Arsenal Debate: Why was Pepe left on the bench against Burnley?

I did think it was strange that Pepe didn’t come off the Arsenal bench at Burnley. Near the end of Emery’s reign he was doing the same, as did Ljungberg, all in games where we needed a goal.

Now we all know the winger hasn’t pulled up any trees this season but in matches where we need a goal, are Torreira, Willock or Nketiah any more qualified?

Our owners have every right to expect a record signing at least to be getting off the bench, isn’t that what you pay 72 million for?

Then I heard a theory circulating, I stress this is just a rumour but an intriguing one that’s worth a discussion.

We all know that Lille were very flexible in how the payments to them are structured. What appealed to us over, say, a Wilfred Zaha is that Palace wanted the majority of their asking price paid straight away.

The French club, who don’t have the TV revenue of the Eagles, are going to be more flexible with any payment plan because how often do they get those type of bids?

So, the 72 million fee often quoted is not just spread over 5 years but based on criteria such as goals scored, if we qualify for the Champions League, etc (Lille might not be getting as much as they assumed.)

One trigger believed though is that if he features in 8 more League games, we have to pay more. Or to look at it the other way, if he doesn’t take part in 8 more Prem fixtures then we save money and we know Stan Kroenke loves to save money don’t we?

At first, I didn’t believe this. It’s how you expect a League 1 or 2 team to conduct themselves, worrying about every last pound.

Yet, if there is one owner who in the Prem who would worry about this it would be ours.

It’s a far-fetched rumour but again why isn’t he coming off the bench when we need creativity in the final third?

I refuse to believe that two teenagers would be ahead of him in the pecking order when we are drawing 0-0?

If it’s as simple as a new manager not rating him, then fine, but he has trusted him in every other game.

Don’t forget we are in a unique situation where very soon the League campaign becomes a write off.
It just takes another slip up before Chelsea are so far ahead we can’t catch them in 4th; if we get a couple more wins, we won’t get relegated.

So, if you have 13 games left with nothing really at stake, is it out of order to ask your coach to leave him out of 5 of them? Especially if you can hide behind resting him for the Europa League? It makes sense business-wise and that’s what we are ….a very well-run business. Maybe something to keep your eye on?

Do you believe this, Gooners?

Be kind in the comments..

Dan Smith


  1. gunnerforlife says:

    Unbelievable really! But considering our Owner it is quite possible. So sad and so unfortunate if it is true. Is Arsenal only a business brand for our owner? We fans give our heart to our dear Club but what is this? Inexplicable! It ties down the hands of MA but that is the reality of our Club(provided the rumour is true). Pepe is definitely a class above Willock so he should have come on when we desperately needed goals.

  2. Dmar williams says:

    Wouldnt suprise me. It’s a stupid deal tbh. I read something similar with ox hence why he didnt always start.

    When it comes to arsenal kreonkes seem to be pennywise and pound foolish. I genuinely believe that given large cash injections like chelsea or man city had previously would propell us to be at the level of man utd madrid and barca. This melenial revolution is coming to an end and things will settle soon if not already are. The rise in social media and being able to stream football across the globe is already here. Chelsea and city have already benefited from this and gone from small clubs to huge clubs. Mark my words watch how liverpool will overtake man utd if the win the league 1 more time after this year in the next 3 years.

    If a player is good enough he will pay for his self 10x over. But the problem is fans want trophies. Look at clubs like leister. From division 2 to now being marked as a permanent fixture in premier league.

    The previous article written about the kreonke era was spot on. The club is being held back by these guys. Personally I fancy our chances with DANGOTE.

    Get us the best players and watch us win

    1. Mobella says:

      How well do you know Dangote and his operation. In fact, how many companies or businesses do you know he has in Europe and to be specific in England. I’m not saying he doesn’t have businesses or interest in businesses in Europe but how many does he spearheaded. If you think he is foolish enough to to squander all he has worked all his life to gather in Africa on Arsenal then you are dreaming. Do you know how many things he gets away with business-wise, how many favours and privileges he gets from the successive governments of Nigeria. Simply put, the environment is made conducive for his businesses to thrive not to mention he was given the sole licenses of some businesses in my country. It is not a coincidence that he will be the first man to build a private refinery in the country. I’m not saying all these because I envy the man or hate as a matter of fact I adore him. I’m just saying he won’t have all these privileges in England and he knows it. As regard your last paragraph, my friend winning is not everything. Football is a business and you have to make some money. That is how Dangote will see it anyway. Do you know with all Chelsea had won in the past, according to a Chelsea fan I know, they owe their owner over £1 billion. I don’t know how true or possible is this.

  3. John says:

    It happens in a lot of contracts….
    Arsenal uses similar clauses too for loans and sale of players…..

  4. Dom says:

    Dan, it sounds completely feasible but what are your sources?

  5. ThirdManJW says:

    If that were true, then why even put him on the bench?

  6. Des says:

    Unbelieveable Nonsense Get serious

  7. Damazane says:

    I hope this is what it looks like; unfounded rumours. Otherwise if these rumours turn out to be true, then we have another Oxlade Chamberlainesque situation, and we all know how it ended

  8. Sue says:

    Nowt would surprise me these days! Similar to Oxlade Chamberlain’s ‘minutes’

  9. jon fox says:

    I share the lack of knowledge by other Gooners as to the veracity of this suggestion. But it must be said that anyone suggesting Kroenke is keen to avoid spending money is likely to be either spot on or very near the truth.
    Pepe has been a huge disappointment; no realistic Gooner can pretend otherwise and his main trouble is he is far too lazy, too timid or laid back and just will not run or be involved even nearly enough. That must be said and this need to do so applies equally to ALL players and always has, always will. And so it should!

    Sadly though, I hardly ever see this general and vital need directly mentioned on here , except regularly so by me. To me it is as obvious as the nose on our face and I am convinced most will agree. So why the seeming conspiracy of silence against failing to mention HARD WORK? It is what separates Liverpool and City from the chasing pack, more than ANY other factor. If anyone differs from this last sentence , I would LOVE to hear exactly why they disagree. So can I now urge all thinking Gooners to regularly call for all players, no matter who, to work flat out, every game! Most players DO, but some clearly do NOT!

  10. David Rusa says:

    Take it from any realistic person that no owner of a football club will just spend money without demanding accountability, whether it is Kroenke or another owner. Perhaps Kroenke attracts more criticism because he is an American tycoon who can’t just spend money anyhow and is not shy about it. Modern football is first and foremost a lucrative business where the owners of clubs must maximise profits and minimise costs. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is a day dreamer.


    Just wow !!!

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