Newsletter #720

At last a signing to report, and somewhat surprisingly, he’s a left back. The player has signed from an obscure London outfit and is called Stuart Pearce – anyone heard of him? Apparently he’s signed in several capacities: leftback, coach, captain, Mr Motivator and part-time nutter. Rumoured exits include Prior (once again), and Mark Kennedy.

Today saw the release of the fixture list, and we have Watford at home to kick off with. Boy does it feel good to be back amongst teams managed by such luminaries as Gianluca Vialli. This issue also includes two match reports from the antiopodes, where two of our players clashed – literally.

Next game: Halifax Town away, Saturday 21st July 2001 (3.00pm)


General Stuff

First and foremost, may I wish you all a Happy Shaun Goater Day. Yes, June 21st is officially set aside in the Bermudan calendar as Shaun Goater Day. Maybe if the Goat is with us next year we can all send each other a card?

Fixtures Announced

Well, let’s see, when do we travel to Anfield, Highbury, The Swamp etc.? Oh that’s right we got relegated. Great, well the fixtures are out and the excitement of all these exotic grounds to return to. Well enough of my waffling, sorry I can’t get excited about where we are, let’s just get out of it at the first attempt, in the right direction this time. Watford at home is our first game on August 11th, though this is likely to change as it’s more than likely to be televised. First away fixture is at Norwich on August 18th, followed by a home game to those European greats, Crewe. Other significant (!) fixtures are against fellow relegated clubs Bradford, home December 15, away March 9th and Coventry away, Sept 19th and home March 2nd. Local derbies (oh the shame), well this amounts to games against Stockport, October 13th and Feb 16th, home and away respectively. Boxing Day sees us at home to West Brom. New Year’s Day sees a travel to Sheffield United. Ideally we should clinch promotion at home to Burnley, on Dec 29th! If not then our last game of the season is at home to Portsmouth on April 21st. Last away game of the season, for the fancy dress etc. is at the huge venue of Gillingham.

Some Good News

And after the depressing trawl through the list of our opponents for next season, it’s some good news. At least we are to be given a bye in the first round of the Worthington/Coca Cola/Littlewoods/Milk/League Cup. Bradford are the only one of the three relegated teams doomed to pitched in with the likes of Rushden & Diamonds et al. The six sides in Europe all will join the competition at the third round stage, as will ManUre plc conglomerate reserves.

City Stars Tangle

Placid Aussie winger Danny Tiatto was sent off whilst playing for Australia in their 2-0 win over New Zealand in the World Cup qualifying stages, first leg. Danny unfortunately committed a rather crude challenge on City’s Kiwi striker Chris Killen. Killen was also booked for a body check later in the game. Tiatto came on as sub in the 68th minute but barely lasted 20 minutes before his over-exuberant tackle on Killen. The players have made light of the fracas with Killen telling the Wellington Evening Post “We’ll go back and have a laugh about it, adding ‘We get on fine, we’ve been out a few times – there is a bit of that Oceania keeping together thing at City – so it was just heat of the battle stuff.'” Killen also said that Tiatto apologised on the field of play.

Danny to be Offered New Deal

Despite, or perhaps because of his passionate style of play, it has been reported that Tiatto will be offered a new deal, which could make him the highest paid player at City. This will hopefully tie the Aussie to the club and dissuade interested parties such as Newcastle from making approaches. Newcastle may be willing to offer Rob Lee as a makeweight in any deal but it’s thought that of the two natural left sided wingers at City, Keegan is more prepared to offload Mark Kennedy.

City Sign Psycho

Norman Bates has signed? No it’s up and coming youth prospect full back Stuart Pearce. Pearce apparently is close to attaining his Coaching badge and will join the club in several capacities. Pearce has been signed primarily as a squad player, but also as a member of the backroom squad. Pearce is out of contract at West Ham and new boss Glenn Roeder has made it clear that he doesn’t see him as part of the Hammers’ plans. With the departure of Andy Morrison it will be good to have someone in need of anger counselling in the dressing room again.

Wanchope to Stay

Paulo Wanchope is to be taken off the transfer list at his own request. Wanchope has had a change of heart since Big Joe left the club and it is thought that Keegan may link the Costa Rican up with Darren Huckerby as a first choice starting pair up front. This will lead to more speculation as to the future of Shaun Goater and Paul Dickov but Keegan has stated that he doesn’t wish to sign any more strikers, claiming that all four of the forwards would be an asset to any team in the Premiership. Keegan made some hints as to his squad strengthening plans and is quoted as saying “I believe we have a very strong squad here to mount a substantial challenge for promotion. My only slight caution is that the squad is a bit imbalanced in places. We have a lot of central defenders, but not a lot of full backs.” He added, “We have a lot of midfield players, but we lack an inventive player in there. I am not being unkind to the ones we have got, because they are good players.”

Ins, Outs, Rumours

Speculation is still rife that Mark Kennedy is on his way. The Irish winger is said to have been the subject of a £1.8 million bid, with the fee rising to £2 million. Chris Bird has denied any approach for Kennedy. Despite earlier denials it’s now apparent that Kennedy’s agent Paul Stretford is in talks with the Black Country outfit. Stretford confirmed, “We have had initial discussions and both sides are assessing the situation. No doubt we will be talking again over the next few days.”

Wigan Athletic are now tracking Spencer Prior. This is despite Prior criticising Latic’s manager Paul Jewell’s former club, Bradford as the worst team in the Premiership, whilst the defender was at Derby. Prior later retracted the accusation, though I’m sure in hindsight that it may have stood up in most courts of law! Cardiff are still interested in the Prior situation but Sam Hamaan has talked down the resurrection of a deal, purely down to Spencer’s alleged wage demands.

Ex-Blues’ News

Nicky Summerbee has been released on a free transfer by newly promoted Bolton Wanderers. Summerbee, as we all know, flattered to deceive at Bolton, putting in a few good performances before the expected lapse in form and subsequent dropping to the bench. Wolves are apparently interested in taking Summerbee Jr on. Hopefully (apart from when they play us) they can get the best out of the exceedingly enigmatic Nicky as it looks as if his career is currently in nosedive.

Former reserve striker and in my opinion prematurely released youngster Chris Greenacre is reported to be on several clubs’ shopping lists. Greenacre was second highest scorer in the 3rd Division last season; only the raved about Bobby Zamora scored more. Clubs monitoring him include Nott’m Forest, Wycombe Wanderers and Cheltenham Town.

Michael Leafield (


July 2001

A       21      Halifax Town            F.
A       24      Scunthorpe United       F.
A       28      Tranmere Rovers         F.
A       31      Huddersfield Town       F.

August 2001

H       11      Watford                 Div 1
A       18      Norwich City            Div 1
H       25      Crewe Alexandra         Div 1
A       27      Burnley                 Div 1

September 2001

H       01      Sheffield United        Div 1
A       08      West Bromwich Albion    Div 1
H       15      Birmingham City         Div 1
A       19      Coventry City           Div 1
A       22      Sheffield Wednesday     Div 1
H       26      Walsall                 Div 1
H       29      Wimbledon               Div 1

October 2001

A       06      Millwall                Div 1
H       13      Stockport County        Div 1
A       20      Preston North End       Div 1
H       24      Grimsby Town            Div 1
A       27      Nottingham Forest       Div 1
A       30      Barnsley                Div 1

November 2001

H       03      Gillingham              Div 1
H       10      Wolverhampton Wanderers Div 1
A       17      Portsmouth              Div 1
H       24      Rotherham United        Div 1

December 2001

A       01      Grimsby Town            Div 1
A       08      Crystal Palace          Div 1
H       15      Bradford City           Div 1
A       22      Crewe Alexandra         Div 1
H       26      West Bromwich Albion    Div 1
H       29      Burnley                 Div 1

January 2002

A       01      Sheffield United        Div 1
H       12      Norwich City            Div 1
A       19      Watford                 Div 1
H       30      Millwall                Div 1

February 2002

A       02      Wimbledon               Div 1
H       09      Preston North End       Div 1
A       16      Stockport County        Div 1
A       23      Walsall                 Div 1
H       27      Sheffield Wednesday     Div 1

March 2002

H       02      Coventry City           Div 1
A       05      Birmingham City         Div 1
A       09      Bradford City           Div 1
H       16      Crystal Palace          Div 1
A       23      Rotherham United        Div 1
H       30      Nottingham Forest       Div 1

April 2002

A       01      Wolverhampton Wanderers Div 1
H       06      Barnsley                Div 1
A       13      Gillingham              Div 1
H       21      Portsmouth              Div 1


McVittee FC take on Luton town on Saturday 23rd June at Manchester University sports ground, Wythenshawe (just by the M60), kick off at 2:30. The entrance is on Willenhall Road, accessed by Yew Tree Road and Rackhouse Road. If you’re interested in playing let me know. If you’ve got a spare blue home shirt then please bring them along.

Many thanks, Martin Ford (


I am organising a six-a-side tournament down in Horndean, Portsmouth on Sat 21st July. It is a regular annual event, and we need in between 10-12 teams to make it a success. We always come down to Pompey for the weekend and stay at the University halls; it’s always a comical lads’ weekend full of football and beer but this year we are a couple of teams short of the required number. I am asking if there are any teams of Blues (or non-Blues for that matter) who fancy taking part. Each team will play at least 5 ten-minute games, spread over a few hours. Eight teams qualify for the quarters, and so on. It’s always a good laugh anyhow.

Could any interested parties respond to me at the address below or give me a bell on either 0161 654 1609 or 0161 929 8436.

The standard of the teams ranges from appalling to semi-decent by the way.

Ta, Richard Ellor (Rich@APR-LEASING.CO.UK)


The Milton Keynes OSC branch will be holding their first AGM on Thursday June 28th. Venue will be Great Brickhill Cricket Club, starting at 8pm.

Hope to see as many members as possible; please get in touch with me if you would like more details or directions to the venue.

Steve Maclean – Secretary, Milton Keynes branch, Manchester City FC Supporters’ Club (


The East Yorkshire branch of the Centenary Supporters Association (CSA) will be meeting at 8pm on Monday 25th June at the Beaver pub, North Bar Within, Beverley (just off Saturday Market place). Main business will be to decide on the travel arrangements for the trip to the Scunthorpe match in July, but otherwise it’s an excuse for a chinwag with fellow Blues on the events of the close season so far. New and old faces welcome; just turn up on the night or contact me for more information.

Geoff Donkin (


Thought readers of MCIVTA might like to know that Jimmy Grimble is to be released on video and DVD on the 13 August. At it’s priced at £11.96 on video and £16.73 on DVD. And at the DVD is priced at £15.99! These are pre-order prices. You may find it cheaper elsewhere, but these are just a guide.

Madeleine Hawkins (

OZ vs. NZ

Here is a report from the Sydney Morning Herald about Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifier between Australia and New Zealand… not sure if we will get the game in Oz but will try to do a match report (certainly will get the second-leg next Sunday):

Manchester City flanker Danny Tiatto yesterday left national coach Frank Farina in no doubt, both verbally and physically, that he is ready to return to Socceroo duty in the opening World Cup tie against New Zealand in Wellington tomorrow night. After telling the media he felt he could last a full match “quite easily”, Tiatto went out and proved the point during a strenuous 90-minute training session at Newtown Park a few hours later. In chilly, blustery conditions, Tiatto looked sharp and enthusiastic, providing Farina with a selection poser ahead of the first leg of the Oceania play-offs at WestpacTrust Stadium.

Tiatto missed the Confederations Cup to get married but Farina had no hesitation putting him into the squad, despite the fact he has not played a competitive match for almost five weeks. During his honeymoon in Hawaii, Tiatto ran for 30 minutes each morning and – apart from a case of sunburn – has rejoined the squad in excellent condition. Fully recovered from a slight knee strain which kept him out of the final round of the English Premier League season, Tiatto is putting his hand up to start against the All Whites. “I’m a naturally fit person, and I could do a full 90 minutes quite easily,” he said. “I’m very keen to be part of it but it’s up to Frank what rôle he gives me. It’s his decision, and whether I start or I’m on the bench, there’s no worries from my point of view.”

“What the Confederations Cup proved is we don’t need everyone to show up; we’ve got 25 players who can get results. It’s great for the team that there’s a lot of players fighting for each position. That sort of competition is healthy, and nobody can walk back into the team.” Generally speaking, Tiatto has been a regular since Farina took charge more than 18 months ago, but the outstanding form of both Tony Vidmar and Stan Lazaridis may mean he will have to wait for his opportunity. Farina said yesterday he had not finalised his team, but he has a habit of rewarding players who perform, and both Vidmar and Lazaridis have certainly done enough to keep their spots.

