Sunday, June 16, 2024

Jay-Jay Okocha: Iwobi should stay and fight

Jay-Jay Okocha, one of Nigeria’s greatest players and uncle of Alex Iwobi, says his nephew should stay and fight for his place at Arsenal having fallen out of favour a bit in recent weeks.

The 20 year old has made 36 appearances for the Gunners this season, but hasn’t started a game since the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on March 4th.

It feels like Arsene Wenger has taken him out of the firing line a bit, and he even played with the U23s in recent weeks.

Speaking to Sky Sports though, Okocha says a little understanding is required.

“We can’t forget that this is his first full season in the first team and Arsenal have all their players back now. There’s a lot of competition, so it’s not easy,” he said.

“He has had a good season. It’s not easy to make it through from the academy into the first team at such a big club. He has achieved this and has been phenomenal.

“I am delighted with what he has achieved so far.”

And on his future, he continued, “I think it’s better for him to stay at Arsenal, because the style of play suits him perfectly. It might not be easy for him to go on loan and adapt somewhere else. He needs to stay and fight for his shirt.”

There hasn’t really even been any talk of going out on loan. In reality, what we have is a relatively inexperienced player hitting a plateau in his development while part of an underperforming team.

Iwobi has shown some really exciting stuff, but a bit like Hector Bellerin is being overly-criticised when his form has dipped.

He’ll come back.

Check out today’s Arsecast, with the legendary Ian Wright. Listen/download below.


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He’s one of the players pushed into the first team even when not in form that their confidence drops and they become very poor.

Could be just me but I really think he shouldn’t have played as many minutes as he did.

One of the reasons Monreal was having a poor time on the left side is because Iwobi was playing in front.

Daft Aider

He was dangerously overplayed for a while, glad to see he’s been taken out of the limelight for a bit

Toure motors

Iwobi has it all, just needs a little break because of how the overall team is performing. He’ll be back and will be a serious player for us

Gordon Phillips

Hopefully he’ll have a lot of shooting lessons. Against City he came on and made a great run but everyone around me knew that when he was about to shoot it would go wide or over the bar. Also needs to occasionally use his left foot, for God’s sake do we have any coaches? He could be great given the right support.


Spot on. He needs a coach to better his technique. A things he needs to work on his predictability, he controls and dribble with instep which makes even simple passes predictable allowing opponents to cut out. Advise is to learn from other players, use his toes/laces and he can change direction more easily.he also shoots in the same and can’t generate enough power from your instep. Use laces boy u have talent.


My issues with his shooting is that he always seems to use his instep and sidefoot the shot. Put your laces through it man!


I looked at the calendar thinking it was April Fools. Iwobi is not going anywhere. That guy has everything and just needs to continue maturing.


Iwobi is not going anywhere. He is maturing and will be one of our stars for the next decade. Fingers crossed.

Stringer Bell

Your clearly a wasted talent Gordon. Could you apply for a coaching role with the Arsenal. I’m sure your cv would get you an interview ?


No one has any right to be upset at Iwobi. He has exceeded what was expected from him and the fact that he’s been in the team for as long as he has been is credit to him. He’s still young and will come good. People giving him shit really have never played football in their lives. You should get your fat asses on the pitch from time to time to see what it’s actually like in person and I promise you you’ll really appreciate Iwobi’s game. The guy’s link up is unheard of for someone as inexperienced as he… Read more »


We see Dele Alli make those right decisions game after game, what is Iwobis excuse then?


I love his character and the way he plays. Genuinely believe he’s going to be our number 10 in the future (if we stick to playing with an AMC).


agreed. dont understand some of the hate from the fans towards him , i mean he’s still very young. besides he looks way more promising than most of the british core we have, i’m sure iwobi can be our no10 in future.

MB the Ferret

I think Iwobi has tremendous talent but I also think he’s a player who is still growing into his physicality. If you watch his games he tends to give an initial bump to the pace but at about 40 minutes he starts a declination that is a bit more steep than players with experience. What I see is a player who very much goes from point A to B to C to D to E to F where a more experienced player goes from A to C to F and the conservation of energy is more measured. I don’t think… Read more »


I believe a loan spell would preferably at a PL club could really benefit him. Although he has shown that he clearly has qualities to play for Arsenal, sometimes a loan spell away can give him a better perspective about his game and is also a different sort of exposure. Off topic Also, I don’t know if any of you guys have had a chance to listen to the arsecast with Ian Wright. Do give it a listen. It clearly shows that the root of our problems is with the owner and the board. We could change the manager but… Read more »


At the very least he’s a useful squad player to have… at most an incredibly talented youngster who will thrive given a bit of time and space.

I personally think that sending him out on loan would be counter productive. Let him stay and fight for a place, he’s certainly good enough!!

Heavenly Chapecoense

Having a striker like Henry around the club giving him advice about the goal scoring side will help him a lot. Lukaku really looks up to Henry in the national team setup. You see the season he is having?


Your off-topic is however spot on. Time for silent Stan to talk the talk or walk the walk. Excuse the terrible cliche ?

Liam Bradys left peg

Not disagreeing but they have given wenger funds which he has spent in the last few seasons and our wage bill is not far off chavskis or the mancs and loads more than spuds and, believe it or not even leicesters and most of the teams we have lost to this season!

Liam Bradys left peg

Yes kroenke needs to FO ASAP but they have given wenger funds to buy top top quality players and the wage bill is not far off chavskis or mancs and alot higher than spuds and even leicesters and probably palaces,watfords, west broms……


Our owner is a trump supporter. That’s reason enough to want kronke the hell out of arsenal. Screw kronke.

Wright on the money

Iwobi will be a great player soon I think. He just needs more playing time and maybe not all the pressure at a young age I think stick him on loan and led him have a full season of games and see how he copes.

Lord Bendtner

That Arsecast was ‘dope’

*insert thumbs up emoji*


Of course he should stay FFS! Actually I wouldn’t mind him getting back in the team on the left and moving Sanchez to the middle, that was when we were at our most potent going forwards


I don’t think he’s dropped as such. I think this is Wenger not doing the same mistake he did with Jack Wilshere.
At his age, 36 games in a season is a very good number.

Liam Bradys left peg

Hope he takes his uncles advice and stays and fights for the Arsenal. We need fighters.

Arse head

The lad should have been managed better to be honest, played far too often. Perez should have started at least half of the games Iwobi did, ease the boy into first team football and would have given Perez a chance to show what he can do


If he carries on improving as you would expect he could be our best player in a few years

Kwame Ampadu Down

He’s the same age as Dele Alli. It’s a bit of a sobering thought that our best young player is miles behind the Totts’.


I wouldn’t go that far. He’s off the boil at the moment.

Alli came through earlier

Kwame Ampadu Down

Alli got 10 goals last season & has nearly 20 this. Iwobi got 2 last season, 4 this. Alli is in the PFA team of the year. It’s illogical to say Iwobi isn’t miles behind.
There’s less than a month difference in their ages so unsure why Alli coming through earlier matters ?


Look at the Alli’s team mate, they are all firing at all cylinders not the same with arsenal . u forget players have to play according to the coach instruction, Wenger is always critical about shooting from distance and this is killing our game.

canon 10000

Yo Kwame. Different players develop at different ages. You dig? If your idea of ‘sobering’ is to compare every Arsenal player with the absolute top performing player of the moment, I’ve to say this sounds like an idea one gets after one too many pints and episodes of ArsenalFan TV. Even during the best years we had Ray Parlour and Keown who wouldn’t be in any PFA list. Did they sober you then? I don’t know where your high standards have materialised from. Not every young English striker is a Rooney. I do applaud your ambitions for Arsenal but don’t… Read more »

Kwame Ampadu Down

So all those who a few months were ranting on here about the media fawning over Alli & saying Iwobi was a much better player…it’s ok for them to compare players (& get loads of supportive follow up comments) but not for me to ? I clearly didn’t berate him by the way; I just pointed out that another young player of the same age is much better than him….as a response to all those above who are talking about him having played too much & lacking the experience to make the right decisions… The fact the you think I’m… Read more »


Was there even talk of him leaving? Hes just broken through… cant expect to be playing week in week out just yet and im sure he knows it. Seems like a very switched on lad… except that celebration haha. Never would of known he was doing guns, looks like just a fast spasm of his hands.

Post January Blip

Iwobi’s got such a bright future ahead of him. I really like how he collects the ball in his stride and moves it on at pace. Sometimes we as football fans can be very impatient and over critical with younger players. The truth is most of the boys have struggled this year and players like Iwobi and Hector shouldn’t be the on the receiving end of some of the vitriol that seems to be all around us at the moment. I have no doubt whatsoever in his ability and I really do think this kid can make the grade. He’s… Read more »

canon 10000

Well put. One never wants too much hype around a young player (Walcott) but one hopes Iwobi ABSOLUTELY pays no attention to the cynical, burn-it-all crazy-monkeys pretending to be Arsenal fans this season.


I have a feeling we should be trying him in midfield.

Not at the apex in the Ozil position but (particularly with this 3-4-3) next to Granit.

He is of course a little inexperienced (but so was ox), but I feel he has the technical ability to hold plus strength and also an eye for a through pass. HIs skill on the ball can help us in that area.

canon 10000

He would be a faster, silkier Elneny (we know how much you love him santori haha) if not more.

But right now he couldn’t do worse than to be Ozil’s shadow. No better man to learn from. We need his agility and movement up top especially with an outlaw Alexis and a static Giroud. To force him to cover for Xhaka would be the end of him I fear.


He’s going to be a top, top player but I feel he’s had a bit to much first team football for his level of performance. Also he isn’t a winger, in my opinion his best performances have come at no.10, I’m looking forward to seeing him develop over the next few years.

canon 10000

Agree but neither is Son or Erikson a winger for that matter… Tomas Santi Jack Ramsey all have played wide with us. Silva Mata Iniesta were on left wing too many times. I don’t even pretend to know what position Muller plays with Germany… I hope Iwobi can add final balls / goals to his game soon.

David Hillier\'s luggage

Has there actually been any talk of Iwobi leaving or is this Sky trying to make a story about a non-existent situation and play on fans’ fears of first teamers leaving?

Yes, he’s had a dip in form and Arsene has taken him out of the firing line a bit, but I haven’t heard anything from the player, his agent, his parents, Nigerian FA, his girlfriend or his hairdresser that’s he wants a move or has clubs chasing him. Pure scaremongering.


Fantastic talent, hope he keeps improving and getting game time

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