Is Wenger sending out the wrong message with Iwobi leniencies?

Alex Iwobi was supposedly caught on video partying into the early hours of the morning the night before the FA Cup loss to Nottingham Forest, but was still selected to start the match, as well as starting last night’s draw with Chelsea.

The Nigerian international appears to be Wenger’s latest pet, having broken into the first-team squad with a number of impressive displays, but so far this season he has failed to find the same vein of form.

Iwobi’s struggles have not stopped him from keeping his place ahead of both Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck, and those players must be furious that the former academy product has started the recent matches despite the situation over his head.

“For a youngster to come into a club like Arsenal, and thinks he is OK to go out less than 48 hours before a game, it says there is something wrong in the dressing room,” Wright said on Sky Sports’ The Debate.

“You can’t have a player thinking he can do that and still play again (against Chelsea). What message does that send?

“In the current climate with Arsenal going through what they are, experienced players wanting to leave, no leadership, for that to happen.”

Dennis Wise also agreed that the situation is completely out of order, and could cause unrest in the dressing room.

“If I was one of those players on the bench, knowing what he had done, I would be upset. It doesn’t send the right message,” he added.

“Sanchez and Walcott are on the bench. Is it because they are going or for a tactical part? I would have put either of them in front of Iwobi.”

He continued: “Mourinho wouldn’t have that and I don’t think a United player would do it.

“When we were playing, you didn’t read about players doing that. Sir Alex Ferguson went to people’s houses and threw players out for having a party.

“It’s just something you don’t do.”

Has Wenger lost control? Is Iwobi getting away with murder? Could the squad be affected by the on-going situation?

Pat J

Tags Iwobi Wenger Wright


  1. With all the injuries and fixtures, I don’t see that Wenger has that much choice. Though nobody knows what really happened behind the scenes, one could imagine that Wenger told Iwobi to play as if his life depended on it to make up for the match vs. Forest. He wasn’t the sharpest vs. Chelsea, but he did work very hard.

  2. arie82 says:

    We have perez and chambell who much better that iwobi, but wenger axe them.
    Somehow, the way iwobi playing is similiar to sanogol….

    1. It wouldn’t hurt to recall Perez. Iwobi has potential but he’s pretty far from the finished article. Iwobi seems to panic on the final ball, whereas Perez is quite cold and clinical. We could use the options!

  3. AndersS says:

    Providing the press reports about Iwobi are correct, then I totally agree with Wright.
    It is a terrible signal to send to the other players in the team. And what about the other youngsters? The can now see it fine to go out partying before a game.
    But this is typically Wenger weakness. He shies away from confrontation with the players.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Something tells me Wrighty would be a right handful for any manager in today’s game. Honestly, kettle pot black coming from himself. His day was different altogether but something tells me he’d be a nightmare for any manager if he became a millionaire at 20. He had to work hard because late bloomer and all that but imagine it was all handed to him like Walcott Bendtner Sanogo etc.

  4. McLovin says:

    Horrible, spineless management. Leaving Walcott on the bench and starting Iwobi tells us how Wenger has his favorites.

    What kind of a message does it send that a player can drink all night 12 hours before a match, still starts the next 2 matches?`

    Absolutely gutless from Wenger.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I thought Walcott was a fav for many years.
      Iwobi was picked because one thing you noticed about that side was our physicality, and how we didn’t give not one Che player a free run without challenging him for the ball.
      Height too.

      All Arsene needed to do was know when to go with that type of game and know when to attack more so, and even in an easy game be prepared to play like that when form/confidence is low. It’s amazing how well he set up that team, we looked a team, just needed some more firepower and creativity from forwards ..or best yet bring some top ones in that can play like that but also do the business in final third. Three CB’s made my day I have to say, looks like people were right as it’s about organization. I noticed our players talking more and urging more, really liked what I saw from those three at the back and Wilshere (get well Jack we need you) Xhaka gave a good/mature performance too and wing-backs were’t bad.

      1. Declan says:

        Agree with both your comments b-o-t and ill informed comments like “drinking all night 12 hours before a game” also send out the wrong message. It was 36 hours and we don’t know he was drinking.

        1. McLovin says:

          Actually there have been studies in which athletes

          – stayed up late and drank

          – stayed up late but did not drink

          And both instances affected sports related performances. So it doesn’t matter if he didn’t drink, since it is obvious he changed his circadian rhythm right before a match.

  5. Eddy Hoyte says:

    I’m not saying Iwobi shouldn’t have been punished…
    But other than that partying issue, I think we’ve been extremely harsh on Iwobi.
    He’s got potential and he’s not the worst of our players

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I agree, I think it was silly and unprofessional but you are only that age once and time flies by esp for a player. He has nights off though and he is the famous one, so his mates should know better, half of them would love to see him fall on his ass and he will eventually wise up to that fact if he doesn’t already know ..picture being sold to papers or someone desperate for twitter followers.

  6. Sue says:

    I think it’s disgusting….. I knew he’d play last night… so much for a punishment!!! I’m still trying to work out what exactly he brings to the team…. ?
    Where are your cojones Arsene??

  7. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Or is he sending out the right message – ‘we’re doomed and no changing that so might as well have a good time while we crash and burn’

  8. Declan says:

    Ignore the so called pundits, all commenting without knowing the facts, just as we don’t know them either. We don’t know if he had a drink or not and even the slightest sniff(no pun intended) of drugs being mentioned and the authorities would be all over him. It’s disapointing and I know it’s different times but did Merson, parlour or Adams give their opinion?
    I have been a critic of Iwobi recently but thought he played well last night.

    1. Declan says:

      Apart from his crap shot in the second half!
      Chambers man of match though

    2. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

      Yes, but Merson, Parlour and Adams could play!

  9. Salmonella says:

    The board is as much responsible as Wenger for our transfer failures

  10. Me says:

    Arsenal will survive and remain in the premiership.
    But as a big club they are finished.
    A complete overhaul of the management and coaching staff.
    Of the current first team squad only Niles and Lacazette and may be Bellerin are worth keeping.
    Massive investment.
    That is what is needed but will never happen so I say Arsenal are finished…

  11. Maks says:

    If Iwobi is better then other two then I wont mind playing him despite his party episode… but he is not, at least for some time in the future. Among many things this is one of the minor mismanagement Wenger is doing at the moment.

  12. pires says:

    Wright himself admitted once that hé was partaying when hé was a player .and driking weed and drugs were much worse at thé of Wright… hé has to stop his hypocrysie

    1. pires says:

      At the time

  13. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

    Look at Wright’s record and performances for Arsenal; can you seriously believe that Iwobi is capable of reaching such heights without being totally professional in his outlook?

  14. Twig says:

    Party or no party he shouldn’t be starting ahead of Walcott.

    1. jon fox says:

      Dont be daft! My Aunt Gladys should even start before Walcott. Where have you been hiding these last twelve years? In the same cave as Weed Walcott perhaps?

  15. JULIUS OUKO says:

    Walcott should be nowhere near the first team.

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