I have been sent the following piece and translated it using Google – so some of the translation may be highly inaccurate. Indeed some of it turned out to be impossible to use.
But to see the original, click on the score line above.
Željezničar plays in Sarajevo; I imagine Boogaloo is the nickname of what is properly known as Fudbalski klub Željezničar – or just Željezničar as shown in Arsenal’s records. I have also been given the title “The Friendly Greens” which may be another version of the same nickname or another nickname.
Before the report is a bit of background…
The friendly greens and Arsenal played 1-1
On 16 August 1976 Arsenal played Fudbalski klub Željezničar of Yugoslavia in a friendly. This was just a few years after both club’s biggest triumph – Arsenal’s 1971 double of course, and Željezničar’s winning of the 1972 championship in Yugoslavia. They thus played in the 1973 European Cup but were knocked out in the first round by Derby.
At the time they were in a league dominated by Red Star Belgrade, Partizan Belgrade, Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb, and apart from that one championship, their highest position was third on a couple of occasions.
Željezničar was originally the club of the railway workers, and is now in the Bosnian league and has gone on to be one of the two big clubs in Bosnia. It reached the third qualifying round of the Champions League in 2002 and was knocked out by Newcastle. However it did reach the Uefa Cup semi finals in 1985.
The game against Arsenal was played at the Grbavica Stadium which is known as the Valley of the Cups. It was when my Google translator turned this into Valley of the Pots that I began to realise some of the data coming through might not be accurate!
But here is the best I can make of the article…
Manager Milan Ribar was pleased commitment of the team. “We played four matches in seven days, and the players passed the test of physical fitness. Besides scoring one goal we created five or six of extraordinary chances, but were not been able to take advantage of. Nevertheless, it is important to create scoring opportunities.
“When you take into account that we are still in pre-season I believe that the crowd were satisfied with the game.”
Željezničar played with a lone striker Serbo, who without the help of teammates, was not able to make much headway and he scored in the first half leaving Rimmer with no chance. Arsenal equalised through MacDonald (the most expensive player in England).
Arsenal overall were disappointing and did not put on the display that the crowd in the Grbavica stadium had expected although everyone agreed that one of the best individual details were free passing between the Arsenal players.
The team as led by Alan Ball. Speaking after the match Arsenal players agreed that this was their pre-season and that their form was not yet at the desired and expected level.
After the game Šerbo said:
“It was a great match. Remember that the stadium was full, and I managed to score his first goal. Anyway remember with nostalgia this duel with Arsenal.”
If you can give me a more fulsome translation of the original (and I have had to cut quite a lot because I just can’t be sure I’ve got it right) I would be grateful.
But anyway – a record of a friendly that is otherwise just a note in the records.