Newsletter #1184

After the success of the youth team on Monday night, City’s reserves stumbled through 90 minutes to a draw with WBA. Ed obviously picked the wrong game to watch this week. We have reports on both matches tonight.

A very Happy Christmas to all our readers.

Heidi and Don.

Next games: Wigan Athletic, away, 3pm Monday 26 December 2005
Chelsea, home, 7.45pm Wednesday 28 December 2005


General News

(Not Too Much) Christmas Spirit: SP has spelt out to his players what will happen if they break the club’s disciplinary code at the Christmas party this year. As if we could forget, last season’s infamous night saw Joey Barton burn a youth team player’s eyelid with a cigar in a nightclub, and Pearce will not tolerate any repeat antics this time around. Whilst Pearce would be loath to prevent his squad enjoying the traditional festive shindig, he insists there will be no leniency should they misbehave. “I’m not going to turn round and tell my players they can’t go out,” said Pearce. “All 92 clubs up and down the country will have a Christmas do. But the players are aware of what will happen if they step out of line.” I think I’d behave if Psycho had given me a warning like that.

Hammers Hammered: There was a breathtaking performance by City’s young stars in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup. Playing West Ham at Upton Park, the Blues were four goals up inside the first half hour, eventually winning the tie 4-2. Two goals from Kelvin Etuhu, and one each from Karl Moore and Danny Sturridge did the damage for City. This great show must have impressed SP, who watched the match. “It was like watching us on Saturday! There was some clinical finishing, I thought that Kelvin did extremely well up front, and we thoroughly deserved the win,” said a delighted gaffer afterwards. Academy Director Jim Cassell was even more effusive. “It was an absolutely top class performance, all the players contributed,” he said. “The first half performance was as good a performance since I have been at the club. Everything went right, everything went in and we even hit the post. We completely dominated the first half, the second was more even because we couldn’t maintain that tempo and rhythm for 90 minutes. West Ham have some good players and are a good side, but it was just our turn on the night to get everything right.” Team: Matthewson; Obeng, Logan, Williamson, Richards (McDonald 72), Marshall, Williams, Johnson, Etuhu, Sturridge (Evans 65), Moore. Subs unused: Vadon, Evans, Breen.

Poor Draw: At the other end of the scale, in terms of performance and result, was the Reserves’ rather poor draw at home to West Brom on Tuesday night. City fell behind on 17 minutes, and it took a Lee Croft strike on 76 minutes to bring the Blues level. Coach Steve Wigley said: “We’ve played well. In the first half we were trying to be too precise, we were trying to get to the byline to cross the ball, and when we put one in early in the second half we’ve scored a goal. I said to Ishmael Miller at half time to get it out of his feet and whip one in – he’s done that – Bradley’s just missed it and Crofty’s scored.” Also mentioned in dispatches: “Young Shaleum Logan’s played 90 minutes the night before in the Youth Cup and he’s come in and done a turn for us tonight. Karl Bermingham’s played at right back and done it well. But overall, I think we should have probably won the game, but we didn’t.” City: Schmeichel, Jordan, Bermingham, Logan, Ward, Laird, Croft, Musampa (Johnson 75), Miller, Fowler, Wright-Phillips. Unused subs: Evans, Matthewson, Etuhu, Breen.

Ireland for Ireland: Stephen Ireland has told the City Magazine that he’s keen to revive his international career. The 19-year-old midfielder didn’t make any representative teams for the Republic after falling out with former Ireland manager Brian Kerr, while Kerr was a Youth team coach. Now that Kerr has left his post, Ireland hopes that he may get back into the international fold. “I would love to play for Ireland, absolutely love it,” said Ireland. “If I got a cap this season then it would make my year. There is a friendly in the spring and I would love to get in that squad under the new manager, whoever that might be. I don’t know whether I am good enough, but there is only one way to really find out, and I suppose if I can hold down a place in City’s side until then it will go in my favour.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Brown on the Town: Could Michael Brown be heading back to City, five years after he left the Blues for Sheffield United for £400,000? Now at Spurs, Brown finds himself in a squad stuffed full of midfielders, so City, Birmingham and Wigan are all said to be interested (although he’ll cost a tad more than 400 grand this time around). The player says he’s happy to wait and reclaim his place in the Spurs team – at the moment. “There’s nine of us who are central midfielders and that’s why it is difficult,” admitted Brown this week. “Everybody cannot play. Sean Davis and Pedro Mendes are also not in the squad. There’s a lot of us who have to cope. I’m not asking where my future lies. It has been made clear to me that I am part of the manager’s plans. That’s what I have been told. I get on really well with the manager and played nearly every game up until I got injured. He has said to me to ‘keep going and wait for your chance.’ Obviously you do think about it the longer it goes on. But I hope to get my chance soon. I am thoroughly enjoying it at the club. I am happy to keep my head down and wait.” Michael clearly enjoys life in Manchester – your correspondent was on an early Piccadilly-Euston train last week, and who got off in London, clearly after a night out in Manc, but young Master Brown himself. Don’t think he recognised me though.

Due South for Rob? Despite SP saying that Robbie Fowler’s staying at City in January, somebody somewhere doesn’t agree, because stories about the Scouser’s departure have continued this newsweek. The Sun reported that Harry Redknapp, newly ensconced back in the Portsmouth hot seat, would be swooping for Rob in a free transfer deal come the New Year. Next day, Redknapp denied the story: “I don’t know where Robbie’s name came from – certainly not from me. I don’t even know how fit he is,” he said. Bearing in mind Redknapp’s record of double speak over the years, you could almost bet (as it were) on Harry making that Fowler swoop. A couple of Championship teams are said to be interested in the striker – Millwall and Ipswich Town. Apparently Joe Royle made a bid to sign Robbie on loan before the emergency deadline expired last month, the bid failed, but it seems Town will renew their interest in the striker when the transfer window reopens in January.

No Aloha to Onuoha: There are reports floating around that Liverpool would like to sign Nedum Onouha. Nedum says he’s flattered, but is in no hurry to exit the COMS. “There were reports that Liverpool were watching me, but I can only say I know nothing more about it,” said Onuoha. “Obviously if it’s true then it’s flattering. I would be flattered by interest from the European Champions. But that’s not to say I have any intention of leaving City. I’m very happy here, I learned my trade here and I feel very much part of Manchester City.”

Pienaar Pain: City have missed out on Steven Pienaar after the Ajax midfielder agreed to join Borussia Dortmund, a report alleges. The Bundesliga outfit had earlier this week denied reports that the 23-year-old was moving to the Westfalenstadion, but the club’s executive chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke told Kicker magazine: “He will definitely be coming in the summer at the latest.” Pienaar may even be moving to Germany in the transfer window, although that depends on Dortmund’s Tomas Rosicky completing his transfer to Atletico Madrid. Boss Man Stu had been linked with the South African ace at regular intervals over the last year, but now will have to look elsewhere in January.

Olivier Twist: An old story resurfaced this week – City are ready to rekindle their interest in Lens attacking midfielder Olivier Thomert, who could be available in a cut-price £2 million deal. City and Charlton have been keeping tabs on the player for the last six months and both were linked with the player in the summer, so it comes as no surprise to see the pair linked with Thomert again.

Ex-Blues’ News

Blackpool Rocks for Asa and Danny: Blackpool have added former City player and Reserve coach Asa Hartford to their coaching staff. The 55-year-old replaces Andy Welsh following his move to the Dark Side and the youth set-up at Trafford Wanderers. And Asa may see a face there he remembers, because Seasiders’ boss Simon Grayson has extended the loan spell of Danny Warrender for a third and final month. The 19-year-old has impressed since arriving in October, establishing himself as a regular in the full-back berth. Doubts were cast over his future following the departure of Colin Hendry from the hot-seat at Bloomfield Road last month, but Grayson has seen fit to prolong the youngster’s stay. Warrender will remain at the club until Saturday, January 21.

Reactions and Comments

Win Gets Psycho Over the Hump: City maintained their 100 percent record in front of the Sky cameras this season as they brushed aside an inept Birmingham City 4-1 at the COMS. The Blues were two up early on thanks to a rare goal from David Sommeil and penalty from Joey Barton, before Antoine Sibierski added another before half time. Substitute Bradley Wright-Phillips bagged City’s fourth with virtually his first touch although Blues had the final say when another substitute, Jiri Jarosik, netted from distance. It was a welcome boost for SP after defeat at West Brom, prompting him to say: “We told the players that they needed to lift their tempo – and to be fair, they delivered. I was pleased for them, there were some good performances there. But we still have to improve our passing. I never feel completely secure even at three or four up and we need to get more streetwise. I thought we played reasonably well in patches. I don’t really want to understate it, but I had the hump this week. Antoine came in and played very well, and Bradley – he’s shown he can do that in the reserves and that will give him a big lift. There were some good performances there.” He continued: “We could have scored in two seconds – it’s always nice when you ask them to score with a tempo and they do. I still feel as if we have to pass the ball better to kill the games off and we have to be a bit more streetwise. It was an important victory for us today. Now we have won two out of the last three and that looks better to me.”

Brucie Bonus for City: It gave the City crowd no pleasure at all (ahem) to see the travails of ex-Red Steve Bruce’s side. The former United skipper certainly didn’t try to cover up his exasperation with his players. “They couldn’t have got any worse from the first whistle,” moaned Bruce. “Tonight we were just totally, utterly pathetic. I think overall I’m totally hugely disappointed with the whole event – we got a total pasting. It was an embarrassment really what I’ve just witnessed out there. We pride ourselves on organisation and team spirit but that has just totally evaporated. As the manager who brought them here you take responsibility but some players have to stand up and be counted. The team needs emergency surgery,” he concluded.

Sibs Heads for Glory: A fair chunk of the after match coverage featured the scorers of City’s third and fourth goals, Antoine Sibierski and BWP. Sibierski told Sky Sports’ Prem Plus: “I think we won because Birmingham didn’t play really well. We have much respect for them but we won because we played a very high tempo from the first minute – I think it was the key. I am very, very happy because it was important to win after the West Brom game. That is my first goal of the season and it was not easy.” Bradley said of his goal: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it bouncing towards me, I just decided to try to hit it, get something on it and it went in. I thought it was going over Antoine’s head, but he’s got real quality in the air and with a great ball from Trevor, he’s just knocked it down and it’s dropped to me. That’s why the gaffer played him. It was between me and Antoine, but you can see why the gaffer played him. Right from the beginning he’s got a header in down to Vassell, and he got in from it. You can see why he played, he’s got real quality in the air.”

Squad News

Revolving Doors for ‘Keepers: Nicky Weaver admits he has thoroughly enjoyed his loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday. The 26-year-old, who has struggled with injury problems in recent seasons, has proved a big success during his short spell in South Yorkshire. “I’ll have played eight games if selected against Ipswich, which is what I came here to do and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” he says. “It’s been a big bonus for me to get that run of games having not played for so long. When I was a kid, I used to stand on the Kop and dream of playing in goal there but you never really think it’s going to happen. I’m very lucky it’s happened to me.” Weaver’s stay at Wednesday lasts until January 2nd. At which time, according to SP, Kasper Schmeichel will go out on the loan trail. “Nicky has extended into January, which gives him the Christmas period to get a lot more games under his belt,” said SP this week. “It will be a case of getting him back after Christmas and putting Kasper out, because Kasper needs the experience. I would like to send him out somewhere to get first-team experience, because the time is right for him now.”

Stag Do Continues: And in our third report tonight on City boys out on loan, it’s been announced that Jonathan D’laryea will be staying at Mansfield Town for another month. The 20-year-old’s deal with the League Two side now continues until January 17th. Psycho gets regular briefings from the Stags boss – “Peter Shirtliff rings me on a regular basis, which is good because when you send players out it’s nice to have a contact on a weekly basis, and he’s been absolutely delighted with him. It helps the club, it helps him as a player so everyone’s happy.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


A cold and damp Monday evening saw me leave the office and head for Upton Park. If I’m honest, I’d have probably headed for home in the Uni*ed stronghold of Essex had I not fallen victim to a nasty virus and had to suffer the galling experience the previous Saturday of paying Sky to watch a game that I had a ticket for! A quick call to Mrs. H confirmed that my sudden desire to watch the kids was fine and I headed for Cockney Central.

Upton Park has an air of expectancy about it these days (talk about déjâ vu). I paid my £3 and took a seat next to the visitors’bench. This turned out to be a smart move because I’m pretty sure that out of a crowd of about 1,200, I was the only Blue in the house. Having said that, I must say thanks to all of the locals who made me feel very welcome, even though many thought that I’d lost my marbles!

The game started with the Hammers pressing our back four, but somewhat against the run of play, Kelvin Etuhu found the ball at his feet in the home box with six minutes gone and wasted no time in putting City one up. This signalled a collapse of Brummie proportions from our hosts that saw Etuhu double the lead on ten minutes and Karl Moore volley City out of sight on 13 minutes. The City bench and lone Blue were celebrating wildly, but more was to come. After a scare when a speculative long range West Ham effort hit the bar and the follow up header hit the post with the referee’s assistant frantically flagging for offside, City took the game back to the hosts and on the half hour mark were rewarded with a fourth goal from Daniel Sturridge. City finished the first period in totally in control and came off to warm applause from the home fans.

West Ham came roaring out of the blocks for the second half, but had their rhythm interrupted by a rash of substitutions, one of which pleased the lonely Blue no end. David Cowley had caused most of the problems that City had faced in the game and was inexplicably replaced. The Hammers continued to huff and puff to no avail as the City midfield and back four snuffed out their attacking threat. Micah Richards was particularly impressive, as were Ashley Williams and Sam Williamson.

Time wound on with the Blues absorbing everything West Ham had to throw at them. Sturridge was replaced by Ched Evans who proceeded to win everything in the air and was almost rewarded for his hard work after 71 minutes when he intercepted a lazy pass from the West Ham ‘keeper, but sent a rather tame effort straight back into a very grateful goalkeeper’s arms. McDonald had replaced Richards just prior to this incident (no doubt the management had an eye on the upcoming reserve fixture versus West Brom) and whilst West Ham mounted sporadic raids on the City goal, our lads looked very comfortable until the 85th minute when the referee decided to liven up the proceedings by gifting the home side a penalty. All of the players looked perplexed (as did just about everybody else in the ground), but Hogan Eprhaim stepped up to smash the ball past Laurence Matthewson who had had little to trouble him, save for the odd high ball, all evening. City took the game back to the hosts and in the 89th minute, Michael Johnson thundered a 25 yarder against the home bar. The strike was good enough to draw applause from the home crowd and deserved better, but the final word belonged to the hosts, who, with two minutes of three minutes added time elapsed scored with a deflected effort from Ishmael Welsh to peg City back to a less than flattering 4-2. Most of the locals were generous enough to congratulate me and tell me that City could have scored eight or nine on the night with a touch more luck.

I’d never been to watch a youth game before this one and I was pleasantly surprised. The standard of the football was high (but you’d expect that given the teams involved) and I had a very pleasant evening with the home fans, who obviously appreciate a good team when they see one. It’s hard to single any one of the City team out for praise because they all did such a good job, but aside from Micah Richards, look out for Williams and Johnson. Sturridge and Etuhu may get the rave reviews for their scoring exploits but these are two hard workers with a touch of skill who deserve to go far.

Andy Howell <andy.howell(at)>


In our final reserve fixture before the festive season, City hosted our season opening opponents WBA. The score was to end up the same as the reverse fixture in August, but the game was nothing like.

Line-ups below, with City fielding a mish-mash of experienced players on their way back from injury and rotation due to the youth cup game. To be honest, I’m struggling to find anything positive to say about the game so I’ll keep it short. I’m regretting having chosen the reserves game over the trip to Upton Park on Monday night!

WBA came to defend, kept themselves organised and had 10 men behind the ball for the majority of the match. The first chance went to them as Nicholson hit wide of the City goal. Kiki then tricked the WBA defence with some neat footwork and fed through to BWP who, buoyed on by the success of his weekend’s Premiership appearance, shot a high ball, which Kirkland managed to palm down only for Croft to try to make contact.

On 17 minutes, WBA broke through a makeshift and shaky City defence as Nicholson and Elvins combined on the right and exploited our frailties. The Baggies then managed another couple of attacks as we stood by dumbfounded.

Miller was doing his best for the Blues down the left hand side again – a rôle he’s fitting into much better – but sorry to see again that Fowler was just not match fit or hungry for action.

We were thankful for half time and the coffee and mince pies (Asda’s iced, very good they were too). 0-1.

Second half and much of the same. Half-hearted attacks, some niggly play with Musampa, Fowler and Laird being clattered by the rather large WBA defenders. On 75 minutes Musampa was replaced by Michael Johnson who, by all accounts, had an excellent game the previous night. Immediately we broke forwards and Miller again down the left hand side passed a ball across the area to Croft who slotted home from about 10 yards. 1-1.

Nothing much else happened until the dying minutes when we tried to give them the three points as a shambolic piece of defending meant we had an empty goal but fortunately Elvins must have put his slippers on at half time, as the ball hit the bar.

A game to be forgotten. I can’t help wonder whether the absence of the ever vocal Flowers (he was commentating on the Rags vs. Birmingham game) had some effect.

MotM: the young ball boy in front of us who was doing his best to keep himself warm and entertained. He certainly earned his packet of crisps and drink!

City: Schmeichel, Jordan, Bermingham, Logan, Ward, Laird, Croft, Musampa (Johnson), Miller, Fowler, Wright-Phillips.
Unused subs: Evans, Matthewson, Etuhu, Breen.

WBA: Kirkland, Darg (Baker), Hodgkiss, Davies, Moore, Gaardsoe (Forsyth), S Nicholson, Johnson, Elvins, D Nicholson, Smikle.

Heidi <editor(at)>


Manchester City FC need to be congratulated over their stance with Scunthorpe regarding ticket prices for the forthcoming cup game; there are bound to be some sceptics amongst us who will offer the thought that if they didn’t drastically reduce the prices the attendance would have been very embarrassing. Nevertheless, well done and not many can have a gripe at £15 for adults & £5 for juniors.

Now then, after singing their praises I have to have a moan! MCFC continue to make hard work of the simplest things. A fireman I know who is no longer a season ticket holder due to work and family commitments contacted City 3 weeks ago wanting tickets for himself and friends who are visiting from America. He was told in no uncertain terms because he didn’t have a City card and no points “he didn’t stand a chance”. Now then, tonight’s MEN are advertising City vs. Chelsea tickets to anyone who wants them; they are also offering cut-price hospitality packages. My mate has decided to give City the royal salute and entertain his friends elsewhere; nice one City!

On a more personal note, after attending the last 3 youth academy lunches I applied for two places for the one this January, only to be told I can only have them if there are any left at the end of December. Even though I have already booked my places for the one in February, as they were for a surprise Christmas present I will have to shop elsewhere the price of the two places are about £90 incl. VAT so it ain’t a cheap option. These are just two very small examples of where City still continue to score own goals and I have no doubt all of your readers have many more. The last thing I want to do is moan about the club I have supported all my life so I just hope someone at MCFC looks at the policies and adjust them to such a degree that when fans want to put money into the club they are not given the cold shoulder.

Finally I would like to congratulate all at MCIVTA for the great job they do. Happy Christmas all.

Don Price <cathdon.price(at)>


Anorak’s Final League Position Prediction 2005-6

MCFC are Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde at the moment. One minute sublime (Charlton) the next pooh (WBA) and then back to sublime again with the visit of Brum. Anyway, onto the final league position prediction…

The first prediction (p1) replaces last season’s score with this season’s score (with the relegated clubs replaced by the equivalent promoted clubs). According to this measure we’ll finish on 55 points, which would have just got us a UEFA cup spot last season if our goal difference was +8 or greater.

The second (p2) is a rolling average that averages how we’ve done so far over the rest of the season. This is calculated as follows, where gr = games remaining, gp = games played, and p = current points total:
p2 = gr/gp * p + p
p2 = 21/17 * 27 + 27 = 60 points in 5th place just outside the chumps league.

The third (p3) is a rolling average based on the points obtained from the last 6 games played. This is calculated as follows, where ls = points in last 6 games, gr = games remaining and p = current points total:
p3 = ls/6 * gr + p
p3 = 7/6 * 21 + 27 = 52 points in 8th position – just like last season.

Since early November, our last 6 form has dropped from an average of 12 points to an average of 7 points and this is down to our complete inconsistency.

The following table indicates how our form has changed over the season, with the columns specifying:
result last season [and the points obtained]
result this season [and the points obtained]
c = change from last season
grp = gr/gp = games remaining divided by games played
l6 = points from the last six games
p = current points
p1, p2, p3 = each points prediction (and league position)

Birmingham  (H) 3-0[3]4-1[3] c=NC grp=21/17 l6=07 p=27 p1=55(7) p2=60(5) p3=52(8)
WBA         (A) 0-2[0]0-2[0] c=NC grp=22/16 l6=07 p=24 p1=55(7) p2=57(7) p3=51(10)
Charlton    (A) 2-2[1]5-2[3] c=+2 grp=23/15 l6=07 p=24 p1=55(7) p2=61(4) p3=51(10)

November 2005

Liverpool   (H) 1-0[3]0-1[0] c=-3 grp=24/14 l6=07 p=21 p1=53(8) p2=57(7) p3=49(10)
Blackburn   (H) 1-1[1]0-0[1] c=NC grp=25/13 l6=10 p=21 p1=56(7) p2=61(4) p3=63(4)
Fulham      (A) 1-1[1]1-2[0] c=-1 grp=26/12 l6=09 p=20 p1=56(7) p2=63(4) p3=59(5)

October 2005

Aston Villa (H) 2-0[3]3-1[3] c=NC grp=27/11 l6=09 p=20 p1=57(7) p2=69(4) p3=61(4)
Arsenal     (A) 1-1[1]0-1[0] c=-1 grp=28/10 l6=07 p=17 p1=57(7) p2=65(4) p3=50(10)
West Ham    (H) 2-1[3]2-1[3] c=NC grp=29/09 l6=10 p=17 p1=58(5) p2=72(4) p3=65(5)
Everton     (H) 0-1[0]2-0[3] c=+3 grp=30/08 l6=10 p=14 p1=58(5) p2=67(4) p3=64(4)

September 2005

Newcastle   (A) 3-4[0]0-1[0] c=NC grp=31/07 l6=10 p=11 p1=55(7) p2=60(5) p3=63(4)
Bolton      (H) 0-1[0]0-1[0] c=NC grp=32/06 l6=11 p=11 p1=55(7) p2=70(4) p3=70(4)
Manure      (A) 0-0[1]1-1[1] c=NC grp=33/05 l6=12 p=11 p1=55(7) p2=84(2) p3=77(3)

August 2005

Portsmouth  (H) 2-0[3]2-1[3] c=NC grp=34/04 l6=14 p=10 p1=55(7) p2=95(1)  p3=89(2)
Sunderland  (A) 2-1[3]2-1[3] c=NC grp=35/03 l6=14 p=07 p1=55(7) p2=89(2)  p3=89(2)
Birmingham  (A) 0-1[0]2-1[3] c=+3 grp=36/02 l6=12 p=04 p1=55(7) p2=76(4)  p3=76(4)
WBA         (H) 0-0[1]0-0[1] c=NC grp=37/01 l6=12 p=01 p1=52(8) p2=38(17) p3=75(4)


  1. 2004-5 Season: Season Points: 52, Goal Difference: +8, League Position: 8,last5=11, last4=8, last3=7, last2=4 last1=1
  2. Last season’s relegated teams are replaced with:
  3. 18 Crystal Palace = Sunderland
    19 Norwich City = Wigan Athletic
    20 Southampton = West Ham

Richard Mottershead <richardjohnm(at)>


Many MCIVTA readers will be aware that I keep track of City’s comparative statistical progress via a large Excel spreadsheet.

There are two famous diametrically opposed quotes regarding statistics:

  1. Statistics never lie
  2. There are lies, damn lies and statistics

Naturally, I tend to favour the former of the two quotes and the statistics tell us that City have kept only one clean sheet in the last nine games, and only three for the whole season so far. Cause for concern? Perhaps. The frustrating stat is that of the six games City have lost, five of them have been by a single goal margin, with only the Baggies managing to get two goals clear. It appears that City are agonisingly close to being capable of becoming a top-five bankable, rather their current trend of see-sawing around mid-table. If the current trend is continued, City will finish the season with between 57 and 63 points; not enough for a guaranteed place in Europe, but tantalisingly close for yet another season.

An up-to-date file of my Excel spreadsheet file “The-BIGGER-One” has just been uploaded, with results (up to and including the 18th December) and with re-arranged fixture-dates.

The all Premiership team-progress file is now ready and available as a free download at:

Please visit the website to read the full list of the file’s features; but, basically, all you need to do is type in the scores (or your predictions) and all the statistical tables and graphs are instantly revised. It is already filled in with all the provisional dates for every Premiership fixture for the season. Also available is a completed statistical version for last season.

The website has been checked-out, and has a listing with (under the miscellaneous:other, listings).

If you have any problems with the file, please feel free to drop me a line (an occasional problem is still the slow download-rates from the web-hosts, apologies if you experience this). If you like the sheets, please tell your mates, and I appreciate all feedback.

All the best for Christmas and the New Year,Mark Vincent <Vincent(at)>


Thought others may be interested in this article from Simon Hattenstone in The Grauniad:

Star in the Eastlands ready for second coming of SWP
Simon Hattenstone
Wednesday December 21, 2005
The Guardian

Last month, this c**p joke had great currency: Saddam Hussein (or Gary Glitter, take your pick) is told he is facing death by firing squad. Have you a last request? “Yes,” he says. “Can Peter Crouch take the shot?”

Crouch was a national laughing stock. Not only was he 6ft 7in, and therefore the butt of good old British sizeism, but he couldn’t score. Now he can’t stop scoring and he is a cult hero at Anfield.

Meanwhile, another forward, involved in a far costlier close-season transfer, has become so anonymous that his scoring drought has gone unnoticed. Here’s your starter for 10: at £21 million, he cost three times more than Crouch; scored 11 goals from the wing last season in a team that aspired to mediocrity; was regarded as an “England essential” by many but is barely whispered about now; is 13 inches shorter than Crouch, and after 21 appearances for Chelsea (admittedly mostly as substitute) he has yet to break his duck.

Shaun Wright-Phillips, a.k.a. Shauny Wright-Wright-Wright (after his stepfather Ian Wright-Wright-Wright), a.k.a. SWP, was a phenomenon at Manchester City. He played everywhere – right back, midfield, centre forward and on both wings. During his final two seasons, he flayed full back after full back week after week. We didn’t hope that he would score brilliant goals, we knew he would. He had elastic joints, Samsonite strength and sublime grace – imagine Maradona crossed with a Degas ballerina. Typically, he would gather the ball just inside the halfway line, beat one then two and three, and finish with a low drive into the bottom left corner. Occasionally he surprised us by rasping one into the top corner.

He was loved at City like no one else. Even though he was London-born, he talked like a Manc. With his tiny feet and tiny legs he was often mistaken for the mascot. You couldn’t help but love him. He pledged allegiance to the Blue flag when other clubs came after him. He shared a flat with his younger brother Bradley, who was on the edge of the first team. He was Blue through and through.

Until Chelsea upped their bid, and he turned a darker shade of blue. What made him go? The wages? The transfer fee? Playing with better footballers? The trophies? The England place? Probably all of them. But we had a bad feeling. Sure, we didn’t want him to go, but we didn’t wish him ill. We knew that if he had to leave, Arsenal was the right place. If not Arsenal, Liverpool. Even (whisper it) Manchester United would have been a better home than Chelsea.

Any of these three would have made him feel special. Likewise, he would have made them feel special. That is the thing about SWP. Without wanting to get weird on you, he has a strange gift – the ability to make fans transcend tribalism and briefly sublimate their macho posturings. When he is playing, as the great Darius Danesh would have it, you can feel the love in the room. Never more so than when Maine Road was filled with discarded Socialist Worker Party banners in celebration of SWP. Somehow, he brought out the idealistic in footy fans. He was a one-man love machine. He dealt in the ecstatic.

Chelsea don’t embrace the ecstatic. Just look at how they play – like a corporation, as efficient as they are risk-free. And with corporatism comes cynicism. At Chelsea, SWP may be barely a bit-part player, but at least he’s not starring for their rivals.

Last weekend I watched Man City against Birmingham with my friend BriceyG. We no longer grieve the loss of SWP. We’re pragmatists. Like Everton in their first season sans Rooney, we are doing nicely enough sans Shauny.

“Wouldn’t it be great if Bradley came on and scored with his first touch?” BriceyG said when we were 3-0 up. Sure enough, he did and he did. We love BWP, though not in the same way we loved SWP.

“D’you realise Bradley has now scored more goals this season than Shaun?” I said. And we laughed, cruelly. It was BWP’s first goal of the season. Then we fell silent. Poor Shauny.

“What possessed him?” BriceyG said. I nodded. “He looks depressed,” I said. “Poor sod. He’s stopped smiling. Mourinho’s drummed the smile out of him,” BriceyG said. He seemed on the verge of tears. “Perhaps he’ll come back on loan at the end of the season.”

“We wouldn’t hold a grudge, would we?” I said. “No, course not,” BriceyG said. “Perhaps we could start a collection.”

We’ve already raised 20 quid for the SWP Rescue Fund.

Peter Carlisle <Carlisle(at)>


This disease called calendar shifting must be catching. I now find myself doing that in Christchurch. Mind you there’s no City ones, so Arsenal will have to do!

A good performance against a woeful Birmingham side, and glad to see some of the lesser lights of the side stood up. Really glad for Joey Barton as well. I can remember me calling him a t***er and other unmentionable words, but it seems as he has grown up. Well done and I can remember the commentator saying he could play for England. Keep on like this, and you will.

Mind you, we must carry the good results on; losing to Wigan will not help things at all.

Also to Heidi and all those keeping MCIVTA going, many thanks, and have a safe and blessed Christmas.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


I suppose there’s no such thing as a good time to play Chelsea but if I could have chosen any date to host them at Eastlands, it would be on December 28, just two days after their local derby against Fulham.

The Special One has made no secret of his disregard for playing football over the festive period and Mourinho readily admitted last season that his team were extremely under-prepared for their two games over Christmas – although it didn’t prevent them winning 1-0 against Villa at home and 2-0 away at Portsmouth.

It may sound somewhat brave to recommend a bet on City to turn them over for the second season running but I do reckon there’s some value to be had with any bookie who’s prepared to quote around 5/1 or bigger. Better still, the half-time/full-time double result might be an even better shout at around 10/1, considering that Chelsea very rarely lose the second half. For anyone who has a Betfair account, those prices will be the very least you’ll get.

If you look back at the games Mourinho has lost in this country, we scored after nine minutes last season, Newcastle scored after four minutes in the FA Cup, Liverpool nearly pulled it off when scoring inside 60 seconds in the Carling Cup final before eventually seeing the job through properly in the Champions League semi when scoring after two minutes and United beat them last month when scoring after 27 minutes.

So I think it’s fair to say we’re looking for another early goal followed by over an hour of backs-to-the-wall stuff but I do think it’s possible to strangle the game and frustrate them during this heavy schedule of fixtures. As the game kicks off at 7:45pm, it should also be pointed out that City’s record when kicking-off under floodlights at the new ground is reasonably good with eight wins and four draws from 14 night games, Stuart Pearce’s record being three wins out of three.

Mike Holden <miguel(at)>


In response to Donny Schreier’s question (MCIVTA 1183):

  1. My grandad was a Blue for about a million years. I think he watched hisfirst game some time in the bronze age. Apparently City had a habit ofwinning stuff back then, but that is all before my time and won’t mean muchto Mr Schreier, but it is important to me.
  2. Loyalty. A full house at Maine Road on the opening game in the 2nd Division.Our support has never disappeared when times are tough.
  3. Consistently inconsistent. Win one week in stunning style, loads of goals,against one of the best teams in the world. Next week get walloped by a pubteam. OK so this can get annoying. I believe one year we won the league andwent down the next season. My point is you never know what you are going toget. City’s ability of being 3-nil up and managing to lose or draw always hasyou on the edge of your seat.
  4. The invisible man. The origins of this song are debatable but itdemonstrates the humour of the City faithful. As does the vocals from thestands while getting thrashed by Arsenal some years ago 5-0. We came out withsongs such as “it’s just like watching Brazil“, “Easy, Easy”, “We’re gonnawin the league” to name but a few. Also in this section is humour in the faceof adversity. When your team stinks and the opposing fans sing at you “goingdown, going down” how did the Citizens reply? “So are we, so are we”
  5. Blue. It’s a family. Put on a City shirt and go to some corner of theworld, bump into another Blue and you have an instant friend. You don’t weara City top because we are successful. Glory supporting is not something wecan do, due to a lack of glory. Wearing a City shirt means you are passionateabout football, about City, and the Blue you bump into knows this instantly.We look after our family and don’t let them stray. Remember the fan whowalked on the pitch and tore up is season ticket in disgust, well apparentlyanother Blue picked up all his tickets and posted them along with the bookback to him saying “if we have to put up with this c**p then so do you, youdon’t get out of it that easily”
  6. Blue. It’s a faith. Once City are in your blood, there is no going back.You can’t change. You always believe that the boys can go out and win, youcome up with stupid superstitions, you promote the faith by hiding otherteam’s merchandise. And if you choose the faith or it chooses you, no matterhow bad it gets, you never really regret it.
  7. Being a bitter Blue is better than being a bitter Red.
  8. Honesty. As far as I can remember City does not advocate cheating. We playhonest football, not dirty, not time wasting, not ref bullying, not diving,but straight up honest football. Just listen to a United fan watch his teamand you will hear them willing their players to physically hurt the otherteam. Sometimes a City player will cheat, but rarely, and when they do thefans don’t approve.
  9. I could go on but I won’t. I’m sure others will come up with many otherreasons to be blue. Hopefully some of you are nodding your head inrecognition to some of my points. And hopefully Mr Donny Schreier is now alittle more Blue.

The future is bright… the future is Blue.

Rob Hyslop <robert.hyslop(at)>


Due to work commitments, which up today I knew sweet FA about, I am unable to visit the land of the pie eaters on boxing day. The good side for me if there is one is that every game I have missed this season the Blues have won.

Getting back to my original point any one wanting a Wigan ticket, give me a bell on 01617989994.

Don Price <cathdon.price(at)>


I don’t know if you can help but I have just received bad news re Wigan tickets and having had 6 “guaranteed” and paid for them in advance now only have two; given that I’ve promised tickets to others for a Boxing Day out, I want to save a potentially tricky situation.

Do you know anyone who may be able to come up with 4 (or any) tickets in the City end?

The irony was that we had 6 in the Wigan main stand next to the Directors’ Box and gave these up once we were told that we definitely had 6 with the City fans! Any ideas please?

Please call: 0161 601 7735 / 7739 (w) or 0161 221 2761 (h) or email.

Thank you.

Chris H <comstad(at)>


Does anyone have any spare Wigan tickets?

Tom Smith <madchestercityfc(at)>


League table to 21 December 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         17  9  0  0 23  4  6  1  1 14  3 15  1  1  37   7  30  46
 2 Manchester Utd  17  4  3  1 13  5  7  1  1 18  9 11  4  2  31  14  17  37
 3 Liverpool       15  6  1  1 13  4  3  3  1  7  4  9  4  2  20   8  12  31
 4 Tottenham H.    17  5  3  1 13  7  3  4  1 12  9  8  7  2  25  16   9  31
 5 Bolton Wndrs    16  5  2  1  9  2  4  1  3 13 12  9  3  4  22  14   8  30
 6 Wigan Athletic  17  5  1  3 12  8  4  0  4  7 10  9  1  7  19  18   1  28
 7 Manchester City 17  5  2  2 13  6  3  1  4 11 11  8  3  6  24  17   7  27
 8 Arsenal         16  7  0  1 16  4  1  2  5  6 11  8  2  6  22  15   7  26
 9 West Ham United 17  4  1  3 14  9  3  3  3 11 12  7  4  6  25  21   4  25
10 Newcastle Utd   17  4  3  1  8  6  3  1  5  9 11  7  4  6  17  17   0  25
11 Charlton Ath.   16  2  1  5  9 15  5  0  3 12 11  7  1  8  21  26  -5  22
12 Blackburn R.    17  5  1  2 13  9  1  2  6  6 15  6  3  8  19  24  -5  21
13 Middlesbrough   17  3  4  2 15 15  2  1  5  8 11  5  5  7  23  26  -3  20
14 Fulham          17  5  1  2 12  8  0  3  6  6 14  5  4  8  18  22  -4  19
15 Aston Villa     17  2  2  4  7 12  2  3  4  9 14  4  5  8  16  26 -10  17
16 Everton         17  2  1  5  4 11  3  1  5  5 12  5  2 10   9  23 -14  17
17 West Brom A.    17  4  1  4 14 12  0  3  5  3 13  4  4  9  17  25  -8  16
18 Portsmouth      17  1  3  4  4 10  2  1  6  9 16  3  4 10  13  26 -13  13
19 Birmingham City 16  1  1  6  5 12  2  2  4  6 11  3  3 10  11  23 -12  12
20 Sunderland      17  0  2  7  7 20  1  0  7  7 15  1  2 14  14  35 -21   5

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings bu email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club”.

[6] Where can I find out about the fans’ committee?

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. The Fans’ Committee has been relaunched as “Points of Blue”. It has appeared on the club website as a minor entry under “Fans Zone”.

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the OFEX web site (registration required) or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try

[13] Where can I find a list of City-related websites?

Try Wookie’s Lair:

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1184