Newsletter #1113

A draw at Fulham on Saturday; reports and stats tonight thanks to Jeff, Dave and Steve. News on an award for City, player views past and present and the usual requests.

Finally, the reserves contrived to throw away their excellent season’s work tonight in a dire game at Forest.

Next game: Birmingham City, home, 7.45pm Wednesday 20 April 2005


Psycho named a side unchanged from the one that started against Liverpool, but SWP replaced the unfortunate Croft on the bench. City kicked off with the Blue Army to their backs in the Putney End and proceeded to enter into a head tennis, keep the ball off the ground, game with Fulham for 15 minutes. When Fowler decided to bring the ball down he delivered a great cross to Sibierski who saw Reyna gleefully bang his rebounded header over the prostrate van der Sar.

Backed by a crowd as vociferous as a flock of dead sheep, the Cottagers managed to counter with some useful attacks; Dunne cleared a goalbound McBride effort, the very tall Zak Knight managed a couple of free headers from set pieces. City continued to lack punch up front with an offside Barton miss being the only notable effort. Fulham continued to press with the over-the-hill, ex-Rag, Mandy Pole fluffing his obligatory gilt-edged opportunity. The half ended as Boa Mortem ‘megged Dunney to find himself through on goal only to pay homage to Mandy by dragging a good chance wide of the post.

No changes for either side during the break and City had the advantage of attacking the City fans (well, not literally). Given their predicament near the bottom of the table, Fulham did raise the tempo, but not to a level that you would expect for a team needing points to ensure safety. Their crowd really were poor, only managing to excite themselves into a 10 second chant on 50 minutes before resting their tired lungs.

City defended well enough as the team in white shirts and a snazzy (not) black sleeve pushed. Unfortunately the Blues could not adequately clear their lines to muster a meaningful counter. As the game wore on Mandy P laughably missed another chance while we attempted to add to the humour with a couple of dreadful set-pieces i.e. short corner that resulted in an immediate throw-in and a long corner easily cleared by the 1st defender.

Barton then succumbed to a bout of cheekiness, wickedly turned his marker and threaded a ball through for Robbie to gleefully smash home with his left foot, but no. Fowler was on his right foot and missed by a mile to the encouraging, but undeserved, applause of the away fans.

Around the hour mark Fowler was replaced by SWP, who played as a striker. I assume Robbie was injured as the better option would have been to remove the ineffectual Sibierski. Coleman, not to be outdone, replaced Malbranque with (I’ve got a head the size of a lodging house cat) Radzinski and the banana footed Cole for Collins John.

A crucial point in the match was upon us when Barton played in Musampa who had his shot smothered by van der Sar. The resulting breakaway saw James spill a cross, after a foul by McBride, into the path of Boa Morte who rifled a shot into net for 1-1 on 75 minutes. The Fulham fans once again emerged reluctantly from their siesta to muster a couple of cheers, a dozen claps, two hoots and a cheeky jig to the stupid ‘goal song’ à la Middlesbrough.

City retaliated with a couple more disappointing set-pieces and Dunne was booked after a goalmouth scramble, which would have seen him score if he could have got the ball out from under his feet. Musampa then had a glorious chance to restore the lead when he found himself in space and on his favoured left-sided limb. Unfortunately he lacked composure and put his shot well over, leaving van der Sar untested. This was to be Kiki’s last contribution as he was substituted for BWP (again it would have been better to remove Sibierski).

As the game petered out, the large headed Radzinski continued the theme with a missed chance. The referee (who had been poor all game) blew for full time and drew an average game to a close. A draw was probably a fair result, but both sides would surely dwell on a host of missed chances.

Good points were that Barton was commanding in midfield, Dunne and Distin handled almost everything thrown at them and SWP played 30 minutes. Downside was Sibierski not seeming to know if he is a midfielder or a striker and not performing either rôle well. And obviously the rank finishing when chances pop-up.

Jeff Roycroft <jeff.roycroft(at)>


The Robster is starting to look the part in the team, but still not a good enough return of goals. I always wholeheartedly support him on the pitch. However, I would still offload if we could get anything like our money back. It has taken him too long to still be achieving 1 in 4. BWP’s cameos are growing in confidence and I’d be happy to see him come on earlier now, or give him and Croft a run out from the off. I thought the sub yesterday would have been for Reyna, but when Fowler came off it did make sense. I bow to SP’s greater tactical awareness and think his subs have been good, if not a little too late at times. Knight was terrified every time the ball came near SWP and got anything on it to clear it away. The problem seemed to be our service to Shaun was poor. SWP looks like he has reached the point where he knows he is top dog. Not arrogant, just very confident and it is a joy to see a player fulfilling his potential. He will get another bite at England and I hope he carries this confidence with him on to the higher level. It will only be good for us. BWP will be the key to keeping him around and building a team that can challenge for honours. This is the only way we can justify keeping hold of Shaun and is exactly what we should be aiming to do.

The quality in midfield is way too short. We lost that battle for the last 15 minutes and were hanging on a bit. Joey Barton has been my player of the season (closely followed by Dunne, SWP and Distin in that order) and worked tirelessly again yesterday. However, he cannot carry the whole midfield for players to drift in and out when they fancy it. The game changed on Kiki’s second good chance. The endeavour is now there – criminal that it wasn’t there before. I’d give Bosvelt another year’s contract merely because I want some wholesale changes with Sibbo, Reyna, Macca, Negouai, Sommeil all shown the door. So Bozzy would keep a bit of stability. Musampa is looking good just because he has a left foot. I like it when he gets stuck in, and at times his challenges were full on yesterday. He is also tricky with his feet, but lacks any pace, and still stamina, to become an effective player in the Permiership. As soon as defenders suss him out, he’ll be spent, IMHO. Again, Owusu-Abeyie, Mila and Raziack look a good bet as a starter for ten.

Pleased again with Pearce. The job is his for the taking now. The board are playing it right for me. They made the call to make SP manager and to review it in summer. Changing any decision on the review time would be impatient and lose a position of strength for the club long-term. SP is planning for the future and the board will rubber stamp that with whatever support they can muster and the long term contract he deserves in the summer. At that time it will give the team the boost it needs for a renewed campaign where we can seriously target Europe and get in on merit. As soon as the stamp comes out, we can start wheeling and dealing to sort out the deadwood and add a bit of quality to a strong backbone.

Finally, news on the terrace yesterday was that we are monitoring the situation on Kiki’s brother Chris. Unfortunately he will not be available until around December!

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Reyna Strike Keeps USA Theme Going in Manchester!

Sat 16 April 2005
FA Premiership
Fulham 1 Manchester City 1
Craven Cottage
Kick-off 15:00
Attendance: 21,796

Team Changes: Shaun Wright-Phillips returns to action as a second half substitute.

Line-up: James, Onuoha, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Barton, Reyna, Bosvelt, Musampa (B. Wright-Phillips, 86), Sibierski, Fowler (S. Wright-Phillips, 62).
Unused subs: Weaver, Mills, Thatcher.

Goal times: (20) 1-0 Reyna; (76) 1-1 Boa Morte.

Bookings: Dunne (82). Sent off: None. Referee: Neale Barry – 10th game in charge of a City match, and the first since the 3-0 defeat at Newcastle in November 2003. The only two wins under his control were the 2-0 win at Port Vale on September 10th 1996 (his first), and the fantastic 2-1 win at Anfield, the week before the last ever game at Maine Road in May 2003. His record: W2, D2, L6.

Comment: Good start for City, with Reyna scoring his 2nd goal in recent away matches, but Fulham largely controlled the second half after Robbie Fowler was replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips on the hour mark, which effectively killed off City’s attacking threat.

Website update: Photo of Jonathan D’Laryea and photo/autograph of Kiki Musampa (taken at Fulham) have now been updated, along with more detailed birthplace info for D’Laryea, Onuoha and Flood.

MCFCStats: Did you know that 1-1 is the City’s most common League away result, which has now happened 245 times out of 2052 matches? In these away League games, City have scored 1 goal 733 times (35.72%), and conceded 1 goal 623 times (30.36%). The next most common away League result is 0-1, which has happened 189 times. Click MATCHES then RESULTS GRIDS for serious statistical breakdowns!

League matches played comparison – after 33 games played, City have 41 points, which is 7 more than the same stage last season. The sequence for the final 5 games last season was LDWLW (7 points). In short, one more point sees an improvement on last season.

League opponents like-for-like comparison – after 33 games, City’s performance in like-for-like fixtures (last season’s relegated teams replaced by this season’s promoted ones), is as follows: Better in 12, worse in 9, and the same in 12. The net effect is City are 5 points better off so far. In the remaining fixtures, City’s like-for-like results were DWDDL (6 points).

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


We managed to throw away any chance of winning the league tonight with an abject performance at the City Ground against a lowly Forest side. Line-ups below, City were again with Thatcher and Macca.

We should have known this was going to be a difficult task, given that the journey there involved a rather lengthy detour around West Bridgford and other Nottingham suburbs in a bid to evade Robin Hood or his modern day gun-toting equivalent. Once safely at the ground, the Forest staff were helpful and pleasant as usual.

We started well, and on 2 minutes Bermingham sent a rasping right-footed shot from 25 yards out into the top corner of the net. This is what we want. Croft and Ireland were harrying in midfield, and we were soon on the break gain with another Croft pass through to Bermingham but the flag happy linesman (presumably rehearsing for his May Day Morris Dancing routine) ruled the first of numerous City offsides. Forest then had a half attempt on our goal, which was swiftly followed by a great chance from the impressive Weir-Daley but fortunately Schmeichel made the save. The game seemed to be turning in their favour as City’s midfield were all over the place. McManaman soon gave the ball away and left City exposed on the right and Ekoku scored for the home side on 30 minutes. Thatcher then managed a careless foul on Hanson and was duly awarded a yellow card. Half time and a pep talk from the coaching staff could not come soon enough.

No changes were made, and we were devoid of ideas or cohesion on the pitch. Within a couple of minutes Forest were awarded a free kick just on the right side of the City area. The ball was lifted over the two man wall, onto the head of Fernandez and past Schmeichel. A nicely worked set piece and all credit to them. 2-1.

We then had a couple of attempts on goal thanks to Croft and Negouai combinations, but headers went just wide. Negouai was then replaced by young Miller, who saw another glancing header over the bar, and the ineffective McManaman was then replaced by Bennett. City then managed to put a bit of pressure back on Forest, with a free kick just to the right of the area taken by Thatcher, which sailed right past the goal and any blue shirts.

Forest rounded off an easy game for them as Bastians ran through completely unmarked into the City area, collected a pass and hit home to make it 3-1.

No idea what had got into City tonight, but despite the senior players doing well in last week’s home game, this week they were a hindrance. Were it not for the 16 year old Richards back in defence mopping up for the mistakes and pushing forward into midfield when possible, we could have been on the end of an embarrassing scoreline. It was impossible to tell just what sort of system or formation City were trying to play tonight, and sorry to go on about him but McManaman in midfield was working against us rather than for us in terms of confusing our own players rather than the opposition.

Looks like we will be making do with the Thomas Cook plate for this season’s silverware. Disappointed is an understatement.

City: Schmeichel, Warrender, Richards, Collins, Thatcher, Croft, D’Laryea, Ireland, McManaman (Bennett), Bermingham, Negouai (Miller).

Forest: Gamble, Hanson, Vickerton, Beaumont, Fernandez, Roberts, Wilmet, Jess, Ekoku, Weir-Daley, Bastians.

Heidi <editor(at)>


Manchester City have won two awards in the Manchester Tourism Awards 2005.

The Manchester City Experience won Small Visitor Attraction of the Year and Business Tourism Award of the Year.

[Congratulations to Gary and the team at City – Ed]

Chris Hulme <comstad(at)>


Phil, I agree wholeheartedly with some of your comments about Jon Macken, but unfortunately I believe that he has wasted his chance(s). You’re right, against Charlton his hold-up play was top-class, a fact that many fail to recognise. It’s something that’s always mentioned in press articles about Macken – his hold-up play, but it really is good. It’s also something that Sibierski, Anelka (who was cr*p at it – watch the last OT derby and you’ll see what I mean) and to a lesser degree Fowler are less proficient at.

Watching the chances Macken missed against Charlton again, I noticed how he did much to make these chances for himself, carving up the defence with a clever one-two. However, Macken missed 2 great chances and 1 half chance in the 2nd half set up by Fowler, which he lacked the pace to get onto. If Macken had taken any one of those chances then the opinion would be one of praise rather than criticism, but ultimately he and Musampa cost City the game with their poor finishing.

I was all for giving Macken a chance last season and earlier this season as he’d never been given a long run in the team. But this season he’s made 15 league starts, 7 subs for 1 goal. One solitary, measly goal. Only once has a goal had its net ruffled by a strike by Jonny Mac.

In contrast, BWP managed to equal this staggering tally within 3 minutes of his Premier League début at age 19. He’s now only got one more goal to get before he breaks even with Macken’s all-time top flight record of 2! So I think that whilst Jonny is an ok squad player, he’s proven (to me at least) that he should be nothing more.

CTID, Nick Durham <nickdurham(at)>


I read with interest David Buxton’s article/translation in MCIVTA 1112 and would like to link in with what he says about Bernd/Bert Trautmann.

Interestingly enough, Herr Trautmann popped up in a programme that was commissioned by UKTV History called ‘1945’. As a City fan myself I recognised Bert immediately. I work for BBC Broadcast via UKTV History and the channel has a season of programmes to commemorate V for Victory i.e. the end of the War in Europe.

There is a lovely interview with Bert and another former Wehrmacht POW talking about reconciliation after the war. The episode in particular focuses on the German POW’s in Britain once the war finished and what they did thereafter. There is wonderful footage of Bert standing on the steps of Manchester Town Hall after the 1956 Cup victory over Birmingham telling the adoring crown to hush. There is also the obligatory footage of Bert in action playing on despite a broken neck. There is much more too but perhaps most poignant of all is how Bert describes himself as ‘more’ British than German and how when he is in Germany he is often called ‘Tommy’ in light of his Anglicisation.

For anyone that is interested in WW2 History check it out. It is on UKTV History weeknights at 22:00 or visit UKTV’s website It really is a moving interview and I would urge any City young or old to check it out. I do not have the exact episode details to hand but a search of the website should reveal all.

Long live Bert.

Paul Odusanya <Paulo(at)>


I think it was Dave Clinton’s article about the badge in the last MCIVTA and it got me thinking (whoever it was!).

Is it me or would anyone else like us to go back to what to me is the traditional circular badge of the 70’s 80’s and 90’s?

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


Well according to my company secretary, Amanda, Rae Ingram is now a salesperson for Vehicle Consulting, a leasing firm.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


I have a spare ticket for City Brum on Weds. Face value £25. Call me on 07966 157464. I can meet at Spiral V at 7:00pm – 7:30pm.

Philip Lines <philip.lines(at)>


Browsing through the True Blue stories on the Supporters’ Homepage, I came across one by David Brierley way back from MCIVTA 610. I’m sure, from the content, that this is an old friend of mine from donkeys years ago and I’d like to get in touch with him again.

So David, last known in the USA, if you’re still reading McV or if anybody knows where he is, please can they get in contact with me?

Rob Gittins <RobGittins2000(at)>


I am hoping somebody out there can help me. I am trying to trace which Irish theme pub ‘Paddy the Blue’ runs in Amsterdam? I did have his address, but lost it!

As I’ll be in Amsterdam in early May, I’d like to pay a visit to the pub.

Any help you could offer would be most appreciated.

Eric Rawson <slicric(at)>


Any of you who are/were planning to go to the World Cup in Germany will by now have heard FIFA’s plans to charge anyone without a Mastercard (one of the competition’s sponsors) a surcharge for tickets.

This is something that the consumer group Which? have approached the FSF about, asking us to gauge fans’ opinions. We have therefore set up a very simple poll on the home page of our website However, if Which? are going to be able to challenge FIFA legally, we need a result very quickly on this one (before next week, in fact).

With this in mind you would be doing us, and anyone planning to go to the World Cup, a massive favour if you could take literally a minute to vote in our poll, especially given that the vote is set up so that each visitor to the site can only vote once.

If you could also pass this e-mail on to any football fans you know, fanzines, webzines or other internet sites, it would also be much appreciated.

Peter Daykin, FSF


Written by Geoff from Manchester (does this give you a clue?).

  1. I was born in Manchester, 10 minutes’ walk from Maine Road.
  2. Er…
  3. That’s it.

P.S. Sorry, but it’s got nothing to do with Wolverhampton, America, New York, Lower East Side, Mets, Jets, Wets, Pets, Vets, Yankees, Hankies, my favourite beer or the wife.

But I suppose that’s not annoying enough to get me into the fanzine.

[Shame he couldn’t or wouldn’t put his name to it then – Ed]

Geoff, or Peter <Peter.Tait(at)>


16 April 2005

Charlton Athletic     1 - 2  Bolton Wanderers      26,708
Crystal Palace        3 - 3  Norwich City          25,754
Fulham                1 - 1  Manchester City       21,796
Liverpool             2 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     44,029
Southampton           2 - 3  Aston Villa           31,926
Birmingham City       0 - 0  Portsmouth            28,883

League table to 17 April 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         32 12  4  0 31  5 13  2  1 31  7 25  6  1  62  12  50  81
 2 Arsenal         32 10  5  1 43 18 11  2  3 30 15 21  7  4  73  33  40  70
 3 Manchester Utd  32 11  5  0 27  7  8  5  3 21 12 19 10  3  48  19  29  67
 4 Everton         32 10  1  5 20 14  6  5  5 19 19 16  6 10  39  33   6  54
 5 Bolton Wndrs    33  8  4  4 21 13  7  3  7 22 24 15  7 11  43  37   6  52
 6 Liverpool       33 11  3  3 28 13  4  3  9 18 21 15  6 12  46  34  12  51
 7 Tottenham H.    33  8  3  5 30 20  5  5  7 11 17 13  8 12  41  37   4  47
 8 Middlesbrough   32  7  5  4 23 18  5  4  7 22 25 12  9 11  45  43   2  45
 9 Aston Villa     33  8  4  4 24 14  4  5  8 17 28 12  9 12  41  42  -1  45
10 Charlton Ath.   33  8  3  6 27 23  4  5  7 13 27 12  8 13  40  50 -10  44
11 Manchester City 33  6  5  5 18 13  4  6  7 21 24 10 11 12  39  37   2  41
12 Birmingham City 33  6  6  5 20 13  3  5  8 15 26  9 11 13  35  39  -4  38
13 Newcastle Utd   31  7  4  5 24 24  2  7  6 17 25  9 11 11  41  49  -8  38
14 Blackburn R.    32  4  7  5 19 19  4  5  7  9 18  8 12 12  28  37  -9  36
15 Portsmouth      33  7  3  6 24 22  2  5 10 13 29  9  8 16  37  51 -14  35
16 Fulham          32  6  4  6 20 23  3  3 10 18 29  9  7 16  38  52 -14  34
17 West Brom A.    32  4  7  5 14 21  1  6  9 17 31  5 13 14  31  52 -21  28
18 Southampton     33  4  9  4 25 25  1  3 12 11 29  5 12 16  36  54 -18  27
19 Crystal Palace  33  5  4  8 18 17  1  5 10 18 40  6  9 18  36  57 -21  27
20 Norwich City    33  4  5  7 25 31  0  7 10 10 35  4 12 17  35  66 -31  24

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1113