Arsenal news: Alex Iwobi reveals exactly how Unai Emery and Mesut Ozil have helped to raise his game

Iwobi was named man of the match for his starring role in Arsenal's win over Leicester

Luke Brown@lukedbrown
Tuesday 23 October 2018 11:45
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Alex Iwobi was superb for Arsenal
Alex Iwobi was superb for Arsenal

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi has paid testament to the leadership qualities of Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery – revealing that both men have helped him reach a new level of performance this season.

Handed the captain’s armband and reinstated in his favoured position down the middle, Ozil was utterly superb in the 3-1 win over Leicester, scoring the equaliser and playing a key role in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second-half brace.

But it was Iwobi who ended up with the man of the match award, having impressed in his fourth start of the Premier League season.

And after the game Iwobi was quick to pay tribute to Ozil’s leadership skills, explaining how the German had demanded more from him as Arsenal chased the match.

The German inspired the turnaround

“I have been training with him since I was 17 and I have seen what he can do,” Iwobi said. “The quality he has is not just in training but as you can see in the match last night, he is a world-class player and he proved that again.

“Mesut will come across as laid back but he is helping everyone in a different way and he helps me a lot.

“He gives me advice in a different way: he jokes around but always tell me I can do more – even [against Leicester] he was saying I can do more, he is always one of those guys.

“But he is always happy, always telling me and giving me the confidence to express myself so it helps me.”

Iwobi, 22, struggled for form during Arsene Wenger’s final season at Arsenal but has been a man transformed since Emery’s appointment in the summer.

The Nigeria international has been a key beneficiary of Emery’s expansive tactical philosophy, as well as his exacting brand of man-management.

Iwobi has flourished under the management of Emery

“For me, he has just given me confidence to express myself, to believe in my ability which I have been trying to show and basically also in training he is always letting me try new things, be positive, be direct and prove it in the game,” Iwobi said of his new boss.

“It is working for me so I just have to keep it going. I am more confident, I feel that even if I make a mistake I am able to go again. I think that is the difference between me last year and this year.”

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