Bellerin’ return will be a massive boost to Pepe’s attacking prowess


So much talk has been in the media about Pepe’s form since his arrival at Arsenal. Reasons have gone from his fitness level at the beginning of the season, to adaptation to the Premier league. Lately, some attributed the issue to lack of confidence.

I believe Pepe’s key problem is the effect of the team’s set up on the his skill set. The personnell who have played on the right side of the team don’t possess the natural skill to aid Pepe’s attacking prowess. No disrespect to Niles and Chambers who both have played their parts so far.

Two key contributions are required from an attacking winger. To provide goals to other attackers and/or to score goals themselves.

Most goal-providing wingers play from the side of their favoured foot. Left wing for left footer and right wing for right footer. To score goals, they either play by coming in from the opposite side to their favoured foot or play through the middle. Though a few one footer’s score classic goals from tight angles at the wing of their favoured foot. Robin Van Persie, though playing as central forward, scored a classic goal against Barcelona from such corners at the Emirates in 2011.

As Pepe’s potentials before he was purchased by Arsenal suggested, he is expected to score goals. For him to score goals, he has to play infield from the right side of the pitch, together with a good overlapping right full back. Here comes the need for Bellerin in the team to play to Pepe’s potential. Bellerin used to have problems with final deliveries into the attacking areas initially, but he has improved on that aspect of his game last season, and the prospects of Tierney will encourage him to improve further. Playing Bellerin will enable Pepe to play infield and get better supplies for him to score goals.

I see better days ahead. COYG.

by I


  1. Attacking wise, the right wing will improve due to the two pacey wide players, Pepe and Bellerin

    Defending wise, one of our midfielders must cover for Bellerin when he is going forward, while Pepe is cutting inside to fill in for the midfielder

    Pepe is not too agile, but he has been playing as an inverted RW for years and he is tall for a winger. I can imagine Tierney crosses to meet Pepe’s head in the penalty box

  2. I, the biggest problem I can see with your well written piece is that Bellerin needs to concentrate on his defensive play, before we start to expect him to help pepe out.

    If anything, I can see an area where the likes of pool or leicester will be able to run riot down our right flank.

    Actually any team would see this as an area to expose and create goals from.

    What pepe needs, is a flair player who can make telling passes from the midfield for him to run on to…won’t mention any names, but we do have these players available.

    1. Ken, imho the return of Bellerin isn’t the panacea for our issue with Pepe not performing. It will solve part of the problem but not all since Bellerin is good in swinging in those crosses but not defence splitting passes that are required for Pepe to run in behind the defenders and leave them for dead. Did someone say Pepe doesn’t have speed? I’m quite amused with that statement as he is known for his speed. All of us were hasty with him rushed into EPL, and hindsight says he should have been eased in. At the moment he isn’t getting the service, he is having to track back and retrieve the ball to make his runs, he is receiving passes with his back to the goal, so obviously there has been no scope to show his speed. Agreed the lad is putting a lot of pressure on himself and thinks a glory shot/goal will get his confidence back, so Bellerin isn’t going to solve all these issues.

      1. Pepe’s situation is quite the opposite of what you’ve highlighted.
        – He’s been sluggish even when through on counter. He couldn’t go past an ageing Young.
        – He was eased into games, not rushed.
        – He’s been getting loads of services but his finishing has been woeful, haven’t been tracking back or pressing.
        – He’s looked uninspired and lacks the hunger needed in premiership.
        – I’m afraid Bellerin might not help his cause, only he (Pepe) can get himself firing. Maybe he should ask Martineli for tips.

    2. As pointed by Gotanidea, The shape of the team counts. When a fullback is overlapping to aid attack, the other fullback is expected remain in a defensive position while one of the holding or defensive midfielders covers for the overlapping fullback.

      Leicester and pool also overlap with their fullbacks as well. It all depends on players reading of the game (when to overlap and when to sit back)

      I agree with you about the need for a flair player to pass into channels for our attackers to attack. I rarely see that in our games these days. Apart from the midfielders, we have defenders like Luiz who can do a good job in that. I suspect the coach isn’t instructing the players to do that.

      1. Which again brings us back to the issue I keep pointing out, that is, the coach. It is natural that when one wingback is pushing forward, the back4 close up and becomes a back3 till the charging wingback gets back in position. We all know that, but when we have a weak CDM (I should say out of form CDM) we are exposed to counter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hoping Bellerin and Pepe will work magic, but common sense says that Bellerin’s crosses will be for the strikers and LW. Pepe seems to be a classic winger and such players need a creative force and I do hope Laca can provide that, or Willock or Ceballos. I’m not naming Ozil because he is frozen out.

        1. A classic winger needs no creative help, he creates space and chance for himself and others with his quick thinking and skills.

  3. For many fans, Bellerin’s return will make zero difference. As will Holding, Tierney, and Laca’s returns also. Why? Despite Emery’s shortcomings, one area which has been out of his control, and that has also massively handicapped him, is the injuries. But despite this, many fans that I have debated with claim that injuries are not an excuse. So if missing key players doesn’t effect the results/performances, then their returns will definitely not improve anything…according to some.

    I understand that injuries are part-and-parcel of football. In fact, you would be a very lucky manager to have all your key players fit throughout an entire campaign. But with Arsenal, it hasn’t been the case that Emery has been missing the odd player here, and there. It’s been a full blown injury crisis since his very first day at the club. He’s been averaging about 4/5 key players missing almost all the time. I feel so sorry so him. It’s not been a case of, when was the last time Emery could pick his best XI? The real question is, when was the last time Emery had the chance to pick anywhere near his best XI?

    The question marks over our style/identity, team selections, will not go away with the return of key players, but to say that Emery hasn’t got a better team with Laca, Holding Bellerin, etc available, is quite frankly delusional! Injuries are why we didn’t make the CL last season more than any other reason.

    A great example I keep using on this subject is Liverpool. Do you think Liverpool would have lost only one league game last season, and won the CL if VVD had missed almost 2/3’s of the season? Along with Trent missing half a season, and tons of other injuries? No chance!

    And before I hear that I used to say the opposite about Wenger, I didn’t at the beginning. I had great sympathy for him, but when he kept standing by players with chronic injuries, ensuring they got contract after contract, blocking the path for new signings, or youngsters, and the club throwing millions down the drain on obvious lost causes, I then had enough of ANY injury excuses in regards to Wenger. The new regime have been so proactive in this area.

    Unlike some fans, I cannot wait to see key players return, as Emery will have a much better chance of getting better results. If he can’t with a full squad, then hopefully a new manager in the summer. Simeone, but that is dream I know.

    1. Go check the front line that destroyed Barelona. Injuries means nothing if your coach has no pattern/style of play, can’t motivate players, can’t play to win games away from home, can’t select players based on merit and installs a player that got scared by Watford as captain.

  4. If Pepe, or whoever plays right wing doesn’t track back and do his defensive duties, then Hector will soon come under the same brutal bashing as AMN… END OF.

    1. Excellent point NY Gunner, after all, if one player is judged for his perceived lack of defensive duties, that should apply to every player.

      As for injuries being the main reason we didn’t qualify for the CL last season, can it be explained how we got into the position where, with six games to go, we needed just three points to qualify for that competition, or to a european final, with such a handicap?

      Those long term injuries occurred earlier in the season, so we had the squad of players who didn’t need this as an excuse, because they had played their way into two situations where it was harder not to qualify/win than the opposite.

      Why on earth people keep going back to Wenger, in order to defend UE’s mistakes I don’t understand.

      Quoting players that AW brought to the club as part of the reason for UE failing to secure just three points from eighteen is propping up a coach who had everything in place to make a sensational start to his career, one that every gooner wanted.

      How , with such a full blown injury crisis, did he play in a european final and finished fifth when it should have been third?

      Simple…he had a squad of players who were good enough to get into that position, only for him to mess it up with tactics, player selection and a defensive approach bordering on insanity.

      1. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼. Sir, I have been looking for words to put the injury excuses to bed and you have just done justice to that. People make it appear as if the squad consist of just 11 players. Pointing to injuries as why we failed to qualify for cl last season and the for dire performances so far is disrespectful to the players that playing presently. Non of the present players are woeful footballers. There shortcomings are just heightened by coaches tactics, imbalance team selection and football philosophy imo.

        1. Mobella, it will be interesting to see if those that used injuries as an excuse will be able to explain what you and I are saying.

          With a full squad now available, let’s see (and hope) that UE selects players who are in form and if injuries occur, as they will, he doesn’t use this as an excuse to explain another end of season implosion – for which Wenger will be blamed for!!!

      2. Right said Ken, and it all seems so similar to what’s happening in my country. It’s the alt-truth and post-truth world that we live in, and when you state facts they go on to whataboutery.
        How Emery messed up our last 6 games is so glaring, but they’ll tell you he didn’t have his team, and I kid you not, any other manager would have beaten Crystal Palace and Brighton at home, with walking wounded.

      3. Another way of putting it was, Emery did a good job to get us into that position with 6 games to go, with such an insane injury list, a squad of players that hadn’t been coached in defending in years, and the worst Arsenal squad in over 30 years.

        People keep going on about the Palace game, whilst conveniently forgetting it was tightly wedged between 2 massive European games, plus Emery picked his strongest lineups for other ones apart from the Burnley game. Players simply weren’t good enough. Emery’s fault his strongest lineup couldn’t beat Brighton at home? Theres the facts you need! What others also forget is that Spurs and Chelsea squads were miles better than ours, yet Emery managed to finish only a couple of points within both of them…with crazy injuries!

        So Ken, you honestly believe that if the injuries hadn’t been so bad, we still wouldn’t have got the extra couple of points for CL?

        And a simple question to anyone who doubts the injury excuse. Would Liverpool have done what they did last season with the same injuries? No one will dare answer the question, because you all know I’m right.

        1. TMJW, for the sake of disussion:
          Let’s use your scenario that UE did a wonderful job with a squad of players that hadn’t been coached in defending in years…
          we will forget that this squad of uncoached players had won the fa cup three times in four years – had finished in the top four eight times in the last ten years and had qualified for the KO stage of the CL – if your looking for a wonderful job, I suggest that’s not bad for a manager who failed to coach his defenders…
          but I digress.

          Despite long term injuries, we were 3rd in the table, needing just one point to qualify for the CL…and also in the final of the europa cup.

          So far a great season it seemed, because UE had taken this squad of players, the worst for thirty years, taught them how to defend and was on the brink of glory in his first season…then suddenly they forgot what UE had so skillfully taught this group, how to defend, not only away, but at home as well…why didn’t he do something about it then?

          We also see that another reason has sprung up for one of the defeats, it was wedged between european games, what else can you think of to deflect the blame from UE?
          How do you explain the other five games or the final then?

          Shoudn’t he have prioritised the league game, knowing what was required? I was at the palace game and they outplayed and outfought us and were tactically superb as UE was exposed by Hodgson in how to win a game.

          They couldn’t defend against the likes of palace and brighton, but you say it wasn’t UE’s fault, because he had been waiting all along for Wenger’s players to return from their injuries.
          But these were the players that, up until their injuries, had been part of the Wenger deadwood that needed to be got rid off at the first opportunity and hadn’t been coached in defending for years.

          Now, we are seeing these players compared to VVD and Trent as examples for UE’s shortcomings at the end of the season.

          Are you seriously saying that VVD and Holding compared last season, or Trent and Bellerin the same (both players called out for being useless defenders in the past) as the reason for our europa final humiliation or the seventeen points dropped out of eighteen from our last six games?
          Didn’t UE buy Lichstenier and Sokratis to cover and improve those positions?

          We had it in our hands, despite the injuries you refer too, but UE blew it with his defensive tactics and fixation to prove he was the man with the tactical knowledge.

          So it’s not whether I believe it or not, it actuallly happened, we saw it unfold and yet you still bring up Wenger’s name and injuries to cloud the issue.

          As for pool and how they would have fared, klopp has the ability to change his tactics to suit the situation, whereas Unai Emery tactically used his abilities (?) to throw away a final and top four finish, when he was in the position to do EXACTLY what klopp achieved…top four finish and a european cup final win, despite the injuries to Wenger’s defenders that hadn’t been schooled in defending anyway, according to you.

          UE was so close to becoming an instant sucess and it was his fault that he blew it so dramatically – not the injuries, not european matches and not Wenger.
          With twelve new signings, some fantastic young players coming through and an injury free squad, there will be no excuses if he fails – and no excuses for shifting the blame to Wenger and/or long term injuries.

          1. You don’t get what I am saying about Liverpool at all. I am talking about players within the context of their own squad, not as a comparison with our players. I am using them as an example.

            Obviously VVD, and Trent, and others are better than Holding, Bellerin, etc, but the premise is the same. If Klopp lost a lot of his key players then he would be in trouble, because their backups are a huge drop in quality. You’re not telling me that Gomez or Lovren would do just a good a job as VVD if he was missing nearly all season? Clyne would perform just as well for Trent? And so on… Have you forgotten how bad Liverpool’s defence were VVD?

            Same at Arsenal. AMN is a massive drop in quality compared to Bellerin. Kolasinac isn’t in the same stratosphere as Tierney, etc.

            So you honestly believe that Emery hasn’t got a better chance of getting results with his key players back?

            And in regards to mentioning Wenger. He did leave us with huge problems, and those problems do not just disappear when he left, and Wenger would still be mostly to blame within the short term, even after his departure, because it’s not possible to fix all the problems so quickly. In fact, I said last year, that one problem called Ozil could easily rumble on until 2021

        2. ThirdManJW, answer this honestly, if Klopp’s Liverpool were in Arsenal’s position last season needing just 3 points to make top 4 with 6 matches to go and missing VVD and Trent Arnold to injuries, would they have got just 1 point from possible 15 and lose 1 – 4 to Chelsea in UL final? Would they have lost at home to Crystal Palace, drawn Brighton, lost to Liecester, Wolves and Everton?

  5. I’m surprised no one has mentioned just due to Bellerin’s pace and natural play to overlap it will just give Pepe more space and time. That is one of the big differences in this league, it’s played at such a high intensity you don’t get that extra second.

    Hopefully that is the case, we shall wait and see.

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