For newcomers, what is actually happening is that people are mailing me and I am then patching the messages together into a newsletter which includes match reports, news, questions and personal views. Rather than asking individually for permission to use each and every letter received, it will be far simpler if I assume that you have no objection to me pasting in what you write. If you only want me to read it and not the rest of humanity than please say so. I have already included Martin Watts’ views on the sales of various players which contrast strikingly with those of Mark’s (Varley’s), posted last time. So, if you have a view let’s hear it, as far as I can remember the only consensus ever reached was ‘Swales Out’ so expect to have your opinion questioned!
Additionally, could you all Email me once again to tell me if you got this info as we now have about 20 people and it is not clear to me whether it is reaching the people it is intended for as, although the mail gets through there is silence at the other end. I’ll attempt a cleanup after a few weeks in order to save my computer a few femtoseconds!
MANCHESTER CITY 1 CRYSTAL PALACE 1 (Sat 10 Sept 1994)
Last year, when Niall Quinn limped away from an ill-judged tackle and into a protracted fight to save his career, the question passed from mouth to mouth at Manchester City was: ‘What will we do without him?’ Ten months later, the return of the erudite Irishman has prompted a second, equally pertinent question amongst those very same supporters: ‘What will we do with him?’ While it seems highly probable that recent reports of friction between Quinn and manager Brian Horton have been subject to journalistic licence, clearly it was the player, not selector who had a case to prove last Saturday. Ushered back into the senior side as a replacement for the suspended Uwe Rösler, Quinn, by his own admission, needed to deliver a robust and convincing performance. A brief flirtation with relegation apart, City have progressed quite adequately in Quinn’s absence and the irony is that the sight of him, arms raised, in the Crystal Palace penalty area has its usual peculiar effect on those charged with responsibility for transforming possession into acceptable chances. If Quinn plays, his colleagues are too often inclined to place their trust in the tedious ‘hit it long, hit it high and hope’ philosophy. Its effects, like its appeal, is strictly limited and with the less predictable Rösler available for next Saturday’s away game at Sheffield Wednesday, it will be interesting to learn who Horton tries to pair with the indispensable Paul Walsh. City’s failure to build anything substantial from the foundations provided by Walsh’s fine header from a Nicky Summerbee cross in the 19th minute was mystifying. Having drawn level courtesy of Bruce Dyer, Palace should have gone on to win.
City: Coton; Brightwell, Curle, Vonk, Phelan; Summerbee, McMahon, Flitcroft, Beagrie; Walsh, Quinn;
Subs: Lomas, Mike, Dibble (all not used)
Extracted from the Daily Telegraph.
In response to the request for a City v Palace review, here’s the one from the Independent.
Taken from ‘The Independent on Sunday’ 11/9/94 without kind permission.
Walsh Lifts City’s Stock, by Jon Culley
Man City 1 Crystal Palace 1
Walsh 18 Dyer 31 Att: 19,971
Man. City’s season had been starkly black and white before this: two heavy defeats away, two good wins at home; and the way they swaggered around for the first 20 minutes at MR yesterday did not inspire much confidence in CP’s prospects.
Paul Walsh, 32 next month but enjoying a bright new passage in his career, gave City an early lead that came as no surprise. The blow that seemed to soften CP up, but the killer punch was never delivered.
For this, CP owed a lot to their goalkeeper, Nigel Martyn, who pulled off an extraordinary save to deny Nicky Summerbee towards the end of the 1st half, and two more as City raised the tempo in the last 15 min. The highlights will have suggested that City were the unlucky ones, but for half the game at least the Londoners looked capable of gaining their 1st Pr. win.
CP, their 1st day humiliation against Liverpool still fresh in their minds, lacked self belief initially but apppeared to realise, when Bruce Dyer headed them level on the half hour that they were good enough in this company not to feel overawed.
City’s wingers play an exciting part in their positive approach. Summerbee, in the first half at least, bore more than a passing resemblance to his revered father, Mike, tormenting Dean Gorden, the England under 21 full back. He crosses superbly, and it was from his delivery that Walsh nodded home his 4th goal of the season.
With Uwe Rösler, the German striker, suspended, Niall Quinn was able to ease his way back after 10 months out through injury. He set up Summerbee for the volley that Martyn saved so spectacularly, and might himself have scored when his late header hit a post.
But CP missed perhaps the clearest chance of the game when Chris Armstrong’s cross looped over 3 City defenders, only for John Salako to head wide for an open goal.
The above review expresses my sentiments about the game. Quinn, Flicroft, Beagrie and Summerbee all missed or had good chances saved. Nigel Martyn was excellent in the Palace goal. The Palace goal came from a sloppily defended right sided corner and Horton has expressed his intention to tighten up the defending on set pieces.
There now seem to be a small number of away fans present at MR in the left hand side of the Main Stand near the big door thingy.
Also, tickets are now available up until 2 O’clock on a match Saturday although a membership card has to be bought at least the day before. I presume there is a similar arrangement on a weekday.
And now I have to decide whether to go to Wednesday on Saturday. 16 pounds for an away end ticket – something’s starting to go wrong somewhere.
WHY ROCASTLE HAD TO GO
HE DIDN’T FIT INTO MY PLANS, SAYS HORTON
Brian Horton’s desire to provide a regular Premiership platform for Rocastle was one of the prime reasons behind his decision to sell the popular midfielder to rivals Chelsea. Rocastle, who made a significant contribution to the club’s successful relegation fight last season with 23 consecutive appearances following his transfer from Leeds was sold to Chelsea for 1.25 million recently. Following many letters and phone calls questioning the decision, Horton has ended his silence on the matter.
“..when the offer came from Hoddle I had to ask myself two questions.. would the move be in the best interests of Man City and would it be in the best interests of David Rocastle. After a while I decided the answer to both questions was “Yes”. I did feel I could allow him to move on without seriously weakening the squad because I couldn’t see him featuring regularly in the first-team under the system I intended to play regularly this season. I also didn’t want to put him through the same sort of situation he went through at Leeds. I think he knew deep down that he would be squeezed out if everyone was fit and weighed up his chances of regular first-team soccer here before deciding to join Chelsea”
Although an instant hit on arrival, City’s backroom staff were alarmed by a noticeable dip in his form at the end of the season and through the pre-season friendlies. Horton says,
“There is no doubt that David’s form dipped after the exciting start he made, and he didn’t look comfortable during our pre-season programme. I had wanted to operate a system which included two wide players and I got the chance when Swindon made Summerbee available during the summer. David doesn’t have the type of game which will fit into the system I intend to use and it was obvious he wouldn’t be happy on the fringe of the first team. Even though I’d decided long before the start of the season that he wouldn’t be an automatic choice, I still hadn’t thought about selling him and was taken unawares when Hoddle called about him. I appreciate that many of our supporters were puzzled when we sold him and that some were angry because the fans took to him from the moment he arrived, but I hope those supporters will now accept that there were sound reasons behind the decision to accept Chelsea’s offer. And remember, David had the final say…..”
Taken from the Manchester Evening News Pink Final.
A friend of mine mailed me to say he heard the following story; make your own minds up:
“I don’t think Horton was responsible for Rocastle going. I heard through the grapevine (mid-summer) that Lee did not want him playing for City again. Primarily because he had put on a lot of weight and had an attitude problem in training and in general. He’d obviously got up Lee’s nose. And Lee’s also got more influence on the footie side than perhaps he’s making out in”.
MAN CITY FAQ
As many of you will already know, Man City is the only club on RSS without a FAQ. Anthony Johnson has volunteered to write one but could do with some help due to other work commitments. Anybody out there willing to write a part of it should contact Anthony at the following address:
(ARSENAL, EVERTON, SHERON, ROCASTLE)
For my part, I attended both the Highbury defeat and the Everton thrashing the next week. I didn’t leave Arsenal feeling completely dejected about the way City had performed, although the first goal in particular, arising from Phelan’s mistake, was rather reminiscent of the attitude which left them in the relegation zone for much of last season. They did manage to string together some good attacking moves, which was encouraging, but were unable to penetrate a solid Arsenal defence. The Everton match obviously provided much cause for optimism, although the poster who reported on that match on the basis of MOTD highlights omitted to mention that the BBC had edited out the whole of the first half, and for good reason. City may have dominated the first 45 minutes, but mostly by virtue of its having been a bit of an apathy contest, of which Everton were the clear winners. We were much more motivated in the second half, but Everton really were dire.
I think the decision to sell Sheron for only 800,000 was loopy really — there’s no way we could buy a replacement of comparable quality for that amount. I don’t know the reasons why he hasn’t managed to make the first team lately, but there’s no denying his potential. With the likes of Walsh and McMahon creaking along as first team regulars (less so Walsh, actually) it seems daft to be selling off youthful quality players. I was sorry to see Rocastle go too – that essentially amounts to the sale of David White for 1.5m, which again seems a bit of an underpricing.
If any of you still have match reports from other newspapers or if you were also there in person then please mail them in, the more the merrier!
Finally, particular thanks to Michael Maddox, Anthony Johnson, Martin Watts & Rob Clarke.