Newsletter #688

All of a sudden our players are in demand. As Pete’s news summary shows, the squad will potentially shrink quite a bit this coming week as players who have played a significant rôle in the events of recent seasons move on if the negotiations come to fruition. Richard Jobson has been likely to move to Tranmere for some time, but the rush of interest in Lee Crooks and Andy Morrison comes as something of a surprise. And it seems that Bish has finally decided that Miami is a better place to hang up your boots than Sheffield. At the risk of upsetting a few Steel City Blues… a bit of a no-brainer Ian!

There seems to be a mood of cautious optimism about the virtual Blue world as we approach the weekend (here’s hoping the weather doesn’t intervene) so I’m hoping my presence in Kippax GG Lower doesn’t cock things up for the lads – I’m overdue a League win! I might even buy a flag!

Tonight’s compact issue has a report on the reserves game against Bury (from a frost bitten Heidi) counter pointed by a report of Chris Killen’s exploits with the New Zealand team at the other side of the globe, news of the Neil Young benefit, together with a range of opinion from team selection through to match day policing. And I sense after the mobile phone queries have died down, we’re on the verge of a wave of requests for match day lyrics. We really must get that McVittee FAQ sorted out lads.

Ashley’s back on Monday’s issue… though he might be considering a delayed issue, just in case 😉

Next game: Southampton at home, Saturday 3rd March 2001


Part I: Transfer News and Rumours

Morrison in Bristol City Talks: Andy Morrison is set to leave Manchester City. The Blues’ former skipper has been in talks with Bristol City on Thursday over a £150,000 move to Ashton Gate. Morrison became a Maine Road crowd favourite after joining City from Huddersfield for a bargain £80,000 in October 1998. The big defender was an immediate inspiration and was widely viewed as a key figure in the club’s surge to promotion from Division Two via the play-offs in 1999. Injury kept the former Blackpool man’s participation in the subsequent First Division campaign down to twelve league appearances, and this term, the arrival of several new defenders saw his opportunities restricted. After loan spells back at Bloomfield Road and at Crystal Palace, the 30-year-old did force his way back into contention and he made seven senior appearances between December and February. Now, however, Joe Royle has decided that the Inverness-born star is surplus to requirements.

Trio Chase Crooks After Fee Agreed: Lee Crooks could be joining this week’s Manchester City exodus. The Blues have agreed a fee of £190,000 with Huddersfield Town for the utility player, but the Terriers face competition from Barnsley and Bristol City for the Yorkshireman’s signature. Crooks first featured for City in the 1996-97 season but only secured a regular place in the second half of the 1998-99 Second Division promotion campaign. He was again consigned to a bit-part rôle the following year and has made just two substitute appearances in the league this term. The 23-year-old had an injury-curtailed loan spell at Northampton in December and January but has returned to fitness and must now consider his next move.

Tranmere Enquire About Permanent Jobson Move: Richard Jobson has made a big impact during his loan spell at Tranmere Rovers. So it comes as little surprise that the First Division outfit have been speaking to Manchester City about prolonging the arrangement. Jobson has been an ever-present since his arrival at Prenton Park in January. And after helping the Merseyside outfit to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, the 37-year-old was in the Rovers side that beat Huddersfield on Tuesday to move off the foot of the Division One table. Boss John Aldridge regards the veteran defender as a key man, and the ex-Liverpool star is thought to be keen to engineer a free transfer switch to keep the ex-Oldham and Leeds player at Tranmere for the remainder of their survival battle this term and for the whole of next season.

Bishop Flies Out to Seal Miami Switch: Reports earlier in the week claimed that Ian Bishop could opt to stay in English football rather than move to Miami Fusion. But the midfielder was due to fly out on Thursday to complete his switch from Manchester City to the MLS club. Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Burnley all had hopes of persuading Bishop to forsake life in Florida to play in the Nationwide League. But the 35-year-old is following the course he has preferred all along after being made available on a free transfer in January. Contractual complexities have ensured a protracted saga before the ex-West Ham man could finally be unveiled by the Fusion, but now the deal is subject only to the player receiving a work permit – which should be a formality. The playmaker is expected to captain Miami during the new MLS season, which starts in April.

