Newsletter #779

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, though long standing subscribers could be forgiven for expecting something unexpected during my temporary editorial stint as Heidi gets stuck into her books. I have that effect on McVittee.

This issue has three eye-witness reports from the Watford game as well as the couch potato (or is that barfly James?) version, a game where we didn’t perform that well overall after an opening half hour where we took the game by the scruff of the neck only for the Hornets to grab one out of nothing. You could argue (and most reports in the press and on TV seem to take the line) that we were lucky, but as Bill Shankly once said, the more we practice the luckier we seem to get! Other than a continuation of the 4th official debate and some arrangements for the Ipswich game in North America, a relatively quiet edition.

Inputs for Thursday’s edition to me and then Heidi’s back in charge for Monday’s and thereafter.

Next game: Ipswich away, FA Cup 4th Round, Sunday 27th January 2002


I just knew that, after the great performance against Norwich, City wouldn’t be able to play as well against Watford. Kev may have changed a lot of things in his short time with us, but that predictable unpredictability is still there! I’d watched the Norwich-Millwall game earlier in the afternoon, a game devoid of any sort of excitement with the exception of their young centre forward (Russell) being sent off for – surprise surprise – elbowing someone. Cue lots of whinging Norwich fans ringing Radio 5 to complain that he was only trying to escape a Millwall defender who was holding him back blah blah moan moan. I haven’t yet been to see our Norwich fan at work to point out how we’re not the only team that’s going to need a big squad this season – thought I’d save that moment up a while so I can take full enjoyment of it when it finally comes…

With Howey looking as if he’ll be out for some time, Wiekens replaced him in the middle of defence – full line up was Nash, Pearce, Dunne, Wiekens, SWP, Tiatto, Benarbia, Berkovic, Horlock, Goater and Wanchope. We’d had a couple of problems finding the ground as it isn’t signposted from any direction – I eventually had to ask someone in an off licence who drew me a map that was brilliant as far as it went, which was to within just under two miles of the ground! We finally found the place at about two minutes before kick off and parked next to a nice, big “DO NOT PARK HERE OR YOU’LL NEVER SEE YOUR CAR AGAIN” sign – guess whose car we weren’t in – so by the time we’d made it into the ground and sat down we’d just kicked off. And we were desperate for a pint. City started exactly as they’d finished the game against Norwich – full of fire and good, attacking football. For the first 15 minutes Watford just couldn’t cope. The ‘keeper (Chamberlain) looked more than a little dodgy – he could only parry a short from Tiatto after less than ten minutes but no-one was following up to knock the ball in. A couple of minutes later the ball fell to Horlock on the edge of the area, who smacked the shot hard and low and straight at Chamberlain. Again he could only parry the ball but again there was no-one in the area following up to sidefoot the ball into the empty net and make us all very happy. If thirsty. We should definitely have gone ahead following a corner from Pearce. Dunne appeared to flick it on at the near post (THUD, look Dunne’s jumped) but Goater knocked it over the bar from about 6 inches out. Watford got the ball once in the first 20 minutes but – this being City – it wasn’t surprising when Watford scored with their second chance. The City defence just seemed to go to sleep and didn’t pick up Smith on the edge of the area, who shot past Nash and made it 1-0 Watford. At this point I understood completely how Burnley felt when we beat them at Christmas – we were murdering Watford 0-1!

This did finally seem to spur City into some direct action and within a couple of minutes we were level. Tiatto finally managed to get a cross over to someone in a Blue shirt – a feat he managed a grand total of twice all game. Goater headed the ball down in the general direction of Wanchope, who smacked it into the net. It’s a good job it was that way round and not the other as with the form Goater’s in (and with the luck he’s having) at the moment we’d have been picking the ball out of the back of the stand again if the chance had fallen to him. It should have been 2-1 almost immediately – this time Goater’s shot was deflected off Eyal’s heels. Get out of the ****** way in future Eyal! Jump! At the other end Watford were starting to get more into it, making us all very nervous.

Half time came and we couldn’t get a pint. I don’t like watching City sober as it messes my head up if I can see what’s going on properly. We were expecting – hoping – that Kev would give them a real rocket up their a**es at half time, as we’d played some nice football but as the half had gone on had been more and more ineffectual in front of goal. Still, overall we’d mullahed them in the first half and were expecting more of the same in the second half. Ha. What we got instead was the same sort of turgid, dull unexciting rubbish as I’d watched Norwich and Millwall serve up earlier in the day. Remember in the good old days under Royle when the collective passing ability of the team could be surpassed by a blind dog with three legs? That was what we were seeing now. Even Dunne – whose passing has been excellent in recent games – was now skying the ball and slicing it into touch, and he was probably playing better than most of the others. The only good point about our poor performance was that Watford were even worse. I felt sorry for any neutrals watching the game at home – if that was me I’d have turned over and watched the 24 hour coverage of Pop Idol on E4, anything rather than watch that. Premiership contenders? Good grief, give me strength. Luckily Nash managed to stay awake, which can’t have been easy given what was going on in front of him. He made a couple of great saves – almost as good as the ones against Norwich – which kept us in the game. Berkovic had been marshalled out of the game almost completely, as had Benarbia, and with those two effectively absent there was no-one else capable of driving the game through the midfield. At only one point during the second half did we look like scoring. Wanchope crossed the ball from the right for Benarbia to overhead kick it goalwards. From where we were at the other end of the pitch it looked as if it had gone in – if only! Having said that the game really didn’t deserve a goal of such quality – no, in fact it deserved to be won by either a scrappy toe poke or an embarrassing cockup by a defender. Step forward Mr Hreidar Helguson, your time has come! Ali put a short ball forward for Goater that he wasn’t going to reach (and even if he had probably wouldn’t have done anything with). Helguson stuck out his foot and diverted it nicely into the corner of the net. This own goal wasn’t quite as classy as some of the ones (Riise at Liverpool for example) as we’ve seen recently, but it did take some skill to put just enough weight on the ball to get it past Chamberlain. Oh how we laughed.

New boy Jansen came on for Ali with about ten minutes to go. Having watched the quality of the game from the bench for the first 80 minutes he showed he could fit straight into that style of play – I think he only got the ball twice and gave it away both times. Bit early to judge whether he’s going to be any good or not (and it wouldn’t be fair after a performance that was this bad from the whole team) but I hope he doesn’t think that’s how we play every week. Huckerby came on for Goater with just a couple of minutes to go and had his usual performance – i.e. ran past loads of people before shooting straight at the ‘keeper. Still, at least he wasn’t offside. We were getting more and more nervous as the game went on as we never look like being able to defend a lead (5-0 up? Well really we could do with another to make it safe) but somehow we held on. A well deserved victory this wasn’t, a good win away from home against a team who were only ever playing for a point to restore our three point lead at the top of the table it was. And for that – and the car still being where we left it with all four wheels and no clamp in sight – we could go home happy, to a much appreciated pint.

Sharon Hargreaves


Thoroughly miserable weather and a silly kick-off time made it a bit of a slog to get to Watford. Still, all that was forgotten once in the ground. There was another huge turnout in the away end, lots of noise, and – here’s the spooky thing – confident smiles on people’s faces.

After the fireworks we kicked off with a flurry of exciting, attacking football. Most of it was through Tia-Tia-Tiatto down the left but Ali and Eyal were also desperate to create something. It was great stuff. Only criticism would be that Paulo and The Goat’s movement didn’t seem as quick or decisive as the approach play. Also, whilst the back line played well, I thought, we were leaving daylight at the back that Watford had the pace to exploit with a few breakaway moves. Still, it was almost all City and another hatful of goals looked likely.

Some of the highlights from this spell were a string of corners mostly taken by the maestro (cue Ali! Ali! Ali!) with one scooped over the bar by The Goat from all of one yard out. Otherwise there was a sweet volley from super Kev blocked on the line, a half-hearted shout for a penalty from Paulo and numerous scampering runs from Tiatto into the box.

Then, against the run of play, a decent clean volley from the edge of the box and it was 1-0 them. Would you Adam and Eve it. The pattern of the game stayed the same with City continuing to do the attacking and it was no time at all before The Goat nodded down for Paulo to thump home from a few yards out.

Second half was completely different. I couldn’t work out whether they did a clever tactical switch or we sat back but the flowing football wasn’t happening and Watford had most of the early pressure. Carlo had no one to offload to and was forced to launch it long. The midfield just wasn’t showing. SWP came more into the game which was one bright spot.

The game seemed to settle into a pretty even contest with some good saves from Carlo and the occasional sniff for us up the other end. Then the Watford back line is under a spot of pressure and their full back slides it back towards the goal, which their ‘keeper has vacated on his way towards said full back. Goalie scampers back and the ball sneaks in at the far post. Wonderful.

We then seemed to crank it up again and began to create chances. Huckers came on and almost sealed it. A corner for them, before it could be taken, whistle goes and we’re 3 points clear.

Overall, the best thing for me is that there are goals right through the side – front 2, Ali & Eyal, Tiatto, SWP and even Kev in the holding rôle. Worse thing is that we faded, especially Ali B who went off towards the end. Still, I watched promotion rivals Norwich vs. Millwall on TV before the game and it was like a match from a lower league. If that is Division 1 then we are Premiership. Let’s prove it at Ipswich who are right now a decent Premiership side in good form.


Carlo – 7 good saves but a couple of slightly wobbly kicks.
SWP – 7 came into it more as the game went on, great engine.
Pearce – 6 solid.
Dunny – 8 masterful again, decent going forward too.
Wiekens – 6 solid.
Tiatto – 7 same as SWP in reverse (i.e. had more of an impact early doors).
Horlock – 7 excellent stopper plus some forays into the box.
Ali B – 7 superb in the first half.
Eyal – 8 better in the first half but also contributed well in the 2nd.
The Goat – 6 missed a couple of chances, needs a bit of luck to get back on track.
Wanchope – 7 trickery didn’t always come off.

For me, no one played badly.

Derek Eccleston (


I got to my seat as the match kicked off after a horrid journey from my sister’s in Bishop’s Stortford. For the first twenty minutes it was like watching eleven cats playing with eleven mice. City were outstanding and should have managed to get the ball in the goal at least twice. Just about every player on the City side was trying tricks (well maybe not Psycho) from our penalty area to theirs. Back heels out of our own penalty area – amazing.

Unfortunately Watford spoiled the party by scoring. It was a long way from us in the Vicarage Road stand but it seemed that a shot from near the centre, just outside our box went between defenders and just got past a diving Carlo.

City came back and carried on as before and soon got an equaliser. A cross from our right came across the goal in front of their ‘keeper and was smacked in by Paulo. Cue even more noise from our lot who were great throughout. Normally I end up sitting with the opposition fans, but this was much more fun.

I don’t know what happened at half-time but City were a different team in the second half. None of the tricks worked and we let Watford have the ball occasionally. We only had one shot on goal. A great chip from Paulo from the right and an overhead kick from Ali (I think – I need new glasses !) that just went over the bar. We didn’t look like scoring again but neither did they. The Watford team packed the midfield in the second half which made penetration difficult. By the time the excellent quintet of Tiatto, Eyal, Ali, Horlock and SWP could get the ball in the box the Goat and Paulo had arrived some seconds earlier, were static and could do very little with the crosses.

Then an amazing thing happened. A tame cross came along the ground from the left of their area and one of their players very kindly passed into the back of the net from about 15 metres out with not a City player within 30 feet of him. Their goalkeeper was somewhere else. I have seen the replay on the telly and it looks like the defender had to play the ball as the Goat was steaming into the centre of the box to get the cross (which was not travelling very fast) – it’s just the way he did it, a perfectly cushioned pass into the corner of the net. We were all so surprised that we were still sitting when this happened and only jumped to our feet with a slight delay.

Ten minutes or so to go and Watford attacked a little bit and the City defence covered everything including some more trickery. Someone tell SWP not to pass the ball from our byline across the middle of the box towards the penalty spot as it is not good for the heart rates of any supporters watching.

We won and my jinx has been lifted after 8 losses and a draw in the last nine games I have been to. See some of you at Womble land hopefully.

