Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta working on making Nicolas Pepe more ‘unpredictable’

According to the Mirror, Mikel Arteta has outlined his plans to improve club-record signing Nicolas Pepe.

As per BBC Sport, the Gunners parted with a record fee of £72m to sign the Ivorian star from Lille last summer.

The 24-year-old has scored four goals and registered six assists from 24 Premier League appearances so far this season.

The ace has primarily been deployed as a right winger, playing into the ace’s tendency to cut in on his left foot.

Defenders appear to have nullified Pepe’s contributions recently by showing the star onto his weaker right foot.

Nicolas Pepe has endured a mixed start to life at Arsenal.

Arteta spoke about making the attacker less predictable:

“It’s part of his development,”

“He needs to open more doors to be more unpredictable for the opponent and give more options as well offensively to us.”

“He’s working on it, he will improve, he will get better. He’s got the talent, an immense quality and he’s willing to do it.”

The Mirror also report that Arteta will work one-on-one with Pepe to improve his play on the wing:

“I’ll show him footage of what we want and on the training ground I will make him defend in situations where he is full-back and I am the winger.

“You have to feel the moment when the ball is here where you are weak and depending on the step that you take, how that effects the opponent every time, where the spaces are for the strikers, where the strikers want the ball in certain areas, it’s a process.”

The Gunners will be hoping that Pepe can start to round off his game soon as they hope to seriously contend for a Champions League spot this season.

Pepe has shown that he has the ability to take on almost any player in the league, the star’s end product does leave a lot to be desired for however.

Tags Mikel Arteta Nicolas Pepe


  1. To be effective our front three , including Pepe, must be more interchangeable with more movement off the ball to create space.This has become more difficult than it was twenty years ago when forwards rarely tracked back like they are obliged to do now.In the short term,Pepe needs to be played on the left where he can run and take his full back on the outside before crossing with his excellent left foot..Sane of Man City is to me the best example of a conventional left winger in the EPL but he may well be superseded soon by an Arsenal player,no maybe not Pepe, but Saka.The current obsession of playing inverted wingers baffles me, as conventional wingers will create more space which Manager’s crave.I hope Arteta gives it a try for Nelson proved it could be successful last week against Portsmouth.

  2. Grandad, I watched Pepe taking on four of five players on Saturday, only to run himself in to a blind alley, just as Iwobi used to do.

    He so wants to use his natural left foot, it seems absurd to not play him on the left side, where his speed and natural leaning to the left, would see him more than capable of becoming a brilliant player for us.

    We have three excellent and natural left footed players in Tierney, Saka and Pepe, with Kolasinac as a very good back up.
    How many other clubs can boast that kind of left sided excellence?

    Like you, I hope MA does see this potential and we could scare the living daylights out of any side with those three in tandem…overlapping, defending, attacking, able to score – the opportunities are endless.

  3. Arteta must be licking his lips with a rough diamond like Pepe. The guy is super talented, young and has bags of potential to be released. I would think he is a managers/coaches dream because he only needs direction because the ability is there in spades. I think one season in the prem and a summers preparation we will see a special player next season. His quick feet and super quick change of direction makes him unstoppable with good coaching.

  4. Pepe for sure he is a good player and the solution is MA plays him on the preferred left foot. It makes him run on his opponents and express his skills more. This will make him more unpredictable and even his pace, its like creating a lethal winger we desperately need in many years.

    1. He may turn out to be a good player lets hope so. I have my reservations. In my opinion to be a a great player you need, beside all the other physical attributes, a “footballing brain”. That is a natural instinct to know what to do with the ball when you have it and where to be when you don’t. A la Messi. This is something that can not be taught. Of course he is young and can be coached to improve many aspects of his game but if the natural instinct is somewhat lacking then we might end up disappointed with Pepe.

  5. Look at what Arteta did with Sterling… he was the same then one on one coaching with Mikel, Not Pep, changed his goal scoring fortunes and movements off the ball. Give Mikel time and he will have Pepe ripping up the league come next season.

    I like what Arteta is doing, so do the players so let’s just get behind the whole club as a whole for a change. What will be will be this season. Learn this season to be prepared for pre season for next seasons 1st proper season under Mikel Arteta and maybe a few players of his own to stamp his authority over this team.

    He also has alot of players coming back from loan or injury to consider in Smith Rowe, Mavraponas, Holding, chambers and Saliba. Saka looks like a baller in the making along with Nkeitah.

    1. arteta did a great job with sterling positioning and intelligence of play. pepe is already a better finisher and crosser so if arteta does the same with pepe we would have ourselves a hell of a player.

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