Newsletter #737

A less than inspiring performance on Saturday saw us lose 2-0 to Norwich in a very physical game, which has left us counting the cost of some long-term absentees in Berkovic, Nash and Whitley. Match reports follow so thanks to you people as I really couldn’t be inspired to do one, but to sum up; we were dreadful once Berkovic had been clattered by their no 8 and stretchered off (to be replaced by Whitley rather than Huckerby, which I found rather surprising) and we subsequently seemed to lose any creativity or threat thus begging the question are we a one-trick team? Their new signing Libra came on and just as I was uttering ‘this one’s supposed to be g…’ he scored. Typical. Mind you, when we realised KK had his shorts on, we thought we’d end up with him as player-manager!

This issue also sees Ken’s Diary, plenty of opinion on the crowd safety and Millwall front, news on ‘that’ music we are running out to at Maine Road, a handful of requests and some news on Berkovic from his home country. Nice to see where his loyalties lie; perhaps he should be reminded that MCFC are currently paying his wages?

Finally, my apologies to the West Yorks CSA and people around some of my (Denton) lot on Saturday, if you were deafened by the pre-match display then you’ll be pleased to hear that the voices finally gave way and we had a peaceful journey home 🙂

Next games: Crewe, home, Saturday 26 August 2001, 3pm
Burnley, away, Monday 28 August 2001, 6.15pm


Michael is still having problems, so fingers crossed everyone.


August 20th:
In 1965 Mike Summerbee was signed from Swindon Town. In 1966 Tony Book played his first game for City in the 1-1 draw at Southampton on City’s return to the First Division. Barrie Betts made his debut vs. Nottingham Forest in 1960.

August 21:
Colin Bell retired on this day in 1979. City lost 5-0 at Preston on the first day of the 1954-55 season [My dad remembers it well! – Ed]. They beat Sheffield Utd 6-0 in 1999, with the help of two first-half penalties and the Sheffield goalkeeper getting sent off. Asa Hartford scored his first goal for the club as City beat Spurs 1-0 in 1974. On a dafter note, in 1997 the Manchester Opera House was putting on a production of “I’m Marrying Ryan Giggs” and a City supporter was reported as advertising his personalised number plate (K1 PAX) for sale for £10,000 (up in New Hampshire there’s a City fan with MCFC on his car – how are you, Ian?).

August 22:
Bobby Johnstone’s goal in the 2-1 win at home to Notts Forest was his 50th and last for City before his transfer back to Hibernian. In 1963 Derek Kevan was bought from Chelsea for £35,000 (compare to the number plate above).

August 23:
The first meeting of Ardwick AFC was held at the Hyde Road Hotel, Aug. 23 1887, where teams changed before matches and where in 1894 the club reformed as Manchester City F.C. In 1967 City played Southampton away and lost 3-2, Bell and Tony Coleman scored. The coach fare from Manchester was 35 shillings. Ian Brightwell played his first game, a 3-1 win at Wimbledon in 1986. It was City 4 Sunderland 2 a year ago – Paolo Wanchope’s hat-trick in his first game at Maine Road, and George Weah’s first home game, too. Niall Quinn headed one of Sunderland’s goals, a reminder of what City had lost when they sold him, but Weah and Wanchope looked a class apart every time they touched the ball.

August 24:
City, just promoted, beat champions Liverpool 2-1 in 1966 in front of 50,000 at Maine Road. In 1977 Dennis Tueart had a hat-trick and Tony Book scored the other in City’s 4-1 win away to Aston Villa. City scored twice from penalties in beating Crystal Palace 3-2 and went top of the table with three wins out of three at the start of the season in 1991. Walsh, Beagrie, and Rösler scored to give City a 3-0 win against West Ham in 1994. In 1996 Paul Dickov had his first game and Alan Ball his last in charge as City lost 2-1 at Stoke, at the old Victoria Ground, where the home fans joined City’s in shouting “Ball Out!” And a year ago Shaun Wright-Phillips made his first appearance, coming on as sub on the right wing at Burnley. Terry Cooke scored the only goal of a fairly meaningless Worthington Cup second leg match (City had won 5-0 at home) and so few Burnley fans showed up they were outnumbered by the City supporters.

August 25:
Maine Road saw its first game, City 2 Sheffield Utd 1 in 1923. They were the visitors again in 1954 when City won 5-2, following up with customary consistency on the 5-0 defeat by Preston four days earlier. Two Wolves own goals gave City a 2-1 win in 1965, and Denis Law in his second spell with City scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Birmingham in 1973. Tony Coton made his début in goal on this day in 1990, as City lost 3-1 at Tottenham. And full back Sam Barkas scored on the opening day of the season in 1934 (a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich), his only goal in a 13 year career with City.

August 26:
Nicky Summerbee’s birthday, 1971. Two days later father Mike scored in a 4-0 rout of Spurs. Peter Dobing (2), Colin Barlow, and Joe Hayes got the goals in the 4-2 win at Ipswich Town in 1961. City put six past Leyton Orient in Division Two in 1964 (Murray 3, Pardoe, Kevan, & Oakes). Back in the First Division in 1967 City lost 3-0 at Stoke, and with only one point after three games, and in 21st place, the bookies gave odds of 100-1 against them winning the championship. Denis Law retired on this day in 1974. In 1992 Steve McMahon scored his only goal for City in a 3-1 Premier League home win over Norwich. City beat Blackpool 2-0 at home in 1970, goals from Bell and Lee, and met Blackpool again with a less talented side in 1997 in the second leg of the League/Worthington Cup. Kevin Horlock made it 1-0 to City and 1-1 on aggregate, it went to penalties and City went out when Lee Bradbury missed the decisive kick. August 26, 2000 – a year ago City lost 2-1 at home to Coventry, Weaver and Edghill combined to give Coventry a two goal start and Edghill, booed mercilessly by a large section of the Kippax, left the field in tears at half-time and didn’t come out for the second half.

Ken Corfield (


Canary Carrot Crunchers 2 – City 0

Back down to earth with a bump or what? After a crap journey to Norwich (don’t ever go anywhere near the A11 if you can help it), a visit to a crap pub (ran out of draught beer at 1.30) and a delay to kick off for a crap reason (as far as I could make out it was because there were still 10 people waiting to be served at the burger bar outside the away turnstiles) we then had to sit through 90 odd minutes of crap football. We started with the same team as began the game against Watford last week – Nash, Charvet (would it be Laurent or Claude?), Howey, Dunne, Pearce, Granville, Tiatto, Wiekens, Berkovic, Wanchope and Goater. Norwich had the Elephant Man up front for them – Iwan Roberts, who could double as Luke Chadwick in a police line up if ever required. It’s enough to give your kids nightmares.

The first half was rubbish. Instead of the flowing, attacking football that City had produced against Watford last week, this game was remarkable only for the number of times the ball was in the air. Berkovic thrives on balls passed to his feet in space, so let’s punt it high in the air for him to not be able to get above the defender to win. Norwich were even worse though – imagine a team full of players with the same amount of talent as Ged Brannan and you’ll have a fairly good picture of what we were watching on Saturday.

At least we had Berkovic, who did look as if he was capable of producing that bit of magic to turn the game. Yep, at least we had Berkovic. Right up until 20 minutes into the first half when he pulled his hamstring and went off on a stretcher. With the benefit of hindsight I wish we’d left then. This was dour, uninspiring football of the sort normally found in the Third Division of Scottish football (and I apologise for the insult to those Scottish teams involved). About 15 minutes later Nash came out to thump a ball away from a corner and got hit in the ribs – I couldn’t see who caught him but if it was a Norwich player they’d prepared their game plan well. Crop the most talented player in the first 20 minutes, then get the goalie before half time so we have to replace him with one who isn’t fully fit, nice one. Nash tried to carry on but was obviously struggling and went off a couple of minutes later to be replaced by an amazingly white-blond haired Weaver, who had to get Howey to take his free kicks for him. Now if there’s one thing guaranteed to encourage opposing forwards it’s knowing that a ‘keeper isn’t even fit enough to take his own goal kicks. Unless they are playing for Norwich and don’t have either the speed to chase the ball down or the intelligence to realise it might be a good idea to at least try it.

City looked really sluggish throughout the first half – Pearce wasn’t nearly as fired up as he’d been the week before, although it was amusing to see him blowing kisses at the Norwich end behind the goal when getting stick while taking a corner. He had a couple of free kicks outside the area that were hit straight at the wall; I hope they count as shots on target or we had none in the first half. The most entertaining moment came when singing “there’s only one ugly ba**ard” at Roberts, who turned to us and pointed to himself as if in surprise. Hasn’t he looked in a mirror recently – or does he find they all crack when he goes anywhere near them?!

Unfortunately the second half continued in much the same vein as the first, at least to begin with. Suddenly, on the hour mark, City woke up and produced a good 10 minutes (ooh) of the sort of football they’d been showing us the week before. It happened mainly because Wanchope finally realised why he was on the pitch and Tiatto started being bothered to try. As the only team who’d produced any football up to that point at all, we really should have gone ahead after 65 minutes. After a bit of a goalmouth scramble following a corner, the ball fell to Wiekens about 5 yards out of the area. He hit a wonderful low shot that the ‘keeper wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near – lucky for Norwich then that Steve Howey was in the way to produce a fantastic block. Bet he couldn’t stop that again if he tried.

For a spell though it was all City and it really did look as if we were finally going to take the lead. It looked as if all danger from Norwich had passed when the Elephant Man was substituted after 75 minutes for some French bloke with a dodgy name – Pisces or something like that, I don’t know. As soon as the game restarted the self same Capricorn ran on to a flick from the right hand side of the pitch, turned and wellied it past Weaver into the net. Flippin’ ‘eck. After that, sadly, Norwich dominated.

Whitley got kicked up in the air once too often and went off for Horlock, who produced a better corner than any Pearce had managed and then almost brought us level. The ball broke to him on the right hand side of the penalty area and he hit a fierce shot that the goalie just managed to save. Shame, it would have been good to see Super Kev score on his return. He at least did look fired up and wanting a win; shame he couldn’t instil some of the same spirit in the rest of the team. Norwich killed the game off just after that with their second goal – this time it was McVeigh (who only looks about 16 and smaller than Wright Philips) who had enough time to turn in the area and fire the ball home. This was also from the right hand side of the pitch – Weaver’s left – it was at the other end from us so I couldn’t see if he could have done any better with either goal but it would have been nice to see him at least trying to make a save.

There was still time for Wanchope to get sent off, thus losing me my bet that Tiatto would be the first player to walk this season (closely followed by Pearce I reckoned, there’s still time for me to get that bit right). He’d been having an ongoing tizz at the ball boy behind the Norwich goal for not throwing the ball back quickly enough when it was a Norwich free kick, and a couple of times had gone to fetch the ball himself to throw to the Norwich goalie. The third time he did it he bumped into the ball boy – who not surprisingly, being about a third of the size of Wanchope, went flying.

I doubt very much if he meant it but he was obviously getting really worked up. Shame he didn’t try a bit harder in the first half or we might have had more chance of getting something from the game. The ref had told him to calm down a couple of times but when Wanchope fouled one of the Norwich players (note in a completely un-dangerous position near the touchline, fool) he booked him for the second time and off he went. Idiot.

For some reason I’m always keen to go to Norwich and I can’t work out why. It may be the closest game to where I live but it’s pig-awkward to get to – I can get almost all the way to Manchester from where I live in the time it took me to get to Norwich on Saturday. And no matter how well we’re playing at the time we always produce a performance lacking of any merit whatsoever when at Carrow Road. I accept that it could all be my fault though – I’ve watched both City and Bolton play several times there over the last 8 or so years in the league and the cup competitions, I think it’s something like 9 or 10 games that I’ve been to now and I still haven’t seen City (or Bolton when I sat with their fans for that matter) score a single solitary goal.

I’ve had enough of it so I’m going to make the ultimate sacrifice (!) and not go again. Still, as Norwich are bad enough to get relegated we’ll be two divisions apart next year (yeah right ’cause the way we played on Saturday we’re going up) so I won’t have to go for a long time – just pray we don’t get drawn against them in the cup…

Sharon Hargreaves


“Anyone going to Norwich and feeling like sharing the joy, please consider doing a match report.” – Well I will consider the match report, but with a distinct lack of joy. I suppose in hindsight it didn’t help that I was in with the Norwich fans. To cut a long story short, I was at University with a Norwich fan. The train journey down was only eventful once I’d reached Peterborough, where a change of trains meant I was travelling with the hordes of fellow Blues who’d left Manchester sometime around 8am (I’d been travelling from Darlington since 9am) – some hold up caused by dead cows on the line (mind, that could have been a booze fuelled response).

Once we’d arrived at Norwich (after much toilet door related humour) it was a trip to the pub followed by the match. Now this was my first visit to Norwich and in particular Carrow Road and most impressed I was. For the home fans, the bar/food area was full of comfortable chairs tables, computer games for the kids, table football and various tellies showing either the match or scores as they came in on Sky. Kick-off was delayed until 3.20pm due to traffic congestion (I think caused by an accident – no mention of cows on this occasion).

City started with the same team that convincingly destroyed Watford, whereas Norwich made a couple of changes from the team mauled at Millwall. Norwich actually started the brighter and City seemed slightly lethargic but Nash had little to do. The game was only 20 minutes old when Berkovic was clattered and he needed to be stretchered from he pitch before being replaced by Whitley. This meant a change of tactics and City resorted to 4-4-2 formation, which in hindsight didn’t seem to suit them. Ten minutes later Nash went up for a high cross and clattered into Dunne and a Norwich player.

The ref decided to stop the game, much to the anger of the Norwich fans around me who felt that it was Nash’s fault for colliding with his own player. After lengthy treatment Nash struggled on, but he didn’t look comfortable and was soon replaced by the bleach blonde Weaver. Half-time came with Norwich fans more than happy with a scoreline of 0-0 and even more delighted that Ipswich were losing 1-0 at Sunderland. You’ll notice that lack of commentary on the first half, but in reality neither ‘keeper had much to do, with Pearce blasting a free kick into the Norwich wall, Wanchope having a header tipped over the bar and Roberts scuffing a shot at the other end.

The second half started off with again neither team threatening too much but the turning point came on 74 minutes. Nigel Worthington (Norwich manager) decided that new French signing Marc Libbra needed a run out but it was a surprise that he came on for team captain Iwan Roberts. Roberts had been a constant threat and menace throughout the game, though within 11 seconds Norwich were ahead. The ball was knocked to Libbra, whose first touch was to flick the ball over Howey and his second was to smash it past Weaver into the back of the net.

By this time Whitley had also been stretchered off and replaced by Super Kev, so Keegan had no real opportunity to make any changes. Horlock looked sharp and brought an excellent save from the Norwich ‘keeper to deny his sweetly-hit left foot shot. However, on the stroke of full-time Norwich scored again, with McVeigh cushioning the ball with his right foot before stroking it home past Weaver. 2-0 and a 1-0 result from the Stadium of Light meant the Norwich fans were more than happy, even after Wanchope’s altercation with a ball-boy. His sending off a few minutes later was inevitable and delighted the home fans further. Unfortunately the incident happened right in front of us, so couldn’t see it as from my position it looked like Wanchope had jumped into the crowd, although according to reports he wrestled the ball from the ball boy – police have been notified and in time honoured fashioned the ball-boy got a standing ovation from the home crowd. To be fair I hadn’t realised there was a ball boy there, probably due to the slowness of getting the ball back into play. Libbra was jokingly named as man of the match (it was debatable if he ever touched the ball again after scoring!) though if we can draw any comfort from this match, it’ll be the fact that we’re been brought back to reality that this season is going to be a long one.

Nash 6 – A couple of comfortable catches but unfortunately had to off with a rib (?) injury.
Granville 6 – Put one or two good crosses in but looks out of place with so many left footed players in the team.
Pearce 6 – Was booked, hit a free kick straight into the wall and generally was booed by the Norwich fans every time he got the ball. Have you noticed that most of his passes are along the floor and to feet?
Howey 5 – Was caught out for the goal and had probably one of his worst matches for City.
Dunne 7 – I thought he had a good game as he won almost everything in the air.
Charvet 6 – Came forward well and seems to suit the wing-back rôle, but once we’d reverted to 4-4-2 he seemed lost and had little impact on the game.
Berkovic 5 – Hardly touched the ball before going off injured – hopefully he won’t be out for too long.
Tiatto 6 – Seems more comfortable down the left wing, but he can’t cross like Kennedy (an assist on Sunday for Wolves).
Wiekens 4 – Look, he couldn’t play football under Royle, he still can’t play football under Keegan. I know he is often singled out for criticism, but he just doesn’t convince me he’ll ever be the answer to our midfield problems. He gives the ball away, gets caught in possession and lunges in with late challenges; come on Kev I think it’s time to give youth a chance.
Goater 5 – Created very little and never got in a position for feeding, just doesn’t look happy.
Wanchope 5 – All legs and very little else, needs a lot more supply from midfield; not convinced he can create an effective partnership with the Goat.

Weaver 5 – Had nothing to do except picking the ball out of the net twice. Was noticeable that he has his goal kicks taken for him – injury? It’s hardly going to keep his weight down if that’s not the case! 🙂
Whitley 5 – Never got into the game and looked as ineffective as the rest of the midfield.
Horlock 7 – I liked the look of Super Kev, it is so long since we last saw him, yet he was the most creative midfielder we had on pitch. Nearly scored with corking left foot drive.
Colosimo – Managed to tongue trip the announcer.
Huckerby – Would surely have come on if Keegan hadn’t had the changes enforced on him.

James Walsh (


As promised, a match report from East Anglia for a game that highlighted a possible chink in our armour for this season. Versus Watford it was sublime, this game was ridiculous.

Through family associations I was able to avoid a match day travel from Manchester into the wilds by staying overnight in Norfolk. The day came and I was supremely confident of a good display and another three points. The sun was shining and the mood of the assembled Blues was buoyant. Due to crowd congestion the game was delayed for 20 mins. I don’t know what happened outside to cause this but I can only assume that this area of the country lacking any motorways didn’t help anyone trying to get to the game.

We lined up as follows:


The same as against Watford. The only problem is that the game didn’t go like that. From the kick-off we were hurried and under pressure and didn’t look to be able to pass the ball. It was bouncing around like a ping pong. Norwich seemed to have watched a video of us as they immediately man marked Berkovic. Not too much trouble but there didn’t seem to be a goal threat coming from either side. Then everything went pear shaped.

First a Norwich defender went off on a stretcher, I don’t know why, then 20 minutes in we all turned to see Berkovic lying prostrate. Another stretcher was called and Whitley came on as replacement. This is the point where our tactics left us. The reason for playing with wing backs was to utilise Berkovic’s running and one touch play. With Whitley that dimension of play was sorely lacking. My thought was that we should have brought Colisimo on as right back and move Charvet to right midfield with Granville doing likewise on the left. A standard 4-4-2 formation. We didn’t and we were becoming more and more exposed as the Norwich number 7 Mulryune(?) was left with time to pick out passes. We were being overrun in midfield and Wiekens looked off the pace and couldn’t seem to find another blue shirt. Five minutes after Berkovic left saw the replacement of Nash with Weaver. He went up for a cross and collided with Howey and Roberts. He came down heavily and looked to be in great pain. Reports in the paper say that he suffered two broken ribs. Now Weaver was on and obviously the thigh strain is still affecting him as Howey was given responsibility for the goal kicks. Towards the end of the half, Wanchope ran through the Norwich defence when he has pulled down and kicked inside the box. Penalty! No, the ref was the only one in the ground that didn’t see it. Wanchope was incensed. So when Whitley went to intercept the Norwich right back, Wanchope intervened and game him a back hander. Yellow card for the Costa Rican. The whistle went for half time with everyone wondering what motivational marvel Keegan would pull out during the team talk.

Second half and there obviously hadn’t been a team talk but somehow we began to apply some pressure without a decent ball coming from it. Ten minutes in I saw the worrying return of the crossfield pass from Dunne that used to fail with Kennedy and now similarly failed with Granville. Whitley and Wiekens consistently failed to provide the one touch passing needed set Charvet free. Vision was sorely missing. We did have a shot at goal from a corner, it came out to Wiekens who let loose a low drive only for Howey to try the clever redirection. It went miles wide. The crowd were becoming frustrated as Norwich seemed to be passing through us but luckily with no real threat.

The next horror to be perpetrated was the scything down of Whitley from behind. It was a nasty tackle and deserved a straight red. Only a yellow was shown, to every Blue’s consternation. The ref was a joke. Whitley left on a stretcher with a broken ankle to be replaced by Horlock. Still no change in formation and we still didn’t look like scoring. Would it be a 0-0? Fair result as neither side had enough invention. Then Iwan Roberts was subbed for some guy called Libbra. The next minute the ball came to him at the edge of the box; one touch to skin Howey and the a powerful drive into the corner of the goal. He hadn’t touched the ball before that! Unsurprisingly the Norwich fans went mad and we stood in silence.

Now the timewasting began, to Wanchope’s annoyance; he took matters into his own hands every time the ball went out for a goal kick at their end. He would rush to retrieve the ball and place it on the six yard line. This upset the ref but what could he do? Wanchope was helping the game progress. The next time he did this the crowd were not co-operating and a ball boy decided he didn’t want to help either. One quick shove and grab for the ball followed. The Norwich fans were incensed and I could see a couple of them complaining to the police. This may come back to bite Wanchope.

Lo and behold a second Norwich goal; a good move down the right led to the ball being fed into the box where some bloke I’ve never heard of slammed it into the opposite bottom corner. We were done. The only notable action remaining was for Wanchope to chase back a ball and bring the player down. The ref hated Wanchope, it was obvious. A second yellow card was shown followed by the obligatory red. I took that as my leave as well. How the game ended? No idea but we lost 2-0 to a not very good team.


The loss of Berkovic should have resulted in a formation change. Three substitutions caused by injury is extremely galling. The players didn’t get up and running and all performed poorly except Wanchope who was merely average. I would like to believe that if the injuries hadn’t forced the changes then Wiekens would have been taken off. He had a dreadful game.

The papers point out that this won’t be such an easy season as thought for City. I believe we can’t play this badly every week.

Scores on the doors?

Nash – 5 – He didn’t let the goals in but didn’t appear too comfortable with crosses either.
Weaver (sub) – 4 – He let in the goals. When everyone else played so badly we needed some brilliance. Sorely lacking. Fitness may help.
Charvet – 4 – No one was attacking his wing so why didn’t just take the ball when the midfield failed to pass it.
Dunne – 3 – Poor, poor performance, nothing short of woeful.
Howey – 3 – Lost everything in the air to Roberts and got skinned for the first goal.
Pearce – 4 – Inspiration not enough and long hoofs upfield didn’t work.
Granville – 5 – Tried and tried and failed and failed. Lots of effort but no end result. Formation change would have helped.
Wiekens – 2 – Couldn’t pass the ball to save his life. Couldn’t tackle. Watched the opposition run past him.
Berkovic – 5 – Went off too early but was struggling with being man marked.
Whitley (sub) – 4 – Typical headless chicken. Watched pretty triangles form around him.
Horlock (sub) – 5 – Tried to inject some pace but was caught ball watching too much. Didn’t contribute much.
Tiatto – 4 – Were you there? AWOL throughout the game.
Wanchope – 6 – Worked hard but couldn’t find the goal we needed.
Goater – 4 – Lost out on everything and doesn’t seem to be gelling very quickly with Wanchope. No meaningful contribution.
Keegan – 3 – Reacted to injuries with stock responses. No vision. Could have changed formation. Should have replaced Whitley after he was crocked with Huckerby to try to occupy the opposition midfield players rather then let them continue to focus purely on attack.

We will play better than this because it can’t be any worse. I am still confident of our prospects but a new striker would help.

Roll on and over Crewe.

CTID, Dave Blyth (


Kick off delayed 20 minutes due to traffic congestion and Norwich persay not being able to cope with that many fans arriving on the same day; another joy of being in Division 1 – oh yes I remember it well. City fans go mental as team comes out – we ignore tannoy and chant each of their names as per usual! Carlo and Paulo sound very similar and they both found these confusing – all in buoyant mood with very high hopes of an away win – after all we managed that no problem last season! right? Wrong…

After that it was downhill (my seat was near the half way line and view obstructed by numerous posts to hold the roof up). I didn’t catch the ref’s name but I recognised him and that woeful dread had already set in. Now you might want to go and get a brew at this point ’cause it’s going to be a long read.

First half was scattered with scary moments for us as Norwich brought the game to us and came out fighting – bookings galore for us (thought the ref was going for the give one out and get one free offer!) and to be honest I can’t remember who got booked for what – other than Pearce for an innocuous ball tapping incident early on after being told to keep calm by the ref some minutes earlier (he was an excellent captain and he was not afraid to criticise his own players for their misdemeanours, shortcomings and bouts of sleepiness whilst being in control of the ball). Keegan looked on nervously from the bench and often was shouting instructions to players himself – so no lack of motivation and communication coming from those in charge – something that had been lacking last season I thought.

City seemed in charge of their own defence and Dunne, Pearce, Howey and Wiekens kept busy, although Wiekens didn’t have the best 90 minutes ever! By this time it seemed destined for a nil-nil – I would be more than happy to take that away with me. However, the ref carried on brandishing his little book and yellow card like he was God and wanted to get on TV and in the papers and achieve notoriety with no punishment going to Norwich at all!

They had the ref onside and were definately going to make the most of it – especially after that poor performance last week – their heads were up and ours were all over the place. Eyal kept on chasing the ball and taking it forward in search of other City players and inspiration but alas it just wasn’t happening – but you felt the chance of goal would surely come our way and maybe the lads on the coach would be proved right and it would end up 4-0 to City.

Once Eyal had been bulldozed out of the way, stretchered off, City’s players waved away by the ref and the offending Norwich player got off scott free – City became folorn – but hang on who’s that on the touchline? Why, it’s Jeff Whitley – oh my God – there was a cunning plan afoot and only KK knew what it was! Granville ran his socks off but couldn’t find a space to pass the ball into. Some inspired play by Tiatto and Wanchope but our inability to hang on to a ball for more than 5 seconds was staggering – it was a different team out there!

Norwich had done their homework but I felt their aim was to injure as many players as possible and if we had to make 3 substitutions to cover our injured army and it meant one of them getting sent off in the process so be it. A few shots on target by the lads, Wanchope in particular after a great ball from Pearce, and a few oooo and arrrs by the travelling fans but that was pretty much it. The away fans booed the ref off the park at half time with the usual chorus of the referee’s a ****** ringing in his ears as they all trundled off to the dressing room. I have to say that more insults were flung at the ref than the players!

Second half – City came out fighting and attacked the goal but a mixture of woeful finishing and poor refereeing saw all their efforts go to waste. Charvet had some running to do to get to the balls sent in his direction and he put in 1 or 2 good crosses but overall no one was there to capitalise on it and again some good defending by Norwich.

An inspired substitution by Norwich saw a great goal being scored due to a free kick within 10 seconds of that said player coming on. Not a good start for our substitute Weaver, put on for the injured Nash in the first half who sustained 3 broken ribs in a fall! Our free kicks outside the area both went into the wall, from Pearce and again by Super Kev (subbed on for the injured Whitley). Corners, of which there were few, were either short or misplaced and chances lost at every touch.

Second goal from Norwich was a result of City being caught napping once again, Weaver outstretched and unable to save City’s hopes of pulling one back to stay in the game. The day was completed when Wanchope, who was earlier involved in an altercation with a ball boy (but I couldn’t get a clear view due to a pillar obstructing my view), got sent off in extra time but by that time it was all over anyway and the City faithful were making their way home.

It was not big (crowd attendance on 18 odd thousand), not clever and definitely not funny (well I dunno, I thought my report had one or 2 humorous moments). Long journey home – held up in car park for ages as police wanted Norwich fans to make a hasty exit, then we were escorted out of town and onto the dual carriageway all 14 of us in a 52 seater coach!

My only concerns left from that display are:

  1. When are refs going to become accountable for their actions?
  2. What we going to do now Eyal and Nash are injured?
  3. Why didn’t he bring on Huckerby instead of Whitley?
  4. Why do I continue to put myself through this week in, week out -maybe I need help? Now what did I do with that Samaritans number?

Caz (


The Sheffield United fixture 01/09/2001 has now been postponed, due to international commitments. The re-arranged date and time are to be confirmed.

Thanks to MCFC Ticket Office


I don’t know if anyone else feels (or felt) the same, but five minutes before kick off when ‘Right Here, Right Now’ was blasted over the tannoy, the hairs on the back of my neck used to tingle with anticipation and excitement. Add in the roar of 32,000 Blues and the adrenalin was certainly pumping.

I don’t know what the tune was for the Watford game but it certainly wasn’t as inspiring. How about a campaign to revert back to Fatboy Slim (no, I don’t mean Robert Taylor)?

Gary Spencer (


I, like many others I’m sure, emailed Sky about the p**s poor coverage of the Nationwide league and challenged them about it. Here, verbatim, is their reply. Keep that phone number busy guys!

Thank you for your recent e-mail.

As you are aware, BSkyB no longer hold the rights to the Nationwide League.

Unfortunately, at the present time, ITV and ITV2 have not been made available to Sky digital. However, a recent Press Release from ITV indicated that this may change shortly. For further information you may wish to contact ITV Duty Office on 020 7843 8215.

I regret that I am unable to assist you further, but may I thank you once again for taking the time to write to us at BSkyB.

Dianne Main, Viewer Relations

The definitive answer… so far at least… unless anyone knows any different!

Lance Thomson (


For us to lose against Norwich was bad enough but the injury to two key players in Berkovic and Nash is more painful.

We learn from this early stage of the season how important it is to have a great squad of players; just imagine this happening with six important fixtures to go at the end of the season. We have to have depth in players, and the players must understand why this is. I feel we still lack in a very good striker; for Division 1 most fans think we are OK with Goater and Wanchope, and Huckerby and Dickov on the bench and the up and coming 19 year old from Nigeria (we all hope he will develop to be great). And we still have an up and coming Kiwi.

I still feel there is something lacking in the striker department. Of course now with Berkovic being off for 6 weeks, there will be less through passes to the strikers but we still have some very good players who will give their best for the cause.

Despite our setback I still feel we have what it takes to win. We will see more rough play in Division 1 than in the Premier League and everyone will be with the feeling that to beat City is like an FA Cup victory. A defeat early in the season is not bad, it takes some of the over confidence away and brings us back down to earth.

City will be back with a vengeance, look for a high score in our next game (City to win of course)!

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow (


Here’s my rough translation of the article in today’s broadsheet “Ma’ariv” newspaper regarding Eyal’s status. Grant me some leeway in the accuracy of the translation!

‘When the pain cut through my leg, two things went through my mind: Bosnia and Kevin Keegan’

I don’t know if I can portray to you the feeling of disappointment that I had 2 days ago at Norwich. The moment the pain cut through my leg, two things went through my mind: Bosnia and Kevin Keegan. I wanted to succeed so much in the national team and I didn’t want to disappoint the manager who had faith in me. In one second everything went black, but I woke up yesterday morning with an air of optimism. The pain isn’t as bad as it once was, Dr. Rosnovski arrives and we have almost 2 weeks until the Bosnia game. I very much hope I will be able to run out on the pitch at Sarajevo.

This injury is not one of bad luck, even though I could easily use this as an excuse. I made several mistakes, which in my opinion led to the injury. It’s a pity I didn’t think ahead since I have experience with similar injuries in the past. It’s the start of the season and my body is still not in top condition. I didn’t have an organized training session, I constantly declared that I was maybe 60% or 70% fit, that’s all.

Before I left for Lithuania, Keegan asked me to play 45 minutes. He knew that I was tired but during the game I felt fine and continued, despite his request. With me, the national team comes before everything else. If I am called upon to play, I come without thinking twice. I learnt a lesson; next time I’ll think both about myself and of course about Keegan’s requests.

How does such an injury come to be fixed? Not just in the game itself. You wake up early one morning for a flight, not sleeping the night before: match-flight-return. This is not the ideal life for an athlete. When your body is sensitive and brittle, I should have played 45 minutes and left, or given up on playing in the whole match. With all due respect, the Bosnia game is my “money time”.

Before the game on Saturday I felt a bit stiff but I thought it would pass. I couldn’t go to Keegan and tell him I was tired. So I played and during a sprint I felt my left leg tighten up. It had to happen now, when I’m fit and opening the season so well. But what can I do? A person who chooses football must take into consideration the physical risks involved. We’ll raise our heads up and find a solution. Maybe Dr. Rosnovski will perform some more magic with his famous cocktail injection. I trust him.

It’s a shame Shlomo Sharf isn’t here (ex-Israeli national coach). Last week he was at Maine Road where I scored and was chosen as Man of the Match. Shlomo is my lucky charm. Five times he has watched me play in England and 5 times I scored and won M.O.M. Maybe I’ll rent him a flat in Manchester, not a bad idea, eh?

Last Saturday was disastrous for us. I’m the least injured among our casualties. Carlo Nash and Jeff Whitley are in worse shape than me. Both are still in hospital. We arrived at Maine Road in a full coach, we could have got a taxi back.

Maybe this loss has come at the right time to wake us up. After the Watford win, people were labelling us as certain promotion candidates. But I know this is just the start of a long and hard season. The pitches are small, the rain will soon arrive, and even yesterday I was man-marked the whole game.

It’s not easy to play against a team like Norwich, who yesterday celebrated a rare performance. Thir French on-loan player Marc Libra came on as a substitute in the 74th minute. Goal kick, someone heads it on, he jumps his marker and shoots for goal. All this happened maybe 10 seconds after he came on in his first game. A dream début.

We also had a national team game last week, let’s not forget. A good preparation for the the Bosnia game. I wish we could play together once a month, at least to improve our defending. In Bosnia we’ll have to defend much better, since even a draw there would be a good result for us. I’m praying that I’ll be able to play, even at the price of having an injection, and you know how much I hate injections.

Benjamin Bloom (


My friend brought me the UK Saturday’s edition of the Daily Mail, where I went straight to the back pages to read the sports news. There was an article on City about Stuart Pearce and towards the end comments from KK about him being bombarded by mail from City fans doubting his tactical ability and that he should quit. Now I am thousands of miles from Manchester but I do keep up to date on any news about the Blues, especially on MCIVTA great pages. Now come on, nobody in their right mind is going to believe this tripe and am I also correct in believing this may be the work of our very bored and jealous neighbours?

Thinking caps on fellow Blues, what goes around comes around.

P.S. I took a five minute walk round the Rag store in Singapore last Saturday wearing my City shirt. Why? Because I luv it, just luv it.

CTID, John Taylor (


Whilst I can accept Keith Elliot’s comments and understand and agree with the sentiments involved, I cannot agree that the changes are in the interests of my safety. I live in north Manchester and therefore approach the stadium from that direction, parking in Ducie school car park. I use the exit behind the north stand to get to the Kippax.

I was amazed at the Watford game to see that all fans leaving were being herded through a packed car park. This happened 3 or 4 times last season but there was a channel for supporters to walk through. Not after the Watford game; the main thoroughfare was blocked by away team coaches and obstructing police officers. Because fans had to wade through a tightly packed car park, I heard 3 or 4 distinctive crashes as wing mirrors went west and saw numerous ones being kicked along and stumbled over. Whilst dodging my way through the coaches I was struck full in the face by a coach door being opening directly in front of me by a driver who was so surprised by the onslaught of people and concerned for his paintwork. I felt thankful to be able to exit the car park at all after bashing my head on another coach’s wing mirror as someone stumbled behind.

I recuperated whilst walking up to the main road at the turning left, then turning back along Yew Tree Lane I was confronted by a wall of supporters coming in the opposite direction. I’ve got to admit that in self preservation I put my head down and charged as it was obvious that I was going to be trampled. I must at this point apologise to one Watford supporter that I barged rather aggressively into and all others that I unfortunately hit. If this re-routing is a safety procedure then I’ll take my chances and turn left on leaving the Kippax. The main reason being that the opposing flow is only for 50 yards or so rather that 500 yards up Yew Tree Lane.

The locking in of fans is not a solution, the solution is to get people to behave responsibly at football matches, which would give the police no justification or cause to restrict anyone’s liberties. Well I didn’t say it was going to be easy!

Mark Ashton (


I don’t know if anyone else noticed but there was an item of news floating around this week concerning the finances of the Premiership. The report in most papers and on Ceefax concerned the fact that the Premiership is now worth over £1.5 billion. Nothing wrong with that, a fine thriving business on the face of it. That is until you read another fact about the Premiership. The wage bill is now £747 million! Now I’m no economic genius, but a business with a wage bill equivalent to half its annual turnover and with real assets of maybe a few hundred million is by no means a sound business investment. Consider also that the bulk of the turnover is concentrated in a few clubs of whom only a couple make substantial profits and the picture starts to look even less healthy. In terms of return on operational investment, football is a nightmare. What businessman with a few million quid to invest is going to risk it on football, knowing that in the first instance his money is going to pay the staff?!

There are many famous economic follies that have flourished and died over the centuries. The famous South Sea Bubble involved selling shares in a company that had no visible assets and was founded on the then fashion for all things oriental. The collapse of the South Sea Company and the burst of the bubble almost resulted in the collapse of the British Government. The resulting repercussions plunged the country into a massive recession from which it took many years to recover. In comparison the finances of the Premiership are still small potatoes in terms of the annual GDP of the country but for a business that relies so heavily for its success on the popularity of nothing more solid than a game, it is seriously overcommitted in terms of staff remuneration and under-invested in terms of real assets. The commercial arm of the game, selling all things ‘footy’, helps to offset the problem but even a small dip in the popularity of the game and clubs would be in serious trouble.

Bring on television. Currently the TV moguls seem to be carving the game up to suit themselves. The recent debate about the shifting fixture list and some of the more ridiculous kick-off times purely to suit programme scheduling highlights the problem. Football makes good TV but then again so does Blind Date and Big Brother (OK that’s debateable) but the principle is sound. TV will show whatever it thinks will sell well to advertisers and they will only buy ads in popular programming. Make people angry enough and they switch off. If people switch off so does the TV revenue and the Premiership loses a massive portion of its income. With contractual obligations to players running so high the bubble at that point bursts.

The greed and desire to get rich quick that seems to be powering the Premiership has resulted in football losing control over its own affairs. That can only end in tears; then again perhaps when the money boys move on to their next fashion, we, the fans, might get our game back, although what sort of shape it will be in is anyone’s guess.

Dave Cash (


What’s to stop Millwall morons coming to Maine Road to see the game on the big telly live from the New Den – or for our headbangers to go to the New Den to see the game live from Maine Road on their big telly?

I really hope the clubs have thought about this possible cause of trouble ’cause I don’t want my kids to run through a hailstorm of bricks like they did when Millwall fans last came a visiting.

Anorak a.k.a. Richard Mottershead (


Anyone trying to find a pub that has the ITV Sport service should try ITV’s Publocator site at:

If the site’s anything to go by, they’ve not signed up that many but some areas seem better served than others. Happy hunting!

Geoff Donkin (


If there are any more Blues in the Lincoln area who would like to get together from time to time for TV matches, to exchange footy stories or possibly share transport to games, drop me a line and I will organize a gathering.

Chas Tonner (


Can anyone with a car and two spare seats help two Swedish Blues getting a lift from Manchester to Burnley (and back) on Monday? Of course we’re willing to share any costs. We’re really stranded otherwise due to the late kick-off and having to catch a night bus back to London (and Sweden) later on the night.

CTID, Patrik Scheele (


Any Blues out there able to tape the Burnley game while I’m out of the country and make it available on my return 5/9? Would be very grateful although I know it’s a long shot!

Are there any other Blues out there that have taken up the Sport For Life offer and want to share the ‘adventure’?

Neil Hadfield (


The next meeting of the County Wicklow branch of the Official Supporters’ Club is this coming Tuesday the 21st at 8pm and as per usual will be in Katie Gallagher’s in Bray.

All City fans are welcome.

Paul Fegan (


I met a lovely couple from Wales called Alan & Sue at the Watford match; can I just thank them for the news about McVittee and thanks for the lovely chat about the old days at Maine Road.

Mike O’Brien (


This request is of no relevance whatsoever to MCIVTA, but I have drawn a blank on the more obvious sources.

Anyway, would any MCIVTA reader know the reason why Charlton fans are called Addicks? Responses can be sent direct to me if preferred.

John Fee (


I bet that all you nokia phone owners have Blue Moon as your ringtone (I have) but have you noticed how few logos there are for City?

Some websites allow you to design your own (usually operator logos). I have been onto, where you can design your own. Here’s a tip though, to save time and money design your logo first. Use a 14 by 72 graph paper grid to make your logo (I did MCFC with St George’s flag). It’s quite effective.

P.S. Don’t forget to buy those programmes from me on match day: Platt Lane Stand X block.

Gordon Hindle (


My office team urgently needs an opponent for this Wednesday (22/8/01) 6.30pm-7.30pm as most of my regular contacts are unable to play due to a clash with something on TV.

We play at the JJB Soccerdome (Trafford Park) under a block booking, but only ever play friendlies i.e. just for fun / to minimise beer guts etc. (not unlike City 2000/01!). If anyone can raise a team, please phone me on 07803-584903.

Steve Thomas (


I’m running a Danish fan website for our beloved Blues.

I constantly try to get new ideas for the website, and I would like to think that I have created a website which is higly regarded by the Scandinavian City Supporters. The Website has app. 50-60 visitors a day.

My latest idea is to get someone to write a column once in a while. The column should be about Manchester City F.C. That is the only rule.

Would you like to write a column once in a while to a Danish Manchester City website – then please E-mail me.

Why don’t you do it yourself? You might ask. Well, I think I have some reasonable answers to that.

  1. I update the site with the latest news every day.
  2. I’m also contact person for the Scandinavian Supporters’ Club in Denmark.
  3. It would be nice with different opinions than mine at the website.

If this has your interest please don’t hesitate to e-mail me!

CTID, Morten Olesen (


Recent results from 06 August 2001 to 19 August 2001 inclusive.

19 August 2001

Birmingham City       4 - 0  Millwall              19,091
Coventry City         0 - 1  Wolverhampton Wndrs   22,902

18 August 2001

Barnsley              2 - 1  Nottingham Forest     14,203
Burnley               3 - 2  Wimbledon             14,473
Crewe Alexandra       0 - 2  Sheffield Wednesday    7,933
Crystal Palace        4 - 1  Stockport County      15,760
Norwich City          2 - 0  Manchester City       18,745
Portsmouth            0 - 1  Bradford City         17,339
Preston North End     1 - 1  Walsall               11,402
Sheffield United      0 - 0  Gillingham            16,998
Watford               3 - 2  Rotherham United      13,839
West Bromwich Albion  0 - 1  Grimsby Town          17,971

12 August 2001

Sheffield Wednesday   0 - 2  Burnley               21,767

11 August 2001

Bradford City         4 - 0  Barnsley              16,367
Gillingham            5 - 0  Preston North End      9,412
Grimsby Town          1 - 0  Crewe Alexandra        5,368
Millwall              4 - 0  Norwich City          14,501
Nottingham Forest     1 - 1  Sheffield United      25,513
Rotherham United      2 - 3  Crystal Palace         6,994
Stockport County      0 - 2  Coventry City          9,329
Walsall               2 - 1  West Bromwich Albion   9,181
Wimbledon             3 - 1  Birmingham City        9,142
Wolverhampton Wndrs   2 - 2  Portsmouth            23,012
Manchester City       3 - 0  Watford               33,939

League table to 19 August 2001 inclusive.

                              HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A GD Pts
 1 Bradford City    2  1  0  0  4  0  1  0  0  1  0  2  0  0  5  0  5   6
 2 Crystal Palace   2  1  0  0  4  1  1  0  0  3  2  2  0  0  7  3  4   6
 3 Burnley          2  1  0  0  3  2  1  0  0  2  0  2  0  0  5  2  3   6
 4 Grimsby Town     2  1  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  1  0  2  0  0  2  0  2   6
 5 Gillingham       2  1  0  0  5  0  0  1  0  0  0  1  1  0  5  0  5   4
 6 Walsall          2  1  0  0  2  1  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  0  3  2  1   4
 7 Wolves           2  0  1  0  2  2  1  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  3  2  1   4
 8 Birmingham City  2  1  0  0  4  0  0  0  1  1  3  1  0  1  5  3  2   3
 9 Wimbledon        2  1  0  0  3  1  0  0  1  2  3  1  0  1  5  4  1   3
10 Manchester City  2  1  0  0  3  0  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  1  3  2  1   3
11 Coventry City    2  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  2  0  1  0  1  2  1  1   3
12 Millwall         2  1  0  0  4  0  0  0  1  0  4  1  0  1  4  4  0   3
13 Sheff. Wed.      2  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  0  2  0  1  0  1  2  2  0   3
14 Watford          2  1  0  0  3  2  0  0  1  0  3  1  0  1  3  5 -2   3
15 Norwich City     2  1  0  0  2  0  0  0  1  0  4  1  0  1  2  4 -2   3
16 Barnsley         2  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  1  0  4  1  0  1  2  5 -3   3
17 Sheff. United    2  0  1  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  2  0  1  1  0   2
18 Nottm Forest     2  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  1  1  2  0  1  1  2  3 -1   1
19 Portsmouth       2  0  0  1  0  1  0  1  0  2  2  0  1  1  2  3 -1   1
20 Preston N.E.     2  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  1  0  5  0  1  1  1  6 -5   1
21 Rotherham Utd.   2  0  0  1  2  3  0  0  1  2  3  0  0  2  4  6 -2   0
22 West Brom A.     2  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  1  1  2  0  0  2  1  3 -2   0
23 Crewe Alex.      2  0  0  1  0  2  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  2  0  3 -3   0
24 Stockport C.     2  0  0  1  0  2  0  0  1  1  4  0  0  2  1  6 -5   0

With thanks to Football 365 (


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

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[1] MCIVTA Deadlines

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[2] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[3] Club Web Site

The official club web site can be found at

[4] Supporters’ Clubs

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

[5] Fans’ Committee

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. It has its own website, containing info about forthcoming meetings as well as minutes from previous gatherings.

[6] City of Manchester Stadium Progress/Web Cam

The latest information regarding the progress of our new home can be found at

[7] Match Day Broadcasts

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found here: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

[8] 01/02 Season Match Day Theme Tune

The music the teams run out to at Maine Road this season is “Nightmare”, by Brainbug, and is available on the Positiva label (my thanks to John Arnold for this information).

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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #737