Newsletter #796

Oh dear, our banana skin County upended the City train on Tuesday night as a relegated Stockport beat us 2-1. To add insult to injury, Goater was sent off.

Tonight we have a variety of interesting match reports on Stockport, Palace and the reserves at Newcastle so thanks to everybody for taking the time to do those. We also have Don’s news summary, opinion continues on our star striker, plenty of requests and a bit of Blue humour.

Saturday sees us travel over the Pennines to Rotherham, Goater’s former employer.

Next game: Rotherham United, away, 3pm Saturday 23 March 2002


If anybody fancies doing a stint of editing for issue 799 (April 1st – Wolves game) then please contact me at the usual address. Template and easy to follow instructions are provided!



General News

Youngsters in International Action: England’s under 17’s have qualified for the UEFA Championship in Denmark, helped by City’s young duo of Lee Croft and Dorryl Proffitt. Both boys played in the wins over Scotland and Lithuania, and should be involved in the final stages of the tournament, which runs between April 27 and May 10. Willo Flood and Paul Murphy will not be joining their City team mates in the finals, as the Republic of Ireland lost 1-2 to Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, Glenn Whelan has earned a call up for the Republic of Ireland’s under-19 side.

The Season So Far: KK has been reviewing the season’s progress, and has highlighted an early season drubbing as the turning point in the campaign. “I have enjoyed the football since Christmas,” explained Kevin Keegan. “The four nil defeat at West Brom in early September was when I gave up saying that I would look at all the players and give them a chance. I made my mind up then that we needed to do something about it. Since then we have been able to attract some really good players. Ali Benarbia comes to mind immediately as he is a quality player. Niclas Jensen is another example and from then I have been strengthening areas which needed strengthening.” It’s always a good move to praise your employers, and Kevin duly did. “The board have done right by the supporters,” reckoned Kev. “A lot of clubs sell off the family silver, the best players, when they come down from the Premiership, City didn’t. When I took the job here I said to the chairman that I needed to know if there would be money available to strengthen the team. He assured me that there would be. That was the reason I took the job. If he had said that there was no money I would not be here now.”

Records in Sight: Saturday’s victory against Crystal Palace means that City have won twenty six League games so far, equalling the records set in the promotion years of 1946-47 and 1999-2000. Joe Royle’s team also hold the club record for points achieved in a season. City currently have eighty three, so the 1999-2000 total of eighty nine is well within reach. City’s goals scored total is ninety one, so the post-war record of one hundred and four may be attainable.

Reserves Defeated: City travelled to Newcastle Falcon’s rugby ground last night, to play Newcastle United’s reserve side. Fielding a largely inexperienced team, they lost 2-0. The only team members with first team experience were Alioune Toure and Terry Cooke, who was back after a week’s training with Sheffield United. Injuries abounded unfortunately as Alioune Toure, Ciaran Kilheeney and Terry Dunfield all failed to finish the game. City’s team started as follows: Kieren Westwood, Tyrone Mears, Stephen Jordan, Terry Dunfield, Gary Furnival, Joey Barton, Chris Shuker, Chris Killen, Alioune Toure, Gary Browne, Terry Cooke.

Transfer News and Gossip

Rôle for Royce: Following his decision not to sign Cameroon international Boukar Alioum last week, KK moved swiftly to bring in temporary cover for Carlo Nash. He has signed Leicester’s Simon Royce on loan until the end of the League season. The ex-Southend and Charlton player was on loan at Brighton earlier in the season but has spent much of the season on the bench at Filbert Street. His rôle as substitute against Crystal Palace last Saturday was therefore no surprise to him.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid… Not sure if I believe this one, but here goes… It’s been reported that City’s scouts were at Bury’s Gigg Lane last week, to watch Egil Ostenstad play for Blackburn Reserves. Ostenstad enjoyed a spectacularly unsuccessful loan spell at Maine Road last season (played 4, three as sub, no goals). Graeme Souness has told the Norwegian international striker that he can leave Ewood Park, although it seems unlikely that City would be interested in a striker who can’t get into a struggling Blackburn side.

Riise Latest: There are differing accounts of the progress of Bjorn Helge “Brother of Liverpool’s John Arne” Riise’s transfer. The player’s mother and agent said this week “The situation is ongoing. We are still in negotiations. Bjorn Helge wants to go to City, so my job is to tell Aalesund they cannot get so much money for him in his final year. We expect to reach a final agreement sometime next week and then we will speak to City again.” KK on the other hand is prepared to wait till the player’s contract runs out in the Autumn. “There won’t be many more changes between now and next season,” said the Boss Man. “We may bring in one or two younger players, like Bjorn Riise probably around October.” It was then reported Riise had been offered a trial by Leeds, who may well sign the player if City continue to dither.

James A Target? Kevin Keegan outlined his summer transfer policy in Saturday’s Manchester Evening News. “If we bring people in now they have got to be top quality players. The next two or three signings we make are going to be top-notchers and I mean real top-notchers,” he said. The newspaper mentioned the usual suspects for strikers (Yorke, Keane, Smith etc.), but a new name was mentioned in the goalkeeping department – David James of West Ham United. KK has been a long time admirer of England’s third choice ‘keeper since his days as the National coach. Leicester’s Ian Walker and Kasey Keller at Spurs are also mentioned as potential targets.

Luton Defender Checked out: A “City spokesman” has said this week that the Blues have been keeping tabs on Luton’s 20-year old centre half Matthew Taylor. It seems that we face competition from a number of clubs, however. “Yes, we have been watching Taylor on a number of occasions,” confimed the spokesman. “The last time was at the Bristol Rovers game last month, where we were one of several observers at the game. I spotted representatives from Ipswich, Tottenham, Manchester City, Newcastle, Southampton and Aston Villa.” Luton boss Joe Kinnear is said to want to cash in on the youngster and obtain a fee now for the player, rather than wait till summer when Taylor becomes a free agent.

Whitley in Notts: In an effort to regain full fitness with some first team games, Jeff Whitley has gone on loan to Notts County until the end of the season. County have only just had a transfer embargo lifted by the Football League, after an appeal by fans raised £75,000 to pay off existing debts. Jeff seems quite chuffed with the move, saying “It’s a good chance for me to get some games under my belt before the end of the season and get that real buzz back of playing in front of a crowd. I’m really looking forward to it, there are five games left and hopefully I’ll be playing in all of them and I’m just going to give it my best shot.”

Down in Davie Jones’ Locker Room

The Story This Week: On Saturday, City unconvincingly beat Palace, but even better news that evening was that Wolves had lost 0-1 at home to relegation threatened Grimsby. By close of play, City were 5 points clear with a game in hand. To add to Wolves’ woes, defender Robbie Muscat was sent off. It felt like the day when real daylight appeared between the two top teams. Tuesday saw Old City appear at Edgeley Park, as we threw away a lead in the last five minutes, as well as our game in hand.

Jones Defiant: Davie Jones meanwhile was making ever more optimistic pronouncements, “It is vital we get up into the Premiership but, more importantly, we want to top the table. That is the mood in the camp – we want to get back to top spot and stay there. We are not looking behind us – we are looking at the number one position. We want it back. We want to go up as champions,” he continued, “and I still think we can. Manchester City still have to come to Molineux and they are still catchable.”

I’ll Get You, Butler! It seems that Wolves have a Blue supporter hidden in their playing squad. Captain Paul Butler was a regular at Maine Road as a boy, and the former Sunderland defender is looking forward to the April 1 clash with his boyhood heroes. “I have still got a lot of friends who are City supporters and, when I go to Maine Road, I am the obvious target for a lot of light-hearted stick. The game against City should be a real cracker. It could even be the day when the title is finally sorted out. We are nine games undefeated now. We have seven games left and we know we have to keep picking up points.”

Stockport Blues: Tuesday night saw KK muttering darkly about changes for Saturday’s trip to Rotherham. City remain five points clear of Wolves with both clubs having six games to play. Keegan said of the Championship race: “It’s back in the melting pot after a result like this. But that’s football for you.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Preston Linked With Former Blues: Last week David Moyes left Preston North End to manage Everton, and a number of candidates for the vacancy have already emerged. Ex-Reds Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes have been cited, but a trio of former City men have also been mentioned. Top of the list is “Sir” Joe Royle. Currently unattached after last Summer’s departure from Maine Road, Joe has been keeping busy working as a TV pundit for Channel 5, Granada and ITV Sport. He has the advantage of previous experience of pushing a club to promotion, both with City and Oldham. Other ex-Blues in the frame are said to be Steve McMahon, currently doing a good job with Blackpool in Division Three, and our former craggy Scottish centre half Colin Hendrie. Hendrie is currently on loan as a player at Deepdale, but his lack of coaching experience must count against him.

Palace Memories: Crystal Palace’s visit brought out a number of connections between the clubs. Simon Rodger came on as a late substitute for the visitors, a man whose claim to fame was to be Steve “See Ya” Coppell’s only signing during his thirty three days in charge of the Blues back in 1996. Rodger stayed on loan for two months, played eight games and then went home. Kit Symons missed out on a reunion with the Maine Road faithful through injury. Joe Royle sent our former barrel-shaped captain Andy Morrison on loan to Palace last year in an effort to get him fit. That worked well… anyway before the game big Andy made his farewell appearance on the pitch with his two kids, and got an excellent ovation from the crowd. KK has announced Morrison’s departure at the end of the season. Andy is the only City captain many Blues fans have ever seen lifting silverware, and his contribution to the Second Division promotion should not be underestimated. The final ex-Blue on display was none other than Palace’s number thirty, Danny Granville. I felt sorry for our former left back, because most City fans didn’t seem to notice his presence on Saturday, he received neither the benefit of an ovation nor the boos of a returning ‘traitor’. Danny was interviewed before the game, and admitted that he had not really wanted to leave City last Christmas. “I was settled in Manchester, was enjoying my football and never wanted to leave City. I got a phone call on Christmas Eve saying that the two clubs had agreed a fee and that I was free to talk to Palace. When I knew that, I realised that I didn’t have a future at the club and that was disappointing.” If City do land the Championship, Granville may qualify for a winner’s medal, based on the number of games he has played this season for City. “City have such a great side,” he said, “and by my reckoning are the best in the division. The team spirit there is tremendous and that will definitely help them when things get hard towards the end of the season.”

Reactions and Comments

A Win Is A Win: It didn’t rain on us lucky people in the Gene Kelly stand, and Wolves lost at home to lowly opposition. These were the two main highlights from a hard fought victory last Saturday against Crystal Palace. It wasn’t, as KK said after the game, one of City’s better performances. “Nobody’s going to be rushing out to buy the video,” he said. “The fans will be asking for their money back. It was an excellent three points. It was a tough day for us and we were not at our best,” admitted the boss. “That was because of a combination of things. We have played a lot of games and there were some tired legs out there today. Crystal Palace made things very difficult for us. I guess the good points were the clean sheet, their first worthwhile shot was in the ninetieth minute. I was able to introduce Jon Macken who did exceptionally well when he came on. Amongst that there were some very good performances, not least Kevin Horlock who got the goal and I thought he was superb today,” said the Boss Man. He added a note of realism as well, stating “I’m still looking at my players and if we had played like that in the Premiership we would probably have been beaten. We weren’t at our best but that doesn’t take into account the fact that teams watch you and work out a way to play against you.” Former City star Trevor Francis said: “The home supporters were whistling for the final whistle which tells you how we played. We are disappointed to lose but the players applied themselves and can feel satisfied with how they did. We tried to deny them space and it worked well, though I would have liked to see us do more going forward. But all credit to the opposition who defended well.” He said he was impressed by the Blues, “They’re the best side in the league. No doubt about that,” he said. “It’s always disappointing when you lose but I was satisfied by the way we applied ourselves. We defended well but I’d have liked to have seen more from us going forward. The Premiership will certainly welcome the arrival of Ali Benarbia and Eyal Berkovic,” he commented. “They are tremendously gifted players who will certainly not be out of place in the Premiership.”

The Curse of Edgeley Park: So that’s what it feels like to lose. Old slipshod City returned with a vengeance on Tuesday evening, as City once again lost to Stockport at Edgeley Park. KK began by praising the opposition. “I have to give them credit,” he said after this disappointing defeat. “They showed a lot of endeavour, a lot of effort and eventually it got them the result. We went down to ten men, we have got away with that a few times this season, but we just couldn’t tonight. We came under a lot of pressure,” admitted Keegan. “And I think it’s important these type of results keep happening, although not against my side.” The boss was not best pleased with Shaun Goater, who was shown the red card for deliberate handball. “I am disappointed with the sending off,” he declared. “I said it at Newcastle when Dunney got sent off that I would have sooner him let, in that case, Bellamy go through and score and try and play on with eleven men. I don’t know what Shaun Goater was thinking of. I have told him I don’t like what he did and it could even have been cleared by Stuart Pearce on the line. The referee had no choice but to send him off. From that point on it was always going to be tough but not impossible. I am not complaining about the effort of my players but at the end of the day it was a bad result for us.” The one consolation for Keegan was the performance of Macken. “It was a tremendous début by him and he caused them a few problems,” said the City boss.

Squad News

Danny’s Out: Last Saturday Danny Tiatto had to be replaced at half time, with a ligament injury that will keep him out for two weeks. Coupled with his imminent suspension, Danny may not be available for the first team until the home game with Barnsley on 6th April. KK explained how the Aussie got injured, “Danny had a shot with his right foot,” he explained, “and he has tweaked his ligament. That could mean he is ruled out for up to two weeks with the injury. Danny has a suspension coming up over Easter so he could miss three or four games because of a culmination of injury and suspension, hopefully his injury will not prove to be as bad as it seems.”

Tale of Two Right Backs: Kevin Keegan has been explaining his decision not to offer Richard Edghill a new contract at the end of the season. He feels that Edgy should be given a chance of first team football, which is something City will not be able to offer him. “We have a very strong squad here,” explained the City manager. “Richard is a smashing lad but it is no good keeping him here to put him in a squad of twenty three or four and then not get a game. He is better than that.” He also stated that Laurent Charvet provided excellent cover in the right back position, “He is good enough to get in this squad and is a Premiership player.” Charvet played in the first three games of this season, then got injured and has not figured in the first team since. Considering he was nearly sold to Marseille a couple of months ago, it came as something of a surprise to hear our manager praising the French full back.

Young Kev Settles In: Kevin Stuhr Ellegaard is enjoying the experience of being a City player. The 19-year-old Danish international, who was signed by boss Kevin Keegan from Farum last November, has played in a mixture of reserve and under-19 Academy matches since crossing the North Sea. “I came to England because the pace of the game is so much quicker than in Denmark and I knew that it would improve my game,” he said. “That is happening but I will keep working until the end of the season and see what happens from there. It has been a great experience, though. The strikers here, like Shaun Goater and Paulo Wanchope, always try to test you out.” The coaching he has received from Peter Bonetti has particularly impressed Young Kevin, as well as the support he gets from his fellow goalkeepers. “Everything is going good for me and I’m really happy to be here,” he continued. “I can really see a big improvement in my game since coming here. Everything is a lot more comfortable and I’m more relaxed with the way things are done. Training is much better. Peter has helped a lot. He is a magnificent coach. When he teaches you things, he points everything out and goes through them slowly, which is really good for me. Nick (Weaver) and Carlo Nash have also helped me, too. They are the first choice goalkeepers here and in training they are always trying to lift my spirits.”

Sun’s Home Début: Sun Jihai made his home début last Saturday, coming on as a second half substitute for Danny Tiatto. He made a lively start to his Maine Road career, earning his first yellow card in City colours. “I was delighted that I was able to introduce him at half time,” remarked the boss. “His enthusiasm is great though he just needs to watch his tackling! He is a very strong lad and is so good on either foot that I cannot tell whether he is left footed or right footed. There has never been any doubt about his ability and I believe he is a Premiership quality player.” The official City website tells us we have misnamed the Chinese international. He should be known as Ji-Hai Sun, so perhaps Mcivta contributors could clarify what we should call the player.

International Call-Ups: Northern Ireland have called up Kevin Horlock for next week’s friendly international with Liechtenstein in Vaduz. His recall comes after a string of fine appearances for the Blues. The Republic of Ireland face Denmark next week at Lansdowne Road, so Richard Dunne and Niclas Jensen could oppose each other on Wednesday.

What Headache? As a West Ham player, Stuart Pearce once sustained a double leg fracture – and walked off the pitch unaided. With that kind of resolve, a mere concussion was not going to bother old Psycho at Edgeley Park last Tuesday. “Stuart was complaining of double vision after picking up a knock,” revealed KK. “I thought about bringing him off, but he himself said that he was okay. I would sooner have him out there as he is a tremendous leader. If Stuart says he is okay, then he is okay. That is not an excuse. I don’t think that their first goal came directly from anything to do with Stuart’s knock. They just stuck at it and you have to give them credit for that.” It is not clear whether Shaun Goater was suffering from delusions of being a goalkeeper during the same match.

Red Cards Reach Double Figures: Speaking of Shaun, the Goat’s first ever red card means that City’s now have had ten players sent off this season. This means that the Bermudian’s season will effectively be over after the Wolves game on April 1. He will therefore miss the home games with Barnsley and Portsmouth, and the away game with our old friends in Kent, Gillingham.

Saturday Swap Shop? A series of injuries, plus the alarming Stockport result, have left Boss Kev pondering a few changes for the visit to Millmoor to face Rotherham. The Millers, don’t forget, are still smarting after losing at Maine Road to a goal jabbed in by Christian Negouai. On Tuesday, Shaun Wright-Phillips had to be substituted after incurring a dead leg, while Stuart Pearce suffered a blow to the head. KK was not hopeful for Paulo Wanchope or Danny Tiatto making the trip, but felt that Eyal Berkovic may well return. The manner of Tuesday’s capitulation has clearly given Keegan food for thought. “I now will look at whether to shake things up a little bit or whether the defeat was just on of those nights where nothing went right. We have a week’s rest after the Rotherham game and we are looking like a team that is probably ready for that,” commented the manager.

Don Barrie (


And so the caution urged by some members of the community was justified. Boundless pre-match optimism about this one in some quarters wasn’t just a function of reckless youth, as I recall one of the more extravagant predictions being of the order of a 7-0 City win (no names to protect the embarrassed) from one of the more mature posters. Still, five of us squeezed into a Rover 25 to make the relatively trouble free journey to Manchester from East Yorkshire, talking about the options for the future, who we might sign, what records we might break, yet all the while there was, with hindsight, an unspoken, nagging doubt about the outcome of this one, and not because of Carlton Palmer’s belated realisation that they’d only won floodlit games this season. A clear banana skin for ‘old City’, would the current team lay the bogey of never playing well against County? With them down, they had no better incentive than to give us a hard time and salvage some pride from a dire season. And so it came to pass.

