Newsletter #882

A disappointing performance on Saturday as we slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle. The game saw us on the wrong end of a Premiership record when Mr Shearer popped up with a goal after a mere 10 seconds.

A couple of match views on this tonight, together with views on the Fowler escape, our local rag, stadium curses and a few requests.

Although our first team are out of action until the a week on Wednesday, our reserves play Sunderland at Hyde tomorrow night (21st) and the Academy boys (both U19 and U17) are in action at home to Everton on Saturday.

Next game: Fulham, home, 7.45pm Wednesday 29 January 2003


Got to see the game on Saturday down the local (from Dutch TV pictures bizarrely). It wasn’t a great performance from City, and the terrible start meant it was unlikely we were going to get a result from this game, especially with the defence looking pretty rickety all game. Here’s what I thought individually…

Nash – Pretty worried when I saw his name on the teamsheet, he’s never convinced me that he’s got Premiership ability – then in the first 10 seconds my worries were confirmed. The worst blunder I’ve seen from a ‘keeper in my time supporting city. Didn’t do much for the second goal either. Wasn’t tested very much, but didn’t impress me.
Sun – Had a mediocre game. Supported the attack well, but meant his defensive game suffered. Needs to be more defensively minded away from Maine Road.
Distin – Good performance, kept Bellamy fairly quiet (until the second goal, but that wasn’t his fault). Played well considering the constant booing from the geordie faithful.
Dunne – Another good display. Tidied up a lot of mistakes by others in the side, and his distribution was accurate all game.
Howey – Not great. Bellamy drifted away from him far too easily giving himself an easy finish for the second goal. Seemed off the pace the whole game.
Jensen – Quiet game. Can’t think of much he did during the match, a bit like Sun Jihai as regards balance between attack and defence.
Horlock – Also quiet. Made little impact in the first half. Hit one good long range effort in the second half, but I think having him and Foe in the centre wasn’t effective.
Foe – seemed back to his pre-December self! Very bad miscue for a volley in the second half, when he could really have scored. Wasn’t physical enough with the comparatively small Newcastle midfielders.
Benarbia – Hit the post in the first half, after holding off a dodgy Newcastle challenge in the box, but otherwise didn’t stand out. Tried harder than the rest of the midfield, but it just didn’t happen.
Goater – Not a great game, didn’t really threaten, although his link up play was better than I’ve seen most games this season.
Anelka – Pretty ineffectual. Drifted out to the wings a lot, but without good support this didn’t have any benefits. Seems like when Anelka doesn’t perform, City don’t perform.

Belmadi – Came on with 30 minutes left for Goater, started up front, then moved to the right side of midfield. Seems to be very similar to Ali, doesn’t look a very direct attacker, more of a creative player. Although opportunities were limited on Saturday!
Macken – Came on for Sun late on. Had time to make an impact, but didn’t. Not a lot of service, mind you.

Overall, I was disappointed. Wasn’t a terrible performance (like the Liverpool game for example) but we never really got going. If Benarbia’s shot in the first half went in, City may have taken Newcastle. For a team that are third in the league, they really aren’t any great shakes, and their second goal was a real sickening (albeit well taken) counter attack. As I said, City look like there’s too much reliance on Anelka to perform. And when Berkovic plays well, it’s a completely different side. I hope Weaver gets promoted to number 2.

I think Europe is too much to expect for this season. But, if Newcastle can finish third with that side, I don’t see why next season City can’t challenge seriously for a Champions’ League place (especially if a decent partner for Anelka is found).

Paul Carey (


It was a disappointment against Newcastle; it started off badly with a terrible mistake by Nash after just 10 seconds but Nash did compose himself and played better later in the game. The City man of the match had to be Dunne, who played well at the back.

This was a game where Anelka was well under par, he looked like he misses a partner up front. He played a lot wide, and when it was obvious that he was going to cross the ball, no City player moved into the goal area to have a go at goal.

