Has Arteta given up completely on Nicolas Pepe?

Arsenal’s most expensive signing Nicolas Pepe has now been at the club for two and a half seasons. After a very slow start and a first season that saw him score just 5 goals, compared to 22 in Ligue 1 the previous year, he did improve towards the end of last season and a late surge saw him reach 10 League goals in the end.

On the strength of that, I guess, he played in five games up until the beginning of October without scoring at all, and was only seen against Leeds and Crystal Palace during October…

But since then he has spent his life on the bench, and has even been overlooked as a sub when we have needed goals. The Ivory Coast international has been an unused sub in the last 5 outings, and even Eddie Nketiah was used ahead of him at Everton, despite the youngster set to leave for free in the summer. When asked why he didn’t bring on Pepe, Arteta said it was “Because I decided to play Eddie today. To bring him on. He created three chances and hit the post once in 25 minutes I think.”

But that reply simply shows that Arteta doesn’t trust Pepe when we are in need of goals, then why is the Frenchman even still at the club?

I am beginning to think that Pepe is yet another one that Arteta has decided to leave in the wilderness until he is forced to find another club.

Can we expect to try and recoup some of our losses on Pepe in January?

Maybe Arteta and Edu can come up with another young gem to take his place?


  1. gotanidea says:

    As long as Saka is fit to play, I don’t think Pepe will be a starter again in an EPL. Pepe’s touches are just too inconsistent and the technically-gifted Hutchinson is waiting for his promotion

    The next summer will also be the perfect moment to recoup some money from Pepe’s transfer, before he gets too old to be sold

  2. Grandad says:

    Unless he is given an opportunity to play on the left ,,or indeed, through the middle , he will turn out to be yet another bad buy.As an inverted right winger, he has been a failure, despite improving his work rate since he arrived.I cannot fault his attitude but I can only assume that others are impressing more in training sessions.

    1. LeGunner says:

      Pepe has never played on the left wing in France.
      The season he scored 22 league goals for Lille he was playing on the right wing of counter attacking 4-3-3.
      This guy needs space in front of him to express his qualities. Once he’s got space Pepe is pure dynamite.

      He’s got two main problems at Arsenal:
      1- Saka is great
      2- MA’s wants to play some sort of possession play which doesn’t fit his qualities

      What a pure waste of money to pay a fortune for this player and end up not using his qualities.

      I was shocked that Nketiah came in ahead of him against Everton.
      I don’t know if it’s MA’s decision but it looks like he was sent a message that the club wants him out.

      In the summer he’ll have two years left in his contract, it’s either we sell him (at huge loss) or we extend his contract otherwise we may end up leaving for free. Looks like the club is going for the latter

      1. PJ-SA says:

        Is the EPL the same as the French league? What’s wrong with change in something isn’t working?

        1. LeGunner says:

          Pepe made a name for himself by playing on the right wing, cutting inside and using his lethal left foot to score goals.

          The crazy situation is that as soon as he signed for AFC Saka starting throwing outstanding performance and within a few months we ended up with our most expensive player ever and our player with the highest market value playing the same position.

          I actually think Pepe had some pretty good games from the right wing at AFC but Saka won his place fair and square.

          I have nothing against trying out Pepe elsewhere on the pitch but please don’t tell me that he didn’t perform well enough because he was wrongly played on the right wing as this is non sense.

  3. RFrancis says:

    He gave up on the 72M-rated Pepe from day one…and opted instead to sign his own player, 30M-rated Willian.

    From day one, Pepe’s days were numbered. Now we know how that story ended: close to 100M in player value flushed down the toilet (the Arsenal way) – from just one of many awful and costly errors by Arteta. But who cares, it’s all Kroenke’s money.

    Better hold on tight; a lot more flushing to come
    from this chaotic reign of Arteta.

    1. Greco says:

      hahahahaha.Thats what a man utd fan would said.ELEOS

    2. Ozziegunner says:

      👍 👍

    3. Johnze says:

      Agree. Well said to remind us that “process” also invluded acquisition of willian. He was not that worse tham crballos or soares though. at least arteta was very fortunate that he agreed to leave arsenal

  4. Dr Chief says:

    The truth is, the clueless and tactically bankrupt coach does not know how to get the best out of good players. Arteta’s naivety is the reason why Aubameyang, Lacazette, Partey and Pepe are no longer producing goods. No decent coach would have sent Saliba out on loan and keep Pablo Mari. Matteo Guendouzi is also out on loan for reasons best known to the clueless coach. The issue of consistency is just a lame excuse, because Ramsdale is the only consistent player in the current Arsenal team. The only difference is that, Pepe and Maitland-Niles are dropped after poor performances and the likes of Partey, Xhaxa, Aubameyang, Ordegaard, Saka and Smith-Rowe are given another chance.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      👍 Very good players are made ordinary.

    2. Johnze says:

      Dr chief,AMN performed cery well in his last games. A MOTM perf. Them dropped for lokonga and sent inside the heat at liverpool. Is he to blame there ?

  5. PJ-SA says:

    Pepe is actually a quality finisher to be honest. A good coach would tell him to stop all of his over dribbling and run hard to the line.

    When Pepe gets a chance he often buries it. I’d try him at striker, quick feet and a good shot on him.

    1. Ozziegunner says:


  6. Silentstan says:

    Has he given up? I hope so

  7. dgr8xt says:

    Pepe has never played in 10 consecutive matches since Arteta came. Arteta never fancied him from day one, and like RFrancis said above, Arteta got Willian at the first time of asking and continued playing him till December even when he was consistently the worst player on the pitch. This bias nature of his is why I don’t like him

  8. Dr Chief says:

    The truth is, Pepe is a quality player, but the novice, tactically bankrupt and clueless Arteta does not know how to get the best out of him. Arteta’s directionless management style is the result why other good players like Aubameyang, Partey, Lacazette, Leno and Tierney are no longer producing goods. The issue of consistency is just a pedestrian excuse because Ramsdale is the only consistent performer in the current Arsenal team. The difference is that, only the two outcasts, Pepe and Marland-Niles are dropped after poor performance, but the likes of Xhaka, Aubameyang, Ordegaard, Lacazette, Saka, Smith-Rowe, White always get another chance.

  9. Cliff says:

    With such an impotent forward line like what we have,any sane manager would have tried playing Pepe as a C.F with G.M,Saka&ESR behind him.
    This may just give us a cutting edge in some matches. But our clueless manager has his own fantasies, that’s why we are in this shit.
    I hope Arteta can just give up on himself & take a walk,coz with him we are headed nowhere.

  10. instrooments says:

    Imaginative coaching skills doesn’t exist in arteta’s camp..

    Tuchel used havertz as CF, pep used ferann torres as CF, klopp used jota as CF….the fact a player is registered as a CF doesn’t mean others can’t fill in , u may never know what hidden gem u have in your team..

    Pepe can be tried at d CF position, Ben white or Chambers can play DM, Xhaka can play AM, Tavares can be tried at LW to accommodate Tierney….even saka started at LB but morph into a top RW..

    Arteta needs to get creative to solve our attack problem

    1. gotanidea says:

      Arteta is creative, despite his lack of managerial experience. His attacking tactics are also good, hence we usually score first before sitting back

      He assigned Saka on the right wing and Smith-Rowe on the left, which turn out to be their best positions. He played Smith-Rowe as a CF/ false nine when facing Villareal and Smith-Rowe actually didn’t play badly there, yet some fans crucified Arteta for that decision

      He also played Soares as an attacking LB, who showed some flashes of brilliance in a couple of matches, before showing his left foot weakness

      1. Dan kit says:

        We had one shot off target in the first 40 mins against Everton.
        Nothing good about his offensive tactics whatsoever .

        1. gotanidea says:

          We produced many great chances in the previous matches, when the players’ confidence were still high

          1. Dan kit says:

            Every game is the same it as been since he’s come in ,the football is exactly the same as last season and the season before .
            I believe I’ve enjoyed a handful of games in the last 2 years ,that to me says it all .

          2. Sylva says:

            I agree with you on this. I guess after Man U lose the players confidence now low. IlEverton were beatable if Arsenal had played without a “hand break” but they were afraid to lose. Arteta was not totally at fault for Everton lose in experience is also affecting our youthful team. Unfortunately, the senior players are no leaders on the pitch.

            1. Reggie says:

              Artetas tactics blunt our attacks and slows them down. We are awful at attacking, near the bottom of the league as far as chances created,FACT.

            2. G$£NT says:

              If Arteta is not at fault you are at fault. Which coacch in the world tries to defend a 1:0 lead at 65min without wIthout a red card?

          3. gOD says:

            Chances that are not being converted…if we are so creative how are we on -4 goals, please explain the logic?. This team is not creative what so ever.

      2. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

        “Arteta is creative…his attacking tactics are also good” even for you this is an absolutely ridiculous take!!! please watch some other football, so that you have something to compare/contrast with…the naivety you display on a regular basis is mind-boggling GNI

      3. Ozziegunner says:

        GAI, you have lost the plot in your defense of Arteta. How many goals did Arsenal score last season and so far this season, given the forwards Arteta has to select from?

      4. Shonepa says:

        How are the tatics good? Can u please tell me how many goals we have scored this season?

        Arteta Is a good man, fine he loves the club…but he’s not the one to take arsenal to the next level for now.

        Am not saying we should kick em out, what am saying Is he should be a an assistant to a more experienced coach at arsenal.

        We cant beat any big 4 or 5 and we still loose to bottom table clubs

  11. Dboy says:

    Pepe has failed to make his mark. Need to take Aubamayeng, Kolasinac, Leno, Chambers, Mari, Laca with him. If we can get rid of these players in January it will be superb.

    1. PJ-SA says:

      MA has failed to make him mark….do you agree he should go in Jan as well?

  12. Phoenix Gunner says:

    We are going nowhere with this Lego hair character called Arteta. The man is clueless, vindictive and has no tactical acumens and in game management whatsoever.
    We need to replace ASAP! Or we find the Arsenal dragging to finish midtable.
    Get Erik ten Hag in NOW!

  13. Reggie says:

    Pepe may have lost his place but yet again the way Arteta has treated him is shameful and he has paid for it with losses. We need a goal and he brings on Nketiah and Auba who at the moment cant score for toffee. Pepe has been thrown to the slaughter while some players, week after week fire blanks. Pepe is a top player but need to be trusted and played correctly. Arteta has killed our strike force with poor decisions.

  14. Dr Chief says:

    GAI has completely lost the plot. He use to be a decent analyst, but he now sounds like Arteta’s Chief Publicist. We all know that the sky is blue and trying to convince us otherwise will portray you as a big joke. Arteta is worst coach in the EPL at the moment and only clueless people believe otherwise.

    1. Behlule says:

      I actually think this guy is Arteta himself, lol. But I really don’t understand why GAI is always against everyone here in his analysis, maybe he knows way too much than all of us here. If its not about his obsession with left footed players and tall players its always about defending our poor coach.

      1. David says:

        Actually, I believe GAI has made some reasonable points about Arteta’s creativity.
        It is also clear that he has a better understanding of football than many who post on here.
        This does not mean that Arteta has got everything right. It is also important to realize that being creative as a coach or manager does not always give you results.

  15. Goonster says:

    We all can see that Arteta is a poor manager right now but to put Pepe’s poor attitude and poor performances on him is something else.

    Pepe was poor under Emery too.

    Lets just accept that that’s another big money failure. £70 million wasted.

    Partey seems to be going that same route.

    1. David says:

      Well, I disagree. I believe Arteta is a good manager.

  16. Dr Chief says:

    Let us not be selective when we talk about poor performances. Pepe at his worst, is not as poor as what we are currently seeing from Aubameyang. But Aubameyang is treated differently by the Coach. Partey is poor I agree, but he doesn’t get locked out of the team like Pepe. When Xhaka gets a stupid red card, the coach jumps to his defense. When it is Pepe the Coach attacks him publicly. Players perform well when they feel loved and trusted and Arteta has failed to provide that kind of environment for Pepe. So, it will be naive to exonerate him.

  17. Joe. S says:

    It definitely is a very strange tale. Pepe has his limitations of which most of us are aware but he can conjur something out of the box which the likes of Nketian can’t even fantasise, so what exactly has happened to put Pepe in the dog house. Poor Mikael, he just doesn’t have a clue when it comes to human relationships.

  18. gunnerforlife says:

    Pepe is a class player, no doubt. He should be used wisely and in the right position. He could be very useful as a CF, he has the precision and pace to score. We needed goals desperately against Everton, I think Pepe should have come on.

  19. Prof.Wenger says:

    Maybe MA can use him as a playmaker instead of Ode from time to time, but with Saka and ESR being ready I don’t think he will still have a chance to play.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs