Arsenal are trying to block Nigeria from calling up Alex Iwobi their under-23 side for the Rio Olympic football tournament, according to coach Samson Siasia.
The competition begins starts on 3 August and lasts for nearly three weeks meaning the midfielder would miss the tail-end of pre-season training and the start of the 2016/17 campaign.
Siasia claims he’s spoken to Dick Law about the situation and learned that Iwobi, who has previously spoken positively about partaking, now has concerns about the call-up given he could lose momentum in his quest to consolidate his first-team credentials.
“I went to Arsenal and I saw Richard Law and he said that we still need to look at [the possibilities of the player going to the Olympics or not],” Siasia told Nigerian publication Today.
“He said that he wants Iwobi to stay with Arsenal because they are having a new team and Alex is getting to play in the team for now.
“He said if he leaves to play for Nigeria at the Olympics, how is he going to be a part of the team and maybe someone is going to take his position.
“I said, well we have to meet half way because we are trying to give Alex a platform to show himself in the Olympics and he has to look at it that way too.
“He said we should continue to talk and we would see what we would do.”
Arsene Wenger has previously said that if Iwobi is called upon he’ll respect the decision and allow the player to head to Brazil.
In the meantime, the 20-year-old has been included in the senior squad for a friendly , to be played in France, against Mali on 27 May.
New team? So we are spending all our money at last.
Yeah ikr?! Who knew we had so much money? Heh…
I think it’s hugely disrespectful to Nigeria and the Olympics to block Iwobi. Arsenal wouldn’t try and block Jack from the Euros, or Ramsey at the last Olympicd with Team GB. Not making it a race thing, just more of a “less powerful” country being dealt with. The Olympics has a strong history of being a great platform for under-23 players to gain valuable experience of playing on the big stage and also a platform to perform. He could go there and have a stormer and be labelled one of the best players at the tournament. And besides, if he’s… Read more »
Olympic football is a not a compulsory fifa event and clubs can decide not to let their players go if they so please. If it was the African nations cup which is equivalent to the European cup then the club can’t do anything. So the club is within its right to protect its assets. So let’s not compare olympics and Jack going to Euros off season
I don’t know if it is hugely disrespectful. Olympics U-23 is probably the least respected of football tournaments and is basically used by national squads as an opportunity to blood youngsters in a global scene. Overall, the tournament itself lacks the intensity and bite that regional/global football tournaments have. Ultimately, it’s down to what seems more beneficial to Iwobi, finding a spot in a season’s worth of off-the-bench games and occasional starts (unless he pulls a Bellerin), or attending a tournament, and possibly losing 2-3 months of the season to build up his spot again having missed pre-season. *shrugs* I… Read more »
Nonsense, Arsenal have a long history of trying to stop their young players going to age group tournaments including Wilshere and Walcott so race has nothing to do with it.
The simple matter is Iwobi made an emotive decision declaring to play for Nigeria without thinking of the consequences namely being that african teams disadvantage their players by holding international tournaments in the middle of the european season.
If he had sensible advisors he would have been not too commit to any international side before he had established himself as a first team player.
John C. What kind of rubbish view is this? Embarrassing
Can you be more constructive? What is it that you disagree with?
This just happens to be my view if you don’t like it fine, but it’s neither rubbish or embarrassing, just a simple stating of the facts as i see it.
Iwobi’s decision threatens to harm his Arsenal career before it’s even started
How can you tell a professional footballer to not accept a call up from his country because he isn’t a starter
Because he had no problem playing for England at junior levels.
The fact that he’s switched international sides has clearly upset the powers that be at Arsenal, because thats not who they signed. For the last 10 years Arsenal have been nurturing the talent of an England youth international and now he’s decided he’s Nigerian, that doesn’t reflect well on him.
Young English players get hundreds of games to prove themselves at Arsenal, lets see if he gets the same.
Park Chu-Young was allowed to play in the London Olympics and won a bronze medal for South Korea. This is probably more about timing than anything else. With Copa America and European Championship, Arsenal probably want to be able to pick the strongest possible side whilst giving players who participated in the latter stages a rest and wean them in.
That being said I agree with your overall point that if he wants to play in the Olympics he should be allowed to play.
To be fair, Park Chu-Young was shit, so Arsenal probably couldn’t care less if he was away from the squad, but I suspect you may be right.
I don’t think the Olympics should be taken seriously by footballers as a footballing competition. The Olympics should be restricted to sports that are lesser known but deserve recognition like Squash etc.
Besides the African cup of nations is just round the corner. He’ll be exhausted by December. It’s not worth the risk for him, for us and Nigeria for the Aoc.
Nigeria didn’t qualify for the AOC…
Ahh my mistake. In that case it won’t be as bad if he played.
But football at the Olympics is still ridiculous. It’s the carling cup of international football.
Cos England didn’t qualify to play in FIFA’s next most prestigious tournament after the world cup and suddenly the Olympic tournament becomes ridiculous ? Absolute hypocrite !
Do England even try to qualify for the Olympics?
The Olympic team represents Britain, not England, so it seems odd to me that individual Home Nations would enter qualifying.
a lot of countries take it seriously, i remember Nigeria beating Brazil in the semis and Argentina in the finals (i think). that team had a young kanu, J J okocha, finidi d george, babandiga (ithink). Beating those teams who had their fair share of superstars playing really boosted the confidence of the players, the country, the continent so i say it kinda of a big deal
For his Arsenal career, he should stay on as he has a genuine shot at integrating himself into the starting xi as a good contributor
But I’d understand his decision if he wants to represent his nation though
What a man, it’s a shame his work often gets overlooked and unnoticed. I’m immensely proud to have Dick in the Arse.
That’s the worst I’ve read yet. Congrats!
Only real life dickheads will agree with you that Mr Dick is the best thing that has happened to them since birth. Shows the sort of person you are.
From an Arsenal perspective, the response to Nigeria will be to showcase Iwobi in the senior squad rather than the age limited one!
Also as its football, Olympics is not the pinnacle.
Nah, I’m an Arsenal fan too but we shouldn’t be blocking players from representing their countries (within reason)
I used to have the same view till Stuart Pearce…happened.
Sample – http://www.skysports.com/football/news/12016/9856336/raheem-sterling-harry-kane-and-jack-wilshere-could-help-england-win-u21-euros-says-stuart-pearce
I’m now of the opinion that players should play for their national teams…in one squad. Otherwise, they will be playing in tournament/competitions at levels that they have surpassed just because their age allows them.
Iwobi himself would be eligible to play for both the U21 and probably capable enough to play in the senior squad. So, choose one and play him in that category not both simultaneously! Move him up or down based on form, not tournament schedule.
Bloggs: You’ve been itching to do a Dick Law pun again lol
This article is by the News Hound.
“we are trying to give Alex a platform to show himself in the Olympics.”
He already plays in the first team for Arsenal. What more of a platform could he have or need?
With an argument that bad, Siasia would be better off being honest: he wants Iwobi to play because Iwobi’s good at football and Nigeria want to win football matches.
It isn’t a bad argument by Siasia.Olympic football honours are most coveted by most nations, so much so that Brazil will likely draft in Neymar to feature for them in it instead of Copa America.Even Lionel Messi recently said he would have wanted to feature.Moreover,the event commands a global audience for its duration, we can’t quite say the same about the Premiership.
If Neymar plays in the Olympics for Brazil it will be because Brazil is the host of the Olympics and there will be a lot of pressure for them to win in on home soil. Especially after the World Cup humiliation. Nothing more there.
Truth is that the Olympics is a Big Deal for Brazil. It is their white whale. They have never won the competition.
That said, the Olympics is the #2 tournament for the Nigerian setup and it is the highest tournament we can actually aspire to win. The world cup is a level too high for us at the moment. So please allow Alex come over we promise to return him in good condition for the season
Who is Richard Law?
Such a dick move…
Let him play! A great opportunity for a young man to win an Olympic medal and develop his talent.
Let the kid go….encourage him even. He’ll be so grateful in the long run and hopefully have a ling and successful career at The Arsenal.
such a shane, but we all make mistakes
Without wanting to be totally Arsenal biased I think Dick.is correct. If Iwobi goes and X player performs well in pre-season, then how does that benefit Iwobi or Nigeria? He is not yet an established player for us. Better he stays and makes a.platform.for himself at Arsenal first
I prefer a ling career myself.
Can’t see his space still being available come next season – surely chambo/new signing sit ahead of his in the pecking order.
I get what our reps are trying to do and I understand where Iwobi is coming from. He finally sees his chance of breaking in the Arsenal first team set-up and knowing how few and far between chances are in top flight football, and how quickly players goes in and out of favour, it would be wise of him to stay and try prove himself.
I know he played well for us at the end of this season and is a prospect, but should we be relying on a 19 year-old at the start of the season?
Let the kid go, I say. It’s not like he’s ever going to get the opportunity again.
I wonder if he asked Ramsey about his experience at the Olympics? As mentioned above, we didn’t complain about him being called up at the time, so not sure why this situation should be any different.
Not sure why we wouldn’t just let him go to be honest
Even in the worst case scenario and he gets injured (and this is hardly even more likely than it just happening in training), it shouldn’t have a massive impact on the club. He’s not set to start as it stands and this is before any further signings
More likely it’ll just be a good experience for a guy who’s got less than a full season of senior experience under his belt. Should be a positive for him.
Just for the record, the Argentine team to 2008 Olympics includes: Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Zabaleta, and rest. It’s just only proper that Arsenal allows the boy to rep his country as promised by Wenger.
Will he even be part of the starting 11 next season…. don’t think so. He is still raw gives away the ball alot and his final decisions are poor, he can go…
Oh please. The 2008 final saw messi providing an assist to Di Maria for the only goal of the game. Lavezzi and Aguero were also part of that team.
If iwobi doesn’t go, it’ll be a shame because he has the chance to play in the same team with Ighalo and Iheanacho. It’s also possible that Nwakali (the youngster we just signed) could be included in the squad.
Nigeria has a big history with the olympics and with no ANC, this is the next big thing for fans to look forward to. Would be a shame if Iwobi doesn’t play.
I’ll never understand why anyone would take dick as the nickname for richard. Why not Rich? It’s like your name is stewart and you call yourself anus instead of stew.
You Sir, have just made me cry with laughter. Good skills.
I was very stern-faced reading through these comments but yours made me explode into hysterics at the library. Thank you so much. I’ve always thought the same, but not to your artistic extreme. ?
I pray he leaves for d Olympics, both sides will benefit.If he does well he gains more confidence ,his absence will push Arsenal to sign Mahrez.He can then hold fort for Mahrez when he leaves for d African Nations Cup.
So apparently we’re going to deny a youngster the rare opportunity , playing in the Olympics because of PRE-SEASON and a couple of league games he may not be involved in anyway…??? Utter bullocks!!!
Oh.. and Ramsey has been handed the no. 8 shirt meaning he’ll play on the right till he gets injured so what’s t point??