Newsletter #778

Tonight sees another couple of excellent match reports from our Norwich victory thanks to Sharon and Simon, Don’s comprehensive news round-up including yet another TV fixture which puts the kaibosh on many a Blue’s visit to Ipswich, plenty of opinion, requests for TV viewing in pubs – is this the way forward?! We also have a twist on the Why Blue from one of our farthest-flung blues, Chris in New Zealand.

Please note that Geoff Donkin will be taking over McV for issues 779 and 780 (21 and 24 January) so articles to him at

Next game: Watford, away, 6.15pm Sunday 20 January 2002 (TV game)


General News

Sunday’s Special Guest: In a great piece of PR, City announced that Norwich ball boy Stuart Frohawk would be Paulo Wanchope’s guest of honour at Sunday’s First Division fixture. Stuart was the boy who Paulo made cry at Carrow Road in August by snatching the ball off the 15 year-old, and Paulo was subsequently interviewed by the Norfolk Constabulary. No charges ensued (I couldn’t really work out any potential charge for Paulo – Being Beastly at a Throw In? Offensive Ball Snatching?). Congratulations to the City hierarchy on digging Paulo out of any further unpleasantness.

Date for Re-arranged Game: City’s match at Crewe Alexandra has been rescheduled for Tuesday March 12, kick-off 7.45pm. The original fixture in December was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

FA Youth Cup Action: City’s Youth team thrashed Gillingham 7-1 in their home fourth round tie on Wednesday evening. Gillingham contributed to their own downfall when they lost their goalkeeper through injury and had a player sent off near the end. City’s scorers were Phil Gilder, Lee Croft, Ciaran Kilheeney, Adie Orr, Glen Whelan, Willo Flood and Steve Elliott, and team will travel to either West Brom or Everton in the next round.

Dickov Scores: Paul Dickov scored a goal for the Reserves on Monday night, but couldn’t prevent City losing 1-2 to Bolton Wanderers at Ewan Fields. The Blues had been second in the League at the start of play, but this was their fourth defeat in five games. Dickson Etuhu was named amongst the substitutes, despite his dispute with the City management.

FA Cup Tie on BBC: After a week of uncertainty, it was finally confirmed on Tuesday evening that City’s fourth round FA Cup clash against Ipswich will be shown live on BBC1. The game will now be played on Sunday 27th January, kick-off 7.00pm. While this is obviously good news for the armchair Blues, it would be hard to think of a more inconvenient time for the travelling fans.

Transfer News and Gossip

Danish Defender Signs: City have signed left wing back Niclas Jensen from FC Copenhagen. After two days in Manchester checking out the area and the club’s facilities, Jensen signed a two-and-a-half year deal. There has been no official word on the fee to be paid, but press speculation puts the sum at £500,000. Jensen has won four caps for his country, and was said to have been interesting Celtic. He said on Wednesday “I’m really pleased. They are a completely different level of professional club, with huge ambition. Of course they can’t promise promotion but everything looks like the club is geared up for it.”

Dickov off to Scotland? It will soon be easier to list the clubs who don’t want to sign Paul Dickov. This week, Aberdeen are the latest club to be linked with the Scotsman. It’s been reported that the Dons had Dickov watched at a recent reserve match, a claim denied by the SPL side.

Defender Gets Trial at MR: City are giving Halifax centre – half Chris Clarke a trial at Maine Road this week. The 20 year old has earned impressive reviews for his performances this season, and is thought to be interesting a number of Premiership clubs, including Southampton and Blackburn.

Town Chase Tiatto: Clearly Ipswich were impressed by Danny Tiatto’s manhandling of a local rival’s player, as the Premiership strugglers are the latest club to be linked with a move for the Australian international. KK has been quick to dismiss these rumours, especially ahead of the FA Cup clash between the two sides. After City’s relegation last season, Tiatto was thought to be a target of Ipswich, Aston Villa and Newcastle.

Cooke to be Released: Terry Cooke has been told that his contract with the Blues will not be renewed when it expires in the Summer. Cooke signed for City in 1998, and helped turn round our season in the Second Division, ending in triumph at Wembley. There is no news on whether Cooke will be released early from his contract, as requested by his agent. The Blues are reportedly demanding £100,000 for the forgotten winger.

Yet More Bromby Talk: Last Sunday’s tabloids were still sure that Leigh Bromby was a target for the Blues. The Sheffield Wednesday centre-half has been mentioned as a potential target for some weeks now, and the press speculate that Bromby will not be allowed to move before the second leg of The Owls’ Worthington Cup semi-final on January 22. Having just signed Stockport’s Shefki Kuqi, Wednesday may be anxious to replenish their limited transfer funds. Paul Dickov would move to Hillsborough as part of this deal.

Zamora Checked Out: The M.E.N. had pictures of KK attending Wigan’s game with Brighton on Saturday, and the paper speculated that he was there to view Brighton’s highly rated striker Bobby Zamora. Keegan has said recently that he would like another quality striker; unfortunately for Zamora he had an anonymous day and failed to score. Aston Villa, Everton and Tottenham are also said to be chasing the player.

Winters Gone in the Summer: Aberdeen striker Robbie Winters has turned down a second offer of a new contract, so is expected to leave the Dons in the Summer. City and Wimbledon were reported to be interested in the player during November, and are expected to maintain their interest.

Ex-Blues’ News

Bye Bye Bob: Wolverhampton Wanderers have placed Bob “Fat Bob” Taylor on the transfer list. In an underwhelming spell at Molineux, Taylor started a mere five league games and failed to impress former employers Gillingham during a recent three month loan spell. City recouped their outlay on Taylor when they flogged the player to Wolves for £1.6 million in September 2000.

Where Now for Bish? There has been a major reforming of the MLS League in America, and the Florida teams of Tampa Bay and Miami have been removed from the league structure. This meant that a whole batch of players have failed to be re-employed by the League, and unfortunately this includes our old hero Ian Bishop. Bish was linked earlier in the season with a move to join former team mate Ian Brightwell at Walsall, so don’t be surprised if the Scouser ends up plying his trade at the West Midlands club.

Somebody Likes Pollock: Swindon Town are interested in taking on our former midfield legend Jamie Pollock. Town manager Andy King said “Jamie is a proven player who has played at the highest level. We have made enquiries but there are quite a few things to sort out. What he needs to do is get the rest of his contract at Palace organised so that he is free to join us. He has about six months of his contract remaining but we hope to get him before then.”

Reactions and Comments

Norwich Beaten Against Odds: What an amazing performance by the Blues, winning the Norwich game after playing for eighty minutes with just ten men – City just don’t do that do they? KK was full of praise for the character shown by his team in Sunday’s game versus Norwich. “I would go as far as to say that it was one the best if not the best while I have been a manager,” he declared. “I had some great ones at Newcastle, admittedly on a bigger stage, but we were down to ten men and we have still gone out and played football. We have still been inventive and tried to score goals. There were a lot of plusses. There were ten man-of-the-matches out there for us. It was a day when everyone had to contribute and they did.” KK was full of praise for Eyal Berkovic as well. He stated, “It was a terrific third goal. Eyal Berkovic is a Premiership player and if he keeps playing like that and the other lads keep playing the way they’re playing, he will get the chance to be a Premiership player next season. We have got some very tough games coming up, but the spirit and everything else is right. We just need to make sure we get that little bit of luck that you need because, no matter how good a team you are, you’re always going to need that somewhere along the way.”

Calm Down, Calm Down! Danny Tiatto was red carded in the Norwich game following a touchline clash with Danish full-back Steen Nedergaard. Tiatto now faces a three-match suspension after being dismissed by referee Roy Pearson, who was alerted to the incident by fourth official Michael Ryan. City boss Kevin Keegan was forced to wrestle the Aussie down the players’ tunnel, because as he trudged off, Tiatto squared up to Norwich assistant boss Doug Livermore and kicked over water bottles before Keegan intervened. Speaking of Nedergaard’s reaction to an elbow that missed his head by six inches, KK said “I don’t think the player should take up boxing as he wouldn’t last many rounds.” Boss Kev continued, “The sending off was a harsh decision although just about right in terms of you cannot raise your hands now. The player went down as if he was pole-axed and he has to look at himself as well. However, what Danny did afterwards, kicking the bottles, cannot be condoned. He lost it completely and I will be seeing him about it as soon as possible. I want players who keep their cool a bit better than that. I am a big fan of Danny Tiatto’s. He has done very well since I came here. I have no axe to grind. He has to learn to control (his temper). You cannot win many matches with ten men even though we got away with it yesterday. Next week that could cost us and Danny has to look at himself but he has still got a future at Manchester City, that is for sure. His temperament after the sending off let him down yesterday not his ability – that is the only thing I want to talk to him about.”

Opponents in Awe of Eyal: Norwich manager Nigel Worthington was full of praise for City’s performance. “They were down to 10 men, but it didn’t make any difference because they’ve got world-class players,” said the Norwich manager. “Both Berkovic and Wanchope are world class and that’s what separates Manchester City from the rest of the teams in this division. For my money, it’s them and one other for automatic promotion.”

Carlo Praises Blues: Carlo Nash praised City for the spirit shown in the Norwich match. “Obviously people will say we made it hard for ourselves with Danny Tiatto’s sending off. The fact is we battled away and we were terrific. We deserved to win. Even with ten men we didn’t deviate from our game plan, which was to pass the ball and play football. Once we got in front for the second time it forced Norwich’s hand a little. My own performance wasn’t too bad,” said Nash, “There were a couple of decent saves, but I am always disappointed when I don’t keep a clean sheet.”

Cautious Kev: Having praised City’s performance against Norwich, Boss Kev was quick to play down the chances of the Blues for the rest of the season. “We have a lot of tough games ahead and we will be missing some players,” he cautioned. “Certainly there is spirit in the squad and everything else is right. We just need that bit of luck to win things and get out of the division. What we are competing for is the right to test ourselves against the very best, which is the way it should be. We must not start to think we are there, or half way there I don’t think it has started yet, there is a lot of football to be played. We have a lot of big games to play yet and it starts on Sunday when we need to get the three points.”

Squad News

Double Injury Blow: Dire news for Steve Howie and Alfie Haaland – Kevin Keegan has told the official website that the season may be over for both players, due to injury. “It doesn’t look very good for Steve. The physio thinks it is worse than it appears and it is disappointing as he has been doing so well. He has picked up a couple of niggling injuries during the season and he had to come off in one game when I played him and probably shouldn’t have”, confessed Keegan. On Haaland, Keegan said “We are concerned about Alfie’s knee. We have to decide if it will not harm him to play with some pain until the end of the season and then have the operation. But if it is harming him then he will not be able to play on with the injury and we will have to get him back to the specialist to put right what is wrong. It looks like it will be the end of his season.” City’s resources in defence are now becoming stretched, following the sale of Danny Granville, Lucien Mettomo’s absence at the Africa Nations’ Cup and Danny Tiatto’s imminent suspension. This may also explain KK’s move for Niclas Jensen this week.

Danny’s Suspension: Danny Tiatto’s red card in Sunday’s game with Norwich will give the Australian an automatic three match ban. The ban starts immediately after the FA Cup tie with Ipswich. Tiatto is the sixth Blue to be sent off this season, following Paulo Wanchope, Kevin Horlock, Eyal Berkovic, Christian Negouai and Richard Edghill. It is unclear whether Tiatto will face a further ban for his reaction to the sending off last Sunday.

Happy Eyal: Eyal Berkovic has been reflected on his season so far, and in particular how the last week has gone both on and off the pitch. “It has been an excellent week for me,” he said. “My wife had a baby on Monday, my mum is here for the first time and we collected the three points.” He also scored the goal of the season so far. “We have been playing well for some time. Hopefully we can continue in the same way and go on to clinch promotion. That is the only thing that matters this season.” He is also pleased with life in general at City. “This is the happiest I have been since I arrived in England. This is the best club I have been at since I signed for Southampton. Before I came here I told Kevin Keegan that if I signed for City I would stay here until I ended my career in Europe. That’s what I want to do. The combination with Ali is working very well at the moment. But I really appreciate what the other players are doing for us. I think that without Kevin Horlock in midfield we would not have the freedom in midfield to go forward. He is doing a very good job for Ali and me.”

The Boy Dunne Good: Richard Dunne is enjoying his best form as a City player, and he puts it down to the help and support of Kevin Keegan. “Last season in the Premiership we didn’t want to lose games, now we are out to win games,” asserted Dunne. “The manager encourages us to go forward and he has given us the confidence to push forward. It is a different mentality from last year. The manager has been great with me since he came here. He took that action earlier in the season and it has now been forgotten. That was September when it happened but the manager has kept faith with me and that has helped my confidence. He is encouraging everyone and we are all having a laugh on the training pitch. Last year we were a bit down because of the position we were in now we are playing with a smile on our faces and that helps everyone. It is a big year with just five months to go to the World Cup. There are nineteen League games left and I am hoping to impress the Republic of Ireland manager, Mick McCarthy in that time. I have to prove that I am worthy of a place in the World Cup squad.”

Eyal Helps Shuker: Chris Shuker is hoping to break into City’s first team soon, and has revealed that he has had help from Eyal Berkovic. “Eyal has been taking me to one side after training,” revealed Shuker, “He’s been giving me little pointers and showing me where he thinks I can improve my play and positioning. He’s been there and done it, so every bit of help he gives me now is obviously going to be a benefit in the long run. The manager has also been good with me and offered plenty of advice, too.”

Day Keeps Options Open: Welsh under-21 international Rhys Day is hoping to benefit from his time on loan at Blackpool. “The ideal scenario for me is that Manchester City win promotion to the Premiership and that my loan experience here makes me into a better player, which may give me the platform to go on to have an opportunity of playing at the highest level”, said Day. “If things don’t work out for me at Maine Road then I would certainly give full consideration to coming here full time if the gaffer wanted me.” Day was a half-time substitute in the 4-3 win against Bournemouth on Saturday, his fourth game on loan for The Seasiders.

Carlo’s Way: Carlo Nash’s quick throw out to Eyal Berkovic lead to the Israeli’s solo goal against Norwich last Sunday. The former Stockport County man, who soon celebrates a year as a City player revealed “We work on quick distribution in training. Any time a cross comes into the box and I get hold of it I am always looking to throw it out as quickly as possible. It is all part of the attacking philosophy. If the ball is there to be played then the quick move is always an option. Against Norwich it worked for us.”

Don Barrie (


I wasn’t going to write a match report for this game until I had a conversation with the token Norwich fan at work (it’s great living in East Anglia), who told me what a dirty team we are and how it’s a good job we’ve got a big squad because we’re going to need one. He incensed me so much – especially as he hadn’t even watched the game – that the only way I could get over it was to write this! And anyway, I’d rather we were dirty than a bunch of cheating, diving whingers who are far above their rightful position in the league – so there!

The City line-up was Nash, Tiatto, Pearce, Howey, Dunne, Little Shaun, Horlock, Benarbia, Berkovic, Big Shaun and Wanchope. For Norwich the only team news of any note was that Iwan Roberts (also known as “The Elephant Man” for those who attended the shambles at Carrow Road at the beginning of the season) still wasn’t back. City started really brightly, attacking the North Stand. We were playing some lovely, attacking football – Eyal and little Shaun in particular were playing well. After about 5 minutes little Shaun received the ball just outside the penalty area, turned and knocked it forwards into the penalty area and was brought down by a Norwich defender. Now there really couldn’t be any debate about this being a penalty – the defender made no attempt whatsoever to play the ball but instead stuck his leg in front of where SWP was running to. Everyone in the ground thought it was a penalty – you could see the heads of the Norwich players drop as they expected the whistle to go and the ref to point to the spot – everyone of course except for the ref and his linesman.

Bu**er, thought we. The agony was only compounded when immediately afterwards Horlock was booked for an innocuous tackle in the middle of the field. Was it going to be one of those games? Norwich then had their first chance of the game when a ball back (from Berkovic I think but I’m not positive on that) didn’t reach its intended target and Nash had to run out to clear. Instead of booting it 60 yards up the field, which I’m sure is what he was aiming to do, he sliced it straight up in the air (imagine one of Jeff Whitley’s shots on goal and you’ll get the picture) and had to run after it to make sure it went out for the throw in. We cleared it relatively easily though and started attacking again.

On 11 minutes came the moment which changed the game. Up to that point it had been an exciting, competitive, good to watch game of wonderful attacking football. Tiatto – who was having a pretty good game up till that point scrapping in midfield – was blocked by Nedergaard on the left hand touchline. There was a fair amount of shirt pulling going on from both players, but the linesman flagged and a free kick was given to City. At this point Tiatto turned round and pushed Nedergaard in the back. At the same time (or so I can only assume) a lone sniper from the Main Stand pulled out his rifle from under his blanket (taking care not to dislodge the flask of coffee he’d prepared for half time) and shot Nedergaard in the back of the head. “OW” thought Nedergaard and fell to the floor, justifiably in a great deal of pain – after all it’s not much fun getting shot in the head is it? The ref missed this as he’d turned away, as had the linesman, so the ref went over and consulted the fourth official instead. He didn’t much hold with the lone sniper theory and thought it was Tiatto who’d thumped Nedergaard in the head – so Tiatto was duly sent off. At which point he completely lost his marbles and ran towards the Norwich bench to kick all their water bottles over. Idiot. Keegan and two stewards had to physically shove him down the tunnel before he got himself into any more trouble. It was a stupid thing to do – and I don’t just mean kicking the water bottles over, for which I’m sure he’ll (rightly) get in a lot of trouble. Whether he caught Nedergaard or not you do not raise your hands to an opponent or you will get sent off. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Nedergaard’s reaction (and I know what I think of what he did), why give him the chance to go down clutching his head like that? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

At that point we thought it was going to peter out the way the West Brom game at Christmas did. Norwich obviously came into the game more as soon as they were only playing against 10 men, and we were really missing the way that Tiatto battles in midfield to win the ball back when it’s been lost. Pearce moved across into the left back position and SWP dropped back to right back to cover. Not longer after Howey was injured after a clash with SWP and one of the Norwich players and was obviously hurt, so was replaced by Ritchie. Norwich did now start to attack, and Nash had to make one cracking save when he dived low to his left to push the ball around the post for a corner. We did look iffy defending corners now – SWP isn’t the tallest of full backs but he wasn’t getting too much support from the others when Norwich were attacking. Nedergaard was coming in for an immense amount of stick whenever he touched the ball – not just from the crowd but from the players too. Pearce made it more than clear what he thought of what he had done, and there was a lovely little trip from Benarbia when no-one was looking – I only caught this on TV when I watched it later. The game really had lost its flow – although City were still trying to play passing football, much of the rhythm had gone out of the play, which was a real shame. The one thing that the sending off of Tiatto had done was to get the crowd going, and the atmsophere was absolutely incredible – especially considering how quiet it’s been in recent weeks. And the team did start to react to it. We had a good chance with about five minutes to go to the end of the first half when Berkovic put the ball just wide of the right hand post but a couple of minutes later he made no mistake. Wanchope ran half the length of the pitch, skipping over tackles as he went, before finally being stopped by two defenders on the edge of the box. Somehow he managed to squeeze the ball out to Goater to his left – along with his boot, which went flying across the area. Goater was also under pressure but somehow got the ball over to Eyal on the right, who placed a perfect shot just inside the right hand post – obviously got his eye in from the earlier chance! I can’t quite sum up how good that goal felt – despite everything that had gone wrong in the first half we’d still gone ahead. Superb.

Unfortunately we couldn’t hold on to the lead long into the second half. We’d just said “we’re going to get tired, can’t see us keeping a clean sheet” when Norwich got a corner from the right. It wasn’t a great corner but our defence made it so, as they stood and watched the ball into the net. The warning signs had been there earlier so it wasn’t too much of a surprise. We thought that was going to be it for our chances of winning the game – Norwich had got their heads up and remembered they were only playing against ten men, and had their best spell of the game for the next ten minutes. Nash made a couple more excellent saves to keep us in it – I really thought he had a good game on Saturday. Then the completely unexpected happened. We’d attacked up the left hand side and the ball had reached Goater, who’d looked knackered for some time. He turned and ran into the box towards Platt Lane, and the goalie came out and brought him down. There couldn’t be any doubt about this one – Goater may not have reached the ball as he’d just knocked it forwards, but he wasn’t given any chance to try. Wanchope stepped up to take it and – to be completely honest – we all cringed. We really thought he was going to miss it. Darren next to us didn’t even stand up to watch it as he didn’t want to see it saved – but good ole’ Paulo did us proud and calmly slotted it away. Goater was immediately subbed for Huckerby. “Oh goody” I thought. I know Huckerby’s had a few (?) good games this season as I’ve read that he has in other match reports. I must just be some sort of jinx to him then, as whenever I see him he’s rubbish. Oh OK that might be a bit unfair, but if we want someone to run fast, get caught offside a lot but not score many goals then we’ve got Paul Dickov. I don’t see we need two such players. So come on Darren, prove me wrong.

A few minutes later and our joy was complete. Nash spotted Berkovic free on the left hand side and threw the ball towards him. It pinged off a Norwich player’s head and fell to Berkovic on the half way line. A couple of minutes earlier Huckerby had had a similar chance and had lost the ball once he’d run into the penalty area. Berkovic, on the other hand, ran through the challenges from the defenders, waited until the goalie had committed himself, and only then did he gently pass the ball into the net. Lovely. I wish he’d give Huckerby some lessons. Norwich had a couple more chances on goal after that but not one of any note, and somehow – surprising all of us watching! – City didn’t look like letting in another goal. 3-1, three points clear, fantastic.

This really was a great team performance once Tiatto had gone. I felt so proud of them for not giving in when reduced to ten men. Even later in the game, when they must have been getting tired, they still made Norwich look second best. If I was the Norwich manager I’d be livid with them for their not capitalising on their man advantage – to be honest I was disappointed in Norwich, they really did not look like a team capable of challenging for the Premiership. As you can imagine I took great delight in pointing this out to the irritating Norwich fan at work – let’s just hope they don’t make me eat my words by the end of the season!

Sharon Hargreaves


This game contained some great football, two brilliant goals from Berkovic, and, amongst other things, the most blatant foul in a penalty area not judged a foul, ever.

Where can I begin? Errrrr, I suppose at the beginning.

We attacked from the kick-off. We were all over them but it seemed they had come as lambs to the slaughter and we were taking a little time to realise it. The score was going to be 4-0 at half time and 5 or 6-1 by the end.

After about 5 minutes, SWP was put through by a ball from Benarbia. He ran onto it into the penalty area when a big clumsy Norwich defender scythed him down, knocking the wee lad 10 yards through the air. No penalty said the ref. Of course it wasn’t a penalty. It was two penalties. I mean, that’s what I thought we were going to get when he didn’t give one. If the Norwich nonentity had got out a pistol and shot SWP in the @rse(nal) it wouldn’t have been a more obvious penalty. Amazing. Truly.

A few minutes later Danny Tiatto shoved a big Danish Viking (Nurserygaarden I think his name was) in the back. Unfortunately for Danny, the Viking suffered from severe pain in his face at exactly the same time and fell over clutching this ugly visage. The referee then asked another referee in the crowd what he might do to even up the contest (City vs. Norwich, not Danny vs. Dane). The other ref suggested the game would be fairer if City had less men than Norwich. Danny was a bit miffed, but left. On his way out, the Australian bruiser kicked some drinks over. I really enjoyed that bit ’cause I hate that disgusting, sugary drink.

Anyway, the refs’ plan didn’t work. As Joe Royle said afterwards, City would have won if it’d been 11-9. Actually I think just Nash, Dunne, Berkovic and Wanchope could’ve given them a game but thanks Joe for your lovely comment.

I can’t remember anything else much because I’m very old but Berkovic scored a great goal just before half time, Wanchope a penalty after they had equalised and then Berkovic another after a run from the touchline on the half way line. Fantastic goal it was.

I think it was the best team performance from City that I’ve ever seen. Keegan said it was the best from any team he’s managed. The TV pictures showed him bristling with pride during the match. In fact he was bristling so much you could see the bristles.

I like giving numbers, so:

Nash 9
Pearce 9 (he almost scared the Dane to death after the sending off)
Howey 8
Ritchie 9
Tiatto 8 (lost 2 for sending off but got 1 back for the Luco-raid)
Berkovic 10 (the perfect game)
Bernarbia 9
Goater 8
Wanchope 9
Horlock 8

Every player was magnificent. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Finally, had we played for 90 minutes with 11 players, and played like we did, it would have been 37-0, I’m sure of it. That was the only down-side of the afternoon.

Simon Fink (


Heard a rumour we are buying someone call Nicholas Jensen. Is this Niclas Jensen (FC Copenhagen) who put Ajax out of the EUFA cup last season with a cracking free kick? Any Danish Blues give us a report on the guy?

Wow, that would give us 3 left-sided free kick specialists, with SuperKev and Psycho!

Great performance last Sunday methinks! Anyone who thinks KK can’t hack it after that had got to be some kind of non-manic depressive. I still can’t get over the ease with which AliB picks out Chop. He seems to know exactly where he is or where he’s going (amazing ’cause Chop himself doesn’t know half the time!). Dunny is doing a Paulo Maldini impression every week from the sound of things – I have a daily discussion on his progress with his uncle Ger. Horlock amazes – I thought he’d “gone”. And anyone want Weaver back between the sticks? Not. Nice one KK – as Brendan Behan said “F**k the begrudgers!”

Happy New Year to all Blues. Do we have anyone in New Orleans by the way? I’ll be there from 8th-13th Feb, press trip, courtesy of Southern Comfort, lads you wouldn’t believe the s**t I have to put up with in a week’s work…

Who would we like to go up with us? Burnley and Preston would maybe be good, two more Lancashire derbies although Bolton/Everton could go the other way.

Ernie Whalley (


I don’t mean to sound like a moaning git, but is anyone else worried with our goalkeepers at the moment? I feel that both Weaver and Nash are excellent shot stoppers and great at one on ones, good kickers of the ball (despite recent criticism of Weaver and Nash, we were all raving about their ability to clear the half way line irrespective of what foot they used).

But I am getting increasingly alarmed with their lack of ability to command their area and deal with corners. The similarities in the game appear to suggest that it is a problem with the coaching, and if so, do we need to change the coach?

James Couper (


For the record: Rule change in 1999:

The fourth official assists the referee at all times. He must indicate to the referee when the wrong player is cautioned because of mistaken identity or when a player is not sent off having been seen to be given a second caution or when violent conduct occurs out of view of the referee and assistant referees. The referee, however, retains the authority to decide on all points connected with play.

Does no-one bother with search engines? “Fourth official” and “FIFA”… [Don’t under estimate our readers! see below – Ed]

Steve Parish (


Further to a couple of comments in MCIVTA 777 asking if the fourth official had any authority with his involvement on Danny Tiatto’s sending off, I checked up and found this in the rules via the FIFA website:

“The fourth official assists the referee at all times. He must indicate to the referee when the wrong player is cautioned because of mistaken identity or when a player is sent off having been seen to be given a second caution or violent conduct occurs out of the view of the referee and assistant referees. The referee, however, retains the authority to decide on all points connected with play.”

Keeps him busy when his other main job appears to helping with substitutions and making sure there are enough balls (seriously). I’ve always thought that having the 4th official actually causes more trouble than it stops, putting someone right in the firing line for managers etc. to have a go at seems to actually create a situation if anything.

Incidentally, I watched the game on Anglia TV and the confident half time prediction from studio guest Iwan Roberts was that if Norwich could get an early goal in the 2nd half they should go on to win fairly comfortably…

CTID, Paul Ruffley (


Re Hugh’s request for information on the City fan banned from Maine Road following the pitch invasion at the Tottenham FA Cup Tie, yet played at the ground whilst banned:

This story was 100% accurate. The player concerned was Colin Little, a lifelong Blue, who, rightly or wrongly, was involved in the shenanigans on the pitch at the Spurs game, and received a ban from the ground for his sins.

After being plucked from non-league football by Crewe, Mr Little’s ban was still in place when Alex made their first visit to Maine Road in living memory early in the 96-97 season, and I can assure you he featured in the starting eleven that night.

My sources on this matter are totally sound as a work colleague of mine drank in the same Wythenshawe pub as Colin Little, and all the regulars were aware of, and highly amused by the situation.

Yours, Phil Marland (


My understanding is that of the people who invaded the pitch during the Spurs cup tie in 1993 and who were pictured, rather grainily, in the MEN the following week, one such person was initially thought to be Colin Little, life long Blue and now a professional footballer with Crewe Alexandra.

However, following an alibi from the Wythenshawe League in which was stated that Little was not in fact at the ground but was playing a Wythenshawe League game all charges were dropped and Little was not banned from Maine Road. Incidentally Little has a tattoo of the new City badge, which was designed after he became a Crewe player, on his calf.

Neil Ogden (


Sorry if I am boring anyone – but come on – surely you remember the Invisible Man song well before the Division Two days where Keith Elliott believes it originated?

I was at the game Keith Elliott believes the ‘Invisible Man’ song reared its head for the first time and I can categorically state that it had been sung on numerous occasions before that game. Sorry Keith but it pre-dates that day by around 10 years.

Come on – some of the McVittee crowd must of been at Luton away mid 80s – there was a total ban on away fans and we (predictably) had thousands in the ground. We started singing “Were not really here” in the second half and it went on and on. I heard it on away trips again in 80s and it was sung on some pre-season tours. Came back with a real vengeance in the dark days of Division Two and it was sung for the first time by many at the Division 2 league game after the Worthington Cup night that Keith recalls. But it had been aired on City pre-season tours – à la Cork tour with the hotel trashing that King of the Kippax recalled not so long ago which pre-date that by a couple of years.

Surely some of you older McVittee readers remember it. Welcome any replies. [Read on, somebody does – Ed].

Matthew Knowles (


Matthew Knowles has got it dead right. The Luton Town game in the mid 80’s is definitely the first time I heard the “We are not, we’re not really here” chant (I was staying with a friend, a Luton Town fan, at the time who managed to wangle me a ticket). However, I’m fairly convinced that the words sung at the end of the first verse are not the same as they are now and the 2nd verse (no longer sung) was definitely a later invention!

Yours, Anorak/Richard Mottershead (


I just wanted to say an immense thanks for the URL on retuning digital TVs to get Granada. At least two villages in Kent were echoing to screams, shouts and renditions of Blue Moon as we watched Delia’s boys get a hammering. Any ideas what it would have been like if we’d had eleven all the way through?

As I can now watch “Take the High Road” on Grampian it might be a good idea to publish whenever the Blues are on any regional ITV channel or I might miss them 🙂

CTID, Nigel Gibson (


Can anyone help to create a haven for City fans living in the Preston (or Fylde) area to watch the numerous televised away games? On previous occasions when City have been televised and I have been unable to get to the game, I have been to the Lane Ends pub on Blackpool Road. This has not been the most pleasant of experiences. Having celebrated City goals modestly and unfortunately always alone, my major concern has been to escape the regular crowd of Rags and Northenders (funny how they seem to be interchangeable these days) without physical harm. So far I have emerged unscathed but I fully expect to find sawdust and a spitoon on Sunday!

The list of ITV digital pubs in the area is not inspiring but there must be somewhere where fellow Blues gather? Please help.

Rob Hulme ( or


Does anyone know where to find that website which has a directory of pubs which has the ITV Sport Channel? Or failing that does anyone know a pub in the Kingston on Thames area which has it? A mate of mine is exiled down there and needs to find out.

Richard Ellor (


Just to make sure the word is out, City vs. Ipswich is on the North American satellite feed at 1pm (Eastern) Sunday, Jan 27th. Check here for the schedule:

and here for venues:

Paul Duncan (


Please note that due to circumstances beyond our control, there has been a change of venue for the CSA Committee Meeting on the 29th January. Details as follows:

All Manchester City Centenary Supporters’ Association branches and branch members are invited to the next CSA Committee Meeting on Tuesday 29th January at the Ash Hotel, Manchester Road, Stockport starting at 8.00pm. For more details please contact me at the address below.

Howard Burr (


I live in Deal on the south coast so it is not easy to get to see too many games.

I have Sky so I won’t be able to watch City on television until next year! I believe the Watford game is on ITV Sport. Does anyone know of any pubs/clubs which will be showing the game in my area?

Many thanks, Jim Kearns (


Anybody point me in the right direction? Myself and about 9 mates will be going to the Watford game and need to know where’s hot and where’s not.

CTID, Craig Bennett (


I will be in Sheffield for the Watford game. Does anyone know a pub full of City to watch the game? Preferably near to Eccleshall. Anywhere in Sheffield though if it’s a good Blues pub.

Cheers and keep the faith, Mark Redgrave (


If anyone could pick up a spare for face value and a pint it would be appreciated. Although I have the stubs, I can’t make the near on 200 mile round trip to pick up a ticket before the match itself. Any stand is fine, although Platt Lane is my preferred end.



My name is Tinashe Mundawarara and I am a university student at the University of Zimbabwe. I am a Man City supporter and I want to get in touch with other supporters.

Thank you.

Tinashe Mundawarara (


After 27 years of faithful support for my beloved City (since age 10), in October 2001 I was privileged enough to make the long awaited pilgrimage to Maine Road for the very first time. This honour was bestowed upon me by my wife and kids after much lobbying by my good mate and fellow City fan who shall be known as “The Vicar of Didsbury” who convinced them that it was in their best interests to let me “get it out of my system”.

So on October 6 2001, purposely chosen to avoid a potential away game at the “Neanderthal Den”, I spent 35 hours getting from Dunedin, New Zealand to Paris and after short 2 day stints in Paris and London, foolishly took a National Express bus from London to Manchester. Four long, sweaty, cramped hours later I found myself in Manchester Piccadilly with a wicked thirst, a sore bum and visions of wall to wall lorries on the M1 and bu**er all scenery to remember.

I was well looked after by my good pal Tony Prescott and his family in “tropical” Irlam during my 19 days in Manchester and after a night on the town taking in wonderful sights such as “Teasers” bar, was ready for the Stockport County visit and my first taste of British and of course Manchester City football. Parking the car and having to pay a pound to some young tearaway to protect the car (from himself I gather) was an interesting intro to Match Day, but I can tell you that walking around the corner by the souvenir shop and chippy and seeing the “sea of blue” milling around scoffing chips outside a “massive” (Keeganism there) stadium, I was just blown away. Walking up the stairs and seeing the Kippax opposite almost made me cry, I was so stoked to be there (had to see City at Maine Road before the move to Eastlands). Sadly City didn’t come to the party and were frustrated by Stockport, especially the gargantuan Kuqi up front. Still I had a great view of Ali and The Goat’s goals, so consolation was mine. The Stockport fans were few but to their credit vocal and I was only sad that City officialdom had said no to my earlier request to video during the match to capture the atmosphere.

City were further frustrated a few days later during the spiteful encounter with Sheffield United. How a ref could book 6, send 1 off and none of them from Sheffield United was beyond me, though Horlock deserved to go for his Beckham (no brain) indiscretions. Curle was exceptional at winding up the City players and fans alike. Still the football was pretty good that day.

Decided it was time to impart my knowledge on the team, so off to Carrington on the 18th, straight in the gate, park beside Howey’s car (being washed) and amble past the building towards the training ground. At which point we (Tony and I) were intercepted by security who politely advised us of our parking error (players only), but enlightened us to the lane further along where we could park and were most welcome to view training after a short walk. Sure enough (after 2 wrong lanes) we were soon cutting through some trees and stood a few feet from the squad undergoing rigorous warm ups under the watchful eyes of Messrs Keegan, Hartford (who did all the warm ups too – fit begger), Bonetti and Donachie. Our squad must know good Spanish ’cause the trainer was getting full effort and didn’t let stars waver when tired. Was a strange day, chilly too, but mostly ’cause Tony and I watched for nearly 3 hours and we were the only 2 there the whole time. Perhaps other fans have yet to figure out the tricky lanes (you end up parked outside a barn). We participated in the ‘keeping drills, collecting finger tip saves of Nash and Weaver and accurately returning the balls to “The Cat”. Ominously we similarly participated in shooting drills which involved much more running as the Goat and Co struggled with the radar (a pre-cursor to Preston). The practice match saw the reserves beat our first team line up 3-0 with Shuker, Wright-Phillips and Toure too quick for Dunne, Pearce and Howey and Ritchie having The Goat “in his pocket” (another ominous sign for Preston). Our reward for perserverance was a 5 minute audience with Psycho who suggested I might get a game if they kept playing as they did against Stockport/Sheff Utd. Then an excellent 10 minute chat with Keegan who shook my hand several times on hearing of my longserving support from afar. He remembered playing exhibition matches in NZ and loved it and enjoyed the fact that he had been a major player in one of the first matches I ever saw on TV in NZ, being the 74 FA Cup Final. He was full of pride in the young players at City and gave us an insight into his views on one or two. Of course we mentioned Chris Killen and he has since made the bench for the first team. Keegan was very talkative and it really made my trip those 10 minutes, chatting with a household name, a football icon known all over the world. After a photo and a promise to sign it when developed we were off through the trees to escape the cold (couldn’t wait to meet Nashy who had stayed on to do some personal fitness).

Prior to Preston enjoyed the Indoor Soccer benefit for New York firefighters (after 2 buckets of Budweiser in ice at Printworks), especially as Peter Barnes and Asa Hartford carved up Robson and Co 6-1 (Barnesy is still king). My that Kevin Webster of Coro is good isn’t he, unfair they had big Dennis in goal though and Curly, bless him, really is well, crap really… stick to acting Curly! Actually spotted an old mate from my ex-soccer club in Auckland sitting directly below me. Hadn’t seen him for 7 years and he got on the same train home… weird. Next night was Depeche Mode concert (excellent). How they change the MEN Arena so quickly is impressive.

Preston was my first taste of away football, and after a traffic jam from the exit lane of the M – something (6 I think) to the ground and a 2km walk in the rain we arrived at our seats 5 minutes after kick off. The atmosphere amongst the City fans was much more vibrant with constant singing and alas from one fat bald headed git, much abuse, particularly at Keegan? At half time most were happy, but after Macken’s freak goal, the mood soured and men twice my age were abusing the ref and even women (I think) were fighting. Not being used to this, I was thankful of being near the front for a quick escape, though this was soon blocked by Police and Stewards as Huckerby’s pen decision was not given (it was a pen… on the vid the guy’s knee caught his heel for goodness sake = pen!). One plonker raised a cheer for his arc on the pitch and swan dive in the box… Wet and arrested and banned… there’s a good lad? Went home and waited for Pearcy’s call re playing if they stuff up again… damn, he wasn’t serious, never mind.

Toured the ground a few days later, the day of the Grimsby match. Didn’t see the home dressing room ’cause KK had the shirts out and didn’t want us to see the changes! That night I was given the chance to step on the hallowed turf in the kick for cash. Tony and his brother John warned me “whatever you do, don’t fall flat on your @rse in front of 30,000 fans.” Didn’t hear a damn thing the announcer said to me ’cause of the echoes (something about rugby). Had my NZ Silver Fern shirt on and had visions of doing the corner flag run and jig, but damn that ball is small and under-inflated… they just don’t want you to win that 150 pounds do they? Still one went in the net and the other, well at least I took out one Grimsby fan! City did the business 4-0, should have been 10-0 Mr Goater? To add to my great evening, Tony collared the great Colin Bell (my all time City hero) and after a quick chat I had another photo for the archives (only a pic with a scantily clad Elle McPherson could come close!).

Went past Old T on the train several times. Tony’s mate once asked if I’d been on the OT tour yet… I said what for! He said everyone should go, especially overseas visitors… I said, mate, give me a can of petrol and a match and I’ll go to Old T! The only Trafford I graced was the Trafford Centre after checking out the JJB Centre next door (impressive). Bl**dy hell, kids’ school holidays, 40 minutes in a queue to get a KFC quarter pack… sigh.

Finally went to Psycho’s return to Forest. Great stadium, much better atmosphere amongst City’s singing faithful and good banter between fans. Walking across the Trent bridge surrounded by Forest fans and having a chat without any malice was memorable. The Goat’s classic goal was also memorable, though he should have scored second half to give us the points. Damn, Nottingham’s bigger than just a robbers’ forest isn’t it? The drive through Derbyshire was beautiful too… stone walls abound, very nice.

Alas had to leave before the Barnsley clash and was in Munich getting to grips with a particularly strong brew at the Hopfbrauhaus when this match was on. After 44 hours home via LA, various boring security checks, disappearing Lufthansa check-in operators (never again Lufthansa and I’m telling my mates to avoid your sad @rse airline too), and grandma’s army air hostesses. I can look back on the Good the Bad and The Ugly as follows:

The Good:

  • Meeting Keegan, Bell and Psycho.
  • Meeting my mate Tony and his family after 10 years’ correspondence.
  • London – underground was easy, great to visit, not to live in.
  • Paris – Champs d’Elysees = ooh la la, nice people and Relais de Paris Sacre Coeur is place to stay – perfect.
  • Manchester – great to visit, not to live in. The White Horse pub and Teasers.
  • Munich – beautiful, clean and mule-kick ales.
  • Lake District – place to take the wife one day.
  • Maine Road – and I was there… 6 times!
  • Blackpool Illuminations.
  • Singapore Airlines – unequalled.
  • Depeche Mode concert.
  • Indoor Soccer benefit… 6-1, 6-1, 6-1…
  • United losing at home to Bolton and Deportivo during my stay…. Veron? Who is he?
  • Pop Idol… very funny… go the fat guy.

The Bad:

  • Traffic – and I thought Auckland was bad.
  • Lords Hotel, Bayswater – what a dump, breakfast was crap, nice area though.
  • Chelsea FC – Ken Bates won’t let you video in the club shop… why?
  • Highbury – no wonder Arsenal want to move.
  • Eiffel Tower – crowded and hawkers everywhere.
  • Man City for not letting me get once in a lifetime video of the atmosphere of a home match.
  • Lufthansa – crap service from check-in to flights and Germans are so starchy and boring.

The Ugly:

  • Lufthansa and United air hostesses.
  • McDonalds in Piccadilly Circus – sorry we’ve run out of pancakes…it’s a bloody egg mixed with milk in a pan for goodness sake!
  • McDonalds Bayswater – sorry we’ve run out of the chocolate Do-nuts!
  • Trafford Centre in the school holidays.
  • Old Trafford… ’cause it’s there!
  • Some City fans at Preston… should be sent to Australia with all your criminals.

Can’t wait to go again… will wait for Eastlands and take the wife to Premiership football. Thanks to MCIVTA readers for assisting in me finding things out and tips etc. Talked on the phone to a couple of you while there, shame we couldn’t hook up, but it was a full on trip. It was a dream come true, and one now fulfilled by one of City’s furtherest away fans.

Chris Loveridge – Tauranga, New Zealand (


Recent results from 14 January 2002 to 16 January 2002 inclusive.

16 January 2002

Crystal Palace        3 - 1  Gillingham            17,646

15 January 2002

Millwall              1 - 0  Watford               12,531

League table to 16 January 2002 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 28 11  3  1 38 13  6  1  6 28 24 17  4  7 66 37  29  55
 2 Millwall        29 10  2  3 30 15  5  5  4 20 15 15  7  7 50 30  20  52
 3 Wolves          28  8  3  4 22 13  7  4  2 21 11 15  7  6 43 24  19  52
 4 Burnley         27  8  4  1 28 17  7  2  5 21 21 15  6  6 49 38  11  51
 5 Norwich City    29 10  3  1 24 11  5  1  9 18 28 15  4 10 42 39   3  49
 6 West Brom A.    29  8  2  4 17  7  6  4  5 16 16 14  6  9 33 23  10  48
 7 Birmingham City 29  9  2  3 27 10  4  6  5 18 23 13  8  8 45 33  12  47
 8 Crystal Palace  29 10  1  3 35 14  5  1  9 17 27 15  2 12 52 41  11  47
 9 Preston N.E.    28  6  5  2 26 12  5  5  5 18 24 11 10  7 44 36   8  43
10 Coventry City   28  7  2  4 20 12  6  2  7 14 17 13  4 11 34 29   5  43
11 Watford         28  7  4  3 27 18  4  3  7 15 15 11  7 10 42 33   9  40
12 Nottm Forest    29  7  7  1 19 10  2  5  7 13 17  9 12  8 32 27   5  39
13 Gillingham      29  8  3  4 27 14  3  3  8 15 28 11  6 12 42 42   0  39
14 Sheff. United   29  4  6  4 21 20  5  5  5 11 15  9 11  9 32 35  -3  38
15 Wimbledon       27  5  6  3 20 15  4  3  6 22 24  9  9  9 42 39   3  36
16 Portsmouth      28  7  1  5 23 19  3  5  7 17 25 10  6 12 40 44  -4  36
17 Bradford City   28  8  1  6 36 28  2  4  7 13 25 10  5 13 49 53  -4  35
18 Rotherham Utd.  27  5  7  2 19 17  2  3  8 15 24  7 10 10 34 41  -7  31
19 Barnsley        29  6  5  3 25 20  1  5  9 14 32  7 10 12 39 52 -13  31
20 Crewe Alex.     27  4  5  3  9 14  3  3  9 17 28  7  8 12 26 42 -16  29
21 Walsall         29  6  3  6 20 19  1  3 10 12 29  7  6 16 32 48 -16  27
22 Sheff. Wed.     28  4  5  6 19 24  2  4  7  9 21  6  9 13 28 45 -17  27
23 Grimsby Town    29  4  5  6 14 19  2  4  8 11 29  6  9 14 25 48 -23  27
24 Stockport C.    29  1  1 13  9 30  1  5  8 16 37  2  6 21 25 67 -42  12

With thanks to Football 365


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

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[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 #778