Friday, June 14, 2024

Iwobi: It’s not just me who is playing with freedom

Arsenal may be on a seven-game winning streak but most Gooners would acknowledge some of the performances suggest the players haven’t yet hit top gear.

Despite some early season stutters, Alex Iwobi insists he and his team-mates are playing with more freedom under Unai Emery and buy into the football philosophy the Spaniard’s trying to implement.

The Nigeria international seemed to drift through Arsene Wenger’s final 18 months at the Emirates but has been singled out for praise this campaign for his game-changing cameos.

“This season I’ve been working a lot more on trying to improve my finishing and also assisting my team-mates which is what I believe someone in my position should do to get to the next level,” Iwobi told a press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Azerbaijan side Qarabag.

He went on: “I’ve been focusing on that and also in training I feel like my team-mates have been giving me the freedom to express myself, as well as the new boss.

“There’s no pressure or weight on my shoulders. I’m just enjoying my football.

“The team is enjoying the new style and the new things we’ve brought into training so it’s not just me that’s enjoying playing with freedom, I’d like to say it’s not just me playing with freedom, it’s my team-mates as well.”

There’s been a lot of change at Arsenal in a very short time. While some of the differences are obvious, others have been more low key. For instance, where Arsene Wenger always opted to conduct his final pre-European match training sessions at London Colney, Unai Emery has chosen to embrace the chance to put the players through their paces at the grounds of their opponents.

Asked about the tweak in pre-game preparations, Iwobi added: “It’s good for us to train on the pitch as well so we can get familiar and get used to the pitch.

“We’ve started doing it recently this season so it will help us adjust to that in our training session.

“It will be great for us to train on the pitch today and get used to it so that we can prepare for the match.”

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Confidence.. COYG


He feels more free while playing under a more pedantic manager than Arsene. If that’s not proof that change was much needed, I don’t know what is…


Its not just confidence, he has matured and is now able to discern better when to release the ball. Also he is using the confidence he naturally has on the ball (BC of his technical ability) to keep his head up. I’ve been saying for a long time now that players tend to either come good at 23yrs or not. We saw that with Walcott and Ramsey before. Its a maturity thing. I think not just Iwobi in the squad at the moment but also Bellerin and Holding are showing better maturity. Which is why I feel preferably if we… Read more »


Lot of freedom under Wenger too and a dodgy defence. Sounds like the same still!


Exactly. “Freedon” isn’t it.

We can afford for freedm of expression in the attacking phase.

Where Wenger had it wrong is he also allowed interpretation in the defensive side of things.

Too little attention to detail and no direction from the bench when the team was clearly struggling. Also a severe allergy to changing things around quickly where Emery has shown he is decisive and largely on the money.

Why not

Painful and relentless anti-wenger negativity fits right in too.


a whole lot more freedom i guess. when a player knows exactly what he is supposed to do like under emery there is more clarity and thus they can work more on that and improve themselves. this help is what we have been missing under wenger


brighten up, mate.
just a player trying to say the right things before a game. nothing much to read into


Of Iwobi can keep momentum going he’s gonna b of immense value for the team this year. His running and tracking is more aggressive, his movement more decisive and he looks to have gained some proper muscle, just absorbs defenders it seems. And he’s Arsenal trough n trough!!


FFS You also played with freedom under Arsene…seems like every player is just trying to get into Emery’s good books with the praises…Damn!


True, but it’s understandable.

Even saw Willy say the other day he’s never felt so free as Arsenal under Emery.


or maybe they are just being honest and saying what they are feeling right now…geez


So you would have players say they are not enjoying playing under new manager or something similar to that effect.
I rather see them enjoy, embrace the change and strive to make it better than before.
Isn’t that the whole point here or am I missing something ?


I would love to see Unai developing our youngsters especially in the attack because our stars are close to 30s.

Ex-Priest Tobin

We have a top-shelf manager now and we can start to see it paying rewards. Wenger really was a specialist in failure in his later years. Late era Wenger was pathetic. Thank god he’s gone.


You a Chelsea fan, man u or even worse a Maureen fan


Freedom is not the same as no strict game plan, what I see is a healthy increase in tactical approach, still attacking minded but much more preplanned and opponent based. Freedom is more allowinh individuals to express their talent, go on runs, go for the finishing without 1st always looking if one can pass. Combined with cleaver runs and tactics this actually lifts our passing game to a level wenger struggled to reach in latter years, a much more potent flow in our attacking game.


It’s the little things. Like working on the actual pitch ahead of the game. Two different approaches both with their merits but it certainly seems to have had a positive benefit initially to Iwobi.


You know what………I’m lovin it!!

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