The deal for Fowler is water under the bridge (although I am not upset by him not putting on a City shirt). If City have money to spend then it should be on a decent striker who can partner Anelka up front. Our “Goat” started the game but did not have much of the play, did miss one great chance but instead of having a crack at goal decided to try to control the ball and lost it. Belmadi came on after 60 minutes to replace Goater, but on his first Premier League game lost the ball too many times (but deserves more chances to play).

Macken came on after 80 minutes but hardly touched the ball; it would be unfair to judge his comeback yet, he clearly needs time. City played better in the first half, and Benarbia came close to scoring when he hit the post; had he scored it could have lifted City for the second half.

In general I thought that City played without that instinct of wanting to win this game. Maybe that first goal did take a little out of the team but we need a better fightback than was shown today.

I know that City can play better than this, and we will play better in our future games. On this showing Newcastle deserved their win.

Come on you Blues! Ernie Barrow (


The MUEN should be more accountable for the cr*p they write sometimes. Straight after Fowler “turned down” City they were there claiming that there was a rift in the boardroom and with Keegan! It’s the type of journalism I come to expect from rags like the Daily Mail, not our local paper! On what basis were they making these assumptions and to whose good does it serve (apart from Stretford Reds)? Certainly not City fans living in Manchester.

Chris Bird is the PR guru and he should be having words with them about this sensationalist, negative journalism. We’ve already had one experience of this a few months ago when a rumour was posted on Blueview about Keegan supposedly walking out and the MUEN lapping it up without checking the facts first with the club. Are they secretly wishing to see Keegan walk? They should be supporting the local club, not stirring up vicious rumours.

ITV Premiership – one of these Saturday nights I am going to throw my Chicken Biryani at the TV set. Just what is Fatso Atko really on? “The worst defensive display I’ve seen at this level!” Yeah, right. If anyone read his piece in the Gaurdian before the derby they will be familiar with the drivel he spouts. We all know he hates City and probably has something against Keegan as well but ITV continue to let him go unchallenged with his incoherent rants. I’m really staring to hate this programme and if I had Sky I would boycott it full stop. To top it all, in their 10 goals of the decade they don’t include Kinkladze’s against Southampton! Grrrrrr.

Finally, thanks to those who replied to my request for seeing the Newcastle game in Vienna. I managed to find a very nice Irish pub, which served very nice Guiness which just about touched my lips when we went 1-0 down. Nothing to get disheartened about, that was their 11th straight win at home and it could have been all very different. Again it shows how far we’ve come when we’re gutted about losing at Newcastle.

Keep the faith and get behind the team and Keegan.

Andrew Dixon (


I read with interest the contribution from Andrew Dixon in MCIVTA 881, and in particular the reference to the proposed minute’s silence in memory of the Munich air disaster victims at the forthcoming OT derby game.

Unfortunately, as we all know, there is more than a reasonable chance of this tribute being marred by just one disrespectful Blue with too many Stellas down him. Out of 3,000 Blues, if 2,999 stand in respectful silence, and one doesn’t, then all 3,000 will be tarred with the same brush, and the match will undoubtedly be played out in a rather unpleasant atmosphere. Needless to say that such action could also lead to violence inside and outside the ground.

I do wonder, however, about the wisdom of scheduling an OT derby so close to February 6th, which of course is the anniversary of the air disaster. If there is one date which for a number of reasons should always be avoided for this match, it should be that one. I fail to understand why the clubs do not make a special request before the fixtures are issued at the beginning of each season.

Mr Bernstein, if you’re reading this…

Vernon Thomason (


It’s an ill wind…

Disappointed as I am not to see Robbie Fowler in laser blue, I think we might come to view this débâcle as a blessing in disguise. Before we started to get excited about another big name up front, who really thought that our particular area of weakness was in attack?

We all know how good Anelka is but we shouldn’t lose sight of the quality we have alongside him. Goater, Huckerby, Wanchope, Macken, Vuoso and Shuker have all got the quality to make a contribution to the season’s effort. If this episode now focuses KK on the real area of need in defence and forces him to make a serious bid for Reiziger or Sommeil then we might get some lasting benefit from the transfer window.

Andrew Lowrey (


I must admit I was in 2 minds when I heard that City were after Robbie Fowler. Initially it was good to be linked to a player that has had the nickname “God” because he was rated so highly at Liverpool, together with his impressive goal scoring record.

But deep down, I was not keen on taking a player that IMHO is not fully fit and probably carrying an injury that could see him break down at any time, and had a bit of a playboy or bad boy image at Liverpool. I personally feel he is past his best and for the amount of money we were willing to pay for him (£7 million), together with his hefty wage bill, we were better off going for a younger player or even a high profile forward that would not be so costly, especially considering the downturn in the current transfer market.

From what I have read about Djamel Belmadi, I feel we have landed a gem, a player who can play either in midfield or in attack, and a player with great ability. I love players who have the ability and confidence of running at opposition and taking them on, you only have to see what Thierry Henry does for Arsenal, Giggs at Man-ure and Kewell at Leeds. I hope KK plays him against Newcastle this weekend.

Goater has been great but I would like another player up front who has the ability to carve and take chances on his own, either through sheer pace or some trickery. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that Fowler has pulled out of the transfer; perhaps now KK needs only to spend a bit on the Bordeaux defender David Sommeil (using Mettomo as an exchange).

I would also have liked someone like Sergei Rebrov, for £1 million, who IMHO is a very good player but not playing with any confidence (Spurs will regret ruining a good player they paid nearly £11 million for, and he will end up as a great buy for another club, once he is playing with a smile!) and I believe KK would get the best out of him, just look at Berkovic and Foe!

I would rather KK picked up bargains then splash out large amounts on one player; look at the financial state of both Leeds and Chelsea, and what some of those big buys are worth now.

Come on City, Glyn Albuquerque (


So Mr Fowler has turned us down. I am sure there will be plenty of speculation about why. Take your pick from these. Smokescreen: by that I mean Robbie was not as fit as made out. Maybe City decided to be kind on the lad. After all if they made public any long term injury problem, nobody would touch him with a barge pole! Secondly: Leeds may have been rejected by Kleberson, so no replacement for Fowler? Thirdly: losing the full pay packet of £50,000 a week was too much to bear! Any more ideas?

I think Macken could turn out to do just as well! I also think Keegan should pursue the Reiziger deal with the money in the pot. The defence is the weakest link in my opinion. Any injury to Distin, Howey or Dunne and the defence is very fragile.

Here’s to a top six finish with the Rags in seventh!

Ian Richardson (


So Foxy Fowler’s called it off. Did he though?

Think a bit. Fowler is 4th choice striker at Lidz. The fans aren’t mad about him, from what I heard they still think he’s renegade scouse. The club is skint and the team’s on the slide. They can’t improve it while he’s still there ’cause they need some of the £7 million to buy a Brazilian. City are ambitious, upwardly mobile, new stadium, a manager who’s charismatic (in a non-Hod sense) and definitely wants him in the XI where he’ll be playing with a world class partner. The fans are ready to welcome him.

OK, so he’s had to drop a few bawbees but in real terms the difference, after tax, is sod all. Call me a suspicious but isn’t this an equally likely scenario?: Foxy’s medical stats don’t quite add up so Chairman Bernie sees a possibly depreciating asset, as do the bank and City’s insurers won’t cover our hero in case he does another hip or ankle so “Sorry, deal’s off. But because you’re a nice geezer we’ll let you tell everyone you blew the whistle. That way you’ll have some sort of career at Lidz.” So it’s back to carrying spears and snuffing candles while Kewell, Smith and Viduka play Hamlet.

Be a nice postscript if City bought Kleberson.

Ernie Whalley (


Well what a tit Fowler is, wasting our time. We should go back and grab Reizeger now and bring in Macken now he is match fit and scoring in the reserves. Fowler can have Leeds… they won’t be playing in Europe next season and City shouldn’t chase him in the summer as we are obviously not for him! KK must be gutted with all the time he’s put into this deal. Perhaps he should go after Malcolm Christie of Derby instead, young, quick, has scored goals in the Premiership and only £2-3 million instead of £7 million. At least we’ve spared the wage bill for now. Anyway, who knows what team morale would be like if Fowler came in on top wages and got injured or was out of sorts.

Chris Hawkridge (


Foul or Fowler? Just heard the news that the move is off. So we don’t need him, get Macken fit and Wanchope back and we’ll still be in with a chance of Europe.

CTID, Salty (


Did anyone read the Paul Hince interview with Richard Edghill in last Thursday’s MEN?

In the interview Edghill gives an interesting insight into his last couple of years at Maine Road and one thing that comes out is that he has been told by City that he cannot have a testimonial after giving the club 12 years service. Surely he has to be entitled after 12 years?

Edghill is still without a club and I personally cannot understand why even in this current financial situation there are no clubs out there who would not want to take a chance on this good, dependable right back. I also think to not be granted a testimonial is disgusting.

Billy Watkinson (


I thought your readers might be interested in the first phase of the new survey we’re running that finally gives fans a chance to have their input on football’s financial problems. The survey, based on fans’ feedback, looks at whether reducing players wages are the answer to football’s economic meltdown.

It’s at

Alex Burmaster (


The following is just a list of American Football Stadiums in USA who have “Stadium Sponsors”, the list is much larger when other sports are included. This list is how the sponsors fared on the stock exchange for 2002:

TEAM                    SPONSOR                 2002 stock down
Tennessee Titans        Adelphia                100%
Carolina  Panthers      Ericsson                87%
Denver  Broncos         Invesco                 57%
Indianapolis Colts      R C A                   45%
Detroit  Lions          Ford                    41%
Oakland Raiders         Network Assoc           38%
San Diego Chargers      Qualcomm                28%
San Francisco 49ers     3Com                    27%
Pittsburg Steelers      PNC                     20%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers    Raymond James Fin       17%

So if the “City of Manchester Stadium” is to have a sponsor, it is advised beware of who it is. The sponsorship of Stadiums is big in USA, and as we all know it has started in the U.K. (e.g. Reebok). So many companies that sponsored stadiums failed on the stock exchange last year; of course the teams were not to be blamed for this disaster, 2002 was bad for economy reasons and Sept 11th etc.

Just thought this might be of interest to some of our readers.

Come on you Blues! Ernie Barrow (


I saw the road name request and felt I would share a suggestion on this newsletter. My first choices would be streets named after relatively unsung heroes. We will have bars named after classic players so this would be an awesome gesture to some of the club’s most dedicated off-field figures.

My suggestions are:

Jessie Ward – Jessie’s efforts for the Junior Blues in the 70s and 80s were probably responsible for a staggering number of people becoming or staying City fans and she should be homaged in some way.

The late Harry Godwin and Stan Gibson.

And Helen, of bell-ringing and fund-raising fame – sorry, I don’t know your surname, Helen! [Helen “the bell” Turner – Ed]

Marc Starr (


A useful site for TV viewing is; it lists Premier League games being shown on foreign satellite channels. It may be of use to travelling City fans or non-Manchester based Blues.

Damian Quinn (
Stephen Webb (


Ring my Bell
All Deyna All Of The Night
Kinky Afro
Can’t Get Tueart Of My Head
Let’s Goater Bed
Towers Of London
Hareide On Time
The Mighty Quinn

There’s squillions more but I’ll let someone else have a go!

Andy Jackson (


In response to Tom Willis, MCIVTA 880 – re: City players immortalised in song.

New Order have a B-side to their Round & Round single called ‘Best and Marsh’ – it’s purely an instrumental though.

Do I win a prize?!

Ben Cavanagh (


I am a long time Manchester City supporter now living in Australia for a number of years. As I have watched some of City’s games on cable television over here, I hear the fans singing some new songs that I do not recognise.

Is there a site anywhere that shows the lyrics to the City songs that fans sing at the matches? If so, could you e-mail it to me please. I just like to be involved in it all even though I am not at the game.

C’mon you Blues, Martyn Pugh (


City fan from Boston.

I am travelling over from the US for the weekend of Feb 22 and was hoping someone had two extras for the match vs. Arsenal. Highly unlikely I realize but worth a shot. Just trying to get one last look inside Maine Road without getting my pants pulled down outside.

Marc Anderson (


Does anybody out there know the whereabouts of a Ms Susan Ward (aged around 41) – who used to live in the North Reddish/Gorton area of Manchester/Stockport?

We are trying to trace her with some important information, so if you know anything then please e-mail me off list and I will leave my mobile number and get in touch.

Best regards, Mike Doherty (


19 January 2003

Arsenal               3 - 1  West Ham United       38,053
Fulham                1 - 0  Middlesbrough         14,253

18 January 2003

Manchester United     2 - 1  Chelsea               67,606
Aston Villa           0 - 1  Tottenham Hotspur     38,576
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 1  Birmingham City       23,331
Charlton Athletic     1 - 1  Bolton Wanderers      26,057
Everton               2 - 1  Sunderland            37,409
Leeds United          0 - 0  West Bromwich Albion  39,708
Newcastle United      2 - 0  Manchester City       52,152
Southampton           0 - 1  Liverpool             32,104

League table to 19 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         24 11  1  1 31 12  5  3  3 21 13 16  4  4  52  25  27  52
 2 Manchester Utd  24 11  1  1 25  8  3  4  4 15 16 14  5  5  40  24  16  47
 3 Newcastle Utd   23 11  0  1 23  7  2  3  6 16 24 13  3  7  39  31   8  42
 4 Chelsea         24  7  3  1 23  7  4  5  4 18 16 11  8  5  41  23  18  41
 5 Everton         24  7  4  1 18 12  4  2  6 12 17 11  6  7  30  29   1  39
 6 Liverpool       24  5  6  1 17  9  5  2  5 15 14 10  8  6  32  23   9  38
 7 Tottenham H.    24  7  3  1 21 14  4  2  7 14 20 11  5  8  35  34   1  38
 8 Southampton     24  7  5  1 18  9  2  4  5  9 14  9  9  6  27  23   4  36
 9 Blackburn R.    24  5  5  3 18 14  3  5  3 12 12  8 10  6  30  26   4  34
10 Manchester City 24  6  1  4 18 16  4  3  6 14 18 10  4 10  32  34  -2  34
11 Leeds United    24  4  2  6 13 14  5  2  5 18 15  9  4 11  31  29   2  31
12 Middlesbrough   24  7  5  0 23 11  1  1 10  4 13  8  6 10  27  24   3  30
13 Charlton Ath.   23  4  3  4 14 15  4  3  5 12 15  8  6  9  26  30  -4  30
14 Aston Villa     24  8  1  4 18  9  0  4  7  4 16  8  5 11  22  25  -3  29
15 Fulham          23  6  2  4 14 10  1  4  6 10 17  7  6 10  24  27  -3  27
16 Birmingham City 24  3  4  4 11 14  3  4  6  9 18  6  8 10  20  32 -12  26
17 Bolton Wndrs    23  2  6  3 13 16  2  3  7 11 22  4  9 10  24  38 -14  21
18 Sunderland      24  3  2  6  7 13  1  5  7  9 21  4  7 13  16  34 -18  19
19 West Brom A.    23  3  3  5 10 15  1  2  9  7 20  4  5 14  17  35 -18  17
20 West Ham United 23  0  6  6 11 18  3  2  6 13 25  3  8 12  24  43 -19  17

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 #882