Newsletter #1101

A brief, and early, issue ahead of tonight’s game against Bolton where we have a team beset by injury. The good news today is that SWP has come through his operation over the weekend and looking to begin rehab.

Tonight we have Tom’s visit from Germany to Norwich, Andy still clutching at those Euro straws, views on the Academy and the usual requests.

Next game: Tottenham Hotspur, away, 3pm Saturday 19 March 2005


My first City away game… far away from Germany!

The game is played, so I don’t write too much about it; others did it better than me. I think/hope it’s quite interesting for you to read something about the experiences of German Blues mad to see a match of our beloved City.

Last weekend we (my beloved wife and friends and I) travelled for a short break to Norwich. Flight, car, hotel, programme over the days, no problem via Internet.

Tickets for the game? Just with a smart lie to the nice lady at the Canaries’ ticket line about a lifelong wish, a Canaries fan and a wedding present (but that’s another story 😉 but only 6 days before our plane takes off; puh, been lucky – the City-ticketline hasn’t been so nice.

So, Norwich, nice little town – good for a short break, but in summer, was quite cold (not only) on matchday. After having a few pints in our favourite pub over the way and some discussions with nice locals about being a German Blue and the chances of both teams in the PL, we went via Riverside Amusement Quarter to Carrow Road. Less police, mixed fans of both teams in the stadium area, no one is searching you at turnstiles because of safety reasons, really different to German stadiums; also the funny plastic beer bottles and the sign “No alcohol behind this point/No smoking in the Stand”. We took our places next to the City fans on the Jarrold stand and enjoyed the match preparations of both fan groups.

Bad start for our team but a great comeback after Norwich couldn’t believe their chances to win. The Norwich support was going down, the City ones were getting up. Nice idea to go to a match in March by wearing a complete blue Santa outfit; this guy couldn’t be as cold as we were.

Ok, the Fowler goal gives us the win, some little chants and it was over. No stress getting out of the ground, a warm up pint in “our” pub and that’s it.

Great experience after being 2 times to Maine Road and last year to CoMS without a game. I really enjoyed it and if you want to see a City away win, book me, I’ll bring the luck to City!

The next morning my wife asked me why I’m still smiling, but that’s the thing I can’t explain about my MCFC love!

In Germany it’s possible for me to see the Sky Matches in a pub or via the German Sky Pendant Premiere at home, but not even the heavy ticket prices or the difficulties of getting a ticket could bring me off the wish to see my next City game soon.

Tom Seifert – Blue from Bremen, Germany <teseifert(at)>


Sad news about SWP; presumably Willo the Wisp will get a go on the right but it’s probably a death blow to our hopes of the 18 points I estimated we need from the last 10 games to get into Europe. However, how about this for plan B!

  1. The Premier League gets 4 Champions’ League places. The winners of the CLalso get direct entry into the 2005/6 competition. Therefore if one of theEnglish teams win it and obviously finish in the top 4 in the league,presumably the 5th placed outfit get CL qualification. Just as long as oldRed Nose’s evil empire don’t win it.
  2. There is a decent chance that the FA Cup final will contain 2 fromTrafford, Arsenal or Spurs.
  3. Newcastle or Middlesbrough could win the UEFA Cup and as such get freeentry into next year’s competition (can you just feel those straws gettingshorter as I clutch at them?).
  4. England gets 3 UEFA Cup spots, which go to the winners of the CarlingCup, the winners or losing finalists in the FA Cup and 5th in thePremiership. As Chelsea have won the Carling Cup, 6th in the League nowgets in.

So, imagine a Chelsea treble, with Spurs 6th in the Premiership, losing in the Cup Final to Arsenal. The European places are then as follows (I think!):

CL: Chelsea (as holders), Arsenal, Trafford, Everton, Liverpool. UEFA Cup: 6th-8th in Premiership.

If Boro or Newcastle finish in the top 8 and win the UEFA Cup, the places stretch to 9th.

So get the straws out and start practicing your clutching. More to the point, let’s cheer the English teams in Europe on. Well all but one. C’mon Milan!

By the way, the let’s get rid of Fowler brigade have gone very quiet after the Norwich game. Told you he’d come good. It’s all about positioning and service.

Come on the Blues!

Andy Clarke <Andy(at)>


Although they didn’t actually show Delia’s half time rallying call on TV in the US, I’m amazed at the response it’s provoked. From the reports I’ve read, all she said was what any number of contributors to MCIVTA have been saying to our own fans at CoMS for ages.

And speaking of over-reactions, since when did putting your finger to your lips warrant a sending off? Even if Mourinho was making the gesture to the Liverpool fans – so what? It’s not like he gave them two fingers, or did a flying kung-fu kick. Suggesting something so minor is inciting the crowd is basically accepting that the crowd is a mindless mob, with a mob mentality and no sense of reason or self-control (I’m sure the courts would disagree if this was used as a defence; “Your honour, my client did beat the man to death, but he wasn’t responsible for his actions as he was just part of a mob”).

Robbie Fowler’s booking against Everton was equally ridiculous. And for the ref to suggest he had really booked him for leaving the field of play doesn’t even deserve a comment, except “why isn’t almost every goal scorer in every game booked for the same reason?” It would certainly limit the number of hat-tricks if refs were consistent with this policy. Maybe a new rule will be added to the FA rule book: “16.2(b) If any member of the crowd reports to the referee that a player or manager has looked at him funny, the player or manager shall be cautioned or sent from the field of play, at the discretion of the referee, depending on exactly how funny the look was.”

On an only vaguely related subject, as a big Joey Barton fan, I was glad to see that most of the MCIVTA match reports from the Norwich game gave him due credit for a great overall performance. He has been known to be a little wayward with his passes on occasion (okay, I might be a bit biased), but on Monday he was mostly spot on. And even when he does give the ball away he is often the player who won it in the first place. I was really surprised, therefore, to see one report which said he “struggled to find a blue shirt most of the time”, and categorized his performance as “bad”. Is this a case of someone having already made up his mind before the game and not letting the facts get in the way?

By my reckoning Barton gave the ball away fewer times than SWP against Norwich.

Mike Maddox <mwm2240(at)>


I have been a critic of Kevin Keegan for not considering some young players when he says his squad is short of players, but understand he wants to get higher up the table with experienced players.

Of course I realize that not all the Academy players will make it to the City first team, the odds are very much against that ever happening. The timing of letting McCarthy go to Leicester might not have been in City’s favour; with the squad so small it just got smaller. I never saw Patrick McCarthy play, I only read some posting by our friends the City supporters from Ireland who rated him highly.

So if Patrick was not up to it for City, we must give credit to City for helping him go to a first class club, Leicester, and even when short of players did not stand in his way when a good club came along. This must be an encouraging sign for any parents who have a potential footballer in their family, for if a young player does not make the grade with City, he will be helped by the club to have a footballing career somewhere else. The same applied to Elliott, who went to Sunderland.

Remember that McCarthy and Elliott both went to teams in a division lower in the leagues, but who knows, they might come back to haunt us. We can only wish them good luck.

When we look at all the young players at Manchester City, several have been in the first team from time to time, and some on a regular basis like SWP, Jordan, Barton, others like Flood, Bradley, Nedum have been in the team, and have showed a lot of promise. There are others almost ready to break out and into the limelight.

I have just heard the bad news that SWP is going to have some surgery on ligaments in his right leg; this is when I think that Lee Croft should get his chance. He looked good in his efforts with Oldham, and his record caps for England at his level speaks volumes in my book.

So although Kevin Keegan has not played all the younger players, he certainly has given many their chance. Others will I believe get their chance, and City will keep the best, for if we are to be the best in the future only the best will do.

Let’s not forget the encouragement given by KK to Dunne, who has improved in a fantastic way this season.

Kevin Keegan is being realistic when he has said the squad is too small. Next season, the first thing should be to transfer the players who do not fit into the team (I won’t call them dead wood). Then we need some players to help us get into Europe; remember KK said his plan was a five year plan to get City to be a top six club; to be higher up the table this season from last season is being on track, despite some setbacks.

Our game versus Bolton next Monday looks tougher now that SWP will be missing, but it could be a chance for other players to shine. We must never give up.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Thanks for the contacts in regards to the City Supporters’ club (NZ), from Blues interested in joining and helping.

Given the response, and contacts from people (thanks Rob Law and Rachel Rose), we’re going to re-start the NZ Blues Supporters’ Club so if anyone else would like details please contact me either by phone (09 425 8833) or email and we’ll get something regular arranged.

Mark Healey <1city1(at)>


Has anybody out there got a copy of our nail-biting play-off at Wembley vs. Gillingham in 1999?

My son has never seen this match, and I’d love to get hold of a copy for him. I’ll gladly pay for the cost of materials used and postage.

If anyone can help out, please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks, Julie <jglock(at)>

REQUEST: NEW DVD are doing the new Pride in Battle DVD released on 21st March for £14.99. That’s a pound less than the pre-order for card holders from the club and a fiver cheaper than rrp! Free postage too, if anyone’s interested!

MickB <Koolfurmick(at)>


6 March 2005

West Bromwich Albion  2 - 0  Birmingham City       25,749
Everton               0 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      32,406

5 March 2005

Aston Villa           2 - 0  Middlesbrough         34,201
Arsenal               3 - 0  Portsmouth            38,079
Crystal Palace        0 - 0  Manchester United     26,021
Fulham                0 - 0  Charlton Athletic     18,290
Newcastle United      1 - 0  Liverpool             52,323
Southampton           1 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     31,903
Norwich City          1 - 3  Chelsea               24,506

League table to 06 March 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         28 10  3  0 25  3 12  2  1 28  6 22  5  1  53   9  44  71
 2 Manchester Utd  29 10  4  0 26  7  8  5  2 21 10 18  9  2  47  17  30  63
 3 Arsenal         29  9  5  1 39 17  9  2  3 28 15 18  7  4  67  32  35  61
 4 Everton         29  9  1  5 16 14  6  5  3 18 16 15  6  8  34  30   4  51
 5 Liverpool       28  9  1  3 23 10  4  3  8 18 20 13  4 11  41  30  11  43
 6 Middlesbrough   29  7  5  2 22 14  4  4  7 21 25 11  9  9  43  39   4  42
 7 Bolton Wndrs    28  6  4  4 17 12  5  3  6 19 22 11  7 10  36  34   2  40
 8 Charlton Ath.   28  7  2  4 21 15  4  5  6 11 23 11  7 10  32  38  -6  40
 9 Tottenham H.    28  6  3  5 27 19  5  3  6  8 12 11  6 11  35  31   4  39
10 Aston Villa     29  8  3  4 23 13  2  5  7 11 24 10  8 11  34  37  -3  38
11 Newcastle Utd   28  7  4  4 24 21  2  6  5 16 23  9 10  9  40  44  -4  37
12 Manchester City 28  5  5  4 17 12  4  4  6 17 19  9  9 10  34  31   3  36
13 Birmingham City 29  5  4  5 17 12  3  4  8 14 25  8  8 13  31  37  -6  32
14 Blackburn R.    28  3  7  4 16 18  4  3  7  9 18  7 10 11  25  36 -11  31
15 Fulham          28  5  3  6 16 21  3  3  8 17 25  8  6 14  33  46 -13  30
16 Portsmouth      29  6  2  6 19 19  2  4  9 12 26  8  6 15  31  45 -14  30
17 Crystal Palace  29  5  3  7 15 13  1  5  8 17 32  6  8 15  32  45 -13  26
18 Southampton     29  4  9  2 22 19  0  3 11  8 25  4 12 13  30  44 -14  24
19 West Brom A.    28  3  7  5 13 21  0  5  8 12 28  3 12 13  25  49 -24  21
20 Norwich City    29  3  5  7 23 31  0  6  8  6 27  3 11 15  29  58 -29  20

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1101