Is it Over for Pepe? by AI
Fans are always full of hope. Every new season, we hope it’s our turn to be successful and win the biggest trophies because, well, nothing is impossible. And when it comes to players, especially a very talented player like Nicolas Pepe, we always think that this year would be his year.
However, I propose that we consider that it is over for Nicolas Pepe, especially in Arteta’s positional play scheme. Let me show you why.
The right winger in Arteta’s system is meant to be a proficient 1 on 1 player who can make deliveries inside and outside of his man, as well as combine with the 10 and inverted right back. It is like a traditional winger style. Nicolas Pepe, a 72 million euros signing, cannot play like a traditional winger. He can rarely beat his man from a standing start and he rarely combines intelligently with the 10 and supporting rightback. The relationship between him and Calum Chambers was dead on Friday evening. Despite the fact that Chambers did come towards him several times to offer support.
Saka, however, makes a difference on that side. The Number 7 can function as many things, including playing like a traditional winger. He can beat his man inside or outside, drive with the ball and pick out runners in the box. Everyone talks about how the rightback support is why Pepe never works but nobody remembers that Saka plays on the same right flank.
Here’s the truth: Nicolas Pepe has a disappointingly limited skillset. He is best playing off the left as an inside forward or as an impact sub. People were deceived by his flurry of goals at the end of last season. There was little that was impressive about it to me. Where was this Pepe when we needed him in the crunch fixtures of the season? Getting red cards and running into dead ends.
We have been finessed out of an exorbitantly large amount of money for a limited player. It was pure incompetence from our decision-makers. And we are still eating the fruit of it today.