Newsletter #1088

Due to the weather, both the reserve and youth games were called off this week. We have news on the continued transfer stories, continued opinion on all things City related, the usual requests and book review.

We also have part II of the Legends/Dickov picture quiz and the Manchester Evening News would like your views on GMP’s pub laws.

Next game: West Bromwich Albion, away, 5.15pm Saturday 22 January 2005 (TV)


General News

Could Be Worse! You’ve got to admire the manager’s ability to turn any poor situation into a positive. This week KK explains how the reverse at Oldham might benefit the Blues. “We may look back on the Oldham defeat as a blessing in disguise. With the small squad that we have it is debatable if we could sustain a Cup run and perform in the Premiership,” explained the manager on “I am not making excuses but we do have a small squad so the reality is that perhaps with rest days when the Cup programme is on we could climb higher in the League. I honestly don’t think with this number of players it is not realistic in our situation to think of the top six,” added the boss. “The target that I have given the players is to finish above where we did in our first season back in the Premiership and that was ninth. We are capable of doing that. I would not like to mislead the fans and say that we could clinch a place in Europe by finishing in sixth spot. But we will have a go at it. It is not impossible. We might get one or two back from injury but against that we might lose one or two.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Thatch Cottager: In a move that surprised most City watchers, KK confirmed on Saturday that Ben Thatcher will join Fulham this month – but the Wales international will to stay at Eastlands until a replacement is found. Thatcher made what is likely to be his final Blues appearance against Crystal Palace after City agreed to his request for a move due to family problems. The full back, who joined City from Leicester during the summer, asked for a move after his wife failed to settle in the area and Keegan confirmed a fee had been agreed with the Cottagers. “Ben came to me a week ago absolutely mortified as to what had happened to him,” explained the manager. “He has been robbed twice. It was a very scary thing. His wife would not come back. We love him to bits at this football club but some things are more important. I have told Ben he has to stay here another week because I have to find a replacement for him and I know he will not let me down. Some people might say I am a softy but I don’t want Ben here while his family and kids are down South. We have done the deal but he has to have a medical and wait for me to get a replacement. He has made a big impression around the football club. He is a very obliging lad and we will miss him.” Reports suggest that City will receive £500,000 for the Welsh international.

It’s All Ball’s: And so the search for Ben Thatcher’s replacement has begun. The first name tossed out by the press pack was that of Michael Ball. Ball joined Glasgow Rangers in a big-money move from Everton in August 2001 but injuries and a row over payments due to his former club have restricted him to just 59 appearances at Ibrox. With on-loan Liverpool defender Gregory Vignal poised to sign a permanent deal with the SPL side, manager Alex McLeish was prepared to let Ball, capped once by England, leave the club. But KK has denied that Ball is his first target. “I am hoping to know within the next 24 hours about the outcome of a potential loan deal I have earmarked – and it is not Michael Ball,” Keegan said on the club website. “If for any reason that deal did not go through then Michael is certainly one of the ones we would look at.” Who then is this mystery full back? Some papers suggest that Spanish left-back Juanfran, currently at Turkish side Besiktas, was the target. Juanfran,28 made his name at Celta Vigo and featured in Spain’s squad at Euro 2004. Meanwhile, KK could renew his interest in Christian Rahn, with the German international appearing to have no future at Hamburg. Rahn has been warned by Hamburg boss Thomas Doll that his performances have not been good enough this season and he could leave the AOL-Arena. German media reports claim former HSV star Keegan was ready to lure the talented, but inconsistent, Rahn to The City of Manchester Stadium last summer. But when he learned the left back was determined to see out his contract with Hamburg until June 2005, Keegan dropped his interest.

Suddenly – Nothing Happened: Last week the hope was that the future of Nicolas Anelka would be sorted by now and that we could get on and discusses something else. Well, it’s Wednesday night and… nothing’s happened on the Nico front. Special mention to the Daily Mirror website, which on Friday posted simultaneous stories suggesting that “ANELKA FRANCE RETURN – By Alan Nixon – NICOLAS Anelka’s move from Manchester City to Marseille is set to go ahead after reports of a secret meeting between the unsettled striker and French officials”, along with another page stating that there would be “NO FRENCH LEAVE FOR ANELKA – By Alan Nixon – NICOLAS ANELKA will wreck Kevin Keegan’s attempts to move him out of Manchester City to French giants Marseille… A source close to the unsettled City star said: ‘One place Nicolas would never go is Marseille. The rivalry between their fans and PSG is too big.'”. Now that’s what I call covering all options! Sunday’s papers were united in a belief that Anelka was about to fly out to Istanbul to finalise the deal. Like I said, no news so far…

Ten Millmore Please: There’s still the odd rumour swilling around about some clubs chasing the greatest number 29 in all the world. Tottenham Hotspur are supposedly set to bid £17 million for SWP, but a City spokesman gave that line short shrift – “They would need to add another £10 million before we would even discuss it,” he countered. Alarming rumour of the week appeared in the Times – Sir Fergie was said to be considering selling Ruud van Nistelrooy to raise funds to buy Spain’s Fernando Torres or (gulp) Shaun Wright-Phillips. We’ll pretend that last bit never appeared, shall we folks? KK believes it would decimate City if Shaun left the club during the transfer window. “We would be selling our soul if we let a player like Shaun Wright-Phillips leave,” said Keegan in his programme notes to the Palace game. “I accept that he may well move on one day if he feels he cannot achieve everything he wants here. If he left now, it would decimate the club because he has become a talisman. But we cannot keep expecting him to win us matches when he is only 23 and still learning his trade.”

Thanks but No Thanks: This story appeared last week, but frankly we had covered enough Marseille rejects allegedly coming to City in the last Summary. Here it is anyway – Marseille have offered out-of-favour striker Lamine Sakho to City. The Senegalese star has already played in England, in a loan spell with Leeds, and Marseille are hoping to tempt City into a bid. Sakho played 19 times for Leeds last season, scoring once, although he was utilised in a wider rôle.

Gloom for the Toon: Sylvain Distin this week gave a slightly more encouraging statement of his desire to stay with City. “I am happy to be here and I want to stay but who knows what will happen in the future,” said the defender. “I have not spoken to Newcastle but if City accepted a bid then I would have to. I am in a good situation and a happy situation at this club and I want that to carry on.” And KK was pleased that his board had turned down Newcastle’s bid for the player. “I had a discussion with the chairman at the beginning of the month and told him that we cannot afford to sell anybody,” said Keegan. “From my experience as a player and a manager, once big players start to leave clubs, players elsewhere start to think that a club is going backwards, not forwards. You lose your best players, you don’t lose your average players. Fair do’s to the chairman because he doesn’t want to sell our best players. We have had bids and we’ve turned them down. OK, we can’t strengthen a lot but we have made a commitment to the players. Newcastle bid £5 million last week, but we turned that down and that’s it.”

Young ‘Keepers Linked: Are City in the market for a goalkeeper? Two shot stoppers have been mentioned in dispatches this week. Highly rated Oman international goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi is set for a move to the English Premiership, according to his agent. The 23-year-old ‘keeper is currently contracted to Norwegian club Lyn and has attracted the attention of a host of English sides, with City, Liverpool and Bolton believed to be interested. Elsewhere, Caen goalkeeper Steve Elana has claimed that City are keen on signing him. The 24-year-old’s current contract expires at the end of the season and Elana is weighing up his options. Elana has confirmed City are interested in him, but hinted that he is ready to sign a new deal at Caen. “It is true that Manchester City are interested in me and I feel flattered,” said Elana. “There is nothing definite yet, so I will aim to sign a new three or four year contract with Caen. But I have been waiting to hear from City for quite a while.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Howey About It, Latics? Former City skipper Steve Howey is training with Oldham Athletic. The 33-year-old, who has recently returned from a playing spell in America, is hoping to impress enough to win a contract at the club at Boundary Park. Howey explained: “I missed English football, jumped on a plane and came back. Oldham are looking at me and I am looking at them. I will spend a week to 10 days at Oldham and see where it takes us. I am delighted to be training on a regular basis and you never know what can happen from that.” Latics’ boss Brian Talbot said: “Steve says he is prepared to play in our reserve side to show what he can do.”

Elliott Phone Home… Just a quick reminder of what might have been – Sunderland beat Derby County 2-0 in the Championship on Sunday, thanks to an opening goal from Stephen Elliott. He also set up Dean Whitehead for the second goal.

Reactions and Comments

City Storm Palace: City responded to their FA Cup humbling to Oldham with a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Eastlands on Saturday. In a frenetic start, City raced into a two-goal lead inside the first 15 minutes, courtesy of fine strikes from first Shaun Wright-Phillips and then the excellent Robbie Fowler. Though Palace pulled one back after 32 minutes through Darren Powell’s header, Wright-Phillips delivered the killer blow in the final minute. Much of the after match comment concerned City’s goalscorers. “At the moment, Shaun is priceless to us,” began KK. “We know he may not be at this club forever because I believe he will go on to bigger and better things. The City fans might be upset when I say that but a player of his talent deserves to be at the very top of the game. But even in another two years he will only be 25. He will have more experience and still be able to achieve what he wants. You never know, by then, circumstances at this club may have changed and we might be buying players of Shaun’s ability to supplement him. We love him here and we know he loves us. He has been here since he was let go by Nottingham Forest and it would be no surprise if the biggest clubs in the world were enquiring about him – they might have done for all I know. I know Shaun will get the headlines, but I thought Robbie Fowler was outstanding,” the boss added. “They were both right on top of their game and it would have been no surprise if we had scored another four or five before half-time. I don’t think anyone’s ever doubted Robbie’s ability to finish but the only was whether he could get his fitness levels back and it took a lot of hard work. Robbie got back focussed to what he needs to do and he’s now fit enough to play in the Premiership. He can unlock you in minute in many different ways,” he continued.

Jewel in the Crown: Palace manager Iain Dowie joined in the Shaunie love-in. “There is no doubt he is the jewel in their crown,” he said. “He is brave, has an outstanding first touch, pace and his first goal in particular was an excellent finish. He is a top-quality player and it is easy to see why so many top clubs have looked at him.” Of the game, Dowie commented: “In the first 20 minutes we didn’t get going at all, but in the second half we were really on top,” he said. “I couldn’t fault the players for effort but we didn’t have enough quality on the ball and too many people were caught in possession. We can’t worry about anyone else, we’ve got to look after ourselves. We got to make sure we get some results. If you get three wins together it might all change around. If you get three wins, and somebody loses three it could change as quickly as that. There’s no reason why we can’t do that.”

Squad News

Extended Boundary for Crofty: City have allowed midfielder Lee Croft to stay at Oldham on loan for a third and final month. The 19-year-old winger has featured in 13 matches for Brian Talbot’s side after initially arriving at Boundary Park in early November. Croft, who has been integral to the Latics’ improved form, is scheduled to play his last game for the club at Blackpool on 8 February. Thankfully FA rules stopped Crofty from playing against City in the Cup débâcle.

Bright Future for Sun: It’s reported that City will offer Sun Jihai a new contract. The Blues’ utility man has been out of action since rupturing cruciate knee ligaments in City’s win over Chelsea in October. His present deal was due to run out at the end of the season – but at the time of his injury manager Kevin Keegan called on his club’s board to show some compassion and extend his stay at Eastlands. “I will talk with Jihai and his agent next week with a view to putting something together to put to the board that would give him another two or three years,” explained KK. “He is now working in the gym and is progressing well. I have no doubt he will be back from his injury as he is a very fit boy but it will be the close season before he starts training with us again. His injury was a major blow to us. He had just gone into the centre of midfield against Chelsea and was doing really well. Apart from Paul Bosvelt we had no one else to play in there and added to the other positions that he could play we really lost four players and not one. He has settled here, is still young and he wants to stay. He has done well, is very fit and will get better and he likes the club. The ultimate decision will rest with the board and I am aware that I would be committing a lot of these players beyond my time here. I hope they can trust my judgement.”

Strikers Shortage: Robbie Fowler (or “Slimboy Robbie” as my son now calls him) is a doubt for Saturday’s Premiership clash with West Brom at The Hawthorns. The striker picked up a knee injury in the victory over Crystal Palace, although the manager played down the injury. “Robbie didn’t train with us on Tuesday but I don’t think it is serious,” said KK. “He just tweaked his knee on Saturday in a challenge and I saw him looking at his knee after it. It would be a shame if he missed Saturday after his performance against Crystal Palace but hopefully he will be back training on Thursday.” Meanwhile Nicolas Anelka does not have a serious groin problem, scans have confirmed. Anelka has now resumed training, but he is unlikely to feature against WBA. “The scans didn’t show anything that we should be really worried about,” revealed KK. “We just have to get him fit now.”

Don Barrie <News(at)>


Paul Dickov celebrates his last-gasp equalizer

Here are the final questions for the Paul Dickov print competition offered by Answers to be received via the MCIVTA website by Monday 12 noon. Good luck! produce limited edition prints of iconic footballing moments and have very kindly donated two stunning pictures for MCIVTA readers to win: one of Paul Dickov and one of Bert Trautmann. These (along with numerous other sporting images) can be viewed and purchased from their website Each picture is in black and white, and is A2 sized (594mm x 420mm) high quality gloss.

The first competition is to win the Dickov picture, which is that unforgettable image of him celebrating the injury time equalizer during the 1999 Division 2 Play-off final.

To submit your answers and view the competition rules please go to the MCFC Supporters’ Homepage at: and follow the instructions to register.

Question 4:
Can you name one Manchester City player that died in the 1958 Munich air crash?

Question 5:
What was the direct consequence of Denis Law’s famous backheel goal against Manchester United in 1974?

Question 6:
What was the secret behind City’s legendary win against Spurs in what is known as the “ballet on ice”?


I for one get really pee’d off when I read contributors to various City sites slagging the club off week by week depending on the weekend’s result. I honestly think we need a reality check, at the very least consider the picture on a somewhat broader basis.

This time last season we had 24 points and did not win till we went to Bolton in mid-February, finishing the season on 41 points in 16th place. Right now we have 31 points and are in 9th place, an appreciable improvement.

When KK came we were in the 1st Division with many players who would not be in anyone’s starting line-up now. KK is often criticized for his transfers; it is quoted that he has spent £50 million but in reality the net figure is around £39 million, or Ferdinand and 1/3 of Shrek. I don’t say for one minute that he has not had his fair share of disappointing players who have underperformed but he is far from alone in that. I was surprised to hear that Curbishley (he of the shoestring budget) has spent around £45 million and Houllier spent £110 million at Liverpool. We can see year in, year out what lack of investment does at clubs; check out the bottom 4 right now. One of my great cribs with KK is his constant speculation over SWP’s future away from us; please shut it Kev.

We now play in the best stadium in the UK in front of our highest ever crowds. Hopefully the reduced numbers this season will reverse next year.

We have a great crop of youngsters, credit due to all at the Academy and for KK for encouraging them. I believe that we have the makings of a strong future if we can continue to nurture these players.

The Chairman, unfairly in my opinion, comes in for criticism, which amazes me; without him and his business partner we’d be up sh*t creek. Quite wrongly he gets the blame for the spending whilst David Bernstein is seen as a saint. The facts tell you that DB (who I liked incidentally) was the Chairman who oversaw our major spending. The debt must be reduced but providing we can cover the payments there is no need to panic.

My main worry is the constant sniping of our supporters; 6 years ago last December we lost at York to slump to 12th in the 3rd flight, this year we will complete our 3rd straight Premiership season on the run, something not achieved previously.

Sure, I’d love to be knocking on the Champions’ League door but better to progress steadily than boom and bust. With luck KK could achieve his mandate to make us a top 6 side before he retires; in my book that would be a job well done!

Ian Barton <Ian(at)>


Another musing as to how we might resolve the situation with Nico.

Offer him a five year contract with immediate effect on the same money he is on now plus a £50,000 bonus for every position we finish above eighth up to a maximum of £200,000 each season, i.e. the fourth placed Champions’ league spot he craves.

On the club side we insert a clause to ensure we receive at least £10 million from any future sale. That is if we sell in the transfer windows the minimum price for clubs coming in should be:

  1. up to Sept ’05, £15 million (£5 million to PSG)
  2. up to Sept’06, £12.5 million
  3. and £10 million, £7.5 million and £5 million for the remainderof his contracted years, respectively.

Add in a 25% sell-on clause and it seems we would have a situation to suit both parties. Nico pushing for himself to the benefit of the team. Let his football do the talking, à la SWP, and if he is playing well enough for a club bigger than City to be interested in him, we all know his value.

To sell for £7.5 million would be laughable. Where are we going to find a replacement with the left over £2.5 million? Get him on clear and fair terms for both parties. He seems to have thrown his dummy, but contrary to his past club reactions, we should just stick it back in rather than throw ours out too.

He appears to be well liked by the squad, and is certainly liked by at least half the fans, me for one – just wished he’d stop the silly reports, or at least curtail his advisors’ influence. All first hand reports, rather than press manipulation have him down as a good fella, just a bit shy. If he is good enough to move on to a club bigger than City, then any suitors should pay the real price. If we do not get the minimum £10 million we need to replace him, he is still our player for two and a half years and there is nothing Didier, Claude or anyone can say can to make us release him. Birmingham have just tried the hard line with Robbie Savage, but bottled out at the end.

Nico has made his feelings clear, he wants Champs’ League, higher ambition than 8th and a big club. We can and should be looking to meet those achievements, however if we can’t and he is banging them in regularly, a ‘bigger’ club will come in. Until he does hit form again, he may as well take a contract to keep him secure until he is 30.

Job done, move on with Nico very much part of the squad, or sufficient funds to replace him with similar.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


No rants/suggestions/moans here, but just like to say how pleased I am that the club’s going to offer Sun Jihai a new contract. Although I’m sure it’s mainly a business decision (i.e. we would struggle to pay for a replacement) it shows a bit of loyalty, which is good to see in the world today.

Paul Ruffley <paulruffley(at)>


I want to talk about where we are now and why the future is good. Let’s take it bit by bit.

The Anelka thing: He’s probably on his way, and that’s a good thing, not that we haven’t had our money’s worth, his goals have uplifted us, saved us and gratified us, but his main worth was that he gave us a bigger profile, and what do profiles make? Better players.

Anelka is only interested in Anelka, and he will always be an enigma for whoever he plays for, so I say goodbye Nic but thank you for raising the profile of our club and bringing on players like SWP, Joey, Nedum, Stephen etc., because if our profile hadn’t been raised by you, these players would have been off somewhere else by now, and the profile of the club now is such that they might stay.

KK: Do people dislike him because honesty is an alien concept in football? The guy has taken our silver and is totally committed to earning every penny of it. I think he has taken us back to where we should be. Would we be happier if we had Uncle Joe back, and I have nothing but respect for Joe, I am full of admiration for what he did for us, but we wouldn’t have progressed from being a yo-yo team, Joe would never have attracted the big names that rightly or wrongly came to us.

SWP: I’m not sure that he is off on the next bus anywhere, he has 47,000 mums and dads at Eastlands, is level headed and is part of our very own youth revolution, the last time any team had so many kids come through at the same time, well you know who that was, and there is a togetherness about these kids, they are living off each other’s success and they are improving each other.

Can any of you remember the last time that City had 1 player, never mind 4 or 5 that were being targeted by top clubs? I certainly can’t. If SWP was the only player of worth that we had, then I think he would be on his way, but we have outstanding players and prospective players here now; could we have said that 12 months ago?

We are City, and always will be, it’s what we do. We will always be the team that excites one minute and exasperates the next, I’ve had 40 years of it, I know the script. However, we are in great shape, we have a team that looks like they actually have the chance of challenging the constant jibe that we are a journeyman team.

When KK hangs his Golden Boot up, he will leave behind a club that was in free fall; the guy who takes over from him will inherit a club that believes in itself again.

I don’t think that’s a bad return for what we’ve paid, do you?

Keep the faith, Phil <XPHILLEE(at)>


Surely there is only one choice for the next manager for City!

In what increasingly looks to be a three horse race, surely there can only be one choice for Kevin’s replacement. Let’s look at the candidates.

  1. Stuart Pearce – Obviously highly regarded by the club but giving him thepost would be a huge risk without having any real managerial experience tojudge him by. It may have been prudent to have encouraged Stuart to havetaken a post elsewhere a year or so ago to cut his teeth – non starter surely!
  2. Gordon Strachan – What has he ever done in his managerial career withthe exception of a very fortunate cup run? He is far from blameless for thestate Coventry City are in today and is it any coincidence that Southamptonare struggling after his departure? His exit from St Mary’s was a bit of amystery at the time but perhaps Mr Strachan knew that things were about toget much worse and jumped before they did. Kenny Dalglish anyone? Yes, hisafter match comments are very entertaining and it’s refreshing to hear hisforthright views on TV, but City manager, why? I can’t see a single thingin his track record to understand how he has earned the right to manage ourmagnificent club. Surely we’ve had enough of nearly managers who we forsome strange reason believe will get it right this time. Remember the lastsuccessful Southampton manager we had!
  3. Iain Dowie – Speak to any Oldham Athletic supporter and they will tellyou that this man performed a miracle at Boundary Park. Then look at theincredible job he has done at Crystal Palace. When he took over 13 monthsago they were fighting for their lives at the bottom of Division One. Notonly did he save them from relegation (the job he was brought in to do) butagainst all odds he got them promoted to the Premiership by out thinkingthe teams his inferior side on paper came up against, particularly in theplay offs. And despite having no money to spend, his team are just outsidethe bottom three and are the pundits’ favourite promoted team to stay up. Heis one of the new breed of modern managers who not only knows how tomotivate a team but also understands that football today is as much ascience as it is a sport. He is also tactically astute and as we saw lastweek is not afraid to make changes early in a game if they are needed. Hehas also been successful without having any money to spend, which may beanother important factor bearing in mind our financial position. But mostimportantly he is a young manager with a magnificent track record who hasexceeded every challenge presented to him thus far. If he can achieve atCity what he has for his previous clubs then who knows how high he can take us?

Johns <johns(at)>


Further to my rant in MCIVTA 1087, the Manchester Evening News has been in touch with me and they are looking into this issue and how it will affect fans.

If anyone would like to have their say on how banning under 14’s from the pubs around Eastlands will affect them then please contact the M.E.N. direct.

[Please contact Martin Dillon direct at the M.E.N. by email and leave your contact phone number; he is working on the story and will be in touch with people to get their opinions: <martin.dillon(at)> – Ed]

Steve Hunt <steve.hunt803(at)>


With reference to Steve Hunt and his comments about children in pubs (MCIVTA 1087). The sooner they ban children totally from pubs the better. Whilst being forced to watch Everton vs. City in a pub, I was horrified to see people being chastised for using “bad language” in front of children.

A pub is a place for adults, where adults can act like children and it doesn’t matter. The sooner the parents of these children decide to restructure there lives to accommodate their children, and stop expecting everyone else to change, the better for all concerned.

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I’m not that inclined to swear, but I do like the option to be able to do so if I wish.

Well done GMP!

Dave Lees <dave(at)>


I know I am hallucinating at this time of year but I am wondering if we have a chance to be in Europe this year. Last year Villa were 6th with 56 points and I am just wondering how many points we would need to do it this year.

Yours grasping at slippery straws, Kieran Daly <kdaly100(at)>


Just a quick thought…

Six points off 5th place in the Premiership in mid-January. And we haven’t had a “run” yet this year.

Everyone has a run at some point. Boro, Charlton, Spurs, and Villa have all had theirs.

I’m off down the bookies – City for Europe!

Jon Marshall <jon_g_marshall(at)>


Delighted to have provoked a response on my wonderful friend Mr Keegan.

In answer to Mat Howden: I didn’t write an article praising city after the point at Highbury for the same reason i didn’t write one slagging them off for losing to the Arsenal under 18’s in the cup. One result does not a good or bad manager make. But if I were to write after every poor or good performance, it’s safe to say there would be more abusive emails than praising.

As is stated in my previous email, I believe the players all give 100 percent and that alone is the reason for any good results we get. It is absolutely not down to Keegan in any way, shape or form.

All of you who slag off the c**p in our squad – Macca, Sinclair, Negouai etc., not to mention the permanently injured members earning vast wages for doing nowt. Just remember who signed them all.

And please let’s not forget that we all knew Fowler was totally unfit but it took Keegan two years to realise he needed extra training. And he sees him every day!

And in response to Jackie Murray’s article about the great kids coming through: Yes they are and I wish they played more often. But do you honestly believe that if we had a fit squad that any of those great young players would be anywhere near the bench, let alone the first team? No chance. And if Keegan had any money to spend, those kids would be heading straight back to the reserves.

You can quote all the stats you like about the defence improving – and it has – and our moving up the league and so on. But I could easily reply that we failed to win a game for god knows how long last season. That for over 18 months we failed to win two games on the trot! And when we eventually did we lost the next two! My point is we could be so much better with a decent manager.

We have a great stadium, great fans, great young players and a pretty good squad compared to most teams. Unfortunately the manager is totally clueless. Roll on the end of Keegan’s contract. Can’t bl**dy wait.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Marc Starbuck <mstarbuck(at)>


TITLE: Lows, Highs and Balti Pies (Manchester City Ruined My Diet)
AUTHOR: Steve Mingle
ISBN: 0-7524-3178-1
PRICE: £9.99

This book, written by Steve Mingle, covers 100 matches from 1967 to present day from the perspective, torment, and delusion of a City fan. Through the ups and downs of the ensuing 37 years, Steve brings a personal and evocative recollection of those games and the tribulations of our beloved Club. The rollercoaster ride of supporting City from the triumphs during his school days; the University escapades in getting to games; the despair of the 90s and working life through to the resurrection in the noughties. All those memorable games are there – European and league triumphs to FA cup disasters – with stories that will ring true (cringingly at times) for Blues no matter what age. A tremendous read, written with honesty and humour and a worthy addition to the Blues’ library. If you enjoyed the Mark Hodkinson (Blue Moon: Down Amongst the Dead Men) book then you’ll love this one.

A word of warning: perhaps better if you don’t read the book whilst on public transport, unless you can cope with the strange looks as you laugh along and mutter away in agreement!

Heidi <editor(at)>


The meeting on Tuesday 18th January was very well attended considering the bad weather. The panel of James H Reeve, Jim Cassell, Alex Williams MBE, Tommy Booth and Tony Book were both fascinating and as honest as they could be with a number of interesting tales; notably Tommy Booth’s story of the day that he scored the winner at Villa Park in the 1969 F.A. Cup semi-final.

These people give up their time to entertain the fans, effectively for nothing, thus they are entitled to a big thank you.

However, there is clearly a problem with getting players to the meetings; and it’s a worry that City’s P.R. department do not seem to want to communicate with the P&W executive who are clearly a hard working, enthusiastic and loyal bunch of people. A number of the directors are regular attenders at the P&W and know what is done for both the Academy and local charities by the members.

If any of the directors are reading this, please could you/they see what is going on and act to right what is proving to be bad public relations and not especially good manners.

[A hoary chestnut this one, Brian. There are numerous supporters’ clubs around the Greater Manchester area who do similar fund raising for the club, yet do not get half the visitors which P&W branch receive – Ed]

Brian Leigh <B.Leigh(at)>


Due to a family party, I won’t be able to go to the Newcastle match on February 2, so I’ve got two tickets that I need to off load. The tickets are in North Stand level 2, and available at face value (£29). Anyone interested please email me at the address below.

Steve Smith <steve589(at)>


This is a bit of a long shot but we are coming over from Perth Western Australia for the derby match on the 13th Feb.

Does anybody have two tickets they will not be using? It would be much appreciated and paid for of course. I am a Citycard International holder but I know this won’t guarantee me a ticket.

Here’s living in hope.

Phill Bird <camsacape(at)>


David Elleray will be visiting Milton Keynes OSC on the 27th January 2005.The meeting will commence at 8.00pm and be held at the usual venue of GreatBrickhill Cricket Club.

Entry will cost £3 for adults and free for kids under 16. This will include a light buffet and a raffle ticket, with which you could win a signed copy of David Elleray’s book ‘Man in the Middle’. £1 of each entry ticket will be donated towards the Tsunami appeal.

Everyone is welcome, including any non-City supporting friends, so if you fancy coming along to what we hope will be a very interesting evening, please contact me at the email address below. I can also forward directions to the venue if required.

Madeleine Hawkins – Secretary, Milton Keynes OSC <madeleine.hawkins(at)>


Work commitments are taking me to Orlando for the week of February 28th and on the Monday City play Norwich, which will be on Fox Sports World in the US. Does anybody know of a bar in Orlando that will be showing the game? Preferably near the Convention Centre so that I can sneak out easily and quickly.

Hope to see someone there so we can have a beer – or two!

Richard Lane <richlane5(at)>


Typing in “bluemoon ringtone” into google brings up loads of sites. There’s a nice slow version here by Elvis!

Sam Bullock <fsbullock(at)>


League table to 16 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         23  9  2  0 22  3  9  2  1 23  5 18  4  1  45   8  37  58
 2 Arsenal         22  6  5  0 28 12  8  1  2 24 12 14  6  2  52  24  28  48
 3 Manchester Utd  23  7  4  0 19  5  6  4  2 15  8 13  8  2  34  13  21  47
 4 Everton         22  8  1  2 15 11  5  3  3 12 12 13  4  5  27  23   4  43
 5 Liverpool       23  8  1  3 20  9  3  3  5 16 14 11  4  8  36  23  13  37
 6 Middlesbrough   22  6  3  2 18 11  4  2  5 16 17 10  5  7  34  28   6  35
 7 Charlton Ath.   23  7  2  3 20 13  3  2  6  7 20 10  4  9  27  33  -6  34
 8 Tottenham H.    23  4  3  5 22 18  5  3  3  7  5  9  6  8  29  23   6  33
 9 Manchester City 23  5  4  3 16  9  3  3  5 14 15  8  7  8  30  24   6  31
10 Aston Villa     23  7  3  2 19  7  1  4  6  7 19  8  7  8  26  26   0  31
11 Newcastle Utd   23  5  3  4 20 19  2  5  4 15 21  7  8  8  35  40  -5  29
12 Bolton Wndrs    22  4  3  4 13 11  3  3  5 16 20  7  6  9  29  31  -2  27
13 Portsmouth      23  5  2  5 16 16  2  4  5 10 15  7  6 10  26  31  -5  27
14 Birmingham City 23  3  4  4 12  9  3  4  5 14 19  6  8  9  26  28  -2  26
15 Blackburn R.    23  2  7  2 13 16  3  3  6  8 17  5 10  8  21  33 -12  25
16 Fulham          22  4  1  6 14 20  2  3  6 14 19  6  4 12  28  39 -11  22
17 Crystal Palace  23  3  2  6 10 12  1  4  7 14 25  4  6 13  24  37 -13  18
18 Norwich City    23  2  4  5 13 19  0  6  6  6 23  2 10 11  19  42 -23  16
19 Southampton     23  2  7  2 16 16  0  2 10  7 23  2  9 12  23  39 -16  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 #1088