Newsletter #743

Well Saturday’s shocking performance and result (a 4-0 drubbing by WBA in case you’ve gone into premature hibernation) has certainly woken most of us up, including the manager. This after Pearce was supposedly so concerned at the goals we had conceded in the previous few games that he had been given permission by KK to show the team a video of their errors. Stu obviously put the wrong tape in and we find ourselves 8th in the table behind promotion candidates Burnley, Grimsby and Portsmouth.

Tonight’s issue contains a match report thanks to Richard, Michael’s news, Ken’s Diary, some subdued opinions and a few requests.

If anyone is making the trip to Nottingham tomorrow night and can summon the inspiration to compile a match report, please consider doing so.

Next game: Notts County away, Tuesday 11 September 7.30pm (Worthington Cup 2nd round)


General News

After the shambolic performance against West Brom it looks as if it could be the night of the long knives for several of the under-performers. Keegan has hinted that it could be a last chance saloon for some of them as he has shelved plans to blood youngsters away at Notts County tomorrow night in the Worthington Cup. Instead he will give the reprobates who shamed the club (my words, not Kev’s) a chance to make good. KK said “I will have to look again at what we do at Notts County. I wanted to play some of the younger players, not because of any disrespect to Notts County, but because I have two or three young players who are chomping at the bit and almost ready to go in.” He added “But I want them to go into a side which is playing well, so I might give it a miss for them on Tuesday. I don’t honestly think you can say we are playing well so I might have to put that one on hold.” Possible contenders for the long term axe are thought to be Tony Grant, Gerard Wiekens and the spectacularly under performing Richard Dunne, along with recently dropped Laurent Charvet.

No Loan Deals

KK has put a block on any of City’s promising youngsters going out on loan until he has assessed how close they are to making an impact on the first team. KK said “We have had loads of requests for several of the players, but the problem for me at the moment is that I don’t really know them,”; speaking to the official club website he added “If I loan them out they go away for up to three months, then they come back and I wouldn’t know any more about them. I want the players to feel they have a chance with me to see them before I start loaning them out all over the place.”

Dickov on Loan?

In contrast to the above it’s expected that Paul Dickov will be given the chance to partake in first team action for one of several chasing clubs thought to include Stockport County, Oldham Athletic and Bradford City.

Berko is Back

Eyal Berkovic could be back in first team action for City as early as next Saturday’s televised Maine Road clash with Birmingham following his return from injury. There is also a possibility that the talented Israeli could be on the bench for the cup tie at Notts County tomorrow night.

Fixture Change

The home game against Walsall has been brought forward 24 hours to Tuesday, September 25 only three days after our trip to Hillsborough, where we will play Sheffield Wednesday.

Haaland Back Soon

Groans and cheers in abundance as Alfie Haaland is close to a return from injury and to win his place back in the City starting line-up (not too bl**dy difficult at present!). Haaland is looking at a reserve team comeback next week as the first stage of his recovery.

Ins, Outs, Rumours

Alaine Toure will complete his £500,000 switch from Nantes later this week, incidentally if he turns out to be a flop then we can all blame former ManUre has-been Scott McGarvey, as the ex-Rag striker is apparently Toure’s agent.

After the dismal, disgraceful, diabolical, depressing, disgusting, denigrating (sorry, went a bit alliteration crazy there) dirge of a display over the weekend, we are again linked with a bevvy of players. With our obvious midfield shortgivings it’s thought that KK may make another bid to persuade Tranmere’s Jason Koumas to leave the beauty of idyllic Birkenhead. Also back in contention are Robert Lee and Leeds’ Jason Wilcox. Blackburn’s Jason McAteer and Craig Hignett are linked as is the once supposed Southampton bound Bobby Zamora.

Ex-Blues’ News

Nigel Clough, former midfield malingerer, currently player manager of Burton Albion has signed former City youngster Alan Bailey. Bailey spent time on loan at Macclesfield and had a short stint at Stockport, but suffered from injuries for most of last season. He tried his luck in Scandinavia recently but has now signed for Clough.

Michael Leafield (


City Diary, 10th-16th September

10 September:
Ardwick A.F.C., City in a previous incarnation, should have played their first game on this date in 1887, but opponents Salford didn’t turn up. In 1924 a combined City and U****d Manchester XI played a friendly against a Liverpool & Everton side as a testimonial for Horace Mangnall, the only man to manage both clubs. The Scousers won 3-2. In 1927 City went off to South Shields and won 1-0 in a Division Two fixture. 1977 saw City 3 U****d 1, two goals from Channon and one from Kidd.

