Newsletter #829

Tonight sees plenty of opinion, starting of and continuing debate, ranging from the new squad numbers that have just been announced, to kits, smoking and pre-season and sad news of a US-based Blue.

We also have a few requests including the relaunch of McV FC so any of you out there who are willing and able, or just plain willing, think of getting involved!

Next game: Leeds United, away, 17 August 2002


I’ve just studied the squad numbers for the start of the season and looked at the players that we have. The first point seems to be that the club statement that numbers weren’t going to be given out willy-nilly seems to have been forgotten! We supposedly have a first team squad of 38 of which I can only see 20 making any sort of appearance (excluding the last 10 minutes of a Worthy Cup game).

I’ve put some comments against each one to start people off with the debate so feel free to disagree with my thoughts as loudly as possible.

1 Peter Schmeichel – One season for Rudolph – staying.
3 Niclas Jensen – Like him, keep him – staying.
4 Gerard Wiekens – Steady Eddie, but will he get a game? Staying.
5 Sylvain Distin – Let’s see what he can do – staying.
6 Kevin Horlock – Could centre of a back three be his future? Staying.
7 Darren Huckerby – I hope we see the guy that Liverpool wanted to buy all those years ago – staying.
8 Ali Benarbia – Class – staying.
9 Paulo Wanchope – Could be storming or leave in a strop to Spain – going.
10 Shaun Goater – Next transfer window could see this goal machine depart – going.
11 Jon Macken – £5 million and absolutely no guarantee of football – staying.
12 Nick Weaver – Stayed off the pies? Make or break for this one – staying.
13 Christian Negouai – Has he learned any English? Most exciting buy (remember?) – going.
14 Eyal Berkovic – Please be free from injury – staying.
15 Alfie Haaland – I hope he likes the reserves – going.
16 Paul Ritchie – Someone will buy him – going.
17 Jihai Sun – Premiership quality? Who can tell from 25 minutes in the World Cup? Staying.
18 Jeff Whitley – Please leave, you’re not good enough for the second XI let alone the first – going.
19 Danny Tiatto – Someone to raise some cash? Fighting for a place with Jensen – going.
20 Carlo Nash – Better ‘keeper than Weaver last season but with Schmeichel here now will he get another chance? Last season for the Blues – staying.
21 Matias Vuoso – Rave reports but we still know nothing concrete – staying.
22 Richard Dunne – Great in the 1st, needs to prove what he is made of – staying.
23 Marc-Vivien Foe – Outshone by Matt Holland when they faced each other. At least he is a price we can afford – staying.
24 Steve Howey – Difficult season for Howey; if he’s injury free then maybe he’ll remember what a good defender he can be – staying.
25 Lucien Mettomo – Needs to be offloaded if he hasn’t learned to stop the two footed lunges. We can’t afford the sendings off we had last season – going.
27 Mikkel Bischoff – No idea – staying.
28 Tyrone Loran – No idea – staying.
29 Shaun Wright-Phillips – A big, big season for the little guy. Please don’t do an Edghill and waste your potential lad – staying.
30 Patrick McCarthy – No idea. But should he be in the first team squad? Staying.
31 Laurent Charvet – Why are you still here? Going.
32 Kevin Ellegaard – Young kid, let’s see if he is the new Schmeichel – staying.
33 Chris Killen – Centre forward, midfielder, half? Without a positional change I can’t see him getting a sniff – staying.
34 Stephen Jordan – No idea. But should he be in the first team squad? Staying.
35 Brian Murphy – What position does he play? I thought he was a ‘keeper yet no GK from the website list as copied – going.
36 Glenn Whelan – No idea. But should he be in the first team squad? Staying.
37 Terry Dunfield – Midfield will be a tough place for this kid, I doubt he’ll make it – going.
38 Rhys Day – Isn’t it about time this kid did something? Going.
39 Nicolas Anelka – Bang ’em in – staying.
40 Chris Shuker – No chance – going.

That makes it in my opinion a squad down from 38 to 25. Getting a transfer fund of approximately £20 million of which Keegan should spend half on whatever he finds lacking over the Xmas period and bring the squad to a manageable 28.

CTID, Dave Blyth (


City released their new squad numbers on Saturday for the fothcoming season. The list reads as follows:

1 Peter Schmeichel
3 Niclas Jensen
4 Gerard Wiekens
5 Sylvain Distin
6 Kevin Horlock
7 Darren Huckerby
8 Ali Benarbia
9 Paulo Wanchope
10 Shaun Goater
11 Jon Macken
12 Nick Weaver
13 Christian Negouai
14 Eyal Berkovic
15 Alfie Haaland
16 Paul Ritchie
17 Jihai Sun
18 Jeff Whitley
19 Danny Tiatto
20 Carlo Nash
21 Matias Vuoso
22 Richard Dunne
23 Marc-Vivien Foe
24 Steve Howey
25 Lucien Mettomo
27 Mikkel Bischoff
28 Tyrone Loran
29 Shaun Wright-Phillips
30 Patrick McCarthy
31 Laurent Charvet
32 Kevin Ellegaard
33 Chris Killen
34 Stephen Jordan
35 Brian Murphy
36 Glenn Whelan
37 Terry Dunfield
38 Rhys Day
39 Nicolas Anelka
40 Chris Shuker

The main highlights are Peter Schmeichel winning the number 1 jersey (no surprise there perhaps), while in the striker department, the Goat keeps number 10 and Paulo Wanchope has been promoted to number 9. Nicolas Anelka may have coveted this number, but was given 39 instead. Is he not staying long? The official reason given was that Anelka wanted a number containing 9, and Danny Tiatto and Shaun Wright-Phillips were not to be shifted from 19 and 29 respectively, so 39 it was. There’s no explanation as to why numbers 2 and 26 remain unfilled, although the latter had belonged to Tyrone Mears who left for Preston last week. Undoubtedly the most pleasing number change sees Algerian genius Ali Benarbia inheriting the number 8 position. As someone who was brought up to believe that Colin Bell was a status approaching the divine (my mum still bears the calluses from sewing number 8’s onto various City shirts for me – I’m sure she’d have preferred a Mike Summerbee number 7), I think it’s appropriate that Ali has the honour of wearing the same shirt as City’s greatest midfield player in the last fifty years. Jon Macken, the previous incumbent, gets the number 11.

Don Barrie (


Having seen the design for City’s new away kit, memories came flooding back and I was wondering how and why certain players become associated with a certain kit in your mind. They are not always the best players or even the most popular but they do ‘go’ with the kit. I’m sure it’s a personal thing.

For example, this year’s away city kit reminds me of Brian Kidd. The black and red 60’s stripes will always be Neil Young (even though I never saw him play). The 60’s blue and white is Alan Oakes. The Philips kit is Andy May. The Saab kit is Graham Baker (I’ve no idea why). The late 80’s home kit with the light white cross check is Paul Stewart. The brother home kit is Ian Bishop in Paul Lake’s arms after the 3rd goal in the 5-1 while the purple away kit from a couple of years later is sometimes Peter Reid and sometimes Mark Ward. The purple pinstripe monstrosity is Rick Holden (I didn’t even rate him), the fluorescent green Wembley ’99 pinstripe is forever, of course, Paul Dickov. Last year’s kit is Darren Huckerby or Ali (have to wait for the mists of time to settle before that can emerge). The yellow kit at Arsenal away is Paul Lake. The bizarre sky blue shirt and dark blue shorts arrangement (worn in the 70’s but God knows who against) is Asa Hartford. The dirty mac and cheap shoes is David Pleat.

Just thought I’d let you know.

Bill Borrows (


I see another fierce debate raging and, again, it’s one I have a strong opinion on: the ban on smoking in the seats at Eastlands.

As a smoker I would be deeply disturbed if I am forced to go without a cigarette during home matches. To me, it’s just another step towards taking the game away from the working classes. Heaven knows the authorities have done enough to spoil my enjoyment of the match in the last decade or so, this is merely the icing on the cake.

I appreciate that smoking is a health risk to others and I am only too willing to tolerate the restrictions on smoking in many public places. To be honest, I believe I am generally more considerate than most towards non-smokers because most of my mates don’t smoke and I know how much it can irritate them. However, I am not willing to accept such restrictions at an outdoor event when the possibility of passive smoking is remote to say the least.

The trouble is non-smokers will never appreciate the satisfaction that us smokers can get from taking on a tab in terms of relieving stress and nowhere is this more necessary than when watching City. Those who support this move strongly are probably alienating about 15-20% of their fellow Blues.

With regards to the Stadium of Light, where a smoking ban is also imposed, I found my last visit there to be particularly unpleasant because of the ban and I came away thinking that it contributed to Sunderland attracting a crowd that was… well, they were muppets! No atmosphere, no character, just an audience.

If City go down the same road as the Mackems with the new ground I truly fear for the future and the kind of crowd that will follow us. I mean, hasn’t the atmosphere at Maine Road deteriorated enough already since the introduction of all-seater stadia?

There should at least be one smoking end of the ground and I guarantee it will be the end that generates most atmosphere. I think everyone accepts that the North Stand is far and away the noisiest stand at Maine Road (I’m actually a Kippax season ticket holder if anyone wants to challenge that statement!) and, trust me, you count the dimps in the North Stand after a home game and it will double the amount found in all the other stands put together. The kind of people who smoke are the kind of people who get behind the team, it’s as simple as that. We’re all working class scr*tes!

Furthermore, it’s also worth pointing out that City failed to score on my last visit to Sunderland, largely due to the fact that I wasn’t allowed to have a “lucky fag” of which I had 108 last season!

Mike Holden (


What is the problem with smokers about the ban at Eastlands? I am what is considered a heavy smoker. Can’t people last a couple of hours without a fag? How many complain about non smoking flights of 3 hours or more?

Smoking should be banned within the confines of the whole stadium, once in, clean air prevails. If fellow smokers were more considerate of non smokers they in turn would be more tolerant of us.

Rodney Stephens (


On the subject of smoking in the new stadium, I have to say that I am all for restricting the practice to concourse areas and not allowing it in the seating areas at all. I am currently surrounded by smokers in my seat in the Kippax and come away from games reeking of the smell of stale smoke. Smokers don’t have to blow it in your face, the wind does the job quite nicely thank you (and it always seems to blow in my direction from whoever is smoking at any one time!). It will be nice to view a game without a haze of smoke obstructing my view.

CTID, Joe Ramsbottom (


Just wanted to respond to the messages regarding smoking at the Eastlands stadium.

First off, let me declare an interest: I run, am a member of a health club and don’t smoke. For what it’s worth, I don’t barrack my own players (except that away match at Lincoln), I don’t ‘f’ every other word and I don’t pee in washbasins at away grounds. All of these things that some other Blues do affect my ‘freedom’ to watch my footy in a clinically clean environment: and guess what; I accept all of them as a reflection of the diversity of the supporters who I may only have one thing in common with: City.

There are loads of things I do which unfortunately do impact on other people’s freedom (sorry John Stewart – I’m sure you don’t): I drive a car for a start, and put a load of pollution into the air which we all breathe in causing asthma and global warming. I do sing songs at matches and some of them are a bit ‘un-PC’. Oh yeah, I also ski and expect you guys to pick up the tab through your taxes when I end up in hospital injured.

How does this all knit together with smoking? Well in our crowded little island pretty much everything I do impacts on someone else and you either try and rub along with other people or you try and make them all the same as you. And you can impose thousands of rules (from banning songs about Sun Jihai’s chippy, standing in stadiums even though they seem to have found a safe way to do it in Germany) or you can welcome the diversity and only legislate against the worst excesses. I’m in the second camp: I’ll put up with smokers, singers, urinators and swearers in an open football stadium, but not in my front room.

How about we have an area of Eastlands where there’s no smoking, another with no swearing and leave the rest for the vast majority of supporters who are happy to get along with each other in the name of City, football and freedom?

Brian Connell (


A couple of years ago there was talk of having smoking and non-smoking sections in the new stadium. However, I haven’t heard anything about this idea since.

Alex Channon is quite right to write about the “fundamental question about freedom of choice”. As a non-smoker, I should have the freedom of choice to not have smoke blown in my face for 90 minutes.

The smoking / non-smoking sections could have been a good solution to the problem.

John Lea (


Many thanks to the contributors who answered my request for info and views on smoking at the new stadium.

My own view is there should be designated areas on the concourses away from the seating. This would enable both smokers and non-smokers to be in an area of their choice. I for one have no wish to impose my bad habits on others.

Yours in a blue haze, Alex Channon (


It is with a heavy heart that I must pass on news of the untimely death of a fellow Blue. Grant Cunningham, 37, died on Sunday, July 7th, 2002 in Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, succumbing to injuries he received whilst wearing the sky blue home shirt of Manchester City.

A seemingly innocuous collision between the opposing goalkeeper and Grant on yet another full speed sortie into the box ended with Grant lying unconscious on the field. He came to briefly, said his wife’s and children’s names, smiled the most amazing Grant smile, then left us again. The ambulance was there in minutes, and within the hour Grant was in the best neurosurgery ward in this part of the world. He came through the surgery well, and over the next few days, seemed to be making progress when he was suddenly taken from us on Sunday.

Grant’s wife, Kristen, wrote the following note in the programme at Grant’s memorial service: Grant passionately embraced everything he loved – making music, singing in worship, playing golf and soccer, cheering for the Titans, timing the stock market. His gifts were numerous and exceptional. And yet his family remained number one. The boys and I were blessed to have been the primary objects of his great affection. I know that we received more love, joy and laughter from Grant than many receive in a lifetime, For this I am forever grateful.

Grant will be sadly missed by all those whose life he touched with his passion and compassion, his generous spirit and his ever ready smile.

Grant is survived by his wife, Kristen, and sons, five year-old twins, Blake and Will and eighteen month old Evan. I know I speak for Blues everywhere in sending them our deepest condolences.

Andy Moss – Tennessee Blue (


Apologies if this has been ‘remembered’ previously but, correct me if I’m wrong, but did we not play Liverpool at Maine Road, just prior to the long, hard slog that became our cup winning Second Division season?

If my memory serves me correctly, a certain Nicholas Weaver played an absolute blinder, helping us to a 2-1 win and bringing with plenty of hope for the coming season’s future.

I remember this game because we were all sat in the Kippax and a mate of mine decided to refrain from being the loud mouthed arrogant “we’re gonna leather you” scouser whom had walked down Yew Tree Road with us 90 minutes earlier. Ha.

Joel Perry (


I know it’s late and probably already answered, but Valentin asked in MCIVTA 827 where us Blues will be seated at the AOL Arena for the Hamburg friendly. I’ve got my ticket (priced at ridiculously cheap €10 – £6.50ish, not that I’m complaining), we’re in the Sud Tribune, Block 14B; hope that’s some help.

Just as an aside, how come continental teams can charge such cheap and reasonable prices? I was lucky enough to be in Munich on Sept 1st for England’s 5-1 demolition on Germany and my ticket cost me approximately £12; I also attended the Holland friendly at the space age Amsterdam Arena and that ticket worked out to be around £11. The equivalent for the home games was around £22. Just a thought.

Martin Ford (


In Don Barrie’s news round up in MCIVTA 828 – which I accept is his personal opinion, he said:

… at Oakwell Fat Bob “Call Me Robert” Taylor is training with Barnsley. Another inspired signing by Sir Joe, Taylor was signed for £1.5 million from Gillingham, but was injured when he joined us (brilliant!) and made only twelve appearances for the Blues.

I think this is a bit unfair. Whilst only the most ardent BlueViewer would have pressed his claim for a place in the facarlingpremiership, Bob Taylor was bought to give us a final push in the last half of that season. This he did admirably and his goal vs. Birmingham at Maine Road was worth about £6 million to the club.

Incidentally, he scored 5 goals in 16 appearances (including 2 as sub) for City that season. They were:

vs. Swindon (H) won 3-0
vs. Forest (A) won 3-1
vs. Palace (A) drew 1-1
vs. Portsmouth (A) drew 2-2
vs. Birmingham (H) won 1-0

Without the five points his crucial goals gave us, we’d have finished 5th, not 2nd and consequently had to endure the play offs again.

We didn’t know Royle was going to cock it up erm royally when we started the facarlingpremiership season though, did we?

Kevin Cummins (


Just a short note to let the subscribers know that the prices on Ryanair from Stanstead to Aarhus have tumbled recently and there are bargains to be had at the moment – return flights are around £40!

Also, and this may seem incredibly vain, but someone told me there was an article last year about City’s promotion day at Blackburn in one of those lads’ magazines (Loaded or somesuch), and I wouldn’t mind tracking down a copy as apparently I’m in one of the pics. If anyone knows the name and issue of the mag I’d be grateful if someone could let me know.

Steven Miles (


Whilst I agree with Matt Toulson’s rant in theory re the lack of mentions for City in Commonwealth Games’ publicity, he is in fact wrong when he writes that it is “our own council who are responsible” for this imbalance.

The Games is a separate organisation from the Council and has its own press office, communications, marketing departments. Therefore, I fail to see what effect writing to the Council’s Visitor Services will have, other than their passing comments on to the Games offices.

Furthermore, many of the Games’ departments and others besides are staffed by people who are not necessarily Mancunians and so do not appear to have the same allegience to either the city or its only football club as we have, nor indeed local knowledge.

Indeed, some are veterans of Olympic and Commonwealth Games events around the world and will almost certainly push on to the next event as soon as the lights go down on the Closing Ceremony.

This, in my opinion, is why the organisation has fallen into the age old trap of shouting up for the Rags whilst ignoring the club who will take possession of the CoM Stadium next year!

Name withheld at subscriber’s request


Good City folks,

Just wondering is there anyone out there who’s interested in playing football for the (soon to be) resurrected McVITEE football team?

Basically all we want is someone with the ability to run around, maybe kick a ball straight and have a laugh. We ain’t world beaters but what we want to try to do is play against other teams’ supporters in matches throughout the season and maybe even enter next year’s worldnet tournament. If you’re interested let me know and I’ll let you know of any further developments and potential matches.

Martin Ford (


Just to let you know that the fans’ website now has a new name. It’s now The name has changed because was a bit of a mouthful and the site now offers a news service as well as opinion.

Although the name is different, it’s still the same site in essence, and as the new season approaches, you can be sure we’ll be giving the latest news and views from the City pages at

Lance Thomson (


From Tuesday – Friday onwards the Barry Vension founded, the auction memorabilia site that also assists good causes via charity auctions has City auctions added each day. These include:

  • Autographed City shirt
  • Autographed Keegan City item
  • Autographed team photo
  • Autographed Bell, Lee, Summerbee print
  • Autographed Wanchope, Goater and Horlock photos

The auctions can be found at

Many thanks, Nick Streeter, Charities Manager


My new book Football Crazy can now be seen on my website

It is free to all football fans to read or download. Maybe you can spare the time to take a look at it, and if you like it possibly recommend it to football supporters visiting your website?

Terry Ravenscroft (


A City fan was sitting with a United fan and a Geordie in Saudi Arabia, sharing a smuggled barrel of beer, when all of a sudden, Saudi police entered and arrested them.

They were initially sentenced to death but they contested this and were finally imprisoned for life. But, as it was a national holiday, the Sheikh decided they should be released after receiving 20 lashes of the whip.

As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheikh suddenly said: “It’s my first wife’s birthday today, and she asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping.”

So the Geordie boy thought for a while and then said: “Please tie a pillow to my back.”

This was done but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes before the whip went through.

The United fan, watching the scene, said: “Please tie two pillows to my back”. But even two pillows could only take 10 lashes before the whip went through again. Before the City fan could say anything, the Sheikh turned to him and said: “As you are from the most popular city, and you are superior to your friends, you can have two wishes!”

“Thank you, Most Royal and Merciful Highness”, The Blue replies. “My first wish is: I would like to have 40 lashes.”

“If you so desire”, the Sheikh replies with a questioning look on his face “and your second wish?”

“Tie the United fan to my back!”

CTID, David Rodgers (

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.02]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

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] What are MCIVTA’s publishing 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] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[4] What supporters’ clubs are there?

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

[5] Where can I find out about the 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] Where can I find information about our new stadium?

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

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

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] Are City’s goals available on the net? has available for download, usually within 24-48 hours of a game being played, all the goals from City’s matches.

[9] What’s the music the teams run out to?

The music we ran out to at Maine Road during the 01/02 season was “Nightmare” by Brainbug and is available on the Positiva label.

[10] Acknowledgements

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

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #829