The Super Eagles are undergoing a transitional process from the managerial reign of Gernot Rohr to Austin Eguavoen and now to Jose Peseiro.
However, a lot of positives have been shown from the Portuguese manager’s short tenure which has spanned four games.
One of the positives has been the vast improvement of Arsenal’s Hale End Academy graduate Alex Iwobi. The attacker has not performed up to expectations since his big-money move from Arsenal to Everton.
But the Everton man has really shone brightly under Peseiro which is totally contrasting to his time under Gernot Rohr or even Eguavoen.
Since Lampard’s arrival at the Toffees, he repurposed Iwobi as a right wing-back to a fairly good degree of success.
However, the Nigerian’s skill set does not lie in a defensive role at all. Iwobi is a great ball-carrier and is also good when dribbling. He loves to pick little pockets of space to connect attacking sequences.
While Iwobi lacks the lightning-quick reflexes and tight control typically associated with Spaniards, he finds his way out of difficult situations with creativity, ingenuity and trickery.
Iwobi’s improvement has occurred due to a slight change in his positioning. After starting as an advanced midfielder against Mexico on Peseiro’s debut with the Super Eagles, he has been deployed slightly deeper in a deep-lying playmaker role ever since.
In this role, he has been able to express his creativity and agility whilst also developing the positional discipline needed to play in deep areas.
Lampard needs to emulate Peseiro’s adjustment with Iwobi’s positioning and try him in a slightly deeper midfield role which could unlock the former Arsenal man’s talents in the Premier League.