Writing my latest thoughts while undertaking one of the most boring activities known to man in the shape of waiting for my flight home is something I often find myself doing.

Apart from letting two points slip from our grasp in injury time it has been yet another monster of a trip.

Alkmaar is a lovely place, there is no other way to describe it. Picturesque in the extreme, the hospitality we have been shown throughout our brief stay has been fantastic.

Having mixed and chatted with the locals it is also extremely pleasing to say that, after one or two problems they experienced when Standard Liege visited, they have been heaping nothing but praise on how our travelling fans have behaved. This is no shock of course as we are all aware that our reputation is built on evidence of our many many European trips but it is still nice to hear the locals enjoyed our company.

Throughout Monday and well into the early hours of Tuesday morning the party proved as entertaining as you would expect with only tales of an altercation with a bush blotting the copybook! Oops ;-)

Matchday proved much the same as we enjoyed the pre-match refreshment with the locals in the shadows of the town's famous cheese museum, before making the lengthy walk to the stadium for the main event.

Despite only holding 17,000 the atmosphere was noisy and colourful, including of course the 750 Gooners, all in fine voice. Cesc giving us the lead increased the volume and it looked like being a fairly comfortable victory for long periods, even without us being at our very best.

Of course, qualifying and winning the group are still very much in our own hands, especially with two home games to come. To concede so late however, was sloppy for me and emphasised how at the highest level even the so called 'unfancied' sides can punish you if you switch off.

Trying to take the positives, hopefully being caught out late on is something we will learn from and not let happen again as the competition develops.

The post-match entertainment was still raucous if a little more subdued than it would have been had we made it nine points out of nine.

The short trip to West Ham is already on the mind as I sit here and our hosts' current lowly position will count for nothing with it being our latest London derby.

Three points is the target, we can do our bit in trying to achieve just that.

Sing up!


Copyright 2017 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
21 Oct 2009