Newsletter #1171

Disappointment on Saturday as we allowed Fulham to over-run us, and although Pearce won’t say it, they were assisted by some pretty rank refereeing decisions. We have a match report tonight thanks to Paul.

Debate continues on the Munich chants; I know some websites are not comfortable discussing this but it is a problem and needs addressing so any ideas are welcome.

We also have a Stat round-up, some straight talking and a couple of requests including, for those in the Greater Manchester area, the chance to see the world premiere of a Bert Trautmann documentary for free!

Next game: Blackburn Rovers, home, 3pm Saturday 19 November 2005


The Honeymoon is Over?

City were well beaten by a creative and hard-working Fulham side today. Since SP took charge, even when we have lost, we’ve either been the better side (vs. Bolton) or were unlucky not to get a point (Arse, Newcastle). Against Fulham we were decidedly second best.

The day started well, with the forecast rain holding off. A mate from work is a Fulham season ticket folder and they have this scheme where they can get tickets in what Fulham calls the Neutral Area. In practice this is simply the other half of the end in which City have their allocation. Sat around us were a mixture of Blues plus Fulham fans and plenty of genuine neutrals (I went with my brother who is a Red and his mate who is QPR).

I don’t think Fayed did his usual pre-match tour of the pitch. It seems he leaves these now for the games against Chelsea, Arse, etc. So we kicked off with James plus Jordan, Distin, Dunne and Mills at the back, Musampa, Barton, Ireland and Croft in midfield and Vassell and Cole up front. Some might say our strongest line-up – not on today’s performance.

Right from the off, Fulham were at us and the back four seemed to be still asleep. Dunne was definitely short of pace and on 5 minutes was beaten by Boa Morte who then crossed behind the back four who were left completely flat by Malbranque stealing through for an easy slot past James. 1-0 and another million on the price tag.

Fulham continued with the quick tempo, getting the ball out to the wings and both Jordan and Mills were having a torrid time. Fulham seemed to be almost playing 3-3-4 because they had four forwards taking on the City back four.

City were in disarray and Radzinski was only inches away from adding a second when he stretched but just failed to connect from six yards out. Barton was lucky not to get a straight red card for a challenge on Malbranque. Barton was having his worst game for a long while and was starting to get annoyed. He was decked a few times and you could see the red mist coming down.

When we did get the ball it was played either too quickly back to Fulham or we took too long and our man was tackled. When we tried to tackle, the Fulham players went down like sacks of spuds and the ref gave them free kick after free kick. When we tried to play the ball out of defence, it was going straight back to Fulham. It’s obvious even from the stand that this is a short pitch. Our clearances almost always ended up in their ‘keeper’s arms and it took until the second half for us to work this out. Worse though was the fact the Fulham could play a quick ball out of defence and it would soon be with their forward line. We failed to spot this and were lucky not to be 3 down after 20 minutes. It’s not like we haven’t been to Craven Cottage before and SP should have had this drilled into the players.

On 20 minutes, against the run of play, after some neat interchange between Vassell and Ireland, Croft was put through on the right side of the area and put in a cracker over the ‘keeper. Our first real attack of the game. 1-1. After this we seemed to settle down but Barton was still living dangerously. The half looked to be petering out when Musampa went off with a hamstring strain on 42 minutes and on comes everyone’s favourite – Sibierski. This unsettled us and Boa Morte and Malbranque again combined to put Malbranque through one-on-one with James and he finished well. 2-1 and that’s now £2 million extra on his price tag.

In the second half we were a more composed side with fewer passes going astray. Cole had a couple of chances to level it up but Fulham also threatened. James kept us in it with a great double save, from John and McBride. SP replaced Mills with Sun Jihai and Jordan with BWP. With a few minutes to go BWP scored but was ruled offside. Then, just before the final whistle James comes up for a free kick and loses the ball on the edge of Fulham’s area. Fulham come away with the ball and James doesn’t even bother to get back into our half. But they messed around in front of the open goal and Sun Jihai cleared off the line. The whistle goes to lots of boos for the ref from both sides.

