Thursday, 24 March 2011

Chelsea

Chelsea, and a fine sunny day, Bumped into the media boys, Cheesy, Stu Brennan, Paul Simmo and Charlie at Warwick services, none were confident. As expected I was moved on by the stewards outside just as a Chelsea fan was buying a KK. We wished each other good luck against the rags in our respective Cup games and then it was off to the upper tier. Thought we started brightly though referee Foy let about 5 of their tackles go uncarded and then our first challenge brought out a yellow.
Second half we didn’t think we’d hold out and just as the lad next to me confided “this looks dangerous” in it went from Luiz’s head. Why didn’t we sign him? So back to our normal nil at the Bridge and the usual last minute goal conceded to make it 0-2. Bloody City. Still it was handy for the pics and we watched ‘Unknown’ but it couldn’t take my mind off our poor performance and yet another wasted chance to consolidate top four.
Came home via daughter’s in South Wales and arrived back to find loads of excellent stuff on the computer from you guys for the next KK. So a busy weekend ahead to get it to the printers early next week and hopefully hit the streets for the Sunderland home game. I've just watched the Bert Trautmann story on Yesterday and how moving was that? Brilliant. Incidentally Clive Tyldesley is the commentator for the semi, and he's been in touch so if you've got any questions let us know
Dave

Bert Trautmann

For those that have access to the Yesterday channel on Freeview, there is a don't miss programme at 9.00pm tonight.
THE BERT TRAUTMANN STORY
"Documentary in which former Hitler Youth devotee and German paratrooper Bert Trautmann tells his remarkable story. After being captured by the British in 1945 and spending the remainder of the war at PoW camp in Lancashire, he went on to become one of Britain's most popular goalkeepers, famously playing on with a broken neck for Manchester City in the 1956 FA Cup final"
Should be good

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Saturday
Dynamo Kiev, well whadda you know? Thought we created a good atmosphere in an unsurprisingly poor crowd given the kick off time (39,133 in the MEN!?). Balotelli? What do we do with him? Can we chuck away £20 M or do we send him on an anger management course and try and get the best out of him? Up to Mancini. One thing’s for sure, the interview in the MANC mag tells us nothing. Reasons for coming to City? Life in Manchester? His goals? His bookings? The sending off at West Brom as it was then? Nothing. I’ve seen the Kiev incident a couple of times and it was a high kick but I couldn’t see him deliberately going in with malice and raking his studs down Popov. Perhaps I should go to specsavers. In the Manc interview he wondered why we drive on the RIGHT in England which was compounded by the interviewer. Anyway we should have beaten the diving cheats by 2 or 3 even with 10 men and one or two players need to find their scoring form again pretty quickly. Joe’s doing a few worrying things in goal too and his distribution needs attention. So we’ve suffered from the original 25 man squad – anyone know who’s included now – and the fall out with certain players and those gone out on loan so that we’ve fallen short. Perhaps we should have concentrated on the League Cup instead of the Europa?
So, a chance to bounce back tomorrow at the Bridge, here’s the It’s A Fix extract :

GAME 30) SUNDAY MARCH 20TH : CHELSEA (AWAY)
KICK OFF 4PM
Promoted in 1988/89 (with us) and despite being as daft a club as us until the Harding and Abramovich money came in they‘ve been ever present and have picked up a host of trophies missing out only on the European Cup/Champions League. This is the 132nd League meeting.

This season so far they’re in 4th place with 51 points (2 behind us) from 28 games and 9 wins 2 draws and 2 losses at home. At COMS in September City registered a 1-0 win, their first defeat, King Carlos netting after 59 minutes. Crowd was 47,203 with 2,844 Chelski
In the Carling Cup they went out at home to Newcastle
In the F.A. Cup they threw away a one goal lead and a winning penalty shoot out situation to go out at home in a replay v Everton.
In the Chimps league they’ve scraped through against FC Copenhagen, and face the rags who they’ve just beaten at the Bridge, in the semi-finals.

Our form at the Bridge : Last February it was a 4-2 City win to complete the double in the Terry/Bridgegate showdown. We held on until a Lampard goal in the 42nd minute when it looked like the floodgates would open. Carlos however had other ideas and pulled one back just on half time. Then we popped in another three through Bellamy in the 51st and 87th minute with a Carlos penalty in between in the 76th. Down to 9 men Chelsea actually started to do better and Lampard made it 4-2 with a consolation last minute penalty. Crowd was 41,814 with 1454 wealthy Blues.
Otherwise our last win was in 92/93 4-2, since then it’s been 9 defeats, 3 draws, last in 04/05, and we didn’t t score there for 7 games

Stamford Bridge : Capacity : 42,420 (1,472 for City)

Roberto’s title tips started this season off like a train, winning their first five games and scoring a hatful of goals, prompting Ferguson to suggest they’d hand picked their fixtures, even though the rags had an easy start to the season too. However they then came up against the might of majestic Manchester City, and since then they’ve faltered inexplicably to drop behind in the title race and could still be City’s main rivals for 3rd or 4th spot, though they’ve picked up a bit recently. They strengthened in January picking up Torres (crap since he stopped dying his hair) and David Luiz (as the Kinks once sang!). Can lightning strike twice with a consecutive win for the sky blues at the Bridge, or will we go for a 0-0?

Groundwise: Once second only to Maine Road, with a record attendance of 82,905. The Bridge is pretty well complete now. We’re in the Shed Stand behind the goal, ticket prices are up around £55 – outrageous!
Stewards: Stop us selling outside and inside. Bastards.
Crowds were down to an average of 12,672 in 1992/93 and this season’s average home attendance is 41,589)
Away Day Zines: The Chelsea Independent, The Westander, Cockney Rebel, Curious Blue, Mathew Harding’s Blue and White Army, Carefree (all as far as we know)
Routemaster : M6 to jn 4, M42 to jn 3A (or M6 toll to M42), then M40 to jn 1A for M25 (direction Heathrow), M25 to next junction 15, M4 for London (W). At the end of the M4 weave your way through London, Sat Nav is : SW6 1HS.
Parking is difficult and expensive so the best bet is probably to park up and come in by tube: KK usually recommends parking at Greenford station (just off the A40) and using the Central line. Alternatives would be Ealing Broadway or Ealing Common then District Line to Fulham Broadway changing at Earls Court, or using M1 to one of several stations in North London.

Today, Spurs drew at home to West Ham, so that leaves us 4 pts clear of them level on games so a point or three tomorrow would be very welcome.

Dave
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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Thursday

Thursday
Reading, well we got there in the end, winning 1-0 on a nice fine day, so thankfully no replay. Naturally we’ve drawn the rags in the semi so that should wipe out the 35 years in one fell swoop.
Monday night it was Rodney Marsh at the Warrington supporters club. Rod was as entertaining as ever, though he got his Mourinho’s mixed up with his Mancini’s, and Hull City’s with his Bradford’s. As always Rod was pretty forthright with his views, particularly on his departure at City, on Dennis Tueart, Mancini and Kinkladze v Silva. I disagreed with him on this one as Silva is the more effective player by a mile in my view. Overall it was a great evening, and very well attended. He sold 22 of his books and donated £44 to charity which was pretty decent of him.
I was interviewed on Real Radio regarding the naming rights for COMS. I personally don’t have an issue with this one, as we lost a big tradition moving from Maine Road, though the anagram of Etihad, if it is to be called that, is ideath!
Tuesday night was the Points of Blue meeting at COMS with a good attendance and many issues raised although the meeting was hampered by the lack of an agenda being distributed, and an FAQ sheet to stop newcomers trying to debate what has already been discussed ad nauseum in the past. We’ll print the minutes in a future KK and I also think it is time that the club took on this role, after all they do vet them anyway.
Items discussed were Catering, Ticketing, Loyalty points, Car parking, home and away allocations, attendances, kick off times, and much more. I personally think that the Safe standing debate should be reviewed as standing is common at most grounds these days.

Also we’ve been busy moving on the ‘Us and Them’ City v every other club book due out hopefully at the start of next season, so that’s something to look forward to.

Copy for the next KK, number 187 is required by next Wednesday March 23rd, latest, please, so we can hit the streets for the Sunderland game. We’re also investigating doing KK as an e-magazine so we’ll keep you posted on that one. Certainly some back copies may be available in this format shortly.

Tonight at 6pm, don’t forget, we have to pull back a two goal lead against Dynamo Kiev, bringing back memories of when we did just that against Gornik that time in 1971. It will be interesting to see if we can do it, as the excuses are being tabled already.

Dave

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Saturday

Saturday
Going back to last Monday, Mike Summerbee at the Warrington branch was very entertaining. He talked about his role at City, reminisced about past glories, and is pleased with our current situation, though a bit worried about going to Kiev where it was -13. I was, of course, his stooge for the night! And, yes, Escape To victory was given a mention!!
Well Thursday was unimpressive to say the least. I agree with everything said on the blog so far. I though Joe’s bellyflop for the first goal was poor. Hey you’d never have thought that Shevchenko would score would you? Balotelli, what next? Although Joe’s late save may just have given us a chance next Thursday. Glad I didn’t waste my money. So we haven’t won away since the New Year and I can’t see where the next one’s coming from. Still, hope springs eternal.
Bolton have just reached the semis and tomorrow we’ve got Reading, here’s the it’s A Fix extract :
GAME 29B) SUNDAY MARCH 13TH FA CUP 6TH ROUND READING (HOME) KO 4.45PM
Well we were all dithering about playing Everton and then Reading went and did us a great big favour. We’ve met twice in the F.A. Cup previously, going through each time, particularly in 1968 with that brilliant 7-0 away replay win :
1968 3rd rd 0-0 home, replay 7-0 away
1993 3rd rd 1-1 home, replay 4-0 away
They’re 8th in the Championship with 54 points from 36 games and 5 wins 8 draws and 5 losses away from home.
It’s not been plain sailing against them at COMS either, in recent years they’ve won two drawn one and lost one, but we’re much more potent now, we hope.
No big names in the squad. Ian Harte is putting away their free kicks and Shane Long’s knocking in the goals. Captain Matt Mills was a flop for us but notched the winner at Goodison, though he might be injured. We’ve had a long trip in mid-week so Mancini’s excuse is already in place, but there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t finally make the semi-finals at long last.100% support is what’s needed. It’s gonna be tough and we mustn’t get on the lads backs if things don’t go well, as we expect them to go all out for 90 minutes. C’mon City, for f*cks sake.

On Monday, Rodney Marsh is at The Warrington branch meeting at the Hawthorne on Orford Lane. Everyone’s welcome and a big turn out is hoped for again, for an 8.30PM start. Let’s hope we’re all in a happy mood after tomorrow.

By the way it's the Points Of Blue meeting on Tuesday at COMS 6.30 pm in the Colin Bell stand. Be there or don't moan. All welcome.
Dave

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Thursday

Thursday
What a week, super football from Barca and surely the worst decision in an Arsenal game with the sending off of van Persie (shame) since….erm Boyata getting sent off by the Cllattclott.
Spurs march on so that’s a good distraction for them.
Tonight it’s Kiev away, Here’s the it’s a Fix extract :
GAME 29A) THURSDAY MARCH 10TH : EUROPA CUP ROUND OF 16 AWAY LEG KO 8.05PM our time

They’re known as ‘The White-Blues’, and play in the city which is located in the Ukraine on the banks of the broad river Dniepr.
The original stadium was built by youth brigades after the Revolution, and opened on 12th August 1923, 13 days before Maine Road.
Dynamo Kiev were formed in 1927, and the stadium was rebuilt to open in 1941, which unfortunately coincided with the day the Germans invaded. Worse still they smashed it up on their retreat in 1943!
After rebuilding, the stadium was renamed in 1962 after Nikita Khrushchev but in 1964 reverted to its original title of the Ukrainian Republican Central Stadium.
Between 1966 -70 a second tier was added to take the all seater capacity up to 104,000, then 100,164 and it was used every day by the public for fitness classes and leisure. The pitch is out of bounds though!.
The Central Stadium is one of three, the other two being the centrally located Dynamo Stadium and the Smart Stadium which is a few kilometeres northeast. This is where the infamous ‘match of death’ took place; the story goes that the Ukrainians beat various German teams after which eight members of the winning team were eventually executed. Bert was obviously not in goal for the Germans, and it is presumed that the film ‘Escape to Victory’ starring Mike Summerbee, and co. was based on this tragic event.
However, Kiev, now play in the 16,900 capacity Lobanovsky Dynamo stadium but play big games in the Olimpiysky National Sports complex capacity 69,004
But not tonight!
They have a decent record in the Ukraine, and in Europe winning the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1975 and 1986.
In 1995 they qualified for the European Cup but were disqualified after being accused of bribery and were banned for a couple of years
This season they’re second with 40 points from 19 games, 12 points behind Shakhtar Donetsk. Most famous player is Andriy Shevchenko, although Andrei Kanchelskis was once a star. Current manager is Yuri Semin.
So a tough tie awaits, in sub zero temperatures, and nothing but all out effort will get us a result, even though Roberto might have one eye on Sunday. C’mon City, and good luck to Sean and Neil out there carrying the KOTK and now restored City flag!
Dave

Monday, 7 March 2011

Monday, Monday

Wigan. Here I go again (Whitesnake)! When is this global warming gonna kick in? Bitter wind again. Sublime first half, abysmal second – how Wigan didn’t equalise at the end no one knows. Why don’t we learn to play keep ball at the end of games? How many times? Good to see Simon Curtis's 'Down the Kippax steps' blog featured in the programme
Anyway 3 points in the bag, as we sat back and learned that the Arse had drawn,. Then the rags lost at the ‘Pool, they’ve sure had their cum uppance after the Rooney elbow at Wigan You could almost sympathise with Nani if he wasn’t such a little shit. Fergie and Phelan sulking after the game, no wonder everyone hates them. That little tug of Rafael’s perm was funny too. Well done the scousers, let’s hope they’ve cracked by the time we play em.
And well done Wolves too.
Somehow though, don’t you get the feeling that we’ve blown a great chance this season, what with Chelsea, rags, and Arsenal dropping points? Maybe if we’d picked a better 25 at the start of the season and strengthened in the transfer window in January we could now be in pole position? What’s the point of having money to burn if we don’t use it, and now we struggle to play two games a week cos we haven’t got a big enough squad? So a crucial week in front of us and it’s a fingers crossed job to see how we cope. Quarter finals of the Europa Cup, F. A. Cup semi-final, top 3 or 4, or do we have to perm one from three? Or none from three perich the thought
We’ll see.
Meanwhile David McDonnell in the manumirror pens yet another negative article whilst Pauk Hince, who really should be put out to grass, writes yet another Fergie fawning piece in the muen. Why Oh Why?
You tell me?
Dave

Kiev?

If you’re going to Kiev, some advice:

Don't speak Russian. If you stick to English, you'll be treated better. However, organised crime in Ukraine is dominated by ethnic Russians. If you end up dealing with them, then it's Russian.

Older policemen were trained in the Soviet era. They don't take prisoners.
Don't stray off the beaten track. If you get lured into a sidestreet you could get mugged.
The local scallies will be out in numbers, selling bric-a-brac for a quick buck.
The most popular English team is Chelski. Amongst the ethnic Russians, it's united.
The food is not very good. Drink is plentiful. Beer tends to be lager.

Dynamo Kiev is the most popular team in Ukraine. The reason was that, in the Soviet era, they were the de facto Ukraine national team at a time when the Republics were not allowed their own national sides. The fact that Dynamo regularly thrashed the Russian teams made them popular amongst all Ukrainians. Kiev has another team, CSKA. Traditionally, they've been supported by the ethnic Russians. Ten years ago, they caused a diplomatic row. After a Kiev derby won by Dynamo, some disgruntled CSKA supporters threw stones at a synagogue and smashed a window. The US media and some politicians went crazy over it and it almost led to the cutting of diplomatic and economic ties.

KK mentioned the infamous "Match of Death" of 1942. One of the players was the grandfather of Elena Baltacha, the tennis player. He was one of the few to survive the war. One fact they don't mention is that it wasn't just the Germans who were brassed with Kiev's win. The Russian government declared all the players were "Nazi collaborators" as it felt that there should never have been a game in the first place. Survivors had to keep quiet about their involvement in the game when the Soviets reoccupied the city.

