Newsletter #153

An interesting game on Wednesday and hopefully one that Ball will learn from. Our luck must have changed as, despite a cock-up in the team selection (IMHO) we still got a point and indeed could have had all three! I’m afraid that the match report has been done by me so it’s not as detailed as might have been. Could I encourage anyone who can spare the time to start doing match reports, even the odd one will be welcome. They are the thing faraway supporters value most and I don’t really have the time to be the sole ‘home’ reporter as well as doing MCIVTA. It would also be good to see other people’s views of the proceedings. If anyone can do one for Thursday’s issue then please sned it to me by Thursday evening.

The other good news is that Vonk has finally gone and not to whom we thought! That only really leaves Dibble who’s probably never going to play for us again and perhaps Beagrie. Ekelund looks like he may play Saturday but the foreign player rule still requires explanation; perhaps not even the club know!

A few people have asked about Saturday. Malcolm Plaiter will send an article with the final details for Thursday’s issue. In case people are already going on Xmas leave then the bare bones are as follows: go to the Social Club at Maine Road for 1:00-1.15pm and Malcolm will be outside telling people where to go. If you’re later then pay the one pound entrance fee and go to the 400 club inside. We’ll be having a whip round for the barman and basically having a few pints and socialising, nothing formal. More hopefully in Thursday’s issue.

Next game, Chelsea at home, Saturday 23rd December 1995.


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NOTTINGHAM FOREST, Wednesday 18th December 1995

Bolted down my tea and dashed down to Maine Road in expectation of a good game. The first blow was that the upsatairs bars in the Kippax were all shut due to technical difficulties. Obviously MCFC have been taking lessons from British Rail, past masters at saying nothing instead of telling us what really happened. This did have its positive side though as we wondered downstairs for a jar and saw that there is now a souvenir shop open down there. Just how long has this been open? I’ve not noticed it before but then again, the last time I was down there was during the Wycombe game. It looked to be doing a brisk trade and had more merchandise on offer than the shop outside did a few weeks back. It’s still of the ‘ask for’ variety but I guess this may be due to the nature of the trade i.e. hundreds of people all at once. Still, looks like the club may make some money on this front for Xmas after all.

The latest issue of CITY was on sale but I decided to leave it ’til Saturday when I can read it on the train on the way home. We took up our seats and the first surprising thing was the crowd, in excess of 25,000 for a Sky game and only a couple of hundred were Forest fans. I was half hoping that Ekelund would be turning out but the news that his forms hadn’t arrived in time hadn’t yet filtered through (to me). What would be on offer considering Ball’s lambasting of the younger players’ recklessness at Middlesbrough and the painfully thin squad? The answer quite unbelievably (IMO), was that Kernaghan would be alongside Symons and Curle would be in midfield with Kinky, Lomas and Buzzer. Now I’m not the most tactically accomplished spectator but I just knew this wasn’t going to work. Our reliable centre half pairing was to be split up and Curle was to be in midfield; he might be quick defensively but offensively he’s hopeless. The first 15 minutes were very entertaining and City and Forest both attacked relentlessly. City had a golden opportunity to go ahead when Kinky dummied in the box and laid off to a completely unmarked Rösler who blasted the ball over the top; it was a very good chance but perhaps he didn’t expect the pass?

Forest had a few half chances but the break came City’s way when the ball broke down the right and Lomas crossed in to Rösler who’d broken away from his defender and managed to shoot under Crossley. The crowd rose to its feet in one; the goal had an element of luck but Uwe needs it at this moment in time. Forest immediately pulled themselves together and took the game to City for the remainder of the first half. One astonishing piece of luck came our way when Immel kicked the ball to Jason Lee in our penalty area! He took his time and planted the ball to Immel’s left but Eike pulled off a great save when it seemed Lee must score! Why does Immel do this?

Ingram had obviously been told not to venture over the half way line and had the ball several times in excellent positions but merely held it and laid it off. He also held off his man (wisely, thanks Paul!) but the crowd began baying for him to get stuck in which he did. The attacker merely rode the challenge and sent in an excellent cross which was completely fluffed by Campbell when he merely had to nod it in. City were looking totally disjointed in midfield; Curle held the ball up, didn’t run into space and worst of all, was caught on the ball several times. His style of midfield play is totally unsuited to our offensive game, he just breaks the play down.

At half time we thought a draw would be a good result as the game looked to be Forest’s for the taking. The second half started where the first had finished with Forest doing all the attacking. City’s defence looked ragged and invariably gave the ball straight to the opposition. It looked like the start of the season all over again. Pearce got the ball on the left and blasted it, hitting the far post with Immel beaten. The ball bounced out and was rocketed way over when they really should have scored. The pressure finally told when there was an almighty scramble in the 6 yard box which ended up literally like a scrum! The referee blew the whistle and wonder of wonders ordered a drop ball. I’ve never seen this done in the 6 yard box before, has anyone else? It was really a lottery and luckily City cleared. The joy was fairly shortlived as Campbell was able to scramble the ball home from a corner a couple of minutes later.

