Alex Iwobi was a big last minute signing for Everton last summer, much to the surprise of most Arsenal fans (but also the delight of others!). He began his career at Goodison Park with a splash with two goals in his first 3 games, but then him and the team hit a long lean patch which led to the sacking of Marco Silva.
The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti was expected to be a new beginning for Iwobi and his team-mates, with the Italian’s first game in charge coming at the Emirates, and Iwobi was desperate to prove his worth against his old club, but it wasn’t to be. After just 18 minutes of the game, Iwobi was withdrawn with a hamstring injury and went on to miss the first six weeks of Ancelotti’s reign.
Iwobi remembered ruefully: “I had never been injured before, so I’m asking why is this happening against Arsenal and why with the new manager watching?”
The Nigerian international has now gone 18 games without scoring for the Toffees, but he fondly remembers the advice he was given by both Thierry Henry and Mikel Arteta when he was learning his trade at Arsenal. “Growing up I’d go for nutmegs, try to embarrass my friends,” Iwobi told the Mirror.
“Thierry told me that attackers are remembered for goals and assists, and I needed to get that in my head. Something clicked.
“Mikel was another big influence. He was injured at the time and would play and train with the Under-21s. He would talk to me, telling me to get on the half-turn, stay alert and sharp, ready to make an impact.”
Iwobi added: “Uncle Jay-Jay encouraged me to enjoy it. If you make a mistake, try again. I have stuck by that and will never hide.
“Now it’s up to me to make a name for myself at Everton.”
As he is an ex-Arsenal boy, I wish him every success in the future, but just don’t find your goalscoring boots today please….