The case FOR Iwobi by GunnerJack
To start off some of you will know I have been one of Iwobi’s biggest critics. However, I am writing this seriously as a counter to all that. Towards the end of the last campaign, I did notice an improvement in him and of course hope he continues along that path.
First off, so far he’s been played out on the wing which some have long debated is not his best position (although I don’t know his own views on this – perhaps someone could enlighten me?). A move to midfield would probably enhance his game and if so I see him as a box-to-box man rather than either a defensive stopper or a playmaker. Let’s see why:
1) He’s got abundant stamina to get up and back down the field as necessary.
2) He’s got the bulk to tackle and also to hold onto the ball and fend off players while retaining control of the ball while doing so.
3) He’s got the skill to beat people and the confidence to give it a go – unlike some in our team who meekly pass the ball backwards whenever confronted by an opposition player. If some players are named Galacticos then some in our team are the Patheticos.
4) His passing is better than most would think. If more of the CHANCES he created had been CONVERTED into goals his ASSIST record would, I think have been quite impressive – although I’m not into stats so cannot prove it. Maybe one of the stats men on here could let us know?
5) All the slagging off he’s received has not bothered him. The phrase ‘water off a duck’s back’ comes to mind. He has certainly not let it get him down and his confidence always seems high, even after sometimes losing the ball or finding his final ball going nowhere. His attitude seems to be ‘Ok that didn’t work – let’s go again!’ and I admire that. Confidence + Persistence cannot be undervalued.
5) When brought on in the final against Chelsea he was arguably one of our best players. Operating both on the left and in midfield he gave their defence a hard time, one of them getting booked I think, and then capped off an excellent display by showing great confidence, skill and much-improved shooting ability to volley home a cracker – and from the position of an attacking midfielder.
So there you have it – 5 reasons why I think he should definitely NOT be sold … but repositioned.
Unlike most of our previous pre-season games against the usual cannon fodder, we have some excellent opposition coming up this time. Why not chuck him into the middle of the action and see what happens? Young Bukayo Sako can take over on the wing, AMN could also make the move into midfield and promising right back Jordi Osei-Tutu can be given a chance there – he could not be worse than Lichtsteiner and Jenkinson.
In fact, with Freddie’s promotion, I am hoping for great things – especially the demotion of the pretty useless non-performing ‘Old Guard’, the installation of the Young Guns and maybe UE making some better decisions with Freddie’s help.
So will we see Iwobi as the new Ramsey or, better still, the new Abou Diaby without the injury problems? Will he stride forward and score the EPL title-winning goal a la Michael Thomas? Ok, I’ve aimed pretty high there and some will be itching to scoff but I hope Iwobi is at least given the chance.
After all, who knows?