Arsene Wenger sends out a warning to Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe will have to fight for his place claims Arsene Wenger

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been discussing Arsenal and some of their players, in particular, Nicolas Pepe. The Frenchman is of the opinion that Arsenal’s record new signing needs time but must be careful of competition for his place in the team.

Pepe has struggled since he signed from Lille in the Summer and the fans are desperate to see his full talent on display. Criticism is growing of his actions of the pitch, especially his reluctance to trackback.

But Wenger is confident we will get to see what Pepe has to offer but must remain patient.

“I like the player and I thought it was a good decision [to sign him],” Wenger told Omnisport. “He’s not yet completely adapted and you have to give him some time. He looks a little bit to be playing not with the freedom he did in France at the moment.

“I see some characteristics of his game, especially off the ball, that don’t happen at the moment. On the other hand, I must say we have good young players who can play on the flanks, [and] that he will have a fight to keep his position.”

What Wenger says does make sense but there is only so long before Pepe is dropped. Arsenal cannot carry passengers and that is what he is right now. The youngsters like Saka and Martinelli deserve their chance if the 24-year-old does not deliver soon.

Updated: October 8, 2019 — 4:27 am

56 Comments

  1. Pepe is the new Ozil, it wouldn’t be long before he is criticized by media and fans because of his price tag, his body language, and the lack of result on the pitch. The pressure is especially higher for attackers. At the moment it’s clear for everyone he isn’t enjoying himself.

  2. we cannot give pepe 20 games to adapt..he needs to be fast to adapt to new style of match in england..bottom line is arsenal must win..

    1. Yes sir!!

      It’s not like you can just press a button to ready a player. Every player is human and develops into a system or way of doing things. People are NOT machines!!!!!

    2. In the last 5 years at spurs it took numerous players close to a season to come good,lameka, Sissoko was a flop in his first season now he is one of their main players,song,mouras…now Ndombele who everybody was raving about has been a big disappointment,the things with british people you are not renowned for living abroad,discovering new cultures, learning new languages…how many British players are playing abroad!not many and how many have been a success?so when it comes to understand the adaptation foreign players have to go through you are not best placed to understand and have patience,sorry just a fact!

  3. “…On the other hand, I must say WE have good young players who can play on the flanks, [and] that he will have a fight to keep his position.”

    I put the WE in capitals to highlight how Prof is still a Gunner. He will be one all his life and those who criticise him & call him names, can chew on that & learn what loyalty is all about.

    1. You can’t blame Pepe when you are playing 3 DM’s.
      I’ve heard a few people talk about Pepe receiving the ball when his back is to goal, I’ve noticed this as well. We need to get Pepe when he is getting in behind the defenders

    2. Yeah I liked that, Viju.. he’s one of us!

      1. Sue and Viju, always has, always will be a gooner through and through – just wish he had left the season we beat Chelsea (the champions) in the cup final.

        Pepe does look like a lost boy at the moment, but remember Pires and the great Dennis Bergkamp, let alone Thierry Henry?

        It took them time to adjust and I believe the new regime did their homework on this player and he will come good – it’s really up to him, because UE is giving him the chances to show what he can do.

        1. 👍👍 I hope we won’t have to wait too much longer, Ken!

      2. @Sue. I’m one for flights of fancy.Would love to see Ozil and Pepe form a lethal partnership.

        1. Flights of fancy – I like it and you’re not wrong there, georgie, as far as Ozil & Pepe are concerned! ☹
          Before the season started, if you’d told me that Mesut would be completely left out of the squad and Pepe (8 games in) still hasn’t scored from open play, I wouldn’t have believed you! Funny how things turn out, isn’t it?!

          1. @Sue. Yes Sue Life does throw us surprises that have to be accepted and dealt with. I think you are right but it may happen. Sue, who if anyone is giving the manager tactical advise? Just wondering, does it never stop raining in old blighty?

          2. I honestly don’t think anyone is..(it needs to be addressed 😀)

            It hasn’t been too bad lately, rain wise, but it’s turning cold now (I don’t like it!!) What’s it like in the states?

    3. I was not the only one that noticed…

    4. First thing I noticed, Viju……………..love the man, even though he did stay too long.

  4. Pepe desperetly need a coach to improve his shot. He is a lefty, but his left foot shots had been pathetic. He need to sit out until he gets his shots straight and strong. Play Martineli, who is fantastic. Emery’s mismanagement of the team cost the team games.

  5. Proud.to.be.a.Cule/Gooner

    Body language,work rate,intensity
    Those three are very much scrutinised on the big stage..Pepe lack those three even tho the takent is there for all to see,but talent is never enough..if he does not change,there will soon be no hiding place for him..Griezmann is still a cule’s favourite because of those three point,he tracks back,he defend..Pepe will do himself a lot of good learning from Griezzy

  6. So he will play Sok-Luiz partnership until they are good together (who have experience in the EPL by the way) but wont give Pepe time to adapt?He can only adapt by playing

    1. That’s Sucks-Lose partnership to me pal 😂

  7. Let’s give the bugger more time to adapt in the EPL… Some players adapt immediately but some needs a little longer. We fans should support the player in his difficult time… I’m sure he’;; come good pretty soon…

    1. u r good analyst of football and a real arsenal fan ..some fans are myopic in nature concerning the adaptation if Nicolas pepe they can’t try to see beyond the present situation .If pepe is a panic buy what about Eden hazard of real Madrid who has performed below expectations..pepe will deliver for real..common gunner

      1. New tougher League, new coach, new team mates, new locality, new accommodation, new different language to learn, pressure of high expectations and people expect him to hit the ground running.
        Everybody should just remember how they felt when they started a new job, particularly if it was in a different location.

  8. How many years have we been told xhaka is still learning to improve…..

  9. Pepe is a decent player but the amount we paid to get him is way too much.

    Pepe is a 30-40 mill player, Like did a very good business on us. They also got a very good replacement for him for a chicken change.
    I believe wenger will never throw that kind of money on pepe if he was in charge

    1. You obviously missed, what Wenger is saying:

      “I like the player, and I thought it was a good decision (to sign him”

    2. Yeah,Wenger would never throw that kind of money on Pepe.If he did,we wouldnt be counting 4years without Champions league football

  10. Emery has been given a 70m player by Sanhelli and the club transfer structure.
    He simply has to play Pepe.
    If he did not play Pepe fans would be all whining about why a 70m player is on the bench.
    Same with Xhaka being the boards choice for captain Emery just has to play him.
    Just like the board wants Ozil’s salary off the clubs finances.
    Emery has no choice but to freeze Ozil out.
    Same with Mustafi the club wants him out too so Emery is freezing him out also.
    Mkhitarian was asked to go also but refused and now is in Rome.
    Lacazette the 55m Wenger purchase is almost always in need of “rest”
    Xhaka Ozil Lacazette Mkhitarian and Mustafi are Wenger’s deadwood poisoning the squad.
    Emery has been left a very weak squad all the more remarkable then that the team despite these disadvantages is up to third in the table.
    Emery is truly a genius.

    1. Did you just call lacazette Wenger’s deadwood?

    2. You call lacazette a deadwood then you must be smoking something really cheap. Tell me how many times he has been out injured since signing for us. He was one of our outstanding players last season so seal with that and point 👉 your fingers somewhere else.

      1. Spot on! what a lot of fans didn’t know is that Laca had been playing since pre season with an ankle injury but people didn,’care,Emery was trying to manage him by not playing him or subbed him and people who had no idea were blaming Emery and not in a nice way, attacking the man,reading comments about his mother and do on…these people are the ones damaging the club thinking they know better the coach,coaching staff,medical staff as if they privy to informations no one else were, some”fans”have a lot to learn from man utd, spurs,Chelsea fans even from fans whose are clubs at the botton of the league, shameful!!

    3. Come on now. How is Laca deadwood?
      How many fans have been critical of him and have wanted him gone since he has been here?
      Deadwood don’t make our rivals nervous.
      Just go into Chelsea, United, Spuds, Liverpool etc Fan forums and see what they think and say about our 2 strikers (Laca and Auba).
      They are absolutely terrified of them and are highly rate.
      Then read comments about our midfielder and defenders. They make absolute fun of our defense and midfield, apart from maybe Ceballos and Torreira. The rest of our other midfielders are banter.

    4. I really do like your posts but laca as a deadwood player. You lost me there bro. Left to me I’d snap that armband from xhaka and put it on him. When he players the feeling is just different

    5. Do you really believe Lacazette is deadwood, dead wood is of no use, or no good use lets say. You really think none of those players can have a use to a top four chasing team. Xhaka, Ozil, and even Mkhit can have a use.

      Lacazette along with Auba are two of the best strikers in the league, as a pair they are the most deadly when it comes to combined contributions, I think no-one even came close in this regard they were the number one combination and it was Bourn’s pair that came closest Fraser and Wilson.

      I agree that the Ozil situation can’t go on, but deadwood, from the league’s most creative player over the last five seasons. Xhaka, yes his mistakes can be brutal, but last season he made two mistakes that led to goals but he scored high in the charts versus his competitors, and is a full international player in a solid and hardworking outfit, deadwood, come on. Mkhitaryan, it didn’t really happen but look at the clubs who were interested in him, these clubs don’t chase deadwood, not at those prices. The league might not be a great fit but look at that lad Liv brought in from Swiss, Xhaka’s teammate, you can’t tell me he’s all that much better. We need to improve ok, we need to look for better than what we got, but it’s a process man, when we spend money for the engine room and another couple places then Pepe might be showing his value along with Tierney and Saliba, the lads might have us back in the CL by then, if you really think deadwood is the right term then fair enough, but honestly man you usually come off a lot smarter than that.

      1. that’s the problem with calling any player “deadwood”, then so called fans can call any player they don’t like deadwood.

        lacs is everything one would want in a centre forward, the best we have had since Henry in my opinion.

        I’m amazed that anyone who thinks UE is a genius exists, but I suppose one might call him a “deadwood supporter” after saying Xhaka is poIsoning the squad and yet his genius has made him CAPTAIN AND MYK ISN’T EVEN AT THE CLUB – armchair critic of the highest degree.

        1. Lacazette was captain for few seasons at Lyon during one in their periods(fighting for the title, Cl football…)why did they try to keep hold of him despite huge offers,his importance on and off the pitch was too great,AULAS their president tried to complicate any deals,always asking for more money until Lacazette told him he will not signed any contracts leaving Lyon with no options but to sell him!!

        2. He has been seeking attention for God knows how long by posting outrageous stuff, and now you all have fallen into his trap big time.
          How elated he must be now.

  11. Pepe has all the hallmarks of a good player, he’s good on the ball runs at defenders and that shot against Brighton was close. He is settling in and getting used to the pace and hustle and bustle of he prem. he will find his feet.

  12. Bournemouth even

  13. Pepe is not a defender. Why are you asking him to track back and defend? He is a winger that should be given freedom to operate in the final 3rd. His body language might seem weak, lazy and uninterested but that does not mean he is not working hard.
    We bought him knowing very well that this is his style and are now trying to change him into something he is not.
    Why are people so critical of skilled players but are fascinated with players that run about like headless chickens? Can’t buy a Ferrari but install a Honda engine in it then expect amazing speed.
    Just build the team around him.
    We don’t deserve players like Pepe, the likes of Xhaka are our level.

    1. @Goonster
      Tracking back is part of any wingers game. Otherwise that just makes it harder for his flank partner. Part of the reason AMN was always caught out.Guys like Pepe, Ozil, and Henrik M and Ramsey always relished going forward but were caught lacking in their defensive duties. Leaving gaps for opposition to exploit, giving their team mates extra work to do. These types of players are one dimensional and a joy to play against….

  14. Pepe is showing promising glimpses of his talent and skill. We have a very dangerous player waiting to burst out.
    He is just finding the physicality and grind of the EPL eye opening. It is a shock to him right now.
    I think they are working on his gym routine, work on his shooting (very weak right now) and from that he will be ripping defenders to shreds.
    But he needs to work very hard when we are not in possession. Needs to track back, needs to close down is opponent etc.

    This season is his honeymoon for me. The coming season is when I am going to expect more from him.

  15. Agu Emen, you really have a different view from others concerning Lacazette..

    Yes he gets injured, right but he comes back and gives his all and performs well.

    With Aubameyang and Lacazette together we are guaranteed a goal each.

    The clubs best player, dead wood? Lol.. Funny dude!!

    I love Lacazette so much, can’t wait for him to be back and set the place alight

  16. The bottom line is.. Like many players (Pogba for instance) you can be fantastic in one league, and struggle to adapt in another. If you put too much pressure on a player (no matter how good he/she is) there is always a chance of damaging character and confidence. Let’s not do that to Pepe and give him time!

    Wenger knows what kind of player he can be in the EPL. He’s acknowledging that in his statement. But at the same time, I think Wenger knows that we know he would never have bought a player at that price and can see the danger of an expensive player failing to adapt.

  17. I cannot believe all the carp being spoken about Pepé.
    I remember the exact same things being said about Bergkamp and Henry after not scoring and not being very impressive for much longer than Pepé has been given so far. By the way, didn’t Chamakh score 11 goals in his first 11 games but look how that ended!

  18. I think he has shown some great potential, and if he can fulfil that potential, he could be a real star.
    Let’s give him time and backing. Too early to judge.

  19. Give him more time
    He’s a human being

    Greizmann and Hazard are having difficulties too at the moment. Takes time adapting to a new league and new team sometimes

    Henry didn’t score until after a dozen matches

    Pepe already has 2 assists and 1 goal. Not great but not terrible either. At least he’s contributing innit

  20. How times have changed!

    Henry and Giroud cost almost the same @10-11Million Pounds. Guess who also cost 10Million … Lukaku to Chelsea in 2011…Of course Chelsea stooped playing him because he just could not score.

    But we all know he has hit double figures in every season since then for West Brom, Everton and Man U.

    Giroud could have gone his whole first season without scoring and nobody would bring up the issue of price. The problem with Giroud was that fans thought he was too handsome so he ought to be scoring more goals…ha ha ha. In the end he did score 103 goals for Arsenal and hit double figures in all but his final half league season.

    In today’s (Neymar)market, with Pepe’s previous goals record and his age he could have cost even more. After all Crystal Palace valued their man higher, Arsenal went in for the younger man with the higher goals return in fewer seasons and people question this decision just as they would have lambasted Arsenal for buying an older player from C.P. at such a high price if we had done that deal instead.

    Coutinho basically maintained his average goals return (which was not that high) when he moved to Barcelona but was sent out on loan after two seasons, how Liverpool were able to get over 100Million Pounds for an attacker who scored more than 10 league goals only once in six seasons still baffles me (too bad for us that Fabregas came eight years too early….we could have got almost 200million for him at today’s prices).

    Yes your transfer price can hurt you but your focus, determination and adaptation are are most essential regardless of price, some adapt immediately e.g. Aubameyang. Some adapt gradually eg Henry and Giroud and for some the league was just not suitable e.g Falcao.

    Bearing in mind that Henry’s slow start is not the standard for gradual adaptation some might take much longer, let’s cut Pepe more slack, I feel he might need to adapt certain aspects of his game and maybe even hit the gym to bulk up bulk up some more.

  21. He Pepe needs time but he also has to face competition from the young guns to uplift his progress other wise he become reluctant and his form will probably vanish.

  22. Pepe’s quality as a pure winger able to strike as well, provide assists, speed + dribble, makes his potential obvious, many top teams were after him all over Europe, his statistics 2 past years speak for him.

    Prof’ mainly points that he needs to adapt while young hungry players are there, ready to take any chance both hands…If you look at his first teams; every single young player benched or replaced an older one! Only spot young players didn’t burst from is CBs.

    It takes more devellopment and 22 to 24 years old of age to be ready, because it takes experience from games at a high level… Takes few loans, then time to settle into first team and EPL.

    Games helps do so but for Pepe with no EPL experience, training with first team intensivement, build up his skinny body with trainers, study each team and game will help more than throw him there so fast to cope with EPL so fast.

    Can’t compare him to Auba who has years at top level scoring and a CF first. Prof’s message is, don’t burn him out before he gets a chance to light up. We all agree that he should not start for Nelson, Martinelli, Saka or Willock who would have a chance on a 4-4-2 formation.

    But our dumbo coach will have

    Xhaka, torreira, Gendouzi
    Ceballos

    instead of

    Niles Chambers, Willock
    Ozil

    Chambers should be used infront of defense as we Holding to pair with Luiz, Mav, Stafi…

    Ozil should be used where he is considered worldclass, providing attacks and scoring some. Ceballos us not a number 10 but more a 8, behind Ozil on a flank.

    With Chambers Niles and Willock it is more freedom for and combining Ozil; can’t ask players to become a DM because we dont play one front of defense. We have one in Chambers! The all balance is better.

    Then indeed if Pepe leaves his man/LB going forward, then his own RB must deal with it and his own winger/man together. Bellerin wont change that issue Niles faced and criticized for, played out position!

    To park midfield players in order to help WB in defense makes no sense but kills our game and football…Very basic is to track your man, permutation helps out or team is outnumbered, confused and in panic.

    A strong DM infront of defense is Key in modern football, more freedom for a number 10 as Ozil to feed his strikers!

    Pepe needs Time, on bench and training.

    1. Mogunna, it would be nice to read a post from you on a subject, where you don’t take the opportunity to denigrate the coach.
      How about we see how things progress until the end of his contract?

      1. ozziegunner, I always read your posts, because I understand your points of view, even though I often disagree with you, soI hope you see this as a question rather than a criticism…it would be nice to see a post from you, where you criticise UE for some of the most soul destroying football seen at the club for years and years, despite the talent at his fingertips.

        We all know he will be here until his contract runs out, but why does that disqualify us from pointing out his obvious errors that occur time after time after time?

  23. I think some folks called it a while back, Pepe was brought into the fold too soon. Fans would’ve said why did we spend that much on a player and choose not to play him. The most important thing is the result and so far despite the assists you’d have to say that he isn’t helping Auba or Laca and that our youngsters might’ve grabbed some spotlight ..because Saka and Nelson look to benefit others while Martinelli has that greedy streak like Pepe but he’s more concentrated/focused than Pepe.

    Martinelli might look good behind the striker was thinking, that dink he done, we don’t have players other than occasionally Guendouzi who try a lobbed ball over defenders into a space, we need to try that more, instead of looking to play in-between so often.

    I agree with Goonster too, Pepe looks like he could do with some extra gym work, also extra training, shooting practice.

  24. Spot on! what a lot of fans didn’t know is that Laca had been playing since pre season with an ankle injury but people didn,’care,Emery was trying to manage him by not playing him or subbed him and people who had no idea were blaming Emery and not in a nice way, attacking the man,reading comments about his mother and do on…these people are the ones damaging the club thinking they know better the coach,coaching staff,medical staff as if they privy to informations no one else were, some”fans”have a lot to learn from man utd, spurs,Chelsea fans even from fans whose are clubs at the botton of the league, shameful!!

  25. Pepe’s quality as a pure winger able to strike as well, provide assists, speed + dribble, makes his potential obvious, many top teams were after him all ogver Europe, his statistics 2 past years speak for him.

    Prof’ mainly points that he needs to adapt while young hungry players are there, ready to take any chance both hands…

    Games helps do so but for Pepe with no EPL experience, training with first team intensivement, build up his skinny body with trainers, study each team and game will help more than throw him there so fast to cope with EPL so fast.

    A Loan would have been best in EPL team as Everton, Wolves, Leicester…-Not be so exposed and pressure; freedom to shine.

    1. He needs to seat and train twice more, come into games gradually, not start intense games as he done, before second half of season. He is simply not ready and should not being played and have Nelson benched…

      Arsenal best display are with our youngsters & Academy players because they have this great football the Prof’ made sure to make our DNA as of kids…

      They then burst easly in first team playing that entertaining football making us a very special brand; attractive to best youngsters, worldclass players at same time and and international appeal.

      That board of cowboys are ruining our all this in order to justify sacking Mr Wenger after all he has done with no money. Seing fans mad because these low lives were restricting him.

      Pepe is way too expensive, Juve bought Ronaldo for 100M and Martinelli for 10M. Pepe is not worth 80M but half.

      So far, he is not even making the bench, because he is not before Saka, Martinelli or Nelson today and certainly not before Laca when back. But Hey we have Coach Emery Boardman!

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