Aside from having the talent, the place of confidence in a footballer cannot be overemphasized.

That confidence was previously lacking for Nigeria international, Alex Iwobi, he has revealed how Unai Emery has boosted his confidence this season and inspired his much-improved performances.

Iwobi has struggled for the past 18 months after breaking through into the first-team in fine style under Arsene Wenger.

But the 22-year-old seems to be the player who has benefited most from the arrival of Emery, with his performances notably improving since the start of the campaign.

And Iwobi - who came off the bench on Saturday to inspire Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Watford - admits that he is now feeling more confident than ever in north London.

“I’m more positive and more confident with the ball,” he said. “The boss has basically told me that if something doesn’t work, just keep going and don’t dwell on it.

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“He’s told me to stop being so critical and to just keep trying no matter what happens, no matter if things don’t go as I want them to.

 “That’s given me a lot more confidence to try a few more things, like beat a player, to shoot more. I’m always ready to get on the ball a bit more, so I guess it’s helped in that sense.

“I’ve lost a bit of weight because of the intense training and I think it’s made me a bit sharper.”

Iwobi scored on his first appearance for Arsenal this season, during the 3-2 defeat at Chelsea in August - but he has yet to find the net since.

Last season he scored just three times and - despite his improved performances - he knows he has to start scoring more if he wants to make himself a regular starter in Unai Emery’s side.


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