Newsletter #10

We have a Today Report as well as a live report from Martin which received favourable comments from Ian Copping who runs the Nottingham Forest list; hopefully I will get something in return. Some of you will have gathered that I am trying to arrange swaps with opposition mailing lists so that we can get the game from their viewpoint. Thus, if you are attending an away game then anything you can write up would be useful in this respect.

The list is now up to 40 excluding myself and the mailing list FAQ has just appeared.

Next weekend’s game is QPR away. I will try to mail the next offering at 3.00pm of Friday… a deadline!



How can we start this one? Well, umm, it’s hard supporting the Blues isn’t it? I think the Radio 5 commentator summed up the game, a good game although the comical defending helped (or words to that effect) and how right he was, only one good goal, the rest were assisted by poor defending.

How many times are we going to see this sort of scenario where City don’t start to truly dominate a game until the second half (well at home at least, away from home domination is an unknown quantity :-).

Once again the first half against Forest gave the indication that we’re going to struggle against the better teams in the League. Forest and especially Collymore started to play well and left the defence looking very shaky. Forest got the opener and to be honest I didn’t think that City would get back into the game. Stone was played through on the right and in a gaping hole managed to run unchallenged into the box. His cross was met by Collymore who swept it into the goal. Well that’s how it appeared at the match, however MoTD highlights showed that the shot was going wide until Dibble unfortunately deflected into the net. From that point I was rather dubious that City would get anything out of the game. How wrong I was! City equalised just before the break. Quinn met a Beagrie (?) cross and as the ball fell he volleyed it into the roof of the net, at last something for our efforts. So going in level meant that City were still in the game and waiting for them was the customary Horton kick up the backside.

City certainly came out of the second half with more spirit and fight and justifiably(?) took the lead. Again it was Quinn who managed to force home the ball in a goalmouth melee after Crossley had managed to only flap at the ball (although he claimed a foul). So was this going to be the start of something good, we only had a minute to wait before Collymore shattered our illusions and brought us down to earth. A long clearance upfield fell awkwardly to Brightwell and he only managed to head the ball sideways, Collymore was on the ball in a flash and to be truthful I thought he was going nowhere. How wrong can you be, although heading away from goal he unleashed a fearsome shot and the ball flew inside the near post. Good shot as it was Dibble was surely at fault for getting beaten at the nearpost! So would Forest take City apart now they had equalised, there game was still full of nice passing football and the skill and pace of Collymore was always a threat.

The game turned again but this time in City’s favour and once again it was Quinn who helped. A cross from Hill was chested down by Quinn into the path of Lomas who unleashed a left foot drive into the far corner, now that was a real goal, no bumbling around. Could City hold on for the final 20 minutes? Collymore still hadn’t finished, his pace took him clear again but this time Dibble managed to force him to shoot wide; relief, surely City had weathered the storm? Clarke brought on Jason Lee (is that a ferret on his head?) and later Woan who was to ultimately have the final say. Lomas appeared to have won the ball cleanly from Bohinen and was felled as a result. The ref right by the incident gave a foul to Forest and booked Lomas, now that was strange? Pearce curled the free- kick in and the ball was cleared to Woan, who lifted the ball straight back into the box, surely there wasn’t any danger until you saw Dibble stumbling to his feet and trying to make ground as the ball dipped into the net. Horror, with seconds left City had blown it or should that be Forest had saved it? That was it, game over and another few points thrown away.

So the match itself, I can’t fault the entertainment value but both sides must question their defences. Five dare I say slightly comical goals left both sides with the points shared. Forest are still a good passing side but with a bit more steel than the last premier team, that’s why they’re right up at the top. In Collymore they’ve found a real threat to most teams. Thankfully for City, Roy was away on international duty or else City would have IMHO got hammered. I would still question Crossley as their number one goalie; he made a couple of errors and made a couple of easy saves look difficult (understand?) but other than that they look a fair team, which is more than can be said for City. The defence again looked very suspect and the sooner Curle’s back the better (don’t rush him back, City need a fully fit Curle rather than one who’ll only play a couple of games). The midfield again looked fairly solid but took time to get into the swing of the game. The attack is still banging the goals in, which helps the defence. Lets just hope they keep scoring. What City need is players with more commitment like Walsh. He’s willing to run his socks off and chase lost causes.

That’s the match report now some more info.

City and Leeds are prepared to swap Quinn and Speed, but once again that’s all press talk, I wonder if it’ll come off?

Quinn damaged his neck in the draw against Forest and will be struggling for the QPR game. Better news is that Rösler has resumed training and Curle will play in the reserves tomorrow to test his fitness.

Martin Ford



Report by Graham Fisher

Ian Woan’s injury time lifesaver for Forest was a fitting end to a bizarre match. But Colin Cooper had a more encouraging theory for the late, late draw.

“Forest teams of old had a reputation for pretty passing”,

said the centre half.

“Now there is an unmistakeably gritty side to us as well. We try hard to go the distance. We did just that at QPR last week and got three points. We did it again today and kept our unbeaten record. Maybe we were lucky but you make your own luck at this level.”

Brian Clough’s heirs were too busy riding that luck to think about going top of the heap, for 24 hours at least. As a result, City Keeper Andy Dibble patrolled the subterranean passages of Maine Road at the end like a bear with a sore head, certain, despite soothing words from his boss Brian Horton, that he had blown any chance of delaying Tony Coton’s return to duty.

Dibble, waiting since last season for an invitation to depose his big mate, told readers of his local newspaper column he planned to make life tough for the injured TC. The perils of newsprint! First poor Dibble deflected a Stan Collymore shot into the net, next he stood rooted to his line as Collymore struck again and finally he adopted a recumbent gesture as Woan’s delicious lob winged under the bar.

Dibble refused to discuss his triple whammy but Niall Quinn took some of the heat off, first by cancelling out both Collymore strikes, then admitting part liability for the blunder that cost two points. Said the candid Irishman,

“As the ball came over I clattered into Andy. He was spark out and I knew he was hurt.”

It was a crushing anti-climax for City, the brisker, more inventive side who had gone ahead for the first time with 20 minutes left through the young midfielder Steve Lomas – the lad keeping a truculent Steve McMahon on the sidelines.

Horton was happy with the performance, distraught at the outcome. Frank Clark took the reverse view.

“The passing wasn’t up to it. Maybe we were over-confident.”

MOM: Peter Beagrie, City (centres of excellence).

Taken from Today

Paul Howarth


Now that United have drawn Newcastle in the next round of the CC Cup, I wonder if Fergie will again play the ‘kids’ or will he revert to the normal team?

Because Ferguson fielded a weakened team, United face up to a 50k fine from the Football League, who according to their rules state that teams must play their strongest possible team. However instead of accepting the fine, United are now brandishing the big stick and are making noises that they might pull out of the competition altogether. Edwards is backing Ferguson and if the Football League continue to threaten fines then United are willing to pull out of the competition. United want to concentrate on Europe and find the CC Cup an nuisance. That’s not the only thing, Edwards claims to have full backing from all the Premier teams, so in other words the CC Cup could be devoid of any Premier teams next season! So after trying to destroy the football setup, the Premier League teams are trying to make sure they get everything their own way!

Personally if I were in the Football League set-up, I’d throw any dissenting teams out and if that meant every Premier league team then so be it. United’s antics and threats are only devaluing the Cup so why not punish them by throwing them out. I wonder how they would react if they weren’t doing well on any other front? After all a Cup’s a cup and if you win you get into Europe, how many Premier teams can turn their nose up at that?

Why is it that City can never (or very rarely these days) play Cup games on a Wednesday night. City’s game in the CCCup against QPR has been switched to Tuesday 25th Oct, kick off 7:45. Hey hum..

Martin Ford


In case nobody else has sent it in, here’s the Coca-Cola Cup 3rd Round Draw. The ties will be played on the 25th and 26th October.

Aston Villa             vs Middlesbrough
Blackburn Rovers        vs Coventry City
Brighton & Hove Albion  vs Swindon Town
Liverpool               vs Stoke City
Mansfield Town          vs Millwall
Newcastle United        vs Manchester United
Notts County            vs Tottenham Hotspur
Oldham Athletic         vs Arsenal
Portsmouth              vs Derby County
Queens Park Rangers     vs Manchester City
Sheffield United        vs Bolton Wanderers
Sheffield Wednesday     vs Southampton
Tranmere Rovers         vs Norwich City
West Ham United         vs Chelsea
Wimbledon               vs Crystal Palace
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Nottingham Forest

I wonder how many of the youngsters our loveable red neighbours will field against Newcastle? Their draw looks difficult but another trip to London for City looks bad too, considering that we’ve played 3, lost 3 scored 0 and conceded 7 in the capital so far this season. Still, we beat them in a cracking game last time we met down there in this competition. I seem to remember Adrian Heath scoring! In fact, I think he was credited with 2 goals in that game but one was a blatant o.g. by Ray Wilkins.

Paul Howarth


Martin wrote:

> Now that United have drawn Newcastle in the next round of the CC Cup,
> I wonder if Fergie will again play the 'kids' or will he revert to
> the normal team?

The rags will face two inquiries now, one for the first leg and another for the second where they fielded an even more ‘inexperieneced’ side. If we swallow the argument that this tactic will help them in the European Cup, it makes financial sense so any fines imposed by the Football League will be laughed off by United. There could be the possibility of legal action by the League if United withdraw because when the FA Premier League was being drawn up, one of the conditions was that Premier teams play in the League Cup so lower division clubs have a better chance of a pay-day (when they draw a big club).

Does anyone know the exact terms of the agreement between the FA and the Football League over the CCCup?

If the League were to throw United out, that would be playing straight into their hands. As far as they are concerned, the problem would be solved. One possible action by the League, if it’s legal, is to block transfers from United (and maybe all Premier League teams) to/from League clubs.

United need to be stopped from wrecking this competition unless there is a settlement agreed by all parties. This is United assuming their position as “most valuable club” and it will be interesting to see how the FA react; I suspect they will kow-tow or say “none of our business” (the same thing IMO).

One compromise would be to allow clubs to opt out if they participate in European games (EC, UEFA, etc.) but still require them to field a strong side. Should they opt out, they would have to pay money into a League trust. Just an idea.

We don’t hear other clubs involved in Europe whingeing or playing a youth team. Look at Newcastle; Andy Cole played for them in mid-week despite all the fuss over his England non-selection on the grounds he is 80% fit. He also scored the only goal. City, of course, don’t have the depth of squad to put out a first-rate squad for any game but I won’t go into that!

> find the CC Cup an nuisance. That's not the only thing, Edwards
> claims to have full backing from all the Premier teams

I very much doubt it indeed. Teams like City are desperate to get into Europe by hook or by crook and, as you say, the CCC is a Cup, come what may!

Here’s hoping for a good win on Saturday, even though it might help the scum. :}

James Nash


Ticket Info

All tickets for the OT derby are now sold. That might sound obvious but there were some left a week after they went on sale last season!

Denis Bergkamp

Much as I admire the guy and even though he does have a proven record against English teams, including England, I don’t think we’ll be signing him. First off all, you could apply the same argument for him that Brian Horton did against signing Matt Le Tissier, i.e. he plays in a free rôle just behind the front two, which is where Paul Walsh is operating. Walsh must be well ahead in peoples’ minds for the player of the season so far, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Secondly, I recall Inter paying something like 11 million pounds for the combined talents of Bergkamp and Wim Jonk. Although Jonk has settled in much better at Inter, I’d still expect Bergkamp to be worth more than 50% of that total, which would mean a valuation of 6 to 7 million pounds unless Inter were willing to take a big loss. I don’t think even Blackburn would be willing to pay that, let alone City.

A possible alternative as a “big-name signing” would be Redondo (not to be confused with Redmondo, our ex-captain, now at Oldham), the Argentinian playmaker. I think the lack of creativity in midfield is the biggest weakness in our squad at present, so he’d be a very useful addition.

Paul Howarth


Paul Johnson had so much faith (City dictionary definition – a blind belief in the extremely unlikely) in the Blues last week that he bet half of Greater London, well, some of his colleagues actually, that City would beat Barnet and gave them odds of 2-1! He says:

“Barnet frightened the life out of my wallet last Wednesday. I thought we would make hard work of it. The first half we were apparently poor. I heard it on the radio. My heart was pacing 20 to the dozen. Don’t worry though I cleaned up in work. Loadamoney…


A friend tells me that he just heard on the radio that Leeds are attempting to buy Bergkamp for a staggering 8 million pounds!


Thanks to Paul, Martin, James & Paul (2)

Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #10