Patience please – Nicholas Pepe is exactly the dribbler that Arsenal need

The Perplexing Case of Nicolas Pepe by Joe Allyson

Hey. Arsenal are in a nice way to head into the international break.

Before the last game, a whole lot of people were complaining about the lack of return as regards Nicolas Pepe, especially considering he’s the most expensive Arsenal player of all time.

Now, I’d understand the concern, and I actually think he should be delivering more. But then again, I also understand that humans at times tend to not be consistent, and sometimes, productivity can drop. This, however, does not mean that one cannot get back again to the lofty standards that were once portrayed.

When Arsenal signed Pepe, the excitement among the Arsenal fan base was not unfounded. We’d just signed a young player who’d just set the Ligue One alight, only being bettered by Kylian Mbappe, and yet now he looks average.

I think this is best explained starting with his style of play. Dribblers have many unique styles. Some tricky ones, like CR7, Nani and Santi Cazorla, tend to use trickery and a short burst of pace to get away from their opponents without giving them an opportunity to challenge for the ball. Then others, like Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and Eden Hazard, try to draw their opponents in with the illusion of being trapped (it can also be referred to as stalling a defender), and this is where I’d class Pepe He has a more than common tendency to stop and face his marker(s) convincing them that they have him locked down, before he uses his close control and body strength to wriggle a way out.

Now we must admit that since Alekandr Hleb, we have not had a dribbler capable of drawing 3 or 4 opposition defenders and leaving them in his wake, and while it’s frustrating when he tries it and gets caught every now and again, we must admit that we all relish the time when such a skill will come in handy. Let’s face it. Alexis Sanchez for all his skill (he was a damn good dribbler), did not possess the ability to tiptoe his way into and then out of a crowd of 3-4-5 defenders and there are games where we actually needed someone with the ability to do that.

The fact that even with his confidence low, he will still try and dribble is testament to his self-belief, and despite the fact that I gnash my teeth every time he needlessly loses the ball, I actually feel good about the fact that he still tries to beat his man, because truth is I’ve watched too many Arsenal games where opponents simply sit deep and let us pass the ball outside their box, knowing full well nobody in the squad has the skillset to get into that box and cause trouble.

Let’s just hang in there and believe with him in his ability. If he believes he can do it, then he will do it.



  1. I like the way he plays, you could see from that missed curler what dude will do when he get it right, for now I’m just happy seeing him play.

    I can still remember people here complaining about how we lack a player that tries to beat his man and not just look to pass back.

    He’ll come good

  2. Pepe, needs service and another player to play off, much like Sanchez who had Ozil in Arsenal, but he failed in ManU as he had no one there. Pepe will fail if he doesn’t have that facility and it’s up to the coach to make our players shine and not show them up.

    1. Ozil didn’t make Sanchez better, if anything Carzola and Sanchez made Ozil look better than he is, ozil best season at Arsenal was 2015/2016 when he had 19assist, before that ozil has never had 10 assists in a season for Arsenal before, and after that he still hasn’t had 10assist. 2013/2014 ozil had 9 assist, 2014/205, he had 5 assist, 2015/2016 which happened to be his best season at Arsenal he had 19 assist, 2016/2017 he had 9 assist,2017/2018, he had 8 assist, 2018/2019, he had 2 assist, so please stop making it feels like Pepe is suffering because we are not using Ozil, have said it before, ozil only had one great season at Arsenal and it’s all because of giroud being good with his head, because most of the assist came from set pieces.

      1. I give up on you, we can’t debate as a mature men without you calling names am not the type that calls people names so I wont call you names but if all you can say is me being a “numpty” for showing you facts then you seriously need a councilor.

        1. Viju, he looked ill, unhappy and frail at manure and what did you expect?
          Without Ozil to prop him up and only on£500,000 a week, the man had serious issues – and what girouds head has to do with it I don’t know – the audacity of the man to be there, waiting for the sublime pass – at least pepe can rely on xhaka for the telling pass!!!!

          1. Viju, can I suggest that you contact admin directly and ask why?

            Theremust be a reason, sometimes it’s just a misinterpretation of the word being used by the justarsenal site.

            I have always found the site to be very fair – so if you go to the “contact us” button, admin will clear it up.

          2. Ken, I cannot be arsed, and if I move away it’s symptomatic of s larger malaise, that gooners are moving away because they feel alienated. So the onus is on those who represent Arsenal in whatever forum that is available. If they don’t have the ethos, good luck mate, is all I can say.

  3. People talk about his price tag not realising that it has nothing to do with the player,clubs set the fees not players!!

  4. OT.. Merson thinks there’s no chance of Liverpool going unbeaten. Well, I hope he hasn’t jinxed it… if by any chance it does happen (😩) it really will be a dark day indeed.

    Pepe… I’m still waiting…..

    1. I don’t see it
      They aren’t that good
      I believe they will win the PL but not undefeated

      They won 0-1 to Sheffield United
      And won at home by only 2-1
      Lost 2-0 to Napoli

      Liverpool are definitely beatable and I think they will lose a PL match before January maybe as soon as this month.

    2. They will lose at least 2 matches, they are not that good, they are one top injury away from disaster. So rest your mind Sue.

  5. Gervinho have WC dribling skill
    It unfortunate, that his final ball is clueless
    But at least girvinho show his dribling skill when he was with us.
    Pepe playing without motivations at all, so slow…..

  6. Ozil, Mustafi and Xhaka have all played the same with Emery as they did with Wenger. Below average

    In fact OZIL hasn’t played well since 2015-2016 season

    Mustafi hasn’t been good since he came here.

    You are grasping at straws to substantiate your opinion of Emery

    1. What I really don’t like about his argument is that hes always biased, I have my reservations about Emery tactics but am not going to spread negativity like we are 12th like man utd or 9th like spurs, I will only criticize the coach when the results stop coming, but it’s annoying some of the things he type and put here, how can anyone say Emery turned Mustafi and Xhaka to a hate figure.

    1. Anders with an extra S, I don’t need a badge of honour from you mate. Save that for yourself. Thanks but No Thanks.

  7. So Emery turned Mustafi to hate figure? Is it Emery fault that Mustafi is not a good player or is a it Emery fault that Xhaka is bad, Mustafi and Xhaka has been bad since the Wenger days but all of a sudden is Emery fault lol, Pepe will come good I have no doubt about it but stop blaming the coach all because of Ozil, we all know the main reason why you dislike the coach is because of Ozil, why didn’t Emery turn auba Laca to an hate figure, and am not really an Emery fan but unlike you I will only criticize him when we the results stop coming.

    1. Lenounhappy, give Martin Keown already had a go at Auba, so it’s a matter of time before your learned Emerybois will join the bandwagon, with your “he doesn’t do enough” insinuations.

    2. Lenohappy was Emery not already doing that Laca,only for him to start playing for fear of fans back clash? Emery tactics is nonsense,it’s obvious he hates players that makes names more than him i a team.

  8. Give Pepe some more time
    Please be patient
    Sometimes it takes time to click

    If he doesn’t improve by the end of the season then it may be wise to sell but I’m hopeful that he will improve.

  9. We Need To Give Him Chance To Prove Himself, This Is First Season And I Belive He Will Turn Things Around If He Is Under A Good Manager

  10. Here’s a guy that can win us a lot of penalties, if he gets the confidence to drbble into the opposition penalty area. They will bring him down for sure. Pepe will show ud the full extent of his skills very soon.

  11. Dear critifans (over-critical fans), Pepe is a great player, he has been doing good work ( 3 assists, 1 goal, tons of take ons, denied penalties etc). He’ll only do more once he’s fully adjusted to the new league.

    1. And with the two “A” fullbacks starting regularly and Lacazette back, that is when we can really get a sense. I tend to live on the dark side but I am really hopeful…

  12. Pepe need more time and Emery need to do some work on him too i think he need to build some confidence in him and make him believe he can do better thats what a good coach does when it comes to situation like this and we fans need to be patient also look at Hazzard in madrid i think he just got his first league goal despite the experience he got and playing in a tougher league than la liga still he’s still struglin

  13. Us Gooners want to see Pepe score goals in number in the PL for Arsenal week in week. And it is for this reason that Arsenal paid £72m transfer fee to sign him. But so far 2 months into the season’s campaign he has disappointed us as he hasn’t shown that he has what it takes in him to become a prolific regular 30 goals per season goals scorer for Arsenal in the PL as he has only scored a PEA gifted penalty goal and provided one £500k assist goal for 3 points collection to David Luiz who scored a £1m winning match 1 goal for Arsenal that took them to 3rd spot in the table before the Gunners take the compulsory leave to head of for the international football break.

  14. Henry didn’t score until his 12th or 13th match for Arsenal

    Hazard and Greizmann are not exactly setting the world on fire at the moment. Greizmann has just scored 3 goals so far I think

    Also it hasn’t been all bad for Pepe. 1 goal and 2 assists. Last season Ozil scored 3 assists from 24 matches.

    Anyway give him some more time. Hopefully he will be fine

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs