Friday, June 14, 2024

Wenger: big talent Iwobi can go far

One of the few bright spots in recent weeks has been the growing emergence of Alex Iwobi. We all love a home grown talent, and his selection against Barcelona on Wednesday – ahead of more senior options like Theo Walcott or Joel Campbell – is certainly a sign that Arsene Wenger has belief in his potential as a player.

While trying to remain realistic and somewhat circumspect about a player who is just about into double-figures in terms of appearances, the Arsenal manager had some nice things to say about the 19 year old at his press conference today.

“I’m a bit cautious because I don’t want to make stars of players who have played two games, but he’s a big talent,” he said.

“I rate him. To throw him into a game like on Wednesday is proof of the belief I have in his qualities.

“He’s a creative player, an intelligent player. He has a strong team attitude and good humility. At 19, that’s an important quality. I think he can go very far.”

Iwobi’s inclusion at the Camp Nou might have been Wenger trying to find a forumla that works, and he’s obviously seen some signs of that, backing his forwards to start scoring goals at a decent rate again

“If we continue to play like we did in Barcelona, our strikers will score,” he continued. “We create good opportunities. We are one of the best at creating opportunities in the Premier League, if not the best.

“Maybe we have to increase the quality of those opportunities, but it’s maybe linked to the confidence. Maybe the strikers are a bit desperate to score at the moment, but it will come back.”

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remember the invincible

I swear if Walcott and Giroud miss another sitter I’ll tear my hair out.

Hank Scorpio

You do realize that’s inevitable


He’s already bald


Ain’t we all?


Wenger has seriously lost the plot when he makes those kind of comments.

number 7

Just be grateful that you have hair!

Gilberto Silva-Dos

“Unlucky” not to score? Makes you wonder sometimes.

Shoot straight at the keeper? Unlucky?

Have five shots against Twatford at home and none on target? Unlucky?



Walcott will need to play first, mind


Arsenal should not be counting on 19-year-old Iwobi to salvage the season. I thought this was the year that our “warchest” would point us towards the league title by bringing in world class depth? Or was that last year? Or the year before that? Or the year … oh, f*ck it.


Yes Arsene, we can see he’s a big talent.
Are you sowing the seeds, for when Ozil leaves, to say ‘we don’t need to buy anyone to replace him, we have Iwobi’?


Well I hope Iwobi will be fit enough to start tomorrow.

Bob Davis

It’s been a while since we’ve had any decent players come through from the youth ranks so I hope he continues his form. At the moment he’s playing better than Walcott and Chamberlain. Eleny looks really good too.


Or maybe you should have just bought a better centre forward who can put away the avalanche of chances the team creates.


Indeed! We could, and should, be miles ahead in the league with all the chances we are creating. How often do we hear that we were ”unlucky” not to score, or that the opposition’s keeper had the ”game of his life” against us.. I mean sure, over a couple of games there are fine margins between scoring or not were you can say things were going against you, but when it goes almost over an entire season you got to question the quality of our centre forwards.


Other than Aguero, who is clearly amazing, None of the other strikers in the league are massively outstripping Giroud in terms of goals per minute on the pitch. Lukaku is 1 per 134 minutes. Vardy at 1 per 138 and Kane at 139. Giroud is at 1 per 160.
By the way Costa is at 1 per 183, Firmino at 1 per 196. It will come.


But how many chances do Arsenal create and miss? I pretty sure I read that Arsenal have one of the worst conversion rates.


It also depends on how you define a chance and a miss. For example Giroud gets a lot of headers on target from difficult positions, without much pace, but there is almost zero chance you could actually score from those chances. The team creates a lot of decent, half-good chances in matches (like against watford, barcelona) but it would take some finishing to use them all. They just need to get into better chances.


yes we do 1 goal to every 25 chances crated that is over the last half of the season


I dont know. If you could present the numbers after having done some research that would be really helpful. Otherwise we’re in the land of perceptions rather than fact and our perceptions can easily be flawed.


You’re probably both right. Giroud can have a decent rate while Alexis, Ramsey, Ox, and Theo are dragging the conversion rate numbers down.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

None of the other strikers in the league have the best chance creator in the league. Özil would be closing on 30 assists if we didn’t have “unlucky” strikers.

alexis' shorts

As much as I like Giroud and Welbeck (not feeling Mr Sign Da Ting at the moment), the gulf in quality between them and Ozil is huge. Sure, I can say I wish Ozil took more shots himself, but my goodness, he sets the table and then we throw up all over his gourmet dinners! I totally understand his frustrated reactions, they are absolutely warranted in 2016. And the thing is, although you can see his frustration on the field, he continues to play on and try to create rather than stop playing and try to get subbed out. Sure,… Read more »


Yea giroud is fantastic, proven by the fact he has scored so many goals this season and we are romping away with the league, oh wait…


We’ve heard it all before. Note not a single shred of home grown talent has successfully been integrated into our front line in a decade.


Obi Wan Inobi


Well, its Iwobi obviously. Sigh, iphone.


Glad he said that, coz I also believe that as long as the crosses & the thru balls etc are descent, our strikers can score. It’s been proven in the last few games. It’s been proven in 2015!

The problem in 2016 to me is that our passing in the final third has been weak. Too much over thinking & too much faffin’ around.

Man Manny

We are talking about Giroud, Walcott, Alexis, Ramsey and Welbeck missing sitters! What do you mean by weak passes? How can they miss chances if the passes are not good?


It’s like this, how can you expect Theo to score if you keep giving the pass behind him. He needs a thru ball! Notice he keeps making these good run behind defenders yet nobody is picking him up. And Giroud needs a descent cross. That’s all he needs when he was in a good scoring run. Etc. Etc. All I’m sayin’ is the whole team is responsible for our lack of goals, not just the strikers. That is all. The cohesion is broken somehow. I don’t know. And for that missing sitters, man, that can happen to anyone. Can happen… Read more »

Man Manny

You can only give passes to Walcott when you find him; the guy’s been missing in games of late. We saw him on the sideline getting ready to come in in the games against United, Watford and Barcelona. After that wasn’t seen again till the final whistle.


I usually say that to defend Theo, that he makes the runs and doesn’t get the passes, but he’s stopped making the runs too now. He looks lost in games now, like he’s playing for a different team. Man Utd away was the absolute nadir, he completely disappeared. It it’s partly his fault, he should be getting more involved. But the bigger issue is our approach play, because everyone has been poor. Surprised people are just talking about our finishing, I’ve never seen a team filled with so many pacey players attacking so fricking slowly!!


He’s been doing it for ages. Its just that the realisation is dawning.

Mr. White

hope it’s the same 11 (obviously Coq comin in for flamini). I know some players are knackered but Everton away is a massive, massive game for us


Iwobi has been so impressive this year for his age and inexperience, never seeming in awe of the situation and stepping right in. I hope he will continue to get his opportunities this year and especially next year as he could be a special player for us.

Die Hard Gunner

This guy is really putting butterflies in my belly, I’m Nigerian so you should understand how it feels when one of your own actually play for the club you love with so much passion, plus, since Nwakwo Kanu and Jay Jay Okocha who happens to be Iwobi’s Uncle, we have not really had such talents in the National Team, the last guy that came close to fitting the bill ended up joining those wankers in Blue. I just seriously hope he makes the grade at Arsenal.

Man Manny

Arsene has a history of expecting miracles from average players such as:
Almunia, Denilson, Eboue, Bendtner, Gervinho, senderos, djourou, Sylvestre, Fabianski and many more. Now he wants Giroud and Walcott to start banging in goals aplenty.
He had better make up his mind to upgrade on our strike force. Welbeck alone is the one I would keep out of the lot.


More than a little tendentious. What about Koscielny, Coquelin, Monreal, Bellerin, Van Persie, Fabregas all players who nobody had heard of but who turned out kind of ok. Lets not pretend its all one way.
Ferguson bought players like Mame Douf, a string of goalkeepers whose names i have forgotten as well as Forlan who he couldnt get to work but went on to score hatfuls. He also spent fortunes on Veron which never worked. Its not a precise science.

Man Manny

You completely miss my point. You mentioned Ferguson in your comment and I am glad you did. Yes he signed Diouf, but did persist with him in the hope he comes good? That’s my point – hanging on to poor buys and average players to the detriment of the team. All managers sign duds but top managers cut their losses and move on. Sir Alex let Berbatov go and bought Van Persie. That’s why he won 13 EPL and 2 CL titles and many more in 26 years. Do you sincerely see Arsene paying £24m for a 29 year old… Read more »


Wenger does my head in generally but he REALLY does my head in when he starts crapping on about ‘humility’. Let’s win the humility cup and add to that honours list type thing that goes round the stadium. Let’s go for the Emirates Cup/Self Sustainably Trophy/Nice Guy Humility League treble. Take that Tottenham ya league champion wankers!!

But yeah, Iwobi looks excellent. I’m expecting big things from him until he has all his spirit and individuality Wengered out of him.

Ok chaps, on with the thumbs down!!


It’s surely Özil’s fault! Creating 120 chances, only 18 enters, so it must be the quality of his 102 passes left!

Fool of a Took

Our top scorer (Giroud) has managed a whopping 12 goals this season (PL). At the same time we have created most clear cut chanses in the whole league. I might be simple minded, but perhaps we should think of including another striker in our squad? Perhaps someone who is good at scoring goals? Someone who doesn´t panic at the sight of a goalkeeper? Someone who´s reaction to a missed chance is not “punching the ground and grinning very hard”, but actually scores the next time? Someone who shots the ball within the frames of the goal? As I said, I… Read more »


I think it’s definitely worth a go…;-)

alexis' shorts

Iwobi’s performances remind me of the promise the Ox gave a few seasons back. They are both direct players, with the Ox using athleticism and Iwobi more elegant and much more awareness of his teammates’ positions and runs. Hopefully both players come good.

Elneny’s work rate reminds me of Ramsey 2 seasons ago – putting in a shift at both ends of the field. I’m hoping for a CoqNeny axis the rest of the season. He always shows for the ball and is fair in his distribution.


We could have gotten Aubemeyang two years ago for about 22 million. He is the second best striker in the Bundesliga behind Lewandowski and would walk into our team. Now Dortmund are talking about 60 million pounds. How many times has Wenger passed on a player who two years later makes us wonder why Arsene didn’t pull the trigger?

Zlatan, C. Ronaldo, Bale, Aubemeyang, Ya Ya Toure and Pogba to name a few. Crazy!


Are you his agent? a couple of puff pieces and people will believe anything.


I forgot about Xabi Alonso for 16 million from Liverpool. Sold the next year to Real for 35 million. Wow! Buyinng him would have killed Denilson according to Arsene.

Crash Fistfight

There were two sides to that story. Liverpool wanted to get Gareth Barry before they sold Xabi Alonso. That they couldn’t sign him meant that Alonso was not going to move. I agree with you on Aubameyang – he looked like a typical Arsenal signing when he was at St Etienne and was within the fee bracket we were able to afford at the time. The other players you’ve listed, I’m not sure about. Man U gazumped us on C. Ronaldo from what I recall, Yaya Toure wouldn’t wait at Beveren for a passport, Zlatan didn’t do trials and Bale… Read more »


Do I really see people commenting that the quality of the passes are to blame for the lack of goals from our forwards? Wow even with özil in the team? Wow wow

With blinkers as good as yours, you should consider applying for the first team manager position once wenger retires.


Does it matter? I lost interest


Another reason, as if anymore were needed, for Walcott to be shifted off to Wolverhampton.

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