Our lads didn’t lack passion or commitment today but they seriously lacked some decent tactics and that’s down to SP. He is human after all.

Paul Muschamp <paulmuschamp(at)>


Well, I made my pilgrimage from Southern California to see my first game at Eastlands last week and was given a wonderful gift. City are really playing well and Villa gave us a 1-0 start!

We actually are a really good side with confidence and a good mix of youth and maturity and they all played a part in the victory. It would not be City if they did not make us all a little nervous in the second half but all’s well that ends well. I enjoyed the visit beyond belief and it is a wonderful place to watch a game.

I must thank my nephew for surrendering his ticket so that I could attend. However, I do have a minor gripe about the ground that is nothing to do with football. At half time everybody (who has not been allowed to smoke in the stands) rushes up to the bar and lights up. That, in itself would be OK if there was any ventilation! There is not even a draft to clear the air! Children were coming up the steps and covering their nose and mouth to try and breathe! The City of Manchester could install a few extractor fans and alleviate this problem very easily and at little cost.

Jim Heaviside <JHeavis502(at)>


Phil was right on the mark in his article about the morons who sing the Munich songs. I also get so angry when I hear the Rags’ supporters referred to as Munichs; my brother is a Red and I’m not ashamed to admit we cried together when the disaster happened. The country was robbed of some seriously enormous talent including the great Duncan Edwards.

If our younger fans can’t equate that loss then try to imagine if it had been our great team of the late sixties returning from one of their adventures in Europe involved in an aircraft disaster. Joe Mercer lying in a hospital bed on the brink, Colin Bell, Mike Doyle, Mike Summerbee, Joe Corrigan all killed, Tony Book, Alan Oakes left crippled. No, it doesn’t bear thinking about does it? I’m not even comfortable writing this. And please don’t miss the significance of the word disaster, e.g. Aberfan, Lockerbie, tsunami, Chernobyl to name but a few. In the name of decency we have to draw a line under this one.

THIS IS OUR CITY: there’s no room in it for these morons.

Malc Hough <malcolm.hough(at)>


On the subject of the ‘Hoary Chestnut’, I want to make one short comment.

I’ve long felt that we need to rid ourselves of the need to sing about United. We have plenty of things of our own that are worth singing about – a classy English manager, lots of excellent talent starting to come through from our Academy, a great team spirit and work ethic and one of the meanest defensive doubles in football (Dunne/Distin).

City and Proud! Euan Bayliss <euan(at)>


Totally agree with Phil’s comments in MCIVTA 1170 about the fans singing Munich songs; completely embarrassing and totally sick. Couldn’t the club itself do something, an article in the pre-match programme, on the website etc.? If it made just a few of these morons think, it would be a start and it might be more effective than little 5’3″ me being threatened by some foul-mouthed nutter like last time I asked them to stop.

CTID, Jackie Murray <J.A.Murray(at)>


Re: Phil’s comments in MCIVTA 1170 about the Munich chants. I agree with everything he said. I just feel embarrassed every time these morons start with one of the Munich chants or the hissing when we play Spurs. What really annoys me is we put on a great first half display, that must have had viewers around the country marvelling at the passing, movement and invention of our side, and possibly even gain their admiration for the Blues. Then some morons start their Munich chant. Anyone watching must have thought “Well their team’s great, but their supporters are idiots”. Do we honestly want to get a reputation akin to the racist reputation of Milwall? Do we want to be known as a bunch of morons who glorify in the death of other teams’ players? Do we want to be known as such a bunch of idiots that we sing songs glorifying a tragedy in which a City legend died?

When we play Spurs after the New Year, live again to the nation, are we going to be embarrassed by the idiots hissing? There will be plenty of people watching that will know that at one time City had, and may still have, a large following in the Jewish community. But why let that get in the way of letting yourself become an embarrassment to this great club? Do these idiots not realise that making a hissing noise is as bad if not worse than any racist abuse you can think of? So do us all a favour: if you want to make that noise, stay at home on January 4th, so the rest of us can get behind our team and sing them to a win.

I know the Munich topic is debated at regular intervals in this journal, but it really is time that the club and any self-respecting and club-loving fan did something to rid ourselves of these idiotic chants. I know it will not be easy as there will be morons writing into MCIVTA who will argue in favour of being an idiot. Maybe through this journal we could agree a particular chant, old or knew, we could all start singing each time a Munich chant starts. That way the youngsters at the ground will start to question why other City fans start shouting down the Munich songs when they start, and maybe they will not join in with the morons and eventually isolate the idiots. They may even join in with our chants and we can once and for all rid ourselves of these vile chants and noises.

We all could then deserve our reputation as being the best and most loyal fans in the country.

[Totally agree Steve. Maybe, as with the racist chants, the way forward to get the stewards to intervene with persistent offenders? We’d be interested to hear others’ opinions and any suggestions to get rid of this tag – Ed]

Steve Hunt <steve.hunt803(at)>


Following Graeme Nicholson’s missive in the last MCIVTA, here’s a couple of suggestions I am going to try to get going at Fulham:

  1. I Predict Darius – based on Kaiser Chiefs’ I Predict A Riot:
    La-ah aha, la la lalla la la, Aah Aah aha la la lalla la la…aa:
    I Predict Darius,
    I Predict Darius;
    I Predict Darius,
    I Predict Darius:
    Repeat (optional pogoing accompaniment dancing)
  2. Distin Was The First Of The Gang… – on Morrisey’s First OF The Gang to Die
    Distin was the first of the gang with a cup in his hand,
    And the first for a time, the first of the gang to cry, ‘We are City Boys!’;
    Distin was the first of the gang with a cup in his hand, the first of the gang since Tony Book!

Cheesy I know, but worth a try for some fresh tunes. Credit to Johnny T for the first. If you hear me, please join in, ’cause I know I’m going to look a d**k singing on my own again!

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


We all sang “Give Pearce a chance”; he was given his chance and has more than proved himself as a brilliant manager. SP has motivated the players that were left behind by Kevin Keegan into a force to be reckoned with. SP has given the Academy players who deserve a place in the first team their chance and his support. SP has shown everyone how shrewd he can be in the transfer market, with King Cole and Darius Vassell. SP has given the EPL a breath of fresh air with his cool and charming way about any mistakes that were made by the referees; he is so right – when a decision has been made, the refs hardly ever change them, so why complain like a certain manager not far away? SP has made City into a team of players playing for one another and for City. SP has won the respect of every other manager in the EPL.

It will soon be Christmas and I think that Santa (John Wardle) will be giving Stuart Pearce the well deserved long and very good contract that he has worked so hard for. This will also be a Christmas present to the City fans.

Long may Stuart Pearce be with MCFC.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I have to disagree with Don Price about the reasons for his loss ‘of buzz and enjoyment’ about City.

It is absolutely nothing to do with CoMS or its so called poor atmosphere. It’s the general malaise in following football for all clubs, not just ours – specifically: the way Sky mess the fans about, the realisation that only a few clubs can actually win anything and the prices charged to go and watch a match.

As to the atmosphere at CoMS, well those who think the atmosphere was good at Maine Road, please remove the rose-tinted specs and go back and remember what it was really like. Consider a recent example. We beat ManUre 3-1 in the last derby and the place was rocking but the next game against Charlton (a 1-0 defeat) it was as silent as a grave. Far worse than anything I have experienced at CoMS. Even when you could stand in the Kippax we often had games were the fans couldn’t be bothered.

