Plenty of diversity this time around, including a Blackburn match report from Ian. No game this weekend due to the England get-together. For those without WWW access, Uwe is currently way out in front in the voting for Player of the Year whilst on the manager front guess who? is now in the lead. At present a total of 31 people have voted, 10 of them for BH and an identical number for his only serious rival, Bruce Rioch. BH has however collected one point more from a third place vote. Thus, BH retains the support of a third of voters, two thirds would like to see another manager and half of this grouping want it to be the current Bolton manager.
This one goes out to 236.
Next game Newcastle United at home, Saturday 29th April 1995.
MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’
BLACKBURN ROVERS vs. MANCHESTER CITY, 17th April 1995
Well, I couldn’t have picked a better first match to attend this season if I’d tried. Better than watching it ‘live’ on Sky, better than a few bevvies and a good curry, better than watching England win the world cup, better than sex? Well, let’s not get too carried away, but bearing in mind the last time I watched City ‘live’ in the flesh was the Cardiff débâcle last season and we had Ingebrigtsen and Groenendijk playing for us, you might understand my joy and enthusiasm. Living in South Wales as I now do, visiting family in my home town of Bury and taking in a game is somewhat of a rarity these days, and so I jumped at the chance of watching the super blues ‘live’ as opposed to finding a pub with Sky.
Before the Liverpool game my initial feelings were that we’d do well to play well and keep the score down, but after the 3 points on Good Friday my optimism did increase, particulary as City are predicatably unpredictable and perform in the games you least expect to. I did say to our kid and his wife (who I am happy to say is a converted rag) on the way in that we’d get tonked by about 4 or 5, or would win; it was one of those games where I couldn’t see City losing by the odd goal or getting a point as the Blues always do the extreme. We came in over the tops from Bury and passed the spot where Mick Heaton was tragically killed in a road accident, there still being some flowers alongside the road in memory of Mick. The one minute’s silence before the game was excellently held, the only minor exception being one idiot who initially shouted ‘City’ and who was quickly told to shut up by the Blues next to him. In fact the Blackburn fans outside and on the radio after the game commented on how well the City fans respected the silence and got behind the team in general.
Walking to the ground it was obvious that City fans were present in large numbers; in fact a mate of our kid who works in the Blackburn ticket office had heard that City had sold all their 5000 tickets. Our tickets were for the Darwen End away supporters’ section and there didn’t appear to be any spare seats at all. From what I could see we had half of the front tier and most of the top tier, there also being quite a few Blues in the home supporters’ section of the Darwen End, which was pretty good considering it was on telly and the weather was awful.
Overall, I thought the Blues played really well and that we outplayed Blackburn for several periods of the game. It was difficult to tell which team was at the top of the league and which team was struggling to avoid relegation, although the press biasedly accused Blackburn of having an off day. This was simply not the case, and people I have spoken to since who saw the game on Sky all agreed that City were the better team. It was a good all-round performance and their goals came from bad City mistakes as opposed to their ingenuity. Curle and Kernaghan were pretty solid at the back and handled Shearer and Sutton very capably. TC gaffed for their goals, and when he came over to the City end for the start of the 2nd half he recognised this and put his finger to his head and fired the imaginary gun – the City fans responded with ‘England’s Number One’ and his 2nd half performance was more composed. Edghill and Foster both had good, solid performances, as did the rest of the team. Quinn battled away and won everthing in the air and Walshy tirelessly ran for everything. Simpson battled away for everything and did well in the midfield but Summerbee seemed to come in for some stick from the City fans around us. I thought he did okay down the right, but on the boggy, rain-swept surface it was difficult to control the ball and move at pace, and he shied away from some tackles.
After the game, we drove slowly away and passed Franny’s chauffeur driven Roller – he responded to our shouts and the blasts of the horn with a smile, thumbs up and a wave. Let’s hope the players can similarly respond positively and pull off some more performances like this as we are not out of danger yet.
NEWS – INJURIES
Paul Walsh and Keith Curle are both rated “doubtful” for the Newcastle game due to ankle ligament damage suffered at Blackburn.
Steve Lomas, who was hoping to play for the reserves before the end of the season, will not now do so. He’s had a nerve problem in his foot which has troubled him for 2 years and will be seeing a specialist in an attempt to sort it out.
NEWS – QUINN & LAKE
Brian Horton claimed in a radio interview that Niall Quinn was “indispensable” and he was not on the transfer list. Quinn has stated that he wants to stay at City.
Paul Lake has suffered another setback, although it’s nothing to do with his knee this time. The poor lad’s now hurt his back in training. Since he was in training in the first place, this suggests that his swollen knee must no longer be troubling him.
NEWS – VARIOUS
Phoned the City Clubcall number for the first time ever last night to hear what was on offer (the UK number is 0891 12 11 91 for anyone in the dark or interested). Mentioned the England call-up for Flitcroft and Edghill and BH spoke for a while generally on the Blackburn performance on Monday night. Information was also given on the current state of injuries; nothing new except they mentioned Stevie Lomas had a re-occurrence of a foot nerve problem(!?) besides his other injury, so is unlikely to even get a reserve game in this season. Hopefully things are progressing smoothly on the Lakey front (interestingly and surprisingly to me he was mentioned as last name on the Blackburn programme, back page, number 31).
Also, anyone any news on the Centenary front? I can’t believe the only thing will be the mediocre MUEN 4 page effort.
I also read a piece on Tommy Hutchison in the local rag, the South Wales Echo. He’s currently employed by Taff Ely Borough and Merthyr Borough Councils as a football development officer (I must get round to see him some time as he often coaches literally up the road from me) and is due to return to Wembley this Sunday, reason being a Merthyr school team he coaches is in the final of a national 6-a-side tournament. The final of this being held immediately prior to the Autoglass thingy final between Birmingham and Carlisle. Hope he has better luck than in ’81.
PHILL GATENBY INTERVIEW
He talked about various things, including TCF, Standing Ovation, City’s various supporters’ organisations (they should all converge, including Fan on the Board), aspirations for next season, and … he thought we should ground-share with United in the Commonwealth games stadium (80,000 seater), with both clubs putting money into the venture instead of developing their own separate grounds.
I’ve nothing against ground-sharing with United, provided that:
- it’s a new stadium, which both clubs move into at the same time
- it’s a football stadium, not an athletics stadium (you’d be too far from the pitch, like at Wembley)
- the top tier would only be open when needed, so that fans were concentrated closer to the pitch and some sort of atmosphere would be retained.
BLUES ON VINYL
Copied from the April ISA newsletter ‘Indepedent Blues’.
Everybody has heard of Oasis, The Cult and M People, but what have all these groups got in common? All 3 have City fans as band members!
Oasis have a couple of Blues in their line up, The Cult have Billy Duffy and M People have Mike Pickering. So what? On Friday 24th March Billy Duffy, Oasis and Mike Pickering were in the recording studios recording a song called “Blue”.
The video of the song will feature all the artists in City kits. They are though holding our present sponsor ‘brother’ to ransom. The new sponsorship deal with brother is not due until 1996 but with two other prospective sponsors in the sidelines, they are telling brother that unless a very lucrative sponsorship deal is agreed then they will wear another sponsor on the shirts in the video.
The other two sponsors are rumoured to be Sony and Whitbread Breweries. Whitbread own Boddingtons and are reputed to want
the cream of Manchester
emblazoned on the front of City’s shirts, an idea I fully agree with. However, if they do not get this they want the whole advertising at the front of the second tier of the new Kippax stand for the same advert.
One recent contributor mentioned Colin Bell and his restaurant in Whitefield – if I remember correctly this was a joint venture with Colin Waldron (ex Burnley). I have been to the “Bell-Waldron” on possibly half a dozen occasions many years ago, in the days when we used to live in Bury. Having travelled around the North West during the last 20 years I have lost touch with most of my Bury friends and had no need to return (we now live in Chester – thankfully only half an hour from MR). Last week I happened to be in Whitefield on business and was interested to see what had become of it. Not surprisingly it is now an Indian! Does anyone know when CB gave up the business? Also, Tommy Booth used to live close to my mother-in-law in Simister and from time to time he was to be seen in the Farmers Arms or the Same Yet (another unusual pub name); I seem to recall that he spent some time at Preston but where is he now?
In the close season when the Kippax is finally finished there will be two giant Video Screens put into the corners of the ground. One in the corner of the Kippax and North Stand (Windy Corner) and the other in the corner above the Family Stand. These video screens will be 30 foot square and are very similar to the ones found at Molyneux and the New Den. The cost of these screens is