Jenkinson delighted to be living the dream
Carl Jenkinson has revealed he is still pinching himself that he is an Arsenal player and admitted he has a long way to go before becoming their first-choice right-back.
Lifelong Gunners fan Jenkinson was starring on loan for Blue Square Bet Premier side Eastbourne this time last year but joined Arsenal from npower League One side Charlton during the summer and has ultimately proved to be an able deputy while Bacary Sagna recovers from a broken leg.
It has proved a real baptism of fire for the 19-year-old, who was on the losing side in his first three Barclays Premier League appearances, including the humiliating 8-2 thrashing at Manchester United, where he was also sent off. But as Arsenal have improved, so has Jenkinson, who told Arsenal Player: "Sometimes, I just have to take a step back and really appreciate where I am."
He added: "From me to come to where I was to playing in the Premier League is obviously a big achievement for me.
"But the main thing I have to pinch myself about is that I'm actually playing for Arsenal.
"I can't really portray how special that is for a fan of the club and for someone who comes from a family that loves Arsenal so much.
"It's just a great thing to be becoming a part of Arsenal's history. Long may it continue."
Jenkinson admitted top-flight football had been something of a culture shock, adding: "I'm settling in better now and I think people are slowly starting to see me as a player and what I can do.
"There have been ups and downs, as you all know. That's part of life. From the downs, you can always learn a lot.
"Overall, I've really enjoyed it and hopefully there'll be some more good times to come."