Newsletter #71

Bad news piles on top of bad news and the latest and potentially saddest of them all concerns the eternally unlucky Paul Lake. Other than that, it’s all quiet really. One piece of news which could mean changes at Maine Road is the resignation of Frankfurt’s coach Heynckes. The departure of Dino and Yeboah from the club was a direct result of personality clashes between them. Michael Brehl in Frankfurt thinks it highly likely that Yeboah will return to Germany now, whatever Leeds might like to think. His family is still there and he has stated that he misses his friends. The situation with Dino is not as clear; he has said that he doesn’t like the German coaching system, apparently he prefers ours, that’s probably because we haven’t got one 8-)). For me Dino is another Hoddle; if you want to get the most out of him then you have to build the team around him and give him the ball-winners to play alongside. If the City manager, whoever that might be, cannot see this then I don’t think Dino will ever play to his full potential at Maine Road and it would be better if we invested the 2 million elsewhere.

Next game Tottenham Hotspur away, Tuesday 11th April 1995
(As announced at the Spurs reserve game last night though not confirmed independently)


FA Youth Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg, Tuesday 4th April 1995

A crowd of around 4,000 turned up at Maine Road to see Neil McNab’s youngsters take on their counterparts from North London. For many, it was probably their first taste of football at this level; this would become apparent later on.

The opening few minutes were spent almost exclusively in the Spurs half as City dominated possession but lacked the imagination to penetrate the Spurs defence. Spurs began to come into the game and a contrast in styles was already evident; the visitors played in a similar fashion to their first team, with neat, short passing on the ground and a few touches of flair. City liked to get the ball forward quickly, either to the wings or to lone forward Chris Greenacre, who despite being several inches shorter than his markers, frequently won the ball and held it up well.

As the half progressed, Spurs began to get on top and carve out the first chances. Midway through the first half, a cross from the right flank was flicked on to the unmarked Jamie Bunn who controlled the ball well and fired it past City ‘keeper David Nurse for the opening goal. This was to be a memorable night for Bunn, a very classy attacking midfield player who reminded me in many respects of our own Maurizio Gaudino.

The goal sparked some life into City who nearly equalised straight away from a well-worked corner routine. The corner was taken short, the receiving player turning away from goal and then back-heeling the ball to Greenacre, who wriggled between two defenders and chipped the ball over Simon Brown, the Spurs goalkeeper, from a narrow angle. Agonisingly for City, the ball bounced back off the bar and was cleared. Both sides had good spells upto half-time but Spurs looked the classier outfit, having a shot cleared off the line and several other efforts going narrowly wide.

The second half began as the first had ended, with Spurs in the ascendancy and it wasn’t long before they doubled their lead. This time it was a low cross from the left flank which again found its way to the unmarked Bunn at the far post who had a simple tap-in. City tried hard to find a goal that would keep them in the tie and had most of the possession for the next 25 minutes. City’s tackling all over the field was particularly impressive but there were far too many wayward and thoughtless passes which drew groans from the crowd. From some of the comments I heard, it would seem that some people expect first-team standards from all of the youth team (no wisecracks please) which isn’t really fair on the lads. However, most of the crowd were more typical of a youth team audience, applauding good play by both sides.

City’s best move of the game came on about 75 minutes when a delicious through ball beat the Spurs offside trap and sent one of the City players clear on goal; unfortunately the shot was weak and didn’t trouble Brown, whose positioning was good throughout the match.

It was all downhill thereafter for the Blues, who contrived to let in another three goals in the last quarter of an hour. The first completed a hat-trick for Bunn, who found the net from close range after Nurse failed to hold a fierce shot. Spurs’ fourth goal came from an unlucky deflection off a defender’s leg and the final goal came from a back-header on a chipped free-kick which sailed over Nurse, who had misjudged the flight of the ball. Spurs were shooting on sight at this stage, full of confidence and will provide a stern test for either Wimbledon or Manchester United in the Final, barring a miracle in the second leg at White Hart Lane. As for City, the side has a lot of first-years who’ll be eligible again next season; some of the lads look talented enough but they were no match for Spurs’ organisation and the understanding between their players, which was a delight to watch. The teams went off to quite an ovation before we made our way home, mindful of the substantial tasks awaiting both youth and first teams at White Hart Lane in the next week or two.

Final Score: City 0 Spurs 5

Paul Howarth (


Paul Lake has had to withdraw from the next A-team outing as his knee has swollen up. No explanation was given as to how this happened. The knee will now have to be drained.

Niall Quinn and Ian Brightwell are to have scans on their hamstring and hip injuries respectively.

The Mole


In today’s Independent:

“Manchester City utility player Paul Lake has suffered a further set-back in his battle against a long term injury… he was forced to pull out of a reserve team game at the weekend and will minor surgery today”

Jerry Seabridge (jseabridge@VNET.IBM.COM)
Dave Goodman (


I hear today that Paul Lake may have suffered yet another setback in his fight to fitness. I understand that his knee has shown signs of swelling after the weekend ‘A’ team game, and that he will need to have another ‘minor’ operation.

How ‘minor’ this op. is remains to be seen, but I understand the club are preparing for the worst. How unfair life is at times – that we have lost our best player to injury over the past 4 seasons is an absolute crying shame. At times, I think Lakey in a wheel chair would have shown more commitment and tenacity than some of the other ‘players’.

Who knows though, hopefully the situation isn’t too bad, and that the report is yet another piece of rag media trash.

Ian Thompson (


  1. Have the club officially planned anything to celebrate the Centenaryyear? I cannot believe that even City could miss the opportunity tocommemorate 100 years of existence: it could prove a good opportunity to’sell’ the club in some form or other. It doesn’t take a genius to workout that a close/pre season game at the Academy against a top classEuropean club side (or let’s be ambitious, maybe even a national side),if organised and promoted well, could be a winner, for the fans and alsofinancially for the club. Maybe a Centenary week is also an idea; itcould start with the aforementioned game, then the club could open upto the public for the week, providing tours of the ground, meeting theplayers and staff, etc., etc., then finishing off with a game againstthe Rags. Am I stating the obvious, have the club got plans already, isthere anyone at the club with any vision or opinion on the matterwhatsoever? I can’t believe Franny has nothing to say on the matter.Maybe as an identifiable group of City fans we could write (or evene-mail!?) to the club collectively to inform them of the opinion of thefans… Which leads me onto my next point…
  2. Have the club entered the high-tech information technology age, dothey have Internet capabilites, are they aware of MCIVTA, do we wantthem to be!!? Or maybe they are upgrading a punch-card system to a circa1982 IBM XT?

Ian Thompson (

In answer to the last question: Paul contacted the Club last year and was put in touch with the Systems Manager (yes, honest!), one Jim Quinnell. He was very interested in MCIVTA and the WWW and actively encouraged us, even gave us permission to use the crest on the WWW home page. He said he was getting email up and running early in the new year (’95) as well as looking into the Internet and would be prepared to get us some photos and info. We waited but nothing materialised so Paul rang him in March and was told that he had left the Club’s employ. Whether this means he was the victim of a cutback or whether he merely found a better job we don’t know. We are hoping the latter and Paul will probably write again soon as we really need to get permission to use the club crest for the MCIVTA T-shirt. [Ashley]


William Hill’s odds on relegation:

off  Leicester Ctiy
off  Ipswich
4-11 West Ham United
4-5  Crystal Palace
5-2  Manchester City Football Club
3-1  Norwich
9-2  Everton
9-2  Southampton
8-1  Coventry
10-1 Chelsea
11-1 Aston Villa
12-1 Sheffield Wednesday
25-1 Arsenal

Frankly, if I were a betting man, and I am, I’d find the price on City fairly attractive, as I would the price on Coventry (the’ll probably stay up, but god they blow). I am guessing from the price on Villa that they have a fairly easy run in, as I thought that they were in more trouble than this.

Bob Kelley (


  1. Apparently the loan / purchase-at-seasons-end agreement for Dino couldbe affected by the departure of the Eintract Frankfurt coach.
  2. IMO its probably not a very good idea to be chairman and manager, simply’cause you’re unlikely to sack yourself. Has FL ever had any managementexperience, apart from (I think) paper factories and race horses?

Adam Joinson (


Having seen City surrender to yet another crap side, I feel I have to add my opinion of Man City under the leadership of Brian Horton. Being a student, I don’t get to see too many games, but after seeing the highlights of the Palarse game I have to say that the only reason we lost the game is that Horton is not able to get his players playing a ‘system’ in which they all know their jobs and that he has no motivational qualities.

He has a squad of essentially good players, but from what I have seen they don’t play for each other as much as they should. It doesn’t matter whether you play three, four or five at the back, you always defend and attack as a team. Watching Blackburn before the City game, I couldn’t help noticing that if you take away Shearer and perhaps Ripley they are basically just a well organised and effective side. We need a coach that can do that for us, and I feel there is more than enough individual flair to take us to future glory!

Why should Horton leave now? For a start the first Palace goal came from their right wing, where Horton played David Brightwell. How many times has the poor lad had to play at left back and we’ve ended up losing the match? The full back problem has been going on for months – if Brian Horton is such a great mover in the transfer market, why hasn’t he brought someone in; he doesn’t even have to be good to be an improvement. I personally think that if he has to use a centre-half at full back then Keith Curle is your man. He is the most versatile of the lot, and at least has the pace to get himself out of trouble.

Brian Horton has made the same mistakes too many times. City are just too big a club to play in the Endsleigh League; it is about time the fans had a big name manager. A few blank cheques would also be nice, but I don’t think it’s essential if a new guy could introduce some organisation and discipline. A new manager is a gamble but so often a new manager gets a few results from his new players – I think that may be our only chance of picking up a few points.

Andy McKillop (


Heard at the weekend from a reliable source that Lee and Barlow have made 2 approaches to Brian Kidd to get him back to Maine Road (not sure in what sort of capacity); he’s turned them down but they are still interested – apparently Kidd and Barlow are friends from way back.

Neil Foskett (


Meanwhile, back at the swamp-watch…

Daily Mirror, Tuesday, April 4, 1995 has the following headline on page 23: ‘FREE Quorn burgers – Ryan’s got a treat for EVERY reader’ accompanied by a picture of sweet little Giggsy holding a plate only half-full of chips and a couple of lettuce leaves! The other picture has him “tucking into” a Quorn burger although it looks like he’s being phsyically restrained and someone is forcing it into his mouth, by the look on his face. The real fun starts in the text…

‘He’s a lean mean scoring machine whose Welsh wizadry has boosted Manchester *nt*d. Everything about Ryan Giggs’ game is special, from his twisting runs to his thunderbolt shot.

‘When it comes to diet, Ryan wants something special too – Quorn [No sniggering at the back]. It’s a low-fat alternative to meat that’s high in protein and a great source of fibre.

‘You can enjoy the great taste of Quorn FREE… blah blah … two tokens… Safeway… burgers… blah blah.

‘For ten readers we have a YEAR’S SUPPLY of Quorn Burgers plus a Quorn cool bag with goodies signed by Ryan Giggs including an apron, tea towel, oven gloves and a cookery book.’

I can’t wait. 🙂

James Nash (


From the Daily Telegraph – 29 March 95:

by William Johnson.

KEITH GILLESPIE, the supposed £1 million makeweight in the British record £7 million transfer of Andy Cole from Newcastle United to Manchester United, was officially valued at only £250,000 when the Old Trafford club’s half yearly accounts were published yesterday.

Gillespie, due to play for Northern Ireland against the Republic this afternoon, was widely regarded as worth a minimum £1 million when he signed for Kevin Keegan.

Manchester United’s accounts also reveal that Cole is being paid in two stages, a £3 million downpayment and a further £3.25 million over the next year. Pre-tax profit for the six months was down 3.6 per cent to £7.3 million.

The valuation of Gillespie at only £250,000 is a mystery. John Regan, secretary of the Newcastle Independent Supporters’ Association, said: “If they are now saying that Gillespie is worth onlu £250,000, I find that incredible. From what I have seen of him he is already worth £2 million.”

Gillespie, 20, was regarded by Alex Ferguson as one of the best products of the Old Trafford youth policy, a view shared by Keegan who made several unsuccessful inquires before using Cole as a means of getting his man in January.

Derek Graham, editor of Talk Of The Toon fanzine, said: “How could you rate Keith at only a quarter of a million?”

Gillespie’s bizarre valuation is emphasised by Newcastle’s sale last week of reserve midfielder Jason Drysdale to Swindon for £340,000.

Anyone know what the scam is?

Robert Watson (


Just a quickie. I was just speaking to a mate in the UK who had heard something on the radio about a company in Ireland called ABU i.e. Anything but United. They do a whole range of merchandise such as T-shirts with famous United defeats and other such choice stuff.

Has anybody got any info about this and a contact number?

Philip Gregory (


Like many other City fans I was brain-washed with my whole family being totally Blue, I dont think I realised there was another team in Manchester until I went to school. Before I went to primary school my Dad took me to Maine Road to see the reserves quite often, as did his father when he was that age. Primary school was divided Blue or Red, with the odd Scouser. Break and lunchtime always provided a few scuffles when playing footie as we often played City fans versus Utd fans.

Unfortunately I can’t remember my first (big) match but I think it was around the 1984-85 season. I remember my first derby which was the 1-1 at Maine Road and Mick McCarthy scored that unforgettable header. I also remember a couple at O.T. (F.A cup 3rd Round, lost 1-0; Kevin Moran testimonial, lost 5-2). I started going to about a dozen home games a season and during our relegation season 1986-87 we were going to move to Hong Kong; mixed feelings leaving my friends and the Blues but also set for a new experience.

Having been there for a couple of months I became a regular BBC world service listener and finding out that we lost to West ham 3-1 to be relegated was not a nice experience. We came back to Manchester at least once a year to see relatives and one Christmas when we came back I got one of the best Christmas presents I have ever had. I was told on Christmas Day that I was going to be mascot the next day at Maine Road against Leeds (anyone go?). So Boxing Day came around and we arrived at the ground to be shown around the trophy room(?) and went into a lounge where the directors and press were. I got changed in the physio room, the ref rang the bell, the players came out and Kenny Clements shook my hand and I led the team down the tunnel to a huge roar and the players saluted the Kippax. I had a few shots at Perry Suckling (and scored one) and passing the ball to David White. I had my picture takin with Paul Stewart. City being City lost 2-1 but I had a brilliant day and met all the players afterwards.

Back in Hong Kong I found there were plenty who hated football or supported the Rags or Scousers but didn’t have a clue about the game. There were some memorable matches I remember on the BBC World Service (Bournemouth, Bradford and of couse the 5-1). Crystal Palace were meant to go to H.K for a tournament but were not prepared to bring out enough first team players so they asked City instead. I was so excited and the day came, City won their first two matches to get into the final against Lai Sun F.C. City started off very slowly and went one behind, I couldn’t believe it. During the second half the ball just wouldn’t go in and in the dying seconds a youngster called Garry Flitcroft scored, for a penalty shoot out (oh shit!). City and Lai Sun scored their first five penalties so it was sudden death. Lai Sun scored so Steve Redmond stepped up and balloned it over the bar; Lai Sun F.C had beaten City – I had the piss taken out of me for months to come.

After 4 years out there we came back home to Manchester and one of the first things I did was to purchase a season ticket for the Kippax and am still waiting for the Blues to win something but our day will come soon.

(Name redacted at contributor’s request)


Got this courtesy of the Spurs List [Ashley]

It’s a dark wet night in downtown Newcastle and Paul Gascoigne and Chris Waddle are driving around visiting a few old haunts. They pull up at a set of traffic lights and a group of drunken youths recognise Gazza….

The leader shouts, “HOY YOU GASCOIGNE! What are you doing in Newcastle? We don’t want you back up here. You’re a traitor! You left Newcastle to go to Spurs just when we really needed you… you deserted us. Then you deserted them to go to Lazio.”

Then they spot Waddle…

The Gang leader shouts, “HOY YOU WADDLE What are you doing in Newcastle? We don’t want you back up here. You’re a traitor! You left Newcastle to go to Spurs just when we really needed you… you deserted us. Then you deserted them to go to Marseille.”

Stung by the criticism Gascoigne pulls down his trousers and as the car speeds off, he raises his backside up to the window.

The leader then shouts “AND YOU BEARDSLEY!! You bastard.”


Tues 04 April

Crystal Palace - Aston Villa 0-0
Queen's P.R.   - Blackburn   0-1
Blackburn            36 25  7  4 73-30 82
Manch. U.            36 22  8  6 66-24 74
Newcastle            35 18 10  7 57-37 64
Nottingham F.        36 18  9  9 63-39 63
Liverpool            32 16 10  6 54-26 58
Leeds                34 14 11  9 44-33 53
Tottenham            34 14 10 10 55-46 52
Wimbledon            35 15  6 14 45-57 51
Queens P.            34 13  8 13 51-51 47
Arsenal              35 11 10 14 41-41 43
Aston Villa          36 10 13 13 47-48 43
Sheffield W.         36 11 10 15 44-53 43
Coventry             36 10 13 13 37-54 43
Norwich              35 10 12 13 34-43 42
Chelsea              34 10 11 13 41-47 41
Manch. C.            35 10 11 14 44-54 41
Southampton          33  8 15 10 48-54 39
Everton              35  9 12 14 38-48 39
Crystal P.           34  9 11 14 25-35 38
West Ham             34 10  7 17 33-44 37
Ipswich              34  6  5 23 31-76 23
Leicester            35  4  9 22 39-70 21

With thanks to OddMagne


Thanks to The Mole, Neil, John, Andy, Ashley, Jerry, James, Phil, Robert, Dave Ian, Bob, Adam & Paul.

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 #71