Newsletter #775

A 2-0 (Wanchope, Horlock) victory over Swindon on Saturday, in a game where we barely needed to step up a gear, sees us safely through to the 4th round of the FA Cup and a tie with Ipswich away during the weekend of 26/27 January.

Our next league game at home to Norwich beckons, when we can hopefully consolidate our position.

Tonight’s issue contains a match report thanks to Paul, plenty of interesting opinion and a few unusual requests.

Next game: Norwich City, home, 2.15 pm Sunday 13 January 2002


This was about as easy as the result against Burnley sounded; no disrespect to Swindon, but City hardly broke sweat in 90 minutes. It wasn’t that Swindon didn’t try, because they made the game quite hard for us, but at no time in the game did we look like having a problem. Sadly many of the crowd turned up expecting a major rout (me included if I’m honest) but I was very happy with the way we played. Firstly we did enough by a country mile, and secondly some of our play was as good as it’s been all season, and when you look at our bench this afternoon, we had a Norwegian international who played in Europe 2 years ago, an England under 21, an ex-England full back, the top scorer in Great Britain, and a young lad who’s also a full international and looks an exciting prospect (and also has a good right hook).

City must have had 80% possession, and some of our build up play, had it been on Sky, and been manyoo or arsenal, would have had Andy Gray drooling; there were flicks and back heels, and that was just Dunney. At times it was frustrating because we really should have scored a bagful; we certainly had the chances, and the possession, but it’s not always about how many you score. For a change we kept a clean sheet and I don’t remember Carlo making anything like a save.

Sadly in the North Stand there seem to be a bunch of the most miserable moaning b@stards I have come across watching City. Some of them never stopped moaning from start to finish, and apart from about 10 minutes there was very little singing from a poor crowd of just over 21,000. Where are these people that are on the waiting list for tickets? We’re in the best form for years and playing the best football probably in 2 decades and people can’t be bothered, and some of those that are, only come for a moan. I think I’ll leave that there! But it makes my blood boil after the cr@p we have had to endure.

The goals consisted of an easy header from Wanchope and a good move that finished with my MoM Kevin Horlock scoring from a tightish angle. We could have had many more had Paulo not over-elaborated time and again in the box. SWP also had a couple of good chances.

One great piece of man management from KK with 15 minutes left and the few who could be bothered to sing in the North Stand, singing “Feed The Goat”; KK stepped slowly back towards Goater, obviously asking him to warm up, and as soon as he got to his feet he got a standing ovation. KK promptly put him on. The desire in Goater was clear for all to see, he was desperate to score (still worried about his place). This is a good team that KK is building where everyone wants to play, and wants to do their best at all times, and know that if they don’t they’ll be out. That’s just how it should be.


Nash – can’t rate him, he had nothing to do poor lad, Weaver did more warming up!
Edghill – 6, picked up a hamstring injury first half that makes him doubtful next week.
SWP – 7, workrate was brilliant, skill level ditto, just one touch too many on occasions, but a great asset he’s beginning to look. Played a great dummy second half where the Swindon lad was devastated by SWP doing nothing other than move his hips.
Howey – 6, played OK but not much to do as Dunney dealt with everything.
Dunne – 8, getting better and better, solid as ever, skilful, gets forward, almost man of the match.
Ritchie – 8, looked excellent on his first full outing in a year, despite spending most of the game as left wing back.
Horlock – 9, someone has swapped this guy, was outstanding so much came through him, I can’t believe this is the same guy.
Berkovic – 8, some of the touches were real class, great work rate, was everywhere. One fantastic backheel to Ali.
Ali – 8, ditto one real class bit of play involving chipping a Swindon player, with 2 touches.
Wanchope – 6, overdid it at times when simple would have worked, I had to shout shoot a couple of times, but better to beat the guy again; no Paulo, put the ball in the net!
Huckerby – 7, some good runs, hit the post, and a bit more team-like for a change.


Pearce – 6, did OK but like Howey had little to do since Dunney was in charge.
Haaland and Goater, not on long enough really, though Goater’s influence was considerably more than Alfie, though he hadn’t much to do. Goater was desperate to do well.

A couple of important points about Swindon and the City support. Firstly, though the gulf in class was “massive”, Swindon never once resorted to the sort of negative tactic that Stockport or Sheffield United did at Maine Road, and they should be commended for that. They tried to play, but knew their limitations. As a result the stupid chant from City fans, “lets all laugh at Swindon” was a bloody joke, since they made more noise than we did from start to finish, and also being outsung by 1,500 away fans singing “you’re supposed to be at home” is also a joke. It’s no wonder we are at times being accused of arrogance. I know it’s banter, but it does us no favours.

Paul Stevenson (


During the game against Burnley it suddenly occurred to me the reason why we are top is quite obviously because we have had a very good run of form. But why have we had this good run of form? The answer is quite simply Carlo Nash. If you look at the league games he has started (exempting the Blackburn clash) the stats are there in black and white.

Watford                            - Won     - Goals conceded 0
Norwich (till he went off injured) - Drawing - Goals conceded 0
Grimsby                            - Won     - Goals conceded 0
Millwall                           - Won     - Goals conceded 2
Crystal Palace                     - Lost    - Goals conceded 2
Wolves                             - Won     - Goals conceded 0
Bradford                           - Won     - Goals conceded 1
West Brom                          - Drew    - Goals conceded 0
Burnley                            - Won     - Goals conceded 1
Sheff Utd                          - Won     - Goals conceded 1

So there you have it; if you include the Norwich game before he got injured (we will never know the outcome if he had stayed on the pitch), and exclude the Blackburn game (against a team in a higher division than us), he has played 10, we have won 7, drawn 2 and lost 1, scored 21 conceded 7.

He gives confidence to the team and especially the defence and the crowd by commanding his box. His all round game is strong (apart from kicking against Burnley, but the pitch was heavy). He is much more assertive than Weaver, who flaps at crosses and flaps at backpasses. I am not slagging Weaver off because I think he does have the attributes to be a good ‘keeper, he has lost his confidence, which I blame on Royle last year; he should have taken him out of the firing line at least half a dozen games earlier. After all, the guy virtually single-handedly got us out of his division 2 seasons ago. I believe he gained us an extra 12 points that season. But he need to work harder on training and stop thinking of himself as a big time charlie who just needs to turn up and put in great performances. So there you have it, if Carlo manages to stay fit I predict we will go up no problem.

Neil Chadwick (


It was nice to read former Blues’ player Mike Brennan’s tribute to Stan Gibson and his suggestion of a suitable memorial by the club in the last edition of MCIVTA.

The Swinton branch of the CSA held a ‘Tribute To Stan Gibson’ last May. We received over 40 written contributions from former players, TV personalities etc. It was clear from all the former players and people who contacted me that Stan was highly regarded and much loved by all who knew him or came into contact with him.

Undoubtably Stan was the most revered and probably the best groundsman ever. I fully endorse Mike Brennan’s view that a suitable memorial to Stan should now be organised through the club. May I appeal to all supporters who agree with me to contact the club and request they arrange a suitable memorial to a wonderful man who is already a legend and an important part of the history of Manchester City FC.

Meanwhile I think I speak on behalf of all City fans in offering my deepest condolences to Janice, Stuart and all of Stan’s family.

Yours in Blue, Alex Channon (


I was deeply shocked to learn about Stan Gibson’s (retired Head Groundsman) death. He was a dear friend, I called to see him in house before the Bradford City game (he lived next to the City superstore) and we spoke of happy memories.

In the glory days we would meet after a game in the social club and have what we called a “Colin Bell & ginger” (Bell of course Bell’s Scotch).

My deepest condolences to his daughter Janice (who is in the superstore) and son Stuart.

I don’t recall City having to put off a game because of pitch conditions whilst he was in charge.

He is now reunited with his wife who passed away last year. RIP.

Ernie Barrow, Virginia, USA (


Wallace Poulter, our geist index-meister, is some kind of strange banana, he certainly is.

We’re not good enough to play in the Premier League, he says. He has watched a game on TV in which Derby played and he believes that not one player of ours is better than the equivalent of Derby’s.

I think that our present team/squad is better than most of the Premier League’s. Sunderland better than us? Charlton? Ipswich? Middlesbrough? AlsoRan Albion? I don’t think so. If Derby are fortunate enough to be in the same division as City next year I’d stake my reputation (or something else worth about a fiver) on City finishing higher and that’s even if we have to play our reserves every week.

Simon Fink (


I don’t know if anyone else thought the same but I reckon KK’s post match pronouncement on the Dickson Etuhu saga said heaps for the manager’s humanity, sensitivity and sheer common sense in the face of adversity. It must be hard for KK to reconcile himself to losing a talented young footballer, particularly where he’s spotted the talent, nurtured it and lifted the kid out of the faceless reserve department, put him in the team, encouraged him and watch the guy justify his faith on the pitch. Nevertheless, you can’t give in to every young prick with eight games under his belt who thinks he’s the next Colin Bell, particularly when said prick has a greedy b@stard of an agent egging him on. So kudos to KK for taking a firm stand.

Mind you, is it true Etuhu is going to Millwall? I thought he wanted a bigger scene. If the guy thinks that rathole of racist scum is a bigger club than MCFC he really has a problem. What will they chant?

One question goes a-begging though: Kevin spoke of some possible loophole in Dickson’s contract and that the lawyers may have to sort it out. After the JR nonsense and the Alioune Too-ri-ay deep vein fiasco it has to be asked can our legal team hack it in the Premiership? Maybe time we gave City’s briefs a free transfer?

Ernie Whalley (


The request last issue for the words to ‘The Invisible Man Song’… are as follows, to the tune of We Shall Not Be Moved.

We are not, we’re not really here
We are not, we’re not really here
Just like the fans of the invisible man
We’re not really here.

I was always under the belief that the song started during the dark days of Division 2 as a way of remarking on the enormous support we were still getting and taking to away games. As is the way though, the song was so popular and catchy that it stuck so that we still sing it now, although usually when we are about three or four goals to the good…

Dave Cash (


I read in the latest newsletter the pending departure of my fellow Aussie Simon Colosimo. I understood he was not getting much of a look-in for the first team, but I was under the impression he was still playing well in the reserves.

Can someone please give me some insight to how exactly he was playing? Does he deserve to be sold and does anybody know where he might go?

Roy Hunter, Melbourne, Australia (


Below is a copy of a letter I have written to the Club re the above; I suggest any other Blues who are as concerned do the same.

Dear Mr Bernstein,

MANCHESTER CITY FOOTBALL CLUB WILL NOT TOLERATE RACISM IN ANY FORM. In the programme for Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Swindon Town page 55 has a section titled, “MANCHESTER CITY FOOTBALL CLUB WILL NOT TOLERATE RACISM IN ANY FORM.” This activity has been in process for as long as I have supported City, if this is true I request you ban Jonathon Woodgate from Maine Road. This animal has been found guilty of a racist attack, which almost involved the death of an innocent man.

The family of Sarfraz Najeib intend to pursue a civil action, which due to the nature of civil actions could also find Lee Bowyer guilty. If Bowyer is found guilty, I ask you to also ban him from Maine Road.

Any actions less than those requested would make a mockery of football’s attempts to kick out racism, and in fact you and Manchester City would be condoning this murderous attack if you let anyone found guilty of a racist crime play football at Maine Road or the new stadium at Eastlands. As you can see I have copied the chairman of clubs in sensitive areas in relation to last summer’s events. I will also send this letter to MCIVTA, requesting fans write to you who feel as disgusted as I am regarding the implications of this horrific act.

Leeds United have acted in a deplorable manner in allowing this scum to remain at their club. If the FA and league clubs want to see racism kicked out of football, these two must be made an example of, if they were fans they would be treated appropriately, and certainly banned by the club they support. As a Manchester City supporter I demand the club takes a unilateral stance over this issue, nothing less than life bans for the pair from Maine Road is acceptable in my mind.

I look forward to a positive response to this letter.

Edwin Cooke (


Does anyone know if the African Nations’ Cup will be on TV here? It would be nice to follow Lucien Mettomo. Are Algeria playing? In which case how come Ali Benarbia isn’t off as well?

Lance Thomson (


Following a recent exchange of emails with Mike Brennan in Australia, surely I am not alone wondering if there are any other ex-players who read MCIVTA and if they could give us their thoughts on Stan Gibson or any other views and opinions on Manchester City FC and perhaps let us know what they are now doing with themselves now that they have moved on from football.

Yours in Blue, Alex Channon (


I am trying to get hold of the games on tape of Man City and Chelsea in the semi finals of the ECWC 70-71. I was on the Chelsea team that played City and have tried just about everywhere to get these games and have come up short. If you can help in any way I would appreciate it and I trust that City will once again be in the top flight at the end of the season – where they belong.

Derek Smethurst (


I will be travelling up to Manchester from Bournemouth at the end of January. Is there anybody who could get me 1 ticket for the Millwall game, preferably somewhere in the Kippax, but not that fussy. It would really be appreciated as I only get to Manchester once or twice a year.

Many thanks, Roy Grindrod (


Can anyone please help, I am trying to find out if City played on the following dates. As my baby daughter was born this season I am able to say what happened when she was born, but I now have the other two kids asking if City played when they were born (I’ve added my date of birth for the sake of it).

Please e-mail me If you can give me the missing answers or have (and want to sell/give) a programme for any of the dates or know where I can get my hands on them?

Date        Opponent:      Where:    Result:     Scorers:
23 Oct 2001 Grimsby Town   Home      Won 4-0     ?
19 Dec 1995
24 Jul 1989
10 Aug 1970

Thanks in advance, Steve Cummings (

[Try the website where the back issues of McV are stored and look for Ken’s Diary, which was done during the whole of 2000, you’re bound to find the answers on that – Ed]


The next meeting of the West Yorks branch will be held on 8th January at Morley Cricket Club, Leeds, when our guests will be Dave & Sue Wallace of KOTK fame. All Blues welcome. Further details from Simon Clegg on 01484 658258 or myself at the address below.

Ian Barton (


Have to be in London on Sunday night near Euston. Can anyone email me with the name of a pub which may be showing the Watford-City game?

Chris Ryder (


Can anyone help me out? Each time I click on the ‘citygoals’ link I always get the same response… error with this link! I have accessed it before so I know I have the correct software. Any ideas?

Marc Bailey (


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[3] Club Web Site

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[9] 01/02 Season Match Day Theme Tune

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[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #775