Newsletter #654

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Well, not the result we had hoped for, but the result we had rather feared I’m afraid. However, the 0-5 scoreline belies the fact that we played well for virtually half this game, but were then scandalously reduced to 10 men by the referee, who seemed to be reading from the same rulebook as the Bournemouth ref we had a couple of seasons ago. He stopped short of dismissing someone for ‘walking in an aggressive manner’, but only just. We can hardly have seen Joe Royle angrier, though I’m not sure about Joe’s thinking on where the line is drawn about what can and cannot be said about a ref before the FA are roused from their slumbers. Apparently the following fairly unequivocal statement is OK: “…it was always going to the difficult playing 11 against 11, but once it became 12 against 10 we had no chance”!

We have a match report and a matchview, more on the Harry Dowd game, a query on the sinking share price, and opinion. Anyone out there care to do a Why Blue?

Next game: Aston Villa away, Wednesday 1st November 2000 (WC 3rd Round)

NEWS SUMMARY

Gunners Thrash Ten-Man Blues

Manchester City went down to an emphatic 5-0 defeat at Highbury on Saturday. But the Blues were undone by the 43rd-minute dismissal of Danny Tiatto, at which point the game had been scoreless. Tiatto was sent off for a second bookable offence when he fouled Thierry Henry, and the home side took the lead from the resultant free kick as youngster Ashley Cole drove the ball home. Dennis Bergkamp scored a second for Arsenal early in the second period, with Sylvain Wiltord and a brace from Henry completing the scoring as the Gunners ran riot. Despite the rout, goalkeeper Nicky Weaver emerged with great credit, making a string of fine saves, while Shaun Goater missed the Blues’ best chance midway through the second period, contriving to blaze the ball high above an empty net from close range.

Royle Rages at Highbury Ref

Joe Royle was an angry man after Manchester City’s heavy defeat at Arsenal on Saturday. And referee Rob Styles was the focus of the City manager’s disatisfaction. Royle felt that two-goal Thierry Henry was lucky not to be dismissed after kicking out at Spencer Prior early in the game. And the Blues’ boss was livid at the first of Danny Tiatto’s two bookings, which caused the Australian to be sent off just before the break. Royle also felt that the Gunners’ fourth and fifth strikes should have been ruled out for handball and offside respectively, and though the 51-year-old said he was being restrained so as to avoid an FA disciplinary charge, he made absolutely clear what he thought of the hapless Styles’ display. “The referee’s decisions changed the game,” he fumed. “When it was 11 men against 11 for 43 minutes we were doing well but when it became 10 against 12 we had no chance.” Tiatto’s dismissal, his third in a two-and-a-half year City career, has earned him an automatic one-match ban, which he will serve when the Blues visit West Ham on 11 November.

Boss – We’ll Bounce Back

Joe Royle saw his Manchester City side outclassed by Arsenal in the second half of Saturday’s match between the sides. But the Blues’ boss insists that his players will bounce back quickly after the club’s worst reverse since October 1995. On that occasion, City responded to a 6-0 battering by winning four and drawing one of their next five league games. And Royle is confident that his players will respond positively on this occasion too. “We feel hurt at what happened at Highbury and disappointed with the scoreline,” he admitted. “But we’re an honest team and will bounce back.” Meanwhile, goalkeeper Nicky Weaver, who despite conceding five goals enhanced his reputation with some fine saves against the Gunners, also claimed that his team could take several pluses from the match.

Wenger Praises Unlucky City

Arsene Wenger was delighted by the attacking quality his Arsenal side showed on Saturday when ripping apart ten-man Manchester City. But the Gunners’ boss admitted that he had some sympathy with the Blues after Danny Tiatto’s sending off changed the course of the game. Wenger felt that Tiatto’s foul on Thierry Henry merited a yellow card but conceded that the Australian’s first booking, after a clash with Oleg Luzhny, had been harsh. And the Frenchman recognised that the game was turned on its head at that point. “When they lost a player and then we scored the first goal it was the turning point of the game,” he told Sky Sports. “In the first half Manchester City played very well and I was impressed by them. But in the second half I always thought we could score many goals.” After the match, the ex-Monaco coach backed the Blues to survive in the Premiership this term, asserting that in the opening 45 minutes of Saturday’s match Joe Royle’s men showed enough quality to indicate they can hold their own in the top flight.

Granville Joins Canaries on Loan

One Manchester City player has just completed a loan spell at Norwich. But no sooner had Jim Whitley returned to the Blues last week than the East Anglians moved for another Maine Road man. Danny Granville has joined the Canaries on a temporary basis after failing to win a regular place this season. The ex-Chelsea and Leeds player has made just one substitute appearance this term, coming on against his former club at Elland Road, and will hope to regain form and sharpness with senior action at Carrow Road – although he will have been disappointed that Saturday’s trip to Burnley was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Initial reports of the deal make no mention of any prospective permanent move once the loan is over. Unlike Granville, several other City loan men did sample action on Saturday, with Chris Killen the most successful as he scored again for Wrexham in the Robins’ comeback from three goals down to win at Luton. Terry Cooke and Andy Morrison featured for Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace in 3-3 draws against Fulham and Bolton respectively, while Danny Allsopp lined up for Bristol Rovers in their defeat against Oldham and Nick Fenton was substituted as Notts County beat Swindon.

Wednesday Attempting to Raise Cooke Cash

Reports have already indicated that Sheffield Wednesday would like to sign Terry Cooke on a permanent basis. But it’s claimed that the cash-strapped Yorkshire outfit may have trouble meeting Manchester City’s asking price for the on-loan star. Cooke has impressed during his stint at Hillsborough and has featured in a Wednesday revival as seven points from the last three games have lifted the Owls from Division One’s bottom three. But with the Blues said to be asking anywhere between £600,000 and £1 million for the one-time Manchester United junior, the player faces an anxious wait to discover whether Wednesday’s fragile financial position will allow for such a transfer outlay.

Day Turns Down Halifax Loan

Rhys Day was set to join Halifax Town on loan last week. But the Manchester City youngster elected not to go through with the move when it became clear he’d be featuring in the Yorkshire outfit’s reserve side. However, the fact that the Blues agreed to the deal in the first place indicates that the club is still keen to use the loan system to allow its emerging young players to benefit from first-team action with other clubs. Teenage striker Andrew Tunnicliffe last week joined Macclesfield for a month, although he didn’t get a taste of the action as Peter Davenport’s side faced Halifax at the weekend, while Academy boss Jim Cassell has touted goalkeeper Stephen Hodgson as the next Maine Road junior to be farmed out to a lower division side.

Brun Linked with City Pair

Richard Edghill and Kevin Horlock have failed to hold onto their first-team places after Manchester City’s promotion to the Premiership. And recent press reports have been speculating that the out-of-favour pair are attracting the interest of Birmingham City. Edghill’s Maine Road career looks as if it could be over following his omission from the last ten senior fixtures and the arrivals of Richard Dunne and Laurent Charvet. But Horlock signed a new contract earlier this season, and so even though the Northern Ireland man has been omitted from recent games, a decision to sell him would come as something of a surprise. Nevertheless, it’s claimed that Birmingham manager Trevor Francis has both players in his sights as he bids to strengthen his promotion-chasing squad.

Rumours Focus on Striker Hunt

Recent paper talk has been that Manchester City are set to step up their hunt for a new striker following the departure of George Weah. But despite the press focusing on a number of possible candidates, it appears that there will be no imminent new arrival. After speculation first surfaced in the summer, the Blues have continued to be linked with Sheffield United’s Marcus Bent, supposedly a target for several top clubs. But in recent days, two other names have entered the frame. Another man said in the close season to be interesting Joe Royle has been mentioned again, with the Blues reportedly once more contemplating a move for Liverpool’s unsettled Titi Camara. The ex-Marseille player hasn’t featured in the Merseysiders’ senior side this season, having fallen behind Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey in the queue for a first-team place at Anfield, and it’s thought the Frenchman would welcome a transfer. Meanwhile, a Sunday tabloid story has asserted that City and Fulham could be set to bid for the signature of Blackburn’s £5 million-rated front man Matt Jansen, although the Lancashire club would almost certainly be reluctant sellers. However, the Blues have sought to play down all of this transfer talk, stating on Monday that Royle hasnt been in contact with any other club over a prospective new front man.

Reserves Also Concede Five

Manchester City’s first team went down to a heavy reverse on Saturday. And in doing so, the Blues’ senior eleven emulated their reserve-team counterparts’ unhappy experience 48 hours previously. The City second string suffered a 5-1 hammering at the hands of rivals United in a Manchester Senior Cup tie at Gigg Lane. The competition has invariably brought the Blues no success in recent years, even when the reserve team has been performing well in league action. And history was repeated in this season’s opening fixture as a City side featuring the likes of Jobson, Crooks and Granville proved no match for the Reds. Strikers Notman and Healy each bagged a brace for the home side and substitute Djordic rounded off United’s scoring, with Leon Mike notching the Blues’ lone reply. The City under-19s were unable to gain revenge for the second string’s disappointment, sliding to a 2-0 defeat against their United counterparts on Saturday, while the reserves’ attempts to get their Manchester Senior Cup campaign back on track were thwarted by the weather. Monday’s home tie against Oldham at Hyde was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Morrison Set to Return from Palace

Andy Morrison has played in each of Crystal Palace’s last five games after joining the South Londoners on loan from Manchester City. But the 30-year-old expects soon to be returning to Maine Road – although he faces an uncertain future with the Blues. Morrison was ruled out of most of City’s First Division promotion campaign through injury. And though he has now returned to fitness thanks to a total of eleven appearances this term in temporary stints with first Blackpool and then Palace, the signings of several defenders in his absence means that he faces a tough challenge to force his way into Joe Royle’s plans. “I’ve got one game left with Palace and then I’m back with City,” reflected the ex-Huddersfield man. “Then I’ll have to wait and see what the manager says when I get there.”

Better News for Weah After Unhappy Début

George Weah wasted no time in finding a new club once he’d left Manchester City. And after the Liberian front man had an unhappy time on his début for Olympique Marseille a week ago, he seems now to have found his feet. The French giants went down 1-0 to Lille in the ex-Milan star’s first appearance, leaving them only a point above the relegation zone. And though Weah reportedly showed some nice touches, coach Abel Braga admitted that his side had been less convincing than before the 34-year-old’s arrival. However, the African made much more of an impression in his second game for Marseille at the weekend, netting a spectacular half volley to earn his new club a vital 1-1 draw in the basement battle at Strasbourg.

Injur Problems Ahead of Villa Cup Clash

Manchester City face a trip to Aston Villa in the Worthington Cup on Wednesday. And it looks set to be a weakened Blues line-up which takes the field for the Villa Park clash. City will already be without cup-tied new boys Richard Dunne and Laurent Charvet. And the weekend defeat at Arsenal has left Joe Royle with further selection problems after Paul Dickov and Spencer Prior picked up knocks against the Gunners. Paulo Wanchope, who missed the Highbury trip with a thigh strain, is also doubtful, and remembering the fitness worries which afflicted his squad following the previous round’s visit to Gillingham, Royle is unlikely to risk any player who is less than fully fit.

Peter Brophy (peterbrophy@mancity.net)

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’

ARSENAL vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 28th October 2000

Some days are better than others. It seemed a good idea, when I got my tickets for the game, to let the train take the strain of the journey. I originally booked on the 1020 from Preston to Euston (due 1307) but in view of inevitable delays following the disaster at Hatfield, I brought the reservation forward to 0820. We arrived at Preston from Blackpool to find that the 0720 was running 84 minutes late. We should probably have turned back then. In fact, we took the first train to Crewe and were then lucky enough to catch a connection to London from Liverpool. We were at Euston for 1300 and in a pub next to Highbury & Islington Underground by 1315. The Blues I spoke to in there were also grateful to have made it in time, but pessimistic as to the chances of any success in the match.

I haven’t been to Highbury for years. It was not the impressive stadium I expected. City fans were split between the Clock End and the adjoining West Stand. 3,000 in all, about half in each. I was in the latter, at the end of a row and destined to get wet. Those further than about 15 rows back couldn’t see the ball if it was kicked up in the air because of the low roof in front. 2 youths operated the refreshments hatch, wide enough for about 4 people to stand abreast. There wasn’t much of a queue because they didn’t have much to sell. No beer (“Not for away supporters” said PC Plod).

The line-up was as I expected. Charvet in for Dunne and Goater for Wanchope. Dickov was to spend most of his time on the right wing. From the start we were under pressure. Weaver made saves with hands and feet from Pires and Henry. In addition, Henry shot wide and Pires and Viera headed wide. We did seem to be playing quite high up the pitch and one or two balls forward found the likes of Parlour and Henry with lots of space to run forward. The ref was a homer. Fouls by us were spotted and Goater and Tiatto booked. I’ve seen Tiatto’s again on TV and it did look harsh. It was a body-check/obstruction, if you know what I mean. Fouls by Arsenal players were ignored or punished by free-kick only. After about 20 minutes, we seemed to settle down. More of the play was in the Arsenal half as half-time approached, although we didn’t create any chances. Then we lost the ball in their half. It was knocked forward to Henry. 2 or 3 City players chased back. One was Tiatto, who brushed against Henry after the Arsenal man had touched the ball forward. I had the impression that Henry was waiting for the contact and, when it came, he went down like a sack of spuds. Not many seemed surprised when the yellow and then red cards were flourished. Insult turned to injury as the free kick was tapped to Ashley Cole who hit a low shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards out. “1-0 to the Arsenal” was met by “1-0 to the referee” from us.

Just before half time Goater had a chance to equalise from about 18 yards. He hit low to the ‘keeper’s left and Lukic (Seaman and Manninger injured) made a good save. The second half was predictably difficult. I didn’t think we defended at all well, though. For such a small pitch the Arsenal players seemed to find lots of room at will. No doubt it’s something to do with their speed of thought and movement as well, but I think we should have made a better fist of what was always going to be a case of keeping the score down. Weaver made some more good saves and some very good ones. Goater missed a sitter from 4 yards when set up by Dickov, and Kennedy (who came on for the Goat) also wasted 2 chances. I pretended not to hear Arsenal fans in the Clock End sing “Feed the Goat and he will miss”. Bergkamp scored the second after Charvet gave the ball to Ljungberg with a weak clearance. Henry set up Wiltord for the third. Wiltord then turned Prior too easily (although JR made the point afterwards that he was fresh and we were tired) and crossed for Henry to control and then volley in. Royle claimed that Henry also used his hand and that Wiltord was offside in the build up to the fifth, which Henry scored. I’m afraid to say that, with an eye on getting home, I left 5 minutes before the end and missed that one.

Royle said afterwards that it was always going to the difficult playing 11 vs. 11, but once it became 12 vs. 10 we had no chance. A warning from the FA will surely follow, but it’s not hard to see why he was upset with the ref. TV replays also showed Henry angrily kick Prior. We got a free-kick but the ref told JR that he didn’t see the kick. Since he was about 10 yards away and looking straight at it, you could see why Joe didn’t appear to believe him. The City fans were once again superb, I thought. Lots and lots of singing, including a repeat of the classic that we used to run out to: “City, Manchester City, we are the lads who are playing to win…” I’ve got the single at home somewhere. I think it was called “Boys in Blue”. I remember the B-side (or was it a AA single) was “Me Ball’s Burst”.

I couldn’t hear anything from the North Bank. We sang“Shall we sing a song for you?”, “It’s just like being in church” and “Worst support we’ve ever seen”. The same songs were sung at Leeds, Liverpool and Spurs, I remember. It seems to be the case that supporters of the big teams do not make as much noise as those with lower expectations. I know it’s quiet at City sometimes – but not when we’re 2-0, never mind 5-0, in front. Hard to pick a man of the match. We were struggling all over the pitch, really. I though Whitley did OK and Dickov and Goater worked hard for the odd chance, which was all you could expect. I got soaked walking from the ground back to the Underground. Made it back to Euston to catch the 1720. Unfortunately, it didn’t leave until 1900 because they had no drivers or guards (called Train Managers these days). They still just seem to punch holes in tickets and hide when bad news is all they have to give. Got back to Preston about midnight and home for 0130. Knackered.

John Marsland (jmarsland@iclway.co.uk)

MATCHVIEW – SAME OLD ARSENAL…

We ensconced ourselves in the World’s End pub at one o’clock-ish anticipating one of the big games of our season. After Wycombe away on a Tuesday night and York on a cold, wet December day, this was the stuff that dreams are made of – the result isn’t important, just being there. So when did it go “pear-shaped”? It was for 44 minutes building up to be a super game, despite some odd decisions (more of that later). It was at that time I got angry, 4 pints angry.

The Mail on Sunday said “Thierry Henry, cleverly leant on Tiatto and fell over”, intimating that Mr Henry “conned” the referee. You got it wrong Mail on Sunday; had Thierry juggled and jinked his way around Tiatto and gone on to score, that would have been clever.

Before that we were amazed at the Henry “Kick” at Prior and the 1st booking for the hapless Tiatto, which looked pretty innocuous. So what makes me angry? The fact that Thierry Henry knew a fellow professional was going to get sent off, and when Arsene Wenger says the kick at Prior deserved a booking (at least a booking Arsene!) the referee must have seen it and by “bottling out” he condoned it.

Maybe I am old fashioned and just as I would not condone a City player “faking” or kicking (Kev Horlock’s dive in the penalty area early on at Blackburn would have tarnished our day had the resultant penalty been given and gained us promotion).

I’m sure I must have annoyed anyone within hearing distance when for about half an hour I was stating the obvious – The Referee was taking the fast route to going deaf and blind – but I think fans of all clubs like to see a good game on a level playing field.

Perhaps we would have lost 1-nil, 2-nil or got a draw but as a contest the game ended with Tiatto’s dismissal. The Goat should have scored but it was his first game back, wet pitch etc…. and Mark Kennedy missed a chance but had these been converted would it have changed the result – I doubt it.

I write the above without the benefit of MotD slow motions and was the 4th goal (possible handball) and the fifth goal (offside) as claimed by Joe. It’s hard to tell from the other end of the ground.

So that was it – the records say 5-0. Got sodden going back to the car, got held up for 2 hours on the M1 (like everyone else I guess), Noel Gallagher left after the 4th goal and about 50 people never want to sit or stand near me at a football match again.

I’m now banned by my wife Val from having 4 pints before an away match, and I promised to behave when the Environmental Health Officer goes to Villa Park on Wednesday to monitor my noise levels.

Richard Cooper, Congleton; care of Andy Noise (Andrew.Noise@CEL-International.com)

ARSENAL NIGHTMARE

I had actually intended to do a match report to celebrate my first ever visit to Highbury, but it would be a little bit difficult as I only got to see the last 20 minutes of the game; let me explain.

Along with another member of the Wicklow branch, Tony MacManus, I left Dublin port on Saturday, arriving in Holyhead two hours later, so you would think lots of time to get to London. Alas, no such luck. The London train is cancelled so we are told to get a train to Crewe and that takes until lunchtime to get there; we get another train to London and it takes another 4 hours to reach the big city, a few quick tube rides and we arrive at Highbury to hear the City fans singing, so we’re thinking we must be still in the game but unfortunately the Gunners are 2 up, and we get into the ground just in time to see the third goal. The City fans are still in good voice as we concede a couple more goals and it’s p***ing down. So after the game Tony talks his way into the Arsenal fans’ club across the road and we have a pint with a very happy crowd; mind you I don’t reckon we would have been too welcome if City got a result, but we enjoyed the banter anyway, so after a night in Peckam (thanks Brian and Karen) we head for Euston station, and guess what the Holyhead train is cancelled so it’s back to Crewe again via a tour of the midlands. Even passed Villa park and was tempted to jump off the train and wait until Wednesday for our next match. We eventually got to Holyhead around 5pm and managed to get on a ferry to Dublin and home by midnight – what a couple of days, and all for a football match, people who have no interest in the beautiful game will never understand us football fans and the lengths we will go to, to watch a game of football.

Kindest regards to our team and our brilliant fans and to the gent with Chris Bird who gave me his programme after the game.

P.S. for Richard Branson, if you can’t or won’t provide a train service to Holyhead maybe you should let the travelling public know about it, end of gripe.

Paul Fegan (paulfegan@mancity.net)

CLIVE ALLEN

We are pleased to announce that ex-City and England forward Clive Allen has joined us here at Blue View.

Clive played for City for 2 years between 89 & 91 and has retained great affection for Manchester City and the fans.

Clive will be writing an exclusive fortnightly column for the site, giving his thoughts on events at Maine Road, plus answering any questions from the fans.

You can put your questions to Clive either by emailing me or by using the form at the link below:

http://manchestercity.rivals.net/default.asp?sid=914&p=2&stid=8014818

Doug Bennett – Sitemaster (http://www.blueview.co.uk or http://manchestercity.rivals.net)

HARRY DOWD I

In response to John Jennings’ “notes from the programme” article in MCIVTA 653, Colin Bell did play in the game, and the reason for him not featuring much in the programme other than on the team sheet, is largely because it was his début for the club!

Funny how these things work huh?!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has signed the Neil Young petition so far. Our purpose is to try to establish how commercially viable such an event would be, to support the much deserved “moral” argument.

So if you haven’t signed up, but would attend such a game then go to our home page now!

http://www.citystat.net

Phil Alcock (philip.alcock@citystat.net)

HARRY DOWD II

The questions about Harry Dowd that Tony Arundale asked in MCIVTA 651. The guy who went in goal was Matt Gray and by all accounts a very good job of keeping goal it was too. Colin Bell was playing his first game for Bury and scored the first goal to put City 1-0 down. Harry Dowd had in fact been a centre forward as a school boy before turning to the big gloves and green jersey, so it was perhaps fitting that he got the equaliser. Interestingly Dowd didn’t have a great season after that and missed the last eight games thanks to the return of Big Bert, in his testimonial year (48,000 at the game!), and a young Alan Ogley. Alan Ogley was by all accounts very lucky to be a goalkeeper at all as he was reported to be cross-eyed! My thanks to Gary James’ ‘Manchester the Greatest City’ for the match facts… the cross-eyed goalie came from a source that shall remain nameless.

Dave Cash (Vanda_David@tesco.net)

GREAT NORTH RUN

Last Sunday I took part in the BUPA Great North Run from Newcastle. City Till I Die, I decided to wear the colours and was delighted to receive pats and calls and nudges of encouragement from around 40 other Blues. It was good to see at least three others in Blue kits (one an exceptionally good looking blond lady – Blue girls simply are the best) especially when I never saw a single red shirt, guess they are all doing the Great South Run.

Kudos to the many Sunderland fans who took my 4-2 chant as I ran alongside them in good spirit. If you were one of the Blues who cheered my sorry ass over the line then thanks and let’s all wear the colours next year and see if we can give the Geordies some competition.

David Marcus (MARCUSD@bupa.com)

SHARE PRICE PLUMMETS

When I became a shareholder I bought them at £1.20. The price stayed between 90p and £1.10 for a year or so. I now notice the share price down to 54p i.e. approx 50% of the value down. Can any money whizzo please explain to me (in words of single syllable) if this is a sign of:

  1. A buyout?
  2. A flotation on the main market?
  3. We’re in the s**t? or
  4. None of the above?

Stuart Wells (bluestu@city.freeserve.co.uk)

DERBY GAME IN MELBOURNE

Well folks, the game we have all been waiting for is nearly here. If there are any Blues that will be in Melbourne on the night of the 18th Nov we will be meeting around 6pm at The Keepers Arms hotel, cnr of Peel and Queensbury sts, North Melbourne which is only just out of the city.

The game is a 10pm ko, and I would like all Blues to get down early so we can outnumber the Rags’ support, who will be mostly Aussies & Singaporeans. No, tell a lie, I’ve meet one Salford Red down there, yes only one in all the time I’ve been going in there. So hope to see you down there, by the way what a nightmare getting up at 5am for the Saints game, it was worth watching the win.

Tim Berry (tim-berry@usa.net)

FANZONE

On Monday night, I had the pleasure of going down to the Sky Sports studios in London to do a live commentary for “Fanzone” coverage of the Southampton vs. City match. For those who don’t know about this, “Fanzone” is part of the interactive television coverage which Sky Sports now offer. As well as watching the game normally with the normal commentary team, with Sky Sports Active, the viewer can select the camera angle to watch the game from, watch highlights of the game whilst the game is in progress and look at the various statistics in the match.

The “Fanzone” is where you choose to have a supporter of each side commentating live on the game instead of the two “Professional” commentators. I had applied to do this and was quite surprised to receive a telephone call on the Wednesday before the game. A few questions were asked of me over the telephone (so it was posh phone voice time) before I was asked if I would be available for the following Monday. Of course the answer was yes! Well what a day it turned out to be. Return flight from Manchester, put up in a first class hotel and a tour of the Sky studios before meeting Andy Gray and Richard Keys in the Monday Night Football studio. Then came the game.

We were asked to do a partizan commentary from our team’s perspective, as well as the usual do’s and don’ts. The “Fanzone” commentary is done in a voice over studio with a couple of TV monitors where you only hear the noise from the stadium (well done Blues you came over loud and clear). The game started and plenty has been said already about the battling performance and the two excellent goals so I don’t need to go into too much detail about that, apart from to say that it was a pleasure to see that my fellow commentators’ words were well and truly eaten by him! A great day out and they are hoping to do a celebrity fanzone for the City vs. Trafford Rangers game… Could Noel or Liam do it without swearing? So the broadcasting career has started… wonder if Parky has my number?

Lance Thomson, Morecambe Bay Branch MCFC CSA (lnt@btinternet.com)

APPEARANCES

If you are looking for how many appearances a City player made for the club, or where he came from, have a look at Soccer-files.com; it is built around a phenomenal database containing career statistics on all 20,068 players who have made appearances in the top four English divisions from 1946 to the present day. It can be found at http://www.soccer-files.com/.

Ralph Sheppard (R.P.Sheppard@massey.ac.nz)

1956 FA CUP WINNING TEAM REPLICA SHIRT SIGNED BY PLAYERS

Don Price from the Prestwich and Whitefield branch of the CSA is organising an auction for a framed signed 1956 replica shirt by a number of the 1956 FA Cup winning team. This will of course include players like Bert Trautmann, Ken Barnes and Roy Clarke.

All the proceeds of the auction will go to Henshaw’s Society for the Blind.

Please send bids to me and I will send them on to Don.

Bob Young (bob@mancity.net)

DORSET AND DISTRICT MCCSA

The next meeting of the Dorset & District Branch of the MCCSA will be held on Thursday 2 November at 8p.m. at The Shaston Social Club, Shaftesbury.

For any further information either send me an e-mail or call Janine on 01747 854526.

All monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at the above venue.

Peter Timperley (PTimperley@unitedbusinessmedia.com)

CONGRATULATIONS

To Sharon Hargreaves and all the committee and members of The Cambridge branch of the Centenary Supporters’ Association on their Third Anniversary as a CSA branch from all at Essex & Suffolk branch. Well done and best wishes for the future.

My personal thanks go to Sharon for making me very welcome when I visited their branch for one of their meetings, for letting us have the pleasure of their branch president Colin Shindler at one of our meetings and for the very excellent match reports that she publishes in MCIVTA.

Paul Gallagher, Chairman/Secretar, Essex & Suffolk CSA (paulg@mancity.net)

CALLING ALL BLUES IN MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE

Is there anybody out in this part of the world interested in meeting up for the Manchester derby? It is the first proper derby for 4 years and I thought that it might be an idea for all Blues out here to at least try to meet up for this. The tentative plan is to meet up on the 18th of November at approx. 5-30 pm (local time) at this pub called “The Soccer Club Cafe” at CentrePoint, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya. This is of course subject to confirmation by the local tv network (Astro) screening the match in the first place. It is a smallish place, but I can’t imagine that there are too many of us in this part of the world , but it has a big screen.

So, if anyone’s interested please email me and let me know so that I can make the necessary arrangements. If anything, it would at least be an opportunity for fellow Blues to get together and seek refuge in this Rag infested part of the world. There are definitely more Rag fans in Kuala Lumpur than there are in Manchester. There may even be more of them in KL/S’pore combined than there are in London. <sigh>

Richard Tan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (rtktan@sbb.com.my)

PREDICTIONS LEAGUE UPDATE – PLAYER SCORE

Mark Evans 55, Derrick Saddler 53, Ken Sinclair 40, Dove Juniors 38, Gary Osman 38, Will Pritchard 35, Angie Masters 30, Cliff Shelley 30, Neil Paterson 30, Duncan Madden-Ross 29, Lee Dixie 28, Dave Ellison 28, Micheal Hornibrook 28, Wayne Prior 28, Colin Little 27, Graham Locker 26, Christopher Patrick 26, Dominic Flint 26, Julie Myers 25, Neil Sinclair 24, Paul Gallagher 23, Tony Dove 21, Desmond Moran 19, Steve Marriott 18, Marie Saffill 18, Sean Curley 17, Tom Robertson 16, Perry Walsh 15, Bev & Dist CSA 15, Jackie Nugent 15, Ian Reeves 6.

Paul Gallagher (paulg@mancity.net)

REMEMBER…

OK we were hammered, but remember…

  1. Two years ago we were playing Reading.
  2. We’ve never done well at Arsenal (the last time we won Rodney Marsh scored the winner!).
  3. We’re a better team than we were at the start of the season.
  4. We (hopefully) can’t get such a poor referee again. We probably wouldhave lost with 11 men but… to not do anything when Henry kicks lumps outof Prior and then to book Danny twice in dubious circumstances isridiculous – the second booking for a professional ‘fall-down’ (the Arsenalplayer knew he wasn’t going anywhere so leant into Danny and then fell overto get a foul) – this after a first booking which was harsh in theextreme…

CTID, Richard Mottershead (richardjohnm@hotmail.com)

OPINION – SOUTHAMPTON GAME

OK it wasn’t the best game I’ve ever seen, but how should we evaluate our performance? JR was unhappy with the game, and I guess he has to set high standards if he wants us to to strive to reach them. But we have a different perspective. We did what was necessary to win and you play as the game requires you play. Could any team play majestic football at the Dell? My back garden is wider and probably has more atmosphere.

Let’s look at the positives. We won! Is any team fitter than City? I doubt it. The work ethic is as high as I have ever seen in a football match. We have more passion for the game than ever before. As Dunne said after only 1 game – “the fans are magnificent.” We have never been more vocal. There is some genuine quality in the squad – especially at the back. We have not played together as a unit for long. We will no doubt improve. Players I had doubts about going into the Premier League have really stood up; e.g. Dickov, Whitley, Wiekens. I only hope The Goat can do the same. We are nearly a quarter of the way through the season and we are in the top half. If we manage to stay there by season’s end, and we take points off the Rags I will be delighted, but then won’t we all!

Adrian Kenny (akenny33@hotmail.com)

OPINION – SAVED A THRASHING

It’s a good job we bought the 2 new defenders this week, otherwise it would of been 14-0. Bring back Edghill, all is forgiven.

Ian Beaver (IANBEAVER@webtv.net)

OPINION – HORLOCK AND EDGHILL

I’ve just read a rather disturbing rumour/report about Birmingham City planning a ‘swoop’ for both Kevin Horlock and Edghill. Now, I don’t know how others feel, but I would not like to see Horlock leave Maine Road. He has, over the past few seasons, been a reliable and (most importantly), goal-scoring mid-fielder, something that we don’t seem to possess in abundance. So I hope these rumours prove to be false. Also, I see that Danny Granville has gone on loan to Norwich. Let’s hope that he comes back more fired up and ready to fight for his place because we don’t seem to have that much competition for the full back slots.

Edward Bodey (edbodey@hotmail.com)

OPINION – WEAH’VE GOT AN ATTITUDE

I started to recount this story to MCIVTA after the Southampton game but following a serious libation of Chilean Merlot I was unable to finish it. Such was my delight at City winning two Premier League games in a row and also maintaining two clean sheets. So what you may say, it was only Bradford and Southampton. However, keeping events in perspective, two seasons ago we lost 1-0 away to Wycombe Wanderers. A few other giants turned us over that season as well. Anyway, back to pre-merlot happenings.

I expressed my opinion in MCIVTA a while ago that at 33/34 years of age George Weah would have to be an instant goal machine to be a success. No offence to him but he could hardly be considered as ‘a bright prospect for the future’ could he? So he played well at Liverpool and Gillingham. I’m sure that if he’d been given more time he would have made significant contributions in future matches as well. There are, however, three reasons why he didn’t:

  1. His attitude.
  2. Dicky’s form.
  3. The training ground.
  1. On the day of Weah’s departure I was listening to the afternoon weekdaysports panel on Radio 5 Live. I was also working, so excuse me GuardianMan but I have no name to add to your testimonial. The host was accompaniedby two sports journalists, one from The Scottish Mirror (I think) and theother from The Guardian.

    Most importantly was the opinion of The Guardian’s journalist; he said hewasn’t surprised by Weah’s departure (this is a not word-for-word quote butpretty close):

    “I was recently at one of City’s away games (he didn’t state which one) andafter the match had finished the City players left the stadium and boardedthe coach. Weah, however, got into a chauffeur driven limousine and left onhis own. I couldn’t help thinking; this isn’t in-line with the spirit thatJoe Royle has instilled in the club.”

    If that story is true it says a great deal about Weah’s attitude; hethought he could be a major fish at a newly promoted club, be guaranteedfirst team football and be treated like a major Hollywood celebrity.
  2. Dicky’s form has improved with promotion, the increased competitionfollowing the signings of Wanchope and Weah, his own performances, and inaddition an increase in confidence with his international call-ups. Hedeserves every credit for responding to the challenge in the way he hasdone.
  3. Putting aside our own opinions as City fans of Weah, Dickov, Wanchope orGoater’s worth to the squad, or the best tactics for the next match, SirJoe, Willie D and the rest of the coaching staff have a week betweenmatches to asses players’ fitness, psychology and appropriateness of eachplayer to tackle our next opponents, how they will fit into a selectedtactical formation, will they fit into a passing, possession, long-ball ordefend and hit on the break game etc. Many of us as observers think wehave all the answers but those guys who work day in, day out as coachingstaff have a much better idea than us as to who will be the best suited topulling on that shirt or using their ar*e to keep the bench warm. Theystill make mistakes, of course they do, but they still know more about thebeautiful game than we do.

    It must have been apparent to the coaching staff that Dicky was well andtruly capable and eager to take the bull by the horns and kick it squarelyin the nuts. Weah wanted to use his fame and reputation to coax the bullinto bed without even remembering its name.

My reaction: Sorry George, wrong club, wrong attitude, goodbye… all the best.

In defence of Don Paulo in the Southampton game, he was not 100% match fit (or Goater), according to a number of newspaper reports, so let’s not give Paulo 3 or 4 out of 10’s and agree wiv Wes’tam fans on this issue (Stuart Wells and Simon Fink).

On the subject of additional strikers following ‘Hollywood’ George’s departure from the Academy, I thought Tomasz Radzinski looked pretty good against the scum!

Peter Abbott (aka.pete@virgin.net)

REQUEST – SOUTHAMPTON TAPE

Has anybody got a copy of the Southampton game I can have? If so, e-mail me please at the following address.

Thanks, Mark Costello (cozzycitytillidie@tinyworld.co.uk)

REQUEST – BULGARIAN BLUE

Hello from Bulgaria. My name is Martin Minkov and I am a great Man city fan from Sofia. I am 20 years old and support City since 1994. I write you because very much like to correspond with other Blues supporters and I think that you can help me for it. Please publish my e-mail in your fanzine or matchday programme.

Thank you in advance, Martin Minkov (mar_minkov@abv.bg)

RESULTS

Recent results to 29 October 2000 inclusive.

29 October 2000

Bradford City         1 - 1  Leeds United
Liverpool             3 - 1  Everton

28 October 2000

Arsenal               5 - 0  Manchester City
Aston Villa           2 - 1  Charlton Athletic
Chelsea               3 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur
Ipswich Town          2 - 1  Middlesbrough
Leicester City        2 - 1  Derby County
Manchester United     5 - 0  Southampton
Sunderland            1 - 0  Coventry City
West Ham United       1 - 0  Newcastle United

League table to 29 October 2000 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  11  5  1  0 22  3  2  2  1  9  5  7  3  1 31  8  23  24
 2 Arsenal         11  6  0  0 16  4  1  3  1  6  6  7  3  1 22 10  12  24
 3 Liverpool       11  5  1  0 12  5  1  2  2  8  9  6  3  2 20 14   6  21
 4 Leicester City  11  3  2  1  6  6  2  2  1  3  1  5  4  2  9  7   2  19
 5 Ipswich Town    11  2  3  1  7  6  3  0  2  9  6  5  3  3 16 12   4  18
 6 Chelsea         11  4  1  1 18  7  0  3  2  4  7  4  4  3 22 14   8  16
 7 Aston Villa     10  3  2  0  9  3  1  2  2  4  6  4  4  2 13  9   4  16
 8 Newcastle Utd   11  2  1  2  5  4  3  0  3  6  6  5  1  5 11 10   1  16
 9 Sunderland      11  4  2  0  6  2  0  2  3  3  9  4  4  3  9 11  -2  16
10 Leeds United    10  3  0  2 11  8  1  3  1  4  6  4  3  3 15 14   1  15
11 Charlton Ath.   11  3  2  0  9  3  1  1  4  8 15  4  3  4 17 18  -1  15
12 Tottenham H.    11  4  1  0 10  4  0  1  5  5 13  4  2  5 15 17  -2  14
13 Manchester City 11  2  1  2  8  6  2  1  3  6 13  4  2  5 14 19  -5  14
14 Everton         11  1  2  2  7  9  2  1  3  7 10  3  3  5 14 19  -5  12
15 West Ham United 11  1  3  2  6  7  1  2  2  7  7  2  5  4 13 14  -1  11
16 Coventry City   11  1  1  3  3  9  2  1  3  8 13  3  2  6 11 22 -11  11
17 Middlesbrough   11  0  2  3  5  9  2  2  2 11  9  2  4  5 16 18  -2  10
18 Southampton     11  1  1  3  7 10  1  3  2  5 10  2  4  5 12 20  -8  10
19 Bradford City   11  1  3  2  4  5  0  1  4  1 12  1  4  6  5 17 -12   7
20 Derby County    11  0  4  1  8 12  0  1  5  8 16  0  5  6 16 28 -12   5

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 #654

2000/10/30

Editor:


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