Newsletter #1084

Another good performance against Arsenal, another wondergoal by SweeP and a point well earned as we nudge up to the top half of the table.

Tonight we have news from Don on latest rumblings on the transfer front, reaction to this week’s games, views on recent current form, and an excellent Why Blue.

Next game: Oldham Athletic, away, 3pm Saturday 8 January 2005 (FAC3)


General News

It’s a Gong for ‘Ding Dong’: The legend that is Colin Bell has been awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List for his services in the community. “When the letter came a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t quite believe it, I had to read it twice and then ask my wife to do so again just make sure I wasn’t seeing things,” said the great man this week. “It is something you never expect to happen. It is wonderfully proud thing for both my family and myself. Those who watched me play know that I am not an over emotional person, my goal celebrations were always low key, but this honour has really moved me and put the seal on a wonderful few years. First of all I was named in the greatest 100 players of the last century, then inducted into the City Hall of Fame and had the stand named after me and now this. It is incredible, almost unbelievable. I owe it all to football really, football and my family. I am just an ordinary lad, a miner’s son and even now I can’t quite understand it when fans are nervous of meeting me. I am sure the City supporters have had something to do with me receiving this MBE. They have never ever stopped backing me or forgotten me and that’s incredible when you consider it is 25 years ago since I stopped playing. City as a club have always been known for their charity work and I have simply carried that on by running marathons and playing in fund-raising tennis and golf tournaments. You don’t do those things for a reward but because the causes are just and I will be carrying on doing what I can when I can.”

Tsunami Donation: It’s been announced this week that City’s squad have pledged a ‘substantial sum’ to the tsunami disaster fund. No exact figure for the donation has been made known, but it is addition to the £50,000 per club given by Premiership teams.

Transfer News and Gossip

No Sales Please: Mr. Keegan has issued a pre-transfer window policy statement that could be summed up as “Vultures! Leave our players alone!” Let the Boss expand that view. “As a club we are vulnerable. People look at our situation and they know that I have not got any money to spend,” he says. “So they think the only way I can buy is to sell the best players, but that is where they are wrong. I shall oppose any move for any of my players as I do not have enough players. There would have been a time when I would have looked at any deal in isolation but at this point in time why would I want to sell my best players? We have not got many of them anyway but if the Chairman and Board decide that they want to sell a player then there is nothing I can do about it. To lose the players that have been linked with moves would be a big blow for us. There is no reason why we should do it and I don’t want our supporters to be thinking that in any way shape or form we are going to sell these players. It is other clubs who are trying to get the best of a situation for themselves and looking at our situation.” Is there any chance of any players coming into the club? “If we are going to move in this transfer market it is not going to be in the next week or two. It will be towards the end of the window when other clubs have done their business. We may have to do as we did last year and go for someone on loan as we did with Daniel van Buyten. Those situations are no going to arise in the opening weeks of the transfer window. We will not be first in but it does not mean to say that we will not do well out of it.”

Sylvain Still Sought: Newcastle United signed two new defenders this week, so City fans might have been hopeful that Graeme Souness wouldn’t pursue last week’s reported interest in Sylvain Distin. But according to the Daily Mirror, the Toon still want to pair up Distin with new signing Jean-Alain Boumsong, and have made a second bid of £6 million for the City skipper. “I can confirm our chairman has spoken to their chairman about his availability,” admitted Souness this week. And if quotes attributed to Distin are to be believed, our captain isn’t averse to the idea of a Geordie return. “I didn’t get any direct contact,” revealed Distin. “I am fine at City where the club is starting to stabilize. Newcastle would be an attractive challenge. I know that the team is rebuilding a defence. But firstly, I have to get my club’s consent before starting to think about it.”

Out of the Frying Pan: Birmingham City obviously enjoy a challenge – the Brummies are in dispute with that friend of opposing fans, Robbie Savage, and there is much paper talk of a move to Blackburn for the Welsh midfielder. According to one report, manager Steve Bruce would like to replace Savage with our own cigar toting choir boy, Joey Barton. A fee of £3 million has been mentioned. One player who did join Birmingham this week was Finnish striker Njazi Kuqi for £385,000 from FC Lahti. Kuqi, younger brother of Ipswich forward Shefki Kuqi, had been mentioned as a possible target for KK.

