Newsletter #657

As usual, City have been linked with just about every striker in England this week, mainly those who look like they might be available for less than £5m, but some who would cost considerably in excess of that figure! Even more ‘as usual’ – and it gives me a pretty bizarre feeling saying this considering the ‘norm’ of the pre-Royle era – nothing at all has emanated from the club. As well as Peter’s news, we have Clive Allen’s first column from BlueView (thanks go to Doug Bennett); a request for stories about the ’50s player Paddy Fagan (for a book); more on S.A.F.E.; a squad update (bye bye Nicky Fenton – who’ll surely come back to haunt us); opinion; a ‘sweet’ Why Blue; and lots of requests for Blues to meet up around the world, particularly for the ‘derby’.

Next game: West Ham United away away, Saturday 11th November 2000


Striker Hunt – Royle Tight-Lipped

Joe Royle is attempting to recruit a new face to boost the Manchester City attack. But despite newspaper speculation linking several strikers with the club, the Blues’ boss is refusing to comment on specific targets. In the last couple of weeks, City have been rumoured to have an interest in the likes of Blackburn’s Matt Jansen and Chelsea pair Tore Andre Flo and Eidur Gudjohnsen, while Willie Donachie’s presence at Wimbledon’s match against Barnsley last Sunday sparked talk of a possible bid for John Hartson – even though Royle’s assistant may just have been running the rule over the Blues’ next Worthington Cup opponents. This week, Southampton’s Marian Pahars, West Ham’s Paolo di Canio and Marco Negri of Rangers have been mentioned as prospective targets, but the City manager has played down the possibility of a new face arriving quickly. “I am not playing futile guessing games that get the fans excited for no reason,” he commented. “When we have identified [the man we want] then we will make our move. As yet, that has not happened.”

Joe – Bishop Stays With City

Gillingham have been trying for six weeks to sign Ian Bishop. But Joe Royle has told the Kent outfit he has no intention of allowing the midfielder to leave Maine Road. Bishop has yet to start a league game for the Blues this season, and Gills’ manager Andy Hessenthaler claimed at the weekend that the ex-West Ham man would welcome a move to Priestfield, where he’d enjoy regular first-team football. But the 35-year-old was handed a new one-year contract in the summer, and Royle wants him to stay with the Blues until that engagement expires. “Gillingham first asked [about Bishop] six weeks ago,” explained the City manager. “They were not encouraged then and they will not be now should they ask again.”

Fenton Completes Notts County Switch

Nick Fenton has finally left Manchester City. Notts County have signed the former England Youth defender for what’s described as a ‘nominal fee’. Fenton had loan spells with both the Magpies and Bournemouth last season, and impressed both clubs. He had another stint with the south coast club at the start of this campaign but the Cherries’ financial position precluded a permanent deal, allowing County to step in again. The switch was initially made on loan to allow new Meadow Lane boss Jocky Scott, appointed in the summer, to see whether he agreed with the impressions his staff had formed during the 20-year-old’s time with the club last term.

Unhappy Start to Jobson’s Watford Loan

Richard Jobson this week joined Watford on loan. But the veteran’s return to his first professional club got off to a disappointing start against Sheffield Wednesday. Jobson was immediately called into action, taking part in the Vicarage Road clash with Paul Jewell’s men. But it was an unhappy night for the Hornets, who went down to a 3-1 defeat – their first reverse in the league this season. And to make matters worse for the 37-year-old, he put through his own net to give the Owls their opening goal, heading home a Wednesday corner taken by his on-loan City colleague Terry Cooke. However, in spite of that mishap, Watford manager Graham Taylor felt that the ex-Oldham star was one of his side’s better players on the night. “We got an injury to Darren Ward and I wanted to get someone in as soon as possible,” he said. “I thought Richard did well.”

Allsopp Back from Rovers Stint

Danny Allsopp is back at Manchester City. The Australian has been on loan at Bristol Rovers but will not be required for a second month. Allsopp had successful spells last season at Notts County, for whom he scored on his début, and Wrexham, where he notched four goals in only three games. But his stint at the Memorial Ground was much less successful, and he failed to find the net in four starts and two substitute appearances. “Danny is a good player,” said Rovers’ boss Ian Holloway, “but he hasn’t had the best of times here.”

Royle Visit Leads to Surprise ‘Keeper Link

Manchester City have become the latest club to be linked with Roy Carroll. The Wigan goalkeeper has already been the subject of rumoured interest from several top sides and Joe Royle’s presence at the Latics’ game with Millwall this week has seen the Blues added to that list. City, of course, have in Nicky Weaver one of the top goalkeepers in the country. And when the England under-21 man was injured and missed the game against Newcastle, deputy Tommy Wright demonstrated his own credentials with a man-of-the-match display. But with Wright now at the veteran stage of his career, media sources are speculating that the Blues may want Carroll to provide competition for Weaver in the future. Leicester have already made a bid for the 23-year-old Northern Ireland goalkeeper, while scouts from Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton joined Royle at the JJB Stadium on Tuesday. However, it has also been suggested that the City manager may have been at the game to check out Millwall forward Neil Harris.

City Trio Set for Hammers Showdown

Scotland face Australia next week in a Hampden Park friendly. And three Manchester City players have been called up for the game – with the Blues represented in both camps. Danny Tiatto is in the Australian squad, while the home team’s party includes Paul Ritchie and Paul Dickov. But Tiatto says the three men have no intention of being less than committed – even though the fixture comes just three days ahead of the keenly awaited Manchester derby clash at Maine Road. “We’ve been joking about whether we’d get stuck in or not knowing the United game follows just a few days later,” said the ex-Stoke player. “I’ve got to say it’s not in my nature to give less than 100 per cent. I don’t like losing, even friendlies, and that’s the same way with the two Pauls.”

Taylor Picks Robinson Over Weaver

Stand-in England coach Peter Taylor has put his faith in youth for the forthcoming friendly in Italy. But that hasn’t meant a call-up for Nicky Weaver, who has lost out to Paul Robinson of Leeds in the final selection. Weaver might have been expected to feature in the full squad when Taylor decided against picking any players aged over thirty – ruling out senior goalkeepers like David Seaman, Nigel Martyn and Tim Flowers. But David James, Richard Wright and Robinson have won the three goalkeeping berths – even though the latter is second choice to Nigel Martyn at Elland Road and has only played a handful of senior games. Weaver will keep goal for the England under-21s in Italy on Tuesday 14 November, 24 hours before the seniors are in action.

Granville Makes Immediate Impact

Danny Granville will be hoping to use his loan spell at Norwich to gain form and return to make a bid for a first-team place at Manchester City. And the ex-Chelsea and Leeds star has made a big impact so far at Carrow Road. Granville had a frustrating start to his month in East Anglia when the Canaries’ clash against Burnley was postponed. But the full-back produced a fine performance on his début against Tranmere on Saturday, when he supplied the cross from which Iwan Roberts scored the game’s only goal. And he repeated the feat in the 1-0 win over Birmingham on Tuesday, when his eye-catching display was capped by the cross for Adrian Forbes’ winner. The 25-year-old’s form has prompted comment from media sources in Norfolk that boss Bryan Hamilton would do well to make the move permanent – but there’s no indication as yet from either club that this is a possibility.

Bernstein Expecting Home Improvement

Manchester City are one of several Premiership teams currently experiencing indifferent home form. So picking up more points at Maine Road is currently the priority as Joe Royle seeks to lead his squad up the league table. The Blues have lost three of the six home matches they’ve played so far in the Premiership. And, including the league cup tie against Gillingham, City have managed just two wins in seven games at Maine Road this term. But David Bernstein is confident that the team’s success rate on their own patch will soon start to improve. “One thing I have noticed in the Premiership is the number of teams – including ourselves – who are finding it more difficult to win home games,” observed the City chairman. “Of course, no-one wants to lose three out of their first six home matches and we know that is something we must improve and I am sure it will.”

Charvet Settling In Quickly

Laurent Charvet has played two games for Manchester City since his move from Newcastle – and has finished on the losing side on each occasion. But even so, the Frenchman says he’s settling in well at Maine Road. Charvet feels that he’s seen enough in his short time at the club to know that the current City side has the potential to do well. And he feels that the team has been unlucky in both of the games he’s played – seeing the match at Arsenal turned by contentious refereeing and losing a close-fought game against Leicester. “I am not happy that I have played two games and we have no points but I have settled in quickly at the club,” admitted the 27-year-old. “And I don’t think we have played badly in those games.” Charvet is one of four defenders the Blues have signed in the last three months at a total cost of £7 million, less than the club bid in August for one man in Aston Villa’s Ugo Ehiogu. The ex-West Brom junior has since joined Middlesbrough, leaving City chairman David Bernstein to reflect, “A figure nearing £10 million is an awful lot of money for a defender and Joe has managed to buy a whole back four for what Ehiogu would have cost us.”

Reserve Match Called Off Again

Manchester City’s reserve game against Oldham has been called off for a second time. The Manchester Senior Cup tie had been rearranged for Thursday evening but has once again fallen victim to the weather. With no sign of an improvement in meteorological conditions, it’s unclear when the game will take place. And the lack of action for his second string players is causing something of a headache for Joe Royle. The Blues will have to make changes for forthcoming games, with suspensions and international call-ups on the horizon for several players. And their replacements will be short of match practice owing to a lack of recent outings at second-team level.

Paulo Set to Face Hammers

Manchester City feared that top scorer Paulo Wanchope could miss Saturday’s visit to West Ham. But the Costa Rican will be lining up for the Blues against his former club. It was originally thought that Wanchope would be required to fly out on Friday for his country’s game against Guatemala next week. The Blues have made arrangements for their record signing to leave the country after the Upton Park clash after the Costa Rican FA indicated a willingness to allow their leading front man to play in the match. The news will be a relief to Joe Royle; the City manager is already without the suspended Paul Dickov for the trip to East London and it’s unclear whether Shaun Goater will have recovered from his groin injury in time to face Harry Redknapp’s men. Meanwhile, Kevin Horlock is favourite to replace the suspended Danny Tiatto.

Derby Build-Up Beginning Already

In just over a week’s time, Maine Road will host the first competitive Manchester derby fixture for more than four years. But already the build-up for the match is under way – despite both teams having first to fulfil weekend league fixtures. One major concern is the threat of crowd trouble, with there being some talk that tickets for home fans will fall into the hands of United supporters. Fears may be eased slightly by the fact that the match has already been switched to a Saturday morning kick off, and in any event it’s understood that the Blues will be stepping up security for the occasion. Meanwhile, Danny Tiatto has been speaking of how keenly he’s anticipating the match. “It’ll be a great game to play in considering the history of the two clubs,” said the Australian, “and a brilliant chance to compete against what I consider the best team in Europe.” One man who won’t be playing in the match is Ryan Giggs; the United winger sustained a hamstring strain in the midweek win over Dinamo Kiev.

Peter Brophy (


The following is an extract from Clive Allen’s regular column on Blue View in which he answers some questions from fans. Find out what Clive thinks about Weaver, Weah and more at If you have any questions for Clive please email me ( or use the form on Blue View.

Q: Do you think City need a good creative edge, a midfield playmaker who can turn a game with a killer pass – like Ian Bishop 10 years ago!
[from Aaron Duddy]

A: Yes I think City will be on the look out for that kind of player, but there again so is everyone else!. For example Spurs are crying out for that sort of inspirational player as are many other teams, but they are like gold dust. Bish has been a great servant to City. I know him very well because we signed for City at the same time and we were also colleagues at West Ham.

Q: You-re a born and bred Londoner and played for 7 London clubs apart from Bordeaux and City. Why do you have such affinity with City?

A: I was just very comfortable at Manchester City. I was welcomed very warmly when I arrived at Maine Road. There is such a homely atmosphere behind the scenes, which obviously a lot of people don’t see. It was such a close knit group not only the players but also all the staff at the Club and that was very important to me and something that I really enjoyed.

I think traditionally there has always been a great rapport between the City supporters and the players and I sensed they desperately wanted the Club to be successful and I just felt that I struck up an affinity with the supporters and I’ll never forget that.

That said, my first ever recollections of Manchester City weren’t so fond. I came to City as a 14-year old school boy for a week’s trial. I was staying in digs just round the corner from Maine Road and went out to get fish and chips on the first evening I was there. I walked into the chip shop and obviously speaking with a Cockney accent was actually chased all the way back to the digs! I remember going home and saying to my parents there is no way I’m going to sign for them because I couldn’t possibly live in Manchester. Little did I realise that 15 years later I’d be in Manchester playing for City and loving every minute of it. So that was an experience that I always remember and it was so ironic that I did end up eventually playing there.

Q: Are we going to stay up?
[from smcblue]

A: Yes I do think City will stay up. I said at the start of the season that my tips for the drop were Derby, Bradford and Ipswich. Obviously Derby and Bradford are struggling and Ipswich have had a fantastic start but I think the Blues will survive. I think City fans are quite realistic in their expectations this season. If City stay in the Premiership this year that will be a fantastic achievement and I think players and fans alike understand that.

Q: What is your view of the wages being paid to top footballers today and do you think the game has become too mercenary?
[from Oslo Blue]

A: I think there’s an element of that. Football offered me a fantastic lifestyle but there’s so much money in the game now. Players are entertainers and the worldwide interest in football especially Premiership football justifies the wages these guys are earning. But like in all professions and walks of life there are those who perhaps abuse the privileged position they find themselves in.

It’s vitally important to bring the youngsters through the right way. You look at them and if they do become top players they’ll be on a par with pop stars and film stars – that’s how popular football has become. With all the media attention as well it’s essential that the kids are taught how to handle it all properly.

I was fortunate that I grew up in a footballing family so I had strong discipline at home from my father and I was educated in the ways of football from a very early age. Football was my life and being at QPR when my dad was manager I was used to being in and around football clubs and what that entailed – it was all quite natural to me. Consequently I don’t think anything ever phased me and I was certainly never allowed to get carried away with it all.

Q: The City vs. Gillingham play-off final – Wembley – on Sky TV (just before the penalties) you commented that you hoped City would win for the fans. Did you ever get any abuse from Gillingham fans for your blatant favouritism?
[from Paul Cahill]

A: I did get some letters funnily enough and that’s exactly what they levelled at me. Some Gillingham supporters wrote to Sky saying “we were dismayed to see that Clive Allen was so biased towards City”. I did answer all the letters and confessed that yes, I was biased. I couldn’t hide the fact that I was rooting for City that day although I must admit I thought that it wasn’t going to happen with 10 minutes left. What happened was incredible and could only happen to City.

Q: Do Sky let you cover games you’ve got an interest in or is it a bit of a lottery?

A: Yes the producer of the show will allocate games on the basis that we’ve either played for one of the clubs or have some association with it. As you can imagine, it’s not difficult for them to find a game for me to cover!

Q: What was the best goal you scored while playing for City (goal at Chelsea 89/90?)
[Patrik Schele]

A: Yep could be that goal – another one that springs to mind was one I scored against Notts County. I’d just come on as sub and smacked in a volley from the edge of the box. Just a couple of minutes later I scored a penalty and I vividly remember the City supporters behind the goal going berserk because we’d managed turn the game round. I was pleased to score a couple of goals that day.

Q: Do you think you quit the game too soon and if the manager had been different do you think you’d have had a better and longer career at Maine Road?
[Frank Pegg in Australia]

A: Good question – I knew in myself when it was time to quit playing, but it was still very difficult to give up – you’re always tempted just to carry on that bit longer. I’d loved to have stayed at City for longer and yes if the Manager had been different it’d probably have been that way.

Q: What happened with you and Reidy during your time at City? Are you mates with him nowadays?
[from Bleeds & Paul Warren]

A: I wouldn’t say we were friends but I would say that we have a ‘professional relationship’. We did have a bit of a fall out. Peter wanted me to go to Luton when David Pleat was Manager but I told Peter I didn’t think it was the right move for me at that time. He didn’t take too kindly to that and banished me to train with the youth team for 12 weeks. But it wasn’t all bad news – I hopefully helped with the development of some of those younger players – for example Gary Flitcroft and Neil Lennon, and there were a number of other young City players that I enjoyed working with.

Q: What about all the banter with Rodney Marsh – does he put you all off on Sky?

A: I’ve known Rodney since I was a little boy – ever since he played for QPR when my father was Manager there. We are good friends and the only way I can describe it is that Rodney is Rodney. You don’t have to agree with him – and a lot of people don’t – but Rodney has strong opinions about the game he loves.

Q: You’re now coaching the England Under-16 team. How’s it going and are there any names we should look out for?

A: It looks very promising. We are preparing for the European Championships in April next year which are to be held in England. I think there will be a lot of interest in that particular tournament and we are shaping up nicely. I was coaching the U15’s last year and have moved up with the group to U16 this season.

We had a young lad by the name of Lee Croft who’s on City’s books. Lee was with us but he is actually an Under-15 so was playing a year above his age. He’s now gone back to his own year (U15) and he’s a name City supporters should keep an eye on.

Doug Bennett (


Played right and left wing for Manchester City 1953-1959. 15 International caps for Ireland. Footballer of the year Ireland 1960.

It has been agreed between myself and Paddy Fagan that I shall write his biography. It is hoped that the main contributors to his life story will be his family, his contemporaries both professional and personal and of course his fans. In this regard if you have any stories of Paddy, both on or off the pitch that you would like to share with me, please contact me with them.

Also if you have any articles (particularly press articles), photographs or team photographs I would appreciate being able to copy them into my files.

Funny stories are particularly sought after as we hope that this will be a humorous as well as factual book of Paddy’s life.

My contact details are as follows:

Alan Logan
18 Hanover Court
Rhos Road
Rhos on Sea
LL28 4HE

Tel: 01492 545155

Alan Logan (

S.A.F.E. 7

It has only been 5 days since the last newsletter, but things have been developing very quickly. Tom Pendry, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde and Chairman of the football Trust, contacted me to express his support for the campaign. As did the Liberal Democrat’s Spokesperson for Sport, a season ticket holder at Colchester United for 44 years!

The meeting at Manchester City Council went very well. Again, the photos from Bayern Munich’s ground influenced the debate, as prior to this there was skeptism about just how the areas would work safely. The deputy leader of the council, a season ticket holder at Maine Road, agreed to take the campaign to his committee and recommend supporting the principle of safe standing areas at Eastlands. Also interesting was the fact that the council get the keys to Maine Road when City depart for Eastlands. They want to maintain sport at the stadium and appear to be trying to attract both codes of rugby. The council themselves could, therefore, introduce such areas into Maine Road for rugby, where – of course – fans can stand legally.

The Independent, on Friday 10th November, are to produce a feature on the back page, around Roy Keane’s comments on the fans/atmosphere at Old Trafford. The report is linking the comments made with the SAFE campaign, highlighting the links between the two. This will be tremendous publicity for the campaign and we should really aim to capitalize on this, especially if other forms of media jump onto it.

On Saturday, if you are confident, try and get on a local/national radio phone-in and kick start the debate on the airwaves. The momentum is in full swing and it is important to maintain the high profile as long as possible. I really feel this is our big chance. On Saturday, the campaign will also be highlighted in the paper on its website section too.


So far, the campaign has cost less than £20 over a six-month period. And that has all been on 2nd class stamps! Incredible really, but the costs are low due to the Internet/email system. But now we are going to need resources. I do not intend asking for money – mainly due to the accountability of monies raised and the problems that occur from that. However, sponsorship of the campaign is ideal. Is there a printer amongst us, or someone who knows a printer who would be willing to support the campaign? Photos of the German stadiums have already proved their worth and being able to send these out en masse would be very effective. Does anyone know of any company, at home or abroad, who would make the safety barriers such as those in Munich? They may be willing to sponsor a feasibility study, as they would also be putting themselves in a position to win the contract to install them should the campaign be successful.

Please, all ideas are welcome on these and other areas too (banners, t-shirts etc.). Keep the pressure up. We can all take an active part and contribute to the campaign.

Thanks, Phill Gatenby (


I just thought I’d put forward my predicition: City will sign Andy Booth from Sheffield Wednesday in the next week, with Terry Cooke going the other way in exchange.

Mark Braude (


Changes since Last Squad

  • Richard Jobson on loan at Watford
  • Danny Granville on loan at Norwich
  • Jim Whitley returned from loan to Norwich
  • Leon Mike returned from loan to Oxford

Tommy Wright
Nick Weaver
Steven Hodgson
Richard McKinney
Gerard Wiekens
Spencer Prior
Richard Edghill
Rhys Day
Lee Crooks                 Transfer Listed
Nick Fenton                Loaned to Notts County
Danny Granville            Loaned to Norwich
Richard Jobson             Loaned to Watford
Danny Tiatto
Andy Morrison              Loaned to Crystal Palace
Steve Howey
Steven Jordan
Paul Ritchie
Shaun Holmes               Transfer Listed
Laurent Charvet
Richard Dunne
Kevin Horlock
Mark Kennedy
Gary Mason                 Transfer Listed
Jim Whitley                Transfer Listed
Ian Bishop
David Laycock
Terry Dunfield
Christopher Shuker
Terry Cooke                Transfer Listed, loaned to Sheff Wed
Jeff Whitley
Tony Grant
Alfie Haaland
Dixon Etuhu
Paul Dickov
Shaun Goater
Danny Allsopp              Loaned to Bristol Rovers
Gareth Taylor              Transfer Listed
Shaun Wright-Philips
Leon Mike
Christopher Killen         Loaned to Wrexham
Paulo Wanchope

Last years U17 still at club

Gary Furnival      (defender)
Barry Hogan        (defender)
Steven Paisley     (defender)
Tyrone Mears       (defender)
Paddy McCarthy     (defender)
Damian Joyce       (midfield)
Andrew Tunnicliffe (forward, loaned to Macclesfield)
Gary Browne        (forward)
Lee Croft          (forward)
Brian Murphy       (goalkeeper)
Joe Barton
Kevin Whitehead    (goalkeeper, non contract)

This years U-17’s

James Almond
Richard Crawford
Mark Egerton
Phil Gider
Adam James
Ryan McDowell
Daniel McTaggart
Adie Orr
William Flood
Glen Whelan
Stephen Elliott
David Tickle       (non contract)
Ciaron Kilhenny    (non contract)
David Hodgson      (goalkeeper, non contract)
Shaun Cartwright

Stuart Reynolds (


Nokia phones only. Costs about £2. Only in UK & Ireland at present. As many readers have expressed a desire to customise their phones with tunes, I thought I would mention a website I found that replaces your network logo with a customised one. The site is and is quite easy to follow. There are logos for every club except Man City! But, there is a place where you can design your own logo. I did a simple one like below.

Manchester City F.C.

If you want this one (no need for Internet!):

  • Phone 09069 198 234 (premium rate line, £1 a minute) from a touchtone phone.
  • Listen to blurb for 30 seconds.
  • When asked PRESS 1 to enter ordering menu.
  • PRESS 2 to order operator logo.
  • Enter reference number 44247.
  • PRESS 1 to confirm ref code.
  • Enter your mobile number 07… etc.
  • PRESS 1 to confirm mobile number.
  • Confirm network.

The call lasted about two minutes and my graphic arrived within 30 seconds.

Stuart Wells (


For those of you who are interested, the derby match will be shown live on the big screen in the Swinging Pig (Leisure Inn), Rockingham.

Phil Bird (


Wonder if there is any news on when this drama filmed in Watford in May will be on television; should it wait until after the big match?

Mike Collard (


Why do most City fans still look at Paul Dickov through rose-tinted glasses? It has been puzzling me for some time but after the Leicester game it is now starting to annoy me. The three blokes that sit behind me at the match often grumble about most of the players on the pitch but when Dickov had a shot in the first half on Saturday the reply was… “Good effort Dickov”, “Ooooh unlucky Paul”, “Yeah he was very unlucky there wasn’t he?”. Are these blokes blind to the fact that the ball should have been in the back of the net and not in the hands of Tim Flowers?

This also happened when he missed in the second half shortly after Leicester had scored. In the M.E.N. Gary Owen gave a true reflection but the City fan said he nearly had a hat-trick. How can no goals be a near hat-trick? Then I read the match report of Dave Blyth in MCIVTA 656 and he gives Dickov the man of the match!? Dave writes “Will never score the most but will always give everything”; let’s not forget Dickov is a striker and a striker who will never score the most is just not good enough if we are to stay in the Premiership. The reason we lost the game was because we did not have the cutting edge. If this continues Wanchope will get all the stick, not because he is a lesser player than Dickov but because he didn’t score a goal at Wembley for us. Later Dave writes “Dickov forced his way back in by strength of character and scored THAT goal.”. I rest my case…

Don’t get me wrong, I like Dickov, he is a nice bloke and like everyone else I will never forget him. I will always remember that goal and it will be one of the best moments of my life, but it is history and it does not mean he can play sh*te, get paid and I will let it go because he scored that goal. He should get the same critisism that everyone else gets when they play sh*te. Does anyone ever remember that somebody else scored in that Wembley game too and what sort of recognition does he get? So come on lads, let’s put Paul Dickov on a pedestal by all means but let’s keep it at a reasonable height.

Mark Strong (


Couldn’t agree more with Neil’s comments regarding TC, Michael Brown and George Weah. I’ve missed a few of the recent games (through illness and house move) but I really enjoyed seeing the clever touches of Weah. OK he was a bit slow but seeing such skill was great (reminded me of seeing Gullit when he played in the Chelsea vs. City game at Maine Road). Weah must have been some player when he was younger. From what I hear there appears to be no width in our play. That has to be sorted. If Kennedy can’t do it then maybe Cooke, when he returns from Wednesday, deserves a trial. I agree with Neil that 3 of the players he mentions have been appallingly treated. Not so sure about Gareth – altho’ I was puzzled by Robert Taylor being allowed to leave so soon after he had joined (maybe his injuries are more chronic than we were informed).

Ian Burgess (


Who should we be looking at for a ‘striker’? Flo will cost too much and we’d look right plonkers if they scrapped the transfer system soon after; Gudjohnsen (Chelsea) is a better bet but may want to prove himself at Chelsea first; why not give Gareth Taylor a go? I believe he’s knocking them in for the reserve side. Read somewhere we watched Hartson the other day: do me a favour, he’s fat and lacks discipline, no use to us being suspended for much of the season. And a midfield maestro? We need a ‘Bish with bite’… where do we get that?

Chris Loveridge (


Joe has got the defence right but there is something wrong with our midfield and attack that needs rectifying, soon, or we shall be facing a season long relegation struggle.

Point 1.

The midfield and strike force are simply not picking up opposition players coming from deep positions. Even if you have the best defence in the Premiership you will leak goals if the midfield cannot defend. To give four examples over the last month and a bit:

  1. Middlesbrough’s goal came because Wanchope didn’t get back to helpdefend a corner and pick up the player he should have been marking.
  2. Newcastle’s goal came as a result of their right winger being left tohis own devices. As a result a cross came that Shearer scored from(admitedly Prior let get Shearer get away from him – but the cross shouldnever have been allowed to happen).
  3. Leicester’s goal came because Savage wasn’t picked up on the edge of the penalty area.
  4. 3 of Arsenal’s goals were due to midfielders not picking upopposition players running from deep.

If defenders have to pick up players comming from deep then holes are exposed behind them in the defence, which are always exploited by quality Premiership players. I’m not sure who is to blame either. Perhaps our midfielders are getting mixed up between marking zones and individuals?

Point 2.

Few (if any) balls are being played down the channels for Wanchope to run onto. Although (clearly) unfit recently, his big strength is running at defences. He simply is not able to do this with the current style of attacking. Attacks seem to consist of short passing or long, aimless balls out to a winger who isn’t there. No balls seem to be being played down the channels (or we do not have a player with enough pace to get to them?).

Point 3.

When playing at home the team needs to attack. It is essential to get the crowd behind the team. Attacking (or was it defensive) displays like Leicester will simply not do the job. We desperately need a playmaker. Jeff Whitley and Alfie Haaland can do the ‘run them into the ground’ rôle; we need someone who can split the opposition defence with a measured pass. I agree with other comments that Bishop should be used to start a game – as we appear to have no-one else who can fill this rôle.

CTID, Richard Mottershead (


Never in the field of human conflict has so much been placed on so few. Yea though we walk throught the Valley (Elland Road, Goodison etc.) we shall fear no evil. It is a far far better thing we do than we have ever done before. England expects. You’re going home in a Manchester ambulance, Fergie out! League cup semi, 5-1, 4-0 at OT. He’s here, he’s there… Weeeeeee’ll drink a drink a drink.

Jumpers for goals. Wellington boots. Balaclavas. Ruddy-faced urchins, ‘Mind your car for a fiver’. Dunkirk spirit. Blue birds over the white cliffs of dover. Roll out the barrel. Joe Mercer, Mike Doyle, Summerbee, Corrigan and all the other saints look over us and protect our goal. Angel of Mons, Wellington, Nelson guide our shots into their net. Remember Pardoe and Bell! Up lads and at ’em!

Andy Birkin (


Does anybody in Sydney know of anywhere (pub/club/any place?) that has Foxtel?

If you do, would you find out if they are showing the derby game against our nearest and dearest on the 18th and let any other Blues plus MCIVTA know?

Thanking you, Bill Chapman (


The derby! the draw has been made for the Victorian UK supporters’ clubs’ cup (UK Cup). We play Hibs first at 10am sharp (be there 15 minutes earlier at least please); we are in the same group as Sunderland and the Rags! We have waited for nearly 10 years to be drawn against them. This is it, our big chance. Cancel that wedding, early Xmas party or family reunion. Anyone with money to spare or too many frequent flier points, fly in and join us to play or just support. But be there to see the Blues kick their a*se. Address: Waverley City Soccer Club, 6th avenue, Burwood, Victoria, Australia.

Paul Keelagher (


A good friend of mine is going to be in Sydney, Australia for the match on the 18th and as she is totally anti-Rags she would like to meet up with any City fans to watch the game. Any help at all will be much appreciated.

Danny Quinn (


Any Japan-based Blues know of a bar in either Kyoto or Nagoya where the derby will be screened, especially one where Blues might gather for the night?

CTID, Jake Redford (


I have recently emigrated to N.Z. and I’m just hoping that there are a few more Blues in the Wellington area. If so could you please tell me where you’ll be watching the game next weekend?

