Emmanuel-Thomas keen to learn
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has set his sights on becoming an Arsenal regular after making his debut at Stoke.
Last Updated: 25/01/10 11:41am
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has set his sights on becoming an Arsenal regular after making his debut in the FA Cup defeat to Stoke.
The 19-year-old played as the central striker in a three-man attack at the Britannia Stadium as manager Arsene Wenger rotated his squad ahead of a busy Premier League schedule.
Emmanuel-Thomas was satisfied with his performance but recognises that he must learn from the experience if he is to improve.
Having come through the ranks at Arsenal and spent time on loan at Blackpool, he believes it is now time to be more heavily involved with the Gunners first team.
"I thought I did quite well," Emmanuel-Thomas told Arsenal TV Online. "The boss told me to try and be strong, to link up the play and keep moving.
"I have not been playing up front for that long and thought I held my own.
"I am going to get the DVD from the staff, go home and watch the game because when you are playing, you do not remember everything.
"When you watch it again you can see what you have done for yourself.
"I have been travelling to different games with the team, been in and around every day in training, I was just waiting to get my opportunity.
"Hopefully I can keep myself in the team for as long as possible."
Emmanuel-Thomas believes there were plenty of positives to take from the match, although he was disappointed to mark his first appearance with a loss.
"Obviously it is a good feeling for me to have played my first game, but as a team, losing was not the way we wanted it to end," he said.
"We got the equaliser and then played very well, by keeping the ball moving, once we get the ball moving, then it is very hard for teams to defend against.
"Once we start playing proper football, then teams cannot get close to us.
"It does not matter what competition it is, you want to win and it is never a good feeling to lose."
Sol Campbell also played his first game for Arsenal since rejoining the club on a short-term deal and the veteran defender was pleased to get back on the pitch.
The 35-year-old is expected to provide cover for first-choice centre-backs Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas but he expects to play a major role.
"It was great to be playing again, rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in, tussling, working hard," he said.
"However, it is not nice to be knocked out of the FA Cup. We will get better. We have to dust ourselves off.
"Stoke worked me hard, but there is nothing like game-time.
"There are some big games coming up and I will be up for it, the squad as a whole will need to be up for it, too.
"There were a lot of changes in the team, but we have to rethink and go again.
"The whole squad is likely to be used in the next few weeks."