Newsletter #1221

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What impressed me the most during our last home game this season was the fans – our fans! What on earth were they thinking? They were cheering the City players’ every move, booing the visitors on every occasion – and Lehmann in particular. I was in disbelief. After reading pages up and pages down about City fans selling off their season tickets, tearing their membership cards to pieces, and almost repainting their houses in red; I was not expecting such an end to the season. But maybe it was the true spirit of Manchester City coming through in the hot night?

City the Team lost of course.

Another thing that puzzled me during the game was the fact that we have a 17 year old stopper that is outrunning Thierry Henry at one end of the pitch and then in the next move he’s creating chances for his team at the other end. Where do they come from, the likes of Micah Richards? His speed is fantastic and in our previous game he even made the assist for today’s Skipper Dunne to score. Against Arsenal it was another defender that hit the net. David Sommeil did his job well, but just like the weekend game, City lost due to two late goals.

OK, so we’re getting used to being at the wrong end against Arsenal. After all they are our bogey-team. But at 1-1 I really felt we could get something from this game. Then Wenger made three substitutions, bringing on Fabregas, Pires and Reyes, and boom bang, they score twice. I guess that’s the difference between a team that is all cleared to play in the Champions’ League Final in a few days, and a team that didn’t even make it to the UEFA-Cup qualification round. And just to follow up on last issue. Ljungberg had not scored so far this season, but tonight…

In this issue we have Don’s news, a match report from the Fulham game, some interesting statistics regarding Pearce’s time in charge, and various thoughts about the team as usual.

Last game: Blackburn Rovers, away, 3pm Sunday 7 May 2006

General News

Sicknote is US Skipper: Claudio Reyna has been named in the USA squad for the forthcoming World Cup. Better yet, he’ll be captaining his country at his fourth World Cup finals tournament. “It’s extremely special for me because, I think, growing up in America, I would have just been pleased with playing in one World Cup and now to enter my fourth World Cup is something that I can’t really get my head around that it’s happened,” commented Reyna. “I think it was a bit of luck, the timing of my age for the first World Cup but it’s something that I could have never dreamed of. Like I said, growing up, if I would have played in one, I would have accomplished my goal to be able to play in one World Cup, so to go my fourth is something that I’m proud of.” Coach Bruce Arena commented, “I expect Claudio’s leadership qualities and his experience to be invaluable. He’s an exceptional player and we need Claudio to be on top of his game come June 12. So, those are the expectations of Claudio – to be our leader and to be one of our best players.”

Second String Third: The Reserves finished third in the League after a 2-0 home win over Liverpool in their final game of the season. Ishmael Miller gave City a lead after 25 minutes from the penalty spot. The lead doubled five minutes before the break through Sun Jihai, who had taken the ball around Martin after a one-two with Kelvin Etuhu. Coach Steve Wigley said: “Ishmael’s got himself another goal with a penalty and he does tend to get the penalties as well as he’s often the one brought down. Jihai was superb and on the night I was delighted with their performance. We’ve finished the season well and secured a third placed finish in the table. It was nice to see the kids from the Academy come in and they would have played a few more games if they hadn’t had done so well during the Youth Cup run. The likes of Kelvin Etuhu, who had a hand in one of the goals, Michael Johnson did very well. We played the conditions really well both halves. When we used the wind we used it well and in the second half we just said about keeping the balls shorter and shorter to take the wind out of the game. I was pleased with the mentality at 2-0. We wanted a clean sheet in the second half, which we did, and we still had a couple of chances at the other end.” Team: Weaver; Sun (Ward 60), Collins, M.Mills D’Laryea; Croft (Grimes 76), Johnson, Laird, Miller; Wright-Phillips, Etuhu (Bennett 76). Unused subs: Matthewson.

Transfer News and Gossip

Heading North-or East: Nathan D’Laryea is on trial with SPL club Dundee United in a bid to earn a move to Tannadice. Dundee United boss Craig Brewster said: “Nathan is a big, strong boy and also has quite a bit of pace about him. Those are three of the main things you look for in a defender, but, because of the rules, we can’t play him in a game situation. I’ll continue to watch him in training.” D’Laryea’s twin brother Jon was also at Eastlands before a move to Mansfield during the January transfer window. Meanwhile, The Sheffield Star report that Wednesday have opened talks over City centre-half Mikkel Bischoff. They’re likely to weigh up the Dane’s fitness and his injury record before they decide whether to press ahead in a bid to sign him when his contract with City ends this summer. Bischoff, who has had injury problems in his four years at City, missed the last five games of the Owls’ season with a relatively minor knee problem. But in the three and a half games that he did play, the 24-year-old made a favourable impression on boss Paul Sturrock and on supporters.

No Peanuts in this Kitty! SP has admitted that City need to finish higher in the Premiership table if they are to secure sufficient transfer funds. Pearce said: “The club has budgeted to finish in a certain position and at the moment, we are under it. We need to finish a touch higher just to be on track.” On his contract negotiations, he added: “I want the likes of Joey and Sylvain to stay and work with me at this club. It is a fantastic club to work for and we pay good wages, not peanuts. I expect them to stay and I think they will.”

Dabo Dabbles with City: Ousmane Dabo’s transfer to City sounds like it’s getting ever closer. The Lazio midfielder has revealed he is in talks with the Blues over a summer move to the club. The Frenchman is out of contract at the end of the campaign but has been offered a new six-year contract by his Serie A employers. “I have not made my decision yet,” Dabo told But! “One thing is for sure – Lazio’s proposition still doesn’t suit me. If I leave I will choose another league. It has been in my head for several years now. The present thought is about my future destination. Today, our position with Lazio is far away. I am in talks with Manchester City. As I am close to the end of my contract, my managers are talking with several teams. We have not talked about wages with Manchester City yet. I don’t want to make a bad choice, as I did in the past. The Manchester City challenge is really exciting. So today, I say: ‘Why not?'” Arsenal were once interested in the midfielder but it appears they have found other players since. “There is no news from Arsenal. My agents are working with different English squads, but I don’t know anything. I would really like to play in England, which is the league that attracts me the most. Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas, who are my best friends in football, only told me good things about it.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Shaun of the Dead: Thanks to Our Kid for pointing out the following piece of Internet gossip, which was first reported on the Arsenal News Review website. If true, it gives an interesting insight into why SWeeP’s been one of the undead in football purgatory this season. “LAST NIGHT Shaun Wright-Phillips struggled for Chelsea’s weakened team at Blackburn, who beat them 1-0 with a tiny header by Steven Reid from a Robbie Savage free-kick. It was quite a good end-of-season game but I found myself thinking about SWP and the stories I heard after he moved from Man City to Chelsea. Allegedly, Ian Wright told his stepson, ‘Arsene can’t sign you this summer, but he can sign you next summer, so sit tight for one more season at City.’ Allegedly, at a time when Stuart Pearce was confident of keeping Shaun for 2005-2006, the winger’s attitude changed overnight following a call from Sven, who told him, ‘I want you at a bigger club.’ Allegedly, it was Peter Kenyon who signed Shaun, not Mourinho, who told Kenyon, ‘I won’t play him.'” SWeeP insists he’s happy at SW6. “I have not found it frustrating going from the City first team to the Chelsea squad,” he told the M.E.N. this week. “It comes with the territory. You cannot expect everything in football to be the way you want it. That is the way you learn and this is my learning curve. This season has been a change for me, going from being a regular starter at City. But I think the challenge has made me a better player.”

Hey Big Spenders! Far be it from your humble News Editor to comment on the transfer policy of other clubs, but Sheffield United, newly promoted to the Premiership, are hardly breaking the bank with their transfer targets for next season. They are reportedly in the market for a pair of Wolves players, Jolean Lescott and our own dear former wayward winger, Mark Kennedy. Kennedy would cost the Blades around £500,000 (considered affordable), but when told Lescott would cost £5 million, manager Neil Warnock replied: “We would have to sell a stand for that! We have targets in mind and we are looking everywhere. But in England it is very expensive – we are not close to signing anyone at the moment.”

Keegan’s “Shame”: ‘Tis a while since we had a “Kevin Keegan is being linked with…” story, so let’s remedy that. According to Sky Sports’ website, KK was on the point of joining Israeli outfit Beitar Jerusalem, but he pulled out of the deal after talks of his possible move were leaked. “Of course I’m angry,” KK was reported to have said. “There were talks with representatives of the Israeli team. They had wanted to close a deal quickly and discreetly, but then suddenly the whole thing appeared in the press. Both sides lost out, and that’s a shame.” Agent David Ben Abu, who had brokered the deal, was surprised Beitar would have done anything to jeopardise securing Keegan’s services. “I’m really shocked,” he said. “The deal could have propelled Beitar Jerusalem and Israel soccer light years ahead. Keegan is one of the greatest players of all time and a great coach. He asked for discretion, and he is sorely disappointed.”

Walsall are Into Money: Walsall have announced that Richard Money will take over from sacked Kevan Broadhurst to become their new manager. Money was part of the “Golden Age” (ahem) of Frank Clark’s tenure at City. He first worked as a coach with the guitar strummer at Nottingham Forest, before joining Clark at City. He was head coach as City avoided relegation in 1996. It was a short spell at Maine Road because a year later Coventry City offered him the position of Academy Manager, which three years later saw him promoted to head coach. Walsall Chairman Jeff Bonser said of his appointment; “He is an outstanding candidate in terms of qualifications and experience and his appointment has the unanimous approval of the board. We are focussed on regaining our League One status at the first attempt and believe Richard is the right man to achieve that objective.”

Reactions and Comments

Charity Begins at Home: The Manchester City Benevolent Society struck again last Saturday, as Fulham secured their first away win of the season at the COMS. Richard Dunne had put City ahead in the 68th minute, firing in Micah Richards’ flicked-on header. But Collins John levelled the scores seven minutes from time, stabbing home Luis Boa Morte’s pass from close range. Steed Malbranque (who, if he’d fancied the move to City in the summer, could have been facing Fulham) then defied the run of play in the dying minutes, driving the ball in from the edge of the box to seal that elusive away victory. “It was a poor defeat today”, conceded SP. “We allowed them too much space for the first and with the second we were trying to chase a winner. Their players can break and sprint 100 yards, but we can’t break and recover 100 yards, and it’s not good enough.” The best move of the game saw Georgios Samaras chip the goalie, but as the ball headed towards the goal, Liam Rosenior cleared with a gravity defying effort. “We would have won the game had that gone in, when you get your nose in front late in the game like that we really should shut up shop by keeping the ball and working that little bit harder. We did not do that and Fulham have got enough ability right the way throughout their side to catch you on the break if you leave the door open. I would not necessarily say that I decided to go for the game, the players in their wisdom decided to and at that stage of the game fatigue sets in and players do strange things. That was evident today when we should have said, ‘maybe 1-1 will do us’. You certainly do not let teams break on you in the numbers that they did.” Pearce added: “Results have been poor over the past couple of months. But, from my own point of view, I quite understood, both last summer and at Christmas, what was needed at this club. Maybe this run has focused the attention of one or two people outside my office. Maybe the players are feeling sorry for themselves. I feel sorry for them because we are going to have to start working – and I mean working. We didn’t have enough about us to kill the game when we went in front,” Pearce said. “We need one or two new faces and it’s my job to get them.”

Coleman’s Delivery: A grateful Chris Coleman was understandably thrilled with his team’s result. “I am delighted,” said Coleman. “Especially with the fashion we did it in, although we rode our luck in the second half. It was a great finish by Malbranque. He’s a quality, quality player and we’re absolutely desperate to extend his contract.”

London Calling (Again): And so to Thursday night. On a night when Sunderland, the worst team in Premiership history, proved it was possible to beat Fulham, two goals from Jose Antonio Reyes gave Arsenal a 3-1 win at the COMS and closed the gap on Tottenham Hotspur to a point in the battle for the final Champions’ League qualifying spot. Substitute Reyes slotted the ball home from Emmanuel Eboue’s cross in the 78th minute and six minutes later bent the ball left-footed around City goalkeeper David James into the top corner. Fredrik Ljungberg had broken the deadlock for Arsenal in the 30th minute with his first Premier League goal of the season after Thierry Henry, surrounded by City defenders, had slipped the ball to the Swede. Poor defending from Arsenal allowed the Blues to equalise eight minutes later when Joey Barton’s corner was headed towards goal by Trevor Sinclair. Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann missed it and defender David Sommeil tapped the ball in from close range. “I thought we stuck to our task quite well,” said SP. “Our corners, set plays and crosses flashed in quite well and we looked like scoring goals. I thought we afforded Arsenal a touch too much respect when they got nearer our goal, in that last 30 metres we should have got in their faces a bit more. It’s difficult for me to take anything away from Arsenal, they are a top, top outfit and one of the best sides in the world. When you are chasing a game, they will pick you off, they are masters of the counter-attack. They are an excellent side, and probably the comparison between the two benches was a stark contrast. I thought for patches in the game we did OK, but we should have shown a bit more belief and then we might have got something from the game.” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger enjoyed taking another 3 poiunts off City, but was gracious enough in victory: “It was tight but I was always confident. City gave everything, and Jens Lehmann had to make two good saves at 1-1. Ashley Cole had 90 minutes of high pace and came through well.”

Squad News

Credit to Kasper: SP’s been hearing good things about the form of Kasper Schmeichel, who has been playing on loan at Bury this year. “The feedback I am getting back from Bury, and this is from a supporter that one of our staff knows, is that Kasper has probably kept them in the league. Credit to Kasper, because that is exactly what we wanted from him, as well as what the opposition club wanted so it has worked very well for both of us. The only reason we do anything at this club is from a selfish point of view so we develop a player to get better. Obviously I’m not that selfish that at some point I won’t help out clubs in our vicinity if I possibly can.”

Duo Staying On: Micah Richards says he will not take his first-team spot for granted – despite reports he is set to be offered a new lucrative contract by the club. Apparently SP is keen to tie the youngster down to a long-term deal. But Richards told the Evening News: “There has been a lot said and written about me because of my age and it’s nice to hear your name here and there, but I just take it as it comes. I want to keep learning and avoid becoming complacent because who knows? Next season I could be sitting on the bench so I want to make sure I give it 100 per cent every time I play or train.” Meanwhile, Sun Jihai has verbally agreed a two-year extension to stay at the COMS. SP confirmed the news saying: “Everything’s been agreed with him. He was due to sign on Saturday but we’re just in the process of translating the deal into mandarin. The fact that he can play in several positions is a bonus. I know he can play anywhere along the back four and anywhere in midfield if I wanted him to. He’s a good man to have about, a good professional, takes care of himself and that’s what you want.”

No World Cup for Vass: Mr.P. has confirmed City’s intention to send Darius Vassell for an operation on his long-standing hernia problem next week, thus blocking any unlikely return to the England squad for the World Cup. The M.E.N. trumpeted a possible return to the England squad, in place of the metatarsal-ed Shrek Rooney – but SP reckons that getting Darius Vassell’s hernia operated on is a priority for the club as soon as the season ends. The pacey striker has been discomforted by the hernia for the last couple of months, but the imminent operation should, according to Pearce, see him fully fit for pre-season training when the squad reconvenes in July. “He’s had a very, very good season for us, he’s played in the majority of matches but I do know he has got a hernia problem that needs to be addressed,” asserts Pearce. “He’s not been in the England squad this season and the priority for Manchester City is for him to get medically sorted for next season. As the plan stands, as soon as the season finishes he’ll be taken be taken to hospital and treated for this hernia.”

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

MATCH REPORT: CITY vs. FULHAM

So, my first home city match for a few months and what a game to pick. Fulham, without an away win all season, City on a dreadful run… it promised to be an absolute cracker. Getting to the ground, I’d arranged to meet my cousin outside the ground as (for some unknown reason) I had his access card in my wallet. 2.55, not a sign of him. Brilliant. Never missed a kick-off. “Never mind,” I thought, our family has a reputation of getting to places bang on time. 3.07 he arrives. Missed kick-off. Good omen.

Got to the seat just in time to see Sibierski turn, create space neatly and… scuff the first of many shots straight into Niemi’s gloves. Aside from the finishing, the rest of the team looked confident. Riera was having a ball down the left, skinning the right back regularly, Reyna was slowing the game down, taking it steady, defence looked assured. James produced a couple of top drawer saves to keep out a few long range drives from the Fulham midfield. First half chances though, not many, the best a Sinclair volley into the side netting from a deep Riera cross. That was it.

Second half, City looked like they wanted to take more from the game, but in doing so were leaving themselves exposed at the back. Fulham are pacey and can hit teams on the break effectively. I mean, we should know that. They did it to us at their place. Chances were being created now though, though unfortunately they kept falling to Antoine “he’s good in the air”™ Sibierski. I’m afraid I’ve yet to be convinced about what he brings to the City front line. Midfield he is passable, and I have actually seen him have a couple of good games in midfield. Not up front for me though.

City then scored from a Barton free kick. Chipped in to Richards, nodded back across and Dunne hammered it in. Seventy five minutes on the clock. Game over we thought.

A change, everyone expecting the luckless Sibo to be replaced by Samaras. No, it was the hard-working Vassell who went off. Strange. No matter, Samaras sparked City into life and should have scored with a header (he’d obviously been watching Sibo’s efforts as it went high over the bar from about 5 yards – all you’ve got to do is keep it down). Then a moment of genius. Samaras had been holding the ball up well, so when it was next played into his feet he spun to the left, received the ball back from Sinclair, lobbed the advancing ‘keeper only to see a Fulham defender clear it off the line. Samaras then went close again with a left foot drive across the ‘keeper.

Then, somehow City failed to clear a relatively easy ball on the left, the ball bobbled around a bit before finding its way to the feet of Boa Morte (who to that moment had been anonymous). He got to the line, cut it back and John smacked it in off the post. 1-1. Unease spread around a very quiet Eastlands. Two minutes later, same again please. The polite “after you” syndrome had spread into the City back line as Boa Morte went to the line, cut it back. No one to tap it in this time though.

City decided that they could still win it, and I suppose in a “dead rubber” there was no harm in that. However, simple things like picking up your man, not letting a team break, and tracking back were forgotten as about 5 Fulham players broke. Sitting in the Key 103 stand we could see it all unfolding across the pitch as they headed towards us. You knew where it was going to end. Who do we let score again? Malbranque. He’s a goal scoring midfielder. Stick someone on him.

City then went very close to an equaliser, Samaras missing with a header again. We had enough chances to win it. Should have done, but given the way things have gone recently, I’m not surprised we didn’t. The only reason this season is really bugging me is because it promised so much more. Fair enough, the West Ham game was a blow, but to then go and lose all but one league game is just foolish. Let’s not forget that each place is worth (so they say) £500,000, so in that time we’ve lost around £4 million of our transfer kitty. Saturday alone cost us £500,000.

Performances:
James – Blinding first half saves. Left horribly exposed for both goals.
Sommeil – Nearly gifted Fulham a goal with a nasty attempt at Cruyff-esque trickery in the box. Otherwise, competent.
Richards – Couple of very good recovery tackles.
Dunne – Excellent. Well-taken goal and looked very solid at the back.
Distin – Offered support well for Riera down the left first half. Quieter second half but composed as ever on the ball.
Sinclair – Not enough going forward for me. Doesn’t try to beat his man. Unlucky with volley first half.
Reyna – No threat. Was he at fault for not picking up runners for the second goal?
Barton – As Reyna.
Riera – Excellent first half. anonymous second. Why did we stop using him as an outlet?
Sibierski – Horrible finishing. works hard, but no end product.
Vassell – Never looked like scoring, but running off the ball and work rate second to none as ever.
Substitutes:
Samaras – Excellent. Should have scored with one, unlucky not to score with another. Fulham were scared of him and he sparked a lethargic City front line.
Flood – Gave the ball away. lots. Didn’t look as comfortable as previous outings in a City shirt.

ED Bodey <edbodey(at)hotmail.com>

PEARCE TAKES THE WOODEN SPOON

Last Saturday’s Times featured an article by Daniel Finlelstein in which he presented a league table of Premiership managers. The position in the league is based on the relationship between success and the size of the club’s wage bill. Success for a team was “a weighted measure of goals scored and goals conceded, bound together with shots on goal made and shots defended.” This team strength measure was then divided by player wage bill.

And (you’ve guessed it) Stuart Pearce was bottom of the Premiership, Paul Jewell was top by a long way, followed by Jol, Pardew and Allardyce. Mourinho was next to bottom. Here is the link to the full table:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7973-2156527,00.html

The formula was devised by a couple of statisticians. The only defence I can make for SP is that he has been in charge for less time than these other managers, so arguably the team is not all of his choice yet. Any other thoughts?

Peter Kewley <peterdk(at)email.com>

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Congratulations to Claudio Reyna on being selected to captain his country’s team, USA. This will be the fourth World Cup that Claudio Reyna will have appeared in.

Reyna should his qualities as a very good player before his injury earlier in the season, and linking up well with Joey Barton in midfield.

Reyna’s injuries have been a problem, but I sure hope that next season will be an injury free season.

The USA have shown that they are no push over in the World Cup, having reached the quarter finals in the last World Cup.

Although I support England in the World Cup, I wish Claudio Reyna and his team USA good luck!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

THE TEAM

Excellent article by Neil Higson in MCIVTA 1220. You couldn’t argue against anything he said. I agree 100 per cent that Fazackerley has to go and be should be replaced by an older “known” ex-manager, like Bobby Robson, to assist and support Pearce. Also agree that the club need to invest in Pearce-type players; wholesome, passionate (not badge kissers), committed players with something to prove and a willingness to contribute to the team. City fans have always been able to see right through players who don’t feel the same passion and commitment to the club as themselves. That’s why most of City’s heroes have been the most unlikely ones; Goater, Dickov, Dunne, Shaun Wright-Phillips to name a few. Perversely, the more City seem to pay for a player, the less likely he is to find a place in our hearts! Think about it.

By investing in more British and Irish players, instead of most of these foreigners who won’t admit they are only here for the money (even though they are), then the fans will empathise with the club, and anything becomes possible. I do sympathise though with Sylvain Distin. He is a model professional, who plays with passion, and is probably the classiest centre back ever seen at the club. I understand his desire to play for France and to compete in European football (he deserves to), and trust me, it will be a sad day when he leaves. And it could all have been so different, had that little Scouse g*t (the worst thing to happen to this club in living memory IMHO) not missed that penalty against (rub your eyes in utter disbelief) UEFA Cup Finalists Middlesbore.

My plea to Mr Wardle is to allow Stuart Pearce to “invest” in his type of players. Ten to twelve million pounds would buy five or six of the experienced players mentioned by Neil Higson, and they would help nurture and blend with the best crop of kids we have had since 1986. If we do nothing in the summer but cash in on Distin, Barton (and even Richards), we might slash the debts, but most of us will be slashing our wrists as we slide back into the warm bosom of Coca Cola League football within twelve months.

Steve Kay <steve(at)mcfcstats.com>

THE TEAM II

There’ll no doubt be many responses to the thoughts of Svenn, Neil Higson and Sam Duxbury espied in MCIVTA 1220, so bin this contribution if it is one too many. I am trying to be objective about the football club I have supported for 35 years. I am finally fed up with being patient, trying to be optimistic, and perennially pretending it will all come right next season.

There are serious problems with professional football in England in general and at City in particular. In my opinion Neil Higson is wrong to find excuses for the manager. Sure, many of the players aren’t up to the task or won’t get up for it, but the manager isn’t up to the task either. It was risky in the extreme to expect an untried manager to lead City, whatever his playing credentials. He had a wonderful if brief honeymoon period and I looked forward to his continuing success with City early on this season. Unfortunately we have reaped the reward of the Board’s (possibly misplaced) faith in Stuart Pearce. He has had bad luck with injuries and certain players’ contract issues. These things must happen in other clubs but are managed and results are achieved in spite of adversity. Just look at Blackburn and Newcastle for starters.

I like and admire Stuart Pearce and fondly hope and trust he will come through his managerial apprenticeship as a successful top flight boss. If City stick with him then we will all have to endure the lows and highs of the ride. That I believe means we will probably be battling relegation next term. Stu has no more right to a charmed life than Mick McCarthy, Bryan Robson or Steve Bruce, or a number of other fine players who did not make it in management. The City board has a poor record when it comes to supporting the manager. I hope they will do their utmost to give Pearce the resources he needs to mount a robust challenge in the Premier League next season, and then make their assessment. Unfortunately I feel that they will take the usual path and sack the guy before the next Boxing Day fixture.

Against our current form, I still expect us to do the Gooners this week.

Peter Birbeck – Still City After All These Tears <peter.birbeck(at)btopenworld.com>

WORST POSSIBLE SCENARIO

Next year we could well be facing the worst possible scenario of having Sun, Sibierski, Reyna and Dickov in the same team.

[Dunno about Dicky, but I’d rather have the other three than the likes of Gerry Creaney, Ged Brannan and Neil Heaney… – Ed]

P.S.: 2 Season Tickets for sale in the Colin Bell Stand at less than face value. Good view. One an OAP concession. To be sold as a pair.

Larry Davis – 61 years watching City <dammar(at)totalise.co.uk>

BLACKBURN TICKETS AVAILABLE

2 x Blackburn tickets available.

Due to illness I have 2 spare tickets for Sunday’s match in the City end costing £30 each.

I am based in London but would be able to pass on at ground on the day.

Contact Chris on 07789 435999.

Chris Pilkington <chris(at)leeming-pilkington.co.uk>

THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH GAME

Reading the article by Gary James brought back some fond memories of that game played at Maine Road July 5th 1964.

I was at that game, sitting in the Platt Lane stand, right behind the goal. I think it rained throughout the game.

I took with me to the game a load of blue balloons, and kept sending them into the air.

In front of me was a United father and son dressed in yuk red; the son kept looking back at me and asking “how many balloons you got Mister?” I answered “enough for next season”.

However, after United scored a goal the son would turn around to me and laugh, so just as the third goal was going in, I quickly pulled the son’s balaclava over his eyes. The father must have been a good sport for he just smiled at me.

I must add that I never did any other hooligan thing again, honest.

Ahhhhhhh, memories.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

RESULTS

3 May 2006

Bolton Wanderers        1 - 1    Middlesbrough        22,733

2 May 2006

Blackburn Rovers        1 - 0    Chelsea              20,243

1 May 2006

Sunderland              0 - 3    Arsenal              44,003
Manchester United       0 - 0    Middlesbrough        69,531
West Bromwich Albion    0 - 1    West Ham United      24,462

League table to 03 May 2006 inclusive

                            HOME         AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W D  L  F  A  W D  L  F  A  W  D  L F  A   GD Pt
 1 Chelsea         37 18 1  0 47  9 11 3  4 25 12 29  4  4 72 21  51 91
 2 Manchester Utd  37 12 5  1 33  8 12 3  4 35 26 24  8  5 68 34  34 80
 3 Liverpool       37 15 3  1 32  8  9 4  5 22 16 24  7  6 54 24  30 79
 4 Tottenham H.    37 12 5  2 31 16  6 6  6 21 20 18 11  8 52 36  16 65
 5 Arsenal         36 13 3  2 44 11  5 4  9 17 17 18  7 11 61 28  33 61
 6 Blackburn R.    37 12 3  3 29 17  6 3 10 20 25 18  6 13 49 42   7 60
 7 Newcastle Utd   37 10 5  3 27 15  6 2 11 19 27 16  7 14 46 42   4 55
 8 Bolton Wndrs    37 10 5  3 28 13  4 6  9 20 28 14 11 12 48 41   7 53
 9 West Ham United 37  8 3  7 28 24  7 4  8 22 30 15  7 15 50 54  -4 52
10 Wigan Athletic  37  7 3  9 24 26  8 3  7 19 22 15  6 16  4 48  -5 51
11 Everton         37  8 3  7 20 20  6 4  9 12 27 14  7 16 32 47 -15 49
12 Charlton Ath.   37  8 4  7 22 21  5 4  9 19 30 13  8 16 41 51 -10 47
13 Middlesbrough   37  7 5  7 28 30  5 4  9 20 27 12  9 16 48 57  -9 45
14 Fulham          36 12 2  4 30 21  1 4 13 16 35 13  6 17 46 56 -10 45
15 Manchester City 36  9 2  7 25 17  4 2 12 17 26 13  4 19 42 43  -1 43
16 Aston Villa     37  5 6  7 18 19  4 6  9 22 35  9 12 16 40 54 -14 39
17 Portsmouth      37  5 7  6 16 21  5 1 13 20 38 10  8 19 36 59 -23 38
18 Birmingham City 37  6 5  8 19 20  2 5 11  9 29  8 10 19 28 49 -21 34
19 West Brom A.    37  6 2 11 21 24  1 6 11  8 32  7  8 22 29 56 -27 29
20 Sunderland      36  0 4 14 10 36  2 2 14 13 30  2  6 28 23 66 -43 12

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Svenn Hanssen)         : 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]Svenn Hanssen, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1221

2006/05/05

Editor:


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