Newsletter #237

At last a real encouraging performance from the Blues, and in an away game as well! We’ve four match reports from Loftus Road, as well as several match views. In addition to these, there’s also a write-up of the first internet derby as well as the usual mix of articles.

This one reached 1050.

Next game, Reading away, Tuesday 15th October, 1996


QUEENS PARK RANGERS vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 12th October 1996

You will have to forgive me if I sound a bit euphoric or silly but this was a game to remember.

Another sunny day in Shepherd’s Bush, at Loftus Road, which is a ground I rather like. It may never aspire to compete with the big boys but it is a good compact ground for a nice piece of theatre, which is what we got today.

Arriving a bit early I thought that the travelling Blues were a bit thin on the ground but they arrived in force before the kick-off and our end behind one of the goals was packed – literally, because the seats are obviously designed for midgets. I kept my eyes open for any McVitees but how do you recognise them? I don’t know about T-shirts (not Autumn wear) but what about a lapel badge as well?

City kicked off with Brightwell returning in place of Ingram. The early play was mainly City with some neat football and there were a a couple of chances but as usual nothing really threatening. Then, as we have come to expect, a bit of pressure and we were two goals down, with the defence arguing with each other (Dibble and McGoldrick). Shades of last year’s fixture when we lost 1-0. The first goal resulted from Dibble rushing out to head a ball just outside the area (actually I thought he had anticipated well and I was just going to cheer him) – unfortunately the ball went straight to Sinclair who put it right back into the net from about 40 yards. It was probably quite a nice goal. It seemed to shake City and Dibble seemed to give little confidence to those in front of him. It wasn’t totally surprising when QPR scored again after a miskick by Symons(?) which fell to QPR – a quick one-two and the ball was in the net.

I thought the game might have been all over given the way we’ve played in most games. However, QPR aren’t too hot either and we pulled one back within 30 seconds. The ball was punted over from the left and Brightwell was up there to smash in a nice volley (half-volley?) that crashed in off the bar. Thereafter, the game degenerated into a bad tempered scrap with 5 bookings. I remember some nice Kinkladze dribbles and Rösler looking right out of touch (some dramatic dives when tackled) and little football at this stage. I could only think that Steve Coppell must be recognising the size of his problems!

The second half started in much the same way as the first with neat City play. We were denied a penalty as the ref missed a handball. Uwe got booked – deservedly. But gradually, a strange thing began to happen – it was continual City pressure with good football and chances coming regularly. Waves and waves of blue shirts. QPR seemed to have nothing left. They do have injury problems and a few youngsters in the team. The only thing missing for us was the killer punch. Dickov hit the post after a neat turn; Rösler hit the post after a positive run at last; Symons came up and hit the crossbar.

It seemed we were never going to score until you-know-who managed yet another dribble and chip over the ‘keeper only for a QPR player to handle on the line. An inevitable red card and Georgio put the penalty away with style. Kavelashvili came on for Dickov and looked sharp against a tiring defence.

I don’t think I can remember such a one-sided second half for a long time. City totally dominated and should have won by a mile. It would be tempting to think that the new management team have worked miracles but we need to keep a perspective. I believe this was quite a weak QPR team. However, even weak teams have been too good for us recently and there was much to give us optimism from this game. It is a long time since City fans were able to leave the ground with such confidence. Some player comments: McGoldrick looked classy, Dickov worked hard and caused problems, taking some physical punishment. Clough and Rösler looked right out of sorts at first (although in the second half nearly everyone looked like world beaters). Dibble does not appear good enough (can this be the man I saw in the Littlewoods Cup Final playing for Luton and denying Arsenal with great saves?). Kinkladze was out of this world when given the space he found in this game. Kavelashvili looked worth a starting place instead of Rösler.

Final score: 2-2.

The main thing to come out of this game is that we can actually look forward to the next one!

Peter Kewley (


QUEENS PARK RANGERS vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 12th October 1996

The day got off to a fairly good start in London, as by the time I arrived at the ground the City fans had already taken over the nearby pub, and were in good voice. Particularly one ‘Alan-Ball alike’ called ‘Pavo’ (after the opera star), who was conducting all the singing (the bloke had an amazing voice) and the atmosphere was great. The pre-match highlight was a look of disbelief/amazement from Steve Lomas as he witnessed the throng of City fans from the passing city coach. After a delayed start (for some reason, they didn’t let us in time) City looked ‘up for it’.

However, after a promising start, city looked shaky in midfield and the pressure could have been contained, except for some poor communication between defence and ‘keeper. So City duly let Sinclair have a chance of a 40 foot lob, which he took well. City were 2 down a few minutes later.

However, they were becoming increasingly combative in midfield, with Lomas in particular getting stuck in and showing the sort of aggression needed to stop City being ‘bullied’ out of the game. Brightwell scored a good goal within 2 minutes of the restart as City showed they had backbone. This effort was appreciated by the City fans, who were pleased to see some fight in the side and who had become increasingly vocal. At the half time whistle, City were turning it around and the feeling in the stands was very upbeat.

The second half started with a rousing ‘Steve Coppell’s blue and white army’ which went on and on and on… as the crowd tried to lift the team, which was now controlling the game. Kinkladze was becoming more dominant in the play, as was Clough who put a couple of dangerous passes through from midfield. All through the match however, there was a lot of ‘rough stuff’, with Dickov being man-handled continually. That is not to say he can’t look after himself, because he can… and then some… as the QPR defence found out 8-).

Anyway, City looked a different side and had about 3 good chances to score, mainly coming from the efforts and genius of Gio Kinkladze. Eventually, one of these efforts was handled in the goalmouth, and the penalty and red card awarded. Kinkladze put the chance away with style.

After this, City piled forward, Kavelashvili looking dangerous, as was Summerbee down the flanks. The difference in this performance was that City really went after the third goal, and were in total control with the 1 man advantage. Alas, the third goal didn’t happen but for once it wasn’t City hanging on to a draw like ‘grim death’.

The most important things about this game were;

  • City didn’t capitulate and did not allow themselves to be physically intimidated,
  • They played some good football.
  • They looked the fitter team at the end.
  • The City fans were right behind the team and management, even at 2 down!
  • There was a real feeling of optimism, based on all of the above factors.

If they keep up this work, we should not fear too many sides in this division, in my opinion 😎

Dan Manton (


QUEENS PARK RANGERS vs. MANCHESTER, Saturday 12th October 1996

The ticket, costing eleven quid, said ‘Partially Restricted View’; and it wasn’t lying. What it didn’t say was ‘Seat Impossible for Adult Human Being to Sit In’, being not only impossibly narrow but also having no space in front of it to put your legs. Like most of the other City fans, I stood firstly in front of it and then on it (not all of us on the same seat, of course).

Anyway, to the match. We seemed to be playing 1-3-4-2 with McGoldrick sweeping behind Wassall, Symons and Brightwell; Summerbee, Clough, Lomas and Kinkladze in midfield; and Dickov and Rösler up front. It all started smoothly enough, with City having the best of the possession; we should have gone ahead when Dickov was put clean through in the right-hand side of the area. He tried to take the ball round Sommer and fell over him; the penalty appeals looked a bit half-hearted from the far end of the ground. McGoldrick’s calming influence at the back was evident – and it was a shock when after 20 minutes he suddenly gifted the opposition a goal with a mistimed back-header. Dibble did well to beat the on-rushing QPR forward to the ball outside his area and head clear but the ball was volleyed back by Sinclair from about 50 yards straight into the top corner giving Dibs no chance to get back.

There followed an awful ten minutes of disarray similar to the Palace game. McGoldrick and Dibble had a screaming match when they left the ball to each other; McGoldrick finished up passing the ball past Dibble’s left hand, and he had to scramble back to hook it clear. Then Dibs, clearly unnerved by this, failed to call for a cross, leaving McGoldrick to head just wide of his own left-hand post – Symons had to separate them. Defenders were also slipping on the lush green pitch with worrying regularity; and McGoldrick fell over once too often as a harmless looking punt down the middle was headed on, leaving Murray unmarked to shoot past Dibble’s right hand.

We all feared another disaster but luckily QPR lost concentration, allowing us straight back into it. Lomas chased a hopeful ball down the left to the bye-line and looked to have been shepherded out of harm’s way towards the corner flag. Somehow he managed to turn and deliver a perfect left-foot cross to Brightwell, ten yards out and unmarked. His volley thundered against the underside of the bar, bounced down and up into the roof of the net before anybody had time to worry about whether it was over the line or not. City instantly recovered their poise; and Gio was beginning to boss the midfield from deep positions. One superb ball down the left touchline curled over Rösler’s left shoulder and fell right into his stride; if Hoddle had delivered it ten years ago we’d already have seen it replayed ad nauseam. Lomas was putting it about to great effect, giving Gio the protection he needs and at one stage goading what looked like the whole QPR team into throwing punches at him. We were unlucky not to be level by half-time as QPR somehow survived an almighty goalmouth scramble just before the whistle.

The second half was a wonder to behold as City launched attack after attack towards their own supporters. At first there were still some irritations – Clough had a terrible five minutes when he presented QPR with the ball three times in succession and then screwed a pass, unchallenged, into touch; Summerbee had the crowd on his back for continually failing to react quickly enough to what was happening around him. However, even they began to be caught up in what became a thriller, with Gio at his brilliant best. Everywhere he went, three or four defenders would gather round him and he would either skip through them all or thread the ball to a City player in space. Brightwell in particular was giving him support down the left; and the chances started to come thick and fast. Rösler had time and space on the edge of the box but sliced the shot well over; then Rösler again, at the far post, had his header back across goal obviously handled. When no penalty was given he sank to his knees and thumped the pitch in frustration – but was soon using his strength down the right (yes, really) to fire a shot against the near post. The rebound rolled across the goalmouth, Lomas hurled himself full length but was just beaten to it. Then Dickov, whose shirt had been in Ready’s hands all game, turned in the box and was clearly hauled down. As we all screamed for a penalty again, Dickov managed to get his shot in anyway; it bounced back off the post, the rebound hit Rösler on the hip and flew wide, and the referee gave – a corner! Next it was Summerbee popping up on the left and firing a shot just past the far post. A corner saw Symons’ header clip the top of the bar; and just as we began to think it would never come, Gio stormed into the box, left Ready for dead, re-enacted his Southampton shuffle to get Sommer to dive and chipped for the top corner. Impey palmed it round the post and not even this referee could fail to spot that one. Impey got the red card, Gio sent Sommer the wrong way from the penalty and the celebrations were heartfelt. City kept pressing for the winner but apart from a neat interchange between Gio and Kavi (who had replaced Dickov), we didn’t really come that close. Gio began to tire, giving the ball away a couple of times and setting up anxious-making QPR breakaways; and not many people apart from me were that sorry to hear the final whistle (I had us to win 3-2 at 25-1).

All the players came over to applaud the fans, who again had been superb – I’m still hoarse. It’s only one game, and QPR are a poor side – they’ll need to spend the Sinclair money wisely even to finish in mid-table on this performance. Even so, it’s a long time since I’ve seen City dominate a game so completely and look so full of invention and good football. Whisper it – they looked like promotion material.

Piers Pennington (


QUEENS PARK RANGERS vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 12th October 1996

“Stevie Coppell is a Blue”

Around 4,000 Blues made it to Loftus Road to see Steve Coppell’s first game in charge; they also saw the first outing for the new away kit and our first draw of the season, though this had looked very unlikely after half an hour. The only team changes from the Sheffield United game were the replacement of Ingram by the fit-again Brightwell and Symons back from suspension in place of Foster. The formation was thus:

  Wassall     Symons    Brightwell
Summerbee  Clough  Kinkladze  Lomas
         Dickov      Rösler

As with the game at Bramall Lane, City started the game brightly, passing the ball around and forcing a couple of early chances. After the first few minutes though we were back into the familiar mode of looking quite comfortable but unlikely to score. McGoldrick didn’t look as happy at the back as he has been and there were a couple of mix-ups between him and Dibble which were not the goalkeeper’s fault. After getting away with a couple of these, the next one led to the opening goal. McGoldrick’s headed back-pass dropped short of the penalty area and Dibble had to come charging out to head the ball clear. He got good distance on the clearance but unfortunately it went straight to Manchester-born Trevor Sinclair (whose name was booed when it was announced – he put in a transfer request last week) who volleyed the ball over everyone and into the top corner from fully 40 yards.

City tried to equalise straight away by shooting from the centre circle at the restart. The ball ended up just below the crossbar but Sommer in the Rangers’ goal was ready for it. The home side went 2-0 up on the half hour when Paul Murray took advantage of a slip by McGoldrick and confidently knocked the ball past Dibble. This time though City did manage a quick equaliser; Lomas retrieved a ball hit down the inside-left channel, turned smoothly and knocked it back over the goalkeeper to Brightwell, who volleyed the ball in off the bar from close range for his first goal in four seasons. From that moment on City were to dominate the match. Although we went in a goal down at half time, most of the Blues present thought we could get something from the game.

The second half saw most of the play taking place in the QPR half, with City attacking the end behind which we were located. Having the bulk of possession is nothing unusual but this time we carved out quite a few chances too. After dodgy first halves, McGoldrick and Clough came more into the game, though it was Lomas and Kinkladze who really shone. QPR had elected not to man-mark the Georgian and as a result he had the freedom to put on one of his virtuoso displays.

The chances kept coming but we kept missing them. Uwe had a great chance to score but screwed his shot from 15 yards wide whilst under little pressure and with the goal seemingly at his mercy. Dickov turned his marker who, not for the first time, pulled him back by the shirt but the little Scotsman managed to poke a shot wide of the goalkeeper and against the far post. Rösler hit the other post with a powerful shot from a tight angle; the ball bounced out towards the penalty spot but Brightwell, following up, couldn’t quite reach it before it was cleared. Symons clipped the top of the bar with a header from a corner and it looked as though the equaliser just wasn’t going to come.

Kavelashvili replaced Dickov and showed some neat combinations with his compatriot before Kinkladze set about getting the equaliser. Receiving the ball from Clough at the corner of the penalty area, Gio then jinked past two defenders to dart into the 18-yard box. He then dummied another defender and the goalkeeper before lofting a ball towards the top corner of the goal. Andy Impey stretched out an arm to palm the ball away and was sent off for his trouble. He was lucky to be on the pitch in the first place after throwing a punch at Lomas in the first half. Kinkladze took the penalty and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way. I’ve now seen him take three penalties for City and he’s put the ball in a different corner each time.

Having equalised after dominating the second period and now facing only 10 men, I was confident that we could go on to win the game in the remaining 9 minutes. It wasn’t to be though. At two goals down I’d have been happy with the draw but in the end I left feeling disappointed that we hadn’t taken the full three points. Nevertheless, there were some encouraging signs in this performance, most noticeably a fighting spirit and, at long last, a succession of chances created. Let’s just hope this isn’t a one-off performance like the Port Vale game.

Paul Howarth (


I’ve just returned from Loftus Road and the QPR match, so how did the team do?

  1. Two defensive cock-ups led to the QPR goals; as these were at theCity end we all had a good view – there were some atrocious backpasses which left Dibble wide open – on both occasions he saved, butleft the goals wide open.
  2. Apart from item 1 the defence were 100% better than at least thelast year; whenever QPR broke through there was a City playercovering.
  3. Midfield played well, Gio turned it on (although he tends to holdthe ball a little too long) and Clough was steady.
  4. The forwards ran with more energy than I have seen in ages.Rösler didn’t keep falling over and Dickov was hustling and bustling.
  5. The rules were changed for this game – punching a player does notget you sent off, pulling a player down in the box doesn’t get apenalty. Yes, the ref left a lot to be desired; QPR should have beendown to 10 men in the first half and some of the bookings wereplainly ridiculous.
  6. We hit the post twice.
  7. We won! It was the City fans who went home happy. This is atotally different team. Don’t forget we were playing a good (on paper)team.
  8. The boo merchants were at it again – IMHO, when that team take tothe park we should support them, not slag them off. Summerbee playedwell, putting in some good runs at defence, Clough was solid in themidfield, Frontzeck warmed up well for 90 minutes (taking theopportunity to glare at QPR defenders when needed – he frightens me).

I’ll be at Reading on Tuesday and I expect us to win; there is new heart in the team and an obvious improvement in the level of fitness.

I even met a fellow MCIVTA reader from Guilford I think – see you at Reading.

Andy Birkin (


I’m writing this with the chants still ringing in my ears after today’s game at QPR.

I won’t mention the first half except to wonder whether I am the only one to get nervous every time the ball goes anywhere near Dibble.

The second half started, and so did the City fans in the crowd; it was just the beginning of an incessant 50-55 minutes (there was a lot of injury time). I can honestly say that I have never heard Blues singing so loudly, and with so much pride before.

Suffice to say that QPR didn’t get a look in in the second half and I lost count of the number of times the woodwork stopped us from scoring. Just as I thought that it was going to be one of those afternoons, up pops Kinky in the area, who appeared to wait, and wait, and wait before placing his shot in the top corner for a certain goal (except we hadn’t counted on Impey blocking it with his hand). Penalty, Goal, and then it was just a matter of whether we would nick it in the final moments.

Alas, it wasn’t to be but I’m feeling chirpier about the possibiity of at least having a day out at Wembley come May (and I don’t mean the F.A. Cup).

P.S. I like the guy with a City shirt with 8 on it, with an ‘I’ over it and ‘UTD’ below it 😉

David Goodman (


Steve Coppell’s first game in charge was impressive. I arrived at kick-off time so I missed any Steve Coppell intro’ if there was one. As the game kicked off it was a case of same old City as a Sinclair lob from 45 yards hit the net and within 25 minutes of the game we were 2 down. Both silly mistakes. Lucky for us we pulled a goal straight back through great work on the wing by Lomas, a super cross for Brightwell to crash home. After this QPR didn’t have another shot as City out-classed them. First with Dickov hitting one post, then Rösler smacked a shot against the other. It wasn’t over yet as a super header from Symons hit the bar. City should have had one penalty just before Kinky dazzled the back four and lobbed the ‘keeper to find it being handled on the line. He stepped up and slotted the ball home to make it 2-2. The City fans never lost voice as always, with around 5,000 making the trip.

Team and ratings out of 10

Dibble 7
McGoldrick ?
Brightwell 8
Wassall 7
Symons 9
Summerbee 8 (Yes 8)
Lomas 8
Clough 6
Kinkladze 8
Dickov 8 (Kavelashvili 8)
Rösler 7

If anyone Knows Paverotti (Bally) from Middleton say thanks for the pre-match entertainment in the Pub outside Loftus Road.

Ross Young (c/o


Cardiff City have obtained a high court injunction to prevent Phil Neal taking up his post with City until a compensation deal has been sorted out. Cardiff are also set to make an official complaint to the F.A., claiming that Francis Lee made an illegal approach for Neal. Neal, who insists that Cardiff’s quarrel is with him, not City, is leaving things to the legal people.

The Mole


On Friday afternoon Cardiff City were awarded a high court injunction to prevent Phil Neal acting as City’s assistant manager and also forbidding Manchester City to use his services. Cardiff claim that City made an illegal approach to their manager and they hadn’t given permission for him to leave. The Blues’ lawyers set about the case on Friday evening and planned their detailed defence whilst the judge travelled between his Cardiff base and his holiday home in Aberystwyth. A 30-minute ‘phone call took place on Friday night – in which the Blues outlined their case – saw the judge lift the injunction, freeing Neal to join City for the game at Loftus Road. Bryan Bodek, for City’s lawyers, said that “Manchester City never offered to employ Phil Neal. The club employed Steve Coppell and agreed to employ anyone he chose as his assistant. He made the approach to Phil Neal. Phil Neal resigned from Cardiff City without any involvement from Manchester City whatsoever. That’s the way we had to play it. Otherwise we would have been in breach of regulations.”

(From reports on GMR and the Manchester Evening News Pink Final).

The Mole


City narrowly lost out on signing a third Georgian international, forward Georgi Nemsadze, this weekend. Nemsadze had starred with Georgi Kinkladze in his country’s narrow defeat against Italy midweek, and was en route to England to join City but received word at Frankfurt airport that a Turkish side had come in with a bigger offer. He changed planes, flew to Turkey and decided to join them. “We’ve been gazumped” said Francis Lee.

The Mole


In an attempt to resolve the compensation-for-Phil Neal situation with Cardiff City, City have offered to play the Bluebirds in a friendly at Ninian Park (I don’t fancy that much…) and also make a small cash settlement. If the clubs fail to agree, Cardiff will be able to re-apply for an injunction preventing Phil Neal working for City.

Steve Coppell has given the current squad four games to prove their worth, after which he’ll have decided which areas of the squad need strengthening and presumably who is surplus to requirements. That hasn’t stopped speculation that City are interested in Palace’s Bruce Dyer, Watford goalkeeper Kevin Miller and some French winger whose name I don’t recall.

Paul Howarth (


Neal has said that he wants to get rid of his reputation as a yes man. To do this he is going to wait until Coppell asks him “Should I play Frontzeck and Summerbee?” to which Neal will reply “Noo Boss. Bad idea boss.”… Reputation dispelled.

Thomas Rance (


(from a ‘Keeper’s eye view)

After all the hype and anticipation of the proposed internet derby it turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax. After all the worry about chasing a team up and getting the sufficient numbers (which I needn’t have been concerned about) the day was let down by a tiny appearance from the Rags. With kick off time fast approaching (14:00) and numerous Blues awaiting the game, we were greeted by the sight of only four Rags. So ‘The best supported club in the world’ ™ could only manage to supply four players. So with the abandonment of the match very much on the cards it was decided that we should do the honourable thing and give the Rags the remaining players.

The game eventually went ahead with the Rags team consisting of:

Kevin, Paul, Mark and Doug (actual Rags), Mick (Juventus), Rich (Leeds) (both mates of Joe Coogan), Jov (mate of Kevin McMeeking); then came the Blue volunteers (after some persuasion) Martin F (‘keeper), Paul H (floating), Ashley B (right side), Adam H (midfield).

The Internet Blues were in sufficient numbers to have a full team and subs from the remaining players, here is the squad:
Steve Walker, Gary Fones, Mark Hampson, Joe Coogan, Colin Surrey, Sam Al-Hamadi, Kevin McMeeking, Steve Bolton, Tony Hulme, Matt Varley, Jon Fielding, Paul Monaghan, Blue, Matthew Popplewell and mate (sorry didn’t catch your name).

(if I’ve missed anyone then I apologise)

The game was a fairly even first half but City did seem to produce the most chances. However, the Rags(?) team was always dangerous on the break although a well marshalled back four kept them at bay (except for some glaring misses by Adam H and Ashley B). The IB’s did create some good chances but the woodwork (Colin Surrey), some resolute defending and good goalkeeping (gotta give myself some credit ;-)))) what about that save from Matt?) managed to keep the Rags in the game. However, the IB’s did score following a corner; from the ensuing melée Joe (or was it Colin?) volleyed home. So City went into the break leading 1-0.

The IB’s decided to make some changes at half time and this seemed to alter the course of the game. The back four seemed all at sea and it wasn’t long before the deficiencies were profited from. Stand-in Rag striker Adam H carried the ball onto the edge of the box, before casually slotting the ball past Steve Walker. Oooops, just what had he done and as if apologising Adam went off (substituted?). The formation that had done so much to keep the Rags at bay was once more caught out when Paul Howarth scored to give the Rags the lead. So the two goals had both come from confirmed Blues. The IB’s stepped up the pressure but still nothing could beat the ‘in form’ psuedo Rags ‘keeper ;-)). Colin Surrey came closest to scoring but his shot was finger-tipped onto the post and it bounced out to safety (sorry Colin I’m claiming that save). As the pressure seemed to mount City were caught on the break again, Mick got the ball in the centre circle and played the ball through to Jov, who scored the third goal. This seemed like curtains for the Blues but just like the first team they managed to fight back.

Jon Fielding chased a through ball and rifled the ball into the bottom corner for once giving the ‘keeper no chance. Within two minutes the teams were level, this time Matt Varley’s shot managed to beat the defender on the line.

This proved to be the final action and the game finished all level.

So the final result was a 3-3 draw; the Blues must come out with the most credit, what with kindly supplying the rest of the Rags team and those players didn’t shirk the job at hand (even though we should have done!). But maybe three of us should hang our heads in shame, Paul and Adam for scoring and me for not letting in any feeble shots or making ‘accidental’ blunders!

Maybe next time we can face a real full Rags team and give them a proper thrashing! And next time they aren’t having any of our players.

Cheers to all those that turned up and I hope they all enjoyed themselves, well except for the score.

Martin ‘the red cat’ Ford (


A message to those unhappy with the appointment of an Ex-Rag.

The following short list of ex-City players who went on to be successful managers with lesser clubs:

Joe Fagan – Liverpool
Don Revie – Leeds United
Matt Busby – The Rags!

It is time that we we profited in the opposite direction. No problem.

Gary Hallsworth (


Let’s draw a line under Steve Coppell’s unfortunate past as a player and see his management of the Blues as an attempt to redeem himself. After all, few people remember that Matt Busby’s greatest footballing achievement was actually to be a star of the brilliant City team of the 1930s. Hopefully, once Coppell has turned things round, nobody will dwell on the past, after all he was a good player when he played for England.

Alan Whaites (


Good luck City. I used to stand on the United Road and watch Stevie zipping down that wing, I remember being on the verge of tears when he had to retire. I was also amazed he jacked it in when Palace were narrowly relegated, I reckon he thought he didn’t have the confidence of the players.

Anyway, for your martyred sakes, I hope Coppell’s arrival means better times. He is undoubtedly one of the most dignified (and clever) people in the game. He doesn’t need to take any s**t from some Jonny Foreigner who thinks the Brits should be grateful just to have him on the team sheet. His record as a boss is pretty damn good, he came within an inch of winning the FA cup and getting Fergie the sack (what a shame, giggle giggle). That narrow relegation was precipitated by Ron Noades saying that black guys have good physique, but they’re a bit thick (exit Messrs. Bright and Wright).

And for those of you who are reeling at the thought of an ex-Rags hero running the Blues, pull yer selves together before you explode with hate. We had a pretty successful manager once who used to play for City. Quite a few of you lot booed his minute’s silence as though he was some kind of mass murderer. If you do that to Coppell when you hit a bump. you will all go to football hell. Come back to football heaven City, and let’s hope you pass Leeds on the way up.

Yours, GloryHunter – Mark Lester (


Yes. That’s right. I agree with Steve Gaughan ( Nobody should be made manager of our dear club until we’ve spoken to his mum to check whether ‘The Dustbinmen’ was his fave telly programme and whether he really did go to reserves games. The screening should also include the compulsory showing of City players on Typhoo tea cards (the big colour ones, not just the little ones cut off the back of the box) and Texaco coins by all managerial candidates.

And in future: Why don’t we take a leaf out of the Rags’ book of cutting club running costs? We should check with Andrex to see if we can’t get our bog paper for nothing cos it must be such a privilege to wipe our arses.

Right. Cheers. Thanks a lot.

Matt Rayner (


Well at last 42 days, felt like years. even over here in the States it was news, 20 million in debt is that correct?

Anyway get behind Coppell and support him!

Tim Morgan “US Blues” (


I can’t see why people are complaining about Steve Coppell’s previous employers. Matt Busby went the other way and did ok.

Onwards and upwards.

Paul de Sousa (


The man called Roger Lee on (MCIVTA 236), says that he will be getting off the Swindon train for the Reading match on Wednesay! I can’t get through to his thingy but let’s hope he realises that if he gets off the train on Wednesday he will have missed the match!

Alison Prior (


For the last year I’ve been living in Paris, I attend all City’s Saturday home games (these I fly to) and Saturday away games when we play in or around London (for these occasions I take the Eurostar). I know City fans living in Paris who attend 1-5 games per season. Often though, I travel alone. Are there any City fans subscribing to these pages living in Paris, who would be interested in travelling to games? If so contact me on 45081134 or email me.

Stuart Reynolds (


Can anyone tell me if there are any regular match goers to Maine Road from anywhere in South Wales, particularly in the Cardiff and Newport regions? I hope to see more games at Maine Road but cannot afford to travel alone to Manchester. I would be very grateful if anybody could inform me of any groups of supporters who make the journey to Manchester, by coach or any other means.

Vaughan Mullins (


Full-time scores for Sunday, October 13 1996

PORT VALE               1-1    STOKE CITY

Full-time scores for Saturday, October 12 1996

BARNSLEY                0-0    CRYSTAL PALACE
READING                 1-1    GRIMSBY TOWN

Full-time score for Friday, October 11 1996


Up to and including Sunday, October 13 1996

Team                  Played   Won  Drawn Lost     For Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers        11      8     2     1      27    14        26
Norwich City            11      7     3     1      17     7        24
Barnsley                10      6     2     2      17    10        20
Tranmere Rovers         12      5     4     3      16    13        19
Crystal Palace          11      4     6     1      23    10        18
Wolverhampton Wanderers 12      5     3     4      16    13        18
Huddersfield Town       10      5     2     3      17    12        17
Stoke City              10      4     4     2      15    16        16
Ipswich Town            11      3     5     3      17    16        14
Sheffield United         9      4     2     3      16    12        14
West Bromwich Albion    10      3     5     2      14    13        14
Queens Park Rangers     12      3     5     4      14    16        14
Oxford United           11      4     2     5      13     9        14
Portsmouth              12      4     2     6      13    17        14
Swindon Town            11      4     2     5      12    13        14
MANCHESTER CITY         10      4     1     5      11    13        13
Port Vale               12      2     7     3      10    14        13
Grimsby Town            12      3     3     6      15    24        12
Birmingham City          9      3     3     3      11    10        12
Reading                 11      3     2     6      12    22        11
Southend United         12      2     5     5      12    23        11
Bradford City           12      3     2     7       9    19        11
Charlton Athletic        9      3     1     5       7    10        10
Oldham Athletic         12      1     3     8      12    20         6

Russell (
With thanks to Soccernet


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions: Adam –
Club Questions: Stephen –

Thanks to Mark, Alan, Thomas, Gary, The Mole, Matt, Dave, Tim, Peter, TheMole, Alison, Paul (x2), Stuart, Russell, Dan, Piers, Vaughan, Martin & Ross.

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 #237