Newsletter #771

Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Bradford (goals from Mettomo, Horlock, SWP and Dunne) sees us retain our second spot above Wolves who also won. The game also marked the return of in-form Edghill, and brief appearances from Wanchope and Haaland.

Tonight’s edition unfortunately has no match report, but as the game was televised I guess most people have managed to see some footage.

We do have Ken’s diary, a view on Millwall, plenty of opinion on players and Weaver’s situation, and a bag full of requests.

Next game: Crewe Alexandra, away, 3pm Saturday 22 December 2001


17 December:
Mick McCarthy played his first game for City in a goalless draw at Cambridge United in Division Two in 1983 (one of Cambridge’s record-setting run of consecutive games without a win that season). In 1989 Peter Reid made his début for City at Everton, also a 0-0 draw.

18 December:
Mike Doyle scored both goals in City’s 2-0 win at Crystal Palace in 1965 – they could win there sometimes.

19 December:
City lost 2-1 at home to Oldham in 1987, a game at which the first inflatable banana was reportedly seen. In 1979 City played a friendly with Real Madrid in Spain, losing 5-2. In 1998 City went to York in the Nationwide Division Two and lost 2-1; it was the low point of the season before the great recovery. Bell, Lee, and Summerbee shared the goals in a 4-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor in 1970.

20 December:
Sam Cowan, who went on to captain City in three Cup finals, made his début at centre-half in 1924, a 2-2 draw with Birmingham. A Kevin Reeves goal gave City a 1-0 home win over Leeds in 1980.

21 December:
City beat Sheffield Wednesday 5-4 at Hillsbrough in 1957. Joe Hayes scored twice, Bobby Johnstone got another, and two goals came from A.J. Kirkman who played only seven times altogether and scored six goals. He had been signed from Bacup Borough, which is the first and only time they’ve been mentioned in this diary.

22 December:
David White was transferred to Leeds in exchange for David Rocastle on this day in 1993. Fifty years ago today City beat Sunderland 3-1 at Maine Road; Derek Westcott (2) and Roy Clarke scored. Mike Doyle and Colin Bell scored in the 2-0 win over Burnley in 1973.

23 December:
Lee (2), Young, and Coleman shared City’s goals in the 4-2 defeat of Stoke in 1967. Young and Peter Dobing and Joe Hayes scored in the 3-0 at home to Ipswich in 1961. In 1933 City went to Wolves and lost 8-0.

Finally, regarding Christian Negouai’s “scoring” with the hand: one of City’s most famous players, Peter Doherty, did this sixty years ago. It was the last match of the 1936-37 season and City were playing Birmingham at St. Andrew’s, losing 2-1 with a few minutes to go. Doherty’s account of it says “a high ball was lobbed down the middle and Harry Hibs the Birmingham ‘keeper and myself raced for it. We collided heavily and at the moment of impact I fisted the ball through. To my complete surprise, a goal was signalled, and there wasn’t even a murmur of protest. Nobody had seen the infringement.”

City had clinched the championship at home the previous Saturday, so the “goal” didn’t affect anything, other than keeping intact City’s unbeaten run since Christmas. Doherty and Negouai both displayed less than the Corinthian spirit; but the video replays which Doherty didn’t have to worry about might make Negouai wish in time that he’d owned up to it.

Kenneth Corfield (


Has anyone else noticed the way Ali B. deceives opposing defences? He seems to have developed a crafty way of looking about 30 degrees away from the way he is about to play the ball.

I first noticed this clever trick when he scored his goal at Sheff. Wed. Following a corner, he got the ball on the left side of the penalty area; he then made out to put a diagonal pass into the danger area but without moving his head or eyes drilled in a low shot that conned the entire defence including the ‘keeper. It is most noticeable though when he lays on those deft through balls for Huck & Goat.

Against Bradford yesterday there were numerous occasions when he beguiled their back 4 with defence-splitting passes, which they anticipated coming from a different direction. Now all we need is our forwards (Huck in particular) to time their runs and stay onside more often!

P.S. Great to see the Edge back and playing well.

Jon Reese (


I managed to get in to the game thanks to my rôle as Wigan Athletic’s FD; thought I’d be in with the Millwall fans so I dressed down. Thanks to Andy Forsyth, I was 4 rows behind Keegan in the second half. The walk from the tube to the ground was not for the faint-hearted, took me alongside the railway and under the arches – pitch black and a Crimewatch UK scene.

The bitter was poor. Good, pacy game, which we deservedly won. Tiatto didn’t look to handle. Keegan was a naughty boy for the foul mouthed abuse. Shaun’s goal was a peach as he curled it round the ‘keeper from 30 yards. Thanks to the other couple of Blues who gave me a lift, thanks to Alistair McIntosh for pointing them out.

