Other than when sat at my work desk, I think the location where I tend to record the majority of my thoughts is an airport departure lounge. On this occasion Newcastle's version played host and all the Gooners around me were all sporting grins from ear to ear.

We arrived in the north east on Saturday afternoon so our party had plenty of time to enjoy the considerable hospitality this city has to offer. As you would expect, we did just that with activities ending well into the early hours.

We all knew this was going to be an extremely tough game to come away with three points from, and that hadn't changed when we arose from our beds on Sunday morning. Our hosts are in the middle of a fine run of form and have beaten Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs in recent weeks, all factors that only increased the level of PMT before the match.

For me situations like that eliminate any chance of complacency but all the usual ingredients need to be in place to be successful on the day.

It wasn't the greatest game but for sheer work-rate, grit and determination it was right up there, all aspects that were to prove crucial in what was a very difficult encounter.

Tommy Rosicky was awesome on the day for me and typified the whole team's performance. Olly's goal proved to be enough and despite the nerves being shredded in the latter stages it was a very happy and joyous away end way up in the gods of St. James' Park at the final whistle.

The players' reaction at the end demonstrated they knew as much as we did what a massive win that was.

After one or two celebratory ales we head off back to Newcastle Airport in fine spirits.

If the league season was based on a calendar year we would be top of the pile. That is something all of us Gooners should be immensely proud of. It is kind of apt therefore that as 2013 comes to a close we sit at the very summit.

Cardiff City come to N5 next as we look to start 2014 by remaining at the top.

Thanks for your emails throughout this year folks, may I wish every Gooner worldwide a thoroughly healthy, happy and successful New Year.

Wear that cannon on your chest with pride.

Come on you mighty reds!


Copyright 2017 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
Frank Stubbs 30 Dec 2013