a busy summer for City supporters with almost 'daily signings'!. City's record
signing of Nicholas Anelka looks like going ahead with Alioune Toure going
to the Paris club in part ex with a few bob extra! That leaves Mettomo
at Maine Road - good - he did well last season. In the next few days -end of May
- Vuoso below - should have been signed from Independiente in Argentina for a
few million. I don't think we shall be short of strikers! His team finished in
bottom place in their league but Vuoso- pic below-did score several goals
including a few penalties. He is fast and young and quite skillful so we will
await his debut with interest.
The other major signing Distin will strengthen the defence and I hope Foe comes after the World Cup.
all the new players I expect there will be plenty of support at the pre-season
games in Denmark on the 24th and 26th July
Preston on the 30th July - Bury on the 31st and Hamburg on Aug. 3rd.
There are also games at Rochdale ( Aug. 5th ) and Tranmere ( Aug. 6th )
More info at the further down the page
was very sad to hear about the death of Roy Paul , one of the finest players ever
to don the sky blue of City. He was an inspirational captain and hard tackling
attacking wing half who always made his presence felt. I could not find any City
programmes with him in but did find one from a game between Wales and Scotland
back in 1954.- above. Note that Roy Clarke also played for Wales. There were some
great players in that game - Willie Waddle and Young from Rangers for Wales there
was John Charles ,Trevor Ford and Barnes. Note the cost of a train journey from
Paddington to Cardiff
I used to keep a log of all games I watched and on the left is an extract from Roy Paul's first season - 1950-51. City had been relegated the previous season and City signed Paul from Swansea Town in the July for £25,000. He only missed one game that first season and City were promoted again finishing in second place.
In those days I also paid the occasional visit to the recently opened Old Trafford. Note that Ivor Broadis who was soon to sign for City scored a hat trick against them for Sunderland.
the right are the teams for the semi-final Brazil against France. There were many
players of the highest caliber. All the Brazilians were world class -Pele scoring
On the French side there was Fontaine, Raymond Kopa and Piantoni - world class forwards. This game contained football of the highest skill and goals too.
Below is the team sheet for the final with Brazil once more scoring five goals the youngster Pele (just 17 ) again on the goal trail with two more.
more on onther side -best international side
Well City supporters once the world cup has gone and Dunne, Sun Jihai,Jensen, Mettomo, Wanchope and Foe have all returned safely to these shores will be turning their attention to next season and what sort of lineup we can expect. Well here goes...
home games I can see City playing 1-3-5-2
Schmeichel : Dunne, Distin, Jensen : Wright-Phillips,Berkovic, Foe,Benarbia,Horlock or Tiatto : Anelka,Wanchope or Huckerby or Vuoso. On the bench - Nash, Howey, Mettomo, Macken , Sun Jihai, or perhaps even three strikers leaving 4 in midfield.
away games perhaps 1-4-4-2
Schmeichel : Dunne,Distin,Howey, Jensen: Wright-Phillips, Foe,Berkovic or Benarbia, Horlock: Anelka and Huckerby or Vuoso.
Obviously a lot depends on the form of individual players but now the squad looks much stronger and capable of a comfortable season back in the Premiership. Having a range of different strikers and depth in defence and midfield it will be achieving the right balance. What of Edghill, Wiekens,Haaland, Goater, Negouai and Ritchie ,just to mention a few ! I think some will be transferred once manager Kevin Keegan has time to look at his new signings. The other one factor in team selection will be the number of non EU players in the squad. In the Premier League you can only have three in the match squad. I guess there is going to be some shuffling of birth certificates! This may play havoc with my team selections!
impressions of the World Cup.........
BBC coverage much better than ITV - refereeing so far has been excellent - far better than in UK - Jenson's tackle lead to Denmark's winning goal against Uruguay. Foe adequate ( he made 50 successful passes according to Opta) for Cameroon against Eire. Dunne and Mettomo didn't play.
BBC 3 ITV 0 - I keep on checking the TV size control in case there are some hidden subtitles translating Gazza. Terrible display by England against Sweden. Apart from the Campbell header from a Beckham corner England hardly made any chances - where on earth has this long ball game come from - poor old Owen hardly had a look-in. Heskey looked well out of place on the left and there was a distinct lack of creativity in midfield. Sweden, after a poor first half , could have won the game but for some good saves from Seaman. At least at 1-1 we are not out of it yet - roll on Argentina . Made a note to send throat lozenges to Gary Linacre.
Monday - June 3rd
BBC 4 ITV 0
The first dubious refereeing display in the Brazil-Turkey game.The Korean official looked out of his depth and gave Brazil a penalty when the foul was committed yards outside the box. The referees assistant should take some of the blame as he appeared not to communicate this fact to the referee. The assistant was also nearest when we had the first blatant example of cheating. Brazil's Rivaldo when hit on the knee by a ball stupidly kicked at him by Unsal, held his face and went into a grotesque display of agony! I just hope FIFA suspends him to set a standard. Brazil looked pretty good on the whole.
Tuesday- June 4th
Wanchope against Sun Jihai in the game between Costa Rica and China. Sun got fouled three times in the first 20 minutes and had to be substituted after 25 minutes. A poor first half was followed by an attacking display by Costa Rica. It was good to see Wanchope back in action and he played a small part in Costa Rica's first goal by Gomez before being substituted in the 80th minute.
South Korea were really good against Poland and deserved their two goal win. Their supporters were enthusiastic in the extreme, just like the North Stand at Maine Road! They should qualify along with Portugal in group D.
Refereeing was again of a high standard, though there was never a smile from referee Ruiz !
Wednesday - June 5th
A few shocks today - USA beating Portugal 3-2 after being 3-0 ahead. Ireland drew with Germany a last minute Robbie Keane goal giving them a well earned 1-1 draw. Rivaldo was fined a paltry £4500 for his offense on Monday. FIFA should have suspended him for a game. I wonder how much Blatter had to do with this criminal decision.
BBC still well ahead - no sign of Gazza today -perhaps ITV got the message.The BBC discussion, free from those dreadful advertising breaks, has a more natural feel to it whereas the ITV one feels stilted. One can almost feel an unseen producer feeding in the questions!
Thursday - June 6th
Surprise winners over France, Senegal, drew 1-1 with Denmark. I was hoping Jensen would get another outing but he stayed on the subs bench. The referee in this game from Guatemala lost control at times and we had the handbags out on a few occasions. Cameroon had a tight 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia who played much better than the debacle against Germany. Foe, who I expect to sign for City after the World Cup had a great run during the game and he will add a great deal to City's midfield.
An exciting nil nil match between France and Uruguay was well refereed by Rizo of Mexico. Henry got sent off
Annelka saga has finished so City now have 6 strikers in the squad and I wonder
whether Keegan will be tempted into a bid for Matt Holland who has played so well
for Ireland. The Foe saga which I thought had been sorted already now has reached
the position that his French club have said he is going on a one years loan to
City but officially City have denied this. Perhaps Keegan is hedging his bets
to see what happens in the World Cup and has other options in mind - Holland for
As I mentioned at the top of the page Vuoso has finally passed his medical and completed the transfer to City. If he shows just a little of the skills of Villa or Ossie Ardillas I will be happy. I last bumped into Ossie Ardillas on a visit to film studios in Los Angeles some years ago. His son had a go on the 'ET green screen setup'
In 1966 I watched a few games at Old Trafford and Goodison Park. At OT Portugal beat Hungary 3-1 and Bulgaria 3-0 and in Liverpool Hungary beat Brazil 3-1 in a magnificent game - Bene and Farkas scoring great goals. Brazil, missing Pele, were outplayed in the second half.
Portugal trained in South Manchester and I took the picture on the left of Eusabio at one of the sessions.
If England supporters thought the Nigeria game was going to be an easy then they were in for a shock as the much changed African side had the best of the first 20 minutes and the only effort of note in the first half was a Scholes special which was magnificently saved by the young Nigerian keeper. Even Beckham's passing was below par. Star man was Rio Ferdinand who was excellent. A feeble game in hot conditions ended goalless and England went through to the next round to face Denmark in an evening match rather than Senegal in a morning game. Sweden drew with Argentina who like France are now out of the World Cup. Sweden took the lead through a free kick but Argentina's penalty should have been disallowed and retaken as Vespo who scored from the rebound off the keeper clearly entered the penalty area well before the kick was taken. Referees have appeared to abandon the law that prevents anyone but the keeper and the kicker from being inside the penalty area or nearer than ten yards from the ball at the moment the ball is kicked.
In the other games Paraguay beat Slovenia 3-1 to narrowly qualify over South Africa who lost 2-3 to Spain, now one of the favorites. No Premiership fixtures yet.
Paulo Wanchope was back to his best form with a good goal against Brazil and a near miss early in the second half. Pity his defenders were not equal to the task of stopping Brazil score who led 3-1 at the interval. Gomez scored a brilliant header for Costa Rica to make it 3-2. Shortly afterwards Rivaldo made it 4-2 and a minute later Brazil scored again to make it 5-2..Wanchope hit the post late in the game but it was all too late. Turkey had beaten China 3-0 and Costa Rica were out of the World Cup. Italy managed to stay in the Cup thanks to a late equalizer against an excellent Mexican side and the failure of Croatia to beat Equador. One more day of round one before crunch time this weekend for Ireland and England.
Wanchope scores against Brazil in the first half to make it 3-1 for Brazil.
With Paulo back to form he will be facing Rio Ferdinand ( unless he is transferred !) as City will play Leeds United on August 17th in the first game on next season - early fixtures below
Germany and Paraguay was the first game in the knockout section and first impression was of a poor crowd. The stadium in Korea was only half full and the ticket chaos goes on. Buck passing is rife at the moment with everybody blaming everybody else.
I had not noticed before how long the Paraguayan shorts were. They came down to the knees! In the game itself there was little continuity with only one good save from Oliver Kahn (celebrating his 33 rd birthday) one of the few highlights of the first 45 minutes. Generally a poor first half with plenty of whistle and little football. The second half started with a couple of chances for both sides before settling into a similar pattern as the first. Just when it looked as though we were going to have extra time and penalties a great goal by Neuville direct from a cross by Schneider won it for Germany who move into the last eight. A game best forgotten.
England were unchanged for the clash with Denmark for whom Niclas Jensen played at left back. Alas it was his mistake that gave England's third goal. The early strike followed a Beckham corner. Sorenson made a mess of a header from Ferdinand at the far post and put it over the line for an own goal. Owen scored the second from close range after a flick from Butt and Heskey scored a third following the Jensen error though Sorenson should have saved the shot. Mills got booked early in the second half for a stupid reaction after he was fouled. When will he learn? The second half was an anticlimax with England 3-0 up. The Danes had more of the play but rarely looked like scoring. England were a bit sloppy at times in the second half but generally were the better side and 'looked up for the game' whereas the Danes were very nervous. Now we are likely to meet Brazil in the quarter final next Friday.
Mexico put early pressure on the USA in the first game of the day but they had a shock when McBride scored an excellent goal after 8 minutes. At half time the USA were still ahead and the fancied Mexico were getting nowhere. They pressed again in the early stages of the second period but after 65 minutes a great cross from Stewart was finished by a brilliant header from young Donovan to put the States two up. Ferdandez got booked for a blatant dive in the penalty area by the referee from Portugal and later the Mexicans were reduced to ten men when Marquez was sent off for a second bookable foul. Mexico had really lost the plot and never played as well as they had done in previous games. The USA now play Germany in the quarter final .
This is the lineup from the programme of the game in the qualifying stage of the 1958 World Cup. Against a strong Brazilian side (just before Pele's debut) England held Brazil in Gothenborg to a goalless draw in a superb tactical display put together by Bill Nicholson and Walter Winterbothom the England manager. Incidentally Walter, who died recently was in many respects very similar to Sven Erikkson. He was quietly spoken, tactically aware and a gentleman.
In the first few minutes of the game Panucci grabbed a Korean forwards shirt at a corner and referee Moreno awarded a penalty which Buffon brilliantly saved at the foot of the post from Ahn. It should have been retaken as there were the 'usual suspects' in the area at the time of the kick! Italy took the lead through Vieri from a corner after 18 minutes. Could the massive Korean support help their side recover from this early blow. The stadium was a mass of red with constant drumming and cheering. Clever play by Ahn made another half chance for Korea after 36 minutes and this was quickly followed by a Totti effort that was well saved by Lee Woon-Jae. At half time it was still 1-0 for Italy. In the second half , the Italians were content to sit back and let the Koreans come on to them. The Italians were limited to the odd breakaway and with just a minute or so to go Seol Ki-Hyeon equalized with his left foot after an Italian defender's mistake. Good job there was not a roof on the stadium because the noise from the crowd would have blown it off. 1-1 at the final whistle and extra time. What an effort by South Korea. After 11 min of extra time Maldini gave away a free kick at the edge of the area. The Korean player guessing that the Italian players would jump at the free kick kept it low. It went underneath the Italian wall and Buffon had to make a great save. A minute later Totti was sent off for diving! It was his second yellow card. The referee was quite right and the Italians have only themselves to blame. With 20 minutes of extra time gone there were escapes at both ends - a miss by the Koreans and a brilliant save by the Korean keeper after a defensive blunder. Then after 25 minutes and 55 seconds a wonderful header by Ahn Jung Hwan who missed the penalty, beat Buffon to score the golden goal to send Korea into the last 8 to play Spain and I would not bet against them beating Spain and perhaps Germany to get into the final!How wonderful for the host country. I personally had first hand experience of the Korean side in 1956 when I officiated at two of their Asian Cup games - against China and Israel and I realized then they were always to be a hard side to beat. Their enthusiasm ,skill, speed and general work rate is second to none. Now they have someone to organize them in Dutch coach Hiddink it will take a good side to beat them - England in the Final?
Well todays the day. England versus Brazil and my season ticket for Maine Road arrived! Is that a good omen.The winners likely to be the winners of the World Cup. Big game for the referee Rizo from Mexico who has already dished out three red cards. Brazil are in blue - not City blue I hasten to add and England in white. After an early England corner the game settled down to midfield exchanges. After 13 minutes a free kick by Carlos was deflected for a corner to put England under pressure. Ronaldo had a shot easily saved by Seaman after 19 minutes and Brazil were having more of the play. Then after 22 minutes OWEN scored after a breakaway. An error by Lucia let in Owen who made no mistake. The original pass came from Heskey . Brazil were beginning get rattled and gave away several free kicks in midfield. Heskey is playing well and is difficult to shift off the ball. The odd Brazilian attack is well defended but after 42 minutes Seaman is injured catching the ball in a group of players. He required several minutes of treatment giving four minutes of extra time in the first half. Alas In the extra time Scholes lost it in midfield and Ronaldinho went through the defence passed to Rivaldo who side footed with his left foot past Seaman to make it 1-1.
We learnt that once again the attendance was several thousand below the maximum. After 49 minutes there was a tragic error by Seaman A free kick ,some way from goal taken by Ronaldinho sailed towards the England goal. With everybody expecting a centre to the waiting players Seaman completely misjudged it and it went in over his head. Was he still suffering from his injury? 2-1 to Brazil. After 56 minutes Dyer came on for Sinclair. After 57 minutes the referee sent Ronaldinho off for stamping on Mill's foot. Amazing! Mind you this is the same referee that sent off Henry of France. Brazil are now down to ten men. I must say it was a harsh decision. Surely yellow would have been sufficient. After 70 minutes Ronaldo was substituted by Edilson and fter 80 minutes Sheringham and Vassel came on for Cole and Owen. Time was running out and England though a man in hand were not making much progress. Balls banged forward were more in hope than anything positive and there was little to lift England supporters. A minute to go and a Beckham corner came to naught. Four minutes extra time. Could England equalize? I am afraid not. The England midfield failed to give support to the two up front with both Butt and Scholes having poor games for once, their creative skills well below par. Well England are out and barring a miracle Brazil will go on to win the World Cup.
second game between USA and Germany wasa bit of an anti-climax after the events
of earlier. Oliver Kahn had to make a couple of good saves in the opening 20 minutes
but after 38 minutes Germany took the lead through a good header from Ballack
following a free kick by Zeige on the right wing. Shortly afterwards Klose hit
the post. USA were unlucky early in the second half when a hand ball on the line
by a German defender was missed by Scottish referee Dallas. USA continued to press
but just could not beat Kahn. So lucky Germany go through to the Semi's.
On the left in the stadium in Gwangui where South Korea won through to the last 4 in the World Cup. They now play Germany next Tuesday and they really have a good chance to reach the final. Their fitness and character are second to none and Germany will be worried.
In the second game between Turkey and Senegal it was 0-0 at full time after chances were missed at both ends. It was an open entertaining game which the Turks won with a 'golden goal' in extra time by Mansiz.
Korea against Germany in Seoul ( Stadium on the right) in the first of the 2002 World Cup Finals - who would have thought it a few months ago. First blood went to Korea after 8 minutes when a break by the Koreans left Kahn to make a great save and 8 minutes later another break was saved by Kahn. Germany were probably having a greater percentage of the play but the speed of the Korean breaks were giving Germany problems.Just before half time Germany pressurized the Korean goal but at the interval it was still goalless. After 72 minutes a Korean breakaway should have ended in a score but Ballack brought down the Korean forward on the edge of the box earning himself a yellow card. The resultant free kick was blocked. A minute later the Germans broke and Ballack scored after the keeper had saved his first shot. What irony - if Germany get through to the final, Ballack will be suspended! 1-0 to Germany. Korea did their best to equalize but after 4 minutes of extra time Germany survived and they go (without Ballack) through to their 7th World Cup Final, even though this must be the worst German side for years.
In the first 20 minutes of the second semifinal there were near escapes at both ends with both keepers making good saves. Turkey were certainly not going to be outplayed by Brazil and gave as good as they got. On 23 minutes Ronaldo had a good chance which the keeper blocked and it appeared Brazil were raising the tempo a little. At half time it was still 0-0.
The deadlock was broken with a brilliant goal by Ronaldo after 49 minutes. He toe-ended the ball from the edge of the box to give Brazil the lead after beating a few defenders. Brazil continued to make chances but spurned them all. Ronaldo was substituted after 68 minutes presumably to give him more rest before the Final on Sunday. The Brazilians continued to torture the Turkish defence with raid after raid. The danger was there still if the Turks managed to equalize. However at the final whistle Brazil had held onto their lead and now play Germany in the Final. For once there were no contentious decisions though the television coverage left a lot to be desired. The TV director once again missed some of the action.
Plenty of goals in this match for the third and fourth places taking place in Daegu ( on right) and a sensational start with a goal in 10 seconds by Sukur after a defensive error. Korea were soon level when Lee Eul-Yung scored from a free kick after 9 minutes. However Mansiz scored two before half time to give the Turks a 3-1 lead. Alas there was abysmal coverage by ITV with a failure to replay all the goals at half time - filled with ads and a competition. How Des Lynham can stick it out is amazing - must be the money!
The Koreans piled on the pressure early in the second half but Rustu was rarely troubled. The Koreans were unable to raise their game though they had the Turkish goal under siege at times. As the minutes ticked away how the Koreans must have regretted that early error by the central defender that gave the Turks that bonus lead.