Everton boss Sean Dyche has praised Nigeria national football team midfielder Alex Iwobi for his incredible mentality which gave them a chance in their fight for Premier League safety.
Iwobi and Everton have struggled in the league this season thanks to a failure on former manager Frank Lampard's part to adapt to the demands of the season.
With Sean Dyche, they are relearning what it means to be a Premier League team but with only a few games to go, it could be too late for the team to achieve safety in a league they have never been relegated from.
Iwobi's struggles in the Premier League
Iwobi has been a key part of Everton's season, enjoying the most minutes since his move to Goodison Park in the 2019/20 season.
He has also been touted as one of the Toffees' most creative players and this season, he has gotten the opportunity to prove it to the fans of the Merseyside club.
The AFCON 2023 hopeful has repaid that faith in him with seven assists and two goals, which contributes to almost a third of the total goals scored by the club in the league this season. He, along with the rest of the Everton squad, has had some bad games, however, and his role as one of the team's main creators has exposed him to more criticism because of the burden of creativity on his shoulders.
One of those games was against Leicester City last Monday. Iwobi's error led to Jamie Vardy scoring on the stroke of halftime to give the Foxes the lead going into the second half.
Fellow Super Eagles men Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi would have been celebrating at the expense of their teammate but for his recovery in the second half to score an equaliser for Everton and seal a valuable point in their relegation scrap.
Alex Iwobi scores against Leicester City 🙌🏽
— Soar Super Eagles (@SSE_NGA) May 1, 2023
Dyche praised Iwobi's recovery and pointed out that the mentality he showed is what will help Everton stay afloat in the league.
“Iwobi has terrific work ethic and ability,” says Dyche
Everton are away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday. The tie could confirm their place in the bottom three because the Seagulls look unbeatable on paper and based on current form.
This places the burden on the shoulders of players like Iwobi to lift Everton to a favourable result against their opponents.
Ahead of the trip, Dyche recognised this fact and said some positive words about the Nigeria Super Eagles midfielder, who many in the Nigeria football news scene have touted as the man to herald the midfield for the national team ahead of the next AFCON qualifiers 2023 fixtures and beyond.
Speaking at the press conference before the Brighton game, Dyche said: “[Iwobi’s] work ethic is terrific, his show of ability at times is terrific, and to react to a mistake like he did and to go and score a goal shows his mentality.
“He is a very good player… That is the mentality you want, you can’t do anything once it has gone, once it’s gone it’s gone. You can reflect on it afterwards but not during the game.
Alex Iwobi against Leicester city
77% Accurate passes
14(8) Ground duels won
2(1) Aerial duels won
5(2) Long balls
4(3) Dribble attempts
3 Key passes
2 Shots on target
0.33 Expected Goals
Man of the match pic.twitter.com/cxy5Fwm2XW
— FansArena (@FansArena4) May 1, 2023
“I think that is a strong sign of people’s mentality – if they do make a mistake, how quickly they recover. Both of those players recovered very, very quickly.”
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Fans can stay updated with the live scores surrounding the Toffees, between now and the end of the month to see if they escape relegation.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago