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Football Prediction League Gameweek 2: Spectrals

August 26, 2013

Tony-Yeboah-405

“Ball ball ball.
Footie footie footie.
Ball ball ball.
Football!”

So Adam & Joe once prophesied in one of the greatest football songs ever written. It was pleasant to have Saturdays taken over by the various air-filled spheres made of synthetic leather being smacked around the country – ephemeral summer hobbies and flings cruelly cast to one side, distracted dads returning to their natural state, trips to Homebase cancelled. And for those Fantasy Football fanatics, it was once again a return to that unnerving feeling as you find yourself cheering on teams that you despise, in the ultimate cognitive dissonance experience. I hope you can sleep at night knowing you’ve wilfully fist-pumped after seeing Chelsea score against a side with 10% of their budget, you monsters.

With little in the way of upsets on the opening weekend (Dutch Uncles last week correctly guessing the result for eight of the 10 matches), the brunt of media hysteria and social media delirium inevitably fell on Arsenal following their opening day 3-1 defeat to an impressive Benteke-fueled Aston Villa. Spurs and Liverpool both looked tidy and tactically astute – both Rodgers and Villas Boas implementing their refined style of play to a greater extent in this their second season. It’s kind of shocking that this is the first time AVB has experienced a second season with any club as a manager. Man Utd looked like Man Utd, the promoted teams struggled, Shearer bored, and USA Soccer Guy continued his fine form with some excellent trolling. Meanwhile at my local club Stevenage FC, the high levels of cuisine set glorious new standards.

For Gameweek 2, I had a chat with die-hard Leeds United fan Louis Jones of Spectrals post their festival appearance at Beacons – not too far away from his beloved Leeds and family home. ‘Karaoke’ is their latest single from the marvellous Sob Story – stream the jangly gem below, and it will be out on September 30 via Wichita Recordings.

Sob Story is out now – and be sure to catch them on a full UK tour this October. Head here for details.

“When I go see Leeds,
they seem to achieve a lot of high ball speeds.”

  • Gameweek 2 Predictions
  • Fulham 0 Arsenal 1
  • Everton 2 WBA 1
  • Hull 0 Norwich 2
  • Newcastle 2 West Ham 2
  • Southampton 1 Sunderland 0
  • Stoke 2 Palace 1
  • Liverpool 3 Aston Villa 2
  • Cardiff 0 Man City 3
  • Spurs 2 Swansea 1
  • Man Utd 1 Chelsea 2

The rules:

Three points for an exact scoreline.

One point for a correct result.

Each act will play twice over the course of the season (think home and away if you prefer to adhere to football vernacular).

 

After the prediction of Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Man Utd, we start discussing the two teamsand how they’re shaping up this season.

I can see Torres getting one, as no-one would really expect him to score – he’s still getting slated a bit for his performances, so I can see him kind of popping-up. I just think Chelsea look really really good; that first half against Hull they were frightening especially when you think it’s their first game of the season and they have other people to come in; a lot of their players had a heavy pre-season. I mean I know Hull weren’t up to much… actually, United were pretty good from what I saw, it’s a difficult one with Moyes..

Yeah with United as of course they haven’t signed anyone yet – it’s all gonna be interesting, unpredictable…

And with Mourinho putting another bid in for Rooney this week, well that’s what they’re saying – it’s definitely his kind of mind game to unsettle him; it’ll play on their mind all weekend. Already it’s looking like he’s not feeling part of the team, so I can see that unsettling him maybe.

Definitely, I couldn’t even imagine Rooney playing for Chelsea at the moment what with the quality that they’ve got particularly in their attacking midfield sense… Oscar, Hazard, Mata…

Personally for me he hasn’t been particularly good for a couple of seasons. Obviously he’s got the kind of quality, and he can soon turn it around, if he has a couple of good games and everyone forgets. But yeah… he doesn’t always look fit to me, and I don’t really see why Chelsea want him – but some players raise their level when they play under Mourinho – that’s a huge part of his training is getting something out of players that maybe another manager couldn’t do.

It’s a sign of a quality manager to get the best out of a player. Anyway, on with the main stuff.

Who do you support and why?

I support Leeds United, and it came about as all my family support Leeds and it was a big deal in my house growing up as a kid, and I’ve always followed them since then. I mean I like other… I like Barcelona, I really like them, but when you’re pushed to say who you support it would always always be Leeds even though times have been hard over the past 10 years.

Yeah crikey – did you used to go to games growing up?

