Newsletter #138

Another disappointing result and conflicting views/moods about the game and the club in general. I won’t spend too much time waffling on as this is just about the biggest edition of MCIVTA there’s ever been. We have the usual extensive match report from Rob on the Leeds game and then two on the Liverpool tie. On top of that there’s loads of general stuff as well as a review of the latest issue of ‘CITY’, another excellent ’10 great goals’ feature (any more? send ’em in) and a poem from Ken!!!

City are rumoured to be close to signing Nigel Clough and have taken Thomas Christiansen on loan for a week from Barcelona and will buy him if he looks any good; he’s meant to be a very promising striker. At the moment I know nothing about him, not even his nationality though I’d have to guess that he’s Scandinavian. Can any of our Scandinavian subscribers write in and tell us what he’s like and a little of his history?

Next game, Liverpool away, Saturday. 28th October 1995.


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

Maine Road
Attendance: 26,390
Referee: Martin Bodenham (East Looe)

Manchester City

Edghill Curle Symons Phelan (Creaney 86)
Kinkladze Lomas Flitcroft (Brightwell h-t)
       Rösler Quinn
[ UNUSED: Margetson ]

Leeds United

Kelly Wetherall Pemberton Worthington
Deane Palmer McAllister Couzens
                        Wallace         (Whelan 81)
[ UNUSED: Beesley Tinkler ]

The afternoon began with me desperately trying to find my season ticket and panicking. Of course, it was where I had suspected it was – just something was covering it. Then my lift arrived. The traffic was particularly bad – was it the good weather? Then near the Royal Infirmary, the clutch gave way much to our annoyance and those queuing behind us. We pushed the car to the side of the road. Then having rushed to the ground – getting there with about 5 minutes to spare, my zip came apart in my hand. Thus the omens were not good. However, I remained optimistic as Leeds were conceding goals at the moment.

  • 01min: Deane tangles with Phelan. Pass inside box deflected for a corner just before it reached Wallace.
  • 02min: Another corner, this time McAllister takes short to Kelly who crosses, ball falls to Wetherall just beyond the post. Immel claims ball by driving around his legs.
  • 05min: Edghill tries to shuffle the ball past Deane and incredibly gets the free kick.
  • 07min: McAllister switches play left to right to Kelly. Kelly’s cross finds Couzens in the box who pulls the ball back to Deane. Deane shoots tamely wide.
  • 09min: Phelan sprints forward with the ball, lays it off to an extremely wide Lomas who drives the ball to the near post. Rösler’s flick out for a corner off his marker.
  • 10min: Corner comes out to Kinkladze who swivels. Finally gets his shot in after making the space by wrong footing two defenders but the shot is tame and straight at Lukic.
  • 11min: Flitcroft sells Lomas short. Lomas is immediately pounced on by Deane. Suddenly it’s Deane and Yeboah against Symons and Curle. Symons intercepts and pelts the balls into touch.
  • 13min: Curle downs Yeboah outside box in a central position. McAllister takes and curls it round the wall. Immel has it covered and takes it low but comfortably. If he had fumbled City were in trouble.
  • 14min: Phelan intercepts attacking pass but ball drops for Deane (the paper said this was Palmer?), who shoots from outside box and forces an excellent save out of Immel – turning it around the post.
  • 15min: Impressions so far. Defence is at sixes and sevens when the ball is crossed in. City losing the ball a lot. Thus Kinkladze decides the only way to keep possession is to keep it himself. He advances half the field with it, avoiding challenges. Ball played out to Edghill who tries to pull it back from the by-line and gains a corner off Worthington. The corner is aimed at the near post. A Leeds head nods it on perfectly. It looks like Quinn’s ball but another Leeds head gets their first and concedes another corner. Next corner is poorly directed and easy for Leeds to clear.
  • 17min: More skill from Kinkladze – he leaves two midfielders in his wake. Lomas receives ball and is tackled from behind/the side. Linesman signals foul, referee says ‘play-on’ with Leeds having the possession.
  • 20min: Palmer exchanges 1-2 at the corner of City’s box. His shot is very poor. My neighbour has great joy in claiming “Palmer! Donkey!”
  • 21min: Symons brings ball forward, finds Summerbee who manages to turn his man but skies the ball over the bar from just outside the box. If only he would keep his head a little down he could have scored about 3 or 4 goals this season.
  • 22min: Another good passing move by City which ends with Symons in the box (!!!) shooting wide from Summerbee’s cross.
  • 24min: Quinn complains to referee about holding. It looked justified to me. However it must be said that Mr Bodenham has been incredibly lenient so far.
  • 27min: Quinn set-up from Kinkladze to turn and shoot over (I think). However he was offside and it wouldn’t have mattered.
  • 28min: Kelly gets round the back of the City defence, crosses to Wallace. Wallace shoots into ground, bounces high enough for Deane to head over and past.
  • 29min: More excellent City build up, Phelan passes to Rösler who finds Summerbee out wide. Rösler runs into box. Summerbee brings it then crosses to Quinn. His header would have been straight into the path of a rushing Rösler except there was a Leeds defender in the way who headed out for a corner. What happens next: another wasted corner!
  • 31min: Lomas fouls Couzens in a central position just outside the box, similar to the earlier free kick conceded. Yeboah and McAllister both in waiting again. This time Yeboah hits it – well over the bar and rising.
  • 33min: Quinn heads gently very wide of the post from Kinkladze’s lobbed punt.
  • 35min: Yet more good City build-up: Flitcroft to Rösler to Phelan who crosses – Quinn heads it back to Lomas who shoots poorly and off target.
  • 36min: Another City corner, Rösler wins header but it loops wide of post.
  • 37min: Free kick to City, Deane judged to have scuffled with Edghill, looked 50-50 to me. Curle knocks the kick into the box, Lukic challenged by Quinn mispunches and the ball almost falls to Rösler.
  • 38min: Another Quinn flick, but Lomas is shielded off the ball by Palmer.
  • 39min: Leeds offside trap fails, Quinn is on-side. Deane is there too but then Quinn is adjudged to have fouled him (well that’s how it looks a million miles from me).
  • 43min: Kelly crosses, City’s defence looks muddled, Palmer heads the ball back across the goal earning more appreciation from my neighbour.

Half-time score: Manchester City 0 Leeds United 0

  • 49min: Summerbee fails to control Quinn’s pass at the end of the Leeds box.
  • 50min: Kinkladze shot is easily saved by Lukic.
  • 51min: Summerbee played on by Quinn. Effort goes wide. It was hard to determine if it was a cross or a shot.
  • 53min: Kinkladze downed and no foul given. Leeds break with the Georgian lying in agony. Kelly shoots and Immel saves at the feet of an oncoming Yeboah.
  • 54min: Rösler wins corner. Ball fed out to Brightwell (on for Flitcroft who worked his socks off the first half and we guessed must have taken a knock). Brightwell skied over (an ambitious effort).
  • 55min: City corner played short. Finally knocked in by Edghill. Quinn heads across goal, Symons (I think) heads wide past post.
  • 57min: Rösler felled by Worthington. Referee plays on. After about a minute play stops when Curle tries to find touch (but Lomas thinks it’s a pass and tried to keep it in). Worthington sees Yellow. Leeds do not give ball back after throw.
  • 58min: Summerbee cross. Rösler turns man and shoots. Hits arm of Pemberton. Penalty! But ref decides it was accidental. I would agree.
  • 59min: Curle plays ball straight ahead to Rösler’s feet and then keeps on running. Gets return from Rösler and keeps on running into the box. He is just about to shoot about 10 yards out (I do hope he wasn’t looking for the penalty) when he goes down. I’m undecided about this one.
  • 61min: City pressure continues, Lomas finds Phelan who finds Kinkladze and gains a corner.
  • 62min: Corner comes in, ball ends up in front of Rösler whose shot is blocked.
  • 63min: Brightwell loses ball outside City box. Palmer picks up the lose ball and attempts another ‘nearly the Goal of the Month’ strike. Well wide!
  • 64min: Edghill goes over inside the box this time. No penalty. He looked like he went down too easily for me.
  • 66min: Wallace shoots from outside box. Immel saves. Further up-field, Palmer is down. Stretcher comes on. Result is a drop ball on the centre spot, Quinn vs. Deane, Niall belts it up-field to Lukic.
  • 68min: Palmer comes back onto pitch. Wetherall penalised for push on Quinn about 5 yards outside box. Free kick floated in, Quinn header going in but turned away for a corner by Pemberton thereby also deflecting it from Rösler’s path. This was to turn out to be the closest chance of the match.
  • 70min: Lomas robs Yeboah only to be adjudged to have committing a foul.
  • 71min: Brightwell fouls McAllister. City gain possession after free kick and Phelan goes on one of his runs. Cuts inside and runs along edge of box. Phelan is taken out by Wallace. Free kick. Referee moves wall back and Curle moves ball forward. Then referee moves wall back. Wallace does not retreat and sees Yellow. Kelly moans and sees Yellow. Kinkladze passes to Summerbee who yet again fires over.
  • 74min: McAllister shoots from outside box, taken by Immel safely in his midriff.
  • 75min: City starting to fade – not surprisingly having given their all in the game. Wallace gets to by-line and crosses. McAllister has a free header at the near post with Immel watching. McAllister misses the target and knew he should have scored 😮
  • 77min: Another McAllister shot from outside the box, deflected off Lomas who was blocking McAllister and Immel saves.
  • 80min: Yet another McAllister effort – this time blocked by Symons. Kinkladze carries the ball. Passes to Rösler at edge of area then proceeds to support Uwe. Uwe effort blocked. Kinkladze is furious he did not get the return. The ball is not cleared by Leeds and Lomas has a chance to shoot but it is weak and easily saved by Lukic. Lomas had a mixed match in my opinion. He never stopped working but gave the ball away several times.
  • 85min: Foul by Lomas on Kelly. When I thought Lomas should have got there first. Quinn knocks free kick out for corner. Corner comes in and then out to Couzens who shoots wide from outside box.
  • 86min: Phelan loses possession of ball near Leeds box, Kelly shields ball out for a free kick but disturbingly Phelan pulls up rather sharpish with cramp or hamstring. I know not.
  • 87min: Whelan fouls Curle in the Leeds half. Curle almost retaliates but stops himself at the last minute. Phelan not returning, on comes Creaney. I was beginning to get anxious when I could not understand to which new formation City were playing.
  • 88min: A voice in front of my claims “It’s that time again!”, when watching Leeds camp themselves in City’s half. Suddenly Whelan is through. My heart sinks. Ah, but the linesman has his flag up. Phew!

Final score: Manchester City 0 Leeds United 0

I think City would have deserved a win had they had a couple for chances for all the pressure they put Leeds under. The last 15 minutes were worrying when City started to run out of ideas and breath. But all the time should be applauded. Immel particularly looks more confident with each game.

Wetherall was also booked but I did not notice that! Any ideas anyone? No City players booked – is this a first for the season?

Robert Watson (


LIVERPOOL vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Wednesday 25th October, 1995

“We’re Blues, and we’re proud of it.”

I nearly missed the start of this one; one of the three coaches didn’t turn up and we waited until 6:00pm before leaving the city centre. Got in just before the kick off and was surprised how many empty seats there were, particularly in the main stand to our right. City returned 3,000 tickets themselves but a cash turnstile was open on the night so there were probably 4,000-4,500 Blues present out of the crowd of 29,394. City lined up as follows:

Brightwell  Symons  Curle  Edghill
Summerbee  Lomas Kinkladze  Foster
           Rösler  Quinn

Right from the start Liverpool threatened to tear City apart, particularly down City’s left side where McAteer was pulling untried combination Edghill and Foster all over the place, leaving wide gaps for McManaman and Redknapp to run into. City failed to close players down and Liverpool found themselves with acres of space to use for their quick, accurate passing moves. Immel made two brilliant saves in the first few minutes, the first from Fowler being particularly impressive. However, in the 9th minute Liverpool opened the scoring through John Scales. Symons’ clearing header from a cross only made it as far as Scales, who hit a very good low shot right into the corner, with Niall Quinn’s attempted charge-down unsighting the goalkeeper.

At this point Brightwell and Foster swapped positions and City started to get some tackles in, which resulted in Liverpool looking slightly less threatening than before. However, up front Quinn and Rösler were playing too far apart to be effective, one of Liverpool’s three central defenders always being able to intercept flick-ons. Liverppol continued to dominate the game, always looking likely to increase their lead without actually doing so. It must be nice to support a team as good as this, I thought.

After about 25 minutes, City seemed to realise that they were still in the match and started to make a game of it. Lomas and Brightwell battled away in midfield, disrupting the home side’s short passing game. One or two chances started to materialise. Quinn and Rösler moved closer together and Rösler managed to get on the end of a Quinn flick close to the penalty spot, turned round Mark Wright but screwed his shot just wide of the far post with only James to beat from the corner of the 6-yard box. The next chance fell to Quinn in a very similar position; a low cross from Rösler skimmed along the edge of the 6-yard box evading two Liverpool defenders before reaching Quinn, who was so surprised he sliced his shot wide with the goal at his mercy. He made no such mistake a few minutes later, using his body strength to hold off Wright and shooting powerfully past James from 15 yards but unfortunately the referee had already blown for a free kick, ruling that Quinn had fouled Wright.

So, half time came and 1-0 was a fair reflection of the play. We were still optimistic given the improvement in City’s play towards the end of the half. Anfield is no longer the cauldron of passion it used to be and the travelling Blues had no difficulty making themselves heard above the rather subdued home fans. Maybe you get bored of good football, winning trophies etc? I’d like to see for myself though!

The first 30 minutes of the second half continued as the first half had ended, with City having the bulk of possession. Unfortunately we made no real clear-cut chances despite having as much of the ball as I can ever remember seeing a City side have at Anfield. The only half chances of note came when Kinkladze picked up the ball just outside the City area following a Liverpool corner, ran at the Liverppol defence (and beat them!) but blazed his shot high and wide, and also when Quinn was sent through with a good pass from midfield but screwed a weak shot wide from outside the area when he might have squared the ball for Rösler. He may not have seen Rösler, and the German might well have been given offside had Quinn passed to him, so you can’t really blame Quinn for shooting.

City’s resistance ended on 74 minutes when a neat Liverpool passing move culminated in a one-two between Fowler and Rush, Fowler ran on into the City area, held off a challenge and fired a low, hard shot in at the near post. Immel will be very disappointed at letting a goal in at his near post but it would be churlish to criticise him after his first half heroics. You might also say that the marking on the Liverpool players could have been tighter but it was a very good goal, superbly finished by a top-class striker.

