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Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Reflection can take place in many locations but as I lay back in a dentist's chair early this morning, having just been told the tooth that has been giving me grief was going to have to come out, I didn't think that while the injections were going in and the pliers being attached I
would actually find time for that very activity. Believe me I can recommend it as briefly, at least, it took my mind off the job in hand!

As a result just simply speaking is a tad difficult right now so the wonders of e-mail are hugely beneficial both for these notes and my working day!

My thoughts as the dentist peered down surrounded two subjects, Theo's incredible hat-trick in Zagreb and memories of a quite stupendous weekender in Reykjavik as a result of an Arsenal-free weekend.

If I'm honest it is very difficult to put my finger on what Iceland, and in particular Reykjavik, is all about. That is not a critcism as I would recommend everybody should visit should you get the chance but Friday and Saturday nights at least can only be described as crazy!

Along with visiting such incredible places as the geysir region where scorching hot water gurgles and spurts out of the ground high into the sky and the Blue Lagoon, a huge hot thermal bath where the only thing that gets cold is your head, we took on a representative side at football.

A three on one situation in the dying seconds should have seen us come away with a 4-4 draw but after seriously mucking it up, our hosts raced up the other end to inflict a 5-3 defeat. It was a close run thing though and although disappointed in defeat, we were happy with those three crucial away goals and are confident we can overturn the deficit in the second leg, whenever that might be!

Weekend nightlife in Reyjavik is quite an experience. Drinks are very expensive and as a result the locals tend to stay at home until midnight and beyond before heading out already having enjoyed a few jars (to say the least!) As a result the streets are absolutely heaving with extremely 'merry' people until 7am or later. I'm sure many a tourist would have visited the city over the years and returned home claiming they had gone to bed by 11 o'clock because it was very quiet. Little did they know that come the early hours of the morning the place goes completely crazy!

The trip was arranged as the result of one of the many international friendships that have come about between our own and other supporters clubs and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hilmur, Kristjan and Siggi (sorry if I have mucked up the spelling guys!) from the Iceland branch for their help and hospitality throughout our stay. We look forward to seeing you for the second leg!

I had lots to do last night and as a result I wasn't going to watch England's trip to Croatia. Indeed, if I'm honest with myself if it wasn't for the fact Theo was in the team I probably would have avoided it anyway. I am slightly embarrassed to say this (especially after witnessing the passion shown for their national side by our Icelandic hosts) but I really can take it or leave it when it comes to watching international football. Cheering on the likes of Lampard and Rooney when for the rest of the year they are doing everything in their power to beat my club side is just not my thing.

Watching 'one of our own' smash home three top quality strikes however, made my decision to sit in front of the TV one of my better ones! An awesome display and yet more evidence of hopefully what is to come from Theo.

Whether he will be in the team at Blackburn on Saturday remains to be seen. The vast majority of our squad have been playing all over the globe over the past couple of weeks and with three tough away games in a week, the full extent of our squad will be tested to the limit.

Before setting off on the first of three long journeys however, for now I am going to sit here and whinge a lot about the hole where my tooth used to be ;-(

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