Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Although there are many of you out there who seem to think my life is one big holiday the pre-season tour is pretty much my annual break. But I don't ever remember it involving so much football.
Tuesday saw our third contest of the summer - although our first 90-minute game - and we reached the Bukit Jalil Stadium via Kuala Lumpur's Monorail and Metro system. It was definitely a far more efficient way to make that journey given the quite crazy road system we experienced in the rush hour on Monday.
As soon as you alight at the station the atmosphere hits you, almost party-like with the noise and colour heightened by the many merchandise and souvenir stalls vying for your business.
Once inside the sheer number of Gooners in this part of the world hits home and boy can they knock up a banner! Although my flag sat proudly as always it was dwarfed by the incredible size of those present from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia!
The noise as the teams came out was fantastic and testament once again to the incredible enthusiasm from everyone there.
As for the game, considering it was pre-season and played on an extremely difficult surface it proved pretty entertaining.
More composure in front of goal on at least three or four occasions along with a succession of corners suggest we should have been comfortably ahead at half time but we went in a goal down after an incredible strike from distance.
After making 10 substitutions at half time the second half proved a bit stop-start but with time running out Thomas Eisfeld and Chuks Aneke gave us a victory to take away from our Malaysian visit.
Post-match the squad and officials headed straight to the airport - destination Beijing and the second leg of the tour. For me it's one last day at the pool and possibly a little shopping at one of the night markets later before making my way to China tomorrow morning.
Hopefully I will see some of you there but for now a massive hello to all those I have met so far, in particular Kevin and the guys and girls from Singapore.
Thanks to all for such a friendly and enthusiastic welcome.
For now… goodbye Malaysia.
Frank @stubbsy70Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 25 Jul 2012