Newsletter #1041

Apologies for the delay, the news was stuck in cyberspace and with all that’s happening, or rumouresd to be happening, we couldn’t not include Don’s report.

Next game: Lazio, home, 3pm Saturday 7 August 2004 (friendly)


General News

Swift Justice: KK has welcomed the new fast-track disciplinary system that has been introduced for the start of this season by the FA. When a player receives the red card, he begins his suspension immediately, instead of 14 days after incurring the punishment. “They have been talking about this change because FIFA think we wait too long to suspend people and I am for it,” said the manager this week. “It will stop people stretching out the appeals procedure so that important players may miss, say, home games rather than a couple of tough away ones. I agree with that as long as the rules are the same for everybody. If you get sent off on a Saturday then you miss the next match, or the next three if it’s for violent conduct. There is not a lot wrong with the game’s rules at the moment but they keep tinkering and in this case I think it is right.”

Sun Rising: Sun Jihai has patched up his differences with China coach Arie Haan, the Dutchman said on Monday. Sun has been China’s forgotten man at the Asian Cup, relegated to the bench by Haan as the hosts have powered into the last four of the competition – but Haan has offered an olive branch to the 26-year-old on the eve of their Asian Cup semi-final against Iran in Beijing. “I have had a little talk with Sun Jihai and the situation is better now,” said Haan. “He understands the team comes first and he understands the position of the coach.” Sun’s dad was unavailable for comment (unfortunately). Meanwhile, Paulo Wanchope has been recalled by Costa Rica for their World Cup CONCACAF semi-final group B qualifier at home to Honduras in Alajuela on August 18. Wanchope, who has been troubled by a knee injury since late last year, missed the Copa America in Peru last month when Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals. Presumably this puts in doubt Paulo’s availabilty for the games against Fulham and Liverpool.

Nico News

Three’s Company: This is fast becoming a permanent feature for the weekly news, although we may not need to report much longer on Nicolas Anelka if reports are to be believed. No less than three clubs have been mentioned as chasing the signature of the 25-year-old French striker. The first club was Lyon, who confirmed that they would love to snap up Anelka, if the former Arsenal man decided to leave City. “If he wants to come, we’ll talk about it,” Aulas told The Sun. Lyon have the added draw of a place in the UEFA Champions’ League – something that Anelka has admitted to missing.

Homage to Catalonia: Next it was Barcelona. The Nou Camp giants are currently trying to complete the signing of Cameroon ace Samuel Eto’o from Mallorca, but that deal was apparently highly complicated with Barça’s bitter rivals Real Madrid still owning a 50 percent share in Eto’o. French daily L’Equipe claims the Catalan club will move for Anelka if the Eto’o deal falls through. Barça president Joan Laporta insisted that he had no intention of making a move for the player. “If Eto’o does not come then nobody will,” said Laporta. “Anelka is not of interest to Barça – his name has never been mentioned. His name has not been one that we have ever contemplated.” Rumours reached the news desk that Anelka was disillusioned with the underachieving Blues, a sentiment echoed in the Daily Telegraph, under the headline “Keegan ready to off-load Anelka”, the paper reported: “Anelka, 25, has let it be known that he is disillusioned with life under Kevin Keegan and is angling for a return to the French League with Monaco, last season’s beaten Champions’ League finalists. The former French international striker employed similar tactics towards the end of his time with Arsenal when negotiating a £23 million move to Real Madrid. Arsenal tried to keep him but eventually realised that it was a hopeless task and opted to take the money rather than hang on to an unhappy member of their squad.”

Monte Carlo or Bust: The next whisper we had in these parts was that Anelka was Monaco-bound, on a year’s loan. The story was soon reported in the M.E.N., although quotes attributed to Anelka after the Reading game did not sound like a man on his way out. Questioned about his rôle in the second half playing behind two strikers, le Elk said: “I feel good and I enjoyed it. I used to play that way for Liverpool and Real Madrid and I liked it. I needed to play as I have missed a couple of games but I have no problem with my foot now. I prefer playing in a position behind the two strikers. But I like playing with everyone and I just have to adapt my play. The manager wanted to play me on the right-hand side to try to help with my fitness and play a different way. It was good. It was my first game of pre-season and I need to play more games. It was important for me and I am looking forward to playing more games for Manchester City. I will try to score more goals here. I like to score and make assists. It was nice to see the fans again and they gave me a nice reception, as always.” So all’s well with Nico? Well, not quite, if you believe today’s report. Monaco coach Didier Deschamps has revealed his interest in Anelka, as has even sounded Anelka out about a possible move. He said: “Nicolas is a great player so of course I am interested in him and on top of that he is French. I spoke to him on the phone. I know him very well and I know how he works,” Deschamps told L’Equipe. Deschamps has also been kinked with Barcelona’s Javier Saviola, and commented that “They both have different styles but they are excellent strikers. The Monaco managers know what my preference is but the financial side is important and we are also looking at other players.”

Transfer News and Gossip

All the Ins and Outs: Can I draw your attention to an interesting article that appeared in the Observer on Sunday, and that is now available online? Ian Whittell highlights the nature of KK’s “erratic transfer policy” over his three seasons in charge, and suggests that Mr K needs to show some success for the outlay thus far. Whittell quotes the City career of Matias Vuoso to illustrate Keegan’s transfer travails. The article ends with a list of the player ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ – 34 players have been bought at a cost of £53.995 million, while 38 players have left to the value of £7 million. The article is at:,9753,1273779,00.html

Kev’s ‘Keeper Krisis – Kould Kiraly Kope? City have been forced into a search for a new goalkeeper after Belgian international Geert de Vlieger was ruled out for the entire season. De Vlieger ruptured his Achilles tendon in Friday’s 3-1 friendly win over Wolves at Molineux, just 20 minutes into his third game for the club since his transfer from Willem II. City need experienced cover for England ‘keeper David James, with only youngsters Kevin Ellegaard and Kasper Schmeichel as back-up. “I will have to get another goalkeeper in,” KK said. “Geert has snapped his Achilles, so he is out for the season. I can’t take a risk with that position, so I will be talking to the chairman. If there is no money, there is no money but if we don’t get someone in it would be a major risk as we would then be hoping nothing would happen to David James.” Keegan said. Sky TV reported today that City have made a move for Hungary international Gabor Kiraly. Kiraly is available on a free transfer after leaving Hertha Berlin and has already seen one move to The Premiership fall through this summer. The 28-year-old had reached a verbal agreement with Crystal Palace but was then disappointed with the formal offer from the Selhurst Park side. Fellow Premiership sides Bolton Wanderers, Everton and Portsmouth have also been linked with the Hungarian shot-stopper. “As far as I know, Kevin Keegan phoned to say that he would like to sign me,” Kiraly said. “City are not in an easy situation because they only have one ‘keeper.”

Please Sir, May I Have More? From the outside it’s hard to tell if Kevin Keegan is a clever negotiator or a complete numpty head, because he’s been asking for yet more players this week. Hot on the heels of “We need a fifth striker” (last week) and “Now we need a goalkeeper” (this week) comes “How about a left sided player, Mr. Wardle?” The Boss Man’s musings run thus: “I have told the Chairman that we don’t have enough players at this football club. I am a bit short and had to use players for longer than I wanted to against Reading,” he explained. “We have asked a lot early in the pre-season of a few players. We haven’t had enough people. We haven’t seen Trevor Sinclair yet. That was Nicolas Anelka’s first game so it has been left to a few players to do a lot of work. The onus has fallen on just a few players we haven’t got a big enough squad. I have told the Chairman about it and he has told me to go and get a couple of players but I have no money. I am looking for really good players who can perform in the Premiership and take the team on who are Bosmans. That is not easy. It is frustrating but it is the situation that we find ourselves in but what I am pleased about is the way the players have responded and really pulled together.” It was no surprise therefore to read the following item the day after: Sunderland denied that they received any approach from City for Julio Arca, a left sided midfielder / full back. Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy stated: “We’ve not received an enquiry for Julio from Manchester City. But I’m not surprised there is speculation about him because he is a very good player. I’ve spoken to Julio who has said he is very happy here and the club and Julio’s agent have held very positive talks.” Meanwhile, a spokesman for City said: “The club has not made an approach for or expressed any interest in Julio Arca. This story surfaced previously in the summer but there is nothing in it.”

Forward Planning: Egyptian striker Mido began the week by admitting that his move to England might be scuppered by Marseille’s financial demands. The 21-year-old is keen to move on just a year after signing a five-year deal with Marseille following a £6 million switch from Ajax. But Marseille’s insistence that they won’t help fund his exit on loan has meant that potential suitors City and Southampton have so far shied away from making an official offer. “A lot could depend on how much Marseille want for me,” Mido said. “I just want to go to the club where myself and my family will be happiest at. I have always wanted to play in England.” Next came news that City had switched their attention away from Mido to Liverpool’s Anthony Le Tallec in their attempts to find a young striker to bolster the squad. Liverpool were looking to loan the French youngster out for a season to give him first team experience – but Le Tallec joined instead St Etienne on a year-long loan deal.

He’s Going Home, He’s Done His Time: Thanks to Henk Timmer for the following: “Gerard Wiekens has just signed for his former club BV Veendam (Dutch 2nd Division) on a four-year deal. After his move to City in 1997 he has always said he would like to return to his former club. As early as last summer rumours surfaced about this move and several clubs were still interested: Leeds, Coventry and Dutch premier outfit ADO Den Haag. Gerard is a real family man and wants security.”

Ex-Blues’ News

Carry On, Paul! Things are looking up for Paul Ritchie, who has won another week’s trial at Sheffield United. The former City central defender Ritchie has been training with the Blades during pre-season as he attempts to earn a permanent contract. United boss Neil Warnock has been searching for an experienced centre-half to replace Robert Page who has moved to Cardiff.

SImmo Surprise: I must admit, I thought KK’s youth policy had plumbed new depths when the BBC’s website announced “Blues snap up Simpson”. It conjured up thoughts of a comeback to the Sky Blue shirt for Paul Simpson, currently employed as player manager in The Conference with Carlisle. You news editor was sadly deluded – it was the wrong Simmo and the wrong Blues. Fitzroy Simpson (for it is he) has signed a two-year deal with the Blues of Belfast, namely Linfield. The 34-year-old Jamaican midfielder, out of contract at UniBond League side Telford United, has signed a two-year deal with the club. Simpson impressed Blues’ boss David Jeffrey in a 4-0 friendly win over Armagh City. “Along with Phil Charnock, Fitzroy will form an experienced partnership in midfield,” said Jeffrey. “He is a gifted player and all the lads could see what a great touch he has.”

Reactions and Comments

Injuries Mar Victory: Last Friday City won impressively at Wolverhampton Wanderers, but it was at a cost to two members of the squad. Geert de Vlieger’s season has ended before it began, and David Sommeil will miss the start of the Premiership season with a calf injury. The French defender was stretchered off in the game. KK reported later that: “It certainly looks like David will miss the start of the season. It could be four to five weeks and I am hoping it is no worse than that.” In the game, Wolves took a 14th minute lead when Kenny Miller struck for the hosts. Twenty minutes later City equalised through a Wolves own goal, then SWP gave City a half-time lead with a tremendous solo effort following a 60 yard run. Paulo Wanchope completed the scoring on 65 minutes, following a 1-2 with Antoine Sibierksi. “I thought Steve McManaman showed some nice touches”, remarked KK afterwards, “But I am not just looking for a big season from him but from everybody. Ben Thatcher behind Steve is a bit more defensive minded than Michael Tarnat was and I think that will help Steve out there, or Trevor Sinclair or Antoine Sibierski. They are the three options that I have. I think they know that Ben enjoys defending. He is not looking to get forward all the time and so they know they can take a bit of a gamble going forward while Ben is there. I got the chance to look at Mikkel Bischoff on Friday night and to be fair he got better as the game went on after struggling at the start but it is not easy,” added the boss. “There was a lot of pressure on him. He has been here two years and this is the first time he has really been fit. I am happy that we showed some character to get back into the game at Wolves after falling behind to a goal. We started off a bit sloppy and it took us a while to get going but once we got going we not only scored three goals but we missed a least four good chances that we spurned as well.”

Leigh Despatched: The day after the Wolves game, a young City Reserves side beat Leigh RMI 5-0, with goals from Stephen Ireland (3), Willo Flood and Lee Croft. “That was a very disappointing result for us but a very positive exercise,” admitted RMI boss Phil Starbuck. “Pre-season isn’t about results, it’s about learning for the new season, and we’ve certainly done that.”

Reading the Riot Act: And so to the Shaun Goater reunion on Friday. Happily for City, the Goat did the decent thing and didn’t score, as City cruised to a 4-1 success at Reading. As seems usual in these contest, City conceded the first goal, as Ivar Ingimarsson diverted a cross from a corner past David James. City were stung in to life and nabbed an equaliser on 23 minutes when Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler combined for Jonathan Macken to score from close range. Fowler was the architect for the second goal before half time as he was involved in a one-two with Reyna before the United States international applied the finish. Reyna’s second was the goal of the night as he showed delightful skill on 57 minutes to send City further clear. McManaman rolled a corner to Reyna on the edge of the area and he produced a sublime lob in to the back of the net. In the closing minutes, Antoine Sibierski rounded off the scoring when curling home a free kick. “It was another step up and our fitness looked good,” reflected KK. “We played some good stuff and again the only criticism is that we missed a lot of chances. I thought their ‘keeper played very well for them. The kids came on for us and did really well [for the latter stages of the game, City’s back four included Mikkel Bischoff, Paddy McCarthy and Stephen Jordan]. The senior players gave them a good platform and they came on and protected it. We finished with Kevin Ellegaard in goal and the kids at the back but they did well and restricted them to only one chance. We have tried a lot in pre-season. We have put Mikkel in as he has been injured so much and we need to find out now where he is with his football. I am very pleased with the way the players have responded so far. I felt I had to leave some of them on at Reading for too long.” Keegan liked what he saw in the midfield department, especially from Claudio Reyna and Paul Bosvelt. “Claudio could have come off earlier as he was doubtful to play as he was a bit sore. Claudio and Paul Bosvelt have been outstanding and when Joey Barton has been asked to do a different job, which he may have to do sometimes, he has approached it with the right attitude since Doncaster and that has pleased me as well.” No game would be complete without a tribute to Robbie Fowler. “We know we will score goals and I thought Robbie looked sharp again against Reading. I know he didn’t get a goal to show for his efforts but his control and his awareness of players round him was tremendous. Robbie up front has got his touch right back where he wants it and now he has to maintain it and go on from there. Jon Macken worked hard in the game against Reading though he picked up slight injury, nothing serious. They were genuine and worked hard to give the team a focal point.”

Squad News

Wright Phillips Minor May Have Major Rôle: Perhaps KK has accepted that he won’t be getting a fifth striker as a pre-season pressie, as he has been praising Bradley Wright-Phillips. Shaunie’s teenage brother has been included in four pre-season squads and is highly thought of by the Chief. Keegan says: “I have been pleased with Bradley so far. He has got things to learn but the important thing is that he wants to learn them. He certainly has something going for him, and unless we get another striker in before the season starts, Bradley will be our fifth striker. But despite him doing well, and he could end up on our bench if we get a few injuries, I do not think he is quite ready for that level yet.”

Big Ben Chimes for City: Ben Thatcher has been talking about his early impressions of life in Manchester, and has already developed a nice line on Reds baiting. “I hurt my leg the day before the Bury game and just popped up there to watch, I couldn’t believe how many City fans turned up, it was amazing,” he said. “I spoke to someone from Bury and they said it was the best gate for ages. I know the kick-off was delayed but I remember looking up during the first half and seeing our fans still pouring in. It was a fantastic sight. I had never seen that before in a pre-season friendly against a team from a lower division. It just shows the phenomenal support and what would happen if we really got going. It is staggering really. From the moment I arrived in Manchester I realised just how big this club’s support base is. Virtually every cab driver I have met has been a Blues’ fan and most of the staff in the hotel in which I am staying support City. I think where I used to live in Surrey must be home to all the United supporters. Even when I was out shopping with my wife in Manchester we saw loads and loads of people in City gear.”

Fighting for a Place: Mikkel Bischoff says that he is determined to earn a place in the first team this season. The Denmark Under-21 international is hoping to play his way into Kevin Keegan’s plans for the coming campaign. “We are five players who are fighting for the two places in central defence,” Bischoff said. “Of course, the others have an advantage since they played last season, but I believe I will earn one of the places during the course of the season. I do not expect to play from the start when we face Fulham,” he added. “But I will use the pre-season friendlies to show that I should have one of the places and that is what I am focusing on at the moment. It is an important season for me, because I finally have the chance to show that I am a good enough to play in the starting eleven. It’s gone well during the first few friendlies, but it is also this season that I need to play regularly. At my age, you need to play first team football every weekend.”

Fragile Fowler: Spare a thought for Robbie Fowler. Not only does he have the stress of being soccer’s premier landlord to deal with, but his confidence as a goalscorer takes a kicking very time he’s criticised. Speaking after scoring at Hull last week, Fowler said: “The first game was a hard game for us against Bury and I seem to be the muggins who gets all the stick in the papers but at Hull I felt sharper but I don’t want to say too much about myself like `this is the season for me’ because then it is easy for people to shoot me down,” he ventured. “The game the other night was a definite step up for me. Confidence-wise I felt much better. I think it is clear for people to see that I am a player that thrives on confidence and when things don’t go my way, that drops a bit. You can refer to my goal scoring record and successes in the past but I think every season is a fresh one and what you have achieved or haven’t achieved in the past goes out of the window. The way I look at it what I have done in the past is not nearly as important as what is coming in the future and that means scoring goals and making goals for Manchester City.”

Reyna to Reign? Claudio Reyna has enjoyed a successful pre-season preparation with City, having scored three goals in two of the warm up matches. KK is pleased with what he’s seeing from the US captain. “He is fit because he’s had a pre-season,” said Keegan. “You have to remember he missed last pre-season and the whole of the season before he was injured. He has probably found a level of fitness now that he hasn’t had for a couple of years. We want goals from midfield. We know our forwards can score but what we really need is goals from the midfield and Claudio has shown he can deliver those.” Reyna is confident that he and the team will enjoy a better season. “I think and hope that the familiarity of a second season here will help with my performances. I think the most important thing this time round for me personally is having been here for pre-season and doing the hard work. As a squad we have been working really hard. It shows and hopefully it is going to pay off for us not only at the start of the season but in December and January time. We are all looking forward to the start now. There is probably a quiet confidence about our team this year whereas last year the expectations were a bit too high. This year people are not expecting too much from us so we can maybe sneak up and show what we really can do. We feel good about the squad of players that we have and we can compete with many teams in this League. My personal targets for the season are aligned to what the teams and what we are looking for is consistency. For me the most important thing this season is to be consistent and perhaps get a few more goals from midfield. If we work together as a team we can surprise a lot of people. With the pace we have in players like Shaun Wright-Phillips and Nicolas we can get wins on the road but the most important thing is winning at home.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


On a very warm summer’s evening wandered down to the “Mad Stad” for the friendly having booked tickets in the home end on the Internet earlier in the day (as you’re encouraged to do by Reading). Queued for 45 minutes to pick up the tickets so even with the kick-off delayed by 15 minutes we still missed 15 minutes of the match. It wasn’t even that big a crowd (11,000 I think).

Anyway, took our seats with City already 1-0 down. From then on, however, we controlled the game. They had a few decent crosses from their right but I can’t remember James making a single save other than one cross he palmed away. First to stand out for me was Thatcher who looked fearsome and should add some good steel at the back. Otherwise there were a few half decent runs from Anelka, who was playing right wing with Fowler and Macken up front. Barton looked keen. Then a Premiership quality goal with a long string of passes culminating in Macken passing it into the net. From then until the end of the half there was a sizeable gap in quality between the sides. The Goat and Kitson linked a bit for them without troubling James. Reyna won a 1 on 1 with the ‘keeper to send us in 2-1 up.

Into the second half and substitutions came thick and fast, with just about everyone getting a run out. The Goat went off to a great ovation from the 1,500 or so in the City end. Judging by the more low key applause from the home end I don’t think he’s quite achieved the same cult status in his new home yet. With so many changes I fully expected the game to degenerate into a practice match but actually we found our rhythm again and played it around well, with Reading offering little in return.

Third goal was an absolute gem. With nothing to aim at Reyna chipped the ‘keeper from the edge of the box, threading the ball through a gap the size of a letterbox between glove and bar. Later there was a free kick on the edge of the box, perfect for a left foot curler from Fowler, only Sibierski stepped up and curled it round the other side of the wall into the bottom corner, catching everyone by surprise. Their best player was the ‘keeper, which shows how dominant we were.

I won’t comment on everyone because a) there were too many and b) I didn’t know who half of them were. Here’s just a few observations:

Thatcher – yes please, just what we need.
Distin – not really tested but for me it’s crucial he has a good season.
SWP – wing back for most of the game, got forward a bit in the 2nd half, quietish but still a joy to watch.
Barton – looked keen.
Reyna – passed and moved impressively.
Macca – a few tidy bits and pieces, looked like he was enjoying himself and couldn’t wait for the season to start. There’s no buzz yet when he gets the ball but who knows, maybe we shouldn’t write him off yet.
Sibierski – I like him in the final third, keen to have a go. A good player to put on when the game is a bit open like this one.
Fowler – er no. His game relied on 1-2s and bursting through the backline but he hasn’t got the burst. Do not play him until he has roasted a few defenders for the reserves.

Absentees: Sinclair, 1chop, Mills

OK we should be better than a mid-table First Division (or whatever it’s called) team but I have to say I can feel some optimism coming on.

Derek Eccleston <Deccleston(at)>


On Monday I watched the game on Norwegian TV between Vaalerenga and Brann. In goal for Vaalerenga: Arni Gautur Arason. This was probably his first game for Vaalerenga after his free transfer from City. He was Man of the Match!

I have never been a great fan of David James. City could have got Arni for nothing and in my opinion is a better goalkeeper. Now we only have David James.

Van Buyten is a very good defender. I feel sick every time I think about him slipping through our fingers. At last we have now have got two good full backs. I have been missing that for a while. I hope that will help us to keep some more clean sheets.

I think we need a classy midfielder. We have many midfielders, but we lack some class. We need a goalmaker. We no longer have Berkovic or Benarbia. None of the players we have has shown anything near the class of those two. But with no money it seems that we have to stick with the ones we have.

Our front men are more than good enough for scoring enough goals in the Premiership to put City in the top five.

This could have been the team for the first Premier League game of the season: Arason – Mills, Thatcher, Distin, van Buyten – Wright-Phillips, Barton, Reyna, Sinclair – Wanchope, Anelka.

Arne Mæhlum – Otta, Norway <arne.maehlum(at)>


I was at the Wolves game on 27th August, and, as living locally, had been looking forward to the game for some time.

The whole evening was doomed though. The first sign that I was not going to overly enjoy the game was the beer. Not only was the beer over priced and crap, it was also out of date (my apologies to the girlfriend for the aftermath!).

The second thing which got the alarm bells ringing, was the so called “fans” of Wolves. The banter started early, which at the beginning was all humorous and light hearted kind of stuff. Towards the end of the first half, David Sommeil took a knock, and spent a few minutes lying on the pitch receiving treatment. I appreciate how annoying it can be, time being wasted when the player could get said treatment at the pitch side, but what followed ruined the whole night for me.

Several moronic plastic Brummies (apologies to those who might take umbrage to that last comment) started hurling abuse at Sommeil. I’m not going to repeat the abuse, but let me just say that it involved bananas and some rather excessive Anglo Saxon.

Third, and most worrying of all, was the display of ineptitude by the Wolves’ stewards. Now, I am white middle class British bloke, so have thankfully never had to endure any form of racism towards me, and what I’m about to say may just be simple naïvite on my part, if so, once again, my apologies. The line of stewards between the fans was mainly made up of young Asian lads, who, may well have experienced some form of racist abuse at some point in their lives. Upon asking said stewards if they were going to do anything about the small collection of morons who were sitting not 10 yards away from them, I was told “sorry mate, don’t know what you’re talking about”. Gosh, how convenient, and also how totally unbelievable. How the hell can I have heard the neanderthals hurling the abuse and they didn’t?

Unfortunately, that ruined what could have been a great night out for me, and having seen the faces of these so called football supporters staring at me whilst remonstrating with the stewards, for my own safety, I left at half time.

So, once again, thanks to those folks in Wolverhampton for reassuring me that some football clubs are still maybe not the safe, family places that they are being touted as!

Niall Hope <enzo974(at)>


Just wanted to add my thoughts to the countless already expressed regarding Paul Scholes. Scholes has bags more class than the tabloid scum who’ve been writing about his lack of form for the last 3 years. I guess his form is all they can write about because unlike most of the prima donnas who make up today’s Premiership he avoids the nightclubs, the girls, the booze, and the scandals that the tabloids are more qualified to comment on. We moan about the lifestyles of footballers and talk about how out of touch with reality they are and then slate Scholes for wanting to spend more time with his family. Maybe he realizes, unlike the tabloid editors and those who read their crap, that there really is more to life than football. We’ve made the same mistake we made with Shearer. In a couple of years when Lampard is exposed as the featherweight he is we’ll be begging for Scholes to come back. To Paul Scholes, I hope you enjoy your retirement, you’re well shot of the two-faced England supporter and whatever rag he reads. And all of this is coming from a City fan who hates U****d but respects a quality Manchester lad and recognizes a class act when he sees one. Sorry to get so worked up about a rag, but I’ve had enough of the typical footballer and the world famous British press. Therefore, I’m p****d off when the press manage to drive away someone who is clearly a cut above the typical footballer, both on and off the field.

James <jpg37(at)>


Just to let you know that our “unofficial” Manchester City FC stats website,, celebrated its first birthday on June 26th by receiving the 100,000th hit on the site. Sadly, this day also marked the first anniversary of the tragic death of Marc Vivien Foe in Lyon, and as stated on our front page, the site is dedicated to his memory.

Reaching one tenth of a million hits was a fantastic achievement, far surpassing the modest target set as we hit the ‘net with an “Under Construction” front page. This single page remained in place until July 31st when the site went live with viewable stats. One year on, is now recognised by many as the number 1 on-line reference point for any Manchester City stats. All the thousands of unpaid hours put into creating and maintaining this “labour of love” by myself and son Ashley, give us a great deal of satisfaction knowing we are providing a service to all those who have visited the site so far.

Our analysis tells us that there have been known hits from over 65 different countries, including Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra, Iran, Mongolia, Panama, Lesotho and Niger. Strangely, the 4th highest country hits have come from the South American country of Ecuador.

To commemorate this milestone, we are pleased to announce that three new sections can be accessed, and contain around fifty new pages, making nearly 500 in total.

The new sections are: OTHER STATISTICS, where you can find the longest winning, drawing, losing, unbeaten and winless League sequences, at home, away and overall. Under WEIRD AND WONDERFUL you can marvel at the list of 148 “One Hit Wonders” who have only crossed the white line once in their City/Ardwick playing career, along with a list of the first substitute appearances in each competition. There are other topics here that will be loaded in the near future, including RECORDS, which will be a summary of record fees, attendances, victories, etc. Under the PLAYERS section, the APPEARANCE STATISTICS can now be accessed and these contain lists of the players with the most Appearances, Starts and Substitute Appearances, broken down by League, FA Cup, League Cup, Europe, War and Other. The LEADING GOALSCORERS section contains a similar breakdown by Competition. Have fun with these, and don’t forget… if you cannot find the information you need, email us at the address shown and we will endeavour to provide it.

Given that the only methods used to publicise the site were free plugs here and there, the success of the site is proof that word of mouth works!

Steve & Ashley Kay <info(at)>


Yes after last weekend’s accident we require another ‘keeper. Let’s loan one rather than buy one and leave whatever funds we have for later in the season.

Mark Leahy <herbie1(at)>


We had the Whitley Brothers, do they count?

[Tenuous link with the Wright-Phillips’ Brothers too – Ed]

Keith Constable <Keith.Constable(at)>


In response to Lance Thomson on player sponsorship, not only did we did have a Brother in the squad when sponsored by Brother; in fact we had two. They were called Brightwell!

Andrew Downie <adownie(at)>


The “Chicken Scratch Journalists” are at it again claiming Anelka is unhappy at City. Reports that Barça and Monaco are after our star striker. One day, like all other players, Anelka will leave City, but until then I take no notice of these story hunting journalists. Anelka himself has said he is looking forward to playing for City and scoring many more goals!.

Captain America scored two goals against Reading and is showing his old form. Way to go Claudio. The Goat as always got a great reception from the travelling City fans; he surely has become a legend.

The pre-season games so far, with only the one remaining against Lazio, have all been pretty much a success, apart from losing Geert de Vliegers for the season, and David Sommeil been injured. The real bad news is losing our goalkeeper who would have been pushing David James. If it had to happen, then the good news is it happened before the transfer window closed. Kevin Keegan now has a little time to find another ‘keeper, but who? It’s not going to be that easy this time of the year.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I know I’m leaving this late, but is there any chance that someone can sort me out with 2 tickets for the Lazio match?

I’ll be unable to check my email as I’m back in the UK on holiday. But you can contact me on 07817 757184.

John Walker <john.walker(at)>


I’m on a little cultural RnR in Bangkok next week and just noticed that the Fulham game is due to be televised live on Star/ESPN (9pm). Any Blues getting together to watch the match? Please drop me a line.

Neal Beatty – Shanghai Blue <nealbeatty(at)>


On a regular basis throughout the year, Manchester City hold a forum with users. This is an opportunity for users to give feedback and put forward suggestions regarding the City web site.

The next meeting will be held at the end of August at the City of Manchester Stadium. If you are interested in attending please e-mail the address below with your name, address, age and whether you are a Seasoncard or Citycard holder. A cross section of supporters will then be contacted and invited to attend the next web users meeting.

If you do not live locally but would like to put forward any suggestions the same e-mail address can be used to put forward your contribution.



Hi! I am planning a trip to Manchester in September and was hoping that someone could suggest a good, but rather cheap hotel in Manchester.

Mikael Leijon – Sweden <mikael.leijon(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v0405.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings bu email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] 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.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[5] 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” (

[6] 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.

[7] 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

[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. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[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

[13] Where can I find a list of City-related websites?

Try Wookie’s Lair:

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 #1041