Unai Emery’s Arrival Has Helped Noticeably Improve Alex Iwobi’s Consistency

By on October 23, 2018

There has always been plenty of excitement surrounding Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian International broke into Arsenal’s starting XI under Arsene Wenger but despite plenty of hype and expectation, his performances have often flattered to deceive. Since the Frenchman’s departure, Iwobi’s form has noticeably improved and he is quickly becoming an integral part of this Gunners side. The 22-year old is clearly enjoying his football once again and Unai Emery must take the majority of the credit for finally unlocking the midfielder’s potential.

Source: Arsenal FC via Twitter

Iwobi’s recent performances have certainly caught the eye and his confidence appears to be sky high. His impressive display against Watford at the beginning of October prompted former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires to label him as a “difference maker” before going on to describe him as “a great player”. The Frenchman isn’t the only former Gunners star to have singled out the 22-year old for praise with Ian Wright suggesting that Iwobi can step up and replace Aaron Ramsey should the Welshman leave the Emirates at the end of the current campaign.

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for Alex Iwobi, whose anonymous displays last season left him subject to criticism from some sections of Arsenal fans, but his lack of regular game-time certainly didn’t help matters. He netted just three times in all competitions and struggled to make an impact from the bench on a number of occasions.

Emery has also noticed the upturn in performances recently and praised Iwobi’s “mentality” and it is the Spaniard’s public backing of the Arsenal number 17 that has helped give him the confidence to try new things such as his audacious nutmeg against Fulham at the beginning of October. He’s been one the biggest improvers this season and there is undoubtedly more to come from the Nigerian International. He continued his superb recent form by claiming an assist for the Super Eagles during their 4-0 thumping of Libya in the African Cup of Nations Qualifying.

Iwobi’s excellent form has coincided with Arsenal’s rise up the Premier League table. After losing back-to-back fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea, the Gunners have remained unbeaten since, winning seven games in a row which has seen them return to the top four. Despite their imperious form and the noticeable improvement in mentality under Unai Emery, the bookmakers remain uncertain about their chances of returning to the Champions League. Bet365 are offering 6/4 for Arsenal to finish in the top four this season and this price is likely to shorten if the Gunners are able to continue their winning sequence. The North London outfit are shorter than Manchester United in the betting but they look the value selection on current form. It’s one of many Premier League betting markets offered by Bet365 who also have a number of regular offers which may be of interest to Gunners fans such as the Euro Soccer Bonus and the Bore Draw Money Back, all of which are detailed by Oddschecker.

Iwobi hasn’t always been a regular starter this campaign but his recent displays have certainly put him firmly in contention for a place in the starting XI which gives Unai Emery a selection headache.

The Gunners star told reporters “I’m more positive and more confident with the ball” and explained that Emery has given him the belief to avoid dwelling on his mistakes and stopped him being too self-critical. A large part of the game is psychological and this is clearly something that Iwobi found difficult to overcome but his new found confidence is reaping rewards. He also credits his new training regime as part of the reason for his upturn in fortunes, with all of the players benefiting from Emery’s intense daily schedule which has helped the squad improve their overall match sharpness.

He’s impressed Arsenal fans this season and many are hoping that he’s no longer restricted to cameo performances throughout the next couple of months. He’s been the standout performer in Carabao Cup and Europa League matches and deserves to feature more often in the top flight. Some supporters believe that there is a better balance to the side with Iwobi on the pitch and they’re hoping to see the 22-year old be given the freedom to play on a regular basis. His ball-carrying abilities are unique to the side with very few of the current Arsenal squad able to run at the opposition or turn defence into attack.

The 22-year is continuing to catch the eye and his good form is likely to help Arsenal’s quest for a top four spot this season. He’s finally fulfilling his potential and the arrival of Unai Emery has certainly helped him rediscover his mojo after a frustrating spell at the Emirates.