Come to See The Arsenal
Sunday 19th July 2015
We saw it to a certain level in the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing a couple of years back when we played Man City but the volume of support for our great club in this part of the world is simply mindblowing at times.
Everton are a big, traditional and hugely historical English football club. Yet with the Singapore National Stadium’s record crowd packed in last night there was no more than a small sliver of blue shirts on show. A good 90% or more had definitely ‘come to see the Arsenal’.
And I think by and large, we pretty much delivered.
On any overseas trip I try to include taking in some of the local sights, sounds, activities and culture so the build up to matchday 2 was spent looking round the city including the sun drenched party beach scene that is Sentosa, the incredible night time views from the roof of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and sampling delights such as ‘Chilli Crab’ at a seafood centre along the city’s east coast.
When it comes to food, restaurant, bar and club options there can be very few locations with such a concentration all over the world and trying as many as time allows was also high on the agenda.
As well as high end edible and visual delights created by extremely talented and passionate chefs there are many ‘hawker centres’ where fresh and delicious foodstuffs of all shapes and colours is knocked up in front of you for no more than the price of a pint of beer. Unusual believe me, in what is essentially an expensive city but we certainly tried both ends of the spectrum during our stay.
After a well earned Saturday morning lie in, matchday started doing just that and well fed we began the build up enjoying various alcoholic beverages in Robertsons Quay, one of the many many places in Singapore with an incredible amount of options for this kind of activity.
Suitably refreshed it was back to the highly impressive stadium as we looked to take the trophy against Everton.
And with an excited capacity crowd looking on we came out of the blocks fast with some quite superb passing and movement to look like the team firmly on the front foot from minute 1.
The discussions as to whether Theo could go on to prove himself through the middle have been going on for a long time now. Pretty much carrying on from where he left off at the end of last season, his run and finish to put us in front provides yet more evidence for all those who think he can.
The noise when the ball hit the net just added to the occasion.
Santi and Mezut’s goals in quick succession early in the 2nd period pretty much finished the match as a contest and put the icing on the top of a thoroughly enjoyable cake.
Pre-season? Yes. Crucial? No. But I get the ‘ump when I lose at Kerplunk so I’ll take that thanks.
Nice to see us score 7 goals this week. Even better to see us looking sharp and fit already. And a little bit of silverware is pretty ok too.
Clarke Quay played host for our post match fun and frolics as our friends and their friends who live and work in this great city showed their considerable hospitality once again.
A perfect end to the football side of this trip.
Today has been spent whiling away the last few hours with a relaxing stroll round the highly impressive ‘Gardens by the Bay’, a location many of our squad enjoyed visiting earlier in the week.
So a perfect end to the events off the pitch too.
The Emirates Cup is upon us next as we look to double this year’s pre season trophy haul next weekend.
For now however, the announcer on my Emirates flight has advised all electronic devices should now be switched off so it’s over and out from Singapore and yet another quite awesome pre-season tour.
See you on Saturday in London N5 for a pre-match jar or two.