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DATE Thursday 19 December 2002

Plenty of City news tonight from Don. Unfortunately our reserves decided the cold weather was not to their liking on Tuesday night and rolled over to Villa in a 1-2 defeat.

We also have opinions, views on the Papal theory, requests and humour.

Next game: Tottenham Hotspurs, home, 8pm Monday 23 December 2002 (TV game)


General News

New Kit Deal: Reports are circulating that the club are about to sign a new deal with a kit supplier. The contract with Le Coq Sportif runs out this summer, and Reebok are said to have clinched the deal with a £5 million offer over five years. This will double the amount currently paid by Le Coq. There are also plans to kit out City in a more traditional sky blue shirt, bringing to an end the five seasons of Laser Blue.

Fan Arrested for Racism: Following recent unpleasant experiences for City players and fans when the side were in London, it was interesting to read that the Metropolitan Police arrested a Charlton fan for alleged racist chanting on Saturday. It follows a long running undercover operation by Scotland Yard. A police spokesman said: "Racist behaviour will not be tolerated in stadiums across the city. We are sending out a warning that undercover operations will be launched in the future to combat this problem."

Unbeaten Run Ends: The Reserves finally lost a League game, going down 2-1 to Aston Villa at Ewen Fields on Tuesday evening. This was the first defeat in nine games for the second XI, a run which had taken the Blues to the top of the Barclaycard Premier Reserve League. Villa took the lead in the first half through Michael Husbands, with Gerard Wiekens equalising for City in the sixty-third minute. The visitors soon regained the lead through Peter Hynes, and Villa were able to hang on to their lead until the end despite a late City onslaught. Team: Ellegaard, Flood, Jensen, Wiekens, Loran, Barton, Huckerby, Wright-Phillips, Vuoso, Kerkar, Shuker Subs: Murphy, Paisley, Whelan, Croft, Browne.

Transfer News and Gossip

Dunf Goes: Bury have completed the signing of midfielder Terry Dunfield on a free transfer. The 20-year-old, released by Manchester City this week, spent three months on loan at Gigg Lane earlier this season and put pen to paper on a two-year contract. Dunfield made 18 starts for the Shakers, scoring two goals, during his initial spell with Andy Preece's side. The 20-year-old made just one Premiership appearance for the Blues as a substitute against Chelsea in May 2001. Shakers' player-manager Andy Preece commented: "I'm shocked that we have got him, but I am absolutely delighted. It says a lot about myself, the players and everything about the club when Premiership players want to come here and want to play here. We have started to turn the corner and now it's time to start moving onwards and upwards again." KK had said earlier in the week: "We are not trying to force him out but he has said he would rather play in Bury's first team than our reserves. We have to respect that. He wants to stay but only if he has the chance of first team football and he is a bit away from that. I think he has to go down a level or two but he is capable of bouncing back and that is why we will insist on the protection of a sell-on clause in any deal. I can't look him in the eye and tell him to stay here when sometimes he will not get in the reserves. I know he enjoyed being in the limelight at Bury playing in proper matches and I can understand that." The player reckons that this a good move. "I have really enjoyed my spell at Bury and am happy I have joined," said Dunfield. "There were a lot of players ahead of me and I knew it would be more and more difficult to get into the side. I am just glad Kevin was honest with me and told me that it would be best to move on. The squad was getting bigger year by year at City, but at Bury I know I will have a chance to progress. I hope we can win promotion at Bury this year and then go on to better things," the 20-year old added. "I feel 100 per cent fit and I am still young enough to get back to the top. I believe I have the ability to do that."

Move Klose for German Star: KK is trying to sign Germany's World Cup striker Miroslav Klose for £7 million, according to press reports. Klose was one of the stars of last summer's World Cup finals, and ended the tournament as the second top-scorer. His club Kaiserslautern have severe financial problems at the moment, and are reportedly £8 million in debt, so are said to be keen to sell. The forward is not however in the best of form this season, having scored only 3 goals in his 15 starts. Domestic interest in the player comes from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Riise-ing to the Occasion: One player who will be signed come January is Bjorn Helge Riise. The youngster impressed KK enough in his second trial at Carrington to earn a contract. "The intention is to offer him a deal when the transfer window opens," Keegan confirmed. "He enjoyed his spell when he came here last year but we looked at a deal then and did not think it was right because his club wanted too much money for him. We told him he was welcome to come back when his contract ran out and he has done that. Bjorn has enjoyed training with us again, is technically very good but a lot smaller than his brother. He is definitely one for the future. When Liverpool signed Jon, he was already playing for his country and for Monaco. This kid still has things to learn. He is a young lad with a lot of potential but if he comes on with training and strengthens up a bit, who knows what might happen?"

