Bellerin is to blame for Pepe’s faults? by Dan Smith
When the team has won away from home and a player doesn’t play and yet still gets criticised by his own supporters, that’s an agenda.
That’s what has happened to Hector Bellerin who would have thought being on the bench at Leicester would have given him a weekend off from the criticism.
Yet Pepe produced his best performance of the season and some gooners have put two and two together and come up with five, suggesting that Pepe plays better when he doesn’t have Bellerin behind him. This isn’t actually a new narrative. The likes of AFTV and others on social media tried this last June when Pepe was named man of the match at Sheffield United.
Instead of questioning why it took all season for our record signing to show some consistency, it suddenly was all about who our right back was.
I guess instead of admitting the 72 million had been a flop, it was easier for some to blame Bellerin?
Normally I would say everyone is entitled to their own opinion but in this instance, some were simply making things up to suit their own argument.
I felt compelled to write an article pointing out that Bellerin had just recovered from a serious injury, meaning he hadn’t started in the League with Pepe until December 2020.
So Pepe had in fact played numerous time with fullback not called Bellerin and had still not matched the hype.
Written on 1st July, Pepe had scored 4 times with Bellerin, 3 with Maitland Niles and 1 with other. Assist wise he got 3 with Bellerin, 3 with Maitland Niles and 3 with other.
So Pepe’s stats never alter no matter who else is on the pitch.
In fact most view the FA Cup Final as Pepe’s best display as a Gunner. Bellerin didn’t seem to prevent him playing at Wembley, did he?
His first year in English Football was a let-down due to too many touches and a poor final ball. That’s no one else’s fault nor would the Ivorian want anyone else blamed.
So we get 3 points at the King Power but of course, due to our reactionary fan base we overreact. Pepe has a good game and instead of asking what took so long, it’s all because of Cedric?
If you try and compare Pepe stats in the Premiership with Bellerin to without, you realize the two haven’t played together as much as you think.
In truth though results are poor for both which they would be ……in his two years in North London Arsenal finished 8th and are now 10th in March. That’s a midtable team, meaning most of our numbers will be inconsistent. It means your players are inconsistent.
In total Pepe has started 19 League games without Bellerin. We have failed to win 11 of them. In that time he’s scored 4 times.
Whisper it quietly …. maybe Pepe has been inconsistent because of …… Pepe.
Lille to Arsenal is a step up mentally where you have to perform weekly not every 5 games. That’s what separates a good talent from the great. Some simply can’t handle that.
One day the midfielder might, and there are various factors why he might be struggling – a new culture, language, etc, but to say he struggles because of who’s at right back? That’s poor.
When there was so much fanfare about his purchase, I don’t remember anymore saying it was down to the Lille right back, nor should anyone with that price tag need anyone else but their own ability to succeed.
Don’t get me wrong if you feel that Bellerin has lost his pace, confidence to take on his man or his career has stagnated then that’s a different conversation.
But to make him responsible for others? That’s going too far…
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