Newsletter #862

Firstly an enormous thanks to James and Sarah for standing in as editor and news reporter respectively.

Tuesday night’s disappointing visit to Wigan sees us out of the Worthington Cup; little consolation in the fact that we are one of several Premiership sides to fall to lower opposition. But we deserved it.

Tonight’s big issue contains Wigan match reports, thanks to Dave, Jonathan and Sarah, Don is back with his news round-up on all things City related, opinion on Kev, Sir Joe and our French boudeur.

The much awaited first derby of the season on Saturday, with both sides approaching the game in a rather subdued fashion. I am reminded of the Chinese saying “revenge is a dish best served cold”, and our dish is nicely chilled. Enjoy the game everyone.

Next game: Manchester United, home, 12.15pm Saturday 9 November 2002 (tv)


General News

Press Rejoices as Anelka (Allegedly) Sulks: The UK’s press were predictably gleeful at the weekend’s news that Le Sulk and Le Boss had finally had a falling out. Anelka had agreed to turn out on Monday in a charity match organised by Laurent Blanc, in aid of the victims of the floods in South West France last month. KK refused the Elk permission, as the game at Wigan was due to take place less than 24 hours later. “Keegan Upsets Anelka … By Picking Him”, gloated the Guardian. On Anelka’s French website, the striker commented that “I can’t go; I’m really upset about it. The explanation is simple – the manager wouldn’t let me go,” said Anelka. “I just want to say to Lolo (Blanc) and all those who organised this match – and to whom I’d said ‘yes’ on the phone – that I’m very sorry. It’s a rare thing for footballers to mobilise themselves like this, to actually do something and to show people that they don’t just think about themselves. Starting with me. But then you have to take the club’s interests into account. Even though I understand their position, it’s still very frustrating.” By the next day, Anelka’s words had changed to “I won’t be able to be there for the benefit game at Nimes and, quite frankly, that p***es me off. But even though I can understand the club’s stance, I have got the hump all the same.” City swiftly denied that there was any kind of falling out between star striker and Boss Man, and KK justified his decision: “I don’t think we are big enough club to start picking and choosing our competitions. We are not in Europe so we have to look at the FA and Worthington Cup as two real opportunities. I have always taken these things seriously and played strong sides.” Of the Anelka comments, KK retorted that “If newspapers keep on making stories up then we’ll just keep on denying them.”

International Blues: Defender Rhys Day has been named in the Wales under-21 squad for their clash in Azerbaijan later this month. The player is expected to be named as captain of the team. Lee Croft meanwhile has had great fun turning out for England under 19s who beat Moldova 9-0. In the game played at Rushden’s Nene Park, Croft scored twice and set up four other goals.

Keane – Is He Appealing? The FA have hardly covered themselves in glory recently. In a week when four of their high profile employees have quit the organisation, the FA then screwed up the deadline for Roy Keane to lodge an appeal against the ban and fine imposed for the assault on Alfie Haaland. Last Friday, English football’s governing body announced that Keane had not lodged an appeal within fourteen days of the tribunal’s decision, then his punishment began immediately. Keane’s team pointed out that they had had a letter from the FA confirming that the fourteen day period began on the date of said letter, namely 24 October. So the Cork Crusher had until November 7 to appeal, and eventually the FA had to “clarify” the situation. Basically Keane did have until today (Thursday) to appeal. A phrase involving p**s ups and breweries comes to mind…

Transfer News and Gossip

For Sale: JR’s Cast-Offs: If you believe all you read in the newspapers, Joe Royle is about to buy nearly half City’s reserve team for his new club, Ipswich Town. This week’s shopping list includes Paul Ritchie, Jeff Whitley, Danny Tiatto (yeah, right), Shaun Goater (double that), and Gerard Wiekens. As Sarah reported last Thursday, the Dutchman is supposed to be the first target of JR. Wiekens’ current manager has publicly denied that he wants the defender to leave. KK stated: “Gerard is really well respected here and we are not seeking for him to go out of the club or anything like that. He is one of those players who covers a lot of areas for us. All I can really say to him is that he has to wait his chance. He has been superb in the reserves for the last two or three games and is a model professional for the youngsters, but that will not satisfy him and I understand that. We have some good centre-backs at this club but I wouldn’t have any qualms about putting Gerard into the side if necessary. He is a great pro and he wants to be playing but he has to be patient.”

Man City Keep Tabs on Wolfsburg Striker Maric: City have been linked this week with VfL Wolfsburg striker Tomislav Maric. Blues’ scouts were reported to be checking out the Croatian international at Wolfburg’s 1-3 defeat to Hansa Rostock over the weekend. It’s suggested that Maric would cost the Blues a mere