INTO THE SUNSET
& welcome to into the sunset
ou're probably wondering what to expect from our new magazine this summer.
Into The Sunset is like no other magazine out there on the internet. Firstly, we have zero budget, we don't pay for interviews, we don't pay expenses and we don't pay our writers. Editorial Richard Laverty
The magazine was set up solely by me a few months ago, a University student 12 months away from graduation looking to give other Uni students, as well as people hoping to study journalism a chance to showcase their abilities on the internet. What we aim to do is bring you the mainstream stuff that you'd expect to be able to read, sport, music, film, fashion, opinion pieces and interviews. But on top of that, you'll also find very unique pieces, such as cooking, gardening, poetry, and even the odd piece of art here in Issue 1. We'd love to go out there and cover the biggest events there are, the Wimbledon's, the Euro's, BAFTA's etc., but as a new magazine our aims are low, but we won't rule out covering these events live in the future. What we can promise you this month are interviews with three young actresses, Tina O'Brien, Louisa Lytton and Daisy Head, a preview of Wimbledon 2012, a cover of a few live events across America and South Africa. We have a couple of film reviews, a Q&A with Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony and plenty more for you to feast your eyes upon. We hope you enjoy what we have to show you this month, and that you'll stick with us faithfully throughout our era. I hope you enjoy what we have to offer in our first foray into the big wide world!
Richard 21 years old, University student and sport enthusiast. Editor of the magazine and in control of everybody else on this page! Writing mainly about sport and conducting interviews, hope you like what you see!
E D I T O R
CONTRIBU MEET THE
Thomas Feaheny Hi I'm Tom, I am a student journalist at a Leeds Trinity University College. For IntoTheSunset I am the Features/Interviews editor, I'm a big fan of most sports as well as a fan of politics.
F E E D A I T T U O R R E
Georgina Ardill I recently finished my time at university and will soon be gaining my degree in Performance and Digital Arts. I have always had a huge interest and love for the fashion industry. The loves of my life are clothes, shoes and accessories.
F E A D S I H T I O O R N
From Northumberland, I am a 20-year old history student at the University of York with a thirst for sport, being sports editor for the 2011-12 Guardian Student Publication of the Year York Vision and also University Radio York.
A thirty year old well travelled Irish man. Having spent much of his life feeding his interests of world football and quirky films he is now seeking to share his views on both. Expect his honest film reviews to come with a warning.
I'm Alice, my interests lie within art, fashion and photography. I also like cats, festivals and glitter. I do not like animal cruelty, peas and long finger nails.
Manchester United supporter and very balanced football fan. In between attempting to be humorous on Twitter, I work as a marketing copywriter. I like to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk...
P D O I R T T O R Tom Grater F E I
L I M T & O T R V
I am an up and coming entertainment journalist who writes widely on the worlds of film & TV. I can regularly be found covering various film festivals, traversing the UK and elsewhere in search of the meaning of life, the meaning of cinema, and complimentary food and drink.
Hi guys, I'm Danni Dawda, teenage student from Hertfordshire with main interests in fashion and lifestyle. I'll be mainly writing about teenage fashion for Into The Sunset, I hope you like what you read.
I'm Joanne, I'm 17 years old, there's not much else to say. Music is my main inspiration in life, it keeps me going and gives me strength, that's why I want to be a music journalist so badly. Other hobbies include writing, cooking and drawing.
My name is Brad Harper. Interested in Sport and a particular football team. Left-handed bowler, right -handed batsmen. Failed sportsmen, failing writer. Thinks he's funny.
Born in Texas, lived in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Moving my whole life taught me to just be myself. I love film, video, television, and animation. I love to watch anything and everything.
Readier, writer, runner, drummer. Bookworm film-enthusiast, musiclover. Ambitious A-Level student from South Wales, hoping to go to Oxford Uni to study English. Then, who knows? Journalist? Novelist?
Reside in Chicago and work in digital media - all my free time is spent drinking at bars, going to concerts or writing my own music. Always appreciate a few beers at the beach and some fresh powder snow in the mountains.
I'm a ginger-haired Welsh person living in Essex. I'm usually either pretending I can play guitar, or writing sarcastic blogs about football, life, events, or whatever happens to be going on that I can complain about.
I am 18 years old. I live in South Africa, Cape Town. I love to blog about, mostly, events I have been to. I have been featured in quite a few magazines. My goal in life is to become an actress.
I am a 20 year old University graduate. When it comes to sharing my opinion, I tend not to hold back and you'll see this is my writing which will cover a vast amount of sporting events hopefully but will see a main focus on my one true love, football.
A 32 year old sports writer specializing in football. Father of a 2 year old daughter, studied Media at Chichester University. Avid supporter of Peterborough United and regarded as one of the few Chievo experts outside of Italy after writing about them and Serie A for several blogs.
19. I study print Journalism at Staffs Uni. . I only have one major love and that is football. Nothing else can beat standing on the terrace at 3pm on Saturday afternoon shouting your team on. My team Chorley FC. Outside of Football I donâ€™t really like any bands in the way most people do. Peace out.
CONTENTS PAGE 10 - REVIEW OF THE
LIVE AT THE V&A WATERFRONT THE GRAEME WATKINS PROJECT ~ PAGE 66
NEW 'JAMES DEAN' BY LOCNVILLE
PAGE 12 - DAVID HAYE VS DEREK CHISORA
PAGE 16 - Q&A WITH PETERBOROUGH UNITED CHAIRMAN DARRAGH MACANTHONY
PAGE 18 - ROY KEANE'S BATTLE AGAINST GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI
PAGE 19 - POETRY
PAGE 22 - Q&A WITH ACTRESS LOUISA LYTTON
PAGE 24 - A NEW ERA IN THE GAMING INDUSTRY
WIMBLEDON 2012 PREVIEW PAGE 26
PAGE 28 - ANDY RODDICK - TENNIS' ONE TRICK PONY
PAGE 38 - A REVIEW OF THE NEW TIM BURTON HIT DARK SHADOWS
PAGE 32 - INTERVIEW WITH ACTRESS DAISY HEAD
PAGE 40 - A SHORT TRIBUTE TO THE QUEEN'S 60 YEARS AT THE TOP
PAGE 36 - HARRY REDKNAPP'S TIME AT TOTTENHAM
PAGE 42 - LIVE AT THE BONNAROO MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012
TINA O'BRIEN TALKS TO RICHARD LAVERTY
PAGE 45 - A UNIQUE LOOK AT FILM REMAKES
PAGE 68 PAGE 46 - THE EDITORS NOTE PART I
PAGE 49 - IN THE NAME OF FASHION
PAGE 50 - AVENGERS ASSEMBLE FILM REVIEW
LIVE AT BONNAROO MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012 PAGE 42
PAGE 52 - IN-DEPTH AND COMEDIC LOOK ON THE 2011/12 PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON
PAGE 62 - PROMOTIONS & RELEGATIONS FOR 2012/13
SUMMER FASHION IN 2012 ~ PAGE 48
EXPECT IN ISSUE II INTERVIEW WITH AMERICAN ACTRESS MEGAN BOONE (PICTURED LEFT) FURTHER INTERVIEWS WITH INDYCAR CEO RANDY BERNARD WE'LL BE TALKING TO GAIL EMMS, STEVE BACKLEY & TANNI-GREY THOMPSON ABOUT THE 2012 LONDON OLYMPICS Q&A WITH BARRY REDDIN, PRODUCER OF UPCOMING INTERACTIVE PLAY 'RUM & VODKA' A FOCUS ON SOUTH AFRICAN POP STARLETS 'THE SOAP GIRLS' BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE OPENING OF VICTORIA'S SECRET UK STORES
he song starts off with what sounds like and orchestra of violins. The beats then start coming in after about 10 seconds, which sounds incredible when it is combined with the violin type orchestra .
After about 10 seconds, the chorus starts and Locnville start singing. The chorus is repeated twice, but as Locnville end the chorus part, the name “James Dean” is said in a different way, like a robot speaking. It sounds really good!
As the 1st verse starts, Locnville start to rap for the rest of the verse,
which sounds so incredible! I cannot actually describe how amazing it sounds; it is almost a little bit different to what their music on their albums is like. When the line “I'm just rolling with the punches in a jungle and its fierce” is sung, you can hear in the background a sound of a lion roar.
After the first verse, the chorus starts again and is also repeated twice. Again, you hear the name at the end of the chorus, “James Dean” in a robotic sort-of voice, but the voice’s sound is lower than what you expect of an actual robot talking, which I find very cool!
Many people probably haven't heard of South Africa based twin brothers Andrew and Brian Chaplin. They probably haven't heard of LOCNVILLE either, but the brothers write all their songs, produce them, play the instruments and sort all their own business affairs out. They are very familiar though to our Cape Town writer Andria McKinnon, as she tries to raise the profile of the Chaplin brothers as they release their new song entitled James Dean. They haven't been around long, their opening album was released in February 2010 and was named 'Sun In My Pocket' and reached #1 in the South African music charts. The second album came out in 2011 and was another success among a loyal fan base. Locnville have now become well known across America as well as South Africa but they hype doesn't appear to have stretched towards the UK yet, but their new hit could soon change your mind.
You can listen to Locnville's new song 'James Dean' by clicking on the link to the left In the second verse, the music beats stop and as Locnville sing, the music beats start again and as Locnville sing this line “'cause I'mma huff and puff until this blunt burn out”, I get a visual effect of the story “The Three Little Pigs” as the wolf huff’s and puff’s and blows the two pigs houses down. I find the second verse really up-beat and just perfect!
from someone. Right at the end of the song, you hear the name “James Dean”, then the song finishes.
In my opinion, I think this is relaxing music to listen to, whether you’re driving to work or you are on a road trip, this song is perfect for anything you do.
Please help Locnville to let everyone in After the second verse, the chorus starts the world listen to this inspirational song. again. After the chorus is repeated twice, you hear the sound of the music that was played at the intro of the song, If you have a Twitter account and would almost like a violin orchestra. You also like to share your thought about this hear a woman speaking at the end, you song, please use the hash tag hear the name “James Dean” after the #JamesDean. woman speaks, then you hear a man’s voice speaking, it sounds like a quote
Andria Mackinnon @FuniBeani
n July 14th 2012 there will be a fight that pits two bitter foes against each other. It is a fight featuring two talented British boxers, which will elicit great interest from casual boxing fans and more seasoned observers alike. David Haye and Dereck Chisora have been accused of dragging the sport through the dirt during a period in which both fighters have talked a lot of trash and been involved in an unseemly melee that led to a police investigation.
both men; while talking trash is seen as an acceptable way to build tension before a fight, the physicality of the post-fight conference in Germany was widely viewed as being beyond the bounds of acceptability. However, Frank Warren has stated that the fight should happen in order to properly settle the bad blood between the two individuals. This fight is all about settling an unsavoury score in the correct fashion – in the ring. Warren, ever the opportunist, knows the wide scale interest this fight will Haye and Chisora came to blows after Vitali receive will make him an even richer man. Klitschko had defeated the latter on points. Who knows, the victor may even be catapulted back into title contention. At first it was a verbal altercation, but it suddenly turned nasty and the blood of One of the main impediments to this fight David Haye’s trainer Adam Booth was spilt. taking place was the BBBC (British Boxing The incident was seen by many boxing fans Board of Control), which flat out refused to from all over the world as disrespectful, and provide a licence. This led to Frank Warren caused many promoters to condemn to resorting to gaining a licence from the Luxactions of both boxers. embourg Boxing Federation, which has Some commentators have stated this fight been under intense pressure and even should not happen following the antics of threatened with expulsion from the European Boxing Union, a body from which
they are currently suspended. With a likely sell-out crowd at West Ham United’s Upton Park stadium, this fight will be box office stuff. While both fighters did a lot to ruin their own and British boxing’s reputation during those ugly scenes back in February, they will have the chance to right those wrongs and, in the process, help show the world that British heavyweight boxing truly is back on the rise. In the past there has been too few British names to make a proper impression in the heavyweight division. Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno and Lennox Lewis are the most celebrated and, in fairness, the latter was a genuinely world class boxer. Overall though, there has been a real dearth of quality from a British point of view. Numerous British boxers have taken the world by storm at lower weights. Prince Naseem Hamed – a featherweight, super-bantamweight and bantamweight – will always be remembered for his
HAYE VS CHISORA JULY 14TH UPTON PARK flamboyant style, razor-sharp technique and a near-perfect record (36-1). There was also Ricky Hatton – who fought at light welterweight and welterweight – and was viewed as having the ability to dominate after his surprise victory against Kostya Tszyu. Unfortunately, his legacy was tarnished after his two losses in America against by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, in fights where Hatton was truly found out not to be of the highest calibre. Joe Calzaghe – supermiddleweight and light heavyweight – finished his career unbeaten (46-0), but was criticised for picking his fights carefully. Meanwhile, Carl Froch recently staged an impressive performance as he comprehensively dismantled Lucian Bute to become a three-time world champion. After suffering defeats against Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler, Froch will be optimistic that he is back on track. The problem is British heavyweight boxing has lacked genuine superstars, since Lenox Lewis, with many of the showmen occupying lighter divisions.
on that occasion he would have undoubtedly lost on points, something that would have saved British boxing a lot of face. After the debacle, Harrison will never be able to reach the big stage in boxing again. He had his chance and failed to grasp it, too often failing to exhibit the heart and desire required.
and scoring a historic victory. While both brothers won, they did not claim their typical knockout win and this shows that both Haye and Chisora are tougher fighters than they are made out to be.
The winner between Chisora and Haye will be able to claim they deserve a match against one The up and coming British heavyweight hope of the Klitschkos. If the bout at Upton Park is a is Tyson Fury, who seems to be a gentle giant proper boxing spectacle with no incendiary – fortunately, not in the ring – with his preincidents before, during or after, then their and post-fight conferences exhibiting a classy claims will gain even greater legitimacy. The and respectful character who gives credit to his Klitschkos would find it more difficult to refuse opponents. This is refreshing to see given all the winner an opportunity for a title fight. the nonsense that has surrounded Haye and British boxing is on the road to recovery after Chisora in the past. the unfulfilled potential of Audley Harrison. Fury has also shown impressive flexibility in being able to change his fighting style to suit his opponent, although the undefeated 23-year -old (who is signed to a deal with Channel 5) would be well advised to pull back from his aim of fighting one of the Klitschko brothers in the near future. Instead, he should aim for continuing his current progression, and hopefully it will result in him becoming a British boxer of real stature in the future.
With the Klitschkos having few quality opponents at the moment, Chisora and Haye know the winner of this fight has the chance for ultimate redemption. This fight will be a chance for British heavyweight boxing to gain a rightful stage in the mainstream media for the right reasons. What’s more, a quality bout with no shady shenanigans will provide a great advert to any youngsters interesting in taking The most recent match-up designed to up what ought to be a noble art. With Tyson showcase British heavyweight boxing was Fury also on the radar, it is a good time for The heavyweight division is currently Audley Harrison against David Haye. The less dominated by the Klitschko brothers, who will British heavyweight boxing. If all things go said about that fight, the better. The bout well, the Klitschko brothers may finally feel deservedly go down in history as greats, should never have come to pass, with Harrison they have a genuine threat on their hands. despite not always delighting the neutrals. failing to convince for many years. Indeed, in Quite rightly, both have criticised the the run-up to the fight, Harrison lost to Martin behaviour of Haye and Chisora, but it should Rogan, then narrowly won the heavyweight be noted that neither brother could defeat prize-fighter tournament in 2009 and then either Brit by knockout. In rather slapstick defeated Michael Sprott with a knockout fashion, Haye claims he was hampered with a victory in the twelfth and final round. Had @ThomasFeaheny broken little toe that prevented him from Harrison failed to deliver the knock out blow being able to throw his traditional ‘Hayemaker’
ducated in his native Dublin until the age of 15, Darragh MacAnthony relocated to Marbella, Spain with his family where he finished his education. He worked for a short period as a model before taking a route through PR, advertising and direct selling. At this point he decided to begin his first solo business venture,
a real estate company, which with the backing of his family grew into an international multi-million pound selling business.
became the youngest Chairman in the football league. Three promotions and relegation in a four year period have seen ‘the Posh’ sit proudly in the Championship. In June this year, His company MRI (MacAnthony MacAnthony release’s his first book, Realty International) allowed him to continue to follow his real passion for ‘From Hobby to Obsession’. Here he talks to sport writer Ben Powell about football. In 2006, at the tender age of 30, he bought Peterborough United and football and business.
You are a very successful businessman, what made you choose to become a football Chairman? Life at the time was telling me I needed an outlet. Some sort of hobby away from the rigors and daily grind of work. I was at a stage in my business life where it was 24/7 365 days per year and heading for burnout with no release. Buying a football club was a previous target for me on my hit list of things I wanted in life. Buying Posh started as a hobby and ended up becoming an outright obsession. It’s why I have entitled my new book on Posh, ‘From Hobby to Obsession’, because that’s what it truly has become.
Why did you choose Peterborough United? I had actually come close to buying a few other clubs but those deals collapsed and the opportunity to buy Posh came out of the blue but at the right time. Maybe it was fate intervening, who knows but the rest is history.
What are the major differences between running a business and running a football club? I actually think that running a club nowadays is running a business particularly with financial austerity more prominent within the game and financial fair play coming into play within our rules and regulations. Just like any other business you have operations, staffs, finances to be handled but at the same time you have thousands of people judging you on the success of this type of business and of course lots of it plays out in the public eye. With business you can be ruthless, unattached on big decisions, not let emotion get in the way but in football a lot of that can go out of the window. Also with business if things go wrong it doesn’t necessarily affect your weekend whereas if your football club loses a game, your weekend is dead and buried. In my opinion however, if you have no business experience in life and happen to end up
owning a football club, that’s a recipe for disaster.
High profile and successful businessmen have tried and ultimately failed at being football Chairmen at the highest level, what makes you believe you are any different? I don’t really judge myself on others. I am pretty single minded about what I want to achieve and can be ruthless in doing so. I can only be judged on my time as Chairman of the Posh and thus far it’s been a pretty successful ride with hopefully the best things still to come for us all involved.
What are your biggest achievements in both business and football? In business, making my first fortune before age of 28 years old and in football would have to be three promotions in four years and being a Championship Chairman.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your time in football?
I would also like the Football League to have stronger group of match-day officials as well with maybe a lot more ex-footballers recruited. I still think agents have too much power and we need tougher rules brought in to stop this and their players being taken advantage of.
What are your ambitions both in business and for Peterborough United? To retire by 40 finally from business as I got close by 30 but got dragged back into work by the worldwide recession. For the Posh, I have too many to mention but they involve playing attractive football, having no debts, playing in a modern stadium owned by the club and having a brilliant academy producing 3-4 players for our first team squad every year. Oh and maybe a flirt with the promised land of the Premiership wouldn’t be bad either.
What would you like your legacy for Peterborough to be? A lot of the above by the time I hand the reigns over to my son not to mention building our fan base over the 15k mark every home game. I would like fans to look at my ownership era as a successful one and model for many people who want to come into the game and buy a club.
Financial Fair Play is a pretty big one and much needed one that’s just come in. Far too many clubs are nearly Blackburn Rovers rose from the doldrums under the stewardship of a successful businessman (Jack Walker) to win the Premier League, could you ever see that being repeated? Very unlikely in the modern game but something I’d love to see happen again. But nowadays unless you are a billionaire Sheik or Russian oligarch, then there is little chance we can see it happen again.
With the new Financial Fair Play regulations being introduced, what does it mean for a club like Peterborough United?
going out of business and into administration constantly which just cannot carry on. No other earth shattering changes thus far but we could do with a few.
What changes would you make to our national sport? Video technology needs to be implemented into this wonderful sport as we have watched Rugby, Cricket, Tennis and many US sports pioneer it ahead of us and it’s ridiculous in this multi billion pound sport that we don’t have it. More rules about home grown talent playing in the first team needs to be brought into our sport as this will only enhance the National team and clubs finically at the same time.
It means that eventually we will see a league where most teams have to spend what they bring in and that for example Posh won’t be competing with teams who have £12-£15 million pound wage bills or teams who can offer 4 or 5 times more per week to sign players. I’d like to think the football league will still be a competitive league but based on how good your academy is and how good your scouting network and player recruitment policy is over being able to offer a king’s ransom to sign an average player. It also means less player/agent power and fewer clubs getting themselves in financial trouble which is a good thing for the fans. It’s needed and it needs to be implemented properly in the coming years.
Ben Powell @benpowellwriter
Keane vs. Trapattoni Bobby Hare looks into the kerfuffle between Roy Keane and Giovanni Trapattoni and wonders what all the fuss is about...
n the aftermath of the Republic of Ireland's recent humbling to Spain at Euro 2012, Roy Keane was to be found furiously frothing at the mouth at the disgrace of it all. The former captain laid into the current squad and manager, while he even aimed a vicious barb at the faithful Irish fans. According to the media, anyway. The reality of it all is that Keane, an uncompromising character throughout his career, was mildly perturbed by what he had just witnessed. The same frustrations that led to his departure from the 2002 World Cup resurfaced, with a plucky but limited Ireland side approaching a major tournament with a sense of wide-eyed wonderment. They weren't there to truly compete, they were just happy to be part of the spectacle. This small-time approach was summed up by the inebriated musings of FAI boss John Delaney, who suggested that the Irish fans deserved official recognition for sticking with their team. Whilst the Irish in the stands exhibited all that was good about football supporters through their unstinting support in the face of an utter mullering, the subsequent reaction has been embarrassingly condescending. The Dutch fans, for instance, aren't being lauded for the colourfully vibrant support they extended to their national team, because the Netherlands are a proper team. Herein lies the problem. The Irish are happy just to be involved, to bask in the reflective glory of superior sides. And Roy Keane, the anti-Irishman in this sense, knows it. Keane's inherent winning mentality was hardened at Manchester United, a conveyor belt for trophy winning football teams. Is it any wonder he has such contempt for his country's risible showings in front of the entire continent? Trapattoni has done a magnificent job at deflecting attention away from his failings via his stinging riposte to Keane. If anyone has uttered incendiary words in this exchange, it has been the Italian. Many articles though, have painted Keane as some sort of caged animal, released following Ireland's pitiful demise, free to feast on the remains of a carcass destroyed by Spain. The headline writers have done a good job of stirring the pot, and of course with Keane it is a case of the cap fitting very snugly indeed. But when Keane's words are deconstructed free of any preconceptions about his personality, he makes some fine points about Ireland's continued failings. If your team had performed as abjectly as Ireland have at Euro 2012, I doubt you'd have the cheeriest disposition. Then again, you probably support a proper football team.
Bobby Hare @BobbyHare
I'm not okay I'm not okay, I'm not perfect, I'm not pretty, Confidence has left me,
One of our writers has a real passion for poetry, Andria Mackinnon prides herself on her skills to write deep and meaningful poetry and we're only too happy to showcase her talents in Into The Sunset.
I'm not fitting in, I'm not bad, I've been in pain and suffered. I'm not okay, I'm not good, I'm not afraid, I may NE happy on the outside, But inside, I'm Dyeing. Happiness has abandoned me, Sadness has lingered, Now anger fills me, I'm not okay.
She has feelings: If you think about it When you hit a female, Tell her she is worthless AND Always be mean to her when she is innocent, You are actually hurting her, You may N0T see it On the outside of her, But deep down, inside of her, You are killing her life!
GET INVOLVED! As those of you reading this probably know, Into The Sunset magazine is very much a work-in-progress, we're only now in the planning stage of Issue 2 and we can only hope you are impressed with what you've seen in Issue 1. We have put together a hard-working and committed team of young writers who want to get their work noticed, or adults who just wish to express themselves through writing. We're always looking at ways to expand our team and if you want to write freelance for the magazine you can write as much or as little as you want. We cover Sport, Music, Entertainment, Interviews, Popular Culture, Poetry, Art and so on, so on. There's no pressure, whether you want to help us out with articles, art, images or on the creative side (i.e. designing the magazine), we'll give you a platform to get your work noticed by an ever expanding audience.
MUSIC EDITOR We currently have a position open to be the music editor of Into The Sunset. Basically you'll filter through any album reviews, event overviews or anything else that comes in, make sure they are edited appropriately and forward them to Richard so they can go in the magazine.
WRITERS If you want to have the chance to showcase your writing talents with Into The Sunset, we're always looking at expanding the writing team whenever possible. You can write about mainstream issues like Sport, Film etc., or if you more the creative type we'd love to show off your poetry skills and your artistic qualities if you lean more towards that sort of creativity.
DESIGNERS Without professional help as yet, we've done a good job to put this issue together without the use of pro designers or a pro design program to help us.
If anybody out there wants a chance to get creative and help design certain aspects of the magazine, from layout, to colours and fonts, do get in touch with us.
AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE I JUST TOOK THE PRESSURE IN MY STRIDE
23-year old Louisa Lytton first burst onto our TV screens in 2005 when she joined Eastenders as a young GCSE student. After making a quick jump into the world of acting, Louisa has gone on to appear in several Films, TV shows and has taken part in more Theatre work as she grows as an actress. Here she talks about the pressures of being a young actress on a nationwide TV show, her growing charity work and her plans for the future.
Young, High & Dead will soon be hitting our screens talented actors such as Billy Murray was great too. in 2012, what can you tell us about the film and specifically your role in it? You’ve started to work more in the Film & Theatre industry in recent years rather than TV, was Theatre Young, High & Dead is an independent British horror film something you were interested in growing up?
about a group of five friends who decide to go camping, after their first night of alcohol and drug intoxication the trip descends into chaos and they quickly find themselves playing I trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School so was lucky to a game of cat and mouse with a killer. have training in dance and singing as well as acting. Theatre was always a passion of mine from musicals to straight plays. My role is Jenny, the feisty heroine addict who’s on a trip The immediate response from an audience and the with her partner, their relationship is clearly coming to an adrenaline you experience from every performance is end and the pressure of keeping him and her friends alive amazing. shows her strengths and weaknesses.
You were cast in Eastenders whilst still a teenager, was it difficult being cast in such high-profile story lines at a young age?
Outside of being an actress, those who you follow you on Twitter will know about your quest to trek to Machu Picchu for the Ben KinsellaTrust, could you tell us more about your pledge for those who aren’t aware of why you’re raising money?
I was still at school preparing for my GCSE’s when I landed the role, at such a young age I took the pressure in my stride and enjoyed every minute. Being involved in such heavy story Ben Kinsella was tragically murdered in June 2008, Ben was lines at such an inexperienced age was challenging but for all only sixteen when he was stabbed to death in an unnecessary act of violence that shocked the nation. the right reasons, getting to work so closely with such
Over the past two years the Ben Kinsella Trust (which was set up by Ben’s family shortly after the incident) has been developing an interactive exhibition which will educate both children and young people about the nature and devastating consequences of knife crime. In October myself, Brooke Kinsella and fifteen other friends will be trekking to Machu Picchu to raise money and awareness so that the exhibition can be used all over the UK in schools, stadiums and centres, and hopefully to one day build a youth centre in Ben’s name.
You also support other causes as well as being an ambassador for the Princes Trust. Has charity work always been a passion of yours outside of becoming an actress?
opportunity to be able to talk to young people about my experiences, give them advice and educate them about the industry.
You can donate to Louisa’s pledge to raise money for the Ben Kinsella Trust here:
To be able to use your spare time on other aspiring actors or young people who wish to be successful in any field is a great feeling, sometimes I feel I can achieve more from a day at these centres than on set.
Finally, you’re also scheduled to appear in several other projects in the next 12 months, what else can you tell us about your future, or what you would like to do in the next few years?
Richard Laverty @JournoRich
I have a cameo role in Noel Clarke’s new project The Knot which is set to hit the screens later in the year. I also start rehearsals soon for a Theatre production in The Princes Trust run some amazing courses London called A Broken Rose, as long as I am supporting young people in education and their future. Working from such a young age as an actress constantly growing as an actress and experiencing as and juggling education, facing confidence issues and much as I can I will be very happy. being in the public eye has given me a great
EA Sports: It's in the Game.... Or is it? Reiteration causes a loss of panache
he financial figures, and general opinion of a middle-aged committed geek, will tell you otherwise; but, for me, button-bashing, fist-pumping and heart-breaking moments are now nothing but a distant memory. In a weird way, despite not openly admitting this to my Xbox, I’ve lost my first love. Gaming, otherwise known as an activity for the socially awkward, is as popular as it’s ever been, despite by recent change of opinion. Recent figures suggest 69% of American Heads of Households play computer/ video games. In reality, what a frightening statistic – it’s safe to say gaming not in moderation leads to obesity, no surprise that as of August 2010 that over 70 million Americans were recorded obese, the link between the two are hardly a coincidence.
Brad Harper @thefootylad
some revolutionary changes before he left quietly, to the destruction of all involved. For a three-dimensional industry, it’s seemingly onedimensional. Stale. Repetitive. Boring – a few words to coincide with my feelings. The panache, or lack of it, has been replaced with now a lack of originality. I’ve seen it all before, but yet, when a game such as Modern Warfare 3 hits the shelves, the expectant audience will still live in hope that it manages to pay up to its hyping. As always, the original (or in this case Call of Duty 4) will always prevail. Why? Because at that point it’s a fresh, exciting storyline. Several years, and several failed attempts later to surpass its predecessor, the Modern Warfare series has been, well, lacklustre.
Infinity Ward and its army of fans will disagree. EA and its army of fans will disagree FIFA has no longevity, despite originating from the early 90’s. I asked myself am I now too “Staying in is the new staying out” is a phrase applicable to old for games, and at 17, I doubt that. The average age of a this article. In a recession fuelled world a night in a fantastical gamer is 33 in the United States of America – that means I’m universe is all the trend in the ‘Social Network’ era. The barely at my Gaming peak (a wonderkid, for all you Football technological advances have left the days of Tetris and Space Manager nuts out there.) Invaders behind, even though some will like the rustic, retro My boredom with it all has stemmed from EA’s Season Ticket, feel to the games of time gone by. The fashion writers call it which I must say at £17 a year is a bargain. With the ability to vintage; we do however life in a vintage era of entertainment, play EA Sports games pre-release, you manage to gain an but, despite the ever growing list of positives, we, as a nation, opinion and a sense of how the game will pan out. The have been staying in far too long. beauty of it is that after your 5 days of exclusivity, your ‘fun’ When FIFA 47 hits the shelves in late 2046 the potential real- has drained to an anti-climax, saving you £40 in the long run. ism will be staggering. I hope, for the benefit of my future To perhaps reinstate some enthusiasm on my part what great-grand children that EA, who we can only presume are needs to re-emerge is a new line of series that can outdate enhancing the FIFA series at that time, at least sort out the their predecessors. In all seriousness, as I debate whether my robotic, ugly looking crowd. Xbox Live subscription is worth £0.11 a day, my love affair The game itself will probably look different. Lionel Messi, who with my Xbox has turned into a waste of time. The has had to put up with sharing the front cover with Wayne entertainment factor that was once there is no longer with us Rooney for several years, will be nothing but a YouTube com- anymore; and my Xbox, which stands tall above an Adidas pilation and memories to share with unlucky folk younger Original shoebox, could be the next object that lands in my than ourselves. The changes may be radical, but for purposes bin, as quite frankly, despite sharing our most intimate of “don’t fix what isn’t broken” the concept of the game moments together, the relationship we now have has ran its won’t change one bit – unless Sep Blatter, who would have course. probably passed the buck to another corrupt official, made
The Wimbledon Conundrum There's no doubt that in the UK, and across most of the world, Wimbledon is one of the most anticipated sporting events there is. From Henman Hill to Murray Mount the sporting fans of the country put aside their other commitments for 2 weeks as the greatest Tennis players in the world descend upon Wimbledon to compete for the most historic trophy in the sport. Last year, Petra Kvitova and Novak Djokovic walked away with the trophies, but it could be a very different story this year, particularly in the women's game. It's become common knowledge that the tide of power is beginning to shift. Gone are the days where Serena & Venus Williams would dominate the women's game, but now there are a host of names who have competed for the recent slams. Kvitova, along with Li Na, Wozniacki, Azarenka, Stosur, Errani and Lisicki have replaced the old candidates to the Williams throne such as Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic. One woman who has stuck though is Maria Sharapova, a dominant French Open saw Maria take home the trophy in style. We'd all love to see the Brits challenge this year but with women's Tennis as competitive as ever, it's unlikely we'll see our young girls such as Laura Robson emerge just yet.
Despite Laura's heroic performance against Sharapova last year, there are at least 15 players you could realistically see challenging for the women's title, so it's unlikely we'll see our girls challenging into the second week. Unfortunately it's rather the same story in the men's, Andy Murray is one of the most naturally gifted players Britain has seen, but he's turned up in an era where we are witnessing three of the greatest to ever play the game.
Novak Djokovic finally conquered his foes last year to take his first Wimbledon title, but Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both showed they were still willing to fight until the death to stop Djokovic getting into a run of dominance which saw Federer break record and record over the last decade. And behind Murray, there is another tier of players waiting to attack the big four should they be given the opportunity this summer. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer both gave good accounts of themselves at the French Open, whilst Janko Tipsarevic is fast becoming another feared player on the tour. Josh Isner has also broken into the top 10 and there a few more names who are on the cusp of making quarter-finals regularly. Nicolas Almagro has had a solid year whilst Milos Raonic and Bernard Tomic will become regular competitors in the next few years.
Unfortunately the last 18 months has also seen the decline of some great names of the last Roddick is now 33rd in the world and it appears his best days are behind him, Nikolay out of the top 40 and Lleyton Hewitt isn't even in the top 100. It's sad to leave some great but we probably won't see much of the three this year or in years to come. On the plus side some other top youngsters on their way up through the youth ranks, Britain's Liam Broady set to turn pro sometime soon, American duo Donald Young and Ryan Harrison are on their way up the rankings and could soon find themselves challenging the big boys. Gregor Dimitrov is another man climbing the rankings as the power in the men's game starts to shit again. It's clear to everyone that Roger Federer's best days are behind him, we have to hope we get some young British blood in to really challenge in the future, and that all our hopes aren't pinned on one man in the men's year in, year out.
decade. Andy Davydenko is now names languishing there are looks both
In terms of Wimbledon 2012, it's difficult to look past Maria Sharapova after her dominant performance in France, but I fancy Radwanska or Sam Stosur to really challenge for the title. In the men's, it is hard to look past Djokovic, and Nadal will probably be the man to push him.
Richard Laverty @JournoRich
Andy Roddick was one of the biggest things around when he broke onto the ATP tour as a teenager over ten years ago now. In 2003 he won his first Grand Slam at the US Open and reached the top of the rankings as a mere 21-year old. Unfortunately for Roddick, he was coming into one of the toughest era's Tennis has ever seen, including the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but Roddick continued to win plenty of ATP tournaments without adding another Grand Slam to his name. Now, reaching his thirties, Roddick appears to have declined severely , going out of the French Open without a fight and no one really gives him a chance of competing competitively at a Grand Slam again, so what has happened to the onetime superstar?
here is no doubt that when Andy Roddick hangs up his racquet at the end of his career, he will be remembered as one of the greatest American tennis players to play the game. Back in 2003, we saw a young, dynamic, 21-year old trounce the rest of the field in the US Open, securing his one, and only, Grand Slam and claiming the world number 1 spot.
His status as America’s new tennis hope in the post-Pete Sampras era was born. His triumph, along with Roger Federer’s maiden Wimbledon title earlier in the year, undoubtedly sparked global interest in the sport. He has carried the American flag in men’s tennis almost single-handedly since, while his sharp and witty character has won many fans around the world. And with that serve, so emphatically exhibited in 2003, we fully expected Roddick to go on and dominate men’s tennis for another decade. Looking back from 2012, we realise our forecast was wrong. No more Grand Slams have followed Roddick’s 2003 success, although he has come mightily close at Wimbledon on three occasions, only to be denied on each occasion by Roger Federer. Now ranked 27 in the world, third in the US behind Mardy Fish and John Isner and on the verge of turning 30, it appears as though Roddick’s ability to compete at the highest level is over. Roddick’s serve has been described by some commentators as the greatest in the sport’s history, but it has not been enough for him to achieve consistent Grand Slam glory. Let’s look at some statistics. Clearly, Roddick’s serve performance has been remarkably consistent over the years as the chart on the page to the right shows. His first serve percentage in 2003 was distinctly average, yet he was able to crush his opponents. Although Roddick’s first serve percentage has steadily improved over the years, the percentage of points won on his first serve and percentage of service games won have not followed this trend. If we dig even deeper, the reasons behind this serving paradox become much clearer. The tennis players Roddick faces today are vastly different to those back in 2003. Taking the top ten players from June 16th 2003, the average height measured up at exactly six foot and the average weight was 175 pounds.
First serve %
First serve points won %
Service games won %
Today’s top ten have an average height of 6 foot 3 inches and a weight of 194 pounds. Roddick, who is 6 foot 2 and 195 pounds, was bigger and stronger than most players in 2003, but is now probably just below the norm today. Perhaps if Roddick was playing instead of fellow American Pete Sampras in the 1990s he would have won just as many Grand Slams, but today’s incredibly competitive field has limited his chances. The statistics prove that today’s top players are fitter than ever before, meaning many can match Roddick’s serving ferocity. The need to deal with these serves has in turn led to an emphasis on the returning game; just look at how good the likes of Murray, Nadal and Djokovic are at returning the huge serves of Karlovic, Isner and Roddick himself. The diagram below shows Roddick’s serve placement against Federer in the 2005 Wimbledon final. What is most fascinating is that although many of Roddick’s serves are placed close to the corners, he hit only seven aces to Federer’s 11. In many cases, Federer was able to execute most returns with a simple backhand block. Then, once the serve is returned, today’s fitter, stronger players excel in the longer rallies. This is where Roddick has historically struggled; his touch at the net and his ability to hit backhand winners, for example, often lets him down. His inability to mix up his game contrasts with the array of shots the best players possess in their armoury to keep their opponents guessing. For instance, Federer can deploy a range of drop shots, slices, squash shots, you name it, which is why he is still going strong into his 30s. In addition, although Federer’s serve averages at 115-120mph (around 20mph slower than Roddick’s), his ability to hit different spots with equal success makes him highly unpredictable to face. You could also argue Rafael Nadal has adapted his game hugely from his comfort zone on clay in order to win Wimbledon twice. By contrast, Roddick’s style has barely evolved in his career; he is still hoping his powerful, and increasingly predictable, serve can blow away more formidable and varied opponents. It is true that Coach Larry Stefanki has improved Roddick’s tactics, fitness and overall performance, but even this hasn’t been enough to win another Grand Slam and stay in the top ten. Roddick’s only remaining chance of Grand Slam success is going to be at Wimbledon, because the surface does not tend to favour tall players with the ball staying low.
He surprised everyone back in 2009 by reaching the final and pushing Federer all the way, but it is difficult to see any Ivanisevicstyle heroics happening this time round. Far more players are adapting to grass in the top ten, particularly Nadal and, as we saw last year, Djokovic, making Roddick’s task nigh on impossible. A key evolution in modern tennis – the slowing pace of many surfaces – has also been pivotal in Roddick’s growing struggles. This is particularly the case on grass, the fastest surface in tennis, as Roddick’s serve used to stay very low and travel fast after hitting the ground. Today, though, the ball reacts differently to courts such as Wimbledon as it bounces up higher. This is crucial when we analyse Roddick’s serve because players have approximately a tenth of a second longer to react and play a decent
return than they did 20 years ago. Even the hard courts have become noticeably slower recently, especially at the US Open, which was probably among the fastest courts in the world a few years ago. In short, players such as Roddick are getting fewer free points on their serve, which is why we are seeing more gruelling rallies, in which today’s bigger, stronger players excel in. It seems as though Roddick and his coaches have been so transfixed by his powerful serve that other aspects of his game have been ignored, with adverse consequences. The courts have slowed, players Roddick faces today are physically superior and he has too often been found to have no Plan B. Of course, Roddick has suffered from a number of injuries over the last few years, which have limited his ability to play over 20 tournaments a year. Roddick’s injury
problems have stemmed from his consistently narrow game plan in every tournament and on every surface he plays. The Andy Roddick case is a demonstration to the tennis world that there is no longer any top ten space for a one-trick pony.
Jack Bradshaw @1992bradders
A young girl about to step out of her families shadows It’s easy to see why Daisy Head may very well have the world at her feet, daughter of well-known actor Anthony Head, and her sister hasbecome one of the faces of The Inbetweeners, playing Simon’s love interest Carli. But Daisy certainly doesn’t lack confidence, inspiration or a spring in her step as she spoke to me about her hopes for the future in the acting industry. Talking to her, it was easy to forget Daisy’s the same age as me, she seemed to have a very good idea of where she’d like to go and what she’d like to do, and seems to have the confidence and backing to make it all the way. Daisy was raised in Somerset but as her Dad was the star of Buffy whilst she was growing up, a lot of her time was spent in Hollywood watching, learning and being inspired by what was around her.
“Of course, my Dad has been a big influence on me,” said Daisy as she recalled her younger days. “It was something I got into at a young age and he’s been a real help in me becoming an actress.” Daisy trained in Theatre & Dance and did a lot of Theatre work growing up in Bath and the Theatre Royal near her home. She landed her first TV role ten years ago in Rose and Maloney, before going on to appear in Trial & Retribution, Doc Martin and several episodes of Holby City. Her break came in 2010 when she appeared in the musical Rules of Love, and went on to appear in her first film, The Last Seven alongside the likes of Danny Dyer.
“It was great to be involved in a film, I wasn’t star struck, it wasn’t a big budget thriller so it felt much easier to be a part of but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was very professional,” Daisy recalled. The 20-year old revealed she’d just missed out on a lead role in a film in 2012, she couldn’t reveal the name of the film but being considered for such roles shows how Daisy has progressed and matured in the last few years. At the beginning of the year she appeared in the TV movie Endeavour on ITV, the spin-off to Inspector Morse, playing Jenny Crisp in a cast that included Michael Matus, Shaun Evans, Jenna Harrison & Danny Webb. The programme received positive reviews and Daisy was only too happy to play her part.
“It was fabulous to be a part of, it was such a great cast and it was brilliant to film,” she said. “I played a young girl with a good role in the story, it was really enjoyable to be around the cast and I’d love to do something similar again.” She’s certainly followed in the footsteps of her sister by appearing in shows such as Doc Martin and Trial & Retribution, but Daisy is part of a close-knit family and the support is clearly strong as she appears at Premiere’s with both Emily and her Father regularly.
Despite her break into the world of film & TV recently, Daisy is still keen to continue her roles in Theatre Production, and is returning to Los Angeles in a few weeks to further enhance her skills and knowledge of Theatre in the States.
“It’s something I’ve always loved doing and I definitely want to keep going," she said, referring to her passion for Theatre. “I’m going back to America this month and hopefully I can get a lot out of it.” To her credit, Daisy’s not getting ahead of herself, when I asked about her hopes for the next few years,
she accepted it’s an unpredictable industry and doesn’t want to put a marker on where she wants to be in five or ten years’ time.
“I think it’s difficult to say, I’m very lucky to have had the roles I have been given and the backing I’ve had from my family is always something which makes me want to continue. But you can’t predict where you’ll be because you don’t know what’s going to come up. I’d love to continue doing what I’ve done so far, Theatre and TV but I just want to take things one step at a time.”
Daisy’s clearly a very level-headed girl, and as I said before, for someone the same age as me it’s a credit to her that she’s keeping her feet well and truly on the ground. Whether it is in England over in the US, I’m sure from talking to her that Daisy has a big future in acting, she’s been brought up well and has all the attributes to go all the way.
Daisy's currently in Los Angeles trying to achieve her aims of going to Theatre work when she returns to the UK to pursue her career later this year.
Richard Laverty @JournoRich
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THE LEGACY OF HARRY REDKNAPP Bobby Hare reacts to the departure of Harry Redknapp from Tottenham Hotspur and lays some myths to rest... When Fabio Capello resigned as England manager back in February, the media had it all worked out. Harry Redknapp was going to secure Tottenham a Champions League spot as a parting gift before taking the national team reins. It was a storyline that suited Redknapp, and each time he was questioned about it, he towed the party line: he wasn’t thinking about it, he was only thinking about Spurs, it’d be a great honour, he’d see what was going to happen. Harry Redknapp, England Manager Designate. Spurs travelled to Arsenal at the back end of February knowing a win would’ve extended the lead over their north London rivals to 13 points. They were trounced 5-2, having led 0-2. Safe to say someone didn’t read the script. From that point on, old fragilities resurfaced and Redknapp’s side failed to convince for the remainder of the season, finishing fourth. Normally this would have been of little consequence. Sure, Arsenal would once again hold the bragging rights, but Champions League football would be secured. And then Chelsea impossibly overcame Barcelona and Bayern Munich in Europe, effectively relegating Spurs to fifth. Some pointed to dreadful luck when explaining away Spurs’ entry into next season’s Europa League, but this is a hollow explanation. When Everton suffered the same fate in the 2004/05 season, they were truly unfortunate given that they had never held such a commanding lead during their running battle with Liverpool. This season, Spurs have been slightly unlucky that the landscape shifted, but such was the magnitude of their advantage over Arsenal in February, it should never have come down to hard luck stories. So Redknapp’s time at Spurs ultimately came to a disappointing end, but no matter, because his full three seasons at the club had yielded some of the finest attacking football in the Premier League era. Premier League managers were polled and Spurs were overwhelmingly the team that they would pay to watch. What was this based on?
'ARRY's TIME AT SPURS October 2008 - Redknapp takes charge of Spurs after a compensation package is finally agreed with Portsmouth. January 2009 - Redknapp spends big to bring Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane back to the club as well as Wigan's Wilson Palacios. March 2009 - 'Arry leads Spurs to Wembley but they're defeated on penalties by Man United in the Carling Cup final. May 2010 - Spurs qualify for the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Man City. April 2011 - Spurs' Champions League run comes to an end against Real Madrid. May/June 2012 - Spurs finish 4th but still miss out on the Champions League, later Redknapp is sacked as Spurs manager.
In his three full league campaigns, Spurs notched 168 goals (Man City 226, Arsenal 229, Chelsea 237 and Man United 253). What’s more, Redknapp failed to deliver a trophy to the White Hart Lane faithful (Juande Ramos did) and didn’t qualify to the Champions League in two out his three full seasons (a record matched by Martin Jol who was sacked after two fifth place finishes). By what barometer have Spurs been the league’s great entertainers?
Spurs’ squad is haphazard and lacking in depth. Brad Friedel has long since entered midlife crisis territory, doubts persist over the state of Ledley King’s knees, while William Gallas and Michael Dawson’s fitness records are increasingly patchy. Granted, their midfield options are strong, yet there is only one suitable fit for the centre forward position – Emmanuel Adebayor – and it has yet to be established whether he will sign on permanently. Given Spurs’ reliance on old-fashioned width, it is surprising that Redknapp never stocked his squad with Andre Villas-Boas is linked to the more wingers. In the absence of Aaron vacancy, as is Roberto Martinez. The Lennon last season, the space for Luka former may still be tainted by an Modric and Gareth Bale to operate in abortive spell at Chelsea, while the latter noticeably diminished, as did their in fluence, with right side of the team has only experienced the heat of a noticeably narrower. Over the past three relegation battle. David Moyes would be years, Redknapp purchased the likes of a terrific option for Daniel Levy, though Niko Kranjcar and Steven Pienaar, both Everton are likely to fiercely guard talented players, but both outside-in against an approach. Moyes would bring wide men who don’t fit the Spurs template. a vital quality to Spurs that Redknapp has habitually failed to exhibit throughout his nomadic career: build a All of this is not to denigrate Redknapp’s achievements as Spurs manager. He took football club sustainably for the long them to a position of real comfort in his term. maiden season after coming in with just
two points on the board from eight games (not sure whether that stat has been mentioned before). Praise for that achievement should be regulated though, given that it was a false position for a club of Spurs’ standing. He also took the club into the Champions League where they beat reigning champions Inter Milan at home. But it should not be overlooked that they were humbled and sent packing from the competition after a 5-0 aggregate reverse at the hands of Real Madrid. Spurs have occasionally played some swashbuckling attacking football, but it’s hard to escape the sense that Redknapp’s friends in the media have helped to inflate his and the club’s achievements to far greater levels than are deserved. One of the most overrated spells in English club football history has come to an end.
Bobby Hare @BobbyHare
DARK SHADOWS..... The original 1966-1971 Dark Shadows television series, credited by some as the forefather of other supernatural series like Buffy and True Blood, has been remade, revived and rebooted a number of times, and this is probably the best and most successful of the lot. Bringing the story to everyone via the big screen, it has a very attractive cast and lacks the laughably poor costumes, acting and general shoddy production of its ancestor. Also, despite not being a profit just yet, it has made over $140 million – even in the foreboding shadow of The Avengers! Finally, the humble lad who writes the words before you thought it was a bloody decent film. I certainly have fewer complaints and more compliments than I anticipated, given the 5.4/10 score on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.
perfected in his book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for the archaic voice of the character. Depp’s gentlemanly manner of speech, used to varying degrees
throughout, and shock at adjusting to the seventies (not overused) provide the majority of the laughs. There were some Without a doubt, the standout feature was sufficiently intelligent funnies, almost all Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, an provided by Depp. The prime example, his eighteenth-century man cursed to a life of ordering of singer Karen Carpenter to, vampirism, reawakened in 1972. Story and “reveal yourself, tiny songstress!” whilst script writer Seth Grahame-Smith she warbles from the television. Once or presumably drew on the style of writing he twice a ‘joke’ just didn’t do it for me, the
Depp-Green sex scene springing to mind, but on the whole, a solid, if familiar, performance, and one that Burton relies on a bit too much. In fact, most of the main characters were brought to life well, some perhaps not being given enough screen time for real development, but amusement (rather than hilarity, for I found myself continuously smiling, but rarely laughing) standards were raised by Eva Green’s seductively evil witch Angelique and Chloë Grace Moretz’s moody teenager. As is made obvious by the arty nature of Burton and co. (and not forgetting the $150 million budget), any part of the film that doesn’t feel very ‘professional’ or ‘proper’ is likely done knowingly and for artistic reasons. Almost panto-like acting in the opening scene is undeniably a reference to the original (in which it is rumoured most scenes were done in one take). Similarly, the make-up is far from subtle, again perhaps a nod to the original – or just the sixties/seventies in general. Either way, it fits in nicely with the hallucinatory mood of the whole picture. If you do not enjoy such things, perhaps try The Avengers instead.
With Burton, Depp & Bonham-Carter, obviously....
Special effects and costumes were elaborate and ambitious yet, knowing what the original series was like, this is very easy to look past. It is also worth noting that the peculiar sexiness makes the film inappropriate for children. Even without said sexual nature, I don’t believe it is a kid’s film. Upon noticing a group of irritating, giggling, mobile phone-using twelve-year-old girls sat in the same row as me in the cinema, I immediately thought, “They won’t appreciate or understand this one bit.” And going on the basis that they continued to light up the room with their phones throughout, I was right.
but in cohesion; in other words, plot devices are too obvious and the switch between scenes isn’t entirely smooth. This may mean some viewers will find themselves pondering the creation of the film in an “I wonder how they did that,” way, as opposed to being completely absorbed in escapism.
In all honesty, if you have felt uncertain about anything Burton has done before, you probably won’t enjoy Dark Shadows because it’s not his best. If, like me, you value the wild weirdness and the weird wildness of the man, you will adore it as you did his previous productions.
However the feel of the film, the physical One for the Burton fans then. Why? Because aspects – characters, speech, setting, it’s very... Burton. costume, etc. – are what will enthral watchers. Perhaps not for the full 113 minutes, but what the plot lacks is made up for in the world we are thrown into, a world Burton instinctively creates a variation of with It is the feel of the film that makes it stand every film. In practically everything he has out. Stripped back to just the plot, Shadows is ever made, Burton uses this dark, gothic surprisingly simple for a Burton production, locale that is often overrun with evil. Each film which are usually known for having stories as varies, of course. No two are the same: strange as the eccentric characters and the whether he changes era, geographical mischievously menacing settings they often location or the mode of filmmaking offer us. Instead, this is formulaic and (stop-motion or live-action), all link in some predictable for the most part, a typical way, like siblings. Burton has created himself a @WelshSam1995 blockbuster if it weren’t for the obscurity of brand more recognisable than any modern people and place. filmmaker has, and Dark Shadows fits right in with Frankenweenie, Batman, Corpse Bride or In addition to being formulaic, the storyline is either of his Dahl adaptations. a little transparent, not only in predictability
The original 1961 cast of Dark Shadows
THE QUEEN'S DIAMOND JUBILEE
The Bonnaroo Music Festival is one of the biggest music events held in the USA. Since its inception in 2002, Bonnaroo has attracted some of the biggest acts this year the likes of Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bon Iver performed for the thousands of fans who flocked to Tennessee last week. We sent our writer Kirill off to the festival to cover the event and Into The Sunset brings you his account of the madness surrounding Bonnaroo.
1 hours on the road, through the night, just hit the 24 hour wide awake mark. We arrive in a giant, empty cornfield. Son enough though it will be packed with hippies, stoners, ravers, artists, musicians, drug dealers, parents, children… 80,000 of the most diverse music lovers and party goers I’ve seen packed into a 3 square km of farmland. This is Bonnaroo - one of the biggest American music festivals, spanning 4 days in the trailer park hills of Manchester, Tennessee. As colorful and different as the visitors are, they are there for one reason only: get utterly and irrepressibly fucked up, lose their mind in the midst of an electric breakdown and find it again in the mellow waves of an acoustic symphony, or under a tree in the rain (yours truly). Bloodshot eyes, stumbling troll walks and contorted sleeping bodies populate the grounds and if someone you know went, and claimed it was to relax and get away from the daily grind you have my permission to call them a bloody liar, they probably couldn’t remember more than 3 bands that they saw. Alas, as rampant, encouraged and open as drug abuse is… it only adds to the companionship and positive mood of the festival. Water and hugs are shared amongst complete strangers and new friends are made at the end of every encore. I had the chance to break some cultural barriers and meet people I would never interact with, apparently not everyone in America has the internet which kind of blew my mind. Regardless... music is a universal language, it brings together all shapes, sizes and colors – and I’m not even going to talk about the
astronauts, pandas, fishnets, fairies and whatever other outrageous and queer types I had the pleasure to run into. Now that the groundwork is laid, lets get to the music. 20 hours a day for 4 days, it does not stop but only gives you a chance to rest for a couple hours and then jumps back into the ring, needless to say it always wins. I realized it while sitting at my campsite, watching the sunrise and listening in the distance to the roar of applause as Umphrey's McGee finished their 5 hour set - just like they promised “we’re gonna play till the sun rises” (http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=BY4liMyRAak). Almost all genres save for opera are present and it’s all wonderful, there is no such thing as bad music, just different tastes. As Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers put it at the end of their headlining slot - “support all music” – which is easy to do at Bonnaroo. Between the 4 main, large stages and few tents and mini stages, you hear music at every turn. Rap shows by Blackstar’s Talib Kwali and Mos Def (http://www.youtube.com/ watch? v=AurdAOD4rMQ&feature=endscreen&N R=1) amazed lyrically and chilled melodies from Bon Iver (http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=5dG3UxZ5sdI) lulled you to sleep. Among the dozens of acts it’s hard to remember them all, more so to pick out a few of the best as everything from the sleep deprived weekend blends into a satisfying warm static of lights and sounds. Styles ranged from the flamenco rapid fire of Rodrigo y Gabriella (http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N2EHrb2cs) to the bluegrass twang of the Infamous String Dusters (http:// www.youtube.com/watch? v=iTUBSdKdYdw&feature=relmfu).
The headliners were a bit more mainstream: the Red Hot Chili Peppers (http:// www.youtube.com/watch? v=7ZMQzmmCExs) traded their punk edge for the big sound of arena rock from their new album. The experimental yet smooth jams of Phish (http:// www.youtube.com/watch? v=xsRL0_2znag) brought out the 2nd generation of deadheads as fireworks and glow sticks erupted through the crowd. The highlight of the weekend was on Friday night as Radiohead (http:// www.youtube.com/watch? v=SXI32GHRjvg) provided for a serious mindfuck session with its spot on delivery of loops, effects and the giant hanging flat screens to complement their light show. Each set brought something special for a different scene and the crowds filled out as far as your camera phone could see. Then after the headliners are done, comes the dark, electric night, and
the festival gets a little weird. EDM sets by Mimosa (http:// www.youtube.com/watch? v=NsyF2O-rIYs&feature=related), Skrillex(http:// www.youtube.com/watch? v=suFU1BgCMBo&feature=relate d) and Flying Lotus (http:// www.youtube.com/watch? v=EEpZTi5b0xU) light up the night calling out to all the wide eyed bass heads who live to hear that explosive deep subwoofer rumble, and sure as hell they got it, for hours on end, till the sun rises. Crowds sway and jump at
every drop like being pulled by strings connected to the DJ table, and after those shows are done your likely to stumble into a random campsite where the turntables are still spinning and exhausted partygoers rally for one more set. If youâ€™ve made it that long, give the person next to you a well-earned hug, head back to your tent to rest for a couple hours and wait to be awakened by the hot, beaming Tennessee sun to start the festivities all over again.
Bond, Tron, True grit, and Batman. Bond, Tron, True grit, and Batman. Re-vamps and remakes seem to be the only films produced and distributed by Hollywood studios. So why all the remakes and rewrites? Has Hollywood run out of ideas? No. Not necessarily. They just lost confidence in independent/indie films. In the world of big studios, indie films are left out to dry. Some people think it’s due to the artsy avant-garde aspect of these small budget flics. A part of me agrees with the masses that a three-hour silent film of a man sitting in a chair is as much fun as staring at the wall. Though, not all indies are deep artist interpretations, most of them are produced by the smaller studios that aren’t as popular as Disney or Universal. These studios work with a variety of directors and actors/actresses some of whom aren’t mainstream or A-listers. However, the “big Hollywood studios” are not going to invest $5 million into a film that might yield $10 million at the box office. They are going to produce the film that has a $100 million budget and quadruples their investment.
Somewhere in a boardroom… “Yea I heard Michael spent most of his budget on special effects, explosions, and CGI. Oh and a couple of C-list actors.”
Roger Moore before that. And if your parents told you about it, or if you have rented the classics from the library, Sean Connery was the original secret agent with the license to kill.
“ Well the numbers for Transformers came in, it grossed approximately $750 million world wide.”
Now you might only know Mr. Connery as Allan Quatermain from The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.
“Well, we covered our production budget, give him another $100mil lets see if we can do it again.”
Even though Hollywood’s spewing out movies like Jack and Jill, there is one benefit from the mind numbing idiocy.
A few years later… As the big studio movies get worse, MICHAEL BAY’S TRANSFORMERS 2 AND more people are turning towards independent films. Interest for TRANSFORMERS 3 independent films, and attendance at film festivals are steadily growing. With As much as I love to hate on Michael more and more participation, the Bay, what do you expect from a movie festivals are allowing more entries into about gigantic robot aliens trying to take their competitions and better rewards over the Earth? for those that win. Horrible acting, and a lot of explosions. The fight scenes were pretty entertaining though, and it did have some impressive CGI. However, box office numbers dictate whether or not a sequel will be made, thank god we won’t see another Dragonball flop. But once a franchise is successful that means it can be rebooted, again and again.
The exponential growth in technology also promotes independent films. One doesn’t need a huge crew and expensive equipment to make a quality film. HD cameras are more affordable than ever, and almost anyone can learn how to use software like Final Cut and Aftereffects. Your local theatre is most likely a “select theatre” playing an indie film disturbed by a bigger studio. So the next time you’re contemplating watching a movie, pass up The Smurfs and check out that movie you probably didn’t hear about.
Aside from the budgeting issues, studios won’t waste their time on a film that has Our favourite MI6 agent James Bond, no guarantee of yielding a profit, hence 007, is a perfect example of a franchise Enjoy the show! all the remakes and revamps of old reboot. franchises. Growing up, James Bond was played by Selling out makes money. Pierce Brosnan, not Daniel Craig. If you’re old enough to remember, it was
Jason Cho @SneakyCho
hope you're enjoying what you've read so far, a lot of hard work has gone into this and we are only at the beginning of our adventure. Very few people reading this will know me or know the traits that make me who I am. The image on the page next to this has a significant meaning to not just my life but everybody's life. I'm autistic, or more to the point, I have Asperger's Syndrome. My story is different, different in everyday life to everybody who I've let write in this magazine, my friends reading it and complete strangers reading whom I'll never meet.
I've never had any cheap jokes made at the fact I have Asperger's, nor would I ever expect any. In the past 12 months I've lived through three of my sporting idols die, ex-footballer Gary Speed last year, as did Motoracing duo Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli. Their stories ended in tragic ways, but different ways. Dan & Marco died doing what they loved, whilst what happened to Gary Speed was a tragic accident which nobody could foresee.
The term 'You Only Live Once' has been banded around a little too much for my liking lately, but in some circumstances it rings a whole lot of truth. Everybody out there has the power to decide how they live their life, what moments define their paths through the world, whether they're a fellow sufferer of Asperger's, whether they're disabled, physically or mentally. Mental pain can sometimes be a greater thing to overcome than physical pain, physical pain will always go away, mental pain sometimes doesn't. I'm sure most people who decided to keep reading this have been through some sort of mental pain in their life. The end of a relationship, a close friend or family member passing away or something else which shapes their future and the choices they make.
Journalism and writing is sometimes a passion of mine to take away the stress of everyday life, and I've loved working on Issue 1 with some truly talented young writers that I've encountered over the last six weeks. Today is the beginning of a journey which will hopefully last a very long time. I'm committed, my team are committed and I can safely say that we have the power that this is not how the story is going to end.
We'll be back in a month or so with Issue 2, I'll be in Australia producing and editing from the other side of the world, as I said at the top of this piece, I hope you've enjoyed what you've read, I hope you continue to enjoy what you read and I hope you stay with our journey, because we're going to bring you some top draw stuff in the near future.
Thank you. Rich x
With our famous British weather showing its true colours these last few weeks fashion lovers have been unsure which wardrobe to debut. With the burst of sunshine we had we were all quick to pull out our new dresses, saddles and shorts however as the jubilee weekend brought back our typical London rain and wind we have all been forced to return to some of our winter faithful’s. This summer in London will allow all fashionista’s to show off their individuality- with an array of exciting events that have pulled out the patriotism in us all. This jubilee weekend has seen a flurry of red white and blue, with more jubilee manicures and outfits than anyone can keep up with. We can now see our country colours along all high street shops windows as we will no doubt see this trend all throughout the this summer as we will continue to fly the flag during the up and coming Olympics. Summer is undoubtedly the highlight of every Londoner's year, with beer gardens, festivals, garden parties and most importantly summer sales- every day introduces an opportunity to dress up and show off your style. As London is such a vast and exciting city there is always an event to suit even the most unique of taste- as some escape to the country for festivals or quaint weekends away others choose to remain within the hustle and bustle of this crazy city. The vogue festival has seen a new era of festival that introduced the fabulous and exclusive world of vogue to the masses. At £70 a ticket (cheaper than most regular festivals) fashion enthusiasts could experience this elusive world with conferences with Stella McCartney and Christopher Bailey. This event was the perfect way to kick off a fabulous summer. Following this the city is abuzz with the imminent arrival of Victoria's Secret , the famous American brand will be opening two UK stores one in Stratford and a flagship store in Bond Street. With excitement already building the launch will no doubt bring out half of London especially with the rumoured appearance of the Victoria's Secret model aka the Angels. Events like these, living in a city such as London anyone can indulge themselves with their fashion- and will the spotlight being held over us all summer long we better make sure we do!
Georgina Ardill @GeorginaArdill
Being a teenager myself, I can easily relate to how trying to combine the world of fashion with teenage life can sometimes be difficult, especially given the largely judgemental society we live in. However over time, I have found that keeping up with fashions and being ‘socially suitable’ isn’t as difficult as some teens may think, and it is only hard if you decide to make it hard. First of all, well how is being ‘fashionable’ defined? Well, truth is, it isn’t. Being fashionable is all about being comfortable and confident in your own clothes, and styling yourself how you want, to the point where you find your own self tasteful and fashionable enough. As Alexander McQueen once said "It’s a new era in fashion - there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together." And for a teenager, that is exactly it. As much as we would like to, most of us don’t earn our own money to be able to buy designer clothes and keep up with the all the trends, however, we make our own through our different tastes in music genres, and in relation to our friends and feelings, all which influence our tastes. There really are no rules when it comes to teen fashion, and although different trends will come and go, it is not compulsory to follow them all. Having spoken to mums, aunties and other women, who have all been there as teenagers trying to fit in with latest trends in fashion, it is apparent that your teen period is an area of self-discovery and experimentation. We cannot hope to always get it right, as much as we are pressured by society and peers – mistakes will always happen, and we will each have that item of clothing that was such a mistake with hindsight! Even celebrities, who have access to stylists and the top designers get it wrong from time to time – everyone has seen those ‘outfit rate and slate’ articles in fashion magazines that show just how scrutinised we are. Fashion should, above all, be fun and individual. It should be something to enjoy and a creative process and not a demand from society to be a clone. Throughout time people will always judge others when it comes to fashion. The trick is to overcome this by being unique, passionate and confident – by just being you.
A V E N
"What do we do?"
"We get ready..."
E R S 50
W Sam Lewis @WelshSam1995
ell, well, well. Aside from being the thirdhighest grossing film ever, The Avengers (a.k.a. Avengers Assemble in Britain) is an all-out wrecking ball of humour, intelligence and action – combined breautifully by director Joss Whedon – that flies right out of the screen and smacks you in the chops whether you like it or not. And the last six words above are no lie; I’m not entirely certain why, but the word ‘cynic’ would go some way towards describing my pre-emptive feelings for the film as I entered the cinema. The unwaveringly brilliant reviews from critics and cinemagoers tickled my inherent hate for all things too popular, if such things do exist. Its greediness at the box office – stealing thunder and money from other pieces of prime filmmaking such as Dark Shadows, Marley, and The Raid – probably didn’t help either. However it matters not the reason for my dislike, nor the fact that I did, once upon a time, presume to
A S S E M B L E
dislike it, for I enjoyed the film immensely. Of course, I had complaints. The Sci-Fi-ish element introduced by demi-gods Thor and evil adoptive brother Loki (played by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston respectively) both of whom hail from Asgard, a location I enjoy now no more than I did upon first watching last year’s Thor - was not my thing. The “Tesseract” (a cube of sustainable power that causes a tiff or two) and the presence of alien races and such seem way too far into the realms of Sci-Fi, and could well alienate those expecting a standard superhero flick. I’m sorry to be vague, but it’s better if I don’t write the whole plot for you, and so I will settle on saying that the first act focuses heavily on the above “Sci-Fi-ish element”, and so I was mildly put off by this. Others, however, will have no qualms and so this is more of a personal complaint than an objective one. Other than this, the film’s first half acts as an introduction to plot, naturally, but also to each character, making for a formulaic yet more than watchable hour. Though it is possible to say that the sheer mass of characters is overwhelming, director and writer Whedon, a self-confessed fan of the original comics, handles most sparingly yet lovingly.
which I shan’t shed further light upon here. Tom Hiddleston plays his part well, though he didn’t match his transition from good to slimily evil in Thor, instead being more wholly villainous and therefore more predictable and less frightening. In summary of the first half, it serves the film well, and while it could be called too long, I’d deem it more a body-builder than beer-bellied builder, with not a boring moment. As for the second half, this is when director, crew and cast really let fly, all fully aware of the reason the audience is watching: action, glorious action. And glorious it is, lasting a good hour of the 143-minute mega-movie and blowing the proverbial socks off me. It would appear my wishes were granted when I criticised Thor for not having enough action set on Earth, as the destructive battle based in The Big Apple itself, good old New York City, is, to recycle a word, breautiful. Not once did I tire of seeing skyscrapers topple and strange alien-dudes take arrows to the head. Not once did I wish the scuffle could change setting or hold off for a breather. Not once did the smile on my face falter.
Seriously, if you’re looking for an action behemoth, look no All put on a good show on the acting front, too: Downey Jr. further. I can see why people would compare this to 2011’s (Iron Man) is sharp and amusing, while Chris Evans (Captain Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a film even more abundant America) is blunderingly aggressive and argumentative one with epic fight scenes and CGI. However that’s all Transformers moment, then breaking up a barney the next, also constantly was; a pretty and bloated bag of air and nothingness – poor playing on the I-just-woke-up-in-the-future gimmick; acting, story and script. The Avengers is a million times more, Hemsworth shows his talent for using language of old (stepped with wit, heart and smarts. up since Thor, I thought, and also practiced in Snow White and the Huntsman recently), while the runaway performance and character depth is present in Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk. New to the So if you’re in the mood for what will undoubtedly be a) one of role, unlike the other three, Ruffalo creates this weirdly calm the best action films of the year, b) at worst the second best super hero film of the year (don’t forget The Dark Knight Rises Hulk who you know is going to explode at any moment. and it’s gritty, realistic approach next month) and c) easily the best traditional comic-book superhero film in a long while, I Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson are equally intense in their only slightly more minor roles, while Samuel L. Jackson is implore you, go and see The Avengers while it’s still being the same as ever (decide for yourself whether that is a good or shown in your local cinema. bad thing), with the exception of one quite touching scene
PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON REVIEW WITH COMEDIC VALUE
If you’re looking for dense tactical analysis, this won’t be your cup of tea. If you’re looking for a sidesplittingly funny take on the Premier League season just gone, then keep reading. You can keep up with Barry’s brilliantly off-the-wall musings at http://newdless.wordpress.com/
Blackburn - Gradually the good old days at Blackburn Rovers have downgraded from “that time when we were league champions”, to “that time when Sam Allardyce wasn’t our manager yet”, and now eventually to “that time when Sam Allardyce was still our manager”. It’s little wonder the fans have lost their minds. Becoming so vicious in their protests against Steve Kean, they managed to cause the rest of the world to feel sorry for him and effectively make him unsackable. They’ve released random farm animals onto the pitch and organized protests after games, even though more people leave Blackburn games early than actually turn up to watch them in the first place. Like Wolves, Blackburn have spent much of the season repeatedly punching themselves in the face. Unlike Wolves there have been some genuine highlights amidst the misery, such as the victory against Manchester United’s random raffle eleven or not being quite as bad as Wolves. Unfortunately this is also the team who managed to lose at home to Liverpool, despite being awarded two penalties and Liverpool’s goalkeeper being sent off. Verdict – 4/10 Blackburn’s last-ditch attempt to avoid doom consisted of spending games refusing to come out of their own half, and bringing David Dunn back to prove how unfit he is… again. Most notable player – Yakubu remains the Premier League’s chief fat man, but Junior Hoilett’s pace and menace on the ball is what gave Blackburn faint hope.
Wolves – I’ve become convinced that Wolves as a football club don’t actually know what it is they’re supposed to be doing. Firstly, they started the season with Mick McCarthy as manager. A man whose biggest managerial achievements revolve around sacking his best players and leading teams to record numbers of consecutive league defeats. Secondly, when this didn’t work they tried to play the trusted ‘new manager’ card that relegation threatened teams often use to escape trouble, except they didn’t actually appoint a new manager. They just sacked the old one and then did nothing, and so nothing happened, and they got relegated. Thirdly, their new stand; how come a single fat bloke who seems to permanently be on his lunch break is constructing the entire thing? Is this the same guy who built Wembley? Why do they even need a new stand when they can’t fill up the ones that are already there? Their fans have also become caught up in the confusion, attempting to help their team to victory by booing them furiously, and then booing them even more furiously for not reacting well to being booed at, and then going home before the end of the game, furiously, and whilst booing. It’s been a thoroughly miserable season for Wolves, the highlights being the games that were slightly less miserable than the others. Verdict – 3/10 Wolves succumbed to the depths with all the resistance of a stone tied to an even bigger stone, tangled round an anchor. Most notable player – Michael Kightly was the only one who seemed to show any kind of fight towards the end of a campaign that no one will be keen to look back on.
Bolton – When your club’s star summer signings include the likes of David N’Gog and Nigel Reo-Coker, alarm bells should already be ringing. When being thrashed feebly in a succession of home games follows this up, the alarm bells should really be replaced by deafening sirens and a collection of 50ft neon signs flashing, “you’re going to be relegated if you don’t sort this out”. Bolton did eventually make a fight of it, but there’s only so much fight you can have when your main weapons are Chris Eagles’ haircut, and Kevin Davies’s ability to foul people. Owen Coyle is on the growing list of managers who look like animals of some kind. It can’t help matters when you’re 3-0 down to Manchester United,
QPR – It’s been proven that it’s possible to buy success in football. It’s also now been proven that it’s possible to buy not being relegated. Well, just about. QPR’s season has been a bit like watching someone try to balance a house on top of a pyramid. As soon as one area of the team was strengthened, another part would start to give way under the increased pressure. Meanwhile, Neil Warnock was sacked for being too angry -looking, and then replaced with the only man in football who is more angry-looking than him. This predictably brought about a spate of unnecessary red cards. For some reason despite the several waves of new players coming in, that guy who is so old his hair has gone grey seemed to keep starting games (apart from when he was getting sent off). It’s not usually a good sign when one of your players looks like the manager’s uncle.
and look over to see a giant rat in a daft looking jumper bleating instructions at you from the touchline. Verdict – 5/10 Bolton went down with a bit of pride and genuine bad luck to bleat on about, but the backbone turned to jelly too easily a number of times. Most notable player – Adam Bogdan has ginger hair and won Bolton’s Player of the Year award. That’ll do.
Aston Villa – The first golden rule of the Premier League: Every season, Aston Villa must strive to be as pointless and predictable as possible, and not, under any circumstances, become relevant to anything remotely important. Think the rule didn’t apply this year just because they didn’t finish 10th? Well think again. At the start of the season, when Aston Villa appointed Alex McLeish as manager, every single one of us (probably including Alex McLeish) thought, “well that’s a bit pointless. All that’ll happen is he’ll nearly get them relegated and then they’ll sack him”. Then, the season started, Alex McLeish nearly got Aston Villa relegated, and they sacked him. An exercise in complete pointlessness that couldn’t sum up Aston Villa more perfectly if it tried. Like deciding to dedicate your morning to shutting your fingers in a car door just to prove to yourself that it hurts.
Verdict – 6/10 Judging by my QPR mate’s constant forecast of doom prior to and throughout the season, they’ll be more than happy with survival. Hard work was made of it though.
Verdict – 6/10 Aston Villa could get away with having Gareth Barry’s face as the club emblem and no one would notice. A positional drop represented by a pointless managerial appointment and selling of their two best (still average) players from the previous campaign.
Most notable player – There were some solid performers on the pitch, all easily outshone by the staggering idiocy of Joey Barton and his unfortunate Twitter account.
Most notable player – Richard Dunne. I can’t explain why, because I picked him at random due to all Aston Villa players being required to have invariably average seasons.
Wigan – The masters of the dark arts. As usual, Wigan decided to spend the season picking and choosing which games they’d bother to turn up for, plummeting themselves into trouble and then distorting the league table by mysteriously turning into the English equivalent of Barcelona for the last two months. No one can ever truly explain how Wigan, time and again, manage to not get relegated. Come around March each year, mysterious goings on start to occur, such as two James McCarthur's
suddenly being allowed on the pitch at the same time, or Victor Moses suddenly transforming into the really good version of Charles N’Zogbia (the one who mysteriously only existed for the last few months of last season). People also suddenly start turning up for Wigan’s home games. Opposition teams become
paralysed with fear as Franco Di Santo inexplicably learns how to score from 35 yards, having previously been unable to do so from 3. It will be the same story again next season, and for each season forever more until someone uncovers whatever dark magic is responsible for this madness.
Stoke – Here’s the problem I have with Stoke. If you took away all of the incorrect refereeing decisions in their games this season, either for or against, and then worked out their theoretical points total based on this, they’d probably be somewhere very close to the relegation zone, by which I possibly mean they’d be sitting in it… and yet, Tony Pulis had the cheek to play the “big teams get all the decisions” card after a game against Manchester United at Old Trafford. This would be the same Manchester United who were, like a host of other teams, denied 3 points at the Britannia by terrible refereeing decisions. Another thing, after relegating Bolton on the final day (thanks mostly to terrible refereeing decisions), Pulis also proudly bleated on about Stoke maintaining the integrity of the Premier League. Two years ago Tony Pulis and Stoke maintained the integrity of the Premier League by losing 8-0 to Chelsea in a crucial title run-in game, and then trying to get a result at Old Trafford a few weeks later by timewasting when they were 2-0 down. And on the subject of time-wasting, roughly 90% of Stoke’s season has consisted of the opposition waiting for them to take throw ins. Technically Stoke should only just have reached half time of their opening day fixture against Chelsea.
main assist provider, Reffy the Ref, has allowed Stoke to pick up notable points against the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, United and Chelsea. Bizarrely the draw against Manchester City was earned purely on the back of playing well.
after Steve Bruce was, slightly harshly, given the boot. Niall Quinn’s decision to leave Sunderland so he could mither around on Sky Sports supporting Manchester City is also a slightly bizarre one, though he comes across as too nice of a chap for me to hold it against him.
Most notable player – Peter Crouch. He continues to combine being useless with being undeniably effective. He also scored arguably one of the best goals of the season, behind about ten of Newcastle’s.
Sunderland – What I didn’t understand with Sunderland was, they were given money to splash out, and then chose to splash it out on John O’Shea and Wes Brown. Not that there’s anything especially wrong with John O’Shea or Wes Brown, but no matter how good or bad your team is, it doesn’t really become better because you can suddenly have John O'Shea provide adequate cover in a variety of positions he can’t really play, or because you can use Wes Brown for about 5 games a year. It just seems there’s this rule at Sunderland where everyone has to be either Manchester United, or Irish, or both. So it was a case of “they’ll do”. Subsequently, the first half of the season was spent realizing that in truth, no, Verdict – 6/10 Standards have dropped they wont. Fortunately, Martin O’Neill is Irish, and was able to turn things around a little this season, though help from
Verdict – 6/10 As usual, the question is, if they were capable of that, why were they so unbelievably pathetic for the rest of the season?
Verdict – 7/10 The same old road to nowhere for Sunderland in the end, though seeing as it diverted from a cliff edge en route, they wont be too displeased Most notable player – James McClean is not Manchester United, but he is Irish, and he’s been forcing his country to sit
Norwich – Grant Holt’s name has been bandied about so much in relation to one thing or another, that he’s now more or less the only thing I can remember about Norwich’s entire season. Holt, now apparently responsible for Norwich’s entire existence, has subsequently handed in a transfer request. I suspect this is because players of his ilk are somehow magnetically drawn to Tony Pulis. Holt is in fact rotating helplessly around the outside of Pulis’s house as we speak, along with Peter Crouch and Kenwyne Jones, unable to break away and live a normal, hoof free life. Norwich were deadweight at the start of the season in many people’s eyes, yet they’ve never even looked likely to be relegated. There is no obvious reason why, other than maybe the manager and club having a bit of sense in a league system full of panic and turmoil. Verdict – 8/10 Not only did Norwich not get relegated, they didn’t even look like one of the teams who might, which is impressive since usually their kit and club badge alone is enough to make you think “Championship side”. Most notable player – Grant Holt, obviously. Holt committed more fouls last season than the entire rest of the league combined. Often managing to commit infringements on defenders purely by thought, or more likely by elbowing them square in the face. Swansea – If Barcelona were to play Swansea, you’d almost have trouble telling which team was which…well, apart from the fact that one of them would probably be about 8-0 up by half time. Swansea, like Barcelona, or Arsenal when they were good enough for anyone to care, have no plan B. They believe so strongly in their ability to execute plan A that they simply don’t care for an alternative. This is commendable and brave when it works, and arrogant and foolhardy when it doesn’t. Seeing as Swansea’s realistic aim for the season was probably not to finish bottom with a record low points total, the former may apply in this instance. Confidence has grown as the season has progressed and it’s become apparent to opponents that a team of Michael Carrick clones might not be such a pushover after all. On the negative side, Syrrell the Swan has spent the season in a disappointingly unviolent mood.
Verdict – 8/10 Any team from Wales who dress up for games as a flock of sheep have their work cut out not to be a laughing-stock. Mission more than accomplished. Most notable player – There’s a curious irony in Leon Britton being both understated and compared to Xavi at the same time.
West Brom – Most of my time focusing on West Brom this season has been spent arguing about whether Roy Hodgson is secretly a giant pigeon, or a giant owl. Whilst I concede there is a distinct owl resemblance in his facial features, the head movements and general posturing are clearly closer to that of a pigeon, and lets face it, it was only a matter of time before a pigeon gained control of England. As for West Brom themselves, well, in truth they’ve spent the season being largely average and unnoticed, which represents their
Fulham – I’ll admit, the first part of the season I spent repeatedly forgetting that Mark Hughes didn’t manage Fulham anymore, then for much of the middle part I kept getting Martin Jol confused with Christian Gross. This gives some indication to how much attention I’ve paid to Fulham’s season. This still, however, makes me more of a Fulham fan than 90% of the people who seem to turn up to watch them play. In fact, the only real Fulham fan I know is a
most successful season since that other one no one can actually remember. There must also be some sense of satisfaction in taking Aston Villa’s place as that pointless team in 10th place who no one can remember doing anything noteworthy.
teddy bear called “Fulham Bear” which has been kidnapped from its unidentified rightful owner by a bunch of Manchester United fans, and sent on a round the world trip. Fulham Bear will have therefore missed seeing Clint Dempsey score from 30 yards nearly every single week to the delight of his Tube ticket clutching manag…no wait… screw it…to the delight of Mark Hughes.
Verdict – 7/10 Hodgson has a habit of guiding teams to mediocrity. What it comes down to is whether the team in question would consider mediocrity a good thing. In West Brom’s case a break from nearly being relegated is more than welcome. Most notable player – Jonas Olsson has been named West Brom’s Player of the Year, and I haven’t watched enough West Brom to disagree.
Liverpool – It’s hard to believe, but at the start of the season I actually quite liked Kenny Dalglish. He seemed to want his team to play football, he gave the impression of having an old school respect for the game, and, most importantly, he kept spending vast sums of Liverpool’s money on rubbish players. Then the season started, and every time he appeared on a TV screen or radio anywhere, he was talking down at someone or being thoroughly dislikable. Then he started alluding to daft conspiracy theories and making strange threats, and then he decided to defend racism, all the while letting his team’s already faltering season unravel around his crusade of bafflingly rude stupidity. For a while, Liverpool’s season seemed like a contest where each week they’d challenge themselves to find a way to
be slightly more embarrassing than the last. Whenever the outside world may have begun to feel a slight sense of pity, Dalglish would come out and be interviewed, invoking a new wave of simultaneous disgust and laughter. There’s something strange in the water on the red half of Merseyside. Never has a person in football who isn’t called ‘Sepp’ more deserved to be removed from a position of responsibility than Verdict – 7/10 It’s hard to say. What do King Kenny, and yet the cult still don’t Fulham generally expect from a season? want to give up their cloaks. Where do they usually end up? Does anyone actually know? Verdict – 5/10 Imagine spending over £100m on something, and then not Most notable player – Clint Dempsey. A being able to figure out what it is you’ve bought. midfielder who can’t really play in midfield but compensates by scoring about 20 goals a year. Didn’t someone Most notable player – Luis Suarez likes say Frank Lampard was getting on a bit? rolling about needlessly in the dirt, smearing mud all over the emblem on his chest in the process.
Everton – Everton have seemingly spent the season on a mission to be as opposite to Liverpool as possible. While Liverpool have capitulated in a soaring blaze of destruction, Everton spent their time gradually and quietly easing into over-achievement. While Liverpool splash vast sums of money on big name, average game players, Everton spend the net total of about 20p on understated footballers who exceed their reputation (and Darron Gibson). While Liverpool draw worldwide
attention to themselves, blowing up nothing incidents into full-scale, long running news scandals, you get the impression Everton could have signed Lionel Messi on a free transfer and no one would have said anything or even noticed for about 2 months. David Moyes repeatedly works with resources that give him no right to keep him team in the Premier League, and somehow uses them to build an effective unit that’s pleased to simply not be getting up to much.
Verdict – 8/10 Being predictable and pointless can be an achievement when your club seemingly has less spare money to spend than most of its players. Most notable player – Sylvain Distin epitomizes Everton’s solidarity. Apostolos Vellios also deserves a mention for having such a ridiculous sounding name.
Chelsea – It’s amazing how even when they themselves are too awful for you to do anything but laugh at, Liverpool FC still find away to be extremely irritating by proxy. Chelsea, ladies and gentlemen, finished fourth. Of course they didn’t actually finish fourth. In fact in the end they didn’t even particularly try to. They’ve been artificially moved there after the season finished, as a result of Liverpool FC throwing their toys out of the pram back in 2005. Getting what you don’t earn or deserve has, in the brutally honest terms, been a theme of Chelsea’s season though. The Blues started the season under the guidance of Villas Boas (aka the man of a thousand cigarette voices), and were by their standards, awful, until John Terry took time out from being a national disgrace in order to sack him. After this Chelsea responded by still being quite awful, except they won the European Cup, mostly by being awful. It would appear that the purchasing of Fernando Torres was a masterstroke after all, as he seems to possess the ability to single-handedly absorb all of Chelsea’s bad luck. Verdict – 5/10 No season which includes a European Cup win will ever go down as a failure, but the rating and comments are based on league form alone, and even pre-Abramovich Chelsea would have considered anything below 4th a failure. Most notable player – Juan Mata. The poor man’s David Silva who no one really wanted has turned out to arguably be the signing of the season. As effective as his City counterpart and even sporting the trademark arrogant looking Spanish facial hair that Silva lacks. He also joins the growing list of Premier League players who look like they should be playing for Arsenal.
Newcastle – How do you sum up how crazy a Premier League season it’s been in just one sentence? Here’s an attempt: of all the top six teams, Newcastle were by far the least turbulent and prone to calamity. There! Not only that, but for the first time in living memory, Newcastle have actually done better than they were expected to at the start of the season. This was previously thought to be a scientific impossibility, as studies have shown that Newcastle fans start every season already disappointed with how it ended. Newcastle’s journey hasn’t been without its usual mishaps. Joey Barton started the season on the books, then, to the surprise of all, went insane. The stadium is now named after some shop I bought a pair of shorts in once, and there was an ill-advised attempt to buy Ravel Morrison. Through all that though has emerged a genuinely formidable team who finished where they did on merit, and were perhaps slightly unlucky not to finish higher. A return to calamitous catastrophe is surely in order next season. Verdict – 9/10 A disappointingly sane season for Newcastle. Unusually, highlights consisted of memorable team performances and a host of goals that could all justifiably lay claim to being Goal of the Season. Most notable player – Someone’s missed the boat with signing Hatem Ben Arfa; whoever does now will pay a ridiculous fee. Now Newcastle’s challenge will be to keep hold of him when teams who can afford said ridiculous fee come sniffing.
Tottenham – At numerous points in the season it had been pointed out that this Spurs side is different. Unlike previous Spurs sides, it has a backbone, and a solid foundation, and wouldn’t just crumble away or “do a Spurs” as would have been the case in previous years. This, curiously, all seems to be based on the fact Harry Redknapp was manager. Here are the other Premier League teams who have benefitted from Redknapp’s apparently infamous backbone and solid foundation building: Championship side and financially troubled West Ham (only just re-promoted), Championship side and financially troubled Portsmouth (just relegated), and Championship side Southampton (just promoted after years of financial struggles). Needless to say, when the business end of the season came around, Spurs “did a Spurs” and simply crumbled away, eventually finishing 4th in a 3 horse race, and then even managing to drop down another place after the season had finished. Keen observers who weren’t too busy worshipping the wrong next England manager, or pretending Tottenham “play the best football in the league” for some reason, would note Spurs had actually been playing reasonably well, but choking all season whenever an important game rolled around. Verdict – 7/10 The situation with Chelsea and the Champions League final aside, Spurs would have gladly taken fourth if offered it back in August, but the fact remains that in a sea-
son where no one at the top could hold their nerve, Spurs still managed to lose theirs notably more than anyone else. Most notable player – Gareth Bale has become obsessed with pretending he’s Ronaldo. He isn’t, but when he sticks to being Gareth Bale he’s still Tottenham’s best player.
Arsenal – It’s commendable that even in a season where Arsenal had reached no level of pressure or expectation worth bottling, they still managed to very nearly bottle it. The spirit of Wenger’s title throwing away sides apparently still lives on. Arsenal were expected to struggle in midfield this season with the loss of Fabregas, Nasri and the injury sustained to Wilshere. Arsene Wenger though has an endless supply of clone players who are experts at fannying around with the ball in the middle of the pitch while Alex Song makes them look good. What doesn’t work out so well is when Wenger has to start playing them at fullback, or generally when anyone in Arsenal’s back line has to start doing things. Arsenal’s underlying fault this season has remained that they don’t seem to account for what might happen if the oth-
er team get the ball. There was a brief spell in the second half of the season where the other team didn’t seem to ever get the ball, but unfortunately you can’t play Tottenham every week. Verdict – 7/10 The constant over the top criticism and forecasts of failure (mainly from Piers Morgan) have been avoided, though the hopeful predictions of unexpected success and domination (mainly from Piers Morgan) have also failed to materialize. Wenger continues to defy the odds and doubters in a world where he can’t really compete. Most notable player – Robin Van Persie scores when he wants. Apart from that spell where he couldn’t score at all, but to be fair that barely lasted as long as one of Rooney’s annual sulks.
Manchester United – If there was a motto for United’s season, it’d probably be “out with the old, in with the…old again”. At the start of the season, United blooded a young new team, full of life and energy, and devoid of fear or negativity. One whose first act was to ruthlessly blow Manchester City away inside 45 minutes. By the time United faced City at the end of the season, Paul Scholes had come out of retirement in order to replace himself, out of form and ageing players like Park had been selected purely on the basis that they’ve done this sort of thing before, and there couldn’t have been more negativity in the way United set up and played if they’d put Marvin the Paranoid Android in goal. There’s always been a kind of unwritten rule that
to continue being successful at the top, it over again. you can never afford to just stand still or stop climbing, and after a commendable Verdict – 8/10 A solid and commendable effort throughout the season, towards effort which this time last year would have been enough with a bit to spare. The ‘noisy neighbours’ have raised the bar to United’s level though, and then been able to raise it that tiny bit more. Most notable player – Paul Scholes has stuck out for both the right and wrong reasons. Right because his class and experience rescued United’s season. Wrong because this the end United painted the picture of a shouldn’t still be happening when he side who thought they merely had to sit retired before the season actually there holding on to what they already had, rather than go out to fight and earn started.
Manchester City – It’s taken 1 billion pounds, about 500 new players, some of the most shameless soul selling you’ll ever witness, and for some reason Owen Hargreaves, but City finally got what they were after…and then threw it away again…and then got it back again…then tried to throw it away again…then just about got it back again. It’s hard to know how to sum it up. City have been a bag of nerves and calamity at times, and ruthlessly brilliant at others. The heroic work of players such as Kompany, Hart and Aguero has been annoyingly overshadowed by the sulky figure of Carlos Tevez (to be fair, if Tevez gets any larger he’ll block out the sun itself), and the constant, pointless debate about whether Mario Balotelli is “worth the hassle”. Tevez did at least become the first player to score a hat-trick whilst never playing for his club again. Balotelli also never played for his club again on several occasions. The idea that a club with City’s resources and talent already on the books couldn’t realistically do without either is frankly laughable. Verdict – 9/10 Accusations about buying the league will be made with a degree of merit, but someone still had to win the games on the pitch, and beating Sir Alex Ferguson is never as simple as just throwing money around. Most notable player – While others were busy playing golf or stamping on opponent’s faces, Vincent Kompany remained a platform of consistent class, and then used his oddly lovably shaped head to finally loosen United’s grip on the crown.
Artistic drawings from @RikkiLeaks
PROMOTIONS RELEGATIONS WITH OPINIONATED VALUE
As a nice follow on to Barry's in-depth and slightly satirical Premier League review, another one of our sports writers Chris Tyldesley looks at the relegated and promoted teams to and from the Premier League, where they went wrong and where they went right.
If you take away the Premier League title race, nothing is more exciting in English league football than the ever-present relegation battle. Unlike the title race, in most cases, there are quite a few teams fighting (sometimes literally) to avoid the drop nearly every season and the 20th Premier League season didn’t disappoint, with the last relegation place going down to the wire. After the relegation battle has been decided, the attention is turned (if your attention wasn’t there already) to the race for promotion. After the Playoff spot has been taken, joining the two sides automatically promoted, what happens to the teams involved? During this piece, I look at the three relegated teams (Blackburn, Bolton & Wolves) and what’s in store for them over the summer and beyond, while also looking at the teams now in the promised land (Reading, Southampton & West Ham).
The unfortunate relegated The big thing that comes with relegation is the loss of a large potion of money that a club obtains whilst in the Premier League from TV rights etc. and for a
chairman, how a lot of this money is going to be reclaimed is the first main issue. Fortunately, there is a scheme called ‘Parachute Payments’ that is in place to help clubs who are relegated cope with the cash loss and all the ‘big time’ players’ wages, should they decide to stay. I hear you asking how much are these relegated clubs go down with? It used to be £16 million a season for two seasons, so a total of 32 million. This sounds like a fairly good deal for a team that essentially ‘lost’ overall but in retrospect, it barely covers some of the bills that have to be paid. However, the rules have changed, and just in time for the latest relegated teams. Now, due to certain cases (Portsmouth being one) money is given to relegated clubs for four seasons but it’s now £12 million a year which adds up to £48 million overall to help with loans, wages etc. which is nice of the Premier League, if I do say so myself. However, when you compare it to what the survivor (in this case QPR) accumulates.
From TV revenue alone, they stand receive £40 million in 2012/13 and this will be further inflated by the mammoth £3 billion TV deal struck by the Premier League recently. So, if a club (this is excluding the fans supporting said club) go along with the myth that it’s “worthwhile going down”, their business skills need working on. If you want to make an immediate return to the Premier League, it’s often said that keeping your better players is one of the ‘musts’ following relegation – but it’s difficult. Just look at the likes of Scott Parker and Charlie Adam, who showed that even one good season in the Premier League can form great interest from the bigger clubs. A sensible rule of thumb is that for every good player lost, another one should be retained and this works if you have several good players – if not, then you’re struggling. However, if you have a good manager then they will reinvest the money that their ex-players formulated and bring in players that will hopefully form the basis of a promotion push. In any case, it’s not imperative to retain ‘marquee’ players, because if their heart’s not in it, they’re not going to add any value on a cold Tuesday night in Hull.
It’s not just about ins and outs when relegation occurs, one of a team’s greatest weapons when coming down from the Premier League is promoting from within. All the players who were on the fringes of the squad in Premier League suddenly could play massive parts in the team’s resurgence towards the Premier League. Remember, a lot of players leave due to contracts expiring and these gaps in the first team squad need to be filled, and for most clubs it is unlikely that they can flash the cash to fill the void. There are arguments favouring both approaches, something that was showcased neatly by the Championship Playoff between West Ham (who brought in a host of players from other clubs) and Blackpool (who relied on their youth prospects). It did seem that the experience West Ham had brought in pushed them over the line, but Blackpool showed they where no push overs, and the likes of Tom Ince and Matt Phillips who both shone throughout the season were young players that hadn’t been given a chance in the past. I did say earlier
that going down to the Championship isn’t ‘worthwhile’, which when you look at it from a financial state, clearly isn’t. On the other hand, sometimes it can be used as a successful tool in order to get a club, which is seemingly going in the wrong direction, sorted out and back on the righteous path. It’s hard not to look at Newcastle as a prime example. Since being relegated at the end of the 08-09 season, they are now one of the strongest teams in the Premier League. During the pre-season before their Championship campaign, they lost a lot of their ‘big Premier League players’, including Owen, Martins, Duff, Bassong, Geremi etc. They didn’t let this knock them down however, and they bought smart, bringing in the lights of Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson and Leon Best (who are all still present in the squad now.) This ‘strategy’ worked well and gained Newcastle promotion at the first time of asking and the structure that they put in place during their ‘one season away’ is still seemingly in place and working very well, leading to the club achieving
European football in the season just gone. Clearly, a title, and making another first time return to the divorce from more heralded (often overrated) players Premier League. and a back to basics approach can do wonders for a club No matter how a team goes up to the Premier League, that has taken a wrong turn in the top flight. the riches that come with it are something else. All of a sudden, people want to watch them and the higher So are Newcastle the blueprint that all relegated teams demand means that the money a Championship club need to work from? Simply, yes. Granted, Newcastle receives seems like pittance compared to what a Premier already had a Premier League infrastructure, but the League club can command. However, this is where great club was riddled with problems and used their relegation chairmen are separated from the clueless. Certain clubs as an opportunity to cleanse and come back as a fitter will use this money to pay off loans or invest in the club to provide long run benefits, while the irresponsible concern themselves only with a short term champagne strategy. It is important to strike a balance between giving your club a fighting chance of surviving but not over stretching and taking them to the point of financial oblivion. West Brom are a good example of a club who have sensibly stabilised in the Premier League (they’ve coped with a few relegations in between), whereas the mess Portsmouth are in is testament to being blinded by the bright lights.
unit. The question is, can the three relegated teams emulate what Newcastle did? In Blackburn’s case, I think the writing is on the wall for another Leeds type saga in which a team goes down and, because of what’s going in the background, never brings back the ‘glory days’. With a decrepit stadium and a tiny fan base (containing mutinous fans), it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel for Rovers. Needless to say, Venkys have been in no shape, way or form “fit and proper”. Wolves have a good squad and going into the new season they have Stale Solbakken, who has been successful with Copenhagen and will bring a refreshing style of football to the Black Country. Like Newcastle, they have a strong infrastructure, including an expanding stadium, and should be ripe for bouncing straight back up. Finally, Bolton Wanderers, now call me bitter, but if it wasn’t for bad refereeing, Bolton would still be in the Premier League. They were missing a lot of key players last year who ‘owe the club’ a good year; players like Stuart Holden, Chung Yong Lee & Tyrone Mears are all capable of making a real difference to a team and I think this quality will shine though and see them fighting for the
Buying players is obviously a key element of the close-season (though we also fit in an international tournament or two in as well), and most of the time it’s the new Premier League teams that have been the most active, romantically ‘getting bodies in’ for the challenge ahead. Looking at both ends of the spectrum, QPR (with their billionaire owners) stated that the sky was the limit with regards to transfer fees and wages and this led them to bring in 14 new players. Now, although they avoided the drop, the amount of money spent should have provided a better return on investment. The fact that a lot of the players didn’t gel, or even fit the style of play that Warnock then Hughes wanted to play, impacted the team’s morale and saw them struggle throughout the season. Conversely, Newcastle (previously expert in blowing unfathomable sums of money on unfathomably average players) made their return to the Premier League with a squad containing a number of slyly brilliant signings from the continent. Take a bow, Graham Carr! They relied on players that were already at the club and who had learned lessons from their time in the Championship, and it paid handsome dividends.
Premier League (I have done this many times on Football Manager, I’ll have you know) what would I see as the ‘winning formula’? I think you’ve got to look at the players you’ve got at the heart of your team; having a good goalkeeper, captain and striker can make or break a team. I don’t buy into the idea
The way a team plays can earn clubs a lot of fans in their time in the Premier League. Blackpool, Norwich and Swansea have all done it in the past and it seems that now, teams that go at the ‘best league in the world’ with a positive attitude seem to come out of the season on a high. The days seem to have gone where newly promoted sides focus on being hard to beat at home and hopefully winning a few away games. Now they go for the jugular whenever possible. It’s a sound approach really, when you consider that 99 times out of 100, an inferior team that parks the bus will end up losing anyway. Too often the three clubs that went down this year all went into most games hoping to snatch a draw at best. Who will ever forget Blackburn’s timid surrender at Tottenham late on in the season, when they didn’t even muster a shot on target? Reports suggest that Blackburn’s away following that day are still asleep in the stands. Positivity is something that they are going to have to play with should they wish to come back to the Premier League. Obviously, I’m not saying that every promoted team that comes up has to play like a Swansea, but if you look at all three promoted clubs, all of them (including Big Sam’s West Ham) can get the ball down and play constructive football, which is vital. Teams that don’t try and get results, don’t stay in the Premier League. We saw three teams come up and stay up with different styles of play this season, with Swansea keeping the ball and outplaying some of the best teams in the Premier League, Norwich using a more direct and pacey approach and QPR who muddled their way to safety.
that you have to buy Premier League proven players, sometimes getting in a talented but unproven player can work wonders because they’ll play with that little bit of extra desire that can be the difference between staying up or not. I certainly wouldn’t go breaking the bank for Premier League survival, because this creates a host of problems if it all goes belly up and you’re back in the Championship next season. If your team has been relegated, just hope that there are sensible people running the show that will get you back up. If your club has been promoted to the Premier League, welcome to the best league in the world. Here’s to another season of ups and downs, literally.
Chris Tyldesley @christyldesley_
If the dream came true and I took a team to the
In the second of our live event musings, our resident South African Andria Mackinnon went along to the Graham Watkins Project at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town to give us a live diary of sorts.
"I arrived at the V & A Waterfront around lunch time, when I was meant to be there at only 6pm to watch The Graeme Watkins Project. Even though I arrived very early before 6pm (It must have been 02:30pm). I went with my friend, Monica and her mom, Mary-Anne to the Waterfront. We walked to the amphitheatre, only to notice it was quite packed with people. We found a spot right in front by the stage. Monica and I went into the Waterfront mall. Our first stop was McDonald's. After McDonald's, we went to Pick 'n Pay, only then did I buy a Cornetto ice-cream. After Pick 'n Pay, we went to Melissa's shop. My friend and I bought a BOS Ice Tea. BOS Ice Tea is a great drink to have, it is organic and one of my favourite drinks to have. We walked to the Mega Musica store, we saw a table full of the Twilight Saga merchandise. Monica bought two New Moon wrist bands. After all that, we went back to the amphitheatre and sat there for a while. It was still quite a bit of time left before The Graeme Watkins Project performed.
water and the beautiful scenery.
by the stage and we all danced. Graeme asked the audience to repeat after him After taking pictures and laughing as we with these words "Soldier on". He came to took them, we went back to Monica and I and sang "Soldier on" and the amphitheatre. As we sat down, we then put the mic to me and I sang as well, turned around and saw Graeme Watkins he did it again and then went off going by his family. Monica and I went to say "Hello" to him, we got to get a picture with crazy on stage. It was really cool to watch him. He knew who Monica was as she has The Graeme Watkins Project Live on stage. been talking to him for a while and when I It was a really great performance, I introduced myself to him, he said that he thoroughly enjoyed it. The other band has seen me in pictures on Facebook with members were also very much alive on Monica. I was shocked when Graeme said stage, dancing from side-to-side to jumping up and down, it was a really great he knew who I was. Haha! That was so experience to see them on stage. They are cool. We saw the other band members a really Awesome band! Monica and I (Matt, Rudo and Ryno) and chatted to them for a little bit. We went to sit back by danced to every song that was performed. To be honest, this was my very first time I our seats. have ever seen The Graeme Watkins The Graeme Watkins Project came on Project perform Live. stage and set up the sound system etc. When Ryno started playing his guitar, the After their performance, we chatted to the band members for a little speakers started making a hissing sound, Graeme told the people who were dealing while. Monica and I got a picture taken with the whole band together and then we with the sound and then Graeme did a all said "Goodbye" and pose like a snake, which was too funny! Monica and I got up and stood by the Mary-Anne, Monica and I went home. stage. When The Graeme Watkins started I must say that I really enjoyed this day, it their music, Graeme started to was one of the best days in my life!" jump around and I must say, he is very much alive on stage. I was so happy when he sang "Blood shot Eyes". It's my favourite song off their album. Many people may have not been standing, but they were moving around in their seats. @FuniBeani
After sitting, Monica and I went to the monument that is made out of Coca-Cola crates and both its fingers have a peace sign showing. We took some pictures of us standing by the monument. It was so amazing to see such a lovely view. I was After about 3-4 songs, Graeme asked if looking at what an amazing view the everyone can stand and dance, so Waterfront really has. The boats, everyone did. Monica's mom came to us the restaurants, the red clock tower, the
TINA O'BRI E N Tina O'Brien first broke on to our TV screens as a 16-year old on Coronation Street when she took up the role of Sarah-Louise Platt. After eight years in the role, Tina left the street to pursue TV Drama, Theatre and her personal life. Now, with her 3-year old daughter in tow and plenty of charity work to keep her occupied, Tina is still looking to return to acting regularly, but is happy to takes life as it comes at the moment.
t's been a long and bumpy road for Tina O'Brien since leaving Coronation Street. A mixture of TV Drama's, Theatre and reality TV has kept Tina in the limelight, but now there's much more focus on her family life and her daughter. Tina split up with Ryan Thomas, who she'd also dated on Coronation Street, in November 2009 when her daughter was just one, but it hasn't stopped Tina doing the odd piece of acting. Earlier this year she had a recurring role in several episodes of 'Call The Midwife' on BBC 1. "It's a really fulfilling role and because I only appeared in a couple of episodes I was able to spend plenty of time with my daughter too." said Tina. I" haven't really looked at full-time roles, I'm happy doing what I'm doing at the moment and it would have to be the right role to come up for me to consider it."
Despite the fact Tina spent much of her teenage years acting in a soap opera, Tina, now 28, has turned her attention more towards the roles of TV Drama in recent years. After leaving the street in 2007, her first role was in the TV Crime Drama 'Blue Murder', before appearing in 'Accused' and 'McQueen' in 2011. She doesn't put the attention to Drama down to anything specific, just that she enjoys different roles and doesn't want to be type-cast forever. " I absolutely loved Coronation Street, every minute of it and I had some great memories there, but I wanted to try my hand at something different. I'd never really done anything on TV besides Coronation Street so it was nice to try out some smaller roles whilst I was either expecting Scarlett (her daughter), or whilst I was trying to spend as much time with her growing up as possible." There's no doubt Tina had talent as a young actress, to step into such a big role as a 16-year old would have been daunting for anybody, and the strenuous roles she was put through in her eight years on the street would have been enough to send someone over the edge! She won the Best Newcomer award at the National TV Awards and also won Best Storyline at the British Soap Awards for her storyline giving birth to her on-screen daughter Bethany.
was playing Cinderella in pantomime at the Manchester Opera House in 2007. She returned to the Opera House in 2010 to play Snow White, but she returned to our TV screens more regularly earlier in 2010 when Tina was a participant on Strictly Come Dancing. On her time on Strictly Come Dancing, Tina said: "It was amazing! I'd never done anything like it but I absolutely loved it. I had a great partner in Jared (Murillo) and it was just a shame I didn't last longer. I fell ill in the third week and never really recovered but I've never regretted doing it." After a couple of cameo appearances on the hit ITV show 'Waterloo Road', Tina took some time off in 2011 to concentrate on her daughter's life, but she still has plans to return to television when the time is right. There had been some rumours of a return to Coronation Street, along with Nikki Sanderson who also left the street around the same time.
" It was challenging, I took my GCSE's and all of a sudden I had this offer to join the biggest soap opera in the country. It was a very daunting challenge but there was never any doubt about taking it." said Tina. "It's never something I'd rule out but there's been nothing in terms of anything actually happening. At the moment I'm happy with where I am, Scarlett has to come first but as I've She continued: " I had no idea as to the extent of where my said if anything comes up I'll always consider it." character would go throughout the years, I didn't imagine being driven into a freezing cold river anyway!" But TV isn't the only thing which has been an attraction to Tina since departing her role as Sarah Platt, all young actresses now seem to have an attraction towards Theatre, and Tina was no different, her first role after Coronation Street
Richard Laverty @JournoRich
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