Nicolas Pepe: The Nutmeg Express!

What would you do with Pepe?

  • Keep him for the foreseeable future

  • Give him one more season to prove himself

  • Sell if you can get a significant fee, keep otherwise

  • Sell at any price


Results are only viewable after voting.

EmeryCouldnt

Well-Known Member
Hmm it might be that however weirdly enough I disagree with your last statement.

Let me explain further; so I might be wrong because it might just be that Pepe needed an extended run to show what he's got.

But, Pepe is now actually looking better, not only offensively but all round too; he's contributing defensively and his link up play is a lot better.

I think part of that (especially the defensive side) is down to Arteta's instruction. What's weird is that he's probably doing what Arteta wants (atleast from my pov) so I don't know why he's still not comfortably first choice on the opposite wing of Saka.

But who knows, I guess if he starts tomorrow it might just be that Arteta is rotating to keep eerrbody fresh.

I think he might just linger on the ball a bit too long for Arteta's liking. I think Arteta is trying to put together a crisp passing game that ends at Auba. We aren't there, but it seems he's picking those types of players.

Agreed that tomorrow will really show us what Arteta's preferred 11 are.
 

The_Playmaker

Established Member
Trusted
I think he might just linger on the ball a bit too long for Arteta's liking. I think Arteta is trying to put together a crisp passing game that ends at Auba. We aren't there, but it seems he's picking those types of players.

Agreed that tomorrow will really show us what Arteta's preferred 11 are.
Linger on the ball? Pepe does not linger on the ball in comparison to others.. Willian literally stops and stands still. Ødegaard and Ceballos take so many touches.
 

The_Playmaker

Established Member
Trusted
Pepe lingers on the ball because his strength is dribbling, not passing. All the players you mentioned attempt and complete more passes per game than Pepe.


View attachment 2177

What has number of passes got to do with the amount of time they hold onto the ball?

Using the eye test, Ceballos and Ødegaard hold onto the ball a long time. Willian, like I said, stands still a lot on the ball. Pepe is either popping it off or taking his man on.
 

mirrorstare

Well-Known Member
Pepe wouldn't have delivered the basic assists Willian has to be honest. He'd have tried some stepovers, dribbling past his opponent and then a shot most likely.

Looks better but is a lot less effective, mainly because it's an individual action. That's pretty much how all his good performances in an Arsenal shirt pan out, him doing everything. With our subpar coaching the team is not really stronger as a result when Pepe is on the pitch.
 

The_Playmaker

Established Member
Trusted
Pepe wouldn't have delivered the basic assists Willian has to be honest. He'd have tried some stepovers, dribbling past his opponent and then a shot most likely.

Looks better but is a lot less effective, mainly because it's an individual action. That's pretty much how all his good performances in an Arsenal shirt pan out, him doing everything. With our subpar coaching the team is not really stronger as a result when Pepe is on the pitch.
Literally the opposite of what he has been doing lately.
 

EmeryCouldnt

Well-Known Member
What has number of passes got to do with the amount of time they hold onto the ball?

Using the eye test, Ceballos and Ødegaard hold onto the ball a long time. Willian, like I said, stands still a lot on the ball. Pepe is either popping it off or taking his man on.

Lingering on the ball makes it less likely to complete a pass. Regardless, every passing stat for those players is better than Pepe. You have zero evidence the contrary.

The old "eye test" eh? Here is an article explaining why that is unreliable.

 

Finesse

Well-Known Member
This Pepe vs Willian argument is rather odd.

Just for the sake of perspective, can we imagine it is more of a formation issue? Arteta prefers Pepe on the RW because of his left foot, and the advantage of how he can receive the ball on the half turn and run at the opposition. Add the fact he can use his left foot for the curler, as that always seems to be his end product. Sometimes he may pick a pass or cross.

Arteta prefers a right footer or Willian on the LW to do what Pepe can do on the other side. Also he wants Tierney to provide the crosses or final balls by combining with the RW player. If you notice when Tierney pushes into the LW , Xhaka takes his place , while Willian drops into midfield. It is a simple formation and tactic issue.

Saka owns the RW spot hence the limited time for Pepe. Every time Pepe came on to end the game, he has always slotted into the RW. Even when he started against City or Leicester , it was always on the RW. Arteta even used ESR on the LW to replicate the tactic of a right footed midfielder who drops into midfield and allow KT to push into the space in front.

This is a tactical issue. It is a valid argument to say Pepe can do what Willian is doing. However we do not know that yet. We have not seen him there enough to judge. The manager must know something we don't from training drills. Besides ESR was used there for 2 crucial games even though Willian was available. Pepe is on form indeed, but that's the form we have seen from his games playing mostly on the RW , where he is very dangerous. It is unfortunate Saka has that sewn down. Remember under Arteta this same Pepe was used all season on the RW rotating with Willian and non of them could tie it down until Saka settled it for them. Auba has been moved into CF and now the LW is available. We have some tough run of games and I am sure we would find out more. Pepe will definitely start for Sp**s.
 

Legend14

Well-Known Member
This Pepe vs Willian argument is rather odd.

Just for the sake of perspective, can we imagine it is more of a formation issue? Arteta prefers Pepe on the RW because of his left foot, and the advantage of how he can receive the ball on the half turn and run at the opposition. Add the fact he can use his left foot for the curler, as that always seems to be his end product. Sometimes he may pick a pass or cross.

Arteta prefers a right footer or Willian on the LW to do what Pepe can do on the other side. Also he wants Tierney to provide the crosses or final balls by combining with the RW player. If you notice when Tierney pushes into the LW , Xhaka takes his place , while Willian drops into midfield. It is a simple formation and tactic issue.

Saka owns the RW spot hence the limited time for Pepe. Every time Pepe came on to end the game, he has always slotted into the RW. Even when he started against City or Leicester , it was always on the RW. Arteta even used ESR on the LW to replicate the tactic of a right footed midfielder who drops into midfield and allow KT to push into the space in front.

This is a tactical issue. It is a valid argument to say Pepe can do what Willian is doing. However we do not know that yet. We have not seen him there enough to judge. The manager must know something we don't from training drills. Besides ESR was used there for 2 crucial games even though Willian was available. Pepe is on form indeed, but that's the form we have seen from his games playing mostly on the RW , where he is very dangerous. It is unfortunate Saka has that sewn down. Remember under Arteta this same Pepe was used all season on the RW rotating with Willian and non of them could tie it down until Saka settled it for them. Auba has been moved into CF and now the LW is available. We have some tough run of games and I am sure we would find out more. Pepe will definitely start for Sp**s.
Pepe has played very well on the left and is more of a threat to score than Willian. We can chalk it up to tactics, but what lineup would be better to win games? Scoring wins games, so we need to play impact players. Sometimes I think we play to not lose.

Its great that Willian is in better form, but what was the cost of playing him so much tactically when he was in poor form? Check the table.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted
I think Saka and Willian are in the team for the variety and volume of crosses they are capable of. Don't think it's much deeper than that honestly.

Whether they hit anybody is a different matter, but it is what Arteta wants.
 

Trilly

Full-Time Respecter Of Women
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Seeing and hearing so much justification for why Willian is starting ahead of Pepe. He is right footed, his assists, he can cross, he does what the manager is told. The one that really annoys me is that he takes up positions and links play in a way Pepe cant.

Willian is doing such an average, basic job. It's such an insult to Pepe to say he cant do the bare minimum, because that is what Willian is doing. He cant link with Tierney because he is left footed? He was putting Cedric through repeatedly on the left. He has barely had game time with Tierney. He keeps getting stuck with Bellerin.

Our eyes and underlying metrics do not deceive us. Arteta is acting like we are stupid. Willian is playing better? Yes he is, but he set the bar so low that anything is an improvement. He has the most assists? Again another dumb statistic. When you look at underlying metrics, he is behind all of our attacking players and even Cedric in terms of expected assists. It's just Arteta trying to play his boy.

The joke is, the evidence of Pepe improving is everywhere. Statistically and visually. How can he come on the pitch for 9 minutes and be one of the most dangerous players? It's because he is actually our most dangerous player. More dangerous that even Saka currently. He is in form. The fact that he is in form and we are not giving him consecutive games is just stupid. Eventually his head will drop, he will then be put in the team and he won't perform, and Arteta will use it as a told you so moment, which Willian puts all his average performances in.
Arteta’s a bit of a ****ing ***** basically. It was one thing when Pepe wasn’t playing well but at this point it’s blatant favouritism/sabotage by Arteta.

Don’t be surprised if Mik starts him against Tottenham, a game he doesn’t expect to get anything from.
 

Trilly

Full-Time Respecter Of Women
Trusted
I think Saka and Willian are in the team for the variety and volume of crosses they are capable of. Don't think it's much deeper than that honestly.

Whether they hit anybody is a different matter, but it is what Arteta wants.
There’s absolutely nothing Willian can do better than Pepe, nothing. Sounds like hyperbole but he’s actually been perfect in recent weeks, doing everything you’d want from a winger but it’s not enough.

Sad thing is his head (and performances) will drop soon if it hasn’t already and bad vibes Mik will use it to justify his horrid man management. Makes me sick.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted
There’s absolutely nothing Willian can do better than Pepe, nothing. Sounds like hyperbole but he’s actually been perfect in recent weeks, doing everything you’d want from a winger but it’s not enough.

Sad thing is his head (and performances) will drop soon if it hasn’t already and bad vibes Mik will use it to justify his horrid man management. Makes me sick.
Just trying to rationalise his exclusion out loud tbh.

Arteta's Arsenal 🤷‍♂️
 

Jakarta

Well-Known Member
Man this guy is a hard case.

If I was in his position and got to come on for an injured Saka, I would go all out to show I’m the real boss in town.

But he was just dead. People have different personalities, but this guy I don’t think has the fire to show everyone that he is a quality player.

edit

or maybe that fire has been sucked out of him hmm
 

Moah

Well-Known Member
Man this guy is a hard case.

If I was in his position and got to come on for an injured Saka, I would go all out to show I’m the real boss in town.

But he was just dead. People have different personalities, but this guy I don’t think has the fire to show everyone that he is a quality player.
Why would he do that? No matter the performance he is back on the bench, and I think he is finally realising that.
 

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