This goal was a terrible blow for City, who had competed well until that point. The heads seemed to go down and we knew the game was up. I’d like to think that they were saving their energy for the match on Saturday but I think in reality the players were just knackered and disheartened. Two more goals followed in quick succession, the first for Ian Rush, who managed to pull a yard away from Symons, hang in the air for ages and them plant a powerful header right in the top corner. This was the cue for many Blues to leave the ground and for the home fans to finally make some real noise. They were further cheered by a goal for Steve Harkness three minutes later, his first shot rebounding back off a defender straight back to him, making no mistake with his second effort. There were further chances for Rush and Fowler to make the final score even more flattering to the Reds but the City boys managed to hold on until the relief of the final whistle came.

The remaining City fans applauded the players from the field, knowing they’d given their all. Since we create so few decent chances, the ones that do come our way are snatched at. Compare this with the cool, clinical finishing shown by Fowler, who knows he’s almost certain to get another chance if he misses. That’s the big difference between the top and bottom sides. So, what can we do on Saturday? We have to maintain the good points of this performance, the battling midfield restricting Liverpool’s possession. We must be prepared to bring another midfield player on after an hour or so to introduce fresh legs. Crosses must he whipped in, not left hanging in the air for James to claim (which he will do even if he has to come to the edge of the area to do it). We must be prepared to run at defenders with pace. Liverpool’s defence is good but they don’t like being run at any more than anybody else’s defenders do. We must close down and keep tight to their forward players. Do all these things for 90 minutes and we might surprise a few people.

Final Score: Liverpool 4 City 0

Paul Howarth (


LIVERPOOL vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Wednesday 25th October, 1995

It is hard to decide where to begin with performance at Anfield last night.

Got in nice and early, good view on the half way line, I felt quite positive. This feeling lasted until the teams came out to warm up. Differences between the teams were obvious even then; City looked markedly shorter and lighter, like a team of schoolboys. Liverpool looked hungry for the game, City looked hungry.

City started with quite a bizarre formation. The two central defenders were extremely central whilst the full backs and midfield were trying to fit into as small a space as possible in the midfield. This left an obvious problem – acres of space for the Liverpool wide men.

We were wide open. After a couple of early scares and poor defensive play Liverpool inevitably took the lead.

At this point Liverpool could have taken City apart. They bypassed the midfield at will and always had men spare on the wings. Suprisingly during this period we had two clear chances with both Rösler and Quinn firing wide from close range. However we lumbered to half-time and with only one goal in it we still had a chance.

City were the dominant team during the first 25 mins of the second half; Liverpool appeared to be playing City’s game of passing to the opposition. However, during this period we did not create one decent chance.

In the final 20 mins the cracks began to show. Liverpool began to play as a team and walked around the City defence and banged in a second. Liverpool’s third was a cracking Rush header. City seemed thouroughly demoralised and a fourth was no surprise.

Anyway, observations on the game:

  1. Support. I thought the fans were superb. They were behind the team all the way and very vocal.
  2. Defence. Two central defenders were okay, but they had too muchground to cover. It was embarrassing how wide open we were on theflanks. When Liverpool attacked they always had a wide man (often two)in acres of space. In contrast when we attacked wide players werecovered by two defenders.
  3. Midfield. I play a lot of five-a-side. I am not very good.Consequently I spend lots of time marking empty spaces, walking aboutaimlessly and avoiding being passed to. I was shocked to see ourmidfield using the same tactics. It struck me that they just did notknow what they were supposed to be doing; they appeared lethargic. Isit that they do not understand AB’s tactics? (Does he have any?)
  4. Forwards. Quinn did his best with little support from the midfieldbut he is not a great player and needs people playing well around him.Rösler did not look a happy man last night. He appeared slow (was hecarrying an injury?) but when he did get into a good position hedid not receive the ball. He appeared to be getting increasinglyangry with his colleagues as the game went on, complaining andgesturing; not a player enjoying his football.
  5. Tactics. Well let’s face it we were shit. We were so bad theconsequence of this was that Liverpool did not appear to know how toplay against us and nearly let us back in in the second half. Ithink as tactics go, being unbelievably inept and dragging other teamsdown to our level is not really good enough. I think the players weretrying to play to a system but they did not appear to know whatthat system was. There was no cohesion and players appeared not toknow what to do, where they should be, who to mark or where to playthe ball.

In conclusion a lack-lustre Liverpool got a flattering scoreline. However we cannot kid ourselves. This is the worst City team in generations. The teams that got relegated in the eighties were better than this. When we go down (it cannot realistically be if) we are likely to be down for a long time. The reason we are poor at the moment is the tactical ability of AB and his uninspired purchasing. I cannot see it being in the club’s long-term interests to retain him but with nobody else available and no cash we are in dire straits.

John Connell (


Even though I went to this game I honestly expected City to get beat; I couldn’t really see any other result and as it turned out I was proved right. This isn’t really a match report, more like a critique.

IMHO this match showed the gulf in class between a poor team and a good team. Liverpool did the simple things right: accurate passing, movement off the ball and creating space. They’ve got it off to a tee, they give short passes and then move (give and go) which creates the space to be dangerous. They also closed down quickly; this started with Fowler and Rush closing down the City defence and putting them under pressure. They also moved around, dragging City players out of position. On the other hand, City always seemed to be standing still, wanting the ball at their feet (with a defender no more than a yard away); the movement was almost non-existent. If the manager and players can’t get these simple things right, they haven’t got a chance to do the hard things. Also why did City seem happy to give Liverpool far too much time and space in midfield? When Liverpool ran from the middle of the pitch, City just seemed to back off, nobody was prepared to stand his ground and get a challenge in. Also why did the Liverpool players look far fitter than the Blues?

The first half was pretty even with City and Liverpool sharing the possession; the only difference was Scales goal (just who was Quinn supposed to be marking!!). City managed to look dangerous going forward but didn’t really threaten Livverpool, except for Rösler and Quinn who had chances to get City back into the game but missed. On the other hand though Immel kept City in the game by making several important saves from Fowler, Rush, McAteer and a double save from MaManaman and Rush.

The second half saw City come out with more determination and fight and actually managed to dominate Liverpool and exert some pressure, but never really created any clear cut opportunities. The fight was there, which had been lacking in the first half. However, Liverpool got a goal from Fowler (maybe Immel could have done better than he did?) and this clearly knocked the fight out of the Blues; their heads appeared to drop and Liverpool managed to grasp control again and scored another brace of goals from Rush (great header) and Harkness. After the third goal the Blues’ supporters who had been backing the team very well began to leave the ground. The scoreline was somewhat flattering after the fight shown in the 2nd half, but to be perfectly honest Liverpool throughly deserved the victory.

I managed to get home in time to watch Granada Soccer Night (local footie show) and the game was painful to watch; it really did show how well Liverpool had played. AB was interviewed afterwards and said something about the highlights not showing how well City had played. Let’s be fair about this, it doesn’t make any real difference how much possession you have if you’re not creating chances! The last three games have shown that: against Rags, Leeds and Liverpool, City have played reasonably well but haven’t created a lot of chances and look at the results: 2 defeats and a draw.

So where do we go from here? I honestly think AB has to get back to basics and get the players to do the simple things right. If my Sunday football team can get passes together and create space for each other, then surely overpaid professionals with big egos can get it right?

Martin Ford (


For the first time in years I managed to visit family in Oldham at the same time as City were at home. So, son in hand we travelled to the ground for the Leeds match.

  • 10:00 Leave Home (Oldham)
  • 11:00 Arrive Manchester and go the the City shop in the Arndale (still looks like a bog from the outside). 35 quid lighter we go to Maine Road.
  • 12:00 Into the Social Club (still tatty) for pie, chips & a pint (now Greenhalls are buying Boddies will there be some decent beer on?). Met someone in a MCIVTA tee shirt outside – couldn’t get to the meet.
  • 13:00 Bought son autograph book and go searching – 1st one in the book is Colin Bell, followed by Quinn, Phelan, Kinky and Buzzer.
  • 14:00 Into the ground – first sight of the new Kippax Stand – amazing (4 people on the top level – I think they were airline pilots on a break!)
  • 15:00 Kick-off.

Quinn played reasonably well but spent quite a bit of time on his arse. He was there defending when needed. Rösler had a quiet game but is a trier; he needs someone to feed him the ball. Kinky was great but needs support. Summerbee made some good runs but once again he needs some support. Phelan is a worker – just what we need. Rest of team played well and deserved to win even if just on effort – when the ball starts to run for us we will start winning but at the moment we have to battle for everything.

My son is now a True Blue! He even got my wife to queue for 1 hour with him on Monday to get Uwe’s and Immel’s autographs.

The good news is the team are trying their guts out; I don’t think we will be relegated but we need some money spending to get a ball winner in the midfield.

Andy Birkin (


Well it seems like City’s interest in Nigel Clough is not a rumour. Both the Independant and MUEN (or so my girlfriend informed me) have quotes from Alan Ball saying “he [Clough] is among a number of players who I feel could be an asset.” I don’t know if the Flipper for Clough swap rumour was also true, but let’s hope it wasn’t. I must also say that Ball calling Clough an asset indicates that he really has ‘lost it’.

Charles Pollitt (


City have taken Thomas Christiansen on a one-week loan from Barcelona. This is the same thing that Alan Ball did when he acquired the services of Ronnie Ekelund for Southampton. Ball said “if he’s as good as I’ve been led to believe, I will probably take the hat round the crowd at Maine Road to rustle up the money for a permanent transfer.”

Nigel Clough is expected to leave Liverpool next week, with City rumoured to be offering a “pay as you play” deal to tempt him to Maine Road.

The Mole


I couldn’t sleep well after the Liverpool game. I got up and wrote a poem:

There was a lot about CITY on the radio tonight,
How we’d taken the game to Liverpool, put up a good fight.
1-0 down, 9 minutes gone,
Franny lit up, “Just the one”.
Phelan was missing, so was Flipper,
All hands to the pumps, cried the skipper.

To our credit, we did dig in,
The travelling Blues made a massive din.
Uwe missed, so did Niall,
Be patient, wait a while.
Quinn scored! The ref blew up!,
Impartial decision?, No such luck!

