Wenger: Iwobi can be punished but still play


Arsene Wenger says it’s possible to discipline a player for an indiscretion without them losing their place in the team.

Alex Iwobi was fined this week for breaking curfew, staying up too late less than 48 hours before the FA Cup third round clash with Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

It was behaviour the manager outright condemned, saying, “It is impossible to go out 48 hours before the game, and it’s unacceptable.”

Many felt it would lead to his exclusion from the team for a while, but the Nigerian international was selected for Wendesday night’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea, and bar one brain fart which saw him timidly too poke the ball at goal after a good run, he played reasonably well.

Wenger believes that his punishment should not be so great that it denies the team of a player he feels can do a job.

“It is one thing to punish someone individually and the second thing to punish everybody,” said Wenger.

“If I think he can help the team to win it has nothing to do with the fact that he can be punished separately and individually.”

Iwobi has clearly still maintained the manager’s faith despite his relatively minor indiscretion, but he’s got repay that with performances from now on.

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37 Comments on "Wenger: Iwobi can be punished but still play"

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Lord Bendnter

Hmm so his punishment was starting in front of Sanchez against Chelsea
I’m quite sure Sanchez is leaving, and that is why he was on the bench. Iwobi played because there was no one else


Also, we’re running out of warm bodies, so he can’t really afford to exclude him.


why the obsess with Iwobi? Jack and other have done worse.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Because he chose to represent Nigeria.


Bould’s Eyeliner, Bulls eye!


Fining a 22 yr old multimillionaire really isn’t going to achieve much, if you’re not going to exclude him from the team?
I’m not sure what other options there are?


I don’t think he’s a multimillionaire.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

If that’s all that matters, then yes. If someone like a father figure decides to dock your paycheck, it’s not really the sum of money that makes the message clear.


Don’t agree it’s a minor indiscretion. Shows a complete lack of respect for manager, team and fans. Neither do I agree he played reasonably well even by his own low standards.


Have some of you commenting actually played team sports before? You think players want to see their team-mates suspended before big games?

No, you all get together as a team, sort it out in the dressing room, then go out and perform for the fans who support the club. Young players sacrifice their teen years learning the discipline it takes to become a pro. They don’t need to be hung on a cross just to satisfy your puritanical ideas of “punishment”.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

By mathematical numbers, it’s clear most fans have not. It does change your appreciation of how difficult professional football can be, so I do recommend all fans trying some pickup games. See what true chaos really is when twenty dadbodded blokes are ‘sprinting’ after a ball without any sense of position.


Iwo(nt)bi doing that again


I agree. He already showed remorse when he gestured apologies to the fans at Stamford Bridge after the game on Wednesday.


And thats the key. If he genuinely was sorry and realised he F’d up then why punish him further this time for a 1st offence? If he does it again though, then he must cop a severe penalty.


This managers decisions and responses to pertinent questions is beginning to sound senile. Iwobi is young and broke the club rules, but to punish him then reward him by playing him within a few days surely sends out the wrong message to the other squad players. Even more bizarre is Wenger saying he won’t punish the team by dropping individuals, but Iwobi is so drastically out of form and shorn of confidence it IS punishing the team by playing him ahead of others that now deserve a chance. He is a stubborn manager, but I think the writing is on the wall now.

Ian K

Don’t you blame it on sunshine , don’t blame it on moonlight, don’t blame it on good time, blame it on the Iwobi. I’ll get my jacket and see myself out…


Arsenal fans do love themselves a scapegoat, right. Iwobi has been one of our better performers, lately, but for some reason, he is being blamed for whatever is considered wrong at the club. Well, face it, nothing new here.



If the players didn’t look at him as soft and out of touch they sure do now

What mgt. A player so badly out of form persisted with time and time again. Shows a lack of professionalism and the punishment? A fine. Yeah multi millionaires are really hurting from that. What a message to send to the other players. Don’t worry lads if your a favourite of mine you won’t be dropped. Disrespect your team mates the club and the fans no problem

Lord Bendnter

He got the nod because we have no one else right now. Sanchez on the bench was clear indication he’s leaving.
So yes, Iwobis punishment was starting ahead of Sanchez against Chelsea


I just hate this era now.

back to the days of playing aliadiere and baptista, simply because we have no one else.

i dont even feel so helpless when we dished out ian selley and steve morrow vs f**king asprilla, zola and brolin

there’s always hope as we always fight hard…but not now.

what dire crap!


