Newsletter #1052

A performance on Saturday that completely underwhelmed the City faithful, James aside. Unsurprisingly tonight we have plenty of comment on Keegan, his future and that of the ‘team’ he has built.

Still, some are mad enough to be requesting tickets for Palace and Soton.

Next game: Crystal Palace, away, 3pm Saturday 18 September 2004


Here we are again, never know which City team will show up. On paper it should have been 3 points for City, built up again after the thrashing of Charlton, brought back to earth with a bump losing to an average Everton side. The biggest difference I could see in the teams was that Everton were organised and worked extremely hard for each other, players had set tasks and they stuck to them. City on the other hand were poor and ran out of ideas early doors. I don’t know what they do in training but it appears that they don’t either! Was Nigel Martyn tested in the match? I think not.

On a plus point David James had a stormer. Keep your chin up David, the City fans are behind you. SWP had the beating of their left back, just a little bewildered to see him in the middle of the park for most of the second half, with little influence on the game., I thought the Elk had an off day but he can’t shine when he is getting poor service. Fowler was again poor; apart from scoring against Fulham on the first day of the season he has contributed very little. I think it is time king Kev swallows his pride, drops Fowler and gives John Macken a run in the side. What price Paulo Wanchope, a quality player (when fit) but alas due to some poor management he was allowed to depart for very little 2 days before the transfer window closed, even though the manager was already looking for another striker to replace Stephen Elliott who is now knocking goals in for Sunderland.

I was exited at the prospect of two proper full backs at the start of the season that would shore up our defence, but instead it appears we have got Mrs Mills and Margaret Thatcher, the latter woeful in his performances to date.

Ah well, enough moaning, come on City, make me eat my words.

Steve Alcock <salcock(at)>


After being very pro-Keeganite ever since his appointment, overlooking the negatives and drawing on the many positives that he brought to our club, I have say that regrettably my patience and faith in him has gradually been eroded over the last 18 months or so and is now virtually nil. I wrote a brief piece a few weeks back on the reasons for my reserved amount of enthusiasm for the start of the coming season and unfortunately so far my feelings have been by and large borne out. After witnessing the very average and uninspiring performances that appear to be the norm for the expensively assembled squad, interspersed with the odd incredible high or low quality performance, I’m sorry to say, I cannot find it in myself to back KK any more.

Yes, we were awesome with Ali, Eyal and The Goat in Division 1 and yes we did finish 9th on our first season back but last season and so far this year the performances are just not good enough. Souness has recently gone to Newcastle and many in Blackburn are pleased, not because he’s a bad manager but because his time there had gone stale. This description could easily be attributed to KK’s time with the Blues and I now strongly feel he has taken us as far as he can; indeed we may have even taken 1 or 2 steps back in playing quality during the last 12 months or so due to more poor transfer comings and goings.

Things that have continually gone so obviously wrong are always all too readily covered with poor excuses or blamed on bad luck. KK’s own enthusiasm looks depleted as this ‘master motivator’ looks hard pushed to even motivate himself these days, Saturday vs. Everton being a good example of this. Moyes stood for most of the game, watching, encouraging and instructing his troops whereas Keegan only stood up occasionally to give his team inspiring ‘puff your chests out’ waves of the arms and for the remainder sat resigned in his seat. Going through the motions? KK certainly gives me the impression that he’s had enough and he’s only sticking at it because the media would love to hammer him for being the quitter they labelled him as rather than him wanting to stay with us and see the job through to a successful end when his contract does expire. An employee who really has a passion and drive for their job doesn’t regularly state how long their contract has got left and when they are due to retire – KK’s body language and comments on his contract really shows that KK wants out. This lack of desire, particularly now that we can only show KK the bare cupboard rather than the money, together with blind ignorance of, or lack of ability to address, the problems with the side may be our biggest let-down yet as this season could turn into just as a difficult one as last year. God help us if the unimaginable happened and we went down – financial meltdown would be assured.

The problems that seem to me so urgently requiring resolution are constantly ignored and it’s the continued bad business that we constantly carry out that is an embarrassment. Take the recent transfer of Wanchope for example, not because I think we should have kept him as I thought we should have let him go last year but having retained him back then he did look the best partner for Anelka when he was fit. We’ve paid Wanchope’s wages and treatment whilst injured for the best part of his entire contract but we then sell him when he’s worth virtually nothing after turning down 4 times the amount 12 months ago. Not only has this cost us £1.5 million fee but the 12 months excessive wages as well for a return of maybe half a dozen appearances.

In the meantime, Ricardo Fuller (much better than the honest but average and Division 1 standard Macken), who also has a dodgy knee, has gone to Pompey for £200,000 and as ‘pay as you play’ deal. Does this type of business make us look chumps or what? And then KK has the gall to constantly moan about not having any money to spend. KK is also desperate for an experienced centre back. Now let me see, not so long ago we had a certain player called Lucien Mettomo, who appeared to me, whilst watching from the Main Stand, a decent KK signing and to get better and better with each game, but curses he fell out of favour with KK, disappeared from the team and eventually was sold for £500,000. He cost £1.5 million. We then went and bought the mincing Sommeil for £3 million. Good money wasted after bad, again. Just the loss on these two deals could have paid for Daniel van Buyten. We then needed an experienced holding midfield player – up for grabs came the excellent and ex-Bury man Matt Holland who went to Charlton for £500,000. We ignore him and choose a Bosman, but very high wages, for has-been Bosvelt who has not had a decent 90 minutes since he’s been with us and never will. The odd half decent 45 minutes just don’t cut it I’m afraid. KK then decides that £2.5 million on Reyna and another large wage is much better business that buying Holland for 1/5th of that and only one wage instead of two hefty salaries on Reyna and Bosvelt. I know who I’d rather go for: Holland and Eyal or Reyna and Bosvelt. OK so Eyal is cheeky, greedy b****rd but he was still better than what we’ve spent more on in wages and have now and that’s not counting the loss we made on Eyal when we gave him to Pompey.

We’ve no money now as KK’s transfer dealings (e.g. Macken, Vuoso, Negouai, Sun, Sinclair, Fowler, Seaman, McManaman & Bosvelt (mega wages), Sibierski, Sommeil) have left us without a pot to pee into. £50 million spent and how many players that he has bought are regularly worth their place in the side? Anelka, James (forced on KK as joke Seaman deal backfired), Distin (maybe, but not as skipper), Mills (rather have bought Glenn Johnson when we had money) and err…

This doesn’t even count the fringe players Keegan has thought worth a punt but hardly ever seen in the first team (Colosimo, Toure, Loran) as well as the fleeting visit of Nicholas Jensen and the loss of the promising Dickson Etuhu and Stephen Elliott. All these ‘minor’ deals add up to a considerable cost to the club for absolutely zero gain.

The other decent players we still have are ones already with us before KK went around with the Chairman’s (and our season ticket) money like a dog with two d**ks and gave us a team that without Sweep and Nico would struggle to get out of the Coca Cola Championship (I mean at the top end!) and thus are no massive amount better than Big Fat Joe’s ‘Dogs of War’. Even recent acquisition Thatcher, who was a nominal cost to buy, looks no better than Steven Jordan although I admit I’ve only ever seen Jordan in two reserve games last season but he looked good enough to at least give a chance to but KK doesn’t give any youngsters a chance.

So why won’t KK give the younger players a chance? We don’t want a whole team of them, just a few sprinkled through the side – let’s see what this expensive Academy actually produces. The Academy sides regularly sweep all before them judging by results so there must be some quality players in there busting to be given a chance. How many times has Keegan mouthed off immediately after another shambolic performance saying the youngsters will be playing next week? By midweek it’s changed to 1 or 2 might be involved at some stage then surprise, surprise, come the next match they are nowhere to be found anywhere near our team sheet. Can’t Keegan see that players don’t get better or experienced never playing at the level they are supposed to be striving for? If I were a young player I’d look at Keegan’s attitude and stay well clear of City. This lack of belief in the better of our young players is already having direct influence on the 1st team; take the away game vs. Birmingham for example. We get a new right back at the start of the season, get a suspension to Dunne so play Mills at centre back and put in the right back (Sun) who Mills has been bought to replace. Ten minutes in and a left wing cross beats our 2nd rated right back and the cross is headed in past our 1st rated right back who is playing centre back. Why not play Bischoff, he’s no worse or less experienced than when KK played him against Blackburn 2+ years ago? Paddy McCarthy deserves his chance too but I expect will join Barton and Jordan in looking elsewhere come Xmas and who would blame him or any of the young players.

My sons and I will continue our near 600 mile round trip to take our places in the Colin Bell Stand every other week and vociferously cheer our Blue boys on because that’s what we do and always will do but time has run out on my patience and faith in KK. I only hope we can stay up this year and maybe look towards a brighter Keegan-less future somewhere down the line.

Neil Higson <neil.higson(at)>


I left the game on Saturday consoled by one fact. Keegan would be sacked. Yet it’s Sunday and still nothing has happened. How can he still be in a job? How does he have the balls to not resign? How can he be allowed to remain in charge for even one minute after that final whistle?

What is it that Keegan and Wardle see on that pitch that could possibly suggest Keegan has a clue? This isn’t just this season, it’s last season as well. He is consistently stupid.

  • 60 million in debt.
  • An ageing, worthless squad on lucrative contracts.
  • No assets such as ground to sell or sponsor, therefore no backers interested in investing.
  • Attendances dropping.
  • Same old substitutions.
  • No defence.
  • No youth players given a chance.
  • No captain.
  • No tactics.
  • No new ideas.
  • No hope.

Three things might just save us from relegation and administration – if we are lucky. And they are: West Brom, Norwich and Crystal Palace.

Keegan out!
Fazackerley out!
Wardle out!

Marc <mstarbuck(at)>


I suppose that we are a special breed when we follow City. We are eternal optimists and while we dream of great things, we always expect the worst. I did not expect ‘the worst’ to translate into such an inept performance on Saturday against Everton. What a tragic performance – David James aside.

I travelled across from Northern Ireland with my brother and a pal. We had a few pints in town pre-game and we were looking forward to a top game. Call it intuition. But after 5 minutes, I just knew that we had no game plan, that the players were not up for it and that we would lose.

I supported Big Joe all the way and I was gutted when he left. But Keegan has lost it and it’s time for change. I could not even be bothered going through the team to give my views on each performance except to say that I think Dunne and James were two of the few to play for the shirt. I met Robbie Fowler on hols many years ago and he is a top bloke. But why not have given Elliot a chance instead of selling him to Sunderland and dropping/selling Fowler during the summer – when Keegan had a chance to right the wrongs from last season. Fowler, like so many others, was simply not interested.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I will tell you this. This team is not playing for Keegan or the jersey. Keegan pampers to their every whim and he is the opposite of a Graeme Souness. It’s just one excuse after another. I have had enough. I feel bad saying this but it’s not as if we were unlucky on Saturday. I say drop 4 or 5 players for Palace and bring in a few reserves who have the ability, fitness and desire to run for 90 minutes. Are we going to go through this whole season again looking below us to feel assured that as c**p and as uninterested as we are, there are 3 teams in the Premiership worse than us?

Has anyone else watched Dickov run his heart out for Blackburn – and score against the Rags? Has anyone watched Huckerby run his heart out for Norwich and play with a passion that most current City players simply cannot muster? I know Big Joe has question marks over his ability to manage a Premiership team but fair play to him and Ipswich for topping whatever that table below us is called. Need I go on?

Never mind Keegan may go if we lose at Palace – I want passion, blood and guts from our 11 players. If they cannot do that then stick them on the transfer list today! In business, if something bad goes wrong then you analyse it and fix it. On Saturday, you would think Keegan would have kept every man, woman and child associated with MCFC behind to discuss how we are going to give 100% in our next game for taking home £30,000 per week or whatever? But no! I appreciate Macca is injured but come 5.40pm on Saturday, there he was driving out in his black 4×4 less than an hour after the game had finished. The whole team may have been leaving then too (from the car park under the stadium) but I could not see through the blackened windows of the sports cars as they all left together – just as well that they could hide their faces.

If Keegan turns it around, then fantastic. But how do a team beat Charlton 4-0 one week and decide (James and perhaps Dunney aside) not to turn up against Everton the following? I would love to know.

Stuart Pearce, are you ready? It’s time for a change.

Michael Jenkins <Jenkscity1(at)>


Saturday was a poor performance all round. I keep getting flashbacks to last season when the likes of Middlesbrough, Leeds and Leicester came to COMS, stifled the game and just stopped us playing. Everton for Christ’s sake, a team of workmen-like footballers who wear their shirts with pride, a team we should be demolishing at home. But a team pulling together for each other.

Alan Stubbs must have thought it was Christmas with us putting the only player in the Premiership who is slower than him up against him (yes you Robby). We didn’t win one ball in the air in their box all first half and then only one second half before Sibierski came on. We lack leadership on the pitch and it is now obvious that we lack leadership off it as well. That must be why nothing changed at half time. The team obviously didn’t get the roasting they deserved or if they did, didn’t take any notice. Our support was again brilliant, but if 44,000 of us can’t motivate the team KK has no chance.

I now officially join the KK out club (a 4-3 win in two weeks is the only thing that will change my mind). As for the joke of a referee. he was so fussy that he backed himself into a corner so when the first real tackle of the game happened he had to book Barton and Carsley instead of just taking them to one side and having a word as a half decent referee would have done.

Yes, I also agree that to be carded, never mind sent off, for pulling your shirt over your head is just crazy. What is happening to our game? Yes, us the supporters!

Every coach in the country now knows to put 5 across midfield, stop City playing and you might just get something. Hats off to David Moyes. Barnsley should be interesting.

CTID (it’s in the blood, even if it boils sometimes), Mick B <Koolfurmick(at)>


Well, the day has almost arrived when we bid farewell to Kevin Keegan. His decision making and overall management have been a farce, considering the name of the club he was asked to take charge of. Manchester City and its followers have a reputation for good humour but it is now getting beyond a joke that once again the hard work that had been put into the club is about to be thrown away.

His decision to sign Robbie fowler meant David Bernstein no longer had a future at the club, and as I have written many times, that decision has now come back to haunt them. He fell out with influential players, he sold one of the most committed, 100% die for the cause, iconic figure, I ain’t the greatest player but I will run my heart out, Shaun (the Goat) Goater, and replaced him with someone that used to play for Liverpool. Why else did he make that decision? Along with McManaman, or as Kev likes to call him Macca, I can think of better names to describe a player who contributed one decent performance since he arrived.

He has restricted the growth of a decent number of youth players, because he does not know how to coach them and instead relies on older players who have seen better days, and because they have more experience, his coaching methods do not get to be questioned as much.

Last season it was quoted that he rarely attended training sessions, no doubt leaving it to his old pals act, Cox and Fazackerly, who incidentally still retains a position at the club, but like Arthur Cox failed miserably to educate the players in a way that was beneficial to creating a winning team.

He fetched players back from Leicester who failed to board the bus; can you imagine Taggart doing that? There would be more chance of hell freezing over. In short he has no ruthless streak, unless it means dumping promising up and coming players.

His quote after the Everton defeat was that players are waiting for it to happen, instead of making it happen; no Kev, they are waiting for you to pull your finger out and sort out the mess you have created not only for yourself, but Manchester City.

Against Liverpool he complained that he could not see the game because the Liverpool manager kept standing up in his technical area. Is he having a laugh or what?

I wrote some weeks back concerning his decision not to have an assistant manager, that I believed was because he can not take criticism, therefore keep a grateful old pal by your side, as he did with Cox, and no questions will be asked. If Stuart Pearce was by his side, his ear would be bent, and to think that his decisions were failing the team, it would not go down too well, because he is Kevin Keegan, twice European player of the year, and Macca, well he’s played for the mighty Real Madrid.

Things have got so bad that there is literally no one decent to captain the side; by allowing Distin to carry on wearing the armband for so long, he has been sacrificing the club’s fortunes. We have one of the smallest squads available due to his inept decision making, and with a team consisting of in my opinion only three genuine talents, i.e. Anelka, James, and the soon to depart Shaun Wright-Phillips.

I say soon because it’s obvious that his four year contract means it will cost another club more money to buy him, and here is a lad who is going places, the trouble is it will not be with this shower.

Shaun is being let down by Erikson’s decision to play (I can’t do any wrong) Beckham and in time he will become frustrated at not being in the England starting eleven, which will have an adverse effect on his club performances, because he is only human. He already has to contend with teams double marking him, so because the team lacks any decent balance, he risks overworking himself and could get injured.

I would expect that in the next couple of weeks we will see a change in management, because to carry on for much longer Manchester City will certainly hit the wall, and the threat of relegation will once again raise its ugly head, Ian Dowie’s lurking.

Gary Sullivan – Born and bred Mancunian <gary(at)>


I have always backed Kevin Keegan, but now I start to think is he up to the modern game? The game has changed so much in recent years; sure it’s eleven against eleven, but it’s a lot more than that. Kevin Keegan it’s now very evident spent the money on the wrong players, or he can’t motivate them.

Next game versus Crystal Palace it’s a must win for KK, or I feel the fans will be very restless for a new manager. We only have to look at what Sam Allardyce has done with less money at Bolton to really understand what has happened.

I feel John Wardle listened too much at what Dennis Tueart had to say; the Chairman has always had City at heart, but has he had the wrong information given to him, and relied on the wrong people? The season is still young, and decisions might have to be made by the Board of Directors soon.

I clearly have always backed Kevin Keegan, but my support is getting a little wobbly. I am man to admit it, but will Kevin Keegan admit it, or will it get too late?

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Desperately seeking 2 tickets for Palace game. Please call 07899 998 997 or 0207 150 8020 or e-mail.

Many thanks, Simon Hope <simonjhope(at)>


Ex-Junior Blue and Platt Lane regular, now marooned in Penge, seeks ticket to Palace game on 18th Sept. Call 07931 761939 or email.

John Lister <johnnylister(at)>


I have a ticket for Southampton away (£30) on the 2nd of October available.

Chris Colesell <chris_colesell(at)>


One ticket for Southampton away – face value £30 wanted. Please email.

Michael McCue <mccues24(at)>


Kuala Lumpur Blues are having a get together for the Crystal Palace game on big screen. Any Blues who are just visiting or passing by KL are most welcome to join. Please call 016 3668798 or email:

Shahrin Osman <mancity_mal(at)>


I am off to Tolon in South East Greece on the 1st October so if anyone knows of a sports bar there where I can catch the Southampton game please let me know. Ta.

Mick B <Koolfurmick(at)>


John Wardle plus A.N. Other from the club are confirmed guests of the Swinton branch for our next meeting on Thursday 16th September at the Folly Social club on Station Road, Swinton. Other confirmed guests are Mark Halsey, FIFA referee, Peter Harrold, GMP appointed Liaison Officer between fans and the police, Chris Lea, Football intelligence officer, and the local manager of Thomas Cook to explain what they can do for us.

This is an ideal opportunity for fans to meet the chairman, ask questions or put points of view forward to the chairman and others. All City supporters are invited and welcome to come along and join us. If you intend to join us and require any further information please call me on 0161-281-7517.

Alex Channon <channons(at)>


12 September 2004

Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 0 Norwich City 36,095

11 September 2004

Aston Villa           0 - 0  Chelsea               36,691
Bolton Wanderers      2 - 2  Manchester United     27,766
Fulham                0 - 3  Arsenal               21,681
Liverpool             3 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  42,947
Manchester City       0 - 1  Everton               47,006
Middlesbrough         2 - 1  Birmingham City       30,252
Newcastle United      3 - 0  Blackburn Rovers      52,015
Portsmouth            3 - 1  Crystal Palace        20,019

League table to 12 September 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          5  2  0  0  8  3  3  0  0 11  2  5  0  0  19   5  14  15
 2 Chelsea          5  2  0  0  3  1  2  1  0  3  0  4  1  0   6   1   5  13
 3 Bolton Wndrs     5  2  1  0  7  3  1  0  1  2  3  3  1  1   9   6   3  10
 4 Middlesbrough    5  2  1  0  6  4  1  0  1  5  5  3  1  1  11   9   2  10
 5 Everton          5  1  0  1  3  5  2  1  0  4  1  3  1  1   7   6   1  10
 6 Tottenham H.     5  1  2  0  2  1  1  1  0  2  1  2  3  0   4   2   2   9
 7 Aston Villa      5  2  1  0  6  2  0  1  1  1  4  2  2  1   7   6   1   8
 8 Liverpool        4  2  0  0  5  1  0  1  1  1  2  2  1  1   6   3   3   7
 9 Portsmouth       4  2  1  0  8  5  0  0  1  1  2  2  1  1   9   7   2   7
10 Manchester Utd   5  1  1  0  2  1  0  2  1  3  4  1  3  1   5   5   0   6
11 Charlton Ath.    4  2  0  0  5  1  0  0  2  1  8  2  0  2   6   9  -3   6
12 Newcastle Utd    5  1  1  1  5  3  0  1  1  4  6  1  2  2   9   9   0   5
13 Manchester City  5  1  1  1  5  2  0  0  2  1  3  1  1  3   6   5   1   4
14 Birmingham City  5  1  0  1  1  1  0  1  2  2  4  1  1  3   3   5  -2   4
15 Fulham           5  1  0  2  2  5  0  1  1  4  5  1  1  3   6  10  -4   4
16 Southampton      4  1  0  1  4  4  0  0  2  1  4  1  0  3   5   8  -3   3
17 Norwich City     5  0  1  1  2  5  0  2  1  3  4  0  3  2   5   9  -4   3
18 West Brom A.     5  0  2  0  2  2  0  1  2  2  6  0  3  2   4   8  -4   3
19 Blackburn R.     5  0  2  0  2  2  0  0  3  2  9  0  2  3   4  11  -7   2
20 Crystal Palace   5  0  0  2  1  5  0  1  2  3  6  0  1  4   4  11  -7   1

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1052