11 September:
Peter Barnes & Tueart scored in the 2-1 win at home to Bristol City (Division One) in 1976, and Glyn Pardoe got both goals as Carlisle were beaten by the same score (Div. 2) in 1965. In 1954 Roy Paul scored in a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea. City put six past Liverpool without reply on this day in 1935.

12 September:
In 1891 Ardwick, having been accepted into the Football Alliance – the Second Division of two – drew 3-3 with Bootle at Hyde Road in front of 6,000. Mike Doyle got the winner in City’s 1-0 at Nottingham Forest in 1970, and in 1998 Shaun Goater did likewise when City went to Macclesfield.

13 September:
There was a 4-0 defeat on a trip to the midlands to play Small Heath in 1902; 99 years on and here we are again. City went down 5-4 at Middlesbrough in 1952, Ivor Broadis, Meadows, & Revie (2) scoring for the Blues. In 1972 Ian Mellor and Rodney Marsh – nice combination, that – scored in the 2-2 draw at home to Valencia in the UEFA Cup (City lost 3-4 on aggregate) and in the same competition in 1978 Dave Watson scored away to FC Twente, 1-1. And today is Carlo Nash’s birthday (1973) – many happy returns, including to between City’s posts as soon as possible.

14 September:
Centre-half Dave Ewing scored for City in a 2-1 win over Portsmouth at Maine Road in 1957. In ten seasons and over 300 matches it was the only goal he ever scored, or at least the only one he got for City for he probably holds the City record for the most goals scored for opponents.

15 September:
City beat Juventus (yes, of Turin) 1-0 at Maine Road in the UEFA Cup in 1976, Brian Kidd scoring; in 1971 they played the almost equally famous Airdrieonians and drew 2-2 in the Texaco Cup. In 1907 full-back Harry Blew played his only game for City, he had signed from Wrexham Victoria on September 11th and was sent back there on the 30th; 19 days – is this the shortest ever time a player spent on the club’s books? In 1928 Tommy Johnson scored five in the 6-2 win at his old club Everton, going on to grab a record 37 in the season. In 1962 City beat U****d 3-2 at Old Trafford. Having taken a 2-0 lead through Peter Dobing and Joe Hayes, they were pegged back to 2-2 as Denis Law scored twice, and Alex Harley got the winner right at the end. Law’s second goal was the 1000th conceded by Bert Trautmann in his long career. And 15 September 1969 was a Tuesday, which meant that Granada TV viewers could have watched “The Dustbinmen” in which one of the characters was a crazed City supporter.

16 September:
Speaking of crazed characters. Stan Bowles scored twice on his début in 1967, a 5-2 home win over Sheffield Utd, the other goals coming from Young, Bell, & Summerbee. Colin Bell scored in City’s 1-0 Cup Winners’ Cup tie vs. Linfield in 1970. And this date saw two notable hat-tricks, one from Ron Futcher at Chelsea (4-1) in 1978 and then from Derek Parlane against Blackburn (6-0) in 1983.

Kenneth Corfield (


Number 3 in an occasional series…

Got to our seats and noted the nice new stand to our right. Big improvement since we were last here 2 Christmases ago. Then with 10 minutes to kick off 2 blokes sat in front of us. I did a double take – it can’t be? Yes – it is! Paul Slater and his brother Robert! I used to go with them to City as a teenager but we lost touch in ’84 when I did my knee in and I went to sit in the North Stand – lots of facilitations and chat ensued and I introduced them to my daughters Hannah and Kirsty and Rob introduced me to his two sons.

Anyway, I’m sure this is boring you, so onto the game.

City made just one enforced change to the side that had won at Turf Moor, with Darren Huckerby replacing the suspended Paulo Wanchope for his first start of the season. It was interesting to see that Chris Killen had finally made it on to the bench.

The game started off poorly – lots of head tennis in midfield. No problem, I thought, City will soon get their passing game into gear. Huckerby could even have given us an early lead when he headed straight at Hoult. But then in the 10th minute, the ball bounced around in our penalty area – Howey and Dunne failed to clear it, it dropped to Derek McInnes and bang – the ball whistled past the right ear of the statuesque Weaver into the top right hand corner of the net. 0-1!