American Midfielder Linked Again: Manchester City were linked earlier this season with a move for Tony Sanneh. And there are renewed reports of City interest in the Hertha Berlin midfielder. Sanneh is a US international but is only a fringe player with the German club – and is therefore keen to move on to help his prospects of winning a regular place with his country. Hertha’s Bundesliga colleagues FC Nuremberg are rated favourites to land the 29-year-old, but the Blues continue to be mentioned as potential rivals for his signature after the Berlin club’s manager Dieter Hoeness confirmed the player would be allowed to leave.

Jim Makes a Winning Start: Jim Whitley has completed a loan move from Manchester City to Northampton. And the midfielder saw his stint with the Cobblers begin successfully this week. Whitley has signed for the Second Division outfit for a month and he went straight into the side to face Swansea on Tuesday. And the 25-year-old played his part in a 2-1 success for Kevin Wilson’s side as they maintained their hopes of ending the campaign in a play-off spot. If the Northern Irish international impresses at Sixfields, Wilson could be interested in a permanent move; the player is out of contract in the summer and looks likely to leave the Blues. Cambridge and Blackpool are also said to be interested in signing him at that juncture.

Part II: Miscellaneous News and Views

City to Allow Flags Into Maine Road: Manchester City allowed fans to bring flags to home games on two of the occasions in recent seasons when the Maine Road atmosphere was at its best. And the Blues have decided to adopt the policy again. The presence of flags was popular with fans and helped to create a carnival atmosphere at both the 1999 play-off match against Wigan and the crucial league clash against Birmingham last April. Now, ahead of Saturday’s visit of Southampton, the club has again decided to comply with the wishes of its supporters. “There is never a lack of atmosphere at Maine Road,” explained director Dennis Tueart, “but, after listening to supporters at branch meetings, they wanted the old rules relaxed and permission for more flags to be brought into the ground.”

Jeff Tastes International Disappointment: Manchester City’s international contingent suffered a disappointing week. Of the four Blues called up by their countries, only one tasted match action – and that in a comprehensive defeat. Nicky Weaver was named on the bench for England under-21s against Spain on Tuesday. But the City goalkeeper may have reflected that life among the substitutes was preferable to playing in the game – Howard Wilkinson’s side suffered a 4-0 reverse. Richard Dunne, meanwhile, travelled to Dublin to join up with the Republic of Ireland squad for a friendly against Denmark only for bad weather to cause the fixture to be postponed, while Tommy Wright was an unused substitute for Northern Ireland’s Belfast clash with Norway. However, Jeff Whitley did earn selection for Sammy McIlroy’s side but was replaced in the second half after a turning in a disappointing personal display as the Norwegians strolled to a 4-0 win.

Part III: Reserve Team News

City Sweep Aside Bury Challenge: Manchester City’s reserves were in Manchester Senior Cup action on Wednesday evening. And the Blues eased to a comfortable victory over neighbours Bury at Gigg Lane. On-loan front man Egil Ostenstad led the way with a brace, while Shaun Wright-Phillips and Chris Shuker were also on the mark as City beat the Shakers 4-1. The game was notable for the returns from injury of Mark Kennedy, who played for the first 45 minutes and reported no trouble from his sore achilles, and Paul Dickov, who lasted for the whole game after six weeks out with a knee problem. Earlier reports that Kevin Horlock would also play some part in the match proved unfounded; the ex-Swindon man has returned to training this week after recovering from a broken ankle but City decided it was too soon for the player to take part in a reserve match.

Part IV: Southampton at Home – Team News and Preview

Royle Set to Name Same Starting Eleven: Manchester City produced an encouraging display to beat Newcastle United last weekend. And Joe Royle is set to call on the same players to produce a repeat performance against Southampton on Saturday. Royle restored Tony Grant to the City starting line-up at St James’s Park and praised the midfielder’s contribution, meaning that Jeff Whitley is likely to remain on the bench as the south coast outfit visit Maine Road. And Shaun Goater’s goal against the Geordies will ensure that the Bermudian holds off the challenge of on-loan former Saint Egil Ostenstad for a place in attack. The City manager will be pleased that he has plenty of options when selecting his substitutes, with Paul Dickov and Mark Kennedy having come through the midweek reserve match against Bury following their respective injury absences.

