Newsletter #837

Tonight we have news from Richard on the Hamburg weekend, opinion on top City players, a sensible view on the stadium from an athletics bias, and tonnes of requests for you all to help out with.

The Club are running an online poll for our Chairman to take fans’ views on the winter break issue to the FA, you can check this out and have your say at

Only 5 days to go now…

Next game: Leeds United, away, 3pm 17 August 2002


Went to Hamburg by car, Harwich – Hook of Holland with a few Manure fans on the HSS ferry. Not the best start to the weekend. Overnight stop in Osnabruck and arrived in Hamburg on Saturday lunchtime. Blue shirts everywhere especially in the bars around the station. After dumping our bags at the hotel, did the sightseeing bit on a very hot afternoon. Lovely city, especially towards the Lake area where we had a liquid break and it was good to see City and Hamburg fans mixing together.

Having worked out the ticket system at great length with thankfully some Germanic help we boarded the train to the Stellingrad station where it was noisy and boisterous, especially under the railway tunnels. What I didn’t expect was another 20 minute (I guess) walk through a wood. A bit odd I thought, that there were police at the station leaning on railings having a fag and police at the stadium, leaning on railings having a fag, but not one along the wooded walk. On a dark winter night I wouldn’t want to meet the German equivalent of Millwall fans after a 3-0 stuffing along that walk!

Really good stadium with little or no segregation outside or on the concourses. Some people thought that was a bit lax but personally I think that in a decent world this is what it should be like. Very noisy Blue contingent in various stages of alcoholic decline (do they always allow alcohol into the stadium seating?).

One sour note: if 28,000 Hsamburgers could stand in silence and respect our National Anthem why do Brits have to try and abuse theirs? Thankfully after a few “Shut Ups” from the more intelligent and a few bars of Uber Alles it went quiet. Also I find the 5-1 chant a touch embarassing as a pretty mediocre German team did get to the final in Japan.

City started brightly with Distin looking a very good purchase, SWP doing a few mazy runs and Anelka showing some good touches. Huckerby had a good half hour but tended to disappear a bit once he had been “found out”. Eyal to me tries to be too elaborate when a simple pass could be more effective. Should have been 2 or 3 up at half time and in the second half City just petered out in the 25 degrees heat.

So back along the wooded walk to the heaving station and the train. Stood sardine-like all the way back to the City. A meal, a few beers and it’s goodnight Hamburg. Overnight stop in Holland on Sunday and the end of a great weekend.

A colleague of mine said there were a few scuffles on the Reeperbahn on Saturday night. I haven’t heard of any ‘mass’ aggro… maybe there are always scuffles on the Reeperbahn on a Saturday night!

So KK, you’ve whetted our appetite for European jaunts and maybe over confidently have mentioned the top six… let’s hope so.

Roll on next weekend.

Richard Cooper (


After reading the unfortunate and na