Newsletter #1061

A return to Premiership action this weekend as Chelsea visit us for the tea-time kick-off. City are hampered by numerous injuries, as reported tonight in Sarah’s news summary. The reserves were in winning form once again in the mini-derby, the great ticket rip-off continues and we’ve other bits of news and views.

Next game: Chelsea, home, 5.15pm Saturday 16 October 2004 (TV)


KK on the move: Kevin Keegan is moving from the purpose-built mansion he lived in while at Newcastle. The Boss has instructed Strutt and Parker in the sale of the Cleveland mansion, but has not yet revealed where he hopes to buy.

The Dane’s a knock-out: – or should that be knocked out. Bischoff, currently on loan at Wolves, is suffering from concussion after a training ground clash of heads.

Reserves set the tone: City reserves recovered from a quick first goal to beat United’s second string 2-1 in the first derby of the season. Both D’Laryea and Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in the second half, Wright-Phillips junior getting his eighth of the season in front of KK who was at the match.

Barton Knee(ds) Op: Joey Barton is out of City’s match against Chelsea and could miss the next six weeks after having an operation on his knee. City’s tenacious midfielder, who earlier in the week had commented on how he felt he was improving with experience, had been carrying an injury which flared up in training. He was advised to have immediate treatment, which means that unfortunately he will miss the Carling Cup match against Arsenal and the first derby match this season.

Midfield misery: Claudio Reyna is still suffering a groin strain and will be missing from the match against Chelsea (as will Sinclair – who has also succumbed to the City curse of knee problems). However, Sibierski (suffering with broken ribs after Arsenal) is back in training.

New Year, new contract: Or new year new club? That is the decision that faces Ronald Wattereus when his current term with City ends in December. KK is keen to keep the player, as neither Weaver, who returned to training this week, nor De Vlieger is expected back before February. However, the veteran Dutch ‘keeper is keen to experience stateside soccer and as the season starts there as his contract with City finishes, he has to decide where he would rather play.

New year, loan contract: Meanwhile, goalkeeping coach, Tim Flowers believes Kevin Ellegaard would benefit from a loan spell, so that he could get some experience in games. In the 3 years that Ellegaard has been at City he has only made seven first team appearances and whilst he is progressing well in training the real test is in playing matches. With James and De Vlieger and Wattereus at City, Ellegaard’s opportunities are limited at the Club, yet should injury strike again Ellegaard could find himself back in the limelight and Flowers wants to be sure he’s ready.

Macca backs Growler: Steve McManaman believes that Fowler will soon be back to his best and claims that reports that he no longer cares for the game are out of order. Macca, who expresses his confidence in City’s out of form striker, blames Robbie’s own lack of confidence for the dip, which saw KK choose to give Macken a chance in the side, while telling Fowler he had 3 weeks to work on his fitness. Fowler could be back against Arsenal in the cup – though there are also rumours that he may play against Chelsea on Saturday.

And Macca’s back too: Or should be in the next fortnight, with KK confident that the former Real Madrid ace will be back to former glory. McManaman has been undergoing treatment for an Achilles problem that has limited him to 2 appearances this season. However, the treatment is nearly complete and the Boss expects great things when Macca returns.

He ain’t the type: So believes Ben Thatcher of David Beckham’s tackling in the England:Wales encounter at the weekend. The 2 were matched left back to right wing with Becks coming off worst – both in terms of the yellow card and the fractured ribs he collected when challenging for ’50:50′ balls. David James and SWP meanwhile watched from the bench.

Wrighty still not right for Sven’s formation: SWP must wonder if he’ll ever play a full match for England. Once again Sven Goran Eriksson chose not to start with the winger, preferring to stick with the formation that won on Saturday, and choosing Jermaine Jenas in the starting line-up, leaving Wright Phillips and James on the bench again. SWP did manage 10 minutes as sub for Jenas, while Ben Thatcher had another good (if unsuccessful) game for Wales.

Sarah Longshaw <news(at)>


City’s first Manchester derby at Sportcity’s Athletics Arena ended in a fifth straight victory for the home side, sending them back to the top of the Premier Reserve league. The goals came from Jonathan D’Laryea and Bradley Wright-Phillips, now the league’s top goal scorer with seven goals from eight games. City gained the result having come back from an eighth minute goal from David Jones.

United included near £13 million striker, Louis Saha, in their line up, as well as £1.5 million goalkeeper Ricardo from Valladolid and £1 million+ David Bellion from Sunderland. They also included some of their supposed young stars that have been mooted for the top.

The opening few minutes suggested that City could really get a good score as they were all over United in their final third of the pitch. Indeed, City nearly scored in the second minute, from the Blues’ first corner of the match, taken short by Lee Croft to Stephen Ireland, who whipped the ball in, but Bradley lent back and “skyed” his shot over the bar.

So it was against the run of play that United scored. Bellion received the ball on the right from what looked a clear offside position and put a decent cross into the box, Willo Flood failed to make a good contact with his clearance and Jones came in to strike past Ronald Waterreus in goal.

The linesman nearly caused City to fall further behind when Keiran Richardson was at least five yards in front of play on the left, but fortunately for City, Bellion failed to find the target from the cross.

The game seemed to lull for the remainder of the half as neither team produced enough quality to penetrate their opponents’ defences until first half stoppage time, where City had two good chances to score. Firstly, some good inter-passing around United’s box led to Croft receiving the ball from Ireland who ran into the box to connect with Croft’s cross, but it was straight at Ricardo. Then, a minute later, Christian Negouai ran onto a loose ball free of United’s defence, but he couldn’t dip his shot enough and it sailed over the bar.

The rain started to come down at half time and continued throughout the second half. So as early as the fourth minute after the restart, a very wet ball from a sweet little curling cross from Willo Flood just skimmed off the head of Negouai and went inches wide of the far post.

The pair made up for not equalizing when good pressure from Flood led to Negouai dispossessing Paul McShane and delivering a cross to the far post for D’Laryea to head his first reserve goal of the season past Ricardo.

Seven minutes later, City went in front. David Sommeil, producing his only good ball of the night, sent a quality long ball up field and out to Croft on the left. He cut inside and chipped a cross over United’s static defence. Bradley pounced to beat the offside trap and head the ball over the onrushing Ricardo and bounce just over the line. The linesman was on City’s side this time as he was in the right place to see that it had clearly crossed the line, even though it was cleared.

The next fifteen minutes saw United push forward for the equalizer, but City’s Man of the Match, Paddy McCarthy, returning from his Irish U21 duties, marshalled the defence impeccably.

Both teams had good chances to score in the last ten minutes. City had the chance to double their lead when Bradley had found himself free at the right of United’s box after Negouai had flicked through Flood’s pass, but Ricardo pulled off a great near post save. Then, as the game drifted into stoppage time, a deep Bellion cross from the right to the far post was met with a firm header from Mark Howard, but he hit the base of the post and Saha screwed the rebound well wide.

City now travel to ninth place West Brom, next Monday, at the Hawthorns, to see if they can carry on this great winning run and continue to be in a position to challenge for the title next April.

Watterreus: Did everything well, a very good understudy. 7
Sommeil: All over the place most of the time and was fouling all the time. 5
Jordan (capt): Harshly booked, but did a great job at defending as always. 8
J D’Laryea: Good goal and got better as the game went on. 8
McCarthy: Won every single ball that came his way. MoM. 9
Onuoha (85): Lucky he was there to cover for Sommeil most times. 8
Flood (82): Worked like a Trojan and was a constant threat. 8
Ireland: Like his midfield partner, improved as the game wore on. 7
Negouai: We really have seen a change for the better this season from him. 8
Wright-Phillips: Is a constant threat to defences, shows improvement all the time. 8
Croft: Worked hard but still wastes balls at times. 7
Laird (82): Too late to mark.
Warrender (85): Again too late to mark.
Not Used: Timms, Tandy, Bermingham.

United: Ricardo, Brown, Spector, Howard, McShane, Djordjic (Ebanks-blake 76), Eagles, Jones, Bellion, Saha, Richardson( capt).
Not Used: Heaton, Rossi, N’Galula, Picken.

Att: 2783

[Great performance from the Blues, and good to see the boys meeting the men. Shame however that you need binoculars to see the action at MiniCoMS and the stewards would have difficulty organising the proverbial gathering in a brewery – Ed]

Gavin Cooper <blueboy(at)>


Manchester City have been very quiet on the progress of Robbie Fowler, the end of his three weeks of special fitness training coincides with the visit of Cheslski. Will we see a new Robbie Fowler? I think 99.9% of us will want him to succeed, let’s keep things positive and not even talk of him failing.

The same goes for Steve McManaman; an opportunity to shine as a player, or go back to the sunshine of Spain? Players cannot live on past reputations, they must show us that they are really committed to Manchester City. Only their actions on the field of play can tell us this, words in the media mean nothing if not produced on the pitch.

If City can produce the same effort and commitment as they did against Arsenal they can win this game. Just do better with set pieces, and keep shooting on the target.

I predict that Kevin Keegan and Stuart Pearce will have the team well prepared for this game, a win!

The latest news on Joey Barton is a big blow for the club, he has been a major force in central midfield. Now the rest of the team will have to play with his enthusiasm.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


I am an exiled Man City fan now living in Hook in Hampshire; previously I lived in West London for 10 years.

I have always attended as many London/Southern fixtures as I could and I always go to home games when back up North on my mum’s or brother’s season tickets.

I will not be going to Chelsea this year. £52 for a ticket that has a restricted view if you are too close to the tunnel is frankly a disgrace. I went last year without a ticket and resented paying £70 to a tout for my ticket; however I recognise that they are just a bunch of spivs out to make as much cash as they possibly can. It now seemed the board have observed this practice and decided to adopt it themselves.

Also this year I took my 2 1/2 year old son to the Southampton game for his first match. I chose this game as I went to St. Mary’s for the first time last year and was so impressed with their new stadium I was confident to take George. However, I was unable to buy a concessionary ticket for this game and ended up paying £70 for myself and my 2 1/2 year old son. I am not sure if the policy of not offering concessions for away games is down to MCFC or SFC.

I am getting annoyed at ticket pricing in general and I earn over £70,000 a year. I will not be going to Chelsea this year and will be very selective in future of the games I take my son to and in the future my other son James who is now 8 months old; the prospect of paying £105-£156 to watch a football match is far too rich for me. What chance of attracting lower income fans and families to the game long term? One of these days crowds will start retreating as they did in the 70s and the overpricing of tickets will cause the whole fan base to crash very quickly. I for one will not be shedding any tears for the bloated chairmen and board members but will be very sad to see the game’s demise in this country as I am sure it will soon enough.

(Name withheld at subscriber’s request)


I read Euan Bayliss’ follow on to Dave Clinton’s earlier contribution and agree with many of their sentiments wholeheartedly. However, I don’t think that a boycott by City fans would make too much of an impact – it’s only one game in 19 for BCFC after all. The real losers would be our team, who would be without any vocal backing.

What I’d like to see is our club itself taking some sort of a stand. I’m guessing that there are a multitude of officials and general hangers on that get free entry to COMS when the likes of BCFC come to town. What I suggest is that we send the Chairman of BCFC a couple of complimentary tickets and then charge the rest of them top whack for getting the best seats in the house – see how they like it.

I know this won’t ever happen, but it would be nice if someone brought this up at the next board meeting.

Forever Blue, John Bellairs <John_Bellairs(at)>


I refer to recent articles about increased ticket prices, especially for fans travelling away from home.

In the two seasons preceding this one I travelled to over 25 league and cup games away from home and generally enjoyed going to them – despite the indifferent results! This season however, has been different in that I haven’t been to many and do not feel motivated to go. Clearly I’m not alone because we haven’t sold out an away allocation all season.

Price is a major factor for me in that I simply won’t pay prices where clubs are blatantly ripping off visiting supporters. For this reason I have never been to Chelsea and probably never will while they continue to charge such extortionate prices. I now count the hugely massive (permission to use word “massive” obtained by!) Birmingham City in that category.

Having said that, I do feel that more and more clubs have adopted a siege mentality when it comes to their home games and let’s be honest, clubs like United would much rather have home fans in their ground than any away fans at all. Let’s face it, they’re not proposing to increase Old Trafford to 75,000 for the benefit of the atmosphere or so more away fans can be accommodated.

There is a growing amount of apathy amongst fans in general, fuelled not only by ridiculous pricing but the fact that as many have said the predictability of the Premier League in general. Unless we get a mega rich benefactor we, and all of the other clubs outside of the top 3 or 4, are going to be just making up the numbers as it were. This is hugely depressing because sport should be competitive, but money is dictating the outcome of it more and more and haven’t got any or anywhere near enough of it.

As far as I am concerned away games is just the beginning of an overall trend of decline in attendances in general unless radical action is taken with regards to pricing, players’ wages, transfer system and the list goes on… Already many clubs’ attendances are down on previous seasons and this will get worse unless the powers that be see sense and stop being so short sighted.

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


I read the comments of Jan Molby on Robbie Fowler in MCIVTA 1059 with amusement but the response from the “City official” was really the icing on the cake. It was like a 13-year old’s response – having a go back at the perceived failings of the critic rather than rebutting the criticism. The truth hurts, doesn’t it…

Andy Longshaw <andy(at)>


Steady on Bill Borrows, you’ve got a strange sense of priorities if you think that someone trying to sell a City shirt received as a birthday present is more worthy of hate than Alan Ball (see MCIVTA 1059 and 1060). If it’s any consolation to you Bill, the mate who bought me the shirt is a Bolton fan, and he won’t be too upset if I use the money from selling the shirt (yes, someone did buy it) to get one that means something to me.

John Edwards <jf.Edwards(at)>


So John Edwards is a skinflint for trying to flog his shirt for a tenner? If it was a gift, then he can do what he wants with it. Not everyone gets paid barrowloads of cash for writing throwaway newspaper columns. Funny how far some people slip from reality, isn’t it?!

John McGrath <johnandjen(at)>


My daughter wants to get the new version of the ‘Boys in Blue’ that is now played at the end of the game (I have the original single, which dates me!). We have looked in the City Superstore but it does not appear to be on sale there. Can anyone tell us if it is out as a CD single and who it is by?

[Mike, I am reliably informed by City that the new version, with updated lyrics, has been recorded by a Manchester band from Moston called 10acre. It isn’t available anywhere because, although they have acquired permission from EMI to cover the song, I understand they are looking for a label. They have a website at – Ed]

Mike Roberts <mikerob(at)>


League table to 12 October 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          8  3  1  0 14  5  4  0  0 12  2  7  1  0  26   7  19  22
 2 Chelsea          8  3  1  0  4  1  3  1  0  4  0  6  2  0   8   1   7  20
 3 Everton          8  2  0  2  4  6  3  1  0  5  1  5  1  2   9   7   2  16
 4 Manchester Utd   8  2  2  0  5  3  1  2  1  4  4  3  4  1   9   7   2  13
 5 Tottenham H.     8  1  2  1  2  2  2  2  0  3  1  3  4  1   5   3   2  13
 6 Newcastle Utd    8  2  1  1  8  4  1  2  1  8  9  3  3  2  16  13   3  12
 7 Bolton Wndrs     8  2  2  0  8  4  1  1  2  5  7  3  3  2  13  11   2  12
 8 Aston Villa      8  2  2  0  7  3  0  3  1  3  6  2  5  1  10   9   1  11
 9 Middlesbrough    8  2  1  1  6  5  1  1  2  6  7  3  2  3  12  12   0  11
10 Charlton Ath.    8  3  1  0  6  1  0  1  3  2 13  3  2  3   8  14  -6  11
11 Liverpool        7  3  0  0  8  1  0  1  3  2  5  3  1  3  10   6   4  10
12 Manchester City  8  1  1  2  5  3  1  1  2  3  4  2  2  4   8   7   1   8
13 Portsmouth       7  2  1  1  8  6  0  1  2  3  5  2  2  3  11  11   0   8
14 Fulham           8  2  0  2  3  5  0  2  2  5  8  2  2  4   8  13  -5   8
15 Birmingham City  8  1  2  1  4  4  0  2  2  3  5  1  4  3   7   9  -2   7
16 West Brom A.     8  1  3  0  5  4  0  1  3  3  9  1  4  3   8  13  -5   7
17 Blackburn R.     8  1  3  0  5  4  0  0  4  2 10  1  3  4   7  14  -7   6
18 Southampton      8  1  1  2  5  6  0  1  3  1  5  1  2  5   6  11  -5   5
19 Crystal Palace   8  1  0  3  4  7  0  2  2  4  7  1  2  5   8  14  -6   5
20 Norwich City     8  0  3  1  4  7  0  2  2  3  7  0  5  3   7  14  -7   5

With thanks to Football 365

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Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club” (

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Newsletter #1061