Newsletter #1118

My sincere apologies for the lateness of this edition as I was away from home yesterday.

Today we have Don’s news, opinions on that UEFA Cup spot, Stuart Pearce, the club badge and the new away shirt, a couple of teasers together with a couple of rumours, a heartfelt request for a Villa ticket and details of the ZOO Football Fans Survey.

Just seen announced on Sky that Stuart Pearce has deservedly been awarded April’s Manager of the Month Award. Let’s hope the usual curse doesn’t hit us tomorrow at Villa.

Next game: Aston Villa, away, 3pm Saturday 7 May 2005


General News

Reserves Rumbled: Not the best finish to their league season by the Reserves, as they lost 3-1 to Trafford Reds. The home team took the lead in first half stoppage time from David Bellion, and they increased their lead on 62 minutes with a Giuseppe Rossi penalty. The game was effectively over when Liam Miller struck in the last 10 minutes, although Ishmael Miller did snatch a late consolation for the Blues. There is a chance for some revenge soon – the two sides meet in the final of the Manchester Senior Cup on Monday 9th May, kick off 7.30pm. Team: Weaver, Lee-Matthews, Warrender, Negouai (Etuhu 68), Richards (J D’Laryea 60), Collins, Flood, Bennett, Bermingham (Grimes 80), Miller, Laird. Subs: Ellegaard, Johnson.

Psycho-Logist on Way? SP is not considering changing his staff, at least not until his own position is confirmed. “I was asked at a board meeting last week if I was going to make changes in the coaching set up,” he commented. “I said then that it would not be prudent for me at this stage to talk about other members of staff. I am a couple of matches away from having a job or not having a job. I don’t know which. Until my position has been finalised in any way shape or form it would be difficult for me to talk about other members of staff. I think the question of the make up of the coaching staff is best left until a decision is made on my future. Once my future has been decided it will be easier for me to talk and talk to other people in the club with regards to everyone else.” He also revealed that he might bring in some specialist assistance, if there were benefits for the team. “I don’t think that you should ever be happy with what you have got either on the pitch or in the coaching set up. If there is anyone that we think will benefit this football club in whatever rôle then we have to ask if we can get them in and if it will help us as a team. I think you should be totally open minded and if there is someone out there who could benefit us in any rôle, maybe a psychologist, we have to be open minded enough to say, ‘yes we are going to bring someone in’.”

A Local Affair: Mr. Pearce indicated recently that he didn’t want City travelling abroad for pre-season friendlies, and true to his word, the Blues will play their summer warm-ups within 50 miles of Manchester. This week the club confirmed the following fixtures:
Hyde United – Thu July 7, 7.45pm (Reserves)
Tranmere Rovers – Fri July 15, 7.30pm
Macclesfield Town – Sat July 16, 3pm
Stalybridge Celtic – Wed July 27, 7.30pm (Reserves)
Stoke City – Sat July 30, 3pm
Sheffield Wednesday, Sun 31st July, 3pm
Burton Albion – Tue 2nd Aug, 7.45pm (Reserves)

Barton Bump: “Barton hits fan” announced today’s Daily Mail, before adding “in 2am car accident”. Apparently Joey’s car was trying to edge through fans celebrating Liverpool’s Champions’ League victory early on Wednesday morning, when he made contact with one of the revellers. A spokeswoman for Merseyside Police said: “A surge of people were crossing the road at once. After they had crossed, the driver began to move slowly forward and clipped another person who was trying to cross the road. It appears to have been a complete accident.” The Liverpool fan was taken to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital suffering from a broken leg. He is not thought to be taking any action against Barton, who has already wished him a speedy recovery.

Transfer News and Gossip

Bos Felt it was Time to Go: Paul Bosvelt will leave City this summer after signing a two-year deal with Dutch top-flight outfit Heerenveen. The 35-year-old former Holland international has made 64 appearances in almost two seasons with the Blues since joining on a free transfer from Feyenoord. He had hoped to gain an extension to his current deal, which expires in June, insisting he was still fit enough to cope with the rigours of the Premiership. But with Stuart Pearce believed to be considering only a short-term contract at best, Bosvelt has opted for the extra security of a move back home. Bosvelt explained: “When Kevin Keegan was here I got an offer for half a year. When Keegan left Stuart Pearce explained that he didn’t know what was happening about his own job so he had to leave all contract talks until the summer. I thought that was fair but he also said as a Bosman I could look around and that is what I did. At this stage of my career I need to be seriously involved playing in a side on a regular basis. Heerenveen have shown me they are not worried about my age even though I am not as quick as in the early days.” He added: “For me coming to City was a good option and I do not regret it at all. I needed time to settle as I had in every move I have made but this season I feel as if I have played solidly because there was less changing of the team. The fans have been great with me and I would like to thank them. I feel that the club has a great chance to move up the Premiership now. Since the change of manager there is an improved spirit and that is what is important for the long term. You need honesty and straight talking and the basis of the squad is very good. If the right players can be added in the summer then from day one City should be challenging for a European spot next summer.” Gaffer Psycho commented: “I have great respect for Paul Bosvelt both as a player and person and for what he has done whilst at this club. He has been an influence on and off the pitch where he was great in the dressing room.” (Thanks Ian Nixon, and James for the headline)

Happy Talk: This week’s version of the usual Shaun Wright-Phillips story: SWP insists he is happy to stay with Manchester City despite alleged interest from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea but Wright-Phillips is adamant he will not be looking to leave Eastlands. He told The Sun: “I signed a four-year contract last August. I’m happy here,” before adding ominously “But the decision on my future is not just down to me. If anyone comes in for me, as far as I’m concerned that’s the club’s decision whether I go or stay. But I’m happy playing here. What is important for me is that I am happy in my life and in my football – and at Manchester City I’m both.”

Return to Niall-ism? Ay caramba! Those of us who peruse the Daily Star on Sunday were somewhat surprised to read the following snippet: “Peter Crouch could make a move to Manchester City if Southampton are relegated from the Premiership”. This move would certainly give SP a different option upfront, as Crouch is six foot seven inches tall, and is often said to posses “a great touch for a big man”. I seem to remember that phrase cropping up in regard to Niall Quinn in the 90’s. All we’d need then is a return for Rick Holden and Sam Ellis and the recreation of Peter Reid’s long ball game would be complete. The Newsdesk says: C’mon Saints, you can beat the drop!

Keeping Kiki: It sounds like City can only keep Kiki Musampa at the club next season if another loan deal can be arranged. At the start of the week, reports suggested that SP was hopeful of pulling off a permanent transfer, but then Mr. P mused that “Kiki is getting better all the time and we are seeing what he is capable of now. Whether we would have the money to finance a permanent move is very doubtful. So if the deal is to go ahead then if he is happy to stay at City a loan situation may be the way forward. I think Kiki has done well and given us some great balance. He holds possession well and has done well for the club. I have spoken to his agent twice over the last four weeks and he in turn has spoken to Atletico. I think we have worked out that it is prudent to wait until summer and get the last game out of the way before anything is decided.” Today there were some noises of encouragement from Spain, when Atletico Madrid’s sporting director Toni Munoz commented on Sky Sports News that “The player has taken the decision he wants to be in England. We are looking into closing a pleasant accord for all parties.”

No Wonder Stu’s Going to Iceland: SP intends to further check out Icelandic midfielder Palmi Rafn Palmason. The twenty-year-old completed a week’s trial with City last week, training with the first team. “He did reasonably well when we had him here for a week,” remarked the Boss. “The Icelandic season will be under full swing in May and I fully intend to have a look at him playing for his club. I don’t think you can make your mind up within a week. The problem we have is that we can not play him in a competitive game. As much as you can bring players in and have a look at them in training to give you some base line idea, you have to see them in matches.”

Doon Toon: Now here’s a story I enjoyed reading, courtesy of a Newcastle website – Newcastle United will not try to sign Sylvain Distin in the summer. The City defender was thought to be on Graeme Souness’ shopping list for the summer, and was closely linked with a move for the City skipper last January. Souness is thought to have accepted he has little chance of persuading the Frenchman to move to St James’ Park, and will now look elsewhere. To which we say – huzzah! Distin’s form has been so impressive that the City skipper was asked about his ambitions to play for his country. “To be picked for my country would be a bonus and would make me happy because everyone dreams of playing for his country,” said Distin. “If not, I will still be happy playing at City, maybe because I am so happy here it will improve my chances with France. I haven’t given up hope.” Distin reckons that the change of regime at the club has been instrumental in the push for a European place. “A few months ago no one here could have thought we would be in this situation, potentially going into the last match playing for a place in the UEFA Cup. But I don’t want to put pressure on us, we just keep doing what we have been doing these past few weeks and hope we get our reward. I like to work hard and we are working a lot harder now, there is a different mentality in the team and we are fitter.”

Call for Paul: Werder Bremen right back Paul Stalteri, a supposed target of City, has announced that he will leave the Bundesliga club in the summer. The Canadian international has turned down the offer of a new deal and will be available to move on a free transfer at the end of the season. The news brings an end to a successful spell at the Weser Stadion for Stalteri after he joined Werder from Canadian side Toronto Lynx in 1997. Last summer, Stalteri turned down an offer from Crystal Palace while the defender has also been linked with possible moves to Charlton Athletic, Spurs and City in recent weeks.

Ex-Blues’ News

Curle is a City Manager! Chester City have appointed Keith Curle as their new manager. Earlier this season, the former City defender left his post as Mansfield’s boss in acrimonious circumstances. The 41-year-old has signed a one-year deal at the League Two club and replaces Ian Rush, who resigned at the start of the month. Chairman Stephen Vaughan said: “I never had any doubts as to who my choice would be from the minute I met Keith. The board and I feel his appointment will pay dividends.”

Steve’s a Winner: Sunderland’s Stephen Elliott sealed the Championship title this week with his 16th goal of the season in the 2-1 win at West Ham. “It is always nice to prove people wrong when they doubt you but now I have to do it in the Premiership,” said Elliott, who netted the winner four minutes from time. “It will be good to go back to City, but I’m not really thinking about them because that feels like a long time in the past now. This has been a fantastic season for all of the lads. I scored goals wherever I played before coming to Sunderland and always felt I could do it at this level, and it’s an unbelievable feeling to have scored the goal that clinched the title for us. We’ve had one party last weekend when we guaranteed promotion, it will be another quiet weekend this weekend and the Stadium of Light will be rocking I’m sure next Sunday.”

Reactions and Comments

Keep the Pressure Up: City turned their unlikely drive for a UEFA Cup spot into tantalising reality with a one-sided 2-0 victory over Portsmouth at Eastlands. The Blues were never threatened once Sylvain Distin’s first goal of the campaign and Robbie Fowler’s 10th had provided them with a comfortable cushion within 16 minutes. Although Portsmouth improved on their hapless effort after half-time, they never looked likely to wreck a six-match unbeaten run, which represents City’s best effort in the top flight since 1994. “It’s nice to win, especially the home fixtures,” said Pearce after the win. “It’s been three at home now, which is nice. When I took the job it was a case of trying to turn the home form around because we have been struggling. The first half was the best they have played under me. For 45 minutes they were excellent and controlled the game. We took the foot off the gas in the second half and credit to Portsmouth they come back into it a bit.” The manager was delighted with Fowler’s free kick that was curled round the Pompey defensive wall to give the Blues a 2-0 lead. “It is something that we have worked on at the training ground,” he revealed. “When you work on things as a coach or manager asking players to do certain things and it comes off it is great. It was brilliantly executed and a fantastic left footed shot so credit to him. He put it exactly where he should have done and it worked to plan.” Asked about his European ambitions, Pearce replied: “It would be easy to quash the European question with the stock answer of taking one game at a time, but why not put some pressure on ourselves. Maybe for too long we have accepted ‘what if’ here. Why not try and win both games and say we might end up in Europe if we win them and results go our way.”

Just a Bit O’Fun! Pompey Boss Alain Perrin looked for positives from the defeat. “The most important thing for us tonight is that we are safe from relegation,” said Perrin. “We didn’t start very well, the first 15 minutes were bad for us and maybe we were not aggressive enough. The last game was a very big one for the players and maybe they struggled to concentrate at the start of this one because of that. I think Manchester City were stronger this afternoon. It’s disappointing to concede from set pieces – from a corner and a strange free kick. It was better in the second half.” After apologising to Liverpool’s Rafa Benitez for forgetting to shake hands recently, Psycho was saying sorry again on Saturday, this time to the Pompey management. The former England skipper admitted he crossed the line of managerial acceptability when he bellowed a few choice words down Matthew Taylor’s ear as the Portsmouth defender attempted to take a throw-in in front of the City dug out, bringing an angry reaction from the visitors’ bench. “I saw it as a bit of fun,” smiled Pearce. “Obviously their coaching staff took it a bit more seriously. It is the sort of thing you can get away with as a player but maybe not as a manager, so I apologised at half-time.” Perrin was eager to play down the incident, insisting it is something experience will prevent happening again. “He is a young coach and he will learn,” said Perrin. “He doesn’t need to do it.”

Squad News

Bolt from the Blue for Onu: Nedum Onuoha has expressed his surprise and joy at his new contract. The 18-year-old only signed a professional’s contract in November, but now the club have signed him up on a three year deal. “Twelve months ago I could never have imagined myself in this position,” he said. “I was totally made up when I signed my first professional contract in November. I thought that was it, so to get offered another one so quickly is completely unexpected. I guess it shows how much confidence the club have in me and if it carries on like this I won’t have anything to complain about. Stuart gave me my chance, which proved something in itself. It would have been a mistake if I had opted not to sign. I feel my performances have been improving steadily but I know my position in the side is not guaranteed and I must continue learning.”

Dunne Deal Done: Hot on the heels of Nedum Onouha’s new deal came word that Richard Dunne had signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2007. The 25-year-old Republic of Ireland international has impressed during the season but his existing deal was due to end this summer. “It’s great that I am the man in charge when he turns around and says he wants to stay at this football club,” Stuart Pearce said. “He has performed exceptionally well this year and is one of our top three, there is no doubt about that.” Dunne, who was a £3 million signing from Everton in October 2000, has missed only one league game for City this season. Dunne commented that “It took a bit of time but now that is all completed I am delighted. Over the last couple of weeks we have seen an improvement with the performances on the pitch. If we keep improving the way we have been then this club is going to be a really great place to be. Personally I feel it has been a successful season for me and I feel that I have performed quite well. If you look at the team’s performance from last year then you can say that everyone has improved and every individual has gained from that. After last year we all knew we had to up our game or else there would be problems. As a defensive unit our concentration levels rose, the midfield unit go grittier and the front men have been hitting the back of the net more.” And the Republic of Ireland international is sure who should be named manager in the summer. “Speaking to the lads in the dressing room I think everyone would be happy if Stuart gets the job. Our performances over the past few weeks have shown what we think of Stuart and I believe everyone in the dressing room would be pleased if he was given the job.” Three City youngsters have also committed their futures to the club. Danny Warrender agreed to sign another one year contract, while Ian Bennett and Paul Collins have signed new one year deals.

Mills and Thrills but No Bellyaches: Danny ‘Moonchester’ Mills has been told he still has a future at the club. “Nedum might be keeping him out of the side just now but Danny is an international player and I still see him as having a big future at this club,” said SP. “I have explained the situation to Danny and his attitude has been first class. As long as results have gone fairly well, some players will have to be patient but I don’t see the point in having gut reactions on players within four or five weeks. Contracts last for years, so to write anybody off after such a short period would be folly.”

Dunne Done Playin’: It sounds like Mills will be playing in the last two games of the season, as the club have announced that Richard Dunne will miss the last two games of this term as he requires operations on his ankles. Club doctor Dr. Mark Whitaker announced that “Richard had his first operation on Wednesday and all went well. He will have the second one next week and we expect his rehab to last between four and six weeks.” Considering Dunnie’s form this season, you’d expect SP to be disappointed, but the manager is realistic. “I could from a personal point of view have said that I wanted Richard to wait until the end of the season,” he said. “But I have to be honest to him and to the club and I said get it done so that he can be in top shape for the pre-season.”

Quote of the Week

“From what I have seen he seems to have calmed down an awful lot.” Steve Chettle, former Nottingham Forest team-mate of our caretaker manager, talking about Mr. Pearce.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


As an exile, my last City match was the penultimate game at Maine Road, a disappointing 0-1 loss to West Ham United. Although I had visited the empty stadium on a previous return to England, it was a great pleasure to ‘be there live’ on Saturday. Even though I see almost all of City’s games on television in Hong Kong, it does not compare to being part of the atmosphere inside the stadium. I was excited and really enjoyed the game.

The final score of 2-0 could easily have been 4 or 5-1. It was a very good ‘team’ performance, and I would now like to comment on those taking part:

James: Often better on the reflex saves than the bread and butter duties such as judging and cleanly catching crosses. A good ‘keeper, but for once, I think Sven has got it right.

Onuoha: What a ‘find’! Intelligent and fast, even though still learning the rôle of full back, he is already better than most I have seen this season. I think that he will play for England in the next five years, either as a full back or central defender. Well done SP for playing him.

Dunne: What a transformation from the player I last saw at Maine Road (credit to KK for this)! Slimmer, fitter and faster, I think that he will get even better and improve his distribution and the giving away of free kicks around our penalty area and picking up cards. I used to think that Clive Dunne was faster, but now Richard Dunne must be one of the quickest centre backs in the Premiership.

Distin: A very good central defender. I wish he could be more vocal and imposing as the captain.

Jordan: I prefer him to Thatcher, but his inexperience shows on occasions, when sliding in and not getting the ball, leaving himself on his back and out of the game. Also, sometimes slides and takes the man and not the ball, giving away dangerous free kicks and achieving yellow cards. SP needs to coach him more.

S. Wright-Phillips: Still not back to his pre-operation best, but always a danger and never ceases to fight for the shirt. Must not be sold.

Barton: Gives 100% physically, but not always mentally. Will he gain in intelligence as he matures? Distribution and shooting need improvement, but a good and solid member of the team.

Reyna: I was impressed! I had pencilled him in on my ‘let go’ list: however, his performances since the ‘Spurs away game have made me change my mind. I hope that he can maintain his fitness and this form.

Musampa: Sorry, not impressed! I would let him go at the end of the season. Has ball skills, but not fast enough and, on occasions, seems disinterested.

Sibierski: Not quick enough. Tries hard, but achieves little. I do not think he would hold down a place in almost any other Premiership team.

Fowler: Scored with a great free kick, but generally did not threaten. Again, lacking in pace. Tackled and covered well. He will be with us for some time, so it is imperative that we get a good, quick, young striker (Bradley?) to play alongside him and benefit from the flick-ons. I think he plays better with Macken alongside.

Thatcher: Made a good goal-line clearance and did nothing wrong. However, very poor distribution and I don’t think he is as quick as Jordan. Also gives away free kicks and likely to be yellow carded.

As I have stated previously, we need to say ‘goodbye’ to certain players:

Sommeil, Negouai, McManaman. It looks as though Bosvelt, Bischoff and Stuhr-Ellegard will also be on their way. I calculate that from last July, we will probably have lost 25% of the playing staff, if the above are added to: Elliott, Wanchope, Anelka, Waterreus and McCarthy. This should give added opportunities to the young Blues coming through from the Academy.

I would very much like to see a breakdown of City’s structured debt. However, I calculate that before any end of season spending, we could have reduced the £62 million by 20% to about £49 million, taking into account profit from the gate, transfer fees and money for finishing in the top half of the table.

In the close season, I hope that our finances will run to buying two players: A fast striker (Dean Ashton?) and a speedy left side midfielder (what a pity that ‘Spurs got Reid, he would have made City an excellent signing). If SP can also add two good Bosmans, I think that with our maturing youngsters, we will be able to give any Premiership team more than a game and achieve a top six place.

Taking a step back and trying to analyse the state of play, I would make the following comments. The Blues have made real progress under SP and I am more convinced than ever that he should be made permanent manager. I did write last December stating that he should succeed KK. For a start, we now score from set pieces. This has been a particularly fallow aspect of our play for years, and I cannot remember getting goals from set pieces as we have done in the recent past under SP. The defence has looked more secure that I can ever remember.

The future, for once, looks bright. Let us make it brighter by appointing SP as the permanent manager!

Barry Anderton <pbanderton(at)>


Providing City beat Villa away and Boro at home to finish on 54 points, we must also hope Boro beat Spurs this weekend (but not by too many goals!). Currently City and Spurs both have a goal difference of +7 while Boro’s is +6 and Bolton +4.

The danger is if Spurs get a draw (or better) up at Boro then we are relying on Blackburn to do us a favour at White Hart Lane on the last day.

If City do win on Saturday then Villa are out of it and we can even hope to overtake Bolton! Ever the City optimist, it is possible that Bolton screw up against Pompey (away) and Everton (home) then we would overtake them too on goal difference – possibly to claim 6th spot.

So, to summarise… the ideal set of results this weekend:

Villa vs. City – a quality away win from SP’s men
Boro vs. Spurs – 1-0
Portsmouth vs. Bolton – home win

Then on the final weekend:

City vs. Boro – a home win, the bigger the goal margin the better
Spurs vs. Blackburn – away win or draw ideally, hopefully not another big home win
Bolton vs. Everton – away win

But as the old footballing clichés go – ‘one game at a time’, ‘let’s just concentrate on what we’ve got to do’, etc.

Good luck City whatever happens – give SP the job!

Jon <jonandreareese(at)>


For the last week, the papers have been wittering on about what happens to the fourth Champions’ League spot if Liverpool win the Champions’ League (answer: hold a play-off between the third and fourth placed teams in the Premiership). As a result, no-one has focussed on the much more important questions of the last UEFA place. I’ve been thinking about this and the good news is that there’s quite a few permutations under which we qualify. The bad news is that my brain has started to melt.

Here’s the relevant bit of the table.

                    P   F   A   GD Pts
 6 Bolton Wndrs    36   45  41   4  54
 7 Tottenham H.    36   47  40   7  51
 8 Middlesbrough   36   51  45   6  51
 9 Manchester City 36   44  37   7  48
10 Aston Villa     36   43  48  -5  47

The important games are:

This weekend (7th)
Boro vs. Spurs
City vs. Villa

Next weekend (14th)
City vs. Boro
Spurs vs. Blackburn

Ignoring Bolton for the moment, the permutations seem to be:

  1. If we lose on Saturday, we’re gone.
  2. If we draw on Saturday, then we qualify only if Boro draw with Spurs, webeat Boro and Blackburn beat Spurs. So it’s out of our hands but we’re savedall the headache of goal difference calculations. Which would be a smallmercy as you’ll find out in a moment…
  3. If we win on Saturday and so do Spurs, but our margin of victory is thesame, bigger or one goal worse, then we qualify if we beat Boro and Blackburnbeat Spurs.
  4. If we win on Saturday and so do Spurs, but their margin is bigger by twogoals or more, then we have to beat Boro, Blackburn have to beat Spurs, andthe combined margins of victory on the 14th have to be enough to overcomeSpur’s goal difference advantage from the 7th.
  5. If we win on Saturday while Spurs draw with Boro, then we qualify if Spurslose and we draw with Boro, or if Spurs draw with Blackburn and we beat Boro.
  6. If we win on Saturday and Boro beat Spurs, then we need to beat Boro. Thenif Spurs fail to win against Blackburn, we qualify unless Boro’s margin ofvictory the previous week had been more than two goals more than ours and wefail to beat them by half as many goals as the difference between the marginsof victory.
  7. But if Boro beat Spurs and we win both our games, then even if Spurs beatBlackburn, we still qualify provided that the sum of the margins of victoryfrom both our games plus the Boro/Spurs match is greater than Spur’s marginover Blackburn. Unless (as before) we fail to beat Boro by half as many goalsas the difference between the margins of victory of the two games on the7th.

All of this gets more complicated (but favourably so) if Bolton lose both their games. In this case then, if we win both our games, we can qualify if Boro have beaten Spurs even if we beat Boro by fewer than half as many goals as the difference between the margins of victory on the 7th or by not as many goals as Spurs’ margin against Blackburn less the combined margin on the 14th, but not both.

OK, deep breath. Simplify. There’s no way in which this can completely be in our hands. But, to avoid relying on Blackburn doing us a favour, the best outcome on Saturday is that we win by a few goals and Boro win by up to two goals more. That would mean that if we beat Boro, then Spurs will have to score a hatful to overcome our goal difference. For example, if we beat Villa 2-0 and Boro beat Spurs 4-0, then even if we only win 1-0 on the last day and Spurs beat Blackburn 6-0, we still qualify:

                     P    F   A   GD Pts
  7 Manchester City 38    47  37  10  54
  8 Middlesbrough   38    55  46   9  54
  9 Tottenham H.    38    53  44   9  54

So let’s get even simpler: we want City to win, we want Spurs to lose and it’s nice if Bolton lose too.

Which was probably what any right-thinking person would have wanted in the first place.

I’ll get me anorak.

Dorien James <dorien.james(at)>


When this season draws to an end, and Stuart Pearce is rightly given the manager’s job, having proved what a quality act he really is, he could do worse than appoint Sir Bobby Robson next season, to assist him in fulfilling his destiny in becoming a great man manager.

Sir Bobby need have no part in the overall running of the team, but his wealth of knowledge and understanding of what it takes to play in a big stadium would give Psycho a respected figurehead and someone to turn to whilst he is learning.

We were blessed when we had Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison, and even though Psycho works in similar fashion to Malcolm, the rôles would be reversed, but the creative partnership would be the same.

Here’s to a successful future.

Gary Sullivan <gary(at)>


Just a thought on The Pearce Saga.

Would it not be a good thing to boost morale and also send us off on our Jollies happy Blues, with a special announcement at the end of the game vs. Boro, that SP has signed a 2-3 year deal. He has surely done enough no matter what happens in the last 2 games.

But hey, we are talking about City, sorry I forgot we don’t do things the normal way (CTID).

ArfurBlue <david.kay(at)>


Such as ‘Aussie’ Peter wrote in the past MCIVTA, I take a look at the new away shirt of our squad and, just as a contemporary great AC Milan fan, I dislike it so much!

Why does this Reebok marketing genius forget so easily the glorious red and black colours?

Maybe anyone of us shows him the history of the squad he works for? I want to live again – new unforgettable victories with those colours again!

Come on dear SP! Come on City!

Renato Tubére – Tornina, Italia <r.tubere(at)>


To those of you complaining about the design of our away kits: are you actually City fans? If so, tough: the kits are aimed at consumers. Nick Durham (MCIVTA 1117) referred to the ‘limited edition’ red and black stripes kit of 1999-2000. We wanted this – or a similar version – for the following season. No you don’t, said the club, you want dirty grey. They even wheeled out David Bernstein who called it ‘The Spirit of Wembley’ as if to justify foisting such tat upon us.

Brothers and sisters: the only way they will listen is if you don’t buy the stuff.

Ah, but then they don’t need you in Baguley, Radcliffe and Failsworth if they can flog them by the busload in China.

So you’re stuffed.

Welcome to the Premiership.

P.S.: Manchester United changed their badge several years ago. It used to contain the letters ‘F.C.’.

P.P.S.: No video review of season 1997-98 was released (if you recall, it wasn’t one of our better years). I wonder if anyone cobbled together their own version. If you have and are willing to lend, sell or copy, please get in touch.

For those of you with strong stomachs, a question: can you name the 38 players used in league and cup that season (and remember, Nigel couldn’t even make that list!)? Answer next issue.

David Butler <ervadale(at)>


Having studied the new away kit, I can’t help feeling this design/colour was chosen with the armchair fans (me included) in mind. There was an article some time ago where the colour of shirts was chosen so it went well with jeans! This seems to be the same thing. I can imagine many a City fan wearing this in a pub or on holiday.

The commercial aspect of the game is obviously in evidence. Target the fans who can’t attend all the games but want to buy a shirt. It doesn’t matter if the players can’t pick each other out (à la Utd), and they probably will suddenly come up with a ‘white-ish’ third kit that will get more use by the team themselves.

I admit that as a very rare attendee of matches (stuck in Dorset) I like the shirt and will wear it as I watch TV, so in a way I am proving the marketing people right. Apologies to the ticket buyers out there who will need heat-sensing equipment to follow the players on the pitch.

As far as the badge debate goes, I’m on the side of the new one. This is again based on appearance, not tradition. The old badge (IMO) was dull, nondescript and very dated. The new one is a sharp image and just looks better on merchandise, letterheads, websites, and shirts.

This is just my view and I realise that many out there will have exactly the opposite views. But at least we’re Blue, eh?

P.S.: With Southampton hopefully going down (never forgave them and Everton for staying up on goal difference) it would be nice for Reading to get up via the play-offs (closer to the South and 6 points).

[I have it on good authority that there will be a new third kit released – Ed]

Stuart Wells <stu(at)>


I think the motto on the badge should be:

Quo Vende Capri?

It’s Latin for “Who Sold the Goat?”!

And should be a warning to all – that when things are going great with a good team – don’t go daft and change too much!

Richard Stoodley <Richard(at)>


As a long-standing City fan with a sense of logic, I was very interested to read Peter’s letter on the badge. At the start of the letter Peter writes about the idea of returning to the old badge: ‘Why in God’s name go backwards, what is the point? Has anything ever been gained by doing this?’

This is a fair, if contentious point which is then somewhat undermined by his later comment that: ‘I see that at Blackburn we went back to the Red/Black stripe shirt, which for me should never have been replaced in the first place’. That sounds like a bit of a contradiction to me, particularly when you think that the Red/Black stripe shirt that Peter so loves was worn by many City sides (including the FA and League Cup winning sides in 68/69 and 69/70) when our Chairman was some bloke called Peter Swales – but I guess he’s no relation to the idiotic disaster of a Chairman of the same name that our Pete refers to in his letter. I now understand why my old gran told me never to trust Red fans, lawyers or graphic designers.

P.S.: I heard that the badge was changed because the copyright of the old design didn’t lie with City and the club were worried about the implications of this for the sale of replica kit.

Steve McNulty <lardieboy_6(at)>


In 1970, City played Schalke 04 at home in the second leg of the European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final, winning 5-0 (5-1 on agg) and going on to beat Gornik in the final 2-1.

On that evening against Schalke 04 (don’t ask me what the 04 is, they’re still called that even now), there was something significant about City’s floodlights (it’s really sad to remember something like this, but there you go).

What was it?

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


Someone who is normally reliable about City rumours tells me that Alan Curbishley has bought a house in Alderley Edge. If I combine that with Alan Curbishley stating that he may have gone as far as he can with Charlton, and our board not yet committing to SP, am I putting 2 and 2 together and getting 4 or hopefully just another nasty rumour?

Alick Rocca <alick.rocca(at)>


Former Groclin Dyskobolia player who has been mentioned by one or two posters as a decent prospect – perhaps one we should examine – might be on his way to the Premiership…

“Polish midfielder Sebastian Mila is reportedly set for a move to Fulham from Austria Wiene” – The Independent.

Matt Thomas <matthew.thomas(at)>


Dear Chairman,

As a season ticket holder, I feel it is my right to ask you to publicly clarify the situation with our current manager.

If Mr Pearce is not to be made manager of Manchester City Football Club, he/we ought to know. Although, if this be the case, then the historical farce that continues to shadow my football club will prove to be continuing well into this new chapter of our existence.

I, along with many others, do trust you and the board at MCFC, but I also feel that at this moment I trust Stuart Pearce somewhat more.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


Does anyone have a spare ticket for the Villa game? I know that during the week of the election this request has about as much chance as a Monster Raving Loony landslide victory, but perhaps unlike them, it is worth a try.

Please ring Rob Hulme on 07811 397911.

Thanks anyway.

Rob Hulme <r.hulme(at)>


Forget the PFA Awards and the Sport’s Writers Awards, the ZOO Football Awards 2005 are the first and only awards voted for by the fans. It’s your chance to air your views about the current season, both on and off the field, as it comes to a close.

Do you agree with the PFA that John Terry is the Player of the Season? Should it be Steve Sidwell, Shefki Kuqi or Fernando Ricksen? What about the best boss? Mourinho? Rafa? Big Sam Allardyce? Moyes? What about Mick McCarthy, George Burley, Mike Newell and Paul Jewell?

There’s several unique awards too – the Best Goal Celebration, Most Memorable Moment (Delia’s rant? The Newcastle scrap?), Villain of the Season as well as the Match of the Season (Arsenal-Boro? Derby-Wolves?) plus the Sexiest Footballer’s Wife.

Make sure you have your say.

Simply log on to and complete the quick, few-minute survey before midnight on the 26th May. We’ll announce the results in the following edition of Zoo out on the 31st May.

We’ve also thrown in £200 cash and a year’s subscription to ZOO for 2 lucky respondents.

So, what you waiting for? Get your voice heard now.

David Plant <davidplant50(at)>


2 May 2005

West Bromwich Albion  0 - 2  Arsenal               27,351

1 May 2005

Tottenham Hotspur     5 - 1  Aston Villa           36,078
Charlton Athletic     0 - 4  Manchester United     26,789

League table to 03 May 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         35 13  5  0 34  6 14  2  1 33  7 27  7  1  67  13  54  88
 2 Arsenal         35 11  5  1 44 18 12  3  3 32 15 23  8  4  76  33  43  77
 3 Manchester Utd  35 12  5  0 29  8  9  5  4 25 13 21 10  4  54  21  33  73
 4 Everton         35 11  2  5 22 15  6  5  6 19 21 17  7 11  41  36   5  58
 5 Liverpool       36 11  4  3 29 14  5  3 10 20 23 16  7 13  49  37  12  55
 6 Bolton Wndrs    36  8  5  5 22 16  7  4  7 23 25 15  9 12  45  41   4  54
 7 Tottenham H.    36  9  4  5 36 22  5  5  8 11 18 14  9 13  47  40   7  51
 8 Middlesbrough   36  8  6  4 28 19  5  6  7 23 26 13 12 11  51  45   6  51
 9 Manchester City 36  8  5  5 23 13  4  7  7 21 24 12 12 12  44  37   7  48
10 Aston Villa     36  8  6  4 25 15  4  5  9 18 33 12 11 13  43  48  -5  47
11 Charlton Ath.   36  8  3  7 27 27  4  6  8 13 28 12  9 15  40  55 -15  45
12 Birmingham City 36  7  6  5 22 14  3  6  9 16 30 10 12 14  38  44  -6  42
13 Blackburn R.    36  5  8  5 20 19  4  6  8 11 21  9 14 13  31  40  -9  41
14 Newcastle Utd   35  7  6  5 24 24  2  7  8 19 29  9 13 13  43  53 -10  40
15 Fulham          35  7  4  6 22 23  3  4 11 20 33 10  8 17  42  56 -14  38
16 Portsmouth      36  8  3  7 29 25  2  5 11 13 31 10  8 18  42  56 -14  38
17 Southampton     36  5  9  4 29 28  1  4 13 13 34  6 13 17  42  62 -20  31
18 Crystal Palace  36  6  4  8 19 17  1  6 11 18 41  7 10 19  37  58 -21  31
19 West Brom A.    36  4  8  6 15 24  1  7 10 18 36  5 15 16  33  60 -27  30
20 Norwich City    36  6  5  7 28 32  0  7 11 13 39  6 12 18  41  71 -30  30

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0405.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Madeleine Hawkins)     :
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. 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

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]Madeline Hawkins,

Newsletter #1118