Newsletter #29

We have two ‘live’ Match Reports from the Arsenal game, one from Martin and
the other from the Arsenal Mailing List and furthermore, it’s a good one this time.
Seems we have a looming injury crisis which coincides nicely
with a run of very difficult games! Mark Higgins has made a good suggestion
for a new section on the WWW: ‘Where are they now?’. If you know anything,
however little, about an ex-player then please mail Svenn. I’m off to
England tomorrow so please take note of the address to send contributions
to over the Xmas holiday. I’ll be back for New Year to take up the reins
again. I plan to go to Maine Road, at least for the Villa game so expect a
heavy defeat to honour my presence 8-). Finally, as it’s the end of the
year (well, almost anyway), I would like to thank all those people who have
helped transform MCIVTA from a plaintive letter in RSS (September) to a
full-blown mailing list, cheers.

Have a great festive holiday; I’ll be supping Boddies (sorry James!) and
watching the Blues, provided that is, I don’t get snowed in (Peak

This one goes out to 93.

Next game West Ham away, Saturday 17th December 1994


I’m going back home for Xmas so this will be my last issue until the New
Year. Svenn Hanssen
will take over so all contributions must be mailed to
him. Our mailing system here in Zürich is temporarily unable to redirect
mail so this is unfortunately not an option. There will definitely be
reports for the West Ham & Newcastle Coca-Cola Cup games but after that, issues
will only be sent out should enough material be available (?). Whatever
happens, I will put together a bumper New Year issue (at no extra cost 8-))
and send this out in the first few working days in January.




MANCHESTER CITY vs ARSENAL 12th December 1994

There I was defending Brian Horton and asking everybody to give him a
chance and support him. Then what happens, he decides to have
tactical nightmare. Against a weakened Arsenal side, he plays what
can only be called a defensive side instead of the forthright
attacking side we’ve been accustomed to at home matches. This just
played straight into Arsenal’s hands.

City started with the formation like this:


    Kerr    Curle   I.Brightwell    Lomas

    Walsh   Flitcroft   Summerbee   Beagrie

            Quinn   Rösler

Subs, Margetson, Simpson, Kernaghan

Summerbee appeared to have moved into the centre with Walsh dropping into
the midfield. We all know Summerbee can’t win a tackle, so why push
him into a midfield battle?

City just couldn’t get to grips with the Arsenal team and failed in every
way to match them. Arsenal dominated the early game and it was just a
matter of time before they scored. City’s cause wasn’t helped with
the early departure of Beagrie; he hadn’t looked fit from the start
but any chance of seriously creating chances went with him leaving
the field, to be replaced by Simpson.

Arsenal took the lead when Dixon crossed from the right and Smith was
on hand to put the ball away (another goal coming from City’s left
side!!). Would this signal the Arsenal onslaught I’d been waiting
for? A second very nearly came within minutes when a Schwarz free kick
hit the woodwork. Before City could compose themselves Schwarz did
get the second; he chased a through ball and as Dibble came out he
pushed the ball past him. So, within the space of 3 minutes Arsenal
had gone 2-0 up and to be perfectly honest they deserved it. The only
response City could muster should have brought a goal; Quinn headed
a ball back across goal and Walsh somehow managed to miss the target. So
City went in 2 goals down, would they get back into the game? I seriously
doubted it.

Horton made a further change at half-time, replacing Kerr with
Kernaghan. He seemed to make the defence a bit more robust but
Arsenal were still given the time and room to play. It wasn’t until further
tactical moves forced on the team due to injuries that they finally
managed to get back into the game. Curle was moved into midfield
whilst carrying an injury, Lomas was freed from the right-back spot
and replaced by the ineffective attacking display from Summerbee,
which meant that City were basically down to a three man defence.
Although, having said that, Arsenal could still have scored. Campbell
hit the bar after being allowed to run unchallenged, the rebound falling
to Parlour after a Simpson mistake and Dibble was forced to save.
Dibble was the more active of the two ‘keepers and had to make
a number of saves. Bartram at the other end had still to make a real
save, although he had tipped a Walsh shot over and saved a Rösler

City finally got a break when a Walsh corner was only half cleared,
Kernaghan knocked the ball back in and it was cleared again to the edge
of the box, where Simpson was on hand to bang the ball home. This
goal managed to wake the players and they now tried to get an
equaliser but with only ten minutes left City couldn’t get one, so
they were forced to endure their first home defeat of the season.

City had played so poorly that they had deserved to be beaten by
another 3 or 4 goals. To make matters worse, it appears as though Curle
will be out for several games after damaging his hamstring again.
Walsh, Rösler and Beagrie all got knocks; will any of them miss the
trip to Upton Park?

The one good(ish) thing to come out of the game was the display by
Kernaghan. I’ll admit to being one of his fiercest critics in the
past but the way he played from coming on at half-time was a
refreshing change. He played very well and won many important
challenges when needed. I would say he was City’s best defender on
the night; let’s hope his confidence is back and he can prove all of us
doubters wrong. As for the rest of the team, the less said the
better; they were pitiful, they lacked any sort of enthusiasm and were
quite content to let Arsenal have a free run.

Arsenal to their credit, even though playing with a patched up team
and having failed to win in the previous 6 games wanted to win. They
were willing to work hard and support each other. They had far more
commitment to win and made space and time for each other (even
though City gifted them the time by not putting them under any sort
of pressure). They were certainly the more creative side.

The final scoreline flatters City, they should have been buried.
Let’s just hope the live TV apathy has gone and City get on and play
against the Hammers. I just wish City were never on live TV again
(not until we reach a final at least). Every time they play they
collapse; are they frightened of playing on TV? It just gets so
annoying and frustrating to sit there and watch the team fall apart.

Final score 1-2

Martin Ford



MANCHESTER CITY vs ARSENAL 12th December 1994

If ever a team needed a victory it was us. With Spurs being let off and
then winning again on Saturday and with George sort of denying everything
there was a fairly depressed mood travelling up. The general consensus from
people I spoke to was that George was as innocent as El Tel and wouldn’t
survive the end of the week. The gloom was further added to with the
thought that Stewart Houston may be given any sort of temporary managerial
rôle. Being just three points above fourth from bottom West Ham that would
be the last thing we would need.

Anyway, with Wright, Adams and Seaman all still missing (Wright, I believe,
now starts a two match suspension), Bartram continued in goal with the ever
improving Keown at the back. Bung Jensen, Schwarz and Morrow made up the
midfield, with the unlucky Hillier left out. Parlour returned wide on the
right with Smith and Campbell up front. Man City started brightly with
Walsh looking very sharp. A few mazy runs brought no reward. Quinn once
again struggled though this may be due to the extra few pounds he’s picked
up around the waist. The midfield duo gradually took control as the first
half progressed. The opening goal came after half an hour. Campbell, who
had provided a number of surging runs, unlike when Wright plays, played a
delightful ball inside the full back. Dixon ran on and hammered a low cross
which Smith poked home. The goal was met with no measure of delerium from
travelling few as a goal was more than we could expect, especially a good
goal. Two minutes later and Schwarz hammered the cross bar with a fine
free kick, the sort we’ve been waiting a bloody long time for. Still minutes
later City were torn apart again as another Campbell run and pass set up
Schwarz. Schwarz took the ball on and cooly chipped the onrushing
Dibble. Two nil away from home and that first elusive win outside of London
looked a possibility. City just couldn’t get involved in spite of some
Klinsmann-esque diving from Rösler. Eventually he got Keown booked, which
was no more than the man deserved for his usual brutal tackling. Keown
however was having another storming game. City nearly got back into the
game when a deep cross drifted in the wind. Bartram failed to collect and
Quinn’s header sailed along
the six yard box as Walsh and Bould failed to make contact. Two nil at
half time was thoroughly deserved.

The second half was nearly as dominant as the first. City failed to make
any headway at all. Jensen and Schwarz were given acres of space in the
middle of the park as Dixon and Winterburn raided down the wings. Campbell
provided a flash of inspiration as he cut inside only to find no one to
pass to. He then rifled a shot against the cross bar. The boys threatened
every time they went forward. Campbell cutting in on the angle of the six
yard box drove his shot narrowly wide of the upright. Morrow’s fine chip
was tipped over by a recovering Andy Dibble. Parlour made many a surging
run but had clearly run out of steam as the game entered the final
quarter. Man City finally rallied in the last ten minutes and could have
collected an unjust point. Bartam was forced to save the odd long effort
and watch some even odder efforts fly into the City fans. City pulled a
goal back with ten minutes to go from a corner. The ball was headed in,
only for Winterburn to head off the line. Keown headed on but failed to
clear properly and the ball dropped to the edge of the box where it was
fired home on the volley. Couldn’t tell who scored as it was down the other
end. A fine strike though. Man City pushed forward and left some gaping
holes at the back. Campbell was again played clean through but failed to
slot the ball past the onrushing Dibble. Campbell really did deserve a
goal for another fine performance. Morrow then had another chip that was
again well tipped over by Dibble. Winterburn got himself booked for a
wild, late challenge but Bartram rose to snub out any belated threat from
City. A huge sigh of relief greeted the final whistle. City were rather
dissappointing for a side that hadn’t lost at home and were 6th in the
League. I suspect they’ve played a lot better than this this season. We on
the other hand have rarely played better, certainly not away from home.
Schwarz and Jensen were superb, as were the entire back four. Campbell
seems to be gaining in confidence by the moment. There was even time to
verbally abuse Steve Bruce in the Sky commentary box as we all filtered out
of, what will become, a magnificent Kippax stand. It didn’t even rain.

Trev (Arsenal list)


I saw the match on Sky (first one this year) – Let’s hope we get
some full backs into action again soon. Lomas/Kerr were bad alternatives.
Apart from that, the match had its City moments – I liked the efforts from
Uwe/Quinn/Walshy – but luck was obviously missing and after all Arsenal
is our “bogey team” aren’t they? Their victory was not unjust based on
the fact that the Scandinavians Jensen/Schwarz “owned” the midfield in
the 1st half and the number of chances they had from that.

Nevertheless, it was one of the better TV performances I’ve seen from
City in years (that’s says something, doesn’t it?) At least they tried to
play football occasionally.

Lars Ivar Naess


So, with a couple of first team regulars currently out of favour with
BH, the speculation is rising that a few players could be on their
way from Maine Road. It looks like it’s all down to money and reducing
the currently massive wage bill. In the AGM it became apparent that the
current wage bill is