Band Goals! – Already Heard’s 2017/2018 Football Season Preview

Although the festival season is still going strong, for some of us, another season is just getting started. In other words; Football is back!

There’s more to football beyond the inflated transfer fees and wages. For many, it’s about passion and dedication. With a new season starting comes new players, new managers, new expectations and more.

Already Heard decided to ask a few football-loving bands and industry insiders about their beloved club and their expectations for the forthcoming season.

You can join Already Heard’s Fantasy Premier League by using the code: 813528-195715. Head fantasy.premierleague.com to join.

Connor Fathers (Decade)

What team do you support: Manchester United
Why do you support that team? 1999, the year of the treble. I was 7. My brother sat me down in front of the Champions League Final and that was that, United ’til I die.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? It’s gotta be Lukaku really. Very excited to see how he pairs up with Rashford.
Expectations for the new season? I think we can expect to see a fair few unbeaten stretches, Mourinho likes his 1-0’s and 0-0’s. I think United will do better in Europe than they will in the domestic league. But I still think they’ll finish 3rd or higher. Bet you a tenner.
Prediction for this season? Premier League winners in my mind will be either City, Chelsea to retain the title, or United. Can’t see Spurs, Liverpool or Arsenal threatening any more so than they did last season.
Favourite chant/song (and why)? “You fat bastard” obviously.

Benji Inkley (Fizzy Blood)

What team do you support: Liverpool
Why do you support that team? I’m from Lincoln originally but my heart has been a resident on Merseyside for too long for me to be able to say to people that I support my local team.
I lived in Liverpool from 2012 – 2015 and going to Anfield for the first time was incredible. Singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ I welled up a little bit, knowing that for the majority of my life I’d been looking forward to this moment. I’d wanted to go and watch Liverpool play for years, but lived on the opposite side of the country and was skint.
What you’re best known for? 5 EUROPEAN CUPS BABY! It’s been over 10 years since the last one but things are beginning to look up. It’s an exciting time to be a Red right now.
Your star player? Philippe Coutinho. He’s a magician.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? I would love to see Virgil Van Dyke alongside Joel Matip. I hope we can nab him from Southampton.
Expectations for the new season? We have a decent team. We just need depth. James Milner at left back for an entire season doesn’t scream strength in depth. He did a good job however so I’m not knocking him. If we can get a class centre back and a couple more decent players in the advanced positions I think this season will be very positive. Fingers tightly crossed for a favourable draw in the Champions League Qualifying rounds.
Prediction for this season? I honestly have no idea about the winners. I thought Man Utd might bring it back last year but I was wrong. Spurs will be back up there again and I’m gonna go bold and say that if Harry Kane has a better start to this season than he did last time. They could go on and win it.
Finishing position: If we make some good transfers and get that strength in depth again I don’t see any reason as to why we can finish top four again. Although I think the league title is still a little too far out of reach… unfortunately.
Favourite chant/song? You’ll Never Walk Alone. Simply because of the emotion it makes me feel every time I hear it. It embodies everything I love about the atmosphere of a football match.

Jack Murphy (Youth Killed It)

What team do you support: West Ham United
Why do you support that team? Family. My family originate from East London and there isn’t any other team like us.
What you’re best known for? Comedy and Bubbles! We see the comedic side in everything and even though we know we won’t win anything we always turn up through thick and thin. West Ham United are a family, it’s hard to explain if you’re not one of us.
Your star player? Manuel Lanzini, he’s just the gift that keeps on giving.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) as the last time we signed a decent striker was Carlos Tevez, and he turned out to be a bit special didn’t he?
Expectations for the new season? I personally think we will be top 7 this season, with the moves the board has made and the dreaded new stadium syndrome calming down, we are ready to continue building on from the 15/16 season.
Prediction for this season? The winners this year will be Chelsea again. They have the best manager and know how to beat the smaller teams. I think top 4 will be Chelsea, City, United, Arsenal. Tottenham will miss out due to playing their home games at Wembley, people often don’t realise how hard it is to play 38 games away from home.

Finishing position: Lucky number 7!
Favourite chant/song? It has to be this classic for Bobby Zamora. When he’s playing well; “When the ball leaves the floor hits the back of the net It’s Zamora!” When he was off his game; “When the ball leaves the floor hits the back of row Z It’s Zamora!”

Jamie Collison (The Winter Passing)

What team do you support: Manchester United
Why do you support that team? My dad supports United so it was just forced upon me as a child. Growing up in Ireland in the 60s/70s and seeing all of Ireland’s best players leave to join teams in England, many Irish people began to follow the English League. Football was frowned upon in schools in Ireland, so anyone who was talented enough was shipped over to England to play. With the best players leaving the country, the Irish Leagues never thrived and are still semi-professional to this day. For this reason, Ireland has a huge support for Man United, Liverpool, Leeds and Arsenal.
What you’re best known for? Twenty times Champions of England and being the most hated club in the world.
Your star player? Paul Pogba. I feel like he has been judged on the price tag but with the huge inflation in the transfer market again this year it’s starting to look like these kind of fees will be the norm. With all eyes on Romelu Lukaku this year, I feel Pogba can take it up another notch this season.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? I guess I’m most excited to see how Lukaku does. With Zlatan being so amazing last year, it adds a little more pressure but I think he knows how to do in the league and hopefully we can turn some of those painful draws into wins this year.
Expectations for the new season? Hopefully we can challenge for the league this year. It’s the big one really. It’s going to be so hard to win with all the teams buying big right across the league. Hopefully some big nights in Europe too. Who knows, maybe we’ll stumble our way into another European final?
Prediction for this season? United in the top 4 somewhere, hopefully 1st with another cup and quarter finals of the Champions League.
Finishing position: ½ United or City (what I thought last year too)
3 Chelsea (Champions League distraction)
4 Arsenal (Returned to it’s rightful owner)
5 Liverpool (Don’t care)
6 Spurs (Wembley)
Favourite chant/song? 12 Days of Cantona – “FIVE CAAAANTONAS!”. He’s my all time favourite player. I get goosebumps every time this makes it’s way into the setlist every December. Find me annoying the shit out of everyone with it over the Christmas.

