Newsletter #162

This issue is going out whilst I’m in London and courtesy of my wife Linda. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there have been no major developments in the meantime.

Adam has just sent word to say that subscriptions have just passed the 600 mark!



As I am a relative beginner at the MCIVTA newsletter and probably not very selective (it is after all late Thursday evening) I have included all the letters. Sorry if there is too much duplication.

The first part has the match report and most of the news especially the items about Frontzeck and the players to be got rid of. The second part contains lots of gen on the aforementioned German, a few unbiased opinions and the results.

My first City match was the replay against Leicester so I can’t complain about not seeing some quality action, in fact the elegance of that second goal has almost converted me. What from? A Rag!!! Yes, disinfect your keyboards!!!

Next game, FA Cup, Coventry City away, Saturday 27th January

Linda (an almost ex-rag)


MANCHESTER CITY vs. COVENTRY CITY, Saturday 20th January 1995

FA Carling Premiership
Maine Road
Attendance: 25,710
Referee: Robbie Hart ( Darlington )

Manchester City

Summerbee Curle Symons Brightwell
Kinkladze Lomas (Phillips 51)  Flitcroft Brown
    Rösler Quinn
[ UNUSED: Creaney Margetson ]

Coventry City

Pickering Borrows Shaw Hall
Ndlovu Telfer Richardson Salako
       Dublin Whelan
[ UNUSED: Boland Strachan Filan ]

The afternoon started badly for me. Rye had taken my car to work and there was a misunderstanding. Rye had misheard me saying twenty-to-two as two-twenty. Anyway having jumped into the vehicle, I applied a delicate amount of pressure on the accelerator, picked up my co-pilot on the way and arrived at the normal parking spot for dead on 3pm. Walking towards the entrance there was an almighty cheer. What had I missed? I rushed to take my seat in order to start to relax. My first impression was that City were looking competent and it was then that Andrew (my neighbour) informed me that City were two up, with Rösler scoring both (one a penalty)! City looked like a team who were two up.

  • 06min: Foul on Pickering.
  • 07min: Lomas wins ball at edge of City area and takes it nicely upfield until he runs into trouble and loses it.
  • 10min: Kinkladze plays a simple ball down the wing for Rösler to run onto.Uwe crosses to the near post where the ball is blocked and cleared in front of an incoming Quinn.
  • 11min: Summerbee cross is taken by Ogrizovic right in front of Rösler. Had it been pulled back another yard it could have been Rösler’s hat-trick. It was then that Andrew informed me that it was in fact nil-nil and I had fallen for his little jest. You mean it is all square and City are playing with such apathy? Mind you Coventry from my brief attendance looked no better. According to the highlights on Match of the Day, I missed a shot by Whelan.
  • 15min: Summerbee throws to Quinn in area. Quinn turns and does not connect cleanly with the ball and volleys (mis-kicks) it across the face of goal. Coventry break quickly. Dublin in the centre flicks the ball onto Ndlovu. Lomas tackles and knocks the ball out for a Coventry throw.
  • 16min: Quinn breaks upfield with Shaw (I think). Quinn doesn’t have the speed. Plus there is a lot of pushing and shoving. No foul is given which I guess is fair seeing as they were both participating.
  • 20min: Lomas plays the ball through to Rösler who in turn sets up Kinkladze but the defender forces Kinkladze wide and blocks his cross-shot conceding a corner. The corner comes in Ogrizovic comes. The referee penalises Quinn for standing in the keeper’s path. Shouldn’t Ogrizovic have taken a different one?
  • 21min: Salako takes on Nicky and beats him for pace. His cross comes to Dublin who sets up a Coventry player. His shot (whoever it was – sorry it was at the far end) is angled across the goal and is deflected (thankfully the left side of the post) for a corner.
  • 23min: Rösler breaks and then holds the ball up for support. Uwe plays ball to Lomas but his return to Rösler is just hit too hard for the German to collect. Lomas has actually been making a lot of good runs but often without receiving the ball at the end of them.
  • 24min: Summerbee plays a curved pass to match Rösler’s curved run and he’s on-side! However, his marker, Borrows, is back in time to block his turn and shot. Meanwhile back in the centre-circle, the stretcher comes on for Richardson, who decides instead to hobble to the side for treatment.
  • 26min: Ian Brightwell punts the ball through and Rösler is given off-side. This was a truly amazing decision seeing as Shaw was goal-side of Uwe. Nothing now this lineman could do would amaze me!
  • 27min: Dublin shot blocked, falls to Whelan who shoots wide.
  • 29min: Lomas plays the ball wide on the left to Brown. Brown has been taking on Pickering without much success but this time he gets past him; his cross is well over-hit and it sails far over the heads of the awaiting Uwe and Niall.
  • 31min: Brown passes Pickering again, only for his cross to be cleared easily by the near post defender.
  • 32min: Flitcroft shot curls nearer to the corner flag than the goal. Was it a shot or a cross? Anyway, Coventry break fast until Curle intercepts and passes back to Immel. Eike pushes the ball out to Ndlovu well outside the box. City close him down and regain possession.
  • 33min: Lomas finds a dashing Brown, who neatly nutmegs Pickering. However, Pickering is able to turn and shield the ball out over the by-line.
  • 34min: Time wasting? Borrow’s goal-kick has to be retaken as the ball is not quite on the line.
  • 35min: Rösler crosses but it goes behind for a goal-kick.
  • 37min: Summerbee cross, Rösler gets in front of a defender to flick the ball when the odds seemed much against him. The ball goes straight to Quinn who volleys it first time. Wide. This was a great chance. He could have had another touch as he was free but no, he rushed it and fluffed it! Lady in front says “He’s a very good donkey for his age!”
  • 38min: Dublin dribbles across the edge of the area. Turns and hits it. His shot curves easily wide.
  • 39min: Lomas (I think) plays a ball through which Shaw lets run. Niall is on it quickly and free. Ogrizovic comes out. Niall is going to lob. I was stunned. He missed it. The lob was too high and behind for a goal kick. If the previous chance was good this one was excellent. The critic in front revises her assessment: “Double Donkey!”
  • 40min: Lomas cross easy for Ogrizovic.
  • 42min: Symons sees yellow. I didn’t see it. I was too busy watching Flitcroft win the loose ball against Whelan (I think)
  • 42min: Lomas ball too long for Quinn. Ogrizovic collects. Throws to a defender who has a split second to react before Lomas comes flying in and kicks the ball into touch. Steve suddenly looks uncomfortable, like he has twisted his side.
  • 43min: Flitcroft dummies in box but it isn’t expected by Quinn and he is caught flat footed. Ogrizovic gets there ahead of Quinn.
  • 44min: Coventry chance but Brightwell wins the ball back!
  • 45min: Rösler run offside.
  • 45min: “Flippin’ hell! Kinkladze makes a mistake” from behind me!
  • 46min: Summerbee tackles Salako this time!
  • 47min: City look a little ragged. Brightwell unable to stretch the extra inches to stop ball to Whelan in box. Whelan is escorted out of play with the ball by Symons.
  • 47min: Ndlovu rounds Brightwell and shoots! A yard wide of the far post.

Half-time score: Manchester City 0 Coventry City 0

Well, it has hardly been exciting stuff. Quinn however should have had one of those two gilt-edged chances in the back of the net. Lomas comes on the field for a couple of moments to test his agility. Before the second half begins the referee has more words with Strachan (as he did in the first half) regarding touch-line coaching. Strachan was wearing his coaching hat in the first half but shouting advice from the length of the touch-line under the pretence that he is limbering up. Ron is keeping out of the way and readjusts his sunglasses on this cold, grey and gloomy day in Manchester.

  • 46min: Quinn “Labours after the ball like a carthorse” is the view from my left as Niall canters after a long ball.
  • 46min: Whelan is through but offside.
  • 47min: Quinn labours again and this time gains a corner, his attempted cross coming off the defender. Corner comes in and Symons’ header is tipped over. A cup of coffee is surprisingly placed in my hand by my mate Ian. However, as I am to find out it might keep my hands nice and warm but it does cramp my note-taking style.
  • 52min: Phillips (on for Lomas) nearly gets onto a great looking ball from Kinkladze.
  • 53min: Salako’s cross is headed away and out by Symons.
  • 53min: Hall’s cross is blocked by Summerbee and a corner conceded. Corner comes long and Quinn elegantly volleys the ball out. Straight to Rösler who lays it back to an oncoming Summerbee in space. Summerbee passes to Phillips who has switched sides but his shot is weak and easy for Ogrizovic.
  • 55min: Phillips takes on two men and wins the throw. Throw is taken straight to Quinn just inside the Coventry area. With his back to goal and two men behind him he lobs the ball over to the edge of the six yard box where Rösler gets there just a fraction of a second before Ogrizovic. Uwe heads the ball into the corner of the net. One-Nil! Uwe is jubilant and decides to show us all his manly chest. I don’t think the referee is that amused. The goal I would say was against the run of play as Coventry were having their best spell.
  • 57min: Summerbee loses the ball to Ndlovu who is offside – no! His cross is perfect for Whelan who scores from six yards out. No! Wait! It was just (and I mean about a centimetre) the wrong side of the post. Whelan cannot believe it and Immel who would have had no chance calmly collects the ball. Hey, and I’ve broken my lead in all the excitement!
  • 59min: Salako’s cross drifts behind for a goal kick.
  • 60min: Phillips cross is easy for Ogrizovic.
  • 60min: Coventry move breaks down but Curle decides to play with it instead of losing it quickly. He does nothing for my nerves!
  • 61min: Nicky shoulders Hall out of play.
  • 62min: Rösler nearly onto Quinn’s through ball. City win a corner off his marker. Corner is cleared and Coventry break but only as far as Summerbee who intercepts while sprinting back having taken the corner kick.
  • 64min: Pickering heads out for a corner when unchallenged. City have been pressing hard and some Coventry players are obviously taking no chances. Phillips floats the corner in and Ogrizovic comes out to collect.
  • 65min: Summerbee finds Kinkladze whose shot is blocked. Ball comes to Rösler with his back to goal who sets up Kinkladze for another crack but the ball is whipped off the end of Kinkladze’s toe by a defender.
  • 66min: Whelan takes on Summerbee. Nicky is unfortunate to have the ball rub the inside of his leg and roll nicely into the path of the overlapping Hall who delivers a great cross. Dublin rises above Brightwell and heads the ball towards the far post. Immel gets within inches of it with a despairing dive but really the header was excellently placed. One-One. Like City’s goal I would suggest this too was against the run of play. I am aghast.
  • 67min: Symons hobbles off the field (but don’t worry he’s soon to return).
  • 69min: Brown wins a good tackle and immediately feeds Phillips. Phillips delivers a low cross to the near post which Shaw (in front of Quinn) kicks behind for a corner. Phillips delivers what is seemingly another wasted corner but this time Ogrizovic misses it! The ball is scrambled out to the edge of the area where Ian Brightwell returns it perfectly. The ball rises past the heads of the defenders and is going in under the bar when Ogrizovic appears and pushes it over/round. Brightwell couldn’t have done must better; he connected beautifully. If only his shot had been going into the top corner.
  • 71min: Ndlovu takes on Summerbee who concedes a corner for Coventry. The corner is cleared and Kinkladze is on the move until he is brought done by Whelan, earning Noel the yellow card.
  • 72min: Ndlovu loses his footing just as Brown comes in to take the ball away. Referee unjustly gives a free-kick.
  • 74min: Brown wins ball again and again feeds Phillips whose cross is headed out for a corner. Ogrizovic of course collects the corner kick. In my opinion City should have by now attempted a short corner to Kinkladze but no!
  • 75min: Brown playing out of defence, plays the ball towards Kinkladze but it doesn’t reach him as it hits (Whelan’s?) hand accidentally I think. City appeals turned down and then a free kick is given to Coventry for a foul by Brown (I think) as he tries to regain the ball.
  • 76min: Dublin’s cross (I watched nervously) collected by Immel under pressure.
  • 78min: Ndlovu uses his body to halt Summerbee. City free-kick. Kinkladze’s cross is just a little too high for big Niall’s head.
  • 79min: Dublin tackled on the edge of the area by Brown.
  • 81min: Immel punts upfield straight to Richardson. Critic in front has also noticed that “He always seems to find the opposition!”
  • 82min: Kinkladze shoots, ball is deflected. Ogrizovic saves it before it goes out for a corner.
  • 83min: Immel collects the ball in front of the onrushing Whelan. Curle now makes an attacking run and feeds Kinkladze who in turn finds Flitcroft. Garry crosses to Quinn who is free and sure to score at the far post but Pickering appears from nowhere to block his goalbound effort and concede the corner.
  • 84min: Ndlovu shot collected by Immel at second attempt with Dublin almost on top of him.
  • 85min: Brown is booked for taking down Ndlovu who in my opinion was looking for the free kick outside the box.
  • 86min: Curle runs half the field and passes to Kinkladze who finds Flitcroft who finds Phillips. Phillips crosses to the far post where Quinn heads it straight at Ogrizovic who tips it over quite easily. Another nice passing move by City and Quinn at least hit the target.
  • 88min: Summerbee cross, Quinn heads down and so it can be collected easily by Ogrizovic at waist height in front of goal.
  • 89min: Brown crosses, Rösler tries the back header but it is easy for Ogrizovic.
  • 90min: Salako breaks but is tackled by Curle.
  • 91min: Summerbee cross, Ogrizovic gets his hands to it, falls for Quinn to volley and Ogrizovic takes it comfortably.

Final Score: Manchester City 1 Coventry City 1

It wasn’t the greatest of games of football no matter how the above report reads. It was a match between two teams which are “struggling” in the Premiership and that’s exactly what it looked like. There is little doubt City had the upper hand but there was no way Quinn was going to find the net all day. He could have scored four another day. The Whelan chance was a big let-off. I thought Summerbee, although playing quite deep a lot of the game, was excellent. He is playing with a lot more confidence than he had at the start of the season. Some papers noted Kinkladze’s and Dublin’s performances, but for me they were both anonymous during periods of the game.

Robert Watson (


I clean forgot to mention that Ekelund has gone back to Barcelona. Ball wasn’t satisfied with his performance and requested an extension of the loan period until the end of the season. Barcelona were only prepared to negotiate a sale for £350k and Ball (quite rightly IMO) refused to take the risk. Ekelund has been a shadow of the player he was last year at Southampton and there are still serious doubts over his long-term fitness, in particular his back injury.



Michael FrontzecK has now signed for City, the fee being between £350k and £400k. He’s returned to Germany to sort things out at home and will return on Thursday. He’s ineligible for the F.A. Cup match at Coventry as players must be registered a full 7 days in advance. Frontzeck is described by Eike Immel as a player similar in style to Nottingham Forest’s Stuart Pearce. Sounds OK to me!

Meanwhile, Nigel Clough has been talking about his role at City; “I’ll play anywhere the boss wants, as long as it’s got 1-11 on the shirt!”, he said. After only 37 first team outings for Liverpool since Summer ’93, he’s clearly looking forward to getting back into the action.

The Mole


Alan Ball is due to attend the February 5th meeting of the Rochdale branch of the ISA. The meeting will be held at Rochdale FC, which is easily accessible from junction 20 of the M62.

Admission is by ticket only, available at a nominal charge to non-branch members, from Mick Thompson on 01706 341765. Please note that Mick does not have email facilities.

Roger Haigh (


The Manchester Evening News account of the Frontzeck signing states that he is a “30 year old defender with vast experience” joining us from “Bundesliga giants Borussia Mönchengladbach.” Eike and him wre teammates when Stuttgart won the Bundesliga, hence his personal recommendation. Lee stated that “Eike thinks Michael is like Stuart Pearce- a quick, strong player with a terrific shot. We are getting him for £350 000 and that’s how the German clubs operate. They reward their good servants by letting them move on in a deal that is good for them.” Frontzeck is 6feet 2inches, has made over 350 Bundesliga appearances, has 20 full international and 20 U-21 caps, has played in 35 European Cup ties, and was a member of the 1990 World Cup winning squad.

Dan Rigby (


Alan Ball has decreed that 14 players currently at the club are “surplus to requirements” and are set to leave during the summer. These players will not be figuring in reserve team matches in the meantime as he would prefer to give experience to younger players who will be part of the club’s future. The number of players leaving suggests that a whole team is likely to be scrapped; City currently have an “A” and a “B” team in addition to the reserves and first team.

Anybody care to speculate on who the 14 are?

The Mole


This week we had two articles which arrived as attachments and required the undivided attention of Paul before they could finally be decoded. Paul suggests the following to avoid such problems in the future:

Anybody who sends a Word document to MCIVTA should do a “Save As..” and select “Text only with line breaks” as the file format (if using a PC). They should then paste the resulting text into their mail program. This simple expedient will save a lot of hassle at this end.



Francis Lee has opened discussions with Gio Kinkladze’s agent about improving and extending his contract with a view to keeping him at Maine Road into the next millenium, according to GMR. Lee described Kinkladze as the best player he’s seen for many, many years.

The Mole


I haven’t received MCIVTA for a while (email change) so have no idea if there’s gonna be a meet up for the Southampton game next Wednesday. I live in Southampton now, so it would be nice to meet some Blues – you don’t get too many in this neck of the woods.

Matt Dye (

If anybody can suggest a pub to meet up in then please contact Matt directly or better still, mail MCIVTA and I’ll put it in Monday’s issue.



The rumour that is going the rounds is that Mrs Schmeichel is keen to return to Denmark. Maybe Coton knew more than has been admitted?

Brian Leigh (


The live game(s) going out internationally this weekend on satellite are: Saturday – The Rags vs. Reading and on Monday QPR vs. Chelsea. Let’s hope the world can witness a York type upset! I’ll be watching it live urging every Reading kick, tackle and shot to go in. Keep your fingers crossed!

I was talking to Dennis Viollet (former Busby Babe) recently; he lives about 5 minutes away from me here in Florida. He informed me he was actually a big City fan growing up as a kid! He then went on to tell me it was a known fact in the footballing corridors of both clubs, chairmen, players etc. that there were more City fans in Manchester than United. This was talked about behind closed doors at the Swamp but, for obvious reasons never publicly.

Does anybody out there know what date next year’s season starts? Is it the last weekend in August as usual? With Euro’96 I thought it may start a little later? The reason I’m asking is I’m taking my holidays around that time and the whole reason for going home, apart from the Boddington’s, the family and a good Vindaloo is to visit the Academy and get in the first 3 or 4 home and away games.

Is it true? I read on the Carling page (written by a fan so not official) that Boddington’s has tripled the money Sharp have to sponser the Rags. Please tell me this info is false I couldn’t stand watching them with “The Cream Of Manchester” on their shirts when they don’t even come from Manchester!!!

Lastly on Tony Coton, with the type of trick he’s just pulled he’s shown his true colours and will fit in just right now with that profile you need to be a rag, good luck at the swamp.

Paul Whittaker (


It was muted in MCIVTA 161 that Coton may have decided to join United because of impending operations to be undertaken by Schmeichel. After the WHU match on Monday, it was refuted categorically by Alex Ferguson that Schmeichel needed any such operation.


The Daily Mirror (so probably untrue) reports that Frannie is to offer Kinky a 2 year extension to his existing 3 year contract and that his wages are to be upped from £2,500 to £5,000 pounds a week.

Teletext reports that AB is to have a spring clearout of staff. Fourteen professionals are said to be surplus to requirements. The only indication he gave as to their identities was that they did not figure in the first team or reserve squads (14?).

I read with interest that Kinky’s mother used to force him against his will to go to ballet lessons when he was young. Although he hated it, he says in retrospect that it has helped his game. Maybe we should get the FA to put it in their coaching manual!

Ken Foster (


Anticipating a Megga Win for City I’m taking my son to the Dell on the 31st. Are any more from MCIVTA going to the match? It will be his first night match and hopefully his first win!

Hopefully we’ll see all our new players turn out! How is it we always manage to sign players just after some deadline or other runs out? I don’t know what the general concensus is but I fell AB is getting a really good team together. Clough should serve NQ and UR well and Frontzeck should give us some much needed vision in the back four. To my mind every club needs an older brain to provide stability. After all he did play for Germany and they’re no mean team.

I just hope that the tide will turn soon, we are having very little luck and certainly do not deserve to go down.

AB – Andy Birkin not the AB (


Just a quick note to clear up the revelations of’ sleaze’ at Maine Road which R.Allen mentioned in MCIVTA 160. The News of the World have indeed uncovered some element of truth their in the article. It would seem, however that – true to character – being somewhat short on the whole facts they have ‘jazzed’ up the story for the cheap-thrill value that much of their readership seems to demand. The girl who appeared in Razzle was indeed employed by the club, but was not in the least connected to the Junior Blues. This no doubt was added to create a greater element of scandal in the story – perhaps suggesting some sort of a lack of morals at the club (remember the Dibble scandal a few years ago?)

Indeed the bit about FL getting his son to buy his copy could well have been a similar fantasy on the author’s part. I have seen the issue in question as my mate works at Maine Road and showed it to me; apparently it was a bit of a joke amongst the staff. Anyway, as far as I remember the girl was Colin Barlow’s secretary and has indeed been sacked as a result of the publication.

David McLaughlin (


News on the Oasis front…

A mega-party concert is planned for Maine Road on the 22nd/27th April, yet to be confirmed because City still have a game to play afterwards.

Annoucement date is set to be next Thursday, Friday (1st Feb?). You heard it here first!

Ian (


Thought I’d let you know of a story I heard from ‘sources close to the club’. Apparently Oasis have offered to do a benefit concert for Paul Lake. This would be at Maine Road sometime in May. Hopefully it will go ahead and shows again what big fans the Oasis boys are.

David Lamb (


Which ones get the chop? Or is our Bally playing a cunning game? How can a manager say he is going to get rid of 14 players? His comments about them not even getting reserve team football in order to introduce his youngsters suggests that it’s not going to be odd names that leave us but ones we have read on our programmes of old. Is he actually saying to players if you’re not getting in our first team you’re out? Which clubs are going to buy players that can’t even make City’s reserves?

Out of 14, I can only think of 5:

  1. Creaney. Scored a couple but has not settled in. Stoke City want him.
  2. Kernaghan. Worked through his initial troubles but still isn’t making the grade.
  3. Beagrie. A rumour says that he just doesn’t like playing in the cold. Surely this can’t be true but anyhow Phillips looks good.
  4. Kerr. Never liked him but in fairness was never going to replace any of our current strikers.
  5. Rösler. Premier League defenders took a year to suss him out. He can’t work with Quinn and hates man to man markers.The sooner we sell him, the more we get.

If Rioch is daft enough to put Parlour and Kiwomya on the list what are we waiting for? They always liked the look of Edghill, swap deal plus £2m?

Nick Cavanagh (


I have some German friends who kindly volunteered some info on this player. This is what I was given.

  • He joined BMG when he was 19 and became a national player at the age of 20.
  • He played for Stuttgart after that for a while and won the league with them in 1992.
  • He then went onto the 2nd div and played for Bochum but returned to BMG last year; his form hasbeen very good but we don’t know his reasons for wanting to leave them, perhaps a change that’s all.
  • His birthdate is 26/3/64 which tells me he’ll be 32 in March this year.I don’t know how often he played for Germany, one source told me 22 timesanother source said 5 times.

By all accounts he will be a very good asset at left back as he is naturally left footed. I think if we’ve got the money he will be well worth it. Hope this info will shed a little for light for us all.

Claude Nuttall, Cape Town (


I emailed a German friend of mine to ask what he knew about Frontzeck. Here’s his (not too optimistic) response…

“Frontzeck may help City to strengthen its defence since he played a long time with Stuttgart together with Immel (all in all about 5 years, I guess). He can play left full back or defensive left midfield. However, he’s a little old and slow now. His time in the international team was about 8 years ago. He looks much older than 30 because there are almost no hairs left on his head. He may finish second behind Letchkov for ugliest player. Three years ago he was kicked out by Stuttgart since he really sucked. He returned to his home team M’Gladbach costing almost nothing. Hope that City didn’t pay more than $150,000 for him. For me it looks like that Immel was lonely and he just wanted to have an old pal around.”

Mike Maddox (


If Ball is to get rid of 14 players will they being going for nothing due to the Bosman ruling? Why not sell them now for small fees and at least we will then get some revenue and get them off the wage bill. Obvious tips are Dibble and Kernaghan but Creaney as well.


I haven’t heard a good Kinkladze song yet. Considering we all adore the little fella why can’t we make a song up to let him know that we think he’s the dog’s bollocks. Off the top of my head we could steal the Villa’s Savo song and just change it for Gio:

Boom boom boom, let me hear you say Gio…
etc etc…


Any others… we need songs now!!!!

Michael Sharp (


With all respect to what Gareth Foster wrote in MCIVTA 161, I have to disagree with the bit about Coton being available for loan if we ever needed a ‘keeper. I remember last season, when City got Simon Tracey on loan from Sheffield United, this was after finding out that it was against the Premier League rules to loan one player to another team in the Premiership, meaning that there were no good goalkeepers available so we ended up with Tracey.

Has this rule been changed, or have the Rags just managed to con us out of a top class goalkeeper who knows how to command his whole goal area as opposed to his six-yard box. This may sound a bit hard on Eike Immel, who is a superb shot-stopper, but couldn’t we have just sold Dibble instead? Someone pointed out a few weeks ago that Barry Fry wanted to buy Coton or Dibble. I presume Dibble is still on the market, so can we not offload him to Birmingham?

On the Clough front, from what I have read and heard from family in Manchester, I think that he will be partnering Rösler up front in the near future unless Quinn remembers where the goal is with a bit more regularity. This could have the makings of an excellent partnership, as Clough can also drop into the midfield occasionally allowing us to play an out and out winger in midfield as well as Kinky.

When I came back to Manchester over Christmas, I saw Martin Phillips play for the first time in a City shirt against West Ham. Whilst not being on the pitch for very long, this gave City a much needed sense of balance to attack down either flank and made us look a lot more dangerous than we had done for most of the game. However, Ball’s gripe that he was too small at the moment for regular Premiership football is fair enough as he got pushed off the ball quite easily by Michael Hughes (who has joined West Ham for £200k according to Football Focus – what a bargain) who I then thought was going to hit him. Overall, I was very impressed when he had the ball, I did feel that something was going to happen, and along with Kinky made the team look quite creative for one of the first times this season.

If the MCIVTA football team ever gets underway (and anywhere near Newcastle in University term time) please keep me informed.

Ric Allen (

Re an MCIVTA footie team: as far as I’m concerned it would be a great idea and I think all that it needs is to be organised by someone. Naturally, I’ll help with publicity but unfortunately I’ve already plenty to do (what a whinger!) so it’s up to whoever can get it together, see MCIVTA 161


See article this issue re Internet Footie (Linda)
and just so you don’t miss it…


Further to the recent discussion in MCIVTA about an internet football team, I would like to table a suggestion. As most of the teams already in existence are based down south, we might have more luck raising a team out of subscribers based in or around London. Now I don’t want to start an argument about the north/south divide or have anybody making traitorist allegations against me. For the record, I’m from Liverpool, I lived in Manchester for 12 years and I’ve been in London for about 3. It just seems a question of logistics and interest. Anyone care to join me? I already have two other subscribers interested. Only need another eight…

Steve Walker (


Just after the Leicester away game it was reported that Bally was prepared to let Coton go as it was unfair to keep him in the reserves, and so as a favour to the player he would let him go for only £500,000. He insisted the deal had nothing to do with money. Therefore, when it looked like TC was about to join Sunderland I reluctantly accepted the situation.

However, after hearing that TC had agreed to a move to OT early on Friday afternoon, I was so incensed that I rang a newspaper Sports Desk. This is not something I would normally do, and didn’t expect to get through to the sports writer concerned, so was surprised when he answered the ‘phone.

I put it to him that if Ball claimed in his paper that Coton’s proposed move to Sunderland had nothing to do with money and only to do with helping Coton gain first team football at this late stage of his career, then how can City justify selling him to United where he will be in exactly the same situation as he is in at City? I also asked him why Coton decided to join United if he only wanted a move in the first place because he couldn’t get first team football at Maine Road? I went on to ask him if he would put these questions to the Club and TC.

He replied that initially Coton did go to see Bally before the Leicester away game because he was not happy with reserve team football. At this meeting Bally made it clear that Immel was the Number One. However, he said that once City had accepted United’s bid, TC agreed to the move to OT because having to play reserve team football wasn’t the only problem he had with Ball. Coton has apparently told the reporter, that since coming to the Club, Ball has hardly said a word to him, giving no encouragement or support with his injury. Also, Alex Stepney comes in regularly to coach the ‘keepers but TC doesn’t rate him, and says training had become very boring. Generally, Ball and Coton simply don’t get on. The writer implied TC would join almost anyone to get away, and that Coton saw OT as a great chance to get back into the spotlight if he managed to get into the team through injury to Schmeichel. He was expecting a backlash from City fans. On the question of the Club’s attitude the writer said it was obviously all about money.

I asked him if what he had told me was the case, then why doesn’t he print it as the fans deserve to know the truth. He said he can’t do this because Tony Coton had told him in confidence. Having said that he seemed quite happy to blurt it out to a total stranger on the phone, as he didn’t have a clue who I was. He then said Coton may well come out and attack Bally now he has left the Club, as to do so beforehand may have jeopardised his chances of getting a move.

I asked him if Clough had signed yet and he told me that he had but not in time for the Coventry home game. I never asked for his opinion of Clough but he gave it anyway. He reckons Clough is the wrong signing for City at the moment, as he is not the sort of player City will need in the fight to stay up. He reckons Flitcroft will be knackered before the end of the season as he will have to do all the work in midfield. I told him we desperately needed full backs, particularly a left back. He agreed but said a young Steve McMahon in midfield is what we really needed even more, not a player like Clough. I asked him if he had anyone in mind but he didn’t.

I’ve calmed down now, but still feel both the Club and Coton have let the fans down very badly. As far as I am concerned, the Club should have immediately blocked the bid by United on the grounds that Coton could only move for first team football. The deal was clearly about money all along. As for Coton, all my good memories of him have been wiped out, and feel he deserves a very bad reception should he ever appear in a derby for United. Whatever his problems within the Club, and clearly something has gone on behind the scenes, I still feel it was only a matter of time before a Premiership Club came in for him. Had TC left the Club to play first team football, I’m sure most City fans would have wished him well. Instead he has kicked the fans in the teeth, and insulted the Club by in effect saying it is beneath him to play for City reserves but OK to do the same thing for United, with even less opportunities for first team football.

Oh well, I’ve got it off my chest now, and feel a lot better for it. At least we’ve strengthened the team since then with a couple of quality signings. Let’s hope they can help us climb up the table and we enjoy a good run in the FA Cup for which they will both be eligible.

Colin Gorman (


I think I must have been to a different game to everyone else that went to Leicester. Granted Kinky played incredibly well to begin with but after being two nil up both teams appeared to give up. City didn’t really even seem to use the chance to try anything new and still lobbed the ball to Gio and then walked around casually waiting for the ball to come to them.

If we had been playing a top quality team I do not think we would have scored 2 never mind 5, and if Joachim had been on form we could have let in a few. Thanks to the Leicester ‘keeper and their inability to finish we won a poor game of football. The ground was virtually empty with the only singing coming from the North stand: “you’re crap and you know you are” I had to ask the people around me who was actually singing.

I’m nervous about the Clough and Coton deals, but was informed that TC had been out with a number of United players before Xmas and seemed to be very happy in their company so I wasn’t surprised.

Anon (


On hearing the news of Nigel Clough’s signing, I couldn’t help but reflect on the parallels with old Rocky Rocastle, i.e:

  1. A regular England international with a succesful club.
  2. Transferred to a big club for big money.
  3. Languished in the reserves for two years, playing only a handful of first team games.
  4. Transferred to City, his form fades after a promising beginning.
  5. Sold by City, never to be heard of again.

Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t befall our Nigel!

Doug Bennett (


Greetings to all!

I have been receiving this fabulous magazine for the past few months (thanks to my Brother-in-law, a Spurs fan who subscribed for me) and I think it’s about time I register some of my thoughts.

Let me just say that although I live 3,000 miles from Maine Road and have only seen City “live” 6 times in my life (even before I moved to Israel, I lived in London) I am by no meaning “cut-off” from the goings-on at City thanks to the Cable service here which is very emphatic about English football and broadcasts nearly all Sky’s games both in the League, Cup and Europe. I also receive “City” monthly and “Sky News” has all the latest footie scores (despite the fact that I have to hear the scores from Steve Bottomly, a Rag who beams every time he reports that City have let-in another goal); the most valuable source of information is of course “Over The Alps” and I thank you all for your tireless work (I also envy all of you able to do match reports).

I’ll start my thoughts back at Horton’s sacking and I can’t say I was too disappointed to see the back of him, although a nice chap and very possibly quite committed to the job, he was another of those “unknown” managers who are better at saving clubs from relegation than building teams for the future. I was hopeful that at last Lee would bring in some high-profile manager with a good record, capable of bringing in some star names. So you can understand my disappointment at Ball’s appointment, the person who was supposedly going to bring back City’s glory days(!) and I can honestly say that I am not surprised at City’s position in the League.

So what can we do about it? Well I would suggest that we take a look at the present situation of English football in the world and add to that City’s financial problems, you have got to buy foreign. Just look at some of the great imports the Premier league has (Ginola and Yeboah are in my opinion the best players in their positions in the Premiership) not to mention our own “Gio”, a fantastic buy (thanks to Franny I understand) and at a bargain price as well! But don’t think that he is the only good player from eastern Europe; that area is flooded with talent just now, look how well the Russian teams are doing and not to mention countries such as Croatia who out-classed Italy and are going to be quite a force in England’96 (I would be extremely surprised if England get to the Semi-Finals).

Those of you who have been watching the African Nations Cup may have noticed the talent on display not to mention the speed of the players; countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana are the best of the lot and would strongly recommend taking a look at some of the players who I am sure can be picked-up cheaply. One of the advantages of this magazine is that its readers are spread out throughout the world, and I think it would be a good idea if people could write about some of the talents in their country who they think are worth City taking a look at. There are quite a few extremely talented players in Israel (such as the outstanding Ayal Berkovits and playmaker Haim Revivo, and first class Gadi Brummer) that have beaten France in Paris in the last World Cup Qualifier and can also register victories over Uruguay, Russia and Aurgentina not to mention the Cup holders Maccabi Haifa who won in Parma and last week became the first team to beat Ajax in nearly 70 games. so I think it could be a good idea if we could make some connection with the club becoming “international scouts” after all who knows best about foreign players if not those who watch them week in week out?

I would be very interested to hear what anybody has to say about this method. To come back to earth, I saw extended highlights of City vs. Spurs and I can’t say that I was too impressed with what I saw, I agree with many of the things that have been said by you, that the midfield didn’t push up enough to help the faultless Quinn and Rösler who seems to be getting back to form (I nearly cried when that shot of his hit the post) but definitely City’s biggest problem are the backs who are very week (Armstrong made a joke out of Ingram) and Powell sounds like a great buy and if City can’t even afford to buy a 1/2 million player than we are in a dire position. In my opinion, it’s a complete joke to sell Phelan for less than a million when we bought him for 2.5 (and that’s after inflation)! After all he is a international (even if he is crap) and selling one of the best goalkeepers in England for £400,000 is ridiculous; it seems teams know that if you want to buy a decent player for 10 pence you just have to go to City.

Well thank you all for letting me get a few things off my back (after all it’s difficult finding someone here who’s interested in City except my Dad, a life long City sufferer) and I apologise for complaining so much but I am in a foul mood after seeing the Rags fluke a win against the superb Sunderland (what they need Coton for I don’t know) with their fighting manager; can anybody explain to me why he is not the City manager, what was wrong with 5th place? Thank you all once again for all the inside inf. and transfer news, keep up the good work.

Cheers from your “blue and white” Blue.

Alan H (


Monday, January 22 1996

WEST HAM UNITED       0-1    MANCHESTER UNITED      24,197

Mon 22 Jan

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United      23     17    3    3     45    19        54
Manchester United     24     13    6    5     42    27        45
Liverpool             23     12    6    5     46    21        42
Tottenham Hotspur     24     11    8    5     33    24        41
Aston Villa           22     11    6    5     29    16        39
Blackburn Rovers      24     11    5    8     37    26        38
Arsenal               24     10    7    7     32    24        37
Nottingham Forest     23      9   10    4     33    32        37
Everton               24     10    6    8     35    26        36
Chelsea               24      9    9    6     25    25        36
Leeds United          23     10    5    8     30    32        35
Middlesbrough         24      9    6    9     26    26        33
Sheffield Wednesday   23      6    8    9     33    36        26
Wimbledon             24      6    6   12     33    46        24
West Ham United       22      6    5   11     22    33        23
Southampton           23      5    8   10     22    33        23
Coventry City         23      4    8   11     29    45        20
Manchester City       23      5    5   13     13    33        20
Queens Park Rangers   24      5    3   16     18    36        18
Bolton Wanderers      24      3    4   17     23    46        13

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to the Davids, Ric, Ian, Alan, Matt, Nick, Steve, Claude, Michael, Ric, Colin, Doug, Robert, Roger, Dan, Paul, Ken, AB and The Mole.

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.

Linda Birch,

Newsletter #162