Newsletter #1307

An incredibly disappointing performance on Saturday, for which the team should be handing back their wage packets. We have plenty of opinion on the match, the performances and where to go from here.

There’s also the February review, some positive thinking, and some compelling arguments on the season ticket renewal front


Tonight is a bumper issue, so I suggest you get a cup of tea, take a deep breath and settle down to read on.

Next game: Blackburn Rovers, away, 4pm Sunday 11 March 2007 (FA Cup



I’m hoping MCIVTA subscribers might be interested in the following piece I’ve unearthed from a book I give immense credence to. It’s written by Gary Leboff, one of the country’s leading sports psychologists, a man who has worked his magic on numerous Premiership players you’ve seen improve in leaps and bounds over the last five years…

‘The power of thought in action’

Football supporters exert a massive influence on the games they attend. If fans want their team to win more often – and they keep telling me that they do – they will have to learn a new way to support them. Two historic games drive the point home.

In 2004, England met France in a group match at the European Championships. This was a true clash of the titans; arguably the strongest teams in the entire tournament had been drawn to play each other in the very first game. England took the lead just before half-time. With one minute of normal time remaining, they were still ahead.

England lost. France equalised in the 90th minute and added a penalty in time added on. England had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. A nation was stunned. How on earth had it happened?

I was intrigued. France had hardly ever looked like scoring, yet the match was turned on its head in an instant. Could this be about more than 22 men kicking a ball?

I spent several days afterwards talking to people who had been at, or were watching the game at the game at home. Many of them observed a ‘strange thing happening but weren’t too sure how to explain it’ (always one of my favourite sentences!).

I started piecing the facts together. The atmosphere in the stadium had changed once England scored. An initial sense of anxiety among England fans (France were the tournament favourites) was replaced by growing levels of confidence that were transmitted to the players on the pitch.

With five minutes to go, tension re-emerged after David Beckham missed a penalty. All over the ground, the thinking changed from ‘We might actually win’ to ‘Please, please hang on’. Anyone thinking about ‘hanging on’ is focused on what they don’t want to happen (e.g. losing). That focus was transmitted to the players. England lost.

Twelve months later, Liverpool played AC Milan in the final of the Champions’ League. At half-time, Liverpool were 3-0 down and the game was all but over. Here is an extract from a report in The Times the next day, filed by a writer standing on the terraces:

There was a moment at half-time when everything changed. Someone started to sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and we rose as one from our disappointment and pledged allegiance. It didn’t matter that we were three down… and, as the song finished, we began to chant another: “We’re gonna win 4-3”.’

The focus of the fans had switched from ‘What we don’t want’ (losing) to ‘What we do’ (getting back in the game). That attitude was transmitted to the players on the pitch.

When Liverpool’s captain, Steven Gerrard, scored to make it 3-1, the atmosphere changed again. Now the focus was on opportunity. Liverpool went on to equalise and win on penalties – arguably the greatest comeback in the history of the game.

After the match, Steven Gerrard would pay tribute to his side’s ‘twelfth man’ on the terraces. Quite right, too. While prime responsibility was clearly down to the players, Gerrard recognised the very real link between what happened on the terraces and the result. It was greater than he could possibly have appreciated.

On that night in Istanbul, the collective desire of Liverpool supporters transformed the performance of their side. England, by contrast, had been brought down by the fear of their travelling fans.

Pragmatists may scoff (and football is full of them) but supporters play a fundamental rôle in determining the fate of their teams. I call it ‘The Golden Triangle’; it links a team, a city (or country) and its fans. If they are serious about getting what they want, teams and their supporters need to learn how to win.

So what relevance does this have to City fans? Well, ever since we lost against West Ham in the FA Cup 12 months ago, negativity has spread through our support like a disease and I’m afraid to say this excellent publication has been a major breeding ground for this negativity. It’s now the early hours of Sunday morning and after yesterday’s thoroughly demoralising defeat to Wigan, I refuse to bite my tongue any longer. I have to make my voice heard. [If you think McV has been negative, you want to see some of the websites! – Ed]

Over the last few hours, I’ve received four text messages from different mates – all of them proclaiming their undying love for City in one amusing way or another, the authors obviously steaming drunk from drowning their sorrows all night. At the same time, I’ve also heard two different groups of lads in a similar state walking past my flat in Fallowfield singing City songs with admirable passion. It doesn’t seem to matter that I didn’t hear a single song that loud at the match earlier.

My point is this: are we all happy now? Everyone has been predicting all season that we’re destined to end up in a relegation battle, so is everybody finally satisfied that we’re fourth from bottom? Does it feel good to have been right all along?

It seems to me that many City fans are in their element at the moment. We can now re-assume the rôle of long-suffering supporters who nail their colours to the mast, despite living in the shadows of United. We’re never happier than in moments of serious adversity. United are going to win the league and we’re fighting for our lives to stay in the top flight – just the way we like it. Saturday was the perfect day. Suddenly it’s all about us again. Pretty selfish, if you ask me.

Has it not occurred to anyone that maybe the players need a bit of support when they’re low on confidence and struggling for form? I know the Wigan performance was pretty abysmal and the football has hardly been riveting for most of the season – but how many City fans can honestly look at themselves in the mirror and say they’ve been a model supporter this season? Can you honestly say you’ve done as well as you possibly could when it comes to being positive and getting behind the team? Who would you compare yourselves with: Corradi or Samaras, maybe?

Of course, you’ll say we all pay good money and it’s the players’ duty to make us excited enough to get up from our seats – but what happens when those players are low on confidence and struggling for form? Who motivates the motivator?

At this point, I’m sure you’re all screaming back the words ‘Stuart Pearce’ at me. But there’s only so much he can possibly do before the players cross the white line, then it’s down to those 11 men and the 36,000 critics who sit back waiting to pounce on the first mistake and give their opinion on everything that’s going wrong. Besides, anyone who tells me that Pearce isn’t up to scratch when it comes to motivating a dressing room at five-to-three obviously knows nothing about the man and his career.

We all know what the problem is, there’s no fluidity through midfield, we don’t get players forward quick enough, there’s not enough movement up front and we don’t score enough goals. So what do people want when they burst a blood vessel to remind us all… a prize? You’re not telling me that Pearce himself doesn’t realise where our problems lie, but what can he possibly achieve by coming out and saying it? What would public remarks of that nature do to the confidence levels of the players he must rely on between now and the end of the season?

Why can’t we just focus on the positives?

We’re through to the last eight of the FA Cup for the second season running. When was the last time that happened? I’m 31 and it’s never happened in my lifetime. You don’t manage that two seasons running unless you’ve got plenty of heart and courage in the team. The goalkeeper, back four and central midfielder (as a unit) are the strongest we’ve had at the club for many years. In fact, it seems we’re about to set a club record for the number clean sheets in a top flight season. And I’d also go as far to say that this is one of the most dangerous City teams I’ve ever seen on set-plays.

You can look at the situation in one of two ways. You can remain negative and pessimistic or you can accept our shortcomings (for the time being at least), start being positive and get behind the team. They say that a pessimist is never disappointed, but an optimist has a much happier life.

If you read the article at the top once again, I’m sure you can all come up with equivalent City games that support the points Leboff is making. The obvious one that springs to my mind is the Stoke match over Christmas when we were in the Second Division. Anyone who was there that day knows something very special happened at the start of that second half and we were all part of it. I’d give anything for the general attitude to change right now and re-create that same kind of magic again. You never know, you might just be surprised at the results.

Mike Holden <mike(at)>


A dreary February was made even drearier by Manchester City’s poor run of results during the month. Losses to Reading and Portsmouth continued into early March with a loss at home to Wigan causing the slight glimpse over fans’ shoulders to become a genuine fear that the club may slip into the dreaded bottom three. Two games in hand are little consolation when considering a visit to Arsenal and hosting Chelsea is the only hope of dragging ourselves out of this slump. With eleven games left the team has to pull together and pull together a string of victories from somewhere.

Fans were left bemused on 1 February when they realised that the club had failed to sign a centre forward after only scoring twenty league goals all season. However, fears were appeased when Belgian striker Emile Mpenza became the third signing of 2007. His goal scoring record speaks for itself and the club has faith in a player who has scored seventeen goals in 41 appearances on the international stage. The highlight of the Wigan match was overseeing Mpenza make a genuine effort to chase every ball, however lost the cause seemed. So, the hope is he will find the net much more successfully than Corradi and Samaras.

A victorious side came back from Deepdale (as our only win of the month) and a quarter final awaits the Blues in the next week. Fans are praying that this is our year. The draw against Arsenal or Blackburn (away) seemed an unfortunate twist of luck after three games against Championship opposition, yet this club has a history of overcoming ‘stronger’ opposition when playing in cup competitions and if fans’ support is strong you never know what can happen. Wembley may just be ready for Pearce’s men to take centre stage; London may just be ready to host the right side of Manchester in the final of the country’s most hotly contested competition but it will take some force from the fans to guide the team there.

So I plea to all you devoted fans who support the club day in day out to your credit. Eleven League games left this season, a quarter final coming up in the FA Cup but an almost new stadium that we haven’t quite made our home yet. As Delia Smith once infamously said, all clubs need that twelfth man, City need your support! Not just your wearing of the shirt or watching them on MOTD/at the pub, they need you at the matches, they need you making noise. To all those who are there every week, let’s sing our way through the matches, let’s push the players to perform the best they can. To those who don’t, if we get a replay against Blackburn Rovers we need 48,000 seats filled. Tickets are cheaper for the cup and there is no reason to miss your club push for a trophy.

Sheffield Wednesday came and out-sang us for ninety minutes- they had 19,000 less fans. To see the club challenge for the FA Cup and retain the much-needed place in the Premiership the players want to hear your voice!

Make the noise and see the results come, Make the noise and watch us stay in the league, Make the noise and you never know; the FA Cup may just read our club’s name at the first ever New Wembley final.

Alex Rowen <ajpr2007(at)>


Each time I come away from the COMS I always say that’s about the worst game of football I’ve seen so far.

Well, Saturday was truly the worst game of football that I’ve seen. Mr Pearce tells us that we pay our money so we’re entitled to moan. Well, I’m going to have a moan about Mr Pearce.

No tactics, no organization. For the first 20 minutes a better team than plucky little Wigan would have been 3 goals up.

Wigan are not a great team, but they are organised, every man knows their job, they close down and they work hard. We do not do any of those things.

Our players spent 4 days in Dubai playing golf and shopping, but obviously not working or discussing tactics.

Joey Barton takes all of our corners and free kicks that come to nothing. I cannot recall the last time we scored a goal from a free kick or a corner. What on earth are they doing in training?

We have a midfield that does not support the attack. It’s all well and good having a moan at Samaras and Corradi but we do not provide any service at all. There is no pace or creativity in midfield or up front. We have Vassell, who when he’s not injured cannot score, unless of course we’re playing Aston Villa or Birmingham.

Mr Pearce’s buys have not been good. Dickov, Dabo, Samaras, and Corradi have not produced. His tactics have been baffling at times. Yesterday he decided to bring on Sturridge with 5 minutes to go. If we were winning and he wanted to eat up some time, yes. But what could the young lad do in 5 minutes that our forwards couldn’t do in 85?

For the first time a lot of fans were calling for Mr Pearce to resign, I’ll have to agree.

We are currently 4 from bottom, we have to play the top four in the coming weeks and quite frankly I cannot see us taking many points.

I do not expect us to play in the Champions’ League or even in the UEFA Cup, but I’d like to go the COMS and see us play attractive, attacking football. What I’m seeing now is just dire and embarrassing to watch.

I fear we will be relegated next season if not this.

I’ll be renewing my season ticket on Thursday but if things do not improve I won’t renew next season.

Averil Capes <averil.capes(at)>


Our club Manchester City must have thought that because they have “Thomas Cook” on their shirts, they were still on holiday in Dubai, and I don’t mean just the players but the Manager/Coach Stuart Pearce as well, whom I have supported from day one.

Tactics in the game versus Wigan must have been kick the ball in the box and pray. What kind of tactics are they to bring on Daniel Sturridge for the last five minutes? That’s like praying for a miracle.

To me the word tactics mean “do things the other team does not expect you to do, and have the players capable of doing it”; against Wigan, City had neither, and it was simply pathetic and frustrating to watch.

Before this season started I had told my friend to bet on Derby County for promotion; now I am thinking will Derby takes City’s place in the Premiership?

The game versus Wigan sparked to life briefly when Sun came on as a sub, he really got stuck in. What would the score against us been if it had not been for Barton, Dunne, Ball, and Sun?

Today, Jewell the manager of Wigan showed Stuart Pearce how to prepare and get your team motivated for a six pointer game. Today Wigan had their minds on staying in the Premiership, whilst City had their minds still on a beach party in Dubai.

I am now starting to think not only what is the future of City, but also of England? With McClaren as manager of England, and the young England 21’s with Stuart Pearce in charge, looks like a double whammy for Stuart Pearce, jumping the gun for the England under 21 job when he cannot do the City job.

I have always supported Stuart Pearce but my support is getting weaker from what I am seeing.

They only excitement we City supporters have had over the last 30 years is avoiding relegation or getting back into the Premiership after relegation.

Please Mr Pearce put Samaras in the reserves until he shows the determination to make a difference.

Today once again all kicks were taken by Barton (he really tried and made his best efforts), but change in who takes the kicks helps confuse the opposition (this is basic tactics).

Many of you who read my postings on a regular basis will know that I have always stood by Stuart Pearce, In fact it was I who first posted “Give Pearce a Chance”. Today I change my opinion, probably from frustration, but also from glaring mistakes. Come on Stuart Pearce, help get me back on your side, all is not lost just yet.

Come on you Blues avoid relegation.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Just back home after the Wigan game and had to put electronic pen to paper. I missed the Reading defeat as, lightweight that I am, I chose to spend the day with my daughter at her birthday party! Saw the Blackburn game and that was grim enough but Wigan defeat today was just totally inept.

I used to cringe at Sun Jihai but it comes to something when only he and Joey seemed to be up for it today. It was atrocious, the team seemed devoid of any ideas and as for Corradi and Samaras well enough said. Looked at the team and thought, as others on here have, no Dabo (or Obad as was pointed on here too!) so things look up but first 30 minutes who were the home team? City were just not at the races and the goal was a soft one. This so-called esteemed defensive unit were asleep, how much space do you need to give them? I worry now about the Arsenal and Chelsea games, we will be torn to pieces on this showing but knowing City they will raise their game. Overpaid prima donnas who clearly were less hungry than Wigan despite us now being 4th bottom and an improving Charlton catching us slowly but surely.

Season ticket renewals due, and I have paid by 9 March deadline in previous years to get the lower rate but I will not be this year. Not just because of the risk of the drop as that in itself would not stop me going but looking back over the games this season, apart from the rearguard action against Arsenal they have been generally very poor fare. I want to gauge if the performances and player attitudes improve between now and season end before I decide whether to renew.

Much has been made about loyalty to Stuart Pearce and I would be the first to have agreed with that. But I just cannot see what he brings to the party now. Tactically we are hopeless, cannot score to save our lives in the league yet he keeps Corradi, Samaras etc. who just do not cut it. Why not blood Sturridge? Not just 5-6 minutes as today where Wigan did a very good job of both time wasting (with help from Mr Webb) and keeping the ball so we did not see Sturridge in action. Passing today was woeful, long, high balls against a big strong physical side?

Whinge over but guys around me were all very unhappy and the boos (not something I have done or would do) were deserved. Let’s hope we do avoid the drop as it would be financial suicide at this time.

David Arthur <DArthur945(at)>


Here we go again. If this week’s performance did anything it demonstrated how much of a team game this is. In the first half when we only had 10 players, that weren’t warmed up properly, we stunk and looked lost. Wigan had more effort, desire or whatever you want to call that.

When we brought on a striker for the second half we were a different team (Sun Jihai helped as well). I hate to have to admit this, but the Samaras on You Tube must be Georgios’ twin brother. The one that we see has no confidence or desire to play. He needs resting or sending down on loan to build up his confidence or he just does not have the heart for Premiership football.

Mpenza has not been with the team for much more than a week and looks more part of the team.

We need to get at least three wins and I don’t see where from after Saturday.

Jim Heaviside <JHeavis502(at)>


Well the Championship is getting closer! Stuart Pearce you have to take responsibility for the duds you bought. We all moaned at Kevin Keegan and some of his transfer buys, but at least players wanted to play for him. Nowadays even the support staff are on their way.

The main problem is the lack of goals; you can’t win if you don’t score. And what Pearce is doing now is thinking of buying another goalkeeper. Memo: The defence is not the problem Stuart.

I might be a little hard on Samaras, being only 20, but paying £6 million for the young lad is bound to put a lot of pressure on him. Some can handle it, others don’t.

So many names were interested in coming to City and nothing materialised; one needs to question the whole club structure. An American investor? Why would he buy a club like ours? A fool or a visionary?

Stay Blue, if you have the courage!

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Following (yet) another appalling performance from City, the time must now be right to change the manager.

I don’t believe in changing managers as often as some people change their underwear, but it’s obvious now that Stuart Pearce is not the man for the job.

When Kevin Keegan left, Pearcey took over and the results to the end of that season were nothing short of unbelievable. The team were going out and fighting for every ball so most of us thought that he deserved his chance but now, he’s had it, and time to move on.

For me, at this stage, Stuart should be knocking on the Chairman’s door demanding money to take the club on from a European place into Champions’ League places. Instead, we are fighting relegation [he’s actually come out and said as much Kevin, see further down – Ed]

I actually believe that we may not be many players short of a decent team (that doesn’t mean a few players short of a very good team).

But the attitude that they come out of the tunnel with, and the motivation shown, reflects the Manager who now, I believe, is no longer with Manchester City, he’s thinking about Steve McClaren’s job.

And if we are not careful, all the hard work that Jim Cassell and his great team down at Platt Lane are doing, will be a waste of time as the superb Academy players coming through are not being used in the right way. Many of them are being played out of position and don’t perform to the best of their abilities. We’ve seen that with Lee Croft and Willo Flood who were used as wingers when they are actually great central midfield players. Onuhoa is another one constantly used as a right back when his natural position is centre back.

Time to go I’m afraid because if I was a prospective buyer, I would insist on a change of manager given the record of signings of the current manager. No need to list them, we all know who we are talking about.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


I really don’t want to criticize anyone but after supporting the Blues for 37 years, I really can’t see where we are going with the current management team. This week we have seen another departure from the coaching staff, Frank Bunn, this following on from the departure of Tim Flowers. I can’t get my head around why they would leave a Premiership team to go to the Championship, unless of course they were not happy with the way things were going.

We all know it’s hard following City, it always has, and probably it always will, once you start doing it there is no going back. Stuart Pearce became the manager two years ago, and we had a fairly decent run until the end of the season, almost qualifying for the UEFA Cup, but since then we have been going downhill.

The signing for £6 million of Gorgeous George was I think amazing, considering most people had never heard of him, and recently Stuart Pearce was quoted as saying that he had a look at Leroy Lita before he joined Reading but didn’t think he could cut it in the Premiership; now I know who I would prefer to be playing for City. The bottom line for me is after about 85 games in charge the manager has a win rate of about 34%, which is just not good enough, and I really fear that we are going to get relegated this season unless something is done.

CTID, Paul Fegan <paulo9(at)>


Rovers certainly have the advantage over City in terms of victories down the years. City have been a soft touch for Blackburn in recent league fixtures. However, City have beaten them more times in F.A. Cup games overall so there’s some hope there. They are also due for a victory after all.

If Dickov can clatter Friedel early on, if Barton can see off Bentley and Ball can deal with Pedersen, then City might get a goalless draw provided they outplay the rest of the Ewood team (and don’t forget their pesky drummer, and their anonymous whistle blower in the Riverside stand!). At least “Lily” Savage is out of it.

We’re all going to Wembley/Cardiff.

Peter Birbeck <peter.birbeck(at)>


OK all you Blues, you will need to bear with me here. I’m a long time reader, but a first time writer regarding MCIVTA. I was trying to wait until the end of the season to send this in, but after the Wigan game I needed to get a few things off my chest. I welcome all comments, if you agree or disagree.

A little about myself quickly, I am the grandson of a loyal, proud Blue and the son of a fierce, passionate, CTID-defining Blue. My brother and my best mate support City. All are MCIVTA members. Being from Vancouver, BC Canada, every weekend I wake up at 4:30 am to watch us on the TV if I’m lucky enough that we’re on, but more often than not, I have to sign in to a dodgy website and gamecast it, which is basically reading minute by minute updates that are normally late anyhow. Oddly enough it was Ice Hockey that brought me to England where I lived for 2 years and really started loving football. I played in Germany another 2 years, so I was in Europe and that was good enough for me to keep up to date with footy. I was lucky enough to visit Maine Road and watched us draw vs. Middlesbrough 1-1 and I also saw us draw with West Brom 0-0, again, at Maine Road. I’ve been to the City of Manchester Stadium once, and we beat Newcastle 1-0 with a goal from Paulo Wanchope. I could go on about my love for the team and how lucky people are to live in Manchester where the team is right there, but I’d like to get a few opinions off my chest…

Firstly, I’d like to start at the top with Stuart Pearce. I like SP. I mean who doesn’t? Who doesn’t like a man who smashes home a penalty in Euro ’96 and stands there screaming showing how patriotic he is and how proud he is to be from such a beautiful country? However, do I think SP is right for our team? No, and here is why. First off, great managers are great at playing games and getting the best out of their players. Remember Blues, “there are no bad teams, just bad leaders” and SP, being our manager, is our leader. After this past game versus Wigan, he was quoted as saying on “Wigan looked like they were up for a fight, and we were not and that cost us dearly”. Did I just read what I thought I read? How on earth can we not be up for this game? We are fighting for our Premiership lives here and we just “weren’t up for a fight?”

After the Portsmouth game, everyone is talking about the Barton foul on Mendes and SP gets dragged into it as well. What I want to know is why he didn’t say “listen Harry, I’m sure Joey never intentionally meant to hurt Mendes, so shut your gob. Now on to more important things, why wasn’t a blatant handball called against Pompey in the box? That penalty just cost my team points, easily 3 points!”

Next, do I even dare get into the transfer window fiasco? Pearce’s eye for talent is wearing on my patience. He openly admitted passing up on Lita wondering if he “had what it takes”. Well, after he smashes 2 home against us, and 14 on the season, yeah I’d say so far he “has what it takes”. That is the most worrying thing for me, he doesn’t seem to have an eye for players. A million quid that’s all it would have cost us to bring in Lita. If it doesn’t pan out it’s only a million pounds (I know I know I’m aware of our finances, but it’s better than 6) and if it does pay off like it has for Reading, wow that’s great. For me this season, SP has been a disappointment and I think we need a change. Who? I don’t know yet, but I seem to remember Martin O’Neill being available, when we needed and were looking for a full time manager. I really think he will build Villa into a force and I think (God I hope I’m wrong) we made a mistake choosing SP over him. If we stay up this year, it will most likely be because Charlton, West Ham and Watford are playing worse than us and that is just not good enough for us, that’s very unacceptable.

I’m going to work from the back out now, will try to make it as quick as possible.

Weaver – I love Nicky, he has been (I think) my favourite player this year and he has been fab, but I really, really think we need to see Isaksson now. As good as Weaver has been I would just like to hear from the commentator, “that was an amazing world class save that has kept City in the lead” rather than “well Weaver had no chance there folks” much like has happened at Portsmouth with Jamo this year. I still don’t really trust his knee and I would hate to see Isaksson get fed up and leave and then something happen to Nicky. Why Pearce didn’t start Isaksson away at PNE in the Cup is beyond me.

Richards – trying to keep this short so I won’t write anything here. We all know how good he is.

Distin and Dunne a.k.a. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – when they are on they are amazing and when they are off they are really bad. Although more often they are good, with Distin in my mind being a little more consistent than the Dunney Monster. Really hope Distin will stay, although I don’t think he will and I really wish I knew what was going on behind the scenes and through Sylvain’s mind.

Ball – One of our biggest problems and has been for a long time, is our left back need. Ball is trying his best and giving 100% to solve that problem, but it’s just too early to tell yet. Has looked good so far and if anything he has already been better than Mills and Co.

Sun – has always been a real inspiration. I hope he eventually settles in Manchester and plays for a long time. I hope he can put this last big injury behind him and not follow the like of Reyna and Cole who lay on our treatment tables for the year, get healthy and then leave the club.

Trabelsi – really impressed me going forward and is creative, but takes a few days off as well. If he could keep an even keel I would be chuffed. Would like to see him do well.

Onuaha – please get healthy mate A.S.A.P.!

Joey Barton – see Richards (thoroughly deserved call up and when McClaren gives his head a shake, realizes Lampard and Gerrard can’t play together, maybe our boy will get a little better run, fingers crossed for him).

Dabo – my friend David Walker, put it best in MCIVTA 1303. I told him I would poach some of his stuff as he was bang on. Dabo has been useless. Sometimes the best players on the pitch are the ones you don’t notice, guys who just do their job and are never out of position. God I wish I could say that about Dabo. You don’t notice him as he is floating around like a fairy doing nothing and when you do notice him, he is passing the ball 10 yards to the other team. I’m glad SP dropped him even off the bench for the Wigan game and I will personally pay for his plane ticket home at the end of the season, should we gas him!

Ireland – pretty much see Distin and Dunne. Has played some amazing football this season, followed by 2 bad games. In all fairness he is still young and I think he has a great future ahead of him. Screamer against P.N.E.

Hamman – we need him now more than ever. We need to play him over Dabo in the middle and we need him to help Joey control the field. Has been a major disappointment this season but we need his leadership and class to help us through this.

Beasley – has never really impressed. Won us 3 points against West Ham away, but not too much after that. Seems too soft for the rigorous Premiership. Plays a few games here and there.

Sinclair – just not good enough, past it. The reason I don’t mind him too much is he grew up a Blue. Whenever we play the Rags, you know Trevor is up for it and wants to win so badly, and I will forever have him etched in my mind scoring vs. the Rags and (veins popping out of his head) run to the crowd but aside from that he is a surplus to requirements.

Dickov – it’s hard not to like Dicky. He runs and he runs and he runs and he fouls and he fouls and he fouls. I think SP had him in mind for someone who could fill in for a tired/injured striker, or come on after the half, but it just hasn’t worked out. To be fair to Dicky he has been hurt and maybe if half the team had the same passion, we wouldn’t be where we are today. I really hope he turns it around.

Vassell – we need him healthy, we need his pace and we need him to score! Badly. We need him to look like the player he was last year. In fairness to him, I think SP had him playing out of position and that has kind of robbed him of his identity this season. I feel for Vassell and we need him back scoring soon! Up front where he belongs.

Samaras – I would rather SP have spent that 6 million pounds on 10 dump trucks full of Greek Donars. Georgios Samaras has been such a disappointment this season, I would class him alongside Dabo. SP complained earlier this season about the price tags clubs want on buying “potential”. This is after he shelled out all our funds on a “diamond in the rough”. I’m so sick of Sam running around like a clown with his hair in his eyes. “I’d like to play for a bigger club one day” he said; look mate you couldn’t even play for Leeds United after they get relegated!

Corradi – he couldn’t score in a monkey brothel with a pocket full of bananas! I can’t see him being around next season. I could see him taking on a David Sommeil rôle of going to a club newly promoted and fizzling out before going back home to Italy.

Sturridge – haven’t really seen him but seems fairly tasty. Thing is with Sturridge, Pearce I don’t believe should throw him into the fire at this point in the season to “make something happen” as people have suggested. It’s just not fair to throw such a young kid into a team that is playing so poorly, too much pressure.

Mpenza – what can I say? I think this is just SP trying to show the fans he is trying to get a striker after he failed miserably during the transfer window; don’t really think he will do anything. Released in the summer.

I feel terrible for making my first post such a negative one, but after the Wigan game and the way we’ve been playing lately it’s kind of hard not to. I enjoy reading every article and I enjoy talking to other Blues.

Whatever you do, Stay Blue! We can do this! Keep the faith!

C.E.W.I.D. (City even when I die!!), Rob Simnor <simmsy(at)>


City have now gained just 33 points from their last 37 league matches. That means this team is almost certainly the worst ever City team (at least in statistical terms). They have scored only 25 goals in the same period. I have been a fan, man and boy, since 1968 and can honestly say this is the most boring side I have watched. Even in the dark days of the 1980s and 90s the gloom was relieved by certain individuals like Kinkladze and Goater.

I feel sorry for Stuart Pearce. He is a decent, dedicated man but simply lacks the experience for the task. The Board should not have appointed him. It was a gamble and has not paid off. Pearce needed the support of a more senior mentor to succeed and this has not happened.

During our dark days in Division 3 we were sustained only by the passion of our fans and we need them now more than ever. I have renewed my season ticket and will be at Blackburn. My commitment to the (lost) cause is not in doubt.

Perhaps I am deluded but I believe the current crisis in football is cyclic (like the hooligan problems of the 70s and 80s) and the game will eventually be returned to the fans. The consumer-led reduction in ticket prices is a step in the right direction. A reduction in player wages will surely follow.

I was inspired by the support shown at our ground by Sheffield Wednesday (whose fans have suffered even more than us). If fans stick together than they can win this battle for the heart of football. I believe our fledgling Supporters’ Trust, and other similar groups, represent the start of a fans’ revolution. Much as it pains me I think the success by FC United represents another strand of this battle.

My point is that MCFC the club is a bigger institution than the players and management. We have supported the club for decades and most players, managers, and Boards come and go.

I believe the current crop of players, with a few exceptions, have no commitment to the club. They don’t attend supporters’ meetings, they are not part of our community. They are overpaid and selfish and typical of the modern breed of players. Keegan recognised this and it’s one of the reasons he left.

However, I also believe that this phase of football history, where players and parasites (agents) rule the roost is about to change. It’s really only a Premiership disease and we are not the only ones to suffer (just look at West Ham).

This change will only happen if the fans act as one. The selective boycotts used this season at Wigan and Bolton did have an impact. We need more of the same. The worms have started to turn but it will just take a little time. Thirty thousand fans standing in the Eastlands car park till half-time as a protest would create a stir. The fans have got to stick together.

Steve Rogers <>


Each week we strive to get worse and worse and now we have plummeted the depths by again losing to a so-called inferior team. The “effort” against Wigan was akin to watching root canal treatment, with not one player getting more than 1/10 for his efforts. The incredible total of 20 goals this season is obviously our no.1 problem, but the attitude and lack of commitment from the players is shocking and now well and truly beyond a joke.

To see teams like – with respect – Sheffield United, Wigan, and Fulham above us is soul destroying. Even Reading (another powerhouse) have scored 41 times. Some of the players don’t seem to care – Samaras (new Macken) is stealing his wages, Corradi (tries, but is useless), Beasley, Sinclair (when available – past his sell by date), Dickov (how many goals?) etc.

The Carling Cup final should have been a huge wake up call for our so-called scouting system. The Arsenal youngsters were outstanding and showed how the game should be played. No big hoofs into the box. No panic. Midfield passing. All the things that are opposite from City’s game.

There are something like 11 games left including Arsenal, Chelsea, United, Liverpool – definitely no goals (or points) against that lot and that leaves about 8 games to salvage the season. The target should be survival and then a summer clearout. Start the new season with about six new players who are hungry to succeed, with all of our deadwood either playing overseas or in the lower leagues.

Last word – SP, stop being so f***ing nice – start p***ing people off.

Malcolm Clelland <clelland(at)>


The City vs. Wigan game was screened live in South Africa on Saturday. I was delighted to see that Dabo was not on the team sheet. However, it’s time for more changes.

Weaver for starters has to move out of the goals and SP has to bring Issakson in. As for Corradi and the “big Greek lad”, SP should move them both as far away from Manchester as possible.

Bring back “the sulk”; at least he can score.

Another end of season sweating the drop zone!

Justin Arthur <jarthur(at)>


Some months ago I proposed that Pearce was not up to the job of managing Manchester City. He appeared to be tactically naïve, clearly had favourites whom he selected and he would do to us what he did to Forest. The response I received from another contributor whose name I’ve either forgotten or repressed was that since I didn’t have Pearce’s coaching qualifications I was not entitled to state my views. Happily loads of other contributors supported my right to state an opinion even if they didn’t agree with it!

Things have moved on since then. Or have they? This weekend I had a strange feeling of déjà vu. At about this time last season we played Wigan Athletic at CoMS. It was one of the few games I attended last season (driving up and down in the same day from Bristol is tiring at my age). We all knew what it would be like – Wigan would be big and strong and be ‘in our face’. We were due to play West Ham in the Cup and Pearce decided to pretend we had a squad system. I can recall our strikers were BWP and Sibierski – and wait for it, we played a long ball game! Reyna was off the pace and may have gone off. As it happened Sibierski got injured and went off, to be replaced by Samaras who also sustained an injury. James gave away a corner, Wigan scored and that was that.

We lost to West Ham in the next game – Croftie nearly pulled it round for us and we went on a dreadful run of defeats and were lucky to retain our Premiership status. Fast forward to this last weekend: again we play Wigan just prior to a quarter-final game. We know what Wigan will be like – big and fast and close down space. There’s been lots in the press and on television about them because of their clash against Arsenal whom they nearly beat. They’ve also got points against both Watford and Newcastle.

Now working out a plan against them isn’t too difficult – it’s not like playing Arsenal who can pass their way round any team (but thankfully don’t score as many as they should) or Chelsea who play with skill and strength. No, like Bolton, Wigan are a one dimensional team. They scrap! So does our illustrious manager select a team who can compete? No, again he selects a lightweight team with both Ireland and Beasley in the team – they will just get passed by. And guess what? We lose again! And he then has the chutzpah to say he is frustrated at our poor goal tally! Well why didn’t he do something about it in the transfer window? He could have got Folan, Billy Sharpe and heaven knows who else. But no, we are supposedly negotiating at 11.30pm for a player who was never going to come. He still thinks 8 teams will be involved in the relegation struggle – he should have read The Times on Friday – yep, 8 teams were mentioned but the journalist concerned was of the opinion City would be one of the 3 to go down. And, we’ve already lost a point that that journalist thought we’d get. Pearce simply does not learn from his mistakes. He cannot build a team, he has let reasonable players go (like Lee Croft who at least can pass and cross the ball), still insists on playing his favourites (Weaver) and he is ruining players by destroying their confidence (BWP and Samaras). God knows what Isaakson must think.

In my view the Board should have told Pearce that he was either City manager full time or the U21 manager part time – but not both (as Garth Crooks said on TV on Saturday – only that dork Carlton Palmer disagreed). I’d have given him 24 hours to decide and let’s see where his loyalty lies. There’s something wrong at City. We have now lost 2 of the coaching staff (pity that couldn’t have included Wigley) and we can’t seem to buy a goal at CoMS. If we go down the heart will be ripped out of our side (Distin, Richards, Barton plus our ‘foreign stars’ will be off).

We are going in to free fall again and like last year Pearce has not got a clue what to do about it. Admittedly we have lost some players including Onouha (we hardly lost when he played) but that’s no excuse. Will Pearce give Sturridge more than 5 minutes on the pitch? Or give Evans a chance? Or will they be treated like BWP? The latter I suspect, while he perseveres with the likes of Dickov, Weaver, Corradi, and Sun (In Corradi’s defence I would say the service to him is absolutely abysmal and he does try hard). We still have to play Watford and Charlton. Now we know what these teams play like – Pardew’s teams are footballing sides. Last season in the league we played WHU off the park. Pardew learned from that, Pearce thought they’d be the same as they had been (Pardew learned, Pearce didn’t). Footballing sides mean we need good passers of the ball – so select them. And for God’s sake keep a close eye on Darren Bent and get a goalkeeper in who can command his 6 yard box. Against Watford we need scrappers and then bring on our more skilful players. If we don’t beat Charlton I think we will be relegated. A draw is not good enough. It’s beginning to look like when we lost to Luton. At present we have a manager who took Forest down and a coach who took Southampton down. Like I said, déjâ vu. I sincerely hope I’m wrong. But whatever the outcome, at the end of this season (after the Cup final just in case we are in it) Pearce should be given his cards and he can take Wigley with him. If we do survive this season, make Joey Barton the captain next season.

Now let’s hear it from all those Pearce apologists or happy clappers as they are known on the various websites.

Ian Burgess <i.burgess1(at)>


I originally wrote this for the current edition of King of The Kippax (No 148) and would like to share it with McV.

I am 44 years old and have been actively watching City since 1972. One of my first cogent memories is of my dad running around outside our house in Germany, bottle of ‘Newcie Brown’ in hand as the news of the win at St James’ Park came through. Probably unusually, my dad’s family was half Red, half Blue. I was ‘lucky’ enough to be brought up the right way I suppose. As we went on to win the FA Cup I got more involved and by the time of the West Brom League Cup triumph I was hooked.

We returned to England in 1972 and I have early memories of City being a big club, regularly beating United, whilst still managing to get beaten by teams like 2nd Division Forest in the Cup of course, having players in every England (and Scotland) squad for a decade, Maine Road being a place teams feared to play at, ah halcyon days!

The 1975-1978 period was a golden era for me. What a team. We went away and played 3 or 4 forwards as often as not. Royle, Tueart, Barnes, Kidd up front, Doyle and Watson at centre half, Asa in midfield, big Joe in goal. The full backs weren’t shabby either. I expected us to win every week. The end began when Malcolm returned and systematically dismantled the team. The 80’s and 90’s were a procession of mediocre seasons followed by poor seasons, there were more false dawns at City than the number of zeroes on Premier League players’ pay cheques. It did not seem to matter, the football experience has always been about more than following a winning team.

The vast majority of my time as a Blue has been spent as a season ticket holder, first standing on the Kippax (oh happy days) then in the Main Stand, the new Kippax and now in the East Stand.

My love affair with City in particular and the Premier League in general will end at home to United. Why? Well, in no particular order:

  • A season ticket guarantees entrance but not if the changed kick off timesmean I cannot get there. Work travel commitments often make Sunday kick offsimpossible and Monday evenings very difficult. We’ve even had an 11:30 on aSunday morning!
  • The most important spectator for a club is the TV fan. People who actuallyattend are low on the priority list. Hmmmmmm, “City away at Norwich. I know,let’s play it on a Monday. Only a 10 hour round trip. I’m sure a day off workand getting to bed at 2 am won’t be too much trouble”. I’ve lost count of thenumber of games I’ve missed because the times have moved. Some of us have toplan our lives more than 4 weeks ahead. We’ve all booked holidays, flightsetc. only to see plans screwed up by a date change.
  • Atmosphere is gone thanks to all seated stadia. Big clubs need to tell HMGwhere to go. Why can I stand up at COMS for an Oasis gig but not for a match?Why are clubs totally uninterested in bringing in safe standing? It can onlybe money. Why can I stand in many away ends but not at home? If the Germanscan manage safe standing so can we. Many people I speak to would actually paymore to stand.
  • Today’s players are completely out of touch with the fans. They only goout to VIP clubs and are protected from us by chains and bouncers. That’s ifus plebs are allowed in the first place. God forbid that one of them had toactually talk to one of us. City, for example, have restricted (banned?)players from attending supporters’ club meetings. City now charge £50 for asigned shirt even for charities. As recently as the early 90’s players wouldalways appear in the social club, stand a round or two and sign programmesetc. There are exceptions I’m sure but generally the players are aloof and ina different world.
  • Only 3 or 4 clubs will ever win the league again. I know that City haveonly been a major force for a 10 year period but we have won the league in mylifetime as have Villa, Forest, Everton, Derby, Blackburn, Ipswich and Leeds.There are effectively 16 clubs that are little more than cannon fodder forthe big 3 or 4.
  • The gap between top 3 or 4 is getting bigger and bigger. Success isrewarded with more money, which brings more success etc. Manchester United arenearly 30 points off teams from 8th down. There did not used to be 30 pointsbetween top and bottom. How is the game strengthened by giving the alreadypowerful clubs even more money?
  • Players earn obscene amounts of money. An average player earns in a weekwhat the average worker/fan earns in a year. 20 year old average playersdrive £150,000 cars and are millionaires after a couple of years. I run acompany, I earn good money, I believe in a free market. I don’t blame theplayers for taking what is on offer, I just think what’s on offer is wrong.22 man squads and a £30 million total wage bill might level the playingfield.
  • Too much football on TV. A live game at 5:30 on a Saturday, for me themost acceptable time for a TV game, and maybe one at 3pm on a Sunday isenough.
  • Too many cheats. Not enough action taken against them… unless of courseyou’re Bernado Corradi. How Ronaldo can even be considered as player of theyear is beyond me. He is a cheat.
  • Refs have never been perfect but the current bias towards big teams isridiculous. City fans have always had reasons for believing that United getmore than their fair share of the rub of green but with the Sky Blue glassesnowhere in sight I know that Chelsea and Arsenal get decisions that e.g.City, Everton, Spurs, Villa and this week, Wigan do not. How did Scholes stayon the pitch against Spurs? 5 bookable offence in a single game. Barton nevergets a chance to commit 5 fouls, he’s sent off after 2. Rooney lunges 2 footedand stays on the pitch, Barton lunges and he’s off.
  • The league is a foregone conclusion and the cups are going the same way.One of the big 3 or 4 will win the FA and League cups for 8 out of the next10 years. I laughed for years at Scottish football, well the laugh’s now onme.
  • Rich clubs buy players and do not use them, further weakening the smallerclubs. SWP is a case in point.
  • Expensive, middle of the road quality food and expensive, big brand, zerotaste beer in the ground. Why no Manchester beer, no Manchester food?
  • Too many journeyman foreigners in the team. Too many journeymenforeigners in the league. Dabo, Musampa, Riera, etc. Does anyone believethey give a monkeys? Here for the coin and nothing else.
  • No continuity in the team. It is 5 out and 5 in most summers. It’s hardto get behind a team when half of it changes every year.
  • The Sky money should be spread around more. Some should go to the smallerclubs and youth development. Some should be used to reduce ticket prices.

As you may have deduced, I will not be renewing. It is possible that I’ll not even bother going to City again after this season unless some of the above changes. I love football, I am a City fan but my game has been taken away from me and my team are irrelevant. Unfortunately I think this is true of every club bar United, Arsenal, Chelsea (until Abramovich leaves) and Liverpool.

Stalybridge Celtic, Mossley and maybe Rochdale, Bury etc. will get my hard earned cash. I can turn up at 2 pm, have a beer in the social club or a local boozer, talk to some fans (home and away), eat a decent pie, pay on the gate, watch 22 players play a game free of diving and be home for 6 (remember when it was like this?). It won’t be City, there will be none of the ecstasy and agony of being a partisan supporter but this is outweighed by the good side.

There are some positives coming from the club. City’s £95 junior season ticket is to be applauded but it changes none of the above.

I hope something changes, I suspect it won’t. The vision of COMS with 25,000 in every week, except for when United visit, is going to come true some time soon. The club and all middle ranking clubs have to wake up or we will be just like every other league in Europe, a handful of clubs that can win something and a handful of clubs with full grounds. How much will Sky pay to broadcast games from 1/2 empty stadia?

I have thought about starting an Internet campaign to try to get our game back. The problem is that the only people who are really bothered about the state of the game are those of us who can remember what it was like pre-Premier League. If it was actually possible to get a nationwide boycott of all games on a single weekend just to show what the game would be like without us, maybe some of the clubs would wake up. As the recent boycott at Bolton showed, however, it is not possible to get people not to go. I have a dream of everyone turning up at the ground as normal but spending the whole 90 minutes outside the stadium, a demonstration of positive commitment to make a real point. It will never happen of course but imagine the impact.

None of the above mentions the fact that the football is stultifyingly c**p. It would be nice if we played open, flowing, attacking football and if the opposition tried to do the same of course but the quality of football is not the reason I’m sick to death of the Premier League in general and City in particular.

Will MCFC give a t**s if I don’t renew? I doubt it. My seat is in the 2nd tier of the East stand, 5 seats to the right of the corporate seats, it will be snapped up in an instant.

[Agree entirely on the nationwide boycott idea, Mike. The recent slashing of season ticket prices, and longer renewal dates, by some clubs makes me think that City have missed a trick here in persuading a lot to renew – Ed]

City ’til I Die

Mike Strahand/The Blue Doctor <mike.strahand(at)>


After 28 seasons as a season ticket holder, last Saturday the 3 of us made a once unthinkable decision not to renew our season tickets. It’s not just the Wigan display, it’s being asked to pay £2.80 for a beer in a plastic cup, £2.30 for a pie and then watch players earning £10-20,000 a week giving a pretty inept account of themselves for 90 minutes’ work.

This season entertainment levels have dropped, atmosphere is dull and we are asked to pay £460 each when we don’t know which league we’ll be in next season. The longer we leave it, the more it costs. Next year we will get a citycard yet even that costs £20 just for the privilege to buy a match ticket.

I’m sure we are not alone. How many will have renewed by Friday compared to last season – if it’s a lot less the club should consider £460 is the most you pay, not the least. Genuine effort and entertainment, not a lot to ask!

Dave & Ron Kennerley, Albert Wardle <Merescotties(at)>


Around 60 City fans responded to my recent survey. The next stage is for me to publish an on-line Premiership survey that will be pretty much based on our collective responses, and will reveal if other clubs’ supporters feel the same way as City fans. As promised, here are the results:

Almost half of you said you were giving up your season ticket next season, added to 20% who gave up last year. A further 15% said you were considering giving up, leaving a worrying 20% who said you would keep your season ticket for at least one more season.

27(45.0%)Giving up season ticket
11(18.3%)Gave up last season
9(15.0%)Considering giving up
13(21.7%)Keeping season ticket

Below is a table showing the things you said are wrong with City and Premiership football and a count of “mentions”. Some of you repeated the same reason in a slightly different way; some of you reeled off a string of reasons whilst others mentioned only one or two. What is amazing is that you came up with 33 different reasons for what is wrong with City and Premiership football at the moment.

So, whilst this is not an exact science, clearly the biggest reason given for staying away was the lack of entertaining football. Whilst winning or at least surviving is paramount to each and every Premiership chairman, the fans says they would rather lose in a high scoring match than win every home match 1-0. Next was the ridiculous array of kick-off times that affect one’s planning around family and work lives. High up there in third place was ticket prices, and typically City have shot their bolt prematurely by only announcing frozen season ticket prices, whilst Blackburn have announced a reduction of 25% that would have probably seen me renew as it would have sent out the message from the club that they care about me. Fourth was the lack of competition, and if the comments about Champions’ League enabling the rich to get richer had been added, the combined total would have taken second place. Many were City specific with “Board have no direction or ambition” and “City have no empathy with the fans” riding high up there.

13612.2%Lack of entertaining football
2258.5%Kick-off times
3237.8%Ticket prices too expensive
4217.1%Lack of competition – domination of top 4
5206.8% Players’ ability in relation to their pay
6196.4%Lack of atmosphere/ half full stadia
7186.1%Value for money/ lack of enjoyment/ no experience
8165.4%City Board have no direction/ ambition
9134.4%City have no empathy with fans (seen as customers)
10103.4%No advantage having a season ticket
11103.4%Too much money in Premiership
12103.4%Too much football on TV
1393.1%Champions’ League: rich get richer increasing gulf
1482.7%Foreigners/ Bosmans stifling youth
1582.7%Easier to watch on TV than attend matches
1672.4%Treatment by stewards
1751.7%Loss of interest in club/ football
1851.7%Away ticket prices too expensive
1941.4%Sky TV too powerful
2041.4%New age “fans” with no knowledge of club or football
2131.0%Lack of standing
2231.0%Diminishing social aspect
2331.0%Too much cheating in football
2420.7%Drinking not allowed on terracing
2520.7%Lack of respect for officials
2620.7%Fear of failure making football drab
2720.7%Agents have too much influence
2820.7%Poor officials
2910.3%Over-hyped Premiership
3010.3%Merchandise too expensive
3110.3%Too much money going out of football
3210.3%Transfer window take away interest
3310.3%Imminent Smoking ban

Don’t forget to complete the on-line Premiership survey that is coming very soon.

Steve Kay <info(at)>


The Weaver Isaksson Saga.

I feel that Weaver was at fault for the goal against Wigan, and though it may not warrant him being dropped as it was a single mistake, I would love to see Isaksson given a further chance at the soonest possible opportunity.

Weaver isn’t about to up sticks and leave because we drop him for five or ten games, at least long enough to see if Isaksson can make a positive impact on our results (though of course it is in the scoring department that we could really do with an injection of quality, if you don’t concede goals you don’t lose games).

I would hate to see a quality goalkeeper leave the club because he has been promised first team football and we have failed to deliver because we feel the need to be loyal to a player who has shown loyalty to us.

I’m not too afraid of relegation, I can’t see Charlton and co. winning enough games, I just really hope we can get into the next round of the Ccup because it is so much more exciting than the prospect of finishing anywhere between 8th and 17th!

Sam Brooks <sambrooks(at)>


Further to the comments of Gary Sullivan in MCIVTA 1306, Are we really that bad? Yes we are. A friend of mine watched us against his team Liverpool and told me how good our defence was; I had to remind him just how poor the Liverpool attack is.

Sam Duxbury <member(at)>


In hindsight, I wonder how much money the club ultimately and totally wasted in terms of sending the staff over to Qatar for their late-term golfing and shopping break? Unfortunately, the results were clearly on display on Saturday – as such, the players should now personally reimburse the club and, in addition, issue an apology to their employer, as well as to the fans, for Saturday’s display and ultimate result versus Wigan.

I like and have supported Stuart Pearce but, in view of our continuing demise within the league, this ongoing situation really cannot be allowed to deteriorate, no matter who may be in charge. It’s just becoming more-of-the-same, unfortunately, and this is not acceptable, under any circumstances.

New investors for the club? Second thoughts, surely, and I wouldn’t blame them one iota. Those over at Old Trafford must be loving this! I fear the club is fast becoming an embarrassment to those of us who hold it dearly.

Seems to me the players just do not have respect for their manager – simply due to the poor displays on the pitch. If that indeed is the case then those players need to immediately move on and, unfortunately, Stuart should find himself a smaller club with which to learn his trade taking Samaras, for one, with him. What a waste of money, a terrible signing.

At this rate, quite honestly, Stuart just does not deserve to hold the position with Manchester City, as his apparent shortcomings seem to be more on display as time progresses. This is unfortunate for the man, and I take no pleasure whatsoever in making that statement.

It should be deemed an honour to be associated with Manchester City – however, judging by performances and results, this is clearly being taken too lightly by many at the club.

For me, Stuart is now out of his depth and is best at working directly with the players under the guidance of an experienced manager, only.

Back to basics: We desperately need quality players who are proud to pull on the famous City shirt. We desperately need a quality manager with experience in the job to turn this club around.

The FA Cup is our only salvation – not much solace, though, if we become winners and end up one division lower next season.

For goodness sake, it is about time the Board of Directors gets to grips with this situation – or, get out of the way and allow fresh direction to take effect, in a more positive manner. Now!

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)>


Great news? George Michael has announced that he will be playing at the City of Manchester Stadium on Friday 15 June. Sara Billington, Manchester City’s Head of Operations commented, “The City of Manchester Stadium is a fantastic venue for concerts.”

Yes, but she forgot to say it’s a c**p football stadium. The more I look at the stadium, the more I see a pop concert arena. A big access tunnel in the corner of the main stand for easy access to build the stage at the north stand, nice big pitch [stands build well back] to get 60,000 pop fans in [standing?] and a big, wide gangway through the south stand. I know concerts bring in a lot of money but I still think it’s a c**p football stadium (R.I.P. Maine Road, “a great football ground”).

Kevan Jones <kev20971(at)>


I read today (Monday) that Stuart Pearce wants MCFC to “splash the cash on new players”.

Something I have said a long time ago: “pay the piper now, or pay him a lot more later on”. Just hope that it is not too late, someone has got to motivate the players that we have got now or we are going to be in serious trouble.

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Brown kit – guess what? It could be right.

I’ve been puzzled by the kit worn by City in the 15 January 1966 meeting with Preston at Maine Road for some time and the comment “the day sticks in my mind because City chose to turn out in a disgusting chocolate brown kit for better visibility on a snow covered pitch” could be true.

I have photographs from the game (all in black and white) that show City wearing white shorts and shirts that were predominantly of a very dark colour with thin white stripes, white sleeves, and a white collar. Preston wore white shirts.

None of the newspaper articles I have talk of the colour worn, but they do talk about the snow (visible on the photos).

The City programme for City vs. Blackpool on 24/1/66 also contains a photo but no mention of the colour.

So is there anybody out there who attended (or played in) the game and can remember exactly what colour was worn? Personally, I wasn’t born then, and I’ve assumed the dark colours were a form of maroon, but looking at it now I see it could be brown.

One thing I will say is that the kit looks significantly more impressive than the Coventry ‘Talbot cars’ brown shirt.

Gary James <garyjames(at)>


I read with interest the item by Neil (MCIVTA 1306) regarding his Coventry-phobic tendencies that began with his distaste of the chocolate brown kit of the 1970’s. I also read his horror at the suggestion made in Mr Jones’ tome that City had worn a brown kit one day in 1966. Unless my memory is failing me, Neil can rest assured that City did not have such an abomination as a kit. At the time, City’s change kit was an all maroon number, and perhaps that confused the young Mr Jones.

And Neil – you forgot to mention your irritating references to the fake hawk hanging from the Maine Stand, as well as the lightning conductors on the Kippax…

Don Barrie <news(at)>


In the last edition of MCIVTA, Marc Starr noted that Timothy Dalton had “a background in show-business, as both his grandfathers were vaudevillians.”

Wouldn’t this make him as Aston Villa fan?

Ade Collins <Ade.Collins(at)>


If anyone hasn’t seen the Government website, and in view of the petition against road pricing, it’s hard to believe anyone hasn’t, you can vote regarding standing at football matches here at this link:

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


4 March 2007

Bolton Wanderers      1 - 2  Blackburn Rovers      21,743
West Ham United       3 - 4  Tottenham Hotspur     34,966

3 March 2007

Arsenal               2 - 1  Reading               60,132
Fulham                1 - 1  Aston Villa           24,552
Liverpool             0 - 1  Manchester United     44,403
Manchester City       0 - 1  Wigan Athletic        39,923
Newcastle United      0 - 0  Middlesbrough         52,303
Portsmouth            0 - 2  Chelsea               20,219
Sheffield United      1 - 1  Everton               32,019
Watford               2 - 2  Charlton Athletic     19,782

League table to 04 March 2007 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  29 12  1  1 35  8 11  2  2 31 11 23  3  3  66  19  47  72
 2 Chelsea         28 10  4  0 30  8  9  2  3 20 11 19  6  3  50  19  31  63
 3 Liverpool       29 11  3  1 29  4  5  2  7 15 16 16  5  8  44  20  24  53
 4 Arsenal         27  9  5  0 34 11  6  2  5 16 12 15  7  5  50  23  27  52
 5 Bolton Wndrs    29  8  3  4 21 14  6  2  6 13 20 14  5 10  34  34   0  47
 6 Everton         29  7  4  3 21 11  4  6  5 16 15 11 10  8  37  26  11  43
 7 Reading         29  9  1  4 26 16  4  3  8 17 22 13  4 12  43  38   5  43
 8 Tottenham H.    29  9  1  4 25 17  3  5  7 15 26 12  6 11  40  43  -3  42
 9 Portsmouth      29  8  4  3 22 12  3  4  7 14 19 11  8 10  36  31   5  41
10 Blackburn R.    29  7  2  5 19 16  5  2  8 16 23 12  4 13  35  39  -4  40
11 Newcastle Utd   29  7  5  3 23 17  3  2  9 11 20 10  7 12  34  37  -3  37
12 Middlesbrough   29  8  3  3 21 14  1  6  8 11 20  9  9 11  32  34  -2  36
13 Aston Villa     28  6  4  3 15 11  1  8  6 14 23  7 12  9  29  34  -5  33
14 Fulham          29  6  5  4 14 13  1  7  6 17 31  7 12 10  31  44 -13  33
15 Wigan Athletic  29  5  2  7 14 20  4  3  8 16 24  9  5 15  30  44 -14  32
16 Sheff. United   29  5  6  4 18 17  3  1 10  7 24  8  7 14  25  41 -16  31
17 Manchester City 27  5  4  5 10 12  3  2  8 10 21  8  6 13  20  33 -13  30
18 Charlton Ath.   29  5  3  6 15 17  1  3 11 11 32  6  6 17  26  49 -23  24
19 Watford         29  2  7  6 13 20  1  4  9  5 23  3 11 15  18  43 -25  20
20 West Ham United 29  5  2  8 17 21  0  3 11  4 29  5  5 19  21  50 -29  20

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0607.01]

[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 Radio Manchester (née 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 Plus Markets Group web site 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] I hear there is a TV programme specifically about City?

InsideMCFC is broadcasted by ChannelM. It is available on the SkyDigital (ch.203) and NTL (ch.26) platforms as well as being transmittedtraditionally within the Manchester area (ch.39). In addition, theprogramme is available to watch via the web. More details and schedule:

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 #1307