up against an opposition ‘keeper who pulled off a string of great saves, the one from Michael Brown’s turn and shot was outstanding.

We should take heart from the number of chances created towards the end of the first half. If this wasn’t happening I too would be pessimistic but the arrival of Terry Cooke has changed our approach for the better.

A lot is said about our 30,000 crowd at home but it’s no comfort when 5,000 of them abuse players regardless of their contribution. I would prefer us to play in front of a smaller if it meant that the idiots had gone somewhere else. Is it just a coincidence that the players being abused are black?

Finally, when will the police wake up to the level of violence taking place outside the ground after the game? We are going to be tainted by this throughout the league unless they act soon.

Tim Edmondson (timabroad1@hotmail.com)

OPINION – SHAUN, RICHARD AND THE SCUM TM

I agree with Andy Noise, it is totally unfair the way City fans get on the back of Edghill and Goater if things aren’t going well. Having said that, City fans are not as bad with Goater as they were at the start of the season, probably becuase they have come to realise that he works his socks off. Edghill, while not being the Premier League player that Joe believes him to be, is a very able full back, certainly better than most in Division 2, and is a loyal servant to the club. His passing is sometimes poor, though this should not be a reason to make him scapegoat for defeats.

Goater is undoubtedly a very limited footballer. He has little pace, never uses his physical strength, is easily pushed off the ball, wins little in the air considering his size, misses many, often easy chances, and never runs with the ball. He is, perhaps, the worst striker ever to appear regularly in the City 1st team. Yet I will support him so long as he is selected and gives his all to the cause.

After the ‘efforts’ of Clough, Brannan, Kinkladze, and Co. last year, I won’t knock players playing their heart out for the Blues. The reality is that Joe will almost certainly sell Goater in the close season, but as our leading scorer, we have to support him as we push for promotion. Enough waffling.

On the Manchester United TM subject. City and other fans have come in for loads of stick lately for supporting Juventus the other night. ‘Pathetic’ was a word used by Radio 5. We should support the English team in Europe apparently. The English team that contained 3 English players in its starting line up for the Inter Milan 2nd leg. As our traditional enemies and rivals, how can anyone expect us to support the Scum in Europe? Most City fans, myself included, hate United with a passion that can only be compared to the love of City. If United TM win the European Cup we’ll never hear the end of it, especially from the MUEN. But they haven’t won anything yet. Arsenal, Newcastle, Bayern… come on!

Mark Braude (mark.braude@some.ox.ac.uk)

OPINION – THE RAGS

Following all these postings on the Rags, I thought I should write about my experience at OT which makes me hate United more.

I have never liked United (and that is being kind), perhaps because of the kind of stick I get in Singapore from their supporters who have never been to OT or even Manchester, just because I am a City fan. However, I have never hated them just because they are United. My best mate in my office back home is a United fan. What I can’t tolerate is their arrogance mixed with their absolute ignorance of the team (the Singaporean Reds I mean).

They would not believe me when I said United were sent to the old Second Division by Dennis Law’s back heel, that we used to beat them 5-1 and that in the late 60s to the 70s we were better than them. To them, they are the best in the world despite the fact that they have not won the EC for ages.

As for me, I do cheer any team playing against United but I have never been affected by their success (apart from the stick I get from their fans). I cheered Juve and Arsenal on but thought United deserved to win those matches. I have never lost sleep over their success. Credit where credit is due, I thought Giggs’ FAC goal was fantastic, given the circumstances. On the contrary, I am inconsolable when City were relegated. The Wycombe débâcle hit me badly, just like any other City defeat.

My hate for Man U(re) was galvanized when recently I brought my parents and Sis, who were here over Easter, to OT because she supports United (I brought them to Maine Road for a look around too, and explained to them that this is the proper team in Manchester).

Back to OT. When we were there, my sis wanted to tour the ground but none of us were keen. After much deliberation, I suggested my dad goes with her while my mum, my wife and I wait at the Reds’ Cafe. We got the two tickets at the discounted student’s rates (using my wife’s and my student ID – conned them:), £7.50 is daylight robbery anyway) and the three of us who were not joining the tour went to the Reds’ Cafe. There, we were told that unless we were having a meal, we were not allowed to sit in the cafe. This is despite the fact that the cafe was almost empty.

I can’t accept this. I explained that my mum is not well (she is 70 by the way) and is too weak to walk around much while the two go for the tour. Besides, as she just arrived from Singapore about 2 days earlier, she was still not acclimatised to the weather. It was cold, raining and very windy that afternoon. I offered to order coffee and some chips while we wait for the tour to end but that too was not accepted. The cafe manager said under no circumstances will he allow anyone to sit in the cafe unless meals are ordered (it’s all about money, you see).

So, poor mum had to sit at the entrance of the North Stand near the security/reception desk where every time someone walks in, the cold wind and rain will sweep in and send her shivering. When the tour was finally over (circa 1 hour of brain washing I suppose), my sis and dad were shocked to find us waiting in the cold.

In comparison, when my wife and I visited Maine Road for a tour in November (along with other TG2 participants) we were treated very well indeed, especially after my camera chose that time and day to run out of battery. Alex Williams offered to take us for another round of the tour when we were free and when fresh a battery is bought. He gave me his name card and told us to call him. When we did so the following week, he took us around Maine Road personally and showed us more than what he showed during the TG2 tour (probably because the TG2 tour was on a games day). That’s hospitality for you. Well done Alex.

These incidents made my sis like the Rags less and most certainly made my wife love City more as it is now obvious to her that “City is the best team to support” (she said this to my sister!). For me, bringing them to OT was an eye opener which made me hate United more. They were so unfriendly, it was unbelievable. At the end of the day however, what is most important to me is City.

CTID, Nizam Mohd Idris (msrahnm2@stud.man.ac.uk)

OPINION – MATCH REPORTS

I wasn’t going to add my comments to those already made by others, that the reports done by Tony are inoffensive and can be amusing at times. I think that those who write in to MCIVTA complaining about his match reports are pretty sad if they have nothing else better to do with themselves.

However, having asked us for our opinions let’s write in and tell Tony to continue his fine reports and ignore the very few who seem fit to complain. Having read in today’s MCIVTA about those City fans who were slagging off Goater and then insulting those Blues who remonstrated, it kind of puts Tony’s match report into context. Let’s concentrate on stamping out the brain-dead trash which follow City and football in general around, rather then wasting time on complaining about someone who is providing a good service to his fellow Blues. At the end of the day life’s just too short.

Jonathan Tod (jonathan.m.tod@sb.com)

OPINION – SOME THINGS…

MCVITEE seems to be so popular every clubs fans’ are writing in. That’s a positive.

There seems to be a pro-Rags theme. That’s a negative. Let’s get it right. They hate us as much as we hate them (I know enough of them to know that). They are in a position to be patronising. As I have said before, we shouldn’t applaud the Munich songs, but where would we be if we wanted them to do well? The key, as people have rightly pointed out, is our result is more important. Them losing is no consolation if we don’t win (those who think it is are sad).

Tony, keep writing the great match reports. Anyone who can’t see the humour in them shouldn’t be reading this great magazine, and certainly shouldn’t support one of the greatest teams for black humour in modern times.

Dave Kilroy (m01j8b00@cwcom.net)

OPINION – A COUPLE OF REPLIES

A couple of replies to recent articles that have appeared in MCIVTA.

To Tony Burns and his “amusing” match reports… keep them flowing, you may upset a few people, but the majority of City fans have had to have a sense of humour for years and really appreciate all the input from games we can get.

To Andy Noise on Shaun Goater… perhaps he should be renamed Shaun ScapeGoater *grin*

To those Rags that now come into the TalkCity “MCFC” chat room on matchdays… thanks for making it a success… have missed the past two games due to not having a PC but thanks for keeping it going 🙂

To those who’ve not joined us in the chatroom yet… come in on Saturday and meet with Blues from around the world and get commentary from our “in-house commentary team” (especially Casey and Sarge – thanks guys) join via Wookie’s links page at http://www.wookie.u-net.com/city.htm or use this guide if the link still does not work.

To join the room here are the instructions:

In the URL type http://www.talkcity.com/chat/index.html
At the bottom of the page Type MCFC then hit go.
Type in your nickname and e-mail (you can reserve your nick by registering it at http://enroll.talkcity.com/)
Choose EZTalk Lite (fastest loader), or if you are enrolled then EZTalk Pro will give you more features when chatting.
Hit enter MCFC
The room will take approx 1 min to load… 3 for EZ Pro, then chat away.

Graham “Herbie” Hibbert (CCCrash@hosts.talkcity.com)

REQUEST – RECORD?

Does anyone have any evidence to support the claim (that I would love to be true) that City are the only team to have won the league championship with only English players? Why not – we have the last English manager to have won anything!

CFLFABMS (City Fan Looking For A Bayern Munich Shirt), Adam Jones (Adam.Jones@durham.ac.uk)

REQUEST – WALLPAPER

Has anybody got any decent wallpaper / background for use on a Windows 95 computer that they could email me? At work I am surrounded by such pictures of TUFC and Liverpool.

Can anyone send me some of City to the email address below / give a site where such an item can be downloaded?

Thanks for your help.

Paul Cooper (pcooper1@cc.ernsty.co.uk)

REQUEST – PAY-PER-VIEW IN WEST MIDLANDS

Does anyone out there know of a pub pretty much anywhere in the Coventry/Birmingham/West Midlands area that’ll be showing the Bristol Rovers game?

Mark Nixon (m.nixon@policymaster.co.uk)

BLUE HUMOUR I

Q: What’s yellow and would look good on Roy Keane?
A: A JCB.

Adam Jones (Adam.Jones@durham.ac.uk)

BLUE HUMOUR II – BECKHAM: A WEEK IN THE LIFE

Monday:

Talk about baby names in training. Yorkie says why not call him “Juan”, after the number of brain cells I have. I laugh along, but I don’t get it. Talk to the gaffer about it. Tell him I’m thinking of naming the baby after myself. Boss says that no kid would appreciate being called a whingeing egotistical bastard. Suggests I name him after him.

Tuesday:

Posh says no child of hers will be called a moaning Scottish git. In training, Yorkie asks why my Missus is called posh. I explain it’s because she’s a classy bird. Everyone laughs but I dont know why.

Wednesday:

Talk to the journo who’s writing my autobiography. Boss gets us motivated for the match by telling me I’ll be playing against the man who cheated in the Argentina game during the World Cup. Didn’t even know Owen had signed for Inter. In training boss tells me to practice shooting before getting into the box. Yorkie says I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in now if I’d done that before. Everyone laughs but I don’t get it.

Thursday:

Wow. Alex calls me in and gives me £10k a week pay rise. I never asked for it, but he explains that I’ll need it to keep the child in new Man United strips.

Friday:

Gosh I’m a dad. It’s going to mean a whole change to my lifestyle. Now I’m going to have to maintain a nanny too. Decide to call it Brooklyn as that’s where it was conceived during a weekend away. Yorkie says “thank f**k it wasn’t that Saturday we played up the Arsenal”. Everyone laughed but I didn’t get it.

From Football 365 via Jon Walsh (JWalsh@calorgas.co.uk)

WHY BLUE?

Being born and bred in North Wales it seems odd that I ended up a City fan rather than the usual Liverpool/ManUre follower. Like most people, I have my dad to thank. I first became aware of City in the late 60s, early 70s due to my dad’s interest (he was originally from Leigh). When I left home to go to University (UMIST – is it still there?) in 1979 I remember one of the last pieces of advice from my dad was “Go watch City play, not U****d”.

So started the real obsession with City. I initially lived in that godawful tower in Fallowfield, but enjoyed a view of Maine Road and attended regularly at the Academy. The following year, home was Whalley Range, easy walk to the ground via the Parkside and a season ticket. Then Chorlton-cum-Hardy and regular away matches became the norm.

These were up and down times for City but I began to enjoy the atmosphere and camaraderie with other fans as much as the results. In 1985, after five years holding a season ticket, I was promoted at work but had to move to Sheffield. I managed to maintain my season ticket for a couple of years, but the commitment to City was starting to conflict with another love in my life. Consequently, I was reduced to the odd home game and away matches in the Sheffield area.

In 1991, after marriage and two children, I moved here to Oz. Support for City was strongly maintained through the ABC showing a weekly one hour package of Premier League highlights, but following relegation times became hard. Information on City was restricted, though eagerly awaited, to results in the Monday papers. Interest began to wane through information denial.

Then about a year ago, work very graciously gave everyone Internet access! MCIVTA was quickly discovered, Soccernet, Blueview, home connection obtained, live commentary on the web, sleepless nights and a Kappa shirt courtesy of visiting relatives – it was almost as good as being back in England. The magic has returned with a vengeance and this season has been one of the most closely followed in years. When asked what I miss most since moving to Australia, the list has reduced over the years and now only Man City remains (and is usually met with a blank expression, except for those in the know).

This weekend is a long weekend in Oz, we have next Monday off as it is ANZAC day. The ANZAC tradition is very strong here and is basically remembrance for those who gave their lives in war. “ANZAC stood and still stands for reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance that will never own defeat”. Sound familiar?

CTID, Ted Boardman (boardman@cyberone.com.au)

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.freeserve.co.uk
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]Ashley Birch, mcivta@tollbar.u-net.com

Newsletter #496

1999/04/29

Editor:


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