Newsletter #1261

News tonight of yet more injuries, Sir Shaun back in town (hopefully he has brought his boots for Saturday), and reaction to the Chesterfield defeat. Before people start getting things totally out of proportion, we could have been Fulham or Boro losing at home to Division Two opposition And read Luke’s piece tonight, which neatly sums up how a lot of the non wrist-slashing fans are feeling.

We have an update on the Supporters’ Trust proposal, and if anybody is looking for new furniture, there’s a piece of City history available.

Next game: West Ham United, home, 3pm Saturday 23 September 2006


General News

George Heslop: George Heslop, who played for City during the golden Mercer Allison era has died, aged 66. Centre half Heslop joined City in 1965 and made 34 appearances that season as the Blues won the Second Division title. In the glorious season of 1967-68, Heslop played in virtually all the matches, and his sole goal of that season was a vital one – a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford. The importance of that result became clear at the end of the season, as City pipped United to the title by a point. After enjoying success in the European Cup Winners’ and League Cup Finals, Heslop left City in 1972 for Bury. After a spell as manager of Northwich Victoria, he became a pub landlord, most notably at the City Gates on Hyde Road – famous as the birthplace of Ardwick FC, he forerunner of City. He became a social worker in Blackpool, retiring in 2005. Our thoughts and condolences go to George’s loved ones.

Reserves as Good as the First Team: City’s first and second teams had an impressive 100% record this week – played five, lost five. Let’s trawl through the misery of the Reserves first. Thursday saw a mini-derby at the mini-COMS, but the forces of the Reds prevailed – the visitors grabbed the only goal of the game just before half time, courtesy of Phil Marsh. Team: Hart, Williams, Williamson, Breen (Marshall 63), M.Mills (Mee h-t), Johnson, Etuhu, Ireland, Grimes, Evans, Miller. Subs not used: Matthewson, Vidal.
On Monday it looked like the team had got that derby day defeat out of their system, as they raced to a three-goal lead. Ched Evans (two) and Ben Mee seemed to have given our lads an unassailable lead, but guess what? The home side turned the tide somewhat and scored four (count ’em) goals to snatch the points. Team: Hart, Williams, McGivern, Mee, Williamson, Johnson, Etuhu (Clayton 90), Marshall, Evans, Grimes, McDermott.
And just to complete this first tale of footie failure; – the youngsters in City’s Pontin’s league side lost 3-1 to table toppers Oldham Athletic. Team: City: Matthewson, Kay, Morris, Daly, Ramsey, Pollitt, Weiss, Tsiaklis, Campbell (Clayton 20), Poole (Tutte 79), Mouritsen.

Transfer News and Gossip

Jairo Checks In: Jairo Patino is reportedly poised for a free transfer switch to the COMS to help ease City’s injury crisis. The 28-year-old, who can play at right-back and on the right-hand side of midfield, is free to move outside the transfer window after being released by Argentine side River Plate [thanks Matt Thomas]. And the M.E.N. website’s reporting today that Patino travelled with the squad to Chesterfield last night. If that doesn’t put him off, nothing will…

Farfán: Far Fetched? Just to prove that City can shop outside the bargain bucket, the Sunday Mirror claims that the Blues are planning a £7 million January bid for PSV forward Jefferson Farfán. Ignoramus that I am, I needed the help of Wikipedia for more details. “Jefferson Agust’n Farfán Guadalupe (born October 28, 1984 in Lima, Peru) is a Peruvian football forward who plays for PSV Eindhoven of the Eredivisie. He is a fine dribbler, and has proved himself to be one of the Eredivisie’s most lethal strikers.” So sayeth that website. This potential deal sounds too good to be true, and maybe it is.

Ex-Blues’ News

Latvians in ‘Sibs Scores’ Shame: I submitted last week’s news a day early, which meant the stupendous fact that Antoine Sibierski scored on his début for Newcastle on Thursday went unreported. The Toon overcame Levadia Tallinn in a controlled 1-0 win in the first leg of their UEFA Cup first round tie. Before we jump to the conclusion that Sibs had suddenly had a skills transplant over the last fortnight, allow me to quote from the match report in Friday’s Times. “His football was hardly polished… while his contribution was valuable, it was hardly distinguished… [apart from the goal] his first appearance for Newcastle was a catalogue of leaden touches…” and so on. “Antoine will take a high percentage of chances in the air if they come his way,” said Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder after the match. “It’s actually a skill that has been lost by many players, it’s an art and he has that ability. He can head the ball well, and technically he’s very, very gifted and that will be the first of many, I’m sure of that. We have to be happy with a clean sheet and an away goal. I said before the game that I would be happy with that, and that’s how it turned out. We got off to a great start with an early goal, and I felt we’d go on and score more goals but it didn’t pan out like that. I can’t be too critical though, the lads tired a bit towards the end of the game but we did the job we had to do. The key thing for us now is to make sure we finish the job off in the return game at St James’ Park – and I’m confident we will.” The goal machine himself commented that: “While this was technically not my best game, I’m very happy with that, not just because I scored, but because we won. To get a result away from home in Europe is a big thing for us. The clean sheet was huge for us as well – it was just a good performance all round. To get the goal was great, especially in my first game. Sometimes you can play well without scoring, but I was happy to score.”

‘Oo’s the Daddy? As we know, Shaun Goater’s on tour at the moment, promoting his new book “Feed the Goat” (rrp £17.99, currently available on for £11.87). And the Goat was holding forth on BBC Radio Manchester last night. He clearly was no fan of KK. Comparing Keegan to his first City boss Joe Royle, the Goat said: “They were total opposites in how they were as managers,” he said. “I scored a few seconds after coming on as a substitute at Old Trafford but didn’t get any acknowledgement from Keegan. In the paper next day his remarks would be `what a great substitution’. I didn’t need him to say it in the media but it would have been nice if he’d said, `well done Shaun, great goal,’ or something. I know that if Robbie Fowler had scored he’d have said, `what a great header etc,’ but I got none of that. I never got the little praises that, when you’re doing well, you look for. It was strange because I always felt that whatever I did, it wasn’t good enough. We had Ali Bernarbia who was the best player I’d ever played with. Keegan would tell him how brilliant he was but I’d always get negative comments.” It was a different kettle of fish with JR though. “I can’t thank Joe enough,” he said. “I had such a difficult time at City in my initial years and Joe was so persistent in picking me. At one time I thought, `don’t pick me,’ because my confidence was that low. That was such a challenging time. Soon after that I started doing psychology. There was a City fan who’d finished his degree in psychology and Willie Donachie said he’s there if you want to use him. I never looked back from that point.” He also gave a fascinating insight into the wacky world of Nicolas Anelka. “He was bizarre. He knew I wasn’t a big name like him so he didn’t have to compete with me. Nicolas wanted to be known as the daddy at the club. One particular story was when Robbie Fowler signed. On the day you arrive you have to see everyone like the doctor etc., so invariably you’re late on the training field that first day. But when Robbie turned up on the pitch Anelka wasn’t there. Robbie asked why we hadn’t started jogging and warming up but we were waiting on Anelka. We had a golf cart that was used to bring out the cones and markers and he got a ride out on that to drop him off. That was the first sign that Anelka just wanted to show Fowler that he was the daddy.”

Reactions and Comments

Trousers Down: Last week City helped Premiership new boys Reading to kick start their season. This week, it was the League’s bottom club who felt the benefit of a fixture with City. Blackburn beat the Blues 4-2 to grab a first win of the season and climb off the foot of the Premiership. City missed a host of chances before Trevor Sinclair headed a Morten Gamst Pedersen free kick into his own net. Joey Barton finished off a fine move to sidefoot the visitors level but another inswinging Pedersen free-kick and Andre Oojer’s own goal made it 2-2. Rovers were much improved after the break, Benni McCarthy tapped in the third and sub Paul Gallacher sealed it. Rovers’ boss Sparky Marky Hughes couldn’t have been more delighted, but he did admit: “On another day City might have been out of sight by half-time and we were grateful to come in at 2-2. We played much better in the second half. This was a big psychological result for us. It was important we got our first win, and in particular our first at home where a lot of our success for last season was based. With this win we’ve moved up several places in the table, but it’s still very early days and no-one should get too excited or too anxious at this stage of the season. This will obviously help us and settle us down and I hope we can now look forward to another successful season – but that’s based on the second half performance, not the first.” Our manger echoed some of his rival’s sentiments when he said that “It would have been a different story if we had taken those chances in the first half. But we gifted Blackburn too many easy goals. We shot ourselves in the foot in the second half. On the chances we created and the run of play this was a game we should have got something from, but we haven’t done that and now we have to look at ourselves and try to be more hard-nosed. If we do that then we will end up winning more games than we lose. I’m very disappointed,” he added, “We have conceded at two set plays that have been whipped in, they were ordinary balls. One’s gone in off my player and the other’s gone in directly. At a throw-in we’ve been caught with our trousers down, and it’s disappointing for me.” As to the two defeats in a week, Pearce commented that “People will look at the two results this week against the new boys and the team that began the day at the foot of the table and say that it was a bad week for us and they would be spot on,” he declared. “It has been two poor results against teams that will be in and around where we are in the table. We have given Reading and Blackburn a lift up. It is something that doesn’t sit well with me even though I hide it particularly well. What I am not about to do is sulk about it. I have to make sure it doesn’t happen regularly. We have to be more hard-nosed and professional.” Hold on to your hat, Stu, things were about to get a lot worse…

“Psycho? More Like Sack-O”: So commented a City fan sat behind your News Editor last night, for I was indeed there – I can add now add Chesterfield to the long litany of lower league clubs I’ve seen humble City. Shrewsbury and Barnet spring to mind immediately, not forgetting the worst of the lot, Halifax. Before this tie, William Hills were offering odds of 3-1 on SP being the next Premiership boss for the sack. Lord knows how short those odds are now following this débâcle. The miserable start to the season plumbed new depths as Chesterfield dumped City out of the Carling Cup with a 2-1 victory at Saltergate. Georgios Samaras gave SP’s full-strength side a 40th-minute lead, following up after Bernardo Corradi headed against a post. But Caleb Folan’s 47th-minute header quickly dampened City spirits early in the second half and the visitors’ miserable season continued when Derek Niven put the League One side in front courtesy of a long-range volley. It was the second year in succession the Blues have fallen to Coca-Cola League One opposition at the first hurdle and extended a dismal recent run to 13 defeats from their last 16 games. In a display of loyalty to his players that was almost Fergie-esque, SP refused to blame the players and claimed all the pressure was on him. “I will not bury my head in the sand and blame other people,” he said. “The first one who takes the flak is me. I am the one who should take the criticism, not the players. To turn this situation around, we all have to work a little bit harder on the training pitch and the players need to come out fighting, as the manager and coaching staff will. My players did not let me down,” insisted Pearce. “They are bitterly disappointed to lose but I still have confidence in them. We have good quality players. We have had a lot of bids for them over the summer, which proves it.” With some understatement SP concluded that “This is not one of my finest moments and I will take any of the stick that comes my way. I’m bitterly disappointed but I’ve said to the players that they can only draw closer and learn from it.”

Roy’s the Boy: Former England centre half Roy McFarland, boss of the Spireites, said on Sky “We are ecstatic. We’ve played well all season and probably not got the results we deserved in the league but tonight it’s gone for us. We’ve had that bit of luck that befell us before and to actually knock out a Premiership team will give us a boost. It will give the players a boost but what we’ve got to do is try to take that forward and try to turn our league performances into wins.” He also took time to sympathise with Psycho. “Obviously I am delighted with the win but on nights like this I also feel for the opposition manager. I have been where Stuart Pearce is now a number of times. There is a lot of pressure on him. He is at a big club with a massive support and he knows he has to turn the situation around. I wish him luck and I am sure he will get it right.”

The Smell of Fear: A wag at my office said today “Blimey you lost to a goal by David Niven, and he’s dead!” I’d like to point out that Chesterfield’s match winner was Derek Niven, who secured his bit o’ glory by thumping a 25 yard effort past Nicky Weaver. Clearly his team sensed that City were vulnerable, despite leading at half time. “We sensed they were nervous and took advantage,” said Niven. “They are struggling in the league. They have not picked up many points and, as a lower-league side, you have to try to get on top of them. I thought we did that and although we were behind at half-time, City did not deserve to be in front. They didn’t start the second half well, we pressurised them into making mistakes and in the end we got our just rewards.”

Squad News

Dismay for Dabo Over Dismissal: Ousmane Dabo will have to serve a three-match suspension, after the club’s appeal against the ban was turned down. City had appealed to have Dabo’s dismissal for a straight red card against Reading last Monday rescinded, but the sending off and subsequent ban were upheld by the FA on Thursday. SP said, “We are disappointed, we would not have appealed unless we felt we had a reasonable case. The boy’s got no malice in him in any way, shape or form. He’s disappointed, he was at the time and you could see that in his reaction. He still is now, so are we but the decision has been made, we accept it and move on.” And Pearce has revealed that Micah Richards has apologised for that impressive strop at Reading last week following the full-back’s substitution. “Micah made a bee-line to see me on Thursday morning and apologised for his behaviour, which is fine by me,” he said. “There is no problem. He had the hump about being taken off but he has come in, apologised and told me he was totally wrong. I don’t see a lot of ill-discipline there and I don’t believe we have a problem overall either.”

Thatch Backed: Whilst on the subject of player indiscipline – SP is sure that Ben Thatcher will still be an effective squad member when his ban is over. Thatcher is now half way through his 8 game suspension, and Pearce stated that “I doubt the ban will affect him. Ben has a physical element to his game, which makes him the player he is and I don’t think he can play in any other manner. He has been shaken up by the ferocity of his behaviour and I do detect remorse within him. What is important now is that he accepts his punishment, comes back perfectly fine and plays within the laws, which he does anyway 99.9% of the time.”

Danny the Tiger: He’s Grrreat! Danny Mills duly joined Hull on a two-month loan deal from City last week. Hull chairman Adam Pearson told the Yorkshire Post: “I know Danny from my time at Leeds. It is a big move for us. He has a wealth of experience.” Mills was pleased just to be playing first team football again. “I was told fairly categorically that I wasn’t going to play at Manchester City”, said Mills. “I’m no different to any other player. I want to play regular first-team football and I’m very grateful to Hull for giving me that opportunity. I’m coming here for two months to start with, and if things go well that could be extended by another month, which I will be more than happy with.” His first game as a Tiger was against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday, which Hull won 2-1. It looked like it might be a nightmare début for Mills, as he gave away a controversial penalty in the first few minutes. TV replays suggested the ball had in fact struck the arm of a Wednesday player. But Jon Parkin’s first-half double handed Hull their first home points of the season.

Weaving His Magic: In what you’d have to say has been an indifferent start to the season by City, who has stood out for SP? Step forward Nicky Weaver. “Nicky has been exceptional,” said Pearce. “I would rate him as our best player so far this season. When you look at the injuries he has suffered and the operations he has had, he deserved all the plaudits he gets. There were times when he never thought he would play again but he has come through and is back in the Premiership. It is brilliant to see him out on the pitch again and see a story that has such a happy ending. Nicky is an example to every professional in showing what you can achieve if you are prepared to work hard,” said Pearce. “It is not easy when you are in the gym day after day when the rest of the first-team squad are off somewhere else. It is difficult to get yourself fit when you think there is no light at the end of the tunnel. He has had to do that for long periods. He has matured and shown great professionalism but he has also kept a smile on his face, even when times have been really tough.”

Not Off Damarc Yet: Loan signing DaMarcus Beasley is looking forward to a playing for his new club. Beasley is almost fit enough to play, after arriving at the club with a hamstring injury. “I’m ambitious to win, I want to win and I want to help Manchester City win within my capabilities. If my number’s called I want to show the fans that this is a club where I want to be,” said Beasley. “I heard before I even came that City had one of the best fan bases in England and I’m excited to play for them. I want to gain their respect quickly in the first couple of games that I play. If they get behind me, that will encourage me and hopefully I can give them the work ethic that they will be looking for from me.” He also likes the cut of SP’s jib: “He’s a coach that you go to talk to if you have a problem. He’s open and he’s always out there on the training pitch, he really knows his football so I’m happy to play under him. I’ve been here two weeks now and I’m settling in pretty well. The guys in the team have been good with me, and the Manager and coaching team have as well. I’m enjoying the way it’s going here so far.”

Double Trouble: Two of City’s recent signings have suffered injury blows. ‘Keeper Andreas Isaksson and defender Hatem Trabelsi were both ruled out for up to a month. Isaksson is yet to make his City début after requiring ankle surgery following his £2 million summer move from Rennes and has now suffered a knee injury in training, which will sideline him even longer. Trabelsi picked up a groin strain on his first Premiership start at Blackburn on Sunday and will be out for a similar length of time. Here’s SP’s report on the Isaksson injury. “There was a collision between him and another player in the training session before the Blackburn game, and his knee ligaments have been extended a little bit.” After the Blackburn game, SP confirmed that with Trabelsi, “We don’t have a timescale at present but I will talk to the physios this morning in respect to that. It’s a groin strain that happened when he overstretched for a ball, so we will see how that goes. Trabelsi looks a good player, which I knew, but there was a bad pass to him and he ended up stretching a groin but he’s going to be a good player for us. He’s clever enough to play right-back or on the right side of midfield from what I saw against Blackburn. He’s played a vast amount at right back but he’s also played right side of midfield for Tunisia. I spoke with him in midweek and asked if he could play right side of midfield and he said it was no problem.”

Vass the Way We Don’t Like It: And just to prove it’s not just the new boys with injury concerns – Darius Vassell is apparently a long way from returning to the squad. “Darius is probably about four or five weeks away from a return,” Pearce said. “You miss any player who isn’t available. Darius gives us pace and power, and another option up front. But we’re in the same boat as any other team in the Premiership. They’ve all got one or two little niggles, and we’re no different. If you think you’re hard done by, you’re not.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


I am one of the guys behind trying to set up a Supporters’ Trust. Progress has been a little slow but now that we have Supporters Direct backing us and have received much support we have decided to press on (having waited for a response from the Club only to be let down despite promises). I expect something to come out shortly with reference to further news, media coverage, a meeting etc.

In the meantime I have literally just a few minutes ago started a blog so that fellow fans and shareholders can keep up to date with progress.

By the way the link to my blog is It’s only the start but I expect it to build up quite quickly as developments seem to be happening by the day at the moment.

Ollie Goddard <olliegoddard(at)>


The first hurdle to get over here is to state how long I’ve been a City supporter and why that gives me the right to comment. It seems that this precursor is an absolute necessity when making comments on City and anyone who has not supported City for more than 70 years has no right to have an opinion, apparently.

I started (physically) watching City when I was eight, just after the FA Cup final loss to Tottenham. Ironically (for me) it was at Maine Road against Spurs that I first got a taste of the action, first hand. City lost. Nevertheless, I kept turning up.

I had previously only been to one 1st Division game (as it was then), at Old Trafford. Birmingham lost, Martin Buchan broke someone’s leg in a tackle that would’ve got him time in Strangeways nowadays (he wasn’t even booked).

I digress. So I’ve been around for longer than the majority of “fans” I see at City’s newish stadium, which I personally feel does not give me more of a right to comment but does allow me to compare and contrast, which most cannot. I say most, as the “old” supporters have all but been replaced by the corporate parasites (other than Ricky Hatton and a few unnamed genuine others).

Some time ago (towards the end of last season), I submitted a three page diatribe to an unofficial online City Fansite, detailing the sad demise of football. I feel no different now than I did then, unsurprisingly. I am not here to stir up any mass hysteria or cause any major concerns for the authorities that govern football but I must just reiterate my main point from the aforementioned Fansite submission.

Football is dying, you as a supporter are no longer important, you have no say, your team doesn’t care, the person that sits next to you every week will not be there for much longer, etc.! There are many reasons for this but they are so glaringly obvious that I refuse to re-state them, suffice to say, if you don’t understand my point of view, you have no real interest in football anyway.

I did propose and still do a peaceful form of protest about the continued and heightened destruction of the game I used to love. The protest would take the shape of a mass refusal to set foot inside COMS on any given home match day. Everyone turns up as normal, bring your tickets for authenticity, wear scarves and badges if still necessary, buy a programme or more importantly, a Fanzine but do not set foot inside the turnstile. Imagine the absolute abject horror of the stadium staff, Directors et al, when 40 odd thousand people turn up but not to watch. No violence, no anger, just a silent protest with a few well placed banners citing the collapse of the game we have ploughed thousands into over the years.

Someone, somewhere (and not Roy Keane, though he had a point) has to stand up and be counted; that person needs to then enthuse all the other people to do the very same and then those people need to spread their word and piece by piece we may actually get our voice back and once again have a say.

Money may be the root of all evil but it’s worse not to have any at all. I am a realist; I appreciate the fact that to be successful, you need some money, cash flow etc. I would rather support City than Watford but to be honest it sounds like the boys who’ve set up their own teams in the lower leagues are having way more fun and actually enjoying watching football (FC United etc.). Ask yourself if you enjoy watching City, week in week out. Ask yourself if you preferred it when money wasn’t an issue, when City (for example) were a mid-table team, Paul Power was Captain, Maine Road had atmosphere like I’d never experienced anywhere else etc.

All these new initiatives our Directors install are done with the best will in the world but they are painfully out of touch with the people that matter. Football demands atmosphere and atmosphere is in turn stirred by “real” supporters, those that care passionately. Family sections of the stadium were always minimal when I was a lad. If your dad wanted to take you, you and he dealt with the language and crap pies and moreover, the violence that was part and parcel of the game back then. Everything’s so sanitised now. I have nothing against any minority or majority but specifically targeting the gay community in Manchester is simply ridiculous. As others before me have said, what about targeting students, the elderly, the black community, asian, etc.

At the business end of this ever increasing email, Manchester City F.C. are and have always been (in my lifetime) in a state of decline. Various well timed highs have been overpowered by crushing and damaging lows. Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison were replaced by the likes of Billy McNeill, Alan Ball, Frank Clark and so on. City are not and have not been for many, many years, a “big” club. Just because we have some of the very best support in British football (Sunderland and Newcastle included) does not entitle us to win the Premiership or the FA Cup, let alone get into Europe.

We attract some average players and play average football, we are unable to shake the “typical” City tag because that’s City. Beat Arsenal, lose to Chesterfield. Stuart Pearce is the man for the job right now. Think back to Steve Coppell, who couldn’t hack it after three weeks at City (or thereabouts). Stuart Pearce is an up standing guy, takes the flack and gets his head down so as to improve. Heart on sleeve is what we’ve been craving for years. Please also remember that Alex Ferguson was on his way out many a moon ago, until he got the one victory that catapulted him to his own period of greatness (though it pains me greatly to say so). This country needs young managers, supported by their clubs and fans, so that we may again, one day in the next decade have an International team to be proud of. The young talent must be nurtured and the naysayers and knockers should be hounded out of the press for their part in the demise of football in Britain. One thing that Stuart Pearce must do, is actually play the youth he keeps mentioning in glowing tributes about how City are a great option for young players. Richards, Miller, Ireland all play. What about Sturridge, Johnson, Etuhu to name but a few. What happened to Willo Flood (for example), Lee Croft went, as did Bradley WP. Not good enough or just lip service from Pearce to keep his senior squad on track? The time to act is now, play Sturridge with Samaras, see what happens. If he doesn’t score, then he’s no different from Dickov, Vassell and Corradi.

My first 11 (and subs), for what it’s worth:-

Weaver (loves the club) / Jordan (City fan) / Dunne (Captain) / Onuoha (when fit) / Richards (aggressive) / Miller (built like a brick …) / Barton (unfortunately the best senior we have) / Hamann (old head) / Ireland (inventive) / Samaras (senior that can score) / Sturridge (goal machine) (subs = Trabelsi (when fit) / Distin / Dickov / Etuhu / Dabo).

Get rid of Reyna, thank fu** Sibierski has gone, Thatcher and Mills not got what it takes anymore, Sinclair is a Blue but!

We need back up in defence (full backs), we need exciting wingers as an option and that’s it. So no big crisis, just a bit more money in January and a few players offloaded, get the youth in and stick with the Manager.

Of-course, all this is of no importance as the “beautiful” game spirals into oblivion.

City til I die but not at any cost. The players need to take responsibility for their poor performance on the pitch. They earn so much money that it makes a mockery of you and I.

[Sat here nodding head in agreement, well said – Ed]

Luke Todd <Luke.Todd(at)>


For goodness sake get someone in that can control this rabble we call Manchester City.

I really don’t care about excuses, the bottom line is that Chesterfield really (and certainly no disrespect to them) shouldn’t even be on the same page as us.

We’ve heard time and time again one excuse after another. Kevin Keegan wasn’t that silly after all. He knew they were a bunch of muppets!

Crikey, just think of how angry I would be if I lived in Manchester; thank goodness I live over here.

Really hard trying to stay Blue.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Our record for the last dozen league games, or so, is pretty dismal; this season’s efforts are dire.

The club fields a strong (for us) set of players against Chesterfield. We lose, so congratulations to our opponents on the night.

Excuses are not acceptable, nor should they be to anyone who follows the fortunes of Manchester City.

Our playing staff are, for the most part, a disaster. Overpaid underachievers.

Management now must look at itself and ask whether they are all the right people, in the right job, at the right club. As much as I like Stuart Pearce, I fear the job of manager at Manchester City is just not for him – unfortunately, it just is not a good fit.

Stuart should move along to another club, whose players are more worthy of his efforts – and, I wouldn’t blame him, one iota. I support him in his future endeavours, no question about that.

We’re a laughing stock, and it doesn’t sit well with me. Our current league position does not lie.

Graham Mills <ride4311(at)>


I have had the misfortune to watch both of City’s latest defeats at Blackburn from their Riverside Stand. In both matches:

  1. Savage goes down under a challenge in the second half and there is alengthy period of treatment for him. He is meanwhile smiling andgrinning whilst the trainer bends over him. I watched this throughbinoculars on both occasions.
  2. Someone in this stand periodically blows a loud, shrill whistle, ratherlike that of a referee, several times during the match. When I mentionthis to some home supporters they look straight through me as ifnothing is amiss. Can anything be done about this? If so to whom shouldI make my report?

Peter Birbeck <peter.birbeck(at)>


This was a timely piece of journalism by the BBC (shown last night) as I had already decided to make this my last season as a season ticket holder at my beloved City. What was discussed in the programme was just the tip of the iceberg as far as I’m concerned when it comes to reasons for being completely disenchanted and disillusioned by the ‘beautiful game’. After 36 years as a supporter and 18 years as a season ticket holder I have had enough. I even ran a City supporters’ club when I was a teacher in Manchester during the Stretford Rangers’ most successful seasons and we were in free fall under Ball, Coppell et al, protecting the Blues I taught from suffering the hideous abuse of the glory seekers.

In other words I’ve supported them (just as most people reading, I’m sure) through thin and thin. But finally, under Keegan I snapped. I could no longer support (emotionally or vocally) people who wore the shirt but didn’t give a toss. We’d already been though this with the worst ever City teams under Ball and Clark, but now our players were behaving badly on and off the pitch and basically just laughing in the face of the club’s most loyal supporters. Pearce briefly stopped the rot, but the mere presence of Barton, Distin and Richards in the team means there is no longer any such thing as loyalty and it is now all about the highest bidder. If I met these people in the street I would have nothing to say to them – and that just makes me sad. I’m sure Arsenal supporters feel much the same about Ashley Cole, as Everton supporters did about Rooney, West Ham about Cole and Lampard etc.

As regards the Panorama programme, nothing will come out of this ‘exposé’, just as nothing happened after the George Graham revelations and before that Brian Clough. The reason? The FA. They have always been the most toothless of organisations, even when pretending to be ‘tough’, because they are run by the ‘suits’ (Dein, Gartside etc.) who have the most to lose if these allegations are ever properly investigated. In our current climate their only concern is covering their backsides (witness the entire Sven saga). Sam Allardyce will be made a scapegoat of, because he is an easy target and will deflect attention away from any real changes being made. However, as the programme pointed out at the end 18 past and present Premiership managers have been involved – many probably feeling that it is the done thing because no-one has previously been properly punished for it. Look at the transfer dealings in recent years of Allardyce, Redknapp, Ferguson, Wenger, Keegan, Houllier, Souness, Robson (Brian & Bobby), Moyes and it’s not hard to work it out. Why does it matter? Because it is our money (the supporters) that is being frittered away and paid in unhealthy amounts to people who don’t have one-thousandth of the passion and desire we’d show if we were allowed to pull on our team’s shirt.

If only we had a City team full of players who loved the club and would play with the passion we’d show – maybe the team below (made up of players I have seen and fully supported) would have done:

Brightwell - Dunne - Hendry - Hinchcliffe
White -    Kinkladze - Lake -   Hughes
             Dickov - Goater

Subs: Margetson, Pearce, Onuoha, Redmond, Barrett, Brown, Benarbia, Quinn, Rösler

Second thoughts – that has made me even more depressed! Hardly a world beating team (apart from a few exceptions) and yet these are the only players who I feel have really tried for us over the last 18 years of watching. I just hope that in my last season Pearce can manage to get half the effort out of our current bunch as the above managed (at least one bright spot is that three of our current squad feature in the team above).

Stevie Burrows <stevieburrows(at)>


After 30-odd years of unstinting home and away support, I didn’t renew my season ticket for the 2005-06 season. The reasons for this difficult decision were varied – some were a protest at the state of football in general, some mostly they reflected my disenchantment at the direction in which I believed City were heading. So perhaps I can justifiably be accused of not having much of a right to express an opinion. But I still care about City and would love to have some answers to the following questions:

  1. After tonight’s pathetic display/result against Chesterfield, how muchlonger will Pearce be given before he is rightly sacked?
  2. Why has Pearce built a team with absolutely no pace?
  3. Why has Pearce built a team with no natural wide players?
  4. Why has Pearce bought players who have appalling injury records at their previous clubs?
  5. Why has Pearce created a team with no natural goal scorer(s)?
  6. Why has Pearce built a team with no midfield playmaker?
  7. Why did David James and Andy Cole want to leave so badly? And why didMicah Richards show so much frustration at Reading? A happy camp?
  8. Where has all the money gone that’s been generated by the recent sales ofAnelka and SWeeP?
  9. If Hearts, Chelsea, Portsmouth, Aston Villa and West Ham (probably) canfind extremely wealthy investors, why can’t we?
  10. Why, when we are clearly heading for relegation, does the Board ofDirectors waste its time attracting more gays to watch the matches? For thePC brigade out there, this is not a homophobic comment. I merely make thecomment because I’d like to think the Board have better things to occupytheir minds, like attracting investment into the club? Actually I’ll answerthis one for you – Wardle and his puppets love the importance of being on theBoard. They don’t want some multi-millionnaire coming along and pushing themto the side, even if said millionnaire could inject much needed funds into ateam rebuilding exercise.
  11. Why is it too much effort for the club to create a singing section in thestadium so our own fans aren’t persecuted by our own stewards, which isfrankly a f*****g disgrace?
  12. Why don’t we ever play pre-season friendlies in Europe so we can at leasthave a decent away trip to look forward to? I’m sick of going to Tranmere,Wrexham, Port Vale, Bradford etc.!
  13. Why has Stuart Pearce banned current players from attending supporters’club meetings [that’s not Stuart, it happened as soon as Keegan arrived]?
  14. Will the club ever employ a catering team on match days who can servequality food quickly, give the correct change and actually speak andunderstand English? Even better, will the catering staff ever understand theconcept of pre-pouring pints before half time to speed up the service?

Apart from the above, and the fact that we’ve lost 12 of our last 15 Premiership games, been knocked out of the Carling Cup by Chesterfield, and won f**k all for 30 years, I think everything else at City is great! There, I feel better already having got that lot off my chest.

Has anybody got any answers?

Phil Jones <philmcfcjones(at)>


In 1965 two soccer-mad kids decided to take an interest in English soccer as we just had Match of the Day beam into our houses. My best friend chose West Ham and still follows them today. His brother took the Red half of Manchester and he said why don’t I take the Blue half? Well I did. In those days we had a team that could play, could defend, could score goals and win!

In the middle of that team was George Heslop. Not a star like Colin Bell, Franny Lee, Mike Summerbee, Doyle, Oakes and co, but a player that every team needs. Not flash like Rodney Marsh or the football skills of Stan Bowles, but nothing much got past him and he gave his all.

I think of yesterday’s stars with a lot of fondness, they played for the love of the game and had a ball doing it. Something is lost with the modern day footballer and the modern day life. Life was so much better then. And we were winning!

So George, thanks for the memories, I still have a photo of the team on my studio wall, along with one of Maine Road, a place I never saw, but they are just dreams now.

Rest in Peace George.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


My dad has been a Man City fan for 55 years and a couple of years ago he went to the Maine Road auction to see what he could pick up as a keepsake. As the plastic seats on toilet signs got snapped up he was getting a bit despondent – until the boardroom table came up. Before he knew what had happened he’d bought it and then had no idea what to do with it or how to get it out of the stadium or fit it in his house – let alone how to break it to his wife.

Anyway he owed me a wedding present so it’s been in my house ever since. The only problem is that it’s so big I can’t walk around it and my wife’s had enough.

I’ve thought about getting it cut down but it’s a beautiful bit of furniture and it would just be sacrilege so the only option is to sell it.

Given its position in the legends of city – Rodney Marsh signing up on it (and every other player I guess), Francis Lee dancing on it when City won promotion, etc. – I’d like to see it go to a more deserving City fan than me but I’m not sure how let them know it’s up for sale – other than through McV.

If anyone is interested and has a big enough dining room, please contact me.

Stuart Renshaw <stuart.renshaw(at)>


20 September 2006

Liverpool             2 - 0  Newcastle United      43,754

League table to 20 September 2006 inclusive

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

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1261