Leave Pepe alone

Pepe has been having a frustrating season so far. He has shown glimpse of brilliance in the game, good set-piece delivery and good camaraderie with his teammates BUT he has also been guilty of not playing direct enough, not taking on his defender on a one-on-one enough, always cutting back inside, too many times playing a sideways and backwards.

He still managed 8 assists and 6 goals this season I believe in 32 games, which is not bad in a first season but still low given his hefty fee.

Arteta has recently opened up about Pepe’s stuggle to adapt to the EPL. He also indicated that he will personally work with him to make him more aware of attacking and defensive positioning.

Arteta has helped Sterling and Sane flourish so I am sure that he can help our 24 yearld old Ivorian winger to become a potent force for us.

So for those doubting Pepe, I would say give it a rest and leave him alone 🙂

We must play him week in and week out to ensure that he is applying Arteta’s advice so that he can progress quickly.

I expected him to hit good form as of now but seems his adaptation is taking a bit longer than anticipated.

Nelson is a great option off the bench and his directness will come in handy as a sub to unblock some sticky situations.

If Pepe manages 10 assists in the EPL and 8 goals in his first season, it would not have been a stellar season but it would not have been a poor one either so I hope that he can manage to rack up 4 more assists and 4 more goals in the EPL and then I also hope that he can be our FA Cup Hero to ensure that all AFC fans support him when we start next year 🙂

Allez Pepe! COYG!



35 Responses to Leave Pepe alone

  1. RC78 says:

    Tack =rack up…

  2. Thank you RC for the post.

    I do find Pepe very frustrating …… I don’t deny he has talent but he just doesn’t seem to fit in with the play at the moment.

    Will be back to read the comments of others later.

  3. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC, and I agree that we should be keeping faith with him and let Mikel coach him to where he needs to be.

    You have seen more of Pepe overall so I would ask you the question of whether playing attacking right remains his best longer term position, or do you think he could take up a more central number 10 role? We need to start developing solutions to that position which has traditionally been Ozils and I wonder if a more direct pacey goal threat number 10 type is the way forwards.

    Pepe could be one of those options considered along with Martinelli, Saka, nelson and ESR. We may have options already for replacing the Ozil position without having to hit the transfer market.

    My other question from yesterday RC was what you thought about Dembele as a number 9 option for us? Is he good enough for the top end of the EPL and is he suited to the EPL? Would be interested to know because my gut feeling is we will need at least 1 (not cheap) recruitment in the number 9 position.

  4. RC78 says:

    Hi GoonerB-
    – I responded to your Dembele query yesterday and basically said that he was a very good player but he is not the finished product yet. He needs development and the best would be to maybe buy him now (although his price tag is huge) and then loan him back to Lyon for a year. However, I also said that I would rather us approach Ben Yedder or Slimani from Monaco as I believe they would be more suited to our game and they are more proven players. There is also value in exploring the Odsonne Edouard option – he plays for Celtic and is also improving fast. He is now confirming his good season and he is also one that can be bought now and could be loaned out then for another season but rather to an EPL team like West Ham or Everton or even Newcastle.

    – As for Pepe, he can play left, right and center. I d love for Arteta to play him in the three positions so that he can get some wide exposure to EPL defending. I just saw that he played three times as CF for us and scored twice. In Lille, he played across the attack and was very lethal. I think there are a few options for him – ideally, he can be a great winger for us but I can see him also develop into a fine CF or as a MF because he is a player that can break lines with his burst of speed so maybe playing slightly lower on the pitch would give him more space to annoy the opposition.

    – As for recruiting a CF, I fully agree with you and I am not sure what Auba will do but in any case, having another CF option would be good. Having a player like Milik or Mitrovic or even Chris Wood would not hurt us for example.

  5. RockyLives says:

    Nice one RC – I agree 100%. I think Pepe’s potential is very high if he is willing to be coached.

    Next in the current series: Leave Mustafi Alone… 😀

  6. RC78 says:

    I am looking forward to the Mustafi piece

  7. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RC, Jimenez also looks excellent and would require the least adaptation and coaching to be up to standard. He is already here and doing it.

    I don’t think we should be looking for a cheap option or risky “one for the future” option up top. We need at least one striker that can more hit the ground running and will need to pay what is needed to get that.

    Adding “one for the future” at a lower price tag could be done in addition but we have ones for the future in our ranks with Nketieh, John Jules and Balogun. If we lost both Auba and Laca there is an argument we need 2 additions to the striking department, but we should have some money to spend from their sales anyway.

    One solution that would work well for us in giving us the strength in that area required, while fitting within our financial capabilities, but also not block off the potential development of the 3 youngsters I mentioned, would be to go big on 1 striker, say Jimenez or Dembele, and bring back Ollie. Jimenez, Giroud, Nketieh, Martinelli, John Jules, Balogun doesn’t look too bad as options to lead the line.

    Our squad requirements for the summer TW seems to be changing in front of our eyes as this season progresses.

    Without absolute certainty, I feel more confidence about having the CD’s we need next year now with Mari just arriving and Saliba to arrive in addition to improvements in Luiz and Mustaffi and with Holding and Chambers to come back from injury. I think I would refrain from spending money there for now.

    Leno and Martinez I am fine with and, as long as Tierney recovers, I think him with Saka being able to cover there is good and we can always turn to an academy LFB like Bola at times as well. RFB, however, might need some thinking. If our best solution right now is Socratis then we need 2 additions here unless 2 from 3 out of Bellerin, AMN and Soares step up and are still with us next season.

    I am happy with our attacking options that play across the front line behind the number 9 with Saka, Nelson, Pepe, Martinelli, Smith-Rowe to choose from. In midfield it is the 2 behind these players in front of the defence that needs serious consideration. Getting a player like Ndidi may be a big focus for us.

    For me it is those 3 positions; striker, defensive midfield, and RFB where there are question marks and a couple of those players will need to be expensive ones.

  8. LBG says:

    Thanks RC
    Inclined to agree with belief that Mikel can “educate” him, and felt first season was always likely to be too much for him to show his true worth.
    Hope that his seemingly laid back approach ( just my impression) to what is required of him on the pitch for the full 90 mins of a game, is not too culturally ingrained. He is a “natural”, and I make the comparison with A M-N, hoping that both eventually understand the phrase required for our League – knuckle down young man.
    On another point, if we are likely to lose Martinelli to Brazilian Olympics team to start next season, use him/give him more experience now, please Mikel.

  9. GoonerB says:

    Blimey Rocky, how big is the “leave —- player alone” series? Will we eventually get to Eddie McGoldrick?

  10. Pete the Thirst says:

    @RC78 nice piece although I think Pepe is getting a lot of slack from Arsenal fans. His movement reminds me a bit of Walcott at the moment: one touch too many and not trusting his pace to beat player. Hopefully this will come.

    I think Slimani is a long shot, he hardly pulled up trees at Leicester.

  11. RC78 says:

    Raul Jimenez is also a good option for me

    @Pete – I think Pepe will come good. He is in the right hands. As for Slimani, I think the game style in Leicester was not for him but with Arteta, he could do really well. His movement is very good and he s providing assists and goals plenty for Monaco. Great option to have imho and I think he ll come in cheap as well.

  12. Sue says:

    Nice post, RC 👍
    I agree with Peaches, he is bloody frustrating! Yes, you can clearly see he is talented, but 70% of the time he’s like Iwobi – no end product! Although I’d rather he was in the team, as we may see the other 30%!! We can live in hope!
    We’re gonna have to be patient anyway, as we haven’t paid for him yet 😀

    The big match tomorrow, RC.. Well sorry the other big match – PSG.. behind closed doors. Mbappe is a doubt, as he has a sore throat – uh oh it’s not is it?? Well I hope they win 👍

  13. RC78 says:

    PSG is quite unlucky in general in the CL so I wouldn’t be surprised if he does not start but we have Sarabia who s been in great shape so we could end up with a 4442 set up with cavani (or Icardi) next to Sarabia up front to start with with Neymar and Di Maria on the wings and with Marquinhos and Gueye in the middle and Bernat, Kimpembe-Kouassi, Kehrer at the back

  14. 4442 RC? Be lucky if they could get away with that 😉

  15. Whispers ……. watching the game with four baby spuds ……. shhhhhh

  16. Sue says:

    Time for pom poms and cartwheels, Peaches!!

  17. Since the Gnabry four goal heroics at WHL I’ve not watched spuds with them. I think even they’re not expecting much this evening. Funny though 🤣🤣🤣

  18. RC78 says:

    Who is liking Mukiele and Upamecano?

    @peaches – 4442 🙂 I am a genius 😛

  19. Genius indeed 😉

    I’m loving Upamecano, what’s his price tag?

  20. RC78 says:

    He is valued at 45 Mln pounds because his contract expires in 2021. Watch the big clubs make a move for him…At 45 Mln, he is a steal.

  21. Sue says:

    Sacked in the morning??! A grovelling plea to Poch??

  22. RC78 says:

    Amazing that with such a talented team, Mourinho is not producing more game. I suppose losing Kane and Son did not help him…

    I like Leipzig and Atalanta and both are the first teams to qualify in the Champions League quarter final! Amazing! I hope they meet in the next round so one of them goes on to play in the semis.

  23. RC78 says:

    Leipzig would not be ridiculous in the EPL. I like their intensity and flow of play.

  24. fred1266 says:

    City game postponed

  25. Sue says:

    Bizarre… saying it takes 5 days for symptoms to show… so if the whole team met that Olympiacos guy, then we shouldn’t have played against Portsmouth and West Ham, so they’ll have to self isolate too?!

  26. Sue says:

    Yet Olympiacos v Wolves is still going ahead…..

  27. It does seem bizarre Sue unless the Greek owner was in the UK when contracted it and that was after we played Olymiakos ……. very fine margins timings wise

  28. Doh …… he must’ve met with his players on the same night 🙄

  29. Sue says:

    Yes that makes sense, Peaches. As you say though – very fine margins.
    Liverpool and dirty Diego instead – nah, think I’ll give football a miss tonight now 😁

  30. Also Olympiakos v Wolves isn’t until tomorrow and it’s behind closed doors so they can cancel at the very last minute if there’s a late sickness revelation.

  31. Sue says:

    Will our game at the weekend even go ahead??
    Portsmouth have played Peterborough and Fleetwood since our game, what about them? West Ham are due to play Wolves at the weekend 🤔 Too many questions and not enough answers…
    Someone on Twitter said remember Mike Dean refereed our game v Portsmouth (evil!!!)

  32. seedeee says:

    So Sky are saying some Arsenal players have been in quarantine, any one know which ones? Apparently they return on Friday for training ahead of our game with Brighton… Everyone should just be tested and then it’s put to bed surely.

    I think now would have been a good time to play City, with De Bruyne out etc. Ah well.

  33. RockyLives says:

    If this problem continues to grow, we could end up with a curtailed season. I don’t know what they would do about who wins what, but it would be virtually impossible to make it fair.

    For example, who’s to say that one of the bottom three clubs won’t climb out of the drop zone before the end of the season? It happened most years.

    If they opt for a shortened season it would probably lead to a lot of legal actions…

  34. Morning all

    We have a New Post ………..

    Sorry Rocky, I messed up the spacing trying to put a bigger picture in the post …………….

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