Emery happy for Pepe…but won’t be drawn on Ozil


Unai Emery says he’s very happy for Nicolas Pepe after the Ivorian scored two free-kicks in 12 minutes to rescue Arsenal from the ignominy of defeat to Portuguese side Vitoria.

Arsenal’s record signing took just five minutes to make an impact off the bench as he curled home an equaliser before he repeated the trick in stoppage time to seal a 3-2 win.

The Gunners had struggled in the first half with the visitors pace and trickery, twice falling behind, either side of Gabriel Martinelli’s header.

After the game, Emery admitted that Pepe’s goals could go a long way to boosting the winger’s confidence.

“Every player, usually, they need time to adapt,” said the Spaniard.

“Pepe is a very good player and we believe in him, totally. The way he’s going, sometimes he feels better, sometimes it’s with more difficulty on the pitch. It depends on the opponent.

“He’s improving and tonight those two goals are really important for us first, and then secondly for him. He’s continuing the adaptation in his process and as soon as he can adapt, that’s better for us.”

On the goals, he added: “We are very happy for him and for us because those two goals, from two set-pieces, were perfect.

“He was trying a lot of set-piece shooting on the training ground last week and I was watching his shooting, because I was also positive in that situation when we can have players like Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ceballos or others to shoot.

“The most important thing is the three points and that some individual players can improve, that they can take confidence for us and for them.”

The other big talking point of the evening was Emery’s decision to omit Mesut Ozil from his matchday squad for the fifth game in a row.

Yesterday, the German cryptically captioned a message on social media that many took to be a sarcastic dig at the Spaniard. It read: “You make me laugh…”

When asked why he again decided not to use the club’s highest earner, Emery would not be drawn.

“Tonight is not the day to speak about that,” he said, before twice more turning down questions on the subject.

“I prefer to speak about the match. We have all the players who played,” he added. “He’s not in the squad. That is the decision tonight. Now we are going to work towards Sunday.”


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he should be grateful to Pepe for bailing him out


The boat’s still got a hole in it though.

Runcorn Gooner

Emery got lucky last night. He must be just a couple more performances away from being at risk.

Also he plays Mustafi in ALL the CC/EL games and does quite well yet the other player he wants out,Ozil never gets a look in.

John C

It’s not only him that wants him gone, it must also be the club.

Ozil must get a bonus for just sitting on the bench and my guess is the club just don’t want to pay it


@John C — Well this is the exact issue. If Unai was using Ozil in a manner that got the best out of him, there would literally be no talk of getting rid of him. If Emery was a good manager, he would be able to fit Ozil into a side that cant create any goals. Because a good manager can see what he has at his disposal, and find a playing style that works. But this is the problem — Emery’s cautious cautious style will never allow a player like Ozil to play well (really). A large portion, or… Read more »

John C

As far as i can see, Mesut Ozil is a former footballer who now runs a computer game production company, coffee shops and is looking beyond his days as a footballer. It’s quite clear to me the club have told him he won’t play again unless there’s no choice and we’ll see what his commitment to his football is if come January he’s still out of the team and hasn’t left. All the talk of what he brings to the team is moot if he isn’t interested and as posted below his numbers are worse than Mkhitaryan’s, a player who… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Nah, you’re just making assumptions extrapolated from vague shit Emery says about Ozil.

John C

@Gutbukkit Deffrolla, no I’m not, it’s what I’ve surmise from clicking on the AppStore the other day and being confronted with Ozil face only to read he had a computer game company that currently had 7 games in production. The interview read very much as if it was his main focus in life.


Maybe but another view point is what i said in my comment below. Emery’s system is made for the traditional No.10 yet no matter what which player he picks in that role seems to be underwhelming. Ozil’s decline coincided with Unai’s arrival. So why not figure out something else that suits the players we have? Whether it’s getting the best out of Ozil or anyone else that’s deployed in the most advanced midfield position. I honestly feel like the best player that suits Emery’s No.10 role is Ramsey followed by Iwobi. Players that can hold up the ball in between… Read more »


*Emery’s system isn’t made of the traditional No.10

Be good

Özil’s been in decline since his days at Madrid. Only started games in his last season under Mourinho when first choice option’s unavailable. Was often used as an option for the last 20 mins of games. They cited issues like working without the ball and lack of consistency; sound familiar? It was the reason they placed him on the shop window at the end of the season. They weren’t interested in renewing his contract and he cited a “lack of respect” as his reason for leaving.

It’s amazing how much editing is done on the margins of Özil’s story.


I agree pretty much. I do not understand though why certain players are still picked ahead of ozil. It seems like anyone who is deployed in Unai’s no. 10 role seems to be under performing. We’ve tried torreira, willock and ceballos who all didn’t seem very effective. It is probably due to Unai’s system that alters the role of a No.10 he wants a high energy player that is good at the press and cuts out passing channels from the back. No doubt Ozil isn’t good at this at all (Ramsey was perfect for it) but all the other options… Read more »


he bought him to score goals and be a game changer, at 72M he should be doing exactly what he did


All being well this will be a Southampton moment for Pepe. Took a few games for both Henry and Bergkamp to get going… mostly things worked out for them.

Dave M

Apart from a couple poor games the only thing he has lacked has been finished. I mean if there is anyone not already drooling over what he can do with the ball at his feet, then I’m not sure they like football anyway.

Dave M


A Different George

I think he will be much better with Bellerin (and Ozil or someone like Ozil would help even more). Too often, Pepe has gotten the ball far from the area, beaten a man brilliantly, maybe a second, but finally dispossessed. If he could receive the ball in a position where beating one man would lead to a chance, it would dramatically open opposing defenses for our other attackers.

Magic City Gooner

This needs to end; Ozil has to leave in January, even if it’s for peanuts, and the club will be healthier once this distraction is over. It’s tiring for the fans, I can only imagine how the players feel.


Let’s see how the team – the TEAM – performs come January before deciding who should be leaving for peanuts. I’ve said it many times, Ozil might not be a fit going forward. But he’s hardly had a fucking chance this season to show anything, good or bad. And that, I am guessing, is no accident on Emery’s part. If he plays him, and Ozil plays well, Emery’s position on the matter is fucked. If there is anything we know at this point, it’s that our defending sucks with him, and it equally sucks without him. In fact, we’ve given… Read more »


I’m really into commas, today, it appears.

A Different George

Way better than colon trouble.


I yhink emery will drop Ozil in a game with tougher opponents, and with a team made to loose. Trying to expose Ozil. And then he will go to media saying “he didn’t deserve ….”


Why do you all spell lose as loose wtf iPhone bs android is the way

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Emery has a track record of being completely unable to get on with big name players. Ozil may not be the problem at all. It could well be Emery’s Little Man syndrome all over again. I do not believe that this is unusual behaviour for Emery.


Deliberately dropping a non-match fit Ozil and then proving himself ‘right’. Won’t be surprised if Emery does that.


Who knows what is going on behind the scenes with Emery and Ozil. Whether the attack on him and Kola and threats against their families have any bearing who knows…? If not, I wish Emery would give Ozil a decent run of games to prove himself again. At least that way it might put an end to all the speculation.
I’m not holding my breath though….


YYou guys are crossing a certain red lines With these kinds of wicked and malicious insinuations. WTF is wrong with some people? Next you’ll accuse him of trying to assassinate Ozil! Glow up guys and quit this childish but very dangerous insinuations. You honestly think that Emery will go this much way with this Ozil fiasco without the club’s backing (at least so far)? Come on guys, he’s not alone on this, but I think that he’ll end up being the scape goat or the fall guy for some others on this Ozil vs the Club matter that some are… Read more »

Magic City Gooner

The reason I said that is it just seems like UE is not going to play him, period. I would like to see him out there because, like you said, if we’re going to be as defensively vulnerable either way, why not plug in a guy who knows how to get the ball up front and give us a chance to outscore teams? But the lineup announcements and the post-match reaction has been the same all year, “where is Ozil? Why isn’t he playing?” It’s gotten old. The coach is not going to budge and I’d just like to see… Read more »


The distraction will be over when Emery is gone. He will find another good player to target once Ozil is gone.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

The distraction will be over if we finish outside the Top 4 and Emery is gone. He will find a new team and then pick a new player to freeze out of the game. Its part of his modus operandi. He is always the little man trying to fill a big man’s shoes. His recent lies about us being more creative and effective now than we were before he arrived are another facet of his inadequate mindset for leading a big Club. I see his mentality as being right around the Harry Redknapp level.


I hope Ozil leaves for his own self respect, but how does that make us better? We are getting torn by teams with or without Ozil. Our chance creation suffers without Ozil though. Whenever i watch arsenal play with Ozil, the youngsters are much more confident in making the runs. Also it takes the focus away from them and puts it on Ozil.


Join the discussion…immediately Ozil leave, trust me Emry will pick on another big Player to rumble with, it is in his blood. check antecedent

Okechukwu Jude

No. Emery needs to leave


I really hope it’s Emery that’s gone come january, not Özil.

Fred Garvin

Ok Emery, how about you pick a day that we can talk about why you refuse to even entertain putting in the PL’s regular highest chance-creator to help with the team’s glaring creativity problems.


This idiot never learns, look at what happened at PSG he froze out players and lost the dressing room. Ozil was right he is not a coach. Last week I read an article where he blamed Pepe for the United loss what kind of coward hides behind his players. He is destroying arsenal no tactics, boring football, does he think hooking willock at half time twice in a row won’t damage his confidence? Play our best players the handbags between him and ozil has nothing to do with the club or fans the sooner this fool is gone the better… Read more »

Bob's Mexican Cousin

#NoRoomForCowards #EmeryOut

Bob Will

I think as Arsenal fans we deserve a straight answer! This is getting annoying


He’s givem you the straight answer a few times already. If he comes out and says more that can only hurt any potential sale of Ozil in january.. Use your brain.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

If you can make assumptions like that then I think I should have the same opportunity. We are clearly NOT better without Ozil in the team. Just watch a match from start to finish and tell me we are the creative wonder team that the idiot claimed us to be three days ago. Don’t forget his born loser speech making our team look like minnows prior to the game against Super Mighty Mega Team Sheffield United. The truth is he is dragging us down game by game. At first he was only holding us back in PL games, but now… Read more »

John C

Our last manager spent the last 10 years telling everyone what we couldn’t do and who we couldn’t sign


Gone are the days when i used to go to great lengths to watch an Arsenal game. Stay up late ( I’m from India), stream on mobile when traveling, plan my schedule so that the 2 hours of game time are not clogged and so on.
Now a days, the inventive to go to great lengths has declined. Emery is slowly wiping off what i enjoyed about Arsenal.


2 AM game for me. I watched the 1st half and went to sleep. Dreamt that Arsenal lost and Emery was on the brink of getting sacked. Then Arseblog posted an article about all the other players Emery could’ve played to help win tonight. I don’t know which is a nightmare, the dream or this reality.


Yep, there’s a lot of that going around.


I am from south east part of Asia. For me it’s worse, l even forget Arsenal played last night.


Can’t argue with this. Very frustrating to me too. The truth is that if he can’t iron out these obvious faults in the team between now and December, he should then be removed by the board for a much better equipped coach to take over.

Joshi Monyrt

Can’t wait for Emery to leave Arsenal.

John C

I can’t wait until Wenger gets and job and Ozil has gone somewhere else so all their “fans” can go fuck off and support them!


Sorry to have admiration that doesn’t mirror yours. Tell us, Mr. C, whom should we be ‘fans’ of – as I missed the memo when this became a dictatorship?

John C

I don’t have admiration, i support a football club. Wenger put Arsenal through 10 years of regression and somehow because the new guy hasn’t righted 10 years of wrongs in just over a year people want him gone. 10 years of mollycoddling players, picking favourites, tearing the competitive spirit out of the club, rewarding the same out of date coaching staff, and fostering a culture of complacency isn’t corrected in such a relatively short space of time. This time last year we were talking about the massive upheavals amongst the coaching staff and how it was going to take time… Read more »


Emery is a serial bottler. Don’t kid yourself the progress we have made in terms of personnel in the club has been courtesy of decisions above his paygrade. If left to him, we wouldn’t have pepe or martinelli, none of the youngsters would even get in the squad. His hands were forced on those matters because the club sold iwobi and mhki. Man can’t even get the most basic decisions right, from stubbornly playing out from the back when it makes no sense to picking a liability of a player as captain. He can’t even get the match day squad… Read more »

John C

If you say so but Emery hasn’t lost a game 8-2, or thrown away a 4 goal lead or lost 5-1 to the same team on 3 consecutive occasions, lose to the highest aggregate score of any English side in the history of European football etc etc etc, you have a very short memory if you think this is worse than anything Wenger did!!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

I think you missed out a few of the positives that were the work of Wenger. I won’t call you biased though. Emery is on a two season contract with a fixed requirement at the end of it. Miss it and he’s gone. I believe that KSE will let him remain until then, or at least until it is mathematically impossible for us to qualify for the Champions League. I don’t see any improvement this season over last, and he did come up short last season when it was actually harder to fail than to succeed. I think we have… Read more »


A much better/fairer assessment of it. @ Gutbukkit

John C

What positives were the work of Wenger?


Emery should be removed if he can’t buckle up soonest. Having said that, (free speech and all) Ozil’s fans are toxic to the club as well. The club FIRST, before any player ( no matter how highly placed/valued)

Worried Gunner

In Torreira, Gndzi, Ceballos,Willock and Ozil we have very decent midfield options which is good enough for at least a top 4 finish.
Why Emery can’t see this is baffling considering he is known to spend long time in analyzing games and players!

He is adamant about Xhaka , Torreira is either benched or plays way up the pitch and Ozil apparently is not doing enough to even be on the bench in a Europa game at home!!!

santi's thigh grab

Emery is shit.


Exactly – he’s shit, and if he stays till the end of the season top four or not I think we’ll lose Auba or Laca if not both due to his shiteness.
If Ozil is as popular amongst the players as we think, then they won’t like the way he’s being treated. Lets not forget he treats Torreira like shite too


We’re all frustrated with Emery’s shortcomings, yet…


The first teams indiviualitis syndrome, caught our second team also, and they also resembled 11 players who had just met each other. The problem with Emery’s team is that how vulnerable we look on each attack of opposition. They walk through our midfield like knife through butter, and each attack ends with a shot on goal. At one time, Arsenal had 6 shots while opposition had 11. That is a damning stat, and made worse because Vittoria created the better chances. But hail Pepe, and a positive result will make all forget that the team was crap for 90 min,… Read more »


I’m tired of this shit. I’m an Ozil fan. I’ve paid my money, bought my tricots, travelled afar to watch him play. Put your collective dicks away, Emery and co. I’d like to finally see a return of my investment on the pitch. If you’re pawning him off in January, fine, but it’s only October! No more ruddy excuses!

Tony B

We all saw what became of Sanchez when he thought he was too sweet for Arsenal, Ozil will be no different. He thinks he’s too sweet for Emery’s game. Well If he doesn’t shape up and get shipped out, we shall soon forget about him and Arsenal shall remain to be Arsenal. If i were Emery i’d go back for Carzolla and pay Ozil’s wages at a loan deal in January. Arsenal always is greater..


I think in Emery system and tactics, all seems to be too sweet to be in Arsenal, except Xkaha.


despite his flaws, a lot of fans don’t appreciate what Xhaka brings to the table; I’d wager that most of these fans have never played football at any serious level and so cannot really understand the importance of Xhaka in the team

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

…and you have? That’s wonderful. I appreciate your insights.

Merlin's Panini

You mean like that he’s a really good passer?
Sure, he is, but it takes him too long to do anything with the ball, he slows everything down, gets caught on the ball and makes stupid tackles and costly mistakes in dangerous areas in most games he plays. You don’t have to have played at a serious level to appreciate what he does well or understand what he does really really badly.


it is not we don’t see Xhaka ability in the game… The problem to it is that Unai tactics, making him the deep midfielder expose all his flaws rather than making him looks good. Maybe in Serie A or La Liga, playing a slow, but good passer of a ball, players like Pirlo, can help Xhaka, but playing in a high pace, high pressing league, playing Xhaka there is harming him.


I am now convinced that there is no place for Ozil in Emerys mobd and i can’t see him changing. The argument about defending with Ozil in the team has become rather irrelevant as we can’t defend, with or without him. Emery has not improved our defence one iota and after picking such a ridiculous choice of team, he should be on his knees thanking Pepe for coming good just at a crucial moment.


What a substitution by Emery to win us this game!!!

Great management!

Forget about it

Sarcasm! That’s what I’m talking about!


There is clearly way more going on behind the scenes. But could this be Emery catharsis from his time with Neymar? A situation where he was more or less ‘impotent’ as he could do nothing about it. Yet as he pretty much has final say with player matters here, perhaps he is overcompensating with the Ozil situation.

Likely not but I would not be surprised.

John Jensens Barber

Nice to see Pepe make his proper debut last night.
Football is very much a confidence game and I am sure that gave him a great deal of confidence.
Hopefully we can see what we paid 72 million for in the summer.
I recall it was the same with Bergkamp and Henry who both had slow starts.
oh and by the way.

wansumba shafic

Why should emery decide to seat on ozil s talent??


Ozil is on £350k a week. If he leave he’ll probably get max £200k or £250k somewhere else. Who would give up £100-£150k a week and why would you? The club obviously can’t move him on and if this is their tactic it isn’t working. I honestly can’t believe he can train so badly to not even make the squad. And if he produces on the pitch rather than the training ground who cares. Anyways whatever’s going on in training is either not translating to the pitch or if it’s the same as what we’re seeing on the pitch I… Read more »


Would have loved to see his face when fans chanted ozil’s name


I can only imagine there is a player he likes or has worked with before who will come in only if Ozil leaves due to financial restrictions.


so no one is gonna talk about how wholly unprofessional Ozil was in tweeting what he did yesterday? all of a sudden Ozil is above reproach and bigger than the club? his conduct during this entire fiasco hasn’t been blameless or exemplary. and as fans we need to be honest in acknowledging that. Ozil is a great player on his day; anyone who appreciates football knows he’s a joy to watch on his day, but his days have come very few and far between when he has played in the last 2 years and anyone that thinks he is the… Read more »


I’m not sure what you mean? Ozil has made it clear that he is working hard to play. Emery acknowledged that and still refuses to play him. On the evidence we have from Ozil’s experience with Arsenal, he has contributed more than Emery has. This is made even more evident from the fact that since he has been removed from the squad, our midfield’s creativity is completely in the toilet.

The only one who is looking like a fool right now is Emery.


So you can categorically say what ozil meant with a cryptic tweet. Nah… thought so. But you’re right about his good days are diminishing over the last couple years. Any flair player, with Xhaka playing in MF, is gonna struggle…. no tempo, first reaction is to go backwards and can’t speed up play in a split second…AKA Carzola. We need a decent MF who can bring the best out of Ozil…Xhaka ain’t the guy to do it… he’s shite


Such a strawman argument. Ozil doesn’t have to come in and magically be the cure to all the teams options. But you can’t deny that playing Ozil (a world cup winning attacking midfielder who has consistently created more chances than the rest of our squad) would be more effective as the furthest forward midfielder than Torreira is in that position. I love Torreira and think we should be playing him more, but deeper where he can use his strengths! Play Torreira in his best position and Ozil in his too. This is not a revolutionary idea: pick your best players… Read more »


If you look at the stats Ozil actually had production levels relatively similar to Mik last year with Mik actually creating far more big chances than Ozil. Mik: 25 appearances (PL), 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 big chances created Ozil: 24 appearances (PL), 5 goals, 2 assists, 3 big chances created It’s almost an universal opinion that Mik was very disappointing last year. If you look at the stats the same really is true of Ozil. Ozil for better or worse is growing in status as fans are becoming more unhappy with Emery while the reality is Ozil’s play the… Read more »


He wrote about playing players in their best position, not about building team around someone.


Ozil clearly is best as a number 10 with no defensive responsibilities which no major team in Europe uses anymore. Almost by definition you have to build the team around Ozil if you want to get the best out of him


Well, the way everyone is clamoring for Ozil appears as though he is the only one who can save the team and single-handedly lift us out of our current rut. Many fans are calling for Emery to build the team around him because he’s our best player. If Ozil was as consistent and as prolific as Messi then I’d have no problem building the team around him, but we all know that’s not the case. I love Ozil; he’s brilliant with flashes of genius, but I’m also realistic and I acknowledge that he’s disappointingly inconsistent and he doesn’t press and… Read more »


it’d be interesting to choose players who “deserve more” from what they do during games and not from what they supposedly do in trainings. Because from what we see, Willock and Ceballos don’t have their place in the next starting 11.

A Different George

Apart from everything else, I worry that Emery’s decisions are putting incredible pressure on Joe Willock. We are seeing the complete destruction of Maitland-Niles’ confidence (playing him out of position was a reasonable gamble at first, for persisting has, it looks like, effectively ended his Arsenal career). I don’t want that to happen to Willock (and Saka as well).

A Different George

but persisting


A little forthrightness and honesty would go a long way.


Since he signed that fat contract at the club, Ozil has been a failure for me. And no, i appreciated him before but realy – his game went so downward. At times i felt like he just dont have strength to put a good weigth pass, not to talk about long one. He also got that style of slowing our game down with holding to the ball too long or just passing it safetly back(remind you of anyone). Only game he was pulling trees last 2 years is the Leicester one and our honestly, our fanbase is wrong to cry… Read more »

Forget about it

Emery has had more than enough time to ‘adapt’.Sell him in January… loan deal maybe. 🙂


Probably already tried it and nobody wanted him.




Okay, off topic.
How awesome is it to listen to Emi Martinez’ interviews??
He’s Argentine, but has a pretty noticeable London accent!

Totally cool!

Merlin's Panini

I’ve been patient with Emery and really wanted him to succeed. I thought he was the right man for the job when he signed and had hoped we would have him before that. Sadly, he just isn’t convincing. We don’t look like we have a game plan and we certainly aren’t the protagonists he claims to want to be. We shouldn’t be scraping wins from set pieces, we should be playing exciting fast flowing football. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I would take Brendan Rodgers as manager right about now. At least he has a distinct way of… Read more »


Emery not playing Özil for Arsenal is really personal. And to prove his point that Arsenal can play without Özil and do well….he is resorting to all sort of team selection combinations and moving players around to play unfamiliar positions…just to satisfy his ego that it can be done by his way and not with Özil way. The fact that the team is very flat, boring and playing unattractive football….Emery really does not care. His ego is as big as an elephant!