Sunday, 25 November 2007

BLUE LIFE IS GOOD

Huge apologies to David Wilson for having omitted his article from the latest issue of KOTK (number 155 ON SALE NOW!). It shared the title of another document, so its omission wasn't noticed. To attempt to make amends here is his article (and it will also be in the next issue).....

Blue Life Is Good!

Well well well…How good does it feel to be a Blue at the moment? Are we really here?
Going to home games this season has been an absolute joy, as has been said more than once in KOTK, whereas last season going to a home game was painful, a punishment even. But this season I’ve moved seats, I am now sat next to mates, added to the fact we’ve not lost yet at home, I cannot wait for them to roll round, …Fortress Eastlands…how long have we been waiting to say that?

However…I do believe we have been a little lucky in places this season. Now let me explain, I am not saying the reason we are where we are is all down to luck, some of the football this season has been sublime, breathtaking (Elano’s free kick against the Geordies is THE highlight so far), but when you’re playing that good or have players of that quality you make your luck. How many times over the years have you looked back at a match and said “we were unlucky not to get anything there”, well for me I’ve lost count it’s just nice that we seem to be having the rub of the green in places this season: Dunney slicing the ball against Sunderland whilst being in the 6 yard box springs to mind, as does the win against the rags if were honest. We also got a bit lucky against the whingers at the Reebok with that penalty decision, and Dunne almost placing one in his own top corner in the last minute. Hey I’m not complaining, more gloating, it’s about time!!

Many things have been said about our heroes this season, with one Mr Elano getting most of the plaudits (and rightly so!), but for me the 2 players that have been the most consistent all season are Vedrum Colurka & Didi Hamann.

Vedrum seems to ooze class as a defender, I can’t recall him putting a foot wrong on too many occasions, always in the right position. Personally I would keep him at centre half alongside captain fantastic for now, as I think the two together make an awesome pair. His versatility is vital for us, because just like Richards he can play right back or in the centre with ease & you know you’re going to get the same quality performance from him either way. I just think he’s a better centre half, and Richards at right back gives him chance to go forward. I also read an interview he did where he said he can play in a defensive midfield role, an option if something happens to Didi? (Can’t believe I am being picky while were sitting high in the table, some people eh, never happy!!!)

Speaking of the German enforcer, what a difference!! Watching him last season I thought we’d invited another player to see out his last year at the MCFC retirement home that was doing thriving business a few years back with the likes of Seaman & Schmeichel, but this year’s he’s been vital, by doing his job of breaking up the play and sitting back he’s allowed the rest of the midfield to go and express themselves. Is he benefiting from playing with better players? Probably yes but I think being fully fit has helped more, players like Hamann don’t lose there quality. How he’s not managed to pick up a suspension at the time of writing is some going, especially after 4 yellows in his first 5 games!! I just wish he were 5 years younger!

So can we keep it going? Can we win the league? Er, even I am not that optimistic…Can we finish in the top 4? We have to be better away from home for that…Can we qualify for Europe? Oh yes, I’m digging my passport out already. We do need to strengthen in January but based on what we’ve seen so far I have every confidence that Sven will bring in players of the same quality as he did in the summer. Bresciano I think is pretty certain as we do need a real box to box player in midfield. Afonso Alves has been heavily rumoured to be coming in as well, and from what I’ve seen on You Tube he certainly knows where the goal is, 31 in 34 last season, 10 in 4 this season (including 7 in one game), and of course as he is Brazilian so his free kick taking ability in unbelievable. He would definitely be an asset. As for all the rest that have been linked, SWP keeps cropping up…I would love to see him, but don’t think it will happen…Anelka, I would take him back as he’s a quality and wasted at wanky Wanderers, Owen would have been another one that would have been amazing to see in a blue shirt but he’s declared himself happy at the Toon for now, guess I’ll just have to wait till the Summer for that one. Like I said whoever Sven decides to give the honour of playing for us I trust will be of the highest quality.

Steven “wiggy” Ireland…mad as toast or troubled young man? To be honest as long as he keeps scoring winners like he did against Sunderland or supplying the crosses like he did for (Der Der Der Der) Marty Petrov against the Toon, what he does in his private life is his business. I could totally understand him not wanting to travel for the last two ROI fixtures, 10 days away from his Mrs and his kid after she’s just had a miscarriage, and all the bad press he got. It was great to see him get his goal against Sunderland, (and now that blinding winner v Reading) tot quieten some of the boo boys who were starting to have a go at him…Although I would say best not to let Micah plan anymore celebrations, those pants were a bit tight!!

You’ll notice by now I’ve not mentioned our trip down the Kings Road….For good reason, man that was a wake up call (and I’m not talking about the prices!!). That weekend the fixtures fell right for a few of us as we already had tickets for the NFL game that took place at Wembley. I’ve followed “American” Football since being young, always supporting the Miami Dolphins, purely because I had a couple of Dolphins shirts when I was young, you don’t need a good reason to support an American sports team! So when it was announced that The Dolphins would be taking on the New York Giants at The New Wembley, it was an opportunity for yours truly not to miss, the fact that we happened to have Chelsea away the same weekend was a bonus!

I should just say that the Dolphins are a lot like City…Were great years ago, our Colin Bell is there Dan Marino and they have great support, like us, despite not delivering anything for years. The Dolphins are the only team in NFL history to go the entire season without losing a single game (16-0), though this year they could very well be the first team to go an entire season without winning a game they are that poor! Anyway going to this game gave me the first chance to go to the “New” Wembley. So my thoughts, overall - very impressive. Once you get to your seat the view is amazing, even from high up in the corner where we were, it was a great view. The escalators were different but very welcome (something for Newcastle to think about??) I can imagine the atmosphere in there on a cup final day being electric. Saying that, it didn’t feel like Wembley if that makes sense? The arch didn’t give me the same feeling as the towers did, I miss the players not having to walk forever from the tunnel to the dugouts, maybe these are things that will go as I go a few more times. I’m sure if (and when) we get there I’ll feel different but those were just my gut reactions. Inside all the bars are numbered, each corresponding to a year. The bar that we happened to use, as it was nearest to our block was, 56, as 1956, us beating the Brummies for the FA Cup, Bert’s neck and all! The sign above it reads ‘The FA cup Final- Bert Trautman plays on’. On the wall there is a picture of Bert going into the tackle next to a picture of him meeting a Royal Family member before the game, a nice touch for us to see on the day, just glad we didn’t see any of the bars with the rags on!!!
Just before I go I’ll just give the KOTK face book group a plug, run by Emily who does a good job writing in the fanzine on a regular basis, the numbers of the group jumped by over 50 members after the last issue went out. So if your like us and spend half of your life on there and you’re not a member just type in King of the Kippax in the group search and you’ll be able to join and discuss this great fanzine & the latest goings on at City. If you’re already a member, don’t be shy post a comment or two, why not tell Dave & Sue what a great job they do producing this every Month (or 2!!). Another group you can check out while you’re there is my ‘City fans against Munich chanting society’, a group to show that not all City fans agree with some of the sick chants that get sung at games by some of the less well-informed Blues out there!!

Anyway that’s all for me, stay loud & proud & remember in Sven we trust!!

Daveyboy

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Editor's Update

Portsmouth away. Journeyed down to Newport, South Wales, cleverly driving through Hereford at 6 ish, then realising it was Hereford v Leeds in the F.A.Cup 1st round, so a tad busy! I was hoping to take in a Cardiff game but they were away at Charlton. Pity it wasn’t at Ninian Park with all the ex City connections. Sunderland v Newcastle, red and white stripes versus the black n whites, er no, the Sky Blue of Newcastle (which Sunderland played in a few years ago didn’t they?) So it couldn’t be termed a proper derby could it? Joey Barton? What more can you say?
Drove along the M4 listening to 5 Live – and a rag ringing in saying (prompted by united turning down their game v Everton on Setanta on Christmas Eve) that 'in the old days' they only played on Christmas Day when it fell on a Saturday! Where do united fans get their facts from? Wrong again. .
Pulled in at Chieveley services for the two minutes silence at 11 am where people were sadly walking and driving about, oblivious. Alan Rowbotham's piece in KK 154 took on it’s real significance.
Tremendous turn out of Blues down at Fratton considering the date, time, and fact it was on live TV. 2 Minutes silence held, as you’d expect at a port and impeccably observed. Drizzly day so good to be under a roof at last. Programme featured the 1958 game, again, just like last season, so getting a bit lazy (It’s obviously covered in the Century City book.of our 1957/58 season) Surely the March 1959 game which we won 4-3 would have been a more significant one to cover:- City were 2-0 down at half time, then 3 goals in 5 minutes, from Sambrook, Fagan and McAdams, the 4th after 70 minutes from Hayes and future Blues manager Ron Saunders getting his 2nd for Pompey in the 82nd minute making it a 4-3 Blues win.
Good to see Tommy Booth in amongst the City fans watching a fine performance from the boys and a creditable 0-0 draw. After the game, myself and a few Blues had a little confrontation with an over zealous steward, which was as annoying as disappointing. If there’s no trouble you can often rely on a steward to start some. Maybe next season he’ll make himself more useful and direct City fans to the away end, rather than rely on your Ed to do it. Apparently famous Pompey fan John Greenwood was chucked out for smoking!
At O/T, I didn’t see the game on TV but know the score - united beat ten men Blackburn 2-0. Nowt like a helping hand is there? How long can this keep going on?

Guardian article on Keane regretting not scouring the European market for players. Well, well, he’ll be buying them from videos next without seeing them play!

More problems over in Italy with the police accidentally shooting and killing a fan causing riots. English disease? Where did that come from?

So it’s all on Israel v Russia on Friday and Israel without Yossi Benayoun. No chance then. England will miss Rooney getting sent off for us or giving a stupid penalty away, as he’s out for a couple of weeks. So it looks like a pretty depressing week ahead until the mighty Blues take the field against Reading, by which time the Century City book should be out, and also KK 155.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Xpert Eleven

Just a quick note to those who will buy the next issue at the Reading game, regarding Xpert Eleven.

The Season for the international league has started, so the system will not accept new teams until around the time of December 19.

Cheers,

David

Friday, 9 November 2007

IT'S A FIX - Portsmouth

SUNDAY NOV. 11th : PORTSMOUTH (AWAY) K.O. 4PM

Day and time put back for TV

Formed in 1898, joined 3rd south in 21/22. Runners up in the F.A. Cup in 1929, 1934 (to us) winners in ’39, over a nervous Wolves team. Champions in ’49 and ’50, then down to 4th and back for one season in ’87, then made it to the Prem in ’03.

Some names/connections: Ron Saunders, Paul Walsh, Fitroy Simpson, Gerry Creaney, Kit Symons, Neil McNab, Lee Bradbury, Kevin Bond, Eyal Berkovic, Alan Ball, Sylvain Distin….

‘andsome ‘arry Redknapp’s squad (aided by the gaunt looking Tony Adams, not to mention Joe Jordan - boo) includes : James, Campbell, Distin, Johnson, Diop, Davis, Kranjcar, Hreidarsson, Utaka, Mwaruwari, Muntari, Pamarat, Nugent, Kanu, Mendes, Lauren, Traore, Hughes

Last season : At Eastlands in August, our opening home game, we managed a 0-0 draw, our first point of the season, and the first of 6 home clean sheets. Only 37, 214 there with 1,161 Portsmouth. The game was made infamous ad nauseum by Thatcher’s foul on Mendes, condemned by all City fans.
At Pompey in February we lost 2-1, that man Mendes again in the 5th minute, before Barton clipped him, the equaliser coming from a smart Corradi header, before we allowed Kanu to give them all three points with a late goal.
They had a steady season finishing in 9th place

Our form at Pompey : After a good spell from ’58 when we lost only once in the 10 games to 2000, our last 5 visits have seen 4 losses and 1 win 04/05 3-1.
Post war attendances have ranged from 10,368 L/Cup 1960 to 44,294 in 49/50.
Best win : 4-2 in 1956. Worst defeat : 4-1 in 53/54

This season so far : Todorov and Griffin left on a free, and in came Distin, Hreidersson, Muntari, Cranie, Mvuemba, Nugent, Utaka, for £20M.
Currently they’re in 7th place with 12 points from 8 games and two wins and two draws, including 1-1 v rags, at home. In the Carling 4th round they’ve got Blackburn at home.

Biggest games : Obviously the 2-1 cup final win of ’34, revenge for them pipping us to promotion in 1927, though we did them in ’85 and they did us by staying up in the second in ‘98.

Comment: They seem to have a bit of animosity towards us, fuelled by the Thatcher and Barton incident, neither of whom are with us now.and it’s not really reciprocated anyway. Southampton are their fiercest rivals, so a few renditions of ‘when the Saints’ should go down well, Shit ground etc is an obvious one too. Distin, hope he don’t get boo-ed as he must now realises his mistake leaving us, but the money came in handy.

Groundwise: At last the away end has been covered, roof held up by stanchions!. Why has it taken so long – excuse after excuse. We seem to be in the opposite bit to last season., but no doubt it’s still the same old dump, and the catering and toilets are a disgrace. When is the move going to take place ?...

Stats : 22 pre-war, and 50 post make it our 73rd league meeting, and down there p/w it’s :
Played : 25 won 8 drawn 5 lost 12
Last attendance : 19,344 (1,155 Blues)
Last Pot : Div 1 in 1950, and 2003
Their Current average home attendance : 19,527
WWTWTWShite : Averaged 8,544 in 81/82 (highest in div 3 so not bad)
Away day zines : True Blue, Park Life
Pubs: The Newcombe Arms, Newcombe Street, The Shepherd’s Crook, Goldsmith’s Avenue, or down Hilton Road for the Brewers Arms, Travellers Joy, Mr Pickwick and the Milton Arms. Further down is the White House and then Barnacles Fish and Chip Shop. Connaught Arms, Guildford Road, And, if it’s still open, don’t forget the Blue Moon Bar on the sea front at Southsea – karaoke on Saturday nights, if you go down the day before the game. Be careful out there, it is a port after all.
Route: M6, M42, M40 (jn 9), A34, M3 (jn 14) to M27 jn 12, then M275 into Portsmouth – take first exit off M275 (to Rudmore roundabout). Take 2nd exit at roundabout (Kingston Crescent A2047), then turn right at end into A2047 Kingston Road, continuing into Fratton Road. Cross railway bridge and turn
left into Goldsmith Avenue, and ground is on left (Frogmore Road). On street parking.

Editor's UPDATE

Well a nice little win over Sunderland. What is it with City? Last year we couldn’t get a home goal from New Year to the end of the season, even spurning penalties. This season we win a record straight eight on the trot. Lots of big boos for Keane, though one paper reckoned it was because of his success with united. Well you wouldn’t expect a united punter to get his facts right would you?! Anyway, good to see old greybeard get his cum-uppance for once. Good ole Keano, what a character. Dirty bastard, should have been banned for life. Will we hold up posters of Bell, Pardoe and Haaland at the next derby? Just a thought.
Highest Monday night attendance for years apparently. So that’s good. What about Stephen Ireland dropping his shorts? Not even noticed at our end. I was asked on 5-Live what Sven might have thought about it. I said “well he’s been known to drop his own shorts a time or two” which flummoxed Victoria a bit! Seems he’s taken over the superman tag from Paul Dickov, and a nice little ditty by David Mooney.
So it’s off to Portsmouth and a real tester again. we’d probably settle for a point at this stage, but time to win away again. off we go…..

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Song Update

Just a quick one for the next few games:

Steven Ireland's underpants are the best
They displayed Superman's yellow crest
They're better than his hair implants
Steven Ireland underpants!

Also, we're still taking international teams in the xpert eleven management league. The code you'll need to find us is: 126114.

David Mooney

Monday, 5 November 2007

IT'S A FIX - Sunderland

Well it couldn’t last could it? Surely the most ridiculous fixture change of the season, Bonfire Night and an 8 pm kick off.

Sunderland were formed in 1879, joined the F/L in 1890/91 and stayed in Div 1 until ‘57/58. Came back up in 63/64, and then ups and downs in every decade, including a stint in the old 3rd division (87/88). Mick McCarthy took over after the Wilkinson and Reid eras, and got them back up for a season, and now they’re back under you know who.

Honours: 6 times Div 1 Champs (last in 1936, or 20050r 2007?); 5 times runners up (last in 1935) 2 FA Cups (1937, 1973); 2 runners up in 1913, 1992. Charity Shield runners up (1937 – to us!), League Cup runners up n ’85.
Some connections: Ivor Broadis, Jeff Clarke, Ralph Brand, Johnny Crossan, Mick Horswill, Andy Kerr, Les McDowall, Don Revie, Tony Towers, Dennis Tueart, Dave Watson, Niall Quinn, Tony Coton, Nicky Summerbee, Peter Reid, Stephen Elliott, Mick McCarthy, Claudio Reyna, Dickson Etuhu..
Claims to fame: Steve Cram.

Roy Keane’s (big boos) squad includes : Gordon, Higginbotham,(boo), Nosworthy, McShane, Collins, Leadbitter, Miller, Yorke (boo), Chpra, Jones, Wallace, Harte, Ward, Richardson (boo)
.
Windups: ‘Going Down….’

Last season ; Started off badly with Quinny in charge then set on Keane who steered them to the title. Our last meetings were in 2005/06 when we won up there 2-1 (Vassell, Sinclair, - 33,357, 2,049 Blues) ) starting the season off with 3 wins and 2 draws, and at COMS it was the same again, 2-1 (Samaras notching 2, and looking the part) as we set off on a run of six league losses, the Pearce era turning sour.

This season so far: Out went Evans, Simpson, Elliott, Miller, Cunningham, Riera, Wright, all for nothing. In came Chopra, Richardson, Etuhu, Halford, Anderson, McShane, Gordon, for £22M.
Currently they’re in 15th spot with 8 points from 8 games and no wins 2 draws and 2 defeats away from home but pushed Arsenal close last week. In the Carling they didn’t even make the 3rdh round!

Our form in Manc v S/land: In their last 6 visits, from 88/89 to 05/06, we won 4, drew 1 and lost 1 (0-1 in 97/98).
P/W attendances have ranged from 22,006 in 1970 to 60,611 in 1955’
Best win : you have to go back to 1905/06 and 5-1.Worst defeat ; 4-0 in 1980/81
Biggest games : Winning the 37/38 Charity Shield 2-0 at M/Rd. the 1955 F.A.Cup semi at Villa Park, and the Full Members Cup semi on pens in 1986!!

Comment : Hopefully we can send the third North Eastern team out of the last four home fixtures away with nothing, which would be particularly pleasing considering who their manager is. Here’s a little quote from the new book ‘Century City’ – when City goalie Charlie Williams scored his goal against Sunderland on April 14th 1900, Doig the Sunderland goalie, who touched it in was asked by his teammates why he didn’t save it. And he replied “Well, as the blessed ball had already passed ten of you on the way, I hadn’t the heart to stop it” – priceless!

STATS:- 62 pre-war and 50 post-war make it our 113th league meeting, and in Manc post-war it’s:-
Played 25 Won 16 Drawn 3 lost 6.
Last Pot: FA Cup ’73.
Last Attendance: 42,200 (2,049 S/L)
Current Av: 42,534
Where were they when they were shite? – Av 13,601 in 86/87.

ED'S UPDATE

Derek McGovern from the Man-U-Mirror and self appointed Sport’s Betting Top Tipster had us down for a ‘Halloween horror story’ at Bolton following Chelsea “which has been coming for some time” as our season, he predicts “is likely to disintegrate” What a w**ker.
So to Bolton, or Horwich to be precise, and loads of City after tickets outside and only 15,000 there – they could have given us the top tier of the opposite stand, surely.
It was Halloween night of course, and plenty of fancy dress about as we performed poorly. Sam being an embarrassment I’m afraid, the best thing he did all night, according to the Blue Vic, was to hand the ball to Elano for the penalty. Decision a bit harsh? Maybe, but let’s face it Bolton needed a cum-uppance for when we hit the post 6 times and they scored from a penalty in the last minute a couple of seasons ago, and have we ever had pay back for their goal through the side netting in 1958?
So no sympathy here!
One or two scuffles outside our end after the game, quickly quashed by the cops.

On Thursday we were invited to a function at City to celebrate the success of Micah Richards in the past twelve months, by Roy and Tracey Jones of Bentley–Events. It was compered by the inimitable James H. Reeve, and the auction raised a few grand for City’s Academy, and, as you’d expect it was an enjoyable evening, with a bit of swing thrown in. So thanks to Roy and Tracey on behalf of the KK team.

Draw for the next round of the Carling was on Saturday at lunchtime, how bizarre was that? We were first out, drawing Spuds at home, one of the three we’d have gone for, the other two being West Ham and Everton. So we avoided Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, though we’d be better off playing them in a one off game rather than a two legged semi-final.