I expected a second but City held on ’til Ball did the sane thing and took Kernaghan off with Curle dropping back to make way for Brown. City were transformed and attacked dangerously with Niall having two headers go close. Forest looked vulnerable at the back and everyone was left shaking their heads wondering just what would have happened if this line-up had been used from the start. Hopefully Ball has learned his lesson and will have Brown in from the start on Saturday.

Final score: 1-1

The players:

Immel (6) Great save but does he have to show how good he is by giving the ball straight to opposition players and challenging them to beat him?

Ingram (6) Looked reasonable but obviously under orders to stay put, committed himself once and was beaten all ends up, very lucky not to concede a goal through the rash challenge.

Brightwell (7) Good game but still hoofs it up the middle instead of waiting for a better ground pass.

Symons (6) Seemed a little unsure with Kernaghan, but still fairly solid.

Kernaghan (7) Some very good tackles but lacked understanding with Symons and Immel.

Curle (4) Just awful, he had no idea coming forward, constantly broke up offensive moves (ours), very slow and was caught in possession. Please don’t ever play him here again Bally! Looked great when finally switched back to centre half.

Lomas (8) Ran his socks off, passed neatly and had a good understanding with Kinky. I’ve criticised him in the past but he looks like he’s becoming a good player.

Kinky (7) A little subdued but the odd flash of brilliance (perhaps I’m raising my expectations for him?).

Buzzer (6) Looked subdued as well, frequently marked by two defenders including Psycho who was eventually booked for yet another hardman challenge, Buzzer rode them all with vigour and didn’t shy away. The problem was that he really had no one to pass to with Curle hanging around elsewhere but as soon as Brown appeared things changed and he looked the part.

Quinn (8) Excellent, held the ball beautifully and did some more of his Quinninho tricks including a backheel to Rösler that was just that little bit too close to Crossley.

Rösler (7) Looked a lot better than of late, got a goal but fluffed a second good chance.

Brown (8) Only on for 10 minutes but nearly had a penalty and looked hungry and skilful.



My first City game in a while; I was hoping to see them play better than they did when I saw them against Everton. 25 minutes into the game and I was sensing victory. Then as the game grew on I knew it was the City we all hate to love (or something like that!!!); they seem to have mastered the art of shooting themselves in the foot.

A bright start though; City were parked in the Forest half for the first 25 minutes, Uwe missing two sitters in that time. The goal was well worked, Lomas down the right towards the line, crossed it to Uwe who passed it under Crossley into the net. The rest of the match apart from the last five minutes, City didn’t look like scoring, Forest looking more likely to score. I think it was Lee who missed the sitter of the match; one of Immel’s numerous passes to the opposition giving the pony-tailed striker a free shot, which he booted back into the arms of Immel. I nearly had a heart-attack!

As to the players; well City were employing a five man defence with Kernaghan in the centre. The defence was solid in the centre with Symons and Kernaghan playing pretty well. Ingram on the left seemed to be out of position a lot of the time especially with Steve Stone looking very dangerous. The same could be said of Brightwell (who should have stuck to 400m running), well I don’t think he had a good game… Immel, well I have heard loads of good things about him from you all so I was hoping to see an improved man from the one I saw at the start of the season; to be honest I didn’t think he played too well, not bad but he made loads of stupid mistakes like staying on his line when he should have gone for the ball or passing the ball to the opposition (like Brightwell). Curle played OK.

Midfield, well Kinky is in a different class, by far the most dangerous City player. Every time he got the ball you could sense the anticipation in the crowd. Lomas had an OK match, playing on the left flank(ish). Buzzer was attacking his man which was good to see but never really penetrated.

Quinn up front had an average game; nearly scored twice in the last five minutes but a lot of the time he got high balls from midfield which he trapped and passed on. This worked a bit but City play better down the wings than the high ball to Quinn in the centre. Rösler had a quiet game and apart from the goal, never really looked dangerous in front of goal.

If I was neutral I would say it was a fair result, but because I am not..! City should have won; maybe against Chelsea we can keep up the pressure for 90 minutes. See you all on Saturday (if you are going!)…

Riccardo Keefe, Manchester, England (


City are set to collect a £200,000 windfall from Blackburn’s signing of Chris Coleman from Crystal Palace. Coleman was on City’s books as a youngster but was homesick, so he was sold to Swansea City, with a sell-on clause in the contract. City picked up a small sum when he was transferred to Palace and are now set to profit again.

The Mole


The Sunday newspapers report that the new Sheffield United manager, the one and only Judas Kendall has made Vonk his number one target. He has contacted City and has been given permission to talk to him. With a bit of luck Vonk will sign for them or Oldham soon.



Michel Vonk has finally left City’s payroll, joining former colleague David White at Sheffield United for a fee in the region of £350,000. Vonk is not the only City player moving to Yorkshire – Jim Bentley and David Brightwell have both gone for trials at Bradford City.

Steve Lomas is suspended for the next two games – Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers; Ronnie Ekelund is set to deputise but there may still be a “foreigners” problem; despite last week’s European Court ruling that the “three foreigners rule” is illegal for domestic competitions, City are still thought to have a problem fielding Immel, Rösler, Kinkladze & Ekelund at the same time. It seems likely that Immel will be the one to stand down, paving the way for the return of Tony Coton.

The Mole


(Your training ground correspondent)

Manchester City ‘A’ 0 – Tranmere Rovers ‘A’ 2

On a bitterly cold Saturday (16th) morning, with the East wind blowing from across Platt Fields circa force 8 the prospects for a good game didn’t seem to be too good, and in the event didn’t disappoint. We had Dibble in goal, David Brightwell at centre half, Alan Ball (junior) in midfield and (believe it or not!) our reserve team coach, Les Chapman with a number 4 shirt on his back.

Tranmere’s first goal came from a poor Dibble clearance (we have seen some of these before!) and the second from a mistake by the less than fleet footed Brightwell. All in all it was a very poor performance from the City ‘A’ team. So much so that I wandered over to watch the 1st team doing a spot of training. Chairman Lee was there running an eye over our new Albanian prospect (Albanian father and a Portuguese mother). No sign of Ekelund who, I was told, was out looking for digs in the area. Barcelona have not faxed his forms through so he will not be available for Monday for the Forest game.

Having watched the ‘A’ team on numerous occasions I can’t see any potential stars of the future there – I hope I’m wrong. The youth and ‘B’ teams contain the best prospects. I have to question the wisdom of playing the reserve team coach for the ‘A’ team when we are supposed to have a surplus of players and some very bright youngsters who could do with the experience.

The only Bright (half hearted pun) note was standing a few yards away from me – Anne (nee Packer) Brightwell. Some may remember she won an Olympic Gold in Tokyo in 1964 and still looks young enough to beat David in a 100 metre sprint.

“Buster” Phillips has had an ankle injury since his first game for the reserves and is pretty fed up with agonisingly slow progress – apparently he was still feeling the effects of it in the 3-goal defeat by Sunderland but was still the best player on the field.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


Adam received the following letter from a newspaper in Georgia who want to try to do an interview with Kinky via the internet! There are two things here really; firstly, if anyone wants to email Mamuka and give him their opinion on the wondrous man from Georgia then please go right ahead. Secondly, and more difficult, does anyone know how to go about trying to get hold of Kinky and do an interview with his countrymen via email? If anyone thinks they can help then please contact me.

> we are from tbilisi, georgia. We love kinky. We represent the
> national independent newspaper "Iveria-Expressi". Please,
> let us know is it possible to get interview from kinky via
> your e-mail. Please, your opinion about him.
>                           With a greatest respect
>                           mamuka kereselidze, the editor
>                           (



Good to see us get another point last night (and what do points make?); I asked everyone quite some time ago about the foreign player rule. This seems to be quite topical now and although I don’t know exactly the rule, according to Jimmy Wagg on GMR’s post-match phone in any restriction on the amount of foreign players from the EU is going to be lifted. Now I don’t know what his source was but if this is true it sounds good news.

Also can I wish everybody at MCIVTA and Svenn all the best for the new year – especially all of you who are overseas and won’t be watching the Blues. Hope to see you all before the game against Chelsea.

Tony Farrar, Salford Blue (


The following mail came to Adam. Does anyone out there know what’s going on re internet football? There have been several calls to get a team going and at one time Mark Varley ( was organising a MCIVTA team for an internet competition. Somehow these things have always died away. Just in case anyone feels like trying to get a team up and running in response to the following then the ball’s in your court!


I’m trying to find out if the has its own football team.

I play for the Internet Hotspurs – the spurs-list footie team, and am currently looking to contact people regarding setting up an official Internet Soccer League.

My company, Harlequin, now sponsor the Internet Hotspurs, and we thought it would be a great idea to try and form a league for all the teams. Currently I have contacted the teams from the arsenal, spurs, leeds, qpr and aston villa mailing lists. We would like to invite representatives from all the teams to our office for a day to discuss how we go about forming such a league, the rules, etc etc. Harlequin would also offer the space on their www server to give the match reports, league tables, links to all the team pages, help with the publicity of the project.

I’d like to hear what you think about this idea and whether the Man City team would be interested in taking part. Also, in the meantime, if you’d like to arrange a friendly against the Internet Hotspurs, please let me know.

Russell Goldsmith (


Until I was 18 I lived in Huddersfield, a town with real football tradition that I never really appreciated. I went along to the occasional game, notably the FA Cup game against Bolton Wanderers in about 1976 when I enjoyed the singing, but I was never hooked. I moved to Manchester in 1979 and disliked the Reds but didn’t go to Maine Road until about 1984. I went with a season ticket holder who expected me to go a couple of times and then leave him alone to have a good time – no such luck!

I insisted on going to every game and was a season ticket holder pretty soon. I loved being part of a 30,000 strong family and being able to vent my frustrations by swearing like a docker (probably not politically correct to mention dockers); I certainly used to shock the old buggers in the north stand.

So the games that stick in my memory:

City beating Charlton 5-1 and being promoted. Singing “We love you Charlton” before their goal, and them joining in the pitch invasion. It all being spoiled by the Bradford fire.

City beating Forest in the FA Cup. A fabulous game when City could do no wrong. A game I watched from the Kippax, not an easy thing to do when you’re 5’4″. That feeling of impending doom when they were bound to do something wrong, and they did. Hinchcliffe and Steve Redmond crunching Cloughie as he was about to score resulting in a penalty which Nixon saved (are Tranmere Rovers still Manchester City old boys?). However, we won in the end and every pint of Robbies after the game was well earned.

That incredible game against Huddersfield that we won 10-1. I had friends visiting that weekend. Real football fans who were bigger than I’ll ever be. At 7-0 they were talking about playing for a draw. At 10-1 the pensioners in front were taunting them and shaking their hands – I’d have killed someone. As an aside, what about Gidders (that great, fat, red bastard) scoring in the dieing moments of that FA Cup game to take us to the next game and ultimately the next round.

The game against Arsenal (who could support a team who delight in singing “up the arse”?) when we were cheered off as champions. As I recall it was a particularly awful first half when we were sure to be relegated and went off at half time 0-2 down. Early in the second half four drunks in the north stand, not a place famous for its leadership in singing, stood up and started to sing “When the Blues go marching in…” After a couple of choruses the whole stadium was standing and singing and we got 2 goals to equalise. That’s what being a fan is all about, the power to make things happen.

I suppose the next big game for me is when I went to Bradford after we hadn’t won for a millenium. Everybody knew we would win. The place was heaving with City fans, most of whom scared me to death, and of course we did win.

Since emigrating the games I’ve seen have been a bit more limited. More away games and lots of songs of course but I suppose the best was at Sunderland in about 1992, we won but we nailed them with “We’ve got a job, we’ve got a job, you’ve not, you’ve not!”

Wonderful times and an incredible feeling of belonging and the feeling that if we can just get the crowd behind them we can make something happen. We’re still trying it with telepathy and SW radio.

Up the Blues!

Helen Pickup (


Andy Cole is the first football player to have a University named after him…

UMIST !!!!!!

Thought you might like this

Adam Houghton (


Saturday, December 16 1995

ARSENAL               1-1    CHELSEA                38,295
ASTON VILLA           4-1    COVENTRY CITY          28,486
BLACKBURN ROVERS      1-0    MIDDLESBROUGH          27,996
NEWCASTLE UNITED      1-0    EVERTON                36,557
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY   6-2    LEEDS UNITED           24,573
WEST HAM UNITED       2-1    SOUTHAMPTON            18,501
WIMBLEDON             0-1    TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR      16,193

Sunday, December 17 1995

LIVERPOOL             2-0    MANCHESTER UNITED      40,546

Monday, December 18 1995


Mon 18 Dec

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United      18     13    3    2     37    15        42
Manchester United     18     10    5    3     35    19        35
Tottenham Hotspur     18      9    6    3     24    17        33
Aston Villa           18      9    5    4     25    14        32
Liverpool             18      9    4    5     31    15        31
Arsenal               18      8    7    3     23    12        31
Middlesbrough         18      8    6    4     19    12        30
Nottingham Forest     17      6   10    1     27    24        28
Leeds United          17      7    4    6     23    24        25
Chelsea               18      6    7    5     17    19        25
Blackburn Rovers      18      7    3    8     28    24        24
Everton               18      6    5    7     22    20        23
West Ham United       18      6    5    7     19    24        23
Sheffield Wednesday   18      5    6    7     26    27        21
Southampton           18      4    5    9     17    28        17
Manchester City       18      4    4   10     10    27        16
Queens Park Rangers   18      4    3   11     14    26        15
Wimbledon             18      3    5   10     23    38        14
Coventry City         18      2    6   10     23    40        12
Bolton Wanderers      18      2    3   13     16    34         9

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to Helen, Neale, The Mole, Riccardo, Tony, Adam, The Mole & Russell.

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 #153