Newsletter #239

A dream weekend – well almost anyway! We’ve a couple of match reports and views and a very interesting, if not a little depressing article based on an interview with Kinky which appeared in a Russian newspaper.

It’s also time to choose an MCIVTA T-shirt design; please take a look at them and then mail Ken Foster with your choice (see below).

Lastly, anyone out there like to do a Why Blue? Seems ages since we last had one – all are welcome.

Next game, Wolverhampton Wanderers at home, Sunday 27th October, 1996


READING vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Tuesday 15th October 1996

They’re a strange bunch, Reading fans. It’s a Tuesday night in October, we’ve sold our entire allocation of tickets and swelled the crowd to 11,724 (that’s 3,000 more than their average so far this season) and yet they have the nerve to chant “Is that all you take away?”! Not only that but they maintain that quaint old custom of yelling “You’re s**t… aargh” when a goal kick is taken, something that went out of fashion several years ago everywhere else. Maybe they’ll join the rest of us in the nineties when they move to their new £30 million, 25,000-seat stadium 18 months hence.

Outside the ground a couple of guys from the Georgian embassy were waiting to chat to Gio and Kave as they got off the team coach. Once again Kave had to sit out most of the match as City started with the same side that played at QPR on Saturday. After that second half performance I was confident that we’d be returning home with three points; I really should know better after watching City for all these years.

Right from the start it looked more like the City of Alan Ball’s reign. Little movement up front, scant support for the forward players from midfield, no crosses from the flanks, just a lot of passing the ball around in midfield interspersed with defensive panic situations. Eddie McGoldrick’s future at City looks like being a short one if Steve Coppell bases his decision on his last two performances; on more than one occasion sloppy passing gave Reading good chances which fortunately were spurned.

Reading’s approach was different, more entertaining and more effective. They would run directly at City’s defence, get the ball forward quickly and try to exploit the pace of Gilkes against our sloth-like defenders. The opening goal came ten minutes from half time following a good run by James Lambert after Dickov had given the ball away. On reaching the edge of the penalty area, the ball was poked through for Lee Nogan to score with a low, angled drive that seemed to pass under Dibble’s outstretched hand. Nogan had a chance of a second with a race against Wassall but the City man managed to knock the ball back to Dibble. Nogan then fell over and Reading were awarded a free kick! Not the only debatable decision Mr. Pierce would make.

At half time I was still optimistic that we could recover and go on to win the game. However, things got worse rather than better in the second half. City got more and more disorganised and at one point Gio was left as the only City player chasing back after Gilkes on a quick break. The Georgian hit Gilkes with a solid shoulder charge and was booked.

Another quick break by Gilkes resulted in Reading’s second goal. He scampered down the left wing, cut inside and then squared the ball past Dibble for Nogan to tap into the empty goal. With City clearly needing something to change up front, Michael Frontzeck came on in place as Nicky Summerbee. Actually, this wasn’t as daft a move as it might sound. Frontzeck played as a sort of left wing-back and McGoldrick moved out to the right wing in an attempt to provide a supply for the forwards. Soon afterwards Kavelashvili came on in place of Dickov. The midfield started to support the forwards a bit more and City did carve out a few chances but it was too little, too late.

With about 10 minutes to go, Steve Lomas put in a hard challenge on Phil Parkinson, won the ball, got up, ran a few steps with the ball and was then sent off. At first I thought it was for a two-footed challenge (like the one Dibble got sent off for at QPR a couple of years ago) but it seems that it was for stamping. I didn’t see a stamp but I’d have to say the referee was much nearer the incident than I was.

So, honeymoon over. City are now perilously close to the relegation zone and Steve Coppell will now have a much better idea of the size of the task ahead of him. City were poor (though not as poor as we were earlier in the season) and were well beaten by a very ordinary Reading side. Clough had another poor game, misplacing passes and not getting forward in support of the front pair, neither Rösler nor Dickov looked at all like scoring and our ponderous build-up gives ample time for teams to defend in depth. Summerbee was withdrawn after having virtually no success against Paul Bodin; I wonder if Coppell will now drop him?

City’s best players were Gio (again), though it wasn’t one of his better performances, Ian Brightwell (who was solid and tried to support whenever he could from his defensive role) and Steve Lomas, who despite his sending-off, showed some good touches, plenty of commitment and solid tackling.

Things must change. Quickly.

Paul Howarth (



Saturday 19th October, 1996
Dawn of a new era?

After the managerial circus, SC’s first home match was more a case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’.

Introduced to the crowd with a minimum of fuss, the new manager sat out of the spotlight in the directors’ box. The same could not be said of Phil Neal, however, who spent much of the first half stood exhorting his instructions from the touchline.

For the first 20 minutes Norwich were sublime, with a quick one touch passing game and some genuine pace in the form of Eadie and O’Neill. Dibble looked a little unconvincing in his judgement of when to make a claim for the ball but kept us in the game with a couple of good saves. After we settled, the defence began to look a little bit more solid and we started to make inroads into the Norwich half. Dickov and Uwe looked sharp (yes, the extra training is paying off already) but our goal came from a good break by Summerbee who picked out Clough in an acre of space who took an eternity to shoot and was fortunate to see the ball go in off a defender.

I thought City controlled the game comfortably in the early stages of the second half, without ever looking as though we were completely dominating proceedings. A second goal deservedly went to Dickov whose pursuit of lost causes paid off when a defensive lapse let him in for a one on one and a delicate chip over Gunn into the corner.

City sat back and although Norwich had most of the play, they never looked like scoring against a defence which looked more commanding by the minute. Something was definitely wrong, City were cruising to a comfortable win. My thoughts must have telepathically found their way into the players’ conscience because a horrendous mix up at the back saw Norwich score and condemned us to the usual fingernail biting climax. Nevertheless, we held on and I think it’s fair to say that I was optimistic again for the first time in ages.

A few minor beefs:

The programme informed us that development was underway on the 2 empty corners and that a scoreboard would be situated in each. I hope they hurry up because Windy Corner was beginning to feel a bit Siberian.

Although we had over 28,000 fans at the game, it sounded like a home match for Norwich. I was particularly impressed with their anthem ‘On the ball City’ which started off with a sort of Barbershop quartet feel before developing into a full choral masterpiece. Although the Norwich fans’ chant of ‘Worst support we’ve ever seen’ was a bit harsh, I could see their point.

Having read Bryan Brett’s report in the MUEN, I think he must have been at a different match as he had City all over Norwich for the first 30 minutes!

The booing of Clough and Summerbee at the start was childish and pointless.

Our reputation of being a humorous and innovative set of fans certainly isn’t showing itself at home games.

Dibble (7) Some good saves. This man needs a goalkeeping coach.
Brightwell (6) Looked a little lethargic at times.
Wassall (7) Impressive. Tried a couple of inadvised dribbles on the edge of his own box.
McGoldrick (7) Shaky start. Made a point of letting every City fan in the stadium know that he is going to die (metaphorically) for the cause, after the final whistle.
Symons (7) Dependable as ever.
Summerbee (8) A revelation. Coppell must be putting something in his tea.
Kinkladze (7) Our luxury player doesn’t get involved enough.
Lomas (6) Hard working. Close control let him down.
Clough (7) After reading the match reports from QPR and Reading, I was quite surprised to hear SC say that Clough had been a ‘Rock’ for him in midfield during his 3 games in charge.
Rösler (8) A revelation. Coppell must be putting something in his tea.
Dickov (7) Busy and linked quite well with Rösler.

Ken Foster (


This view was going to be optimistic but after the pleasure of actually seeing a win had died down, I realised that it wasn’t so good after all. Formation? Was it 5-3-2? It didn’t really work anyway. Norwich did not play well and, especially after going 2-0 down became very physical and we didn’t want to compete with this. City played no better than OK but either Norwich played s***e or they are a very ordinary team. Work on movement is required, giving the man on the ball more than half or one option, and I think Phillips should be playing instead of Summerbee for starters. Having said this I didn’t think Norwich deserved a point and, even if both our goals had an element of luck we created more chances overall and their goal was lucky as it should have been cleared ages before. A view on the players:

Dibble: Appeared reasonably competent (not that we shouldn’t be looking for a replacement), with some good distribution from throws. I didn’t panic every time a shot was fired at him. 6
Brightwell: Tackled solidly but didn’t know when to go forward so City lacked width. 6
Symons: Didn’t really notice him, quite solid. 6
Wassall: Played really well, good tackling. Unfortunately could not communicate with Dibble in the slightest. 7
McGoldrick: Again unremarkable although I didn’t see him screaming at Dibble as seems to have been the case before. Again clapped the crowd at the end. 6
Summerbee: Not suprised in the slightest that he’s a target of the boo boys. If he showed the tiniest effort to get back or at least look like he wanted to play then maybe they’d get off his back. However, didn’t seem as awful as he’s been painted in other games this season (but still not good enough). 4/5
Kinkladze: Some nice touches and runs, easily the best player on the park but had the s**t kicked out of him and the ref didn’t care. Even let play go on when he was too injured to continue playing. He’ll be here to the end of the season at the very latest. 7
Lomas: Got better as the game went on. He might not be all that skilful but at least he tries. 6
Clough: The paper I read today said he got through ‘a prodigious amount of work.’ I think that’s bollocks and so was he. I first saw him make a tackle about 4:15 and his only significant touch in the first half was the goal. Noticeably hardly cheered before kick off. 4 (but only because he scored)
Rösler: I’d never noticed how slow he was before, surely he’s got slower recently? Often offside but put in some good work when he actually moved. 5
Dickov: Ran his heart out again, battled for everything, even balls a couple of feet above his head. What is the point of doing this? Summerbee in particular was guilty of it. Well taken goal. 7

A win is a win but Coppell still has much work to do. The corners in particular deserve a special mention. Gunn might as well have had a goal kick as every one went straight into his hands. You’d have thought after the first 3 the tactic might change but intelligence on the field was sadly lacking. I hope they’ve changed by next Sunday.

Thomas Bodey (


I had a less than optimistic feeling about this game but in the end, it’s beginning to dawn on me that most of the teams in this division are pretty crap, including the high-flyers, and if we pull our collective fingers out we can easily end up winning games.

It was the same team that was so disappointingly beaten by Reading, I’d rather hoped to see Kave in the side – he’s just in a different class to Rösler. Anyway, it wasn’t to be. Norwich started out as though they thought they’d score with ease but luckily City’s defence held solid despite some very fast breaks. Things looked a little ominous, especially as our midfield appeared to have gone AWOL, Clough in particular who I swear didn’t touch the ball for fully 20 minutes! Suddenly though, City started to put it together, with Lomas and Summerbee linking well down the left-hand side. City had a succession of corners, I think seven in all. The ball was repeatedly aimed for the near post, to be flicked on by Bobby Brightwell so Paul reckoned. This ploy floundered though as Gunn came for every ball. It took a while to dawn on me that Gunn was clearing his own path to the ball and amazingly, after about the fifth one, the ref blew for a foul on the goalie! A minute later and he’d changed his mind as for two corners in succession Gunn came and fell and the ref waved play on. Curious indeed.

Norwich began to look increasingly nervous at the back as we opened them up continually; a lovely move saw Lomas (I think) pick out Clough in acres of space at the corner of the box. He really had an immense amount of time but let the ball run away from him and into the path of an onrushing defender. Incredibly, just like Shearer’s goal last season only a little nearer the goal, the defender’s outstretched boot only succeeded in deflecting Clough’s hard effort beyond Gunn’s hand into the top corner.

Norwich were getting increasingly physical as they attempted to stop City. The second half started with Norwich on the attack but the longer the game went on the less likely they looked to score, with the City back four quite dominant. Wassall played well but he does look ponderous on the ball sometimes. A through ball from Buzzer (I think) flew over the left back who tried to control it only for the ‘never say die’ Dickov to nip in, steal the ball, and deftly lob the advancing Gunn. A really good finish and was he pleased!

The game then degenerated as Norwich decided to kick their way back into it. Things started to get ugly with McGoldrick taking a particularly nasty challenge as the left back left his foot in when he crossed. Kinky was also taking some hammer and in particular from Fleck. He dropped him on the Kippax touchline, Kinky got up, received the freekick, waltzed up to Fleck, rounded him like he wasn’t there and set off for the box with Fleck in hot pursuit. Fleck seemed to lose his head and chopped Kinky down for the second time in 20 seconds – no yellow card! Fleck was also involved in a curious incident when the ball was sent out for a throw-in where it was side-footed away by Kave who was warming up. In ran Fleck to push Kave over with both hands. He then picked up the ball to take the throw-in but Kave marched back up to him and handed him some of his own medicine – cue melée, result: no yellow cards!

City had several golden opportunities to make it about 5-0; some of these failed due to Rösler being nowhere at hand when Dickov needed him. The last saw everyone streaming forward when Summerbee hit a chip which Gunn left – we all thought it was wasted – only for it to drop and hit the angle of post and bar, sublime!

All in all, a good performance but we can play much better than this and hopefully will.

Ian Crook was excellent, fantastic distribution – how much would he cost?



Steve Coppell’s first signing for City is Eddie McGoldrick; the fee was £300,000. Other names being linked with the Blues at the moment are Simon Barker (QPR midfielder), Michael Oakes (Villa ‘keeper), Kevin Hitchcock (Chelsea ‘keeper) and Carl Asaba, the Brentford striker who is currently the leading goalscorer in Division 2 with 11 goals.

The Mole


The PFA have agreed to a request by the Football League to delay announcing the result of their strike ballot (believed to be overwhelmingly in favour of a strike) until they have considered a new deal to be offered by the League.

If the strike does go ahead, City’s game against Wolves next Sunday won’t be affected as there will be a delay of two weeks before the strike comes into effect. City’s away game at Wolves on 1st December could be affected though; it is due to be screened ‘live’ by ITV.

Paul Howarth (


At last we’re ready to start the process of getting the MCIVTA T-shirt (Edition 2) printed up. Ken Foster has done 5/6 designs and Magnus Johansson 2 although one of these latter includes the City crest, which means we can’t really use it.

Ken has kindly offered to coordinate things and in the first instance, this means selecting the one that people want to wear! So, take at look at the designs on the WWW at:

The designs are:

  • Our World is Blue;
  • World Map;
  • Exploding Chest (directories);
  • Five flags;
  • MCIVTA Mascot;
  • What is MCIVTA? (front and back)
  • An Oasis-style one may also appear this week!

Please ignore the old design (first up) and the City crest design, as it cannot be used!

When you’ve decided, mail Ken at ( and tell him which one you’d like to see finally produced. Ken will let us know in a few weeks what the final choice is and then we can move onto the next stage. Finally, I’d like to thank Ken and Magnus for producing what are, after all, some excellent designs.



City are again being linked with Sheffield Wednesday midfielder John Sheridan, this time in a £200,000 cash-only deal. Jimmy Frizzell was at Bury’s match this weekend and is thought to have been watching their highly-rated central defender Chris Lucketti. Steve Coppell has said that it’s a bad time to be buying players at the moment as most clubs still have aspirations of success and are reluctant to sell players.

The Mole


Anyway, I am frequently in Russia with work. One of my Moscow colleagues – a Spartak fan recently converted to the Blue cause after a bribe of several bottles of Stolichnaya – last week gave me a copy of Russia’s national sport newspaper “Sport Express” with a huge article on/interview with Kinky included. The piece was written by an old Georgian journalist friend of Gio’s and the interview, I assume, was conducted in Georgian and then translated into Russian. It needs to be borne in mind that this is quite old (20th August) and the interview was obviously done before the season started. However, it makes for interesting and at times depressing reading and I have attempted to translate the words of our little Georgian genius from the Russian as follows:

“Georgi Kinkladze – Face to Face”

Sport Express:
Georgi, after your first season with Dinamo Tbilisi, youreceived offers from Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray,Trabszonspor and Le Havre but you nevertheless decided to stay in Tbilisi. Why?
From my childhood I always dreamed of playing for Dinamo in Tbilisi infront of 80,000 fans. However, most matches in Georgia were watched by amaximum of 10,000. Until I fulfilled my dream (for the first time againstLinfield), I couldn’t leave Dinamo. This is also what I told the presidentsof the clubs you mentioned.
Now you are familiar with clubs from many countries. In your opinion,where is the best football of all played?
In England, of course. There football is football. Everybody says thatthe best football is played in Italy but I categorically disagree! Irepeat: England! You’ll soon see that the English league will overtake Italyin every way.
What impresses you about English football?
Above all, football in England is a spectacle. The game is played at afurious pace. I never even imagined that it was possible to play so quickly.And the players are physically well prepared. And the referee doesn’t blowhis whistle all the time. And the players are fair, you never get hit frombehind. And the crowds! You won’t find more grateful, appreciative fansanywhere. Win or lose, they’re always with you. It must be said that theManchester City fans are some of the best in England, if not the best.
Why do you think City were relegated from the Premier League?
The team was never brought up to strength as it should have been,although the trainer Alan Ball was in no way to blame. I consider him to bea great footballing expert.
What were City like before you arrived?
The style of play was simple: a punt in the air up front and then afight for the ball. But I grew up playing a different game and am not usedto simply kicking the ball around aimlessly. That’s why from my first gamesI started to keep the ball in the middle of the pitch, distribute passes andtry to play my teammates into shooting positions. It’s true that problemsarose because of this. I don’t want to insult players from the same team butit seemed that they… were unable to open up properly. And if you can’t openup properly and make runs, how can I pass to you? Somehow or other, Istarted to play a different kind of football and everybody liked it,everybody at City tried to play like me: to dribble, to beat your man. Only,and this is the trouble, little came of this. Ball understood this earlierthan others and in the end based the game around me. This brought resultsbut, I repeat, my partners couldn’t open up. The best part of my game whenI play for the national team is when I play a ball through the defence toShotte Arbeladze. I did the same many times when playing for City, butneither Rösler nor Quinn could use this effectively. Quinn always apologisedwhen he missed the ball and Rösler was always surprised and ran up to memany times to say: “How do you do that?” To stay up, the team should havebought Kavelashvili much earlier and spent another six-seven million pounds,but City didn’t have that much money.
There were rumours in the middle of the season that Georghe Hagi wasgoing to come to City from Barcelona.
There was something going on. Cruyff and Ball are big friends. At thetime Hagi wasn’t playing for Barcelona and Cruyff decided to help hisfriend, but Hagi wanted £12,000 a week. Ball said to him: “We’ve got abetter player than you here, but we’re paying him less.” So the transferdidn’t take place.
As we’re talking about Barcelona, I’d like to ask you this. Cruyffoffered £7,000,000 for you but you stayed at City. Why?
Hmm, Barcelona, Cruyff… You know, even now I have a picture of Cruyffabove my bed. Cruyff is my idol, sometime or other I watched a video of hisgames, I was amazed and imitated him. Later I did the same when I watchedvideos of Maradona a hundred times. I worshipped Cruyff and Barcelona. Ifyou remember, I always used to wear the full Barca kit at training when Iwas younger. Yes, I always dreamed of playing for this team and when Iconcluded my contract with City, the following point was included at myrequest: if Barcelona come in for me, then City have to let me goimmediately without creating any obstacles. Then suddenly Cruyff makes anoffer for me to go to Barcelona. When I found out about this, I forgot abouteverything and everyone: about City’s devoted fans, about the trainer Ball,about the chairman Francis Lee who loved me like like his own son, about theteam who needed me…
And then I started to weigh things up. If I would been able to arrive atBarcelona in the same way that I arrived at City, then I wouldn’t have beenslow to agree. I mean that no-one would have known who I was and no-onewould have expected miracles of me. I don’t mean by this that I would havebeen afraid, no way, I’m not a wimp, simply that a fan, especially a fanfrom a Latin country, would have expected a £7,000,000 footballer to producemiracles immediately. Even Maradona didn’t play well at Barcelonaimmediately. But keep in mind that the time when Barcelona invite me oncemore to play for them and I begin to play for them is still ahead of me…
But you’re still at City for the time being. Not long ago the Englishpress reported that Arsenal were ready to pay £7,000,000 for you. Would yoube ready to go to the Gunners?
I’d go with pleasure but I have big problems with City. They don’t wantto let me go, although I’ve told my president Francis Lee quite bluntly thatI don’t intend to play in the first division and that I won’t stay at Cityno matter what, even if I have to start the season in Manchester. Accordingto my agent, virtually all the Premier League clubs have shown an interestin me, but I will choose a club that will play in Europe. The option withArsenal would suit me very well.
Which English team impresses you most of all?
Liverpool, of course. The style of this team fits my game best of all.Apart from that, my friends play there – Fowler, Redknapp, McManaman. AtLiverpool I would feel like a fish in water. After the offers form Inter andBarcelona, my friends from Liverpool asked me: is it really true thatturning down these contracts means that you’re going to play for us?
If you’d won the last match of the season against this same Liverpoolthen City would have stayed in the Premier League…
Before the game we thought that Liverpool would conserve their energiesand look after themselves. They’d already guaranteed third place and weredue to play Manchester United a week later in the FA Cup Final. But with noteven 10 minutes gone we’re losing 2:0! We attacked but all for nothing. Butthen 20 minutes before the end Ball sent on Misha Kavelashvili. If you’dseen us at that moment – we simply flew into the attack and equalised, but wecouldn’t achieve any more. It seems that it wasn’t our destiny…
Your goal against Southampton when you beat half the team and the’keeper was voted goal of the season by the English sports journalists!
Generally speaking I scored a lot of goals like that in the Georgianchampionship. And that’s taking into account the fact that Georgiandefenders understand football better and are physically stronger. In spiteof that I repeat that an English defender will never tackle from behind.
You said that you still haven’t decided where you will play this season.What about if Manchester United offered you terms?
No, never. I can state that quite categorically. The fans of these twoteams hate each other. The fans of the one team would never forgive me forbeing a traitor, the fans of the other would never accept me as one of theirown.

Interview conducted by Mamuka Kvaratzkheliya in Tbilisi/Summer 1996.

Well, in spite of the above, Gio’s still with us even if our “great footballing expert” is no more – Frannie really must have him under lock and key (quite right too!) although who could blame him if he went? I don’t understand the basis for the rumours that his teammates don’t think he puts the effort in. At Reading the other night he put in 10 times more running than our two useless sons of famous fathers put together. Furthermore, he doesn’t constantly whinge at the inadequacies of his teammates like a certain forward of ours (maybe he can’t?). Hopefully Coppell can make the other 10 gel together properly as a team so that Gio doesn’t constantly feel the pressure of having to try to beat 5 men simultaneously. I’m sure that most of the time either he has no alternative but to go on his own or he’s doing his best to entertain us amidst the standard turgid s***e but we know he’s great, he has nothing to prove to us and, most probably like him, we realise that he’s on another planet from the rest of them.

Martin Casey (


Some smartarse has discovered that Manchester City is an anagram of “synthetic cream”. Is that why the bench is full of fat substitutes?

Quote of the Day:
“As has always been the case at Maine Road, the last three minutes were made to feel like 23 for the home crowd and the final whistle was greeted with unrestrained rapture.” – Sunday Telegraph 20/10/96

David Yates, Maldon, UK (


Apparently the FA are to announce an inquiry into refereeing standards in the Premiership after this weekend’s defeat for the Rags at Newcastle. A source at The Swamp revealed that Alex Ferguson is ‘extremely unhappy’ with yesterday’s referee after he failed to disallow Newcastle’s first goal, and it was also felt that Poborsky’s blatant dive in the area should have brought both a penalty and the sending off of the Newcastle ‘keeper. Ferguson’s leaked statement says that “we expect an inquiry into why the FA fielded a referee who wasn’t a fully paid-up member of the Manchester United Supporters’ Club. It is disgraceful that the FA should provide us with match officials who can only be described as fair and unbiased. We are disgusted.” The inquiry is also expected to ask why five goals were allowed to be scored by men in black and white striped shirts against players in red ones, which is believed to be in breach of the rules of the game. Newcastle are expected to be punished severely for failing to respect the Rags’ divine right to win.

ok, so I’m slightly biased! Good to see the Rags getting stuffed, all things considered it’s been a pretty good weekend. By the way, guess who the last team to get five goals against the Rags was? None other than Manchester City.

Julian Griffiths (


Well so you’ve ended up with a Red! I’ve been away for a while so missed out on the activity surrounding the appointment and just caught up via the last few MCIVTAs. A few random thoughts for what it’s worth:

Steve was always different at Old Trafford. When the other players were playing cards or reading comics (or maybe just looking at the pictures!) Steve would have his nose in a book. He’s an academic, and if I remember correctly, he wouldn’t sign for the Reds full time until he had his University degree. This fact makes me wonder all the more why he would sign up such an intellectually challenged brown-nose as Phil Neal on a “gut feel.” I always believed “intellectuals” thought things through thoroughly and calculated the options prior to taking decisive action. Looks like I was wrong again. I never liked Neal much as a player though he was undoubtedly an effective full back in an excellent Liverpool team, but I liked him even less as a manager when I heard him quoted at Bolton and later in the England rôle. Finally I have to say that everyone I ever heard address anyone as “laddy” was a first class prat (other than all Scotsmen of course). I think that whilst room sharing with Neal on England duty, a friendly relationship developed and that formed the basis for the appointment. You may well ask why he wouldn’t just admit to this, until you remember the last appointment made between “friends” at Maine Road.

Anyway I hope I turn out to be wrong and that they take you back where you belong in the Premier…

Keep dreaming, Leo Fewtrell – The Wythenshawe Exile (


WOW! What a brilliant result! Stupendous! Unbelievable! Utterlerly Amazing!! Fantastic! What? Oh Sorry, I’m not referring to the great result City had over Norwich on Saturday but the drubbing Newcastle gave United on Sunday. 5-0! Overall, a pretty good weekend, it has to be said. By the way, can anyone remind me who the last team were to stick five past United?

Andy Astle (


Greetings All –

Yes siree, things sure looked up this weekend, what with us beating Norwich and the Rags getting well and truly stuffed 5-0! I was the only Blue in a room full of Rags yesterday and they all looked like they were taking part in a smacked arse contest! I nearly choked with the effort of not winding them up (I was a guest at someone’s party and I felt it would have been rather rude!). I couldn’t suppress a cheer at the fourth goal though, after whiskey nose saved twice and then Shearer slotted the ball home… dear me, sweet poetry at last!

Anyway, on to what really concerns us and that is our victory on Saturday. Another exhilerating match: as usual, we couldn’t have a confident, cruising victory! Oh no, they like to put us all on the rack for the last 10 minutes, plus God knows how many minutes extra time (was it 6 minutes?).

But the team looked more together and they kept on trying and actually kept possession well for a lot of the match. I was particularly pleased that the two players I rate least, Dibble and Summerbee, both had good games. Dibble made an excellent save at the Platt Lane end and Summerbee had a brilliant curling shot which hit the post – and he played well all match (which was nice!). He got booed again when his name was read out at the start of the match so maybe he’s trying to prove a point.

I still feel we need more support up front – Uwe just isn’t fast enough and never seems to be in the right place. To me, he was the team donkey on Saturday. Dickov was making a run down the right wing and was going to pass to Rösler who was chugging along in midfield, but Uwe frantically motioned to him not to pass but to try and have a shot (despite 2 huge defenders thundering up ominously behind him). He never seems to like to have to work very hard. I know he’s still sort of the crowd’s favourite, but I feel he’s a lazy git who expects everything to be laid on for him so he can slot the ball home and bask in all the glory.

Finally, good news that we bought Eddie McGoldrick. It is brilliant to see a player who is so enthusiastic and who comes over to the crowd before and after the game.

I’m feeling really optimistic at the moment, I just hope we can start being consistently good instead of up and down like we usually are.

Until next Sunday, Up those Blues!

Christine (


I don’t care if it’s negative.
I don’t care if we lose the next three matches.
Oh joy indeed.

Heather J Fleming (


I’m a Man City Fan and living here in Oz it’s very hard to keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of Uk Football. The Internet and your mailing list is a godsend. I spend the early hours of most Saturday mornings (01.00Hrs until 03.00) listening to the BBC World Service who relay Radio 5’s Sports Saturday, Pay TV has a live game once a week but you don’t get scores, table positions, news etc. Not much fun when your team’s playing and you can’t even get a score. Anyway to the point of my ramblings. I have a couple of questions if that’s alright.

  1. Do Man City games, whether midweek or Saturday, get broadcast live on radio?
  2. Are there any Realaudio sites in the UK that broadcast football?

As you can see I’m hoping for a Manchester Radio station that broadcasts City’s matches and is also on the net, i.e. Realaudio.

Phil Taylor, Melbourne, Australia (


Does anyone have the following back issues of CITY magazine that they’d be prepared to let go for a small cash adjustment?

  • Volume 1, Issue 1; Rösler on the cover
  • Volume 1, Issue 7; CLough on the cover

Unfortunately I can’t get them from the publishers as they are sold out.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Ashley (


A friend of mine has a complete set of M.C.F.C. Subbuteo players from the 70’s. Could anyone give me a mail as to what their approximate value could be?

Tony Hulme – the tattooed donkey (


Full-time score for Sunday, October 20 1996


Full-time scores for Saturday, October 19 1996


Full-time score for Friday, October 18 1996


Full-time scores for Wednesday, October 16 1996

PORT VALE               0-2    CRYSTAL PALACE

Full-time scores for Tuesday, October 15 1996

BARNSLEY                0-0    OXFORD UNITED
READING                 2-0    MANCHESTER CITY

Up to and including Sunday, October 20 1996

Team                  Played   Won  Drawn Lost     For Against   Points
Bolton Wanderers        13      9     3     1      31    17        30
Norwich City            13      8     3     2      20     9        27
Barnsley                12      6     4     2      19    12        22
Crystal Palace          13      5     6     2      26    12        21
Wolverhampton Wanderers 14      6     3     5      18    14        21
Sheffield United        11      6     2     3      23    12        20
Swindon Town            13      6     2     5      20    14        20
Queens Park Rangers     14      5     5     4      18    18        20
Tranmere Rovers         14      5     4     5      18    17        19
Stoke City              12      5     4     3      17    20        19
Huddersfield Town       12      5     3     4      17    18        18
Oxford United           13      4     4     5      13     9        16
MANCHESTER CITY         12      5     1     6      13    16        16
Birmingham City         11      4     4     3      12    10        16
Port Vale               14      3     7     4      11    16        16
Ipswich Town            13      3     6     4      18    18        15
West Bromwich Albion    12      3     6     3      15    16        15
Reading                 13      4     3     6      15    23        15
Portsmouth              14      4     3     7      14    20        15
Southend United         14      3     6     5      13    23        15
Grimsby Town            14      3     4     7      16    26        13
Bradford City           14      3     3     8      11    22        12
Charlton Athletic       11      3     2     6      10    16        11
Oldham Athletic         14      1     4     9      13    23         7

Russell (
With thanks to Soccernet


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

Thanks to The Mole, Paul, Leo, Phil, Dave, Martin, Ken, Paul, Andy, Julian, Christine, Thomas, Heather & Russ.

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 #239