The gorgeously bittersweet stylings of Merseyside three-piece Cold Shoulder has landed them a support slot with recent Football Burp interviewees Cast – in fact, they’re out on the road with them right now, with dates in Manchester, Birmingham and London still to go – so we caught up with the band’s bassist Andy Ashton for a ruddy good natter about his beloved Everton…
Where did you watch the Sunderland game? Will you be going to the semi-final?
I couldn’t catch the Sunderland game as we were soundchecking in Sheffield at the time. I wasn’t filled with confidence for it, so was very pleased when we turned them over.
I know I won’t be getting a ticket for the semi-final but I’ll probably go down there for the trip. Last time against Man Utd I went along and it became a lost weekend for me, lasting non-stop until the following Thursday. I (vaguely) remember walking round with a bottle of J.D. in one hand and a bottle of red wine in the other taking alternate swigs whilst wearing all black, a t-shirt of Barack Obama over my shirt and tie which someone drew a Hitler moutache on for some unknown reason, and a leather jacket on.
Marouane Fellaini looked very effective in an attacking midfield position. Would you like to see him get a run there, or do you prefer him further back?
Where Fellaini is concerned I don’t have a preference as he’s good enough to change his style of play and position based on the opposition and the flow of the game. The more he plays the more I think he was a steal at £15 million.
Jagielka looked more like his old self too. Would you have him back in the side as a regular now, or stick with Johnny Heitinga? Or even play them together and drop Sylvain Distin? (Nice problem to have, eh!)
As much as I love Jagielka and have seen him completely dominate some top class strikers, I think when a partnership is doing well then it is very dangerous to break that up. It would be safer for Jagielka to wait for his return to his position as any other player should do. I think that creates healthy competition within each area of the team and spurs the players on more. Also, Johnny is f**king boss!! It is always nice to have a problem like that though.
Do you like the look of Jelavic? And Gibson?
I like the look of both of them. As generic and post-match footballerish as this sounds, Jelavic definitely has an eye for goal but on top of that his positional sense is fantastic and his link-up play with the attacking midfielders is brilliant. With Gibson, I wasn’t sure to start with but I think he has done well. He’s got good passing, isn’t afraid to attack and he has a hot shot from both feet. Early days yet though, he’s definitely not one of Moyes’s finished articles and at £1 million is an absolute bargain.
There are rumours that Royston Drenthe has been given the elbow. What do you think of him? Would you sign him permanently given the chance?
It is always so hard to say with loan signings as they show their best side to impress with an eye on getting signed. A bit like when you first start seeing someone, you’re always charming, witty, chivalrous and generally the best person on earth. Three months in you’re farting in bed and forcing her head under the covers! Seriously though, he’s shown some great flashes and that hot-headed mentality can be a bonus to a team but I can’t form enough of an opinion at this point. If Moyes isn’t liking what he sees then I trust that judgement 80% of the time.
Which are the key areas that need strengthening for you?
We need more firepower up front. The midfield and defenders (Leighton Baines) are more than weighing in, but we’re a club which prides itself on strikers. It’d be great to have a new icon in the number 9 shirt and Jelavic is showing early signs that he could be that man.
How much do you think Leighton Baines is worth to Everton?
Difficult question as I don’t know if you mean in a monetary sense, footballing sense or morale sense. Monetarily – I’d say about £10-£12 million. Footballing – right now, utterly priceless. Morale – not the most vocal person, but that doesn’t matter. It must be so reassuring for everyone on the pitch knowing he’s there. He is a key player for us. It still makes me shudder to think back a couple of years when we nearly got rid of him!
David Moyes leaves, Everton crumble – discuss!
At this moment in time, most definitely. He doesn’t always make the right decisions, but then again who does? It’s often said that he’s worked miracles in his time at Everton and I agree with that 100%. He restored our sense of pride and gave us optimism. He may never win a thing for us, but to me he will always be an Everton legend.
If we beat Liverpool in the semi this year then never expect to see me ever again, but tell my mum I love her. Not sure how it’ll go because it’s a derby and as I read on Facebook the other day, “I haven’t been this nervous about a semi since I watched Brokeback Mountain“.
I couldn’t help but notice that one of you Tweeted Joey Barton. Do you know him?
Nah, we don’t know him. Was just some light-hearted ribbing from me. I quite like his tweets, but occasionally it’s like David Brent quoting Confucius during the appraisals in The Office.
What was the first match you ever went to? And the best? And the worst?
First – Everton v Luton in 1985. I was very young, but I’m sure we won and Lineker scored.
Best – Everton v Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road in 1995 for the F.A. Cup semi-final. We were favourites to lose as the media wanted the ‘dream’ final between Manchester United and Spurs. We tore them to shreds that day and the fact that the Spurs fans had the main stand and we had the other three sides of the stadium just made the atmosphere incredible. We played brilliantly that day.
Worst – Everton v Norwich (1994 I think) when we lost 5-1 and Efan Ekoku scored 4. The week before we’d beaten Liverpool 2-0 and I was utterly convinced that we were going to win the league (the naivety of youth eh?). I’ve never felt so deflated after a match since. I suppose it set me up for a lifetime of being an Evertonian and my own personal misanthropy.
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of all the Everton players you’ve ever seen, who would you pick?
Neville Southall, Kevin Ratcliffe, Kevin Sheedy, Andrei Kanchelskis, Duncan Ferguson (just simply because I love the big fella)
Andy Ashton, thank you.
For more information and a list of live dates, please visit the Cold Shoulder Facebook page.