Iwobi excited to team up with Emery

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Alex Iwobi says he’s looking forward to playing under new coach Unai Emery even though the departure of Arsene Wenger came as a surprise.

Labelling the outgoing Frenchman, who handed him his Arsenal first-team debut in 2015, an ‘inspiration’, the Nigeria international also touched on what it means to represent the club he joined as a child.

“I was surprised by his [Wenger’s] decision,” he told Goal.com after Nigeria’s 2-1 defeat to England at Wembley.

“[Wenger] has been there for me since I joined the club and has been very inspirational and influential on my career, but I am excited having our new manager next season.

“It has always been my childhood dream [to play for Arsenal]. I have been playing for Arsenal since I was six.

“The fact I am representing them now is like a dream come true. I am always proud to wear the Arsenal colours, and long may it continue.”

Iwobi scored for the Super Eagles at Wembley on Saturday, you can watch the goal here, and not long after was confirmed in his country’s 23-man squad for the World Cup. What an experience that’ll be for him.

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Double98
Double98

Bags of potential. Hopefully Unai will bring it out.

Pedant
Pedant

Hope he stays and develops, he is young. But good enough to play in the World Cup.

Parisian Weetabix
Parisian Weetabix

Took me a while to realise the “outgoing Frenchman” meant Wenger – always struck me as more of an introvert.

Pedant
Pedant

Also he is outgone.

Vehcede
Vehcede

As a Nigerian goner in a Santi-less Era, Iwobi is my favorite player, and I genuinely believe that he can be better than his uncle, maybe even Kanu. I have high hopes, but then again I’m young and naive so…

I also understand that all three are very different players

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Nah mate, Okocha was one of the most entertainingly players of his generation.

They certainly don’t make players like him anymore (nearest is Neymar). Everyone now is all tikki-takka pass masters. Few do the audacious anymore sans Messi and Neymar.

Nketibag
Nketibag

Alex technically has everything to be one of the very best, he really stood out against England as exactly the player they are missing. Great ball retention and the ability to link the midfield and attack. Just needs to continue to improve his end product and confidence in front of goal.

A Different George
A Different George

“Exactly the player they are missing.” Yeah, it’s too bad Arsenal didn’t have an English midfield player who could have been called up. Luckily, Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier are sure to fill that role.

Anne Noyd
Anne Noyd

That player is Jack Wilshere. Surely even a half fit Jack is better than the cloggers they’ve got in there now. I’m fully prepared for 0-0 against Tunisia and Panama already.

Hantal
Hantal

Half fit yes, out of form no

mrytle
mrytle

This has to be the most sp*rsy team in living memory, I count 6 in the first XI. Can it get worse than losing to Iceland.. I’m sure they’ll try.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

I’m gonna post it here as I’ve been trying to get a campaign going, but I genuinely believe Iwobi has all the traits to do a Cazorla and become a dynamic box-to-box no.8.

People talk about what he doesn’t have; intensity off the ball (though outside of Sanchez and formerly Coquelin, that accusation could be made for all of Wenger’s recent teams), positioning and tackling, etc. but these are coachable.

What he DOES have is something quite unique; great passing and vision, but most of all the ability to be physical (he may not through himself around, but see him in real life and he’s not a small dude), to protect the ball (something he’s really good at) and to dribble in tight spaces and really carry the ball from attack to defence. In recent years post-Vieira, only Diaby has had the attributes to be physical, to protect the ball and to dribble with it from CM. We’ve seemingly had one or the other, but not all (Cazorla could do all that but didn’t wasn’t physically imposing, Ramsey has the athleticism but doesn’t dribble, Jack dribbles but not the athleticism).

Look in the market and within our price range, finding someone capable of having the dribbling and the physical attributes to partner with Xhaka is very rare and very expensive. But Iwobi can be that. Also means we don’t have to judge him on his final ball either. I hope he can be coached into it, and maybe free up Ramsey to be a no.10 (if he stays), as a midfield 3 of Xhaka-Iwobi & Ramsey would be very complete (physicality, able to press, able to pass, able to dribble, able to assist, able to score). All depends on how well Iwobi takes to defensive work.

Gosh, I’ve just written a Santori-like thesis. Sorry guys.

chuqu
chuqu

Haha…I actually enjoyed your insight. Thanks.

afan
afan

i think he will do well under the new manager, I think wenger put the shackles on him a bit

Hantal
Hantal

Handbrake

Wenger free Arsenal.

‘I was surprised by Wenger’s decision’ you mean the Board’s to sack him!

Iwobi will be a revelation under Emery if he knuckles down. He’s a proper Football coach that will develop his game.

Ted E.
Ted E.

“Iwobi and Emery live together in perfect harmony,
Side by side on my piano keyboard oh lord why don’t we?”

hotfuzz14
hotfuzz14

He does look like he can be special and the sort of player who can make a difference in a game. I think he would come good with the right support from all sections (fan base inclusive)

chuqu
chuqu

Especially with the support of the fans.

Evang. Simon
Evang. Simon

#Legend 😎

Unai ted Emeryite
Unai ted Emeryite

I have a feeling Alex Iwobi is due to feed lots of people with a large serving of humble pie. Can’t understand that bile towards him and Rambo despite their status (alongside Jack and Jenks) as the “Arsenal men” of the current squad. I love their devotion to the club and really hope the pair find favour with the new boss like they had with Wenger, and for the injury gods to submit to Lord Bergkamp’s command for them to play to their fullest potential for the Gunners! The future looks good. #Iwobi in. #Rambo in. #COYG!

arsepedant
arsepedant

Ten out of ten for your username.

Ozenal
Ozenal

So many top international pro’s of yesteryear put their kids into the Arsenal Academy.

You get good education and Wenger is a classy dude who will look out for all the youth team and watch the games too.

Emery is also someone who has faith in youth players. It won’t be his responsibility to check up on the youth teams, but I am sure he won’t miss anything judging by the reports about Yacine Adli and his apparent link to Emery.

Prof Wenger to Emerytus
Prof Wenger to Emerytus

So many international pros putting their kids in Arsenal academy is a problem. We want sheer talent not names. Patrick Kluivert’s son has become a real talent with Ajax. That’s the only case I know of.

Burn Baby Burn
Burn Baby Burn

goal.com as the source makes me question if this interview even happened.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNZpZb-LfDk

Undeniable talent just needs alot of polish.

santori
santori

Before we harp on about Holding or Mavropanos or Nketiah, this is the fellow to watch.

Too many fans are simplistic and only ever see faults in a player without acknowledging positives. They get a lob sided view of things which they then exacerbate.

Iwobi has room for improvement but he is still a young player working on consistency.

What he can offer for this team is potentially huge.

Over last several games (particularly against Bunrley), he was instrumental moving us forward and providing a bit of dynamism.

When Wenger (finally) moved him into a deeper lying role just ahead of Granit (instead of banished to the wings), he flourished.

His natural strength and technical ability lends him toward holding the ball better in the middle and providing the same sort of vertical ball carrying Jack is trying to deliver in absence of Santi.

BUT the deeper position also lends him a better view (and a bit more time) of what is ahead and he is better able to pick ‘influential’ passes.

World Cup could be a big thing for Iwobi and Nigeria.

Good goal in the warm ups. Hope he gives us something to be excited about because we have very few players at the moment on the world stage that we can say will excite the imagination.

Stephen

As a Nigerian we love him, not had the best season neither has any players this season but hoping Emery can push him to work harder with real coaching