Newsletter #1172

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The Fulham fallout continues, in news form and match views as we go into the international weekend. Don brings us news of loan spells and extended deals for Weaver, D’Laryea and Warrender, international action and Sun Jihai at the Palace.

Debate continues on the song front, with some constructive suggestions, we’ve views on Pearce, Musampa and Barton, plus the usual requests.

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

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

Jamo’s Not Jammy: David James has been recalled to the England squad for the friendly against Argentina in Geneva on Saturday. James was dropped by Sven-Goran Eriksson following England’s poor showing in Denmark early on this season, and many had feared for the 35-year-old’s international career. An injury to WBA’s Chris Kirkland sees James return to the fold and he will now hope to add to his 33 caps in Saturday’s game. “If we are talking about who are the best three goalkeepers in England, David James is one of them,” said SP. “If he didn’t believe he could get back into the World Cup squad, his form here would suffer. He has been sensational for us since he was left out of the England team. His mentality, his desire to work and achieve, and the frustration in his face when he concedes a goal are something to behold. People might look at his age and consider having him as a No 2 might be counter-productive. I can half understand the argument, but on current form David is as good as anybody in the country.” James marked his return to the squad by insisting his belief in his ability to win a place in the World Cup squad had never wavered. “Of course I would be extremely disappointed not to make the squad for the finals because I believe I am one of the best three English keepers in the country,” he said. “All I can do is the best I can and make sure I am ready when the call comes. I accept it doesn’t matter how good I think I am or how well and consistently the Manchester City fans think I have performed. It is all down to Mr Eriksson.”

A Load of Old Tosh: Least surprising international news of the week? Can I suggest John Toshack’s decision to omit Ben Thatcher from the Wales squad for next Wednesday’s friendly with Cyprus in Limassol? Toshack and Thatcher were involved in a very public falling-out ahead of Wales’ final two World Cup qualifiers last month following a row over the player’s fitness and availability. The row centred over Thatcher’s unwillingness to travel to Cardiff to have an ankle injury assessed – with City’s support – which meant a compromise with the left-back being seen by a national team doctor in Manchester. But the deeper problem between Toshack and Thatcher came after a telephone row in which it was claimed that the player did not want to play against Poland, after his ban following an alleged stamping incident when the countries met in October 2004. Thatcher claimed that Toshack accused him of being “scared”. Some commentators predict that this is the end of Thatch’s international career.

It’s a Washout – Again: SP has once again been frustrated in his attempts to get some much-needed match practice for his squad. Robbie Fowler, Trevor Sinclair and Nedum Onuoha were all expected to continue their recovery from recent injuries by turning out for the City second string against Leeds United this week. However, torrential rain left standing water on the pitch at the Mini-COMS, forcing the clash to be postponed. It is the second time in three weeks a City reserve game has been called off because of the weather, while last month’s clash with Bolton had to be abandoned after a fire broke out at the stadium, causing an electrical short circuit.

Barton for England? Trevor Sinclair thinks that Joey Barton might yet force his way into the England squad for next summer’s World Cup. Sinclair, who was a late call-up for last World Cup in Japan and South Korea, believes the, err, tenacious midfielder has what it takes to earn a place in the Swede’s plans for the trip over to Germany. “When I think of players who might just sneak into the squad, I think about how Danny Murphy is mentioned a lot and each time I hear that, I think of Joey Barton,” said Sinclair. “He’s done ever so well and though bits and bobs went on before the start of the season, he’s had a look at himself and the results on the field have been top class. Everyone’s been delighted with his attitude and application and his ability obviously speaks for itself.”

Hassles for Cassell’s Boys: It’s international fixture week, so as usual the journals go seeking the views of Academy director Jim Cassell to fill column inches. His thoughts are usually valid and interesting, especially on his specialist subject of the development of young players – the Academy supplied five of the squad that faced Fulham for instance, so he knows his onions. Cassell fears the chances of clubs across the country maintaining the noticeable improvement in standards at youth level will be adversely affected by the decision to scrap the system that housed leagues at Under-17 and Under-19 level in favour of a single under-18 tournament. “It was a huge mistake to drop the under-19s and I hope some day it will be reinstated,” he said. “The original concept of the academies was perfect. We can’t blame the Premier League because it is the individual clubs who voted to change the situation but there were a lot of short-sighted views put forward. There is a huge jump for a boy of 16 coming out of school suddenly to find himself at Under-18 level,” he continued. “Then, when he has had two years adjusting to that standard, he has to go across and try to establish himself in the reserve team. We are asking young players to bridge huge gulfs and there is bound to be a need for some lads to go out on loan. But at what stage of their careers? And who is going to monitor them? These are really big issues because other than the real geniuses, who should probably be left alone anyway, most young players are not even ready to have a little look at the first team until they are 19 or 20.”

Sun Shines at the Palace: Sun Jihai’s been in exalted company this week. As China’s most famous footballer, he was a guest at the banquet held in honour of the President of the People’s Republic at Buckingham Palace. Apparently the Queen was (sort of) well briefed, as she greeted our no.17 with the words “You are the Chinese footballer, how are you getting on?” This snippet was brought to you c/o The Times, whose source was Wing Shing Chu, Sun’s interpreter and a restaurateur in Manchester. His revelations continued thus: “I asked him about getting his hair cut, but he doesn’t trust the hairdressers in England and always goes back home to China to have it done. I think he wished he had now and he would have loved to have had a picture taken with the Queen, but he said it was a great honour for him to be invited to such a prestigious banquet and that it was a wonderful occasion.” The menu included fillet of sole with tomato, truffle and white wine sauce, noisettes of lamb served with artichokes and potatoes and chocolate mousse with rum and ratafia biscuits.

Transfer News and Gossip

Fulham Feel the Need for Steed: That was one heck of a job application by Steed Malbranque on Saturday (of which more later). Having run City ragged and scored a brace of goals, SP was asked whether he was still chasing the signature of the Frenchman. Pearce was somewhat coy, saying: “I know a good player when I see one and Steed’s a good player. He scored two good goals against us, scraps away and is a credit to Fulham. We were interested in him over the summer but were knocked back and that’s the end of it. Every now and then our interest in him is raked up and obviously when he scores two goals against us it will get raked up again. He’s a Fulham player. I can’t answer yes or no to whether I’ll go back in for him. I wouldn’t like to be associated with a headline saying I want Malbranque. He’s Fulham’s player.” And Fulham manager Chris Coleman never said never, just “have you got the cash?” Coleman’s comment: “We’ll do our best to keep Steed, we want to negotiate a new contract with him. His current deal runs out at the end of next season and we want him to stay. I’m trying to build a team and don’t want to sell our best players. We managed to keep hold of Luis Boa Morte this summer and it will be the same with Steed. If we were to sell him, it would be for an incredible amount of money.”

Flying a Kite for Dirk: The Sun says: Arsenal are hot favourites to land Feyenoord’s Dirk Kuijt. Kuijt (25), was said to be on Psycho’s shopping list in the summer, as he attempted to splash the post-SWP cash. Arsene Wenger was spotted at Feyenoord’s game on Sunday, and Kuijt told the ‘Currant Bun’ that: “I do find it special a top coach like Wenger takes the trouble to look at me. I wait to see what happens.” Everton are also said to be interested. The alleged price tag of £10 million might put the big Dutchman a bit out of City’s price range, methinks. Are City trying to clean out Ajax (as it were), because there was further speculation this week about Kuijt’s team mate Steven Pienaar. Like Kuijt, Pienaar was mentioned as a possible City target in the summer, but now there’s hefty competition for the South African midfielder. Liverpool, Celtic, Fulham and Arsenal have been alerted to his availability, report the Daily Mail. In other tabloid speculation, SP is supposedly tracking Paris St-Germain right-back Bernard Mendy and Auxerre striker Pegguy Luyindula. This humble Newsman thinks that this is old news, and may well be a re-hash of some summer speculation.

Ex-Blues’ News

Nice for Nico: Nicolas Anelka has earned a surprise recall to the France squad for the friendlies with Costa Rica, then Germany. The 26-year-old, who joined Fenerbahce in January, has not played for Les Bleus since refusing a call-up for a friendly against Yugoslavia in 2002. National coach Raymond Domenech said: “Anelka is just one player selected for the matches against Costa Rica and Germany. His game is fast, he has plenty of pace and I am interested in those qualities.” Anelka certainly made an impression on November 9, as France fought back from a 2-0 deficit at half time to claim a 3-2 victory over a Wanchope-less Costa Rica in a friendly in Martinique on Wednesday evening. He scored the first goal for the French, while Djibril Cisse and Thierry Henry completed the comeback (thanks Ray).

Reactions and Comments

Softish Show: Saturday saw City’s good run of results end with a disappointing show at Fulham. The game ended in a 2-1 defeat. Steed Malbranque struck twice to sink the club who hope to land him during the January transfer window. He tapped home Luis Boa Morte’s pass to put Fulham ahead after six minutes. Lee Croft quickly levelled against the run of play as Fulham threatened to make a mockery of City’s impressive progress this season. Malbranque, who rejected a £5 million summer move to City but is expected to become a target again, rounded David James to score the winner after 44 minutes. Stuart Pearce felt that the damage was done in that torrid first half. “The result was down to the first 45 minutes,” Pearce stated. “You’ve got to start right and we didn’t. You don’t get second chances in the Premiership. Mistakes or slackness will be punished and that is what happened here. I’ve told the players we have got to be at it day in and day out otherwise we will be on the wrong end of results. Fulham deserved to win and we are disappointed. We didn’t play and let in two softish goals. It took us until half time to sort it out and get some oomph in our play,” he continued. “When we did get the ball and kept it on the ground we scored a comfortable goal. I don’t want to take anything away from Chris Coleman because Fulham played extremely well and I understand why we lost. But we weren’t at the races for 45 minutes and that’s the most disappointing half of football I’ve seen from the lads. I’m disappointed and so are the players.” At least Lee Croft had something to smile about, as he scored his first ever goal in the Premiership. The joy on his face was there for all to see, as he struck the equaliser. Lee said: “I’m delighted with the goal; I can’t put it into words what it means to me. The result overrides that though and I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t get the three points.” He added: “It was nice to last the full 90 minutes. I did try to pace myself a bit better today, I tried to take my mind off things before the game, and try to get rid of that nervous energy. It’s a learning curve for me still so hopefully I can keep going onwards and upwards with the more games I get under my belt.”

Backed by Blair: There were slightly different noises coming from the Cottagers boss Chris Coleman. “It was a great performance,” he said. “I’m really delighted. We have had a lot more purpose about our play this season and showed it again. We have not always got the results we have deserved, but we did here against a very good, strong, well-organised City team. We picked up where we left off against Liverpool here at home, and I was delighted for Steed Malbranque to get two goals as well because his attitude and performance was excellent. I don’t know anything about transfer speculation regarding Steed. We never want to sell our best players. I’m looking forward to discussing a new contract with him and I’m confident we can sort something out.” What of the Man of the Match Malbranque? Earlier in the day Prime Minister Tony Blair named the 25-year-old among the Premiership’s three biggest unsung heroes in a rather bizarre appearance on BBC TV’s “Football Focus” and Coleman had no argument with that assessment. “The Prime Minister has good taste,” he joked. “One of the lads mentioned it in the dressing room before the game. Steed has being doing very well for us. He was excellent today, he scored the goals and his all round play was brilliant. Like many foreigners he’s technically excellent, but he has also improved his work rate. His recent form is the best I’ve seen from him since he joined the club.”

Squad News

Weaving to Wednesday: ‘Keeper Nicky Weaver has joined Sheffield Wednesday on a six week loan deal. Regular Wednesday custodian David Lucas is sidelined with a knee injury, so the Sheffield born shot-stopper went straight into the Owls’ squad for Saturday’s home game with Derby County. The lowly Owls registered only their fourth win in the Championship this season with a 2-1 victory. Nicky played a full part, making a number of important saves. Wednesday boss Paul Sturrock said: “Nicky came in at the last minute and did a great job. He made some great saves.” Weaver himself was delighted to have pulled on the goalie jersey for the side he once supported, and said “I jumped at the chance to play football and because I was a Wednesday fan as a kid – it was always an ambition of mine to play for the club.” The next game didn’t go too well for Nicky. On Wednesday, Weaver found himself conceding three goals within 38 minutes, as Cardiff City beat the Owls 3-1. Back at City, Mr. Pearce was anxious to reassure Weaver that he still had a future with the Blues. “He’s an important part of this club, it’s the same for everyone here,” said the City boss. “I’m not winding the clock down on Nicky Weaver’s career at this club. If he says to me ‘I’m good enough to still be offered a contract’, he will be offered a contract, simple as that. The ball is in his court, but he has got an affinity to this club that I like to see in players. Certainly over the last three years when his back has been against the wall, his professionalism has been fantastic.”

Young Loanees: Meanwhile City have allowed youngsters Jonathan D’Laryea and Danny Warrender to remain away from the Premiership club on loan for another month. The pair, at Mansfield and Blackpool respectively, have impressed and City are keen for them to continue their first team education. “Both have been extended for another month, that’s a mark of how well they have done for the individual clubs,” SP stated. “We’re delighted that they are out there, we are watching them and the feedback as players, and as individuals, from their clubs has been fantastic. That’s good for us, and it certainly reflects well on the players themselves.”

Don Barrie <news(at)mcivta.city-fan.org>

MATCH VIEW I: FFC 2 MCFC 1

This game made me decidedly angry, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Dunne looked like he hadn’t played in a long time, Barton looked like he struggled with the authority of being the most senior City midfielder (seemed to detract from his game?), Vassell was bullied by Diop. I thought Barton was quite lucky to escape red in the first half, but I think Boa Morte could have walked on 3 occasions. I don’t believe that BwP was offside for all his “goals”, and I can’t believe that City were offside every time we attacked. No way. I mean, Cole was “offside” at least twice in the second half, BwP four, and Vassell and Croft at least one apiece.

No chance. Thought the lino ruined it. Draw would have been a fair result I think, ’cause I don’t think Fulham were anything special and City dominated possession second half without really doing much with it.

Ed Bodey <edbodey(at)hotmail.com>

MATCH VIEW II: FFC 2 MCFC 1

Working offshore on an ad-hoc basis as I do, this was my first chance to see City ‘in the flesh’ this season and also my first visit to Craven Cottage.

What a game to pick! Dunney off the pace, Malbranque decidedly on it. Fair to say we were outplayed in the first half, although their first goal came from a defensive error – our goal coming from a fine, and our only, decent move of the half.

The second half brought a better performance, which although not finding us firing on all cylinders, could have borne fruit but for some woeful refereeing.

Even removing my obvious bias and the fact that i was sitting behind the goal – I fail to believe that we were honestly caught offside so many times or that the advantage wasn’t played on numerous occasions.

In summary, an off colour performance from City, a shocking display from the ‘man’ in black, and as always fantastic support from the Blue faithful.

Keep the faith – it was only a blip.

Bondie <bondie(at)bondie.plus.com>

MATCH VIEW III: FFC 2 MCFC 1

Here’s a pre-match interview from a US-based website, interesting comments:

http://www.fulhamusa.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=244

Ray <deynadance(at)tesco.net>

MATCH VIEW: MCFC 3 AVFC 1

Tuesday and a day’s holiday today; cleaned the windows, did some weeding and planting in the garden and oh yes started the day by watching the game in the morning! It started at 9:00am due to clocks changing etc.

It seemed the Villa players welcomed Vassell by giving him the first goal. But the second one was class, he and Cole seem good together – Vassell for England! The first half was great, like the Bolton game but this time we got a couple of goals. So (as one expects with City) the second half started with Villa playing more into the game and getting a goal; here we go again.

But I forgot about our ‘lucky player’ Cole, who (with a little help) got the third goal and made the score look like it should be.

City need to tighten up in the middle a little as I cannot see them playing teams like Villa every, week who just gave the ball away and bad passes!

James: Not much to do but missed a cross.
Mills: Not a fan of him but seems to be playing better this season.
Sommeil: Was good until his injury.
Distin: Good job we have him, get him signed up for another 5 years.
Jordan: Had a good game.
Barton: His usual game, should have scored.
Ireland: Seems to get better, that back-heel pass to Cole should have been a great goal.
Croft: Tried but will be another one who will improve.
Musampa: Tried, but not sure if he is the answer for this position.
Vassell: Great 2 goals, could have had 3, but 2 will do!
Cole: He plays, City win, play him ever week!

It’s after 7:00pm and the game has just finished (repeat showing) on Sky; always seems better to watch again when you know City have won.

Back to work tomorrow, was a good day to have off.

Found this story:

How times change. When Kevin Keegan could be found patrolling the technical area, a gloating Sir Alex Ferguson quipped that the City of Manchester Stadium should be renamed the Temple of Doom. Fast-forward a year and City have now won four home games compared with United’s one and are squatting defiantly in the Champions’ League places, peering down on Ferguson’s malfunctioning team in seventh position. Temporarily at least, the melancholy is at Old Trafford rather than Eastlands.

Of course we are now above United (again).

John Lim – New Zealand <johncity(at)gmail.com>

OPINION: MATCHCARDS I

I am also one of the 5,000 who refused to renew a matchcard; as a family we have 3 season ticket cards and had one matchcard (membership) with a large No of loyalty points on it.

I just thought the increase to £20 was over the top and well out of order.

The reason for my reply is, I recently purchased an access card and this was not free, it was £3 plus the booking fee, if I remember correctly.

Is it any wonder, we have empty seats.

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

OPINION: MATCHCARDS II

Regarding Don Price’s recent couple of emails on the subject of the £20 fee for the card needed to gain admission to the stadium. I think perhaps Don has been confusing “Match Cards” and “City Cards”.

The “Match Card” is free and is just an access card tied to a customer number.

The “City Card” is the club membership card, for which a fee is charged and includes other benefits, such as slightly higher priority for tickets, discount in the shop, magazine etc. (I think).

Since the move to the new stadium, both of these types of cards have always been available – the “Match Card” is not new. Whether people think the £20 fee for the City Card is reasonable is up to them, but the alternative has always been there – I know because I know several “occasional fans” that have had them since the move.

To be honest I’m surprised that someone as well-connected as Don in the supporters’ club didn’t know this, so maybe he has a point about club communications needing improvement.

Paul Howarth <paul(at)city-fan.org>

OPINION: PEARCE

Agree with Ernie (prior issue) that Stuart Pearce has, for the most part, unlocked the motivation factor amongst some of the players. Obviously, though, there is still much, much more to be done e.g. first half versus Fulham.

Consistent quality of play also has to be achieved, so he definitely has his work cut out with his squad during the weeks and months ahead.

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, though: to talk of Stuart as being a “brilliant” manager is way, way off the mark – especially at this very early stage of his management career. Let’s be realistic and not get too carried away.

I am positive Stuart would be the first to agree that he has a lot to learn at this level regarding management. However, he certainly deserves credit for the very positive beginning to his new rôle.

I’ll be a lot happier when/if we bring in a quality, proven, striker – we’re still much too thin on the goal-scoring front with whom we have available. The board, without question, needs to make sufficient funds available to the manager at the earliest appropriate time in this regard if we are to have any hope of not only consolidating our upper-level league position but, also, of exceeding our present league placing.

If not, then I fear our slide towards mid-table will continue. And, that will not be good enough – the club, and all fans, deserve much more than that.

Graham <ride4311(at)ride.ri.net>

OPINION: MUSAMPA

Sorry John Nisbet, I agree with Nic Ranson’s comments in MCIVTA 1170 about Kiki Musampa’s performance against Aston Villa. I didn’t actually notice Musampa during almost the entire second half, he was nowhere to be seen as Villa launched a spell of sustained pressure. I thought he was pretty poor. You would have thought that a player with experience of having played at the highest level for a decade would stand up and be counted during difficult periods of games, but sadly this didn’t prove to be the case. I want to temper my criticism of Musampa however, in saying that I do value him as a player, even if he is a stop-gap until we can get someone better, and even though his finishing is truly terrible!

