Yobo has upbeat outlook for Iwobi

  08/04/2020  30 Comments  [Jump to last]

After scoring two goals in his first two starts for Everton, Alex Iwobi has failed to deliver on the promise of his high-value move from Arsenal that could cost the club up to £34M.

However, former Blues defender and fellow Nigerian international Joseph Yobo believes the attacking midfielder needs to be given more time to impress:

“Arsenal is a club he knew too well because he came through the academy and he understands the structure of how they play — a style he knows.

“Moving to Everton was a good move for him because he wanted more game time. Unfortunately, it takes a longer time to settle down in a new environment because only a few players move to another club and settle immediately,

“In between him adapting, he had a number of good performances for Everton. He was getting familiar with how Everton play and was becoming one of the key figures in the team before his injury.

“After his injury, it also took him time to break into the team because Everton also have other good players as well, all that happened before Coronavirus ensured the league was suspended.

“I think we should be patient with him because we can't doubt his talent. He has unbelievable talent and work rate.

“I know he is going to achieve more with Everton, it is just the timing of everything happening to him. He will surely come good.”

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Reader Comments (30)

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Dave Williams
1 Posted 08/04/2020 at 12:49:52
Agreed. For so many midfielders they have to have the complete unit functioning before they can really show what they can do. Gomes for example needs a ballwinner to put the tackles in and feed him short balls out of defence. Iwobi isn’t a tackler but get the ball to him beyond the opposition CMs and he will do damage. Gomes can put him in space but the missing link is that dominant physical guy who will also protect the defence. I think Iwobi will come good but only once we have sorted the ball winner.
Derek Knox
2 Posted 08/04/2020 at 13:15:34
I wasn't too disappointed when we first signed him from Arsenal, although I was a bit taken aback when I learned what we may eventually pay for him.

He started off looking like he would fit in but a few cameo appearances later, and a few of those being absolute nightmares, has changed my mind on him.

Hopefully when we ever return to normality, he will either pick up or he will get shipped out.

Sam Hoare
3 Posted 08/04/2020 at 13:50:39
We paid £28m for him which is probably about £8m too much but Emery didn't want to let him go and we had struck out on our other options.

He's very creative from open play and is able to pick good passes into space behind the defense or into the box. Not many of our players can do that.

He's not really a winger as he's not super quick and is at his best playing as the inside forward or possibly as a ten if we play one. He's got quick feet, a good touch, good vision and passes accurately. Think him and Bernard will be competing for that left inside forward slot next year with an out and out winger on the right.

He's only 23 so he's got alot of football ahead of him and I think he'll do well for us once he gets a run though it's possible that Ancelotti's 442 will not suit him. He needs to add a few more goals to his game. More like the screamer he scored in the Europa final last year would do!

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 08/04/2020 at 14:49:37
I wish I had Joseph Yobo’s confidence in Iwobi, to say he has ‘ Unbelievable talent and work rate’ contradicts almost everything I have seen in his play but I would love to be proved wrong.
Brian Williams
5 Posted 08/04/2020 at 15:26:47
Dave#4. Doubt you will be mate. Although the lad's got "some" talent he always reminds me of the kid who gets allowed to play and then runs round not really knowing what to do while trying really hard.
Kevin Prytherch
6 Posted 08/04/2020 at 15:38:48
I think this guy will rival Sigurdsson, Keane and Schneiderlin in the waste of big money stakes. I hope I’m proved wrong.
Ajay Gopal
7 Posted 08/04/2020 at 16:11:20
Kevin (6) . ’and, Bolasie, Sandro, Ashley Williams, Davy Klaasen, Vlasic, and ’. Need I go on?
Kevin Prytherch
8 Posted 08/04/2020 at 16:46:02
I wonder what our biggest waste of money XI would look like?
Tony Everan
9 Posted 08/04/2020 at 16:50:08
He needs to adapt and force his way into the team on the left in the 4-4-2 or he wont start many games. At the moment he is still the plucky substitute that he always has been . The time has come for him to cross the divide and become an indispensable player and starter. He is still a bit immature in his play and at 23 and needs to knuckle down and show us some proper disciplined football.

I can fully understand the big doubts about him, he has been at the very best mediocre. He young though and for me he still has next season to prove he has got what it takes.

As nice a guy as Carlo Ancellotti is, make no mistake there will be a no-nonsense ruthless streak if players are not performing to his standards.

