Newsletter #91

Still no news on the manager front though the weight of rumour/opinion seems to be moving away from Rioch. Whoever it may turn out to be, I for one am fairly convinced that he’s already telling Lee what he can and can’t do in terms of transfers. Barlow has said that the new manager will be announced at the end of this week so we’ll have to wait and see.

The rumour mill also had Uwe booked to appear in Guido Buchwald’s testimonial yesterday (Wednesday) but he wasn’t on either team. There was however, a consolation (see later).

We have another ‘Why Blue’ and one waiting in the wings so if anyone wants to put finger to keyboard, there’ll be space next week. Lastly, no one has given their opinions on the defenders named in MCIVTA 90. If you have time over the weekend to jot down your thoughts on these players then please do.


DREAM TEAM vs. GERMAN NATIONAL ELF (ELEVEN), Wednesday, 31st May 1995

Imagine, if you can, being exiled to a far corner of Europe throughout the whole of the football season. Then imagine being in a town where you can’t get Sky Sports via cable. Terrible isn’t it?

So imagine how thrilled I was to get a mailing from Ashley saying that Uwe was playing in a German National 11 for Guido Buchwald’s testimonial, and that the whole thing was live on a German station that I do happen to have on the cable package here in Hungary. At last, some live action from Uwe.

So, I tuned in and strained to see who was playing, unable to rely on the commentary as my German is non-existent. Couldn’t make out Uwe anywhere but Klinsmann was definitely there, scoring almost as soon as I switched on to level it 1-1 between the German National Elf and (Guido Buchwald’s) Dream Team. An irritating lack of close-ups meant I was having a great deal of trouble picking out Uwe and my support was switching between the two teams at every case of mistaken identity.

Alas, Uwe was not in the team, either team. I don’t even think he was in the ground. But a certain midfielder for the Dream Team seemed familiar: tall, dark, handsome (no, not me), occasional flashes of brilliance. The close-up duly came and, blow me down, it was Maurizio Gaudino!

I was firmly behind the Dream Team now, even though Guido Buchwald wasn’t as faithful and changed over to the National Elf at half time! Very strange. I don’t remember them doing that in the testimonials I saw as a kid.

Anyway, it’s difficult to give a good account of a match on the night when everyone you know phones you up. But the whole thing was pretty light hearted, except for Klinsmann getting booed every time he touched the ball (why?).

Probably because he hails from Stuttgart (the game was played there) and they see him as a traitor going to the loathsome Bayern Munich and not back home – Ashley.

Gaudino seemed pretty tired, wandering around midfield for ages and then suddenly bursting into swift attacks (sound familiar?). His ball control seemed excellent, though his team mates didn’t seem to understand how to respond to him as he set about taking the defence apart (sound familiar?); so many of his spurts of creativity ended in a team mate losing the ball and a disconsolate stroll back to midfield (sound familiar?).

Anyway, he was responsible for setting up at least one of the goals, a beautiful run into the box from the right with all the defenders expecting him to blast it. Instead he chipped it, exquisitely I thought, so that it sailed almost in slow motion over the box to a team mate (Bobic) who stuck it in. Class. 3-1 to the Dream Team.

However, they threw it away, and lost 4-3 due to a late surge by the National Elf.

The Dream Team let them win (IMO), probably it was scripted as it was the German national side not a select eleven. Other stars playing alongside Dino were Rudi Voller and the gifted, if rather old Pierre Litbarski – Ashley

Gaudino is obviously a great footballer and we need him, though has he got the stamina for the (very poor) English game? I think a team has to be built around him (though I don’t think George Graham is the man to do it).

Yesterday also brought the news that Chelsea have bought Gullit. Now why don’t City pull off these kind of moves?

Also, if any of you share a similar predicament, why not tune into Eurosport for Eurogoals. No Premier League action at all, but the Spanish league brings you the delightful Celta who not only look like City (sky blue shirts, white shorts) but have a defence who do a fine impersonation of the Keystone Kops. Almost like watching the real thing!

Final score: 3-4

Andrew Conway


Teletext on 3 are reporting that Francis Lee expects to appoint the new manager by the end of the week. He is quoted as saying:

“We plan to have things in shape by the end of the week. We know what we want and we will be in a position to make our next move. While there is no pressure on us, we want the new man to look at things and get ready for next season.”

Funny how this statement comes the day after the completion of the play-offs.

Kevin Hopkins


Colin Barlow said today that Bruce Rioch had not applied for the City job and that the club hadn’t approached him.

Dave C. Bradbury suggested that an overseas manager might be in the frame: how about Bobby Robson (currently at Porto)? That’s a name I’d love to see at City.

The Mole


According to the latest issue of True Blue, a newsletter for the Scandinavian Branch of the Supporters’ Club, number of members has increased by over 10% this season to around 450. Not bad in a mediocre season or what? Another “interesting” rumour is that Uwe’s got a Norwegian girlfriend. He apparently met her during pre-season training here in Norway last summer.

Lastly, papers here report that Kåre Ingebrigtsen is returning to Manchester on November 1st to fulfill his contract with City, lasting until next summer. For the time being he is Norway’s best paid player – guess who’s paying his salary? He’s looking forward to Christmas shopping in England as he doesn’t think he will have much playing to do. Apart from that, Ingebrigtsen has had a good season so far playing for Lillestrøm (the Norwegian season lasts from April to October) and was picked for the first time in 2 years for the Norwegian squad against Malta next week.

Lars Ivar Naess


The identity of Mr X is still a mystery following the assertion in much of the press that Rioch will be the next manager of Arsenal (wants to move back down south apparently). City say that he never applied for the job but that an announcement will be made later this week, presumably to remove the mask of mystery from the face of Mr X.

Meanwhile the acquisition of Dino on a permanent basis has been thrown up in the air by him being charged with fraud :-(( Eintract Frankfurt have said that the deal should be unaffected by the legal comings and goings… but then they would wouldn’t they?

Meanwhile Franny (presumably with the blessing of Mr X ;-)) has made an inquiry about John Collins, who wants to leave Celtic.

The Guardian states that Quinn was sold for “just under 2 Million”. This seems like good business; although our squad is large, the number of players of genuine first team quality (even though Rösler rightly got a place ahead of him, Quinn does fall into this category) is a bit thin for my liking. Hopefully, this will be rectified over the summer.

Dave C. Bradbury


I was talking to a fellow City fan at the weekend, and they reckon George Graham is definitely going to be our new manager. They said they have the info from a good source, and it would explain Quinn’s willingness to move (Graham isn’t the biggest Quinn fan is he!?).

Like many people have already stated, I too will be sad to see Quinn leave us. He has served us well over the years and he is one of the few players who is actually proud to wear a blue shirt. I wish him luck in his future career.

Charles Pollitt


GMR say that Big Fat Ron is the new favourite for the City manager’s job 🙁

City are still hoping to sign Dino, despite the fact that his trial will be during next season and he’s facing a custodial sentence should he be convicted. Dino claims that he’s innocent and Franny says he believes him!

Ruud Gullit has completed a free transfer to Chelsea. The 1-year deal consists of a basic wage of 10k per week; with his signing-on fee, this goes up to 30k a week!

The Mole


May I just say that the play-off final at Wembley was one of the best games that I have ever had the pleasure to watch. I was in the Reading end, and the atmoshpere was absolutely amazing, especially after about twelve minutes! The game was a great advert for football and even though Bolton won the game in the end, the atmosphere was very special and it is something I will never forget, as it was my first visit to the twin towers! Hopefully City can get there soon, if only to shut up the Rags and also, the games against Bolton next season will be quite something!

James Barton


The tension is killing me. Every morning I wake up to worry about whether this is to be the day of the new appointment. When I arrive at work I check to see if a new MCIVTA brings news. After each meeting I ring Clubcall to see if there’s any developments. It’s nerve racking. I think it’s affecting my mental health. Last night during lovemaking I found myself wondering whether Todd might come on his own, leaving Rioch to go to Arsenal. Whilst in Court (I am a barrister) I couldn’t help thinking that it was odd that Colin Barlow had said that an appointment will be made by the forthcoming weekend (3rd June) but also that no other manager had been approached. How can he be sure of an apppointment if nobody has been approached or does he mean that the new manager is Steve Coppell who is not a ‘manager’ as such? Please Mr Lee relieve me of this stress.

Johnathan Seitler


It now appears as though the Quinn deal to Sporting Lisbon is all but complete. The strange thing however is the transfer price; it ranges from somewhere like 1M right through to 1.7M. Another interesting item is that according to the Sunday rags (papers) Quinn was still owed his signing on fee from 5 years ago!! Also mentioned (in another rag) was that City didn’t want to pay Quinn a loyalty bonus from the transfer and wanted all the money to help towards the purchase of Gaudino. Whether the ‘loyalty bonus’ and the signing on fee are in fact one and the same I couldn’t tell, but it does look like City owed Quinn something!!!

Good luck to Niall; although he’s struggled over the past season following his knee injury, I don’t think anyone can deny his willingness to work for the club (although on some occasions his play was pretty poor), so good luck to him and hopefully he’ll invest his 7k a week wisely (how much is Guinness in Lisbon? ;-))))

On another point, it seems very strange that City are delving into the transfer market with no official manager in charge, unless David Moss has enough power to actually buy and sell players, rather than keep the team ticking over. Does this mean that the new manager has been give the reigns ‘unofficially’ and is preparing his squad, or is it that Lee wants to tie up the loose ends before his new man is officially given the job and had his blessing to complete the transfers?

Martin Ford


In MCIVTA 89 Andrew Mitchell stated:

On the transfer front, it was mentioned in the press last week that Adie Mike and Andy Hill have rejected new contracts. It has also been suggested that Fitzroy Simpson, Martyn Margetson and Ian Brightwell will reject new contract offers. Good riddance to bad rubbish methinks. With the money these transfers will bring in (tt will obviously not be much)…

Surely if a player is out of contract then they can go for nothing?

It would be better to give them a contract with a clause agreeing that they can go on the transfer list (if they really want to go) and will be sold when a minimum bid is received.

Look what has happened over the years with players like David May. How much would Blackburn have got if he had still been under contract? Such a clause was used in Jürgen Klinsmann`s case which allowed him to bugger off home after Bayern came in with a bid of