City responded with Granville seeing his shot saved by Hoult and Tiatto had a fierce shot parried by the Albion ‘keeper, but the rest of the half was more of the same – head tennis in midfield. Things were looking a bit worrying though – we weren’t doing anything. We couldn’t pass the ball and there was no pace or movement by central midfield or by the strikers.

The last 15 minutes of the half saw us starting to pass the ball well along the back line from wing to wing but there was no movement ahead, no looking for space, no pace. The good thing was that WBA were just as bad as us – so after KK’s half-time motivational team talk we should murder them in the second half… well that was the plan anyway.

The second half started with more of the same – neat passing along the back line but nothing doing in midfield, on the wings or up front. Huckerby was standing like a statue, Kevin Horlock and Tony Grant couldn’t pass to a City player and the wing backs had no one to overlap with.

Then the most ridiculous penalty that I have seen in a while was given: Edghill tripped, fell over and Dobie (who had just replaced the hobbling Roberts) tripped over his prone body. The referee, back on the half way line, gave a penalty. Weaver dived to his right as Clement placed the ball at head height in the centre of the City goal. 0-2!

Five minutes later Goater was put through (no idea who by – I was talking to Hannah at the time) and he had to score – but the ball bobbled at the last minute and it went wide. Keegan brought on Dickov for Granville and Wiekens for Horlock and later he also brought on Colisimo for the injured Edghill to try to change things around. But City remained completely inept with no movement or pace.

Eleven minutes from time, Clement’s free kick flew in past a wall (that was non-existent) past a motionless Weaver to make it 0-3! The Baggies’ tails were now up and Dobie rounding off a comprehensive victory for Albion with the fourth seven minutes from time as he waltzed through a tired City defence to fire past Weaver after holding off Richard Dunne and Steve Howey.


Weaver – 4 Please Nash – get fit soon. Directly at fault for the 3rd goal. Doesn’t command his area and can’t build a wall. The yellow hair dye must be getting in his eyes.
Edghill – 6, Granville – 6 The wing backs didn’t make any mistakes but couldn’t overlap down the flanks as central midfield lost the ability to play basic football, let alone pass to each other or a team-mate. The last two goals occurred because Granville had been taken off. Still, a loss is a loss – you’ve got to try something.
Dunne – 5, Howey – 4, Pearce – 6 One of either Howey or Dunne has to go. You simply don’t pass to each other in your own penalty area in the close attendance of opposition strikers. If you do it’s suicide. Having watched Kidderminster Harriers quite a bit last season I would definitely recommend the chap we’re always being linked with.
Grant – 4, Horlock – 4 These two were simply pants.
Tiatto – 8 Our best player by a mile. Can we clone him? The only player who ran with the ball and tried to move into space off the ball.
Huckerby – 0 (Zero) One tame shot in 1st half and did nothing else for remainder of game, no movement off the ball, no pace, no idea. A truly dreadful display.
Goater – 5 Can’t do anything if no-one can give him the ball.
Colisimo – 5, Dickov – 6, Wiekens – 5 Made no difference at all when they came on.

Overall, quite simply the worst Manchester City performance since the 0-0 dirge against Bristol Rovers (at home) when we were in Division 2. No passion, no skill, a total inability to pass, no movement off the ball, no pace. When you consider that WBA played poorly for the first 75 minutes of the game, it really shows how dire we were. Frankly there are a number of City players who shouldn’t be. If I were Anne Robinson the following statement would have to be made: “Weaver, Howey, Grant, Horlock and especially Huckerby, you are the weakest links… goodbye.”

Still, it was nice seeing Paul and Rob Slater again.

The Anorak, a.k.a. Richard Mottershead (


Trautmann’s sending off in 1962: it’s been implied that Bert was aiming for the centre circle and accidentally hit the ref. I didn’t think there was any doubt that the ball went precisely where Bert aimed it…

Steve Parish (


What can I say? I bite my tongue, no comment. Come on you Blues, you can do better!

Ernie Barrow (


As I am not working on Saturday, has anyone got a ticket they are not using? Please mail me.

Griff (


Any Blue in Australia want to relive a few interesting times – I’ve got a hundred plus match programmes from 79-80 (all home), 80-81 (home + Cup run including both finals) and 81-82 (all home and away) plus Corrigan, Bell and Booth testimonials. Time for me to make space at home – make me an offer.

