Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

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Why is the River Mole Bridge at Cobham blocked off ? 


A question. As the river mole flows through Painshill Park in Cobham walking down to the river. Just by the Sainsbury’s petrol station one can see that the arches of the bridge have been deliberately blocked by branches. Difficult to be precise but maybe half of the arches are blocked off. I am curious to know why. Thoughts? 

Terrorist Incident Houses of Parliament 


The news is reporting that at least one woman has died. A car drove into a group of pedestrians on Westminster bridge. A man then attempted to drive through the gates into the parliamentary estate. The man then stabbed a police officer before being shot. There are others with serious injuries . 

Complete lockdown in the area. London Eye has halted . 

These are photos from yesterday . That show where this happened. 

Ryman League Club Advertising Groundsharing . Interesting 


To my knowledge I have never seen a club formally advertise groundsharing. Clearly it must go on at some level of course to alert neighbouring clubs who might clearly need a groundshare. Walton Casuals are an example having no ground of their own currently . But an interesting concept and why not. 

Whyteleafe are a club in the environs of Croydon , sort of, who play in Ryman South and have a decent ground .  This is their advert they put out today. Thoughts? 

http://www.theleafe.co.uk/?content=story&page=6983036786029000011

New American Electronic Devices Ban includes cameras. Is it safe to check a camera into hold luggage? 


The latest in the series of dictates from Trump is that severe restrictions on electronic devices other than mobile phones will apply to carriers from 12 countries including Jordan and Saudi Arabia. This will however not apply to American carriers. 

This raises many questions including the value of doing this and how and why only 12 countries are affected. Putting this to one side how safe is it to transport cameras especially DSLR cameras and their lenses into hold luggage. Even if we assume they will not go missing in transit packing these cameras to ensure they do not get damaged is going to be complex if not impossible. Similarly computers. Are insurers even prepared to take the risk on this one? 

DSLR cameras are universal now and do not cost the earth . Entry level cameras being around £300. The cost of some though is significantly greater. The new 5D mark 4 is around £3500. Add on lenses and most peoples kit will be above £500 and often £1000. 

Cameras now are made to withstand heat, cold and some degree of being thrown around.  However if one is brave enough to take a look at the baggage handlers as they load and unload cases some of their actions are hardly gentle and can be akin to shot putting.  There can be no guarantee that cameras will withstand this. 

So what should folks do? If it were me I would not check in either camera or computer and for leisure simply do without. It will be interesting to see how insurance companies play this game. 

Brentford are Consistent. Consistently inconsistent. What will happen at Burton? 


Too many times this season Bees have been lauded as one of the best teams other sides have played. A great performance is then followed by incredibly dire ones. How many times have we had this during the season? Games lost against Wolves, Fulham, Wigan, Blackburn amongst others. Why does this happen? Why does Dan Bentley openly admit that ‘ wolves wanted it more’? Why should Bees not be as motivated ? Is this down to the players or the manager? 


Most fans have their views but will all agree on a few things. We need more physical midfielders. We need a Plan B. We need more strikers. But the fans are not all convinced that the players are to blame for these disparate resukts. Some feel the manager is at fault. It is his job to motivate the players and select a team that is ‘up for it’. 


It might be even more complex. Certainly no managers are faultless and all players can have an off day. But my view is that Dean Smith is not good at selecting the right team for the right game. There are some games where one knows physicality wil be important . The dire 0-0 home draw with Wigan is one example. He needs to have and to select more physical players. The only exception to this is Jota who must start every game. He also needs to make changes to a system earlier in a game.  Changes could and should have been made early against Wolves. 

So what’s the prediction versus Burton? I suspect a tough game and maybe a draw would be a decent result. Bees are a mid table side and it would be good to now push on to a good run of form building for next season. 

What could possibly go wrong on a 2 hour train journey. Hamburg to Berlin


The background to the story was the fact that Berlin airports were closed down by a 2 day strike of ground workers earlier this week. Trains into Berlin were not surprisingly packed with slightly more irritable commuters than usual. 

That was how I came to be on a train bound for Hamburg.  People basically sat where they could with some of the signage for reserved seats confusing or wrong.

I was sat opposite a woman of maybe 30 years who was engrossed in a newspaper and had bought a cup of takeaway coffee and a bag of food for the journey. The train was an ICE train that travelled around 150-200 kph. Mostly the tracks were straight however my traveling companion was clearly unaware that around 30 minutes into the journey the train was leaning to my right quite considerably s it ventured around a bend at 190 kph. From the corner of my eye I could see the cup of coffee sliding off the table before I could do anything useful. The coffee splattered onto the floor and as the contents jumped into the air they splattered all over the woman’s clothes sitting opposite across the aisle.

 Her smart jeans were soaked along one side. She was not amused but said little before disappearing off in the direction of the toilets. The actual coffee thrower dashed off to get tissues and towels . 

Around 15 minutes later the pair were back in their seats. Not a word spoken. The coffee thrower pulling her scarf I presume around her face in a sort of reverse hijab seemingly in a vain attempt to hide.  Later in the journey a large flask appeared on the table opposite in almost seemingly a challenge to see if this woukd fall off in revenge! 

Very lastly as the coffee thrower packed her stuff to leave the train in Berlin she accidentally threw her Woolen hat at the same woman opposite! Watching all this and their reactions was pure cabaret. 

Finally the train arrived at Berlin and some food was needed. I queued at the first outlet for a takeaway roll. These rolls are superb and their is a huge selection in a cabinet . Maybe 100 on offer. The person in front of me while paying dropped a euro coin and it fell somewhere into the melage of rolls and sandwiches.  Not only did she need her Euro back seemingly but the coin could not be found . The girl serving was hunting between and at times inside the rolls! I guess biting on a Euro would not be so great . 

The moral to this story is if travelling eventually on any journey the cabaret will always arrive ! 

How long will Bjelland be out for?


Never good to see Bjelland go off injured. Sometimes he looks like he hobbles onto the pitch at the start of the game. Harlee Dean will return after his suspension with Barbet in reserve. Barbet still worries me as seems error prone despite having some good technical skills. One wonders if his best position has even been worked out yet?

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Ipswich 1 Brentford 1. A good point for Bees but should have been three . Some good signs for next season


Being fortunate enough to photograph the game one gets fairly close to the action and able to see some of the little things that might get missed. Let me start with the highly supportive nature of Dean Smith to all his players after the game, and also the embrace between Toumani and himself.

A fairly wet night and a fairly boggy pitch certainly not of the Griffin Park standard. Ipswich is a very friendly club and when arriving to collect press pass one is greeted by a serious of smiling and mischievous souls in the ticket office, all wearing smart clean blazers and ties. In fact I cannot fault the Ipswich club at all. Nice people, who deserve a good and decent football team. Whether they deserve mick McCarthy as a manger is a separate question. The fans I spoke to were mixed in their views.  Inconsistency of the team was a common theme. As a negative though the entrance price of 35£ for adults is excessive, 25.50£ for concessions, and 24.50£ for under 20. There is no need to charge these prices.

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There are plenty of good match reports online so no need for me to repeat much. This game was not a classic but was fully competitive until the last kick of the game. Although both sides are truly mid-table and arguably satisfied with a point, even in the 4 added minutes both pressed for a winner.

The goal was a nice pass from Romain Sawyers and a neat finish from Yennaris.

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Nico Yennaris scores

Brentford played the better football. Ipswich did a lot of shirt pulling and pushing and a few dubious tackles and manoeuvres . Maybe someone in the FA or the Referees select committee can explain to me how this “rugby league” tackle ( illegal even there and seriously punishable in the NFL in USA) was not given as a foul. The role of assistants talking to the referees arises weekly. How this was not given as a foul against Vibe I am unsure.

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An interesting style of tackling from Ipswich 

Brentford looked well set up with Woods looking more solid and winning more than his share of the 50-50 balls. The full backs looking better with every game. Maxime Colin has improved enormously this season.

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Maxime Colin demonstrating an interesting style of tackling

00007689 Bjelland went off injured, without having an inspiring game, and Barbet came on, who still looks suspect to me. 0000767300007763

Justin Shaibu had 20 minutes and as against Rotherham caused all manner of problems to the Ipswich defence and was unlucky not to score. The days of Hoffmann are truly over and he needs to move on. 000077610000774400007746

So I take away a lot of positivity in this team and performance. The sort of game a while agao that Brentford would not have drawn. The worry remains over the number of goals conceded. This will improve.

Sergi Canos is such an exciting talent and could be a truly great player.

0000770200007703Rico Henry looks a class player and fast coming forward.

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Rico Henry

Thoughts on Brentford team for Ipswich? 


The old rhetoric is do not change a winning side. And certainly do not disrupt a winning formation. Dean Smith however has a few things to consider before deciding his team

  1. Justin Shaibu looked strong and certainly troubled the Rotherham defence in his 20 minute debut. Should he start upfront? If he does then does Romaine Sawyers drop to the bench or takes a midfield role in place of KK? 
  2. Vibe is only back in light training and there seems no need to start him however a place on the bench looks likely 
  3. The defence looks settled although Tom Field can consider himself unlucky to lose his place. 

For me I would send the same team out and consider if needed giving Shaibu more than the seemingly obligatory 15 minutes. 

Ipswich are a side it seems fairly bereft on confidence with many of their fans clamouring for the tenure of Mick McCarthy to end. This is essentially what they were saying last year before the infamous Hyams game. 


The game however could be tougher than one might think and who knows the mind set or motivation of Jonathon Douglas. A draw might be a good point for the Bees. Mostly however I would like to see consistency and evidence of clear building for next season. Personally I still harbour doubts over Yennaris. There is no doubt he has some talent but his general workrate and contributions remain too variable. If he ups his game he could be a good player. Too often this season he has been locked in mediocrity. I hope to be proved wrong . 

Sin Bins in football? FA discussing this on Friday 


IFAB who make the laws of association football have their 131st AGM on Friday. The potential introduction of sin bins is one of their topics. Many sports including hockey, ice hockey and more recently rugby already use sin bins effectively. 

My own view is that this is a good idea. Currently yellow cards are not a deterrent to teams or players . Furthermore the eventual totting up process and inevitable ban serves little in the way of punishment for the team and of no value to the team who were fouled against. Yellow cards are almost pointless . Cynical challenges have become more commonplace. Dissent seems almost obligatory. Most games contain a large number of fouls which disrupt the game and free kicks often do not serve as an appropriate swap for such fouls. 

A sin bin would mean immediate punishment and cause disruption to the offending side. Whereas red cards allow tactical substitutions this would not be feasible in the majority of sin bin offences. 

Rugby union introduced sin bins in 2001 and yellow card offences are punished with 10 minutes in the sin bin. 

A quick search through social media this morning suggests that at least 70% are not in favour of introduction of sin bins. Let’s see how the FA manage this issue. 

I would suggest that there are 2 levels of sin bin punishment as in ice hockey. A yellow equivalent should be rewarded with 10 minutes in the sin bin. The option should also be there for a 20 minute penalty for a second yellow card offence rather than a red card. 

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