One More For The Arsenal
Wednesday 18th March 2015
Every trip I arrange for myself and fellow friends and Gooners involves a large amount of instruction and direction both before and during the adventure, to make things as easy as possible for everyone if nothing else.
Extremely rarely however, do my directional tips involve the line ‘walk pass the big bloke with his cock out’! This morning the only thing I can think of that is rarer is coming back from 3-1 down away from home in the last 16 of the Champions League. In fact it has never happened.
Last night, with a near on perfect performance we came very very close.
Despite the wet and relatively dreary weather do its best to spoil it has been yet another momentous trip following our team. This morning it is difficult to hide the disappointment of going out of a competition where we all know deep down we should be in the quarter finals.
Monday we decided to go into Monaco itself, one of the few opportunities you have to actually walk a grand prix street circuit. Without too many plans, some decided to take in the casino whilst most walked the circuit taking in the incredible architecture, marina and picturing how the city transforms on grand prix weekend.
Heading back into Nice we enjoyed more good food and vino before we found out our opponents in our latest Wembley trip as Reading overcame Bradford.
Another cracking night and matchday was finally upon us.
Like every city and town in the world Nice has its share of Irish Bars. Tuesday being St Patricks Day made it hugely likely that these establishments would certainly be a fun place to enjoy the pre-match build up. And they certainly made us very welcome.
There is a reqular train service along the beautiful coastline and into Monte Carlo and this was our chosen method for travelling to the game, especially as a special return service is organised on matchday nights to get us back again after the game.
Arriving in one of the most affluent cities in the world the travelling Gooners were all relatively confident we could climb the mountain our 1st leg defeat had created. We had a chance, yes…..but to go through would take an incredible performance.
With such a small population, the ground matches that so 1200 away tickets is all we got. Never enough of course and consequently there were many many Gooners all over the ground.
Kick-off came and over the next couple of hours we would know if these season’s European adventure would continue.
Tactically I felt we could not have got it any better. In fact I thought we were magnificennt on the night. We kept it tight in the early stages abd slowly started to create chances. Olly smashed home to give us hope and we could have doubled that lead on more than one occasion before the break.
Half-time, one-nil, so far so good.
Roared on by the travelling Gooner army we created more chances, even more so when offensive substitutions were made to try and get us over the line.
Rambo smashed home our second and in at least three sides of the stadium it was pandemonium. If we didn’t know there were Gooners everywhere, we did now!
“One more for the Arsenal!” echoed into the night sky……we couldn’t, could we?!
The answer of course is ‘no’. But we came desperately and painfully close. It was a great European night…..but not a glorious one.
And our exit brings me to my current location on Wednesday afternoon.
Nice Airport is drenched in sunshine. It would be after the last few days have been damp and dreary as we are heading home.
Another great European adventure comes to an end. But as that door closes, that craving for more starts as we head up to Newcastle on Saturday.
As always, lets make some noise!!