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Friday, September 19, 2008

Trip to Kiev (by Frank)

There was only one reason I decided to stay in the same hotel as last time I came to Kiev. Down in the basement was a quite fantastic club with a revolving bar and lots of people thoroughly letting their hair down. I don't know if we should blame it on the 'credit crunch' like every single other negative in life today seems to be but, whatever the reason, unfortunately the club has been closed down.

A slightly disappointing end to a long first Champions League day of this campaign but the way I feel this morning suggests we still managed to keep ourselves relatively entertained!

I can't say I particularly look forward to going to Blackburn. If the annual trip to Ewood Park was as perfect as on this occasion however, maybe I might change my tune.

Wearing my 'desperately trying to hang on to the summer' shorts was probably a gamble but after a perfect journey traffic wise, the glorious sunshine upon arrival made it another good decision.

Pre-match fare matched everything so far but entering the ground any of the impressive away following that had been to Blackburn before were well aware if we came away with anything more than a point it would be an excellent result.

To be honest it could have been four-all at half time! Yet another cracking Theo run created RVP's opener and the noise from the away end echoed into the Lancashire sky.

Our second could not have been scored at a better time and was just so Arsenal. You only have to listen to the pundits purring at its brilliance to know what a fantastic goal it was. The mood at half time could not have been better although we were all aware that our hosts had enjoyed their fair share of the game's chances.

I was a little surprised when Theo was replaced by Alex Song midway through the second half as at the time he looked so dangerous every time he had the ball.

Looking back however, we were going through a period where we kept giving the ball away, inviting unnecessary pressure. Alex totally nullified any threat from the moment he entered the field and Ade grabbed his hat-trick to complete a highly impressive 4-0 away win.

Decisions like that at exactly the right time and for exactly the right reason are why Mr Wenger is our manager and you and I are not!

Being back in Maidstone at a mate's 40th birthday bash before 10 o'clock completed an pretty much perfect away day. Hopefully just one of many this season.

And that brings me back to a wet and dreary Ukrainian capital city. The shorts will very much be staying in the bag as we try and get our first Champions League points on the board.

Before all that I'm off for a look round the city and perhaps a spot of lunch, taking in some local fare such as 'borsch'... or beetroot soup to you and I!


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