Ice Station Arsenal


Good morning Positives,

A trip to Ostersunds the most mysterious of mystery trips. The home side with a very respectable set of results in Europe, a sub zero night, a plastic pitch, our not-quite first team on display. What would the evening hold ??

For those who saw the game a professional performance  from our lads against opponents who, for the opening 25 minutes ,appeared totally bemused by the event, like a bear woken unexpectedly from hibernation. From what  ( little) I understand about Swedish football they never play competitive games in February so their lethargy when suddenly confronted with a fully firing Gunner battery was understandable. At 2-0 even I was hoping the home side might pull themselves together and make  a game of it.

And having roused themselves Ostersunds did make a better contest of the next hour, drawing a couple of sharp saves from Ospina as well as as his confident penalty stop, and ensuring AMN, Mo and Ozil had a good run round in midfield. For me our best players on the night were Mhki and Hector, the young Spaniard seems to have recovered his spark for the game in recent weeks. And

Danny did OK, worked hard, made space but needed to be  a bit more decisive in front of goal i.e. greedy. Next Thursday he should get a second bite of the cherry and add to his goals scored tally.

I am pleased we got the third, an important psychological marker. Admittedly 3-0 is not quite the “tie totally put to bed” score Arsene was probably hoping for, but the job is done.

And on a final point, what a ‘liberal’ referee ! He gave almost nothing by way of fouls for either side, and not a card all evening. I checked out the Soccerbase statistics for Senor David José Fernández Borbalán. He is a highly experienced Spanish referee who domestically,  in CL and Europa League games, flashes yellow and red cards like a traffic light – Perhaps the cold got to him ?

Enjoy Friday.





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74 comments on “Ice Station Arsenal

  1. Fair summary, Andy.

    Ref was indeed ‘liberal’.

    As Mustafi made that early challenge I actually thought “ooer some refs might decide he was last man and denied a goal scoring opportunity” but he gave us the throw in. Marvellous.

    3-0 should do the job and my fiver is on a Welbeck Hattrick next week.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shkodran would have been unlucky to pick up a red card for the first foul Steve but in England, and I suspect in every other football jurisdiction, that was a yellow. Even the German was surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was hoping for magic rather than efficiency,Am I greedy?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Oosp aside who delighted with his performance, (i do hope that Petr was watching the penalty) I was grateful for the early start and a good night’s kip.
    imo the game was a bit of a bore.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think some people have got too used to caviar so can’t enjoy the occasional plate of sausages!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. passenal a few too many plates of sausages of late, could do with something a bit more meaty for rest of the season


  7. up till this week I was of the opinion that Ramsey should be made Captain of Arsenal from this summer, but I know think it would be a good idea if Hector Bellerin was made captain, he really has shown the qualities, desired in an Arsenal captain.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s the problem eddy, there was a time when we would have killed for a plate of sausages!

    Liked by 4 people

  9. yeah, but sausages is seeing us struggle to get top 4 and for some reason we are seeing a drop in level from one game to another, even one half to another, these players need a little more protein in their diet it seems

    Liked by 1 person

  10. They should see whatever protein Spurs City and Liverpool are eating maybe

    Liked by 3 people

  11. At least it was not all black pudding last night

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Let’s have no racist puddings on this blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. but george we all know black pudding is nicer than white pudding.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. WellI’m Black Y’all

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Can’t escape Spurs anywhere at the minute.

    Walking through town- Swansea -today, and saw 5 people kitted out in sports tracksuits- thought Swans staff, maybe a player, but didn’t recognise them…something didn’t look right

    Slightly closer look and thought I saw Nike insignia and the infernal cockerel. Can’t be. In Swansea? They played each other weeks ago.

    Mystery solved as they are playing each other tonight in u23 game.

    They looked a fairly normal bunch; which just goes to show, evil takes many forms and could be walking amongst us any time.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Actually Scottish White pudding is delicious, I strongly recommend it

    Liked by 2 people

  17. BBC Sport
    ‏Verified account @BBCSport
    39m39 minutes ago

    Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill have apologised for allegedly stealing a taxi outside a fast-food restaurant in Barcelona.

    More: http://bbc.in/2Bx0CYu

    did we really want a guy who goes around stealing a cab


  18. Crazy footballers eh eddy
    Out at 5 in the morning ?
    Collecting a pizza apparently !
    Awfully hungry – all 4 of them – sounds odd
    I’m a bit surprised therefore
    Not what I’d
    Expect really – or Alan Pardew – apparently

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Taxi for Jonny Evans

    Liked by 4 people

  20. That aftv lot are so bad, I swear contact with them is actually brain-damaging, or soul.

    I avoided the video of one of them in his car about a dozen times yesterday before clicking on it. Depressing.

    It’s not so much them- what are a handful of twats among thousands or millions?- but the fact there are many more out there, certainly in Internet land; we know it so well (cheers Internet), and they aren’t ever going away. Same with politics, same with all of life, with the difference being football is, among other things, a refuge from rest of life.

    The ‘I paid x amount of money’ stuff probably gets to me more than the rest. Punishingly stupid and wrong-headed.

    What can that attitude mean? Spelled out fully, and being ‘generous’ to them, it goes :

    I ‘accuse blud.

    ‘ I am radioactively unhappy with almost everything about the football club, and hate most elements of it. If i love anything about it, then it is the past, and some potential future. But I pay a lot of money, a hardship to me, because… what else can I do?

    I can hardly enjoy the days when it goes well, so unhappy am I with the club and the players, manager, etc,etc…but i still go, because…erm, loyalty.

    I go because…no matter how bad it gets, what a ‘shambles’ the club is in, I am loyal, although…maybe I go, with all my negativity, to try work against the club in the short-term, in order to try save it in the longer term. A baseball-capped urban suffragette.The premier league my horse. My relentless poison is temporary. Once we have achieved what we want, or once the club simply is in the right state, then we will stop undermining it….or maybe that’s too clever for me.

    I have the right to an opinion!!!! Everyone does, but when you pay money and give up your time as a fan, and are a real true fan, first word Herbert, loyal to a fault, remember the club when there were no long hairs about, oh boy those rights are sacred! To question that right, to question fans…is an abomination. The customer is always right, the loyal fan is a GOD.

    Players come and go, managers should as well, owners need to fuck off unless they spend some facking money- Bergovic!- to make us better than Bayern as we were promised when leaving our ancestral home, which we never should have done.

    Fans, money-paying fans, we are eternal, we ‘are’ the club. (Although maybe that means I hate myself because I hate this fucking club…but anyway). Cut me open I bleed Arsenal red. What would these shits the players know about that? What do they know about belonging to Arsenal? What do they care?

    The main thing you need to know about me is I’m stuck. My loyalty and love means I am stuck, no matter how bad it gets I have to turn up, pay shitloads of money, and suffer whatever these bums do to me. Woe. It’s all I can do is to video myself in my anger and despair.

    (There’s no other angle: hating something passionately which you choose to pay a lot of money for can only make some sense if in fact you don”t have a choice. A fan can’t change clubs, obviously, and a fan can’t stop paying and going, despite the hate and lack of enjoyment, because…erm, it’s an addiction. Or, no, that sounds weak…it’s a duty. Better.

    The club abuse and ignore my loyalty. I go despite hating it all because it is my duty. I sacrifice and I offer my heartfelt opinion because fans deserve to be heard, and if it gets me attention, so be it. That’s not what I’m on it for.)

    But hey, that’s what being a supporter is about.Hold on * ‘Talksport? Oh, yes. I’d love to talk to you (what Arsenal-loving person wouldn’t?!) though just to let you know I’ve had a huge change of heart and despite still wanting change I’ve decided to be calm, reasonable and balanced- that thing Einstein didn’t say about doing the same thing and expecting different results!- about it…is that okay…hello? Hello? Talksport?*

    That’s about it and oh yeah, ‘fuck you Bellerin, you little shit, you ******* ****, you ******** ****. You ****! Who are you? What have you done with your life? Piss off to League one where you belong with all the other Spanish internationals, wanted by Barca, City, Juventus and fuck knows who else. Though if you leave and have a single good game it’ll be because the new manager knows what to do with you and the old one is a useless player-wrecking ****!

    Liked by 5 people

  21. A baseball capped middle-aged urban suffragette please Rich

    *i love it

    Liked by 1 person

  22. “A baseball-capped urban suffragette.The premier league my horse.”


    Liked by 1 person

  23. You have much greater patience, or possibly a stronger stomach, in being prepared to review what the great unwashed have to say Rich. They have also struck me as utterly, entirely immature, squeaking like toddlers about what thy want and what they are entitled to, and what they told Santa to bring them for Christmas. And the “Looook at me, look at me! … I’m sooooo sad” need for an audience is a classic child attention seeking tactic. These are not the attitudes of mature adults.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Arsenal U18’s are away to spurs u18’s this morning in the PL Cup, its 1-1 at the moment, Balogun gave AFC an early lead, but spurs have leveled


  25. spot on Rich, all this “I spent x amount” or “Arsenal have the most expensive ticket”, is pure bullshit, no one is forced to spend money on AFC, or to buy a AFC ticket, its their choice, its their free will, if they choose to go to an AFC game, that is their choice, its no different that someone who decides to spend their spare cash on going to the cinema each week, or going on a skiing holiday, or playing racket ball etc etc etc, going to the football is not a selfless act, its done cos they want to do it and can afford to do it, so why the fuck do these idiots on AFTV and across the web keep banging on about it like its some big sacrifice. If they are spending money that they can’t afford, or that they should be putting to better use, then that is on them, not AFC, and in fact shows them up for very flawed people.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Tottenham Hotspur
    ‏Verified account @SpursOfficial
    4m4 minutes ago

    U18s HT: Spurs 1-1 Arsenal – Looking bright in attack but we were hanging on at the end of the half with De Bie saving repeatedly from Balogun and Saka.


  27. Chuba Akpom‏Verified account @cakpom

    Solid 1-0 win against Anderlecht.
    Buzzing to get my first goal for Sint-Truiden. Ak Styleeeeeee 🔥💥⚡️

    Liked by 4 people

  28. For my sins I skipped through an interview with Hugh Wizzy and Robbie for a couple of minutes.

    Robbie is upset at being called a “hustler”.
    Hugh who has been on aftv could be considered their friend and who now works for talkspite states that they are both hustlers making a living and there’s nothing wrong with the term as it is accurate.

    AFTV Robbie is upset as his buisiness model is based upon, in his own words oft repeated
    “being a voice for the fans”

    All this bleating today and yesterday is a calculated attempt to minimise the damage to their brand, to their business model.


  29. fins, AFTV are delighted by all the fuss, free publicity, they got to whinge on talkshite too, and of course all their fellow dim witted cohorts are patting them on the back and telling them they are right and Hector and all those that support him are wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Anicol, I really do try and avoid so much of it.

    Never clicked on aftv youtube, never listened to Talksport.

    But over time a lot of it still gets through. Wish I could say it has zero power to bother me, but not the case. Then a case of being torn between wanting to rip apart their shoddy bullshit and hating the fact I’m even aware of it.

    Occasionally that drives me to put it all together ,somewhat, in order to better rip it apart.

    Couldn’t agree more about the immaturity on display. Related note: always fascinated me how quickly and fully reality television went down the toilet.

    I thought the very first Big Brother was a novel and strangely watchable experiment, but then feedback came into play. Later, one notable character tried the schoolkid trick of pretending to be impossibly stupid for laughs and attention; worked well, and inspired thousands of pretenders who are even more painful to watch.

    Liked by 4 people

  31. spurs leading 2-1, with about half an hour to go


  32. Arsenal’s BPL game away to LCFC has been postponed after Leicester got through to the next round of the FA Cup. Game had been fixed for March 17th.


  33. Ed

    Aye, like I said, it’s the bit that gets me most, and it’s the bit that it all hinges upon.

    I actually think the best rebuke to everything I said- instead of ‘where do you live? How often do you go?’- is that I don’t get football by talking in terms of logic and reason.

    That football is about raw passion and emotion, blind devotion, etc, about being a true fanatic. Meaning..not only that reason and the like are not the true fans natural and ruling state…but have no business in the game and aren’t to be trusted! So passion, emotion and devotion remove choice, and all that’s left is to go, and complain about everything including the cost of going.

    Only prob with that is…well what the fuck are you talking about then? No matter how loud they shout or how many curses, bluds and fams they throw in, either you are attempting to talk sense, based on logic, reality and reason, or you are just making noise, wailing, like an underdeveloped, foul-mouthed toddler.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Ed

    Hope u18’s can turn it around. Noticed they haven’t gone with anything like strongest available team though. Only one of the six u17 Eng players starting. Normal captain of u18’s not playing. No Medley or Benson. No Smith-Rowe let alone Nelson.

    I get it, they are clearly being fair to squad, giving others a chance, putting development first. But, ach, Spurs away in a semi…

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Tottenham Hotspur
    ‏Verified account @SpursOfficial
    15m15 minutes ago

    U18s: GOAL! Markanday stays on his feet under pressure, gets to the near post on the right and pulls it across for Griffiths to bundle in. 3-1, 81mins

    Tottenham Hotspur
    ‏Verified account @SpursOfficial
    2m2 minutes ago

    U18s: GOAL! Hat-trick for Reo Griffiths. Markanday’s shot is blocked and Griffiths steers low into the corner from 18 yards. 4-1, 90+4mins


  36. Eeeeeee. VAR.

    Settling in to watch Hudd Utd. Enthusiasm still up despite Huddersfield conceding early, then Smalling handballs one in box.

    No outward signs of VAR being used but Poll in studio suggests they have looked at it. Not first time either that studio guys- or on hand ex ref at least- seem to know for sure what’s happening in VAR centre while all else clueless.

    What’s sure is that the hand was high and usually that is the key marker for them, you’ve seen them given, often and also seen lesser ones given quite often: and also if it wasn’t at the threshold where refs are instructed to look at it on pitch-side monitor, what is that threshold?

    Feels really unsatisfactory that at present we won’t have a clue of how things really go down- in this case did the ref ,Friend, see it and decide not handball, and VAR guy decide it wasn’t clearly and obviously wrong; or did Friend not even see it, and so decision was 100% down to VAR guys decision? There was no delay whatsoever, when just weeks ago at Chelsea we had long delays for a couple of calls against us where thankfully they made right call in end.

    We saw with furore the other week when we accidentally heard ref and linesman talking how controversial that can be, but for me VAR needs it.

    I guess as ever it all comes down to whether you trust our officials or not. The chief benefit of doing so is obvious to me again today

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Ha. Now they’re checking one. Lacazette close. linesman originally gave benefit of doubt as instructed….what’ll it be?

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I see Scoles’ mummy has let him out on a Saturday night again.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Offside – Swarbrick spot on – now shut up you sad ginger wanker and fuck off with your incessant whiney voice

    Liked by 1 person

  40. As you can see I’m a bit of a fan


  41. Anicol

    I switched off for a bit after Scholes and Savage and Humphrey’s initial dismay.

    Would have thought in this case they wouldn’t feel too aggrieved about a razor tight decision given at very least Utd benefited from similar at start of game. So this time it has evened out a bit.

    Not the case?

    Liked by 1 person

  42. That geezer in the car is so funny, if somewhat deranged. He actually says at one point “right Bellerin i’ve done with you thats me and you finished” does he actually think Hector was once his mate or cares whether he lives or dies or has any inclin of his exsistence on this planet. Absolute cloud cooku land, fantasy stuff, which if you then think he is a wob really destroys their argument. If he was in my camp I’d put him down for everyone’s benifit.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Arsenal set for 2019 Uganda visit

    1:55 PM GMT

    KweséESPN Reporter

    Premier League giants Arsenal are set to tour Uganda in June 2019 as part of a sports tourism project, according to National Council of Sports Chairman Bosco Onyik.

    The NCS chief has confirmed that a deal has been finalised which will see the Gunners offering coaching support to Ugandan coaches and invest in training facilities in the East African nation.

    “We went to London last month on January 16th and had three meetings with management of Arsenal FC with the aim of partnering with them,” Onyik told Xinhua.

    “We agreed that they will train some of our coaches, give the Uganda Cranes chance to train at the Emirates Stadium in London, build an academy and also have their team to visit in June next year to tour Uganda and play some matches.”

    The Chinese source has further revealed that the State Minister of Sports, Charles Bakkabulindi, has confirmed that details on the construction of the academy will be unveiled in March.

    “Putting up a well-established academy in Uganda will help develop football better in the country,” said Bakkabulindi.

    “The training of coaches will help them develop and spot talent better in the country,” he added. “Football is a big sport that is very marketable and this explains why we are thinking big to have partnerships.”

    At the beginning of 2017, the Arsenal Foundation partnered with the Family of Hope – a school for children with special educational needs – to build new football pitches in Uganda.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Anyone seen much of Fulham’s Sessegnon this year? Only seen a few clips.

    Saw him a few times for England youth and was impressed. 7 in 8 games this year in rough old league, for someone who started as left back but I assume has moved forward. Still 17 till May. Sensational stuff.

    Seems a mega career lies ahead.

    10 years ago would strongly fancy us to go for him with a good chance he joins. Less likely now because of £changes in game, but you never know.

    Just hope he doesn’t join the shits, though that includes about 6 teams for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Rich he has been outstanding this season, scoring and making lots of goals, vital goals at that. Fulham are said to have turned down a £30M bid for him in January from a BPL club.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Matt Le Tissier Verified account @mattletiss7
    2h2 hours ago

    Anyone else think the officials are deliberately sabotaging VAR so they can carry on affecting the results of matches with no comeback on them? #justathought 🤷🏼‍♂️

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Tears
    The Coq strikes one!

    Liked by 3 people

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