Newsletter #19

Phil Knight

Martin Ford

We have two ‘live’ reports of the game, but unfortunately none from a Southampton supporter; it must be just too far! Also, our first ever reserves report which indicates that Kernaghan is still SB (schoolboy)! I thought that, rather than send out an abbreviated MCIVTA on Thursday, I will probably send the latest news i.e. team selection etc. to Svenn, so if you want the latest, take a look on the Web Page. Hopefully, if I get enough reports on Friday I can send out MCIVTA 20 then. Please note that there is no game at the weekend.

We now have 53 subscribers.

Next game Manchester United away Thursday 10th November



On Saturday afternoon, I made one of my increasingly infrequent trips to the Academy of Football to sample for myself the new spirit at City. The last game I got to was the home win against Everton; and despite the fact that largely the same personnel were on show, it was a distinctly different City on display.

Me and my Southampton chum plumped to sit in the new Kippax Stand – it’s still only nine pounds to sit there, and there’s always the chance of getting to wear one of those wonderful capes, as featured in the game against Tottenham. After a couple of pints in the Whitworth (where do you drink before the game?) we staggered to our seats. Just to the right of the halfway line, and about ten rows back, we had a great close-up view, perhaps lacking some of the perspective you get from higher up.

The crowd was about 4,000 fewer than for the last home match, and was largely subdued for most of the time – I blame it on these all-seater stadiums, me. To start with, though, they were in good voice, and a chant of “Barcelona” rang out from the North Stand (this is where I think the hard core of the old Kippax have taken up residence).

The first half started brightly enough, a bit of a surprise for me because I thought City had to wait for the half-time team talk before they started to play. In the majority of City’s attacks, the ball found its way to Peter Beagrie, and with Terry Phelan giving good support the Southampton right-back had a torrid afternoon. The problem with Beagrie, though, seems to be that he’s not satisfied with beating a player once, and Southampton generally had plenty of time to regroup in the middle, dealing comfortably with most crosses. On the right-hand side, Nicky Summerbee was more anonymous, and in contrast to Beagrie (and has been noted before) he appears to be afraid of taking on the tackler.

Paul Walsh up front was his usual busy self, but Niall Quinn was rather lacklustre all afternoon. In the middle, Gary Flitcroft and Steve Lomas played okay, but didn’t dominate their Saints counterparts, Le Tissier and Magilton. Considering our opposition on Thursday night this is all rather worrying, and the sooner we get some more strength here the better. City had no real clear cut chances in the first half – Walsh and Quinn had shots easily dealt with by Grobbelaar, and Lomas lacked a little direction on a couple of powerful drives as the ball rebounded out of the area to him.

City’s back four gave the illusion of stability early on, but there were ominous signs as no-one took the responsibility for tackling Le Tissier, so whenever he had the ball in the first half, he had plenty of time to peruse the options in front of him.

After about 25 minutes the hitherto anonymous Simon Tracey was given a back pass to deal with. He was fairly rushed for time, but he insisted on taking a second touch, and in the ensuing panic the ball skidded off for a corner. City couldn’t clear the corner, and it came to Le Tissier in the corner of the area. He was given plenty of time to work the ball to the Saints striker Dowie and he flicked it on to the centre-back Hall who finished with aplomb, giving Tracey no chance.

Southampton had a chance to kill the game before the break, when they won a free kick on the edge of the City area. The crowd (and, I expect, the City players) were expecting a spectacular drive from Le Tissier, but instead he chipped the ball over the wall from where a Saints player had broken, and he really should have scored. Southampton had 3 or 4 more free kicks in dangerous positions in the second half, but this was as close as they would come from a dead-ball situation.

City drifted through the rest of the half without posing much threat but came out for the second reinvigorated. The equalising goal was a messy affair, with the ball being laid on by Quinn to Walsh in a crowded penalty area. Walsh forced the ball towards the goal and though a defender seemed to clear it from the line, the linesman signalled a goal. The video evidence on Match of the Day was not clear enough to judge the validity of the decision, but needless to say the crowd were delirious. The linesman had previously been getting a lot of stick from the crowd due to a certain physical feature (to put it delicately, he did not have the athletic figure that you would expect of a Premiership official).

