Newsletter #768

A bumper issue tonight after an emphatic performance on Tuesday night. Our 2-3 win against Millwall sees us move up into 3rd spot. The game, notable for the absence of away fans, saw a penalty from Huckerby, the Goat increase his fantastic tally for the season and SWP marking his first goal for the first team.

Tonight’s issue contains Don’s news, a handful of excellent match reports from our undercover Blues (obviously anybody at the Club or security reading this should just ignore them!), plenty of interesting opinion and some more wonderful Blue humour.

Next game: Crystal Palace, away, 3pm Saturday 8 December 2001


General News

League to Review “Premiership Two” Proposals: David Bernstein and Kevin Keegan both spoke out against the Premiership Two proposals last week. Following the Football Leaguers’ management committee meeting last Thursday in Nottingham, it was agreed that a “thorough review of the entire structure of football in this country” would take place. Commentators in the media take this to mean although the “Phoenix League” proposals may be dead, a change of format of the Leagues is inevitable. The most likely date for change is 2004, when the current TV deal expires.

Altered Fixtures: Three more of City’s fixtures have had their kick-off times changed for the benefit of ITV Sport. Preston North End’s visit to Maine Road now takes place a day later than planned, on Sunday February 10, kick off 2.15pm. The local derby with Stockport will now start at noon on February 16, subject to neither team being in FA Cup action on that date. The Wimbledon game at Selhurst Park has been put back to Sunday, February 3,kick off 2.15pm, having originally been scheduled for Saturday.

FA Youth Cup Victory: A fine weekend win for City’s under 18’s, as they beat Burnley 3-0 at Maine Road. Stephen Elliott opened the scoring in the first half, and a pair of Ciaran Kilheeney strikes ensured an easy win for the Blues. Academy director Jim Cassell stated “We were much better in the second half, I thought it was an excellent performance with our strikers looking very lively. Glenn Whelan at the back was outstanding for us.” City’s next opponents are not yet known.

Heavyweight Contest at Carrington?: Reports in a Sunday newspaper alleged that there had been a training ground “incident” between Paulo Wanchope and Andy Morrison last Thursday morning. No one from the club was prepared to comment on the report, which stated that the pair had almost come to blows. It has since been claimed that Wanchope is about to have “crunch talks” with the boss, with City ready to offload the Costa Rican to the highest bidder. Favourites to sign him are Malaga, who tried to sign him in the summer. These reports have been categorically denied by the Blues.

Rotherham Booking Overturned: The FA have given an early indication on their attitude to Christian Negouai’s “Hand of God” goal. The authorities have upheld Rotherham’s appeal against the yellow card given to Rob Scott for dissent, during the Millers’ prolonged protests after Negouai’s punched goal. There is still no news on whether the FA are to proceed against City’s midfielder.

World Cup News: Lucien Mettomo and Richard Dunne have special reason to look forward to the World Cup Finals this summer, with Cameroon and the Republic of Ireland respectively. The draw made on Saturday means that both players may well be in opposition as both countries are in Group E of the opening phase. Paulo Wanchope’s Costa Rica are in Group C, along with Brazil, Turkey and China.

Transfer News and Gossip

Third Time Lucky for Wilcox?: The Nationwide League’s website claims this week that City are about to make a third bid for Leeds winger Jason Wilcox. The site states that having twice refused City’s offers, Leeds manager David O’Leary is now looking to recoup funds after recently taking his spending up to £100 million with the purchase of Robbie Fowler.

City in Ginola Link: Believe it or not time – another ex-Newcastle player falls out with his current club, so KK is linked with a move for him. According to the Daily Mail, Keegan will end his Aston Villa nightmare. This seems rather unlikely, as Ginola faces a lengthy ban for slapping the fourth official last Saturday.

“I Want to Stay” – Dickov: Paul Dickov has re-iterated his desire to stay at Maine Road. Dickov said: “I have never said I wanted to go and that is still the case.” Although currently out of the squad due to injury, he is anxious to secure an extension to his current contract, which runs out next summer.

Osterc Hopes Recede: There’s been no news this week of the hair colour of Milan Osterc, but there have been reports that the Slovenian international is being sought by four Premiership clubs. Bolton, Derby, Ipswich, and Southampton are alleged to be interested in Osterc. Hapoel Tel Aviv’s form in the UEFA Cup may cause a further delay in any transfer – Osterc scored against Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday evening to take the Israelis through to the fourth round of the competition, with the fifth being played in March 2002.

Albion Move for Koumas: City have been interested in Tranmere Rovers’ Jason Koumas since the summer, but it is claimed by West Bromwich Albion that they have made an increased offer of £2 million for the player. “In this situation we’ve made a fantastic offer for a player who we think is of value. At this present time the club he plays for are not prepared to sell him, so there is very little you can do to change it,” said an Albion spokesman.

Bish a Hit in Miami: Miami Fusion have had an excellent season, finishing as Eastern Division Champions in the MLS. One factor in this success is, according to Miami midfielder Jeff Bilyk, down to the presence of our old hero Ian Bishop. Bilyk stated “Not only is Bish one of the most talented players on the team but he is a leader in the locker room for the young guys and a player who is genuinely trying to help the league succeed, as well as The Fusion.” Bishop was recently linked with a loan for the English season to Walsall, and although he has signed up to the US league for just a year, is expected to re-sign for a further 12 months.

No Deal for Uwe: Uwe Rösler was disappointed not to earn an extension to his month’s loan at West Bromwich Albion. If he had, he may well have featured in West Brom’s Boxing Day visit to Maine Road. Having scored just one goal in five games, Rösler has returned to Southampton. West Brom no longer required the German’s services after signing Danny Dichio from Sunderland earlier in the week.

Former Blues Find Management Tough: It’s not been a good week for a pair of former City midfielders who have lost their jobs as non-league managers. Eddie McGoldrick resigned as manger of Corby Town, while one of City’s most glorious failures in recent times, Steve Daley, was sacked as boss of Bridgnorth.

Symons on His Way Back?: No, it’s not to City! According to the tabloid press, Kit Symons is returning to his first club Portsmouth next week from Fulham on a free transfer.

Reactions and Comments

December a Crunch Month, Says Keegan: City have eight games to look forward to in December, and KK believes this month could be an important one in deciding City’s fate this season. The Grimsby game kicked off the sequence, followed by a double trip to London against Millwall and Crystal Palace. December also includes games against high ranked teams like Wolves and West Brom. “This is the start of a very tough month for us. The league won’t be decided and nobody will get promoted or relegated, but by the end of it, myself, the players and the fans will have a clear idea of where we can end up this season.”

Gimsby Reaction: KK was convinced that City deserved the points in their 2-0 defeat of Grimsby at the weekend. The City supremo said: “I don’t think there is any doubt that we deserved to win because we had a lot of possession and we had some very good chances in the first half but it took a bit of winning in the end because they had their best spell after we went one up”. Keegan also expressed his delight with the performances of his two goalscorers, Darren Huckerby and Shaun Goater. Since taking over from the injured Paulo Wanchope, the goals have flowed. “It is a terrific strike-rate from both of them,” acknowledged the Blues boss. “Their goals-per-game ratio is even more impressive when you consider that they have both missed matches this season for different reasons. I am very pleased with them. I said to Shaun at half time that they would have to change the words of the song to, feed the Goat and he might score!,” following the Goat’s spurning of a number of chances. “The thing I like about Shaun Goater more than anything is his ability to get into situations and if he misses a chance he certainly doesn’t go hiding.”

I Didn’t Dive, Says City Star: Darren Huckerby was not a happy man after Grimsby complained long and hard that he had dived to win City a penalty last Saturday. “I went past the defender and he was beaten,” responded Huckerby, “I don’t know whether he took my legs or fell on them but suddenly I was in a heap in the penalty area. You cannot do that in the box, it was a definite penalty, no doubt about it, I had gone past him.”

Shaun Bites at the Den: Following City’s excellent 3-2 win at Millwall on Tuesday, Kevin Keegan was full of praise for Shaun Wright-Phillips after he notched his first City goal. Keegan said: “It’s been a long time coming but it’s been worth waiting for – his finish was excellent. He is a very good player and he’ll get better. The lad has got a lot of things – good pace and skill – but the biggest thing he’s got is courage. I told him his main job was to defend and anything else was a bonus – well, the goal was a bonus.” The style and manner of the victory were also a source of delight; “It was a fantastic game with some great football played out there and a good win for us. I told my players the only people here for them were in the dressing room. Eight directors braved it and that was Manchester City here tonight. And I was really proud of them. I thought they did really well and we played some great football, the likes of which you don’t often see in this division.” Nearly 5,000 hardy souls turned up to watch the game live on the big screen at Maine Road.

Boss at it Again! Following last week’s tirade at referee Uriah Rennie after the Blackburn game, Kevin Keegan was sent from the dugout during this Millwall match for abusing a linesman. He was extremely irate after the dubious penalty award against Danny Tiatto. Keegan said: “I didn’t think it was a penalty but it was given and they scored it. I told the linesman exactly what I thought of him.” There is no word from the media on what Super Kev did call the official.

Squad News

Goater Made Captain as Pearce Sidelined: Stuart Pearce limped off after only three minutes at Blackburn last week. The injury has been diagnosed as a hamstring pull, and is likely to keep Pearce out for a month. Kevin Keegan handed the captain’s armband to Shaun Goater on his return from injury for the trip to Grimsby. “Shaun deserves to be captain of this team” said Keegan, “He’s on the players’ committee here and takes his responsibility seriously. Shaun is a leader, but he is not one of these that shouts. The lads respect him, the younger players and the older ones and he leads by example. He has a nice way about him and gets his message across without banging the table or throwing cups, he did very well.”

Suspensions for Blues’ Stars: Christian Negouai will miss Bradford’s visit to Maine Road through suspension next month following his controversial dismissal at Blackburn. The Bradford match is scheduled for Sunday, December 16. Richard Dunne meanwhile misses the trip to Crewe on Saturday, 22 December, after he picked up his fifth booking of the season at Millwall.

Weaver Signs New Contract: After protracted negotiations, Nicky Weaver has put pen to paper to a new deal, keeping the England Under-21 international ‘keeper at the Maine Road until the middle of 2006. Talks began over an extension to his current contract at the start of last season, and despite the turbulent year suffered by both club and player, an agreement has been reached.

KK Protects Negouai: After a torrid opening to Christian Negouai’s career at Maine Road, in which the Frenchman was accused of cheating in his first game and sent off in his second, KK decided to leave him on the bench at Grimsby’s Blundell Park. The boss is keen to ease the Martinique-born player into the hurly burly of an English season. “I really did push him in the deep end and I just felt that after Wednesday’s sending off it was unfair to throw him in again. We are not asking him to do the same job as he was doing at Charleroi. He wasn’t a defensive holding midfielder there, he was an attacking midfielder. We have asked him to change and trying to get that over to him is very confusing through an interpreter. I am using Ali Benarbia to translate and Christian understands that it was useful for him to sit a game out and watch Kevin Horlock in that position. Horlock did well and showed him how to play that rôle but Christian can be a very big player for this club in the future.”

England Call-Ups: There has been further recognition this week for two of City’s youth team. Lee Croft and Dorryl Proffitt have been named in the England under-17 squad for two games in Portugal next week. Croft was outstanding for the under-17’s last month in their 6-0 win over Poland, while both Croft and Proffitt played for the City youth team last Sunday as they beat Burnley 3-0 at Maine Road in an FA Youth Cup third round tie.

Don Barrie (


I’ve never written a report before, but I’m guessing there weren’t many City fans at this game – if there were we all kept quiet when the goals went in! We got tickets by jointly sponsoring the game. For £70 a head you get free booze, a three-course dinner, tea, coffee and biscuits plus a Millwall pen! Needless to say, the pen was left behind.

For anyone who hasn’t been to the New Den, it’s not a bad little ground but the North Stand, where I guess away fans would normally go, was completely empty, while the rest of the ground was full of hard looking South London geezers and their even harder women!

Anyway, City lined up with Nash in goal, centre backs of Dunne, Wiekens and Mettomo. SWP and Tiatto as wing backs. Midfield was Ali B, Berko and Horlock, with the Goat and Huckerby up front – same side and formation as at Grimsby.

The first half wasn’t great. City totally dominated without having to get out of first gear. Millwall were dire and their fans told them so. SWP doesn’t look like a natural wing back when defending. A badly mistimed tackle looked like a sure fire booking but the referee seemed to change his mind, maybe in sympathy! Berko and Ali B looked well in control, with Horlock backing them up. Just before the half hour Berko split the Millwall defence and found SWP running onto the pass in the box. A shot would have been expected but he squared it to the Goat who drove the ball home. Great goal greeted by utter silence – bizarre – I was looking for the linesman’s flag or something but the City players celebrated!

Millwall came back a bit and more or less on the stroke of half time equalised. A cross from the left got over the defence and the Millwall forward controlled the ball on his chest and shot. Nash could only parry and the rebound fell to Sadlier who lumped the ball into the net. Unbelievable! Utter domination and 1-1.

No changes at half time and more of the same from City but not much penetration. Ali B went on a run into the box, took the ball to the line and neatly turned his marker. Simple layoff to Huckerby who put it away. More silence. The City players ran to the empty stand and applauded the nonexistent travelling support – nice one – bound to be shown on “what happened next” sometime! City continued to control, with Millwall’s forwards looking OK but not really threatening. A cross from the left was low and weak, so Tiatto ran forward to take the ball skilfully on his chest and run out of defence with it. The linesman flagged for a handball, which no one could believe, apart from the referee, who gave a penalty. It seemed like virtually the whole City team got booked at this stage. Claridge scored the penalty and I thought City had well and truly lost their rags. Keegan certainly had as he was sent to the stand for remarks to the 4th official. No problem, as he swapped seats with Dennis Tueart who went to the touchline and shouted his head off for the rest of the match!

I thought that we would be 3-2 down in due course with City looking ragged and the crowd going mad. All of a sudden a long ball released Huckerby (who had been running tirelessly all night and threatening). He released the ball to SWP at the edge of the box to curl a great shot into the top right of the goal. Fantastic goal and the City players went mad! The crowd was silenced once and for all – they knew the game was over and so it was. Three great footballing goals against a scramble and an iffy penalty. Really, Millwall were well and truly outclassed and I think their fans knew it.

So three good points and roll on the Eagles. Performances:

Nash 6 Didn’t have much to do. Flapped a bit at crosses and maybe should have held the shot that led to the first goal.
Wiekens 7 Solid game, good passing and heading. Got outpaced by Claridge, which shows how slow he is. Shot went just wide.
Dunne 8 Solid and impressive. Pretty good all round.
Mettomo 5 Very poor in the air, only won the ball when he fouled the oppo. Not bad on the ground.
SWP 8 Great game. My man of the match for hard work, good skill and a great first goal for the senior side.
Tiatto 7 Not bad, aggressive, some good runs, usual stuff, went off for Granville near the end with cramp.
Berko 6 Not a bad game at all, but he bottled all 50:50 balls and tackles. Whinged and whined and generally wound the crowd up (OK, let’s give him a 7 then!).
Ali B 7 Worked hard and provided creativity. Some lovely touches.
The Goat 6 A quiet game, played quite deep and scored a Goat-like goal.
Huckerby 8 Great runs, always a threat, a bit greedy at times, but hey the boy done good.

Russell Higginbotham (


Despite my sanity having been questioned by many, what a privilege it was to have seen what was the outstanding performance of the season so far. How did me and two fellow London Branch Blues keep quiet when SWP scored an absolute cracker from 25 yards into the top right corner after running the length of the pitch? Believe me there was plenty of knee touching (ooh er missus) and wry smiling going on at various stages throughout the match but this is only the second time in 27 years of following the Blues that I dared not make a single noise! Hopefully, as many have said before, SWP will now go on and score many more. His first ever senior goal was worth the £20.00 price to sit in the East Stand Upper close to our totally empty away stand (that is apart from 10 stewards! Why in an empty stand?).

I do not have the time (with 6.30pm on Thursday approaching) to remember much detail but everyone played brilliantly apart from Horlock who is just not on the same wavelength as the rest. Our midfield with Eyal and Ali was superb. Their “fans”, or the less moronic of them, fully appreciated the quality of City and indeed it could be overheard that we totally were outclassing them. We carved them open at will with quite brilliant training ground style passing. We had one move that must have had twenty odd passes culminating in Goat nearly scoring what would have been the Goal of the Season. The Goat could have scored with another spectacular shot and Ali could have had at least one in the first half. Our first from He who scores every game was beautifully worked from Berko to SWP who selflessly played a perfect ball to Goat to finish easily – cue twitch of leg.

It was criminal that we didn’t lead at half time due to a lack of concentration down our left side of defence on the stroke of half time. No matter. In the second half we even managed to up the tempo and Tiatto, Eyal, Huck and probably others could have scored memorable goals before Huck deservedly scored a good goal after another marvellously created move. The penalty was not. Tiatto clearly chested it down, resulting in huge protests and a plethora of bookings and Kev’s sending off. Sometimes we do lose it when decisions go against us. No matter. Back we came and in what style. Thanks Shaun WP you deserved this for a truly magnificent performance.

What is it about SE London Neanderthals? I have not heard such racist, foul, abusive, threatening etc. language since, err, the last time we played them when we drew 1:1 and their entire west and east stand animals just hurled abuse towards us (and much more to the local cops I remember). Where were the stewards to throw them out leaving only us in the stand to cheer our heroes?

What a memory. And what happened to our 10 fellow Blues in the Corporate Box below us in the East Stand who were still in there surrounded by police well after full time? Did they get out alive? Why did they go in the first place? Ah well I know the answer to that one – we can’t and should not be deprived of ever seeing our Blues in action.

Come on you Blues. Stuff the Palace.

Chris Pilkington (


This is my first ever contribution to MCIVTA and although I don’t want to do a Why Blue? in a match report, some background is probably useful.

Having supported City for nearly 40 years and a season ticket holder during the 70’s, I moved to Hertfordshire in 1979. My visits back to Manchester have been less frequent over the years and therefore I have seen very few home games recently. Until recently I was always able to go to the London games but last year was a disaster in that I could not get a ticket for any of the matches.

I have a contact through work with a Millwall fan and we had arranged to go to the match even before the ban on City fans. He was able to get a ticket for myself and we arrived at the ground and were surprised to see a large police presence. We had tickets behind the goal and with the opposite stand completely empty, it was very full. Consequently I had to sit by myself with my friend two rows in front of me.

The atmosphere was certainly intimidating and there was constant chanting of “No-one likes us, we don’t care”. I am sure that others will provide a detailed match report so I will just give my impressions.

Firstly, I have to say that this was one of the most impressive performances I have ever seen by a City team. Over the last 20 years, I have rarely seen City win away from home. However, it was the standard of football that impressed me. We played the ball confidently from the back through the midfield and the forwards had a 95% probability of getting the ball. This was very different to the long ball from the back that the forwards fail to reach before it goes for a throw in. Consequently we kept possession and made few unforced errors.

The Goat was in the right place at the right time to finish off a very classy first goal. But was it a goal? Deadly silence and even the City players did not seem to react. I was sitting on my hands and cheering silently as the team made it back to the half way line. City continued to dominate and I was devastated when Millwall scored with their only chance just before half time. This time I couldn’t sit on my hands and had to stand up and clap. My friend on both occasions turned round nervously to see whether I was reacting properly.

We went to the bar at half time and the highlights of the first half were showing on the TV. When it had finished a blue screen appeared with Manchester City Football Club. The goals were then shown of the City vs. Birmingham 6-nil win. The Millwall fans were actually hitting the TV screen and unfortunately BBC1 appeared after a few moments.

Millwall put City under pressure at the start of the second half but normal sevice was resumed and City continued to dominate as they had in the first half. We had a few chances and Huckerby looked very dangerous when he tried to go through the whole defence. He is certainly very fast and reminded me of Roadrunner but his final pass/shot was mostly disappointing. However, Berkovic was fantastic except for a 10 minute spell when he did not want the ball after a number of very hard tackles.

More silence followed Huckerby’s goal and then the farce of the penalty. Tiatto was nearly at the half way line when play was stopped. I couldn’t tell if it had hit his hand but it was definately not deliberate. After being booked for a small disagreement with Sadlier, I expected him to be sent off. However, the referee was probaly too busy booking all the City players who were showing dissent instead. The whole team just lost the plot including Keegan and the crowd were standing for the penalty so no special standing up to clap the goal.

Millwall had a couple of headers over the bar and City were still rattled. However, they started getting back control and looked the more likely to score. However, Millwall have a habit of scoring late in the game so I was not optimistic. Another fine goal by City and I was very pleased that Shaun Wright-Philips scored his first goal for the first team and it was a special goal indeed.

In the stand to the right of me, everybody stood up and a number of stewards rushed into the crowd. I couldn’t see what actually happened and hoped that a City fan had not reacted to the goal as I was afraid for his life.

City continued to dominate but 4 minutes of injury time did not help my nerves. Finally it was over and very sadly I made my way out of the ground even though I was jumping for joy inside. I felt the whole team played well tonight and hope that with increased confidence we can continue this good run. We certainly wouldn’t disgrace the Premiership.

An uneventful journey back home where I only had to nod a few times when Millwall fans made comments to me (I still have not completely lost my Manchester accent).

And now onwards to Crystal Palace. Another friend has got me a ticket in the Palace end and so it will be very interesting to see the comparison.

Let’s hope that I am a lucky omen and City don’t disappoint me in being predictably unpredictable.

Richard Levy (


All the reports of this match stress that City had no supporters at Millwall but any regular reader of MCIVTA will have known that that wouldn’t be true. What there was, was a whole stand left empty: shockingly so. As the match kicked off it was designed to emphasise to City that there was nobody behind them in this game. We were not really here.

What convinced me to go was the sure and certain knowledge that SWP would score and I couldn’t bear to miss it. If you think back over this season and the last, has there been a game when he has not created the space to have a reasonable shooting chance? With only average luck enough of these would have gone in to have saved City from relegation last season. They have not been easy chances, the sort where you can question the player’s ability or rather wonder at his ability to miss: he has never let us down, it’s just lack of luck or experience or confidence and you find yourself giving him credit for making the chance, not blame for missing it.

And then after twenty minutes, right in front of me, Eyal puts the ball into space inside the box and SWP is through on it from the right with only the goalkeeper to beat and I just know this is it and he’s going to put City ahead. Instead, with one touch the ball is perfectly cut back along the front of the six yard box behind the stranded defenders for the Goat arriving with balance and speed and timing. It really was a beautiful goal and I was left thinking of the difference between me thinking of having a shot and a proper player knowing what to do to make the goal certain. Then I thought that this play was so well executed that it was obviously a drill, already well rehearsed. Then I thought of Huckerby being put through instead of SWP and I saw him having a shot: maybe I’m unfair.

City carried on playing football of some assurance: it was one of those games where one side has to rely on stubbornness and passion to try and overcome a more gifted and technically superior side, and in the last minutes of the first half that persistence paid off for Millwall. Nash dived to his right to parry a shot, the ball fell for Sadlier in a crowded box and came straight back for the equaliser.

After half-time, Millwall started more strongly but it was clear that tonight City had the guts and will to win that sometimes goes missing. We knew this because of the amount of whingeing and arguing that was going on – all of it by City and not attractive to watch. The crowd around me was also getting more passionate as the sensed they might get a result. And then Huckerby scored, at the other end, a proper goal, not some dodgy goal line scrum. The players made a point of acknowledging the silent applause from the invisible fans at that end. In truth I did feel that this goal had been coming and the way we continued to play after that I kind of expected 4-1 (but I guess we’ve been spoilt this season).

Instead, ‘Wall are awarded a penalty for handball by Tiatto. Keegan and half the team dispute and dispute, and Keegan is dismissed from the touchline. This decision was given by the linesman that Danny was running towards and I had the same view as the linesman. Danny played the ball off his stomach and did shape his arms to control it (as players do). He didn’t need to ensure perfect control because there was no one threatening to take the ball from him even if his touch wasn’t great. He had already done the same thing a couple of times in sight of the ref without it being penalised, although it was always called by the crowd around me. He was also penalised in this game for a really blatant handball on the touchline near me when his back was to the referee.

My view is worth little but I think that Danny has got into a habit of using his arms to the limit of what he thinks he can get away with and on this occasion he got caught out. Still, the decision was definitely marginal and there is no sense in which he denied an attacking opportunity by what he did: it was just bad habit. It was the sort of decision that you never see given – except tonight it was.

With the second equaliser and the players’ tempers gone and the real passion in the crowd it suddenly seemed more likely that Millwall would scramble another goal than that City would be able to create anything more for themselves. Millwall won a couple of corners and the premonitions came more strongly into focus. All around me “You’re not singing any more” rang out for the benefit of the invisible fans in the away stand: you had to laugh.

From one of these corners City broke, with dazzling pace. You could see Huckerby take the ball across the halfway line while SWP was still deep within the City half but he was sprinting forward with breathtaking speed and determination and Millwall were immediately outnumbered in their own half probably 3 or 4 on 2 or 3. SWP ran into space in the centre, picked up an immaculate pass and hit the ball hard into the top right hand corner.

I was up on my feet before I could think where I was. I would have been OK if anyone else had scored but it was little Sean: that goal meant more to me than any I’ve seen since Wembley and I was there.

Anyone who has sat at the Home end in Away matches will have wondered what happens when you do this. If you’ve spent time running through it in your mind you’ve probably picked out some of the more direct and committed crowds where you wouldn’t want to try this (perhaps Millwall? … I’d have thought so); you may have picked out bad times to do it, like when it’s the winner five minutes from time in a multi-goal thriller. The truth is the guys around me were beaten rather than angry: the ground was silent, and I thought I could sense feelings of betrayal rather than hostility. I was glad there were only a few minutes left and I didn’t stay to banter with anyone on the way out.

Hugo Robins (


It was a strange feeling being there, I was sat with the home crowd at Wycombe a few seasons ago but this was different as there were no City fans, just a stand of empty seats. So being there with a mate and under strict orders I was sat with the Millwall fans and I must admit it was an eye-opener. I have always been prepared to give them the benefit of a bad press and believe that the troublemakers were a small minority or, as they like to tell us, interlopers from other clubs. Not so, I was surrounded by a horde of foul-mouthed racist morons; regardless of age or sex, they were all the same.

Anyway, to the game. City began with the same line-up as at Grimsby last Saturday, with SWP again playing right wing back, and in front of a rabid crowd, who were on at the referee continuously, began looking assured and confident on the ball. Wiekens was caught on the ball though but Eyal Berkovic got back to prevent the shot from the edge of the box; then Carlo had to get his skates on to get to a through ball before Steve Claridge could get there.

That was just about it for Millwall, their players were actively trying it on and in front of that crowd the referee was up against it; SWP was booked for a foul. However, Benarbia and Berkovic took control of the game and City showed some great passing and possession play. Then, about half way through the first half, Berkovic beat a couple of static Millwall defenders, fed SWP on the right and his great cross left the Goat the simple job of tapping it into the net. A couple of minutes later City could have had another as again Berkovic put a pinpoint pass through to Benarbia but his shot was well saved by Warner in the Millwall goal.

City continued to control the game, with both Benarbia and Berkovic in total control until into stoppage time in the first half when a ball was played through to the right wing, which found their striker in what looked to be an offside position, and the resulting cross saw Carlo parry the resultant shot only to see Richard Sadlier strike the rebound home to take us in to half time at 1-1.

The second half began again with City in total control and after about 10 minutes a cross from Benarbia saw Danny Tiatto hit the ball into the ground and bounce over the bar; almost immediately afterwards, Huckerby was through one on one with the ‘keeper only to miss yet again. Millwall were completely on the back foot and their ‘keeper kept them in it with some great saves from Horlock and Huckerby, and then Berkovic put over an open goal.

By now Millwall had nothing to match City’s midfield and the goal eventually came with a breathtaking move from City as good as you will ever see ending with Benarbia putting a superb ball onto the foot of Huckerby who passed it into the net. What followed was sheer class, Huckerby ran over to the empty stand where the away fans would have been and clapped the invisible fans, joined by the Goat and other players. This seemed to incense the morons around me and I learnt a few more words to add to my vocabulary.

What happened next I can only guess at; Tiatto blocked the ball and play continued only for the referee to bring the ball back and give them a penalty, on what I learnt later was the linesman’s (or is that ref’s assistant?) decision. A number of city players were booked and Keegan was told to leave the pitch for having a go at the linesman (or should that be ref’s assistant?) and Steve Claridge calmly sent Carlo the wrong way.

Millwall briefly had probably their best spell of the game but then the goal we have all been waiting for came, and what a way to do it. A move that started from just outside our own box, with Berkovic sending Hucks on a sprint through the middle and his pass to Shauny Wright Wright Wright saw him bend the ball into the net from outside the area. The reaction from the crowd around me was something I will never forget. I for once couldn’t hold myself and I was probably saved from a pummeling when my leap out of the seat coincided with a moron in front of me who did the same, only to start hurling a string of racist abuse at SWP. This seemed to galvanize the rest into joining in for a while and there was a scuffle in the directors’ box, only for them to lapse into total silence for the rest of the game.

A late substitution with Granville coming on for Tiatto was all that was left and City saw the game out to the final whistle. We got the 3 points we went for and Millwall got exactly what they deserved. From the manager down, their tactics and attitude sucked and on the way out the whole evening was summed up for me perfectly; with no away fans to have a go at they started setting on each other. I am not going to give individual ratings, just say that as a team performance this was the best display I have seen from a City team for a number of years.

Thanks to ‘Rocket’ From Talkin’ City


Just got back to my London gaff after a few celebratory pints and fancied sharing a few brief moments of pleasure with all the MCIVTA readers out there.

Millwall supporters are without doubt the biggest bunch of idiots going. We were sat in the West Stand, myself, Milesy, who’d come down from Manchester, and Jason, a Villa fan who came along for the laugh. We’d had a few looseners at the Silver Cross in central London and arrived as near kick-off time as possible to avoid any hassle.

City started well and although I was concentrating on the crowd as much as the game, it was no surprise to see us take the lead with a quality Goater finish. I heard a ripple of applause, presumably from the executive seats but didn’t see any City fans celebrating.

They must have all been secretly celebrating like us. The rest of the first half was scrappy apart from one excellent City move. Millwall, predictably, scored a scrappy late goal that ensured the bar was packed at half-time. We had a cheeky pint and listened to Millwall fans saying “there must be some City here tonight”, then made it back to our seats for the second half.

It wasn’t really the cauldron of hatred we thought it might have been, and the City team seemed to gain in confidence in a similar fashion to our now animated expressions (although overt speech was still out of the question). City took the lead and it looked like we were on for the much anticipated away win in the same way we took Chelsea away when City were banned way back then.

Unfortunately Millwall came back into it with an extremely dubious penalty for which Keegan’s protestations led to him being banned from the touchline. It was great from there on to see Keegan, Bernstein, Tueart (and someone else) to give it to the Millwall fans from their position at the front of the top tier in the west stand.

Watches were being looked at, and a draw seemed on the cards when a smart City move down the right (I think, although I was a bit p****d, and am even more so now) led to Shauny Wright-right-right slotting home for a magnificent winner. The Millwall faithful (?) were not impressed, but Keegan et al were up off their seats above us on the upper tier, much to the disgust of most of the neanderthals around us. Soon after, the whistle blew, and then it was a hop skip and a jump to South Bermondsey, and a packed train journey back to London Bridge before we could truly relax and celebrate a fantastic victory.

I didn’t recognise any City fans there, but reckon there were quite a few Blues down there having a similar quiet joyous experience. Wonder if Millwall will bring any to Maine Road?

Daniel Forster (


As it turned out 4,894 mad fools decided to descend on the Kippax to see the game on the “big screen”. The Blue Moon Chippy was open and doing a roaring trade – we’d originally parked on the Main Stand forecourt but were advised to shift the jalopy to the Kippax car park as there weren’t going to be any stewards on the forecourt: “you leave your car here at your own risk”. So we did, ate our grub and went into the ground. The atmosphere was convivial and most thought we’d stuff the “sarf Lunneners”/thugs/cretins/morons (pick yer own word!). Safely ensconced in the very back row of the Lower Tier of the Kippax, we awaited the evening’s “entertainment”. I must admit that it was eerie seeing three sides of the ground in darkness apart from the screen, the scoreboard and the lights from the Kippax.

The Junior Blues had a penalty shootout against Moonchester, who had been switching on the Levenshulme Chrimbo lights and only just made it. The screen was showing the boys warming up – slight complaint here. IMHO the screen wasn’t as big as most of us thought it would be – it looked like the one that M&S have got at Handforth Dean (for those who don’t live up this way, Handforth Dean is a shopping centre consisting of M&S, Tesco and Allders) which weary men plonk themselves in front of while their other/better halves spend all their cash! Still we made do. The team itself was identical to the Grimsby game with Clive Wilkes officiating – more of him later!

What made me giggle was the fact that the crowd all got carried away as if they were at the match themselves, they were yelling encouragement, screaming at the ref and jumping up and down at every scoring chance! It felt strange at first but I was soon muttering under my breath with the rest of them; I daren’t jump up and down ’cause I didn’t have any seats in front of me and, knowing my luck, I would have got a**e over t*t and broken my neck!

We played very well in the first half – SWP got booked early on for an innocuous tackle, yet Bircham the Millwall no.18 was continually knocking 7 shades of s**t out of Berkovic and getting away with it. That was the standard of refereeing, they tackle badly, they get away with it. We tackle badly/clumsily (note the difference!), we get penalised or booked. Picky wasn’t in it! Every corner they took was just about on the white line – we’re all screaming for the linesman to sort it (he can’t hear you!) but to no avail. The Goat deservedly put us ahead in the 23rd minute. Carlo Nash is having a good game, safe, secure, decent throw outs to the wing backs, not fannying around like Nick does. Then calamity, a defensive mixup and Nashy can’t keep out Sadlier’s shot. Great, just before half time, that’s all we needed!

H-T: 1-1

The half time entertainment, as well as a welcome cup of coffee as the temperature was beginning to drop, was more Junior Blues doing the ball through the yellow polo mint game normally known as “kick for cash”. One young lad, called Marcel, actually succeeded to the great cheers of the stand! Dunno what his prize was but the runners-up got the December City Mag!

The second half kicked off in the same vein, Berko ate dirt courtesy of Bircham, SWP flew down the wing, Danny T all over the place and Huck missing some glorious chances when it would have been easier to score or pass to a team-mate! Then he did score and promptly went to the empty North Stand and applauded it! We all went mad, except me who cheered but stayed in my seat for safety reasons!

Then the piece de resistance – the “penalty” – was it a penalty? Was it thump. From the linesman’s angle it probably looked like DT had handled – from everyone else’s angle (not the ref!) both inside the ground and on the big screen it hit his ribcage – either that or DT has developed a third arm on his chest, funny what side effects these long haul flights can have on you! We weren’t sure what decision had been given at first ’cause Mr Wilkes had to consult his assistant before he decides it is a penalty. Our boys are going mad and Wiekens got booked for giving the liner some grief! Kevin Keegan was “incandescent with rage” to use the quote of the moment and got sent off for his troubles – if he wants any backing then 4,894 of us can help out! Anyway, scruffy Claridge was the penalty taker; he did a shimmy before sending the unfortunate Nash the wrong way. More grinding and gnashing of teeth in the Kippax (they still can’t hear you!).

So did we sit back, wilt or go for it? The latter, thank God… Berko however was by now looking more than a little p****d off at having to consume most of the New Den pitch, plus the fact he seemed to get knocked in the face so needed some lengthy treatment – was the Millwall offender talked to? Don’t be daft! Danny T got cramp and got substituted by Danny G. Then SWP, who had had a cracking game and run everyone ragged, got the ball and flew down the wing, unleashing a shot which, on past first team appearances, normally ended in row Z. Not this one! This one flew sweetly in the back of the net past the despairing Warren to give us a 3-2 lead. He got mobbed by his mates, we all went ballistic (they still can’t hear you!) and I finally took the risk and flew off my seat cheering like everyone else! What a way to get your first senior goal! What a strike! Give the boy the goal of the month award now! Voting’s closed!

Four minutes of stoppage time were signalled and we held on for a well deserved win. Misery McGhee (born the same day/same year as me and I am a damn sight more cheerful!) took a leaf out of the “Sir Taggart book of smacked @rse” looks – we all had grins wider than the Thames Barrier – 3 points, 3rd in the table, 4points behind Scumley, 2 points behind Wolves but 2 ahead of Palace. Only the next few days will tell but this confidence booster must surely help – roll on Saturday!

Carol Darvill (


In the Blue Corner: Okay, Simon says it should be discussion/controversy time and this Blue is going to get in there punching from the bell. Here goes:

The Badge: Anyone who thinks the Colonel Sanders is modern or meaningful should go on a graphic design course or get an eye test. 1976 League Cup final crest is best, otherwise a complete re-design that says Manchester/Lancashire/City/Proud Tradition/Winners in a contemporary and aesthetic manner.

The Motto: Anyone who believes a bit of Latin doggerel will help us achieve a result on a wet Tuesday in Rotherham is quite mad.

Foreign Players: Didn’t notice too many of the homespun Northerners dying for the cause in recent years. Where was Nicky Summerbee born? Altrincham General? Where was Ali Benabia born? Who cares? He’s contributed more to City’s cause in under half a season than Buzzer jr did the whole time he was with us.

Joe Royle: I’ve said this before. It’s a waste of emotional energy to get involved. If JR wants to sue his ex-employer over the interpretation of the wording in his contract that’s his privilege – just as it’s every employee’s privilege to do likewise. Take “City” and “Joe Royle” out of the equation, substitute “Boss” and “Worker” and let them get on with it. And yeah, he’s probably a greedy b’stard but, hey, this is football.

Keegan: Like the man. Like his style. Like the way his team is trying and often succeeding to play football.

Players: Again, I’m not there every week but on mainly video evidence and hearsay, yes to Ali, Berko, Chop, Goat (can’t argue with 21 goals/250 near misses), the Pieman Dunne (loads of potential, getting better), Nash, SWP, Mettomo, Tiatto. Probably Huckerby, Howey (though not having a great year).Maybe Ritchie (liked him before he got injured), Colosimo, Weaver (he’s still very young), Charvet (on early season form), Toure, Newguy, Ellegard, Killen, Jeff W (he was great last season). No Granville (can’t tackle), Horlock (fading fast), Dickov (sorry), Mike (should have come through by now), Wiekens (shame but he’ll be little use if we go up), Pearce (too old). Have I missed anyone?

What Do We Need? Two good full backs and another striker.

Rags: Sorry, but I still bl**dy hate them. And if MacManus and Magnier buy in they’ll be even more in my face than they are now.

Singing: Up to you young guys to carry on the torch. More songs and chants please and sing up – we can’t afford to let our reputation slide. There was certainly lusty singing in the late sixties/early seventies by the way, long before the Liverpool phenomenon. Anyone remember a great long crocodile of Blues going up the London underground escalators singing to the Twelve Days of Christmas – “… Eight Colin Bell, Seven Summerbee, Six Alan Oakes (clap, clap, clap), Five Tommy Booth. Four Mike Doyle, Three Glyn Pardoe, Two Tony Book and Joe Corrigan for a goalie…” I think, if memory serves me right, we nicked the song off Sunderland who were up in The Smoke the same day – their version ended with “… and the Lord Montgomery” (after Jim, their ‘keeper).

Football Philosophy: What I want is a squad of skilful, committed players who can graft at Grimsby and Stockport and turn on the flash at Maine Road, winnng by 3 clear goals every week (to allow for refereeing problems). Strikers who strike; midfielders who can pass and dribble; defenders who can tackle. This team will be run by a manager committed to attractive, attacking football. At the same time he’s a sound tactician; knows how to keep a clean sheet when it’s needed. His backroom staff can spot talent, train up young players. The Chairman is a skilled negotiator and a publicity wizard: of course I know this club is a pipe dream, so I support City.

Ernie Whalley (


I agree with the view from Steve Parish that if we don’t get promoted within 2 seasons we will lose most of our decent players. We will most likely lose a few if we don’t go up this season.

I just think if we get promoted when we are not ready and spend a season in the Premiership and get relegated after a season it will be just as bad. If we get promoted this season we will no doubt ‘strengthen the squad’ with the purchase of a few more Premiership players, all on Premiership wages, which we could afford less if relegated.

Would it not be better to get promoted with a side that is going to play in the Premiership and not just get us into the Premiership? There is nothing I want more than to see us back in the Premiership but I don’t want to see a repeat of last season.

Angus Jordan (


Taken from The Sporting Life:

As Kevin Keegan waits to hear if he will be disciplined after his latest outburst, a top sports psychologist has claimed his passionate character is one of his best attributes.

The Manchester City boss was sent from the dug-out on Tuesday night for protesting vehemently when Millwall were awarded a penalty during the game which the Blues won 3-2. The Football Association are waiting to receive the officials’ reports from the game before they decide if any action is necessary. Keegan’s outburst comes just a week after he launched a scathing attack on referee Uriah Rennie for his handling of City’s Worthington Cup defeat at Blackburn and he claimed “it was shocking refereeing”.

The FA have decided not to charge Keegan over this incident after studying his comments. Cary Cooper, professor of psychology at UMIST, feels City should not worry about Keegan’s outbursts because they show his passion for the club. Cooper is adamant Keegan’s emotional nature is a plus rather than a negative for City. “Keegan is a passionate guy and to be quite honest that’s what you want,” he said. “It’s a bit like the situation with Fabien Barthez. Everyone goes on about the mistakes he has made, but he’s a risk taker and that’s what makes him great. It’s the same with Keegan and he is extremely passionate. Exceptional people have a passion and that passion sometimes overflows. As a fan or a chairman, you want your manager to show that passion because it demonstrates his commitment to the team. It shows how much he cares and how much he is involved. It’s his way of saying ‘I’m out there with you on the pitch’ and that kind of passion is great for the club.”

Cooper feels Keegan is vindicated by the First Division table and the Blues are third, four points behind leaders Burnley with a game in hand, following their win at Millwall. “We saw how his character can change the team when City played Rotherham recently,” he said. “I was at that game and when the players came in at half-time he transformed them. They came out in the second half a different team. He’s a man manager. That’s his great strength. So it would be wrong to try to take away his passion, even if it does get him in trouble now and again, because that is his very essence.”

Philip Lines (


I read in the paper today that Ronnie Moore is to report Christian Negouai to the PFA for his ‘Goal’ against Rotherham. This just sums up what football is coming to, a week after Kinkladze takes his solicitor in to see Colin Todd about getting his first team place back.

What exactly Moore hopes to achieve by doing this is beyond me; would he be so outraged for instance if one of his players dived to gain a penalty, or a free kick that lead to a goal? I’m sure that in true Arsene Wenger style, he either wouldn’t have seen it, or would he be convinced it was legitimate. More importantly, would he be prepare to report his own player for a handballed ‘Goal’?

The point is I don’t see what Ronnie Moore, or Rotherham have to gain, even if the PFA discipline Negouai; do they even have any powers in this field? It won’t prevent cheating on the field, and let’s be honest, Rotherham will get their share of luck somewhere else this season. If he has a real problem about the ‘Goal’, Ronnie Moore should report the linesman for not spotting the infringement and not the player for getting away with it.

Chris Lambert (


Now that ITV is on Sky you can get ITV Granada from anywhere in the country and probably beyond. This may vary from sky box to sky box but under ‘services/system setup’ you can add channels. Enter the following details: Frequency 10.891 – H – 22.0 – 5/6, select find channels; you get a screen with most of the ITV regions on, select any/all of the ones you want. The channels aren’t accessible from the normal menu or by the 3 number code, but on the same menu that you added the channels (i.e. services/system set up/other channels). Next City match live is Sunday 16th December (Bradford) – check for upcoming schedule. Have fun.

Thanks to Martin from Staffs on teamtalk/your say page for original info.

Nick Jones (


Is it only me who feels just a tiny bit sorry for Sir Alex, I mean he is coming to the end of his reign at United and it all seems to be going down the drain. You just have to look at the pathetic little faces of the so called fans, you mark my words Sir Alex will wish he had hung up his boots last season when they start calling for his blood. All I wanted to know is (because I have lived outside of England for about 20 years), is it normal for me to relish in a Red defeat just as much as a Blue victory?

Antony Fink (


Friday the 14th December sees the Essex & Suffolk Branch of the CSA celebrating Christmas early instead of our regular meeting. It is planned to start in The Railway pub in Chelmsford at 4:00 pm and then head over to Seabright’s Barn in Galleywood to carry on festivities. There will be a Christmas raffle on the night with Essex & Suffolk T-Shirts to be won (or bought) with the fittest of us carrying on clubbing in Chelmsford later.

All Blues are welcome!

For more information contact me at the address below.

Paul Gallagher (


I am off to Warsaw for Christmas and New Year to visit the Outlaws.

A few months ago someone issued a couple of pubs in the city where City fans would be welcome to speak English and chat about the Blues over a few beers.

I would be grateful if whoever posted the pub names would email with the addresses.

Michael Riley (


Sir Alex is in town and pops into the Building Society for some money (the offer won’t take his credit card). Whilst he is in the queue a man bursts in, up to the counter, points a gun at the cashier and demands all the money.

Sir Taggart, feeling brave, throws himself at the robber but gets clubbed on the head and the man runs out. When he comes round, one of the cashiers is holding his head and fanning him with some leaflets.

Sir Red Nose (seasonal) asks ‘what happened?’

The cashier starts to reply ‘Sir Alex you’re in the Nationwide…’ At which point Taggart replies “Christ, is it May already?”

Mick Brown (
Frank Heukels (


Ernie Whalley, Our Man in The Boozer, has been eavesdropping again.

Entering the car park of The Pig & Whistle, a fake-beamed hostelry, in the English Midlands (directions: take the second exit after Dickhead Glade Services on the motorway that leads to the metropolis), we notice that an unduly high proportion of the vehicles therein are sporting stickers lauding the achievements of WWFC. Hmmm, bit far south of Wolves territory, we muse. Closer inspection reveals that the vehicles’ owners seem to be carrying a torch for “World’s Wonderfullest Football Corporation”, one of the many pseudonyms for an organisation known to denizens of Manchester as “the bl**dy Rags”. We also perceive that an unusually high proportion of said vehicles are not your conventional Mondeo or Corolla but invalid chariots, many of them painted in Vodafone livery.

Pushing open the iron-clad door of the public bar, we trip over a guide dog, slide the full length of the parquet floor and hit our head on the fake firedogs in the baronial grate. Dazed, we lie there until a stranger jogs up from the other end of the long bar. He is out of breath, exhausted by the effort. He looms over us but instead of helping us to our feet seems to be fishing in his pocket for something. A hip flask? No, it turns out to be a small yellow card, which he proceeds to brandish in theatrical fashion, as if posing for a photograph.

“Upstairs lads” says the barman. “Referees’ Convention’s in The Kiljoy Suite.”

We trudge upstairs. There is a notice on the door. It reads “South-West Midlands Referees Annual Convention. With guest speakers” Ah! we wondered how this pub got its name. We enter. The room is blue-hazed with cigarette smoke. Even the guide dogs are coughing. Taking a seat near the door we peer through the fog to discern that one of the guest speakers is addressing the audience. They all sit rapt, except for the delegate next to me who is fiddling with his hearing aid. “So there you are lads. If you wanna be a Division One ref like me, you gotta keep up with the play, you gotta be fit. Aaagh!” (he falls down, clutching his side). One delegate, a woman, goes to loosen his collar and pummel his chest. The rest suffer a reflex reaction, all fumble for their pack of cards shouting “You dived you cheating c**t!”, “Gerrup Klinsmann” or “Do that again it’s the early bath”.

After the ambulance departs the Convention continues.

The next speaker, a Mr. U. Rennie is delivering the keynote speech. The topic? How To Deal With Cheating Foreign Barstewards Who Wear Luminous Hose. “One for all, all for one, that’s my motto” he avows. “We refs must stick together. After the phone call from Fletch I decided to go for it. The trophy for Most Column Inches in The Tabs by Any Ref, that is. After Keggy lost it last Wednesday night there’s no way even Allcock will even get near my tally no matter how many of Huckerby’s goals he disallows” (he continues) “So I sez to this frog Newguy ‘Just so much as gob on the park this arvo, pal and it’s a yeller. Two gobs and you’re frigginwell off!’ Course the beggar can’t speak a word of English…”

More nuggets of inside track drop from his slavering lips. The audience hangs on his every word as he outlines the top referee’s preferred method for dealing with garish-socked bogus asylum-seekers like Bernabia, Berkovic, Wanchope, Goater, Mettomo, Tiatto, the list seems endless. He stops short of revealing all, though, for he realises that, come next season, he may be downgraded, forced to referee in the East Cheam & District Ted’s Tools Wednesday League and the book he is writing will provide a useful supplement to his reduced income.

After the deafening (to the few persons present with normal hearing) applause dies down, The Chair, a man wearing the thickest bottle lenses we have ever seen encased in 1952 vintage National Health wire frames, introduces a Q&A session. One delegate seems particularly incensed that he has had his card torn up. “What! Your ref’s union card?” “No”. “Red or Yellow?” inquired another. “No, no. Me bloody gold card. Peter Kenyon shredded it after I booked Phil Neville for tripping Bergkamp. I got a bit confused. Not my fault, it was the new away strip that threw me.” Cries of sympathy resounded round the room.

“Right” said The Chair. “I’ll take one more question.”

The Most Famous Referee of All stood up. Delegates gasped in awe as they heard The Chair announce his name; this man is a giant, a Legend in his Own TV Replays. “What are we gonna do about Barthez?” he demanded sternly.

The Chair sighed with relief. At last, a question he could answer. “Simple. You just add on time. As per the union agreement.” “That won’t do. I let it run for 160 minutes on Sunday, done me achilles, missed the last train home, they still lost. That beggar Barthez could ruin it for all of us!”

As told to Ernie Whalley (


Recent results from 3rd December 2001 to 5th December 2001 inclusive.

4 December 2001

Millwall              2 - 3  Manchester City       13,026

League table to 05 December 2001 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Burnley         22  7  3  1 25 15  6  1  4 17 14 13  4  5 42 29  13  43
 2 Wolves          21  5  3  3 14  8  7  2  1 19  8 12  5  4 33 16  17  41
 3 Manchester City 21  7  2  1 26 10  5  1  5 24 21 12  3  6 50 31  19  39
 4 Norwich City    22  8  2  1 19  9  4  1  6 12 19 12  3  7 31 28   3  39
 5 West Brom A.    21  6  1  3 11  5  6  1  4 14 13 12  2  7 25 18   7  38
 6 Coventry City   21  6  2  3 16 10  5  2  3 11  9 11  4  6 27 19   8  37
 7 Preston N.E.    22  6  4  1 24  9  3  5  3 13 18  9  9  4 37 27  10  36
 8 Crystal Palace  21  8  0  3 29 11  3  1  6 14 21 11  1  9 43 32  11  34
 9 Millwall        21  6  1  3 22 14  4  3  4 15 13 10  4  7 37 27  10  34
10 Portsmouth      22  6  1  4 19 15  3  5  3 15 16  9  6  7 34 31   3  33
11 Birmingham City 21  6  1  3 20  9  2  5  4 12 20  8  6  7 32 29   3  30
12 Watford         21  6  3  2 24 13  2  2  6  9 13  8  5  8 33 26   7  29
13 Nottm Forest    22  5  5  1 13  7  2  3  6 11 14  7  8  7 24 21   3  29
14 Gillingham      22  5  3  3 21 11  3  2  6 11 19  8  5  9 32 30   2  29
15 Bradford City   22  6  1  4 28 22  2  4  5 12 18  8  5  9 40 40   0  29
16 Sheff. United   22  4  4  3 17 14  2  5  4  7 13  6  9  7 24 27  -3  27
17 Wimbledon       22  3  5  3 17 15  3  3  5 19 21  6  8  8 36 36   0  26
18 Rotherham Utd.  22  4  5  2 16 15  2  2  7 12 19  6  7  9 28 34  -6  25
19 Crewe Alex.     22  4  4  3  8 13  2  3  6 12 21  6  7  9 20 34 -14  25
20 Sheff. Wed.     22  3  4  4 17 17  2  3  6  7 18  5  7 10 24 35 -11  22
21 Walsall         22  4  3  4 13 13  1  2  8 10 23  5  5 12 23 36 -13  20
22 Grimsby Town    22  3  3  5 10 16  2  2  7 11 25  5  5 12 21 41 -20  20
23 Barnsley        22  4  4  3 17 18  0  2  9  9 29  4  6 12 26 47 -21  18
24 Stockport C.    22  1  1  9  7 21  1  5  5 14 28  2  6 14 21 49 -28  12

With thanks to Football 365


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The music the teams run out to at Maine Road this season is “Nightmare”, by Brainbug, and is available on the Positiva label.

[10] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the information regarding match day music and to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service.

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 #768