Sunday, May 19, 2024

Arteta backs Pepe: ‘We have to give him the right structure’

Mikel Arteta has backed Nicolas Pepe to develop and contribute more to Arsenal after what has been a relatively slow start to his career in North London.

Five goals and five assists is probably below the expectations people had when he arrived in a £72m blaze of glory during the summer, but the boss believes the 24 year old isn’t the first and won’t be the last to find adaptation to English football a challenge.

He’s also made it clear that it’s part of his work to get the best out of him by setting up the team in a way which allows the winger to play to his strengths.

“First of all he needs the right structure behind him to be able to provide the moments of quality and winning games, whether it’s assists, goals, dribbles or whatever it is,” said Arteta.

“Afterwards he needs to have a much clearer picture of the things that are happening on the pitch, why they are happening and how he can solve them. I think he’s in the process of doing that.”

The Spaniard also believes consistency and greater understanding of the Premier League will see him flourish.

“He hasn’t played 12 or 15 games in a row, which is a massive thing for a player in those positions which are more difficult on the pitch to make an impact in games, he needs to earn that with his performances,” he continued.

“He was in France and was one of the biggest stars in the league. He made an incredible year. He comes here and a lot of people didn’t even know him and you paid that price tag.

“So for him to put his brain into this picture and solve all this is not easy. And he’s a really young player.

I hope that we can see improvement from now until the end of the season. If you go through the list of top players that have joined this country, how disappointing they were for the first 10, 12 months and how incredible they were for the next five…

“I think we could have a massive list here because it’s not easy to adapt to this league, but he’s put in the effort and he’s willing to do it, and it will come out.”

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I can’t wait for this chap to blossom. We’ll have a real star on our hands!


It’s frustrating Arteta doesn’t give him more time on the pitch. As blogs said another 5 goals this season (very achievable) would mean 10 G 5 A, which is hardly disastrous. If that’s his stats when he’s not considered to be playing well I think we’re good 🙂

Xhaka Kaka

Could have just kept Walcott for that ?‍♂️

Reality check

You have to bypass defensive lines to release Theo, he couldn’t go past a tree.. had no game in the midde


I think what Arteta is saying is that he has to earn that game time and work harder.


Arteta also directly said “no” to question if he sacrificed attack for defense. He then proceeded to explain why that is exactly the case and how you have to start at the back, then the attack…. He will say many things that nobody will ever quetion here.


Form is temporary, class is permanent. I believe Pepe to be the latter.

Cultured determination

Focs our play down the left with saka and mrtinelli overload. With auba up too but drifting left too sometimes, and the pepe deep run cuts in and finishes. BAM!

Focus ball down left, quick switch to right for pepe to dribble in centrally and cause chaos whule bellerin and martinelli hugs touchline to give width
Supplies ball to wing hugger who then low crosses for auba to score. BAM!

Take corner. BAM!

Take freekick. BAM!

Lots of ways to use pepe.


Take penalty. BAM!

Cultured determination

Yes! Forgot that ohe. BAM!

Merlin’s Panini

Hit drum. BAM!
Run into glass door. BAM!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I bet you’re pretty good at football manager

Cultured determination

As a matter of fact, been playing since CM2! Semi retired this year cos i cant get my monitor to work. Oh. And i actually gotta work. Wasted 3 hours+ × 300+ days per year × 20 years on the damn game already!

Artetas Assistant

Shii. As we speak Just downloading FM 20 demo ??‍♂️
Not looking good for my future ?






“Afterwards he needs to have a much clearer picture of the things that are happening on the pitch, why they are happening and how he can solve them.” I love this. It totally explains how Arteta had the footballing maturity and intelligence to go from ACM to holding playmaker. He sees the game from such a cause and effect standpoint. Everything and everyone is a problem that can be solved. You can tell from the performances of Xhaka in particular that Arteta knows how to make seemingly problematic players have a better understanding of the game. If he can evolve… Read more »

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Don’t forget before that, he was a very good right winger

A Different George

I think he’s saying that creating a structure and helping players understand what’s happening are related. It’s almost impossible to see what is about to happen on the pitch unless you know where your teammates will (usually) be and what they will (probably) be doing. As you say, Xhaka is a perfect example of this, so is Torreira.

