Newsletter #895

The major news this week, unfortunately, occurred off the pitch when Manchester City Chairman, David Bernstein, announced his resignation during the board meeting held on Wednesday. The meeting had ostensibly been called to discuss last week’s resignation of Managing Director, Chris Bird. Coverage and opinion on the resignation of Bernstein is in tonight’s separate special edition. Thanks to Don for his extra work on the news to summarise the history to this.

Meanwhile, on the field, our Youth Team secured their progress through to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup with an excellent performance and 2-0 victory against West Ham on Tuesday night. Over 1,600 turned out to support the team and witness some outstanding performances from our promising young players. We have a match report thanks to Gavin, and also the view from the opposition.

We’ve also plenty of opinion on squad, formation, and the usual requests.

Finally, a reminder that the reserves are in action tomorrow evening (Friday) at Ewen Fields, 7pm, versus Middlesbrough.

Next game: Birmingham City, home, 2pm Sunday 16 March 2003
Countdown: 66 days


General News

Hail the Lads: Before the Bernstein drama unfolded, the big City related story of the week could well have been the excellent progress made this week by the Youth team. They have secured a place in the FA Youth Cup semi-finals following a 2-0 win at Ewen Fields on Tuesday. Two second half goals from Karl Bermingham and Paul Murphy ensured that City will meet either Middlesbrough or Tottenham Hotspur in the two legged semi-finals. A two goal win did not do the lads justice, according to the match reports. West Ham’s Youth coach Tony Carr said afterwards that City will “probably go on and win the tournament. They are a very, very good team, and there aren’t many I could say that about at this level – they’d be the favourites for the competition now. They were just too good for us in the end and we didn’t have enough to hurt them – but we have done very well to get to the last eight of the competition and it is no disgrace to lose to a team like that. So while I am disappointed, I am fairly philosophical about it, and I understand that on the night they were the better team.” KK also gave his praise to the team’s achievements: “They have had a terrific season. The Academy’s main job is to provide players to get into Manchester City’s first team, but the more success you have and the more progress you have in competitions like this the better the experience for the players and the more chance you have of attracting more good young players to the club. They have got a winning mentality at that level and that is healthy.” Team: Westwood, Warrender, Collins, N D’Laryea, Onuoha, Flood, Murphy, J D’Laryea, Bermingham, Croft, Tandy. Subs: Schmeichel, B Wright-Phillips, Logan, Proffitt, Bennett.

“Manchester City Will Play in Europe Next Season”: Discuss: Mike Summerbee certainly thinks so. In an interview with the M.E.N. this week, Buzzer was full of praise for the strides made by KK and the gang. “I think Kevin has done an absolutely tremendous job since he has been at the club,” enthused Summerbee. “As a former player I have been very proud of the way the team has performed and the style with which it has conducted itself. Even last weekend when Arsenal were in such a commanding lead, the side kept sticking to its attacking principles, creating chances and doing things the correct way. That will stand the team in good stead over the run-in. In every season there are one or two games in which you are taught a lesson to learn for the future and that happened last Saturday. If the players have heeded that lesson then there is no reason why they cannot make a successful bid for a top six place. There is always one team that finishes with a flourish and there is no reason why it cannot be City this season.” And, as Heidi mentioned in MCIVTA 894, Summerbee’s wish may well come true. A UEFA Cup place is awarded to a club in the country which finishes top of UEFA’s Fair Play League. At the half way stage, England tops that league. In the Premiership’s Fair Play Standings, City are fourth, but the three sides above them (the Rags, Newcastle United and Liverpool), will qualify for Europe through other competitions. Ergo… Europe here we come (hopefully)! The last time City competed in the UEFA Cup was in the 1978-79 season, when City eventually lost to Borussia Mönchengladbach [thanks to Dave Blyth]

Fixture Frolics: City’s Premiership encounter against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok on Saturday 5th April will now kick off at 12.00 noon, having been brought forward on police advice. [Thanks to Heidi for this]. The Reserves meanwhile have a date arranged for their League encounter with Everton. The original fixture was postponed recently due to an iced up pitch, but will now take place on Friday 28 March at Ewen Fields. The game will kick off at 7.00pm. City will be hoping for a reverse of the result when they went down 1-0 to Everton in their third fixture of the season last September.

Charity Action: On Tuesday, a host of international stars turned out at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium to raise funds for Nwankwo Kanu’s Heart Foundation. City were represented by Ali Benarbia, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Vivien Foe. An African XI beat a World XI 7-4, with the Arsenal striker scoring twice for the Africans, as did our own Ali B. Almost 15,000 watched the event.

Six Appeal: Willo Flood, one of the stars of the FA Youth Cup triumph this week, has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad for the forthcoming World Youth Championships. He is one of six City players to make the squad – the others are: Brian Murphy, Paddy McCarthy, Stephen Paisley, Glen Whelan and Stephen Elliott. McCarthy and Murphy have gained experience this season on loan at Boston and Oldham respectively, while Paisley and Whelan have appeared for the Reserves.

City Snippets: Here’s a few items that were mentioned in despatches this week. The Sunday People announced that Joe Royle will publish his autobiography in the autumn. Now that his legal action against City is over, the paper reckons that he’ll spill the beans on the goings on at Maine Road. Elsewhere in the same journal, Ali Benarbia is said to be pondering an offer of a coaching rôle with the Blues next season. It’s unclear whether he’ll accept – he may try his luck elsewhere for one last payday as a player. [Thanks to Dr. Johnson for these pieces]. The website reckons that City have invited Juventus to open the City of Manchester stadium in August in a prestige friendly.

Transfer News and Gossip

Rustic Rustu: You can rest assured that Rustu Recber will not be joining City in the summer. Fenerbahce’s Turkish World Cup goalkeeper is out of contract soon, and is attracting much interest from clubs in Europe, including our own dear Blues, who were said to have watched him play recently. When told of City’s interest, Rustu said “If the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Milan did not make an offer for me, I would not play for second class clubs like a Manchester City.” Congratulations go to Rustu, who wins this week’s Stefan Effenberg award for tact and diplomacy. Why, with humility like that, Rustu seems tailor-made to have Vodafone across his chest next season. [Thanks to “Riley73” for that nugget].

Ex-Blues’ News

Taylor for Scunthorpe: Former City striker Bob Taylor has joined Third Division Scunthorpe United on non-contract terms until the end of the season. Since sustaining a serious injury during his time at Maine Road, Taylor has struggled to stay fit in spells at Wolves, Gillingham, Grimsby, QPR and Stoke City. Taylor played just fourteen games for City, scoring five times.

Blades Cut Edghill: Richard Edghill has left Sheffield United after only making one appearance for The Blades. Edghill was signed on a non contract basis in January but has failed to make any impression for Neil Warnock’s side. Warnock commented that “It has been a mutually agreed decision that we would not be extending his contract and I wish him all the best.” It appears that Edgy has left to make way for ex-Red John Curtis, who arrived on a three month loan deal from Blackburn Rovers.

Reactions and Comments

Undone by a Dunn – Again! It’s easy to forget that City did actually get to play some football this week. David Dunn’s header in the thirteenth minute was the only goal in last Saturday’s visit to Ewood Park, to play Blackburn Rovers. “I said to my players afterwards that we paid the price for a sloppy start,” KK said later. “We needed to have a goal against us before they showed any life. After that I was pleased – we created a lot of chances but missed them one way or another. They were robbed by us when we drew 3-3 at Maine Road earlier this season [Close enough, Kev! – News Ed.], but I think we were robbed a bit today.” Boss Kev is concerned about the “dozy” starts that seem to be afflicting the side this season. “This year apart from Spurs at home we have not started well,” he remarked. “We will look at what we are doing. Not necessarily at what Juan Carlos the fitness trainer has been doing but preparation and things like that. We were very dozy in the opening ten minutes against Blackburn. It might have been because I made a couple of changes.” As is his wont, KK looked for positives from the game. “Defensively, apart from the goal where we got opened up and Carlo made the save and they followed it in, we have limited Blackburn on their own pitch to very little here today so that was a plus. There were a few disappointments. There are one or two players who can’t seem to get their game together and in this Premiership League of all Leagues you need everybody playing well. I don’t think we have got that at the moment. You can look for a million excuses but at the end of the day we are not as good as we should be with the players we have got. We are in the bottom half now and probably sliding nearer the bottom than we would like.” KK yet again was impressed by his latest signing, Robbie Fowler, who threatened on several occasions but was thwarted by Friedel and some desperate defending. “I thought he was excellent,” said Keegan. “He was somewhere back to near his best, his work-rate was good, his awareness was good, and it’s inevitable that he will score soon. This was his fourth game for us and he has stepped it up each time to the extent now that if he plays like that each week I will be delighted.” Eyal Berkovic apparently was none too chuffed to be substituted, so KK explained his reasons for taking off the Israeli. “Eyal has been playing with a groin problem and doing well with it but I felt he wasn’t contributing enough when we didn’t have the ball today and I told him so,” said Keegan later. “I don’t know whether he’s happy or not but I thought Ali Benarbia would give us a bit more and he did. Eyal picked out the wrong pass when he sent Nicolas Anelka clear in the first half. He should have put Robbie Fowler in. He’s been superb for me generally although today I didn’t think he did enough in the first half. I told him that and fetched him off – and now it’s not just my problem it’s his too.” Blackburn boss Graeme Souness commented: “We seemed to take our foot off the pedal after we scored though it may be credit to City for stepping it up a gear. The second half belonged to them but for all their possession I cannot recall Brad Friedel having to make a serious save. We had some good performances and it was backs to the wall stuff at times. They had the luck in our game at Maine Road so maybe we had some today.”

Squad News

Div One Boys Shine: Whether it’s his mum’s cooking, or just that life in Division One suits him better, Darren Huckerby is already enjoying his loan spell at Nottingham Forest. On Saturday, Huckerby scored on his début for his new club as they drew 1-1 with Watford at Vicarage Road. Forest manager Paul Hart said: “He hasn’t played any games of late and I expected him to tire as the game went on. As it is, he seemed to come into the game more and more.” Not content with that opening goal, Hucks helped himself to two goals at Priestfield as Forest overran Gillingham with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday evening. It took Forest into third place in the First Division table, still 12 points adrift of second-placed Leicester. Elsewhere, Chris Shuker made his début on loan for Walsall in the Saddlers’ 2-1 win at Bradford on Saturday. Walsall boss Colin Lee said: “Shuker is an exciting player and he has got the heart of a lion. A lot of people have shied away from taking him because of his size, but it doesn’t matter how big you are if you have got spirit and skill. It was a big occasion for him and he came out on top.” Chris Shuker made his second appearance on Tuesday evening, in a goalless draw at Rotherham.

Time to Move On: It seems that Ashley Birch’s thoughts on Richard Dunne and Steve Howey in MCIVTA 892 were well founded. According to some reports this week, KK will be shipping Dunnie and Howey out of the club come the summer. Successive defeats to Arsenal and Blackburn seem to have made the Boss Man realise that automatic European qualification has gone for this season, so building for next season can begin. Speaking after the Blackburn game, Keegan explained his reasons for leaving the defenders out of his side. “I have been very loyal to Steve Howey. He has played almost every game since I have been here, but I am going to look at a couple of options now in his position and in Richard Dunne’s position. Do not be surprised to see one or two youngsters coming in and one or two others. I don’t think anyone could argue against me leaving Richard Dunne out – I substituted him at half-time against Arsenal and I just told him and Steve Howey to watch the match today. Those two will have to fight their way back in. Gerard Wiekens came in and he has waited for his chance since having played so well in the derby at home. He did very well and I want to look at a couple of youngsters now – perhaps Mikkel Bischoff and Joey Barton. I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t.” Keegan’s new found realism continued unabated: “I think it’s the end of the hopes of a top six finish. You can keep saying, ‘top six, top six’ but there comes a point where you realistically say to yourself, ‘hold on, this team is not good enough to be in the top six’. We have taken four points out of the last eighteen and have lost some pretty scrappy games against sides which are no better than us. That has cost us dear, so we must re-align now and it will give me the chance to look at some other players.”

Gerard’s Chance: One beneficiary of KK’s decision to ring the changes at Ewood Park was Gerard Wiekens. The Dutch defender started only his third game of the season at Blackburn, and now hopes he’s done enough to keep his place in the side. “It has been a difficult season for me,” admitted Wiekens. “Normally I would have played around 30 games by now but that was my first start in the Premiership since the derby match in November. It is frustrating but there is nothing I can do about it. We have a lot of central defenders at the club and all I can do is train hard and train well, which I think I have been doing, and then take my opportunities when they come. I am always keen to play in reserve games so that I can maintain a certain level of match fitness, but despite the value of those matches they do not fully prepare you for the extra pace, commitment and skill levels of the Premiership. It is hard to adjust when there are such big gaps between appearances. Certainly playing in the centre of the defence is my preferred position and my best position, but I have not always been able to play there in reserve games because we have to accommodate so many different players. The manager told me I was playing at Blackburn on Saturday morning and that it was my chance to claim a shirt.”

Battling Berko: Eyal Berkovic wants to finish the season with a flourish, despite carrying a painful stomach muscle injury. Eyal is generally pleased with his form this season, although he would like to increase his goals tally. “I’m probably playing as well as I did at West Ham,” says Berkovic. “I played well against United but I know I can still improve by scoring and making more goals. If I can do that, I will be at my very best. It’s all about teamwork. I don’t score a lot of goals because I don’t go looking for tap-ins. This is something I don’t like in my game and perhaps I should be a little greedier. But it’s difficult because I always look for the threaded ball. I’ve been working really hard on the training ground this season because fitness is such an important part of my game. I like to see as much as I can of the ball during a match and keep moving for 90 minutes. I’ve tried hard to avoid injury as best I can but I have been a little unlucky lately with my stomach muscle problem. But I’m not letting it stop me and I will train and play through the pain.”

Foe Decision Soon: Marc-Vivien Foe should find out in the next fortnight whether he is to be offered a permanent contract. If the 27-year-old has his way, he’ll to finish his career at City: “It is out of my hands but I would like to stay. I feel at home here.” He added: “The fans are really unbelievable. I have never been anywhere where they are so loyal. It really hit home to me when we were losing by four goals to Arsenal and they kept cheering us on. That makes me want to win something for them. Everything is in place at Manchester City for the club to grow into a force in English football. We have a great manager who has high ambitions and players who want to grow with each other and the club. I would like to be part of that. At the moment I do not know what is going to happen but I hope Kevin Keegan will come and say everything is okay and he wants me to stay. I want to grow with this club, make my home here and end my career here.”

Don Barrie (


Boleyn Boys Bowled Over

Goals from Karl Bermingham and Man of the Match, Paul Murphy, who was a late replacement for injured Stephen Ireland, scored to send City into the semi-finals of the cup competition for the first time since we got to the final and beat Manchester United in 1986.

When both teams came out to warm up, I was overwhelmed at the sheer size of West Ham’s squad; only one of their starting eleven were under six foot. It looked as though Stephen Ireland’s injury may have been a blessing as his replacement, Paul Murphy, was bigger and stronger and therefore could impose himself more on the field of play.

The first ten minutes of the game saw very little action for either side as they both probed to find each others’ strengths and weaknesses. City were the first to find those weaknesses; surprisingly for West Ham, being such a big team, that weakness would be set pieces. It was from such a free kick that City made their first chance when a Lee Croft free kick was not cleared properly and Jonathon D’Laryea struck the ball towards goal on the edge of the area, which West Ham’s ‘keeper, George Sealey, the son of the late West Ham ‘keeper Les Sealey, did well to save.

Sealey was called into action five minutes later when a good pass from Murphy sent Lee Croft free to run on and shoot, but Sealey stood firm and held on to the ball. A couple of moments later City won a corner, Croft’s initial cross came back to him and the resulting in-swinging effort found Murphy at the far post; amazingly, Sealey again foiled Murphy’s point-blank effort. City’s constant probing almost led to an own goal from West ham when Phillip Lumsden nearly diverted a Lee Croft cross into his own net on twenty four minutes.

The game then seemed to drift for the remainder of the half and West Ham had an enforced substitution up front due to injury, on thirty five minutes, Darren Blewitt replacing Daniel Morris.

Immediately the second half kicked off, City piled the pressure on, controlled possession and dominated the play. After only four minutes of play, we should have gone in front when Lee Croft wriggled free of the static West Ham back-line but he was unable to keep his shot down and it sailed over the bar. It was Lee croft again five minutes later who gave himself time and space with the ball from a Jamie Tandy cross but unbelievably Sealey was able to save the shot and also put it behind for a corner.

We had to wait till nearly halfway through the half for the deadlock to be broken in our favour. Willo Flood made a strong run down the right to the West Ham by-line, but his cross only reached the near post, the clearance came to the feet of Lee Croft and he put the ball straight back into the six yard box and Karl Bermingham duly dispatched the ball into the net with a firm header. We did not have to wait long for City to double their lead when Paul Collins played a one two with Lee Croft from a short corner and the cross found the head of Paul Murphy at the back post to dispatch City’s second goal and give the Blues a comfortable lead. Ten minutes later midfielder Jon D’Laryea sent Lee Croft free into the area; he was able to chip the ball around the ‘keeper but unfortunately it did not have enough pace to stop it being cleared away from the line. With two minutes to go West Ham should have grabbed a consolation goal when a great shot from Marce Collington rebounded to Graeme Carrick but he just passed it back to Westwood in goal, and perhaps could have made the end of the game quite frenetic. As the game went into injury time a twenty man brawl ensued from a late tackle from West Ham’s number five, Elliott Ward, which amazingly led to the referee booking nobody for the incident.

The game means we now have a two leg semi-final against either Charlton or the winners of Middlesbrough and Tottenham as the FA site has yet to confirm the fixture. It was thought that the bottom half of the draw would play each other, but Charlton’s website is saying that they will be playing either Tranmere or Manchester United. Either way, over the two legs, we should easily be able to show our superiority and possibly set up a repeat of the 1986 final against our local rivals.

Westwood: Only had two tame shots to save all night. 7
Warrender: Was unlucky to be booked, and played steadily. 7
Collins: Linked up well down the left with Tandy and defended well. 8
N D’Laryea: Was awesome at the back after only a recent hamstring injury. 9
Onouha: Not his best game but he still was great at the back. 8
Flood (capt): Non stop running from our young Irish dynamo. 8
Murphy: Dealt with WHU oversized midfield, was creative and scored. MoM. 9
J D’Laryea: He matched his twin’s performance stride for stride, just great. 9
Bermingham: His unselfish movement created a lot of space for Croft. 9
Croft: Could have had a hat-trick, but created the openings as well. 8.5
Tandy: Good industry and crossing from the left. 8

Schmeichel, Proffitt, Bennett, Wright-Phillips, Logan.

Sealey, Laws, Tattam (Noble 81), Ferdinand (capt), Ward, Lumsden, McClenahan (Collington 81), Carrick, Morris (Blewitt 35), Pearson, Cole.

Goals: Bermingham (64), Murphy (71).

Att: 1,645.

Gavin Cooper (


Tony on Defeat – the WHU view, 4th March 2003 21:28

Tony Carr concedes that the best team won after the Hammers were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup at the quarter final stage by Manchester City on Tuesday evening – but says the youngsters will bounce back.

Goals from Karl Bermingham and Paul Murphy set City on their way to a 2-0 victory and a semi-final clash with Charlton Athletic, after Hammers had been unable to breach a defence which, in games against Wrexham, Peterborough and Millwall along the way, had not conceded a goal.

But Tony was magnanimous in defeat and says: “We were under sustained pressure and we couldn’t get the ball out of our half, to be honest, at that period of the game. They ended up punishing us on the hour before getting the second 10 minutes later while they were having a real spell when they were on top. We cleared a corner, they crossed it back again, we were appealing vainly for offside but their fellow headed it in at the back post. Our boys were adamant – but it was not to be. But it was fair and square. I have to hold my hand up and say they were the better team. Our boys worked ever so hard, with George Sealey making a couple of terrific saves in the first half, and another in the second when it was still 0-0. We worked very hard but were on the back foot most of the time and the bottom line is we just didn’t have the quality. We couldn’t fault the effort, the commitment, or the desire, but against a very good side we just lacked that little bit of quality to undo them. It is not a worry; sometimes you will come across a team that will probably go on and win the tournament. We beat Coventry in the final a few years ago and their goalkeeper who let in nine goals over the two legs ended up a top class goalkeeper for Liverpool, Chris Kirkland. So as long as we get one or two players from this team and we learn from it – because they had better players generally – you can’t complain. They are a very, very good team, and there aren’t many I could say that about at this level – they’d be the favourites for the competition now.”

As for the plus points, Tony says: “The positives were that defensively we played very well because were under constant bombardment. Anton Ferdinand and Elliot Ward did very well, as did George Sealey, but we just lacked a little bit of quality up front and in midfield. They were just too good for us in the end and we didn’t have enough to hurt them – but we have done very well to get to the last eight of the competition and it is no disgrace to lose to a team like that. So while I am disappointed, I am fairly philosophical about it, and I understand that on the night they were the better team.”

Team: George Sealey, Tommy Laws, Anton Ferdinand, Elliott Ward, Brent Tattam (Mark Noble 75), Trent McClenahan (Marce Collington 75), Graeme Carrick, Phil Lumsden, Mitchell Cole, Danny Morris (Darren Blewitt 20), Greg Pearson. Subs unused: Matthew Reed (GK), Sam Wright.

Attendance: 1,645

Sent in by


I started preparing this before the announcement about Bernstein & Bird. So forgive me if the coherence wavers a little. Here goes…

Does anyone get the feeling that KK is starting his wish list for the summer? Recent reports of who we are supposed to be looking to get and the dropping of Dunne and Howey certainly point this way.

I think that Mr Keegan must have won a very special battle that will see us with another influx of players. I don’t propose to know any of the answers and am just surmising this but let’s look at the facts. [This part was prescient wasn’t it?]

Schmeichel is injury prone (not surprising considering his age) so Rustu and Ceh come in to the frame. We have to face it, Nash is either an unlucky ‘keeper or the defence just don’t respond well with him. His abilities and agility is no problem for me. Weaver must be looked at closely to see if he can recover that spark that excited us a few years ago.

The centre halves we have and recently bought must mean major changes. The only certainties I can see are Distin and Sommeil, everyone else could either stay or be on their way. Some will have to leave just to cut the wage bill. Favourites for the chop? Well we could have seen the last of Dunne and Mettomo. The dropping of Howey is significant because it suggests that KK has seen the light (as many believe) that Howey has never been comfortable in a back 3 and doesn’t have the pace for a 4-4-2 formation. There must be some cash available for him as his reputation hasn’t been completely tarnished as per Dunne.

The search for the right back took us to Reiziger which may still happen, crossing fingers, but the news on Escude is maybe too much to hope for. It would lead to the demotion of Jensen and Sun.

To midfield it is quite apparent that we need someone in the Horlock rôle but he himself isn’t of the level that ambitions demand, notwithstanding his sterling service for the club. I can envisage Sun being moved that way until we identify the right guy. Could it be Joey Barton? Do we really need to buy Edgar Davids? The strange one must be the backup required for Berkovic. It is almost disloyal to say but I don’t think Benarbia will be anything more that an occasional treat for the fans. What kind of talent would we look for? Can SWP make that jump or is an established diamond just waiting join the Blues?

Up front the focus has been on Anelka and Fowler but a worrying message has come across that Wanchope is also surplus to requirements. So strikers to depart would be Huckerby, Wanchope, Shuker and maybe even Vuoso. That means that KK can indulge his passion and buy another striker.

I guess the following will be the summer clearance sale at City: Schmeichel (retire), Nash (sold for a profit), Dunne (sold for a big loss), Howey (sold to Pompey), Ritchie (not sold to Pompey), Mettomo (a short trip to France), Haaland (crocked for sure), Wiekens (steady eddie to the 1st), Horlock (given away), Negouai (get thee to Belgium), Belmadi (back to Marseille), Wanchope (off to Spain?), Huckerby (sold for small loss), Vuoso (sold for huge loss), Shuker (sold for peanuts).

A little guess for who comes in: Rustu, Reiziger, Escude, Frank De Boer, Davids, Van Der Meyde, Pauleta – only £25-30 million for this lot.

Now as for the goings on at City. What a nightmare. Just as things look like being on an even keel we expose ourselves for more ridicule. Two guys fighting from opposite sides both offer their resignations and both are accepted. What’s with that?

It must now be glory or bust for City. The KK statement that City will never compete with the big two whilst he was manager must have struck a chord. We are almost certain to have a 4-4-2 formation with quality in virtually every position by the start of next season. The only problem is that it will take ages for everyone to get to know each other.

Onwards and upwards with City.

David Blyth (


Arup yesterday won two awards at the structural engineering profession’s top honours, the Structural Awards 2003. The Structural Awards, which have been held by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) since 1968, took place at Gibson Hall in the City of London.

Arup and Arup Associates won the Structural Special Award, which recognises ‘structural engineering excellence, as expressed in a physical form in a building or structure’ for the City of Manchester Stadium, which was the centrepiece building of last year’s Commonwealth Games. The stadium is now in the process of being converted to a permanent 50,000-seat football stadium for Manchester City Football Club.

Sam Al-Hamdani (


“Ask for an inch and he takes a mile” is how the saying goes. This season I have been guilty, guilty and guilty. I have jumped on the Kevin Keagan train and focused on European football next season. I embraced his every word and looked forward to watching City play midweek, live on ITV, against our foreign counterparts. I saw the big name signings arriving in the summer lured by playing in the UEFA Cup. I even looked forward to the Final and City being crowned champions. Then Saturday came and Fowler missed, Nash parried but straight into the path of Dunn and for 70 minutes we didn’t score 2 and we didn’t score 1. As a result, of this result, my passport would not be required for next season.

However, a breeze of reality blew and awoke me from this living fantasy. This is our first year back in the Premiership. It is looking nearly certain that we are actually going to stay in the same division, and it is the Premiership division (I haven’t done the maths but it surely couldn’t go that wrong), there is no sign of our manager leaving and we have some potentially class players on our team, some already class but have yet to find that form. How could I be upset with this? This has been a good season.

Kevin might not agree, but he does set his sights very high. A good thing in a manager and better than the opposite. But for the rest of us, sit back and enjoy knowing that next year we will be able to try and take all 6 points against MUFC, and maybe even a couple against Arsenal. Next year, for the second year in a row, we will be a Premiership team. As I said, looking at it from that point of view, it’s been a good season.

Neil Dinan (


Thanks to John Marsland and the man himself for ‘An evening with Bernard Halford’ – a fascinating insight to the rôle of Club Secretary.

Re the rumours of a Kendall return – without the aid of a reference book to confirm the detail I think this was after the demise of the Ginger One. What I remember with clarity is an autumn evening at Vale Park, Dickov’s first goal for us (wasn’t he AB’s last signing?) a one-touch, delicious lob from Georgi’s through ball towards the assembled Blues, and the pre-match chants of ‘We don’t want that f**kin Judas back’.

Heard from a very good source last week that KK was ready to walk over the Fowler episode – anyone close to the club substantiate this?

Finally – the fear we’ve returned to the dark JR days of slow starting. Remember the gags about him giving the half time bo**ocking before the game? Am I suffering selective memory loss or are we just always c**p in the first twenty – apart from the midweek game in 2000-1 when Gareth Taylor scored our second vs. Barnsley as I took my seat I can’t remember us being quick off the blocks. Richard Mottershead, Michael Maynard, Gareth Croke et al – I think we need the facts.

Mark Sweeney (


In my small piece about the fans forum last Thursday, I mentioned that my free gift radio didn’t work. Well it didn’t, although a purchase of another set of batteries revealed the radio to work after all. Although I’m 60 miles from Manchester, it works reasonably well. A bit bassy for my liking, but that’s probably the reception. If anyone from First Advice, Century FM, or MCFC reads McVittie and was put out by my suggestion that their freebies don’t work then I’m happy to put the record straight.

Lance Thomson (


Got to agree with S Stanley… there’s a time for irony and the other Saturday was not it – down 0-4 after 20 minutes is not funny, nor ironic, merely pitiful. If we were playing well on a regular basis, beating good teams and then get beat by Scunthorpe 5-0; maybe that’s irony, but not this. We should be upping our game for the likes of Arsenal, at least give them a game. The hard truth was if Arsenal wanted more they could have had them, but for whatever reason (4 up?) they slowed it down. The sycophants in the lower Kippax just made me feel sick and at 0-5 our kid and me felt we had to leave or start shouting abuse at our own people. I’m not saying which one we did.

Who cares if they are the best team in England? Who cares if we’re pulling one on MU by handing over 3 points to their competitors? It was an inept performance with no hint of irony, a lesson – City had no heart! So give them a heart, support your team, are you going to go watch your son/daughter play and then applaud the opposition merely because they are better? No you’re not, you give the support to those that need and expect it. Bestest (sic) fans in the world, remember!

Don’t want to get too down on City, as there’s a lot of learning to be done and if you’d told me we’d be in this position 12 months ago I’d be more than happy. I’d just rather not be witness to that kind of eulogistic b******t ever again.

Pete Rodda (


Thought I’d try early this time – I’m after a spare for Bolton. Please contact me direct at the address below.

Steve Parish (


This match is on Scandinavian TV on Saturday 22nd March.

Adrian Platt (


The next meeting of the Reddish Branch of the Centenary Supporters’ Association will be on Wednesday 12th March at The Ash Hotel, Manchester Road, Stockport starting at 8.00pm.

Our confirmed guests for the evening are none other than Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee.

Admission, which includes a Free Raffle, is just a £1 for Members, £2 for non-members and kids are free.

As always everyone is welcome.

For more info visit our web site at

Howard Burr – Secretary, Reddish Blues (


It was heard that after Manchester United’s defeat against Liverpool in the Worthington Cup that the Manchester United players were wearing crash helmets in their dressing room.

Ernie Barrow (


5 March 2003

Middlesbrough         1 - 0  Newcastle United      34,814
Manchester United     2 - 1  Leeds United          67,135

3 March 2003

Aston Villa           0 - 2  Birmingham City       42,602

League table to 05 March 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         29 13  1  1 35 13  6  5  3 29 17 19  6  4  64  30  34  63
 2 Manchester Utd  29 12  2  1 28 10  5  5  4 19 17 17  7  5  47  27  20  58
 3 Newcastle Utd   29 13  1  1 27  9  4  3  7 20 25 17  4  8  47  34  13  55
 4 Everton         29  9  4  1 22 13  5  3  7 16 21 14  7  8  38  34   4  49
 5 Chelsea         29  8  4  2 28 12  5  5  5 22 19 13  9  7  50  31  19  48
 6 Charlton Ath.   29  7  3  4 23 18  6  3  6 16 18 13  6 10  39  36   3  45
 7 Liverpool       28  5  8  1 20 12  6  2  6 19 16 11 10  7  39  28  11  43
 8 Blackburn R.    29  7  5  3 20 14  4  5  5 15 18 11 10  8  35  32   3  43
 9 Tottenham H.    29  8  4  2 26 17  4  3  8 15 23 12  7 10  41  40   1  43
10 Southampton     29  8  5  2 19 11  3  4  7 11 17 11  9  9  30  28   2  42
11 Middlesbrough   29  8  6  1 27 17  2  2 10  8 15 10  8 11  35  32   3  38
12 Manchester City 29  7  1  6 24 24  4  4  7 15 20 11  5 13  39  44  -5  38
13 Fulham          29  9  2  4 20 11  1  5  8 13 24 10  7 12  33  35  -2  37
14 Aston Villa     29  9  1  5 21 11  1  4  9 10 23 10  5 14  31  34  -3  35
15 Leeds United    29  5  2  7 14 17  5  2  8 21 22 10  4 15  35  39  -4  34
16 Birmingham City 29  4  4  6 14 19  4  4  7 13 22  8  8 13  27  41 -14  32
17 Bolton Wndrs    28  3  7  4 19 21  2  4  8 12 24  5 11 12  31  45 -14  26
18 West Ham United 29  2  6  7 15 22  4  2  8 17 31  6  8 15  32  53 -21  26
19 West Brom A.    29  3  4  7 12 19  2  2 11  9 25  5  6 18  21  44 -23  21
20 Sunderland      29  3  2  9  9 20  1  5  9 10 26  4  7 18  19  46 -27  19

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.09]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

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 6pm, 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] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels.

[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] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[11] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[12] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the match day music information, to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service and to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb and Roger Haigh for the Satellite TV info.

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 #895