Heartbreak for Iwobi as Nigeria’s AFCON dream ends

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Riyad Mahrez’s stunning stoppage-time free-kick sealed a famous win for Algeria as they beat Nigeria 2-1 to seal a place in next week’s final of the African Cup of Nations.

A tense encounter in Cairo looked to be heading to extra time before the Manchester City winger whipped a beautiful effort around the wall to break the hearts of the Super Eagles with the last kick of the game.

Earlier, Idion Ighalo’s penalty, awarded for a handball by Aissa Mandi following a VAR review, had cancelled out William Troost-Ekong’s own goal five minutes before the break.

Les Fennecs will now play Senegal in Friday’s final.

The result means Alex Iwobi, who had a pretty decent tournament, will finally go on holiday once the third-place play-off has taken place.  Given he’ll get at least three weeks off, it means he’ll definitely miss our opening game against Newcastle on 12th August.

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DJ ARSE
DJ ARSE

His holiday starts after the 3rd/4th match on Wednesday.

SB Still
SB Still

Anyone find the 3rd/4th place match odd? Something like Olympics with medals for top 3, it makes sense. In an international football tournament it’s seems odd. It’s like having a 3rd/4th place game for the club cup competitions like Champions league.

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

Don’t be giving UEFA any ideas.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

I have to say, it was really nice to see Iwobi playing football and obviously enjoying himself for once. I hope fans can stop getting on his back this season and support him the way Nigerian fans have this tournament

myrtle
myrtle

From the little I’ve seen of Iwobi, he seems to be absolutely flying in this new-found central role for Nigeria. Take note Unai.

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)
My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

Really enjoyed watching him in deeper central midfield. He really is a Central Midfielder being forced to play on the wings and being judged on that.

Really would like to see him in a 3-man midfield. Another reason why we really need a winger.

lessthanthesumoftheirparts
lessthanthesumoftheirparts

How deep though? Looks more like he’s been at number 10 or ‘whisper it’ the Ramsey role arriving late into the box.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

If he was being considered / groomed for the Ramsey role, would Emery not have played him there when Aaron got injured?

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)
My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

He doesn’t need to be the new Ramsey, arriving late into the box he can do but it’s not his thing.

Ramsey’s strength was movement off the ball to ghost into positions, Iwobi’s is on the ball to carry it and dribble.
He’s much more like Jack or Santi, or even Diaby in that regards.

Drogheda Gunner
Drogheda Gunner

They should try him in the middle because he’s not up to standard on the wing.

Cacho
Cacho

I agree, similar to how Klopp sets up his midfield. He has a little more stability now with Fabinho, but for long stretches he just uses 3 passing midfielders who are good at ball retention. Between Keita/Henderson/Ox/Milner/Wijnaldum, even going back to Emre Can, all of them are playmaker types, but with 3 working in tandem they boss the midfield quite often.

Hantal
Hantal

His end product is a big problem so playing deeper should certainly be entertained

Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse

Agreed. He’s the worst shot on goal since Alex Hleb.
The further away from goal he is the better.

Chiza
Chiza

my sources tell me Everton soares deal could happen this week…medicals scheduled for this week though…Edu really wants him… So fingers crossed

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)
My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

Nothing to do with Iwobi.

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
Leno me, I’ll be your friend

My sauces cover my chips.

Mick Malthouse
Mick Malthouse

My sources tell me your sources don’t exist.

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
Leno me, I’ll be your friend

Damnit, now my ketchup is having an existential crisis!

Drogheda Gunner
Drogheda Gunner

Who’s your source? Hope your right though

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Mahrez, pure quality and highest level of winning mentality. A goal like the last three points from downtown in basketball. Can I say none of our players can score that free kick 5 seconds to go ?

Santori
Santori

We should have bought him when we had the chance instead of Mhkitaryan.

Ship has sailed.

I’m struggling to digest reports that we are not interested in Ziyech.

He has similar attributes in trickery and technical skill that we have lacked which only Iwobi (maybe Nelson) and Laca provide at the moment.

Oussama
Oussama

He still needs to play against Tunisia for the third place match on Thursday.

Confused
Confused

Shout out also to Benacer an Arsenal alumni who’s also having a cracking tournament…the only time he played for the first team (in a League Cup v Sheff Wed) we lost 3-0 if memory serves…he’s now off to ply his trade at Napoli or somet

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)
My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

Yeah he’s been one of the stand out performers of the competition. Almost scored a cracker last night too.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Not to take anything from Iwobi who has bad a very good tournament as well but if you keep Iwobi, you should at least give Benacer a chance. We don’t even have money to buy players and let go players who were already known for great talent.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Hoping he gets a chance in a central position this season, very impressive there and it fits his style more.

Midwest Gooner
Midwest Gooner

Best news of the summer #IwobiLANS

Flash
Flash

While I appreciate your positivity, I hope you guys here will prove to be much more competent than pure statistics…
https://www.whoscored.com/Teams/977/Show/Nigeria-Nigeria

My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)
My Cousin Vinai (Formerly Faisal Narrage)

The importance of watching players and not just stats (basic stats at that).

Iwobi, Musa & Ndidi in particular have been Nigeria’s best player.
The fact that list has Mikel above Iwobi, even though he’s barely played (because ironically, Iwobi has taken his spot) says it all.

Drogheda Gunner
Drogheda Gunner

In other news not related to us, Harry maguire going to united for 80 million and Leicester replacing him with Lewis dunk for 45 million, what is the world coming to with these 2 average centre backs going for 125 million together. Lol. We might make a profit on mustafi yet. Ha

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth
The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Mustafi’s agent just needs to find him a British passport and remind everyone that he came through the Everton youth system. Then Aston Villa will probably bid 50M for him.

Santori
Santori

A lot of pundits repeat the proverbial sweet nothing that we lack cojones or fight.

Frankly what we are lacking is technical ability.

Aside from Iwobi (maybe Nelson now) and Laca, we have no players who can take on opponents one on one.

This is especially poignant considering we shed points aplenty away from home where teams tend to sit deep and constrict passing lanes making us go side to side.

Which is why a winger is critical to add (even with Nelson in first team)

We simply need the trickery and guile (not to mention a bit of pace) to either transition on the break more efficiently or cut through the lines when facing congestion.

Forget Zaha and Pepe (too pricey)

There are plenty of options in market – Ziyech, Fekir, Mariano, Thauvin, Neres, Everton, Carrasco.

Its all around 30-40m ball park at the moment but as apex predators have feted – RM with Hazard, Barca with Greizzman, Athletico with Joao Felix, the competition will start to dwindle toward our favour.

Price may come down slightly but we should be prepared to spend 30m (without distraction on Lback) and with some change left for Cback addition equally if not more crucial.

Kismayo
Kismayo

Iwobi was wasteful the game Nigeria agaisnt Algeria.

Limey
Limey

If he was a Spurs player he’d be back playing by the start of the season.
Just saying.