Freddie: I’ll talk to Pepe to tell him what I expect

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Freddie Ljungberg says he’s going to have talks with Nicolas Pepe to make it clear what he expects from him as an Arsenal player.

The Ivorian hasn’t yet properly found his feet since his £72m arrival from Lille in the summer, and while acknowledging his quality, the interim head coach says it can take a while for players to come to terms with English football.

The Gunners face Brighton at the Emirates on Thursday night, looking for a first Premier League win in almost two months.

It remains to be seen if Pepe will be involved, but the former Invincible is keen to explain what’s needed from him.

“Nico is someone who is a very, very good player,” he said.

“But sometimes when you come from a different league it takes time to adapt; off the pitch and on the pitch.

“Nico is someone I plan on talking to. I’m going to have a little chat with him about what I expect and how I want to play.”

Time is an issue though, because the games – like Kyle Walker – come thick and fast at this time of the year, something Freddie is well aware of.

““t would be great if it was a game Saturday to Saturday and we had a few training sessions to keep on working with things,” he said.

“But we do as well as we can – that’s going to be an ongoing thing that we are going to work on, depending on whether I am here for a long time or a short time.

“We have a lot of quality but that’s one thing we need to fix asap.”

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Jai
Jai

Sorry but when Xhaka strolls back into the team as soon as Freddie comes, I don’t like this. Pepe has looked brilliant in periods, but he’s not been given a chance for ages now. £72 fucking million, I cannot stress how ridiculous that sum still is for Arsenal. We need him to work. Fucking play him. When we have Auba hanging out on the wing every match trying to painfully dribble, how the hell can you have Pepe sat on the bench..

SciGunner
SciGunner

If three different coaches keep picking Xhaka despite what fans and pundits think, there must be something in him they all see.

Gonnerresponse
Gonnerresponse

Agree. And I’m not a fan of him at all. I dont really want him starting but I’m not there in training. And we have only seen glimpses of other players in our squad we As fans deem better.

I’m also starting to get the view that we have the worst fans. The other day I hear us fans were abusing four players for not giving a mascot fan boy a high five (the rest of the team apparently did). Seriously, who the heck cares. We’re just a constant barrage of abuse and I’m starting to despise so much of what I hear from arsenal fans.

Uhtred
Uhtred

Online arsenal fans are mainly kids or idiots…not a true reflection of our wonderful and diverse fanbase that we have. Arsenal fans on the whole are class

The Gooner
The Gooner

Says an online Arsenal fan. Deductive reasoning will tell us that 9 are either of the two. #COYG

Bodie CI5
Bodie CI5

Trouble is its no good doing it in training and not when it matters on match days, surely the managers can see it to.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

I think there’s an element of confirmation bias here. The idea is out there that Arsenal fans are toxic so we look for examples of that behaviour.
Not to say we don’t have toxic fans, we do, just that every club also does and we are no worse. Look at the abuse Mason Mount got the other day for a poor performance for example.
Also fans change based on what’s happening on the pitch. That’s inevitable. Every action has a reaction.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

I think there is an element of confirmation bias here. The idea is out there that Arsenal has a bunch of weak sub par players that A bunch of hyper critical fans look for that behavior. Also, players change and respond to the appreciation and support of the fans, every action has a reaction.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

And yes, I did vote up my own reply because it is so damn good!

SadGooner
SadGooner

2 were fired and one probably won’t last long. Mustafi keeps getting picked by this same logic, I’m sure they see something in him we don’t either right?

Goonerink

I actually think his hand is more forced than we all think.
we have 4 fit midfielders to play in the flat 3 we played vs norwich.
but also a new coach comes fresh chances for all players, for all we know freddie could be the one to unlock xhaka.

which is another point, before we knew our players had flaws and we accepted them, now if a player isnt perfect we vilify them.
in fairness in xhaka’s case him being slow on the ball/turn/decisions is a fundamental flaw for a player in the centre.
whereas walcott’s lack of a cross was omitted by the fact he cut inside and poached a few goals from the wing instead, even though he played with the tall HFB.

Neil
Neil

Good perspective here. How long will Arsenal take to longstanding issues in central midfield and defense? We didn’t need Pepe as much as we need a top class central defender

Neil
Neil

…and a Xabi Alonso type central mid…

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

2 of those 3 coaches got the sack!

9jagun
9jagun

They are making do with what they have

Dave M
Dave M

Yeah and some success they’ve all had with him eh? Maybe they can’t see the first from the trees. Likeable sure, good trainer probably, but that shouldn’t be the basis for picking a guy especially given his rubbish play and our rubbish results.

thw14
thw14

Two of them lost their jobs over it, so that’s maybe not the best metric.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Three different coaches pick him because we haven’t got a better option the last 4 years. He is not a DM that can protect the defense and his repetitive mistakes have cost us in many occasions. These are not just opinions but facts. Xhaka wouldn’t get in the starting eleven of half the Premiership teams.

KingKolo
KingKolo

Sorry what does this have to do with Xhaka. Thing is I don’t think Xhaka is good enough for pre 2008 Arsenal but it’s been a different Arsenal since then. Now he is good enough. Unless you want to get rid of about 10 (Sokratis, Chambers, Luiz, Mustafi etc) of our squad and buy all better players then Xhaka is good enough.

myrtle
myrtle

Good enough for what. Standing still?

God is a Gooner
God is a Gooner

Granit by name..

Mpls
Mpls

Good enough to be better than most of our other options. It’s a dire fact, but that’s the whole point. Let go of the denial and look at where we are until we improve on it.

He was better than both Guendouzi and Willock, and when Torreira is played out of position he’s better than him too.

We need at minimum a top shelf CB and a top shelf CM if we have any aim whatsoever of regaining our place among the top 4. And then we have to be led by someone that knows what to do with the tools they’re given.

Let’s just hope Freddie can make a solid go of it and help us find our rudder.

Oregoon

Amen. Consider everything relative when picking our midfield.

La Défense
La Défense

Sorry, but Pepe is a waste of money. The new generation Gervinho. Instead of investing in defense we blew our record signing on a Ligue 1 player who isn’t very good.

Nketibag
Nketibag

4th highest goal involvements in Europe last season. He hasn’t played for a month and I’m not writing him off yet.

Frank Bascombe
Frank Bascombe

La Defense… Pretentious, ignorant and opinionated… Congratulations.

Abhi
Abhi

I think it’s simplistic to question every decision a coach makes. We are not present at training, we do not have the inputs to the decision making process that they do. Freddie does (and unai did), and both it would seem deem Pepe a player who is very good, but not ready yet for the premier league. I suppose we have to take it for face value, a coach should not be dictated by fan opinion, which though often correct in a broader spectrum, becomes rather biased when making singular calls of drop him and play him. Let’s just judge the overall performances and results and so long as they turn positive, that’s me satisfied. Freddie needs time, he’s no miracle worker, infact the opposite, a young new coach, with one helluva damn mountain to climb to make this team competent again.
As far as xhaka is concerned, I think it was a bit of pragmatism on Freddie’s part. He sensed good will from the fans and decided that it is a good time to reintigrate xhaka and Mustafi into the fold. He’s right in that whatever we say about their quality, we DO need them motivated for this campaign that is long and demanding. To have two players frozen out just because fans don’t like them seems stupid to me and their appearance last game week did well atleast to break the ice between them and us. Just like it was pragmatic to bring in torriera at minute 75 to secure the draw first and foremost, our away trips have ended in defeat every time, and as much as we’re moaning about the draw, we’d be moaning even more at a loss, a lot of emotional fans asking for Freddie’s head for starting with a negative result.
Im gonna get roasted on the dislikes for this, but, as important as we fans are, and we ARE, and we deserve to have our voices be heard, let’s realize something, this isn’t FiFA19, this isn’t fantasy manager. We cannot pick a squad we want to see in random, because performance is training, fitness, attitude, all these factors come into play. We cannot make a fantasy list of coaches we’d like and say let’s get one. Be real. And don’t get me wrong, I also make a team I want to see before each game, I also have a lust of coaches I would like to come in. These however remain MY wishes and in reality some, probably most of those aren’t going to happen, because they can’t at this moment. Judge the performance guys, and the results, which I hope will improve. If they don’t then yes we voice our discontent again. But let’s stop questioning every minute goddam call a coach makes and give him some room to manouever, atleast now, when he’s barely a week in.

