Friday, 30 April 2010

Friday

Friday
Good meeting at Reddish on Wednesday, on behalf of the Sierra Leone appeal. No Garry Cook, but Lakey, Brightwell and Reddo turned up to entertain a capacity crowd.
Last night at the Swinton branch, Nigel de Jong and Ibrahim couldn’t make it, which disappointed another good turn out, but despite ‘Typical City’ hopefully the branch will get going again.
Got my season ticket blurb yesterday, one for me, one for my son, none for Sue yet, despite us being told it’ll be one pack per household! No sign of any results yet from the recent survey so a few questions for POB next Tuesday.
Today’s manumirror has a story of Tevez being told to clear off by Mancini if he doesn’t like it here. Whether this is another attempt by this ragmag to undermine us remains to be seen. Certainly Carlos has not looked himself in the last couple of games, so all eyes on him tomorrow.
And it’s the Villa, here’s the update of the It’s A Fix extract :
36) SAT. MAY 1ST : VILLA (HOME) K.O. 3PM
Last promotion was in 1987/88 and they’ve been in the Prem ever since. Last F. A. Cup 1957 beat rags, Title 1981, Euro Cup 1982, League Cup 1996. Most recent connections : Richard Dunne, Gareth Barry. Big Name supporters : Nigel Kennedy, Prince William, ‘Geezer’ Butler (Black Sabbath guitarist) 142nd League meeting.

Ex Blue Martin O’Neill’s squad includes : Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, L.Young, Sidwell, Petrov, Warnock, A.Young, Agbonlahor, Carew, Downing, Dunne, Heskey, Milner, Delph, Harewood, Beye….

This season so far : At Villa Park on a Monday October night, it was a 1-1 draw with Dunney, inevitably, scoring from a header for Villa in the 15th minute. City equalised through Bellers in the 67th, the Blues taking a good point off their 4th place rivals. Crowd was 37,924 with 2,874 City. It was, however, the start of seven consecutive Prem league draws.
They went out of The Europa Cup to Rapid Vienna, lost the Carling Cup Final to the rags, and to Chelsea in the F. A. Cup semi-final.
Currently they’re in 5th place with 64 points from 36 games and 9 wins 5 draws and 4 losses away from home.

Our form in Manc v Villa : Last season it was a welcome 2-0 win on a March Wednesday evening. Elano scored with a 21st minute penalty, and SWP made it safe in the last minute watched by 40,137 with 2,272 Villans.
Generally results have favoured City at home in the Prem. Out of the twelve meetings Villa have won only 2, (2-0 in 06/07 and 3-1 in 00/01) City winning 8 with 2 draws, and long may it continue.

Comment : Owner Randy Lerner has pumped the money in with little media criticism and Villa were having a decent season under everyone’s favourite manager Martin O’Neill, who’s now fed up. Since the zine went to press they’ve picked up dramatically and are the form team at the mo. Away form is great but so is our record against them, so it looks like an enthralling encounter and there can only be one winner. It must be us.

Wind Ups : You can’t beat the old “Shit on the Villa”
WWTWTWShite? – Averaged 15,237 in 85/86
Their current home average att : 38,098

This weekend, Liverpool v Chelsea, don’t expect ‘Pool to do the rags a favour, remember them beating Blackburn and Newcastle those times, and they need to keep ahead of Everton, 5 points behind them at the mo. It’s Spurs v Bolton, so probably no shock there, and the rags are at Sunderland, so hopefully a shock there, but don’t bank on it.

Finally, well done to Fulham for reaching the Europa final. It was all down to us for allowing them to come back from 2-0 down that time at COMS to win the game, stay up and move on. What a wonderfully benevolent club we can be at times. Makes our exit last season (and liverpool's this) look even worse, but at the very least we’ll have another crack at it next season.
Dave

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Wednesday already

Wednesday already
Arsenal, and a bright sunny day. Decent run down and thanks to John Edwards who sorted our parking out next to Highbury, with a short walk to The Emirates. News came that Spurs had let us down and lost at O/T. I don’t care if it did us a favour, I never want them to win, but I suppose this one was bearable. Spurs have recently played Arsenal, Chelsea, and the rags, so which one do they lose!?
Blues were in good voice and the City chants from The Drayton Arms could be heard at the stadium, so full marks to Blues for getting over last week’s derby result so quickly, and being optimistic at a ground where results are rare.
Steve Welch (who edited City fanzine Main Stand View) told us outside the ground of his dad’s situation, so thanks for all the goodwill messages so far. Brian Hince was also annoyed about the disabled season ticket situation too.
Well it finished 0-0, a bit negative perhaps, but a point is a point, Sean Riley tells me. The Gooner zine had a 49 slogan on the back, cover so even though Spurs have won a trophy since them, they refer back to Spurs’ last title. So Tony’s right. Whatever trophy we win next, the rags banner will still portray the number of years since we won a different one. Class?
Shay dislocated his shoulder and Gunner did well. I find it ridiculous that we can’t get our own goalie back from his loan spell at Brum. I now hear we’ve got Fulop on loan from Sunderland. Hope he does better than Simon Tracey who let in 5 that time v the rags.
Monday night was the 40th celebration ‘do’ at Lancs CC since the League Cup and Euro Cup Winners Cup double.
Tommy Booth, Franny Lee and Tony Book were interviewed by compere John Gywnne who was also celebrating his 65th birthday, and it was a good nostalgia night although memories were a little faded!
Season ticket guff arrived today and there’s mystery moves afoot. Strange that one of the reasons not to move the away fans was given as it would upset existing fans, and now the North standers are to relocate, without a thought. What next? Should be an interesting meeting tonight at Reddish, then Swinton and Prestwich tomorrow and POB next Tuesday.
We’re 6th, by the way , have qualified for Europa on merit, and could still make the Champs league, although Villa and Spurs have done well recently, so much for the cup runs distracting them.
So, really you have to say well done to the three of us, one of whom will displace Liverpool in the top four which is a big breakthrough. Let’s hope it’s us.
Heard from a good source that four of our players were on the piss til 4am on the Thursday before the derby. I won't name them cos last time when I did, Franny threatened to sue!
Dave

R.I.P. ALEX WELCH

We heard from Steve this morning that his beloved Dad and matchday buddy, Alex, died last night. He suffered a heart attack just before kick-off at the derby game and has been in intensive care ever since. Those who fought to save his life at the ground and get him to hospital must be devastated, but their efforts are surely greatly appreciated by all who knew Alex. Our thoughts now are for Steve. He has lost a Dad, a friend, a fellow Blue and a guy who supported him unconditionally in everything he did. Our condolences to Steve and all family and friends at this sad time.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dentists

Tony,
I'm afraid to say that our dentist is indeed a rag. This was only recently revealed when he took to talking about "we this and we that". Hard to argue when you've got a mouthful of stuff and he's hovering over with a drill and needle! But he is a good dentist.
Dave

Friday, 23 April 2010

This weekend

This weekend
I’ve resisted calling the MEN the MUEN, but now I’ve finally succumbed. In tonight’s edition, James Robson, fresh from his claims that City were gifted three goals at O/T and in the Carling Cup first leg we won due to a penalty that never was, has a piece on Macheda. Listen to this : His late strike against Chelsea at the start of the month was a reminder of his deadly finishing….if you remember, the cheating bastard handballed the ball into the goal! What is it with rag reporters? Are they so scared of Fergie that they resort to crap journalism like this? No wonder everyone hates them.
Rag fanzine editor has a fairly decent column regarding the derby games getting back to being real contests. In his recent derby game book he had united’s derby as being against Liverpool, not City. Wonder how many it sold!

Anyway it’s another big weekend. Here’s the It’s A fix extract :
35) SATURDAY APRIL 24TH : ARSENAL (AWAY) K.O. 5.30PM

The Gunners’ last promotion was in 1915, it was a fix but they’ve been in the top flight ever since, winning everything except the Euro Cup, but last pot was the Cup in 2005. Most recent connections : Adebayor, Toure, Vieira. Big name supporters : Rory McGrath, Roger Daltry, Johnny Rotten, Ray Davies, Piers Morgan, Dara O’Brien . 164th lg. meeting

Arsene Wenger’s squad includes : Almunia, Campbell, Silvestre (boo), Sagna, Song, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas, Bendtner, Gallas, Diabi, Nasri, Arshavin, Van Persie, Eboue, Eduardo, Walcott, Rosicky, Ramsey….

This season so far : At COMS in September it was an unforgettable 4-2 win for the Blues, Richards opening on 20 minutes, with Van Persie naughtily equalising on 62 mins. Bellers made it 2-1 in the 74th , Ade 3-1 in the 80th with a fine celebration, then SWP sealed it on 84. However, the Arse came back strongly but could only make it 4-2 by Rosicky in the 88th. Crowd was 47,339 with 2,846 Arses, some of whom disgraced themselves. As if that wasn’t seventh heaven, the Blues also knocked their young team out of the Carling Cup in December with a 3-0 home win, with goals from Teve z on 50 mins, SWP on 69 mins and Vlad (starred for Bolton at Stoke) impaled his first for the club on 89 mins. Crowd was 46,015 with an impressive 4,787 Gooners, who behaved very nicely thank you very much!
They went out of the Cup at Stoke and against Barcelona in the Euro Champs thing.
Currently they’re in 3rd place with 71 points from 35 games with 14 wins 1 draw and 2 losses at home. 5 points behind the rags, and 6 behind Chelsea, “they think it’s all over”

Our form at Arsenal : Last season in April it was a 2-0 loss, both goals scored by our very own (now) Adebayor, in the 8th and 49 th minutes. Crowd was 60,097 with 3, 004 Blues. That continued our poor form down there. No wins in the Prem with 10 losses and 2 draws, 1-1 in 04/05 and 0-0 in 93/94. Last win was in 75/76 3-2, so could this be the day?

Groundwise : How anyone could build another ground in London with major parking problems is baffling. We’ll be in the lower tier and the view isn’t great. Tickets are around £33.00, and they sold out early doors, with a full allocation requested.

Comment: No history until Herbie Chapman took over to bring success in the thirties. Pressure on Arsene after no trophies for (all of) 5 years, but after shaky performances against particularly the rags, Chelsea and us they picked up then blew it big style, losing at Spurs (thanks) and Wigan, of all places. Will they lose three in a row? Despite all the shenanigans at COMS earlier in the season it’s usually a decent visit to The Emirates, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a result this time.

Wind Ups : We mustn’t antagonise them must we….?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emirates Stadium


Capacity : 61,000 (3,000 for City)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WWTWTW Shite : Averaged 23,824 in ‘84/85
Their current home average att: 59,901
Away Day Zines : The Gooner; The North Bank, Highbury High, Up the Arse, Arsenal Mania
Sat. Nav : N5 1BU (not much use though!)
Pubs : The Drayton Arms, Drayton Park; White Swan 251-256 Upper Street; Tommy Flynn’s, Holloway Road

Today, united v Spurs, tomorrow Villa v Brum, Burnley v Liverpool

Villa and stuff

I know it’s not City, but we’re all genuine footy fans, and maybe there’s one or two rockers amongst us--, so something to read whilst we battle for 6th place….and whilst people have been saying that Spurs home is the crunch, it’s not, it’s Villa home, then maybe Spurs home, then maybe, just maybe Wham away….

Talking ‘bout you (from Villa zine, Heroes and Villains)

In which we talk to heavy metal icon Geezer Butler, a man who is claret and blue through and through, from his blood to his bass strings.

Among the many thousands of Villa fans across the globe, there are a number of famous faces who have pledged allegiance to the claret and blue cause. These include the next but one king, one of the Weasley twins and, when her husband isn’t hogging the telly by watching one of his special films, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. Even actor Tom Hanks has held up a Villa scarf at least once. But, out of all of them, there are very few who are so committed to the Villa that they would die for the team. In fact, so far there is only one celebrity supporter who has gone on record as saying they would do just that – one Terence ‘Geezer’ Butler, bass player with the first, and some would say the greatest, heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

In a Los Angeles bar in the 1970s after a particularly riotous drinking session, a cop pulled his gun on Geezer, presumably to try and shut him up, not that it worked “I said to him, ‘Go on, shoot me. I’ll die for the Villa’,” Geezer explains. “The guy was definitely thinking about it.” Fortunately for rock music, and for Aston’s second-most famous international export, he had second thoughts.

While he may not be the most immediately identifiable of our famous followers, Geezer is surely the most dedicated. He was a Villa fanatic long before he helped change the face of heavy metal music across the globe with three fellow Astonians in Black Sabbath and it is an obsession that continues today, as anyone who as ever met him will probably be able to vouch for.

“Talking about the Villa is all I ever do,” Geezer laughs, “But a lot of other rock stars I meet don’t know what I’m on about because they’re Americans! Everybody knows I’m Villa mental, because when I’m on the road I have my dressing room done out in Villa flags and scarves, I’ve got Villa slippers that I change into before I go on stage, a Villa dressing gown, a Villa mat that I stand on before I go on stage, Villa towels; everything is Villa. A lot of people just think I’m mental. The only person I’ve really spoken to about football is [Iron Maiden’s] Steve Harris, who is a West Ham supporter.”

Harris has taken his East London claret and blue worship to such a stage that his entire stage gear is done out in West Ham colours, and while Geezer has no plans to turn his own band into Claret and Blue Sabbath, he’s one step ahead of his Iron Maiden counterpart when it comes to the finer details still.
“The one thing I have done is that I got these new claret and blue strings, and I’ve actually given Steve Harris a set because although he’s got the claret and blue bass and everything, he didn’t have any claret and blue strings, but I had them made especially for me, so I gave him a set.”

Born on 17th July 1949 in Aston, it wasn’t long before Geezer started to attend matches at Villa Park, although pinpointing that so-often treasured first match is somewhat difficult. “God, that’s like another lifetime ago!” he says, “It depends, because they used to open the gates at half time back in the fifties so we used to go and sneak in for the second half. I can’t remember my first full match – 1957 was when I started going down.

“We’re all sort of distant fans in Sabbath as we were all born in Aston, and because I’m such a fanatic they all side with me. Ozzy [Osbourne] has been down to the Villa a few times, I dragged Tony [Iommi] down there once and he hated it, and Bill [Ward] used to go as a kid I think. But all of Tony’s mates are ex-Villa players like Andy Townsend, Andy Gray, Ron Atkinson, so he’s the only one who doesn’t really like football and yet all his mates are all footballers!”

Fast forward just over a decade after he first snuck into Villa Park for a free second half and Geezer was ready to take the world by storm as Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut album hit the shelves. It was an album that changed heavy music forever and made getting the chance to go down to the Villa somewhat difficult for Geezer. However, becoming a global superstar wasn’t the only thing keeping him off the terraces.
“Funnily enough in those days I couldn’t go down to the Villa, because if you were a bloke with long hair in the sixties you used to get your head kicked in, so between 1968 and 1973 I didn’t really go down to the Villa because they would just chase me. They did the same to Ozzy as well. In fact, Ozzy and me went down there once in 1969, and we got chased by Villa skinheads all the way to Erdington.”

Skinheads didn’t just keep Geezer away from his second home at this point in time, they also provided the inspiration for one of Sabbath’s songs, the excellent Fairies Wear Boots. “We did this gig in Weston-Super-Mare,” Geezer explains, “and these skinheads - I think they were Bristol City fans – invaded the gig and we actually gave them a good kicking and they ended up running off. We had these big microphone stands that came in pretty handy in giving them a good hiding.”

Throughout the seventies and into the early eighties, Black Sabbath grew into the definitive metal band and enjoyed probably their most successful period. Unfortunately for Geezer, this coincided with his all-time favourite Villa Park era – the Ron Saunders years – but it didn’t stop him enjoying the fantastic side that Saunders had assembled.
“When they went from the third to the first division, when they played Everton in the League Cup final, it was just a great team with players like Andy Gray and Brian Little. That team and the football they played was incredible. And of course they beat Liverpool 5-1, which was great, and I was sitting close to the Liverpool supporters for that one as well!”

Yes, you read that correctly, that was Geezer Butler surrounded by Liverpool fans as Villa tore their team apart.
“I had two season tickets at that time, one in the Trinity Road and one in Witton Lane. I went down with my brother-in-law, and normally we would sit together, but because it was so packed I gave him the Trinity Road one and I went in the Witton Lane end and I got stuck right in the middle of all these bloody Liverpool supporters – but they had all left by half time! When it got to 3-0 after about half an hour they all started to piss off– they couldn’t take it!

“That Liverpool hammering was probably my favourite match. The standout one for when I wasn’t there was obviously the 5-1 Blues murder in 2008. Also, in 1960 when we drew 4-4 with Liverpool and Peter McParland hit the bar in the last minute. Villa had been losing 4-1 and they crawled back in the last 20 minutes, got it back to 4-4 and nearly snuck it at the end – that was one of the best matches ever.”

As we all know, Saunders’ management laid the foundations for the club’s finest hour and a half in Rotterdam in 1982, but yet again Geezer missed out. Not only was he unable to be there in person, but he was stuck in America at a time it was nigh-on impossible to access any football. So Geezer had to phone a friend.
“When they were in the European Cup final, we were on tour in America, and I couldn’t get it anywhere out there – this was obviously before Fox Soccer and it wasn’t on any radio – so I called my mate up in Brum and he held the phone up to the radio so I could listen to it over the telephone for two hours! It was quite a bill afterwards but worth it.”

Nowadays Geezer spends most of his time living in the US and as such only manages a couple of trips to Villa Park each season, his most recent visit coming last Boxing Day for the Arsenal match, when he also briefly got to meet Randy Lerner. However, thanks to the internet and improved TV coverage in the States, keeping his Villa passion alive is easier now than it has ever been.

As well as coming to the Villa during his last trip to England, Geezer and his bandmates also pledged their support to the Home of Metal project, which aims to celebrate the city’s heavy metal heritage. Black Sabbath are a big part of that heritage and, just as Villa’s new ownership loves to celebrate the club’s history, so Geezer thinks Birmingham should look back fondly at its own Proud History.
“Actually, the city does have a lot of things to be proud of, but you only find out later – there’s a lot of things made in Birmingham. I think it’s a good thing because it’s good music and it’s lasted a lot longer than any other kinds of modern music, and it’s a worldwide sound. We’re in the middle of a world tour – we’ve done all of South America, all of Europe, and everywhere you go metal is a big thing. I’ve had people like Lars [Ulrich] from Metallica come up to me and tell me how much he can’t wait to get to Birmingham to go a visit where we used to play there – it’s weird, like some form of worship almost. Everywhere else celebrates their music, so why not Birmingham?”

And Geezer has come up with the perfect way not only to help the city recognise its musical prowess, but also to forever tie together his two loves; have the team run out to some Black Sabbath before every match.
“When Steve Stride, a good friend of mine, was there he approached whoever plays the music there for me to ask them to play Iron Man when the Villa run out. I’ve always thought that it’s a good football chorus – or even War Pigs, so they could come on with the siren going. But the only thing they had was Ozzy’s Crazy Train, which went down like a lead balloon! The siren on War Pigs would be good though. I’ve even been thinking about doing a heavy metal instrumental version of Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but one certainty is that Geezer’s love affair with all things Villa will stay with him until the day he dies, which – providing no American police officers get too close to him – will hopefully not be for many, many years yet. “Take care”, he says, “and Up the Villa!”


Geezer Butler’s all-time Villa XI: Nigel Sims, Gerry Hitchens, Paul McGrath, Johnny Dixon (captain), Jimmy Dugdale, Peter Withe, Brian Little, David Platt, Peter McParland, Andy Gray and Dwight Yorke.

Dave Musson.

Wot, no Gary Shaw? Hope you enjoyed that, fellow Blues, I'm off to do Paranoid on the Karaoke tonight, ooh, finished with my woman cos she couldn't help me with my...bloody team!
Cheers
Dave Wallace

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Villa

Our old pal Dave Woodhall, editor of the Villa zine ‘Heroes and Villains’, kindly gave us the low down on the season so far (this was done before they crept up on us!):

1) Heroes and Villains, shouldn’t it have been Villans?
Not really – the word wasn’t used then, and in any case there might have been copyright issues.
2) Have you seen off all the opposition?
Oh yes. I always say hello to their editors as I go past the concrete Aston Expressway supports.
3) You’re up to issue 157, been going since 1990, how’s it going and what’s the future?
Same as all other fanzines. Under fire from a combination of internet, so much being written elsewhere, awkward kick-off times and a changed fanbase who haven’t got a clue what we’re about.
4) Doug Ellis was replaced by Randy Lerner, what’s your view?
We have the best owner in the league. Even a cynic like me can see the great work he’s done and how he’s got the mentality of a sports fan.
5) Villa Park’s been impressively upgraded, to an outsider, would you agree?
Definitely. It’s starting to have a ‘joined up’ feeling again and the little cosmetic touches such as signage and directions boards outside have made things look a lot better.
6) Martin O’Neill looked to be a great choice and Villa’s made steady progress but some fans aren’t happy?
There is a perception that things could have been better and Martin’s tactics leave a lot to be desired. We’ll see.
7) This season you swapped Barry for Dunney and got a few million in the bank how’s that worked out?
He’s a good, solid defender but you knew that already didn’t you?
8) Derby games with Birmingham seem to have gone your way, that must be pleasing?
Of course, but it’s still only six points. By now we should have outgrown them.
9) Villa don’t often get the better over City, surprisingly, how do you think the game will go?
I haven’t got a clue. This is Villa and City we’re talking about.
10) How do Villa fans view the City situation?
At first it was a feeling that things would go wrong and you’d be stuck with a load of mercenaries. Now there seems to be more of a ‘good luck to them – at least they’re a proper club’ perception.
11) You’d taken 4 points off united this season so the Carling cup final must have been a disappointment. O’Neill wasn’t happy with Vidic staying on the pitch either.
And neither was I. But regardless of who you’re playing no referee will send a player off so early in a cup final. And you can’t legislate for Wayne Rooney, either
12) Villa fans have a good range of songs, which are the best ones?
I hate quoting songs. It’s so Albion.
13) Carling Cup final, F.A. Cup semi, 4th place possible, not a bad season, so far. What were the highs, lows, best players and disappointments?
Highs – that incredible League Cup semi against Blackburn.
Lows - the eight goal thriller at Chelsea.
Best players – the Collins/Dunne defensive partnership takes some beating.
Disappointments – the FA Cup semi-final. 53 bastard years and counting
14) Celebrity fans?
Proper supporters who go to the match include Prince William, Mervyn King (Governor of the Bank of England), Geezer Butler, Benjamin Zephaniah and Simon Inglis. David Cameron will probably claim to be a Villa fan during the election campaign, even though he’s said he isn’t (his uncle used to be our chairman). And special tribute must be paid to Nigel Kennedy, a genuine supporter who just happens to be famous. He came up to me at Arsenal this season, handed over six match tickets and said “Give them away.”

Ed - After I read Ozzy's book, thanks to son Alex, I asked Dave if he could send us the interview with Sabbath guitarisr 'Geezer' Butler which I found very entertaining, so I'm going to stick it on the blog for all our Rock and footy fans.

Cheers, Dave and Dave

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Spurs

Tony,
Did you see the interview with 'arry before Spurs took on Arsenal. Chelsea and the rags? The interviewer said "would you settle for 6 points right now" Harry said yes. The interviewer then chand it to four and Redknapp said "you said 6 a minute ago" Bet he'll not be happy with just 6 after Saturday. Hey, we've seen Spurs go three up and two up v rags and still not win!
Dave

Last Saturday

Tony, sorry mate I can't accept that "drawing or losing to united wouldn't have made much difference". The fact is that we were going into that game on a high and they were on a low. We had a chance of ramming their jibes back down their throats and they fielded a weakened and vulnerable team who we failed to even draw against let alone beat. Like I said, the two points they would have lost would have finished them this season and we'd have done ourselves a big favour. I accept that united could have deliberately lost to Spurs (who they always beat) to spite us, but I don't think they give a toss about whether we finish 4th or not. I also, on the other hand, remember them beating Luton in 1983 a few days before that fateful day, so that we only needed a draw, and we all know what happened next!
OK Spurs beat Arsenal and Chelsea, just like we did, and we're due a result at The Emirates. It's all up to us now, so let's hope we show some bottle and finish the season on a high. Everyone almost, finishes up in the Europa anyway and if we make that competition on merit at last then surely we can still attract the type of player who will get us into the top four next season. Just a few thoughts.
Dave

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

This weekend

This weekend
Friday night we popped over to The Bellingham Hotel in Wigan for an evening on fanzine ‘culture’ by The Mudhutter Wigan fanzine. It was an interesting event comprising readings, reflections, reminisces, music, poetry, a comedian and clips from YouTube on the seventies and a game v Sunderland at Springfield Park. Conditions were atrocious but the highlight was the performances of the Sunderland fans on the grassy bank doing forward rolls and somersaults down the slippery slope. The pies were delicious!
Saturday, and fairly quiet on Ashton New Road pre-match. City fans optimistic, in good voice and none of the usual aggro from rags.
As for the game, usual story, disgusting tactic from Rooney to get Kompany booked, (Fergie’s comments astounding) players surrounding the referee, and surely the worst united team we’ve ever seen? Still we couldn’t beat them.
Scholes given the run of the park. I may be wrong on this but one minute of added time first half after Adebayor was down for ages, and 3 minutes at full time when no one was down, just a few substitutions. No time added for Scholes’ celebrations?
They were better than us in most departments particularly on crosses and corners. The substitutions were strange too. We always thought that this day would be their cum- uppance, when we would halt their title challenge, but a wayward cross from Bellers when we should’ve been keeping possession and holding on to deny them 2 precious points was our undoing. No real danger though and no frantic whistles for full time from Blues. Where was our defence for the goal? So a shocking defeat and, sorry, but I can’t take any positives from it.
City fans post match trying to get at the away fans in the South stand car park and it was really galling to hear a group of rags near the Superstore gloating, laughing and taking the piss.
Spurs, after their win v Arsenal beat Chelsea (just like we did) and go a point above us. Villa won at Pompey and play Hull away and Brum at home before they play us so could even be above us by then.
Depressing, and nothing less than a big performance at Arsenal will do for us now. Can we bounce back and do the unlikely? We’d better.
Dave

Friday, 16 April 2010

this week

This week
Well we got KK179 to the printers and have just picked it up and delivered to the outlets – Urbis - check out the City books - and Aleef (corner of Cross Street and Market Street) in downtown Manchestoh where the sunshiiiines.
Gave the reserves a look at on Tuesday on a cold, windy night, in the draughty and poor view Athletics stadium. A 2-0 win with Steve Redmond’s son playing for Wigan. Blimey, I remember watching Steve play for the Youth team when he was that age. Joined the usual crew there and presented John Leigh, writer of the Bobby J biography, with an A3 Bobby Johnstone tribute from an earlier KK, to hang on his bedroom wall. No cameras present though.
Arsenal let us down on Wednesday night letting Spurs beat them 2-1, but we’re still a point ahead, and it looks like we can do something at the Emirates next week.
What a lovely posting from that sweet old lady Herrien, pity it was a week out of date.
News this week that we’re about to sign a full back, Boateng, and the players aren’t happy with Roberto cos he’s got them coming back for training in the afternoon so they can’t get on the catwalk. Aw.
Anyway, derby day tomorrow, here’s the It’s A fix extract :

The Rags last promotion was in 1975, after Denis put them down in 1974, remember!? Most recent connection : Carlos (Fergie, Fergie, sign him up) Tevez Big name glory seekers/bandwagon jumpers : Thousands of them! 142nd Lg mtg

Fergie’s squad (boo) includes : Van der Sar, Ferdinand, Vidic, Brown, Fletcher, Giggs, Evra, Rooney, Park, Berbatov, Neville, Nani, Scholes, Carrick, Hargreaves, Kuszczak, Valencia, Diouf, O’Shea, Obertan, Hargreaves, Macheda – there’s dozens of the f*ckers…….

This season so far : At the Warehouse on a September Sunday it was a 4-3 loss. Rooney fluked one after 2 minutes as we dosed, then Barry equalised after Tevez phased England’s supposed number one goalie Foster (never heard of since) on 16 minutes. Fletcher nodded them ahead on 49 mins before Bellers scored the goal of the season on 52 minutes making Ferdinand look silly. Sadly Fletcher nodded another one in the 80th minute but Bellers made Ferdinand look foolish again by equalising in the 90th. And that was that, until the board went up for 4 mins of extra time and another 3 were added to let united get a free kick then score, Fergie having a laugh and a joke with the 4th official Alan Wiley. Crowd was 75,066 with 3,051 impeccables.


Then it was the fist semi-final of the Carling Cup at COMS, City winning 2-1 with goals from Tevez, who else, with a pen on 42 mins and another in the 65th, after Giggs had scored for the rags on 17 mins. Crowd was 46,067 with 5,422 despicables.
At the Cesspit/swamp it was a 3-1 loss. 0-0 at half time we were doing ok, in the driving seat, Bellers was taking a corner, but was pelted with missiles, and couldn’t take the corner so instead of a City goal the rags broke and Scholes scored. Then Carrick made it 2-0 in the 71st but despite Tevez pulling one back in the 76th, the rags got a last minute winner by Rooney in the 90th, and no time added.
They went out of the Cup at home to third division Leeds, but won the Carling 2-1 v Villa, Vidic somehow staying on the pitch. In the Champs league they lost, amusingly, to Bayern Munich and currently they’re second with 73 points from 34 games with 9 wins 3 draws and 5 losses away from home.

Our form v rags in Manchester : Last season on a November Sunday after our win in Schalke we lost 1-0 to a Rooney goal in the 42nd minute. Crowd was 47,320 with 2,846 despicables. Prior to that we’d had 4 wins and 2 losses. No draws since 1-1 in 92/93.

Comment : It’s the club with no history pre-war, winning nothing for 37 years. Ex Blue Busby changed it, as did playing at the bigger ground of Maine Road and for European games but more significantly their pathetic support increased. I’ve spoken to a few old timers about this and apparently all City’s fans were heroes and most of them perished in the war, whereas united fans were mostly cowards, deserters, and conchies, so lots of them survived, hence their bigger post war gates.
They’ll try every dirty, snidey, trick in the book to win this game. In the past we’ve seen our goals disallowed, and many penalty appeals turned down. We’ve seen em punch a ball into the net, smack one of our players at half time in the tunnel. Get a penalty when their player kicked our goalie on the head, and they’ve cynically crocked two of our best players, Bell and Pardoe, plus Alfie Haaland with career ending foul tackles. Don’t rule out them trying to do something similar today.
This season they stooped to new lows, intimidating the 4th official to add time onto extra time so they could score, trying to psyche out Carlos when taking the penalty at COMS, and the worst of all hurling missiles to prevent Craig taking the corner at Old Trafford with the score at 0-0. The last part of this game should have been replayed in front of an empty O/T apart from City fans. Why wasn’t it?
If all else fails they could try invading the pitch again to try and stop the game or off the field invade the women and children’s stand to cause a delay, or even try to set fire to each other. Preferably the latter
Is there a more despicable club in the universe than this one? No, so no wonder everyone hates them.
Anyway, as for Delia’s boys today, they’re still strong, having forked out millions, have good wingers, a decent, but old, goalie, and Wayne Rooney, maybe, and that’s it. So our boys, if the defence sorts itself out, and we go at them from the start, should be miles too good for them. Here’s hoping for a draw at the very least.
And don’t forget: Stretford may be red, but Manchester is BLUE, SKY BLUE. Oh yes!

Wind Ups: Take me home Carrow Road, The city is ours….UNI-TED, that spells F*ckin debt to me….The baby’s not yours…Adebayor, scores more than Berbatov….We love the Glazers we do, we love the Glazers we do, We love the Glazers we do, cos the Glazers have screwed you...

Where were they when they were shite? – Av’gd 11,685 in 1930/31, now that is shite.
Their current average att: 74,788

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Today

Today
Great ‘do’ for Bert yesterday at City, over 200 there to pay homage, and although now into his late eighties he was very alert and humerous, especially in his Q and A with Fred Eyre.
He’s the guest of honour at todays game v Birmingham, here’s the It’s A Fix extract : Last promotion was last season. Most recent connection : Joe Hart Big name supporters : Jasper Carrott, Jeff Lynne, Garry Cook, Last Pot : League Cup in 1963 132nd league meeting
Ally McLeish’s Squad includes : Hart, Taylor, Johnson, Dann, Carr, Bowyer, Ridgewell, Ferguson, Larsson, Jerome, Phillips, Carsley, McFadden, Fahey, Benitez, Gardner,…..
This season so far : At St Andrews in November it was a disappointing 0-0 draw, with Given saving a penalty, though it turned out to be a good point with the Brummies going on a decent run after that.
They’re currently in 9th place with 46 points from 33 games and 5 win 2 draw and 9 defeats away from home.
They went out of the cup at Pompey, 2-0 despite scoring a goal which crossed the line but was not given.
Our form at home to Birrmingham : Last meeting was in October 07, a 1-0 win, Elano scoring in the 36th minute before a crowd of 45,688 (2,513 Brummies). That was our 6th win out of the last 7, a 0-0 draw in 03/04 being their only point.
Comment : They’ve got new owners, and they’re foreign. It’s a disgrace. A tougher prospect this season than recently but we all know the importance of a win today before our tough run in. Form at City v Brum is good so with our forward line firing on all cylinders the three points must be ours
Wind Ups : “Town full of Villa” “If you can’t talk proper….”
Their current average home att : 22, 270
Where were they when they were shite? – Av 7,030 in 90/91!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Today, thursday

Well, if you thought that was funny in Germany last week, it was even funnier against Chelsea, and funnier still at home to Bayern. 3-0 up and you f*cked it up. Let’s laugh at united, da da da……payback time.
The manumirror was quite biting and anti Fergie/rags in its reports today. Funny how the reporters turn bitter when they lose a game or two. Fergie out!
Got most of the stuff in for the next zine so thanks to all for that, it’s going together nicely.
Tomorrow I’m off to the Bert Trautmann ‘do’ at Coms. I’ve put together six interesting pages in pictures on the Thrilling life of Bert Trautmann, Manchester City’s wonder goalkeeper. Someone sent them to me some time ago, an extract from possibly a Topical Times annual from about 1961. I’ve had them blown up to A3 and laminated, at great expense, so they should look good in the foyer for everyones perusal. This could be the last time Bert comes over and what an occasion it would be to announce that City are to name a stand after him. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Today

Burnley away, and a nice short trip through rural Lancs.
Chelsea did the biz at the swamp, should have had a pen when Anelka was brought down by Neville, and Macheda’s consolation goal was handball. Oh, go on, Drogba was offside for Chelsea’s second. So a decision against the rags at O/T. When did that last happen? Can’t remember? Neither can I! Rags storming out of the pubs in a sulk. Dontcha just luv em? Then the news came through that despite Bent’s penalty attempts, I scored 2 saved. Sunderland beat Spurs 3-1. So a good day was in prospect, though Bolton let us down with a 1-0 home loss to Villa. .
Sven was spotted on his way in as was Sir Howard Bernstein.
Packed on the concourse of the old stand but strangely a few empty seats here and there!
Have you ever seen a start like that from City? Not me. Three goals in the first 7 minutes and 5-0, a Prem record, at half time. Then the rains came down, but it didn’t compare to Luton in 1961 and even though we’d have scored more if it had stayed dry, it was a relief that the game ended, and a boost to our goal difference. Burnley fans were leaving early doors but you had to feel for those who stayed, cos we’ve been there. “Shall we sing a song for you” “Shall we score a goal for you” Just as the 5th went in! “6-0 up and you f*cked it up” they sang as Fletcher got their consolation, and City fans cheered it!
Strange parking of the City coaches and mini-buses nose to tail meant that we had a bit of a detour back to the car park but who cared?
So, last week in the media it was “money can’t buy you success” and this “you’ve bought success” Make your minds up.
Our biggest away win in the top flight since the 6-1 at O/T in 1926 and biggestr since the 6-0 at Burnley in 98/99.
Today Brum have drawn with Liverpool and that grand old team to play for, Everton managed a magnificent 2-2 draw at home to West Ham.

Deadline for the next KK is on Tuesday and stuff is already coming in, thanks to Uncle Ryan, Jim Whitworth and Tony Petrie so far. It’s the last one of the season so keep ‘em coming and let’s make it a bumper issue, please.
Dave

Saturday, 3 April 2010

this weekend

This weekend
Great night Thursday night at the Warrington branch with Fred.
Tonight’s MEN had a story with Mancini supposedly telling Tevez that he must be greedier to notch more goals. Erm, I think he has been a bit greedy this season, a reason why he’s scored so many, but there have been times when wayward shooting instead of finding a colleague could have produced more. But I’m not complaining, the man’s an absolute gem, bet that Fergie wishes he’d signed him up partic now Rooney’s injured again.
Stories are now emerging re the Everton millionaire sat in the Director’s box singing “2-0 up and we’ve spent f*ck all” (a lie)
So there you go, I think the last line on dignity, class and respect is firmly with City. I just hope that Garry Cook didn’t ring the scouse git the next day and apologise.
Rumours include O’Neill being fed up at Villa, Mourinho not liking it in Italy and vice versa and Mancini wanting to return to Italy….at some point.
Todays manumirror previews the Burnley game and has a pic of Johnny Crossan leading City out in 1969, even though he left in 1967. Oh and it has the game kicking off at 3pm. Sloppy sods.

Today we’re off to Burnley, 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 where no-one dares to be seen out wearing a rag shirt. Commendable! Most recent connections : Tyrone Mears, Stephen Jordan, Nicky Weaver. Big name supporters : Alistair Campbell, Tony Livesey, Colonel Gaddafi? Last pot : League title clinched at Maine Road in 1960. 86th league meeting
Brian Law’s squad includes : Jensen, Cort, Carlisle, Mears, Jordan, Bikey, McDonald, Fox, Elliot, Blake, Fletcher S, Nugent, Eagles, Cork, Gudjohnsson, Weaver, and captain Caldwell’s back, …..
This season so far : At Coms in November they took a two goal lead through Alexander in the 19th then Fletcher in the 32nd. SWP in the 43rd, then Toure in the 55th and Bellamy in the 58th put us 3-2 ahead but McDonald levelled it in the 87th minute after sloppy defending.
Crowd was 47,205 with 2838 Burnley. Owen Coyle left and they strangely appointed Laws who‘d taken Wednesday into The Championship relegation area where he’ll be heading with Burnley at this rate.
They’re currently in 19th place with 24 points from 32 games and 6 wins, 5 draws and 5 losses at home.
Our form at Burnley : Last meeting was in 01/02, a 4-2 win, which followed the 6-0 in 98/99.
Turf Moor Capacity : 22,546
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Groundwise : We get half the cricket ground end now they’re in the Prem. Tickets are £35 (we may have some spares)
Comment; We have a great recent record against the Clarets, but even though they’ve cracking a bit at home we should be professional and must take the points. Otherwise.....
Wind ups : Don’t mention Blackburn Rovers, oh go on then! Where were you….going down...
Sat. Nav : BB10 4BX
Pubs : Be wary, now their support’s increased
Parking : On the streets and various car parks
Their current average home attendance : 20,455
WWTWTWShite : Averaged 3,204 in 1985/86

Thursday, 1 April 2010

this week

Wigan – we arrived in the East stand car park and were given a leaflet saying that it’s closed from after the game so that’ll need a rethink for our parking.
Poor first half, just for a change. Lots of time wasting and fouls on Tevez by Wigan, so the last laugh was with the Blues and Carlos, and well done the fans for trying to lift the team when things looked dodgy.
Shame about the rags and Rooney, now they know what it's like to concede a goal in Fergie time.
Tonights M.E.N missive from rags fanzine editor Andy Mitten tells us to go and see Bert at Waterstones on Saturday at 1pm and tell him a red sent you?! Erm, we don’t need a red to tell us Bert’s in town, and there’s a big bash for the great man next Friday as advertised on the City website and that’s good enough for me!
Tonight it’s Fred Eyre at the Warrington Supporters club branch, at The King and Queen at Padgate, so might see you there from about 8pm onwards.
Dave