Newsletter #663

The worst possible start on Wednesday, but as the game progressed, so did City. SWP put in another impressive performance, creating the first goal, whilst missing a fairly easy opportunity to secure his own first goal for the club. The new strike force of Wanchope and Goater got one apiece, and our prize is a quarter-final berth, at home to Ipswich.

I’m afraid there are no match reports, but belated ones are welcome for Monday’s issue.

Next game: Chelsea away, Sunday 3rd December 2000


Strikes from Front Pair Sink Dons

Manchester City are in the quarter finals of the Worthington Cup. The Blues sank Wimbledon 2-1 at Maine Road on Wednesday to book their place in the last eight – but had to come from behind to do so. City desperately needed a victory over the Dons to boost flagging morale following five successive league defeats. But more misery for the Blues looked to be on the cards after eleven minutes when Andy Roberts put the visitors in front with his first goal in almost two years. However, the home side improved as the first half wore on and were rewarded by a Paulo Wanchope equaliser after 26 minutes. City dominated after the break, but had to wait until nine minutes from time before snatching the winner courtesy of Shaun Goater’s volley.

Wright-Phillips Steals the Show Again

The form of Shaun Wright-Phillips has been one of the few bright spots in Manchester City’s recent run of poor form. And the 19-year-old again caught the eye as the Blues ended their losing run against Wimbledon on Wednesday. Wright-Phillips threatened the Dons’ rearguard throughout and could easily have snatched his first goal at senior level – Paulo Wanchope’s opener for the Blues came after the youngster’s shot had been parried by goalkeeper Kelvin Davies, while he fired narrowly wide late on after being played in by substitute Mark Kennedy. And Joe Royle is in no doubt that the Blues have an outstanding prospect on their hands. “Shaun will always catch the eye,” enthused the City boss. “The little fella is so positive. He runs at people, which is something that is becoming a dying art in football.”

Royle Relieved – But League the Priority

Joe Royle was pleased to see his Manchester City side move into the quarter finals of the Worthington Cup on Wednesday. But the Blues’ boss refused to get carried away, insisting that the Premiership remains the priority for his team. Royle acknowledged that morale could have been badly dented had City been eliminated by a team from a lower division. But even though the Blues now appear to have a realistic chance of making further progress in the competition, the City manager would swap the berth in the last eight for a few more Premiership points. “Who knows what would have happened to the confidence if we had gone out to a First Division team?” he reflected. “But while it is nice to be in the last eight, I would take a comfortable season in the Premiership any day compared to winning the cup.”

Burton – City Deserved the Win

Terry Burton had been hoping his Wimbledon side would set up a money-spinning Worthington Cup run by beating Manchester City on Wednesday. But after seeing his hopes dashed at Maine Road, the Dons’ boss admitted that the better side on the night had won. Wimbledon caused alarm among the home support by taking the lead and Burton was happy with the Londoners’ display in the opening period. But he admitted that his team was no match for the Blues as Joe Royle’s men piled on the pressure after half-time. “I’ve no complaints about the result – the longer it went on the harder it got for us,” he conceded. “We did fine in the first half, but after the break, the ball just kept coming back at us. In the end something had to give and Goater took his winner very well.”

Boss has High Hopes for New Strike Duo

Manchester City unveiled the Goater-Wanchope strike partnership for the first time against Wimbledon on Wednesday. And Joe Royle was pleased with the way his two leading front men combined against the Dons. While the Bermudian and the Costa Rican took time to adjust to each other’s play at first, visiting manager Terry Burton admitted that in the second period his defenders struggled to contain the City attack. The combination duly produced a well-taken winning goal, with Wanchope flicking the ball overhead for Goater to volley home. And it appears that the duo will now become Joe Royle’s first-choice attacking spearhead. “I was pleased with [Goater’s] partnership with Wanchope,” said the City boss. “They got better and better as the game went on; they may not look pretty, but they are both quick and sharp.”

City Bid for Ipswich Revenge

Manchester City have reached the quarter finals of the Worthington Cup. And to reach the last four, the Blues will have to avenge last Saturday’s home defeat by Ipswich. City knew before last night’s tie against Wimbledon that victory would see them face the Suffolk outfit. And fate smiled on the Blues in the draw to determine home advantage, with the tie due to be staged at Maine Road on either Tuesday, 12 or Wednesday, 13 December. The elimination of West Ham and Newcastle in the same half of the draw means that the winners of the City v. Ipswich game will fancy their chances of reaching the final – a two-legged semi-final awaits against the winners of the all-First Division clash between Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday.

Stockport Lose Interest in Taylor

Stockport County have admitted that they attempted to sign Gareth Taylor on loan from Manchester City. But the deal is dead after the out-of-favour striker rejected the chance to spend a month with the First Division strugglers. Taylor has been transfer listed for months, and last season had temporary stints at Port Vale and QPR last season. But the ex-Sheffield United player is now interested in a permanent switch only – and that rules County out of the equation, despite their recent sale of Ian Moore to Burnley for £1 million. “We tried to get him on loan but the lad didn’t want to come,” explained assistant manager David Moss. “We made an inquiry but we got nowhere – we couldn’t afford to buy him. It’s dead and buried now.”

Media Source Claims Striker Signing Close

Manchester City are desperately looking for a new striker. And according to online news source Midas Soccer, the Blues’ search for reinforcements could be set to bear fruit soon. City have been short of depth up front ever since the departure of George Weah in October. And the Blues have been linked with a host of potential targets in recent weeks, with David Johnson of Ipswich the latest name in the frame. Now Midas claims a signing could be imminent – with a new man possibly arriving even ahead of the weekend trip to Chelsea. However, as far as news sources go, this has not always proved to be the most reliable, so fans would probably be advised not to get too excited in the absence of corroborative evidence – and by Thursday afternoon, there had been none forthcoming.

Target Hints He Wants a Move

As Manchester City have pursued their much-publicised search for a striker, Eidur Gudjohnsen’s name has featured frequently in speculation. And the Icelandic international has hinted for the first time that he could be prepared to quit Chelsea. Gudjohnsen was a target for the Blues in the summer but in the end opted to move to London. But he’s growing increasingly frustrated with his bit-part rôle at Stamford Bridge, and warns that his patience may be wearing thin. “When I first came here, I was prepared to wait in the wings,” he revealed, “but I am not prepared to wait too long.” However, City’s chances of landing the ex-Bolton star were damaged – at least temporarily – by Tore Andre Flo’s departure from Stamford Bridge last week. It seems unlikely that boss Claudio Ranieri will allow a second front man to leave the club without first bringing in reinforcements.

Trialist ‘Keeper Here Just for Experience

Adin Brown is one of three Colorado Rapids stars currently training with Manchester City. But it appears that the 22-year-old goalkeeper will not be joining the Blues full time. Brown is first choice for the USA’s under-23 team, and has been attracting the attention of several major European clubs. But the player, who is tipped to replace Brad Friedel in the US senior squad soon, is now reported to have agreed a contract extension with the Rapids. And that implies he’s using his stay at Maine Road as an experience-gathering exercise rather than as a bid to earn a permanent move.

City Refuse to Extend Granville Loan

Danny Granville is back at Maine Road. Norwich were keen to extend the full-back’s loan spell, but after losing Paul Ritchie for a month with a groin injury, Joe Royle refused the East Anglians’ request. Ritchie has had an operation on a groin injury, and will be out until the New Year. And that means Danny Tiatto is now the only naturally left-sided defensive player available to Royle. So the City boss refused to allow Granville to stay at Carrow Road – although Canaries’ boss Bryan Hamilton says he’ll be monitoring the position with a view to making a move for the ex-Chelsea and Leeds star in the future.

Cooke Aiming to Win Place Back

Terry Cooke would now be a Sheffield Wednesday player but for the South Yorkshire outfit’s dismal financial position. However, he’s returned to Maine Road after his Hillsborough loan vowing to break back into the Blues’ senior side. Cooke played in thirteen league games for Wednesday, and feels that the experience of first-team football was invaluable. And though he’d have been keen to make a permanent switch to the Owls if they’d been able to afford the transfer fee, the one-time Manchester United junior is now looking to revitalise his career with the Blues. “I’ve still not given up hope of playing for Manchester City,” he confirmed. “I’ve got another year left of my contract and love playing for the club which is why I signed in the first place.”

Edghill Sits Out Brum Cup Game

Richard Edghill has impressed boss Trevor Francis since joining Birmingham on loan. But the full-back was forced to sit out Wednesday’s League Cup win over Newcastle after Joe Royle refused him permission to play. Francis was keen to field the Oldham-born star against Bobby Robson’s men, but Royle was insistent that he didn’t want the player to become cup-tied. Edghill is on loan at St Andrew’s with a view to a reported £750,000 permanent move, but the Maine Road boss is clearly unwilling to allow his former team captain to play in cup competition before the transfer is finally sealed.

Joe – Horlock Has Maine Road Future

Joe Royle admits that Kevin Horlock has voiced discontent at being omitted from the Manchester City side in recent weeks. But the Blues’ boss says that there’s no way he’d be prepared to sell the ex-Swindon star. Horlock earned a recall for Wednesday’s League Cup tie against Wimbledon, and Royle voiced approval of the Northern Ireland man’s display. So it appears that clubs interested in luring the player away from Maine Road will be disappointed. “I’m a fan of Kevin’s and even though I haven’t played him for a few weeks he’s aware that we operate a squad system,” explained the City manager. “He gets frustrated if he is not in the side but I’ve never wanted him to go.”

Academy Boys’ Progress Delights Cassell

Three Manchester City youngsters have been selected for the England under-15 squad for Friday’s game against Scotland at Chester. And Maine Road Academy boss Jim Cassell is thrilled that more of his charges have won international recognition. Strikers Darryll Profitt and Lee Croft will start against the Scots. And team-mate Shaun Cartwright is also in the England party. Despite their age, all three start regularly for the Blues at under-17 level, and Cassell says they don’t look out of place at the higher age group. “We’re delighted to see their hard work being rewarded,” enthused the Blues’ Academy director. “They are definitely of equal ability to the [under-17] players they’ve been up against.”

Weah Fears the Worst for Marseille

George Weah left Manchester City in October, and the Blues have struggled since. But the Liberian has also found life difficult since joining former French champions Marseille. Weah’s new club are in an unaccustomed position, struggling in the French First Division. And the 34-year-old is worried over prospects for the rest of the season if a quick improvement is not forthcoming. “We’re already into the second half of the season, and I’m worried,” he admitted. “Morale is low.”

Weekend Opponents Desperate for a Win

Manchester City visit Chelsea for a televised clash on Sunday looking to build on midweek Worthington Cup success. But as the Blues bid to improve their recent poor league form, they face opponents with exactly the same objective. Much-fancied at the start of the campaign, the Londoners have seen early poor results continue despite replacing manager Gianluca Vialli with fellow-Italian Claudio Ranieri. There has been talk of unrest at the club following a run of one point in four games, and this week coaches Graham Rix and Ray Wilkins were axed. So anything but a maximum-point haul against City will see the pressure build further on Ranieri’s under-achievers. The Blues have a good record at Stamford Bridge, losing on just three of their last twelve visits, although it should be pointed out that, on paper at least, the quality of the Chelsea side for most of this period was significantly inferior to that of the current squad.

Howey to be Fit for Chelsea Clash

Steve Howey limped out of City’s midweek win over Wimbledon with an ankle injury. But the ex-Newcastle star says he’ll be fit to take his place at the heart of the Blues’ defence at Chelsea on Sunday. The former England man was substituted just before half time in the victory against the Dons, with Gerard Wiekens coming on to fill a central defensive rôle. But Howey, who has been in impressive form of late, gave Joe Royle a boost by declaring that he’ll have recovered in time for the trip to Stamford Bridge. If the 27-year-old’s optimism turns out to be misplaced, presumably Richard Dunne will step in alongside Spencer Prior.


The original City fanzine is now online at with a top City news service, fans’ forum, online poll and new features set to be added over the coming weeks. Anyone wishing to contribute, advertise supporters’ meetings or make general comments should contact Frank Newton by e-mail at

Peter Brophy (


Could match reporters possibly start off reports by stating which way City were kicking in the first half, to help exiled and expatriate readers (and that’s probably most of them) get a better picture of the game? “City started off facing the North Stand” type of thing. The reports are excellent, but knowing which way City were attacking and defending (and I don’t mean badly, we know that, we were there for the derby and the Ipswich games) would help us conjure up the action.

Thanks, Ken and Jennifer Corfield in New York (


A good link for City fans to quickly find rival teams’ commentary sites when the less than reliable City site lets you down again:

David Kilroy (


The recently renamed branch will be meeting at its usual place – the Beaver pub, Beverley, near Saturday Market place – to watch this match and deal with branch business, with particular emphasis on a bus trip to Maine Road early next year. The intention is to deal with business before the game, so we’ll meet up at the pub at 3pm to give us an hour before the main event starts at 4. We’ve got one new face coming along for sure but if any other lonely Blues in the area want to come along and cheer on the lads against Chelsea feel free to drop by. If you want more information, e-mail me or call on 01482 864372.

Geoff Donkin – Secretary, East Yorkshire CSA (


My cousin lives in the USA, so after seeing that Uncle Joe has taken a couple of our American brethren on trial I asked for his opinion:

Onto the Yanks that Man City are looking at. The goalie is pretty good – the other two are good but not Premiership survival material. Hart could get you a few goals though. Joe Max Moore (another Yank) did that for Everton at the end of last season. The best player I’ve seen over here is a fella called Eddie Lewis who is now at Fulham but struggling to be a regular. These fellas aren’t as good as him. The ‘keeper may be a good investment, but long term I don’t think that the other two are your answer.

So maybe the goalie. Mind you I have always been impressed with Joe Max Moore – and he would be dirt cheap. I mean why buy British?

Mike Thomas (


Here’s a comment I had from an Ipswich supporting friend down here (called Steve Tong) after watching the game on Saturday and reading my match report. I just hope he’s right…

Don’t worry, I have confidence in City. Watching the likes of Middlesbrough, people keep saying they are just too good to go down with their players, just like Hansen and Co. said we were too cr*p to stay up. I think the truth of it is as Scowcroft said before the match, Man City are a hot and cold team, they can play some incredible stuff, when you get out of this run and get some confidence I think your quality will show. Three candidates to go down, Bradford because they are not good enough, Coventry not enough quality (have not replaced players of the past) and either Middlesbrough (not enough determination) or Derby (quality still not there). Certainly City have a reputation of being fighters and never giving up and had me in a sweat for the last 10 minutes. Get Wanchope on song, Wright-Phillips looks a gem, Weaver a great ‘keeper with Prior and Howey decent defenders, there is a good spine to the team. Can’t see you going down, but you need to get out of this run!

Via Sharon Hargreaves


I am a City exile living in Glasgow. There are a couple of good, proven goalscorers available at the moment up here, both currently with Rangers and both surplus to requirements at Rangers. Marco Negri is a talented goalscorer who has been out of contention after falling out with the club a couple of seasons ago; in his first season he had scored 30 goals in the first half of that season then fell foul of Walter Smith and was banished to the reserves ever since. With the arrival of Tore Andre Flo, the future now looks bleak for Billy Dodds, the Scottish striker and it’s on the cards he will be moving on; he was linked with his former club Dundee Utd. but they admitted they could not afford him as he is rated at £1 million by Rangers.

Either of these two would be an asset to City who are lacking a true striker with a nose for goal, with no offence to the Goat or Wanchope, the latter of whom has not been the same since Weah left. So come on City take a look at these two and give us someone who can put the ball in the onion bag.

Steve Oatway (


Sharp intake of breath! OK here I go. 40-years old and I’m stuck in blo*dy purgatory for reasons unknown to me (not I suppose true as I chose to come here – to Gibraltar).

Right I’m ready.

Background – Lifelong City supporter, born in Altrincham, raised in Sale Moor, many years in, Timperley, Ashton-on-Mersey and Sedgeley Park (are there two ‘e’s ? – God it’s been 12 years away from Blighty). More background – Kippax season ticket holder from 1973-74 (lapsed 1986/87 due to work), Wembley 70/74/76/81×2/Chelsea Full Members’ etc. Kicked ass when it was obligatory/ran fast and never had ass kicked/sh*t meself several times though (e.g. Bristol City as the last game of our run of unbeaten games ended – was it 17?).

What have I suffered for City? Ok, apart from what everyone else has – Following an away game at Forest I fell out of a van on the M62 at about (drivers words so God knows) 80 in the outside lane… When you have no skin left on your back you’ve suffered for your team. One more. Spent about £1,500 taking my family back to England and all we wanted was 4 tickets to the Play-off final. Anyway, after all hope was lost we bug*ered off to a pub about 5 miles away and then came back to stand for an hour on the bridge over Wembley Way. My wife and kids had realised I was obsessed before but they got a bit of a shock and, I believe my wife realised that there was still a passionate man (prat) in there somewhere.

Credentials OK? Right. Here is my diatribe.

  1. David Beckham is the man to lead England for the next 5 years! Oopsforgot to mention that I would accept relegation for my beloved City if itmeant England won the World Cup. Went to Spain 82, Sweden Euro’s (year? -easy to forget) and Wembley about 20 times to watch England not to mentionU21 games at Maine Road/The pit/Anfield etc. I am an England fan first andCity second. But it’s never really been a choice. Sven Goran not beingEnglish matters to me and most real England fans not a jot if they qualifyfor everything and reach the semi-finals of most. Don’t forget if we couldtake penalties we’d be the team to beat. Also the booing of other teams’National Anthem isn’t meant to be disrespectful but it’s now a tradition.Other countries won’t stop hating us if we stop whistling. Also if you’veever been abroad with England you will know that those who travel are notyobs. On the other hand they probably aren’t the type to let the police andrival fans throw and shoot all sorts of cr*p at them.
  2. I remember thinking to myself before the season started that JR was goodat getting Oldham into the 1st Division but couldn’t keep them there.Although he got close to beating ‘the scum’ in the FA Semi. Don’t get mewrong, I love the man but think he’ll need a couple of years in the Prembefore we see the best. Hope he and we get it.
  3. I am sick of watching Sky every week and watching the manager of theteam that has just beaten us saying “they are too good to go down” or“their squad’s too good”… Ball Hooks… déjà bl*ody vu.
  4. Despite my admiration for David Beckham’s ability (and that’s all it is)I cannot understand why City fans threw £1 coins at him. What a blo*dywaste. 10p’s can be thrown just as far and more accurately.
  5. When watching Rangers/Celtic the other day it dawned on me that if the Scum areCeltic/Hibs then we are Rangers/Hearts. Let’s tap that link. And I know it’shappened before. I travelled with many mates to see Hearts lose theScottish Cup Final at Hampden days after they had lost the League atDundee. And I know Hearts fans came to see us regularly. Does that stillhappen?

OK that’s it almost. I was speaking to a Scummer recently who told me that some historic event means that they don’t support England anymore. It was some sh.. about ignoring some players for the 1970 finals. After I’d spent an hour explaining to him that if he’d ever been to a Championship with England he’d realise why I was so passionate about my country’s team. It’s like City… 4-0 down at half time away at Southampton (or was it Norwich?) and we’re all in the bar having a great laugh… in the Anfield Road End in the League Cup Semi (couldn’t see a City fan yet we outsang ’em)… any match at Blackpool / Stoke / Blackburn / Burnley / Oldham… the bananas… the crack! This so-called Scummer I might add has been in Gibraltar the same length of time as me yet I went on the train overnight to watch his darlings getting stuffed by Atletico Madrid 3-0 (actually cheered for them quite a bit – Spicks getting on my nerves like Liverpool do), I almost paid £100 to watch the European Runners-up Cup Final and would (and I kid you not) go to watch any game I could to get live footie. Well that’s better. I feel cleansed. Please forgive me because I’ve been keeping that pent up for ages as there are very few here to discuss your football passion with.

Ian Wood (


An anonymous correspondent wrote:

Inexplicably, the club’s management chose not to hold a minute’s silence in his memory prior to the kick-off on Saturday.

I too was surprised about this and wonder what the criteria are for the black armbands and silent tribute. The saddest aspect of his passing, however, was that the Oldham hospital where he died had to appeal in the Manchester Evening News for relatives to come forward.

Steve Willis (


This is probably not the ideal forum for posting this message as I’ll no doubt be preaching to the converted, but a few observations about the old enemy after watching them play Sunderland:

  1. I am still waiting for the Phil Neville press conference – you know, the one where he comes out and labels Dwight Yorke a coward.
  2. The biased reporting of United’s activities is soaring towards new and unchartered levels of farce. A couple of (several) examples:
    • Alan Parry described Greening’s jelly-legged antics as “theclearest stonewall penalty of the season”. It seemed thatdespite the hundreds of replays, not to mention the mountainof e-mails received by “You’re on Sky Sports”, none of Sky’sexperts would allow themselves to see that Greening’sdescent to the turf began before he had even arrived at the’keeper’s arms. Had he not dived, he’d have been given a pen.
    • Dwight Yorke’s tackle (considerably worse than Tiatto’s in myview) was defended by Alan Parry and Chris Kamara because“We’ve seen enough of Dwight to know that’s not in hisnature”. They put the assault down to “over-exuberence”.Over-exuberence my ar*e.
  3. The Rags, who incidentally returned 3,000 tickets they couldn’tsell (seems like the die-hard Mancunian Reds who can’t ever get aticket were all busy), sang songs of one common theme – City.Don’t ever let them tell you that we’re bitter and obsessed becausenever have I been to a game (derbies excepted) when we have sungsuch a high proportion of anti-Rag songs. They may have all thetrophies but it seems the chips on their shoulders on somewhatbigger than our own. Mind you, in my eyes they have a lot more tobe jealous of than we do.
  4. It’s been said before and whilst two wrongs don’t make a right,United’s references to Russian submarines completely invalidatetheir right to condemn those who sing about Munich (they cancondemn both, of course, but can no longer claim that United fanshold the high moral ground).

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I felt (as I’m sure did Gary “Dot Cotton” Neville) that Sunderland “only huffed and puffed” and that because they won, “football was the loser”. Sir Alex can rest proud in the knowledge that his sense of fair play and sportsmanship has successfully penetrated the mindset of his young players. His view of the Yorke assault, for the record, was:

“He’ll be disappointed that the referee chose to give the red card. I’ve seen some tackles in the last few weeks which were worse than that.”

Perhaps you should refrain from watching the WWF, Sir Alex.

I’m extremely glad to be Blue…

Scott Turton (


Sorry this one is a few days late, but my server’s been playing up. Wilson of The Unobservant is a bit old hat now, but I don’t feel any less vitriolic with the passing of time.

BTW Jason the Turkey (see MCIVTA 660) sends his respects. Mind you, me having worked late for 3 nights on the trot and raided the fridge late doors, poor Jason is now permanently legless. So much so, I think his middle name must be Roy. Jason Roy Van Blerky-Turkey.

Okay, here goes.

I too read the offending article. There’s no doubt that the coterie of Rags in influential places is damaging the chances of supporters of other PL clubs, not only City, getting a fair crack of the whip from the papers, posh ones included. Someone in MCIVTA 661 suggested that Mr. Wilson must have seen the match on Sky TV. Oh no he didn’t! If he’d have been watching Sky he’d have seen Baldy Frog’s shove on Prior (I think I said Howey in my report), Wes Brown’s interference with Dicky, Beckham’s absurd diving and Keane’s horrible leering face – if Alfie is “unlikeable”, Keano is the spawn of Freddie West and Myra Hindley, sorry, a rather extreme and horrible image, I know but I think it gets the point across. He’d also have seen brilliant defending by the likes of Howey, Prior and Charvet, Alfie’s unbelievable running, and fine skills from old Bish and young Shaun. He would have seen a great match between two good teams that could have finished five apiece, with the honours only being resolved by a (grudgingly) brilliant free kick from a skilful player who but for his one-footedness, lack of pace and nasty, petulant attitude might become England’s best midfielder since the great Colin Bell.

As for “City doesn’t even rate a Capital C in the united fanzine”have you ever seen one of their fanzines? Pretty illiterate, juvenile stuff the couple I read (out of necessity I hasten to add – someone had pinched “Pig Breeder” out of the dentist’s waiting room and someone else was reading “Welder’s Gazette”).

No, I rather fancy Mr. W listened to radio commentary on the golf course, had a few celebratory cans of Man United lager (or whatever his hero Roy drinks) then went home to watch the highlights on MotD, yes, another travesty, before filing his report and cuddling up under his World’s Oldest Spotty Welsh Virgin duvet with a mug of MUFC cocoa and his Phil Neville Action Man, Spice Girls album in the walkman.

And no, Mr. Wilson, I don’t condone coin-chucking. But football is the game of the people and the people always carry the burden of a minority of malcontents and dickheads – like the knife wielding Red on the Alty train, the half-brick chuckers on the railway embankent at Leeds, the NF thugs at Chelsea and the other vile personages I’ve witnessed in a lifetime of following City, oh and there’s Liverpool – same ’81 League Cup semi as instanced by Simon Hope where the Scouse gentlemen actually heated up the coins before they threw them at us. But I’d never condemn the many for the sins of the few. And they were few, by all accounts last Saturday. But don’t worry, Mr. W, I expect Mark and Bish to take it like men when they’re settling the ball on the corner flag at The Swamp, despite the dangers. A prawn shell, worse, langoustine, lobster or crab, even a dead one, on the back of the head can be pretty bloody painful, you know!

And yes, we are the best fans in the world. Sometimes, as a Blue in Exile, I felt ashamed that I hadn’t been at Wycombe, Reading or York on a Wednesday night to support the cause. And I felt proud for the guys who were. Don’t suppose Mr Wilson would comprehend either sentiment, but there you are.

I rest my case.

P.S. Cahal a.k.a. The Master of Zen Bluism. Thanks for the thanks. Good to see you back in full flow.

P.P.S. Dave Cash – forgot to mention. Glad to grab that pint if you’re ever passing through Dublin. I know just the place (or five)!

P.P.S. Thanks John Freeman for a very nice piece. Similar sentiments expressed the other week by my elder daughter, also a Red and not born in Trafford but certainly brought up there. If all Reds were more like you two and less like John Wilson (and if your club was more like City, in ethos, not necessarily results!) we could get back to the more healthy, more sensible relationship we had when I was growing up in Manchester.

Finally, what’s this? An uncharacteristic bit of doom’n’gloom from my favourite Blue Ray of Sunshine?

Come on All You Ernie Barrows and get behind Paulo! Cheer him up, get his little rubber legs working again!

Why not give the odd game a miss and go and watch him shopping in Kendals or on the training ground at Carrington! Or give him a big cheer when he comes loping on with the Blues two-nil down. Get behind Our Paulo Blue and soon he’ll be up there with the Rio Ferdinands! Don’t call him lazy that’s no way for a True Paulo Blue to behave, that’s defeatist talk! So come on all you Ernie Barrows!

Ernie Whalley (


We have vacancies for two talented kids, preferably fans of the great Manchester City Football Club. Kids in our eyes means anybody under the age of 80 with time on their hands. We are looking for somebody that can write something of quality for our news database each day and somebody to look after the technical side of things now Scall has been promoted to the position of Technical Director.

The one quality apart from a wee bit of technical/writing talent we are looking for is the ability to “stick in there”. We can promise you’ll meet more girls and guys than you ever thought possible and the odd appearance on the Maine Road pitch and Players’ Lounge. We have over 4,000 fans hit the site each day and we are constantly trying to improve the service we provide them.

Contact me if you fit the bill…

Bob Young (


Due to circumstances I won’t go into, I have 2 tickets for sale for the Chelsea vs. City game, face value (£27). Please e-mail or telephone 020 7344 8888 (office/daytime) or 020 8670 3093 (home/evening).

M Carver (


Contributions: Ashley –
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 #663