Hey Junior Gunners!
I hope you're all well. I've been rushed off my feet over March and April!
On Friday, March 8, I went to Hargrave Park School in Archway to help open their brand new artificial football pitch which was build in their playground. I got a big cheer as I arrived and then was ready for all the high fives and cuddles before they cut the ribbon. The local newspapers were even present! A few of the boys and girls then played in an exhibition game.
The next day I was at the Emirates where I had to help out with a photo shoot featuring several Junior Gunners. It was great fun and took up most of the day. I think they got some good shots of all of us and I am really looking forward to seeing the pictures when they are produced.
I was back at the Emirates on Sunday, March 10 for the birthday party of Bacary Sagns’s son. I was invited along to meet over 60 children who were attending the party with their parents. There were lots to fun activities including face painting, balloon making, a bouncy castle and car racing. The theme of the party was Ben 10. Quite a few of the first team squad brought their children along, and it was nice to see them all away from the football pitch.
Unfortunately we were knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday, March 12 despite a spirited performance against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena. We won 2-0 with goals from Olivier and Laurent but bowed out of the competition on the away goals rule.
We built on the victory in Munich with another greet display just three days later. Nacho's first Arsenal goal and a late Gervinho strike gave us three vital Premier League points and Lukasz managed to keep his second clean sheet in a row.
I was off to Borehamwood on Wednesday, March 20 to keep fans entertained ahead of Arsenal Ladies' Champions League quarter-final against ASD Torres. It was new manager Shelley Kerr's first game in charge and the team produced a strong performance to win 3-1 and give themselves a great chance of progressing to the last four.
I had an early start on Saturday, March 23 for the Club's annual Be A Gunner. Be A Runner fun run. Over 200 juniors and adults took part and raised lots of money for the Arsenal Foundation. It was a bitterly cold day and I would just like to say well done to everybody that turned up. I was at the start and finish line to encourage all the runners and give out lots of high fives and cuddles when they ran past me at the end.
Just two days later, I was back at the stadium for our NextGen Series quarter-final against CSKA Moscow. Over 6,000 fans turned up on a very cold night and I made sure I spent time with the fans before kick-off. Serge's goal secured a 1-0 win which meant we progressed to the finals weekend at Lake Como in Italy.
We produced an exciting display to beat Reading 4-1 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, March 30. There were lots of visitors watching the players arrive before kick-off, so it was business as usual for me. I posed for loads of pictures before greeting the teams as they came out of the tunnel. The Arsenal mascot asked if he could take a penalty so while the players were doing their pre-match routine, we went off to take some penalties. The first one went straight through my legs and the second went into the right hand corner. My boot flew off in my attempt to save it! After the game I went up to box level to meet a group of children. I also bumped in to Theo Walcott, who was watching the game from his box, as well as former player Nigel Winterburn.
We managed to continue our great run of form a week later with a really hard-fought victory away at West Bromwich Albion. Tomas scored two great goals but then Per was sent off and the hosts pulled a goal back. We showed real team spirit to hold on and seal another crucial three points. Over 600 fans were packed into the Royal Oak at the Emirates to watch a screening of the game and cheer on the lads and they all enjoyed themselves. It’s great when the team have a good run of results because everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to the final games of the season.
I will be getting in touch again soon to let you all know what I have been up to!