Tuesday, July 24

By Rob Kelly in Kuala Lumpur

"I feel like I've just jumped into a swimming pool!" Carl Jenkinson gasped at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil last night.

The Arsenal squad had just been put through its paces at an open training session in front of their passionate fans in Kuala Lumpur, and the heat had certainly made an impression on the right back. Despite it being close to 10pm local time, it was still oppressively humid and Carl was just one of a number of players happy to cool off in an ice bath at the end.

It was a useful run-out for Arsène Wenger's squad, though, and the reaction from those in the stands made it all worthwhile. The devotion of the supporters here, despite being on the other side of the world, is incredible and the players seem to feed off that.

The younger players, who may not expect to be so rapturously received as their more senior counterparts, seem especially pleased - if not taken aback - by the reaction they have been given.

Today is game day, so the players started with a pool session before a few of the younger members of the squad were interviewed by Arsenal Media Group about their thoughts on the tour so far.

The reaction from Ignasi Miquel, Chuks Aneke and Nico Yennaris was universally positive, and coming to Asia certainly seems to have made them appreciate the global reach of the Club they represent. And they all love the intensity of the supporters in this part of the world. You can watch these interviews soon on Arsenal Player.

The afternoon was spent relaxing, before we head back to the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil for the match against a Malaysia XI keen to avenge last year’s 4-0 defeat.

Their coach, Datuk K. Rajogopal, has already promised a much improved showing, so Arsenal will have to be prepared - both for their opponents, and for that oppressive humidity.


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24 Jul 2012