FOOTBALL IN 2018

At this time of year, I usually write about my footballing hopes for the year ahead. In truth, you never really know what is going to happen, but i’ll give it a try.

LINFIELD

Where do you start with this? First half of the year good, second half of the year not so good. Can we go more than four matches unbeaten? That would be a good start. Winning the League is looking a bit much, but at least have a strong finish to the season and win the Irish Cup. Please.

Talking of the Irish Cup, you’d like to think we will beat Glebe Rangers next Saturday. If we do, an away game against a lower league team in the next round would be great, but not too far as i’m going to Shed Seven that night. PSNI would be perfect as it would be a lunchtime kick-off.

The worst thing about our current poor form is that we might not even qualify for the Scottish Challenge Cup, although I have a hunch they might expand the competition to accommodate us.

If we don’t qualify for Europe, that will give us a lot of free dates in pre-season. Even if we do reach Europe (hopefully we do), we’ll still have some dates free. So here’s the pre-season wishlist, away games against any of Dundela, HW Welders, Moyola Park, Barn United, Brantwood, PSNI, Knockbreda.

Basically, a ground I haven’t been to or haven’t been to in a while.

If we qualify for the Scottish Challenge Cup or a pre-season game, hopefully, Ayr United, Queen of the South or Stranraer. Stranraer being one i’d love to see happen.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Top 4 finish and win one of the two cups we’re still in. Not asking for much. I’m hoping to do another European group game in late 2018, hopefully in the European Cup. It’s a legacy of the David Moyes era that I even have to include the word “if”.

Also, another pre-season friendly in Dublin again, but on a Saturday.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Was hoping for a friendly away to Scotland or a neutral game at a random EFL ground, but they’ve decided to do a tour of North America instead.

UEFA Nationas League draw in late January. Hopefully, avoid Republic of Ireland but get Wales. I’d be very tempted by a trip to Cardiff in late 2018.

LEAGUE OF IRELAND

Doing an overnight in Dublin when i’m off for the July Holidays on Friday 13th July. Two matches that night, Bohs v Sligo and Shelbourne v Drogheda. Tempted by the Shelbourne match as it would give me one last chance to visit Tolka Park, with the future of the ground looking uncertain.

LONDON

Doing a weekend in London at the end of January. It’s not for football, but it would be rude not to take in a game while i’m there. It’s the weekend of the FA Cup 4th Round, so i’m not sure what matches are on, although Brentford, Millwall and Leyton Orient are at home, the first two games dependent on FA Cup ties.

SCOTLAND

I’m hoping to go to the Edinburgh Festival in August. I usually take in a game when i’m over and hope to do the same.

WORLD CUP

I’m not going, but if I see a competition anywhere to win a trip, you can bet i’ll be entering. Wish me luck.

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STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2017

My football watching for 2017 is over, so it’s time for a statistical look back at the year.

Games : 56

Goals Seen : 154

Red Cards : 10 (Doesn’t include 1 red card after the final whistle)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 5

Hat-Tricks : 3

Andrew Waterworth (Cliftonville v Linfield)
Andrew Waterworth (Linfield v Coleraine)
Jordan Stewart (Linfield v Ballinamallard United)

Teams Seen : 31

AFC Bournemouth(1st time), Ards, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Carrick Rangers, Celtic, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crystal Palace, Crusaders, Czech Republic, Dundela, Dungannon Swifts, Edinburgh City (1st time), Germany, Glenavon, Glentoran, Heart of Midlothian, Hull City, Institute, La Fiorita (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Montrose (1st time), Northern Ireland, Norway, Portadown, Sampdoria (1st time), Spartans (1st time), Switzerland, Warrenpoint Town

Stadiums Visited : 16

Ainslie Park (1st time), Ballymena Showgrounds, Clandeboye Park, Coleraine Showgrounds, Drumahoe, Ferney Park, Lansdowne Road, Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Solitude, Stangmore Park, Taylor’s Avenue, The Oval, Wilgar Park, Windsor Park

Competitions : 9

County Antrim Shield, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, NIFL Cup, Scottish Challenge Cup, Scottish League Two (1st time), World Cup Qualifying,

MEDIAWATCH : THOSE WE DIDN’T LOSE IN 2017

Usually at this time of year, news outlets will run pieces looking back and mourning the celebrities who have died in the year just past.

Let’s do something different. Let’s look back and celebrate the celebrities who are still alive …….. despite the fact that National Enquirer said they were on the verge of death during 2017.

Val Kilmer

Cher

Angelina Jolie

Yoko Ono

Kurt Russell

William Shatner

Terence Stamp

Kirstie Alley

Lisa Marie Presley

Melanie Griffith

Betty White

MEDIAWATCH : CHER THE IMMORTAL

National Enquirer are obsessed with Cher, more specifically, with Cher dying.

As in, Cher actually dying, and not people mistakingly thinking she was dead, when it was Thatcher and not that Cher who was dead.

So, let’s look back at all the times in 2017 that National Enquirer said that Cher was dying.

January – Broke, dying and accused of $5m swindle

February – Says her goodbyes after a killer virus.

March – Brought back from the dead. Just like that guy, you know, Dirty Den from Eastenders.

May – Live saving liver transplant.

June – Relapses after Gregg Allman dies.

October – Deathbed confession that she lost five babies.

October – Dying and desperate for quick cash.

November – Sick, frail, loveless, flat broke and wanting to die.

At time of going to publish, Cher is still alive, and was slagging off Donald Trump on Twitter eleven hours ago.

LINFIELD 1-2 CRUSADERS 30.12.2017

After defeat at The Oval on Boxing Day, David Healy said that Linfield were out of the title race. Wether he actually believed that though, is another matter.

They might have kicked off fifteen points behind morning leaders Coleraine, but with two games in hand, that gap could be reduced to nine points, the gap that Linfield clawed back from February onwards last season. Obviously, points in the bag are better to have than games in hand.

However, defeat at home to Crusaders would surely have put them out of the title race, and they would have to believe it.

It seems to be a tradition in recent years that Linfield and Crusaders meet after Boxing Day, this being the fourth successive season that the two sides have met on New Year’s Day or the last Saturday in December.

Linfield fans will have had fond memories of the last time they faced Crusaders after a Boxing Day defeat at The Oval, a 5-0 win at Windsor Park on 29th December 2007. A repeat scoreline would have been wishful thinking.

As I arrived at Windsor Park, Disappear by INXS was on the stereo. I’m not sure if that song was in relation to Linfield’s title fans, as they looked to Baby Don’t Cry over a team that has continued to Mystify this season.

They were hoping that Ryan Strain being brought into the team would be a New Sensation.

Results against Crusaders this season have been disappointing so far. That would be an understatement. Two games where we surrendered to them by playing 4-5-1, and then a third decided by a horrendous refereeing decision to send off Mark Stafford for being fouled when the game was in the balance.

Those games have seen Linfield gift goals to the opposition.

Linfield made a positive start to this game and were straight on the attack, winning a free-kick which was headed home by Josh Robinson just as sixty seconds appeared on the clock. It was the perfect start, and the first time this season that Linfield had led against Crusaders.

Linfield continued the positive start, Stephen Fallon having a shot saved after Sean O’Neill rushed out to deny Ryan Strain. There were groans that he didn’t get height on it, he really needed to in order to scored. The problem was, getting the right amount of height, so he gambled and hit it low. It didn’t pay off.

Strain and Fallon were getting a lot of joy against Crusaders defence, as was Matthew Clarke. The start was similar to the County Antrim Shield Final. Except, that Linfield couldn’t get a second goal when they were on top.

Crusaders then had chances. Jordan Owens hit the bar from a header after a soft free-kick given for a foul on Paul Heatley. For a player renowned for going down at the slightest touch, Linfield players were giving him too many excuses to go down, and the officials were buying it.

In the opening minutes, it appeared that someone had given Arnold Hunter a rulebook for Christmas as he was actually awarding free-kicks and punishing Crusaders tactical fouling.

He might have had a rulebook, but it appeared he didn’t get a yellow card for Christmas.

That was until midway through the half when his yellow card appeared frequently but his rule book seemed to disappear.

Well, not for Howard Beverland, who seemed to be able to foul without consequence throughout the first-half.

A big second-half performance was needed from Linfield, but they couldn’t get the early goal like last week against Cliftonville.

Just before the hour, Crusaders equalised when Billy Joe Burns fired home from long range. As good as the goal will look on TV, questions have to be asked of Linfield’s defending.

It came from a clearance from Matthew Clarke clearing it inside across the pitch rather than the way he was playing.

It’s literally schoolboy stuff, the first thing you learn when learning to play football.

Yes, Matthew Clarke was under pressure, but he had options. He could have won a cheap foul or gone safety first and just conceded a throw.

By clearing the ball across the pitch, he put his own team under pressure that they didn’t need to be under. Even so, questions have to be asked why Billy Joe Burns was allowed so much freedom to run with the ball, especially when it was so glaringly obvious what he was going to do.

Even more worrying, was the body language of the Linfield players after the goal. They looked like they didn’t believe they could go 2-1 in front, they looked like a beaten team when the score was 1-1.

David Healy turned to his bench, bringing on Robert Garrett and Ross Clarke for Jamie Mulgrew and Stephen Fallon. I’m not sure if Jordan Stewart is injured, but if he’s not, he should be in the matchday squad.

He had an awful game on his last appearance against Warrenpoint, and no player should be an automatic selection, but surely he should be on the bench. Boxing Day and today were crying out for him when the score was 1-1.

Crusaders then hit the bar twice, albeit the top of it. They were getting too close for Linfield’s liking.

On 80 minutes, came a goal that summed up Linfield’s season, as a long ball was allowed to bounce, Robert Garrett and Josh Robinson tackled each other, before Garrett stands on the ball when trying to win it back, while Robinson backs off Gavin Whyte, allowing him to shoot into the bottom corner via a deflection.

If you are Alan Hansen, this is porn for you.

We’re not even losing to good goals. We’re losing to the absolute worst in Pub League goals.

You don’t to single players out but that’s the second goal this week we’ve conceded that you look at Robert Garrett and think “Hmmmmm”. He’s not the worst offender this season or in recent weeks. Josh Robinson’s contribution in this goal is also questionable.

Worst thing was, it was game over. You just looked at the players and they believed it was game over. It was like the worst games between 2008 and 2010, when Linfield went three years without winning a League game from behind. It was like the worst games in David Jeffrey’s final years, when we used to bend over for Cliftonville for fun. Not our fun, might I add.

Cameron Stewart came on for Ryan Strain. It was a substitution that had seemed obvious for about ten minutes before. It should have been proactive rather than reactive.

Colin Coates did have to head over on his own goal line when it looked like Andrew Waterworth was going to head home. It was the only thing that Linfield could offer rather than being the start of the siege.

There was nobody taking the game by the scruff of the neck for Linfield, nobody looking like they were going to make something happen, to offer something different.

Crusaders were able to see out the final ten minutes, aided by Sean O’Neill timewasting at goal kicks, the referee being too stupid to do anything about it. Naturally, the time wasn’t added on at the end of the game.

Linfield players looked too defeated to protest. I’m not sure how many times i have to mention it, but the players should be making an issue of it, putting teams under pressure when taking their own throws and goal kicks, getting players on yellow card tightropes, to have it in the referee’s head that the appropriate amount of injury time needs to be added when Linfield need a goal.

We can’t continue to allow ourselves to be outsmarted by stupid teams, because opposition teams aren’t slow in raising it if a Linfield player looks at them funny.

Yes, Linfield are missing Paul Smyth, but there’s no point in having Paul Smyth when you concede the goals we concede. Basic stuff. Do they even practice defending at training?

Jay Donnelly not being tracked, Jamie McGonigle being allowed a free run in the last minute, Curtis Allen allowed to roam the penalty area unmarked, take your pick from the Crusaders match in October, take your pick from the Warrenpoint game a few weeks back.

Teams don’t have to do a lot in order to score against us.

It seems to be a perfect storm, as the goals aren’t going in at the other end, which seems to be a strange thing to say about the only team in the League to have scored in every game this season.

We’re not killing teams off when we’re in front, and not seeing the game out when we need to.

We have options up front, but nobody seems to be making the most of the opportunity when they get a game or a run of games.

Brandon Adams has been scoring for fun in the Reserves but has been anonymous when he’s made a first team appearance. Louis Rooney needs a goal but hasn’t looked like getting one.

We’ve conceded last minute winners to Cliftonville, Coleraine and Glentoran. They were all games we never looked like losing. Even those three points could give us a glimmer of hope.

We’ve thrown away leads against Cliftonville, Ballymena, Glentoran and Crusaders. We led at half-time in three of those games (the other was a late first-half goal) and never looked like losing when we went in at half-time in any of those games.

We wouldn’t be top with those twelve points, but we’d be in a far better position.

Where has all the self-belief gone? Where has the concentration in the final minutes of games gone? All the bad habits from David Jeffrey’s final years have returned. Why are we not turning up in big games?

For the second successive matchday, Coleraine have dropped points and we haven’t taken advantage. Now we’re eying up Glenavon instead, hoping to finish 3rd to possibly secure European Football.

We can’t let heads go down and for the season just to drift. If Cliftonville in 2014 were our reference point last season, Cliftonville in 2015 have to be our reference point for how not to do things, they let the season drift once the title had gone, finishing 5th and have never recovered.

Up next, is a trip to Coleraine on Monday afternoon (Or, New Year’s Day, if you prefer), starting 2018 at the venue of my favourite football match in 2017 (The one in April, not October, in case you hadn’t worked it out)

Before the match, I purchased the addendum to Every Other Saturday, to include last season’s three trophies.

I’d held off purchasing it in case Santa got it for me. He didn’t.

I’m hoping the players got a copy and read it on the long journey to Coleraine. They could do with the inspiration, and a reminder that they are a far better team than results and league position suggests.

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MEDIAWATCH: KEEPING UP WITH THE PRESLEYS

Even though he died in 1977, you just can’t keep Elvis Presley off the cover of National Enquirer. In fact, you can’t keep Priscilla and Lisa Marie off the cover either.

So, let’s look back at the eventful 2017 that the Presleys, living and dead, have had according to National Enquirer.

Disclaimer, not everything may be actually true.

2017 began with four arrests in a plot to steal Elvis body.

By February, Priscilla was dating Tom Jones.

In March, Lisa Marie was homeless and broke after spending Elvis fortune.

And was then “Trapped” in a Scientology “Hell”.

Before going into a psycho rage because her mum stole her ex husband.

And then a spell in jail for being a monster mum.

Before being on the verge of death due to drug abuse.

In a double whammy in June, Lisa Marie reunited with her twins, while Priscilla was on the verge of death,

Meanwhile, Priscilla was addicted to plastic surgery.

August sw the 40th anniversary of Elvis death, where it was claimed his autopsy was covered up.

Before Priscilla confesses to killing Elvis.

So, what for the Presley’s in 2018? Elvis to be spotted in Coventry riding on the back of Shergar. It wouldn’t surprise me.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MELODY MAKER – 12.7.2000

Liam and Noel Gallagher, on stage in Dublin, are the cover stars of this week’s edition of Melody Maker, because they are definitely not splitting up, after some recent difficulties.

Melody Maker looks at the safety of music festivals in the UK, after a fatal crush at Roskilde Festival in Denmark, which resulted in the deaths of nine people.

In the aftermath of this, both Oasis and Pet Shop Boys cancelled their proposed appearances at the festival.

Coldplay have just released their debut album, telling Melody Maker they “want to win the world over”.

Mansun have unveiled their new single I Can Only Disappoint U at a fan convention, with fans canvassed for opinion, giving it the thumbs up.

Patrick Kielty gets interviewed, and says he has a “very Catholic taste in music” when asked what is on his stereo.

Following on from the safety of music festivals, Melody Maker spends two pages looking at stage diving, wether it is dangerous or just harmless fun.

Oasis concert at Lansdowne Road gets three pages of coverage, Noel Gallagher’s first since walking out on the band a few weeks earlier.

Elsewhere, there were eight pages dedicated to T In The Park.

In reviews, Clint Boon gives his Single Of The Week award to Elbow.

Ozzy Osbourne is the subject of a Q and A, revealing he looks at himself in the mirror 40 to 50 times a day.

MEDIAWATCH : JOHN TRAVOLTA’S 2017

Going to let you in on a secret, a dirty little secret if you will.

Every Wednesday morning I call into the Post Office on my way into work, I check the news stand to see who is on the cover of National Enquirer.

It’s a gloriously trashy American tabloid, and most of the stories are too far fetched to be true. I’m obsessed with checking the covers every Wednesday.

When they are obsessed with a celebrity, they are really obsessed with them. One such celebrity they are obsessed with is John Travolta, who made frequent cover appearances in 2017.

So, let’s look back at John Travolta’s 2017 via the medium of National Enquirer covers.

January – GAY SEX CONFESSION ON TAPE!!!!!

By March, he was growing man boobs.

In May, there was a $275m divorce bombshell as his wife caught him with his man.

By June, the divorce was off, as we got to hear about his open marriage.

So open in fact, that he was having 11 men mile high orgies. That’s an entire football team.

The following month, he was probed by cops over a gay sex assault.

The year ended with the revelations that he had a secret adopted son.

So, divorce, sex scandal, moobs, divorce, orgies, secret children. This is more exciting than anything on TV. You couldn’t write it, but National Enquirer did.

Stay tuned in 2018 for more exciting adventures from the world of John Travolta. Wether any of it is actually true is another matter.

GLENTORAN 2-1 LINFIELD 26.12.2017

It’s the most wonderful time of year apparantly. I doubt Andy Williams saw his team lose on Boxing Day to a deflected last minute winner.

It was the traditional Boxing Day clash of Linfield and Glentoran, and with it being an odd numbered year, it was at The Oval, because well, they’re a bit odd in the East of the city.

Defeat wouldn’t ruin Linfield’s Christmas, it could potentially ruin their season, as they need points, kicking off fourteen points behind morning leaders Coleraine, albeit with two games in hand.

Linfield fans will have had good memories of their most recent League visit to The Oval, in February, kicking off nine points behind Crusaders with nine games to go, winning 1-0 to kickstart a winning run that saw them lift the title.

In fact, Linfield fans will have enjoyed a lot of their recent visits to The Oval, winning their last eight away League visits to Glentoran.

There was the Irish Cup tie there last season, a home match against Crusaders there in April 2015, a League Cup tie won on penalties in October 2013, then a penalty shoot-out win in the Big Two Challenge in July.

Linfield have won a lot of games at The Oval recently. So many, we can’t actually agree on how many.

I was running late and missed the opening minutes of the game. I didn’t get to see any of Jamie Mulgrew, as he was substituted through injury in the opening minutes, replaced by Stephen Lowry.

I arrived in the ground to see Elliott Morris lying on the ground requiring treatment. Standard.

Mark Haughey had a header headed off the line as Linfield piled on the pressure looking for the breakthrough.

That pressure was rewarded when Cameron Stewart was played in and finished low into the bottom corner to put Linfield 1-0 up.

Minutes later, her was played through again but dragged his shot wide. Near post or far post would have brought a goal, but he hit neither. Even more baffling that it came from a player who had just scored and should have been full of confidence.

Linfield were left to rue that chance when Curtis Allen snuck in from a free-kick to fire home to make it 1-1.

Questions have to be asked about the defending, why a goal threat was allowed to get a free run at a loose ball.

It wouldn’t be the only time a loose ball in the penalty area fell to a Glentoran player.

Before the half was over, Mark Stafford would have a header easily saved by Elliott Morris.

It was one of many Linfield set pieces aimed at the back post. It was predictable. Even if a Linfield player got on the end of it, they were stretching for it, or were too far away from goal to have a realistic chance of scoring. It was predictable, and because it was predictable, it was easy for Glentoran to defend.

And when Glentoran weren’t able to defend it, they were able to get the second ball.

Linfield began the second-half strongly, with Andrew Waterworth having a shot go just wide and Mark Haughey having a header saved. They couldn’t get the goal. Glentoran were able to ride out the pressure.

On 66 minutes, Mark Stafford was lucky to escape with just a yellow card after squaring up to a Glentoran player after a wild tackle. Dylan Davidson was booked for his part in it.

As well as being predictable at set pieces, Linfield were predictable in open play, far too often just hoofing it up. Their decision making was poor. There are eleven players on a pitch which is quite big, yet Linfield players couldn’t find the right pass. Glentoran players didn’t have to make a last gasp tackle.

Ross Clarke, matchwinner in 2012, came on for Niall Quinn, as Linfield chased a winner.

Josh Robinson headed just wide in a rare free header. He should have got it on target. If he did, it was a goal.

Kirk Millar then came on for Stephen Fallon. I could understand bringing on one of the two wingers, but not two of them.

The third sub should have been Louis Rooney. Granted, it hasn’t happened for him this season, nobody can dispute that, but Linfield needed something different. A second winger off the bench, when Linfield had barely played it wide all game was not the answer.

A striker coming on from the bench with a point to prove could well have given Linfield that spark for the final minutes.

Ross Clarke fired just over when played in. If he kept it low, he would have scored. It was another poor decision. Poor decision making has been too frequent in Linfield’s season.

As injury time approached, Linfield lost possession when attacking, once again a Glentoran player was first to a loose ball, beginning a counter attack which saw a speculative shot deflected in by Curtis Allen. Linfield were now losing a game they never looked like losing.

Dylan Davidson was sent-off for a second yellow card in the aftermath of the goal.

90 minutes too late, Linfield now had urgency and a drive towards goal.

It’s easy to have drive and urgency when it is 1-2. It should have been there at 0-0, 1-0 and 1-1. If it was there at 1-0, there might not have been a 1-1.

It almost brought a reprieve for Linfield when Mark Haughey finished from close range after a free-kick. It was disallowed for offside, cutting the celebrations short. False hope, the story of Linfield’s season so far.

Looking at the replay on the TV coverage, it’s hard to see where the offside is.

Here’s a stat for you. When was the last time Linfield lost a League game to Glentoran after taking the lead? 12th October 2002. That’s pretty damming.

With Coleraine drawing, the damage is only one point, and if Linfield win their games in hand, they will have the same defecit they overcame last season.

However, with a traffic jam at the top of the League, we didn’t lose a point to Coleraine, we lost three points to Crusaders and Glenavon.

When opportunities present themselves to you, you have to take them.

At the moment, Linfield aren’t in the chasing pack. They are in the also-ran group with Cliftonville. That is not the sort of company we want to keep, because Cliftonville are awful.

That can change with wins in the net two games.

The season isn’t over. There is still a lot to play for. There’s still the Irish Cup and securing European football.

The last time we had a season like this was in 2012-2013. We ended that season with a whimper. It was a hangover that continued into the opening month of the following season. You could arugue that it cost us the title.

If we don’t win the League, we have to finish the season strongly. Anything less will not be tolerated

It hasn’t been a great Christmas for Linfield, with Linfield Swifts losing to Newington in the Steel and Sons Cup Final.

Waking up at 10am and seeing the rain outside, I think I made the right decision in not going.

It was amusing to see one Newington player describe it as the club’s greatest moment, meaning that a win over Linfield Swifts was a greater moment than a win over Glentoran.

Up next, is Crusaders at home. Hopefully, we go 4-4-2, stand up to them and attack them. None of this showing respect to them and playing 4-5-1 and standing off them bollocks. Get tore into them and attack them. They’ve been sneaking wins and conceding goals the past few weeks. They learnt the had way at Ballymena last April that you can only get away with that for so long.

I do fear that today’s result might make 4-5-1 the easy option.

Whatever formation they line up on Saturday, expect a change in personnel.

Any player who played today who doesn’t start on Saturday can have no complaints.

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THE SOUND OF 2017 : 1-25

So, here it is, the Top 25 Songs Of 2017

1. Liam Gallagher – For What It’s Worth
2. Rose Elinor Dougall – Closer
3. The Killers – Run For Cover
4. Paramore – Hard Times
5. Liam Gallagher – Bold
6. U2 – Get Out Of Your Own Way
7. Liam Gallagher – Wall Of Glass
8. The Killers – The Man
9. Rose Elinor Dougall – All At Once
10. Haim – Little Of Your Love
11. Arcade Fire – Everything Now
12. Liam Gallagher – Come Back To Me
13. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – She Taught Me to Fly
14. U2 – You’re The Best Thing About Me
15. Royal Blood – Lights Out
16. Biffy Clyro – Friends and Enemies
17. Tears For Fears – I Love You But I’m Lost
18. Kasabian – You’re In Love With A Psycho
19. Lorde – Green Light
20. Arcade Fire – Creature Comfort
21. Kasabian – Bless This Acid House
22. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – If Love Is The Law
23. Bastille – Basketcase
24. Paloma Faith – Crybaby
25. John Hassell and the April Rainers – Intercity 125

Congratulations to Liam Gallagher, emulating his brother in winning this prize in 2011. Get in touch and I’ll arrange some sort of presentation when you’re in Belfast for Belsonic.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this rundown and discovered some new songs you had never heard before.

If you haven’t heard the winning song yet, here it is.

We’ll end, with the list of previous winners.

2016
The Strumbelles – Spirits
2015 Blossoms – Charlemagne
2014 Jamie T – Zombie
2013 Haim – The Wire
2012 Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
2011 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA …. What a Life
2010 Marina and the Diamonds – Shampain
2009 Little Boots – New In Town
2008 Sons and Daughters – Darling
2007 Feist – 1,2,3,4
2006 Kasabian – Empire