Laura Woods feels for young Arsenal mascot after club release video of players 'blanking' her | The Sun

ARSENAL supporting TalkSPORT host Laura Woods has admitted she felt for the young mascot who appeared to be “ignored” and “blanked” by stars as they signed their shirt.

The Gunners’ title hopes suffered a major blow as they were held to a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta’s side were led out onto the pitch at the London Stadium by a young girl after she was picked to be their mascot for the day.

Pre-match, she got the ideal opportunity to meet all of her heroes as they arrived at the ground and the club were keen to get her an extra special memento from the day.

Arsenal’s cameras were on hand to capture the moment too as she stood with a member of staff outside of the dressing-room holding a jersey while the players arrived.

Each member of Arteta’s team stopped to sign the shirt, but it appeared that they hardly said a word to the young Gooner as they stopped, signed, and then made their way quickly on.


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Arsenal shared the clip before kick-off against the Hammers, captioning it with: “Making memories with our mascot.”

However, eagle-eyed viewers of the video were quick to hit at the players for hardly interacting or even acknowledging the kid.

“Somebody please say hello to the poor girl,” blasted one.

Another said: “Look how much she loves Martin Odegaard – one smile and hello from him would have made her year!”

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A fellow fan said: “Interaction with the girl makes memories not just signing a shirt.”

Another asked: “Not a single player fancy saying hello to her?”

“Look how much hope and adoration she has in her face and how much just a smile, nod and/or hello would have made her day,” wrote a fellow angry supporter.

“Absolutely blanked the poor kid,” commented another viewer of the clip.

Another said: “Sad not one player even looks at the girl or acknowledges her.”

While another tweeted: “Memories of being blanked by your heroes.”

As another fumed: “Obviously too much of a stretch to say. ‘Hi thanks for being our mascot today.’”

Arsenal have been contacted for comment on the video by Sun Sport, which is still on their Twitter account.

However, after the viral clip sparked much debate, Woods admitted that it was a bad look but she also moved to add some more context to the debate after speaking with the club.

She said on talkSPORT Breakfast: “I agree, it doesn’t take a lot just to acknowledge somebody with a smile. I think that video is quite symptomatic of football and footballers now.”

Woods then added: “To add a little bit of context, I actually messaged the club because I think they thought ‘they all stopped and signed the shirt this is great’.

“Maybe that in itself is the problem that there’s now a disconnect between what you’re meant to do for those kinds of mascots.

“The club did say it’s part of a matchday experience so that’s not the only interaction she had with the players.

"She was a mascot, she went out on the pitch with them, she would have been on the pitch with them during warm-ups.

“I think there’s a lot of things we don’t see, but that’s not excusing that video because I watched it a couple of times over and in my head thought ‘oh wait was it cut off afterwards, maybe they did [acknowledge her]’ and I went back and watched it and they didn’t.

“Maybe it’s quite a good lesson, the reaction of the normal fans. It’s a pre-match routine and I get that, you’re in your bubble, but it doesn’t really take long just to make eye contact.

“I watched that little girl and the way she’s waiting for eye contact or any sort of acknowledgement.

“The Young Gunners get these incredible experiences so I’m hoping somewhere else along the line she had a great day and got that interaction but in that moment, what does it take to just say hi?”

Fellow talkSPORT host Ally McCoist then added: “I thought it was shocking, I’ve been saying for a while now the gap between a footballer and the fan is bigger than it’s ever been.

“That was agony watching that, I was watching it thinking someone must give her a pat on the head or something, but nothing.”

Meanwhile, the youngster was not the only one looking for autographs from the Premier League leaders.

West Ham’s Declan Rice was spotted getting Odegaard’s signature after the game.

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England star Rice loves collecting jerseys from his biggest rivals, and boasts an incredible collection featuring the likes of Mason Mount, Harry Kane and Jack Grealish.

But fans were all saying the same thing as they believe that the interaction with Odegaard was a clear sign that Rice is going to join them this summer.

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