Newsletter #1067

Post match analysis from the Norwich game tonight, and views ahead to the derby and beyond with the youth development.

Don is back tonight for the news summary, many thanks to Sarah once again for covering the last few issues, and we have a round-up on the finances that were announces this week, potential investment and transfers.

Roll on Sunday 😉

Next game: Manchester United, away, 4.05pm Sunday 7 November (TV)


General News

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt… City’s debt level has risen to £62.2 million and it is unlikely that KK will spend big in the January transfer window. City posted a loss of £16.8 million for the year ending 31 May 2004, a rise of £1.4 million from the previous 12 months. This caused an increase in the overall debt, £7.7 million of which is regarded as “soft loans” from Chairman John Wardle. Turnover increased, up over 26% to £61.9 million, even though City’s low league place saw merit payment drop by £3.8 million. In addition, the key wage-turnover ratio fell from 72% to just 61%, in line with the figure finance experts believe is sustainable over the long term. However, unless City chief executive Alistair Mackintosh is successful in his bid to attract new investment into the club, it appears unlikely Keegan will have cash to spend in January. Mackintosh insists that there is no need to panic. “Our turnover has increased substantially, while the wage ratio has gone down,” he said. “Short-term debt has also decreased, so those are three indicators that suggest we are working along the right lines. People should also remember that we have spent £20 million upgrading the stadium and developing the Reebok City complex, both of which will benefit the club for years to come. We are looking at trying to bring in new investment but there is no reason to worry about the financial position of the club. Everyone realises we have to remain competitive in the Premiership but we have to achieve that while remaining focussed on the business side,” he added. “We have a number of set objectives that are designed to turn the business around and make sure it is run prudently in the future.”

Norwegians Would (or Wouldn’t): Could City be looking a gift Norse in the mouth? In the wake of the news of City’s debts, it came as no surprise to talk of a potential takeover bid to come to the fore. The M.E.N. reckoned that a Scandinavian shipping company might splash the cash to bail out City. The company was said to be Norwegian-based Inge Steensland AS, and Morten Andersen, a senior Steensland director, was said to be the prime mover behind the multi-million pound investment plan. Peter Barnes was said to be the go-between twixt club and investors, while ex-Chairman David Bernstein was also mentioned as a potential participant in the plan. John Wardle said: “I’m only too pleased to meet and discuss any investment opportunities with these gentlemen.” The report stated that Steensland were considering buying a large interest in the club, with a long term view to eventually take control. Next day Paul Tyrell sought to play down the scale of Steensland’s plans. “We have spoken to Morten Andersen,” confirmed Tyrell. “He is a fan of the club and he is a shareholder who has expressed interest in buying some more. But he is not a director at Inge Steensland AS and doesn’t have substantial funds to invest.” This prompted a change in emphasis in the press coverage – the papers began to suggest that Andersen might be offered a seat on the board (thanks Matt Thomas and JWB).

Naughty Naughty! KK has admitted the FA charge brought against him for his post-match comments to Steve Dunn following the 4-3 defeat at Newcastle. Keegan admitted he was abusive towards Dunn in the tunnel immediately after the game and said he intended to send a letter of apology to the Bristol official for the nature of his comments, even though he stood by his intense criticism of the referee’s performance. The City chief has said he expects to be fined by the FA and this is likely to be confirmed when Soho Square officials deal with the matter.

Masterplan for the CoMS: Even if the football fails to increase club revenue, there are always other methods of generating income. Last weekend for instance, saw international rugby league grace Mr. Rigby’s hallowed turf. Australia inflicted a last minute defeat on Great Britain with a try by Luke Rooney, guiding the Kangaroos to a 12-8 victory (let’s hope that’s the last Rooney to score at the ground this season!). Almost 39,000 punters were present. John Wardle told M.E.N. Sport: “The City of Manchester Stadium is a perfect venue for the top events in the world of sport and entertainment. We are continuing to make use of our magnificent venue and hopefully this is the start of a great relationship between ourselves at City and the rugby league authorities.” Next we had news that Burnage’s two most famous products would be performing at the stadium in July. Liam and Noel Gallagher are bringing the mighty Oasis to the CoMS. Tickets for this event will go on sale on this Saturday at 9am, priced £32.50 per ticket plus booking fees.

Reserves Rumble On: Those second string boys just can’t stop winning. City beat Bury 3-0 at Gigg Lane this week in the Manchester Senior Cup. The goals came from Stephen Ireland on 40 minutes, with the rest of the goals coming from Karl Bermingham and 16-year-old Micah Richards. The City side was Ellegaard, Matthews, Williamson, J D’Laryea, N D’Laryea, Collins, Croft (Laird 74), Ireland (Richards 74), Bermingham, Bennett, Tandy (Grimes 76).

Kind Break for Bert: Legendary City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann received an Honorary OBE for his ongoing work to improve Anglo-German relations through football. The German ‘keeper, who made 545 appearances for the Blues in the 1950’s and 60’s, is best remembered for his insistence on completing the game and collecting his winner’s medal when he sustained a broken neck in the 1956 FA Cup Final. Club Secretary Bernard Halford said, “The honorary OBE is a most deserved award and I am absolutely thrilled for Bert. He was the greatest goalkeeper I have ever had the pleasure of watching and everyone at Manchester City would like congratulate him.” Sir Peter Torry, the British ambassador to Germany, presented the award at the embassy in Berlin on Monday [Thanks Vince Docherty].

Transfer News and Gossip

A Nation Mourns: Bad news for Steve McManaman fans (that’s his wife, his mum and dad, apparently). Today’s Daily Mirror reports that KK has told Macca that his contract will not be renewed in the summer when his present deal runs out. He has suffered a string of injuries since joining City, and is currently nursing a problem with his achilles tendon. The report claims that the 32-year-old will quit football at the end of the season.

Bischoff Stays: Wolverhampton Wanderers have extended the loan deal to keep defender Mikkel Bischoff for another month. The former Danish U21 International has impressed in his three outings for Wolves in his first loan spell, which was due to end this week. City can recall the player at any time during the month with just 24 hours notice. Keegan said: “Mikkel has played three games for Wolves and I believe he has done very well. He is a good player.” Since extending the deal for Bischoff, Wolves’ manager Dave Jones has been sacked, so it’s unclear what will happen to the Dane once his second month at Molineux is over.

All Together: Go Away Gooners! The “Sweep to Arsenal” rumour has raised its ugly head again this week. In fact Chris Maume in the Independent reckoned the deal was highly likely to go through at the end of the season, and cited the following reasons: (a) City’s debt “issues”; (b) The chance for Shaunie to play in the Champions’ League, and (c) Arsene Wenger’s old quote about “He is a Wright – and the Wrights have a big love affair with Arsenal.”

Anelka in “I’m Still Happy” Shocker: Last week Sarah reported the “Anelka is Unhappy” story, which by my calculations is the four hundred and thirtieth time the press have reported this alleged tale in he last three seasons (well, almost). And yet again, Nico put the record straight. Reuters reported that Anelka has had enough of controversies and feels comfortable at City but is not fretting about his chances of a recall from French manager Raymond Domenech. Anelka said: “I am only thinking about my performances on the pitch with City. Whether I get picked or not for France is not the problem. People can criticise my character but not my football. I have no reason to reproach myself. I just want to concentrate on doing well with my club. After a while, the best tend to get picked.” He also revealed that he would have been happy to move to Monaco last summer, as he likes Coach Didier Deschamps and thinks that the lifestyle in the principality would have suited him. He did stress however that he is happy to be with the Blues.

Ex-Blues’ News

DB for FA? Sunday’s journals carried reports that David Bernstein was a leading contender to take over as Chief Executive of the FA. Next day, Bernstein denied that he had been approached over the post. “I have not applied for the position and have not been approached for it,” said DB. “If someone wants to talk to me I will be happy to talk to them. But it would depend on what the real situation there is and how much authority the job would have before I could think about it.” The FA are searching for their fourth chief executive in six years after Mark Palios was forced to resign in August. The former Chelsea, Leeds and Everton chief executive Trevor Birch withdrew his application for the post following an interview with the Football Association.

Reactions and Comments

Same Old Story: Once again, City treated the CoMS to a disappointing show following a bright start. The Blues went in front after 11 minutes when 19-year-old Irishman Willo Flood struck a first-time volley from 20 yards that Norwich’s highly-rated goalkeeper Robert Green could only fumble into the net. Damien Francis levelled for Norwich 12 seconds into the second half with the home side’s defence in disarray. The home side came under increasing pressure but it was KK’s men who came so close to regaining the lead on 65 minutes. Flood and Wright-Phillips exchanged passes on the right side of the penalty area before Flood fired in a shot that rebounded off the inside of the far post. Steve McManaman was replaced by Robbie Fowler with 10 minutes to go and his arrival almost paid an instant return. Fowler’s presence allowed Anelka to shoot but his close-range shot was saved and then from the rebound Fowler’s goal-bound shot appeared to hit Craig Fleming’s arm. Fowler appealed for a penalty but the ball fell to Flood only for his 12-yard shot to be cleared away. Anelka then burst through before falling under a challenge from Simon Charlton as the home side pushed forward. “It was a bit of a frustrating night,” said Keegan with uncharacteristic understatement. “I was pleased with the first 35 minutes. The last 10 minutes we slacked off. We said at half time to keep it tight. I hadn’t even sat down and it’s 1-1. It was almost self inflicted and was a comedy of errors.” Keegan said of the game’s most controversial incident that: “I think it was an absolute classic penalty. When is a penalty not a penalty? It’s an absolutely clear penalty,” he added. “We’re missing six senior players from a small squad. No Barton, Reyna, Sinclair and Thatcher. I think the youngsters have been the shining light. Willo Flood did well.” Keegan was critical of his side, adding: “The reason we did not win was not because of the penalty, but because we did not get a second goal. We did not produce the level of performance that the first 30 minutes demanded and that was down to a combination of bad luck, bad choices and bad finishing.”

What Generous Hosts! Not surprisingly, Norwich seemed happy enough with their away point. “We started not too badly tonight, then they got the goal and that knocked us back,” said Norwich boss Nigel Worthington. Defender Simon Charlton felt it was a deserved point for the newly promoted side. “I think it was probably a fair result. We started well, but did our old trick of conceding an early goal,” said Charlton. “Overall I think it was a fair result. It’s three points that we need. It’s a good away point. Hopefully next week we’ll get the magic first win.” Of the disputed handball incident, Worthington said “If a penalty had been given I would have had no complaints. But when you are looking for three points and to make things happen, little things like this may help us turn the corner.” Worthington was delighted with his side’s display, adding: “It was a very good point and we showed a lot of character, resolve and team spirit.”

Flood of Praise: There was no doubt about the Man of the Match, which Sky Sports awarded to Willo Flood. KK said: “He really wants to be a player. He does not look like a footballer but when he gets the ball and starts running at people, it is refreshing to see. Arthur Cox said Willo reminded him of a young Billy Bremner. I can see what he means. Hopefully one day he will be as good as Billy Bremner was.” Flood believes Norwich probably deserved a point, but felt the home should have pressed home their first half domination. “We should have been two or three up at half time. It’s probably a fair point,” said Flood. “I thought I’d have a strike and lucky for me it went in. Three points would have been handy.” Of his time in the first team, Flood said: “I am loving every minute of it and it is a dream come true to play in City’s first team. When you are small like I am you have to learn to look after yourself against these bigger players. I find that I am building a good relationship with Shaun Wright-Phillips; we do a lot of training together and we know what each other’s game is about. With all these youngsters coming through it is going to save the club a lot of money and we want to push on now and help the club do well.”

Squad News

Crocks Corner: Ben Thatcher and Trevor Sinclair are both ruled out of Sunday’s derby at OT. The left back missed only his second match for the Blues in the draw vs. Norwich. “Ben came into training on Monday morning and gave it a go. I really like his character,” explained Kevin Keegan. “I really didn’t think he had a chance and neither did the physio but he came in and the lads were calling him Lazarus. He went through a fitness test but when we get down to the nitty gritty of kicking a ball he was felling his ankle. I do fear the worst for him and he may have to undergo an operation and that is a blow to us.” Sinclair has been plagued by a knee injury this season and suffered a recurrence of the problem during City’s Carling Cup defeat to Arsenal last week, his first appearance since the beginning of September. The 31-year-old is due to undergo a scan and, like Thatcher, could require surgery. If the worst news is confirmed, it will leave manager Kevin Keegan without five key men for the match against United. Sun Jihai is out for the remainder of the season after rupturing cruciate ligaments, Joey Barton is still three weeks away from full fitness after his own knee operation, while Claudio Reyna has already been ruled out with a groin injury. “We just don’t know at the moment but it could be that Trevor needs an operation as well,” Keegan commented. “We are having the sort of run you don’t want when you have a small squad but luckily the youngsters are coming in and doing us proud.” Oh and the Reserves squad isn’t immune from an injury or two. Christian Negouai has now suffered yet another setback. The 26-year-old has now pulled a hamstring. “Christian doesn’t seem to have a lot of luck but that’s football,” said Blues’ boss Kevin Keegan. “He’d only been on the pitch for 15 minutes and we had to sub the sub. It never rains but it pours.” Negouai is now likely to be out for six weeks with the injury.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


I have just got in from the football tonight and I am absolutely seething! Tonight’s show was one of the worst performances I have seen from a City side. After this and the Arsenal (Carling Cup) match some of our senior players have to take a long, hard look at themselves and ask why do they bother turning up. If anyone of us turned in a day’s performance as pitiful as some of the shambles on the pitch today then undoubtedly we would face the sack.

Credit to Norwich, they came here to play football – they didn’t try and put 11 men behind the ball and catch us on the break like a lot of teams have done in the past, they tried to play neat, attractive football. However, they were miserable at it! They were simply the worse side I have seen so far at CoMS, yet they still tried to play football. It was a great relief when City opened the scoring through the very impressive Flood, when he took a peach of a volley that managed to squirm its way through Green’s fingers (the ‘keeper should have done better). This was surely a cue for an onslaught and a good win… the chances came and were missed, either by poor finishing or City’s preference to pass when a shot was begging to be hit. Particularly another Flood effort, an Anelka one and one and a sweet strike from SWeeP, which if it had gone in would have been a corker.

In the last minute of a City-dominated first half, a slight inkling of what was about to follow showed itself when Dunne misplaced a comical pass to Bosvelt (who slipped) and put the Norwich attacker directly through on goal – thankfully James was up to the task and blocked well.

The second half started and most people were returning to their seats and Norwich had equalised. You knew that the first 10 minutes of the second half Norwich would come at us, yet the players were once again caught napping – this just has to be bad coaching and bad motivation. A hopeful high ball was mis-headed by Mills – Dunne should have put a foot through the ball but instead miscued a back header to James, the ball fell to Norwich… 1-1 – awful! Why not have a huddle or something at the start of the second half as well – anything to focus the minds of the players. From this point on you knew this was going to be easier to lose rather than an easy win which, given the first half, this should have been. Norwich grew in confidence and kept the ball well but still had very few chances – City still created chances – Flood hit the post, an Anelka/Fowler shot cleared off the line, one which was a clear handball and penalty. But once again too many wayward passes and wrong options in the final third meant a very poor draw when the points were quite frankly there for the taking.

Player ratings:

James (7/10) – Made a couple of good saves and was competent with crosses.
Mills (3/10) – Woeful performance – at fault for the goal, out of position on numerous occasions and relied on Flood to save him more than once, gave away the ball with nearly every pass. Given Huckerby was always going to be Norwich’s main threat, Mills gave him so much space it was unbelievable. I don’t think Danny has been too bad this season so let’s hope this is a one off.
Distin (7/10) – Class tonight, won headers and distribution and motivation were great – I swear I even heard him bellowing this evening and I sit at the top of the East Stand – brought back memories of Mick McCarthy!
Dunne (5/10) – Generally pretty good but should have dealt with the goal and had a lucky escape at the end of the 1st half – needs to tie shoelaces tighter!
Jordan (7/10) – Unsung hero tonight – had an excellent déebut and was solid.
Flood (8/10) – Cracking performance, tackled back, always looked to beat the man and cross, and took goal well (unlucky not to score again, hitting the inside of the post in the second half). Made the wrong choice and pushed off the ball a little bit too easy in the second half but has burst onto the scene.
Sibierski (5/10) – Good in first half, anonymous in the second.
Bosvelt (7/10) – One of his best performances in a City shirt – thought he played very well.
McManaman (4/10) – Took up some good positions in the first half, kept the ball moving and generally speeded up play but second half performance was woeful – no spirit, bottled out of tackles and distribution was awful.
Anelka (6/10) – Nico got a bit of stick off Andy Hinchcliffe on the post match phone in on GMR – tonight I thought he was pretty good – came searching for the ball, creative and was unlucky not to score – goal line clearance and a couple of good saves from Green.
SWeeP (6/10) – Typical SWP performance but KK played him as a striker today – great going forward and still tackled back. Cynically brought down every time he went past a Norwich player.

Onouha (6/10) – Came on for Dunne, and did job efficiently (similar to Arsenal performance).
Fowler (5/10) – Didn’t do much but he didn’t have any service – should have had a penalty for handball clearance.

So after the Chelsea game we have had two really disappointing home games within a week. There were many negatives about the game tonight but rather than dwell on those, the positives were: Jordan, Flood and Onouha, who all helped their cause; it’s certainly amazing how Flood and SWP instinctively knew where each other were. Anelka and SWP seemed to hit off a partnership (I’ve never seen a City striker play so close to Anelka), SWP being in the middle also offers us more creative options, especially with Flood filling the hole where SWP was on the right, so maybe this is something that can be explored (maybe SWP playing behind Mackan/Anelka rather than wide right). Distin’s performance and consistency in past games!

I’m not going to dwell on the bad bits any further – it’s going to be a long wait for Sunday without reliving tonight’s experience again.

Rich Fenton <rich(at)>


In Mary D’s before the game. The DJ played ‘I’ve got a brand new combine harvester’ and then said, ‘you have to make them welcome… forkers’ (or something similar). Prophetic sentiments. Norwich came, did not intrude too much, but then decided this was not the forgone conclusion we had thought. Carrot munchers indeed, Raz!

I was not as disappointed with the performance as some on GMR, a bit OTT. Pleasantly surprised by Jordan’s good performance, which went unnoticed in Willo’s limelight. Senior pros blah, blah, blah. I think KK is doing all that he can, bar chuck the entire U19s in. Woeful on the players’ part but little more the manager can do until the window. He will need more cash if we are to make the next bold step of letting Macca, Robster, Sinclair, Negouai, Reyna and Sibbo go. Bosvelt has been worth his place, just, based on this season, despite my previous rants.

The balance will tip too far if we let this lot go and replace them all with kids. However, we are well below par in our midfield performances over the last season and a bit. My suggestion is two quality midfielders and a world class partner for Nico: Figo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo at Christmas, would be nice! Maybe it’s a big wish list, but the addition of these three would make us a force to contend with at the top and give us a good balance of age, potential and experience in the team as a whole. Whilst it might be a dream, we need to start thinking bigger if we are to achieve the guaranteed impetus required. We may have little chance or money to persuade their current employers, the point is we need to aim high, recognise the problems we have and build on what we have painstakingly created so far.

Considering these three in our team, also proves that we do have a good nucleus of a team, with a steady defence, an outstanding centre forward and two, maybe three now, excellent young midfielders. If we get into the new year and passed the window shutting with Nico and SWP onboard, we need to demonstrate a reason for them to stay. I fear the Norwich result has pointed us to look down again. I was hoping that if we were looking up by the end of the year we would avoid the Monacos or Juves of this world unsettling the big fella, or the Arse unsettling the little one. It’s a long time until then, so I am back on the optimistic tip that we can still become the force we have all deserved.

The aforementioned 6 are taking up places that need to be filled either with the kids or someone who can come in a do an immediate job without the 18 month lag to see if they might fulfil their potential – again, I am not blaming KK, but the gravy trainers concerned. They have proved in their performances or limited appearances from the sickbeds/reserves/personal training plans they are not up to the job. Lose 6, gain 3 quality additions and fill the rest with kids, their time is now up. Put Stuhr-Ellegard and Bischoff on the bus leaving the club as well, we have better.

As for the derby, our defence is not reduced by Jordan. Midfield remains our priority. Flood, SWP (centre), Bosvelt and Macca with Macken up front looks our best option to me. We really need this one, just like we needed Norwich. We’ve got a run coming up where we should win, but we need to rein this lot back in to make a fist of finishing above them.

More money is required, apparently. Given our set up we are attractive to investors – according to Bodek. However, we need to seek investors who are up for the club. The Norwegian link sounds promising, without the deference to ignorants such as the Russian, the Tamper Bay Rowdy or the Thai prime minister. There does appear to be a Blue connection, whether it materialises is another matter. The £64 million in debt is financed over the long term and leaves us without Leeds type worries. However, we have stretched our credit and do need some new cash if we are to build a platform for success. I sense changes are afoot, what they will be remains to be seen.

We are just about treading water. However, having maintained our status for the last two seasons, we need to be pressing on, whilst striving for the entertaining football KK and us fans crave. We shall see whether the Boltons and Evertons with their kind of football can maintain it until Christmas. However, if we can provide fresh impetus, the kind we should have expected for the money we have and continue to fork out, we might again be a force. I think the league is still wide open from 3 down, but we need to get up to those echelons soon; or I fear players, supporters and investors may grow weary.

Come on City, come on City…

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


I left the ground, as ever, musing with friends over the ‘joys’ of being a City fan. After the massive disappointment of our spineless display against Arsenal under-7s, I took great heart from ManUre’s defeat at the weekend and the honest belief that so far, only the Everton result has given me any real cause for dismay. I was accompanied, my wife having escaped to Edinburgh for a few nights, by a work colleague whose favours are jointly pinned to the Liverpool / Hartlepool masts, so I was hoping for a huge home win… show off Anelka and SWP and the awesome stadium, take the p*** the following morning out of the Red in the office and begin the banter for Sunday!

The journey across was swift and I discussed the possibility of (a) a 2-0 stroll or (b) us scoring an early goal then not knowing whether to press or to hold and letting in a soft equalizer in the 81st minute. Mmm…

City started a little sloppily but settled soon enough and I must say played some beautiful, crisp passing at times. Macca and Bosvelt pulled the strings but the quality came as ever from Anelka, SWP and Willo Flood, who showed on at least four occasions a first touch and turn that had the people around us, literally, gasping. Oh, joy! Then the goal came, only a matter of time; it looked as though their ‘keeper should have stopped it. He is highly rated and made two or three good stops before the break, otherwise it was game over.

I purred and eulogized at the interval. 3-0? 4-0?

Ah, yes. No sooner had we sat down than they scored and Mills, over whom I have expressed great satisfaction of late, proceeded to have a shocker for 20 minutes as the confidence drained visibly from the Blues. Distin could be seen engaging in shouting matches with his fellow defenders, and later with KK as total frustration and a gradual collapse in team structure set in. Norwich continued to be poor and gradually we calmed down. Another great move carved them apart, Flood shot, goal! Yes! I looked back to see the ball rolling across the penalty area. How did that stay out? More chances, more shaky moments at the back… then with 5 left, a huge melée with three solid chances attached, following great footwork from Anelka but again the Blues were thwarted. I must confess I screamed in frustration.

We left the ground highly disappointed. We were significantly better than Norwich, yet had failed to win.

We work hard (?!) to earn the money for the season tickets, the programme, the car parking etc. We rush across the country to get there, we get home hideously late (and disappointed) and we are very definitely left with the feeling that some of the players do not try as hard as we do. Macca vanished in the second half – doubtless a quality player but such a dismal lack of effort. I do prefer him in the middle. I will defend the quality of these players to the hilt, but he, Robbie Fowler and especially Sinclair are frankly having a laugh. Compare their workrate not only to the youngsters like Joey and Willo, but also the likes of Sibierski.

Now we face ‘the other lot’. I have moaned long enough, but suffice to say I am not looking forward to Sunday.

Mike Bains <mikebains(at)>


Letting off steam, running out of gas and being p*ssed off!

City were like the Harlem Globetrotters in the first half, with a dazzled (and, seemingly Dazza-less) Norwich at their mercy. The timing of their goal was everything to do with how it turned out – we came out for the second half ready to turn up the heat and got burnt within 15 seconds; the pilot light went out and, by the time it was rekindled, they could see the finishing line and made it a draw.

I think Steve Bennett felt sure it was going to end that way and was blinded to the two penalties that would have seen justice done. My mate put a gloss on it when he said that last season, that game would have followed the same pattern but we’d have lost it!

Going back to the penalties and ref/linesman’s decisions, there were one or two crucial incidents that were missed. One, a handball by a defender in front of us (East stand lower, Northern half) that prevented a flying SWP from outpacing him into the open space beyond. The foul was committed with the player facing us full on, i.e. with his back to Bennett, who was in the middle of the park some 20 yards away, and, with the linesman on the far side having no view whatsoever – it went unseen – we need 4 linesmen!

Steve McManaman? I want to believe, I still believe but, I’m still waiting. The bloke behind us was going hairless, telling the “scouse git” to clear off back to Liverpool – some of these 12,000 ‘new’ fans don’t know what it means to be called ‘The Best fans in the World’, a reputation hard won by decades of getting behind the shirt – there have been worse players than McManaman wearing it down the years but we cheered them all – it p**ses me off (see also Sinclair’s substitution on Wednesday and the cheering that accompanied it – it doesn’t do any of us any good whatsoever, not the player, the club or the reputation of the City fans).

The team need time to re-group, having been carved up because of injuries – give them a break!

Rick Eagles <rick.eagles(at)>


Well I thought I’d offer a few thoughts on the Norwich game and the players although I only saw half-time highlights and the second half so I don’t know exactly how reflective of the entire game these are.

Willo Flood actually ran at people and clearly had the left back and midfield scared because he persisted in doing it. Also helped Mills out a lot, who was having a ‘mare this evening so he had to do the work of one and a half players. I only hope that he can play elsewhere than right midfield because SWP is not a first choice candidate for striker in my view. I think a predatory striker would have been following up Flood’s shot that came back off the inside of the post (very unlucky) and would have converted it. SWP gave a great pass to Flood but then stood still. I thought Bosvelt was very neat and tidy and broke up a lot of moves. Yes, he lacks pace but he’s not a dynamic box-to-box player so don’t slate him for not being one. If Onouha is getting picked ahead of McCarthy, does that mean it’s bye bye to the latter in the summer as he’s, what, 3-4 years older? He played pretty well, not unduly troubled and composed for a league début.

Overall we should have won this. The goal we gave away was reminiscent of England vs. San Marino for its comical incompetence. Why did none of our other players appeal for either of the two penalties that could easily have been given e.g. by Mike Riley at the Swamp? Much as I would rather the players treated the referee with respect and any screaming at him was treated as it would be in rugby union, as the laws stand why not shout, then maybe he’d have given the second? Not nice but you can’t play nice if no-one else does, that’s for the F.A. to sort out (a thought almost as comical as some of City’s defending). Anyway, I really thought we could push for 12 points from these next four games but I guess I’ll settle for 10.

Thomas Bodey <psitaccula(at)>


Having watched the match vs. Norwich on Monday night, I can’t help feeling that we are carrying at least 3 to 4 players that are past their sell by date. Luckily, one of them, Trevor Sinclair, was not playing; as for the other 3, this is what I thought of their performance and the rest of the team.

James: Made some good saves and kicked well, but is still prone to calamitous moments: Rating: 6
Jordan: Early days, not brilliant but did o.k. Rating: 6
Distin: I thought he played really well, commanding in the air, and was generally in the right place defensively, occasionally gave the ball away cheaply. Rating: 7
Dunne: Overall, I think he played well, but did make a couple of howlers, one which nearly cost us a goal, and one which did, though this was due to Mills’ poor header in the first place. Rating: 6
Danny Mills: Absolute c**p! how he was not subbed after such a woeful performance is just beyond comprehension. To think he was once an England full back, and we go and rescue him once he is on the downward slide? He gifted Norwich the goal and then continued to play the remainder of the match totally out of position, never supporting Onuoha (the rookie), and treating the ball like it was a bar of soap. I would have left Dunne on the pitch, regardless of how ill or weak he was (I loved Sun Jihai, always gave 100% & was a great threat on the break; he was criticised for his poor defending but it’s much better than Mills any day, what a loss to City). My Rating: 2
Paul Bosvelt: May not have the flair, but certainly reads the game well, and is always there when needed, putting in a lot of effort, breaking things up in midfield and starting the attacks. Rating: 7
Antoine Sibierski: As much as I like him, does not score enough, especially considering he is so good in the air, needs to have far more of an influence in midfield, but his lack of pace means he cannot beat the opposition with a simple run. Rating: 5
Steve McManaman: Is he just going to be a wall pass midfielder, or did we buy him for his great jinking runs that encouraged R. Madrid to buy him? The only time he makes any jinking runs is in the warm ups, and that’s without the ball. Is he a goal threat? Can he shoot? Can he head the ball? Can he thread through balls like Benarbia or Berkovic? You know what the answers to all these questions is: No to all of them. Rating: 4
S. Wright-Phillips: All action guy, I think Keegan has found his right position, as a striker. He has the pace, the skill and the appetite to be a great goal-scorer, and creator. Rating: 8
Anelka: For all his pace and skill, is not clinical enough to be as good as Henry; on at least 2 occasions he just needed to jink the ball over the ‘keeper to score, but wanted to shoot low, allowing the ‘keeper to make a save. Needs to work on his finesse, and free kicks – how he thinks he can get power from one pace is beyond me; he should study Roberto Carlos (not the best I admit), but with thighs like his, he still takes a run up to generate power. Rating: 6
Willo Flood: We have found a new S.W.P. on the right wing, I love his enthusiasm and puts in a tremendous amount of effort, and was rightly awarded the M.O.M. – with a little luck he could have had a hat-trick. Rating: 8
Robbie Fowler: Before we bought him, I wrote a piece for MCIVTA that stated, in my opinion, we should not buy him as he was way past his best, and we would do better going for a young and pacy forward, with a lot to prove. He has no pace, is not scoring regularly, and is just not the Fowler of old – period! He just hangs about up front hoping the ball will be delivered right to his feet and even then he doesn’t shoot, remember the midweek cup game. His best moves currently, are in the property market. Rating: 4
Onuoha: Did o.k., but impressed me more against Arsenal in the Cup; considering he used to be a sprinter, doesn’t look that quick. Rating: 5

On a final note, the little I saw of Bradley Wright-Phillips last week, I was impressed, and was hoping Keegan would bring him on for the last 15 minutes instead of Fowler, as he seemed nimble, with a nice touch and plenty of adventure, and he is a lot taller than SWP. How we persevere with Macken is beyond me; he has about the same skills as Mills and is not much quicker. To me, he is no more than a 1st Division player. As for the little I saw of Negouai, what Keegan ever saw in him is beyond me. He seems to be another lumbering player that would be better suited in Division 1 or 2.

Keegan should persevere with the youngsters, and not the journeymen that we seem to have in abundance; get them out and off the pay roll, big money for little return. I hope we have a few quid to spend in the January sales for a decent creative midfielder, or someone on a free. How come Allardyce manages to find such talent on a shoestring budget? Or Redknapp at Portsmouth with all his cheap imports, but we manage to buy rubbish for a King’s Ransom. We have a problem on the left, so Keegan should go and get the young lad from Arsenal on loan, who came on in the 2nd half and terrorised our defence with his direct running; we are too lethargic and bland in midfield, we need quality to provide the ammunition for our front men.

I just hope we have the right mentality and fight for the big match on Sunday against our deadly rivals.

Glyn <glynalbuquerque(at)>


In a game that City should have won, Flood came close to scoring by hitting the inside of a post only to see his shot come out and Fowler had a shot stopped from going in by a defender’s arm; he appealed for a penalty, but it was never seen by the officials.

In the 11th minute Shaun Wright-Phillips was quick to see Willo Flood running in, he crossed and Willo Flood scored from about 20 yards out. A clever piece of work between the two young players. Shaun had some very good snapshots at goal and came close to getting a goal. Sibierski, who is a very good header of a ball, just could not connect in this game for several times he headed the ball high, just could not get to it and head the ball down.

I could not believe what I was seeing as the 2nd half started. City were asleep, it only took Norwich 15 seconds to get the equalizer. Terrible defending by the City defence, worst that I have seen all season. The game continued at almost half pace by City; they only came back to life when the roar of the City supporters lifted them back up. But in fairness to Norwich they could have stolen the game and almost did on a couple of occasions.

The man of the match had to be young Willo Flood, who played with so much confidence and authority, getting back to even help out Danny Mills a couple of times. Shaun Wright-Phillips came close behind Willo for Man of Match honours.

I would like to see Shaun play right behind the two strikers; he can support them and have a crack at goal himself, he loves being involved in a game and he would be involved more from this position. Also Joey Barton (when fit) and Willo Flood in other midfield positions, they are all fast and are clever with the ball, with Bosvelt the other midfield player who has the experience.

Although City only got a point from this game, seeing Willo Flood and Shaun Wright-Phillips lifted my spirits. Steve Jordan got his full start and shows promise.

I saw Distin shouting a couple of times at other City players; yes he does act like a captain. Anelka had an average game, McManaman just can’t seem to get into his game although he made an effort. Dunne went off not feeling well in the 68th minute, to be replaced by another up and coming player, Nedum Onuoha. The 81st minute saw Macca go off for Fowler to come on, but City for all their attacking could not get the winner that they deserved.

Got to do better for the next game. Sir Red Face was in attendance watching City before the Evil Empire game at Old Trafford next Sunday Nov 7th.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


This game was a “must win”. I’m sitting in work in California watching the text update. Even after they equalised I knew we’d win this. We had to. These are the games that we simply can’t lose. Just like against the Arsenal 3rd string in the League cup last week. Remember the League Cup, its the last cup we won. Right. Just like how we had to battle and get that win in Europe last year against that Polish outfit, after we were gifted a spot in the competition. It seems like City get these gift horses then shoot them. But enough rhetoric.

I watched the match after work and we should have won, but tactically we weren’t there. Long shots from the edge of the area in the 1st half. 1st half we got a stroke of luck and we should have pressed it. Gone for the route 1 football. We let Norwich back in and I feel it doesn’t bode well for Sunday. Taggart was in the crowd, and I’m sure he won’t be worried about Sunday.

Sorry to sound negative but when Norwich attacked we had nothing between attack and defence. Bosvelt just ghosted himself out of the park and Macca never gets a tackle in. Mills was just bad and his lack of confidence seemed to translate to Dunne. Again, if I were Taggart I’d tell any of the Rags to bang the ball in between Mills and Dunne and wait for the fireworks.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this team but I get sick of the lack of brains and commitment. Anelka is still a star but the setup Monday was all wrong. As soon as Growler came on we opened them up and Sweep was free to do his thing. But surely we should have done this from the off? This is a team who haven’t won this season taking on City at home. And yes we should have had a penalty but we should have killed them off in the first half. If we don’t have good luck (which we don’t) we must take our chances and kill off teams. No mercy. Flood looked very lively. Jordan with his retro “slaughter and the dogs-pseudo mullet / feathers cut” was no worse than any left back I’ve seen recently at City. But Norwich were c**p. Huckerby the poor lad did nothing. I suppose it’s a bad sign when Macca looks like he’s playing ok in the team.

When you think of recently the likes of Bish and Ali and super-Kev stroking the ball round the midfield like they owned it, then you look at Macca’s pass and stand still (didn’t it used to be “pass and move” he learned at Anfield?) game, it’s sad. So, what of it? We’ve made some bad buys of yesterday’s men. Look at the players that are shaking it (Anelka aside), they’re all the youth. And why not? It’s called pride and optimism. Doing something you love, not just a paycheck. I’m going to wax lyrical, but Flood was magnificent. A strip of lad being pushed off the ball by men twice his size. Taking them on, having a crack, getting back tackling. All heart. And he looks like he’s 12 years old. The sub for Dunne looked alright too (I forget his name) [Onouha – Ed]. Brains and commitment. So give youth a chance. I think it’s our only way out. I’m still not sure on Macken, I know he’s a good Blackley lad and he did bring some massive fireworks to last year’s scouts bonfire (according to the brother), but I just don’t know. That’s me done. I’ve got an election to go watch on telly.

Andy <fastandyj(at)>


A view from afar (well the south coast anyway).

Living on the south coast with my equally City-mad son playing for his school team on Saturdays, we don’t get to many games, but having just been to the Arsenal game last week and watched the Norwich game on TV, frustration has risen to writing point. Rather than boring everyone with match reports, which others can do so much better than me, I thought I’d pass on our verdicts of the players so far this year.

James – class, class, class. He seems really committed to the club as well, which is fantastic for us going forward. In my opinion he’s the best ‘keeper we’ve had since big Joe Corrigan.

Mills – Had an absolute ‘mare against Norwich but that apart he seems to have added some steel to the back line, which we lacked last year. Overall given our options I think he’s a decent buy.

Thatcher – Gives the ball away too much for my liking but he’s a better defender than anything we had in that position last year and he does put in the odd decent cross. The jury is out on him at the moment but I guess he does a fair job.

Distin – Was colossal against Chelsea, awful against Arsenal’s kids and captain of the Marie Celeste against Norwich. I think he has been much better than last year thus far and he does seem to try rallying the team a bit more than he used to. The partnership with Dunne is building nicely and the fact that we are averaging just 1 goal a game conceded after 11 games having played all of the big boys except the Swamp dwellers must be viewed as a positive.

Dunne – Is quite simply becoming one of the best centre backs in the league. We missed him desperately against Arsenal in the Carling Cup. As somebody else said here recently, the neat thing is that he isn’t getting attention drawn to him and as such doesn’t seem to be a transfer target for anyone.

Jordan – Not sure about the cartoon character haircut but I thought he did OK against Norwich amidst some disastrous cock-ups on the other side of the pitch. He showed in the first half that he can cross a ball and hopefully as the season goes on he’ll put more and more pressure on Thatcher at left back. Good one for the future.

Onuoha – No idea how to pronounce his name but then neither has anyone else by the sound of it. Thought he looked really promising against Arsenal’s kids and didn’t put a foot wrong when he came on against Norwich. He’s very young but looks composed and good on the ball. Another good one for the future. Can’t see us singing his name though!

Sibierski – I like the way that he seems really committed to the cause but I just don’t see him hurting teams. For me, he’s one of those solid workmanlike players you need at a club like City without being the classy playmaker we were promised when he first arrived. He seems to get on the end of 4 or 5 crosses in every game but rarely hits the target and almost never scores. Not exactly the record of someone who is great in the air as we are constantly told by the pundits. Average.

Bosvelt – I’ve grown to quite like Bosvelt in Barton’s absence. He’s not meant to be a playmaker, rather a play-breaker and I think does that job quite well. Against Chelsea when paired with Sun he looked excellent. He’ll do for this season and then we will need to replace him with someone younger, which will not be easy.

Barton – Has really grown up in the few snippets I’ve seen of him this year. The sooner he is back the better as he has that extra bit of quality with the ball that Bosvelt lacks. I think he’ll get better and better.

Reyna – Presumably he is supposed to be our main playmaker, which is a bit worrying since he spends more time on the treatment table than anywhere else. Seems to be made of bone china and simply doesn’t play enough, which we knew when he arrived and nothing has changed.

McManaman – Dear Kev, if I rock up at the training ground, wander around aimlessly, point mindlessly, pass the ball to anybody in a different colour shirt and generally look slow and disinterested, can I have 40 grand a week as well? I saw a video of England vs. Scotland in Euro 96 last week. Macca isn’t even 10% of the player he was then. Don’t think he’s good enough for the reserves, let alone the first team. I hope he proves me wrong but I’m sure he won’t.

Flood – What a find! OK he looks and sounds like Ashley from Coronation Street but he can play and has been outstanding every time I’ve seen him. Look after him Kev – he’s our future!

Sinclair – I actually think he tries hard but just isn’t any good any more.

Sun – Looked an absolute revelation in midfield until the injury against Chelsea. Hope City do the right thing by him and that he’s back next year. Get well soon son!

SWP – Totally agree with KK in that he is the best young player in England. If you gave me the choice of Rooney the grannie grabber at United or Shaun, I’d take our fella every time. He always does something in every game he plays, terrifies the opposition, gives 100% for the shirt and has become a top class finisher. Against Norwich I thought his partnership with Anelka looked like it just might be the start of something very exciting. It will be a total unmitigated disaster for City if the board sell him in January but if Arsenal come along with a huge bag of cash I fear he might just go. Hope I’m wrong because Shaunie we love you!

Anelka – When was the last time Nic gave the ball away when asked to hold it up? The guy’s first touch is unbelievably good and now he has a player on his level alongside him in SWP, I think we’ll see the best of him. My one frustration is that he does miss some chances that a world class striker would put away (2 obvious ones against Norwich most recently), but I still think he’ll end the season as one of the top scorers in the Premiership.

Fowler – I watched him closely against Arsenal and I think he has a psychological problem because he hasn’t been scoring. I suspect he still sees things in the same way he used to in his heyday but the reactions are not there any more. After he missed a clear chance against Arsenal his head went down and he seemed to almost sulk. In a weird way I think he is actually committed to the cause but he is despondent about his own ability to make things happen. I do think there is hope though. I still remember the spell he had last season, which had the guys on the Premiership on ITV talking about him in international terms. Then he got a knock, Anelka came back and Robbie fizzled out again. I applaud KK for the regime he’s putting Fowler through – if it did happen to work we’d have a great goalscorer. Sadly what we have at the moment is a player who is completely devoid of self-belief and who’s head goes down in a “here we go again” fashion as soon as he misses a chance he would have taken 5 years ago.

BWP – I’ve only seen a few minutes of BWP against Arsenal but I did like what I saw. He’s clearly a bit of a livewire and looks like he’s got the self-belief that his brother has as well. I wonder if he’s the key to keeping Shaun as well?

Macken – JM was superb against Chelsea and gives 100% every time. The issue is simple though: goals. JM doesn’t seem to be the sort of striker to get us 10-15 a season, which is what the number 2 striker has to do. I think he’s lost his place to SWP and Flood.

Keegan – I’m not sure Kev has the passion for management he used to have but you have to admit that he has improved us defensively this year. The problem is that we just don’t score enough goals. We’ve managed more than 1 only 3 times in 11 games, which is poor by the standards we set early last season. Maybe pairing Shaun and Nic up front will make the breakthrough in this area but I think the real issue here is that we lack a creative player in the middle of the park who can make us tick. Bosvelt, Barton and Sibierski are all workmen, Reyna is always injured and McManaman just useless. The heartbeat of the team seems to always be down the right with Shaun or Willo and that makes us a bit predictable. KK was right to concentrate his pre-season transfer activity at the back but without a playmaker we won’t finish above where we are now.

Fingers crossed for Sunday!

Andy Clarke <Andy(at)>


Danny Mills, Sylvain Distin, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Trevor Sinclair, Antoine Sibierski, Jon Macken – bye bye. I don’t want to hear any more excuses about these 7 or any more “give them time” – none of them add anything to Manchester City Football Club so time for a cull and an expensive write off.

We need a right back, a creative central midfielder, a left sided midfielder and a partner for Anelka. Fast forward 18 months and here we are still without a decent right back, a replacement for Eyal or Ali, a left sided midfielder or a partner for Anelka (although SWP may be the answer there). Groundhog Day at City and I’m getting fed up with it.

Iain Sellers <iain_sellers1(at)>


For more than a year I have been demanding that KK be sacked and consistently remarked that he is taking this club into administration. But I have realised the error of my ways and I apologise. KK is not to blame.

Wardle is the one who should be sacked because he is taking this club into administration. If he can’t see what an idiot KK is, what an utter shambles that team is then he is an absolute fool. God knows how he ever made any money. But unless we change manager we are headed for relegation and oblivion. At least Leeds had a ground to sell. We have nothing. Our only two assets are Sweep and Anelka. But Anelka is depreciating with every day as he gets nearer to the end of his contract. If we don’t sell him now we are just losing money because there is no way he is going to sign another one. And quite frankly we are better off without him.

A few weeks ago it was rumoured that KK would get the push. Since then it has gone away but let’s just recap shall we? Things had got so bad everyone was saying maybe he should go. Then we beat the mighty Crystal Palace and Barnsley! We lost to Arsenal (fair enough), drew with the mighty – but winless – Soton. Beat Chelsea (through hard work, not tactical or management nous) and let’s face it, Chelsea should have won.

On the back of that good result we then lost to Newcastle, lost to Arsenal’s under 21 team and drew with the mighty Norwich.

Remind me why KK is still in a job. Because we beat Chelsea? Managers are judged on a succession of results, not one. And we are still unable to win two Premiership games in a row. We are utter c**p. Good players, c**p manager.

And anyone that actually believes that KK would have played Willo Flood against Norwich if Sinclair had been fit is delusional.

Wardle and Keegan out!

Marc <mstarbuck(at)>


Since the home defeat by Leicester last season I’ve been as disappointed with the team’s form as anyone. With respect to recent games though we must accept that we have four first team ball-winners all out at the same time: Reyna, Sinclair, Barton and Sun. Not many clubs could absorb this and maintain any sort of form. The performances against Chelsea and Newcastle were remarkable when considered in this light. Yes, we should be beating Norwich at home but without any midfield control it will be difficult to maintain pressure on any team for 90 minutes.

Steve McManaman has not had the impact we were all anticipating and his contribution to the club clearly has to improve. He is not a central midfield player though and he will not be able to perform unless we have players who will provide the midfield stability for him. He was clearly filling in both at St James’ and again against Norwich and the recent criticism of him is unwarranted.

United away without these players will be testing but we always have a chance because we can get under their skin like no-one else, even Arsenal. Portsmouth beat them by using the Fulham trick of repeatedly switching 4-5-1 to 4-3-3 and back again and I think this is what we should do too. Let Bozzer lie deep with SWP and Macca in front of him, Willo on the right and Sibbo on the left. Keep in contention for 60 minutes and then do them at the end. Sounds pretty straightforward.

Paul Matthewson <paul.matthewson(at)>


Since a parting of ways with a set of ladders recently I’ve got more time to sit at home to read and reply to contributions in MCIVTA (every cloud has a silver lining) so here goes.

Firstly can I apologise to Steve Parish for my misunderstanding of his involvement with the Fans’ Committee.

On Steve’s point of the actual name, I don’t think the name matters much because most people who have attended the Fans’ Committee know what it’s about. The important thing is to get the message across to all supporters that the Fans’ Committee is there to give all supporters the opportunity to express views and raise any issues. All such views and issues can be discussed in the presence of other supporters and taken forward to the club if agreed. Steve Knott gave the opportunity to those who could not attend Fans’ Committee meetings to contact him by email etc. with their questions that they wanted putting to the club. Hopefully this means of communication will remain in whatever shape the Fans’ Committee takes in the future.

The spokesperson for the AAG suggested a Fans’ Committee meeting prior to a home game. This could be a worthwhile exercise. Just over 2 years ago the CSA decided to hold our committee meetings alternately between mid-week and Saturday mornings prior to a home game. Whilst it’s the usual suspects who attend all meetings, in the past our Saturday mornings have attracted members from Northern Ireland and Yeovil.

The various supporter branches up and down the country give a few thousand supporters a chance to have their say one way or another but the Fans’ Committee gives an opportunity for all supporters to have a say.

On the subject of the AAG (Atmosphere Action Group), I feel the original purpose of this group has run its course now that most of us are settled in the new stadium. It strikes me that the best way to get a good atmosphere is to have a winning team out there putting in a decent performance. All the other issues that the AAG might wish to take on board such as ticket prices, safe standing etc. are already taken on board by the supporters’ organisations and the Fans’ Committee, who all welcome input from all supporters.

Steve Kay questioned the wisdom of the ticket prices for the Carling Cup game against Aresenal. It is my understanding that this was down to Arsenal. The visiting team, who take a percentage of the gate receipts, have a say in the price of admission and must agree to a price reduction. In this instance Arsenal felt they would get more money by keeping the admission prices up so City had no choice in the matter. The blame apparently is on Arsenal’s doorstep, not ours.

Finally can I say what a fantastic means of communication McV is and not just for football. In recent years I have established email friendships with several Blues across the globe thanks to McV and following my posting last week I received 2 emails from an old friend who I have not heard or seen for nearly 30 years. So a great big thank-you to Heidi and the team at MCIVTA for all your good work.

Alex Channon <channons(at)>


Suddenly, I feel optimistic. Even in the wake of a poor draw at home the other night, I’m actually feeling good. No, it’s not the prescription drugs. It’s the youngster who is currently smashing his way into the first team.

Willo Flood was, at times last night against Norwich, magnificent. His workrate up and down the right wing was very reminiscent of a certain Wright Phillips. The surprise and delight for me though, was the boy’s skill and technique. Twice I think he beat his man with the kind of deft touch that if it had been shown by R**ney or R***ldo at the Swamp, would have had the pundits salivating. I think his finish for the goal was fantastic, and it would have been a dream night had Robert Green not made a wonderful save to tip Willo’s second half shot onto the inside of the post. He only ever showed his inexperience by occasionally not choosing the right final ball. But this is only a minor complaint when you consider the number of senior players we have who haven’t managed a decent final ball all season.

So Willo will continue to be blooded against the Rags next weekend? I hope so. KK thinks the kid’s got a big heart. I think he’s got more than a big heart, he’s got a desire to go forward with the ball at his feet. He’s got a raw talent we need to nurture. How many of our senior players have looked that comfortable going forward and beating men?

Maybe our side isn’t as bad as we all thought. I like SWP up front, and I think as long as Willo continues his form, SWP should stay up front. When Joey B comes back, we’ll have the engine we’ve sadly lacked in the centre of the park in the last couple of games. Nedum is the kind of quick, strong, composed, centre back who could grow into a player of the same quality as Ledley King. Stephen Jordan looked pretty solid against Norwich. All we need is a left sided midfielder and, eventually, a creative central midfielder. I know it’s pie in the sky, but the addition of someone like Julio Arca from Sunderland, or Andy Reid from Forest, would give us the attacking balance on the left we’ve been lacking in recent months.

Well, here’s hoping for a good result at the weekend, with our bright young Blues doing us proud (anyone else see the new speculation this week that Arsenal will make their move for SWP this summer… dream on. If KK plays him up front for the rest of the season, he’ll bag 20 goals and add £10 million to his current value).

CTID, Ahsan Naeem <ahsanN(at)>


In response to Gary Sullivan who says anyone with half a football brain could have had better results, this is just wishful thinking. Keegan has made mistakes: Fowler, McManaman, Seaman, selling Berkovic etc. but he got us into the Premiership at the first attempt, playing the best football we’ve seen in years, and he’s kept us there for two seasons.

The standards you’ve obviously set for City are unreasonable. The Champions’ League is way out of reach, the FA Cup goes to the top 4 invariably, which leaves Premiership survival as a priority, which you would hope could improve towards challenging for a UEFA spot after several seasons of stability, e.g. Bolton. The League Cup is our best chance of silverware, which makes the Arsenal result all the more disappointing.

Definitely there is room for improvement, and I agree that Keegan seems to have lost some of his desire, but let’s give him a chance before we revert to the two managers a season policy. We would love to think of City in the way people think of Arsenal and Stretford but decades of boardroom cock-ups and a steady stream of inept managers was never going to be reversed by one man in 5 years. And as for the Rags on the horizon, we’ve beaten them twice in the last two seasons with Keegan, something we had failed to do for over a decade before.

James Peter Gregson <jpg37(at)>


I must be watching a different Anelka to most other fans. If you gave most other strikers in the Premier League the chances that Anelka has then he would be bottom of the goalscoring table.

After watching another poor performance can anyone answer the following questions.

  1. Why is one of the smallest players in our side expected to play as centre forward?
  2. Why does the so called striker (Anelka that is) take all the corners?
  3. Why when he does are they c**p?
  4. How come the only header Anelka won all night was a ball that would havegone through to Robbie Fowler? Even when he won it he did not keep it undercontrol but gave it away.
  5. How does Mcmanaman get to pull on a shirt? We would be better playing with 10 men.
  6. Why does it take one of our most inexperienced players to show the others how to play?How come KK has been allowed to fill our team with ‘Duck Eggs’? Highly paid ones at that.Why has KK not resigned?

Sam Duxbury <samduxbury(at)>


Just a lovely thought of all Sunday’s travelling fans waving inflatable food at Fergie. Inflatable soup, maybe not, but I’m sure that various ‘props’ could be obtained from supermarkets!

‘Ave a banana!

Mel Clegg – Norway <mkcfc(at)>


We’re looking for a good turnout this Sunday for the derby match. Nevada Smith’s will be showing it and there should be a great atmosphere with a good number of fans of both teams there.

It’s on live at the convenient and sociable hour of 11:00 am. The address in case you still haven’t been to a game there is 3rd Ave between 11th and 12th streets.

Come and exercise your democratic right to free speech (and take the p**s out of some Rag tourists).

Martin Price <mprice2(at)>


I am new to Bangkok and was wondering if there are any other expat Blues over here? I’d like to meet up with some like-minded sufferers for a few Singha beers to watch the Blues triumph over that shower of s***e across the city. Get in touch.

Dave Norcross <davenorcross(at)>


Does anyone know if the derby is on Sky in New Zealand?

My brother is arriving here for a holiday on Sunday and will miss the game. I want to record it for him so that he can watch it before he crashes with jet lag. I’d hate him to miss his weekly fix of black despair, glee and abject misery. I’ve been here for a couple of years so I’m nearly over City now.

If there is anyone in Hamilton who fancies talking tosh about the mugs over a pint then drop me a line.

Ben Potts <ben_potts(at)>


Look out for the Warrington branch of the MCFC Suppporters’ Club on Sky Sports news on Friday as they are coming to film our branch meeting on Thursday night for some pre-derby thoughts. Andy Hinchcliffe will be special guest. For info contact me on 07709315319 or email at the address below.

Nick Morley <nmorley(at)>


1 November 2004

Manchester City       1 - 1  Norwich City          42,803

League table to 03 November 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         11  4  2  0 19  8  4  0  1 12  4  8  2  1  31  12  19  26
 2 Chelsea         11  4  1  0  8  1  4  1  1  8  2  8  2  1  16   3  13  26
 3 Everton         11  3  1  2  6  7  4  1  0  8  3  7  2  2  14  10   4  23
 4 Bolton Wndrs    11  4  2  0 11  5  2  1  2  7  8  6  3  2  18  13   5  21
 5 Middlesbrough   11  2  2  1  7  6  3  1  2 12  8  5  3  3  19  14   5  18
 6 Liverpool       10  4  0  0 10  1  1  2  3  8  9  5  2  3  18  10   8  17
 7 Manchester Utd  11  3  2  0  7  3  1  3  2  4  6  4  5  2  11   9   2  17
 8 Newcastle Utd   11  3  1  1 12  7  1  3  2 10 12  4  4  3  22  19   3  16
 9 Portsmouth      10  4  1  1 11  6  0  2  2  4  6  4  3  3  15  12   3  15
10 Aston Villa     11  3  2  0  9  3  0  4  2  5 10  3  6  2  14  13   1  15
11 Tottenham H.    11  1  2  2  3  4  2  2  2  3  4  3  4  4   6   8  -2  13
12 Manchester City 11  2  2  2  7  4  1  1  3  6  8  3  3  5  13  12   1  12
13 Charlton Ath.   11  3  2  1  8  4  0  1  4  2 15  3  3  5  10  19  -9  12
14 Crystal Palace  11  2  0  3  7  7  1  2  3  5  8  3  2  6  12  15  -3  11
15 Fulham          11  3  0  3  7  9  0  2  3  5 10  3  2  6  12  19  -7  11
16 Birmingham City 11  1  3  2  4  5  0  3  2  3  5  1  6  4   7  10  -3   9
17 West Brom A.    11  1  4  1  6  8  0  1  4  3 12  1  5  5   9  20 -11   8
18 Southampton     11  1  2  2  5  6  0  2  4  3  8  1  4  6   8  14  -6   7
19 Norwich City    11  0  3  2  6 10  0  4  2  4  8  0  7  4  10  18  -8   7
20 Blackburn R.    11  1  4  1  7 10  0  0  5  2 14  1  4  6   9  24 -15   7

With thanks to Football 365

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 #1067