Newsletter #180


A match report (!) and some interesting developments on the Creaney front, as well as more rumblings on the Flitcroft front. Rob and Dan have organised an “MCIVTA FC” session so thanks go to them. Malcolm Plaiter has mailed me to say that the MCIVTA ‘Meet’ (beer and talk) has been provisionally booked for Saturday 13th April before the home game against Sheffield Wednesday. It will take place in the Social Club beforehand. At the moment very few people have announced their intention to go; if more people don’t come forward then we’ll probably cancel it and meet informally in a pub. So, if you want it to take place them mail Malcolm and tell him you intend to go:

Malcolm Plaiter (

Next game, Bolton Wanderers away, Saturday 30th March 1996


CYPRUS (0) vs. (2) GEORGIA, Wednesday, 27th March 1996

The significance for City fans is that ‘he’ was playing!

Could I be the first City fan apart from the management to watch him play? What news can I bring to you all to try to enlighten you? Well, our new boy does have fantastic touch; the ball seemed to be glued to his foot in one instance and his control too was very good.

Unfortunately there is not much else one can say as Georgia in the first half were a little poor. He certainly is a player that likes the ball played in early so that he can use his touch and control. He is a little like Nigel Clough in build but I think a fraction taller although heading did not seem to be his strong point so Niall and Uwe still have a chance as the other front man because our new man certainly plays at the front. Also do not assign him an important man to mark in our box as often he lost the man he was marking.

Overall his performance was fair, there were a couple of instances of class and he also created one of the goals by skipping past a player and crossing for the goal. He played for about 70 minutes and then went off (not injured hopefully). Hopefully we can say that he was not the fantastic human that we hope he will be due to the circumstances of the match, the lax attitude of the team and the missing Mr Dynamite!!

Let’s hope Frannie Lee asked Gio who he would like to play with and it’s Gio that also influenced their decision as I don’t think we can pin our total hopes on this man (I hope I am wrong). My advice to Bally would be to put him on the bench if he arrives in time for the trip to Bolton.

Finally, don’t be fooled by the score; Cyprus has had some good results recently, e.g. a draw against Denmark, and the Cyprus League does have several good teams and players in it. Whilst writing this I am listening to the England vs. Bulgaria game and Kyriacov the Bulgarian international (the red head) plays in Cyprus; don’t forget also that Rangers with all their money found it hard to beat Anorthisis.

I hope you have better results from our man in a sky blue shirt.

Graham Lord (


GMR reports this morning that City are set to more than triple Gio Kinkladze’s wages, from just under £4,000 a week to £13,000 a week. A sure sign if ever there was one that the club intends to keep him. This must make him by far the most highly paid player in the club’s history.

The Mole
Tony Farrar (

P.S. It is now rumoured that this story was made-up by GMR!


Francis Lee today slated the rumour that Gio’s wages are set to be trebled, claiming that it’s part of a dirty tricks campaign instigated by another Premiership club and is designed to unsettle the player and possibly the rest of the team. Kinkladze’s on a three year contract at City which has only recently been signed.

I wonder which other Premiership club he could possibly have been referring to? Not.

The Mole


City crashed out of the F.A. Youth Cup on Tuesday night, losing 3-1 at home to Wimbledon. In what was definitely a game of two halves, City could have racked up an unassailable lead by half time but only had one goal to show for it, Sammy Harris heading home an Aled Rowlands cross. The second half belonged to the visitors though who showed that the spirit of the “Crazy Gang” is still alive and well at Wimbledon. On this showing, the player to look out for in the Dons’ side is a forward called Victor Renner; tall, quick and skilful, he also packs a poweful shot.

As for the City side, nobody really stood out. I had high hopes for them this season as ostensibly the same side reached the semi-finals last season (this was a quarter-final). The only player who looked like he could do a job in the first team at the moment was Lee Crooks, another battling midfielder who certainly isn’t afraid to get stuck in. Better news from the reserves though, who were also at home on Tuesday – a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough courtesy of a Gerry Creaney penalty and a goal from Ray Kelly.

Paul Howarth (


City have finally completed the deal to sign Gio’s mate Mikhail Kavelashvili for £1.4 million and he’s likely to be on the bench at Bolton on Saturday. This is the biggest deal so far on transfer deadline day but there’s 3 hours to go yet…

BTW, I was under the impression that this deal was all sorted out a week or two ago!

The Mole


Gerry Creaney has gone on loan to Oldham Athletic until the end of the season. One hour to the deadline…

The Mole


MCIVTA F.C. will have their inaugural weekend get-together (prior to serious competition !!!) at Manchester University’s Armitage Centre, Moseley Road, Fallowfield, Manchester on Sunday 14th April 1996. Kick-off is around 15:00. Final whistle at 17:00.

Full Squad (I don’t think I have misplaced anyone):

Ashley Birch, Steve Bolton, Andrew Brookfield, Jon Fielding, Gary Fones, Martin Ford, Paul Howarth, Tony Hulme, Riccardo Keefe, Jason King, Tony Mc, Steve Millington, Paul Monaghan, Scott Moore, Dan Rigby, Andy Roberts, Steven Speakman, Colin Surrey, Mark Varley, Matt Varley, Jon Walsh and Robert Watson.

Please let me know if you can attend (and how many of you there will be although it looks like we have enough for 5-a-side with plenty of subs). Directions available on request (it is on page 91 of my Manchester A-Z). The cost will be £34 in total which should work out to less than £3 each if at least 12 turn up – that’s excellent value IMHO for a two hour session.

Finally a big thanks to Dan for single-handedly arranging the indoor pitch. And of course if you still haven’t contacted me there is still time.

Robert Watson (


(Your training ground correspondent)

This issue’s report is given over to Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup match against Wimbledon. An answer to Martin Ford’s question about the first team training schedule will appear in the next issue.

Having regularly watched the “A” and “B” teams play at Platt Lane on alternate Saturday mornings I felt constrained to visit the Academy to see how our Youth Team fared against Wimbledon in the 5th round of the FA Youth Cup. Around 2,000 people paid the £3 entrance fee on a bitterly cold Tuesday evening. The main stand was the only area open to supporters. We were full of hope and expectancy that this would be the year when we would at last get to the final and perhaps even get some silverware for the club. Just before kick off AB arrived to give the lads some moral support.

City kicked off towards the Platt Lane end, and after some dazzling work down the left wing went into the lead through Sammy Harris. Greenacre nearly followed this when he crashed a shot against the post and again when the Dons’ ‘keeper made an excellent save to keep him out. We ought to have been three up at this point but we weren’t. The Dons gradually took control but we did at least hang on until half time.

The second half was unfortunately all too reminiscent of the first team. The Dons were now in complete command, apart from sporadic forays into their half, and it was no surprise that they equalised. It was equally unsurprising that they went on to score two more. Final score: City 1 Wimbledon 3.

Neil McNab is a good coach and works hard with the lads but in the end the Dons were worthy winners. It will take a really top side to prevent them from becoming the title holders. They played good football with no long balls and no boring tactics. They were big, skilful, ran hard into spaces, supported each other and were generally well drilled. As I sat realising we were not going to win anything, again, I pondered how it is that the poorest supported team can produce such an excellent crop of youngsters. They are a team of such precocious talent and I am convinced that several will end up being transferred for £4 million or over to the likes of Newcastle, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool etc.

And what of our lads? They worked hard and ran their socks off. Will we see many of them at the top level in years to come? I hope so but when viewed against those who are possibly the best I’m not quite so confident.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


Mike Maddox’ plan in MCIVTA 179 to create a master race of talented English footballers may have a slight flaw; I recall a quote from (I think) Albert Einstein who was once propositioned by an attractive female – with his brains and her looks their children would get off to a great start in life. “Ahh,” said Einstein, “but supposing they inherit MY looks and YOUR brains?”

Paul Howarth (


I’m going to be back in Britain for the first time in nearly two years and I’d love to be able to go to the Villa game. However, I’m going to be around for two days only, so if anyone can get me tickets I’d be really grateful. I haven’t seen a City match in almost two years and it’s killing me.

Thanks for anyone that can help me.

Dave Bates (


At 2pm last Saturday I got a phone call saying I could have a free ticket to the Bolton vs. Sheff. Wed. game if I gave my mate’s brother a lift there. Well why not, City have got crucial games against both of these, so I thought I would see what we were up against.

All throughout the match I had no inkling of the score at West Ham; I thought we would get a draw, so I stood rather smugly watching two teams who played worse than City did against Everton or Middlesbrough at Maine Road (honest!). Both defences looked poor but the strikers on either side made Uwe look like Shearer. Bolton only looked remotely dangerous when Curcic got the ball but he is a bit of a David White type player – head down, run first, think later. Wednesday were a shambles (to think they were at Wembley twice only a few years ago) with even Des Walker looking uncertain.

Really we must win our two games against these teams. We should do it. Our performances recently suggest that we can beat both of them, especially with a bit of discipline at either end of the pitch. A quick word of caution though to anyone travelling to Bolton – there are a few ‘fans’ there who extremely dislike anything Mancunian, be it red or blue. Also my dad knows a QPR fan who ended up with a broken jaw following their victory there. A little bit of care taken (especially in pubs before and after the game ) should ensure we can enjoy the victory that nearly ensures us Premiership football next season.

Liam Hosie (


Whilst sitting bored at my desk the other day I was trying to think of a song for Gio. I was working on the tune of Oasis’ latest hit Don’t Look Back in Anger. Anyway this is what I came up with. It’s very lame I know.

gonna start taking pills lying in my bed,
cos they say watching City makes you crazy in the head,
step outside be proud to support the Blues,
stand up admire the Maine Road place,
a smile will appear upon your face,
and you’ll just want to start to sing your hearts out…

so Gio is great, he makes City great as he dribbles on by,
he blows midfields away,
so don’t you sell him Bally,
you’ll hear us say

I don’t think Paul McCartney needs to worry. I guess if Gio carries on and lives up to his potential they’ll name a stand after him. They were going to name the Platt Lane after Colin Bell but it would have been known as “The Bell End!”

Upcoming games on international satellite are the two F.A. cup semi finals on Sunday April 31st and the Premier game Liverpool vs. Newcastle on April 3rd. Don’t know if anyone has mentioned this topic on here before but if we do go down it will be really devastating for all us Blues abroad. Here in the States we get a live 1 hour show with all the Premier (only) goals so I haven’t missed a City goal yet this season. Also 1 live game a week is available on satellite with City being shown 3 or 4 times a season, not bad coverage. If we go down we’ll see absolutely nothing of the Blues. On top of that the Carling and Soccernet sites will drop City off their pages! We cannot go down!!!

Paul Whittaker (mancity@jax-inter)


To anyone who doesn’t read the Independent, every Monday they have a Premier XI team of the weekend which features all the players who played best over the previous Saturday. Virtually every week now, Kinky gets a place but he seems to be the only Blue who does. This week’s team is as follows:


    PETRESCU        WALKER               BILIC          PEARCE
   (Chelsea)       (Sheff Wed)          (West Ham)     (Nottm For)
       KANCHELSKIS           KINKLADZE            CURCIC
      (Everton)              (Man City)           (Bolton)
                             (Man Utd)
                     DOWIE              MILOSEVIC
                    (West Ham)         (Aston Villa)


Also in the same paper is a round up of gossip from the Sunday tabloids – the only City gossip is news from the People saying that City are going to have a battle keeping Kinky in the side now that Milan (not sure which one) have shown an interest. What every Blue wants to hear I’m sure! In the City match report it has a few words from Alan Ball and Harry Redknapp saying that “Georgi Kinkladze alone is worth the price of admission, the Georgian’s touch, vision, imagination and the weight of his passes is an example to every aspiring footballer. I could watch him all day,” Redknapp said. “He reminds me of that kid we all came across in the playground at school. Wants the ball, wants to do something with it. Alive and always thinking.”

Geoff St George (


I don’t know how you lot over there can stand it. It is bad enough scanning the emails and short waves and what have you to hear that once again City have flattered to deceive. What it must be like to sit through it live doesn’t bear thinking about.

I did see “the goal” on TV here and just about managed to tape it to show off to pals. None of whom will be impressed as another team that shall not be named seems to dominate in discussions around here.

What to make of it all? I have a good friend who has been watching the Blues since the early 60s and still has a season ticket (so, come off it Martin you have years to go yet of plonking down your money before you can begin to doubt where your proper place is on a Saturday afternoon!!) and he has for some time thought Flitcroft was short of what is needed at that level. As he has often been proved right in the past I valued his judgement so I am not too disappointed about the transfer — even my cursory views of him recently seem to suggest he is on the team but not with the team. I understand that we also enter the realm of discussion centered on youth policy etc. and this is an important point. I hope that Lee is planning long term and has a good youth policy at work but in Flitcroft’s case perhaps it is just a matter of timing. One person wrote that had City been in the top six (what had the lad been drinking?) then the situation might not have arisen.

I am more troubled by what comes next. Perhaps it is being away too long from the UK but I relish the thought of good foreign players at Maine Road. But I do mean good and not fillers — and we have had quite a few of those over the years. Will we be able to hold on to Kinkladze or will he become just another player who used to play for City? Rösler seems loyal but perhaps because he is not as good as we first thought or hoped. What worries me here is buying foreign players based on cost and not based on ability. The return on investment is not very good when you do it that way.

If we do stay up (and as much as I hate to say this I am not convinced we will stay up — we have yet to put together a good series of results — even against poorer teams) then what do we do to prevent City becoming a Coventry or Southampton… always fighting relegation?

This is getting too depressing. I know we have all had this conversation before but the next few weeks are not just about the season but about a long term future.

The only light spot in the new few weeks is that a mate and his family are coming to stay with us for a few weeks and he supports Rochdale!

John Pearson, Stanford, California (john.pearson@Forsythe.Stanford.EDU)


IMHO Lee and AB were right to take the offer from Blackburn. I haven’t been watching Flipper for very long (last 2 seasons) but I reckon that at £3.5m we’ve done well as we can certainly play without him as well as we can with him, more or less – our midfield now generally runs games and only chronic striking and occasionally cavalier defending lets us down. Clough is a better attacking player than Flipper was and looks solid as well; Lomas and Brown have all the necessary grafting attributes and are always willing to have a go. Meanwhile, Mazzarelli and Phillips wait in the wings. Admittedly, it means we lose some strength in depth in the squad but the cash can be used to buy strength full stop for our attack.

Admittedly, it’s not quite as great as (say) selling Gerry Creaney to Juventus for £15m, but I reckon it’s a good deal for us and him – what say his England chances improve dramatically next year? Good luck to him.

The Kinkladze rumour (£7.5m to AC Milan) had the dampeners put on it pretty quickly, I heard on the radio that Lee had stated that he was on a “long term contract.” Does this mean that he has signed the extension which was rumoured a while back (something like “Two more years and I’ll double your wages”), or was it Lee bluffing? Nice touch about them being snooker buddies.

Curle should not be allowed to take any more penalties. This is not a new topic, I know, but the way in which the West Ham game seemed to hinge on his miss (which must have been incredibly demoralising for the team just on the stroke of half-time) was depressing. I was listening to the radio and knew we weren’t going to get it; lo and behold. the commentators felt the same way. After all Kinkladze’s done for us, surely we can give him the odd one-on-one? I don’t know Curle’s record exactly but the only two I can remember going in are QPR(h) last season which was a rebound and Wycombe(h) this season. Good grief.

Roly Allen (


There has been a plethora of opinions regarding our current forward line. Various comments and thoughts about what we need to do. We’ve got Rösler missing nearly everything recently, Quinn steps in and does the job, occasionally, Creaney who let’s be fair hasn’t had a fair crack of the whip; even though many think he’s sh*te, surely someone who’s got 4 goals in 5 appearances deserves a chance and now Kavelashvili the unknown quantity. Can we really expect a foreigner to settle in immediately and start banging in the goals? Look how long it took Gio to settle down.

Has anybody thought that maybe the source for the lack of goals is elsewhere on the park? How many times this season have we actually had two out and out strikers and a pair of widemen to supply them with the ammunition (didn’t Beagrie and Buzzer do that last season?). Recently it seems that AB has decided on a single striker with Gio or Cloughie (or whoever’s in their half at the time) trying to support. Why can’t we play Phillips and Buzzer as wingers instead of this nonsense wing-back crap? Why hasn’t Phillips been given more games, especially if AB rates him so highly? What we’ve been crying out for is width on the park, someone who fling in crosses, gives us an outlet. There have bean far too many games to count where everything is funnelled through the middle, it’s killing the game. The only time this seems to work is when Gio turns to genius mode and walks through defences; surely widemen would give the team a much needed extra dimension? Come on AB the curremt format just doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere and at the moment we need goals so let’s have the players that can supply the strikers with decent balls.

How about a 3-5-2 formation. Three defenders, 5 midfielders including two wingers and then two strikers. Let’s give the opposition something to worry about, we’ve gotta score goals to get us out of the crap we’re in!!!!

Martin Ford (


I’m sure we are all fed up of hearing about this subject but I have this to say. Some years ago, perhaps two or three, when he was captain of the U-21 he scored the winner in the final. The press reports had him as the next England captain (as they do everytime he scores!) and along with a certain Steve McManaman, Jamie Rednapp and Trevor Sinclair the future of English football i.e., Euro ’96. I’m afraid to say that while the others have made it, Garry hasn’t and as much as it hurts the decision to sell him was a good one. Mind you I thought buying Rocastle was a great deal!!

Brian Worrall (


Were we really surprised to see Flipper go? Reasons to be cheerful part 3:

  • The deal has been mooted all season and £3.2 million ain’t a bad price.
  • Wasn’t he the only one who didn’t sign a new contract at the start of the season? There’s loyalty for you.
  • After playing brilliantly (for the cameras) in the home match against Arsenal, for the rest of the season he’s been ineffective to say the least.

He may well go on to do the business for Blackburn, but in my opinion he’d run his course at City and I don’t think I was the only one doubting his commitment to the Blues. His brother went off to play for the Rags without so much as a goodbye. Did we get anywhere with our poaching appeal? The last I heard, AB had refused to play against them in ‘A’ or ‘B’ team youth matches.

I have two views about our chances of surviving the drop:

  1. If we carry on playing the sweeper system we will go down (not enough skill at the back to carry it off).
  2. If we revert to 4-4-2 and play Quinn with Kavelashvili (haven’t seen himbut 21 from 14 and the Platt Lane Correspondent’s initial reactions will dofor me) up front, we’ll stay up by a mile.

As I suspect Ball will opt for the former, it’ll be nail biting time to the death. Don’t forget your Season Tickets, the discount offer ends on Sunday 31st March! Book Early!

Ken Foster (


We should all be experienced enough now to know that it’s going to go right down to the wire. However, now we’ve got the Georgian Duo (take note Brian Clarke) on board we look set for a fight and a shot at 12th place!

Enjoy the ride, C-ya in Duke Of Gloucester for the derby victory,

Dave Clinton, (temporary) Toronto Blue (



Thanks to Geoff, John, Dave, The Mole, Tony, Paul (x), Martin, Brian, Ken, Liam, Graham, Rob & Neale.

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 #180