After equalising, City began to dominate. Le Tissier was closed down a lot more quickly than earlier on, Beagrie carried on his probing runs, and Summerbee gained more confidence and began to take on the left-back Benali. It came as no great surprise, then, when Walsh scored his second. The details of the build-up escape me (it is Tuesday now) but it was a cracking finish and City should then have cruised to victory.

What came next should not have been surprising either. From the restart, Southampton attacked down the right, and before City had composed themselves, Ekelund had clipped the ball past Tracey for the equaliser.

Minutes later, things got worse as in a similar move Ekelund scored his second, though this time he was put through with a sublime flick from Le Tissier. City could easily have crumbled at this point, but instead they composed themselves. The old City would have hoofed the ball up the field, hoping that Quinn might make contact; but on Saturday they bided their time, building up slowly from the back despite the protestations of the crowd to do otherwise. The striker Adie Mike replaced the right-back Andy Hill, and it was he who laid the ball to Beagrie for the equaliser inside the last 10 minutes. From the terraces it looked like Beagrie knew he could score. He cut inside, unleashing a beauty from the edge of the area and celebrated with his customary back-flip.

There were chances for both sides to get a winner, but luckily for the defences the best ones fell to Dowie and Quinn. Dowie was released into City’s half with only the keeper to beat but, unsure of his pace, he tried a blast from 35 yards which instead rolled tamely to Tracey. Quinn failed to make contact when the ball was chipped to him beyond the Saints defence to the edge of the six yard area and an attempted chip with Grobbelaar scrambling back to his line ended up closer to the corner flag than the goal.

In the last few minutes the referee capped a very poor display by booking Lomas and three Southampton players for trivial offences.

At the final whistle my primary emotion was frustration at City’s inability to win another game in which they were by far the better side – a sign that we’re going to struggle to win things – but the prospects are looking a lot brighter than for a long time. The attacking style makes for great football and, as I’ve indicated, we now have players who can use the ball effectively. The sooner one of our established keepers is back the better, as defence is our weakest area. Brian Horton talked after the match about City needing “a talker”. Anyone have any idea what he’s on about?

Roll on Thursday evening, anyway.

Final score 3-3



City started the game with a flourish, taking early control and managing to dominate. City could easily have been 2 or 3 three goals to the good before Southampton scored. City just couldn’t manage to get a decent shot on target. Lomas, Flipper and Walsh were all guilty of wasting good efforts. Then, in what was there first attack, Southampton scored. This all came from a needless corner, when Tracey tried to dummy Dowie(?) but his resulting clearance cannoned back towards the goal but Tracey managed to scramble back and push the ball round the post. Le Tissier’s corner was cleared, but only straight back to him and his second cross was met by Vonk and a diving Dowie. The ball ended up at Hall’s feet who made no mistake, so with their first real attack Soton had sneaked into the lead. City tried to get back into the game but chances were wasted. Southampton always looked dangerous, especially through LeTissier and City went in trailing.

Never mind, the usual Horton boot up the backside would work, and so it did. City came out again with a real commitment to the game and were straight at Southampton. City got a dubious equaliser from a corner. Beagrie’s cross was flicked on by Quinn and met by the diving Walsh. I will admit that the ball didn’t appear to cross the line, but the linesman gave it, a break that City needed to get back into the game. City once more began to find their feet and it looked like they would win the game when Walsh scored his second. Two Southampton defenders couldn’t clear the ball and only struck it against Walsh, who was fortunate enough to score from the rebound. City had turned the game around and were now leading 2-1; surely they could survive? Before we had a chance to settle back into our seats Ekelund had equalised. He played a one-two with Le Tissier before cooly beating Tracey. That was bad enough but worse was to follow. City conceded another Ekelund goal, and once again it was Le Tissier who supplied the final ball. So, from taking the lead to going behind had taken 5-6 minutes. From feeling euphoria it was now complete despondency. Why had City allowed themselves to be suckered again? City started to fight back once more, but Le Tissier was the main thorn in City’s side; he’d created the goals and had caused most of the problems. However the game wasn’t over and it was down to City’s most influential player to get the equaliser. Beagrie picked up the ball and once again ran at the defence leaving a couple of players in his wake before unleasing a drive that went past Grobbelaar.

So the game finished 3-3, another entertaining game which is a good advert for English footie. However, City must start worrying about the alarming number of goals they’re conceding. If they want to be a top-rated club they need a tighter defence.



Nicked from the Sun…

By Mike Ellis

Brian Horton will use the video of this remarkable game to enforce his urgent message before Thursday’s big Manchester derby. He said:

“We’ll watch the game again from where we went ahead in the second half. When I was a player I hated it when the manager sat us down to watch the video but I’ll use it to demonstrate that some of them are not doing their job properly. We are close to becoming a very good side but we should have six points from our last two games instead of one.”

Paul Walsh, who will be City’s standard bearer at Old Trafford, knowsexactly what his gaffer is getting at. The little magician has seen toomany goals go to waste this season which is why City are not closer totheir old rivals at this stage. He moaned:

“We always seem to be most vulnerable when ahead. It would be nice just once to go ahead and not give it back in the next 10 seconds. It’s so disappointing and it’s something we must get sorted out because it has happened on half a dozen occasions this season.”

And nobodyhas suffered more than Walsh. With 10 Premiership goals, he is right upthere with the big hitters as one of the best finishers in the country. Twomore against Saints only underlined his value. Yet perfectionist Walsh wasstill not satisfied. He added:

“I did not do myself justice and was getting knocked off the ball too easily. I felt I did not do my job properly.”

The last timeSaints kept a clean sheet was in January, so City were a racing cert toscore a few – especially as they have looked so formidable at Maine Road.Yet Horton must have trembled every time Matt Le Tissier got theball. And, inevitably, Le Tissier created the 2 goals for Ronnie Ekelund whichput the visitors in front after Walsh’s double. Fortunately for City, PeterBeagrie produced his own brand of magic to nab the equaliser.

James Nash

Mike Carr

Paul Howarth

Martin Ford

Paul Howarth

James Nash

Andy Davies


[some guff about Tissue del’d]

DREAM TEAM *star man*: Peter Beagrie (paraded his full range of bewildering talents to edge out Le Tissier)

TEAM (with ratings; 6 unless stated): Tracey, Hill (Mike), Brightwell 7, Vonk, Phelan, Summerbee, Flitcroft, Lomas 7, Beagrie 8, Walsh 7, Quinn 7.
Subs not used: Burridge, Edghill.
Booked: Lomas.

REF: M Reid (Birmingham) 6



Went to St. Andrews last night and witnessed the above, Pontins League Division 2 I believe. The new stands there look really impressive and the crowd was nearly 4,000, better than Wimbledon for a Premiership game! Didn’t recognise a lot of the City team, only Margetson, David Brightwell, Quigley, Kernaghan and Griffiths.

We were totally overrun by a Birmingham side that consisted of most of last year’s first team (Barry Fry’s bought a lot of new players but hasn’t been able to offload any of the ones he doesn’t want). They had a striker called De Souza who ran rings round Kernaghan. None of the City players stood out and some of them, Kernaghan for one, looked awful.

A young winger came on close to the end, Scott Thomas I think, he made a good run and put in a cross for Griffiths to score – that was about the best City move of the evening. Margetson made a few good stops, but he wasn’t getting much protection from Kernaghan and co. Finally, we had another winger playing, John Sharpe. Somebody in the crowd said he’s Lee Sharpe’s brother; didn’t play anything like Lee, looked a bit like him though.


The Newcastle CCC4 game is on Wednesday 30th November.

I heard on Saturday (from the person I was stood next to in the queue for tickets for Newcastle) that they had actually returned 500 of the 3,500 tickets they were sent for the game. I found that very surprising, given that their away following is legendary.


Just seen the back of the Today newspaper and it claims that City are in line to launch a 4M (stlg) bid for David Platt!! (Also heard this on the radio this morning).


There was speculation on Key 103 this morning that City were talking to David Platt with a view to a 4 million transfer. I find this difficult to believe as he’s repeatedly stated that he’s happy in Genoa and would like to have another season there after this one.


A report in today’s Daily Mirror (8/11/94) suggests that City are prepared to spend 4 million pounds stlg on David Platt. Platt has said he wants to return from Italy before the ’96 Euro Championships and play in England again. Brain Horton says he wants a “talker” cum “motivator” on the pitch and that “we are one class player short of being a very good team”.

Sampdoria will probably be reluctant to let him go but I would love to see the England captain playing at Maine Road. A few questions… can we afford him? and will he fit into the current side? All wild speculation, as ever.


Reading sky sports teletext, City it seems are interested in buying David Platt from Sampdoria (the much talked about world class midfield player and leader we have been promised) and Chris Fairclough (defender) from Leeds who has lost his place in the team to Carlton Palmer.


Thanks to all those who mailed me in answer to my request.

WWW only: 33
RSS only: 33
WWW & RSS: 30
Neither: 1!

It seems that those who don’t get RSS either never bothered to look for it or don’t subscribe if they are home-based. What is clear is that a significant number have access but don’t use it because of the ‘noise ratio’ i.e. the amount of garbage you have to wade through to extract the relevant information. It seems serious footie fans avoid RSS, I will know the truth of this soon enough if the subscriber numbers increase due to the Home Page release. WWW is a little more tricky; nearly all users at academic institutions and companies have access. James Nash & Lars Ivar Naess appear to be the odd ones out. Give your systems manager a roasting lads! (use this as evidence). The other people without Web access are people using Email companies such as America on Line who are presumably using a modem? Does anyone have an idea what it takes at home to get Web access? I would guess a modem and WWW browser are required which probably makes the whole set-up too expensive. Does anyone know better? Could anyone out there write a small article describing how to set yourself up for accessing the Web so that I can post it to people who ask me this?


Nov 5, 1994 Blackburn – Tottenham 2 – 0
Crystal_Palace – Ipswich 3 – 0
Leeds – Wimbledon 3 – 1
Liverpool – Nottingham 1 – 0
Manchester_C – Southampton 3 – 3
Newcastle – Queen’s_PR 2 – 1
Norwich – Everton 0 – 0
West_Ham – Leicester 1 – 0
Nov 6, 1994 Arsenal – Sheffield_W 0 – 0
Aston_Villa – Manchester_U 1 – 2
Chelsea – Coventry 2 – 2
Nov 7, 1994 Nottingham – Newcastle 0 – 0

Total Nov 7, 1994

Newcastle 14 10 3 1 31 – 13 33
Blackburn 14 9 3 2 28 – 12 30
Manchester_U 13 9 1 3 23 – 10 28
Nottingham 14 8 4 2 25 – 14 28
Liverpool 13 8 2 3 29 – 13 26
Leeds 14 7 3 4 21 – 16 24
Norwich 14 5 6 3 13 – 12 21
Chelsea 12 6 2 4 23 – 16 20
Manchester_C 13 5 4 4 24 – 20 19
Arsenal 13 5 4 4 17 – 13 19
Crystal_Palace 14 5 4 5 15 – 15 19
Southampton 14 4 5 5 22 – 26 17
West_Ham 14 5 2 7 9 – 15 17
Coventry 14 4 4 6 17 – 26 16
Sheffield_W 14 3 5 6 15 – 22 14
Queen’s_PR 14 3 4 7 20 – 25 13
Wimbledon 13 3 3 7 10 – 21 12
Tottenham 13 5 2 6 21 – 26 11
Aston_Villa 13 2 4 7 12 – 20 10
Ipswich 14 3 1 10 13 – 27 10
Leicester 13 2 3 8 14 – 25 9
Everton 14 1 5 8 9 – 24 8


TITLE           The Pride of Manchester: A History of the Manchester
Derby Matches
AUTHORS Steve Cawley & Gary James
PUBLISHER ACL & Polar Publishing (UK) Ltd.
2 Uxbridge Rd,
Leicester LE4 7ST,
ISBN No 0 9514862 1 7