At this stage, Tiatto is most likely to start on the bench but could well get on the field at some stage. After a splendid first season in the Premier League, when he was voted player of the year by his Manchester City teammates and the coaching staff, Tiatto has been chased by a host of clubs including Aston Villa, Southampton and Newcastle after City’s relegation. Tiatto is keeping his options open, saying yesterday he expected his situation to be sorted out within a fortnight, before adding the arrival of Kevin Keegan as the new manager at Maine Road was one reason to consider staying.

However, having worked hard to reach the pinnacle – he spent time in the Italian Serie B, the Swiss league and the English Second Division before hitting the big time last season – the former Melbourne Knights utility said it would be hard to turn his back on the Premier League.

One player who won’t be leaving Maine Road in the off-season is 19-year-old striker Chris Killen, who is likely to be recalled to the New Zealand line-up before his hometown fans tomorrow night.

The All Whites trained twice yesterday, and indications are Killen will partner South Melbourne veteran Vaughan Coveny in attack. Killen finished top scorer for City reserves, and Tiatto said: “He’s done very well. He’s quite aggressive but he’s got decent skills and a good shot. You shouldn’t underestimate [him].”

Ted Boardman (


NEW ZEALAND vs. AUSTRALIA (Oceania WC Qualifier 1st Leg)

Since our match against Halifax is a month away and our last match just a distant, bitter memory I thought I’d cobble together a few lines on this local grudge match involving two City players facing off across the Tasman Sea.

From Australia’s perspective, this match always looms as a real danger game. We (Australia) are always expected to beat them (NZ) but as history has shown it doesn’t always happen that way. They breed them tough in NZ and any country where sheep outnumber people is no place for the faint hearted. These games are always physical encounters and thanks to a couple of City players this game hotted up in the closing stages.

NZ started the game with Chris Killen up front partnered by Vaughan Coveney, both tall athletic fast forwards fully capable of causing our defence some real trouble. Australia started with our Danny warming the bench, obviously tired after his honeymoon athletics.

From the kick off it became evident that NZ were intent on not conceding any away goals and quickly reverted to an 8-1-1 formation that allowed Australia acres of space in midfield. I spent this early part of the match focussing on Killen. Living out here in football Siberia I hadn’t had the chance to see him play so I was curious to see if he could cut the Maine Road mustard.

He certainly looks athletic and accomplished, but in these early stages he was in the back half of the field carrying out defensive duties with no chance to dwell on the ball.

After 6 minutes NZ’s deep defending had its predictable outcome as Birmingham’s Stan Laziridis, with miles of space, whipped in a low cross for Feynoord’s Brett Emerton to fire in from inside the 6-yard box. Australia 1, Land of the Long White Cloud 0.

If we could beat Brazil and France (yes folks we beat them both at the Confederations cup last month) we could absolutely whip these guys – surely.

From the restart NZ abandoned the 8-1-1 formation for an even more staggering 10-0-0. A goal down at home and they refused to come out of their shells. Somehow they managed to see out the half without conceding another, but by now the game had that Joe Royle battle in the trenches feel about it, and I wondered whether I shouldn’t switch over to The Weakest Link and forget the second half (yes we have our own version of that cr*p out here too).

The second half was a different game. Enter Danny Tiatto stage left and a NZ team more intent on getting goals stage right.

The second half was a more even affair that allowed Killen to showcase more of his attacking skills. I think the package is there, he just needs more of these sorts of games to give him the confidence needed to make an impression in the top flight. He had the odd attempt on goal and was prepared to hold onto the ball when circumstance dictated it. There was one point, however, when he should have let the ball go a few seconds earlier… with about 20 minutes to go in the game he was running with the ball down the left flank when out of nowhere one Danny Tiatto looking like an extra in a Bruce Lee movie, studs showing, clatters into him with both feet. It wasn’t dirty, it was just typical Tiatto over enthusiasm, but the NZ players were having none of it and before long the melée was on as players ran from everywhere to have a bit of Danny. To his credit Killen didn’t retaliate and Danny seemed genuinely concerned that he had hacked down a City team mate. Mr Akada of Japan was having none of it either and immediately brandished a red card. KK can now rest easy that Danny won’t be injured in the return game and Killen got up without any evidence of injury.

There was a bit more fire in the game now and within a couple of minutes there were more accusations, pushing and shoving on all sides as Killen, not to be outdone by Tiatto, felled an Aussie and was yellow carded, attracting the ire of all the nearby green shirts who wanted him off. The foul was really quite soft and I think yellow was even a little heavy handed, but Mr Akada, who had a fine game, was not willing to let it all get out of hand at this late stage.

All that remained was for Brett Emerton to head in our second goal from an appalling NZ goalkeeping error in the last 10 minutes. The NZ goalie received a back pass which he attempted to chip over an advancing Emerton. The ball didn’t get the height it needed and Emerton just nodded it past him easy as you like. Australia 2-0, no City players injured and a chance to see an up and coming City star in Chris Killen – what a great night.

It’s just a shame Danny will miss the return leg in Sydney on Sunday – but hopefully I’ll get a better look at Killen.

It was interesting to hear in the pre-game commentary that KK intends to make Danny the highest paid City player on his return from Oz – hopefully that’s more evidence that he is staying because let’s face it, if we are serious about going up and staying up we need to build a team of Premiership calibre and not sell these type of blokes.

CTID, John Ward (



For the first thirty minutes of this World Cup qualifier played in Wellington, NZ the Australians (fresh from beating teams from France and Brazil) looked as if they would score quite a few but some lousy finishing, and good defending by New Zealand kept the score down to 0-1 at the break.

In the second half an inspired half time substitution by Kiwi coach Ken Dugdale (one of many Kiwis with a Scouse accent) seemed to kick start the New Zealand team and they went close several times, including one particularly good effort from Chris Killen when he controlled a cross on his chest on the edge of the box, made space with his next touch but then was too high with his shot.

Halfway through the second half the seemingly impossible happened when Danny Tiatto came on for Australia; watching two Blues playing on opposing sides in a World Cup match in Wellington was not something I would have bet on! Tiatto had a couple of good runs and was his usual competitive self but as the game got into its final stages Danny recreated a scene from another recent derby when an ‘over vigorous’ tackle left Killen on the floor holding his leg as a red card was immediately shown to the tackler.

Chris Killen recovered well enough to get his own yellow card a few minutes later and then the game finished. The two teams meet again in Sydney on Sunday. Oh yes and Australia scored a second thanks to a horrendous back pass cock up by the Kiwi ‘keeper, as seen at Maine Road in the past two seasons!

The game led to another ‘highly unlikely’ event when a headline in the local paper said “Man City slickers still good mates after harsh tackle.” Believe it or not we don’t make the headlines very often down here!

John Jennings (


I’ve read a couple of mini-histories of Mark Lillis on here and a couple of other places.

One part of Mark’s history which seems to have been totally ignored by all involved is that he spent a couple of seasons with Macclesfield Town in their (our) Conference days.

He was with Macc from 1993-1995 he was a regular player and was a player-coach under Sammy McIlroy in the season the Silkmen won the Conference for the first time (when they were denied entry to the League). He then left the club to become Huddersfield’s youth coach.

Tommy (


Try this link – you’ll die laughing!

Chris Dabinett (


A certain Chris Murphy livened up the debate in ‘719‘ with a few slaps aimed at recent postees, me included. Fair play though – for me to call Megson ‘a City favourite’ was a tad controversial upon reflection. His spell at Maine Road wasn’t too bad though. I have, you have, we all have seen much much worse both before and since.

The point about Royle’s lack of direction to Weaver was very well made and is without doubt one of the big issues of the last season. Yet Weaver cannot remain blameless for his weight gain and lack of self discipline. Call me naïve to expect more, but the lad had a fantastic opportunity and has (for want of a better phrase) f**ked it! To be England’s Under-21 and on the verge of breaking into the Senior Squad and further playing your first year of top flight football and then not take it seriously enough to keep yourself fit – speaks volumes about his attitude and character.

People in that position shouldn’t require man-management or direction from Royle or anybody. Royle has been sacked. Weaver in the meantime was only dropped by Joe and to that extent Joe was doing something about it. Next season will be interesting to see Weaver’s reaction. He is a better goalie than Nash but if his attitude doesn’t give then surely there is no option but to sell while his reputation is not completely in tatters. Burridge in goal by Xmas anybody? That’s a joke Mr Murphy before you vent your PMT (pre Millwall tension) again!

Matthew Knowles (


It’s been quiet on the McVittee front so I thought I’d pass along this ‘un from comedian Rory Motion. Says Rory on Radio 4: “Apparently there’s strong sectarian rivalry between Manchester’s football teams, but mainly within the Islamic community. Man City are Sunni Muslims, while Man United are Shi’ite – and they know they are”.

CTID! Toh Hsien Min (


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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 #720