Newsletter #1024

More end of season views, transfer and finance concerns and news of the youth team in Bermuda tonight. We also have a few requests and the Ged Brennan Appreciation Society.

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


I was so relieved to end the season in the Premiership that I thought I’d just relax over the summer and not get caught up in the ponderings about what is going on at City and how we might fare next year. But that resolution has not lasted too long.

I base these comments on one live game attended (the win over United) and quite a number of games that were on TV here in the US, probably around 15 or so.

Towards the end of the season and just after, I was concerned about three comments that were made:

  1. From the Club, stating there is no money for players. I find this quiteremarkable given it is clear that the current squad is not good enough. Ireally fail to see where improvement will come without some signings ofquality; van Buyten comes to mind immediately.
  2. From Kevin, that he is satisfied with his midfield players. I had toread the comment twice to make sure I had not missed something. First ofall, I am not sure he has any idea as to what his best midfield line-up is.At the game against United, I was impressed by his half time substitutions until Ifound out they were caused by injuries. Even with all the praise that hascome the way of Wright-Phillips, he has some way to go yet before he is thefinished article. But he may be the only one of the midfield who wouldstart for any other Premiership team.
  3. From Kevin, that he is off at the end of his contract (and I can’t figureout if this is one more year or two). Why make this statement now, afterthe end of a year that has been miserable by anyone’s standards (and evenby City’s own!)? I don’t get it at all – it sends completely the wrongmessage and appears as if Kevin can’t wait to finish his contract.

Like others that have written, I am trying to make sense of all this and I won’t even touch the manager’s discussion of how some players will have to improve next year – what the heck does that mean and what if they don’t?

Having said all this, I have no problems with Keegan staying because I worry about the alternative. I also think I am realistic to know that we will not be bringing in five new big signings (the money already went on this approach the last couple of years, to little advantage). Neither will we see a big clear out. Those that we may feel should go are unlikely to be on the shopping list of other Premiership clubs and will not want to go down a division.

So the reality is we are going to have to see what can be done with this squad and one or two additions. I hope one is van Buyten because a good central defender is needed. But then so are two outside full backs, a quality central midfield player and a striker.

I think that the positive aspects need stressing. James has been a great buy. Without him this year we may have gone down. Wright-Phillips is a joy to watch and will only improve. Barton will also get better. I don’t mind Bosvelt and Sibierski as they seem to have contributed more as they got used to the Premiership. I also don’t object to Macken who can hold a ball up but perhaps needs a run playing with either Anelka or Wanchope. Distin has his ups and downs but I think the verdict has to be on the positive side with him and Dunne exceeded all our expectations. There also seem to be some young players coming through and, of course, this is the subject of recent editions – is Keegan going to give them a chance? Two have now left without getting a chance. I will be blunt and say that the fact they didn’t get a chance is down to Keegan and him alone. The way the season went it can be argued there wasn’t a good time to test a youngster. Well step forward Kevin for that. I think there were opportunities but a certain loyalty to big-name players may have prevented a youngster or two being given a chance. I think that pre-season will be an interesting time: if some of the reserve kids are not given playing time then we can safely say that they will not be getting a chance.

I don’t want to say much about the negatives as they have been written about a lot (tactics – what tactics – weren’t we the worst team in the Premiership at holding a lead – I look forward to a season of lots of 1-0 wins!). I’d just add that one of Kevin’s challenges next year is to make some decisions about Fowler, McManaman. Sinclair, and Reyna. I have not been impressed with any of them (I suppose you could add Anelka to this as well but he does score goals). I would have no problem with a team developing that did not have a starting place for any of these players.

Like Tim in The Office I am depressing myself writing this so I will stop and become positive, hopeful, optimistic and upbeat!

John Pearson, Northern California <john.pearson(at)>


Just what the hell are Keegan and the board up to?

Whilst Keegan is a likeable fellow, the general feeling in MCIVTA seems to be that he (and it seems the board) have totally lost the plot regarding the transfer policy for the club.

  1. Why are we selling the youngsters without giving them a decent chancein the first team?
  2. Why aren’t we offloading some of the deadwood to free us some cashand/or lower the wages bill?
  3. Why are we linked to buying to buy total donkeys, i.e. DannyMills/Dominic Matteo – this has to be an April fool’s joke?
  4. Why don’t we have any money? Mike Cook hit the nail on the head,what’s happening on the money front? I don’t get the feeling that KK and/orthe board have made a concerted effort to sign DVB; why not?
  5. Fans’ Forum – make some noise. I know that there are a few militants in thecamp – how about making some noises outside of MCIVTA regards the lack ofdirection being shown by KK and the board?

I’m sure that that David Bernstein used to have an open door policy with the fans and covert their opinion – does this still happen with John Wardle?

I don’t want to see any more comments along the lines of remember where we were 3 years ago/look how far we’ve come etc/let’s be patient etc. Get over it!

We need to see some positive moves by KK and the board otherwise we will be going into the new season on a downer.

Graham Hine – Perth, Western Australia <graham(at)>


Money? Are we really that skint? If promotion for Crystal Palace is worth £25 million then why can’t we get van Buyten?

Surely if he is that important Kev could get his own money out or squeeze the board or lastly do a ‘Foe’ type deal. Loan him for the season with a guaranteed price at the end to buy him for. Also, give them Sommeil for the season! This must be able to work, especially when the player wants to join us and no one else!

Why can’t we use a little more initiative in the transfer market?

Graham Lord <gooch(at)>


News Report: Chelski are said to have signed Porto right back Paulo Ferreira. My reaction: where are we with the year long loan of Glen Johnson, which will solve the right back issue?

This is the kind of stuff we need to do. Take advantage of the changes at other clubs.

Wallace Poulter <Wpoulter(at)>


Ernie commented in MCIVTA 1023 that “our strikers need to go to the blacksmith and get their shooting boots corrected before next season”, and “no one can say they never got fed the ball because we were fourth with shots on goal, bad finishing period full stop”.

I’d like to point out that not only were we fourth in shots on goal, we were also fourth in goals scored. It seems to me that the problem is not the lack of goals scored, it’s the goals conceded and the resulting draws/losses rather than wins. I really think we should pull out all the stops to get van Buyten, and with that I’d be quite happy with the squad as it stands.

P.S. I was still very sorry to see Elliott go, but maybe it increases the chances of Bradley Wright-Phillips getting a chance in the first team sometime next season?

Paul Howarth <paul(at)>


Oi Matt Cummings (MCIVTA 1023), our Ged (Brannan) is a very talented player. Read the comments below and see for yourself. He could be available for City at the drop of a cloth cap or a meat pie. As an older player he fits the Keggers’ plan and besides, he’s cheaper than any Fowlmanaman. Keep the faith!

Date: 11/09/2003
Comment by: Rochdale manager, Alan Buckley
“Ged is a very talented and experienced player who is finding himself surplus to Wigan’s plans and it’s important for Ged he plays league football, so he’s come to us for a month.”

Date: 30/01/2003
Comment by: Dunfermline manager, Jimmy Calderwood
“We have been looking for a midfielder for a while because every time me and Jimmy Nicholl sit down to pick a team we have been a midfielder short, especially with Gary Mason and Scott Thomson getting injured. We got a fax from Wigan about a week ago saying Ged was available and he was a player we both liked. He has plenty of experience and has played in Scotland before.”

Kevin Reeves – no NOT that one or I’d be in the team too <kt_reeves(at)>


According to the Royal Gazette Newspaper in Bermuda’s website, the youngsters gave Bermuda a run for their money in their game on June 5th.

MCFC sent the Youth Academy to play against Shaun Goater’s Bermuda. City director Dennis Tueart promised Shaun Goater a competitive game as he arrived on the beautiful Island.

In the game Paul Murphy gave City the lead after just 4 minutes, and might have gone further ahead from a Marc Laird corner kick as Bradley Wright-Phillips just shot wide. Bermuda put some pressure on the City defence but Onohua stood firm, clearing the ball away from a lurking Goat. It was the Goat though who equalized for Bermuda in the 72nd minute; dispossessing T Hill, the Goat dribbled 15 yards before hitting the back of the net in a true Goat fashion.

Whilst local fans were still celebrating the Goat’s goal, it was City who quietly took command of the game. In the 80th minute the Blues were unlucky not to have not re-taken the lead when a Logan goal was disallowed. Just two minutes later super sub Carlos Logan got the winner, after a hard fought game that sends Bermuda’s team a little deflated into the World Cup qualifier against San Salvador next week.

City Academy:
L. Mathewson, D. Warrender, P Collins, N D’Laryea (capt), N Onuhua, I Bennett, M Laird, J D’Laryea, K Bermingham, B Wright-Phillips, J Tandy, P Murphy, A Grimes, I Miller, C Logan, M Ward.
Men of the match for City: P Murphy and N Onuhua.

Bermuda Squad:
T Fiquerido, K Dill, S Burgess, K Jennings (capt), L Alexander, M Wade, D Ming, K Lightbourne, S Goater, R Bean jr, K Smith, B Minors, O Steede, T Mandres, C Smith, T Hall.
Men of the match for Bermuda: Shaun Goater and K Jennings.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I will be moving out to Singapore in September for a few years – so if there are any Blues out there it would be great to hear from you.

Martin Reynolds <mart_Reynolds(at)>


I’ve been a City supporter since the wartime league when they had to make north and south divisions.

I have ten programmes from that time, continued with the first season after the war, when City won the old 2nd Division championship; most programmes from that season, with some away ones too, programmes right up to 1964, when I came to Australia, including many away fixtures and the two 50’s cup finals.

Anybody interested in them?

Neville Jones <nevfjones(at)>


We’ve recently launched a new forum website dedicated to MCFC. Have a look and let us know what you think:

Paul Gaskell <paul.Gaskell(at)>


This is a message to the person who appealed for MCFC shirts for Haitian children (Mike Power?). I think I’ve got your name right but can’t remember.

I sent two long-sleeve Kappa shirts to you but they were returned to me on the grounds that your home address apparently doesn’t exist.

If you can email me to confirm that it’s ok, I’ll send them directly to you at The Guardian.

Marc Starr <marc.starr(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0304.07]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1024