Newsletter #577

A fairly clinical performance, though not without hiccoughs, saw the Blues turn over a lacklustre Forest side 3-1. Perhaps the best news of all was a welcome, and well-taken, goal from Robert Taylor, and another brace from Goater, taking his tally to an impressive 20 with another 17 games still to play! Anyone care to tell us in which season a City player last scored 25 or 30 goals? This issue carries Peter’s news (Vaughan on loan to Forest), four match reports, opinion, and a Why Blue – at last!

This issue reaches 3,031.

Next game: Norwich City at home, Saturday 12th February 2000


Goater Double as City Sink Forest

After a break from action the previous weekend, City returned to action with a 3-1 win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday. A welcome strike by Robert Taylor and two more goals from top-scorer Shaun Goater gave the Blues all three points after Forest had taken an early lead through Chris Bart-Williams. Taylor produced the equaliser on 31 minutes, and Goater’s first three minutes later gave City a half-time advantage. The Bermudian struck again on 83 minutes to secure the victory. City stay four points behind Charlton after the Londoners won 3-1 at Stockport. Ipswich are a point behind the Blues from one extra game after the Suffolk side won 2-0 at Barnsley, a result which keeps the Tykes a further two points back. Huddersfield lost more ground, with a home reverse against Portsmouth ensuring that the Terriers are seven points adrift of City.

Royle Hails “Magnificent” Display

Joe Royle was delighted by the Blues’ performance in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Nottingham Forest. And the Manchester City boss had special praise for one of his side’s veterans. “I thought we were magnificent and for an away side we forced Forest to play us on the break,” said Royle. “All the players made a contribution but I thought Richard Jobson was absolutely superb.” The Blues showed their fighting spirit to come from a goal down to claim the victory which maintained City’s grip on a top-two place.

Platt – City Should Be Our Example

Manchester City’s 3-1 win at Nottingham Forest added to the woes of the home team’s manager David Platt on Saturday. And the ex-England international feels that his players would be well served by trying to emulate the Blues. Forest are now in serious danger of a second successive relegation, with Saturday’s result leaving them only one point clear of the Division One drop zone. And while City’s recent history proves that no club can consider itself too big to slide into Division Two, the current Blues side might provide a guide as to how the Midlanders can escape trouble. “They [City] play for each other, compete for 90 minutes and never give up. We have to learn from that,” admitted Platt.

Jobson Delighted to Sign for Extra Year

Richard Jobson was set on Monday afternoon to become the first of City’s veterans to sign a new contract at Maine Road. Ian Bishop and Tommy Wright should also be staying on at the club, but the ex-Oldham defender will be the first of the trio to put pen to paper. It’s been a remarkable turnaround for Jobson, who’s played in over thirty first-team games this season after failing to register a single appearance last term. Manager Joe Royle credits the 36-year-old as having played a vital rôle for the Blues in the long injury-enforced absence of skipper Andy Morrison, and the player turned in another man-of-the-match display in the weekend win at Nottingham Forest. Jobson is happy to be staying on. “I am delighted to be signing. It is quite a turnaround after the injury problems I had when I first came here,” he reflected.

Vaughan No-Go Highlights Royle’s Problems

Joe Royle’s difficulties in his attempts to reduce the Maine Road wage bill have been highlighted by the news that Norwich can’t afford Tony Vaughan. The former Ipswich player impressed during his trial in Norfolk last week but the £350,000 fee is too high for the Canaries. Carrow Road boss Bruce Rioch admitted that he’d have liked to proceed with the move had finances allowed. Instead Rioch has turned his sights to another City outcast – and this time the target won’t cost a penny. For despite the reported indifferent form of Craig Russell in a reserve outing in his own Norwich trial, the Canaries will continue to monitor the player’s progress. The Blues will hope that the former Sunderland man’s wages, high by Nationwide League standards, don’t deter East Anglians on this occasion.

Vaughan Set for Forest Loan Switch

After his abortive trial at Norwich, Tony Vaughan now looks to have another chance to earn himself a move away from Maine Road. Local radio station BBC GMR is reporting that the transfer-listed City defender is set to join Nottingham Forest on a month’s loan. Forest boss David Platt has been looking for a central defender in recent weeks and Derby’s Spencer Prior recently turned down a move to the City Ground. Platt has now switched his attention to Vaughan, who’s seen possible moves to Cardiff and Norwich fall through in the last few weeks because the potential buyers couldn’t meet City’s asking price. It’s thought that Forest could be interested in making the move permanent if the ex-Ipswich man impresses during his loan spell.

Wigan’s Dickov Interest Over

Wigan have abandoned their bid to sign Paul Dickov after Joe Royle made clear that the Scot isn’t one of the men the club is keen to offload and the player himself expressed a desire to stay at Maine Road. It’s no secret that City are looking to reduce the size of their senior squad and there’s been recent speculation that Dickov could be a target for Preston and Portsmouth. When Wigan stepped in with an offer after the striker’s reserve hat-trick last week, some reports claimed that the Blues could be tempted by an increased bid. However, given Royle’s public praise of Dickov, it would seem that to get their man, the Latics would have had to come up with an offer City couldn’t refuse. And that’s left manager John Benson admitting defeat in his bid to sign the player.

City Linked With Another Royle Old Boy

Sunday transfer speculation has claimed that City could be ready with a £1 million bid for Everton’s Danny Cadamateri. The player is well known to the City management, having been in the youth ranks during Joe Royle’s spell in charge at Goodison. Cadamateri had a loan spell at Fulham earlier this season but the London club elected not to pursue a permanent transfer. When he first emerged at senior level, the 20-year-old was regarded as a player of exceptional promise but he may now be sacrificed as Walter Smith seeks to reduce the size of his squad – although after the player created two goals in Everton’s win at Wimbledon on Sunday, maybe Smith will be more reluctant to part company. And with City also looking to sell unwanted members of the playing staff, it would seem unlikely that Joe Royle would move for any forward until he’s off-loaded unwanted strikers like Craig Russell and Gareth Taylor.

Bournemouth Set to Come Back for Fenton?

Joe Royle admitted last week that Bournemouth had shown an interest in taking City centre back Nick Fenton on loan. And the south coast club’s sale on Friday of defender Ian Cox to Burnely has led to speculation that boss Mel Machin may try to revive the proposed deal for Fenton. If the ex-City manager does renew his interest, Royle may well feel that the 20-year-old would benefit more from first-team experience in the Second Division for the rest of the season than from Pontin’s League outings with the Blues. Meanwhile, the City boss will be continuing to keep tabs on Forest Green Rovers’ Mark McGregor, who has returned to the Gloucestershire-based Conference outfit after impressing at Maine Road last week.

Better News of Injured Skipper

The date of Andy Morrison’s likely return from a troublesome knee injury has been the subject of several conflicting reports over the last few weeks. However, the latest news on the City skipper seems to be more encouraging. Morrison was sent to Lilleshall last week for a second week of intensive rehabilitation work, amid reports that the big defender’s recovery could be delayed significantly. However, the player is now said to have responded well to treatment in the last few days, with the end of this month pencilled in as a tentative date for his return. “Andy has been doing some running at Lilleshall and is making progress,” Joe Royle told the Manchester Evening News. “We said last week that he hadn’t made the strides we wanted but he is starting to do that now.”

Taylor – Best is Yet to Come

Robert Taylor scored his second goal on a Manchester City shirt on Saturday – and then admitted that he’s on his way to discovering his best form following a slow start to his Maine Road career. The striker found the net with a delightful goal at the City Ground – a contrast to his first effort against Swindon, which owed much to Frank Talia’s woeful goalkeeping. And after a difficult time following his move north, the ex-Gillingham player now feels that he’s putting his problems behind him. “I was signed, picked up the flu, got injured and then my gran Margaret died. My wife Lisa was pregnant and I was trying to buy a house near Manchester and sell mine in Kent,” he said. “But at Gillingham it was the same. I was driving every day from Cambridge and it was taking me well over two hours. Things really started to turn for me when I bought a house in the area.”

Quartet Boost Canaries Ahead of Maine Road Visit

Norwich provide the opposition for Manchester City on Saturday. And manager Bruce Rioch is set to welcome back four of the East Anglians’ key men for his play-off hunting side. The Canaries are seven points off sixth place and need a good result from their trip north. So Rioch will be particularly pleased to welcome back goalkeeper Andy Marshall after suspension, together with Craig Fleming, Darel Russell and Darren Kenton. Norwich drew at home to Walsall on Saturday despite dominating proceedings.

Honours Shared in Academy Derby Clashes

City and United emerged with one win each from the clubs’ meetings at under-17 and under-19 level on Saturday. The Blues were victorious at the younger age grouping, earning a 1-0 win, but United won the under-19 clash 2-1. The games were played at United’s Littleton Road venue because City’s Platt Lane pitches, where the matches were due to take place, were waterlogged.

Food for Thought in OFT Leeds Verdict

The Office of Fair Trading will not refer to the Competition Commission BSkyB’s acquisition of a stake in Leeds United’s holding company. But the episode could still have repercussions for Manchester City, who entered a similar deal two months after the Elland Road outfit. Sky’s deal with Leeds, like the arrangement with the Blues, provided for board representation on the part of the media giant. And the Financial Times claims that the company’s withdrawal of its invitation to the broadcaster to appoint a director was a significant factor in persuading the OFT that Sky didn’t exercise a “material influence” over the Yorkshire club’s affairs. The wider question of Sky’s multiple holdings in several English clubs may still be examined by the OFT, who have concerns over the possible advantage the situation may give the satellite giant in future TV negotiations.

Another Away Sell-Out

City have been backed by big away followings for the club’s last two away matches at Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest. And the forthcoming trips to Huddersfield and Crystal Palace should see the team receive vocal support from two more large travelling contingents. The Blues have sold out of their allocation of 5,000 tickets for the short journey to the McAlpine Stadium on Friday, 18 February – even though the game will be televised live on BSkyB. And the administrators of cash-strapped Palace are hoping for a major cash boost when City visit Selhurst Park on Saturday, 4 March – the Blues could have as many as 7,000 fans in South London, each paying £20. Meanwhile, there are only a few tickets left for Saturday’s home game with Norwich and there’s also expected to be a big crowd by reserve standards for the Manchester Senior Cup clash against Manchester United at Hyde on Tuesday.

Peter Brophy (


NOTTINGHAM FOREST vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 5th February 2000

I only decided on Thursday that I was even going to this game, as we ended up with spare tickets through the supporters’ club branch, so if it had all gone wrong I would have known exactly whose fault it was. As we were driving up the A1 (and missing the A52 turn to Nottingham thanks to the driving of Jamie the Rag, who was only coming with us as he’d heard about the proportion of women to men in Nottingham), I had this funny feeling that we were going to go 1-0 down yet still win the game 2-1. That’s the closest I’ve been to a correct prediction for months (tip: never ask me to buy your lottery tickets).

Forest had their best gate of the season by about 5,000 for our visit, so had opened up the upper tier of the stand where we were sitting to home fans. I don’t normally enjoy this, it’s too easy for certain home fans to welcome us in their own particular moronic way (isn’t it nice picking phlegm out of your hair?), but this was fun. City started with Weaver, Edghill, Tiatto, Wiekens, Jobson, Bishop, Horlock, Kennedy, Whitley, Goater and Taylor. Forest had a team of players of high talent who have formed a mediocre team and who, if they aren’t very careful, are about to be relegated. Oh yes, things could get that bad for Forest, haven’t we seen it all ourselves? Still, that didn’t stop them taking the lead with almost their only shot of the first half. Wiekens headed the ball out only as far as a Forest player, who passed it out wide to Bart-Williams – who let fly with the best shot on goal he’s ever managed. Weaver had no chance of stopping it. The Forest fans enjoyed that, so cue lots of chants of “nowhere, City are going nowhere” for the next ten minutes. Oh well. Wiekens almost equalised straight away but could only head the ball onto the top of the bar. The City fans decided that it didn’t matter what was going on on the pitch and started taunting the Forest fans (reknowned for their loyalty and long-standing support of their local team, not) with “sit down if you’re going down”. Tee hee. It took about 20 minutes for City to get a deserved equaliser, when big fat Blob took the ball into the left of the penalty area. Just as I was howling at him for having taken it too far and not crossed earlier when he’d had the chance, somehow he managed to scoop a shot out of nothing and smack the ball into the roof of the net. Cool. Good goal, Blob. Almost immediately we were ahead, as the awesomely skilful Shaun Goater took advantage of a defensive error by Scimeca (who used to be good until he went to Forest) to lob the ball over the ‘keeper into the net. Cooler. Ah, I do enjoy a bit of taunting the home fans, it’s lovely to have the chance these days. Are we getting arrogant? Who cares?

We were completely on top by this time, both on and off the field. The Forest fans sank back into their torpid slumber and City were in fine voice. This is probably the best performance at an away game by the fans that I’ve seen this season, and it can’t all have been blamed on beer as it seemed to be impossible to get a drink in the local pubs before the game. Half of an hour to get served? Wouldn’t have that in the Gardeners…

We missed the restart as it had taken us so long to get a pint at half time that we couldn’t drink it quickly enough to see the second half kick off. Still, City remained on top for the rest of the game. Forest had loads of possession in midfield but what does that matter if you can’t do anything with it? Weaver had just one save to make and did it well, tipping the ball around the post for a corner, as City sat back and soaked up everything Forest could throw at them. Well, not exactly throw, more like wibble in the vague direction of the goal. Tiatto had had a relatively quiet game and was subbed for Granville, then just as I was complaining that we were lacking bite in midfield and should have Jamie Pollock on, Joe heard me and did as I asked. Or something like that, as Bishop made way for Super Slim Boy. It made a difference in midfield too – Jamie and Jeff Whitley between them then started winning all the loose balls in midfield. Big fat knackered Bob was taken off for Dickov with about 15 minutes to go, and it was probably a fair reflection of the game when we scored our third near the end. This time a free kick from Kennedy was met in the box by a “rising like a salmon on speed” Shauny boy (oh yes, that Shauny boy) who headed the ball in the net. Well deserved it was too. For the first time since that game at Birmingham over two years ago, we could sing “jingle bells” without being shushed by the more nervous ones amongst us!

There were some extremely encouraging things to come out of this game. Firstly, the fact that we can finish off teams like Forest, who are having an awful season and who we need to have beaten (and beaten well) to continue the momentum. Secondly, that even when we were 0-1 down we always believed we would at least equalise and that confidence was evident in the team. Bob “better than Gareth” Taylor again showed that, if he loses a bit of weight and gains the fitness that he is currently lacking, he can become a strike partner worthy of playing with Goater. Jobson was excellent at the back and Wiekens played better than he has for a while. As for Shaun Goater, what more can we ask of him? This is not the same player who we signed; I don’t know what Joe’s been feeding him on but it’s working. We’re 14 points clear of 7th place now and clear in second with a game in hand. Personally I don’t care if we go up first or second and I can’t see the point of all the interminable “oh but who’ve we got who’s good enough for the Premiership?” debates – I’m enjoying the fact that for the first time for years I can have a bit of a gloat about how well we’re doing in this division. On the way to the station a Forest fan sneered something about how, when (when! Not if, when!) we went up, we’d come straight back down if we played like that. Yeah well, enjoy your visits to Colchester and Scunthorpe, mate.

Sharon Hargreaves


NOTTINGHAM FOREST vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 5th February 2000

Nottingham Forest 1-3 Manchester City


Edghill    Jobson   Wiekens    Tiatto
Jeff Whitley Bishop  Horlock    Kennedy
        Robert Taylor   Goater

Subs (used): Pollock, Dickov, Granville

Oh to see City win away! I’ve broken the duck, on my ninth attempt, not too bad really and it means my memories of away matches aren’t of miserable nights spent suffering 3-0’s against Reading at Elm park any more.

Manchester City’s ticket office had made the decision to give me seats in row ‘Z’ of block ‘Z’ so I took my place expecting to be a ball boy for wayward goalbound attempts. It was also the back row with a nice resonant wall behind, which was great for the goal celebrations! Anyway, I’ll stop squibling on and give you my match report before the hangover sets in.

A nice, bright start for City, with a few good moves early on, until Chris Bart Williams hit – I have to say – a beautiful chipped drive. I expected Weaver to handle it (what! me expecting City ‘keepers to save shots… bring back Margetson, all is forgiven) but it lobbed over him into the net. However, City were determined to get stuck in and we seemed (finally) to be able to get corners right, with Wiekens hitting the bar soon after. City piled the pressure on. About 20 minutes later a fine move started by Tiatto led to Taylor in a good position; he beat the defender and blasted home, great control in the box! Minutes later Goater got the second with a fine lob. Half time.

The Forest supporters were as quiet as dormice and we had to do that ‘sshh ing’ thing and sing “can you hear the forest sing?” which I’ve always had a soft spot for; it seemed that only the handful of forest fans in front of us were slightly bothered about making any noise.

The second half was a lot less exciting; it looked as though City took on a more defensive posture, with the likes of Goater running back to do some defending but we seemed reasonably in control. About 10 minutes from time though Goater headed home! I think his twentieth of the season.

Weaver – 8 Made a few fine saves and looked solid.
Edghill – 7 Useful performance giving us a few options on the right.
Jobson – 7 Solid performance from the old man.
Wiekens – 7 Seems to be getting back into the swing of things after his poor showings since returning from injury.
Tiatto – 8 Not his best performance but helped set up some nice moves.
Whitley – 6 In his usual bothering rôle but he seems to be slowly developing.
Bishop – 6 Not one of his better performances.
Kennedy – 7 Solid performance but seems to lack the will and determination he showed on his first few outings for us.
Taylor – 9 His best performance yet for the Blues, very useful up front and seems to have a little more pace than usual. Hopefully he’s now settled into the side.
Goater – 9 Did what he does best, being in the right place at the right time and banging them in.

Oh and to the pretty lady who sat next to me, I hope you found your earring.

Gareth Thomas (


NOTTINGHAM FOREST vss. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 5th February 2000

First off, thanks to the two guys who I purchased spare tickets from (I hope the stag night went well Brent; it was quite an eyeful at Hooters! I did end up buying that 2nd ticket, Stuart, so I made sure the one I got off you went to a deserving cause). Onto the game and I can only repeat what you will have read in match reports elsewhere, as seen through my beer goggles. A word of warning: the accuracy may not be perfect. My only excuse is that the train arrived in Nottingam at 11:30 and the pub was two minutes walk away from the station.

First blood went to Forest. Bart-Williams scored an absolute corker of a goal – similar to Carbone’s long range effort against Leeds on Sunday last – to put them ahead against the run of play. Weaver had no chance but that may have been down to his positioning, still the weakest point of his game I reckon. I would have to see the replay again to be sure.

Surprisingly, this didn’t phase City who went ahead before half-time with two well-taken strikes, one apiece from Taylor and Goater. You could apportion some blame to the Forest defence for each one but our two front men did their job, making sure those mistakes were punished. For his goal, Taylor barged (or should that be “sideboarded”?) past a defender and beat Beasant with power. In contrast, Goater’s was a delightful lob over the advancing (in both feet and years) ‘keeper.

Taylor looked visibly relieved when he scored and he grew in confidence after that. I presume he was tiring towards the end as he was replaced by Dickov. Goater, meanwhile, was having a storming game and was my man of the match, not just for his two goals but also for his constant harrying of the Forest back four. He still has his rare off days but in my opinion, this man just gets better and better.

I am often reminded of the old TV advert for Kit-Kats where a gaudily-dressed rock band play their new song to a record company executive who frowns at the atonal racket, “You can’t sing, you can’t dance and you look awful”, he tells them starkly before breaking a Kit-Kat in half, smiling and saying “you’ll go far”. Goater can’t run, can’t jump and he can’t shoot but he gets 20 goals a season. He will go far.

Our midfield disappeared soon after half-time as Forest took tactical control of the game. In the first half, we’d been playing the ball behind their defence and they did not like it one bit. Why we stopped in the second, I don’t know. Maybe Forest reorganised at half-time?

Despite being on top, Forest failed to take advantage because of some timely tackles – legal and illegal – from our defence, good stops by Weaver and poor finishing by Forest. Wiekens and Tiatto both got booked; a Premiership ref might have sent Wiekens off.

Granville came on for Tiatto and Pollock for Bishop and we were soon back in control. The third goal, which City did need to be certain of victory, came seven minutes before time after Pollock (I think) was brought down on our right wing. Kennedy’s foot to Goater’s bonce. Three points, thank you very much.

On a bad note, once again, I spotted players ignoring Kennedy’s pleas for the ball and choosing not to pass to him. It wasn’t as bad as against Fulham, where I thought Tiatto must have had a bust-up with Kennedy before the game. There was no other explanation for ignoring him so much.

The City support mercilessly taunted the Forest fans towards the end. I wasn’t so sure about “we’ll never play you again” but “David Platt is a football genius” was spot on.

Then it was back to The Fellows for a few more Timmy Taylors and some reflection on a very enjoyable game of football. Forest had played good football and stretched us at times but they lacked the killer touch. Second half, they almost did enough to get a point before the vital third goal killed them off. I don’t see them getting relegated but that’s what people used to say about us, season before last.

So we’re back to the vital average of two points per game, surely enough for automatic promotion if we keep it up? If we can just keep Charlton in our aim, I reckon we won’t get nervous and have another wobble until the finishing line is in sight. Every team, and especially City, has a wobble at that point.

For me, the burning question is now: can we actually win at Selhurst Park? Surely after so many seasons of abject performances against all of the tenants, we must get it right this time.

Onwards and upwards!

James Nash (


NOTTINGHAM FOREST vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 5th February 2000

Another fine result for the Blues ensured that the position at the top of the Division 1 table was unchanged. City stayed second behind Charlton who managed to pull off a 3-1 victory against Stockport. Ipswich climbed to 3rd spot after beating Barnsley 2-1.

City had Wiekens back from suspension and Granville and Dickov back from injury. The latter two started on the bench, while Wiekens found his way into the centre of the defence. City lined up as follows:

Edghill       Wiekens Jobson       Tiatto
Jeff Whitley   Bishop Horlock     Kennedy
             R.Taylor Goater

Forest got the greatest of starts when Chris Bart-Williams slotted the ball home after only 8 minutes. The big man fired his shot from outside the area and the ball curved beautifully past Weaver’s left and went in at the far post. It was one-nil and 80 minutes to go.

After the opening goal City came back into the game and Bishop was creating sparks from his midfield position. Goater and Rob Taylor worked really hard up front and often caught the defenders smashing the ball into the stands. City were establishing themselves as the dominant team and played some neat football, while the home team was hoofing the ball about on the pitch.

After 32 minutes Rob Taylor received the ball in front of goal. He challenged Doig, and the Scotsman lost his balance for a second; that proved to be enough for the strong City striker, who slipped past the defender and lifted it high over Beasant and into the roof of the net.

When City met Forest at Maine Road in August, Shaun Goater scored the only goal, and today the Bermudian international was on the goal-path again. Just 4 minutes after Taylor’s equaliser Jeff Whitley made a bubbling pass towards Goater. Scimeca in the Forest defence challenged with his head, but was tricked by Goater who broke free and lobbed the ball elegantly over Beasant and into the net.

City continued to challenge and Forest looked really out of order for the remainder of the first half. City could have made it three 2 minutes before the interval when Rob Taylor found Goater in front of goal, but the Bermudian couldn’t control the ball.

Half time: Forest 1, City 2.

Forest did one change during the break, as Dawson replaced Scimeca at the back. Forest seemed determined to do something with the score-line and especially seemed eager to control the midfield. Bishop had a good first half but in the second he became more and more anonymous. Jeff Whitley also made defensive errors, giving the ball away in dangerous places. Luckily City could rely on Wiekens and Jobson to clear the danger when necessary, and Edghill was having a great game on the right.

It was Wiekens who cleared the first real touch of danger, 3 minutes into the half, when Brennan went past Edghill and crossed for Freedman just 8 yards out of the City goal. The Dutch defender gave Freedman no free ride, and so the shot went wide.

City came back after 58 minutes when Rob Taylor again made a dummy of Doig inside the area, but this time the striker curled the ball past both Beasant and the far post. Two minutes later a free-kick transformed into a great chance for Taylor to head home but the unmarked striker only hit the ball with his shoulder and so Beasant could scramble the looping ball over the bar. The following corner was won by Jobson, but his powerful header was well taken by Beasant.

At this point a number of substitutions were made by both teams. City brought on Pollock for Bishop, Granville for Tiatto and Dickov for Taylor, while Forest let Harewood in for Quashie and Merino for Doig.

It may sound like City had the best of the game but during the second half Forest came back and almost levelled the score after 62 minutes. A free-kick beat everybody in the area and Weaver had to pull off a spectacular jump to clear the ball off the line. 3 minutes later another free-kick just outside the City area found its way to Merino who shot low and hard from 20 yards. The ball shaved the left post with Weaver beaten.

Harewood gave Forest more punch up front but he seemed more eager to attack Pollock in a more or less ruthless manner. The City midfielder got a good beating during his 25 minutes on the pitch but he stayed cool and seemed to control his temper well.

7 minutes from time a free-kick from Kennedy found Goater’s head in front of Beasant’s fingertips. The lethal striker smashed the ball into the net for his 20th goal of the season. Game, set and match City.

Kennedy could have added a fourth just before full time but after a lengthy run on the left, leaving two defenders crawling on the ground, he was denied by Beasant at the near post, with three City players waiting inside the area.

A great result on away turf for Joe Royle and his men. Forest are hopelessly astray in the bottom half and will not go straight up like many had guessed before the season started. City may well do but there are still 17 games to go. Kennedy looked high class today. He took on defenders and crossed the ball from every possible angle. Edghill had a great game and the two front-runners did their stuff, worked hard and scored three great goals.

Svenn A. Hanssen (


The CSA’s web site is currently under reconstruction. Therefore, would all CSA Branches please access the site at and check that your details are correct. Please mail any changes/additions to Shaun Sefton at the address below.

Shaun Sefton (


After last week’s match-less weekend, normal service can now be resumed…

N  ot to be
O  utdone by
T  aylor,  who put
T  wo
I  n the
N  et?
G  oater -
H  ad
A  mazing
M  atch.
F  ine
O  ld
R  esult
E  stablishes
S  econd in
T  able.

Steve Maclean (


I have just been down to the Platt Lane complex this morning 7-2-00. It was very wet so nearly all players trained in the dome. Just Nicky Weaver and the other ‘keepers trained outside. Still, it was quite interesting. I went to the club shop and bought “City ‘Til I Die” by David Chidlow – a fans’ view of Wembley. Pretty good book, a little pricey but some great stuff in it for £9.99. Some great short stories in it and well put together and good pics too. I got it signed by most of the players. Pride of place is Paul Dickov, a really decent bloke. Shaun Goater said thanks for making all the noise at Forest, it really gave them a buzz to hear us all. While I was standing outside waiting for the players to come out of the complex, some poor lad reversed into Andy Morrison’s blue BMW; you should have seen the lad’s face when he realised whose car it was. Only a scratch but AM was not very happy. AM said his injury was coming along slowly but was a bit pre-occupied with his motor. Going back to the book, Nicky Weaver said he had read it from cover to cover. Also picked up my tickets for Huddersfield a week on Friday, let’s hope it’s as good as Forest.

CTID, Tim Hardman – Disley Blues (


I have done some research as requested in a newsletter edition last week. Sorry no Kippax in Virginia, I lived in Henrico County for some 20 years (doesn’t time fly?) and Varina is a district within Henrico County. I even went to AOL Keyword “Native Indians” to try to trace claims of an Indian named Kippax – no luck.

I was even lucky enough to meet a real Indian Chief – Chief Webster of the Mattaponi tribe. He was most interesting and wanted to know if I had seen the Statue overlooking the Thames of Pocahontas (have I spelled that right?). I listened to him for so long – he was so interesting. He liked the fact that I had seen the statue and appeared to be very proud that it was in England, good for John Smith (John Smith must have been a City fan).

Just one quick thing of interest: the Indians in Virginia do not pay taxes, instead every year at Thanksgiving they give a Turkey to the Governor of Virginia (a little history).

So sorry, no Kippax.

Ernie Barrow (


As a football fan living within the boundaries of what used to be CONCACAF and in response to Mr. Turton’s little snip about CONCACAF, I’d like to point out that it is no longer CONCACAF, but simply The Football Federation, which US teams frequently perform well in.

A Football Federation citizen, Armando Testani (


Shaun was at our inaugural Morecambe Bay CSA Meeting Last February… the esteemed Burmudian actually stated that he was looking for a new goal scoring celebration routine. He said if anyone had any ideas to drop him a line with them. He also said that if it was good enough and was used there’d be a couple of tickets in it for the person giving the suggestion (that offer might not still stand though).

Shaun’s a really nice guy, with a great sense of humour, so I’m sure he’d be up for anything funny.

Lance Thomson (


Vaughan for Norwich? Bound to happen this week, just in time for him to score the winner against us on Saturday at Maine Road.

Steve Parish (


Andy Noise (MCIVTA 576) made a passing reference to an episode of “The Lovers” starring the late Richard Beckinsale and the fragrant Paula Wilcox. I remember the episode featuring Beckinsale at M.R. on a match day. As a point of extreme trivia, my recollection is that he was let off the leash by Paula’s character in the series and arranged to meet his mate outside the ground. The scene, actually, was placed at the northern end of the Main Stand. Viewers could see the edge of the scoreboard end terracing in the background and hear the pre-game chanting of the Blue fans.

Dafydd Goronwy-Roberts (


In reply to John Marsland’s comments on the lack of Fulham support at the recent game at Maine Road (MCIVTA 572). A colleague of mine happens to support Fulham. He explained that the reason was probably due to what he alleges happened to Fulham supporters the previous season. He stated that Fulham fans (soft targets i.e. blokes with children and old people) were punched and kicked after the match by City fans. I don’t know whether this is true as I didn’t attend last season’s match due to work. As a result of what allegedly happened, he and obviously a lot of other Fulham fans decided that they would not go to Maine Road again. The question I would like to ask is, did it happen? I know trouble still goes on after home matches, you can see them all waiting in Kippax St or outside the Sherwood.

Andy Collins (


Jim Curtis and Andy Noise (MCIVTA 576) wrote about City’s F.A. Youth Cup match at Derby County last week but I fear they missed the point concerning ‘keeper Stephen Hodgson’s moment of madness, which effectively cost us the match. How did they fail to spot that the assistant referee, at whom Hodgson’s inexcusable rant was directed, was actually a woman? Would Hodgson have screamed at the official had it been a man? Also, Jim misinformed readers as to the make-up of the City team. For the record, the Barry Hogan at right-back he referred to was Paddy McCarthy; the Stephen Palsley was Stephen Paisley, the Tyrone Mears is Terry Dunfield, while the Damian Joyce is Dickson Etuhu.

Mike Barnett, Editor, City Magazine


Here for all you people with Ericsson phone here is the melody you need to put in to hear Blue Moon tune every time your phone rings:


Steve Cheeseborough (


In my last MCIVTA contribution I rambled endlessly about anything, everything but also, as always, absolutely nothing. Thankfully the subsidance of bodily caffeine levels has life (and heartbeat, thankfully) returned to its normal pace. I’d like to apologise if I scared any of our more sensitive readers. Cornholio is not a man to be messed with. Now, one of the things I blurted out in mid-rant, which if I hadn’t fallen asleep would have continued for many more pages (I still have a list of “stuff” I didn’t get around to asking / saying / boring you with, if anyone’s interested), was the way that Super Shaun has celebrated his goals this season. I wasn’t having a go at him, God forbid, he’s had enough people doing that since he joined City before the relegation to Division 2, no I was hoping to see him enjoying himself more on the pitch especially when he scores as I’ve only ever seen the slow, deliberate shaking of a fist and that lovely cherubic smile so far.

Well Shaun has truly outdone himself in front of goal so far this season, with a goal tally to date of a whopping 20, and to add to this he really pulled out all the blocks celebrating his two latest strikes against Forest on Saturday (I think the blocks were actually pulled out and then flung into a bottomless ravine by the looks of his second celebration). The first one was nice – if not a variation on Shaun’s usual coolness – as he reeled off holding the crest on his shirt out for all to see that he’s as Blue as they get. Oh yeah, he smiled a lot too on the first one.

The second celebration however – using only Shaun’s previous displays of joy as a reference – was a truly amazing sight to behold. The man is possessed I tell you, possessed. Running onto the inch perfect cross Kennedy rifled in from a free kick on the right wing, Shaun met it perfectly with that shiny noggin’ of his sending the ball flying into the top corner and making the Forest defence look decidedly stupid as they were all cut out of the game by his run. Without missing a step, Shaun raced toward the huge City contingent at the same end of the pitch, ripped off his shirt (which I thought was a booking offence) and danced for the faithful, soaking up their love. He had to be physically restrained, well actually he had to be wrestled to the ground, by his teammates to stop him from stage-diving into the adoring throng, where he would have probably gladly spent the remainding seven or so minutes giving each and everyone of them a big hug. I think he was smiling a lot in this celebration… it was hard to tell as he was surrounded by men in white (laser blue actually) coats, but I’m assuming he cracked into a smirk at some stage.

Even though I said in last week’s MCIVTA that I’d like to see Shaun try something more outlandish when the next goal goes in, I’m certainly not claiming to have anything to do the alteration in Shaun’s demenour on the pitch. Firstly, I’m just not worthy enough – I prostrate myself to any God in a laser blue shirt (I’m deliberately not going to get involved in qualifying that last statement by naming exclusions, as it’s really not that sort of contribution. Alan Gowling probably thought he could breathe easy though) and secondly I’m sure Shaun is big enough and ugly enough (as they say) to have reached his own personal sea of tranquility at City and I’m hoping we’re now seeing the confident striker this great Club has craved for a long time – sans baggage, self-doubt and the attention of the boo-boys. With that in mind, and it’s only February, how many goals will Shaun get this season? Would it be so bad if he stopped at 20? Will he go on to 25…? 30…? More…?

Woah, woah, woah, Shau-au-auny,
Nah nah nah nah-nah,
We’d walk a million miles, for one of your smiles ohhhh Shau—-ny!


CTIDARTSAOA…. City ’til I die and reincarnate to start all over again, Cathal Whelehan (


We have currently in the squad what are, I believe, two top drawer wingers in Mark Kennedy and Terry Cooke. These are my observations on the present situation: Mark Kennedy – a great player, who, when he is on song, gives a brilliant performance! He seems to have tremendous time on the ball, possess pace and the ability to deliver telling crosses. On the down side, he seems to be prone to injury, and when off form, plays as if he is not interested. Plus the problem of his reputation which results in opposing teams putting one or maybe two man-markers on him.

Terry Cooke – did a fantastic job for us last season – his arrival in the new year must have been one of the factors which transformed the team and earned the play-off place. Also has pace and the ability to cross well. Against him must be his diminutive stature and apparent loss of form, though in fairness, he has not been given much of a chance in the first team this season. Lacks the grit and tackling ability of a Pollock or Whitley. I find it difficult to understand why Joe Royle does not use both players. For instance, when Kennedy is off form, or being marked out of a game, why not use Cooke? The lack of a proper right winger has been a weakness at times, as it has forced Edghill to push forward and leave the full back position exposed (especially evident against Leeds). Whitley/Pollock/Grant, whilst being good midfield grafters, are not wingers by any stretch of the imagination. I find it hard to justify ignoring a player with obvious class who cost £1.5 million – or has there been some sort of bust-up with the management?

John Ramsbottom (


Good game, good game. Excellent game in fact Brucie. First away game of season for me and great to see the team on fine form, all played well, Super Bob getting an important goal (for him and us), and Goater doing the biz. Will leave the proper match reports to others better qualified.

Just a couple of musings though:

Chants – good to see my now infamous Doc has got himself into the realms of the football chants (going down with a Shipman…), and as for DP being a football genius, well they didn’t like that did they now?

Goal celebrations – have the boys taken notice of Cathal’s comments last issue?

“I half expected him (Goater) to go completely beserk in celebration but no, cool customer that he is, he continued with that “grin and wave the fist slowly” thingy he always does. Just once wouldn’t you just love to seen him completely lose the plot when he scores?”

Noticed after SBT’s goal (on the TV replay) Whitley running towards him pulling at the shirt. Then when Goat scored, he did the same, second goal saw the shirt actually come off! That’s more like it lads – as the MuEN state today: “sparked off some bizarre celebrating by the entire team”.

Truth is stranger than fiction – nice one, W.H. Smith’s in the Arndale. Was browsing around at lunch today and looking at the “Fiction Top 20”. There, on the display, at number 11 is Taggart’s autobiography. So now the truth is out.

Heidi Pickup (


Guys, I don’t like being the purveyor of bad news, especially after a sound whupping of Forest but I have to say that the Planet audio service is totally useless – I left them the message below, on the MCFC web site and e-mailed it to them also. I doubt very much that I’m alone in my frustrations – is there anything you can do to put some kind of pressure on (or at least, to let MCFC know that their ISP isn’t providing an adequate service)?

Sent to McVitee and MCFC ISC

Why is it that Planet cannot seem to get their act together with regards to the audio broadcasts? If you can get on at all, it seems like you’re listening to a 1940’s newsreel (actually, that doesn’t do justice to the newsreels). On Saturday I spent a long time trying to get in; when I did I could hear next to nothing. Other people also had this experience and mentioned that the Forest website was better. When I tried this, it was perfect – running at 8.5k, there was very little delay and the volume levels were fine. I live overseas and this is the only way I can get to listen to the Blues – I suggest you either get your act together, or give up the audio service completely as it is a contradiction in terms.

Sincerely, Andy Gascoigne, Cayman Islands

Andy Gascoigne (


As an avid City supporter banished to the colonies (Canada) since 1967, I have had to suffer in silence for the best part of 30 years, watching the demise of a once great club. It was heartening to see them bounce back last year and at least achieve something. Having to sit and watch United clean up on the satellite games at the local pub last year, proudly wearing my City shirt as I sat amongst the United scum, it was great to finally have something to cheer about. It would have been even better had the City vs. Gillingham game been televised over here but as it was I searched in vain for a satellite outlet. Even worse, my computer had been stolen so I couldn’t connect with the Internet to get a final score. I finally called a business associate and she told me they’d won easily, 5-3! I knew that was too good to be true but it wasn’t until the following day that I learned about the last second heroics. Maybe it was a good job I hadn’t watched the game live. I’m not sure I could have handled the suspense. By the way, I would love to hear from other City fans in the Toronto area. Maybe we could hold a meeting at the local MacDonald’s restaurant.

Keith Sharp, Toronto, Canada (


Where can we watch the footie results in Orlando? Anyone know any bars that I can seek out? We are staying on International Drive. Please e-mail me if you know one. Thanks!

John Stewart (


Was it the magic of ‘Bell, Lee, Summerbee’? Well no actually, as a 5-year-old my father used to take me to the Swamp one week and Maine Road the next. A strange generation of people who supported Manchester teams regardless of colour.

So, for 5 years I was a ‘Manchester supporter’ until that fateful day when I went to ‘Big School’; not only did I discover people who were bigger than me but also I discovered ‘girls’; what a lovely and confusing time that was. But one girl in particular who went around with the names of the City team written on her school satchel – that was me hooked. Sorry it was not the calling of the superior race or the magic of the football or the blue blood rushing through my veins, just simply a ‘girl’.

But what a time to cement my allegiance – the Rags at the Swamp won the European cup (this is when it was a proper cup) but my new found allegiance did not waver (I still fancied this girl) and I was proved right – League Champions, FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup, Charity Shield, even an Evening News Five-a-Side Cup. For years we steamrolled through games and cups and we steamrolled the Rags. Late sixties and early/mid seventies I was on a wave of footballing ecstasy.

My very first trip abroad was to see City win at Vienna. I always looked at programmes on TV; abroad meant sun, sand and scantily clad girls. I was ready for this, dressed in my blue shirt, white shorts and a pair of pumps (these were the days before trainers). I boarded the plane from Ringway (Manchester Airport) with my mate and his father. This was the biggest moment of my life. We arrived at Vienna in the worst torrential rain the poxy country had for 25 years, we were frog marched by gun-carrying police to a caged compound on the tarmac and held for 2 hours in the pouring rain before being marched to the ground. Jesus, what happened to the sun, sea (geography was not my strong point, how should I know it wasn’t on the sea, after all I thought every place abroad was on the sea) and girls. Even being in an open end in the ground during the rainstorm and being scantly clad did nothing to spoil that memorable night. Returning to school a couple of days later, I was shocked to discover we hadn’t even been live on TV. Apparently ITV and BBC carried the FA Cup replay of Chelsea and Leeds from the Swamp (pub trivia quiz – ‘Who are the only British team to win a European trophy and not have the game shown live on TV?’).

My first all night party (age 13), totally wasted, probably on cider, waking up with what I have since learnt to be a hangover (thought I was dying) and travelling on a bus to the Academy for a derby game (God I miss them). I noticed blood seeping through the sleeve of my shirt; I pulled up the sleeve to discover a tattoo ‘MCFC’. I do not even remember having it done. Apparently I had a bet with a Rag, the joys of youth! Still, 31 years on and it’s still on my arm.

I have millions of good memories from following the Blues and even some funny ones from the worst moments in my life, like the day we were relegated after the Luton game; my mate (converted Leeds fan, who I made see the light) and I were with a couple of girls in the pub that evening, his girl made the comment ‘It’s only a game of football’. He kicked her so hard on her leg she leapt up knocking the table and drinks all over a Rag on the next table, he was saturated and jumped up with his fists clenched and moved in on my mate. He took one look at the anger in my friend’s eyes, he said ‘sorry about City, let me buy you a drink’. That poor girl’s leg (she is now his wife).

Five years ago I lived and worked for three years in the Czech Republic and only missed two home matches – I would fly back for the games. It totally wasted the money I made but what the hell, the only people who would understand are the people reading this. Once a Blue always a Blue. I listen to commentators on TV marvelling over our 30,000 plus crowds week in, week out and whatever division we are in, what sad people, they will never understand.

It’s been hard being a City fan over the last 15 or so years but I have always been proud to say ‘I support Manchester City’ and I will always thank the girl with the satchel.

To the next 44 years – cheers.

John Crump (


It’s not really a Why Blue, but it’s along those lines… Coming up to my 17th birthday, I realised that this will mark an important moment in my Blue life. When I was 7, my brother passed his driving test, and to celebrate, took my and my sister on a drive around Manchester. I remember the trip vividly; he asked me where I wanted to go, and I said “Maine Road”. Next thing I knew, we turned round a corner and there in front of me was the Main Stand, with its unique roof. We drove around it, and I was dumbstruck. It was my first time at Maine Road (my first match was a few months later), a moment I will never forget. So, this birthday will mark, near enough, the 10th Anniversary of my first trip to Maine Road. It will also be the year which I should hopefully be able to drive. So be warned! Make sure you’ve got insurance!

David Scally (


Recent results to 7 February 2000 inclusive.

5 February 2000

Barnsley              0 - 2  Ipswich Town
Bolton Wanderers      3 - 1  Blackburn Rovers
Crewe Alexandra       2 - 3  Birmingham City
Fulham                1 - 0  West Bromwich Albion
Huddersfield Town     0 - 1  Portsmouth
Norwich City          1 - 1  Walsall
Nottingham Forest     1 - 3  Manchester City
Port Vale             1 - 1  Queens Park Rangers
Sheffield United      3 - 1  Tranmere Rovers
Stockport County      1 - 3  Charlton Athletic
Swindon Town          0 - 1  Grimsby Town
Wolverhampton Wndrs   2 - 1  Crystal Palace

League table to 6 February 2000 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Charlton Ath.   29 10  2  2 25 11  9  3  3 30 18 19  5  5 55 29  26  62
 2 Manchester City 29 11  0  3 31 10  7  4  4 16 13 18  4  7 47 23  24  58
 3 Ipswich Town    30 11  2  2 30 13  5  7  3 20 16 16  9  5 50 29  21  57
 4 Barnsley        30 11  1  3 36 16  6  3  6 23 28 17  4  9 59 44  15  55
 5 Huddersfield T. 30 11  2  2 34 13  4  4  7 13 19 15  6  9 47 32  15  51
 6 Wolves          30  8  4  3 25 16  4  6  5 15 18 12 10  8 40 34   6  46
 7 Birmingham City 29  9  3  2 26 12  3  5  7 16 22 12  8  9 42 34   8  44
 8 Fulham          29  7  5  3 13  8  3  7  4 13 17 10 12  7 26 25   1  42
 9 Stockport C.    30  7  6  2 25 20  4  3  8 10 21 11  9 10 35 41  -6  42
10 QPR             30  6  8  1 21 14  4  3  8 18 22 10 11  9 39 36   3  41
11 Blackburn R.    28  7  5  2 21 11  3  5  6 15 22 10 10  8 36 33   3  40
12 Bolton Wndrs    28  7  5  3 26 18  3  4  6 12 14 10  9  9 38 32   6  39
13 Norwich City    29  8  3  4 18 16  2  6  6 10 15 10  9 10 28 31  -3  39
14 Sheff. United   30  8  3  4 23 15  2  5  8 16 30 10  8 12 39 45  -6  38
15 Grimsby Town    30  7  5  3 21 21  3  2 10 13 28 10  7 13 34 49 -15  37
16 Tranmere Rovers 29  7  4  3 23 15  3  2 10 15 26 10  6 13 38 41  -3  36
17 Crystal Palace  30  6  6  3 25 16  3  3  9 18 33  9  9 12 43 49  -6  36
18 Nottm Forest    30  6  6  3 19 13  1  3 11 12 27  7  9 14 31 40  -9  30
19 West Brom A.    30  2  9  4 13 16  3  6  6 12 18  5 15 10 25 34  -9  30
20 Portsmouth      30  5  5  5 22 16  2  4  9 13 29  7  9 14 35 45 -10  30
21 Walsall         30  4  5  6 15 18  3  4  8 18 29  7  9 14 33 47 -14  30
22 Crewe Alex.     30  5  5  5 16 16  2  3 10 14 25  7  8 15 30 41 -11  29
23 Port Vale       28  5  3  6 16 16  1  7  6 16 22  6 10 12 32 38  -6  28
24 Swindon Town    30  2  6  7 14 25  1  4 10  7 26  3 10 17 21 51 -30  19

With thanks to Football 365


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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.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #577