Newsletter #1192

Will the real Manchester City please stand up? After the commitment and team spirit of the derby, I sincerely hope normal service was not resumed at the Reebok on Saturday as we blundered to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bolton. Colin gives us his match assessment tonight.

We also have continued opinion on the ticketing, looking ahead to Wigan and the usual requests.

Perhaps it’s timely to remind the current squad that 2006 sees the 50th anniversary of our ’56 FA Cup victory, the 30th anniversary of our last trophy, and 25 years since we were last in a Cup Final. Come on, do us proud on Saturday.

Next game: Wigan Athletic, home, 3pm Saturday 28 January 2006 (FA Cup 4)


We’d had a great win over the Rags the week before, Bolton were having a poor run and had lost 4 key players to the African Nations Cup. We’d won three of the last four at the Reebok. Rob Styles, the referee for two of our greatest recent comebacks at Tottenham and Norwich, was officiating. Everything pointed to a successful afternoon in Bolton – three points for us plus a defeat for Wigan would put us sixth. This is Manchester City though.

There were no changes from the team that started against United, even though Andrew Cole’s form has been indifferent of late and Robbie Fowler has scored four goals in two games. It was also a relief to see Dunney out there against a side as physical as Bolton. The game started in a quite open manner, with Bolton playing 4-3-3. Stelios looked lively and was running in from the right behind the central defenders, giving us some problems. A couple of times we were saved by the assistant’s flag. Nothing much was happening for the first half-hour and neither goalkeeper was troubled although David James looked a little shaky in his decision making and was saved by Richard Dunne’s goal-line clearance after leaving himself stranded. We hadn’t done much offensively and never looked like the team that played the previous Saturday but just when it looked like we might get to half-time all square disaster struck.

A ball was played out to Kevin Davies on the right but Jordan looked as though he had the situation under control. If he’d done to Davies what he did to Ronaldo then we might well have got to the interval level but he obviously wasn’t concentrating properly as he just stood there and stuck a feeble foot out as Davies skipped away from him and played the ball into the area. Three or four Bolton players touched the ball on the edge of the six yard box while Dunne, Sun, Barton, Ireland and James all stood and watched (Distin was nowhere near the action for some reason) and Borghetti slid the ball past a statuesque James. Yet again amateur defending had cost us a clean sheet and left us having to chase a game against a team with an impressive home record. We could have lived with 1-0, with only a few minutes to half time, but worse was to come.

Bolton were flying now, their tails were up and they could sense the game was there to be won. James made a cracking save from Vaz Te but the second wasn’t long coming. A free kick swung in from on the right was won by Nolan in front of Distin, the ball bounced off Dunne who fell over when he tried to clear it, presenting the ball back to Nolan who made no mistake. The goal summed up the difference between the two sides. Nolan had shown total commitment to get to the ball ahead of an insipid challenge from Distin and still managed to chase Dunne down and capitalise on his mistake. The City fans were stunned into total silence while the home support was in full voice.

A revitalised City and a quick goal was our hope for the second half but it was clear from the start that this was never going to happen. The only real chance we had fell to Richard Dunne from a corner, who made a hash of the shot in exactly the same way he’d made a hash of the clearance for their second goal. Later on Sinclair flashed a header wide but we never troubled Jaaskelainen in any way, being reduced to some woeful long range efforts.

To be fair to Bolton they played some excellent football (mostly on the floor), passed well and showed great commitment. We looked as though it was all too much effort, rarely found the man with the ball or strung anything together. It was pretty similar to the derby in reverse, with Bolton taking the part of Manchester City and us playing like the Rags. All the old failings were present; defensive frailty, poor passing, lack of movement, ineffectual attack and seeming lack of commitment. I may be being unfair to them but, from where I sat, too many players looked like they couldn’t be bothered. I would disagree with SP’s post-match comments that he was pleased with the effort and I think that most of the other 3,000 travelling Blues would agree with me. The City fans were mostly silent for virtually the whole second half, with only some half-hearted singing towards the end. If we’d seen some effort from our team then we would have responded. We can forget top six as we’ve now been humbled by Liverpool, Spurs and Bolton, who will certainly be there come May. A salutary lesson that good coaching can make ordinary players and teams so much better. We’ve still not got that side of things right by a long chalk and this performance, like a few others recently, was far too Keegan-esque for my liking.

Nolan and Campo ran the midfield, leaving Barton and Ireland mere spectators. The defence looked completely ineffectual, with the exception of Sun, who gave his all and kept Stelios fairly quiet. Riera was just about OK although he was given a hard time by the Bolton defenders. Cole and Vassell were utterly anonymous, Cole more so than Vassell. Yet again, SP used the subs strangely. He took Cole off for Fowler (which was right) and replaced Riera with Sibierski (which wasn’t) after 67 minutes. He moved Vassell to the left but replaced him with Croft tem minutes later, with Sinclair then moving over to the left. I felt that we would have been better off beefing up the midfield with the introduction of Croft and Musampa for Riera and maybe at the expense of either a defender or Cole.

James 6. A mixed bag, with some good stuff but some dodgy stuff as well.
Sun 6. Thought he was the pick of the defenders but let down by his colleagues.
Dunne 5. The accident-prone Dunney we have become used to.
Distin 5. One or two good bits early on but never showed a captain’s leadership.
Jordan 4. Was this the same player that dominated Ronaldo? Frankly, no.
Sinclair 6. Gave his all but Bolton gave nothing away.
Ireland 4. Rarely a pass on target and mostly a spectator.
Barton 6. Totally eclipsed by Nolan. Never able to get forward.
Riera 5. Looks comfortable on the ball but no cutting edge as yet.
Cole 4. Was he playing? Too long since he’s made a contribution.
Vassell 5. Didn’t look interested to be honest.
Fowler 6. Showed some spark but can’t do it on his own.
Sibierski 4. Don’t remember him getting a touch in over 20 minutes.
Croft 5. Fared little better than Sinclair down the right.

Colin Savage <colin(at)>


It just had to happen didn’t it? Another disappointing result in an already frustrating season.

I seem to have ruffled a few feathers by suggesting we’re no better under Stuart Pearce, than under Kevin Keegan, results-wise. Unfortunately, sport is statistics. Placings in a league are determined on statistics, European spots are determined by statistics, I could go on and on. Unfortunately, and I was one of them, I was hoping for something better this season. I can see why Keegan walked away; this must be the most frustrating team in the world to support.

At times I’m glad living over in New Zealand far away from a team I have supported for forty years. For years we have promised and have failed to deliver. Still, there’s always next week. Do you realise how many times I’ve said that!

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Having recently watched the televised Leeds vs. Wigan clash in the clear mountain air of a ski resort, I see the way to beat Wigan is to stop Kavanagh, prevent him having space/time to get the crosses in to the front men.

How can I get this message over to Pearce and the donkeys?

[Hopefully they learned their lessons v Wigan on Boxing Day and have done some extra prep – Ed]

Peter Birbeck <peter.birbeck(at)>


In response to Robert Barker’s article about being bemused as to why the third tier may not be open for the Wigan FA Cup game, I hope to suggest some reasons for it.

Firstly, as he points out, the club want to create a better atmosphere. At the Scunthorpe match, fans were spread out all over the ground. To ‘cram’ people in the first two tiers will hopefully get a bit of atmosphere going.

Also, and probably more importantly, have you ever wondered what goes into opening a tier? If the top tiers were open, the lights would have to be on, stewards would be have to be put up there, the bars and food stands would have to be opened, staffed, heated, the ovens turned on etc. The area will also have to be cleaned before and after the match etc. It makes sense to reduce costs by opening as few tiers and areas as possible.

Dave Scally <scall83(at)>


I have written to Alistar Mackintosh asking the following how many tickets does MCFC get for each cup final? How are they allocated? And can I have 2 for this season? Alistar’s reply was that he doesn’t know as they aren’t sure where the final will be played! And he ignored the final two questions, but he did reply to many other points I put to him.

Does anyone know how clubs get allocated tickets and how they allocate them?

Don Price <cathdon.price(at)>


Things never change, they remain the same
We’ll always be searching for someone to blame
True to form, we’ll be soft at the back
And the boo boys scorn our attack
Pearce, he walks the technical line
And in a year it will work out fine
He’s just started and has much to learn
That, my fellow fan, his only crime

So back off you boo boys if you’ve any sense
T**ts like you should be wearing a dress
Would you pick Robbie in front of Brad?
I’d rather pick his dad



The world famous Embassy club is the venue for this season’s end of season Gentleman’s morning. The event takes place before the City vs. Fulham game, tickets are only £7.50. The comedian for the event is the legendary Bernard Manning, the show is from 10am till 2pm.

Please order tickets early as they sell out fast, call 01617989994 or email.

Don Price <cathdon.price(at)>


I am looking for City related images that are free from copyright, or pictures taken by fans that they are willing to donate for release either into the public domain or under the GNU Free Documentation License (

Thanks, Simon Clarke <simonpclarke(at)>


A life-long City fan, and fellow statto, needs your vote on the following link, some of you may know him, he goes to every game

Steve Kay <steve(at)>
Graham Smith <graham.smith_ctid(at)>


22 January 2006

Chelsea               1 - 1  Charlton Athletic     41,355
Manchester United     1 - 0  Liverpool             67,874

21 January 2006

Birmingham City       5 - 0  Portsmouth            29,138
Bolton Wanderers      2 - 0  Manchester City       26,466
Everton               1 - 0  Arsenal               36,920
Middlesbrough         2 - 3  Wigan Athletic        27,208
Newcastle United      0 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      51,323
Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 0  Aston Villa           36,243
West Bromwich Albion  0 - 1  Sunderland            26,464

League table to 22 January 2006 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         23 11  1  0 29  7  9  1  1 20  5 20  2  1  49  12  37  62
 2 Manchester Utd  23  7  3  1 21  6  7  3  2 21 14 14  6  3  42  20  22  48
 3 Liverpool       21  9  1  1 17  4  4  4  2 12  8 13  5  3  29  12  17  44
 4 Tottenham H.    23  7  4  1 17  7  4  4  3 14 12 11  8  4  31  19  12  41
 5 Arsenal         22  9  1  1 27  4  2  3  6  7 12 11  4  7  34  16  18  37
 6 Wigan Athletic  23  6  1  5 16 15  6  0  5 12 14 12  1 10  28  29  -1  37
 7 Bolton Wndrs    21  6  3  1 13  4  4  3  4 14 16 10  6  5  27  20   7  36
 8 Blackburn R.    22  6  2  2 15 10  4  2  6 12 15 10  4  8  27  25   2  34
 9 Manchester City 23  6  2  4 16 10  3  2  6 14 17  9  4 10  30  27   3  31
10 West Ham United 22  4  1  5 15 15  4  4  4 14 16  8  5  9  29  31  -2  29
11 Charlton Ath.   21  4  1  6 13 16  5  1  4 14 15  9  2 10  27  31  -4  29
12 Everton         23  4  1  6  9 15  5  1  6  7 16  9  2 12  16  31 -15  29
13 Fulham          22  7  2  2 18 12  0  3  8  8 18  7  5 10  26  30  -4  26
14 Newcastle Utd   22  4  4  2 10  9  3  1  8 10 16  7  5 10  20  25  -5  26
15 Aston Villa     23  3  3  5 12 14  3  5  4 14 18  6  8  9  26  32  -6  26
16 West Brom A.    23  5  1  6 17 15  1  3  7  4 17  6  4 13  21  32 -11  22
17 Middlesbrough   22  3  5  4 17 20  2  2  6 10 20  5  7 10  27  40 -13  22
18 Birmingham City 22  3  2  6 14 14  2  2  7  6 17  5  4 13  20  31 -11  19
19 Portsmouth      23  2  4  5  6 12  2  1  9 10 27  4  5 14  16  39 -23  17
20 Sunderland      22  0  3  9  8 23  2  0  8  9 17  2  3 17  17  40 -23   9

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1192