Wednesday, September 12
By Isaac Hayden
As soon as we touched down in Athens yesterday afternoon, it felt like the NextGen Series had started in earnest for us.
As much as we enjoyed our first match against Marseille, the fact it was at home meant it didn't feel radically different to many of our other games. But now we are in a very hot and sunny Greece, it has really brought it home that we are in a European competition.
I am sharing a room with Sead Hajrovic, but luckily he is not a snorer so it has been an easy experience for me! It is a bit more fun to share than be in on your own - you end up going to other people's rooms anyway to watch DVDs, play cards and computer games. It has been really good fun so far and I know everyone is really enjoying the whole experience.
We appreciate that we will be favourites for the match tonight, considering we beat Marseille 3-0 and Olympiacos lost 4-0 to Athletic Bilbao in the opening round of fixtures. But we also know it is going to be far from easy.
We have been training really well and had two good games against Everton last week, but this is a whole new level and we have to put into practice what we have been doing over the past few weeks.
We also know it will be hotter than we are used to tonight - but that is all part of the experience. As players we will have to deal with things like this throughout our careers and this is a key step as we prepare for the future.
We are in confident mood, so let's hope we can return to London with three more points under our belts.Copyright 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 11 Sep 2012