The media makes a mountain out of an Arsenal mascot’s molehill

There’s a video that has made the rounds this week of Arsenal players signing a shirt for a young mascot upon arriving at West Ham last Sunday.

The whole squad has been criticised for their collective failure to acknowledge the young girl.

The fact the club chose to upload this encounter shows their lack of awareness, as it’s not a good look.

I found similar videos of other match days where the Gunners do exactly the same, get off the coach and before entering the dressing room sign merchandise for kids waiting for them.

They do so in such robotic fashion that you can tell this is part of their routine, before entering a stadium put your signature on the awaiting shirt.

These are professional athletes getting in the zone, mentally preparing for games which are worth millions of pounds.

If ever there was a time when an athlete would be unable to stop and engage it would be in preparation for kick off. Just like how Usain Bolt wouldn’t be stopping for photographs in a warmup but would be more sociable after he ran 100 metres.

If there was one time Roger Federer might not have been as approachable it would have been moments before he entered a court for a Grand Slam.

So, like a checklist at most works, every player scribbling on a fan’s shirt is a box ticking exercise.

It’s part of their experience …… a small, tiny part.

Which some in the media know full well.

Clearly our PR department ordered for the press not to bring up the topic in Arteta’s pre match press conference, so the manager didn’t get a chance to defend himself and his players.

The young girl’s father took to Twitter though to stress that the video in question was a ‘small window ‘into her day out and that her daughter interacted with the players in the dressing room, particular after full time.

This was also confirmed to various members of the media.

It’s believed that Arsenal has footage of her conversing with Odegaard (her favourite player), but do not want to publish images just to prove a point.

A simple Youtube search shows our captain giving his coat to a young boy out of fear of him being too cold, and clips of players going out of their way to give shirts to youngsters in the crowd.

Search Arsenal players visiting hospital all charity works and you again will find evidence of positive interactions.

If I can find this, so can the likes of TalkSport who wanted to start a debate about how dissociated the modern player is with the average person in the street.

To do that you have to include all evidence and not the one clip which suits your agenda.

They also failed to mention that Junior Gunners get the chance to mascot as part of their membership (that child would be paying 20 pound a season) compared to the one off 300- 500 price other clubs charge.

Since 1992, the club have selected a chosen charity to raise money for which have included Great Ormond Street Hospital, Centrepoint, Teenager Cancer Trust and The Willow Foundation.

They currently work with Save the Children to build football projects for children around the world who need a safe place to play and to be children again. Pitches have been built in Iraq, in camps for displaced children fleeing war, in Indonesia, Somalia and Jordan.

They have worked with a range of partners to refurbish pitches across north London in recent years. Located in housing estates, schools and run down sports grounds, the pitches are often used by Arsenal in the Community to deliver football programmes that deliver meaningful social change. Attracted by the chance to play football, many participants have gone on to gain qualifications and even full-time work through a number of Arsenal in the Community’s domestic programmes.

So, if Arsenal are going to be made out to be not caring, let’s look into everything and not the one video that suits you.




  1. I wouldn’t have even blamed them if they forgot about the mascot. They must’ve fully focused to win the game, because they could’ve got harsh criticisms from the fans, coaches and media if they lost

  2. Can’t argue with anything there, Dan.
    I enjoy listening to White and Jordan but that wretched lot after the entertaining Hawksbee and Jacobs spent about 20 minutes lambasting our players. Won’t be listening to them again! Was it really newsworthy in the first place?

    Thanks for pointing out all the good that the players and club do behind the scenes and you’re right that leading up to an important game is hardly the time to lose focus

    1. It’s funny that TalkSport should be so quick onto this as someone named Jim White made the very first FaceBook criticism on the day the video was put onto Arsenal’s FB page.
      Still, it was something of an Arsenal own goal.

  3. Excellent article Dan, enjoyed the facts within and, once again, you point out the total hypocrisy of “Talkshite” in all it’s glory…. some things never change!!

  4. Really bad PR Arsenal.
    I appreciate that this is just a small element of the mascot’s match day experience, which involves more interaction, but it was so poorly executed.
    The club released this video as “look at us aren’t we wonderful” PR, but they couldn’t even get the players to take those people avoiding headphones & buds off, and give at least a smile for Olivia as they signed her shirt, especially so for the adoring way that she’s looking at some of them.

    1. Of course, and I understand White & Saka said something kind to her, and she did meet up with them all later and have a splendid day, so not so bad for her all told.

  5. I saw a post yesterday how much each team charge for walking out with the captains
    Top 6 teams free of charge
    Everton charge 795 quid 😂

  6. When that was first posted on Facebook, not one bad comment. A day and a bit later, some clown turns it all around. Obviously an Arsenal Hater. The little girl’s father has stated, a great time was had by all. That’s good enough for me. The latest thing on Facebook now is Manchester United players snobbing two young female supporters in a hotel lobby holding up jerseys to be signed. The players were advised not to stop and sign autographs, as they had to get on the team bus. Funny how social media can twist things around. It could be worse. Back in my Hamburger SV days we had to Golden Handshake dozens of people in wheelchairs before a match. We found that off putting to do before a match. Thank God that only happened twice. On our days off we met people in hospitals which was normal, and it still happens today. As for this mascot saga, a storm in a tea cup

  7. I think the idea of small children being a ‘mascot’ for the game and being involved with the players before the game is not a good idea
    Before a game the team including the subs need to be able fully concentrate on the game. ‘Mascots’ are an unwanted distraction.

    I think a better way of having small children meet the players would be to have a ‘special guests’ invitation.

    Parents and managers of Children s homes apply to the club for the child to be invited to a game. All names go into the hat and names drawn. The 11 children attending the game, accompanied by two players who are not taking part in the game accompany the children onto the middle of the pitch where they would wave to the crowd’.

    After the game the players then meet with the children for say half an hour, No distraction for the players before the game and a never to be forgotten ‘Arsenal Day’ for the children and families,

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors