Newsletter #969

Welcome to MCIVTA, where City fans can vent spleens, heap praise and try to cope with the joys of being a supporter of the team we love. Heidi’s taking a break from Editorial duties, so I’ve escaped from the News Summary section to introduce tonight’s issue.

International fixtures this week have meant a quiet time in the wacky world of MCFC, but tonight we feature: Gavin’s report on yet another victory for the Reserves, news of a conclusion to the naming of the West Stand, an interesting view on the facilities of the new stadium, a double dose of Ernie’s musings, plus requests for and offers of tickets.

I am also in charge of the asylum for Monday’s issue, number 970, so please keep your contributions coming to the usual address, namely <editor(at)>. Match reports on the Newcastle game will be particularly welcome.

Next game: Newcastle United, away, 3pm Saturday 22 November 2003


General News

Stand Up if you Like the Names: How could we ever think that City had got cold feet over the naming of the new stand? The club announced this week that the West Stand will be named the Colin Bell Stand, while the main pedestrian walkway to the ground will become Joe Mercer Way. The service road that encircles the new stadium will now be called Eastlands Way. “I am delighted with the outcome of both the stand and road naming,” said Club Chairman, John Wardle. “Both Colin and Joe are truly legendary figures in the Club’s history and it is entirely appropriate that their enduring contribution to Manchester City should be reflected in this way.” King Colin said: “I am touched that both myself and Joe Mercer have received these votes from Manchester City fans. Joe was one of the Club’s true greats and I’m pleased this has been recognised in such a permanent way. For my part, I am deeply honoured to give my name to such an integral part of the stadium.” Wardle added: “I think the two of them couldn’t be better choices. There was some negative publicity because of the website and Manchester United supporters jumping on it. So what? Fans voted throughout the country at the various supporters’ clubs and we can rise above that. We’re not going to drop to that level.” The Chairman also explained that his personal preference for the new stadium’s name is “Eastlands”. He said: “The area around the ground is called Eastlands so if fans want to shorten it to that, that’s fine. That’s what I do.”

Is Danny Jinxed? There was mixed news from the Reserves this week. The Second XI notched up a fourth consecutive victory, as the Blues beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0, thanks to two goals from Jon Macken. While the £5.5 million man staked a further claim for first team consideration, Danny Tiatto’s fortunes took a further dent. Tiatto was included at the start in a bid to boost his match fitness, but managed only a quarter of an hour before limping off with a hamstring problem. It is unlikely that he will be fit for the first team trip to Newcastle. Team: Ellegaard, Lee-Matthews, Tiatto (Slack 15) (Proffitt 68), Wiekens, Murphy, Jordan, Tandy, Negouai, Macken, B Wright-Phillips, Shuker. Subs: Matthewson, Grimes, Pearson.

Ban for QPR Fan: A spectator who racially abused a steward during City’s Carling Cup game at Loftus Road last month has been banned for 10 years by QPR. Gary Bones of West Ruislip was found guilty of a racially aggravated offence and banned from attending football nationwide for three years by a magistrates’ court. But Rangers have clamped down firmly to impose their own decade-long ban on Bones visiting Loftus Road. Chief Executive David Davies said: “Whilst we recognise the decision of the court, the club have taken further steps to impose what we believe is a suitable penalty. We are keen to set an example to all supporters, underlining our commitment to eradicate anti-social and racially aggravated behaviour from games at Loftus Road.”

Boss Man Psycho? Just in case we hadn’t realised already, Stuart Pearce has made it clear this week that his long-term aim is to return to management. He had a brief spell as caretaker-boss of Nottingham Forest in the 1996/97 season. Pearce commented, “Things haven’t changed in the year-and-a-half since I came on the coaching staff. I’ve got aspirations to work in management. That’s never changed since day one. The bottom line is I am here as a coach and I am fully happy. If I have to stay, for however long… as long as the manager and board are happy with me, I don’t think it will be a problem.”

Triumph of Youth: The Youth team are through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after beating Wigan 2-1 at the JJB Stadium. Two first half goals from Stephen Ireland, one a penalty, ensured the victory, although the home side pulled a goal back six minutes from time through Phil Edwards to set up a tense finish. Team: Schmeichel, Warrender, Collins, N D’Laryea, Onouha, Bennett, Laird, J D’Laryea, Bermingham (Miller 89), Ireland, Logan. Subs: Matthewson, Etuhu, Sturridge, Reilly.

Sweeping Up Award: Shaun Wright-Phillips has been named Thomas Cook player-of-the-month for October. It has been a mixed month for SWP, who managed a high and a low in the space of one game – he scored twice against Bolton, before being red carded. “I have learned a lot from the sending-off and I will not be going into a tackle in that fashion again,” he said. “There is nothing worse than being suspended and training hard, knowing that there is going to be nothing at the end of it. I don’t like watching much either. I was in the stands against Leicester but I will not be going to Newcastle, hopefully I will be rested and back in against Groclin. It has been depressing for me missing games. Hopefully, when I am back playing, I won’t ever get sent off again.” Shaunie is happy with his progression this season. “I feel I am going in the right direction, though I feel that I am still a fair way from being complete,” he said. “I have been working on my goal scoring technique and also my crossing and I think both have improved a lot. I enjoy being on the right, I still have to defend but there is not as much responsibility on me to defend as there was when I was in the wing back slot. It means that when I want to get forward I have a lot more energy. That is my natural game.”

International Blue: The withdrawal of three players saw Richard Dunne called up as a late addition to the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of the International friendly against Canada at Lansdowne Road on Tuesday. The Blues’ defender played the full ninety minutes alongside Birmingham’s Kenny Cunningham, and after the game Kerr stated that he felt that Dunne had played “very, very well.” Ireland won 3-0.

Transfer News and Gossip

Race for Hucks Heats Up: KK has revealed that Norwich City are not the only club wishing to sign Darren Huckerby. The jet-heeled number seven made it clear last week that he’d like to stay at Carrow Road once his loan spell ends, but the Boss Man stated: “There are two and a half weeks left on Darren’s loan period and we have had contact from Norwich and a couple of other clubs. It’s fine for the player to say that he would like a move but there has to be a lot of questions asked on what he is willing to do to make it happen. You have to remember that Darren is a player who is worth money, good money. Darren will score goals in Division 1 and in the Premiership as well, there is no doubt about that. But he is fourth or fifth in line here. That’s what we said to him and pointed out there was an opportunity for him at Norwich and he has taken the opportunity. Apparently his wife and kids like the area and he is enjoying the club. Now it is up to Norwich and they know what the deal is. There are other clubs which are interested so there is no doubt that there is a possibility Darren will move in the window provided the deal is right for us and for him.” So who are these two other clubs? According to newspaper folk, they are: Wigan Athletic (M.E.N.), and Millwall (Daily Mail). Later in the week, Latics’ Boss Paul Jewell was quoted as saying: “We are interested in the player, as we are any good players of his type. But there are a lot of other clubs interested too. Norwich are in the box seat because he’s there at the moment and that’s fair enough, but I had a chat with Kevin Keegan at our Youth Cup game against City and they know what our situation is. He’s an exciting player and someone we rate, but as I said there’s a few clubs interested in him so we’ll have to wait and see how things pan out.”

Once Buyten, Twice Shy: There have been a couple of stories linking City and that team from the outskirts of town. According to the Sunday People, KK would like to make a move for Olympique Marseille defender Danny van Buyten, who has been the subject of approaches from Trafford FC and Newcastle this year (thanks James Welsh for that item). The second tale of alleged fraternisation concerns the Reds’ comedy goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. The French World Cup winner is currently training with Olympique Marseille in his home country, but cannot join the French outfit on loan due to transfer regulations. With both David Seaman and Nicky Weaver struggling with injuries at the moment, the press would have us believe that KK could ask the FA for special permission to sign Big Bad Bald Barth on loan. Playing Donald Pleasance back into form for Sir Alex would probably stick in the craw of most Blues – so here’s wishing Seamo and Nicky swift and successful recoveries!

Other Sky Blues in for Negouai? Coventry City are chasing midfielder Christian Negouai. Negouai has rarely featured for the first team this season, and his last appearance was in the second leg of the UEFA Cup tie with TNS in August. Coventry boss Gary McAllister hopes to sign the midfielder on loan.

Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: Please disregard all the transfer speculation you have just read, if some reports are to be believed. Chairman John Wardle has made it clear that he wants to rein in the reported £50 million club deficit, and that he is unlikely to sanction any major spending come January. “We’ve got to be certain that we get hold of the debt and over the next year or two sort it out and gradually build back,” said Wardle. “We certainly can’t go into more debt and I certainly have no intention of taking the club that way. It was important, especially last season, that we had some investment in players and that has proved itself because we’re sixth in the league. I think that was right to do and it’s a manageable debt, which we’ll manage and move on with, but we won’t go any deeper in debt. At the start of the season, Kevin and I spoke about that and he said himself then that he has the squad he needs.” If KK wished to freshen up his squad at the start of 2004, he may well have to sell some squad members before he can buy. In this new spirit of only shopping in the bargain bins in January, KK has revealed: “We will be looking at number of trialists in the next couple of weeks but they are more for the future, younger players. We should not stop looking to strengthen our base of younger players, I would not be doing my job if I was not looking at these players.” Keegan confirmed: “I am not looking to bring much in during the transfer window. We have got the players here we just have to get them working together and playing together better. We are sixth in the League now and of course it could have been better, it could have been worse. We are not looking to go an do anything crazy in the transfer window we will concentrate on what is happening at the moment and we will look at it in a couple of weeks.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Uwe’s Back! The club’s website has reported today that Uwe Rösler is recovering well from treatment for chest cancer, and that the former City striker will be a guest of the club for the home clash with Middlesbrough in ten days’ time. Uwe’s quoted as saying: “All the signs we have so far are that I’m healthy again. I will be coming over for the Middlesbrough match. The club have invited my wife and I over to see the new stadium and we’re really looking forward to it.” Uwe was amazed at the backing he has received from City fans. “I received about a thousand emails and faxes from City supporters,” he revealed. “I was amazed and I’ve kept every single one of them. It was unbelievable because I’ve been away from the club for so long and yet so many people sent cards, letters and goodwill messages and everything I received was fantastic. City fans have never forgotten my time with the club and that is wonderful. This is the best reward you can have as a player because you know you did something right. It helped me a lot and I will keep the messages forever. This was very touching for me and I had so many people asking me to come to Manchester that it made me more determined than ever to return fully fit and thank them personally.”

Blue Nic: Niclas Jensen was back in Manchester (well, Trafford actually) to take part in Denmark’s friendly with England. Nic was keen to make clear that he didn’t leave City willingly in the summer. Of his move to Borussia Dortmund, Jensen said: “Things are going well for me now. I have a regular place in the starting line-up and that is very good. I always said that if City had come to me and asked me to extend my contract, I would have gladly done that. But they didn’t and this offer came for me to play for another three years, so I took it. One of the first things I do on a Sunday or Monday morning is check out how City have done.”

Metto Sorry to Go: Our third German based ex-Blue this week is Lucien Mettomo, who like Jensen has extolled the virtues of his former club. Speaking after playing in MVF’s tribute game, Metto said, “I was very disappointed that I never got a chance to say goodbye to the fans because everything went through so quickly. I will never forget my time at Manchester City. It is such a fantastic club. The people who work there, the supporters, the players; everything was just fantastic. That will always stay with me wherever I go. I am enjoying my time in Germany. I left because I wanted to play regular football and I am doing that now. I could have stayed and just picked up the money but that is not me. I could not do that. I had lots of good times. In my first season, we won the First Division Championship and we played very well. Then last year, though I only played a few games, I figured in the derby match. I always tried to do my best. It was the first time we had beaten Manchester United in 13 years and that was also very special. I just hope now that the club and the manager go on to win something and do very well in the Premiership. The fans need to have a team that are winning things and the club deserves success. I played in the new stadium before I left and that was amazing. I left knowing that Manchester was a really wonderful club. They deserve all the success they get. I am the first Manchester City supporter in Germany and I will always thank them for giving me such wonderful memories.”

Brownie Points to a Good Future: Thanks to Sarah Longshaw for sending me this item: NEWS OF CITY OLD BOY: York City boss Chris Brass was refusing to rest on his laurels after boosting his firepower with the signing of former Manchester City striker Gary Browne. The City player-chief confirmed he was still looking to draft in more fresh blood even after signing Browne, 20, on a one month deal. With Jon Parkin and Richard Cooper both suspended at the weekend, Northern Ireland Under-21 international Browne could be handed a baptism of fire on Saturday in City’s derby clash with Doncaster Rovers. Browne has been training with City while playing for UniBond outfit Whitby in recent months. He has worked hard and got his games in at Whitby and he has shown promise, now it is up to him to impress again. “He comes with a good pedigree from Manchester City and he is also a Northern Ireland international. He is a goalscorer and that is something that we have been looking for. The only thing he lacks is experience, but you don’t get experience unless you play.”

Ged Back to Where You Once Belong: Here’s a name to conjure with from City’s Dark Ages – Ged Brannan has returned to Wigan after completing two months on loan with Rochdale. Dale have decided against extending his stay after making a loan move for former skipper Gary Jones, now at Barnsley. Rochdale boss Alan Buckley told the club’s official website: “I would like to thank Ged for his efforts whilst he’s been at the club. However, I feel the time his right for him to return to Wigan and further his career there.” Signed by Frank Clark in March 1997 from Tranmere Rovers, Brannan featured 30 times in the ill-fated relegation season of 1997-1998. He was eventually sold to Motherwell in October 1998 for £350,000, a 50% reduction on his original cost to the Blues.

Reactions and Comments

Two Kevins Discuss Leicester: Poor Kevin Ellegaard had a début to forget ten days ago, as the young Dane found himself on the wrong end of the Foxes’ 3-0 drubbing of the Blues. “I had been playing in the Reserves before I was put on the bench and that was a move up, a chance to learn new things. Playing was another huge jump forward,” admitted Ellegaard. “There were so many faces looking at me. You don’t really see them when you are playing but you can feel them around you. I went home after the 3-0 defeat and felt really down. For the first time I had let the fans down. You don’t get that feeling when you play for the Reserves. It was the worst game ever. Now I have had time to think about it more. I expect a lot from myself and have learned a lot from Sunday. I know I couldn’t really do anything about the goals but there were two crosses that I didn’t take well. I wanted to get into the game quickly and perhaps I was trying too hard. But I wanted to show the fans how good I was.” Kev the Elder gave his views. “I think if I am fair it came a bit quickly for Kevin. We feel he has still things to learn,” remarked KK. “He has got all the qualities you need, but he doesn’t have the experience. I guess in an ideal world if we had fit goalkeepers here we would have sent him out on loan for a month. I thought he did okay on Sunday. There will be one or two things he will look back and say that he could have kicked that one better, or done better with certain crosses. He had no chance with the goals at all. It was a strange game because you couldn’t say that he had to make a number of saves. He didn’t have a lot to do, three shots and three good goals and no chance for him. Yes, there were one or two things which you could look at in his game but overall it was a great experience for him.”

Squad News

Bad News for Nicky: Those worrying about matters Barthez will not be pleased by the report emanating from the club today. Nicky Weaver is facing yet another visit to the USA after he experienced more complications in his damaged knee. “Nicky has had to pull out of training again. He will go and see a specialist and we are hoping for a clear indication from him as to what is wrong,” explained KK. “It is a real disappointment. We thought he had a problem but he came back and everything seemed fine. But there is obviously something now that is now quite right and in a couple of weeks he may go back to America. We are down to two ‘keepers now and if, God forbid, anything happened then I will have to ask for special dispensation to bring someone in. I don’t know if we would be allowed it for Groclin for example. We are somewhat down to the bones for that game. I will be thinking about the situation and act if needs be.”

“Don’t Take Your Coat Off, Son”: Chris Shuker has only been back at City for five minutes after a loan spell at Rochdale, and it appears that Big Kev wants to send him out on loan again. The player has been told that his City career is effectively over. “We have had discussions with him and he knows that at the end of the season he will be going,” explained KK. The boss also revealed that he would be looking at the futures of one or two other players and discussing their options with them. “Glenn Whelan has gone to Bury and has done very well and they are keen to take him to the end of the season. Some of our young ones we feel have had a chance here. They have trained with us but really need to look to get into stable football. We need to look at those decisions with those players. Those contracts run out at the end of the season and players are not silly, they know if they are not playing in the first team that they will not be offered anything else. There are one or two players like that.” Glenn Whelan, meanwhile is hoping to return to Bury for a further loan spell later in the season. The 19-year-old has already played nine games for the Shakers, but his current loan deal has been cut short because of his involvement in the Republic of Ireland’s squad for the World Youth Championships in Dubai. “I don’t know how long I’ll be away for but when I come back the club are interested in taking me back. And I’m interested as well,” Whelan commented. “Hopefully I can pick up where I left off. And I’m sure I’ll find out Bury’s results somehow while I’m in the Middle East.”

Finding Seamo: David Seaman is not interested in following his old Arsenal team-mate Tony Adams into management. Adams has just taken his first steps in club management by taking over at Second Division side Wycombe, but the Rotherham-born goalkeeper insists he would be happiest as a goalkeeping coach. He said: “Management doesn’t appeal to me at all. Being a footballer you’re away a long time enough, in hotels and preparing for games and things like that. Being a manager you go into training, do all the training, then you got to go back into the office and work all day. I don’t want that, I’ve got two little children. I’ll do a bit of goalkeeping coaching. I can’t just walk away from goalkeeping with all the experience that I’ve got. And all the coaching that I’ve had from people like Bob Wilson. For 15 years he’s been my coach. Ray Clemence and Mike Kelly have also passed some stuff on to me and I want to give some of that back to any other goalkeepers. And at this moment in time I don’t know which club it would be at.”

Blues First for Seamo: Paulo Wanchope has decided to put his international career with Costa Rica on the back burner. Wanchope said: “I need to focus on City more than ever as I want to repay all the support they have given me during those bad times. I need to give them some goals and to pay them back for helping me through a frustrating period.”

