"We are with each other in and out of football and it's great to have that team bonding. Everyone is strong together and we look after each other on and off the pitch. I have known some of them for 11 years, some for nine and some for eight years. We are all one team and we are all together."
- Jay Emmanuel Thomas, captain of the Under 18s
I've been googling a bit, and there have been a lot of famous Jays around. The most famous Jay of all time is Homer Jay Simpson. The second most famous Jay is Jay Leno. The third most famous Jay are the Toronto Blue Jays of the MLB. Collectively, they are known as the Three Jays, and they fight injustice and Flanders while at the same time dispensing razor-sharp obversations about life and hitting home runs.
The Three Jays are so famous that they even have a film about their exploits.
The exciting thing is that in a few years' time, Jay Emmanuel Thomas could be right up there. He could turn the Three Jays into the Four Jays. He could become the D'Artangan to the Three Jays, fighting for truth, justice and purple-flavoured donuts. And when the Four Jays' glorious careers wind to a close, they could do worse then open up a consultancy firm.
Jay Emmanuel Thomas is the under 18s captain, and a player with a lot of potential. Next year, he's in the reserves. The year after, he could be in the seniors. And the exciting thing is that he might not be alone.
There's a lot of talent in the under 18s.
The under 18s have won the kiddy League and the kiddy Cup double, and it's exciting to imagine how well they'll cope in the Carling Cup next year. I'm loving the idea of Coquelin and Wilshere and co. bossing Championship fodder like Newcastle United. If we thought this year's Carling Cup side was special, we're in for a treat next season. This will be the first Arsenal Academy side that has grown up together, played together, fought together, drew blood and killed enemy soldiers in an Apocalyptic nightmare together.
It'll be interesting, is all I'm saying. These kids have the leadership, the team spirit, the hunger and the talent that's missing from the first-team players at the moment. What's the chances of Wenger, in about three years' time, tossing out the whole Arsenal side and just playing these Academy kids?
Probably the same as the chances of Jay Emmanuel Thomas tossing it all up to pursue a career in funk/disco/soul.