Friday 30th September 2011
Heading into an October weekend with one of the Saturday options being a trip to the beach seems all very strange in our part of the world. Typing these thoughts with a beautiful early morning sky outside of my window, it will be nice if my working day goes smoothly enough for this afternoon to include a similar option!
Pretty much all week it has been the same and watching Wednesday night's game brought back memories of the temperature and humidity on the Far East tour back in July!
Warm weather always seems to put most in a good mood too so walking into the ground there was definitely a positive vibe about the match ahead.
A couple of hours later and we went home with exactly what we all wanted but there is no doubt it was a tough game all round.
Of course there are some teams considered 'weaker' in the Champions League, mainly due to the quality of their week-to-week competition not necessarily being to the standard of Europe's top leagues. The match and result at Old Trafford on Tuesday, however, proves that any team in this competition is capable of getting a result against those considered to be among Europe's strongest.
With a number of injuries going into the match too, any Gooner who thought it was going to be a comfortable night could be accused of being a trifle foolish.
Most probably expected Olympiacos to sit back and try and catch us on the break but from minute one this couldn't have been further from the truth. However with the Greek side defending high up the pitch we had the opportunity to attack in numbers if we were quick and clinical.
Both our goals came about in that way with the OC continuing his fine start in a Gooner shirt with not just a good run and finish but another impressive performance. Santos doubled the lead after another fine flowing move and we were in the driving seat.
Despite Marouanne having a fine chance to pretty much finish the tie, our visitors were also looking dangerous with their attacking attitude.
Strengthening our defence is definitely something we are all working towards, a fact that has been well documented. Our defending at the corner that led to the goal was another example that hopefully we will learn from as we go forward.
The second-half ebbed and flowed but we got stronger as the game went on I felt and probably should have finished the tie late on with a number of potential goalscoring situations.
Three very important points in the bag and a good start to our European campaign overall.
Next we head down the Seven Sisters Road for the latest North London derby. Always a white-hot atmosphere, our nearest and dearest rivals will fancy their chances. Anything can happen in this particular fixture (and often does!) but I for one am confident we have just as good a chance to go there and win.
Be loud and proud as always.
FrankCopyright 2013 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 30 Sep 2011