None of the five of us had ever been to Edgeley Park, and it was a shock to the system. We made the mistake of stopping off at The Swan for a pint; horrible pub that went quiet when we walked in in spite of being incognito colours-wise, but the next stop at the Robert Peel near the ground was much better; Blues and County fans exchanging songs in a good natured atmosphere, though the bar staff were struggling to keep up with demand. The ‘main’ stand was anything but grand from outside and no better from the vantage point of the Vernon Stand opposite where we took our seats on the third row, The home end was pretty full, but we had two sides of the ground, leading to some North Stand / Kippax style baiting early in the game. We started brightly enough, penning them into their own half for much of the time and eventually the pressure told as a ball into the box broke free for Macken who spun to bury the ball in the bottom left hand corner. We thought this was to be the beginning of a rout, but the course of the match was changed dramatically when a scramble in our area, in which Nash was floundering with his goal line covered only by the Goat and Psycho. Now the Goat doesn’t strike me as being the sort to consciously think of handling on the line, so it can only be instinct that led him to stick out a hand and palm the ball out. It was all so quick that most people in our stand seemed not to have picked up on what happened, but the ref and linesman were in no doubt. Goat saw red and again we were down to 10 men with about an hour to play. The penalty though was blazed over, not just clearing the bar but almost clearing the stand! How would we respond?

Initially, we carried on as if nothing had happened, but we were finding it hard to get through their defence, though Horlock(?) did hit the bar with a dipping drive. They didn’t offer much up front, but Macken was struggling to hold up the ball as there was nobody coming through in support. To make matters worse, SWP didn’t come out for the second half and much of our incisive play down the right went with him. Mettomo came on for him, and we seemed to switch to a 4-3-2 formation, with Ali spending much of his time pushed forward with Macken. With hindsight, Huck should have been on to complement Macken and give them more to worry about, but he warmed the wet bench all night.

As the second half wore on, the crowd became more uneasy as County came into it more and more. I suppose they had a period of extended pressure where we didn’t get out of our half much, but they didn’t create much either. Even so, with about 10 left on the clock, they got the equaliser. Long ball (what else!) played into the area, Nash again stranded in a crowd, looping header into the same bottom corner that Macken had scored. County end went mad and a few scuffles broke out, presumably as Blues broke cover. Worse was to follow with about 3 minutes left another scramble in the area and the ball was poked home. We had a late rally, with a rasping drive from Horlock(?) that just dipped over the bar and a couple of corners but we came away empty handed.

Another lacklustre performance (writing on the wall against Palace?) which would probably have had a difference outcome without the sending off. I know we’ve won games with 10 men, but we didn’t raise our game to cope this time. It’s been a long month and perhaps tiredness was a factor with the finish line in sight. Losing SWP disrupted things too, though too many were below par to carry it off.

Nash – Flapped around a lot, and didn’t seem confident.
Dunne – Not at this best, got caught once or twice, and made some bad passes out of defence.
Howey – Solid performance. Didn’t miss much all night.
Pearce – Good first half; too far away to tell in the 2nd.
SWP – Frightened them with his pace in the first half, and tackled strongly.
Mettomo – Was in good form when he came on, nearly scoring with a header from a Horlock free kick.
Jensen – Good first half, again couldn’t tell in 2nd.
Horlock – OK but not one of his most effective performances.
Benarbia – Got pushed off the ball by a physical midfield, and seemed lost in the rôle he had in the 2nd half.
Wiekens – OK without being conspicuous.
Goater – Got amongst it a bit but not on long enough to make an impact.
Macken – Took the goal well (2 in 3 games not a bad return) but struggled in the second half to make much headway. Ball bounced off him a lot for some one who is deemed good at holding the ball up.

Must give Dibble a mention. He got a good reception from the City fans, resorting to some behind his back gesticulating as a riposte to some of the sarcasm, but unfortunately didn’t respond to the “Andy, Andy let one in” chant.

Long, quiet drive home, contemplating the games ahead. Need to get back on track against Rothy, but that will be a hard game, similar team and pitch but hopefully we’ll not throw away the lead we’ve got as the Easter Bunny beckons.

Geoff Donkin – BeverleyBlue (


It wasn’t pleasant, but we’re still going up! Let them have their moment in the sun.

It was inevitable wasn’t it? Already relegated Stockport versus Premiership pretenders Manchester City had upset written all over it. Especially considering County have been something of a bogey side to the Laser Blues over the years. And make no mistake; Stockport deserved their win.

City had started with Wiekens and Horlock in midfield, and one wondered if this would upset the balance of the side with 2 defensive midfielders. Jonathan Macken got his first start up front, replacing Huckerby who had looked tired the previous Saturday.

From the first whistle Stockport harried and worried City with great energy, without really creating any chances. City were having to pass quickly and occasionally gave the ball away needlessly due to the County pressure. But despite this, after the initial burst they began to dominate the game, pinning Stockport in their own half.

On 20 minutes the breakthrough came. Benarbia fed the Goat, whose shot was parried by Dibble but swept in by Macken from 6 yards. Now the floodgates were supposed to open.

But thoughts of a landslide were gone within 10 minutes. Stockport’s attack down the right was broken up by Benarbia, who tried to clear upfield when unbalanced, when Row Z was the better option. His poor clearance led to a foul and free kick that was floated into the City box. Nash flapped – as he did for the whole 90 minutes – and a floated goalbound header was, from my vantage point, headed onto the bar by Pearce and bounced down for the same player to clear.

Sadly, as it turned out, my poor view had masked Shaun Goater making a fingertip goal line clearance and it was to much consternation that the referee dismissed him. However, the lack of protest from the players was evident and a quick consultation with my radio confirmed the referee was correct and the Goat had to walk.

That Beckett blasted the penalty way over the bar was of some consolation but City were now down to 10 again and with this being their 7th game in 21 days you wondered whether they could hold on.

Towards half time they still pressed forward well, and a Horlock piledriver hit the bar, bouncing into the Cheadle End. But City were still in charge at half time.

Shaun Wright Phillips had to be replaced at half time, but rather than replace him with Huckerby, it was Mettomo who appeared. City lost attacking thrust in the second half, with all their forward movement being counter attacking. Macken showed much of his vaunted hold-up play, but with no-one to partner him either up front or to the side, and no less than 5 centre halves in the team, City lost possession far to easily when attempting to defend from the front.

Stockport’s young team made full use of the extra man, using both flanks well and energetically tackling City’s players. Whilst City forced Dibble into two elementary saves all half, Nash was constantly under pressure and his form wilted as he missed crosses and kicked poorly. Not that he was the only culprit – no-one came out of the second half with any credit. Even Kevin Keegan is slightly culpable for not allowing Darren Huckerby to join Macken when he clearly needed an outlet.

The only surprise was that Stockport’s goal took so long to come. It was just 5 minutes from the end when another cross from the right was looped over the stranded Nash off the head of Hardiker.

City fans might have though the late goal would allow for a point. Not so. In injury time Byrne streaked down the left and cut inside, beating Mettomo and advanced on goal, drawing Nash. His low pass left Hardiker with a simple tap in from the penalty spot and he sent the Stockport fans into raptures. They had done it again. There was still time for Dibble to make a save as City pressed for an equaliser but they would not have deserved it.

I said to a Stockport fan after the game at Maine Road earlier in the season that if they played every week like they played against City they would be mid-table. Likewise, if City played every week like they did against County they would be mid-table too! City are still 5 points clear at the top and this was a blip. Kevin Keegan will have learned much about certain players though when his thoughts turn to next season.

Jonathan Haggart (


City – played well for 20 minutes. Had the Goat sent off, scored a goal. Went to sleep. Stockport – played well for 20 minutes. Missed a penalty, committed daylight robbery, scored two goals. Partied all night.

CTID, David Ford (


Before the game it was clear that City would have to do without the likes of Weaver, Berkovic and Wanchope. But with the recent performances in mind, City were well enough equipped to deal with a struggling Crystal Palace. At least that was what the paperwork showed. City that hadn’t lost at Maine Road since September, and Palace were on a down, but it was not going to be an easy game. Palace were still hoping for a place in the play-offs and therefore aimed for a point in one of their most difficult games of the season.

The match was televised in China, mostly because newly acquired Sun Jihai was expected to make his first start. That did not happen, and Sun had to wait until the second half to prove his worth. City lined up as follows:

            Dunne Wiekens Pearce
      SWP Horlock Benarbia Tiatto Jensen
               Goater Huckerby

In the absence of Berkovic, much responsibility lied with Benarbia to create the chances from midfield. The Algerian had a great first half and battled hard with his Finnish counterpart Riehelahti. In the heat Benarbia lost a tooth, but looked determined to take control of the midfield to avenge the loss instead of going for a personal vendetta that might have cost him a red card and City the game. I wonder what Tiatto would have done in a similar situation.

After 8 minutes City snapped the ball from a Palace visit and Benarbia advanced on the left, passed to Goater on the right who flicked it on into the path of Richard Dunne. The Irishman smacked in a low shot that went just wide of the right post behind Clarke. The game was set.

One minute later Benarbia turned a flat corner smart over to Wright-Phillips on the right, the tricky winger turned away Riehelahti and lobbed the ball back over the Palace defence. Horlock had only to meet the ball with his head to break the ice and give City an early lead.

The first 15 minutes was all City’s, and Tiatto could have scored when he got the ball from Jensen, but he had to finish with his right foot and that was not his right foot so to speak.

Jensen by the way played some neat passing on the left in the first half. He looked very comfortable with the ball and seldom missed a pass. He also set up Huckerby on some fine raids.

Benarbia controlled the midfield well, and he showed us a great passing game. He almost found Goater in front of goal after 18 minutes, but Mullins managed to get there first and cleared for a corner.

Palace’s best chance came after 19 minutes when a long ball from Mullins found Morrison clear on goal, but the chance was spoiled when the referee wrongfully judged Morrison to have been in offside position.

City continued to play great possession football, and more than once, Palace had enough to defend themselves. But even though City controlled the match, they didn’t seem to find the necessary space and time to set up a clean finish. Both Tiatto and Huckerby could have doubled the lead, but as they entered the 18 yard box they hesitated and let the Palace defence intercept.

Palace got another chance to level the score just before half time, when Morrison turned away Wiekens inside the box, advanced towards the dead line and pulled the ball back to Gray, but the midfielder was unable to find the goal under heavy pressure from two City defenders.

Half time score: City 1, Palace 0.

The second half opened with a couple of substitutions. Palace put on Kirovski and to the delight of 1 billion Chinese, Sun Jihai relaced Danny Tiatto.

City continued to dominate the field play, but had difficulties in finding the net. Benarbia was not as dominating as in the first half, and the Algerian looked tired towards the end. Much had relied on him, and he had delivered as expected. Still he had the strength to try an overhead kick that was well taken by Clarke.

Huckerby seemed to get more space throughout the game, and he didn’t look tired at all. He took on players and tried to finish from every possible angle, but even he didn’t manage to kill off the game with that vital 2nd goal. Of the pair Huckerby and Goater it was no doubt that Huckerby was the one creating the chances. Most of the game Goater was far from even getting in a qualified scoring position. He got one after 71 minutes when Huckerby delivered the ball to him in front of goal, but the shot went just over.

Macken replaced Goater after 72 minutes, and he looked a lot livelier up front. Still, when Goater left the field it looked like City lost their target man. Now there were two strikers running around and none to watch the room in front of goal. It looks like Wanchope and Goater will battle for the top-spot, while Huckerby or Macken is destined to play the front-runner.

Macken got his chance of the afternoon when Benarbia found him with a clever cross, but the header went just over the bar.

Towards the end City looked satisfied with the one-nil lead and let Palace take control. For the last 10 minutes, including 3 minutes of extra time, City kept their supporters nail biting on the end of their chairs. One minute into extra time Thomson nearly levelled the score, but Nash stretched himself to his left and grabbed the ball comfortably. This was his first real involvement of the match and he looked more than happy to finally get something to do.

Final result: City 1, Palace 0.


Nash – 7 Had little to do, but when called upon he made a vital save in the dying minutes.
Dunne – 8 One of City’s most consistent players throughout the match. Gave nothing away and battled hard on every ball.
Wiekens – 7 Not his worst performance. Looked reasonably comfortable with his full-back position. Was rounded by Morrison once, but was king of the air.
Pearce – 6 Now that was a funny game. More than once the former England international showed dubious clearing abilities. But on the positive side he controlled the left well and had one or two great sliding tackles that the fans loved.
Wright-Phillips – 5 I’m sorry that I can’t give SWP a better score. He really tried hard and showed great skills, but most of the time he ran straight into the Palace defence and lost the ball. With a better percentage he could very well have set up a few goals and then his score would have been 9.
Horlock – 7 Scored the goal and locked down well in midfield. That was just about it.
Benarbia – 8 A great first half and a not so great second. Lost a tooth in the battle and produced most of the good attacking game together with Huckerby. Got very tired towards the end.
Tiatto – 6 Started the game and combined well with Jensen and Benarbia, as much was happening on the left in the first half. Was replaced by Sun at half time.
Jensen – 6 Opened the game well and combined with Huckerby inside the box on a couple of occasions. Was more or less out of the picture in the second half.
Goater – 5 Nowhere to be found. Was marked out of the game for 70 minutes. Got one chance which he blasted over and was then substituted.
Huckerby – 8 Man of the match. Ran well with the ball, closed down defenders, passed and finished. He only lacked the goal to round off a great display.
Sun Jihai – 7 Was much involved after he came on in the second half. Battled hard and didn’t let the Palace midfield rest. Looked less dangerous when he approached the 18 yard box. Has to improve his attacking game considerably next season.

Crystal Palace really were no match for City today. If City hadn’t lowered their tempo towards the end the visitors wouldn’t have had a clear shot on goal during the game. They still hope to make it to the play-offs, but in all honesty they have nothing to do in the Premiership with this outfit.

Svenn A. Hanssen (


The venue of Kingston Park (the home of Newcastle Falcons) saw yet again a young City side travel to the north east. This time though City were not to see any rewards for their endeavours. Goals from the Democratic Republic of Congo striker Lomana Lualua on twenty nine and forty minutes saw the end of City’s second string’s unbeaten run. A much more spirited performance in the second half failed to make the arduous trip back to Manchester more agreeable.

Right from the first minute when Newcastle won a corner and a first time shot from Olivier Bernard was cleared off the line by Chris Shuker you knew City had a fight on their hands. Newcastle continued to dominate in the opening exchanges and Kieren Westwood was kept busy. On seven minutes we saw the first of City’s substitutions when Alioune Toure walked off the pitch to the dug out, to be replaced by Ciaran Kilheeney the young Wythenshawe forward. We were perplexed as to this replacement as yet again twice in two matches we have seen one of our foreigners come off for what at both stages looked like lack of interest, but watch this space.

Three minutes later saw Tyrone Mears kicked in the head by England U21 Shola Ameobi but amazingly Ameobi came off worse as he was helped off the field and wasn’t to return. Bizarrely it took Newcastle five minutes to bring on Michael Chopra to replace him. A few minutes later saw Kieron Dyer walk off the field in his first comeback game. Again it took Newcastle some time to replace him with Bradley Orr. As Kieron walked passed us down the tunnel, he was coughing profusely so we suspected he was suffering from flu. On 28 minutes we saw the first of City’s productive attacks and a good dummy by Gary Browne to the feet of Kilheeney saw his shot deflected just past the post. From the resulting corner the cross came off the referee to the feet of Bernard and he found Brian Kerr who was given the space to run over half the length of the field. Kerr found Lualua on the edge of the area and débutant centre-half Chris killen gave him the space to curl a shot past Westwood and for Newcastle to take a deserved lead.

Newcastle continued to pressurise the City defence and they were rewarded on forty minutes when Wayne Quinn found Lualua in what looked suspiciously like an offside position and again his neat footwork fooled Killen to curl the second of his brace past Westwood. The half finished without further incident and neither side creating any clear-cut chances.

The second half saw City come out in a much more determined mood. After only a couple of minutes there was some good work down the left by Shuker and Furnival; a well delivered cross by Furnival was cleared away from the oncoming head of Gary Browne. A few minutes later saw a great last ditch tackle by Furnival on Lualua to deny him a certain shot at goal. Shortly after, on 53 minutes, Kilheeney got injured in a tackle and was replaced by Phil Gilder. The game then seemed to take a stalemate position as although City had the majority of the possession, they were lacking that incisive spark up front. However, City were now defending in a controlled manner and working play from the back; on looking Bobby Robson openly praised Stephen Jordan for his calm and controlling play.

As the game drew to a close, watching scouts asked our opinion of Terry Cooke who had had an average game and was unlucky not to find himself on the scoresheet in the sixty sixth minute with a rasping shot that was well saved by Adam Collin, the Newcastle goalkeeper. Our opinion was that since his heady days in the Second Division he has not lived up to expectation and would not be worth the £1/2 million we would have to pay Manchester United were we to play him one more time. I’m sure he will be able to find a club if he keeps his wage demands reasonable.

The goalkeeping crisis has not only affected the first team, where recent injuries and international duty has led to David Hodgson being re-signed till the end of the season, who had previously decided that his future lay outside of football. As the game ran on into injury time Terry Dunfield was unfortunate to come badly off in a tackle. So much so he was stretched off and replaced by Barry Hogan.

A thought to end on. If Shuker was fit surely an inclusion on the bench at Edgely Park on Tuesday night might have given Keegan better options against one of the league’s worst sides?

Newcastle: Collin (GK), Cowan, Elliott, Caldwell, Marcelino, Kerr (Capt), Dyer (Orr 22 mins), Quinn, Ameobi (Chopra 16 mins), Lualua, Bernard (Dimas 64 mins).
Subs not used: Pringle (GK), Boyd.

City: Westwood (GK), Mears, Jordan, Dunfield (Hogan 90 mins), Furnival, Barton (Capt), Shuker, Killen, Toure (Kilheeney 7 mins (Gilder 53 mins)), Browne, Cooke.
Subs not Used: Hodgson (GK), Tickle.

Goals: Lomana Lualua 29, 40 minutes.

Gavin Cooper (


If it was the first team you’d be worried, but as it is the reserves there isn’t too much to get worked up about. Yes, Mr Schofield and myself prevailed the inclement weather to take in the footballing feast served up by the second string City and Newcastle sides at Kingston Park. The crowd was sizable (I forget how many as I lost count at 20!), probably helped by the appearance of Kieron Dyer, in fact the Newcastle team looked very strong on paper with the likes of £5.5 million misfit Marcelino, Dyer, Wayne Quinn, Ameobi, Lua-Lua, Oliver Bernard, and Robbie Elliott all having tasted considerable Premiership experience. By contrast City’s side was made up of Westwood, Mears, Jordan, Dunfield, Furnival, Barton (Capt.), Shuker, Killen, Toure, Browne, Cooke and subs from Tickle (David not Mr), Ellegaard (why pay so much money for him only to leave him on the bench?), Hogan (Barry not Paul), Gilder and Kilheeney. We weren’t expecting a City victory.

City changed ends and kicked off from left to right. This is from the position of the temporary event stand, which is rather like a large marquee (with canvas roof), with a wooden seating platform underneath. The conditions didn’t help and neither team seemed capable of putting together more than a few passes. Toure was full of running but mysteriously he disappeared after a few minutes and was replaced by Kilheeney. Newcastle meanwhile were very impressive going forward with Lua-Lua, Bernard, Ameobi and Brian Kerr causing the City back 4 all sorts of problems. It was from a Newcastle corner that the first real chance was created as a header was neatly cleared off the line by Shuker.

City looked lightweight up front with Browne and Kilheeney unable to hold onto the ball when fed by Cooke and Shuker. As another Newcastle attack broke down Ameobi decided that he wanted a nice warm bath and aimed a head high boot at Mears. Now the challenge itself was worthy of more from the ref (but seeing as how he was in black and white this was unlikely), but Ameobi must have fallen awkwardly as he limped from the field and was replaced by Michael Chopra (a young lad who’s shone in the England youth set-up).

Dyer also decided he’d had enough and disappeared as quick as Michael Brown did on Saturday for Sheff Utd! His performance hadn’t been that impressive, but he received oohs and aahs as well as a standing ovation as Orr replaced him; later news revealed he had stomach problems.

Despite these changes it was Newcastle who took the lead from a City corner. Kilheeney had an excellent chance to score but his effort was well saved by Adam Collin who pushed it round the post for a corner to City. The corner itself was woeful and fell to the feet of Brian Kerr who went on a run the length of the pitch. The ball was threaded through to Lua-Lua on the left hand side of the box and he took his time before curling the ball in at the far post.

City were unlikely to claw back the difference and it came as no surprise that Lua-Lua scored a carbon copy of his first, after being found by a player who was clearly offside. My protestings were drowned out by the Geordie’s around us; I suppose it is a bit like being in the lions’ den. Unlike seeing Sunderland at Durham City I felt the situation didn’t warrant a rendition of Blue Moon, though I got a few strange glances off the kids around me as I clapped good balls by Shuker, Cooke and Dunfield.

Without a tannoy half-time was quite uninteresting except for the City subs who managed to blaze the ball over the bar so many times that Ellegaard decided it was better if he tried a bit of shooting practice, as he’d had nothing to save – maybe Keegan’s seriously contemplating the ‘rush-goalie’ formation? The second-half mainly contained observations about how heavy the rain was and debates over how much heavier it was than the last time we’d pontificated.

City played some nice football and kept the ball well despite the conditions, which were extremely slippy. However, despite the possession City had no real cut and thrust upfront and looked unlikely to pull back the two-goal deficit. Kilheeney managed to pick up a knock and was replaced by Gilder, but the game petered out as Cooke knocked City’s only real second half chance into the arms of the Toon ‘keeper.

Newcastle withdrew Bernard and replaced him with Pedro Dimas who, thinking it was a Premiership match, fell over and rolled around in agony, something that the ref deemed worthy of a drop ball (I think there were 4/5 drop balls or throw ins that were requested to be played back to the opposition by the ref). City’s night was summed up as Dunfield was clattered in midfield and ended up being stretchered off the pitch; again a drop ball was given by the ref. The whistle blew and everyone drudged home, with the Toon youngsters chanting they were now top of the league.

On this performance it was hard to see any of the youngsters bursting into the first team, although special credit must go to Mears (had a solid second half performance, worked well with Gilder), Cooke (wasted in reserves, but not good enough for our first team), Dunfield (some nice touches, passes and flicks), Shuker (some good runs, but no end product) and I’m definitely not convinced about Killen at centre-half.

CTID, James Walsh (


OK, I own up. I’ve been doubting the Goat along with the rest of you – but the much-hyped departure of Dickov and the more honest farewell to Andy Morrison last Saturday filled me with nostalgia and I’ve been reliving the dark days. Masochistic maybe, but there has been one ray of light.

The Goat. Season 97/98: 3 goals, 98/99: 20 goals, 99/00: 27 goals, 00/01: 12 goals, 01/02: 30 goals = 92. These figures are from the player stats on the official webpage, and I’m sure he got 29 in 99/00 not 27, and they don’t mention Sherpa Van cups or such-like, but whichever way you look at it big Shaun is closing in on 100 “real” goals for the club. Perhaps someone with a bigger anorak than me can confirm the actual figure, as it would be great to countdown as the goals fly in.

If he really needs 8 more for the century, then I really hope he gets his radar shooting boots back on and scores them over the next six weeks, as it doesn’t look like he’ll get much chance next year. Can someone also tell me who the last centurian was – it’ll be some City god, but I doubt he got to 100 in 4 seasons. If Shaun makes it, how about a Goat stand in the new stadium?

Richard Birtles (


Having just read James Nash’s comments in the last MCIVTA as regards the potential of Shaun Goater in the Premiership, I say give the man a chance. OK, so he has missed a few (and a few more) but as Keegan says: he is an honest player who gets himself into the right position every time.

We need the Goat to stay and be one of four or five strikers. He will do a job for us in the Premiership next year. Mark my words!

On Bergkamp.Yes, he has scored some great goals recently but this is a short term buy (à la Weah) and while the whole world may disagree with me, give me a Robbie Keane or Bobby Zamora any day. Buying for the future.

Michael Jenkins – Belfast Blue (


Oh well, no need for a new verse for “In 1963 we fell…”

But what about ITV Digitalis – what a poison that’s been.

So, we get all those awkward kick-offs, putting us to great inconvenience, and then they don’t want to pay! Let’s face it, without City they’ve no product, and want out.

But who’s the contract with? ITV Digital plc?

Personally, if I were the Wolves and City chairmen I wouldn’t let the teams kick off at Wolverhampton unless I’d had the cheque specially cleared!

Steve Parish (


Dave Beckham was on vacation in the depths of Louisiana. Posh wanted a pair of genuine alligator shoes, but was very reluctant to pay the high prices the local vendors were asking.

After becoming very frustrated with the ‘no haggle’ attitude of one of the shopkeepers, Dave shouted, ‘Maybe I’ll just go out and catch my own alligator so I can get a pair of shoes at a reasonable price!’ The shopkeeper said, ‘By all means, be my guest. Maybe you’ll luck out and catch yourself a big one!’ Determined, Dave and Posh turned and headed for the swamps, set on catching an alligator.

Later in the day, the shopkeeper is driving home when he spots the Becks standing waist deep in the water, shotgun in hand. Just then, he sees a huge 9 foot alligator swimming quickly toward him. He takes aim, kills the creature and with a great deal of effort hauls it on to the swamp bank.

Lying nearby were several more of the dead creatures. The shopkeeper watches in amazement. Just then the Becks flips the alligator on its back, and frustrated, shouts out, ‘Bollox, this one isn’t wearing any shoes either!’

Mike Maybury (


The next meeting of Milton Keynes OSC will be on March 28th at Great Brickhill Cricket Club, starting at 8pm. We will have a star-studded guest list comprising:

  • Dennis Tueart
  • Fellow MCFC director Alastair Mackintosh
  • Branch President and Radio 5 Live presenter Susan Bookbinder

If you would like more details please get in touch with me at the address below.

Steve Maclean (


Due to bad planning I’m going to be in the Isle of Wight over Easter (travelling out on the Friday and back on the Monday), missing the Forest and Wolves games in the process.

Seeing as it’s technically possible at the time of writing to be promoted and/or champions after the Forest match on Easter Saturday, can anyone give me details of other Blues on the Isle of Wight so we can get together and celebrate if things go our way?

Frank (


In the sporting wasteland that is Berkshire (well, maybe except for Reading), there is a corresponding lack of pubs that show ITV Digital. However, the ‘Molly Millar’ by Wokingham station is one such establishment and has attracted a small but increasing number of Blues to the last few games (including the surreal experience of a hard-core of us sitting in the middle of the room watching the Friday-night Bradford match with the sound off, while the DJ was trying to stir up the pre-clubbing teenyboppers!).

Fortunately the last four matches, starting with Wolves, are lunch-time kick-offs, so the big screen will be on and we should be able to watch the games in relative peace. So if you’re in this part of the world, come and join us!

John Caley (


As mentioned in Tuesday’s MCIVTA if anyone suddenly has one spare ticket per match for Forest, Barnsley, Portsmouth, please e-mail me as I’ll be able to help to relieve you of your burden!

James Walsh (


Like thousands of others no doubt – if there are any spare tickets for the Wolves game I would be eternally grateful!

Richard Burke (


I am bringing my 2 boys from abroad to see the Portsmouth game and am desperate for 3 tickets. If anyone can help me please e-mail at the address below.

Thank you very much, Akiva (


I will be travelling back to sunny Manchester from Stockholm for a week over the Easter period and would like to visit the Blues’ training ground.

Please can anyone confirm: Directions to the Carrington Training Ground and if possible the training times and schedule.

CTID, Jason Simms (


Recent results from 18 March 2002 to 20 March 2002 inclusive.

20 March 2002

Burnley               1 - 1  Bradford City         19,479
Preston North End     2 - 2  Crewe Alexandra       13,396

19 March 2002

Norwich City          2 - 1  Gillingham            16,479
Sheffield United      3 - 2  Millwall              16,037
Stockport County      2 - 1  Manchester City        9,547

League table to 20 March 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 40 16  3  1 52 17 10  2  8 39 31 26  5  9 91 48  43  83
 2 Wolves          40 12  3  5 32 16 11  6  3 38 20 23  9  8 70 36  34  78
 3 Burnley         40  9  7  4 34 26 10  4  6 29 26 19 11 10 63 52  11  68
 4 West Brom A.    38 12  3  4 26  8  8  4  7 19 18 20  7 11 45 26  19  67
 5 Coventry City   40 12  3  5 32 16  8  2 10 25 27 20  5 15 57 43  14  65
 6 Millwall        40 12  3  5 36 21  6  7  7 25 25 18 10 12 61 46  15  64
 7 Birmingham City 39 11  3  5 34 18  7  6  7 23 26 18  9 12 57 44  13  63
 8 Norwich City    40 13  5  2 31 14  5  2 13 21 35 18  7 15 52 49   3  61
 9 Preston N.E.    40 10  7  3 37 20  6  5  9 23 34 16 12 12 60 54   6  60
10 Wimbledon       39  7  8  4 26 19  8  5  7 30 28 15 13 11 56 47   9  58
11 Crystal Palace  40 11  2  7 38 22  7  2 11 27 36 18  4 18 65 58   7  58
12 Watford         40 10  4  6 36 24  5  6  9 22 22 15 10 15 58 46  12  55
13 Gillingham      40 10  5  5 35 23  5  4 11 22 36 15  9 16 57 59  -2  54
14 Sheff. United   39  7  8  4 31 25  6  6  8 14 20 13 14 12 45 45   0  53
15 Nottm Forest    40  7 10  3 22 15  4  7  9 21 25 11 17 12 43 40   3  50
16 Portsmouth      40  9  4  7 35 29  4  7  9 22 35 13 11 16 57 64  -7  50
17 Bradford City   40  9  1 10 39 37  4  7  9 24 34 13  8 19 63 71  -8  47
18 Rotherham Utd.  40  7 10  3 29 26  3  5 12 19 33 10 15 15 48 59 -11  45
19 Sheff. Wed.     40  5  6  9 24 32  6  5  9 20 31 11 11 18 44 63 -19  44
20 Crewe Alex.     37  7  6  7 19 30  4  4  9 20 30 11 10 16 39 60 -21  43
21 Grimsby Town    40  7  6  7 25 25  3  6 11 14 36 10 12 18 39 61 -22  42
22 Walsall         40  9  4  7 25 24  1  6 13 18 40 10 10 20 43 64 -21  40
23 Barnsley        40  7  9  4 33 30  1  6 13 19 45  8 15 17 52 75 -23  39
24 Stockport C.    40  3  1 16 14 40  1  7 12 23 52  4  8 28 37 92 -55  20

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 #796