Conor Dawson (Kamikaze Girls)

What team do you support: Guiseley A.F.C / Leeds United
Why do you support that team? I’ve supported Leeds since I was about 6. My next door neighbour asked me what team I supported and, not coming from a family of football fans, I replied England – this must have just been after the Euro ’96 season. My next door neighbor, who was two years older than me, replied with “That’s not a club, why don’t you support Leeds” and ever since then I’ve been a Leeds fan.

Having lived in Guiseley my entire life, and not having a family that were into football, it was loads easier for me and my friends to walk the 5 minutes from our house to Nethermoor and watch Guiseley play, than it was trying to convince our parents to let us go to Elland Road. I’ve been home and away with Guiseley for about 8 years now, including two play-off finals and seeing us rise to the National League Premier. It’s a lot cheaper and a more enjoyable experience going to see lower non-league team than it is paying £30+ to watch Leeds.

What you’re best known for? Guiseley are a pretty obscure football hipster choice on Football Manager apparently. I think that’s because we are batting well above our weight at National League level – that, and we never have any money on Football Manager, so you can take us from the lowest league to Champions League glory, and it’s meant to be one of the hardest teams to do it with.

Leeds are one of the biggest teams in the country. We still have the nickname of ‘Dirty Leeds’ hanging over us from the ‘60s, but that’s because we were one of the best teams in Europe at the time. More recently, we are probably known for being really good in the early ‘00s, and then “Doing a Leeds” as its now called, a spectacular fall from the Premier League to the darkest depths of League 1 and a -15 point start to our season. We have recently clawed our way back to the Championship but are struggling to make any sort of impact on what is a really strong league.
Your star player? Everyone’s favourite Swedish Defender Pontus Jansson – he was one of our best players last season and I’m really glad we’ve managed to keep him at the club for another season.

Guiseley-wise, we’re probably looking at John Rooney, purely because he is Wayne Rooney’s brother.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? I’m really looking forward to seeing the new goalkeeper Felix Weidwald, who we signed from Werder Bremen.

For Guiseley, we’ve signed Kayode Odejayi, who seems to have been around a lot of lower football league teams, as well as been at Tranmere and stuff so fingers crossed, he should net a few for us.
Expectations for the new season? Leeds – I’m really hoping we can push on from last season, where we missed out on a play off place by a few points and ended up 7th after been in the play offs for most of the season. We’ve lost Garry Monk and defender Charlie Taylor has gone to Burnley. We’ve managed to keep most of the squad, as well as adding some really good players, so I am quietly confident we could make a push for the play offs. The only thing that is worrying me is that our manager is very inexperienced in English football, only managing in Cyprus before. Hopefully this year will be the year where we can finally get back to where Leeds belong.

Guiseley – Apparently the board are looking at the prospect of being a Football League club in a couple of seasons, but I personally think we are still very far off that. Being one of the only part time clubs in the league, it does make things very difficult when you are coming up against the bigger teams, like Tranmere and Leyton Orient. I would take a nice relaxing mid-table finish this year for once.

Finishing position: Leeds to finish in the playoffs, and Guiseley probably 16th/17th.
Favourite chant/song? Leeds – I’ve got to go with the classics, you can’t beat a “We are Leeds.” chant just after we’ve scored.

Guiseley – I actually came up with one, so it’s got to be my favourite. It’s to that memorable old tune “She’ll be coming round the mountains when she comes.” and the lyrics are:

“It was May 2015,
And we were 2-0 down to Chorley,
Then Boyes scored the first
Dicko scored the second,
Boshel scored the third to take us up.
GUISELEY.”

Graeme and Daniel Ross (Gallery Circus)

What team do you support: Newcastle United
Why do you support that team? We’re the most consistent team in the Premiership, and most importantly, we ain’t Mackems!
What you’re best known for? Fans battering horses and a little bit of tax fraud on the side.
Expectations for the new season? An unquestionably strong pie game, below average burgers and a mid-table finish.
Prediction for this season? The number of pay day loans in our glorious Newcastle is going to exponentially increase during the season.
Favourite chant/song? You put your left leg in, your left leg out, in-out in-out, shake it all about.
You do the Ameobi and you turn around, that’s what it’s all about!
Ooohhh Shola Ameobi!
Ooohhh Shola Ameobi!
Ooohhh Shola Ameobi!
Knees bend, arms stretch, goal goal, goal!

He’s the hero Newcastle deserves, but not the one we need right now…

Luke Gould (Faux)

What team do you support: West Ham United
Why do you support that team? Because my mum’s side of the family are all Hammers and Paolo Di Canio is a legend!
What you’re best known for? I’d say We’re best known for Bobby Moore, winning the World Cup and our chant ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’.
Your star player? Mark Noble. He deserves a knighthood and more England caps, he’s been robbed of both so far in his career.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Javier Hernandez. It’s about time we got a goal scorer that’s not made of glass.
Expectations for the new season? I’d like to say top 8 finish, based on our signings so far, but I’d take a top half finish.
Prediction for this season? If I was to bet on it, I’d say we’ll finish 9th. But as far as league winners go, as much as I hate to say it, I can’t see anyone taking it from Chelsea.
Favourite chant/song? It should be ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ but for me it’s Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’ replaced with Charlton Cole because Spandau Ballet are my favourite band ever and Carlton Cole is a ex-West Ham legend. “Carl-ton Cole! Oh always believe in your soul.”

Ben Ville (InVisions)

What team do you support: Liverpool
Why do you support that team? It’s where most of my family were/are brought up so I have scouse running in my blood!
What you’re best known for? I’d say Liverpool are best known for their extensive history in European competitions. Even though I wasn’t around to soak up the glory days of the 80s, I was proud to witness the famous comeback in 2005. Not only one of the club’s most famous moments but also one of the most dramatic in football history.
Your star player? Philippe Coutinho
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? The signing I’m most excited about is Mohamed Salah. In pre-season he shows some immense pace and talent, I think he’s definitely one to keep an eye on!
Expectations for the new season? I expect the usual from Liverpool, they always seem to get our hopes up and then it just flops!
Prediction for this season? I think it’s going to be a very interesting season with other clubs signings.
Finishing position: I’m hoping we will finish in the top 4.
Favourite chant/song? It’s a no brainer. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ not only is it the best song in football, it’s close to my families’ heart due to being played at my Grandads funeral. It’ll always be my favorite song.

Jack Rogers (Already Heard Writer)

What team do you support: Lincoln City
Why do you support that team? My dad supported them and introduced me to them when I was younger. He waited untill I was old enough to appreciate football properly and I was hooked instantly.
What you’re best known for? Graham Taylor’s winning 1978 team, Making the play-offs so many times without actually getting promoted.
Your star player? Alex Woodyard – the full package. Commanding, skilful, confident and destined for bigger things.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Michael Bostwick – Already scored an outrageous overhead kick in pre-season and looks like he is going just get better and better with each passing game.
Expectations for the new season? I want to say play-offs but would be happy with mid-table. I’m just happy to be back in the league to be honest
Prediction for this season? I reckon Luton will smash it in League 2 this season and their fans to be utterly insufferable. I reckon Liverpool may do alright and probably bugger it up in the Prem. Chelsea could run away with it again.
Finishing position: 5th
Favourite chant/song? “Nathan Arnold was a cod, Lincoln City gave him the nod, here he is in the red and white, Grimsby Town are fucking shite” – because Grimsby can bugger off.

Marty Ryan (Anna’s Anchor)

What team do you support: Newcastle United
Why do you support that team? It’s a funny one, when I was really young, I just supported Man United like every other kid in Ireland. My dad didn’t have a team or anything, so I guess I just followed everyone else and to be honest, by the time I was like 12, it was pretty boring. They just won all the time and it wasn’t terribly exciting to me so I lost interest. When I was 15, a few friends of mine were all in a similar boat, we wanted to get back into enjoying following a team so we put all the bottom half teams into a hat, pulled one out and that was your new team, I drew Newcastle, for all my sins!
What you’re best known for? Buying French players for cheap and selling them on for a load more a year later.
Your star player? Ayoze Pérez can pull something a bit special out of the bag from time to time so I’ll go with him.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? We haven’t signed many new players so far. Jacob Murphy from Norwich was the most recent and I’d probably say he’s the most exciting so far, he’s really young and had a bit of a breakthrough last season.
Expectations for the new season? To stay up, I think any Newcastle fan would be happy with that. Build from there after that.
Prediction for this season? I’m going to be realistic and go with Newcastle to finish just above the drop and Man United to win it (Just to keep Jamie from The Winter Passing happy!)
Finishing position: 15th
Favourite chant/song? “Dwight, Dwight, Dwight, Dwight, Dwight, he makes Lionel Messi look s**te. Gayle, gayle, gayle, gayle, gayle, he’s better than f*****g bale.” Mainly because I like Dwight Gayle and really dislike Gareth Bale.

Sêan Reid (Already Heard Founder & Senior Editor)

What team do you support: Nottingham Forest
Why do you support that team? They’re the nearest “big” team to my hometown.
What you’re best known for? Did you know we once won the European Cup back-to-back? Also the legend that is Brian Clough.
Your star player? It’s hard to choose, especially since Britt Assombalonga went to Middlesborough. Nevertheless, despite his age, I think Daryl Murphy could ship in a few goals to fill the void.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Barrie McKay looks like to be a good bit of business from Rangers.
Expectations for the new season? After avoiding relegation on goal difference, I’d happily take anywhere in the top 15. It’s a new era at Forest. We’ve got new owners who instantly put in a structure that sounds promising; we actually have a CEO! It seems from the large amount of season tickets sold, a lot of fans share the same optimism I have.
Prediction for this season? I’ve gone for Villa to win the league. Steve Bruce knows how to get promoted from the Championship and he’s got a good mix of experienced and reliable players. And as much as I hate to say it, I can see Derby pushing for the play-offs.
Finishing position: I think 10th would be a good postion to build on.
Favourite chant/song? Besides “We Hate Derby” there’s nothing like hearing a packed City Ground singing
City Ground,
Oh mist rolling in from the Trent,
My desire,
Is always to be here,
Oh City Ground…

to the tune of Paul McCartney’s ‘Mull Of Kintyre’.

Michael Williams (Quiet Lions)

What team do you support: Swansea City AFC
Why do you support that team? My dad is from the area and he used to take me to the games when I was a child.
What you’re best known for? Lee Trundle and Michu.
Your star player? Gylfi Sigurdsson but not sure for how much longer.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Tammy Abraham as he had a great season on loan at Bristol City last year and has a keen eye for goal. I think he’s capable of 15-20 goals in the Premier League next year.
Expectations for the new season? I expect us to improve on last season and if we can hold onto our best players finish mid-table.
Prediction for this season? I think Man City with their new look defence and that amazing forward 3 have the strongest XI going into the new season. Top 5 for me would be: Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Man Utd, Arsenal
Finishing position: Swans to finish 13th
Favourite chant/song? ‘Hymns and Arias’ is a special one when ringing around the Liberty Stadium.

Kēra Stewart (Echoic)

What team do you support: Reading
Why do you support that team? I’m Reading born and bred and I used to play for Reading FC when I was a kid.
Prediction for this season? Reading will ACTUALLY get promoted next season.
Finishing position: 2nd
Favourite chant/song? “We love you Reading, We do, ohhhhhh Reading we love you!”“ – I love expressing my romantic interests to the team.

Callis (Cheap Heat)

What team do you support: Ipswich Town
Why do you support that team? Born and raised in Suffolk. My Mum has been going to Portman Road since the 70s and is blue through-and-through, so I’d have been disowned if I supported anyone else.
What you’re best known for? Giving England their two best managers; Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson. Oh, and that 9-0 thrashing from Manchester United but we don’t talk about that.
Your star player? In the current squad, I’d probably have to say our keeper Bartosz Białkowski.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Joe Garner who has joined us from Glasgow Rangers. There’s been a lot of debate as to whether or not he’ll make it at Championship level, but he’s smashing in goals this pre-season.
Expectations for the new season? A lot of ITFC fans were rightly frustrated last season as we took large steps back on the previous three years. Although we’re not splashing out silly money this Summer, we have made some solid signings. All we need now is for Mick McCarthy to get the best out of them. It’s really hard to say as at the end of last season I was dreading August, but business and pre-season has given me some hope. Just praying I’m not disappointed again!
Prediction for this season? My prediction to win the Championship is probably Fulham or Sheffield Wednesday, both have some solid ground to build on from last season.
Finishing position: My generous position is 5th, but my realistic prediction is anywhere between 8th and 12th.
Favourite chant/song? “Ar*ehole Ar*ehole Ar*ehole, Delia’s a fucking Ar*ehole, she makes mashed potato and we fucking hate her, Delia’s a fucking Ar*ehole” because it’s funny and a bit more classy than our other Delia Smith chant that basically wishes her dead.

Jack “Pop” Clothier (Alcopop Records)

What team do you support: Coventry City
Why do you support that team? Because of where I was born and grew up. Either that or I love pain, misery and despair!
What you’re best known for? It used to be said that if the Titanic was painted sky blue, it wouldn’t have gone down, and we were long famed for our gritty and disappointing (though ultimately successful) consistent battles against relegation. Now we’re more widely known as one of the most poorly run and shoddily treated teams in the country via our terrible owners.
Your star player? It’s tough to say as there are a lot of new signings. I’m excited to see if Jodi Jones can step up this season. Jordan Willis is class as well if we can keep him.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Maxime Biamou from Sutton looks like he could be an exciting prospect.
Expectations for the new season? To be cruelly denied in the Play-off final by a resurgent Forest Green…
Prediction for this season? Man United to win the Premier League and to be honest we’re new in League Two, so I don’t know…
Finishing position: 5th, though we usually finish around 18th, so please give me the option to come and amend this entry when I’m full of woe and despair around March time…
Favourite chant/song?Let’s all sing together
Play up, Sky Blues
While we sing together
We will never lose!

JJ Armstrong (Dire Bloom)

What team do you support: Nottingham Forest
Why do you support that team? Born & raised in Nottingham, hated football for the first seven years of my life but my mum put me forward for a special thing they did for 8 year olds. I met Marlon Harewood and David Prutton and then we lost to Wimbledon. I knew then they were the team for me.
What you’re best known for? Winning back to back European Cups!
Your star player? Since we’ve let Britt Assombalonga go to Middlesborough, I’m not too sure now. Maybe good old Chris Cohen?
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Other than seeing Assombalonga go, I’m not too clued up on who we’re chasing, but I hope we use that money to fill the important gaps in our team.
Expectations for the new season? As always with Forest, start off really well and then fuck up the rest of the season. I hope we can at least push for nearing play-offs.
Prediction for this season? We’ll float mid-table I think, but it’d be nice to claw at the play-off places. I think Villa and Middlesborough are good shouts for the top 2.
Finishing position: I’ll be positive – 5th and a play-off fight.
Favourite chant/song? The infamous “OH NOTTINGHAM, IS FULL OF FUN, OH NOTTINGHAM IS FULL OF FUN! IT’S FULL OF TITS, FANNY & FOREST, OH NOTTINGHAM IS FULL OF FUN” was a favourite as a young’un, I found it absolutely hilarious at the time but seems a bit non-PC and crude reciting it back now…

Lewis Maynard (Kenneths)

What team do you support: Arsenal
Why do you support that team? Because they are the best team in London and I would of been put up for adoption if I chose a different team.
What you’re best known for? The only team to have their football pitch inside a library.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Alexandre Lacazette. Even my nan is aware that Arsenal have needed to sign a forward for a while now.
Expectations for the new season? Tottenham will flop. Rooney will shine at Everton. Mourinho will continue to chat shit even though United will do well.
Prediction for this season? Man United, Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool and then Tottenham
Finishing position: 4th. Not having to play Champions League football will help although Arsenals season really depends if Sanchez stays or not. If he leaves I might start supporting Millwall.
Favourite chant/song? ‘She Wore A Yellow Ribbon’. It’s a great song and we get to sing it a lot due to Arsene Wenger’s FA Cup fetish.

Liam Hemingway (Honeypot Records / Ex-Walleater)

What team do you support: Leeds United
Why do you support that team? The atmosphere at Elland Road is always incredible and the football isn’t actually as bad as it used to be. Maybe this will be the season we return to the big leagues, ey?
What you’re best known for? We’re well known for our rowdy fanbase… There’s never a dull moment at a Leeds game. Also our relegation and subsequent fall from grace about a decade ago, but that’s still a bit of a touchy subject.
Your star player? Chris Wood.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Vurnon Anita. He earned promotion with Newcastle last season and he’s a former Ajax player, sounds decent enough to me!
Expectations for the new season? We were super unlucky not to make the play-offs last season, and I’d be disappointed if we missed out on them again this time around. I think we have a good enough squad to gain promotion from the play-offs, but anything can happen in those type of games.
Finishing position: 5th
Favourite chant/song? Hearing 30,000 people chant ‘Marching On Together ’is always an incredible moment, so I’d have to go with that.

Dave Owen (Big Scary Monsters)

What team do you support: Tranmere Rovers
Why do you support that team? Aside from being born three miles away – I’ve no idea. They are an eternal disappointment. That said I’ve supported them for 30 years the useless bunch of *****. I must be one of only 7000 or so fans that dreams of playing Oldham on a Tuesday night again as some measure of success.
What you’re best known for? Being shit. We got 95 points last season and still didn’t get promoted and were beaten by a bankrolled millionaires plaything (actual village team) at Wembley. We’re actually the least successful football team in the country – no one has waited longer to win something than us in the Football League/Conference – 30 years counting.
Your star player? Our centre-half Steve McNulty probably. He’s the physique (and pace) of an alehouse Sunday League player, but the footballing brain/feet of Beckenbauer. Pure non league gold.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? We’ve signed our rivals Chester centre forward – James Alabi -who looks handy. Also Jay McEveley at centre back – who used to be good and played for Blackburn/Swindle Town, Derby etc.
Expectations for the new season? I want to say we’ll win it. I do. But that’s not the Tranmere way at all. Mickey Mouse non-league has only one auto promotion place and SEVEN play-off places and we bollocksed that right up last season at Wembley. It’s the hope that kills you.
Prediction for this season? All the fun of a root canal operation. The likes of Solihull Moors, Guiseley, Fylde, Ebbsfleet etc to continue to have all the romance of a wet weekend away in Bognor (it was fun for 5 minutes). Dagenham to still charge £24 to stand at a non-league game. Bleak. Us to lose on BT Sport to a team that brings 14 away fans/plays on a cabbage patch with a shed for a stand.
Finishing position: 2nd (lose in play-offs to whoever finished 20 odd points behind us)
Favourite chant/song? To the tune of the chorus of Earth Wind and Fire’s ‘September’“On and On, We’ve got Connor Jennings, On and On He used to play for Wrexham, On and on, he never gives the ball awayyyyyy!”

Ross Archibald (Altered Sky)

What team do you support: Celtic
Why do you support that team? Because of their history, and my own family, and more recently our band manager is Celtic daft so my passion for the team has increased ten-fold over the last few years!.
What you’re best known for? Being one of the most iconic clubs in football history; the first UK team to win the European Cup. More recently, Brendan Rodgers managing us to an invincible and undefeated treble.
Your star player? That’s a hard one, so many to choose from but on current form has to be Scotty Sinclair.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? French U21 international Olivier Ntcham who looks like a player, international team mate of the awesome Moussa Dembele too of course!
Expectations for the new season? Another treble would be nice but I’d like to see us progress into the Champions League again with an extended run in the tournament or failing that the Europa League.
Prediction for this season? Celtic to run away with the league title by 25 points and to qualify for the Champions League.
Finishing position: 1st
Favourite chant/song? Has to be the Scotty Sinclair song at the moment sung to the tune of‘Logical Song’ by Supertramp/Scooter.

Oli Austen (Quiet Lions)

What team do you support: Blackburn Rovers
What you’re best known for? Being owned by chicken farmers and being the only team to have ever won the Premiership to then sink as low as League One.
Your star player? Danny Graham / Charlie Mulgrew
Which new signing are you looking forward to watching? Dominic Samuel
Expectations for the new season? Win League One!
Prediction for this season? Promotion for Blackburn and Man City to win the Premiership.

Jonny Cloke (The River Jumpers)

What team do you support: Tottenham Hotspur
Why do you support that team? My dad was a fairly casual fan who never tried to sway me and my brother towards a particular team, but I had older cousins on both sides of my family who supported Spurs so it was just the natural choice I guess!
Your star player? So many contenders in the Spurs team right now, currently I’m a big fan of Christian Eriksen.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? I’ll get back to you when we actually sign someone, haha. Although I’m excited that Kieran Trippier has signed a new contract, he’s going to be an important player this season after losing Kyle Walker to City.
Expectations for the new season? I have pretty high hopes for Spurs this season, we’re improving year on year and think Pochettino has turned us into real title contenders! A lot of people are concerned about what effect it’ll have playing our home games at Wembley this year, we’ll just have to see what happens.
Prediction for this season? I have a feeling there’ll be another Tottenham/Chelsea title race, maybe with a bit more pressure from City and Liverpool this year.
Finishing position: 1st/2nd (aiming high!)
Favourite chant/song? There’s been a lot of good ones recently around individual players (We’ve got Dele, Dele Alli!) but my all time favourite has to be Ossie’s Dream. The fact that it is still sung today shows our great tradition of honouring the past while looking to the future, and the future is bright (or should I say white? somebody stop me). Also an added bonus of this song is that the music video features a young Chris Hughton (since River Jumpers are a Brighton band and I went to university across the road I have to confess a soft spot for the Seagulls!)

Sunny Stuart Winter (Such Great Heights podcast)

What team do you support: Norwich City
Why do you support that team? I’m originally from Norwich, supported since I was a kid and had trials with their academy when I was young.
What you’re best known for? Most probably Delia Smith, especially her “12th man” speech…
Your star player? 100% Wes Hoolahan, fan favourite. It’s his 10th season at the club. What a gem.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Quite a few of them really. Christoph Zimmermann at the back seems pretty solid but if outrageous hairstyles are a sign of proven talent then Mario Vrancic could be the one!
Expectations for the new season? I mean, frustration will undoubtedly play a part but that’s part of being a Norwich fan.
Prediction for this season? I’m going to go with consistent inconsistency for Norwich. I’ll take a punt on Middlesbrough & Sheffield Wednesday as top 2.
Finishing position: Aiming for a play off place, I’m going to say, we’ll sneak in 6th position.

Mark Bailey and Danny Nicholson (Dirty Rotten Souls)

What team do you support: Port Vale
Why do you support that team? If we didn’t we would be disowned by our family.
What you’re best known for? Robbie Williams supporting them or being one of only two teams in the football league with a name that isn’t an actual place.
Your star player? Tom Pope. Local lad who was born in Stoke-on-Trent and is Vale through and through. He gets stuck in and plays for the shirt week in, week out.
Expectations for the new season? We’re looking quite strong; a good mixture of signings for League Two, based on the experience of manager Michael Brown (ex Leeds, Sheff Utd, Fulham).
Prediction for this season? Top 3 for Vale. Not bothered about the Premiership, although it’d be nice for an underdog to win it again like Leicester
Finishing position: 3rd
Favourite chant/song? “We are Vale, We are Vale, Super Vale, from the park, No one takes us, Stokies hate us, We are Vale, from the park.” This is our favourite because it gets you going especially when away from home, plus it displays the fact that despite our very near neighbours Stoke City being in the Premiership nowadays, they still can’t stop talking about ‘tinpot Port Vale’.

Alex Kempson (Chaos Reigns)

What team do you support: Liverpool
Why do you support that team? I have a lot of family up in Liverpool and watching players like Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard play amazed me.
Your star player? Sadio Mane
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Mohamed Salah
Expectations for the new season? Chelsea’s dominance of the league ending.
Prediction for this season? Manchester City to win the league.
Finishing position: 3rd
Favourite chant/song? ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ because of the significance it holds as a Liverpool fan.

Sam Igoe (Mellor)

What team do you support: Reading
Why do you support that team? It’s my hometown club, and three generations before me have supported them!
What you’re best known for? Probably still holding the highest points record in the Championship. We managed to knock up a pretty respectable 106 points when we got promoted to the Premier League in the 2005/6 season! Let’s not talk about what happened a couple of years later though…
Your star player? In the current squad, it would have to be Liam Moore for me. I thought he was great at Leicester a few years back and was pretty surprised when we signed him – think it was down to Jaap Stam more than anything to be honest! He’s been solid at the back though and is so composed on the ball for a centre half.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Probably Vito Mannone from Sunderland. If you’ve got a solid keeper in between the sticks, you’ve always got a chance of nicking a 1-0 win in a tight game of football. With Stam’s tactics very reliant on playing out from the back, I think it’s pretty key to have a decent keeper who is both a good shot stopper and good on the ball.
Expectations for the new season? It’s so difficult with Reading! You never know what performance you’re going to get, we could either go out and dominate, or not turn up and get completely turned over! We’ve made a few good signings so it would be great to build on last season and go up automatically. I’d take the play-offs again though, even if I am risking more heartache at Wembley!
Prediction for this season? The Championship is such a difficult and competitive league, so lets wait and see how we’re looking next May. I think Aston Villa have made some really good signings – I reckon they could be up there pushing for automatic promotion.
Finishing position: Anywhere in the play-offs.

Marc Christie (As I Was Hunted)

What team do you support: Motherwell
Why do you support that team? I started supporting them because most of my family are from the town, and they were the first team I went to watch when I was 8.
What you’re best known for? For me, they are best known for winning a memorable Scottish Cup in 1991, and for recently becoming a fan owned club.
Your star player? I think it would be silly to say anyone other than our number 9, Louis Moult. 77 appearances, 37 goals and 13 assists I think he has, speaks for itself.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? We have a lot of new signings I’m excited to see for our season. Our competitive season has begun already with the cup, and Craig Tanner finding the scoresheet already is great. I’m excited to see how he, Andy Rose, and Trevor Carson all do this season. Gael Bigirimana and Cedric Kipre have all started well also.
Expectations for the new season? Hopefully we can avoid the relegation battle we were in last season, despite how exciting it was! I’d like to see us push for top 6, but the league is going to be really tight this season, so a 7th/8th place would be more realistic I feel.
Prediction for this season? A good cup run could be hidden away for us! Celtic will more than likely run away with the league, with Aberdeen finishing 2nd. I see 3rd place being a battle with a good few teams.
Finishing position: 7th/8th
Favourite chant/song? My favourite chant has to be ‘Since I Was Young’. The song gives me great memories of great results at Fir Park and great Derby games.

Jack Bonson (Hollowstar)

What team do you support: Leeds United
Why do you support that team? They are the closest team to my birthplace and where my family is from.
What you’re best known for? These days probably our fall from grace in the early 2000’s
Your star player? Pablo Hernandez or Chris Wood.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Vurnon Anita. A versatile player that has proven he can perform at this level.
Expectations for the new season? We just missed out on playoffs last year and sadly I fear it may be the same story this year.
Prediction for this season? With the Championship, its the most competitive league in the world, so it’s always tough to call. Every season at least half the league have a shot, but this year I may have to say Aston Villa as they have spent so much money on new players that a lot of clubs don’t have the option to do.
Finishing position: 8th but I’m hoping for a playoff spot.
Favourite chant/song? ‘Marching on Together’ as it was the first Leeds chant I ever learnt when I used to go to the games with my Dad, my brothers and Grandad as a kid.

Harry Steel (Rain)

What team do you support: Liverpool
Why do you support that team? They were my mums favourite team!
What you’re best known for? Being really good in the 70’s / 80’s and mediocre at present.
Your star player? Currently Phillipe Coutinho, but by the end of the season I’ll probably say Mané
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Mohammed Salah because he could either be great or awful. Excited to see Dominic Solanke get some game time too, he had a great summer for the England U20’s.
Expectations for the new season? Liverpool to score loads of goals but have a leaky defence yet again.
Prediction for this season? Chelsea to win the league and Man City to not make top 4.
Finishing position: 4th
Favourite chant/song? ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’

Adam Kelly (Dire Bloom)

What team do you support: The name and the colours stood out to me when I was a little nipper and I’ve never looked back since. By pure coincidence, Villa Park was only 45 minutes down the road.
Why do you support that team? Losing? We hold on to the 1982 European Cup win pretty fiercely. It used to be that we were the best in the Midlands but I have to concede that I don’t think we are – but we will be again, don’t you worry about that!
What you’re best known for? I’m hoping Andre Green comes good this season. He has looked exciting in pre-season and I think the Jack Grealish bubble is close to bursting – big season for him.
Your star player? I’m looking forward to seeing if Glenn Whelan can provide enough midfield solidity to allow our supposed creative midfield to flourish, so we don’t have to rely on Jonathan Kodjia’s individual goals.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why?
Expectations for the new season? You’d think with signing such experience in Terry, Whelan, Samba and Elmohamady alongside the rest of the squad that we’ll be right up there. I’m expecting a lot of 1-0/2-0 wins and a strong push for promotion as long as Steve Bruce finds his best XI early
Prediction for this season? I don’t know how the oldies will cope with the sheer length of the season in the Championship but I’m predicting Villa to go up. I think it could well be Sheffield Wednesday’s year and possibly Middlesborough or Fulham via the play-offs?
Finishing position: 1st
Favourite chant/song? That’s easy. “Birmingham, are you listening, to the song that we’re singing, we’re walking along, singing our song, shitting on the City as we go!”

Mark Vincent Bussey (Mixtape Saints)

What team do you support: Sheffield United
Why do you support that team? Family support/local team growing up.
What you’re best known for? In relatively recent times, for the wrong reasons e.g. Ched Evans & The Tevez Affair. Those that know: Tony Currie.
Your star player? Present day you’d probably have to say Billy Sharp.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Whilst there will be some focus on Ched being back, Edna Stevens looks great pre-season. All that said I am more interested in seeing how England Under 20 & Toulon “Player of the Competition” David Brooks does. He’s scored a few goals this pre-season too.
Expectations for the new season? I hope we’ll avoid a relegation battle.
Prediction for this season? Unfortunately, I cannot see us finishing above Wednesday. I will say that we’ll finish 16th and Man City will win the Premier League.
Finishing position: 16th
Favourite chant/song? Greasy chip Butty. It’s unique and it’s ours.

Billy Hills (Chocolate)

What team do you support: Manchester United
Why do you support that team? My Dad grew up supporting them in the 1960s (even though he’s a Londoner) after seeing the likes of George Best play and watched them lift the coveted European Cup.
Your star player? Marcus Rashford. I fucking love him. His pace can change a game. It was evident when he came on in the Euros, he can inject something extra special into the game that makes it exciting and creates more opportunities for the team. His talent makes me hopeful for England’s future in big tournaments.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? It has to be Romelu Lukaku. The man is so powerful and backs himself against any defender. He should hopefully be a great replacement for the equally strong Ibra.
Expectations for the new season? United to come 4th and to reach a domestic cup final. I think we may struggle in the Champions League as it has been a while, but with a bit of luck we may reach the Quarter Finals.
Prediction for this season? I believe (Manchester) City have a strong chance of finishing top followed by Spurs, Chelsea then United. I also believe Everton and West Ham have a really strong chance of competing for 5th and 6th place. They have built up their teams really well this summer, especially West Ham with Chicarito and Arnautovic, it should make some really great football.

Adam Lamont (Frauen)

What team do you support: Norwich City
Why do you support that team? I grew up in Norwich, why else would you support them?
What you’re best known for? I’d like to say Jeremy Goss’ goal vs Bayern Munich (the first Norwich game I watched), but it’s “Let’s Be Havin’ You” isn’t it? Fun fact: I was at that game, we were beating Manchester City 2-0 but they managed to pull it back at half time. To drunk Delia’s credit, she did have a point, the home fans were unusually quiet in that first half. She almost pulled it off too, we looked the better team in the second half and more likely to win, until a returning Robbie Fowler won it for City.
Your star player? Wes Hoolahan (though really it should be Steven Naismith) he’s been with us for almost a decade now and has always been consistently great. However, my love for Alex Tettey, even if he’s far from our best player, is an undying one.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? We are very much rebuilding at the moment, so it’s hard to tell, but so far creative midfielder Mario Vrancic from Darmstadt looks like an absolute steal.
Expectations for the new season? Norwich are currently undergoing a German revolution under former Borussia Dortmund II manager Daniel Farke as a result of Head of Football Operations Stuart Webber replicating his exact same formula of success at Huddersfield Town. Farke seems to have a very firm idea of what he wants from his team and his signings so far, such as his former central defensive captain at BVB II Christoph Zimmerman, and are a clear sign of intent towards a particular ideology and change of system Norwich sorely need. As much as I felt Alex Neil’s tenure wasn’t anywhere near as bad as some made it out to be, it was clear we needed a complete clear-out and we seem to be getting that with Farke and Webber. We should at least be making the playoffs.
Prediction for this season? I hate the Championship. Much as it is an exciting league for the neutral, it’s a horrible league to get dragged into, because there is hardly anything separating the majority of the teams. So it is competitive and unpredictable every year. Middlesborough look strong enough to be pushing for an immediate return to the Premier League, Sunderland will also be pushing for the same, but I’m not convinced they’re quite in the same position. Hull don’t appear to have any players left, so I’d expect them to sink like Villa have. Of the promoted sides, I like Sheffield United to be challenging, along with their cross-town rivals Wednesday, but then, Leeds, Derby, even Alex Neil’s Preston could all be up there. So given predicting this league is pointless, I’m just gonna go ahead and say Norwich for the title, naturally.

Finishing position: 1st! (Or literally any other position)

Dan Tolley (Chaos Reigns)

What team do you support: Everton
Why do you support that team? Family are all Everton supporters so I was born one too: Evertonians are born, not manufactured. We do not choose, we are chosen.
What you’re best known for? I’d say being the underdogs for the past 20 years, and having the most feared ground in the Premier League.
Your star player? I can’t bring myself to saying Barkley so I’m personally going with Idrissa Gueye, absolute workhorse who any team would love to have.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Can’t wait to see Jordan Pickford behind a decent defence, reminds me of Big Nev (Neville Southall) who was my childhood hero.
Expectations for the new season? Hopefully finish above Liverpool (just for bragging rights over Alex!) and get European competition again. I would also like to get fairly far in this years Europa league, it’s been a while since we’ve been there!
Prediction for this season? I can (sadly) see Manchester United returning to their former glory and narrowly winning the league this season.
Finishing position: 5th
Favourite chant/song? “Kopites are gobshites” I’m a simple man with simple tastes!

Robert James Tinsley the Third (SPLURGE)

What team do you support: Arsenal
Why do you support that team? As a young child growing up round many a football fan, I had to make a decision, was it to follow one uncle and watch his heart break every time Watford FC failed to reach the Premier League, or was I to follow my other uncle and watch the pride and happiness in his face every time THE MIGHTY GOONERS won a cup final/Premier League. Watching Henry/Bergkamp/Pires/Adams/Parlour/Seaman/Anelka take the Premier League by storm was pure bliss.
What you’re best known for? I’d have to say probably coming forth. #WengerOut
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? Alexandre Lacazette for me is going to be a hit amongst the Gooner fans and the Premier League. For me, he’s looking like the new Henry. Plus it’ll finally keep the likes of the huge flop Lucas Perez out the starting 11.
Expectations for the new season? With the new signing Lacazette and maybe a couple of more new names to be added, plus it looks like we’re holding onto the genius Sanchez for another season, it could just mean this season is all about the MIGHTY GOONERS. I could see us maybe doing a double, winning the Premier League and lifting the FA Cup once more. Hey fuck it. Why not the Champions League?!? Also, smashing those sick Tottenham scum both home and away. But that’s to be expected.
Prediction for this season? My top four has got to be: Arsenal, City, Everton, Chelsea.
Finishing position: 1st

Lee Vincent (Howland)

What team do you support: Southampton
Why do you support that team? I didn’t really have a choice! All my family do and it’s where I’m from.
What you’re best known for? We produced the finest player to ever get less than 10 England caps in Matt Le Tiss, beat United in the FA Cup Final 1976 and won the glamorous Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in 2010 against Carlisle. All equally good achievements if you ask me.
Your star player? Oriol Romeu got player of the season last season so would have to be him. Honourable mentions include Cedric Soares and Shane Long.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? We’ve only made one signing in Jan Bednarek so I guess him! But in the whole league I’m excited to see how Kyle Walker goes down at City. That’ll make or break his career.
Expectations for the new season? I’m hoping our new manager (Mauricio Pellegrino) will bring a decent playing style that Claude Puel failed to bring with him. Hoping for some more exciting football and if we can get better football all round then we can finish in Europe again.
Prediction for this season? Huddersfield, Watford and Burnley will go down and Chelsea will win the league again.
Finishing position: 7th

Fraser Henderson (Daydream Frenzy)

What team do you support: Aberdeen FC
Why do you support that team? They’re my hometown club.
What you’re best known for? Beating Real Madrid 2-1 in the final of the European Cup Winners Cup, May 11th 1983. I could be wrong, but I think we remain the last team to beat them in a cup final?
Your star player? It’s hard to tell at the moment since it was Jonny Hayes. Maybe either Ryan Christie or Graham Shinnie.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? I’m really happy with Kari Arnason coming back. Always been a fans favourite and was rock solid for Iceland in the euros last year.
Expectations for the new season? Try and close the gap with Celtic, finish 2nd again and try and take home a cup.
Prediction for this season? Can’t see past Celtic winning the league. Chance they could win the treble again. But I was at the Scottish cup final last season and we ran them close, so if we get 2nd and close points gap, I’ll be happy.
Finishing position: 2nd or 3rd. Will take 3rd if we make group stages of Europe. But still expect 2nd.
Favourite chant/song? It has to be ‘Stand Free’ or ‘Northern Lights’ either one of those sung full volume brings a great atmosphere.

Joe Campbell (Frauen)

What team do you support: Partick Thistle
Why do you support that team? I support Thistle simply because my dad does, along with all his brothers. They come from a Rangers supporting family but had the awareness to know that is not how to be.
What you’re best known for? Thistle are probably best known for basically not being Celtic or Rangers, and that Billy Connolly joke. But I’m very proud to follow a team in Glasgow where it doesn’t matter what religion you are, as strange as that sounds. I love Glasgow, but I have a lover/hate relationship with watching football here.
Your star player? Kris Doolan reached 100 career goals last season so he’s for sure an actual Thistle legend now. I also love Steven Lawless because hes a gear fiend and loves the bookies. Though our manager Alan Archibald is probably the biggest legend at the club, with over 400 appearences as a player, then taking over as manager, leading us up to the Premiership and securing top 6 last season. I love him.
Which new signing are you looking forward to and why? I’m excited about Blair Spittal. He was brilliant for Queens Park and then for Dundee United. I think he will fit in with the kinda passing football we try and play at Thistle. Also having Niall Keown (yup, ugly Martin’s son) properly signed up is an amazing piece of business, the guy is solid and can play as well.
Expectations for the new season? With Hibs coming up, top 6 is going to be a lot harder. Every season I just hope Thistle don’t get relegated, then we’ll go from there.
Prediction for this season? Celtic will win the league, by a million points.

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