'Non-Stop' Iwobi's Priceless Attribute

Alex Iwobi says feels he can “run non-stop” during matches – and says his impressive stamina gives him the belief he can make key contributions until the final whistle.

Iwobi was a fixture in Frank Lampard’s team in the closing months of the 2021/22 campaign, with his relentless energy a vital component of the Blues’ high-octane performances.

The Nigerian completed the full match in each of Everton’s final 12 top-flight games of the season, a sequence that kicked off with Iwobi scoring a dramatic 99th-minute winner against Newcastle United at Goodison Park.

Manager Lampard has described Iwobi as “someone I can rely on”, paying tribute to the 26-year-old’s professionalism, work-ethic and endurance. 

“In the games, I feel I can run non-stop,” explained Iwobi, who is currently on international duty with Nigeria.

“As soon as the final whistle goes, I am shattered and think, ‘How have I done that?’

“I have been dropping on the pitch, falling on my knees or to the floor. It comes on instantly, the feeling of, ‘I am done’.

“The manager has faith in my ability to run for 90 minutes, to give the same level of effort for the whole game.

“It gives me a massive confidence boost and I appreciate it.”

Iwobi also explained how his unflagging performances are validating the results of blood tests undergone by every Everton squad member last summer.

“They showed I should be one of the best runners in the team,” says Iwobi.

“I don’t know the specifics, I don’t understand the science, it is something to do with lactate. Doucs [Abdoulaye Doucoure], Andros [Townsend] and I were top.

“It’s weird, it’s always been there. I have always been able to run like I am now.

“There is nothing different about my training.

“I think my teammates knew I had that stamina, especially after the blood tests. Now they are seeing it… ‘You weren’t lying, you can run!’”

In Lampard, Iwobi believes he has a manager who fully appreciates his wide range of qualities. 

And he revealed the Everton boss’s message following a game Iwobi regards as the turning point in his season.

“When you get the chance in the team, you have you take it, and I feel the Leeds match [a dominant 3-0 on 12 February] was big for me,” Iwobi added.

“Evertonians demand you run around and give a lot of effort.

“The manager told me that was the first thing I needed to do. I did it – and showed what I could do on the ball.

“Since then, he said, ‘I’ve shown faith in you and you’ve repaid me, keep it going’.”

Alex Iwobi
The manager has faith in my ability to run for 90 minutes, to give the same level of effort for the whole game. It gives me a massive confidence boost.