Newsletter #1288

Don’s news round up brings us reaction to the season thus far, the Sheffield United game and latest transfer rumours; yes, it’s that time again.

We have an interesting update on Gaudino thanks to Martin, opinion on the squad, and more disgruntlement at player wages vs. performance.

Apologies for the delay in getting this one out, PC and email problems at MCIVTA towers I am afraid. Fingers crossed that this gets out safely, and apologies to a fair few as your messages are lost in cyberspace.

Still, you’re probably all celebrating the wins at Sheffield United, West Ham and now at home to Everton. Nine points, the future’s bright, the future’s Blue.

A Happy New Year to all our readers and contributors.

Next game: Sheffield Wednesday, away, 3pm Sunday 7 January 2007


General News

Half-Term Report: As City have stumbled into the second half of the league season, it’s time for the PE teacher’s half term report. SP has been reflecting this week on a half-season that has brought a few highs (Arsenal, Villa, Sheff. Utd. away) and plenty of lows (Wigan and Chesterfield the particular lowlights). “I’ve been pleased with certain elements of it, but a little bit frustrated with a few performances, although very pleased with some,” says the boss. “I’m disappointed that a few of our new signings have not consistently been able to feature on a permanent basis due to injuries and suspension.” And he virtually said that you get what you pay for: “Form wise, some of my players could do better. But we all know the players in Europe who will guarantee goals. If you buy Dietmar Berbatov or Dirk Kuyt for £10 million, the chances are they will score goals. Look at Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at Ajax. They are the players who will score all over Europe. But if you spend a bit less, you get less consistency and make no mistake, I have not spent a lot of money on players during my time at the club. At the moment, I am around £13 million in the black with my spending.” Final words on the report: “Can do better. We will need to do better in the second half of the season.”

Takeover Overtaken? The Mail on Sunday must have cranked the pressure up on SP another notch this week, by claiming that City’s slide towards the relegation zone was in danger of jeopardising the proposed takeover of the club. Alistair Mackintosh stated recently that “we are only 10 minutes into a 90-minute game” in terms of negotiations, so there is obviously concern in some quarters that the “20 minute” mark won’t be reached.

Not so Appealing: The Football Association today rejected Joey Barton’s appeal against his red card. Barton will serve a three-match ban after losing an appeal for wrongful dismissal in the 2-0 defeat against Bolton at the COMS. At a hearing in London, it was decided referee Mike Riley had not acted incorrectly in dismissing Barton for serious foul play when he launched himself towards Abdoulaye Faye. The midfield man will miss Premiership encounters against West Ham and Everton as well as the FA Cup tie at Sheffield Wednesday.

Transfer News and Gossip

Micah and Shaun – Part 735: Just like the smell of sprouts in the front room, the story of City, Chelsea, SWP and Micah Richards refuses to go away. Still the journals are linking Shaun with a move back to City, although SP has admitted that a loan deal for the pocket rocket is out of the question. “Chelsea will not be loaning out Shaun Wright-Phillips, that is what we have heard,” revealed Pearce. “In the current climate I wouldn’t think the club could afford Shaun unless there is a takeover. But the chairman has the financial clout to do it from his own pocket – and not from money within the football club.” However, Pearce accepts that Wardle has already ploughed plenty of cash into the club and cannot be expected to provide the funds. “He has already put £20 million in and that is a sizeable chunk of anyone’s fortune,” he said. So what are the alternatives to a loan deal? According to the Sun, that old chestnut of a player exchange deal is back on the cards – or to put it another way, “Chelsea are ready to offload £21 million flop Shaun Wright-Phillips to his old club Manchester City in a swap deal that would see Micah Richards move to Stamford Bridge.” The Mirror meanwhile thinks that a big pot of cash will be changing places with Micah, rather than a diminutive wide man: “Chelsea want England star Micah Richards in the transfer window – but Manchester City are looking for a stunning £20 million for their teenage terror,” according to Alan Nixon of that paper. Portsmouth and West Ham would then fight it out for SWP, while Oldham Athletic would thank their lucky stars that they agreed a 20% sell on clause for Micah. And today Psycho’s been teasing the media somewhat – he’s denied that Chelsea have enquired about Micah, but coyly confirmed that he’d asked about the availability of one of their players. “The only contact we’ve had with Chelsea is us ringing them about their players coming here,” Pearce said. “At this stage it’s not prudent to say who,” he added. So unless Mrs. Shevchenko fancies shopping on Market Street rather than in Knightsbridge, methinks that might mean Shaunie. Perhaps.

Red Joey? It’s a compliment to his form at the moment I guess, but Joey Barton is being linked with at least three other Premiership clubs at the moment. We’ve already heard of a possible move to his hometown club Everton of course – now there’s word of interest from West Ham United and (gulp) MUFC. Sunday press reports state Sir Alex Ferguson will move for Barton during next month’s market should he be frustrated in his bid to prise Owen Hargreaves away from Bayern Munich. Clearly one chippy Scouser at the club is not enough for the Crimson-Faced One. The Mirror claimed that new West Ham boss Alan Curbishley is set to test City with a shock £6 million bid for t’midfield dynamo, whose current contract carries a £5.5 million buyout clause. A statement purportedly made by Joey appeared on the club website, denying the boy was going anywhere. “I am very happy here and have absolutely no desire or intention to leave,” he (not Willie McKay, OK?) said. “I want to concentrate on playing for this club and am very positive about the future. I trust this is the end of the matter and we can get on with preparing for the Christmas period of games.”

Fiore Furore: Old Lazio players don’t die – they just turn up at City instead. Maybe it’s the light blue shirts, who knows? This one comes out of left field somewhat, but claims that ex-Lazio midfielder Stefano Fiore is set to join AS Roma on loan in January, despite interest from our own ‘Biancocelesti’. The midfielder, currently playing for Torino FC, has failed to impress since his arrival from Fiorentina last summer, and is desperate to seal a move away from Turin. Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is very keen on the 30-year-old player, and has conceded he is following him. “Roma are interested in Fiore because also last summer they had spoken to Valencia about him,” Fiore’s agent said. “What I know is that Spalletti is a big fan of the player, but there are some issues with Fiore being an ex-Lazio player with still strong feelings for that club. Stefano could be a good replacement for Taddei, Mancini and even Perrotta. I obviously don’t like seeing Stefano sitting on the bench at Torino, and I am obviously looking around to find him a team for January.”

Syl Still Blue: SP has dismissed rumours that Sylvain Distin has rejected another contract offer – and the gaffer is confident the player will stay with City. Distin is due to fall out of contract in the summer and City have so far failed to agree terms on a new deal with the French defender, leading to speculation he will leave. A host of clubs including Newcastle are keen but Pearce has played down rumours of a switch away from Manchester by insisting the player will eventually commit his future. “We have been talking to Sylvain for 18 months now and I honestly believe he will end up signing a new contract, whether that is next week, next month or in the summer, I do not know,” Pearce said of the situation.

Reactions and Comments

Mine’s a Double: You kind of knew that SP’s Friday comments might come back to haunt him. When asked about the return of Nicolas Anelka with Bolton the next day, Psycho was less than effusive in his praise of City’s former striker. “Anelka had his time at this club and probably needed to move on. He is a good player and an exceptional talent,” mused Pearce. “He plays with flair. What has surprised me is he has not stayed at various clubs longer than he has.” And so to the match, and wouldn’t you know it? Two goals by the prodigal son saw the visitors win yet again at the COMS. The Frenchman latched on to Nicky Hunt’s superb flicked pass to lash in the first at the near post. And Anelka coolly rolled in his second on 25 minutes from Henrik Pedersen’s cross after another sweeping move. There were two incidents which generated some comments afterwards – the first saw Paul Dickov’s header scooped away by Jussi Jaaskelainen, and depending what colour your vision was, the ball either clearly crossed the line, or it didn’t. Then Joey Barton saw red late on for a lunge on Abdoulaye Faye. “I thought it wasn’t over the line,” said Bolton boss Sam Allardyce, then showed fantastic football logic when adding, “The save was so good that it deserved not to be a goal.” Down at the Blue end, things were seen somewhat differently. “It was only a foot over,” observed the SP pithily. “Maybe it has to hit the back of the net before it gets given.” So does this mean Psycho’s now in favour of video technology deciding goal-line incidents like this? “I’m against it and one incident against my team hasn’t changed my mind. A lot of people call for technology but in my mind you should leave it to the officials to officiate. The beauty of football is it’s spontaneous, and you would lose that.” And what of Joey Barton’s dismissal? “I don’t think it’s a sending off challenge, I really don’t. It’s something we have to appeal against. I never criticise referees and I’m not going to start now. If I get asked an honest question, ‘was Joey Barton’s challenge a sending off offence?’, I’ll say no. It looked a hell of a lot worse than it probably was, a yellow card at worst possibly. When I’m asked honest questions, like I was at Old Trafford, I stand up and back referees, saying ‘he got it spot on’. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, giving these honest assessments and backing referees when they get it right will go with us.”

Almost Tierry Henry: A couple of controversial incidents couldn’t mask the fact that this was a pretty poor show by the Blues, and left them perched just two points above the relegation places. It also meant that we had to endure the ever charming Allardyce’s bon mots. Anelka has now scored against City and Arsenal in recent games, prompting his present manager to observe that “It’s a pity Nicolas has not played for another 17 teams in the Premiership if that is what he does against his former clubs. He has shown Manchester City what they are missing. If we provide him with the chances, there is nobody better at taking them.” We even had a few syllables from the double goalscorer. “First and foremost, I am delighted that I helped the team to another victory”, mused Anelka. “It is good to score, but the team must come first. Coming back to Eastlands was always going to be quite emotional for me. I spent two enjoyable years with Manchester City and I didn’t know how I was going to feel playing against them. Once I got out on the field, I was ready and to score two goals is a dream for me.” If SP had any regrets about his pre-match utterances, he wasn’t letting on. “In flashes, Nicolas has been as good as any player I have played alongside or coached,” said Pearce. “With ability like that, he should be a main feature in World Cups and European Championships, like Thierry Henry. I stick by my comments and the two goals he scored against us only emphasise that.”

Treasure Ireland: Going into the game on Boxing Day, City fans must have feared the worst. Travelling to Bramall Lane to face the robust Sheffield United on the back of two tame home defeats, City could have dropped into the bottom three with a poor result. And yet, by Jingo, City won, thanks to a first ever senior goal by Stephen Ireland. The Blues (or Black and Greys, to be accurate) began with a 3-5-2 formation reminiscent of the Division One days, and the first half saw City have much the better of the play. Indeed, it looked like City should have had a penalty for a sneaky punch off the line by United’s Robert Kozluk (of which more later), although Blades’ fans were appealing at the other end when the ball struck the outstretched arm of Micah Richards. Later, Stephen Ireland spoke about smacking home the winner: “It was well overdue but I’m happy it came, because this was an important win,” he says. “It was a battle for us, especially in the second half and they made it difficult to break them down. When the ball fell to me, I didn’t think about it, it was great play from Hatem and George but I just whacked it. It’s been a long time coming for me, but thankfully I’ve got one now and we got the three points as well. I’ve set myself a target of getting a few goals, and hopefully I can nick a few more now.” His manager sounded impressed with the boy. “I thought he was outstanding,” said Pearce. “We have been trying to encourage him for a number of months, if not years, to be more selfish. He tends to pass when he should shoot, although he has an eye for a pass which is his forté. Once he becomes a bit more selfish and says ‘I want a part of the Premiership scene’ then we might see a player flourish. But if he is forever playing within himself and trying to set up goals for others all the time then he won’t score.”

They Don’t Give a Damn: Stuart Pearce was pleased to get the win, but that was about it. “This was a big result for us, and although I was pleased with our resilience, I wasn’t with the performance. I said before the game that given the position that we are in we are going to have to scrap for 19 games to get results – now it’s 18 games. There’s more ability in our dressing room than we are showing but any illusions people had that we would gatecrash the European party, then those three defeats we suffered before today have dispelled that. Maybe results like today will feed confidence to the players. We have got to put some hard work in between now and West Ham, go down there and get a result.” Pearce wasn’t impressed by the suggestion that the players had pulled out the result to help their boss. “They weren’t doing it for me, players are not that unselfish,” he insisted. “They don’t give a damn about their manager, they want to do it for themselves, their supporters and the football club and rightly so.”

TV Hell: We had Neil Warnock’s first Premiership rant after the game – that was probably easier than discussing another defeat for the Blades. Personally I blame the Radio 5Live reporter during the week who jovially remarked to Warnock that he hadn’t yet unleashed any verbal volleys this term. Well he made up for it after this game. Let’s listen to Warnock for a while: “I’m disappointed with the TV people because they told the referee about a penalty incident involving Kozluk,” said Warnock. “That shouldn’t have been allowed to happen in the tunnel. The referee then goes and tells Kozluk he’s lucky to get away with it. That’s so unprofessional. If I spoke like that to a referee I’d be done. It’s totally out of order and I’ll make my point. I think it’s unacceptable. I don’t think a referee should be mentally tried with statements like that at half-time. It can make him aware of a situation, and then going out for the second half he’s got to be thinking he’s made a cock-up. It’s put pressure on him. There were then one or two things in the second half that I felt should have gone our way which didn’t. What happened was totally out of order and I have said that to both the TV people and the referee. Unfortunately, the TV people forgot to mention a penalty we should have had too.” Stuart Pearce said: “I didn’t see them to be fair, people tell me one of their boys (Kozluk) punched it off the line. My video people are sat next to me but I didn’t have chance to review it as I was too wrapped up in the game and I still haven’t had a chance. But as we do, we will leave it with the referee… some go our way, some don’t.”

Squad News

Keep on Keeping (1): Goalkeeping coach Tim Flowers has paid tribute to Nicky Weaver, who has battled back from horrendous injuries to be City’s senior shot-stopper. “I’m delighted for him,” says Flowers. “Since coming back, Nick has been out at training earlier than anyone else and stayed out later, then come back in to finish his rehab in the gym. He often does not leave until late afternoon and it has showed, his weight has come down and he is nice and strong. The club did the right thing by standing by him, and this season has been payback time,” he said. “We’ve got a top-class goalkeeper back and he loves it here, but he did the right thing as well by keeping himself in good nick, and he’s paying us back now.”

Keep on Keeping (2): And the man who was supposed to be City’s no.1, Andreas Isaksson, is keen to force his way into the starting line-up. The Swedish international has been plagued by injuries since his move to Eastlands from Rennes after the World Cup, and has only had 45 minutes of action at his new club. “I have been out for long and I can’t live on past displays,” Isaksson told Expressen. “It’s a matter of starting to play for the club again and doing well, otherwise I won’t get to play for the national team, it’s just like that. But it’s going well in training now and I am not giving up.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Today’s loss versus Bolton just about sums up the array of “talent” we now have at Manchester City, for the most part.

The apparent wage bill attributed to the players for churning out these types of performances must make for dire reading, indeed – it simply adds insult to injury to those of us who follow and care for the club. It is a joke. And, it is pathetic.

As for those (poor souls) who actually pay their good money to view these continuing displays surely, one now has to wonder: why bother? There is an old phrase about “a fool and his money”. It is time to cut out the sentiment and face the facts.

Our declining and ever-worsening league position certainly does not lie; the club is steadily sinking towards the depths of the Premiership and, sorry to have to admit, on the basis of further abject displays, the club is precisely where it deserves to be thanks to these types of performances. We’re a Championship League side, and that is where Manchester City will surely find itself, unless we’re very, very fortunate. It is sad, indeed.

If this nonsense is going to be turned around at all, then, I believe Stuart Pearce needs to become as forceful with his players off the pitch as he himself was, as a player, on it. At the moment, and from my perspective, I just do not see that is the case.

With respect, perhaps the Chairman and the Board of Directors should consider bringing in a man of repute “to help and assist” Stuart guide the players in the right direction? Heaven knows, there must be someone “out there” with the requisite experience to help the club, albeit in a temporary capacity? Someone with experience and quite a bit of guile and fire in their belly.

Put pride aside, anything, to get the job done by sorting things out where it matters: on the pitch.

I shall always continue to follow the club to the end but, realistically, I’m mightily sick and tired of what’s being offered week in, week out at such a high financial cost to the club. Putting everything in perspective, the money paid to players is getting to be quite ridiculous and, to me, highly offensive. But, why should they care? Win or lose, they’ll still be just fine, thank you very much.

Blue Moon, indeed!

Graham Mills <ride4311(at)>


All this current talk of investment, quite frankly, makes me laugh. You can go back to David Bernstein’s tenure as chairman where he stated that any potential investor will have to be “The right person”, and I’m in full agreement. We don’t just want some fly by night new money millionaire who sees City as a plaything to be discarded when he feels like it, leaving us in the lurch again. Nor do we want some ex player made good, who isn’t all that rich, but “Loves the club”. No, we want another Abramovich, or a Lerner, someone with serious money who can wipe out the debt, stabilise the club, put serious money in the playing side, and be there for the long haul. John Wardle again says any potential investor should be “The right person”. But quite frankly, seeing as no one saw fit to invest when we moved to the COMS and saw us being the third best supported team in the country, why now, when we have attendances that are 10,000 down on when we first moved, would someone suddenly come in? There must have been many people who have made enquiries to potentially invest in the club, but something must have put them off. Maybe the board are being too picky in who they see fit to invest, maybe we’re just not attractive enough, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I won’t be holding my breath for any new investor to take over. If West Ham and Aston Villa can have billionaires taking over, there must be something about Manchester City that puts them off. “Our” stadium is better, our fans are better and more plentiful and the potential to be an equal to them over the road is unbounding. Or maybe that’s the problem. Are we seen as the poor relations to them over the road and therefore forever in their shadow meaning potential investors don’t want that?

Lance Thomson <lnt(at)>


To those players thinking of signing for City, a word of advice – don’t!

For the first time in 40 years watching City play, and seeing some really awful (that’s being polite) games, I actually turned the telly off at half time and went back to sleep (it was nearly 5 am here).

With the smallest strikeforce (height wise) in the Premiership, we continued to pump balls in the air to them, we couldn’t even find them at other times, we couldn’t pass, the defence that’s usually quite good was awful. And that’s just for starters!

I knew we’d lose, Stuart Pierce has this habit of praising the opposition manager before a loss, and he did it again. Pity Curbishly has gone to West Ham. I still believe our Masonic involvement in the club has put a curse on the club! and we need to have a good clean out at City.

To Heidi and her helpers, many thanks for your work through the year in getting these out every week. Very much appreciated, so have a lovely, safe Christmas.

And remember, supporting City can be a hazard to your health! Regardless of the footie, have a great Christmas and New Year everyone who supports this great club.

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)>


Saw the result; the game is not on over here, no surprise that Anelka scored the goals but things are now beginning to look very serious indeed. Not just for the club but for the manager. Could we do much worse than giving some the youngsters a go up front?

Best wishes for Xmas.

John Pearson <pearsonj(at)>


More Doom and Gloom. It’s not that, it’s just a fact. We now have supporters questioning the 6 million spent on Samararse. At our level you can’t afford to spend that sort of money on a misfit. Also if Pearce is so honest why does he not admit he has lost the plot?

City have a canny knack of buying misfits: Steve Dailey, Bob Taylor, McManaman, Can’t remember the name of the clown bought by Alan Ball who was paid to stay at home because no other team would buy him, Burnley did in the end. Chelsea, Rags, Liverpool, Arsenal can all afford to make the odd duff purchase, we can’t. David Bernstein knew that when Keegan was buying Fowler (another flop). Are these players really misfits or is it just that they get an easy ride at City? The only person who allows you an easy ride at work is your manager. How many supporters would be or are allowed to give less than 100% at work? Oh yes and can anyone tell me who Steve Wigley is? We seem to have gone backwards since he arrived! Why the hell did give Bolton £400,000 for Hamman? Another one. Can’t even sell the tickets for a game against Bolton; that would never have happend once and we would have been allowed to stand. Oh yes and what sort of fan puts money on the opposition?

Pearce Out, Pearce Out.

[Sent in before we gained 9 points – Ed]

City Till I Die, City Till I Die, I Know I Am, I’m Sure I Am, I’m CityTill I Die – Sam Duxbury <samduxbury(at)>


I can’t resist a last word on the Corradi incident. I was deleting the derby game from the hard drive and took a last look at the Corradi incident in slow motion.

I may be the only person in the world (apart apparently from Corradi himself and maybe Barton) but I’m still doubtful that it was a dive. What is certain is that his right foot lands partly on top of O’Shea’s foot – both visual and evidenced by O’Shea hopping away. At this point his balance depends entirely on his right leg and this is is the point at which he starts to fall. His left leg then contacts O’Shea’s leg, which gives the impression of a Ronaldoesque trick.

Corradi’s arms admittedly flail around a bit but when he lands he doesn’t lie there or look towards the referee. He gets up quickly to join back in the play and only looks to the referee as the whistle goes. So certainly not a penalty but not I think a deliberate dive either. As my previous writings show, I’m not a fan of Corradi but in this case I think he has been wrongly branded a cheat.

Pearce seems to have implied that our friend Poll was unbalanced in his handling of the derby (MCIVTA 1287). But since he wasn’t asked that question he confined himself to agreeing that Corradi went down too easily. He says he will answer questions honestly, and rightly so, but will that apply to the questions like “Do you think the referee was even handed in his treatment of the teams?” Will he then fall back on the line “Referee’s have a difficult job and I’m not going criticise them”? That, as they say, is the question of honesty.

David Lewis <dfl(at)>


In the current online issue of (rather splendid) German footie magazine 11 Freunde, former City midfielder Maurizio Gaudino reminisces about his spell at Maine Road. The interview is part of a long title feature about the state of the game in the “Promised Land” of football, i.e. England.

This, in my opinion, quite entertaining piece, may be of interest to the odd MCIVTA reader, so I thought I’d make an effort to actually translate it. Since I’m not a native speaker, please pardon my arguably quite clumsy English in certain passages.

P.S.: Could anyone comment on Gaudino’s City performances, please? I’m only fully aware of his Bundesliga years, and still think he was quite a gifted player, although he never fully realised his potential. “Ewiges Talent”, that’s what we call those kind of players in Germany.

Maurizio, during season 1994/95, you played for Manchester City for half a year. How did the move to Manchester City happen?

Manchester City were in the middle of a relegation battle when they approached our team director Bernd Hölzenbein. They were looking for a creative midfielder. That happened in the winter break after my conflict with coach Jupp Heynckes. Hölzenbein addressed me and asked what I thought of it. I said to myself, “why not”? So we went over together and I took a look. We fixed the deal straight away then. Fortunately, we didn’t get relegated. I was only on loan, though. I could have signed a three-year contract, but Heynckes left the club, and Hölzenbein wanted me to return.

Did you find it difficult to accommodate to the team and to the league?

Not to the team, but definitely to the league. I only spent six months there, and had to make sure to assimilate quickly. With the help of Uwe Rösler, who was in the team, too, I instantly got to know the players, he introduced me to proceedings at the club quickly. I had sensational team mates and was given a really warm welcome. It might be different for Michael Ballack now, the Chelsea squad features many worldwide stars, bought from all over the world. My team, though, was 80% English.

How about adjusting to the different kind of football?

First it was difficult, there was a lot of “kick and rush”, a genuine 4-4-2. When we were moving forward, the ball had already returned to the back. All you basically did was run after your opponent, watching the ball move back and forth high above your head. I went to the manager and said: “If it’s like this, I’m in the wrong place here.” After that, he readjusted training, making it easier for me to actually pass the ball around. From that moment on, after the third or fourth match, it was OK.

Back to the matter of team spirit in English teams. How did teammates react to you when you arrived? Did Gaudino have to pay for a round in the pub to make his début?

It was arranged to meet at 5 p.m. in a certain pub, and each member of the squad really showed up. It was always fixed spontaneously after training sessions. You didn’t have to announce those things one week beforehand, so that everyone could match it with his other appointments. In the mornings you said: 5 p.m. in some pub, and nobody was missing! That would have been inexcusable. If anyone hadn’t turned up, he certainly would have been an outsider from then on. Sometimes, the chairman also used to organise a one-week trip to Portugal just to play golf. Training in the morning, off you went in the afternoon.

In the middle of the season?

Right in the middle of the season. The boys went off to play golf after training sessions, and played tournaments with the chairman. In the evenings we used to have dinner together, and afterwards we used to go on a bender, in small groups. We used to return at 6 or 7 in the mornings, which would be unthinkable in Germany. But the crazy things was: They all turned up for the morning training session and were really up for it. Can you imagine that?

Sounds as if English players had a more easy-going approach to their profession.

But they are extremely professional! But not as far as food habits are concerned – at least as we define them. They used to grab shrimps or a cucumber salad before matches. The boys often had proper brunches, with fried sausages, fried eggs and everything they have over there. They really raided the buffet! They used to laugh their heads off when I had my muesli or banana. That was something they hadn’t heard of! They used to ask me whether I could actually run after having something like that.

Back to the English game in itself. Fair play is highly estimated in England.

Definitely. I can tell you the story of an incident against Sheffield Wednesday I think it was. England player Chris Waddle used to play for that club, a left-footed player. Our ambition was to avoid relegation and we won that match. Some time into the second half, I got the ball near the corner flag. Waddle attacked from behind I and had to prove myself in a one-to-one situation. I tried to dupe him, and he really hit my calf. That did hurt, but I wasn’t really dying from it. But of course I took the opportunity to dive and get a free kick. Well, it was sort of histrionic, I wanted to play for time, and maybe make Waddle get a yellow card.

What happened then?

First, our opponents ran up to me and, of course, shouted at me. But then my team mates followed, and knocked the stuffing out of me, going “Fuck off and get up”, and pulling me up. My own team mates! Waddle saw the yellow card, anyway, but my team mates were really mad. Afterwards, I made my excuse to Waddle while we were still playing, and we went for a beer together after the match. That’s another customary habit in England, both teams sharing the VIP area together, having a post-match drink and a meal. It’s obligatory to stay together after matches for at least one hour. They don’t rush off home after taking the shower, no matter if you’ve won or lost the match. Sportsmanship and camaraderie is of extremely high value there.

That sounds as if your team mates had actually educated you.

That’s how it was. On the next day, they told me: “If somebody doesn’t chop off your leg, just get up again right away.” Nobody appreciates some player behaving himself like a drama queen.

Did that impress you?

Yes, it did. It was sensational.

Would you have liked staying in England longer?

Yes, my stay there was way too short, unfortunately. I was only on loan and still had my flat in Frankfurt. I would have liked to stay longer, and I did have the offer to stay for three years. But who knows how that would have turned out. As I said, Heynckes went, and Hölzenbein told me: “Come back, we’ve got some great characters here. So I somehow got persuaded to return. After me, Immel and Frontzeck came, but unfortunately the club got relegated. Keeping that in mind, I was lucky: I did not go down with City, I saved them (laughs)!

Martin Anders <dsc.arminia(at)>


30 December 2006

Blackburn Rovers      2 - 1  Middlesbrough         22,653
Bolton Wanderers      3 - 2  Portsmouth            22,447
Charlton Athletic     2 - 1  Aston Villa           26,699
Chelsea               2 - 2  Fulham                41,926
Everton               3 - 0  Newcastle United      38,682
Manchester United     3 - 2  Reading               75,910
Sheffield United      1 - 0  Arsenal               32,086
Tottenham Hotspur     0 - 1  Liverpool             36,170
West Ham United       0 - 1  Manchester City       34,574

27 December 2006

Charlton Athletic     2 - 2  Fulham                25,203

26 December 2006

Chelsea               2 - 2  Reading               41,885
Blackburn Rovers      1 - 0  Liverpool             29,342
Bolton Wanderers      2 - 1  Newcastle United      26,437
Everton               0 - 0  Middlesbrough         38,126
Manchester United     3 - 1  Wigan Athletic        76,018
Sheffield United      0 - 1  Manchester City       32,591
Tottenham Hotspur     2 - 1  Aston Villa           35,293
West Ham United       1 - 2  Portsmouth            34,913
Watford               1 - 2  Arsenal               19,750

23 December 2006

Fulham                0 - 0  West Ham United       22,452
Arsenal               6 - 2  Blackburn Rovers      59,913
Aston Villa           0 - 3  Manchester United     42,551
Liverpool             2 - 0  Watford               42,807
Manchester City       0 - 2  Bolton Wanderers      40,157
Middlesbrough         2 - 0  Charlton Athletic     32,013
Newcastle United      3 - 1  Tottenham Hotspur     52,079
Portsmouth            3 - 1  Sheffield United      20,164
Reading               0 - 2  Everton               24,053
Wigan Athletic        2 - 3  Chelsea               22,077

League table to 30 December 2006 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  21  9  1  1 26  7  8  1  1 21  6 17  2  2  47  13  34  53
 2 Chelsea         21  7  4  0 20  8  7  1  2 17  9 14  5  2  37  17  20  47
 3 Bolton Wndrs    21  7  1  3 17 10  5  2  3 10  8 12  3  6  27  18   9  39
 4 Liverpool       21  8  2  0 20  3  3  2  6  9 13 11  4  6  29  16  13  37
 5 Arsenal         21  5  5  0 24  8  5  1  5 13 11 10  6  5  37  19  18  36
 6 Portsmouth      21  7  2  1 19  7  3  3  5 13 14 10  5  6  32  21  11  35
 7 Everton         21  6  3  2 18  8  2  4  4  9 12  8  7  6  27  20   7  31
 8 Tottenham H.    21  8  1  2 19  9  1  3  6  6 18  9  4  8  25  27  -2  31
 9 Reading         21  5  1  4 12 13  3  2  6 12 17  8  3 10  24  30  -6  27
10 Manchester City 21  4  4  2  8  5  3  1  7  9 19  7  5  9  17  24  -7  26
11 Fulham          21  5  2  3  9  8  1  6  4 13 24  6  8  7  22  32 -10  26
12 Aston Villa     21  4  3  3 12 11  1  7  3 11 14  5 10  6  23  25  -2  25
13 Newcastle Utd   21  5  2  3 14 11  2  2  7  7 15  7  4 10  21  26  -5  25
14 Blackburn R.    20  5  2  4 14 13  2  2  5  7 16  7  4  9  21  29  -8  25
15 Sheff. United   21  3  4  4 12 14  3  1  6  4 12  6  5 10  16  26 -10  23
16 Wigan Athletic  20  3  2  5 12 15  3  2  5 11 14  6  4 10  23  29  -6  22
17 Middlesbrough   21  5  2  3 10 10  0  4  7  8 16  5  6 10  18  26  -8  21
18 West Ham United 21  5  1  5 10 11  0  2  8  2 16  5  3 13  12  27 -15  18
19 Charlton Ath.   21  4  3  4 10 13  0  1  9  7 23  4  4 13  17  36 -19  16
20 Watford         19  1  5  3  8  9  0  3  7  4 17  1  8 10  12  26 -14  11

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 #1288