Arsenal fans weren’t impressed with Alex Iwobi’s performance against Newcastle, but the criticism on social media may be too harsh when looking at his statistics.
Despite the win, many fans were concerned that the Gunners only managed to scrape through the match by one goal, particularly after Newcastle rallied late on and almost found an equaliser.
One of the players who was perceived as being at fault for not putting the game to bed earlier was Alex Iwobi. He played as a winger opposite Alexis Sanchez, as Mesut Özil dropped into a number 10 role with Alexandre Lacazette ahead of him.
So the main criticism was that he didn’t manage to take advantage of this forward role to provide a goal or assist.
Iwobi still cannot shoot and it's letting him down
— El Patron (afc) (@jayjames4) December 16, 2017
Wenger no longer makes players better versions of themselves. Most stall or go backwards once in that starting XI. Xhaka the latest case in point. Iwobi & Bellerin burst into the first team & are now going nowhere. It was once his strength
— Greg (@GregAFC) December 17, 2017
— Sophia Nasimiyu (@Miss_Nasimiyu) December 16, 2017
— Adeeb (@adeebp_) December 16, 2017
— congunners (@congunners) December 16, 2017
For what it’s worth, I don’t think Iwobi was nearly as bad as people are saying. Only Mesut Özil created more chances than the 21-year-old, despite the early substitution, and it was his ball across the box that eventually led to the goal.
In fact, that ball probably would’ve been an assist if one of the players in the box had anticipated it better, as they all let it run and Alexis failed to place his shot very well.
Iwobi also completed five out of his six dribbles, achieved 91% pass accuracy, won the vast majority of his duels and added a couple of clearances and tackles. But as long as he isn’t scoring, there are always going to be doubters.