Yesterday Arsenal got back to winning ways and on the scoresheet in the 2-0 win at Everton were Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi.
After impressing at the Camp Nou, the Arsenal youngster was given his full Premier League debut by Arsene Wenger and he was immense. I’m not talking about his pace, determination and even his goal, but I’m talking about his footballing intelligence.
At 19, he’s much younger than Theo Walcott (27) and a couple of years younger than Raheem Sterling (21). Both Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling are full England internationals, and are both included in Roy Hodgson’s latest squad to face Germany and The Netherlands in a few weeks.
But even at the tender age of 19, his performances against Barcelona and Everton show that his quality and maturity are no fluke – and he is the real deal.
Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling are over hyped players who rely on their electric pace. Theo Walcott is a decent finisher to boot, but isn’t a team player, can’t link up well with others and in terms of his passing is poor for a professional footballer. Considering he came to Arsenal at 17 years of age he hasn’t actually progressed as he should have. Look at Gareth Bale – a massive wanker when at Spurs but you can’t doubt he’s fulfilled his potential. Theo on the other had has stagnated – why in the last 10 years has he not learnt a trick, and how to use skill to beat a defender? He is only effective if he’s played in behind the oppositions defence – otherwise he’s useless – hence his lack of appearances this season.
Sterling is not much better. He shows a bit more intelligence than Theo but £49 million? That is obscene and while he offers pace in abundance, he still lacks the maturity on the ball and it’s no co-incidence that Manchester City’s failings in the Premier League have come when Sterling has joined the club.
Alex Iwobi however is a different story. The boy has pace, bravery but most importantly of all footballing intelligence and maturity – he understands the game. His touch and vision are also very good for 19 years of age and he is clearly a player who can progress and develop in a team which has an ethos for beautiful football.
The touches and movement he showed (along with Sanchez, Özil and Welbeck yesterday) were top drawer and showed an excellent understanding of the game.
In recent months Arsenal fans haven’t had too much to sing about, but the emergence of Alex Iwobi is extremely promising and Arsenal supporters should be getting excited.
If he doesn’t play every game from now until the end of the season, I would be very disappointed.