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.

Jackie_Treehorn

Well-Known Member
Wow. I just saw some awful racist abuse being hurled at Pepe on social media. He did a stupid thing and apologized. Time to move on. And why do people have to dehumanize and abuse players like this?
Of course, I see posters on here claiming reactions to racism, sexism, etc. are overblown. Not difficult to see why people think it’s okay. It’s sad.
 

Monstar-Gunn4r

Well-Known Member
Over a year of crap performances, complains about game time. Pushes another player, other player pushes back, throws a headbutt at said player.

Arteta not happy with Pepe because of headbutt therefore Arteta is to blame.

Solution - Arteta should publicly encourage players to headbutt the opposition and play Pepe no matter how bad he is or idiotic his behavior.
 

Monstar-Gunn4r

Well-Known Member
Wow. I just saw some awful racist abuse being hurled at Pepe on social media. He did a stupid thing and apologized. Time to move on. And why do people have to dehumanize and abuse players like this?
Of course, I see posters on here claiming reactions to racism, sexism, etc. are overblown. Not difficult to see why people think it’s okay. It’s sad.

I'd doubt many of the racists are Arsenal fans and many are trolls, can you give some examples please of said posters and their posts.
 

Jackie_Treehorn

Well-Known Member
I'd doubt many of the racists are Arsenal fans and many are trolls, can you give some examples please of said posters and their posts.
I doubt some forum members want to see racist abuse re-posted here but I can PM a screenshot. Not sure how you ascertain that most racists aren’t Arsenal fans, especially when the fans of this club have a past of hurling anti-Semitic abuse at Spuds fans. I hate Spuds but some of the stuff that transpired in years past was beyond the pale.

Edit: it won’t let me post a screenshot in my message-I’m sure you can find some examples
 

EmeryCouldnt

Well-Known Member
Wow. I just saw some awful racist abuse being hurled at Pepe on social media. He did a stupid thing and apologized. Time to move on. And why do people have to dehumanize and abuse players like this?
Of course, I see posters on here claiming reactions to racism, sexism, etc. are overblown. Not difficult to see why people think it’s okay. It’s sad.

Social media isn’t the best barometer for humanity. I hope.
 

EmeryCouldnt

Well-Known Member
Over a year of crap performances, complains about game time. Pushes another player, other player pushes back, throws a headbutt at said player.

Arteta not happy with Pepe because of headbutt therefore Arteta is to blame.

Solution - Arteta should publicly encourage players to headbutt the opposition and play Pepe no matter how bad he is or idiotic his behavior.

Have you ever seen a headbutt?
 

EmeryCouldnt

Well-Known Member
That's not why he got sent off. Refs don't always give red cards for hard fouls. They do it when there's unsportsmanlike behavior, which is what Pepe did.

A defender can rent space in your head and it's up to you if you want to kick him out or let him stay there the whole game.

A red card for squaring up because his head was tucked. There was nothing dangerous about what he did. It was less dangerous than going up for a header. It wasn’t a “headbutt”.

Intention, apparently. Vieira kicked out at Van Nistlerooy while lying on the floor and missed him by about a yard, but got a red for that. The law hasn't changed since.



There was no intent to hurt. An attempt to intimidate maybe. He didn’t hurl his head at him. He squared up.



On a different note. His good performances for us have been few and far between sadly.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted
Even though there has been a few red cards in this team we simply can’t defend it.

Arteta’s faith in Pepe was fragile already and he’s gone and done that - he’s heading to Hertha Berlin and we all know it.

I am a little bit surprised however that we haven’t tried harder to make our record signing work and put an uninspiring 32 year old has-been infront of him.

Seeing how Özil (our highest paid) and Saliba (another expensive acquisition) has been handled though, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
 

Red London

Anti-Simp Culture
Trusted
I think the fact he did this after publicly saying he wants more game time says quite a lot. Its like he wanted to prove something but he doesn't know how to channel it in the right way.

Instead of being really concentrated, alert and hard working he expressed it in anger. I did notice him tryna work harder but in the end maybe he doesn't know how to be intense in the manner he should.
 

Red London

Anti-Simp Culture
Trusted
There is no doubt he is still capable of scoring goals and providing magic. If we continue to play Auba up front Pepe should be starting, if you remove the massive agenda Arteta has against him beign gratified on Sunday.

He's a player with a high ceiling whos not performing how he should be but within that he can still give you something that your team lacks; goals. So even after this blows over I'm going to be calling fpr him to start, given he gives us some good performances in the EL.
 

Maybe

Well-Known Member
People have turning points in their lives, not just footballers, and this could be it for him. He probably knows that there is now only one way to make something out of his career, and if both he and Arteta are smart enough, we could have a good player here.

It's not too late and there could be a win-win situation for both sides
 

American_Gooner

Not actually American. Unless Di Marzio says so.
Moderator
Nicolas Pépé is set for talks with Mikel Arteta today as the Arsenal winger battles to get back in favour after his red card for headbutting Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski.

Arteta took Pépé to task in the dressing room for the incident which led to his dismissal during the 0-0 draw at Elland Road on Sunday and also called him out publicly for his “unacceptable” conduct.

The club’s record £72 million signing yesterday apologised for the red card, which forced his team to play most of the second half with ten men. “I let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there are no excuses for my behaviour,” Pépé, 25, said. “I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my team-mates, my coach and everyone else at the club.”

The incident has added to Arteta’s misgivings about the Ivory Coast winger’s inconsistency and whether his moments of flair can be matched with good decision-making.

The Arsenal manager prefers to hold a private meeting with his players to address disciplinary issues, which was the case when Mattéo Guendouzi was exiled for his poor attitude in July and also when Willian travelled to Dubai without permission during the recent international break.

Pépé, who is unlikely to be fined when he returns to training today, has started only two league matches this season, scoring once, and patience is wearing thin about whether the winger signed from Lille in August last year will live up to his huge transfer fee.

Arsenal are unlikely to loan him out in January to try to rebuild his confidence because of their busy schedule, both domestically and in the Europa League. Instead, they must hope he recaptures the form that led to him scoring 22 goals and claiming 11 assists in his final season in France.

Pépé and Alioski, Leeds’s 28-year-old Macedonia full back, were subjected to racist abuse on social media and both clubs have promised to work with the police to track down the perpetrators.

In a statement, which was backed by Leeds, Arsenal wrote: “We utterly condemn the vile abuse directed at Nicolas Pépé and Ezgjan Alioski on social media following our match against Leeds United. This is completely unacceptable and we will be working with the police and authorities to do everything we can to trace and prosecute the culprits.”

Pépé will be part of the Arsenal squad that travels to Norway today — one day earlier than normal — for their Europa League group match against Molde on Thursday.

The players and staff need to produce a negative test result for Covid-19 before being allowed to leave their hotel and train tomorrow, under extra restrictions imposed by the Norwegian government.

Pépé’s dismissal was Arsenal’s fifth red card since Arteta took charge 11 months ago, as ill-discipline threatens to derail the club’s progress under the Spaniard.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw red against Crystal Palace in January, David Luiz was dismissed against Chelsea and Manchester City, and Eddie Nketiah was sent off for a high tackle on James Justin, of Leicester City, in July.
 

Macho

Has Trust Issues With Processes
Trusted
https://theathletic.co.uk/2214689/2020/11/23/pepe-arteta-arsenal-trust/

In his short time as a manager, Mikel Arteta has shown himself to be a very deliberate communicator. He does not choose his words lightly, and in the aftermath of Nicolas Pepe’s sending off against Leeds United, his message was as clear as it was concise: “It’s unacceptable”.

Arteta cited the fact that Pepe had “let the team down”, but his words appeared to betray the fact that he felt personally let down too. For the coach, this was a show of faith that backfired. For the player, another opportunity missed.

If Arteta was sure about regularly picking Pepe — if he truly trusted in his capabilities — he would already be doing so. The fact that this was only his second league start of the season shows the manager is far from convinced by the club’s record signing. The player had piped up during the international break, telling Canal+: “My goal is to play more. Have a little more playing time… it is frustrating for any player to be on the bench.”

Arteta’s concerns are no mystery to Pepe. “He wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match,” the former Lille winger explained. But given Arsenal’s attacking issues, Arteta rolled the dice.

It’s easy to see how Arteta talked himself into picking Pepe. The player has impressed in the Europa League, and even in this match, he offered Arsenal’s most dangerous first-half moments, flashing one shot wide and seeing a stray cross hit the bar. In a team struggling for creativity, Pepe offers the promise of unpredictability, and so Arteta gave him a chance.

Well, Pepe threw that chance back in his face with considerably more force than he applied in his lean into Gjanni Alioski. It probably would’ve been easier to just trot over to the sidelines and nut his own manager.

Alioski and Pepe had been embroiled in a tussle two minutes before the sending off, but it was nothing to warrant such a reckless reaction. Alioski laid a trap, and Pepe walked into it. As for the decision, nobody on the Arsenal bench looked surprised. We live in a time where there are many grey areas within the interpretation of football’s laws — but not regarding what Pepe did. The consequences are clear.

The sense from the Leeds camp after the game was one of surprise that Pepe reacted to such meagre provocation. The kindest interpretation would be that he sensed the importance of the opportunity, and was overly wound-up in an attempt to impress.

“He stops his own progress with his own behaviour,” said Freddie Ljungberg in the Sky Sports studio. The Swede dropped Pepe in his first match as Arsenal’s interim head coach last season, and could not hide his disappointment. “I thought this game would be very good for Pepe: Leeds play man-to-man, he would get isolated with his left-back and he can do him, and he’s very good at that. I thought he would be a match-winner today, and instead, it ends up like this.”

Pepe will now miss matches against Wolves and Burnley, either side of a north London derby. One imagines Arteta will deliberate even further on whether to recall him once that period is through.

Emotions run high after an incident like that. The truth is that Arteta and Arsenal can not afford to suddenly jettison Pepe: given the scale of the investment, all parties have to give this every opportunity to work. However, it’s difficult to escape the feeling that when all is said and done between Arsenal and Pepe, this will feel like a fork in the road moment.

Opta pointed out that since Arteta took over at Arsenal, they have received five red cards, two more than any other Premier League team in that period. Unlike in the early days of Arsène Wenger’s reign, this doesn’t seem to be the consequences of a physical playing style or some vigilante spirit — even if Kieran Tierney did win plaudits for seeking to remonstrate with Alioksi after the game. Instead, it feels like sloppiness.

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Tierney attempts to remonstrate with Alioski after the match (Photo: Michael Regan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Given the dynamics of the game, it was tempting to assume Pepe’s sending off would lead to a defeat. It did enable Leeds to exert more consistent pressure on Arsenal’s goal, and after seeing three shots come off the woodwork and several other promising efforts saved, Marcelo Bielsa’s men will be cursing both their luck and the performance of Bernd Leno.

Going down to 10 men did, however, seem to suit Arsenal to a degree. It enabled them to do what they do best — lean on their system, their shape, and launch the occasional counter-attack from a deeper starting position. This is an Arsenal team that are most comfortable with underdog status.

It’s strange to see an Arsenal team relatively secure at the back, yet utterly uninspired up front. Even their summer hire of a new set-pieces coach, Andreas Georgson, seems to fit the trend: Arsenal have not conceded a goal from a set piece all season in the Premier League, but have scored only one. Hector Bellerin’s latest foul throw and a series of underwhelming deliveries suggest that on the attacking front, Georgson still has work to do.

As does Arteta. He did at least rework his front three in this game, finally starting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang through the middle. Aubameyang arrived at Elland Road with a tally of four shots across his last four Premier League games. Recording three shots in just 90 minutes against Leeds will feel something like progress.

Arsenal’s biggest problem, however, remains progressing the ball into the final third. It may sound absurd to some, but the absence of new father David Luiz robs this team of creativity and craft on the ball. The fact Arteta also started the game without the injured Thomas Partey and the exhausted Bukayo Saka doubtless impacted upon Arsenal’s build-up play.

Arsenal desperately need a player with Pepe’s qualities, but Arteta will feel more unsure than ever as to whether Pepe is that player. It will not be easy for the Ivorian to regain his coach’s faith after this latest setback. Few at Arsenal doubt Pepe’s talent, but there is so much more that goes into being a top Premier League player than that.

The Athletic revealed last week that the decision to sign Pepe over Wilfried Zaha was taken at a barbecue at Josh Kroenke’s house in the summer of 2019. Part of the logic behind plumping for the £72 million Ivorian was that, at 24, he would offer good residual value. If Pepe continues to flatter to deceive, we will get closer and closer to seeing that theory put to the test.
 
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