Newsletter #1016

We are thankfully approaching the final whistle of another typical City season in which frustration was the most common result. But hey, we were able to prove conclusively that it wasn’t just something in the water at Maine Road, so the season wasn’t a total waste. Before we all move towards the summer seeking therapy for those nervous tics, heart palpitations and other post-season maladies, what follows is a collection of opinion, advice, gripes and the odd ray of perennial optimism. Significantly, nobody is talking of defection. What a bunch of masochists we are. Not much news tonight, so we’ll start with the “Tell Us What You Really Think” contributions.


P.S. forgive imperfections, this is my first time.

Next game: Everton, home, 3pm Saturday 15 May 2004


Thank God that’s over.

It’s now time to think about next season.

I’ve struggled to think of any team that has under performed as badly as City did this season. Regardless of the excuses spouted by KK, we need to realise that we have been saved from relegation mainly by the fact that there were three teams even more inept than ours in the Premiership. Worryingly, despite finishing 9th, we would have gone down in the previous season if it had not been for the fact that we had away wins at the three teams relegated.

I’m worried already by KK’s declaration that we don’t need any more midfielders. Wake up Kev, it’s 2004 – apart from SWP we must have the least dynamic, most plodding midfield in the Premiership. So, who should be in City shirts next season?

Keegan – Get rid. A one trick pony with an alleged dislike for proper training and conditioning. Has spent a fortune but has nothing to show for it. Can no longer motivate. Has a longer list of excuses than Joe Royle. Loves buying has-beens. Would buy a car without looking at the engine, having a test drive or checking for rust. A mug.
David James – Keep him. England’s No 1.
Nicky Weaver – Get rid. Always injured. Unprofessional attitude.
Arni Arason – Keep.
Kevin Ellegaard – Keep. One for the future.
Daniel van Buyten – Get him in.
Gerard Wiekens – Get rid. Not Premiership standard.
Sylvain Distin – Keep but not as skipper.
Sun Jihai – Keep but as a wing back. Good going forward, rubbish going backwards.
Michael Tarnat – Get rid. Too old.
Richard Dunne – Keep.
Mikkel Bischoff – Get rid – permanently injured.
Claudio Reyna – Get rid – never 100% fit.
Antoine Sibierski – Keep – goals from midfield.
Paul Bosvelt – Get rid. Too old.
Danny Tiatto – Get rid. Not Premiership standard.
Joey Barton – Keep. But not as good as he thinks he is.
Christian Negouai – Get rid.
Steve McManaman – Get rid. Too old, injury prone. No desire.
Trevor Sinclair – Keep only if he can lose at least a stone in weight.
Shaun Wright-Phillips – Keep.
Robbie Fowler – Get rid. Injury prone. Never been or will be 100% fit.
Paulo Wanchope – Keep.
Jon Macken – Keep.
Matias Vuoso – Get rid. No desire.
Nicolas Anelka – Keep.

We have a decent nucleus of a team with a strongish spine – James, Dunne, Anelka. After that, only SWP is really worth his place – then it’s a case of choosing from the best of the rest. What we really need is a leader – none of the current players is captain material. I can’t see us getting much money in from selling the above players but if we do buy, we must buy younger players with ability, desire and ambition, who are healthy. Keegan’s stock is falling. He has amply demonstrated that buying players is not his strength, so he’s got to go.

Haydn <haydn.morris(at)>


In which Tom Poynton offers an analysis of how the players, manager and club performed this season. Plus few thoughts on the future.

The Squad:

David James – What a great piece of business by KK. I would have paid three times what we paid the Hammers for him. Immaculate.

Nicky Weaver – I love Nicky and felt he had/has the potential to be one of the best around, but has to get fit ASAP.

Arni Gautur Arason – Not sure whether KK will keep him, and I suppose he’ll always be remembered for his saves at White Hart Lane. Keep him on.

Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard – While he does look nervous at times (you would with our defence on front of you), I’ve liked what I’ve seen of him (albeit not a lot). Played with a lot of assurance at Everton when replacing Seaman.

Kasper Schmeichel – Have not seen him, but if he’s half as good as his dad we’ve got something special. One for the future.

Willo Flood – Being in Bristol I don’t get to keep up with the youth side, but I’ve heard he’s good. One for the future.

Daniel van Buyten – No need to say that much. If we can keep him, it’ll be the best signing KK’s made along with James.

Sylvain Distin – Frustrating. You can see there is a quality defender there. First half at Spurs recently (1-1) he was superb, come second half he reverted to the same old Distin that gives you the willies every time he got near the ball. I think James should be captain, but I wonder what that would do to Distin’s confidence.

Sun Jihai – Generally OK, but some real howlers along the way. I like him when he and SWP get going along the flank.

Richard Dunne – The Dunney Monster – awesome against Newcastle, but that was because there was no pace in their attack. Very suspect against pace (“there’s only one” Ronaldo gave him hell in the 4-1). Needs a good season next year.

Mikkel Bischoff – Would like to see a bit more of him, though does seem to be a bit lightweight.

Patrick McCarthy – Have heard good things about him. One for the future.

Glenn Whelan – I think we need to reduce the average age of the squad next season, and good things have been said about this lad, along with Jordan and Elliott. Time for KK to place some trust in youth for once, and not go for aging pro’s.

Claudio Reyna – Not as creative as he could be but a good player to have. Would like to see him score some more goals.

Antoine Sibierski – Not sure whether he’d be better up front with Nic. Very good in the air, but passing is a bit askew, and needs to get used to the more physical aspects of the Premiership. Hopefully could be really good next season.

Michael Tarnat – I suppose his status is uncertain for next season, but I’ve generally been quite happy with him. When his crossing’s good, there’s not many better around, but there just hasn’t been enough of it (the same could go for just about everyone in the squad!). I’d like to see him here next season, but would understand if KK chose to release him.

Danny Tiatto – Bye bye Dan, we’ve enjoyed your stay, but getting sent off at Middlesbrough in the reserves, in a season plagued by injury pretty much sums him up.

Steve McManaman – I really, really wanted this to work out, but I think in my heart I really knew it wouldn’t. Performances like the one at Spurs (where he ran the game) were very few and far between. Let him go (if anyone will have him) and reduce the wage bill.

Joey Barton – Probably hasn’t quite come on as far as I thought he would this season, but plenty to be positive about. We need to build a midfield around someone like him, and if it is Barton, we’ll save a lot of money. If he’s got any sense he’ll stay at City too.

Paul Bosvelt – I like this guy. He plays in a very quiet, unassuming way, always mopping up or playing a sensible ball out of defence (if only Distin could do the same); just a shame he’s 34. I think we can get one more year out of him.

Trevor Sinclair – Poor season, albeit unlucky in that that his best position is inhabited by Sweep, so he’s had to fill a number of positions on the pitch and has never convinced in any of them really. Again, I’d like to see him just run at defences, and try and cause some havoc instead of going down the Macca route of continually cutting inside and losing the ball.

Christian Negouai – Oh, are you still here?

Stephen Jordan – see Glenn Whelan.

Robbie Fowler – Bar an excellent period from January to March he just hasn’t done it, and I’m not surprised KK hasn’t played him recently. On more season of this and he can go.

Paulo Wanchope – I genuinely like the guy, he plays with real heart, but I just can’t see him turning into a 20-goals-a-season man, which we really need.

Jonathan Macken – I think a lot of the uncertainty surrounding Macken is that price tag. When people hear the name Macken, they immediately think “£5 million”. A very good player to have around I think, holds the ball up very well, and will get goals I’m sure of it.

Matias Vuoso – If KK doesn’t want him, he should sell him, if he does want him, just give him a go! I’m just curious to see what we paid £3.5 million for, and if he’s quality, it would mean we wouldn’t need to buy another striker. Nothing to lose in playing him is there?

Shaun Wright-Phillips – Nothing really needs to be said about this kid. Gets better every season. Pay him £100,000 a week if it keeps him here.

Nicolas Anelka – I understand fans’ frustrations with Nic, but until he says he wants to leave, I’ll be behind him. I’ve been angry and p***ed off with this season, but his record is indisputably superb. Take him out and you’ve got a scarily ineffective strike force at the club. If we were to sell him, KK would have to have another 25-goal man lined up to immediately replace him otherwise we’re b****red. Could have scored double his return this season, and needs to improve aspects of his game such as one-on-ones. I think Nic would thrive with more young, pacy players around him on the flanks and in the middle. Plus those who say we should have kept Goater and sold Anelka are deluded.

Kevin Keegan – I don’t think he’ll walk, and I’m (pretty) sure the board won’t fire him, so I guess he’ll be here for next season, and I for one am glad of that. We desperately need to get out of this habit of getting a new manager every 2-3 years; I’m fed up with it and we need stability at City more than anything else. One thing Keegan needs to sort out is to work out what midfield he wants to play, as he seems not to know what middle 2 (or 3) he wants to put out each week. One game it’s Bosvelt/Sibierski, then it’s Barton/Reyna, and then any other combination of those four. I’d like to see the same midfield out there very game. I was getting very worried when we lost the midfield from kick off against Wolves of all teams.

The stadium: Still stuns me every time I go. The atmosphere against Newcastle was phenomenal; if it could be something like that most weeks, CoMS could be a place that visiting teams might actually come to fear. I’m glad the first season at CoMS is over, as first seasons at new stadiums can often be awful. I defy even Arsenal to find moving in to a new stadium difficult.


A desperately disappointing season but one that started so well, with goals aplenty coming from all areas of the pitch. Then it all went wrong, and I’m still a bit unsure of exactly what happened in November, but something clearly went very awry. I personally had 2 targets when Keegan joined: the first to get promoted to finish the last ever season at Maine Road in the Premiership, and to finish the first season at the new stadium also in the Premiership. To be in the First Division at Eastlands would have been a disaster, so at least those targets have been achieved.

There seems to be an attitude amongst sections of fans that because of the decades of under-achievement, what we have been doing on the pitch (and off) is almost accepted as the norm, even though we of course still bitch and moan about it. What I think would really push this club forward would to be in all areas, on and off the pitch, from playing staff to fans, is to start thinking and acting like a top six club. Easier said than done of course, but if you really stop and think about it, it absolutely criminal that Manchester City are not a top six club every single season. I don’t care what anyone says either, we are a huge club, with a fan base and facilities that most other clubs can only dream of, and we need to stop accepting this season-after-season mediocrity that is served up for us, as the most we should be grateful for.

Insanely, I’m actually quite looking forward to next season, and am actually pretty optimistic that the foundations are in place for something really special to start happening in the next few seasons, provided we can keep certain players, get rid of certain others, and maintain some semblance of stability for the first time in what seems like eons.

City ’til I Die, Tom Poynton <Tom.Poynton(at)>


So we journeyed up to happy clappy land, known locally as the Riverside. What a flock of sheep. What is our game coming to when supporters are dictated to how to celebrate a goal? And to make it worse I heard it again today watching Ipswich on the TV. Argggggghhhhhh!

Any half decent team would have scored six or seven against us in the first half hour. We were lucky to get one back, unlucky to have one disallowed but then when the smoke cleared and we got on top, could we score? They couldn’t have scored at the Ritz on a Friday night. It was good to see some passion from Macken and young Elliott (even if he had no brakes). Anelka tackled back once all game and was more static than a bus shelter on Cheetham Hill Road. We need players who want to play and who look like the sky blue shirt means something to them. Even when we lose, if we go down fighting it means something to us loyal supporters.

Joey Barton if you read this thank you. You alone bothered to come to the loyal fans and acknowledge we exist. We also note who doesn’t bother or thinks that a clap and nod from the half way line is effort enough. I was chatting to a lovely young woman before the game. She had travelled from south of Birmingham via Manchester to Middlesbrough to watch our heroes. She put more effort into getting there than the effort shown by some of our team in the first half. Sorry I didn’t get your name, but if you drop me a line, I will get the teas in next Saturday.

The table doesn’t lie. KK has survived on the strength of a good showing last season and the unexpected trip into Europe. Three teams below us, relegated, and we didn’t beat one of them in the league. We haven’t done a double (ok Bolton) or won 2 games back to back in the league. Lucky to survive? You bet we are. Fingers out for next year please. Let’s hope 30,000 plus who have already invested can’t be wrong.

See you all Saturday.

Note: To claim her tea, the lovely young woman can contact Mick at <Koolfurmick(at)>. McVittee accepts no responsibility if he offers to take you to the Ritz on the Cheetham Hill Road bus: Ed.

CTID, MickB <Koolfurmick(at)>


Norilsk Nickel owner Vladimir Potanin has run into trouble with the Russian prosecutor general’s office and has either fled the country, is on a business trip or under arrest. Potanin’s bottomless wallet has been mentioned as our Roman-like saviour.

The business consultancy group Control Risks believes that the rumours regarding Potanin are likely to unfounded but there are widespread fears that the Russian government is about to crack down on more of its mega-rich citizens – especially those suspected of financing political opposition parties.

The prosecutor’s office has denied that it has questioned the businessman and is insisting there are no criminal investigations currently underway against Potanin.

Edited version of contribution from <Neil_Adshead(at)>


Middlesbrough FC 1 – City 0

This game was really an U17 fixture and a non-event for both teams, except to impress on-looking directors and coaching staff, so it was hardly surprising that the game was not very exciting. Anything other than a 0-0 score would have flattered either team, which it did when Middlesbrough scored the only goal of the match on sixty-two minutes from Adam Johnson.

The game was played at Rockliffe Park, Middlesbrough’s Academy and first team training ground, and was described in the Middlesbrough first team programme as a ‘behind closed doors fixture‘; obviously this was to try to stop more people turning up to watch as the facility is only really suitable for around 100 spectators.

The game being an unofficial U17 fixture meant that six players made their débuts at a reserve game level. The quality of City’s side failed to pay, even though they created a few half chances and Nathan D’Laryea had his goal disallowed when the referee ruled that Ishmael Miller had impeded the goalkeeper in the approach play.

Ashley Timms was hardly bothered by Middlesbrough’s attack for most of the ninety minutes and so it was a real sucker punch that one of Middlesbrough’s two shots on target all match resulted in the winning goal.

So with this defeat, we have to wait to see if Newcastle fail to win their last game of the season against Sunderland, for us to stay in fourth place in the league. It is now vital for City’s Academy and reserve sides that they win the final game of the season, as it is against Manchester United in the Senior Cup final at Old Trafford on Tuesday at 7:30pm. This may help them salvage some pride from yet another disappointing season.

Middlesbrough: Roberts, Clough, Masters (Langthorne 75), Kennedy, Burgess, Hines, Stoker, Peacock (capt) (Grounds 64), Owens, Reed, Johnson.
Not Used: Pennock

City: Timms, Warrender, Williamson, N D’Laryea (capt), Grant, Laird, Etuhu, Williams (S Logan 75), Miller, Grimes (Bennett 58), C Logan.
Not Used: McGinlay, Wallwork.

Att: 53.

Gavin Cooper <blueboy(at)>


As on of those who lives a long way from Manchester I really look forward to reading the summaries and ratings from the reserve games. I wonder if those who go might like to tell those of us who don’t what they think of allowing Whelan to go to Sheffield Wednesday for nothing (is there a sell-on clause?) and which of the younger players do they think will make it in senior football – not necessarily with Keegan since he appears to have an aversion to giving the younger players an extended run or indeed any run at all.

Ian Burgess <i.burgess(at)>


With one game to go, Anelka was top City’s top goal scorer with 15 goals in the Premier League. Was this so great? Given our ranking for shots on goal (fourth), how many did he miss? Anelka’s agents are his brothers and I would not be surprised if they are plotting his departure. He has looked half hearted or lazy this season and I think we will do better next season without him. City need strikers to be part of a team effort.

Ernie <Britcityblue(at)>


After reading the latest issue (MCIVTA 1015), I would just like to pass comment on a couple of points:

Shaun Goater – What a legend. When he says that he is just a City fan now, it says it all. Despite the initial bedding in period, when things weren’t going well for the Goat, his playing record speaks for itself. The Club must find a way to bring the Goat back to COMS, possibly in a coaching capacity. He might not have the same natural ability as some of our “superstars” but he can show what a difference a bit of desire can do for a player. I’d rather see somebody who loves the club rather than somebody who is more interested in lining his own pocket.

The atmosphere – It was suggested that moving all the singers together would improve the atmosphere. An easier solution would be to use microphones in noisy areas, to play through the P.A. system and to generate more noise in the stadium. If this doesn’t wake some people from their slumber, nothing will. It has got to be worth a try.

David Peers <peersd(at)>


I have read with interest the speculation that Danny T will be leaving City at the end of this season. Although this is a very biased opinion, I feel Danny T still has a lot to offer City and the Premier League.

From what I can recall, he was injured for a good part of the year and not really given a chance in the current squad. He is the type of player who will play with passion and heart and he has the ability to spur the team on when we are lacking confidence and turn the team around.

I feel Danny would be snapped up by another Premier League team and like so many other players we have let go, he will punish us when we meet them. An example of a similar Aussie player is Stan Lazaridis. Stan was released by West Ham to Birmingham a few seasons ago and currently he is one of their better players.

Let’s not make the same mistake with Danny. Let’s hope for a better 2004/2005.

CTID, Roy Hunter <mcfc0321(at)>


I’m a Perth lad and became hooked on City in the late 60’s at around 6 years old, thanks to my grandad. He would give me the football coins he got free with Esso petrol and as fate would have it the first ones were City. Then around the pre-season of ’70/’71 City played my home team St. Johnstone at Muirton Park, Perth. City won 1-0, Rodney scoring with a diving header, I think. This was followed by my first ever team strip from a small shop in Perth: the red and black away kit for my birthday for the princely sum of £3.50. Over the years I would watch for results and when I was old enough would travel to any games they had in Scotland pre-season. Until about 10 years ago I didn’t know of any other Blues in my area, it was all Liverpool and Rags fans. Now I know of dozens along with a few of my mates who never had “an English team” but have been to Maine Road with me and are well and truly hooked. I travel down as often as I can and have a few good friends in Manchester. It’s true what they say about City: if you see them once, you’re addicted and forever Blue.

Addiction eh? Maybe there was something in the water at Maine Road: Ed.



The Dublin OSC Branch are over for the weekend of the Everton game. On the Sunday morning they’ll be playing a game against my Wednesday night kick-about team known as AKA48 (’48 being when a few of the players were born – honest!). The game will be at Old Bedians’ ground at Millgate Lane (very end of Parrs Wood Road), East Didsbury, K.O. 11.45-ish. If you want to come down and enjoy the game or the craic after, the bar will be open. We’ve played them over in Dublin a few times and even attended last year’s annual bash (along with Heidi). It will be nice to reciprocate.

Dave Miller – 07798580271 <dave(at)>


I’m after 1 or 2 tickets for the Everton game for a couple of friends. If there is anybody out there with a spare ticket or 2 would you please contact me on 0161 281 7517 or email me.

Thanking you in anticipation, Alex Channon <channons(at)>


I am trying to contact Sara Billington. If you read this Sara or if anyone could pass this along to her it would be most appreciated. I am Bob from Canada via Timperley.

Thanks and keep the faith.

Bob Simnor <bobs5455(at)>


Does anyone know how to compose a Blue Moon ring tone for a Panasonic GD87?

Or any Blue Moon polyphonic tone? Or where to download?

CTID, Mark <leaguecup1976(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0304.07]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Chris Cobb) :
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] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at, whilst an alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at

[7] 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. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and also provides a guide to pubs in the USA showing football.

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

At the start of the 03/04 season it was actually a mix of two tracks: Starting with “O Verona” (from the film “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”) leading in to “Barber’s Adagio for Strings (Ferry Corsten remix)” by William Orbit. The first part is available on the movie soundtrack (volume 2) and the second is included on a variety of CDs such as Kiss House Nation 2000, Galaxy Hit Mix, Cream Live, Ibiza Chill and Dance Nation 4.

Currently we use a selection of different music, which seems to change each game.

[9] 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

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

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

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the OFEX web site (registration required) or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try

[13] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb, Roger Haigh, Martin Price, and Adrian Howarth 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]Chris Cobb,

Newsletter #1016