Newsletter #900

Another McV Milestone as we reach our 900th edition tonight, which definitely calls for a little celebration seeing as the weekend gave us nothing.

Unfortunately, we didn’t suffer a repeat of the October drubbing. It was much worse as we succumbed to a 5-0 routing. I am not sure whether the team were outplayed, dis-interested or were just plain inept but the fact remains that we have conceded 11 goals in our last 4 games, scored just 1 and collected 3 points. Something needs sorting, and we have opinion tonight on just what that is.

We also have a few requests and a Why Blue from Down Under.

Next game: Bolton Wanderers, away, 12pm Saturday 5 April 2003
Countdown: 48 days


Martin Smith will kindly be taking care of editions 901 and 902, so please keep your contributions coming to the usual address of


Midfield Player who is proven team leader:
Answer – Garry Flitcroft.

After reading that contract talks are not going very well, KK could choose no better player than Garry Flitcroft. He’s a very good midfield player and a perfect Blue captain with plenty of leadership and who would bond well with Eyal and one other – not sure if it would be Foe!

Central defender who is prepared to stand up between Distin and Sommeil:
Answer – Jaap Stam.

Let’s not beat about the bush, we need a world class defender to match the attack.

Graham Lord (


Dear Kevin,

On the back of another disgraceful performance I feel compelled once again to write.

Tactics. Same tactics week in, week out can only be justified if they work. They clearly do not. The playing of wing backs has been a major contributory factor in our consistent failing at the back – they often leave the back three exposed and against the better attacking sides we will get caught out. Naming and shaming central defenders is not the solution, nor is it essentially the problem. The issue on the quality of wing backs remains unchanged – if they can’t pass they shouldn’t be on the pitch. Finally, our defence of set pieces should demand a radical review of our coaching in this area – it is shambolic.

Midfield. Not good enough. We lack quality in the area of defensive / holding midfielders and it shows. The engine room is neglected to our cost and in my view is the greatest failing in wresting control of games and building a platform for attack. We simply give away too much possession and allow better sides too much freedom. We have flair but in old legs it is often not enough and without Berkovic we seem to struggle. Belmadi looked good in his début in an attacking rôle – he is creative, he has pace and he should be given a full opportunity now. Benarbia, regrettably, struggles for the full 90 minutes and his creative flair should be limited to times when it is most needed.

Forwards. Without Fowler, City looked fine. If there was a problem, it started in the middle of the park and poor supply has continued to frustrate. I am sure that a fully fit Fowler will, one day, make a significant contribution but the general rule of playing in-form players over those who are struggling to compete will always apply – building fitness and confidence through games in the reserve league is common sense. However, in this area, and with players returning from long term injury, we can only get better but not without addressing the other problems first.

David Sanderson (


I never expected to beat Chelsea to be very honest, but it’s the way we were beaten that concerns me. It’s time to seriously weed out the “unwanted” players, we have to think about next season.

Bring on Barton and Croft etc. and if they prove that they are not quite ready, the experience will be good for them. What have we got to lose now, but our pride? And we never know we might have a young diamond!

I feel sorry for all the City fans who made the trip to Stamford Bridge, to see such pathetic football from City! To think that players get paid so much to perform like this. I think all players should get a basic wage, and then get bonuses for the way they play, and for getting a win or draw, but agents would soon stop that, they like to see their players getting paid just for showing up.

They all have contracts and get paid for being rubbish! If the rest of us performed like this in our jobs we would probably lose our jobs.

Manchester City cannot win a place in Europe this season, but putting on a City shirt should make the players play for pride.

A lot of changes have to be made if we are to survive next season, never mind win anything. Kevin Keegan has to take a long look at what he has got. But being a City fan for so long, I guess I had to expect this.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow (


I’m fuming. I haven’t been to Maine Road for 2 years and I thought I couldn’t miss it this time, our last year. Living in Italy it is not that easy for me to get there, it takes time, organisation, days off work, money (a lot).

I’ll be spending about 10 days in England, spotted in the calendar just to cover as many City matches as possible: Spurs, Sunderland and West Ham, with my return to Italy on Sunday 27th, 10 am.

And what about my friend, he couldn’t take many days off work, but at least he managed to be free a few days leading to the West Ham game. He booked a flight on April 24th, with the return on Sunday morning. A mini holiday for him just to watch City.

We took a look at City’s fixtures and we booked our flights as soon as possible. Easter and bank holiday in Italy, we had to act quickly because flights were selling out really fast.

So thank you Mr Murdoch. I have just joined the list of your haters. Your disgrace will be our refund.

Vanes Marzaroli (


                Predicted       Average
                Points          Form
Arsenal         81.00           13.500
Man Ure         80.56           14.667
Newcastle Utd   77.11           14.333
Everton         64.67           11.000
Charlton        62.78           13.333
Chelsea         62.33           8.500
Liverpool       61.00           9.000 Q
---------------------------------- Euro Qualification Line ---
Blackburn       57.33           8.500
Tottenham       53.44           7.833
Southampton     53.00           7.500 FPL 3rd place
Man City        51.89           8.167 FPL 1st place
Fulham          48.67           8.000
Middlesbro      48.56           5.667 FPL 2nd place
Aston Villa     46.56           8.667
Leeds Utd       41.78           5.833
Birmingham      36.89           3.667
Bolton          36.56           5.667
West Ham Utd    35.89           6.667
West Brom       26.33           4.000
Sunderland      19.89           0.667

Q=Qualified for Europe
FPL=Fair Play League Euro Qualifier Contender

Well – it’s getting mighty tight at both the top and the bottom.

At the top it’s down to 2 fixtures: Arsenal vs. Man Ure and Newcastle vs. Man Ure. If Man Ure beat Arsenal and Newcastle beat Man Ure well it’s anybody’s title.

At the bottom it’s any one of 4 to Join WBA and Sunderland in Division 1. West Ham and Bolton’s form is on the up, Birmingham’s is remaining constant but what the form guide doesn’t show is Leeds’ very tough run in. They have to beat Spurs and Fulham at home ’cause on current form they aren’t going to get any change out of the rest of their games!

CTID, Blue Anorak a.k.a. Richard Mottershead (


After Sun’s sending off on Saturday, I decided to check out how it affects City’s chances of European qualification through the extra fair play place. Here’s the disciplinary table taken from the Premier League website (the first number is the amount of games played, second the amount of disciplinary points received):

    1 Liverpool     31 36
    2 Man Utd       31 40
    3 Southampton   31 42
    4 Newcastle     31 43
    5 Sunderland    31 46
    6 Charlton      31 47
    7 Arsenal       31 53
    8 Everton       31 54
    9 Middlesbrough 31 54
   10 Man City      31 55
   11 West Brom     31 55
   12 Chelsea       31 56
   13 Fulham        31 57
   14 West Ham      31 60
   15 Bolton        30 61
   16 Tottenham     30 61
   17 Leeds         31 64
   18 Blackburn     31 65
   19 Aston Villa   31 69
   20 Birmingham    31 78

So, I think it looks very unlikely we’ll be on the way to Europe next season. Oh well, there’s always Champions’ League qualification next year!

Paul Carey (


With reference to Geoff Ireland in MCIVTA 899 – “The Best”. My namesake, for indeed I am not that Kevin Reeves, was bought by the team I supported all my life in March 1980. I still have the newspaper headlines and the program from my début. He made 130 appearances and scored 34 times for City. He doesn’t appear among the list of “Greats” on the official website (though Jamie Pollock, 59 appearances 5 goals does), so City don’t think of Reeves as a great player. Personally I think the “Great” tag is handed out all too easily and that the true greats are a much smaller band of heroes who should include the likes of Bert Trautmann.

Personal opinion and bias aside, was Kevin Reeves one of the first to be a victim of what I choose to call Ged Brannan Syndrome (GBS)? GBS is the purchase of a player who is having a reasonably good current patch of form for an inflated price followed by disappointment, departure and obscurity.

Steve Daley (£1.4 million), John Macken (£5 million), Terry Cooke (£1 million), Vincente Vuoso (£3.5 million) to name but a few who seem to have suffered. GBS is a City affliction that seems to have been a constant problem over the years at Maine Road.

Kevin Reeves (


As well as David Brent – in front of us – BBLower in the Kippax – is Om Puri. He of East is East fame. “Mek a Bloody show of Meh…”

Joel Perry (


I have 2 tickets for the game against Middlesbrough. They are available at face value. I can’t attend the game (hence the reason for sale) so will have to post the tickets on to you. Contact me on the email address below if you are interested.

John Wilson (


The special guests for the meeting of Milton Keynes OSC on March 27th will be ex-player Steve Mackenzie and Radio 5 Live’s Susan Bookbinder. The meeting will be at Great Brickhill Cricket Club starting at 8pm. Entry is £2.

If you would like directions to the venue or more information, please contact me.

Steve Maclean – Secretary, MCFC Supporters’ Club, Milton Keynes (


I have recently come into possession of a Manchester City football programme. Vol. 46 No. 17 Saturday, February 9th, 1952. The game was against Blackpool.

I was wondering is you might know anybody who would be interested in purchasing this? Or know of anywhere who would be interested?

Robin Davis (


Tuesday 1 April 2003
Assemble 11.45am
Westminster Central Hall
Storey’s Gate London, SW1
2 minutes from House of Commons

Please post this to your contacts on messageboards, mailing lists, official and unofficial websites, fanzines, etc.

As you can see the aim is to lobby MPs either face-to-face on 1 April or by fax or email. We would be grateful for your assistance in maximising the number of fans that directly contact their MP. Opportunities like this don’t happen every day!

If you want further copies or more information please contact Mark Longden 07787 575933 or Steven Powell 07881 950613.

Thanks for your help.

Paul Matz (


Born in a terraced house in Longsight in 1932, with 2 pictures of City on the kitchen wall there was no chance of my being anything else but Blue. My dad first took me to Maine Road about 1938 or ’39. I think it was against Everton, all I remember was Frank Swift being knocked out making a save. Dad also took me to Old Trafford to watch the cricket and to Belle Vue for the Rugby League; they were called Broughton Rangers then I think. He never even mentioned United. To get to Maine Road in those days was a walk through Victoria Park to Rusholme or the old 53 bus route.

Things were very disorganised during the war with players in the services and guest players in the team at different times; one I remember for some reason was Roxburgh, a goalkeeper from Blackpool. One game I do remember towards or just after the war was City 4 United 1 with George Smith scoring all four.

First season after the war we were in the old 2nd Division, rarely in trouble with a defence of Swift, Sproston, and Barkas. I think all 3 had captained England. Other remembered players are Westwood, Walsh, Emptage, Smith, Constantine, Black, and Herd. Dear old Nobby Clarke came at the end of the season, what a great servant and clubman he became.

Who remembers Alec Thurlow? He was Swift’s deputy on many occasions and never let City down. Frank retired and Alec became ill and died soon after without playing another game.

A young kid called Powell took over in goal, but then came the best signing City ever made and my favourite all time player, the wonderful Bert Trautmann, the best ‘keeper I have ever seen in my life. We went down in Bert’s 1st season I think, but then came another great buy in Roy Paul. In The 2nd Division again I remember going to Doncaster to see City leading 3-0 at half time with a George Smith hat trick, only to concede 4 goals in 15 minutes to lose 3-4. Things never change at City.

Into the 50s and along came players like Don Revie; he was a purist, he never kicked a ball, he caressed it. Ivor Brodis, Meadows, Spurdle, Westcott, what a mouthful of a defence we had in those days. Trautmann, Brannagan and Hannaway.

From 1951-54 I was in the RAF, spending nearly 2 years in the Middle East where I had the football Pink sent out every week. I read that Trautmann was thinking of returning to Germany so I wrote to him thanking him for everything he had done. He never did leave, but Xmas 1952 I got a card from Bert that I still have today.

1954/55 was my 1st great City side – Trautmann, Meadows, Little, Barnes, Ewing, Paul, Fagan, Spurdle, Hayes, Revie, Hart, Clarke, and then Bobby Johnstone. We beat the Reds 3 times that season, once in the Cup and twice in the League including 5 nil at Old Trafford with a brilliant performance. Our 10 men lost 1-3 to Newcastle in the final but next year we beat Birmingham 3-1 to win the Cup, with Bert breaking his neck.

The next few years were poor to average and the players who come to mind include Barlow, Coleridge, Sambrook, Dyson, Dobing, Gratrix, Betts, Cheetham, Hannah, Kennedy, Phoenix, Sear, Gary, Kevin, Lievers, McAdams, McTavish, Warhurst, the great Denis Law, Wagstaffe, and Alex Harley. He came down from Scotland missed the 1st few games of the season, failed to score in his 1st few and then couldn’t stop scoring, 20 odd goals that one season. He went to Birmingham and scored only 1 goal (against United) and was found dead soon after.

Relegation in the early 60s but then came along Joe and Big Mal – the glory days were at Maine Road. Mercer and Allison changed everything and won 2nd Division promotion, the 1st Division, the FA Cup, the League Cup, and the Cup Winners’ Cup. They played some wonderful stuff with most of the players becoming household names like Book, Pardoe, Doyle, Corrigan, Oakes, Lee, Summerbee and more.

1970/71 was my last viewing season, we left for Australia in March ’71. My last match was versus Wolves on March 6th; we drew 1-1 with Lee scoring, I still have the ticket and programme. I’ve never been back of course but I still keep in touch with everything via TV and the Internet. K.K. looks to be a good manager from what I see, I just hope this boardroom squabble is sorted. Mind you it wouldn’t be City if everything was plain sailing.

Soon Maine Road will be no more but nobody can take away the memories, happy and otherwise of watching my beloved Blues.

CTID, Jim Shields (


23 March 2003

Liverpool 3 – 1

 Leeds United          43,021
Arsenal               2 - 1  Everton               38,042

22 March 2003

Birmingham City       1 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  29,449
Manchester United     3 - 0  Fulham                67,706
Chelsea               5 - 0  Manchester City       41,105
Middlesbrough         1 - 1  Charlton Athletic     29,080
Newcastle United      5 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      52,106
Southampton           2 - 2  Aston Villa           31,888
West Ham United       2 - 0  Sunderland            35,033

League table to 23 March 2003 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Arsenal         31 14  1  1 37 14  6  5  4 29 19 20  6  5  66  33  33  66
 2 Manchester Utd  31 13  2  1 31 10  6  5  4 20 17 19  7  5  51  27  24  64
 3 Newcastle Utd   31 14  1  1 32 10  5  3  7 22 25 19  4  8  54  35  19  61
 4 Chelsea         31  9  4  2 33 12  6  5  5 24 19 15  9  7  57  31  26  54
 5 Liverpool       31  7  8  1 25 13  7  2  6 22 18 14 10  7  47  31  16  52
 6 Everton         31  9  5  1 22 13  5  3  8 17 23 14  8  9  39  36   3  50
 7 Charlton Ath.   31  7  3  5 23 20  6  4  6 17 19 13  7 11  40  39   1  46
 8 Blackburn R.    31  8  5  3 22 14  4  5  6 16 23 12 10  9  38  37   1  46
 9 Southampton     31  8  6  2 21 13  3  5  7 13 19 11 11  9  34  32   2  44
10 Tottenham H.    30  8  4  3 28 20  4  3  8 15 23 12  7 11  43  43   0  43
11 Middlesbrough   31  8  7  1 28 18  3  2 10 11 17 11  9 11  39  35   4  42
12 Manchester City 31  8  1  6 25 24  4  4  8 15 25 12  5 14  40  49  -9  41
13 Fulham          31  9  3  4 22 13  1  5  9 13 27 10  8 13  35  40  -5  38
14 Aston Villa     31  9  1  6 21 12  1  5  9 12 25 10  6 15  33  37  -4  36
15 Birmingham City 31  5  4  6 15 19  4  4  8 13 23  9  8 14  28  42 -14  35
16 Leeds United    31  5  2  8 16 20  5  2  9 22 25 10  4 17  38  45  -7  34
17 West Ham United 31  3  6  7 17 22  4  3  8 17 31  7  9 15  34  53 -19  30
18 Bolton Wndrs    30  3  7  4 19 21  3  4  9 14 26  6 11 13  33  47 -14  29
19 West Brom A.    31  3  4  8 12 21  2  2 12  9 26  5  6 20  21  47 -26  21
20 Sunderland      31  3  2 10  9 22  1  5 10 10 28  4  7 20  19  50 -31  19

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.09]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Martin Smith) :
News/rumour (Don Barrie) :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul) :
FAQ (David Warburton) :

[1] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, 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:

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels.

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

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

[10] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[11] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[12] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the match day music information, to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service and to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb and Roger Haigh for the Satellite TV info.

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 #900