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Monday, 26 April 2010

Killer Watt!

Its been a long standing complaint of mine that in recent years Leeds United have been unable to sign/attract Premiership youngsters or reserve players to the club on loan. Success stories of such deals have been seen at Birmingham and Hull when Frazier Campbell and Nicklas Bendtner fired their respective temporary employers to promotion. Even this season Brentford have loaned several top flight fringe players to comfortably avoid relegation back to League 2. Meanwhile Leeds have had to make do with ageing Championship players who have been deemed surplus to requirements. I realise this isn't an exact science, the 'Premiership' tag of a borrowed player doesn't guarantee success and the odd Max Gradel is available from The Football League but young, talented players who are struggling to get into the large, expensively assembled squads of the 'Big Four' come with a certain amount of security, for all but Leeds United it would seem...

Step forward Sanchez Watt. An innocuous signing at the end of the recent 'loan window' the Arsenal loanee has been limited to cameo appearances so far and looked set to go the way of Hogan Ephraim and countless others before him, a loanee to make up the numbers. I'm sure Sanchez was as surprised as I was to learn that he was starting arguably Leeds' biggest game of the season. Drafted in at left midfield to hopefully offer Leeds pace and energy going forward, qualities so scarce at League One level. Twelve minutes had elapsed before his first telling contribution when he dispossessed his man on half way before feeding Luciano Becchio with what was probably the most accomplished through ball seen by a Leeds player all season. Luciano gobbled up the chance with his new found composure in 1-on-1 situations and Leeds were on their way!

Unfortunately he was powerless to prevent an equalising goal that again underlined Leeds' defensive frailties and let MK Dons back in the game. Thankfully that didn't prevent the lad being involved in pretty much everything Leeds did thereafter, credited with an assist for Max Gradel's goal, although how much he knew about it is debatable as the ball ricocheted  off a number of legs before falling to Max with only the goalkeeper to beat. Sanchez was so influential that Mathias Doumbe deemed it necessary to try snapping him in half with a two-footed lunge shortly before half time and was duly dismissed by referee Michael Oliver.

With more space available in the second half the front players pulled The Dons in every direction with some neat play and pacey attacking and the introduction of Jermaine Beckford signalled Simon Grayson's intent. He was duly rewarded soon after when a flowing move, again involving the impressive Watt was finished off with a sublime volley at full stretch from Leeds' leading scorer. This was the cue for Sanchez Watt to take a well earned rest and he left the field to a standing ovation, an excellent performance from the young lad on his first start in a very tense atmosphere. Leeds and Jermaine Beckford added another without him and MK Dons had two further players dismissed in an entertaining game.

Quite what Simon Grayson does with this now is open to debate, do you release Watt on Frazer Richardson at The Valley or do you opt for a more experienced professional in what is a monumental fixture for Leeds United? Personally I'd throw him in there, he can't be any worse than Gary McSheffrey and he possesses that magical fearless quality that only seems to come with youth. (or is it that top flight players can handle pressure better than their League One counterparts?)

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  1. As an Arsenal fan living in Southend, I was surprised to see Leeds take Watt on loan after his tame spell with Southend at the beginning of the year.

    It just shows you that a player performs better when he's surrounded by quality, epsecially a young player. If you want quality young English players, look no further than Arsenal's academy. It's exciting stuff seeing them dismantle established sides in the Carling Cup, and destroying Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup last year over two legs.

  2. would you take him on loan again if you get auto promotion

  3. Most of my family are Millwall 'fans' but I hate everything that mob stand for so I'm really happy a future Arsenal star is doing his bit to hopefully stop them getting auto promotion and getting Leeds another step closer to the Prem where they belong. Here's to Watt getting game time, assists and a goal or five;)

  4. i'd like to thank arsenal for giving us sanchez,he has ability a good footy brain and seems to play with no pressure,i wish arsenal could win the prem instead of that joke of a club chelsea,as for millwall if they get promoted then there is no god they r a disgrace to football

  5. I'm not sure if he'd be allowed or asked back to Leeds. We've only seen him for 60 or 70 minutes but he was superb on Saturday. Hopefully he can help get us up this season. If we do get up, hopefully we can dip into some of our own academy players without the fear of them being sold; the majority of our ex youth teams are currently at Spurs and Villa.

  6. Arsenal fan here and whilst I really rate Sanchez Watt, something which I find even more interesting is that he isn't even a regular reserve starter for Arsenal as the likes of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (on loan at Doncaster) and Nacer Barazite (Derby last year) are ahead of him. I think Simon Grayson's taken a risk and it has paid dividends. Generally speaking, even if Watt doesn't perform in your last games at least he was instrumental in your recent victory, although that is an unlikely prospect. Anyone who watched the entire match, how was Watt's work rate? Did he track back to help your left back at all? Reason I'm asking is that in Arsenal's first team NO ONE tracks back, which is why we are so oftenly beaten by our own game in counter attacks.

    Good luck to Watt and Leeds United in your forthcoming games.

  7. you think watt is good look out for wellington silva a player arsenal bought last year,he will arrive at arsenal when he turns 18 in january.
    I dont think watt will make it at arsenal he has too many good players in front of him
    Arshavin,Nasri, WEllington Silva, Sunnu. He might become a good championship player but nothing more than that in my view although I hope he can prove me wrong and being world class.

  8. lot of it is about confidence and just momentum / form....look at micheal bridges, likened to denis bergkamp one second, injured for a season and hes never been the same player since. SO there is no reason Watt cant one day be a quality player....only time will tell

    Good luck Arsenal / miss your old ground :o(

  9. The lad looked like a fish out of water for the first 10 minutes or so.Quality or not, it's a big gamble expecting ANY player to gell into a new team straight away. Especially in a game as important as this one. I questioned Larry's sanity when I saw Sanchez was starting, but after his initial nerves had settled down he looked very comfortable (the assist for Beccio's goal obviously triggered his confidence). Maybe it's not a gamble to play him at Charlton!

  10. He's got to play Saturday...come on Leeds let's get out of Div 1 automatically!!!!

    Fire em up Larry!!!


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