Newsletter #595

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest


Due to my broken knee, I was forced to sample the delights of the Main Stand row A for Saturday’s game, but not even a pitch level view (mostly of people going for a pie) could spoil what turned out to be a forceful display by the Blues. City prevented Crewe from playing their trademark passing game, and penned the visitiors in their own half for much of the first 45 minutes. Even the mounting tension as Crewe endured escape after escape appeared to have no effect on the team, who continued to grind the opposition down. Prior’s goal was timely indeed, and his own joy at scoring made it doubly worthwhile. Dickov scored twice and Kennedy also scored with a beautifully executed curler into the top corner, to see the Blues finish on 4-0. Icing was added to the cake at the end of the afternoon, as it transpired that Barnsley, Birmingham, Huddersfield and even Charlton had all managed only a point each. City are now 3 points clear of Barnsley and Ipswich, with a 7-goal advantage on the latter and a 9-goal advantage on the former.

We have two match reports from this game, as well as Peter’s news, the remaining fixtures, opinion, and a nice Why Blue.

Next game: Grimsby Town away, Saturday 15th April 2000

NEWS SUMMARY

Dickov the Hero as City Win Again

Paul Dickov continued his good run of form with a two-goal showing for Manchester City against Crewe on Saturday. And the Scot’s double strike helped the Blues to a 4-0 win. City produced a fine first-half display, but until Spencer Prior opened the scoring with a 42nd minute header it looked like Joe Royle’s men might go in at the break without the breakthrough their play deserved. Dickov extended the lead on 68 minutes, before goals from Mark Kennedy and Dickov again completed the scoring.

Gap Extended to Three Points

Manchester City now lead by three points in the race for the second Division One automatic promotion place. The Blues extended the gap after Barnsley could only draw at home to West Brom. The Baggies almost snatched a shock victory at Oakwell, but a last-gasp Neil Shipperley effort earned Dave Bassett’s men a 2-2 scoreline. Barnsley are now three points behind City but the Blues also have an advantage of nine in the goal difference stakes. Ipswich moved above the Yorkshiremen with a 3-0 defeat of Port Vale at Portman Road. The East Anglians are level on points with the Tykes but have a goal difference which is two superior.

Birthday Treat Delights Royle

Joe Royle celebrated his 51st birthday on Saturday evening in good spirits. The Blues’ boss was buoyed by his team’s 4-0 destruction of Crewe in the afternoon – a performance he viewed as one of City’s best in weeks. Royle felt his team were unlucky not to have won by more, with Crewe goalkeeper Jason Kearton making a couple of fine saves while the woodwork and wasteful finishing also denied the Blues. “We had 27 attempts on goal and could quite easily have notched double figures,” claimed the City manager. “We were terrific today, as fluent as we have been for a long time.”

City in Midfielder Link

If Manchester City do gain promotion to the Premiership in a few weeks’ time, the club’s fans can expect a frenzy of transfer speculation. But the guessing game is starting even now, with Aston Villa’s Alan Thompson the first man to be linked with a move to Maine Road. The 26-year-old has put in a transfer request at Villa Park after playing in only three games in the last four months. And newspaper speculation claims that the ex-Bolton man, who moved to the Midlands in the summer of 1998, would reportedly be available for £2.5 million – a little over half of the sum John Gregory paid to the Trotters for the Geordie’s services. One report even claims a deal with the Blues has been agreed – although it would seem more likely that, even if there’s any truth in the story, City’s promotion fate will have an impact on matters.

Taylor to Earn Permanent QPR Switch?

Gareth Taylor is one of several Maine Road squad players whom Joe Royle would be prepared to sell. And the out-of-favour striker could earn a permanent move to his current loan employer, QPR. Taylor turned down a £400,000 move to Fortuna Sittard earlier in the season after the Blues had agreed a fee with the Dutch outfit. And after a month on loan at Port Vale, the ex-Sheffield United man made a pre-deadline temporary switch to West London. And Rangers’ boss Gerry Francis admitted he could be thinking in terms of a longer deal, saying, “I think City are willing to sell and I want to strengthen the squad so something could happen.”

Gradi’s Warning for City

Dario Gradi saw his Crewe side well beaten at Manchester City on Saturday and was impressed with the hosts’ display. But the Gresty Road boss also had a warning for opposite number Joe Royle. The experienced Gradi has taken the Cheshire outfit from the Football League basement in his seventeen years at the helm. And he feels that the Blues are a good bet for promotion after four successive wins at just the right time. But he’s less sure of City’s fate if they do manage to win through to the top flight. “City are a good team,” he explained, “but remember the Premiership is a hard league.”

Boss Pleased with Another Clean Sheet

Manchester City’s early-season charge to the top of the First Division was based on a mean defence. And after a period when the back line looked vulnerable, Joe Royle feels the Blues are once again looking solid. The Blues kept a third successive clean sheet in the win over Crewe, leaving the City boss to reflect once again on the contribution made by new signing Spencer Prior. “After failing to keep a clean sheet for ten matches we have now kept three in a row,” enthused Royle, “and much of that is down to Spencer.” And the acquisition from Derby even made an impact in attack, heading home the opener against the Railwaymen just when it seemed the Blues’ first-half dominance would go unrewarded.

Royle Looks to Play Down Expectations

Manchester City are now three points clear of the field in the chase for second place in Division One. But Joe Royle is trying to keep fans’ and players’ feet on the ground. The Blues’ lead in points terms is coupled with a goal difference significantly better than that of any of the other challengers. And this fact means that a ten point haul from the last five games could require Barnsley or Ipswich to win all their games to thwart City. But Royle remains cautious, telling the Manchester Evening News, “We are not dreaming about the Premiership yet. I am not going to tempt fate now by saying we will definitely go up.”

Prior – City Have Premier Quality

Spencer Prior has featured in twenty Premiership matches this season. So City’s recent arrival from Derby is well-placed to offer an opinion on the Blues’ Premiership credentials. The 28-year-old has been impressed by the standard of play produced by his new team-mates, and believes that Saturday’s display against Crewe shows City’s footballing quality. “We are winning our battles all over the pitch and when we are on the ball we are as comfortable as many of the Premiership sides I have seen,” the Southend-born star told the Manchester Evening News. “We are also keeping clean sheets and that is important.”

Kennedy Finds Spiritual Home

Mark Kennedy is happier than at any time during his career. The City winger says he’s found his spiritual home at Maine Road after big-money moves to Liverpool and Wimbledon failed to work out. Manager Joe Royle has been delighted by the form of his £1.5 million close-season buy from the Dons. And the Blues’ boss feels that the club offers the Irishman the ideal platform for his talents – a sentiment with which the player wholeheartedly agrees. “The gaffer is right when he says I have found City a home from home,” the 23-year-old Dubliner told the Manchester Evening News. “I cannot say enough about the warmth that has been shown to me here by the fans.”

Horlock Proves His Point

Kevin Horlock was upset at his recent omission from the Manchester City side. And the Northern Ireland international underlined his first-team credentials almost immediately on his return by scoring last week against Bolton. The ex-Swindon man found the net after only 18 minutes against the Trotters, and his display sealed a starting berth for the visit of Crewe on Saturday. Manager Joe Royle admitted that the midfielder had voiced dissatisfaction over recent team selections. “Kevin was getting very frustrated at not being in the side and we had one or two words last week,” admitted the City boss.

Bitter Cooke in Cash Claim

Terry Cooke has repeated his claim that money is behind Joe Royle’s refusal to give him a chance at Manchester City. The winger has alleged in ‘The Sun’ newspaper that the Blues would owe Manchester United money if he made another two appearances. When the winger made his permanent switch across Manchester last April, the Blues paid their neighbours £600,000 up front. Another £400,000 was the subject of conditional payments – and Cooke said the money is due when he plays another two first-team games. Joe Royle has dismissed the rumour as ‘rubbish’ and in fact, it seems unlikely that the whole of the incentive sum is due in one instalment. Transfer fees are negotiated between clubs and often players are not fully aware of the technicalities of the deal. And at the time of the transfer, it was widely reported that at least significant parts of the additional amount depended on promotion for the Blues from both Division Two and then Division One. After his outburst, it seems an even safer bet that Cooke’s Maine Road days will soon be over.

Weaver Again Confirms He’ll Stay

Nicky Weaver has been the subject of rumoured interest from several top clubs – most recently, Newcastle. But the City goalkeeper has always insisted he wants to stay at Maine Road, and he’s again repeated the vow. “I have said it before but I will say it again, I believe I can achieve everything I want to achieve in football at Manchester City,” Weaver told the Manchester Evening News. “Of course it is flattering to be talked about but I am happy at Maine Road.” Meanwhile, the England under-21 international has told the local newspaper that he’s cutting out junk food in a bid to stay at peak fitness. “I just made the conscious decision that I have to look after myself as much as possible,” he explained.

Born-Again Dickov Boosts Blues

After a poor goal return this season, Paul Dickov had fallen well down the pecking order of strikers at Maine Road. But injuries to the men brought in to replace him have given the Scot a another chance – and he’s grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Robert Taylor and on-loan Lee Mills have both been plagued by fitness worries since their arrival at the club. And since replacing Taylor at half time a fortnight ago against West Brom, the ex-Arsenal forward has been rejuvenated. He created vital goals for Shaun Goater against the Baggies and Swindon, before making one and scoring another against Bolton in midweek and notching a brace against Crewe. “I am a lot more relaxed now,” he said. “I was trying too hard when I came back after injury in January and I feel I let myself down.”

Goater Speaks of Tough Choice

Shaun Goater has put club before country as City bid to seal a Premiership return. And the Blues’ top scorer has been talking about the tough choice he faced. The Bermudian could potentially have missed four of the Blues’ last five fixtures to play in World Cup qualifiers, which would have weakened the club’s promotion ambitions significantly. And he said last week, “It was a difficult decision to make. As a player you always want to represent your country. But at this stage of my career and City’s season it is important for me to stay here.” The 30-year-old is hoping his international colleagues are still involved in the qualifiers in May and June – when there’ll be no barrier to him joining them.

Wiekens Plan Hatched Weeks Ago

Joe Royle sprang a selection surprise in Manchester City’s last couple of games, selecting Gerard Wiekens in midfield. But it’s emerged that the switch wasn’t a new idea. Wiekens, who missed the visit of West Brom a fortnight ago through illness, was a substitute at Swindon last week, losing his defensive place to new boy Spencer Prior. But the Dutchman, who played in a midfield holding rôle when he first came to Maine Road, has successfully reverted to his old position. But while the switch surprised many, the player himself was expecting it. “Joe Royle told me a while ago he was considering playing me in midfield when the chance arose,” he told local radio station BBC GMR.

No New Injuries from Crewe Clash

Joe Royle has had a strong squad to pick from as Manchester City have stepped up their promotion challenge in recent games. And the City boss says he has no new fitness worries after Saturday’s game against Crewe. Shaun Goater played against the Railwaymen after being doubtful with a thigh injury and the Bermudian emerged unscathed from the 4-0 win. Meanwhile, Gerard Wiekens was substituted late on against the Cheshire outfit but although the Dutchman has a tight hamstring, he’s expected to be fit for next weekend’s trip to Grimsby. Long-term absentee Andy Morrison, perennial casualty Robert Taylor plus fringe players Lee Crooks and Lee Peacock are Royle’s only missing squad men as the promotion run-in nears its climax.

City’s Chance to Turn the Screw

Manchester City kick off next Saturday’s game at Grimsby at 1 p.m. And the early start gives the Blues the chance to put their promotion rivals under pressure. For a win for City at Blundell Park would put the Blues six points clear of Ipswich and Barnsley when the two other contenders kick off later in the afternoon. And City’s competitors for a top two spot would then face the added pressure of knowing that their own failure to win would hand the Blues a massive advantage in the three-way battle. The East Anglians visit Stockport while the Tykes are at relegation-threatened Port Vale.

Maine Road Youngsters Making Progress

Hopes are high that Manchester City are once more becoming a force to be reckoned with in the area of recruiting young talent. And another Maine Road youngster has won representative recognition. City’s Lee Croft this week played in the England under-15 side which took on Italy at Rushden and Diamonds’ ground. Meanwhile, a week earlier, junior professional Chris Killen returned from a trip to the Far East to play for the New Zealand under-23s against Japan. However, the Kiwis were well beaten, going down 4-0 to their hosts.

Reserves Step Up Title Bid

Manchester City reserves are on the verge of clinching the Pontin’s League title. And matters could virtually be decided when the Blues entertain Wolves on Tuesday. City are currently three points clear of second-placed Port Vale and have a game in hand. And the Blues could make themselves virtually uncatchable by the Potteries outfit with a win on Tuesday. Huddersfield could also overhaul City – but only by winning all their remaining games and making up a sizeable goal difference deficit.

Academy Team Knocked Out

Manchester City’s under-19 team saw their season come to an end on Friday. The Blues lost to Nottingham Forest in the Academy Cup. City went down 3-2 in the quarter final tie played at the Forest training ground. And that means that the under-19s followed their under-17 counterparts in failing to progress beyond the last eight. The younger age group had already suffered a 1-0 defeat against Crewe at the same stage.

Peter Brophy (peterbrophy@mancity.net)

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’ I

MANCHESTER CITY vs. CREWE ALEXANDRA, Saturday 8th April 2000

We headed towards Maine Road in bright sunshine, knowing there would be a capacity crowd and on the back of that superb performance against Bolton the previous Wednesday. As any Blue knows, this is a dangerous cocktail, usually ending in a disastrous 2-1 defeat and us cursing ourselves for allowing our hearts to rule our heads. However, we live in different times nowadays, and although it is difficult to let go completely of our belief in ‘Cityitis’ as JR calls it, City continue to instill confidence in a long and painful process which began last year. The patient appears to be well on the way to a full recovery!

Shaun passed a late fitness test, so it was ‘as you were’ both on the pitch and on the bench, and, I’m pleased to say, also in performance terms. Crewe posed a slightly different problem than Bolton, but the message was the same; we must impose ourselves and not let them play. And that was exactly what we did in one of the most one-sided first halves of the season. Kennedy again looks a man reborn and he rained in cross after cross, which in no particular order, Dickov, Wiekens, Goater, Jobson, Whitley and Horlock attempted to convert, but were foiled either by Jason Kearton in goal, the woodwork or some slightly awry finishing. But this wasn’t a one-man show by any means. Jobson and Prior easily handled their defensive duties so much so that they got forward more and more – Richard Jobson on the right wing believe it or not! Tiatto was superb, the dangerous Rodney Jack in his pocket for most of the game. Wiekens, again in the holding midfield rôle, looks like the ‘missing link’ in midfield that we’ve been looking for. As we know, he’s a capable defender, giving the opposition forward yet another obstacle to navigate before they see the whites of Weaver’s eyes, but also his range of passing is impressive and he is able to get forward too.

Goater was all over the place, but I must say he didn’t look 100%; he lasted the game though and presumably will be fine for the Grimsby game. However, just for a moment, when yet another ball was scrambled clear, we thought “is it going to be one of those days?” Crewe had fashioned one dangerous break, which Weaver dealt with, but there was always the concern that we might experience one of those days similar to the early part of last season. Just before half time we had our answer when from another Kennedy corner, Jobson headed on to Prior who nodded in from close range for his first goal for the Blues.

Crewe played better during the second half, Rivers creating a one-on-one with Weaver before putting too much pace on the ball, allowing Nicky to save at his feet. Nevertheless, we always looked in control and when Goater took a quick free kick, playing the ball to Horlock who took it forward, crossing for Dickov to volley in from 8 yards, it knocked out Crewe. Bishop replaced Wiekens on 80 minutes and shortly after threaded a ball to Kennedy who blasted in from 18 yards. A one two between Goater and Dickov ended up with Dickov getting his second and our fourth of the afternoon.

As you have no doubt heard, we apparently had 27 attempts on goal and 4-0 certainly did not flatter us. The enigmatic Paul Dickov completed the game with his 3rd goal in 2 games, that after scoring just 2 goals in the first 8 months of the campaign. He did the same last season, and the season before. When Paul Dickov plays like this he looks a very good player indeed. His confidence must be sky high now and I would have thought he is guaranteed his starting place for the rest of the season now and I’m sure that he’ll add to his goal tally.

Spencer Prior is having the same talismanic effect that Morrison and Cooke had on us last season. He is clearly really enjoying himself, but works so hard at his own game and in organising the defence. That’s now 10 goals for and only 1 against since he made his début for us against West Brom. Those stats tell their own story. We’re now showing the kind of form we had earlier in the season and as I said after the Bolton game, if we keep playing like this no-one can live with us. Whether by luck or judgement, we seem to have hit form at exactly the right time and we are in pole position for that 2nd automatic slot. Still no predictions from me, but I’m getting very, very excited now. 5 games to go and counting…

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

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’ II

MANCHESTER CITY vs. CREWE ALEXANDRA, Saturday 8th April 2000

We retained Wednesday’s formation and it worked again. We penned Crewe into their half for all but one break of the first half. It was a question of when we would score rather than if. But… even though we created numerous chances the team did not panic, they did not resort to pumping the ball upfield but continuously played through the midfield. This, I believe was partly due to the stye of play Dario Gradi has instilled in Crewe. They played it to feet all match and while they made pretty patterns in midfield that as all they could do. Which meant it wasn’t long before we harried and won the ball back.

Full marks to Crewe, they passed the ball and tried to create chances but lacked the necessary bite. They played fair and had one good chance in the first half but Weaver cleared. That was all he had to do in the first 45 minutes.

In that first half Dickov crashed the ball against the underside of the crossbar but on 42 minutes we scored. The corner surprisingly cleared the first defender for Jobson to head back and Prior claimed his first, nodding in from the goal line.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were nervy but we scored our second on 73 minutes. A quickly taken free kick reached Horlock who crossed to Dickov who was all alone just inside the corner of the box. He swung his foot, and although it was not the best connection, it hit the back of the net. Full marks to the ref, who I thought had a good game, simply because I did not notice him, which is the best sign. He allowed our free kick where a more pedantic ref could have brought us back.

The last few minutes saw the final two goals. Kennedy got the ball just inside the box and curled it into the corner of the net. Finally, Dickov got his second, shooting across the ‘keeper from the edge of the six-yard box. I saw this goal courtesy of MCTV as I had just left my seat.

This was a fantastic performance. The best I have seen since the Aug-Oct period as our victories over Fulham and Norwich owed a lot to good fortune. On Sat we just completely outplayed Crewe and fully deserved the 4-0 score.

I thought all of our boys played well, especially Dickov and Tiatto. Tiatto completely nullified Jack who I was informed was quite useful but not on Saturday. Dickov has benefited from his period on the bench. No histrionics, no whinging but 100% commitment and 2 goals. Prior has settled in well and in combination with Jobson mopped up all at the back.

I have my concerns about Whitley. Two shots on target in the second half was the sum of his contributions. He cannot read the game. When Kennedy is running to the corner being marshalled by two defenders, Whitley stands static. He does not give Kennedy an angle to play the ball between the two defenders. This is basic football. Similarly when Bishop (who came on in the second half) received the ball, he had to gesticulate to Whitley to overlap him, again basic football common sense.

Anyway I don’t want to complain after this result. We are now three points clear having won 4 out of 4. I am optimistic. I see no reason why we cannot take full points from Grimsby and Tranmere. That will leave Portsmouth (a) Birmingham (h) (who I think by then will be guaranteed a play-off place) and Blackburn (a) (who will have nothing to play for). Our fate is in our own hands.

Jonathan Todd (Jonathan_M_Tod@sbphrd.com)

CREWE CUT

C     rucial
R     esult
E     xecuted
W     ith
E     lan.
A     lways
L     ooked
EX    citing
(AND
R     esulted in
I     nadequate
A     cronym !)

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

PROMOTION RUN-IN

Just thought I’d let everyone know the games all the promotion candidates have left as per the Bolton match programme. Isn’t it nice to be looking at the top end of the division at this time of year for a change! Apologies for any typos or incorrect dates. Here goes…

MAN CITY

Apr 15	GRIMSBY (a)
Apr 22	TRANMERE (h)
Apr 24	PORTSMOUTH (a)
Apr 28	BIRMINGHAM (h)
May 7	BLACKBURN (a)

CHARLTON

Apr 14	HUDDERSFIELD (h)
Apr 21	PORTSMOUTH (h)
Apr 24	BLACKBURN (a)
Apr 29	IPSWICH (h)
May 7	WEST BROM (a)

IPSWICH

Apr 15	STOCKPORT (a)
Apr 22	QPR (a)
Apr 25	CRYSTAL PALACE (h)
Apr 29	CHARLTON (a)
May 7	WALSALL (h)

BARNSLEY

Apr 15	PORT VALE (a)
Apr 22	WOLVES (a)
Apr 24	NORWICH (h)
Apr 29	SWINDON (a)
May 7	CREWE (h)

HUDDERSFIELD

Apr 14	CHARLTON (a)
Apr 22	BOLTON (h)
Apr 24	PORT VALE (a)
Apr 29	STOCKPORT (h)
May 7	FULHAM (a)

BIRMINGHAM

Apr 15	NOTT'M FOREST (h)
Apr 22	CRYSTAL PALACE (a)
Apr 24	WALSALL (h)
Apr 28	MAN CITY (a)
May 7	GRIMSBY (h)

WOLVES

Apr 15	NORWICH	(a)
Apr 22	BARNSLEY (h)
Apr 24	BOLTON (a)
Apr 30	FULHAM (h)
May 7	PORT VALE (a)

BOLTON

Apr 15	WEST BROM (a)
Apr 22	HUDDERSFIELD (a)
Apr 24	WOLVES (h)
Apr 29	CREWE (a)
May 7	NORWICH (h)

BLACKBURN

Apr 15	PORTSMOUTH (h)
Apr 22	GRIMSBY (a)
Apr 24	CHARLTON (h)
Apr 29	CRYSTAL PALACE (a)
May 7	MAN CITY (h)

FULHAM

Apr 15	SHEFF UTD (h)
Apr 22	SWINDON (a)
Apr 24	NOTT'M FOREST (h)
Apr 29	WOLVES (a)
May 7	HUDDERSFIELD (h)

QPR

Apr 15	CREWE (a)
Apr 22	IPSWICH (h)
Apr 24	TRANMERE (a)
Apr 29	WEST BROM (h)
May 7	PORTSMOUTH (a)

Hope this is of interest to (a) faraway Blues who don’t go to matches and (b) those who do but don’t get a programme.

Helen Murtagh (H.Murtagh@mmu.ac.uk)

BLUES IN BANDIT COUNTRY – STRETFORD & URMSTON

Manchester City Centenary Supporters’ Association

The next Branch Meeting is on:

TUESDAY 11th APRIL, at the Metro’s Sports & Social Club, Moss Road, (off Davyhulme Road East), Stretford.
Doors open 7.00 p.m. Proceedings start at 7.30p.m.prompt.

Special Guest confirmed: BRIAN HORTON, ex Man City Manager, and all round Mr. Nice Guy! This is a without fail promise from Brian.

Pay on the door, £1 admission with children under 16 free. Meeting open to all City fans. Families and children welcome.

Further details from Clive or Cheryl on 0161 746 7638 or the addresses below.

Last meeting;

Thanks to all who attended last month’s meeting with Joe Corrigan and Frank Carrodus. I know that Big Joe was genuinely quite touched with our appreciation of his attending the meeting and particularly as he explained it was his wedding anniversary that day and understandably had to leave early to be with his wife. Hopefully Joe will be back at another one of our meetings in the future and will spend more time talking about his experiences, thoughts and knowledge of the game.

I thought that Frank Carrodus was also good value and was kind enough to stay on ceremony on his own for so long.

See you all at the next meeting!

Contact address for branch:
22 Entwisle Avenue,
Davyhulme
Manchester M41 5TW

Clive & Cheryl Hamilton (MCFCSretU@aol.com)

STADIUM PICS

Recently I was looking for information regarding the new stadium and discovered two different pictures. The first <URL:http://www.tourguide.freeserve.co.uk/index.htm> shows a good picture of the proposed stadium but the second has worrying uncovered terraces and is on the official site <URL:http://www.commonwealthgames2002.org.uk/2002/venues/index.html>

Does anyone have any idea as to what is going on with our proposed new home?

CTID, Graham Lord (gooch@logos.cy.net)

Reply:

The two pictures show two different phases of the development. The official site shows the stadium as it will be during the Commonwealth games. There will be an athletics track and two stands, with the ends open. After the games, two more stands will be built at the ends and the running track will be removed (both of these changes raising capacity). This will result in a stadium looking more like the “tourguide” picture. Bear in mind of course that the pictures are still “artist’s impressions” and the designs may differ slightly in real life.

Paul Howarth

BOOK OF CONDOLENCES – LEEDS FANS

I have set up a book of condolences which you can read/sign from

http://www.talijen.com/benelux/welcome.htm

Please be appropriately respectful.

Stuart Perryman (Stuart.Perryman@dlr.de)

RE: CARLISLE BRANCH AND DIFFICULTIES IN OBTAINING PLAYER VISITS

I read with a little amusement that the Carlisle branch are having difficulty getting players to attend meetings; they want to live in Dublin! We cannot get them to attend our annual functions. You would have thought that having Niall Quinn as President and him regularly in Dublin that he would have attended our functions – wrong. His parents actually came more times than he did. I can only recall meeting once with him as President when we played Shamrock Rovers, circa 91. We have had some great guests from the club: Director Chris Muir, Secretary Bernard Halford, players Gerry Taggart (who was a President and a brilliant one at that). Gerry’s parents used to travel to Maine Road with us and he always took the time to meet up with us and as far as my fading memory goes I think he attended two of our annual functions. Neil Lennon, who was a reserve player, was another who was excellent. Still the big names eluded us. I must say though that Mike Summerbee came for our twentieth anniversary and he was brilliant. Took time to talk to everybody and has promised to return for our twenty fifth anniversary in June in a personal capacity and not as a club representative. We are waiting with baited breath to see who the club will send for that function. I will keep you posted.

Bartley Ramsay – A Green Blue (bartleyramsay@eircom.net)

MAURITIUS BLUE

Am the only Man City supporter here in Mauritius as far as I know? Why I support the Blues? Because of the heroic display of Bert Trautmann in goal with a broken neck against Birmingham in 1956. A True Blue for 44 years. Would you believe it! I’ve met only Asa Hartford but hope before dying to come to Maine Road.

Keep it up lads. We’ll soon be back to where we belong. Once a Blue, always a Blue.

Monaf Hossenbaccus – Mauritius (tribune@intnet.mu)

CITY IN OLYMPICS SHOCK

We all know that Danny Allsopp may figure in the Olympics for Australia, but I was curious to know whether City’s Youth & Reserve forward Chris Killen played for the New Zealand U-23’s in their recent Olympic Qualifier against Japan? Ralph Sheppard made enquiries and I got an email from Ken Dugdale, the National Coach / Director of Football. He did.

Andy Noise (anoise@globalnet.co.uk)

OPINION – RED AND BLACK SHIRT

Great to see the old black & red away kit being relaunched. I remember when ‘I were a lad’ before they cost half a week’s wages, this was my favorite shirt.

Any chances of buying it at 1968 prices?!

Steve Horobin (tephenhorobin@lineone.net)

OPINION – KENNEDY SONG

Still no song for Mark Kennedy. Since he’s from Dublin, how about (to the tune of Molly Malone):

Alive alive-o, alive alive-o
Mark Kennedy, Mark Kennedy, alive alive-o

Nice to hear Dougie’s old City song sung by everyone on Saturday!

Maria Handley (maria.handley@deloitte.co.uk)

RED HUMOUR

David Beckham was speaking at a management conference:

“The best thing about them,” he said, “is that they’re only two calories, and your mouth feels fresh for an hour”.

A voice from the wings was then heard, “David, we wanted you to talk about tactics”.

Terry Watt (Terry.Watt@TheAA.com)

REQUEST – BIRMINGHAM TICKETS

Does anyone out there have access to any Birmingham tickets, and if so, could you e-mail me?

CTID, Chris Craddock (iluvcity@mancity.net)

REQUEST – AMSTERDAM VENUES

I will be in Amsterdam on the evening of the City vs. Birmingham game. I have hardly missed a game home or away all season and now I could be missing the key one …AAGH! Anyway, are there any Blues out there who know of a bar in Amsterdam where the game will be screened or, even better, where City fans are likely to congregate? If so, I’d be delighted to hear from them.

Best wishes, Steve Rigby (S.H.Rigby@man.ac.uk)

REQUEST – PORTSMOUTH TICKET

Has anyone got a spare ticket for the Portsmouth game on 24th April (City end). Living in Bournemouth and because of work and family ties, this is one of the few fixtures I can go to. It’s usually pay on the gate but I’ve just found out that it’s ticket only and the City end is sold out. Please e-mail me if you can help.

Roy Grindrod (bgrindro@bournemouth.ac.uk)

WHY BLUE?

The past… I guess it all comes from my mum. She’d been going to games with her father since 1947 and had even been at Windy Corner the day she found she was carrying my brother. When we went to Manchester, we’d always have to wave at Maine Road as we went into town, and on one occasion she even made my grandfather detour and stop the car so that we could get out and touch the wall of the ground. So City must always have been in my genes.

Over the years however we moved all around the country and as I didn’t get to see City my concentration faltered. I confess to once owning a Leeds shirt and even writing ‘Liverpool FC’ on a sports bag. My mother, who did keep the faith, still contends that I only did this to wind her up. Maybe there was something of that in it (maybe it’s a result of these glory chasing years that I still can’t bring myself to dislike any child wearing a United shirt. A terse round of “when did you last actually go to Old Trafford?” usually does the trick I find). Every Saturday tea-time we would be made to suffer the agony of ‘no tea if City lose’; fortunately at that time City won enough for my brothers and I to get some nutrition and we survived.

Years passed, I found City again (at the unlikely venue of Portman Road) and moved to Manchester. Standing at Windy Corner with my uncle and cousins (all Blues) made me think “why did I stay away so long?”

The present… No longer in Manchester but getting to games when I can. I introduce my wife to the delights of City. Her first game, Forest at the City Ground, and she and the baby she’s carrying are hooked. My suggestion of Sean for the baby’s name is however, still under negotiation.

The future… Premiership I hope. My mother, who is now dying of cancer, won’t be around to see City win the Premiership title in 2001 but she’s determined to see us go up this season. And our baby’s due in May so my wife is hoping she won’t have to suffer the agony of the play-offs as well as labour. Me, I’m just hoping I can stand it when our child declares that it supports Arsenal…

Peter Baguley (np.baguley@talk21.com)

RESULTS

Recent results to 9 April 2000 inclusive.

9 April 2000

Tranmere Rovers       1 - 1  Fulham

8 April 2000

Barnsley              2 - 2  West Bromwich Albion
Bolton Wanderers      4 - 3  Walsall
Crystal Palace        3 - 3  Stockport County
Huddersfield Town     0 - 0  Birmingham City
Ipswich Town          3 - 0  Port Vale
Manchester City       4 - 0  Crewe Alexandra
Nottingham Forest     1 - 1  Charlton Athletic
Portsmouth            2 - 1  Norwich City
Queens Park Rangers   2 - 1  Swindon Town
Sheffield United      0 - 0  Grimsby Town
Wolverhampton Wndrs   2 - 1  Blackburn Rovers

League table to 9 April 2000 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Charlton Ath.   41 15  2  3 35 13 12  6  3 41 24 27  8  6 76 37  39  89
 2 Manchester City 41 15  2  4 45 17  8  7  5 23 19 23  9  9 68 36  32  78
 3 Ipswich Town    41 14  3  4 36 17  7  9  4 27 21 21 12  8 63 38  25  75
 4 Barnsley        41 14  4  3 46 21  8  5  7 36 38 22  9 10 82 59  23  75
 5 Birmingham City 41 14  4  2 35 15  6  6  9 26 27 20 10 11 61 42  19  70
 6 Huddersfield T. 41 14  5  2 43 16  5  6  9 16 24 19 11 11 59 40  19  68
 7 Wolves          41 13  5  3 40 20  5  6  9 17 25 18 11 12 57 45  12  65
 8 Bolton Wndrs    41 12  5  4 40 25  5  7  8 16 19 17 12 12 56 44  12  63
 9 Fulham          41 11  6  3 25 12  4  9  8 16 24 15 15 11 41 36   5  60
10 Blackburn R.    41 10  7  3 30 14  5  7  9 21 29 15 14 12 51 43   8  59
11 QPR             41  8 11  2 27 19  6  5  9 27 29 14 16 11 54 48   6  58
12 Sheff. United   41 10  6  5 35 21  3  6 11 20 41 13 12 16 55 62  -7  51
13 Norwich City    41  9  5  6 23 21  3  9  9 18 25 12 14 15 41 46  -5  50
14 Tranmere Rovers 40  9  7  4 31 23  4  4 12 19 35 13 11 16 50 58  -8  50
15 Portsmouth      41  9  5  7 33 22  4  4 12 17 36 13  9 19 50 58  -8  48
16 Stockport C.    41  7  8  5 28 27  4  7 10 18 33 11 15 15 46 60 -14  48
17 Grimsby Town    41 10  6  4 25 22  3  3 15 13 40 13  9 19 38 62 -24  48
18 Crystal Palace  41  6 11  4 31 23  5  3 12 20 37 11 14 16 51 60  -9  47
19 Nottm Forest    41  8  9  4 27 18  3  3 14 19 34 11 12 18 46 52  -6  45
20 West Brom A.    41  4 10  6 17 21  4  7 10 17 32  8 17 16 34 53 -19  41
21 Crewe Alex.     41  7  5  8 21 25  4  3 14 16 35 11  8 22 37 60 -23  41
22 Walsall         41  5  5 10 21 31  4  7 10 26 39  9 12 20 47 70 -23  39
23 Port Vale       40  6  5  9 24 25  1  8 11 20 35  7 13 20 44 60 -16  34
24 Swindon Town    41  3  6 11 18 34  3  5 13 13 35  6 11 24 31 69 -38  29

With thanks to Football 365

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 #595

2000/04/10

Editor:


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest