Newsletter #1100

Another milestone for MCIVTA as we hit 1100 not out!

A steely comeback on Monday night as we had succumbed a 2-0 lead to Norwich in the first 15 minutes. However, the Blues dug in and the reward was a 2-3 scoreline in City’s favour, with Fowler scoring a brace and Sibierski looking back to form and a move up to 10th place. We have match reports, views and stats tonight thanks to Ed, Steve, Glyn and Ernie. The game will be remembered for Delia’s half-time exhibition – fortunately the MCFC board are far more sensible.

Unfortunately the reserves managed to squander their 3-1 lead over WBA on Tuesday night and ended up sharing the spoils with a 3-3 draw. Don brings us news on the games, the departure of McCarthy, squad news and all things happening down in M11.

We also have a run-in analysis thanks to Andy, Euro possibilities and the continuing managerial debate.

Finally, we also have the usual requests and an updated FAQ.

Next game: Bolton Wanderers, home, 8pm Monday 7 March 2005 (TV)


General News

Fifty Up: Derek Fazackerley thinks City should aim for fifty points by the end of the season. “Sometimes you set targets and they become unrealistic,” he said this week. “We have been a little bit reluctant to do that but we need to go out now and give it everything we have to get over the fifty point mark. We want to finish in the top half of the table and if we attain fifty points then that is exactly what we will do. We are in a pretty safe position but at the same time if we had three or four bad results on the trot who knows. What normally happens towards the end of the season is that one or two of the bottom teams find a bit of form from somewhere and there is usually a team from the middle of the table that gets sucked into it. We have to be aware of that and guard against it but we don’t envisage getting involved in that. As I said we have fifty points as a target and that would be a reasonable total with which to finish the season.”

Reserves Rocked: The Reserves tried to do the reverse of their first team colleagues this week, as the second XI threw away a two goal lead. At least they survived for a draw – the game against West Bromwich Albion finished 3-3. Ishmael Miller give City the lead on fifteen minutes, while Carlos Logan soon doubled the lead via a penalty. Albion pulled a goal back, but Miller restored the two goal lead just before half time. The visitors however scored twice in the second period to ensure a share of the points. Claudio Reyna played for seventy-five minutes as he attempts to regain his fitness. Team: Weaver, Warrender, Collins, J D’Laryea, McCarthy, Bischoff, Croft, Reyna (Bennett 75), Miller, Ireland, C Logan (Richards 82). Subs: Ellegaard, Lee-Matthews, Laird.

City Museum to be Nominated for Award: The Independent newspaper is searching to find the UK’s best loved museum, gallery or heritage visitor attraction, in conjunction with the 2005 Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence. The award, voted by readers, is for any museum, gallery or heritage visitor centre, whether large or small. You can vote for The Manchester City Experience at by entering The Manchester City Experience at City Of Manchester Stadium; SportCity, Manchester M11 3FF. Last year the Manchester City Experience was shortlisted for an award as a new museum at these awards; let’s hope they can get further recognition this year.

Transfer News and Gossip

Paddy’s Road to Leicester: Paddy McCarthy must have realised that he wasn’t going to dislodge Dunnie and Distin in the first team, so the 21-year-old has today signed for Leicester City, subject to a medical. If the £100,000 deal does go through, McCarthy will be available for Saturday’s Championship game at home to Nottingham Forest. The Republic Of Ireland Under-21 star has not made a Premiership appearance for City but has had periods on loan at Boston and Notts County. Leicester have made the move because they only have two fit centre-halves.

Ex-Blues’ News

No Euro Glory for Nico: Fenerbahce lost 2-1 last week away to Real Zaragoza, ensuring that Nicolas Anelka’s European campaign lasted but two games. Nico didn’t let the result get him down – last weekend our former no.39 found the net again in the Turkish league, as Fener extended their lead to four points with a 2-0 victory over bottom club Sebatspor. And would you believe it – yesterday the Daily Express ran the first “Nico is unhappy in Turkey” story. According to a ‘club official’ at City, he doesn’t enjoy the ‘goldfish bowl’ existence amongst the fanatical football crazy Turkish supporters – you’d kinda think he would have worked that out before going there, perhaps… (thanks ‘Jim the Door Maker’ for that item).

What a Backwater, Says Waterreus: City lack ambition and are happy to be in the comfort zone, according to former goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus. The Holland international picked up medals during a lengthy career at PSV Eindhoven and now has the chance to add to that collection at Rangers. But the 34-year-old, who cut short a spell at the COMS to move to Ibrox last month, claims City have modest ideas of success. He told Rangers News: “I played for trophies in Holland and won a few along the way. Manchester City is a big club but it doesn’t play for trophies. When you play for a club like City you don’t play for anything. If you draw everyone is happy. If Rangers draw it is seen as a crisis. It was the same when I played at PSV. That gives you a rush and you want to experience that. That’s the reason you play football – to experience that pressure.”

Reactions and Comments

I Feel for You: On Monday City tried their best to follow their usual script when facing a relegation threatened team, as Norwich raced into a two goal lead after just fifteen minutes (it nearly lead to a ceding of the Sky Telly box control to Mrs. News Editor and a night of the Oscars in our gaff, but I digress). Yet it turned out City were following the Spurs FA Cup script rather than the recent West Brom one, and stormed back to take the game 3-2 with a winner courtesy of Robbie Fowler in second half injury time. The home team’s blistering start left KK fulsomely praising Norwich’s efforts. KK thought that his side had been lucky to win. “It was a great start for Norwich, to be fair. We knew they had to win tonight and we had to be ready for that. They were looking like every time they went forward they were going to score and we got away with it tonight.” Our manager was also impressed by Dean Ashton, who’s deft flick opened the scoring on 9 minutes. “I thought Ashton’s performance up front was as good as I’ve seen from a Premiership striker this season and we’ve watched a lot of him this season. If I am honest I thought we were a bit fortunate to get the three points here”, added Keegan. “I feel for Nigel Worthington. A draw would have been fair.” Norwich boss Worthington was bitterly disappointed not to capitalise on such a storming start. “If something’s working you don’t stop doing it”, he complained. “At 2-0 Manchester City were all over the place defensively, but we started to give the ball away cheaply and stopped closing them down. We let them back into the game.”

I Think I Love You: If the Boss Man couldn’t get steamed up about the victory, he was soon singing the praises of two goal man of the match Robbie Fowler. “He is still a quality player and knows where the net is – we have just got to supply him with ammunition and, in the end, we did”, Keegan commented. “He has worked hard to get back to where he is now. He can get better if we can supply him better. People want to write him off but if he has kept the articles of those people who have written him off he could throw them back at them and they would be left with a bit of egg on their face.” Let’s ignore the tortured metaphor shall we and state that Fowler overtook Les Ferdinand on Monday evening to become the third highest scorer of all time in the Premiership, with 151 goals, and he only trails Alan Shearer (250) and Andy Cole (173). And what did the match winner have to say for himself? “We’ve not got off to the best of starts tonight. We had our backs against the wall at 2-0 down but we showed plenty of character and deserved to win in the end,” Fowler said. “Their heads just dropped. Once we had our momentum, we were always going to score more goals although it took us until the ninety second minute.”

Eighth Wonder: KK was asked whether City were capable of maintaining a run of wins in an attempt to secure an unlikely UEFA Cup spot. As always, he gave a painfully honest answer. “The squad is not big enough for us to get into Europe,” declared the manager. “We will be without Joey Barton and Stephen Jordan for the Bolton game. The only two players who were on four yellow cards were booked tonight and of course the amnesty starts on Tuesday. I think the players have got to dig deep now and find something within themselves. They did that against Norwich and I will not question their spirit but sometimes in the Norwich game the thought process and decision making was poor. I don’t want to mislead Manchester City fans as I don’t think we can finish in the top six but if we can finish higher in the Premiership than we have done before in my time then that would be a great season.”

Pickled Delia? The pre-match coverage had focussed on Danny Mills returning to face his home town club, and on Darren Huckerby facing up to his old club (Dazza was injured and didn’t play in the end). Most of the after match headlines were made by Norwich director and TV cook Delia Smith. At half time she treated the crowd at Carrow Road, as well as the live TV audience, to one of the more unusual attempts to rouse her team’s supporters. And thus she screeched over the tannoy: “This is a message for possibly the best supporters in the world. We need a 12th man here. Where are you? Where are you? Let’s be having you. Come on!” This lead some media commentators to suggest that she was erm, a little worse for wear, a charge quickly denied by la Smith. “I always have a meal before a match and have some wine but I never drink during a match. At half-time I have a row of glasses of water ready for me because I am hoarse. I can tell you on this occasion it was not too much wine.” Her words certainly worked a treat – on City, as Norwich had Mattias Johnsson sent off in the second half, to be followed by Fowler’s late match winning goal. It’s a pity she couldn’t make that speech at half time at the rest of City’s games this season – a UEFA spot would surely be ours!

Squad News

Distin Delighted Dunne’s Not Down: Richard Dunne has not been troubled by his harrowing derby-day experience, according to team-mate Sylvain Distin. He said: “You only have to do that when you are down and I don’t think he has been down.” He added: “You see him on the training ground, he is okay. You cannot go through the season as a defender without making a mistake.” Dunne has performed consistently well this season and is in the process of trying to negotiate a new contract. Manager Kevin Keegan said: “You should be talking to the chairman but I believe Dunnie is pretty close to an agreement.”

Logan’s Run – To Chesterfield: Winger Carlos Logan has gone on a month’s loan to League One side Chesterfield. The speedy left-sided midfielder is expected to go straight into manager Roy McFarland’s squad for their trip to Torquay United on Saturday. “Carlos Logan offers us possibilities down our left-hand side and the month-long loan gives us a chance to take an extended look at what he has to offer,” Spireites’ assistant manager Lee Richardson told the club’s official website.

Call for Psycho! KK is facing what is known as a “selection headache” for Monday night’s encounter with Bolton Wanderers. First off, he is without his first and second choice left backs. Ben Thatcher is still injured, while Stephen Jordan is suspended. “With Stephen and Ben out that left back spot is a problem,” admitted the manager. “Maybe I will have to ask Stuart Pearce if he wants to take his registration as a player back!” he joked (now that I’d like to see – Psycho II – the return). Claudio Reyna might come into contention to replace the suspended Joey Barton, although the 31-year-old midfielder has played only 25 minutes of first team football in six months and will not be rushed back after breaking down during an intended initial comeback in November. “The one thing I am not going to do is jeopardise any of my players by rushing them back when they are not ready,” stressed Keegan after the Norwich match. “Claudio will show me when he is ready. At the moment the signs he is showing suggest that he is very nearly ready. At least we have a bit of time as we have another week before the next game. That week will give us time but this squad is not big enough for the Premiership – there is no doubt about that.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Congratulations to Andy Compton who is the winner of the MCIVTA/ Bert Trautmann limited edition signed print. Andy was the only one to get all 6 questions right; the answers can be found on the McV website:


Went to my first away game in quite some time this week, to the heavenly surrounds of Norwich. Was greeted as we got off the train by the bitter cold that seems to be everywhere at the minute. Thankfully, the ground is right by the train station, even if it is located right in the middle of a shopping estate with Morrisons right alongside.

Nice, neat little stadium. Atmosphere was excellent, City fans in good voice, and some good chanting between the fans. The game itself was better than expected, though not in terms of the football actually played. City were woeful for the first 20 minutes so it wasn’t surprising, though a little unwanted, to find ourselves two goals down inside 15 minutes. The first goal was poor. A hopeful knock through became a goal due to Ashton’s outstretched leg; not a bad finish but slack from City. The second, well where to begin? Middle of the park, no danger, ball suddenly in back of net, City fans stunned. Dunne should have had the ball in the centre circle, somehow managed to let Ashton get it, he fed it through past Distin, Jordan played McKenzie onside. The usually fast Distin is done for pace, and McKenzie manages to pea-roll the ball past James through Distin’s legs. Not clever.

City to be fair responded well. Barton had a drive deflected over, we got a couple of corners (why do we take such dreadful corners?). From one of them, the ball went back to Musumpa and he put in an excellent ball to the equally poorly marked Sibierski. Norwich would be kicking themselves. Then City had a lot of the ball without really creating much. SWP had a drive turned behind, Fowler spooned over, that was about it. Then, City get a throw in on the half-way line, Sibierski turns his man brilliantly then plays an awesome through ball for the run of little ol’ SWP who, first time squared back for Fowler to thump home. Excellent goal, brought the house down. Fantastic. Thought City were on their way: whoops, forgot to look at the clock, only about 5 minutes to half time.

Half time break and no chance of getting to the bar. Very cramped little area under the away end. Still got to admire the goals again on the TV.

Come back out, City didn’t. Metaphorically and literally. They were about 5 minutes late (didn’t they know we had a train to catch?!) and then thought that they could play like they did at the beginning of the first half [Something they seem to be making a habit of; psychological advantage? -Ed]

Thankfully, this time only for about 15 minutes, and Norwich obviously thought this was a really good idea and thought they would be woeful too. First real incident of note was Johnsson (who I hadn’t really noticed all game) getting booked and the ref pointing to various areas of the ground saying “this is for that foul, this foul and that foul”. I personally didn’t remember him committing that many fouls to be fair. His second booking was for catching Barton late on the ankle. Barton himself was booked right in front of the linesman. Again the ref said it was one too many. City had a lot of the ball by this stage, but unfortunately didn’t ever really make Green work, and didn’t really make Norwich look like they had 10 men. In fact, James had to make a good save from Ashton when he was clear on the left.

As time progressed, so our train got closer to leaving. It got to 89 minutes on the clock at 9.55pm and we had to go. Typical. Just running round the ground and there’s a cheer, not loud enough for a home goal my mate thought, I was just panicking that it was! On the old phone, saw City had won. Got to the train station and our train was 20 minutes late. Not happy, could have stayed for the goal!

James 6 – Not much to do really. No real chance with either goal. One excellent sweeper tackle after a backpass from Jordan, and a couple of smart saves.
Mills 5 – Solid, though didn’t overlap much till late in the second half.
Distin 6 – Not as assured as usual, took a while to settle, but then got better as the game went on.
Dunne 7 – Although losing the ball led to second goal, was a rock afterwards and won just about everything in the air.
Musumpa 5 – Not the pace I hoped he’d have, but good cross for the first goal. Tidy.
Barton 8 – Best game I’ve seen him have for us. Never gave up harrying for the ball, and good distribution.
Bosvelt 7 – Does all the important things well. Tidied up effectively and never gave Norwich’s midfield time on the ball.
SWP 7 – Quiet game. Still City’s most threatening outlet, but seemed to take a knock in the 2nd half?
Fowler 7 – Worked hard, took first goal well. Looks a lot more interested these days.
Sibierski 7 – Could get 7 for the pass alone. Worked hard, maybe should win more in the air?

Have to say that I thought that Dean Ashton looked quality. Worked hard, and had a great touch. Maybe City missed out there?

Ed Bodey <edbodey(at)>


Carrow Road – Kick-off 20:00 – Attendance: 24,302.

Team Changes: Bosvelt back in the starting line-up following suspension, and Jordan replaces the injured Thatcher.

Line-up: James, Mills, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, S. Wright-Phillips, Barton, Bosvelt, Musampa, Sibierski, Fowler. Unused subs: Weaver, Sommeil, Flood, McManaman, B. Wright-Phillips.

Goal times: (12) 0-1 Ashton; (16) 0-2 McKenzie; (25) 1-2 Sibierski; (36) 2-2 Fowler; (90+2) 3-2 Fowler.

Bookings: Barton (51), Jordan (76). Sent off: None. Referee: R. Styles – 12th game involving City, the first one being the pay-per-view 1-0 win at Colchester in March 1999. Only second game this season, last being 1-1 draw at Arsenal. Most famous was last season’s 4-3 win at Spurs, but also been involved in a 6-0 win and 0-5 defeat! Record with him in charge: W6 – D2 – L4.

Comment: The City squad were given a week off, and went 2-nil down within 16 minutes, but took control, going in all square at the break with goals from Sibierski and Fowler. Following Delia Smith’s half time rousing (?) “Letsby Avenue” call to the home fans (when I was a kid I was told that’s where policeman live!), Norwich were soon reduced to ten men, and City dominated, getting the deserved break when Fowler scuffed one in, in the last minute of added-on time.

MCFCstats: Keegan’s 150th League game in charge; the next goal will be the 300th of Keegan’s reign; Fowler’s 150th and 151st Premiership goals, takes him clear in 3rd place; Distin’s 100th League start; Barton’s 50th League start; City’s first Premiership win at Norwich; First away League win at Norwich in 9 matches (2-1 win in 1990-91 season); Attendance of 24,302 was just one short of the record Norwich vs. City away attendance, set on Dec 29th 1973.

Website update: The line-ups for seasons 1920-21 to 1929-30 now available, making almost 800 pages on the site.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


As much as I was pleased and most certainly relieved at the outcome of the televised match vs. Norwich, I am sure I cannot be alone in thinking how poor 1 or 2 players were on the night.

Firstly Kiki Musampa, from what I saw, I can only say he is not the answer to our left midfield problem; he was useless to say the least, even allowing for his cross from which Sibierski scored from. How can your corner taker, never ever beat the first defender on the near post on every occasion, and still be allowed to take the corners? Has he got the beating of any defender? Can he defend? Why was he allowed 90 minutes on the pitch, when we had 4 subs on the bench? Even though Macca has not set City alight this season, I am sure he would have been a hell of a lot better than Musampa.

I thought Jordan at left back was also awful, especially after seeing him play so well a few months ago. Our defence were all over the place in the first 20 minutes; luckily it got better as the game progressed. Dean Ashton was a right handful, no City defender marshalled him effectively, and he is only a novice in the Premiership. We got to thank our lucky stars that we were only playing Norwich, or else we would have got mullered by any other team.

I thought our MOM was Joey Barton, who had a fantastic game, full of energy and some nice passing too.

Why Keegan did not bring on 2 subs with fresh legs when Norwich had a man sent off is just incredible, we needed something new, something direct but he just is not willing to take a chance. What was wrong with bringing on Flood and B Wright-Phillips in the last 20 minutes, and ask them to work their socks off! Why have subs if you don’t use them to your advantage?

James (6/10)
Mills (6/10) – Better than recent performances but still tries to be the hard man instead of being a good pro.
Dunne (6/10) – Started off poorly but got better as the game progressed.
Distin (6/10)- Same as Dunne.
Jordan (4/10) – One of his poorest games, was caught out too often, and nearly gifted them a goal.
Barton (7/10) – MOM, inspired play in midfield.
Bosvelt (6/10) – Average performance but did not stamp his authority on the game.
Sibierski (7/10) – Scored one, laid the pass to Wright-Phillips and had a decent game.
Musampa (4/10) – Enough said already, is he better than Willo Flood? I don’t think so!
SWP (7/10) – Provided the pass for 2 goals, but yet was not fluent.
Fowler (7/10) – Scored 2 goals, but also missed a sitter, so not a bad return from our main striker.

Glyn Albuquerque <glynalbuquerque(at)>


A game that after the first 15 minutes looked as if it was not going to be City’s night. The game came back to life when Sibierski scored a well taken headed goal, then SWP raced down the left to cross back to Fowler, who made no mistake when he hit home a bullet. The winning goal came as seconds ticked off the clock in injury time to give Fowler his 151st Premiership goal of his footballing career.

For Norwich, Dean Ashton scored a nice flicked on goal that gave James no chance to save. Kevin Keegan said after the game that City had been watching Ashton whilst he was at Crewe; of course KK had no money to get Ashton whilst the transfer window was open. Now that it looks like Norwich will be doomed for relegation, will City go for Ashton and give him the EPL football that he wants?

City really made hard work of this game, and Norwich tried so hard to survive; one had to feel sorry for Norwich – we have been there done that kind of thing.

Kiki played a better game on the left – I would like to see a little more pace – then beat his defender, got to the byline, and crossed the ball back to the fox in the box Robbie Fowler. Give Growler some ammunition and he will roar!

Older fans will remember how Summerbee would buzz to the byline and cross back the ball with speed and precision for Franny Lee to crash in another goal. Let’s see more of this; SWP knows how to do it.

Great to get the win; now it appears that we are safe in the EPL for next season, so what’s next? The game against Bolton will be very important if we are to have any chance for a place in Europe. City have a few days to recover after the Norwich game, but 2 players cannot play due to suspensions: Barton and Jordan received their 5th bookings.

When Barton got booked against Norwich, I felt that he was unlucky; his foul could easily have been overlooked by the ref, so I was afraid Barton might argue with the same ref that sent him off at half time versus Spurs last season. However, Barton has shown us all that he is maturing, just needs to improve on some passing now, but keep that fire going.

Kevin Keegan now has to decide who will play at left back, since Thatcher is injured. I guess KK will go for the experience of Sommeil, but I would like to see McCarthy get a chance as a central defender and move Distin over to the left back position. Reyna should be fit to play in Barton’s place. I would like to see Lee Croft at least play some part in the game versus Bolton.

Although we beat Norwich, there is no doubt that we will have to play better to get a result versus Bolton.

Keep the faith. Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


A sense of déjà vu occurred 15 minutes into the match against Norwich on Monday night, against a team struggling at the wrong end of the table. My language again left a lot to be desired as we seemed to lack organisation and concentration. Thankfully we didn’t capitulate and in the end fully deserved the victory!

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


Not sure if this goes under ‘opinion’ or ‘match report: television’, but does anyone else find it worrying that at Norwich, with his swept back hair and bulky leather jacket, Keegan seems to be turning into David Hasselhoff?

Yours forever Blue, Ade Collins <Ade.Collins(at)>


How fitting that, in Oscars week, our beloved team put on a performance fit for Top Billing!

The Good

The “come back” attitude from the team. I remember prior to the Sky game away at West Brom that they were touting stats about City that we had failed to gain even a point from any game where we had fallen behind. I remember thinking that just about summed this lot up. Then we came back to get a point against Newcastle and then the Norwich performance topped off a night of “typical City”.

Robbie – whilst I look on with envy at many other Premiership teams’ strikeforces, you’ve got to hand it to Robbie who after a tough opening 15 minutes, when he couldn’t keep the ball had it been on a magnet, started to hold it up really well and showed his predatory instincts for his goals. 150 up – well done Robbie. Just needs a strike partner to “feed him” like SWP did twice.

The Bad

That opening 20 minutes had everyone wondering if these lads had ever seen a ball before, never mind played the game. Horrible. Can’t afford to do this against better teams ever.

Joey – struggled to find a blue shirt most of the time. I like Joey, but only when he plays with humility. Too often he talks to the papers citing himself as a Stevie Gerrard type player – he is not – and then struts around the pitch trying to spray balls around like the great man himself – too often last night to a Norwich player. Keep it simple son, that’s your strength.

Sibi – the 6ft touch. Every time he tries to control a ball, he has to retrieve it from 6ft away after a dire 1st touch. Took his headed goal well but too often just runs around chasing chickens.

The Ugly

The Sky count had City up something like 15 corners to 2. Of those 15, did 2 beat the 1st defender? Did any free kick or cross go anywhere other than straight into the ‘keeper’s hands or onto the 1st defender’s head? These are the types of things the players can practise over and over. Please KK & Co, let’s be a threat when given the opportunity to put in a decent ball. Joey – it’s not your thing. Move on over.

The Credits

Great away win. KK looked much more animated than usual (smart leather outfit too Kev!). Great attitude. A win against lower opposition!?

And finally, to City, thanks for the usual rollercoaster of emotions. Bring on more TV entertainment for the masses next week.

Mike Sokol – Still loving it! <msokol(at)>


Watching the Norwich game on Monday, I got really frustrated that City were persistently referred to as a side with nothing left to play for this season. How is it that we can be level with Newcastle, who apparently can still harbour hopes of a push for a European place, yet we have nothing to play for? How can we be 6 points off a European place and according to the hacks be “going through the motions”, yet the Trafford nettle divers were 9 points adrift at the top and the title race is “not over”? Is this the media’s anti-City (esp. the Mirror!) and anti-KK stance again? Or am I just paranoid and a bit defensive?

So how realistic is a European place this season?

Obviously the top 4 is out of reach but positions 5-12 are very tight with only 9 points between them. Let’s look at the respective run ins:

Liverpool (43 points) – Inconsistent away from Anfield and possibly still involved in Europe. Desperate to chase down Everton for the 4th Champions’ League spot.
Home games: Blackburn, Everton, Bolton, Spurs, Middlesbrough & Villa – predicted haul 14 points.
Aways: Newcastle, City, Pompey, Palace, Arsenal – predicted haul 5 points.

Middlesbrough (42 points) – Still in the UEFA Cup. Strong at home but inconsistent away. Ageing strike force. Tough run in with most games against teams with something to play for.
Home games: Southampton, Arsenal, Fulham, West Brom, Spurs – predicted haul 8 points.
Aways: Villa, Palace, Newcastle, Liverpool, City – predicted haul 3 points.

Bolton (40 points) – Usually fall away at this time of year. Inconsistent.
Home games: Norwich, Fulham, Southampton, Chelsea, Everton – predicted haul 8 points.
Aways: City, Liverpool, Charlton, Villa, Pompey – predicted haul 2 points.

Spurs (39 points) – Young, improving side. Still in the FA Cup, which could become a diversion. Talented but inconsistent.
Homes: City, Newcastle, West Brom, Villa, Blackburn – predicted haul 8 points.
Aways: Southampton, Charlton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Middlesbrough – predicted haul 5 points.

Charlton (39 points) – Short of real stars and usually fall away at this time of year. Weak away.
Homes: Spurs, West Brom, City, Bolton, Man Utd, Palace – predicted haul 7 points.
Aways: Fulham, Portsmouth, Villa, Norwich, Chelsea – predicted haul 3 points.

Aston Villa (35 points) – Inconsistent and weak away from home.
Homes: Middlesbrough, West Brom, Charlton, Bolton, City – predicted haul 8 points.
Aways: Birmingham, Newcastle, Southampton, Spurs, Liverpool – predicted haul 2 points.

Newcastle (34 points) – Underachievers on paper. Still in both the FA Cup and UEFA Cup. Likely to get attention diverted by cup runs?
Homes: Liverpool, Villa, Middlesbrough, Chelsea, Palace – predicted haul 10 points.
Aways: Portsmouth, Spurs, Norwich, Man Utd, Everton – predicted haul 5 points.

So 54 points could be enough, which would mean we need 18 points from our last 10 games. Easier said than done but we don’t have to play any of the top 4 or more importantly in our case the bottom 4. The big problem is going to be the squad size as we now have both left backs out for the Bolton game, as well as no Joey Barton in midfield. However, a quick look at our fixtures shows that we haven’t got the worst run in:

Bolton (H) – A game we need to win.
Spurs (A) – Tough game and a bonus if we get anything.
Charlton (A) – A winnable match for us but again one we need at least a point from.
Liverpool (H) – Depends which Liverpool turn up. Game we need at least a point from.
Fulham (A) – A very winnable game for us – we need something from it.
Birmingham (H) – Need to win.
Blackburn (A) – Again one we could win and should get something from.
Portsmouth (H) – Must win.
Villa (A) – Depends whether Villa have any hope of a top 7 finish. Could be a tricky one for us.
Middlesbrough (H) – It could all ride on this game. Let’s hope for a slightly more fortunate game than last season’s – they owe us big time!

So there we have it – nothing to play for.

One additional point. Now that Chelsea have won the Carling Cup, an extra UEFA Cup place is available for 6th. The UEFA Cup places will stretch to 7th if the FA Cup final is between 2 sides who are already in Europe. It could even become 8th if Newcastle or Boro won the UEFA Cup (unlikely!) and finished high enough.

All to play for!

Two other things this week amused me (I’ve ignored Delia Smith – goes without saying)

  1. Trafford FC’s very own Roy of Keane is sporting a “No Diving” wristband.Will he be giving one to his own strikers, Mr Nistlediver and Mr Boywonder/Cheat/Clever player Rooney (delete as applicable)? Will theyunderstand?
  2. I’ve just completed a level 1 coaching badge (I run a kids’ team downsouth). On the course we learned a game called Tricolour in which you haveto pass the ball to a player wearing a different colour to you. Iintroduced it as “The Danny Mills Game” and everyone immediately knew whatI wanted them to do. Has Danny’s legend gone before him?

Come on the Blues!

Andy Clarke <Andy(at)>


Here’s my contribution towards the KK debate. First off, I think KK on the whole has done a good job. If anyone had asked 4 years ago if we could be in the position we are in now, we would have chewed their arm off. I was fortunate enough to have been a teenager in the late 60’s and so was there for all our glories and I realize how difficult it is for younger supporters who have never known the glory years. The problem is that the fine line between winning and losing is very real at this stage of our recovery. A bad appointment for our next manager could see us plummet again. Having said that, I think KK should move over this summer. Become General Manager or something. KK’s transfer dealings have been atrocious. Partly because he brought in the majority of his players when prices were high and now has to sell when prices are low.

Major gaffes were Sommeil £3.5 million, Negouai £1.5 million, Macken £5 million, Vuoso £3.5 million, Sinclair £2.5 million. Total just for them: £16 million.

Then we let go Wanchope £500,000, Huckerby £500,000, Dickov dick-all, Elliot £250,000. So we recouped £1.25 million or 5 months of McManaman’s wages. Can KK be blamed for all of this or is some of the fault in the scouting/management team. Wasn’t Arthur Cox supposed to be looking at transfer targets and scouting clubs and players? If so, no wonder he’s gone. So I don’t think KK can take all the blame. What he can take the blame for though is poor man-management. He let young players leave like Dickson Etuhu and Stephen Elliot for next to nothing, who are now flourishing. He let Huckerby and Dickov leave and although they are not world beaters Huckerby would have given us the left side balance we have so desperately needed and Dickov would be a better fit up front for Fowler than Macken. Both players give us more options. Let’s face it, if SWeeP doesn’t do it for us we have a tough time beating anyone. Can we afford to see the same thing happen to Croft, Flood, Onuoha, Jordan and BWeep!

So here’s the plan. New Manager this summer. I can’t believe I’m even thinking this but sell/trade SWeeP to the Arse. It’s the only way we can move on and re-tool. The lad wants to play at the highest level and win things and it will keep him away from ‘the evil empire’. I couldn’t bear to see a genuinely nice person be enticed to the dark side. Wenger wants SWeeP but the Arse don’t have a ton of money. Let’s value SWeeP at £20 million. We will take Glichy (£2 million) Justin Hoyte (£2 million) and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (£2 million). We also get Edu and Jermaine Pennant and pay £2 million each only if we can sign them. Cost to the Arse £10 to £14 million for SWeeP and they lose some good prospects (Wenger seems to have no trouble finding them) but none of these players would be in the line up anyway. For us, problem left back solved, problem right back solved, pace up front. If we can sign Pennant, we have a replacement for SWeeP and if we sign Edu a useful younger partner for Joey Barton in midfield. If not we have money to spend on replacements. Most of the young players would probably come to us because they would be playing first team football. Thoughts anyone?

Whatever you do, stay Blue.

CTID, Bob Simnor <bobs5455(at)>


Great win against Norwich! We struggled at times but 3 points closer to Europe (is that me being too optimistic?!). Still not convinced on Musampa – first touch and passing weren’t great at Norwich.

Anyway. Just heard Ranieri has been sacked by Valencia. Think it would be a great move to move Keegan upstairs as I do have a real soft spot for him despite many bad decisions, and get Ranieri in to start planning and moving us on to the next step. He is genuine, a great man manager and would definitely be great for City. He proved that at Chelsea, albeit he had more money to play with than we do but he knows what’s required in the Premier League and I’m sure he’d offload the rubbish we don’t need. McManaman, Neguouai, Macken etc. What do you guys think? Interested in those for and against!

Let’s hope we beat Bolton next week. Congrats to Fowler, 151 Premiership goals!

CTID, Matt Cummings <MCFC1985(at)>


After the outburst of Delia Smith, I thought you’d like to see what the Norwich fans thought of it.

Make us seem almost normal doesn’t it?

Tony Hulme <tttduk(at)>


The next meeting for Denton branch of the Official Supporters’ Club takes place on Monday 14th March, 8pm start at Denton Con Club.

Our special guests for the evening will be Andy Hinchcliffe and Paul Tyrrell.

For further details/directions please contact me by email.

Heidi <editor(at)>


Help help. I need clarification.

Follow the logic!

  1. Chelsea have won the Carling Cup and therefore qualify for a UEFA spot.
  2. Chelsea will come in the top 3 (if not win the PL altogether), therefore will qualify for Champions’ League.

Does the spare UEFA spot go to:

  1. Position 7th in the PL
  2. Or Carling Cup Loser – Liverpool

If the latter, then what happens if Liverpool finish 5th or 6th in the PL, which is quite likely?

Does that mean positions 5th 6th and 7th qualify for UEFA?

Additionally the same logic applies to the FA Cup.

I was rooting for the Blades the other night, guts and grit for Sheff. Utd., a shameful way to go out.

However, after the minor disappointment, we must concern ourselves with matters of a sky blue tinge.

If Man Utd and Arsenal fight out the FA Cup final and they both occupy top 4 berths in the PL then the loser of the FAC Cup will get a UEFA slot but since the loser is already in the CL then surely surely, surely the last UEFA slot goes to 8th in the PL.

Factor in an Inter Toto nonsense and Fair Play position, can half the PL qualify for Europe?

Someone tell me I am wrong and where does the logic fall down!

If not then we can be in a UEFA slot next Monday night, all to play for, game on.

Nurse – nurse can you open up the valve on my Thoarazine drip please…

An anti-psychotic drug used to calm down chronically deluded and potentially violent patients, usually accommodated in a secure psychiatric facility under 24 hour surveillance – and over optimistic City fans.

[See Andy’s article, which should help explain the process – Ed]

Philip Lines <philip.lines(at)>


Does anyone know if there is a supporters’ club based out in NZ? If not, how do I go about setting one up?

Mark Healey <MarkH(at)>


28 February 2005

Norwich City          2 - 3  Manchester City       24,302

League table to 02 March 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         27 10  3  0 25  3 11  2  1 25  5 21  5  1  50   8  42  68
 2 Manchester Utd  28 10  4  0 26  7  8  4  2 21 10 18  8  2  47  17  30  62
 3 Arsenal         28  8  5  1 36 17  9  2  3 28 15 17  7  4  64  32  32  58
 4 Everton         28  9  1  4 16 13  6  5  3 18 16 15  6  7  34  29   5  51
 5 Liverpool       27  9  1  3 23 10  4  3  7 18 19 13  4 10  41  29  12  43
 6 Middlesbrough   28  7  5  2 22 14  4  4  6 21 23 11  9  8  43  37   6  42
 7 Bolton Wndrs    28  6  4  4 17 12  5  3  6 19 22 11  7 10  36  34   2  40
 8 Tottenham H.    27  6  3  5 27 19  5  3  5  8 11 11  6 10  35  30   5  39
 9 Charlton Ath.   27  7  2  4 21 15  4  4  6 11 23 11  6 10  32  38  -6  39
10 Manchester City 28  5  5  4 17 12  4  4  6 17 19  9  9 10  34  31   3  36
11 Aston Villa     28  7  3  4 21 13  2  5  7 11 24  9  8 11  32  37  -5  35
12 Newcastle Utd   27  6  4  4 23 21  2  6  5 16 23  8 10  9  39  44  -5  34
13 Birmingham City 28  5  4  5 17 12  3  4  7 14 23  8  8 12  31  35  -4  32
14 Portsmouth      28  6  2  6 19 19  2  4  8 12 23  8  6 14  31  42 -11  30
15 Fulham          27  5  2  6 16 21  3  3  8 17 25  8  5 14  33  46 -13  29
16 Blackburn R.    27  3  7  4 16 18  3  3  7  8 18  6 10 11  24  36 -12  28
17 Crystal Palace  28  5  2  7 15 13  1  5  8 17 32  6  7 15  32  45 -13  25
18 Southampton     28  3  9  2 21 19  0  3 11  8 25  3 12 13  29  44 -15  21
19 Norwich City    28  3  5  6 22 28  0  6  8  6 27  3 11 14  28  55 -27  20
20 West Brom A.    27  2  7  5 11 21  0  5  8 12 28  2 12 13  23  49 -26  18

With thanks to Football 365

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