Newsletter #706

Another quiet week from a news perspective. The reserves lost for the second successive game but can be encouraged by the performance of Leon Mike; Burnley have expressed an interest in Tony Grant; and perhaps most welcome of all, Marcus Stewart appears to be out of Monday’s crucial game!

This issue has Peter’s news, info on where to watch the Ipswich game, a guide to watching the Blues in Prague, the link for TalkinCity, and various offers and requests.

Lastly, please note that the next issue of MCIVTA will be held ’til Tuesday, so, please consider doing a match report, even if you’re just watching it on TV.

Next game: Ipswich away, Monday 7th May 2001 (BSKYB live)


Part I – Transfer News and Rumours

Royle – Shuker Will Be Staying: Several clubs have noted the form of Chris Shuker during his loan spell at Macclesfield. But Joe Royle has repeated that the young winger will not be allowed to leave Manchester City on a permanent basis. The Blues’ boss made clear when the 18-year-old began his temporary stint with the Silkmen that the youngster had a future with City and was only joining the Cheshire outfit to gain senior experience. And having reportedly having produced some eye-catching displays for Macclesfield, Shuker will be hoping to make his senior breakthrough at City next term – a prospect Royle is keenly anticipating. “He has shown that he can perform at Third Division level, now he will further his education with us and we will find out how far he can go,” explained the City manager. “Like Paul Dickov he has that indomitable spirit about him and he certainly has a chance of making it to the top.”

Grant in Burnely Link: Tony Grant is one of the senior players whose future at Manchester City is currently in doubt. And the ex-Everton star has this week been linked with a summer move to Burnley. Grant spent time on loan with West Bromwich Albion this season, while Joe Royle had agreed in January to sell the 27-year-old to Barnsley for £400,000. The City manager had a change of heart following the sale of Ian Bishop and a serious injury to Kevin Horlock but Grant has still failed to establish himself and rumours continue that he could be sold in the close-season. Royle admits that Burnley made an inquiry for the player’s services six months ago, and although the Blues’ boss says they haven’t been back in for him since, some reports claim the Lancashire outfit could be ready to make a bid once the current campaign ends.

Part II – Miscellaneous News and Views

Horlock Suffers Chelsea Setback: Kevin Horlock played another ninety minutes for the Manchester City reserve side this week. But the Northern Ireland international is unlikely to have returned to fitness in time to feature in the Blues’ senior squad for the season’s final game. Horlock had been hoping that the twelve-day gap between next Monday’s trip to Ipswich and the Maine Road clash with Chelsea would enable him to feature in the latter match. But according to Joe Royle, the ex-Swindon man’s hopes are likely to be dashed. “He is still a bit sore and not fully fit,” explained the Blues’ boss. “Realistically it will probably be next season for him.”

Renewed Eastlands Speculation After Wembley Fiasco: Plans to rebuild Wembley collapsed this week after the FA said they couldn’t fund the project. And the news has led to speculation that Manchester City’s new home at Eastlands could be adapted to fill the rôle of national stadium. Wembley was preferred to Eastlands as the national stadium venue when bids were submitted some years ago, and some are speculating that the decision could now be reversed. But with construction work having begun on the site, amending the plans for the Manchester arena would surely prove difficult. In any case, all talk at present is purely speculative. A committee headed by Home Secretary Jack Straw will consider the national stadium question, and is said to have ruled nothing in or out at this stage. In addition to Eastlands, possible solutions mentioned so far include: coming up with a new and cheaper plan to rebuild Wembley; finding another London site such as the one at Stratford mooted for a possible stadium if the capital bids successfully for the 2012 or 2016 Olympics; and building a stadium on land adjacent to the M42 and in the vicinity of Birmingham’s NEC.

Whitley Wants to Skipper City One Day: Jeff Whitley regards himself as a Manchester City man through and through. And the Northern Ireland man says it’s his ambition to become the club skipper and lead the Blues to glory. Whitley is one of the few players in last season’s promotion side to have enhanced his reputation this term. And the 22-year-old has pledged his future to City – even if the club is relegated at the end of the season. He says that he considers the club would recover from the setback, and wants to play his part in what he feels will be a bright future. “I want to captain the side to do something with the club and lead them on to great achievements,” he told the official club website at “I take more responsibility now than I did and this year has been a great experience for me in the Premiership.”

Fans’ Poll Shows Tiatto Is Rated Highly: Danny Tiatto is favourite to win the vote for Manchester City’s Player of the Season. And the 27-year-old’s strong showing in a nationwide poll shows that supporters of other teams have also noted his form. Tiatto came second in the PFA’s Player of the Year poll of fans voting on the Association’s website. Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard came out on top, but the City man edged Manchester United’s David Beckham into third place. However, the Australian is more concerned with the overall picture. “I’ve been pleased with the way it’s gone for me personally this season but as a team we haven’t done as well as we should have done,” he commented. “I appreciate all the support the fans have given me but it won’t mean much if we end up back in the First Division.”

Part III – Reserve Team News

Weaver Woes Continue as City Lose Again: Manchester City reserves enjoyed a fine run of results between November and April. But on Tuesday evening, the Blues’ second string lost their second successive game. City went down 4-2 at home to Everton despite two Leon Mike goals. The youngster twice hauled City level, but his efforts were in vain as a Phil Jevons brace, together with strikes from Nick Chadwick and Joe Max-Moore, ensured that the visitors took the points. Nicky Weaver, relegated to the reserves after his recent woes in the senior side, continues to endure a miserable time. The City goalkeeper seems to have had a generally unhappy evening and conceded the penalty from which Jevons scored the Everton opener.

Part IV – Ipswich Away: Team News and Preview

Goater the Main Injury Doubt: Joe Royle has been boosted by the news that three key players who had been injury doubts earlier this week will be fit for Manchester City’s potentially crucial trip to Ipswich on Monday. But Shaun Goater’s participation in the game is still in the balance. Alfie Haaland, Paul Dickov and Paulo Wanchope all ended up on the treatment table after last week’s game against West Ham. But Royle has revealed that all three should be available at Portman Road – although he admitted that the situation is not so clear-cut with the Bermudian, who is struggling with a groin strain. As in the recent Manchester derby, the City boss may opt for a specific tactical plan with the aim of nullifying the high-flying Suffolk outfit, but he will probably delay this decision until after Saturday’s results have made clear what the Blues’ requirements are 48 hours later. Meanwhile, Ipswich may be without leading scorer Marcus Stewart for City’s visit; the ex-Bristol Rovers player sustained a thigh strain in Monday’s defeat at Charlton.

City Wait on Other Results: Manchester City travel to Ipswich on Monday evening for a game that will be televised live on Sky TV. But the Blues will not know until Saturday whether they will still have a chance of avoiding relegation when they take the field at Portman Road. City’s relegation rivals are all in action two days before the Blues, and Joe Royle knows that if results have gone against his side, the outcome of Monday’s game could be irrelevant. The issue will still be alive as long as Derby haven’t won at Manchester United, but if the Rams have taken a point from the Old Trafford clash, City would need to win at Ipswich to maintain their chances of avoiding the drop. Otherwise, a point would be enough for the Blues to have at least a mathematical chance of avoiding the drop when the season’s final day comes round.

Peter Brophy (


Tuesday saw our second string (had to drop the ‘successful’) in action against Everton at Hyde. On the way into the ground I bumped into Mr & Mrs Jevons, parents of one Phil from Everton. Quick chat and sorted them out with where to get their tickets from; nice couple, justifiably proud of their lad.

City lined up: Weaver, Edghill, Holmes, Day, Jordan, Horlock, Cooke, Killen, Mike, Dunfield, Etuhu. Subs: Topmöller, McCarthy, Murphy & Whelan. Everton’s line-up included aforementioned Jevons and Joe Max-Moore, the young American who was banging the goals in for them last season. The rest of their team had obviously had their boots rooted in growbags as they were enormous compared to our ‘boys’.

Play was pretty much evenly matched in the first 20 minutes, the only incident a clattering from one of their giants on Jordan who was subbed by Paddy McCarthy; end-to-end with neither side managing to make the most of chances. On 22 minutes Weaver decided to bring down Jevons in the box and concede a penalty – madness but almost excusable at reserve level (if you’re leading, there aren’t a box full of scouts there and you haven’t done that kind of thing before). Jevons duly converted and we were 0-1. Mike and Cooke were having a fantastic game. Cooke is back on form, hungry for action and success since his return from the Owls and injury. He commanded the right wing the length of the pitch and for the entire game delivered finely placed crosses into the strikers and wasn’t afraid of going in for well-timed tackles. On 30 minutes Mike went on one of his runs through onto a Killen cross, and fired the ball into the left hand side of the net. 1-1 it stayed until half time.

Forty-six minutes and young Philip was at it again, making the most of the space we’d left in the penalty area. 1-2. Never fear, super Mike’s here, and he fired home the equaliser. Weaver was then beaten by Chadwick as he looped the ball over his head – he didn’t even seem to bother going for it. 2-3. Mike then got another one back for us but the dozy linesman flagged offside – curious decision as by our reckoning he was watching the game from 4 yards ahead, thus giving an interesting angle. Time to stir things up a bit and Topmöller was brought on for Edghill but didn’t really get a touch of the ball in the remaining 15 minutes. Max-Moore than decided to score one in stoppage time after our defence gave up on clearances. Saw the Jevons’ on the way out and duly offered my congratulations.

A poor result, although there were good footballing moments. Horlock was largely anonymous throughout the game, which was very disappointing as I feel we’ve missed his attacking presence in midfield and I’m not sure he’s ‘there’ yet. Weaver was having a ‘mare and quite honestly seemed to have given up – Stepney et al need to get his problems sorted out quickly before they become irredeemable. Defence were poor, neither side was making the most of their chances, but Everton spotted our weaknesses. I do wonder whether had big Andy been playing, even with his short’s leg tucked up his cheek, we’d have been quite so lacklustre in midfield-defence.

The positives: Mike, a tireless competitor with a never say die attitude, some deft movements and quick on the ball – definitely one to be blooded in the first team next season should we find ourselves in Division 1. Cooke is back on form, was definitely MotM and should be knocking on Joe’s door for a return pronto.

Heidi Pickup (


The next meeting of the Reddish Branch of the Centenary Supporters’ Association will be on Wednesday 9th May at The Ash Hotel, Manchester Road, Stockport and it will be a meeting with a difference to say the very least!

The Reddish Branch proudly presents an evening of madcap entertainment and mayhem with Frank Sidebottom aided and abetted by Moonchester.

Doors open at 7.00pm with Frank and Moonie live on stage at 8.00pm. Everyone’s welcome, admission is just £1 for Adults and Juniors (U16’s are free). There’s no need for a babysitter; just bring the kids along – free crisps and soft drinks for the kids and there’s also a free raffle.

For further details please contact Howard Burr on 0161 292 2525 or at the address below.

Howard Burr (


The Milton Keynes branch will be meeting up as usual at the Halley’s Comet at Bradville, MK on May 7th for the 20:00 kick-off. If you’re in the MK area why not come along? Give me a call if you’d like directions or any more details.

Steve Maclean – Secretary, Milton Keynes branch, Manchester City FC Supporters’ Club (


New York Blues will be meeting for the Ipswich match: 3pm kick-off, May 7 at Nevada Smith’s 74 3rd Ave NY NY. Any questions contact me at the address below.

Jon Sedgwick (


I plugged the new message board site but sadly I forgot the site address (not much good without it); well here it is for those that waited patiently:; please feel free to browse, post and ultimately join us.

Also a reminder if “Fandango” reads this could he email me please, as someone wants to get in touch.

Paul Stevenson – ChinnorBLU (


By way of a thank-you to all the subscribers who answered my recent request for information about places to watch the derby in Prague, and as a contribution to the embryo “Manchester City on TV” register (MCOTV), here is a very brief match report-cum-tourist guide.

One of my first jobs to do in Prague after fighting off the conmen at the station trying to pass Bulgarian levs off as Czech crowns was to make my way to a bar recommended by Dave and Vanda Cash (The Konvict Bar on Bartolomejska), not for the TV, but because I thought it would be bad luck to spurn a good tip. Unfortunately I had to cut short my visit there and make my way back to a shop where I’d been given the wrong article. By then it was time to eat and I stumbled on a place I can recommend very highly – U Medvidku near the corner of Narodni and Na Perstyne. Good Central European food, draught Budvar and a fair mix of locals and tourists. For a tasty snack or quite a substantial starter to a bigger meal, try the medvedi tlapky (bears’ paws), a kind of savoury toast.

With a knot forming in my stomach as KO approached, I made my way across central Prague to a place recommended by several MCIVTA readers. Tension was high in the streets of the city that day, but not for football reasons. Owing to a serious shortage of vowels in Bohemia the government had been considering importing some from Finland and demonstrators had gathered around the federal consonant reserves at Frt Knx to block any shipments in the opposite direction. To the sound of wailing police sirens I made my way up Wenceslas Square (towards the Museum) to a street about three quarters of the way along on the right hand side – Ve Smeckach. There I found the bar called Zlata Hvezda (The Golden Star), which has at least half a dozen large screens, all of them already tuned to Sky when I arrived. As far as I am concerned, the Golden Star was Carlo Nash, but more of that later.

It was fairly plain that the composition of the drinkers in the Zlata Hvezda reflected that of the crowd at Old Trafford, that is to say a handful of City supporters and about sixty Cockneys. There was, however, a slight difference in the City contingent in that only one, so far as I know, came from Manchester, the rest being Czechs. To my eternal shame, I have to confess that the only City representative not wearing a replica shirt, or any other sort of colours, was the Mancunian visitor. I was a little bemused by this fanaticism, as if it was not bewildering enough being in a country where if you accidentally order drinks all round it will only cost you about a fiver.

On to the match, and just as it was heartening to see the way the Blues took the match to the opposition in the first ten minutes, it was sickening to see them slowly forced further and further away from the Nitid goal as the half wore on. At first I thought it was menacing when Barthez started playing sweeper outside his own penalty box, but later I realised that a better adjective was “insulting”. Who did these guys think they were up against? Thankfully, you all know the rest of the story, and it was good to see the lads playing with some spirit again. In the second half, not content with holding on, they actually played some decent football, even passing the ball to each other, something I thought they had had drummed out of them on the training ground. Carlo Nash was having a great game and we certainly made sure that his name rang out round the bar, along with a few “Come on City”s. I noticed that my new Czech friends’ pronunciation was gradually getting more authentic as they took advantage of the rare opportunity to model themselves on Mancunian diction.

When Scholes stepped up to take the first penalty my new friend Tomas R. said Nash would save it. My reply was: No, he’s going to miss the target. Then a strange thing happened. When the ball flashed past the left-hand post it turned out that half of the Cockneys were supporting City after all. With renewed heart we willed City on and our goal was greeted with pure joy. It would have been nice for Carlo to save the other pen to put the cap on an outstanding display, but it was not to be.

Just one point to finish about Roy Keane. Two incidents have been discussed in this forum. The foul on Haaland was undoubtedly the more serious, because it could so easily have been one of those career-ending injuries associated for ever in the minds of some readers with the name Martin Buchan. It certainly couldn’t be called a tackle, more like GBH. A four-match ban seems to be very inadequate to discourage that type of wild lunge. The more revealing incident, however, was when Keano fouled Whitley and then not only ignored young Jeff’s offer to shake hands but actually pushed him away. That revealed a shabby meanness of spirit which I find simply despicable. I suppose after that it’s hardly surprising to discover that he doesn’t care to look Alfie in the eye.

Christopher Sawyer (


I’m researching a feature for FourFourTwo magazine on historic footy deals which have taken place in pubs, hotels, service stations, etc. One decent example is in 1906 when City were forced to sell several key players (including Billy Meredith) to United after being charged with financial irregularities. The auction took place at the Queen’s Hotel in Picadilly – which has now been demolished. I need to know what’s there now. And – this is the fun part – I need to know by Friday (or next Monday morning at the very latest).

If you could help at all I’d be very grateful – I got some good responses to the last plea in MCIVTA!

Thanks, Keith Stuart – Freelance Writer (


Just been listening to 5live. Head of Barclaycard is a City fan!

Graham Lord (


Inspired by the current plight of my beloved Blues, the depressed sight of myself staring at the video printer every weekend for the Derby/Coventry scores and Sky Sports’ labelling of us as “Premiership Strugglers” during the derby promotional spots a Scottish friend came up with a far better term for our current plight.

No longer are we to be classified as above nor indeed as “relegation threatened”, “haunted” or “doomed”. When next you are in conversation about the Blues current position simply state that we are “Nationwide League Division One Contenders” and smile smugly.

My friend awaits a call from Conservative H/Q

CTID, Peter Blyth (


In response to Bob Ellis’s curious article in the last MCIVTA, I have this to say:

As some of you may know, there is a census coming around on 7th August in the UK. The census is when the government collates general information about its residents (number of people living in your house, religion, etc).

If there are enough people who put down a religion that isn’t mentioned on the census form it becomes a fully recognised and legal religion. It usually takes about 10,000 people to nominate the same religion.

For this reason, if enough City fans who do not have a religious belief put down “Manchester City” as their religion on their census form, the UK will have a new official and legal religion of the UK: “Manchester City”.

Worth a shot?

In response to my old mate Ernie Whalley, I think he’s absolutely right. JR doesn’t have the tactical astuteness to be a Premiership manager. However, there’s at least one good reason to hold on to him (Neil Haigh, I’m still waiting for yours!). Man City has earned a bit of a reputation in the 90’s for hiring and firing… which top-class manager would want to join a club like that? Now if we’ve hung on to JR for 4-5 seasons and he’s still proven c*ap (hopefully not though), we can go out there and source the next David O’Leary or George Burley with the promise, backed up by recent fact, that he will be given time.

Hsien Min (


We have a team that could easily be called “The cardiac boys in laser blue”. The last few seasons have kept us on the edge of our seats right up to the last game. Let’s hope Lady Luck stays with us.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow (


This is just to say that i have the utmost respect for what Carlo Nash has done in his short time at the club. However, I think that City fans have been too quiet for too long about Alfie Haaland’s performances. Unfortunately since I am in Aberdeen, I cannot go to the matches and the only games I see are on Sky. However, the games that I have been to witness do not warrant giving Alfie Haaland a place in the side, let alone the captaincy. His dire performances have led to a certain number of City fans (including I must admit shamefully, myself) almost cheering when Roy Keane’s tackle went in during the derby. Note: almost, there was no actual cheering but there were groans when he got back up again after the shocking tackle from that United scum.

Jonathan Pearson (


I am in posession of one spare ticket in the City section for the game against Ipswich on Bank Holiday Monday. Please e-mail me if you want it and we can arrange delivery. I can let you have it at face value – only twenty-eight (ITFC rip off) pounds.

Mark Dellow (


Any Blues with a spare ticket for Ipswich? Any reasonable price considered… leave a message on 020 7790 3229 or contact the email below.

Murray Withers (


On the off chance that anyone has some spares for the game, could I put in an appeal for any Chelsea tickets? Being based up in Edinburgh (and a bit of an @rse) I have managed not to get tickets. Two tickets anywhere in the ground would be fantastic (I don’t expect they’ll be together – pref. same stand though).

As it’s the last game, I suppose I better add that it won’t be the only game I’ve been to this season, as I’ve been running up-and-down as much as possible this year.

Spencer Jones (


A fan was parking his car in one of the side streets near Maine Road when a young boy came up to him and said “Mind your car mister?” The fan replied “No, I’ve got a Rottweiler in the back of my car, he will look after my car.” The young boy replied “Does he put out fires mister?”

A City fan was celerbrating after the win against West Ham. After a while the barman tells the fan he’s had enough to drink and tells him to leave. After a while, in comes the fan again, the barman tells the fan “I won’t serve you any more, please leave”; off goes the fan. A few minutes later in comes the fan again and the barman says “sorry, no more”. Out goes the fan. But lo and behold a few minutes later in comes the fan again, the barman again says “sorry, no more” and this time the fan replies “Tell me barman how many bars do you work in?”

Ernie Barrow (


Recent results to 2 May 2001 inclusive.

1 May 2001

Bradford City         0 - 2  Liverpool             22,057
Newcastle United      1 - 1  Southampton           50,439

30 April 2001

Charlton Athletic     2 - 1  Ipswich Town          20,043

League table to 2 May 2001 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  35 15  2  1 49 11  9  6  2 28 14 24  8  3 77 25  52  80
 2 Arsenal         35 14  3  1 43 12  5  6  6 16 22 19  9  7 59 34  25  66
 3 Liverpool       35 12  3  2 35 12  6  5  7 27 25 18  8  9 62 37  25  62
 4 Leeds United    35  9  3  5 27 19  9  5  4 27 20 18  8  9 54 39  15  62
 5 Ipswich Town    36 10  5  3 29 14  9  0  9 25 26 19  5 12 54 40  14  62
 6 Chelsea         35 12  3  3 42 19  3  6  8 20 22 15  9 11 62 41  21  54
 7 Sunderland      36  8  7  3 21 14  6  4  8 20 23 14 11 11 41 37   4  53
 8 Charlton Ath.   36 11  5  2 31 15  3  5 10 17 35 14 10 12 48 50  -2  52
 9 Aston Villa     36  7  8  3 24 18  5  7  6 19 20 12 15  9 43 38   5  51
10 Newcastle Utd   35  9  3  5 23 17  4  5  9 18 30 13  8 14 41 47  -6  47
11 Tottenham H.    36 10  6  2 28 15  2  4 12 14 34 12 10 14 42 49  -7  46
12 Southampton     35  9  2  6 22 19  3  8  7 13 23 12 10 13 35 42  -7  46
13 Leicester City  36  9  4  5 24 21  4  2 12 10 25 13  6 17 34 46 -12  45
14 Everton         36  6  7  5 27 25  5  1 12 15 30 11  8 17 42 55 -13  41
15 West Ham United 36  5  6  7 21 20  4  6  8 20 28  9 12 15 41 48  -7  39
16 Middlesbrough   36  3  7  8 16 22  5  7  6 25 20  8 14 14 41 42  -1  38
17 Derby County    36  8  6  4 22 23  1  5 12 13 35  9 11 16 35 58 -23  38
18 Manchester City 36  4  3 11 19 29  4  7  7 20 32  8 10 18 39 61 -22  34
19 Coventry City   36  4  6  8 14 23  4  3 11 20 37  8  9 19 34 60 -26  33
20 Bradford City   35  4  6  8 19 28  1  3 13  9 35  5  9 21 28 63 -35  24

With thanks to Football 365


Contributions: Ashley –
News & Rumours: Peter –
Subscriptions: Geoff –
Technical Problems: Paul –

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 #706