Newsletter #1080


MCIVTA will be taking a break over the Christmas period. Thursday 23rd December edition will be sent in the morning, there will be no issue on Monday 27th December and we will return to normal 30th December.

A very Happy Christmas to our readers and Blues everywhere.

Next games: Everton, away, 3pm Sunday 26 December 2004; WBA, home, 3pmTuesday 28th December 2004


Three goals in a five minute spell midway in the second half from Blackburn Rovers severely disrupted City’s challenge for the reserve league title. City’s early goal from Jonathan D’Laryea was cancelled out in stoppage time in the first half by substitute Sergio Peter. Further goals in that mad five minute spell came from Gary Harkins, a second for Peter, and the third from their top scorer, Jemal Johnson.

The game was played at Morecambe’s Christie Park on a wet and windy evening and Blackburn started the game with the wind behind them. City dealt with this heavy disability well as they controlled large sections of play. Blackburn though looked more threatening as they were able to attack on the break with pace with the wind behind them and hit the post and had an effort cleared off the line by Danny Warrender.

City went straight upfield from that clearance and Steven Drench in goal did well to deny Bradley Wright-Phillips at the near post and parry around for a corner. That corner was put behind for another corner. The resulting cross came in with pace and Bradley headed goalwards; it was half cleared and Jonathan D’Laryea ran in and thumped the ball into the back of the net through the crowded penalty area.

Nicky Weaver, returning from his twelve months injury horror then pulled off two fine saves within five minutes. Firstly with his feet, where he spread himself well, and secondly where he got down well to a free kick that was struck with power from the edge of the area.

Jonathan could then have doubled his and City’s tally when good interplay between Bradley, Willo Flood and Warrender down the right let Jonathan free in the area but his effort was deflected behind for a corner.

Right on the stroke of half time and into the third minute of stoppage time, Ciaran Donnelly ran down the right and put a cross in that Morten Pedersen stepped over to leave substitute Sergio Peter free to shoot and just beat Weaver in goal.

City started with more purpose in the second half and could have gone in front when Flood slipped a neat pass from the edge of the D for Christian Negouai, but he failed to find the target with a powerful shot. A minute later Jonathan D’Laryea surged forward in a City attack only to grab his hamstring and go down in agony. We now know he’ll be out till the end of January at the very least unfortunately.

This loss severely disrupted the balance in midfield and left the team with no pace and power in the engine room with both Marc Laird and Ian Bennett lacking in that department.

So it was no surprise to see Blackburn take the lead on sixty-six minutes. Peter sent in a harmless looping cross from the left, which the defence failed to clear, and left Gary Harkins a clear head on goal. The ball bounced on the ground and looped into the top right corner of the net.

Blackburn doubled their lead two minutes later when Peter hit a speculative twenty-five yard effort that Weaver only managed to parry into the bottom right of the goal.

Three minutes later Blackburn finished the rout with a long cross-field pass from ex-England international Michael Gray for the pacey Johnson to chase from the halfway line. He was able to shrug off Nathan D’Laryea and leave him behind before running into the area and slotting the ball past Weaver.

Yes it was good to see Weaver back playing, but one injury in midfield exposed how our squad is down to the bare bones in terms of quality in this department. The reserves were obviously not helped by the fact that the youth team has a shortage of fit centre halves and so had Onuoha played this match, I doubt the scoreline would have been so one sided. The only player I feel to come out with any credit in this match was Danny Warrender.

City entertain Bolton at the Athletics arena next Tuesday for their third Senior Cup match.

Blackburn: Drench, Peers, Gray, Danns (Capt.), Fitzgerald, Bruce, Donnelly, Harkins, Johnson, Derbyshire (Peter 24), Pedersen.
Not Used: Fielding, Morgan, Griffiths, De Vita.

City: Weaver, Warrender, Collins, J D’Laryea (C Logan 60), McCarthy (Capt.), N D’Laryea, Flood, Bennett, Negouai (Bermingham 69), Wright-Phillips, Laird.
Not Used: Ellegaard, Matthews, Johnson.

Att: 426.

Gavin Cooper <blueboy(at)>


Well it’s seven o’clock in Christchurch NZ and we have just got three precious points. Mind you, I had to laugh when the television commentator said it’s a real middle of winter day at the Reebok. Well it’s nearly Christmas here and it’s absolutely freezing. It’s pouring, the wind’s hurtling around and there’s snow in the air and it’s meant to be the middle of summer! But at least we won.

Just a couple of quick points. Really pleased with Joey Barton’s attitude this season. Last year I called him a ‘complete t**ser’ but this year I’m the first to admit he’s been great.

Paul Bosvelt does a lot that people don’t see or talk about, goes about his job with great professionalism, getting better and better.

Thought Robbie Fowler ran and ran, seems to have his appetite for the game back. Dunney gets better and better and he can play a bit for a centre back can’t he!

Glad to see we can win without a great Shaun Wright-Phillips performance.

And then there’s Anelka. What do we do with him? Do we keep him or cash in on him? Sure he had great pace and his scoring record is good, but and it’s a big but, the trouble is that no one is bigger than the club, not even the greatest, Colin Bell. If someone doesn’t want to play for the club for whatever reason (and I don’t think wanting to play in the Champions’ League is a bad thing) his days must be numbered.

Finally, thank you to Heidi and all those who prepare MCIVTA, a big thank you, a safe and merry Christmas to all.

Warmest regards in a freezing New Zealand.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


A great game plan to win at Bolton by Kevin Keegan and his coaching staff. Maybe ugly football to watch, but City needed the points to give us City fans a better Christmas to look forward to.

It’s now reported that Forest might try and get Stuart Pearce to be their manager. Stuart Pearce, who is a legend at Forest, would be welcomed by most Forest fans whose team are without a manager.

MCFC said last week after the AGM that no-one would be named as the successor to KK, even though Stuart Pearce had said he would like the job.

As much as I would like Stuart Pearce to stay, I cannot blame him if he goes to Forest. I feel we should try and keep him, but if he goes Good Luck!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Heidi, Barry, and all the staff at McV and to all the City fans in Manchester, and around the world a Merry Christmas, and a Happy Blue New Year!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I note that knives seem to be getting sharpened again amongst us and KK’s back may be a possible target.

In MCIVTA 1079 there was talk of Stuart Pearce as a successor. I would be keen to read others’ thoughts as to who should succeed KK.

My thoughts have been for a while Sam Allardyce, but he is well settled at Bolton and probably wouldn’t leave. Then I thought maybe we could approach Joe Royle and say “we forgive you for suing us” please come back? But it appears that the “Tractor Boys” are going to be promoted, so he wouldn’t come. So finally the person who came to mind, solely for the expressions on his face when things go right or wrong, is Iain Dowie. Watch on telly when Palace score or succeed a goal: his expressions are priceless. I also tend to think he may have a future in management at this level.

We do need to look forward to life after KK, but every time after a couple of poor results {and I have been guilty of this} the knives coming out will probably continue.

Mark Leahy – Wellington, New Zealand <herbie1(at)>


For too long now the team have been crying out for a true captain, someone who can orchestrate his team mates, and lead by example, yet even now KK continues to allow Sylvain to wear the Captain’s armband.

His defensive duties may have earned him the player of the month award, but offensively he has no drive, and with the team so unbalanced, it is vital that the captain pulls and pushes everyone together.

It is one of the first duties of any good manager to have a leader on the pitch, and for Kev to continue with Sylvain, and his belief that Stuart Pearce could possibly take up the post of the next Manager, tells me he has lost it.

Stuart was an exceptional player who led by example, but he has no credible managerial experience.

With a good number of talented players coming through the system, Kevin should stand down after this season, admit his failings and wish City all the best for the future, and should not demand a pay off.

He has foolishly stated his intentions to leave after next season, allowing his players to gain uncertainty, and for some to give unacceptable performances, all at the expense of the supporters and the club.

If we are to make the future more secure and beneficial to the good players, the board should either appoint Gordon Strachan to work alongside Stuart Pearce, or sound out Martin O’Neill to see if he fancies a challenge to manage a sleeping giant.

The club should not let this opportunity pass, because if they do, they may regret not making a decision that is right for M.C.F.C.

Gary Sullivan <gary(at)>


Let me add my voice to the Pearce-for-Manager campaign. It was troubling to read in the Guardian over the weekend the speculation over Stuart being ready and willing to take over at Nottingham Forest, and even more troubling to read about the supposed eagerness of the City establishment to let him go. We need continuity and stability at City, not more of the bipolar disorder and manager-du-jour scenarios we remember all too well.

We’ve recently been treated to the breakthrough from the Academy of the likes of Flood and Jordan, which in all likelihood would never have happened if we hadn’t been hit with the “injury crisis”. Thus we kept a tighter hold on our players for the future. Let’s not easily give up our manager of the future as easily as we lost Etuhu, Elliott etc. I say let’s annoint Psycho as heir to the throne, and let’s do it now.

Bill Buffam – West Chester PA <mcvittee(at)>


Tragic Death during Man City vs. Blackburn

Many people in the East Stand will have witnessed the traumatic events toward the end of the second half of the recent home match against Blackburn when a fellow City fan appeared to suffer a heart attack. I was deeply saddened by this incident, which must have been absolutely horrific for any friends or family that were at the game with him. I contacted the Manchester Coroner’s office earlier this week and they were able to confirm that, sadly, the man never recovered.

To anybody who knew this gentleman, I would like to pass on my sincere condolences.

Keith Elliott <keiths.emithers(at)>


Following recent requests in McV for USA Blues viewing, there’s a very useful link in the footer of every edition of MCIVTA, which provides an exhaustive list of all games shown on TV – terrestrial, cable and satellite – in the US. It also includes a link up at the top of the page to “soccerTV Friendly Restaurants and Pubs Guide” which as the name suggests is a state-by-state list of footy-friendly bars that have taken the trouble to register with soccertv to publicise the fact that they share our obsession and throw open their arms and doors to accommodate us – oh, and take our money at the same time of course. Having lived in Washington DC for 3 years and had to travel a lot through work it helped me a lot to be able to find where the next match was being shown on TV to relax a bit and get back to normality.

Also, in case the soccertv list doesn’t work out for your particular work trip or holiday, just try typing something like “soccer pub ‘city’ ‘state'” or “irish pub ‘city’ ‘state'” into Google, and see what you get – you might be pleasantly surprised!

Roderic Jones <rodericjones(at)>


I am after 1 adult and two juniors for Everton. Please give me a call or drop me an email if you can oblige. Will pick up and pay immediately. Call 07812 065005 or email.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


I’m after 3 or 4 tickets for the match against West Brom. If anyone can help I’ll be available on email until Thursday. From Thursday evening I’ll be back in the UK and you can call me on 07817 757184.

Any help is much appreciated.

John Walker <john.walker(at)>


19 December 2004

Liverpool             3 - 1  Newcastle United      43,856
Portsmouth            0 - 1  Arsenal               20,170

18 December 2004

Birmingham City       4 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  28,880
Blackburn Rovers      0 - 0  Everton               25,191
Bolton Wanderers      0 - 1  Manchester City       27,274
Chelsea               4 - 0  Norwich City          42,071
Middlesbrough         3 - 0  Aston Villa           31,338
Tottenham Hotspur     5 - 1  Southampton           36,054
Manchester United     5 - 2  Crystal Palace        67,814

League table to 19 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         18  7  2  0 19  3  6  2  1 18  5 13  4  1  37   8  29  43
 2 Arsenal         18  5  4  0 25 11  6  1  2 20 11 11  5  2  45  22  23  38
 3 Everton         18  6  1  2 11  9  5  3  1 10  5 11  4  3  21  14   7  37
 4 Manchester Utd  18  6  3  0 17  5  3  4  2 11  8  9  7  2  28  13  15  34
 5 Middlesbrough   18  5  3  1 16  9  4  2  3 16 13  9  5  4  32  22  10  32
 6 Liverpool       18  7  1  1 19  7  1  3  5  9 13  8  4  6  28  20   8  28
 7 Tottenham H.    18  3  2  4 16 13  4  2  3  5  5  7  4  7  21  18   3  25
 8 Aston Villa     18  5  3  1 15  6  1  4  4  7 16  6  7  5  22  22   0  25
 9 Charlton Ath.   17  4  2  2 12  8  3  1  5  7 19  7  3  7  19  27  -8  24
10 Manchester City 18  3  3  3 10  6  3  2  4 12 12  6  5  7  22  18   4  23
11 Bolton Wndrs    18  4  2  3 12  9  2  3  4 14 17  6  5  7  26  26   0  23
12 Portsmouth      18  5  1  3 15 12  1  4  4  8 13  6  5  7  23  25  -2  23
13 Newcastle Utd   18  3  3  3 16 16  2  3  4 13 19  5  6  7  29  35  -6  21
14 Birmingham City 18  2  4  3  9  7  2  4  3  9 12  4  8  6  18  19  -1  20
15 Fulham          17  3  1  5  9 16  2  2  4 10 12  5  3  9  19  28  -9  18
16 Blackburn R.    18  1  6  2 10 14  1  3  5  6 16  2  9  7  16  30 -14  15
17 Norwich City    18  2  4  3 12 15  0  5  4  5 17  2  9  7  17  32 -15  15
18 Crystal Palace  18  2  2  5  8 11  1  3  5 11 18  3  5 10  19  29 -10  14
19 Southampton     18  2  5  2 13 13  0  2  7  5 18  2  7  9  18  31 -13  13
20 West Brom A.    18  1  4  4  7 14  0  3  6  8 22  1  7 10  15  36 -21  10

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1080