Kanu: The sky will be Iwobi’s stepping stone

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If there’s a positive to take from Saturday’s ‘well-that-was-stupid-now-we-definitely-can’t-win-the-league result’ at West Ham, it was Alex Iwobi’s first half performance.

Having netted twice and registered an assist in his first two Premier League starts, the 19-year-old further consolidated his first team credentials with a brace of Boleyn Ground assists for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez respectively.

As things stand the Nigerian-born midfielder is in ‘first name on the team sheet’ territory, a fact that hasn’t been lost on compatriot Kanu – a man who knows a thing or two about hitting the ground running in N5.

Bigging up the way the teenager has taken his chance at the Emirates, the ‘Invincible’ striker predicted a bright future for Iwobi.

“He has the talent, he can do wonders in his career,” Kanu told AfricanFootball.com.

“He has grabbed his own chance and he is doing well. I’m happy for them. Age is on his side and with focus, the sky will just be his stepping stone.

“I am not surprised about Iwobi’s rapid progress after I saw what he could do during Arsenal pre-season.”

He added: “Wenger will always give the young players opportunities to showcase what they have and it is left for the players to take their chance.”

For his part, Iwobi is very much enjoying his stint in the limelight explaining that his first goal for the club, away at Goodison Park in the 2-0 win over Everton, has helped him relax into first team proceedings.

“That moment was crazy!” Iwobi told Arsenal Player. “When Hector got the ball and I saw the space, I just tried to sprint for my life.

“Thank God Hector found me, I got the ball and scored. I can’t describe the feeling, I started losing my head and the celebration…I don’t know where that came from, but I’m sticking with it now!

“The best way to describe it is that it’s my number [45], and the Gunners [are] Arsenal. I was just excited and also my friends told me to do something crazy, so it was for them.

“I already felt at home [in the team] but that goal made me a bit more confident, made me try a few more things and made me feel a bit more relaxed so I was happy to get it.”

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Simon
Simon

Great player that is hopefully going to be an Arsenal Superstar. Needs to keep doing the simple things (the things that look simple that are actually incredible football) well with the occasional trick rather than looking for the spectacular every touch.

It wold be amazing to get someone like Henry in to work one on one with him or in a three with him, Welbeck and Campbell to make the most of their talent.

ger

Im really looking forward to next season.

That hurt a lot to say that!

Killak
Killak

Love the guy but he needs to sort his celebration out!

ENJ
ENJ

No I like it. There was a moment in his celebration against Watford where the electronic board had a glass smashing animation in sync with the machine gun celebration…It was beautiful.

Rod
Rod

No

George
George

I try not to pay attention to most modern celebrations (in many sports). Most of them are horrible and self-centred crap.

Jericho
Jericho

New dictionary entry for 2016:

ARSENAL

Verb

To be in a position of major strength and consistently find new and creative ways to surrender dominance to the point of catastrophic failure

Example: I was offered the job of my dreams after months of preparation, however when the hiring manager signalled to shake hands and conclude the interview, I proceeded to arsenal the situation by whipping my dribbling cock out, performing maniacal windmills in his face and subsequently getting myself arrested. No job offer was forthcoming.

2) To always make someone dramatically inferior to your ability look and feel dominant.

Example: Having just defeated Tiger Woods by 18 shots in crazy golf, I went out and arsenaled the next round by losing to a 9 year old, one-armed girl who thought her putter was a dildo.

Noun (see also Arsenal FC)

A brittle, underachieving football club from North London. Possibly the angriest fans in the world.

Adjective

Describes a situation which lacks consistency, starting well and finishing badly (or vice versa).

Example: Today was an arsenal day after I spent the morning counting my lottery jackpot winnings only to be run over by a train in the afternoon, and being savagely eaten by a hippo whist taking a watery shit in a Coventry Wetherspoons.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Perfect concept but you ARSENAL it with the examples.

Penfield
Penfield

Great post, wrong article

Nwa 9ja
Nwa 9ja

Iwobi is the man We would have loved wilshere to be.

Bould's Eyeliner
Bould's Eyeliner

Wilshere isn’t dead… and he’s still capable of coming good on his career.

Let’s not mark him off yet.

Mach iii
Mach iii

Under 20 and already 1000 times the player Walcott could ever dream of being! He is destined for greatness.

We need Walcott to walk off back to Southampton; the boy who didn’t become a man.

Mesut O'neill
Mesut O'neill

Not sure if West Ham would be interested in a player plus cash swap for Payet. That would be ideal but I think we would still have to give them an extra £12-15m

Mach iii
Mach iii

That would be an absolute dream, but I don’t think Walcott would make the West Ham bench…

Maybe if we give them Walcott plus 5m (to help pay his extortionate salary) just to establish contact.

Jimdinho
Jimdinho

I was wondering the other day if payet could replace cazorla (eventually). He’s got the quick feet that santi has, as well as a bit more speed and about a foot of height.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

He’s 29 now. I think we’re looking for someone a bit younger.

Giroud Awakening
Giroud Awakening

Between Kanu and Okocha, I think it’s fair to say the Nigerians are as bad as the English for getting excited about young prospects! Hoping they’re correct!

Easy as JVC
Easy as JVC

Great to see the lad get his first goals and assists. I’m sure ‘Iwobi’his last. No..? anyone..? Oh come on!

Possession
Possession

Alex Iwobi and Hector Bellerin , plus the many, many chances that Ozil set up for our strikers (cough)…three positives out of a very disappointing season…

tapps

A consistent season out of Monreal, the emergence of El Neny and a goalkeeper that talks to his defence. Three more positives. Oh, and Chelski being the laughing stock and Mourinho getting the sack.

chechen gooner
chechen gooner

shouldn’t the sky be the limit rather than stepping stone?

AllGunsABlazin

The point being that if the sky is the limit for most, he’ll be able to leap past that.

Mo
Mo

Iwobi has more goals and assists in the PL than Ox has in 2 years. Can only wonder what he is thinking right now. Hoping another one of the academy bunch make the grade next season, perhaps Willock/Toral/Akpom/Crowley/R.Nelson.

Bob Davis

From what I’ve seen so far he’s a very promising player.

He did lose the ball a couple of times against West Ham so he needs to concentrate more on that front. I suppose the whole team needs to learn to defend better.

He’s already shown more promise than Walcott and Chamberlain. I hope he continues to play well and is not a one season wonder!

damobot
damobot

Big up Kannnuuuuuu!! Legend in his on right and used to do things on the pitch that are unbelievable. Always played with a smile on his face.

left08
left08

Iwobi is proof that Wenger is building a strong team that needs patience. I too get frustrated when we don’t buy players who are already established to cover the gaps in the squad (striker, CB, DM, whatever) but I trust the manager and his squad-building plans.

Vonnie
Vonnie

We’ve had about ten years of patience. We don’t need to buy overpriced players but we need quality players to fill the gaps now, the manager leaves us two or three quality players short each year and enough is enough. We are in a constant state of team building and our best players get sick of it and leave. It’s very nice that Iwobi has broken into the first team but that doesn’t negate the need for some quality, experienced additions to the squad. I personally don’t trust the manager to get that right at all, and it will be a very pleasant surprise if he does.

Thoughtful Goon
Thoughtful Goon

Agreed Vonnie, I am very skeptical of Wenger as his recent track record is painfully consistent. Recall that this is the same man that said we didn’t need another striker and played Sanogo; a player that Ajax’s management though was ripe old rubbish and his since gone on to set his current loan team under-whelmingly a light. I laud Iwobi and I hope he goes from strength to strength, the same hope i have for Campbell but I have seen this episode before by this very same director. A director who makes a relatively large squad that is bursting with potential seem so inadequate and small. first 11 who are played into the ground while squad players struggle for time on the pitch never once understanding that the team is stronger through the collective. The same manager who finds hidden gems when forced to play players that you have to wonder what he sees in training or if he attends. Yet we laud him for unearthing them, give me a break. If Aaron and Ox was fit we would all be Iwobi-elneny-campbell who. Thanks for the memories Arsene “the professor” but we have all now found that the world is not flat!

left08
left08

I don’t recall any of our best players leaving in recent years. Instead we’ve bought three world class players and developed some good squad players and youngsters. Iwobi and Bellerin would not have broken into the side if we had spent millions on established stars. Man Utd, Liverpool even Man City and Chelsea have bought a great number of expensive flops while Leicester is running away with the league title. Bottom line: Let’s hope the current side stays and grows stronger together. Trophies will come.

Thoughtful Goon
Thoughtful Goon

Are you kidding! Build a team, since forever. I appreciate the new blood coming through and hope even more come as well but don’t be fooled. We don’t have a manager capable of bringing talent to the next level consistently not to protect them from becoming apart pf our seasonal malaise by utilizing tactics that will allow them to improve. I guarantee you that players will be better under Klopp, Pep and Conte next season. I remember just a few years ago we were rebuilding with the brilliant British core; who among them have improved. Who among them are starters for arsenal. Take of the rose tinted specs. While we have been rebuilding perpetually Spurs have cold Bale built a rubbish team, dismantled that rubbish team and have built another squad. All with just with decent players while Leicester are well on their way with even less talented players. Building a strong team you say….lol…all i will ask you is who will coach them. You and I both know where this is going but let the hope axphisiate you my fellow goon. I have chosen to come up for air

tapps

Please explain how you can ‘guarantee’ that Klopp, Pep and Conte will be a success. Is it because that’s what it says in the back-page headlines of the red-tops?

Thoughtful Goon
Thoughtful Goon

Uhm, Nope. It’s because they have done it consistently before as such their body of work gives you confidence that the will again. I am willing to go as far as say guarantee because of this and we can revisit the conversation at next seasons end. Wenger has shown consistency and presides over it year on year then I am sure these coaches who have been consistent as well in the opposite direction can do the same. We’ll revisit next seasons end taps

Thoughtful Goon
Thoughtful Goon

Are you kidding! Build a team, since forever. I appreciate the new blood coming through and hope even more come as well but don’t be fooled. We don’t have a manager capable of bringing talent to the next level consistently not to protect them from becoming apart pf our seasonal malaise by utilizing tactics that will allow them to improve. I guarantee you that players will be better under Klopp, Pep and Conte next season. I remember just a few years ago we were rebuilding with the brilliant British core; who among them have improved. Who among them are starters for arsenal. Take of the rose tinted specs. While we have been rebuilding perpetually Spurs have cold Bale built a rubbish team, dismantled that rubbish team and have built another squad. All with just with decent players while Leicester are well on their way with even less talented players. Building a strong team you say….lol…all i will ask you is who will coach them. You and I both know where this is going but let the hope asphyxiate you my fellow goon. I have chosen to come up for air

ramgooner
ramgooner

It will be nice to see wilshere, coquelin and iwobi start.

The People's Front of Merson
The People's Front of Merson

Saw Iwobi in Emirates Cup and thought he deserved a run. Also thought Reine-Adelaide looked very good. Shame we haven’t seen more of him.

Was hoping to be able to scream “Unbelievable Jeff” a few times!

lauro
lauro

y’all forgetting about the jeff..

Obi van iwobi
Obi van iwobi

Iwobi can fly! That’s why the sky is his stepping stone. If only we could defend …,,

Ex-Priest Tobin
Ex-Priest Tobin

Great talent but I do worry about the sort of media attention young players get after a few good performances. Let him establish himself in the first team over a period of six months or so, then we can let the hype begin. There are plenty of young players who shine brightly and then fade afterwards. Not saying Iwobi will be one of those, but always best to apply patience.

Paul
Paul

He looks great but please let’s not get over excited.
It’s early days and he did give the ball away twice leading to two WH goals.

Paul
Paul

…having said the above ^ and now having watched the below, I have become over excited! What a nice chap as well!
http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160408/iwobi-how-i-m-learning-from-ozil

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

The sky will be his stepping stone. Such a great phrase!

Adam_b16
Adam_b16

Really hoping that next season we continue the integration of academy players. Bellerin and iwobi plus a player like toral or zelamen and we could have a strong core for the future

Cliff Bastin
Cliff Bastin

Hate to be a wet blanket but he did lose the ball for at least one of the west ham goals if I remember correctly.

Paul
Paul

I got two thumbs down for saying that boo hoo!

Cracked
Cracked

Is it just me who has this problem, or are there certain news article that are imposible to read the comments? I only have the problem on my phone.

Only some articles mind you, I can read the comments on this one just fine, but the ones on the latest article addressing the comment policy I ironically can’t see the comments.

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

I have exactly the same issue.

arseblog
Admin

Hmmm. There’s something amiss then. I’ll look into it.

arseblog
Admin

Does it work now?

Cracked
Cracked

Yeah it’s fixed for me at least, thanks! Much appreciated!

No. 8
No. 8

Same issue here too

sixteen swans over ainola
sixteen swans over ainola

Weird thing: yesterday I went to a premier league ‘predictions’ website and went through filling out the remaining matchdays with barely a smidge of wishful thinking. (The only assumption I made was that Leicester and Sp*rs would drop the odd point and we wouldn’t. I didn’t even have to go all you-couldn’t-make-it-up Liverpool 2014 – honest.)

We won the title on goal difference. WTF, eh?

austinpaul
austinpaul

Iwobi grew up in d Arsenal brew frm age 9 as opined by AW himself, meaning he’s built an arsenal mentality nd virtues nd philosophy all dis years, I hope he has imbibed enough to last him a career life tym bcos being a nigerian nd african I pray he doesn’t fall victim of d African mentality of black players in europe who are content wit big pay, fast cars, big beutiful houses,beutiful women nd fan adorations nd rave weekly reviews as submitted by Yaya Toure recently who claimed dey ‘african players ‘ lack ambition to be d best like their european contemporaries, a dead spot on submission. Iwobi has d chance to be best if only he wuld set a higher standard beyond d exploits of KANU nd OKOCHA in d EPL; am hapi he is learning frm Ozil nd Alexis as I admonished him a month ago on my tweeter handle, his aim shuld be to bcome a nigerian Messi nd CR7 put togeda,its achievable wit his talent nd visible potentials,bt he must rememba Humility nd more Humility always,focus, self sacrifice on nd off d field, obedience,closer ties wit God in prayer,avoidance of d 3Ws:wine, women nd d world;respect for self,team-mates, coaches,manager,everyone he comes across in his professional progression to d top; dats d way to d sky Kanu wishes for him; finally as a nigerian he shuld neva allow himself to influenced by d recalcitrant behaviour often associated wit our national team players odawise he will be writing his nunc dimitis!a word dey say is enough for d wise!!!

arseblog
Admin

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