Monday, 30 November 2009

This week

This week
Friday night was the ‘do’ for the 60th Anniversary of the Official Supporters Club, held at COMS in the marquee in the Commonwealth Suite, which was a bit cold and dark at our end. We were invited guests, which was touching, and found ourselves on a table with Hazel Grove Blues which was very nice. It was a massive ‘do’ attended by ex players and Supporters Clubs from all over, including branches from the south, Ireland, Sweden, Scandanavia, etc etc, a truly magnificent occasion. Gary Owen was MC and Uwe Rosler the guest speaker. The meal was absolutely first class and Garry Cook gave a presentation on the exciting things that have been happening in the past twelve months or so and special mention was given to the splendid work of Alex Williams and his team with regard to City in The Community. Mark Hughes was conspicuous by his absence, a short video being shown to supposedly compensate, and thus missed an opportunity to win over some of his doubters, as Brian Horton, who, (despite his Hull City duties the next day) WAS present, often used to do when he was City manager.

Uwe Rosler was then welcomed by Garry into the Manchester united Hall Of Fame and the whole night fell apart amongst loud booing, name calling and a couple of fans had to be ejected for becoming violent. As ‘Cups For Cock Ups’ go it was one of European proportions, and with no explanation, excuse, cover up, the evening was then left totally flat for the vast majority of Blues present.
Saturday dawned and amazingly it was bright and sunny. So here it was, the match where we’d get back on track and put all our woes behind us. Not to be. Some lovely football first half, then going one up. Penalty on SWP turned down then one given for nothing – again. Time we got some big four decisions eh (rags got TWO pens at Pompey!)? Hull’s goal celebration was hilarious, we’re told, had ‘em laughing in the aisles Paul Hince said, even the ref had a smile. I bet he fuckin’ did.
I’m told that this week is make or break for Hughes, well what’s new? Leslie apparently didn’t endear himself to Sheik Mansour over in Abu Dhabi and results are worrying. Also it was noticeable that the Sheik didn’t respond to Garry Cook’s goal celebration at COMS and after the game I was told that MH didn’t attend an executive luncheon earlier in the week when the video didn’t even work. So not doing himself any favours.

Saturday night it was the Blue Moon ‘do’, again at COMS, organised by Nikki and Sue (not KK Sue!) and to his credit Garry Cook did attend and mingled with City supporters, some of whom gave him some stick and others passed off last night’s aberration as a slip of the tongue. Anyway, for a first attempt it was a great ‘do’ I thought. Always good to mix with fellow Blues, and if it’s repeated at the end of the season will be well worth attending for those of us always up for a good City ‘do’. I did ask Garry, who I’ve found to be a decent bloke with the best intentions for moving City forward, as to how on earth did that one slip out. He said he’d had a sleepless night about it (so did I!), has spoken to supporters club representatives to apologise, and the slip was because he’d been talking to Uwe all night about the goals he’d scored, in particular those against united hence the gaffe. I reminded him that at City ‘do’s’ we are City, not Manchester City, or Man City, but City?
There are rays of hope though. I was advised that this sort of thing is in our DNA, but that was also true in the sixties before Joe and Malc came in and they, along with the players of character at the time turned it round.
There are also people at the club working hard and sensibly and whilst I’m a bit biased here, having taken the lad as he was then to a Manchester derby at O/T, and shown him how to deal with gobby rags (though I wouldn’t recommend that course of action to be taken in the present day!) Danny Wilson is proving to be a shining light.

On Tuesday it’s the funeral of Steve Kay and thanks for all the messages posted on the blog which have proved a great comfort to Steve’s wife Karen, kids Ash and Abi and his family.
The arrangement is to meet at the Stadium/Mancunian Suite where tea and coffee will be provided, or at the house (17, Kershaw Road, Failsworth, M35 9PU) at 10.30 am, travel to COMS for a celebration on Steve’s life. Around midday travel to the Crem for a very short reading and then back to COMS for chatter and memories where food will be provided and the bar will be open. All are welcome and City colours should be worn, we are told as opposed to black.

Wednesday it’s the BIG one, Arsenal at home. C’mon City.

Friday, 27 November 2009

this week

This week
Reflecting on the rags first, Everton had a goal disallowed for offside and Vidic should have been given a straight red for his elbow drawing blood on the Everton player. Against Besiktas the ref played only 6 minutes extra time and they still couldn’t score! Again Evra dived in the box and they wanted a pen – not given!
Phil Neville’s said in the press that he’ll never play for or manage City (as if) as he’s got red blood in his veins and could therefore never have blue blood. Bet Everton fans are pleased with that one.
Poor old Liverpool are out of Europe, wait a minute, they’ve dropped into the farcical Europa Cup now. Talk about the big 4 clubs maintaining the status quo, get it sorted Platini instead of bemoaning the fact that City have spent some money.
Paul Hart has been sacked at Pompey and Avram Grant has taken up the ‘poison chalice’ – passed on from City no doubt!
Micah is demanding showdown talks with MH. Another worry about MH’s man management here – he should be talking to the lad and trying to get the best out of him instead of letting him wonder what he’s been doing wrong!
Just been in a Bistro in Leigh and on the radio was ‘Ernie, the fastest milkman in the west, two ton Ted ‘n ‘all!!! Made me laugh considering the stuff on the blog recently!
Busy weekend coming up. Tonight it’s the 60th anniversary of the Official Supporters club ‘do’ at COMS. Tomorrow we’ve got first home day selling of KK175 against Hull. At night it’s the Blue Moon ‘do’ at COMS as well so the evening will be boosted by a few ‘old farts’ as they like to refer to the fanzine on their message board!
So Hull tomorrow, and you would have though that having lived there for a couple of years we’d have got their logo right – we put Hull F.C’s in instead of City’s. OOOps.
Here’s the it’s A Fix extract from KK 175 :
Hull were promoted in 2008, so they're in their second Premiership season. Most recent connection : Geovanni, Brian Horton. Big name supporter : Should be Maureen Lipman but she’s a rag! Paul Heaton. John Prescott?

Phil Brown’s squad includes : Myhill, McShane, Zayette, Boateng, Dawson, Marney, Geovanni, Barmby, Gardner, Mendy, Garcia, Sonko, Bullard, Hunt…

Last season : Good first half of the season, terrible second and they stayed up by default almost on the last day. At the KC on a cold November day it was a disappointing 2-2 draw. We went behind to a Cousins goal (15) Stevie Ireland equalised (37) then put us ahead on the stroke of half time. But a Kompany OG (see, not only Dunney) in the 60th levelled and that’s the way it stayed (24,902; 2472 Blues) . At COMS in December we raced to a 4-0 half time lead through Caicedo (15, 27) and Robinho (28, 36). Phil Brown’s half time team talk to his disgraced players on the pitch worked wonders, and they drew the second half 1-1, Fagan (80) and Ireland making it 5-1 (82) (45,196; 2846 Tigers)

This season so far : They’re currently in 15th spot with 15 points from 14 games and 0 wins 1 draw and 5 losses away from home. In the Carling Cup they went out 4-0 at home to Everton, but got revenge mid-week with a 3-2 home win.

Comment : The struggle which looked likely is actually happening. Also there’s been a change of Chairman and Phil Brown’s job is on the line. Steve Hunt and Jimmy Bullard in particular have strengthened their squad and fortunes have picked up since Jim laaaaad came back into the team. It really is a must win situation for City. Any bets on another draw?

Wind Ups : There’s only one City…

Stats: 6 pre-war and 8 post make it our 15th league meeting and in Manc we’ve played 7 won 5 drawn 2 lost 0.
Their current average home attendance ; 23,607
Wwtwtwshite: Averaged 3,993 in 1981/82

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

surday night 'do'

This Saturday night the Blue Mooners are hosting a 'do' in one of the suites at City. It starts at about 8pm, includes a hot pot supper, comedian, band and tickets are £12.50. Sue and I will be there along with Col and Margaret from Spain so if you fancy it - would be nice to put a face to some of the names, Tony P etc,. - let me know asap. You can't go wrong at that price! It's smart casual.
Dave and Sue

this week

This week
Liverpool, another drizzly one, made worse as I forgot my coat!
Our seats managed to be right next to the home fans again, just like at O/T but the scousers were much more reasonable as you’d expect.
I thought we did ok in the first half and in fact would have done better if SWP had put the best chance away. Second half Zab gave away a soft free kick, hardly worth one, Gerrard whipped it in and we were one down. The scousers took the mick out of the City lad sat with his scouse mates to our left in the home end. As expected Tevez came on for the lacklustre Barry, again, and we were level in no time, Adebayor from Bellamy’s corner. The City lad to our left celebrated and the stewards and the cops took a dim view though the scousers accepted it. Easy target so he was thrown out! Tails up we went 2-1 ahead which should have clinched it but we fell asleep and let them draw and almost win it. Dosiness personified. So our sixth consecutive draw equalling that of the 4 at the end of 1913 and 2 at the beginning of 1914 seasons.

Monday night and it was the short hop to the Leigh Sports village to see us take on Blackburn reserves. Quite enjoyable, the game finished at 1-1. with Johno superb, Vinny commanding but Benjani disappointing.
Worrying stories this week abound about the treatment of Jim Cassell by Mark Hughes and the demise of our Academy. Not to mention Micah's uneasiness. A bit of man management would help here and there.

Steve Kay

Steve Kay
We received this message via Sean Riley from Steve’s wife Karen : “Steve passed away earlier today (Sunday), as you know he was battling cancer and in the last four weeks it took him off his feet. Steve, being Steve, never gave up and was brave to the end, the kids just held his hand and he fell asleep. If anyone would like to attend the funeral, details will be announced soon. We are hoping that it will be a celebration of his life and his passion for football and Manchester City”.

Steve was a massive Blue and his City watching record was phenomenal. His ‘baby’ was his website He was also well known for his writings in the City fanzine ‘City ‘til I Cry’ and as a big guy he could be seen selling and holding it aloft, head and shoulders above most others.
Steve used to stop for a chat with me on Ashton New Road and I learned of his illness a couple of months ago. I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks but his death came as a great shock as it seemed so sudden for one so young and apparently strong. Condolencies to Steve’s family and friends from all at KOTK. R.I.P.

Friday, 20 November 2009

this week

This week
Manumirror was full of the Stevie Ireland story from Abu Dhabi regarding the anti Hughes/Elano/Brazilian clique at City last season.
Attended the Bert Trautmann Trophy game on Sunday. Poor turnout I’m afraid on a fine November day. Tickets were obtained at the Store, (didn't spot 'Century City' in there, and refreshments could be bought at the Squash club. Collections were made to The Sierra Leone appeal, programmes were available at £1.50, and what a little gem it was. Personally I don’t rate the Arena as a soccer venue, but I believe the pitch is perfect and we watched an interesting game ably commentated on by John Gwynne, which Saints won 6-5. Raffle number 435 won the signed City shirt. We had 432 and another one which could have been 435 but grandson Joe managed to lose it! Prize not yet claimed! Kids!
Tuesday I was invited onto the Radio Manc Blue Tuesday programme from 6 til 7 with Cheesy, Emily B, Paul Lake, Dave Unsworth from the club and Phil Goldstone, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Then we saw the Irish go out of the World Cup to that handball goal much to Platini’s delight. Video evidence HAS to come in. Why rely on such eveidence AFTER games when it’s too late, but punishment is then doled out. ? Ridiculous.
Tony, I find it a bit daft for someone, who comes out with a line : Sir, your not been able to see something….. to criticise your spelling. Zimmerman - not exactly a Dylan line was it and we don’t like anonymity and personal insults on this blog.
Anyway, Liverpool tomorrow, here’s the It’s A fix extract (from KK174, now out!)

Their last promotion was in 1962, since when they’ve won the lot but no title since 1990, and their last pot was the F. A. Cup in 2006. Most recent connections : Albert Rieira, Didi Hamann Big name supporter : Elvis Costello. 147Th Lg meeting.

Rafael Benitez squad includes : Reina, Carragher, Skirtel, Mascherano, Riera, Torres, Kuyt, Benayoun (Alice Cooper lookalike) Cavalieri, Babel, Gerrard, Agger (dooo doo doo), Voronin, Ngog

Last season : At COMS in October City went two up through Ireland (18) and Garrido (41). ‘Pool pulled one back through Torres (55), then Zabaleta was red carded for a challenge on Alonso. Torres got his second (73), Skirtel should have been sent off for kicking Jo in the back and was then stretchered off injured. Kuyt, who’d slagged us off midweek inevitably got their winner in the last minute, which was cruel considering our first half performance. (47,280; 2846 Scouse)
Over at Anfield it was a 1-1 draw in February, Bellamy/og (49) with Kuyt (78) equalising for the Reds. (44,259 ;2964 Blues). ‘Pool fans seemed to accept that their title tilt was over yet again, but they staged a mini revival and almost pulled it off, finishing second.

This season so far : They’re currently in 7th place with 19 points from 12 games and 4 wins 1 draw and I loss at home. In the Carling they went out to Arsenal and in Europe they’re struggling.

Our form at ‘Pool: In the 12 Prem visits we’ve had one win (2-1 in 02/03) 2 draws (1-1 92/93 and last season) and 9 losses.
Anfield Capacity : 45,362 (3,000 for City)
Groundwise : This is (the same old) Anfield. We’ll be behind the goal on the rhs. Poor view at the back of the stand. Stewards stop zine sellers inside the ground, and Police stop us outside?!
Tickets £38
Comment : The Yankee owners continue to infuriate the scousers after the initial euphoria and demonstrations are taking place. There wasn’t enough investment in the summer and they look like a two man team, Torres and Gerrard. Don't you believe it.. The recent win over the rags gave them a boost but the draw against Birmingham was a massive blow and they’ll be looking to get back on track with a win over City and to save Benitez’s job. A stern test for us in a battle for top four place so if we’re to take their place it’s a challenge we must rise too.

Wind Ups: Hopefully “You’re getting sacked in the morning”

Their current average home attendance : 44,076
Wwtwtwshite : Av’d 22,742 in 1931/32
Parking : is now a real problem, but there are car parks and some street parking if you’re there early enough.
Sat Nav : L4 0TH
Pub : The Arkles, though we’re invited to The Halfway House on Walton Road after the game.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A chance for FIFA to clean up football

The handball by Henri that has robbed the Republic of Ireland of a World Cup place is the worst piece of cheating I have ever seen. It far outstrips Maradona's hand of God incident because to this day I can't still clearly see if Maradona handled or not. But in this case Henri is clearly seen controlling the ball. What's more he also deliberately fooled the officials by running away and celebrating the "goal" whilst the Irish were protesting. If FIFA want to clean up the game then
all they have to do is declare the result void, award the game to the Irish and ban Henri for one year. That would send out a clear message to every player that has fallen over trying to win a penalty or deliberately feigned a foul to gain an advantage, that the game is up. Henri should be stripped of his advertising contract by Gillette too. Unless FIFA intend to take such action then I suggest they stop lecturing everyone else on the subject of honesty in the game.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

City! - Golden Twits of the year

Hi all,

Please take two seconds to vote for us!

The MCFC Twitter feed has been nominated for a Golden Twit (the BAFTAs of the Twitter world). Please vote for us here (we're a 1/3 of the way down)

No sign-up required!

Kind regards,

Chris Nield
Social Media Executive
Manchester City Football Club
City of Manchester Stadium
M11 3FF

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Don't know if anyone is interested, but I have posted a short clip from the 1962/63 Old Trafford derby on YouTube. The address is Filmed by an amateur cameraperson in the stands, it is a unique piece time capsule.

this week

This week
Well we’ve got the latest KK in the can and off to the printers so it should be out for Liverpool. Thanks to everyone who contributed – it looks like another stonker. We’ve gone a bit upmarket too, having it upgraded to a desktop package so the quality should be better.
The boys managed to lose in Abu Dhabi 1-0 and there’s obviously no game this weekend. There is a game tomorrow, of course, at the Athletic Stadium. St Helen s Town v City legends for the Bert Trautmann Trophy celebrating 60 years since his transfer from the Saints to City. Kick off is at 1pm, there’s free parking in the North car park, and tickets are very reasonably priced at £4 and £2 for concessions. Presumably on sale in advance or on the day.
I was invited to do a little piece for the programme which you might find interesting, here it is, just in case it doesn’t go in :

For me it was 1955 when I first became interested in soccer. I was 11 years old and City were on their way to Wembley, with tales of the heroics of their German born, ex prisoner of war, goalie, Bert Trautmann, becoming legendary, as we were treated to glimpses of his performances on the newsreels and television clips of the day.
At that age I was obviously unaware of the initial re-action to the signing of the German, from St Helens Town in 1949, so soon after the war. Some fans were up in arms, boycotting City’s games in protest. However, his displays on the pitch and the publicity they generated soon had them flocking back to Maine Road. Indeed, football crowds up and down the country took our blonde hero to their hearts and it is safe to say that Bert did much for Anglo-German relations in those austere and troubled post-war times.
Like most young Blues of that era I had a scrapbook of the City stars with Bert, naturally, taking pride of place. As a budding goalkeeper myself I obviously modelled myself on him, but only reached local league standard. (though my workmate Dennis Hurst, a classmate of Frannie Lee, did play for St Helens Town). I also kept a diary of City games in scrapbook form, and on the way back from West Ham in 1959 I seized my chance for autographs as the players were travelling on the same train. I remember Bert’s wife, Margaret, being present too, and giving me a ‘boys will be boys’ look, with a wry smile, as I fussed round the players. She looked like a film star and I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.
Anyway, Bert duly signed my book, flicked through it, turned to George Hannah and said “this boy looks like he’s going to become a journalist George”, George agreed, but I didn’t of course! Years later I met Bert at a Sportsmans Dinner, and told him I was a goalkeeper and had modelled myself on him, Someone then asked him a question, and he turned to me and said “Dave, you were a goalkeeper, what do you think?” I was speechless. Anyway, I last saw Bert a couple of years ago, when he was looking great. Previously I recall him being asked at a supporters club meeting if he thought that Nicky Weaver was a better goalie than him and he replied “yes, he is now, but I am 77 years of age”. Classic.
Brilliant that he has accepted the position of Honorary President at St. Helens Town. Let’s hope that today’s match for the Trautmann Trophy goes well and benefits the Trautmann Foundation and St Helens Town, and maybe prompts the Manchester City club to finally name a stand after the great man. It’s long overdue, and time is running out.

See you there
PS : Any thoughts on progressing the Trautman stand name?

Sunday, 8 November 2009

this week

This week
Ooh, a cold and rainy day. Minutes silence for Remembrance Day, again beautifully observed. Settled down to watch us put Burnley in their place and halt the number of drawn games to put us back on track.
Blimey. Two goals down, first a soft penalty. What did I say? Second, oh dear. Two new tall and strong fullbacks in January please.
Shauny had a goal disallowed for offside. Was it? Then he stroked one in off the heel of Jordan, so a bit more respectable at half time. We fought back well to go 3-2 ahead and just as we thought we might not do anything silly. We did.
Murder getting home with all the diversions around Eastlands. Settled down to watch MOTD later and to check out Sean’s ‘offside’ goal. Guess what? It wasn’t even shown. Surely MOTD should show important incidents in games.
So we drop to 6th, which could be 7th if Liverpool beat Birmingham tomorrow night. Not looking too good but if we can continue in the Carling…..At least the rags lost at Chelsea! The next KK is coming along nicely. 28 pages so far, keep em coming please.

Friday, 6 November 2009

this week

This week
Well, there was a good result for us at West Ham where Villa were beaten 2-1. In the Chumps Cup the rags drew 3-3 at home to CSKA with a suspiciously offside looking goal from Owen, a ridiculous dive from that dirty bast**d Fletcher, rightly booked, and a last minute own goal to give them a draw – bet the dubious goals panel give it to Valencia though!
More Robinho speculation, this time re possibly playing for Brazil when not fully recovered from injury. I think we miss him when we need that little bit of magic to turn a game.
Anyway, Burnley next who we usually stuff by five, six, or seven, but just a win will do to get us back on track as the next batch of games are really tough - for our opposition! Here’s the It’s a fix extract :
Last promotion : Was last season via the play-offs. An amazing achievement for a town of 70,000 population, mainly BNP, where no-one dares to be seen out wearing a rag shirt. Commendable!
Most recent connections : Tyrone Mears, Stephen Jordan Big name supporters : Alistair Campbell, Colonel Gaddafi? Last pot : League title clinched at Maine Road in 1960
Owen Coyles squad includes : Mears, Jordan, Gudjonnson, Nugent…..
This season so far : They’re currently in 10th place with 15 points from 11 games and 0 wins, 0 draws and 5 losses away from home. They did beat the rags at home so deserve respect for that!.
In the Carling Cup they went out 3-2 at Barnsley.
Our form in Manc v Burnley : Last meeting was in 01/02, a 5-1 City win (34,250). They did OK here post war until City’s return to the first division since then it’s been 6 Blues wins, 4 draws and no losses
Comment; We have a great recent record against the Clarets, and they’re dodgy away from home, so it looks like a home banker, as much as one can be with City!
Wind ups : Don’t mention Blackburn Rovers, oh go on then!
Stats ; 32 pre-war and 52 post make it our 85th league meeting and in Manc p/war it’s been : Played 26 won 12 drawn 6 lost 7
Their current average home attendance : 20,116
WWTWTWShite : Averaged 3,204 in 1985/86

Monday, 2 November 2009

this week

Birmingham. This was a tester for the KK team. Initially tickets were highly priced at £42, it was on a Sunday and on the box. Talk of a boycott on the message boards, so we deliberated. Chance of calling in at St Andrews on the way back from a weekend in South Wales, Then the ticket prices dropped, so we couldn’t really say no. Then we found we’d have to come back from Wales on the Saturday morning, and travel down to Brum and back on the Sunday. Then we had a spare ticket, and zine sales at Brum are always poor (did better than predicted though!), but the object of the exercise is always to support our team so we risked it, grandson Joe using up the spare ticket. M6 worse than we thought but made it after two and a half hours! Oh, and it was cold and windy.
One minutes silence for Remembrance Day impeccably observed by ‘The Impeccables’ Bit of noise on the concourse by late Blue arrivals who obviously weren’t advised by the Stewards of the silence. Once again, they’re very good at stopping us selling zines (which we were!), but doing anything other than the easy option gives them a major problem.
Our view was crap, right behind the goal, with the crossbar obscuring the main action on the pitch.
Hmm. Poor performance again – and what did I say about us not conceding soft penalties? It was a bit harsh, to be honest and Given excelled of course. Good support from the Brummies, I thopught and we were given a tough game.. After booking Bridge for booting the ball away in the first half the ref had no choice but to send off Ferguson for a second yellow late on. So, a clean sheet, and another point taking us up to fourth place….somehow. Not clear of the chasing pack, but falling behind the big three.
It was a better drive back after the game, and we settled down to watch MOTD 2. What a farce. No City attacks shown in the second half, but punters Sir Les and Mark Bright were allowed to comment on the attacks which were shown in the summary only.

Picked up ex Chairman Eric Alexander’s book ‘Please May I Have My Ball Back’ at Borders which should have been the best book on inside stories on City ever written but, although good, doesn’t go quite far enough as friends and mates etc have to be protected. More on that later. This adds to the list of books for review in KK – The Big Book Of City, Cheesy’s, Sully’s, Rodney’s, The Alliso/Mercer books, Tony Book etc etc. Any volunteers?

Today we attended the funeral of Dante Friend’s father Jack which went as well as any funeral can. Jack was much loved by his family and friends and was a very special and respected person who will be sorely missed.
Condolencies, in particular to Dante, Coral and Carmel.

It’s that time again! Just finishing the ‘Us v Them’ book in draft and now having to break off to start putting KK 174 together, so any early articles will be appreciated.