Here’s what I have been up to this month!
Monday, November 17
I was outside the stadium today on the podium. Several schools including Highbury Fields and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson took part in an Islington schools running event. The boys and girls had to run three laps of the stadium. I managed about 20 yards but was there at the finish line to cheer everyone on.
Wednesday, November 19
I went down to our superstore at Finsbury Park today to greet the early Christmas shoppers. Some people are really organised.
Thursday, November 20
We had a number of special visitors at the training ground today and I was on hand to help out. We watched the players train before coming inside for dinner (which is always good at London Colney!). Then several of the first team players popped by and signed some autographs.
Friday, November 21
I went to the Premier League offices today near Baker Street. It was a special educational day for local schools to see what goes on behind the scenes. They all had the chance to meet Premier League referee John Moss and he took them through the matchday routine of a referee. I was on hand to show them what a mascot would do lining up for a photograph before kick-off. While I was there I took the opportunity to look around the offices and meet the staff there who work so hard.
Saturday, November 22
Arsenal 1 Manchester United 2
Olivier Giroud came off the bench to score our goal. It was his first game back since breaking his leg. Before the game I met the players, then headed off around the pitch. At the end of the game I popped up to Box Level for a birthday surprise, then into Club Level to meet some more fans.
Sunday, November 23
I always love going to Wembley with my team, but today I was invited along with other fellow mascots for the England Ladies friendly against Germany. I got there nice and early was ready to greet the fans as they poured in. There were over 55,000 fans at the match from different clubs across the country. At half-time they had arranged a mascot race across the famous Wembley pitch. I was a bit nervous but can report that I came a very respectable 11th. There were only 12 running but at least I did not come last. Have you seen the size of my belly?! The England Ladies lost the match but it was nice to see Arsenal players Jordan Nobbs, Alex Scott and our new signing Lianne Sanderson playing for England.
Tuesday, November 25
Just off Holloway Road is the Sacred Heart Primary School and I popped in there for a Double Club assembly with our Community team. I always get a warm welcome and have lots of fun with the children and teachers. After all of that it was back to the Emirates for our Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund. I met the two teams then popped into the Club Level restaurant. We won the game 2-0 with goals from Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez.
Friday, November 28
Our South East Essex Supporters Club had a fun evening tonight for their members, so I went along and took the FA Cup and Community Shield trophies for everyone to have a picture with. One of our former players, Martin Hayes, was there for a questions and answers session.
Saturday, November 29
A Danny Welbeck goal was enough to see off West Bromwich Albion and give us a very welcome three points at the Hawthorns.
Sunday, November 30
A bit of a trek today to Milton Keynes for an event run by one of our partners, Vitality. It was a coaching session for 30 kids and I was asked along to hand out the medals and certificates. Before all of that took place they put me in goal and fired some penalties at me. I’m getting pretty good at saving penalties now after all the practice I have been getting at half-time at the Emirates.
Tuesday, December 2
There was a special visit of Russian orphans at the training ground today so I went along to make an appearance. We all went out to watch the players train before going into the indoor sports hall for some football coaching. I put myself between the posts and the boys had great fun trying to beat me.
Wednesday, December 3
Arsenal 1 Southampton 0
Matchday today and our opponents were Southampton, who we have already played in the Capital One Cup. I met up with Ian Wright who was working for BT Sport and saw the players arrive. We had our penalty shootout at half-time with three members of the crowd. Alexis scored the only goal of the game revenging our 2-1 defeat earlier in the season.
Saturday, December 6
Stoke City 3 Arsenal 2
The game was screened live back at the Emirates so I was out and about meeting the fans who had come along to watch the game. After a terrible start going 3-0 down at half time, we fought back but still went down 3-2 with Calum Chambers seeing red for two bookable offences.
Monday, December 8
St Mark’s Primary School was on the agenda today so I went along with Olivier Giroud and David Ospina for some coaching sessions. St Mark’s were given money from the Arsenal Foundation and built an all-weather pitch at their school. They always seem to put me in goal but I think all of the boys and girls had great fun trying to get the ball off Olivier and David. All the classes then came out for group pictures.
Tuesday, December 9
Galatasaray 1 Arsenal 4
Most people tonight would have witnessed one of the greatest goals ever scored in the Champions League. It was a volley from Aaron Ramsey from well outside the penalty area with his wrong foot his left one. Wow, what a goal! Last night’s score means we have finished second in the group.
Thursday, December 11
I went to Thomas Fairchild Primary School for a Double Club coaching session today. They had a breakfast club which meant I had to be there early for 8.00am. The boys and girls had some football coaching then an assembly which is always good fun. Then later in the afternoon I called into Ambler Primary School in Blackstock Road for their winter fayre. There were lots of stalls selling cakes and toys, as well as a special visit from Father Christmas.
Friday, December 12
Today was Christmas Jumper day at the club. I called into Highbury House to help raise some money for the Arsenal Foundation, which gave all the staff the opportunity to have their picture taken with me. Then later in the evening it was our Disabled members Christmas Party and I was joined by Tom Watt who was the host and former Arsenal players Perry Groves, Paul Davis and Andy Linighan. We took along the FA Cup and the Charity Shield so everyone could have a picture done. It was a great evening with lots of prizes, food and drink.
Saturday December 13
Arsenal 4 Newcastle United 1
Two goals from Olivier and two from Santi including a cheeky penalty saw off Newcastle today. The day started with me meeting the players, then walking around the pitch with Father Christmas and his elves giving out goodies to the crowd. I had my half-time penalty shootout, then went up to a couple of boxes after the match. I popped into the Diamond Club to wish everyone a Happy Christmas.
Monday, December 15
Today was a very special day. A very rewarding day but a very sad day as well. It’s never nice being in hospital especially at Christmas. So today I went along to three hospitals in London to say merry Christmas to children who may have to spend their Christmas in hospital. My first visit was to The Homerton Hospital in Hackney. We were taken to the wards by the nurses and gave out lots of Arsenal goodies and other toys that had been donated to the club. Next stop was The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. It’s so nice to be able to spread a little joy at this time of the year. Last stop was to Barnet General Hospital and everyone was so happy to see us.
Thursday, December 18
It was hospital day again today. This time it was with some of our first-team squad. I went along to the Whittington Hospital in Islington with Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini. We spent a couple of hours visiting several wards giving presents to all the children.
Sunday, December 21
Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2
Today the game at Anfield was screened live back at Emirates Stadium and there were lots of special things for over 1,000 lucky Junior Gunners to take part in. As it was Christmas we had a special visit from Father Christmas with lots of presents for the JGs, as well as an ice rink and lots of other activities. And yes of course I was there with my Christmas hat on to pose for those Christmas pictures. The game finished 2-2 with our goals being scored by Mathieu Debuchy (his first for the club) and Olivier.
That’s all from me for now, so I would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing some of you on Boxing Day and in the New Year.
Big hugs from Gunner
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