Iwobi Reveals Instruction He's Been Given By Everton Boss

Alex Iwobi is ready to answer Carlo Ancelotti’s call for the forward to become one of Everton’s chief creative forces.

Iwobi is in line to feature when the Blues resume their Premier League campaign with a Goodison Park Merseyside derby on Sunday.

The Londoner started his Everton career back in August with two goals in his first two starts but is waiting to add to that tally.

Iwobi nevertheless insists manager Ancelotti is asking the 24-year-old to channel his energies into providing opportunities for teammates.

The player, who joined from Arsenal, was sidelined with a hamstring problem when Ancelotti took charge back in December but recovered to start twice before football was put in mothballs for three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was injured when the manager came so my focus was on getting fit and back in the team,” said Iwobi, who assisted 19 goals and scored 11 in 100 Premier League games – 70 starts – for Arsenal.

“He hasn’t put pressure on me to get goals, just to be fit and ready to go.


“The role I am playing, he wants me to provide more goals – I am an attacking player and need to score goals – but he wants me to create and assist more chances for my teammates.

“Hopefully, I can get more goals for my own sake but he hasn’t put that pressure on me.

“I grew up in a midfield role, playing behind the striker – but whether I am told to play on the left or right or in the centre, I have been playing all over in training – I feel I will be ready to help the team.

“You have to prove why there was so much hype about you [as a young player] and the only way you can do that is in games.

“I feel I am at the time in my career where I need to start doing that.

“I need to up my stats and improve a bit more.

“I think that will come… I am looking forward to restarting the season and, hopefully, I can prove myself.”

Iwobi had “one eye” on the forthcoming derby throughout lockdown – which he spent with family in London – but insists it was imperative to prepare with a mind to the congested calendar between now and 26 July.

He concedes nonetheless that the identity of this weekend’s opponents will help counter the onset of any fatigue following 105 days without a competitive fixture.

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02:12

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Even more so without a partisan Goodison crowd on hand to lift the home team.

“It is probably the best game to get us going,” said Iwobi, who disclosed the “calm and collected” Ancelotti is introducing an “attacking” and purposeful brand of football founded on retaining possession.

“It is a test against one of the best teams in the Premier League and a big derby, we don’t need any more motivation than that.

“It is like one big family here, so we don’t want a family member going into any challenge alone.

“We will be there for each other, running the extra yards.


“We have been going hard in training, it has been intense and we are excited to resume the season with this game.

“These are the games when you see how good a player you are and we are ready for the challenge.

“Even though we have no fans there we are on our own turf and more familiar with it than Liverpool.

“We like to play in front of our fans, especially in a game like this, but we will adjust.

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02:40 Fri 20 Sep 2019

LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S - TOMMY'S STORY

Evertonian explains how Club's charity helped him rebuild his world after dementia diagnosis.


“Growing up, we were used to playing in parks with no one there, or just family watching… we will adapt and enjoy our football.

“We all worked hard and kept in shape [during lockdown] and have worked hard in training.

"I feel good and sharp and ready to restart the season.”

The words Black Lives Matters are inscribed on the jerseys of every Premier League player for the ongoing opening round of games following Wednesday's top-flight restart.

Additionally, players are taking a knee in the moments before kick-offs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

For Iwobi, this collaborative action represents an example of footballers using their unquestionably powerful voices as a force for good.

He said: “We have a platform and people look up to us.

“We are able to speak about what we feel and whatever we can do to help society, we are willing to do it.

“It [players taking a knee] shows we are one race. We should all be one and it is nice to see we are supporting each other.

“Football is such a huge sport, not just the game but what it can do for people around the world.

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03:38 Fri 19 Jun 2020

EVERTONIAN ACTOR ROBIN MORRISSEY RECITES POWERFUL POEM FOR NHS

Poem written by Everton employee Colin Johnson.


“I have seen football change lives in the community, what it has done for people who are on the streets or don’t have the facilities we do.

“They are able to kick a ball and it brings a smile to their faces.

“Kids look up to us and idolise what we do – if they see us saying Black Lives Matter, they will want to understand why we are doing it.

“It is not just kids, it is fans everywhere, football has a huge impact around the world.

“The whole Black Lives Matter campaign and us doing that [taking a knee] before the game, I am sure, will impact the world.”