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Football Prediction League Gameweek 3: Los Campesinos!

September 1, 2013

Tony Cascarino

“You asked if I’d be anyone from history / Fact or fiction, dead or alive / I said I’d be Tony Cascarino, circa 1995.”

When you think of bands and football, there’s one act that is immediately thought of: The Lightning Seeds. Well okay, for those of us born after 1990 or for those who actually like music, the answer is of course Cardiff-based indie-pop heroes Los Campesinos!. We simply had to get them involved for this league to have any credibility (it’s also the week of their album announcement you know – see below for details and check out the new song). The above is taken from ‘All Your Kayfabe Friends’, and Mr Tony Cascarino pops-up in our conversation with Gareth from Los Camp for our third Football Prediction League of the season, and he’s most certainly telling the truth in regards his admiration – none of this “He lied to us through song – I hate when people do that”.

Also discussed is Gareth’s beloved and very lyrically monikered Welton Rovers. This brings me on to my final point (it’s a brief intro this week as we had a long chat, this is what happens when two football fanatics get together): there’s no Gameweek next week (and thus no article) due to the International break. A fantastic day in celebration of Non-League football was set-up a couple of years back, and is now a hugely welcome event in the football calendar – so get involved with Non-League Day next week, Saturday 7th September, and spend a fiver or whatever and check out your local club that you’ve secretly been meaning to do for awhile anyway. Go see your Welton Rovers, your Dulwich Hamlet FC, your Cambridge City, your Spennymoor FC.

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).

See the base of the page to see how Spectrals performed last week.

 

This week Los Campesinos! announced details of their fifth album, No Blues, and have offered up lead single ‘What Death Leaves Behind’ as a free download (above). No Blues will be out on October 29 through Wichita/Turnstile/Heart Swells.

More excitingly, the track has a bit about Middlesborough’s first ever trophy after 128 years of existence! A lovely reference to Joseph Desire Job and the legendary League Cup Final victory in 2004.

“I proof-read the Book of Job for the Lord: edit one, League Cup 2004”

We start the conversation by discussing general music industry matters and get on to the subject of Pitchfork and Twitter followers…

I mean they (Pitchfork) have got 2.5 million Twitter followers that is an amazing outreach. Although having said that, a friend of mine on Twitter linked me to a list of the most followed accounts; apparently Ryan Babel once did a tweet and it only got one retweet, and depressing it is when you’re as popular as someone like that… anyway on this list I noticed that Pitchfork were something like 650th most followed profile (in the world)… though… less than Fenerbahce, which surprised me.

You see that’s who you should be pitching to, teams like Fenerbahce instead of music sites…

Basically yes! ‘Can we have our song on your website please Fenerbahce’. They also have more followers than Donald Trump.

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  • Gameweek 3 Predictions
  • Bayern Munich 1 Chelsea 2 (AET)

The big undercurrent there is Guardiola and Mourinho. So… I think certainly extra time, and I know this is going to mess with the scoring system massively; I’m going to go 2-1 Chelsea.

  • Man City 5 Hull 0
  • Cardiff 0 Everton 0

Do you have any affiliation with Cardiff at all, with the Welsh thing? I know it’s a lazy thing to suggest all Welsh people support Cardiff.

Well, I’m not even Welsh that’s the thing; I lived in Wales for eight years. I don’t know if you’ve seen it but when Kim joined the band, we did a video that we recorded in Cardiff City stadium presenting him like a football signing. There was a gentlemen whose name I actually forget now, which is terrible, who’s a Sky Sports News presenter who happened to be friends with our manager; he came along and presented it and did a Sky Sport News piece and we were allowed on the pitch – it was really great.

But no real affiliation with Cardiff, I’ve got a few mates who support them, so obviously delighted for them to be in the Premier League, but, devastated at the changing identity of the club. But I’m happy to see them doing well because I work in Cardiff and commute there often…

I guess there’s a buzz around…

Yeah it’s nice to see the city buzzing; and Cardiff is a big city and should be a bigger city, so all that (recent success) will really help.

Did you see the game (Cardiff beating Man City 3-2) on Sunday?

I did I did, it was incredible and a great game. When City went 1-0 up I just expected that to be it… the whole build-up to the third goal was so hilarious in that Whittingham was about to take the corner with Don Cowie coming over to waste time, and you think ‘they’re just going to play this short’, then Cowie dinks it in and it was very similar goal to the second; it was just… comedic almost.

Yeah it was beautiful. I was watching it with a Cardiff fan and he was a tiny tiny bit excited, and I was covered in his saliva in the end basically.

Ha ha ha, yes football-induced saliva is what it’s all about.

  • Newcastle 0 Fulham 1
  • Norwich 1 Southampton 1
  • West Ham 2 Stoke 0
  • Crystal Palace 1 Sunderland 1

I’d like to see Palace get something from that.

  • West Brom 0 Swansea 3

Because Ben Foster’s injured for West Brom and Swansea have had a poor start – so yeah they have to come back.

And Michu needs to find his form, I know we’re only two games in but…

Yes and Bony as well – I think a lot of Fantasy Football teams have got at least one of those two in, and they’ll be disappointed so far.

  • Liverpool 1 Man Utd 2
  • Arsenal 2 Spurs 2

I’d like Spurs to win because… out of all the friends I have who support a variety of teams, the Arsenal fans consistently seem to annoy me the most! I think it’s because they’ve been teetering on the brink for so long that they’ve started to become a little bit smug in their mediocrity. And the team that Spurs have put together now is looking fantastic, it’s a real Football Manager side where you get a big windfall and you buy all these exciting new players – and whether it all comes together is a different matter, but yes they’ll be something to watch.

It’s one of those things; it looks like Bale’s going – but either way if he stays or goes they’ve still got a very shit-hot team

You may have missed this when you were cycling (I did), but they just confirmed the signing of Lamela from Roma, with Ljajic going to Roma (from Fiorentina), so you would think that would mean Bale’s going. I think they’re in a far better situation than they were with Bale, cos with one injury to Bale that’s your whole team in tatters.

Absolutely. Sticking with the higher reaches of the Premier League, how do you think it will pan out this season in terms of the top teams?

Well it’s a bigger question than ever; I was talking to friends before it started and said ‘if you were somebody who wasn’t a fan of football but were thinking ‘oh I might start talking an interest in football’, now would be the time to do it as it’s kind of a Year Zero. [I want to blurt out “that’s exactly what I said! in my Gameweek 1 column” but decide to let him talk] Obviously the next three of four days are massive (before the Transfer Window ends) as, well Chelsea still desperately need a striker as Mourinho doesn’t seem to trust the ones he’s got after starting with four of them on the bench on Monday as he did. Man United are still two signings away from being anywhere near as good as the likes on Man City will be eventually; and City themselves loosing a game you would have expected them to walk quite easily, it’s all blown wide open – as the cliche goes.

I think it should be exciting and you wouldn’t expect anyone to run away with it like in previous seasons, and hopefully the top teams will be taking points off each other. I mean Liverpool look genuinely more capable than they have for a long time they don’t seem to have missed Suarez – I know their victories haven’t been that exciting but they’ve been victories nevertheless. Daniel Sturridge looks brilliant so far, and that gives me a lot of encouragement as an England fan.

So, if you had to – and here’s another cliche – stick your neck out, who would you say will win the Premier League? An awful question this year I know…

[A lot of ummming and ahhing] I think… Man City. They seem the most functional, and the most capable of lasting the course of the season. I don’t trust Mourihno to not muck something up along the way, Man Utd without Ferguson will miss that cutting edge, that extra bit of knowledge, that effect that Fergie inevitably always seems to have. I don’t think Spurs will be quite there as they’ll still need to get their team to gel.

I would think Man City are the team most capable of grinding something out. Negredo as well has been glossed over a bit and he’s bound to hit a spot of form at some point. The thing with Negredo not being talked about as much, is that fact that Soldado is at Spurs plus he cost a bit more; and the British media – and British football fans too to be honest – can only compute one new striker coming over from Spain, with surnames ending in ‘do’ and at the same time.

I’m going to drop it down just a few divisions now and ask you who do you support, and how did you some to support them.

I support a football team called Welton Rovers and I have done for all of my life, for better or for worse, I think I’m probably a fourth or fith generation supporter. They’re the team that is from the town that I live in, and from being taken to watch them – as my mum says, as soon as I was old enough to wear warm clothes – my dad would take me and I’ve gone there ever since. I’m a season ticket holder and I’m now on the Board, I’m a Director, I’m the Programme Editor. It’s something I’m incredibly incredibly passionate about, and I can’t seem to drag myself away from.

What league are you currently in these days?

We’re in the Toolstation Western League First Division, which I believe is ninth stage of the football pyramid? So it’s proper lower league – our attendance’s average about 60 a week or so – but we have decent facilities, we have a stand, we have a fenced off pitch, and within the local area it’s a club with a lot of history. At the turn of the 20th century Midsomer Norton (in Somerset), where the club is based, was a mining town and you’d get over a thousand people attend every home game, and the club would have to pay for police officers to attend the match to stop any violence occurring. In fact at the beginning of the 20th Century, Welton were in the same division as the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, QPR, Portsmouth – a lot has changed since then. In the 1960’s we became the first team to win the Western League three seasons on the trot before our manager Arnold Rodgers left to go to Bath City and took the whole squad with him, and the club’s never really quite recovered.

The start of the season so far has been encouraging, so hopefully we’re on the way up.

Yeah, I was going to ask you what are your predictions for Welton this season…

Last season we had a torrid time and up until five games from the end we could have been relegated. It never seemed liked we would be, maybe like a Norwich situation in the Premier League last year, and then we got a run of three or four good victories and we were well safe towards the end.

New manager, new chairman; the gentlemen who was the Manager last year Stuart Minall is now the club Chairman, and the manager is called Nick Beaverstock who played at Wembley in the FA Vase Final I think back in 2000; he’s managed Welton previously, and was working on the board for a bit but now is back. He’s really got the whole club believing a lot more of what we can achieve, and there’s a lot more coherence and discipline.
We lost the first two games of the season then we drew 3-3 after being 3-1 so threw it away so, you know at that point there was starting to be a little bit of unrest amongst the fans and with the squad; but since then we’ve won two on the trot including 5-0 away at Keynsham, and we won 2-1 at home to Chard Town this Saturday just passed. I’ve got an away day to Portishead this Saturday that I’m looking forward to very much.

It sounds like you get to most of the games then…

Yeah, yeah they’re all within two hours of travelling. So me and my Dad wherever we are on Saturday will travel and watch them, and I absolutely love it – I don’t turn my nose up at the Premier League, I know some lower league fans do, I love the Premier League.

Everyone who plays at Welton’s level obviously idolises everyone who plays in the Premier. You can’t beat whether you support a Premier League or Non-League actually standing on the sideline; football’s a totally different game when watching it in the flesh to watching it on tele, and I like both equally.

 

Who is your favourite player of all time (both in International terms, and Welton terms)?

I’ve got a real affection for… Tony Cascarino, because… have you ever read his Autobiography?

I haven’t, no… a good read?

I massively recommend it; it’s called Full Time, and it’s not overly long but it’s written with the emphasis on the narrative, it reads like a work of fiction almost. He’s just so brutally honest and I really admire him – I guess it’s kind of relevant what with Bale about to move to Real Madrid. In relation to the early 90’s when Cascarino made the decision to move to Marseille. He had other options from British clubs that he could move to, and not many players from the UK had ever been brave enough to move abroad let alone be a success – Cascarino went to Marseille and he was a revelation. He scored loads of goals, won a Championship medal. And yeah the book is so brutally honest, he goes into great detail about his marriage breaking-up, the affairs that he has and things like that, his struggles with paranoia and depression in a footballing context. It’s a book that I return to time and time again. He’s a player that I probably only watched play two of three times, but as a human being playing football I’ve got a lot of admiration for him.

Other than that it would probably be Paul Scholes, as I used to model myself on him (laughs). He’s a good steady one to be your favourite player.

My favourite player for Welton currently would be… (even longer pause than the Premier League title question)… I would probably say Ashley Victor-Lewis, who is a striker who is in our second spell with us. He had a year off travelling but he’s come back pumped, like really really buff and really strong; he used to be a striker that played on the shoulder of the last defender, running onto through balls and going one-on-one with the keeper. But now he’s come back and he’s this target man who can stop the ball dead with his back to goal, bring others into the game and batter through anyone that comes near him. He’s a pleasure to watch at the moment.

Have you read any other decent player Autobiographies? It’s always something I mean to read more of, but I’m terrified of wasting time on a bad one, as some of them are awful of course…

Yeah I’ve been quite lucky with the ones that I’ve read recently. Part of the reason why I said I hope Palace pick up a win on the weekend is because I’ve had a couple of Palace-related reads: the Neil Warnock autobiography that is every bit as over the top and mad as you’d expect, and also Simon Jordon’s autobiography, which I would massively recommend.

Oh wow – is he honest in it?

Well, I always thought… he was an arsehole, but he’s a loveable arsehole as he’s basically this kid that got rich off his own back – not his parents money or anything – he set up his own business and made a load of money. And what would you do if you had loads of money? You’d buy the football club that you support. So he did that and he Chaired the club more like a fan that a business man, kept throwing money at problems, not really sussing them out properly, and yeah ended up taking the club into administration! But it’s a roller coaster story to use another cliche, but it’s fantastic and I’d really recommend that.

I read another sort of Palace autobiography – called Woody and Nord. It’s by Gareth Southgate and his best friend called Andy Woodman, and they both started out in the Palace youth system in the early 1990’s; of course Southgate had this amazing career, played at the top level of the Premier League and many times for England. And the other guy – I can’t remember exactly what happened to him, but I think he played mainly in the 3rd and 4th tiers of English football. It’s fascinating how the chapters alternate between each other, and has this dichotomous feel to it as obviously they go in differing directions. But at the same time they’re still friends, and Gareth is a down to earth person…

That sounds fantastic, I must read that. Yeah Gareth does seem like that, sometimes a little too down to earth as he does seem a bit dull sometimes, but does seems like a good guy. That’s a good tip-off actually as I spend 2-and-a-half hours on a train everyday – so I’m hoping that my reputation among my fellow commuters is the guy reading the best footballing autobiographies, so I need to perpetuate that further.

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

Total Points: 7

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