Newsletter #715

A quiet weekend on the football front sees silly season well and truly upon us: many a rumour, speculation and association – yes it’s general election time. Meanwhile we’ve been linked with just about anybody who played under KK, and many who haven’t.

This issue has opinion, Michael’s news, queries, results of the prediction league, a request and humour.

Any articles please send to me again for Thursday’s edition at

Next game: to be announced


General Stuff

Considering this is the first weekend after a full week of King Kev, the news has been particularly slow. I’ll try to make the most of what we’ve got.

Blues on International Duty

Richard Dunne played the full 90 minutes for the Republic of Ireland in their 1-1 home draw against Portugal. Apparently Richard had a solid game and marshalled the defence quite well.

Weah Wanted City Job

One of the more outlandish claims from the weekend was that former (temporary) Blue George Weah was one of the applicants for the manager’s job. Regardless of the imminent arrival of Keegan, Weah was supposedly not in the running due to lack of management experience.

Osorio Finally Joins

After a bit of deliberation, Juan Carlos Osario, the Metrostars’ assistant coach will leave his present position to come to City on June 16th. His official capacity at City will be as a Fitness and Conditioning coach. With the supposed current drink culture I suggest he stocks up on Paracetamol, Resolve and loo rolls. Osario states, “This was a very hard decision, but it was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up”; he added, “It’s an unbelievable opportunity to work with someone like Keegan”. Osario is 39 and has a diploma in Science and Football from John Moores University, Liverpool additionally he has a UEFA coaching licence.

Where Now For Joe?

Conflicting news on the future of Joe Royle. One source has him taking a bit of a sabbatical, whilst the stories linking him with Wigan Athletic continue apace. If Joe goes to the Latics then it’s rumoured he may come back to Maine Road for a selection of trusted servants i.e. Tony Grant (also linked with Burnley); Richard Edghill and Gerard Wiekens.


City chase Irwin. Dennis Irwin is the latest rumoured target. Former Leeds and Oldham full back is due to be released at the end of his contract by some club in the Old Trafford district. Full back has been a problem position for City (along with goals, centre backs, midfield and up front) and the 35-year-old Irishman will decide on his future after returning from holiday.

Jason McAteer is still being linked with a move to Maine Road, despite Blackburn denying any approach. McAteer is looking for a move after a fall out with current boss Graeme Souness; this came to a head after being substituted in a recent match against Burnley. The fee could range between £1.5-2 million for the former Bolton and Liverpool player and is being seen as an alternative to Lee Clark who has to decide between City and Newcastle United. As an addition to this there is speculation of a £5 million package that would bring McAteer and Alan Shearer’s sparring old partner Keith Gillespie to City.

Yet another old one resurfacing is the possibility of us signing Rangers’ Rod Wallace, the fee in the region of £1.8 million.

Shaun Goater has seemingly thrown a spanner into the works as one press source claims that he and his agent are seeking talks over the striker’s future.

Good news, in that Gareth Taylor has openly declared his desire to stay at Burnley. The likeable but far from pacy forward has had a successful spell on loan at Turf Moor and both the player and manager Stan Ternant are making positive noises about the striker staying. If not then Taylor will leave Maine Road as a free agent.

Surprise, surprise, flamboyant Frenchman David Ginola has now been linked with a move to Maine Road. Unsettled at Aston Villa, the 34-year-old former Newcastle star would cost in the region of £1 million, plus a significant wage. The story appears to be just speculation at present as City are just about linked with anybody who ever played for Keegan. Look out for an attempt to secure parole for Tino Asprilla in the near future!

Mixed news as regards City youngster Shaun Holmes. Holmes, 21 is yet to make the breakthrough at first team level but is on the verge of a call up to the Northern Ireland senior squad. A familiar sounding story though in that it appears that Wrexham are hoping to sign the full back on a free transfer. Shades of Neil Lennon, Gerry Taggart anybody?

City are apparently now in the market for Fulham defender, Alan Neilson. The fee is reportedly in the region of £500,000. Neilson is a Welsh International and has also previously played for Keegan at Newcastle.

Former Blues

A reasonable turnout of ex-Blues on the international scene this week as Kit (rhyming slang) Symons started for Wales in their 1-2 defeat to Poland. Neil Lennon and Michael Hughes started for Northern Ireland in their 0-1 defeat to Bulgaria and Niall Quinn played for The Republic in the 1-1 draw versus Portugal.

Former reserve goalkeeper Stephen Hodgson is set to join Macclesfield after impressing in trials for the Third Division outfit. Apparently former centre half Paul Beesley has been released by Chester City, after failing to obey set piece instructions! That criteria could see over half of our squad on the dole! Carl Bradshaw is now being linked with a move to Halifax Town, managed by potential future City assistant, Paul Bracewell. Finally the frankly disappointing winger Andrei Kanchelskis is linked with a £1 million move to Everton.

Michael Leafield (


Five years ago, I met Kevin in Sandford Airport in Orlando. We were both at the end of our respective holidays. I approached Kevin as I thought speaking to a fellow Blue would be his preferred option rather than the legions of “Street” fans who wanted to discuss Jack and Vera and all that. He was glad to get off-side and talk about the fortunes of our beloved club over a pitcher of Bud. But why, you ask, bring all this up 5 years down the line?

Well, I remember Kevin telling me that while waiting in line for the Jaws “ride”, he bumped into one Kevin Keegan and his family. If my memory serves me right, it was the summer after Keegan brought his Newcastle to Maine Road for a gripping 3-3 draw. Curly Kevin (Kennedy) said that curly Kevin (Keegan) was in awe of the atmosphere at Maine Road that day and that the City fans were the best in the game. Mr Kennedy was quite taken aback by Keegan’s thoughts on City. Five or so years on and he is our new manager! When Kevin Keegan says that City are one of the few clubs that he would join, I believe him. I think that Kevin Kennedy would too.

If anyone knows “Coronation Kevin”, please ask him if he remembers this run-in with Kevin Keegan? He will probably have forgotten the wee Irish Blue at the airport but tell him that I have some mad photos (we were p!ssed) and that he almost missed his flight, preferring to ignore every call for the Manchester flight. Memories…

Michael Jenkins, Irish Blue (


We are in a bit of a quandary, aren’t we (or if you’re Joel, in a bit of a beery fizz). Two seasons of almost unrelenting victories dried our eyes and lifted our spirits. It got so good, in fact, we started crying again. Wembley and Blackburn and a lot in between cemented that bond, gave us moments to remember for a long, long time to come. One season back in the old spluttering, back-firing Hillman Hunter and the gnashing of teeth can be heard far and wide.

Let’s be sure of one thing: David Bernstein, far from being the bull-sh!tter and throat-cutter that some have called him, appears to be one of the best things to happen to City for a very long time. Off the pitch the Blues are unrecognizable. He gave Big Joe a reasonably free hand with transfer money and watched him squander a good deal of it. He talked of Big Joe in the most glowing terms but there comes a time when you have to be brave enough to realise that someone has probably reached the limit of his abilities. With the likes of Wenger, Houllier and O’Leary encouraging their teams to play cerebral, canny football, what chance survival with a cross between the Sl@g Brothers and the Carlsberg Masters?

Prehistoric football belongs in the lower echelons. Ipswich and, to a lesser extent Charlton, survived (comfortably) because they play a neat, precise game making the most of their players’ abilities. What Big Joe served up last season was light years behind. Even then Bernstein stuck by him, for the magnificent salvage operation he had begun, in the hope that at least some of his signings would do the business. It was a brave decision to remove him, but a correct one.

Whether Keegan is quite what we were expecting after all the noises off about progressive thoughts and methods, I don’t know, but we can only be happy that the board’s choice is such a big name with such a good club record. His last job was national coach, for Christ’s sake and if that hadn’t gone stale on him, we wouldn’t have had a sniff of this sort of calibre of manager! Keegan has the pulling power and charisma to really get the momentum back into City. He is not the master tactician but at least his Newcastle and Fulham sides played the sort of football that will get us all moving. Typically, we’re already studying bets on how long he stays. If this sort of news gets through to him, not long probably.

We were running so strongly, now we’ve had a setback, but by City standards it’s not that bad, is it? Relegation is no better this time than when I watched Old Rascal David Pleat (get off the pitch, you horse’s @rse) skip towards me in that crass lobster in my trousers jig. All those years ago. There have been a few ups and downs since then, but never has it felt like this one does to me: a real feeling of a temporary setback. Time to regroup, take in the rays, steady the nerves, wind ourselves up for the big off (a home defeat to Crewe…) and back the boys to the hilt once more. This is City, we do it the unorthodox way, but we do it with heart. That’s why we’re all still here. Come on you Blues!

Simon Curtis (


Does anyone yet know which player it was who allegedly made the now infamous remark about City being the best pub team he ever played in?

Just out of interest…?!

Jon Reese (


Bolton’s victory over Preston on Bank Holiday Monday was the last piece in the jigsaw for the predictions competition. Final positions are as below. Top three win a cash prize. 1st place gets £50.00, 2nd place gets £20.00 and 3rd place gets £10.00.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those that took part last season and to remind all MCIVTA readers that the new predictions competition will start in August. For further details contact Paul Gallagher (Secretary) at

    PLAYER                      SCORE
1.  Christopher Patrick          56
2.  Micheal Hornibrook           49
3.  Wayne Prior                  47
4.  Neil Sinclair                45
5.  Ken Sinclair                 44
6.  Dove Juniors                 42
7.  Duncan Madden-Ross           39
8.  Marie Saffill                37
9.  Mark Evans                   34
10. Cliff Shelley                33
11. Dominic Flint                32
12. Will Pritchard               30
13. Neil Paterson                30
14. Derrick Saddler              26
15. Tom Robertson                26
16. Graham Locker                25
17. Steve Marriott               25
18. Desmond Moran                25
19. Julie Myers                  25
20. Colin Little                 25
21. Sean Curley                  24
22. Paul Gallagher               23
23. Ian Reeves                   22
24. Gary Osman                   22
25. Dave Ellison                 21
26. Angie Masters                19
27. Lee Dixie                    17
28. Bev and Dist CSA             17
29. Tony Dove                    15
30. Jackie Nugent                14
31. Perry Walsh                  13

Paul Gallagher (


City fans may find a visit to of interest. On this site are many pictures of football grounds (and crowds) from around the world taken by Staurt Clarke (no relation). He has them on display ‘live’ at his showroom in Ambleside, Cumbria. In particular there are a couple of pictures of the City fans behind the goal at the Blackburn promotion match last year. Anyone who was behind the goal has a very good chance of picking him/her self out as the pictures are that detailed. Prints or postcards can be bought.

Bryan Clarke (


Following on from our AGM on Friday 25th May 2001, here are the committee for next season:

Chairman: Ken Sinclair
Secretary: Paul Gallagher
Treasurer: Wayne Prior
Committee: Cliff Shelley

Paul Gallagher (


I am looking to get my hands on the 99/00 season white away shirt. I have been looking in sports shops, charity shops, flea markets everywhere (including the republic of Ireland) to try to find one. Then my friend came up with the idea of asking MCIVTA subscribers if any of them had a spare, or unwanted (highly unlikely) shirt I could buy from them. I need an XL (46″/48″) and will pay anything within reason; I am quite desperate as I am moving to Australia in September. Please if anyone can help, e-mail me privately at the address below.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Darren Evans (

HUMOUR: Top 100 quotes of the season Part I (100-76)

100) “Go Aston Villa!” – Magic-legged Hollywood luvvie Tom Hanks reveals his affection for a football club as yawn-making as he is.

99) “There were tears pouring out of our ‘keeper’s eyes like one of those cartoon cats that have been hit on the head with a mallet” – Crystal Palace boss Alan Smith shares his colourful imagery.

98) “I used to drive home from Manchester United training along the M56 and there was a left turn for Wilmslow, where I lived, and a right turn for Hale, where Norman Whiteside, Paul McGrath and Bryan Robson lived. I used to say that it was left for under three pints a night and right for more than ten” – Former Manchester United star Gordon Strachan sums up the Old Trafford culture in his playing days.

97) “My lawyer and the officials wanted me to speak. So I just said that. It was nothing, it did not mean anything. I could have said ‘The curtains are pink but I love them'” – Eric Cantona explains his famous “when the seagulls follow the trawler…” speech.

96) “I think this fellow has just come out of the Endsleigh League. He thought it was all a joke, he kept laughing and trying to smile at everybody. It may be a joke to him but it is a serious business to us” – Then-West Ham manager Harry Redknapp lays into referee Rob Styles.

95) “Manchester was a nightmare. I found Ferguson to be bogus as few people are. He kept saying to me ‘Next time you will play, don’t worry, do you understand?’ Certainly I understood, I understood he wanted me out” – Former Manchester United goalkeeper and massive Bill & Ted fan Massimo Taibi.

94) “He is a terribly suspicious person who has a deep mistrust of other people.” – Former Nottingham Forest manager Frank Clark gives Football365 the lowdown on Stan Collymore.

93) “Manchester is our city. This is our city and it’s not their city. It’s a massive city and it can take two massive clubs and that’s what it’s got” – New Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan just can’t help himself in his second day in the job.

92) “I think you fancy me” – England captain David Beckham responds to a journalist’s constant questioning about his mohican haircut.

91) “Well, he’s certainly not Barry Fry” – Charlton and England defender Chris Powell lavishes praise (we think) on England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

90) “You usually like to play promoted sides around Christmas. They have got two lungs at the moment. It was hard work” – Aston Villa’s Paul Merson, midfield wizard and anatomical expert.

89) “The facts are that we could be in Europe by 5pm on Sunday while Villa have got no chance” – Birmingham owner David Sullivan with a vocal version of Paul Tait’s infamous ‘S*** on the Villa’ T-shirt shortly before his side lost the Worthington Cup Final.

88) “We were not prepared to be pushed around by a bunch of yobbos from North London” – Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe responds to reports linking Saints’ manager Glenn Hoddle with a return to Spurs.

87) “I have just not been quite good enough” – Kevin Keegan has a moment of clarity and brings his disappointing England tenure to a close after Wembley defeat by Germany.

86) “It was a p!ss poor game on a p!ss poor day” – Wimbledon manager Terry Burton assesses his side’s scoreless draw with Sheffield United.

85) “He is 98% a Rangers player with around 2% that’s not sure. That’s football. It’s strange” – Dundee boss Ivano Bonetti gets all philosophical over Claudio Caniggia’s move to Ibrox.

84) “Manchester City are the best pub team I have ever played for” – an ‘anonymous’ City player sticks the boot in after Joe Royle is sacked.

83) “As long as we don’t buy Edwin van der Saar or Peter Schmeichel, I won’t be worried. I don’t mind who sits on the bench” – Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld is not concerned with transfer speculation.

82) “If we beat Celtic and win our game in hand it brings the gap down to nine points” – Optimistic Rangers’ defender Arthur Numan keeps dreaming.

81) “There would have to be an outbreak of the bubonic plague for me to pick Paolo di Canio” – Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni lays down the law.

80) “I don’t like a non-Englishman being in charge. It’s a backward step when a country as large as ours in the football world needs to do this” – Former England boss Terry Venables shares his unsurprising opinion of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s appointment.

79) “The players have been fantastic to me, but they will not be kissing my head. I have told them the only person who can kiss my head is Laurent Blanc and I do not think he is going to come to United now” – Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez confirms he is a one-man man.

78) “He’s an arsehole” – Rangers boss Dick Advocaat’s opinion of Galatasaray coach Mircea Lucescu.

77) “I hate to speak poorly of them (Manchester City), but… they are cr@p” – Sky Sports panellist and former City star Rodney Marsh confirms he won’t be joining Trevor Brooking on the fence.

76) “Even Jesus Christ only suffered one Pontius Pilate; I had a whole team of them” – Ken Bates attempts to spread the blame after the collapse of the ‘new Wembley’ project.



Contributions: Heidi –
News & Rumours: Michael –
Subscriptions: Geoff –
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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #715