Posted on April 09, 2018 by ADMIN

In defence of Alex Iwobi….

Hello Gooners all over, i hope we are all enjoying Arsenal’s recent good fortunes because i really feel good right now. For now, the only negative is the injury to Henrikh and i hope he gets well soon.

So on to the article then and the focus is on our talented youngster Alex Iwobi. I remember when this kid used to give us much joy and excitement that we always want him to be on the team sheet in every match day. He was full of promise and i personally see him as highly technical lad that really understands our philosophy, but for some reasons he seems to have regressed a little bit and that-s what prompted me to write this up for discussion, what could have caused his regression?

I know many will quickly say “oh, its Wenger’s influence”.. Maybe, but that will be too cheap. I also believe he suffers from what has now become the trend in our club; Position. I can-t really say this or that is his best position as I am not a manager and he has played everywhere except defence.

So what i wanna do is TRY to figure out his best position based on his strengths and weaknessess.

STRENGTHS;
Passing
Playmaking
Moving out of tight spaces
Fairly pacy
Good strength
Dribbling
Forward play

WEAKNESS
Shooting
Defending

So judging from the above, i think its obvious that Iwobi is a Central midfielder and not a winger or an attacking midfielder. Although, one could be forgiven for thinking he can be an Attacking midfielder but if you play him there you would only be exposing his weakness as he is timid in front of goal. He is not pacy enough to be winger nor commanding enough (at least for now) to be an AMF.

Therefore, to maximise his potential, we try to take him away from his weakness and expose him to his strengths.
He would only need to improve on his defensive qualities to play CM and that is where the manager comes in, he is young and can learn.

I observe many are already writing him off but it is too early for that, he needs proper coaching to master and have a defined position – not being tossed back and forth – as that leads to confusion and lack of real progress and it is also where the problem emanates from. Let him own a position and train him THERE!

I wanna see how he will fair under a new manager, be it on loan or at Arsenal but i’d prefer it to be at Arsenal under a new manager.

What do you think?

Goonerboy

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103 thoughts on “In defence of Alex Iwobi….

  1. Phil

    Admin let’s be serious here.Are you writing this article as a “Gap Filler” until you or someone else is able to write a more grounded and relevant piece?There is NO QUESTION whatsoever to answer re Alex Iwobi.He is NOT good enough to play for Arsenal Football Club.He never will be no matter who is coach or manager next season.Do YOU ADMIN seriously believe Iwobi to be an Arsenal quality player? Maybe at the level Wenger has taken us to but this will at least be addressed in the close season when he is replaced.Iwobi is one of those players who will NEVER make it at a top club.Start from the top of the league and work your way down the table and ask yourself which team Iwobi would get in to on a regular basis.I got as far down as Brighton and not totally convinced of that.
    Do you remember those days when we had FRINGE players of the quality such as WILTORD EDU van Bronkhurst Kanu and now you expect supporters to be satisfied with players like IWOBI?
    I’m all for giving young players a chance.He has had plenty of opportunities and you answered your own question as to what position he is actually any good at.There is none.He is NOT the quality required and anyone who believes otherwise can go watch Iwobi at Orient as that’s the level he will be playing at in a few seasons

    1. Hayzed

      Iwobi can still come good under a different manager though I agree completely that he is not Arsenal level at the moment but who knows what might happen,he is still 21.
      What needs to be asked is that why do players regress under Wenger these days especially young and promising players.

    2. jon fox

      You nailed it precisely. He is just a lower level player than we need. He would do quite well in the Championship at Ipswich / Forest/ QPR level. He should be NOWHERE NEAR ARSENAL FC, and when we soon have a proper manager with REAL ambition to make us great again, he will quickly be on his way. I don’t however blame the writer for posing this question but explain his thinking by saying that, sadly, he seems one of the many on here who are content to accept mediocrity and so poses this question to others – who do NOT include you and me and those like us- who blithely condone mediocrity. I would add he seems to have no discernable personality on the field and often looks bewildered.

      1. Abel

        I’ve watched him play for his National side and he does not look bewildered, as he is actually a key player in the Nigerian National team and scored some key goals that helped Nigeria qualify for Russia 2018. He did score a couple of goals against Argentina in a friendly and nutmeged Otamendi on his way to scoring one of those goals.
        I bet if he had chosen to play for England instead of Nigeria, he wouldn’t be as criticized as he is by most of you.

        1. jon fox

          You are the fool who confuses rightful criticism of a player who happens to be black skinned- and so what, who cares- with racism. You have alleged this nonsense before and MR ADMIN should warn you against this disgusting nonsense you state. One of the great positives of British sport (unlike some other backward and Neanderthal countries) – and football is typical – is that racism is 99.999% dead. Years ago, DECADES IN FACT, you would have had a point, BUT NOT NOW. So GROW UP!

          1. Abel

            Wow, so much venom from someone who doesn’t need to grow up.
            I won’t rise to your bait seeing as I’m a better man, I don’t need to insult you to make my point.
            You’re the one who has brought up racism as there was no racism in my post. Bamidele Alli is dark skinned and is also of Nigerian descent but chose to represent England. He gets less criticism and is overhyped to an extent from the English press because he is seen to be English. Now that is Nationalism not racism. Get the difference?

            1. Abel

              Racism is not dead in British sports not least football as you so boldly claim. The Manager of the Female Lions (English female football team) was asked to resign by the FA over racial slurs he had used towards one of his dark skinned players Eniola Aluko who was paid some compensation by the FA as well following the incident.

              1. jon fox

                One rotten apple is the exception that proves the rule. I did not say 100% ,I deliberately wrote 99.999%. Unlike you , I lived in this country when institutional racism was rife and it was ghastly. I am white skinned and find the stain nauseating on the British conscience when landladies windows used to regularly state and I quote ” No Coloureds, No Irish and No Dogs.” It was disgusting then and on the exceedingly rare occasions in BRITISH SPORT NOW, IS STLL DISGUSTING. NOT ONLY DISGUSTING BUT BACKWARD, NEANDERTHAL AND EVIL. I would remind you , and others who may be interested, of your own exact quote: “If he had chosen to play for England instead of Nigeria , he wouldn’t have been as criticised as he is.” Would you have said the same about a White skinned player from Germany/ Sweden/ Chile/Australia? Well, would you? You need to explain this quote if you still claim it is not racist. I am waiting!

          2. Lance

            Jon, can’t you argue your case without insulting people? Abel stated his case clearly and didn’t call you names. But not you. For one who claims to be in his late sixties, it is unbecoming. Please grow up. Some of us are tired of your insults and I know it all attitude.

            1. Kenny Rolfe

              Sometimes you have to be passionate with your point. Jon Fox is absolutely correct and I agree with him. Abel are you saying Arsenal fans are being racist towards Iwobi because the majority don’t think he’s good enough for Arsenal Football Club because if you are, that’s racist in itself. You probably never saw the likes of Thierry Henry, Kanu, Sylvan Wiltord , Emanuel Eboure, and many other black players , all loved at our great club in the past and still are.

      2. Nothing changed

        @ Jon Fox – We both love the club above the team and the manager. And we both seem to realize that the future of this club won’t really start until we have let go of the past that is Wenger. You are more optimistic than I am that Wenger won’t somehow manage to hold on to his job for another year of “the same old sh*t” (pardon the expression).

        However, we seem to perhaps differ in our confidence of our own assessments of player’s level of skill. I am disappointed in most of our players and very disappointed in the lack of progress in the development of our younger players. However, for players like Bellerin and Iwobi I think it is too early to write them of with certainty before a talented manager has actually bothered to attempt to develop them.

        We can probably agree that players like Bellerin and Iwobi don’t bring enough today or this season, but perhaps I am more optimistic that this is because of the fact that Wenger doesn’t know how to develop them rather than a lack of talent on their behalf.

        Personally, I am a lot more pessimistic on Xhaka ever becoming the DM we need than I am on Bellerin and Iwobi becoming contributing members of our sqad.

        I long for the days where we can actually debate and disagree on players and their contribution with hope and passion in our hearts rather than the situation we are in today. IMO today it makes little sense to ponder a players potential because potential needs to be developed by a developer in absence of a developer the exercise becomes too academic.

        1. jon fox

          A heart warming and sensible post to digest. Though we clearly disagee , as is our right, on Bellerin and Iwobi, though we agree on Xhaka, I DO very much agree with your central point about Wenger not making players like these two progress. Indeed, as we both think, they have regressed under Wenger. But I have a strong viewpoint that IF a young player has what it takes, in character, will to win and sheer guts to come through, even with Wenger shifting them all around the pitch (as he stupidly always does) they will thrive, DESPITE his foolishness. OF COURSE HIS NONSENSE IS COUNTER PRODUCTIVE, I DO AGREE but in BELLERIN and Iwobi, I SEE A DISTINCT LACK OF CHARACTER(as with Walcott and others now mercifully gone) whereas in such as Ramsey( when still young) I see loads of character and guts. I want fighters at our club and want them packed throughout the squad, I do not want wimps AND AM FED UP TO THE BACK TEETH OF ALL THE MANY, MANY WIMPS WENGER HAS BROUGHT TO US OVER THE LAST DECADE. Hope that explains fully, to your satisfaction, where I am coming from. We had no wimps in 1998,2002 and 2004, which is certainly true!

          1. Nothing changed

            100% in agreement with the fact that we lack strong characters and leaders not to mention born winners. I understand a few on here are frustrated with all roads leading to Wenger but sadly IMO it is Wenger who doesn’t seem to like strong characters around and it is Wenger who teaches by example. His example is far too often that losing is not a result of our own efforts and far too often losing is accepted as an outcome. That is not an example that fosters winners. In fact, the one winner we had recently, Sanchez, was nearly shamed for showing his growing frustration at Bayern Munich after a game we lost badly.

            There is this saying: Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser.

            I rather have a Sanchez who goes a little overboard, according to some, for always wanting to win than the players who say on TV they feel we played well right after losing a game against Barca.

          2. Harry

            Can you quit complaining and analyse football the way it is.At what age did Drogba spring up? Diego Costa? Etc…didnt maurinho let lukaku go and later regretted why he did that.didnt they let this belgium guy playinf for mancity leave too? Didnt madrid let morata leave and he did better off at Juventus? Look football is a team spirit. My boys are good and talente players.they just missed it along the waya.now they are recovering from whatever mess they all put themsles into. Wasnt this the same chelsea team that won league two seasons ago yet battling 5th position with my boys. Lets wake up with our analysis about football.look if you get a new coach and dont get more quality players,he would do worst than wenger. I guarantee you that. Cheers man

    3. Abel

      How old were the players you are comparing him to when they signed for Arsenal? I’ll tell you. Wiltord (26), Edu (23), Van Bronkhurst (26) and Kanu (22 officially although I suspect he was much older in reality as had been the case with most African born players).
      Well, we’ll agree to disagree on his potential. I don’t seem to remember a certain Moh’d Salah (26yrs presently) or Kevin Debryune (27yrs presently) pulling down any trees when they were his age either.
      The article is timely and not a waste of time seeing as Iwobi did play a huge role in our win yesterday by providing two assists for Danny’s goals. He is essentially still learning his trade and should not be expected to be pulling down trees in a team where he is played sparingly. He should not be blamed for the woes of our massively under performing team.
      As for his strengths;
      Dribbling, balance, Pace, crossing, 1st touch and play-making
      Weakness: decision making in the final third, holding on to the ball too long and defending.
      I do believe he will benefit from the free-flowing, multiple pronged attack we now have as opposed to the very left sided attack we had been operating with when Alexis demanded to receive all the passes in the final third.

      1. Phil

        Ok that’s sorted then.
        Let’s flog Ozil and play Iwobi then.
        If he scored Two in a FRIENDLY against Argentina then he is the answer to our prayers all along.
        I will continue to believe Iwobi is simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH to play for ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB.I believe he had a good game against Southampton.Certainly one of his best games for the club.He wanted the ball.He tried to be creative. He certainly provided Two good balls to Welbeck for his goals.But WHEN was the last time he played as well as he did yesterday?He has been on the team enough this season to have had more than one decent game surely?Many of his games were in the early round of the cups.Many were against the lower teams in the league we lost points against.Why did he not perform in those games if the quality of the opposition was not as good?Simple.He does not have the ability or attributes to be an outstanding performer at the level required for Arsenal Football Club.Its so obvious even Stevie Wonder would see it.
        I try to give the benefit to young players who come through.This player is not good enough.
        I would also add I was NOT comparing Iwobi to WILTORD EDU etc.I simply pointed out that we did once have squads where the fringe players were of the quality of the ones I mentioned.Age was nothing to do with it.
        But let’s see if as you have stated Iwobi is able to reach the levels of Salah and de Bryune in 5-6 years time.Somehow I don’t think so do you?

        1. jon fox

          You will remember we – or more accurately the daft manager – waited 12 years for Walcott to come through before finally getting rid, when in theory only, he should be at his peak. I can’t stand two more Walcotts and want Iwobi and Elneny out this summer. Salah AND De Bruyne have obvious character which bot the two Gooner players clearly lack. You either have or have not character. It doesn’t suddenly come knocking on door aged 23,24,25! I saw this cpmplete lack of character or backbone if you like, in Walcott, when he was only 18 and I see it is Bellerin and Iwobi, sadly!

          1. Emmanuel

            Do not forget, Mo salah, De Bruyne once play for a certain club in London without any suces. The problem of Iwobi, Bellerin may be Arsene pattern of football…let us be patient for a new manager before we make final decision on our young players…

        2. Bobby

          I bet Ramsey got as much or even more criticism at 21 but he is different today and I can remember so many more players we did not recon with at 21 and not every great player today showed enough of their potential at 21 because if they all did, people like lukaku and De Bruyen would not have been sold. I can’t remember all of you now talking seeing enough of these players then to demand Arsenal buy them so when did your crystal balls become so clear ?! All the manager needs to do for players to improve is create competition

      2. Babasola

        this is a beautiful write-up
        Iwobi has his issues but the guy’s a budding talent
        Most pple here want us to offload everyone in the team
        The team is having issues, therefore a lot of players under perform
        Chelsea is having issues, even Hazard is underperforming, maybe he’s useless and should be discarded going by how most Arsenal fans think
        Man City is playing well, does that mean Otamendi, John Stones, Delph, Gundogan and even Bernando are world Class – No they are not
        We know how headless Sterling can be if his team is not doing well, but presently he’s Super
        Our team has issues that need sorting
        You guys just want to offload everybody
        When Kolasinac joined he was on a Best-Left mood, but not anymore – so we should offload him ?
        Not many LB’s at their best are better than him at his best
        Iwobi’s talented, so is Bellerin, Kolasinac,Chambers (Holding hasn’t impressed me)
        We need to be able to get that best out – and that’s the Manager’s job

      1. jon fox

        Good to hear that you have disassociated yourself with this article. I must presume you have, otherwise why bother writing your post at all! Am I correct in assuming only PAT J(you, presumably) and his son are the admins? It would be useful to many of us to have this confirmed , so that we do not slate the wrong people.

        1. Admin Post author

          There is and always has been only one Admin! My name is Pat.
          There have been hundreds of other contributors over the years but I am Mr Justarsenal…..
          And I’m not proud of it!

          1. jon fox

            Thanks Pat! I LIKE SOMEONE WHO TELLS IT STRAIGHT. YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED PREVIOUSLY! (he added, only SLIGHTLY tongue in cheek)! I should be much nicer to you ; you are doing your best and so from now on , I will at least try! But though the spirit is willing the flesh is … well you know the rest! But peace, at any price, peace! By the way, I would be VERY PROUD to be known as Mr. Justarsenal. MOST THINK ME “THAT MISERABLE OLD GIT!”

    4. Ignasi

      Agree 100%, Phil. Iwobi is a technically gifted footballer, but he’s nothing more than a squad player. Iwobi’s a difficult and frustrating one to judge: he has all the attributes to be a quality and consistent player, but theres something about him that allows many of us to think that he just isn’t ‘good enough’. I see him as the midfield version of Danny Welbeck. Unfortunately, Iwobi is actually a faithful representation of where Arsenal currently are (in the league table).

      1. Ken 1945

        Abel,
        Having read your post again, I think what you are trying to say is the English media is biased. Is that correct?
        If so, I agree with you wholeheartedly.
        If not, then here’s an observation:
        Living up here in scotland and as an ex London boy born and bred, I find our media absolutely rubbish.
        Every competition we enter, the media build us up, as a nation, to win it.
        Then, when we fail, blame the players who, in all honesty, never had a remote chance of winning anyway.
        Their coverage of our club is scandalous and our present board hasn’t got the guts to stand up to them.

  2. Sergio

    I think Phil’s response is a bit harsh though I agree with some of it.

    With Xhaka, Elneny and Iwobi in the centre yesterday we had no creativity going forward whatsoever.

    I just don’t think Iwobi has that creative spark required for an attacking player at Arsenal and unfortunately it’s a skill that’s found naturally rather than one you can teach.

    1. jon fox

      Precisely. And to think that, merely to defend a three goal lead to the porous defence of such low class teams as CSKA on Thursday and in the runner up European competition at that, Wenger was only left with puerile dross like Xhaka, Elneny and Iwobi to play in our midfield. This is how low we have sunk to under Wenger. To think what this man once achieved over a decade since and to realise what a ghastly low he has sunk to right now, is enough to make a true fan with REAL ambition feel suicidal. Or it would, EXCEPT that we perceptive fans know he will be out on his ear next month. Oh happy day!!!

      1. Abel

        Once again Jon, can we keep our comments on the article to Iwobi and not Wenger whom we all know your views on?

        1. jon fox

          Straight and honest answer, NO! Since the manager is responsible for all that goes on with the team. PERHAPS YOU HAVE NEVER NOTICED THAT FACT!

          1. Abel

            Well, maybe Admin should consider renaming this site “Just Wenger out” or better still “Just Jon”

            1. jon fox

              No way. If he did that I would no other fools to put right in their thinking! If the cap fits……!

              1. Abel

                Dementia
                Definition:A chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and ‘impaired reasoning’.
                If the cap fits.

      2. Ken 1945

        Jon Fox,
        Well Jon, as you know, I am a true fan with real ambitions just like you, but with differing views in many cases.
        With regards to the Europa cup, whoever wins it goes into the Champions League and that is reason enough for the club to get our support isn’t it?
        Just ask the United fanbase?
        Whoever is the coach/manager next season needs us to be in it for all the obvious reasons I’m sure you’ll agree. I am perceptive enough to know that the club and Wenger honour contracts, so I am not as sure as you that he will be gone on May 18th.
        With regards to Iwobi, the point of this blog, I think Abel makes a really valid point regarding his age and comparision with other players. Certainly something not to be dismissed lightly. I also agree with Phils observation regarding the number of games he has played in the first team without setting the world alight. My view is that he should be given time, especially if we see a new manager appointed, to blossom. As someone else observed, he is not on a astronomical salary and perhaps a loan spell would benefit player and club? Really would hate to see him come back to haunt us in a few years time.
        Can I also say, that Goonerboy and I have differed on many views in the past, but I congratulate him on a well constructed article. The problem is Goonerboy, no matter what the subject, the fan base seems completely divided and insistent on reverting back to the same old same old.
        Frustrating isn’t it??????????

      3. Anko

        Jon Fox, I think your language is to strong and too negative. I can give you 4-5 players I thought Pep was going to send out of Man City, but instead of selling them, he turned them in different players whereby we all say good stuff about them. Mohamed Salah had gone round several clubs and none of them thought he will be the player he is today. De Bruyne, Sane, Raheem Starling, Dele Ali, Harry Kane, etc are examples of players that has gone from a level to another. All thanks to their Mangers. Arsene Wenger do no longer have the skill to develop players anymore. Some of the developed ones are dying under him gradually. Ozil came with his talent, but he is still always criticised because of the way the team play. We are a bad team put together, we are only trying to get by the games. So please remember to put all these facts together before you put Iwobi to the sword. He his not the biggest player in Arsenal, he is till young and most importantly these young players do not have the manger to improve them. Wenger is too old in his method and tactics.

        1. jon fox

          Anko, Totally agree with the principle you outline of some players developing later. We all know that is clearly accurate. What I personally look for – as some who have followed my many posts on here for some time will know- is fight, guts, character. We have to assume all who are in our first team have SOME ABILITY. Question is though, do they have ENOUGH! On the specifics though of Iwobi and also Elneny(though he is a little older) I see a distinct lack of moral bravery. I don’t mean physical courage but the guts to attempt the brave pass , the match winning one or to take on a player one to one, dependant on the type of player they be. I see in Elneny, ALWAYS THE SAFE SIDEWAYS PASS and a lack of game changing intent. This is what I mean by lack of guts. Ramsey and Wilshere have this guts in spades, though I think WILSHERE SHOULD AND WILL LEAVE THIS SUMMER. I do not say Iwobi is hopeless; merely not of the standard we need. Of course this is ONLY my opinion. You can equally say this about almost anything which is football related. It is also ONLY MY OPINION THAT WENGER SHOULD GO. I was of this opinion ten years ago and ever since and as yet I feel I am and have been correct. “Look”, to quote a certain manager, I do not claim to be Nostadamus; just an old fogie who has been around football and Arsenal for 60 years (and when young, playing it at, though rank amateur level). But surely I am entitled to back my own judgement and to say so, on a fan site? As are we all!

  3. gotanidea

    Agree author. We should criticize Arsenal youngsters such as Iwobi with constructive/ positive criticisms, not personally attacking him with destructive/ negative criticisms

    I agree with your assessment on Iwobi’s strengths and weaknesses. I think he is not fast, but he has a good height to win air duels

    He played well in Ozil’s position, when Arsenal faced Stoke, shown by his good movements, ball control, skills and assists. I believe the talented young kids like Iwobi, Maitland-Niles and Nelson just need more game time to become better, if they can avoid long injuries

      1. Phil

        Ok here’s some constructive criticism for Iwobi.
        Alex-Your F***ing useless.
        You probably always will be.
        Try a career change

        1. jon fox

          I find it deeply depressing that we should even be ABLE to discuss the pros(well , he is still young) and countless cons of such dross as Alex Iwobi. Having this type of “player” at Arsenal at all is deeply upsetting to we fans with REAL ambition.

          1. I

            Jon fox, I can only hope your anger against Arsene or the team reaches the board. Unfortunately it doesn’t. Wenger’s possibility to stay or leave after this season depends entirely on the board.
            As fans, let’s give credit where it belongs. When the team is not playing well, is good to criticize them. But when they get result, let’s cheer them. Many on here never gave them a chance after seeing the line up. In premier league, it is never easy to play a team that is threatened by relegation at this point of the season especially when most of the first team players were rested
            Majority of us here aren’t happy with the current situation of the club, result wise. But based on resent transfer, it can only get better. I hope they do some major reinforcements at the back and at least one good winger.

            1. jon fox

              So you think our comments dont’ reach the boards ears then? How about regular half empty stadiums then like the 59374 people attending yesterday – half of them INVISIBLE! It is well known that multi billionaires care nothing about overwhelming fan opinion and the consequent empty seats it brings , eh? After all, it only impacts their pockets and esp the future worldwide value of their prized assets, against which they raise money , eh? Why not use your other “I” too , and your ears, and learn something about how big time finance operates , before posting junk like this. Take it from me, the decision has already been made to get rid but he has not yet been told. They have not yet got the replacement they want, and so won’t announce the sacking until it is known who will be coming. It will be announced once we are out of the Europa or at latest right after our league season finishes. Billionaires are astute financially and know what side their bread in buttered, That is WHY they stay filthy and disgustingly rich (at least in money, though not in morality). I have to assume you are very young, esp in the ways of the world, unless you say differently, which would surprise me.

              1. Ken 1945

                Jon Fox
                Perhaps “I” hasn’t had the experience and knowledge that you have had.
                Perhaps he is posting his personal views as we are all entitled to do?
                EVERYONE at one time or another has posted junk ( me predicting a City win and you castigating Per) as you call it, so let’s not take the moral high ground as a right. Your experience in the financial world would help others understand things better if put in a more constructive way.
                Age doesn’t always mean wisdom, look at you and me! Two old age pensioners with differing views. I am always learning from my three grandsons thats for sure!!!
                On another topic from your post, you say that the club has already sacked Wenger, but not found a replacement. Is this a fact or a gut feeling? As you know, I feel the time is right for a change, but have not heard or seen anything as concrete as you suggest.

                1. jon fox

                  Well Ken, more sound perspective from you and I do take your point. Of course on Wenger , I have no inside knowledge , so yes, it is just my judgement. Where you and I fundamentally differ about posts is that I believe that –other than swearing and filthy and /or racist and bigoted language(all of which are obnoxious)- to the point use of words should be fine. Yes, I agree that in a perfect world i SHOULD NOT and would not call, someone a fool or deluded. I think it is widely understood that this is not any more than how real fans often speak to each other,when at matches. Not ideal but being HUMAN. Which I am and rEmain content to be. Personally I enjoy proper debate both with those who largely agree and with those who largely disagee. I do not look to be everyones friend but nor do I wish to make enemies. I just want real meaningful debate with real fans(as virtually all on here are). If I am denied this I will leave as at my time of life I fear only death, dying and boredom. Being a gabby old fogie, proper debate is fresh air itself to me, Ken. Hopefully some perspective from me , this time.

        2. Bobby

          Here is even more constructive criticism for you Phil: I think Phil is even f***ing more useless and probably always will be. Try a post somewhere else. In addition, you are probably not as half nearly good in what you do as Iwobi is at 21, I bet you didn’t even know what you were doing and I honestly still think you don’t have a clue at the moment

  4. Sue

    In defence of Alex Iwobi??!! Jesus Christ… he set up 2 goals yesterday & that’s it. He really is crap & not good enough to be playing for the Arsenal

    1. Abel

      Perception is everything. If Miki had set up those two goals we’d all be raving about his fantastic vision and crossing ability. But since its Iwobi, they were just misplaced passes that Welbeck did well to convert.

      1. jon fox

        Abel, We see things totally differently on Iwobi which is our right. But most people agree with me(of those on here – and other Arsenal fan sites – and merely because you may be (if I am correct in my assumption) his fellow countryman, is not a proper and dispassionate reason to support a likeable but limited in talent young man. Real talent is obvious when players are very young , 16, 17 18 and all the greats have showed such when still teenagers. Iwobi WILL HAVE A professional career, without doubt. But not , for much longer at a top level club. He is simply not good enough and at 21 is not a real youngster among the Mbappes of this world. And Mbappe level (though not him personally) is what ambitious Gooners KNOW the right manager can and will attract to our club. I do not doubt your passion for our club , which is praise worthy but surely you can look back(even if you are not old enough to have personally seen them in the flesh) to recordings of those many, many greats in our history earlier this century and of last to see the clear gulf between true greats and such as limited Iwobi. Why settle for so much less than ALL we passionate fans deserve? Serious question Abel. WHY?

        1. Abel

          Jon, this is the reason I come on this site, for civilized intelligent discourse about our beloved club. your post above is a very good one although differing in opinion to mine but good all the same. The opinion that many others see things your way, does not make it true.
          Regarding knowing players that would excel at ages 16, 17 and 18 based on the potential they display. I beg to differ. There have been a lot of players who shone like a million stars at those ages and had been called “wonderkids” but who failed to live up to the hype. Our very own Francis Jeffers, Wilshere as well as Walcott belong to that list. More prominent ones include; Adriano, Denilson(Real Betis), Giovani Dos Santos, Freddy Adu, Bojan, Fernando Gago.
          On the other hand, Players like Jamie Vardy, Filipo Inzaghi, Ngolo Kante and Samuel Eto were virtual nobodies when they were aged 16-21.
          For most players you literally have to watch and wait to see how they turn out.

          1. Ken 1945

            In my opinion two excellent posts here from Jon Fox and Abel.
            Brilliant examples of two differing views, both of which are thought provoking. Love it, now I’m going to digest them!

          2. jon fox

            Good to read. And I have no doubt (as a believer in the goodness of mankind) that we are all on here actually good but also pasionate fans and also good people. There have been trolls in the past but they have been absent, thankfully, for some time now! You and I are quite alike I suspect as people, despite superficial differences. Without these wonderful differences between all of us life would be so much the poorer. This philosophy or belief is exactly why I picked you up on your – as I thought- “racist” comment about Brits not liking or rating Iwobi as he is not British but Nigerian, as if either of these things irrelevant matter one jot. I am fortunate enough and choose to live in richly multi-cultural Croydon and love the diversity of this wonderful place, As a “migrant” to Croydon in 1989, from several other British towns previously, I have developed a fondness for Crystal Palace and many of my friends and neighbours attend Selhurst Park. This is another reason I was pleased that Saints dropped three points to us , just yesterday. But Arsenal is and always will be my team, so have no doubt. I do take your point about players developing at differing ages. What I look for in any youngster at Arsenal , as we assume ALL HAVE TALENT(though whether ENOUGH , is the question) is character, will to win, backbone, which to me Walcott always distinctly lacked even at 18. I see this also missing in Iwobi, unfortunately and though of course he will make a living in football, I hope and think it will be elsewhere. IN FACT AT A LOWER LEVEL THAN ARSENAL NEED. But I can say this about MOST OF THE CURRENT FIRST TEAM SQUAD. Not all. But most. BUT LET US STAY ON GOOD TERMS, HOPEFULLY?

    2. Anko

      Sue I always read and appreciate your comments but I disagree with you on this one. Iwobi is not a crap, and he is good enough to play for any team. Our problem is Arsene Wenger. I want you to look deeply at the Arsenal Squad form last season till date and give me one player that has performed consistently, from Peter Czech through the defence to the milders and then the attack. Maybe with the exception of Ospina and including (Sanchez before Man United move.) The team is general not good enough for the present day premier league level and that is due to our immovable manger Arsene Wenger!!!!! Give Arsene Wenger Messi and we will still be a rubbish team. Sean Dyche do not have as many talents as we have in Arsenal yet his players are punching above their weights, and that can only be due to the Manger.

      1. Sue

        Well Anko we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I don’t think any of the other top 6 teams would come in for Iwobi. I think Arsene sees something in him that I clearly don’t!
        I think he’d be better of in the championship, but hey this time next season we should have a new manager…. so if Iwobi is still with us, we’ll see how he performs then

          1. Kenny Rolfe

            Make you right Sue. When Iwobi first joint the club as a youngster Wenger told certain people “this young lad’s going to be a great player” and knowing how stubborn Wenger is and how he hates to be wrong, he’ll give him as many chances as possible with the hope that one day he’ll make the big time just like he did with players like Walcott and Denilson. He even forgave him after learning he’d been out all night partying and played him 24 hours later something the old Wenger would never had allowed.

        1. Emmanuel

          Give Arsenal Messi and C Ronado, arsenal will still be where they are…totally agree with this one….

  5. I

    Based on his contributions since he was promoted to the first team, I rate him as average player with potentials. Based on availability due to injury, he is way above Wilshere. Yes he is.
    My verdict: since he does not command much wages, we should keep him.

    1. Phil

      Seriously? You rate him that highly?I am not too bothered Jack seems on his way at the end of the season.But if it was a straight choice between the two of them I would have Wilshere over Iwobi every day of the week.

      1. Abel

        So what does Wilshere offer over Iwobi If I may ask? Please don’t say Wilshere was great before his injury. Lets have some facts like turnover during matches, chances created, assists and goals scored.

        1. Phil

          If you read what I wrote you would note I’m not bothered about Jack leaving.Once he HAD POTENTIAL.Not any more.In my opinion Iwobi will NEVER have an ounce of the ability Wilshere showed at the same age and is simply NOT good enough to play for Arsenal.But IF it was a choice against WHICH PLAYER could offer most to the Team it is Wilshere without a doubt over Iwobi.
          Please tell me exactly WHAT Iwobi brings to the team.What exactly is his best position.How many games has he dominated.How many goals has he scored.How many chances has he created.I simply DONT DO STATS.I rely on FACTS.The Simple FACT is that Iwobi has had ample games and opportunities to show us what type of player he is and how good he could become.The FACT is he is still a player that nobody knows what to do with because his abilities are very limited and his performances are simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

  6. Gunner_2

    The article was spot on, the likes of Phil completely wrote of Alex oxlade when he was with us. If you can’t spot iwobi’s talent, sorry you have no place anywhere near football.

    1. Phil

      I do NOT recognise Iwobi as a talent.He is mediocre at best.Is this really the type of player you feel is the future of Arsenal Football Club?Tell me and everyone on this site EXACTLY WHAT IWOBI BRINGS TO THE TEAM.Goals?Assists?Pace?Passing?Dribbling?This player has NOTHING to convince his place in THE SQUAD let alone THE TEAM.

      1. Ken 1945

        Gunner2
        Can you please tell me what the Ox has done at Liverpool that he hadn’t already done at our club?
        I see nothing yet that makes me think we have made a mistake selling a player who would not sign a new contract and wanted a change of club.
        The same with Walcott I should add.
        Just got a nagging feeling about Iwobi though.

        1. jon fox

          I do think, very recently , that Ox now looks as if he is making real progress. I doubt many Gooners had real doubts about this actual talent when still with us. About his decision making, maturity, injury prone nature , yes, but many thought he had little chance with how badly Wenger used him , shunted him all over the place. This tactic of Wengers once worked with HENRY AND HE HAS EVER SINCE BEEN TRYING TO DO IT AGAIN BUT WITH LITTLE SUCCESS. Central midfielders used on the wing , INSTEAD of buying actual wingers is so tedious and plain wrong. But, hey, what’s new! As for Walcott, I won’t go there again. OOPS, I just have! Now the question is, could it have been deliberate? I ‘d vote “YES.”

      2. Abel

        This is how Wilshere compares to Iwobi on who scored.com in premeirship this season.
        IWOBI WILSHERE RAMSEY XHAKA OZIL
        Appearances 16(4) 11(8) 18(2) 31(1) 24(2)
        Goals 2 1 6 1 4
        Assists 5 2 6 5 8
        Key passes/game 1.4 0.7 1.2 1 3.2
        Dribbles/game 1.3 2.3 1.1 0.5 1.4
        Disposessed/game 1.3 1.2 1.4 0.6 1.2
        So, I really don’t understand why Iwobi is more criticized than any other arsenal midfielder.

  7. Gelz

    The list of strengths you give him would put him in the CAM bracket if he could actually play to those strengths you listed and with his weknesses can’t shoot and can’t defend you would have him as a CM, many people may say he has potential and if he has it he should be show casing it more than he has the amount of opportunities he has had. I don’t rate him, we have many more youngster’s with more potential than him that haven’t been given as many chances.

  8. rkw

    Passing … mainly lateral and with minimum vision likes to pass to players who are in a more restricted position than himself … WEAKNESS
    Playmaking … Not sure what that means but if it is link-up play and assists its a poor record .. WEAKNESS
    Moving out of tight spaces .. AGREE
    Fairly pacy … Hardly a ringing endorsement … Neither weak nor strong
    Good strength … yes though not shown defensively
    Dribbling … GIVE HIM THAT THOUGH EPISODIC
    Forward play… forward play for a forward … no idea what that means .. not goals though

    So a fairly pacy forward who can hold up the ball and make occasional dangerous dribbles … such players are two a penny across the top two divisions and not the basis for a team claiming to want to conquer europe … i used to think that at 20 we should have loaned him out to brentford to gauge his qualities still a possibility but an offer from millwall would be fine too

    1. jon fox

      A sensible post full of rather rare(on this site) perspective. I need not tell you that I agree with every word. He has SOME ABILITY, BUT JUST NOT ENOUGH FOR OUR LEVEL. I would add that much of what makes a REAL SPECIAL player is that certain something in guts, determinatioin and sheer will to win and impose yourself on the game that all the greats show, even when very young, and younger than Iwobi. To me he often looks bewilderd and lost when playing, though he did make the goal yesterday. But we need FAR more and regularly. He has had many first team chances and just is not of the quality we need. Most on here can easily see that.

  9. Ozziegunner

    Surely there is a requirement to identify and nurture young players such as Iwobi, Nketiah, Willock, Maitland-Niles etc. Otherwise there is no point in Arsenal having an academy.
    Can any club, including Arsenal afford to buy all their players as ready made champions? Even Manchester City has relationships with other clubs, such as Sydney City in Australia to identify upcoming talent; Chelsea “hoovers” up young players and places them on loan to other clubs. No one should argue that these players must be playing consistently in the first team, unless they prove themselves; however they have to be given opportunities. How many potential Jamie Vardy’s are there in the lower leagues, who get passed over. Even Harry Redknapp admits he missed signing Ian Wright when he was playing for Greenwich Borough!

    1. Ken 1945

      OzzieGunner,
      Find myself agreeing with you once again.
      What is the point of spending millions on youth acadamies if you don’t give those youngsters a chance to progress.
      Iwobi must have impressed as he progressed through the ranks and, I suggest, when he first broke into the first team squad.
      The biggest problem I see though, is that in order to compete with the likes of City (who do buy their success) we have to either: Play them at their own game and buy our success OR give our academy players the opportunity to shine. In today’s world it is all about immediate success.
      That is why Iwobi is being given no time to progress (Phil I DO take your point re. chances he has had) unlike Wilshere’s introduction to playing first team football.

  10. Nothing changed

    I liked Iwobi when he started to get a bit more game time last season and was deployed on the left wing. In typical Wenger style, he was moved around afterward and was never given a chance to master one position before he was asked to play in another.

    For me, it would be no surprise if he blossoms under the right manager. Most of our players lack positional awareness when we lose the ball. Defending can be taught. I don’t think we teach defending.

    1. jon fox

      Of course Arsenal, which means Wenger, “don’t teach defending.” He cannot, will not and won’t even recognise the VITAL need FOR DEFENSIVE BALANCE, even when attacking. This is just of , of many, one important reasons he is not fit to manage us. And very soon now, won’t!

    2. AndersS

      Completely agree with you, Nothing Changed.
      Our players are not coached to develop into what is required in modern football. Wenger’s philosophy hurt both the individual players and the team.

  11. #Yo Iwobi - you wanna go away from here?

    Passing a strength? Since when was passing to the opposition considered a good thing?

    1. Ken 1945

      Since Patrick Vieria passed to Ryan Giggs in THAT CUP SEMI FINAL.
      There are always examples for everyone to quote.

        1. Ken 1945

          Of course not, just trying to point out that even one of the greatest players in the world make mistakes.
          That was following on from your silly point about passing to the opposition.
          Isn’t that what Patrick did?
          Just an example for you to digest if you can.

          1. #Yo Iwobi - you wanna go away from here?

            It’s not my opinion but fact that his passing is nothing more than average when he is at his best and diabolical when he is having a bad game.

            Not sure what you don’t get. His passing is not his strength.

            1. Ken 1945

              Just go back to Abel’s post at 3.46 and then compare his stats versus other Arsenal players.
              Then you might want to rethink your last sentence.

              1. #Yo Iwobi - you wanna go away from here?

                Comparing to other Arsenal players is pointless. It’s kind of why we are 5 points ahead of Burnley

  12. Grandad

    Iwobi is much maligned because he is a young player who has yet to fulfil his potential and who happens to be part of an Arsenal team which has underperformed for 2 seasons.He is not the main reason why Arsenal have let their fans down.The main culprits are the Manager,goalkeeper and centre backs who are basically inadequate and have been for some time before Iwobi became a regular.When a team leaks goals like Arsenal courtesy of Mustafi etc the pressure turns on the other outfield players to repair the damage.Instead of playing relaxed football, they become anxious and impatient which in turn results in a breakdown in the quality of football for which Arsenal were renowned.Rectify the defensive weaknesses and you will see the younger players flourish as the pressure on them reduces.At the end of the day i feel Iwobi will develop into a very good central midfielder.

    1. Ken 1945

      Grandad,
      with reference to Iwobi, that is the same niggling feeling I have about his potential.
      Only time will tell.

  13. kelvondo

    Anyone claiming iwobi doesn’t deserves to be an arsenal player siting lack of potential or insufficient potential is clearly ignorant about football.this is a player requiring 2 to 3 changes in his to become world class.Need i remind my fellow gooners that out of the stellar caste of academy players which include dion zelalem,Jeff Adelaide,Chris willock,biellick,akpom etc iwobi is the only one making the first team this I assure you is not mere luck or coincidence or as sum here would be put it “being Wenger’s favourite”-most so called wenger favourites are actually our best players-but becos of his immense potential,clear headedness and hard work.lest we forget he was actually in contention for the golden boy award.so does of you not seeing his potentials should f**k off.

    1. Phil

      Ok let’s start with his Age.What is he?21?Has he ever been considered for the Young Player of the Year Award?I don’t know the answer but if he did he would have been up against Deli Ali & Jon Stones etc.Is he on their class?No.Os he anywhere near their class?No.Both these players are likely to start for England at the World Cup this year.Would Iwobi even be on the plane if he was English?No.Would he even have been considered?Nowhy not? Because he does not have the ability of these players who are I believe around the same age.Ask yourself this-If you were an England fan would you want Iwobi on the plane to Russia?I guarantee 100% would say no.Why? Because he is not good enough.
      Now ask yourself this-Do you believe Iwobi to be a better player than Ozil Ramsey Laca Auba Mikki?If you answer yes you are quite obviously insane.If you agree Arsenal Football Club demands players of the ability as those named you are now at least realistic in the standards the Club SHOULD aspire to.Now.Do YOU seriously believe Iwobi can ever reach the standards and levels of these players?Obviously you will say you would hope he could.Me? I will tell you here and now Iwobi will NEVER be a regular First Team player at Premier League level in his lifetime.Why? Because he is simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
      SO finally answer this.If he is as good as you say he is why ims he not First Choice Every Week for the First Team?Why does not Wenger use him when everyone else is fit?Simple.Because even THIS Manager knows he is not good enough and trust me that is saying something.
      So to end I quite simply say Iwobi is USELESS.You are a bit senseless to write a post where you feel the player is the new Messi.And you too should F*** Off

  14. AJ GUN

    let me say this i for one is writing iwobi off not completely I’m not in any way justifying his bad form and regressive nature of his development.he’s a good scoud player for now improvement needed tho’…….we talking here as if we are done with wenger with such certainity are we?? most of all lets have respect for each other, calling each other names , thts regressive too

  15. Durand

    Many views and great discussions; too many to sample from. Wow Goonerboy, article got some hits, well done.

    Is Iwobi talented? Yes
    Does he have potential? Yes
    Can he break into first team? Maybe

    IMHO he needs playing time, regular playing time at a level less challenging than Premier League.

    He doesn’t play for several games, then thrown into lineup and we expect what exactly?

    I feel he has been managed very poorly by Wenger as well as other young players. Not physical aspects (dribbling, passing, stamina) I’m talking about mental. His decision making is questionable most times, timid in front of goal, holds onto ball too long, and his movement and defensive midset is poor.
    He is not bad for “half” a player; needs to defend and be a complete player.

    Wenger deserves some blame, but Iwobi deserves more. He should take charge of his future: ask Bould to improve your defending, call Thierry like Laca, or anyone. Iwobi knows his weaknesses, and I see NO change from last year. He himself should own that.

    Lastly, the snowball effect.
    If Nelson stays, we could be harshing him like we are Iwobi. Rather both go on loan than waste months riding the bench, rarely playing, and obviously not improving.

  16. fabi

    @ Jon fox is Wilshire more talented than iwobi? is iwobi and Eleney the worst players in that Arsenal team?

  17. Okey J.

    I have read all arguments, opinions and suggestions, many very quality and some very deplorable. @ jon fox, all those foul name callings, they are disgusting, I can see personal passionate hatred for Iwobi, who are those saying that Iwobi does not measure to be playing in premier league? So the players in Everton, Burnley, Watford, Bournemouth are better than Iwobi, tell me are all the players all round in Chelsea, Man.U, Tottenham, Liverpool better than Iwobi? The quality of players that won the EPL title for Leicester were they above the likes of world class and flawless Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud, expensive Xhaka, Koscienly etc that couldn’t get us top four, was it Iwobi fault? Get a new and good manager with new ideas, drive and passion for glory, like R. Madrid, Barcelona, B.Munich, Man. City, Liverpool even Chelsea for Arsenal and see if many players career will not resurrecte and the real dead ones will be shipped off. How can you be playing players out of position most times, why is Messi not playing RB sometimes for Barca, or CR7 not starting as LB for R.Madrid in some matches, has anyone seen Roben playing CB or DM for Munich? Was it Iwobi that made Arsenal lose scandalously to Liverpool where Ballerin was made LB and Kolasianic was at the bench, Ox was made to play RB, is a manager confused like this not out to underdevelope upcoming players that he rarely features? I know you will never own it up, but the truth is HAD Iwobi opted for England this hatred won’t be there, there are players in England squad that currently Iwobi is far better than, he will certainly have made the England team, good a thing he is also going to Russia it is there things will balance itself. Please leave Iwobi to concentrate on his game. E N O U G H !

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