Newsletter #841

What a fantastic start to our last season at Maine Road – beating Newcastle United, one of the teams tipped for a top four place, 1-0 at home. In characteristic Manchester drizzle, City turned on the style and looked a force to be reckoned with – strong at the back, creative in midfield and with scorching pace up front… in fact it is hard to pick out individual players in what really was a team performance.

It was good to see Alfie Haaland at the ground and hear the rousing applause from Maine Road (Cathal Whelehan’s piece makes further interesting reading on this ongoing subject).

Elsewhere, Terry Dunfield has obviously taken to heart the need to go out and prove himself as a worthy understudy to Berkovic. The on loan player made Bury’s goal, Abbott scoring after the Hull goalie parried Dunfield’s shot.

It was also interesting to see that ‘Kenny’ (Karim Kerkar), who has been retained on a pay per play basis after his trial on Benarbia’s recommendation, has been given the Number 44 shirt worn by the great ‘Ali’ last season.

Hopefully the reports in the Sunday papers that Schmeichel has aggravated his knee injury are not accurate – the presence of the great Dane in goal gave the defence altogether a new dimension – (and I’m a Carlo fan!).

Tonight’s edition sees a match report from the Newcastle match – thanks to Andy and Adam, a few opinions following themes from the last edition, a couple of requests and ‘Why Blues’.

Next game: Aston Villa, away, 7.45pm Wednesday 28 August 2002
Next edition – welcome back Heidi!


City vs. Newcastle Utd., Maine Road, Saturday 24th August 12.15pm

City kicked off on a fairly miserable August afternoon in Manchester weather-wise. Wright-Phillips carried the attack to Newcastle in the opening few minutes, jinking and sprinting several times with a low cross from the right eventually held by Given in the Newcastle goal. Huckerby then proceeded to give Newcastle more problems – this time down the left-hand side. Newcastle’s defence looked distinctly porous as a low cross from the right by Sun Jihai this time evaded Given but unfortunately it also evaded Huckerby and Benarbia (although the latter looked to be dragged back by Dabizas – and let the referee know about it). The referee was the variable Mr. Rennie – he of the Blackburn cup tie last season. Fortunately, this time he kept his red card in his pocket. However, he could have done with using his yellow card more often as Newcastle ignored the fact that it was FIFA Fair Play Day and littered the first half with quite a few tugs and niggling play as they tried to keep the Blue tide at bay.

Huckerby carried on as he had started as a thorn in the Newcastle defence down both the left and right. He first produced several good turns inside the area that resulted in a good save from Given as he was clean through. Another piece of trickery saw him through again, this time beating Given only to see Hughes clear off the line (or fairly nearby). Hughes then blotted his copybook with a late challenge on Sun Jihai near the halfway line as Newcastle sought an answer to the one-touch football displayed by City. After a neat 1-2 with Benarbia, Huckerby again was through on Given’s goal only for the ‘keeper to save at his feet after racing off his line. This frustrated his strike partner who was clear across goal and waiting for a slight touch his way to open the scoring.

Schmeichel’s first piece of action came after half an hour, easily saving a deflected shot from Speed. Shortly after this, Foe missed a golden opportunity to put the Blues ahead when he headed a Jensen cross past the post from 6 yards with no defender near him. However, after 36 minutes the inevitable happened and City took the lead. Anelka’s cross from the right evaded everyone and came out to Jensen who struck a low shot to Given’s left. Given parried this out to Berkovic who was challenged by two Newcastle defenders. The ball span out at head height to Huckerby who nodded it past Given’s despairing dive and into the net.

Newcastle tried to come back quickly. Schmeichel saved well from Lualua but could only parry the ball out to Dyer on the edge of the area. Dyer – with an open goal in front of him – somehow put it wide. This was the easiest of Dyer’s 4 chances throughout the match, the remainder foiled by Schmeichel.

Early in the second half, Distin nearly gave things away with a wayward pass to Dyer who blazed over the bar with only(?) Schmeichel to beat. There followed more good work down the right from SWP and Sun Jihai that resulted in another low cross that evaded the Newcastle defence and also the attempted backheel from Anelka. A short time later, the yellow card finally came as Bernard was forced to rugby-tackle SWP as the only way of stopping him. Bernard was subsequently substituted.

The content was now more end-to-end as SWP hit the side netting and Jenas broke through only for SWP and Schmeichel to thwart him (at the expense of an injury for SWP). Newcastle had several corners that Nobby Solano took and delivered his own version of the outswinging corner where it swung out of touch before reaching the penalty area. As Newcastle put on the pressure, Lualua had a goal ruled out for offside and some were regretting the chances missed in the first half. Having said that, a move between Distin and Berkovic almost played Anelka in for a sidefoot home. At the other end, a Shearer shot took a wild deflection but went wide of the post. Dyer fired in a piledriver from 35 yards, but Schmeichel pushed it round the post.

The half came to a close with Newcastle pressing for the equaliser but City had 2 or 3 breaks from which they should really have wrapped it up. The final whistle was a relief, but only because it would have been a tragedy to let it slip after such a great performance.

Football as it should be played – yes indeed!

On a negative note, the Newcastle fans had taken to booing Distin whenever he had the ball. This was countered by the City fans cheering him and alternatively booing Shearer.

Andy & Adam Longshaw (


I sadly missed the game, but I have no doubt that MCFC will be fine this season. I predicted a finishing position of 8th or 9th – and I’m sticking to it. Our fans must be patient with Kevin Keegan as I believe he is gradually turning City to a top 5 team. Winning a trophy is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility this season.

Chris Barrett, Southport Branch MCFC member (


The following article on Keane appeared in a posting on Blueview last week as is taken from a column which appeared in an Irish newspaper. I’m not sure which one I’m afraid – I’m guessing at the Irish Times – but in any case the writer can regard himself as duly credited. I thought it would have been submitted to the McVittee audience by someone else, but seeing as it hasn’t up until now, here it is.

It makes for some very interesting reading and but also renders it impossible to quite fathom how people voting in’s “Which attributes of which “world class” players would be required to piece together the world’s first £100 million player”, came to the conclusion that Roy Keane’s “Heart” and “Character” were essentials. When you read the following you’ll probably, like me, feel reinforced in sensing as you did before, that he’s always been devoid of both.

Keane – An ‘Immaculate’ Loser

I am sitting here, on Tuesday night, inside Mick McCarthy’s tent, wondering exactly what I should tell you, the good Irish people about Roy Keane.

Keano, as he likes to be known, is currently outside peeing in with the force of a typhoon. He is attempting to drown the tent and all inside it as he pees venom and vitriol in all our directions. Those inside are faced with a dilemma. Mick, wise man that he is, is keeping his counsel as the pee hits the fan. The rest of us have to make up our own minds, me included.

Should I now stay faithful to my old friend, the lord of the tent, and tell you that Keano is the biggest spoiled brat to come out of Ireland since your man out of Boyzone? Should I tell you how half the country is laughing at Roy, and the other half feels sorry for the poor wee fellow from Cork who is more sinned against than sinning? Should I quote my other mate Jack Charlton about how the easiest thing in the world right now is to sit back and laugh as we watch Roy Keane dig a hole, a very big hole, outside the tent?

Well, folks, I have decided to take a surprising stand. I have a favor to ask of all of you, a little request to make from me to you, good people. I want you to go out next month and spend some hard earned money. I want you all to buy a soccer book. No, I don’t want you to buy my forthcoming book on Mick McCarthy. Not unless you absolutely want to. No, if you only buy one book from home in time for this Christmas, I want you all to make sure it’s the Roy Keane biography.

In fact, if you only buy one soccer book in your lifetime, please ensure it is Eamon Dunphy’s wonderful new account of life as Roy Keane. Heck, if you can’t even read, buy it and get someone else to engage you with the wonderful prose, the hard hitting truths and the lurid self-depreciation of one of the world’s greatest players.

And then, when you’re finished digesting the greatest sports book of all time about the greatest footballer of all time and written by the greatest journalist of all time, give me a call. And I’ll let you in on a few secrets that aren’t contained inside the pages of Eamon and Roy’s vendetta catalogue, otherwise known as The Autobiography – Keane.

When you make that call, I’ll tell you what it’s really like to know the two sides of Roy Keane, national icon and international treasure, according to the radio muppet Dunphy. I’ll let you know exactly how hysterical it is to listen to Eamo on his own radio show describe Roy Keane as an “immaculate” human being, the same Roy who has brawled his way across England and Ireland and ended up in a Cork court after calling a neighbor’s child a whore.

I’ll tell you what it feels like to be Alf Inge Haaland, the Manchester City midfielder whose career now hangs on a thread because Keane deliberately, as he reveals in his book, butchered him in a derby game two seasons ago. I’ll let you know how several young Irish players were so intimidated by Keane’s presence in the international squad that they dreaded his arrival at the Dublin Airport hotel, how they hated his very presence on the team bus.

I’ll tell you how he refused a request from Sunderland football club – not from me, by the way – to cooperate with Niall Quinn’s testimonial program because he severely dislikes loveable Niall. I’ll tell you how jealous he is of Steve Staunton that he deliberately set out to castigate Ireland’s real World Cup captain before the tournament began.

Maybe I’ll explain, to you and Eamon, that it was Richard Dunne who sat beside Niall Quinn on a flight to Barcelona from Cyprus, and not Derek Dunne as stated in Tuesday’s serialization in London’s Times. As an aside, the only Derek Dunne I know who played football was also a drug dealer and was killed in Amsterdam a couple of years back.

And, if you’re really lucky, I’ll even tell you what it’s like to pick Roy Keane out of his own puke in a Manchester Airport hotel bar, as I did some years back only days before his first European Cup appearance for United. Now, to be honest, I regret I didn’t leave him to drown in his own vomit, though he is making rather a good stab at that himself as we speak.

I have to come clean here. Of course, folks, I am “bitter and twisted,” according to some. when it comes to Roy Keane. I am even cast as “Mick’s mate” in Keane’s book, literally, and that is akin to dancing with the devil in the eyes of the man who can now do absolutely no wrong in any regard. So don’t believe anything I tell you about Roy Keane unless you want to.

And if you want to, let me explain a few facts about our Roy, the man who is so perfect now at everything he does. In his time, as he admits in his book, Roy was king of the thugs. That’s why the aforementioned Alf Inge Haaland has barely kicked a ball in the 18 months since Roy exacted revenge for a previous encounter at Elland Road. As Haaland lay on the ground, Keane reveals, he looked at him and he said, “Take that you c***.” Rôle model stuff, indeed.

He likes his language, does our Roy. Saved some of the best of it for Saipan when he branded Mick McCarthy everything from an “effing c***” to an “effing w****r” in the course of an eight minute tirade of abuse. Why? Was it because Mick accused Keane of feigning injury ahead of Ireland’s game against Iran, as Keano and his muppeteer Dunphy would have you believe?

Was it heck. There were 32 other people in that room that night, and not one of them heard Mick accuse Keane of feigning injury. That is definitely a Roy Keane/Eamon Dunphy exclusive. So is their use of vulgar language. The only foul and abusive language in Mick McCarthy’s book comes when he quotes Keane in that Saipan meeting. Yes, Mick has been known to curse from time to time. He lives in a rough man’s world where such language is common. But he is also a man of great dignity.

He knows his book will be read by children, the very people that Dunphy claims Keane is a rôle model for. And he knows, in his heart and soul, that only one man has let his country down when it mattered in recent years. Roy Keane did not want to play for Jack Charlton or Mick McCarthy, that is clearly evident as he assassinates both men in his Dunphyite words. He didn’t even want to play in the game that decided Ireland’s World Cup fate in Iran last November, walking out of the team hotel without as much as a word to his teammates as they went off to training and he left for the airport. His apologists forget that.

They also forget that in Saipan, two nights before he was thrown out of the World Cup, Keane quit international football not once but three times. He told McCarthy he was retiring after the 2002 finals, no matter what happened in Japan or Korea. Now he is claiming that he will play for Ireland again, but only if Mick gets the sack. What about that retirement announcement in the Irish Times, Roy?

Keane even goes so far as to call Mick a comedian in his brilliant book. Well, I have a question for the Roy wonder. Who dressed up in a stupid looking Leprechaun suit to make a television advert for Walkers crisps? Was it Mick McCarthy or Roy Keane? Yes, you guessed right – Roy Keane, the biggest joke of all. Happy reading!

By Cathal Dervan – Irish Voice, 14th Aug 2002.

CTID, Cathal Whelehan (


Heather’s tale of waitressing at OT reminds me of that long ago weekend when Oasis played Maine Road. I was lucky enough to secure the use of the MEN’s box for the Saturday gig and a monster, monster amount of fun was had by everyone there (enough said)! On the Sunday, after stumbling around Manchester the night before, I managed to convince some well-connected City-ites to get us back into the second Oasis gig. The quid pro quo was that they forced me to go to Old Trafford that afternoon to see the Rags play Forest. Hideously, I bore witness to a 5-0 hammering and a Cantona hat-trick. My only solace was that I spent most of the game patiently burning MCFC into the back of the seat in front of me with cigarette after cigarette – see, some good does come from smoking.

That night I watched the second Oasis gig from the players’ lounge and just to top off the (almost) perfect weekend, me and a companion (Julie, do you read this?) calmly walked through a line of bouncers up to where the band were partying back-stage in the Umbro boxes. This was made sweeter by the fact the soon-to-be departed Steve Lomas wasn’t allowed through. “Don’t you know who I am”? So I made the acquaintance of the ‘lads’. One of the memories that will stay with me for life is sticking my hand out to Liam – “Top gig, mate” I muttered. “Thanks very much man” came the immortal reply as he crushed my hand in his paw. Top, top, top.

Jeremy Morris – Minneapolis Blue

(It was nice to spot Noel in the Main stand on Saturday – Ed).


I was in a pub on Saturday where they had the City vs. Newcastle match on one screen and the cricket on the other. At one point there was a close-up of Nicholas Anelka and my mate turned to me and asked ‘Who does he look like? There’s someone he’s the absolute image of and I just can’t think.’ We happened then to glance across at the cricket only to find our answer. Imagine Nicholas Anelka with a small black turban and bingo – Harbhajan Singh! The similarity does not end there. Despite favourable conditions and an opposition on the rack, Harbhajan didn’t take any wickets this weekend…

Daniel Marcus


It takes very little to understand why Man City fans are such great fans. They are a true blue breed, people who could easily support cross town rivals that are wildly rich and successful, and yet they hang in there, fighting the dark side because they know it’s the right and proper thing to do.

I’ve been a City fan since their drop to D2. I was an American, just learning the joys of British football when I looked for a team to side with. The easy choices, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man U., were not going to cut it. I wanted a team that was better than its place, a team with incredible fans, an underdog to pull for. I started following Man City that year and have followed them religiously ever since. I have to hope to see their matches on TV form time to time, but mostly listen via the Internet as Wanchope and Dunne and Benarbia and the rest have helped this team get back to where it belongs. I look forward to watching and listening to the new crew make their way in the Premiership, hopefully all the way to a European appearance and one day, a title. In the meantime, this Texan will keep watching his beloved Blues.

We love you City, we do,
We love you City, we do,
We love you City, we do,
Ohhhh City we love you.

Charles Persons, Sports Journalist, Paris, TX


My first two matches 1944 season, City lost both, I think 2-0 to Everton and Grimsby Town. The days of big crowds, United playing at Maine Road as home fixture. The visit of Glasgow Rangers. Arsenal always drew big gates but the memory I think of most was Frank Swift and he I guess made me a City supporter. I have seen teams come and go since, good players, bad players, awful management of the club but I have to say the current regime is probably the best, although they have yet to prove themselves in the higher echelons. City will always be the more family club of the City though. I do not have any disrespect of United, they are a Manchester team and that is good enough for me. The other lasting memory which I fear I will never see again is visiting supporters standing side by side with us, clapping when a City player did well and we did the same, really good atmosphere then. I have been a Blue supporter now for over 58 years; what fans have to do is respect the other teams, after all we go to watch a football match with 22 players. City fans had a wonderful past in this respect. Some games over the years stick in your mind and City have supplied many.

Brian Longworth


Am trying to locate other Blues based in the Brighton-Sussex area hopefully to meet up, travel to games, set up area supporters’ branch etc.

Dave Bunting (


Barclaycard Premiership

Manchester City      1-0 Newcastle United  34,776
Huckerby 35
Birmingham City      0-1 Blackburn Rovers  27,563
                         Yorke 13
Bolton Wanderers     1-2 Charlton Athletic 21,753
Djorkaeff 2              Bart-Williams 26p
Euell 71
Liverpool            3-0 Southampton       43,058
Diouf 3, 51
Murphy 90p
Middlesbrough        2-2 Fulham            28,588
Maccarone 32, 51         Davis 90
                         Sava 90
Sunderland           0-1 Everton           37,698
                         Campbell 28
Tottenham Hotspur    1-0 Aston Villa       35,384
Redknapp 26
West Ham United      2-2 Arsenal           35,048
Cole 44                  Henry 65
Kanoute 53               Wiltord 88
West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Leeds United      26,618
Marshall 90              Kewell 39
                         Bowyer 52
                         Viduka 70

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.03]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

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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.

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Newsletter #841