Nicolas Pepe: The Nutmeg Express!

Discussion in 'Arsenal Talk' started by tap-in, Aug 2, 2020.


How many goals in all competitions?

  1. <10

    57 vote(s)
  2. <15

    73 vote(s)
  3. <20

    21 vote(s)
  4. 20+

    14 vote(s)
  1. Mrs Bergkamp

    Mrs Bergkamp Established Member Trusted

    He's a weird player. All the stats suggest that he's had a good game but it doesn't seem to translate in to anything tangible. He just doesn't seem to fit any manager or system here. :(
    Polar Bear and SkyArsenal like this.
  2. Idiotologue

    Idiotologue Well-Known Member

    See, I don't think Pépé's case is one of being a misfit with the PL in general, just a misfit with us. There currently are multiple teams in the league that use a counter-attacking 4-3-3 and find large spaces. Imagine Pépé with Leicester, for example, playing that inside forward role on the right wing with Ricardo Pereira overlapping by his side. He has done enough to suggest he'd be a fine player elsewhere.

    This is also the reason why I think it wouldn't be difficult to find suitors for him. We obviously aren't going to compensate our losses fully, 72 million was a huge overpayment, but I think a deal in the 40s could be found, maybe even in the PL. We should move swiftly though, his value will continue to diminish over time if he doesn't feature.
    L3T5 PL4Y likes this.
  3. HairSprayGooners

    HairSprayGooners Dr. Pangloss

    Pepe just doesn't work in the PL. Like bayerns analysis suggested, he needs way too much space and time to do special things consistently.

    And the key is consistency in this game. He is absolutely talented and capable of great things. But not here, he looks like he doesn't believe in himself either. I never feel like he can dribble past someone, he's a one trick pony in terms of the left foot.

    Could actually be better on the right hand side but then you lose something if Tierney plays.
  4. Trilly

    Trilly Full-Time Respecter Of Women Trusted

    Saka is a better fit in this system and so starts ahead of him. Doesn’t matter what was paid for him that’s how it is, why does it matter?

    To use your own logic. The other day you were saying Saka has the same potential as 100M pound Jadon Sancho. In that case what’s wrong with the 70M player being backup to the guy with the same potential as a 100M player?
    Moah likes this.
  5. The_Playmaker

    The_Playmaker Established Member Trusted

    My stance on Pepe is very simple. I don't think he is worth 72 million. I think the right price was about 40 million. I don't believe he needs to be in a transition team to flourish.

    It's quite interesting reading my initial quotes on him when we were linked. I didn't think he was good enough and I thought he had mentality issues.

    Personally, I do feel he is good enough, but he needs the system to be geared towards him and I don't think that is going to happen, so we will probably sell.

    My take on him is that his status in the line up in the way that he plays, is like Auba and Martinelli. I wouldn't compare him to Saka as I think they are different players.

    Pepe is a finisher and a player who can play the final ball. He is someone you want around the edge of the box having the final action. He isn't someone you want in the build up. He isn't the pre assist guy, and he isn't the guy who beats players on the touchline to then play combinations.

    You want him on the edge of the box shooting, on the corner of the box playing a clipped or through ball or running into the box with the ball. The problem with this is, for this to happen, you need the build up to go down the left hand side. Currently our build up goes down the right with Saka, ESR and Laca all leaning to the right. You then have Auba or Martinelli vacating the left wing and Tierney holding the width.

    None of that actually suits him. The only way it would work is if we made him the main finisher. He isn't taking that off Auba and we don't have a full back who is as good as Tierney to hold the ball on the right touchline.

    The other fact is Saka is simply better than him. He knows when to run, when to dribble, he moves to receive it better, he combines better, he is better defensively and he has end product, not to mention a right foot. I do feel Saka can do the exact same thing from the left though.


    That is the front 3 I would like to see to be honest. At least once.
  6. GunnerShy

    GunnerShy Well-Known Member

    I was thinking a similar thing.

    If a club come in for Saka they wouldn't get any change from £72m. Not in a world where Havertz costs that anyway
    Macho and Trilly like this.
  7. Idiotologue

    Idiotologue Well-Known Member

    Great post, agreed on pretty much everything.

    I'd like to see a lineup with Smith Rowe at CAM, Pépé at RW, Saka at LW and Auba at CF. Don't think we have seen it yet.
  8. dashsnow17

    dashsnow17 Established Member

    Tim Stillman said it well on the podcast, Pepe looks like a guy who's really good at football but has never played football before. Has all the technical skills and none of the footballing intelligence footballers pick up from years of coaching.

    If Pepe had the same footballing intelligence that Saka has he'd be a killer.
  9. Dennis_Bergkamp_10

    Dennis_Bergkamp_10 Well-Known Member

    It's easy to forget that he's already been here since the summer of 2019. He said in October of that year:

    "It is a league totally different to Ligue 1, with a different intensity. For me, I had to adapt quickly because expectations were high. Unfortunately, it is not what I did at the beginning but I have always had the manager’s trust and the players have supported me. I keep working hard to perform well and adapt to the Premier League. The key is to have good people around you. I have my family here with me so I could be good mentally, especially when things are not going well. I rely a lot on them. For me, it was always going to be difficult to come here in the unknown, with a different language. So to have my family with me is important. I am not at my best physically because I didn’t have a proper pre-season like the others. I was at the Africa Cup of Nations. I started little by little and the manager knew about it. I am trying to work hard to be stronger physically to perform well."

    And here we are, January 2021. Whenever he gets the ball he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. I'd love for him to succeed, and there are times where he has a decent-ish game, but I can't see it. Whenever he has the ball at his feet, his technique looks questionable at best. He has a good left foot, but that's about it. Imagine him being at United or Sp**s, we'd laugh our asses off.

    We need to cut our losses and sell him to the highest bidder. We can't go down the Mustafi route where we terminate his contract in a few years time just because we hope he gets his act together.
    GeorgiaGunner likes this.
  10. Maybe

    Maybe Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I do wonder if people actually watch closely what he is doing. Every time he touches the ball he makes a risk, he is not a back passer like Willian or a hit&run merchant like Auba. He will always have a high number of shots and chances created, he will always create space for others simply because 1 defender on the edge of the box can't mark. All that comes with a cost of losing the ball more often than Willian or other "safe" players, it only depends on the manager if he is willing to play the game like that.

    The fun thing on this forum is that people have wet dreams about Mahrez and Zaha, they criticize Pepe on a daily basis even though their heroes from other clubs do exactly the same mistakes as Pepe. Zaha is allowed to make mistakes, for them, it doesn't matter if he loses the ball 20 times as long as he can produce the right volume of shots and creating opportunities for others.
    Now imagine how it is to play football when you are Pepe, where your every mistake is heavily criticized and the manager can't wait to put you on the bench, and how it is for Zaha when he can have a free role and do whatever he feels like. Pepe can't play his football within this environment, no way, but Zaha wouldn't be able to do it either
    Moah, celestis and Macho like this.
  11. Check

    Check Active Member

    The problem is, Pepe is playing a high risk game but the amount of times he succeeds is so low that the pro's of his playing style do not compensate the cons. I don't rate Zaha either, think he would also fail here. Mahrez is on a different level though. Everytime he gets the ball it's dangerous and he's also able to go to his weaker foot, something Pepe is not capable of.
    Melquiades and Maybe like this.
  12. Maybe

    Maybe Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I also think Mahrez is a bit above Pepe and Zaha, but he is also a risk player. Doesn't matter though because City controls the game for fun and he can get on the ball more often.
    It's all about the preference of the manager and what he wants to do, it's not a coincidence that we can't create anything and our "risk" player is locked on the bench.
    Trilly and Check like this.
  13. Check

    Check Active Member

    Agree, if we want Pepe to succeed we need real quality around him like City does. I noticed that Pepe came alive in the second half the second Partey got on the field, not a coincidence. Normally Pepe is really wide and hugging the touchline, but when Partey was on the pitch he came a lot more in field occupying half-spaces, before he went to LW. But that's also exactly our problem, we have to many players that need other players to perform. Partey and Tierney are exceptions at the moment, but the quality of Partey and Tierney (and also Saka and Smith-Rowe) should be the standard. They don't need other players to perform.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  14. Macho

    Macho Not Here For The Athletic's BS Trusted

    He's only had 24-28 starts in two seasons combined? 4 starts this season and it's half way through the season with no hope of him coming back in (with Ødegaard also coming in).

    People act like he's been here two seasons playing every prem match when that's not been the case he always been in and out. I think most players struggle with that.

    With Saka, he doesn't fall over and he makes the right pass consistently where as Pepe struggles so, it's right he is not in the team. It doesn't help him that both managers didn't really want him though.

    The main reason I am like sell him is not cause of his ability, but cause of Arteta - he's just not going to use him and he will never defeat the price tag.

    I personally think we will regret it down the line though. The team will still be dogsh*t once he goes anyways.
    Moah likes this.
  15. Kysus

    Kysus Well-Known Member

    We just need to play him regularly ffs.
  16. Dennis_Bergkamp_10

    Dennis_Bergkamp_10 Well-Known Member

    That's why we have to do what other big teams are doing. Sell him and invest the money to better the team. That looks like a much better option than to wait and hope that Pepe will come good.
  17. Macho

    Macho Not Here For The Athletic's BS Trusted

    We can bring who we want tbh, doesn't matter.
  18. Dennis_Bergkamp_10

    Dennis_Bergkamp_10 Well-Known Member

    Well we might as well give up completely then.
  19. KrissKringle

    KrissKringle Well-Known Member

    I hope not. He's only going to make us feel like we're playing with 10 men.
  20. Macho

    Macho Not Here For The Athletic's BS Trusted

    Not even I can justify forcing Pepe into the side just now. He needs to score a brace or something next time he's off the bench.

    That FA cup match was the end of him really.

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