Mehdi Abeid

After a short break, Mehdi Abeid's popular blog is back and in the third instalment, he writes about his latest international experience with Algeria and being on the bench against Swansea - and explains why he'll do everything possible to be ready if called upon against West Brom on Wednesday night...

I must apologise for the fact I've not blogged in a while. I have been away with the Algeria side taking part in the African Under-23 Championships in Morocco, but I'm back now!

The tournament is a qualifier for the Olympic games and we won the first match against Senegal 1-0, but we lost the other two games, against Morocco (1-0) and Nigeria (4-1). We played well in both but we just didn't have the luck.

So that meant we failed to qualify for the Olympics, which was a big shame but that's football. I really learnt a lot, though. I think it was a very good experience for me.

I played with some very good footballers and to play in your national team is good for any footballer. It's really good for a footballer to learn, to play and to have time, and it was just what I needed.

And it was 30 degrees over there, which is a lot warmer than it is here!

That was proven when I played for the Reserves at home to Bolton in midweek. We drew 1-1 but what can I say about the weather except for 'wow' - it was raining, windy and really, really freezing cold!

But I felt warmer on Saturday when I was named on the bench for the first time in a Barclays Premier League match, against Swansea. It was a very big moment for me.

The manager told me in midweek to be ready if Cheick Tiote had a problem, but Cheick was back so I understood why I did not start. But I was very happy to be on the bench and to see the game, and I learnt from the team because I watched.

Looking on from the sidelines, you realise how hard it is and how quick the game was.

Yohan Cabaye got a yellow card, his fifth of the season, so he will miss the next game against West Brom, so somebody will need to come in for him.

I don't know if it will be me or not, but I'll concentrate hard on my training and on my football and if I'm in the team on Wednesday, that would be fantastic.

But I'll just train the best I can, and that's the most important thing.