Mike Ash

Why Blue?

Now to business: all the flack and crap being directed at Francis Lee is completely out of order, for the first time since the days of Joe Smith (mid-70’s), the club has money coming in, makes money, and looks like the big-time club it once was again. But before everyone starts screaming, look at where we are, I did say a club can only prosper if the team is operating to its full potential; that alas is the problem, but is that the fault of the chairman?

I am not totally going to blame F.C. either; he has been given a lot of money by the club and signed a mixed bag of players, Brannan being the worst and the man that really does not fit in, although he has looked quite good a couple of times in the centre of defence. Take the following line up:-

                            Wright         Edghill     Wiekens (capt.)   Symons    Shelia               Russell       Brown        Whitley (Jim)                           Kinkladze                     Bradbury     Rösler

Wiekens must be captain, stands out above all others and with the following players in the background:- Margetson, Horlock (who should be somewhere in the team), Dickov, van Blerk, Vaughan, Morley, Brightwell, Whitley (Jeff), Greenacre, Scully, Hiley, Rowlands, Thomas, Conlon, Crooks, Foster (what did he do wrong!) and Kavelashvili? In all 28 players who should be more than competent to not only lift this team off the bottom of this league but at least hold its own in the Premier Division. But it does not, why? Who is at fault? The manager? His motivation and tactics are certainly questionable but I really think it is the players: they are all under-achieving in a big way. Why?

The players mentioned above are definitely good enough but it seems only when they want to be. Is life at Maine Road too cushy? I don’t know but it always seems harder to sell than to buy, nobody ever wants to die for the privilege of wearing a Manchester City shirt, no one that is but 30,000 very patient, loyal fans that go through hell every week for over 20 years now. Enough! give us what we deserve, success would be brilliant but just give us a team we can be proud of and all we ask is you give your best week in, week out. Let’s all pull together and get back where we know we belong. We keep Kinkladze. All this rubbish about selling him, you do not lose class acts. Revamp Uwe’s contract, he is the nearest thing to a player that will die for the club we have got; he is one of the reasons why we all sing “City till I die”!

After this marathon letter, I just want to cover two other things: it really is time to stop worrying about the other lot over the road, we are years behind them, let’s just concentrate on ourselves and I am sure everyone will benefit from it, and then who knows? People should not forget that from 1880 to 1950 there was only one top team in Manchester and it wasn’t them, and from about 1968 to about 1980 there was generally only one team that won “derby” matches and that wasn’t them either (we also achieved a little too in this period, including relegating them!). At this point I also want to say thank you to Ferguson for the way he performed and his contribution to Paul Lake’s testimonial, it really does hurt me to be courteous in this way, but I think it should be said. So take heart, but that was then and this is now.

It sort of leads me into my Why Blue; my background to City was through my father and grandfather who between the 30’s & 50’s went City one week and Utd. the next, but always City were their team; and my other grandfather who just could not stand anything to do with Utd. I first went to City on Dec. 10 1964 vs. Portsmouth – won 2-0 (Kevan & Murray) and ever since, from promotion: Mercer, Allison, the title, the cups, Vienna at 15 years of age, Wembley, derby victories, top players, top teams, 1974 when I got my 1st season ticket, now on to my 34th, and all the bad times: relegation, Allison’s 2nd coming, the beatings and the upsets, “the decline”, but I am still as proud today as I was then to be a Blue! In all that period my lasting memory will always be in 1968 at Old Trafford, when against all the odds and being a very early goal down we beat them 3-1 and I was thirteen in the Utd. Road Paddock surrounded by Reds who thought the world had just ended. When you think City can’t do it, they always seem to and will do so again. That’s Why Blue!

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #362 on


Mike Ash