Newsletter #1105

Match views tonight of our visit to White Hart Lane for Pearce’s first game in charge. A narrow defeat, and the FA have tonight confirmed that Atouba has been charged with violent conduct following an incident that left Barton requiring stitches.

Meanwhile, the reserves contrived to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory against Wolves tonight (report to follow on Thursday), and we have continuing opinion on Pearce, players and the usual requests.

Next game: Charlton Athletic, away, 12.45pm Saturday 2 April 2005 (TV)


“All We Are Saying, Is Give Pearce A Chance”

FA Premiership – Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester City 1
White Hart Lane, Saturday March 19th 2005, Kick-off 15:00
Attendance: 35,681

Team Changes: Barton and Jordan return after suspension. Onuoha replaces Mills in Stuart Pearce’s first line-up.

Line-up: James, Onuoha (Mills, 83), Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Barton, Reyna, Bosvelt (Macken, 90), Musampa, Sibierski (Flood, 76), Fowler. Unused subs: Weaver, Sommeil.

Goal times: (16) 0-1 Defoe; (44) 1-1 Reyna; (84) 1-2 Keane.

Bookings: Dunne (89), Fowler (89), Barton (90). Sent off: None.

Referee: B. Knight – 9th game in charge since first on November 16th 1996 (1-2 defeat at Portsmouth). Not refereed City since August 31st 2002 at Maine Road when Nicolas Anelka’s hat-trick against Everton was “downgraded” to a double by the dubious goals committee. Record in charge of City: W4 D3 L2.

Comment: Stuart Pearce’s first game in charge of City, played a 4-5-1 formation, and the team gave a good account of itself, losing out to a late goal from Robbie Keane, a player I would like in our side, just to stop him scoring against us! Chinedum Onuoha’s mistake led to Spurs’ first, but he made amends with his dash down the right flank to create the equaliser just before the break.

Keane’s winner was immediately preceded by a violent elbowed assault on Joey Barton by Atouba. Barton needed several stitches in his eye wound, and the FA may take action against Atouba, who also got involved in a kafuffle with Dunne in the last minute, with the pair and Fowler being booked, and Barton following soon after. Referee Knight’s animated way of directing players towards him suggests he may have worked on the airport tarmac or Asda carpark guiding planes or cars into their parking space, and judging by his lack of control and inability to make correct decisions, he should go back to that line of work, being phased out of top flight refereeing as soon as possible.

One slightly strange comment from Pearce’s post-match interview was his view that City tired in the last fifteen minutes, which surprises me as City have not had a game for a fortnight, yet Spurs have had three matches in six days! Now we have yet another two week break until Charlton away, and there will have been a five week gap in home games by the time we play Liverpool.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of talk at the game about wanting to pay our thanks to Kevin Keegan in person at a forthcoming home game, and you couldn’t pick a better one than Liverpool. If anybody at the club reads this piece, we’d be pleased to hear your views on the possibility of this happening? [Agreed Steve! – Ed]

Trivia: This was City’s 175th 2-1 away League defeat.

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


After eagerly awaiting SP’s first game in charge, I was bitterly disappointed with the team selection. Again there was a total lack of pace. Why no BWP up front with Fowler? Again we suffer Sibierski in a “free rôle” contributing next to nothing. Why no Lee Croft after his cameo against Bolton followed by a good game for the reserves? This time we suffer Claudio Reyna as a right winger! Now I think he’s a neat and tidy player (when fit) but not exactly a speed merchant on the wing.

I’m afraid if Mr Pearce wants the job on a full time basis then more bolder decisions need to be made. He who dares wins!

P.S. All teams in the Premiership that played 4-5-1 lost yesterday! Food for thought?

Mike Cooke <Mikecooke321(at)>


BBC Interview

Reporter: What happened with the Joey Barton incident?
SP: I’m not sure. There was definite contact between Joey and Tim Atouba but what it was about or what happened I don’t know. He [Joey] will be alright in a couple of weeks and we’ll all forget all about it.


SP: What happened Joey?
JB: He elbowed me.
SP: Did you do anything to provoke that reaction?
JB: No nothing. Well apart from having a kick at him with my right leg as he tried to go past me.
SP: OK I’ll play it down on the TV interview and the FA may overlook that and concentrate on the elbow which is unforgiveable.

If this is the way SP will conduct his interviews well done. Rather than get in a schoolboy argument about who started it and which was worse, to say it’s a big boys’ game, and then let the headmasters sort it out was, I thought, astute, mature and professional.

If Stuart Pearce has a perceived problem his accent can make him sound a bit ‘fick’. This he certainly isn’t. I have listened to him over a number of years and he always talks a lot of sense and shows a lot of intelligence as well as a lot of passion for the game, and he’s desperate to prove himself.

People are talking, quite rightly because it is obviously the case, that he has until the end of the season to prove himself. This he can only do with the players available. What I am sure he is also doing is preparing his blueprint for the future, Players out, players in etc.

I just hope he gets the required results in this ‘trial’ period because if he doesn’t we’ll never know what he may have done, except I have this horrible feeling that we may be looking back at one of the best managers we could have had enjoying success elsewhere.

As Ernie said: “Give Pearce A Chance”

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


The result went against Stuart Pearce, but everything else was in his favour: the players all gave their best, Stu motivated the players, and probably deserved a draw.

I think Stuart Pearce should be judged not by results alone; of course it will be nice to get wins. Did Stu pick the right team? He was bold enough to play Nedum Onuoha in place of the senior Danny Mills, which sends a message to all the younger players – you too can make this team if you play well enough. Claudio Reyna steps up to be counted and scored a very good goal.

I have been disappointed in KiKi; at first I felt that he will have to get used to the faster game of the EPL and needed some time to adjust. He might still come through but I feel that he has missed some good opportunities to score, which did not need pace.

We missed the chance of signing Andy Reid, even when the club knew Anelka was going to leave; enough money should have been made available then. It’s too late now, as they say it’s water under the bridge. Stu inherited the players at City, he didn’t sign any of them, the only big plus he has, is that he knows the players. We must remember Stu has not inherited a top striker, and SWP has been injured.

So I say nine games to judge Stuart Pearce is unfair, it’s like telling him these are your players now go out and work a miracle, and if you do we will give you the job. So I say give Stuart Pearce a contract, a rolling contract for the first season and then go from there, let him and the club keep Shaun Wright-Phillips, sign a new and decent striker, and if KiKi does not improve a left sided player in place of KiKi. [Sun Jihai will be back for next season – Ed]

Some players who are at City will have to be let go, they should not even be part of the squad. Let Stuart Pearce play with his team of players that are his true players, that’s how he should be judged as a manager.

Of course Stu would be very limited for funds, but he has got to be given some, the team needs to be strengthened but not from the sale of SWP. The rich teams keep getting richer; the only way City can beat the system is with the best players from the Academy; these players are our future and we must hang on to them, to be part of a top notch squad of players.

So what do you City fans feel about Stuart Pearce’s trial? Is it going to be a fair one?

I think Stuart Pearce has got what it takes to be a good manager; he will motivate players, he will give the younger players their chance if they prove to be good enough, and we have many. He will of course have to change the present coaching staff and bring in his own.

Good luck Psycho.

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


It seems a thankless task being a football club manager, it’ a thankless task when the manager always gets the bullet over poor results, lack of setting targets etc., and we can’t sack players for the same things.

I think every contract should have a performance based clause in it. We need to be able to sack players (as well as managers). To often a player gets away with murder, Danny Mills being a prime example. Instead of mouthing off to anyone who will listen, maybe it would be better to let your feet do the talking on the pitch. It seems that players have too much say these days. Kevin Keegan signed both David James and Mills and this is how they repay him, by running him into the ground. Nice one boys!

So a new manager and the same result, so what’s the common denominator? The players.

Just a final thought: Joey Barton, stand up and take a bow. For someone that had his moments with Keegan, I thought his reaction to thank Keegan for his first team place showed real class; maybe you’e growing up after all. Well done son.

They didn’t show the Spurs game on NZ Sky, so I am waiting for the highlight package, should be a short one!

Still, there’s always next week, or the week after, or the week after that.

Good luck Stuart Pearce, watch out for the knives in the back.

Yes I’ll still be supporting City next week, the week after, the week after that, next season and the season after that.

You gotta luv City, Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Psycho knows what it takes to be a true leader and captain, and the moment he relieves Sylvain Distin of the captain’s armband, his team will grow, something Kevin should have done a long time ago.

All good players want to be led by someone who puts every effort into making his team play better, both vocally and physically; sadly this has been one of the reasons the team has suffered in the past.

Come on City.

Gary Sullivan <gary(at)>


I feel moved to respond to Fred Rosenfeld’s extremely sarcastic piece in MCIVTA 1103 mainly because for the first few lines I actually agreed with his point. It is vital that we are entertained at the match, which is why I think big Sam would be the wrong appointment for us (among other reasons).

However, the onslaught that follows is quite ridiculous. Your suggestion is that the “fan” will find fault whatever the team is true. Why? Because any team is as strong as its weakest link and whatever the situation there will always be as “weakest link” even if it is relatively strong (Chelsea fans probably have players who cause them to groan when they’re about to come on).

I fully except that the team is a whole and comparative performances have to be judged as such and in that regard I feel the new full backs this season have better positional sense, leading to Dunne and Distin being dragged wide less and as a result more solid through the middle. However, to suggest that the poor performances of the various players mentioned is a result of this is laughable. In fact these players with the exception of Sun all have something in common. They are all slow. Macca and Sinclair used to be fast and this is what’s led to their loss of ability. It’s not that Macca does anything bad and he keeps the ball well, it’s just he no longer has the pace to pass men and leave them behind. Players can decrease in ability and they all do, just at different times. Unfortunately KK as a player without major pace but immense ability maybe didn’t appreciate how the loss of pace can hinder a player.

The suggestion that the fans criticize the players is also laughable considering Fowler has often thanked the fans for their support and despite the fact that his signing and subsequent departure of Bernstein was a pivotal moment in our resurgence stopping, he is rarely if ever given abuse.

In fact I have been surprised since the move – given the poor performances, the lack of abuse aimed towards the team.

Finally, I would like to mention the myth about the new stadium ruining the atmosphere. It’s simply not true. The atmosphere was poor for years before we moved. This was brought home to me at the derby. The team names were being read out and the opposition’s were being booed. Now I’ve been a season ticket holder for around 14 yesrs and am pretty sure when I first started going this was done to every team, not just the scum. I can’t remember when this stopped but it was definitely well before we left Maine Road. Maybe it was just my youth that made it seem louder but would appreciate anyone else’s thoughts on that.

Oh and a just a thought – if we beat Spurs and Charlton we’ll be back on for Europe – come on the Blues.

Adam Gardner <adamgardner100(at)>


Did anyone else notice on Football Focus that Gordon Strachan called the City job a good job after the link guy (whose name escapes me) called it a difficult one for Stuart Pearce?

I reckon Strachan has his eye on the City post. I know a lot of people will be against that because of his association with United (I can never understand such a response, didn’t Matt Busby play for City?) and the fact that he took some time out from Soton. As to the latter all of us 50 somethings need a rest now and then – not only to recharge our batteries but also to review our priorities. Clearly, Strachan has done that and now feels like he’s ready for the hurley-burley of management again.

Incidentally, how many other readers were disappointed with Pearce’s selections vis-a-vis totally leaving out Croft and continuing to select Sibierski (I cannot believe he is regarded as being better than Jonny Mack)?

Ian Burgess <i.burgess(at)>


Silly Season arrives early at CoMS. A pot boiler of a novel with more intrigue, speculation and denials than the da Vinci code. The truth is out there… possibly.

So who are the runners and riders?

The latest odds were 5-1 for O’Neill in Ladbrokes, down from 11-1 a week ago and 8-1 on William Hill. So it’s worth shopping around for your flutter. O’Neill posted an angry denial that he plans to be here (Celtic) this week and the week after (but he stopped short of the week after that).

Jose Mourinho look-a-like Iain Dowie is at 8-1 and has emerged as a candidate probably because his family still lives in Oldham.

Trevor Francis is an outsider at 66-1. Sir Bobby Robson favours slightly better at 50-1. Bryan Robson also features probably because he lives around the corner to Graham Souness, Kevin Keegan (at the moment) and Robbie Savage in Hale.

I can’t be bothered remembering the odds on George Graham, Fat Ron, Joe Royle, Steve (9 and a half days, I’m here for the long haul) Coppell and a certain short ginger head excitable chap – Alan Ball but another short ginger called Gordon Strachan also makes the cut, disappointingly. Paul Jewell (Wigan) was mentioned on Radio 5 Live this morning as another target for the MCFC board. Alan Curbishley has (allegedly) just bought a house in Bowdon so says a “muppet caller” on Century FM from good authority by a local estate agent so he must be in with a chance. Ronald Koeman, Monsieur Le Guen and another Dutch man are also mentioned.

So take your pick. And…

SWP is taking home Spanish lessons so says a language tutor from Altrincham College of Arts as reported in the Daily Mirror (summer move to Barcelona is the speculation of this premium newspaper). Oh how after his last visit to Spain SWP must be thrilled to be in the company of racist Spaniards who still think General Franco was a good president.

Is it all horlicks? The truth is in there somewhere, possibly.

One thing for sure is with 9 games to go, Pearce has targeted 27 more points to finish. Game on.

Let’s have Talking Heads’ signature tune at the next home game: “Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est fa fa fa fa fa fa fa”

Philip Lines <philipjlines(at)>


There is no vacancy at Manchester City. We have a manager, his name is Stuart Pearce, please pass this message on to the Mirror, Sun, etc. All aboard for the SP experience, I can’t wait.

Keep the faith.

Phil <XPHILLEE(at)>


Well, as not to become like another Chelsea, does anyone agree with me for the first time in the club’s history we get in a foreigner?

As we all know now how the game has changed over the years, with different styles being played, as we all wish Stuart well as a hard man is maybe what we need, your comments on a foreigner folks, at the end of the day we need someone who can do the job.

Tim Berry <timberry(at)>


Thanks to Ernie Barrow for his brilliant Give Pearce a Chance song in MCIVTA. It got me thinking about a top ten of songs for our new manager.

  1. Pearce on Earth – U2
  2. Pearce not War – Mud Family
  3. Pearce Train – Cat Stevens
  4. Pearce in our Time – Elvis Costello
  5. Pearce at Last – Robb Johnson
  6. Pearce – Norah Jones
  7. Can we Sing a Song of Pearce – Trad.
  8. Come to the Prince of Pearce – Trad.
  9. Fanfare for Pearce – Trad.
  10. Pearce of my Heart – Bryan Ferry.

Now all we need is a top band like Doves to record them all for us.

Scott Kinch <scott_kinch(at)>


I have two spare tickets for Charlton. They are in the City end and priced at £25.00 each.

Kevin Hogan <kevin.x1(at)>


The new DVD “Manchester City Pride in Battle – City’s Greatest Derbies 1969-2005” is due out this week, and is available here at £14.99, that’s £5.00 off! The full details are here:

Sean Willis <seanwillis(at)>


You can vote for the original Manchester City Supporters’ website in this year’s Fan Site awards.

Voting is by visiting our homepage at and following the link, or direct at and voting for Supporters’ Home Page.



20 March 2005

Birmingham City       2 - 0  Aston Villa           29,382
Middlesbrough         1 - 3  Southampton           30,082
Liverpool             2 - 1  Everton               44,224

19 March 2005

Blackburn Rovers      0 - 1  Arsenal               22,992
Charlton Athletic     1 - 4  West Bromwich Albion  27,104
Chelsea               4 - 1  Crystal Palace        41,667
Manchester United     1 - 0  Fulham                67,959
Portsmouth            1 - 1  Newcastle United      20,165
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 1  Manchester City       35,681
Bolton Wanderers      1 - 0  Norwich City          25,081

League table to 20 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         30 12  3  0 30  4 12  2  1 28  6 24  5  1  58  10  48  77
 2 Manchester Utd  30 11  4  0 27  7  8  5  2 21 10 19  9  2  48  17  31  66
 3 Arsenal         30  9  5  1 39 17 10  2  3 29 15 19  7  4  68  32  36  64
 4 Everton         30  9  1  5 16 14  6  5  4 19 18 15  6  9  35  32   3  51
 5 Liverpool       30 10  2  3 25 11  4  3  8 18 20 14  5 11  43  31  12  47
 6 Bolton Wndrs    30  7  4  4 18 12  6  3  6 20 22 13  7 10  38  34   4  46
 7 Charlton Ath.   30  8  2  5 24 19  4  5  6 11 23 12  7 11  35  42  -7  43
 8 Tottenham H.    30  7  3  5 29 20  5  3  7  8 14 12  6 12  37  34   3  42
 9 Middlesbrough   30  7  5  3 23 17  4  4  7 21 25 11  9 10  44  42   2  42
10 Newcastle Utd   29  7  4  4 24 21  2  7  5 17 24  9 11  9  41  45  -4  38
11 Aston Villa     30  8  3  4 23 13  2  5  8 11 26 10  8 12  34  39  -5  38
12 Manchester City 30  5  5  5 17 13  4  4  7 18 21  9  9 12  35  34   1  36
13 Birmingham City 30  6  4  5 19 12  3  4  8 14 25  9  8 13  33  37  -4  35
14 Blackburn R.    30  3  7  5 16 19  4  4  7  9 18  7 11 12  25  37 -12  32
15 Portsmouth      30  6  3  6 20 20  2  4  9 12 26  8  7 15  32  46 -14  31
16 Fulham          29  5  3  6 16 21  3  3  9 17 26  8  6 15  33  47 -14  30
17 Southampton     30  4  9  2 22 19  1  3 11 11 26  5 12 13  33  45 -12  27
18 Crystal Palace  30  5  3  7 15 13  1  5  9 18 36  6  8 16  33  49 -16  26
19 West Brom A.    30  3  7  5 13 21  1  5  9 16 30  4 12 14  29  51 -22  24
20 Norwich City    30  3  5  7 23 31  0  6  9  6 28  3 11 16  29  59 -30  20

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1105