Newsletter #1046

Least said about Saturday’s game the better, but we have a few match views tonight from the televised version, opinion and requests.

Next game: Birmingham City, away, 8pm Tuesday 24 August 2004


Just finished watching the game live on TV. The blame has to lie squarely on KK’s shoulders for this one. I have never criticized him before for either tactics or team selections, but today was so obvious and so naïve. Not a great 1st half and a fortunate, if well taken, goal by Nico. But how many times has that happened against us at Eastlands? So we will take it and roll on the second half. Then, disaster in the first few minutes. The whole team is now looking shaky, Liverpool are coming at us in waves, we have no possession. After 53 minutes I turned to my son and said “get all the subs warmed up”, get Barton on within 5 minutes, probably for Fowler, go to 5 in the middle, get a grip back on the game and stop Liverpool coming at us. After 15 minutes if we have stabilized then either push Sibby into the hole behind Nico or bring on Macken. Simple! Lesson 1 in the coaching manual. Don’t at any cost do nothing because you won’t survive. Guess what KK does? Four more games to redeem himself or?

Bob Simnor <bobs5455(at)>


Well, here we go again! I just watched the Liverpool match on pay per view after seeing what happened last week with Fulham. I watched Fulham with last year’s home shirt on and pyjama bottoms (it is 7am here for 3 o’clock games) so I was not surprised by the result. I decided I would watch Liverpool in the lucky red and black of last year. I will not be wearing them again this year! I now know why my brother-in-law gave me those shirts. If Milan Baros is near someone he falls down but if he lashes out or fouls he doesn’t get a yellow! However, we did not deserve to win this one; in fact, if not for Anelka it would be be 2-0. We did not have much service to Fowler or Anelka, in fact their midfield dominated and we kicked it over ours. Long ball up the middle or feed SWP. I can plan to defend against these tactics. I hope Liverpool are a better team than they look or we will be in for another long year. The defence is starting to look a lot better than last year and corners are not the adventure they used to be but we should not sacrifice the attacking play that endeared us to the pundits and so many fans. There must be room in there for Sun in front of Mills and is anyone playing on the left? Well I am done moaning and I hope I won’t have to for the rest of the season. KK should stop worrying about where the opposing coach is standing, neither of them are contributing on the field once the whistle blows! Come on you Blues!

J Heavis <JHeavis502(at)>


First match on TV here in Canada this season so I was relishing a look, especially at the new full backs. Here are my initial views, good and bad:

Good: erm, well, supporters were in good voice. I like the new kit. We were organized in the first half and hard to break down, but was that due to Liverpool’s lacklustre play? Anelka’s determination following up on Shaun’s throughball for the goal.

Bad: we gave way too much respect to Liverpool, giving the ball away far too often and needlessly – guilty parties were especially Mills, Thatcher, Fowler and Anelka. Part of the problem for Mills and Thatcher were the lack of options forcing them to make low percentage plays. We really need a player who can dictate the play like Gerrard did for them. He was allowed to get all over the place. Sorry but Reyna is not it. He makes cute one-twos but gets nowhere. We had no creative spark. We were under constant pressure because we gave the ball away so cheaply. Also, the bickering between players is bad for morale and counter-productive. Unfortunately, I can see our fragile confidence going already. Hope I’m wrong.

It’s early in the season yet but there’s still a lot to do to get us going. C’mon Kev.

Stephen Barlow <mancitysteve(at)>


The game on Saturday was shown live on Irish TV giving me the first chance to see the team in action this season – and last for a while (what’s Sky’s problem with showing City live this season?). Anyway, it looks as though I won’t be missing much based on this performance. It was a very subdued, defensive City team on display, but at half time everything was going to plan. Liverpool had more possession first half, but failed to create any good chances. A couple of long range efforts and a lot of wasted corners. City scored a minute before half time, as a long through ball was headed badly by Carragher back towards Dudek who couldn’t control the ball and Anelka stepped over him to slot the ball nicely into the bottom corner from a tight angle. Hooray! It was a well organised line up first half, with Bosvelt, Dunne, and Mills impressing me.

Second half was only a couple of minutes old (the clock read 45 minutes 90 seconds at one stage – clearly Setanta haven’t gone for accuracy) when the equaliser came. It didn’t look inevitable, but when it came it was scarily easy. It looked as though Distin was out of position, and then tried to cut out a pass by sliding at the ball, but missed it completely leaving Dunne to come across, by which stage Baros already had the advantage and finished well. Liverpool looked a lot more effective second half, but still not much better than us. The midfield was holding up well and the defence looked ok. Reyna seemed to tire a lot around 60 minutes (probably because he’d spent the week globetrotting!) and Liverpool took control of midfield. I don’t remember a lot about their second goal (traumatised) but James rushed out to claim a ball, and unfortunately (or just poor judgement, should have gone with hands not feet?) he knocked the ball back into the centre of the area, where Gerrard was running onto one of the easiest goals he’ll score. After that City didn’t threaten much, only noteful happening being Dunne sent off – Distin took the ball towards the half way line, beat a man, then lost possession leaving Dunne totally isolated with Cisse, there was a tangle of legs and there was only ever going to be one result. I don’t blame Dunne, I think Distin shouldn’t be wandering upfield without anyone dropping into his central position, luckily it didn’t cost us a goal, but it will cost us our best defender of late for a game (two?). And I’d worry about the sturdiness of the defence without Dunne mopping up. Anyhow the game dwindled to a 2-1 defeat. Barton and Sinclair came on for 10 minutes, no difference made – somehow Reyna stayed on all 90 minutes despite vanishing around the 60 minute mark, and as for Fowler… maybe Macken or Wanchope should shout at Keegan next time they’re subbed, clearly it guarantees you a full 90 minutes next game even if you’re non-existent!

Overall, a nice try to grind out a draw, but with the defence we have it’s not very likely. Distin has to cut out his bursts upfield, unless he has someone to switch back to centre half when he does. Mills looks a good signing, Thatcher looks ok, but he did punt the ball aimlessly too often. Sibierski is wasted on the left side, and Reyna and Bosvelt don’t look creative enough a pairing in the centre. I thought Bosvelt looks better than last season though. James was alright, as was Anelka and SWP (not his usual lively self), Fowler didn’t contribute – not totally his fault as there was so little going on in the attacking third.

Having seen the highlights of the Fulham game, hopefully this was an off day and it’ll be back to (dominating and not) winning ways soon!

P Carey <pj.carey(at)>


I agree wholeheartedly with Phil in your last edition about announcing after the game against Fulham that SWP had signed a new contract.

In these days not a lot separates Premiership teams over 90 minutes and you have to use everything in your locker to unsettle the opposition and get the atmosphere buzzing in your home ground.

Why do we not have somebody on the mike before the game drumming up the home fans and getting the place going?

Why do we not have more ball-boys so the ball is back in play as quick as possible and you don’t give the opposition time to take the sting out of the game? I was at the game last week and the second half just died because the ball kept going out of play and it took ages to get it back again! Fulham did an excellent job in the second half following what could have been a 5-0 thrashing had we really gone for it.

We need to turn COMS into a cauldron that away teams fear. I am afraid with these psychological opportunities going begging we may end up with fewer points at home again!

Also ranting already and it’s only 1 game in!

John Bampkin <bamo(at)>


The monthly meeting of the above Supporters’ Club will take place this coming Thursday the 26th August at Great Brickhill Cricket Club at 8pm.

New members are always welcome. Anyone needing directions or more information can contact me on the email address below.

Mads <madeleine.hawkins(at)>


If anyone knows of any bars in Jakarta, Indonesia that will be showing the City game against Everton on the 11th September and the England games on the 4th and 8th can they let me know please?

I’ll be in Jakarta between 30th August and 15th September and in desperate need to watch the footy with like-minded people.

Adam Worrall <Adam.Worrall(at)>


I’ve recently come to the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands to live and I would love to know if there are any other Blues here or even any other fans of English football here? Please drop me a line.

Mike Doherty <mike(at)>


I’ll be in Hong Kong for the Charlton game – are there any Blues out there that can recommend a good place to watch the game on Saturday night if it’s on anywhere?

Gavin Cooper <Blueboy(at)>


I’m a die-hard MCFC supporter who is marrying into a family of Reds (ouch!). I’d like to buy my future father-in-law a gift for accepting me into his family and thought a great way to do this would be to present him with a framed print of the infamous Denis Law back-heel against United in 1975. I’ve searched the Internet in order to find one but can’t seem to find anything?

I was wondering whether MCVITA could help me out by suggesting any places where I could get one. Even recommending a MCFC book that has a picture of the goal would help as I could possibly get it enlarged.

I’d appreciate any help you could give me.

Chris Anglesey <chris.Anglesey(at)>


Dear Tottenham Hotspur,

Many thanks for your recent enquiry into Shaun Wright-Philips.

Your offer was very tempting. £20,000,000 is a lot of money but, in the end, we have decided to keep him.

Yours sincerely,

Manchester City Football Club.

P.S. Did you realise you’d missed a nought off your offer?

Kevin Keegan phone call to Monaco:

“Yes, you can have one of our two best players worth in excess of £12m on loan for a full season gratis.”

Next phone call, Kevin Keegan again, to Arsene Wenger:

“Oh hi Arsene, just ringing up to borrow Thierry Henry for a year. You don’t mind, do you?”

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


22 August 2004

West Bromwich Albion  1 - 1  Aston Villa           26,601
Arsenal               5 - 3  Middlesbrough         37,415

21 August 2004

Southampton           3 - 2  Blackburn Rovers      27,492
Birmingham City       0 - 1  Chelsea               28,559
Charlton Athletic     2 - 1  Portsmouth            25,204
Crystal Palace        1 - 3  Everton               23,666
Fulham                2 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      17,541
Liverpool             2 - 1  Manchester City       42,831
Newcastle United      0 - 1  Tottenham Hotspur     52,185
Manchester United     2 - 1  Norwich City          67,812

League table to 22 August 2004 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Arsenal          2  1  0  0  5  3  1  0  0  4  1  2  0  0   9   4   5   6
 2 Chelsea          2  1  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  1  0  2  0  0   2   0   2   6
 3 Aston Villa      2  1  0  0  2  0  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  0   3   1   2   4
 4 Fulham           2  1  0  0  2  0  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  0   3   1   2   4
 5 Liverpool        2  1  0  0  2  1  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  0   3   2   1   4
 6 Tottenham H.     2  0  1  0  1  1  1  0  0  1  0  1  1  0   2   1   1   4
 7 Bolton Wndrs     2  1  0  0  4  1  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  1   4   3   1   3
 8 Manchester Utd   2  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  1   2   2   0   3
 9 Everton          2  0  0  1  1  4  1  0  0  3  1  1  0  1   4   5  -1   3
10 Southampton      2  1  0  0  3  2  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  1   3   4  -1   3
11 Charlton Ath.    2  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  1  1  4  1  0  1   3   5  -2   3
12 West Brom A.     2  0  1  0  1  1  0  1  0  1  1  0  2  0   2   2   0   2
13 Blackburn R.     2  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  1  2  3  0  1  1   3   4  -1   1
14 Manchester City  2  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  1  1  2  0  1  1   2   3  -1   1
15 Newcastle Utd    2  0  0  1  0  1  0  1  0  2  2  0  1  1   2   3  -1   1
16 Norwich City     2  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  1  1  2  0  1  1   2   3  -1   1
17 Portsmouth       2  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  1  1  2  0  1  1   2   3  -1   1
18 Birmingham City  2  0  0  1  0  1  0  1  0  1  1  0  1  1   1   2  -1   1
19 Middlesbrough    2  0  1  0  2  2  0  0  1  3  5  0  1  1   5   7  -2   1
20 Crystal Palace   2  0  0  1  1  3  0  1  0  1  1  0  1  1   2   4  -2   1

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1046