With the home crowd groaning after he took a swipe at thin air when attempting to connect with a Demarai Gray cross, it was a tough day in the office for Everton’s Alex Iwobi against West Ham United but there was another element of his game that has been described as “unforgivable.”
Nobody would question Iwobi’s commitment and the Nigerian international produced a hard-working display in the Blues’ 1-0 defeat, getting himself into good positions on several occasions but the lack of end product proved telling.
Speaking in the ECHO’s Royal Blue podcast, Dave Prentice said: “There was some analysis of Alex Iwobi’s game on television that was quite damning.
“They were pointing out that it was key passes zero, tackles zero, interceptions zero, and there was a whole list of facets of the game he got zero in.
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“That can happen, depending on what part of the pitch you’re playing in but the one for me that was really damning I thought was the number of times he gave away possession.
“Out of about 11 moments, he gave away the ball four or five times and it was notable.
“That’s unforgivable really. You’ve got to keep possession, you’ve got to keep the ball.
“After quarter of an hour you’re thinking, ‘are we going to get a kick here?’ because West Ham, from the start, were absolutely dominant.
“You thought ‘Rafa will make a change here, he’ll try and change things a little bit’ and we did get a little bit of a toe-hold in the game but nothing more than that and that’s because we were giving away possession.”
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Iwobi wasn’t the only member of the side in Rafa Benitez’s first home defeat as Everton manager who Prentice thought could have done better though.
He added: “There were a number of players who didn’t cover themselves in glory.
“Rondon again. I know we’re desperately trying to wait until he gets some sort of level of match fitness but he wasn’t showing any sort of spring to try and win the ball in the air.
“He held the ball up well a couple of times but even the opportunities to get on the end of the ball in the box, that flick header that he didn’t quite get enough purchase on.
“Lewis Dobbin clearly isn’t quite ready to lead the line just yet, and it’s whether you’re going to play somebody totally ill-suited to the false nine position, I can’t even think who you’d ask to do that, there’s not really many alternative options.”