Newsletter #524

A surprising result perhaps on Tuesday, City beating Liverpool 2-1. I work with a Scouser who went along, and despite some reports I’ve heard to the contrary, he, as a Liverpool fan, said that we definitely deserved to win it. This result should allow us to turn out on Sunday with the best possible confidence level – just like we had after the 6-0 thrashing of Burnley no doubt! There are two match reports and a matchview from this game.

This issue also has more memories of Dave Ewing, this time from inside the club – thanks to Mickey Brennan for these. There’s the usual measure of opinion, as well as a Why Blue; there’s also an appeal for the answer to the trivia question set a few issues back – anyone know (perhaps the person who wrote the question)?

Please consider doing a match report for the Wolves game if you can – more people means the burden is spread over the course of the coming season.

Next game: Wolves at home, Sunday 8th August 1999


MANCHESTER CITY vs. LIVERPOOL, Tuesday 3rd August 1999

Hooray, Ian owes me another pound.

Last season I made a bet which at the time seemed extremely rash – I bet a work colleague a fiver that City would end the season above Preston. At the time, we had just started on our upward march but still things were dicey as to whether a top 6 finish was possible, let alone promotion. The rest as they say, is history. So he challenged me a pound to bet that City would beat Liverpool, which seemed a tall order.

Our tickets for this game were in the Kippax Upper Tier, around the same position as our normal season tickets in the lower tier. I would not like to sit there on a regular basis, although it was nice the once. You feel just too far away from the play to really feel involved.

As for the teams, it was good to see a more settled line-up for City, although I had rather hoped to see more players used, given that the match was a friendly, and JR’s last chance to give everyone a run out before normal hostilities commence on Sunday.

Right at the start of the game, it was evident that the City team weren’t the only ones who needed to warm up. Alan Keegan (?) seemed not to be on form. First he announced ‘the ex-England and City ‘keeper… JOE ROYLE!’. Poor Mr. Corrigan was left looking a little bewildered no doubt, as we all racked our brains to work out whether we’d been dreaming that JR was a striker. He then managed to read out the City team, and forgot about a certain No. 11.

Terry Cooke mustn’t have taken kindly to it because he had a terrible game – the worst performance I’ve seen from him since his arrival. Anyway more about that later.

So: City lined up thus:

Edghill  Wiekens  Morrison  Granville
      Horlock   Jeff Whitley
Cooke                        Kennedy
          Dickov  Goater

The first half was pretty even, although City’s passing at times was woeful, they were creating chances, and should have scored twice. Horlock had a terrific free kick palmed onto the crossbar, and Goater missed a good chance too. Also, Kennedy was able to fire in two or three excellent crosses, which ought to have found someone in the middle.

Some of the play going forward was starting to show some inventiveness, and the left wing partnership of Kennedy and Granville was producing some great chances. Unfortunately this was not mirrored on the right, where Terry Cooke was having an awful time with crosses going hopelessly astray. This wasn’t helped by the fact that Richard Edghill was having an equally awful game thanks to his passing. I think Lee Crooks should definitely start the game against Wolves as right back.

Unfortunately it was inevitable that one of City’s mistakes would be punished, and so it was just before half time with a clinical finish to match, which Nicky Weaver had no chance with.

The second half started in much the same vein, but wholesale substitutions did little for Liverpool’s shape, while City started to pass the ball round and show more composure and direction. With this, more chances were created, and it was from one of those chances that City’s first goal came… the ball was palmed out of the way as Goater came in to (hopefully) put the ball in the back of the net after a save. Up stepped Horlock and it was 1-1.

Soon after that, Goater had a chance to finish it but managed to get his header over the bar. However, shortly afterwards he made no mistake as another perfect cross came in from Kennedy – 2-1. A well taken goal… more please, Shaun!


Weaver 7 – Surprisingly little to do – a couple of decent saves and having to pick the ball out of the net once.
Granville 7 – Looked useful, I think he will contribute much this season, assuming he stays…
Edghill 3 – Yuck, yuck, yuck. He was looking better and better towards the end of last season. Please no more performances like this!
Morrison 7 – Another steady game. With Wiekens managed to keep the Liverpool attack largely at bay.
Wiekens 6 – Again, a steadying influence at the back. Picked up a knock, hopefully not too serious.
Jeff Whitley 7 – In the last two games I’ve seen, Jeff has worked his socks off and has been involved all over. 1999/2000 could be his year to shine.
Horlock 7 – Good game. Scored with the penalty, could have scored with an early free kick, which was a scorcher.
Kennedy 9 – Man of the match for me. He bossed the left wing and created chance after chance. Could be a great buy.
Dickov 6 – Ran and ran, but in the end didn’t get what he deserved – a goal.
Goater 6 – Redeemed himself with the late headed goal. Still missed far too many chances and at times was noticeably slower than the rest of the players.
Cooke 4 – Not good. I hope that he hasn’t got the hump now he isn’t quite the golden boy any more. I expect far better from him this year.

Euan Bayliss (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. LIVERPOOL, Tuesday 3rd August 1999

Hmmm! A strange one this. As I am sure you are aware, we won 2-1 with a penalty from Horlock and a Quinnesque header from Shaun Goater. Any win over the Scousers is a good win and certainly we deserved to win this one. However, just as I urged no panic over the Bury defeat, I feel that it is right and proper to advise not to get too carried away with this victory.

Some thoughts, in no particular order: Terry Cooke had the poorest game I’ve seen from him since he joined us. Personally I would pick Crooks ahead of Edghill at right back. The Maine Road pitch did not look in its usual ‘bowling green’ condition for this time of the year. There were many yellow patches and the pitch seemed to cut up worryingly, particularly down the Kippax touchline. I hope that our newly seeded pitch is not going to cause us problems as the season progresses. In some mitigation of Terry Cooke, our ‘balancing’ on the left seems to have gone too far! Virtually every attack we mustered went down the left.

Shaun Goater looked like the player most likely to score. Whitley looked good once again. Morrison was dominant, Wiekens wasn’t… City lined up as; Weaver, Edghill, Wiekens, Morrison, Granville, Cooke, Whitley, Horlock, Kennedy, Goater and Dickov. This I’m sure will be the starting line-up on Sunday, injuries and Gerard’s expected new arrival permitting. Bishop, Allsopp and Jobson were introduced at different times later in the second half. Liverpool fielded a strongish line-up, notable absentees being Fowler, Redknapp and Berger.

The Red Scousers have had so many new faces join them during the summer, that I find it impossible to name the complete team. City were at them straight from the kick-off and soon after Horlock was unlucky having a shot palmed onto the bar by Liverpool’s £4 million ‘keeper Westerveld. Kennedy and Granville terrorised Liverpool’s full back (Kvarme for most of the match, I think). Goater, yes that Goater won virtually everything in the air (whether down to Shaun learning how to jump, or deficiencies in Liverpool’s defence I’m not sure)! However, as mentioned above and despite one or two, how shall I say “Goater moments”, Shaun looked quick and quite sharp. He only had 2 clear cut chances, the first not long before he scored, a downward header from another Kennedy cross, which bounced over the bar. The goal was a ‘typical City’ goal of years gone by; Kennedy (or possibly Granville) down the left to the line, cross, Goater rising like a salmon to head past the ‘keeper. More of the same please!

After our initial flurry, Liverpool got into their stride and for me the game for most of the first half looked like a typical ‘upper-mid table Premiership side’ vs. a ‘decent First Division team’ Cup game (without quite as much blood and thunder of course). Although we played the more positive attacking football, Liverpool looked like they had more to offer if they really needed to. Their goal was again so similar to Liverpool goals against City down the years: We’d certainly had the better chances and following a naïve pass by Whitley which was easily intercepted, they broke and scored a goal which must have been deflected, based on Weaver’s lack of movement.

We got our thoroughly deserved penalty early in the second half, after the overworked Song handled in the area. Super Kev made no mistake. Thereafter, Liverpool seemed to make substitutions every couple of minutes and we did begin to dominate again until Goater wrapped up the imaginary points. Make no mistake this was a good performance and will certainly boost morale and belief. However, our best team against their best team would I’m sure still get beaten 4 times out of 5, certainly in a competitive match. But of course, we are not going to play Liverpool next season in a competitive match (Cups excepted perhaps) and we are not going to come up against players of the quality of Hamann, Riedle and Staunton every week. Probably the most positive aspect of this performance was that we scored 2 goals from not that many ‘clear cut’ chances. Our last 3 performances suggest that we have absolutely nothing to fear in the First Division if we sustain the level of performance displayed and of course score goals. Roll on Sunday!

Lastly, ust have a look at the different reports of the same match on the City and Liverpool sections of Teamtalk’s Website ( Interesting, very interesting!

Phil Hartley (


Hi, I’ve just come back from the pub after an excellent performance from City against Liverpool. I think we played them off the field! They had a fairly strong side on the field and we had quite a weak team on the field and we outclassed them. I always knew we would win, all through the match. As soon as City scored with the penalty, some of the Liverpool fans started to go home for last orders to drown all their sorrows away.

My mum started saying “We’ve been outclassed”. And then we were awarded the penalty, which Kevin Horlock slotted away without a worry in the world. Then, with us fans getting all hysterical, worrying if Liverpool would score again, Shaun Goater scores doesn’t he, well that’s when all the Liverpool supporters started to go home.

All I can say is that if we can perform like that all through next season then we can definitely go up. The next season we can be in the Premiership and beat “Big Red” and show them how to get six points from next door! See ya! Hope you were doing the the same thing as I was doing! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!

P.S. Hope I don’t seem too drunk after a great match and a great couple of pints at the pub, I’m just a City fan. This is what I was doing after we went down when we drew with Liverpool to drown my sorrows.

Hannah Butler (


Liverpool Win Boosts Blues

The 2-1 win over Liverpool in Tuesday’s final pre-season friendly has ensured that, after a slow start to the warm-up games, City will go into the new campaign on a high. A crowd of over 20,000 saw the visitors take the lead before the break and the Blues manage two goals without reply in the second period thanks to a Kevin Horlock penalty and a Shaun Goater header. By all accounts it was an encouraging display, with newspaper reports claiming that Joe Royle’s men were “always the more thrusting team” and were “well worth a morale-boosting triumph”. Not surprisingly, the City manager was delighted with the evening’s events. “It’s great to have come from a goal behind against Premiership opposition, especially a team that fielded sixteen internationals,” he said. Royle also singled out for further praise the two men who’d arguably been his team’s most impressive performers in the previous pre-season games, reflecting that, “Mark [Kennedy] did very, very well tonight. I had a feeling he was going to be fired up for this game. Jeff Whitley was excellent again.” While Royle fielded his likely starting line-up for Sunday’s opening league fixture against Wolves, Liverpool went into the match with a slightly more experimental approach and made six substitutions. “City played well,” conceded their manager Gerard Houllier, “though they wanted to win more than we did, to be fair.” Incidentally, Gerard Wiekens and Paul Dickov, who both left the fray on Tuesday after taking knocks, will be fit for the Wolves game.

Bailey Leaves for Stockport

Alan Bailey has become the latest victim of the Maine Road clear-out, making the short journey from Maine Road to Stockport. He was the leading reserve team scorer in 1997-98, but played in only one senior game for the Blues, and hardly on an auspicious occasion – he was a substitute in the Auto Windscreens Shield defeat against Mansfield last December. His only taste of league football came in a loan spell with his home-town team Macclesfield later in the season. Bailey’s a first signing for new Stockport manager Andy Kilner, who’s confident that City’s loss will prove to be his gain. “He [Bailey] is a very lively player with two good feet,” said Kilner. “I don’t think he’s been given a chance at City.”

Royle Hopes High for New Campaign

Manager Joe Royle has issued an upbeat eve-of-season message. He reckons he’s seen six leading First Division sides in pre-season – and none of them is better than his own team. “I believe the squad we have is good enough to give every side in the First Division a run for its money,” he claimed. “Manchester City are not in the First Division to consolidate, to rebuild or to take stock. They are in it to win promotion.”

City Become Bosman-Aware

The Blues have geared themselves up to take more advantage of the Bosman ruling. Joe Royle explained to a fans’ forum at Maine Road on Wednesday that the club has installed a sophisticated computer system which will store details of transfer targets all over the world. “It’s important that we become Bosman aware,” he explained. “We need to know that a player is going to become available twelve months before it happens.”

Richard Just the Job

City’s former Leeds and Oldham defender Richard Jobson has returned to full fitness after a lengthy spell out with knee trouble. Jobson made a couple of abortive comebacks last season before feeling his way back in the reserves towards the end of the campaign. However, he’s featured in the pre-season games and may even have edged his way ahead of Tony Vaughan as main challenger to the established Morrison-Wiekens pairing. “I am a great admirer of Richard’s ability,” enthused Joe Royle. “I genuinely believe that if he’d stayed fit, we wouldn’t have been relegated to the Second Division.”

Kit and Tickets Set for Record

City’s new Le Coq Sportif home kit is set to break the club record for replica sales. Its advance sales have considerably outstripped those of the previous best seller, the 1997 Kappa design. As the Kappa kit in sales terms in its first year ranked above all British club kits except the home and away shirts of Manchester United and Liverpool, the club could, if the pattern is repeated, be set for a merchandising bonanza. Meanwhile, the Blues have now sold almost 22,000 season tickets for the new campaign. This is not only 50% more than any First Division rival (closest challengers Charlton Athletic have sold 14,500), but is within spitting distance of the club record set 22 years ago. If, as at many clubs, season tickets remain on sale after the start of the season, another record could also soon be broken.

Wolves Preview

While Saturday sees 88 of England’s professional football clubs start their 1999-2000 seasons, City are among the four who wait an extra day to kick off the new campaign. It’s an attractive fixture, though, against a team rich in tradition and support, Wolves providing the opposition in front of what should be another Maine Road full house. The Blues lost 1-0 on each of the Molineux club’s last two visits to Maine Road – thanks in large part to departed former skipper Kit Symons. In October 1996, Symons failed to cut out a routine through ball allowing Steve Bull an opportunity to score the winner late on after City had dominated. A year later, the hapless Welsh international went one better and actually scored the game’s only goal for Wolves. The Molineux club are among the division’s better sides and have narrowly missed the play offs in the two previous seasons. However, they’ve lost key defender Dean Richards to Southampton on a Bosman free, and unless they offload prize asset Robbie Keane they’re relying on the same method in their recruitment policy. This summer, manager Colin Lee has only been able to bring in Watford full back Darren Bazeley and Spurs winger Andy Sinton. It will be far from an easy game, but it’s the type of game City have to win if Joe Royle’s optimism is to be fulfilled.

Frank Clark Book

Owing to computer problems at work, details of Frank Clark’s book ‘Kicking with both Feet’ will follow in the next issue of MCIVTA.

Peter Brophy (


We intend to issue a monthly email newsletter for ISC members. This would carry news of events such as the Tribal Gathering, of new material added to and of any other developments of interest to the membership. We invite members to send details of any localised gatherings of City fans, requests for contact with other fans in particular areas or accounts of other interesting stories (such as encountering City fans in unusual or unexpected places).

To subscribe to the mailing list please join at If you don’t have Internet access please send your details to me.

Bob Young (


Our branch will be meeting up for the Wolves fix on Sunday at several locations in Scandinavia. Kick off is 14.00 hours, get to the pub no later than 13.00 though!

Copenhagen: Bloomsday Bar, Niels Hemmingsensgade 32
Aarhus: Calle & Kjærs Sports Cafe

Bergen: The English pub, 2nd floor next to Maxime nightclub
Kristiansand: “Up Town” in town centre
Oslo: Bohemen bar in Arbeidergt.2, (town centre). Get there early it will be very packed!
Stavanger: “Chevyes”
Trondheim: Bajazzo Bakd