Newsletter #111

Another defeat at Burnley, which drew mixed views from Blues present.
I’ve included my opinions of the match but if you disagree (which a
lot of people clearly did), please write in and share your thoughts.
Another thing I’d like to hear about is what your expectations for the
coming season are. Are you confident that Ball can harness the talents
of Kinkladze as he did with Le Tissier and turn City into a team
capable of qualifying for Europe, or will it be another struggle
against relegation?

The request for volunteers for an MCIVTA football team hasn’t yet
generated enough interest for us to enter a 5-a-side competition.
Maybe enthusiasm will be revived once the season gets underway, but
for those of you who expressed an interest, I wouldn’t hold your
breath waiting for a game.

Next games: Raith Rovers, away, Thursday 10th August.

Heart of Midlothian, away, Saturday 12th August

Contributions to: Paul Howarth (


Burnley vs. Manchester City, Saturday 5th August 1995

This was a trip back to my roots, having been brought up in East
Lancashire and having seen my first professional football match at
Turf Moor many years ago. Those were the days when Burnley were in
the old First Division and regularly attracting crowds in the region
of 20,000. The ground has changed very little since then (the two
large terraces are due to be replaced this coming season) but I was
disappointed with the attendance of only 4,734. City started with
just about the strongest side they could field in view of the injury

      Edghill   Ian Brightwell   Kernaghan    Phelan
        Summerbee    Flitcroft    Lomas    Simpson
                  Quinn             Walsh

Both sides started brightly, taking the game to the opposition
whenever possible but the Blues had a slight edge and looked the most
likely scorers. However, the first real chance came Burnley’s way
when Talia misjudged a cross whipped in from a free-kick on Burnley’s
right flank; with the goalkeeper stranded and an open goal to aim at,
the Burnley player hit the bar and the chance was gone.

As the half wore on, City became more and more dominant. Flitcroft
was running the midfield, comfortable on the ball and able to make
space for himself at will, obviously relishing the responsibility of
being captain. Lomas was industrious but still hasn’t recovered to
his form of last season before that incident at Selhurst Park. At the
back, Kernaghan and Brightwell seemed to be very comfortable and were
well supported by Edghill and Phelan, who appears to have learnt how
to defend a bit too. Up front, Quinn was dominant and was providing
some excellent lay-offs. Walsh was running at defenders and generally
being a nuisance to them until he had to trudge off with a groin
strain after half an hour, being replaced by Carl Griffiths. The only
real disappointment was Summerbee once again, who often seems to be
hiding from the ball and not giving the player in possession an
option to pass to him. When he does get the ball, he almost
invariably tries to go round the outside of the defender and is
tackled, gaining either a throw-in or a corner. A bit more ambition,
effort and variation please Nick.

Within a minute of coming on, Griffiths was the victim of a
horrendous tackle from behind which resulted in a booking for the
defender concerned. Fortunately he was OK; we’re quickly running out
of forward players at the moment. City carved out several chances in
the last quarter of an hour before half-time but the efforts were all
either weak or straight at the goalkeeper. One memorable piece of
skill came from Niall Quinn, who chested down a long, diagonal cross
and flicked the ball back over a defender but unfortunately he didn’t
connect properly with the ball when he attempted to volley it home
and it was a simple save for the Burnley ‘keeper. At the other end,
Talia had a quiet half but looked competent when called into action,
despite some ribbing from the home fans in view of his connections
with their arch-rivals Blackburn. City’s style was looking good, with
some inventive passing movements in midfield and around the edge of
the box and it seemed only a matter of time before dominance was
turned into a lead.

At half-time City made a mass substitution, taking off Brightwell,
Kernaghan, Simpson, Summerbee and Edghill and replacing them with Rae
Ingram, Michel Vonk, Aled Rowlands, Scott Thomas and John Foster.
Alan Ball clearly wanted to have a good look at his squad and as
might have been expected, this changed the pattern of the game.
City’s defence didn’t look as confident as it had done and was prone
to giving the ball away, though Ingram made up for one particularly
bad mistake with a superb tackle which would have resulted in a
penalty had it been mis-timed. The midfield and attack lost shape
too, with Flitcroft much less influential (he was staying deeper) and
Quinn drifting off to the left, leaving Griffiths with no support. On
the right, Thomas looked to be more interested than Summerbee had
been, but to be honest he was no more effective.

With an hour played, there was another appalling tackle from behind,
this time on Quinn. The referee booked the offender but the Burnley
management did the decent thing by substituting him straight away.
The game continued to be quite an even affair, with Talia much busier
in the second half. He made a couple of good saves, holding onto the
ball well but he was unable to prevent Burnley taking the lead in the
73rd minute. A cross came in from Burnley’s left flank and it evaded
almost everybody except Tony Philliskirk, standing unmarked near the
edge of the 6-yard box. Talia got a hand to his header but it was too
powerful for him to stop and the home fans were celebrating. There
was even more to celebrate two minutes later when the lead was
doubled. A corner came in from the opposite side, flew over everybody
and ended up in the net at the far post. John Francis got a head on
it to claim the goal but it might well have gone in without his

Burnley’s tails were up but City kept trying to get back in the game
(not very urgently though). There were more chances at each end
before City pulled a goal back with a route-one classic. A long ball
was punted up to Quinn, who appeared (to the Burnley fans at least)
to handle the ball as he attempted to round the goalkeeper. His
effort was blocked but Griffiths followed up to tap the ball into the
empty net from 20 yards. Many City fans had already left, disgusted
that we could be 2 goals down after dominating the first half so
much, but what can you expect when such sweeping changes are made at
half time? Quinn was booed by the Burnley fans whenever he touched
the ball in the last five minutes but his effort made no difference
to the result. So, two defeats in a row but encouraging signs for the
future. In the first half, City played some really good football
which will hopefully be repeated throughout the coming season, and in
the second half a number of our younger prospects got some valuable
first-team experience. We lost but it’s not the end of the world.

Final score: Burnley 2 City 1



Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Manchester City – Wolves view

Thanks to Nick Curtis of the Wolves WWW for passing on these comments.



Report: David lnstone of the Wolverhampton Express & Star

Wolves fans will have to guess, for now, whether Graham Taylor is
happy with what he has seen from his side’s 100 per cent pre-season
programme to date. The manager has a long-held belief that warm-up
games are not worthy of his public appraisal, so don’t expect him to
rattle on about the chances of John de Wolf, Geoff Thomas, Tony Daley
and Neil Masters starting the season.

Nor of the experiment – now spanning three matches – of Thomas playing
in the centre of defence. But it can be safely assumed Taylor will
have seen good and indifferent in the team performance that secured a
slightly flattering late victory over injury-hit Manchester City.
There were, as ever on these occasions, a few sobering reminders of
the class gap Wolves will have to bridge when they rub shoulders with
such company every week.

City were slicker and their shooting crisper, but, as their new
manager Alan Ball pointed out, they struggled to cope with the power
and strength Wolves will shortly unleash on the First Division. A
back-four of Dean Richards (at right-back), De Wolf, Thomas and
Masters had a massive physical presence about them, although the
returning duo at centre-half were made to look rusty by the alertness
of Paul Walsh. Walsh, earlier denied by Paul Jones from a similar
one-on-one chance, waltzed through to score from Niall Quinn’s pass on
the stroke of half-time, but not before Wolves had repeated the
message they sounded time and again last season. Namely, that, even in
disjointed displays like this, they are rich in goal-scoring

Robbie Dennison’s tremendous llth-minute volley put them on their way
after David Kelly had headed on Richards’s centre from the right. Then
Kelly somehow squeezed a left-foot shot through a crowded six-yard
area seven minutes from time. Kelly and the noisily-acclaimed Steve
Bull were overshadowed on this occasion by the sharpness of Don
Goodman, who homed in from the right wing to have two good efforts
well saved by the excellent Martyn Margetson.

But, with late substitute Tony Daley thrillingly winning and then
taking the corner that led to Kelly’s decider, there should again be
goals aplenty.


Jones (DeBont, 81), Richards, Masters (Thompson, 67), Emblen,
De Wolf (Shirtliff, 67), Thomas (Smith, 67), Goodman, David Kelly,
Bull, Cowans (Rankine, 81), Dennison (Daley, 81).

Manchester City:

Margetson, Edghill, Phelan, Ian Brightwell, Curle
(Lomas, 10), Kernaghan, Summerbee, Walsh, Quinn (Greenacre, 72),
Flitcroft, Simpson. Subs: Foster, Talia, Vonk, Thomas, Griffiths.

Referee: Paul Rejer (Tipton). Attendance: 11,404.

Views from the Wolves list

A bit disjointed as they’ve come from several different people:

Pitch looked tremendous. Second video wall now operating. Got a free
team poster, fixture list with Express & Star to supplement 50p
programme. Left with hands covered in printing ink.

Masters did what he had to do and wasn’t troubled by Nick Summerbee.
Kelly and Bull had the usual crap service – Bull put himself about but
what service Kelly did get he managed to muff somehow (still say he
just isn’t suited by Taylor’s style of play). After I was about to
award him 3 out of 10 he confounded me by scoring the winner from 2
yards. Most likely route to goal before then had looked like ball over
the top for Bull to chase after Keith Curle limped off.

DeWolf played ok but wouldn’t bet on him getting through the season
unscathed. He put loads of ice on his dodgy knee after he was
substituted. It was good to see him back though. Still a touch of
class. Superb finish by Robbie Dennison after a period of head tennis
for first goal.

City deserved their goal (Walsh I think) after 15 minutes of pressure
towards the end of the first half. Daley looked like he has the skill
to beat players. Dean Richards played well, Jones was in goal, Stowell
is apparently injured. Cowans did nothing, Emblen showed some skill.
Goodman was unlucky, but his usual self; he nearly succeeded in
breaking someone’s legs just so that he could have some time to put
his boot back on.

Geoff Thomas did OK I suppose – seen worse makeshift central
defenders. Walsh showed up his distinct lack of pace – mind you he
makes most defenders look slow. I thought Paul Jones had a good game –
we are lucky to have 2 decent goalies I thought.

Most encouraging aspect of the game apart from Dean Richards was Tony
Daley going past 3 players with one burst of pace. He crossed a good
ball in for the second goal too. Didn’t understand why he started as
sub? Shirtliffe looked sharper than on his return from injury last
year. James Smith, Andy Thompson looked ok – not really on for long

Good job Dean Richards played and Rösler didn’t. Impressed by
Flitcroft and Lomas of Man City and surprisingly Quinn (held the ball
up very well). Disappointed Rösler didn’t play – probably just as
well, defending wasn’t too clever.

All a bit flat really – Steve Bull got a good reception, we had chants
of ‘Super Dave’ after he scored. GT sort of slinked on in shirt
sleeves unnoticed. No chants of ‘Taylor Taylor give us a wave’ or
‘Taylor out’. Atmosphere not quite right somehow.

Maybe Monday’s game will be better.

Wouldn’t bet on Man City winning the Premier.

Thanks to Nick Curtis, Wolves WWW (


The DoE are ready to issue Georgiou Kinkladze’s work permit; he will
be making his début on Thursday at Raith Rovers. “Ideally, I would
have liked him over earlier to get used to playing our style”
, said
Alan Ball.

The Mole

NEWS – CITY ON TV (Sunday 6th)

On Thursday August 10th UK Gold are showing City vs. Man U from
September 1980 at 10.30pm on their Classic Sports slot. I have the
feeling City get a hammering as 80/81 was when we started out crap
then got to the Cup final. If anyone can remember the result, can they
let me know (and save me hassling a friend to video it if we lost

Paul Newton (

NEWS – VARIOUS (Monday 7th)

I know these `friendly’ games are to help with match fitess, but with
the number of injuries currently `acquired’ has it proved more
damaging than beneficial? There seems to be another spate of pulled
muscle (type) injuries; are we back to the back old days of poor
training? Just makes you wonder!

It was reported over the weekend in some of the tabloid papers that
Curle’s injury may be worse than first forecast. Initial reports said
that it was an ankle break but it was reported on Sunday that the
injury was an ankle fracture and also damage to the ligaments 🙁
Doesn’t bode well for a speedy recovery.

One of the Sunday papers also linked City with a bid to transfer Nigel
Martyn. I know we have injuries to all three ‘keepers, but are the
press jumping to conclusions or could there be something more
concrete? TC seems very injury prone at the moment and the other two
replacements seem less than adequate at times, so is a replacement
due? I must make a couple of comments on Martyn: if he’s such a good
keeper, how come no team has ever made a decent bid before and how
come his team were relegated last season (crap defence, any better at
Maine Road)?

Martin Ford (


The T-shirts have been delayed I’m afraid. I’ve found out that the
printer had to go to hospital with a twisted bowel. Emergency stuff.
He’s out now and OK but has a bit of a backlog. I’m hopeful that we’ll
get them despatched at the end of this week.

John Shearer (


A colleague who apparently went to this game said that it finished
1-1; he didn’t know who scored though because he was trying out the
new bar!

Tony Farrar (


So is there any good news coming from the Academy of comedy? Well
there is some slightly better news with the return of two of the
injured list. Both Beagrie and Rösler should be fit enough to return
to first team action against Raith on Thursday night.

After playing so many players in the pre-season games, AB is hoping
that he can finally put out a full-strength squad (or as best he can
with the injuries) and decide upon his tactics and style of play in
the mini Scottish tour for the coming Premier campaign. However, that
might be dealt a blow as the DoE are questioning Kinkladze’s
international appearances. The DoE (and City) are now waiting for the
Georgian FA to give the relevant details. Until these questions are
answered City will just have to wait. If everything is sorted out and
Kinky gets his work permit by Thursday, he might be included in the
team to play Raith (depending if he’s not knackered from the morning
flight). If not, he’ll have to wait for the Hearts game, or until the
DoE grant him his work permit. Not really the best introduction into
the Premier league, messing around waiting for permits and he’s not
even trained with the squad yet!! Will this affect him and will it
take him longer to settle down?

Martin Ford (


A useful item to have on the WWW would be a list of `friendly pubs’
close to the various grounds around the country, where Blues could
meet up before the games. In fact this would be of great use to the whole
of the football community on the Internet, not just City fans. If you
know of a good pub at any ground which makes away fans welcome, please
send a note giving the name of the pub and directions to it to John
Shearer (, who has kindly volunteered to
organise this project.



S.Barlow requested information about City’s apparent loss of 6 million
pounds last season. I think that the article in the Telegraph referred
to the 93-94 season and not actually last season.

Paul Schofield (


What the hell is going on with the goalkeeper situation at City? I
think Frannie needs to dig deep into his pockets and find a permanent
replacement for Coton. I reckon £2 million would get Hislop away from
Reading, and failing that, I’m sure Martyn is still a possibility.
Coton isn’t getting any younger and he seems to have struggled with
injuries for too long now. Dibble is just not good enough, and so
should be sold. I haven’t seen enough of Margetson to comment, but
from recent reports on MCVITA, it seems he isn’t much better than

Alex Stepney is the new goalkeeping coach?!! Couldn’t we get big Joe
back? Failing that, I’m sure Shilton could use some extra money, to
pay those gambling debts?

Charles Pollitt (


With Coton, Dibble and Margetson out, City should buy an international
‘keeper, with plenty of experience and at a low price.

Solution: Erik Thorstvedt (33), out of favour in the Spurs side.
A bargain at 500,000 pounds. And yes, I am norwegian.

Gorm Andresen (


Having looked at other clubs’ Prediction Leagues, I’d like to suggest
some slight changes to the rules, making the scoring a little more
receptive to `near misses’ and rewarding risky predictions with more
points if they are correct.


Home win                                    = 1 point
Away win                                    = 2 points
Draw                                        = 3 points
Home team score correct                     = 1 point
Away team score correct                     = 1 point
Correct goal difference                     = 1 point *
Correct score when game has 5 or more goals = 2 points **
Correct scorer, either team                 = 1 point per goal


This is to try to compensate people who think the score will be 1-0
and it ends up 2-1. The person who predicts 2-1 will get 2 more
points, but the person that predicts 1-0 will still get a point.


The 2 points for a five goal match is to try to reflect the fact
that the odds are greater for matches with lots of goals.

I’ve not included any points for correct times of goals because (a)
times quoted by various newspapers are different, and (b) it’s pot
luck anyway! Maybe James Nash will disagree on this point, having won
last season’s competition with a `correct time’ bonus?!?

Further comments welcome.



Thanks to Charles, The Mole, Paul (x2), Gorm, John, Tony & Martin.


The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribers
and there is no intention to represent these opinions as being those
of Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies and
universities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not in
any way whatsoever connected to the club or any other related
organisation and is simply a group of supporters using this medium
as a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Paul Howarth,

Newsletter #111