Newsletter #1255

Transfer deadline day, still a few hours to go and some activity for City as Andrew (F) Cole – as he now reverts to – leaves for Portsmouth. Wonder what his motivation there could be? We should however be signing a loan player, not Thomert as was widely rumoured last week, but Da Marco Beasley, the US international from PSV Eindhoven. Fingers crossed that a few more frantic phone calls and last minute wranglings are going on.

Two weeks’ worth of news to catch up on tonight from Don, who must have a headache given the rumours that have been doing the rounds. We’re still reflecting on the Arsenal result, City have meted out their punishment to Thatcher, and have plenty of opinion on the Pink Pound issue. There’s also news and a report thanks to Duncan on the Ballymena friendly this week.

We also have the new season’s FAQ thanks to David W. It’s a lengthy issue tonight so settle down, get a drink and read on.

Next game: Reading, away, 8pm Monday 11 September 2006


General News (18-24 August)

International Green Blues: Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland have been recalled to the Republic of Ireland squad for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Germany. “I’m delighted to have the boys available to me after their recent injuries, they are regular members of the squad and it’s vital that we have everyone we can available to us for this tough test,” said Irish coach Steve Staunton.

A Point in the Pontins: City’s Pontin’s League team visited leafy Cheshire this week, and took a 1-1 draw from a visit to the Deva Stadium where they faced Chester City Reserves. The visitors took the lead after seven minutes when Ashley Grimes took advantage of the Chester goalie turning a John Campbell shot into his path. Chester equalised 12 minutes later. I’d like to tell you more, but the highlights of the game I watched on “Inside MCFC” came with no commentary – only the industrial language of the sparse crowd could be heard during the clips shown! City:- Matthewson, Logan, Williamson, Williams, Brown (Mee 68), Evans, Weiss, Mouritsen, Campbell (Poole 68), Grimes, McDermott. Unused subs: Mentel, Connor, Tsiaklis.

Transfer News and Gossip (18-24 August)

Olivier Award? Olivier Thomert has re-emerged as a target for SP. Pearce is willing to let Antoine Sibierski move in the opposite direction in a bid to land a player that he has been linked with before but whose price tag has now come crashing down. Thomert wants a move after falling out with the Lens coaching staff. The Mirror quotes City as offering £2 million plus Sibs (thanks to Matt Thomas for that). This would be a return “home” for Antoine, who joined City from Lens back in 2003. I’ve seen Thomert variously described as a striker, a midfielder and a winger – let’s sincerely hope it’s the latter, and a left sided winger at that.

Royal Mills: From last Tuesday’s Sun: “Reading boss Steve Coppell wants Danny Mills to bolster his defence as he seeks Premiership survival. Manchester City full back Mills, 29, is desperate for a move and Coppell is ready to test the water with a £750,000 bid.” Three quarters’ of a Mill for Mills? The Summary Says – take the money and run, Psycho!

100% City: There was plenty of dilly-dallying by Distin this week, as uncertainty ruled over whether the former skipper would be sealing a switch to Middlesbrough. When asked about Distin’s situation, SP replied “We have accepted an offer from Middlesbrough but I am led to believe, at this moment in time, he cannot agree personal terms with them. His representatives are talking to Middlesbrough but my gut feeling is that he will not be going anywhere,” declared the manager, before playfully adding: “I may even shut the door and say you’re going nowhere, you are staying with us.” Interviewed on French TV after the Chelsea game, Distin declared: “As I have the opportunity to talk about it, I will tell you the truth. I am a professional, I am 100 percent City, and don’t want to leave my club.” An interesting view, and SP inevitably returned to the subject of his ex-skipper later in the week. “If Sylvain goes, I would be disappointed because I don’t see it as a step up,” said Pearce. “The mere fact he has taken two, three, four days to think about his decision means he knows he probably is not going to a better club than Manchester City. I am not too fussed either way. While the business people at the club would probably be happy to take the money, if Sylvain decides to remain where he is for another year, see his contract out and leave on a Bosman, I would be more than delighted.” Perhaps, dear reader, that is the most likely option -Sylvain stays, then leaves for nowt next summer.

Ex-Blues’ News (18-24 August)

Norwegian Would? Christian Negouai is training with Norwegian side Aalesund FK. The Frenchman is searching for a new club after failing to agree on a contract extension with Standard Liege in the summer. He had joined Standard 12 months ago, following an undistinguished stay at City. Negouai made just 10 appearances during three-and-a-half years in England, having arrived from Belgian side Charleroi. The 28-year-old is now trying his luck in Norway, with Aalesund coach Per Joar Hansen having been impressed by Negouai’s early showings in training.

He’s Not in De-Niall Any More… Oh dear, things haven’t begun well at Sunderland for Gaffer Niall, who, you’ll remember, took over as Chairman of the Black Cats this summer, then had to appoint himself Manager. Following 4 defeats in the first 4 league games, Sunderland sank to a new low this week as they were beaten 2-0 in the League Cup by Bury, the bottom team in the Football League. Niall has decided that things must change, so we were treated to the inevitable headline on Wednesday: “Quinn sacks himself”. Niall explained that “I would say it’s 70-30 now that we will have a world-class manager in place for Monday’s game. I stepped into the breach because I didn’t think we got the quality [of manager] we were looking for. I would now say that we are very close to doing that and I will revert back to the rôle of chairman very soon.” All the media agree that our old chum Roystone “You Can Stick That Up Your B*ll*cks” Keane is the favourite to land the post. With Keano’s famed man-management skills behind them, how can Sunderland possibly fail?

Reactions and Comments (18-24 August)

Lovely Hair Isn’t Enough: To no one’s great surprise, City began the season with a defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Despite enjoying long periods of possession in midfield, City created relatively few chances, and succumbed to goals from John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. City also had débutant Bernardo Corradi sent off after an altercation with Michael Essien. “We got well beaten by a very good side, that is the bottom line,” SP told Sky Sports. “If you go down to ten men here, they keep the ball and you can’t get it back off them. But somewhere down the line, our result at Stamford Bridge probably won’t reflect on our season. When you come here, you are at full stretch and it only takes one moment of excellence from a player in a blue shirt and you have a problem. I thought we scrapped away and the defence defended reasonably well, but they have threats all over the pitch. We had a couple of one on ones with the ‘keeper, and if we had taken them, we might have got something we deserved from the game, at least a goal back anyway,” he added. “We had a couple of chances and you have to take those, if you are to do anything against Chelsea. We have got to make sure we take away the good bits that we did today. In some ways I was pleased for the players, disappointed with the result and if we had scored when we had the opportunities we could have out a bit of pressure on them.” Pearce also gave his views on the sending off. “I told the fourth official that Bernardo had already been booked and he was caught by Essien when he put his studs down his shin. He was frustrated by that and he took his frustration out on Essien when he had the opportunity. The referee said it was another booking and we’ll live with that. He was doing extremely well for his début. He is an aggressive centre-forward who punches his corner. We’ll make sure he won’t get sent off every week.” Essien reacted to the challenge by pulling Corradi’s hair and was booked. Pearce said: “He’s got lovely hair. I pull his hair all the time!”

Nick Not Narked: With new ‘keeper Andreas Isaksson still injured, Nicky Weaver made a rare first team start, and despite the result, he relished playing on the big stage again. “I found out I was going to be in the team on Saturday morning; so naturally I was delighted,” said Weavs. “I’m glad to be back but obviously disappointed with the result. When you come to places like this you expect to be under a lot of pressure but they played a lot across the back and in the middle of the field. So in goalkeeping terms I’ve not had a great deal to do but we still ended up losing 3-0.”

No Pomp Against Pompey: Wednesday saw City play out a 0-0 draw at the COMS against Portsmouth, who had their new goalie David James between the sticks. The majority of the press coverage related to an incident involving Ben Thatcher’s right arm and Pompey’s Pedro Mendes, which saw the Portuguese midfielder knocked unconscious and then taken to hospital. Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp was incensed by the challenge. “Off the field, you could not meet a nicer boy,” said Redknapp of Thatcher. “Unfortunately, on the pitch he is capable of doing things like that. It was an horrendous challenge and totally out of order. As soon as I saw Thatcher running into the corner, I knew what was coming. I would have bet my life on it,” Redknapp added. “Pedro is in hospital and won’t be coming back with us tonight. He suffered some kind of fit or seizure. We had to give him oxygen and he wasn’t in a great way when he left the stadium, but we will see how he is tomorrow.” Redknapp wanted the FA to review the incident. “How can that not be a sending off?” he said. “What do you have to do, kill someone? The FA have to look at it. It is there for all to see. I like Ben as a guy but that was wrong.” Mr. Pearce was a little more low key in his assessment of the incident: “Ben’s at sprinting speed, and when you run at that velocity if you get anything slightly wrong, it’s going to look awful. There’s no doubt that he’s caught him, I’ve not had the luxury of watching it again but I don’t want to see any player injured. Ben’s been in to ask about him after the game, and we wish and hope that he’s fine.” On Thursday, we heard that the Police would investigate the incident. A spokeswoman said on Thursday: “Greater Manchester Police has received a number of complaints from members of the public following an incident in which a player was injured during the Manchester City vs. Portsmouth match on Wednesday 23 August 2006. Officers will now be liasing with the injured player, the clubs and the Football Association to review this matter and determine if any further action is required.” It sounds like the FA are unlikely to be able to impose further sanctions on Thatcher, who was shown a yellow card by referee Dermot Gallacher. An FA spokesman told BBC Sport: “Our compliance unit is looking at it, but FIFA rules make it difficult to upgrade a yellow card to red.” It seems that had Gallagher shown Thatcher the red card for violent conduct, FA rules allow it to impose further punishment on top of the three-match ban the offence carries.

Poor Shift Work: Oh yes, the match. In a game of few clear-cut chances, David James made saves from former colleagues Joey Barton and Ishmael Miller, while a great stop from Nick Weaver denied Matt Taylor. The manager said that: “I can’t fault their endeavour, I think we deserved to get more out of the game than we did. Nicky Weaver, the two centre-halves, the two forwards were all outstanding for me. With the rest, I can’t look at them and say that they haven’t put a shift in for me. We have got to get a bit cuter passing the ball, and once we get one or two of our new faces up and running, I think we’ll have no problems. We’ve kept a clean sheet, we are disappointed not to have won but we’ll build on this.” Harry Redknapp meanwhile stated that “It was a scrap. We can keep the ball better than that.”

Squad News (18-24 August)

Old Crocks Corner: Andy Cole admits he’s having doubts about his ability to compete in the Premiership. Cole, 34, has not played since early February due to a persistent knee problem. He said: “I have to prove to myself that I can play at the highest level again. First and foremost, the most important thing is for me to get fit.” Whatever his fitness levels this term, Cole knows that this season will be his last. “I’ll play this season and one more – that’ll be my lot.” Meanwhile young stripling Didi Hamann (33 on Sunday, according to Wikipedia) won’t be ready for action for another couple of weeks, according to SP. Ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Pompey, Pearce confirmed: “I don’t think he’ll make it and I think he won’t be available until after the Arsenal game. It’s disappointing, I would have liked to have had his little bit of know-how out there.”

We’re Caught in a Trab: So what’s happened to Hatem Trabelsi? The Tunisian World Cup star, who joined City from Ajax on a free transfer last month, is yet to start training with the Blues after encountering problems gaining a work permit. Although that issue has now been resolved, Trabelsi has also been forced to sort out visa issues for the remainder of his family before eventually reporting for training at the Blues’ Carrington base on Tuesday. “Hatem will be flying in tomorrow and hopefully we will be able to assess his fitness and see how he is,” said SP. “His work permit problem has been solved and he has just been sorting out a visa problem with his family.”

Return Gigg for Little Smikes: Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has rejoined Bury on a three-month loan. He played for the Shakers last term and helped them to avoid relegation. “I like being at Gigg Lane. I love the fans and I can do my best straight away because I know what everyone is capable of,” said Schmeichel, 19. “I’ve also had a few offers from other clubs. When the concrete move back to Bury came up, I snapped it up.”

Thatcher and “That Elbow” (25-31 August)

“The More you Watch it, The Worse it Gets”: City were making major sports headlines this week, as condemnation grew of Ben Thatcher’s assault on Pedro Mendes. It is to the credit of Psycho that once he’d seen the incident on TV, he joined in with the censure of the Welsh international full back. “I think it was a shocking challenge, to be quite honest, and I’m very disappointed in the player,” said SP. “I spoke with him yesterday, and Ben is disgusted with himself. For me, that’s a step in the right direction. Thankfully there’s no long-term injury to Pedro, and the club, myself and Ben send him our best wishes and hope for a speedy recovery.” Pearce soon confirmed that Thatcher would be the subject of internal disciplinary action, presumably in the hope of anticipating any further action by the FA and the Police. “What happened on Wednesday was indefensible. Any form of discipline will be discussed at board level, kept internal and we will move on from there,” said Pearce. “But I can assure everybody, this has hit the player very hard. There is no bravado about him. He has gone home, turned the TV and seen the challenge. The more you watch it, the worse it gets.”

Stay Away: The first inkling of City’s punishment was given to the press after the Arsenal game, when SP announced that Thatcher had been told to stay away from the match that day. The M.E.N. then reported that “Ben Thatcher will face a record fine, but not the sack, when City’s board meets to hand down further punishment in the next 48 hours.” Meanwhile, Pedro Mendes confirmed that would not take any action against Thatcher. In a statement on the club’s website, Mendes said: “Following the incident during the game at Man City on Wednesday night, I can confirm I will not be taking any personal action against Ben Thatcher. I have received a written apology from him. As far as I am concerned the personal matter between us is now closed and I just want to recover fully and move on. However, I am aware that the FA have charged the player and I really hope they will make the right decision on his punishment.”

Suspense Over, But Suspension Starts: And so on Wednesday City announced their punishment of Thatcher. He received a four match ban, with a further two games suspended, and a fine of four weeks’ wages (with an additional fine of two weeks’ wages being suspended). Chief Executive Alistair Mackintosh said: “As custodians of the Club, and football in general, The Board and the Manager felt it was important to act as soon as possible.” The Arsenal game was deemed to be his first game suspension, so Thatcher will also miss the away games at Reading, Blackburn and Chesterfield.

General News (25-31 August)

Gay Recruitment Drive: City have signed up to a scheme to help it attract more gay fans and staff. The club has paid a four-figure sum to join the Diversity Champions scheme, run by gay rights group Stonewall. It is the first professional club to join the scheme, which focuses on a range of gay-friendly initiatives. The club said it wanted to send a welcoming message to gay, lesbian and bisexual supporters, be inclusive and be a progressive employer. Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said: “Manchester City should be congratulated for putting their head above the parapet and moving into the 21st century. The work can range from looking at recruitment processes to what’s already going on in the workplace, to developing marketing strategies. It is mainly about Manchester City wanting to be an exemplary employer.” Mr Summerskill said he believed that a more gay-friendly environment would attract more straight fans, as well as homosexuals, because families were more likely to attend an atmosphere free from homophobic abuse. He added: “If we help to get the club more supporters, more money and better staff, then they will have better training, better facilities, and it is all part of a virtuous circle of success.”

Uninspiring at the Spireites? City have another excellent chance of losing to a lower league club in the second round of the Coca Cola Cup. The Blues travel to Saltergate to play Chesterfield on Wednesday September 20. Lord help those of us who work with Chesterfield fans. Let’s hope Sky don’t choose this game for their “potential giant killing” coverage.

One Up, Five Down: You could say that there were mixed fortunes for the two Reserves teams this week. Frankie Bunn’s charges had the better result, beating Liverpool Reserves 1-0 at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground. Michael Johnson’s strike was the difference between the sides. Team: Matthewson, Logan, Williamson, D’Laryea, Breen, Johnson, Etuhu, Williams, Evans, Sturridge, Grimes. Not so good for the Pontin’s League team, who lost 5-1 to Rochdale’s Second XI. “We played with seven or eight 16-year-olds and came up against an experienced Rochdale reserves side,” coach Gregor Rioch told the club website. “It’s a learning curve for a young side like ours at this stage, but it’s important that they get games. We were a bit worried about the physical aspect but they did OK on that front. We were punished for mistakes but that’s what they have to learn about in these sort of games.” Team: Matthewson, Kay, McGivern, Tsiaklis, Brown, Evans, Weiss, Mouritsen, Campbell, Daly, Morris. Subs: Poole, Hartley, Mee, Pollitt, McDermott.

Transfer News and Gossip (25-31 August)

“Lazuarus” Makes Miracle Recovery, Then Leaves: Please disregard everything you’ve just read about Andy Cole in the “Last Week’s News” Section. On transfer deadline day, Cole has jumped ship and gone and signed for Portsmouth. At least Mr. Redknapp is helping reduce the average age of the City squad, having taken 36-year-old David James last month. The rumours of this deal began to emerge over the weekend, but a transfer was hardly likely was it? Cole had just signed a one year deal with the Blues, and he’s been injured and unable to play since February. It soon became clear that there was some substance to this, as City released the somewhat curt statement: “We note the public comments made today by Portsmouth Chief Executive Peter Storrie regarding Andrew Cole. Manchester City can confirm that while we do not wish to lose Andrew at such a late stage in the transfer window, he has expressed a desire to leave the club and join Portsmouth.” On Wednesday, Cole was taking and passing a medical in Portsmouth (question from a naïve punter: how can a player who’s been crocked for seven months pass a bl**dy medical?). Cole’s remarkable recovery from injury was confirmed, and he signed up on Thursday. Apparently he’d been tempted by the offer of a two-year deal on the south coast and a £15,000 per week wage increase. “It’s an opportunity for me to play for another two years and I hope to do my best for Portsmouth football club, score a few goals and get the club into the top ten, which is what they’re aiming to do this season,” the 34 year old told his new club’s website. “I know Jamo (David James), I know Sol (Campbell) and I’ve played with David Thompson as well, which is always important when you come to a new club because you can fit in straight away.” Pompey have paid £500,000 for Cole, a fee that could rise to £1 million, depending on appearances.

Olivier Twist: No matter that Andy “I’ll Finish My Career Here” Cole had found himself a last contributor to his retirement fund – fresh blood for the squad was still on the horizon as the deal for Olivier Thomert was all but done, according to the player. “I’ve agreed terms and I am waiting on the clubs to finalise the deal,” Thomert told the News of the World. “I just can’t wait to play in The Premiership.” The first hint of trouble for the deal came on Tuesday, when reports emerged that Lens wanted £3-4 million for a permanent deal, while City were only prepared to pay for a year-long loan. And at the time of writing, Lens were saying that the oft reported transfer was in fact off. “We could not find an agreement with Manchester City regarding Olivier Thomert,” Lens chairman Gervais Martel told Sky Sports. “Now I hope he will go back to work and help us.” Fear not, because there was still a chance of bringing some else in – City would try to sign Marcus Bent from Charlton after Birmingham’s £2 million bid to get him collapsed. Sadly that’s Marcus, who’s already played for dozens of clubs (although he did score against City for Leicester I seem to recall), and not Darren, the goalscoring England squad member. And today City are being linked with a move for American winger DaMarcus Beasley. The 24-year-old is currently with Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven – but is down the pecking order. A City spokesman said: “DaMarcus is a player who interests us and our discussions with PSV are continuing.” If it’s true, let’s hope all parties get a move on before the transfer window shuts.

Nutter Wanted: Last week’s talk of Danny Mills joining Reading was scotched by his agent. “We have had no talks with Reading and have not heard from them,” Neil Featherby said. “All Danny wants to do is play first team football and ideally that would be at Manchester City. He has three years left on his contract at City and he is happy there, but obviously all he wants to do is play.” Such noble sentiments didn’t stop Mills being linked with another move elsewhere. Blackburn Rovers might well come a-calling, because, it was said, Liverpool were about sign Lucas Neill from Ewood Park. So with Mark Hughes having a vacancy in the nut-case full back department. Mills was seen as a natural replacement for Neill. And no, there’s no news of Sparky needing a left-back…

Ex-Blues’ News (25-31 August)

Cold Turkey: Nicolas Anelka has got his dream move to a huge club in the Premiership. I don’t know what kind of strange dreams Nico’s been having recently, because he’s just signed a four-year deal with Bolton after the club agreed to pay a club record £8 million to Fenerbahce for the French striker. “I’m here because Bolton came first, I think,” said Anelka. “I know Manchester, I know Sam Allardyce is a big manager and he spoke to me. I’m glad to come back to England and play for him,” he said. “I saw Bolton last year and they played great… and I think it’s a good club and a big challenge. I’m glad to be back in England to play for Bolton and try to play in Europe next season. I like England because of the way the game is played – very quick – and the fans, the way you play football here. I like everything about England and when I wanted to leave Fenerbahce I said I wanted to come back to England.” Clearly Mr. Allardyce was keen to avoid any suggestions of him taking a chance signing the enigmatic striker, because he rather bizarrely commented that “I think it is the smallest gamble we have ever taken. Nic’s record speaks for itself. We want to help him along the way and produce and perform and I am really looking forward to the opportunity of working with him and the rest of the squad is as well.” And as one former City servant leaves Turkish football, another makes the journey in the opposite direction. Thanks to Henk for reporting that Kiki Musampa has secured a 3-year deal with Turkish premier division club Trabzonspor, who have qualified for the UEFA Cup. “The transfer negotiations lasted a little longer than expected,” said Musampa. “Trabzonspor are one of the four biggest clubs in this country with quality players like Ibrahima Yattara.”

Penney Dropped: Meanwhile, down in Keegan Korner, something stirs… It was about this time last year that Doncaster Rovers, led by manager Dave Penney, were having a whale of a time beating City in the Coca-Cola Cup. Doncaster parted company with Penney on Wednesday, but chairman John Ryan has wasted little time in highlighting his number one target as replacement. “Kevin Keegan is the man I want as manager,” he said. “It’s the sort of challenge that would appeal to him.” KK is Doncaster-born and supported Rovers as a child and Ryan hopes the lure of his hometown club will prove too much to resist.

Reactions and Comments (25-31 August)

Come Down to Our Level, Arsene, It’s Great Down Here! What a pleasant surprise – City recorded their first win of the season last Saturday, as they defeated Arsenal 1-0 at the COMS. And while local press coverage was suitably triumphant, most of the national media went for the “Arsenal were too elaborate” angle. Here’s an example from the BBC’s website: “Arsenal were punished for a host of missed chances as Manchester City clung on to end a turbulent week with a win. Arsenal’s Thierry Henry missed two one-on-ones with City ‘keeper Nicky Weaver and a Robin van Persie shot hit the post before City took the lead. Justin Hoyte conceded a penalty for a foul on Trevor Sinclair and tireless Joey Barton smashed in the spot-kick.” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was in magnificently snooty form after the match, refusing to lower his team’s standards to those of (get this) City’s. The Frenchman said: “We play the football that suits us. The same football that has got us in the Champions’ League for the last nine years. We can’t follow the route Manchester City take because we are simply not capable of that. You cannot play that way all season. We play the game we want to play. We have the players who need the ball played along the ground. Don’t get me wrong, I want to win games – I do not want to drop points – but for me this is the most efficient way to play every time. When you lose, people say ‘Why don’t you just kick the ball forward into the box?’ But you have to keep belief in what you are trying to do – even if it does not go as well as you like.” He said: “The disappointing thing is that we have had a bad start and I just hope it does not affect the belief of the players. But we have only played two games and we will come back into the race – do not worry about that.”

Luck Ridden: Of the victory, SP said: “I’m very pleased, I think man-for-man we know Arsenal are good enough to knock us over but collectively we believe they aren’t. We had to ride our luck at times but I’m delighted for the collective rather than individuals. I’m very pleased for the players with the cloud that has been around us since Wednesday.” In response to being asked if he was pleased with the result after all the attention on the Thatcher incident, Pearce said: “I’m more pleased for the players. To keep your focus after the way the spotlight has fallen on us this week has not been easy. Playing Arsenal with all the non-football related attention around has been difficult for them. Credit to them, they kept their focus, they did to a man what we asked of them today. We rode our luck at times, individually some of their players are better than ours but unless you work as a collective you won’t beat Arsenal, simple as that.” So in two home games, City are yet to concede a goal. “Without a doubt that’s what won us the game today,” agreed Pearce. “In the last two games I have asked Paul Dickov to do a defensive job, he’s done that as well as his attacking rôle. If the players take on board what we prepare for them ahead of a match, and I think we are arguably one the best prepared teams in the league, if they do that we will have more wins like the one today. I’ve already got the buy-in for that from the likes of Dickov, and if some of the new players get that as well they will see the results at the end of it.”

To Eighth Place, Boy Wonder! Joey Barton was soon showing his modesty in the post match TV interview. “It wasn’t a dream result – we needed to get a win on the board. We’re tough to beat here when we play the right sort of football,” Barton told Sky. “In any team performance, you need the effort. The boys were different class today even though we had to win through a penalty. People might say we sat back in the second half but we had chances too. There was not much pressure on me, it was me versus Jens Lehmann. He’s got a great record at penalties but I was ever so confident from 12 yards – I have scored goals from 30 and 35 yards before.” Although Barton had no qualms over taking the penno, his boss did! “I was concerned for Boy Wonder,” reflected the gaffer. “Joey is a cocky lad, there is no doubt about that – but he does have a better penalty record than I do!” And the result showed how farcical league tables are after a handful of games. At 5pm, City were bottom of the Premiership – by 8pm, we were eighth! A Manager of the Month award can’t be far behind after that meteoric climb.

A Kid Again: So Nicky Weaver earned himself an honourable mention in despatches. Weaver said: “Many times I wondered whether this day would come. I often thought I would never play again, I came so close to being finished. All that boring work in the gym has finally paid off but it has been a long, hard road. But matches like this make it all worthwhile. It was like being a kid again having that interaction with the crowd.” SP commented: “When I first came to this club as a player, Nicky was not exactly the best professional or best worker I had ever come across. But he has worked hard to come back and it is a miracle he is still playing. He is a man I can trust now.”

Colossal Effort: SP highlighted the importance of Paul Dickov in the victory, and the Scot stressed just how essential the result was for the Blues. “That was a big, big win for us,” said Paul. “We have a two week break now and it was important that we didn’t go into it with just one point. This is something we can build on, if you had said to us before Chelsea that we’d have four points from three games after having to play Chelsea and Arsenal, two of the best teams in Europe, we’d have taken that. The pleasing thing about today was from Nicky Weaver right through the team, everybody worked their socks off. Dunnie was a colossus, he was fantastic and that shone right through the side. Everybody worked hard, worked for each other and we made it hard for the opposition today. I’m not shocked, we knew we had the potential to pick up a result today and as long as we keep that self-belief we will do alright this season.”

Bally Good Friendly: Late goals from Bernardo Corradi and Danny Mills helped City beat Northern Irish side Ballymena 3-1 in this week’s friendly at The Showgrounds. City took the lead when Antoine Sibierski headed home a corner from Joey Barton in the 14th minute. ‘Twas a brief appearance by everyone’s favourite 50p-head, as the French midfielder was forced off 19 minutes later with an ankle injury. Ballymena levelled through Gary Haveron’s header (40), and Georgios Samaras headed over a chance with 16 minutes to go as the friendly match looked set to end level. However, City finally restored their lead in the 83rd minute when Corradi finished well after Ousmane Dabo’s pass was flicked on by Samaras before Mills made sure in the final minute with a right-foot drive. There was a first half appearance for Hatem Trabelsi, who finally made his début in a City shirt. “Hatem’s fine, he’s not played any football since the World Cup and 45 minutes was always the plan with him,” reported SP. “Even though it was a comfortable game for him, I think it was the right thing to give him 45 minutes and then take him off.” And speaking of one-half wonders, the gaffer himself played most of the second period! Let Mr.P. explain. “Ishmael Miller had a bang on the knee and was touch and go before the game, then at half time he said he was not doing himself any favours. We had to get him off but by that stage we had no substitutes. It was either me or Nicky Weaver, but what we had to do was cover and make sure we did not get any more injuries. If that means on the odd occasion putting myself on, that’s fine, so be it.”

Squad News (25-31 August)

Crocks Corner 2: By gum, it didn’t take him long to find himself in a pile of injured players. City’s new goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson is to have an operation. “Andreas will probably need a small operation to remove some floating bone in his ankle, which will happen this weekend,” said the Dr. Pearce this week. “Hopefully it will only be a couple of weeks, and with the international break coming up that will be a big help for us and him.” And the latest on the burger-munching Dietmar Hamann? “Didi’s on the training pitch, he’s still sore from the bruising on the instep but we feel as though if we keep progressing with him he will be available for Reading.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


For those of you who know me or remember me – I’m back on line after a 4 year absence and before you say it, no – I haven’t been away courtesy of Her Majesty’s Pleasure! For the last 4 years I have been working outside and unable to have access to a PC, but all that has now changed as I am back in the office environment.

I have just recently moved to Coleraine in Northern Ireland and one of the biggest things that is missing in my life is not living on the doorstep of Manchester City FC; even though I lived in Astley, near Leigh, I could hop in my car (for a home match) and be there within the half hour. If I did that now it would take a good 8-10 hours and many miles!

It was fantastic for City to come over and play a friendly against Ballymena United and even though the game was announced about 3 weeks ago, I thought it won’t be all ticket, there won’t be many fans at the game – maybe a thousand or two – how wrong was I. I turned up at the ground about seven o’clock and headed straight for the social club for a pint. I bumped into Noel Baxter from the Coleraine Supporters’ Club (of which I am now a member) and he said to me “have you got your ticket?” “What ticket” said I. He then went on to inform me it was an all ticket match, sold out. I said to Noel that I was just popping out to see if I can get a ticket sorted. I went to the nearest turnstile where an important looking steward was standing and I told him a little white lie by saying that I had just flown in from Manchester with my son and friend and didn’t have a ticket for the match, because I didn’t know the match was all ticket, he told me not to worry and said I could pay cash on the turnstile. Whether a cash turnstile was advertised or not, I do not know. Maybe a turnstile operator went away with a least 30 quid in her pocket that night. Anyway, I wasn’t complaining, I was in.

Local press reports put the attendance at 5,000 and I would say a good 50% was City.

The team lined up: Hart, Trabelsi, D Mills, M Mills, Jordan, Miller, Dabo, Barton, Sibierski, Samaras, Corradi. Subs: Weaver, Distin, Sinclair, Pearce.

A brass band welcomed the teams onto the pitch with City playing in last season’s dark blue kit; Ballymena play in a sky blue kit. City did just enough to win the match, at a canter, without playing too well as Ballymena did make it difficult for us. Within the first few minutes a 20-yard Joey Barton free kick was well saved and turned round the post by their ‘keeper. Ballymena matched City for most of the first half but fell behind after 15 minutes when Sibierski headed into the roof of the net from a Barton corner. Ballymena’s number 8 (Watson) tried to make a name for himself by going in a few times heavy handed in the tackles with Barton, but it was nice to see Joey give him his shirt at the end of the match; maybe Joey said “here – you can try it on now, you’ve been trying all match!”

Sibierski injured himself while committing a foul and the resulting free kick led to Ballymena hitting our post. Sibierski could not run off what looked like an ankle injury and was replaced by Sinclair after 35 minutes. The closing minutes of the half was all Ballymena and they were rewarded when the small framed Haveron climbed higher than Samaras from a corner and crashed one in off the post on 41 minutes.

Distin replaced new signing Trabelsi at half time, who had a steady first half without being pressurised too much; maybe this was the perfect match to blood him before the Reading game, but the biggest surprise of the night was to happen 5 minutes later when Stuart Pearce replaced Miller for a cameo appearance. He received a great reception with chants of “Psycho, Psycho”. Pearce rolled back the years and was nearly rewarded with a goal that was well saved. The second half was broken up by Ballymena’s seven substitutions and there was no real pattern of play, but victory finally arrived when Corradi rifled home from a fine ball over the top from Dabo on 83 minutes. Danny Mills made it 3-1 in the dying moments with a driving right footed shot from close range.

Duncan Madden-Ross <maddenrossduncan(at)>


I think that I must be City’s biggest critic. I haven’t found anything positive to say for about 6 months or more.

Well I have now. Arsenal. And Arsenal to you too. I was sickened by the commentators drooling over Arsenal in the first half when, apart from a couple of breakaways when Arsenal possibly should have scored, I thought that City had the better of it.

Arsenal were possibly the better team in the second half and there was a 5 minute spell when City couldn’t get the ball. Well after last week’s shambles against Chelsea, this was refreshing.

But City, you have now set a standard. With effort and application like that, who knows what can be achieved? Perform lower than that, and defeat will occur.

One minus point: I’m still worried about Samaras. What is going on? He looks lightweight and disinterested.

On the other hand, Paul Dickov, have you got any brothers? He summed the night up with his outstanding performance. I’m not a fan of players going back to their old clubs but in Paul’s case, definitely an exception. Well done Paul! Show ’em how it’s done.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


What a difference a game makes!

City were organized and defended brilliantly against Arsenal! Let’s face it, we traditionally write that particular game off, don’t we, because we never beat Arsenal? Even when they were crap we used to lose to them! Looking forward to beating them again in 2020!

As for Joel Perry’s comments in MCIVTA 1253 – come on Joel, Paul Dickov has easily been our best player over the last couple of games and he has been worthy of his place. We need to put the same application into all of our games though and it remains to be seen which City side turns up against Reading!

Graham Keller <gkmcfc(at)>


We’ve had the Chelsea and Arsenal games on TV here (USA) and we get the Reading game. The only bit of the Portsmouth game I saw was that tackle.

It is too early to really get a grasp on which City team will emerge this year: one that improves on last year or one that is just as disappointing. The team rode their luck against Arsenal but continued to be very well organized and in the end deserved their win. It is the games against teams like Reading that will provide the insight into how far we will go this year.

I do have a few observations. Why was Jordan not in the team before? He certainly looks as good as Thatcher and seems to be improving. Samaras still looks clumsy.

We still need a midfield player who can create – at the moment it is hard working and not a lot else. Who is next to play left midfield? I’m left footed but at age 57 I might be a little slow.

I must admit that I was also surprised to see the many empty seats against Arsenal but then many of the games we’ve already had have shown similar scenes. But it does mean that approx 5,000 fans are not attending high profile games.

Best wishes to all of us for the next season.

[Attendances are down in general, but a Saturday tea-time televised game is never going to draw a full house thanks to Sky – Ed]

John Pearson <john.pearson(at)>


Hmmm. Not the most auspicious start to the season. With Chelsea and Arsenal making up two of the first three opponents, you kind of have to think that we should be looking for 3 points from the third game. Alas and alack.

Thatcher isn’t really very good, is he? I can’t remember him having any really good games. He’s at best solid, but unfortunately he seems unable to make judgement calls between when a challenge needs to be made and when it doesn’t. Difficult to say whether it was a deliberately dangerous tackle, but I really didn’t like his reaction after the man went down. If you smack your shoulder into someone’s face that hard, you know it’s happened. If it was accidental, then why didn’t he show any remorse? I don’t like the attitude that he shows. We should get shot of him.

Some of the criticism of a few members of the playing staff in MCIVTA has been a bit harsh recently. It’s early days, and as worried as I am, we’ve got some decent players and we’ll have a period where we string results together. The one I’m most worried about is Samaras. The lad’s still very young, and the step up from Herenveen to the Premiership is large. He raised expectations a bit high when he had that run of scoring immediately after arriving. I think he was harshly replaced at Chelsea (especially given that Corradi was on a yellow – was it just me who was expecting him to get sent off?), and we should all give the lad a bit of time. He’s got natural ability, and would look a good player in a better side.

For me, our problem has looked like one of application – at Chelsea, when we cleared our lines, we were back to the old scenario of the player with the ball running forward, and the rest of the team jogging out of defence, pleased to have survived another attack. It’s not rocket science, but unless you want the ball to come straight back, you need to start attacking in numbers when in possession. I didn’t see all of the Portsmouth game, but I’d hope that at home we were willing to play with a bit more verve. The Premiership is an aggressive league, but successful teams play aggressive, attacking football, and rely on defensive organisation rather than defensive numbers.

And I agree with some of the comments regarding SP after the Chelsea game – I thought some of his comments were out of character. I want the manager to expect victory and nothing less in every game, and to be gutted when his players don’t provide it.

CTID, Jon Marshall <Jon_G_Marshall(at)>


Canal St and the gay scene has long been part of Manchester. Clubs and bars are a good night out for all, with tremendous influences on Manchester’s identity. Good to see City standing up and taking the initiative as a welcoming club to all sections of our community we’re from. Happy for anyone to give their all to the Blue cause.

To Malc in the last issue. Try a night out on Canal St and enjoy the welcome straight people get as well as gay people. Whatever your preferences, it is a good night out, with no mither or prejudice. For the very reason you outlined, United fans will wallow in bigotry. I believe Blues have always been a cut above that. I reckon you’ve got another claim to being part of the best club in Manchester.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


Re: Malc Hough’s opinion in MCIVTA 1254.

So, Malc Hough thinks its embarrassing City getting involved with the gay community here in Manchester. Malc’s link was to an article published in The Guardian.

What are you doing reading The Guardian anyway Malc? By your views I would have deduced you were a narrow minded Sun reader!

Live and let live mate. You probably know gay people without even knowing it, and I know of a fair few who are City nuts and follow them home and away. Some are “out”, some are not for their own reasons (Malc’s opinion and derision of a serious issue might go some way to explaining them!).

What has someone’s sexuality got to do with supporting a football team? Should it matter? No, just like someone’s political beliefs should not, or their tastes in music or whether they are vegetarian or not!

What do you expect gay supporters will do Malc? Demand babycham on draught in the concourses? Start chatting you up in the bogs at half time?

I feel sad for you and your narrow minded views, maybe putting up a “This is our City” banner on Canal Street may be a good idea? And your thoughts about having a float in the Pride parade were very good too, I would hope that one day this could happen, I would also hope that one day you’d be able to accept it too.

Jenkins <jenkins.lot(at)>


This is just a thought, Malc from the last issue.

Now, I’m not gay and I don’t really have the excuse of ‘a lot of my mates are gay’ to back up my liberal opinions, but maybe the club aren’t embarrassing us, maybe your United friends are just a bunch of mindless homophobes.

I’m not sure why this is such a big concern; football fans will taunt you for so many things in your life. The worst of which is surely not ‘your team aren’t homophobic’.

An ex-Man City footballer once committed suicide; I’m guessing the pressures of being gay in the game were a factor. Why can’t we just ignore the sexuality of people – footballers or otherwise? If I was gay I might be interested in another man’s sexual preferences, but being as I’m not what does it matter? People who are over the top and theatrical are not my kind of people, some camp people I’ve met over the years have acted like this and, yes, I found it slightly irritating, but the irritation has got nowt to do with who they want to have sex with. People need to separate the two issues – personality and sexuality.

Malc, I don’t see why ‘This Is Our City’ poster location is the be all and end all. My suggestion is let it go, 1 penalty and no goals from open play after 3 games is a more problematic concern. Hopefully beating the great Arsenal has set us back on track and Stuart Pearce will secure us some silverware so we can take pride in our team.

Martin Alldred <martinblue75(at)>


Months ago I shared my concern about wearing a “Man” City t-shirt, since here in New York nearly no one knows it refers to a football club. Today, in response to Malc Hough’s post in the last MCIVTA, I’d like to voice my support of City’s initiative in addressing perhaps our time’s most major discrimination issue, and I think we should all be proud that they are the first football club to do so.

Donny Schreier <donny(at)>


Perhaps Malc Hough would care to spell out exactly what is so embarrassing about City’s stance on homophobia? He clearly doesn’t like it, but is also not prepared to state why. Over to you, Malc.

And well done City.

On a lighter side, a bloke I met recently – Millwall supporter – said the best away chant he ever heard was the Brighton fans at the New Den, singing:

“We’re going to get our ******* heads kicked in”!

Jeremy Poynton <j.poynton(at)>


To be fair, I think it’s a good initiative to follow. We as a football club are going in the right direction.

But thanks must go to Man United for being the first club to field a lesbian, in Ronaldo! Well done boys.

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)>


I for one am proud to see City supporting the gay community. I think a City float for Mardi Gras is a great idea. It makes me proud that once again Manchester City is a club sticking its neck out to support minorities.

As for the team, once again just when I was giving up on them they draw me back in with a battling display. Give me that level of commitment every week and I will be happy even if we don’t win many games.

Mark Bailey <uproar13(at)>


Could I just comment on Malcolm Hough and his views on City encouraging gay fans to come to the stadium?

No, we are not an embarrassment for taking the lead in this instance, and to be brutally honest mate, fans like you should get back in your time machine and set the dial for 1960. You wouldn’t dare make a comment like that about race so I don’t expect such an unenlightened view about someone’s sexuality. You want to have a little joke about players and their sexual persuasion, all good throwabout stuff, but when it comes down to the people who are sat next to me in the stadium I really couldn’t care less.

A shameful comment on the weekend when Manchester hosted the Gay Pride Festival, and something we should be proud of that we are so cool a city it doesn’t faze us. Apart from London, where else in England is as radical, liberal and understanding? We should be proud of the club’s stance. I am.

Tom Ritchie <Tom.Ritchie(at)>


I’m not sure which way to go on this issue. I have gay friends of both genders and have no problems with having them as friends. If it turns out that (for example) Bell, Marsh, Lee, Law or Pearce come out of the closet I wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

What i do have a problem with, is having tub-thumping active support. If we are working with organisations to make us more gay-friendly why do we have to be so bloody righteous about it?

I do not go around telling people that I am right-on because of the make up of my friends, and they would be pretty p****d if I did. We have paid to join an association that means we can employ gays. Where do you take that one?

As the new supremo of the fat, English, goatee bearded steward and bouncer organisation of Great Britain, do I qualify for a City handout so that you can continue employing my associates?

Lots of people pay a lot of lip service to campaigns like these and then move on as the next wave of fashionable PC comes along, so if we are doing it, let’s do it right. Work with the communities, but do it for the right reasons. Help them with their aims and desires, but don’t do it for self publicity.

By the way, and it’s a big by the way, make sure that they come to the COMS for the right reasons. City fans, not poseurs who want to be seen in the right place.

Chris Murphy <mcfcchris(at)>


I rarely offer my thoughts and opinions in this magnificent publication but I couldn’t let the comments from Malc Hough go unchallenged as I have no wish to be counted as one of the ‘us’ he refers to (‘When will our club stop embarrassing us?’).

I’m proud that my club is taking a lead on this initiative and is seeking to challenge homophobia in the workplace and in the ground. I don’t see why anyone should be excluded from supporting City on the basis of their sexuality.

Why Malc should feel embarrassed by this progressive step forward is a mystery to me but perhaps he should either challenge the views of his ‘United mates’ or get some new ones.

Tom Rhodes <T.Rhodes(at)>


I am confused!

With the departure of Andy Cole to Portsmouth, that’s another body less on the roster. I thought the idea was to bolster a line-up that was sadly depleted last season. Yet for every addition to the roster, we seem to have lost two players.

Cannot understand the logic of letting Cole go without a replacement. Vassell and Cole worked so well together; with Cole gone, I can’t see Vassell being nearly as effective with Samaras and Corradi. And if we lost any of these players due to injury or suspensions, where is the depth? For a team that has scored a total of one penalty shot goal in the first three matches, we are desperately short of firepower. Other teams have done a great job of strengthening their line-ups. City did nowt!

Of course if we do ever run out of players. it’s comforting to know that Pearce is open to fill the void!

[I don’t think we could do anything on this one with Cole who clearly is thinking of his bank balance rather than loyalty to a club who’ve stood by him for 8 months and rewarded him with a new contract. Of course I’d hesitate to use the words tapping, typical, Harry and up in the same sentence. – Ed]

Keith Sharp <keith(at)>


I have to explain, I have been bereft of e-mail for over a week and have only just read the last two issues, but I have been amply compensated. Brian Leigh’s “Tuck yer shirt in and you’ll win the league” was immortal. I shall treasure that for years (I haven’t heard the like since the late 60’s and it wasn’t funny then!).

Perry’s Rant was a gem too (not that I wholly agree with it, but I feel so much better for the privilege of having witnessed it).

I have long wondered at the depth and diversity of conviction among the committed (and perhaps we should all be committed), and MCIVTA shares it out with beautiful balance.

Just to be controversial, I think Thatcher’s tackle was awful in its utter ineptitude, but the accusations of attempted murder are a little over the top.

Ben was hardly looking in the direction of his victim with cynical determination! He was twisted away from his unfortunate victim, not staring murderously into his face. His flying elbow should not have been there, but he was not aiming to kill, so much as stop at any cost.

It was ill-judged, ill-enacted and unacceptable, but still not as bad as it has been whipped up to be. It was one of the worst tackles ever seen but more out of crass ineptitude than murderous intent.

Certainly he should be dropped, probably sine die, but please leave the hysteria to the press. It was absolutely nothing like as cynical and determined an assault as was Keane on Alfie, nor Cantona (the shit hitting the fan and getting out of jail free). Nor was it anything like as cold and calculated as Duncan Ferguson’s Glasgow kiss.

In slight mitigation, it was that same elbow that bust Beckham’s rib when the cunning devil cleverly determined to get himself sent off for England. Remember the outrage when the gifted one confessed to throwing himself onto Ben’s elbow? Let’s leave it there and move on, the roller-coaster is picking up momentum.

Martin Hunt <martin.hunt(at)>


I’ve not written to MCIVTA for some time as I generally read the articles and nod in agreement to most things that are “printed” in it.

Opinions after all are like an a**hole. Everyone has one, nobody particularly wants to hear anybody else’s and only yours doesn’t stink.

However, the comments by Mike Edwards are just beyond belief. How can you defend a tackle like that Mike?

True Blue or not, Thatcher went all out to hurt Mendes. As for hitting his head on the hoardings, Mendes was out cold before he even hit the ground, you could tell by the way he slid across the grass.

Your comment about Keane-Haaland makes it sound like every City player on the pitch is allowed to break bones and knock out other players and then stand over the victim and say that’s on behalf of Haaland.

Thatcher deserves everything he gets as far as I’m concerned. Pearce played with aggression in his career but even Psycho can see a bad tackle. I’d have ripped up Thatcher’s contract on the spot. It might not have looked too bad if Thatcher had have held his hands up and tried to help Mendes, but he just gave him a glance and walked away.

The first I heard about the City vs. Portsmouth game was from mates when I got into work on the Monday who were all too keen to point out the tackle to me. I then found myself defending the club and its players (Thatcher excluded) rather then talking about the game.

When something like that makes the news here in Australia, it has to be bad.

Andy Frodsham <froddy(at)>


My ageing eyes might be past their sell-by date, but could anybody find a picture of Neil Young on the montage of past and present City personalities in the City vs. Arsenal programme?

I know that Nellie had his problems with the club after he retired, and I for one would have been more than happy to have supported a testimonial, but his left foot was one of the sweetest ever to grace Maine Road and over 400 appearances and 108 goals surely earned him a place on the picture.

Gordon Stuart-Cole <gordonsc(at)>


Further to my open letter I posted recently, I would like to report some good news. I wrote to City complaining of the way my wife and niece had been treated getting tickets for the Porto game. After my letter appeared on MCIVTA, the ticket office manager got in touch to offer his apologies and a couple of free tickets, which was a nice gesture, I feel though they really have to get their act together as thousands of City fans are staying away and the club seem incapable of doing anything about it. They refuse to listen to what the fans want, they ignore supporters’ branches requests. they stop players from visiting branches, they have stopped the road shows and open days, they refuse to stop charging for City cards, they charge an extra pound if you get your ticket on the day. it is now £3 for a programme and about the same for a pint, the service in the stands is usually appalling, the atmosphere is usually poor, so it is little wonder fans are staying away in their droves and are only picking the games that suits them. Each week many fans have complaints about the way they have been treated and the club keep failing to address the basic issues. Until they do, fans will continue to vote with their feet and watch the game in a pub.

Don Price <cathdon.price(at)>


MCIVTA 1249 carried a brief obituary for former MCFC player, Billy Walsh, and it said that Walsh had the distinction of being capped by four countries, playing for England Schoolboys, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and New Zealand.

As I now live in New Zealand, I was interested in this, but after checking with NZ’s own Stattos, we can’t find any record of Billy ever having played for New Zealand. It appears he may have been involved as a coach or manager of the national side sometime in the mid-1960s, but he is not recorded in any of the record books as such; perhaps he served as an assistant or the like?

If anyone can supply any more information of his time here in Kiwiland, I’ll be happy to delve further.

Ralph <Ralph(at)>


I am going to be in New York when City play Reading; anyone out there know any bars that will be showing the match? It would be great to watch it with some fellow Blues.

Jackie Murray <j.a.murray(at)>


28 August 2006

Middlesbrough         0 - 4  Portsmouth            24,834

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd   3  1  0  0  5  1  2  0  0  5  1  3  0  0  10   2   8   9
 2 Portsmouth       3  1  0  0  3  0  1  1  0  4  0  2  1  0   7   0   7   7
 3 Aston Villa      3  2  0  0  4  1  0  1  0  1  1  2  1  0   5   2   3   7
 4 Everton          3  1  0  0  2  1  1  1  0  3  1  2  1  0   5   2   3   7
 5 Chelsea          3  1  0  0  3  0  1  0  1  3  2  2  0  1   6   2   4   6
 6 West Ham United  3  1  0  0  3  1  0  1  1  2  3  1  1  1   5   4   1   4
 7 Liverpool        2  1  0  0  2  1  0  1  0  1  1  1  1  0   3   2   1   4
 8 Bolton Wndrs     3  1  0  0  2  0  0  1  1  1  3  1  1  1   3   3   0   4
 9 Manchester City  3  1  1  0  1  0  0  0  1  0  3  1  1  1   1   3  -2   4
10 Fulham           3  1  1  0  2  1  0  0  1  1  5  1  1  1   3   6  -3   4
11 Wigan Athletic   2  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  1  1  2  1  0  1   2   2   0   3
12 Reading          3  1  0  0  3  2  0  0  2  1  3  1  0  2   4   5  -1   3
13 Newcastle Utd    2  1  0  0  2  1  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  1   2   3  -1   3
14 Tottenham H.     3  1  0  1  2  2  0  0  1  0  2  1  0  2   2   4  -2   3
15 Charlton Ath.    3  1  0  1  2  3  0  0  1  1  3  1  0  2   3   6  -3   3
16 Middlesbrough    3  1  0  1  2  5  0  0  1  2  3  1  0  2   4   8  -4   3
17 Arsenal          2  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  1  0  1  0  1  1   1   2  -1   1
18 Watford          3  0  1  1  2  3  0  0  1  1  2  0  1  2   3   5  -2   1
19 Sheff. United    3  0  1  0  1  1  0  0  2  0  3  0  1  2   1   4  -3   1
20 Blackburn R.     3  0  1  1  1  3  0  0  1  0  3  0  1  2   1   6  -5   1

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0607.01]

[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 Radio Manchester (née 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 Plus Markets Group web site 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] I hear there is a TV programme specifically about City?

InsideMCFC is broadcasted by ChannelM. It is available on the SkyDigital (ch.203) and NTL (ch.26) platforms as well as being transmittedtraditionally within the Manchester area (ch.39). In addition, theprogramme is available to watch via the web. More details and schedule:

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 #1255