With the much-awaited return of Thursday night football this week, it’s time to take a look at our first opponents, FC Vorskla of the Ukraine.
Based in the city of Poltava, FC Vorskla were born out of the ashes of a former Soviet trade union sports society, called Kolos. Going through a number of name changes and bankruptcy, the club re-emerged in 1986 in the Soviet third division before joining the second tier of the new Ukrainian League in 1992.
Promoted to the Ukrainian Premier League in 1996, they have remained there ever since. On the European stage, the club played twice in the old Uefa Cup before various assaults on the Europa League, the highlight being group stage participation 2011/12. Of course that highlight has been superseded by the ultimate in FC Vorskla’s history, when drawn to play the mighty Arsenal FC in this season’s Europa League group stage.
The club play at the Oleksiy Butovskyi Vorskla Stadium which was named after a famous Poltava dignitary from a cossack family who was instrumental in the founding of the International Olympic Committee.
Vociferous rivalries amongst various Ukrainian club supporters have largely been put to one side due to the fighting in Eastern Ukraine. Fans of Vorskla Poltava are fierce patriots of the Ukraine and many are said to have taken part in the Ukrainian revolution of 2014.
On 26 July 2014, the club’s president and active local politician, Oleh Babayev was shot dead. Police opened a criminal case under Article “premeditated murder” but it appears the perpetrator was never found in the familiar fashion of disputes between Ukrainian and pro-Russian factions in the region.
Local Food – Borshch, Varenyky (stuffed dumplings) and Banosh with Brynza (corn flour cooked in sour cream with sheep’s cheese and crunchy pork fat) are examples of local cuisine along with Holodets – “This strange dish shocks tourists. But, for Ukrainians, it is the central dish served at all celebrations. Holodets is made of meat broth, frozen to a jelly-like state, with pieces of meat inside. One of the main components for this kind of aspic is pork leg. To be more specific, the lowest part, the one that ends with hoofs. During the process of cooking, the smell spreads all over the apartment. But the result is so satisfying that it is worth it.”
While I’m sure local Ukrainian food is delicious, I’d imagine Arsenal will be taking their own chef! (as most clubs seem to after the spuds’ experience of Lasagnegate 🙂 )
chas. That is excellent and reminiscent of one of my old PM’s when I could be arsed to do the research 😀
Really enjoyed the Highbury cricket vid from earlier this morning. You really find some gems.
Made me wonder. What would be the difference in price between an Ems season ticket, and one season of European away travel for all games
AFC.com does not give prices for Arsenal Travel Club
Gone are the days of seeing players going home on the underground
Oh the irony. More often than not, the more famous you become, the richer you become and the more free shit you get
Free cars. Free clothes. Free restaurants. Job done 🙂
Did you see this?
🙂 that clip above is priceless … shame he doesn’t say which team he supports.
Thanks for the preview chas, will we send a second string or third string team I wonder? So their president gets shot by the ruskies and no consequences … that’s familiar!
By the way, this wasn’t meant to be a pre-match at all, just a space filler about our almost unknown (to us) opponents on Thursday.
I hope it hasn’t gone too much into the same ground.
Thanks for update on this team. They tend to have deecnt stadiums now in Ukraine as a positive spin off of the Euro there.
In terms of team – I am keen to see some players get some playing time so here is my line up:
Leno – Lichten, Holding, Mavropanos, Jenkinson – Guendouzi, LT, El Neny – Miky, Iwobi – Laca
Jenkinson, seriously? Didn’t you hear he got injured watching football at home?😄😂
Sorry…Monreal would do then 😦
I will write a Gazidis post for tomorrow …
That Man U vid is amazing. I thought when I saw the back of Falani’s head that it was a look a like but no.
Love the the way the guy explains that there is no such thing as a private area on a platform.
The changes continue………………..
Arsenal have confirmed that chief executive Ivan Gazidis has decided to leave the club to join AC Milan.
Gazidis was appointed Arsenal’s chief executive in January 2009, and was expected to assume many of the roles and responsibilities formerly undertaken by David Dein and Keith Edelman.
The 54-year-old coined the “catalyst for change” phrase that became emblematic of Arsene Wenger’s final year in charge at the Emirates Stadium.
He also sent an email to club staff refuting ‘simply nonsense’ claims about their 2017 summer transfer window and start to the season.
Gazidis played a key role in the removal of Wenger as manager, as well as the appointment of replacement Unai Emery.
But he appears to deem that a realisation of his promise to “change” things in north London, as he will join AC Milan on October 31.
Arsenal have already announced that head of football relations Raul Sanllehi will be promoted to head of football, while chief commercial officer Vinai Venkatesham is the new managing director.
“For the last 10 years I have been privileged to dedicate myself to this great club,” Gazidis told the official Arsenal website.
“Arsenal is entering a new chapter and I have done everything I can to ensure that it is strongly placed to take on that challenge. This includes world-class facilities and outstanding leaders in every sector who carry the values of the club, including, of course, Unai Emery, Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham in whom I have enormous faith.
“We have been building on the club’s progressive social values, leading the way on the women’s game, diversity and inclusion, and establishing the Arsenal Foundation. This will remain central to the club’s philosophy.
“Although it is very hard to do – the hardest decision of my life – I believe that, after 10 years, it is the right time for me to step aside to allow new leadership, energy and ideas to take the club forward into this exciting new era. I believe in the positive force of change, both for me and for the club. I am excited to see what the future holds for this great club and I am energised by a new personal challenge with AC Milan.
“My sincere thanks go to Stan and Josh Kroenke for their support and guidance on everything we have done. To Sir Chips Keswick, Lord Phil Harris, Ken Friar and my wonderful management team and staff, on and off the field, to Arsène Wenger, Unai Emery and to the fans of this giant and incredible club, thank you for your immense support and friendship over so many years and for the wonderful privilege of being part of the journey.
“We lived through many emotions together, the highs and the lows of football, and I am proud to be able to say that I gave this club and its fantastic people everything that I had in me. I am excited and energised for the future for myself and for Arsenal Football Club and I will always hold it in my heart.”
Jack’s bones have cracked again, I wonder when he will decide that enough is enough?.
West Ham’s Jack Wilshere faces up to six weeks out after minor ankle surgery
West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere faces up to six weeks out of action after having minor ankle surgery.
The 26-year-old, who joined from Arsenal in July on a three-year deal, had the operation in London on Monday.
He completed West Ham’s first three games but was taken off against Wolves and missed Sunday’s win at Everton.
“We envisage he will only need a relatively short period of rest and will then start his rehabilitation,” said head of medical Richard Collinge.
The surgeon was satisfied with the procedure and said all went as planned.
“Jack is focused and determined to get back training and playing as soon as possible,” Collinge added.
Gazidis is going. Should I care?
Thanks for the pre-match Chas 🙂
Some excellent background research, kind of like a footballing blogging version of a Michael Palin around the world episode. I will try anything and any experience once, but judging by the picture and the local delicacies you mentioned I think “once” would be the operative word. It even looks enough to make the residents and regular swamp creature visitors to N17 feel they are enjoying a 5 star destination and experience (ok far fetched….3 star).
I don’t expect us to go full strength in these early rounds unless necessary (maybe Sporting), but it is a competition we should look at as a realistic opportunity to get silverware and a direct route to the ECL next season, so we need to be careful not to slip up early on.
Long and nowt to do with football but interesting nonetheless…….
Inter Milan v spuds at 17:55 (clashes with Celebrity Eggheads)
dippers v PSG 20:00 (clashes with Bake Off)
Most enjoyable finish. 🙂
Seeing all the CL fixtures makes me realise what it’s like being a minnow 🙂
Yeah but even though we’re a bit shit, we’re still better than half the teams in the CL group stages.
Carrierbag have got a higher UEFA coefficient than Gala. We might have our work cut out in Azerbaijan.
I am so annoyed we lost to Liverpool at the last minute. But overall; our display was not worthy of a win but it was not to be sanctioned by a loss either. What bothered me the most was the last of intensity from Bernat, Di Maria and Neymar and also a bit from Mbappe and the lack of character from Thiago Silva and Rabiot. Only players that showed some guts yesterday were:
Areola – Meunier, Kimpembe – Marquinhos – Cavani
Watched a very enjoyable game at Anfield. PSG were so top heavy it was shocking. All well and good having the best attack in world football but they are useless if there is no-one to pass the ball to them.
Spurs got Spurs again. 😀
Which means we have to play:
Areola – Meunier, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bernat – Dani Alves, Verratti, Rabiot – Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar
when the time is fit so out Thiago Silva and Di Maria.
BR – I think our team had some good moment but overall we sucked
RC. Di Maria was terrible as was Rabiot.
I am in Paris over the weekend. Are PSG at home? Is it easy to get tickets?
Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.
This weekend we are playing at Rennes. Following weekend at home.
Di Maria really upset me and Rabiot was also not at his best. Liverpool’s left wing totally dominated us because Bernat is not fully match fit yet and neither Di Maria nor Neymar was helping defensively.
There is a New Post.
Thanks RC. Shame, I would like to have gone to a game.