Unai Emery says he’s confident that Nicolas Pepe will have a good career at Arsenal despite his slow start to life in North London, and that he’ll do his utmost to help him settle after his £72m move from Lille.

The Spaniard was keen to play down the fact that he’s the club’s record signing, saying that transfer fees and wages play no part in how he views a player (something Mesut Ozil could attest to).

Speaking ahead of the Europa League clash with Standard Liege at the Emirates, the Arsenal boss reminded fans that it can take time for players to get used to a new league, and assured them that the 24 year old would come good.

“Pepe is an amazing player. I am sure he is going to have a big career here,” he said.

“He needs time but also a lot of players when they came here, the first month, the first year is not easy for them, but I am going to work with him to make that adaptation easier.”

And on the fact he was one of the most expensive signings of the summer, he continued, “They are human, every player. When they are here working, playing, with us, it is not relevant for us to speak about the money.

“Not for him, not for another, young player or experienced players. The salaries are not important for me. They are players, they are human and they play not thinking about that.

“I am not thinking about my salary when I am the coach. I am not thinking the player is thinking about his salary or how much one club paid for him.”

It remains to be seen if Pepe will play a part tonight in the Europa League, but it might be the kind of game that could boost his confidence, so it’s not impossible he’s involved to some extent.

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He gives me angel di maria vibes .

A Fleeting Glimpse

Emery will suck the life out of his natural game with pragmatism. I pray our club don’t renew his contract at end of season. We have a very good squad and a couple of additions and manager not obsessed with adapting to opponents and we can challenge for league title once more. Emery will only ever win us a cup. In the late 1970’s and early 80’s that was Arsenal fans ambition as we were never gonna challenge for league. Times have changed since George led us to the title in 89. Arsene continued it and now we must not… Read more »


Nonsense. You’re just writing words.


Aren’t we all just writing words?


Sorry to burst your bubble, but we’re a long, long way of challenging from the title. Not negative, just realistic. Ability wise we’re not far off, but we’re culturally a million miles away. And I would imagine that changing the latter is far harder than the former.


After seeing Salzburg stick three past Liverpool last night and really going for it I am now almost convinced that we need to look for someone else in the long term. It really pissed me off to see a young team from Austria really go for 3 points at Anfield while Emery is happy to settle for 1 against a dreadful Man U. No matter what squad we’ve had in the past, I’ve always felt that the league should be the minimum requirement. It’s all about mentalitty and culture folks and we’re losing ours. Sorry to say but Unai is… Read more »


Exactly spot on. There is no reason why we couldn’t have taken the game to them with the players at our disposal. Both offensively and defensively.
All we asked for post Wenger is a little more structure and organisation. Not to turn up to away grounds like a second-rate midtable team that celebrates a draw. This club has everything to be one of the very best on the planet, and that comes from mentality first and foremost. Emery already has had 60 games+ and I don’t see any sign of it changing.


The problem with Emery is that he went to far away from his initial strategy and idea – to be protagonists. What Emery misses is to practice what he said first. Look, I am not against the idea to play football in order to score more to win. So our defensive display is what it is and if you cannot sort that out then unleash all the energy in attacking play. We saw what we can with Aston Villa, man down, we won. We fought very well. So Emery should grab that with both hands. From the first whistle, bomb… Read more »


You know, it’s really interesting to see these comments. Under Wenger, there was no end to comments about how he “didn’t do tactics” and “never modified his game plan to adapt to the opponent”.

So here we are on the other side of the fence wondering where the green grass really is.


Somewhere in the middle me thinks. I would argue Emery is not even doing what you say, that’s the problem. Some of his tactical decisions this season have been almost unjustifiable. While he isn’t changing his game plan to the opponent, it’s the same broken, imbalanced team every week. Be it a painfully narrow 4diamond2 or a slow, midfield-less 433. We are seeing almost purely reactive football out there – scoring almost entirely from mistakes or set pieces. If he had a clearly structured, tactical game plan, be it ugly or not, I could get onboard. But what we are… Read more »


Unwatchably chaotic and boring tactics. Winning matches based on obvious individual miracles (instead obvious team tactics). FFS…!

Man Manny

I have a feeling Pepe is struggling in part because our midfield is not imposing itself on games. He is largely isolated.
He could benefit from an Ozil in the team.
He is in his most potent best when he’s running unto a pass in the final third.
The return of Bellerin could also mark a change in his fortunes; I think we’ll see more of the combination play between them.


Okay, this season alone can you say that Pepe has performed any better worse than Ozil? I amn ot having a go a Pepe just trying to understand emery rufusal to play ozil. Pepe does not track back, loses the ball, not scored from open play, has created not many more than Ozil so far this season in much much more mins from open play and does he make our shape any better when he does not track back? If its personal fair enough – come out and say i dont like the guy and he gotta go, stop with… Read more »


Without support for the front three, it is impossible to get the best of the attacker. Of course, Pepe had himself to be blame, taking whose awful shot is really not nice but without the help of the tactics, what he can do is minimal.

sancho panda

Tactics can’t supplement the lack of technical skills, the boy can only run, that’s all, can’t shoot, can’t cross, can’t put a good pass,etc.
People pointing out to Laca difficult accomodation but even then you could say Laca technical skills was there, about Pepe I’m not convinced he’s more than just an athlete. The name of the game is football and he’s quite poor at kicking the ball.


Pepe will come good his potential is there for everyone to see. His football awareness, speed, dribbling skills are very important. What he needs now is confidence, with confidence you can do a lot that ordinarily you wouldn’t have. With confidence, he will know the best time to shoot and in which direction, he will also know when to assist his team mates to score. His positioning will also improve. Where he is lacking now is the defensive part of football which I think can be improved with some coaching.


It’s much too early to be having the Pepe discussion. Imagine if we judged Pires at the same stage…


You said it all

Flavoured Rice

If Emery is a builder without a blueprint, then Pepe is a hammer without a handle. I don’t think it’d be hard for any manger to get the most out of Pepe but somehow it’s getting fucked up. I am confident Pepe will come good. I am not confident Emery will. So based on that contradiction I’m not confident at all this partnership will thrive. Can we really entrust Pepe to a man who seems to think Torreira’s best position is an attacking midfielder ? How many questionable decisions is Emery allowed to make before something concrete is done? Could… Read more »


#EmeryOut will solve this problem. #EmeryOut


I’d be open to him going, but the reality is that with the quality in our squad and the challenges that Man U, Chelsea and Spurs are facing, we’ll probably be in the mix for a top 4 finish deep into the season, and I can’t see our board taking action in that context.

Most likely outcome is that we quietly approach other managers for next season, then just don’t renew his contract.


but in reality, another season in Europa league will affect the club in the long term. As a self-substainable club, with the champion league money, we will be declining further away. That’s the reality. The board need to react fast and Emery has till Dec to proved himself. If result and performance is not up to standard, he should be off.


This is exactly what I expect to happen. I think we’ll make top four, and maybe by some distance too, but unless we really kick on and maybe win the Europa as well as playing some entertaining football he may be retained for the third season option, else he’ll be let go and someone else brought in. Fingers crossed for Freddie.


Emery is reported to be giving Pepe one-to-one video sessions, poor Pepe needs a midfield, with a playmaker, not more fucking tactics.

Okechukwu Jude

I had some reservations about Pepe signing because of the adaptation process( remember Gervinho). I would have preferred a Zaha who is an impact player, used to d league and would hit the ground running and who even had a better African cup of Nations tournament than Pepe. Emery is a tinker man at this point and that also doesn’t help Pepe. I sincerely pray he comes good for 72million quids sake.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Emery says he does not think about salaries so what is the reason he wants Ozil out?


What has become crystal clear over the last few weeks & months is the hypocrisy of those who were disgusted by criticism of Arsene – allegedly because ‘you must support the Manager’…….what they actually meant was clearly ‘you must support the Manager if I approve. If I don’t approve, then let’s slaughter him’.


Comparing an Arsenal legend to a bumbling buffoon is disgraceful.

Arsene earned his respect. Emery’s done nothing to earn mine.


Wasn’t comparing them at all. Just language much less inflammatory than buffoon was deemed disgraceful at the time but now seems to be fine. Thank you for proving my point, much appreciated.


I mean he’s a fellow human being who seems altogether a decent bloke. You can afford him respect and still question his ability. The vitriol our fans like to spew is at best comical, at work embarrassing. Relax. We’ll get Champions League and I suspect Emery will then stay, or we won’t and I suspect he’ll then go. Either way, most will be happy.

Don Cazorleone

Nobody’s ever happy


He’s shown glimises of his talent but he’s much rawer than I expected and his confidence seems at rock bottom. I think given time and stability he’ll come good. But I find it rather strange that people would invoke Thierry “The King” Henry of all people as an example in his defence! We like to the focus on the first 8 games where he didn’t score for us, but forget all about Henry winning two young player of the year awards and a Ligue 1 title (and a world cup!) beforehand. To compare Pepe to a once in a generation… Read more »


I feel Laca along with our returning full backs will do him a world of good. And yes, nothing helps more than the confidence from a few goals.