Newsletter #1097

Disappointment tonight as the youth team were dumped out of the FA Youth Cup 2-0 at Wolves. The reserves drew on Friday night against Boro, no thanks to an incompetent referee but Weaver’s penalty save in injury time showed he’s well on the road back.

Opinion tonight on squad, training, selection and a derby visit for overseas fans and a few requests.

The reserves are in action again on Thursday night in our league derby at the mini-Swamp (Altrincham), which we must win to be in contention for the title.

Next game: Norwich City, away, 8pm 28 February 2005 (TV)


Speculation will now be mounting of the who-will-stay-who-will-go variety. If you look at our squad, one will immediately be concerned as to the paucity of talent in there. In all honesty, how many MCIVTA subscribers can honestly say we have anything other than an average 5-a-side squad with a few substitutes?

Ship most of the dead meat out and build, using the nucleus of: James, Distin, Dunne, Mills, SWP, BWP, Flood, D’Laryea and Onuoha – and Bosvelt if his legs can keep going. Keep Barton if he’s willing to apply himself properly, the rest are history. Thanks Stevie Macca, Robbie Fowler, Sibi, Rainman and co – but hey guys! You are too old. Next please.

The other problem we have is that Mr Keegan, having told the world that next season will be his last, will find it very difficult to attract the ‘big names’ that we feel we deserve. After all: if you were Andrei Shevchenko, Ronaldinho or even the prosaically named Robert Browning – from perennial strugglers Cray Wanderers – you wouldn’t want to sign ‘on the dotted line’ for a club in such a state of flux.

My solution to this would be: Move Mr Keegan ‘upstairs’ to a Director of Football post for his final year of tenure. Bring in the new manager as soon as this season ends in order to give him the pre-pre-season option of compiling his list of ‘wants’ and ‘want-nots’. Mix youth and experience and get a good, long pre-season to get the players to ‘gel’.

Whatever happens, let’s all get behind the club and let’s see if we can move up another rung on the ladder of success.

Mr Keegan has done a fantastic job over the period he’s been with the club – don’t let it all unravel in this forthcoming final year.

Up the Blues!

Scott Kinch <scott_kinch(at)>


It’s funny how the postings to MCIVTA mirror our performances on the field, and are therefore extremely erratic. When we win and/or play well, there’s a slew of positive comments, praising Keegan and looking forward to E***pe next year. When we lose and/or play very badly, the nay-sayers are out in force, predicting doom and calling for Keegan’s head.

The sad/strange thing is that I can find a lot to agree with in both types of comment. On the one hand we’re considerably better off than we were six years ago (and even four years ago), and I’d guess that most of us would be quite happy with a place in the top half of the table at this stage of the season. We were even called a “massive club” in a serious article on the Foxsportsworld website (

On the other hand, we’re no better off than we were two years ago (and much worse off than we were 30-35 years ago!), and if we hadn’t dropped points at home to Norwich and Blackburn, and bags of points to the Baggies, we’d be seriously challenging for a Champions’ League spot. And that article on the Foxsportworld website – well we were listed as one of three “massive clubs” that could soon, “be joining the likes of Middlesbrough, Everton and Birmingham City” in the “second tier” of English football.

So what’s going on? Well, obviously Keegan’s not been a total disaster. On the other hand, whatever he’s done in the past, and whatever problems he has now (i.e. no money), there’s no excuse for some of the pathetic performances both this season and last. He’s turned into the wonderful/abusive husband who’ll bring home a bouquet of flowers and take the kids fishing one day, and then slap you across the face when he comes home drunk from the pub the next. You don’t like him drunk, he’s provided a nice home, you like the flowers, and the kids love him. You figure you could do a lot worse, so you decide to take the good with the bad. Yes, we could do a lot worse than Kevin, but only if we have no clue how to judge a good manager and end up picking someone like Sam Allardyce (apologies to Sam’s fans out there) or George Graham. Having a good run (even a great one) with one team doesn’t make you a good manager.

There’s so much randomness involved in football that some teams are going to be very lucky (see Everton so far this season) and some are going to be very unlucky (see City every time we get within spitting distance of relegation – well almost every time). So you have to look at other things. Like, has the manager been successful at different clubs? Has the success been sustained over a long period, with different sets of players? Has the manager been successful without much money? And most importantly, does the manager seem to have a f*****g clue what’s going on during a game? After all this analysis (and after several lectures from my brother – hi Jamie!) the best candidate right now would seem to be Ian Dowie.

Just compare the footage from City vs. WBA with that from Palace vs. Spurs (I only saw the second half of this one). I can’t remember Keegan ever leaving the dugout to cajole, give tactical advice, or even a good bo*****ing when necessary, whereas Dowie never seemed to leave the touchline. He was constantly involved – basically a 12th man – giving directions and encouragement the whole time. He’s performed miracles at two clubs already, and looks in reasonable shape to perform another by keeping Palace in the Prem. He’s young, enthusiastic, and… oh, I forgot, we have Stuart Pearce waiting in the wings to continue the great run we’re having. Maybe the Foxsportsworld guy is right.

Mike Maddox <mwm2240(at)>


While I have to agree With KK that Barton’s passing was awful, he at least was involved to actually make the bad passes. Barton was the only midfielder actually making any telling challenges.

I am bit puzzled as to why KK is going public regarding his criticism of Barton; I know he is no angel but surely it should be sorted behind closed doors. Why do many other players always seem to escape criticism?

The only thing Barton is guilty of is trying too hard, although I do question why he has started to take most of the dead ball kicks, but is this not something the manager should sort out?

My main point is that McManaman didn’t play too badly but just before Barton was subbed was struggling with injury, so why leave him on? Surely an injured player hobbling around must hurt the team more.

Sibierski, well where do you start? If you do nothing at all, then you don’t make mistakes. If I hear anyone else make the stupid statement “He is good in the air” again I will scream.

If Reyna plays instead of Barton vs. Norwich then I give up completely.

Tony Roberts <tony.r.Roberts(at)>


If Kevin Keegan is sincere in his attitude to make City more positive during match days, then he better start demanding more during training, or maybe he is satisfied that all is well during training, in which case he is a poor coach.

City had the Rags on the ropes, but if you do not take advantage of your opponent and knock him out, then the chances are he will knock you out.

Gary Sullivan <gary(at)>


The game was conveniently quite close to my son’s 16th birthday so we decided to book a hotel package via the City website. Not cheap but guaranteed tickets (though not necessarily together) and able to book ages (October) in advance so could take advantage of cheap flights (to and from Manchester, how wrong I was); email confirmation sharpish and documents in post within 2 days. Voucher for hotel, voucher letter thing to present at main entrance to get tickets. You are committed to paying for two nights even if you can only stay for one but we had to take the drop on that one. £265 for two. Book flights for early Saturday ’cause we’re bound to be on Sky and time or venue changed; £273 return for two of us, cheap flights – nah! Bl**dy Manchester airport. When we got there my brother did quite a lot of chauffering on our behalf, which was good. No idea how much a cab from the airport to city centre is though. Couldn’t check in until 2pm so dropped the bags at the hotel secure lock-up and Trafford Centred to spend son’s birthday money. Aren’t Lacoste clothes scandalously expensive now?

Stayed in a 3 star on the edge of ChinaTown/gay area. As we were only there for one night, we decided on a Chinese. Except it was Valentine’s, oh and Chinese New Year. Managed an extremely fine banquet with our kid and family on the basis that we vacated the table by 9pm so it was back to the hotel and a few beers, Grolsch at £2.90 a pint. Still, after a couple it didn’t seem too bad. Paid cash. Credit card account set-up on arrival at hotel but did not want to tempt dispute on check-out. Been there etc. Aren’t hotel staff who don’t have ingerlish as a first langwidge doing well, generally?

The included tickets could be picked up three hours prior to kick off, so, guess who was there at 10am. Yep. Well, 10-30 to show how unconcerned and laid back we were. Cab from city centre £8. Approached by Sky TV “‘scuse me lads, can we have a few words about today’s game?” Well, ready for this one: “Yes lads. Derby matches have a history of passion, scrappy as well as great goals and the number four often features. I’ve heard the Spice boys have bet their houses on this one so BetFred could own half the Wirral by tonight” Not really, did the goldfish thing and Son whispered negative things in the eloquence of youth. “Take that as a no then lads” says man from Sky “Enjoy the game!”

Show official letter to lass at main entrance and pick up envelope containing what looks like proper old tickets, except they’re not ’cause you have to use your CityCard (International), and the paper tickets just give you your row/seat/aisle/block number. And programmes. Seats were together so a quick cheer.

Never used CityCard International before. No surprise ’cause there’s no bl**dy chance of getting a ticket with it. Or is there? Do tell. Please. I cannot believe that the only option available is to email your credit card number with all the insecure risk encumbered, 6 weeks before the game, to see if you even accede to the elect so blessed. And the website is rotten if you’re on a Mac. And your emails don’t get answered. Heidi and I had some quite extensive e-traffic on this and I think it is to the Club’s detriment that it really, really isn’t working. If the web team can’t do it, and let’s face it, web purchasing securely is everywhere now and so must be available, please let’s think again. Cross platforming is easier than it’s ever been.

Go to Ticket Office and ask if the cards work. Lass behind the glass confirms that she can make them work so am happy with that. Took a while and a lot of computery-type stuff though. Glad I checked.

Off to Reebok shop to buy gloves and hats ’cause it’s pigging cold. Next bit sees me turning into me dad. Pay equivalent of first week’s wage for official merchandise. Go out warmer.

Get brews ’cause we are cold. Go to Official MCFC brew’n’butty van. Another week’s wages gone.

Two hours before KO, mosey round to official entrance and see players arrive. No pen. Bother! Shaun and Bradley arrive and sign loads. Same for Danny Mills, Dunny, Macken. Jamesy arrives late and signs f*&k all. “Sorry, I’m late” and bogs off inside sharpish.

Drear around and eventually spiral up via entrance V to tier three. Pass balti pie man. Sit in seats and ponder. Balls to that and go downstairs for pie. “What’s Bovril?” says son. Try to explain. Lose.

Watch match. Muse on missed chances. Explain to son that watching City is not for glory hunters. Not these days anyway. Try to explain my philosophy on City. Find ourselves on way to Failsworth instead of city centre in my distraction with explaining thing. Retrace steps and wobble through Ancoats, pass Sankey factory and beautiful bit of restored canal and locks and stuff. Admit to being lost for a while. See @rse with son, whose fault it must have been.

Go back to hotel. Drink beer. Not enough exists in the world. My fault that son’s 16th ruined. Could have gone Laserblasting and Burger King.

Get lift to Manchester bl**dy airport. Eat exhorbitantly priced sh!te food ’cause of delayed flight.

Get home and wonder when we’ll do it again.

Not soon enough if the CityCard International can’t be sorted in the way it deserves.

CTID, keeping the Blue faith, Garry Higgins <balrog(at)>


I take Billy Watkinson’s point about the cost of the team that played in the derby. Having said all that, with Keegan saying again that we don’t have a big enough squad, doesn’t this all rather beg the question, “Where did all of the money go?” Opinion please, Mr. Wardle.

P.S. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were talking about having to trim the playing staff because of dead weight.

P.S. I’d be interested to see the list with each player’s wages too – I find it impossible to think of Macmanamanaman as “free”. Surely he should be paying us?

Jon Marshall <jon_g_marshall(at)>


I recall that Eyal Berkovic left Portsmouth recently, “by mutual consent”. Somewhat predictably, it’s reported today on BBC’s website that in fact the move was perhaps a little less than mutual. “Do you want the real reason why I left? I could no longer bear the sight of him (Zajec),” the Israeli said.

I recall him referring to Keegan as a big baby not long after he left us. I wonder if sometime in the future he might reflect on his career. A tremendous talent who no doubt made plenty of money, but achieved little in the way of honours as a club man. Perhaps we sometimes fail to give Kevin enough credit for his skill as a manager.

Lawrence Harris – Melbourne, Australia <alsoby(at)>


Adrian Bates’ Googlefight re Manchester City vs. Manchester United. It certainly does help Manchester City since any Internet site that mentions Manchester city centre or Manchester city councillors etc. results in a point for Manchester City. We can’t even beat them in this sphere, sadly.

Paul Chadwick <PaulChadwick(at)>


Well I never knew how much I missed Maine Road until half an hour into Sunday’s derby. My best wishes go to the atmosphere action group. Let me know if you can awake the dead.

Andy Webb <Charlesalexhols(at)>


Doing the West Coast of California and Las Vegas for my big 50 at Easter and arranged it around the fixture list so as not to miss any home games, found the Crown and Anchor in Las Vegas to watch the England games but now find the Charlton away fixture has been moved for TV coverage.

We will be in Los Angeles at the time staying on Sunset Blvd. Any of our City fans living in the area recommend somewhere to watch the game? I realise it will be 4.45 in he morning but hey we might just not go to bed, or may catch a re-run.

Thanks, Wes Marchant <wes.merchant(at)>


The Centenary Supporters’ Association are holding a Sportsman’s Dinner on Friday 8th April at Sacha’s Hotel, Manchester City Centre in aid of the City Youth Academy and the City Former Players’ Association.

Guests will be attending from the Former Players’ Association and Youth Academy.

Tickets are priced at £25 for CSA Members, £30 Non-CSA, Tables of 10 for £250 and Corporate Rates are available upon request.

Tickets are available from CSA Branch Secretaries or contact Howard Burr on 0161 292 2525 or e-mail <reddishblues(at)>

Dress code is lounge suit, collar and tie and ladies are more than welcome.

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)>


The London Development Agency is running a competition to name a new ‘state of the art’ footbridge at Wembley stadium.

Currently in the lead is ‘Jim Baxter Bridge’, nominated by Scots fans.

City fans might want to nominate Bert Trautmann, in honour of the famous goalkeeper who broke his neck diving at the feet of Birmingham forward in the 1956 Cup final, and played on despite his dreadful injury.

If you want to vote the link is:

William Hardman <ha(at)>


Dear Fellow Supporter,

You will probably have read that the Football Association is considering moving the 2005/6 FA Cup Final to a Wednesday evening. The possibility of abolishing replays in the fifth and sixth rounds has also been raised. THE ACTION YOU CAN TO HELP PREVENT THIS IS SET OUT BELOW

The FSF has been in touch with the Football Association asking for prior consultation with supporters and seeking information on the timetable for a decision.

The stated reason for moving the Cup Final to a Wednesday is to allow the England players a clear month between the end of the domestic season and the start of World Cup 2006 in Germany. As an alternative to moving the Final, we understand consideration is being given to dropping replays at the fifth and sixth round stages next season.

The FSF national council has voted unanimously to oppose any such changes. We also believe that the FA is in breach of its own customer charter in not properly consulting supporters prior to considering any such decisions.


This will automatically send a complaint to the Football Association in respect of the lack of supporter consultation as promised by the FA’s Customer Charter.

The FA’s Customer Charter can be found at:


Forward this e-mail to all your football mates, supporters’ club/trust/association and fanzines/websites. Get them to sign the petition and complain to the FA.


For further information e-mail: <sl_powell1917(at)> or ring Steven on 07881 950613

Best wishes – Malcolm Clarke, Chair, Football Supporters’ Federation


League table to 20 February 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         27 10  3  0 25  3 11  2  1 25  5 21  5  1  50   8  42  68
 2 Manchester Utd  27  9  4  0 24  6  8  4  2 21 10 17  8  2  45  16  29  59
 3 Arsenal         27  8  5  1 36 17  9  1  3 27 14 17  6  4  63  31  32  57
 4 Everton         27  9  1  4 16 13  5  5  3 15 15 14  6  7  31  28   3  48
 5 Liverpool       27  9  1  3 23 10  4  3  7 18 19 13  4 10  41  29  12  43
 6 Middlesbrough   27  7  4  2 20 12  4  4  6 21 23 11  8  8  41  35   6  41
 7 Bolton Wndrs    27  6  4  4 17 12  5  3  5 18 20 11  7  9  35  32   3  40
 8 Charlton Ath.   26  7  2  4 21 15  4  3  6  9 21 11  5 10  30  36  -6  38
 9 Tottenham H.    26  5  3  5 25 19  5  3  5  8 11 10  6 10  33  30   3  36
10 Aston Villa     27  7  3  3 20 10  2  5  7 11 24  9  8 10  31  34  -3  35
11 Manchester City 27  5  5  4 17 12  3  4  6 14 17  8  9 10  31  29   2  33
12 Birmingham City 27  5  4  5 17 12  3  4  6 14 21  8  8 11  31  33  -2  32
13 Newcastle Utd   26  5  4  4 21 20  2  6  5 16 23  7 10  9  37  43  -6  31
14 Portsmouth      27  6  2  6 19 19  2  4  7 11 21  8  6 13  30  40 -10  30
15 Fulham          26  5  2  6 16 21  3  3  7 17 23  8  5 13  33  44 -11  29
16 Blackburn R.    27  3  7  4 16 18  3  3  7  8 18  6 10 11  24  36 -12  28
17 Crystal Palace  27  4  2  7 13 13  1  5  8 17 32  5  7 15  30  45 -15  22
18 Norwich City    27  3  5  5 20 25  0  6  8  6 27  3 11 13  26  52 -26  20
19 Southampton     26  3  8  2 20 18  0  2 11  8 25  3 10 13  28  43 -15  19
20 West Brom A.    26  2  6  5 11 21  0  5  8 12 28  2 11 13  23  49 -26  17

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 #1097