My uncle and my dad both used to take me to games from an early age and that was my first taste of the stadium atmosphere – I mean people might not think it, but the atmosphere is absolutely quality at Elland Road. It’s a decent stadium and when you were young and stuff it were bouncing, and I saw Europa League games there when I was a young kid and we were doing alright. You can’t really forget that as you grow up – it affects you in some way. That was always my first taste of football.

What are your predictions for this season for Leeds?

I think it’s looking good… I don’t want to oversell that too much as we’ve had some poor times at the club; I really like Brian McDermott, I like the way he comes across – he doesn’t promise too much and he’s got a decent relationship with the new owner that we’ve got, and with the players he’s brought in he’s doing the best with the money that he has available… yeah, I think we’ll do alright you know… we’re unbeaten so far and definitely a lot to improve on, but it seems like there’s a decent team spirit at the moment and there’s still players to come back, like Sam Byram who plays a big part in our attacking play as well as defensive. We just brought in this young lad from Man Utd who’s rated and plays CB so he may get a few games. And we’ve had Luke Murphy from Crewe Alexandre as well who’s been rated for a few years and he’s had a couple of good games.
I feel good about it, I feel better about it than last season – I didn’t rate Neil Warnock at all. I mean I don’t think we’re going to go up automatically…

Play-offs?

Yeah. I think we might make the play-offs you know.

Okay right the big question – and I should say at this point I’m a Boro fan – is Ross McCormack going to stay?

He’s defintley going to stay, yeah. I mean, he’s an absoulte icon at the club at the moment, and he has been an icon while things were pretty grim at the club, and I think he knows his value there. And also he’s a big part of McDermott’s plans – he’s got a bit of a free-er role than he has done in seasons gone by where he kind of drops in a bit, plays in that hole and tries to get on the ball and affect the game a bit more. I think he’s a pretty good part of our plans. And even if McDermott were to sell, for that money I don’t know who’s about at the moment who we’d want, who would do a similar thing – or for the same amount of quality or better.

I mean, he could have his head turned by money, you don’t know these days but he seems like a pretty down to earth guy. I’m really hoping he stays. How many bids is it at now, you lot had like three or four?

Yeah I think we’re at the third maybe? (now we’re on four) But it’s weird that it’s still going on weeks and weeks later, so it makes you wonder…

It’s weird that we’re saying he’s not for sale, but I suppose they (the board) have got to listen..

…Everyone’s got a price these days. I was going to say “good luck I hope you keep him” but of course I don’t mean that – we’re crying out for a regular goalscorer…

He’s a real asset to any Championship club – a top player.

Speaking of which; who is your favourite player of all time?

In terms of Leeds players there’s a few I could pick, but I’ll have to go with Tony Yeboah

Yes!

My first ever Leeds shirt I got as a kid were Tony Yeboah. As we were growing up and playing football at school, on a lunchtime and stuff, it was a big deal as a lot of my friends were Leeds United fans – so we were always trying to do the Yeboah where you hit the crossbar and it goes in. And as camera phones came in we would just watch his goals on a breaktime, get it up on YouTube in class and it never went away really, and I’ll always remember those couple of goals that he scored. He actually scored a lot of goals for Leeds and had a good couple of seasons – I always liked his attitude, so he would probably be my favourite player. I mean I’ve got others as well, but, yeah

I was watching some 90s Match of the Day Goal of the Seasons on YouTube recently – I think 95/96 – and Yeboah had 2 or 3 put of the 10; it was a vintage era, around when Beckham scored that goal from the halfway line…

Yeah it was that one season he kind of did the same thing twice, slightly different each time and it took your breath away, well, it did for me and felt like a big deal.

100%

  • RECAP: Gameweek 1 Predictions – Dutch Uncles
  • Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Stoke    Score: Liverpool 1-0 Stoke [1]
  • Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa    Score: Arsenal 1-3 Aston Villa [-]
  • Prediction: Norwich 2-2 Everton    Score: Norwich 2-2 Everton [3]
  • Prediction: Sunderland 0-0 Fulham    Score: Sunderland 0-1 Fulham [-]
  • Prediction: WBA 1-3 Southampton    Score: WBA 0-1 Southampton [1]
  • Prediction: West Ham 1-0 Cardiff     Score: West Ham 2-0 Cardiff [1]
  • Prediction: Swansea 1-2 Man Utd     Score: Swansea 1-4 Man Utd [1]
  • Prediction: Crystal Palace 0-5 Spurs    Score: Crystal Palace 0-1 Spurs [1]
  • Prediction: Chelsea 4-1 Hull City    Score: Chelsea 2-0 Hull City [1]
  • Prediction: Man City 2-1 Newcastle    Score: Man City 4-0 Newcastle [1]

Total Points: 10

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