Iwobi and Moses: the ups and downs of coach changes

With the 2018/19 Premier League season entering it's second quarter, Nigeria's Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses have had contrasting starts under their new managers.

At Arsenal, Iwobi is thriving under Arsene Wenger's successor Unai Emery but Maurizio Sarri taking over from Antonio Conte has seen Moses' Chelsea career stall yet again.

Emery wants Iwobi to continue pushing himself after making an immeasurable improvement since Wenger's departure.

The 22-year-old attacker was a fairly prominent figure in Wenger's squad before the Frenchman left at the end of last season, but he split opinion among fans.

While his pace and hints of trickery went down well, Iwobi was generally considered to be erratic and unimpressive with his final pass.

But, since Emery took over in pre-season, Iwobi has registered five assists in all competitions – including the pass for Alexandre Lacazette's equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Saturday – and the coach wants him to continue his recent growth.

"Iwobi can impact hard in the match," Emery told reporters. "First he started on the right, then I thought he was better left. His impact in some moments in the match, like our goal, is important.

"His energy is important, so is his quality. He can improve. He can do better. He scored against Chelsea, I want him to be nearer the box, having chances to score more.

"He can. He is very young. He is improving. But also he has the ambition to do more."

Iwobi is full of praise for Emery.

"I'm the most confident I've been for a long while. The manager has given me a lot more confidence. The players around me have given me the freedom to express myself. When I make a simple pass they'll tell me to do my thing, enjoy what you do and express myself which is something I haven't had for a long time.

"He (Emery) is a very positive guy and he likes you to drive and run with the ball which is one of my best attributes. He's always telling me to do that as much as I can."

At the weekend it was Iwobi who changed things for the Gunners against Liverpool.

Iwobi was left out of the starting XI for the Gunners' draw with Liverpool , with Henrikh Mkhitaryan preferred on the wing in a front three with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

But Iwobi was introduced in the 68th minute, as a replacement for Mkhitaryan, and produced a stunning through ball, which ripped through the heart of the Reds' backline, to set-up Lacazette - who half rounded keeper Alisson and bended a sublime finish.

Emery has suggested he might be utilised as a super-sub due to his ability to tear apart tired defenders.

"We need every player and the characteristic each player has is important, and Iwobi he can impact hard in the match after starting in the bench," Emery said.

This seeson has been such a contrast for Moses at Chelsea. Over the previous two seasons he finally nailed down a regular place in Conte's wingback formation. Now both he and midfielder Danny Drinkwater "have to improve" if they want a future at the club, says manager Maurizio Sarri.

Moses, 27, has made just six appearances this season. Only two have come in the Premier League and he has started just once..

When asked if they still have Chelsea futures, Sarri said: "I don't know."

He added: "They have to improve, but the characteristics are a little bit different."

Conte employed a 3-4-3 system during his time at Stamford Bridge, utilising Moses and Marcos Alonso as his wing-backs, but with Sarri opting for a 4-2-3-1 formation, Moses has been unable to break into the team.

"Moses is more suitable for playing like a wing-back than like a winger or a full-back," Sarri added.

Only Wolves have used fewer players than Chelsea in the Premier League so far this season.

However, Sarri did admit there could be more opportunities for squad rotation as the Premier League enters its busy Christmas period.

"Of course if you look to December, January - we'll need to change [the team] for the Premier League because there will be matches every three days," he said.

"So we'll need to change there too, of course."

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