This season I’ve seen more chanting and team backing at City home games than I have for years (including for the last 10 years at Maine Road – Keegan promotion season aside) and the reason is quite simple. The team are playing attacking football that is great to watch so the fans really get behind the team.

[And this despite the comedy trio in 107 distracting you from the game! – Ed]

CTID, Richard Mottershead – Blue Anorak <richardjohnm(at)>


“They are a Laurel and Hardy partnership – they were made for each other,” Pearce told Sky Sports.

I love Stuart Pearce’s passionate comments in his interviews – he’s becoming the new Gordon Strachan (but Psycho can manage)!

Secondly, I was so pleased Lee Croft got his first start against Villa, he had a great début and as admitted by himself he ran himself down. He will only learn by it and get better. Whilst I know Lee only signed a new short term contract in the summer, surely whilst we are signing all the Academy lads up till the year 2009, Lee’s contract should be reviewed as well.

P.S. – I’ve heard that Man Yoo have been kicked off Sky Sports – they have moved them to the History channel!

Debs Darbyshire <dd(at)>


Anorak’s Final League Position Prediction 2005: 6

For this month’s league position prediction, I’ll use the following three methods:

The first (p1) replaces last season’s score with this season’s score (with the relegated clubs replaced by the equivalent promoted clubs).

The second (p2) is a rolling average that averages how we’ve done so far over the rest of the season.

The third (p3) is a rolling average based on the points obtained from the last 6 games played.

So far it’s looking good, with City looking set for a finish somewhere between 7th (p1) & 4th (p2).

Our last 6 form has dropped from an average of 12 point to an average of 9 points and this is entirely down to our away form. Are we attacking too much, not defending well enough or a bit of both?

[] = Points from game.
ch = Points change On last season (NC = No Change).
l6 = Points from last 6 games
gr = Games remaining.
grp = Games Remaining/Games Played.
p = Current Points.
p1 = Predicted Points 1 [Replace last season’s points with this season’s].
p2 = Predicted Points 2 [Average previous games over rest of season: p2 = p + (p*grp) ].
p3 = Predicted Points 3 [Average previous 6 games over rest of season: p3 = p + (ls/6*gr) ].
() = League position for points total.

November 2005
Liverpool (H) 1-0 [3] Blackburn Rovers (H) 1-1 [1]
Fulham (A) 1-1 [1] 1-2 [0] ch=-1 grp=26/12 l6=09 p=20 p1=56(7) p2=63(4) p3=59(5)

October 2005
Aston Villa (H) 2-0 [3] 3-1 [3] ch=NC grp=27/11 l6=09 p=20 p1=57(7) p2=69(4) p3=61(4)
Arsenal (A) 1-1 [1] 0-1 [0] ch=-1 grp=28/10 l6=07 p=17 p1=57(7) p2=65(4) p3=50(10)
West Ham United (H) 2-1 [3] 2-1 [3] ch=NC grp=29/09 l6=10 p=17 p1=58(5) p2=72(4) p3=65(5)
Everton (H) 0-1 [0] 2-0 [3] ch=+3 grp=30/08 l6=10 p=14 p1=58(5) p2=67(4) p3=64(4)

September 2005
Newcastle United (A) 3-4 [0] 0-1 [0] ch=NC grp=31/07 l6=10 p=11 p1=55(7) p2=60(5) p3=63(4)
Bolton Wanderers (H) 0-1 [0] 0-1 [0] ch=NC grp=32/06 l6=11 p=11 p1=55(7) p2=70(4) p3=70(4)
Manchester United (A) 0-0 [1] 1-1 [1] ch=NC grp=33/05 l6=12 p=11 p1=55(7) p2=84(2) p3=77(3)

August 2005
Portsmouth (H) 2-0 [3] 2-1 [3] ch=NC grp=34/04 l6=14 p=10 p1=55(7) p2=95(1) p3=89(2)
Sunderland (A) 2-1 [3] 2-1 [3] ch=NC grp=35/03 l6=14 p=07 p1=55(7) p2=89(2) p3=89(2)
Birmingham City (A) 0-1 [0] 2-1 [3] ch=+3 grp=36/02 l6=12 p=04 p1=55(7) p2=76(4) p3=76(4)
West Bromwich Albion (H) 0-0 [1] 0-0 [1] ch=NC grp=37/01 l6=12 p=01 p1=52(8) p2=38(17) p3=75(4)

2004-5 Season:
Season Points: 52 Goal Difference: +8 League
Position: 8 last5=11, last4=8, last3=7, last2=4 last1=1

Last season’s relegated teams are replaced with:
18 Crystal Palace = Sunderland
19 Norwich City = Wigan Athletic
20 Southampton = West Ham

Richard Mottershead – Blue Anorak <richardjohnm(at)>


Manchester City as a football club do so many brilliant things for the fans and the community that largely go unrecognised but unfortunately continue to score own goals; everyone agrees the atmosphere needs to be improved and the Aatmosphere Action Group put forward some great ideas, which were for the most just ignored. Many groups, organisations and supporters’ clubs have asked for a singing section to be designated, which wouldn’t cost the club anything but a bit of effort, but the request has fallen on deaf ears.

The old fans’ committee, which is now called Points of Blue keep banging away on various issues and they deserve everyone’s respect for the effort they put in but I feel that most of the time it must seem like they are banging their heads against the proverbial brick wall; at the last meeting they brought up an issue that is a massive bone of contention to many fans, namely the £20 fee City charge for a match card. With five thousand empty seats for most games it defies all logic to force fans to pay just for the privilege of a card before buying a ticket for a game. The flip side though is that now you can get an access card which doesn’t cost anything; the question then is why don’t they just scrap the fee?

At the meeting the fans were asked to publicise the fact that fans can get a card for nothing; it is a sorry state of affairs that after nearly 3 seasons at the new ground the club realise that many fans still don’t know about the free card and have to resort to fans’ organisations to get the information out. Surely our public relation dept and the press office should be putting the information out in the M.E.N., radio etc. I have written to Alistair Macintosh on this issue, I got a lovely reply but he missed my point altogether. I certainly hope that Points of Blue and other supporters’ groups can convince the board to scrap the £20 fee and also to introduce a singing section.

Keep up the good work and on a final point I would like to congratulate John Wardle and Stuart Pearce on the great job they are doing.

Don Price <cathdon.price(at)>


Nic Ranson clearly cannot read words nor a game. Sometimes, what is written is not always what is meant (it’s called tongue in cheek). But sometimes, in this forum, I wonder why I bother.

Coley did OK. But only OK. He’s played better this season and will again. What I meant was, and I’ll say it slowly for the hard of reading, “Not the best of games Coley but more than good enough. Have another ‘Off’ game on Saturday please (that means do as well as you did on Monday).”

As for Musampa, well if you cannot see his value to the team, then you clearly just don’t like him. I think he adds a lot to this team by way of balance, and tackling back and covering. If you cannot see it, it’s not that you can’t see it, it’s because you won’t see it.

Musampa has that incredible knack of holding the ball despite numerous challenges, sometimes all at the same time, and coming away with the ball. And he can pass (I do wish that he could shoot though).

Who would you prefer Nic. Anelka? One decent game per 2 months. McManaman? No decent games in 12 months, need I go on?

Stuart Pearce must be a moron then to have kept Musampa on and keep picking him in what appears to be a very good side.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


In response to the question that appears in MCIVTA 1170:

I’ve heard that the complaints originated from Stockport, where Rag fans complained to the ASA that Stockport is a city in its own right, so MCFC can’t claim ‘This is our City’. Obviously Stockport isn’t actually a city and is part of Greater Manchester (the headline from one of the other posters in the campaign), so the complaints were not upheld.

Keith Pryce <keith.pryce(at)>


Be amongst the first to see the world premiere of Bert Trautmann’s “Hello Fritz, fancy a cup of tea?” at the Red cinema, Salford. The Salford film festival on Nov 12th 2005 at 8pm. Tickets are free but please book on 0161 872 1707. Northenden branch vice Chairman John Cooke produced the documentary and raised funds to go to Spain to do an interview with Bert.

Peter Gregory <peteblue1(at)>


Des Walker Testimonial Dinner with Stuart Pearce and Celebrity Sporting Friends.

Just so interested Blues are aware, the above dinner is to be held on Wednesday 9th November 2005 at the East Midlands Conference Centre from 7.30pm. Tickets are £65 from Amanda Marshall (no relation!), Big Table PR, 15 George Street, Nottingham NG1 3BH, Tel :01159576880 e-mail: <amanda(at)>

Paul Marshall <marshallwaa(at)>


6 November 2005

Everton               1 - 0  Middlesbrough         34,349
Manchester United     1 - 0  Chelsea               67,864

5 November 2005

Aston Villa           0 - 2  Liverpool             42,551
Arsenal               3 - 1  Sunderland            38,210
Blackburn Rovers      4 - 1  Charlton Athletic     17,691
Fulham                2 - 1  Manchester City       22,241
Newcastle United      1 - 0  Birmingham City       52,191
West Ham United       1 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  34,325
Portsmouth            0 - 2  Wigan Athletic        19,102

League table to 06 November 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         12  6  0  0 18  4  4  1  1 10  3 10  1  1  28   7  21  31
 2 Wigan Athletic  11  4  1  1  6  3  4  0  1  7  2  8  1  2  13   5   8  25
 3 Manchester Utd  11  2  2  1  5  4  4  1  1 11  7  6  3  2  16  11   5  21
 4 Arsenal         11  6  0  0 13  2  0  2  3  3  6  6  2  3  16   8   8  20
 5 Tottenham H.    11  3  2  1  6  3  2  3  0  7  4  5  5  1  13   7   6  20
 6 Manchester City 12  4  1  1  9  4  2  1  3  6  7  6  2  4  15  11   4  20
 7 Bolton Wndrs    11  3  1  1  5  1  3  1  2  8 10  6  2  3  13  11   2  20
 8 Charlton Ath.   11  1  1  3  4  7  5  0  1 12  7  6  1  4  16  14   2  19
 9 West Ham United 11  4  1  1 11  4  1  2  2  4  6  5  3  3  15  10   5  18
10 Newcastle Utd   12  3  2  1  6  5  2  1  3  6  5  5  3  4  12  10   2  18
11 Blackburn R.    12  4  1  1 10  5  1  1  4  5 10  5  2  5  15  15   0  17
12 Liverpool       10  3  1  1  5  4  1  3  1  4  4  4  4  2   9   8   1  16
13 Middlesbrough   12  2  2  2  7  8  2  1  3  8  8  4  3  5  15  16  -1  15
14 Fulham          12  3  1  2  8  6  0  2  4  4 10  3  3  6  12  16  -4  12
15 Portsmouth      12  0  3  3  3  8  2  1  3  8  7  2  4  6  11  15  -4  10
16 Everton         11  1  1  3  2  5  2  0  4  2  7  3  1  7   4  12  -8  10
17 Aston Villa     12  1  2  3  6 10  1  1  4  4 11  2  3  7  10  21 -11   9
18 West Brom A.    12  2  0  4  8 12  0  2  4  1 10  2  2  8   9  22 -13   8
19 Birmingham City 12  0  1  5  3 10  1  2  3  4  7  1  3  8   7  17 -10   6
20 Sunderland      12  0  2  4  6 14  1  0  5  5 10  1  2  9  11  24 -13   5

With thanks to Football 365

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[1] MCIVTA Addresses

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Newsletter #1171