Arteta defends Nicolas Pepe after clumsy display against Newcastle United

Nicolas Pepe-Arsenal

The Ivorian was once again at the receiving end due to poor performance against Newcastle.

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe received a lot of stick due to poor showing in the FA win against Newcastle United.

Pepe, in general, has always been under the spotlight ever since he became the club’s record £72m signing in the summer of 2019.

Perhaps, the 25-year-old hasn’t lived up to the expectations and this season he was not the Gunners’ first choice, as he had made only four starts in the Premier League. Youngsters like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have impressed in the meantime.

However, the Gunners manager Mikel Arteta backs Pepe to succeed at Emirates Stadium as he feels that the winger needs extended time to prove his worth.

“We need to help him to (succeed). 

“To do that he needs minutes, he needs consistency in the team and when he has that, he needs to show he is capable of doing it. Let’s see how the next few months develop.”

The Spanish manager also added that the former Lille winger was rusty against Newcastle.

“I think it is hard to make judgement on some players that haven’t played many minutes over the last two or three weeks and to throw them in and expect them to be the best player on the pitch.”

“I don’t think it happens, and Nico tried. He tried all the game and had some really good moments – moments where he could have scored two or three goals.

“In a normal circumstance and with his ability in those positions, he puts the ball in the back of the net. He didn’t do it but I think his contribution overall was good.”

The Gunners would look to continue their winning momentum when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend.