Newsletter #769

Saturday’s visit to Crystal Palace saw us unable to repeat the emphatic performance of earlier in the week as we went down 2-1. However, we are still in 3rd place in the table and tomorrow night’s visit of Wolves will be an excellent benchmark.

Tonight sees Ken’s diary, two excellent match reports, plenty of opinion including disturbing reports on Millwall, and more worrying news on TV scheduling of football games, couple of requests and a ‘Why (you will be) Blue’.

Next game: Wolverhampton Wanderers, home, 7.45pm Tuesday 11 December


10 December:
Glyn Pardoe and Johnny Crossan scored at West Brom in 1966, City winning 3-0 with the other goal coming from one C. Jones in the first of just seven games he had. In 1988 Brightwell and Moulden got two apiece in the 4-0 home win over Bradford City.

11 December:
Reserve goalkeeper Steve Fleet made a rare appearance in the first team in the League Cup tie at Birmingham in 1962, where he unfortunately had to pick the ball out of the net six times and City failed to score. In 1948 Albert Emptage scored the only goal of a seven season career at Maine Road; City beat Huddersfield 3-1. A more familiar name, Neil Young, got a hat-trick in the 5-0 win at home to Leyton Orient in 1965. In 1976 Brian Kidd and Paul Power scored in the 2-2 draw with Spurs in London.

12 December:
City 4 U****d 1 in 1970, Mike Doyle got one and Francis Lee got three, but Glyn Pardoe was badly injured. Eight years earlier on this day Doyle had scored the only goal in an abandoned FA Youth Cup tie at Sunderland, with City losing the replayed match 4-0.

13 December:
City beat Chelsea 4-0 in 1952, Roy Clarke, Jim Meadows, and Johnny Hart plus an own goal providing the scores. Colin Barlow had a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over West Ham in 1958. Imre Varadi scored twice when West Ham were beaten by the same score in 1986.

14 December:
A hundred years ago today City drew 1-1 with Blackburn, Billy Meredith scoring.

15 December:
Today is Mike Summerbee’s birthday (1942). He played in the 2-0 win at Tottenham in 1973, where Colin Bell and Tommy Booth scored. In 1998 City beat Darlington 1-0 in the Second Round (replay) of the FA Cup. MIchael Brown got the winner and Danny Tiatto was sent off.

16 December:
Rodney Marsh scored both of City’s goals in a 2-1 win over Southampton at Maine Road in 1972. Bury were beaten 2-0 in 1911, goals from Wynn and Thornley.

Kenneth Corfield (


It was a fine but bitterly cold day in south London for the train journey from London Bridge to Selhurst. The journey took us past Millwall’s ground, scene of Tuesday’s famous victory which gave rise to much optimism for today’s game (I should have known better for my first live game of the season!). Having mentioned Millwall – has everyone seen the report in The Observer and on the net about the racist chanting? [Copy submitted below – Ed]

The Crystal Palace fans are very much the opposite of the Bermondsey bunch; I went in a mixed pub near the ground and both sets of supporters mingled happily. I suppose you might argue that the Palace fans don’t have great expectations or are not very passionate – but it was good just being soccer fans and being able to chat about football in general.

This has to be a short report, partly because I was so cold that a lot of my time went on hot Bovril and cheese pies in order to keep warm but here goes: City kicked off with the same team as from Tuesday and looked to be very assured at first. Most of the football was being played by City but it did tend to be in the middle of the park and not in the danger area. The really noticeable thing for me was the huge contrast in playing style when compared to Joe Royle’s (very recent) side. Everybody seemed to want to play football, starting right at the back, with no long punts up field. It was kind of scary at first but Dunne and co. looked pretty confident and seemed to be in control.

Although City were in charge, there was a lack of penetration. Huckerby seemed the only real threat with his pace. Palace worked their socks off for the new manager with, frequently, the whole team behind the ball, making for a congested area in front of their goal. There were lots of neat triangles in midfield but we didn’t look like breaking through. It all rather reminded me of when England play in a hot country and try to play a slow, passing game. You know it doesn’t quite suit them.

Still, it was a bit of a shock when they scored their goals, the second being a killer on the stroke of half-time. They were similar in that they came out of nothing, a couple of set pieces and indecision in the (seemingly cool) City defence. I think Nash and Mettomo need more understanding. If anybody saw David James’ towering display on Saturday, well that’s what we could do with a bit of! It’s a shame really because Nash had looked calm, particularly with his kicking, and Dunne was having a storming game in a kind of ‘Andy Morrison’ way.

The second half saw City raise their game and it became one way traffic towards the Palace goal but their defence was having a good day. It was almost a surprise when City pulled one back with Shaun Wright-Phillips exchanging a one-two and shooting from a tight angle straight at the ‘keeper, the rebound falling nicely for the Goat. Keegan abandoned the idea of defence and replaced Wiekens with Negouai but somehow you knew the equaliser wasn’t going to come. The nearest we came was a good header (Mettomo?) and a flying save from their ‘keeper.

On this form City should be well up there at the end but could still do with someone forceful up front or able to come through from midfield. On too many occasions the whole team seemed intent on trying to pass the ball into the net. We’re a bit lightweight and on the day I was a little disappointed in SW-P, even if he is a bundle of energy. Dunne was a big plus for me and obviously we have a really creative midfield.

Peter Kewley (


Following my match report on the Millwall match, I mentioned that maybe I was a lucky omen – well another theory bites the dust.

A much more relaxed journey to the ground this time; started talking to some City fans at London Bridge. I was meeting up with some Crystal Palace fans at Norwood Junction station and we went for a quick drink and turned up at the ground at about 2.50 pm to see a large contingent of City fans patiently waiting to go in. My friend remarked that they would delay the kick off and as soon as we entered the ground, it was announced that the match would start at 3.15pm.

My seat with the Palace supporters was exactly on the halfway line and I was within a few yards of where all the City fans were located. The atmosphere was very friendly and there were actually a number of City fans around me as well. Throughout the match it seemed that it was Maine Road such was the noise of the City fans.

Brief comments on the match:

Not much between the teams in the first half hour. I think City slighty on top but very little goalmouth action. City again playing nice football but this time the final pass was very disappointing. Contrary to a Sunday Times report, which stated that Berkovic was anonymous, I thought he was outstanding, always wanting the ball, had the beating of all the Palace team and rarely wasted the ball. A pity these comments could not be applied to anyone else.

Palace were very ordinary and then after 30 minutes a hopeful ball by Palace bounces high in the area and Freedman was left alone and lifted it over Nash. City moved to 4-2-4 from a wing back formation and SWP went more into midfield but he was relatively quiet. City created a couple of chances and then deep into injury time, Palace cross the ball and a Nash is wrongfooted but manages to scoop the ball as the ball is about to cross the line. That was lucky – however, the referee gives the goal and to be fair the TV replay seemed to show that it had crossed the line. City kicked off and the whistle immediately went. Two nil down – how was that possible? Nash did not have to make a save, which was lucky as he seemed not to dominate the area and his punches out and kicks were a little scary.

City were fast out of the blocks in the second half and seemed more determined. However, as City pushed up, Palace were hitting them on the break and looked like they could score. Goater does what he does best and City are back in the game. For the last twenty five minutes, Palace start to panic and it is all City. SWP has a couple of good efforts. One just goes by the far post. I put my head in my hands and look up to see the TV replay, the whole crowd go Aah. So they show it again and everybody goes Aah.

Could City score a late equaliser? No!

Trying to be unbiased, City deserved at least a point and should have got the win. Benarbia was very quiet in the first half and gave the ball away too much in the second. The defence did not seem as secure although Mettomo is definitely a good buy and we will miss him in January. City played some good football but seemed to want to walk the ball into the net. Huckerby made some good runs but the final pass always went to a Palace player. SWP came into the game only in the last 20 minutes. However, City will play worse and come away with all 3 points.

Next game for me will be Watford away in January although I will be watching the TV games.

Richard Levy (


MCIVTA 768 showed us another aspect of “Typical City” and in this case the supporters doing something unexpected or even impossible. What’s that, you ask?

Well, MCIVTA only gets one or two live match reports from home games these days but when City fans are banned from an away match – and at Millwall of all places – we get six of the blessed things. My calculations show that to match the normal percentage (of match reporters against total crowd at Maine Road), there must have been over 100,000 City fans at The New Den on Tuesday night out of a crowd of, err, 13,000.

I went to the infamous Millwall away match three years ago. Media reports this week have repeated the claim that fighting between rival sets of supporters (at that game) started the ill feeling between the two clubs. As I recall, City fans were kept locked in the away end peacefully for an hour while Millwall fans rioted with the police outside. When us City fans were finally let out, there was a phalanx of police protecting our route to the railway station, while a few Millwall fans hurled abuse at us from a distance. I saw no violent reactions from City fans and I for one was more than keen to leave the Millwall fans to their own devices. If there was a big brawl between the rival fans, as the City website match report at the time said, I missed it.

Later that season, and in a disappointing and predictable fashion, it all kicked off outside Maine Road in the return fixture. And now we have bans on away fans, which I think are counter-productive and will only store up trouble for the future.

So, this time around, I did not have much choice but to stay at home on Tuesday night and listen to the live match commentary on Capital Gold or London Live FM. I chose the latter and the commentary was quite good, even when you allow for at least one of the two commentators being a Millwall fan. They were praising City for their fluid football – unfortunately for Alan Partridge fans they shied short of calling it “liquid football” – and they picked out Berkovic as the real string-puller behind City. They knew about SWP’s barren goalscoring efforts and, hell, they even made it sound like Horlock was having a good game.

However, the commentators’ most ardent comments related to four other people, none of whom were playing. For the record, I wrote some down on paper and the quotes that follow are directly relevant to these four people: (on a Millwall foul that did not get punished) “… ridiculous challenge. That had to be punished.”; (free kick against Huckerby) “Daish fouled Huckerby, not the other way round”; (on a City foul) “a bit harsh that decision… a little stroke of luck for Millwall”; (on Dunne’s booking) “the ref has gone card crazy”; “I think the crowd gave that one”; “(the referee) is making some interesting decisions”; and finally (on a Berkovic foul) “The Millwall fans decided it was a handball”. Incidentally, this does not include the numerous occasions that Berkovic got kicked up in the air, mostly by Livermore.

Mr. Clive Wilkes and the 3 other match officials, please step forward and take a bow. All that football managers seem to ask for from referees these days is consistency. So congratulations for being consistently wrong and consistently pushed into giving bad decisions against City by the home crowd.

Also, depressing to report but true, in the first ten minutes of listening to the match, I could hear constant and unmistakable monkey chants aimed at our black players. By way of comparison, the only time I’ve noticed racist abuse at City in the past few years, it was aimed at Edghill when he had his nightmare first half against Coventry at home last season. And that abuse came from a bulky-looking Northstander who got glared at by everyone around him and he soon shut up. The last mass racism I heard was at, err, Millwall three years ago.

On a positive note, let’s reflect on this win. I think I know why so many MCIVTA subscribers felt inspired to submit match reports, all of them top notch by the way. Although I only heard the game – and have since seen the goals – this win felt special. It felt like a turning point, where everything suddenly gelled and we were almost playing total football. Plus we have won three League games on the trot for the first time in a long while and we moved up to third, tucked in nicely behind the leaders. It was and still is a good feeling. Knowing City, a state of pear-shapedness can’t follow quick enough.

I have no doubt that City would have lost this match under a typical away performance from this season; at 2-2 we would have crumbled. This time it was different – City battled against the hardest battlers there are in our league and we came out on top. When SWP was free on the edge of the box and the voice on the radio said “is he going to score? … (cue long pause and the third deafening silence of the night from the crowd) … YES, HE IS!”, I could not help jumping up for joy, shouting and even punching the air, simply not noticing the dull pain of sore shoulders from go-karting exploits at the weekend and probably waking up the old dear in the flat above too.

Well done, Shauny, what a time and a place to score your first senior goal. May it be the first of many for our talented winger and, make no mistake about it, it was a corker. “Pick that out!” as some are wont to say.

So, to Palace on Saturday and you will already know the result of that one but I predict our fourth league win in a row. This expectation is rather foolish considering our poor record at this venue but I hope City have finally got the taste for cleaning up against South London teams. We have to play at Selhurst Park twice this season in the League and I feel we need to win at least one of the two. I will be at both, despite it always being a cr@p game there, hoping for the full six.

James Nash (


A rather disturbing report from Sunday’s Observer:

A Truly Ugly Night Out in the Family Enclosure

Sunday December 9, 2001
The Observer

Hooliganism is a thing of the past… football’s more family-friendly nowadays… you don’t hear the racial abuse of the 1970s and 1980s. Or so they say. But some of the myths about modern football crowds just don’t stand up to scrutiny in this shocking account of what happened at Millwall’s game against Manchester City in London on Tuesday night. Away fans were banned because of trouble at a recent fixture, but one London-based City fan – a journalist who wishes to remain anonymous – bought tickets from Millwall and went along with a young relative and a friend.

An account of his ugly night out appeared on the web and led to a stream of responses, most of them from Millwall fans denying his version of events and saying: ‘It’s just as bad up north.’ Observer Sport has no reason to disbelieve him – and makes no apologies for publishing a thoroughly offensive report on a bunch of thoroughly offensive people.

We took our seats at The New Den about five minutes before kick-off. We heaved a sigh of relief as we looked around and saw a collection of relatively normal people… until the teams ran out. ‘Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo,’ screamed the white twentysomething male next to me while jumping up and down imitating a monkey. On this occasion there were no black players in the Millwall team so it was clear where the abuse was directed.

‘Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo,’ screamed all his mates around us. ‘Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo,’ chanted approximately half the crowd. Their target? Shaun Goater, who had the misfortune to be closest to the touchline.

‘F*** off you northern monkey! Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo.’ ‘F*** off you stunted ****! Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo,’ they screamed at Shaun Wright Phillips. ‘F*** off ****!’ was the welcome for Ali Benarbia the first time he touched the ball. ‘F*** off you fat ***!’ was the inevitable insult hurled regularly at Eyal Berkovic.

‘No one likes us, No one likes us No one likes us We don’t care We are Millwall, Super Millwall…’ And on and on it went.

City, not unreasonably, were apprehensive in the opening minutes of the game. However, they soon settled down.

‘The ****’s in the box! The f***ing ****’s in the box! Oo, oo, oo, oo! Oh f*** he’s scored.’ Shaun Goater silenced the racists for a few minutes with a well-taken goal from a sublime cross from the ‘stunted ****’ Shaun Wright Phillips. On Tuesday Goater had said: ‘I’m sure we have the experience to handle the situation and come away with the points. The match at Millwall three years ago was the most frightening I have been involved in during my footballing career.’ How they must have enjoyed that one.

The racist ranting continued throughout the first half and just as it looked as if we were going to have a quiet, celebratory half-time cup of tea, Millwall equalised.

‘F*** off Keegan, F*** off Keegan, No one likes us, We don’t care We are Millwall Super Millwall…’

By now we’d had enough and asked to move into the Family Stand for the second half. ‘It’s just as bad in there,’ said the steward. And she was right. I’ve been going to football for 40 years, barely missing a game home or away, and this is the worst experience I’ve ever had.

‘Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo,’ screamed the six- year-old girl in front of us, seated a few yards away from a sign that read: ‘Racist abuse will not be tolerated and may lead to prosecution.’ ‘Stop it. You can’t do that,’ her father said. ‘Why not?’ she asked. ‘Everybody else is doing it. Tell them to stop. Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo.’ It depressingly went on and on.

City were attacking the goal in front of the empty ‘away end’ and by now they were so much on top it was hard not to comment. Huckerby scored. There was absolute silence – eerie and terrifying. The players celebrated by standing on the deadball line and applauding the empty stand, a tribute to the fans who weren’t allowed in to watch this impressive performance.

Ten minutes to go and the abuse had levelled out to a desultory booing of all City’s players. Suddenly Millwall were back in the game, scoring a penalty after Danny Tiatto handled the ball: 2-2. Seven minutes to go and although we wanted to win we were beginning to think a draw might be the safest option.

Then a chorus of monkey noises alerted us to the fact that Shaun Wright-Phillips was in sight of goal. Bang! The ball hit the back of the net with such force you could hear it. The three of us suppressed our delight when suddenly we heard ‘YESSSS… C’mon City!’ from an executive box directly behind us. Unfortunately everyone around us heard it, too, and within seconds the box was under siege from the dads and mums and sons and daughters who make up the numbers in Millwall’s ‘Family Enclosure’.

Thankfully the stewards got there first and stopped 40 or so sub-humans from getting into the box for a free corporate evening out (with bonus fighting). Finally, after what seemed like hours, the whistle went for the end of the game and we were able to escape. After the inevitable train delay for 30 minutes we got back to the car. ‘YESSSS. WE WON!’ The relief all round was tangible. At last we could speak without fear.

PS: The Millwall fans’ responses to the version of this report that ran online ( are incredible. Most admit there is racism at the ground but try to counterbalance it by saying ‘but we’re not all like that’. I was in Turin when the Italians abused Emile Heskey last year and the FA strongly and rightly condemned it. Why are they always silent on Millwall?

Gary Johnston (


In his review of the interesting case where our Gio at Derby has been forced to hire a lawyer to speak on his behalf, Phil Lines made the interesting observation:

“To you, it may look just like one stroppy Georgian in a snit with the gaffer; to the legal professional it looks like nirvana.”

On the one hand, I know precisely where Phil is coming from here: we now live in an absurd world that has gone litigation mad. And believe me, I’ve even considered drafting a writ for “personal suffering” so I could sue Courtney, Wilkie, Alcock and Rennie for ruining many a fine game. As ever though, I’m with Gio on this one. And indeed the subtext of many of my rants against Royle was coming from an ’employee’ rights angle. As you know, I was hardly Royle’s number one fan, and I’ve said a lot before; however, I’m going to attempt to close this issue out, with some thoughts from an entirely different angle. This might explain to some people precisely why I feel the way I do.

We can pick up from the above ‘Gio calls the lawyers in’ story, as it is quite relevant. I know to many here, that Royle was their ideal ‘Inspirational Leader’ to use the correct business jargon. But I can assure you, that in the workplace, this person would be your worst kind of nightmare. Typically, you can be feted one day as a hero to the firm, and then, totally blackballed the next – without ever being told why. You may think this is acceptable at City, or even at your own place of work, however I can assure you it isn’t. And when it happens to you, you might find yourself agreeing with me (perish the thought).

The point I have been making these last few years, is that this kind of behaviour by a manager is never acceptable; not just for the individual(s) concerned, but ultimately for the business itself. This is why I knew Royle was bad for this club right from the start; an observation easy to make, purely from an assessment of his so-called ‘leadership’ style. That so many of you supported him does make me wonder how you would react to such a management style foisted upon you, in your own place of work?

Many of you will have witnessed the new, loud-mouthed ‘executive broom’ sweeping into the previously unadvertised vacancy just above your head. He/she got there, because they can talk the talk at the interview stage: “I’m only interested in bringing in people who can take us to the next level” they say. “It’s about teamwork, togetherness and working as a unit.” One week later, “Mr Pollock” is brought in to replace the guy at work who had the most technical knowledge (he subsequently leaves calmly and quietly), And then the new manager and his ‘star’ employee, with their distinctive approach to teamwork, do indeed take you to the ‘next level’. Almost certainly, it is down.

I’ve seen it all before, so have many of you. So too has Gio, and this is ultimately why he is now moving quickly to resolve the situation. Incidentally, it is also why George Weah (nobody’s fool) knew the game was up so quickly last year, and he (was) moved on. And I know that you would too, if it happened to you at work. Have you or a colleague ever been taken ‘off the project’ without knowing why? Ever seen the project then go down in flames? I know I have: countless times.

In a world where most footballers are overpaid and totally abuse their lucrative positions, Man City have been blessed with players who rarely want to leave for ‘better’ positions elsewhere. I do know that some stay here for all the wrong reasons: the money. They keep their head down, keep quiet, play in the reserves, and collect the money: however, that is their right. Some though, show their pride, their passion and love for this club by complaining with some bitterness about their treatment. Could be Steve Redmond, could be George Weah, could be Gareth Taylor, could be many others. Ironically, this only serves to bring even more abuse down upon their heads from the fans. I think that is really sad.

The bottom line for me, someone who has antagonised many people here I know, is that it’s all about looking after people. You know I love seeing flair players play. You know I will ‘fight’ verbally here, for their right to do so. You now know that I am only interested in Inspirational Leadership. Accordingly, you now know exactly how delighted and excited I am to have Kevin Keegan at the helm of this football club. We should take great pride in this week’s result, against all odds at Millwall.

Last month, in a personal attack on me, someone here called me ‘sad’. Last week Simon asked for more controversy – well it’s a difficult call, there’s always someone who wants to cross the line. I’d caution anyone here from sticking their neck out. Why risk it?

Anyway, I’m going to close the Royle issue for now. Hopefully, Gio versus ‘Gaffer’ Todd will play in Court One, whilst City versus ‘Gaffer’ Royle will play in Court Two. And indeed Royle and Gio could even cross courts and give evidence against each other. Sounds like fun to me.

Regards and Merry Xmas, Neil Haigh (


My daughter joined the waiting list for a season ticket at Maine Road in June 2000. A year later she was offered a seat and managed to find enough money to pay for half of it. I found the rest. She is still at school but works on Sundays to raise some cash.

Despite the number of times City had appeared on TV this season she was feeling fortunate that, until recently, relatively few home games had been switched to a Sunday. Then I advised her that she would miss the Bradford game. The Norwich game was then switched and she looked through the programme to discover that there was not a Saturday home game with a 3pm kick-off for eleven weeks following the Rotherham game.

On Thursday of last week it was announced that the home game against Preston was to be switched to the Sunday for television coverage. That means we do not have a 3pm kick-off Saturday home game until 27 February. She was not best pleased and e-mailed ITV at She advised them that she was a loyal City fan who had a 270 mile round trip just for home games and that she was fed up with them switching games to a Sunday when she could not attend. Mistakenly, she referred to ITV2 when asking how many subscibers they had rather than the ITV Sport Channel which carries most of the games. She received the following reply.

Dear Ami,

Thank you for your email of 29th November 2001. I am sorry to say that I have no idea what you are referring to. ITV Digital has absolutely no control over when the football matches are played. As an alleged football fan you should know that all matches are scheduled by the governing bodies of football. May I suggest that you consult with your football club, I am sure they can provide you with the answers you’re missing.

In answer to your question about how many subscribers we have for ITV2, I can advise that this is not a subscription channel, it is free to be viewed by anyone who has the ability to view digital terrestrial broadcasts. It is not transmitted by ITV Digital but by ITV. May I suggest you investigate the difference yourself. With regard to the number of viewers, I believe from recently published statistics that they have in excess of 100,000 viewers of this service at peak times.

You have quite obviously decided who was to blame without verifying your facts, this is unfortunate. What is more likely is that your football club changed the schedule so they could get a televised slot. Good for them, it means that they are making the match available to those who otherwise may not be able to attend. For example, the aged, the disabled, those too young, those too poor. Do you not consider that these people may want to support their team too and television may be their only access.

It can also provide valuable revenue for struggling clubs, instead of fighting for a share of the Premiership ‘pie’, ITV has provided coverage of the Nationwide divisions so that television funds would be available to them aswell. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Stuart Harrison – Customer Relations

I have spent a week cooling down before deciding how best to pursue this matter. Firstly, I have written to ITV at the above e-mail address to ask for the average viewing figures for Football League games shown live on the ITV Sport Channel. If they admit to only 100,000 on ITV2 then there are probably more people at Maine Road watching the game than those at home watching it on the Sport Channel.

Secondly, I have written to you as I would like to gauge the views of other Blues. Am I alone in finding it impossible to locate a TV which receives ITV Sport Channel? We live in Gloucestershire and the ITV web site listed two pubs in the entire county which supposedly had this channel. I visited both of them and they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. Of course I would also be pleased if others could use the hyperlink above and convey their questions and opinions to ITV.

Next I shall write to David Bernstein and the Football League to give them ITV’s views as to who selects the times and dates of televised matches. I suspect they will have a contrary view of which I will advise you on receipt.

By the way, the alleged football fan above embarked on a seven hour round trip the day after receiving the e-mail in order to watch City from an uncovered stand on the North Sea coast in December.

John Clancy (


City fall from the top spot although through no real fault of their own. Projected to win 2 points total from their visits this week to London, they gained two points for beating Millwall but then gave one back for the loss at Palace. Their net +1 for the week isn’t enough to hold off Burnley whose win at Preston catapults them into first place. Hopefully Stockport can rise to the occasion in their visit to Turf Moor next week.

I got asked this week about the Geist Index as a prediction tool. And really the answer is it is and it isn’t. What the Index says is that all things being equal (and of course they never are) if the rest of the season played to form, then this is the way it would turn out. It is good at spotting trends and indicating whether a team is in its true place, especially when teams have played a different number of games and against different opponents. So for example when City was 9th in the league, other than one week the Index still said they were doing ok. Conversely Stockport are toast, you can bet the mortgage money on them going down.

Projected Final Positions results through Sunday December 09, followed by projected total points. The number in parentheses is their current league position.

 1 82 Burnley (01)
 2 81 Manchester City (03)
 3 78 Wolverhampton (02)
 4 75 West Brom (05)
 5 75 Norwich (04)
 6 74 Preston (08)
 7 73 Birmingham (10)
 8 72 Coventry (06)
 9 68 Millwall (09)
10 68 Watford (12)
11 68 Bradford (13)
12 66 Gillingham (15)
13 66 Sheffield Utd (16)
14 65 Wimbledon (17)
15 64 Crystal Palace (07)
16 64 Portsmouth (11)
17 64 Crewe (18)
18 63 Nottingham Forest (14)
19 56 Sheffield Wednesday (20)
20 54 Barnsley (21)
21 54 Grimsby (22)
22 53 Rotherham (19)
23 50 Walsall (23)
24 34 Stockport (24)

Wallace Poulter (


Being from Australia I read regularly the match reviews with great interest on the overall team performance and on how the two Aussie boys are going at City.

I have noticed something very surprising happening with the City team recently. We have been winning games, but from the match reviews I have been reading we have been playing poorly. A bit different to last year where we seemed to play well but still lose.

Let’s hope we can start playing well and really showing how good we are and get back where we belong.

Roy Hunter (


He is not the sort of player we want at City and he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. He celebrated knowing he had beaten the ‘keeper with his hand and that is not what City are about.

Let’s just hope that Keegan gets rid of him!

Martin Rayner (


Until recently when I went onto the Internet if I wanted to browse throughout sites linked to MCFC I just used the keywords Manchester City Football Club or MCFC. This would then provide me with a list of personal and official sites connected to the club. Now if I put these keywords in the net goes straight to the Official Site of the club. Has anybody any insights into this?

Peter Buriak (


Will be in London for the Bradford game on the 16th December, which I believe is on ITV Sport or whatever. Can anyone recommend any pubs that’ll be showing this, preferably around the Covent Garden area?

I’m completely clueless about the geography of London so please be specific!

Tom Willis (


Hello chaps and chapesses; I have been a lifelong (38 years old – feels more like 78) loyal but nowadays exiled fan (wilfully and almost happily stuck in the USA – the Galapagos Islands of team sports). I’ve also been a regular McVittee viewer for a good while but this is my first contribution for over two years.

The reason I speak up now is because two weeks ago, 29th November, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I must admit right now that I was hoping for a girl if for no better reason than the moral dilemma attached to my City obligation as a parent. Maybe my daughter will obsess less about football than a son.

Unlike many around here, I grew up (in Glossop) the lone Blue in a family of rrrrr…Reds (sorry!). Even long before thinking of having a family of my own, I had to wonder about my selfishness in bringing the poor little one up in my footsteps. Hey! We Blues might tread the moral high ground in the face of Satan’s fickle minions but I’m not still sure how long the test has to last. I mean, I’m sure it is not mere coincidence that I’m a perpetually miserable sod whilst my mum, dad and only brother are happy-as-bl**dy-Larry about life in general.

Nevertheless, I was fully prepared to let my little bundle of newborn nappy-fills, tears, screeches and even a lot of joy, Kayleigh, choose her own path in sporting fandom (although Yank sports were and are even less an option than the Rags)… and that democratic theory lasted until she was born. She arrived I kid you not on a blue moon. If that isn’t a sign from above, then I know not what is! Sorry Kayleigh but I left it to the higher powers and they responded City.

Please see this as either a celebration or (more likely) a public apology to my tiny little love, depending on our form over the next twenty years or so.

Cheers and merry Christmas everyone,

Steve O’Brien (


Recent results from 6th December 2001 to 9th December 2001 inclusive.

9 December 2001

Preston North End     2 - 3  Burnley               20,370
Coventry City         0 - 2  Watford               13,251

8 December 2001

Barnsley              4 - 1  Walsall               12,509
Birmingham City       4 - 0  Norwich City          17,310
Bradford City         3 - 1  Rotherham United      14,529
Crystal Palace        2 - 1  Manchester City       22,080
Nottingham Forest     2 - 2  Gillingham            18,303
Portsmouth            2 - 4  Crewe Alexandra       14,430
Sheffield Wednesday   1 - 1  Millwall              21,304
Stockport County      1 - 2  Wimbledon              4,673
West Bromwich Albion  0 - 1  Sheffield United      19,462

7 December 2001

Grimsby Town          1 - 1  Wolverhampton Wndrs    5,143

League table to 09 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         23  7  3  1 25 15  7  1  4 20 16 14  4  5 45 31  14  46
 2 Wolves          22  5  3  3 14  8  7  3  1 20  9 12  6  4 34 17  17  42
 3 Manchester City 22  7  2  1 26 10  5  1  6 25 23 12  3  7 51 33  18  39
 4 Norwich City    23  8  2  1 19  9  4  1  7 12 23 12  3  8 31 32  -1  39
 5 West Brom A.    22  6  1  4 11  6  6  1  4 14 13 12  2  8 25 19   6  38
 6 Crystal Palace  22  9  0  3 31 12  3  1  6 14 21 12  1  9 45 33  12  37
 7 Coventry City   22  6  2  4 16 12  5  2  3 11  9 11  4  7 27 21   6  37
 8 Preston N.E.    23  6  4  2 26 12  3  5  3 13 18  9  9  5 39 30   9  36
 9 Millwall        22  6  1  3 22 14  4  4  4 16 14 10  5  7 38 28  10  35
10 Birmingham City 22  7  1  3 24  9  2  5  4 12 20  9  6  7 36 29   7  33
11 Portsmouth      23  6  1  5 21 19  3  5  3 15 16  9  6  8 36 35   1  33
12 Watford         22  6  3  2 24 13  3  2  6 11 13  9  5  8 35 26   9  32
13 Bradford City   23  7  1  4 31 23  2  4  5 12 18  9  5  9 43 41   2  32
14 Nottm Forest    23  5  6  1 15  9  2  3  6 11 14  7  9  7 26 23   3  30
15 Gillingham      23  5  3  3 21 11  3  3  6 13 21  8  6  9 34 32   2  30
16 Sheff. United   23  4  4  3 17 14  3  5  4  8 13  7  9  7 25 27  -2  30
17 Wimbledon       23  3  5  3 17 15  4  3  5 21 22  7  8  8 38 37   1  29
18 Crewe Alex.     23  4  4  3  8 13  3  3  6 16 23  7  7  9 24 36 -12  28
19 Rotherham Utd.  23  4  5  2 16 15  2  2  8 13 22  6  7 10 29 37  -8  25
20 Sheff. Wed.     23  3  5  4 18 18  2  3  6  7 18  5  8 10 25 36 -11  23
21 Barnsley        23  5  4  3 21 19  0  2  9  9 29  5  6 12 30 48 -18  21
22 Grimsby Town    23  3  4  5 11 17  2  2  7 11 25  5  6 12 22 42 -20  21
23 Walsall         23  4  3  4 13 13  1  2  9 11 27  5  5 13 24 40 -16  20
24 Stockport C.    23  1  1 10  8 23  1  5  5 14 28  2  6 15 22 51 -29  12

With thanks to Football 365


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
News/rumour (Don Barrie) :
Subscriptions (Geoff Donkin) :
Technical problems (Paul) :

Comments concerning this FAQ should be sent to David Warburton using the address:

[1] MCIVTA Deadlines

Deadlines for issues are nominally Monday and Thursday evenings.

[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: An alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at: GMR Saturday Sport is also available live online between 1-3pm, and 4.45-6pm at

[8] Goals on the Net has available for download, usually within 24-48 hours of a game being played, all the goals from City’s matches.

[9] 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.

[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 #769