The big news in this issue is the imminent if not completed(?) departure of Niall Quinn to Sporting Lisbon, a move which will hopefully revitalise his career. I guess many people will have mixed feelings on this development; in previous MCIVTAs we’ve seen him called a ‘donkey’ by some and a ‘class player’ by others. I don’t think his commitment to the club or his character could ever be faulted but I think that lately his mind has probably been elsewhere. It’s been claimed that he hasn’t been the same player since his injury but I remain unconvinced by that argument as he has put in one or two excellent performances. What is clear is that Rösler is always going to be preferred to him and the fact that the club is willing to let him go probably means that the new regime(?) don’t number him in their plans. Whatever the outcome, I personally wish him all the best and thank him for being a 100% Blue.
After the opinions on goalies, Paul is now soliciting your views on full backs, though not on all the players who’ve appeared in that position e.g. not John Foster who is really a central defender. So, let’s hear what you think of the them and help improve the WWW in the process.
We also have another Why Blue, this time from David Bradbury 2! as well as some interesting thoughts on the mysterious Mr X who haunts the manager’s office at Maine Road and advises Frannie on who, and who not to buy!
NEWS – BOLTON & QUINN
Bolton have just beaten Reading in the Division 1 play-off, 4-3 after extra time. The side showed some remarkably City-like qualities, emphasizing the suitability of Rioch and Todd as candidates for the City job: Bolton played very poorly in the first half, and with the aid of some sloppy defending, went 2-0 down after 12 minutes. Reading then missed a penalty after a reckless challenge by McAteer before half time. Strong words must have been spoken during the break as Bolton looked a different side, taking the game to Reading. They got back into the game on 75 minutes and scored the equaliser on the break with only 7 minutes to go. McAteer’s amazing fitness and stamina really showed in extra time, where he set up the 3rd Bolton goal with a great run. The fourth came in the last minute of extra time, after which Reading got their 3rd goal.
After the game, Bruce Rioch refused to comment on whether or not he would be at Bolton next season. I expect there will be an announcement next week.
Meanwhile, Niall Quinn has flown to Lisbon to discuss personal terms with Sporting Club. The clubs are believed to have agreed a fee of 1.5 million and the Portugese club are rumoured to have offered Quinn a deal worth 7,000 pounds per week.
Stewart Lucas (MSRBUSL@fs1.ec.man.ac.uk)
NEWS – QUINN & RIOCH
Quinn all but gone if we are to believe Teletext, Radio & papers; c1.5m, + a 7k a week deal on a 3 year contract for Niall. Guess that will set him up for life with his racehorses when he retires. I for one am very sorry to see him go; pleased that he has gone abroad, rather than to a Premiership rival, and wish him all the best for the future (especially if Sporting Lisbon are in next season’s UEFA Cup and come up against those people up the road). I am increasingly getting the impression that Niall wanted to leave Maine Road and that his solo lap of honour after the QPR match was his farewell to the fans.
Bruce Rioch hotly tipped to be going to Arsenal; he’s been very tight-lipped since yesterday’s brilliant play-off final but there have been further mutterings about his family’s desire to be back in Hertfordshire where the family home is. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but not with much hope. Why do we always come off second best? If I ever find that little b****** who is alleged to have changed Joe Royle’s mind about leaving Oldham for Maine Road, I’ll wring his bloody neck for him.
Jeremy Poynton or
NEWS – MANAGER ANNOUNCEMENT
In an interview on local Radio (I think), Lee has said that he hopes to be able to make an anouncement concerning the new manager by the end of the week.
Dave C. Bradbury
NEWS – TRANSFERS
According to today’s MEN Niall Quinn has signed for Sporting Lisbon for a reported