Newsletter #784

Tonight’s issue contains Don’s news round-up, three match reports covering three different levels of City teams thanks to Dave and Gavin, plenty of opinion, debate germinating ideas and requests.

Last night’s result for Wolves now sees us neck and neck at the top, which should make Sunday afternoon entertaining.

Apologies for the delay, but a combination of severe assault by yobs on a middle-aged couple, first-aid, emergency services and then spending 90 minutes in a police station left me somewhat shaken and in no state to produce McV last night. Pulp Fiction came to Tameside. And people have the temerity to say we football fans are bad news 🙂

Anybody at the game or safe at home on Sunday watching please consider sending your report and views in.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Next game: Preston North End, home, 2.15pm Sunday 10 February (TV)


General News

Guess Who’s Manager of the Month? Our own Special K, that’s who! Kevin Keegan has been named the Nationwide League Manager of the Month for January, after a fantastic month for City that saw finish the month six points clear of the rest of the League. Four League wins, two Cup victories and a goal tally of 16 for and 4 against, made KK’s award almost inevitable.

Reserves beat Reds: The Reserves have triumphed again in the semi-finals of the Manchester Senior Cup, beating Trafford United’s second string on penalties. The game finished 1-1, with the City goal being scored by Paul Dickov. The penalty shoot out saw the Blues triumphing 4-3. The successful penalties were scored by Dickov, Jeff Whitley, Chris Shuker and Terry Cooke with Richard Edghill and Chris Killen missing their efforts. Not a bad result against opponents boasting such players as Diego Forlan, Wes Brown, Denis Irwin and Luke Chadwick. The second team’s league form continues to slide, as on Wednesday they subsided to a 1-3 defeat to Everton. Paddy McCarthy headed City’s only goal from a Terry Cooke corner.

New date for Stockport: Selhurst Park may be City’s least favourite ground to visit, but Stockport’s Edgeley Park comes a close second. The Blues’ League game with Stockport will now take place on Tuesday 19th March kick off 7.45pm. The game was due to be played on Saturday February 16 but has had to be re-arranged because of City’s continuing involvement in the FA Cup.

Free Travel to FA Cup Tie: The PR Department at Maine Road’s hit on another winner. In honour of the difficult trips that Blues’ fans have suffered first to Ipswich, now to Newcastle on a Sunday evening, City have arranged free coach travel for approximately 1,000 fans for the FA Cup Fifth Round tie at St. James’ Park Chairman David Bernstein said, ” We are aware how inconvenienced our fans have been by the frequent changes in match dates and times as a result of the demands of television. In spite of the difficulties, our supporters have continued to be a credit to our club, both in their home and travelling support. The free travel offer to St James’ Park is recognition by the Club to that steadfast support and will help our fans in their journey to what I’m sure will be a scintillating cup tie.”

Youth Team go Down: City’s FA Youth Cup is over for another season, as the Young Blues went down 2-4 to Everton at Goodison Park. City’s scorers were Philip Gilder and Glenn Whelan (penalty). The the team was: Westwood, James, Tickle, Whelan, Egerton, Flood, Croft, Gilder, Kilheeney (Elliot), Orr (Proffitt) Almond (Tandy).

Shut it, Hall! Alas and alack! The World’s Greatest Radio reporter, Stuart Hall, has been told by KK to desist from taking the rise out of the club. Hall, a lifelong City fan, has always referred to Maine Road in his Radio 5 Live reports as “The Theatre of Comedy”. Boss Kev is less than chuffed, saying “I’ve asked Stuart Hall to stop referring to Maine Road as the Theatre of Comedy. He calls Old Trafford the Theatre of Dreams, but we get the other label. I don’t like it and I don’t find it funny. This club is taking things seriously, and I am proud of all of my players with the way they are playing at the moment.” To paraphrase the graet man, Exuent Hall, pursued by a bear!

Transfer News and Gossip

City Interest in Scottish Midfielder: Sunday reports have City and Sunderland sending scouts to watch East Fife’s 20-year-old midfield man Keith Gibson. It is expected that the first move for the player would involve a trial period.

Some Sun Confusion: Despite last week’s gloomy signs to the contrary, our manager was still making optimistic noises about the arrival of Chinese international Sun Jihai, despite the defender’s club Dalian Shide reportedly agreeing to become a feeder club for Newcastle. “If Newcastle have done a deal and taken them from under our feet it would not be the first time that has happened. As far as we are concerned he is supposed to be coming here next week.” [WARNING – KK JOKE ALERT] Keegan continued “He is coming here to get fit then! We are a feeder club for Newcastle! Obviously if he has done a deal to go somewhere we would not want him here, but let’s see what happens.” Then waddya know, on Wednesday night it’s reported that City are willing to pay $2 million for the defender, and he is definitely on his way to Manchester for a look around. He is supposed to be at Carrington by the end of this week.

Riise to ManCity: This was the arresting headline which caught my eye last week. Now we can see that City are already plannning for life in the big time, a bid for Liverpool’s star full-back, except… it’s Bjorn Helge Riise, the 18 year old brother of Liverpool’s John Arne. The midfielder plays in the Norwegian League for Aalesund, and is spending this week training with the Blues. Don’t hold your breath on a deal, as he’s also going for a trial at His Kid’s team at the ‘Pool.

Dicky can Go: Kevin Keegan has finally confirmed what we all suspected for months, that Paul Dickov can leave the club. “I have had the chance to loan Paul out to four different clubs,” stated KK, “I have told Paul that and he is not annoyed with me about it. He understands. He is much more valuable here with us at the moment especially with Paulo Wanchope being away with Costa Rica. If someone put in a bid for Paul Dickov and it was sensible money, I have told Paul we would pay him what we owe him, and he would go with our blessing. I don’t want to stop his career, he has been a great servant to Manchester City. We have to put the club first, he has a contract with us and I don’t think he is desperate to go. He is not knocking on my door saying ‘I want to go’, he is knocking on it saying that he wants to play and if he didn’t I would not want him here.” A nominal fee of £100,000 has been mentioned.

City Check Out Nigerian Star: There have been rumours that City have been checking on the form of Royal Antwerp’s Nigerian midfielder Justice Christopher. Christopher, aged 20, is away at the African Cup of Nations with his country. Antwerp’s response to the rumour has been downbeat, where a spokesman said “Some time ago, Manchester City asked permission to take the player on a two or three-day trial, but then it went quiet. I am aware of no official approach since then, and as far as we are concerned these latest stories are just rumours.”

Liverpool Player in Loan Move? One of the more far flung websites is reporting that Liverpool midfielder Igor Biscan is being linked with a loan move to City for the rest of the season. There has been no domestic or local confirmation of this story.

Ex-Blues’ News

Etuhu’s Star Performance: Stand by for the ghost of a former player coming back to haunt us. Dickson Etuhu had a storming game for Preston North End on Tuesday, scoring his new team’s first goal and setting up the last in Preston’s 4-2 win against Sheffield Wednesday. “Dickson played really well. He was the one player who kept us going and kept us together”, commented North End boss David Moyes. Preston of course visit Maine Road on Sunday, February 10.

Reactions and Comments

Keegan’s Promotion Target: Kevin Keegan reckons that nine more wins will lead to City’s promotion. He said: “Nothing is written yet, but if we keep playing as we have done in recent weeks then I don’t see why we can’t go on to win this league. I think you need 88 points to win promotion this season and we are on 61 at the moment, so we need to get another nine wins yet and there is a long way to go. But I don’t like setting targets because I think that once you do that, it can limit your achievements.” So he’s not setting targets, but the target’s 88 points – got that?

Kev Angry at Lax City: As City subsided to another defeat on the Somme-like pitch at Selhurst Park to Wimbledon, it’s good to hear that KK was as unimpressed with City’s Sunday surrender as we armchair fans. Methinks the walls of City’s dressing room shook after the game. Stand by for the tirade. “It would be very easy for me just to dismiss the defeat and say they have done great over the last two months but I am not going to dismiss it. It was poor with a capital P and I don’t know why. We had a tremendous opportunity to beat a side in mid-table, which had a crowd ready to demonstrate against its chairman – for whatever reason – but we couldn’t even put in what I would call a reasonable team performance and I am very disappointed. I guess what was missing was passion and that is the one thing I will not accept. I will accept anything else, especially when a team is better than us, but not that. Wimbledon have done the double over us and deservedly so. Wimbledon did not have to play fantastically well to turn us over. We turned ourselves over. We worked hard to get the last two wins with ten men but the passion we showed in those two games was missing. Three-quarters of it would have been enough. But we never got any of it. From captain Stuart Pearce right through the side, I don’t think any of the players were at it,” he continued, “I think we turned up thinking we are a good side and they are not, we’ve got something to play for and they haven’t, we have got as many supporters as them. It was just so disappointing. I said what I wanted to say to the players at half-time but we got what we deserved. If we play like that for the rest of season we will still be in First Division at the end of it. Paulo Wanchope will come back against Preston. He will definitely play. I will find a place for him because he gives us a lift. I will have Steve Howey back and I will be tempted to play him if he proves his fitness. I will have Danny Tiatto back, too. Maybe we missed some of his drive yesterday. He certainly would have shown a bit more commitment than some of them showed at Selhurst Park. We have got three or four days on the training ground now and that will be very interesting. Some of the players out there I think thought they were as good as Arsenal but we are millions of miles apart from them and we got exactly what we deserved.” Well said Boss!

Stuart’s Sorrow: Stuart Pearce’s sending off against Wimbledon means that he, like Ali B, will miss the FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Newcastle. The former Toon Army player will serve a three match suspension, and will also miss the League matches away to Walsall on 23 February and at home to Sheffield Wednesday four days later. Kevin Horlock confessed that he feels guilty over Psycho’s loss, as it was his misplaced pass which cost Pearce his red card. “I must admit I feel a little bit responsible and very sorry for Stuart,” said Horlock “I had a glance and saw him free and when I flicked the ball to him it was neither one thing nor the other. A bit shorter and he wouldn’t have made the tackle, and a bit longer and he would have got it. It was a mistake and I am bitterly disappointed that Stuart will now miss three games, as he is the kind of player we need in the team.” Kevin Keegan stated that there’ll be no appeal against Psycho’s dismissal. “I have no arguments over the sending off,” said Kevin Keegan. “I think the referee could have shown a little bit more common sense. It was the last minute of the game and they had won it. It was a foul, he was possibly last man but he was a long way from goal and it was almost a fifty fifty ball which he mis-timed. It wasn’t like he tried to pull the player back.”

Squad News

Paulo’s Progress: The CONCACAF Gold Cup is now over. In the Semi-Finals, Paulo Wanchope scored twice as Costa Rica beat South Korea 3-1. This took the Ticos into their first ever Gold Cup Final, where they faced the hosts USA. On Sunday, USA beat Costa Rica 2-0 in the Final, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Come on home, Paulo!

Juan’s the Man: City’s extra fitness and stamina have been a feature of this season’s performances. Darren Huckerby knows the reason for this fitness, which has seen City score a clutch of late goals, as well as win two games with only ten men. Take a bow Juan Carlos Osario, the Colombian fitness coach who arrived in the Summer. “Juan Carlos has totally re-invented our training from last season,” revealed Huckerby. “We are doing things which I have never done before. We haven’t done that much running as the training is all game related and it is paying off. In the match against Millwall for the whole game we looked like the stronger team. We were the team which was forcing it throughout the game and that is a credit to the coaching team and the players. We had the energy over the ninety minutes even though we were down to ten men. We are strong, we have some fit lads anyway and it always helps if you have the right people behind you and helping you along.”

Alfie May be Back: This week’s prognosis on Alfie Haaland is a little better, according to Boss Kev, who thinks the Nowegian may play a few games at the end of the season. Keegan reported, “Alfie has had his operation and is back with us. He flew over to the States last week and they found a slight problem, nothing major, and there is no reason why he cannot set himself a target of playing one or two games before the end of the season if his rehabilitation goes great and we think that’s right for him. He is a strong character and he will not fail to meet that target when it comes to determination”.

Come Fly With Me: Speaking before the Wimbledon débâcle, KK revealed how City were repeating the travel arrangements used after the Ipswich triumph. The squad flew to and from South London. KK revealed “The players came to me and asked if we could fly,” revealed the manager. “We looked at it and decided it could be done. It is common sense and we can afford to do it. The players, by the cup run, and especially the television games, are getting revenue into the club. There has been a lot of travelling and it is not a lot to ask the club to put a few grand in to get the players back quickly so they can rest. When the players come to you and give you a bit of information you have to listen and try and act upon it and that is what we did. You have to look at things from their point of view. They are the ones who have got to play.” Following the inept performance by the Blues at Selhurst Park, it is unclear whether KK will make the squad hitchhike to the next away fixture.

Shaun’s a Wright Winner: Kevin Keegan has praised Shaun Wright-Phillips and his comfort in his latest rôle in the team, as a wing-back. “He is a wonderful talent,” said the boss. “He’s played in three or four different positions this season. You play him wing back and he shows he has the courage, you play him as a winger and he will go past people and you play him up front and he shows he has an eye for goal. Shaun has learned quickly, too, and not all players are capable of that. He has a sharp footballing brain, he is a very clever lad and has a lot going for him.” Shaunie remarked, “I’ll play wherever I am needed. I just enjoy playing and really don’t mind where I play on the pitch, no matter where I play I give it a hundred per cent. I haven’t done a lot of extra work with Derek Fazackerely as the coaching staff believe I can do it. I read the game and when I think it is the right time to go and attack, then I will. I know that Dunnie or Stuart Pearce on the other side will tuck round if either of us go forward a lot. It is all about communication, that is the key to it. As long as you want to do something then you will learn quickly. It is harder than I thought. When I first started I was not defending as much as I should have, now I think my defending is better. After the first game I was tired, but the more games I have played as a wing back the easier I have found it and it still gives me the option to express my attacking instincts, at the right time.”

International Rescue: KK’s preparation for the Newcastle game could be disrupted by a number of International call-ups. One player who is staying in England is Paulo Wanchope. Paulo had been expecting to fly back to the USA again after the Preston game, as Costa Rica were due to play a friendly there next Wednesday. KK persuaded the Costa Rican management to give their star striker a break from such a minor game. Other Blue boys who will be on duty abroad include Eyal Berkovic, Kevin Horlock and Niclas Jensen, for Israel, Northern Ireland and Denmark respectively.

Don Barrie (


(Granada view in Scotland – thanks to MCIVTA)

I wrote this on Sunday night but after reading the newspaper reports and the account on the City website I wondered whether I had really found Granada or perhaps I was watching another game. Anyhow for what it’s worth here’s how I saw it. Having Robby Earle as the commentator didn’t help, but even he thought the sending off was wrong!

Couldn’t understand the newspaper reports claiming that but for Weaver the result would have been worse. He made one good save with his feet and another acrobatic save where the ball may or may not have crept inside the post. He stood up well to another couple where Wimbledon shot wide but was also nowhere for the second goal and generally failed to initiate forward movements with his distribution – the best we saw was the ball rolled to Dunne on the edge of the penalty area.

Not a good performance from City but just about good enough for a draw. The main difference between the teams was the referee, who got several key decisions wrong in my view. Wimbledon’s first goal was from a dubious free kick and seemed to me (and on replays) to be just offside although it was close enough for the assistant referee to be unsure. Goater had a similar effort ruled offside and was about a foot further offside. Goater was clearly subjected to a late tackle by the goalkeeper in the penalty area – the ball was about a yard away when the ‘keeper hit Goater – has to be a foul whether Goater would have got the ball or not – if he would have got the ball the ‘keeper should be off if not then just a penalty – no other logical decision from wherever you view it. Corner if the ‘keeper played the ball, penalty if the ‘keeper didn’t play the ball and penalty and ‘keeper sent off if the ‘keeper didn’t play the ball and denied Goater a goal scoring opportunity – goal kick is not an option.

The free kick that led to Wimbledon’s second goal was similar to the Tiatto incident: Berkovic fouls Wimbledon player – Wimbledon player flails out with his arms and hits Berkovic in the face – apply City vs. Norwich standards and Wimbledon player should be off and kicking Lucozade bottles – Selhurst Park standards Berkovic booked and injured. Booking and sending off should have been the decision in both cases – so neither ref got it right but both went against City. Still no excuse for not defending the free kick and it was difficult to see what Weaver expected to happen from his positioning. Pearce sending off was a disgrace to refereeing standards – he was caught short going for a poor pass and once he realised that he couldn’t get the ball had nowhere to go, particularly on the muddy surface.

Can anyone tell me whether there is a special law for Huckerby that defenders are allowed to hold their arms out to stop him running past them? Both here and against Ipswich I saw incidents where Huckerby was treated in the same way that led to Keown being sent off for holding Owen.

That feels a bit better! Some general comments: Wimbledon were the busier team and certainly cramped City in midfield for much of the game – Jensen looks OK but Tiatto at the moment gives City more thrust going forward and consequently is more significant in exploiting the space when Berkovic and Benarbia are outnumbered. Having the possibility of mixing Wanchope, Goater and Huckerby also allows City to change the style up front and unsettle defences particularly with Wanchope against an offside line as set up by Wimbledon.

Currently Nash is for me the better all round ‘keeper – as a shot stopper Nicky probably has the edge but Carlo is better (though not brilliant) with crosses and his distribution when he gets the ball is way ahead and gives City an attacking springboard. I think this will be crucial for City in games like this where quick breaks from defence are likely to be the key to catching a well organised defence off guard.

So an off-day for City; well done Wimbledon and a raspberry for the referee.

Dave Lewis (


Why did I bother last night!

I arrived 10 minutes late to find we were already one nil down; apparently the linesman had given a corner but it should have been a free kick à la Ipswich – they scored from it! The game milled along with few chances being created, Everton’s winger McCloud’s pace causing Edghill many problems. He wasn’t helped by lazy Cooke giving the ball away on numerous occasions; this is where their second goal came from. The ball was given to McCloud by Cooke and passed to Cademarteri, who ran into the box. Somehow the ball came back to him after a well timed tackle from McCarthy; Nash should have saved the shot but instead parried it into the net.

Shortly afterwards we won a corner – McCarthy connected with his head and it went towards the net. It looked like an own goal but was credited to McCarthy. Shortly into the second half, Ritchie – Horlock’s twin – did a double take of Wimbledon, leaving McCarthy to be dispossessed by Cademarteri who duly slotted under Nash. Shuker had come on at half time for Tiatto and we were looking more meanacing but the midfield was not helping, especially Negouie – he looks more and more like a basketball player every time I see him than a footballer. He was involved in an incident half way through the half and both players were duly booked.

Late on Leon Mike was brought on for Killen – Hartford and his tactics – should have brought off Cooke for Mike – so no matter how good Mike is at getting goal side there was never an outlet. Near the end a well worked free kick saw Edghill hit a pile driver – you are reading right – which stayed on the ground only for him to see it come off the post and be cleared to safety.

Although we had the majority of the play we never really looked threatening and it was two schoolboy errors which cost us the match. Let’s hope the youth will perform better at Goodison – match report follows folks 🙂

Gavin Cooper (


Yet again I drag myself to a wet and windy ground to see us get beat – for the second night in a row – the scousers doing what they are best at – robbing! No seriously I think you could say they deserved it.

It looked like it could be a good game. We won a free kick on the edge of the area in the first minute. I’m still waiting for the ball to land!

It has to be said though that Glen Whelan, who took the free kick, will soon be featuring in the first team in a holding midfield rôle – I have no doubt about that – and was our man of the match by a long margin. He was however playing centre half for the youth last night as he is able to bring the ball out of defence with some culture.

Then on 4 minutes a long ball came over the top and Everton’s amazing centre forward Wayne Rooney chased onto it and left flat footed Mark Egerton for dead and slotted a great goal past Keiren Westwood into the far corner, 1-0.

After that the game settled and nothing was really happening for either side – the game was a bit drab.

Then on 38 minutes some sloppy passing led to the ball given away and switching flanks over to the right – David Tickle, who was having a poor game, let the ball come over and all Egerton could do was divert it into the net – own goal. 2-0.

A minute later saw some abject defending and Egerton by trying to clear the ball again nearly gave away another own goal but it was not given although David and myself would say it crossed the line! Two own goals in a minute – that would have set a precedent!

After that we seemed to liven up towards the end of the half and a good one two with Willo Flood and Lee Croft on the right edge of the area saw Willo’s shot just clip the top of the crossbar; had it been lower it would have been a goal as he had the ‘keeper beaten all the way.

The second half started as the first half ended and on 48 minutes a ball was partially cleared in the Everton box and Phil Gilder drove in a 20 yard shot to the bottom corner, 2-1.

Then three minutes later our defence went to sleep again – mainly Tickle and Egerton and Westwood was allowed no protection for Rooney to square a ball into the box. Wasteful attempts to try to clear the ball allowed Steven Beck to run in and slot Everton’s third goal home. 3-1.

City had substituted Andrew Lee for Ciaran Kilheeney at the start of the 2nd half. His movement seemed to be causing Everton’s defence more problems but he wasn’t offered any really good service. So on 64 minutes Jamie Tandy was brought on for the perenial under achiever James Almond – a £100,000 14 year old purchase from Scarborough.

We started to look more and more threatening – more and more chances were being created by some good football and approach play. However, no clear cut chances fell our way and our finishing wasn’t good enough to squeeze into the net.

On 69 minutes time to bring on some real quality up front – Dorryl Proffitt – why he doesn’t start we have to question. This was his first appearance in the competition this year – although with resounding victories over Burnley and Gillingham you might question the need to include him anyway.

He was making an immediate impact – linking well with future England team mate Lee Croft. Their pressure finally told when Proffitt rounded two defenders to the by line in the box but then was cynically brought down – penalty. Up stepped Glen Whelan to slot home a good penalty; 3-2, we were back in the tie, come on City!

Only three minutes later though, Rooney ran onto a through ball with huge gaps in the City defence as Whelan was up front chasing the game – all we had left at the back was Egerton and Tickle – we saw the result before it came – he brushed the pair aside with consummate ease to score a great second goal. Mark my words – this lad will soon be an Everton 1st team regular. 4-2.

After what seemed like many injury time minutes and City showing no real urgency the referee blew time on a deserved victory for Everton. I will be very surprised if they don’t go on and at least make the final.

Gavin Cooper (


Assuming the 5-1 vs. ManUre is a too obvious choice, these are my best six.

City 5 Charlton 1 – 1984/85
My first season watching the super Blues. A glorious end to a tense season. Lovely sunny day, Paul Simpson on fire, a nervous teenage Charlton ‘keeper and a stunning crowd made for a brilliant day. Huge pitch invasion afterwards after stewards opened the gates. Na na na na na na na na na na na, City’s going up, going up, City’s going up.

City 2 Derby 1 1990/91
Niall Quinn takes over the gloves with City 2-0 but Tony Coton having just been dismissed. Saves the resultant penalty and keep Dean Saunders et al at bay to clinch the points.

City 5 Spurs 2 – 1994/95
Ossie Ardiles’ swashbuckling team vanquished by Walsh & Rösler. Fantastic to see Klinsmann at the time who was the most famous footballer in theEnglish game.

City 0 West Ham 0 – Milk Cup 1984/85
My first ever game. Clive Wilson’s skill mesmerises the wide eyed and now hooked Haggart. This despite the presence of Tony Cunningham who could trap the ball further than I could kick it.

City 1 Birmingham 0 – 99/2000
Those who claim that the premature pitch invasion was simply celebrating being City are liars. With Ipswich away to Charlton the next day, we all thought a win would be promotion… an amazing atmosphere that created the Big Fat Bob legend.

City 2 Liverpool 1 – 1994/95
Maurizio Gaudino helps steer us to safety with a virtuoso performance. He was the one that got away… a superb player.

Six Of the Worst

City 2 Liverpool 2 – 1996
Obvious choice for the ‘keep it in the corner’ moments. Liverpool did everything they could to keep us up, but inept as ever, City managed to get the final touch to all four goals.

Blackpool 0 City 0 – 1999
A midday kick off in January. A low sun meant that I couldn’t see half this game, but I could see what a dump the ground was. An indication of how far we had fallen.

City 2 QPR 2 – 1998
Yet another catalogue of disaster. The Theatre of Base Comedy fully open for business as Martin Margetson hands – literally – the ball to the QPR forward line for a quick free kick equaliser, and Jamie Pollock scores the own goal from hell. Thank Christ I left the country 2 days later.

City 3 ManUre 3 1990/91(?)
3-1 up, minutes to go. Nuff said.

City 0 Southampton 1 – 2001
Soton smash and grab in a dreadfully dull game. Relegation looms large into reality where previously it wasn’t seriously thought of…

Gillingham 2 City 2 – Wembley 1999
A controversial choice. One magical moment of euphoria, the best I’ve ever felt at a game, but for the most part it was the most tense and latterly miserable football game I’d ever experience, and couldn’t be enjoyed until it was over. And the football served up on the pitch wasn’t the best in the World either. Even afterwards, walking to the underground it was almost silent, simply because we’d been so drained by the experience. I never want to deal with the play-offs again.

Jonathan Haggart (


‘Singin the Blues’…

This is a cool, upbeat song that we have plagiarised from a very downbeat, depressing bunch of supporters i.e. Birmingham City.

When I was at Uni I had a few mates who were Brummies fans and for my sins I occasionally travelled across and even went so far as to watch the Brummies play away for a couple of games. The only good part of going to watch them was the pre-match pints of Grolsch and the time when their fans started to sing ‘Singin the Blues’. However, listening to a bunch of Barries from Auf Weidersehen Pet compared to clear ‘Queen’s English’ Mancunians at the Millwall game was no comparison.

They had the cheek to ‘Feed the Horse’ with our ‘Feed Him’ Anthem, so let’s outsing the Brummies, whilst ‘Singin the Blues’ when we go to St. Andrews.

They might not be happy about it but other than the FA or Worthington Cup, lets hope it’s the only time we see them for 20 years (i.e. We go up and stay there – and they keep there, sleeping grey and miserable giant of a city in the Nationwide Anglia!?!).

Marc Taylor (


I must write to correct one of Dave Lyons’ comments in MCIVTA 783 regarding the ‘Newcastle Sneakout’ by KK.

I have it on good authority that the Newcastle chairman at the time was going to the City to ‘float’ Newcastle PLC on the stock market. The ‘suits’ told him that the share price would be significantly higher if the club could go the City stating that the manager would be in place for some considerable time. Like many other institutions if you can demonstrate continuity at senior management level you have a greater chance of attracting investors. This is normal fiscal policy and makes sense. It is this that led to KK leaving the Geordies as they wanted KK to sign a long term (rumoured to be a further 5 years on top of his existing contract) but this was declined and from thereon the rest is history.

Next stop was Fulham. Anyone with ambition would welcome the chance to manage their country, hence KK departure from Fulham. So far I see no problem with these two decisions.

Failing with England was no disgrace. Very little quality to work with, little time to work with players and KK decided that he couldn’t do the job that others thought he could. It takes a big man and strong will to walk away and he went with dignity in my view. A very honest man.

Next stop Moss Side – you know the rest. KK is a hands-on man manager who has to work with players day in and day out and has passion and a will to win. When was the last time you saw football of this standard? Now I look forward to being entertained each match unlike of late when I went hoping we would win at any (and usually it was) price.

Joe was OK for City but Kev is the man. If he goes in 3 years so be it but I am certain that when he does go for whatever reason he will leave behind a legacy and a piece of history in our club that people will recall with fond memories.

CTIDATS (City till I Die and then some), Steve Denton (


After speaking to Stan’s family, the club are to remember Stan in several ways. There will be a plaque on the house where Stan lived next to the ground and also at the bottom of the players’ tunnel where he always stood. He will also be remembered at the new stadium by being included in the list of City Legends and will have a bar named after him at the ground.

Alex Channon (


Further to James’s comments on Groundhog day – I have got a feeling that it actually was Groundhog day in the US last weekend! Fans of the film will remember that Murray’s nightmare continues for quite a few days – here’s hoping that good old City unpredictability returns with a vengeance soon!

Currently I am working in Warsaw and cannot check my Gary Larson calendar which usually contains all such useful (!?) information, but maybe the same thought has struck someone else, or maybe I’m too much of an anorak!

Anyone know any decent footie bars in Warsaw?

Ian Barton (


Well I never felt more like laughing all night
City are great, United are s***e,
Oh, City, you got me singing the blues!

CTID, Stuart Ormson (


Manchester City this April are once again helping Football Aid raise money to search for a cure for diabetes. Ever dreamt of playing on the Maine Road pitch? In April you will be able to turn that dream into a reality.

Bids are being taken now on for your chance to play a full 90 minutes on the pitch at Maine Road. Enjoy the full authentic match day experience with full kit supplied, use of the dressing rooms, referees, team talks, and post match presentations – and raise money for Football Aid at the same time (players must be 18 or over).

Team talks and inspiration will be provided by Gary Owen and Peter Barnes who are managers of a team each for the day.

Subject to play-offs the game is planned for 10.30am on Mon 22 April. Those who took part last year will be able to testify that this was a great once in a lifetime experience.

Ian Howard, Marketing Manager, Manchester City


The Glossop branch of the Official Supporters’ Club has its monthly meeting on Wednesday 13th February at the usual venue, The Grapes pub in Glossop, at the usual time, 8:30. Special guests for the evening will be Paul Power and Jim Cassell, so come prepared with your Dickson Etuhu questions!

All welcome. Please mail me if you need further information, directions etc.

Jonathan Haggart (


The next meeting of the Thames Valley OSC is at 7:30pm on Monday 11th Feb. The meeting will be held at the Morning Star pub in Cholsey Oxfordshire, and will be attended by ex-player Paul Walsh. There will be food at a cost of £5 per head (so no need to go home after work, just come straight to the pub), a raffle, a question and answer session with Paul, which promises to be interesting, and one or two other things going on. The meeting is open to members and non-members, though anyone wanting food on the night is asked to contact me by email before Saturday night please. It should be a good night out.

There is a map to help you find the pub on the chat page of the Thames Valley site at

Also please note that the venue for future meetings will be changed as the pub we used to use has been sold off to be made into flats!

See you there.

Paul Stevenson (


The next meeting of the Reddish Blues will be on Wednesday 13th February at The Ash Hotel, Manchester Road, Stockport starting at 8.00pm.

Confirmed guests for the evening are Joe Corrigan and Peter Barnes. As usual everyone is welcome.

For more details please contact me at the address below.

Howard Burr (


Does anyone have two spare tickets for the Walsall game? If so, please get in touch! I live in London so any re-distribution would have to be done via snail mail or on the day.

By the way, I have noticed on that Walsall supporters have to prove they are fans of the club in order to buy tickets for the game against us. They do this by providing past match stubs. The club think that City fans have been trying to buy tickets for the wrong end. As if that would happen!

James Nash (


Can anyone let me know of where the game with the Geordies may be being broadcast in NYC? I think the time it’s on will be about 2.15pm local time, but I could do with the name of a boozer near Broadway to view us on.

Joel Perry (


In several recent McV’s I have noticed requests from overseas supporters for videos of City games shown on TV over here in England. I myself often send copies of games to a good friend in Sweden for his enjoyment.

May I appeal to City fans over here to video matches on TV and send a copy to one of the McV subscribers and help spread the Blue gospel. You never know how many people you can be helping and it doesn’t cost that much, roughly about the price of a pint.

Yours in Blue, Alex Channon (


Champs is the place to watch sport in downtown Montreal. They’re showing all the FA Cup games (usually several at once). There are pubs out in the West Island that are more ‘English’; most of them tend to be full of Reds though.

It’s at 3956 St Laurent, (514) 987-6444. Give me a shout if you need more info.

Alan Davies (


Searching the web for an ex work colleague of mine – Tim Parnacott – we used to work at STA Travel in Kensington, London from 1993 to 1995. I see you mention him in one of your articles (is it the same Tim)?

If you are able to help me out with this Tim’s whereabouts, I would be most grateful.

Glenn Stokes (


Recent results from 4 February 2002 to 6 February 2002 inclusive.

6 February 2002

Coventry City         2 - 0  Rotherham United      12,893
Watford               1 - 2  Burnley               12,160

5 February 2002

Preston North End     4 - 2  Sheffield Wednesday   14,038

League table to 06 February 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 31 12  3  1 40 13  7  1  7 31 27 19  4  8 71 40  31  61
 2 Wolves          31  9  3  4 24 14  8  4  3 24 14 17  7  7 48 28  20  58
 3 West Brom A.    32 10  2  4 19  7  7  4  5 18 16 17  6  9 37 23  14  57
 4 Millwall        32 10  3  3 32 17  5  6  5 20 17 15  9  8 52 34  18  54
 5 Burnley         30  8  4  3 29 21  8  2  5 23 22 16  6  8 52 43   9  54
 6 Crystal Palace  32 11  1  4 38 17  6  1  9 20 28 17  2 13 58 45  13  53
 7 Norwich City    32 11  4  1 26 12  5  1 10 18 29 16  5 11 44 41   3  53
 8 Preston N.E.    32  7  6  3 31 17  6  5  5 19 24 13 11  8 50 41   9  50
 9 Coventry City   32  8  3  5 23 14  7  2  7 17 18 15  5 12 40 32   8  50
10 Birmingham City 31  9  2  4 27 12  4  6  6 18 24 13  8 10 45 36   9  47
11 Gillingham      32  8  4  4 30 17  5  3  8 19 29 13  7 12 49 46   3  46
12 Nottm Forest    32  7  7  2 19 11  3  6  7 16 18 10 13  9 35 29   6  43
13 Wimbledon       30  6  6  3 22 16  5  3  7 25 26 11  9 10 47 42   5  42
14 Watford         31  7  4  5 29 22  4  4  7 16 16 11  8 12 45 38   7  41
15 Portsmouth      31  7  2  6 29 26  4  5  7 18 25 11  7 13 47 51  -4  40
16 Sheff. United   32  4  8  4 21 20  5  5  6 12 17  9 13 10 33 37  -4  40
17 Bradford City   31  8  1  7 36 29  3  5  7 17 28 11  6 14 53 57  -4  39
18 Barnsley        32  7  6  3 29 23  1  6  9 18 36  8 12 12 47 59 -12  36
19 Crewe Alex.     29  6  5  3 12 14  3  3  9 17 28  9  8 12 29 42 -13  35
20 Rotherham Utd.  31  5  8  2 20 18  2  3 11 16 30  7 11 13 36 48 -12  32
21 Walsall         32  7  3  6 22 20  1  4 11 14 32  8  7 17 36 52 -16  31
22 Sheff. Wed.     32  4  5  7 20 27  3  5  8 13 26  7 10 15 33 53 -20  31
23 Grimsby Town    32  4  5  7 14 20  2  5  9 12 32  6 10 16 26 52 -26  28
24 Stockport C.    32  1  1 14 10 33  1  7  8 19 40  2  8 22 29 73 -44  14

With thanks to Football 365


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
News/rumour (Don Barrie) :
Subscriptions (Geoff Donkin) :
Technical problems (Paul) :

Comments concerning this FAQ should be sent to David Warburton using the address:

[1] MCIVTA Deadlines

Deadlines for issues are nominally Monday and Thursday evenings.

[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

The official club web site can be found at

[4] Supporters’ Clubs

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

[5] Fans’ Committee

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. It has its own website, containing info about forthcoming meetings as well as minutes from previous gatherings.

[6] City of Manchester Stadium Progress/Web Cam

The latest information regarding the progress of our new home can be found at

[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] City on TV

City’s games when broadcast on TV are generally carried by ITV Digital; provides a list of pubs that will be showing the games.

Granada television also has the rights to show a small number of games from the North West region. As Sky now carry ITV regional services these matches can be watched outside the intended region by “adding” channels to your Sky Digital receiver. Under “services/system setup” enter the following details: Frequency 10.891 – H – 22.0 – 5/6. Select “find channels” and you will be given a list of the available ITV regions. From here select the regions you want to add. In order to view the channels you have added, you have to make your selection via “services/system setup/other channels”.

[9] 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.

[10] 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.

[11] 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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #784