Oakland Raiders: Menelik Watson excited to be back home for Wembley game


December 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen high-fives offensive tackle Menelik Watson (71) against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders offensive line prospect Menelik Watson’s career hasn’t had many highlights, but Sunday’s game at Wembley Stadium in London will be the early peak of the Manchester born former Florida State Seminoles career as he is being given a special homecoming. A huge English football fan (obviously) and supporter of Manchester City, Watson will get to play the pigskin version of football in the venue every English boy dreams of playing in at the home of the FA Cup along with the England National Team in Wembley Stadium.

Watson is one of the biggest names this week as the Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins in the English media as they prep for what is the first of many games at Wembley this season, with the second year Oakland lineman comparing the Raiders to long suffering City who have had a rabid fanbase forever even when they were toiling in the second division. Now EPL champions, Watson hopes that a similar story arc can happen in Oakland where he feels the passionate Raider Nation deserve the same success the defending champs of the Premier League in his beloved City have enjoyed.

From the Express:

"“For our fans to keep showing up despite the seasons we’ve had recently gives you even more motivation to do something special, because they deserve it,” he said.“It’s a very similar situation to how City used to be ­ how many years were we bad? There’s no one who deserves the glory more than City fans.It’s almost like the supporters don’t know how to react to all the success. You’ve been in a rut for so long that you get used to it.“But now we’ve had two championships in three years, so you can’t argue with that.”Watson, 25, added: “I want to come back to Wembley for the FA Cup final next year, even if City aren’t in it, just for the experience.“I always dreamed about playing at Wembley for City as a kid, so to come here with the Raiders is special.”"

Expect Watson to have one of the best performances of his career this weekend at Wembley as there will be no player more motivated to put on a show for the fans at Wembley than the English born second round pick who is hungry to prove himself. After a struggle in his first season to stay healthy, there is no better game or bigger stage for Watson to show himself as a future longterm starter on the offensive line. If he can put on a solid performance when on the field Sunday, the chances the offensive line coach Tony Sparano adds more snaps for the 2013 draft pick should be good. Something that Watson needs desperately to improve his stock as Raiders fans are desperately hoping he can grow into a fixture at the franchise for years to come.