Newsletter #879

Our reserves were in action on last night, with the returns of Macken and Weaver, the début of Belmadi and a 3-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. We have a report on that game and news of the new player thanks to Andrew.

Also tonight Don’s news round-up and latest on comings and goings through the round window, opinion on players, viewing, catering and a long lost Blue.

To supporters going to the game on Saturday: please make as much noise as possible and get behind the team. The atmosphere has been really poor lately and we can’t let these opposition fans keep getting the better of us. And to the team: please give us something to shout about.

Next game: Leeds United, home, 3pm Saturday 11 January 2003


General News

Help the Players: Our manager has called for the footballing authorities to help ease the burden on footballers at this time of year by playing fewer games. “This season in particular the FA have to look at what they have asked footballers to do. I am not one who is usually soft on players but this time it has been a hell of a programme,” said KK. “The players have done a lot of travelling and spent a lot of time on coaches. They have played games on tough pitches and it has been the same not just for us but for all teams. We have played six matches in four weeks and that is a tough schedule. We have come through it very well, so I am speaking from a position of strength but I still don’t think it is right. Fortunately my players have come out of it very well.” The Boss Man does not want a winter break, however – he thinks that the answer lies in a less congested fixture programme. “I am not advocating a winter break but when Christmas and New Year falls as it has done this year and Saturdays come in between it makes for the toughest programme you can ever have at this time of the year. If Christmas falls on a Saturday we move things round and we don’t play so many games, it is just unlucky for players this year. They do get well paid, they are not complaining but I am speaking on their behalf. This particular schedule for all of us, not just Manchester City, has been a hard one. We have come through it well and I take my hat off to the players. That is down to the fitness trainer and the players’ professionalism.”

News of our Neighbours: No, not Stockport County, the other lot. According to the Guardian, Roy Keane will learn next week whether he is to face legal action from Alf Inge Haaland. Chairman David Bernstein has said that the club are close to making a decision after five months of determining whether they have a case. Elsewhere in Trafford-land, Wes Brown has been saying how he’d just love it if the Reds beat City in the OT derby on February 9. “I can’t wait. I was gutted when we were beaten and I can’t wait to get back at them. I love playing in derby games – they’re great for us and for the fans. We all look forward to those games. We’ll be out for revenge this time.” Brown has also revealed how he nearly became a City player [yes, another one!]. “I was first spotted when I was 13 and playing for Fletcher Moss Rangers but I went for trials with Oldham and Man City first. Oldham wanted to sign me but I turned them down as I was hoping something else would come along. I went to City and they didn’t want me. Then United came in for me. I love telling people City turned me down!”

Uh-oh, No Go to Intertoto Show: KK has issued a resounding “non” to the idea of City making a bid for Europe via summer’s Intertoto Cup. It’s a top six League place or nothing for Our Leader. “I would not go into the Intertoto Cup,” confirmed the Boss. “I honestly think if we cannot earn the right to get into Europe by what I call the standard way, then I would not want to go travelling round these countries in pre-season or before. It may mean you would get a good start to the season but what happens then is you can hit a brick wall and that is exactly what has happened to Fulham. They started off the season really well. Fulham are out now, but for what? I don’t know what money they made but anything they did could be counterproductive to their Premiership status. I honestly think too that the whole reason for finishing in the top six in the Premiership is that you are good enough to play in Europe. If you finish twelfth in your League it somewhat devalues the competition.” KK admits that he would only allow the club to take part if Mr. Chairman insisted on it. “We have not discussed it but I would be totally against it. If the Chairman came and said we had to enter it then that would be a different matter. But what is the point of preparing your players for a season and having to start a month early.”

Reserves Keep Winning: City’s second string continued their recent excellent form with a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday yesterday. The team contained such luminaries as Djamel Belmadi (making his début in a City shirt), and Nicky Weaver and Jon Macken, on the mend after long term injuries. Recently returned from Portsmouth, Paul Ritchie also featured. Going into the second half a goal down, City made a dream start when Belmadi scored from 25 yards. Goals from Chris Shuker and Matias Vuoso sealed the win for the Blues. Jon Macken lasted 68 minutes before being substituted. Team: Weaver, Flood, Jordan, Barton, Bischoff, Ritchie, Huckerby, Belmadi, Vuoso, Macken (Whelan 68), Shuker. Subs: Murphy, Paisley, Browne, Croft.

Transfer News and Gossip

Belmadi Deal Goes Through: As predicted last week, Djamel Belmadi duly signed for City from Olympique Marseille last Friday. The Algerian has moved to Maine Road on loan until the end of the season, after which KK will look to make the move permanent. Belmadi spent a trial period with the Blues before Christmas and has played for Marseille in midfield and as a supporting striker. Kevin Keegan admitted that this is a rôle his new signing could fulfil for the Blues. “It is a loan until the end of the season with a view to signing him. It is a good move for us. We had him over with us before Christmas and we know he plays really well with Nicolas Anelka. We know he can play in the same position as Eyal and Ali but he can also play up front with Nicolas Anelka. He has played there in his early days with him when they were very young, so they know each other.”

Robbie Calls Fowl on Blues Move: It seems less likely that Scouse scamp Robbie Fowler will be joining his former England boss at Maine Road, after the Leeds United’s striker’s reluctance to take a pay cut. Reports suggest that City and Leeds had agreed a £7 million fee for the player, but that Fowler would not accept a reduction of his £50k-per-week wage at Elland Road. City’s highest earner is said to be Nicolas Anelka on £35,000 per week, and KK is believed not to want to risk undermining dressing room morale by breaking the club’s pay structure on one player.

Klose Encounter? As Akin-Paul Odusanya reported in MCIVTA 878 on Monday, City’s replacement target for Fowler was strongly rumoured to be Germany’s World Cup striker Miroslav Klose. Preliminary negotiations with Klose’s representatives in Germany were said to have taken place, while Kaiserslautern were willing to sell the prolific forward for £5 million to ease their debts, so Klose’s advisers were touting him around Europe. These rumours began to fade through the week, and other potential striker signings had been revealed.

Not Riise-ing to the Occasion: City’s proposed move to bring Norwegian midfielder Bjorn Helge Riise to Maine Road has collapsed, and so Riise has signed for Second Division Cardiff City instead. The 19-year old younger brother of Liverpool’s John Arne trained with the Blues during trial spells in February and December last year, and looked certain to join City following his latest trial just before Christmas. However, with a strict financial policy in place for the transfer window, and Djemal Belmadi already signed on loan, Keegan decided not to pursue his earlier interest in the player. “The transfer deal for Bjorn was not done. It is nothing to do with the player,” said KK. “It is to do with the fact that if we get one or two more players in then I just cannot afford to take too many players. I have had to put that deal on the back burner.” KK also confirmed that he had yet to receive a bid for any first team squad player. The City boss told the Manchester Evening News: “I haven’t had one enquiry for any of the players who I would class as being in my first-team squad, and that suits me,” which must be good news for fans of Shaun Goater and Darren Huckerby.

Who’ll Pay for Alpay? According to news stories in the Midlands, City have joined the lengthening list of Premiership clubs to show an interest in Aston Villa’s unsettled defender Alpay. Alpay cost Villa £5 million, and was named in FIFA’s World Cup team of the tournament last summer. Since returning to England, Alpay has hardly featured in the Premiership, and now both Villa and the Turkish international are desperate to part, but as yet no firm bids have been made. Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United have also asked about the player, but will have been put off by Villa’s demand for £4 million for the player.

Interest on the Reiz for Barça Defender: I’m grateful to Sarah Humphrey for sending me the following item, which appeared in the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad on Tuesday. “Manchester City approaches Reiziger – Barcelona and Manchester City are in the process of discussing a transfer deal for Michael Reiziger. The Dutch international has been given permission to leave the club where he now seldom plays in the first team. If all goes well Barcelona and Manchester City which reach an agreement this week. Michael Reiziger will then travel to England to have talks with Manager Kevin Keegan. The international wants to hear the club’s future plans before he makes a commitment. The man from Amsterdam, who has also turned out for AC Milan and Ajax, has long had the ambition to play in England.” The UK press soon began to put the flesh on the bones of this story. KK aimed to bring the Dutchman in on loan with the option of making it a permanent move at the end of the season. An eventual fee of £4 million has been mentioned. While Keegan had identified a striker as a prime target before the transfer window opened, injuries to Steve Howey and Richard Dunne may have led him to consider a defender. Wages will not be a problem as his salary has never been exorbitant by Premiership standards. “Michael will come in on Thursday and spend the day here,” confirmed the Boss Man. “He will have a look at the facilities and will then have to decide if he wants to come here on a loan deal, which would be until the end of the season. He is a great player who has a terrific footballing CV but at the moment it is too soon to talk of him being a City player or being included in the squad for the clash with Leeds.” Reiziger seems keen on the move as well. He said: “I heard from Barcelona about a possible move on Monday and I am definitely interested as I have heard great things about Manchester City under Kevin Keegan. They have shown a lot of ambition, made some good signings and may even have a chance of winning a spot in Europe. They also play attacking football, which suits me fine. I’ve always wanted to play in the Premiership, which is very exciting because the fans are so passionate.” Reiziger, who has attracted interest from Manchester United, Celtic, Newcastle and Galatasaray in the past, has been described this week as an athletic right-back who has been a fixture in the Holland team since winning the European Cup with Van Gaal’s Ajax side in 1995. He is equally comfortable with either foot and has played at left back and centre half.

We’re All Going on a Sommeil Holiday: KK seems to be going defender crazy at the moment. The Mirror and the Mail both report that City are about to sign Bordeaux’s French international defender David Sommeil for £5 million. He was also a target for Arsenal, Newcastle, and Liverpool according to reports. Sommeil, who narrowly failed to make the World Cup squad last summer, told L’Equipe: “There are a few details to sort out but I’m confident I’ll play the rest of the season in the Premiership and I cannot wait to start.” The speedy defender who can play as a centre back or wing back, sounds keen to switch to Maine Road. He added: “It is my dream to play in the Premiership. I have had several offers but City is the most serious.”

McCarthy’s Move? Following the collapse of the Fowler deal, City were reported to be lining up a move for South African international Benni McCarthy of Celta Vigo. The chances of this deal going through are currently uncertain, as McCarthy’s club and his agent seem to be involved in some public manoeuvring over the sale. Celta Vigo’s sporting director Felix Carnero began the fun by saying, “A few days ago, the player’s agent Rob Moore contacted us to tell us that there is an English club interested in getting Benny McCarthy on loan. At the moment we need McCarthy. A loan deal is not of interest to us; if we receive a tempting transfer offer the club will evaluate it and will come to a decision.” But Celta Vigo’s insistence on a fee for a player who has started just twice in La Liga this season might quell Keegan’s interest. “We have been in talks with Celta for the last two days, but the money they want means any deal is unlikely,” agent Moore stated. “They want £500,000 just to take him on loan, which is too much and is not helpful to Benni at all. He wants to move to England and we have got the interest there. Benni is not happy with the situation, but he knows what Celta are asking. I am not confident a deal will go through, but if the money is paid then something will happen. Benni’s wages are not a problem, we already know that and so it is just a matter of this fee.” While Moore didn’t name City directly, the Blues seem the perfect destination for McCarthy as the agent said: “To find the right team is difficult, we always make sure that a team meets our criteria. They have to be an attacking side to help him score, they have to need a striker, they need to be able to make an offer at the end of any spell and finally they need to be able to afford him.” McCarthy has seen proposed moves to Aston Villa and Middlesbrough fall through in the last couple of years.

Ex-Blues’ News

The Cheque’s On Its Way… It looks like one of City’s new signings may well have his first week’s wages paid indirectly by Oldham Athletic. A website for Latics fans has pointed out that the club will soon have to pay out a further £25,000 to the Blues for striker Chris Killen. Oldham paid £200,000 for the Kiwi last summer, but the deal included a further payment of £25,000 on Killen playing 30 games. Killen has played 13 full games and 13 as sub., so City only need 4 more appearances from Chris to make Oldham pay up. Killen has scored four goals during his time at Boundary Park.

Edghill the Dashing Blade: Bad news for Greater Manchester’s refuse collectors. Richard Edghill will not be joining their ranks just yet – he’s got himself a trial at Sheffield United, with a view to obtaining a contract if he impresses Blades’ boss Neil Warnock. Edghill has been at Wigan Athletic this season but only made one appearance in an LDV Van Trophy game. “We are a bit light on defenders at the moment.” said Warnock. “Richard will train with us for a week and we will have a look at how he does before deciding on anything.”

Nothing Changes: While on the subject of Sheffield United – it’s nice to see that Michael Brown’s move to Bramall Lane has not unduly affected his style of play. Brownie, you may recall, was sent off on his City début for violent conduct at QPR, and it seems hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Thanks to my brother Andrew for this snippet from BBCi’s report on last night’s Worthington Cup semi-final between the Blades and Liverpool: “But Houllier was furious at the Blades’ physical approach, particularly a second-half challenge by Michael Brown that left Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland needing treatment for a knee injury.” Attaboy, Michael!

Reactions and Comments

A Whimper, Not a Bang: Eighty years of FA Cup history ended last Sunday, as City played their final Cup tie at Maine Road. What a limp finale it was too. City subsided to a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool, and as you might imagine, KK was seething about his team’s poor performance. “This must have been one of the poorest ties played here and we never got started,” he stated. “In the last 15 minutes we got to perhaps a quarter of what I wanted. I did tell the foreign players what the FA Cup means in this country, but I might just as well have saved my breath. We have played at home for 93 minutes and their goalkeeper has had one save to make. Liverpool approached it the right way and we didn’t. There was possible mental fatigue with the players,” he admitted. “These players want to play in the Premiership but they can’t just take the good things from it. The difficult thing about the Premiership is that there are a lot of games and they come thick and fast and they come on pitches at times which are hard to play on, though having said that ours is one of the best. I am very disappointed. I am not going to criticise my team in public but in the dressing room I was disappointed with nearly all of them. It was out of character after our recent results in the League. It was more like a pre-season friendly where Gerard Houllier had asked me if I could send a team over so he could try some things out. We never made it a Cup tie.” Asked for his views on the match winning penalty, KK gave some forthright views on the referee Mr. Rennie. “Technically it probably was a penalty, but it was a horrible way to lose a cup tie. I never talk about Uriah Rennie except to say I don’t like him as a referee – never have, never will, end of story. He is a law unto himself. Ask his agent if you can have an interview with Mr Rennie.” But Keegan also admitted that his side never performed against a Liverpool team who relieved some of the pressure on manager Gerard Houllier. “We went out with a whimper. We’re out and deservedly so. They passed the ball better and competed more than we did,” added a disgruntled Grand Master Kev.

Houllier Pleased: In contrast, Liverpool boss Houllier described his side’s victory as “a massive win.” He said: “I am very proud of the attitude of the players. Our club has a tradition of success and of winning trophies. This is an important day. We had a plan and we didn’t give City too many chances. We showed a lot of solidity and strength. This is the second time we have gone to a Premiership club in the cup and won. Don’t forget we beat Aston Villa in the Worthington Cup. We have a lot of young players in our squad and some of them are new to England. It takes time for them to settle. But now we can build on this and go on to better things.” Much of the pre-match coverage focussed on Nicolas Anelka but the striker rarely threatened Liverpool. “We had a plan,” said Houllier. “But in football tactics only work when you win.” Worryingly for us Blues, Anelka was reported to have left MR on crutches, so must be doubtful for Saturday’s clash with Leeds.

Bluedolph Baffled: ‘Keeper Peter Schmeichel sounded as crestfallen as his boss was annoyed. “I have been knocked out in the third round before,” explained the Dane, “but never in this manner, in this way. We did not play at all. A lot has been said about Liverpool and their crisis, but I cannot believe that we only lost 1-0 after the way we played. Had we played anyone else we would have lost by more because we were very poor. There was no FA Cup spirit or mentality in the team. We were not closing down, and I don’t think we had a real chance in the first forty five minutes. The gaffer is right when he said that the FA Cup is for players. It is something which you really want to win and that is why you get so many great games in the Cup and why it has such a great history. It is why there are so many games to pick from which stand out.” Schmikes refused to use weariness as an excuse for the inept Sunday showing. “I am not tired. I do not feel mentally tired. It has been a crazy Christmas perhaps more so than usual as we played on the 23rd of December as well. I have enjoyed it and we have given ourselves a decent position in the League. The Cup tie was a big game. We played Liverpool live on national TV but the sparkle was not there. We are better than that and I don’t think anyone can come up with an explanation as to why it went the way it did. It was a wonder we only lost by the one goal. They had to win it on a soft penalty, the minute before there was a penalty and basically it was there only chance in the game and we didn’t have it in us to reverse that and come back and have a go.”

Squad News

Lorra Lorra Grief for Loran: Tyrone Loran had a debut to remember in his loan spell at Tranmere Rovers. The 21-year old Dutch defender broke a bone in his face during Rovers’ 2-2 draw against Colchester. But Tranmere boss Ray Mathias is hopeful that the injury will heal quickly. “The boy wanted to come in and train normally,” he told the club’s website. “But we sent him off to a specialist and we will be guided by what he has to say. The break was caused by an elbow in the face.” Readers of a sensitive nature might wish to look away now. “When Tyrone blew his nose he thought his eye was going to pop out,” concluded the eloquent manager.

Jordan Banks on City Career: Stephen Jordan has turned down the chance of a permanent move to Cambridge United, and has returned to Maine Road. Jordan spent three months at the Abbey Stadium, but the U’s could not match the player’s wage demands. “We can’t get close to the money he’s asked for,” said Cambridge manager John Taylor. “He’s decided to go back there and try to get out somewhere else on loan. I’m disappointed it has come down to money at this early stage of his career.”

Danny’s Comeback: Danny Tiatto will soon be in full training and hopes to be ready for City’s trip to Newcastle. Danny has not seen in action since being substituted in the Boxing Day win over Aston Villa with a torn stomach muscle. “I will start running on the treadmill on Wednesday this week and then hopefully return to full training at the start of next week,” explained the Aussie. “Everything has been coming along very well. It is not a case of needing matches before I return as it has only been a couple of weeks, I think it is a matter of coming through the week and then being ready for selection. I picked up the injury, a slight tear in the muscle, just before half time. The big fear of course was that it might have been a hernia so it was a great relief after having a scan to be told it was just a slight tear. The physio has said it has come on well and I am very happy to be on the verge of coming back. I have had a chat with the physio and made the game at Newcastle as a target for me, so we will have to see how it goes next week.”

Don Barrie (


Went to Hillsborough last night and watched the reserves beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1, Belmadi, Shuker and Vuoso being the scorers. The team Started off in 4-4-2 formation.

Flood, Bischoff, Ritchie, Jordan
Shuker, Belmadi, Barton, Vuoso
Macken, Huckerby

Wednesday took the lead after 30 minutes with an Owen Morrison free kick. City had been on top before this, but poor final passes and crossing had prevented us from taking the lead. City attacked constantly for the remainder of the half, with Macken going close twice, hitting the outside of the post on one occasion. Huckerby was far too good for the young Wednesday defence but more often than not his final pass/cross was cut out or the ‘keeper saved.

Thirty seconds into the second half and we were level. Macken pulled out wide on the right from a Barton pass, and pulled it back to Belmadi who cracked it first time from about 25 yards into the bottom corner. It was a really good move with quality finish. For the next fifteen minutes we turned on the style. Shuker scored a tap-in after a Huckerby shot deflected straight to him, and Vuoso scored a good diving header from ten yards after Belmadi, out wide on the left, cut inside onto his right foot and delivered the perfect cross.

After this period Ritchie had two great chances, the first with a header which he put straight at the Wednesday ‘keeper, then with an effort from the just inside the area, after a corner hadn’t been cleared properly, but the ‘keeper pulled of a great fingertip save.

Macken came off after about an hour, to be replaced by Glenn Whelan. He went into to the centre of midfield with Belmadi going up front. City controlled the rest of the game and should have won by an even bigger scoreline.

Comments on a few players:

Weaver. Very loud, always talking to his defence (something you easily notice at reserve games). Pulled off a couple of excellent saves and dealt with all crosses. Looked lean and fit, and kicking was very good, much better than Schmeichel’s of late.
Flood. First time I had seen him at right back (before it had been in midfield for the youth team), and was very impressed. Attacked well, has quick feet, and not afraid to get stuck in. Gave it away a few times, but always seemed to win it back straight away. Most impressive player alongside Belmadi.
Belmadi. Got better as the game went on. Good first touch, similar to Ali in the way he receives the ball. Played it long and short and looked eager to impress. Always demanding the ball from his team mates and produced a few lovely flicks towards the end of the game. Wouldn’t like to make any early predictions, as it was against a very inexperienced Wednesday side, but should definitely be on the bench for the Leeds game. Excellent strike for his goal.
Macken. Great to see him back. Linked up well with Belmadi a few times, especially for his goal. Two chances first half, the second one he probably should have scored but was a bit slow in turning. Looked rusty at other times and just needs games now.
Vuoso. Maybe I was expecting too much from him but I was disappointed with his performance. Played on the left first half, but swapped with Shuker after the break. Caught in possession too much but took his goal really well.

Andrew Jackson (


I sat in front of the telly clad in my Ali B autographed sweat, with the lucky Dennis Tueart shirt on underneath but it did me no good, even though I kissed the ’56 Wembley Programme for additional joss.

The TV camera panned the massed scurvy ranks of TSBs in the Gene Kelly and I snarled, thinking about a burglary back in ’85 after which my camera bag, sans cameras, turned up on a croft in Kirkby and I cursed and prayed for vengeance, but the desired torrential downpour never came. The omens were not looking propitious and the appearance of U.Rennie heightened the sense of foreboding.

City came out, minus The Pieman and Howway the Lad and, with a few honourable exceptions, played the first 70 minutes like a park kickaround. The TSBs and their team were up for it, with Spider’s lad putting himself about up front and Gerrard, Smicer, Diao and Diouf or however you spell ’em in They Shall Not Pass mode. And Pass we didn’t, or even pass for the main part. We played a curious 3.5-4.5-1-1 formation with Jensen and Sun shuffling backwards and forwards as if under remote control and Shauny withdrawn behind Anelka and never quite managing to catch up with him. St. Nic roved right, left and centre and got zilch support. I felt a wee-bit sorry for Ali B as the guys alongside him, Foe and Kev both had ‘mares, seemingly being unable to control the ball or win it in midfield, make the first couple of yards and give it to Ali with a bit of space. Most of the time he just got hospital passes with big guys in red shirts breathing down his neck and he had to play deeper and deeper.

Penalty? Yes, I think it was, applying the test of would I have been up on my feet shouting if it had been at the other end. Mettomo looked a bit lost and not match fit. Two guys who had really excellent games to my mind were Wiekens and the much-maligned Jensen who was right back on form with some good shepherding and tackling and one or two nice probing passes. Sun played okay but he can play much better. Schmeiks made his usual class save – I just wish he liked throwing the ball out and did it better – once or twice he had Sun in a spot of bother with poorly directed throws. Also his kicking ain’t great. For a big guy he can’t kick the ball that far and for a world class ‘keeper his kicks aren’t that accurate. He can head the ball though, thank God, as he proved in the last few minutes.

We really missed Tiatto’s combative nature. We were even outsung by the scousers all the way through which was really galling. Of the subs, Eyal played quite well, needs a bit of diving practice (Franny or Rodney please!), Huck wasn’t on long enough and Goat refused a gift and, sad to say, looked a bit out of his depth.

In the tactical genius department I’m afraid Houllier put one over on our Kevin. He had the right team out from the kick-off and he had them playing the right way. I think KK has got to let go of this 3-5-2 (and it’s my fave formation too) when he meets physical, defensive-minded, limited teams (and that’s what ‘Pool are) – I think Leeds will probably play the same way.

