Like most Gooners, Ian Wright was pretty confused when he saw Alex Iwobi’s name on Arsenal’s team sheet on Wednesday night.
Iwobi’s name was in the press this week after the 21-year-old allegedly went out partying 48 hours before Arsenal’s humiliating 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
However, despite Wenger insisting that Iwobi would be punished during his pre-Chelsea press conference, the forward was given the nod for the first leg of Arsenal’s League Cup semi-final clash at Stamford Bridge.
“In the current climate, for a young player to go out and do that with Arsenal going through what they’re going through now — experienced players wanting to leave, there’s no leadership — Arsene Wenger should have made a better stance on this. A stronger stance,” Wright explained on Sky Sports.
“Because Arsenal have got to find what we are losing at the moment. People laugh at us — they see it as a bit of a joke with what’s going on at the moment — players don’t want to be there. It just feels like we are losing control.”
Most of the line-up Wenger put out against Antonio Conte’s men was inevitable considering the amount of injuries, but the choice to start Iwobi over Alexis Sanchez seemed more like a statement than a tactical decision.
Not that the Chilean, who’s been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City this month, has exactly been on fire this season.
The point Wright’s making is that if players are allowed to go out, take their job for granted and still play, how can they expect people to take Arsenal seriously?
Similar questions were asked when Chuba Akpom featured during the Forest defeat. The 22-year-old, who was recently found guilty of drink driving, got brought on as a sub for three minutes.
There’s been no word of an internal punishment from the club either, unlike Wayne Rooney, who was fined £300k by Everton for doing the same thing.