MATCH OF THE DAY: MANCHESTER CITY
TITLE Match of the Day: Manchester City PUBLISHER BBC Enterprises (1993) NUMBER BBCV 4898 RUNNING TIME 90 minutes PRICE £10.99 NARRATOR John Motson
This is another video which is basically a melange of goals but this time connected by the fact that they all appeared at one time or another on the BBC TV programme 'Match of the Day'. The production is slick and the goals are strung together well so that it doesn't become too monotonous, always a danger with these type of videos. To this end, the tape has a chronological format and each match is accompanied by a little bit of background.
The tape starts with the original 'Match of the Day' introduction and theme tune, pretty nostalgic stuff! The very first time City appeared on the programme was when they were in the 2nd Division back in 1966, playing Bristol City. The line up was still 2-3-5 with Glyn Pardoe at centre forward(!) and the substitute is one Mr Bacuzzi; now who the hell was he? City must have forgotten the script as they managed not to lose this match, coming out with a 1-1 draw! The famous (well, for Blues anyway) 'Ballet on Ice' match vs. Spurs is next, though many will already have this on the 'Lee, Bell, Summerbee' (LBS) video as well as the next game, the Charity Shield vs. West Brom. The first ever City game shown in colour (BBC at least) is also here, vs. Stoke in 1969. The run to Wembley in the '69 FA Cup is nicely done with a contemporary piece showing each player in turn (lovely smiling faces) together with a small biography. The FA Cup Final is here and in contrast to the LBS video we just get the goal and then somewhat more of the Cup presentation. One thing I noticed here was that City have a real crest on their shirts, presumably something akin to the City of Manchester one rather than the ship & shield variety; wonder when they stopped wearing that?
There is really quite a lot of overlap in this period with the LBS video, with the Bell volley (vs. Chelsea), the Gornik game and lots of Nellie Young goals. The latter set me thinking of Peter Gibson's Why Blue where it was stated that Young seemed to come in for a lot of stick at the time (for fluffing chances). Marsh is shown in several clips which clearly illustrate what a class player he was. There are also some long-forgotten faces: Barney Daniels, remember him? He burned brightly for a time, moved onto Stockport where he was a sensation for a while before once again disappearing.
Another kit variation I'd forgotten was the black shorts in '75. I'm glad they didn't last; they look like a school team who forgot their shorts and the headmaster found some old black P.E. ones which they'd been forced to wear. There are some nice goals from Joe Royle which brings me back to Nellie Young. The situation with Royle was just the same; here we have him blasting them home with gay abandon but I was at all these home games and I swear he missed 10 for every one that went in! Try as we might, we just couldn't drum up any enthusiasm for Royle, the main reason being that he was overweight, slow and to cap it all, plain crap! In my humble opinion of course! This video tells a different story but I tell you it's all damned lies! Another one is Asa Hartford, here shown scoring with some lovely shots. We used to reckon if you stood him opposite the Kippax with a machine gun then he'd probably kill everybody in the North Stand and Platt Lane End whilst leaving the entire Kippax untouched. He was an accomplished midfielder but his shooting was absolutely dire! For me this video is at its best during these years and this is almost certainly because it's the period when I was there week in, week out. There's Kiddo's four against Leicester City (5-0), Tueart doing some neat dancing vs. Aston Villa in '77 and one of the most unnerving moments of my teenage years, at Elland Road in the FA Cup in '78, riot and all.
Times change with the advent of Allison but there are still some gems, including Mr Headache man himself, Mick Robinson, scoring a beauty in the derby in November '79, curling the ball around Nicholl and Bailey from the edge of the box. We get an embarrassing (must have been an outtake at the time?) clip of David Coleman interrogating Allison as to the team's failings and how these were slightly at odds with Allison's extravagant claims of impending greatness! Power's semi-final free kick is here and probably one of the greatest goals ever scored at Wembley, MacKenzie vs. Spurs in the replay plus of course, Tommy Hutch's brace in the first game.
There are some downers in here as well: David Pleat and that effete little skip of his as he ran over to hug one Brian Horton when City went down in May `83. Then it's on to the average years with Tolmie, Parlane, Phillips etc., some good strikes though. These latter years up to '92 are rather skipped over, probably because we just weren't covered much by the BBC.
The problem with these cassettes is that the more you buy the less you get. I only have one other real goals tape but 25% of those on this tape are also on that. It also pays to think when buying these kind of tapes that this is a 'Match of the Day' tape not an 'All Time City Great Goals' video, so many famous strikes aren't here: Law's backheel vs. the Rags or Tueart's overhead kick for example. Still, if you're a City fan then you'll probably want to own a couple of these tapes and this is as good as any and very professional. I'll finish by giving my three favourite goals, in reverse order: