Thursday, August 18

We all go through every emotion following our team but none more than nervousness. Tuesday night's first leg certainly contained plenty!

Champions League Play-Off ties are not new for us but looking back we have eased into the Group Stage in considerable comfort on every occasion.

Any team that finishes in the top four in Italy will be a tough encounter so we all knew as soon as the draw was made it was going to be just that. Halfway through the tie we have a lead and that hugely-important clean sheet at home. Two major plus points to take with us on what will be an extremely difficult second leg trip to Italy next week.

After the perfect start saw Theo finish off a fine flowing move, our visitors offered the kind of attacking formation and play we rarely see from visitors to our home ground and coupled with their expected technical ability it tested our defensive capabilities to the limit.

Overall I was surprised that we didn't receive a little more credit for keeping a clean sheet. Udinese had obvious attacking qualities and we also had to deal with two defensive injuries during the game. Chezz made a couple of good saves admittedly but generally I think we defended pretty well.

Indeed, although it would have been harsh on our visitors it took an incredible save in the dying moments to prevent Theo from doubling our lead.

Our home crowd was good on Tuesday night too I felt, plenty of the positive support the vast majority of us choose to give and hopefully a sign of what is to come.

The weekend is nearly here and I am off to spend three nights in a 1967 Volkswagen Split Screen Camper Van!

It is an event that will be slightly broken up of course by a little trip to London but hopefully the second night will be spent celebrating three points from Saturday's tough home game against Liverpool.

Come on you mighty reds!

Frank

Copyright 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 19 Aug 2011