We were only at the races in the last 20 minutes when Shauny switched to running down the right, beating people and winning free kicks, which is what he does best. We could have nicked a draw, pity, but then we need an extra game like we need a hole in the head. So maybe for the best, but still gutting. But what we do need is a combative ball-winner who can also hold and pass and a forward who can put himself about and create knock-downs and loose balls for The Elk. And we need them now. But please, not thug Bowyer. And certainly not moaning, injury-prone, slow Fowler.

If Petra Manker is out there, any local input on Klose? How’s he playing?

And a Happy New Year to all Blues.

Ernie Whalley (


There has been a lot of talk about Fowler as a possible target for the club; personally I think this would be a male hen-up, for a start he does have a history of injuries, something which we already have a lot of problems with and as stated by another contributor is a bit of a prima-donna. Also Miroslav Klose has also been mentioned but apparently, don’t quote me on this, is a bit dry on the goal front for his current club and can only score when he does with his head (see the World Cup for details).

My advice to KK would be another target who was a former Mickey, who is a good striker when it comes to club games (not so internationally, unfortunately), quite level-headed, has won numerous championships including the Champions’ League, who plays abroad so KK doesn’t have to worry about this “paying all the money within 12 months” thing, quite flexible around the park, as you might have worked out is English and at his current club will be down the pecking order a bit thanks to someone who will be a little bit out of our price range called Ronaldo and also Figo… who am I talking about: Steve McManaman… Possibility, what do you think?

P.S. Will some of you please lay off The Goat.
P.P.S. Also £4 million for Vuoso and only a couple of bench places – give him a start you never know could be a surprise package.

Gareth Croke – Kirkcaldy Blue – Manchester… True (Geddit Budweiser advert… oh forget it?!) (


I thought that we had it bad in Australia, but it would seem that UK residents are being hit just as bad by the TV moguls. If you want good Soccer coverage, come over to Australia! They have a channel over here called SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) and they show pretty much every game’s highlights without fail, admittedly it’s still a few minutes compared to other teams, but let’s be honest, if you were a (neutral) TV journalist and you have the choice of covering say Arsenal vs. Tottenham or City vs. Birmingham to fill 15 minutes of a 60 minute time slot, which would you pick?

Having said that, if you subscribe to Foxtel (Aussie Sky), you get lots and lots of games, now while it may not be City every other week, City have had a good crack at TV coverage. For example we got the City vs. Sunderland game, which is not normal! And replay after replay of the City vs. Salford Reds clash! Oh what joy!

I’ve just got into the habit of watching a match on the TV and then tuning into to BBC world service to get the scores; 9 times out of 10 the same match that is on the TV is the commentary match on the Radio, which makes for some interesting telly as the radio (strangely) is ahead of the TV, so whilst Anelka is pulling his foot back to whack the ball goalwards on TV, he’s already scored in Radio land. Bizarre!

I guess I’m just surprised by how hard it seems to be to watch soccer for UK residents, when it’s our national game, but maybe it’s this fact that makes it such a target for the money men.

Australia does not have it bad really. Foxtel show plenty of games, with half time round ups of what’s happening elsewhere, and SBS every Monday show the Premiership show with every match played that weekend. I’m just glad City are staying up this season, as the Aussies don’t know that there are 4 leagues in the UK!

Oh before I go… my only gripe with City in Australia is this… How come City charge 15 quid postage for items sent “Rest of the World”? I love my City and will quite happily pay the postage when I am ordering a lot of stuff to absorb the 15 quid postage fee, but I went to buy the City Manager game and the cost of postage is over half the cost of the game. Not worth it, so I have to wait till I want a new top or t-shirt to make the order worth it?

I can order it from the maker and only pay 5 quid postage. I refuse to buy it from another store as I want City to get my support/dollars, but why 15 quid postage, City? That’s 50 dollars to me here? Onwards and upwards…

Andrew Frodsham – Aussie for 4 years after leaving Hyde for sunnier shores! (


You may remember a while ago, someone wanted to “Save Blue Moon Chippy”. I remember being really interested in this then forgot about it. Anyway, there has been some debate about this on and I arranged for a poll to be started about who should do the catering at the new stadium. There is a feeling that there should be an opportunity for small local companies to sell their food; however, there are rumours that they will be unable to sell and that global franchises will be chosen, resulting in inflated prices. Others would like to see McDonalds, KFC etc. doing the catering and others aren’t bothered who supplies our food.

I have heard that independent traders are forbidden from selling food within 1.4 miles of the stadium (though I doubt this is true). Please follow this link: and vote. I doubt we will have a say as the contracts might already be signed and sealed, however, I feel we should make our voice heard as fans and I know that a lot us feel really strongly before this. I would be really interested to hear what people have to say about this and what they know about the current status regarding this issue.

Stephen Webb (


Read your article about the poor coverage on ITV. Just to let you know that Soccer Extra is on every week on Sundays. It’s also on a little later as well so there’s no need to get up nice and early!

Hope this helps, Glenn Howard (


I read Dave Millner’s comments re ITV’s Premiership programme and thought MCIVTA readers might be interested to read the latest ‘King of the Kippax’ (on sale from Saturday Jan 11th), which covers this subject in various articles throughout the ‘zine – most entertainingly in Colin Nicholls’ ‘off the wall/too surreal to be true, but remarkably accurate’ fantasy. The front cover featuring Des Lynam sets the tone. Was it ‘The Premiership’ which offered an easy chair as a prize for ‘goal of the month’ rather than the usual tickets to a game stuff? Tells it all really.

Sue Wallace – ‘King of the Kippax’ (


If the former SDB (Santa Domingo Blue) renamed KLB (Kuala Lumpur Blue) is reading this, or anyone who knows his email address, please get in touch. Dave I lost your email address when I upgraded my PC. I don’t want to give you a hard time over my books, although it would be nice to get them back, but I have a possible favour to ask.

Dave Kilory (


League table to 08 January 2003 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Arsenal         22 10  1  1 28 11  4  3  3 17 13 14  4  4  45  24  21  46
 2 Manchester Utd  22 10  1  1 23  7  2  4  4 12 15 12  5  5  35  22  13  41
 3 Chelsea         22  6  3  1 19  6  4  5  3 17 14 10  8  4  36  20  16  38
 4 Newcastle Utd   21 10  0  1 21  7  2  2  6 14 22 12  2  7  35  29   6  38
 5 Everton         22  6  4  1 16 11  4  2  5  9 13 10  6  6  25  24   1  36
 6 Southampton     22  7  5  0 18  8  2  3  5  7 12  9  8  5  25  20   5  35
 7 Liverpool       22  5  5  1 16  8  4  2  5 14 14  9  7  6  30  22   8  34
 8 Blackburn R.    22  5  4  3 17 13  3  4  3 12 12  8  8  6  29  25   4  32
 9 Tottenham H.    22  6  3  1 17 11  3  2  7 13 20  9  5  8  30  31  -1  32
10 Manchester City 22  5  1  4 16 15  4  3  5 14 16  9  4  9  30  31  -1  31
11 Leeds United    22  4  1  6 13 14  5  2  4 17 13  9  3 10  30  27   3  30
12 Middlesbrough   22  7  4  0 21  9  1  1  9  4 12  8  5  9  25  21   4  29
13 Charlton Ath.   21  4  2  4 13 14  4  3  4 11 11  8  5  8  24  25  -1  29
14 Aston Villa     22  8  1  3 18  8  0  3  7  3 15  8  4 10  21  23  -2  28
15 Birmingham City 22  3  4  3 11 10  3  3  6  8 17  6  7  9  19  27  -8  25
16 Fulham          21  5  2  4 13 10  1  3  6 10 17  6  5 10  23  27  -4  23
17 Bolton Wndrs    21  2  5  3 13 16  2  2  7 10 21  4  7 10  23  37 -14  19
18 Sunderland      22  3  1  6  7 13  1  5  6  8 19  4  6 12  15  32 -17  18
19 West Brom A.    21  3  3  4  9 12  1  1  9  7 20  4  4 13  16  32 -16  16
20 West Ham United 21  0  5  6  9 16  3  2  5 12 22  3  7 11  21  38 -17  16

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.06]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

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

[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] 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.

[9] 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 #879