Arsenal legend Ian Wright Blasts Boss Arsene Wenger for Playing Alex Iwobi Against Chelsea
Wenger selected the Nigerian for the second time in four days following claims he was partying into the early hours of Saturday morning — less than 48 hours before the Gunners were dumped out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest.
The 21-year-old is in hot water after a video emerged of him dancing and screaming at a flat in Soho, allegedly filmed at 2.37am the day before the FA Cup third-round tie.
Iwobi started in the Gunners’ shock 4-2 loss at the City Ground on Sunday and Wenger has stated the player will be hit with a fine if these partying claims are proved true.
The forward was then handed his second starting berth in four days in the first leg of the semi-final against Chelsea — leaving the likes of Theo Walcott on the bench.
And a furious Wright claimed that these decisions send the wrong message to players and only serves to make the club a ‘joke’.
Wright said on Sky Sports: ‘In the current climate, for a young player to go out and do that with Arsenal going through what they’re going through now — experienced players wanting to leave, there’s no leadership — Arsene Wenger should have made a better stance on this. A stronger stance.
‘Because Arsenal have got to find what we are losing at the moment. People laugh at us — they see it as a bit of a joke with what’s going on at the moment — players don’t want to be there. It just feels like we are losing control.’
‘What’s it saying to Theo?,’ he added. ‘He’s got a youngster that’s gone out less than 48 hours before the game, still plays in that game, plays in this game and you can’t get a game in front of him.
‘You’ve got to start thinking about your own future.’
Wright alluded to the stricter guidelines and the more magnified lens through which players of today are seen.
But the former England international claimed fierce rivals Manchester United would not allow themselves to be embroiled in a similar situation, even in the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Wright believes players should know what is acceptable and what is not — all stemming from the manager.
‘I think (Jose) Mourinho wouldn’t have that. I don’t think a Man United player would (go out 48 hours before a game).
‘I remember when we were playing in that great Man United era, you hardly read about their players doing stuff like that.
‘You’re hearing about Alex Ferguson going around to people’s houses and throwing them out. They just didn’t do it.’