Newsletter #1089

Plenty of opinion tonight on the débâcle that was our visit to The Hawthorns when we generously gave their manager his first win.

We also have continuing debate on the manager, club support for the supporters, ticket availability (it would be just like City to be the only team to get more than 3 points off Chelsea this season) and cheap books!

Finally, thanks to all those who entered the Dickov competition. We are checking the entries and will be announcing the winner very shortly! Stand by for the Bert Trautmann competition, which will be coming soon…

Next game: Newcastle United, home, 7.45pm Wednesday 2nd February 2005


I am really disappointed after yesterday. You don’t need me to tell you we could be three points off fifth this morning.

Our passing was second division stuff; why we cannot retain possession when under no pressure is beyond me. Over- or under-weighted passes, inaccurate balls. We need someone who can pass. Really disappointed we did not make up that ground yesterday. Kev looks like he is running out of ideas. He is not the man to wheel and deal and my jury is fast making up its mind: he is not up to the job. Come on Kev, do something besides moaning and saying what a bad situation we are in.

For all the grief I have given him over the last season and a half, I thought Bosvelt was our MOM. Sibierski is a shocker. He is not good enough to play in the position he wants, and looks c**p on the left. One left footed player from Division One would do a better job, don’t get me started on McMoneyman. Although I still do not agree with the growing boo-boys even before he comes on.

I am worried about our potential target, not that I know anything about him. However, what do you get if you add JuanFran + KK = Juank Frank!

Can’t be a good omen. Any left sided midfielder please, as a priority, plus someone who can pass. Come on City, step up, we are nearly there. Stop kicking me in the rocks, it’s murder every time!

Finally, all credit to Joey Barton. He was a big culprit in the poor passing department. However, he was the one and only player to properly acknowledge the fans. It’s a big credit to you Joey; however you play, you have the balls to come over and take the rap and acknowledge your supporters and wage-payers. Please have a word with the rest of the lads.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Yet again we come unstuck against unfancied opposition! How frustrating is this becoming – it’s getting tough to understand our players’ mentality sometimes.

Yes, West Brom tried their hearts out and they looked better than their display at Eastlands but we dominated possession with little or no cutting edge. How many times have we seen that against opposition? Are we in danger of becoming too one dimensional (i.e. Wright-Phillips)?

I appreciate West Brom had to win – but surely our need for different reasons was just as great – what a chance bearing in mind the opposition to come in the next three games, to consolidate ourselves into the top half and to gain ground on the scousers and Boro’ with most of the teams around and above us dropping points. A chance wasted.

Mills again was poor and Jordan (granted, his first game back after injury) struggled – this didn’t help our situation. We desperately need to bring a midfielder of some quality because McManaman offers us nothing – did he get a touch on Saturday – but I guess we have to say who else is there? The Anelka situation needs to be sorted – I have to question whether we can afford to sell him, but if he is to go for our own sakes we need to make this happen sooner rather than later.

Well, moan over with – I’m still overall happy with our position but we are doing ourselves an injustice with performances like that against a team that will be relegated at the end of the season.

Come on City.

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


Well done, West Brom you showed us what commitment was all about. It wasn’t pretty, six at the back, but they wanted a result and got one. I’ve always believed in having a team that is totally committed and that’s what is lacking in City. Mind you, that’s City isn’t it? We couldn’t, wouldn’t keep the ball, Danny ‘I’ll just give it back to the opposition’ Mills being the worst offender. I got a little agitated! And decided at one point to count how many times he gave the ball away. I got to 24 and decided that was enough!

Well the sun’s shinning over here, my eldest daughter is visiting, and life goes on, thought I might support West Brom!

As Jimmy Grimble said, ‘there’s more to life than football, just kidding!’ Come on Newcastle, Chelsea, and United. If the form book is right, there’s nine points!

You gotta luv City don’t yah? Someone has to!

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Just watched the WBA game, 4 points from us, that tells it’s own story. Keegan has got to go now. I’m sure the board will sack him this week and replace him with a manager who doesn’t settle for 2nd best.

If the board don’t get rid of him it’s just for financial reasons, that’s why we are mid-table and deserve to be mid-table.

I have seen some bad performances over the years but this one ranks with the worst of them all.


Andy Webb <Charlesalexhols(at)>


Did any of the Anelka out brigade who think we are better off without him actually see or hear about our games at Oldham and WBA? I know it looks like he’s on his way but please do me a favour and stop telling us we’re a better team without him.

Alex Channon <channons(at)>


After decades of living in the US and praying for City games on TV, I am getting nostalgic for the old days of waiting until Sunday to read the scores in the San Francisco papers!

What an absolute shambles on Saturday (another live game on cable tv) – it was like watching the Oldham game again and other games against teams bottom of the Premiership. With three tough games coming up, this does not provide much in the way of confidence.

I didn’t note one player who came out of it with reputation enhanced or even intact. It looked all huff and puff and misplaced passes. I think it was the first league game this season that was lost by 2 goals. More worrying, the Blues didn’t really look like scoring, even allowing for the Dunne free kick. The squad is very weak as a whole; when the two subs appear to be Macca and Bradley Wright-Phillips then I can understand Keegan not wanting to make changes (to me it appears that he leaves it quite late to make changes in games that are slipping away). Was Macca wearing carpet slippers on Saturday?

I have always enjoyed this newsletter for its freedom of expression. I am tempted to suggest that our dear editor now is given the discretion to delete articles that mention Europe, progress or anything other than erratic stability 🙂

It is very difficult to watch these games – heaven knows what it must be like to be there. But, having said all that, I am making plans to be at the home game against Bolton, which appears now to be scheduled for any given day in early March subject to the whims of Sky TV.

With best wishes to all from the west coast.

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)>


With City’s loss to West Brom on Saturday, thank goodness the tough part of their schedule is over.

Now City can concentrate on the easy marks like Newcastle, Chelsea and Man Utd!

[Still the only team to have beaten Chelsea in the league, so there is some comfort! – Ed]

Keith Sharp – Toronto, Canada <keith(at)>


I fully agree with the writer from P&W CSA Branch about the importance of the work that branch members do in promoting City and widening support. I agree also that having visits to the branch by players gives a great boost to this.

However, reading about the panel that P&W had for their last meeting makes me absolutely sick with envy – Tony Book, Tommy Booth, James Reeve, Jim Cassell & Alex Williams. I’m sorry but down here in Milton Keynes if we had even a single one of them at a meeting it would literally be the highlight of the year. Getting guests of that calibre is virtually impossible and we have never had a current player visit the branch.

[Steve, you need to get in touch with some of the London-based branches, as I hear they regularly manage to get a “meet the players & officials evening” when the club are playing a London game – Ed]

So while I sympathise regarding player visits, I do think that Greater Manchester branches should remember how fortunate they are – many branches go for months if not years without a fraction of their level of guests from MCFC. If the guests they get were all added up and spread evenly around the branches then my guess is they would be lucky to see a single guest every 2 or 3 meetings, and maybe a current player once a year or two.

Sorry if this sounds like sour grapes!

Steve Maclean <1(at)>


In response to Brian Leigh of the P&W branch posting re communication or the lack of it from the club with the P&W executive, I would like to point out the following:

It has been noticed by several Centenary Supporters’ Association (CSA) branches that there does appear to be something of a breakdown in communication from the club to supporters’ branches. On behalf of the CSA I have recently written to John Wardle on this matter. I’m confident I will get a reply from John Wardle, which I will share with the CSA committee.

The P&W branch are to be congratulated on their success in getting so many guests down to their meetings on a regular basis. This is due mainly to the hard work of a dedicated committee driven by an enthusiastic chairman and secretary.

The Ed’s comment at the end of Brian’s posting was most appropriate. Many branches try hard to get guests from the club to meetings with limited or no success at all. I noticed that Alex Williams MBE and Jim Cassell attended the last P&W gathering. This is two more guests than many branches will welcome all season.

Good luck and congratulations to the P&W branch on their success and long may it continue. Meanwhile, the CSA will do all it can to encourage better communication from the club and that more branches (CSA & OSC) will welcome guests occasionally.

Alex Channon – Chair, CSA <channons(at)>


As Marc Starbuck has sparked the debate, I thought I would post this article from Don’t know how to set up links to websites so I’ll just have to cut and paste: [Full article is here: – Ed]

Why has Kevin Keegan’s name become synonymous with the phrase tactically inept? The former Liverpool striker is frequently portrayed as a buffoon incapable of managing a schoolboy team let alone a Premiership one. In the wake of his resignation from the England job in October 2000 the Independent on Sunday went as far as to say that “As a manager and coach Kevin Keegan was, apart from a few uplifting months at Newcastle, a mess.” However, it is nigh on impossible to reconcile that still commonly held analysis with Keegan’s managerial record.

The one man quote-of-the-week has managed three football clubs and has visibly improved them all. When he rode into Tyneside on his white horse in February 1992, Newcastle were hugging the foot of the old Second Division; not so much a sleeping giant as a dying one. Keegan took them from the doorstep of oblivion to the Premiership within 18 months, and once there secured 3rd, 6th and 2nd placed finishes. Not quite just “a few uplifting months”. In fact, but for a run of indifferent results at the end of the 1995-1996 season, Keegan was a resounding success at Newcastle.

However, if some critics have their way three words will adorn Keegan’s headstone. “I’ll love it”. The phrase that is to Keegan what “Do I not like that” was to Graham Taylor. The passing of time has enshrined Keegan’s infamous combustion on live TV as the pivotal moment in the 1995-1996 title race. It was no such thing. At that stage, to paraphrase one of King Kev’s verbal gems, the tide was well and truly in Manchester United’s court. They needed only to win at Middlesbrough to secure the Championship (and did so 3-0). Keegan’s actions were those of a man desperate to deliver the title to the Toon Army but who knew that the insult-wielding Alex Ferguson was going to scupper that dream.

Keegan needed only one season at Fulham and Manchester City to secure promotion for both clubs. In Fulham’s case he was responsible for setting in motion their trek to the Premiership. At Manchester City, he took a club that had made acquaintance with relegation 3 times in 6 years to the top division where they are enjoying their third Premiership campaign under his guidance.

Ah but that England record. It sticks out on Keegan’s CV like Barings Bank does on Nick Leeson’s. Or does it?

England suffered four defeats in his 18 games, three of which came in his last five matches sandwiched by draws away to France and a win against Germany (England’s first victory in the European Championships on foreign soil since 1980). They suffered just one reverse in his opening thirteen games. Is it inconceivable that Keegan could have turned it around, à la Bobby Robson in 1988? In fact Bobby Robson’s opening 18 games as England manager yielded almost identical results to Keegan’s tenure. It’s all hypothetical of course and Keegan’s admission of his own tactical shortcomings in that post-match press conference on a rain soaked afternoon at Wembley ensured that he will always be remembered as an unmitigated failure at international level. He may as well have painted a target on his back and handed the media a loaded gun.

But that’s always been Keegan’s problem. He’s a slave to sentiment, too honest for his own good. Keegan has been as responsible as anyone for the destruction of his own reputation. Yet the facts show that he is a damn fine football manager; arguably the best English one of the last 12 years.

Fred Tarow – 19/01/2005

I don’t know if I agree with the article entirely, but certainly I believe that we are in a much better place than we would be had Keegan not taken the job as City’s manager. I’m not sure what Marc was expecting from 3.5 years of Keegan, but we’re about where I hoped we would be. Also, to suggest our success is down to the team and not Keegan is a failure to give credit where it is due. James, Distin, Mills, Bosvelt, Sib, Anelka, Fowler – all signed by Keegan. Plus, who knows which gutter Richard Dunne may be in or which First Division team Barton may be playing for if it wasn’t for Keegan’s man-management skills? Last season when team morale was low we were quick enough to blame Keegan. Now when it’s high you want all the credit to go to the players? If Keegan goes at the end of the season I for one will have fond memories of his time at City – great football, some great footballers, 3-1 and 4-1 against Trafford to list just a few.

James <jpg37(at)>
Also sent in by Joe Ramsbottom <joe.ramsbottom(at)>


In reply to Marc (MCIVTA 1088), I hear what you are saying and I agree with some of it, all I am trying to do is point out that it’s not all bad at the club. We may be City and the best team in the land and all the world but we are also 1 out of 13 or so other Premiership clubs who are more or less the same, great one minute, not so great the next.

Put in this perspective, I just think the time to be moaning and groaning is when we are situated in or around the relegation places, or if the team is playing c**p week in, week out. ‘Til then we should get behind the boys and the manager, not on their backs.

One more thing, why would anyone want to take their child into a pub full of footie fans on match day? I agree with Dave Lees, pubs are playgrounds for adults, not for kids; have a pint at the ground Steve instead!

CTID, Jackie Murray <J.A.Murray(at)>


In response to Marc Starbuck’s outburst re Mr Keegan:

Shut up… and stay away from City, it’s muppets like you that get the tension going around on match days, we need true supporters who back the side through thick and thin, God knows there has been enough of it over the years; has our period of predictable gloom feed your ego or what? Or would you be truly happy if City were successful? I doubt it, you are a born moaner. When Keegan moves on, so will you, you will choose another victim to have a go at because you simply can’t help yourself. Once again shut up and move on.

[A little harsh Neil, everyone is entitled to their opinion – Ed]

Neil Heitzman <heitzman_neil(at)>


In response to Ian Barton’s comments. What annoys me more than anything else was “look where we were on the 12 December after losing at York, 12th in the 3rd division.” Let’s get one thing bl**dy straight: we shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

I am sick and tired of people going back to 1998/99 as excuses for where we are now.

Let’s be honest, I wanted Keegan out, still do; as far as I’m concerned he is marking time before he sets off into the sun, but we do seem to be on an up at the moment and for that I give him thanks.

Also with regards to the kids, if it hadn’t been for injuries to senior players (so called) they would not have made the bench, never mind played in the 1st team, and done really well. Ask any Newcastle fan, he scrapped their reserve team for Christ’s sake.

I have supported this club since I was six. I am now 38, I can just about remember our last meaningful trophy in ’76, and methinks our generation more than most can moan about the mis-mangement of our club over these years.

We are all entitled to our opinions, but let’s stop using our foray in Division 3 as an excuse.

CTID, Paul Jones <pierce.p.jones(at)>


I have one spare ticket for Chelsea at face value, £40, to any City fan. Please email or call.

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Just in case anyone is interested, Lows, Highs and Balti Pies. £7.49 with free postage from Just ordered myself a copy.

[Thanks Mick, a bargain! – Ed]

Mick B <Koolfurmick(at)>


23 January 2005

Arsenal               1 - 0  Newcastle United      38,137

22 January 2005

Southampton           2 - 0  Liverpool             32,017
Birmingham City       1 - 2  Fulham                28,512
Chelsea               3 - 0  Portsmouth            42,267
Crystal Palace        3 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     23,723
Everton               0 - 1  Charlton Athletic     36,041
Manchester United     3 - 1  Aston Villa           67,859
Norwich City          4 - 4  Middlesbrough         24,547
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 0  Manchester City       25,348

League table to 23 January 2005 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         24 10  2  0 25  3  9  2  1 23  5 19  4  1  48   8  40  61
 2 Arsenal         24  7  5  0 29 12  8  1  3 24 13 15  6  3  53  25  28  51
 3 Manchester Utd  24  8  4  0 22  6  6  4  2 15  8 14  8  2  37  14  23  50
 4 Everton         24  8  1  3 15 12  5  4  3 13 13 13  5  6  28  25   3  44
 5 Liverpool       24  8  1  3 20  9  3  3  6 16 16 11  4  9  36  25  11  37
 6 Middlesbrough   24  6  4  2 19 12  4  3  5 20 21 10  7  7  39  33   6  37
 7 Charlton Ath.   24  7  2  3 20 13  4  2  6  8 20 11  4  9  28  33  -5  37
 8 Tottenham H.    24  4  3  5 22 18  5  3  4  7  8  9  6  9  29  26   3  33
 9 Manchester City 24  5  4  3 16  9  3  3  6 14 17  8  7  9  30  26   4  31
10 Aston Villa     24  7  3  2 19  7  1  4  7  8 22  8  7  9  27  29  -2  31
11 Bolton Wndrs    23  5  3  4 14 11  3  3  5 16 20  8  6  9  30  31  -1  30
12 Newcastle Utd   24  5  3  4 20 19  2  5  5 15 22  7  8  9  35  41  -6  29
13 Fulham          24  5  1  6 15 20  3  3  6 16 20  8  4 12  31  40  -9  28
14 Portsmouth      24  5  2  5 16 16  2  4  6 10 18  7  6 11  26  34  -8  27
15 Birmingham City 24  3  4  5 13 11  3  4  5 14 19  6  8 10  27  30  -3  26
16 Blackburn R.    23  2  7  2 13 16  3  3  6  8 17  5 10  8  21  33 -12  25
17 Crystal Palace  24  4  2  6 13 12  1  4  7 14 25  5  6 13  27  37 -10  21
18 Southampton     24  3  7  2 18 16  0  2 10  7 23  3  9 12  25  39 -14  18
19 Norwich City    24  2  5  5 17 23  0  6  6  6 23  2 11 11  23  46 -23  17
20 West Brom A.    24  2  5  5  9 19  0  5  7 10 25  2 10 12  19  44 -25  16

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1089