Newsletter #164

We’ve quite an interesting issue this time; match reports (including a reserve report), opinion, and a nice ‘Why Blue’ with more to follow over the next couple of weeks. Anyone fancy a pint in Singapore or a car-share from Bristol? … read on! There’s also plenty of rumour; seems those nice boys down at Wapping have been a bit short of news this week and have had to turn to City to get it; nice of the club to be so accommodating!

Thanks also go to those people who contacted me about Oasis.

Next game, Queens Park Rangers at home, Saturday 3rd February


SOUTHAMPTON vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Wednesday 31st January, 1996

“Alan Ball’s blue and white army…”

Set off from a frosty Manchester at around 1:00pm and arrived at the ground about 5 hours later. It was much warmer on the south coast and thankfully there was no chance of a repeat of Saturday’s late postponement due to frozen pipes at the Dell. I nipped over to the Pensioners Arms to partake of a couple of pints of Murphys and found there to be far fewer Blues there than usual. Nevertheless, there was still the opportunity to reminisce about the fancy dress party at Stoke on Boxing Day 1988 with a Blue from Plymouth and I also met up with fellow MCIVTA-er Kiron Chatterjee and his girlfriend Alison, a Bolton fan who was naturally hoping for a draw.

Got back to the ground just before kick-off and there was clearly quite at atmosphere brewing for Alan Ball’s return to the Dell. The Blues were singing his praises and the Saints … weren’t. City’s allocation of 1,200 tickets appeared to be partly filled by some Portsmouth fans who’ve developed a soft spot for City as a result of recent dealings between the clubs. With their vitriolic attacks on the home team’s players, Matt “he’s got a f*****g big nose” Le Tissier in particular and unbounded appreciation for Kit Symons’ every touch, it wasn’t difficult to judge where their true allegiances lie.

City lined up with Immel in goal, Summerbee on the right flank, Curle and Symons in central defence, Frontzeck at left back, Clough, Kinkladze, Flitcroft and Lomas in midfield and Quinn and Rösler up front. It was difficult to tell how the midfield was supposed to be organised as they seemed to be playing their own mini-variation of “total football” with everybody popping up very deep, well forward and in general all over the place. Despite this, City had little width except when Summerbee got forward. Most of City’s play was through the congested centre of the field and tended to break down at the edge of the Saints’ penalty area where there were just too many defenders in too small an area to make a breakthrough.

One exception to this was when City broke quickly in the 18th minute following a Southampton corner. Flitcroft brought the ball out and played a lovely pass in to Rösler, whose shot was blocked by Beasant. The rebound fell to Quinn who looked certain to score but Hall somehow managed to block his effort. Overall, Saints had the edge in terms of possession but the number of chances was fairly even between the two sides. There were two or three good-looking penalty appeals turned down for Southampton which was very fortunate for us given Le Tissier’s almost unblemished record from the spot. The local hero was fairly quiet, as he has been all season, but showed a few flashes of genius as well as a spot of petulance, kicking the ball away which earned him a booking and he now faces his second suspension of the season.

So, goalless at half time and a pretty uninspiring match. City’s new look formation didn’t seem to be gelling together and even Quinn was struggling, hardly winning a ball all night against the impressive Monkou. At least we had a left back; Frontzeck didn’t look out of place though it was hardly what I’d call an inspiring début. His opponent for the night was the perennially tricky Mark Walters, on loan from Liverpool, but apart from one curling shot which Immel seemed to have covered, he didn’t pose as many problems as I’ve seen him do in the past.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first and it looked set to be an incident-free encounter between two poor sides until a couple of moments of inspiration from Le Tissier and Shipperley led to a goal for Southampton. Le Tissier hit a 40-yard pass diagonally across the field to Shipperley, who brought it down neatly, turned inside Summerbee and thumped home a shot from 25 yards which bounced over Immel’s dive and into the bottom corner. Almost immediately, Quinn was replaced by Phillips (a popular decision) which gave City more width and spread out the home defenders. This left Rösler as ostensibly our sole striker but the midfield players took turns supporting him and generally got forward well. One of City’s most promising attacks was sadly an exception to this though, as Rösler raced down the right flank and had only the diminutive Kinkladze to aim for in the penalty area.

Southampton looked to extend their lead and had a good opportunity with a free kick just outside the box. Immel seemed to be poorly positioned but fortunately Le Tissier’s effort didn’t make it past the City wall. Another free kick resulted from Frontzeck’s crude challenge on Walters who could well have been through on goal. Having already been booked, this was an escape for the new boy who was replaced by Brightwell before he could get in any more trouble. The resulting free kick was played upfield through Curle to Kinkladze, whose attempted pass to Lomas down the line was deflected by Benali right into the path of Clough, 15 yards out from goal. His effort was very well blocked but Rösler was first to the rebound and he managed to scoop the ball into the net.

In the end we managed to salvage a point from a match I had high hopes of a win for. Southampton caused us far more problems than Coventry had done and will no doubt be aggrieved at conceding a late equaliser themselves. Overall it was a fair result but it gives added importance to Saturday’s visit of Q.P.R. which is surely now a match we must win. New signings Clough and Frontzeck had adequate but unspectacular débuts and it looks like there’s plenty of work to be done to sort out who does what in midfield. Sooner rather than later please Alan.

Paul Howarth (


SOUTHAMPTON vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Wednesday 31st January, 1996

I’m not going to do a full match report, I’ll leave that to the Stattos out there, but I’ll give my impressions of the game and how City played.

My gut reaction after the game was that we deserved the draw, even if we didn’t look like scoring.

When you have a 6’4″ striker in the team then it makes sense to throw in a few crosses. Our formation had Lomas seemingly playing in right midfield with Sumerbee at right back? Wouldn’t it make a touch more sense to swap these players around? Lomas did his best, but he’s not really a great crosser.

The best part of our play was when we broke down an attack and played our way out from the back with neat passes; it looked great, enabled us to get men forward, all this when we under pressure. But take the pressure away, say from a short goal kick, it was one or two passes and then a hoof up towards Quinn and Rösler. It used to work well with Quinn and White; big Niall would flick it on and White would gamble on this and pounce. However, these days the strikers try to bring the ball down using their chests and look for a pass. Last night Southampton were playing pretty deep, with Ken Monkou totally outstanding; Uwe and Niall were under real pressure every time a ball came towards them, a few fouls went against Niall, a few balls were snapped up by hungry Saints defenders; it just didn’t seem to be working. In marked contrast every time Saints won possession they’d hoof the ball up towards the halfway line. There was only Watson there but amazingly he reached nearly every one of these clearences and brought the ball down with a great first touch.

Clough seemed to slot in well. He was in midfield somewere, everywhere. I’d fancy my chances against him in the air though, he doesn’t seem a natural battler, but he did get stuck in and got a yellow card!

Frontzeck Played well, I was impressed with how well he gelled in at the back, the offside trap worked well. He was sporting a Richard Edghill hair cut. He looked confident on the ball, but didn’t try anything fancy, just steady… he was yellow carded too (I think) and Brightwell came bouncing on to replace him.

Outstanding skill: Kinkladze just got a toe to a ball about midway in the City half. Big Ken Monkou, on the top of his form, was waiting. Monkou read each of Gio’s moves and blocked him easily, Ken must have thought he was going to rob the Georgian, when literally Kinky danced round him and legged it up the wing!! Amazing, I don’t know how the hell he did it. Saints must have been under orders not to dive in on Gio, they stood off him allowing him to pass but not run, but his passes didn’t look as dangerous as Le Tissier’s. When Phillips came on he launched straight into a Cruyff turn, but the ball squirmed over the line for a Saints throw.

