The Skater’s Waltz in Östersund – Player ratings

First Half

Instead of coming out all reindeer blazing as many home teams do, Östersunds went immediately into contain mode. This tactic backfired as Arsenal quickly gained confidence, possession and shots on goal. The artificial pitch, so different from those monstrosities at Luton and QPR, proved to be a fine playing surface, perfectly flat but with a realistic bounce. It suited the Arsenal far more than we might have expected.

When the Spanish Messi chipped in with yet another goal, it seemed only to be expected. Well, judging by Paul Parker’s reaction on Sky Sports anyway.

A second goal soon followed – as Terry said “Poor Papagianopolous. Bullied at Greek school for having a short surname, he now scores an own goal” – though Micki’s driven cross was difficult to defend and I’m sure Welbz would have scored if the Greek backside hadn’t.

Two up and cruising, so back into Arsenal mode, complacent and dozing. Maybe that’s a little harsh and it was just that Östersunds decided they had nothing to lose, so stepped up a gear.

Terry again, “They have had their chances? Honestly, if I turned up with my old gran and the rest of the chicken admiration society, we would get beat but still create chances against this current Arsenal team”. Seems about right. 🙂

Second half

I must admit to losing a bit of interest in the second half, much like the players and spectators.

Though that is understandable as when Arctic winds, nordvästan, are blowing through your Helags, it’s difficult to concentrate on anything other than your chattering teeth.

Mesut scored a third from another Micki assist and the return leg next week was looking more of a foregone conclusion. The excitement wasn’t over, oh no; in stoppage time David Ospina rescued a clean sheet for the Gunners with our first penalty save for donkey’s.


Mission accomplished, a healthy lead for the home leg, no digits missing from frostbite and hopefully no injuries apart from a few minor carpet burns.


Ospina – A Catcher in the Rye – A couple of good stops and an excellent penalty save … 7

Bellerin – Vanity Fair – made some great runs down the right needs to up his end product  … 6

Mustafi – All Quiet on the Western Front – took everything in his stride and passing was better  ….6

Chambers – Brave New World – looking more comfortable with each game, but not really tested in Sweden … 6

Monreal – The Sun Also Rises – Nacho was born in Pamplona and probably used to train running with bulls  … 7

Elneny – The Kite Runner – MOTM, “Really liked Elneny’s workrate. This is a man who understands his limitations and plays like it. Good man” … 7

Maitland-Niles (Con) – First Among Equals – competent in centre midfield, though not an immediate solution at DM as yet  … 6

Ozil – The Great Gatsby – cruised through the game in second gear in which he still looked majestic … 7

Mkhitaryan – Far From The Madding Crowd – two more assists, his quality was apparent, still settling in … 6

Iwobi – Great Expectations – seemed to like the artificial surface, fluctuates between composed excellence and hasty mediocrity  … 6

Welbeck – Wuthering Heights – lacking in confidence in his abilities, will be so much better when he can find some  … 5

59 Responses to The Skater’s Waltz in Östersund – Player ratings

  1. chas says:

    Here’s what twitter is talking about re Hector and AFTV.

  2. LB says:

    Absolutely right Hector. You could have simplified it further and said they are just a bunch of front bottoms.

    Really good match report and excellent film choices. I am assuming this it Chas’ work but that brilliant opening line has Micky’s signature on it.

  3. Eddie says:

    scousers 🙂

  4. Eddie says:

    thanks for the report. Again, very generous in my opinion. Only Welbeck got 5, I would give 5 to most of the team. If the overrated Ostensunds were a better team we would struggle.

    But they were not, we won, job done, happy dayz.

    Bravo Hector, that boy is sooooo special.

  5. jjgsol says:

    I know that there is no media bias against us, nevertheless, in today’s Times. I note that the report of our victory was considerably less gushing than yesterday’s reports on the other 3 teams.

    I wonder how well they would have fared if they would have been playing without their 2 main strikers, 2 essential midfield players and 1st choice goalkeeper, in subzero temperatures, on an artificial pitch.

    They also had a long article about the chances of 5 EPL teams getting through to the quarter-finals. They had quotes from journalists from other countries including one from Belgium who commented that it was now more likely because Arsenal is not there. He commented that they were serial bottlers in the last 16.

    He seems to have forgotten how often we have been drawn against Barcelona and Bayern in this round in recent years.

    But, there is no anti-Arsenal bias in the media, of course.

  6. mickydidit89 says:


    You have a frilly shirted man’s touch with words. Thank you.

    A penalty? Well that’s news to me. Damn, I like pens. Afraid I retired for a Cuban No3 immediately after Mesut’s No3.

    I remember he commentator was saying that we weren’t trying. What a Dick. Why bother. We did more than enough.

  7. mickydidit89 says:

    Nothing to do with me

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooops, didn’t mean to push post. Meant to add, the frills on my shirt are not as big as Chas’ 🙂

    Blast, no football weekend. Boo. No rugger either, double boo

  9. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Superb report and surprised there have not been more comments. I guess there is nothing to complain about. I thought the ratings were book titles but, of course, they could also be films.

    Enjoyed the game, It was a canter. Biggest disappointment was Welbeck who missed a header which my grandma could have scored and did not have a shot on target all game. It is all well and good running about but it has to have some purpose and end product.

  10. Eddie says:

    raddy – why? Theo ran into dark corners for more than 11 years and we still loved him. So why not Danny?

  11. Eddie says:

    why is Mkhitaryan “Far From The Madding Crowd”? I don’t get it

  12. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.

    I realise that as a match report it was a bit shit and also that if I didn’t have access to see how many folks had actually been forced to read it, then I might consider not writing another.

    p.s. they were book titles. 🙂

  13. chas says:

    It can be anything you like.
    I was thinking along the lines of ‘far from the maddening crowd’ since he left the red mancs to join us. 🙂

  14. chas says:

    A Dandan post called Joe Baker Remembered has received 2 views today.
    Crazy stuff.

    One of Micky’s old posts called ‘Arsenal – Sex Up’ receives pretty consistent views – a couple a week at least.
    Who knows what people are searching for when they come across it?
    The comments are a little risqué, to say the least. Haha.


    Quality chas

    Thanks for the quotes. The last time I was quoted was during my trial. Apparently, wearing a monocle and talking like you may in the past have shot down a Messerschmitt can not defeat modern facial or vocal technology.

    This season has given me the shakes, and bought up some upsetting repressed memories.

    This is not something I talk about often but still only a school boy, 10 day’s in 1980 left me with post traumatic stress syndrome and to this day I still occasionally wake in the middle of the night and cry out “Craig Johnston”

    Everyone remembers the dreaded 4 days that May. Firstly, beaten by West Ham in the FA Cup final then the heartbreaking lose of the Cup Winners Cup final to Valencia.

    These two losses left me shattered. The following few days I was in a daze. Already crap at school, I became even worse, answering the maths teachers question with “pride & preduice Sir”, and turning up for Geography dressed in my PE kit.

    Five days after the Valencia loss, we had Middlesbrough away. My older brother insisted we bunk school and go to the game by encouraging me with “we got to show the lads some support you little shit” and threatening to burn my Spider-Man comics.

    So, to raise funds for the trip I sold my Commodore games console, it was very much like PlayStation except the only game was ping pong, to some Chinese kid who I later found out became the worlds 863rd best table tennis player.

    Only about 500 made the trip. The atmosphere was like a post mortem with the only consolation been the youngest to make the trip some older Gooners took pity on me so threatened my brother that unless he bought me an Atari when we got back, the next time they saw him they would do him over and beat him at Space Invaders.

    In May, Middlesbrough is still a shithole. The place is like one big audition for The Jeremy Kyle show, and no one knows who there mother is. The only saving grace is that it’s miles away from London.

    On hindsight I didn’t fully realise how much those lost finals had taken out of me. The game was a blur, but my engraved memory of the event was the perm head Aussie Craig Johnston running the show. He put them 1-0 up and spent the rest of the first half bossing it. He came off injured shortly after the break, but Boro, full of confidence due to Johnston’s luxuourious barnet, ran out 5-0 winners.

    The following seven days I didn’t have to bunk school, I was genuinely ill and spent the next seven days in bed.

    Looking back, I now realise that game on top of the finals had a profound effect on me. I feel David Johnston may have led to the breakdown of my first marriage and when I spot anybody playing a games console fly into a rage and demand we sell the thing to pay for train tickets.

    This season is not in the same class as that, but it’s one of those periods in our history were our standards are slowly dropping and an impending fear of a period of mediocrity lurks in the background.

    The good thing is that there is nothing sweeter in football than resurrection. Nobody thought that the 71, 89, & 98, teams were coming, and that made those titles, if possible, even better.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring.

  16. mickydidit89 says:


    3:18am? The PTSS really has returned hasn’t it. Brilliant comment 🙂

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Transplant. From the very first line one of your best. You are a treasure

  18. chas says:

  19. VP of Oz says:

    great read transplant.
    and I never really liked aussie Craig Johnston and other aussies never really liked him either as he should have been a giant in our sporting landscape but?… He was brilliant at skinning kangaroos and making great boots. Good bloke in the end, I’ve warmed to him…

  20. chas says:

  21. Eddie says:

    I think I am an armadillo 🙂

  22. Big Raddy says:

    I thought you thought therefore you are

  23. chas says:

    Tom Cox again

  24. chas says:

  25. chas says:

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahhh, damp, rainy Saturday. Sport on telly time.
    Arsenal Manchester Utd?
    Arsenal City?
    Oh, urr, rugger then. England France?
    No. Skeleton

  27. Eddie says:

    which one is Ian?

  28. chas says:

  29. mickydidit89 says:


    That’s a bit spooky because only yesterday I unearthed my old cannon that I haven’t see in years. Today I’m going to polish the brass gun, which sits on a black cast iron carriage.

  30. chas says:

    Have you get a photo of it?

  31. chas says:

  32. mickydidit89 says:

    Crystaaaals 🙂

    A pic? You sure? It’s very basic and not properly big firing style. ‘ickle model, maybe 10″. Still very Arsenally

    My dad gave it to me. Reason he was an Arsenal man was because he was in the Gunners, or Royal Artillery as he called them. He was a Wolves man before that.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    No proper football, not interested in the OL, cricket a sad, sorry tale of consecutive defeats, no transfers, no salacious gossip – what is a boy to do?

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    pic sent. Didn’t see how rusty it’d become in the dark shed

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    And lo, Chas has the answer for you Erik 🙂

  36. Eddie says:

    tips!! I was given a tip yesterday – Eubank was DEFINITELY going to beat Groves last night. Bollix. Wasted more money

  37. chas says:

    In answer to your question – have a look at the picture link above the cow photo it will tell you which one is Terry. 🙂

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh look, me cannon 🙂

    ’tis Arsenally isn’t it?

    I’ll send an after when restoration cleaning done

  39. Eddie says:

    thanks chas, but I want to know which one is Ian 🙂

  40. chas says:

  41. Eddie says:

    bloody Giroud and Fabregas are working their socks off for chavs. Shitheads

    @8:46 – are they The Rolling Stones?

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Chas 😀 😀

    Do you think Ronnie dyes his hair or is it a wig?

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    Almost Eddie. Ronnie Wood on the left and his granny on the right

  44. Big Raddy says:

    There is something wrong with my Google search. I type in “rusty cannon” and get pics of naked old men

  45. Eddie says:

    didn’t Wood snort her ashes up his hooter?

  46. mickydidit89 says:

    He’s a leftie. Believes in reincarnation. He was right.

  47. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha 🙂 very funny

    reincarnation or recycling ?

  48. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. No that was Keith Richards.

  49. chas says:

    “Ingesting your ancestors” 🙂

  50. Eddie says:

    fucking abomination

  51. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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