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Iwobi continues to shake unfortunate tag



Alex Iwobi

There was a time not all that long ago when it appeared as though Alex Iwobi was destined to become a tale of what could have been. While there has never been any doubting his natural ability, struggles for consistency made it difficult to turn doubters into believers.


Despite graduating out of a famed academy system at Arsenal, questions were forever asked of whether a mercurial talent would ever be anything more than unlocked potential. A change of scenery when swapping north London for the North West of England allowed a professional slate to be wiped clean.

Unfortunately, early goings at Everton proved to be as tricky as late ones at Emirates Stadium. Collective issues when it comes to the collection of positive results on Merseyside have done Iwobi’s cause few favours, with the Toffees often finding the going a little sticky.



They avoided relegation by a narrow margin in 2021-22 and stumbled out of the blocks again this term. Little favour was being found on the Goodison Park terraces or further afield, with promotional codes relating to welcome offers and free league bets unlikely to be squandered on a Premier League outfit that was unable to establish forward momentum.

The tide has been turning slowly, though, for a side working under the guidance of England icon Frank Lampard, with Iwobi very much at the fore. He began to prosper towards the end of last season, with a positional switch delivering a most welcome and long-overdue reversal in fortune.

Having spent too long toiling on the flanks as a wide attacking player, the all-action performer was moved into the centre of midfield. With more of the ball being seen in areas of the field where he can make a real impact, his creative qualities and impressive vision have been put to good use.

Lampard has said of a fuse being lit: “It’s not a surprise. When I came in there was almost a little bit of negativity around Alex from certain areas outside, people kind of boxed him off, but I understood straight away that the dressing room respected him and that’s a big deal.”




It helps that Iwobi is now working under a manager that knows all about the art of keeping an engine room running. Lampard was one of the finest midfielders the world has ever seen and will have priceless nuggets of advice to pass on.

The message appears to be getting through to a player that left his head stuck in the sand for far too long. Numerous coaches had tried to get the best out of him, but all had been unable to put the pieces of an intricate puzzle together in the right order.

Iwobi has continued to catch the eye at international level for Nigeria, with there no doubting his value to the Super Eagles’ cause as they seek to bounce back from a failed bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and it appears that stars are beginning to align for club and country as unfortunate tags are shaken off by a man that is threatening to become the player he always believed he could be.

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