Newsletter #325

These bloody mini-editorials are proving to be more formulaic then I ever could have imagined; perhaps I could minimise the effort expended in writing them by creating a template with a few spaces to insert which team beat us this time round and just make sure I regularly rotate the adjectives used (crap, atrocious, dire, clueless, woeful) – soul destroying stuff. This issue contains a couple of match reports, match views and plenty of opinion on yet another demoralising start to a season. In addition, we’ve part 3 of ‘City on Tour’, more on Diary of a Madman and some positive news about Bradbury. Meanwhile, the rumour mill has Everton targetting Rösler (denied by FC). Roll on Wednesday – I think not!

This edition goes out to an unbelievable 1,609; perhaps we should buy our own team and call them Man City?

Next game, Nottingham Forest away, Wednesday 3rd September 1997


CHARLTON ATHLETIC vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 30th August 1997

It didn’t seem five minutes since we were in south London – was it June for a 1-1? This was my first live match of the season and a chance to see what FC has achieved. The news that Kinky was out was a bit of a dampener but (like a few others?) I couldn’t help wondering if the team might perform better. Considering what ability he has, there is a certain underachievement as far as our Georgian goes isn’t there?

Anyway, I rang Charlton up on Saturday morning to be told it was a sell-out for away fans and they wouldn’t sell me a ‘home’ ticket. So I got on the train from Luton and made my way to Charlton, taking care to get on the right train at London Bridge this time (warning: don’t blindly follow other City fans in blue shirts – they don’t always know where they’re going). I found a pub swarming with Kappas called The Magallican(?) where I managed to buy someone’s spare ticket for the South Stand. Met a nice chap called Nigel who said he will join MCIVTA now he’s heard of it. Got a bit drunk which was bad for reporting the game but good for enduring it.

The ground didn’t seem to be quite full, there were even a a very few spaces in the City end behind one of of the goals. The team was something like this:

             Brightwell Wiekens Symons Van Blerk
            Summerbee McGoldrick Brannan Horlock
                     Bradbury Rösler

In a tipsy state I made a mental note that play was pretty scrappy for the first ten minutes, then the next ten minutes then … we scored. Pretty simple really as Summerbee won a corner on the right from which Wiekens headed in – the sort of set piece goal we could do with more of. Then more scrappy play until half-time. At least I told myself Charlton are not managing to sustain any pressure. The City defence looked comfortable most of the time. The only downer was that our attack was also non-existent … I couldn’t remember a shot that their ‘keeper had to save.

Still, half-time was spent feeling mildly optimistic; we were winning. It looked like things could get better after a pep-talk. The second half was scrappy for the first ten minutes, then the next ten minutes then Charlton scored out of nowhere. Oh well, 1-1 will have to do, then they score again within a minute. All goals were at the far end and I haven’t seen any TV so can’t give real details but both seemed really stupid ones to give away – temporary lapses in the space of sixty seconds. The match just faded gently away after this with Charlton having slightly the better of it. We were totally unable to do anything about it. Scully came on for the last ten minutes.

The verdict is huge disappointment. This was a game for winning, Charlton looking really poor. We looked comfortable for most of the ninety minutes but in retrospect I think it was because Charlton had no strike force. In the whole game, apart from the goals, the ‘keepers only had about two saves to make.

It’s really difficult to assess players in a match of such little quality although Wiekens and Van Blerk looked good, particularly the former. Bradbury was awful (someone said his dad was in the pub with us). Most were anonymous; Symons looked lacking in confidence and there was no real leadership or fire. A totally dispiriting performance, particularly when you consider the money we’ve spent. All my new season optimism drained rapidly away (it was going anyway). Oh, and yes I think we do need Kinkladze – either that or we sell him and buy wisely …

Peter Kewley (


CHARLTON ATHLETIC vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 30th August 1997

City’s poor run in London continued with a 2-1 defeat at the Valley but it could all have been so different. Without the injured Gio Kinkladze, Nicky Summerbee started a League game for the first time this season and the 3,000 travelling Blues anticipated some long-awaited service for Lee Bradbury and Uwe R