Millwall is not the nicest ground to reach, my hosts in the car ride back all got on their phones and Bond style claimed they had the jewels, Moneypenny. It certainly felt like that.

Simon Moorehead (


It’s been quite a week for City’s 1999 Wembley hero, Nicky Weaver. If the press reports are to be believed, our present boss has quite a different style of man management from his predecessor.

As reported last week, it was alleged that Nick Weaver was involved in an altercation at a nightclub in the early hours, following the Crystal Palace match. The club stayed silent, issuing no official statement, and reports stated that Weaver is protesting his innocence. The speculation continued that this might be the end of Weaver’s career at Maine Road, as the ‘keeper could have fallen foul of Kevin Keegan’s strict disciplinary code imposed in the light of the all the “drink culture” stories from last summer.

Nick’s chances of staying at the club were looking very shaky by Friday. Dropped to the Reserves for the game with Newcastle, there were press reports of City’s interest in three highly experienced goalkeepers, namely Liverpool’s Sander Westerveld, Tim Flowers of Leicester City and West Ham’s Shaka Hislop (it was unclear how much truth there was in the Westerveld story, as he was supposedly on his way to Real Sociedad).

KK broke the club’s silence with some forthright comments on Saturday. The manager and player have had “clear the air” talks, say the press, and Weaver is not going on the transfer list. Keegan said “There has been talk of other ‘keepers coming in, but we already have enough four good ‘keepers on the books here and those reports are just rubbish. Nicky has got a lot of ability, he has played ever so well for us in the past – and his future lies here at the club.” Keegan continued “Nicky didn’t break the club rules but he went out after the game last Saturday until the early hours of the morning. I wasn’t happy about it and I think sometimes footballers have to look at the rules which are not written down, doing the right things and being professional. I don’t think Nicky was and I have told him so. I left him off the bench against Wolves, which I think was the right decision. But there isn’t a problem now. He came to see me and apologised, he knows what he did was wrong and it is now up to him to win his place back. I don’t care what he has done for the club in the past, the fact remains you have got to be professional now. He is well paid and is a professional footballer, and he has got to realise that.”

Kev clearly feels that Nicky has had enough of a warning, and the former Mansfield ‘keeper found himself on the bench for the Bradford game. Time will tell if Nicky heeds the warnings in the words and actions of his manager.

Don Barrie (


This site explains how to tune Sky satellite receivers to watch ITV Sport and Manchester City without an ITV Digital dish. ITV digital signals are being tested on the Sky platform and using these instructions you can tune in to watch City games. It worked a treat for the Bradford game.

Francis Long, MCFC Wicklow Supporters Branch (


For years now, on and off, City have used red and black stripes as the away strip and it would appear that a great many fans would like a return to red and black as the next away strip, which should be next season. The current fashion to “experiment” with silly designs appears to be on the wane and clubs appear to be going back to what they know best. Witness West Ham and their blue shirts with claret hoops. This then, might be an ideal time to try to force the issue with the City hierarchy.

The website, is thinking of running a campaign to try to bring back the red and black stripes for next season as the 1st choice away strip. If anyone has any thoughts about this either for or against, they can visit the site and register their support for the campaign or email me with their views. Should there be enough feedback, I will take this to the Fans’ Committee and the club and they might even run a poll on the official website.

The last poll that did something was to ask whether we wanted the added time at the end of the game put over the PA system. A huge majority voted for it and sure enough it was implemented. So if you want the red and black stripes back, the campaign starts here!

Lance Thomson (


The City review of 2001 will be transmitted on BBC GMR (95.1 & 104.6FM) on Wednesday 19th December between 7 and 10pm. It is an hour long and was produced by myself, as the new City reporter on the station.

The review of the year will probably be repeated at some time during the festive season, I’m not sure when yet, but I will let you know!

Hope you enjoy it!

Ian Cheeseman (


I’ll be flying back into John Lennon international on Boxing Day for the WBA game and am a little worried about public transport on the day.

Is there anyone out there travelling from the Speke area who could possibly give me a lift to the game? E-mail me at the address below.

Thanks, Neal Beatty (


I am going to be in Vancouver over Christmas and New Year and was wondering if there are any bars that show any English football or anywhere Blues regularly meet for a few beers and a chat?

CTID, Cliff Shelley (


I know it’s short notice but do any New York Blues know if and where I could see the Boxing Day match, or even highlights? Christmas in New York is Mrs Nicholson’s idea of romantic. I might not be allowed to slope off for a football match but it’s worth a try.

Please email me at – it’s a bit shorter than the one the computer uses to mail out so there’s less chance of a typo!

Thanks, Graeme Nicholson (


Does anybody have 1 spare ticket for the West Brom and Burnley games? I am unexpectedly staying in Manchester over Christmas and have just found out the games are sold out. Anybody not using a season ticket or who has a spare would be forever in my debt!

Sefton Owens (


The next meeting of the Reddish Branch of the Centenary Supporters’ Association will be on Tuesday 18th December at The Ash Hotel, Manchester Road, Stockport starting at 8.00pm.

The evening will be a “Christmas Extravaganza of Madcap Entertainment and Mayhem” with the one and only Frank Sidebottom and Moonchester. As usual everyone is welcome – no need for a babysitter… bring the kids along! Admission is just a £1 for adults and it’s free for kids. There’s also a free raffle and free soft drinks and crisps for the kids.

Howard Burr (


Recent results from 13 December 2001 to 16 December 2001 inclusive.

16 December 2001

Wolverhampton Wndrs   2 - 1  Birmingham City       21,482
Manchester City       3 - 1  Bradford City         30,749
Wimbledon             1 - 0  Nottingham Forest      5,920

15 December 2001

Burnley               3 - 2  Stockport County      15,526
Crewe Alexandra       1 - 1  West Bromwich Albion   8,154
Gillingham            2 - 1  Sheffield Wednesday    8,586
Norwich City          2 - 0  Coventry City         17,889
Rotherham United      1 - 0  Preston North End      6,558
Walsall               4 - 0  Grimsby Town           5,030
Watford               1 - 0  Crystal Palace        16,499

14 December 2001

Sheffield United      1 - 1  Barnsley              17,858

13 December 2001

Millwall              1 - 0  Portsmouth            11,527

League table to 16 December 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         24  8  3  1 28 17  7  1  4 20 16 15  4  5 48 33  15  49
 2 Manchester City 24  9  2  1 30 11  5  1  6 25 23 14  3  7 55 34  21  45
 3 Wolves          24  6  3  3 16  9  7  3  2 20 10 13  6  5 36 19  17  45
 4 West Brom A.    24  7  1  4 12  6  6  2  4 15 14 13  3  8 27 20   7  42
 5 Norwich City    24  9  2  1 21  9  4  1  7 12 23 13  3  8 33 32   1  42
 6 Millwall        23  7  1  3 23 14  4  4  4 16 14 11  5  7 39 28  11  38
 7 Crystal Palace  24  9  0  3 31 12  3  1  8 14 23 12  1 11 45 35  10  37
 8 Coventry City   24  6  2  4 16 12  5  2  5 11 12 11  4  9 27 24   3  37
 9 Preston N.E.    24  6  4  2 26 12  3  5  4 13 19  9  9  6 39 31   8  36
10 Birmingham City 24  8  1  3 25  9  2  5  5 13 22 10  6  8 38 31   7  36
11 Watford         23  7  3  2 25 13  3  2  6 11 13 10  5  8 36 26  10  35
12 Gillingham      24  6  3  3 23 12  3  3  6 13 21  9  6  9 36 33   3  33
13 Portsmouth      24  6  1  5 21 19  3  5  4 15 17  9  6  9 36 36   0  33
14 Wimbledon       24  4  5  3 18 15  4  3  5 21 22  8  8  8 39 37   2  32
15 Bradford City   24  7  1  4 31 23  2  4  6 13 21  9  5 10 44 44   0  32
16 Sheff. United   24  4  5  3 18 15  3  5  4  8 13  7 10  7 26 28  -2  31
17 Nottm Forest    24  5  6  1 15  9  2  3  7 11 15  7  9  8 26 24   2  30
18 Crewe Alex.     24  4  5  3  9 14  3  3  6 16 23  7  8  9 25 37 -12  29
19 Rotherham Utd.  24  5  5  2 17 15  2  2  8 13 22  7  7 10 30 37  -7  28
20 Walsall         24  5  3  4 17 13  1  2  9 11 27  6  5 13 28 40 -12  23
21 Sheff. Wed.     24  3  5  4 18 18  2  3  7  8 20  5  8 11 26 38 -12  23
22 Barnsley        24  5  4  3 21 19  0  3  9 10 30  5  7 12 31 49 -18  22
23 Grimsby Town    24  3  4  5 11 17  2  2  8 11 29  5  6 13 22 46 -24  21
24 Stockport C.    24  1  1 10  8 23  1  5  6 16 31  2  6 16 24 54 -30  12

With thanks to Football 365


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Newsletter #771