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‘Completely unfair’ – Fulham manager reacts to Alex Iwobi criticism

Fulham FC manager, Marco Silva has responded to reports of Nigerian midfielder Alex Iwobi facing criticism after Nigeria’s AFCON campaign, saying it was ‘completely unfair’.

Iwobi, 27, attracted criticism from some Nigerian fans on social media after the Super Eagles loss in the 2023 AFCON final to Ivory Coast, prompting him to archive all his Instagram posts. This incident echoed a similar reaction back in 2021 when Nigeria exited the AFCON 2021 tournament.

Ahead of the Cottagers visit to Aston Villa in the Premier League, Silva said that Iwobi has not allowed the online abuse to affect him mentally and remains focused on his game.

Ivorien star, Sebastien Haller helped Alex Iwobi up after the AFCON final.

Silva described Iwobi as mentally strong and dedicated to his craft, often seen with a smile on his face during training and matches.

READ MORE: NFF condemn cyber attacks directed at Super Eagles midfielder

Addressing the unfair criticism directed at Iwobi, Silva expressed his support for the midfielder, stating that the negativity on social media was unwarranted, especially considering the team’s overall performance until the final.

Silva also disclosed that he had discussed the matter with Iwobi and fellow Nigerian teammate Calvin Bassey, reassuring them of their importance to the team.

“Mentally, he’s very good. Alex is a happy boy when he’s on the pitch doing what he loves, he’s always doing it with a smile on his face. I know a part, but I don’t know everything that people said about it. I don’t see reasons because if you lose a game you lose a game together, if you win a game you win together of course. They did brilliantly until the final,” the 46-year-old said in quotes revealed by the club’s official website.

“In my opinion, it was completely unfair because of the way they criticized him on social media. It’s more strange when there is no reason to do it. Since he arrived here, of course, I had a chat with him. He’s going to be involved in the game, him and Calvin Bassey,” the gaffer added.

Since joining Fulham in the summer, Iwobi has contributed three goals in eighteen appearances for the London club.

READ ALSO: Nigerian star will not retire from Super Eagles despite Cyber-bullying

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