One side effect of the Nicolas Pepe transfer is a loss of perspective

Signing Nicolas Pepe was a great piece of business for Arsenal, he is a top-class talent and hopefully will help propel the club to a successful season but I fear some perspective is being lost.

The way some fans are reacting on social media to the Philippe Coutinho rumour is eye-opening, I doubt that would have been so optimistic if the Pepe deal had not happened.

Under normal circumstances, the idea of Coutinho coming to Arsenal would have been ridiculous but that is the side effect of the Pepe deal.

A lot of fans feel that top-four is now nailed on, that any player is now within our grasp, that we are closing the gap to the top two and so on.

Nothing at all wrong with that, it is far better to optimistic than pessimistic and there was definitely a lot of that going around before Arsenal signed the Ivory Coast international.

But some perspective is required.

Pepe may need time to adapt, he may well not be as effective in the Premier League as he is in Ligue 1, Arsenal’s closest rivals are strengthening as well, the defence is still weak and so on.

The biggest side effect of the Pepe deal is that it raises expectations and if those expectations are not met straight away then the blame game will begin in earnest.

I am optimistic that Arsenal will have a great season but I am also realistic to know it is far from guaranteed, that Pepe is just one young lad and that we are still only in the Europa League and that a top-four finish is far from assured.


  1. True, getting Pepe not only could be a great improvement to the team, but also a positive lift in spirits to fans.
    What we really need now is some strengthening of the defense.
    Without it we may be a contender for top 4, but with a real strengthening of the defense, we could be aiming at top 2-3.

  2. Coutinho is a quality footballer but is not coming to Arsenal .. If we don’t buttress the defence we will challenge for 4th place but there will be no guarantees ..

  3. Arsenal should forget top 4 with the current defensive set up, average defenders and a light weight midfielders…… Even If coutinho comes in, which I doubt will see light of day;. Will not guarantee top 4

      1. NEARLY they say, cannot kill a bird.
        If the defence was tough enough, we shouldn’t have been one point away.
        Top 4 would have been guaranteed during the Tottenham loosing streak, the period the same defence (mustafi) caused us a lead and gave away a needless penalty to Kane.

        The way I see it, we were lucky to be one point away from Top 4.
        Strengthen the defence and eliminate Kos and Mustafi, and Top 4 should be guaranteed with our strike force.

  4. Signing Pepe changes everything for Arsenal…. Him with Aubameyang up front will be a lethal combination not to talk of Lacca and Iwobi also in the team.

    Just add Tiereny and Umtiti and we have a squad that can win the epl this season and also the Europa.

    1. You could add the whole team of City and we would not win the PL this season.

      Let’s be realistic. IF Lampard and Solskjear struggle AND we improve our defending AND we don’t get hit with injuries to our key players, we have a reasonable chance for a top 4 finish.

      Thinking this lot and this manager can win the PL is not understanding we are in our cycle compared to City and Liverpool and even Spurs.

  5. Just wait and see what the board coming up with they may surprise you once again I congratulate the board they so far have done brilliantly

    1. Really what have they done? They have spent £72m on a winger no one had heard of 2 years ago. £27m on an 18 year old centre back on condition we loan him back for a year. £6m on an 18 year old unknown from Brazil and £15m on a loanee for one year who is currently injured….. Yeah tip your hats to the board.

      I’m sorry i am not feeling the elation. On paper the team looks good, but unfortunately we don’t play on paper and the fact is once an opposing team gets in our final third, the flapping will start. The coach cannot coach, the defenders cannot defend, until that changes Arsenal cannot win trophies.

      1. Attid what a true arsenal fan¡!!!!!, everything arsenal does is a negative to you,keep it up and you wouldn’t know if if you are an alien

      2. Really? You might have not hear about Pepe before but i have, even on this forum people have dream of his signing even before his breakthrough season. However, may i asked, when was the first time you heard about Hazard or Drogba prior to their move. Its a new dawn, embrace the change and cleanse yourself of negstivities

    1. I agree with some previous comments on our priority. CB should be prioritized over LB, because we still have Kolasinac and Monteal

      We can use that 25 M money and the 10 M from Bielik sale to fund the purchase of an EPL CB

      25 M is too much to be spent on an injured player that is not available for two months

  6. Pepe is not a magical superstar that can improve the team tremendously in one month. He is just one person and I’m afraid his movements would be predictable after a while, due to his obsession in cutting inside with his left foot

    The main advantage is Pepe is new in EPL, so no defender is familiar with his style of play. Therefore I hope he would have the same effect as Ozil’s in 2015/16, when Ozil just arrived in England

    If Emery can utilize him as how Klopp used Salah, I believe Pepe can score a lot of goals for us. The key would be in our midfield, which should be controlled by Ceballos or Willock

    1. I doesn’t matter how predictable a pacey strong winger is… its one thing to know what they ate going to do it’s another to stop it, lots of wingers are predictable doesn’t stop them being effective.

  7. Woeful transfer window -> marquee signing -> raised expectations -> not a bed of roses -> blame game -> poor management -> woeful transfer window again.

    We have all seen this cycle over and over, but that’s just life as football fans. Can’t help it

  8. I’m so excited right now – after last night’s Wentworth Prison cliffhanger.. now today we have the community shield, followed by our game!! Perfect!
    I am very optimistic for the season, yes I know we’re not going to win the quadruple, but we may have a shot at one trophy – all being well with injuries – our attack is well & truly sorted.. we should score more goals (but I don’t really want to think about the other end ?)
    As for Coutinho, that’s a load of tosh, although I’ve loved rubbing it in to the Liverpool fans I know!!!
    Will we see Nico later?? COYG

  9. Just my take as an arch realist but my take is like this: no matter what the strengthening in other areas so far, UNLESS, – which seems very doubtful right now – we replace a minimum of one of the two CB clowns(but preferably BOTH) with a real quality import(s) we are very unlikely to make top four. Man Utd have already properly reinforced their previously suspect defence and only Chelsea has a defence unstrengthened, because of their transfer ban. Spuds have far better defenders than us already and City and Liverpool are out of sight in front of us. I realise many Gooners do not feel comfortable when confronted with the depressing truth but as a truth lover, I feel compelled to say it, but of course as I SEE IT. I love optimism too but I prize realism above all, even above optimism, unless it is justified. And so far,I do NOT think it is. TO SUM UP THEN, I like what we have done so far but I fear it is not anywhere near enough with those two clowns, Mustafi and Sokratis, still likely to be our starting CB’s next week. No top four then IMO, UNLESS serious business at the back is completed this week.

    1. You are right, however, their is a step to take ,and maybe, our defenders may pick up form, that is, chaging back to 4 defenders, which ne need full backs for, so the signing of Tierney which is still achievable.
      I honestly hoping our defenders could stay free of injury so we could have a stable cb which would understand each strenght and weaknesses.
      One of the reason we performed woefully was incissent change of personel at the heart of defence resulting from injuries. Mustafi wouldnt have played as much game but for injuries, even Kos wasnt supposed to be rush back but injury forced the crew.
      Dont get me wrong, am not saying we dont need to change what we have, but the change must be significant(preferably an EPL experienced established CB, which i doubt we could get), not some pensioneer, or 4th choice bench warmers of some above average team, or injury proned.
      However we could still look inward for solution , hopefully our defence is injury free, find form and stability.
      Last season, we hardly play a month game without changing one person in defence due to injury

  10. Spot on JF.Prior to the transfer window surely we should have “lined” up a good number of suitable defenders to solve our glaring deficiencies?.

    1. Jon and Grandad… did we get to the last few days of the transfer window still needing a CB? In fact we are worse. Kos is gone. We have the scariest defence in our recent history. Can Emery et al see that other teams are improving. I am not looking forward to our goals against column. Do our extra years in life make us less ikely to delude ourselves?

      1. Sean I’m also surprised we didn’t sign a CB straight away
        Although I have been trying not to get too over exited by this window I have to admit I’m pretty impressed with
        The seemingly change in attitude from the owners / board and vision of AFC
        It does seem we mean business again fingers crossed this comes out on the pitch this season
        I do believe our other signings will help our defence with a better offence and hopefully holding and chambers also help out
        We must be all out for someone to shore up the back line ready for next season when saliva comes in
        Anyway buzzing at the moment let’s keep it going
        Coyg ?????

        1. Solly Gunner

          Me too. Very excited. A lot rests on Dani Ceballos. We missed Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey badly. With a fit uninjured Ramsey we would have made 4th, I’m sure. Can Ceballos fill those roles? Pepe is exciting. Still there is a hole in our bucket….and will we fix it by the end of the window with a CB? I bloody hope so.

          1. I’m definitely hopeful ceballos can reignited some fire in our midfield Sean
            And yeah I believe your right about Ramsey being the difference on those few missed points along with a couple of injuries at the back

          2. A hole? Indeed yes and a bucket sized hole at that! It is inconceivable that the regime would not bring in at least one CB. But nothing as yet and days are fast running out. IF NO proper CB comes, then top four is a no no!

  11. CB this CB that why are we mourning? Is the transfer window over? Why not wait till its over before we begin evaluating our chances for top 4. We were told to be happy. Emery is not done with transfers so be patient. This team according to me is better than what we had last season. We would have made top four if out attack had not wasted their chances. why blame only the CBs?

    1. Aj, no sensible fans blame ONLY the CB’s. But all sensible fans KNOW that the woeful CB’s are the main cause of our woes. So should you!

  12. Seems to me that our defense will improve this season even if we don’t get any replacements in.
    I was actually shocked to see that Mustafi had better stats than Maguire last season… And whilst I will readily admit he is error prone maybe if the team is defending from the front properly he won’t be put in as many situations where he can make a mistake. The addition of Pepe and Ceballos should help with this.

    OT…. Rumour has it that Coutinho is a smokescreen and its actually Umtiti that Raul is speaking to Barca about…. Loan deal with option to buy.
    Not sure how I feel about that…. Decent enough defender but his knees are a worry

    1. If he comes on loan first mad hatter at least if his injuries keep him back we haven’t wasted to much
      And if he’s shxt hot we get to buy him for next season

    2. MadHatter, I believe you make an excellent point with regards to the attack.
      One of the things that made city, pool and spuds so good last season was their ability to keep pressure on their opponents defence.
      With the new signings, we have a better midfield and, most cetainly a forward line that NO team can ignore.

      Of course we need to strengthen our defence, I haven’t seen one post that denies this, but isn’tthis how UE works?
      He believes attack is the best form of defence and that is what this window is surely showing us?

      It does seem incredoulous that we hadn’t lined up defenders, but the Kos saga obviously caught everyone by surprise (fans as well as the club).
      I’m fed up with being and reading negativity, we have bought in class players, so let’s be patient and see what plans are still to be unveiled…even if we don’t sign defenders, but start playing exciting football and compete in every game, who knows what might happen?

      1. All I want for Christmas is not new front teeth, but a CB and a tall physical commanding DM.

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