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Roy Massey: The Mentor Behind Arsenal’s Brightest Talents

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Roy Massey Arsenal Academy

Celebrating Arsenal’s FA Cup victory in 2020 were Academy graduates Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, and Reiss Nelson.

Labelled a “father figure” by Jack Wilshere and Alex Iwobi, Roy Massey’s impact over the past 25 years has been pivotal for countless Premier League stars. His initiatives and guidance have been deeply appreciated by Arsenal academy players, such as Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith-Rowe, and Joe Willock.

“Roy was the force propelling the academy, and he held a profound work ethic,” shared Wilshere, who views the academy as his family. On the other hand, Iwobi, a veteran of 100 Premier League matches before his 2019 move to Everton, praises Massey’s personality. He was “respected, loved, and revered” and perpetually a “consummate gentleman.”

Massey’s “contagious laugh made everyone feel welcome,” Iwobi added. “He treated all of us fairly, providing equal opportunities to display our skills during matches. He fostered self-belief and encouraged us to relish our football and freely express ourselves.”

Wilshere joined Arsenal at the age of nine and eventually made 125 appearances in the Premier League for the Gunners.

Massey’s journey to Arsenal followed 25 years of coaching at Colchester and Norwich. When his young proteges began regularly outperforming Liam Brady’s trainees, Massey accepted Brady’s invitation to join Arsenal.

At Arsenal, Massey’s role was to discover and cultivate young talent worthy of representing the London club, along with improving facilities. Using methods inspired by Ajax, he developed a network of scouts and hired top-tier coaches, fostering a welcoming, family-like environment.

Even as Arsenal is poised to break their transfer record by signing Declan Rice, the club’s Hale End academy, a product of Massey’s efforts, continues to be a precious resource.

Now retired since 2014, Massey shares insights on how some of today’s Premier League stars owe their success to the Arsenal academy.

Bukayo Saka showed a “maturity beyond his years,” while Joe Willock demonstrated perseverance even when things were tough. Eddie Nketiah was a surprising gem that Chelsea let go, and Reiss Nelson, spotted during a casual park game, became a part of Arsenal’s 2020 FA Cup-winning squad.

We offer you more comprehensive coverage of the Gunners than ever before. Here’s all you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment. Check out our top-quality content on everything Arsenal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Roy Massey Arsenal Academy

Who is Roy Massey and what is his role at Arsenal?

Roy Massey is a pivotal figure in Arsenal’s academy, having joined in 1998 to assist Liam Brady in molding young talents. He played a crucial role in scouting and developing players, creating a nurturing environment for their growth.

Which players have benefited from Roy Massey’s guidance?

Several notable players have benefitted from Roy Massey’s guidance at Arsenal, including Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, and Emile Smith-Rowe. These players have showcased their talents and made significant contributions to Arsenal and even the Premier League.

How did Roy Massey contribute to the development of Arsenal’s academy?

Roy Massey brought in his extensive coaching experience to develop Arsenal’s academy. He built a network of scouts, recruited top-class coaches, and implemented training methods inspired by successful academies like Ajax. Massey aimed to create a welcoming, family-like atmosphere while keeping the players grounded and focused on their development.

What qualities did Roy Massey recognize in Bukayo Saka?

Roy Massey recognized Bukayo Saka’s talent from a young age. He praised Saka’s good left foot and versatility in playing as a left full-back or left winger. Massey also noted Saka’s composure, football intelligence, and maturity beyond his years, which have contributed to his success as one of Arsenal’s most talented academy graduates.

How did Roy Massey discover Eddie Nketiah?

Roy Massey discovered Eddie Nketiah when he played against Arsenal’s academy as a young boy while representing Chelsea. Impressed by Nketiah’s speed and technical ability, Massey received a positive recommendation from Bobby Arber, an Arsenal scout, who happened to meet Nketiah’s brothers, Chris and Joe Willock. Following further discussions, Nketiah joined Arsenal, proving to be a valuable addition to the academy.

How did Reiss Nelson catch the attention of Roy Massey?

Reiss Nelson caught the attention of Roy Massey when he was spotted playing in a park game by scout Alan Knowles. Impressed by Nelson’s skill and ability to outmaneuver opponents, Knowles invited him to train at the Arsenal academy. Nelson eventually joined the academy and went on to become part of Arsenal’s FA Cup-winning squad in 2020.

More about Roy Massey Arsenal Academy

  • Arsenal FC Official Website – The official website of Arsenal FC provides information about the club, including updates on the academy and player profiles.
  • Premier League Official Website – The official website of the Premier League offers news, statistics, and information about players and clubs in the league.
  • Liam Brady – Wikipedia – Liam Brady’s Wikipedia page provides details about his career as an Arsenal legend and his involvement in the club’s academy.
  • Ajax Official Website – The official website of AFC Ajax offers insights into their successful academy and training methods that inspired Roy Massey at Arsenal.
  • Bukayo Saka – Arsenal Player Profile – Arsenal’s official website provides a profile of Bukayo Saka, one of the talents nurtured by Roy Massey at the academy.
  • Eddie Nketiah – Arsenal Player Profile – Arsenal’s official website provides a profile of Eddie Nketiah, showcasing his development under Roy Massey’s guidance.
  • Reiss Nelson – Arsenal Player Profile – Arsenal’s official website provides a profile of Reiss Nelson, highlighting his journey through the Arsenal academy.

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1 comment

GoonerTillIDie July 5, 2023 - 6:36 pm

Massey’s contribution to Arsenal’s academy is massive. Saka, Willock, Nketiah, and Nelson have all benefitted from his guidance. Can’t wait to see more talented players coming through the ranks. Arsenal for life!


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