Howey to Battle Through Pain Barrier Again: Steve Howey defied a broken toe to turn in a man-of-the-match display for Manchester City at Newcastle last week. And the ex-England star will once again go through the pain barrier when Southampton visit Maine Road on Saturday. Howey is still suffering with the injury, which forced him out of the FA Cup tie at Liverpool a fortnight ago. The former Newcastle player has of late been unable to train with his team-mates, and he’ll continue with his special regime for several more weeks. However, Joe Royle expects the key defender to take his place against the Saints – and to maintain his excellent form. “Steve will have another injection before the game on Saturday,” Royle told the official club website at “He has trained alternate days this week and has had days with the physio and in the hydro pool, and will continue with that programme for several weeks. But he puts it all behind him [on the pitch] – he was outstanding last week.”

Goater – Saints Game a Must-Win: Manchester City boosted their Premiership survival hopes by winning at Newcastle last week. But Shaun Goater says the fine display against Bobby Robson’s men will count for nothing unless the Blues follow up with a win over Southampton on Saturday. Goater notched the game’s only goal at St James’ Park to give his side three precious points against the Geordies. And now the Bermudian says the Blues need to use that success on Tyneside as a springboard. “It gives us more confidence for the Southampton game,” he reflected. “We now need to win that one because if we don’t it only brings more pressure for the remaining games. It’d be nice to get a run of wins going at this stage of the season.”

Peter Brophy (


A pre-arranged meeting with a Bury supporting colleague meant that I couldn’t duck out of this one, despite the bitterly cold weather. A phone call to Bury hoping that the game was off due to the snow (“the groundsman says it’s perfectly alright”) left me seeing how many fleeces I could put on without losing all movement in my arms before dashing up the M66 to Gigg Lane. First time I’ve been, nice little ground and a new club shop out front (run by the Birthdays concession, allegedly they were also planning on selling Rag shirts there – Neville Neville being a BFC director of course – this was met with fierce and understandable objection). So for the princely sum of £2 we took to our seats in the main stand amongst a sparse crowd.

This game was billed to see the return to action after injury of our missing heroes: Dickov, Horlock and Kennedy. Horlock though didn’t start, apparently he’s not yet ready, Morrison off to Bristol for talks meant he was missing too. City therefore lined up: Nash, Charvet, Edghill, Jordan, Dunfield, Day, Shuker, SWP, Egil, Kennedy and Dickov. City started brightly, in fact we dominated the game. I do love the reserves games as it’s usually the only time I get to see us wipe the floor with opponents (unbeaten since Nov, how’s that?). Egil was looking a bit fitter, thank goodness, Kennedy seemed OK but we spent most of the first 15 minutes catching up on Nat Fed/FSA developments, so sorry. About 17 minutes, Kennedy made a long pass down to Dickov who crossed in to SWP to put the ball safely in the net. 1-0. Easy, good to see the lad score. Dickov had a hand in the second, so to speak, 5 minutes later when he nicked the ball off Connell on the edge of the area, across to Egil and, blimey, he scored. 2-0. Play continued, foot stomping to keep warm. Half time came, off for some coffee. Piping hot, but stingy portion at 90p – no wonder attendances have slumped to 2-3,000. Mr Robinson obviously still thinks they are in Division 1 – food and drink same price as most Premiership grounds, adult entrance on a match day £14 for a mid-bottom 2nd Division side. Now business sense tells you that if you cut prices to £10 and £5 you’ll get the punters in again. I’ll waive the usual consulting day rate, but only because it’s Bury.

Second half saw Kennedy replaced by Etuhu who is coming on in leaps and bounds from the awkward and confidence lacking youngster we saw on the BBC2 Academy programme over 12 months ago. He helped the Egil to score his second of the night. 3-0. That’s it, my hat is off to The Tabak this weekend, in preparation for his first team goal scoring feats. Up front, Shuker and SWP were doing what they do best, having a storming game charging around and confusing the opposition. Things were getting a bit scrappy now, mainly of the handbags at 10 paces variety and usually involving Dickov. Bury managed to score one (Littlejohn) to give them some respectability. Actually I felt sorry for them at this point, always magnanimous in victory against poor opposition. On about 75 minutes, Bury went down to 10 men when Dickov managed to get Peyton sent off. He’s obviously back to form, showing that unnecessary petulant side again and this was a totally unnecessary second booking with an unfortunate result. Watch it Dickov, even the Blues were getting cheesed off with you at this point.

Soon after, Egil passed the ball through to Shuker on the edge of the Bury area who smashed a superb, powerful shot in from 15 yards. One for the cameras, but of course there weren’t any there. A fantastic goal and a fitting finish to the game. 4-1 to City. The Manchester Senior Cup is the one we usually perform terribly in over the past few seasons. However, the Oldham, now Bury thrashing and the Rags to come, who we have already beaten this season, bode well (not that I am predicting anything of course). Back home and the fantastic news that England had beaten Spain 3-0, and not a Rag amongst the goalscorers.

Roll on Saturday and “flag day”. I am quietly confident now.

Heidi Pickup (


New Zealand score twice in closing minutes to win 2-1 in World Cup play-off.

ALBANY (North Shore of Auckland) – Wednesday, 28 February, 2001

Despite floodlight problems at North Harbour Stadium, which also halted play for two minutes, Australia led New Zealand 1-0 at the break, thanks to a goal by Marconi player Kevo Gulesserian after Luke Wilkshire chipped over the defence into Gulesserian’s path, who slotted ball past the ‘keeper, Adam Highfield.

But in the closing fifteen minutes, Jonathan Rowe (76m) sent the equaliser from the edge of the box, into the top corner – following a Darren Young corner and this was followed by a captain’s goal from an easy tap-in from Killen (86m) as his first attempted header bounced off the post, and back to him – to send the Albany crowd into a frenzy. Gulesserian is the player who is standing-in for the suspended Southampton-based striker, Scott McDonald, which will make things different in the second leg.

Observers regarded the New Zealand side allowed the Australians far too much latitude in play especially in the opening stages of the game. Despite the defence being caught out by the fast-moving and mobile Australians, the Kiwis also had their chances – as Chris Killen, David Mulligan and Shane Smeltz all drew saves from an Aussie defence that had still to concede any goals throughout their entire campaign. In the 28th minute, a power failure saw half the floodlights go down, halting play for two minutes. That plus other stoppages finally saw five minutes added to normal play.

As to cautions, Australian NSL player, Wayne Srhoj received a yellow card for a foul… from the resulting free kick New Zealand’s Darren Young finds Killen whose header and skimmed the top of the crossbar. Just prior to half-time, the home side launched a series of assaults, but as the New Zealand offence continued, tempers flared around the Australian goalmouth, with the referee calling over both captains to calm the players down.

Corners, and a free kick wide on the left, New Zealand had a wicked shot punched clear by Vanstrattan, whilst Mulligan also crossed into middle forcing Byrnes to clear just wide of goalpost.

Following the early stages of the game, an Australia attack broke down when Srhoj lost the ball, pounced on by Mulligan who counter-attacked down the right, his shot skimming the top corner of the goalposts. Then New Zealand captain, Chris Killen breaks down the right and crosses to Shane Smeltz, whose effort is cleared by Greg Owens Socceroo captain and Perth Glory player Ljubo Milicevic sent a long ball to Lucas Pantelis on left, Pantelis cross goes across face of goal and cleared by New Zealand defence.

In the 6th minute, a long range shot from Wayne Srhoj is heading for top right corner, but the NZ ‘keeper Highfield, parried it away for corner. Play opened in the 3rd minute with a New Zealand free kick, taken by Darren Young, Australian ‘keeper Jess Vanstrattan makes easy save. Two minutes later, it was down the other end when Australia forced a corner taken by Luke Wilkshire, Mark Byrnes rises and heads goalward but it was saved by the Adam Highfield (New Zealand ‘keeper). Play was then going from one end to the other, with both defences though proving tough to break down.

Then in the 59th minute, a New Zealand free kick is taken by Young, the ball flies across face of goal, missing everyone, but was cleared by Vanstrattan. Four minutes prior to that, Killen managed a break through the middle of the Australian defence from halfway, taking the ball to the goalmouth, but unfortunately his shot bounced off Kisnorbo for a corner.

The second half commenced with Carle slotting ball through to Gulesserian, who shoots straight into ‘keeper’s hands, then the NSL player had a left footed shot dribble just past the right post, following an Australian build-up.

Australia: Jess Vanstrattan (GK); Mark Byrnes, Ljubo Milicevic, Patrick Kisn orbo, Wayne Srhoj, Ahmad Elrich, Luke Wilkshire, Nick Carle, Lucas Pantelis, Kevo Gulesserian, Greg Owens (75m Michael Ferrante)
New Zealand: Adam Highfield (GK); David Rayner, Darren Young, Andy Levick, Ben Sigmund, Tim Brown, David Mulligan (57m Wiremu Patrick), Chris Killen, Jeremy Christie, Terry Thou, Shane Smeltz.
Referee: Harry Attison (Vanuatu)

John Geary (


The article below is from the official website ( So everyone bring your flags on Saturday and crank up the atmosphere!

Fly the Blue Flag

Fly the Blue flag at Maine Road on Saturday when City will launch a special, “flag day” for the visit of Southampton. City fans are being asked to back the side on Saturday with a blue flag! It was two years ago in the Division 2 play off semi final against Wigan that City first encouraged supporters to turn up with Blue flags… not that anyone needed too much encouragement.

And that was proved again last year for the final home game of the season when the stands were bedecked in blue. Now, after the idea was, “flagged up” at supporters’ club meetings, City have acted again as Board Director, Dennis Tueart explained. “There is never a lack of atmosphere at Maine Road, but after listening to supporters at their Supporters’ Club branch meetings they wanted the old rules relaxed and permission for more flags to be brought into the ground”. “The last two years have been tremendous and we see flags at every game but we felt Flag Day should stay, so let’s see these flags fly on Saturday”.

City have reduced the prices of flags to just £4.99 and are available in the City Superstore at Maine Road… so if you are going to the game you have no excuses to be without that flag!

Maria Handley (


As you may be aware, City legend Neil Young whilst at the end of his career at Maine Road was offered a testimonial. This formed part of his transfer package to Preston North End in 1971. Circumstances at that time meant the agreement was not fulfilled.

The Neil Young Committee have made representations to the current Board and are delighted that after long and careful consideration they have granted permission for a tribute to Neil Young. The full detail of our planned tribute is yet to be finalised but we hope that a detailed statement could be made in the late Spring, which will outline our fundraising activities.

It is envisaged a Tribute Dinner will take place supported by the Club, together with recognition of Neil at a pre-season friendly which we understand may take place in July.

On behalf of the Neil Young Tribute Committee we would like to thank everyone who has supported our campaign and also the Board of Directors.

We look forward to a successful fundraising effort.

Dave Cash (


Anyone old enough to remember a book called “1066 And All That” written by a duo called Sellars and Yeatman?

No, it’s not an account of England’s first unsuccessful European campaign (0-1 vs. Normandy, at Hastings, no City players took part according to Gary James). “1066…” is a collection of schoolboy howlers assembled into a very funny English History book – particularly funny if you were brought up in the dire days when history as it was taught began in 1 BC and worked its way with all the pace of Gerard Wiekens or a Virgin train towards 1914 (where the teachers stopped – before you could find out the truth for yourself).

Fast forward almost 600 years from the Norman invasion and we get to The Civil War (no, not Reds vs. Blues) but Roundheads vs. Cavaliers (same thing, really). According to Messrs S & Y, the Roundheads (who won) were “right, but repulsive” whereas the Cavaliers (who lost) were “wrong, but romantic”.

This proposition sums up brilliantly the difference between Brian Horton’s Cavaliers and the Peter Reid/Sam Ellis Roundheads. Horton’s teams, win or lose, were full of swash and buckle, trying things on, never dodging the difficult ball. Reid’s, on the other hand, played percentages, did the simple things effectively, gaining two fifth places in the process, but, and here Simon is spot on they were bloody boring to watch, most un-Citylike particularly to those fans who got their indoctrination between 1968-80. Younger fans would probably sell their souls for two 5th places but in all my time watching City I can never remember at any other time the fans so quiet, Maine Road emptying on one occasion 10 minutes before the end when we were drawing 1-1 (anyone remember who against?).

It was this aura of boredom and apathy that prompted Swales to think he could get rid of Reid and Ellis, bring back the excitement and win himself some kudos with the fans. And of course it might have worked if the next guy won us a cup and two 4th places but it didn’t happen.

Simon is right on another count. The destruction of Blackburn, Champions elect was as good a ninety minutes as we’ve seen from a City team since the seventies (well, on a par with the 5-1 and even then the quality of the football was better, more imperious – the 5-1 was down to razor sharp finishing, rather than total domination – we could have had eight against Blackburn). So stats be damned, Mr. McFarlane.

And Simon’s eulogy of Vonky is bang in order. The man had great character, worked his socks off, scored at least two memorable goals dammit he even looked like a character. Where I’d take issue with Simon is with his description of David Brightwell – I think he’d have been a good player if he’d had better coaching and was introduced gently into a winning team, but my biggest complaint against him was his positional sense seemed strangely non-existent, he got pulled about all over the place. Whatever, he sure as hell wasn’t up there with Clive Wilson, Pardoe, Hinchy, Donachie, Paul Power even Pointon.

While I’m on a rant’n’roll let’s consider another point: the so-called “Benefits of Relegation”

Well, just as Groucho Marx reckoned “there ain’t no sanity clause”, I reckon there ain’t no benefits of relegation unless you’re bent on compiling a thesis on England’s lesser known chip shops. Consider: even more grief from snotty Rags; disheartened players; the probability Joe will say “I’ve done this before, same again, up we go”; huge loss of income; having to blood youngsters on a wet Tuesday night at Gillingham; having lumps kicked out of us by the little clubs, every game a cup-tie; no reports in the newpapers; no coverage on TV; the possibility of Division 2 again; No one decent will sign for us; Millwall… need I go on? Relegation? No thanks.

Ernie Whalley (


Simon Hope (MCIVTA 687) must be having a laugh if he seriously believes David Brightwell to be “at the head of the long line of brilliant left-backs who’ve graced the Maine Road stage” – to me Brightwell was a below average defender sorely lacking in pace – where is he now I ask? As for Vonk at QPR I remember it well although Vonk was in that match an orthodox centre half who had the knack of occasionally venturing forward with some success. I noticed though Simon you didn’t attempt to defend N Summerbee or A Kernaghan!

CTID! Ian Haigh (


OK, so we’ve one won (and, like the Spurs game should’ve been, deserved it!) at long last. Like everybody else I’ve read all the ‘doom & gloom’ versus ‘happy smiley faces’ articles with great interest. I particularly agreed with the bloke who stated that he wasn’t all that impressed with the standard of footy in this all-powerful Premiership (better grounds, but for entertainment value, I’d choose Fulham over the A**e/Rags et al).

Likewise, the great manager/player (or team) selection/personality clash debate (how many of you have secretly dreamed of bumping into Mr Potato Head and asking just what the **** is /was going on with Weah/Cooke/Wanchope etc.), and finally, the absolute lack of any midfield nightmare. But, and this is a big but; is anybody else out there positively drooling at the thought of last Saturday’s’ defence, Kanchelskis on the right, Huckerby in the centre, and the Kennedy of last season (as opposed to turning up and then not bothering his a**e), on the left?

Come on then pundits, what then? Is it me or does that not offset the midfield palaver? Now would that be feeding the Goat or what? For that matter, with the outstanding little Aussie and SWP to boot, wouldn’t even the most hardened cynics amongst you have reason to hope? Personally, I believe we will stay up. We’ll just do it in the most painful way possible. Remember, and to repeat the most perfect quote ever of what it means to be Blue: <At the Wembley play off> “My daughter turned to me in tears and said ‘Why did you make me a Blue?’ 30 seconds later, she had her answer.”

‘Nuff said,

Bald Blue (


I write about the police believing that City dropping out of the Premiership will lead to riots at Maine Road and that this is related to drinking in the local pubs. I can’t believe this, Insp John Graves (match day supervisor according to the Manchester Evening News) should look to his own tactics for policing around the ground before blaming City fans. A large amount of the hostility he speaks of is as a direct result of not allowing fans to walk behind the North stand to access the car parks and Yew Tree Road.

I have walked this way back to my house after the game while the away fans have been kept behind for a few minutes to allow the crowds to disperse. The new tactic from Insp John Graves would appear to be to stop fans going this way by blocking the path with a police line of officers and horses and then letting the away fans out but keep them behind the stand. This leads to problems as two sets of fans are then outside separated only by Police. Sensible?

The main problem at the last game started when the police horses charged the fans where the Main stand meets the North stand to disperse chanting fans. These fans included OAPS, families with children and many fans whose only crime was walking across this area. It’s no wonder that there is trouble when this sort of thing happens. I think that the Police are making the situation worse with these tactics and should not be blaming innocent people and booze. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this?

Gordon Hindle – best Programme seller at Maine Road, X block Platt Lane stand (


Mad City fan launches 2002 World Cup website from Japan. To see this website and a Blue Moon in Tokyo, go to

Read the letters page and send us one!

Andy Hoodith (


Call me stupid naive whatever, but I can’t seem to grasp the words to a particular song sung by the Maine road faithful. It includes phrases such as ‘united run away’, ‘we shall fight for ever more’, ‘for the sake of …..’; can you help me out I’m fed up of getting the words confused.


Ed – Why indeed? Any new subscribers out there fancy telling us old hands how you came to support City rather than being seduced by the Dark Side of the Force… or your local team even?


Recent results to 27 February 2001 inclusive.

25 February 2001

Manchester United     6 - 1  Arsenal               67,535

24 February 2001

Bradford City         1 - 2  West Ham United       20,469
Coventry City         2 - 2  Charlton Athletic     19,480
Derby County          1 - 0  Aston Villa           27,289
Ipswich Town          2 - 0  Everton               22,220
Leicester City        2 - 0  Sunderland            21,086
Middlesbrough         0 - 1  Southampton           28,725
Newcastle United      0 - 1  Manchester City       51,981
Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 2  Leeds United          36,070

League table to 27 February 2001 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  28 12  1  1 40  7  8  5  1 25 11 20  6  2 65 18  47  66
 2 Arsenal         28 11  3  0 34  8  3  5  6 10 21 14  8  6 44 29  15  50
 3 Liverpool       26 10  2  1 28  8  3  4  6 19 20 13  6  7 47 28  19  45
 4 Sunderland      28  8  5  1 17  7  4  3  7 15 20 12  8  8 32 27   5  44
 5 Ipswich Town    27  7  4  3 22 12  6  0  7 17 21 13  4 10 39 33   6  43
 6 Leeds United    28  7  2  5 22 18  5  5  4 19 18 12  7  9 41 36   5  43
 7 Leicester City  27  8  4  2 20 13  4  2  7  9 16 12  6  9 29 29   0  42
 8 Charlton Ath.   28  9  4  1 23  9  2  4  8 15 31 11  8  9 38 40  -2  41
 9 Chelsea         26 10  3  1 37 13  0  5  7 11 20 10  8  8 48 33  15  38
10 Southampton     27  8  2  4 21 15  2  6  5 11 19 10  8  9 32 34  -2  38
11 Newcastle Utd   27  7  2  4 18 13  4  2  8 14 25 11  4 12 32 38  -6  37
12 Tottenham H.    28  8  5  1 23 11  1  4  9  9 25  9  9 10 32 36  -4  36
13 West Ham United 27  4  6  3 18 12  4  5  5 17 20  8 11  8 35 32   3  35
14 Aston Villa     26  4  5  3 16 13  4  4  6 12 15  8  9  9 28 28   0  33
15 Everton         28  4  6  4 19 19  4  1  9 11 23  8  7 13 30 42 -12  31
16 Derby County    28  6  6  2 17 16  1  4  9 11 27  7 10 11 28 43 -15  31
17 Middlesbrough   28  3  5  6 15 18  2  7  5 16 17  5 12 11 31 35  -4  27
18 Manchester City 28  3  3  8 17 21  3  5  6 14 25  6  8 14 31 46 -15  26
19 Coventry City   28  2  5  7 11 21  3  3  8 15 27  5  8 15 26 48 -22  23
20 Bradford City   27  2  4  7 11 22  1  3 10  6 28  3  7 17 17 50 -33  16

With thanks to Football 365


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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]Geoff Donkin,

Newsletter #688