Arsene Wenger wrong to play Alex Iwobi at Chelsea after off-the-field antics, says Ian Wright

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Last Updated: 11/01/18 11:03am

Arsene Wenger should have taken a stronger stance on Alex Iwobi and not played him at Chelsea after his off-the-field antics, according to Ian Wright.
Arsene Wenger should have taken a stronger stance on Alex Iwobi and not played him at Chelsea after his off-the-field antics, according to Ian Wright.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger should have taken a stronger stance on Alex Iwobi and not played him at Chelsea after his off-the-field antics, according to Ian Wright.

Iwobi is alleged to have attended a party less than 48 hours before Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at Nottingham Forest, which the Gunners lost 4-2.

Despite confirming Iwobi would be fined if it was proven he attended the party, and describing his behaviour as "unacceptable", Wenger still selected the Nigeria international for Wednesday's Carabao Cup semi-final draw with Chelsea.

Gunners legend Wright believes Wenger's handling of the situation sends out the wrong message to the rest of the squad and the public as a whole.

"For a youngster to do that says to me that there is something wrong in the dressing room," he told The Debate.

"You can't have a youngster feeling like he can do that and still play. Arsene Wenger should have had a stronger stance on this one.

"People laugh at Arsenal and see them as a bit of a joke at the moment. Players don't want to be there, and it feels like everything is losing control at Arsenal."

Highlights of the Carabao Cup match between Chelsea and Arsenal.
Highlights of the Carabao Cup match between Chelsea and Arsenal.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Wenger defended his decision to play Iwobi at Stamford Bridge.

"It's one thing to punish somebody individually and a second thing to punish everybody," he said.

"If I think he can help the team to win it's nothing to do with the fact he can be punished separately and individually."

Watch a preview of Saturday's Premier League fixtures including Bournemouth v Arsenal and Liverpool v Man City
Watch a preview of Saturday's Premier League fixtures including Bournemouth v Arsenal and Liverpool v Man City

Former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise disagreed though, claiming Wenger's decision to play Iwobi would have upset some of his team-mates.

"If I was one of those boys sat on the bench knowing what Iwobi had done, I'd have been a little bit upset," Wise told The Debate. "As a player, you'd be so upset thinking he can go out and still play."