Hey Junior Gunners - I hope you are well.
Here's what I've been up to over the past month or so.
The day before the game against Tottenham I was invited as a surprise guest at the wedding of Pete Lovell and Harriet Wilton. The reception was held in a village in Cambridge called Ely. As the best man finished his speech I jumped out from behind the curtain to the amazement of the groom who had no idea I was there. Pete is a big Arsenal fan and had been a Junior Gunner since the age of 11. I stayed for an hour or so having pictures with all the guests before heading back to London to get ready for the big match tomorrow against Spurs.
Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham. The morning had arrived, the biggest game of the season against our north London rivals Tottenham. I was feeling a little bit nervous but confident of a good result. The mascots arrived early and so did the teams. It was good to see Mathieu Flamini again getting off the team coach. I met David Beckham and had a picture taken with his son who is a big Arsenal fan. I had a walk around the pitch before kick-off and then a little warm up with our mascot. The result was great, a 1-0 victory with Olivier Giroud scoring the only goal. I went to meet a group of children after the match who were very excited.
Six days later, I went along to the Highbury Community Nursery's 25th anniversary summer fete where I met lots of children and Mums and Dads who were there to raise lots of money. The guys from Arsenal Community were also there, we had such a good time with lots of fun things to do and of course had lots of hugs and pictures.
Before our Ladies game against Bristol Academy there was a fun day with Arsenal coaches giving boys and girls the chance to play the Arsenal way with soccer skills and games. I went along with Arsenal Ladies stars Ellen White and Kim Little to meet everyone who came along. The weather was a little unkind with some heavy downpours but I think we all had a great time. We then all watched the Arsenal Ladies take on Bristol Academy with the final score being 0-0.
Arsenal's Under-21s had a game at the Emirates against West Bromwich Albion so I popped along to meet some of the 3000 fans who turned up to see us win 1-0 with a goal from Serge Gnabry. It was nice to meet some new faces of fans who can't always get tickets for first-team matches at the Emirates.
On Friday, September 20 I called into our training ground at London Colney for our official first team photo shoot. I had my picture taken with the team along with competition winners. It gave me a chance to say a proper hello to our new signing Mesut Ozil and meet up with the whole of the first-team squad including those who are out injured at the moment. After the photo shoot it was off to training for the players and back to the Emirates for me.
Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City. We had lots of visitors to see the teams arrive including competition winners, supporters from Malta and a couple who were at the Emirates for a very special reason. Before the players arrived we all went pitchside where I had a few pictures taken. The one big surprise was for one of our supporters who was going to propose to his girlfriend, I had to keep her occupied by having a big cuddle while he got down behind us on one knee with the ring in his hand. I then turned her around where he asked her to marry him. There were lots of tears and the answer was yes!! After meeting the players as they got off the team bus I went around the pitch to see the fans. Theo got injured in the warm up and had to be replaced but it didn't affect the result and we went on to win 3-1 with goals from Aaron, Per and Bacary. After the game, to celebrate 100 years in Islington this in September I went up to box level after the game to meet some special guests from Islington Council and lots of happy Arsenal fans.
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win 4-3 on penalties). With the match finishing 1-1 after extra-time, our goal being scored by Thomas Eisfeld, it all came down to penalties with Nacho Monreal scoring the decisive penalty to send us through to meet Chelsea in the next round. We had quite a young side out that night with a couple of first-team players.
Swansea City 1-2 Arsenal. After most of our rivals dropped points in the earlier kick-offs it was nice to go back to the top of the Premier League and open a little gap. Serge Gnabry and Aaron Ramsey (again) put us 2-0 up before we conceded a late goal.
Arsenal 2-0 Napoli. We were back in Champions League action on Tuesday, so I was on-hand to meet both teams as they arrived at the Emirates. The first 45 minutes was probably the best football we have played since the invincibles with our new signing Mesut Ozil pulling all the strings and making the first goal for Oliver Giroud before scoring his first Arsenal goal with a superb left-foot half-volley.
On Friday I was at the party for our Junior Gunners 'Welcome to our World' for children aged 0-3. Over 100 boys and girls with their Mums and Dads were invited along for a fun day with music, colouring, inflatables and lots of games. There was lots for me to do having pictures and cuddles from our young fans before Santi Cazorla arrived to meet everyone. Later in the afternoon I went down to the Hive, the new ground of Barnet FC, to watch Arsenal Ladies play Lincoln Ladies in the final of the Continental Cup. I entertained the crowd before kick-off with my fellow mascots Mr Bumble from Barnet, Inky from Lincoln Ladies and the bear from the FA. There was nearly 400 fans inside the stadium and Arsenal Ladies went on to win the cup 2-0 with goals from Ellen White and Kim Little to complete the cup double.
Arsenal Under-21s 2-1 Wolves Under-21s. Nearly 3000 fans turned up at the Emirates stadium on Monday to watch our under-21s beat Wolves 2-1. There was lots of young fans at the match and I was kept busy before kick off having pictures taken.
That's all from me for now.