Nick Durham <nickdurham(at)hotmail.com>

OPINION: CHOPPER BARTON?

I read an interesting letter on the M.E.N. website that will surely be of interest to City fans. It gave statistics in respect of the number of games played by some Premiership “hard men” before receiving a yellow card. I cannot vouch for their accuracy, but as a possible source of discussion for readers of MCIVTA, I list them below. I can only guess that the stats refer to the present season.

Gerrard         8.57
Royston Keane   6.63
Savage          6.26
Hendrie         5.51
Barton          3.37

The question is asked, have we got the new Chopper Harris?

Joey Barton was extremely fortunate to only get a yellow card for his horrendous tackle on Malbranque. Had such a tackle been perpetrated on one of our players at CoMS, the crowd would have been screaming “off, off”. I have thought that Barton’s behaviour has been slipping recently, after a big improvement following his counselling sessions. I also think that, as his behaviour has slipped, so has his contribution to the team, which was so much greater when he was concentrating only on playing football. He has been much less effective in recent games, possibly because he has had to “watch his step”, once carded. Many of the yellow cards he receives are down to totally unintelligent behaviour. He gives away fee kicks needlessly and places us under pressure and in danger.

At his present rate of gaining yellow cards, he will be missing quite a number of games through suspension. Of course, referees will have him marked down as a potential trouble maker and will be looking for any intemperate behaviour. Opponents will without doubt be seeking to “wind him up”. Unless, yet again, something is done about his behaviour, I can foresee further trouble ahead.

What do City fans think?

[I’m glad we’ve someone with a bite in midfield, let’s face it, he’s the only one we have – Ed]

Barry Anderton – Hong Kong <PBAnderton(at)aol.com>

OPINION: THOSE SONGS I

First of all let me thank all the people who replied to my letter to this journal, both privately and through MCIVTA. It proved to me that I am not alone with this one.

I intend to keep up this campaign. Heidi gave my original letter the heading of “Hoary Chestnut”, which is fair, because it is a problem that never seems to go away, and just seems to get paid lip service now and then.

I am in the process of collecting email addresses for all the fanzines I can find, and I will copy the letter to them.

However, what we really need is leadership from the top; someone suggested a foreword in the programme from either Stuart or the Chairman, which would of course be perfect. Does anyone have any sort of “in” to anyone at the club? Could we mount an email campaign?

Someone else made the point that this was a disaster that at the time was the equivalent of Aberfan, the Tsunami, 9/11 and all the other horrendous things that have happened in the years between.

The 50th anniversary of this disaster is only a couple of years away. Picture this scenario: City play the dark side on the exact date of what happened, a one minute silence is observed immaculately by both sets of supporters out of respect for those who died.

I don’t think BetFred would pay out early on that one, but I would like to think it could happen (we win 5-0 by the way).

Please keep thinking about this,

Keep the faith, Phil <XPHILLEE(at)aol.com>

OPINION: THOSE SONGS II

As with everyone else that has written regarding the Munich songs, I too am disgusted when they are trotted out, and when United or United fans are described as “Munichs”.

As for possible ways of stopping this – I’ve thought of 2:

  1. Most people seem to have seen/read and reactedwell to the “Emails from Psycho” from the club -urging more support etc. I think if SP (or whoever the ghost writer really is) had the balls tomention this in a future message: “We love yoursupport, but don’t need or want the idiots thatinsist on singing about Munich.” This may help.
  2. As soon as any steward or club official hearsany of those songs starting – they immediatelyswitch on the Rent-a-chant tannoy songs. Thesecould be used to drown out the Munich songs, andthen the canned ones can be switched off when theMunich songs stop. As a kind of aversion therapy,the idiots will soon realise that to stop thecrap canned nonsense, they have to stop their Munich songs.

Seriously, I think the whole “Munich” thing needs to be tackled by the club head on, and I think in SP we have a strong enough character to get the message over – even to the morons that currently sing/take the p**s out of Munich.

Maybe our correspondent in Turin (ciao, Renato!) can tell us if there are also stupid Juventus fans that delight in the Torino air disaster, and if so, how that problem is addressed?

CTID, Ian Dockry <ID313(at)aol.com>

OPINION: THOSE SONGS III

If you are happy to let it run I’d like to add my support to those who want to see it stopped.

I’m busy indoctrinating 3 young sons to the cause (from North London) and have still not worked out what I will say when they realise what’s being sung around them at a game, and ask.

Finally thanks to those in the mini-bus who gave them a shout in their shirts in Muswell Hill before the Arsenal game – once they’d worked out what was going on they were chuffed.

David Smith <dsmith(at)sequel.com>

OPINION: THOSE SONGS IV

A couple of points that I’d like to add, having been to Craven Cottage at the weekend and seeing us lose to Fulham.

Regarding the football, we were second best in all areas. Dunne was dreadfully lacking match fitness and touch (no doubt he will return to his usual best against Blackburn), and it made me laugh to see our very own ‘hard man’ Joey Barton try to clatter the man-mountain Diop on at least three occasions and merely bounce off him to the floor. Nice try Joey! One thing that did puzzle me was for all of Pearce’s research and attention to details that we are accustomed to, why did we still send David James’ goal kicks straight down the centre of the field all game? Diop won every ball that came in the air, and he was impressive all game, along with Malbranque (let’s get him please) and the whingeing but hard working Boa Morte.

Likewise, may of our crosses from out wide were sent in the air, and generally we lost out. Cole and Vassell would surely be more effective receiving low crosses?

Anyway, I enjoyed the game even though we played poorly and lost. It was full of controversy and entertainment (comedy defending that we are all used to!).

The only thing that spoiled it was the ‘Munich’ chanting morons in front of my son and me. I know this subject has been raised here recently, but seeing these lads in person puts it into perspective. They were all young men completely out of their skulls on beer, who won’t remember a thing about the game. They weren’t there to watch the football, but rather stare out the Fulham fans and try to look ‘hard’. The thing to remember is they are of very low intelligence and therefore virtually impossible to reason with (especially when drunk).

The answer isn’t easily found, unless they are removed by stewards when singing such a song. Perhaps a warning in the programmes and some zero tolerance stewarding would be a start but I can’t see it happening.

Anyway, back to the football, let’s get back to winning ways against Blackburn, and enjoy the rest of the season.

Adam Davey <thelegend(at)tesco.net>

OPINION: THOSE SONGS V

We have to start somewhere on this issue, so in my opinion the only way to get to grips with this problem is for the club to literally embarrass the idiots.

Either through the programme or a public broadcast before the game, and the message should be along the lines of this:

Most of you will not remember Frank Swift who tragically died on 6th Febuary 1958. He was a journalist on board a plane that crashed in Munich, Germany. Frank was a legend, and one of the greatest players ever to play for Manchester City Football Club. Sadly, instead of honouring the great man, a minority continue to chant Munich songs during games. This serves no purpose and is disrespectful to a fallen hero. If anybody is uncertain of this man’s achievements, then please pop along to the hall of fame, and pay homage to one of your own.

Thank You.

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

OPINION: THOSE SONGS VI

I don’t think anyone can argue with Phil’s comments regarding the Munich songs in MCIVTA 1170 and judging by the responses in MCIVTA 1171 nobody amongst readers of this journal does.

It has been suggested to me that my counterpart at the OSC and I lay a wreath at The Garden Of Remembrance at COMS prior to the next derby game in memory of the former City players (Frank Swift and Matt Busby) who died in that disaster. With some appropriate publicity this symbolic act could demonstrate to many we do care about that tragic event. Whether or not this act would have an effect on the singing, chanting and perverse celebration of the Munich disaster I wouldn’t know but I would welcome the views of others. Please share your views on this via MCIVTA and not directly to me.

On Don Price’s view of ‘Supporting Supporters’, I could rant on forever. The publicity on letting supporters know they can actually buy a match ticket without forking out £20 first is limited to say the least; no wonder we have so many empty seats during our most successful season so far for many years.

The mantra ‘Supporting the Supporters’ was I believe first coined by Chris Bird during his time at the club. That mantra now sounds very hollow to me. When I first formed my local branch 10 years ago, visits by players and club officials was a regular feature. Now all players are banned from meeting us at local level and visits from club officials are almost non-existent. I thought I had addressed this issue with the club only to discover through reality I had at best been patronised by the club. Earlier this season I had agreed a system whereby club officials could be approached regarding visits to supporters’ branches. We’re now approaching Christmas and I’m still waiting for such a system to be put in place, ‘Supporting The Supporters’? I don’t think so. I am extremely pro-active with my own local branch and the organisation I represent (CSA). I also attend Points of Blue meetings but I’m wondering if it’s all worth while. Nonetheless myself and others will do what Don Price suggests and keep banging our heads against the wall and hope we make some progress.

[Alex, at least all branches are being treated the same now, visits or no visits! – Ed]

Alex Channon – Chair, Manchester City Centenary Supporters’ Association and Swinton Branch <channons(at)cwctv.net>

OPINION: THOSE SONGS VII

I know this will stir up tempers, but it is the younger perspective, and I suppose it needs to be said. However, I don’t fancy getting lynched on the strength of my probably stupid two penneth! I will also add, that this isn’t necessarily my own stand on chanting, but that of many of my peers/age group!

I Hate united. I Hate them. Everything about them. Their smug fans, silly outlook, out of town support. Colour, programme. The whole lot. When I am faced with a United fan. I want to wind them up. I probably want to do more frankly. It’s natural. I am City.

For the under-35’s the most easy way is to chant about that, what is now – on this very newsletter (and in countless other circles), being deemed wrong. I want to stress something. I figure that the majority of people airing their views, vehemently denouncing this sort of chanting are of an age where memories are more poignant, more horrific, more close to home, than those of younger years/mentality.

Do you know what? It doesn’t even stop those ‘idiots’ from the other side of town self-mocking and making references (with their aeroplane gestures). I know, I’ve seen ’em, and so have you. Which in itself, perhaps reveals the need for us to stop chanting about Munich. It doesn’t even bother them anymore – we need to find something else to get at them with right? Glazer hurts – and if we’re talking mass killing, he’s well on his way to that isn’t he? Ho ho ho.

Time does dilute. Do you reckon in 50 years Everton fans will sing about Hillsborough? I think they might. But I wouldn’t. Because I do remember that – very b****y clearly. And yep – I hate scousers too! What I am trying to say is – I can remember being informed by my mum that my grandad cried when the plane crashed – and he was staunch Blue. Those effects matter, but in the heat of the moment, banter occurs. You’ll never stop it.

Who remembers United singing to the tune of ‘Always Look on the bright Side of Life, Always Look out for Turks carrying Knives” to Leeds? I do, because by some strange miscarriage of nature I was at that game. I’m more embarrassed by that fact to be honest.

What about; ‘City’s going down like a Russian Submarine’ (neatly countermanded with “Staying up with Russian on the wing”)? I know there are those on here who will just say “Yeh, yeh, what is the misguided idiot on about? Controversial, for the sake of controversy.” It’s only an opinion, and one from my generation rather than one from the 50+ lot.

I don’t necessarily agree with it, instigate or whatever, but on occasions I will join in, rightly or wrongly, as a matter of course – perhaps not thinking about the implications, reactions or consequences of the tragedy itself. I’m a clever lad, but I am also a loudmouthed proud singing Manchester City fan. It’s what football fans do.

I know a lad, no names Simon – who used tell all of us off if we joined in Munich chanting, until the cheating, filthy moaning, M**ich B**sta*ds (joking-eeek) were so bad once at Maine Road he could think nothing more appropriate to fling at them. Gutter yes – venting yes.

I really hope people haven’t been offended by what’s been said here – that is not the intention (unlike the smoking rant!). Just more of an opinion on why it happens. And why – I fear – it perhaps always will. I don’t advocate it – more just ‘experience’ it. Blimey, you should hear what they shout in Spain. Dreadful.

Again, sincere apologies if I have offended anyone. I truly hope I haven’t. And facts suggest that there is far less of that kind of chanting occurring now anyway, which on reflection, by what I’ve just re-read through is probably for the best.

P.S. If Rick Wakeman reads this – could he give me a lesson in Pro-Tools?

[Not sure about the age thing Joel, I’m nowhere near 50+ and neither are a fair few of the condemners I know and we abhor it – Ed]

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)mondiale.co.uk>

OPINION: SING WHEN YOU’RE WINNING

Regarding Steve Parish’s comments (in MCIVTA 1169) on the subject of atmosphere, or more often than not “the lack of it” at the CoMS – following the last Points of Blue meeting with the Club. I thought that the attached article from this Sunday’s Sunday Mirror might be of interest.


6 November 2005
SING WHEN YOU’RE WINNING
Arsenal chiefs have taken steps to ensure the new Emirates Stadium does not suffer from “Highbury library” syndrome.

Gunners’ bosses are so worried about the lack of atmosphere at the new £357 million ground that they are creating a singing section. And they have designated 550 seats behind a goal to help the Arsenal fans raise the noise levels at home games.

A club spokesman told a supporters’ forum: “We have been working in conjunction with Red Action and have designated an area of about 550 seats in Emirates Stadium for Red Action registered members to help create the atmosphere.”

http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/sport/football/


It seems that the Gunners’ management are being far more proactive on this subject prior to their impending move to Ashburton Grove than the City management have been so far. Perhaps Alistair Macintosh should be reading this – after all it is hardly rocket science!

CTID, Barry Wainwright <barry.wainwright(at)motivationtravel.com>

OPINION: PASTURES NEW FOR TONY

City chaplain gets transfer

City’s chaplain, Tony Porter, at present Rector of Holy Trinity, Rusholme, is to be a bishop in Nottingham – the Bishop of Sherwood! – from March 2006.

Tony Porter (53), already has a wide range of experience of working in tough urban areas and spent eight years reviving a declining church in the Bacup area of Manchester. He currently leads a congregation of between 6-700 at his church in Rusholme.

Tony is himself a sportsman having played hockey for England Schoolboys and gained a Blue while at Oxford. Commenting on his future rôle as the Bishop of Sherwood, Tony said: “I am looking forward to encouraging people in frontline Christian ministry, particularly in the urban scene. I understand the rough bits and I know the exciting bits as well.”

Apart from his years of parish experience, Tony has also written a number of books, including one called ‘Superjack’ – a story about a professional footballer, which he describes as ‘a parable on Jesus in sporty language.’ As a former sportsman, he has been very actively involved in the organisations to support Christians in the sporting world, and was Chairman of “Christians in Sport”. He believes sport is a great leveller, involving people from all backgrounds and ethnic mixes without prejudice. Tony says the skills he learnt as an athlete (he got an Oxford Blue in hockey) influence the way he operates in Christian ministry. His commitment to be with people wherever they are in the world shows in his work in Chaplaincy. Tony has spent almost 10 years as chaplain to Manchester City, where he has formed strong friendships with many of the players. The Club manager, former Nottingham Forest player, Stuart Pearce, is also a good personal friend. He has also been chaplain to Greater Manchester Police for 8 years.

Steve Parish <bloovee(at)ntlworld.com>

REQUEST: AUSTRALIAN BLUES

Hi to all City fans in Aus! I am in Australia from Saturday 17th December 2005 to Wednesday February 15th 2006. I am arriving in Melbourne on the 17th and we are planning to do the usual travelling up the East coast going to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth etc. and ending in Cairns.

So I was wondering, where do you lot watch the English football and do you get together for City games? I don’t exactly know our time frame at the moment so can’t pinpoint where I will be at specific times, but I do know that the day I get to Melbourne, City play Birmingham at 5.15pm English time on PremPlus. So I guess that’s a 5.15am kick off over there?!

Wednesday 4th Jan is City vs. Spurs at 8pm GMT and City vs. United, Saturday 14th Jan 2.45pm GMT!

I realise there are obviously different Blues in different places, so maybe if the head (or anyone!) at each branch could just let me know their contact details etc. so I can possibly contact you when I’m out there! And will any in Brisbane be watching st 5.15am on the 18th?!

I would really appreciate hearing from you guys and look forward to speaking to you soon.

Just send me an email and I’ll get back to you. Thanks again,

Johnny Goldstone <johnnygoldstone(at)hotmail.com>

REQUEST: FANS’ SURVEY

I know this site was mentioned many years ago but not in the last year or so.

http://www.footballfanscensus.com/

City never seem to be that well represented in the surveys and total registrations have us down in 17th below Stoke City, Millwall and Wolves.

The site carries out various surveys (you can suggest topics) about football and passes on the results to governing bodies as well as other interested parties such as the players’ association and department for culture, media and sport. The results can all be downloaded from the site once you have registered, which is easy and free to do. You don’t even have to check the site regularly as they send you an email each time there is a new survey to complete.

Have your say or be forgotten.

Mark <justineandmark(at)hotmail.com>

REQUEST: TRAUTMANN DOCUMENTARY

Man City vs. Man United for Salford Movie Award; Kick off 8pm Saturday November 12th, at the Red Cinema.

A cinema might be the last place you would expect to find football rivalry but two short films being premiered at the Salford Film Festival, one with a Manchester City flavour and one with a Manchester United flavour, have found themselves battling it out for a prestigious Festival Award.

In the sky blue corner is Hello Fritz – Fancy A Cup of Tea?, a half hour documentary on the life of City legend Bert Trautmann OBE, made by Thomas Harrington and John Cooke, which includes interviews with the legendary goalie himself, former City players and ex-German prisoners of war who were incarcerated with him in Camp 50 in Ashton-under-Lyne.

“It’s about this incredible man’s life and the experiences he had, which were enough for four or five lives for anyone else” says producer, John Cooke, who made the film this year while on a Masters Course in Documentary Production at the University of Salford.

Meanwhile, over in the Red corner is a five minute epic called The People vs. Malcolm Glazer, made by Old Trafford film maker Mike Todd, which traces protests against the American’s takeover of the Theatre of Dreams and the disgruntled fans’ founding of FC United.

“Although one film is about City and the other is about United, they do share a common theme in that both have at their core the struggle of people to overcome obstacles and succeed spectacularly”, says a Salford Film Festival spokesman.

“They are both in the running for the Festival Award along with the other short films being shown. Ironically, neither team can claim home advantage as the Film Festival takes place at the Red Cinema, which has links with Manchester United and photos of the players all over the place. I hope that doesn’t put anyone off from coming to see these great films.”

Hello Fritz – Fancy A Cup of Tea? and The People vs Malcolm Glazer are screening on Saturday November 12th at 8pm in cinema 8 at the Red Cinema, Lowry Outlet Mall, Salford Quays, as part of the Sallywood Shorts programme.

Both screenings are free and tickets can either be picked up from Red Cinema box office in advance, or booked by phone 0161 872 1707, or just turn up and chance it http://www.salfordfilmfestival.com/

Stephen Kingston <stephenk(at)care4free.net>

RESULTS

7 November 2005

Bolton Wanderers      1 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     26,634

League table to 09 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 Bolton Wndrs    12  4  1  1  6  1  3  1  2  8 10  7  2  3  14  11   3  23
 4 Manchester Utd  11  2  2  1  5  4  4  1  1 11  7  6  3  2  16  11   5  21
 5 Arsenal         11  6  0  0 13  2  0  2  3  3  6  6  2  3  16   8   8  20
 6 Tottenham H.    12  3  2  1  6  3  2  3  1  7  5  5  5  2  13   8   5  20
 7 Manchester City 12  4  1  1  9  4  2  1  3  6  7  6  2  4  15  11   4  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

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[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.mcfcosc.com/); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.reddishblues.com/CSAWebsite/CSA.htm) 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 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://mcfc.videoloungetv.com/do/preLogin?clubSiteCode=MCFC&CMP=AFC-003.

[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://www.foxsportsworld.com/named/FSW/Index/Soccer, http://www.soccertv.com/, and http://www.livesoccertv.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 #1172

2005/11/10

Editor:


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