Opinion – Arsenal must sell these two expensive deadwoods urgently

Arsenal will benefit if they get rid of Willian and Pepe quickly! (Opinion) by Shenel

It is no secret that the likes of Willian and Pepe have failed to cement themselves as somewhat of a great addition to Arsenal since their arrivals..

Willian really has no excuse, having come from Chelsea he has experience of playing in the Premier League, and apart from the one great performance back at the start of the season against Fulham, he has failed to produce in an Arsenal shirt. With the crazy salary he is on will it make sense for Arsenal to let him go to the likes of a Chinese or American club so that; one; he is off the wage books; and two; he is no longer defended by Arteta who sees what in him I don’t know! But Willian along with Pepe can go down as two signings that were a mistake!

Pepe, although he has shown glimpses, is not consistent and I personally don’t think he has what it takes to make it in an Arsenal shirt! Yes, he has the potential, but he has had time and I don’t think we can afford to give him any more time to prove himself, in case he never lives up to what we need him to. I have made no secret about my feelings for Pepe, but I have always given him a chance along with Willian when seeing both of them in the starting line-up and time after time they have both failed to impress.

So for the sake of both of these players’ careers and for the sake of our club I think it is time they review the contracts of these players and make a decision that would benefit both parties. If it continues like this and these two continue to get into the starting line-up then I fail to see the impacts they may make being a positive one, and I hope this doesn’t happen but it could well impact our club and it’s position!

I hope sooner rather than later, Arsenal rid us fans of these two, because god forbid if Lacazette and Aubameyang both get injured in unfortunate circumstances. Can you really see Willian and Pepe stepping up? Because I definitely can’t! Gooners?

Shenel Osman

READ MORE: Mourinho trolls Mesut Ozil over Tottenham jibe

Tags Nicolas Pepe Willian


    1. Thomo it’s no wonder we have no money.. Now they are letting Mustafi run down his contract MA says we need him here he let Saliba go on loan do this board know what they are doing because I for one don’t

  1. The right to be heard does not include the right to be taken seriously. This is crap. Neither will be sold anytime soon. Pepe is still the best corner kick taker we have currently. Willian will come good towards the end of the season he only needs a goal to get his confidence back.

    1. For someone telling others about getting taken seriously how do you know Willian will come good towards the end of the season?

      1. We once demanded that Arsene should off load one Ramsey, but the “stubborn” coach insisted on giving Ramsey time, and the rest is history.
        Give both players time at least until end of season.

    2. @Abu, God bless u Abu, u don’t judge a race at the middle, but at the finishing line. Willian & Pepe will come gud. If they don’t at the end of the season, then we decide against them. Not now !

  2. Pepes stats in his first season was better than any winger we have had at the club in the last 10 years ,and we have to remember he was playing under frank Emery spencer .
    This season he just hasn’t had a chance ,but that is up to Arteta you cannot expect him to pull up trees if he’s getting 20 mins here and there and only starting in the EL .
    Personally I would try him in the middle and if he can’t hold down a starting birth then maybe sell .problem is he has got lumbered with his price tag and some fans will only look at that while judging him .
    Regarding Willian I had massive hopes for him this season having watched him play a lot while at Chelsea (Dads a Chelsea fan )but for whatever reason he is really struggling,mind you every attacking player was before 3 weeks ago .

    1. The same season Arsenal under Emery finished an improved fifth, one point (or a missed Aubameyang penalty) ftom a Champions League place and made the final of the Europa League.
      Dan, your constant denigration of a past head coach is classless and tiresome.

      1. Emery was a top coach who was not given a chance at Arsenal. Emery did not want Pepe but the board did full stop

    2. “Pepes stats in his first season was better than any winger we have had at the club in the last 10 years”

      How? walcott scored 21 goals (14 PL goal) in season 12-13, had Pepe more goals?

      1. Protiq, Dan doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good story.
        It’s like how some supporters no nothing of the impact of Herbert Chapman on the successful history of Arsenal and the loss to the Club with his death of pneumoniau 13 days short of his 56th birthday. Even Bertie Mee or George Graham or the “Battle of Highbury” because they believe Arsenal was a small insignificant club, which won nothing prior to the arrival of Arsene Wenger. That is not to diminish in any way the significant contribution he made to the history of the Arsenal.

  3. That’s wishful thinking!!

    OT.. Watching the Blades v the Geordies…not sure what’s worse – supporting Sheff Utd or Newcastle??!! Sheesh!! Liverpool were laughing all the way to the bank – over Brewster!!!
    Blades just scored – Bruce must be sweating now!!

  4. In Willian we have another Ozil situation.As far as Pepe is concerned, all is not lost.The guy is talented but he needs to be played as a conventional left winger.Until he is, he will continue to disappoint.

  5. I’m not gonna write them off just yet.

    I think the phrase “Square pegs round holes” come to mind.

    Pepe is not a right winger and Willian is not a number 10.

    I blame the recruitment strategy on these odd signings as these players are not suited to what the manager requires.

    Pepe performed well as a counter attacking inverted right striker where as Willian is a right winger that also played well on the counter at Chelski. Both were allowed to roam as well so tactics is a completely new concept to them both as the other 9/8 players that they had prior coming to greatest team of all time did the game management/donkey work.

    The issue we have is that our forward momentum is/was so slow and that we lacked ball carriers in the middle of the park that they were left exposed when play broke down. Their mentality is to play on the last defender. So when the ball is intercepted they are out of the game and running backwards. When the ball is then retained they are out of position and the ball is lumped to the left to Auba in the hope he could do something.

    So we are asking them to do something that is completely foreign to their mentality and you can see it in their body language when it all goes pear shaped.

    It is not a coincidence that ESR and Saka who do their own ball progression without relying on Xhaka, Cebellaos & Elneny to feed them that our game has now evolved to more attempts on goal. Unfortunately you cannot play all 4 in the same team.

    I think this was why Zaha was Dicks preferred choice as he was a natural line hugging winger that had evolved into playing inside as well. Unfortunately, Pepe and Willian have not had enough game opportunity to properly learn the role.

    So I’m not jumping on the band wagon just yet. But what do I know… sell em both 🤣

    1. A very thoughtful and nuanced article. Enjoyable to read and to the point without resorting to any insults. Thank you.

  6. Why do you always have to tie Pepe to Willian poor performances? Willian is getting three times the number of play time minutes, twice his weekly salaries and six more years of premier league experience. One of Arteta’s favorite . Arteta ask the fans to be patient with Willian ,while Pepe must be perfect for every minute he is on the field,if not,he will be ostracized. But, if you compare their stats so far, Pepe is a lot more valuable than Willian. Arsenal should not have bought Willian in the first place and he should be sold asap for anything and buy a creative midfielder instead.

  7. Sell Willian and Pepe. Instead go and buy Zaha. He is a class player. Zaha is peaking this season with excellent performances in almost every game.. Never been better and Zaha really wants to play for Arsenal and he has been telling the Medias for years, that his dream is to play for Arsenal. What are we waiting for? Players we might bring in from abroad normally do need some time to adapt. Zaha has performed on the highst level for years in the Premier League. Zaha is ready NOW. It’s a NO BRAINER. Please don’t miss out on this class player, who would really strenghten our attacking options, as he can play more positions with success.
    Get rid of the deadwood and bring in a class player. Some players have had enough time to show the right attitude and shine, but they failed.

    1. Zaha would cost 150m

      pay them whatever they want?

      just key in the password and unlimited funds will appear…just like Fif21

  8. Say what you will but Willian has proved himself in the EP so it’s not about ability. Maybe he has lost his drive and feeling fat and happy, but whatever the reason he has been hopeless. Pepe has flashes of fantastic technique but he fails at the fundamental level, he just doesn’t look like he wants to be here. If we could move them both on I would be all for it, but it is not going to happen in the short term.

  9. William is simply past his best, Pepe is at his best, his best is simply shown for what it is. A player can look fantastic in foreign leagues, but very few arrive in the premier league from places like France, The Netherlands and Portugal and hit the ground running. The 72m price was ridiculous for a player of his level, it will surely go down as one of the worstbuys, for sheer size alone. Even if we had paid what we should have paid circa £25m we would still feel like we had been done.

    For the rest of the season i would happily stick with Saka martinelli Aubameyang and Nelson as my 4 wide options. Laca, Nketiah and Balogun as my CF options and smith-rowe and willock as my no.10 options. With partey, AMN, xhaka, ceballos and elneny competing for my 2 midfield slots. Whilst allowing Luiz, mustafi, Soares and Sokratis to all depart as well. Bring in a 2nd choice keeper on a short term contract, then review it all in the summer.

  10. Pepe is now worth a fraction of what we paid (installments or not) for him.He is also on a fairly hefty wage which makes the chances of recouping his fee even less likely.It is clear that his style of play us not suited to the pace and physicality of the Premier League.Should the Arsenal Management team finally let the proverbial penny drop then the best course of action might be to loan him into Spain or Italy where he might actually regain his confidence…be successful and potentially attract a few suitors prepared to help cut Arsenal’s losses.
    Willian is a different matter.The ridiculous salary that,presumably,Arteta and Edu agreed to pay precludes him moving anywhere else.Unless…of course…he agreed to take a pay cut in order to get playing time.. Otherwise Arsenal are facing another “Ozil Situation” where a player is prepared to allow his pension fund to accumulate whilst he twiddles his thumbs.
    It should also be noted that Arsenal still need to offload Mustafi and Sokratis;probably find a buyer for Chambers and loan out Nelson,Willock and Neketiah at the very least.

    1. Pepe seems to care about his career. I dont think he will sit on the contract he’s on. He needs to start performing half decently so he can at least have some suitors. As it stands, i dont see any club that can afford his wages taking him. Loan, maybe. Not a sale tho.

  11. Referring and Var non existent! How does Luke Shaw get a yellow for that challenge? Nketiah sent off for something similar… Ridiculous

  12. Firstly, getting rid of either of these guys, without assuming considerable financial losses, is highly unlikely…even though his wages are problematic, the only way to potentially get anything out of Willian this year would be to revert him back to his Chelski role of coming off the bench…of course this would be a tough pill to swallow for both club and player, but that’s better than doubling-down on the lunacy of their current strategy, which appears to be close your eyes, plug your ears and hope for the best…Pepe, on the other hand, at least has youth on his side…he appears to be either uncoachable or totally devoid of any self-awareness…from a positional standpoint I’ve always said he needs to be played more centrally, but that’s only if you believe he’s got high-end finishing capabilities…if not, have him play wide right so that he can shift his focus to crossing the ball…thank goodness his weekly wages don’t reflect his ridiculous transfer fee

  13. No wonder we get nothing for our out going players. The way we slag them off is ridiculous. Chelsea just tell which ever club interested in Barkley (who is the second coming of Wilshere)he won’t be sold cheaply and we are putting down a player we would pay 72m for and quoting ridiculous value for him. Comparing Zaha to Pepe is ridiculous as Pepe has more impact in his team in the last season and half than Zaha who has been those league forever.

    1. It didn’t take Arsenal fans for footballing world to realize Pepe is a flop…. And Pepe>Zaha is just a bad opinion.

  14. The real question we should ask, IMO, is not do we get rid of these two lazy non effective players but how quickly and how much loss will we make on the silly fee for Pepe and the silly contract for Willian.

    Neither has the right attitude to represent the club I love. LAZY PLAYERS, WHICH BOTH HAVE BEEN ALL SEASON, ARE POISON IN A TEAM SPORT. SIMPLE AS THAT!

    1. It’s a shame that we aren’t learning our lesson and aren’t scouting players correctly. We need to start getting it right or its more big money down the drain. Money we cant afford to waste. Willian will sit on this contract. Pepe, I have more hope we can shift, it will just be a huge loss in his transfer fee. 30-35mill if we are lucky enough to have somebody bite. We need to rely more on our youth players, and when we spend 60-70mill on players they need to be guaranteed not to flop. A purchase like Auba was smart and safe and successful for a reason. I can see why we had hope in Pepe. He has great footwork, but no footballing brain and makes the wrong decisions every time. And he seems uncoachable because the things he’s been doing since he has arrived, he continues to do.

      1. Even selling him for free would be acceptable.

        But to do it, it would take freezing him out the same way they did with Ozil and hoping he actually wants to play football.

        What worries me is that Willian wouldn’t have a problem sitting out the rest of his Arsenal contract and that’s why his performances have been pathetic.

        He doesn’t care. He knows they can’t move him on, he can do whatever he wants.

        1. Precisely correct, unfortunately ! If you lack that moral fibre to give your all in the shirt, then you willcertainly lack the moral fibre to go elsewhere given your obscenely awarded and stupidly awarded contract. A certain German without ANY moral character has amply proven that these last few years.

    1. Utd ?

      have you seen them play?

      they were average but their confidence is growing

      without VAR and ‘Fergie time’ they would have win that many games…..

      If VAR can assist livefool to win the title so can Utd

      1. Sue, As a CITY fan(of sorts, not like Arsenal I know but you do like City, as you have said)which of these two hated rivals would you least want to win the Prem title, if City don’t?

        I actually think City will win the Prem this season , IF it even finishes at all, which is doubtful IMO.

        1. My oh my what a question!! It breaks my heart but I think it’d have to be the Mancs – more for a quiet (ish) life than anything else!!
          I’m with you though, I’ll be amazed if the season does reach its conclusion!

          1. Thanks Sue. That is what I thought you would say but only on balance, as I know you hate Pool too. With me I much prefer Pool to win the league , given that we will not and my other liked Prem teams, Fulham, Palace, Wolves, will also not either. They are the only top club I respect, as like us, they are self made over the years, not given sugar daddy help.

            But they have owners who actually care and where fans are appreciated by the club properly, which means a lot to me. Most owners, apart from ours, at least like the sport their club plays . Kroenke is to my mind our most bitter enemy, more even than Spuds, Chelski and all the rest.

  15. Get rid of them both and cut your losses,just like a bad mortgage. There is a younger generation of hungry players with great potential out there so why lose out on them in order to prolong the careers of William and Pepe. Wrong time,wrong club.

  16. So Shenel;
    Who do you think would buy these players at this time?
    Are you prepared to sanction more club losses of over 50M in player value?
    Do you think it is fair to lambaste players who are active members of the squad especially when they are have no opportunity to respond to you?

    One thing for certain, these players did not ask to be here. It’s is our recruiting department that is responsible for bringing them here. It would be better to aim your fire at the right target.

  17. As well as shifting out the deadwood,Arsenal shd only get players who can cope with the physical demands.
    I know Sanchez was 168 cm tall but he is an exception. We need physically imposing guys who will prevail in a 50/50 tussle

  18. Willian should leave now! We have better younger options let’s use them!! while Pepe should be started on the left side or as number 10 I think he will be great if he focuses on doing that soon, we can use him and ESR

  19. Willian isn’t sellable due to his high wage and he hasn’t got the opportunities to play as CAM with Lacazette/ Saka yet. His close control and passing are still great despite losing his pace, so he’d likely be good in the CAM position

    Pepe is highly sellable if Arsenal are willing to sell with big discount, but maybe he could be trained in other position due to his height and pace. His parlor tricks can’t hide his lack of ball control skill, his weak foot and his awful decisions, so he’d most likely not be able to improve as an RW

  20. Willian’s employ is an indicator of what our Club is about. We are hustlers. We are like the people who go to supermarkets for ‘Specials’. If my 10 year old son could say this was a bad deal, I think that a few must have had doubts on our Board or Bored. Someone jokingly said we have a deal with Brazil: you buy one, you get one as Brata (a free half spoilt/worn product). So if this is the deal I shall give thanks for Gabbi and Marti and move on with my teeth grit. But Willian was never a real serious deal.

  21. I still have hope for Pepe as he’s still young and has shown signs of greatness. He is inconsistent, though and I would sell him as soon as he hits the patch of good form.

    Willian, on the other hand is consistently bad. He’s a lazy overpaid Ozil from Brazil. I wouldn’t just sell him, I’d fire Edu because of him.

    It seems that we can’t get a decision maker that isn’t deeply corrupt and self-centred. I’m of a firm belief that Sanlehi took his fair share of the 72 million Pepe transfer and I’m sure that a similar scheme was done on Edu’s part for Willian’s transfer.

    I don’t think Arsenal has ever made a worse decision than having this bystander take almost 30 million pounds to award points to our opposition and slow the game down. The Willian deal is actually worse than extending Ozil on 350k/week.

  22. Come on already!
    Get rid- who will buy them at the salaries they are on?
    Who will buy them in the form they are in?
    Will they be willing to leave?
    Players these days earn a fortune and are willing to sit on their contracts and not play. We have Sokratis, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Ozil, Cedric to mention few that we will not be able to give away so stop with this get rid unless you have a theory as to where and to whom we sell those under performing players.

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