Newsletter #843

We were waiting for a few goals to go in, and we got them on Saturday thanks to Monsieur Anelka’s easy hat-trick against Everton. A sometimes scrappy match which was marred by SWP’s red card, but a very welcome 3 points which has left us in a rather nice position in the table – see below!

Tonight we have two match reports, thanks to Peter and James; opinion on the ongoing red rag to a bull situation; disturbing news on away ticket prices and a few requests.

Anyone fancy penning a Why Blue whilst we wait 8 days for the next game?

Next game: Arsenal, away, 8pm Tuesday 10 September 2002 (TV game)


(A report from someone who doesn’t see the team play very often live)

My first trip to Maine Road since the home defeat to Leicester a couple of seasons back. After many years of never seeing City win they have now won the last two matches I have been to – a winning streak! I arrived the ground in the nick of time after a very, very slow drive up from the Fens in Cambridgeshire. I found my restricted view seat in the corner of the Main Stand and didn’t have time to settle down before the players emerged to a great reception. I must say the restricted view almost added something to the experience, as normally we get spoiled by endless views from all angles on the TV. For any of you that have sat in these seats I apologise for the following description but for those of you who haven’t I shall explain. The view is non-existent from the penalty spot to about 8 yards out from the goal across to the far corner flag on the Kippax side and also from the about one yard out from the penalty spot to 17 yards out. After about two minutes I apologised in advance to the guys either side of me that if I head butted them it was an accident. It was almost a certainty as all three of us weaved from side to side as the ball came down into the penalty area or into the far corner where Huckerby, Ali and Jensen were all spending a reasonable amount of time.

City started with Schmeichel, Distin, Howey, Sun, Jensen, Wright-Phillips, Ali, Foe, Berkovic, Huckerby and Anelka. The first twenty minutes or so were fairly non-eventful. City then got a free-kick about 20-25 yards out. I could see the kickers and I could see the goal but I could not see the wall. Anelka took the kick, the crowd went ooo (oh well, the ball has hit the wall I thought) then the ball appeared in my view and slowly went into the right hand side of the net. As Anelka was credited with the goal I can only assume it hit an Everton player somewhere near the wall. Flukey first goal for City but who cares? A couple of minutes later an opportunity seemed to have been wasted as a cross ball from the right went way over to the left side of the pitch and was miraculously kept in by Jensen, who then cut a short ball into Huckerby who then disappeared from view. The ball came back into view on our side of the box where Howey (I think) nodded down across the goal where Anelka poached his second goal. Not a difficult one but we celebrated in fine style – great noise.

On the half-hour Gravesen put a great ball through a defence missing a couple of players who were still upfield. It found Naysmith who started his run towards goal. To his credit wee Shaun caught up with him. Unfortunately Shaun slid in and got the man and ball as Naysmith turned away from goal and towards the by-line. It didn’t look a dead cert penalty from our end (but having seen it on telly it was). To the whole ground’s amazement the ref. sent him off. Not only was Naysmith not going for goal at that point but there were other covering players appearing. The penalty was put away simply (2-1). The last quarter of an hour of the first half was difficult but the 10 remaining men were brilliant, especially Sun, who had to do two jobs for a while.

The noise that sent Mr. Knight off the pitch was deafening; he could not have been in any doubt what we thought.

The second half started with no change in personnel but Nicolas A. was asked to defend, which he did exceptionally well. Everton attacked and were mostly thwarted by great defending from Distin, Howey, Foe and everyone else. Everton got through on several occasions. There was a great save from Schmeichel as he came out of goal to stop someone who I didn’t see. There was a cross that flashed across the goal and Campbell was very close to but missed at the far post. Sun began to make mistakes – he must have been exhausted but very few comments were made towards him from our bit of the crowd.

Schmeichel was truly imperious and this was typified when a cross from just below us saw three Everton players offside, but there was no flag; an Everton player headed it. Schmeichel was already berating his players with one arm and was obviously thinking of giving the linesman on our side (who was awful right through the match) a hard stare Paddington would have been proud of, as he nonchalantly flicked the ball away from the goal for a corner with his other arm. It was incredible and very funny to watch. The header wasn’t that soft either.

I was really looking at my watch and hoping for an end to the agony as I was convinced Everton would finally manage to score. Then a long ball was sent down towards the right touchline about 40 yards out. One of the Everton players slipped and Anelka whipped the ball off him and was off towards goal like a cheetah (i.e. very fast and menacing). He went past two defenders, went wide (too wide, I was thinking) and smashed the ball past Simonsen. What a great goal it was. His first two may have been nothing special to look at, but if he can do what he did for the third regularly then City have got a real star. If he is willing to play team football like he did on Saturday, City are going places. Three-one to City and I didn’t want the match to end any more. Horlock came on for Berkovic, who looked tired from early on. Tiatto came on for Huckerby who was sitting in the centre circle – tired or cramp I hope not anything else and the Goat came on for Ali whose touch was a little off for much of the match.

The match ended and the players rightly were very proud of themselves.

Marks out of 10 (and I am a very hard marker):

Schmeichel 10: Absolutely superb.
Jensen 7: Excellent defending, distribution a bit dodgy but the second goal was his doing.
Sun 8: He was classy until the last 20 minutes when he tired.
Howey 7: Slow but very, very effective.
Distin 7: Liked what I saw.
Wright-Phillips 4: Even before the sending off he was having a poor game. He needs to learn how to decelerate as well as accelerate, especially in the penalty area.
Foe 7: Big isn’t he!
Berkovic 6: Looked tired.
Ali 6: Not quite as brilliant as he usually is, got himself booked for arguing.
Huckerby 7: Very penetrating performance but still doesn’t look up even when 30,000 people are shouting at him and a colleague is waving madly for him to pass.
Anelka 10: Three goals, some great defending and ran and ran.

Great result, Great performance by the 10 remaining men. Poor referee but he did make what was going to be a rout an exciting game! Everton could be going down if they perform like that too often.

Pete Carey (


Another home match at Maine Road, another 3 points, but this match showed (if we needed it) why KK spent £13 million on Anelka. City lined up with no changes from Villa, which came as a surprise considering how poor they had played. The referee was Barry Knight, can’t think why I remembered that for the report! ;o)

Pre-match entertainment involved the delights of Hydes and Boddies, whilst chatting to an Everton fan about how many we were going to score. City kicked-off from North to Platt Lane but without too much threat. It took a free kick from Anelka (after Berkovic had been fouled) to break the deadlock. Benarbia rolled it across to Berkovic and Anelka dashed onto the ball blasting it home off a wicked deflection for his first ever City goal. Cue wild scenes of delight and a ‘high-five’ with Keegan who looked delighted his star striker had broken his duck.

Funny looking back, but I suppose it would have taken a deflected goal for Anelka to get off the mark. Within minutes City were two up as Anelka pounced on a familiar goalmouth scramble to smash the ball home from a few yards out. 2-0 and we were cruising; it was beginning to look like a case of how many. Foe managed to get a header on target that Simonsen saved well, and another header was directed downwards for Simonsen to claim quite easily – would have gone in against Newcastle. Then in stepped Mr Knight and Gary Naysmith.

Picture the scene, Naysmith darting down the left side of the box, SWeeP dives in with a sliding right-footed tackle. Now last season Shaun won the ball with this similar style all season, this time he was unfortunate (or are players at this level a lot more aware?) and clipped Naysmith. Barry blew his whistle and pointed to the spot, no complaints there, he then lectured SWeeP and produced a card, a little harsh as the tackle wasn’t dangerous… but to my horror I realised I couldn’t see the colour of the card. For those who aren’t colour-blind red and green, I find it very hard to pick out red on a green background, meaning I’m not allowed to be an airline pilot – anyway I digress, yes Mr Knight decided in wisdom, that only referees seem to have, that Shaun might want to be first in the tub. So off he went, off went half the City team to complain to Barry that maybe he might want to have another think about his last decision. Schmeichel could do nothing about the penalty, as the dependable David Unsworth stepped up to make it 2-1.

The fans were now at boiling point and the players seemed to pick up an edge that wasn’t there earlier in the game. Anelka was floored by Simonsen in the Everton goal, so Barry gave a thrown-in. Needless to say as he blew for half-time the ref needed a couple of stewards to see him off the field.

Half-time draw was carried out by Nora Mercer, and City lost the shootout to Everton, with Moonbeam’s goalkeeping improving considerably on last week’s performance.

The second-half proved that Everton were no Norwich or Millwall, as Keegan played Huckerby wide left in an attempt at a 4-4-1 formation. Although this seemed to tighten things up at the back, we lost any creative force going forward and currently I’m taking bets on how long it’ll take to grow my fingernails back.

Everton’s chances seemed to come in waves, with Schmeichel having a ‘they shall not pass’ performance. He kept out numerous chances, including one that rapped his right arm before bouncing clear off the left-hand post.

With Huckerby and Anelka taking it in turns to play left and right midfield respectively, it was left with them to try to create solo chances. Huckerby had many a good run, but without support in the middle he was unable to find a killer pass and was often outnumbered.

Schmeichel (who’d spent the match shouting at his defenders), then started on Fazackerley who returned a volley of verbal at Huckerby and Jensen. Keegan then decided enough was enough and took Berkovic off for Super Kev. With Huckerby taking a knock KK brought Tiatto on, to a rousing reception from the Maine Road faithful. Within 5 minutes City extended their lead.

Naysmith was involved again, only this time he was dispossessed wide left (his left, our right). Anelka sprinted forward with three defenders closing on him, and with Simonsen left to beat Anelka drove a superb right foot drive past the despairing dive of the Toffees’ ‘keeper. This time Maine Road went mental, yes Anelka had got a hat trick, but mainly due to the manner of his goal. I would defy any City fan to come up with a current player at Maine Road who has the ability of Anelka to score that goal. Yes, Huckerby has the pace, but not the finish, it was Anelka at his finest.

Keegan then went for broke by bringing on Goater for Benarbia, but with time running out he was unable to create too much. The final whistle saw City fans delighted at the result, but Barry Knight probably isn’t welcome back to Moss Side even if he sees sense and rescinds SWeeP’s red card.

James Walsh (


Birmingham City are charging away fans £35 to attend games in the Railway Stand behind the goal at St Andrews this season. Last season it was £17. This is £8.50 more than the best seat in the centre of their Main Stand.

Whilst this isn’t quite a blatant breach of fabarclaycardpremiership rules, it shows the level of contempt that the pornographer running the club has for football fans. The fabarclaycardpremiership spokesman I erm spoke to, said that they had already had a number of complaints about Birmingham’s ticketing policy.

Therefore I ask you to add to them.

If you think it’s taking the p**s to charge £35 to sit behind the goal when you could get a seat in their paddock on the side for £21 or a best Main stand seat for £26.50, ring Catherine Robinson at the fabarclaycardpremiership on: 020 72981600. She is waiting to hear from you.

Chelsea are charging fans of clubs with the best away support £40 to sit/stand in that trough along the side of the pitch. If you support Southampton or similar it’s only £30. Naturally it’s £40 for City.

I know we all want to watch our team, but enough’s enough. The official MCFC Supporters’ Club should boycott both these games and tell the vile individuals running Birmingham and Chelsea why we’re not going.

Kevin Cummins (


Is it just me or does everyone think that what Jason McAteer has shown us on the weekend the easy way to take Roy “dirty boy” Keane out of a football match is to give him a little verbal or a slight tap and wait for the idiot to retaliate, which he invariably will. I would say that he will self destruct all season, particularly when the fiery types like Lee Bowyer, Robbie Savage, Steve Lomas, Ray Parlour & Co come calling. An elbow for McAteer for preferring Bob The Builder to Keane’s autobio… whatever next?

Imagine being Roy’s son, you’re 9 years old and you trip dad in the back yard kick around… 2 years later he waits till it’s about time to go in for tea and he takes you out at the knees, leans over you, and says that’s for 2 years ago you little @#%*!

He’s going to be a liability for the Rags this year I reckon… and isn’t it nice to be above them on the table at present!

Bring on them Gunners.

Chris Loveridge (


Although Alfie Haaland might understandably want to seek financial compensation for his injury and loss of earnings, for City as a club to sue Roy Keane or United could seriously harm relations between the clubs, while setting an undesirable legal precedent.

Punishments for sporting incidents are best handled by the ruling body of the sport or event concerned, instead of the courts. The players’ union could also help in two ways: by considering sanctions against members who deliberately harm the careers of their fellow professionals, and by ensuring that all players are suitably insured against injury.

If sportsmen or clubs start to claim compensation through the courts more regularly for injuries judged to be deliberately inflicted, it will become increasingly difficult to draw the line defining intent to injure in physical sports. And how might such precedents affect the legal status of combat sports like boxing?

Everyone who has played football at any level knows that occasionally some head-case will go in hard with a clear intention to hurt – admittedly more often as relatively instant retaliation for a recent clash than as a result of a grudge held for years. Similarly, anyone who saw the derby match 18 months ago could be in no doubt that Keane’s horrific tackle was intended to hurt Haaland, but there were few cries then for legal redress.

It is the recently published extracts from the “autobiography” approved, if not actually written, by Roy Keane that have left a bad taste, because the tone used to describe the foul on Haaland is one of boasting about getting revenge by inflicting a serious injury, rather than merely admitting intent to hurt, as the media have widely reported.

The FA should decide on suitable punishment for Keane for “bringing the game into disrepute”, and setting a bad example to young footballers and fans. But neither the notoriety of the player nor the size of the club he plays for should have any bearing either way on the punishment. A temporary ban could be more suitable than a fine, although fines should clearly be proportional to players’ earnings in any case.

For City to sue United could end up as a public relations disaster for both clubs. Major football clubs are surely financially insured against injuries to players, whatever the cause.

Local rivalries are good for the game. But as many older fans have pointed out in MCIVTA, rivalries should be based on friendly banter and healthy slagging, rather than the outright hatred that a drawn-out legal case could engender between club officials and fans.

Unfortunately, the predictable lack of regret shown by Keane and his manager Alex Ferguson for Haaland’s career-threatening injury is already stoking the fires of animosity.

Roy Keane will undoubtedly receive a hostile welcome if he plays at Maine Road on November 9th – due to his infamous rift with former City-favourite Mick McCarthy, as well as the Haaland incident. But a single bad-tempered foul should not be allowed to permanently sour relations between the city’s two great clubs.

Fran Weaver (


Just watched Jimmy Grimble on Sky last night and could not miss the similarity between Robert Carlyle’s tackle and that of Roy Keane. What punishment did Robert Carlyle’s character receive, does it say in the film? If he did get punished then Keane should get the same!

Graham Lord (


If anyone is interested, you can view an in-depth buliding report on our new home from inception to completion:

Interestingly enough the same company oversaw the building of the Sydney Opera House.

Let’s hope that the City of Manchester Stadium brings the same fame to Manchester as the Opera house has to Sydney!

Andrew Frodsham (


I wonder if anyone can help me to get a couple of tickets for any of the matches this season at Maine Road? I am living in Ireland and have lost touch with the lads I used to go to the matches with when I lived in Wythenshawe during the 70s 80s and 90s. I am really desperate to go to Maine Road once again before City move. Please, if anyone can help, you will be making a lifelong Blue very happy. I only want to buy the match tickets, and I will drive over to the match. Thanks, in anticipation, for your help.

CTID, Kevin Marr (


Can I please ask on behalf of my son currently on holiday in Spain, are there any other Blues in the Fuengerola area for the Arsenal game? He would like if possible to watch it in a bar with other like-minded people.

Thanks, Dot Keller (


My wife and I are visiting Australia (Sydney) and New Zealand (Auckland) in October/November this year.

As part of our visit we want to see if we can make contact with any ex-pat Blues, meet up to see games etc., if our touring allows. Can anyone advise of contact details for the two areas mentioned?

Thank you for your help.

Martin Jackson (


I am currently researching the career of WD and am asking if you can provide any information on his early days at Man. City i.e. where did he live when he came down from Scotland?

Any other info. you may have regarding WD would be greatly appreciated.

Joanna Scholey (


(sing along in tune to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”)

Mama, just kicked a man.
There’s a screw loose in my head,
Because I tried to break his leg,

Fergie, the season’s just begun,
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away!

Forlan! Ooh-ooh-ooh,
Makes me want to sigh!
We’d score more goals with Sid James or Kenneth Williams,
Carry On, Camping,
The whole teams just in tatters.

Too late, my crime is done,
Tried to mangle Alfie’s spine,
Now he’s aching all the time,

Goodbye M1ck McCarthy, I’ve got to go,
Got to leave the squad behind, ‘cos I’m a t**t!

Veron! Ooh-ooh-ooh
He doesn’t seem to try,
I sometimes wish he’d never been bought at all.

(guitar solo)
(Opera Section)
I see a little packaged sandwich filled with prawns,

Laurent Blanc! Laurent Blanc!
He’s just slow, old and useless!
Brown & Neville fighting, very very frightening indeed!

Where is Rio? Where is Rio?
Where is Rio? Where is Rio?

Because Laurent’s far too slow! He’s far too slow-ow-ow-ow-ow…
I’m just a head-case, nobody loves me!

He’s just a headcase, walked out on his country!
Spare us the whines from his gaffer if you please!

Here it comes, open goal – Forlan must score.
He will not! No! He’s simply got to score!
He will not, never, ever score!
No! He’s simply got to score!
He will not, never, ever score!
Never ever score, never, ever score, never, ever score…
No no no no no no no!

Oh where is Rio? Where is Rio?
Has he really stubbed his toe?
Beelzebub take the Nevilles from my side, oh please?
Oh please, oh pleeeeeeeaaaase?
(Guitar riff)

So you think that I punch refs and spit in their eyes?
Would I kick Alan Shearer and leave him to die?
Oh baby, Even though I seem crazy,
I’m Roy the Red, rich, thick and madder each year.

(Slow bit)
All the guys I’ve clattered… even poor Alfie!
Now I’ve got a court case… I just want to kick folk, you see?
Tell me where did Mick go?

Thanks to Andrew Barrie, Sefton Owens, Jim Simmons, and Stuart Wells


Recent results from 29 August 2002 to 1 September 2002 inclusive.

1 September 2002

Bolton Wanderers      1 - 0  Aston Villa           22,500
Chelsea               1 - 1  Arsenal               40,037

31 August 2002

Birmingham City       2 - 1  Leeds United          27,164
Manchester City       3 - 1  Everton               34,835
Middlesbrough         1 - 0  Blackburn Rovers      28,270
Sunderland            1 - 1  Manchester United     47,586
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 1  Southampton           35,573
West Bromwich Albion  1 - 0  Fulham                25,461
West Ham United       0 - 2  Charlton Athletic     32,424

League table to 1 September 2002 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Tottenham H.     4  2  0  0  3  1  1  1  0  3  2  3  1  0   6   3   3  10
 2 Arsenal          4  2  0  0  7  2  0  2  0  3  3  2  2  0  10   5   5   8
 3 Liverpool        3  1  0  0  3  0  1  1  0  3  2  2  1  0   6   2   4   7
 4 Leeds United     4  1  0  1  3  1  1  0  1  4  3  2  0  2   7   4   3   6
 5 Chelsea          4  0  2  0  3  3  1  1  0  4  3  1  3  0   7   6   1   6
 6 Charlton Ath.    4  0  0  2  2  4  2  0  0  4  1  2  0  2   6   5   1   6
 7 Manchester City  4  2  0  0  4  1  0  0  2  0  4  2  0  2   4   5  -1   6
 8 Manchester Utd   3  1  0  0  1  0  0  2  0  3  3  1  2  0   4   3   1   5
 9 Middlesbrough    3  1  1  0  3  2  0  1  0  0  0  1  2  0   3   2   1   5
10 Blackburn R.     4  0  2  0  2  2  1  0  1  1  1  1  2  1   3   3   0   5
11 Sunderland       4  0  1  1  1  2  1  1  0  1  0  1  2  1   2   2   0   5
12 Everton          4  0  2  0  3  3  1  0  1  2  3  1  2  1   5   6  -1   5
13 Fulham           3  1  0  0  4  1  0  1  1  2  3  1  1  1   6   4   2   4
14 Birmingham City  4  1  0  1  2  2  0  1  1  1  3  1  1  2   3   5  -2   4
15 Newcastle Utd    2  1  0  0  4  0  0  0  1  0  1  1  0  1   4   1   3   3
16 Aston Villa      4  1  0  1  1  1  0  0  2  0  2  1  0  3   1   3  -2   3
17 Bolton Wndrs     3  1  0  1  2  2  0  0  1  1  4  1  0  2   3   6  -3   3
18 West Brom A.     4  1  0  1  2  3  0  0  2  2  6  1  0  3   4   9  -5   3
19 Southampton      4  0  2  0  1  1  0  0  2  1  5  0  2  2   2   6  -4   2
20 West Ham United  3  0  1  1  2  4  0  0  1  0  4  0  1  2   2   8  -6   1

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.04]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
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Comments concerning this FAQ should be sent to David Warburton using the address:

[1] What are MCIVTA’s publishing 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] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[4] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

[5] Where can I find out about the 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] Where can I find information about our new stadium?

The latest information regarding the progress of our new home can be found at

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

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:

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

[9] What’s the music the teams run out to?

The music we run out to at Maine Road 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 #843