Newsletter #736

Tonight’s issue contains a report on the reserves in action on Tuesday night versus Blackburn, continuing our successful start to the season.

We also have plenty more opinion, Steve’s travel guide to WBA, good news for London fans, offer of a ticket for Saturday, Carol’s excellent City mag review (read this before you buy!), opinion on this week’s midfielder link, requests, etc.

Anyone going to Norwich and feeling like sharing the joy, please consider doing a match report.

Next game: Norwich away, Saturday 18th August 2001 3pm


Unfortunately poor Michael is experiencing the scourge of these technically advanced times we live in. His PC is knackered, so we hope to resume normal service next week.


Premier Reserve League
Tuesday 14th August
Ewen Fields, Hyde
City Reserves 4 Blackburn Reserves 1

Still on a high from Saturday’s fine performance, and hearing of the proposed strong turnout for this game, I, along with 800 others, tottered down to Hyde to watch a fine display from City’s second string. On a glorious, cloudless evening, City lined up…

Brian Murphy, Dixon Etuhu, Richard Edghill, Tony Grant, Simon Colisimo, Kevin Horlock, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jeff Whitley, Paul Dickov, Darren Huckerby, Terry Cooke.

The Blackburn side were not without a few names too. Craig Hignett, Alan Mahon, Simon Grayson, and the hapless Egil Ostenstaad, playing against the side he flapped around for last season.

The watching Kevin Keegan must have been mighty impressed by the first 45 minutes, at the end of which time City were already 4-1 up. The first came from new signing Colisimo, whose powerful header from Horlock’s whipped corner soared into the net. The second again came from a Horlock corner. This time the ball ran loose to the edge of the area where Terry Cooke powered in an excellent volley that flew past ‘keeper John Filan.

A few minutes later and it was 3. Great work from Dickov as he recovered the ball from a defender and knocked it into space for Horlock to lash it past the overworked ‘keeper.

The 4th was another beauty, Shaun Wright-Phillips finally finding his shooting boots and striking home a loose ball, which again the ‘keeper could only flap a hand at as it sped by. 4-0 and it looked very, very easy.

Just before half-time a dubious looking penalty was awarded to Blackburn for a challenge by Etuhu on Ostenstaad, who went down about 10 seconds after the tackle. Hignett stroked the consolation home.

As so often happens in games with a high scoring 1st half, the 2nd half was unable to match it entertainment-wise, as Blackburn shut up shop at the back. Dickov missed a golden chance midway through the half when a great cross from Huckerby fell right into his stride, but he put it wide, and Terry Cooke’s near post shot was this time well held by Filan. The half became a bit pedestrian but was briefly livened up when the linesman collided with SWP and a defender and fell over, and somewhat wetly had to be replaced due to a sore face! The replacement linesmen then, whilst running to take up his position, stumbled on the exact same spot, and only just stopped himself going over. A classic comedy moment… almost!

So all in all very encouraging. Huckerby and the ever running Dickov looked very sharp. Good to see Super Kev fit again. Collisimo looked comfortable in the centre of defence. Shaun Wright-Phillips caused problems with his speed. Only disappointments were Tony “is he still here” Grant who gave the ball away nearly every time he got it, and Richard “is HE still here” Edghill, but we’ve been down this road before, and let’s face it, he ain’t gonna shift Pearcey.

The squad looks in fine shape, with cover in all positions. My god this is almost enjoyable!

Mark James (


August 2001 – Front Cover Messrs Keegan, Pearce, Colosimo and Berkovic.

Talking in a Keegan Wonderland

David Clayton has a long chat with KK who outlines his blueprint for the new season. The man’s enthusiasm is certainly infectious and, writing this after the Watford game, I can’t wait for the next game! In a nutshell, KK says that the team’s attitude is first class, they are all training well and are up for the task ahead, he feels that Psycho will have a good influence on the team; at the time of the article he’d not met Paulo so couldn’t compare him with Asprilla; says Bill Shankly and his dad helped motivate and inspire him; hopes that next year’s pre-seasons can be further afield but decided to honour those games already arranged by Joe; says it makes to keep transfers close to his chest; reckons that eight or nine clubs could be in contention along with ourselves for promotion one way or another! He surprised me by being in favour of a standing section for the new stadium – bet that upsets some people! He keeps in contact with John Toshack, currently gainfully employed by Real Sociedad and was asked to compare us with the Newcastle fans – we compare the same but is asking all of us to get behind the team, help them make Maine Road a fortress and hopefully help give a springboard back to the top flight.

Premier Dreams – Dominic King talks to Eyal Berkovic

I would be surprised if a few of us weren’t worried about buying Eyal with his alleged “baggage” from West Ham and Celtic. Fortunately for EB, his “mate” John Hartson is now knocking seven shades of u-no-wot out of Celtic’s opposition in the SPL so the lad is safe unless he upsets Andy Morrison! Eyal refutes the alleged bust up with Martin O’Neill and accepts he was not going to be in the plans of either O’Neill or his loan manager Graeme Souness at Blackburn. ‘Im indoors still ain’t convinced on his attitude although he was brilliant vs. Watford. Eyal hopes to help take us back to the Premiership before he returns to finish his career in Israel, with Maccabi Haifa.

Psycho? Who Me?

Stuart Pearce will be 40 next spring – I wish at the tender age of 44 that I was as fit as he is! To me he is the epitome of the ultimate professional – hard working, dedicated, takes pride in the shirt and helps his team mates (he gave Howey some stick on Saturday for “switching off”!). And those thighs! Chiselled out of granite! I’ve always been a fan of his, feeling his despair at missing “that” penalty, his joy in laying the ghost of his missed penalty, I’ve always wanted him to be in the City side and now I’ve got my wish! He’s officially with us as player-coach, doing some coaching on the pitch to help out both Willie and KK, which can be quite productive according to Willie! Mind you I wouldn’t want to argue with him! The coming season can only tell what a great buy he has been.

Far Eastern Promise

We’ve got a few players who could be in the World Cup Finals next year: Dicky, Paulo, Dunney and the Aussie duo of Danny and Simon. At present Costa Rica are flying and for the “home nations” the Republic have the best chance, leading their group. England vs. Scotland banter is rife already – let’s hope both teams do qualify (let’s ignore last night’s match vs. Holland – that van Nistelrooy looks a bit tasty doesn’t he (in footballing terms I mean!))?! Australia meanwhile also lead their group and have a goal difference of +66! Boy what we wouldn’t give for a goal difference like that! The trouble is that if they do win their group they will have to play the team finishing fifth in the South American qualifying group! Still, good luck to all our players involved!

Top Ten Entertainers

David Clayton picks the players who lit up Maine Road – I’m not sure if the ten are listed in his preferential order but I would presume so as he leads off with Rodney Marsh by saying “the ultimate entertainer”. Following on are Gio, Mike Summerbee, Franny Lee, Peter Barnes, Tommy Hutchison, Peter Beagrie, Trevor Francis, Denis Law and Paulo Wanchope. Readers are invited to agree or disagree! Me? I need to have a think about it!

The New Wizard of Oz

An article on Simon Colosimo. He really does remind me of Kavalashvili with his swarthy looks – I know most people won’t agree with me but such is life! “Shima” (don’t ask me the origin of the nickname, it ain’t revealed in the article but if anyone has an idea, then please share it with us!) is, like our other two signings, delighted to be with us. Most us know him as the player who was “done” by Andy Cole when United played the Socceroos in 1999 – at one time it was debated whether the poor lad would ever play again – it also transpires that we could have signed him before the injury but interest, obviously, had to be shelved. As someone who didn’t see the pre-seasons, I can’t comment on his play but reports seen seem to be in his favour. If he’s half as good as Danny T then we’ve got ourselves a gem.


The 2001/2002 team photo. What a miserable bunch they all look too! Only KK, Rob the physio and Super Kev (Horlock!) are cracking a grin! And there are some dodgy haircuts to boot!

First Division Runners and Riders

Regrettably we are 3/1 favourites to go up as champions (4/1 depending on which bookie you visit!), which is one millstone we don’t need! David Clayton reckons that Watford will be our runners-up with Birmingham winning the play-offs. Those, in his opinion, who are due to be relegated are Crewe, Walsall and Rotherham. Oh and one picky note to David or the proofreader but Sheffield United play at Bramall Lane not Bramhall Lane!

Living out my Dreams

Alistair Mackintosh is the youngest member of the City board and is our finance director. He loves watching games and is as superstitious as the rest of us! He does admit to finding it difficult to separate his feelings as a fan and as a businessman working for the club. He was delighted to be recognised on his journey home from Ipswich and told the club was in good hands. Alistair is due to marry his fiancee Sarah next July when hopefully City will be back in the Premiership – good luck to them both!

Coronation Street to Maine Road

An article on Kevin “Curly Watts” Kennedy, one of our most famous fans! He could have had his picture with KK shown on Corrie but some sad Red technician put paid to that! Miserable git! Mind you, City did get a mention during Alma’s video shown at her wake and, this time, it was left in! Gio is Kevin’s favourite all time player but he now rates Danny T and Jeff Whitley as well as Nick Weaver amongst his current favourites. As he says, you have to be a special person to be a City fan – too right KK2!

Forever Young

An article on the recent Mossley XI vs. MCFC Veterans XI in aid of Neil Young’s Tribute. The veterans won 3-2. Other dates are planned but if you want more details please contact Dave and Vanda Cash on 0161-370-8367 or 07899-872-589.

Carol Darvill (


In MCIVTA 735, Steve Parish mentioned Guy Ipoua as a player with potential, not something I’d disagree with. Being based in Bristol I saw him play for Bristol Rovers on a couple of occasions and he looked a different class (bearing in mind he was partnering the highly rated Barry Hayles); however, he was released by Rovers as he has dodgy knees, something about cartilage erosion, as he can’t play more than about 3 games in succession. As for a player we should have bought and I thought so at the time, Matt Jansen of Blackburn fits the bill, a top class talent.

Chris Lambert (


Newcastle United recorded the highest number of Premiership arrests for football-related offences last season, according to new figures.

Statistics released by the National Criminal Intelligence Service show an overall rise of 8.1 per cent in England and Wales.

In the Premiership the highest number of arrests was 191 for Newcastle, followed by Sunderland (166), Manchester United (150), Manchester City (148) and Leeds United (119).

The lowest figures in the Premiership were Southampton (15), Ipswich Town (18) and Derby County (28).

See this story on the web at

Dean Fitzpatrick (


I want to add something that the match reports for City vs. Watford seem to have missed – Charvet’s real contribution to the first goal. I’ve watched it three times on the highlights, because I didn’t really believe it, but it was really Charvet and not Berkovic who made the first goal. The ball was cleared from the previous shot to a Watford player, who was immediately tackled by Charvet, who stood back up and kept hold of the ball. He then passed it to Berkovic, before running into the box and asking for the pass from Berkovic. And we know the rest. I knew he was playing well at the time, but didn’t really appreciate just how big a part he played until I saw the highlights – our Laurent’s contribution to the Goat’s goal was absolutely superb. Which leads to the question, what the **** was wrong with him last season? Perhaps he’s just not comfortable playing in a back four and he’s a natural wing back? Or maybe Royle didn’t know how to motivate him – after all it’s obvious Keegan’s motivation skills have had an effect on a few of the players.

And a question – can anyone out there remember the last time City won convincingly on the first day of the season? I know we beat Blackpool 3-0 in Division 2 but it was a pretty poor performance against a poor team. My memory obviously doesn’t go back far enough.

Let’s not get too carried away about Keegan or promotion – impressive though it was, it was only one game out of 46. And we’ve had so many new managers before that I’m a bit too cautious to hail him as the saviour just yet.

CTID, Julian Griffiths (


While I a welcome the ban for the sake of my wife and daughter’s safety, as well as the law abiding City fans, this is the thin edge of the wedge.

So when we have trouble say against Burnley for example, does this mean their fans will not be welcome over the Christmas period, and longer term the overall banning of away fans altogether…

Let’s be honest here, are we going to let this so called minority get the better of us? My belief is hooliganism on the increase, as can been seen from the recent incidents in northern mill towns. The disaffected minority are on the increase and football is a banner they can get hold of!

One final point, do the people in charge of City and Millwall really believe there will be no trouble when our two clubs get together? If so they are living in could cuckoo land!

Paul Jones (


I asked a Stoke-supporting friend about James O’Connor, the Stoke midfielder that we’ve been linked with. This is what he had to say…

He won player of the season in his first season (he came through the youth team) and has been a solid performer ever since.

He’s a strong player and can win the ball in midfield. He’s not the biggest player but he can still win the ball in the air. He’s got a good footballing brain and is a bright lad. He gets forward and scores goals. He’s one of the few players in a one-on-one that you can rely on to score.

I think that he has a very bright future (hopefully with Stoke).

He doesn’t get along with the manager and so he’s looking to move. His nickname is Ginge (Super James to the fans) and he’s a very popular lad with the players.

If Man City did buy him then I don’t think he’d be out of his depth.

Sometimes the difference between average and good players is that the good players perform every week. Jimmy does (though he was average against QPR).

Bit of a contradiction at the end there, but overall he could be a useful addition.

Jonathan Haggart (


I don’t often contribute to MCIVTA but I’ve had to make an exception after reading the posting by Elaine Taylor in the last issue about an apparent safety risk involved in crossing the Kippax car park. I was very grateful for her pointing out the apparent dangers of leaving the ground in this way as I was blissfully unaware of the dangers having safely crossed the car park on around five hundred occasions over the last ten years.

When we play Millwall I’ll make sure that I leave the Kippax and turn left. After all it’s got to be much safer taking your chance with a gang of marauding Millwall thugs rather than trying to dodge a group of carefully parked stationary coaches that are guarded by police. Not to mention all of the cars hurtling round the car park at 90 mph. God only knows why the council haven’t built a flyover for the cars crawling out of the car park at an average speed of 3mph. Even if it was only open on match days I’m sure it would mitigate the huge risks.

Hands up everyone that knows someone who has been seriously injured in a head on collision with a parked Mercedes in the last few years? I wonder what one would do if being chased through the side streets by a group of Brummie skinheads? Would we stop and look both ways as we crossed Claremont Road?

In case it has escaped your attention, it is actually illegal to detain people against their wishes unless they are under arrest. Keeping fans in after the match leaves the club open to possible litigation and they cannot legally insist that people stay in the ground if they express a desire to leave.

[Not quite true: the police can detain fans if they believe there is likely to be a public disturbance or that their safety is at risk, as witnessed at OT recently and investigated – Ed]

Finally, I think it was unfair to draw comparisons to the Hillsborough disaster where 93 people died. We should be writing to the club to congratulate them on their excellent safety record, not whinging about having to walk a few extra yards in the interest of not getting involved in a brawl!

Keith Elliott (


For the environmentally-friendly fan who uses public transport, and doesn’t trash it either. People often ask about driving to London for matches and parking the car on the outskirts (e.g. Greenford) and taking the tube but West Brom away has similar opportunities (8 September). Public transport to the Hawthorns is now a doddle.

Train to Wolverhampton then local service to Smethwick (Galton Bridge) and the one-stop connection to the Hawthorns (£2.50 day return from Wolverhampton). Or the Metro (from Wolverhampton St George’s, 10 mins walk from the station) is £3 return (and you can then use the ticket all day). From Birmingham the train goes from Moor St (next to New St) or Snow Hill and it’s £1.35 return to the Hawthorns (cheaper than the Metro). Virgin Value returns to Wolverhampton or Birmingham at 50% off (as low as £5 from Manchester) if you book in advance (08457 222333 or

The Hawthorns is on the routes from Worcester to Leamington Spa and Stourbridge Junction to Stratford-upon-Avon – max £4 for the day once you’re in the West Midlands (Centro) area. From the south? Park at Earlswood (a mile from M42 junction 3) – train every hour (50 past) takes 35 mins to the Hawthorns, return from the Hawthorns at 17 06, 17 36, 18 07. Only £2.90 return. If you want to stop off in Brum for a pint get the day ticket for £4. Every few minutes between Moor St or Snow Hill and the Hawthorns. From Snow Hill (Moor St 3 mins later) to Earlswood at 18 15, 19 25 and 20 25 (last train!)

Or Virgin actually have a £5 fare Manchester to the Hawthorns!

07 50 from Piccadilly, change at Birmingham (walk New St to Snow Hill) arr The Hawthorns 10 25; back at 18 07 change Brum and Crewe, arr 21 00 Manchester (or 18 52 change Brum arr 21 35). You could probably use any train between Brum and The Hawthorns and have a pint in Birmingham while waiting for the designated train.

There is a later train but an incredible route (walking from Warrington Central to Bank Quay!) (10 38 from Manchester, 13 40 The Hawthorns).

From London it’s £7.50 Euston to Birmingham if you book 7 days in advance (and if there are tickets left at that price).

(I started on the Centro (West Midlands Travel) website, and suddenly went into anorak mode!)

Steve Parish (


I couldn’t agree more with some of the comments about kick off times.

I wonder how many “domestics” were caused by such a stupid time as 6-15 on a Saturday. Does anyone care? Like hell they do. TV reigns OK and there’s nothing we can do about it. I actually felt sorry last year for my brother in law and sister, as they suffer from Rag tendencies and only seemed to be at a match at 3-00pm on a Saturday 2 or 3 times during the season.

It now seems that we are going the same way. The 3-00pm tradition has, let’s face it, gone for good, so we may as well get used to it.

Therefore, can anyone provide a list of all the altered kick-off times so far, so that we can all start negotiating with partners /wives /bosses to make sure peaceful plans are made in good time!

If anyone from the MCFC management reads this – you probably are not too fussed but you might like to take note of supporters’ views.

Is there anyone reading MCIVTA who thinks that 6-15 on a Saturday is a great time for a match? It would be interesting to have views on the subject.

Chris Ryder (


Last season I was dissapointed because we failed to get Ehiogu (from Aston Villa).

My remarks at the time some readers will recall was “we need a midfield dynamo who will pass the ball with defence splitting passes”. We appear to have our man in Berkovic; he is our missing link.

One other thing of vital importance that was missing: team spirit. I was always a big fan of Joe Royle (and I will always think he did a lot of good for City).

But now the man to motivate this City team is Kevin Keegan. The first game was a great start but as we are all very much aware it’s only the first game; may we go from strength to strength as the season goes on. And with exciting football!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow (


I have a spare ticket for City vs. Norwich. It’s for the Geoffrey Watling Stand and the Cathedral Lounge, although it’s a bit pricey at £25.

Also there’s a lift to the game available from the Ipswich/Colchester area – this is less pricey at £0.

Any takers? 01473 641 781

Paul Muschamp (


I am a lifelong City fan living in Catterick Village, North Yorkshire and I am trying desperately to locate a public house or similar establishment that will be showing City’s televised away games on ITV Digital this season. I am willing to travel up to 30 miles so if anybody can supply details it would be greatly appreciated.

I am also a season ticket holder and travel to all home games so if anybody is struggling for a cheap lift drop me an e-mail.

Gary Johnston (


Following my recent article in MCIVTA, and those of you who read the boring bits at the bottom, a few replies came through, 7 in total, with varying degrees of information:

The White Lion in Central Street off Old Street (Blue landlord)
The Bull on St. John Street in Islington (Blue Landlord)
Dartmouth Arms
Terry Neill’s

Not sure whether all of the above have ITV digital TV, but could certainly be worth checking out. For other suggestions check out under the sports header on the far left; they have a pub locator directory showing numerous ITV digital pubs.

However, for the next screened game (not sure when this is), it might be good to get together in one pub – White Lion or The Bull sound possible candidates.

Can anybody help out working out whether the above have ITV digital? And whether it might be appropriate to have a word with the landlord seeing as they are Blues?

Look forward to a game and a pint; a pie would be nice too!

Phil Harper (


“London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.”

Any City fan who has ended up in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘great cesspool’ will be delighted to know that they are not alone; for there is a thriving branch of the Official Supporters’ Club sublimating the locals in this, the land of Fred the Red.

We run subsidised trips to most games (railway timetables and ITV digital allowing) and we also have a small match ticket allocation for frequent travellers.

We also have a social calendar based around ye olde traditional pub night out; i.e. drinking lots whilst trying to play pool, darts and bare knuckle fighting whilst trying to agree on the goalscorer of the third goal in the 1934 FA Cup Final. These games are organised in conjunction with APFSCIL, an unwieldy acronym for Association of Provincial Football Supporters’ Clubs In London. This enables those interested to pit their wits against supporters of top fabarclaycardpremiership opposition as well as fans from several crack Scottish outfits and the usual misfits who shuffle around the country watching teams like Carlisle and Rotherham.

We are also in an APFSCIL Sunday Football League, although how the hell we’ll get through our fixtures this season with so much TV interference remains a mystery to everyone except Robin Samuel, City’s longest serving manager.

This season, for those of us who can’t get enough of each others’ company or for those who simply have no friends, we are experimenting with organising the odd social evening (in a pub obviously) involving Q&A sessions with former City greats.

So if this sounds like the sort of excitement you expected from the world’s most vibrant city at the heart of Cool Britannia, contact our membership secretary Carol Darvill at: and soon you will have a social calendar that Tarara Pumpkin Tomkinson would literally soooo die for… honest.

Kevin Cummins (


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Newsletter #736