Mike Raven

Saturday, 5 March 2011

This week

This week
Wow, Villa was colder than it looked and what a disappointing attendance of only 25, 570. Still it was on ITV and that surely hit the crowd, though there was a full KOTK contingent present. I wished Dave Woodhall editor of Villa zine ‘Heroes and Villains’ on sale outside COMS that “may the best team win” knowing full well that Villa rarely win at City. “No, I want us to win” he said. Right, but was he one of those who thought Houllier had blown it with his team selection? Who cares, 6th round here we come.
Ferguson is still bleating about referee Martin Atkinson, who he was quite happy with when 7 minutes extra time was played at the 4-3 derby that time. No wonder everybody hates them.
Cantona is in the news about what a gift to football his kung fu kick was. What is it about united? The dishonesty and hypocrisy is what the whole world detests about them. I bet there’s not a mention of the dirty, snidy stamp that Cantona did to get himself sent off. There’s certainly no place for THAT in football and he deserved all the abuse he got. Incidentally Wilkie was the ref that day and he made amends by giving the rags the most outrageous penalty ever in the Derby cup game in 1996.
Which Manchester team won a trophy in 1976? City, of course. The rags, overwhelming favourites in the Cup final that year, lost to lowly Southampton 1-0. I’m relieved that my letter in the MUEN on this subject received Tony’s approval. Just watch the rags get all bitter about it next week!
Disappointed about Toure’s silliness. Have you seen that advert on telly about the bloke who nicks his wife’s anti-aging cream? Bet he wasn’t a footballer though!
So today we’ve got Wigan at the ridiculous time of 5.30pm. Here’s the It’s A Fix extract :
GAME 29) SATURDAY (NOT SUNDAY!) MARCH 6TH WIGAN (HOME) K.O. 5.30PM

Promoted in 2005, so in their 6th Prem season, and were League Cup runners up in 2006, this is the 14th League meeting.
This season so far : They’re rock bottom with 27 points from 28 games and 2 wins 6 draws and 5 losses away from home.
At the DW in September we managed a 2-0 win with goals from Tevez (43) and Ya Ya Toure (70). Crowd was 15,525 with 4,481 Blues.
In the F.A Cup they’ve just lost the 4th round replay at home to Bolton in front of only 7,515 fans.
At home to Wigan : At COMS last March we managed a 3-0 coast, after Caldwell was sent off, and Carlos grabbed a hat-trick in the 72nd, 74th, and 84th minute. Crowd was 43,534 with only 601 humble pie-eaters. After a couple of 1-0 defeats we’ve managed a draw and two wins in recent years so things have been picking up.
The other Roberto’s boys are not having a good time away from home but they did have a remarkable and deserved 1-0 win at Spurs where they lost 1-9 last season. They were robbed last week when Rooney should have been sent off.
We must still be wary, particularly of N’Zogbia and co. up front. You can’t see anything other than a City win, even after last week’s dull game v Fulham.
Crowds were down to an average of 2,758 in 1989/90, and current home average is a paltry 16,228.

Monday night it’s Mike Summerbee at the Warrington branch meeting at The Hawthorne on Orford Lane, Warrington at 8.30Pm. I will be apologising to branch member John Mossop for getting his dad’s name James mixed up with the MUEN rag journo James Robson, in the last issue of KK!

Dave

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Tuesday night tee hee

Tuesday night
Well you wouldn’t expect the rags to do us a favour would you? What happens to their winning mentality when a couple of decisions go against them? They’re just a mid table team like the rest.
And what of our old pals Everton? Like Steve says, if we don’t take this opportunity to make it to a Wembley semi then we don’t deserve anything.
So Villa tomorrow and here’s the It’s A Fix extract :
GAME 28A) WEDNESDAY MARCH 2ND . VILLA (HOME) F. A. CUP 5TH ROUND K.O. 7.45PM

We’ve played ‘em twice already this season, winning 4-0 at COMS in December with a Balotelli hat-trick (8P, 27, 55P) and Lescott (13). Crowd was 46,716 with 2033 disgruntled Villans who thought their team were not fit to wear the shirt.
Then in January it was a 1-0 loss at Villa Park with Bent scoring after 16 minutes. Crowd was 37,815 with 2634 City. They were pretty cocky after the game with some naughty comments about City so we must make ‘em pay tonight.
In the F. A. Cup we’ve met in seven rounds with City going through four times :
1900 1st rd : 1-1 away, replay 1-3 home
1910 3rd rd 2-1 away
1915 2nd rd 1-0 home
1934 semi-final at Huddersfield 6-1
1936 6TH rd 2-3 away
1995 4TH rd 1-0 home
2006 5th rd 1-1 away, replay 2-1 home

Our last F.A. Cup game against Villa was 5 years ago and was memorable for Micah’s last minute equaliser which we all thought was f*cking great, unlike the Sky interviewer, who was shocked at Micah’s colourful language! We saw them off in the replay 2-1 at COMS, but contrived to lose at home to West Ham in the next round.
Overall we have a good recent record against Villa, having won 8 of the last 9 meetings at COMS and at Villa winning 4, drawing 6 and losing 4. In the League Cup we won the last meeting 1-0 at Villa Park in 2000/01but lost the other two 3-0 both down there.
So they were revitalised by the Bent signing but he’s cup tied so can’t do his usual damage to us. They have other options, of course, Ashley Young, Luke Young, Agboniahor, Heskey, Downing etc. so still plenty of punch, but Dunney and Collins could be weak at the back, we hope.
They’re currently up to 12th in the table with 33 points from 28 games and 2 wins 4 draws and 8 losses away from home.
In the 3rd round they won 3-1 at Sheff. Utd, and in the 4th saw off Blackburn also 3-1 at home.
We don’t want another replay so let’s finish them off in this round. ‘Shit on the Villa’
Dave

Tuesday

Fulham, Pre match talk was about Rooney’s disgusting elbow, ignored by Clattenburke, who was only too quick to send off Bellamy at Bolton for being tripped and Boyata v Arsenal, not to mention the Adebayor situation v Arsenal at home last season. On that note why no action on Rooney at the derby when he ran over to celebrate in front of the City fans (no missiles thrown!) Ferguson, and even Phelan, who is usually reasonably objective couldn’t see anything wrong with it. Other managers would say “you can’t do that”, and at least rag fans interviewed outside O/T did admit that he should have gone and had a three match ban. I keep saying how long can this go on, and we were certain that the F. A. would not cowtow, but it’s relentless and unending. They must have racked up ten points this season with decisions going their way as Neil pointed out. No wonder everyone f*cking hates them.
Fulham Neil was uneasy, predicting a draw. I went for 3-2.
Well at lest the rain kept off. Winning 1-0 and the south stand, after insulting the Kippax, decided to ask Hughes for a wave, then sang about Mancini. Will we ever learn? It almost always backfires and it did again today. So another chance to pull away scorned. Mancini thought we were tired. Well I couldn’t see that Thursday’s stroll had left us tired. Ironically when we get a week or so off we never seem to come back full of vigour. SWP on the bench, not brought on? Bollocks.
Well done Brum. If only we'd taken the League Cup seriously. Still they've proved it can be done, as have many other teams since 1976.
Saturday’s manumirror had us with the oldest squad in the Prem, average age 29? Work that one out. I was expecting a Paul Hince tirade on the Ferguson/Rooney situation tonight but instead, surprise, surprise it was all about the Hughes/Mancini spat.
Ashley Cole then? Better shot than his pen v Everton. Unbelievable. Louis Saha crashing his Ferrari? Football’s gone mad.
Tonight the rags go to Chelsea. I never want them to win, even if it does mean doing us a favour (do me a favour) I think we should make things happen ourselves and we certainly haven’t done that in the Prem in the last few weeks. Still, it’s a win, win situation. United will win the title, that’s been decreed since the start of the Prem. over the years. They’re big business and any help they can get from the media, referees, and the F.A. is a given. It’s A Fix, and a disgrace, without a doubt.
Dave