Phil Harrison (


The Grapes (High St, Glossop) gets videos of all City matches on ITV Digital taped and then delivered down to the pub at half time, great news for people in Glossop, New Mills etc. Not the same as watching it live but in these dark days of competition for Rupert Murdoch it’s a life-saver.

Also better than spending a bank holiday afternoon phoning through the yellow pages trying to find someone with the channel so you can watch bl**dy Burnley!

Paul Hyde (


I am now based in Somerset, near Taunton, and wondered if there was a local supporters’ club and any organised travel to home/away matches? If anyone can enlighten me I would be grateful; please email me at the address below.

Alex Heylin (


Do you have any news how the youngster Steve Ireland from Cobh Ireland is doing?

I have heard from locals here he could be the second Roy Keane!

CTID, Pat Dempsey (


Recent results from 8th September 2001 to 9th September 2001 inclusive.

9 September 2001

Watford               3 - 0  Wimbledon             15,466

8 September 2001

Barnsley              2 - 2  Stockport County      11,192
Birmingham City       2 - 0  Sheffield Wednesday   19,421
Burnley               3 - 0  Rotherham United      14,820
Coventry City         0 - 1  Grimsby Town          14,982
Crewe Alexandra       2 - 1  Walsall                6,809
Crystal Palace        1 - 3  Millwall              21,641
Norwich City          1 - 0  Nottingham Forest     18,061
Portsmouth            2 - 1  Gillingham            17,224
Preston North End     1 - 2  Wolverhampton Wndrs   14,381
Sheffield United      2 - 2  Bradford City         17,394
West Bromwich Albion  4 - 0  Manchester City       23,524

League table to 9th September 2001 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Burnley          6  2  0  1  8  6  3  0  0  7  2  5  0  1 15  8   7  15
 2 Grimsby Town     6  2  1  0  4  2  2  0  1  4  4  4  1  1  8  6   2  13
 3 Birmingham City  5  3  0  0  8  1  1  0  1  3  4  4  0  1 11  5   6  12
 4 Norwich City     5  3  0  0  5  0  1  0  1  1  4  4  0  1  6  4   2  12
 5 Wolves           5  1  1  0  3  2  2  1  0  5  3  3  2  0  8  5   3  11
 6 Bradford City    5  2  0  1  8  4  1  1  0  3  2  3  1  1 11  6   5  10
 7 Portsmouth       5  2  0  1  6  4  1  1  0  3  2  3  1  1  9  6   3  10
 8 Manchester City  5  2  0  0  8  2  1  0  2  4  8  3  0  2 12 10   2   9
 9 Watford          5  3  0  0  8  3  0  0  2  0  4  3  0  2  8  7   1   9
10 Gillingham       5  2  0  0  8  0  0  1  2  1  3  2  1  2  9  3   6   7
11 West Brom A.     5  2  0  1  5  1  0  1  1  2  3  2  1  2  7  4   3   7
12 Crystal Palace   4  1  0  1  5  4  1  0  1  5  6  2  0  2 10 10   0   6
13 Millwall         5  1  0  1  4  2  1  0  2  3  6  2  0  3  7  8  -1   6
14 Crewe Alex.      5  2  0  1  3  3  0  0  2  2  6  2  0  3  5  9  -4   6
15 Nottm Forest     5  1  1  0  5  3  0  1  2  1  3  1  2  2  6  6   0   5
16 Sheff. United    5  0  3  0  4  4  0  2  0  2  2  0  5  0  6  6   0   5
17 Barnsley         6  1  2  0  5  4  0  0  3  0  8  1  2  3  5 12  -7   5
18 Coventry City    5  0  1  2  0  2  1  0  1  3  2  1  1  3  3  4  -1   4
19 Walsall          5  1  0  1  3  3  0  1  2  3  5  1  1  3  6  8  -2   4
20 Wimbledon        5  1  0  1  3  2  0  1  2  3  7  1  1  3  6  9  -3   4
21 Sheff. Wed.      5  0  1  1  1  3  1  0  2  2  4  1  1  3  3  7  -4   4
22 Preston N.E.     5  0  2  1  3  4  0  1  1  2  7  0  3  2  5 11  -6   3
23 Rotherham Utd.   5  0  1  1  3  4  0  1  2  3  7  0  2  3  6 11  -5   2
24 Stockport C.     5  0  0  2  0  3  0  1  2  4  8  0  1  4  4 11  -7   1

With thanks to Football 365


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Newsletter #743