Nicky Weaver interview with North East Scotland Branch

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Nicky Weaver – City Legend

 

An Interview with Manchester City legend Nicky Weaver conducted by David Ramsay, Club Secretary of North East Scotland Manchester City supporters club. The Supporters club were very grateful for an attendance with Nicky Weaver at the Highland Hotel on Thursday 17th October and wish to thank him for his attendance and for answering our questions.

Nicky Weaver is a professional footballer who currently plays as a goalkeeper for Aberdeen. Nicky has enjoyed a successful career playing for Mansfield Town, Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday {twice}, Charlton Athletic, Dundee United and Aberdeen

Nicky’s career stemmed ten years at Manchester City from the 1997–2007 season.

Over these ten years Nicky managed 172 appearances for Manchester City.

Wembley ‘99 made legends of Horlock, Dickov and Weaver for their on the day heroics.

A quote from the Wembley memory book reads “On the flip side. I would also confidently say, with slight nervousness – still!, that if Mr Horlock and Mr Dickov had not equalised and Mr Weaver not saved two penalties then the club that we all love dearly would have never recovered from having to spend a minimum of two years down in the Nationwide Division Two or Division Three in old money terms.”

The word legend is used too often in football but Nicky is definitely a legend for all City fans after his heroics in the in the 1998-1999 Second Division Play-off final versus Gillingham after his penalty save clinched promotion.

After Horlock, Cooke and Richard Edghill converted from the spot, Weaver needed to save from Guy Butters to secure promotion.

He did so and embarked on a wild run of joy, which would probably still be going on now if Andy Morrison had not intervened. This prompted the amazing celebrations and his crazy run around the Wembley pitch which is remembered with extreme joy by City fans to this day.

Weavers Manchester City honours include First Division Winners 2001–2002 season and First Division Runners Up in 1999–2000 season. With Sheffield Wednesday Nicky enjoyed success in Second Division finishing Runner Up in 2011–2012 season.

Nicky was tipped to receive full international honours for England after becoming an England under 21 international but was unfortunate to miss out due to injury.

When asked “Who are the first clubs you look for when checking other teams results?

Nicky replied “Sheffield Wednesday, City” he paused and then added “in fact all clubs I have played for, I keep an eye on all their results

Manchester City

 

When asked “Do you think your best season was the 1999/2000 promotion campaign or the 2006–07 season? My friend tells me that you were so spectacular in the win against Ipswich Town that season. What would you class as your best game?
Nick replied “My best game was against Ipswich at Maine Road, we won 1v0 and Horlock scored the winner! ” My mate was in the Kippax at the game at Maine Road on Wednesday 27th October 2000 and told me the performance was out of this world!

On the 2006/2007 weaver commented seriously “the 2006/2007 season was my biggest achievement in getting over the injury” Nicky said sincerely “I lived like a monk for a year” then joked and laughed “I made up for it after it though

At the start of 2006/7 season James had left on transfer to Portsmouth, James was one of those keepers who never missed a game. After World Cup 2006 Andreas Isaksson moved to City for £2.5 million and I remember we were set to play Chelsea and Isaksson was named to start but injured his ankle, Pearce said Weaver you are in and I went on to play 21 games that season. Joe Hart made 1 game that season

When asked What was going through your head after you saved the first pen and then Dickov hit both posts before missing?”

Nicky replied “Most people forget that Dickov missed the penalty and that Terry Cooke scored! “

Bartram and Dickov were great friends, Dickov and Bartram were having a battle all game long

When asked “How did it feel to go running round Wembley after the penalty save?
How fast can you run and was it painful with all the lads piled on top of you after Andy Morrison caught you
?”

When quizzed about Penalty practice in the run up to the Second Division play-off final Nicky said “we did loads of penalties in training at Maine Road, the lads penalties were really good” he laughed when the question was asked Did Richard Edghill ever take a penalty like that before in training; smiling at the audience the retort was “I don’t think he meant it, I mean I don’t think he meant to put it where he put it, I was so delighted for Edgy that he scored, he is a City fan from Oldham and it meant so much to him” Edghill was from Oldham, Greater Manchester and was a product of the Manchester City youth scheme which he joined as a schoolboy in 1988 and is City through and through. Nicky did say that he was confident “as a goal keeper you know that if you keep diving the same way you’re bound to save one! “The City fans were so loud and I think that really helped”

From the Crowd: “COME ON WEAVER!, ENGLAND’S NUMBER 1, ENGLAND’S, ENGLAND’S NUMBER 1, ENGLAND’S NUMBER 1!”

Nicky replied “I asked the linesman if I save this is it over, the linesman said Yes! I saved it then jumped over the boarding, a Steward tried to stop me, I jumped back over and sprinted up the pitch, I was absolutely buzzing” Nick smiled and laughed when asked “How did you mange to breathe when Morrison caught you and all the guys jumped on top of you.”

Nicky said “The Steward actually apologised to me after the match as he thought that I was a fan!

Nicky joked when asked about the referee in the game “Halsey is a very nice guy and a good referee, one of the best around for sure!” WHO’S THE HERO IN THE BLACK””

When asked “Do you think you would have saved the pen if it was taken by Mario Balotelli?

Nicky winked and had the room in stitches with his quick reply “well he was only 3 so I’m sure I would have!!

When asked “how big was the party after beating Gillingham and who were the ringleaders?

Nicky surprised the room when he said “it was quite surreal actually, I felt a bit ill after the game, Joe {Joe Royle} and I went to the press conference and when we came back the lads had all dispersed” He then went on to add “ the Blackburn party was much better when we got promoted to the Premier league!

When asked “Do you miss house parties at Andy Morrisons?” Nicky replied to the shock of many in the room that “I have never been to Andy’s house” then added “I read his book and it is a really good read

When asked “Which moment do you think was more important to City the penalty save and Dickov’s goal or Aguero’s last minute winner?”

Nicky replied with a very insightful answer “If you win the league or FA Cup then you are in the same league next season, it’s hard to compare the two, the way I see it; Dickov’s goal was the start of the journey and Aguero’s goal was the end of the journey” Smiles beamed across all the faces in the room as we all contemplated the amazing journey that City have taken us on. Only thing I would add is let’s hope it’s not the end of the journey and we have many chances to relive great times with City in the future.

When asked what he thought about the QPR game, Nicky added “I watched the game and was hoping for City to win and couldn’t believe what was happening, turned out OK in the end though

When asked “What was the lowest point in your career?”

Nicky responded “when I only played one game in three years and had five operations over a period of 18 months. I was flying back and forward to America for treatment on my knee and the doctors were checking up with me every month as the insurance companies thought I would be making a claim.” The injury happened 6 months after signing a 5 year contract at Manchester City and I was very lucky and thankful with the support City showed me”    
When asked “is it true you have a piece of a dead man in your body as part of your operation for your injury

Nicky replied “The operation that I required was not available in the UK, it was only available in America, the specialist surgeon had only completed the operation on 75 people previously so as you can imagine it was still a fairly infrequently conducted operation. This type of operation wasn’t available to everybody and would only be completed under special circumstances. It was about 6 to 8 week wait and then I got a phone call to let me know a cartilage donor was available; someone of a similar age, height and build and healthy. The operation was completed and this was the final operation that fixed my knee. This was my fifth and final operation, the one that fixed my knee! I think the Donor was Cuban and I will always be grateful as this helped resurrect my career. It took 1 year rehabilitation until I was back to full fitness

When asked “Who was the best player you played with?” Nicky replied promptly and with authority “Eyal Berkovic was the best player I ever played with, he was so skilful, you couldn’t get near him and he never gave away the ball!” he paused then said “he could also be a bit frustrating, he always seemed to leave a club under a cloud”, Nicky looked around the room and asked “do you remember the incident with Berkovic and Hartson?” – for those that don’t you can watch the youtube video; to sum it up Berkovic bit off more than he could chew in training when he punched John Hartson then Hartson kicked him in the mouth whilst he was on the deck.

“Shaun Wright Phillips was right up there, he had a spell where he was completely unplayable”

Anelka was world class player but he should have achieved more than he did considering how much talent he had, he had every attribute required to be a top top player” “Dunne was absolutely brilliant, head it clear it, player of the year 3 times in a row!”
The best worst player was Shaun Goater, he had a knack of being at the right place at the right time, it was so difficult to save his shots! As a keeper the easiest shots to judge are the ones that are struck cleanly as you can judge the flight, but Shuan had the knack of being able to connect with the ball in a way as to confuse goal keepers”

Dickov was a better technical player but didn’t score as many!
When asked “Who was the best finisher in training at Manchester City?

Nicky replied “Goater was always right place and right time, was prolific scorer for City and was able to score in anyway!” Not everyone will know this but Shuan Goater’s first professional club was Manchester United, he ended up playing for gods own club though and scored 84 goals in 184 games for City. Nicky summed it up saying “Goater was such a lovely guy” – something that comes as no surprise as Goater is one of the most likable people in football and does great charity work back in his home country Bermuda.

Feed the goat and he will score.” one of the favourite City songs of all time!
Nicky finished up stating that “Robbie Fowler was the best natural finisher he has ever seen, he wasn’t at his physical peak at City but his finishing skills were still unbelievable

When asked “Who was the worst trainer at Manchester City? ” Nicky addressed the room “there wasn’t any bad trainers, it was however always interesting watching Wanchope in training! He was capable of doing some of the most amazing things with a football and then some of the craziest touches you could imagine
Nicky then went on to talk more about training saying “during the sprinting and jumping tests in training Richard Dunne was always the worst at jumping but was the best header of the ball! “ I think the Dunnie Monster had an amazing ability to read the flight of the ball and amazing bravery and commitment to the cause.

Sibierski was an amazing trainer, was probably one of the best players technically but he never really achieved what was expected in the match, not really sure why

When asked “ of all the City players you played with Who has the hardest shot” Nicky responded quickly without pausing “Kevin Horlock for sure! ” We joked he also had one hell of a tackle on him!
When asked about Joey Barton Weaver said “Joey is a lovely lad, he has an opinion about everything, an absolute cracking guy who loves twitter and winding people up, I can imagine him on the internet laughing at the people he has  wound up! ” Nicky added “Barton broke my wrist in training

No scandal here though; the broken wrist (scaphoid) injury in June 2005 was from a shot not a training ground bust-up between the pair.

When asked about his favourite City strip, Nicky had 2 choices either the Kappa Away kit 98-99 (which I have heard described as the Neon bumble bee. It’s one of my favourite kits ever, what makes me laugh is if it is not colourful enough, the kit maker decided to splash a lovely dab of blue on the collar and cuffs.

Nicky said he loved this kit and you still see supporters with it on at matches today, this is very true a proper cult strip! Kappa was very cool brand in those days and City were in good company sharing the Kappa sponsorship with clubs like Barcelona and Juventus. Heroes like the real Ronaldo were scoring for fun for Barca in 1997 adorning Kappa clobber and Kappa tracksuits were all the rage.

Nicky said though that he also loved the blue Brother strip and had fond memories of playing with City when they were wearing this strip.

Nicky went on to tell the room that the strip has pride of place hanging in his Mum and Dad’s house. His Dad keeps all the memorabilia so that he can share all the memories with his Grandchildren as they grow up. I’m certain that Nicky’s father must be very proud of his son; after all he has shared his journey in football; the highs that come with success and the lows of his battle against serious injury.
When asked “Who was the best player we almost signed?”

Nicky replied ”City almost signed Michael Reiziger! I’ll never forget when we signed George Weah, he was almost too big for the club at the time. I remember him not getting selected to start a game and after that he refused to play” Nicky then went on to explain about the 2000 season and the return of City to the Premiership following back-to-back promotions. A 4-1 victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park to seal promotion is followed by a celebratory pitch invasion by the Blues’ enormous travelling support.

City had got double promotions and were back in the Premier League and then we got relegated again. Wanchope and Weah all came in on big wages and a few of the other lads were a bit pissed off as they thought they did all the hard work getting the promotions” in 2000 City return to the Premiership following back-to-back promotions.

Nicky said “My best friend in football is Martin Phillips (Buster). I am playing with Willo Flood at Aberdeen at the moment and we have always kept in touch, I remember when I took Willo into a night club when he was 15 years old” Nicky added “Gerard Wiekens was a close friend but it’s easy to drift apart with him now back in Netherlands, we will always be good friends though

Goal Keepers

When asked who the best goalkeeper he ever played with, Nicky responded that he has “been lucky to have played alongside so many fantastic keepers”; whilst at City he played with some great keepers including Joe Hart (all but briefly), Peter Schmeichel, David James and Kasper Schmeichel. When challenged for an answer by the crowd for a final decision between the 2 nominated keepers for top spot {James or Schmeichel} Nicky gave the honour to “Schmeichel” but repeated again that both were great keepers and it “would have been comforting as a defender to see either man in the sticks between the opposition and the goal”. It is my opinion that having a great keeper like Nicky and the aforementioned is one of the most integral components in a great side at whatever level of football.

“Seaman and Schmeichel were past their best when at City but still great keepers”

“David James was so calm; he would stand chewing gum totally relaxed not shouting at players whereas Schmeichel would scream at the defenders throughout the match” “I wouldn’t get angry when I conceded goals, you just have to get on with it

Nicky went on to say “It’s funny as many players behave differently on the pitch and in the tunnel. Morrison would growl at people in the tunnel and intimidate opposition players. Whereas the French players would kiss each other before the match. Stuart Pearce used to go crazy about that saying he wouldn’t even want to look at the opposition players and would just run straight down the tunnel at the end of the game

When quizzed who was the worst goalkeeper you ever played with, Nicky replied firmly and with conviction “the worst keeper he played with was Geert de Vlieger”. Nicky laughed and joked that it’s really funny “he played in loads of games in the World Cup about 50 games” {43 Belgium Caps} and he just “couldn’t understand why!?” Geert de Vlieger signed for Manchester City from 2004–2006 season and failed to make a single appearance over the two seasons. Joking aside he said he was unlucky Geert signed for Manchester City in June 2004, but due to an Achilles injury he sustained he missed the whole of the 2004/05 season. Nicky laughed “he just couldn’t understand how he got so many caps as he was always so poor in training” whilst at City. When asked how it felt to be on the bench he laughed that it was disappointing not to be the number one at times but it was when you could “really appreciate the passion of the fans, you could hear all the individual shouts more clearly as you weren’t having to concentrate fully on the match.” He then went on to add “it’s not too difficult to keep focus when on the bench, he has only came off the bench 3 times in his career, as you can imagine as a keeper you only come on if the keeper is injured or sent off

When questioned “Who in your opinion is the best keeper in the English Premier league?

Nicky advised “The top keeper for me is Peter Cech, he is like a proper old school British keeper who loves to come for the ball” he then followed on to say “Peter Cech could have signed for City, City almost signed him in January for £3 Million from Rennes in France and Chelsea went onto sign him for £7 million in the following window

When questioned “How good do you think Joe Hart is? In your opinion is he overrated because he is English?”

Nicky replied “Joe is a top top keeper, he has never let England down, he did concede a goal against Scotland but all keepers make mistakes. The fans and the media need to leave him alone. It’s so difficult when playing at such a high level, keepers will have dips in form and this tends to lead to conceding goals. I think the Press like to build the English players up to knock them down. The media are more ferocious with English players, Reina is a great keeper but he had a poor season but never got anywhere near as much stick as he isn’t English” He then went on to add that “Now that England have qualified they should give some of the other English keepers a chance; Fraser Foster for example should get a chance to play international football as if Joe Hart got injured he would need the experience if he had to step in for the big occasion! “

When asked “Could you believe it when Pearce asked you to come on for Reyna to allow James to play up front.” Nicky replied “It was actually a real shock, it was his girlfriend’s first game and he couldn’t believe what was happening

A humorous question was asked from the room “Were you not a great striker then?” Nicky just laughed and said “nah not really

International Football

Nicky Weaver went on to make his debut for England U21’s on the same date as Steven Gerrard and competed in the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship squad at the age of 21, England failed to make it out of the group stages and Italy went on to win the tournament with players like Gennaro Gattuso and Cristiano Zanetti making up the team alongside Andrea Pirlo who finished tournament top scorer including a brace in the final.

When Nicky was playing for England U21 they had a fantastic array of young talent and many names synonymous with the England team today and in recent past history including Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Emile Heskey. Other players which formed part of that squad were Danny Mills, David Dunn, Ledley King, Danny Murphy and Paul Robinson who at that point in his career was understudy to Nicky.

Fans, media and most people including Nicky assumed that “a move to full England International was the next logical step. I had been performing so well for City and England U21’s that it seemed only a matter of time” that he would adorn the England shirt and make his first full international, it is clear that if he never suffered his serious injury that he would definitely have made his debut and potentially would have gone on to secure the England number 1 shirt.

When asked “what do you think about Ray Wilkins saying that the current U21’s aren’t trying or performing at the best of their capabilities?

Nicky Said “I’m sure that’s not the case, it’s more about the players not wanting to make mistakes

When asked “In your career have you known players that want to play for Club but not Country?”

Nicky said “I haven’t come across players not wanting to play international football; it’s an honour to play for your country. Players wouldn’t get away with not giving 100%; you have to work hard in any walk of life. Fans can accept if the player isn’t the best player in the world but if he is running around like a mad man they are putting in 100% then they will always get the fans respect”

When asked “Would you play International football for Scotland?

Nicky said “Funnily enough Craig Levein actually asked him if he had any Scottish blood

The next question was then “would you have played for Scotland if eligible?”

Nicky replied “Well Jordan Rhodes played for Scotland; he was eligible because he went to school in Scotland for 5 years. If I had been eligible and push came to shove I’m sure I would have

Sheffield Wednesday

 

Without a doubt and with great authority Nicky said he was an Owl when asked “as a Sheffield lad were you an owl or a blade?” Nicky played for Sheffield Wednesday on two occasions making 58 appearances for his boyhood club. It was honour for Nicky to play for his boyhood club and he made 14 appearances when he went on loan from Manchester City and a further 44 appearances in his second spell. Nicky informed the North East Scotland Supporter club that “I’m still training with Sheffield Wednesday when I’m not in Aberdeen to ensure I can keep a high level of fitness

When asked “Which did you enjoy more, scoring a pen in a pen shoot out for Sheffield Wednesday against Chesterfield or saving the last penalty against Gillingham?

If you haven’t seen the penalty; it is available on youtube from when the Owls won 8v7.

There wasn’t a direct answer, I feel this is because they both meant so much for different reasons but Nicky did talk about his delight in scoring for Wednesday stating “It was a very important game and I took a long run up from outside of the box and took it like a goal kick, I smashed it as hard as I can right down the middle. It was a key goal and I really enjoyed it” He then added that “The goal was taken in front of the Kop end

Aberdeen

When asked “how are you enjoying your time in Aberdeen and what are your thoughts on Aberdeen football club?” Nick replied “Aberdeen is a proper football club, a proper football stadium with proper fans and he feels 100% fit at the moment and is motivated to play well given the opportunity. They have great fans that get behind the team but believe at times the fans attitude can be polar opposites, win 2 games and we are going to win the league, lose 2 games and it’s all doom and gloom!

Managers

When asked “Which manager did you learn the most from?
Nicky went on to discuss some of his managers and their personalities and traits saying “I have been lucky to have played under lots of good managers and it’s important to learn from all managers and coaches. Joe Royle was my favourite manager and the one I had the most success with. Kevin Keegan was a good manager and had a great eye for a good player when it came to transfers. Alan Pardew at Charlton was a good manager; he was normally very calm and focussed but went mental occasionally. I remember a time when Craig Levein went in at half time, he went ballistic but that had the desired effect as he was normally calm and this inspired the players. The most important thing is that the manager has to know when to go crazy, if done occasionally it works but if done all the time it loses effect. Whilst at Sheffield Wednesday; Gary Megson would come in to changing room stinking of brandy, foaming at the mouth, crazy guy with a hell of an attitude, he would just start screaming but it had little consequence as it was the same routine every week. I understand that managers have to approach games differently as there is so much at stake. As a keeper though I just wished managers would be quiet at times, most managers don’t know much about goalkeeping and as the keeper you know when you are playing well or made a mistake. The manager telling you doesn’t help and I would rather just keep my head down and concentrate for the second half.”

Transfers and Agents

Nicky then went on to talk about player, transfers and agents. He stated “Players have too much influence, too much money and power, players are on a 5 year contract and are able to influence directors when players have a fall out with the manager it’s much easier to sack the manager than move the players on.” Nicky added about transfers “as a player you are like a piece of meat with a number, it’s a harsh business and you know it is, the only constant is the fans these days!”

Nicky told us of how is agent arranged a meeting with Charlton and Nicky left with no plan on signing “I felt a little hard done by that I had to leave City, but Alan Pardew talked him into signing for Charlton, as it happened Charlton offered him a good deal and at the time it was the right decision to make.” Nicky added about player transfers “Players sometimes just leave and never get a chance to say goodbye to the rest of the team, you put your stuff in a black bag, boots, sandals and that and off you go to your next team. I’ve seen lads just called off the training pitch to chat to an agent, when the deal arrives it just does, that’s the nature of the beast. You have to make sacrifices as a player, with respect to time spent with your family and travelling; that’s the way football can be.”

Football grounds and Supporters

 

In 1994 City said farewell to the much loved Kippax Stand as legislation forces the closure of terracing at Premier League grounds. In its day the ‘Kippax’ was the largest standing area in the country.

When asked if he was disappointed when they closed Maine Road, Nicky replied “I actually played at Maine Road initially when I played for Mansfield and the noise of the Kippax was awesome.” Weaver moved to Manchester City from Mansfield July 2005 for just over £200,000.

Weaver went on to say “Disappointed to see the end of an era at Maine Road but was glad that I played at both grounds. I like the old style of grounds but understand why the clubs all follow that model. I still have a massive place in my heart at Maine Road”

When asked “What were your favourite Away grounds?”

Nicky replied “White Hart Lane was my favourite, but I also liked other older stadiums like Villa Park, St James Park, Anfield and Celtic Park”

When asked “What was the most Intimidating Away ground?”

Nicky said “The most intimidating away ground I played at was The Den. I remember a game we played at Millwall, which finished 1v1, Lee Bradbury missed a chance in the last minute and the players were relieved as they were afraid they wouldn’t get out alive if that goal had gone in. It’s the only ground where I have heard racist chanting. He remembers Millwall fans going mental smashing things up. It was surreal when City went there and won 3v2, Huckerby scored but it was surreal atmosphere as the game was played behind closed doors” Gotta love it when Huckerby and The Goat clap the invisible fans. We’re not really here!!

This was a classic game from Manchester City’s promotion season under the management of Kevin Keegan. Goals from fan favourites Shaun Goater, Darren Huckerby and a first Manchester City goal for Shaun Wright-Phillips earned the Blues a precious three points at a ground where, as you’ll notice, their fans are banned from.

You can watch the game on youtube to get a feel for the atmosphere or lack of it.

When asked “What’s the funniest song you have ever heard at the match?”

Nicky laughed “The funniest song was about Posh spice and receiving things in her back door

it’s funny some fans have had 8-10 pints, (conservative estimate for some) you just have to take it with a pinch of salt. In the end of the day though it’s a results business and you feel disappointed if you lose, it spoils your weekend if you lose! It can be a lonely position and I wouldn’t want my son to be a goalkeeper

Oasis and Ricky Hatton

When asked “Who are your favourite band?”

Nicky replied with a big beaming smile “OASIS! I remember a cracking concert at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton, I got a message that Oasis wanted to meet me and I was buzzing! I went up to meet them and Noel, Liam and Shaun Ryder were all sitting there. I have met Noel a few times and we have sat together in corporate a couple of times. Noel is sound and sensible, totally down to earth guy. Liam is a bit of a madman. Oasis were good for City and city were good for Oasis – it was a good match for both parties! I remember a match in the 97/98 season when Oasis were at their peak and Noel and Liam came onto the pitch before the game, Gave a V to the away fans and then lit a fag and the crowd went mental

On a side note away from the interview from Weaver on the night, I remember an interview with Noel Gallagher discussing City where Noel said

This is a mental time to be a City fan.”

The reporter asked Noel “Do you ever wish you were back in the days of Lee Bradbury and Shaun Goater?”

Noel Replied “No. I’m absolutely loving it, and if you ask 99.9% of City fans they would say the same. I’m sick of supporting loveable, affable City – f*** that, we want the best players in the world, playing the best football in the world in the best stadium in the world, owned by the richest people in the world.

There’s a funny English attitude where almost overnight, attitudes change. I’ve lived in London for 15 years and every time I got in a black cab they’ve said, “Oh you’re a City fan, we love City,” and now they all think we’re arrogant with ideas above our station. It’s a funny English attitude towards success and money.

I’m just happy that the owners have followed through. They said they would spend money and they have done. And this is clearly not a one-season thing – you don’t get players like that to sign unless you promise them more to come next season and the season after that.”

Can’t argue with Noel on the above!!

Nicky then went on to discuss the current state of football, finances and City saying “It’s very different situation at City now from when I was there. Only Joe Hart and Micah Richards are still there from the period I was at City. The money Man City are spending now is obscene, but football is big business and you have to move with the times. Investment is so important now, any club can get an owner who wants to win the league and champions league and if they are rich enough they will spend what they can to achieve that. At City the future looks very bright, the training ground will be the best in the world. Football is so business orientated now and it’s really important to market the club globally, you have to tap into the growing Asian market as this is where future revenue gains can be made.

Nicky is right, very exciting times to be a blue, Nicky went on to mention his time with City “going up and going down” and the song frequently sung by City fans sprung to mind. We’re going up, we’re going down, we’re going up, we’re going down, City going down with a billion in the bank, a billion in the bank! a billion in the bank! a billion in the bank!

Nicky said “Ricky Hatton was great for City, the fan-base were all behind him, Ricky was clever in hooking into the City fan-base, I think knowing that having City support and Bluemoon got all the supporters behind him straightaway! Did you know that Kevin Keegan gave him his medal?” Kevin Keegan gave away his First Division champions medal within seconds of receiving it – to boxer Ricky Hatton – read the article from MEN

The Future

When asked “I have heard that you don’t fancy coaching after you retire, is that still the case? 
If so do you see yourself staying in football, perhaps going into the TV side of things?

Nicky replied I don’t want to go into coaching, there is so many additional things that go into coaching behind the scenes, I’m 35 in March and happy at the moment” “I have done a bit of radio work before and would be interested in being involved in football punditry if the opportunity came along

Nicky told us “I would like to write a book, many of the City players have written books. I would like to tell my story, it’s possible that I would consider a book coming out in the New Year to celebrate 15 years anniversary.

Having spent a few hours with Nicky it’s clear that he is honest, intelligent and articulate, has excellent football knowledge and would make a fantastic pundit! Discussed this with friends and we hope we see him on SkySports in the near future. Nicky said “Man City have asked me to come down for pre-match build-up at City square and I’m looking into the possibility of doing this in the future but it is difficult as he is still playing!

What would be your all time best City Eleven……………..players you actually played with

What is your best all time eleven ….players you have played against.

Nicky Weaver night at Highland Hotel

Nicky Weaver night at Highland Hotel – Thursday 17th October at 19:30

Man United match meet up at Townley

Man United meet up

Sunday before match

Sunderland Away Luxury Coach for Supporters Club

Sunderland Luxury Coach and taxi to and from coach park at Stadium of Light to and from accommodation. (Bus has DVD, Tables and Toilets)

Kick Off: Sun 10 November 2013 14:05 GMT

Leaves 1am from Highland Hotel (Aberdeen) and will pick up on way down road in multiple locations along East Coast
Returns from coach park at 4pm after the game

20 onboard , then costs £50* per person (£25 for kids)
( *possible club subsidy to keep this to this price)

Currently 15 already confirmed so get your names down folks

The Supporters Club will request tickets on your supporter ID so you get points

I will need to know definite numbers fairly quickly when the fixture is published as we are requesting a large volume of tickets

Cheers Dave

Hull Minibus – MCFC North East Scotland Supporters Club

Hull Minibus

Hull Game: Sat 31 August 2013 12:45 BST

Cost is approximately £25 per head return journey

Timings: Leave on Friday at Midnight from Highland Hotel
Arrive in Manchester 9AM
Go for breakfast at Droylsden
Parking beside the stadium

Leave Manchester @ approximately 4-5PM
stop at Carlisle chip shop and arrive back at Aberdeen at approximately 11PM

New fantasy football league for supporters club!

New fantasy football league for supporters club!

Code: 396821-220342

Only 1 rule: no rags.

Fantasy.premierleague.com

Good luck

Minutes from meeting on 2nd July attached

Please see minutes from meeting on 2nd July attached

02.07.13 Meeting minutes

Outlook for the new season!

After a long pre-season with just a handful of friendly matches to feed the appetite the season is almost upon us. The excitement grows; so many questions, so much change, huge opportunities and the chance to see a handful of top players live for the first time.

I’ll have to admit to being very sad to seeing Mancini leave and was pessimistic that this was the correct approach to follow. I think it was partially the manner in which he was sacked and the grey cloud it put over the FA Cup Final and that he was the most successful manager in our recent history and I’m a believer that change is not always the best answer.

When Pelligrini was announced as manager I was unsure that this was the correct acquisition and the man to lead us to future victory. So I decided to investigate more about the man; watching his press releases, watching coaching videos, YouTube videos of Malaga and Villarreal and tactical methodologies. Now I’m sure he is the man for the job and I am thrilled that he is our new manager.

I will miss the blasts of Mancini around the grounds but it’s time for City fans to take heed of the following aphorism “The king is dead, long live the king!”

There have been summer transfers to ponder, there was the prolonged saga surrounding the Isco signing, reading 10002 of pages on the Bluemoon Forum and watching all his YouTube super skills videos. Isco was marked as Pellegrini apprentice and most fans thought we were nailed on to sign him. I think unfortunately for us he had an amazing U20 World Cup for Spain, his stock grew and interest from Madrid increased. After the Initial disappointment when we missed out on him to Real Madrid (but we must not be disheartened) which we shouldn’t be surprised about; he is Spanish, they are one of the top teams in the world and they were willing to pay his Dad 4 million for agent fees . I think the concern was we missed another top target and it reminded many of the previous year’s sagas with Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez

Some of our bets business has been signing our stars up to longer contracts, YaYa, Silva, Kompany and Aguero all signing new deals. Sad we can’t sign the YaYa Kolo song, let’s hope Liverpool fans return the banter twice a season as this would be class!!!

We have made some fantastic signings to boot, rather than signing players to mould into a team we look to have assessed the squad and sought to fix the issues which were clear to most fans, notable pace out wide and pace and bite in the centre of the pitch. Fernandinho and Navas have pace and bags of it, Fernandinho has the ability to break out of midfield with devastating pace and skip past a few challenges rapidly turning Defence into attack. Navas is just the player we have been missing out wide since Adam Johnson left, Navas though is a World cup winner and a level or two above the ability of Johnson, Navas; the type of player that makes you stand at matches and you eagerly anticipate him skipping past players and stretching play. If played consistently Navas could be top of the charts in assists for the Premier League this season. Losing Tevez and Balotelli were hard for me to swallow. I’m a bit of as romantic when it comes to football and I had visions of Balotelli becoming a true world great, I will always remember fondly him ripping United a new one at Old Trafford in the 1v6 J

But we must move on and that we have, Jovetic and Negredo look good signings and we haven’t spent crazy money in getting these players signed, most importantly the view from the board is that wages are now staggered performance based and these signings have fallen into this category. Initial performances in friendlies have been promising, Jovetic looks to be direct, have a nice touch, technically astute, capable of picking the correct pass and splitting defences. Negredo has 2 excellent feet, is big and strong, can pick a pass and looks to be able to get on the end of chances which is so important for a striker.  I commented in the last match that I hope he isn’t an unlucky striker after the keep made numerous saves, he hit the woodwork and narrowly missed; no longer than the words came out my mouth and he got his first City goal, Yaaaas!

To sum it up, Overall I think we have done fantastic this season in the transfer window, this is obviously just an opinion and only time will tell if these players will fulfil their potential.

Going into the new season Player you get the feeling that certain players will flourish under Pellegrini, I hope Dzeko will be one of the main beneficiaries of the new style of play, for me he is a real top Striker and with the best service available and right amount of game time could be looking at over 40 goals a season in all competitions. I know this won’t happen as he is unlikely to get this much game time but I’m sure he could be close to a goal a game statistically.

Let’s not kid our self there have been a few disappointments on the injury front, Aguero and Nastasic look to miss the start of the season. There is talk that we will sign a Centre Half, we have been continually linked with Pepe; I like the Jeans but not the player!! I hope we don’t make a signing and look to develop Richards as a Centre half; we still have Lescott! Boyata and Rekik are promising youngsters and the new holistic manta is about blooding youngsters so this would be a step in the right direction.

Pellegrini has some job on his hands keeping the squad happy, we certainly aren’t lacking in talent!

My view of our current squad, taking into account injuries to Aguero and Nastasic. Enough to make 2 teams and no space in either for Garcia, Sinclair or Guidetti

Expectations for this season are as follows:

  • Fast Attacking football
  • Challenge for the League
  • Improved performance in the Champions League

Exciting times ahead, petty we have to wait until Monday but can’t wait to get down to the Etihad and get behind the team.

Bluemoon, you saw me standing alone!!!

Dave

Sunderland Bus Trip

First Bus , Sunderland 1080, Manchester 1345

Central, Sunderland 1200 , Manchester 1500

might give Central a try for the Sunderland game , some nice coaches (will try & get round to there place for a proper chat, more details soon …

Sunderland 25 onboard @ £48 p/p
20 onboard @ £60 p/p

Chance to get involved with fellow City fans and have a great trip to the match!

If interested drop me a mail on david.ramsay@mcfc.ws

Ticket request: Stoke AWAY

Tickets are available to be requested for the following game:

Stoke Away

The deadline for applications is Midnight on Sunday 11th August

Note that only supporter club members can request ticket and with request comes confirmation of payment for tickets