Newsletter #1023

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The main news this week is Elliott’s departure to Sunderland, which has understandably sparked some debate. Little other news on the transfer front other than Flowers joining us as GK coach.

CoMS played host to the England-Japan match this week (England-Iceland to follow on Saturday) and all credit to City for managing this far better than numerous other grounds we’ve attended international matches at. Fans of other clubs were heaping praise on the set up. Shame the football didn’t quite match the venue’s standards.

Next game: Bury, away, 7.30pm Wednesday 21 July 2004 (friendly)

NEWS REVIEW

General News

Flowers to Bloom at City: City have moved swiftly to replace Peter Bonetti, the goalkeeping coach who left the club last week. In his stead they have appointed another former England goalkeeper, Tim Flowers, who joins the club from Leicester City. Flowers is well known to KK – the 37-year-old had a loan spell as cover for Peter Schmeichel in the autumn of 2002 without making a first-team appearance. “It’s great to be returning to Manchester City and I’m really looking forward to getting started on a new challenge,” said the ex-Blackburn and Southampton stopper. “In David James, we have England’s number one and there is some real good young talent coming through the ranks, so this is a great place in which I can test myself. I was here for a spell a couple of seasons ago as cover for Peter Schmeichel and I had a great time. There is a real nice bunch of lads, the training facilities and new stadium are superb. The fans are a great inspiration. So it’s a really exciting time to be here and I’m looking forward to the start of pre-season training.” Flowers admits, though, that leaving the Walkers Stadium was something of a wrench. “I had a great time at Leicester and I’m sad to be leaving,” he added. “But the time had come for a fresh challenge and I’m delighted it’s with Manchester City.” Leicester manager Micky Adams said: “We are disappointed to lose Tim because he has been an excellent servant to the club both as a player and as a goalkeeping coach. But we wish him all the best for the future.”

Fair Play To… The MCV punter who asked recently whether City were in the running for another UEFA Cup place via the Fair Play League; the answer is – we’re not, so there’ll be no off-putting games for the lads in far-flung fields of Europe next season. Charlton Athletic are to be England’s representatives in the (to my eyes at least) incomprehensible system devised by the European football’s authorities, aimed at rewarding fair play.

The Management Trainee: Kevin Keegan thinks that Stuart Pearce will make a great manager, and may one day succeed him in the City boss’s chair. “Stuart is still on a six month rolling contract. That’s because it is right for us and it is right for him,” mused KK. “Stuart is very, very important here as he does a good job. He has the respect of everyone, the staff and the players. But we always have to be fair with Stuart as he lives in Berkshire with his wife and family. If a job came up where he would be the number one and he wants to do it then why should we stand in his way. We have always had that agreement with him. He has been here two years now and he has certainly benefited from those two years. That will show wherever he goes and whenever he goes. He may be here in ten years’ time, God willing. He may even be a future manager of this club. He has got that potential, there is no doubt about that. All those things come into play but as far as his immediate future is concerned we are leaving things they way they are. That is what we offered him and that is what he accepted. It suits us both to work that way. Stuart has many strengths working on a one to one basis or in groups. As we have given him more responsibility he has responded to it well,” added the boss. “His coaching is good and he obviously has the respect of the players as they know he has been there and done it and that is a major, major advantage. He and Faz work really well together and they are both defenders, which I believe is a good balance with myself. Maybe it has not really been reflected in the results but it sounds as it should work and next year it will work better.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Family Silver Sold: Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Stephen Elliott has joined Sunderland on a three-year-contract. The 20-year-old said he was looking forward to joining up with former Ireland boss Mick McCarthy at the Stadium of Light. Elliott’s contract at City had been about to run out. “I had various options but when I heard about Sunderland’s interest, I was thrilled,” said Elliott. Elliott made his Premiership début for City at Bolton in February, and was given a grand total of 17 minutes to prove his worth to KK, although Elliott ended the season with 11 goals in 15 games for City reserves.

Blackburn Bitin’for van Buyten? And just to keep up the cheery aspect of this section – Blackburn have entered the race to sign Daniel van Buyten. The Belgian impressed during his loan spell at City from Marseille, but Kevin Keegan has admitted the club can’t afford him. Van Buyten’s agent Christophe Henrotay said: “I have been told by people from Marseille that Blackburn have talked to them about Daniel. The question is whether they will pay the £4 million it will cost to buy him.” Henrotay added: “I know the Blackburn chairman has spoken to Marseille, but I’ve still to hear anything from him.” Hamburg have also expressed an interest in van Buyten, though Henrotay has insisted the defender is unlikely to move to the club. “There is nothing between Daniel and Hamburg. We had a couple of chats with them after they signed Emile Mpenza and they are looking for a defender,” said the agent. “Apart from Bayern Munich, German clubs are not used to paying a lot of money for players, it’s certainly not common for them to pay £3 million for a defender.” Meanwhile, Michael Reiziger has declared that a move to the Premiership appeals greatly, so the M.E.N. reckons that KK should be getting the Dutch international. We shall see. One deal that has cooled in the past week is the likelihood of Young Player of the Season Joey Barton heading for Liverpool. The Anfield club’s interest may have ended with the departure of boss Gerard Houllier.

Swap Shop? The M62 between Leeds and Manchester may yet be busy this summer. Last week’s loan target, Dominic Matteo, has expressed a desire to stay in the North of England should he leave Leeds. This would seem to scupper the interest of Southampton and Fulham. The latter club were favourites to sign the Scottish international, either for £1 million or a player plus cash deal involving Derek Hales, depending on which newspaper you believe. Matteo’s Leeds colleague Danny Mills will be going nowhere, unless the England right back lowers his wage demands. The Leeds United defender, who spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, has been targeted by KK as well as Boro and Newcastle. But despite Leeds being willing to let him leave on a free transfer, Mills is still in limbo with clubs seemingly unwilling to match his £40,000 per week wages. Danny Tiatto could be on his way to the White Rose outfit, after it seemed that West Bromwich Albion were favourites to land the Aussie wing-back. Now it’s being reported that new Leeds United manager Kevin Blackwell is ready to snap up Tiatto on a free transfer.

No Oatcakes for Gerard: According to Stoke’s Evening Sentinel, Stoke City boss Tony Pulis is shying away from any move for City’s outgoing defender Gerard Wiekens. The Dutchman’s agent has been in contact with Stoke as the 31-year-old seeks to extend his stay in England after seven years in Manchester. Stoke are not keen because “Pulis admires his pedigree, in both defence and midfield, but is deterred by an injury record that prevented Wiekens appearing in any of the Manchester City reserve games watched by the Stoke boss last season”, apparently. I can only think of possible splinter damage to his glutimous maximus from prolonged sessions on the substitutes’ bench, but I’m sure Mr. Pulis knows best.

Ex-Blues’ News

Wind Up Merchant: Bermuda’s Royal Gazette quotes Shaun Goater, who wants to get City’s pre-season friendly with Reading shown on Bermudian TV. “I am trying to use my connections while I am here to try and get the game put on television in Bermuda. It would be good for the City fans on the Island to see this warm-up game and it should be a good match, coming so close to the beginning of the season for both clubs. I think it is something that is possible and even if it doesn’t make it on to the screens, it certainly won’t be for the lack of trying. Division One clubs always want to play a Premiership side just before the season starts. Manchester City are a big team with big names and should attract people to come out and see them. We can also gauge ourselves against good opposition – it will also be nice to see a few old faces and wind them up a bit.” The Goat is currently back home for a World Cup qualifier against El Salvador, as well as to run his Grassroots Soccer Festival. Big Shaun’s City reunion takes place on Monday August 2, kick off 8p.m.

The Wild Rover: Goater’s former strike partner, Paul Dickov, has rejected a new contract offer at relegated Leicester and is set to join Blackburn. Leicester manager Mickey Adams said on Tuesday that Dickov turned down a “significantly increased new contract” and decided to move to Rovers to stay in the Premier League. “We’ve done everything possible to persuade Paul to stay with us,” Adams said. “He telephoned me last night to say that he would be moving to Blackburn. Everyone at the club is very disappointed but Paul has done a marvellous job for us here and we wish him all the best for the future.” Blackburn said the deal had not yet been finalized.

Coach Uwe: We previewed this a few weeks ago, but former City favourite Uwe Rösler has been officially unveiled as the new head coach of Norwegian side Lillestrøm. Rösler, who spent last year recovering from cancer, is unlikely to play football again but will continue his career in a coaching capacity. The 35-year-old striker, who also had spells with Southampton and West Brom, will be assisted by former Oldham favourite Gunnar Halle. A Lillestrøm statement said: “Uwe Rösler will take charge of the first team next season.” Rösler replaces departing coach Arne Erlandsen, who has been told he is surplus to requirements in the new managerial shake-up. Another former player who plied his trade in England, Jan Age Fjortoft, will manage the club. Rösler established himself as a cult hero during four years at Maine Road. He scored 65 goals in 179 appearances between March 1994 and May 1998 before moving back to Germany for a spell at Kaiserlautern.

International Blues’ News

FA Summer Tournament: International football graced the COMS for the first time this week, as England, Japan and Iceland contested the FA Summer Tournament. The event has been organised to assist England’s preparation for Euro 2004, and kicked off last weekend with Japan beating 10-man Iceland 3-2 in an entertaining opening match at a sparsely-populated Stadium. Two excellent first-half goals from Tatsuhiko Kubo were the highlights of the game as Japan raced into a 2-1 interval lead after a fluke Heidar Helguson goal gave Iceland an early advantage in the three-team tournament also involving England. Helguson equalised for the Scandinavians early in the second period but then Japan’s Brazilian winger Alex Santos scored the winner from a harshly-awarded penalty. Iceland’s Brynjar Gunnarsson was sent off in the 84th minute after a two-footed tackle on substitute Yasuhito Endo in what had otherwise been a game played in a friendly spirit. On Tuesday evening, England (with David James in goal) and Japan drew 1-1. The hosts were pegged back by Japan, having taken a first-half lead through Michael Owen’s opportunist strike. Shinji Ono rounded off a well-constructed team goal to bring Zico’s men back in the match. Owen registered his 25th goal for England midway through the first half after Japan goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki failed to hold Steven Gerrard’s long range drive. The tournament ends on Saturday afternoon when England face Iceland.

Calamity No More: To no one’s great surprise, David James has been named as England’s no.1 in Sven Goran Erikson’s squad for the main event in Portugal. England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence has praised James, saying that the nickname he earnt at Liverpool is now firmly in the past. “That ‘Calamity’ tag should be consigned to history,” said Clemence. “Yes he did make some poor errors at Liverpool, which he would be the first to admit were poor mistakes. That name has stuck with him and I think it is a little harsh because he has proved since then that he does have a standing in the game now. He has got such an immense presence. He stands there and you think ‘how the hell am I going to beat him?’ If I was in the opposition I would be thinking that it is going to take something special to be able to beat him and that’s what they will need.” James claims that England have all the credentials to go a long way in the tournament. “The intention is to go and win it. We have the talent within the team, and when I say team I mean coaching staff and backroom staff as well as the players; we have come to expect it of ourselves to go a long way. Providing every one is going in the right direction and maximises their performances and capabilities then we have a good chance.”

Send for Bos: Paul Bosvelt is determined to make the most of an unexpected trip to Portugal by helping Holland push for European Championship glory. The City midfielder has won a surprise 11th hour call up to Dick Advocaat’s squad after Mark van Bommel damaged his Achilles tendon. And 34-year-old Bosvelt intends to take his chance after announcing his retirement from international football after Euro 2004. Bosvelt said: “This will be my last tournament with the national team and I am aiming to finish on a high. Holland is one of the teams that is expected to do well in major tournaments and at the moment the team is doing okay. It should be a great championship and I am really looking forward to it, whether I am playing or watching it from the sidelines. It is a tough call as to who will win it but France will be the ones to stop.” The Netherlands team departed on Monday for a warm-up match against Faroe Islands on Wednesday in Switzerland. They also play Ireland on Saturday in Amsterdam ahead of the tournament.

Ton Up: Away from Europe – Claudio Reyna made his 100th international appearance for the United States in Wednesday’s 4-0 friendly win against Honduras. Reyna made his début for the U.S. in 1994 when he came on as a substitute against Norway. The 34-year-old midfielder has played in three World Cups and helped the U.S. reach the quarter-finals in 2002. “I think any time you get 100 caps it’s a marvellous feat,” U.S. coach Bruce Arena told reporters. “That’s a great accomplishment, especially for a player who has played overseas his entire career.”

Squad News

Give Youth a Chance: The Evening News reckons that the restrictions on KK’s summer transfer kitty could provide some of City’s youngsters with a chance to impress the Boss Man. The newspaper cites Stephen Jordan, Paddy McCarthy, Lee Croft and Mikkel Bischoff, as the likely lads (though not Stephen Elliott apparently). Paddy McCarthy can’t wait to be given a chance: “To see the way Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips have come through also gives you encouragement. It shows that if you keep going on the right lines, you have always got that bit of a chance. I’m really itching for my chance. I just want to get out there and have a shot at it. Hopefully I will get it, but I think that because I have come to a little bit of a standstill, I’m just waiting to make that next step. The only way I’m going to do that is if I keep improving on the training pitch and when I am playing in the reserves. You just have to keep believing in your own ability and not let obstacles stand in your way.”

Don Barrie <news(at)mcivta.city-fan.org>

OPINION: END OF SEASON AWARDS

Manchester City Self-Mortification Club Annual Awards

Yes, folks, it’s that time of year again, when we wish we could roll back the clock on some momentous howlers, and restore what passes for dignity round here to our woe-begone club. There were so many contenders for major honours, from Sylvain Distin, whose distinguished immobility impressed even the guy who sets up the goal-posts, through Steve McManaman, toppled more often than the skittles in my local bowling alley, to Trevor Sinclair, who will surely find greatness as the founder of Footballers Anonymous. But these performances pale into insignificance when compared to the majestic non-achievements of the winners below.

1. The Alan Ball Award for Longest Past Sell-by Date, Lunatic Transfer Fee and Most Outlandish Wages

A veritable cornucopia of rusted-up, seized-up (but definitely not hard up) players comes to mind. With so much footballing dross to choose from the result, inevitably, had to be a tie. Our joint winners are:

An ancient, butter-fingered, pony-tailed goalkeeper, pensioned off by a Frenchman down south, who finally proved his entitlement to a white stick and Zimmer frame with City, but only after costing the club at least 6 points (not to mention a small fortune) – step forward (but mind the kerb) – the one and only (thank God) – David Seaman!

And!

A flabby, snail-paced former (very former) striker (stop laughing at the back) whose reactions in front of goal make a Galapagos turtle look like a greyhound with a dodgy bladder heading for the nearest tree. Yes, it’s you, Robbie Fowler, and if Leeds stop paying City to keep you, please, can we send you back?

2. The Arctic Circle Nude Synchronised Swimming Team Award for The Most Chillingly Inept Performance:

Step forward the whole first team, beaten by the Polish equivalent of the Stowe-in-the-Wold Cream Tea Society’s Second Reserves, in Groclin. Despite a performance as abysmal as Robbie Williams’ pathetic attempts to be Frank Sinatra, you, the Team, gained lifelong distinction, in this judge’s eyes, by having the sheer brass neck to come home.

3. The Michelle Smith/de Bruin “Belly-flop-in-the-Penalty-Area” Con-Artist of the Year Special Guest Award

Neville Neville Jr could have been a contender for his diving display in the derby game, including a triple somersault with 180 degree turn and half pike, but spoiled his chances by getting caught and then throwing a tantrum that my 3-year old niece would have been proud of. Thus the award goes to a seasoned swindler – the inimitable Alan Smith. His long jump with belly splash at Elland Road was unorthodox but highly effective, to the extent that the referee removed one of our players to make more room for his cavortings. Alan can’t be with us this evening, so he’s asked his long-time idol Bozo the Clown to deputise and do a few tumbles for us. A big hand for Alan, sorry, Bozo. Dammit, I can’t tell the difference. I’m sure I speak for us all when I say that I’m so glad to see Alan’s team is on the first leg of its journey back where it belongs – the Yorkshire Charlatans Confined Sunday League. Pity their bleached-hair, slack-jawed, incoherent, lyin’, cheatin’ scoundrel won’t be with them.

And finally, to the major award of the year. Our leading contender had nothing remotely like competition within the club, so we had to look outside for other challengers in order to maintain the standard of the award. Luckily, there is still a Scottish Third Division.

4. The Foot-in-Mouth, Nice-but-dim, “Nobody-likes-to-beat-him-but-we-all-do”, Non-manager of the Year Award:

Yes, you guessed it; it’s our Kev. Luckily our Kev is not a manager, or he would have missed out on even this award. But the inevitable triumph of Kev’s optimism over experience, his characteristic blind faith in our over-priced geriatrics, and his marginal involvement with the winners and nominees for our earlier awards – these priceless qualities enabled our Kev to come through in a very close contest. The other leading contender was the anonymous non-manager of East Stirling (it’s in Scotland), who almost pipped our Kev for this highly sought-after award. With only 5 points in the bag and only one match to go, our unknown hero looked certain to beat the Scottish all-time low league tally of 6 points. But, just like our Kev, he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, by winning the last match of the season, and finishing with the princely total of 8 points. Still, it’s nice to know that when our Kev departs this summer, we have a ready-made replacement at hand, fully capable of under-achieving in the finest tradition of Manchester City Football Club.

That’s all for another year, folks. We look forward to next Autumn, when another season of unlimited cock-ups and conspiracies, catastrophes and calamities (sorry, David), mishaps and misfortunes will take their pre-destined place in the long history of our club, within whose precincts only the most incurable of optimists, the lame of brain and the thick of skin dare to set foot.

I suppose, if the truth be told, we would not have it any other way. Roll on next season!

CTID, Tony O’Leary <aoleary(at)bordgais.ie>

OPINION: THE ELLIOTT SAGA I

Just read about Stephen Elliott leaving City for Sunderland. I’m very disappointed, would a loan spell not have worked out better for City? Seems Keegan’s going to stick with expensive injury-prone has-beens rather than giving younger players (who have been our best players recently – SWP, Dunne, Barton) a fair crack of the whip. James appears to be the only experienced player who brings his influence onto the pitch.

Doesn’t bode well for the future – without new players being given a chance through the youth set up/no funds to bring in better players we have to rely upon the players who almost got us relegated last season. And clearly we need a replacement left back and another centre half (McCarthy?), right back and reserve goalkeeper (Ellegaard?), all without a fee. It’s a challenge for KK.

PJ Carey <pj.carey(at)accbank.ie>

OPINION: THE ELLIOTT SAGA II

Today I feel somewhat saddened that a promising young City star has left us. Stephen Elliott, who had been watched by Mick McCarthy whilst the manager of Ireland saw more in this footballer than Kevin Keegan, when Sunderland signed him today.

Only a matter of weeks ago Kevin Keegan and City announced that they would offer the up and coming youngsters longer contracts so as to try and keep them. Stephen Elliott apparently was offered a new contract but refused to sign because there was no opportunity for first team progress.

I have never seen Elliott play, but I have read all the reports of his progress, and friends who have seen him play only reported positive things. Just the knowledge that Elliott had scored 11 goals in 15 games was enough for me to see his goal scoring ratio was better than Anelka and our other strikers, but being young I feel was his biggest problem to overcome. Yet Rooney is only 20 and playing for England. Sure, we know he scored his goals in the reserve team but nevertheless he knew where the back of the net was.

Had City offered this young star a new contract earlier, we could have loaned him out even to Sunderland and have options later; they have been lost and only time will tell now if we really lost a jewel.

As for the strikers that we have, my thoughts:

Anelka + We all know that he can be class, I have even called him Anelkastar, but I just hope that if he is still with us next season that his attitude to the game changes. Too often Anelka will score that one goal and think that’s it, I have done my job, and then in some games plays lazy. Maybe that’s not the correct word to use, but you get what I mean. Needs to show more of a team effort. Also has to master how to play against the offside trap.

Wanchope = It’s great to hear that Wanchope has put us before Costa Rica this time, which only shows he wants to repay City for the faith shown in him. If he can stay injury free, working with Anelka could be a plus next season.

Fowler = I tried so hard to keep faith that Fowler would get back his growl, but Growler failed, he was more like a tiger with no teeth, needs big time change in how he plays, never the poacher he once was.

Macken = In all fairness never really got a constant start every week so at times looked out of his depth, but he seems game enough to keep trying, and will be a good sub.

Sibierski = A good utillity player who can also play up front.

In general our strikers failed to score; no one can say they never got fed the ball because we were fourth with shots on goal, bad finishing period full stop. All our strikers need to go to the blacksmith and get their shooting boots corrected before next season.

Kevin Keegan knows best why he let Stephen Elliott go; just hope more of our youngsters that Mr Cassell and staff have worked so hard with in the Academy stay, and are at least given a chance to play in the first team; Elliott missed that chance.

CTID, Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: THE ELLIOTT SAGA III

I have just read about Sunderland signing Stephen Elliot. So, let me get this straight. One of the brightest hopes we have at our club, is sold… sorry, let go, for apparently no reason. What on earth is going on? I haven’t really written in since the last few weeks of the season because it all just became too much. This feels like one indignity too far though. The kid clearly had some ability, and even more potential. What is KK doing? I suppose only he knows.

Now, onto the issue of a new defender. I’m sure by the time this is printed Matteo will be a City player. For once, I have a question of our board. Clearly we struggled defensively last year. Clearly our best performances were when we had van Buyten at the back. So, if Marseille are asking 4 million pounds for him, give them Sommeil and £3 million and just be done with it. Someone at the club has the money, and it’s not like this is one of KK’s questionable buys. It’s so frustrating to think of the money spent already, and yet no-one can stump up for the one player who truly could make a huge impact on our club. And, he f**king wants to come play for us. He’s all but said it. I swear, I have been considering having a whip around at work, and with everyone I know who supports City. We need this player, and the board need to show that even though things aren’t great financially, they are still investing in the future of Manchester City, not watching it disappear up the motorway towards Sunderland.

Ahsan Naeem (ahsan naeem thirty three at hotmail dot com)

OPINION: THE ELLIOTT SAGA IV

I hear with disquiet that Steven Elliott has signed for Sunderland, citing a desire for first team football. This concerns me on two counts.

Firstly, given the rave reviews he has had this season in international matches, why is he at the end of his contract and able to join Sunderland effectively as a free agent? I know that there will be a compensation fee but this is not the point. If he is good then the club should have made more concerted efforts to keep him. If he is not good then why is he still on the books at the age of 20?

If it was a case of the great and the good at the club taking a long, hard look at him and deciding that he was not good enough then fair enough. However, this feels more like a consequence of the standard attitude towards young players that they should be happy playing for City reserves while a bunch of 30-somethings occupy the bench. If the team had done well last season (top 6 place or a good cup run) then, as a young player stuck in the reserves, you could argue that it would be unreasonable to expect to break into a successful team. However, given that we finished near the bottom of the table, how is a young player to justify to themselves that they have not had a chance? How bad, they may wonder, would it have to become for them to get a chance? (let’s have none of the rubbish about “not risking young players when a lot is at stake” as Wenger and Ferguson seem happy to play young players when cups and championships are at stake).

Given the age of Stephen Elliott, I would expect the football management to sit down with him at the start of last season and examine what he would need to do in order to get into the first team. What is the bar that he must reach and what goals can he achieve to prove that he is ready? These should be goals that can be quantified as far as possible, although some elements will always be subjective. However, I do not believe that anything like this takes place (I could be wrong) and even if it did, what goals could be realistically set for a young striker to break into the first team? Jon Macken has a problem dislodging either of Anelka and Fowler so how is a 20-year old supposed to have a chance? After all, SWP found it hard to get into the team for a long time and Barton is finding it equally hard to stay in an ageing midfield.

This event has only fuelled my belief that a root-and-branch attitude change is needed at the club if it is to thrive. Whether it is Franny Lee’s (or Frank Clark’s?) “fifth column”, something is indeed rotten in the state of Denmark. The management at the club has been reactive for far too long and it is about time that the management teams (both football and commercial) became proactive and professional. From the cringe-worthy announcers on the pitch through to the players’ “revolt” over training and on to the departures of Elliott and Etuhu, something needs to change. The club hierarchy should remember that we are no ordinary consumers. We will not just disappear and find another supplier as if choosing between department stores. We are here for the long run and eventually we will get fed up of the lack of professionalism. Amongst our ranks are professionals from all walks of life. Should the people who run the club be surprised, then, if their consumers start to demand the same level of professionalism that they exercise in their own jobs?

Andy Longshaw <andy(at)blueskyline.com>

OPINION: THE VAN BUYTEN SAGA (AND OZ REQUEST)

Can’t KK see that we have to do all we can to bring DvB to the CoMS! He constantly refers to ‘a top 6 finish’; well if this is realistic we need a rock at the centre of defence! If I were KK and the board I’d do all I possibly could to get him (even if that means taking out another loan!) – especially as his agent has reported that Blackburn have approached Marseille about him. It’s obvious he likes Keegan, the club and of course us guys – the fans!

It’s about time we had some real class at the back instead of the c**p we’ve had in the past. Alan Kernaghan, Ged Brannan, Kit Symmons etc. (need I say any more?). DVB is a sound investment for the future – he can defend, play football and is only young.

Fingers crossed for a great season.

Just want to thank all at MCIVTA for doing a great job – appreciate it more as I’m travelling Australia at the moment and there’s no better way of keeping up with what’s going on in the world of MCFC!

P.S. If there are any other Blues in Oz at the moment who fancy meeting up for Euro 2004 games, send me an email.

CTID, Matt Cummings <mcfc1985(at)aol.com>

OPINION: KILLER KEEGAN?

KK is systematically destroying our youth team.

First he let’s Whelan go to Sheffield Wednesday and now even worse he’s let Elliott go. The kid had a load of potential, should have been given a chance ahead of Mr Blobby and Macken (the slowest player on earth). Did we get any money? Only a minimal fee from what I’ve read!?

Knowing City we probably haven’t even got any sell-on or playing clauses for payment. Next season we’ll have to put up with more c**p from Maccaman and Fowler as well as inept performances from Sinclair and mediocre play from Reyna (if he’s fit) and Sibierski. We should have flogged some of these has-beens and never-will-bes and kept hold of the promising young talent. As for DvB, we should be breaking the bank to sign this guy because without him we’re looking at another season of struggle. Sell Vuoso (£1 million to whoever in South America wants to buy him), Fowler (50p to anyone who want him), Maccaman (we’ll give a free season ticket to any club willing to have him) and use the money saved to buy DvB.

Gary King <Gary.King(at)newcharter.co.uk>

OPINION: CONCERNED OF COMS

I am beginning to worry about what is going on at Eastlands. Can someone tell me why we have no money? What about £15 million per year TV money, £15 million season ticket sales, 100k new shirts sold, £2.75 million prize money. We were led to believe our debts were manageable, so I will ask again where is the money?

And more, I have just read that we may be ready to offload Elliott to Sunderland for next to nothing. Why? Most good judges reckon he’s a good prospect so why let him go? With Keegan planning to retire in two years he is going to leave us with no young players and a team that will be 75% ready to retire with him!

I am now beginning to panic, just what the hell is going on?

Mike Cooke <Mikecooke321(at)aol.com>

REQUEST: ENGLAND/ICELAND TICKET AVAILABLE

I have 1 spare ticket for the England vs. Iceland game on Saturday 5th June at Eastlands. If anyone is interested please e-mail or phone me on 0161-928 8292. I was going with my Man Utd-loving best friend but (typically for a Rag who doesn’t want to see a decent stadium) he now can’t make it as he is working (he’s an on-call GP).

Thanks, Simon Edwards <Tjecity(at)aol.com>

REQUEST: DENIS LAW PHOTO

I am trying to track down a photo of Denis Law after scoring that goal. I know there is a famous one of him walking away, head down. I’ve got an idea for a print to dominate my hallway. If anyone has a copy (from a book/magazine) and would be prepared to scan & send it, I would be most grateful.

Thanks, John McGrath <johnandjen(at)mac.com>

REQUEST: NEW KIT

Does anyone know the release date of next season’s away kit? Also are there any rumors as to the design? I’ve been disappointed with Reebok’s efforts so far especially the new home kit, bring back Kappa I say!

Nic Heppenstall <nheppenstall(at)hotmail.com>

REQUEST: WATERING HOLES I

Hello all.

Well, after 18 years of living Stateside I have just managed to drag the family back home. Now, no doubt, I’ll be able to get to see City on a regular basis; I was wondering if there are any pre-match watering holes at which any groups of the regulars around here congregate together?

Cheers & fingers xxx’d for both the Euros & next season.

Steve O’Brien <BODSnVIMTO(at)aol.com>

REQUEST: WATERING HOLES II

There is a group of us travelling up from Dorset for the England game vs. Iceland (just an excuse to see the inside of the stadium really). Can anyone suggest the best pubs (with basic directions for us poor country folk) to visit before the match?

Stuart Wells <stu(at)colehillblue.fsnet.co.uk>

REQUEST: EURO 2004 TICKETS

Another plea to anyone out there who knows of anyone or of anywhere where I can get hold of two tickets for the England vs. Switzerland game. I would be much obliged, thanks.

Gavin Cooper <Blueboy(at)mancity.net>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0304.07]

[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/); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.reddishblues.com/CSAWebsite/CSA.htm) and “The International Supporters’ Club” (http://www.mcfc.co.uk/article.asp?article=111845&Title=International+Supporters+Club&lid=Membership).

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

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/gmr/sport_intro.shtml.

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at http://www.mcfctv.com/, whilst an alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at http://uk.sports.yahoo.com/foot/englandprem/cal/index.html.

[7] 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. Useful sites for North American viewers are http://canadatvsoccer.tripod.com/Fixtures.htm, http://www.foxsportsworld.com/named/FSW/Index/Soccer, and http://www.soccertv.com/.

http://www.foxsportsworld.com/content/view?contentId=1288602 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: 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

[10] 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/

[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 http://www.ofex.com/ (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 http://www.mcfcstats.com/.

[13] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb, Roger Haigh, Martin Price, and Adrian Howarth 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, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1023

2004/06/03

Editor:


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