Newsletter #1109

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City were left ruing their missed chances on Saturday as Charlton undeservedly scraped a draw from a game that we had dominated first half, causing Curbishley to quip that we played like Brazil.

We have match views tonight, opinion on Pearce’s approach, and a Why Blue from a New York based newcomer to the cause.

Next game: Liverpool, home, 3pm Saturday 9 April 2005

MATCH VIEW ‘TV’ I: CAFC 2 MCFC 2

Typical City heart stopper – snatching a draw from the jaws of victory! What did this game tell us?

Onouha is still not quite there, but a great prospect. Needs to at least attempt to block crosses though.

Jordan isn’t quick but dies for the cause. Did not appear to lose one 50/50 challenge all game.

Distin was unlucky with the first goal, he blocked it but it cannoned into his other knee and sat nicely for Bartlett who was otherwise anonymous.

Musumpa’s best game, needs a goal now.

Macken is not a Premiership striker, rather a combative midfielder. He works hard, holds the ball well but his first half freebie misses were unforgivable and costly.

Fowler is class. Note it was he who gave Macken (2), Reyna (2) and Musumpa the final ball for their “missed” chances. Typical six yard box poached goal as well.

Reyna looked busy as did Barton and our one touch football at times was great to watch.

We now need a Camara/Bellamy whippet to partner Fowler.

Imagine if SWP had played that match with the sort of space Charlton’s woeful defence gave City. 2-2 was a travesty but that’s football for you.

As for Pearce, give him the job. Did you see the passion and fire he portrayed on the sideline? Just what City need, a leader with fire in his belly, not fire in his brain like Bowyer/Dyer this morning. Just need a win vs. Liverpool now to enhance Psycho’s chances of staying on.

Chris <hawkeye(at)clear.net.nz>

MATCH VIEW ‘TV’ II: CAFC 2 MCFC 2

2-2 at Charlton and I’m left wondering how the hell we didn’t win in a performance that was easily the best team performance of the season that I’ve seen!

Pearcy seems to have got them working and playing for each other – we chased every ball, something we haven’t seen for a long while and as for the manager’s touchline antics, long may it continue. Even Reyna, who has often looked short of pace this season, performed well. Pearce was animated throughout – who wouldn’t want to play for someone like that!? It will be interesting to seem how the boys perform at Eastlands because that is definitely the place we need to be judged and pick up points.

I know it’s early days and we only have a point to show for our efforts in his first two games but I hope the board give Stuart the chance he so clearly wants and deserves. It wouldn’t be fair to judge him on 9 games so why not give him a contract at the end of the season? Whoever comes in, it will be a gamble and there is never the guarantee of success.

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)ntlworld.com>

MATCH VIEW ‘TV’ III: CAFC 2 MCFC 2

Stuart Pearce must have been happy with his team’s efforts, but bitterly disappointed with the result.

The one lesson I hope that Stu learned today was never to play Macken again, so many quality chances missed. Macken’s job is to score goals, he has had his chances, no more please.

Is there any way if Norwich get relegated, that City can part exchange Macken plus some cash for Dean Ashton? Macken would be good for Norwich in a lower division, and Ashton keeps his dream alive: Premier football.

Another option: take a look at Eddie Johnson, who plays for USA. 8 games and 8 goals, Claudio Reyna can tell MCFC about him.

Until the end of this season, what have City got to lose by playing Bradley Wright-Phillips up front with Fowler? City do not have a decent striker on the books, give the job to young Bradley; he will at least gain more experience for the future.

Again I say judging by the results from 9 games for Stuart Pearce is unfair, it’s the way a Psycho team plays for him. It’s not Stuart Pearce’s fault City do not have a striker, it’s the board of directors who acted too slowly to get a replacement for Anelka, and now they expect Psycho to work miracles with the lack of certain players inherited by him.

Give Psycho a contract now!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)aol.com>

MATCH VIEW ‘TV’ IV: CAFC 2 MCFC 2

Note to Stuart Pearce: managing City can be hazardous to your health.

I watched the Charlton game and it just sums up what City are all about. We played some decent football at times, should have won by three goals, but didn’t; we just cannot finish a game off. Good sides do, the ‘boring’ Arsenal of the George Graham era and lately Chelsea. Regardless of how we would like our team to play, results are really all that matters in this game dominated now by money. Give me a 1-0 win every time; just think of where we would be if we’d have won the games we’d lost by a single goal. I know that’s wishful thinking, but we do need to learn how to finish sides off.

Last week I seemed to have rubbed people up the wrong way, saying that if SP didn’t get the City job he’d throw the toys out of the cot and leave. What I meant was I have no objection Stuart leaving, but after criticizing Kevin Keegan from every angle for his comments on leaving, Stuart did the same. To me it was standards for one and not the other.

I hope he makes it as a manager, but we need to think before we speak at times.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)slingshot.co.nz>

OPINION: TOUCHLINE COMMITMENT

Although, ultimately, the 2-2 draw was ‘Typical City’, dominating for long periods, especially first half, then succumbing to a last minute equaliser, it was the manner in which the players responded to the new manager that was particularly noticeable.

If you have Mr Pearce showing so much passion on the touchline you know that every player that he has selected wouldn’t dare not to follow suit. Although Pearce has a long way to go to prove his pedigree as a manager, the very attributes he showed as a player is what fans want to see – never say die, 100% commitment. This is exactly what the club needs at the moment.

Let’s get behind the lads on Saturday and try and create the type of atmosphere that has been missing this season; hopefully the attitude of the manager can rub off on us all!

Matthew Howden <Matthew.Howden(at)axa-insurance.co.uk>

OPINION: FORWARD WITH PEARCE

Before becoming manager, Stuart Pearce had to witness a team lacking motivation, poor training methods, players being allowed to swan around on the pitch, without a care in the world, whilst earning vast amounts of money.

A team without leadership on or off the pitch, and youth players choosing to move on due to a lack of first team opportunities, all because Kev and his sidekicks refused to take a professional and responsible attitude.

Now he is manager all of this will change, because he knows what is needed in order to make this club great again, starting first by giving Bradley Wright Philips a run in the team alongside Robbie and ditch John Macken, who tries hard but just doesn’t have it.

Buy a player who can captain the team in the same mould as himself, because there is no one presently at the club with those attributes, and Distin lacks the character to drive the team forward.

Get rid of Fazackerly, and appoint an assistant who is not a yes man, but will be has determined to mould the players into a good team, that in the coming seasons will hopefully be challenging for honours.

I never thought for a minute that Psycho would have the experience to manage Man City, but I am now certain that having witnessed the inept attitude from Kevin Keegan, who started off brilliantly, but had staff who didn’t have the balls to tell him when he was wrong.

He will take the club forward, because he cares about supporters, and his determination to succeed will drive everyone to work their socks off, so let’s all get behind him, because Psycho is the real deal.

Gary Sullivan <gary(at)ferodo60.freeserve.co.uk>

OPINION: YOUTH POLICY

I’m writing this in response to the opinion posted by Andrew Keller last week. He’s spot on that the club are in a far better position than us the fans to make judgement on whether a young player’s future lies with City or elsewhere, and that we have to live with that decision as being best for City.

However, I do have an issue with some of the decisions made, and in particular by the man in charge of team affairs at the time, KK. It is the responsibility of the manager to keep a balance or blend of players within a squad; firstly this should include a blend of ages and experience, so that we don’t end up with a half a squad of players retiring or over the hill at the same stage in time, secondly coverage of positions, so that we are not left threadbare in any areas during a season, and thirdly the cost or ‘value for money’ responsibility.

What KK has done with this responsibility is leave City threadbare in attack because he sold Wanchope and Elliott on the eve of a new season, leaving at the time only Fowler (like him but over his best), Anelka (unstable, could have been out the door at any time, and was), Macken (couldn’t hit a cow’s @rse with a banjo, never going to be first choice, squad place for a youngster) and BWP. This is why I would take exception to the club not making more of an effort to keep Stephen Elliott, who might I add is likely to be playing Premiership football next season, and is ahead of Macken in the Irish squad.

Selling Croft, were that to happen, would be another kick in the teeth. Andrew Keller refers to our pool of 10 midfielders, but when this includes McManaman (please retire and free up some cash), Bosvelt (good servant, not too long left), Sinclair & Reyna (hypochondriacs), Musampa (seen nothing to convince me), Negouai (is he still here?) and SWP (could be away with an extortionate bid), could we really even contemplate selling Croft?

The Bischoff decision I can understand; the guy was a first team player in Denmark when we came to City, and although it’s a big step up to the Premiership, he was expected to challenge for a place, which he’s not done in the three of four years he’s been with the club. His injury record is awful and may explain this, now he’s been caught-up and surpassed by the likes of Onuoha and Jordan. Defence is the only area of the squad where I believe we have the correct blend of players going into next season.

Squad with the right blend of players: KK – failed.
Cost effectiveness of squad: KK – failed.
Youth policy at City, tremendous right up to the point of first team level, where it all falls down.

KK’s reputation with young players is poor. I’m sure SP will address this issue, and whereas I don’t expect SP to have seven or eight young City products in his first team every week, I certainly don’t expect him to be giving them away to Championship clubs when there are spaces in the City squad taken by older players, on a downward career spiral, not challenging first team places, earning huge salaries.

I’ll still keep the faith.

Chris P Bacon <ginge.mcfc(at)btopenworld.com>

OPINION: TOMMY CATON

Just came across this snippet, which may be of interest. Tommy Caton’s 17-year old son, Andy, plays for Swindon Town. Follow this link http://www.swindon-town-fc.co.uk/Person.asp?PersonID=CATONAND

Steve Kay <steve(at)mcfcstats.com>

OPINION: ED JOHNSON

Having spent a couple of weeks in the States, I can vouch for Ed Johnson looking to be a good young prospect having seen him whilst I was over there!

Carol Darvill <carol(at)city-fan.org>

OPINION: SHARE PRICE

In reply to Peter Holland’s rather cynical posting, MCFC do not have any obligation I suppose to publish the share price themselves on their website (not being a listed company and all that). However, they do have a link to the Ofex website.

If you cannot be bothered to search MCFC’s website using the search facility on the home page, then follow this easy procedure, took me a few seconds…

From the Home page, click on Fans Zone, then click on Blues Links, then click on Manchester City Share Price. This takes you to the Ofex site, click on Company Data, then the A-Z tab, then obviously M.

Alternatively? Get the MUEN any night and look in the financial pages (that can be found in the pink section after the sport!).

As for your other points, I wish we had more managers like “kannot kope” who has helped transform the club on and off the pitch (agreed at some financial cost!), than Mr ‘sue’ Royle who would probably achieve another relegation. Remind me, what has he achieved at Ipswich…?

Andrew Keller <akcity(at)msn.com>

REQUEST: DENTON BLUES

The next meeting of Denton OSC will be on Monday 11th April, when our special guest will be Gary Owen.

Meeting starts at 8pm at Denton Con Club, for further details please contact me direct.

Heidi <editor(at)mcivta.city-fan.org>

REQUEST: VOTE FOR CITY SITES

You can vote for the original Manchester City Supporters’ website in this year’s footballshirts.co.uk Fan Site awards.

Voting is by visiting our homepage at http://www.uit.no/mancity/ and following the link, or direct at http://www.football-shirts.co.uk/mancityfans.html and voting for Supporters’ Home Page.

Thank you, The MCIVTA Team

WHY BLUE

I recently wrote a story on how I became a City fan for the Long IslandPress, which is the third largest weekly in the US. Here’s the link, andstory:http://www.longislandpress.com/index.php?show=article&cp=84&a_id=1217

In The Company Of Misery

Rivalry.

No matter what the sport, I will hand over three hours if the two teams on the field are rivals, the fans in the stands sporting chewed-up knuckles, relishing all the barbarism and carnage to come, along with the hope of bragging rights for at least one night.

And when the rivalry is provincial-two teams, home bases only miles apart, supporters born into the faith, house by house, street by street-the game is that much more grand, meaty and rare, tapping into the primal instinct every human is instilled with: the instinct to protect your turf.

It was this type of rivalry that had me drinking a pint of Guinness in an East Village bar at 8 in the morning a few Sundays ago.

The thing about a rivalry like this is you can’t simply pick a side. You’re born onto a side. When my daughter came home from school and asked me why we have to like the Mets, I could have placed blame on my grandparents for escaping the Lower East Side and downtown Brooklyn for the pastoral landscape of the Hempstead Plains. That pilgrimage, which ended (at least for me) with two teenagers meeting in the East Meadow High School cafeteria, cast me down the wobbly road to that triumvirate of Long Island’s new kids on the block, the Mets, the Jets and the Islanders.

I have always been keenly aware of the second-class citizenship that such loyalty has bestowed upon me and my family. And for close to 20 years, I have been keenly aware of losing. The Rangers finally winning the cup (and their fans subsequently shoving it down the Islanders fans’ throats). The Yankees destroying the Mets time and time again, culminating with the heartbreaking Subway Series in 2000. And of course, the Jets, while not having a rival as sharp as the others, still rip out my heart and show it to me on a season-by-season basis, coming up with new and creative uses for the well-worn phrase “same old Jets”, a motto that might as well be on the team’s crest.

In those three sports, these are my teams till I die.

Two years ago, I was flipping through Saturday morning cartoons when I stumbled upon an English Premier League soccer game. I had heard stories of English football, the hooligans, the chants, the blood dribbling down the chins of haggard-toothed fans.

So even though it was soccer, I watched.

The next week, I watched again. Then again. I actually began to enjoy it: the rude-boy chants spilling out from the stands, the eruption when the odd goal was finally netted. But sport is unlike art or music. You can enjoy it, lose yourself in the rhythms and the textures and melodies, but at some point, you must pick a side.

I spent hours watching matches, reading soccer-mad websites. I was about two weeks into my search when it hit me: Here was my chance to choose a winner. I was not born into any of these regions, let alone ever been to them. I knew Leeds from the side streets Morrissey slipped down; Blackburn, Lancashire from the 4,000 holes Lennon read about in the news.

After a month, I came up with some prime choices and called Colin, the only British fellow I know.

“I think I’ve got a team,” I said. “Arsenal.”

“Not very rock star, Arsenal,” Colin said. I didn’t quite know what he meant.

“I don’t quite know what you mean,” I said.

“C’mon,” said Colin. “They won it all last year.”

“Okay,” I said. He was right. What’s the fun jumping in bed with someone who just won? I want to be part of the build-up.

“How ’bout Liverpool?”

“What are you doing?” Colin said. “Why don’t you just give in and support United.”

Manchester United. The most visible squad in the football universe. The world’s richest sports franchise. Fifteen league championships. Their exhibition games have sold out Giants Stadium.

You could call them the Yankees of the football world.

But where there is a Yankee, there has to be, in the shadows, a Met. A runt. A second-class citizen.

I bit my tongue and asked Colin the inevitable.

“Isn’t there another team in Manchester?”

“Yes,” he replied. “Manchester City.”

Years of pain and torment. Forty-seven million pounds in debt. Blowing it at all the wrong times. Last major trophy, 1976.

I have never been to Manchester, knowing it only from Smiths lyrics and the Gallagher brothers who front Oasis.

“I would rather kick my daughter out of the house than let her support Manchester United,” Noel Gallagher once said.

A few days later, I saw Colin.

“Manchester City,” I declared.

He raised an eyebrow.

“Well, if that’s the way you want to go. But be prepared for heartache.”

About 10 people are standing outside Nevada Smith’s in the East Village on a cold February morning, shivering under a sign that reads, “Where Football is Religion.” In the vernacular of the natives, it is called a derby. The Manchester Derby, United vs. City. Most of the crowd is wearing the red of Manchester United. I spot one older guy with a light-blue ski cap of City.

At 7:45, the door opens. The bar is a typical New York railroad, long and narrow. I follow the man with the ski cap to the back of the bar, pull up a stool next to him and pull off my sweater to reveal the City jersey I picked up on eBay.

An older gentleman comes in with his two young sons. I get but one sentence out of my mouth about the upcoming match, something about how good ‘keeper David James played the previous week against Chelsea, when he interrupts me.

“You American?” he says with a bewildered look.

“Yes,” I say.

“Why do you support City?”

“Well, because I’m a Mets fan and a Jets fan,” I say.

He smiles. “The underdogs, huh?”

More City fans enter, giving each other the same sad looks I used to see at Shea Stadium before Jet games in the late ’70s. United fans, staked out at the front of the bar, outnumber us 4-1.

The game, beamed by satellite from City’s home pitch, begins and City is playing hard. A beautiful cross by Shaun Wright-Phillips is headed wide by Steve McManaman. Should have been a goal. City fans hold their heads. Won’t get many chances like that.

Then the chants start.

They are mostly nursery rhymes, sung in English accents, with naughty words.

“Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put the Scousers right on top/Put the City in the middle and burn the f**kin’ lot.”

It goes on like this for the rest of the game.

Our chants are a happy “City Till I Die” number and “Blue Moon,” as in “Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone.” When 80,000 sing it at City of Manchester Stadium, it sounds quite majestic. When 10 sing it at a bar in the East Village at 8 on a Sunday morning, it sounds like crap.

In the second half, United’s teenage prodigy Wayne Rooney breaks through and rolls the ball under the Man City ‘keeper. One-nil, which is tantamount to death at this stage.

A United fan jumps on top of the bar and the chants get more severe.

“City’s going down like a Russian submarine,” sung to “Yellow Submarine,” along with, “Twenty nine years… F**k all,” which I quickly understand is United’s version of the Yankee fan’s once-reliable “1918.”

City’s heart is out of it. One of their defenders tries to stop a cross and inadvertently kicks it into his own net. The red side of the bar erupts with a part cheer/part laugh that is difficult to describe, other than to say that I have been on the receiving end of its torment before at Shea.

The game ends quickly, and most of the City fans exit. I stick around with the last men standing, listening to the chants still being pelted our way. I actually get angry. We need better organization. Better chants. C’mon guys.

After a fourth Guinness, I sidle next to a doughy-faced City supporter at the urinal.

“Ah,” he says, shaking his head in disappointment.

“I know,” I reply. “So many chances early on.”

“Yeah,” he says “Same old City.”

I settle my tab and walk into the chilly mid-morning of the East Village with a smile on my face. I never had a choice at all. I may have never been to Manchester. But I was born there.

Bill Jensen <bjensen(at)longislandpress.com>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0405.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[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

http://www.uit.no/mancity/ 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 http://www.mcfc.co.uk/

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (http://www.mancity.net/osc/); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.reddishblues.com/CSAWebsite/CSA.htm) and “The International Supporters’ Club” (http://www.mcfc.co.uk/article.asp?article=111845&Title=International+Supporters+Club&lid=Membership).

[6] Where can I find out about the fans’ committee?

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. The Fans’ Committee has been relaunched as “Points of Blue”. It has appeared on the club website as a minor entry under “Fans Zone”.

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/gmr/sport_intro.shtml.

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at http://www.mcfctv.com/.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/pl.html provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are http://canadatvsoccer.tripod.com/Fixtures.htm, http://www.foxsportsworld.com/named/FSW/Index/Soccer, and http://www.soccertv.com/.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,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 http://www.uit.no/mancity/players/

[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 http://www.ofex.com/ (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 http://www.mcfcstats.com/.

[13] Where can I find a list of City-related websites?

Try Wookie’s Lair: http://www.wookieslair.com/modules.php?name=Web_Links


DISCLAIMER
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, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1109

2005/04/04

Editor:


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