We’re Not Spending Enough!
Wednesday 7th December 2016
Helsinki was not a cheap weekend when we played Man City pre-season a couple of years back. Nor was Gothenburg or Stavanger. And Trondheim for Rosenborg away a few years ago gave the wallet a right caning too. But I’m not sure they were anywhere near to the levels of expenditure Basel has yielded.
In that situation you have 1 of 2 choices. Get involved and ‘deal with it’ later or sit in your room and get bored. The former idea won comfortably but a house remortgage might be on the cards!
Basel is a very pretty city in parts and this time of year it very much gets into everything Christmas. And with everything from Gluhwein in the markets to chestnuts roasting on an open fire every single cliché was there to be enjoyed.
Things on our jolly didn’t start there although there is an argument that it followed a traditional theme as an Irish Bar played host to our first Swiss refreshment and live coverage of Everton v Man Utd. It was a decent enough way to commence proceedings before Monday we hit the markets and in particular the Gluhwein.
Although I am a believer that coming first or second in your group can only ever be declared as important either way with the benefit of hindsight, winning the group keeps the confidence high and that all important feel good factor shining brightly.
So although come matchday those nerves and adrenalin were not to the fore, a win and things going our way in Paris, along with coming through injury free, were all aspects we would prefer from the trip.
So after some matchday refreshment in the city centre we took one of the trams up to a misty and murky St. Jakob Park and with kick-off approaching, enjoyed the hospitality of one of the bars located just outside the ground.
On a freezing cold night we soon had plenty to keep us warm and with the news from Paris also looking favourable the mood amongst the travelling Gooners was certainly upbeat.
A hat-trick for Lucas Perez and Alex Iwobi’s strike reflected our dominance in what was a quite superb display on the night. Knowing that a win for us wasn’t absolutely essential, our hosts needing a win to continue their own European adventure and Paris St Germain being so strong at home, the overall result couldn’t really be described as expected but it was extremely pleasing nonetheless.
A few celebratory beers post match and one more sightseeing walk today has completed a highly entertaining and successful, if grossly expensive, trip.
My flight is due to take off in about an hour but it’s very foggy outside. We all have our fingers crossed that our journey home matches the success of our latest European jolly.
Stoke at home comes next, always a difficult game as we look to continue our fine run of form.
One thing is for sure, it promises to be a cheaper day out!