Nigeria international, Alex Iwobi, revealed that positive talks with Everton manager, Frank Lampard, and enduring confidence towards the end of the 2021/22 season paved the way for his accomplished display against Chelsea on Saturday.
Iwobi, despite the Toffees’ defeat in their open day game of the 2022/23 campaign, put up a spectacular display against Thomas Tuchel’s men at Goodison Park.
His performance earned him glowing praises from Lampard and Everton fans.
The 26-year-old was one of Everton’s standout players in the 2021/22 season as they narrowly escaped relegation in the penultimate match of the season.
The former Arsenal forward revealed how specific instructions from Lampard ahead of the Chelsea match helped him shine against high-quality opposition.
“I had a meeting with the manager before the game who told me – especially when we are going on the attack – that I should look around and be aware of my surroundings,” he told evertontv.
“It helped me going into the game and I felt like I did okay.
“I felt quite comfortable in midfield. The defence was always talking to me and helping me, so I was always in the right positions at the right times.
“The gaffer is always talking to me, motivating me and telling me to go out and express myself, kick on from last season, and I feel like I’ve done that so far. But it’s a long season, it’s a marathon, and there’s a long way to go.”
Iwobi’s influence on the game is highlighted by the fact that he completed more passes than any other Everton player (38).
He was ambitious in possession too, regularly feeding penetrative passes to the Toffees’ attackers.
Iwobi explained how the belief he feels from Evertonians is giving him the freedom to express himself.
“The fans are always giving me that confidence that even if a pass doesn’t come off, they’ll clap and applaud the effort,” he said.
“It’s something that’s helping me go into games that, even if I do miss, I’ll have the confidence to try something again.
“It worked out against Chelsea, I was able to make some forward passes and hopefully it leads to some assists in the next game.”
Up next for Everton is a date with Aston Villa next Saturday at Villa Park.