I hope you all had a good Christmas and your stockings were filled with lots of Arsenal goodies! There’s lots to catch up with so here goes, starting with a very busy Christmas period…
Friday, December 26
On Boxing Day we were at home against Queens Park Rangers. After I met the players as they arrived I went outside to find out it was pouring with rain but I still managed to get around the pitch to meet the fans. We held on to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Alexis and Tomas. After the match I was invited into Lukas’ box for some pictures with competition winners from his charity and the FA Cup.
Sunday, December 28
Two days later we were away at West Ham United. It was good to see Alex Song again and he had a goal disallowed before Santi - from the penalty spot - and Danny gave us a 2-0 half time advantage. They got one back in the second half but we held on to win 2-1. A great Christmas so far.
Monday, December 29
Today we had another family day at Pentonville Prison. I have been there many times before but it was good to go at this time of the year to spread a bit of Christmas cheer. I met up with all the families and we played lots of games like tennis, basketball and football.
Thursday, January 1
Happy New Year to all of my Arsenal friends. Our game today was at St Mary’s, the home of Southampton. We had more injury problems today and we ended up losing 2-0, so it was six points out of nine for the Christmas period.
Sunday, January 4
Today was a repeat of the FA Cup final as our opponents were Hull City, who we beat 3-2 at Wembley in May. It was good to see Theo Walcott back in the starting eleven today and he gave me a big hug as he came off the team bus before kick-off. Mr Wenger rested a few players so it was nice to see some of the other squad members making an appearance. There were not as many Hull City fans as we expected but I still went over to say hello. We won 2-0 with goals from Per and Alexis.
Monday, January 5
An early start for me today as I was at Christ the King Primary School for a Double Club presentation. I walked into the school assembly and all of the children started shouting and cheering. It was their first day back at school after the Christmas break. I was sad to hear that Lukas had gone out on loan to Inter Milan for the rest of the season but I hope he does well whilst in Italy. We also found out today that our next opponents in the FA Cup will be Brighton & Hove Albion. The game will be played at the Amex Stadium on January 25.
Friday. January 9
We had a school visit at the stadium today. So while the group of children were doing their stadium tour I made a surprise entrance to meet the boys, girls and their teachers.
Sunday, January 11
It’s always a tough game against Stoke City but an early goal from Laurent and two more goals from Alexis gave us a comfortable win. I had my usual duties meeting the players then popping off to pitchside to meet the fans. Three lucky youngsters were picked out from the crowd at half-time and they all had a go at trying to put a penalty past me - and they all did, I did not save one! At the end of the game I shot up to Box Level to meet some of our fans.
Thursday, January 15
I went to a school in Bushey, Hertfordshire, today for a Double Club visit. I popped into the classroom where the boys were doing their literacy lesson, then went outside for some football practice. Then it was off to London Colney where another Double Club school had a tour of the training ground before playing football in the indoor arena. I met all of the children as they arrived, then had a little kick around with them before they had their coaching from the experts. While I was there I bumped into Lianne Sanderson who has just re-signed for Arsenal Ladies. We had a picture taken together before she went off to training.
Friday, January 16
Today at the UCL Academy in Swiss Cottage there was a multi-school sports event involving eight schools from north London. The boys and girls were playing dodgeball and I was invited along to demonstrate the art of dodging the ball when it is thrown at you. As you can imagine being the size I am I did not dodge many balls and got hit most of the time. All of the schools taking part took time out to have group pictures with me before I went back to the stadium for another school group having a stadium tour. I surprised them when they were pitchside and they were so excited to see me. One of our former players Perry Groves was in the stadium doing his Legend Tour so I went along to find his group and stopped for some pictures with them.
Sunday, January 18
What a great team performance. Santi put us ahead with a penalty and Olivier made it two with a header from a Santi free kick. Everyone has a great game although Santi got the man of the match award. Another clean sheet as well.
That’s all for now
Big hugs from Gunner
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