Pepe returns to Arsenal, but he will certainly not be staying very long….

So we are now entering the final summer that will see the end of the clearout of all the deadwood that were cluttering up the squad when Mikel Arteta became the Arsenal boss. Pepe is one of them although he has just the one year left on his contract will not be staying long before he is shipped out again, one way or the other….

To be completely honest, I now firmly believe that Pepe has been a major disappointment. He comes across as a one-dimensional player with limited pace and versatility. We have to face the harsh reality of the situation. Pepe is a 28-year-old grown man, a father even, and by the end of the upcoming 2023/24 season, he will already be 29. These should be his prime years, yet he continues to perform like an inexperienced 19-year-old who has just made it into a minor cup team. He often displays a “feeling sorry for myself” attitude, which is concerning.

After joining a prominent global club, it has been up to Pepe to push himself and strive for improvement. No manager has the time to coddle a fully grown 28-year-old. A manager has to juggle the responsibilities of overseeing more than 30 players, along with other crucial aspects of the team. They are not all-knowing or all-powerful. Players must take personal responsibility for their performance and present a challenge that cannot be ignored by the manager. It is not the manager’s duty to initiate this process.

In reality, your manager is not there to cater to your every need. It is your responsibility to apply yourself and then the manager can utilize your talent and integrate it into the team dynamics.

I keep hearing about the £70 million price tag and £150,000 weekly wages associated with Pepe since 2019. In my opinion, he has been consistently subpar and unimpressive during his time at Arsenal. His personality, mentality, and attitude do not seem suitable for top-class football. While he appears to be a nice guy in general, top-level football demands mental toughness. I reiterate my belief that Pepe has been a failure, an average player who failed to meet expectations. His mental and psychological fortitude seem particularly weak when compared to our current players.

We were all frustrated with our players crumbling under pressure in recent seasons. However, why should we make excuses for someone like Pepe, who possesses an even weaker personality? No club or manager will babysit individuals who come across as timid. Managers are also under immense pressure to deliver results. Football is a results-oriented game, and failure to produce leads to dismissal. So, why should a manager coddle players who are unable to take personal responsibility when fans continuously demand results?

With over 30 players in and around the first-team squad, the manager simply doesn’t have the time to babysit each and every individual. This is precisely why they have to make decisions that won’t please everyone. With millions of fans and countless diverging opinions, it is impossible for the manager to keep each one of us content by catering to personal preferences or players we hold dear.

Ultimately, the manager will make decisions based on their own judgment and what they believe is best for the team at any given time. That’s why they are the manager.

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  1. To call Pepe deadwood when he wasn’t given a proper chance while still recording good numbers in the little time he had here just sums up Artetas man management skills ,I wonder if 35 million Vieria will get loaned out after his fantastic season here ?very doubtful because he’s one of the managers great signings and there have been a few that still take a weekly wage without actually earning it ,I suppose the manager fan club will put the blame on edu like always IE Mari, Cedric Lokonga and the likes .
    The deadwood which as be collected up in the last 3 years gets worse every season .
    Pepe was never given that chance.

    1. You beat me to it DK!!!
      I’ve lost track of the “deadwood” that has been signed since MA arrived, but for whatever reason, it fails to register with some fans.

      Of course, pointing it out, makes one an enemy of the club and one’s support questioned!!

      As for Pepe, no one seems willing to step forward and bear responsibility, so I guess either Wenger or Emery will take the blame?!?!

      Compare the chances Willian received versus Pepe and you can see how lopsided individual players opportunities are.

      1. 50/50 on the 20 odd players Arteta as bought in ken ,but we was told no more deadwood and high wages would ever occur under the new regime ,funny how some people have no clue what they talk about 😉

        1. DK, counting loan deals that then turned into permanent deals (Odegaard and Mari for example) along with simple loan deals, the total amount of players is (I believe) 26.

          The majority have proven to be very good signings, that have certainly taken the club forward, but there have been some poor ones as well.

          Now it’s been a long held tradition on JA to identify on an ongoing basis, those equivalent poor players signed by Wenger and Emery (yes I know he didn’t sign them) but, as seen in posts below, do the same with Mikel and it’s another story.

          Here’s the list of players (not including loanees) and my personal valuation from 1 through to 10.

          Matt Ryan 5 – Cedric Soares 5 – Austin Trusty N/A – Pablo Mari 4 – Matt Turner 6 – Nuno Tavares 5 – Jorginho 7 – Sambi Lokonga 6 – Takashiro Tomiyasu 7 – Leandro Trossard 8 – Jakob Kiwior 7 – Gabriel Magalhies 8 – Aaron Ramsdale 8 – Oleksandr Zinchenko 7 – Fabio Viera 5 – Martin Odegaard 8 – Thomas Partey 8 – Gabriel Jesus 7 – Ben White 7 – Runar Alex Runarsson 2.

          The above have cost us in the region of £460,000,000 during MA’s time as manager.

          As you can see, I rate most of his signings highly and the results over the last season speak for themselves in the PL and, of course, I supported every one of the players listed when they wore the shirt – surely that’s a given, along with the manager?

          I really don’t understand why Mikel cannot be looked at in both a positive and negative way – what is it that some fans are scared about?!
          He is proving to be an excellent manager, both on and off the field, but he makes mistakes, just as Wenger, Graham and Bertie Mee did.

          So to all of you who try to make any criticism, seemingly, a cardinal sin, carry on with your heads up In the clouds.
          Water off a ducks back lol 🦆💦

          Jon Fox and EvGunner, that’s a picture of a duck and water my friends 😂 and my post IS NOT aimed at either of you.

          1. Ken Broadly speaking I agree with your post. Even though I accept it was not aimed at me.

            I much agree that all managers make mistakes , even Pep, but making the same ones constantly means no manager can get a high rating.

            Wengers long standing failure to bring in CB’s ofUNDOUBTED top quality, with a tiny few exceptions, basically only CAMPBELL, was ALWAYS my main beef with him.

            Odegaard and Ramsdale would both get 9’s from me though. Lokonga a four, at best, Tavares a three, Viera a four, again at best.

            I also firmly agree, that so far, MA ‘s imports range from the inspired to the hopeless and he has GOT to massively improve his import judgements, taken as a whole.

            He HAS wasted a great deal of money on WSP players, IMO.

            I’d point out that how you have punctuated your penultimate para, perhaps, gives a reverse impression to the one I believe you wished to convey.
            It can be read either way though. A small point however and not of much matter , though I hope none of our fans find it confusing.

            Had you substituted the word “into” instead of “seemingly” and left out the immediately following comma, it would have made perfect sense

            But it illustrates precisely WHY I write in such carefullly chosen phrases, even though you, in particular, still commonly misconstrue my words and give your own interpretation, not mine, to my thoughts.

          2. I agree with both of you @DK and @Ken1945.
            My view is that Pepe did not fit the AFC playing style of direct running at defender that Martinelli and Saka do.
            If we cannot find him a new home we have to try to use him as a striker as he is unpredictable and there is no thinking time. Just instinctive finishing which I feel he can do.

      2. So true @ Ken1945!
        So many deadwoods to make me circumspect about MA’s recruitment credentials going by the evidence. Even Jesus may end up with same numbers/stats as at City and be eventually replaced. What annoys me more about MA though is his favouritism and poor man management skills for the more established players.

        Imagine the way Lacazette was so demoralized before he left Arsenal and how he’s rediscovered himself again at Lyon. Balogun wouldn’t have developed at all had he stayed at Arsenal. KT is being depreciated but few fans notice these things.

    2. Lol 🤭😊
      I think some of you guys need to take a breather from following Arsenal’s while Arteta is still manager. The man just seems to cause you so much pain and anger just for still being Arsenal manager. He has become that bad smell that won’t go away as much as you try to get rid of it. He still persists. He is like a Virus that mutates. You some times think you found a vaccine to get rid of it, but 2 weeks later it mutates into a different strain and the old vaccines become useless. Then you have to come up with an updated vaccine. Then a few weeks later it mutates once again, so you have to go back to the drawing board and update the vaccine etc.

      I keep saying, some of you will continue to be very bitter, angry, irritated, stressed, depressed and hold a grudge against the man. You will never try to be balanced towards him no matter what he does. Always looking for negatives to soothe ones self.

      Vieira is 22 years old, he was bought as a project player / future. That’s what the papers were saying last season when we signed him. But you guys have grasped on to him like he has been here for years. This was his first season and hardly even played. But you are still making excuses for a 28 year old Pepe that has been at Arsenal since 2019, been given chance after chance by 3 managers (Emery, Ljumberg and Arteta) but still poor. He went on loan to Nice, but even under that manager Pepe does not seem to have impressed, they don’t went him back.
      How many more chances does he need? Whose fault is it? He has been given countless chances by 4 different managers since he bacame an Arsenal player. Can’t be all 4 managers fault but not Pepe’s personality/ mentality.

      But with 22 year old Vieira who has been here for a season you already wrote him off, make fun of him, already calling him a flop and want him gotten rid of.

      Arteta signed Lokonga, Tavares, gave them a few games, they looked poor so he sent them out on loan.

      He bought Willian, he stunk the place out and got rid of him very fast.

      He bought the likes Mari, did not perform, so loaned him out.

      Cedric was made a bench last resort player.

      And I think if Vieira does not man up and start taking personal responsibility for himeself during this coming Pre-season then Arteta will loan him out too.

      Isn’t it?

      1. Arteta is the manager until such time as his results say otherwise. That could be next season- but he might do better and surprise the few. He could have a terrible season and get the chop, but heck, let’s stick into him during the close season when there is nothing to moan about- YET
        In the meantime we are scratching around with topics about Pepe who had his chances and didn’t find his path to real success either at, or away from Arsenal

        1. It’s the same Arteta dislike group. You know they will latch onto anything Negative in order to continue their anti Arteta agenda.
          Arteta keeps disproving most of their contention season after season.
          But the fall back / safety net / thing that most will always go to is the so-called “Player mistreatment / poor man management skills” with Arteta.
          They will find any player (s) to use as a bashing tool against Arteta each season.

          Started with Ozil. They used him as a weapon af mass destruction. All conspiracies were made up and used.

          ESR, before Arteta recalled him from his loan.

          Used Martinelli. Saying how Arteta hated the boy. All sorts of conspiracy theories were made up as to why Arteta was not playing 19 year old Martinelli back then.

          Then Guendouzi. They tried with him too.

          Mavropanos: Same thing.

          AMN and Reiss Nelson: Same talking points.

          Aubameyang: They latched on to too.

          Saliba: Still using him as a tool against Arteta.

          Tierney: They are trying to use him as another Arteta conspiracy.

          And now out of nowhere “PEPE” is the shiny new ramming / Wrecking ball they are trying to use.

          They are so predictable.

          Which player will be next to be used? Can’t tell.

      2. @Goonstar,
        You are so prejudiced in your analysis. Even though only Ode and Partey are the only two signings Arsenal has made under MA, you still defend the waste and inefficiency. Everyone knows Tierney is being depreciated right now. Look at how Lacazette was made to look like a pale shadow of himself in his last year’s at Arsenal and look at him now back at Lyon!

        How can anyone in their right sense say Pepe was a flop at Nice with 8 goals despite injuries? And what are you going on about Pepe’s mentality? Do you think Jesus will reach Pepe’s figures by his second year at Arsenal? We are all waiting and watching.

        1. 8 goals in 19 games in the French top division is hardly something to brag about. Yes he had a knee injury that kept him out for 9 games, but he wasn’t even selected for the other 10 games, which says a lot.

      3. @Goonster- great post, I feel the same like you.
        A man must be totally blind to say that Pepe didn’t get enough chances??????

    3. 👍 Dan and ken, count me in as
      well regarding Nicholas Pepe. Who wouldnt have their confidence destroyed when consistently dropped after good contributions to Arsenal in the previous game?
      Also ken I have to stick up for my fellow Australian Matt Ryan, as “5” rating for a back up keeper, who only left to be #1 at at another club, is in my view harsh. I can’t remember him being other than a consumate professional during his time at Arsenal.

      1. Agree OZ, I did underestimate his contribution – I actually wabtes him to stay!!
        So a revised 7 is required.

  2. A wise and astute varticle andone I completely agree about.
    As I have repeatedly stated, I am amazed that Arsenal have let themseleves spend £72 mill on this shocking player at the instigation of SANLLEHI, who was entirely personally responsible for him coming and who made personal money out of that fee.

    I would have prosecuted him in law, had I the power to take that decision.

    1. jon, it has cost Arsenal a lot of money to not to go after Sanheili, in order to not expose their “dirty linen”.

      1. Exactly my point Ozzie. I AM surprised though that even the Britis hpress , for reasons of being afraid of libel laws, have not followed up this story.
        Proper investigating journos could IMO have easily proved his undoubted guilt.
        It was, presumabaly. not considered worthwhile spending the money it would have taken for jounos to dig deeply enough. So he has got away scot free, as far as the unseeing, unknowing football world is concerned.

        BUT NOT WITH ME, nor with you.

  3. Want to see the textbook example of on-line player abuse…try reading this gibberish again about Pepe.

    1. RF, you very clearly do not understand the meaning of basic English words.

      Is English your natural language?
      Because if it is, you ought to be ashamed of how woefullly poor is your understanding of what words mean.
      This piece is IN NO WAY, abuse , but simply a strong opinion stated firmly.
      I so much dislike fake so called “liberalism”, which is in fact ILLIBERAL, when used by woke people such as you. Sigh!

      1. I can see Mr Jon Fox is firmly on the “WOKE” thing.
        What’s the definition of that term? It seems to be the newest Shiny talking point on the “RIGHT and Center Right” recently.

        Is that the same as Political Correctness (PC) culture etc?

        1. Woke is basically *weaponised* political correctness. It is not just illiberal, but anti liberal, whereby people are judged and their opinions ranked in large part by their innate characteristics (as opposed to liberalism, wherein we try to judge people and their opinions on merit, and try to be ‘colourblind’ with respect to things like race, gender etc). These characteristics are used to order people and their views based on their perceived victim status, at the expense of those who are perceived to be ‘historically privileged’. It’s a whole thing, and you’d have to be willfully blind not to see the double standards and authoritarianism that are becoming more and more prevalent because of it.

          1. I don’t think RFrancis’ comment was ‘woke’ or especially illiberal btw – just think he was being extremely hyperbolic.

        2. Odd that post Goonster, as not a single person who has eve rknown me PERSOBNALLY would ever consider me on the right nor centre right. I am a classic REAL liberal thinker and have been all my long adult life.
          Woke people misuse the term” liberal” and falsely claim to be liberals. But they are the VERY OPPOSITE. Worth n studying this subject properly, assuming – as I PROBABLY SHOULD NOT-that you care enough to properly enlighten yourself.

          I suggest in all sincerity you re think your muddled thinking on this topic. And whil you are at it, you might like to apologise for slandering my personal stance as being “right wing”.

      2. Can you explain how being a grown man, even a father, factor into the assessment of the player? Don’t you think it is unfair, even cowardly to throw cheap shots at players especially when they cannot defend themselves. Are you a coward?

        1. Rfrancis, I find it so telling that those who rip into players in a personal way, cannot take it when others do the same to them.

          Jon, Arsenal didn’t let themselves spend £72,000,000 on Pepe, they decided to do it – please use the English language correctly my man, or I’ll have your head on a pikestaff!!

          1. “Arsenal” Ken? Or SANLLEHI, WHO SUDDELY LEFT OUR EMPLOY, MYSTERIOUSLY ALMOST OVERNIGHT”! He was of course in our employ, so I accept that technically speaking, we were responsible for employing a dishonest man.

            We also employed GEORGE GRAHAM WHO STOLE OFF THE CLUB.. And former players we had a long time ago have been in prison too. But they are all merely employees and NOT “THE CLUB”!

            Care to comment on what I have PRECISELY written KEN?

            1. @John Fox – I’m still laughing out loud! 😂 This post is so hilarious! Thanks for the little lessons in club history

            2. jon fox, George Graham was worth every penny he “stole” for what he delivered for Arsenal as a manager, let alone as a player.

              1. But that doesn’t excuse his dishonesty OG.
                I rate George up there with Bertie and, at the moment, Mikel Arteta – could you imagine him taking money out of the club?

                1. ken, I believe GG was singled out, when managers taking a cut from transfers was not limited to him at the time (strong rumours about AF as well as other managers). One could argue that it hasn’t been eliminated from the game, given the incestuous relationships between clubs and player agents.

              2. Ozziegunner, Fundamentally different life principles then between you and I.

                I have never and will never condone theft! Your post says that you do. Sigh!

                AND WHY YOU CHOSE TO PUT THE WORD STOLE in quote marks, escapes me!

                He DID really steal from our club , which makes him a thief!

                Even though It does not distract from all he did for the team while he was here.
                But he let the GOOD NAMEof our club down despicably.

                1. Yet when George Graham found out that the money did indeed belong to the club, he RETURNED IT with INTEREST.

                  If he was going to meet a players agent to receive a bung, then surely he would go somewhere private, not the bar in a hotel that was co-owned by one of his employers and the was frequented by officials of the club ?

            3. Jon your first paragraph says it all – technically or not!!
              Beautifully written I might add, but no need for the capital letters, as I can FEEL your emphasis.

              1. Good to read that you concur KEN.

                No doubt that YOU can feel the emphasis but others also read my post and some of THEM will not have your ability.

  4. Lazy players like Pepe are not made for the 21st century. His personality seems a bit similar to that of Lokonga. Very timid.

    Fabio Vieira from the few games I have seen him so far also seems to get very timid and hides into his shell.

    This timid personality where players shy away from taking responsibility, hide and try to not get on the ball very often is what irritates me. Lokonga and Vieira have been like this in the games I have seen of them. Just blending / fading into the background trying not to invite attention onto themselves.

    I hope I am wrong but I have not been that impressed by these players yet. It could all chance for the best next season. We will wait and see.

    1. Goonsr I agree with almost all you write but not with your hope that they willimprove “next season”!

      And, if you have NOT!

  5. Not so long ago a Barcelona board member was embroiled in saga that envolved hiring a company to drive a social media propaganda campaign against their foes.

    Seems a lot like its happening on this platform as well. The constant ove critical statements made by certain individuals make me come to this conclusion. These so called supporters always has something negative to say and never anything constructive. For me they are wolves in sheeps clothing.

    I just wonder if they are getting paid or whether they do it for their own mischievious agenda. If the latter then i recommend proffesional help as it amounts to something more serious then abuse. (sic)

  6. Character is not always immediately obvious. It seems you are equating superficially evident personality traits with character which is somewhat unfair.
    I also have to disagree to some extent with Goonster here. These are young players who have had only a year in the PL. Trying to find your feet in one of the most demanding leagues in the world in your first season is bound to hugely challenging especially when you are expected to perform at a very high level for one of the best teams.
    There is no doubt that players cannot be given an indefinite amount of time to prove their value but players can evolve and improve. Some of these players are being written off too quickly.

    1. DAVID yes, on reflection, I must agree that character is NOT ALWAYS immediately obvious.

      I do think however, that in the overridingly majority of cases, it becomes OBVIOUS very soon.

      Those who have the observational skills to closely watch how humans , in general, behave and how we , again in general, show our characters and personalities in our behaviour are well aware of true character or lack of it.

      Only skilled actors, which rules out 99.9% of all footballers, can fool people convincingly.

  7. Pepe is a decent player, who really wasn’t suited to the way Arteta wants his team to play, with the wide players tracking back. He had chances to prove he could do it but failed.

    1. HD I believe that anumber of fans want things both ways. They want the club to be ruthlessly efficient in buying, selling, sensible selection in elevens and in all things that make success. Pepe was ultimately a dreadful failure and bad buy, despite him having skills in some things.

      YET, CONVERSELY, many of those same fans are prepared and some are even eager, to make personal excuses for obscenely highly paid players who are NOT DOING THE BUSINESS they were picked in order to do.

      Now, HD, it seems to my logical thinking mind that you can either run a club and team in pursuit of titles ruthlessly, OR you can pander to the whims of non performing players.

      If you do the latter, then you choose to give up any real chance of success in the former. That is my view!

      Being ruthless does not necessitate being cruel to players . But it DOES mean you have ALWAYS, AND IN EVERY CASE, TO PUT THE INTERESTS OF THE TEAM ABOVE THOSE OF ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL , NO MATTER WHOM.

      That is what Fergie and Pep have always done but which Wenger chose not to do, at certain times, being too soft hearted and too kind hearted a person, at the expense of far greater team success. That is my sincere belief!

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