The Hunt for Noel: City are one of a host of clubs who are chasing Shamrock Rovers' young striker Noel Hunt. Everton, Dunfermline and Celtic are also said to be interested in the 19-year-old, who has already played for his country at under-21 level. Shamrock Rovers' chairman Tony Maguire confirmed that, "Celtic and Dunfermline have both been over as guests of the club to see Noel. Everton and Manchester City could well have had scouts to watch him but we weren't aware of their presence, and as yet we haven't had any offer for the player. He has been a fantastic kid for us. The big thing is his pace, he is very quick, very good in the air and a great finisher. Frankly he's a wonderful prospect for any British club. He has a contract here until the end of next season, but when the transfer window opens there's very likely to be interest." Dunfermline announced this week that they would be making an offer for Hunt in January, having recently had the player on trial at East End Park.

French Connection Two: Without naming any targets, KK has made it clear that he is considering making a few French-based purchases come the January sales. "We have been linked with so many players," responded the boss. "We, like every other club, are looking and a lot of those targets are in France, so people are putting two and two together and sometimes coming up with eight." The English market for players does not appeal to the Great Man: "We have not even looked at the English market and when anyone has phoned up we have just told them there is no point talking. That's because you have to put half the fee down and pay the rest within the year. That would mean we would probably struggle to sign a quality player. The clubs aren't pricing themselves out of the market but the rules are. We would not have Nicolas Anelka here if we were not paying for him over six years. If we had been buying him from Liverpool, well we couldn't have because we could not have done the deal. You can go and buy a top class French player who is in his mid-twenties who has a proven record from a big club which perhaps might even have been playing in Europe for £1.5 million. Then go and ask a Second or Third Division club for a young striker and they want £2 million, so those clubs and the rules are pricing themselves out of the market." This week's speculation has City showing an interest in two targets over in France. The first name in the frame is Nantes' left-back Sylvain Armand. Blackburn were said to be pursuing Armand, but have now dropped out of the reckoning, while Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier would like to take the player on loan for the rest of the season. The newspapers think that City will beat the 'Pool to the player if they offer £5 million for a permanent deal. Armand sounds keen enough on a move to the Blues, and said this week, "I don't know anything about Manchester City moving for me but I take pleasure in knowing that a club like that are interested in me. It is flattering." The second player in the frame is Marseille's Algerian midfielder Djamel Belmadi. The Algerian international and yet another friend of captain Ali, has been on trial with City, and has created a good impression. The M.E.N. thinks that Belmadi is KK's number one transfer target. Marseille coach Alain Perrin has confirmed that he will not stand in the player's way if City do chose to make a bid for the 26-year-old. Perrin commented that the club "are not against the departure of Djamel Belmadi. We said we would not be against the departure of players who are not part of the first team. Djamel returned to the club three or four days ago after his trial in England. Since then he has been training normally, but Manchester have yet to make a move."

Italian Job? It's reported on a Bolton Wanderers website that City, Wanderers and West Ham United are chasing Lazio's 26-year-old striker Bernard Corradi. The Roman club will have to sell some of their squad as they are still massively in debt. The former Verona frontman is in prime form at the moment, but we will have to wait and see if KK's New Year budget would stretch to such an acquisition.

Ex-Blues' News

Heaney Quits: Just as Craig Russell recently announced his retirement, another player from City's "lost years" has called it a day. Former City winger Neil Heaney has retired after failing to recover from a serious knee injury. The 31-year-old is now with Plymouth Argyle, but has managed just one start for the Pilgrims since linking up again with his former Dundee United boss Paul Sturrock at Home Park a year ago. Heaney began his career at Arsenal, where he made just eight league appearances for the Gunners. He left Highbury for the south coast, joining Southampton in a £300,000 deal in 1994. After appearing over 50 times for The Saints, Heaney was signed by Frank Clark in 1996 for £500,000. However, injuries restricted Heaney to only a handful of appearances at Maine Road and after loan spells with Charlton and Bristol City, he agreed to join Darlington on a free transfer in 1999. He helped the Quakers reach the Third Division play-off final in 2000. Later that year Heaney cost Dundee United £175,000 before moving to his final club Plymouth (thanks to James Walsh for this item).

Winning Start for Keith: Mansfield's new player-manager, one K. Curle esq., made an impressive début in his team's 4-0 defeat of Blackpool (who are managed of course by a former team-mate of Curle, Steve MacMahon). "It's only a start but we are delighted with the three points," said Curley Wurley's Assistant John Gannon. "Keith made a good début. He was a leader on the pitch and showed them the way. He got them playing and going forward. We've only been in charge 10 days or so but Keith has being saying how it's going to be and wants standards, passion and commitment. That's what the players have given us." The Stags are currently bottom of Division Two, but are now only 3 points behind fourth from bottom Peterborough.

Reactions and Comments

Tactical Genius: KK was naturally in ebullient form following City's fightback from two goals down to salvage a draw with Charlton Athletic on Saturday. The game turned on two incidents - Peter Schmeichel's save from Kevin Lisbie when City were two down, and the introduction of Ali B from the subs' bench. "You're a genius if it works and an idiot if it doesn't and I suppose I went home on Saturday a genius," reflected our Genius on the substitution. "We had to go for it at 2-0 down and we could have ended up losing by four or five but we didn't. I think our fans would have made the trip home wondering whether or not it was a good point or a good performance. I think it was probably a good point but there were some things about which I was not happy, the defending in particular. In the first half it was OK but in the first 15 minutes of the second half we made a lot of mistakes and bad decisions that were punished. Peter Schmeichel kept us in the game with what was a critical save when we were 2-0 down. Not only did we come back and get a point but we damn near pinched it. In the last 15 or 20 minutes there was only one side, I felt, going to win the game and that was us. The whole team can take credit for the fightback. You can always lose a game and you must not be scared to sometimes. We deserved a draw if not for our team play and defending but for our attitude." Marc Vivien Foe took his goalscoring to three goals in five days, and Keegan quipped: "Foe has not scored for 15 weeks so three in a week is not bad. Nicolas Anelka, Alan Shearer and Ruud van Nistelrooy better watch out - Marc is after the golden boot!" (Boom Boom!) KK said of City's star substitute: "I am delighted for Ali. He's the one player who helped get us into this division. In the last couple of weeks the magic and the vision has been coming back. I hope it continues. Ali has got to come on and play 90 minutes the way he played the last 20 against Charlton." There was a controversial moment when referee David Pugh declined to give City a penalty when Nicolas Anelka was caught by a Richard Rufus tackle. "When the ref sees it again he will know why 4,000 City fans and all my players thought it was a penalty," said Keegan. "Having said that, I thought his linesman should have given him more assistance." The former England manager went on: "We didn't play well today and we gifted them two goals, but you've got to give credit to Alan Curbishley and his players. They're a very committed side, especially in front of their own fans, and will battle all day for each other. They took years to get back into the top flight and now that they're here they are not going to give up their Premiership status without a fight."

Charlton's Lament: Charlton boss Alan Curbishley left to rue the loss of two points, and wondered aloud what might have been if striker Kevin Lisbie had scored when he burst through City's defence to be faced by Peter Schmeichel. "Kevin needs to score more goals. If he had got a third for us it would have lifted the atmosphere. As it was City went very offensive and took full advantage when we took our foot off the pedal," said Curbishley: "At this level you have to put teams away when you get the chance and we didn't put City away. Hopefully we've learned our lesson." There was no love lost between the players from each side, and Charlton defender Gary Rowett later accused Eyal Berkovic and Nicolas Anelka of diving. Rowett said: "The better foreign players have a tendency to look for free-kicks and they are very good at it. I wouldn't say it is cheating but they will go down." Maybe City should feel cheated - we have yet to be awarded a penalty this season in 18 Premiership and two Worthington Cup clashes.

Squad News

Au Revoir Kerkar: Just as all sensible shoppers should do, KK looks like he's having a clear out before embarking on some New Year buying. Hot on the heals of Terry Dunfield's departure to Bury comes news that Karim Kerkar has been released by the club. On his arrival from French side Le Havre, the Algerian midfielder made a good impression in his pre-season trial with the Blues, scoring twice and earning a three month deal. He was a regular for the Reserves but never played for the first team. He did sit on the bench for the Premiership encounters with Liverpool and Southampton. "We are allowing Karim Kerkar to go. He has done okay but he has not been able to force himself into the first team picture; of course neither has Ali Benarbia. If you look at it that way it is not surprising," explained KK. "We had agreed a deal which kept him here until 14th December and on that date or before it we had to agree if we would let him finish off the year's contract and obviously we decided not to. He wants to play regular first team football. He did not come here to play reserve team football. He came to me and said that there was no point and I agreed with him if that was the way he felt. It has been one of those deals and I think there will be a lot of those type of deals in this transfer window when it opens."

Howey the Lad: Call me perceptive, but I think Steve Howey wants to finish his playing days with the Blues. With eighteen months to go on his current deal, the 31-year-old defensive rock hopes that contract negotiations can begin soon. "There is nothing I would like better than to see out the rest of my career with Manchester City. They are only the second club I have played for and I am enjoying every minute. Hopefully that is reflected in the way I have been playing. There is nothing I can do about getting a new deal except show that I am worth it out on the pitch. I feel as fit as I have been at any stage in my career, I am very happy in my work and I want to stay. My family is well settled in Manchester and the club is going in the right direction and getting better all the time so why would anyone want to leave? Talk of new players coming in doesn't bother me because there is nothing I can do about it." Howey and his defensive partner are both suffering slight foot injuries, but are expected to be fit for Monday night's encounter with Tottenham Hotspur. The Irishman has been troubled by compacted skin on his foot but it hasn't stopped him from training and no complications are expected. I'll leave the fitness report to our gag-a-minute tactical genius. "Steve picked up a little knock," explained the boss. "He also suffers from blisters and I think they were bothering him as well. He was doing a lot of running in the game making up for the mistakes he made! Seriously though he has got a problem with blisters and I know what it is like. Some days they are worse than others and they are always worse when things are not going well."

Manager in Waiting: Last season's championship winning captain, Stuart Pearce, has been talking about his life as a coach with the Blues. Pearce has been splitting his time between the Academy and working with the senior squad. His current contract with the Blues runs out at the end of this season, but he is keeping his options open thereafter. "Sometimes I miss the day to day involvement at the sharp end but other times it is good to be able to take a detached look at things," he admitted. "There is some decent talent coming through the ranks at Under 17 level here and I am enjoying working with the kids. My coaching rôle is varied but I am relishing it because I am working for and with good people and we have a common purpose of taking the club forward as far as we can." Pearce already has his UEFA A and B coaching badges and by the summer will have added the Pro-licence that is the highest global qualification in the industry. Pearce wants to try management again, but is unsure when and where that will be. "I am here until the end of this season and I will assess what comes next at that time," he says.

Carry on Smikes! According to the Sun newspaper, Kevin Keegan hopes that Peter Schmeichel will continue to keep goal for City until he is 40. The Boss Man would just love it if the Dane agrees to stay with the Blues for another year when his contract runs out in the summer. Kevin Kommented that: "The deal with Peter is very open ended so it will really be up to him what he wants to do. But I would like to think he will stay on. He has been excellent for us. He is 39 now but from what I have seen I am sure he can sustain that level of performance for another season. His character and determination make him very special. He is still a top-notch goalkeeper."

Danny and the Return to Oz: Following Danny Tiatto's threat to retire from international football, the City star has revealed that the Aussie coach Frank Farina has called him up to try to effect a change of heart. "Frank Farina gave me a call to ask me what the situation was, and what I intended doing in the future," Tiatto revealed. "I had told the coach about the problems I had with travelling around the world and how I was feeling after games. We got a lot of stuff sorted out and it was good but everything is on hold for the minute while I concentrate on Manchester City. At the moment, I am still thinking about what to do and when the game against England comes a little bit closer, that's when I will make a final decision about what I want to do. Obviously it would be nice to play against England. It would be a good test for Australia, to see how far we have come as a squad. There is still a long way to go at the moment before I make a decision." The chance to play against Sven-Goran Eriksson's side in February might sway Danny into a return for his country.

Mixed Fortunes for Loan Rangers: There were varying fates for City's squad players over the weekend. Paul Ritchie's Portsmouth side by all accounts (well in my local paper the Evening Sentinel at least) endured a torrid 45 minutes at the hands of Stoke City, and our boy was substituted at half time. The game finished 1-1, but Harry Rednapp has indicated that he'd like to sign Ritchie permanently. Elsewhere, Captain Ratter a.k.a. Jeff Whitley helped Notts County to a 3-0 win over QPR at Meadow Lane, with two of the goals from former City players Nick Fenton and Danny Allsopp. Rhys Day was part of Keith Curle's winning start at Mansfield, while Stephen Jordan played for Cambridge United, who drew 2-2 at Lincoln despite being reduced to nine men.

Ali & Eyal Together Again? Following Ali Benarbia's excellent return to form at the Valley on Saturday, the newspapers were full of speculation that KK will restore the Algerian playmaker to the side, linking him again with Eyal Berkovic. This speculation was fanned by Boss Man Kev admitting that "I wouldn't be scared to play with two playmakers again. Ali might still have a big rôle to play for us like he did last year. He has been a key player in the short time he has been with us. So, yes I am thinking of using two playmakers again but I don't know when." Ali's team mates were full of praise for the club captain. Sylvain Distin said, "Ali came on at the weekend and delivered a goal with his first or second touch. That is the sort of thing he can do. We have never lost faith in his ability," while Danny Tiatto thought that "Ali gave us the spark that we needed. He opened things up and changed the game. There has been talk about not being able to have Eyal and Ali in the team at the same time but we can have them both, they are quality players." Striker Shaun Goater believes Benarbia can hurt teams at the top level. "You know it is a long season and that it is a squad game," said Goater. "Somewhere along the line we are going to need people like Ali with his ability. You need someone to deliver a penetrating ball and that man is Ali."

Don Barrie (news@mcivta.city-fan.org)


Up until 1995 my footballing indifferent spouse (Sarah) from Newmarket was rescued from football agnosticism by agreeing to be my wife and therefore was baptised into discussions regarding relegation battles, offside traps, the Goat, Wembley comebacks from 2-0 to 2-2 in 4 minutes, Dickov, the grassy knoll army at Ewood, the demise of captain combover, the Forward with Franny campaign and Free the Manchester 30,000 saga. And then came Kevin Keegan...

However, if that isn't an intoxicating enough brew then I'll drink hemlock. Sarah now is a City fan, understands their foibles, triumphs and failings and accepts the true fan base that is thick and thin and can't wait to take up residence at the new stadium in August 2003 with our season tickets.

Sarah is also a fan of David Beckham but still Blue; mutually exclusive you say, not allowed, well fair enough. I listen to Frank Sinatra and the Smiths (still) so who can say to someone you can't be a City fan and like Beckham. Who amongst us was PO'd when England played Greece and Argentina?

Well she does and that's that. I can't see Morrisey staging a come back and singing Strangers in the Night though.

Anyway my stepfather (Geoff), a long time Man U fan, occasionally gets tickets to the library and enjoys the spectacle at the Swamp. Geoff invited Sarah to see the Rags vs. Chelsea game and she asked if she could go and see 'my David'.

Of course you can... when it's a lads' night out at Totties lap dancing bar in Alty I need something to pull out of the bag as a reason why I should be allowed.

Well the match itself is not significant (to us), little consequence and rather like a Phillips Ladyshave in France, completely irrelevant and serves no real purpose.

Sarah wore a City shirt under her coat as a silent sign of allegiance that although she wanted to see Davey Boy in the flesh she remains a Blue. She remarked on a few differences between the times she has been to MR and now a single visit to OT.

  1. Davey boy did not go in for tackling and danced about a lot, content to do the pretty stuff, wandered offside but did not get involved, possibly not fully match fit.
  2. After 6 (8) wins on the trot they were back to their "we will win this easy" mode and did not turn it on for the fans.
  3. The crowd appeared to get on the backs of the players all too quickly and with consummate regularity, more so than the Victor Meldrews at Maine Road. "Neville you're ****" etc.
  4. The only thing she preferred about her sojourn into the dark side of town was that the United fans did not swear as much as the City fans and as such was easier on the old eardrums.

She quoted: "Perhaps we should take a lesson from the game and learn a Christmas song. The United fans were singing something to the tune of Feed the World but could not make out the words."

Sarah immediately thought of Feed the Goat (told you she was Blue).

So the song for Monday night is: "Feed the Goat (go oat), let them know it's Christmastime."

Perhaps we can get Gary Neville to start the first verse; after all he knows how to Feed the Goat.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Phil & Sarah Lines (philipjlines@hotmail.com)


In response to the puzzler posed by Neil Albertson (MCIVTA 873), my digging unearthed the following.

Pope Paul VI died on 6th August 1978. The season started that year on 19th August where we drew 1-1 away at Derby, so maybe they're referring to our last win in the 77/78 season, which was a 3-1 victory at home to Coventry on 25th April.

So far so good; we last won when Paul VI was still alive.

Pope John Paul I was appointed pontiff on 26th August, the day we lost 4-1 at home to Liverpool. There was also a home draw with Arsenal on 22nd August in between. So we didn't win for the rest of PPVI's life as he died on 28th September.

Now for Neil's 'snippet' to be true, we must not have won until at least 17th October (Pope John Paul II was appointed on 16th October) but we beat Leeds 3-1 at Maine Road on 9th September.

So, it's a nice story for the Rags to dream up about City not winning for three popes, but alas it is not true... by 17 days if you take PJP1's date of passing as the start date for the third pope.

Andy Moss - TennesseeBlue (mail@andy-moss.com)


In response to Neil Albiston's query regarding a bad run by City in 1978 it seems there may be some truth in what he has read.

On 14 October 1978 we beat Coventry 2-0 to record our fifth victory in six league games. In a characteristic reversal of fortunes City then embarked upon a run of 13 league games without a win, which was ended with a 3-0 victory against Tottenham on 3 February 1979. By my calculations that's 112 days between league victories.

For the record, we did however win in the League Cup and FA Cup during this period.

John Clancy (johnny@clancers.freeserve.co.uk)


To all those requesting info on the Maroon shirt. It is unavailable for purchase anywhere as MCFC only made 2,000 as a "special limited edition". That is why hundreds of people queued up outside the City Superstore hours before they went on sale one cold Sunday morning.

MCFC made a statement in the M.E.N. saying that even considering the phenomenal interest in the shirt, they will not mass produce it as it was only ever intended as a "limited edition" and as a "gesture" to those who queued through the night (yes, through the night - City fans really are mad!).

Hope this helps...

Andrew Keller (akcity@msn.com)


I was amused by Piers Pennington's comments in MCIVTA 873: "was tempted by the numerous signs saying We Don't Accept £20 Notes" and felt I should provide the following tale...

The same signs appear at Maine Road behind the bars and for the Newcastle game myself and Andy (fellow season ticket holder) decided to have a pre-match beer. Andy only had a 20 pound note so when the woman said they didn't take twenties, he said he'd get some money off me when he found me. The bar woman wandered off to serve someone else and left Andy with two pints and me nowhere in sight. After finding me he returned to the bar, but there was no-one who wanted his money - hence free beer and a 1-0 victory; can't really ask for much more!

As for Simon Battersby's comments (MCIVTA 873) that he didn't feel the City fans were that quiet, I do distinctly remember the Sunderland fans singing "Shall We Sing A Song For You?" It does make me wonder if sometimes the TV amplifies sounds that are quiet or even sounds that don't exist. I was informed by our office Mackem (now speaking to me after Sunday's result - fickle or what!) that a local radio station had to turn the crowd sounds down against Chelsea as the Sunderland fans were getting a bit too vocal about Le Saux.

James Walsh (james.walsh@durham.gov.uk)


City 4 United 0: City's under 17s result from Platt Lane on Saturday. Also won 2-1 at Carrington earlier in the season. Played 16, won 15, drawn 1. For 41 Against 7. Looking good for the future.



A City song that I've not been able to get out of my head since the derby is "La, La, La, Nicolas Anelka; La, La, La, Nicolas Anelka" (repeat ad nauseam) - to the tune of 'Can't get you out of my head' - by Kylie.

Last game at Maine Road should be compulsory fancy dress à la Stoke (away) on boxing day, in the heady days of the Banana Army.

Francis Fowles (Francis.Fowles@odpm.gsi.gov.uk)


In case subscribers didn't know, unfortunately, a key service to overseas Blues has recently closed down, the citygoals.com site.

This was run by two guys out of sheer love of the club to service (completely free of charge) exiled Blues with video clips of the previous weekend's City goals, often by the Monday or Tuesday after the game. In the dark days of Nationwide League football this was for many overseas Blues, the only way of seeing the lads in action.

Thanks Rob, I am sure it will be sorely missed by thousands of Blues worldwide.

[A shame the site was forced to close down, well done guys for all the hard work - Ed]

Vince Docherty - Hong Kong (vince@creative-medical.com)


Is anyone able to help, I am a squaddie and live near Hannover, Germany. Where can I see the game vs. Tottingham on 23rd December?

Roy Trelfa (royt89@hotmail.com)


Milton Keynes OSC will be meeting up in the Duke of Wellington in Stony Stratford to watch the Spurs match on live TV 23 December (kick off 8pm). If you are in the Milton Keynes area why not come along? Please contact me if you would like any more details.

Steve Maclean - Secretary, Milton Keynes branch, Manchester City FC Supporters' Club (Stm1@stm1.freeserve.co.uk)


Any Blues in the Swansea area on Monday 23 December can call in at Plough Inn, Morriston and watch the Spurs game. There's also a quiz, good food and great beer. All City fans in the area are more than welcome.

For more info contact Kev at jac.cooze@ntlworld.com.

Thanks and Nadolig Llawen to all true Blues - Howard Burr (reddishblues@btinternet.com)


If anyone has a spare ticket for the Everton game, I would love to hear from you. I already have a ticket, but need a second one for my brother who rarely gets to see us play as he plays semi-pro. Call 01226 791693 or 07944 775022 or email.

Andrew Jackson (Jacko0911@aol.com)


Can Colin (alias Spider) from Kippax BB Row 8 seat 50 (I think) please get in touch with Steve (alias Bob Taylor) on 07973 957574, or Pete (alias Ben Elton) on 07791 323156, to do with getting some match tickets. Cheers!

P.S. Hello Brad and Darren in Brisbane, and Judi-Ann in Melbourne - I've not found out about the blue hotel yet!

Peter Sidell (peterjsidell@mostlysunny.com)


Alongside signed shirts from the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle and Watford in aid of the Will Hardy fund is a special City auction at http://www.bid4sport.com/ of a club crest signed by 19 of the players and King Kev, which ends on Friday night.

Nick Streeter (nick@bid4sport.com)


Q: What has Old Trafford on a Saturday afternoon at 4.45pm got in common with Wormwood Scrubs?
A: They are both full of cockneys trying to get out.

By the way, MCIVTA is the best fanzine going, please keep it up!

Stephen J Webb (swebb@rm.com)


From Football365.com - the Sir Bobby vs. Keegan Showdown:

"The Under-17s are doing very well. You get bunches of players like you do bananas, though that is a bad comparison" - KK on mcfc.co.uk.

"I played cricket for my local village. It was 40 overs per side, and the team that had the most runs won. It was that sort of football" - SBR.

"Not many teams will come to Arsenal and get anything, home or away" - KK.

"Football never surprises you and it never sometimes demoralises you" - SBR.

"I know what is around the corner - I just don't know where the corner is. But the onus is on us to perform and we must control the bandwagon" - KK.

"Both teams - and Brazil even - got better on their way to the World Cup final" - SBR.

"Shaun Wright-Phillips has got a big heart. It's as big as him, which isn't very big, but it's bigger." - KK.

"There will be a game where somebody scores more than Brazil and that might be the game that they lose." - SBR.

"We haven't got the distraction of the Champions' League or the European Cup like some teams have." - KK.

"If we start counting our chickens before they hatch, they won't lay any eggs in the basket" - SBR.

"I think the league table is a pretty good barometer of how you are doing" - KK.

"All right, Bellamy came on at Liverpool and did well, but everybody thinks that he's the saviour, he's Jesus Christ. He's not Jesus Christ." - SBR.

"Nicolas Anelka left Arsenal for £23 million and they built a training ground on him." - KK.

"Jermaine Jenas is a fit lad. He gets from box to box in all of 90 minutes." - SBR.

"If you put a template for the ideal striker into a computer, like they do with cars and it then sends out the perfect aerodynamic hatchback, it would come out with Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka." - KK.

"We don't want our players to be monks, we want them to be football players because a monk doesn't play football at this level." - SBR.

"As far as I'm concerned, Danny Tiatto doesn't exist." - KK.

"Sarajevo isn't Hawaii." - SBR.

"When cars are designed they feed the information into a computer and it throws out this aerodynamic design with the hatchback and all the trimmings. If you put the details for a centre-half into a computer, especially a left-sided one, and you said he needs to be six-foot three, he needs to be quick, he needs to be strong, and he needs to be able to use the ball, then it would be Sylvain Distin." - KK.

James Walsh (James.Walsh@durham.gov.uk)


Recent results from 16 December 2002 to 18 December 2002 inclusive.

16 December 2002

Bolton Wanderers      0 - 3  Leeds United          23,378

League table to 18 December 2002 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Arsenal         18  8  0  1 22  8  3  3  3 15 12 11  3  4  37  20  17  36
 2 Manchester Utd  18  8  1  1 19  6  2  4  2 11 11 10  5  3  30  17  13  35
 3 Chelsea         18  5  2  1 17  6  4  5  1 15  9  9  7  2  32  15  17  34
 4 Everton         18  6  2  1 14  9  4  0  5  8 12 10  2  6  22  21   1  32
 5 Liverpool       18  5  3  1 15  7  4  1  4 13 12  9  4  5  28  19   9  31
 6 Newcastle Utd   17  7  0  1 16  6  2  2  5 11 18  9  2  6  27  24   3  29
 7 Tottenham H.    18  6  2  1 15  9  2  2  5  9 15  8  4  6  24  24   0  28
 8 Southampton     18  5  5  0 15  7  2  1  5  6 11  7  6  5  21  18   3  27
 9 Middlesbrough   18  6  4  0 18  8  1  1  6  4  8  7  5  6  22  16   6  26
10 Blackburn R.    18  3  3  3 13 11  3  3  3 11 11  6  6  6  24  22   2  24
11 Charlton Ath.   18  3  2  4 12 14  4  1  4  8  8  7  3  8  20  22  -2  24
12 Manchester City 18  4  1  3 11 11  3  2  5 11 14  7  3  8  22  25  -3  24
13 Birmingham City 18  3  2  3  9  8  3  3  4  8 13  6  5  7  17  21  -4  23
14 Fulham          18  5  2  3 13  9  1  2  5  9 14  6  4  8  22  23  -1  22
15 Aston Villa     18  6  1  3 15  8  0  3  5  2 10  6  4  8  17  18  -1  22
16 Leeds United    18  2  0  6  8 13  4  2  4 15 12  6  2 10  23  25  -2  20
17 Sunderland      18  3  1  5  6 11  1  4  4  4 13  4  5  9  10  24 -14  17
18 West Brom A.    18  3  2  3  6  8  1  1  8  7 19  4  3 11  13  27 -14  15
19 Bolton Wndrs    17  1  5  3  9 13  2  0  6  9 18  3  5  9  18  31 -13  14
20 West Ham United 18  0  3  6  7 14  3  1  5 10 20  3  4 11  17  34 -17  13
With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0203.06]

[0] How do I contact MCIVTA?

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[1] What are MCIVTA's publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally Monday and Thursday evenings.

[2] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters' home page

http://www.uit.no/mancity/ 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.

[3] What is the club's official web site?

The official club web site can be found at http://www.mcfc.co.uk/

[4] What supporters' clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters' clubs: The "Official Supporters Club" (http://www.mancity.net/osc/index.html); the "Centenary Supporters' Association" (http://www.callnetuk.com/home/sef/) and "The International Supporters' Club" (http://www.mcfc.co.uk/extra/fanzone/isc.asp)

[5] Where can I find out about the fans' committee?

The Fans' Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. It has its own website, http://www.mcfc-fans.com/ containing info about forthcoming meetings as well as minutes from previous gatherings.

[6] Where can I find information about our new stadium?

The latest information regarding the progress of our new home can be found at www.mcfc.co.uk/article.asp?article=111916&Title=Introduction&lid=New+Stadium

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found here: http://www.mcfc.co.uk/comment.asp. An alternate live commentary service, hosted by Yahoo, is located at: http://uk.sports.yahoo.com/foot/audio/live/schedule/index.html.

[8] What's the music the teams run out to?

The music we run out to at Maine Road is "Nightmare" by Brainbug and is available on the Positiva label.

[9] Acknowledgements

Thanks go to John Arnold for providing the information regarding match day music and to Ian Bell for pointing out the alternate live match commentary service.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribers and there is no intention to represent these opinions as being those of Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies and universities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not in any way whatsoever connected to the club or any other related organisation and is simply a group of supporters using this medium as a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.
[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup, heidi@mcivta.freeserve.co.uk