Newsletter #1004

Yet another game when we failed to make the most of our chances, bad refereeing decisions (although one in our favour) and fans left bewildered at our 31 points from 30 games. Tonight we have views on the Fulham game, Anelka, referees and a couple of requests.

For the reserve watchers, please note that tomorrow night’s game versus Boro is off.

Next game: Aston Villa, away, 2pm Sunday 4th April 2004


City struggled to find the back of the net yet again in a game we deserved to win by the amount of possession, but that will not win games. Anelka did not look as sharp after his six weeks off, let’s hope the best is yet to come. Fowler worked hard but poor finishing and no clear cut chances really. For the last 30 minutes Wanchope and Macken came on for Anelka and Fowler, but they too could not score.

There were two incidents, one in each other’s penalty areas, that might have been a penalty; again this could have been made sure of by instant replay and a challenge from each manager. Macken looked to have been brought down in the Fulham area, and in the other area Distin just might have stood on a Fulham player’s toe. So on the day at least they cancelled each other out. The man of the match for me was Richard Dunne who worked his socks off in defence.

We have to survive this season first before talking who should remain as City players next season, but players have the rest of this season to try and make their mark. Clearly some changes have to be made. But for the rest of this season we have to support the players we have, and they may start to shine and want to stay.

For the rest of our fixtures there is only one team in the top group and that’s Newcastle, so at least that looks good for City, but all teams are playing hard now and every game is played like a cup final; it’s going to be a scrap to the end.

We certainly are just too good to go down, but try telling that to other teams and they also want to stay in the Premiership, it’s big money to stay in the league.

Hope KK is feeling better and is back for the next game. So come on City, we want to end this season with some nails left.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


FACT: City have only won one of the last 21 games in all competitions when Nicolas Anelka has been on the pitch.

Admittedly, our record without him in the side isn’t much to shout about either (three wins out of eight) but, in my opinion, there’s a marked difference in the togetherness of the team when he’s not around. Robbie Fowler, in particular, looks a much happier player when he’s playing alongside someone who’s willing to try and link up with him.

The truth is, the only thing Nicolas Anelka cares about is Nicolas Anelka. And that’s not a direct criticism of the man personally, I actually admire his honesty in terms of not pretending to love the club when he clearly doesn’t (let’s face it, there’s too many players kissing their badges in a facade of passion these days). But I’m talking about City’s general well-being here – and I think we’ll be much better off if we can get our money back (or most of it) for Anelka as soon as possible.

Since he has returned from his spell on the sidelines, his isolation from the rest of the team has stood out like the proverbial sore thumb. Fast, fluent moves suddenly slow down when the ball arrives at his feet as he continually tries to make a hero of himself by doing his own thing.

In fact, I’d even go as far to say that Anelka is happiest when he feels like he’s being relied on as the only player capable of winning matches. When he’s doing the business, he loves the adulation but, when he’s not, his body language suggests he’s quick to lay the blame elsewhere on the shoulders of players he considers beneath him.

Furthermore, by all accounts, he has got this clause in his contract that says he must always start when he’s not injured – and that surely cannot be a healthy situation for the team. For a kick-off, where does he get his motivation from if his place in the team isn’t in jeopardy? And what must it do to the confidence of players like Jon Macken when they are so readily dropped?

It’s time to get shot, in my opinion. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite because I’ve been known to wax lyrical about him from time to time and I’m grateful for everything he’s done, he’s given us some special moments to cherish.

But, at some stage, we’ve got to move on for the greater good of the club. He’s done a terrific job in raising our profile and helping us establish ourselves back in the Premiership (and, hopefully, we’ll still be a Premiership club next season) but the time has come for City to move on.

The great irony is that Anelka probably always saw City as a stepping stone to something bigger but, if we take the decision ourselves and do what’s right in the summer, the reality of the situation could actually be quite the opposite.

Thanks for everything Nic, you’ll always be remembered. But, in years to come, the memory of you will be as just another player on the City conveyor belt – even if you are one of the greatest talents ever to have pulled on the blue shirt. However, legendary status with this club is reserved for those players who would seemingly die for the cause.

Mike Holden <MikeHoldenMCFC(at)>


Kevin Williamson in MCIVTA 1003 made the comment that we seemed to play better without Anelka. He isn’t wrong.

This season whenever Anelka has shown up I’ve been careful to watch just how much work he puts in. The short answer is, “as little as possible”. Yes, he’s a great finisher, but he never really chases the ball, never works harder than he has to. Go back and watch the tapes. He stands around for about 99% of the time on the pitch.

I know he can score great goals when he wants to. I know that he is loved and adored by the fans. But, alas, he is over-rated somewhat in my opinion and I do think he holds the game up and is bizarrely, the weakness in our attacking game. I don’t think that if he had been on the pitch in the FA cup game at Spurs that we would have made the comeback, his heart just isn’t in it enough to really work hard. That’s his game though, his heart is in finishing stylishly. It has worked in the past, it isn’t working right now. We need people doing grunt work, not trying to show off.

I’m sure I’m going to have annoyed many by saying this, but am equally sure I’m not alone.

P.S. – belated congratulations on your 1000th. Trebles all round, especially ones that annoy Man Utd if you know what I mean.

Paul Robinson <paul(at)>


Anelka should be sold. How many times is that man offside in one match and why does Robbie always fall over? Distin is a liability at the back; he makes too many mistakes, that was a penalty as he was p***ing around again.

I just cannot see where the goals are going to come from; it’s like watching a movie over and over again. Saturday was awful even in Changi Village after N pints of Boddingtons.

Stephen Burt <sjburt(at)>


Once again Don Barrie is the man in the know and I was fascinated by his KK quote about Flood: “Willo is where Chris Shuker was two years ago”, presumably on the slow boat out of City. Who can tell me the last young City player who has benefited from being out on loan? Michael Brown? Though if we were in any doubt about the future for Willo then KK reveals “we… make sure they stay in the game at a level that is worthy of the work they have put in”; so that’s fighting relegation in Division 3.

As for the Leeds match, don’t we get one every year? You’d have thought we’d have got used to inept refereeing performances, or that the standard might have gone up. To give the penalty was one mistake (it was a free-kick or a dive, can’t make my mind up), but to send DVB off when Smith was running away from goal was a double case of myopic refereeing. It’ll just have to be a 9 game winning run until the end of the season. Any chance Ray Ranson will give us the money to buy DVB? If Deadly Doug doesn’t want it I’m sure we could do with the excuse to stop the rumours that we need the money when anyone comes in for the Elk. For those MCIVTA readers who aren’t bothered about us keeping the Elk, just think what position we’d be in if it wasn’t for his goals, personally it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Keep the faith, James Walsh <james.walsh(at)>



Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has fallen foul of the Football Association over comments about Carling Cup final referee Mike Riley. Allardyce has been charged with failing to act in the best interests of the game and bringing the game into disrepute. He has 14 days to respond to the FA charge.

Allardyce was unhappy with Riley’s officiating in the final, when Bolton lost 2-1 to Middlesbrough. The winner came from a penalty that the Wanderers boss argued should not have been awarded, and he then felt Riley missed the fact that penalty-taker Bolo Zenden kicked the ball twice before it ended up in the net.

He also felt Bolton should have had a penalty of their own when the ball struck Boro defender Ugo Ehiogu on the hand late on. “I will always look back at the major decisions, and Mike Riley was poor,” Allardyce said.

“I’ve never liked him as a ref for us. He cost us the chance of winning. We had our concerns about him before the match, and he lived up to his reputation as far as we were concerned.”

Riley first earned Bolton’s wrath for dismissing Paul Warhurst and Dean Holdsworth against Leicester two seasons ago. “He came back the year after and sent Bruno N’Gotty off. He’s not been very good for us at all,” declared Allardyce. “He also disallowed a good goal for us in the cup against Liverpool, so he’s not our favourite referee. Our fans showed their feelings when they booed him as he went up to collect his medal.”

Andrew Ogden <Andrew.Ogden(at)>


Further to the banner with the statement:

“We dream of playing in the shirt, today God chose you, play like we dream”

For the next match, please could you change it to:

“We dream of playing in the shirt, today God chose you, unfortunately he should have chosen Macken and Wanchope”

Yours in post-Fulham depression.

Andy Longshaw <andy(at)>


Think about this one, Gary Owen as City manager: he is Blue through and through.

Keith Taylor <keith(at)>


I just thought after watching another dismal performance on Saturday that I would ask some of the players involved, do you really want it? Sorry to say in my humble opinion, some of you don’t want to play in the famous blue shirt, so if that is the case will you please tell King Kevin, so that he can pick a side that will play their hearts out for the club that we all love so much. I hope that I don’t sound too melodramatic but I really am p**sed off with the casual attitude of some of our players; if we get relegated some of you big earners will be off to pastures new whilst us long suffering City fans will be watching First Division football again next season. We are the best supporters in the land in all the world, so if you don’t want it @&*$ off.

Congrats to Shaun Wright Phillips on his international call up, well deserved.

Paul Fegan <paulo9(at)>


The Warrington branch have their next meeting this Thursday at the King and Queen in Padgate 8.30pm, there will be a quiz and buffet. All Blues welcome. We also have a coach going to all home and away games, email me for info.

Nick Morley <nmorley(at)>


My 8 year-old daughter and myself have had a season ticket for the first season at CoMS, in the Family Stand. We have been travelling up from London for every match (apart from the mid-week games) and staying over with relatives. We want to renew for next season, but the rest of the family is reluctant to see us disappear up north every fortnight.

So, I wondered if there was another parent and child who would want to share season tickets. I would renew my two tickets, but we would agree to pay half the cost each, and divide up the games (and rights to cup tickets) equally. There are 19 home games in the Premiership covered by the season tickets (or, God forbid, more in the Nationwide!), so there will have to be some bargaining about who gets the extra one, who gets the derby, etc.

Prices for next season (if booked before 16th April) are £315 for the adult ticket and £189 for the child ticket, £504 in total, so £252 each for a half share. Any takers?

John Edwards <jf.Edwards(at)>


28 March 2004

Bolton Wanderers      1 - 0  Newcastle United      27,360
Leicester City        0 - 0  Liverpool             32,013
Arsenal               1 - 1  Manchester United     38,184

27 March 2004

Birmingham City       4 - 1  Leeds United          29,069
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 2  Portsmouth            22,855
Charlton Athletic     1 - 2  Aston Villa           26,250
Chelsea               5 - 2  Wolverhampton Wndrs   41,215
Everton               1 - 1  Middlesbrough         38,210
Manchester City       0 - 0  Fulham                46,522
Southampton           1 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     31,973

League table to 28 March 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         30 12  3  0 29 11 10  5  0 29  9 22  8  0  58  20  38  74
 2 Chelsea         30 10  2  3 29 13 11  2  2 28 11 21  4  5  57  24  33  67
 3 Manchester Utd  30 10  3  2 33 13  9  2  4 23 17 19  5  6  56  30  26  62
 4 Liverpool       30  8  2  4 22 13  4  8  4 20 18 12 10  8  42  31  11  46
 5 Newcastle Utd   30  9  3  3 26 10  2  9  4 15 21 11 12  7  41  31  10  45
 6 Birmingham City 30  8  4  4 23 17  4  5  5 14 19 12  9  9  37  36   1  45
 7 Aston Villa     30  7  4  3 19 14  5  3  8 19 21 12  7 11  38  35   3  43
 8 Charlton Ath.   30  6  3  6 23 24  6  4  5 18 15 12  7 11  41  39   2  43
 9 Fulham          30  8  3  4 24 16  3  4  8 18 24 11  7 12  42  40   2  40
10 Southampton     30  8  4  4 19 11  2  5  7 11 17 10  9 11  30  28   2  39
11 Middlesbrough   30  5  4  6 17 19  5  4  6 18 20 10  8 12  35  39  -4  38
12 Tottenham H.    30  8  2  5 29 23  3  2 10 11 24 11  4 15  40  47  -7  37
13 Bolton Wndrs    30  4  7  4 16 16  5  3  7 18 30  9 10 11  34  46 -12  37
14 Everton         30  7  5  4 23 16  1  5  8 13 25  8 10 12  36  41  -5  34
15 Manchester City 30  3  8  4 21 17  4  2  9 20 25  7 10 13  41  42  -1  31
16 Blackburn R.    30  3  3  9 21 28  5  4  6 21 20  8  7 15  42  48  -6  31
17 Portsmouth      30  7  2  5 24 15  1  4 11  8 30  8  6 16  32  45 -13  30
18 Leicester City  30  2  9  5 15 24  3  4  7 24 28  5 13 12  39  52 -13  28
19 Leeds United    30  4  5  6 17 23  2  2 11 12 37  6  7 17  29  60 -31  25
20 Wolves          30  5  5  4 17 26  0  4 12  9 36  5  9 16  26  62 -36  24

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 #1004