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March 2018
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3 players left off the plane, problem with wheelbarrows, and finally the final line up. Maybe.

By Bulldog Drummond

As is becoming the norm now, by lunchtime before an Arsenal evening match there is no preview in the mainstream media, rather more articles looking back to previous games.  So up to us to come up with something other than the story doing the rounds that Jack Wilshere is off to Juventus.

According to the Gunnerstown website Östersund means wheelbarrow, which I found a bit confusing.  My knowledge of Swedish is limited, but I thought wheelbarrow was skottkärra.  Breaking down the word as far as I know Öster means East and sund means sound, but hopefully Arsenal have arrived at the right place for the game.   

Mind you the same site also says that the Vikings invented the wheelbarrow, but my wheelbarrow encyclopedia tells me that the text of the “Records of the Three Kingdoms” which was compiled for the emperor by Chen Shou between 233 and 297 AD, puts Zhuge Liang as the inventor.

Worse, by and large the Viking Era is generally considered to be from the 8th century to 11th century, so I am not too sure about that claim either.  But then the site suggests that Nacho Monreal should play centre forward in tonight’s game and so finally the penny dropped and I realised I had been had.  Nice one guys; always willing to admit when I’d been got.

Especially when it gives me a chance to show off my incredibly basic a) Swedish, b) knowledge of Chinese history and c) my rather greater knowledge of the Vikings as there is a TV series about them on Netflix.

And it was all a huge amount better than the Daily Cannon’s headline: “It’s snow joke”.  Oh for goodness sake.

The question is, how does the line up work?

We all know the key people who are out, and to that list I would add Ramsey, who is, I think recovering, but being given more time to make sure he is not rushed back and so has a relapse.  He was on the plane (if I have read the message aright) but I don’t think he will play.  Maybe he is there to give support and encouragement.  Maybe he just likes the cold.

Those NOT on the plane seem to be

  • Wilshere, Koscielny, and Cech

So I am going to go for a back three of central defenders with two wing backs outside them, not least because the opposition tend to play with a back five (although sometimes can change).

Mkhitaryan Welbeck Ozil

 Elneny       Xhaka

Kolasinac Monreal  Mustafi  Chambers Bellerin


In reserve on the snow covered beach I think I would pick

Holding, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Nketiah, Nelson, Mavropanos, Macey

There are however some writers who are going for a younger side, particularly one with Holding and Chambers on from the start but I suspect the fact that we have no game at the weekend means we will aim to go for a decent lead from this game, then play a younger, less experienced team in the match at the Arsenal Stadium, and then have the full group of players except Mkhitaryan (who is of course cup tied) play in the league cup final.

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42 comments to 3 players left off the plane, problem with wheelbarrows, and finally the final line up. Maybe.

  • julian philpot

    This is a team that has just beaten Galatasaray and are full of confidence and commitment,on their home ground with fantastic enthusiastic support from loyal devoted fans.An Arsenal win from a team with limited goalscoring potential, missing key players and lacking confidence is far from certain.

  • Gord

    My slightly warped interpretation of the interview snippets at, is that it is possible that Santi was on the plane? There to chear/coach/charm the lads?

    I wonder if perhaps there might be a transfer possible in the not too distant future? GP to go to London Colney and Ashburton Grove? How old was Wenger when he came to the EPL?

  • Tony Attwood

    Ramsey was left behind.

    Four at the back?

    Bellerin Chambers Mustafi Monreal
    Elneny Maitland-Niles
    Iwobi Mkhitaryan Ozil

  • Tony Attwood


    Macey, Holding, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Willock, Nelson, Nketiah

  • Gord

    I am guesing on positions:

    David Ospina (C)
    Monreal Mustafi Chambers
    Bellerín Maitland-Niles
    Elneny Iwobi
    Özil Welbeck Mkhitaryan

    Beach: Macey, Holding, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Nelson, Nketiah, Willock

    Our officials for the game are from Spain:

    Referee: David Fernández Borbalán (ESP)
    Assistant referees
    _Raúl Cabanero (ESP)
    _Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
    Fourth official
    _Miguel Martínez (ESP)
    Additional assistant referees
    _Javier Estrada (ESP)
    _Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)

    It is -3C, with a 23 kph wind. Humidity is 73%.

    UEFA continues to use Arsenal hater Daniel Thacker to present commentary.


  • Tony Attwood


  • Tony Attwood

    So that website we were writing about which said Monreal was going to play centre forward was not a spoof at all. They are the wheelbarrows.

    Well I never !

  • Gord

    As near as I can tell, the UEFA text commentary code was updated since the last game, and is significantly worse.


  • Ost 0 Arsenal 2, 26 mins

    Welbeck I think although talk of an own goal. I dont think so.

  • Gord the game is on if you have no other source.

  • Gord

    Congratulations Welbeck! UEFA isn’t saying anything about assists.

    Apparently the goal for Monreal was his first UEFA goal. Tap in rebound.

    And Now Mkhityran scores! No, UEFA can’t figure out if it is Welbeck or Mhkityran.

    It is doubtful if UEFA is a source of anything useful. Thanks Tony.


  • Full time
    Astana 1Sporting 3

    Scores on the half hour

    Dortmund 0 Atalanta 0
    Ludogorets 0 AC Milan 0
    Marseille 1 SC Braga 0
    Nice 1 Lokomotiv Moscow 0
    Ostersunds FK 0 Arsenal 2
    Real Sociedad 0 Red Bull Salzburg 1
    Spartak 0 A Bilbao 1

  • Gord

    These might be the statistics, who knows.

    1 minute extra time
    Shots on target _ _ _4:4
    _off target _ _ _ _ _2:2
    _blocked _ _ _ _ _ _ 0:5
    corners _ _ _ _ _ _ _1:1
    offsides _ _ _ _ _ _ 0:2

    61% Possession for Arsenal
    %Passing accuracy _ 88:93
    Passes _ _ _ _ _ _ 204:393

    Balls recovered _ _ 18:21
    blocks _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 5:0
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _6:2


  • Menace

    the 2nd goal was a Miki shot of the arse of Papagianopolous so it was an own goal even though it was scored by an arse ‘n al’.

  • Menace

    There’s a bit of excessive force & fouling that seems to be allowed by the official, specially by the Swedes.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Ostersunds FK will resist Arsenal in the 2nd half to stage a come back in the game but Arsenal should killoff their resistant with a 3rd backbreaker goal.

  • Menace

    Ozil adds a third 3-0 to Arsenal

  • Gord

    Ozil scored? Another own goal?


  • 3-0. 58 minutes. Ozil scores

  • Sorry Gord and Menance didn’t check you’d beaten me. Happy to let you do the reporting.

  • Gord

    Don’t count on me, if uEFA makes a mistake (which is very likely), I will too.


  • para

    Why does AW not change out some players?
    Give others a chance to get cold/warm as the case may be.

  • Gord

    How is Monreal supposed to get a hat trick, if he is replaced by Kolasinac? 🙂

    Another goal please Gunners.


  • Gord

    Bellerin, that isn’t what I met! UEFA had Bellerin concede three penalties there, thankfully Ospina saves.


  • para

    Ospina the oenalty killer

  • para

    Arsenal need some serious training, our strikers get no service at all.

  • Gord

    Summary stats

    1 minute extra time: _2 minutes extra time in second half
    Shots on target _ _ _4:4 _ _ 5:5
    _off target _ _ _ _ _2:2 _ _ 3:5
    _blocked _ _ _ _ _ _ 0:5 _ _ 2:7
    corners _ _ _ _ _ _ _1:1 _ _ 3:2
    offsides _ _ _ _ _ _ 0:2 _ _ 1:2

    61% Possession for Arsenal _56%Arsenal for the game
    %Passing accuracy _ 88:93 _ 90:93
    Passes _ _ _ _ _ _ 204:393 478:738

    Balls recovered _ _ 18:21 _ 38:44
    blocks _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 5:0 _ _ 7:2
    Fouls _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _6:2 _ _ 9:6

  • Menace

    The strikers get service but tend to waste it by telegraphing their intent. There is insufficient aggression towards scoring goals.

  • Menace

    Now for the cup at Wembley!!

  • I don’t think I can blame them for not having aggression in those temperatures, Menace. I think it is a case of staying warm.

  • Steve Vallins

    Done what we had to do , only opened them up once when Ozil scored strange game

  • Ferg

    Agreed Para.
    Jack does.
    Ozick usually looks for one or two
    Iwobi. I don’t know what to make of him. I think he has the lot in his locker, but his final ball at the moment is too negative.

  • Ferg

    Negative is too decisive. Tentative, or Pensive would be better. As Menace contends tho, maybe it’s because the runs are not being made decisively, or he doesn’t trust the runners.
    Welbeck didn’t look at home in the middle tonight. Ring rusty CF.
    You lot need to find a friend with BT broadband btw. They haven’t got sign up restrictions like SKY .

  • Gord

    It looks like the most popular score today was 3.

    According to UEFA, the scorer of the second goal originally was Welbeck. And I think it would have been nice if he would have scored today. But, maybe next time.

    It would also be nice to UEFA would get rid of that dork pretending to be an Arsenal reporter. Nobody following the commentary gives a shit about his fantasy pretending to be a manager.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    That was about the most comfortable win I have seen. Well done Ospina for the penalty save and it was most definitely a penalty.

  • Gord

    Far too many pessimistic “news” articles. Bleech!

  • Andy Mack

    A decent but unspectacular result with quite a few 1st choice players missing.
    DW did look extremely rusty, but I guess freezing conditions and a plastic pitch combined with the 1st game back rather compounded the situation.
    Both ElNeny and AMN looked very impressive.

  • Nitram


    I so want Iwobi to succeed. I agree when you say he has it all in his locker.

    Problem is he seems to of lost the key, so for now, in the locker it remains.

    Plus he gives the ball away far too much.

    He drives me nuts.

  • Josif

    It was a routine victory for the boys without injuries and with a clean sheet. Perfect. Dave made a big save at the end. Beautiful.

    As for other results, I hoped that the Danish side might be onto something against Atletico but they were thrashed by the Spanish side. I can’t see outside Atletico as our major rivals for the glory in the competition, especially after Napoli got heavily beaten at home by Red Bull Leipzig. The German side should not be underestimated either but Napoli are leaders in Serie A so I’d prefer to face the Germans in the latter stages of the competition. AC Milan are on the rise as well, Gattuso has managed to find the right team and they’ve been unbeaten in the last nine games in all competitions. I would be very careful if we are about to play against them – UEFA might delegate a ref who’d make sure Milan don’t miss out on Champions League football next season.


    Iwobi needs more discipline off the pitch and it will show on the pitch as well. The other day Jack said how Iwobi is always late for training and laughed about it. I don’t see that as a reason to laugh, especially with that recent broken carefew incident. If Iwobi wants to fulfill his enormous potential (and he has it all, as Ferg and you have pointed out – pace, vision, creativity…OK, maybe he can work on his shooting technique as Menace has pointed out so many times about our players), he has to be more responsible. Being talented is only 5% of success, the other 95 is all about hard work and discipline.

    I don’t know how much you watch basketball but there was a Croatian player Dražen Petrović who was one of the best scorers in European basketball. He’d probably make a huge success in NBA as well if it wasn’t for a tragic car accident that ended his life. He was extremely talented (as a 17-year-old he led his parent club Šibenka to the national championship final) but the key for his success was his discipline and hard work. He’d take the keys from the janitor and train alone in the hall, shooting and dribbling (with chairs) every day. He wouldn’t leave the hall without taking 500 shots EVERY DAY.

    If you want to stay within football, take a look at Cristiano Ronaldo. He has invested a lot of hard work to be athletic as a sportsman can be. That’s why Ronaldo has won five Golden Balls and averaged over 50 goals per season for six years while even more talented Portuguese Quaresma has failed to impress in every big club he has played for.

  • Ferg

    Ambition and motivation. The internal drive to improve. It’s tough for these kids already made for life.

  • Nitram


    I’m agree with you 100%.

    Just having a gift is very rarely enough on it’s own. If ever !

    I am reasonably successful in my life. I can put my hand on my heart and say that I have just about maximised my potential.

    I am certainly not academic or gifted.

    Everything I have in life is down to hard work, professionalism and having a ‘good attitude’.

    Although unavoidable on very rare occasions I am gutted when I am late for work. Similarly in my personal life. I just think it is unprofessional or just plain rude and exibitates a fundamental flaw in your character.

    If you think being late is ok why not giving the ball away ? Is that funny too ?

    I once played with a guy that was gifted. He was our best player and could win us games single handed.

    But he was prone to lose his form now and then. On one such occasion, we were chatting after another poor game and was baffled.

    I don’t know what’s happened, he said. It’s just not happening and I don’t know why.

    I did so I said to him, do you want the truth?

    Yes mate.

    You’ve got lazy mate. You think hour too good to have to work.

    Start working your b******s off again and I’m telling you it will return.

    He did and it did.

    Hard work.

    Personally I think we have not only Iwobi but one or 2 others that need to step up on that front.

  • Nitram



    F***ing auto correct. Drives me more nuts than Iwobi, and that’s saying something.

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