Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Alan Rowbotham

Late home last night, and woken this morning by the saddest phone call. Alan Rowbotham's daughter rang to say that Alan died yesterday.

Alan was a regular contributor to the fanzine for many years. An astute reader of the game and a talented writer who often moved readers to tears as his love and passion for City weaved through his words.
He was also an impressive human being; a loving family man; a proud ex-serviceman; an accomplished businessman; a club compere/singer; an athletics trainer...... and those were just a few things I knew about him, there was probably much more.
Most of all he was a great friend. A loyal, supportive, encouraging buddy who greeted me with a smile and a wink, which were all that was needed to make me feel good, even when life didn't seem so bright at the time.

Alan has been ill for some time, and his regular contributions came to an abrupt end a few issues ago. The last time I spoke to him he could barely respond. Accompanied by his beloved grandson he was bravely making the journey up Joe Mercer Way to watch the Blues for what was probably his last time.
I prayed for a miracle, but it didn't happen.

Dave and I would like to thank Alan for all his hours spent writing for KOTK, he will be sorely missed.
We send condolences to his family, of whom he was SO proud, and rightly so.

God bless you Alan - total quality.


Monday, 28 December 2009

this week, already

This week, already!
Stoke and a slushy day outside COMS with everybody wondering which way the result would go. We shouldn’t have worried. Stokies were noisy, team poor, so it was good to shut them up in the first half with those goals from Petrov and our diamond Tevez. Good KK front cover eh!?
Second half we shut up shop, Bobby Manc showing tactical awareness. Robiinho was a disgrace again. Tony says do we try to get the best out of him or get shut. Good question.
So a welcome three points, and a massive relief for all us Blues. Can we follow it up at Wolves?
Strangely the press have done a bit of a u-turn. Kind reports in the Observer and the manumirror paints Bellamy in a positive light. Hmm can they keep it up?

Here’s the Wolves it’s a Fix extract :
Promoted last season. Last pot league cup in 1980
Most recent connections are Wayne Hennessey, Keith Curle and Mark Kennedy. Big name supporters are (impressive) Robert Plant, Noddy Holder and Kevin Rowland. 104th league meeting.

Ex Blue Mick McCarthy’s squad includes : Hahnemann, Craddock, Berra, Stearman, Milijas, Edwards, Keogh, Doyle, Jarvis, Hennessey,

This season so far : At COMS in August it was our first home game which we won unconvincingly 1-0 with a strike from Adebayor in the 17th minute. 47,287 (2,809 Wolves)
Currently they’re in15th place with 19 points from 19 games with 3 wins 2 draws and 4 losses at home.
In the Carling they went out 1-0 at O/T in the 3rd round
In the F. A. Cup they’ve drawn Tranmere away.

Our form at Wolves : It’s not been too happy a place for us. On our last visit in 03/04 we lost 1-0 and our 2-0 win in 01/02 when we were heading for the Prem was only our first win after 4 losses and a draw. Prior to that though we’d won 3 and drawn 2.

Comment : It’s our first return game of the season. They’re finding it tough but are putting the odd result together, but if we’re serious, we must get the points, to make it Good-bye Wolverhampton, nice to see you go….down
Mick didn’t do himself any favours at O/T fielding a weakened team, they bounced back v Bolton but lost at Liverpool. Under Hughes you’d expect a draw but under Bob, surely a win

Wind Ups : Walsall, Walsall give us a song backfired dramatically at COMS. How about Mick McCarthy give us a wave? When they were shit they only had 4,000
Molineux Capacity : 28,500 (2,500 for City)
Groundwise : Same as last time, completely re-developed but not as interesting as the old ground. We get half the paddock pitchside. Get your hats on ‘cos they drop stuff on us!
Ticket prices are : £38
M6 a bit crap yesterday and it’s foggy today so could be a pain of a journey

Their current average home attendance: 28,230
Wwtwtwshite? Av. 4,020 in 1985/86
Away day zine : A Load Of Bull, swap with KK.
Parking ; On the street
Sat Nav : Wv1 4QR

Saturday, 26 December 2009

this week

This week
What a week? Not what we really wanted in the build up to Christmas, and ironic that having deliberated for days on the KK front cover, the minute the zine hit the streets THIS happened.
So to the press conference. Oh dear. I was quite impressed with Roberto but Garry Cook lost it again. We must find a way of getting the press on our side a bit and that wasn’t the way to do it. Again they’d hollered for Hughes to be sacked and when it was done they hollered again - you just can’t win. If City felt that Hughes wasn’t the right man then they were right to sound available managers out, and it would be impossible to keep that quiet. If Hughes knew about the goings on he could have resigned, but there was no way he was gonna do that. It’s a messy business and the club didn’t do themselves any favours in the press conference.
Managers have been at it too. Ferguson who left Aberdeen in the mire. Redknapp who left Pompey, Saints and Pompey again in the mire, and Bruce who’s walked out on three or four clubs. Hypocrites.
Anyway, Stoke tomorrow, it was a turning point in 1998 for us, so let’s hope it’s another new dawn tomorrow. Bit of a difference though and you’ve just got to hope for a great reception for Mancini and a good result and performance. Hope for some “We did it for Mark type headlines on Sunday. Defeat doesn’t bear thinking about.

Here’s the it’s A Fix extract :
Into their second Prem season, and their one and only trophy was the League Cup in 1972 when they beat Chelsea 2-1. Most recent connections : Nigel Gleghorn. Big name supporter : Nick Hancock. 81st league meeting.
Tony Pulis’s (Two nil up and he f**ked it up) squad includes : Sorenson, Wilkinson, Diao, Delap, Collins, Huth, Shawcross, Lawrence, Fuller, Ethgerington, Beattie, Simonsen, Tuncay, Higginbotham (boo)
Last season : Robhino’s hat-trick in October at COMS saw them off to the tune of three comfortably nil as we moved up to 8th place, and silenced the Delilah song. 44 ,624 (2,840 Stokies)
At Stoke in January it was a 1-0 loss with Beattie getting their goal just on half time. Delap was sent off for a vicious foul on SWP which seemed to affect our little maestro who was retrospectively banned on video evidence for a few games owing to a mild retaliation. 27,236 (2,818 City)

This season so far : They’re holding their own and making a decent fist of it. Currently they’re in 11th place with 21 points from 17 games and 1 win 4 draws and 4 losses away from home.
In the Carling they went out 4-0 at Portsmouth in the 4th round
In the F.A. Cup they’ve drawn York City at home.

Our form in Manc v Stoke : They’ve had only one win here in the last 7 meetings, 1-0 in 97/98, whilst City have won the other 6, so it’s looking good.
Just a reminder that in the 6th round of the Cup in March 1934, 84,569, a record provincial crowd, including plenty of Stokies, in England and Wales for any club outside London and Glasgow, turned up to watch Eric Brook win it for the Blues 1-0. City then went on to win the Cup. Not bad for a club with supposedly no tradition and no history! This was also before the Platt Lane end was extended and covered. Take a bow, you Blues and Stokies, for your ancestors.
Comment : Eight points behind us at present and with our track record in Manc we should do ‘em IF we can cope with their aerial threat.and Delap’s throws as Joe did last season. New manager syndrome with Roberto? Clean sheet?
Wind Ups : There’s only one City plus pansy Potters and Stoke you’re a F**kin joke (pity that Manc rhyymes with Wank!) .
WwtwtwShite : Averaged 8,288 in 1985/86
Their current home average attendance : 27, 287

Sunday, 20 December 2009

this week

This week
Sunderland home, and snow! The rumours were rife. Hughes had already been sacked and Mancini was lined up. The decision had virtually been made in Abu Dhabi the week before the Hull game, then Hughes cocked it up a bit by beating Arsenal and Chelsea.
2-0 up to goals from Santa (Bellamy offside?) and our first penalty of the season scored by Carlos, yet another goal. Did you hold up your KK to the Sunderland fans? Cruising then until our wobbly defence got going. 2-2 in no time, but a third added by Craig just before half time. More rumours – Mancini in until the end of the season, then Mourinho? Before you know it 3-3 then Roque finished off a fine performance with his second and City’s third, for a welcome three points. Leslie applauded the fans then waved and walked away. Apparently he knew before the game that he was fired and had to be persuaded to take charge.
So what do we make of that? Hughes was detested in certain quarters, by some fans, in the media, there were stories that he didn’t communicate with the players, especially those that were dropped.
You’d have thought that he would have had until the result of the Carling Cup semi, having also got us into 6th place. Still, never our decision. It will be interesting to see how the players he brought in who came to City because of him in particular will respond – Given, Santa, Bellamy etc. Anyway it’s Mancini and I think it’s a great risk. He’ll have to come in, as a novice to the Prem., and do better than Hughes straight away, though he WILL get that defence sorted. Obviously he’ll get our full support. Kiddo is number two. The man who enticed Giggs and co to O/T by whatever means was necessary and who Fergie didn’t trust. The man who was going to take over as manager at City until the eleventh hour when we were forced to plump for Ball. A failure at Blackburn as manager, but otherwise with a decent reputation as a number two. "Trust me I'm your number two...??!!)
So off we go again on the MCFC Merry go round. You just have to hope that Cook, Marwood , Pearce etc know what they’re doing. It'll either be an inspirational appointment or a total disaster, but it's never dull. Why couldn't they have done it before we got this issue out? Subscrioptions are all in the post so hopefully they'll arrive before Christmas.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Sparks Will Fly

Just read that Sparky has been sacked to be replaced by Mancini. Strange timing behind this decision. Can't say that Hughes was my favourite appointment but I was warming to him as a boss. I would have rather he'd been allowed until the end of the season and if we are going to make a change, then I would have preferred to go for the best - Mourinho. Best of luck Sparky.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Tomorrow night

After the Sunderland game we’re off to The Lal-Qila on Rusholme Road for a bite to eat and some chat/.commiserations/celebrations!
All invited, see you there!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

this week

Spurs, good run down with Cheesy, Charlie and Fred in the Radio Manc car. Cold and rainy in London, not the biggest away attendance with tickets priced at £47, but quite vociferous.”Stand up if you hate Arsenal” was the Spurs fans chant. City responded with “stand up if you’ve beat Arsenal” Nice one. Well we were unimpressive to say the least and another three goals conceded puts further pressure on Hughes. I thought he’d bring a bit of the Blackburn steel with him but we’re just a bunch of lightweight namby pambies. I’m off to Vision Express on Friday to pick up my new glasses, which I desperately need as I didn’t spot Nedum was on the pitch at the Lane! Doh. Missus Onuoha, in our after match chat, must've thought I was cracking up!
Anyway, luckily KK175 was at the printers. It’s another (Christmas) cracker. A4, 48 pages with the new layout making it look good. All the usual stuff plus lots more. It’s a late one before Chrissy this year so I hope the contributors and subscribers get it before Christmas. It’ll go out this weekend with a bit of luck.
Wins against Sunderland and Stoke are now vital if we’re to regain any credibility. C’mon City!Here’s the Sunderland it’s A fix extract:
Promoted in 2007, so this is their third season in the Prem. (this time!) Last Pot F.A. Cup 1973. Most recent connection : Niall Quinn, High Profile supporter : Steve Cram. 117th league meeting

Steve Bruce’s squad includes : Fulop, Turner, Da Silva, Bardsley, Cana, Richardson (boo), McCartney, Malbranque (boo), Bent, Jones, Reid, Carson, Ferdinand, Zenden
Last season : At the Stadium Of Light in August we registered our one and only away win, until Everton in April, with the 3-0 drubbing. Ireland notching the first just before half time, then Shaunny getting two on his return in the 50th and 58th minute, when it looked like we had lift off under Hughes. Still, it helped to get Keane sacked!
At COMS in March they were down to ten men when McCartney was sent off, Robinho missed a penalty and Micah got the winner in the 55th minute. 43,017 with 2,778 Mackems.

This season so far : Steve Bruce replaced Ricky Sbragia in the summer and has managed a few impressive results including home wins v Liverpool and Arsenal plus a draw at the Swamp.

Currently they’re in 10th place with 21 points from 17 games.
In the Carling they went out to Villa 3-1 at home on pens after 0-0 in the 4th round.
In the F. A. Cup they’ve drawn Barrow at home.

Our form in Manc v S/land: Not bad, 5 wins out of the last 5 meetings.

Comment : They’re currently only five points behind us and so it’s a must win game. Another one! We’ve a decent recent record against Sunderland, and though they’ll bring a large and vocal support which is as loyal as they come we must do the business. Bent and Jones are their obvious threats in the air specifically.

Wind Ups : Bruce will get his usual elephant man stick which usually takes in good part.

Their current average home att: 40,875
Wwtwtwshite? – Av 13,601 in 86/87.

Friday, 11 December 2009

this week

I posted the last post on behalf of Colin Savage!

This week
KK175 is looking very good, thanks to all for the top class contributions. Heading for 48 pages again, with finalisation after the Bolton game then off to Bob the printers on Monday, to be hopefully out on Saturday for the visit of Sunderland.
So Bolton tomorrow, here’s the It’s A Fix extract :

Bolton’s last promotion was in 2001, and they’ve since lost to Boro 2-1 in the 2004 League Cup Final making their last trophy the F.A.Cup in 1958 beating united comfortably 2-0. Most recent connections : Tel Ben Haim. Big name suppoerters : Peter Kay, Vernon Kay, Dave Spikey . 107TH LG Meeting

Ex Blue Gary Megson’s squad includes : Jasskelainen, Cahill, Knight, Ricketts, Cohen, Muamba, Basham, Robinson, Elmander, Lee, K. Davies, Shittu, Gardner,

Last season : Over at the Reebok in November it was a 2-0 defeat, Gardner (76) , and Dunney (88 ) sealing it for them with an own goal, when it looked like we’d get a point. Crowd was 21,095 with only 2434 Blues owing to Gartside’s ridiculous ticketing arrangements.
At COMS on the last day of the season it was a 1-0 City win. Caicedo clinching it (8) (47,202) to finish us in 10th place on 50 points.

This season so far : They’re currently in 19th place with 12 points from 15 games and 1 win 2 draws and 4 losses at home

Our form at Bolton : Two losses, 2 draws and 2 wins in the last 6 Prem meetings but last win in 04/05.

Reebok Capacity : 28,723 (2,700 for City)
Groundwise : No change to the Reebok, and we’ll be behind the goal.Ticket situation better but not perfect this year

Comment: Another season of struggle and turmoil at the Reebok with fans still disgruntled over Megson (we want Owen Coyle) We must take advantage and seize the points to put them out of their misery and get Meggo sacked, if that’s what they really want. We need to build on the Arsenal and Chelsea results and not have another 'after the Lord Mayor's Show' performance as we often do.
Wind Ups: Going down, town full of Mu's (a bit harsh, they hate em almost as much as we do!)
Their current average home att : 19,997
Parking/car parks: £3 here and there, £6 last year at the ground and we raced away afterwards!
Sat. Nav : BL6 6JW
Pubs : Shut to City fans still, on police advice, before and after. Plenty in Horwich though- Beehive, Bromilow Arms, Horwich

London Blues

London-based Blues
Have to give a plug to my mate Tony Brett who is doing a fantastic job in organising stuff for Blues in London. He has sorted out a pub, the City Pride in Farringdon Lane, where a fair number of City fans now gather to watch televised games. We also usually take part in the very entertaining quiz there on a Thursday evening, starting at 7pm. As a week-day exile myself, it’s been great to meet some new faces. I’d like to stress that this is being done with the full knowledge of the London OSC branch and all involved are encouraged to join (as I have). For the Spurs game we have decided to forego the £47 tickets (absolutely ludicrous for a mid-week televised game) and have something to eat and drink at the London Pride while watching on TV. This edition will probably not be out before that game but if anyone is in or near London and fancies getting together to watch other games then Tony can be contacted via e-mail on tony.b1@o2.co.uk.
We also do a quiz at the City Pride on a Thursday night if anyone wants to join us but this won’t be starting again until January so e-mail for details if you’re interested.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

This week

This week
Thursday night was an entertaining evening with Gary James at the well attended Warrington Branch of the OSC.
Saturday at 5.30pm for Chelsea. Can’t remember a previous home Saturday game at that time? Naturally it started pouring down just as we got there and, ironically, as City registered the highest attendance at Eastlands, it was KK’s worst ever home selling day, because of the rain and the kick off time presumably!
So we got in before kick off for a change, and what a splendid sight it was, with the lights dimmed, flags waving and Blue Moon booming out to lift the atmosphere. It was a similar scenario to the Barcelona friendly, where, additionally, each player was spotlighted as he came out to be introduced at the centre spot. Brilliant.
One down early doors but then what a performance. Ancellotti reckons the ref made two mistakes, missing the corner that led to their goal of course! Put on Rock Radio on the way home after Radio Manc finished and we sang along to Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash which for some inexplicable reason grandson Joe, eleven, (having seen the best match of his life) found a bit embarrassing. Kids, eh!! Regained a bit of cred when I told him I knew Cult's guitarist Blue Billy Duffy (they came on next) and we send him a zine!
So a wonderful night and week in the end, and I believe the stuff at the Printworks went well. After all, This is our City!
We’re putting together KK 175 at the mo, so all articles are welcomed. It’s A fix covers Sunderland, Stoke, Wolves, ‘Boro, rags, Blackburn, and Everton, so if you’ve got any cryptic comments on those send ‘em in please. If you’re wondering if I sent Arsenal fan (Glyn!) Martin Samuel an e-mail after Carlos Tevez’s fantastic performances this week, whilst not one to gloat, I did! Some player that Tevez!
It’s a free Wednesday tomorrow so disappointing that the club can’t fit in the Everton game in hand. Remember us fitting in the Barca friendly in August?
Just to bring you back down to earth, Caicedo will be coming back in January as he’s been a flop at Sporting Lisbon!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

this week

This week
Well the press have been at it again, slagging off our signings – even Martin Samuel had a go at Tevez in particular – I had to e-mail him to put him right, but it’s becoming tedious. OK Hull was a disappointment but we still had Arsenal and Chelsea to come. So off to COMS on the Wednesday night. We had Radio Manc on and it was red Wednesday. They had a couple of rags on, one of whom sounded quite intelligent and was part of IMUSA and the supporters trust thing. Then he started spouting on about Tevez and how City fans describe him as making Vassell look like Pele (have you seen this anywhere?) and how astute Fergie was to get rid and replace him with Owen. Bollocks, why are they so obsessed with us? No wonder everyone hates them. Well Carlos is a cracking footballer and what a great goal to set us on our way v the Arse. Great performance from the lads, and congratulations to Leslie for becoming our most successful manager in the past 29 years, and there’s more to come. How come we’re drawn out of the hat first yet have the disadvantage of playing the first leg v the rags at COMS? This means that there’ll be 128 minutes of Fergie time at O/T plus the pens if necessary will be at one of their ends too. It’s a bloody fix, that’s what.
We’ve also drawn (ex) bogey team ‘Boro in the Cup so a good chance of revenge there, and if we get an away draw in the 4th round that’ll be four aways on the trot.
Anyway, we got Chelsea tomorrow who don’t like it up ‘em in the North West. Here’s the It’s A Fix extract from KK 174 : Last promotion : Came up with us in 88/89, and stayed ever since, winning the League twice, F. A. Cup 4 time, League Cup 3 times, Euro Cup Winners Cup winners once, Euro Super Cup Winners once. Just shows what money can do. Most recent connections : SWP, Anelka, Ben Haim, Danny Sturridge. Big name supporter : Sir Richard Attenborough. 129TH LG Meeting.

Carlo Ancellotti’s squad includes : Czech, Terry, Essien,Cole A and J, Lampard, Drogba, Ballack, Carvalho, Evanovic, Anelka, Bosingwa, Alex, Mikel….,

Last season : Scholari went, Hiddinck came in and they won the F. A Cup, but went out of the Euro Cup by a last minute goal to Barcelona.in the semi-final.
At COMS in September it was an euphoric start for Robinho (14) with his free kick, but after that Chelsea took control scoring through Carvalho (17), Lampard (53) and Anelka (70) to complete a convincing 3-1 win, when they looked like Champions. (47,331; 2,841Chels) Terry was rightly sent off but the decision was later wrongly rescinded and referee Mark Halsey’s knuckles were rapped. We take this opportunity to wish Mark and his missus the very best of luck in their fight against their respective illnesses.
At The Bridge, (or whatever it’s called today), last March, it was a 1-0 win for the Londoners courtesy of Essien (18) although it was a mystery as to how City kept it to only one! (41,819; 1,515 City)

This season so far : They’re currently top with 33 points from 13 games and 4 wins 0 draws and 2 losses away from home.
They’re doing well in Europe and in the Carling Cup they’ve just lost at Blackburn, so they’re not invincible.

Our home form v Chelsea: Our 1-0 win in 04/05 was our only win in 14 meetings since 1991 – 2-1, and that was our first in 6 meetings since the 6-2 in 77/78. Prior to that Chelsea couldn’t do a thing here, just the 4-1 in 1967 since the war.

Comment : Top dogs at the moment despite their fourth new manager in the last few years. But you never know. They’ve lost a couple of aways so there’s hope, and the Arse result has lifted us. Big game, big test, I’d be happy with a decent performance.

Wind Ups : Well it has to be “Where were you when….”
Played : 44 won 15 drawn 12 lost 17
WWTWTWShite : Averaged 12,672 in 82/83
Their current average home attendance : 41,138

Finally this week we’ve had Ryan Gigs being touted as Sports Personality Of The Year, but surely you have to have a personality for that?
Then we had the World Cup draw and it’s looking good for England. To finish it’s party time at the PrintWorks for Blues tomorrow, and my youngest is off there. Eee gone are the days when Chelsea would steam in with CS gas canisters and stuff. Let’s hope we can party afterwards too. C’mon City!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

TRhis week

This week
Well we’ve heard that the Youth team were knocked out of the Cup on Saturday at Preston, they’ve done really well since Jim Cassell left haven’t they?
Papers are full of the news that we’ve paid £12M in fees to agents for the record signings in the summer. We’ll try and get an interview with an agent to put things in perspective. I’m told that the exams they have to pass these days on European Law etc are extremely difficult. Keep you posted.

Yesterday we attended the service at COMS for Steve Kay for which there was a brilliant turnout which did Steve proud. There were many tributes read out for Steve from friends and family which were touching and often amusing. It was a moving humanist sevice and a great tribute to a massive Blue and family man who will be sadly missed.

Tonight we take on Arsenal at COMS where Leslie sets out to become the most successful City manager in the past 28 years. Here’s the It’s A Fix extract from KK 174 :
A tough one, obviously, and all the nastiness of the recent league fixture stoked up by the press is still simmering. Arsenal are currently on top form, doing well in Europe but now sit 4th in the table after being put firmly in their place by Chelsea, with 25 points from 13 ames. No doubt they’ll play the talented youngsters plus a few ‘old’ heads like Silvestre, Arshavin, and maybe Fabregas. They’ve not won a trophy for a few seasons so expect them to put in a very serious challenge. Hopefully we can do the same and ‘do ‘em ‘ again. If not there could be repercussions so level heads are needed..
In the League Cup we’ve met on five occasions and lost every single one :
1977/78 5th rd : 0-0 home, replay 0-1 away
1985/86 3rd rd : 1-2 home
1986/87 3rd rd : 1-3 away
1990/91 3rd rd : 1-2 home
2004/05 3rd rd : 1-2 home
We haven’t done much better in the F. A. Cup winning only one out of three in 1904!
So, Arsenal are expected to bring around 5,000 fans, none of whom seem to have been banned after some of them disgraced themselves in the recent game. Adebayor will get some more stick so watch out for mass ejections……or not!