Is it time for clarity from Arsenal over the Pepe situation?

Time For Clarity On Pepe situation? by Dan Smith

Our owners have every right to wonder why in two consecutive games where we needed a goal, Pepe has been left sitting on the bench, surely this is the type of occasions you pay 72 million for….

Unai Emery was battling to save his job on Thursday, while Freddie on Sunday had an outside chance of auditioning for the role full time. The fact that neither man would trust our record signing speaks volumes, especially when you consider who is being picked ahead of him.

I think it’s time for some clarity, a weak area when it comes to Arsenal.

When Pires came to England, Arsene Wenger warned it might take time for him to adapt to the physical nature of our League. That prompted gooners, we understood why he was being left out and showed patience because there had been transparency. Yes, Mr Wenger believed the midfielder was a special talent, he just identified there might be aspects in the short term. With Pepe, we don’t know if it’s his attitude, the language barrier, the weather, home sickness, etc. By no one telling us the real Pepe situation, it leaves the fear he’s simply not good enough, or worse the coaches are not improving his game, which is kind of their job.

Our interim boss said after the Norwich game that his decisions on who started were based on what he saw in training, which may be a hint the winger isn’t pulling his weight?

Ljungberg on Pepe is a very good player. Like I said, I try to look at what players have done in training and that’s how I judge them.

Remember Ljungberg been around the set up since the summer so would have forged his own opinions. Clearly, he agreed with his old boss’ decision to drop the Ivorian.

Yet by saying you picked Saka based on his confidence, what does that do to the self-belief of your marquee signing?

The gunners have many youngsters who could go on to be great, but none have the body of work Pepe produced in France.

What do you think is going on with this Pepe situation?

Be kind in the comments…

Dan Smith


  1. Be kind to who DAN? To Pepe himself and any other player who does not give 100%? No thanks. I PREFER TO CALL ALL SHIRKERS, THE COWARDS AND SHIRKERS THEY ACTUALLY ARE! Perhaps if we all did this we might shame them into earning their considerable corn! We make too many silly excuses for laziness; “it takes time to acclimatise” etc. YES, IT MAY WELL DO, BUT IT TAKES NO TIME AT ALL, ONLY HEART, SELF RESPECT AND CONCERN FOR THE BADGE AND US FANS, TO RUN HARD AND WORK YOUR SOCKS OFF. I loathe silly excuses! HE HAS TALENT. WE CAN ALL SEE THAT. BUT HE HAS NO HEART, NO “BALLS”! And for me that equals no future!

    1. Jon, do you remember how long it took the great Dennis to acclimatise, or Henry, or Pires, as Admin mentions?

      Your sentiments regarding the badge and the fans I agree 100%, but to call pepe a shirker and a coward is way over the top so early in his Arsenal career.
      It’s not as if UE gave him a lot of confidence, rather the opposite I suggest.

      Someone further down the post suggests he should have a six or seven game run, just as the three I mentioned above were allowed to do under AW. Then we could all see if he has got heart etc etc. but after just a few playing minutes, you are writing offa player who has not been given the chances under UE, who hadn’t a clue what ANY of our players had in their lockers.

      The REAL point of the post, I believe, is that the club should explain WHY he is not being played, so that we understand the reasons and can empathise with them.
      The fact that we spent a reported £72,000,000 on a forward, when we so desperately require defenders, isn’t helping the situation either.
      If he plays the next few games and shows no further improvement, your views will most certainly become facts.

      1. Good try KEN. but I see things and make decisions, that is how I work. Sometimes, of ,I am wrong. But I called Walcot a shirker after half a dozen games and a decade plus later I WAS STILL RIGHT. I WILL KEEP OFF Ozil for obvious reasons but you know my views and that will not change. I see this lethargy throughout our club and have for a long time. Something is basically wrong and rotten unto the core with the spirit all top players need. I never thought Dennis/ Booby/ Thierry were lazy. They had a toughness which later years fully bore out but which the likes of
        PEPE and SAKA JUST CLEARLY DO NOT HAVE. Martinelli and Guendouzi DO HAVE IT. THE DIFFERENCE IS OBVIOUS AND I do not make excuses ; I call it as I see it and do not wait, if changes are needed. Our difference on the last ten(minus two) years of Wenger shows that well( from my point of view). That is why I am as I am and you and I are different. C’est la vie!

        1. Well JON, I wasn’t looking for confrontration, just making a sensible observation regarding the situation and, what I believe, Admin was trying to say.

          If the club came out and gave the reasons WHY pepe is not playing (as they have done with other players in the past) we could/should be able to make a judgement on those reasons.

          As it is, the situation is full of speculation and personal opinion, causing further unrest within the fanbase.

          With regards to Walcott, I still believe he is playing in the premier league and has no regrets about leaving our club, so I guess he couldn’t care less about being called lazy etc etc.

          Sometimes Jon, it is wiser to ponder ones decision making, especially if one doesn’t know the full story…and that is certainly the situation with pepe.

          I suggest that you recollect your views on UE just over eight weeks ago and how they changed since then and if you see my reluctance to condemn a player after just a few games as a weakness, then that’s fine by me.
          I really hope you are proved wrong again, not for any personal kudos, but for the sake of the £72,000,000 invested in him by the club.

          Do I think that will happen? No idea, but will watch with interest and certainly debate with you on your wisdom – or otherwise – as his career unfolds.

          1. Ken, Dennis Bergkamp is a bad example, because although he took a few games to score his first goal (a double against Southampton, which Matt Le Tissier still talks about), every comment I have read from his team mates at the time, is that he was a class above from day one. He showed commitment to training, an emphasis on healthy eating and a skill set that left them in awe.
            The apparent problem with Pepe appears to me, to be too much money too soon and the lack of drive and commitment to push himself.

        2. Guendouz is still raw and should be loaned out. He is not ready for the first team. He slows down our attack. You cannot win a title with Guendouzi as a starter. Same as Saka. You need quality. Pepe is quality. Give him a break. The whole team played rubbish under Emery. Guendouzi and Saka are not ready yet. We are far behind. We need to win games and go on a consistent run. Life is simple. Stick to a 433 formation. Midfield 3 of Ozil Xhaka and Torrera. Front 3 of Martinelli Aubameyang and Pepe. The front 3 to rotate.Lacazette as substitute. That is the way to go. We are far behind in the Guendouzi should be loaned out or played as sub. In January, go for Rakitic and Thomas Partey.We need men not kids. Guendouzi dwells on the ball too long. He caress it more than necessary.

          1. Agree with Guendouz opinion. Though his work rate is good but he is very raw in defending. He even does not closes on an attacker during defending and most of the time lets the ball slip through either through his legs or does not stretch enough. While attacking he slows the tempo a bit but have not seen him using head while defending or either attacking.Basically he is four or five touch player before he distributes the ball. During winter break the team definitely require two central defenders with a good height.

          2. Nonsense comment.
            With which of our players CAN you win the title? Auba and maybe Lacazette. Everyone else is at best good enough for the top 4, half of them barely for the top 6.

            Guendouzi definitely does not need to be loaned out, but he doesn’t have to start all the big games either. He can play in the cups when he’s not focused and in the EPL when he shows he’s determined.

            The players that do need a loan are Saka, Reiss Nelson, Willock, and Mavropanos. Of these I have no hopes for Reiss Nelson — he lacks almost everything, but Saka could make it if he develops some grit and power and also the intelligence to know what to do in a given situation. Not sure if that can happen, though. Just look at Walcott — never developed a footballing brain.

    2. Man come on! Didn’t see much from Saka to even have to debate this. It is a fact that a number of top footballers barely gave all at training but left nothing remaining on matchdays. I could agree if Martinelli was being chosen over Pepe but certainly not Saka. I smell Freddie just giving his prodigy preferential treatment.
      I mean seriously, you need a goal, and you chose Saka over Pepe….simply genius

    3. Easy to say for someone who probably has never played pro a day in their lives. More counterproductive hate and ignorance from this toxic, self-destructive fan base. The more you people get your way the further we plunge down the table.

      1. Stephan, was that directed at me?

        If so, I take great offence sir!!! If not, I agree 100% with you!!!

  2. Pepe is better than saka,so all those things they see in training is funny..did mustafi and Luiz also play well in training?.all these managers and funny analogies

    1. Pepe would be better than Saka if Pepe plays on the left side, where he can use his stronger foot to dribble past the opposition’s RB

      Pepe played well as an inverted RW at Lille, but eight of his goals were penalties and he declined after the excellent season. I wonder why our scouts and decision makers didn’t think about Pepe’s awful performances in AFCON

      However, I’d prefer Arsenal to force Pepe to work harder on the right wing, instead of converting him into a conventional LW. Because we already have Tierney who possesses excellent dribbling and crossing abilities on the left side

      1. @gotanidea
        Just hope we get a coach that can bring the best out of the current Arsenal players. And most especially Pep so that 72m invested won’t be a waste.

  3. From what I’ve seen,(2fantastic free kicks) an ability to take on and beat players! Incredible pace!
    Ok the premier needs time to adjust to.He has to play to adjust and with him wide Auba plays central for me!

  4. I’d like to see Pepe given a 6 or 7 game run, the only way he’s gonna get confidence is by playing. I know we don’t see him in training but his confidence now must be so low.

  5. Pepe is too one-legged currently, but he still has time till the end of this season to show his abilities

    It’s very difficult to find an excellent left-footed RW. Malcom failed at Barcelona, Chukwueze is inconsistent, Shaqiri is too slow and I don’t think David Neres would succeed in EPL

    If Pepe can’t show any improvement at the end of this season, unfortunately we have to go back to our conventional RW like Nelson and Martinelli

    1. Bernardo Silva is equally one-legged.
      But his shooting and ball control make up for it.

      Pepe went to his right once and got a shot away which admittedly wasn’t very good, but he should do that more often. Then his movement to the left won’t be taken for granted anymore…

  6. Joe willock must win the ballon d or in training sessions. A player who gets picked but is incredibly Lucky to be anywhere near the first team. Better talents in his position includes zelalem, Ben sheaf, René Adelaide just to mention a few. Ljunberg should have said his diamond formation doesn’t require a right winger.

  7. Is it me or is F.L another version of the departed Emery?
    First he plays Mustafi &sits there for 90 minutes watching him run away from every attack &inviting 2silly goals.
    He took ages to make a substitution when it was obvious Willock was off duty.
    Then the same Old stuff of bringing in this boy(Saka)to run around &be bullied around when we are grinding a win.I thought we had seen enough of this but I am afraid,we still need anew manager.
    About Pepe he is poor to be honest but the Arsenal situation has not helped him at all.First he is under pressure to have an instant impact because we have no other wingers who could hold it until he gels with the team.Add that to the fact that our managers in their wisdom think that Saka is better than Pepe.I bet we watch different matches.
    Pepe needs a fresh start & may be a loan to say Italy or Spain with a manager who can trust him &he will definitely come good.As they say class is permanent but form is temporary. You can see how the written off Lukaku is banging them at inter.

  8. Would like to see pepe in the 4-3-3 of guardiola or klopp, imagine if salah had signed for arsenal, we won’t have any idea what to do with him.

  9. Pepe won’t thrive in this arsenal system of sideways and backward passing, for me he has been made to come too deep for balls. The guy is an outlet, he should be given direct balls to lash on to on the move and attack just like salah. Emeryball completely finished him. Even in Liverpool’s front three, salah is the one with the least defensive work and furthest ahead.

    1. Spot on. Under Emery, he’s expected to carry the ball from midfield (sometimes deep midfield) to the final third. It’s not reasonable. He himself needs to stop trying to dribble through entire defenses and sometimes just run w/ the ball or pass though.

  10. The bitter truth I feel is he is not rated by now two coaches. They didn’t buy him managment did reason we didn’t buy a 72mill defender is because we signed to Adidas and ww needed a shirt selling name as part of the deal as well to make money.
    Thats why we spent 8 mill on Luiz Arsenal is no longer ran like a football club its a money making machine.

    1. 👍 I certainly wanted the money spent on defenders; however for shirt sales I suppose attacking players are “sexier”.

  11. There is no doubt that he has under-performed. I really hoped that those free kicks in Europa was going to be the start of something. When the team is struggling I suppose that leaves limited room for gambles which is unfortunately what using Pepe would be classified as.

    A teenager that cost 6.7m is out performing him at the moment. Where is Gabriels adjustment period? He is younger and costs a 10th of Pepe. We have a lot of games coming up, I am sure that he will get his chance and then it will be up to him as to whether or not he is ready to grasp it.

    Glad that we don’t just pick players because they cost a lot. That was a Wenger move. He played Ozil, Xhaka and Sanchez to death regardless of form and I believe all 3 are paying the price today.

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