Jonker praise for ‘incredibly motivated’ Iwobi


Arsenal’s youth supremo, Andries Jonker, has lavished praise on Alex Iwobi after the 19 year old caught the eye with the first team this season.

Iwobi has made 8 appearances, getting a run out in every competition so far, and he’s been trusted more than once by Arsene Wenger to play in Mesut Ozil’s position.

He’s moved into the first team dressing room, a rite of passage so to speak, and Jonker is backing the Nigerian international to continue to make an impact.

“Alex is incredibly motivated, dedicated, willing to work and open to listening,” he said.

“He is always trying to improve himself. That makes him a perfect player because, with the talent he has already, he can continue to develop.

“Every now and then we have had players who have attracted attention but I think the one who has succeeded most is Alex Iwobi, who is with the first team now.”

It’s interesting to hear him speak of Iwobi’s willingess to listen, and to compare that to Chuba Akpom who twice this season has had tantrums that left him on the wrong side of Hull manager Steve Bruce.

Every player has their own personality, of course, but maybe there’s something to be read into the fact Iwobi has first team chances this season.


      • Seen bits of sublime quality from both The Jeff and Guedion – but character, work-rate, effort, confidence and mentality? Iwobi wins hands-down. He’ll be a fixture in the first team for a long, long while.

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    • Ozil on the right!? Why? We might as well put him in goal. Ozil is the supreme passer, and (for me, anyway) he’s got to stay central.

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      • The little that I know of football and the little that I have seen him on TV it looks like Iwobi is a central player. Facing goalwards, I don’t want to see him with his back to the touchline
        He looks a real talent and ticks all the boxes, driving runs, distribution and coverage of the field (the much maligned “workrate”).

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    • In order to take profit Iwobi EXCEPTIONAL talent and to AT LAST win the PL, why not putting Özil in the goal, Kos on the left, Merte as a striker, Sanchez as central defender, Theo as well, Giroud left back, myself right back…
      I think i have a point, no?
      Or, no, let’s sell Özil and let’s put Iwobi instead as playmaker. This is the only way to win it, guys!

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  2. He seems to be progressing well. What impresses me mostly about him when he was played in the middle was the confidence and maturity he showed on the ball, good decision making, nothing risky, actively looking for the ball, linking up play well, passing the ball forward most of the time and not scared of making himself available for the next pass, even when the midfield is congested……i think he will end up being one of arsene’s success stories.

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    • his ball control is spectacular as well, and I think he got an assist in one of those games too, and I do have a soft spot for those elegant long legged midfielder and their laissez faire style (i.e. Diaby)

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    • 100% agree with you bims. One more thing that I’d like to add though which really impresses me is his work rate. He really puts a shift in whenever he plays. Hope him and Toral (who I believe got big potential too) take up other players places in the first team who leave us at the end of the season.

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  3. Is it only me, or half of what I read here is “X praises Y” comments? I’m getting a little sick of this, especially when the times are frustrating for us.

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  4. Good thing for him is we have so much quality over the team during these break through years. Compare it to wilshere in 10/11 and a injury returning Ramsey in 11/12 who were both forced to play virtually every game, which seems to have knackered Jack completely! Cmon Alex, love an Arsenal boy becoming an Arsenal first 11, the proper way too.

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  5. I like how he doesn’t have his socks tied up, which is Brady-esque and also winds up Steve Bould to the point of distraction according to a mate who is about 8 rows back from the bench

    he looks pretty decent as a prospect, too. fingers crossed!

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  6. Playing him on the right is an interesting idea. With Coq, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil, Giroud. Could balance the team as he has shown better ability to aid the team in holding possession and displays coherent ideas with the ball.

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  7. We’ve got so many on the wings now. Sanchez, The Ox, Welbeck, Campbell, Gnabry, Iwobi. I think one of these guys at least is bound to get the cut. We need a near-Sanchez level attacking presence on the wings if we can’t find enough goals from strikers. I am looking at Campbell, Gnabry and Welbeck. One or two among them might be moved on. We have too many good players instead if great players.

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  8. On an entirely separate topic, I’m glad to see the Liverpool walkout causing the owners to backtrack on their ticket price increase. Wonder why we can’t stage a similar protest?

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      • And now he has to find the 725mil for his new 520,000 acre piece of Texas, don’t think prices will be dropping anytime soon!

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      • Let’s be honest, would anyone really notice any difference if the Emirates emptied after 77 minutes, or didn’t fill up until the fifth? This happens every game anyway.

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    • do you realize that AFC have already announced a price freeze. Also with lfc doing away with Cat A, Cat B and Cat C, but now having one price for all games, it means their fans will pay £59 for games v the likes of norwich, bournemouth, while Arsenal fans will pay £26 for these sort of games. it will be very interesting to see what sort of attendance LFC get against the lesser teams next season, when the price for these match will have risen a lot.

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    • Actually, what Liverpoo have done now is far more disingenuous than raising just their most expensive ticket price. While the top price will remain at £59 pounds, they’ve eliminated tiering games in categories, so ALL matches are now category A and subject to the £59 price. This means that their top price season ticket, which would have been around £1040 under the originally proposed regime, will now actually RISE to around £1120 because of the lack of tiering.

      FSG must be laughing all the way to the bank.

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  9. Pity he chose Nigeria over England as Wenger has shown in the past that he doesn’t like his young ‘English’ players electing to play for their or their parents’ birthland.

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      • If I’ve parsed the sentence correctly: Wenger does not like his young ‘English’ players playing for England, nor the country in which the aforementioned young player’s parents were born (which may, or may not, be England).

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    • The only reason to pity choosing Nigeria is the timing of the Africa Cup Of Nations, I’m sure Wenger would have much PREFERRED him to represent England, and clearly selects him on quality not his passport.

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    • you are totally wrong about Wenger in this case. Moreover, he has a better chance of playing regularly with Nigeria than if had chosen to play for England.

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    • Whatever reason you said that for, i say fuck off.
      Instead of applauding a brave decision by a youngster to embrace his nation of birth, youre saying this. Do you know how much disregard Ibe is held in for his utterances ? Theres nothing quite as blessing to a player as picking his nation of birth over the over-exploitatory Westerner.
      Also, he isn’t going to be the next Agbonlahor etc and waste away while waiting for Englands call up.

      This is an angry rant.

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      • the only reasons Arsenal would prefer him to play for England is due to the two things,

        One. the ANC being played in middle of the English season,
        Two. the changes to the homegrown rule that favors English lads

        it has never mattered to AFC where a player is from or who the play for, if it does not directly effect the team, and Iwobi picking Nigeria does effect the team, and by the way he has only played in a Friendly, so he could very well yet pick to play for England.

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  10. I believe he is going to take the wonderful footstep of legendary JJ Okocha. The sky should be his limit. He is actually grabbing the opportunities being given to him. We all wish him well. It is shear stupidity to suggest that he should have chosen to play for England. Does it really matter the country he plays for? Maybe all the foreign Arsenal players should change their nationality to England…to make you happy mate!

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  11. Goonerinfrance, that’s an outrageous. Comment to say the least. Anyway, as a Nigerian I’m proud he chooses to play for his father land.

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  12. “It’s interesting to hear him speak of Iwobi’s willingess to listen, and to compare that to Chuba Akpom who twice this season has had tantrums that left him on the wrong side of Hull manager Steve Bruce.”

    FFS blog, you really need to cut this out.
    You take something out of nothing and then speculate about random player’s particularly with youth, with little to no evidence.

    You did this with Gnabry, when speculated out of nothing that maybe he wasn’t putting in the work in training (when later a WBA first team Coach later revealed it was more to do with Pulis style of play, something we all knew).

    You did this before when hinting at Wellington Silv’s attitude, even though it was commonly known he fixed up on his attitude about 2 years ago.

    Pretty sure he even speculated about Coquelin’s attitude possibly changing too.

    The praise of Iwobi has no correlation with Akpom, and I’m sure Jonker wasn’t even thinking of Akpom when he made that comment. Even at youth, Wilshere was (and still is) similar to Akpom and what he did, but that was chalked under “passion and will to win”.

    Also, pretty sure Akpom has only had one tantrum this season. I may be wrong, but what are the two?

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    • There was a second one on the training ground, reported last week.

      What I said about Gnabry came from information I’d received from somebody. I wasn’t speculating.

      I didn’t say much at all about Wellington’s attitude, only his chances of making it at Arsenal.

      I didn’t say anything about Coquelin’s attitude at all. In fact, if you were to read carefully, you’ll see that I’ve always thought he was a good player, but if I was negative about his future it was because of his circumstances. I’ve never known a player to come back from that far out and make himself a first team choice, and it’s been brilliant.

      Re: this story, I just thought it was interesting to compare and contrast the two. I wasn’t saying Akpom would never make it, only that his approach is obviously different to Iwobi’s and maybe there’s something in the fact Iwobi is the one getting first team chances at Arsenal while Akpom is out on loan.

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      • Fair enough with the first bits, and I had no idea there was a second incident.

        But I just don’t see the need to make the comparison. Saying “maybe there’s something in the fact Iwobi is the one getting first team chances at Arsenal, while Akpom is out on loan” is pretty damn a good fit for speculation. That reasoning could be used for any number of our loanees; from Toral to Zelalem (all 3 play in similar positions).
        Heck you could go one further and say that’s maybe the case with Iwobi and The Jeff, who’s still at Arsenal, and after the pre-season hype, hasn’t featured for the first team.

        Also, as much as I rate Iwobi (I’m also Nigerian), I think people need to chill somewhat. Sure Iwobi seems to have picked a player that was seemingly overlooked, but he does have a penchant for this. Remember the likes of Craig Eastmond featuring in the first team? There are others too.
        Not claiming Iwobi is an Eastmond, but Wenger has always had a history of picking the “classic arsenal type”; technical, good passer, doesn’t do anything flashy or take risks, keeps it simple and possession simple. Iwobi currently fits that mould that Wenger likes.

        And I say this not becauce I’m a huge fan of Akpom, because I’m not. I have my doubts of him making it and I do think Afobe was more accomplished and had higher potential and still got sacrificed for him.

        I just don’t see the need to make such assumptions. This place is very influential with arsenal fans, and too many people will run away with it now, and repeat it so much till it it gets accepted as truth.

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        • People are clever enough to make up their own minds, for the most part.

          And if you’re a regular reader, you know I’m not the kind of writer who has it in for specific players, or wants to cause needless negativity.

          Except about Theo 😉

          I kid. Honest.

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  13. Excitable responses – I wasn’t criticising Iwobi who is an amazing talent and I hope that he achieves his goals (sic) whatever country he represents, and hopefully the Gunners can benefit along the way. COYG

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  14. Kinda of beat me, haha, to point. However, I’ve played with a lot of strikers and most of the more effective ones were cunts on the field. But hey, they were our cunts.

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