Viju Jacob
Viju Jacob

Freddie needs atleast a few games, not some hours. Having said that, even as someone who supported his candidature, his team selection at Carrow Road was a shocker, and even I went, “same old, same old”. I thought he’d stamp his style from the get-go.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

I will give Freddy a lot of rope here, I cannot possibly list all of the reasons I defer to his experience, club loyalty and football abilities and IQ over a bunch of fans.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Pepe has been shit, what brilliance have you been seeing? His feeble shooting? Or maybe it’s his playground level passing? He doesn’t deserve to start, or come off the bench ahead of others. Don’t let his price tag cloud your judgement.

onenil
onenil

Yeah I absolutely hated those two free kicks.
His record at Lille shows he is a very good player. Its not his fault that he has come into a team in crisis and been dropped before he has had a chance to find his feet.
Most of the players have looked shit. That is what happens when they cannot understand what the coach is asking them to do and he changes it every match. I just hope Freddie can settle everyone down and keep it simple, as he promised.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

You’re actually blaming Emery for a professional footballer constantly not being able to get simple passes on target, or shooting way off target from a few yards out?
For me his poor level in open play this season, sticks in my mind more than 2 free kicks.

Martinellis belly
Martinellis belly

This is so strange. Theres this section of the fans who think Pepe is terrible and then another section (mine) who are very excited about the potential he’s shown. By far the best dribbler in the squad, lightning quick and the best set piece taker we have too.
Its like were both looking at a red piece of paper and one says its red and one says its blue.
Ironically because of your nickname, he reminds me of Thierry when he arrived. Flashes of skill and pace but very weak and poor finishing. Its called getting in the zone he will be there soon.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

I never said Pepe is a shit player. I like his pace and dribbling, the potential is there. My comment was in response to the top comment, who said that he’s looked brilliant in flashes. A few good dribbles and terrible end product doesn’t warrant a starting spot ahead of others who’ve looked better than him overall, regardless of his price tag. If the manager wants to see more from him, I’m happy with that. I believe he will come good, once the team does, but right now, he’s definitely not doing enough

Kiran
Kiran

Lets get a bit of perspective, Fabinho did not make his league debute for Liverpool till late October, Pepe was drafted into starting lineup beginning of season without having a proper pre-season due to AFCON. He should have been eased into it in my opinion, I think he is a damn good playerbut just needs time to settle acclimatize.

Oberon
Oberon

Auba’s dribbling is pretty good it’s just a waste to have in out there doing it when he’s better centrally.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

The fact you mentioned the £72m and not whether he actually fits into the way we want to play is part of the reason I question whether people getting exercised about his exclusion from the team right now are really looking at the bigger picture, and not only that he’s had 2 or 3 excellent chances to score and fluffed them all.

He’s poor defensively…and makes Ozil look like Sergio Ramos defensively.

He will come good I have no doubt, but I trust Freddie.

Lanre
Lanre

I can’t for the life of me fathom how arsenal coaches fail to see the most obvious team selection staring them right in the face. It’s so blindingly obvious it borders on comedy. Just play your best players in their best positions. Pepe, Ozil, Torreira. Just fucking play them whete they were bought for and this same flailing team will be tearing teams apart.

db10s

I think the issue is balance. Torreira is good at his DM role but horrid at playing against a press. Same with xhaka.

I would like to see all Guendouzi, Torriera and Xhaka in the middle with Pepe and ozil up top with Auba in the middle. Laca drops to the bench. For all his qualities, Laca is still not as effective as Auba in the middle of the front 3.

Viju Jacob
Viju Jacob

Guendozi is a nightmare.

Hiiiii guys
Hiiiii guys

Gendouzi in my opinion is the best centre midfielder in the squad and reminds me of Vieira type of box to box player he’s so young give him a chance.

HoldenontoArsenal
HoldenontoArsenal

Please provide a thoughtful and well rounded definition of “best” as it relates to individual players. Make sure that you definition encompasses the top 5 strategic methodologies football managers use and how blending each of those tactical methodologies is defined in one player in one specific position. PS also include an analysis of whether or not employing one “best “ player has any effect on who is the “ best “ player to play in an adjacent position….get it?

Paul Davis Eyes
Paul Davis Eyes

I always thought “Thick and Fast” was the name of that Jermaine Pennant biopic

jack jack jack
jack jack jack

“the games – like Kyle Walker – come thick and fast“

Um…do you know more about Kyle Walker than the rest of us Blogs?

James
James

You’ve been watching too much Porn Hub mate. Lol

jack jack jack
jack jack jack

Not much I can really argue with there tbh

backsakacrack
backsakacrack

Whooosh
Over your head

jack jack jack
jack jack jack

Not really no

my name is bob
my name is bob

I’m afraid that this isn’t reddit my friend

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

What if there is a problem with his character? It could be one of the more reasonable explanations (and too expensive) as he is just too good to omit him from the first team.

Nketibag
Nketibag

More likely he’s a young guy in a new country joining a club on it’s worst start for 37 years and a manager out of his depth.

Mentalista
Mentalista

Doesn’t explain lack of effort in training, something UE once hinted and now Freddie mentioned twice in 5 days.

db10s

Maybe it’s because he’s so demotivated from moving to a new country only to find his new club has so many issue within the squad and the coaching team didn’t know how to use his talents?

Just saying it’s a possibility. I recently changed jobs because my last one had me doing stuff I didn’t sign up for. I am a Digital advertising accounts executive and my accounts dept had me chasing payment from our clients way too often. HR then depended on me to be IT support for my department. Lasted 8 months there, the last 2 months I was just going in to work just to clock in the hours.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Off topic I know buuuuuuuut anyone who thinks this team is full of useless turkeys should watch todays training session from about 3mins on. Flames you know.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8yPUmz4vh4

When Freddie shouts “transition!” and throws on another ball, you can see he’s working them hard on recovering shape after losing possession. Man, I hope this works for him because he looks super proactive from this training session. You could almost call him a managerial protagonist…

James
James

Don’t use the P word!!

Rob
Rob

Freddie throwing a ball and shouting transition, what more is there to know in management….? And he’s managed one game more than Arteta, which is one haha 4 year contract material right there.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I know it’s not always easy being an Arsenal fan. But seriously dude, cheer up. It’s like you fell out the pessimism tree and hit every negative branch on the way down.

Just think, you could be a Sp*rs fan. They’ve just had their century’s golden era and didn’t win a trophy.

Chin up son.

Gervinho
Gervinho

If only there was a two week international break to work out some things!

God is a Gooner
God is a Gooner

I agree, it was so worth keeping emery for the Southampton and Frankfurt games, brilliant decision Raul, fantastic.

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Should have been gone before the Leicester game. It was so obvious that we’re going to lose this with him in charge and it was clear that if that happens the chances for a top 4 finish will be as small as Kyle Walkers cunt.

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice
Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

He needs time to adapt “off the pitch”?

London can be a distraction. He came from Lille, remember? ‘Hopefully, he’s not getting distracted’, is the best way I can phrase things. Of course, it could simply mean he’s struggling adapting to the language and getting by with his day to day life.

One thing is for sure. We’re not in a position to waste a £72m signing. He needs to sort his shit out and get on the pitch. Or else we’ll end up with a £72m security guard at the Emirates.

RoyalT

Pepe when come thru and push us to the 4th spot by the end of the campaign. 13goals and 20 asst. guaranteed

AfroGooner
AfroGooner

Now, that’s the spirit! COYG!

Hi-Jay
Hi-Jay

Hopefully a chat with Freddie will work better than watching some videos.

para
para

Looks like we are training the quick pass(dont hold the ball too long)again 😃

Bobbyt
Bobbyt

“Hey Pepe. Can you please create and score more goals?” Sure Boss…..”Thank you, great to chat”

Sancho
Sancho

The fact that 2 coaches already “need to talk” to Pepe about how he should play is worrying. I maintain my opinion based on what i saw in these 3-4 months that he’s just average and our expectations of him being our savior or something are totally unrealistic. We should accept the reality and move on.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Poor Pepe was having one to one video sessions with Unai, Freddie probably just needs to tell him to forget all that shit and go back to basics. I like Pepe, he’s still young and moving country can’t be easy, so I’m happy to give him some time and I’m sure he’ll be good.

FatArse
FatArse

“the games – like Kyle Walker – come thick and fast”

🤣🤣My favourite sentence ever 🤣

VAgooner
VAgooner

That’s exactly what I thought when I read it too.

DatguyPepe
DatguyPepe

If a player constantly does well in training and warrants weekly selection on match day, where he doesn’t perform well, then 2 things come to my mind:
1. The player shirks competitive matches
2. The training sessions are whack

The Gooner
The Gooner

But he selects Mustafi, Xhaka and Guendouzi. No known winger on the pitch. Aubameyang has to play wing. Freddie could fail like his predecessor

onenil
onenil

It was one game. Lets at least see what he does tonight before judging Freddie!

hustle6
hustle6

Looooool thick n fast. I’m sorry that joke deserved highlighting.

Santori
Santori

When you pay 72m for a player, you may diminish his hunger.

We had opportunity to make more frugal and equally if not more effective decisions in Ziyen or Fekir last summer.

Instead Raul went for Wow factor and back loaded us first with 72m (16m commitment for 5 seasons) on Pepe and then 27m for Saliba a relatively unproven player not available to us this season.

Money could have been funneled towards a more concrete and immediate solution for emery in a Cback but we elected instead to try and extend on a past sell by date Koscielny (he did us a favour not accepting), then panic bought Sideshowbob, a player no better than Mustafi.

What Freddy needs to ‘expect’ from Pepe is a lot more off ball work.

I’ve seen the Ivorian attempt to take players on, lose the ball and give up trying to hunt it back.

He needs to take a page from how Laca purports himself in similar situation or for the matter Alexis before.

If he can get the crowd behind him with his off ball effort, it will also translate to his attacking endeavor.

Thus far (many people prefer not to mention it) BUT Pepe has been a bit of a wash out for the price tag.

Much rather say had kept Iwobi and bought Soyoncu for less than half the price.

Some people still believe we did well last summer in transfer market.

As I mentioned before, Unai was not entirely playing with a full deck either because frankly, Mslintat was poor but Raul is hit and miss.

He has consolidated political power by getting rid of the German and hiring Edu, a comparatively docile and non experience operator given dubious role as in between with Academy and first team and someone-else to point the finger at.

Lest we conveniently overlook, Raul was “Director of Footballing relations” (whatever that meant) at Barca. He has actually very little experience operating in market.

He was more ambitious than the (buy ex=Dortmund) Mslintat but if we truly wnated the sort of savvy person who has had good record in market, we should have shown similar ambition to the mighty LOSC and bought us Luis Campos.

That man is now on Jose’s radar for Spurs.