If that’s how you read this, it’s rather unfortunate. Rooney has been caught in many misdemeanours in the past, while at Fergie’s United, but that didn’t prevent him being picked, ever! Clubs have internal rules for dealing with infractions and this boy is just 21, anyway. As for his form, I am not sure through what biased lenses you’ve been watching but he hasn’t been our worst player; as a matter of fact, he is always in the top 5 performers (last few games, he’s been the only one giving opposition keepers some work), working hard in midfield and driving forward. He has some work to do on his final ball/decision and that will come with experience. There is a reason Wenger plays him in the big games.


Big Difference with Rooney here pal, he was integral to United. He was a star player. Iwobi isn’t. I like the kid but he should of been dropped from the team. Starting him sends out all the wrong signals. But then again this is coming from a manager who said ‘4th place is a trophy’.


Yes it did! Hung him out to dry when he said you respect this club and we will have no nonsense when he angled for a move. Do you not remember legendary tales of fergie breaking up his own players house party? He didn’t stand for any shit


The difference is Arsenal players don’t have a reputation for wild parties. Fergie was in charge when his boys were caught in wild parties and drunken orgies and even reports of sexual assault. My point is Fergie did not retaliate by dropping such players or the whole team will be axed.


My first reaction on reading this story was “good management!”. I still hold that view after reading all the negative comments on here. AW has always treated his players fairly, and I think this was quite fair. As the blog says, he didn’t play at all badly apart from his brain fart when in front of goal.


Fair on other players not picked who don’t show the same lack of professionalism?


If “professionalism” was the only criterion for picking players, Ronaldinho, Maradonna, Balotelli, Ronaldo, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Jack, Pogba, etc. will not be the players they are today.


What did people expect, a public flogging?


He’s only saying this because we have no options at the moment in wide positions LOL


I also don’t want Iwobi to lose his place in the starting XI because of the incident. Instead, I’d prefer if he were benched because of his performances in recent games, which I know is true of many other players too, but Iwobi seems to be genuinely low on confidence at the moment and it’s showing in how he plays.

Also, speaking of not dropping players for disciplinary issues, if only we’d extended the same leniency to a certain Polish keeper, who knows, he might still be with us today.


Szczesny was a serial offender. He was given a few passes before a last incident seemed to be the final straw. I can guarantee you will never get to hear another such incident about Iwobi.


The biggest crime here is how he hasn’t developed. When he broke on the scene he was a breath of fresh air. I can only imagine the level a top manager would have him playing at already


Szczesny was a serial offender. He was given a few passes before a last incident seemed to be the final straw. I can guarantee you will never get to hear another such incident about Iwobi. RE-posting because my earlier post is still “awaiting moderation” many hours after.


He needs to play deeper in midfield where he can see the play/lay of the land better.

His best passes have come from deeper and he is fond of running at defenders like Jack.

Both of them also share the attribute of being quick to turn and face the opponents where Ramsey and Granit operate on a much wider turning radius.

Add physical strength tight ball control and you have potentially a good player to help anchor next to Granit.

To me Wenger has got it topsy turvy. Ramsey should be played higher up where his better instincts are to attack the box.

And AMN can audition for role in midfield but frankly, he is already focused on getting used to fullback why distract him and have him on another learning curve (Academy experience in midfield not with standing.

IF when Debuchy leaves we can cycle him to his more natural right side to alternate with Bellerin proviso we can reinstate a back 4.

If there is a cautionary tale its Calum.

Dont try and over experiment Wenger.

Chambers was impressing at Rback for Soton which is why we bought him but then wenger cycled him through midfield and then Cback and his development stalled.

Same mistakes never learned.


Lol this is great. Basically the only reason you want AMN to not get his chance at DM is so that somehow Wenger will hear you and have Iwobi get the chance to play DM?(which I agree is his best position because he is horrible on the offensive third but he is worse then AR defensively)

You use Calum as a cautionary tale? If you are saying RB is where Calum should be and not at CB then AMN shouldn’t be playing out of position and only play DM since that is his natural position coming out of the academy.


I actually thought this was one of Iwobi best performers
Performances of late. He wasnt exceptional but as the game went on he was the only one being direct and i slowly (very slowly) began to see glimpses of promise. He’s better than he’s performing and bettet coach gets more out of him.