Posted on October 4, 2017
LONDON — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger challenged Alex Iwobi to provide 10 goals and 10 assists this season after the forward scored his first of the campaign in Sunday’s 2-0 home win over Brighton.
Iwobi started in place of the injured Mesut Ozil and made it 2-0 when he rifled home a backheel from Alexis Sanchez in the 56th minute.
Speaking at his postmatch news conference, Wenger said: “A player like him must score 10 goals, and he must as well give between six and 10 assists, and that’s what I want from him.
“He is the kind of player who has good availability, helps you a lot to get out of pressure and creates spaces. But what you want from him is final balls and goals as well.”
It was Arsenal’s fourth straight clean sheet in the league, and they have six wins and one draw in all competitions since being thrashed 4-0 at Liverpool.
And Wenger said the mood had changed completely, adding: “Just before our last international break was a nightmare, but this one is a bit better.
“After the game at Liverpool, everybody wrote us off. I knew that it just depended on us, and how much we responded.
“Nothing is permanent. You’re not bad in a permanent way if you can do something about it. And you’re not good in a permanent way if you don’t keep your urgency.
“So we responded in a united way, and we put some wins together and some good performances as well.”
Arsenal remain six points behind the two Manchester clubs, but Wenger said he believed high-flying City and United could yet be caught.
“It’s very early — seven games played, 31 to go,” he said. “Last year after six games, Man City were top with 18 points. So let’s not jump to quick conclusions.
“They [City] played outstandingly yesterday [against Chelsea], but there’s a long way to go.”
The Brighton game marked Wenger’s 21st anniversary at Arsenal, but he said: “I wouldn’t like to reflect on that too much.
“When you’re 21 years somewhere, you know that you have good and bad moments.
“No one can make 21 years and only fly. What I love in the game is also to deal with bad moments and find a response.”