Newsletter #137

A good performance on Saturday in which Leeds were pretty lucky to get away with a point. We’re playing fairly well up to the box but it seems to break down there. Mind you, it doesn’t help when you have some fairly strong penalty claims turned down! Anyway, onto Anfield for a double fixture this Wednesday followed by Saturday.

We’ve got a single match report this time; if anyone else cares to do one then please send it in to be included in Thursday’s issue. The new ‘CITY’ magazine is out and is fairly good. I’ll try to review it for the next issue. Flixton Red has done us his view of the OT derby which some people are going to find a little unpalatable. This is the way he saw it, he’s a United fan and a good judge of football and tactics and it’s valuable for us to get the other side of the story.

Next game, CCCup 3rd Round, Liverpool away, Wednesday. 25th October 1995.


MANCHESTER CITY vs. LEEDS UNITED, Saturday, 21st October 1995

Immel, Edghill, Phelan (Creaney), Symons, Curle, Lomas, Kinkladze,Flitcroft (Brightwell I), Summerbee, Rösler, Quinn

A pleasant Autumn day generated a fairly large crowd for this fixture between the two sleeping giants.

The game started with a lengthy period of Leeds possession. The main threat was coming down City’s left side with Kelly overlapping frequently. This seemed to stretch us a bit with Leeds apparently having a man spare on every attack. When City got into the game Kinkladze was running the show again, feeding Summerbee and Phelan on the overlap. Win, Lose or Draw I think it’s worth the admission money just to see Kinky. He rarely loses the ball, takes men on, creates his own space and has great vision. It’s just a pity that a lot of our players aren’t on his wavelength yet. We produced some flowing moves which got the crowd going and I thought the support was the noisiest so far this season (I tend to frequent the North Stand because it generates the best atmosphere due to the presence of the away fans). Summerbee had a shot over the bar and Rösler just missed out on finishing a good move reminiscent of vintage City.

Immel spoilt a brilliant display with some woeful kicking. One dead ball clearance resulted in giving Leeds possession in a dangerous position. A shot from McAllister (I think) resulted in a brilliant one-handed save from Eike. This didn’t stop Rösler from running the full length of the field to bollock him for the clearance though. Leeds also got 2 free kicks on the edge of the box after silly challenges by Curle. Fortunately they wasted both. The highlight of the half for me was when Kinky dribbled the ball past about 3 Leeds players and tried to curl the ball around Lukic. The shot didn’t come off but it was pure class. I thought City shaded the half.

Flipper was replaced by Brightwell at half time after picking up a knock. The second half became a tale of the 2 penalties that weren’t. The first involved Curle playing a one two with Rösler and beating his man on the edge of the Leeds box to find himself in the clear with only Lukic to beat. He was unceremoniously brought down but the ref waved play on. I thought the forays upfield by Symons and Curle gave us a new dimension, and certainly caused Leeds some problems. Symons was outstanding and Yeboah never really got a kick. The other penalty claim involved Edghill. It was more dubious but some refs would have given it.

A pass from Kinky released Brightwell whose cross was met by Quinn who nodded it down for Rösler but Pemberton cleared it off the line. Another move resulted in Kinky (or was it Lomas?) being fouled on the edge of the box. Two Leeds players were booked for not retreating the full 10 yards but when the kick was taken Curle side footed to Summerbee who ballooned it over. Phelan pulled a muscle overlapping Brightwell and Creaney came on in a left-sided midfield position. The last 15 minutes involved us hanging on a bit but Leeds failed to capitalise. I think we were satisfied with a point at the end and indeed most of the fans looked fairly happy on the way out.

This side could pull us out of trouble but I feel we are still 2 or 3 players short of a quality team.

Final Score: 0-0


  • Immel (8) Curle and Symons had to take his kicks in the second half but he made some good saves.
  • Edghill (7) Kept Wallace quiet and his passing was OK for once.
  • Phelan (6) Good coming forward but most of danger came from this side. sub:
  • Creaney (6)
  • Symons (9) Excellent defending and some good forays forward.
  • Curle (8) Good performance but still prone to giving away free kicks in dangerous areas.
  • Lomas (6) Commitment can’t be questioned but I’m still unsure about him.
  • Flitcroft (6) Is he happy? Did he sign a new contract? sub:
  • Brightwell (6)
  • Kinkladze (9) Different class entirely.
  • Summerbee (7) Played well, beat his man but crossing and shooting let him down today.
  • Quinn (8) Given his limitations I thought Niall was excellent.
  • Rösler (7) Didn’t quite click today but needs better service.

Ken Foster (


Just a short one from me, low on detail but containing some of the salient points. The crowd was quite sizable for this game and in good voice. City played well, building up slowly from the back but always with some menace. Kinky was doing his stuff in midfield, spraying balls around and making several of the Leeds midfielders look rather static as they chased him around and were continually wrong-footed. Lomas was running hard but his passing was fairly lamentable. Beagrie was out of this game so Buzzer was in and looked in good form. Quinn and Rösler were unfortunately off-form and didn’t really trouble the rather static Leeds defence.

My biggest fear before this game was Yeboah but he was completely subdued by the excellent Symons. Our number one problem was Phelan who was continually overlapped by Kelly; should someone else have picked him up? I don’t know, but Phelan looked hopelessly out of his depth. Luckily for us Curle and Symons cleaned up at the back. Flipper took a knock late in the first half and didn’t return for the second, being replaced by Brightwell. We had two fairly strong claims for penalties, one where the dangerous Curle ran through the heart of the Leeds defence and was apparantly brought down. To be honest I was already half-celebrating the goal so didn’t really see the incident but others thought it a clear penalty. The second involved a very similar incident with Edghill when Palmer (I think) leant all over him and pushed him to the floor. No penalty! Leeds had about four long range shots but nothing to trouble someone of Immel’s shot-stopping ability. The boys were applauded off at the end and everybody seemed in an upbeat mood.

Takehome messages: We have to do something with set pieces, our corners were useless and we had no idea how to take two dangerous free kicks. Also, the full backs, please, please do something, Edghill is much better at left back, better than Phelan (IMO) and Phelan needs to be put out to grass.

  • Immel (7) Great shot stopping but lousy and outright dangerous kicking.
  • Edghill (7) Looked quite good but still ran out of ideas a little going forward.
  • Phelan (5) No positional sense and left us wide open at the back.
  • Symons (9) Tony who? Dangerous forays forward, what a bargain.
  • Curle (7) Great coming forward, good tackling but still giving away dangerous free kicks.
  • Lomas (7) Good commitment but lousy distribution.
  • Flipper (6) Subsdued and then injured.
  • Kinky (9) Great skill and distribution but lacks that killer instinct in front of goal. If the goal was open he’d still be looking to pass to someone.
  • Buzzer (7) Beat his man several times but the crosses weren’t too good.
  • Rösler (7) Out of sorts, too slow.
  • Quinn (6) Looked slow and lacked mobility



Lots of rumours in the Sunday and Daily Mirror concerning City. The Sunday Mirror claim Rodney Marsh and his American based consortium are still interested in a Maine Road cash injection. Marsh says he would want to be made chief executive. I reckon Marsh would want more control over things than Mr. Lee would like. What do others think? Gerry Francis wasnt too happy when a similiar thing was in the pipeline at QPR.

Today’s Mirror reckoned Ball wanted to sign Nigel Clough but Liverpool want £2 million – we can’t stretch to that amount! They also claim a swap deal was suggested involving Flipper, and Liverpool refused. All I can say is thank F***!! Do we really want to swap one of our better players for average Clough?

Charles Pollitt (


After having read some of the (video) Derby match reports on MCIVTA, I’m pretty sure that you’re not going to like what you’re going to read here. However, as a regular season ticket-holding Red who’s seen a fair spread of visiting sides this season, I hope I’ll be able to give you as objective a (Red) view of City’s Derby performance as possible.

Alan Ball’s instructions to his players were fairly evident in the first five minutes of what was one of the poorest of recent Manchester Derbys. Flitcroft and Lomas, amongst others, had no difficulty in understanding the ‘get stuck in’ orders. They were clearly intent on wresting midfield control from Butt and Keane as early as possible. But their efforts were to no avail as Utd took the lead with Scholes exploiting some appalling marking in the heart of the City defence.

Letting a ugly midget have a totally uncontested header at goal from 6 yards out and from a corner was a hideous mistake of the lowest order. The early setback resulted in a considerable deflation of City’s early conviction and enthusiasm. Consequently United had the luxury of some intermittant pressure on the City area resulting in some Cole half-chances but without creating any 24-caret opportunities. After about a quarter of an hour, City appeared to regain their confidence and some minutes later began to retain, through some hard running and reasonably accurate passing, a majority of the midfield possession.

During this period, Neville’s late challenge on Rösler, who appeared to be clear on goal, certainly had Reds expecting the worst. The ref’s decision to show just a yellow card was fairly inexplicable given the spectacular nature of Rösler’s fall to earth. One can only wonder as to whether he felt that Neville’s effort was for the ball, that he had actually touched the ball or perhaps that Rösler had tried rather too obviously to get noticed. Indeed some (independent) observers of the televised highlights felt strongly that Neville actually failed to make contact with Rösler, but however was still responsible for Rösler’s airborne ‘tackle avoidance’ routine.

Personally, I think the ‘all refs at OT are bent’ school of thought is particularly short-sighted and gratuitous. Over recent seasons United have definitely had their fair share of sending-offs. If referees were thoroughly intimidated by a crowd, then it would eventually show up in a season’s penalty count. On this score, United (despite having had attacking and incisive players such as Giggs and Kanchelskis constantly running into the box) have recently been very poorly rewarded, … unlike the legendary 80s Anfield con-trick.

City’s mounting pressure, due mainly to some neat inter-passing between City’s three central midfielders, was almost rewarded shortly after. Presented with a gift of a scoring opportunity due to a Pallister mistake, Quinn made a dreadful hash of hitting the target with only Schmeichel to beat.

What this opportunity had indeed highlighted was that few chances were actually being cleanly created by either side. In fact, mistakes were to be the major currency in this game until the last fifteen minutes. Although Beagrie managed to put several searching crosses into the United box, he singly failed to find Rösler, Quinn or anyone else unmarked. Despite having largely out-run Butt and Keane in midfield, Flitcroft, Lomas and Kinkladze seemed powerless to actually penetrate the United defence. They showed some nice touches when in space but clearly had difficulty in working the ball forward through the centre of Utd’s back four. IMO Ball has Flitcroft (and/or Lomas) and Kinkladze playing the wrong way round. Flitcroft was pushed up too far and Kinkladze seemed too deep for his close control to reap any real benefit.

In open play, the City back four coped reasonably well (Symons in particular) with the lonely Cole, who is currently being forced to lead the line. However, they found it far more difficult to pick up and track a deeper but busier and more dangerous Scholes. At right back, Edghill looked as rash and distinctly limited as ever, never quite sure when to follow Giggs or not, and always oblivious to an overlapping Philip Neville. In fact, it was an unchallenged Neville cross which Scholes eventually managed to direct the ball past the wrong side of the post when it was perhaps easier to score.

Ball’s half-time talk was evidently one which must have scorched the paint off the dressing-room walls. Flitcroft and Lomas in particular, came out looking to nail anything red that moved. Lomas was finally booked after one wild (and again bookable) tackle too many (I submit, me lord, that said referee indeed showed generosity towards both tribes!). This approach seemed crazy to me; it not only broke up play but was mostly responsible for City’s large portfolio of bookings. IMO they needed to expend energy tracking opponents and not surrendering space rather than diving in and committing themselves.

The one occasion on which City did threaten in the second half was when Kinkladze finally decided to advance and lay a chance on for Quinn. His run and shot (in acres of space) again scored less than 3/10. City continued with their robust approach and again generally kept a marginally greater share of the possession. However, at this stage the passing of both sides left a great deal to be desired. Summerbee’s entry to the game certainly gave City an alternative route to get behind the Utd defence, but the few crosses he managed to put over, despite strong pressure by Phil Neville, weren’t good enough to find a City head.

After about 20 minutes of the 2nd half and still searching for an equaliser, the City midfield started to tire (as I remember, similar to last year). The increasing space left in midfield allowed Utd to break and run at City with far more freedom than previously. Good chances fell to Giggs and Cole (x4), but Immel proved to be as good a shot-stopper as his reputation had suggested. Why he didn’t spend the last fifteen minutes screaming blue murder at his largely concentration-less defenders was beyond me. I saw enough evidence on Saturday to indicate that Ball’s had no success in moulding that defence into a solid unit. He hasn’t got long to do it. I suspect a better side would have murdered you late on in the second half.

IMO City weren’t robbed and certainly deserve didn’t very much more than they actually got. Why? … because they hardly penetrated a poor and shapeless (on the day) Utd side. There’s much to be said for looking pretty and keeping possession, but only if you do something with it! The plus points for City were a solid workmanlike midfield, with Summerbee actually looking better than the vaunted Beagrie. However, for all Kinkladze’s pretty touches, there was no threat of a final killer ball. The defence weren’t put under much pressure because of Flitcroft and Lomas’ hard graft. However, when they were exposed they were often naïve in failing to shepherd attackers into areas where they could be easily kept quiet. Symons appears to be a decent buy; he’s got good pace and seems to be reasonably aware of what’s going on around him. Up front, Rösler might have looked dangerous given some decent ball, but Quinn appears to have lost all his good form of several years back.

City haven’t been the worst side to visit OT this season. In fact, they did about as much as the Liverpool midfield did last week. This obviously seems to be an improvement on recent performances, but heralds little unless they can start making real chances. Mind you, constantly chasing the game doesn’t help.

Flixton Red


While everyone is wondering why big Niall was not sold to Sporting Lisbon in the summer, an article with comments by Quinn himself in 90 Minutes may shed some light on the subject.

I seem to remember Niall saying something about the fact that Sporting Lisbon’s elections were coming up and the president of the club wanted a new signing in order to get re-elected as president. Thus he paraded Quinn in front of the fans with no intention of actually signing him, and after being re-elected he then claimed that City had failed to fulfill their contractual obligations to the striker, which clearly was not true and has been shown since, in order to be able to cancel the transfer.

The Trickstar – Richard Allen (


Five years ago I moved to Sunderland with a tear in my eye as I gave up my Kippax season ticket. Since then I’ve only managed an average of 10 games a season which left me missing that Saturday feeling. Imagine my shock when Peter Reid turned up on Sunderland’s doorstep to promptly save them from going down. At the beginning of the season I took the plunge and toddled down to Roker to see what Reidy could do. Imagine my horror when I began to see a team managed by the man who should have been given Alan Ball’s job playing with all the heart and dedication that City so blatantly lack these days. “Gutted” is not the word I can tell you! Since then the fortunes of the teams could not be further apart.

What is now scaring me is the link between the clubs that was evident with Everton when Howard Kendall tried to change the Blues into the Everton second team. Not living in Manchester and only recently receiving MCIVTA I am unsure of just what has been reported in Manchester. Here in Sunderland there is immense talk of Peter Reid and Alan Ball playing swap shop. The last I heard Tony Coton had failed a fitness test and was unable to sign. Peter Reid still denies an interest in Vonk but a steward at Roker swears that Vonk was at the ground during the week. Not only this but there is talk of a straight swap between Kevin Ball and Peter Beagrie. Now from a Sunderland point of view this would be like Christmas come early. Beagrie is still seen as a first class winger here while Kevin Ball is seen as surplus to Reidy’s passing regime requirements. To put it bluntly, the guy is a prime donkey. I can see no situation where he and Kinky could link up in midfield successfully unless Alan Ball has decided to literally fight his way out of the mire he has gotten us into.

On top of all this there are rumours of reserve team swaps and the selling of Martin Smith to City. Why? Ball has shown that he doesn’t know how to deal with quality midfield/wing men so why buy a player that he’ll under-use? I’m all for Sunderland going up, but I don’t want it to be at the expense of City. I know the wage bill is a problem, but let’s not rush into anything hasty. To be honest it would be better to offload Quinn (as much as it would hurt), Phelan and shit like Dibble and start afresh with the quality that we have as well as buying young talent from elsewhere. You can try to plug the gaps but the problems will still be there. We need to look long term rather than rushing out and doing rash buys and swaps in order to stay up. We will stay up anyway I’m sure, but I’d rather see us struggle this year, be mid-table the next and then really pushing for the top the season after. As it is I have a horrible feeling that we are destined for another relegation struggle next year. These struggles are for the likes of West Ham and Coventry, not City. As a final note I saw something in a paper about another consortium willing to put £10 million into City? Is this true?

Michael Barry (


Man City away days, well you just can’t beat’m. As a new user of the E Mail and subscriber I am somewhat disheartened by the Blues around me. Let me tell you a little story about the four True Blues who would never bow down and it will show all you doubting Tommys it really is not all bad!

7am on a cold March morning Dunk (The Godfather), Nelly (Nose like half a pick axe), Rob (Stumpy dwarf with no legs) and not forgetting Lee Thomas (Dinner’s in the dog because he got bladdered after the game) all set out for Ipswich. Rob drew the short one and got dipped for driving. They all piled in the Honda and blasted off along the A5 all chirpy and hungry for the taste of the away day victory.

12 Noon all’s well and making good time when Nelly suggests it might not be a bad idea to get a few cans of beer to relieve the mounting boredom. A pit-stop was taken (bad move). Unfortunately the offy was opposite a public tavern. Nelly makes another well delivered suggestion and points towards the little homely ‘dont you just wanna sit in front of the fire with your trusty K9 and pint of stout’ building sporting a big smile and says “Don’t yeh think we should keep that poor barmaid company until it gets busy later, I bet she’d love to have a chat”. We obliged.

3pm “If I have to tell you three to be quiet again I’ll throw you out” Rob’s sulking in the car because he can’t drink. Alas the three partial coherents leave the cosy little boozer and climb into the car. They’re off again. Tisst goes a can of T E and another and another (Rob’s chomping at the bit).

3.05pm Stoooooppp !!! I need to go booms Dunk, whilst eating the planet’s supply of crisps. Over the wall he goes being watched unaware by the local Bobby. “Well well well what have we here?” “About 10 inches” came the reply from the wobbling mound of flesh. The officer seemed taken back, almost offended. Then out comes the reels of one liners that Dunk is reknowned for, he gets nicked, the officer was having a bad day. One down, the remnants press on.

5pm After nearly 10 hours they arrive in Ipswich; Rob’s already had Lee Thomas by the throat for throwing up down the back of his head. Nelly could only burst into laughter making Rob’s blood boil. They find a hotel which seems nice until the owner appears cradling two screeming rugrats; they book in.

6pm Rob wants to have a pint, Rob needs a pint, Rob is gonna have an effing pint if it is the last thing he does. The pub won’t let City Fans in. Rob breaks down in tears and then is offered the remains by Lee Thomas a can of T E. As the can is passed over a sharp eyed policeman jets over and commands the beverage is disposed of down the gutter. Rob can’t believe it.

7.30pm The game starts. Dunk’s got the tickets. No one in Ipswich has ever heard of a tout, they buy tickets for the home end. Rob’s a jibbering mess by now.

9.15pm The game ends. City draw 2-2 Rob calms down satisfied at the result and runs out of the ground and straight to the local. His wallet is in the glove compartment of the Honda. Lee Thomas and Nelly appear to save the day. At last from 7 in the morning to 10 at night Rob gets his beer.

11pm “Let’s go to a club” Rob suggests. Nelly asks a local drinker of the whereabouts of the nearest club. “None open on a Tuesday” came the regretted reply, Rob’s head’s going again. “What about an Indian, there must be an Indian open?”. “Nope”.

12 Midnight Lying in bed Rob contemplates the day’s events to the snores of Nelly and Lee Thomas, the couple next door decide to go for it. The hotel is a ruckus.

Rob starts to laugh and can’t stop, tears appear. Then drifts off to sleep mulling “Well Uwe got his first and so did Walshy’ its not all bad”.

The End

Robert McCurrie (


I’ve just been on the phone to a mate in London. I phoned him for reassurance that I’m not the only optimistic City fan left. Guess What? After talking to him I feel like I would still be in a positive frame of mind if I were captain of the Titanic after the iceberg had struck.

He’s been to 3 games Spurs (home), QPR (away), and Wycombe (away) and watched the Arsenal game on TV. He reckons we should sell everybody bar Kinkladze and doesn’t reckon AB or FHL are up to the job. I put lots of positive points forward i.e. what about Uwe, Kit, Flipper- but he reckons they are just OK.

So what, you may say, it’s only another opinion. I just hope he’s wrong or we are knackered. He rates the Wycombe game as one of City’s worst displays ever. Somebody said recently that promotion/relegation is going to be 1 up, 1 down after this season. I am sure that this is completely untrue. I have heard negotiations are under way for the possibility of changing to 2 up, 2 down but this won’t come into effect (if agreed) until the end of season 97/98.

Regarding away fans at the Swamp, it’s been rumoured that the rags are under severe pressure to allow away fans back in and may do so starting with their game at home to Southampton (useless information to us now but do I smell a rat?)

Ken Foster (


On derby day 5-Live were interviewing Messrs Summerbee, Lee and Marsh. Part of the interview involved a short piece of commentary from Barry Davis on Match of the Day in the 70’s I guess. The commentary sounded familiar but I cannot place the goal. The commentary ran “passes to Lee… this could be interesting … interesting… oh very interesting. What a goal and look at his face, look at his face!!” Now Barry Davis gets excited easily but by the sound of it he was in sexual ecstasy as this goal went in. Can anyone enlighten me as to where and when? Perhaps you were there?

Has anyone noticed the change in topics in the newsletters where the current trend is to reminisce over previous matches rather than dwell on the current ones? Hopefully we can turn things around and quickly as Christmas is looming and if we are where we are now in the New Year then Wolverhampton here we come.

Keep up the good work.

David Oram (


Sunday, October 22 1995

EVERTON               1-1    TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR      33,629
SOUTHAMPTON           1-3    LIVERPOOL              15,245

Saturday, October 21 1995

ARSENAL               2-0    ASTON VILLA            38,271
CHELSEA               1-4    MANCHESTER UNITED      31,019
MANCHESTER CITY       0-0    LEEDS UNITED           26,390
NEWCASTLE UNITED      6-1    WIMBELDON              36,434
WEST HAM UNITED       1-1    BLACKBURN ROVERS       21,776

Sun 22 Oct

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United      10      9    0    1     26     7        27
Manchester United     10      7    2    1     21    11        23
Arsenal               10      6    3    1     15     5        21
Middlesbrough         10      6    3    1     11     4        21
Liverpool             10      6    2    2     18     8        20
Nottingham Forest     10      5    5    0     18    11        20
Aston Villa           10      5    2    3     12     8        17
Leeds United          10      5    2    3     14    12        17
Tottenham Hotspur     10      4    3    3     15    13        15
Chelsea               10      4    3    3     11    11        15
Blackburn Rovers      10      3    2    5     13    15        11
Sheffield Wednesday   10      3    2    5      9    12        11
West Ham United       10      2    4    4      9    12        10
Wimbledon             10      3    1    6     14    23        10
Everton               10      2    3    5     12    15         9
Queens Park Rangers   10      3    0    7      9    16         9
Coventry City         10      1    4    5      7    18         7
Southampton           10      1    3    6      9    19         6
Bolton Wanderers      10      1    2    7     11    22         5
Manchester City       10      0    2    8      3    15         2

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to Flixton, Michael, Rob, Ken, Dave, Richard & Charles.

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 #137