LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 9 – Arsene Wenger will fine Alex Iwobi if claims the forward was partying less than 48 hours before Arsenal’s FA Cup defeat by Nottingham Forest are proved true.
The 21-year-old has come under fire from fans after a video of him dancing and screaming at a flat in Soho in the early hours of Saturday morning emerged.
Iwobi started in the Gunners’ shock 4-2 loss at the City Ground on Sunday and Wenger is ready to take action despite defending his player amid accusations of drug-taking at the late night party.
“If that is true he will be fined,” Wenger said during his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea.
“’It’s unacceptable. It’s impossible to go out 48 hours before a game. I will have to see him and see if that is right or not.”
Although there is no suggestion Iwobi was taking drugs, tenants in neighbouring flats reported laughing gas canisters and a strong smell of cannabis coming from the party apartment, according to The Sun.
“It was 48 hours before the game,” Wenger added. “The night before the game we were in a hotel. I will speak to him.”
“You have to be cautious with the news coming out – when you read what has been reported it is like he has taken drugs but he’s not involved in that.”
“If he was at a birthday party, how long has he stayed? That is very important. After that I will decide what happens. If your neighbour takes drugs, what can you do about it? You are responsible for your behaviour.”
Meanwhile, Gary Neville has waded into the debate on when players should be allowed to go out prior to matches.
The former Manchester United and England defender took to Twitter to claim stars can enjoy themselves but only a week before a game.
Neville tweeted: “It used to be 48 hours 25 years ago. I would suggest now 99% of players wouldn’t go out to a club 4-5 days before a game. At United when I played towards the end I would say Saturday night is ok when you have a game the Saturday/Sunday after.”
A source told The Sun that Iwobi and his group had been refused entry to a club, so rented an AirBnB flat in Soho.
The partying kept residents awake for hours, and it is thought the antics went on for at least another hour after the video was shot.
Arsenal fans were furious with Iwobi’s performance against Forest, describing him as ‘rubbish’ and saying he would be better suited to Championship level with Nottingham Forest.
One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Arsenal should suspend Alex Iwobi for his actions on Saturday night and Sunday morning, knowing he was a “senior player” on the Sunday against Forest. Sheer stupidity and naivety from him. Explains his poor performance too.’
Another said: ‘Doesn’t deserve to start now don’t deserve to be at this club.
‘We want him sold or contract ripped up and thrown away.’
-By Daily Mail-