Ollie Watkins' subdued reaction to Aston Villa's Champions League qualification saddens fans

Ollie Watkins' subdued reaction to Aston Villa's Champions League qualification saddens fans

21:00 - 15.05.2024

Watkins, who supported Arsenal as a child, did not appear too happy with Aston Villa qualifying for the champions league after Man City brushed aside Tottenham on Tuesday.

Aston Villa's recent Champions League qualification sparked jubilation among fans and players alike, but one image from the celebration caught the attention of eagle-eyed supporters: Ollie Watkins, the club's top scorer, seemingly devoid of joy.

 As Villa secured a top-four finish thanks to Tottenham's defeat to Manchester City, Watkins, a known Arsenal supporter, found himself in a bittersweet moment.

The scene unfolded during Villa's end-of-season awards dinner, where players eagerly awaited the outcome of the Spurs versus City clash.

 While the club shared images of Unai Emery and his squad reveling in the moment, Watkins stood out for his subdued demeanor. Villa faithfuls quickly noticed, with some expressing disappointment at seeing their star striker seemingly disheartened.

Drawing attention to Watkins' allegiance to Arsenal, fans speculated on the possible reasons behind his somber expression. 

One theory suggested Watkins may have been contemplating the fading title hopes of his beloved Gunners, who needed a slip-up from City to remain in contention. However, with City set to face West Ham—a team with a dismal record at the Etihad Stadium—such hopes appeared slim.

Yet, another perspective emerged, focusing on Watkins' personal aspirations. With Erling Haaland's brace for City virtually securing him the league's Golden Boot, Watkins' own chances seemed to diminish.

 Haaland's tally of 27 goals overshadowed Watkins' impressive 19, placing him in equal fourth place in the scoring charts.

The irony of the situation was not lost on fans, considering Watkins' previous expressions of admiration for Arsenal. 

Ironically, Watkins found the back of the net for Villa when they beat Arsenal 2-0 back in April, a result that may effectively have cost the Gunners the title.

Back in 2020, while still plying his trade with Brentford in the Championship, Watkins spoke candidly about his dream of donning the Arsenal jersey. Reflecting on his childhood idol, Thierry Henry, Watkins shared his aspiration to follow in the footsteps of the legendary striker.

Despite the disappointment of Villa's Europa Conference League semi-final exit at the hands of Olympiacos, Watkins has enjoyed a prolific season, notching 27 goals across all competitions.

His journey from the lower tiers of English football to the Premier League has been marked by determination and a relentless pursuit of excellence—a journey that now finds him at the center of Aston Villa's Champions League ambitions.