Work Till You’re Musclebound: There’s more bad news for Mikkel Bischoff, who is facing another spell on the sidelines. Basically he’s got too many muscles. Let Big Boss explain: “Mikkel still has a small problem, things are not quite right so we are looking at different way of treating the injury. He is having a scan on Thursday and, without going into too much detail, he has an extra muscle in his foot. It is an incredible thing in that he has a muscle in his foot that other people don’t have. That is part of the problem. In a nutshell the treatment he will undergo has to stop this extra muscle working. It should take about three weeks and then he will return to training.” On the subject of beefy defenders, Richard Dunne appears to have muscled his way into the first team ahead of David Sommeil. “It has been a difficult wait to get the shirt, but every player goes through it and I had to do it,” noted Dunne in the wake of the defeat to Leicester. “It was nice to get back in but then to perform like we did last weekend was not very good. I really do feel fit and feel that I am up for it. Each game I play will improve my fitness even more. Now I want to stay in the team and improve with each performance. I don’t want to set myself any targets for the season in case I don’t reach them so I will look at each game as it comes along. I suppose that after the manner of that defeat against Leicester all you want to do is to go out and play the next match and make amends but we have this wait before we can do anything about it.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Saturday’s game will be the 150th meeting between City and Newcastle. Other than the odd notable occasion such as clinching the League Championship in 1968, our record at St James’ does not stand up to close scrutiny: only 11 victories in 74 visits.


Premier League:   W  1 D  1 L  3; F  2 A   7
Old Division One: W  7 D 12 L 34; F 50 A 103
Old Division Two: W  1 D  1 L  8; F 11 A  27
League Total:     W  9 D 14 L 45; F 63 A 137
FA Cup:           W  1 D  2 L  2; F  5 A   6
League Cup:       W  1 D  0 L  0; F  2 A   0
Grand Total:      W 11 D 16 L 47; F 70 A 143

First Meeting:          6/1/1894, Newcastle 2 City 1 (Old Div 2)  1,000
Latest Meeting:        18/1/2003, Newcastle 2 City 0 (Prem)      52,152
Last Win:              24/2/2001, Newcastle 0 City 1 (Prem)      51,981
Last Draw:              2/1/1995, Newcastle 0 City 0 (Prem)      34,437
Last Defeat:           18/1/2003, Newcastle 2 City 0 (Prem)      52,152
Last Clean Sheet:      24/2/2001, Newcastle 0 City 1 (Prem)      51,981
Last Failure To Score: 18/1/2003, Newcastle 2 City 0 (Prem)      52,152
Biggest Victory:      20/10/1956, Newcastle 0 City 3 (Old Div 1) 34,310
Heaviest Defeat:      29/10/1983, Newcastle 5 City 0 (Old Div 2) 33,588
Most Goals In A Game: 27/10/1894, Newcastle 5 City 4 (Old Div 2)  2,000
Fewest Goals In A Game: Seven times, Newcastle 0 City 0
Highest Scoring Draw:  29/4/1911, Newcastle 3 City 3 (Old Div 1) 11,000
Highest Attendance:   26/10/1946, Newcastle 3 City 2 (Old Div 2) 65,798
Lowest Attendance:      6/1/1894, Newcastle 2 City 1 (Old Div 2)  1,000

John Clancy <johnny(at)>

MATCH REPORT: Macken Brace Beats Bolton


A resurgent City reserve team held its luck to record their fourth league win on the bounce at Lancashire FA headquarters in Leyland, the new home of Bolton’s own reserve team. The quality of Jon Macken’s finishing, one goal in each half, proved to be the difference as Bolton hit the woodwork on numerous occasions.

The brief lull in wet conditions, before kick off, soon changed back to a thick drizzle with a swirling wind. Bolton took advantage of City’s inability to deal with these changing conditions and forced a few corners and hit the woodwork twice inside the first ten minutes. Although City had managed a couple of long range shots on the break, you would have to say that when City took the lead on the thirteenth minute it was against the run of play. Chris Shuker received possession just inside the Bolton half on the right, he jinxed and turned and went past three Bolton player to the edge of the area, then looked up and played a well weighted low cross to Macken in the area. He almost passed the ball into the goal with a neat side foot as it rolled accurately into the far corner past the outstretched hands of Kevin Poole in the Bolton goal.

A minute later saw the only downside to City’s victory when Danny Tiatto attempted to intercept a pass down Bolton’s right by bringing his right leg up backwards and turning awkwardly right in front of me. Immediately he bent over and felt his left hamstring. He tried to run it off for a couple of minutes but it was clear that he would be taking no further part in the match.

As City have got their first Youth Cup tie today, City’s second string bench was very inexperienced and so Tiatto’s replacement, Leyton Slack, came on to make his reserve début. He slotted in to the right midfield and Shuker switched flanks, with Jamie Tandy moving into the left back position, where he played far better than he does as a left midfielder, so perhaps he should think of this change in career direction more.

Ten minutes after putting City in front, Macken demonstrated why he has struggled to make an impact on the first team squad when Christian Negouai sent him racing into space only for him to take the wrong option of going wide and then only being able to force his shot into the side netting. Neither team’s midfield was able to take a grip of proceedings and so it was like a tennis match where the action was going from one end to the other.

In the last fifteen minutes Bradley Wright-Phillips had two good chances to put City further ahead, but his efforts went over the bar and hit the post respectively. After City’s abysmal second half display in the Senior Cup at the beginning of October, the City fans were hoping that the same performance would not be repeated.

Those fears were dispelled when Macken had a good turn and shot on target well saved in the fourth minute after the restart. However, City rode their luck when a close offside decision was given in City’s favour on the hour mark after Bolton’s number ten, Reda Kribib, had headed the ball into the net and had the goal disallowed.

Both sides were again creating chances as the game moved end to end. City decided they needed to take the game beyond Bolton by bringing on Doryll Proffitt and taking off the earlier substitute, Slack. This gave Shuker more of a free rôle and he was unlucky to see his shot hit the post after Negouai had played him into space; Proffitt however, could only force the rebound over the bar.

City’s winning goal came on eighty-five minutes when Shuker intercepted a loose pass in the midfield and ran at the Bolton defence before sending a pass to Macken who was able to run into the box and finish well with the outside of his boot into the bottom right corner of the goal.

City’s next reserve game brings the two best defences of the division together when Liverpool reserves travel to Hyde next Tuesday. With both teams not being free scoring either, we are likely to see a similar scoreline to the nil-nil draw we saw at the Deva Stadium at the beginning of September.

Ellegaard: Handling and kicking was not up to his improved form. 6
Lee-Matthews: Not a bad display from one of his few outings in the reserves.7
Tiatto (16): Was struggling even before he got injured. 5
Wiekens: A true pro, does enough work to warrant replacing Bosvelt in the 1st team. 8
Murphy: Played okay in spells but was often too reckless in the tackle. 6
Jordan (capt): Just shaded Wiekens for MoM as they created a strong partnership. 8
Tandy: Made a good impression when he moved to left back. 7
Negouai: Was harshly booked, needs to improve his range of passing. 6
Macken: Could have easily been MoM had he finished some easier chances. 8
Wright-Phillips: Helped play his part up front, should have been a scorer though. 7
Shuker: Created both of the goals, but we know he can play better than he has. 7

Slack (16) (78): Doesn’t play in academy games,so perhaps a step too far for him. 6
Proffitt (78): Gave City options when he came on and didn’t give the ball away. 7
Not Used:
Matthewson, Grimes, Pearson.

Bolton: Poole, Powell, Smith, Lord N’Diwa (O’Brien 25), Comyn-Platt, Farrelly, Niven (capt), Hamlin, Taylor, Kribib, Thach (Buval 68).

Att: 443.

Gavin Cooper <Blueboy(at)>


No doubt you will have probably received a lot of these comments, but the general organisation of the new ground is really doing my nut in! I would give my right arm to go back to Maine Road at this point. The bars were easier to get served at (not that easy though), you didn’t have to go the scenic way past Asda to get out of the ground, literally having to walk right round the ground! And the atmosphere, ah yes… the atmosphere! It is absolutely terrible! I used to sit in AA block in the Kippax and have now moved to K in the East stand. I should’ve stayed put, it’s c**p, and I can’t see it getting any better. Certainly not judging by the shocking turn-outs at the UEFA games. Looks like we’ve lost our way, turning into a mediocre set of fickle fans expecting success, rather than feeling like we’d earned it, as we did before. Let’s hope the derby game at home instils that bit of hatred that brings out the best in our fans! Can’t wait!

Peter <PETERFUZZY(at)>


Manchester City, if they are to get a place in the top six in the Premier League, might have to get a first class ‘keeper. Kevin Keegan has said that he is in no hurry, and will wait another month to see how Weaver gets on with his injury first, but in reality City cannot bring in a new ‘keeper until the window opens. Seaman’s position is in doubt, whilst Weaver has injury problems, and our young ‘keeper Kevin Ellegaard is not mature enough for the Premier League. There have been rumours about three ‘keepers, including Paul Robinson (Leeds United), and Robert Green (Norwich) who want Huckerby; it is reported Huckerby likes Norwich and would like to stay – could we see some kind of deal happening here? The latest to be mentioned is Chris Kirkland (Liverpool). Kirkland is on the bench because of Jerzy Dudek’s form, but he wants first team football. The price tag could be around 5 million pounds. Looking back in history, whenever City had a successful team we always had a great ‘keeper: Frank Swift, Bert Trautmann, Joe Corrigan to name a few. Since then we have had some fair ‘keepers but none of the calibre of the three mentioned. Whoever our keeper is, City’s defenders have got to play better. Maybe Seaman’s job was an easier one at Arsenal with the defenders he had in front of him. Our last line of defence has got to be a first class ‘keeper, and should our youngsters come through in the future that’s money in the bank.

Come on you Blues! Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


I mentioned this back at the beginning of November, but nobody seemed to pick up on it. Now today I’ve seen another article on the official club website that says Weaver may again have to fly to the States for treatment of the same injury. So I ask the question yet again… are the rumours true? Is his career over? If so, who is coming to replace him during the next transfer window?

I’m going up to Newcastle this weekend and I will be a little concerned if I see Ellegaard on the bench…

CTID, Andrew Ogden <Andrew.Ogden(at)>


I just wondered whether anyone in MCIVTA-land knew how to get a ‘good luck’ message to Will Greenwood and his colleagues and if so whether, on behalf of MCIVTA, such a message could be sent.

Thanks, Tom Rhodes <T.Rhodes(at)>


Following on from Nick Morley’s piece in the previous MCIVTA, I too am distancing myself from the “thickness” of other City fans.

Rant Begin

As I write this… City are 6th in the Premiership, 3 points off a Champions’ League spot, still in the Carling Cup, still in the UEFA Cup, are one of the highest scorers in the Premier League and have one of Europe’s best strikers. We have a squad of players who have played at the very highest level (Seaman, Tarnat, Jihai, Tiatto, Dunne, Reyna, Bosvelt, Berkovic, Macca, Sinclair, Fowler, Wanchope, Anelka, Distin, Sommeil, Sibierski), all of whom have played at either international and/or European level. And that doesn’t include 2 of the best young players in the country. We have 2 Champions’ League winners. We have a ground that is the envy of the country and is likely to host international and European games.

And yet we still can’t help whinging about how bad we are. I agree we shouldn’t be prepared to accept mid-table – Spurs are a team that has done that and look at the state they are in. But at the same time we shouldn’t be booing, or slagging the team off – we should get behind them fully.

I cast your minds back…

9th November 2002 – Maine Road
The best atmosphere I personally have ever been to (I’m a 5th year season ticket holder) and we absolutely romp home against the future champions.

16th November 2002 Maine Road
The worst atmosphere I think I’ve been in – we lose to Charlton.

Moral is: get behind the team and they’ll win. Get on the backs of the team, they’ll perform badly.

Oh and Sun Jihai – Times Fantasy Football – top point scoring defender and one of the top players. Whilst most of his points come from assists – if he were that bad he would have lost lots of points in conceding goals.

Rant Over

Jeremy Barber <j.barber(at)>


To David Butler – if you have such a desire to go ‘boo’ can I suggest you get a job on Scooby Doo or something rather than practising your talent on the Blues. Wake up! After Leicester scored their first goal the “boo” boys like you started your antics. All this did was turn our magnificent new stadium into a place where the players clearly felt intimidated. That’s all well and good but I always thought the point was to make the away team feel that way!

So if you don’t want to support the team don’t go (and take all like minded down the pub with you!). It would be better to have 30,000 committed supporters rather than giving our stadium over to the moaners.

Come on the non-booers – let’s outshout the nutters!

Paul Bates <btspl(at)>


A few weeks ago here in MCITA I mentioned about a youngster playing in the USA. Freddie Adu, he’s only 14, plays for USA under 17 year olds, hes not afraid to take on players with confidence and score goals!

Well yesterday at the age of only 14 he signed for D C United. I have also heard that the Evil Empire have showed interest, which does not surprise me. At the age of only 14 (he finishes High School in the spring) I really don’t know how a British club could go about signing him. I guess his value will go up every day, and now maybe only Chelski will be able to afford him in time.

On the home front it’s great to know that City have their young stars: Lee Croft is a promising striker, Flood, and Jordan, with others are there for City’s future.

Come on you Blues! Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


For reasons too boring to go into, I’m looking for a match programme from our away trip to Liverpool from the 1985-86 season. It was March 31, 1986, Easter Monday.

Many thanks.

Marc Starr <Marcatu(at)>


I finally made it to CoMStad for the Leicester game and, I have to say, what a superb stadium. Shame about the result, but as a City fan of 36 years standing I guess I am used to this sort of thing. Francis Lee once said “If there were cups awarded for cock ups…”. Well you know the rest.

I have to be in Winchester on derby day for a family gathering. The good news is that it does not begin until after the game. Is there a pub in Winchester where the A34 branch or any other Hampshire-based Blues gather to watch games? It would be a pleasure to join you on the day.

Essex and Suffolk Blues – don’t forget that the monthly meeting is this Friday at the usual venue Seabright’s Barn, Watchouse Road, Galleywood, kick off 8.30. All other Blues in the area welcome, too. Don’t miss the opportunity to ask DC why my wife is 10 places in front of him in the footy predictions league!

Andy <andyatbluemoon(at)>


Are there any Blues living in Tasmania? I will be visiting over Christmas and am looking for venues to watch the match have a few “stubbies”.

Anyone down there please let me know. Early Xmas prezzies of programmes etc. can be arranged.

Gary King <gary.king(at)>


If there are any other Blues in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture, shall we get together to watch the derby? If you know of a bar to watch it, even better, especially if it’s around Totsuka or Ofuna. Laters! Get in touch with me.

Peter Sidell <pjs310867(at)>


Anyone with 2 spare tickets for Newcastle away 22/11/03, please get in touch.

Thanks, Raymond Critchlow <Blueray71(at)>


I am desperate for a ticket for the Newcastle game (two if possible) in the away end. I have already arranged transport and accommodation and have just found out my application was lost in the post. Please help.

Martin Alldred <martinblue75(at)>


I have one spare ticket (at face value) for Saturday’s game at Newcastle in the City end. Anyone wanting the ticket can phone 07966316180 or email:

Joe Coogan <Joe.Coogan(at)>


You omitted my personal favourite from the never-ending list of Keeganisms:

“The referee is standing ten yards away, vertically. He has a moustache.”

Aaron McCann <aaronjmccann(at)>


The online auction is now “live” and you can view the items available from the many Clubs, the FA and various celebs which are available to bid for by visiting the website:

Amongst the City related items kindly donated by MCFC, Doves and Dave Kilroy are signed shirts, signed programmes, original No 23 training tops and a matchday package.

For further information please email:



League table to 15 November 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         12  5  1  0 12  6  4  2  0 13  4  9  3  0  25  10  15  30
2  Chelsea         12  5  1  0 15  5  4  1  1 11  4  9  2  1  26   9  17  29
3  Manchester Utd  12  4  1  1 12  3  5  0  1 11  4  9  1  2  23   7  16  28
4  Charlton Ath.   12  2  2  2  9 11  4  1  1 10  4  6  3  3  19  15   4  21
5  Birmingham City 12  2  3  1  6  4  3  2  1  5  4  5  5  2  11   8   3  20
6  Manchester City 12  2  2  2 12  9  3  1  2 10  6  5  3  4  22  15   7  18
7  Fulham          12  2  2  2 10  9  3  1  2 12  9  5  3  4  22  18   4  18
8  Liverpool       12  2  1  3  8  8  3  1  2 10  6  5  2  5  18  14   4  17
9  Southampton     12  3  1  2  5  3  1  4  1  5  4  4  5  3  10   7   3  17
10 Newcastle Utd   12  2  2  2  6  4  2  2  2 10 14  4  4  4  16  18  -2  16
11 Portsmouth      12  4  0  2 15  6  0  3  3  2 10  4  3  5  17  16   1  15
12 Middlesbrough   12  2  0  4  6 10  2  2  2  5  5  4  2  6  11  15  -4  14
13 Tottenham H.    12  2  1  3  6  8  1  2  3  5  8  3  3  6  11  16  -5  12
14 Bolton Wndrs    12  1  4  1  5  4  1  2  3  4 15  2  6  4   9  19 -10  12
15 Leicester City  12  2  2  2 10  8  1  0  5  9 13  3  2  7  19  21  -2  11
16 Blackburn R.    12  2  0  4 10 11  1  2  3  7 11  3  2  7  17  22  -5  11
17 Aston Villa     12  2  3  1  6  5  0  2  4  3 10  2  5  5   9  15  -6  11
18 Everton         12  2  2  2  9  7  0  2  4  4 10  2  4  6  13  17  -4  10
19 Wolves          12  2  2  2  6 13  0  2  4  2 11  2  4  6   8  24 -16  10
20 Leeds United    12  1  2  3  5 10  1  0  5  6 21  2  2  8  11  31 -20   8

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0304.06]

[0] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Don Barrie) :
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] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at, whilst an alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at

[7] 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. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and also provides a guide to pubs in the USA showing football.

[8] What’s the music the teams run out to?

It’s actually a mix of two tracks. It starts with “O Verona” (from the motion picture “William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”) and leads in to “Barber’s Adagio for Strings (Ferry Corsten remix)” by William Orbit. The first part is available on the movie soundtrack (volume 2) and the second is included on a variety of CDs such as Kiss House Nation 2000, Galaxy Hit Mix, Cream Live, Ibiza Chill and Dance Nation 4.

[9] 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

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

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

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the OFEX web site (registration required) or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try or

[13] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Damian Quinn, Stephen Webb, Roger Haigh, Martin Price, and Adrian Howarth 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]Don Barrie,

Newsletter #969