There was a lot about CITY on the radio tonight,
The way we dominated the second half, did things right.
Only, we couldn’t get the ball in the net,
Kinky tried but he’s not scored yet.
The City fans were impressive from what I heard,
Pity about the team in the last third.

They got another, late on,
Heads down, bottle’s gone.
Well, they scored again, and again,
For the last 10 minutes, it was boys against men.
For a while I was a bit down,
Then I heard Rush say it was a fair scoreline, the clown!

They spoke of money and how we need it,
A business consortium apparently breed it.
Michael Peck, what a load of bobbins,
He couldn’t even afford to buy the Robins!
He said Rick Wakeman was the reason,
Rick says we’d have more chance with Nick Leeson.

Then there’s Rodney with his 3 million quid,
A one liner from his show, or a serious bid?
I’m deadly serious says the ex-Blue,
Oh! and I’d like a controlling interest too!
Think City are that desperate do you?
Then f**k off back to Tampa, and take George with you too!

The fans are the only consortium at City,
Quarter million per match, in the kitty.
Money’s not everything, knowledge is the key,
So get some scouts out to watch other teams.
Discipline, Team spirit, and lads that can play,
Can all so easily make my day.

Ken Foster (


Norwegian Kåre Ingebrigtsen, who used to play for City, until now with Norwegian team Lillestrøm SK while still under contract with City, has, from what I have heard, been called back to City by Alan Ball. I think this is good news for City; Kåre is international for Norway, and he has had two excellent seasons for Lillestrøm. I believe he can be a great strengthening to the team, despite ageing (30 years old). Also, why don’t City have a look at Hull City’s Dean Windass (55 goals over the last two seasons), who could be a bargain at no more than 750k?

Trygve Lie (


I read today that the Rags have now decided to let away fans into OT. How very sporting of them!

The reason given was the “lack of atmosphere” in the derby. I actually thought that this was due to both clubs playing sh*t, boring football! Silly me.

Andrew Inman (


I imagine some of you out there will have seen the (second) new football series currently running on the BBC, ‘Football, Fussball, Voetball'(?), last Friday; this being a series about the history of European Football, in the run up to the Euro Championship next year.

Much of this episode was taken up with the commencement of the European Cup, and Real Madrid’s dominance of it in the early years. Eventually they got to the victory of the out-of-towners (aka, ‘Greatest Club in the World tm’). Gritting my teeth, I carried on watching; all I remembered of it was

  1. Hating the bastards for overshadowing our Championship season.
  2. Being convinced that they had blagged the Ref.

I now realise, on seeing a number of shots of the game in the above programme, that they had a far simpler means of winning it. Simply, if Eusebio got the ball, Stiles kicked him whilst he still had it, or if Eusebio had passed it, Stiles kicked him even harder. Frankly, if the game had been played now, the little twat would have been off within 5 minutes – I think even Norm would have been pushed to be as cynical as Stiles was in that game.

There. That feels better.

Jeremy Poynton (


Anyway, onto AB. In the Granada region we have a programme called The Rock and Goal Years and what an excellent programme it is, as the old clips actually show us scoring! The main thing I have noticed though is that every week, no matter what the year, a caption comes up underneath AB, saying sacked from (Exter, Stoke, etc. etc.); this is a bit worrying. Has anybody got a history of AB’s career, and how many times he has been sacked and does this show that he is in fact just a very below average manager?

I watched the game on Granada last night and saw the clip that The Rock and Goal Years could use in a few years’ time when reviewing the 1995-96 season, it goes; Alan Ball, resigned 1995.

The ever optimistic Eccleston Blue.

Gary Fones (


I think we have got a nightmare scenario at Maine Road now; a chairman who has employed his mate to manage the team and on the other side he is getting tired of the club as the results don’t come. He is saying he won’t get rid of Ball even if City should be relegated at the end of the season… to be honest I am doubting Lee’s ambitions and his interest in the club. He should understand the fact that bad results is a consequence of bad managing/coaching. But instead he’s blaming the players, referees and complaining of bad luck… Perhaps Lee is too much a buisness man who is always looking for quick results and is losing interest when things are not working out? IMHO being a chairman (investor) at a football club is not supposed to be a profit making position, rather a spending position. People like Hall and Walker are not in there to earn money, but spend their money on something they care for. I know Lee hasn’t got their financial strength, but I am just making my point.

People are saying that Brian Horton couldn’t motivate the players and nobody repected him, so what about Ball? If the “results” Ball has achieved until now are a result of good motivation and his respected character, then it must be something terribly wrong with what he’s telling the players! To me Horton was more a fresh character, he was more outspoken and looked ambitious. Ball on the other hand seems casual and uninterested. He is content when the side has “only” lost 1-0! Ball has been in the game for a while, but what has he achieved as a manager? Nothing but a few relegations. What he achieved as a player is irrelevant. Remember we beat Blackburn, Liverpool and Newcastle with just about the same players as we’ve got now. What can possibly be the problem?

I admit it’s an easy way to go by sacking the manager, but what other options do we have? We are being thrashed by a new side every week and everybody is looking forward to meeting us to bang in some goals! Teams love to play us because we don’t know how to defend and organize our midfield. I think Franny should be rational and let his mind decide the future of Ball, not his sentimental feelings for an old friend. Even though the chances for Franny to sack Ball are very slim, there must be a possibility of Ball resigning if the results aren’t changing. Moreover I don’t think the fans will be patient much longer. I was optimistic after the derby game, but after the thrashing against Liverpool the morale is rock bottom again. We need changes at the club and I don’t mean bringing in a player or two. The squad is resonably good, what we need is somebody who knows football and how to teach it. Hopefully Ball will prove me wrong and I will eat my words; I would love to! I would be pleased to hear some views on this issue.

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


The November issue was on sale prior to the Leeds game and has Tony Coton on the front on his ‘Comeback Trail’! I read this one quite quickly, all 52 pages of it, mainly because it’s a good read. Some people thought that issue number 2 was a little disappointing compared to the inaugural offering and although I would tend to agree I didn’t really feel that there was a marked drop in quality. This one is a fine effort and back up there with number one. The major articles are as follows:

‘Back from Hell’ details Tony Coton’s trials and tribulations with the injuries he’s had of late. We get enlightened re- the tabloid scare about leg amputation and club incompetence (fertile pens again) though indeed amputation would have been on the menu if he hadn’t gone to hospital when he did! One thing I’d have to disagree with is the claim that Coton is arguably our best goalie since Frank Swift. Maybe the editor’s use of the word ‘arguably’ is intentionally mischievous as everyone who has had anything to do with City must know that the illustrious Bert Trautmann slots neatly between and was ‘arguably’ the best of the lot!

‘Malcolm Ex’ is a two-parter based on an interview with guess who? This is a nice piece but I’ll judge it after part two where the hard questions have to be asked! Tha article contains that wonderful photo of Allison leaving Maine Road in ’73 in the back of a car. This picture is worth a thousand words and somehow manages to capture the end of an era, both in the football and the social sense.

‘Crock Star’ is another inside story about the return of Roy Bailey to Maine Road and details yet another example of Swales’ appalling treatment (pardon the pun!) of loyal employees. We also get some idea of how good City’s new Platt Lane complex is. ‘April Jewel’ describes Niall’s six goals in April 1991 including the famous Derby County game and ‘We’re Getting There’ appears to be the birth of an Alan Ball interview?

Lastly there’s a major interview with Gerry Creaney who debunks the myth that he’s a bad boy and says there were no mysterious circumstances surrounding his departure from Celtic, merely that he couldn’t see eye to eye with the Poison Dwarf… Lou Macari and who can blame hin for that!

The other regular articles are there and all in all it’s a very good issue.



Paul Howarth’s recent contribution was so familiar I had to look twice to make sure it wasn’t me that had sent it! Inspired, wallowing in my remote temporary exile in Canada, and without the benefit of refs, here’s a similar angle on a nostalgic foray into the depths of Blue mind for 10 City goals:

1. Dennis Tueart, City v Swansea, c.`78/79
Indirect free kick on the edge of the six-yard box (Platt Lane view ofNorth Stand six-yard box, by the way). Dennis & Asa stood over the ball.Asa flicks the ball up for Dennis to smash into the roof of the net.
2. Tommy Booth, Peterborough v City, `81 Cup Final Run, 1-0
In the walk to the ground, I remember looking back down Peterborough High a sea of Blues flowed to visit the Posh.The only goal of the game, Tommy rises in a crowded area, in front of theshed of a stand that houses the thronged masses of Manchester City MaleVoice Choir. The ball flies into the back of the net and sends the ensembleinto a chorus of:
“So come down to Maine Road and do us all a favour,
rrred football’s lost its taste so try another flavour,
Man. Citiiy, oi,oi,oi,oi,.. Man. Citiiy, oi,oi,oi,oi”

-to the tune of Ant Rap.
3. John Gidman, Huddersfield v City, c.`85-86, FA Cup
For some reason, I seem to remeber Imre Bannana’s wife was expecting, butdid he play or not? – I think he did.Anyway, last minute of a marathon period that seemed to have us at Leeds Roadfor games every week. Gidders gets the ball on the left in their half.Now here I’m let down, maybe John’s red background has produced a memoryblock, but I can’t remember whether it was from a free kick or acontinuation of the run. Top and bottom of it, Gidders lets fly from 20yards and puts us into the hat for the next round.
4. John Gidman, Blackpool, next round(?) FA Cup, 2-2.
Same scenario. This time we’re trailing, Bloomfield Road not being a happyhunting ground around this period. Lakey had pulled one back in thelongest goal mouth scramble ever.Gidders in a similar position to the Hudders goal comes up with goodsagain for us to survive another windy night on the Seasiders’ terraces.

Disclaimer: Fuzzy pictues of the two Gidders goals. If FA Cup delirium (?)has distorted my recollection of these events please humour me.
5. Kevin Bond, City v Norwich, `81 Cup Run (?), 6-0.
I always thought KB was crap. It amazed me how he managed to get Playerof the Year, maybe his dad was looking after the ballot. Anyway, creditwhere a Blue shirt scores an amazing goal, where credit is due. AlanKernaghan, Leicester, take note.City get a 35 yard free kick, Kippax side aiming at North Stand. Bondytakes a huge run at it, leathers it and bursts the back of the netagainst his former team. Nice one Kev. I’m sure this match was televised,do you think it may have inspired one Ronald Koeman?
6. David White, Liverpool v City, c.`91-92, 2-2.
Pertinent re tonight’s and Saturday’s impending matches at Anfield.His second of a brace on the day. Dave does his Merseyside special hittinga powerful chip over a despairing Bruce from the right hand corner of the 18,in front of the Kop.
7. Niall Quinn, Liverpool v City, c.`92-93, 2-2.
We had two good chances to break our Anfield voodoo around this time.Only an amazing last minute save in front of the travelling Blue Armyfrom Brucey denied us our first double over this lot since the 30’s.This is Niall’s 12 yard header, coming in from the right and finding theangle of the net beyond an in form (unbribed?) Grobbelaar’s right hand.Oh for a repetition of Niall’s scoring this week- I have faith!
8. David Phillips, City v Plymouth, c.`85-86, 3-1.
Dave Phillips’ trademark began here, against his former club, as Iremember. A ball played inside to DP square on to the left-hand uprightof the Platt Lane goal. Hits a 20 yard grass-cutter and buries it in thebottom of the net. Tried many times and worked when didn’t narrowly missgoal, à la Tommy Caton (RIP), with post shattering thunder.
9. Tony Cunningham, Wimbledon v City, c.`83-84, 1-0 (?).
First match of the season at Plough Lane. Quite sure Wimbledon’s firstFirst Division game. City seats were in a wooden stand that wouldn’t havelooked out of place at the Butchers Arms, Droylsden.Perhaps it was the novelty of the game that has remained in my mind.A fairly run of the mill header in the box from Cunningham from a cross onthe right. Did we get 1 or 2 points?
10. David Oldfield, City v Guess who?, 23rd September 1989, … .
Wasn’t the best goal of the day by a long way. But this is the one thatstays most clearly.As the ball comes in from the right (Bish?), Bambi is in acres of space.The ball seems lost in time as he swings his leg side on from behind theback of his neck to put it well out of reach of Bandy Jim. I’m prettycertain that this was the second and perhaps why time froze. Disbelief,at what `learned’ commentators had predicted to be a hammering forManchester, turning into joy and one of the greatest days in my (so close tosuccess) 20 year history of following… “the best team in the land and allthe world”.

“Whatever you do, stay BLUE”, (Charlie, Church Inn, Audenshaw.)

Dave Clinton (


The “this could be interesting…oh VERY interesting” commentary is from Man City versus Derby in the year Derby won the league (1974/5 ?) and Frannie was playing for Derby! The accompanying footage is of Mr Lee beating a man or two and from the edge of the area rocketing a shot into the roof of the net. I think it was at the Platt Lane end, but it may well have been at the Baseball Ground (I was only twelve at the time!) It was shown recently on the ‘Match of the Seventies’ tv programme. I was at the home fixture and I remember some (brave/foolhardy) moron of a City fan tried to attack Frannie as he left the pitch.

Paul Newton (
Also Martin Reynolds (


With regards to that memorable bit of Barry Davis commentary mentioned in MCIVTA 137, which went along the lines of

“Interesting, VERY Interesting, What a goal! Look at his face, just look at his face!”

This commentary is from the Manchester City vs. Derby County match played at Maine Road on 1st April 1975. Lee had been sold to Derby towards the end of the previous season and this was his return to Maine Road. He picked up the ball close to the touchline by the Kippax, cut inside heading for the City goal at the Platt Lane End and hammered one of his typical thunderbolts into the top right hand corner from about 25 yards. The look on his face was one of pure elation, as if he was thinking “that’ll teach yuo for selling me!”

The goal is featured on the “Soccer Legends: Lee, Bell, Summerbee” video. Derby went on to win the Championship that season.

Paul Howarth (


Last issue David Oram asked about the commentary on 5 live when interviewing Messrs Summerbee, Lee and Marsh.

The commentary clip was taken from from the 1974 season shortly after lee was transferred to Derby County for £100,000. Lee was not happy about the move and harboured resentment towards Swales. On his return to Maine Road he scored the goal heard in the commentary “passes to Lee.. this could be interesting… interesting… oh very interesting. What a goal and look at his face, look at his face”. The look at his face remarks were due to Lee runnning over to the directors’ box and his ensuing expression towards Swales.

I was there at the match.

Brian Wood (c/o



Thanks to Rob, Andrew, Jeremy, Paul (x2), Trygve, Martin (x2), Andy, Charles, Dave, Tor-Kristian, Gary, John, Brian, The Mole & Ken.

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 #138