Emery applauds Iwobi attitude but wants further improvement

Arsenal attacker Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi caught the eye of Arsenal coach Unai Emery on Saturday, though the Spaniard thinks he can still improve tactically.

Unai Emery was impressed with Alex Iwobi’s performance in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town, but he still thinks the Nigerian has room for improvement.

Iwobi scored the opening goal at the John Smith’s Stadium, his volley deflecting in off Terence Kongolo following a left-wing cross from Sead Kolasinac.

It was his third Premier League goal of the season, matching his total for last term despite making seven fewer starts.

The 22-year-old looked particularly bright at the start of the campaign and appeared to have adapted well to Emery’s system following the departure of Arsene Wenger.

His form had tailed off before Saturday’s victory, but Emery knows where Iwobi can improve and believes the attacker has the right attitude.

“He’s young, makes a big commitment and he has good physical condition,” Emery told reporters.

“He needs to improve something tactically, maybe, but above all he’s calm with the ball in the attacking third [in order] to find better assists, finding the possibility to score with composure, or find the best option, whether that is shooting or dribbling.

“He scored [on Saturday], got another very good chance and the possibility to assist [Alexandre] Lacazette, but I think his match – first starting with his attitude – was very big, and his performance was very good.”

Arsenal have lost three of their last seven games in the Premier League, with Liverpool, West Ham and Manchester City all defeating them.

As such, questions have been raised over Emery’s tactics and the team’s adaptation to them, but the coach insists it is a process that does not have a specific end point.

“Each training, each match is a big a challenge,” Emery added. “You can win, lose, draw, but the most important thing is going ahead thinking about creating – little by little – an identity, collective spirit, team feeling.

“This is one process. It’s not finishing or starting now. It’s a process, we can improve a lot.”

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