Newsletter #1069

Continuing analysis of the derby game, we have a slight continental flavour tonight with views from our Italian friends and an excellent piece by Dave on what happens “off pitch” on derby day.

Don brings us news tonight on yet more injuries, a loan for Lee “Figo” Croft, and Kev asking for the chequebook again come January.

We have a hatful of requests for both local and far flung Blues, so hopefully the usual McV family spirit will see them sorted.

Blackburn and the diminutive Dickov are our next visitors on Saturday. Here’s hoping he doesn’t plague us yet again and that we can continue in our recent good form.

Next game: Blackburn Rovers, home, 3pm Saturday 13 November 2004


General News

Expensive Rant: The pre-derby press coverage did not make pleasant reading for our manager. First KK was fined £8,500 and received a reprimand from the F.A. for his full and frank exchange of views with referee Steve Dunn on October 24. Keegan had previously admitted an F.A. charge of using ‘abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour’ to Dunn for his handling of City 4-3 Premiership defeat to Newcastle at St James’ Park. The F.A. appear to have taken Keegan’s previously impeccable disciplinary record into account in handing down such a modest fine. And derby day dawned with a damning daub, which declared that the diminutive doyen was deemed to be doomed (I’d like to thank James Elroy and my thesaurus for that last sentence). According to the beloved sheet known as the People, KK was going to walk out on City at the end of the season, a year before his contract expires. The Boss Man has kept the news quiet in the dressing room – but now the news is out in the open. Allegedly.

Villains See Off City: It had to happen. City’s reserves have finally lost a league game, going down 3-2 at Aston Villa in an exciting encounter. A free kick from Thomas Hitzlsperger opened the scoring, but goals from Paddy McCarthy and débutant Ishmael Miller saw City take the lead. But two goals inside a minute finally settled the game, scored by Ridgewell and Davis. David Sommeil’s comeback continued, as the French defender played a full game. Team: Waterreus, Sommeil, Collins, J D’Laryea, McCarthy, Warrender, Croft (Bennett 62), Ireland, Bermingham, Miller (N D’Laryea 84), Tandy (Laird 62). Subs: Ellegaard, Lee-Matthews,

International Blues: Jon Macken has been included in the Republic of Ireland squad for their meeting with Croatia next week. The striker will to win his second international cap if selected for the friendly in Dublin next Wednesday. Richard Dunne’s excellent form has ensured a recall to the squad for the defender, while France coach Raymond Domenech has again overlooked Nicolas Anelka. Despite selecting the 19-strong squad for only a friendly against Poland on November 17, Domenach has again passed over Anelka, who has scored six times for City so far this season. Following the injury to back-up striker Liverpool’s Djibril Cisse, Anelka had been a candidate for a recall.

Transfer News and Gossip

Kev Goes Dutch: Ian Nixon in MCIVTA 1068 brought you first news of KK’s trip to Holland to watch AZ Alkmaar’s UEFA Cup clash with Auxerre. The press caught up with us the next day, and the guessing games began. The Dutch side’s attacking midfielder Danny Landzaat got a mention, while Sky Sports’ website speculated that the Boss was checking out Auxerre defender Younes Kaboul. A number of Premiership scouts are believed to have been at the game to check on the highly-rated 18-year-old. Kaboul has broken into the Auxerre side this season and he is highly-regarded by the French club. More frequent however were reports linking City with another Auxerre player, midfielder Teemu Tainio. KK is hoping to tempt Auxerre with a bid of a whopping £250,000. Reports are still circulating by the way that the Blues’ boss is also keen on another Finn, striker Nzaji Kuqi who is currently on trial with Birmingham City.

Open Mind: Last week’s reports of Steve McManaman’s imminent demise have proved to be premature. There was speculation last week that the former England star was retiring next May after being informed he would not be offered a new deal by the Blues. Mr. Keegan was quick to deny this. “At this moment in time, I have an open mind over whether to offer him a new contract,” said Keegan. “He has this year left and we need to see what kind of a season we have and how well he plays between now and next May. If Steve gets himself playing regularly and playing well, then it is all there for him. But it’s not something I have even thought about and I am sure Steve would be shocked himself if I started to talk to him about a new contract now. We don’t know where we are going to be next spring. We could be battling for a place in Europe or fighting at the bottom. At this stage it is all to play for and that goes for all my players, not just Steve.”

Place Your Bids: It sounds like negotiations have begun between KK and the Board over the transfer budget for the January sales. You’d have to guess that Keegan will be working with a very small transfer kitty – still, it does no harm to ask, does it? “The board have got to come to me and tell me what I can and cannot do, that is the way it works,” stated Keegan. “We have never stopped looking for players but we don’t know really where we have to look. We know that we can’t look at any big transfer fees but if there is no money at all then there are no Bosman transfers in the January window. A Bosman comes at the end of the season and if you want to entice them away early, then you have to pay some money. That’s the real challenge for the board at this football club. We only have two left-footed players at the club and they are Stephen Jordan and Sylvain Distin. We haven’t got a left-sided midfield player because we lost Trevor Sinclair for the rest of the season,” he noted. “We are just mixing and matching at the moment and I think we are doing ok with it.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Left Footed Midfielders Update: This week brought news of a couple of former midfield warriors from the JR era. On Monday night, Leicester City’s new manager Craig Levein saw his side sweep to a comfortable 3-0 win over Coventry in his first game in charge at the Walkers Stadium. The second goal was scored by Danny Tiatto with his right foot, no less. And the seemingly fit again ex-Blue is also the captain of the Foxes. And Kevin Horlock has been named the Player of the Month for October in the Championship (that’s Division 1 to all of you under 30, and the Second Division to those over 30). The former City midfielder joined Ipswich in the summer on a free transfer from West Ham and linked up with former boss Joe Royle at Portman Road. Horlock has been a regular in the Town side and has been a major factor in Ipswich’s impressive start to the season.

Reactions and Comments

O.T. Suits Dunne & Co.: What a towering performance from Richard Dunne in the derby. He was rightly made man of the match for helping repel the Thick Red Line at O.T. on Sunday. “It was a tough old day,” the Irish defender said. “We set out our stall to play just one up front so we knew they would probably have plenty of possession but we have defended really well as a team. There was plenty of pressure on us and we will get the plaudits as defenders but you have to remember the job that midfield, led by Paul Bosvelt, did for us. They offered us loads of protection and it wasn’t easy for them either. You know before you get to Old Trafford that you are going to have to be strong and to stand up and be counted and that is exactly what we did from one to 11.” Fellow defender Danny Mills said: “We knew we would concede plenty of possession but we handled what they threw at us very well. It is a difficult place to come and we rode our luck at times but we are delighted with the way we executed the plan.” Stephen Jordan showed a defensive resilience beyond his years, epitomised by his goal line clearance in the fourth minute, followed swiftly by a clout on the head that drew blood. “I am very proud of what we did as a team at Old Trafford and I was pleased with my own performance. As a City fan I know what it means not just to beat United but to put up battling performances like that when everything was stacked against us and everyone thought we would be hard pressed to get anything. We always believed we could nick something from the game and so it proved. I could only do my best. United have some great players. I got a few hours sleep but I admit I woke up early thinking about the game. I suppose clearing one off the line in the first few minutes was a good way to settle the nerves. I thought it was going wide at first but I am glad I didn’t leave it to find out. Then I got a bang on the head which I didn’t know much about and after that it was a great performance from the team. We were dogged and defended well for the whole 90 minutes. We deserved our point, I think. I may get a chance now but you don’t take anything for granted in football. I am looking forward to it though. If you cannot look forward to playing in the Premiership what can you look forward to?”

Who’s Your Derby Against? So it was an unusually resolute performance by the Blues, and KK refused was defiant about his use of such tactics. “I don’t care what people think about the way we played,” said Keegan. “I have always come here and tried to attack and hopefully I will do so again but we had so many players missing I don’t see what the alternative was. It was Manchester United who had to win the game. They were the ones who had to force the pace. But if we had taken a chance at the end, we might even have won. They know there’s another team in Manchester now,” he added. “Sir Alex Ferguson said last year that their local derby was Liverpool. But we have done quite well against them. We are in this city, and when we play these games we have the chance to remind them of that. That’s always nice.”

Mundane Mundane, So Good for Me: Believe it of not, Sir Alex was not happy and couldn’t wait to trot out his list of complaints. “We made enough chances for sure. Some of our play was very good, some terrific passing,” Fergie told Sky Sports. “We had a lot of openings but we are going through a period where we are not converting them into the goals we should be doing.” So far, so good, but wait: “Maybe it’s the big game factor. European football represents a big game for them and maybe the mundane challenge of the Premier League is not the same. It’s not championship form, you can’t excuse it. The chances we are creating and then not taking them is not good enough.” Ferguson was also unhappy with referee Graham Poll after seeing several strong penalty appeals turned down. He added: “We feel they’re clear penalties. In fairness of Arsenal, we’re going to be penalised for that and that’s what is happening now. The referee was no way going to give a penalty. You would have to hit someone with an axe. They were clear pens and I don’t know what to do about it. The laws of the game are there, if you are brought down or pulled back like Silvestre was, like Saha was, they’re clear penalties, but we have to suffer at the moment.” Poor old Alex – still, it stopped him having to justify Alan Smith’s brace of crude challenges, I suppose.

Squad News

Loan Wolf Strikes: Mikkel Bischoff scored his first goal for managerless Wolves to hand them their third successive home league win on Saturday. The 22-year-old, on loan from the Blues, headed home from Colin Cameron’s corner to put Wolves ahead for the second time two minutes before the break. It came moments after Shaun Newton had hit the woodwork for the hosts. David Johnson had scored for the second game in a row to put Forest on level terms. Bischoff later commented: “I’m happy here and it’s good for me to be playing first-team football again. But it’s difficult to say what will happen because that’s down to the clubs and it’ll be a decision for whoever comes in as the new manager. It’s always sad when a manager goes and we didn’t want Dave to lose his job. I feel what he did for me was very important.” Speaking of loanees…

Lee the Latic: Lee Croft has gone on a month’s loan to Oldham Athletic. KK has given permission for him to take part in Sunday’s FA Cup tie away at Thurrock, live on BBC television. He will also be available for Latics’ LDV Vans Trophy tie later this month. “As soon as the gaffer told me that I was coming to Oldham I was looking forward to it,” said Croft. “He went through a few of the fixtures and I was excited – especially about Sunday. The LDV is new to me so I’ll look forward to that. I’ll get on and play in the League as well hopefully – and show what I can do. I want to come here and play my football. Oldham’s a big club and I’ve shown the fans at City what I can do in the reserves so hopefully I can come here and show the Oldham fans what I’m made of.” Willo Flood gained valuable first team experience on loan at Bury last year, so it’s hoped that croft will make similar progress.

The Latest From Casualty: Trevor Sinclair’s injury has been found to be more serious than hoped, and has ruled the 31-year-old out for the rest of the season after undergoing a scan on a troublesome knee injury. His knee became inflamed during the Carling Cup defeat against Arsenal, his first game since September. But he has suffered a micro-fracture of the femur and ligament damage and will be on crutches for three months. There’s also depressing news for Ben Thatcher, as KK reported. “Ben Thatcher will be out for three months,” he explained. “We thought his absence would only be for four weeks. But when they operated on the ankle they found another problem in there.” There’s better news of two of the crocked midfielders. Claudio Reyna has returned to full training this week. “Claudio is back training, which is a big plus,” revealed the manager. “If he can get through the Thursday training session then he would have to be considered for Saturday. It may be for a place on the bench and then to come on for the last fifteen or twenty minutes. If someone got injured in the game early I think it would be wrong to put him on and expect him to play an hour or so. I think we would be risking him too much but I am looking to play him in the reserves match next week against Leeds.” Joey Barton meanwhile hopes to be ready to face Portsmouth later this month. “Hopefully I can put myself back in the frame and back in contention and we can start making something happen,” he remarked. “Training-wise I think the physios will say that they have enough of me moaning to them. Every day I am constantly asking them the same question; ‘when will I be back?’ They have got to the point that they have started laughing when I ask them. It is pure eagerness on my part. I have this attitude that if I work harder one day then I will be back quicker but they have make sure I do the right amount of work to keep me on track and so I don’t have a setback that might keep me out for longer. I am doing everything they ask of me but I am sure the medical staff will tell anyone that asks that I am a moaner. The treadmill and the pool have been constant companions over the past few weeks to the point where I have been begging to go out and run.”

High Five: City have awarded contracts to five youngsters this week. Nedum Onuoha, Kasper Schmeichel and Stephen Ireland have signed their first professional contracts. Nedum Onuoha has already made two appearances in the senior side, gaining his first start in the Carling Cup defeat at the hands of Arsenal and following that up with an appearance from the bench in the draw with Norwich. “This is my first my professional contract and it is great to get one, which gives me time to concentrate on my football,” said the delighted teenager. “It is great to get it sorted out as sometimes I was thinking of my football and other times I was wondering if I was going to get a contract.” Nineteen year old twins Jonathan and Nathan D’Laryea have agreed contract extensions to their current deals. “It is great that these boys have made the first step in a professional career in the game,” said the Academy director Jim Cassell. “We all work hard in the Academy to create an opportunity for the boys here. Now we have done that the next stage can be the most difficult one and that is to take that opportunity and establish themselves in the senior squad. We all hope that they can take their chance and that we will see them as members of the Manchester City senior squad in the future.” KK was also delighted to have settled the futures of the Boy Blues. “Our Academy has done us proud this year. About a year and a half ago when Arthur Cox was still here, he told me we had some good ones coming through,” he recalled. “I have to be honest. I said that Shaun had come through but I couldn’t really see what else was coming through. Nedum was very young, but I thought he had a chance. But the kids have done well. As one has done something it has encouraged the others. Shaun has been a great standard bearer.”


The Observer’s Football diary picked out this gem from our Beloved Leader, from the latest collection of Private Eye’s ‘Colemanballs’ – “Robbie Fowler has been scoring goals like that since before he was almost born.” We’ll miss him when he’s gone, eh readers?

Don Barrie <news(at)>


City beaten by Villains

An early season title decider perhaps, ended in Aston Villa gaining the upper hand as their games in hand will now take them clear at the top of the table as they show their class in aiming to retain the title they won so convincingly last year. Two early quality free kick goals, one from each side from Thomas Hitzlsperger and Paddy McCarthy respectively, were added to by a début reserve goal from Ishmael Miller on his first start for the reserves. City’s lead was cancelled out though when Villa hit back with two goals inside a minute from Liam Ridgewell and Steven Davis.

Although City conceded a poor free kick in just over a minute from a clumsy challenge from McCarthy, had it not been for his sterling defensive work to cover for the diabolique David Sommeil, the scoreline would have been far greater in favour of Villa. Unfortunately, with no senior coaching staff being present apart from Tim Flowers, I honestly felt that Asa Harford did not have the bottle to substitute him after about fifteen minutes, which was all you needed to see that he hasn’t a clue on how to be a good central defender; he went AWOL too many times and as his name translates to sleepy, sleepy by name, sleepy by nature.

Hitzlsperger took his goal really well, hitting it into the far left corner leaving Ronald Waterreus no chance. After that it was real end to end stuff, with Miller causing the Villa defence all sorts of problems. Indeed, it was his forward play that forced Ridgewell into the foul, which led to our free kick twenty five yards out; McCarthy hit a stunning low drive from an indirect lay off by Jamie Tandy.

After that, Villa were again dominant and forced City back on numerous occasions. The strangest one was where Villa player, Kyle Nix, received the ball in an offside position after the ball had possibly skimmed the head of Danny Warrender; the linesman raised his flag, most players stopped but the referee allowed play to continue and McCarthy made a heroic run to clear the ball from the line from a shot by the ever dangerous Mika Aaritalo.

Paddy showed his defensive qualities yet again when he made a great last ditch tackle on Luke Moore when he was clean through. Minutes later, Waterreus pulled off a fine save from a strong near post header by Hitzlsperger. Once again David Sommeil made things even harder for his team mates as he slipped whilst out of position and high up the pitch to allow Aaritalo to be played clean through. His powerful shot was well saved by Waterreus, but he could not hold on to the rebound and McCarthy again was there to clear off the line from Aaritalo’s second attempt. Then Stephen Ireland was called into performing heroics as Luke Moore’s subtle header was cleared off the line in stoppage time when Moore rose to meet Hitzlsperger’s corner.

The first thirty minutes of the second half took on a totally new complexion as City pressed further up the field and controlled their possession far better. So it was no surprise that we took the lead on fifty seven minutes when Miller received a long throw in from the left by Paul Collins and he turned Magnus Troest in defence easily and fired an unstoppable drive past want-away ‘keeper Stefan Postma and into the top corner.

City made a double change ten minutes later. Ian Bennett replacing Lee Croft was fully understandable, given the resulting loan to Oldham, but bringing on the slow, lightweight Mark Laird to replace the strong and pacey Jamie Tandy was ludicrous. Five minutes later Bennett was called into action when again City had to clear off the line, this time from a strike from Luke Moore. A minute later City nearly doubled their lead when a strong run from Ireland from the half way line resulted in a strong strike on target but Postma was able to smother the chance.

As the game drew into the last fifteen minutes, Villa pressed forward again. On seventy eight minutes Sommeil gave a stupid free kick away, which Waterreus did well to save from Hitzlsperger, but he was only able to palm it away and the ball was retrieved by Steven Davis, whose cross was met unchallenged by Ridgewell to head past Waterreus in goal to level the scores.

A minute later saw Sommeil out wide in our half, leaving McCarthy exposed as he let substitute Gabriel Agbonlahor just drift past him and send in a cross. McCarthy attempted to clear but only managed to get a half touch in the air; he tried to recover but was impeded in the air and should have got a free kick but the referee allowed play to continue and that left Davis a free shot on goal, which he curled around the despairing Waterreus.

Nathan D’Laryea was brought on to replace Miller late on, after he had been cynically brought down from behind by Ridgewell. But it was too little, too late for the Blues that had lost their eight game unbeaten run. If Sommeil is included in the 16 man squad for Saturday ahead of McCarthy and Onuoha, then there is something really wrong at this club!

Waterreus: Let’s hope he agrees a new short term contract, top quality. 8
Sommeil: I think a lump of lard could have done better. 1
Collins: Strong performance yet again in his favoured left back position. 7
J D’Laryea: Never really got a grip of midfield. 6
McCarthy (capt): Threw everything to the cause after an early mistake. MoM. 9
Warrender: Tackled everything that moved. 8
Croft (62): Never got around the defence to cause any problems. 6
Ireland: Did very well against such experience and played some quality balls. 8
Bermingham: Came up against a strong defence that played the game to their advantage. 7
Miller (85): This lad has a great future if he keeps progressing the way he has been. 8
Tandy(62): Don’t know why he was replaced was working well down the left? 7
Bennett (62): Did a good job when he came on and a vital goal line clearance. 6
Laird (62): Far too lightweight for this high tempo game. 3
N D’Laryea (85): Too late to mark.
Not Used: Ellegaard, Lee-Matthews.

Villa: Postma, Drobny, Foley, Troest, Ridgewell, Berson, Aaritalo (Agbonlahor 63), Davis, Moore, Hitzlsperger (capt), Nix (Gardner 72).
Not Used: Olejnik, Paul, Green.

Att: 420.

Gavin Cooper <blueboy(at)>


It has been my privilege to follow City to our neighbouring city since the early 80s, c.83 when I’d be a third year and in my formative years. I reckon I’ve missed three over this period, the 0-5 when I was in a pub in Sheffield and decided it would be better for me to be at the games in future to vent my spleen, rather than making a total tit of myself without too many like minded souls; when I was living in Toronto for a year, although I did fly home for the FA Cup game in the January (the penalty Alan Wilkie awarded was likened in the next day’s Independent to being arrested for littering in a full scale riot), to which I am ever indebted to Birchy for getting me a ticket; and the Joe Royle Premier League experience again when I was abroad. I’d offset the non-attendance here with turning out at the ’86 Youth Cup final and the George Weah, sorry Irwin, testimonial.

My point in setting out my own credentials is to reflect on our own performance, the fans that is, at said ground. Over this time the atmosphere has obviously changed as our supporters have collectively grown older and the impact of the Hillsborough tragedy and clandestine agendas of governments have taken their toll. Post all-seater stadia, in the first derby back under KK, I was amazed at how we had acquiesced and left feeling we had not fared much better than the prawn sandwich munchers for commitment. Despite being perpetually behind, save for a glorious 20 minutes started by Gio (or was it a ball from Gio to Rösler?) leaving Bluedolf waving at fresh air, we have always belted our lungs until the end on our visits here. The league last year saw some improvement, but still could do better. With the added weight of Andy Morrison and the popularity of Shaun Goater, the FA Cup saw our performance scaling the heights of backing that befits the privilege of following the Blues. However, this year definitely takes the biscuit in recent times.

I am not sure what if anything was relayed on television feeds, however the half time sing-a-long was definitely one for annals of City supporting history. If it was not relayed back, the script began shortly before half time with ‘Oh when the Blues (Oh when the Blues)’. As the team left the pitch the song was still reverberating around the fast emptying corporate seats. There was that sense, you know the one when everyone starts with a wry stupid grin, that mischief was afoot. Initially many Blues stayed standing proud and bellowing out the anthem. As numbers relented to bladder pressure and stodge requirements the remaining fans just got louder, if not a little hoarse. Then came the cheese for me, the bit that reminded me why we are City and they are a plc up for sale to all and sundry. In the same way the corpulent executives enjoy the annual ticking reminder of how long our fans have endured and are still coming back to out sing them; or the witticism of the plc’s signage, mancunia – do me a favour; their corporate advantage sought to up the volume on the speakers in our corner to drown us out. Admittedly it was difficult keeping time and tune, but we did. As their racket abated realising the Blues cannot be put down, the returning ‘mooners added to the vocals. To my immense enjoyment the tune was going full belt when our lads rejoined the pitch and through kick off. You cannot buy that kind of support. Even Reds have admitted their begrudging admiration. Away supporting definitely being better than home. Can we turn these tables to make Bluecamp similarly vociferous in line with the efforts of AAG?

At the end, to Distin’s continued credit, he led the rest of the lads over to the appreciating masses at the opposite end of the pitch. For one moment I was lamenting the absence of Joey Barton, who is first to recognise the efforts it takes to come away from home. However, Sylvain displayed his full credentials and brought the whole team over. Good efforts lads, the bond is growing, I think Palace was a watershed.

Back to the corporate support United are now reduced to. Do you think it would be worth challenging their use of ‘Old Trafford Manchester’ in their shiny three tier stand? Manchester? It has bugged me for years; there must be trade description or some similar misrepresentation law that could be put to good effect.

Finally, I have to say that I am disappointed to come away happy with a draw. Every time I go their place I want us to go to win. And with the squad we have we should be in a position to do just that. However, the big earners have proved they are not up to the challenge – although the Robster deserves his wages this week for the grief he gave to the aforesaid corporates, why is it they can abuse him so vilely and then not handle a bit of banter? No wonder the FA have dropped any potential charges as crowd violence from that stand is hardly likely, maybe a tartan blanket dropped or triangle sandwich spluttered out at worst. I digress. Hats off to KK and his team for producing the best out of what he has got with his tactics on Sunday, and hats off to the lads who gave every nerve and sinew. Proud to be Blue.

Thanks to anyone who made it to the end of this ramble. Whatever you do, stay Blue.

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


After the match on Sunday, my sis said she enjoyed every second of it; I said the only second I enjoyed was the one where the ref blew his whistle for full time. But God bless the lads, it almost seems better getting a point when we were clearly 2nd best, all the Reds I know are seething. Lovely Jubbly!

Some ratings:

Jammo: God bless him, he flaps like a stranded emu sometimes, but I wouldn’t swap him.
Mills: Strong, solid, was up for defending the cause.
Distin: Great performance from someone who has been getting some stick lately.
The Dunny Monster: Have said it before, one of the best defenders in the country, MOTM by a long way.
Jordan: Some funny comments about pitstops and things by the commentators. Is this lad going to be a star or what, 2nd only to Dunny?
Sibierski: Worked hard, I’m still convinced there is a lot more to come from him, was up for the cause.
Macca: Probably one of his best games for us, maybe we should boo him every time he gets the ball, it seemed to work (sorry, I forgot, some people do boo him every time).
SWeeP: Didn’t have a great game, caught in possession the few times he had the ball and looked a bit lost sometimes. Think I can forgive him one less than perfect game though.
Willo: Another year and some of granny’s stew will see this lad bigger, badder, and better; worked hard without getting a lot of the ball.
Bosvelt: Worked his socks off and was totally committed. I liked him Sunday, but sometimes I don’t even notice that he’s there, Is that just me?
Nico: Ploughed a lone furrow up front; some players would “sulk” if they had to do that wouldn’t they? This guy works hard and considering the few times he actually got the ball in an attacking position, he could even have “nicked” it for us. Class act.
Keegan: Must be the first time in his life he’s had to send a team out to defend resolutely, was he having a sly dig at S.A.F. when he said that it was up to them to score, and they couldn’t!

Just one last word. Please, please, please let this not be one of those countless times that we play so well against one of the top teams, then f**k it up against a lower light the next week!

Keep the faith.

Phil <xphillee(at)>


Excellent defensive display at Old Trafford by the back four. In particular, full praise must be given to Steven Jordan for remaining so composed and looking comfortable against Ronaldo and Giggs. I can recall two, maybe three serious chances from United in a game where they dominated possession but did little else with it. They looked like City on so many occasions last season and we all know where that got us! Is the tide finally turning? Let’s hope so.

One criticism though – watching the game was very painful as we seemed to put so much pressure on ourselves when our midfielders and forwards gave too many balls away and made some poor decisions. We had chances to make United work harder to gain possession and didn’t really take them – who knows, if could have held on to the ball for longer we could have come away with a win.

Yes, areas of the team aren’t perfect but if we can achieve a level of consistency with our improved defence there is no reason we cannot get better results in the coming months.

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


I watched the derby game via the Italian Sky Sport and I would like to express my view about the game.

There’s no doubt City deserved the point in terms of resiliance, pride, tactical composure and a bit of luck so we can get out of OT with a confidence I hope we will retain for the rest of the campaign. The Italian TV journalist commented how lucky City were to escape with a point and he underlined the total dominion of the Rags, the ‘marvellous spirit of their Captain’, the ‘best English defender of all times’ (Rio – aaaaaaaarrrrgggh!). The disastrous David James, nicknamed Calamity James, the splendid Rags fans with a special atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams, the wise choice of Sir Alex of resting the stars as Giggs and Rooney for the real hard games and so on.

I would like you to know that this idiot is nowhere near being a decent journalist, he pretends to be an Arsenal fan but he always supports the big teams and so how better way to do it than supporting the Rags in the derby?

He always praises the ‘marvellous red captain’, obviously forgetting about the Alfie Haaland matter, the rudeness of the lad and other things you know better than me! He also forgot the fact that possibly David James isn’t the best ‘keeper of all times but in the derby match he hasn’t done any real clearance ’cause with all their territorial control the Rags haven’t caused any real danger.

He complained about the ‘two early not allowed penalties for United’ (called “Manchester” by him, would you believe it?). At the final whistle I was jubilant for the Blues in first place but also for this stupid man and all his ineptitude!

I also do appreciate the comments by Ahsan Naeem about Sour Alex, very funny indeed!

Having said that, in the next articles I would like also to express my ideas about the manager, the board and the players but in the meanwhile I thought it was fair to praise the lads for a well deserved point against the Red enemy. Now we have in front a good fixtures list and we have to improve our table position, trying to win some games on the trot and we do have to begin with Rovers at home.

Best wishes for all the Blues around.

Dario Alberto Gigante – Ravenna, Italy <ghigas1972(at)>


Hi everybody from Italia!

The day after the Old Trafford’s hard battle, we really must be proud of the squad! It was like seeing the biblical match between little David and the giant Goliath. And, at the end of the game, David saved himself with great honour.

Not a simple pain, but a sort of terror made me nervous minute by minute while Sky Italian showed the derby. The referee perhaps made confusion with the colours of the two squads in the beginning, not giving to the Rags a penalty or two. However, our defence was superb all over the game: yesterday the Rags played better then against Arsenal.

How much did I laugh when TV showed me all those angry dubious faces of the home fans at the final whistle? I don’t know exactly! This derby means more than a simple draw for us! The power of the Rags’ money cannot do anything against our honest and strong squad.

Dunne and Distin seemed like Nesta and Maldini: simply perfect all over the 90 minutes. However, even if hard times won’t finish again, let me be so proud of our clever Academy boys Jordan and Flood. I believe Willo will become the new Nobby Stiles, he has so much charisma and he’s so young.

Forza Magico City!

Renato Tubére – Torino <r.tubere(at)>


The next meeting of Denton Blues takes place on Monday 22nd November, 8pm at Denton Con Club, when our special guests will be Tony Book and David Clayton. Skip will be doing a Q&A session, usual photos & signings and there will also be a chance to be amongst the first to get his recently released autobiography.

Heidi <editor(at)>


Chorlton Blues will be celebrating their 4th Anniversary on Tuesday 16th November. Our guests for the evening are Colin Bell and Tony Book, and Branch President James H Reeve will be on hand as our MC. There will be a chance to win a signed 1st team shirt or a retro Colin Bell shirt signed by the legend himself. There will be a question and answer session and supporters will have the opportunity to meet Colin and Tony for autographs and photos. As we are expecting a busy evening, it is advised to arrive as near to 8.00pm as possible.

The event takes place at South West Manchester Cricket Club, Ellesmere Road, Chorlton.

Further details can be found at

Larry Higgs <info(at)>


I’m a City fan from Australia, currently on a football tour of Europe, and in England for the Blackburn and Portsmouth games. Back in the early ’90s, I lived in London and joined the London branch of the City supporters’ club. I went to watch City every time they played in the capital, and to quite a few games at Maine Road in the 90-91 season and the start of the 91-92 season.

I played for the supporters’ club football team in the London supporters’ clubs league, every Sunday on the fields behind Wormwood Scrubs prison, and would like to get in touch with some of my fellow players from those days, all of whom I have lost contact with. Robin Samuel, Andy Potter, Dave Garner are you out there? There was also Steve, our goalie; Andy, who played up front; John, who moved to Ireland; Danny, the animal libber; Martin and Keith. If any of you read this, and want to meet up for a pint to reminisce and talk City, drop me a line.

Paul Sherry (a.k.a. The Oz) <pauljola(at)>


Does anyone travel from Dorset (Poole) to Manchester and back at the weekends? Would share expenses if lift can be arranged!

Ian Wilson <ianwilson393(at)>


I am a member of the Northenden branch supporters’ club. However, I recently moved to West London and would like to know if there are any supporters’ clubs in this area?

Feed the Goat!

Darren Wareing <darren.wareing(at)>


“You saw me standing alone”

I spent derby day at one of the local English pubs. It was a sea of red as you can imagine. I could hear the comments from all over the bar as I shouted during the match (Smith getting the red card). I was the only Blue in the place.

If there are any Blues in San Diego, CA please give me a shout.

Chad M. Cooper <chadmcooper1972(at)>


I have recently moved to Sydney, Australia.

I was wondering if any Blues in the area meet up occasionally to watch matches or just have a beer.

If so then please mail me.

Stephen Wallwork <stephen.wallwork(at)>


League table to 10 November 2004 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         12  5  1  0  9  1  4  1  1  8  2  9  2  1  17   3  14  29
 2 Arsenal         12  4  2  0 19  8  4  1  1 13  5  8  3  1  32  13  19  27
 3 Everton         12  3  1  2  6  7  4  1  1  8  4  7  2  3  14  11   3  23
 4 Bolton Wndrs    12  4  2  0 11  5  2  2  2  8  9  6  4  2  19  14   5  22
 5 Middlesbrough   12  2  3  1  8  7  3  1  2 12  8  5  4  3  20  15   5  19
 6 Aston Villa     12  4  2  0 12  3  0  4  2  5 10  4  6  2  17  13   4  18
 7 Manchester Utd  12  3  3  0  7  3  1  3  2  4  6  4  6  2  11   9   2  18
 8 Liverpool       11  4  0  1 10  2  1  2  3  8  9  5  2  4  18  11   7  17
 9 Newcastle Utd   12  3  1  2 13 11  1  3  2 10 12  4  4  4  23  23   0  16
10 Portsmouth      11  4  1  1 11  6  0  2  3  4  9  4  3  4  15  15   0  15
11 Charlton Ath.   12  3  2  1  8  4  1  1  4  5 17  4  3  5  13  21  -8  15
12 Fulham          12  3  0  3  7  9  1  2  3  9 11  4  2  6  16  20  -4  14
13 Manchester City 12  2  2  2  7  4  1  2  3  6  8  3  4  5  13  12   1  13
14 Tottenham H.    12  1  2  3  5  7  2  2  2  3  4  3  4  5   8  11  -3  13
15 Birmingham City 12  1  3  2  4  5  1  3  2  4  5  2  6  4   8  10  -2  12
16 Crystal Palace  12  2  1  3  8  8  1  2  3  5  8  3  3  6  13  16  -3  12
17 West Brom A.    12  1  4  1  6  8  0  2  4  5 14  1  6  5  11  22 -11   9
18 Southampton     12  1  3  2  7  8  0  2  4  3  8  1  5  6  10  16  -6   8
19 Norwich City    12  0  4  2  7 11  0  4  2  4  8  0  8  4  11  19  -8   8
20 Blackburn R.    12  1  4  1  7 10  0  1  5  3 15  1  5  6  10  25 -15   8

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0405.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings bu email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] 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.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[5] 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” (

[6] 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.

[7] 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

[8] 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

[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] Where can I find a list of City-related websites?

Try Wookie’s Lair:

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 #1069