Desperate times call for desperate measures. In the relegation battle form goes out the window, every game is a cup final. Blah blah blah you know the platitudes. Let’s get serious here, what’s a relegation run-in without an analyse of entrance songs?
“I walked out into that cauldron and heard that singing and saw that passion. The hairs on my arms were standing up…in the seconds before the referee blew his whistle for the start of the match, the whole stadium let out this great roar as if they were going to power Liverpool to victory”
The words of John Terry reflecting on the famous night of the 2005 Champions League semi final at Anfield. The Chelsea captain understood the impact that the feverish atmosphere whipped up before kick-off could potentially have on the night. Ninety minutes and one ‘ghost goal’ later, Chelsea were out and Liverpool were on their way to Istanbul.
As we enter the final weeks of the season, the sides involved in the relegation battle are desperately seeking anything they can use to gain an advantage over their opponents. Here is a review of the songs those relegation threatened clubs are using to bring the atmosphere to boiling point in their attempt to beat the drop…
Hull City – ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor
A cliche it might be for Hull to pick the theme tune from Rocky III, but if the opening drum beats and guitar riff fail to get your blood pumping you might be made of stone. If Hull’s match against Liverpool earlier this week had been a boxing match, commentators may be speculating that Liverpool had taken a dive so poor was their performance. With three of their last games at home, Hull should survive to see another season.
Aston Villa – ‘Escape’ by Craig Armstrong
You couldn’t make this one up – a team in the clutches of a season long relegation battle with an owner who wants to sell, entering the pitch to a song called ‘Escape’. An orchestral piece by Scottish composer Armstrong, ‘Escape’ builds to an emotionally charged, choir-led climax. Used regularly to soundtrack ‘epic challenges’ on Top Gear, Tim Sherwood must surely realize at this point the extent of the task facing him to keep Villa in the Premiership.
Leicester City – ‘Post Horn Galop’ by Herman Koenig
It might sound like an unwanted sexual dysfunction, but the ‘Post Horn Galop’ is instead a brass instrument inspired piece that has been used to rouse cavalry heading into battle since the 1800s. Four wins on the trot have given Leicester a lifeline, but Chelsea halted the charge on Wednesday night. Nigel Pearson might be a General that is hard to warm to, but with other teams faltering around them and three of their last four games at home, he may find himself a celebrated one if he can lead Leicester to an unexpected victory in their battle against the drop.
Sunderland – ‘Beginning of the Twist’ by The Futureheads
Sunderland’s choice of a song by local band made good, The Futureheads, is a noble decision, but the 2014/15 season may be remembered as the beginning of the end for Sunderland. The Black Cats are the joint lowest goalscorers in the league and play Everton, Arsenal and Chelsea away from home as part of their final five fixtures. The Futureheads are likely to find their music reaching a smaller audience in next season’s Championship.
QPR – ‘London Calling’ by The Clash
Trust QPR to pick an anti-establishment punk anthem. The R’s have the eighth highest wages bill in the Premiership but are languishing in 19th in the table. Joe Strummer screams ‘the ice age is coming’ on the song’s chorus – with Liverpool and Man City on the road in their next two fixtures, QPR might be down and frozen out of the relegation battle sooner rather than later.
Burnley – ‘Wake Up’ by Arcade Fire
Sean Dyche has led Burnley’s fight for survival with working class grit and the choice of indie rock anthem, ‘Wake Up’, fits perfectly with the counter cultural narrative that is Burnley’s stay in the Premier League. Dyche and his men have run out of steam of late, losing four of their past five games to lie bottom of the table. With three of the last four away from home, it seems likely that Burnley will be put to sleep soon.
P.S. Spare a thought for Yeovil Town who will be playing their football in League 2 next season after enduring back-to-back relegations. They enter the pitch to the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean – hardly the stuff to make John Terry’s legs turn to jelly. Time to change the record lads…