Darren Rackham (


It is all down to Mars Bars! I am writing this on behalf of my two children, now aged 11 and 9, who are true Blues, despite being born in the football backwater of Suffolk and coming from a divided family. How I came to marry a Red, I don’t know, but there was always an unstated understanding (my understanding at least) that any children should be brought up as Blues. So when my son and daughter were born, as my husband registered their birth, I registered them as Junior Blues. However, despite receiving the Junior Blues magazine on a regular basis, it was not until a very wet day in Swindon that I could honestly say that they became confirmed City supporters.

Although my son went to his first match at the age of 7 months to watch City play Crystal Palace, the first memory both he and my daughter have of seeing the beloved team was 4 years ago. Having moved to Gloucestershire and with the children now old enough to attend a football match without the aid of push chairs etc., we decided to go and see City at our nearest Nationwide football ground – Swindon. However, after sitting through torrential, driving rain in the uncovered stand and seeing the Blues lose, I thought that all my hard work had gone to waste. How could two children, surrounded by school friends (never mind their own dad), supporting successful teams and visiting glamorous locations, ever continue to follow City after such a miserable afternoon? As we drudged back to the station, our legs and bodies sodden with rain, my heart heavy with the feeling of failure, two City supporters came out of a newsagents, carrying a Mars Bar each. When they saw the dejected faces of my two children, they immediately handed over their chocolate saying ‘Here, you deserve this’. At the sight of the Mars Bars their faces lit up and they suddenly realised what supporting a football team like City really means – the spirit of friendship in the face of adversity – or maybe it was however bad things are, there is always something to enjoy. After that day, they faced many more disappointments before they experienced the joy but their allegiance to City has never faltered.

As for their dad, he must be one of the very few Reds outside Manchester who finds himself in a minority. However, there is one drawback – having to pay for three tickets every time I want to go to a match is proving to be very expensive. Roll on the time when they are earning a living and can pay for their own tickets!

Shirley Woolner (


Recent results to 08 November 2000 inclusive.

6 November 2000

Derby County          0 - 0  West Ham United

League table to 08 November 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  12  5  1  0 22  3  3  2  1 11  6  8  3  1 33  9  24  27
 2 Arsenal         12  6  0  0 16  4  2  3  1  7  6  8  3  1 23 10  13  27
 3 Leicester City  12  3  2  1  6  6  3  2  1  4  1  6  4  2 10  7   3  22
 4 Liverpool       12  5  1  0 12  5  1  2  3 11 13  6  3  3 23 18   5  21
 5 Aston Villa     11  3  2  0  9  3  2  2  2  5  6  5  4  2 14  9   5  19
 6 Newcastle Utd   12  3  1  2  7  5  3  0  3  6  6  6  1  5 13 11   2  19
 7 Ipswich Town    12  2  3  1  7  6  3  0  3 10  8  5  3  4 17 14   3  18
 8 Leeds United    11  4  0  2 15 11  1  3  1  4  6  5  3  3 19 17   2  18
 9 Charlton Ath.   12  4  2  0 11  3  1  1  4  8 15  5  3  4 19 18   1  18
10 Tottenham H.    12  5  1  0 12  5  0  1  5  5 13  5  2  5 17 18  -1  17
11 Chelsea         12  4  1  1 18  7  0  3  3  6 10  4  4  4 24 17   7  16
12 Sunderland      12  4  2  0  6  2  0  2  4  4 11  4  4  4 10 13  -3  16
13 Manchester City 12  2  1  3  8  7  2  1  3  6 13  4  2  6 14 20  -6  14
14 Southampton     12  2  1  3 10 12  1  3  2  5 10  3  4  5 15 22  -7  13
15 West Ham United 12  1  3  2  6  7  1  3  2  7  7  2  6  4 13 14  -1  12
16 Everton         12  1  2  3  7 10  2  1  3  7 10  3  3  6 14 20  -6  12
17 Coventry City   12  1  1  4  4 11  2  1  3  8 13  3  2  7 12 24 -12  11
18 Middlesbrough   12  0  2  4  5 10  2  2  2 11  9  2  4  6 16 19  -3  10
19 Bradford City   12  1  3  2  4  5  0  1  5  1 14  1  4  7  5 19 -14   7
20 Derby County    12  0  5  1  8 12  0  1  5  8 16  0  6  6 16 28 -12   6

With thanks to Football 365


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News & Rumours: Peter –
Subscriptions: Steve –
Technical Problems: Paul –

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,

Newsletter #657