Newsletter #914

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Well, that’s all folks. Football at Maine Road bowed out with a 0-1 against Soton, thousands of Blues celebrating and comiserating as the final curtain fell on our spiritual home. Some moving moments of the day saw the City Legends being saluted one last time, farewell to our favourite striker of recent years and our goalkeeper, and the last rendition of “Blue Moon”.

No match report tonight, so please consider sending in your memories and thoughts on the day once you’ve recovered to share with those who weren’t able to there.

Tonight we’ve reports on the U17s and reserves, thanks to Gavin, plenty of opinion and the final table, which sees us in 9th position (did the Anorak get things right?) and still in with a chance of that Fair Play spot.

Thanks to all who have contributed over the season, our match reporters, Don for his news, those of you who have stood in as guest editors, Paul, Mads and Svenn who keep McV going behind the scenes.

Next game: tba

EDITORIAL NOTICE – ISSUE 915

Peter Johnson has kindly agreed to step in as Guest Editor for this Thursday’s edition as I am away with work commitments.

Please keep your articles coming in to the usual editor@mcivta.city-fan.org address.


MATCH REPORT: MCFC U17S 3 BLACKBURN ROVERS U17S 2

City Finally Reach a Youth Final

City’s under 17’s starlets had gone through the main league season undefeated and registering a new record of dropping just four points with two draws. So it would have been a travesty had they not reached the final of the play-off games as they have been the class act in the country in this age group. Blackburn have been a bit of a bogey team for City’s Academy teams in recent years so it was all smiles when goals from Karl Bermingham, an own goal by James Hoyle and fine finish from Stephen Ireland won the points. Although Blackburn had a late flurry with a penalty in the dying minutes, once City had the third goal the result was never in doubt.

The first twenty minutes was mainly a non-event except for a weak effort by Karl Bermingham in the third minute when Stephen Ireland played him in on goal. After the initial scrappy twenty minute spell, City started to dominate the play and good chances fell to Bermingham and Caros Logan, but both seamed to lack the final composure with their strikes and as a result City and Blackburn went into the half time break scoreless.

The second half was far more eventful and City made their quality show in the second minute when Stephen Ireland laid the ball out wide to Carlos Logan; he in turn played in the overlapping Paul Collins, who ran to the by-line and cut the ball back, Ireland hit the ball first time, the ‘keeper, Steven Drench, failed to hold the ball and Bermingham smacked the ball into the roof of the net. Nedum Onuoha had a good chance to make it two-nil when a Carlos Logan free kick somehow made it through to him at the far post but he could only direct his header straight at Dench.

Blackburn’s main threat was sending long balls over the top to their tall and gangly forward, Keith Barker. This allowed Blackburn’s number ten, Tarik Salaki, more space and when he got the ball in City’s half he dragged the defenders away and was able to play a long ball out wide, to a now unmarked Barker; he was able to cut inside and put his shot past Kasper Schmeichel and into the net.

This gave Blackburn more belief and again Salaki was involved when he was free on the edge of the area, but he dragged his shot wide. Three minutes later, City were back in front when good pressure by Stephen Ireland on James Hoyle on a long clearance from defence by Mark Laird, led to playing a strong back pass to Dench who obviously couldn’t pick it up and so was powerless as it rolled into the back of the net.

Two minutes later Ireland was unable to hold off Gavin Peers sufficiently to get in a strong shot that could have beaten Dench. Three minutes later he made amends for this when Bermingham set him free on the left and he fired past Dench to give City a two goal cushion. This took the fire out of Blackburn until the remaining ten minutes when they started to constantly bombard City’s defence with long, high balls up to Barker. This paid off in the eighty-ninth minute when a free kick, on the half way line, was floated in by Carl Walsh and Gary Peers was adjudged to have been impeded in the area and a penalty was awarded. Joel Byrom converted the penalty straight underneath the dancing Schmeichel.

City nearly regained their two goal lead straight from the kick-off when a strong, powerful run by Nathan D’Laryea led to a fine save from Dench. As the elongated injury time wore on, City were denied again by Dench from a fine strike by Ian Bennett. I thought the referee was perhaps overly officious, but to his credit he saw everything and got all decisions correct. City now meet either Leeds or Arsenal who play Saturday morning, in what will probably be only a single legged final due to the lateness of the season.

City: Schmeichel, Warrender, Collins, N D’Laryea, Onouha (capt), Bennett, Laird, J D’Laryea, Bermingham, Ireland, Logan (Reilly 86).

Not Used: Timms, Brindle, Miller, Grant.

Blackburn: Dench, Hoyle (Jones 72), Taylor, Corvino, Peers, Walsh, Weaver (capt), Byrom, Barker, Sakali, Peter (Garner 81).

Not Used: Anyon,Humphreys.

Goals: Bermingham (47), Barker (57), Hoyle o.g. (67), Ireland (72), Byrom (90).

Att: Appox. 200.

Gavin Cooper (blueboy@mancity.net)

MATCH REPORT: BRADFORD CITY RESERVES 0 MCFC RESERVES 5

City’s Young Heavyweights defeat Bantams

City’s final game in the league ended with an emphatic victory at departing Premier League contenders, Bradford City and confirmed the Laser Blues’ third place league position behind Middlesbrough and consecutive league winners, Sunderland; both only a point above City. Goals from Gary Browne, Willo Flood, Glen Whelan and a brace for Matias Vuoso ensured that City finished the season on a reasonably high note.

Although the scoreline suggested that it looked like a good game, it was only due to the lack of quality that Bradford possess and City’s willingness to drive forward from the many mistakes that Bradford presented to City. On the fourth minute a quick throw in from Chris Shuker to Matias Vuoso allowed him to run to the by-line and skilfully run the ball past defenders along the line and cut back a great ball to Steve Howey, but he must have thought he was a Bradford Bulls player as he converted the ball well over the bar to row Z. The first goal came on ten minutes when a lovely long ball by Glen Whelan into space allowed Gary Browne to nip in between Bradford’s ‘keeper, Craig Dootson and defender, Luke Richardson, to send in a lovely weighted lob from thirty yards into the back of the net.

The play went a bit scrappy for a ten minute spell; so the next real action was City’s second goal from a corner; when Whelan received the ball he played it back to Shuker who sent in an in-swinging cross that Matias Vuoso, who timed his run well to beat the offside trap, headed towards goal. Dootson got a hand to it but he failed to keep it out. Three minutes later Browne was unfortunate to see his header loop over Dootson but fail to beat the bar from a good Shuker cross.

City should have made it three ten minutes later when Glen Whelan found Shuker out on the right and he sent in a great far post cross, but yet again the one time centre forward converted to a centre half by Kevin Keegan whilst at Newcastle, failed to find the target. Five minutes from the end of the half Willo Flood nearly replicated the quality of Croft’s last minute winner at Newcastle on Tuesday night by picking up the ball in his own half and running all the way to the goal whilst playing a neat one two with Vuoso and smashing the ball into the net from fifteen yards.

The second half started brightly, with City pressing forward again. It was this pressing that led to Richardson failing to control a pass and Lee Croft picking up the loose ball on the right just inside their half and then having the vision to see that Vuoso had pulled away from his marker, threading a lovely ball through to him that he was able to collect and run into the left hand side of the area, curling a good shot past the ‘keeper and into the corner of the net.

Flood’s first half goal had given the young Irish talent much more confidence and he was now getting forward more than he had in the first half and he nearly doubled his goal tally on fifty six minutes when he cut inside from a Lee Croft pass, but he failed to keep his shot down. Dootson pulled off two great saves in the space of a minute, midway through the half. Firstly Paul Murphy, who was making his reserve début, let fly with a great twenty-five yard shot that Dootson just got a fingertip to, to turn over for a corner. From the resulting corner, Vuoso flicked on to the feet of Paddy McCarthy five yards out, and somehow Dootson again denied City.

The game was wrapped up by a stunning 35 yard half volleyed strike by Glen Whelan in into the top right hand corner of the net as the game had lapsed into injury time. The goal was very reminiscent of a Matt Le Tissier special where Glen flicked the ball up into the air and he just struck it beautifully to give Dootson no chance as it dipped under the bar.

How the season could have ended so differently had we not lost by the odd goal on so many occasions; we would have walked away with the title had we shown any sort of the form that we had shown on our eight game unbeaten run in the Autumn. It’s always good to see that youngsters get the opportunity to come through the ranks, but I feel that as we had used over 50 players this season, this surely had a big part to play in our failure to lift the title, along with our poor post-Christmas home form. I will be very disappointed if we don’t win the title next year by at least six clear points.

Ellegaard: Had little to do all night. A few comfortable saves. 7
Flood: Excellent performance and a very good goal. 9
Jordan (capt): Defended well and used the space to overlap at times. 8
McCarthy: Got better as the game wore on. 7
Howey (61): Didn’t look like he wanted to be there. 6
Murphy: Made an encouraging début. Unlucky not to score. 8
Croft (81): Can be very good one minute and then infuriating the next. 7
Whelan: Great goal, but his overall play wasn’t his best. 8
Vuoso: Two fine goals, unlucky not to have got 3. Ran his heart out. MoM. 9
Browne (71): His opener set things off, good contribution to the play. 8
Shuker: Never found his touch all evening but worked hard, caused a few problems. 7

City: Wright-Phillips (81): Had little time to impress when the game was already won. 6
Proffitt (71): Didn’t really cause the Bradford defence any problems. 6
Tickle (61): Worked well up and down the left side. 7

Not Used: Westwood, Elliott.

Bradford: Dootson, Edds, Richardson (Clifford 76), Wright, Morgan (capt), Bentham, Swift (Denton 46), Penford, Ekoku, Sanasy, Flynn (Doherty 65).

Not Used: Colbeck, Denvers.

Goals: Browne (10), Vuoso (21, 49), Flood (40), Whelan (90).

Att: Approx 150.

Gavin Cooper (blueboy@mancity.net)

OPINION: PLAYER REVIEW/MAINE ROAD MEMORIES

It’s been difficult following the Blues over the years (mercifully, you might say!). The only televised English games we can get here in Canada are the Premier League – and that only for the past 3 or 4 years. So I was able to see a very few games during the 2000-2001 season, and then nothing until this season. My memories of City therefore cover the period 1966 to 1975 (when I went to 100% of home games and about 40% of away games) and, effectively, this season, when I have been able to see about 10 games. So, for the first time in 30 years I have seen the team on a semi-consistent basis, enough to be able to give some opinion on some (but not all) of the boys.

Goater: I have not been a fan of the Goat, having not seen him in the First Division where he was apparently at his best. The two goals he got against United, however, I did see – and that is enough to make him a hero to me for life. However, I must say that I think him leaving City is best for him as well as for the club. Apart from his ability to score (I can’t believe I’m writing those words – they look so ludicrous in print), he really does not seem to me to be Premier class. But, then again, see my comments re Fowler, Rodney Marsh and Wynn Davies below.

Benarbia: I half think the same about Benarbia. He has skill, but just not the pace. Earlier in the season he looked lost, although I do admit he played well against Liverpool. At best, a decent squad player in the Premier. Perhaps it would be better for him to go down a division, where he could be a star.

Berkovic: Very impressive. Like Benarbia, not that much pace. But he just seems to have that extra edge.

Schmeichel: Why is it we always seem to get top players from United after their peak? Magnificent. Keegan should do everything he can to get him to change his mind on retirement. He has at least another good year left – maybe more.

SWP: Magnificent. Pure class and all heart. He runs forever.

Foe: I agree with most of the comments I’ve read about Foe. Save the £7 million. He’s ungainly at the best of times. Sure, he’s scored some goals, but those that I have seen have been very scrappy. I think he’s had rather more luck than his play deserves.

Barton: I’ve seen him in 2 games – vs. Spurs and Liverpool. He looks amazing. Rock solid. A good and consistent passer of the ball (unlike most of the team, especially pre 4-4-2). And, as he showed against Spurs, he can score too. Much, much better than Foe – and £7 million cheaper too!

Distin: Looking better with every game. A solid defender, and a class player.

Jensen: Ditto. He looked weak in early-season, but has come on strong since.

Sommeil: Looked awful the first game I saw him, but has looked very good lately. Like Distin, a cultured defender.

Dunne: I’m not sure. He still lacks some pace. Inconsistent. One minute he looks rock solid, the next he looks out of his depth.

In general, the defence looks like it’s from another planet since we abandoned 3-5-2 and started playing 4-4-2. Why Kevin Keegan stuck with it so long, after so many early-goal disasters, I cannot understand. Plus, our ability to pass to another member of the team seems to have improved beyond recognition since changing the formation.

Tiatto: Lots of commitment, lots of heart, a good left foot. But he’s a dirty player – more suited to United.

Then the forwards.

Anelka: I first saw him away at Arsenal. He looked very impressive. Very skilful for a tall guy, he surprised me with his grace and ball control and shooting. He got a lot of goals early on, but I think the other teams got on to him, and, to some extent, figured him out. For an accomplished goal scorer, he’s wasted so many chances – especially one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The fact that he’s had those chances, though, shows that he can perform. The second goal at Liverpool showed what he can do, but he should have made more of the earlier chance he had, where he took the ball too wide. Obviously, a class player. He’s still young, and he’ll get much better. I am very impressed that, as the star player of the team and leading striker, he should get through the season without missing a game. Not only can he perform, he can do it without getting nobbled.

Macken: Has done absolutely nothing on the very rare occasions I have seen him. But then, that is probably all of ten minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him touch the ball. But, not since Malcolm Allison, have we paid £5 million (or its then equivalent) for total rubbish, so I’m prepared to wait.

Wanchope: I saw him a couple of times under Joe Royle. Big, but very raw. This season was obviously a write-off. I think I saw him once in the World Cup. He didn’t impress me then. Could he be a diamond in the rough?

Then we come to Robbie Fowler. And some Maine Road memories.

He reminds me, in too many ways, of Rodney Marsh when, after protracted negotiations, he finally arrived at City.

In Marsh’s case the off-and-on negotiations took place over 4 or 5 years! Despite being a Second Division star, nobody – apart from Malcolm Allison – wanted him – not even Joe Mercer! Joe thought he was way overpriced at £165,000! With Fowler, the process was somewhat quicker, but it doesn’t appear that there was anyone else in the running in his case either. The Marsh saga caused behind-the-scenes conflict. Marsh led to Mercer’s demotion (a move to general manager, with Allison becoming team manager) and Joe’s later departure. Fowler led to Bernstein’s and Bird’s departures. When Rodney Marsh first came on the pitch, to thunderous Maine Road applause, he was about a stone overweight, totally unfit, and pretty well useless. I don’t know how old he was, but he was certainly past his prime. When we bought him, we were 2 or 3 points ahead in the First Division (the real First Division, pre-Premier) with perhaps 5 games to play. We were playing magnificently, with a forward line of Mike Summerbee on the right, Francis Lee and Wyn Davis in the centre, and Neil Young on the left, and the great Colin Bell in midfield, together with Mike Doyle. We played exciting, attacking football then, with wingers who used the full width of the Maine Road pitch. The pitch was, I believe, the widest in the league, and we kept it as wide as we could, because a wide pitch suited our style of play. I hope the new ground has space for a wide pitch.

Marsh arrived. He was bought to “guarantee the title”. He replaced Wyn Davis, who was a traditional centre-forward, great in the air, very limited on the ground, but effective as anything (to my mind, a bit like Shaun Goater). Marsh’s arrival put the whole team out of rhythm. We promptly collapsed. We ended third or fourth or lower (I think, but I’m not sure, that what made it worse was that United won the title). He (Marsh) did get better in later seasons. He provided some nice touches, some nice goals, but he never really contributed to the team. I hope I’m wrong, but Fowler looks the same to me. He looks too fat, too unfit, and past his prime.

I date City’s decline from the first game Marsh played for City (maybe we could have come back, had not Colin Bell’s career been terminated). At least in Fowler’s case, we are not right at the top, so we don’t have as far to fall. And we don’t have a Malcolm Allison in the wings to really destroy the team, as he did after replacing Tony Book (a much better manager than he was ever given credit for: I never understood why he didn’t go on to manage other teams – what’s he doing now?).

Back to the present. Right now, I think we’re looking good. Despite some of the comments I’ve read, I thought City looked tremendously impressive against Liverpool. Yes, Liverpool did have some chances. But City looked very steady at the back, and they were, I thought, magnificent in midfield. SWP was magnificent, and Joey Barton was rock solid. They controlled the midfield – no mean feat for two young kids. The team’s passing was good. In fact, some of Liverpool’s passing made them look like the early-season City. The boys in red at times seemed to be passing to the boys in blue. I hope that was a reflection more of City’s new-found competence, rather than of Liverpool’s incompetence. Anelka finally scored – something he’s been conspicuously avoiding for a large part of the season, despite being in quite a few scoring positions (including one earlier on in the Liverpool game). Maybe City were a bit lucky, and Liverpool a bit unlucky. Maybe a draw would have been the fairest result. But it’s about time the luck went with us instead of against us. And SWP did score a good goal that, to my eyes, was just on-side. Just before half-time, if it had stood we might have won by more.

Sorry to ramble on so much. I’ve got thirty years of repressed feelings to get off my chest.

Some questions.

  1. What’s the story about Nicky Weaver? According to Joe Royle, he wasthe best ‘keeper out there – a future England goalie, a player worth £5 million or£10 million. If Joe was right, why are we looking to replace Schmeichel with a bigsigning? Why not just work on Weaver’s fitness?
  2. I never saw him play for City, but what about Kinkladze? He’s freeright now, he’s only 29. Does he not make sense?
  3. Are there any City fans in Toronto, Canada? If so, e-mail me. I sawthe City vs. Liverpool FA Cup game on pay-tv in a pub. I was the only Cityfan there within a sea of Liverpool fans (those who were not Liverpool fansappeared to be from the Stretford End). Next time it would be nice to havesome True Blue Mancunian company.

Daniel Stone (daniel.j.stone@sympatico.ca)

OPINION: END OF AN ERA

‘This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang, but a whimper’ Or so T.S. Eliot claims in the poem ‘The Hollow Men’. Well, that was how the era ended too – with a 1-0 defeat to Southampton.

As I have only been a City fan for a few years (since vs. Everton in 1993? 1-0 Carl Griffiths scoring) and have been somewhat sporadic in attendance for several of those years, due to location and family – (although for the last two seasons we’ve been to most home matches) – asked Andy (the reason why I and now our children are Blue) whether he was sad to be leaving Maine Road. His answer was that as he’d seen plenty of matches like the one today – not really! Though he did add that he’d been really sad when the Kippax had been replaced. Still, it was Adam’s 7th birthday – so we’d queued from 5.30am for our tickets. And it was an afternoon to remember (though not necessarily for the football!).

Our post-match ponderings (on the long trip back to South Yorkshire – a region which is basking in the glory of Doncaster Rovers’ having been promoted from the Conference league!) included what we need to strengthen our team and elevate our position next season. We also noted that against the top 6 teams we’d managed to score a very respectable 14 points, though against the now relegated West Ham we didn’t even manage a single goal – and that’s not down to David James’ spectacular ‘keeping – so KK please do not add him to your summer shopping list.

What we felt was lacking was a good right back and a good left midfielder, though once we have Tiatto fit, latter problem solved. It was interesting to see Ray Ranson included in the legends parade, as he is probably the last really decent right back we had! Obviously we also need another goalkeeper but as I’m biased in favour of Nash, I shan’t go on – except to say that I was somewhat disappointed when, on the lap of honour, he stopped removing articles of clothing to throw into the crowd!

Berkovic has been sorely missed when he’s not played this season, but another worry is our complete inability to deal with set pieces, either to defend against or to score from, with the odd exception – the derby match at the Swamp for example. Looking forward – if there’s any truth in the rumours that Royle would contemplate swapping Goater and A.N.Other (Dunne?) for Holland – that could be interesting, there will doubtless be other departures (Foe/Belmadi/Howey) and arrivals, but who, when and how much? Well we have to have something to keep us speculating ’til August!

Sarah Longshaw (sarah@longshaw.demon.co.uk)

OPINION: GOODBYE GOAT

Somehow I did not get that song out of my head since I read about the Goat’s plans to leave, so I thought I might share it:

You’ve been good to me,
You made me glad when I was blue.
And eternally I’ll always be
grateful to you!

And all I gotta do
is thank you, Goat,
thank you, Goat!

(and thank the Beatles for the song and the biggest part of the lyrics).

Come on, Doves, give us “Blue Moon” and another Goat song!

Petra Manker (Petra.Manker@t-online.de)

OPINION: UNDER 17S

The unbeaten Under 17s continued their remarkable season with a 3-2 win earlier today (Friday) with a great victory over Blackburn.

It will be Leeds or Arsenal in the Final with the match possibly being played at Maine Road.

(comstad@ntlworld.com)

OPINION: THANKS I

To the person who wrote “A Farewell to Maine Road” by Anon, you did an excellent job, it’s terrific, one for the Manchester City history books.

It was a pretty good season first one back in the Premier League, with wins we shall cherish versus United, Liverpool, and others.

The first thing to be done in the off season is have a new chairman, and whoever is elected, I for one will back him all the way! The directors have to settle any differences and prepare for the new season, after all they have done a very good job helping get City where they are today!

The Football Market has changed so much, it’s a dangerous game trying to play catch up with the top teams who have a head start, and with the money to spend. In the off season we might not see so many cheque books out. But we have an excellent manager in Kevin Keegan, and his coaching staff; nothing will surprise me at what KK might do in the transfer market.

So it’s end of a season, an end of an era at Maine Road. This season has only just ended and I can’t wait for next season to start, and the excitement of our new home at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Till then to everyone connected with City and all the fantastic supporters, have a nice summer off.

Thanks to Heidi and all the people who stood in for her, thanks to Don Barrie with all the updates of information, to Paul, Madeline, and any one else who contributed to give us news, humour, or just being a critic in “Mc V”.

Thank you all for helping the season be so much more enjoyable thank you all.

Cheers to the greatest! Ernie Barrow (britcityblue@aol.com)

OPINION: THANKS II

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to John Wilson who answered my distress call for tickets for the final game at Maine Road. I won’t embarrass all the mercenary people (who offered me tickets at prices ranging from £100 to over £300) with the actual price I was offered by John, but it was, to say the least, a wonderful offer and it’s nice to know that there are still some very decent people around.

The game in the end, was the usual anti-climax from MCFC, although we would have rattled 3 or 4 in had Paul Jones not have been in fine form.

A great send off for the Goat as KK gave him his rightful standing ovation (perhaps a little too early), but certainly the ‘right thing to do’. Hopefully the COM stadium will give us many more happy memories. Keep the faith.

Andrew Keller (andrew.keller@centrusonline.co.uk)

OPINION: THANKS III

Well we made it – picked up a couple of reasonably priced North Stand tickets from a MCVITA reader. I have sent him special thanks off list but I would also like to thank the people who make MCVITA ‘happen’ and to all of you that sent me offers, places to try and messages of encouragement – all of which were greatly appreciated.

All in all it was a very special day – the football didn’t really seem to matter and despite remaining stone cold sober I can’t actually remember a lot of the game. I thought the club were spot on with the pre and after match entertainment and we spent the hour after the Doves had finished playing, walking around the ground and revisiting each stand for one last time. We were even given a piece of the hallowed turf (by one of the stewards), which was laid in our back garden at half past ten on Sunday night – the neighbours must have thought we were mad.

Already looking forward to next season and hopefully Europe.

All the best, CTID, Eddie Mills (dedwards@rm.com)

OPINION: RIGHT TO REPLY, SOTON I

It is a little harsh to refer to me or my opinion as being arrogant. OK, granted I may have become embroiled in a tide of emotion when I made my comments but at the end of the day it is reprehensible for another professional club to suggest points deduction or heavy fines because of a ticket allocation. For them also to suggest that they will sue City if they were to lose the game is nonsense and demonstrates their motive is purely financial.

If we’re going to argue about poor ticket allocations then look at our nearest neighbours. They give less than 3,000 tickets out of a capacity of over 67,500, which is just over 4% of their capacity. We are giving Southampton just under 4% which is not much of a difference is it? Do they or any other club claim unfair advantage when they travel in their huge numbers to the Swamp? I think not. But this does highlight that the whole issue of away allocations in the Premier League is a joke.

Southampton are getting 1,300 tickets. Did they bring 1,300 on their last visit? That may not be the issue here but the decision to allocate less tickets was purely based on safety issues given the large number of fans expected to travel to Maine Road without tickets. There have already been reports of Southampton fans cashing in on the occasion by selling their tickets on Ebay.

I don’t dispute their right to cheer their team on – far from it – but in the spirit of the occasion surely City are doing the right thing both by putting our fans first and secondly minimising the security risk. The simple fact is that City are a far bigger club with a much wider base of support.

Perhaps you didn’t read my other excerpt in MCIVTA 913. I’m 28 and have been a Blue all my life, a season ticket holder since the age of 4. If you have been going longer than me then it is possibly only by virtue of the fact that you are older. It’s patronising to say the least that I am unaware of our recent history. Home and away I’m fully aware because I’ve been there. As for Southampton, they have flirted with relegation (at City’s expense in 1996) more often than not in recent years – fair play to them though they are there on merit – my remark about the Nationwide was more tongue in cheek than anything. A credit to the Premiership I’m not so sure though – we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one.

[And given that Soton apparently returned something like 300 of their allocation, their protestations are somewhat inconsistent – Ed]

Graham Keller (gkmcfc@ntlworld.com)

OPINION: RIGHT TO REPLY, SOTON II

I am replying to Andy Groome’s response to the article by Graham Keller. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I feel your portrayal of “blatant arrogance” is rather harsh.

I will give my reasons why I believe City have made the correct decision (yes I know rules are rules, but how many times have us City fans been the victims of other clubs’ decisions contravening rules before?).

  1. I went on the official Southampton website and questioned their allocationfor their last match at the frequently over-filled Dell – their answer,kindly provided by Mr Hiller, was 1,500 (10% of the then capacity of 15,000) -his comment was then “so we should officially get 3,400 tickets from City”.Clearly the man is not aware of the ‘official allocation’ when arguing City’sstance!
  2. Southampton fans have been selling their tickets on E-BAY with one pairover £500 – clearly this match matters to their fans so much, that they arehappier to fleece our fans than turn up to support their own team (see mypoint yet Andy?)
  3. Also, Southampton’s moan of possibly losing the game due to a reducedsupport is laughable. If they sell their allocation to their own fans (whichof course we all know they won’t), they will still have more support thanthey have had up North all season. Maybe they should forfeit all Northerngames as they apparently won’t win if they don’t have 3,000 there!

Hopefully this will make it easier for you to understand what the point was in Graham’s article.

Andrew (akcity@msn.com)

REQUEST: ESPAÑOL / BARÇA BLUES

I am going on a family holiday after the season ends to Spain. Whilst we are there Español and Barcelona are at home; no problems for Español but what is the best way to get Barça tickets? Anyone out there know?

Tony Morehead – Blues in bandit country (Admorehead@aol.com)

RESULTS

11 May 2003

Birmingham City       2 - 2  West Ham United       29,505
Bolton Wanderers      2 - 1  Middlesbrough         27,241
Charlton Athletic     0 - 1  Fulham                26,108
Chelsea               2 - 1  Liverpool             41,911
Everton               1 - 2  Manchester United     40,168
Leeds United          3 - 1  Aston Villa           40,205
Manchester City       0 - 1  Southampton           34,957
Sunderland            0 - 4  Arsenal               40,188
Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 4  Blackburn Rovers      36,036
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 2  Newcastle United      27,036

League table to 11 May 2003 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  38 16  2  1 42 12  9  6  4 32 22 25  8  5  74  34  40  83
 2 Arsenal         38 15  2  2 47 20  8  7  4 38 22 23  9  6  85  42  43  78
 3 Newcastle Utd   38 15  2  2 36 17  6  4  9 27 31 21  6 11  63  48  15  69
 4 Chelsea         38 12  5  2 41 15  7  5  7 27 23 19 10  9  68  38  30  67
 5 Liverpool       38  9  8  2 30 16  9  2  8 31 25 18 10 10  61  41  20  64
 6 Blackburn R.    38  9  7  3 24 15  7  5  7 28 28 16 12 10  52  43   9  60
 7 Everton         38 11  5  3 28 19  6  3 10 20 30 17  8 13  48  49  -1  59
 8 Southampton     38  9  8  2 25 16  4  5 10 18 30 13 13 12  43  46  -3  52
 9 Manchester City 38  9  2  8 28 26  6  4  9 19 28 15  6 17  47  54  -7  51
10 Tottenham H.    38  9  4  6 30 29  5  4 10 21 33 14  8 16  51  62 -11  50
11 Middlesbrough   38 10  7  2 36 21  3  3 13 12 23 13 10 15  48  44   4  49
12 Charlton Ath.   38  8  3  8 26 30  6  4  9 19 26 14  7 17  45  56 -11  49
13 Birmingham City 38  8  5  6 25 23  5  4 10 16 26 13  9 16  41  49  -8  48
14 Fulham          38 11  3  5 26 18  2  6 11 15 32 13  9 16  41  50  -9  48
15 Leeds United    38  7  3  9 25 26  7  2 10 33 31 14  5 19  58  57   1  47
16 Aston Villa     38 11  2  6 25 14  1  7 11 17 33 12  9 17  42  47  -5  45
17 Bolton Wndrs    38  7  8  4 27 24  3  6 10 14 27 10 14 14  41  51 -10  44
18 West Ham United 38  5  7  7 21 24  5  5  9 21 35 10 12 16  42  59 -17  42
19 West Brom A.    38  3  5 11 17 34  3  3 13 12 31  6  8 24  29  65 -36  26
20 Sunderland      38  3  2 14 11 31  1  5 13 10 34  4  7 27  21  65 -44  19

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.10]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses


Articles (Heidi Pickup) : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Don Barrie) : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul) : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton) : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[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

http://www.uit.no/mancity/ 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 http://www.mcfc.co.uk/

[4] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (http://www.mancity.net/osc/index.html); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.callnetuk.com/home/sef/) and “The International Supporters’ Club” (http://www.mcfc.co.uk/extra/fanzone/isc.asp)

[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, http://www.mcfc-fans.com/ 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 www.mcfc.co.uk/article.asp?article=111916&Title=Introduction&lid=New+Stadium

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

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found here: http://www.mcfc.co.uk/comment.asp. An alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at: http://uk.sports.yahoo.com/foot/audio/live/schedule/index.html.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/pl.html provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A good site for North American viewers is http://canadatvsoccer.tripod.com/Fixtures.htm.

[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: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,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 http://www.uit.no/mancity/players/

[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.


DISCLAIMER
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, heidi@mcivta.freeserve.co.uk

Newsletter #914

2003/05/12

Editor:


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