Two Plus Two Is? We couldn’t have a transfer window open without a Nicolas Anelka rumour now could we? KK insisted Anelka’s surprise absence from City’s line-up at Highbury on Tuesday was not proof of an imminent move to Liverpool. However, the City boss admitted that the club would potentially listen to “massive” offers for the French striker. Keegan stated that Anelka had been left out of the side due to back and groin injuries. And he played down the rumours that have linked Anelka with a potential switch to Anfield amid continuing uncertainty over his future. “I’ve heard the rumours,” admitted Keegan. “Liverpool need a striker but although two and two might look like four, it could also be three or five [Dodgy Maths Kev, but we know what you mean!]. In this case, they’ve never rung us up. I wouldn’t lie to you. If that changes and they rang up and the offer was massive, we would let him go, but we owe £5 million on him, so they’d better have plenty of money.” As if Anelka’s name wasn’t in the press enough – next came word from France that prosecutors were investigating Paris St. Germain’s transfer dealings between 1998 and 2003 as part of a potential fraud probe. Apparently the spotlight will be shone on moves from the club by Ronaldinho (to Barcelona), Nico to City and Marco Simone’s shift to Monaco. And to complete Nico’s week, his present manager has suggested that the Frenchman’s form is not what it should be. Read what you will into the following utterances. “I want Nicolas to get into top form again which I don’t think he is in at the moment,” said the City boss. “I think he would he admit that himself and if we get Nicolas Anelka playing at his very best within the spirit of this club we could really go places. For the last month he has not been the force of old and he must recognise that as well. I hope he will respond to that challenge but he has got to get himself fit again first of all. And he has really got to want to play for this football club. At the moment people are doubting that but I am not one of those people. People keep asking me questions about him all the time. Nicolas has been a key player but I say, ‘has been’. At the moment he is not a key player and Shaun Wright-Phillips has taken that mantle over and carrying it with great pride. Instead of us thinking, ‘what if’ with Nicolas and picking our way through all these rumours, what would happen if he came back into the fold properly and got himself playing well again? That is what I am interested in as manager of Manchester City football club. I am not looking to break this club up I am still looking to build it. That is my job and that is what I want to do.”

Who Will Join This Happy Band? So if all the above speculation is to be believed, City will have a first team squad made up of three men and a dog come February 1. Is there anyone, I hear you cry, looking like joining the Marie Celeste of East Manchester? Err, well, Liverpool’s Stephane Henchoz has turned down the chance to join Glasgow Rangers, as he would like to stay close to his current location. Henchoz is, it’s alleged, a long term target of City, so perhaps there’ll be fresh interest in the Swiss defender. “Rangers have made me an offer but actually I would like to stay in the Premier League,” said Henchoz. “My girlfriend and I are expecting our first baby, so this is a very bad time for moving. Rangers’ offer is not the only one and I will have to consider each of them in detail to finally make a decision.” And the only other crumb of information concerns Caen ‘keeper Steeve Elana, who is being tipped to sign a new contract despite reports of interest from City. The 24-year-old has returned to full fitness after two months out injured and has been linked with a move to The City of Manchester Stadium. There are suggestions that City have contacted the player’s agent but Caen want to keep Elana and have been discussing a fresh deal.

Baby Please Don’t Go: Two classy strikes from SWP this week has brought forth a rash of stories suggesting Shaunie might be snapped up by other clubs. KK has appealed to his protégé to think hard before going elsewhere. “Every club wants Shaun, we know that. It may be that an offer comes in that’s so big we can’t turn it down. But I’d fight it all the way. I hope he stays to help build something here. He can’t achieve all his ambitions with us, we know that, but he’s 23 now and I don’t think it would do him any harm to stay at Manchester City for another year or two. I went to Hamburg when I was 27 and was at my peak. Too many players have moved on too early and, when they have hit certain barriers, they haven’t had either the maturity or the experience to get through them. Of course, every club wants Shaun – we know that – and it may well be that an offer comes in that is so big this club can’t turn it down. But I would still fight that every bit of the way. I’m here for another 18 months, and I hope that Shaun will stay to help us build something at Manchester City. He’s loved at City. He can’t achieve all his ambitions with us, we know that, but he’ll only be 25 in 18 months’ time.”

Reactions and Comments

Page 1 of Teletext – At Last! City enjoyed a rare home victory against one of the Premiership’s relegation candidates as goals from Paul Bosvelt and SWP helped the Blues to a 2-1 defeat of Southampton on New Year’s Day. A header from the Dutchman and a 30-yard special from the boy Shaunie ensured the Blues had a two goal cushion by half time. A dubious penalty late on, scored by Kevin Phillips, gave Saints a brief sniff of a point, but City were able to hold on to their lead. “If Shaun had got a bit of luck and the odd ricochet that went his way you could have been talking about a dream game for him,” said KK. “But whenever he got through in the first half in particular apart from the goal luck seemed to conspire against him. The ball bounced off someone or it ricocheted off his wrong side or bounced off another player or he slipped. He was back to his best form in the game against Southampton and it is so important that he plays for us like that. Shaun is our key player now. In years past it was Nicolas Anelka but I believe it is Shaun now. He’s scored some wonderful goals in the three-and-a-half years I’ve been here and that’s up in the top three along with the goal against Villa. Antii Niemi’s a great goalkeeper, but he had no chance with that one.” Keegan added he was happy with the performance under difficult conditions: “We thoroughly deserved the win.” But he added: “Even at 2-0, we got a bit nervous. When they sent Peter Crouch on, they had a different threat and he played well. We were made to struggle in the end because of a poor decision for the penalty.” The result sent City back into the top 10, much to the relief of the Boss Man. “Psychologically, I think that is very important,” he said. “It’s far nicer to be bottom of the first page on Teletext than top of the second.”

Wheel and Deal: Harry Redknapp has yet to win a game since swapping Portsmouth for Southampton, and his solution to his problems is a typical one. “I knew it was a big ask to keep Southampton up when I came to the club,” Redknapp said, “but it’s even bigger than I thought it was. We need to bring in five players; on loan, free transfers, wherever we can find them. But we have to stay up.”

Turning Within Himself: So SWP can only score City goals at home? Not according to the evidence of Tuesday night, where City earned a fighting 1-1 draw at Highbury thanks to yet another scorcher from the divine number 29. So can we have another paean of praise for our best player, please Mr. K? “Shaun’s top notch. He’s got everything and he’s only going to get better. I daren’t say any more about him as people will think I’m his agent! I haven’t seen a player like this in all my time in the game. He’s got terrific balance and courage; he’s small but can win it in the air. He can turn almost within himself. I said to his dad two years ago that Shaun is very special and will go right to the top.” That’s not bad, Kevin. Of the game, Keegan opined that: “I have mixed emotions about the game. Let’s be honest for the last 20 minutes they had us under the cosh,” said Keegan, who was especially pleased with the performance of rookie defender Nedum Onuoha. “But we showed tremendous character, and tremendous resilience. If you want to nit-pick, we had opportunities to kill the game off at 1-0. We couldn’t pick that final pass out and that is the only disappointment. The effort was there, and so was the togetherness of the team and the work-rate of players who in the past have not been renowned for it such as Robbie Fowler, who was great. He ran and ran for the Manchester City shirt in this game. Jon Macken up front foraged for us in what is a very tough rôle when you are playing at Highbury. I am really proud of every one of them. I could say I was disappointed we didn’t get the three points, but in truth we deserved a point and that is what we have got. It would have been a travesty if we had got nothing.”

No Excuses, But… Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger felt Arsenal were unfortunate not to have beaten City. “Overall, I feel unlucky not to have won this game,” he explained. “But Man City played well and gave everything. Sometimes you have a draw like that.” Arsenal’s injury list included Sol Campbell, Dennis Bergkamp, Jose Antonio Reyes, Lauren, Edu and Gilberto Silva and Wenger selected the youthful quartet of Philippe Senderos, Justin Hoyte, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie. And the manager admitted: “The balance between the experienced and the inexperienced players was a bit too much tonight. We had many players out.” And don’t think we TV watchers missed your haughty refusal to give KK an after-match hug either, ‘Professor’ Wenger!

Keegan Backs Mack: The pundits on Match of the Day (A. Hansen and one-season Blue P. Schmeichel) gave Jon Macken a hard time for playing Freddie Ljungberg onside when the 75th minute leveller was glanced in. But KK insisted Macken’s deep defensive position showed just how hard he was working for the team as the Blues desperately tried to cling onto their lead. “I thought we defended from front to back and when you see their goal again it was Jon Macken who was back defending,” Keegan said. “He was trying to do a left back job for us and Ljungberg may have been offside had he not been there. You can’t say anything to him as he was back there trying to do his best to help the team out when we were under pressure. I am very proud of all the players and we have not always been able to say that about this Manchester City team over the last year or so but against Arsenal everyone contributed.”

Squad News

Young Kev Goes to See the Lights: Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard has gone on a one month loan to League One side Blackpool. Handy for the illuminations at this time of year, methinks. The Danish youngster arrived at Bloomfield Road after Colin Hendry’s side lost two ‘keepers to injury. So far the 21-year-old has played against Wrexham on New Year’s Day (a 2-1 victory – Wrexham had Andy Dibble, no less, in their goal) and three days later in a 2-0 home defeat to Tyrone Loran and Port Vale.

You Can’t Fool Us: Robbie Fowler and Richard Dunne have received commendations for their recent performances, courtesy of KK. Since being dropped from the team to allow for extra training, Fowler has impressed spectators with his improved showing in recent weeks. “His touch is good and this is the best he has been since he has been at City but it is also the fittest he has been since he has been here,” declared Keegan. “But the biggest thing working in his favour is his attitude. He is determined to give it all he has got and that has won the crowd over. Robbie got a standing ovation against Southampton because he deserved it,” added KK. “You cannot fool fans and sometimes footballers think they can. What they are seeing from Robbie, and are seeing on a regular basis, is a player who chases everything. He gives 100 per cent for the team cause and never shirks a challenge and when I took him off they knew it was for the right reasons… that he was tired.” And Richard Dunne has been a colossus this season – he too had to mend his ways after infamously turning up at training “in a dishevelled state” some years back. “Richard’s seen the light and all credit to him,” said Keegan. “He’s come in for days, weeks and months to do extra training. He’s got himself back into shape to play in The Premiership. He’s become a very, very key player for us from being a player who a lot of people thought was a bit of a joke. He’s got his act together and I can see a really big future for him.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Happy New Year to all.

In response to MCIVTA 1083‘s opening comment by H about where we are compared to last season, I would like to state “It is good that we are doing better than last season”. Though may I remind you (not that it is necessary) that we are dropping valuable points at home. It is concerning me again that our home record is not good.

I mentioned after we beat Palace that we had to expect that as a minimum against the promoted teams, and since then we have dropped 4 points to the other promoted sides (and at home) since. Is it any wonder Sean Smith at Soccernet is calling us the Keystone Cops? If we had those 4 points we would be 8th.

Now let’s just hope that the rest of the season runs to our favour, especially at home.

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


A Happy New Year to one and all!

This must be the most depressing day of the year; the long Christmas break just finished and a long stretch ahead till the next time off! Still, City travel to Arsenal this evening so 3 points there to cheer me!

I must confess that despite my avowed intention to write a match report after every home game, the performances against Tottenham and West Bromwich left me too pained! Although when I eventually did watch the WBA highlights I felt better – some of Russell Hoult’s saves were awesome. We did scrape to a 2-1 victory against another struggling side but how many people thought that the ludicrous penalty award would be the precursor for a late Southampton equaliser?! It – just like the amazing Richard Dunne own goal – could only happen to City!

Well, we lost at Everton but apparently deserved a point – then 4 out of 6 at home, where 6 was the only satisfactory outcome. After tonight we play Palace, surely another 3 points there! But then the fixtures get tougher, much tougher. We are no worse than Tottenham and Charlton, nor the group of sides just below us. But we simply must put the poor sides away at home. WBA, Norwich, Blackburn, 6 points truly wasted. And as for last season, well…!

What will the transfer window bring us? We desperately need a midfield player with the passing capability of Ali Benarbia (I actually feel all other current difficulties would then vanish!). After months of loyalty I now concur that Macca and Trevor Sinclair are not worthy of perseverance. Bosvelt and Barton have been magnificent, Sib battles well in an alien position. SWP, though well below par in recent matches, still shines out above all others! Except, I am delighted to say, Robbie Fowler! He has been truly exceptional in recent weeks, some of his touch and lay-off play awesome to behold, really class. The goals are surely going to come from him in abundance. I sincerely hope Anelka wakes up and stays. I sincerely hope someone wakes up and Macken leaves. Finally, against Southampton, I snapped and screamed in frustration as he lumbered around and squandered simple chance after simple chance. Why oh why do we not try BWP as he is lithe and has pace. His education will be accelerated with 15 or 20 minutes here and there… Saturday was a perfect opportunity.

At the back, well, we have the 4th best defensive record in the top division! A lot of this is due to some great saves from David James, the rest to awesome and courageous play week after week from Richard Dunne. Mills I like, Thatcher is ok, Jordan a great prospect, so too Onuoha. I read day after day that Newcastle offer £5 million for Distin. Take it! He is a lazy liability, complacent and far too fond of himself. Against Southampton, with the January Sales on, he was very much in the shop window, and didn’t he know it!

But the money would come in very handy, could we still get van Buyten?!

I felt so delighted after Saturday – why so? Well, I had seen a home win! Great feeling, but very rare in the last two years. Too many draws.

I really hope we make a good effort tonight, then win the derby match in the Cup on Saturday as the springboard to a good cup run, something else to cheer!

Mike Bains <mikebains(at)>


I’m writing this after watching highlights of the Arsenal game and it seems a bit strange to be talking about who we need following a performance like that, but never mind.

I’ve got a horrible feeling we’re going to end up with Robbie Savage you know. Brum are sniffing after Joey, Savage wants to move up North, we’re skint, so Savage plus a couple of million? Would the board say no to that?

Anelka? The eternal question: my answer, sell him. Our best performances are when he isn’t on the pitch and as long as we can make something over the 5 million we still owe then bite someone’s hand off. And I’m writing this in the belief that he’s one of the best strikers in the Premiership. Unfortunately he’s not the best for Manchester City though, and that’s a different question. Also we’d save 60 grand (or whatever) a week.

Distin? Refuse all offers, full stop. As Hansen & Schmeichel said last night, City look like an OK Premiership team (fingers crossed) because we’ve now got a decent defence. Priority number one is to keep it. By the way, I know SWP’s going to walk player of the season, but what about the Dunny monster? Immense (and for the right reasons now!).

SWP? £30 million 🙂

We still need the playmaker though… we’ve had Kinky, Ali, Eyal, and now no one in that spot. Given that Ali hasn’t got a time machine then who? If I were KK I’d be banging on Juninho’s door. He’s not playing at Celtic, is publicly unhappy and could give us that extra little bit we need. OK, not a long termer but has a couple of years in him.

I’ll stop rambling now then…

Paul Ruffley <paulruffley(at)>


Found this interesting article on, it’s an interesting pro-Keegan article. Whether I am personally pro or against him changes daily – every minute during games! But I do believe he has shot himself in the foot by openly saying he is leaving whereas before he could attract players on the ‘Keegan’ name. By saying he’s going, people are not going to want to play for City under Keegan knowing he’ll be gone in a year?! Are they? Interesting…

Here’s the link, but the full article is also shown below:

A New Keegan
by Ciaran Baynes

There has been one occurrence in The Premiership this season more surprising than any other.

No, not Everton’s residency in the top four, nor Bryan Robson’s acquisition of a top-flight managerial job, but Kevin Keegan’s evolution into an astute tactical manager.

Keegan has contributed so much to British football when it comes to entertainment and is, by a distance, the most charismatic man I’ve met in the game, but as he admitted in his resignation speech with England, tactical awareness was always his Achilles heel.

A story illustrating his failing comes from his reign as England manager in the European Championships play-off second leg against Scotland in November 1999.

With England being dominated by an inferior side at Wembley, the senior players in the side went into the dressing room at half time expecting a change of tactics to remedy this, just as Terry Venables did in Euro 96.

Instead all they got in the way of suggestion from their manager was the sight of Keegan grabbing his shirt and imploring the team to play for the Three Lions.

Whether this is a myth or not, it confirms the impression most fans have of Keegan – the man who will be forever associated, for good and bad, with attacking football.

While at Newcastle he once famously said if the fans wanted to play another way they should find another manager.

Judging by Manchester City’s thrilling 4-3 comeback victory over Tottenham last season, it seemed that nothing had changed in his philosophy.

This season, aided by the summer signings of non-Keegan type players Danny Mills and Ben Thatcher, things have changed.

Though hardly consistent, City sit comfortably in mid-table – a far cry from last season’s relegation struggle – and, most impressively, have won hard-earned points at Manchester United and Arsenal.

Much of the credit is given to Stuart Pearce, who seems to be lined up to replace Keegan when he departs at the end of next season, for solidifying the defence.

This may well be true, but Keegan must also been given kudos for his employment of a defensive coach – an idea lampooned when he appointed Mark Lawrenson in this rôle near the end of his tenure at St James’ Park.

Another example of his thinking out of the box was sending Robbie Fowler to ‘fat camp’ in mid-season.

For years fans have been patronised by managers telling them all Fowler lacked was match fitness when he was patently out of condition.

In return he has seen Fowler produce some of his best football in the last six or seven years.

Also, whereas at one time he would flood his teams with extravagantly gifted players, now he accommodates the superb Shaun Wright-Phillips with the more workmanlike qualities of Paul Bosvelt and Joey Barton.

Perhaps it is this move from his most romantic principles of how the game should be played that may have persuaded Keegan that he no longer wants to stay in the game.

Personally, I’m not sure whether the metamorphosis in Keegan’s approach is something to be celebrated or mourned, but regardless of this, he deserves credit for acquiring the nous he has been attacked for lacking throughout his managerial career.

Let’s hope 2005 brings us some success!

CTID, Matt Cummings <MCFC1985(at)>


Hello Blues.

First of all I would like to send a great “Happy New Year” to you all! Hopefully 2005 will be better than the previous for us all even though the recent news made us much sad.

From a City point of view, it was a good end/start of the year, the Blues lay 9th in the Premiership with a creditable 28 points after 22 games played.

I really have to express my apologies to our KK because if in the past I made my harsh comments about the way he was leading the club, it is plain to see how good is his work now. Certainly City have this huge debt [please could someone explain what a “long term secured” debt is?] but from a football point of view things are improving! Yesterday I watched the Highbury game on Sky Sport Italia and I have to say that the Blues played a superb game with SWP outstanding! The manager has found the real balance in the squad, we have a bunch of players playing on the regular basis (James, Distin, Dunne, Barton, Bosvelt, SWP, Fowler) and the others played well alongside.

At Highbury Bosvelt impressed me as a real Boss in the midfield, he made many clever passes, he tackled well the likes of Vieira and Fabregas while SWP was a constant thorn in the Gunners’ side. This boy is the best right wing in Europe and while he’s worth his weight in gold, we only have to hope City will manage to keep him at CoMS.

Apart from the WBA accident, Dunne this season is playing as a top class defender and his partner Distin is effective the same way.

I think that when a team can find such a balance in the most important areas on the field [defence and midfield] with the right players playing for each other, the football becomes fluent, all the team gains composure and now we can look forward with faith at the end of the season.

Given our position in the mid-table, hopefully we will put a decent run under our belt in the FA Cup and maybe Oldham is not the most terrible outfit to meet at the 3rd Round [you would be pleased to know that incredibly Sky Italia will broadcast the game – I’m so happy! Usually they play Arsenal and the other “great clubs”].

I would like to send a “ciao” in particular to Martin Lever with whom I keep in touch through the text messages before and after the games…. Ciao Martin!

Dario Gigante <ghigas1972(at)>


If any Blues have a spare ticket (face value obviously) could you please contact me direct!

Many thanks, Eric Rawson <slicric(at)>


The Day I Became a Blue

There was absolutely no logic in how I became a Manchester City football fan; but then again, is there ever?

It was April 1945. The war was coming to an end and I was settling down in my third year at Sale Grammar School. I lived with my mother in Sale and my father was working with the BBC in the south, monitoring foreign broadcasts.

I hated school; although quite bright, I was lazy and got terrible reports but managed reasonable exam results. I was mediocre in everything I did. Never made the school first cricket or rugby teams but captained the seconds. Hated cross-country running but always finished in the middle of the pack; and so on. I was small and in rugby there was only room for two little ones in a team, consequently I turned to football and could hold my own in the park games that we tried to organise. I had plenty of friends and we were never in. Saturdays and Sundays we would be out from morning to night and nobody worried; how different from today.

Professional football was played but seldom talked about. The media consisted of the Manchester Evening News and Chronicle and football got an occasional mention on the radio; BBC only, of-course; independent radio or television had not yet been thought of. The cinema was the main form of entertainment and the accompanying newsreel occasionally referred to football giants such as Matthews, Lawton or Swift, without really mentioning the teams to whom they belonged. Hence I didn’t even know that Manchester had two teams. My family had no interest whatsoever in sport so they were not much help either.

I was seldom alone but, when I was, I couldn’t bear to stay home and used to buy an all day ticket and travel from terminus to terminus on the bus, always sitting on the front seat upstairs and following the route on the A-Z map of Manchester, which I probably got to know better than most of the taxi drivers. On Easter Monday, the 2nd April 1945, I got on a number 50 bus and settled down in my usual seat. As we proceeded down Princess Parkway, I noted more and more people walking towards what my map showed to be a football stadium. Being curious, I alighted, joined the throng and decided to experience my first football match.

The Manchester United pitch, at Old Trafford, had been destroyed by a landmine a couple of years earlier so they shared Maine Road with their rivals, Manchester City. Programmes were sold outside the ground with the first sellers being already at the Princess Road bus stops. I handed over my one (old) penny to discover that it was City who would be playing and made my way to Maine Road. I treated myself to a seat and climbed the main stand to the top and got my first view of the ground. Never having been to any form of stadium before, it seemed enormous. The headlines of the programme, “Stockport’s Advantage”, should have warned me that this was the beginning of the end; it was, we lost 1-5!

Now, after 60 years and countless games, I still get inspiration from this first match. We got thrashed but I was back the next week and, most important of all, I thank heaven that it was City at home: I might have ended up a Red!

Fred Rosenfeld <fred(at)>


5 January 2005

Southampton           3 - 3  Fulham                27,343

4 January 2005

Arsenal               1 - 1  Manchester City       38,086
Birmingham City       1 - 2  Bolton Wanderers      27,177
Chelsea               2 - 0  Middlesbrough         40,982
Everton               2 - 1  Portsmouth            35,480
Manchester United     0 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     67,962

3 January 2005

Blackburn Rovers      1 - 0  Charlton Athletic     19,819
Crystal Palace        2 - 0  Aston Villa           24,140
Norwich City          1 - 2  Liverpool             24,503
West Bromwich Albion  0 - 0  Newcastle United      25,259

League table to 05 January 2005 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         22  9  2  0 22  3  8  2  1 21  5 17  4  1  43   8  35  55
 2 Arsenal         22  6  5  0 28 12  8  1  2 24 12 14  6  2  52  24  28  48
 3 Manchester Utd  22  7  4  0 19  5  5  4  2 14  8 12  8  2  33  13  20  44
 4 Everton         22  8  1  2 15 11  5  3  3 12 12 13  4  5  27  23   4  43
 5 Liverpool       22  8  1  2 20  8  3  3  5 16 14 11  4  7  36  22  14  37
 6 Middlesbrough   22  6  3  2 18 11  4  2  5 16 17 10  5  7  34  28   6  35
 7 Tottenham H.    22  4  3  4 22 16  5  3  3  7  5  9  6  7  29  21   8  33
 8 Charlton Ath.   22  6  2  3 17 12  3  2  6  7 20  9  4  9  24  32  -8  31
 9 Manchester City 22  4  4  3 13  8  3  3  5 14 15  7  7  8  27  23   4  28
10 Aston Villa     22  6  3  2 16  7  1  4  6  7 19  7  7  8  23  26  -3  28
11 Bolton Wndrs    22  4  3  4 13 11  3  3  5 16 20  7  6  9  29  31  -2  27
12 Portsmouth      22  5  2  4 16 15  2  4  5 10 15  7  6  9  26  30  -4  27
13 Birmingham City 22  3  4  4 12  9  3  4  4 13 16  6  8  8  25  25   0  26
14 Newcastle Utd   22  4  3  4 18 18  2  5  4 15 21  6  8  8  33  39  -6  26
15 Fulham          22  4  1  6 14 20  2  3  6 14 19  6  4 12  28  39 -11  22
16 Blackburn R.    22  2  7  2 13 16  2  3  6  7 17  4 10  8  20  33 -13  22
17 Crystal Palace  22  3  2  6 10 12  1  4  6 13 22  4  6 12  23  34 -11  18
18 Norwich City    22  2  4  5 13 19  0  6  5  6 20  2 10 10  19  39 -20  16
19 Southampton     22  2  7  2 16 16  0  2  9  6 21  2  9 11  22  37 -15  15
20 West Brom A.    22  1  5  5  7 19  0  5  6 10 24  1 10 11  17  43 -26  13

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0405.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[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 #1084