So now it’s Bellerin’s fault that Pepe has been a flop? Really?

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…

Be Kind In The Comments


Tags Bellerin Pepe Soares


  1. As much as Bellerin seems to get the blame for pretty much all goals we concede I will say that more goals have been given away coming down the left this season compared to his side .
    He obviously isn’t the best defensive wise but going forward he is still a threat .

    1. Exactly. We’ve conceded more from the left than the right, including the last match.
      Arsenal fans are good at picking up a player. Some until the player exits the club.

  2. Apart from Man City supporters every other fan base is hysterical about their clubs ‘diabolical’ results. Top ten sides Liverpool Tottenham and Arsenal are in crisis. Even 2nd place Utd fans are rabid about their clubs terrible form.
    Owners ,Management, boards Managers, coaches and players are all heavily criticized by fans. Yet despite all of this forensic examination by millions of fans nothing changes. Why for example does our club management not follow our advice?
    Don’t they read Just Arsenal comment section?

  3. This is what we are used to in Arsenal. Lacazette, Bellerin, and Maitland-Niles if they can have one bad game, the whole world cries. Players like Xhaka, Leno, Willian, and Pepe if they have one good game, the whole rejoice, forgetting that all the previous games were bad. Players are not treated equally at Arsenal

  4. Dan- you are once again on the button with your article. It’s been easy to blame Bellerin for everything, simply because he is not a good defender. I don’t believe he is that good going forward these days either, proven by the fact he very rarely takes his man on and hits the line. But blaming him for Pepe’s inconsistency is wrong. Cedric is proving himself better defensively, and I believe is better going forward too. Not too many will be disappointed when Bellerin goes this summer.

    1. Dan i dont understand why you think it must be one or the other, its both.

      Pepe has not been at the level we expected overall agreed but he does look better when Bellerin is not behind him

      I wouldn’t exactly call Pepe a flop, he still contributes goals and assists just not as many as he should for his price tag(News Flash: he didn’tset his own price and we didn’t have to pay it)

    2. @phil How many goals or assist for your Messiah in Turkey? I heard fanabache fans have been asked to contribute to Ozil wages, everywhere he goes he causes money problem but no results on the pitch.If you answer that we will take your opinion seriously regarding other players.

      1. If I read correctly he won’t be taking any salary for the rest of the season and his salary after that will be 20% of what he was earning at Arsenal.

        Some said they would respect Mesut if he took lower wages to play elsewhere and he has done that, 80% lower to be exact. Way lower than the likes of Alexis and Gareth Bale that were frequently used as examples.

        He has done what many suggested he should do I think he is owed now the promised respect.

      2. @Lord Denning- Let’s be factual here PAL shall we? I rated Mesut Ozil very highly as a footballer. I like players that play “Football”. Robert Pires was a wonderful footballer. Liam Brady. Alan Hudson back in the one season of 1977-78 was an amazingly talented footballer. I would have Mesut Ozil over Elneney every day of the week. Some choose otherwise. What can i say! We all see the game differently.
        Did I ever believe Ozil was a messiah? Seriously?
        Because I would always want our best players in the team I stood my ground in supporting the player. Was Ozil an effective player for Arsenal? When he first came to the Club he gave us an attacking outlet we had been missing since Cesc left the club. It’s also no coincidence we won our first trophy in 9years in his first season. But overall would anyone seriously consider Ozil a success during his time at Arsenal? Sadly no, which is a shame when you think how talented he actually was and THREE separate managers failed to get the best from him.
        But consider this PAL- Emery’s four best players were Aubamayang Ozil Ramsey and Lacazette. It is no surprise that he only played FIVE games with all these on the sam3 team. Guess what PAL? W3 won all five games.
        Who was the first player Arteta turned to when in charge of his first game? It was Mesut Ozil. That game was away at Bournemouth and Ozil created THREE golden chances for Lacazette in the first half alone that were all missed b6 a striker that will never be considered good goal scorer. Was that Ozil’s fault PAL? The fact we had a CF unable to score at least one of three chances?
        Arteta played Ozil in every EPL game up until the March lockdown and the only defeat was when losing to Chelsea in the last five minutes at the Emirates after leading most of the game. Ozil was subbed 15 minutes from the end of that match, which makes you wonder why the change was made.
        So I don’t actually believe Ozil’s team performances were as bad as some wish them to appear, especially when set against against results.
        How’s he doing in Turkey? I honestly don’t follow him PAL. This site seems to be the place to get the results. Do I still rate him a# a player? Of course. And he will make
        Fernabache a better team in time I’m sure
        As for taking my comments on other players seriously? PAL what a ridiculous comment.What are you? Four years old?

  5. If you paid attention to Pepe’s last game, he took more risks than before. Because Odegaard and Soares were always behind him, to recover the ball if Pepe lost it

    I think Arteta instructed Odegaard and Soares to cover for Pepe, when Odegaard replaced the injured Smith-Rowe. Arteta must’ve seen that Luke Thomas couldn’t handle Pepe’s pace and aerial ability, but Pepe needed two Gunners behind him to retrieve any lost ball due to his risky dribbles

    The right wing was also more open for Pepe, because Mari, Xhaka, Tierney and Willian did a good job in luring the opponents to the left side. I think Burnley’s LB could also be abused by Pepe, as long as he has two Gunners behind him

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