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 08/04/2020 at 17:01:43
Ajay (7), I don’t think Vlasic should go on that list, we made a decent profit on him and if he had stayed, it was his preference to go, we might have had a very good player and made a much bigger profit on him.
Martin Berry
11 Posted 08/04/2020 at 19:37:15
We have yet to see the players true potential and at 23 he has time. There is no doubt he has a lot of talent, the problem will be where exactly will we play him and what is his best position ?
Derek Taylor
12 Posted 09/04/2020 at 13:06:21
Since Moshiri adopted our club, we appear to have paid out £millions to relieve other clubs of their dross. If Ancelotti only curbs the generosity of our DoFs he will have achieved something !
Conor McCourt
13 Posted 09/04/2020 at 14:36:14
This was a signing that I warned last summer that was like something from the Walsh era and Brands should be held solely accountable as Silva clearly didn't want.

He reminds me of Bolasie in that he's a really talented boy but has no end product and will no doubt at times excite but more so frustrate. I can't believe Sams comment that Emery wanted him to stay considering he was picking kids before him and was struggling to make their bench hence Arsenal couldn't believe their luck when we came calling and bit our hands off.

I feel really sorry for Alex as he came to Everton for game time and to play in his favoured position but Silva often foolishly stuck with the ill performing Siggy there while under Ancelottis rigid system any chance of him proving a success are surely gone.

I would have liked to have seen him on the right of a midfield three as I think that would play to his strengths but feel that Carlo will probably offload to try and recoup some cash to fund a natural right winger with more of a goal threat.

Andrew Brookfield
14 Posted 09/04/2020 at 16:10:27
That's simply not true though, he played more minutes for Arsenal last season than any other player.
Conor McCourt
15 Posted 09/04/2020 at 18:37:05
Andrew I was talking about in the built up to the season. The likes of Martinelli, Mattock, Saka and Nelson all had moved ahead of him in the pecking order and he hardly featured preseason so I question whether Emery was desperate for him to stay and that was obviously why he chose to join us.

Yes he played a lot the previous season as you rightly point out due to Arsenal playing in a lot of competitions but he only played the 90 mins in the PL in 7 matches so even then wasn't the mainstay you are implying.

Andrew Presly
16 Posted 09/04/2020 at 19:09:53
Not good enough at any specific attribute, like Tosun in front of him, Davies next to him & Keane behind him, to make him viable long term if we want to go anywhere above 8th. Typical of us to try for a genuine game changer like Zaha, fail and turn to Iwobi.

Finally playing two upfront slightly obfuscates the need for him to score more than once every 3 months which could help buy him some time but he’s not a player who’ll take us where we supposedly want to be and it reflects poorly on Brands that he wanted or sanctioned this signing.

Jeff Armstrong
17 Posted 09/04/2020 at 19:24:18
Sorry to be simplistic,but he’s shit and a waste of money.
Paul Rimmer
18 Posted 09/04/2020 at 19:41:44
Can't see him making the grade at Everton. He doesn't use his left foot much and isn't rapid enough to go round a left back so can only play off the left. He played pretty well against Chelsea at Goodison but was poor against Burnley and Leicester (where his first touch was abysmal) in the Cup. Bernard is a better player in my opinion and links up well with Digne so chances will be limited for Iwobi and I see him being shipped on.
Robert Tressell
19 Posted 09/04/2020 at 20:45:33
Conor I see him as v different to Bolasie. Bolasie has (had) pace and a few circus tricks but his use of a football was poor. Iwobi is intelligent / ambitious with the ball and is always looking to play in runners. He'll look better when the movement ahead of him is better (he was the one person trying to pick out some v good runs by moise kean). Don't get me wrong I thought he was a weird signing and not what we needed but he's not terrible.
Jay Woods
20 Posted 09/04/2020 at 21:11:07
Yobo is looking out for his fellow countryman, which is understandable. Doesn't make him right, though... not yet anyway. Maybe in a year or two - if normality returns within that timescale - he'll improve, but short of a phenomenal effort on his part, it seems unlikely.
Conor McCourt
21 Posted 09/04/2020 at 21:53:44
Sorry Robert I agree with most of your analysis but my comparison with Bolasie was in terms of the fee and end product as opposed to comparing them as players as like you I don't see Iwobi as a winger.

The trouble I have with Alex is that I watched him breakthrough at Arsenal and is still the same talented but frustrating player so I hold little hope for progression. The only hope is that his uncle improved with age and moving centrally. I think his best performance for us was against a poor West Ham when he was superb but I don't think he offers enough of a goal threat there so that's why I would have wanted to see him deeper in a three.

Obviously Carlo is having great success with the front two but with such poor options wide I don't understand why Carlo wouldn't opt for a diamond with Iwobi right, Delph left and Siggy at the tip behind the front two and Gomes holding. I think that way he would be putting round pegs in round holes, prevent us from getting overrun in midfield while not interfering with his deadly strike force.

Paul Jones
22 Posted 11/04/2020 at 04:03:25
When bought, a very underwhelming signing for a massive fee and performances have reflected that fans have greater foresight than those who are paid a large salary to recommend players.
Peter Gorman
23 Posted 11/04/2020 at 11:40:46
The lad is 23 years of age - plenty of time to come good.
Sam Hoare
24 Posted 11/04/2020 at 15:58:59
Conor @15, I don't think pre-season is the best indicator of who the coach wants to play. I think Emery liked Iwobi, as shown by how many minutes he got in the previous season, and think he would have featured a lot. The likes of Martinelli, Mattock and Nelson have not played huge amounts of time.

As Robert says, Iwobi is an intelligent passer and was probably better suited to Arsenal than with us, though I suspect he was told he would get more time in the middle which is where he's at his best. Shame he didn't replace Sigurdsson more often under Silva.

Sam Hoare
25 Posted 11/04/2020 at 16:52:55
Also, Bolasie will get us zero or near zero money back though, if we were to sell Iwobi now, I'd be very surprised if we didn't get at least £15-18m. I reckon we overpaid by about £8m, he may have proved worth it if given a run as No 10 but Silva kept faith with Sigurdsson and now we may never know.
Conor McCourt
26 Posted 11/04/2020 at 17:57:48
Sam, Normally I would agree with you about preseason but I'm only surmising from what was said at the time and his words after joining us.

Two attackers were purchased in Pepe and Martinelli, both of more substance than Iwobi, while Nelson came back from Hoffenheim. In addition, Saka was getting rave reviews underage last season. That's four new players to compete with so I wouldn't be as confident as you on his game time.

When Emery played Alex, it was often from the right or left and he didn't play him in the middle, even when Ozil was dropped. He had Aubemayang and Saka (Tierney got injured after) for the left, Pepe and Nelson for the right and Ozil, Ceballos and Willock for the centre with Martinelli an attacker who can play all three. Nelson's game time has been curtailed through injury.

He didn't perform as well for Arsenal last season as you are suggesting and some fans were on his back, so that's why I feel Arsenal struck gold in offloading him for that fee.

Sam Hoare
27 Posted 11/04/2020 at 21:44:45
Conor, he had the third most assists at Arsenal last year despite not taking set pieces. He had some of the best stats in the league for second assists and getting passes into the box. His end product was not always there and as we know some fans will always get on the backs of 90% players.

He's not one of their key players necessarily but I think he would have played more minutes than Martinelli, Pepe or any of those others. He would not have got time in the middle though and that may be why he left.

I agree Arsenal did well with the fee but I think the fee was that high because they weren't at all desperate for him to leave.

I hope he gets a run. I'd try him as a box to boxer. Not ideal but his tackling can't be worse than Gomes's and his passing is more incisive and ball carrying is better. Unlikely. But he'll hopefully get chances as inside forward off the left.

Conor McCourt
28 Posted 11/04/2020 at 23:27:22
Sam, Iwobi is a very decent passer, no doubt, but boasting about his assists when you had Lacazette and Aubameyang on fire can be very misleading as it's an assist because, more often than not, they took their chance.

I watched quite a bit of him and he blew hot and cold as he has done throughout his Arsenal career and was regularly subbed when starting and visa versa.

If you think Iwobi is in the same class as the likes of Pepe and Martinelli, I will respectfully disagree.

Sam Hoare
29 Posted 12/04/2020 at 07:42:06
Conor, the strikers are irrelevant when comparing with his own team-mates who had the same strikers obviously. He got more assists than the likes of Ozil and Mkhitaryan with a similar amount of minutes.

I didn't say he was same class as Pepe (who cost over £70M!) but that he'd have still got a lot of minutes at Arsenal this season. Clearly Emery liked him. Which is why we couldn't get him cheaper... which was my original point.

He does blow hot and cold and I think his challenge was to establish himself as an automatic starter with us. Looks like he may struggle to do that now under Ancelloti but, if he did get a run of games in a team with good movement, I think we'd see better than we have so far.

Drew O'Neall
30 Posted 07/05/2020 at 23:55:06
Good eye for a pass and can get his head up when he's running at defenders too, which is rare...

But where does he play?

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