Hi Junior Gunners,
It's been a very busy few weeks for me both on and off the pitch.
Here's my latest blog…
Sunday, February 16, 2014Arsenal 2-1 LiverpoolWith the draw for the next round having already been made before kick-off. We knew if we beat Liverpool today we would face their Merseyside neighbours Everton in the last eight of the FA Cup. My day began by meeting the mascots as we waited for the teams to arrive. It was nice to see Kolo Toure again getting off the Liverpool team coach. As I walked around the pitch before kick-off the Liverpool fans were giving me some banter about last week’s result at Anfield. We took a two goal lead with strikes from Alex and Lukas and although Liverpool came back strongly we held on for a great victory.
Monday/Tuesday, February 17/18, 2014This week was half term week so I was kept really busy with hundreds of tourists and families coming to Emirates Stadium for tours. There were lots of groups from different countries and they were all so pleased to see me jump out at various times on the tour route.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014Arsenal 0-2 Bayern MunichTonight was our Champions League match against last season’s winners. After I met both teams as they arrived , I popped into the player’s lounge before kick-off where I saw Mikel Arteta (who was suspended) and Theo Walcott. Mikel had his son with him so we had a couple of picture taken. We started the match so well, and could even have been a couple of goals up, before Wojciech got sent off and we ended up losing 2-0. Still, we beat them 2-0 at their place last season so I was very confident of getting a result in Germany.
Thursday, February 20 2014Today I went to the Islington Arts and Media School where our community department were running a disability sports day for children who live or go to school in the area. I popped in to say hello and take part in some of their sessions which included different sitting sports and dance. All the boys and girls received certificates and medals and I was on hand t pose for all those important pictures at the end of the day.
Friday, February 21 2014Today was my 2nd visit to Pentonville Prison in Islington for a family day. Some of the inmates families had come to visit, and I was there to help out with games for the younger children.
Saturday, February 22, 2014Arsenal 4-1 SunderlandTwo goals from Giroud and one each from Tomas and Laurent sent us on our way to another three points. Today saw the homecoming of one of the greatest ever Arsenal players. Yes, Dennis Bergkamp was back at the Emirates. Earlier in the day Mr Ken Friar unveiled a statue of Dennis above the Armoury on podium level. It was of his iconic pose against Newcastle United. I was lucky enough to meet Dennis before kick-off in the player’s lounge, and we had a big hug and pictures with his family and friends. After the match I went up to Club level for a birthday surprise and later called into the Diamond club where I caught up with Ray Parlour.
Monday, February 24, 2014Four schools from Islington were at the Emirates today taking part in a competition run by the community. I was asked along to hand out certificates and of course pose for the odd picture or three.
Tuesday, February 25 2014Arsenal U-19s 3-1 Shakhtar Donetsk U19-sThe Arsenal youngsters reached the quarter-finals of the Uefa Youth League match and will face Barcelonalater in March. The game was played at Boreham Wood so I went down to entertain the crowd before kick-off.
Thursday, February 27. 2014I attended a Meet and Greet event this evening. Club level members were invited along to the Diamond Club for an evening of questions and answers with Ray Parlour for Premium Sales. It was my job to welcome over 150 guests, most of whom I have seen on match days when walking around Club level. It was a great opportunity for those pictures that the fans had always wanted to get.
Saturday, March 1, 2014Stoke City 1-0 ArsenalToday’s game was screened back at the Emirates Stadium, so I got there to catch the early arrivals before we all sat back to watch what was a disappointing match by our standards. We never really got going, so it got much worse later in the day when Liverpool overtook us in second place. The 700 plus fans who had come to cheer us on were all a bit deflated at the end of the day.
Sunday, March 2, 2014I was invited today to attend a birthday party for one of our most loyal fans. Maria Petri was holding her 75th birthday at the Emirates stadium, and I was the surprise guest of honour. A special announcement went out during the afternoon and I made my entrance to cheers and a rush of children wanting a picture or cuddle. There were a lot of Arsenal fans at the party and we all had a great time.
Monday, March 3, 2014I was really excited today as I was off to the Royal Albert Hall for the most spectacular samba event of the year. Over 1,500 children from 27 London schools where there to bang the drum for street children’s rights and smash the Official Guinness World Record for the world’s largest samba band. The world’s largest Samba band marks the UK launch of the Second Street Child World Cup that kicks-off in three week's time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The event was hosted by Andy Akinwolere (formerly of Blue Peter and now Fort Boyard) and Hayley McQueen from Sky Sports News. I had a great time meeting all the children as they arrived, and later went on stage as they announced that the record had been broken.
Saturday, March 8, 2014Another early kick-off today in our FA Cup sixth-round tie against Everton. A special group of children came down from their box to see the players arrive and each one was given a Gunnersaurus toy as a present. We had over 5,000 Everton fans at the stadium today so I went along to say hello then have a kickabout with our mascot on the pitch. We won 4-1 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals with our goals being scored by Mesut, Mikel and two from Olivier. With everyone in a happy mood I popped upstairs after the game where I ran into Robert Pires.
Sunday, March 9, 2014Bacary Sagna had a birthday party for his son who was five, at the stadium today, so I was invited along to meet all of his friends. The party theme was pirates, so everyone had a great time playing on a huge inflatable pirate ship with lots of fun games. A few of the first team players came along with their children and I think everyone had a great time.
Monday, March 10, 2014Our youth team played Everton again tonight in the FA Youth Cup and they won 3-1 which sen them through to the semi-finals where they will take on Chelsea. Nearly 3,000 fans turned up so I went out for an hour before kick-off to greet some of them.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014Bayern Munich 1-1 ArsenalWe went out of the Champions League tonight but put up a brave fight going down 3-1 over the two legs. I think the game was lost at the Emirates a few weeks earlier. Lukas Podolski cored our goal and Lukasz Fabianski saved a last-minute penalty to keep the score level on the night.
That’s all from me for now, lots more to come before the end of what could be a very exciting finish.
Big hugs from Gunner
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