Newsletter #795

A fairly lacklustre performance by this season’s standards on Saturday saw us win comfortably by 1 goal to 0 (Horlock), a result I should imagine nobody had forecast. We are now on 83 points and with 90 goals, some 5 points ahead of Wolves.

Tomorrow night sees us down the A6 to Edgeley Park for a game in which Stockport have only their pride to play for.

Tonight sees Palace match reports thanks to James W and Sarah, a report and view post Bradford from James N, opinion and a handful of requests.

If anybody fancies doing the honours tomorrow, then you know the address for the reports!

Next game: Stockport County, away, 7.45pm Tuesday 19 March 2002


It is hard not to get disappointed but Saturday’s performance will be easily forgotten amongst the gems that have gone before. Though the stock phrase ‘the result is more important than the performance’ will be banded about for those who witnessed City’s performance on Saturday. Once the final results came through from Molineux, this was to coin an oft-unused phrase ‘a massive result’. For those who saw the brief highlights of the game, yes Palace’s only real effort was the shot at the end that Nash comfortably held onto.

City lined up with Nash, Psycho, Wiekens, HMS Dunne, Jensen, Tia-tia-tia-to, SWeeP, Super Kev, Ali, The Goat, and The Stoat. The bench was full of defenders in the shape of Howie, Mettomo, Sun Jihai (do we call him Sun or Jihai?), Macken and Royce (Simon not Rolls).

Pre-match presentation was Andy Morrison who presumably is on to pastures new. After a bit of a build up to remind the glory hunters in the crowd who he was, Andy strode forward accompanied by his children. The ovation and chanting he received was welcoming to a man who in no small part aided City during our darkest hours in Division Two – what are the odds for the same sort of ovation for Terry Cooke?

City kicked off from Platt Lane to North Stand. Early signs were promising with Horlock and Tiatto having a stranglehold over the midfield, whilst SWeeP and Jensen provided options left and right of the front two. Huckerby was full of running and City’s first chance came to Dunne. Bursting down the right touchline, he cut inside and flashed a right foot shot just beyond the far post.

The odds were looking good for an avalanche of goals and the first came from some great work by SWeeP. Jinking left and right on the edge of the Palace box, Shaun floated a right foot cross onto the far post where the unmarked Horlock headed home; as he was quoted later “it was impossible to miss”. So 1-0 it was, but then the game seemed to drift, with the ref and linesman looking on as challenges flew in. Benarbia for one was very unlucky not to receive a free kick and even more so, when later television evidence showed he’d lost his front tooth – actually not lost as he’d managed to catch it in his hand, what a player!

Half time came and went without incident, apart from Sun Jihai replacing the injured Tiatto as the teams raced out for the second half. This half consisted of near efforts for Huckerby with his left and his right foot, Goater flashed a chance over the top when fed by Huckerby and was instantly replaced by Macken. His harrying ability and fresh pace brought new impetus to City’s attacks and it was Macken who came closest to scoring as Benarbia floated the ball from the left only for Macken to just head it over the bar. Must admit that the ripple of the netting raised most of the North Stand who were sat around me, as from our lower vantage it looked in.

In fact apart from Sun Jihai’s impressive movement up and down the right-wing back position – ignoring a late challenge that brought his first yellow card in City colours, just a bit of over enthusiasm. This reshuffle had seen SWeeP move inside but he wasn’t as quite effective as Tiatto had been in the first half. Disappointingly the game drifted off and a half chance snap shot from Palace brought a good save out of Nash, as he dived to his left and held onto the shot. So 1-0 it finished and the reverse result at Wolves brings a tantalising glimpse of another trophy.

CTID, James Walsh (


Of all the matches I’ve seen this season, this was probably the most disappointing – but then to put it into perspective, we have been somewhat spoilt by creative, exciting football and lots of goals. Moreover, if on a bad day we can still win, keep a clean sheet and go five points clear with a game in hand it would be churlish to criticise.

There were some positive points – the inventive midfield play with Tiatto looking sharp until the unfortunate point when he hit a ball right-footed and from then on was obviously in some pain. The fact that Carlo had very little to do, and that when, in the closing stages he was called upon, the save he made was accurate and confident (I started watching City in the nineties, in the Dibble era and at times I still find my heart rate increasing when the ball is at our end!). Sun looked good – fast and furious (though maybe at times a little too furious – he was lucky not to have been sent off for the tackle which earned him a yellow card – and caused a sharp intake of breath around the ground). Shaun Wright Phillips just gets better and better; at one point, in possession, he slipped to the ground, got up, looked around and then carried on with the ball, proving what skill and tenacity he has. Kevin Horlock too is playing some brilliant football – not least the goal (wish I’d had the bet on him to score first in this match rather than the Preston game).

Our main problem was finishing. Like Carlo, Palace’s ‘keeper had very little to do for much of the match as we turned most of our chances wide of, or over the goal. Macken had a chance but just headed the ball over the bar, when he was brought on ten minutes from time for his home début. He continues to impress – watching him read the game is encouraging. His ability to make himself a nuisance to the opposition defenders, hustle them off the ball and then hold onto the ball until he has someone to pass to made the last 15 minutes more comfortable than the preceding 30.

All in all, on reflection it wasn’t a bad performance, we all have our off days, and the heavy schedule must have some effect – I look forward to seeing Eyal back in action with Ali, and playing with Macken.

Sarah Longshaw (


I wrote this TV match report for the Bradford game over a week ago but ran out of time to finish it then forgot about it. Seemed a shame to waste it so I have re-heated it, trying not to embellish with hindsight. There are up to date comments added after the report.

After Tuesday’s successful trip to the West Midlands, City headed for Bradford for a Friday evening match, our third game in just six days, all of which we have now won. Bradford is a bit far from London on a Friday night so I headed for a pub in Finsbury Park, arriving a dangerous hour and a half before the game started. As a result, some of my memories of the game may a bit vague, including meeting some BV’ers!

The overall impression was this was a similar game to the Birmingham one, in that City just refused to be denied a win. Both sides defended well in the first half but City pretty much dominated the second half and it was another inspired performance from an opposition goalkeeper that kept the scoreline down. Man of the Match for them was definitely Alan Combe; he denied the Hound and the Goat several times with excellent saves. Those two both worked very hard but Goater should have scored at least one, especially when the ball rebounded off the post from a Huckerby effort.

The first goal coming just before half-time helped a lot. I like this habit we are developing of scoring crucial goals late in the first half, I like it a lot. There is nothing much more demoralising for the opposition. Before the end of the season, some unlucky team is going to get their backside spanked, as we will score a hatful.

Considering their position in the League, I was reasonably impressed with Bradford. They did not have their first team out, due to injury and suspension, but they defended better than some of the teams we have lost to this season. After Andy Myers went off injured at the end of the first half, they still coped quite well considering how important he is to their side. Going forward was a different story, they were awful. Somehow, they managed two or three decent chances but spurned them all.

Certainly, City did not impose themselves on the game until the second half, when Ali B started turning on the magic (again). It was not as exhilarating as against the Brummies and some of the finesse that we often see in other games was missing; I really could not care less though. We won when we weren’t playing that well and at the end of a tiring run of games and at a stupid kick-off time.

As a man who is even uglier than I am, Jon Macken looked a good player when he finally came on for his début. Importantly, if contrasted with the G and the H, he looked sharp. He had three opportunities – missed one narrowly, hit the post and scored the other from Combe’s spill of Tiatto’s long-range shot. Macken should enjoy his tag of City’s most expensive player while it lasts because I reckon we’ll be splashing out £8m each on a couple of players soon, or in the close season.

Thanks to the booze clouding my memory, I don’t remember Danny T picking up a booking but I do remember he was lucky in the Coventry game to get away with a clumsy lunge, so maybe that was karma catching up with him. I was impressed with Jensen in this game; the more I see him, the more I think we have snapped up a real cultured player and at a good price. I have seen him give the ball away cheaply when upfield but he seems to innately know when it’s safe to venture forward and when not. It would have been nice to see our Chinese lad have a run-out but the game was too evenly poised until the last minute decider.

It was a good team performance and it is quite difficult to pick out a MotM for us. I would give it to Wiekens, who came into the side at short notice and did an excellent job. Ged’s been a very good servant for the club – even if normally I’m not his biggest fan – and he is another player that has been re-motivated by Keegan. If not Wiekens then Bernabia for his sublime vision and passing (again). Ali B is my pick for player of the season so far, just edging Eyal B and Super Kev for that honour.

As I write, Wolves have let go a two-goal lead for a draw and Millwall have lost at Pompey so surely nothing can stop us now. I want the 100 goals, maybe even the 100 points, or is that being greedy?

… that’s the end of the original match report.

Back to the present day and I think I helped cause some MCIVTA upset in my last match report (Brum) by slating the Goat, something I have probably just compounded above. Well, based on the evidence of his last six games or so, he deserves some criticism for the chances he has missed. Right now, his form is bad.

My theory – totally unproven – is that Shaun needs to be 100% fit physically and mentally before he starts to score for fun. Any knocks he is carrying and his confidence goes through the floor and the shots on goal go over the bar. That’s the current situation in my opinion and it is possible that he needs a rest for a game – Forest perhaps, so he has two weeks to get back to full grazing strength and we could give Macken a full début.

I am actually undecided on whether he can “make it” in the Premiership. He was injured for most of last season and when he did get a proper run in the team later in the season, he had a good goal average – check the stats. He is a very good striker, I agree but no-one knows for sure if he is good enough for the Premiership. Last time round, some in the media tried to turn him into a laughing stock, especially after the “miss of the season” at Highbury, which I thought jolly unfair.

Just to clarify something: the assumption behind my comment in the Brum report – about him not getting a place in the starting line-up next season – is that we will sign a proven top-class striker before next season, who would steal that spot from him. Bergkamp’s name springs to mind, which is probably fanciful thinking, but someone of or near his calibre. If we don’t sign someone like that then yes, you could easily say I was being harsh.

I didn’t make it to either of the last two games. It was a nervous eighty minutes listening to the radio this Saturday, waiting for the second goal that never came, although not as nervous as I used to be pre-KK. It sounded very much like we were trying to walk the ball into the net, like Arsenal have also been guilty of recently. Apparently Super Kev was on top form again. I still maintain we would have been in with a shout of staying up last season if he hadn’t been injured – or was this another blessing in disguise?

A lot of Blues are saying it is all set up for us to lose against Stockport. They’ve just been relegated and the pressure is off them, it’s a local derby, they are a bogey team for us and we’ve just won 6 on the trot so we are due a reverse or two. Rubbish, say I, this is “new City”, let’s put ten past them. A couple of team changes may help, the current run of games has been thick and fast and tiredness must be creeping in. I’ve just read that Danny T is out for a few weeks so that should force KK’s hand anyway.

Sorry Heidi but it’s that P-word again… we could be promoted this coming Saturday. If the Baggies lose on Friday at Forest and we win on Tuesday and Saturday, we’re up, simple as that. More likely, we need three wins to guarantee promotion with 92 points. On current form, that means the Forest home game will be party time. There’s also the possibility of us being promoted without kicking a ball, mid-week after the Rotherham game when West Brom are at home to Crewe. The Championship would mathematically be ours with 97+ points. We can still afford to draw one and lose one of our remaining games to get to the magic 100 points.

Finally, I have to ask: “any spares for Rotherham?” Pretty please! I promise to do a match report (or not if you please!).

James Nash (


We have to win both and West Brom have to lose at Forest (and the League have to uphold their result at Bramall Lane) but there is a possibility of getting promoted at Rotherham. There seems to be some interest in the old 1966 song, so here is the cast-iron guaranteed, definitive version. Print it out and let’s sing the whole thing…

In 1963 we fell into Division Two.
The Stretford End cried out aloud,
“It’s the end of the Sky Blue!”
Joe Mercer came, we played the game,
we went to Rotherham,
we won one-nil and we were back
into Division One.

Added a couple of years later (usually linked with a shouted “Since then…”):

We’ve won the League,
We’ve won the Cup,
We’ve been to Europe too (“and won!” added in 1970)
And when we win the League this year.
We’ll sing this song to you.

City! City! City!

I’m working on a new verse:

In Twenty-O-2 back we came…

Steve Parish (


Stan Glaiser asked in MCIVTA 794 about the origin of the name Gresty Road. As I’m probably the only MCIVTA subscriber sad enough to have “The Street Names of England” by Adrian Room (published 1992) on their bookshelves, so I guess it’s incumbent upon me to reply. Obviously Room cannot deal with every street name in the country, but Gresty Road does warrant an entry. It is not, as Stan assumed, named after a person but after the field across which the road was laid. The word Gresty derives from the Old English “groeg” meaning “badger” and “stig” meaning “path”, so the field was a badger run.

Before anybody asks, I’ve had a look in the index and there are no entries for Maine Road, Platt Lane or Kippax Street.

Steve Willis (


The Warrington branch of the OSC have 4 places left on their coach going to Wolves. £10 each; for info contact Branch Secretary Nick Morley at the address below.

Nick Morley (


I’m trying to get hold of Dave Holden (ex Santa Domingo Blue). I’ve lost his email address since changing ISP. Please can anybody help?

Dave Kilroy (


During the early 70s I used to attend games at Maine Road with a friend, Howard Sutcliffe, who I have since lost touch with. I would like to know if he is as passionate about “City” and does he still go to Maine Road?

Ann (


Fellow MCIVTAins! I can’t stand living in the land of cheap beer, never ending sunshine and beautiful women who seem so financially destitute that they can only afford really skinny bikinis anymore!

Florida is just too far away from Maine Road (or at least regular coverage of City on TV) so I have decided to return to the UK (OK just for a week) in the hope of being able to see City in the Forest & Wolves games.

If anybody has a spare ticket for either game I would be very grateful, willing to pay and also be able to provide a car.

John Walsh – Tampa Bay Blue (


Due to a shortage of visas to Australia I am one ticket short for the Forest match on the 30th March. If anyone is able to help, please please e-mail me and I will sort out some financial remuneration.

Thanking you all in advance.

James Walsh (


I know this has been in previous issues but how do I re-tune my Sky Digital tv to receive other ITV regions that may be showing City games live? I live in Scotland now but am a Mancunian and a lifelong City fan; I tried the settings printed in a previous issue but nothing happened, perhaps it doesn’t work here in Jockland?

Steve Oatway (


Recent results from 13 March 2002 to 17 March 2002 inclusive.

17 March 2002

Burnley               2 - 1  Preston North End     18,388

16 March 2002

Crewe Alexandra       1 - 1  Portsmouth             7,170
Gillingham            3 - 1  Nottingham Forest      8,928
Manchester City       1 - 0  Crystal Palace        33,637
Millwall              1 - 2  Sheffield Wednesday   13,074
Rotherham United      1 - 1  Bradford City          7,182
Sheffield United      0 - 3  West Bromwich Albion
Walsall               2 - 1  Barnsley               7,495
Watford               3 - 0  Coventry City         15,833
Wimbledon             3 - 1  Stockport County       5,224
Wolverhampton Wndrs   0 - 1  Grimsby Town          25,967

15 March 2002

Norwich City          0 - 1  Birmingham City       18,258

League table to 17 March 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 39 16  3  1 52 17 10  2  7 38 29 26  5  8 90 46  44  83
 2 Wolves          40 12  3  5 32 16 11  6  3 38 20 23  9  8 70 36  34  78
 3 West Brom A.    39 12  3  4 26  8  9  4  7 22 18 21  7 11 48 26  22  70
 4 Burnley         39  9  6  4 33 25 10  4  6 29 26 19 10 10 62 51  11  67
 5 Coventry City   40 12  3  5 32 16  8  2 10 25 27 20  5 15 57 43  14  65
 6 Millwall        39 12  3  5 36 21  6  7  6 23 22 18 10 11 59 43  16  64
 7 Birmingham City 39 11  3  5 34 18  7  6  7 23 26 18  9 12 57 44  13  63
 8 Preston N.E.    39 10  6  3 35 18  6  5  9 23 34 16 11 12 58 52   6  59
 9 Wimbledon       39  7  8  4 26 19  8  5  7 30 28 15 13 11 56 47   9  58
10 Crystal Palace  40 11  2  7 38 22  7  2 11 27 36 18  4 18 65 58   7  58
11 Norwich City    39 12  5  2 29 13  5  2 13 21 35 17  7 15 50 48   2  58
12 Watford         40 10  4  6 36 24  5  6  9 22 22 15 10 15 58 46  12  55
13 Gillingham      39 10  5  5 35 23  5  4 10 21 34 15  9 15 56 57  -1  54
14 Nottm Forest    40  7 10  3 22 15  4  7  9 21 25 11 17 12 43 40   3  50
15 Sheff. United   39  6  8  5 28 26  6  6  8 14 20 12 14 13 42 46  -4  50
16 Portsmouth      40  9  4  7 35 29  4  7  9 22 35 13 11 16 57 64  -7  50
17 Bradford City   39  9  1 10 39 37  4  6  9 23 33 13  7 19 62 70  -8  46
18 Rotherham Utd.  40  7 10  3 29 26  3  5 12 19 33 10 15 15 48 59 -11  45
19 Sheff. Wed.     40  5  6  9 24 32  6  5  9 20 31 11 11 18 44 63 -19  44
20 Crewe Alex.     36  7  6  7 19 30  4  3  9 18 28 11  9 16 37 58 -21  42
21 Grimsby Town    40  7  6  7 25 25  3  6 11 14 36 10 12 18 39 61 -22  42
22 Walsall         40  9  4  7 25 24  1  6 13 18 40 10 10 20 43 64 -21  40
23 Barnsley        40  7  9  4 33 30  1  6 13 19 45  8 15 17 52 75 -23  39
24 Stockport C.    39  2  1 16 12 39  1  7 12 23 52  3  8 28 35 91 -56  17

With thanks to Football 365


[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
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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] City on TV

City’s games when broadcast on TV are generally carried by ITV Digital; provides a list of pubs that will be showing the games.

Granada television also has the rights to show a small number of games from the North West region. As Sky now carry ITV regional services these matches can be watched outside the intended region by “adding” channels to your Sky Digital receiver. Under “services/system setup” enter the following details: Frequency 10.891 – H – 22.0 – 5/6. Select “find channels” and you will be given a list of the available ITV regions. From here select the regions you want to add. In order to view the channels you have added, you have to make your selection via “services/system setup/other channels”.

[9] 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.

[10] 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.

[11] 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 #795