Monday, April 22, 2024

Arteta: I like Pepe’s attitude

After Nicolas Pepe got himself sent off against Leeds in November’s 0-0 draw at Elland Road, Mikel Arteta delivered a damning verdict of the player’s behaviour.

“Unacceptable” was the term the Spaniard used to describe the Ivorian’s conduct after he was embroiled in a costly altercation with Ezgjan Alioski. “He stops his own progress with his behaviour,” he added.

While the comments were made in the heat of the moment, they suggested the winger’s stock, which was already low after a run of bad form, had dropped even further in the eyes of the boss.

On the eve of another showdown with Marcelo Bielsa’s side, Pepe seems to be in a much better place. While there’s still much room for improvement, Arteta likes how the player has bounced back.

Asked what more can be expected of the £72 million signing, the boss said: “Again, that he can maintain that level now for months, not weeks. I think he’s done much much better.

“I think there has been a click with him, even in his mentality, how he’s approaching every training session, the importance of every action in the game and how he can sustain his focus and his determination during games.

“I really like his attitude. What’s he’s done in the last few weeks I think it’s been much better. He still has a lot of room to improve and grow and he’s willing to do that so I’m expecting him to go to the next level very soon.”

Sunday’s clash at the Emirates is a real mid-table affair. A win for the Gunners would see us climb above Leeds into 10th place, albeit having played a game more than the Elland Road outfit.

Given this is Leeds’ first campaign in the top-flight since 2004, Arteta has been impressed by their adventurous style.

“They are a really brave, dynamic and attacking side,” he said. “I think they are a really exciting side, a great coach, great coaching staff who are all involved and a bunch of players who believe 100 per cent in what they do and they just go in every game with the same energy and enthusiasm to get the points. I think they deserve more points than they have in the table at the moment.

He added: “When you look at a lot of the game they’ve lost and how they’ve lost them, it’s pretty incredible as well. Maybe they haven’t deserved those defeats. They’ve been really punished on set-pieces as well, which is one key area there. But overall what they’ve produced in open-play compared to the opponent, it’s difficult to see games where they have produced less than the opponent.”

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thank goodness Özil’s wages are behind us and the club can finally buy these guys some chairs.


You win the caption competition

Paul Roberts

“If you don’t start improving I am going to stick that ball where the sun don’t shine”


“Alright Nicolas, I’ll show you one more time how to make Cat’s-Craddle finger string then you have to do it on your own, Okay!?”

Johnny 4 Hats

Arteta – Come, let us sit on our balls
Saliba – *Gets phone out*


That’s a good one


We have a winner.


I think there’s only one chair – and he plays for QPR.


Still no chairs now we are tied to Willian’s salary:-)

Johnny 4 Hats

I feel like Pepe’s mentality is a lot more Mo Salah than Cristiano Ronaldo.

If he can find his form but keep his humility, he would have an amazing chance of becoming a very important player for us.


Not sure we will ever see value for money with Nicholas Pepe but at least he is justifying a place in the starting 11 these days.

Johnny 4 Hats

Perhaps over five seasons we might think, “Yeah, he was probably worth £15m a season”. That’s the only way we can really pretend we get value.

I’d be very interested to know what held some of the bigger clubs back from the Pepe signing. What was it that Liverpool, Barca, Bayern and Madrid could see that maybe we were blinded to?

Eventually the race was between us and Napoli so even though the transfer fee was world class, the competitors for his signature were secondary teams.


I imagine that they knew he wasn’t worth anywhere near the price. There were reports after the signing that Arsenal had by some peculiar process effectively been bidding against themselves. I recall that although Napoli were not prepared to go near that level of fee it apparently didn’t stop it from increasing. It’s all very odd and may be linked, possibly, to a later departure from Arsenal – but that’s speculation of course and we’ll probably never have the definitive answer made public.


Oh come on.

Look, I’ve aired my views about how poorly this club is now run.

But bidding against itself…?! You don’t half come out with some choice posts, you really do.


Players mature at different rates

Pepe wouldn’t be the first player to take 18-24months to settle

He’s got end product, he’s very quick and agile

If he adds intensity, and improves positionally

There’s no reason he can’t be a big success here

His end product numbers can and should be improved upon, but they’re still decent


I have just been reading in the Guardian that Arteta’s family have been attacked online by the idiots and fools of the internet social media.

First, why pick on his family who have absolutley nothing to do with what he does in his work.

Second, why try to destroy someone who is far more intelligent and more successful than you will ever be?

get a bloody life people.


It’s best not to make reason out of internet trolls. IMO public figures just need to hire social media managers for their public accounts, avoid all responses themselves, and anonymise private accounts. The scale of the problem means its likely uncontrollable.

santi's thigh grab

As a solution for the celebrity individual this makes some sense but for everyone else, the social media companies need to be held responsible for verbal assaults on people that are in fact hate crimes. If you ran a pub whose patrons hurled racial abuse every time a person of color walked in, you wouldn’t be open for business very long, if you didn’t ban the racists.


I agree, it’s just out of control. It would take serious AI to control and it would need to be evolving to understand language changes and slang. The problem is we let the cat out of the bag with social media from the beginning. Now they struggle to be controlled properly from the top because of scale and our need to stay in contact, particularly during COVID19. I mean we all should be moving from whatsapp to totally private and fully encrypted messaging services after they have announced full data disclosure and ownership by facebook, but too many people just… Read more »


Mandatory debit/credit card details for all social media users will fix the problem. reduce underage usage and make it untenable to create duplicate accounts. Once they’re banned a few times they won’t be coming back

Job done.


So kids, who aren’t allowed to see their friends are now not allowed to interact with them or anyone else online…!? Hmmm… It’s quite interesting how little the impact of COVID19 lockdowns on children are actually considered and discussed. Even outside COVID times this is not a real solution. New forums will just open over and over, kids are the ones that are the most adaptable to moving to what’s new and hot. It’s the older crowd that are recalcitrant to move to newer apps and medias. And you’re not even considering the feasibility of such systems. That smacks of… Read more »


The social media age limit is 13 for most social media outlets, most kids at 13 have debit cards. I don’t see the impact you’re suggesting. And kids under the age of 13 socialising online with grown adults…that’s another conversation to be had.

More to the point, which you’ve breezed past, I’m suggesting a solution to social media abuse and creating accountability. We’re more than happy to use our card details shopping, but not social media who are vastly richer and more able? Don’t buy it.

Giuseppe Hovno

I think maybe in this post-internet age, we should be reassessing whether we really want to allow people to be anonymous on the internet, like I am now when I type this comment. It’s surely a complicated debate, but I wonder if we are reaching the point where online abuse is so prevalent that a quite big step will need to be taken

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

You speak of AI, and on that I can tell you that it won’t always work. Any AI (mostly Natural Language Processing with lots of word recognition necessary) will be programmed with biases. It’s next to impossible for it not to be. It is difficult enough to keep pace with internet slang, and then there will be nuanced slang.

The ability of people to be cruel idiots and abuse trumps any code capability. It is one place where everyone can become really…creative.


I’m sorry but i completely disagree, banning has never lead to anything positive. Education and exposure of those spouting hate is the only thing that will eventually work. Punish them by forcing them to do volunteer work in the communities that they have offended. Forced Volunteering if you like. Don’t believe in Covid? come and do a few shifts cleaning ambulances. Racial hatred? get working for a charity that helps in the community. You can’t legislate against thought, as execrable as those thoughts may be, but you can certainly educate. You are never going to eradicate the problem, but by… Read more »


You can’t legislate thoughtfulness, either, as you seem to be suggesting by disciplining them with educative sentences. The measures for cultivating a healthy public sphere on social media should be pre-emptive and educational (much like Blogs’ comment policy, but perhaps more exacting and directive), not simply punitive (though that has to be a major deterrent). Doesn’t it make more sense to treat the use of social media like one uses a motorized vehicle. You complete training and must pass a test to earn the right to operate in the public sphere of transportation, and there are very strict, clearly defined… Read more »

Giuseppe Hovno

banning has never lead to anything positive”.

Looks at drink driving stats/lung cancer stats not to mention all the “bans” that stop you from legally murdering/harming people of various minorities….


If someone tells you to commit a crime And you commit a crime It’s not the person who told you to do it’s fault, it’s your fault for choosing to break the law. God’s gift to mankind was freewill. At what point do we start demanding personal responsibility from people? No society can survive, whilst we teach the population that they’re not responsible for their own words or actions. In Poland, they’ve made it Illegal for social media to ban any speech or person, that hasn’t broken Polish Law And we should follow suit Social media companies should then have… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

I think competition is what make Pépé improve. Martinelli is back, Saka became the first name in the lineup and even Odegaard can play on the wing if needed.


I think that was was as simple as switching him from outside right to inside left.


His attitude and work rate have really improved too. I think he’s a had a bit of mental shift. Perhaps becoming a father has given him a new sense of responsibility.


Yes, that may well be a factor. Perhaps becoming a father has diverted his attention from the “burden” of the transfer fee. Who knows, but it’s certainly a possibility.

Cranky Colin

At least we know that Willian won’t loaf anyone


Attitude is half the battle, so good on him. Pepe has suffered under the weight of that grossly inflated transfer fee (we’d be pushed to commit £7.2 million to any transfer at the moment, let alone £72 million – ah, the good old days) which was not of his doing of course. It looks as if, albeit slowly, he’s finding an improved level of form on a more consistent basis. I doubt Pepe will ever be a £70 million player (whatever that means) but we are where we are and I hope he pushes on for a successful career at… Read more »


Pepe’s a symbol of where the club is in it’s evolution: possessing flashes of talent and class but unable to maintain it long enough to be convincing.

Pepe and Arsenal under Arteta are both long term projects. They will both come good—I’m convinced.


God knows i want pepe to succeed as bad as i want to be successful


No way is he a £72m player but one thing you could never fault is his attitude.

Since day one I’ve never seen him sulk or moan at team mates when a move breaks down (which is quite often), he tracks back making tackles although it’s not his natural game and plays with a smile on his face (like Santi and Kolo).


youre going to turn the balls egg shaped lads cffs


Credit where credit is due. Two players performing well at the moment (The other won’t get much mention in these parts) are Pepe AND Xhaka. Both have had issues under performing or making rash decisions but both are playiing well despite our poor results. For Pepe, he now provides an option (maybe not full 72m value yet but good enough) for left or right wing particularly on left without Martienlli (albeit Auba shoudl frankly be another option from there instead of up top) He seems to be regaining some confidence with his trickery and take ons. I think for him,… Read more »

jerry fallon

does anyone read these?

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x