Nicolas Pepe Admits That Mikel Arteta’s Selection Process Is “Frustrating”

By The Editor
on 10th November 2020

Nicolas Pepe admits the lack of guaranteed first-team opportunities is frustrating…


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Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe has admitted that the lack of first-team opportunities currently granted by manager Mikel Arteta is frustrating, the 25-year-old told Canal+.

Pepe hasn’t started the last three league games and has only started one league game all season, adding to his turbulent time as an Arsenal player.

The £72million-man has failed to nail down a consistent place in Arteta’s first XI since the Spaniard’s arrival last year despite his ability to conjure up a chance with minimal service.

Arteta has been consistent about what he requires from Pepe if the former Lille winger is to start on a regular basis, something Pepe acknowledges.

However, Pepe claimed that his spirit can become dimmed when he realises that he’ll be on the bench for an upcoming league game a week in advance.

“My goal is to play more, to have a little more playing time,” Pepe said.

“A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again.

“He [Mikel Arteta] wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match. Afterwards, I see during training that I will be a substitute the following weekend.

“But the coach speaks to me, he also has assistants who are there for that. But it is frustrating for any player to be on the bench.

“A super-sub role? The coach makes his choices. It’s up to me to show him that I don’t have that role,” he added.

Pepe was once again used as a substitute as Arteta aimed to get the team going in Sunday’s defeat at home to Aston Villa but to no avail.

The manager has come under fire for his restrictive style of play with our inability to create chances continuing to be an issue this term.

For context, Harry Maguire has had more shots at goal this season than both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – that’s a damning statistic.

Arteta may not appreciate Pepe’s erratic technique, but that seems like what we need in the final third right now.