Newsletter #217

Well it’s obviously the calm before the storm as there’s a dearth of “hard” football input this issue, and not even a “Why Blue” article. Julian Griffiths, a Research Assistant in the Dept. of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering at Loughborough University, has obviously been misusing the facilities to “persuade” his brother to have a change of mind. I wonder does his boss know what he’s up to? There’s a couple of match reports from Scarborough and some spirited defence of Keith Curle. It seems to me if he had defended as well himself he’d be playing for England now!

Incidentally I saw Chelsea playing the Umbro Cup games and they must be worth an each way bet for something this year (saw it on my new satellite system that my wife hasn’t managed to pry off the roof yet!). OK, the “dog days” are almost over and Ashley will be back in charge in a week’s time; keep sending the news, views, rumours, stories etc. to me until then.

Next game: Exeter City (away), Thursday 8th August, 7:30pm


In MCIVTA 214, Martin commented on Michael Brown’s low score for “Ball Skills” on the notice he found pinned to the wall at Manchester University’s sports grounds, where some of City’s pre-season training took place. Ashley suggested that a low score might be better than a high score but I have now found an alternative explanation: there are two Michael Browns at the club. One is the first-teamer we all know and the other is the youth team’s goalkeeper. His ball skills might not be up to much but I’m told he’s a very good prospect as a goalkeeper. Perhaps the Platt Lane Correspondent could give us his views of him?

Paul Howarth (


On Tuesday August 13th between 2:30 and 6:00pm, Man City will open their doors to fans by hosting an informal open day. Supporters can meet with representatives from every department within the club who will gladly answer questions about any of City’s activities. The players will also be present throughout the afternoon signing autographs and posing for photos whilst souvenirs and refreshments will be available from the usual outlets.

Mark Burgess (


The unexpected bonus of Man City playing an extra friendly proved too much to resist and so we set off to the coast following the club’s directions – take the A64 and then left at Do-It-All. The ground itself is neatly tucked away behind some houses, so that it is almost unnoticeable from the main road. We arrived at 2:00, just in time to see the team coach arrive and the team enter, after stopping to squiggle a few autographs.

As they took to the pitch we discovered Alan Ball’s new tactical approach for the season ahead, a back three, with a five man midfield and two up front. At kick off they formed thusly:

	Brightwell	Symons      Frontzeck
		  Lomas       Clough
	Summerbee     Kinkladze	    Phillips
	      Kavelashvili      Rösler

The game started off as it was set to continue – at walking pace. It was interesting to see how the back three worked, quite nicely, with Lomas tracking runners back and filling in as an extra defender at times, although we failed to cover when there were extra runners. This may be caused by the fact that both Clough and Kinkladze don’t really like to defend. Lomas and Brown may be a better pairing.

Ther wasn’t too much excitement in the game for the first half, a couple of good chances to either side – for City Uwe should have done better with what was almost heading practice, Boro’s best chance falling to player coach and scum old boy Andy Ritchie.

The half time was quite fun with the City subs, Quinn, Brown, Greenacre, Creaney, and Margetson coming to our end for some shooting practice. Gerry in particular endeared himself to the fans; he may not have shone last season but he could be a good bloke to have around the club – remember he has scored at around twenty goals a season at this level, and he seems to make everyone laugh, the man to create a good atmosphere.

Quinny came on for Kavelashvili at the start of the second half but the first action came from the other end when Andy Ritchie ran through from deep – see above – to score for Boro.

However, more City subs came on: Greenacre for Rösler, Brown for Clough, and Creaney for Summerbee. The pace upped slightly and City started to look better all round, more solid in defence and more likely to score. This they did when Brown cut in from the right and was brought down for a penalty. Up stepped Niall, but Gio took over and buried it. Good penalty taker, we could have done with that last season.

City then took the lead when Niall put a nice header under the keeper, and City looked all set for an easy win.

Boro earned a draw due to another penalty: Frontzeck bustled a defender, almost no more than leading him away from goal, and the referee pointed to the spot, another unjust penalty awarded against the German – is it becoming a habit?

That was pretty much it. Honourable mentions go to Niall Quinn (who looked top class, how can we even think of selling him?), Michael Brown, Chris Greenacre and Gerry Creaney. Best Scarborough player was Ian Ironside, the goalie, who the City end adopted as one of our own in the second half.

Best player’s name award goes to the Scarborough No.5 – Jason Rockett. Honestly.

S Al-Hamdani (


SCARBOROUGH vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 3rd August 1996

This was the only pre-season game I expect to be able to get to this season, so the numerous hold-ups due to traffic congestion that were experienced en route through the Yorkshire countryside were particularly unwelcome. Thankfully we arrived at the McCain Stadium with half an hour to spare and were able to experience the public address announcer’s rather comical attempts at pronouncing the names of some of our players. I’m sure he’ll not be the only one to struggle this coming season though. Since my last visit to the ground about three years ago the away end (which used to be an open terrace with only one toilet to serve the needs of everybody on it) has been completely replaced with a comfortable, tidy stand featuring a cantilever roof, good views and decent refreshment and toilet facilities. It was clear that most of the seats in this stand hadn’t been used for some time judging by the dust and cobwebs on them.

Many of the City fans present (there were several hundred there, but less than a thousand) were wearing the new away shirt, so it looks like it’s going to be popular despite the criticism aimed at the design by many of us. Before the game many of the City players had a spot of finishing practice, trying to score from crosses floated in by Tony Book, with Martyn Margetson in goal. As was the case last season, some very poor finishing was evident and this was to continue into the game itself. The pick of the bunch in this warm-up session were Chris Greenacre and Alan Kernaghan!

Eventually the teams came out and the game started. City lined up with Immel in goal, three at the back (Brightwell on the right, Frontzeck on the left and Symons in the middle), Clough just in front of the back three, Phillips wide on the left, Summerbee wide on the right, Lomas and Kinkladze in the middle and R