Newsletter #238

Well, the honeymoon is over; after a good performance last Saturday, City were back to their old ways with an appalling performance a mere 3 days later. Looking on the postive side, at least this means that Coppell will be able to make a realistic assessment of the team. He was on GMR yesterday saying that ideas were already gelling and that they would be concrete within the next few games. He was making ominous sounding noises about the squad, so we may well be unloading several players and seeing some new blood in the next few weeks.

We have three match views and opinion on the current situation.

Next game, Norwich City at home, Saturday 19th October 1996


As I hadn’t been to a game for a while, I thought I’d go to Reading and try to do a match report. However, due to lots of tears coursing down my face, I can barely see the screen. The reason for my grief? Yes, you all know – City were appalling, crap, disgraceful, embarrassing, Sunday League, on strings, playing in a different league and generally upsetting their loyal fans to the nth degree. I can’t even say that one player played well – Gio was reasonable, but never given enough rope, everyone else was crap. Brightwell didn’t seem to realise that tackles were OK in a game of football and just pansied about at the back trying to put the opposition off with fancy leg and arm movements, Dibble defied all description. He looked like a jelly man. As for Summerbee and Clough, well I rest my case. The ref was crap as well, awarding City about two free kicks throughout the entire match and ignoring dodgy challenges. The same went for the female ref’s assistant, who got some amusing abuse. I was quite impressed by Reading’s small band of supporters. Their wind up songs had more than a grain of truth about them – “You’re going down again” being the highlight. The tragedy for me though is that I love City to bits and will continue to do so, even if they eventually end up in the third division (I might have a problem if they become Vauxhall Conference material).

Anyway, I am alarmed to see that the Swindon match is only two and a half weeks away, which is when I’m going to see City again, and I need to rustle up some cash and dig deep for a new voice, in order that I can cheer the Blues on again. One thing did suprise me last night – you could have heard a pin drop in the City end during the second half – I thought we were all supposed to be behind the team? OK, they did try our patience somewhat last night. Norwich beckon on Saturday – maybe I should leave the country for a while!

If anyone would like to meet up for the Swindon match, please let me know as I cannot now persaude my non-City mates to come with me after last night’s débâcle and I don’t want to be sad on my own!

Final score: 0-2

Alison Prior (


On the plus side…

It didn’t rain. We got to stand. It only cost 8 quid. I won 8 quid on the trivia machine afterwards. I saw my first female official at a league game. I didn’t miss the train home. The beer was OK. Errr, that’s it.

On the minus side… How long have you got?

A performance as bad as the one at Palace with the only consolation being that Reading are not a good side and hence didn’t put 4 or 5 past us. Clough, Summerbee and Rösler were all worse than useless and out of the rest only Gio or Lomas can emerge with some praise. Kave again looked useful when he came on but it was too late by then. Oh, and Fonzy came on as a sub when we were 1-0 down. What?!?

The referee was a disgrace. At least he knew the difference between a corner and a goal kick – unlike the one at QPR – but he booked several of our players for being fouled and sent Lomas off for nothing. Ceefax said it was a two-footed challenge; from where I stood it looked like he got to the ball and put it out for a throw-in. The Reading faithful were as suprised as us at the decision. I thought maybe he had stamped on the player. And there was a strange incident where Reading kicked the ball out to get attention for a player who was faking an injury. City, quite rightly, played the ball to keep it from the throw-in. When the ball was passed into an attacking position, the referee blew up for a foul when no-one had touched the ball. Incompetent Fool.

Without a roof to magnify our shouts, our away following was strangely quiet. I think the quality of the football and lack of passion from City might have had something to do about it as well. The Elm Park crew mocked us all night and they were right to do so. Their ground is a dump though.

Steve Coppell now has (I hope) a much clearer picture of the problems in front of him. I doubt he will have slept very well last night. Our away record is now W1 D1 L5 from 7 away games. Not good enough full stop. We have only played 4 home games and our home form should see us clear of relegation but that is not good enough full bloody stop.

<FX: steam coming from ears>
Glad to get that out of my system.

On another tack, I saw the second half of the Boro vs. Sunderland game on Monday night and it was like watching a timewarp with Sunderland playing exactly the way we used to when Reidy was in charge. Won’t get them very far, I can assure them.

James Nash (


In my write up I wrote about the QPR game I said this is a different team and clearly it was – I suspect it was some lookalikes from some squalid bar in London. The Team that turned out for the Reading match were the good old dependable MCFC.

