Newsletter #1077

A disappointing performance and defeat at Boro on Monday night means no advance for City. Tonight we have news on more fixture changes, Anelka’s alleged comments about a move, views on the Boro game and what the club should do about KK’s transfer requests.

On a personal note, this issue is for my gorgeous little niece (and latest Blue) Molly who arrived yesterday.

Next game: Tottenham Hotspur, home, 3pm Saturday 11 December 2004


General News

No Go Nicky: Nicky Weaver’s comeback was put on hold after the reserves match scheduled for Tuesday was postponed. As we reported last week, the scheduled game between Liverpool and City was in doubt after a dispute over when the game might be played this week. The match will be played on Tuesday 26th April next year and though Kevin Keegan had looked at other possibilities, it will be another ten days before Nicky Weaver starts on his comeback. The reserves travel to Blackburn on Tuesday 14th of December and the ‘keeper will take up his place between the posts as he bids to end his injury nightmare that started back in March two years ago.

Pay Per View Treat: There’s another Saturday tea-time ruined in the Barrie household. Sky has announced their next tranche of pay-per-view games for 2005. And there it is folks, on Saturday, January 22, West Brom vs. City, 5.15pm kick off.

Payout to PCs: Thanks to Tony Hulme for pointing out this item in the M.E.N. Tony points out that this probably means another hole in the transfer kitty. “PAYOUT TO SOCCER RIOT COPS – EIGHT police officers who were injured during a brawl between rival football fans have each won a share of a £56,000 out-of-court settlement. The six male and two female officers will receive the compensation for serious back, limb and neck injuries they received at the match between Manchester City and Millwall at Maine Road on February 6, 1999. Their legal adviser said there had been ‘woefully inadequate planning and policing’ of the match. Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City FC jointly agreed to compensate the officers with £56,397. WPC Carolyn Hargreaves was hit in the face by football supporters and had pieces of broken chair smashed over her. She said: ‘There was a history of violence between the City fans and Millwall supporters, but they were still sharing a stand and we got caught in the middle, with too few officers trying to keep them apart.’ A Greater Manchester Police Spokesperson said: ‘All the claims except for one were settled over 12 months ago. The last concluded approximately one week ago. They were jointly settled by Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Football Club following the completion of inquiries into a number of issues.’

Cup Derby: City will visit the country’s coldest ground (well, it were in ma day!), Boundary Park, for the third round of the FA Cup, where a Lancashire derby with Oldham Athletic awaits. City last faced Oldham in a pre-season friendly at the start of last year’s campaign when they knocked in six goals without reply. The date for the third round clash has yet to be confirmed but it will be played during the weekend beginning the 8th of January. Lee Croft, currently on loan at the Latics, will not be allowed to play against City as FA rules forbid it. Croft made a major contribution to Oldham’s second round victory over Leyton Orient at the weekend. He scored the fourth goal, after former Blue Chris Killen fired a hat-trick. KK confirmed today that Croft has had his loan spell extended by another month.

Transfer News and Gossip

Wanted: ‘Big Club’: There’s been a fresh bout of speculation this week over Nicolas Anelka. The rumble began after yet more comments attributed to Nico in a French magazine. The 25-year-old was said to be in contract talks with City, but despite this he is still focussed on moving away from Eastlands. “I either decide to win titles or to have an easy life. I think I will always choose football if a great club makes me an offer,” Anelka told French magazine But. “If I’m going to score goals and not win there’s a risk it’s going to create a feeling of being fed up. I feel the fact I play for City is to do with my attitude. I think City will understand. I have given a lot to this club. My objective is to give my maximum for City in order to find a big club. To win titles you need players who have the capability of doing so. If we stagnate between eighth and 15th place, it’s impossible to progress. I am in talks to sign an extension to my contract. I am well here but the sporting aspect also comes into account. Playing for eighth place is good but I miss the Champions’ League. I won it with Real Madrid in 2000 and I need to be playing in it – and I should be playing in it. The ideal solution would be that City become a great club, but if that happens I will be 35 years old. I don’t know if I’ve reached my peak but I can’t exploit my potential to the full here. I play as a striker but also as a midfielder and I tire a lot doing things I shouldn’t be doing. I could do better with a team that play for me. I would like to concentrate on being a striker.” Interestingly there wasn’t the usual next day denial from the player this time round, and stories stating “City plan Anelka auction” and “City are ready to off-load controversial striker Nicolas Anelka if they receive an offer of at least £10 million” appeared. The Daily Telegraph said that there was a weary denial of the story from a City official (Mr. Tyrell?), who stated that the club didn’t expect to receive any sensible offers for the player in January. Barcelona were mentioned in other journals as possible suitors. The Catalan club have lost the services of Henrik Larsson and Ludovic Giuly in recent weeks and boss Frank Rijkaard would love to bring in the former Real Madrid ace to spice up his attack. “We have a list of four players we are interested in and Anelka is one of them,” said a Barça insider. “We understand City want about £10 million for him and we have that sort of cash although it’s a little on the high side. Everyone knows Anelka’s supposed to be a difficult player to handle but if he came here I’m sure he’d settle down and respect Rijkaard,” added the insider. Another paper claimed Marseille were in the hunt for Nico. They might offer forwards Pegguy Luyundula or Steve Marlet as bait.

London Sweep? The Sunday journals also claimed that Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs are lining up whopping £17 million January bids for Shaun Wright-Phillips. KK is desperate to keep the England ace – but City’s debts make the midfielder vulnerable. If a sale goes through, KK will be handed £2.5 million to land Crewe ace Dean Ashton.

Dunnie Speculation Newc’d: As if swiping our two highest profile players wasn’t bad enough, the weekend press also wanted to take away our most improved defender as well. Newcastle manager Graeme Souness is interested in defender Richard Dunne – Souness was at Middlesbrough on Monday to watch the Republic of Ireland defender, and would like to team Dunnie up with Rangers’ centre half Jean-Alain Boumsong at the heart of the Toon defence. Newcastle refused to comment on the speculation, but KK would be reluctant to let Dunne go after seeing the effect his new-found form and fitness has had on the team. And you hope Dunnie would repay the loyalty KK showed on giving the lad one more chance to reform his ways a couple of years ago.

Idle Chit Chat: Even our young bucks are in demand, if reports are to be believed. Aston Villa have made a cheeky enquiry after the availability of Kasper Schmeichel, according to the Sunday People. The Brummies were told in no uncertain terms that he’d just signed a 3-year professional contract. [Thanks James Welsh]. The only speculation I’ve read this week about players coming in was an alarming website report linking City with Celtic’s svelte Welsh battering ram, John Hartson. Apparently Celtic want to agree a new deal with the portly goal plunderer, although City and Hertha Berlin were said to be interested.

Ex-Blues’ News

Loran Boost Vale Ranks: Defender Tyrone Loran has joined Port Vale on a month’s loan from Tranmere Rovers. The former Blues player took part in Vale’s 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup second-round tie at Blackpool on Saturday. The arrival of Loran, 23, serves as a major lift to Vale boss Martin Foyle, whose squad has been hit by injuries recently. Foyle said: “Brian Little has done me a great favour. We’ve got Tyrone Loran, who is a right-back cum central defender and he can also play in midfield. He is eligible for the FA Cup on Saturday, which is a good boost for us, because defenders-wise, we are lacking in numbers. He is here on a month’s loan and he can play the eight games over the Christmas period,” he said.

Brighty Keeps On: The M.E.N. ran a feature on Ian Brightwell. He’s Assistant to Brian Horton at Macclesfield Town, and is Reserve team player/coach. Why, he even turned out for the first team recently. “I told myself I was going to retire at 35 and hung up my boots then,” said Brighty. “But when Brian appointed me as his No 2 at Port Vale, because of the necessarily small size of the modern squad, he wanted me to keep training and play in emergencies. I played three full games for them last year and have played once for Macc from the start this season, with a couple of games coming off the bench.” He continued: “I felt tired after my 90 minutes in the FA Cup replay against Alfreton, but it wasn’t that bad. I love playing, and I am happy to stay in training while Brian thinks I can fulfil a rôle. Let’s just say I know how to put myself about and that has always been part of my game,” commented Ian. He also paid tribute to his manager at three clubs, Brian Horton. “Brian’s a great motivator and he’s very honest. But above all, he has an immense knowledge of the game. That man really knows what he is doing.”

He Pops Up Like Bread from a Toaster, No. 10… Shaun Goater may well to leave Reading after falling out of favour with boss Steve Coppell. The former hero of the Blues has not started for the Royals since mid-October and was left out of the squad altogether for the trip to Wolves last weekend. Goater, who has scored just one goal this season, said: “It came as a bit of a shock and I told the gaffer that I was disappointed about it. But Dave Kitson returned to the side so somebody had to make way. It made me realise a lot of things about where I stand. Maybe I won’t be playing as much as I thought. It is frustrating and disappointing, but in some ways it is relief. The realisation that my playing days may be coming to end makes it easier for me to start thinking about the future.” There were reports recently of a loan move for the Goat back to one of his former clubs, Rotherham United, but nothing materialised.

Reactions and Comments

Run Ends: City’s five match unbeaten run ended on Monday, as Middlesbrough beat the Blues 3-2 at the Riverside Stadium. Mark Viduka opened the scoring after 9 minutes, but neat approach player by City’s twin strikers lead to a right footed Robbie Fowler equaliser. Nine minutes into the second half, and Viduka struck again to restore the home side’s lead, and when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink curved in a third from a disputed free kick, the game seemed over. The introduction of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Willo Flood perked the Blues up no end, and a goal on his Premiership début by BWP ensured that Boro sweated more than they’d expected to in the closing 10 minutes. Our manager admitted later that “There have been five goals and possibly we could have scored another couple each – but when I look at the video later I’ll see some players who under-performed and I’m sure Steve McClaren will think the same. Viduka made the difference and so did Downing – the sooner they get him into the England squad the better. Middlesbrough have got a lot of experience with Colin Cooper and Gareth Southgate at the back but we didn’t give them a game and we are kidding ourselves if we say we did.” After a barren time in recent games, Boro boss Steve McClaren reckoned that this had been a “massive” result for his side. “We said to the players before, if we want to go where they want to go and I want to go, we need to win games like this. It wasn’t a very good performance, but it was effective. It was important to stay fifth and get the points so the top four didn’t get away.”

Predator II: Much of the media coverage focussed on Middlesbrough’s strikers, who hadn’t scored for aeons (trust City to oblige!) and on the instant impact of Shaunie’s little big brother, Bradley. “He’s totally different to Shaun,” said KK. “I think he’s more like his dad. He’s a predator, a goal scorer, makes things out of nothing, scores goals when you think it’s not possible to score goals. And he’s only been with us since the summer from the Academy, so he’s impressed us with his attitude. There are still things he’s got to learn, but he works hard and he’ll strengthen up. But he doesn’t need to learn how to finish, that’s the beauty. He already knows, as you saw. He just came on and within three minutes, he’s done what he’s being doing at reserve level all season. He’s waiting for a chance, he’s waiting for an opportunity – it’s probably come a bit early because of the size of the squad, but when you see him out there, maybe it hasn’t come too early, maybe he is ready for it. He’s certainly a good finisher. He knows where the back of the net is – you’ve only got to look at his record for that. He scored one and he’ll be disappointed he didn’t hit the target with the other chance he had as well, and that was all in a little 14-minute cameo rôle. He’s got a future.”

Squad News

Macca’s Xmas Present: No, he’s not leaving. Instead – be still my beating heart – Steve McManaman wants to be back in Sky Blue action in time for Christmas. His Achilles injury flared up yet again, in the home match with Blackburn, but Macca wants to be back in the squad come Yuletide. “I am in the gym at the minute, the injury is driving me up the wall,” said the midfielder. “I have to be very patient but it is so frustrating because I want to be out there helping. Hopefully I will be back in a couple of weeks. We have four games in eight days over the holidays and then the FA Cup tie and we will need all hands on deck and that is definitely my aim. We have been so unfortunate with injuries this season as a team it is hard to believe. We will need as many as we can fit and well for that period, which is a vital part of the season.” Macca remains optimistic about City’s chances of moving up the League. “On paper we have a lot of games between now and the end of January from which we should take plenty of points. If we can do that then we could suddenly see ourselves jump into the top ten. Every team outside the top three or four have 40 points as their first target, even Everton who are third at the moment are saying that. We could be a long way towards achieving that in the next six or seven weeks.”

Just Doing My Job: Sylvain Distin won the club’s Player of the Month on Thursday, in recognition of the superb form he’s shown, both as a player and as a captain. His performances coincided with City’s five match unbeaten run, although the French defender feels that all the team contributed during this spell. “We have conceded less goals and that’s why we are winning more games,” added Distin. “Last season when we were conceding two and three, we needed to score four times to win and that becomes really difficult. It is down to the whole team. If you try to defend four players against 11 then you are never going to win any games. I take as much pride in a clean sheet as a striker would from scoring, definitely. My job is to defend. If a striker doesn’t score, it means that I have done my job.”

Don Barrie <News(at)>


Talk about frustration. Really disappointed with our performance last night. Inconsistency kicks in again. That was a poor display last night. Bosvelt reverted back to type. Someone needs to tell Joey to play it short, how many more times does he need to know he is not Ali B, but a great asset doing what he does and then finding a Blue shirt (why white last night?), SWP beyond criticism given his past heroics, Sibierski shouldn’t put on a shirt again, garbage again. Frustrating. Some plus points in BWP and the fact we showed enough fight to have perhaps scraped a draw.

As for the happy clappers, totally embarrassing, not one song without pigbag or cuckoo (what was that about?) PA accompaniment. Stewarding and policing was a joke. Two situations could have become really inflamed for no good reason. Fans did stand up, but only in response to being told not to. I could see no visible threat to health, safety or any other reasonable misdemeanour. Just let the game run its course, fans will sit down as and when. Inflame the situation and it becomes worse. Try looking anywhere outside the smog of Middlesbrough or the library of Arsenal for prime examples of fans enjoying football without trouble or disruption.

As for Nico, I won’t be in too much of a rush to leap to his defence again, talk about bad timing. I hope his point was to ignite our ambition at the highest level, however it comes over as a kick in the nuts for his team mates – a translation issue? I fear mischief is afoot from the former Raith manager after blowing his cash on a futile exercise.

My hope for Spurs is Nico on the left, and Willo and BWP coming on after the hour. Subs were too late as always last night.

Finally from my un-McVitteed mate, Phil:

With the cash from Nico, we should buy Gregorzyxyxz Raziak, currently on loan at Derby (6 goals in about 8 games), plus Sebastian Mila; not sure where he is currently playing. Both played for Groclin and are established internationals. Raziak will bring goals, Mila will bring flair. Both will bring aggression, effort and most importantly they will be cheap! Anyone know who Mila is currently playing for?

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Another Wright-Philips bursts on to the scene. What a shame it didn’t alter the final result although it came close.

Disappointments tonight from two players in particular.

Joey Barton, following two excellent displays against Portsmouth and Villa. Virtually every pass straight to a Boro player. Didn’t break up their attacks and generally gave little to the cause. We shouldn’t be relying on Joey for the inspiration but his distribution tonight could have been much better.

Sibierski. I keep hearing that he’s so dangerous in the air. Well when was the last time one of his headers troubled a goalkeeper or made a goal? And when he’s on the ball he looks so fragile. I was praying for him to be brought off and Willo given a chance on the right with SWeeP on the left. Only when things were going badly wrong did KK do this and it looked much better.

Bradley did himself no harm at all with a stunning début with a quicksilver turn and shot. Reminded me of someone at Highbury some 10 years ago. And finally. I’m getting fed up of hearing one or two things. Firstly, KK saying that we have a crippling list of injuries to key players. What key players? McManaman, Reyna, Sommeil, Thatcher, Anelka (better off without him). Do me a favour. I omitted Sun from that list as I do feel sorry for him with his injury and who knows, maybe the midfield rôle will suit him when he’s fit. Hell, the full back rôle certainly doesn’t.

Secondly, when we’re talking about values of our players. How come, Ryan Giggs virtually at the end of his career, is being touted about at £4 million. Yet when Anelka is mentioned, in the prime of his career, lacking only motivation, and would slot into any of the top European sides, is valued at only £8 million.

Who runs the PR at City? Here’s what I would be saying to the media. Yes Anelka is for sale but the starting price is £12 million. Take it or leave it. Shaun Wright-Philips? Yes, he’s also for sale. Starting price £35 million. Starting price! If we got an offer like that, fantastic as he is, and heart breaking as it would be to see him go, £35 million is a lot of money and we could do a lot with it. It would also frighten off anyone interested in picking him up on the cheap (remember Tottenham and their £2 million bid about six months ago – cheeky burgers). In fact all City’s players should be for sale at prices that we set.

It may seem to some that at some stage, inevitably, Shaun will leave us to play for a club playing in the Champions’ League or for one of the European giants. That will be a sad day for us but if it does happen, I hope it doesn’t happen during KK’s time as I fear the boost from the injection of funds will be wasted on more McManamans. How can a club like Boro attract the likes of Viduka, Hasslebaink, Zenden etc. And they didn’t cost a king’s ransom, although Viduka’s and Hasslebaink’s wages might be the equivalent.

We’re sitting on a gold mine. Never mind the Wright-Phillips boys, the Bartons, the Floods, the Onouaha (I Knew I was going to have trouble with that one), the Jordans, the list goes on. In the reserves and under 18’s and under 16’s, there is a long list of players waiting for a chance to break into the first team, all with stunning talent. Just turn up at Platt Lane on a Saturday morning (make sure they are at home first) and be amazed.

And it’s only because of the shortage of money that we’re getting to see this. If it wasn’t for the ‘crisis’, most of these talented players would be drifting out to lower league clubs, some possibly never to make it on to the top stage. The worse the ‘crisis’ gets, the more exciting it becomes with yet another youngster having to come into the side. I don’t expect miracles from any of them but we can build the future with them from a solid foundation of hard work and enthusiasm allied to their amazing talent. Long live the ‘crisis’.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


It looks like the “with or without him” issue is a moot point after Anelka’s recent comments and the board’s apparent decision to sell him in January. I for one am not too despondent about his imminent departure. Someone compared him to Trevor Francis in the last McV and although it may be due to my faulty memory, I recall Francis being a much better player than Anelka. He was in a pretty poor team, but he carried his team-mates far more often than Anelka does. I remember him having a much better record in one-on-ones with the ‘keeper as well, and we really did miss him when he wasn’t playing. It was night and day – he played, we had a chance, he didn’t, we were hopeless (and unfortunately, his tenure at Maine Road was rather injury plagued). In contrast, it’s even open to debate whether we miss Anelka at all when he’s not in the team (see the last few McVs).

Anyway, the good news is that there seem to be two or three teams interested, which will hopefully allow us to get a decent price for him. Since he’s got a while left on his contract, we should be really firm on the fee – no less than £10 million, I say. If they won’t pay it, we keep him. I’d hate to see him go for about £6 million when we still (reputedly) owe £5 million for him. After giving away Eyal for nothing, you can see why I worry.

However, the “Anelka must stay” lobby have some ammunition after last night’s loss in his absence. At least on the face of it they do. I actually thought there were lots of encouraging signs, and that Anelka probably wouldn’t have made any difference.

The bad news: (1) Dunne was clearly frightened of making a challenge when Viduka scored the first after last week’s penalty, even though it looked like he could have easily slid in and taken the ball cleanly, (2) I thought James had a dodgy game; he maybe should have stayed on his feet longer for first goal, he should have covered the open side of the goal better on the free kick, and he got into a mess with his defenders on a couple of occasions, (3) Shaunie wasn’t used enough – this may be because they were marking him closely, but as I saw it on TV, I couldn’t say for sure, (4) the final killer ball was consistently missing from midfield – we either need a creative midfielder, or just give it SWP every time.

The good news: (1) Barton was excellent in everything he did except for the final ball, which he gave away far too often (see point 4, above). In the pub where I saw the game, people were complaining about his loose passes, but didn’t seem to notice that half the time he’d won the ball in the first place. If he can work on his deficiencies (and a few better runs into space by the strikers might help him as well), he’ll be something special. Great strike at the end. (2) Another good game for Jordan, (3) we passed the ball around really well in midfield (53% of the possession according to The Mirror), we just don’t know how to turn that into goals (again, see point 4, above), (4) BWP – finally! What has Keegan been waiting for? Hasn’t this guy deserved at least 15 minutes in the first team before now? Looked dangerous right from the off. Maybe try him with Anelka if we don’t sell Nico?

Final point – we might have drawn the game if Hasselbaink hadn’t conned the ref into giving him the free kick he scored from. In slow-mo it was pretty clear that there was no (or minor) contact from the defender and that, having jumped clear, he could easily have stayed upright. There’s a moment when he’s in the air and his feet start to go down, but he chooses to pull them back up and land in a heap instead of on his feet. The rest is history.

Mike Maddox <mwm2240(at)>


I agree so much with Barry’s wise post about our adored squad! I live in Torino, Italia, and exactly as you I am very far from Blues’ problems. But football is just the same all over the world and also watching on TV our clever boys it’s correct what you say!

Youngsters like Wright Phillips brothers, Barton, Willo and Jordan must be our future to save us from financial disaster. I think a new cheap and young manager would make better than KK, don’t you think so?

Un caro saluto, Renato Tubere <r.tubere(at)>


Thank-you Barry Anderton.

You may be a long way off in terms of distance from our homeland but, in my view, you are right at home in your comments!

There is nothing in this world, no matter the field you operate in, that is as powerful as true loyalty. Once you have it, it’s a precious gift; not one to be squandered.

Young players carefully brought through a caring Academy will engender the proper atmosphere, and provide valuable rewards. It’s not possible to retain all young talent, but the old saying “actions speak louder than words”, providing opportunities wherever possible and sound criticism where called for, will always pay the right dividends. We all know the dangers implicit in too early exposure of young talent, but remind me, how old was Mr. Keegan when thrust into the spotlight?

Not many of us True Blues find it easy to applaud Sir Redface but, despite the petulance of Rooney, and the inability of that gigantic talent Ronaldo to ride anything more that a slight contact, they are both contributors to the Rags’ continuing place above us in performance.

We like to think of ourselves as a purer footballing “for the sake of the Game”, side: but we also have to understand that soccer is big business and bad trading is death whether it be for shiny marbles or footballers. Do we need any more lessons than those provided by Leeds and Liverpool? Big Sam has shown, with The Trotters, how far judicious trading can get you, but there is a penalty to pay if you stay on that bus for too long.

Hopefully the way forward will be charted with foresight; is it too much to hope that the reward for, arguably the best supporters in the game, will be a club management we can be proud of? That will naturally reap its just desserts.

Peter Murphy – Kanata, Ontario, Canada <pdmurphy(at)>


For the benefit of Mr K.

For the record we must have more goalies on our books than any Premier League club (admittedly 2 are injured):

de Vlieger

Keegan will be given none or very little money in transfer window as the board have been totally silent to his constant whingeing on this issue. Money will be saved for the next manager. We are £62 million in debt – majority of which is attributable to his transfer dealings. The club are in a relatively stable mid-table position therefore don’t need to fight relegation. His transfer record at City is c**p. The kids have improved everything. The board may hope to pee him off by giving him no money, hope he resigns and therefore don’t have to pay him off? The last time the board listened to KK’s ranting about Champions’ League/sky’s the limit etc. – they bankrolled him to the extent City were 3rd biggest spending club in whole of Europe during the close season of 2002 behind only AC Milan and United (who only passed our figure by signing Ferdinand). The result has been mid-table at best. As KK has continually stated he’s leaving at end of next season they won’t listen to him now and nor should they. He just doesn’t get it.

Many of the signings who cost very little or free (Sibierski, Bosvelt) are better than the ones who cost a lot, e.g. Macken, Fowler. However, we can’t rely totally on the kids; no-one has ever done this. Academy costs £1.2 million per year, only second in cost to the Rags’ but we are now seeing many benefits. All this about succession plan sounds ok though. Footie is full of people with 5 year plans etc. that have to be ripped up when things go bad on the pitch – the bottom line is results.

Andy J <fastandyj(at)>


Even when Nico isn’t playing he hits the headlines like s**t hits the fan. Just when City fans were getting used to newspapers not printing scandalous reports about our prime striker, he is once more quoted in “French Football Magazine”, saying he would leave City for a bigger club, using us as a stepping stone, getting fed up, etc.

“French Football Magazine”, is the very same magazine that once claimed that Nico had moved to Dubai, converted to Islam and was never going to show up in Manchester again? So this time he willingly gave the b****rds an interview, just so they could have a field day? Well it sure was enough for Mr. Hince to get over the moon. Sorry Hincey, my advice is to check the source next time. It’s like someone is constantly campaigning against the club. Keegan and Anelka are the main targets, and if you remove them then the rest of the team will fall like a card-house.

I guess Nico is tired of having to refute whatever is written of him, and rightfully so. Let the man speak in terms of matches and goals. If he is still playing at CoMS next season who will be right? French Football Magazine and those who believe whatever they print? Or the thousands of City fans that love having a striker scoring 15+ Premiership goals every season? Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion, but before you start slamming Nico for his alleged statements, consider the possibility that it might be a hoax, intended to get us annoyed and start kicking at our best goal scorer in 30 years.

On the other hand it should not come as a surprise if Nico is tempted by a “big move” away from City, just look at his record (counting the highest level only):

  1. Francis Lee: 249 games, 112 goals (0.45)
  2. Brian Kidd: 98 games, 44 goals (0.45)
  3. Nico: 84 games, 37 goals (0.44)
  4. Denis Law: 68 games, 30 goals (0.44)
  5. Dennis Tueart: 224 games, 86 goals (0.38)

Nico has one of the best records of all City strikers in the highest division since WW2. In fact he was leading the pack after a great start to the season, but after 5 games with injuries and substitutions he dropped down to 3rd place.

So if someone can’t promise me the next Franny Lee arriving with Santa Claus at CoMS this Christmas, I guess I’ll stick with Nico for the time being…

Svenn Hanssen <svenn(at)>


Interesting to read some of the articles regarding Monsieur Anelka.

Firstly, with reference to Dave Clinton’s article – I agree that Anelka is a class act, I don’t think anyone would deny that and I even think that playing him out wide could pay dividends at times. There is, however, one major flaw. He doesn’t want to play out wide and judging by his comments he doesn’t want to play for City at all. I agree that in the past he has said things to the press that have been misinterpreted and I am happy to put this down to foolishness or frustration on his part but surely his latest rantings cannot be twisted into reading ‘I really love City and want to do everything I can to make the team a success; if the manger wants me to play out wide sometimes I will be happy to do this for the good of the team’.

Secondly, I think a comparison with Everton and the loss of Rooney is an interesting one – star player sold, team transformed into a ‘team’ in the real sense of the word. I don’t think we have been ‘transformed’ but the team spirit has visibly improved.

I have got nothing against the lad and I actually think his performances have been ok this season and his attitude spot on. Even so, if we could get £8-10 million and a promise of the cash being re-invested in players I would snap it up (he has got a bit of a ‘damaged goods’ label so how realistic his valuation is remains to be seen).

Could have done with some Anelka class last night; unfortunately we only got Viduka class.

Roll on Saturday.

Matthew Howden <Matthew.Howden(at)>


With regards to Dave Clinton’s article in MCIVTA 1076… give that man a cigar!

And more power to your elbow, Dave.

Watched the Boro game in exile – a very good match, punctuated by excellent goals from both sides. Obviously gutted to lose, and it’s always disappointing when opposition players score goals with defenders all around them, but sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say “that was a fantastic goal” – I thought Boro looked and class side, and frankly at times so did we. I think if KK can hold on to everyone (including the junior fringe players) through January and into the new year then we have a chance of a decent run, a solid top half finish and a very rosy couple of seasons.

If Nico does read this, don’t leave chap – good times are around the corner at CoMS.

CTID, Jon Marshall <jon_g_marshall(at)>


Thanks to Alex Channon for the programmes he was advertising in MCIVTA 1075. They filled a big hole in my collection and there’s still a big bag of duplicates available.

I’ve left a message with Chris from Stockport; if he still wants the rest, please get in contact. If not is there anyone else out there who is interested?

I live in Poynton, Sth M/c and can be reached on 01625-267004.

If there’s is anyone else out there who wants to clear their cupboards of unwanted programmes, give me a ring.

Tony Ward <anthony.ward(at)>


6 December 2004

Middlesbrough         3 - 2  Manchester City       29,787

5 December 2004

Crystal Palace        0 - 1  Charlton Athletic     20,705

League table to 08 December 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         16  6  2  0 15  3  6  1  1 16  3 12  3  1  31   6  25  39
 2 Arsenal         16  5  3  0 23  9  5  1  2 19 11 10  4  2  42  20  22  34
 3 Everton         16  5  1  2 10  9  5  2  1 10  5 10  3  3  20  14   6  33
 4 Manchester Utd  16  5  3  0 12  3  3  3  2 10  7  8  6  2  22  10  12  30
 5 Middlesbrough   16  4  3  1 13  9  4  1  3 14 11  8  4  4  27  20   7  28
 6 Aston Villa     16  5  3  0 14  4  1  4  3  7 13  6  7  3  21  17   4  25
 7 Liverpool       15  6  0  1 15  5  1  3  4  9 12  7  3  5  24  17   7  24
 8 Bolton Wndrs    16  4  2  2 12  8  2  3  3 12 14  6  5  5  24  22   2  23
 9 Portsmouth      15  5  1  2 15 11  1  2  4  6 11  6  3  6  21  22  -1  21
10 Charlton Ath.   16  4  2  2 12  8  2  1  5  6 19  6  3  7  18  27  -9  21
11 Manchester City 16  3  3  2 10  5  2  2  4 11 12  5  5  6  21  17   4  20
12 Newcastle Utd   16  3  2  3 15 15  2  3  3 12 16  5  5  6  27  31  -4  20
13 Tottenham H.    16  2  2  4 11 12  3  2  3  4  5  5  4  7  15  17  -2  19
14 Fulham          16  3  0  5  8 15  2  2  4 10 12  5  2  9  18  27  -9  17
15 Birmingham City 16  1  4  3  5  7  1  4  3  7 11  2  8  6  12  18  -6  14
16 Crystal Palace  16  2  1  5  8 11  1  3  4  9 13  3  4  9  17  24  -7  13
17 Blackburn R.    16  1  5  2 10 14  1  2  5  6 16  2  7  7  16  30 -14  13
18 Southampton     16  2  4  2 11 11  0  2  6  4 13  2  6  8  15  24  -9  12
19 Norwich City    16  1  4  3  9 13  0  5  3  5 13  1  9  6  14  26 -12  12
20 West Brom A.    16  1  4  3  7 13  0  3  5  8 18  1  7  8  15  31 -16  10

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 #1077