Saturday, May 25, 2024

Watt faced with contrasting examples of potential career paths

For all the time spent on the training field and all of the minutes of action they receive at reserve and youth level, sometimes it is impossible to tell whether a player will be able to cope with the step up to senior football until they are thrown into the deep end.

Recent years have provided us with contrasting examples in this regard. It was evident from Jack Wilshere’s sashaying performances for the under-18s as a schoolboy that he possessed something special, then he stepped things up a little in his brief spell in the Reserves before progressing almost seamlessly to the first-team squad.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, on the other hand, would appear something of a world beater for the reserve and youth teams, due to his height and strength advantages over many of his opponents coupled with his sublime skills, but, when the time came for him to make an impact at senior level, he failed to do so either at Arsenal or out on loan and now finds himself somewhat out of favour at Ipswich.

One player who knows Emmanuel-Thomas very well is approaching a similarly decisive point in his development. Sanchez Watt has begun the season in sensational form, with seven goals in eight matches at Reserve level, and has been rewarded with a new contract and two Carling Cup call-ups.

However, the 20 year old still has a point to prove when he mixes with the big boys. His first loan spell, with Southend, was not exactly profitable and, although he helped Leeds earn promotion to the Championship in 2010, Watt, who also spent last season with the Elland Road side, saw his progress hampered by injury which somewhat restricted his impact during his second spell.

Now the time has come for a fourth loan spell and, despite his new deal, Watt knows that he will have to make something of an impact if he is to remain in Arsene Wenger’s thoughts. There have been calls for him to join a Premier League side for the rest of the campaign, but the reality is that Watt has unfinished business to attend to in the Championship before he can even contemplate making the step up.

His transition to the very top, if it is to be made, certainly won’t be as comfortable as Wilshere’s, who only required a six-month loan spell at Bolton to propel him into the Arsenal starting line-up, but Watt will be hoping that his career takes a different path to that of Emmanuel-Thomas, who turned out for Ipswich Reserves against their Arsenal counterparts recently.

What it does go to show, however, is that, for all the promise demonstrated in the comfortable surroundings of London Colney, it is what happens in the rough-and-tumble of senior football that is likely to dictate a player’s future. The gap between the two levels can be a daunting one and Watt will certainly be hoping that he does not fall through it.


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Gutbukkit Deffrolla

He looks so happy in that photo. I guess he loves his football. Here’s hoping he makes the grade.


Unlikely to made it… New contract to protect his ‘transfer value’.


I thought he would made it though… terrible shame.


i knew him from school he was 2 years below me and was up his own arsenal this boy doesnt deserve anything


And people like Ashley Cole deserve something? Really?


Why all this degrading comments about an Arsenal playing working hard to make it. I’ve not heard of him crashing a car nor avoiding the police. He has pace to burn and is scoring goals.

You don’t need to excel at loan spell before you make it. Song, Cole and many others were abysmal at various clubs and yet made it.

Doomers. Stop cursing your own players

Eric Irish gunner

Spot on

Master Bates

Doomers. Stop Cursing your won players .




Merlin's Panini

is this a cheeky reference to the Rolf’s Cartoon Club theme tune, or just coincidence? 🙂

Willy young

Why do we pay wages to so many who clearly are not up to standard




Why do we have fans like you??


I’m more interested to find out how many times he’s been to the emirates as ticket sales help pay for their wages. If you’ve never been, or only a handful of times, then you can’t really comment on the paying of wages… If you are called Arsene Wenger then you could probably ask that question


So that they can develop and then every now and again, as the article states, we get a nice little Wilshere or Song. Or Sczez. Or Gibbs. Or… well, you get my point


Its called having a youth team you muppet


he is a good player but thinks he is a star


Better to think you’re a star and work hard (as he seems to be doing at the moment) than to think you’re world class and just collect your wages (Mark Randell anyone). If our whole team was full of ‘Jack Wilsheres’, we’d never need to do any transfers as a 6 month loan would sort out the player.


I actually like him. I think if he continues to work on his game he will make it in the PL. His size is something that I think will be a disadvantage to him since he will have to face bigger defenders as a striker, but if he learns to dribble and use his pace in Arsenal give and go system he should be fine. I also think he is a different player than JET. He turns quicker and seems decisive in front of goal. He also knows how to pass the ball in the final third when he has… Read more »


Oh JET is a tragic figure! A few years ago I was certain he would make a big star at the Arsenal but fame got to his head…

At 20 time is against Watt – its a little old to learn new tricks. Shame really because him and JET were great youth players…ah well..


sorry about your name…

Merlin's Panini



So 20 is too old to learn anything new even though players reach their peak at around 27/28? I wonder why players who are 21/22 even bother then as they obviously can’t learn anything. It’s almost like postioning, movement, shot placement, passing accuracy, etc.. are learnt and perfected in 17 years olds but a 29 year old like say van Persie should really be put out to pasture as he won’t learn anything new…


Sanchez watt? Huh? Wake me up for Norwich.

the only sam is nelson

on a personal level, until a player proves themselves to be a complete spacker or total cunny, i’m happy to keep my fingers crossed for them and hope they make it – hopefully here but at another club (not a rival) if they’re not quite up to arsenal standards. as a fan i’m even happier that it’s a no lose situation for arsenal. we train the youngsters better than any other club, give them better technique and understanding of the game. they either make it with us, or we have a steady supply of good £2-£5m players to sell to… Read more »

N7 Gooner

Really hope he makes it and can be the centre-forward power-horse that we need!

Some say JET was let down by his attitude, so as long as SW can stay clear of any issues in that regard he’ll come good…..then get injured of course ; )

Happy Friday Gooners



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