Partying Iwobi faces Arsenal fine

Arsène Wenger has said he will fine Nigeria's Alex Iwobi if the Arsenal midfielder is confirmed to have been partying in the early hours of Saturday morning, just a day and a half before their 4-2 FA Cup defeat by Nottingham Forest.

A video purports to have shown the Super Eagle dancing at 2.37am during a party in Soho. It is against Arsenal’s policy to allow nights out so close to a match and, should the images be verified, Wenger will be angered further by the fact that Iwobi was among many players to disappoint in a performance he strongly criticised.

“If that is true, he will be fined,” Wenger said. “It is impossible to go out 48 hours before a game. It’s unacceptable. I will have to see him to see if that is right or not.

“It was not the night before the game, it was 48 hours before the game. The night before the game we were in a hotel but it is not acceptable and I will have to speak to him. First of all you have to be cautious with the news coming out, when you read what is reported it is like he has taken drugs. He is not involved in that at all, he has been out at a birthday party. How long has he stayed? That is important. After, I will decide what happens.”

Wenger left open the possibility the social event may have had an impact on Iwobi’s display at the City Ground but admitted there were no guarantees either way. “Who knows that?” he said. “You must have played football, you know sometimes you want to prepare 100% but sometimes it is not a guarantee you will be at your best. But that is what is requested from a top-level professional.”

The Arsenal manager was openly critical of his players after Sunday’s game and went further on Tuesday morning, saying he had been “very disappointed with some individual performances”.

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