Unai Emery credited with improving Arsenal midfielder
Alan Smith believes that Unai Emery deserves credit for getting the best out of Alex Iwobi this season
Alan Smith believes that Unai Emery deserves credit for getting the best out of Alex Iwobi at Arsenal this season.
The Spanish manager has been getting used to life in charge at The Emirates after having taken over from Arsene Wenger at the north London side back in May.
Iwobi has been a regular fixture in the Arsenal side so far this season and the midfielder has been earning praise for his solid displays for the Gunners.
Ahead of the Premier League clash with Watford on Saturday, Iwobi had scored one goal and made two assists in all competitions for the Gunners.
And Smith believes that new Arsenal manager Emery deserves praise for helping to get some of the best form out of Iwobi this season.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Smith said: “It has been enlightening and heartening to watch Alex Iwobi shine this season.
“Though not a regular Premier League starter, the youth product, by featuring in the cup competitions, has given us a glimpse of the promise first seen on initially emerging two years ago.
“Since then, however, Iwobi’s progress has stalled, leading to some Arsenal fans getting on his back.
“Ponderous in possession, first touch often heavy, you could see the uncertainty in everything he did.
“I wondered if he would ever bounce back to reach full potential.
“Lately, though, it has been the exact opposite. The 22-year-old looks powerful and positive with or without the ball, as if he understands his role.
“We hear he feels confident under Unai Emery, suggesting the new manager has devoted some time to improving the attacker.
“This all adds up to good news for the team as a whole, since Iwobi’s game can provide something different when Emery sees fit.”
Arsenal are aiming to try and break back into the top four at the very least this season after the Gunners finished in sixth place and without a trophy under Wenger last term.
The north London side have not won the Premier League title since their famous unbeaten triumph in the 2003-04 campaign.