Frank Bascombe

He started as defensive midfielder.


Sure some more end product would be great – although Ozil would kill for those stats- but I really like what he brings to the team. I
have full belief in this guy bring a star for us.

Right Across Sunderland!

The boy has got the X factor, no doubt about it.

Even when he has a poor game, he usually does something that nobody else in the team could, usually wriggling his way out of tight spots or drifting past players.

He’ll come good, keep the faith.


I’ve seen enough of Pepe to know that he can make it. He probably just needs a long run in the first team to establish himself. Fantastic news about Man City, isn’t it? Yes, I know that they are going to appeal, and there’s every chance that they’ll get the ban overturned, because that’s what big money can do, but it’s about time time that the football authorities showed some cojones with these financial dopers. A decade ago, when the money genie turned up at the Middleastlands, the first thing City did was strip us of five of our best… Read more »


It would be hilarious ?
Serves them right after years of poaching some of out top players. Still pissed off bout those moves tbh


I really cannot think of one top player they poached from us. Most were passed their best and we were happy to sell them. The exception was half a season wonder Nasri who frankly was no great loss

A Different George

I think Sagna was the best right fullback in the league, or one of them, when he left. And he was a mainstay for them for them for several years.


Clichy wasn’t necessarily “top” but we were worse off without him at the time.

Dave cee

I think you could look at it from an alternative viewpoint and say Arsenal screwed City. 30M for Adebayor who they couldn’t give away 2 years later. 20M for Nasri who was into last 10 months of his contract and was also eventually released by City. Clichy wasn’t good enough in cold truth. Only Toure and Sagna could really be called big misses for Arsenal, but Sagna was already 31ish and we know Arsenal didn’t give big contracts to over 30s and Toure was never the same without Sol beside him. The real problem was lack of proper reinvestment in… Read more »


That is it in a nutshell. And you could throw in Van Persie to United as a similar example.
The sales in question are at issue, not because those players were sold, nor because of who bought them, but because the money went into the new stadium and not into bringing in quality replacements.


It’s not like they stole those players off us though, they paid and we chose not to reinvest! Anyway, glad the City ship might be sunk and it goes beyond UEFA. If they’ve also been giving fraudulent accounts to the Premier League, maybe even to HMRC, things could get way worse for them.

Paul Roberts

Is this Arsene getting his own back??

A Different George

I think people are underestimating how powerful some of the anti-Man City forces are. UEFA has some big clubs, especially Real Madrid, strongly supporting this move. Perhaps more important (if both ironic and cynical at once), the UAE is allied with the systematic Saudi attempt to destroy BeIn Sports, the source of much of UEFA’s income. So, Qatar, the owner of BeIN and of PSG–there’s the irony–will back UEFA against Man City.

Frank Bascombe



It was mentioned in the latest podcast about playing Pepe in “Ozil role” having seen the qualities he brings to the team. I really think it’s something worth a try since Ozil is currently struggling


But if in Arteta’s words Pepe is needing to work on his field smarts and game management he’s in no way ready to play the ‘Ozil role’.

I’d also be extremely loathe to put him into a role most people don’t even think should exist.


“He hasn’t played 12 or 15 games in a row…” Too bad that we can’t do anything about that in a season we are 10th and were 12th at some point. Only if there was something we could do. Oh, well off to a draw with Newcastle.

Naked Cygan

The bastard who valued Pepe for 72 million is the problem here. Pepe is doing OK, but clearly he is not a 72 million player. We should have paid 25-35 max for him. Clearly we are the worst club in transfer dealing in the history of the transfer market since David Dean left. Fire all the bastards that handle our transfers and bull shit loan signings of injury prone, and unfit players.

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