Reading were not the greatest team, their passing was often inept and their general play pathetic, yet they managed to run rings round City.

Team and scores:

Dibble – I nearly had a heart attack every time someone kicked the ball back to him – 5
Brightwell – Didn’t play as well as the QPR match but put in a reasonable performance – 6
Eddie McGoldrick – Does not get on with Dibble (another shouting match), put in some terrible passes but worked hard – 6
Lomas – Played his heart out but got sent off for being in possession of short red hair – 7
Symons – Played a reasonable game but not outstanding – 7
Wassall – To be honest I didn’t notice him too much – 6
Summerbee – Boo boys at it again – he tried but started beating defenders and then going back to give them another go. Passing was terrible at times; perhaps he has no confidence? – 6
Clough – Another target of the boo boys but put in a reasonable performance; again the passing was a weak point – 6
Dickov – 100% commitment, lots of running and bustling but didn’t really achieve much – 7
Kinkladze – Playing quite far back in midfield, he is a lot better running at the defence than playing in this position – the Sun has him to go to Italy so it could be his last game? – 7
Rösler – Still loved by the fans, playing out on the wing trying to beat players which he is not very good at. Let’s face it he has not scored consistently (has anyone?) and I feel his days are numbered – 7
Frontzeck – Came on as sub playing on the wing! Made some good runs but really he hasn’t got it – 6
Kavelashvili – came on as sub too late to make an impression – I think he needs a run in the team (perhaps replacing Dickov) – 6

We have problems in defence, midfield and forward and need some new players or bring in some of our ‘resting’ ones. I am only able to get to Southern games and would like to see the team win one day – my son came away from QPR saying it was the best game he has been to. On Tuesday night he was totally depressed, we should have run rings round Reading but seemed to have lost all of the skills on show on Saturday. Every player was guilty and things need to improve rapidly if we are to get to the play offs – relegation is a distinct possibility the way we are playing.

See you at Southend.

Andy Birkin (


The result of the PFA strike ballot over television money will be announced on Saturday morning; early indications suggest that a strike will indeed be called. City’s game with Wolves next week could be one of the first casualties.

Nottingham Forest manager Frank Clarke has once again denied reports linking Forest with a £500,000 bid for Nigel Clough as player/coach. “Even if I was interested, our current financial situation would have prevented it,” said Clarke.

Paul Howarth (


How about us Altrincham fans challenging your MCIVTA team to a game? Watch out though… we’ve got a good giant-killing pedigree! 🙂 Seriously though, I reckon I could raise a team between the Alty mailing list (all 12 of us) and some mates who go to watch the Robins (no jokes about more players than fans please!).

Could you include a call for interest in the next MCIVTA?

Paul Burton (

I’ve sent this mail to Martin Ford: however, if there are any Altrincham fans out there who’d be interested, then make yourself known to Paul.



Just saw an advert on Teletext for one of the Clubcall lines. The message was “Ed desperate to stay”.

Would that be Mister Ed? Or one of the other horses or donkeys that litter the Academy? :}

James Nash (


Thanks to all who emailed me. I will be getting off the train at Reading tonight (Tuesday).

Thanks – Roger Lee (


There was an interesting, and rather sad, article in the electronic Times of today (October 14 – I think) about Paul Moulden and how he never really managed to live up to his potential. I must say he has a very good attitude about what happened.

It is encouraging to see the rising spirits after the QPR game. I agree with all those who say let’s give this lad a chance as manager. To be honest I didn’t think we would do as well, given the reputation this club has with its revolving door. I don’t care who he used to play for – last year we are all talking about Brian Kidd as possible manager and, even though he played for City, he really is a Red at heart. As long as Mr. Coppell does not sign Gordon Hill we might be ok! And I think he is right to insist that the Rags are at a different level – we need to aim high and realize what is ahead and understand just what that other team have managed in the past decade. if them why not us should be our motto.

Keep the news coming. I can feel the Inter Toto cup or some such thing beckoning… now it is home to watch Middlesbrough versus Sunderland in what is sure to be a game of refinement, touch, friendship and devil may care attitudes.

John Pearson (


I would just like to say that whatever manager we have, we should always get behind him with our support, as there’s nothing worse than deminishing a team’s confidence by having a go at the manager.

I think he’s a good choice and hopefully we can now look forward to a bright future with a long term manager (having seen 8 new managers, I think, in 10 years).

CM Watson (


I just read a series of postings in Blue View (regarding Dibble and others) criticising the team’s performance on Saturday. I didn’t see the game as I live in the US, but it seems to me that a 2-2 draw is a creditable result on the day. For the first time in a long time the Blues showed the kind of spirit needed to escape from this miserable division in which we find ourselves. For supposed Blues supporters to make carping criticisms over individual players at this stage is unfortunate. From what I can gather every player played above recent levels of performance. Why don’t we wait and see how the next few games play out before we start baying for blood (hopefully we won’t do it even then)?

It was an encouraging start. With a motivated team with a new level of fitness we might, just might, be able to effectively compete in this division. If the Coppell regime bears fruit who knows we might even get back to where we would like to belong.

Mike Edwards (


Here are my considered succinct thoughts after QPR and Reading :-

  1. SC has got what it takes. The contrast between the second and first halfperformances at Loftus Road indicate that.
  2. There are only five players worth his keeping : Symons, Lomas, Kinkladze,Kavelashvili and McGoldrick. The rest, especially Summerbee, Rösler, Dibble,Clough, Wassall, Brightwell (despite a nicely taken goal) must go sooner orlater. Especially Summerbee.
  3. This is going to be a long haul.

Jonathan Seitler (


A few thoughts on last night cos I don’t have the time for a full match report. Nice to see that City have make Stevie’s ‘Honeymoon’ period short and sweet, we don’t want to get our expectations up too much. We’ll be lucky to hit the play-offs this year, and frankly there’s no point in going up until we are ready to compete on a long term basis. Anyway to Reading’s rosy cheeked optimists! We were pretty dire and for the first time in ages this applies to the fans as well. After the fine display at QPR the vocal support was minimal and the Blues seemed out of sorts. We played OK in patches but never really threatened much. We all know Coppell needs to shake things up a bit, but bringing on Frontzeck shook everyone up a little too much! For what my opinion is worth I think he needs to lose Summerbee (will he ever look committed?), Clough and Rösler. Clough just can’t seem to get to grips with the game; if we are going to play Gio then we need strong players around him to cover his lack of tackling, and while Lomas seems capable, Clough doesn’t; he used to be a playmaker but seems sadly lacking these days. As for Uwe, if other clubs are after him then maybe we should cash in. I love him for what he’s done for the club but I think a change could be good for us and him. Surely it’s time Kav had a decent run in the team, he looks sharp, energetic and committed so let’s give him a proper run instead of 10 minutes here and there. The defence will get better I think with time, but we need Dibble and McGoldrick to stop bickering. To give Reading their due I thought they coped with Gio really well (unfortunately) and did what most sides in this division do well which is compress the space and close down players on the ball. We don’t seem very keen on this and gave them far too much space and time in midfield.

The other thing we thought as we drove home was what sort of team could we make from former Blues in the premiership. This is how far we got:

  1. Coton
  2. Hinchcliffe
  3. Phelan
  4. Flitcroft
  5. Hendry
  6. Barrett
  7. Bishop
  8. Stewart
  9. Quinn
  10. Warhurst
  11. Hughes

It’s a little unbalanced but then we are generally.

Keeping the faith. Take care, Jim Parsons (


At QPR – Fantastic game, especially as I sat around the corner from the end on bigger seats!

Fans – Fantastic, singing almost all game.

At Reading – S****e shed as a ground, s***e performance, no singing apart from 10-15 fans.

What a difference in 4 days.

Simon Cox (


Reading 2 City 0. That’s the sixth loss of the season. By my reckoning City can’t afford to lose any more games this season if they want to get promoted. Anyone out there believe in miracles? I don’t. I think we’re looking at spending this and next season in Division 1. I bet we’ll start hearing noises from Coppell about how promotion “is a long term goal” and “the fans shouldn’t expect immediate results” etc.

Oh and we can also kiss goodbye to Kinky. His loyalty to the Blues won’t extend beyond this season and we shouldn’t expect a player of his talent to have to put up with Division 1 football when he could easily be on a much bigger stage.

Stay Blue, George Larcos (


Any Blues out there living in the USA? If yes, get in contact with me at my web address.

Tim Morgan “US Blues” (


Will appear next issue.


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

Thanks to Mike, Tim, John, Roger, Paul, CM, Alison, James, Jonathan, Jim, Simon, Andy & George.

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 #238