Newsletter #864

Another bumper issue with plenty of news on last Saturday’s 3-1 victory from all four corners of the globe.

We have Don’s excellent news round-up (and a happy 1st birthday as news editor, Don) some more great match reports and views, a report on the winning reserves team this week and the open season on Gary (I’ve never lost to City) Neville continues. We’ve also a few requests and a bit of Blue humour.

Back to Maine Road again this weekend where we face a thus far struggling Charlton. We obviously need to consolidate our winning streak and show the detractors out there (including a Manchester based newspaper) that last week was no fluke.

Next game: Charlton Athletic, home, 3pm Saturday 16 November 2002


“Let’s Relive Last Saturday” News

Live Forever: It’s fair to say that Mr. Keegan was rather pleased with Saturday’s annihilation at Maine Road. Keegan said: “Thirteen years is a long time but when Manchester United is your derby match you are not likely to be given anything. I have been involved in some great derby matches over the years but I will remember this one forever. Rio Ferdinand and Laurent Blanc could play against Valencia and Real Madrid but they will not face such a tough time as they did against my two.” His two were the City’s goalscoring duo. “They are completely different, that’s for sure, but they’ve struck up a real understanding and they are a handful for anybody. I was delighted for Shaun today because he had a fitness test on his injured knee at 8.30 this morning. It was a risk to play him because we could have lost him for three or four weeks but he came through it brilliantly and thoroughly deserved his goals.” He said: “I thought the fans were fantastic. It was like going back to the 1970s when I was playing. We thoroughly deserved this victory today. Nobody could begrudge us it. I’m delighted for the fans that we won the last derby in the old stadium. I wrote on the board before the match ‘show determination and show commitment and the crowd will be the 12th man,’ and they responded,” said Keegan. He even offered words of consolation to City’s Man of the Match, Gary Neville. He said: “Gary is a fantastic professional. He must not worry about this because the man who hasn’t made a mistake hasn’t been born yet. Games like this always hinge on a bit of invention or a mistake but I suppose this one will be made bigger.”

Steady Now Kev! After the weekend, KK sounded like he was trying to keep his players grounded; after all, City do have a history of following a great victory with an unexpected defeat. “Saturday was three very good points for us and it takes us up that table. I think we are a better side than our league position has been so far and I have told the players that,” remarked the boss. “But of course points on the board are the only thing that determine how good you are but those were three very big points against Manchester United. I don’t think I will have any problem keeping the players’ feet on the ground. All the players are realists and they know that in this league you have to keep performing every week. We had just been to Wigan and got turned over by a very good side when we didn’t play. But in the derby we played. The last three league games have been good enough for me and I am sure the fans who we play for.” All well and good, but then the headline in the Sun announced “KEEGAN AIMING FOR EUROPE”, and quoted Our Man as saying, “We have the ability to finish on the fringes of Europe if not in it. In the Premiership you have to perform every week, so we have to keep the situation in perspective and see if we can climb higher against Charlton. But Saturday was the best Manchester City performance I have seen as manager. When you play as well as that, you can play anybody. That is the platform from which we must build.”

Goat Does Ton on the Reds: What a way for Shaun Goater to reach his century of goals in City colours. “I’m pleased with getting to the 100 goals landmark. But I’m more pleased with the result because it has put a smile on back one everyone’s face after the cup defeat we suffered at Wigan during the week,” said Goater. “It was a very significant game and such a big occasion for us. We had to give the fans something to smile about. In reality it is only three points but there was a lot more to it because it was Maine Road’s last derby. I was surprised by the amount of opportunities we got, so from that point of view it wasn’t like United. It will take a long time for this to sink in. This was certainly something else.” The Goat gave his opinion on what it’s like to play alongside Nicolas Anelka. “That is the fourth game Nicolas and I have started together in the Premiership and the second that we have both scored in. The communication between us can improve but the formula is there for us to be successful. He is very different from anyone I have played alongside before. He likes to float around, go wide or stay central. But he always thinks like a striker when he passes to you. Sometimes wide men can just throw balls in and expect you to get on the end of them because you play up front. But he is very considerate where he passes to you. He is very much the complete striker to play alongside, because he is so creative and because of the way that he links up play in the middle.”

View From he Boardroom: On Sunday David Bernstein was interviewed on BBC Radio 5, and gave his views on the historic victory. “The fact is we played very, very well to beat a good side. Only a few years ago Manchester United won the treble and we were in the Second Division, yet look what happened on Saturday afternoon. That is progress. We have taken a view to invest and create a team that can compete in the Premiership, one of the toughest leagues in the world. We took a bit of a chance doing that but everything is settling down now and that wisdom is paying off. It’s only three points of course, but they are a significant three points. It was a victory for our magnificent supporters who have been behind us through thick and thin. I have said before that I want Manchester to become the Milan of England with two very successful sides. I am thrilled for the manager because he cares so much. Like everyone on the board he cares about the fans. We have achieved our change in fortunes, winning the last three Premiership matches by adding a bit of steel but not losing creativity.” Two City legends gave their thoughts on the win. Director Dennis Tueart said: “The derby victory was based on a true team performance. You cannot compete with Manchester United in isolation, but solidly as a team unit. Anelka frightened them to death and Shaun Goater did what he does best.” When Colin Bell was asked for his opinion, the great man replied “It doesn’t matter to me who scores so long as they are in a blue shirt. I’m biased, you know! The script was followed on Saturday because it’s right that City win the last derby at Maine Road. It could not be better. We wanted to win the derby more than United; it’s as simple as that. I think we all played well as a team, not as individuals.”

The Engine Room Speaks: Sky Sports’ Man of the Match was Danny Tiatto, who gave a commanding and calm performance from central midfield. It’s been quite a turnaround in Danny’s fortunes, since his red card against Blackburn when he nearly fell through the Maine Road trapdoor with Richard Dunne. Since his return to the team, the Australian has been a model of restraint, while City have won all three League games. “We had a bad performance in midweek, but we forgot that and really concentrated on winning this game,” he commented. “I don’t think anything in the world would have stopped me from playing in this game. I had a good game and really enjoyed it. Everyone gave 120%. Everyone worked their socks off. Everyone grafted really hard and were united together and we are looking forward to the future. This result is the best-ever. It is one of the highlights of my career.” Tiatto’s midfield partner Eyal Berkovic, who also had a decisive influence on Saturday, thinks that City need to build on the good work of the last few weeks. Berkovic said: “Expectations at this club were very high but the manager bought a lot of players in the summer and maybe they have got used to playing with each other. Putting winning runs together is very important. What is the point of winning one match and then losing two or three after that?”

Not a Hump in Sight: There was no mention of Nicolas Anelka “having the hump” on his website this week. Instead, the Elk sounded distinctly chuffed with the derby day happenings. “Beating United 3-1 and winning our third league match on the trot – things are not going badly at the moment. For the city, and for all the fans, we needed to make sure it was a great game, and I think we succeeded. Saturday was just the tops. You don’t beat United every day and the three points moved us up the table. But we mustn’t stop there,” he wrote. “We have to do it all over again against Charlton. The coach didn’t change everything in terms of training during the week. We just worked out as usual and, as for a long time now, I had a good feeling throughout the whole game. And, of course, I scored early.”

Who Are You Calling Rudolph? Did Peter Schmeichel ever play for the Dark side? I’m sure I can’t recall it myself (ahem). City’s veteran ‘keeper certainly played his part in the derby triumph, making a number of saves late on as the Reds tried to score. The Dane’s celebrations at the end of the game belied his Red past, and the result ensured that he’s never been on the losing side in a Manchester derby. He later paid tribute to the crowd. “I am pretty sure if we had played in an empty stadium, we would not have won the game. One of the things that really helps is when you walk through the tunnel and hear and feel the atmosphere. The supporters are great, absolutely fantastic. We can play poor games and they are still behind us, still believing they can help us turn it around. They helped us so much.” Of his former employers, Smikes commented: “It is going to hurt them but at least they don’t have to wait too long for the next game. There is still plenty of quality in that team and they were without David Beckham, Roy Keane and Nicky Butt. You know it isn’t going to take much for them to create a chance to score but I just feel that we had a bit of luck.”

Did I Really Say That? Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course, but Gary Neville must be regretting his pre-derby comments. “I have never been on a United side that lost to City, and can’t think of anything more humiliating. I can’t see it happening… I’ll be there to ensure it doesn’t.” [Thanks to Sarah Longshaw for the quote]. Well Saturday’s Captain Calamity must be feeling a teensy but humiliated following his comical blunder for City’s second goal, and then suffering more humiliation by being substituted early on in the second half. He couldn’t even find the correct place to stand in the tunnel before the match, and had to be ushered to the proper spot by Peter Schmeichel (as seen on Sky TV). Sir Alex even said something that we could all agree with in the run up to the game. “It’s important to the fans first of all, because it’s their life,” Ferguson said. “Some will be going into work on Monday morning jumping for joy, some will be feeling really sick and down. If it’s a draw then both sides will probably be reasonably happy, but it’s about winning, and the supporters play their part.” Wise words, Taggart, wise words.

Red Faced and Silent: Sir Alex Ferguson was left puce with anger by the inept performance of his players. He refused to attend the after match press conference, although he did deign to give his views to TV. For once he launched a tirade in public against his players. “At times like this I wonder if I should open the dressing room door and let the fans tell the players exactly how I feel,” he said. “Quite simply, they have underachieved. They have received a rollicking – and quite rightly so. [It may have been my lager dulled hearing, but I thought Fergie used a word beginning with B that rhymes with ‘rollicking’, but no matter – News Ed.] In big games like this, concentration is the key and ours was poor at times. It was a real kick in the teeth. We work hard to prepare them for games like today and they have let us down. We had chances to pull back but even if we had finished at 3-3, it would have masked our lack of concentration. We will address the situation on the training ground but I am not happy and my staff are not happy. We will get a reaction from this.”

A Final Derby Day Thought…
“Defeat was worse than ’89” Headline in the MUEN on Monday.

General News

Reserves Win Again: On Tuesday evening, the Blues’ second string made it five consecutive league wins, with a 2-1 victory against Birmingham City at Ewen Fields. Birmingham took the lead on 13 minutes but goals by Shaun Wright-Phillips and Darren Huckerby gave City a 2-1 first half lead. Man City: Carlo Nash, Stephen Paisley, Tyrone Loran, Rhys Day, Kevin Horlock, Darren Huckerby, Ali Benarbia, Mattias Vuoso, Joey Barton, Chris Shuker. Subs: Paddy McCarthy, Kevin Ellegaard, Karim Kerkar, Glen Whelan, Gary Browne.

International Call-Ups: Richard Dunne’s return to first team favour has resulted in a recall to the Republic of Ireland squad. The Irish play a friendly in Greece next week. Caretaker boss Don Givens explained that the City defender “deserved a chance” to come back from the international wilderness after being left out of Mick McCarthy’s last two Irish squads due to his lack of first-team football at City. Nicolas Jensen meanwhile has been called up for Denmark to play in a friendly against Poland in Copenhagen on November 20. Shaun Wright-Phillips was named in a 32-man England under-21 training squad for a get-together at Burnham Beeches at the start of next week. There’s still no international for the Elk, however. Nicolas Anelka has been left out of the France squad for next Wednesday’s friendly against Yugoslavia.

Grand Master Kev? I wasn’t sure what to make of this story, which appeared in last Sunday’s Observer newspaper. “CITY’S SECRET – Outing of the week: the latest issue of must-read mag Masonic Quarterly reveals Man City’s United-beating secrets is multiple trouser-lifting. According to MQ, published by the United Grand Lodge of England, the club’s founders were all masons, they adopted pale blue to copy the colour of Freemasonry, Bert Trautmann had “Masonic connections”, five of the six board members in 1964 were masons – they appointed Joe Mercer, who became a mason – as did his captain Tony Book. Current masons include security manager Mike Corbett and honorary president Eric Alexander. Is King Kev a grand master on the side?” All well and good, but if City are beholden to this supposedly secretive and powerful group, how the hell did they allow us to slip into Division Two?

Keane Has No Appeal: Following last week’s procrastination by the FA over appeal deadlines, Roy Keane decided not to contest the FA tribunal’s decision after all. Not that this meant he accepted their decision, of course. His statement read: “I believe that the charges brought against me by the Football Association were not justified and I feel that the evidence and arguments put forward by me and my legal representatives to the Disciplinary Commission were sufficiently strong. Accordingly, I would prefer to have this matter reviewed by way of an appeal. However, I consider that I must put the interests of Manchester United Football Club and my family before my own, and for that reason I have decided not to pursue an appeal against the decision of The Football Association Disciplinary Commission.” Fergie was naturally still defending his enforcer to the last. “There is a legal case Roy could have taken over this and he would have won it,” pronounced Govan’s finest barrack room lawyer. “Roy must have seriously considered an appeal, but I think he has done the right thing – it’s time to move on.” Keano has been vindicated in other matters, however. We now know why his hated prawn sandwich eaters are so quiet at Old Trafford – it’s because 1,800 of their registered season-ticket holders are dead. “Families like to hand the tickets down like heirlooms because they are so valuable,” said a Reds’ spokesman. “We’ll turn a blind eye if they want to update the name on their ticket and go legit.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Striker Wanted: Despite the goalscoring heroics of our front pair on Saturday, the press have linked City with three strikers. The first name mentioned was that of Leeds United’s Robbie Fowler. The Yorkshire club still have massive debts despite the sale of Rio Ferdinand, so Terry Venables will have to sell before he can buy. Fowler, who played for KK during his tenure as England manager, has been plagued by injuries since his £11 million move from Liverpool last November. Sir Alex McTaggart is also said to be in the frame for a bid. The next candidate as a Goat replacer is Tottenham’s Sergei Rebrov. The London club confirmed that the Ukrainian international has been put on the transfer list. Rebrov has indicated that he doesn’t wish to return to his previous club Dynamo Kiev, preferring to stay in the Premiership. He could stay in London, as he was linked with Fulham over the summer. Contender number 3 is Wimbledon striker David Connelly. The Republic of Ireland international is in outstanding form this season and scored four times in the Dons’ 5-3 win against Bradford on Saturday. Apart from City, Bolton, West Brom, Charlton are supposed to be interested.

Cockney Blues? The Daily Star reports that Grand Master Kev will be making a January move for Arsenal’s Matthew Upson. The 23-year-old centre half is currently on loan at First Division Reading, and is in impressive form at the moment. Chelsea’s midfielder Jody Morris has also caught KK’s eye, according to the Sunday Mirror. The England under-21 international is reportedly irked at his lack of regular first team football at Stamford Bridge, although Charlton Athletic are also said to be interested. A spokesman for Morris said: “Jody has become really frustrated with the rotation policy and wants first-team football. He loves Chelsea but can’t stay if nothing changes. Kevin Keegan and Alan Curbishley have both shown an interest, but he doesn’t want to leave London so Charlton looks like the best bet.”

Kettering Triallists: City have invited two youngsters on a week’s trial from a Nationwide Conference side. Michael McKenzie (18) and Luke Pepper (17) will be training with the Blues having each made a handful of appearances for Kettering Town this season. Kettering manager Carl Shutt (a Brian Horton loan signing for City in the 1994-1995 season) stressed the importance of generating money for the club by developing youngsters. “We’ve got to attract as much interest in our players as we can. That’s the situation we find ourselves in. We need to generate income and I’m working towards that.”

Eggen Beggin’ For A Move: Alaves defender Dan Eggen has announced he intends to quit the club in January. The Norway international is frustrated at the lack of action he has seen and is ready to leave the club when the January transfer window opens. City and Bolton have been mentioned as possible interested clubs and Eggen maintains he wants to keep playing at “a level equal to the Spanish Liga”. “I have contact with a pair of agents, one is here in Spain, so we will see what happens when the market is opened,” the 32 year-old centre-half said.

Ex-Blues’ News

Quinny Retires: Niall Quinn has announced his retirement from the game after failing to overcome a long-standing back injury. The 36-year-old target man said his farewells to Sunderland’s fans before the Black Cats’ game with Spurs last weekend. Manager Howard Wilkinson has asked Quinn not to cut his ties with the club and has asked him to stay on in an ambassador’s rôle. Niall became a City player when another Howard, Mr. Kendall, signed him from Arsenal in March 1990 for £800,000. He enjoyed a successful World Cup that summer in Italia ’90, and followed this with his most successful season at the club. In 46 matches he scored 22 goals, and became the first City player since Brian Kidd to top the 20 goals mark. Sadly for Quinn, he was never able to repeat these goalscoring feats as City’s decline ended in relegation from the Premiership in 1996. Quinn subsequently rejoined his former City manager Peter Reid at Sunderland, and formed a successful partnership with Kevin Phillips. Niall did not have the best of ends to his international career, as he became embroiled in the Roy Keane / Mick McCarthy affair in Korea and Japan this summer. Whatever Keano’s opinion of the great man, Niall is sure to be held in great esteem by the supporters of all the sides he played for.

Kennedy’s Comeback: Former winger Mark Kennedy is back in first team action for last season’s rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers after a seven month absence. Kennedy suffered a groin injury, but has played a full part in the last two games for Wolves. He has also earned a recall for the Republic of Ireland for next week’s friendly. Wolves’ boss Dave Jones said that “It is great news for Sparky, especially when it has come so soon after his comeback. We are really pleased for him but his priority is to make sure he is 100% fit and then working his way back into the first team here.” After a poor start, Wolves have begun to turn their season round, and are currently ninth in Division One, three points from a play-off spot.

Squad News

A-Loan Again (Naturally): Pre-derby day, KK was mulling over a recall for Paul Ritchie, following injuries to Steve Howey and Sylvain Distin. In the end, the Boss Man decided against it. “At the start of the season we probably had five or six players ahead of Paul Ritchie so he couldn’t get games,” he explained. “We loaned him to Portsmouth for three months and he won’t come back until that time is up at Christmas and we insisted on that. We have just been hit in that area but even playing with three at the back we have the cover. Jihai Sun who had moved to right wing back can play in the back three, Gerard Wiekens did well on Tuesday night as did Richard Dunne.” It’s been announced today (Thursday) that Ritchie’s loan spell at Portsmouth has ended because of torn stomach muscles. He will be out until Christmas. Elsewhere, captain Ratter played the full 90 minutes of Notts County’s 2-2 draw with Mansfield at Meadow Lane, and left-back Steve Jordan was an unused substitute for Cambridge in their 3-1 defeat at Shrewsbury. Terry Dunfield meanwhile has also had to return to Maine Road, after damaging his shoulder playing for Bury in last week’s Worthington Cup defeat at Fulham.

Footloose and Fancy Free: There’s better news of Steve Howey’s foot injury. He has not suffered a fracture, so his recovery time should be shorter than was first thought. City physio Rob Harris explained that Howey appears to have suffered only ligament damage. “Nothing was showing on the X-ray that Steve had, so we are sending him for a scan to confirm our diagnosis. It looks to us like a ligament injury between the joint, which is similar to the problem he had last season.” City will still be without Sylvain Distin for Saturday’s visit by Charlton Athletic but Eyal Berkovic (cramp) and Danny Tiatto (ankle) are expected to be fit.

Defensive Duo Shine: Two of City’s derby day heroes have been talking of their frustrations at not seeing much first team action this season. Gerard Wiekens and Lucien Mettomo have been fringe players this season, but formed an impressive defensive unit last Saturday with Richard Dunne. It was the first start of the season for Wiekens, who has revealed how close he has come to looking elsewhere for first team action. “I had to form a relationship with Lucien Mettomo very quickly but he is a good player and he is in the same situation as I am,” explained the Dutchman. “We have a big squad and it was proved with the injuries before the derby that we needed it. But it is not nice when everyone is fit and you are not in the side, it has not been a great situation for me. I have been very down about it. For the first two or three games you think the situation will change, but when it is twelve games in a row you start thinking things may not change and that you will have to look for something else. But football is so unpredictable, the situation can change within a day and you can see how that happened for the derby. Now I want to play for a while.” The defender played superbly in quelling the threat from countryman Ruud Van Nistelrooy. “I played against Van Nistelrooy several years ago in Holland and came out on top then. I am used to it now and it was great to do it in the derby and get those three points,” he concluded. Lucien Mettomo also showed that he is ready to face the challenge of Premiership football. The Cameroonian international commented “I have just tried to do my best. I was getting frustrated and concerned as I had not played in the first team this season. But you have to remember that I am not in this club for just two games but for four years and I hope to get my chance to play again. I had to watch the team perhaps for too long but that is something which happens in your career at times. You have to keep your mind open and concentrate because you just don’t know when you may be called on. You have to stay fit as well and I have always tried to do that. I know how to keep myself fit and sometimes when you are called into a game like the derby then you have to do the simple thing well.”

Don Barrie (


City’s second string replicated the first team by beating both West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City in successive matches. This was also City’s fifth consecutive win in the Premier Reserve League and temporarily advances them to the top of the league. City came from one nil down early on in the first half to win by goals from Shaun Wright-Phillips and a Darren Huckerby deflected shot. The game also saw the reserve début of Ali Benarbia after his troubled times in the first team.

On paper City looked to have the more experience and quality but the match was far more even than the form should suggest. So much so that Birmingham took the lead on thirteen minutes. City had most of the possession in this opening spell but never really looked like threatening Ian Bennett in goal. Birmingham’s goal came from a midfield pass, which Tyrone Loran failed to deal with and which young, pacey forward, Craig Fagan, latched on to and ran towards goal. He rounded Nash, who tried in vain to reach the ball but only saw it hit the back of the net and silence the City faithful.

After this setback, City yet again controlled the lion’s share of possession, which allowed Benarbia to find his feet a bit better and City to create some more scoring opportunities of their own. City were unlucky not to have equalised on twenty two minutes after winning a corner. The ball was not cleared and Loran’s shot was deflected just over the bar.

Wright-Phillips was beginning to show glimpses of last year’s form again, with runs at Birmingham’s defence. It was one of these runs that led to him scoring our equaliser. Shaun passed to Ali on the edge of the area; he then directed the ball back to Joey Barton who returned the ball back to Shaun, who was unmarked on the edge of the area. He sent a beautiful first time shot with the outside of his boot past a bemused Bennett and into the top corner. Just minutes earlier the ref had decided to book Shaun for strangely winning the ball in a fifty fifty tackle; he obviously took out his revenge on Birmingham to score a sweet goal, or should that be Sweep.

The referee appeared to be a bit card happy, when he proceeded to book both Chris Shuker and Tresor Luntala for bringing out their handbags. Shortly before half time a deflected clearance from Birmingham led to City winning a corner. Huckerby stepped up to take it. It wasn’t the best of corners but Birmingham failed to clear the ball when Benarbia tackled the ball away to Joey Barton who then passed to Huckerby. He ran back into the box and fired a shot goalwards. Unfortunately for Bennett, who had the original shot covered, the ball squeezed past him at the near post when it was deflected off Bryan Hughes. City nearly let Birmingham back in when just minutes later in first half injury time, a downward header from Sonny Parker fortunately bounced over the bar.

Most of the second half was more of a non-event for City as they failed to create any real chances. The chances fell mainly to Birmingham as Carlo Nash tried his best to convince the crowd that he was in the wrong profession, more suited to working in a Big Top. These antics led to a goal line clearance from Stephen Paisley and a dreadful open goal miss by Tony Capaldi. In the last minutes of the game we saw an acrobatic effort on goal by substitute Karim Kerkar and Capaldi half making up for his dreadful miss by clearing Gary Browne’s shot off the line.

It could never be described as a classic but City will not care as they grabbed all three points and with it, top place in the league until Aston Villa, Leeds and Sunderland have played. We saw Benarbia play the full ninety minutes of a reserve game but unfortunately for City, he did not show any of last season’s form nor do enough to challenge for his first team place again.

Nash: Has he been spending time with Barthez? 5
SWP: Starting to show some decent form again and a peach of a goal. MoM 8
Paisley: Played competently without starring. 7
Loran (Capt): At fault for the first goal, but otherwise a reasonable display. 6
Day: Never really imposed himself in the game. 6
Horlock: Needs to be more alert and quicker of thought. 6
Huckerby (66): Keeps running as always, marked up for the goal. 7
Benarbia: Painful to watch last season’s PoY showing no form. 6
Vuoso (66): Did very little all match. 5
Barton: Ran SWP close for MoM, he held up the midfield well. 8
Shuker: Needs to go out on loan to see more development. 7

Kerkar (66): Got involved in the game quite well. 6
Browne (66): Played his part up front. 6

Not Used: Ellegaard, McCarthy, Whelan.

Bennett, Luntala, Capaldi, Carter (Alsop 37), Parker, Hutchinson, Grondin, Hughes, Fagan, Kirovski (Barrowman 71), Evans.

Attn: 627

Gavin Cooper (


It’s not often I don’t know how to start a match report. Usually there’s a sentence that leaps into my head as soon as I sit down to start typing. I thought the same would be the case today – surely there would be many, many suggestions proceeding from my heat oppressed brain (to misquote Shakespeare really badly). Strangely though, the only thought that keeps popping in there is “ha ha ha Gary Neville ha ha ha ha ha ha ha”. So I may as well start with that. Ha ha ha Gary Neville ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

With Wiekens and Mettomo in for the injured Howey and Dustbin (as a Geordie mate at work keeps calling him), City’s full line up was Schmeichel, Sun, Wiekens, Mettomo, Dunne, Jensen, Foe, Berkovic, Tiatto, Goat and Elk. United (ha ha ha) had Barthez, Neville G. and Neville P. in their “team” and that’s as much as you need to know for now.

I felt physically sick at the start of the game – too many painful memories of too many other recent games again them are still too vivid. 2-0 up at half time only to lose to Cantona, 3-1 up with a few minutes to go only to draw, cr@p refereeing giving them a penalty in the Cup a couple of years back, the cheating diving gits hurling themselves to the floor and winning a free kick just outside the box for them to win the last time we played them at Maine Road… The atmosphere was electric, which must have helped the players but which did nothing for my own piece of mind (or my churning stomach) as every time I started to calm down slightly the crowd got me going again. Neville the elder (the slightly less ugly one) in particular got a rousing – if not particularly positive – reception every time he touched the ball. And within five minutes we were leading. Neville the younger and uglier played a (shall I be nice and call it “loose”? Nah) frankly cr*p ball from midfield backwards towards Ferdinand, who was outskilled and outpaced (and not for the first or last time) by the Elk.

He ran goalwards before crossing to his left to the onrushing Goat, who shot goalwards. Barthez was completely deceived by the lack of power on the shot and could only parry it to his left for the Elk to calmly knock it into the net, leaving Ferdinand (how much?) on his backside on the line in the process. Nice. Maine Road went bonkers. Could it really be that today would be the day that we’d finally sock one (or preferably several) to them? Could we hold on for the rest of the match? Don’t be silly.

Within four minutes they were level. Despite a great intercepting tackle from Wiekens, who was already having a great game, the ball fell kindly for Giggs (spit pah bleurgh) to cross to the little Norwegian squirt to knock it in the net. Maybe Mettomo could have done more to stop him having the chance of a shot but really it was just unlucky. For the next 10 minutes we saw the sort of performance from City that they’d put in against Wigan and Southampton. I lost count of the number of times we gave the ball away in midfield. Someone – and you can pick any of the back five here – would do really well to dispossess whichever United player was f**ting around with it at the time but then would just pass it to a United player, and back it would come. My heart began to sink – had we really gone ahead so early only to watch an all too familiar second rate performance? Well yes – but in the end the second rate performance didn’t come from City. Oh no no no Mr Neville, for you were playing and all other mistakes pale into insignificance compared to what you did next.

Foe played a hopeful and not very good ball from midfield towards the United goal line, and our mate Gary ran towards it with the – admittedly sensible – idea of shepherding it out for a goal kick. All well so far. Except that there wasn’t enough momentum behind the ball to carry it over the line. Now what any defender worth their England shirt would surely do at that point, with no backup from anyone else in his team on the horizon, is turn away from goal and welly it – either conceding a corner or preferably a throw in. Not wor Gazza. The twit decided to turn towards goal to knock it towards Barthez, who could then presumably clear it upfield. Ah. Except that the aforementioned England quality defender (ha!) hadn’t realised that the Goat was standing right next to him. On his right. So closer to the goal. So able to collect the ball, run a few feet towards the penalty spot to get a better angle and shoot it past Barthez into the net. 2-1, heaven.

Neville had a slightly different reaction after that from the crowd every time he touched the ball as the level of cheers for each touch he took must have been close to the level of noise from when Goat scored! I know some players – Owen amongst them – claim they don’t hear the crowd noise when they are playing, but there’s no way our man of the match Gary didn’t hear some of what was sung at him after that. Gary Neville fed the Goat was the least of it – he never did give us a wave though.

We dominated after that. The poor passing in midfield came from United rather than from us. Tiatto in particular was having a marvellous game – I heard that from the TV coverage later he didn’t give the ball away or lose possession once, and I can believe it. On the odd occasion that the ball did get through to Van Nistelrooy up front Wiekens was always there to take the ball away from him, more than ably assisted by the Dunnymonster. Van Nistelrooy is a fantastic player by the way, shame he spoils it by diving so shamelessly so often. Rösler got sent off once for doing less than he did on Saturday.

Anelka should have made it 3-1 when set free by the Goat with a wonderful defence splitting ball but could only hit the ball at Barthez. Just before half time Goater had a chance that was almost as good but which skidded agonisingly wide of the left hand post. The half lasted about 3 hours but eventually – and despite the three minutes time added on that Durkin had found from nowhere – we went in at half time in front.

Would I have taken a draw at this point? Too right I would. I wasn’t going to get one though. We could have gone further ahead almost straight from the restart, when a cross from Berkovic reached Elk in the penalty area, but his knock on was agonisingly too far in front for Goater to reach. It didn’t matter though, as just after that Goater did get his hundredth for the club. What a lovely goal it was too. My own favourite of the three has to be our second (thanks Gary) but this was the best for football if not comedy value. Jensen put a pin point cross into the path of Foe who knocked it on to Berkovic, who then hit it with his first touch straight to Goater. He knocked it slightly to his right to take it away from the defender (was it Gary? not sure but I hope so) before lifting it into the net like the classy striker that Anelka is. Brilliant. What a surreal moment though, it was only at this point that I really did begin to think we might win this game.

United then started to push forwards – as you’d expect a team that was two goals down to do. Wiekens neatly took the ball off Van Nistelrooy in the area (who dived, of course) to remove the danger from one chance. Schmeichel then saved well from a Giggs chance. We should have had a penalty when Barthez clearly fouled Anelka in the box, only for Durkin to give a free kick against Goater for being in the area at the same time as O’Shea. O’Shea had come on for the (I like this word) hapless Gary Neville, who still wouldn’t give us a wave, and ably stepped into Gary’s size 10s. Veron – was he playing? apparently so – was also replaced by Forlorn, who showed us again why he’s been so prolific since United bought him. Schmeichel saved a point blank shot from (I think) Giggs, which Mettomo cleared for a corner, then again from a great header from the Norwegian squirt which he held on the line. Berkovic was replaced by SWP with 12 minutes to go, but the second funniest moment of the match was yet to come.

Schmeichel came out for a corner, which – for the only time in the game – he completely missed. The ball fell to Solskjaer on the left of goal, who turned and drove the ball back along the line. With Schmeichel still nowhere to be seen and the three defenders on the line looking on despairingly O’Shea stepped up to take his moment of glory and score the easiest chance of the day in his first derby game… only to knock the ball high and wide. Remember Goat’s miss against West Brom? Remember Foe’s against Arsenal? This was worse. Shocker. Summed up the day nicely.

That was about it really. Van Nistelrooy finally managed to con the ref into giving him a free kick outside the area after a great tackle by Dunne but got precisely what he deserved, i.e. nowt. There was still plenty of time for a few rousing choruses of “can we play you every week?” but that was it. Over. The final league derby to be held at Maine Road, deservedly and comprehensively won by City. Oh how sweet that still looks. The journey home took about 15 minutes, not bad for 200 miles.

Man of the match – well at the ground it was given to the Goat but only so they could play “who let the goat out” over the tannoy, which by the way only worked for the last ten minutes of the game. I’d probably have given it to either Tiatto – who showed that he can play with a good level of aggression without needing to just kick people – or to Wiekens, who had a corker.

Full marks to the person who rang in GMR asking to give it to Gary Neville though, it will be a long time before he lives that one down. Good.

Sharon Hargreaves


I have been very subdued since the Wigan débâcle and, towards the back end of the week, had started to steel myself against the awful probability of a drubbing at the hands of the Swamp Dwellers, stockpiling ‘reasons why’, like the absence of speedy, silky Sylvain, currently my fave City player. Yet as I strode into Mary Macs on the stroke of twelve, confidence had started to flood back. By kick-off I just knew somehow we were going to win. Can’t explain why – didn’t see any magpies, Heidi.

It’s not a bad pub – two screens, a big one on the back wall and a ‘normal’ one viewable by those fortunate enough to get a seat at the bar. The pint is a good one and, unusual for Dublin, the place isn’t draped with Rags or Rag memorabilia. The sole creature gestating from the foul-smelling slime was some way to the right of me. Noisy, greasy pated and fat – very fat – arms like York hams, festooned with badly drawn tattoos and worse, he drank Budweiser!

The teams lined up in the tunnel. Bluedolph ambled up and down exchanging pleasantries with his old team mates. Giggs and Scholes seemed pleased to see him. Gary Neville scowled at him; what a miserable git he is, I thought. St. Nic chatted with Blanc and Barthez. Without the brooding black cloud presence of Keane, Nazi stormtrooper crossed with playground bully, it all seemed relatively civilized; maybe we’d have a game of football, with the Blues edging it 4-3.

City seemed up for it from the off, immediately feeding the ball out to the right for Sun to make what’s now become one of his trademark runs into midfield. For the first five minutes we were camped in their half and then The Goat sneaks in and tests Baldy Frog. Not much of a shot really, though enough to get one on target this early. But Baldy can’t get hold, he pushes it away. A defender (Sylvestre? Ferdinand?) does a half-decent impression of a Catherine wheel in full rotation but fails to connect with the ball, leaving St. Nic a tap-in which he accepts gleefully. Of course in true City fashion we throw it away. Giggs gets his one decent cross in of the afternoon. Lucy, I think gets caught in two minds, he knows Solskaer’s made the run but doesn’t quite know where he is. Should he attack the ball or mark the man? Unfortunately the midfielder who started to track back didn’t come the whole way. Anyhow it’s 1-1 but the way we’re playing we’re going to come good sooner or later. We soak up a bit of pressure, no bother. Gerard, Lucy and the new thin Pie Man are looking pretty assured and in front of them Danny’s keeping his cool and playing out of his skin. Jensen’s made a sound start and I’m glad for him (he was great last season, we shouldn’t write him off). Foe was getting stuck in, some crunching, telling tackles going in.

The Filth are very short of shots despite their pretty pattern-weaving. Then we start to come back at them. Foe wafts a big overhit cross towards the corner flag. He’s running back into our half, hand up, saying whatever the Cameroonian for “Sorry!” is and one of the Neville sisters, the gobs***e one, is on the ball, with about 3 years start on The Goat. You can hear the primitive gears in what passes for a brain grinding. Smart guy our Gary. He doesn’t do the bl**ding obvious like whack it into The Shere Khan’s backyard. No, he turns, slowly, like the QE2 without tugs, winds up his foot to pass back to Baldy. But the Goat’s arrived, looking for Number 100 and the rest is history. Really cool, cute shot though, from a very narrow angle, not easy, despite the gift of possession.

It’s all City now and we painstakingly take them apart. Eyal pops up everywhere and the front two never stop running. Foe nearly gets one with his best header of the season. Eyup, Nic’s through. Baldy makes a genuinely smart save though – pity; had we gone in 3-1 I believe it would have been a total rout in the second half.

At half time I round up half a dozen Blue converts, Irish and Aussies who are up for the afternoon’s rugby international and we give Tattoos a rousing chorus of “Feed The Goat”. He’s looking well depressed. We start again and in no time at all Jensen jumps in to intercept a wild clearance from the other Neville sister, gets a return ball from Foe and drops a pinpoint cross on Eyal’s toe. A brilliant pass between the central pair of frozen statues for The Goat who’s raced into the gap. He collects it and lobs it coolly over the advancing Barthez. Another chorus. Fatty Tattoos bites the neck off his bottle of Bud.

Found out at half time that one of the Aussies is a Smiths head so we give Fatty a blast of our new song “Ferd’nand in a coma, I know, I know, it’s serious”. By now the Rags are attempting a damage limitation exercise but our heroes are having none of it. Lucy, Gerard, Danny, Foe, Dunny, Sun and even Jensen tackling like ten and if anything gets past – Goat, St.Nic and even Eyal are tracking back. If anything gets past, Capn Bluedolph saves with contemptuous ease – no closet Rag, he. Von Ribbentrop is diving like a squadron of the Luftwaffe – must be the presence of Bert that’s inspired him. The ref, too, is playing a blinder apart from refusing us a penalty – but even that on the replay evidence seemed fair enough. He should have booked Von R and Philly Neville though. I was really amazed Danny hadn’t taken someone’s head off by now – respect, both to him and King Kev. The only two Rags worth their wages so far are Solskjaer who looks dangerous and Scholes who’s working hard but to no avail because everywhere he goes up pops Danny or Foe to close him down. By this time The World’s Best Midfielder had been taken off, replaced by Forlorn Diego The Goal Machine. Time ticks away and at the death Schmeics gives us another reminder why KK bought him with a superb diving save and O’Shea, who looked to have a bit more of a clue than either Ferdy or Blanc, misses one my granddaughter or Lee Badbuy would have scored. Well, maybe not Lee Badbuy. Whatever, it would have been too late to make a difference.

That’s it. “So sorry Fatty, I really am. Nice Tattoo for a Rag, though.” With that I down my pint and stroll back up The Merrion Road singing Feed the Goat to a bemused rugby crowd. Back home that night, ensconced with a generous dram of Green Spot I watch Fergie on TV. His face is the colour of a West Ham shirt and he appears to have a whole black pudding stuck in his windpipe. He gets a few guttural words out with extreme difficulty. The only one I can make out is “b$ll%cking”.

This is as good as it gets.

Ernie Whalley (


In the narrow defeat at Maine Road two seasons ago, Gary Neville rather arrogantly dismissed City’s performance as ‘huffing and puffing’.

On Saturday we huffed and we puffed and we blew their house down.

Piggy no. 1 – Juan Sebastian Veron, a £28 million steal from Lazio showed why he’s such a favourite with the Old Trafford faithful. It was the way he controlled the midfield area, he harried and chased down every ball and his beautiful, incisive passing was a joy to behold. Oops! wrong man; I was of course referring to the combined talents of Berkovic and Tiatto, who cost this wonderful club of ours less than £2 million.

Piggy no. 2 – Ruud Van Nistelrooy. Much can be said about one of the world’s best strikers but as time is of the essence I’ll go with moaning, diving, cheating bar steward.

Piggy no. 3 – Gary Neville. I’m in awe of Gary. A man who epitomises everything that United stand for.

Focused – Well that’s the way the Sky commentator described him after he blanked Peter Schmeichel in the tunnel. What an ass!

Confident – He said that he had never been on the losing side in a derby and hoped to go through his whole career with the record intact – Oh dear!

Arrogant – Whilst in his own penalty area he tried to pass the ball back to his ‘keeper by nutmegging Goater. What a star!

Saturday was one of the best days of my life. The atmosphere was electric, the football was excellent and our players were a credit to the shirt.

Goater looked a Premiership player.
Anelka is just class.
Tiatto showed controlled aggression.
Berkovic was superb.
Wiekens, Mettomo, Sun and Dunne were outstanding.
Foe and Jensen were solid and both played a part in two of our goals.
As for Schmeichel, he was immense.

Went to work on Monday, didn’t say anything to the Red on our floor, didn’t even make eye contact.

But he was hurting; the following day he asked me why I’ve not given him a hard time, to which I replied “I never gloat in victory or throw a hissy fit in defeat” and I walked away with my head held high.

Gosh, I felt superior!

Averil Capes (


Won’t offer a full match report because others will have done it better, just some thoughts from a quick trip across the ocean to see City win last weekend.

Friday, a wet and windy Manchester, turned up at Maine Road’s front entrance to get pictures with the Championship trophy. “Take it upstairs and just bring it back when you’re done” they said, and for 20 minutes we were able to hold it, hug it, love it, roll around on the floor with it, no one bothered us at all except to offer to take photos. MCFC want supporters to be able to do this kind of thing and I was amazed they were so easy-going about it. After that the weather got the better of ideas about going to see Trautmann signing memorabilia in the First Advice shop in the city centre – if anyone reading this went, was it a zoo there or did everyone get to see him?

Saturday, 5 a.m., woke up with a dream that Goater scored in front of the North Stand and that a Rag supporter ran onto the pitch when they were getting beaten and had a go at SWP who turned and knocked the fat sod out with an uppercut, to the cheers of the Kippax. Well, part of it came true, probably the better part of it.

Noon kick-offs are strange, just doesn’t feel right. U****d had the ball for the first couple of minutes and the noise was deafening, the chorus of whistles and boos and abuse they were getting certainly let them know they weren’t well liked. Then another kind of noise when Anelka scored. As soon as United kicked off again I was thinking “now concentrate, don’t let them back in” but City have always been a team to give up a lead and sure enough it was soon 1-1. Thought there was a tackle from behind that won them possession in the move leading up to it, good ball in from Danny Wilson’s boy but Mettomo seemed to watch it float by him and Solshkjkjaar doesn’t miss those. Bit of a commotion followed when a Rag in the front row of “J” block Main Stand celebrated the goal and was promptly dragged out by the stewards, a bit white-faced as there were half a dozen City fans around him not taking much heed of the sign about refraining from foul & abusive language.

After that it seemed to go a bit flat and I got worried; Scholes was dictating a lot of the play and it only seemed a matter of time before they scored again, with City just pumping long balls forward. But it was from one of those that City went ahead again; no danger, nothing in it, so I was opening the programme and unwrapping the mars bar when everyone’s on their feet and Goater’s poking the ball past Barthez. How it wasn’t 3-1 by half-time I will never know, Anelka probably had too much time when through on goal and Goater was just wide but the interval came at 2-1 and with it the thought that United had come back well in the second half a few times already this season.

Early in the second half and right in front of us those nerves were eased by the Goat’s second; great stabbed pass on to him by Berkovic and then Shaun who people (includimg me) have always said has a poor first touch took it nicely away from the defender and dinked it over Barthez. And the video shows that he meant to do exactly that!

Not really worried after that; this was a poor United side and City should have scored again. A fourth would have been nice just to let the crowd release its tension earlier than it did, but then they let the Rags know the score at full volume and it was nice that they all had to stay behind and listen to the singing.

Have just seen in the programme that KK says he probably won’t have two playmakers in the side again, so where does that leave Ali, and Kerkar too? Problem, that. Still, great weekend away. The Rag on security at Manchester airport on the way back made a snide comment about “don’t like your scarf.” I should have said “don’t like your team” but wasn’t quick enough, but that couldn’t spoil things at all.

Finally, it’s a mystery to me why the new “third kit” is such a hot item, maroon with white stripes, when the identical 1956 Cup Final shirt has been on sale for years and all the new one has is the addition of the current sponsor’s name.

Anyway, well done City!

Ken Corfield (


Top ten points of the Manc Derby as seen live on telly through the eyes of an exile in the United Starbucks (& Pizza Hut, McDonalds etc.) of America.

  1. First and most important point, magnificent! The match, the performance and(obviously, duh!) the result.
  2. Give the other lot some credit here, they were not rolling over like someof their apologists would like to pretend. They simply came up against abetter, hungrier eleven on the day.
  3. A good, clean match it truly was. Considering the tension, it was a verywell-played game. Admittedly they had Butt & Keane out, but our Danny playedhis well-behaved best.
  4. The only person who tried to spoil the show was that diving cheat, “HamFistleroy”.
  5. Perhaps this should have been point no. 2. but what a superbly tenaciousperformance it was by our defence. Considering all the – sometimes deserved -criticism they have had, it must be said that our back line snapped at heelsand hung on like their lives were at stake.
  6. There is no rule six! (and I apologise to anyone unfamiliar withMonty Python on this one).
  7. One of my favourite moments was seeing the reaction of the security blokesafter the first goal. Rather than protect Anelka from the crowd you canactually watch them diving all over him themselves with the rest of the frontrow trying to muscle in.
  8. The Goat. What a wonderful servant of City he has been (are you watchingSalford?). Given the number of misfits, smug gits, prima donnas, also-rans, andevery other non-fitting lesser player than Shaun around the league, it isamazing for us that this bloke has been so quietly loyal and it is also a joyto see his temperament pay dividends.
  9. A small but nice slice of revenge for KK after he saw his side robbed ofthe title not so much by the signing of Rodney Marsh… erm, I mean FaustinoAsprilla, but much more to do with the somewhere between 15-20 extra pointsthe various refs awarded the Rags (not to mention a free ride to the FA CupFinal) that particularly unjust season.
  10. I miss being back there. And you lot of wonderful folks/fans really drivethat fact home.

Steve O’Brien (


For the first time in several weeks I’m really looking forward to the next edition of MCIVTA. I’ve become a little cheesed off in recent weeks with the moaners; less than a third of the way through the season and they’re off.

Firstly Nicolas Anelka – what’s this all about then? It’s not too long ago that our striker options came from Barry Conlon, Danny Allsop or Gareth Taylor and that’s not meant to be disrespectful to any of those players, more a comparison of quality and so far Anelka has shown quality in both skill and work rate. I just don’t know what some people expect.

Secondly Kevin Keegan – last season he brought along a style of play not seen at Maine Road for many years. This season he has tried to maintain that style and I, and many other people, applaud that. He had to try it and he had to be given the time to try it and he has obviously come to the conclusion we cannot keep being told that we are one of the best footballing sides in the Premiership whilst dropping points. He has changed his tactics to halt the situation and it has succeeded; so much for his tactical naïvete.

The David Bernstein/Kevin Keegan partnership is the long-term future for this club; with their vision, skill and enthusiasm things look rosy. I trust their judgement, I wish other people would.

Perhaps the result on Saturday (Yes!) will quieten the snipers down for a while and I’ll love it, really love it when, not if, DB and KK put some silverware in the cabinet.

Dave Sterrett (


My husband and I were lucky enough to have seats to witness the local derby last Saturday, and what a day it turned out to be. As the parents of Chris Killen we have enjoyed many a spectacle at Maine Road but this had to be the best of them all (despite the fact that Chris can no longer pull on an MCFC shirt). We have been resident in Manchester for the past 18 months but are returning to NZ at the end of this year.

Your fans have to be up with the best we have witnessed during our stay and although our allegiance is now with Oldham we are still very much supporters of City. Last Saturday’s game will probably be the last we will see at Maine Road so thank you for the magic of Maine Road. We both wish City the best of luck for the rest of the season and look forward to seeing them playing at the new stadium on future visits to Manchester. [Not a bad game to finish on Gaynor! All the best to Chris and Oldham – Ed]

Gaynor Killen (


‘Melbourne Blues’, Australia, sends congratulations to everyone across the world for the great win in our derby. I would also like to thank very much those supporters from other countries who visited us for the derby and say thank you for the lovely and funny conversations as if we were long lost friends (yet we had never met).

‘Melbourne Blues’ now has its new ‘home-ground’ at the Old Colonial Inn, 127 Brunswick St., Fitzroy. We will be meeting there regularly with the view of building up a good rock foundation to bring our supporters closer together in a very friendly relaxed environment.

Look forward to seeing any City supporters attend our get-togethers; please email me and let me know if you are coming for placement purposes. Thank you to the other States in Australia who were very co-operative and helpful so that everyone across Australia had a great time and brought us just that little bit closer.

Thank you, Judi-Ann Leggetts – MCFC SC ISC Melbourne contact (


Nicolas Anelka clearly needs his own song. What about the following words to the tune of “My Blue Heaven”?

City and me,
Anelka makes three,
We’re happy in My Blue Heaven

John Ogden (


Further to my post yesterday about the new City footy management game, I’ve since found out that it goes on sale tomorrow afternoon at the club shop – and not the weekend as it says on the official site.

I’ve also heard that the new Champ Manager game has slipped by a month or two as well, which is even more reason for me to buy this in the meantime! : )

Chris Dolman (


Nice to see on a poll from one of the Manchester United websites that Neville Mk I was streets ahead on 89.5% of the vote.

Steve Toews (

Great picture of Man of the Match (MEN website) Gary Neville at

Mark Bailey (


There is a very good review of last Saturday’s Blue Murder at; enter England then look for The Insider.

Same again for Charlton hopefully.

Tony Winstanley (


With regard to Peter Birbeck’s request for an ‘update’ as to how my ticket complaint progressed, the City Ticket Office manager, Nathan Gould, responded to my letter of complaint straight away and has agreed a refund for the full value of the two tickets. He has arranged the refund to me regardless of whether City get the £38 back from West Brom.

So somebody in the ticket office has some customer service skills at least.

Richard Ellor (


I was all sat down ready to watch the derby, and what a game it was! However, my video recorder did not work!

This did not cause a problem as it would be repeated; all sky matches are. However, this one wasn’t.

I’m looking for someone with a copy of the derby game on video that I can borrow/have. I would really appreciate it.

Jamie Cavanagh (


Has anyone got 2 spare tickets for the Middlesbrough game at the Riverside on the 23rd November? Am able to arrange pickup whenever. Please call (07736) 035984.

Thanks, David Ford (


I have some digital photos of the new stadium. If anyone would like to see how things are progressing, you can email me direct for copies.

Neil Hastings (


Can anyone help me out with a ticket for the Bolton game?

C M Hynes (


Q. Why did Gary Neville cross the road?
A. To play for the other side!

Boom boom!

Richard Stoodley (


David Beckham decides to try horseback riding, even though he has had no lessons or prior experience. He mounts the horse unassisted and the horse immediately springs into motion. It gallops along at a steady, rhythmic pace as Posh stands back in admiration, but then he begins to slip from the saddle. In terror he grabs the horse’s mane, but cannot seem to get a firm grip. He tries to throw his arms around the horse’s neck but he slides down the side of the horse anyway. The horse gallops along, seemingly unaware of its slipping rider. Finally, he gives up his frail grasp and he attempts to leap away from the horse and throw himself to safety. Unfortunately, his foot has become entangled in the stirrup; he is now at the mercy of the horse’s pounding hooves as his head is struck against the ground over and over again. Posh stands there frantic, unable to do anything to help as his head is battered against the ground. He is mere moments away from unconsciousness, perhaps death, when to his great fortune… the Sainsbury’s security guard sees him, leans over, and unplugs the horse.

CTID, Colin Bateman (


League table to 13 November 2002 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Liverpool       13  5  2  0 14  5  4  1  1 10  5  9  3  1  24  10  14  30
 2 Arsenal         13  6  0  1 16  7  3  2  1 12  6  9  2  2  28  13  15  29
 3 Chelsea         13  3  2  1 13  6  3  3  1 10  6  6  5  2  23  12  11  23
 4 Everton         13  4  2  0 10  5  3  0  4  6 10  7  2  4  16  15   1  23
 5 Manchester Utd  13  5  1  1  9  3  1  3  2  8  9  6  4  3  17  12   5  22
 6 Middlesbrough   13  5  2  0 12  4  1  1  4  4  6  6  3  4  16  10   6  21
 7 Blackburn R.    13  2  3  2 11  9  3  2  1  8  5  5  5  3  19  14   5  20
 8 Tottenham H.    13  4  1  1  9  7  2  1  4  8 11  6  2  5  17  18  -1  20
 9 Newcastle Utd   12  5  0  1 12  4  1  1  4  6 12  6  1  5  18  16   2  19
10 Leeds United    13  2  0  4  5  7  3  2  2 12  9  5  2  6  17  16   1  17
11 Southampton     13  3  4  0  9  4  1  1  4  4  9  4  5  4  13  13   0  17
12 Manchester City 13  3  1  2  9 10  2  1  4  5  9  5  2  6  14  19  -5  17
13 Fulham          13  3  2  2  9  6  1  1  4  8 12  4  3  6  17  18  -1  15
14 Aston Villa     13  4  1  2  9  5  0  2  4  1  7  4  3  6  10  12  -2  15
15 Birmingham City 13  3  0  3  8  7  1  3  3  6 11  4  3  6  14  18  -4  15
16 Sunderland      13  2  1  3  4  6  1  3  3  4 10  3  4  6   8  16  -8  13
17 Charlton Ath.   13  1  1  4  5 11  2  1  4  5  7  3  2  8  10  18  -8  11
18 West Ham United 13  0  2  5  6 12  3  0  3  7 11  3  2  8  13  23 -10  11
19 West Brom A.    13  2  1  3  5  8  1  1  5  5 13  3  2  8  10  21 -11  11
20 Bolton Wndrs    12  1  3  2  7  8  1  0  5  5 14  2  3  7  12  22 -10   9

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.05]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

Articles (Heidi Pickup) :
News/rumour (Don Barrie) :
Subscriptions (Geoff Donkin) :
Technical problems (Paul) :
FAQ (David Warburton) :

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. The club also run a subscription based service ‘’ and access is available via a link on the official site.

[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 #864