“What’s happened is he’s started taking the kicking that Pepe deserves” Deeney defends Willian

Troy Deeney says the criticisms that Willian has been facing should instead be aimed at Nicolas Pepe.

Willian joined Arsenal after being released by Chelsea at the start of this season.

Mikel Arteta must have been impressed by his performance for Chelsea during Project Restart.

He was arguably Chelsea’s best player in that time, and he wanted a three-year deal.

The Blues wanted to keep him, but offered a two-year deal instead, he rejected it and joined Arsenal. He is now one of the worse players at the Emirates.

Pepe joined Arsenal for a record-breaking £72m in the summer of 2019, and he has similarly disappointed.

Willian has gotten a lot of stick for playing below expectations, but Deeney says most of those criticisms should be aimed at Pepe instead.

He says the Ivorian has been at Arsenal longer and more money was spent to sign him, so he needs to give more than he is giving now.

He told Monday’s talkSPORT Breakfast: “I think everyone loses confidence at some point.

“Everyone will say, ‘he [Willian] hasn’t moved far’, because it’s Arsenal and Chelsea, they’re both in London, but it’s a new environment with different people.

“When he was at Chelsea was he the main man? Probably not. Was there a lot of expectation? Probably not.

“Now he’s gone in there and they’re expecting him to deliver a mentality that he may not be able to do.

“What’s happened is he’s started taking the kicking that Pepe deserves.

“Pepe has been there longer than him; there was a lot of money spent on him and he hasn’t really delivered over the course of the time.

“If you’re going to spend £70m-plus, you expect to have done a background search to understand the guy’s temperament. How long do we give it?”

READ MORE: Arteta ready to show patience with under-performing ace

Tags Nicolas Pepe Troy Deeney Willian


    1. @ sue weldone but please any full update on the fa cup draw?( I mean everyone) and not only arsenal opponent… Thanks….

      1. Wale.. 4th round draw:
        Cheltenham vs Man City
        AFC Bournemouth vs Crawley
        Swansea City vs Nottingham Forest
        Man Utd vs Liverpool
        Southampton or Shrewsbury vs Arsenal
        Barnsley vs Norwich City
        Chorley vs Wolves
        Millwall vs Bristol City
        Brighton vs Blackpool
        Wycombe vs Tottenham
        Fulham vs Burnley
        Sheffield United vs Plymouth Argyle
        Chelsea vs Luton Town
        Stockport County or West Ham vs Doncaster Rovers
        Brentford vs Leicester City
        Everton vs Sheffield Wednesday

  1. Troy, you’re just stirring things up.
    Don’t tell me who is playing the worst.
    Anyone with a set of eyes can see that Willian is playing like a 16 yr old newbie.
    ATM. Pepe is twice the player Willian is playing like.

    1. Weedz, who’s Deeney playing for at the moment and what division are they in? Troy should be concentrating on his own game, to help his club Watford gain promotion, rather than commenting on players a division above.

  2. Willian shouldn’t compare himself to Pepe, he should compare his effort and results to the massive check he collects every week.

    By such comparison, Willian has been absolutely stealing a living since the Fulham match. For the massive wages he gets, it’s only fair to expect a substantial return.

    Must Troy comment on Arsenal? Think he has better things to concern himself with at this time.

  3. I have no problem whatsoever with Troy offering his two cents worth, even though history suggests that he loves to troll our fanbase…that said, he was right about his assessments regarding the largely spineless nature of our team under Wenger, in the years prior to his dismissal…in this case, he seems to think that the fans have been overly harsh to Willian and have given Pepe a pass…far from it…Pepe has faced considerable criticism for much of his time here…the difference is Willian was a finished product upon arriving at the Emirates, so the bar was naturally higher at first because we’ve seen what he could do in the Premiership…his failure to live up to those expectations, especially on those wages, is on him because he’s had plenty of opportunities to prove those criticisms wrong…in fact, he supplanted Pepe as the regular starter, which is even more problematic, considering how much this team has mistakenly invested in one position…to make matters worse, when Saka started out wide right, when Willian wasn’t available, he performed considerably better…the only way Willian would make sense at Arsenal would be if he was behind Pepe, so that he could play a role similar to the one had at Chelski, but if that were the case he never would have come because the offer would have been far less…this was a bonehead move that should have never happened unless we had somehow moved Pepe in the offseason…gotta love the Arsenal Way

  4. A comment on the draw:
    The spuds have drawn the weakest opponent (as per competition stats) in the Europa, Carabo and FA cup.

    As for comparisons, what is the point?
    Judge each individual on their achievements /failures/expectations.

    For me – Pepe = 6/10 and Willian = 4/10.

    1. Everyone is saying the spuds win something when the year ends with the digit ‘1’ Ken! Jammy sods…. as well as Chelsea!

      1. Yes Sue, they have been to date, but they could/should face Everton away it seems.

        Did they win anything in 2011.2001,1991,1981,1971?
        Talk about clutching at straws!!!

    2. Didnt wycombe have Akinfemwa? He was the strongest footballer sometime ago I guess. A man for the memes….

  5. Stop blaming Pepe for the 72m pounds Arsenal paid for him.He did not set that price tag. His performances in the French league seasons ago, was the cause of that value. In his first season with Arsenal, 5 goals + 5 assists in the premier league, plus 2 goals + 2 assists in the Europa league and 2 goals +1 assist in the Fa cup playing an average of less than 45 minutes per game time whether, he started or came off the bench. My hope was that after acclimatizing last season, he would be given more minutes this season to blossom. But, Edu landed Willian and favored by Arteta resulted in limited play time for Pepe this season. In all competitions this season, Willian has 3 assists +0 goals, while Pepe has 3 assists + 5 goals (2pl+3 el). Before being dropped from the starting line-up Willian averaged 70 minutes per game, while Pepe averaged 25 minutes per game for the same period. Willian earns 192,308 pounds weekly and Pepe earns 100,000 pounds weekly. Willian has been playing in the premier league for several seasons(more than 5 years) , while Pepe is just starting his second season. Yet, both Arteta and Edu are asking fans to be patient with Willian(the experience premier league professional) , while Pepe is being marginalized for inconsistency. In the first instance, Arsenal should not have signed Willian, as , Arsenal was overstocked with younger promising players like Saka, Martinelli, Pepe and Nelson , who are wingers like him. Arsenal should have invested in a creative midfielder instead. Willian has passed his best and given his pension contract he cares less about anything else. He doesn’t have the passion for Arsenal and looks disoriented, as he badly out of form. The sooner Arsenal can get rid of him, the better . Willian must be sold now for anything. As, his continued presence on team stifles our young talents opportunities to play in the premier league and hinders their growth and development.

  6. Both have been poor, but Pepe has still done far more than Willian this season.

    The criticism of Willian, in comparison to Pepe is more than justified. Willian is fully adapted to life in the Premier League, and London, and was considered the better player as well. Yet he has been woeful! Given his experience, I would argue that Willian has been our worst player this season.

  7. But Edu said Willian needs time!! Laughable!
    As people have pointed out, Pepe has contributed more, but tbh, I still expected more from him, actually more from both! I expected them both to hit the ground running – hasn’t happened…very disappointing

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