Newsletter #79

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This time around we have numerous articles on a myriad of topics as well as the revealing truth on the ‘not so’ secret life of Kevin Duckworth aged ***rty-something! The ‘Why Blue’ from Canada is the last of my stockpile so if anyone would like to recount their reasons/memories for being a City supporter, please go ahead. Paul (Howarth) has included a request for the WWW; at the moment, the player profiles on the homepage are fairly superficial and we could make them a lot better and much more interesting with a modicum of effort. If you can spare a few minutes to give your opinion on the players’ strengths and weaknesses (serious and humorous), starting with the goalies then this would help us enhance the WWW and the information it provides. Get writing!

I’m flying to Manchester tonight so team news will appear on the WWW courtesy of Martin (Ford). Hope to see some of you on Saturday at ‘The Old Abbey’. If anyone coming cares to bring a camera we could take a picture of the assembled throng and scan it for the WWW as the Spurs List have done.

This issue reaches 247

Next game Newcastle United at home, Saturday 29th April 1995.


NEWS – VARIOUS

I see that the Daily Mirror has reports that Rösler is likely to be called up to the German national team, as a few German scouts have informed City that they will be attending a future home fixture (maybe the Newcastle one). The Germans are looking for a new partner for Klinsmann and Rösler is one of many who might fit the bill. Also news that Gazza is off to Leeds for 3 milion; how about a bid from City if we don’t get Gaudino? Could we afford wages reported to be at 10,000 a week?

Jim Walsh


THE SINS OF KEVIN DUCKWORTH?

Now you can put this down to jealousy or just plain nosiness, but I noted with interest Kevin Duckworth’s match reports in MCIVTA 75. For the home game with Liverpool he took along “the wife” as his insurance policy and she duly delivered the goods with a home win. But come Monday and the Blackburn game I was shocked to discover that “the girlfriend lip reads.”

Is there something we should be told?
Is Kevin Duckworth playing away when City play away?
Is Lynne (the wife?) his Everton, and City merely the mistress (remember Judas)!

Come on Kevin we need to know.

Paul Monaghan


Hi everyone,
I am writing this on behalf of Kevin, who is at the moment nursing a black eye. My name is Lynne and I am also known as “the wife” and “the girlfriend” and yes, I did see both games with him, not just one of them. Unfortunately for Kevin he also made the mistake of showing me how to use this computer so watch out what you say lads. Do you know something that I don’t?

Lynne Duckworth (c/o


ZINEWATCH

For those who can’t get the fanzines, just a little news. The tide is turning against Horton in a very big way. A few weeks ago I wrote an article for the forthcoming Electric Blue that outlined my own grievances against Horton, and I was a little worried that I might find myself running against the stream. The latest issue of King’s pretty much the Horton Out special.

Several articles accuse him of being totally useless and even his ‘nice guy’ persona has come in for a bit of a battering with many people exposing his failure to ever carry the can for a loss, always blaming the players. One writer even calls him a ‘con man’. Apparently, Horton has recently stated that a manager is only as good as the players he works with, and many people point out that this is not acceptable: that someone like Clough could make an average player good and a good player an international. In fact, the situation is so bad that even the regular comedy writer felt he couldn’t come up with anything and wrote a concerned piece instead. Admittedly, this was all put together before the Liverpool and Blackburn games, but let’s not get too euphoric: it still may all be too little, too late.

Another rumour mentioned in KOTK but not expanded on: after the Wimbledon game, “reports of Franny bursting into the dressing room and bollocking everyone…” Anyone know any more?

Whilst on the subject of KOTK, and in the light of MCIVTA’s recent fascination with Blueprint and Phil Gatenby, I thought I’d refer to a recent review of all the City ‘zines they printed:

“BLUEPRINT was the first City fanzine of recent times – and they never let anyone forget it! Only 3 issues last season, taking it up to issue 27, and sunk to being sold by non-Blues? Sometimes called the MU of fanzines, and thought to be self satisfied and pretentious by some, but has a loyal following … Blueprint never welcomed ANY other City ‘zine onto the scene – and then feigned shock horror at why no one liked ’em!?”

Also: “THIS CHARMING FAN” was produced by ex-Blueprinter, Phil Gatenby. His first issue urged all the other City ‘zines to pack it in! The ‘zine subsequently reappeared in a merge with Blueprint! That says it all really. Basically it was a load of hypocritical crap, although a couple of things did make me laugh. Phil meant well, but he regularly gets things around his ears and is an embarrassment to City fans, always leaving us exposed. Shame really.”

I must admit that almost every City fan I met back home seemed to share these views too!

Andrew Conway


BANK LOAN?

Howard Davies, the new Deputy Governor at the Bank of England is said to be a staunch Blue. Perhaps Franny and BH should apply for a quick loan?

David Sheridan


OPINION – DRAWS

I read with interest the piece by Mike Maddox on increasing City’s fan-base, particularly by promoting the club to youngsters. The club already does this to some extent, particularly with low-key fixtures such as Wimbledon but I’d like to see as close to a full stadium as possible for every match really. However, the point I’m writing about is the americanisation of the game, and in particular, resolving drawn games.

There was a program on ITV on Monday night called “Sport in Question”, in which various sports personalities answer questions from the studio audience. Representing football this week was Karren Brady, chief executive of Birmingham City, and very good she was too, speaking far more sensibly IMHO than Jimmy Greaves and one of the other panellists (a horse-racing “expert”) who were in fact quite patronising towards her. Over the weekend, Birmingham City lifted their first trophy for decades, the AutoWindscreens Shield, a competition for the 2nd and 3rd Division clubs. What was unusual about this victory was that the match was settled using sudden-death extra time, Paul Tait’s winning goal coming after 103 minutes (Tait is now in trouble with the FA, facing a disrepute charge for removing his shirt during his celebrations to reveal a T-shirt with the motif “Shit on the Villa” on it). The panel and studio audience were overwhelmingly in favour of using sudden-death extra time to settle matches like this (i.e. rather than penalties) and I agree with this sentiment, since the match is settled by a team effort and is not down to an individual mistake.

However, Jimmy Greaves then went on to say that nobody likes draws and that all matches should be settled this way; he was supported by a member of the audience. This is where I disagree. For all but the biggest, best clubs (not mentioning any names…), it is regarded as point well earned to go to a big away match and get a draw. Although playing on to get a result would give a chance of a win, it’s more likely to convert to a defeat, since the extra time would be more likely to benefit the “big” team with their home advantage. What about small clubs playing away in FA Cup ties? Should they lose the chance to take their illustrious opponents back to their compact ground for a replay in front of their own fans? I accept that replays and finals should be settled on the day, but surely not league matches and ordinary cup ties? The fan supporting Jimmy Greaves cited the extra expense and inconvenience of replays as a reason for not having them; what do other people think? I don’t feel cheated (or whatever the word the Americans use) when I attend a drawn game – does anybody else?

Paul Howarth


OPINION – BH TO STAY OR GO???

Call me old fashioned but am I the only person who has noticed the astonishingly high degree of football that has been played this year? No more straining your neck as you stare blindly in the direction of the floodlights waiting for Curle to hoof the next cannon up to Quinn or trying not to laugh as White vainly tries to control a 5 yard pass. True, our form has certainly been erratic this year and Blackburn apart, our success has largely been confined to Maine Road but as a London Blue, I can tell you that City stuffing Spurs 5-2, the brilliant away wins (2-1 and 4-3) at QPR and (for once) putting up some opposition when going down to Spurs at home has made the season worthwhile. Our defence has been just as inept (no more and no less) than in each of the last three seasons and whilst BH needs to flog Phelan, Vonk, Quinn (we need a striker to score alongside Uwe, not just a hard working beanpole who looks to pass from 2 yards out – harsh but true) to buy a class centre back to pair Curle, a bit of tactical naïvete apart, he has turned the club around from a quasi-Wimbledon heading nowhere fast under Reid, to an attractive, footballing side that with another top striker and class defender could actually start to believe in itself and challenge for honours. BH inherited a basically crap side and Kernaghan apart (though even he is improving steadily) has bought well, has an eye for and an attraction to skilful players and is not frightened to promote youngsters.

Go on Franny – give him a contract extension and take the pressure off him, he deserves it…

David Bresnick


OPINION – NEW MANAGER

A fellow subscriber suggested that City look in N. or S. America for a new manager. May I suggest Bora Militinovic (sp?).

He was just “relieved” of his duties (or he resigned, depending on who you speak to) for the US national team. His career record is something like 30 wins, 35 losses, and 20 draws. This is a man who has taken three international squads to the WC (Mexico, Costa Rica, and the US). He was the manager (I think) when Costa Rica defeated Scotland 2-1 in 1986.

As far as strategy, he seems to favor a very defensive style. It seems that most of the US goals under his reign came from counter-attacks. However, the US defense was and still is pretty weak (Alexi Lalas notwithstanding). Although the US is still a thoroughly mediocre team, they play with a lot of emotion, and Bora was always able to get 120% from his players, especially against teams a lot better than themselves (witness victories over England and Columbia; narrow losses to Germany and Brazil). However, the US also tended to lose to teams inferior to themselves. I think with the amount of talent at Maine Road, he could give MCFC the push it needs to challenge for some hardware. I know this will never happen, but I think it is an interesting scenario.

Jesse McClure


HORTON & LOWRY!

Interesting reading KK yesterday; of course, it went to press before the Easter miracles, so it is full of BH-out articles; Dave Wallace holds his tongue on this, but every other article & letter is calling for BH to go. My feeling is that Franny will keep him on board presuming we stay up, as there just cannot be the money to pay him (and Reid) off and attract a new manager in. It strikes me that what we need as well as/instead of sacking BH is a new coach – or at least a totally revamped approach to the team coaching.

BTW – did anyone know that the painter L.S.Lowry was a City fan? No? Neither did I – but further proof I guess that the artists and thinkers of Manchester gravitate towards City!

Jeremy Poynton or


FA CUP SOUTH AFRICAN STYLE

This is dedicated to one of our subscribers who lives in South Africa. Unfortunately I can’t find his address or I would have contacted him direct. I lived in South Africa from 1981-1986. The first year was spent in Cape Town where I played for a football club called Meadowridge. I don’t know if it is the same elsewhere in the world but in SA there is nobody more patriotic than a Pommie ex-pat. The FA Cup final is an extra special occasion.

We watched the game between City and Spurs at the clubhouse. The day started with a football match between City and Spurs fans. The ref was Arsenal, so we won with a penalty in the last 5 minutes. We then went on to have a braai (barbie for our Aussies) washed down with copious quantities of Castle lager.

There were 2 TVs in the club pointing away from each other so that opposite fans could sit on either side of the room. After a heartrendering rendition of God Save the Queen (yes, we even stood up), the match started.

Full time came and we filled our drinks and waited for extra time. In those days television was shared between English and Afrikaans speaking people. Even so, we thought the commentator was taking the piss, when he said “We now take you over to Cape town for an exciting Wrestling tag match.” We watched on in horror as the Afrikaaners’ answer to big daddy came into the ring.

I ran outside to the car and tuned into world service, where for half an hour we tried to interpret the crackling and fading voice of Denis Law. At one stage there was either a roar from the crowd or the reception suddenly improved. As Denis seemed to get excited, I assumed City had scored and passed this information on to an inebriated group of football fans in the club house. Within seconds scuffles broke out until someone mentioned false alarm.

SABC was innundated with calls and from then on they promised to show the whole of the FA Cup final.

Kevin Duckworth


THE SQUAD AND THE WWW

Having browsed through the Everton WWW recently, I was impressed with their squad information, which included “strengths and weaknesses” of each player. I think this would make a worthwhile addition to our own WWW; I have my own views on our squad, but in order to have a spread of opinions, I’d like to solicit the views of other MCIVTA-ers. In order to keep the the opinions to a manageable level, I suggest that we discuss each part of the squad in sequence, starting with goalkeepers.

So, let’s have your views on the strengths and weaknesses of: Tony Coton, Andy Dibble, Martyn Margetson and John Burridge.

Paul Howarth


REPLY – ‘BLUE’

In response to Tony Shaw’s comment, I was somewhat sceptical myself as to whether or not there was any truth in the song ‘Blue’; it was for this reason I copied the feature exactly as it was written in the ISA’s April Newsletter. If it is a wind-up then I’ve covered myself by simply reporting the feature without commenting on it, so hopefully I won’t seem like a total fool.

What makes me think it may be credible is that fanzines like KoK have been reporting for some time that groups like Oasis have City fans amongst them and that it would be great if they could become more involved with the club, generating good publicity. Perhaps they have agreed to the request?

Has anyone heard about ‘Blue’ from another source?

Also, has anyone got a view on the Supporters’ Clubs situation? Or are most readers indifferent?

Colin Gorman


WHY BLUE?

Well here is another Why Blue for you, from over the pond. I originally became fond of City in the late 70’s as I was introduced to the sport with the success of soccer in Canada and the US. I was living in Vancouver at the time and these were heady days for Canadian soccer. The Whitecaps were by now ‘Soccer Bowl’ Champions, and all things footy related were given unprecedented media coverage. Of course, the Whitecaps weren’t really Canadian, with only 2 (and later 3) players being ‘North American’ on the pitch (or astroturf as it was), the rest being from anywhere else on the globe. Vancouver, being so heavily influenced by all things British in those days, naturally leaned towards British players of the likes of Ray Hankin, Phil Parkes, Kevin Hector, Trevor Whymark, Roger Kenyon, and lots of others. So it was that one needed to support a team from the ‘old country’, be it England, Scotland, Italy, whatever, as well as the Whitecaps. These were also the days of the touring clubs, which brought City (twice), Man U, WBA, Napoli, Nott’m Forest, etc. to Empire Stadium. I became a City supporter simply by birth really. As soon as I expressed an interest in the sport, my family, all being Blues (from Didsbury, home of the other famous Blues supporters, Oasis) naturally made sure I was also supporting the right team. It was truly solidified when I was forced to skip school for the FA Cup replay in 1981 (11.30am in Vancouver). This of course went over well and I was hooked. From then on team photos and player profiles from Shoot magazine became my new wall decorations, much to my mother’s chagrin.

I have made three pilgrimages to the Academy in my life. The first was 1984, when I saw the Spurs pre-season friendly, and saw crowd violence for the first time. Also in the same trip was the first (I think) home match of the season to Fulham in then Div 2. I managed to squeek my way in as a ball boy. If anyone happens to remember a gawky 6 foot 15 year old retrieving errant Paul Power clearances, that was me. When was the last time you saw a 6 foot ball boy? Anyway, it made the trip, meeting the team and getting autographs in the changing room.

I have made two subsequent trips. In the summer of 1990, after being in Italy for the World Cup, I travelled back to the UK and saw City play at Spurs on the opening day of the season, an unfortunate afternoon. At least I can say I saw Paul Lake fit and playing well. I returned again in the spring of ’91 because I wanted to stand on the Kippax where so many of my family had been before. I also wanted to travel with the massive away support. I saw Forest and Sunderland at home and Coventry and the rags away. The Sunderland match was memorable just for the size of the away support. They filled every available spot and were brilliant throughout with not a hint of trouble. Seeing the derby was both brilliant and so disappointing (how Ryan the wonderboy could claim that Hendry own goal as his own is beyond me. I was no more than 10 yards away and the little prat never touched the ball. Also, anybody wonder how our defensive problems wouldn’t exist if PR hadn’t sold Hendry to Blackburn?) Anyway that’s my story. I’d love to hear from any other Blues in Canada (sbarlow@julian.uwo.ca), as we are so outnumbered here by rags fans (amazing how they’re the same the world over, isn’t it?) that it would be nice to talk some sense.

Here’s keeping our fingers crossed for the rest of the season, as difficult as it seems.

Steve Barlow London Ontario


ANSWER – WEST HAM GOAL

I noticed on one of the many MCIVTAs awaiting my return to work yesterday that someone was asking who it was that scored that goal for West Ham against City way way back (’70 ?); we lost 5-1, and Big Joe had punted the ball out, or taken a goal kick, turned his back to wander back to the goal only to see the ball fly back over his head into the net. He had in fact cleared it straight to Ron Boyce of the Hammers, who – not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth – duly dispatched it back goalwards.

One of many happy Big Joe memories …..

Jeremy Poynton or


CITY HUMOUR

As a followup to the City lightbulb joke…

Q:
How many United fans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A:
Who cares? As long as the lightbulb is changed every 3 months, costs 30 quid and comes in a different colour.

James Nash



WWW MANCHESTER CITY SUPPORTERS’ HOME PAGE:
http://www.uit.no/mancity/
Thanks to Steve, Jim, Paul (x2), Jeremy, Colin, David (x2), James, Jesse, Kevin, Andrew & Lynne.
DISCLAIMER
The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Ashley Birch


Newsletter #79

1995/04/27

Editor:


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