Newsletter #535

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City go second after coming from behind to win 2-1, with goals from Jobson and Taylor. To be honest, Palace didn’t look very good at all, but we weren’t on song, so made hard work of disposing of them. Dickov in particular looked lost (perhaps carrying an injury); whilst the terminal aversion that both Edghill and Morrison have to playing the ball to Terry Cooke needs addressing urgently! This issue carries a couple of match reports from this game; there’s another Steve Maclean acronym (?) and better news from Phil Hartley re the Ticket Office.

I’m clean out of Why Blues, so if anyone would care to put theirs down, now would be a good time.

Next game: Southampton at home, Worthington Cup 2nd Rnd, 1st leg, Wednesday 15th September 1999

NEWS SUMMARY

Weaver Misses Record but City March On

A Clint Morrison strike on Saturday prevented goalkeeper Nicky Weaver from equalling an 81-year-old City club record of seven consecutive clean sheets, but the Blues came back from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace. After falling behind on 37 minutes, the Blues responded quickly and were level at the break thanks to defender Richard Jobson. Substitute Gareth Taylor scored a second-half winner to lift City into second place, thanks to Birmingham’s failure to beat West Bromwich Albion. Indeed, only a late equaliser by Ipswich at Portsmouth prevented Joe Royle’s men from being level on points with the Suffolk side at the top of the table. Royle admitted his team had been below par, reflecting, “It was our best win of the season, especially as we did not play as well as we have been doing. I think the 12-day lay-off affected our sharpness and it was also difficult playing against a Palace side who had suffered two heavy defeats coming in to this game.”

Defeated Coppell Wishes City Well

Much of the pre-match talk before Saturday’s game centred round the prospect of a rough ride from the home fans for ex-City manager Steve Coppell, returning to the club for the first time since his shock resignation after only a month in the Maine Road hot seat. In fact, though Coppell was on the receiving end of some abuse, he received a less hostile reception than he’d expected. And following the defeat which leaves his side bottom of the Division One table, the former Manchester United and England winger tipped his old friend Joe Royle to lead City to promotion. “The reception wasn’t brilliant at times, but I did not do any damage here,” claimed Coppell. “I was delighted to come back and whilst fans may have been bemused by my time here, I wish them only good things. I hope they get back into the Premier League and in Joe Royle, who is a good friend, they have the perfect man to take them into the Premier League.”

Royle in Transfer Hint?

The official City web site at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/ claimed on Monday that Joe Royle could be set to move into the transfer market this week. Speaking after the win over Palace, Royle reflected on the opposition’s threat from set pieces, saying, “They threatened and had six players to be marked from their corners. We are a little small at the moment and not as big as we were last year to handle things like that.” This has been interpreted by some as a hint that an incoming move could be close, with the priority being aerial prowess. However, with all the players who supplied last year’s physical presence still on the books, Royle need not necessarily look to the transfer market to rectify the perceived failing.

New Icelandic Link

Following Royle’s decision not to pursue interest in Bjarki Gunnlaugsson (who’s now joined Preston until the end of the season), the Blues are being linked with another Icelandic striker. The man in question is 25-year-old striker Mickey Dadasson, who currently plays in Norway for Viking Stavanger and would cost in the region of £500,000 according to reports. Meanwhile, there’s speculation that goalkeeper Tommy Wright could move to Blackpool on a free transfer once his loan spell at Newcastle comes to an end.

Academy Results

City under-19s followed their rout of Huddersfield last week with a convincing 3-0 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday. The under-17s drew 0-0, also against Boro.

Southampton Preview

Joe Royle said after City’s win over Burnley in the first round of the Worthington Cup that he hoped for a chance to test his side against Premiership opposition at the next stage. His wish was granted when the Blues were paired with Southampton, and the first leg takes place at Maine Road this Wednesday evening. Saturday’s match-winner Gareth Taylor may start after scoring three times as a substitute this season as the Blues bid to go one better than at the same stage a year ago when, of course, we suffered a 2-1 aggregate defeat against Derby County. City will be looking for a lead to take to the south coast for the second leg, which is due to take place on Wednesday, 22 September.

Peter Brophy (brophy_peter@hotmail.com)

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’ I

MANCHESTER CITY vs. CRYSTAL PALACE, Saturday 11th September 1999

Joe Royle said that this fixture was potentially the most dangerous game so far, coming as it did after 3 successive league wins and also because of added spice of the return of Coppell and Bradbury. And so it proved… There were a few ‘stand up if you hate Coppell’ chants, but nothing particularly vitriolic. If, as seems to be the opinion nowadays, that he left due to quickly finding that Franny’s promises about support and funding were er, shall we say ‘exaggerated’, he did the right thing in leaving before trying to do an impossible (in his mind) task, failing and making our situation worse. Bradbury got an OK reception during the kick about before kick-off. It was obvious that he desperatly wanted to receive a good reaction as he clapped the Kippax immediately after his name was announced and after receiving probably a smidgen more applause than boos! I still feel sorry for Bradbury, even in this day and age £3.5 million was at least £3 million more than he was worth. He desperately wanted to do well for us, but simply could not live up to the price tag and in retrospect, from his own viewpoint, he should have spent a few more years at Portsmouth, gaining experience and finding his level before possibly moving on. This game for Bradbury was quite similar to many of his games for us. He certainly worked hard, showed one or two flashes of quality and indeed made their goal. But he never looked like scoring.

City retained the same starting lineup as against Forest. However, whether it was the international break or Palace’s pressing, although dominating we never scaled the heights of the first half against Forest. Dickov in particular was disappointing, spending more time moaning about not being given decisions than playing. In fact, on at least two occasions he was so busy complaining that he missed opportunities to get involved in an attacking move. I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt on this occasion (he was subbed minutes into the second half, obviously having been carrying an injury), but this is not the Paul Dickov we want to see. Less moaning, more scoring please Paul!

Kennedy was again instrumental in most of our good moves, making several excellent crosses. Jobson, Goater and Cooke probably had our best chances in the early stages. Although not a chance as such, Goater showed an amazing change of direction and pace and was blocked off by a Palace defender who was rightly booked. Goater would have been clear on goal and would surely have scored. Shaun’s confidence seems to be growing with every game and is looking to be a decent striker in this Division, long may it continue.

Palace were suprisingly quite attack minded, with Simon Rodger (remember him?) regularly joining Bradbury and Morrison in going forward. Although they didn’t cause us any real problems in open play, they certainly put us under more pressure than we have experienced in any other game at home this season. Palace’s set pieces were dangerous and if they were to score, this was their best option. And score they did on the 39th minute with 2 Palace players completely unmarked at the far post following a corner which Bradbury hooked on. Weaver was absolutely livid with his defence, the ‘successive clean sheet’ record now having gone for at least another 7 games!

Someone will know how many times in the last couple of seasons (Wembley apart of course) we have come back to win from being a goal down, it’s certainly not often. Today we bounced back 3 minutes later when Jobson planted a superb bullet header past Digby from a Kennedy corner. It was noticable that Weaver sprinted to the centre circle to congratulate the scorer. Was it Jobson who Weaver blamed for the Palace goal?! Taylor came on for Dickov very early in the second half, with Bishop replacing a disappointed looking Tiatto shortly thereafter. Taylor scored with a neat turn and shot, following a terrific header from Horlock which crashed against the post. Taylor takes a lot of stick but that’s now 3 goals from the bench which ain’t a bad return. If he does nothing except score the winner in every game, he’ll do for me! We had a return to the ‘last 5 minutes City’ days gone by, where we sat back and invited Palace to attack us. Crooks replaced Cooke in an obvious ‘we hold what we have’ move. Palace did hit the post and Bishop cleared off the line. We didn’t look as assured as we have become accustomed but we held on and gained 3 very valuable points. Royle is right, this game did indeed have all the hallmarks of a ‘typical’ City loss. Three straight wins, struggling team, playing at home in front of a bumper and expectant crowd, concede a crap goal. But we stuck at it and came through, hopefully banishing yet another ghost from the Maine Road closet. We didn’t play well, but we won. And as all the pundits say that’s the sign of a good team. The table doesn’t lie, it’s early days but currently at least, we certainly are a good team.

Phil Hartley (philh@firstcap.freeserve.co.uk)

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’ II

MANCHESTER CITY vs. CRYSTAL PALACE, Saturday 11th September 1999

The scoreline said 2-1 and blo*dy hell did we make hard work of it. Crystal Palace came to Maine Road having conceded a load of goals in the last couple of games, so a few of us were predicting 3-0 maybe 4-0, but remember this is City we support, not your average team who gain confidence when they beat teams with ease (where’s the fun in that?). Got to the game after watching the Stretford Rangers beat the Scousers 3-2, entertaining game to watch (entertaining to watch Andy Cole’s kicking ability).

Got to my seat and waited for the game to start (a little bit the worse for the drink before the game). City started off brightly, Morrison made sure that Bradbury knew who the Boss at Maine Road was these days with a crunching tackle. Jobson (yes Jobson) had the best couple of chances in the opening minutes. Dickov also had a crack in the first few minutes but it went high and wide (am I the only one who would see Dickov replaced, he tries but then again so would I, but I would never put myself forward, he’s a 100%er but sometimes you need more). City were battering Palace in the opening exchanges, the crowd left Coppell pretty much alone, but maybe that was because City looked in dominating form (or maybe they were saving themselves for Alan Ball in a few weeks?).

Bradbury decided he wasn’t getting anywhere legally and decided to do an impression of Cantona during a Palace game? (stick a foot in Morrison’s chest, somehow you get the feeling that if Morrison had done this a red card would have followed; instead Badbuy got a yellow). Kennedy looked to be dangerous every time he got the ball and he made Palace look uncomfortable. He crossed in many balls, Goater flashed one wide. Suddenly out of nowhere City leaked a goal, Weaver looked furious; it was only his second goal conceded in a City shirt this season. Who was at fault for the goal I haven’t a clue, but I turned to Debs next to me and said that City were still going to win, you could just see that if City stepped up a gear they could easily win. Sure enough we pressed straight away, got a corner, step up the OAP of the squad with a thunderbolt header, 1-1; that shut the Palace fans up. The City of old would have allowed their heads to drop, but not Joe’s troops, they have self belief by the bucketful.

Ding Ding round 2 (more commonly known as the second half) kicked off with City pressure, Bishop came on, and was wonderful, keeping that cool head and playing the balls out wide for the two wingers. I was feeling confident, then I saw Taylor come on, and thought “Oh hello, here we go and we want goals” (ok so I admit it, I enjoyed eating a large slice of humble pie when he scored). Palace seemed to be bringing on loads of subs, including their number 34 (the last time I saw him he was being lead away to hospital after a clash with Morrison at Colchester, silly lad).

The goal came about the hour mark, a Cooke cross was met by Horlock, whom I think hit the post, with Taylor hitting in the rebound, cue tides of elation around Maine Road. We were now coasting, dominating the game, up until the last 6-7 minutes when we decided that it would be a good idea to look a bit shaky at the back. In the past we could have let one in but yesterday we stood firmer than an Andy Morrison tackle (with only the odd buttock clenching moment near the end).

We deserved the 3 points and it’s up to second in the league we go; we do look infinitely better than the last time when we were in this division, we look like a team instead of individuals playing football. The whole culture of City is changing, we went down 1-0 (just like the turnaround match last year against Stoke) and won 2-1. Bumped into a few Palace fans on the way out, they said they were too big/good to go down to the third tier of English football (now where have I heard that before?).

Walter Smith (Citysmith@yahoo.com)

ROYLE SQUEEZES PAST PALACE?

No it’s nothing to do with an overweight member of the monarchy, but with the relative achievements of a previous manager vs. the present one!

C oppell
R esigned
Y elping.
"S tress &
T ension"
A rgued
L ee
P romotion
A ttempt
L ooks
A lmost
C ertainly
E ncouraging.

Steve Maclean (Stevemaclean@stm1.freeserve.co.uk)

EVENING NEWS SITE

I noticed recently a few contributions on the subject of sourcing news about the Blues from a distance. A couple of months ago, I sent a contribution stating that I had met a guy who had not heard of the M(U)EN ‘related’ site http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/. I know it also has Rag stuff as well, but who cares! If you want to go straight to the sport section it’s http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/sport/stories.htm It should be quite interesting as the new stadium develops.

Graham Jones (citizen.search@virgin.net)

BTH ISSUE

Just to let you all know, the new issue of Bert Trautmann’s Helmet will be out on Wednesday. This issue includes: Nick Weaver’s dad on Wembley, a review of Frank Clark’s new book, a look at Malcolm Allison’s career and City fans’ 5-1 memories.

Available from all the usual places. See the website for more details at: http://www.wookie.u-net.com/bthmain.htm

Noel Bayley

TICKET ARRANGEMENTS

Following my comments and opinion on the away ticket distribution, thanks to those who said they shared my feelings (and Keith, I never change queues!) and who gave me useful e-mail addresses. Suprisingly, but very impressively, I did not need to contact the club, they contacted me. Nathan Gould, the Customer Liaison Officer contacted me via e-mail on Friday. What’s more, he had obviously read my comments in detail as he tried to answer some of the specific points raised, rather than just issue a ‘stock’ reply. In short, he advised that with 11,000 regular season ticket holders (out of 21,500) and following complaints regarding Saturday morning queueing, the club needed to introduce a system to avoid excessive queueing (I’m all for that) and also to ration away tickets. He aknowledged that the system is far from ideal but feels that it is the best option at present.

The ‘Attendance Tracking System’ we’ve heard about is being used, but as with any database, it will take some time before it can churn out any meaningful information. I understand that as well as tracking individuals’ attendance it will also be able to predict large attendances, buying patterns etc., which over time may help to be more proactive in ticket distribution. He did also say that it is not the long-term intention to request specific ticket stubs for certain games which should hopefully avoid the potential ‘chain’ of missing games. So, for the time being at least it seems that we will have to accept the current ticket distribution arrangements.

As I said in my initial comments and I confirmed to Nathan, I still feel that there is more ‘red tape’ (if you excuse the phrase) than there needs to be for many games, but I guess we are only 7 weeks into the season and, as with any change, there needs to be a settling down period and a time to review its success or otherwise. I think that it is good sign that a representative of the club is being proactive in monitoring comments and replying to them. Would this happened under previous regimes? Probably not. The real challange of course is to see what happens over the course of the season and particularly if we are involved in some really ‘big’ games.

Phil Hartley (philh@firstcap.freeserve.co.uk)

AUSSIE AFFILIATION?

As a True Blue out here in Australia, I have at last found a team that I can follow! The crowd has the humour of the old Kippax that I spent many a Saturday in (are the old toilets still there?). We here in the Bob Stand have a blow up killer whale that when the time requires the chant starts Free Willy and up he goes!

Soccer here is at last taking off with the likes of Robbie Slater, Ian Crook, Graham Arnold etc. returning, an affiliation would be great with The Northern Spirit, a premier club here in Sydney with crowds as big as the Blues. Anyone interested?

Tim Gratton (topcat@maxi.net.au)

REQUEST – SOUTHAMPTON TICKETS

As an exiled Blue, I am trying to get hold of a couple of tickets for the game at Southampton (3 would be ideal). I don’t get too many chances to go but would love to take my wife and son, who is a Glasgow Rangers fan! This is due to him knowing that he would get thrown out of the house if he was to support the Rags. So what in return I hear you ask? Well, most importantly it’s another chance to make my son see the error of his ways and secondly I’ll even offer to write a match report. Anyone who can help please email.

Peter Timperley (peter.timperley@unitedadvertising.co.uk)

REQUEST – LIFT FROM NOTTINGHAM

Having lived in Nottingham for a year now I’m pretty fed up with hearing stories about the ‘Reds’. Being a poor student it’s also pretty hard for me to get to Maine Road these days. So I decided to get my head down during the summer, save some money and get to a few games this year. So if anybody out there goes up to Maine Road from Nottingham, can you get back to me as I’m very interested in joining you for a session or two this year.

Mark Bidmead (lqxmpb@nottingham.ac.uk)

RESULTS

First Division Results

Birmingham City         1 - 1   West Bromwich Albion
A. Johnson (43)                 Hughes (53)
Blackburn Rovers        2 - 0   Tranmere Rovers
Ward (82)
Blake (87)
Charlton Athletic       2 - 1   Bolton Wanderers
Stuart (21)                     Johansen (12)
Mendonca (50)
Grimsby Town            1 - 0   Walsall
Allen (73)
Manchester City         2 - 1   Crystal Palace
Jobson (42)                     Morrison (39)
Taylor (50)
Norwich City            2 - 1   Crewe Alexandra
Roberts (19)                    Cramb (31)
Eadie (83)
Port Vale               0 - 2   Fulham
                                Peschisolido (36)
                                Coleman (56)
Portsmouth              1 - 1   Ipswich Town
Whittingham (48)                Scowcroft (88)
Swindon Town            0 - 0   Nottingham Forest

First Division Table

                               HOME             AWAY
                         P   W  D  L  F  A   W  D  L  F  A  GD  Pts
1  Ipswich               6   3  0  0 10  2   1  2  0  7  4  11   14
2  Man City              6   3  0  1  9  2   1  1  0  1  0   8   13
-------------------------------------------------------------------
3  Birmingham            7   2  2  0 12  6   1  1  1  4  5   5   12
4  Barnsley              7   3  0  1 13  4   1  0  2  4 10   3   12
5  Huddersfield          6   2  0  0 10  3   1  1  2  2  4   5   10
6  Fulham                6   1  1  0  2  1   1  3  0  5  3   3   10
-------------------------------------------------------------------
7  West Brom             6   0  3  0  2  2   2  1  0  5  3   2   10
8  Charlton              4   3  0  0  6  2   0  0  1  1  2   3    9
9  Nottm Forest          7   2  1  0  7  3   0  2  2  2  5   1    9
10 Stockport             5   2  0  0  4  1   1  0  2  2  4   1    9
11 Portsmouth            6   2  2  0  5  1   0  1  1  1  7  -2    9
12 QPR                   5   2  1  0  7  4   0  1  1  2  3   2    8
13 Grimsby               7   2  1  1  3  2   0  1  2  3  6  -2    8
14 Sheff Utd             6   1  2  0  6  4   1  0  2  3  9  -4    8
15 Blackburn             5   1  1  1  3  2   1  0  1  4  3   2    7
16 Port Vale             7   2  0  2  5  5   0  1  2  4  7  -3    7
17 Walsall               7   0  2  1  3  6   1  1  2  4  7  -6    6
18 Wolverhampton         5   0  1  2  2  4   1  1  0  2  1  -1    5
19 Crewe                 5   0  1  0  1  1   1  1  2  7  9  -2    5
20 Bolton                6   1  1  1  5  5   0  1  2  1  3  -2    5
21 Norwich               6   1  0  2  2  4   0  2  1  3  4  -3    5
-------------------------------------------------------------------
22 Swindon               6   0  1  2  2  6   1  1  1  2  2  -4    5
23 Tranmere              7   1  1  1  2  3   0  0  4  1  8  -8    4
24 Crystal Palace        6   0  1  1  2  3   1  0  3  6 14  -9    4

CTCTRWLOHA (City Til Crookes Turns Round Without Landing On His Arse), Dorien James (dorien.james@btinternet.com)
With thanks to Soccernet(now run by EPSN and not nearly as good as it was) and www.bbc.co.uk

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


MCIVTA ADDRESSES:
Contributions: Ashley – mcivta@tollbar.u-net.com
News & Rumours: Peter – brophy_peter@hotmail.com
Subscriptions: 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 #535

1999/09/13

Editor:


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