Happy New Year Junior Gunners!
I hope you all had a great Christmas break and got everything you wished for.
I’ve been really busy over the festive period and only just about managed to sit down and have some turkey on Christmas Day!
Just before Christmas, I went down to Camden Road to meet a group of children from a local school who were having coaching sessions with our guys from Arsenal in the Community.
I had to rush back from there to get to the Emirates. Pupils from an Islington school were running laps of the stadium and I made sure I was there at the finish line to greet all the kids with a high five.
Unfortunately we lost our Capital One Cup quarter-final to Bradford City on penalties. To cheer myself up, I went to Sobell Sports Centre the next day and met a group of children between the ages of one and five.
Then, on December 15 and 16, we held Gunners Grotto at the Armoury superstore - maybe you were one of the hundreds of Junior Gunners that popped in to say hello!
There were lots of activities at the grotto, including face painting. We even had clowns and a magician, and, because I felt generous in the build-up to Christmas, I gave everyone that attended a free goodie bag.
Next up for Arsenal was an away game at Reading. We won 5-2 and Santi scored a fantastic hat-trick.
I enjoyed my first trip to Camden Road so much that I went back for another school visit, before I visited Whittington Hospital with some of the players. Andre Santos, Johan DJourou, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen all came along and gave out lots of presents to the children.
The team made sure we all went into Christmas happy by beating Wigan 1-0 on Saturday, December 22. Mikel got us the points with a second-half penalty.
Our game against West Ham on Boxing Day was postponed due to travel problems - which was probably a good thing as I was still stuffed from all the food on Christmas Day!
We were given a late Christmas present by the team on December 29 in what was an amazing game at the Emirates. We beat Newcastle 7-3! Lots of players played really well, including Theo, who scored his second hat-trick of the season.
We started 2013 with a 1-1 draw away at Southampton, before over 400 JGs attended a Festive Funday at the stadium.
They got to watch the first-team squad train, before meeting the players and getting autographs. There was also a pantomime, which several of the players, as well as yours truly, featured in!
We drew 2-2 against Swansea in the FA Cup, with Kieran’s sensational volley the highlight, before we were unfortunately beaten 2-0 by Manchester City at the Emirates.
Well, that’s all for now.
Keep your eyes peeled because I’ll be writing again soon.
Big hugs from GunnerCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 15 Jan 2013