Saints’ goal was a sickener. A hopefull ball from Le Tis, a good touch by Shipperley and a low shot to Immel’s bottom right hand corner; it looked like the bounce beat him. 1-0. A shame really as Immel had been playing very well. I couldn’t see how we’d get back into the game. Ball (football Genius) took off Quinn and brought on Phillips, which didn’t seem to make much sense at the time. A City corner. No one seemed to want to take. Then Kinkladze reluctantly ran over to the left to take it. Flipper came short and Gio knocked it to him and continued his run to make an angle everyone waited for Flipper to knock a simple ball to the unmarked Gerogian, but instead he turned inside and knocked across the best ball of the game… but no Quinn to nod it home. That was a great corner, it was a shame about the rest!! The City goal was a bit of a scrambled effort. Clough looked to have a good chance but a last-ditched sprawl by a defender blocked his way, the ball rolled across nicely for the unmarked Rösler to stab the ball home with the keeper nowhere and the defenders just staring at each other. 1-1 with 6 minutes to go.

Uwe Uwe Rösler!! -I thought Rösler had looked sharp all evening and was playing well. He tries so hard – he reminds me of Alan Shearer in that respect. He had the added bonus of responsibility to track back and cover Jason Dodd when he went forward! A sort of left midfield – striker rôle!!

The final whistle blew. I think we’d have taken them apart at Maine Road; I was disappointed with how deep they played. As for City? Well if we’re going to play with Quinn up front then we need to change our formation and play creative wide men. Summerbee and Beagrie? More likely though Quinn will be replaced by a faster striker who can take players on.

Curle was my man of the match, he hustled well and played intelligent short passes. Symons was great too, really fast… even when they tried to spring the offside trap he had the pace to stop them.

Final score: 1-1



Well the boy and I finally made it to Soton for the match. After leaving home at 4:15 we cruised from Crawley to Southampton and got lost! A quick re-navigation took us back onto the M27 to follow the route in King of the Kippax – still got lost but by some fluke we found the ground. Dashed to the ground – bought a programme for £1.50 and a Soton badge for my son’s collection (2 badges so far but you have to start somewhere).

Found the seat and sat/stood back to enjoy the match – I suddenly realised that City fans must be really twisted travelling so far to see a match – our away record isn’t the best after all. Great to be part of the Blue and White Army again!!!! Although not a great game we deserved a draw – City need some killer instinct in front of goal.

Here are the scores on the doors:-

Immel (6) Couple of good saves but he seems to stand and watch the ball curl past him too often – either he knows it’s not going in or he’s very lucky.

Lomas (6) Quiet performance but solid.

Frontzeck (7) Worked well, put in some good passes and make some crucial tackles – He isn’t ugly – looks right in Blue and White – a good buy on this performance – Managed to get away with the the old ‘no speaka da lingo’ routine and managed to get booked.

Curle (8) Great game what more can I say?

Symons (7) Another solid performance.

Clough (9) Great buy – quite pacey at times – good football brain – tackling better than the average – couple of good shots – if he keeps on playing like this a wonderful buy.

Flitcroft (8) He spent the first 10 minutes passing to Southampton and then made some great runs – he holds the ball a little too long at times and ends up making a complete bodge of a promising move – He has heart and commitment.

Kinkladze (7) Quiet game – trying to be too fancy at the moment and it doesn’t work. Made some good runs.

Summerbee (8) Played well, good play on the wing and defended well – once again he was holding the ball too long.

Rösler (6) He scored but didn’t do much else.

Quinn (5) Seemed slow and ‘all leg’, a bit of a donkey on the night – seemed to be frustrated by some of the decisions of the ref. I like Quinn but think he should drop back a bit.

Brightwell (7) A good sub – who appears to play anywhere – came on for Frontzeck.

Phillips (7) Not on for long – the boy has got class and could probably do with a full game to get into the swing – He had very little time on the pitch after replacing Quinn.

We need the killer instinct up front at the moment; Rösler and Quinn are not delivering the goods – I can see one of them leaving (probably Quinn although Rösler would bring in more money). Southampton seemed more creative and flowing than City who seem to go in fits and starts. Anyway we got the point – Keep the Faith.

Andy Birkin (


I popped down to a very chilly Maine Road on Tuesday evening to see the reserves in action against Barnsley. Both sides had young-looking teams and for City, only Dibble, Kernaghan and Thomas had any first team experience. I think Dibble was only playing because Margetson was with the first team on the south coast but nevertheless he put in a very good performance, making some fine saves on the few occasions he was called upon. City had the bulk of possession in a goalless first half but the chances to score were fairly even between the two sides until a frantic period just before the break when Kelly hit the bar with an open goal to aim at following good work on the right flank by Gardner. Minutes later the same player hit the woodwork again, this time following a good turn close to the penalty spot. Just before half time it was Gardner’s turn to miss a sitter as he sliced his volley wide from the corner of the 6-yard box.

With most of the Club’s “top brass” away at Southampton, there weren’t many recognisable faces in the crowd, except that is for Ryan Giggs who attracted quite a crowd of young autograph hunters and a few chants of “if you hate Man. United clap your hands.”

Barnsley were much more lively in the second half and it was actually against the run of play when City took the lead. A cross/shot from the corner of the penalty area by Gardner was turned in by Scott Thomas on the edge of the goal area. The visitors tried hard to force an equaliser, pinning City back in their own half for most of the remaining time, though City did have some useful breaks. City’s central defensive partnership of Kernaghan and Abatzaj was breached several times despite both players individually looking quite good, but Dibble was always there to rescue them. Scott Thomas had what seemed to be a free rôle and he certainly wasn’t afraid of getting stuck in, getting a good talking-to from the referee after a Flitcroft-like challenge late in the game. I was also impressed by David Gardner, signed on a free transfer from United during the summer, who showed good ability on the ball. Having said that, all of the players seemed comfortable on the ball, so it seems that the style of play Alan Ball has instilled into the first team is now filtering its way down the ranks.

Final score: City 1 Barnsley 0

Incidentally, City “A” play United “A” at Platt Lane at 11am on Saturday morning for anybody that’s interested.

Paul Howarth (


Just found this snippett in the Telegraph!!: (30/1/96)

“Manchester City footballers were ordered out of a hotel and country club yesterday following allegations of rowdy behaviour. The players were staying at the Meon Valley Golf and Country Club near Fareham, Hants, before a match with Southampton tommorrow.”

Looks like Niall Quinn was drinking those 16 pints again! Also there’s a story brewing that papers were left in a Cheshire hotel after Nigel Clough’s signing indicating that he’s not taking as much of a pay cut from his Liverpool salary, despite the press reports. Several senior players are rumoured to be “displeased” with the amount of cash he’s getting. Of course it’s all rumour.

Roger Sharp, The Blue Kiwi (


Francis Lee has today denied reports in some of the papers that City had to change hotels last night because some of the players were indulging in rowdy, drunken behaviour. Describing the events as “a strom in a teacup”, Lee claimed that there were no drunken players, nothing got broken and all that happened was a row between some of the players and some of the staff at the country club in Fareham who were having a party. The decision to change hotels was purely precautionary to prevent any escalation of the dispute. I bet we get to hear more about this…

Paul Howarth (


The F.A.Cup 5th Round tie between Manchester United and the winners of the City/Coventry 4th Round tie has been rescheduled for Sunday 18th February, 4:00pm kick-off and will be shown ‘live’ on BBC1. I wonder who the BBC want to win between us and Coventry? 😉

Paul Howarth (


Can anyone provide more insight into the story that appeared in the News of the World last Sunday about Clough’s wages? Apparently papers were “carelessly” left in the hotel room where negotiations took place, which indicated that he is on £8,000 a week, and that this was being kept from the other players.

Now this may pale into insignificance next to the reported £26,000 offered to Asprilla, and he may well have have taken a £1,500 a week cut from his Liverpool days, but it is surely too much to offer a player who hasn’t played regular first team football for 3 years, particularly as we’re suppossed to be trying to reduce the wage bill!

I’m all in favour of offering Georgi a new contract and doubling his wages, as he’s proved over 6 months that he’s a class act. I only hope Clough can prove that he’s worth it too, otherwise it’s just another example of bungled incompetence from those in charge.

Paul Monaghan (

It is the ‘News of the Screws’ so I wouldn’t be surprised if the important papers were Cloughie’s bar bill!



Any Blues in the Bristol or surrounding area that fancy car-sharing for home/away (they are all away if you live in Bristol) matches drop me a line.

Comment – Nigel Clough, Nice one Bally. Coton, Nice one after all what’s the point in paying someone who’s injured most of the time? Left back from BMG, erm.. time will tell. Let’s hope you get more time than Brian.

A.Garside (


One more thing, I would like to urge any mcivta members to let me know if they are visiting Singapore. I would be more than happy to show them all the good pubs & clubs. A must is to drink a Bank Breaker at Mr. Leeson’s ex-haunt, Harry’s Bar on Boat Quay (nearly as famous as a Singapore Sling at Raffles).

Steve Slack (


Good news from New Zealand too. They have now started selling the CITY magazine in the bookstore. A little out of date but my first sight of it anf wow! Why didn’t they do this years ago? There was also an advert for the CITY stores and my first sight of them too. Certainly makes a big change from that shed outside Maine Road. For your overseas subscribers they also take credit card orders and will be mailing out their catalogue in mid-Feb. The delivery of the stuff is both reasonably priced (£5.00 to Air Mail to NZ for about a Kg) and it got here pretty quickly. Didn’t convince him to send my one of the shields it shows hanging in the shop though… shame.

SO, my five year old son will be off to school in his new City shirt. I anticipate him being the first Maori to do so here. The Haka should be fun though… to Wonderwall maybe?

Howard Pheby (


I distinctly remember a hearing a rumour about the dismisal of PR that was popular at the time. It was that Swales wanted rid of Sam Ellis and to bring Horton in as Reid’s assistant. Reid allegedly replied “if Sam goes I go.” Does anyone else remember this and is there any truth to it?

I also partly disagree with Paul Howarth’s comments on the reasons for our high finishing places. Granted, the quality in the division is not as high as it is now, but a re-viewing of the City videos for those seasons will show the classy strikes that Quinn, Allen and White were scoring – “quality” volleys from outside the box etc., and this was many in one season. The dip in the team’s performance conincided with the drying-up of these spectacular opportunist strikes that kept finding their way into the back of the net.

Also I don’t think we built on those finishing positions by strengthening the squad at the right time or investing in new “quality” players. Compare this with League Winners such as Blackburn, Leeds and Arsenal, who all won the league and attempted to defend the title the following year with the same players and failed drastically.

Andy Davey (


At the Blackburn game (and probably many others, but my memory’s not so hot) we were simply singing “Georgie Kinklad-ze” followed by 5 claps to the rhythm of his name over and over again, which worked well. Can anyone explain the Duncan McKenzie one though?

Ian Kay (


The one that springs to my mind is that Russian folk song Kalinka. Does anybody know it? We were forced to sing it at Primary School … it’s very well known, they play it a lot at Ice Hockey matches as it starts slow and gets faster and faster with lots of clapping and stomping … you simply replace “Kalinka Kalinka Kalinka Ma-ya” with “Kinkladze Kinkladze Kinkladze Gio!!” Either keep it like that as a chant that gets faster and faster or add a second line like “When you get a chance then you hit the goal.”

I’m not sure of the politics in that area, it’s probably a serious insult for a Georgian to have a Russian folk song sang to him!! But I think he’d see the funny side.

May the full moon this weekend be blue and that we tear QPR to shreds!



The point seems to be lost in passionate debate. TC was, and still is, a better keeper than Schmichaelly. He will claim the No1 spot at OT, leaving the fat Dane a move back to easy street without too much fuss from the lemmings.

As I’m sure most of you must have claimed in the past, TC is the best goalie in “the next capital of England”. Ball has not done his homework properly on TC and has just let a top pro go from his squad without attempt at reconciliation. The wage bill is not affected, TC should have got his chance over Christmas when Eike was making excellent recovery saves from his own mistakes.

Competition for places rather than loyalty should have been the issue. As for players who want to wear the blue shirt, remember Coton telling Utd. where to go just before the derby a couple of years ago? No player would have been more happy to see his days out with virtuoso performances for “…the best team in the land and all the world”.

We’ve dropped a bollock, not TC kicking us in the teeth. Good luck to TC, he served us well. Lets hope this decision does not come back to haunt us.

Whatever you do, stay Blue
-C.F. Church Inn, Audenshaw.

Dave Clinton (


I’m not sure I agree with the person who thought that the draw with the Rags indicated that we always get hard draws. Who does he wish we were drawn against? Brentford, perhaps. Or Halifax Town. Or Cardiff City. We must stop whining. If we are worth anything at all we should regard this as a heaven sent opportunity for a bit of score-settling. There’s certainly enough to do. I’m looking forward to it.

Jonathan Seitler (


I would just like to suggest that why doesn’t Alan Ball put in a bid for Keith Gillespie at Newcastle? He has stated that he is homesick and is unhappy about being away from Manchester. We need a winger, and there is not a cat in hells chance of Fergie swallowing his pride and re-buying him, so why not? We need a winger of his class instead of loaning 30-something ex-internationals who are just out for a good final pay-day. Come on Bally, give it a shot!

Colin Harris (


Does anybody know if City have a women’s football team? I heard recently that most Premiership clubs do. If we do then me and my girlfriend would be keen to go and offer our support if someone could tell us when and where they play.

Nick Jones (


Call me the type that likes the underdog.

I guess being a Liberal Democrat, a Trafford Borough, Sale follower and City fan to boot, that could be the only explanation. Barring diminished responsibility.

My City roots are quite deep though. I was born in 1972, and we lived in Wythenshawe, Newall Green to be precise. If anyone remembers the big blocks of flats that used to welcome the incoming motorists on the M56, that was where we lived. Kennett Road was the first Egerton Towers. And Towers they certainly were to my mum pushing the pram up without a lift.

With a younger brother only just born to add to me and the other two, we moved. Unfortunately, we moved to Trafford and specifically, a house in Sale. Being not so far away from Stretford, there were not so many other City fans around. Indeed, our family was split fairly evenly.

I can boast the proud fact that my aunty lives a mere spitting distance from Maine Road. 173 Horton Road to be precise, and still does as far as I know (this is not an excuse for a piss-up at her place every Saturday evening though). I also worked once at the Ladbrokes just off Hart Road, though fortunately City weren’t playing that day. I did have the misfortune to work in the bookies near OT one Boxing Day, when in no particular order, U****d beat Villa 3-1, and Desert Orchid won the King George at Kempton. If anyone knows that bookies, they will know there are only two tills and the sight of 45,000 Scum trying to get into this tiny shop, demanding money from a terrified Blue and his mate, was not a particularly attractive one.

They will also know the meaning of fear as well.

Anyway, I digress. My aunt and family came from that part of the world, so my dad and eldest brother are both Blues. My second oldest brother and youngest brother are however not. You can imagine the scenes come Derby Day – it’s the same in every family, I guess.

As I said earlier, I seem to follow underdogs, or take a course the majority might frown at. Perhaps it was true of City as well. My earliest recollection of watching City was as a five-year-old with my dad watching them play Arsenal. I think this was in 76 or 77. Someone with the records might be able to help me out. All I do remember was that we were sat on the benches high up in the North Stand (I think – it must have been, we were behind one of the goals). I remember nothing of the game, only that Joe Royle scored with a header from a cross from the City right, and that was the only goal of the game. Help? More details?

The only other City game I’ve been to, was in 79 (I’m sure) against the Scousers. This time my dad took my oldest brother, second oldest and me. Unfortunately, we got beaten 4-1 (4-0) and Dalglish got a hat-trick that day. We were also sat next to a pair of very noisy Scouse fans, and perhaps my dad thought that was it.

The 81 season was when I really took interest and started following City quite closely. I remember the game John Bond took over and City drew, I think. It was certainly on Match of the Day. And then the cup run. The game in which we beat Peterborough, in a child-like way I thought we were going to Wembley. I don’t remember much now of the run, apart from the Semi. I sat on my living room floor with the radio on. Whoever it was, they were only having reports rather than live match commentary. Bastards. And then Paul Power scored and of course, the radio was elsewhere. How fast did they cut back? I do remember the sight on Match of the Day of the massed sight of the City scarves adorning Villa Park. Magical.

And then the Final. Nervous? I got up early. Made sure I was down in front of the box for 11.30 and Grandstand (ITV never got a look in in our house). The game itself wasn’t much to write home about, not that I would have minded winning 1-0. Ah yes, Ranson’s cross… Hutchinson…..YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! Twenty-odd minutes before Paul Power lifted the cup, then bugger…

I knew the replay wasn’t going to be the same, especially after Archibald scored in the first few minutes. I had a fight with my brother who started teasing me, and then I went to sulk upstairs (i.e. watch it on the b & w portable upstairs). Little did I know, once I turned it on, that the greatest goal in a Cup Final I have ever seen (and I still think so) would be scored within 30 seconds. Once again, we were back in it. And after David Bennett got fouled, 2-1 up again and City were back in Europe…

I don’t mind admitting I cried when Perryman lifted up the Cup. I was only nine, for God’s sake. God knows what I would have been like, had my dad taken me with him and the oldest brother as well.

And then of course the steady decline. As the hooliganism reached a peak, and City hit decline, and my brother’s rugby feats for school knew no bounds (eventually he had an England U-16 squad session), the family lost interest in football. We’d moved to the suburbs now and since we lads went to the grammar school, we all played rugby (which is still I guess my first love and always will be) and Lancashire and Sale became more of a focus of my life. Of course, I always used to follow City. I was gutted when Luton sent us down and then the yo-yo years of the mid-80s have been enough to put off more diehard fans. Listening to James H. Reeve has always confirmed my faith, especially when he was doing his famed Emissions on Piccadilly. What a crying shame it is that he and a certain Mr Docherty get only an hour during the God slot, but former Cabinet ministers cashing in on their notoriety get an hour and half on Saturday. If there was any justice, James Hengist Reeve and Thomas Henderson Docherty would take over 606 now.

I still support the Blues and now even more so, since I’ve moved to Canterbury with university. When I studied out at Indiana University for a year, you don’t know what a blessing MCITVA became. Especially during the latter part of the season, when we beat Newcastle 3-0 and scraped a 1-0 win at the Dell. I am proud to say that I was here from the start and have read every one of Ashley, Paul and Svenn’s excellent missives. Despite my losing access, for nearly 7-8 months.

Though I went up to Littleborough and Saddleworth during the by-election this summer, where love blossomed in the romantic surroundings of Shaw and Crompton railway station (too bad you’re a Rag, Gabbi – needless to say, she lives in Worthing, but then you guessed I wasn’t going to say Manchester). I haven’t been back to Sale or Maine Road, since going to University. The thought appeals more and more and since an old school friend has provided a window of opportunity over the next few months, the only question is how much and when.

Just to finish, my dad must have been a Blue. He even bought that bloody record… “We are the lads who are playing to win… aaarrrrgggh”

Chris Egerton (


Wednesday, January 31 1996

ASTON VILLA           0-2    LIVERPOOL              32,332
NOTTINGHAM FOREST     2-1    LEEDS UNITED           24,465
SOUTHAMPTON           1-1    MANCHESTER CITY        15,172
WEST HAM UNITED       3-2    COVENTRY CITY          18,884

Wed 31 Jan

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United      23     17    3    3     45    19        54
Liverpool             24     13    6    5     48    21        45
Manchester United     24     13    6    5     42    27        45
Tottenham Hotspur     24     11    8    5     33    24        41
Nottingham Forest     24     10   10    4     35    33        40
Aston Villa           23     11    6    6     29    18        39
Blackburn Rovers      24     11    5    8     37    26        38
Arsenal               24     10    7    7     32    24        37
Everton               24     10    6    8     35    26        36
Chelsea               24      9    9    6     25    25        36
Leeds United          24     10    5    9     31    34        35
Middlesbrough         24      9    6    9     26    26        33
Sheffield Wednesday   23      6    8    9     33    36        26
West Ham United       23      7    5   11     25    35        26
Southampton           24      5    9   10     23    34        24
Wimbledon             24      6    6   12     33    46        24
Manchester City       24      5    6   13     14    34        21
Coventry City         24      4    8   12     31    48        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 Dave, A.Garside, Chris, Steve, Howard, Andy (x2), Jonathan, Roger, Paul (x2), Colin, Nick, Ian & Tim.

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 #164