It's a huge week - especially for me!
It’s the UK premiere of my new film The Big Ugly on Friday, so I’m busy doing interviews and press. It’s manic but great. I’ve started a new production company with Scott Wiper - we worked together back in the day and have remained good friends.
The Big Ugly is our first project and opens in the UK this week and in the US next week and we’re all excited about it. We’ve had great backing from two of the best in the business in Michael Downey and Greg Gibson Williams - and we’re all up for it!
Scott wrote the script and it’s great - and the film itself looks fantastic.
It’s about a London gangland boss who heads over to the States and gets involved in the oil business - like the Long Good Friday but the other way round! And we got together a great cast to film it last year, thankfully before the world was turned upside down.
It was fantastic working with them all, but especially Ron Perlman and Malcolm McDowell, two brilliant actors who’ve done so much in the business. Malcolm is one of the greats - Clockwork Orange and Gangster No.1 are two of my favourite films of all-time.
We’ve got some great plans for the future - but make sure you catch The Big Ugly at the cinema. Thankfully they’re all beginning to open again and we’re booked into a good few across the UK. It’ll be available to stream, too, from Friday. Make a date.
I didn’t mention it at the time - but I reckon it was a lucky time to work with Malcolm McDowell. He was born just outside Leeds but brought up in Liverpool - Leeds and Liverpool. See where I’m going here? I don’t just throw this together you know!
So it’s well done Leeds, who’ve followed Liverpool as winners this season. Get in!
Leeds being crowned Championship winners made my weekend. Everyone knows my love for that club, I had some great times there in a good team, but this team has been sensational and Bielsa definitely deserves it after last season’s close call.
When I was growing up Leeds and Liverpool were the dominant teams, so I suppose it’s gone full circle now with them both at the top of their leagues. And make no mistake, Leeds will do alright in the Premier League next season.
They’ll spend wisely. They probably need another goalscorer to take the pressure off Patrick Bamford. He’s been great, but strengthening there can only help him and the team - and I’d love defender Ben White to stay.
He’s been an outstanding loan signing at the back but might be heading back to Brighton. Hopefully the powers-that-be can work something out, but either way you know Bielsa will sort things out - and I’m looking forward to him doing battle with Klopp and Pep.
They love him and rate him as the best coach around, which is amazing coming from them. But just seeing Leeds in the Premier League will be great - two of my old teams Leeds and Chelsea against each other again. Another real throwback - tasty, too!
Before we look ahead to the last batch of matches, a round-up of the weekend.
It was London 2 Manchester 0 in the FA Cup semi-finals. That was some performance from Arsenal to beat City. I couldn't have called that, but did call Chelsea beating United. It was a great effort from Frank’s team and sets up a good final on August 1st.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal have young managers looking for silverware early in their careers at two major clubs - it would be some achievement for either - but first they’ve got to finish off the Premier League season. We’re into the final week.
Chelsea look okay for the Champions League. They probably only need one point from their two games this week - Arsenal might need to win the FA Cup to get into Europe. The would be extra motivation for Arteta’s team.
Anyway, catch my predictions below. We got loads right last week - check them out - and I’m going in again. Wish me luck there - and wish me luck for a busy few days ahead talking about another business I love - the filmmaking business.
I’ve got some great whistles lined up - suits to you posh folk! - and I’m ready to walk the walk.
Keep safe all,
Watford v Manchester City: Man City to win
Aston Villa v Arsenal: Arsenal to win
Manchester United v West Ham: Draw
Liverpool v Chelsea: Chelsea to win
Arsenal v Watford: Arseanl to win
Burnley v Brighton: Burnley to win
Chelsea v Wolves: Chelsea to win
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs to win
Everton v Bournemouth: Everton to win
Leicester v Manchester United: Draw
Manchester City v Norwich: Man City to win
Newcastle United v Liverpool: Liverpool to win
Southampton v Sheffield United: Draw
West Ham United v Aston Villa: West Ham to win
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