Pepe ‘let everybody down’ with ‘totally unprofessional’ actions

Ian Wright has moved to slam Nicolas Pepe‘s unprofessional actions in the 0-0 draw between Arsenal and Leeds yesterday afternoon.

The forward made only his second Premier League start of the season yesterday, and while he didn’t have the worst opening half, all the talk will be about his sending off.

The Ivory Coast international allowed himself to be frustrated by Leeds winger Ezgjan Alioski, where he was adhered to have headbutted his rival.

While question marks can be raised on the reaction, Pepe’s actions were disgraceful, and Wright claims that the player has let us down.

“I’m not saying that it’s a proper full-on headbutt but you can’t do that to people in this day and age,” Wright told Premier League Productions (via Football365).

“You can’t get into people’s face like that. Alioski has gone down like he’s really got a proper headbutt but at the same time that’s just totally unprofessional and just poor from him.

“From somebody that has been complaining about not getting enough game time, somebody that has now got his chance and he’s let everybody down. He has let everybody down and I’m very disappointed in him simply because I don’t know who his team is around him but he’s come to the club, we’ve spent a lot of money on him.

“He’s someone that we have a lot of faith in and he seems to me that he’s not getting better, he’s actually getting more in himself and more frustrated, where you want to see him improving. He needs better advice around him.”

Judgemental eyes would have already been on the 25 year-old as he looked to break back into the side, with his price-tag regularly talked about, and you can’t help but feel like his issues may go further than the fact that he isn’t playing consistently.

Is there any excuse for Pepe’s actions yesterday? Could he be having problems settling into life in England?


Tags Ian Wright Nicolas Pepe


  1. Pepe wanted more game time he said I need to be playing more he was given a chance to prove his worth today and he let Arsenal down and himself I said it before and I will say it again he is NOT an EPL player and never will be selling him is the best thing Arsenal can do get some money back while you can

  2. It is always easy to be judgemental Wrighty!!!
    I would love to hear your explanation for the tackle you made on Schmichael at Highbury and if you feel you let the team down?

    That’s not excusing Pepe in any way, but the referee and the Leeds player should also be questioned on their part in the incident.

    Stupid reaction, but I would suggest nearly every player has reacted in such a way in the heat of the moment.

    1. KEN I don’t dissent from your post at allas it is clearlt true But, now that MA is in charge nad Pepe was not his own choice when brought in and considering how much of a general disppointment he has been, esp for that too large fee, added to his immaturity yesterday and I believe MA insists on reliable player who give everything for thr team and cause.

      That being so, as I at least firmly believe, I do not envisage PEPE being a long tem player from now on,UNLESS his perfs andmaturity changes for the better VERY soon now. I very much doubt this will happen , personally, as i never believe players change character and I SEE HIM AS A WEAK CHARACTER. I think MA already does too!

      1. Jon, we cannot judge him on this sending off, his first half performance was one of the better from the midfield and attacking players.

        I have no idea what his character is, but if the reports that he told MA he wanted more playing time to prove himself, I can’t see that as the actions of a shrinking violet.

        Perhaps the three game ban will give him time to reflect, but I agree, MA’s obvious frustration and annoyance at the post match interview does not bode well.

  3. This is common behaviour in African football leagues from grassroots upwards. Poor mentality where getting the ball through someone’s legs is worth more that 5 goals in a match.

    No discipline at all…..

  4. I’ve always defended Pepe ,but yesterday that was inexcusable on his part .
    Something seems off with him ,not sure if it’s the playing time or lack of it but he always looks disinterested and it wouldn’t surprise me if the rumours we read last week on him not being happy are probably somewhat true.
    The problem is the whole team seems disinterested AtM but PEPE really does need to start performing when given his chance , but that should apply to all of our forward line aswell

  5. So, we’re without him for 3 games…. Elneny, apparently, could be back for Wolves…Kola will also miss Molde – do we risk Tierney??
    Partey is a massive loss, still no idea when he’ll return 🥺
    Now Saka’s looking dodgy.. if he’s out for a while, things really won’t be looking good at all… screwed almost?
    Willian has a muscular problem – I thought it was jet lag…
    Crisis?! Looking that way… so much for Liverpool’s crisis 😄🙄

    1. I think we are in crisis Sue and i think we have an attitude underlying at this club, that we just dont seem too be able to shift. We have players that should, whatever anyone says, be performing at a higher level and with a greater sense of pride than they are. Our frontline should be devastating, our effort should be higher and we should be dominating teams below the top six. Our performances are flat and lacking power against the “lesser lights” of the prem. If we are not week in week out running those teams ragged, then we are one of them and we are. That is so so disappointing considering all that has gone on at the club recently. It begs the question WHY?

      1. It amazes me, Reggie, just as we think we’re turning a corner something else rears its ugly head! After the end to last season and the start of this, did anyone expect us to be where we are now? Don’t even look like scoring, struggling against most teams, 9 goals after 9 games!! Calvert-Lewin alone has scored more!! Our players seems to have that ‘can’t be arsed’ attitude… and everywhere I look ‘dead wood’ and ‘soft under belly’ are mentioned – still!!!!
        I don’t expect us to batter every team we face, but 2 shots on target most games?! What on earth is wrong with them?? This isn’t the Arsenal we all know and love! So depressing how other teams are flying… can’t stop scoring, new players hit the ground running – that should be us!!
        I know it’s only been a few games and the panic button shouldn’t be pressed just yet – although I’m hovering over it 😂 – I’m not enjoying what I’m seeing…. smh, Reggie!!

  6. I think the whole team do lots of things that just aren’t professional, foul throws, stupid idiotic fouls, silly red cards, mistimed challenges and blatent amateurish acts that put us in needless trouble.

    1. Reggie and Sue hav eyou neve rever thought that thrreal truth is our suqad is just not even nerly as good as many gooners would have us think.? I think we are now paying th predictable price of years of bad buys from Wenger and even Emery and the disaster of GAZIDIS, which have alset us back a great deal froimwher we once were. MA needs to overturn a rotten culture of not giving their all, not only by Ozil and formerly by Walcott but also by some others. As evidence for my vieew look how Tierney is thre complete opposoite of this and is so refreshing.
      We also have the handicap of Kreonke and no close control of where things were going very wrong, left unchecked by the owner for years past.
      MA is a totally different manager- look how honest he was about PEPE LETTING US DOWN; WENGER WOULD HAVE SAID “I DID NOT SEE IT” ! YOU KNOW HE WOULD.

      Also MA can not easily shift the loads of deadwood and get their wages off the books, thus letting him bring more players in of the quality of GABRIEL and PARTEY. HE NEEDS PROPER TIME AND SUPPORT, REAL SUPPORT FROM US REAL FANS , not panicky snipes on here.

      It is unfair and unworthy of real fans ,so I urge you to get fully behind this manager, as he will be a great one, IF given a proper chance!

      1. Jon.. I know MA needs time and believe it or not I am behind him… I’m just struggling with a few things…why we’ve only scored 9 goals in our first 9 games – the lowest I’ve ever known it in my 29 years as a gooner.. So few shots on target… what’s happened to our beautiful football? In a matter of weeks, we’re now playing really poorly… why?
        Injuries and covid haven’t helped I know, but I still expected more from the team. As I’ve already said, other teams are flying and really enjoying their football, why aren’t we?
        Come on we’re much better than this!

        1. Jon, im not a lover of kronk at all but we have spent enough and bought enough players too have made a difference in the last two years, from where we were going. I look at players in our squad, Leno, Tierney, Gabriel, Partey, Luiz, Willian, Saka, Aubameyang,Lacazette, Pepe, Mustaffi, Ceballos, Xhaka, Lacazette and others as well. Now some/most of them have either, won World cups, Leagues, (including prem) European cups, Fa cups, are full internationals, rated very highly in the profession by their peers or are rated highly in their own country. They aren’t a motley crew, or at least should not be. Now in that lot people may or may not rate certain individuals, thats not the problem, thats opinion. The truth is against the likes of Brighton, Palace, Aston villa, Leeds and Southampton we should be capable of doing and looking better than we do. So the question then becomes Why aren’t we? Im not including why we aren’t doing well against top 6, im saying the rest of the league, Why are we looking so innept and off the pace. We have a great game against Utd and then flounder. There is an attitude problem and it comes from the playing staff and the manager. What happened against Villa and Leeds for example has nothing to do with kronk, that is another debate for another time. We have the players, not to win the league, i have never doubted that but to do far better than we are doing. We are the 4th highest net spenders in the prem in the last 5 years, we cant match that in the league and we are under achieving badly in the league.

  7. Jon, you keep harping back to the bad buys of previous times, but ignore those of Mikel Arteta.
    Who was it who bought Luiz, Willian, talked Xhaka out of moving to Hertha Berlin, doesn’t know how to get the best out of Saliba, Pepe or Torreria and has, somehow or another, turned our Golden Boot winner into a one goal (penalty) and no assists £300,000 a week non entity?

    He had the opportunity to get a reported £26,000,000 for Xhaka, one of your regular “deadwood players”, yet turned it down ( @30/12/19).

    I’m all for giving him time, but let’s not run away with the idea that what we are seeing is down to UE, AW or gazidis and he is blameless – he has got to start showing what he can do with a group of talented players…he did it at the end of last season in the PL. in the FA Cup final and the Community Shield, so we should be expecting more than the dull, defensive, tactically poor fare seen yesterday.
    If it wasn’t for Leno, Bellerin, Holding and Tierney – all players he inherited – along with Gabriel, we would have been humiliated for the second game running.

    He does need time and patience, but remember, he has signed four players, five if you include his refusal to let Xhaka leave…judge him as you judge AW and UE!!!

    1. Ken there is a huge difference with both those previous managers that you chose to mention Namely that AW had 22 years and UE 18 MONTHS, BY WHICH TIME HE HAD CLEARLY LOST THE DRESSING ROOM AND THIINGS WERE OBVIOUSLY FALLING APART.


      I SEEM TO BE ALMOST ENTIRELY ALONE AS THE ONLY FAN OF SENIOR YEARS who has no doubts at all on MA. That depresses me as I had always hoped older fans knew better. Even if you harbour doubts, do you not think it wiser to keep them to yourself so as not to add to all the junenile driven fan pressure that may, I only say MAY, lead MA to consider “I don’t need this nonsense” and go to a club with more loyal, less impatient and self entitled so called fans.

      I know I would in his position and I would not blame him if he did. I CARE NOTHING FOT THE IDIOT FANS WHO WANT HIS HEAD BUT I care about the idiotic pressure they are creating. For Gods sake KEN DON’T PLAY THEIR SILLY GAME. Not at your age, as you surely know better, I hope!

      1. Jon, I did actually mention both the FA cup and the Community Shield as one of reasons why we should be expecting more than we are getting.

        You continue to blame players he “inherited”, while not mentioning his own four signings, two of whom I would have expected you to be describing in the same way you describe the “dross” and “lazy” players from AW and UE ‘s tenure.

        I’m not advocating he should be sacked or resign, neither of those words have appeared in any of my posts – but we cannot just give him a free pass from criticism either.

        Another reason I want him to succeed, one that you might have not considered, is the fact that Arsene Wenger recommended Mikel as his successor – what more can the man do for the club?
        Something that even the great AF got wrong!!!

  8. “Yesterday I have let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there is no excuses for my behaviour,” Pepe wrote on Instagram.

    “I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my team-mates, my coach and everyone else at the club.”

    1. That’s a sincere apology for me Sue, nothing more he could have said.
      I’m personally not ready to write him off yet, as so many seem in such a hurry to do.

      If we can give MA time, then we should also do the same for Pepe… we haven’t even paid for the second instalment yet!!!!

    2. First time he has ever been sent off in his career Sue. Im sure he regrets it and wonders himself why he did what he did. He needs a chance to put it right later.

        1. I actually thought upto that point he was having a good game. I know some say he didn’t track back but he was trying to create at the other end.

  9. To be honest I don’t think Pepe’s dismissal had much if any effect on the general performance of the team. I remember one miss hit cross that nearly got lucky, one shot that threatened the corner flag as much as the goal . I also seem to remember him stood 40 or 50 meters from Bellerin watching him try to cope with 2 or 3 attackers. The man is a Clown.

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