Newsletter #1082

Oh well, I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies and 1 point out of 6 over the festive period as we slip back two places in the league. We have news and views on the matches tonight along with the usual opinion and requests.

A very Happy Blue New Year to you all out there, and our thoughts to friends in Asia following the terrible events of Sunday.

Next game: Southampton, home, 3pm Saturday 1 January 2005


General News

The Costliest Cigar in the World? City moved quickly on Thursday to discipline the two players at the centre of the inflammatory incidents at the players’ Christmas party. Joey Barton was handed a fine of six weeks’ wages after being found guilty of gross misconduct by an internal club investigation. Barton will pay four weeks’ salary – approximately £60,000 – immediately, with a further two weeks suspended for a year. Tandy was found guilty of misconduct and has been fined two weeks’ wages – all of which is suspended for a year. “Events on Sunday evening fell seriously below the high standards we expect and demand at this football club,” said Chairman John Wardle. “Our players know the rewards their job brings them but they also must realise the responsibilities that they have to this club, our supporters and our community.” Barton was not present but has issued a formal apology for his behaviour. “I would like to apologise for my part in the incident that took place on Sunday evening,” said the 22-year-old. “I feel embarrassed about what I did and deeply regret it. I am grateful for the support of the club, our supporters and my family during this time. I fully accept the punishment and have co-operated with the disciplinary procedure.” KK later revealed that Barton spoke to the manager after training on Christmas Eve to offer a personal apology. “It is one thing hearing the statement read out yesterday,” explained the City chief. “What meant much more was to see him stand in front of me in a room and hear him say how upset and sorry he was. He understands it was wrong and really wishes it had not happened but I have told him you can’t take things back, you can only try to make sure you think things through if a similar situation arises again. You can’t always do the first thing that comes into your head. That is the responsibility of someone in his position.” Keegan confirmed that Barton would be in the squad for the match at Everton – Joey was left on the bench for that fixture, although he did begin the West Brom game two days later.

Transfer News and Gossip

Toon Want Distin-guished Company: Newcastle United have the second-leakiest defence in the Premiership, so much of the speculation on Tyneside relates to possible defensive purchases by Graeme Souness come January. The Daily Mirror claimed this week that Souness had made a £5 million bid for Sylvain Distin. The Frenchman, you may recall, joined Newcastle from Paris St Germain in 2001 and has a successful time at the club before falling out with Sir Bobby Robson because the manager preferred to play him at left-back. Rangers’ defender Jean-Alain Boumsong remains Newcastle’s top target, although the Scottish side have rejected two bids for the Frenchman so far. So let’s hope this bid is just a ploy to make Rangers more receptive to the offer. One journal suggested that Souness would offer City cash plus left winger Laurent Robert. Laurent Robert? Doesn’t he fall out with every manager he plays for? If that deal were to go through, stand by for some French sulking that would put Nicolas Anelka’s alleged behaviour in the shade. Oh, before I forget, here’s yet another steaming pile of Nico speculation…

Boy for Sale: So where will Nicolas Anelka be going this transfer window time? Not to Barcelona, apparently. Barça vice-president Sandro Rosell has insisted that the Catalan giants have no interest in signing Nico. The striker has been forwarded as a transfer target for Barça in 2005 with the Camp Nou board drawing up a 15-man list of possible arrivals. Anelka is not on the list although Arsenal’s Edu is a potential capture. “Anelka is not one of them [the names on the list],” Rosell told Sky Sports News. “Edu could be one of them but he is just a name on the list. It is very far from having real interest in him. The reason why Edu could be in all the lists in the world now is because he is terminating his contract and it makes him more attractive for all the clubs. We’d need to speak to our coach to find out who his targets are. I will let you know in one week as we will speak to Rijkaard about the list and decide.” Anelka will not be heading to Real Madrid’s bitter rivals after a disappointing stint at El Santiago Bernabeu. “Anelka is not on our list basically because for Anelka a transfer fee would be asked,” added Rosell. “And we are looking for a loan, not a transfer. I think with Anelka the reason why we will not go for him is from our technical department; they think he is not the type of player we need. Our budget is zero because we invested all the money we could invest following our business plan last summer. We have zero to invest this Christmas but will look for some money to bring one or two players to Barcelona. Ideally, players that will terminate their contract or whose clubs want to loan him.” So it’s not just City that spend up their transfer kitty! Next we had the usual report of him heading along the East Lancs Road to Liverpool, with these stories coming out of France. Yet all the UK press reckon Liverpool will sign Fernando Morientes from Real Madrid in the New Year – especially as Morientes has made it abundantly clear he wants to join the Reds.

Ex-Blues’ News

Surplus Simmo: In Northern Ireland, Linfield have released former City midfielder Fitzroy Simpson. The Jamaican international has drifted out of the first team picture at Windsor Park in recent weeks and has been released by mutual consent. Linfield manager David Jeffrey thanked the 34-year-old for his contribution since he moved to the club in July.

Reactions and Comments

City Smacked: The Christmas programme began with a 2-1 defeat at Everton, a game that made headlines for disciplinary reasons. Tim Cahill headed in Thomas Gravesen’s free-kick after 22 minutes, but Robbie Fowler responded with a powerful header two minutes before half-time. Gravesen delivered the cross for Bent to head home after 63 minutes. City’s misery was completed when substitute Christian Negouai was sent off for a foul on Bent late on. Fowler’s goal celebrations prompted much press comment, as well as a yellow card. As the report in the Telegraph stated: “Fowler, taken to task after pretending to snort the white line of the Anfield penalty area after striking in a Merseyside derby clash five years ago, tried a more subtle approach after equalising Tim Cahill’s opening goal here – but he fooled nobody. After rising unchallenged to meet a Jon Macken right-wing cross to head confidently past Nigel Martyn, he ran along both goal line and touchline patting his head repeatedly. Naïve spectators may have thought he was saying, ‘look at me, I’ve scored a rare goal with my head’, but the majority took the view that it was a graphic response to their ‘smackhead’ jibes.” KK defended his favourite Toxteth Scally thus: “The referee said he booked Robbie for leaving the pitch,” said Keegan. “You can understand Robbie being delighted to have scored at Everton, and the day you ask players to just turn round and walk back to the centre circle like they did 60 years ago are long gone. They would deserve to be booked for showing no emotion! Robbie is big enough and been around long enough to know that when he scores at Everton the home fans are not going to say ‘well done Robbie, you are a great guy’. Robbie got his goal and enjoyed it. If you don’t enjoy scoring goals, what is the point? He never took his shirt off or anything like that, just for leaving the field of play. I have just had a conversation with the police and they have said they will not be taking any action. They give him stick, he scores and he gives it back. The sense of humour around these parts is usually very good. If you give it you have to take it.” Of the Negouai dismissal, KK mused that “The sending off was very harsh. If he looks at the incident in isolation you will see a very bad tackle on Sylvain Distin that should have been a free-kick. The ball broke and Christian was going for the ball. The other lad was going in the same way. He has made a wrong decision and I would not protect players when they are in the wrong. But if it had been Bent doing that to our lad, I do not think it would have been the same decision. I think the referee had taken into account a bad tackle by Danny Mills a few minutes earlier and took the view that he was going to come down heavily on the next player who stepped out of line,” he said.

Xmas Gifts I: Apparently some football game took place either side of the red and yellow cards. “I said to the players at half time that we had a bad start but had got ourselves into the game. It looked like that we could go on and win it providing we made the right decisions,” said KK. “But we never quite got the right sort of pressure on them in the second half. There were a couple of good shots from Shaun Wright-Phillips, one that produced a very good save. We didn’t have enough to show in the second half for the possession that we had and that was a disappointment. Obviously with the sending off whatever chance we had then has finished us off. It is difficult enough to play with eleven men against sides like Everton but with ten men it is almost impossible. We will look back at both goals and ask did they really open us up or did we add to our downfall,” added the boss. “I will have to look at the video but I think certainly for the first one it was a mistake. Danny Mills was supposed to pick up Cahill yet there was no one within three or four yards of him. So he did get free and that was a mistake. With Sylvain for the second one when you are in that six yard box you just swing a foot and it can go anywhere. It went to Gravesen and he chipped though normally you would shoot in that position and Bent basically had a free header and he wasn’t going to miss it.” Alan Irvine, assistant to Everton manager David Moyes, declared that it was another thoroughly-merited success. “It’s a great start to the holiday period, they are a very good side with attacking players that can cause you problems and we did very well against them. Everyone can see how confident the players are and they are very strong mentally, with a great spirit. We felt we were the better team in the first half and should have been ahead. But they can handle a few setbacks now and they are continuing to show they can recover from difficult situations. They had an off day at Blackburn and just said we had to get back to the way we had been playing. Everyone saw we didn’t play well there but we have shown we can bounce back. We had a pleasing response this time around. It is amazing how often that we’ve won by the odd goal,” he said. “But we never give up looking for it and I’m glad to say that we’ve done it again.”

Xmas Gifts II: And so City limped on to the home fixture with West Bromwich Albion. It’d be funny if it wasn’t your own team, but the Blues managed to draw 1-1 with the Premiership’s worst club, with Albion’s stats showing “Goals:1. Shots on target: 0.” It was Richard Dunne’s freak own goal that gifted West Brom a point. Thomas Gaardsoe’s early red card for a professional foul on Robbie Fowler made WBA’s already tough task harder. Nicolas Anelka’s first half free kick looked to have won it for City, but ominously they failed to take numerous chances to add to the scoreline. With five minutes left, an optimistic ball forward struck Dunne’s knee and rolled past a stranded David James. KK was left cursing his luck after the game. “It’s hard to get my head round. We had a lack of inventiveness and clinical finishing, and it cost us,” he said. “We huffed and puffed but never looked like getting a second, and the longer it went on, the more you could see them thinking they might get something. It was quiet in the stadium, we didn’t get the fans going – we owe them one. There are no excuses,” said Keegan. “It was a poor performance and a poor result – a really bad day for us. I told the players at half-time we needed a second goal but we just didn’t create enough. I haven’t said anything to Richard, what can you say? Given the angle he was running at, the last place you would have expected the ball to go in those circumstances was into the net – but it did. I don’t think the sending off made much difference. They played with just the one striker up front and nine men behind the ball,” remarked the Boss. “The sending off meant it was one up and eight men behind the ball so I don’t go along with the theory that it doesn’t help you if you go down to ten men. Robbie was clean through and he probably would have scored and the player had t go. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that but from that point on I thought we would have taken the game by the scruff of the neck. I thought we would boss the game better than we did and really try to prise them open better than we did. I am not saying that we didn’t create chances and I am not saying that the effort to do that wasn’t there as I believe it was. We had so much of the ball we didn’t know what to do with it.”

There’s Only One Gary Megson: In a rare moment of good grace, OT’s former Captain Coffee-Mate (or Marvel, I forget), admitted that his side had been somewhat spawny to receive Dunnie’s Christmas gift. “It was a stroke of luck,” conceded Bryan Robson. “When you have a man sent off so early in the game, it is always going to be difficult but you have to give us credit for working so hard after that. We managed to keep ourselves in it and got the kind of break we haven’t had since I came back to the club. Hopefully, that will be a turning point in our season now and we can start to build.” As the second half had meandered towards an seemingly inevitable City win, the Albion fans got decidedly narked by their new Boss’s reluctance to bring on their leading scorer Robbie Earnshaw. In fact, the Baggies’ fans were happy to join in the City fans’ naughty chants of “We want Robson out,” followed by the equally mischievous: “There’s only one Gary Megson”. “I know why the fans reacted the way they did because Robert is our top goalscorer and they want to see him play,” added Red Robbo. “But given the position we were in, I wanted to keep things tight for as long as we could and then give it a real go in the last 10 minutes, which we did.”

Jordan’s Bust: Next day KK revealed that Stephen Jordan is now a major doubt for the clash with Southampton after the twenty-two-year old was substituted at the start of the second half. He injured his ankle in a tackle with Andy Johnson. “I am not sure if Stephen will make it for Southampton. It is a big swollen ankle but the one thing for sure is if it is about guts getting back then he will be back,” explained the manager. “He played on until half time, which amazed the physio. But of course once you stop playing with an injury like that it is difficult to start again. I went in at half time and asked the physio if Stephen could continue. He said there was no chance and when I looked at his ankle I realised he couldn’t play on.”

Squad News

Geert’s Still Hurt: Goalie Geert de Vlieger has accepted that he is unlikely to return this season. The Belgium international, who joined City on a free transfer from Dutch side Willem II in the summer, was initially ruled out for the entire campaign after rupturing his Achilles tendon in a pre-season friendly with Championship side Wolves. Despite the setback, de Vlieger was hopeful of a return before the season’s end after revealing good progress in his recovery back in November. However, the 33-year-old told Belgian daily ‘Gazet van Antwerpen’ that his earlier optimism was a bit premature. “This season, I will not play anymore,” declared de Vlieger. “I have been working for four months on my comeback. I am happy that the worst things have already been done, but unfortunately, everything points to the fact that I need an extra two months. It is disappointing. I had hoped to come back earlier, but the injury is more serious than we thought. I can’t even walk that well at the moment. It’s logical the club are looking for a replacement. I don’t have any problems with that.” De Vlieger is keen to get fit and challenge David James for the first team’s custodian berth. “I believe I can become the first goalkeeper,” he added. “After this season, Ronald Waterreus will leave and I will become the second goalkeeper. It will not be easy, but if I am fully recovered, I hope to come back on a high level again.”

Don Barrie <News(at)>


I didn’t think I’d ever see lightning strike twice, certainly after the game last year that Boro won without having a single attack on goal (City scored an own goal in a 0-1 defeat) but today it happened again. City completely and utterly dominated this game 100%, West Brom not only didn’t have a single effort on goal, I can hardly remember them even entering the City 18 yard box. They were that poor, in the first half when they did finally but a single cross in (and a poor one at that) their own fans cheered in ironic ecstasy! We didn’t lose this game but sitting here tonight after digesting what I saw today, it certainly feels like a loss!

West Brom came simply for a point, playing 4-5-1 from the off, their main threatening players Kanu, Earnshaw and Koumas were rather oddly either on the bench or injured. West Brom were very defensive and couldn’t hold the ball at all (they are really one of the poorest sides to visit CoMS). After a nervous start, our opportunity to break them down came when Fowler put himself through onto goal and was brought down by centre-half Gaardsoe. The referee had no choice but to send the defender off, and this surely would set up City for an onslaught and maybe even a good win. The resultant free kick was dispatched over the bar but not to worry, we’d have plenty of chances at this rate.

The goal soon came when a hand ball was given and Anelka this time curled a beautiful free kick into the top corner. Surely West Brom would have to open up now? They didn’t, they remained tight defensively with 10 men fully behind the ball, allowing City to continue the onslaught. The problem was that the onslaught never happened. Yes we had lots of pretty possession but there was no urgency or craft to open up a very poor side, yet again too many side passes or backwards balls when the need to commit defenders or run behind them was the order of the day. Chances came and went, Anelka and Sibby forcing good saves in the remainder of the first half from Hoult. The second half was much the same; Fowler, Anelka, Sibby, SWP, Bosvelt, Mills all missing good chances either by poor finishing or excellent saves from the Man of the Match Hoult (the worst being Anelka hitting SWP instead of an open goal from 7 yards out, the best being Fowler’s two efforts which were superbly saved by Hoult).

1-0 was always uncomfortable, though considering the amount of possession we had and the quality of the opposition, we were happy (baiting Robson and his tactics, asking KK for waves), yet we got a little nervous when Earnshaw came on and West Brom started to go for it (changing formation to 4-3-2). Without much West Brom intervention, City equalised on their behalf – the West Brom goal was a fluke, a long deep ball punted towards the quick Earnshaw, the ball unsettled the City defence and fell into the running leg of Dunne who took his eye off the ball to concentrate on racing back to track Earnshaw, which took the ball past a stranded oncoming James (defending you honestly wouldn’t see in a Sunday pub game). 1-1 and we were left trying to chase three points that should have been in the bag long before the first half finished, never mind the game.

Player ratings:
James – No score. He really had absolutely nothing to do, certainly at fault for the goal along with Dunne.
Jordan – 5/10 Got forward well and always looked available on the overlap, not tested defensively.
Dunne – 5/10 Hardly anything to do, clumsy for fluke own goal.
Distin – 5/10 Hardly anything to do, went close with a good header, some very lacklustre passing.
Mills – 5/10 Slow going forward, little to do in defence.
Sibby – 5/10 Some nice threading through balls but missed two glorious chances in each half that should have been buried.
Bosvelt – 5/10 Efficient in midfield but needed to impose himself more going forward given the opposition.
Barton – 5/10 Very busy and was really the only midfielder who looked to support the forwards. Poor final ball on too many occasions.
SWP – 5/10 Not been the same for me since the Madrid experience (not the David White omen surely). Just doesn’t seem to have the confidence to burst past players like he was a couple of months ago, is he carrying an injury from those heavy knocks earlier in the season?
Anelka – 6/10 Superb free kick but very little to offer other than that.
Fowler – 8/10 Exceptional, brimming with confidence, lovely touches and great movement off the ball. Should have made this game completely safe without Hoult’s intervention. Without question City’s MotM.
Onohua (45 mins for Jordan) – 7/10 Class act, was worried when he came on as a conventional left back but the kid was rock solid. Would Distin be missed if he did up and leave to Newcastle?
Ref: A D’urso – reffed game very well but why so little added time in both halves when there were plenty of stoppages for injuries and the sending off?

I think the most concerning things about today were:

  • SWP – when he’s not on song we are completely lost. We have no option orguile to break a side down.
  • Corners – Today we had 11 and didn’t look like threatening from a singleone. One particular corner nearly went back to the City half before anotherplayer touched it.
  • Supporting the forwards – our midfielders and full backs have no ability tohelp create opportunities, the movement and running off the ball isappalling. There were only two players that did it effectively today, Fowlerand Barton. Too many players were happy to let the others do the work,apart from Fowler no one really wanted to be the match winner.
  • Tactics – when things aren’t going well, whether it be when we are losingor when we are not putting teams to the sword, we have a complete inabilityto change it. Given the amount of possession today, why didn’t we putMacken or BWP on, and revert to a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3 formation? For 80 minutesof the game today the back four and James were redundant. When Earnshawcame on, why didn’t we just overload midfield and overrun the 3 West Brommidfielders? Obvious stuff in my opinion – KK simply fails to see this oris too scared to sub a player who isn’t necessarily playing badly (but notplaying well).

For me all of the above are clear deficiencies of the coaching and management, most of it is fundamental stuff. Think of the irony of it: we openly laughed and mocked at Robson’s woeful tactics – keep in touch, ride their luck and attack in the last 10 minutes. I bet he went home with a smile tonight.

Rich Fenton <rich(at)>


Having attended my first match in 1945, I think that I can be regarded as a genuine long term City supporter but I am getting increasingly frustrated, not with the team, not with the manager but with the so-called City fans.

On Boxing Day I went to Goodison Park to support my team against Everton and thoroughly enjoyed an exciting, if not attractive, game of football on a beautiful day.

Everton were in third place in the league and the bookies had them as odds-on favourites. I saw Evertonians place bets on the result and 4-0, or 5-0, were favourite flutters.

Everton are considered, by the media, to have one of the best work rates in the league yet we matched them both in possession and effort, if not in skill, and the game could easily have ended in a win for either side, if not a draw.

I was naturally disappointed at the final whistle but, together with many of the City supporters, I stayed on to give the team what we thought was deserved applause.

Then came the drive home, the “phone-in” on the radio with the so-called City fans and the usual comments. “Keegan must go”, “Anelka is not interested”, “Sibierski is a donkey”, “Bosvelt is rubbish”, and so on.

At this time six years ago we were almost in an identical league position in the third level (forget the fancy titles given to the various divisions today) of professional football. Thanks to the efforts of the teams, managed by Joe Royle and Kevin Keegan and with the magnificent support of the fans, we now find ourselves in the middle reaches of the top flight. In addition, the board of the club sorted out its bickering, negotiated a magnificent new stadium, consolidated and secured a worrying debt, and turned an annual loss into a healthy operating profit.

Sure, Kevin Keegan wasted funds on bad buys but his record is no worse than that of many other top managers whose, due to higher residual funds, mistakes go un-noticed. Again, he is the first to admit that he has made many tactical errors but so did Les McDowall before creating the controversial Revie plan, which led to one of the few successful City post-war periods and affected the shape of British football from then on.

As to the players: we have stars but they need support in order to shine. We lack creative midfielders but they don’t come for free (unless Kevin is lucky enough to stumble on another Ali) and they don’t grow on trees. The ones we have do the best they can, often playing in other than preferred positions, and require encouragement, rather than condemnation when they make their inevitable mistakes. We have enthusiastic young talent but they have to be nurtured with the support of experienced players or they will quickly lose their confidence and deteriorate.

We cannot proceed to the next stage, a top six place, without further funds. For this we need investors who are not going to dole out their millions unless they see Manchester City as an international brand capable of giving a financial return in the future. For this we already have the stadium, and a successful board and management system. We have a nucleus of experienced players and some great talent for the future. We have the infrastructure of a big club but, most important of all, we need genuine fans (as we had in 1998) to convince investors that, come what may, they will stick to the club through thick and thin and provide the working capital required.

As supporters, we spend a great deal of our hard earned money on the club and, in return, are entitled to comment and criticise. However, this does not give us the right to destroy the efforts of the players or their management teams who are striving to perform within strict, and sometimes quite tight, limits.

Come on fans, let’s stop attacking the performance of individuals. Everyone has good and bad games and needs to be encouraged and not abused for what he already knows. Let’s show some faith in the board and management of the club. If we don’t do this, why should an outsider have the confidence to invest? If we all pull together and show a bit of patience, I am sure that it will not be all that long before we are, where we all want to be, at the top.

Fred Rosenfeld <fred(at)>


So at 11 a.m. my time (Eastern US), I check the web to see how City are doing against the mighty West Brom. And I see we’re 1-0 up against the ten remaining men representing the club that’s far, far adrift at the foot of the table. Now, what do I think? Cricket score! We’ll set records! Bags o’ goals!

Yeah, right. We’re City, dammit. We know, we just know, deep down in the pits of our stomachs, that something weird is going to happen. Watching the unfolding BBC stats (West Brom with zero shots, zero corners, 30-some percent possession), it was hard to imagine just what, but we knew it (whatever “it” was) was coming, didn’t we?

35 years a City fan; it’s all too familiar. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.

Bill Buffam – West Chester PA <mcvittee(at)>


Three games over the holiday period so far brings us just one point out of a possible six, with the game versus Southampton to be played on New Year’s Day.

Kevin Keegan has said he has been disappointed in the performance from his older players, it’s the same old thing as before: the youngsters show passion and effort, but the older players not the same commitment. Again KK says “we are just not good enough”, he only has 19 players, how the game and attitudes have changed.

When City won the Championship last in 1967/68 they had 17 players who were the first team squad, they played more games in the league back then, and no club complained of not having enough players. Bill Shankly, Joe Mercer, and the rest of the managers just got the players out there with the right attitudes. Kevin Keegan was one of those players, I’m sure he will remember.

If the Board give KK some cash to go shopping I sincerely hope he gets no more older players. Again I say we should get Andy Reid from Forest; he is 22 years old, plays on the left, an attacking midfield player. If not, someone else who can play in that position.

It would be good if someone would come in for some City players and take them away, not going to name players. City fans know who they are, but some are so bad I doubt we will have that kind of luck, we shall be stuck with them until their contracts run out. Why should they care anyway, they still get paid in a week what average workers who pay to see them play get in an year.

I bet Kevin Keegan wishes he could put his boots on and get on the field of play; in his day he would have run circles around some of these players at City.

The New Year brings the Saints to Eastlands and ‘Arry will come looking for some joy. But it’s the City supporters that need some joy.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


Thanks to those who responded to the poll on Keegan’s performance as City Manager. A very poor response, but thanks to those who did reply.

On Q 1. Are you satisfied with Keegan as Manager? 7 said NO, 1 said YES and that was because we were still in the Premier League.
On Q 2. Will City progress any further under Keegan in his final 18 months? Again 7 said NO, and 1 said YES.
On Q 3. Are you happy with Keegan’s transfer dealings? A resounding NO.
ON Q 4. Will younger players be forgotten when the likes of McPointalot and Sinclair are fit? 7 said YES, 1 said NO.
ON Q 5. Should Keegan resign? 7 said YES, 1 said NO.
ON Q 6 Should Keegan be sacked? Again 7 said YES, and 1 said NO.
On Q 7. Who would you like to see replace Keegan as manager? 1 said Asa Hartford, 1 said David Moyes, 1 said Alan Curbishley, 3 said Dowie, with 2 going for Martin O’Neill.

Once again the City game was not shown live here (Australia) on Boxing Day but can anyone tell me why the likes of BWP and Flood were kept on the bench and not brought on? Last time they were brought on they had an immediate impact. I won’t comment any further on recent results as I find it all too depressing, and really I can’t see any improvement until Keegan goes. The writing was on the wall 12 months ago, so the board have to share the blame for not doing anything about it.

HNY to all, Andrew Ranson <Aranson(at)>


As an exiled Blue living in London, I will be going to the game against Arsenal, and wondered if there are any pubs near the ground where I might find some City fans, or if any fans fancy meeting up for a drink before the game.

Steve Smith <steve589(at)>


Blimey how unfortunate. We had 1700 tickets for the Arsenal game and the season ticket holders bought them all. I hope we took our full allocation.

Anyway, I appeal for unwanted tickets – anything from 1 to 4. Please call 07712 676943 or email.

Thanks, Andrew Goodman <Andrew.Goodman(at)>


I need two tickets for the Arsenal Game 4th January. Please give me a call if you can help on 097970-070372.

Many thanks. St. John Cox <COXST(at)>


I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
With Mercer smiling and Allison planning, we all just cheered all the way.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
With Summerbee buzzing and Francis scoring all the goals.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
With Corrigan stopping and Book saying well done lads all the way.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
With Booth heading it away and Bell just running all the day.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
With a heart of Oakes playing everywhere.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
With Coleman on the wing, Neil just bangs them in.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
With Pardoe hurt, Willie comes in playing smart.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
With Doyle playing midfield he passed them all the way.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know.
With the mighty Wynn who came before Quinn, he kept nodding them in.

I’m dreaming of a Blue Christmas just like the ones we used to know,
Keegan has just one more chance before he goes away.

I’m pleased that you can’t hear me singing this (even from the shower).

A Happy Blue New Year, Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


29 December 2004

Newcastle United      0 - 1  Arsenal               52,320

28 December 2004

Bolton Wanderers      0 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      27,038
Charlton Athletic     2 - 0  Everton               27,001
Fulham                2 - 3  Birmingham City       18,706
Manchester City       1 - 1  West Bromwich Albion  47,177
Middlesbrough         2 - 0  Norwich City          34,836
Portsmouth            0 - 2  Chelsea               20,210
Tottenham Hotspur     1 - 1  Crystal Palace        36,100
Liverpool             1 - 0  Southampton           42,382
Aston Villa           0 - 1  Manchester United     42,593

26 December 2004

Southampton           0 - 0  Charlton Athletic     31,195
Arsenal               2 - 0  Fulham                38,047
Chelsea               1 - 0  Aston Villa           41,950
Crystal Palace        0 - 1  Portsmouth            25,238
Blackburn Rovers      2 - 2  Newcastle United      29,271
Everton               2 - 1  Manchester City       40,530
Manchester United     2 - 0  Bolton Wanderers      67,867
Norwich City          0 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     24,058
Birmingham City       2 - 0  Middlesbrough         29,082
West Bromwich Albion  0 - 5  Liverpool             27,533

League table to 29 December 2004 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         20  8  2  0 20  3  7  2  1 20  5 15  4  1  40   8  32  49
 2 Arsenal         20  6  4  0 27 11  7  1  2 21 11 13  5  2  48  22  26  44
 3 Manchester Utd  20  7  3  0 19  5  4  4  2 12  8 11  7  2  31  13  18  40
 4 Everton         20  7  1  2 13 10  5  3  2 10  7 12  4  4  23  17   6  40
 5 Middlesbrough   20  6  3  1 18  9  4  2  4 16 15 10  5  5  34  24  10  35
 6 Liverpool       20  8  1  1 20  7  2  3  5 14 13 10  4  6  34  20  14  34
 7 Charlton Ath.   20  6  2  2 16  9  3  2  5  7 19  9  4  7  23  28  -5  31
 8 Tottenham H.    20  3  3  4 17 14  5  2  3  7  5  8  5  7  24  19   5  29
 9 Birmingham City 20  3  4  3 11  7  3  4  3 12 14  6  8  6  23  21   2  26
10 Portsmouth      20  5  1  4 15 14  2  4  4  9 13  7  5  8  24  27  -3  26
11 Aston Villa     20  5  3  2 15  7  1  4  5  7 17  6  7  7  22  24  -2  25
12 Manchester City 20  3  4  3 11  7  3  2  5 13 14  6  6  8  24  21   3  24
13 Bolton Wndrs    20  4  2  4 12 10  2  3  5 14 19  6  5  9  26  29  -3  23
14 Newcastle Utd   20  3  3  4 16 17  2  4  4 15 21  5  7  8  31  38  -7  22
15 Blackburn R.    20  1  7  2 12 16  2  3  5  7 16  3 10  7  19  32 -13  19
16 Fulham          20  3  1  6 11 19  2  2  6 11 16  5  3 12  22  35 -13  18
17 Crystal Palace  20  2  2  6  8 12  1  4  5 12 19  3  6 11  20  31 -11  15
18 Norwich City    20  2  4  4 12 17  0  5  5  5 19  2  9  9  17  36 -19  15
19 Southampton     20  2  6  2 13 13  0  2  8  5 19  2  8 10  18  32 -14  14
20 West Brom A.    20  1  4  5  7 19  0  4  6  9 23  1  8 11  16  42 -26  11

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0405.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
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[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 #1082