Alex Iwobi started in a 3-1 win for Nigeria on Friday, but his performance has been criticised in the country despite their victory.
Iwobi started and played 72 minutes of Nigeria’s match against Seychelles, coming off with his team 2-1 in the lead.
Nonetheless, AllNigeriaSoccer weren’t pleased with the Arsenal man’s performance. They gave him a 5.5 out of 10, the joint-lowest score on the team, and wrote: “Misplaced a couple of passes in the final third and left a lot to be desired of his work rate.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng included him in their article on Nigeria stars who ‘performed woefully’ on the day, adding: “The Arsenal star featured for most part of the match but his impact was hardly felt by his teammates.”
As one of the stars of his country’s team already, aged 22, there’s always going to be a bit of extra scrutiny on Iwobi’s performances. Nigerian supporters see what he does for Arsenal on a weekly basis and they expect him to do the same or better for them too. Any player can have an off-game though. Hopefully, that’s all this was.
Iwobi has five goals and seven assists for Arsenal this season, including a goal against Chelsea and two assists against Liverpool. He also scored a vital away goal against Rennes, without which the Gunners may well have exited the competition given Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ first-half red card.
The winger has a chance to prove how important he is to Nigeria in their second fixture against Egypt on Tuesday.