Alex Iwobi: Arsenal youngsters are giving Unai Emery a selection headache after FA Cup win at Blackpool

Nineteen-year-old academy graduate Joe Willock scored twice at Bloomfield Road on Saturday

Tom Kershaw
Sunday 06 January 2019 15:20
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Alex Iwobi says Arsenal’s crop of talented youngsters are giving manager Unai Emery a selection headache.

Nineteen-year-old academy graduate Joe Willock scored twice in the Gunners 3-0 victory at Blackpool on Saturday in the FA Cup third round, while Eddie Nketiah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles also started.

Existing 17-year-old strike prospect Bukayo Saka also came off the bench to make his fourth senior appearance for the club.

“We knew it was going to be difficult and it’s not like the Emirates where it’s a big pitch. It’s all tight and compact, but we managed and we were able to focus on the game and do well,” Iwobi told Arsneal.com.

“Blackpool are a good team. They fight well and they win aerial duels and we knew we were going to be up against it but we dug deep to get the result.

“It’s good that we have youngsters like Joe and Eddie who came in and did well. Even Bukayo Saka who came on. We have a lot of pace in the team.

“It’s one for the manager, there’s going to be a lot of headaches for who he has to play if we keep on fighting for positions and getting three goals.”

However, Arsenal’s cruise to victory was in part overshadowed by protests against Blackpool owner Own Oysten.

A supporter delayed Arsenal’s departure from their hotel by sitting on top of the team bus while the majority of home fans boycotted the fixture.

The Tangerines have taken just one point from their last five games in League One and manager Terry McPhillips admitted he was disappointed by his side’s lack of incision.

Terry McPhillips' side are lost for form while fans continue to boycott games

“The first goal kills us in respect of we shouldn’t have given the free-kick away and then we didn’t react well enough,” McPhillips said. “In the second half I obviously wanted us to get the next goal.

“When we got the next goal at their place they went a little bit. That was the key, we didn’t get it. There weren’t many clear-cut chances. We had lots of balls around their box and I think we had six corners and some free-kicks but we didn’t do well enough like we did down there.

“The game’s gone now and we dust ourselves down and get back to the league games where we need to get back to winning ways. We’ve enjoyed the cup runs and I think we’ve made the club a large amount of money and given a good account of ourselves.”

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