Saturday, 29 November 2008

this week

This week
Well Schalke started off well on the two day official Thomas Cook trip, arriving in Cologne in the early afternoon, under the guidance of Big Ron, the friendly head steward. Time then to revisit the magnificent cathedral, last visited in 1985 on a business trip. Then it was the chocolate factory, followed by a meal after meeting up with Steve and Tom P, then a late night session with a couple of chatty hard core Blues, Vinny and Morgan.
Thursday and, on Vinny’s recommendation, a visit to the chilling Nazi exhibition, then a stroll round Cologne before setting off by coach to Gelsenkirchen at 4pm, an hours drive away? Traffic was horrendous with a couple of bumps spotted and a twenty minute stop to line up the convoy of coaches and await the Police escort which never turned up due to ‘riots in Gelsenkirchen by Schalke fans’ (this turned out to be a ‘handbags at dawn confrontation’ in a bar Blues later told us. Arrived at the Veltins about ten past seven, we thought the coaches would be parked right outside the away end, but no, a ten minute walk away, in the dark, with City fans running around trying to find out where their entrance block was. Chocker at the turnstiles and then we were searched to add a bit of time on – first time for me since about 1995! And I’m afraid I lost my temper as the clock ticked. So, inside the ground at twenty five past seven, chaos again, stewards disinterested, slipped on my arse going down the steps (thanks to the Blues who helped this ole git up!) just in time for Stevie’s goal. Great performance from the lads to win 2-0, and fairly well organised travel home after wandering around in the dark and mud to find the coach park. “Good luck against the dirty rags on Sunday” announced the pilot. Nice one. Then it took about an hour to get through passport control as we serenaded the boys on their way through.
On the mini bus, parked behind City coaches at Terminal 1, to drive us back to the car park we sat near a bloke and his missus coming back from holiday “the only thing good about City, is the manager” he said, then “run him over” as the bus pulled past a Blue player, Jo I think. A bitter rag, dontcha just love ‘em! When the bus reached the car park I said “you get off first cos you’ve got a long drive back to London” “Oh no, “ she said “we only live 40 minutes away” it had gone right over their heads! Then they got in their 4 by 4 and drove off! There was alsom a Rod Stewart lookalike on the bus!
So, it’s fanzine weekend, up to 46 pages so far, and it’s the rags tomorrow. Been a long time since a home draw, 92/93 in fact, eleven games ago, and that was the third in a row. So we’re looking good for a point or three. Howard Webb’s the ref so a good chance of carding Rooney and Ronaldo for diving and protecting Robinho and Ireland from their thugs. Let’s just hope we keep our heads and take the points.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

This week

This week
“Hughes isn’t good enough, Wallace” said my new found pal as he walked past. He didn’t walk past at the end of the game though. Well Hughesy was good enough today. I don’t care if Arsenal had a weakened team out, they’ve had crap teams before and always beaten us apart from a couple of very rare occasions. I don’t care if Shaunny was played out of position (second goal came from his mid field play – though we do prefer him on the right) or if Vassell (played well before his injury lay off) and Benjani were poor, or Elano having a sulk because Sturridge took and scored the penalty, but it was good to see Dunney and Micah dominate again. 3-0 against Arsenal will do me, anyhow, anyway.
The next KOTK is coming along nicely, 34 pages so far, deadline is the end of this week if you fancy it, c’mon.
I’ve had phone calls from well known Blue Donald Farrer who tells me that someone is going on the MEN message boards slagging City off under his name and it’s definitely not him. So don’t believe a word. Surely there should be some form of control?
We’re off to Schalke tomorrow, and looking forward to it very much, so see you over there, and let’s hope it all goes well.

Friday, 21 November 2008

this week

This week
Well a good win for England over Germany in Berlin with Shaunny doing well on the RIGHT, including hitting the post, which sets us up nicely for next weeks visit to Schalke. Surely Joe would have done better than Carson if he'd been fit?
Good to hear that Bert Trautmann was honoured before the game, being presented with a diamond pin for his contribution to Anglo-German relations after the War. No mention in the ManUMirror though!
The Eds missed the first half as we, amongst many others, were invited to an evening at COMS, which included a stirring opening statement from Garry Cook, followed by presentations from Alex Williams on City in the Community, David Cain on the new Childrens Hospital, Guy Hutchings on Gorton School (ex Cedar Mount) Robin Strand on Manchester Sport and Leisure, and Peter Fell on Manchester University. Dinner was served later which was most enjoyable, concluding a professional evening and proving that Manchester City F.C. extends beyond the boundaries of the football pitch which can only augur well for the future.

Tomorrow we take on Arsenal, who have been a bit Jekyll and Hyde this season, which has exasperated captain Gallas (remember his frustration at Birmingham last season which signalled Arsenal’s downfall in the title race?) so much that he’s had a right go and is consequently out of the team. So there can’t be a better time to play them and we really do need to pick up the points. Good to have a 3pm Saturday kick off too at long last, so here’s hoping for a fine day, sensible team selection and brilliant performance from the Blues

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

this week

This week
And it was a fine bright day just for a change. When we first moved to Hull we wondered why most blokes wore bob hats and had rosy cheeks, well that North wind was always a perisher and it was no different today. The M62 was as I remembered it from Ponte to Hull – hardly another car on it despite the City away support. And I was proud to point out the sand and soda ash complex I project managed in 1982 as we sped past Knottingly in the Tom-mobile. The car load was unimpressed when I volunteered to ‘dig’ out the drawings to show them! Hull produced a decent programme with one glaring error, they’ve got our record attendance down as 73,295, which everyone knows should be 84,569 the biggest of ANY league club.
As for the game, we were all over the place again, and the buffoonery in defence continued plus Joe got injured and misses out on a possible England place (??) but we went 2-1 up thanks to Stevie, and the ref gifted them Geo’s equaliser from that free kick and he never gave us a bloody thing. “We’ve given up the lead in more games than any other Prem team” one Blue said to me on the way out. Hughes’ selections, tactics, subs etc are leaving a lot to be desired but it’s still early days…..isn’t it? Did my eyes deceive me on MOTD? Was Ronaldo doing an aeroplane impression?
Germany v England tomorrow and maybe a game for SWP and Micah.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

this week

This week
First there’s a couple of exhibitions worth looking at. Salford museum has one on Manchester music which is great and Urbis has a powerful one on the Black Panther movement.

Spurs then, and outside selling KK I spotted a cop admonishing a City fan for having had a go at a prick in a united shirt. Wonder what he said to the rag for provoking such a situation?
Good to see that the professionals can make mistakes too – the programme had a page duplicated from the Twente game!
We also had a ‘jobsworth’ moving Ged and Steve on from selling the zine, easily sorted!.
What an horrible day, but we started off well with magic man Robinho’s goal shutting up the cocky cockneys. Then kamikaze time – Fernadez passes straight to a Spurs player so follows up with a clumsy challenge and gets booked (“get him off, he’s a liability”). Fernadez then, unsurprisingly, gets himself sent off. Dunney then does his clumsy oaf trick to gift them the equaliser, though Joe and Micah were bamboozled. Robinho then goes down in an off the ball incident (what happened?) So we sit there stunned. How much longer can this buffoonery (or is it balloonery!) continue? We press in the second half and as fans we get our second wind and get behind the lads until Bent puts one in off the post. When we hit that bloody post it comes back out, twice! Groundsman, sort it. Micah heads the ball straight to a Spurs player who breaks, Dunney does a girlie push and gets sent off and despite a brave attempt we lose again.
I’m livid. It’s the way we do it that infuriates..
The Chairman was at the game but surprisingly Mark has to go out to Abu Dhabi for the summit meeting when he should be putting the silly sods through extra training.
No game of course this week as we watch some daft teams get through to the quarters of the League Cup (rags win with a penalty!?) and wonder if Stoke, Derby or Burnley can be yet another team to reach a semi-final before us?
Elano’s just come out with criticisms of Hughes management style. Hmm have you been impressed with Elano this season?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

This week

This week
Good to see a few of our crocks back for the Twente game. Poor first half but improvement in the second though they made us sweat at 3-2. Why can’t we take corners like that? And why does the ball hit the inside of the post and come out for us? Not once, but twice. Magical goal by Robbo.
Attendance was poor at 21,247 – perhaps the club should take more notice of the ticket office complaints in KK 164, and the length of time it takes to exit the East car park?
Round and about though Spurs only got 16,925 for their 4-0 win over Zagreb.
Looking at the other groups, Schalke top ours (Group A) with 4 points after drawing at Santander (15, 505) and we’re second on 3 points, same as FC Twente, so a couple more points should do us.
In Group B attendances were between 30,000 and 35,000, Galatassray topping that one.
In Group C attendances were berween 20,500 and 26,500 with Sampdoria at the top.
In Group D attendances were betweenn 12,000 and 16, 925, Udinese at the top.
In Group E attendances were 1between 10,608 (At Milan!) and 15,615 with AC Milan top dogs.
I’m getting fed up now so just to say that in Groups F, G and H top attendance was 25,000 lowest 20,000 and the groups were topped by Aston Villa , St Etienne and Feyenoord.
So some pretty powerful names amongst that lot. What?

Yesterday the Arse beat the rags and amazingly Berbatov scored but was given offside. Is that fucker EVER onside, and could Rooney get any more ugly? He's a lucky lad getting that Colleen.
Stoke and Bolton sneaked above us in the League.

Today it’s revitalised Spurs., what a bummer that is and we need to win as we can’t do a thing away from COMS. We’re in 12th place on 13 points, and if we win we could go up to 9th. Lose, and Fulham, Blackburn or Newcastle could overtake us. We won last season against the Londoners, even scoring a headed goal, so a repeat will be nice but don’t expect a 6-0 like the last time Uncle Harry was here (with Pompey!)
Oh and don’t forget that KK 164 is on the streets just waiting for you to hand over £2.50 to our wonderful sellers, for the ‘read of a lifetime’
And did someone once say that “there’s as much chance of the USA electing a black President than City winning a trophy”? I’m sure someone must have, so Keep The Faith.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

This week

This week
Took my grandson Joe along to Bolton. His fourth away game, they lost the other three at Bolton, Birmingham and Wigan. Still they wouldn’t let us down today would they?!
Bad marks to Bolton for the ticketing again, but full marks for agreeing to downgrade an adult ticket for a juvenile one (no not for me!) with a cash refund. What a dreadful display that was. Poor Joe, he had to face school on Monday in a Bolton/united hotbed and it’s going to be tough to get him to another away game unless I handpick some easier ones – Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool maybe?
Fine display of banners at the Bolton end but the stewards stopped Blues putting ONE up for us? I can feel a letter coming on to Bolton Chaitman Phil Gartside. At 0-0 with not long to go a lad behind me said "we must make sure we don't lose by shutting up shop" So what happens? You know darned well!
Still, home for ten past six, but having to finish off the fanzine whilst in the depths of depression was not easy. Come on Hughesy, sort it out. I know we’re a bit thin on the ground squadwise, but surely we’ve got enough there to get the right blend and bite to beat the likes of Bolton, ‘Boro, Newcastle and Wigan. After all we did it at Sunderland.
Next up is F.C. Twente, which is of course a ‘must win’ game, another one, but even more so after recent results and performances.
KK 164 should be out so look out for it. It’s another A4 52 page bumper issue for just £2.50 and includes all the favourites and plenty on Schalke (Cheesy’s second team) and a topical front cover!

Talking about Schalke, Spike’s got various trips going to both there and Santander. You can e-mail him on, or phone him on 0161 775 7500 for full details.

Last night, Derby County, the worst team EVER in the Premiership won 4-1 at Brighton in the Carling Cup. Nuff said.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

this week

This week
A busy one. First the lads put paid to Stoke in fine style, then on Monday we attended the ‘I’ll be Bert’ play at the Garrick Theatre, Altrincham, which we enjoyed very much. It’s a one man performance by Bill Cronshaw, about his idol Bert Trautmann, set around season 1955/56 when City won the F.A.Cup, when it meant something. Well worth seeing if you get the chance and watch out for dates of future performances.
Then on Tuesday it was a Points of Blue meeting at the club, with club officials Pete Bradshaw and Sara Billington. Minutes awaited, look out for them.
Wednesday was, of course, the revenge trip up to ‘Boro, but it didn’t turn out like that, and was it cold? About a degree colder than last May. City were given the whole area behind the goal, which meant no home fans in the usual half so they could charge us £29, £5 more than last May! As for the programme, which inside they gloated over a favourable review in Programme Monthly, well it was actually two programmes, different front covers but the same content “to raise more money”, apparently. Rip off. Spoke to the cops about last years trouble and they reckoned there was going to be a City fans pitch invasion and as they walked down to the front they were being tripped by City fans so it all went off. So there you go!
Oh, and we lost, again. Played OK, missed chances, good goalkeeping, inconsistent ref. and what stick did Shauny take before he gave hypocritical and usual decent guy Gareth Southgate the V’s.?
It’s also been fanzine week this week and it’s another bumper edition with loads of superb contributions. Got to be at the printers first thing Monday morning so we can be out for F.C.Twente on Thursday, so a busy day tomorrow, and it’s Bolton away. They’ve done that trick again, only selling the dear tickets (£32) then when they realised City weren’t buying them started to sell the £24 tickets. The club should have told them to fuck off in the first place, they’d have soon changed their tune. It needs sorting out for next season, if they’re still in the Prem. Oh and will a result for the Blues mean the sack for Megson? Maybe! But we do need a result as after this game we’ve a few toughies coming up. Today Geovanni did the impossible at Old Trafford and liverpool found out what it's like to lose to a last minute goal, but do ewe really want to see a Spurs revival? Stoke beat Arsenal so hope for us in a couple of weks perhaps.