Nicolas Pepe has admitted he has grown frustrated under Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after a lack of consistent game time in the Premier League – and Gunners fans have hammered the Spaniard for his treatment of Pepe.
Pepe, 25, has been in and out of the Arsenal side this season – managing just 12 appearances in all competitions. He has scored three goals, but has managed to start just one of his seven Premier League matches for the Gunners.
It is a stark contrast to last season in which Pepe managed to start 29 times – having a hand in 18 goals during the 2019-20 campaign. Speaking to Canal+ – as per the Mirror – Pepe underlined his frustration.
”My goal is to play more,” Pepe said. “A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again. He [Arteta] wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match.
“I see during training that I will be a substitute the next weekend. The coach speaks to me. It is frustrating for any player to be on the bench. The coach makes his choices. It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role.”
The signing of Willian has seen Ivory Coast international Pepe drop to the bench, while Reiss Nelson is also an option on the right flank. But it is clear from his comments that he wants to work hard and earn his place.
It is refreshing to see in the modern era, with many players preferring to jump ship. Whether Pepe manages to earn a space in the Arsenal first team under Arteta remains to be seen, but he is scoring goals when given the chance.
Arsenal supporters reacted on Twitter to the news that Pepe stated he feels frustrated in north London at a lack of game time from Arteta. Many have questioned Arteta’s handling of Pepe.
Arteta handling Özil, Saliba, Pepe, Willock and Reiss Nelson like a coward. Play them. Have some guts.
— Simon (@VieiraLeGOAT) November 10, 2020
Great mentality, awful decisions by Arteta week after week
— AubameBloodclaatYang (@MagnusLanding) November 10, 2020
I love the energy Arteta has brought to the team but he has not handled pepe, saliba and ozil well to make them feel at home, am also worried that Arteta’s tactics has affected Auba’s form and the same applies to other players, i hope he finds a solution ASAP
— Arteta’s Uncle (@ArtetaUncle) November 10, 2020
The dressing room will be toxic very very soon
— kim (@amoschebii10) November 10, 2020
We have a blind manager sometimes
— 〽️ohammed10🇵🇸☪️🔴 (@ALLLAHUAKBARRR) November 10, 2020
Sad we have a VERY toxic manager
— king Ethan (@Justo_kimr) November 10, 2020
take note @m8arteta
— rian (@riancukk) November 10, 2020
Have something to tell us about this article?