Sunday, November 27, 2022

Arsenal draw Ostersund in Europa League knock-out round

Arsenal have been drawn against Ostersund in the first knock-out round of the Europa League.

The two sides have never met before, which is not surprising given that the Swedish outfit were not founded until October 31st, 1996. Arsene Wenger was officially appointed Arsenal manager in the same month, so his tenure with us is longer than their entire existence.

They’re managed by an Englishman, Graham Potter, who took over in 2011 and has taken them from the fourth tier of Swedish football to the top flight.

It’s set up to be a very interesting tie.

The first legs will be played on 15 February, and the second legs will be played on 22 February 2018.

As one of the seeded teams, Arsenal will play away from home first, with return leg at the Emirates Stadium.

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The Limp Bat

Ostersunds (lots of sunds)


If you enjoy etymology, you’ll be interested to know that the English ‘sound’ — when it means a narrow channel or stretch of water — comes from the Old Norse ‘sund’, which was brought to England with the Vikings in the 8th-10th centuries. ‘Sund’ itself is descended from Indo-European ‘suem’, which means that it gave us both the word ‘swim’ and ‘sound’ (the latter, perhaps, resulting from the idea that a narrow channel would be something you could swim across).

Damo Dinkum

Those Swedes, they have a word for everything!


Sunderland must have Norse origins then I guess?


Good question, and a reasonable assumption. However, when you see ‘sunder’ (rather than ‘sund’ without any other ending), you’re dealing with a different origin, which in this case is Old High German or Old Saxon, with ‘sunder’ meaning ‘set apart’. Think of the word ‘asunder’ as indicating something divided from something else. ‘Sunderland’ means a land where the people are set apart / special (in the service of God, in the case of this area’s monastic origins)…though it’s difficult to see nowadays, since Sunderland AFC is hardly special! This word ‘sunder’, because Saxon/Germanic, entered English earlier (around 5th-century CE) than… Read more »


Get this guy a column!


more to follow…. when I learn something about them 🙂


We avoided drawing Bayern then?


We should be aiming to win this competition.

Get through this round and then we’ll start getting drawn against teams with a bit more about them – not to write off this lot, because if we can lose to Bradford, we can lose to these guys as well.

So yeah – turn up, take it seriously and beat them, making the return leg nice and easy.


I dunno that’s a good thing to aim for but teams like Athletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are no pushovers


Add to the list things teams like Napoli, Milan (who as bad as they’re right now, still have more pedigree than us in european competitions), and teams who can be surprise like Sporting, Lazio, Villareal, Zenit, Nice, Lyon, etc. This can be a second string European competition, but they’re some good teams on it, so it won’t be an easy task.


It will be tough, but I think we can do it. We are miles off winning the league now. That just isn’t going to happen, so we should be aiming to win this I think. Back at the start of the season I would’ve said to completely write off this competition and to concentrate on winning the league, but as it transpires, we aren’t capable of achieving that under Arsene so we have to adjust our course a little. I think we should be aiming for a top 4 finish, and looking to win this competition – maybe a domestic… Read more »


There’s giant killer written all over this fixture. I like most of you have never heard of them, but 7 years ago they were rock bottom of the 4th division and now they’re playing in Europe having knocked out galatasaray 3-1 in the qualifiers. They have an English coach who will know full well how to frustrate arsenal. If we don’t take this game seriously we will get embarrassed!




Famous last words…


Everyone thumbing you down like they knew who they were.

Rectum Spectrum

nah just the like of respect probably


Haha! I had to actually google who they were. Love all the overly sensitive/serious people down voting Goontang….obviously unfamilliar with what is said in the stands when an unknown player comes on…


Never heard of them but i guess Wenger will be fielding a stronger side from now.

Jean Ralphio

Some really good teams in the Europa league this time


Always good when you avoid a tricky winter trip to Russia or Kazakhstan.


Yeah because it’s so much better to have a tricky winter trip 500k from the Artic circle..


Average February temperature there is around -5℃

Stefan Granlund

Lol, welcome to my hometown, possibly minus 15 i February 🙂


That’s a good draw, an opportunity to rest our first team players


…and go out in the last 32 of the Europa League.


Rest them from being rubbish in the league?


Recommended reading:
They are actually a very sympathetic team.


Looking forward to the Kraft Jam stadium?.
Thermal gear all round I reckon. There may be some “minor injuries” ahead of this game requiring expensive stars to be rested.

Lord Nicki B

Whichever league, will we be always saving the tough opposition for the round of 16?


This brought to mind a 10-0 aggregate win over Standard Liege for some reason.

andris priim

This will be trickier than most people think…. this has banana skin all over it…

Santi\'s Thigh Grab

Agree. They have some size and are technical on the counter attack. As we have seen this season we cope really well with that type of team. Here’s some vid of them in action: Arsene better rotate the squad for this away game.


Hope it’s not going to be played under the same conditions as Tromsø – Chelsea back in ’97.
Would however be fun to watch.


Holy shit, they knocked out Galatasaray last year.


This year.


Correct, thank you!


As a resident of Sweden this would normally be great news (apart from the fact it’s a 12 hour train journey up to Östersunds I believe) but I’ll be on the beach in New Zealand when the ties are played so “tough luck” for me. I will be sure to go a dark shade of lobster red in the sunshine to support the team remotely.


Europa league seems more like a football fest.. People from far and wide come together just to enjoy, mingle and just have a good time! Not bad really!


Doesn’t half improve my Geography knowledge!

The Swede

They play like Barca (kind off) and has done really well against Athletic Bilbao in the group.

A Different George

Do you mean they have a Swedish Messi? Or a biter?


This is tough draw. The city is located in the north of Sweden (really cold in february), they play on astro turf and they have already knocked out PAOK and Galatasaray in the qualification rounds before the group stage. They are perennial underdogs at this stage and they enjoy it.

Daniel Brorstad

Artificial pitch in the middle of swedish winter. Reinforce the medical team and prepere for knee rehabilitation


Doesn’t affect us!
We can organise sending an entire squad down with crocked knees playing on a feather mattress on the beach in Barbados.


With the Allsbenskan season starting in April and ending in November, Ostersund will have no competitive football between now and their home leg against Arsenal. That is, unless Soccerway is feeding me rubbish data.


That’s correct. It showed a bit in their final group game against Hertha Berlin. But Östersund* is a good team, well organised and highly motivated.

* In Sweden, we add the letter “s” to a name. In English, this is made with a ‘s instead. So it really means Östersund’s Football Club. 🙂

A Different George

Lost an apostrophe, but gained an umlaut. Seems fair.

Heavy Gunner

They should have ‘fresh legs’ then, right? And it is correct, the Swedish season starts there, otherwise they’d be not as much be playing football, but ‘snowball’ – or ice hockey–

A random Swede

Artificial grass way up north in Sweden during the coldest winter period. That can be an interesting away game… Anything between -10 to -20 Celsius would be normal.

And it is Östersund without the ‘s’ at the end. Unless you write Östersunds FK (FK=short for football club in Swedish).


Beats Bayern or Barcelona!


We’re not in Round 16 yet


no? It would take something truly shocking for us to draw them this year, then.


Or Juve! hahahahaha


Hmmm, its going to be a very tough game for us, we should be very worried

Heavy Gunner

Not a team to overestimate, methinks, especially on their home pitch-and it’s bleedin’ cold in February there! Emirates is probably a different kettle of fish, but I think they are a very well organized team, which is something the Arsenal don’t really take to..

Billy Batts

‘underestimate’, surely?


Well, if you overestimate them, you give them too much respect, and therefore you are in effect underestimating their ability to take advantage under these circumstances.

Overestimate is the new underestimate!

Ike\'s Mood


Heavy Gunner

Thanks Hermitian – couldn’t have said it better myself..

Heavy Gunner

Overestimate is the new understatement of estimation- I’m part of a new generation of illiterate commentaters on this site – pardon to all involved- I’ll get on my bike..


Just can’t wait!

Kwame Ampadu Down

I’ve read a lot about this club lately. The story of what the club & their manager have done in the last 7/8 years is simply extraordinary. I’ve actually been following their Europa results hoping for them to go through despite having no connection with them whatsoever.

Cliff Bastin

Mistah Pottaahhhh


I’ve been there in February and it’s cold. Fucking cold!


Hopefully we won’t find a way to make a massive balls up of it.

Lord Bendnter

Who or what is Ostersund?


Sizeable town in the north of Sweden. Cold!


Exactly. I wish there was some kind of web of information that we could access, preferably with some sort of cable or wireless system, that, along with a search function (call it ‘Farfoodle’ or ‘Asking Jeeves and Wooster’ or something like that), would help us find out about things we didn’t know about.


There’s a nice article on the BBC about them, they’re a really interesting bunch, maybe someone could put a link, I’m a bit rubbish at that sort of thing.


Yes! They are captained by a Kurdish Swedish national. He is a fantastic player.
They beat Turkish giants Galatasaray over 2 legs, this is not an easy tie

The Swede

Brwa Nouri. He was sentenced years ago for molestation and unlawful compulsion. A bad man.


I live in Sweden. All I can say it’s bloody cold there, artificial pitch and they have beaten some big teams on the way. It won’t be easy!

Teryima Adi

I trust it will be a walk over.


Is it that bloke who raids the academy cast offs and lower leagues and takes them to Sweden? I’m sure I read an article in the Guardian about someone like that.

Jakob the Swede

Yeah, that’s Graham Potter for you. So fun it will be to see him getting more spotlight from England! Really talented coach 🙂


Yep. Their best player Saman Ghoddos was unemployed, doing drugs, and living at a friends couch a couple of years ago. Next Year he’ll probably be playing in a top 6 league.

Heavy Gunner

Sounds like the Swedish equivalent of Jamie Vardy then. Great name tho’ – Samman Ghoddos sounds like a nasty piece of work in a violent sub standard film noir


can we play kids the away leg and not risk the temps/pitch problems?

as long as they dont lose by more than 1 goal it should be fine at the emirates.
(famous last words)


Oh, no! This could be a carnival of tweaked hammies. Artificial field and really, really cold. Do we get extra substitutions?

Rectum Spectrum

yeah and just away to spurs beforehand and playing man city a couple days after the second leg :/


My Europa League thoughts: As long as we keep drawing teams I’ve never heard of, I’m happy.


knocked out by Ostersund this time ? i hope not !

Rectum Spectrum


So who got Barca and Bayern then?!


Chel$ki got Barca! And Besiktas got Bayern! And PSG got Real Madrid! We avoided ALL the top teams!

Some right ridiculous draws in the CL this time around.

Rectum Spectrum

spurs a few days before the first leg…then city a a few days after the second leg …. we are going to have to rotate some players here, while also being wary of Ostersund’s threat.



And FA Cup fifth round between the two legs. Good thing we have two full teams.

Media Hates Arsenal

I would say we should use our first team , our hope of making the top 4 is basically over so lets just focus on Europa League.


Come on now lads.
This is a fucking easy draw – couldn’t have been easier.
Oh ye of little faith.
Aggregate 10-0 at least.


I mean.. As I said many moan about playing in CL. Sure but unless you win Europa and even so, it is far les value than year in year out inCL. That said, Wenger cAn’t most about conspiracy this time. They maybe the Bayern of Sweden or the Barca of the Nordics (which they are not) but they are as good as it gets to make us look world class? Even Athletico or Napoli etc are not insurmountable despite our current team’s deficiencies. But you never know with a Wenger team if we simply decide not to show up. Hair… Read more »


So the away fixture is sandwiched by PL games against the Spuds and Citeh. Have a bad feeling about that week..


Welcome to northern Sweden, Jamtkraft Arena on a February night. Normal temperature around -10 and high risk for snow. The arena has a capacity of 8000 and with artificial grass. Östersund is a small town in the countryside of Sweden but have started to get famous because of the football club and the remarkable European season they’ve had. Östersund is a club with a lot of foreigners and normally they start with 1-2 Players actually born in Sweden. That reflects in their style of play that with Swedish eyes are very international. They are a well-drilled team who change formation… Read more »


More fun than Barca or Bayern

Evang. Simon



Just don’t get injured in the first leg on their artificial pitch then destroy them at the Emirates.


Interesting draw, we just need to give respect to the opposition and then see how things go at the Emirates.
Picking an XI that can deal with difficulties of this tie is important.
No need to be afraid, just sensible, Wenger has a good record in these banana skin games where Arsenal are favourites.

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