Mertesacker backs Arsenal flop to turn his situation around

Per Mertesacker has worked for Arsenal behind the scenes as a coach for much of his post-playing career, and he has been privileged to see the club’s big players play first hand.

The former defender has now spoken about the performances of Nicolas Pepe, and he backs the Ivorian to prove his worth if he remains at the club.

Arsenal wants to offload Pepe after his underwhelming spell since he moved to the Emirates in 2019.

He hardly got near the starting XI in the last campaign, and it will hardly get better in this one considering that Mikel Arteta is already targeting a new winger.

But Mertesacker insists Pepe is good enough to do a job at the Emirates. He tells Sky Sports:

“What I’ve seen in the three weeks when I was coaching there is that he has major potential.

“Hopefully we can see that at Arsenal.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Pepe has been anything but a success at Arsenal, and now is probably the best time to offload the winger.

The former Lille man has failed to deliver on the promise he showed in the French league, and time has ran out for him to do more for the Gunners now.

He would need another chance to prove he has improved, but it could be hard for him to find one in this campaign if he doesn’t leave.

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  1. I feel he’s a top player who we just haven’t found how to use properly.
    Yes he’s not been great for us but i bet he will for whoever can find the system and placement for him.
    Saying that we can’t be hanging about to wait and see as it’s too long since we had a decent team we can say is yeh were happy with that , so maybe he should go for his own glory or if MA can suss out how we can fit him in then i’d prefer that as i do think he’s a fantastic player if all things being even.

  2. Sometimes a player just doesn’t fit a club and vice versa, it happens…..Pèpe situation really reminds me of Gervinho… could always see there was a top player in there but unfortunately it just never happened for him at Arsenal…..he was a different player at Roma.
    Sadly got a feeling Pèpe will have to move on to achieve his potential now .

    1. 100% – to be honest, gervinho was quite brilliant, maybe one of the best at getting into dangerous positions, but it made it all the more frustrating that he couldn’t find the right pass /shot. For whatever reason, it just didn’t work out here – different player at roma.

  3. The game as moved on that no player can be seen as a passenger because of the way teams set up in the PL.
    He may be more suited to the French or Spanish league where he as the chance to show off his tricks more .
    There is no doubt in my mind there is a top player in there but not for the way we play .

  4. No question he is a talented player, but there is no guarantee it transfers to the PL.

    I would say the PL is the toughest league, the next is a distant second. I’m saying in overall competitiveness from top to bottom.

    I always hoped Pepe would find some consistency, but it has not happened. Enough blame to go around, managers not properly using his strengths perhaps or enough chances (Willan seemed to get endless chances), and the player himself for not adjusting to demands.

    Can’t help but think he would fare better in a more attacking system and free flowing football. Arteta prefers a more scripted positional possession based system not conducive to Pepe’s strengths.

    Poor poor recruiting from Raul, damaging for the player but more importantly for our club. Huge financial hit we will never break even on.

    Price isn’t Pepe’s fault, but not adjusting, evolving, and making himself undroppable is his responsibility.

    1. But if a manager decides he is not going to be given the opportunity to adjust to the PL, what chance has the player got Durand?
      I can remember how long it took for ESR and Martinelli to be recognised – and that only came about because injuries forced Mikel to select them.

      If there is a top player to be seen, why hasn’t he been coached and given the opportunity via a decent run in the starting eleven?

      We are giving up to quickly on players who need to be coached and helped to settle in to a different way of playing – selling them off for peanuts or giving them away.

      The club stand to lose £50,000,000 and I wonder how much longer kronkie will allow this to go on?

      1. I agree with you Ken, as I mentioned above.

        Both Emery and Arteta have fallen short in part of their duty as managers.

        Whether it is giving a player opportunities, or using the strengths of the player to help the team produce, both managers have not done enough.

        For example, Willan was absolute trash on the pitch, miniscule goals and assists. Yet, he continued to feature and Pepe never got a sniff.

        Detrimental to Arsenal, yet Arteta persisted well into the Spring with Willan. Pepe had a bad appearance Arteta dropped him for weeks.

        Willan continued to deliver trash, yet always got chances off the bench. The managers certainly deserve their share of blame.

        Even now Pepe should get chances in preseason, either to show improvement or shopping him this window. Let’s see if he gets a chance, or if Arteta has written him off.

        Big loss financially for the club, but Arteta loses nothing. Using assets is part of the job, rather than freezing out and not taking responsibility for the results.

        Like January window, decimated squad, improved nothing, yet glosses over the consequences. Unacceptable by some, but not a shred of accountability for Arteta and Edu.

  5. Pepe is a good player and arteta has not given him enough games to prove himself,
    He can change a game and has rescued us numerous times.
    Arteta seems to do this to much, and needs to stop

  6. I think sometimes, when things don’t click quite early on, it’s really tough to come back and find your groove. Like the other commenters, I think there’s a really dangerous player in there, he probably just needs a change of scene – we just need to find a club that’s willing to pay a bit of money and take a chance on him

  7. As I have alluded to on numerous occasions,I am at a loss to understand why Arteta has not deployed Pepe as a conventional left winger or, indeed through the middle during a period when Auba and Lacca failed to perform.The guy has a wand of a left foot and can cross on the run with ease on the left flank.As an inverted right winger he is so predictable as he can barely kick a ball with his right peg and invariably turns inside where there is little space.Having paid a huge premium for Pepe I would have thought that every effort would have been made to find a niche for him to justify at least some of our huge investment, but our Manager does not seem to have the inclination, nor perhaps the imagination to give him a run on the left.It leaves me with a great sense of frustration i,m afraid.

  8. People with plenty of football experience, particularly related to Arsenal, such as Durand, Ken1945 and Grandad have questioned the treatment/utilization of Nicholas Pepe.
    From my own perspective, I have watched Pepe play, score and assist goals, then be dropped for following games. What does that do for any player’s confidence, when they don’t get a run of games, when in form and their chance for consistency is disrupted? I, like others, cannot understand the selection treatment Pepe has received, given the difficulties Arsenal has had in scoring goals in the last two seasons.

  9. Nope…..I think pepe has been given enough chances to prove himself,he isn’t that player we saw in the French league,if he is that good M.A wouldn’t put him on the bench.
    He need to be sold no matter how much the cost may be

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