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Why I was not creative at AFCON 2023 – Alex Iwobi

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Super Eagles midfielder Alexander Iwobi has explained the lack of creativity in his performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Speaking on his Project 17 channel via YouTube, Iwobi said the role he was asked to play limited his chances of going forward to create chances.

“Frank (Onyeka) and I were instructed to stay where we were, go for every second ball, run, keep the ball, manage it, change it from left to right, all you have to do is manage to the game,” he said.

“That was the role we were asked to play, you have to be there always because we have wingbacks like Ademola Lookman, Moses Simon, and Samuel Chukwueze that can at least support in the attack.

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“So, when you try to communicate, it’s hard because the fans were a lot, we hardly could communicate, it was hard to adjust but we just had to do what we have been doing in all competition, stay defensive, come back but it was hard to press or even create chances,” he concluded.

Sharing his thoughts about what happened in the final and why the team lost, Iwobi admitted that the Super Eagles had no response to the approach of their opponents.

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“We thought we could defend again like we have been defending in the whole tournament but the pressure was getting on and on. The [Ivorian] fans backed their team, we were unfazed about it but we just couldn’t get the ball out of our half.”

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“The Ivorians have analyzed our games and they had Kessie (Franck), who was pinning me back so I was dropping deep because they weren’t running towards Calvin Bassey, Seri (Jean Michel) was managing and dictating the play for them and it is hard for Victor (Osimhen) to dictate and control that one defender or one CDM upfront. And they’ve got Fofana on the other side who was trying to pin Franck back and we didn’t know how to handle that.”

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