Nash – Superb in the second half, several excellent saves and caught every cross without difficulty. Tried throwing out like he did against Norwich but Ali, Eyal etc. couldn’t run fast enough on the boggy ground to repeat the trick from last week.
Psycho – Good game.
Wiekens – Good game.
Dunne (apparently now called the honey monster) – Great game. Fun watching him run at the opposition who seem to scared of hurting themselves if they try to tackle him.
Tiatto – Pretty good game. Superb tackling in defence. Only criticism is that he was not always in defence at critical times.
SWP – Great game (apart from the pass across the box I mentioned earlier). Has he been learning to tackle from Psycho? He has the timing just right and goes in with his legs in the same configuration as the big man. The impact isn’t quite as dramatic but is very effective and does not give away many free kicks and he is not likely to get booked often.
Eyal – Great game but not as great as against Norwich (I saw his goal on the box and thought – Peter Barnes is back!).
Kev Horlock – Superb. Man of the match.
Ali – Good game. Some great touches and interplay but no match winning runs.
Paulo – Good game. Some real tricks and still confusing everyone a lot of the time.
The Goat – Not a great game. Seems to have lost his golden touch at the moment. Should have got us a penalty in the first half but the ref. thought otherwise.

Pete Carey (c/o


What a game, what a result, what a performance… no sorry… that was last week. Yet another 3 points but this time City were very, very lucky to get more than one point out of this game, although it is this sort of result that sees teams winning championships! City sprung one surprise from the Norwich match with Wiekens coming in for the injured Howey and reverted to the 3-5-2 formation.

Early exchanges saw City well on top with Goater proceeding to miss an absolute sitter in front of goal by lifting a shot over the crossbar. It was noticeable that Nash was still operating the quick throws that had been so effective against Norwich, and with Benarbia and Berkovic pulling wide at all occasions it was easy to find plenty of space to build up attacks on the Watford defence. Horlock tried an excellent left foot drive from the edge of the box but unfortunately Chamberlain saw it through a crowd of players and pushed it to safety. Berkovic was also unlucky as another fine right foot volley was cleared by some desperate Watford defenders. Tiatto was causing all sorts of problems against the inexperienced right back but it was Watford who took the lead against the run of play. A ball down the right saw Tiatto being outmanoeuvred by Heidar Helguson (more of him later) who looked like he was going to shoot. However, Tiatto recovered and, with his back to goal, Helguson played the ball out to the edge of the box where the onrushing Smith drove a shot to the right of Nash. Carlo managed to get two hands to the ball but, perhaps due to the wet conditions, the ball wriggled out of his grasp and into the net. So 1-0 to Watford and totally against the run of play. The thing is that even when we go behind you get the impression that we can get back into matches and within 5 minutes we were level.

With Tiatto still causing problems it was well deserved that he should have a hand in the goal and with a deep left foot cross Goater rose between two defenders and managed to knock the ball across to Wanchope who hammered it home from a couple of yards out. 1-1 and we were beginning to go for the jugular. Berkovic played a perfect ball for Wright-Phillips who ghosted beyond the left back and pulled a superb ball across the box to Goater, whose shot was blocked by the Watford defender. The half-time whistle couldn’t come quick enough for Watford, who were glad to be 1-1 at the break.

The second-half was all Watford, with Benarbia and Berkovic rather absent. However, despite all the pressure you never felt that Watford had the same threatening presence that City do/did, although it did take some excellent saves from Carlo (making up for the first-half error) to keep the scores level. He managed to keep three excellent shots out from a variety of Watford players. One of these saw a one-handed block that Tiatto raced onto coolly dribbling the ball (nearly) across the goal-line and jinking past an onrushing Watford player before carefully clearing the ball.

With Keegan seemingly happy with the status quo it looked as though we’d keep our unbeaten run but at the cost of 2 extra points. With 10 minutes to go Benarbia finally got the ball with space and floated a harmless ball in towards the Goat; with no real danger of Shaun reaching the ball Helguson decided to knock the ball towards Chamberlain, at least I think that was what he was doing. Like those comedy moments, or those nightmares where you’re running in quicksand, the ball slid across the box and despite a late lunge by Chamberlain both the ball and the ‘keeper nestled themselves into the right-hand corner of the net. Footage from behind the goal saw the horror/hands on head reaction of Helguson and the joy of the Goat and Keegan, who celebrated as much as if a City player had knocked it in. Cruel I know, but how I laughed.

Watford looked shell-shocked and couldn’t really respond whilst Keegan threw on Jensen for Benarbia as he looked to shut-up shop. For the few minutes Jensen was on the field he passed and headed the ball to City players – a good start. With injury time beckoning, Keegan put Huckerby on for the Goat (must be glad Wanchope’s off for a couple of weeks) and within minutes he raced into the box and saw a goal-bound effort deflected off the Watford player for a goal kick (sic). The final whistled greeted another victory, but a much more fortunate one than in previous weeks. Still not convinced by the 3-5-2 formation but I can’t really complain.

The scores:

Nash 8 – Was probably at fault for not keeping the goal out but he was excellent throughout.
Tiatto 9 – Was superb from start to finish, maybe the extra pressure of Jensen will push him onto better things.
Dunne 8 – A good, solid performance!
Wiekens 6 – Not convincing at centre-half, would rather see Ritchie or even Day given a chance.
Pearce 7 – Caught out for pace but his experience and commanding performance make him first choice.
Wright-Phillips 7 – Some great forward runs but often caught out in defence, was lucky with a few mis-clearances.
Benarbia 6 – Drifted in and out of the match, tried one overhead kick that he was unfortunate to see drift over the bar, managed to floor Eyal with a strong ball into his, shall we say, more delicate parts.
Berkovic 8 – Had an outstanding first-half and is becoming more and more important for us as the weeks go on.
Horlock 8 – Keegan’s supporting actor, turned in another energetic and hard working performance.
Goater 7 – Did well to create the first and had a couple of good touches but he doesn’t seem quite with it at the moment.
Wanchope 7 – Quality striker’s finish and will be sorely missed.

Huckerby – Always in to create the chances but his finishing in front of goal is probably his biggest weakness.
Jensen – Looked comfortable on the ball and didn’t give it away; we’ll have to wait and see how he fits in.
Weaver, Killen, Ritchie – unused subs.

James Walsh (


Whilst watching Sunday’s match against Watford my brother asked what had happened to “the young German lad” we signed before the end of last season. We couldn’t remember his name so we checked the squad list but we couldn’t see anyone with a German looking name.

Can anyone remember who he was and what happened to him?

Nic Heppenstall (


I read with interest that the 4th official can now assist the referee at all times. Great!

However, there remains a problem with this idea. Said 4th official is stuck (presumably) in the same technical area as managers etc. So had the Tiatto incident happened on the opposite touchline how could he have helped? And why if he’s such a help did he not tell the referee about the 2 definite penalties that weren’t given (one to each side)?

I’m sorry but if he can’t help all the time then he shouldn’t be able to help any of it (consistency), what I’m really getting at is that he should have video evidence if he’s going to be any help, or not be involved!

And in the case of the Norwich game, who was the 4th official? He had to come out and say “I’m a qualified ref”; that really bothers me because it suggests that he’s not a very high level official so is he qualified as well as Mr Pearson (don’t answer that)?

What is really needed is officials that are consistent and professional in their job, perhaps backed by a video referee, who has proper authority to make a decision, and not some ad hoc 4th official who fancies his picture on TV, as in the Norwich case. I’m not saying he was wrong, he wasn’t, but he over-ruled a ref and a lino who were better placed. And who was he exactly?

I can’t see why a 4th official is needed at pro level when it’s not at pub or under 11 level. All referees should be good enough or not doing the job.

Paul Stevenson – ChinnorBLU (

Just read the information in MCIVTA 778 about the rôle of the 4th official. It says, “He must indicate to the referee when the wrong player is cautioned because of mistaken identity…”.

Has this ever actually happened? Shame the 4th official wasn’t so keen at Maine Road last year when we played Spurs. Our “goal” was disallowed because Sol Campbell fouled his own ‘keeper and the ref thought it was Wanchope!

Not that I am still carrying a grudge about that decision or anything…

Christine Haynes (


Sorry to be maybe a little mundane but I feel I have to get this off my chest. I am extremely disappointed that a fellow Blue can come out with such scandalous comments as those made against Messrs Bowyer and Woodgate. The only comment made in Mr Cooke’s letter to our chairmen that I found acceptable was that racism is not acceptable in any form. Maybe Mr Cooke’s vitriol would be better directed at the fans and followers of Millwall FC and not Leeds who have made vast steps in the last few years to rid itself of such racist profiles.

To say Leeds United acted in a deplorable manner is completely without foundation. Leeds United acted in exactly the way they should have done, and that is treat a man as innocent until proven guilty. I, as a fan of a club other than Leeds, believe that this approach should be applauded. Also this wasn’t, as Mr Cooke believes, a racist attack. This statement was made in a court of law, and at the time accepted by the prosecution. That was of course until the intended verdict of the prosecution was not realised, hence the forthcoming civil action which is reputed to be based on the attack being race related. It is worth pointing out that pre-trial Jonathan Woodgate’s best friend at Leeds was of course Michael Duberry who, had it not escaped Mr Cooke’s attention, is of course black. This hardly points to Jonathan Woodgate being a fully paid up member of the Ku Klux Klan does it? Furthermore I do not believe it to be right or fair to attack Lee Bowyer as “scum” when he was found not guilty in a court of law, even taking into account the player’s previous conviction.

I ask Mr Cooke whether he believed that Georgiou Kinkladze and Nicky Summerbee should have been banned from Maine Road after their speeding crimes, as this could have very easily have turned into loss of life of some form as has been seen on so many occasions. Woodgate was convicted of affray and whilst I don’t condone any criminal activity, his part in the attack on Safraz Najeib (according to the court of law) was effectively negligible; this does not make him public enemy number 1. Again Mr Cooke’s time would surely be better spent campaigning against the present paedophile laws or even people who do actually intend to murder someone. Woodgate, upon completion of his community service should not only be seen to have paid his penalty for his night of madness but also just as Tony Adams (upon completion of his jail term) be considered for England.

As for Bowyer, he is in the eyes of the law innocent and should therefore from now on be considered for England. Furthermore, if I were in his position I would think very hard about starting legal proceedings against the FA for defamation of character, as in my eyes the FA are the most guilty of all in this sorry episode, for branding an essentially innocent man as guilty. They along with Mr Cooke should hang their heads in shame.

Thanks for bearing with me while I vented my spleen on this one.

Matt H (


If travelling by train to Ipswich from London, allow an hour longer if going by train to the match from London – engineering work all day means Anglia trains have buses between Liverpool Street and Witham and Great Eastern trains have buses between Shenfield and Witham.

Off the 21 46 back from Ipswich, the bus isn’t due in Liverpool Street till 23 40.

Steve Parish (


New York

NY Blues will be at Nevada Smith’s (yes, the Rags’ HQ) at 3rd Ave and 11th St in Manhattan, 2:00 kick-off on Jan 27th (or 1/27 as we call it around here). More info at and

Martin Price (


The City vs. Ipswich game will be screened at Web’s Restaurant at 2pm (live) in Mississauga, Ontario. Address; 2273 Dundas Street West, tel: 905-828-7344. If you need directions send e-mail to Peter Hallsworth:

I will have tape with highlights from recent games from 1pm-2pm, (Bradford, Burnley, Norwich and Watford).

Peter Hallsworth (


I am in Miami Fort Lauderdale for the week-end of the Dipswich game. Will it be live on TV anywhere? I can’t see it being live in the Dan Marino sports bar in Coconut Grove.

The last time we went to Churchill’s (?) in the Little Haiti area of North Miami, devious little place full of winos, crack dealers, pan handlers and garbage everywhere and a disused, dilapidated double decker bus that was home to several unsavoury characters if I remember. Great breakfast though.

Rusholme with sunshine.

Anyway, are we on for the game at Churchill’s or anywhere else?

I think my wife will go as well, she is a converted tractor chick from Suffolk.

Phil Lines – Turks & Caicos Islands (


As an Israeli Manchester City supporter it gives me double joy to see City playing so well and enjoying the fact that Eyal Berkovic has settled down at City and is playing the way he knows how because, finally, he can concentrate purely on what happens on the pitch without the distractions that he had at his previous clubs in the U.K. The press here in Israel is following Eyal closely and his performance against Norwich made headlines.

Here’s to City and Eyal in the Premiership next season.

Shalom Cohen (


I was being forced to watch Coronation St (honestly!) by the missus during last week. In came the Doctor bloke and said to Curly “I’ve got that Man City video you wanted. I’ll bring it round”. “Cheers mate,” says Curly, and the excitement was over for another episode. I presume Kevin (Curly) Kennedy must have got the line included in the script, so it got me thinking. Is this the start of a Blue media challenge the dominance of ‘Hype’ united. What next in this subliminal conversion of uncommitted souls? “That was the news, over to the Weaver!”

By the way, what is that ‘SAVE CHIP’ all about? I think it started on Sky’s Soccer AM (brill prog), but I must have missed when they actually explained the point of it.

Stuart Wells (


Interesting couple of weeks as the mid-table teams shuffle into place. While City are doing well and extending their lead, the teams chasing the final play-off spot keep losing ground rather than gaining it.

As noted last time, Walsall are getting close to the 1 point a game average which should doom them to the 2nd division.

Projected Final Positions results through Sunday January 20 2002, followed by projected total points. The number in parentheses is their current league position.

01 85 Manchester City (01)
02 82 Wolverhampton (02)
03 78 Burnley (05)
04 76 West Brom (04)
05 74 Norwich (07)
06 73 Millwall (03)
07 73 Birmingham (08)
08 73 Preston (10)
09 73 Coventry (09)
10 68 Crystal Palace (06)
11 66 Gillingham (11)
12 64 Watford (12)
13 64 Nottingham Forest (13)
14 63 Wimbledon (14)
15 63 Sheffield Utd (15)
16 63 Bradford (16)
17 62 Crewe (19)
18 61 Portsmouth (17)
19 56 Barnsley (18)
20 54 Sheffield Wednesday (21)
21 52 Rotherham (20)
22 51 Grimsby (23)
23 47 Walsall (22)
24 28 Stockport (24)

What is the Geist Index? Every week I get asked the specifics so… You start with a premise so basic it’s silly. Every team should win its own home games. Then you add in the premise that the top 6 teams, defined as the 3 teams relegated and the 3 play off teams remaining should at least get an away draw against the bottom 6 teams, defined as the 3 teams promoted and the 3 teams who finished 19-21 the previous year – and adjust accordingly.

What this gives you is a starting point for the top teams of 75 points, the bottom teams of 57 and the “regular” teams of 69 (23×3).

Then as the season starts you modify the totals assigned to each matchup. Therefore I start with City assigned 3 points for the season outcome of both games against Burnley. The assumption was that they would win at home and lose away. However, when City won at Burnley the assigned value to City vs. Burnley for the season changed to 6 for City and 0 for Burnley. The assumption was made that City would win the return fixture at Maine Road as in fact turned out to be the case.

Wallace Poulter (


David Beckham is the guest speaker at a management seminar. He steps up to the podium and begins his speech…

“They’re small and minty and keep my breath fresh for up to two hours, and to Victoria’s delight they’re only two calories.”

The audience looks stunned, when a small voice from the side of the podium whispers:

“No David, you’re here to talk about tactics.”

Dean Fitzpatrick (


Don’t know if anyone else out there feels the same but the amount of fans leaving the ground 10 minutes before the final whistle is becoming embarrassing. Why bother coming in the 1st place? If ever a side deserved applauding off the park it was after one of the all time City displays against Norwich, yet the usual 6,000 were well on there way down Wilmslow Road and the Parkway.

Display your loyalty, stay to the end and voice disapproval to those around you who leave early!

Glen Swindells (


Recent results from 17 January 2002 to 20 January 2002 inclusive.

20 January 2002

Norwich City          0 - 0  Millwall              18,969
West Bromwich Albion  1 - 0  Walsall               20,290
Watford               1 - 2  Manchester City       17,074

19 January 2002

Barnsley              3 - 3  Bradford City         13,856
Birmingham City       0 - 2  Wimbledon             17,766
Burnley               1 - 2  Sheffield Wednesday   16,081
Coventry City         0 - 0  Stockport County      12,448
Crewe Alexandra       2 - 0  Grimsby Town           5,974
Crystal Palace        2 - 0  Rotherham United      17,311
Preston North End     0 - 2  Gillingham            13,289
Sheffield United      0 - 0  Nottingham Forest     18,352

17 January 2002

Portsmouth            2 - 3  Wolverhampton Wndrs   13,105

League table to 20 January 2002 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 29 11  3  1 38 13  7  1  6 30 25 18  4  7 68 38  30  58
 2 Wolves          29  8  3  4 22 13  8  4  2 24 13 16  7  6 46 26  20  55
 3 Millwall        30 10  2  3 30 15  5  6  4 20 15 15  8  7 50 30  20  53
 4 West Brom A.    30  9  2  4 18  7  6  4  5 16 16 15  6  9 34 23  11  51
 5 Burnley         28  8  4  2 29 19  7  2  5 21 21 15  6  7 50 40  10  51
 6 Crystal Palace  30 11  1  3 37 14  5  1  9 17 27 16  2 12 54 41  13  50
 7 Norwich City    30 10  4  1 24 11  5  1  9 18 28 15  5 10 42 39   3  50
 8 Birmingham City 30  9  2  4 27 12  4  6  5 18 23 13  8  9 45 35  10  47
 9 Coventry City   29  7  3  4 20 12  6  2  7 14 17 13  5 11 34 29   5  44
10 Preston N.E.    29  6  5  3 26 14  5  5  5 18 24 11 10  8 44 38   6  43
11 Gillingham      30  8  3  4 27 14  4  3  8 17 28 12  6 12 44 42   2  42
12 Watford         29  7  4  4 28 20  4  3  7 15 15 11  7 11 43 35   8  40
13 Nottm Forest    30  7  7  1 19 10  2  6  7 13 17  9 13  8 32 27   5  40
14 Wimbledon       28  5  6  3 20 15  5  3  6 24 24 10  9  9 44 39   5  39
15 Sheff. United   30  4  7  4 21 20  5  5  5 11 15  9 12  9 32 35  -3  39
16 Bradford City   29  8  1  6 36 28  2  5  7 16 28 10  6 13 52 56  -4  36
17 Portsmouth      29  7  1  6 25 22  3  5  7 17 25 10  6 13 42 47  -5  36
18 Barnsley        30  6  6  3 28 23  1  5  9 14 32  7 11 12 42 55 -13  32
19 Crewe Alex.     28  5  5  3 11 14  3  3  9 17 28  8  8 12 28 42 -14  32
20 Rotherham Utd.  28  5  7  2 19 17  2  3  9 15 26  7 10 11 34 43  -9  31
21 Sheff. Wed.     29  4  5  6 19 24  3  4  7 11 22  7  9 13 30 46 -16  30
22 Walsall         30  6  3  6 20 19  1  3 11 12 30  7  6 17 32 49 -17  27
23 Grimsby Town    30  4  5  6 14 19  2  4  9 11 31  6  9 15 25 50 -25  27
24 Stockport C.    30  1  1 13  9 30  1  6  8 16 37  2  7 21 25 67 -42  13


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[1] MCIVTA Deadlines

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[2] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[3] Club Web Site

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[5] Fans’ Committee

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[6] City of Manchester Stadium Progress/Web Cam

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[7] Match Day Broadcasts

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found here: An alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

[8] Goals on the Net has available for download, usually within 24-48 hours of a game being played, all the goals from City’s matches.

[9] 01/02 Season Match Day Theme Tune

The music the teams run out to at Maine Road this season is “Nightmare”, by Brainbug, and is available on the Positiva label.

[10] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the information regarding match day music and to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service.

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]Geoff Donkin,

Newsletter #779