Newsletter #996

Next game: Manchester United, home, 2pm Sunday 14 March 2004


Staying up? – A statistical analysis of City’s League run-in.

I was wondering last week how City’s like-for-like results were, when comparing last season to this. So I have listed down all this season’s fixtures and noted the number of points from each game last season, and then this season’s tally alongside. I have substituted last season’s Premiership relegation fodder for last season’s Division One promoted teams. So Portsmouth replace West Ham, Leicester replace West Brom and read Wolves for Sunderland, so we can compare.

What it all means is that after the recent Charlton home draw, City had exactly the same number of points as in the corresponding fixture last season. That is 22 points from 20 games, and that with our poor run this season. The following games against Portsmouth (West Ham), Blackburn and Arsenal brought a slightly worse outcome to last season, but things began to take a turn for the worse when we only drew at home to Birmingham (won last season), and lost at Anfield (won last season), meaning a negative swing of 5 points (I sound like Peter Snow and his Election Swingometer).

Of course, the win at Bolton last weekend pulled back 3 points, as we lost the corresponding fixture last term. So, currently we stand with 3 points less this time around. Looking at what is to come in the remaining twelve games, it seems a tall order, as last season we won seven against Man Utd (h), Fulham (h), Wolves (Sunderland) (h), Spurs (a), Leicester (West Brom) (a), Newcastle (h), and Everton (h), and lost the other five against Chelsea (h), Leeds (a), Villa (a), Southampton (h) and Middlesbrough (a). If City can mimic those results, we will end up with a very respectable 48 points. Another way of looking at it is that assuming we don’t pick up any “bonuses” in the fixtures we lost last season, we can afford to lose 3 other games and still end up on 39 points, which may well be enough to survive this time.

So, just four wins out of 12 (or a point a game) is the immediate target please Kev, and anything better will be a bonus. Here is the full run in (home matches in CAPS):

Opponents        02/03           Pts
CHELSEA          L               30
MAN UTD          W               33
Leeds            L               33
FULHAM           W               36
Villa            L               36
WOLVES           W               39
Spurs            L               39
SOUTHAMPTON      L               39
Leicester        W               42
NEWCASTLE        W               45
Middlesbro       L               45
EVERTON          W               48

Steve Kay, Editor of the unofficial City statistics website


Once again, a loss against the odds. Chelsea were sh*te. City were awesome but one thing that goes through my mind is that every game at CoMS, kick off has always been the same end; they should try swapping it round, and see if our luck changes.

For the past God knows how many times, City have had the majority of possession, they have had the most shots on target in the Premiership, yet one day a team will come here, and they will get mauled (hopefully it will be the Red Rags).

One of the most annoying things though for me, is the after match phone-in on BBC GMR and the negative comments (usually I suspect from Red Rags).

They all keep calling for KK to resign, and slagging SWP off. SWeeP’s is a class act, who has pace and stamina, and I honestly think that it might be worth throwing him up front for a couple of games, alongside Fowler.

CTID, Steve <salty12(at)>


It was a tough loss against Chelski, but it does not matter how well you play if you can’t take the chances to score.

The big game is next Sunday versus the Evil Empire, better get the scoring boots on for that game. I think the Evil Empire are suspect to high balls put into the penalty area, lots of goals scored against them in the air in their last few games with no Ferdinand to defend.

Tarnat from the left and SWeeP from the right, crossing the ball into the area for City to win the ball in the air to score. But we must keep the defence off balance with shots from around the penalty area, not too much of trying to walk the ball in.

The game against Evil Empire is the one to win at CoMS to give us fans something to shout about from this season. I’m getting tired of drowning my sorrows!

So come on you Blues, beat the Rags.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


The club simply have to give a big section to the vocal fans, because it is they who can lead the rest of the crowd. I was at all the home UEFA Cup games this season, and when you don’t have a sell-out crowd in such a big stadium, it is difficult to launch songs for the team (vs. Lokeren and Groclin: 30,000 fans and more outsung by a bunch of away supporters; this must not happen, it’s the evidence the general allocation has to be reconsidered). One might say it is down to the players to get the crowd going, true. But I’m sure this is not always the case. A team might desperately need the warmth of their fans, just to be spurred and excited. Two home wins are clearly not the crowd’s fault. But I think some more points could be in the bag.

Away fans: watching Premiership football on television, away fans are hardly visible and surprise, surprise one of the few exceptions is our stadium. I don’t understand why City have to give away fans this privilege, while City fans clearly don’t receive the same treatment when they travel. I think the players can feel the presence of their away fans more when they’re near the pitch.

I really don’t understand why English rules have to be so strict. We have all-seater stadiums in Italy, but each one has a section for vocal fans when no-one can care less about sitting. For example, let’s talk about San Siro, 85,000 seats. The vocal fans gather in the second tier, behind the goal. Everyone among these fans has got a season ticket or a match ticket with a seat number printed on, because that’s the way the system works. But no-one is interested in claiming and sitting on their seat, because if you go into the second tier behind the goal it means you want to stand and sing. And nothing else. No-one will ever complain for anything because everyone knows what the second tier behind the goal is all about. This way you can still have the pleasure of having to go two hours early when big games are on (that’s for really romantic football fans I suppose!). For those willing to sit and to claim their seat, San Siro is big enough to keep each fan happy. And so is the City of Manchester Stadium.

Why we can’t do this in England I don’t know. What would happen if 10,000 fans decided to stand for 90 minutes and sing along? What would the police do? Call the army? And how could City fans be threatened not to do it again, after showing it’s possible to behave properly?

Vanes Marzaroli <vanesmarzaroli(at)>


I read with interest the piece by John Nisbet in MCIVTA 995 regarding the matchday atmosphere at the CoMS.

Whilst I agree that the atmosphere is somewhat lacking in comparison to Maine Road, do we really want to take the retrograde step back to standing areas? You cannot equate standing to the generation of atmosphere at a football ground. As I recall the atmosphere at Maine Road was great and wasn’t that an all-seater stadium?

Surely the question must be if City fans can create a great atmosphere in one all seater stadium why not in another?

Witness the atmosphere at away matches in all seater stadium. This is much better because the vast majority of our away support sing and makes lots of noise. Are we suggesting that this would be different if they were all stood up?

The facts are simple. The reason for the lack of atmosphere is the fans ourselves. We just don’t make as much noise as we did at Maine Road.

If we want the atmosphere to improve the ball is in our court. The problem does not lie in the lack of standing areas and neither is their introduction the answer.

Sean Doyle <s.doyle(at)>


After the Chelsea match, I remembered Steve Knott’s question about what music should be played before a match. I’m not sure about this, but I now definitely think that the music played as soon as a match at Eastlands finishes is “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” by The Pet Shop Boys.

Andy Longshaw <andy(at)>


I have never been and still am not a KK supporter. It was absolutely great that we beat our neighbours Bolton Wanderers. What concerns me is our home record this season. Two wins. “Our home ground”. It is supposed to be “Our Place”, that is the place where opposition fear to tread, where they expect to leave with a loss. It has not happened yet this season. We lost the very last game at Maine Road. Please let us stamp our mark at Eastlands soon.

Mark Leahy <herbie1(at)>


This article appeared in today’s Guardian, does this now finally put to rest the reforming of the spice boys at City?!

Thursday February 26, 2004
The Guardian

I love my Chopper

The Chopper was the bike I never had as a kid. Everyone else had Choppers. Not me, though. A lot of people used to give backies on it, so I got my thrill that way.

It was an expensive bike, and my mum always thought it was a bit dangerous. But they were wonderful-looking machines. With their big, odd-sized wheels, they looked a bit American – and that probably put my grandparents, who took a lot of the decisions in our family, off. They were very strait-laced and believed everything had to be very English. In the mid-90s, there was a Chopper revival. It was when the 70s retro scene was massive, and suddenly Choppers were all the rage. But, of course, there were no new ones about, so second-hand ones cost the earth. There was a lot of talk in Liverpool [football club] about Choppers (so to speak) – where the best place was to get them, and how much to pay. But they were nearly a grand back then, and you had to go to London to get one. So that didn’t entertain me much at the time – I thought, the way I am, I’ll jump on the trend and it will be a two-minute fad, and to spend so much on a fad would be daft.

After Liverpool I went to play for Aston Villa where I finally got my first Chopper. I was 30 years old. Through the ads, I discovered a guy in Worcestershire who had a mark 1 Chopper and a Grifter. I took my van down and got the two off him for around £300. Bargain!

I much preferred the Chopper. It was mustard yellow and three-speed. It wasn’t exactly a perfect fit, mind. I would have been too big for it even at 15. But I could still manage to get down the shops without too many people staring at me. Perhaps that’s the advantage of living in a rural area.

Four years on, I’ve got six Choppers. The five-speed mark 2 was my first purchase on eBay. I’ve got a purple Chopper from America. I’m not going to say how much it cost because it’s embarrassing – it cost more to ship it over than to buy it. I was lucky enough to be given a silver jubilee Chopper by Barclaycard – bloody marvellous piece of kit. I’ve also got black regular mark 2, and a purple Chopper with no wheels. Oh, and I’ve got a Chipper – a baby Chopper. Am I declaring my sadness here or what?

I like the idea of reintroducing the Chopper but I’m also glad that it will be different – that way, the old ones will remain a unique piece of engineering. They are truly beautiful bikes. I suppose I’m a collector by nature. I’ve got a toy collection as well, but that’s another story. Look, some people like going to the pub – I prefer my toys and my Choppers. David James.

Michael Kay <mikeandgeorge(at)>


They say that “God Loves a Trier”; well let’s hope he reads emails and starts up his miracle machine to help this “trier” get a ticket for the derby game.

If you have a spare ticket or two for the City vs. United game please email or phone me. I would like to take my daughter to the game, as the first and last time she experienced the derby atmosphere was the last derby at Maine Road, and we all know what happened on that day!

If you can help, email or call 07929 611660.

Thanks, Steve Cummings <MC.FC(at)>


I will be in Tasmania for the derby on 13 March. Are there any Blues out there who know where the match will be screened live?

Thanks, Steve Horton <stehorts(at)>


Our next meeting is on Monday 8th March, 8pm start, when our special guests will be Doug Smith, Head of Ticketing at MCFC, and Sara Billington, Operations Manager at MCFC. All OSC members welcome. For further details please contact me directly.

Heidi <editor(at)>


The next meeting of the Warrington Official Supporters’ Club takes place on Thursday 4th March 8.30pm at the King and Queen in Padgate. Special guests will be Dante Friend, Author of “My Blue Heaven” and Ex-City Curator Phil Noble. All Blues welcome, we also have a coach going to all City home and away games.

Nick Morley <nmorley(at)>


29 February 2004

Leeds United          2 - 2  Liverpool             39,932
Portsmouth            1 - 1  Newcastle United      20,140

28 February 2004

Arsenal               2 - 1  Charlton Athletic     38,137
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 1  Southampton           21,970
Everton               2 - 0  Aston Villa           39,353
Fulham                1 - 1  Manchester United     18,306
Leicester City        0 - 0  Wolverhampton Wndrs   31,768
Manchester City       0 - 1  Chelsea               47,304

League table to 29 February 2004 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Arsenal         27 11  2  0 26  9  9  5  0 27  9 20  7  0  53  18  35  67
 2 Chelsea         27  8  2  3 22 10 10  2  2 26 11 18  4  5  48  21  27  58
 3 Manchester Utd  27  9  3  2 30 13  9  1  3 21 12 18  4  5  51  25  26  58
 4 Newcastle Utd   27  8  3  3 23  9  2  9  2 15 19 10 12  5  38  28  10  42
 5 Charlton Ath.   27  5  3  5 21 22  6  4  4 17 12 11  7  9  38  34   4  40
 6 Liverpool       26  6  2  4 18 13  4  7  3 20 16 10  9  7  38  29   9  39
 7 Aston Villa     27  7  4  2 19 12  3  3  8 13 20 10  7 10  32  32   0  37
 8 Fulham          27  7  3  4 22 16  3  3  7 17 22 10  6 11  39  38   1  36
 9 Birmingham City 25  5  4  3 14 14  4  5  4 11 14  9  9  7  25  28  -3  36
10 Tottenham H.    26  7  2  5 28 23  3  2  7 11 19 10  4 12  39  42  -3  34
11 Bolton Wndrs    26  3  7  3 15 14  5  3  5 17 26  8 10  8  32  40  -8  34
12 Southampton     27  6  4  4 16 11  2  5  6 11 16  8  9 10  27  27   0  33
13 Middlesbrough   25  3  4  6 11 16  5  3  4 16 15  8  7 10  27  31  -4  31
14 Everton         27  6  4  4 21 15  1  4  8 12 24  7  8 12  33  39  -6  29
15 Blackburn R.    27  3  3  7 20 24  4  4  6 19 20  7  7 13  39  44  -5  28
16 Manchester City 27  2  7  4 17 16  4  2  8 19 23  6  9 12  36  39  -3  27
17 Portsmouth      26  6  2  5 23 15  0  4  9  6 25  6  6 14  29  40 -11  24
18 Wolves          27  5  5  3 17 22  0  4 10  7 30  5  9 13  24  52 -28  24
19 Leicester City  27  2  7  5 14 23  2  4  7 23 28  4 11 12  37  51 -14  23
20 Leeds United    27  3  5  6 15 22  2  2  9 11 31  5  7 15  26  53 -27  22

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0304.06]

[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] 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]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #996