Arsenal loanee’s debut comes under fire after dismal performance in defeat

Nicolas Pepe made his Nice debut in a loss to Marseille this weekend after completing his loan move from Arsenal this week, and his performance didn’t go as planned.

The winger fell down the pecking order at the Emirates after joining from Lille for a club record fee back in 2019, with the emergence of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli in north London, and the decision was made to allow him to leave in search of regular playing time this summer.

After joining Nice on loan until the end of the current campaign, he was named in the starting line-up to take on Les Bleus, a club who have also worked with the Gunners previously including allowing Nuno Tavares to spend the current season with them, and the Portuguese went head-to-head down the flank for the Ivory Coast star’s debut for his new side.

Our full-back got the better of the forward on a number of occasions, and his new boss Lucien Favre was asked to comment on his first outing for his side.

‘He’s got to get back into the swing of things. He hasn’t played for a long time in England,” Favre said (via the Metro).

‘He did his pre-season with Arsenal but didn’t play a match, so he lacks a bit of rhythm and intensity tracking back, in the pressing and recovering the ball, because that’s what everyone has to do, there are no exceptions.

‘If one or two players don’t do the job, the whole team has a problem. Everyone has to do it at the same time, defend together to get the ball back and then play.’

He added: ‘We have to be ready, we are professionals. Winning the ball back is important in any sport.’

Pepe has underwhelmed for a while now, despite showing promise with some sporadic displays, but they were too far apart to warrant regular playing time in our side.

It will be interesting to see what level he can return to once he gets back into the swing of things back in France this term, but I would be shocked if he was to return to play under Mikel Arteta at the end of his return.


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Tags Lucien Favre Nicolas Pepe


  1. Offensively he wasn’t that bad on his debut. I think he had several shots, dribbles, key passes. Seems to lack some confidence which is understandable.

  2. The guys been at a new team for a couple of hours, is thrown into the starting line up, doesn’t know his teammates and isn’t match fit at all.

    Think it’s understandable if he has a bad game, not sure what the purpose is of slagging him off. If it becomes a trend then by all means have a go.

  3. Oh really? Did not know football was so complicated! A neuro surgeon can fly across the pacific and perform a brain surgery without any complaints, and here are some trying to pamper a failure with a sly dig at Mikel. A mediocre coach like Favre has issues with Pepe at a mediocre club, a high profile coach too had issues with him here? So who’s to blame? Mikel or Favre or both? Or none and Pepe is the victim? Just like Ozil and Kolasinac and Laca and……..

    1. LC you can also add to that list, “and……Aubameyang”! Could not agree more with all you say!

      1. I don’t see Auba having problem with Xavi or Barcelona and even Arsenal. He only has issue with Arteta and must be the reason why LC never mentioned his name.

        So quit your dislike for Auba cos he has moved on and doing well for himself.

    2. Dear old Loose Cannon, your undiying love for Mikel has no bounderies… in fact, it’s becoming a love in 😍🥰❤️

      Please show me just one little instance from the article or the replies that has upset you to the point of distraction?

      Did you not realise that a brain is a brain, no matter what country or continent you live in?

      Whereas, of course, football differs from club to club, country to country and continent to continent?

      I’m surprised that you and Jon Fox, who could not agree more with what you say of course, didn’t know these fundamental facts of life!!!

        1. Prove me wrong Jon, prove me wrong!!!

          Does the human brain differ from one region of the earth to another?

          Does football differ from one club to another?

          Two very simple questions for you and LC to answer, along with the example of MA being slighted in the article or replies.

          Come on Jon, you can do it if you really want to, especially as you could not agree more with what LC said 😂😂

  4. The problem with Pepe is that he doesn’t contribute much when the team is pressing and he doesn’t track back.

    The way most team wants to play now is mass attack mass defense. So, if one player is found wanting it will affect the system.

    This is why the likes of Ozil, Auba and pepe struggled to fit in with arteta style of play.

  5. Tavares was on faire in the same game…..If he Can improved his défensive side of thing he will become a top left back

  6. Tavares has had time to settle in, Pepe has just flown in (not had any brain surgery though).
    Anything to do with it Pires?

  7. With some of the comments here , you would have thought he was the worst player on the pitch meanwhile he had more rating than any of their players depsite not playing since the start of the season.
    Like I once said what some players received is beyond criticism, it’s hard to explain . Cause I wouldn’t want to call it hatred. But they are so bothered that they don’t want to hear any good thing about them. Depsite some of them not representing the club anymore.
    They are Quick to rejoice negativity.
    They are the kind that would spy on their ex just to be sure he or she is doing worse than they met them.

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