Mikel Arteta identifies where Nicolas Pepe needs to improve after Arsenal beat Dundalk


Nicolas Pepe scored a brilliant third goal for Arsenal against Dundalk (Photo: Getty)

Mikel Arteta dismissed suggestions that Nicolas Pepe could feel the weight of his record club prize after Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Dundalk, but admitted the striker needed to be more consistent and improve ‘the simple things’ of his game.

Pepe has only made one Premier League start this season, Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City earlier this month, but had the opportunity to impress in Thursday night’s game in Group B of the Europa League in the Emirates.

The 25-year-old seized his opportunity in a squad made up largely of fringe players and added first-half goals from Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock with an unstoppable strike past Gary Rogers seconds after the break.

Nicolas Pepe runs with the ball in Arsenal clash with Dundalk

Pepe has shown flashes of brilliance since his £ 72million move from Lille (Picture: Getty)

Pepe has now been directly involved in six goals in his last eight appearances for the Gunners in the Europa League.

However, Pepe flattered himself to cheat for much of his time in north London and some have suggested the Ivorian might be struggling with the expectations and burden that come with such a high price tag.

Asked if Pepe could feel the pressure from his £ 72million transfer fee during his post-match press conference, Arteta replied: “I don’t think he has that.

“I think he’s so ready to do well and show everyone, first of all his teammates, myself and the fans, that he’s a player who can make a difference every week.

Obviously he hasn’t been the top pick in a lot of games so far, but, to be fair, he’s played a lot of times, some better than others.

“It’s about finding consistency, not only across games but also during games to be able to do the right things on many occasions when he has to make the right decisions on the pitch. “

Mikel Arteta and Nicolas Atreta watch in Arsenal training session
Arteta insists Pepe isn’t concerned about his high price tag (Photo: Getty)

Arteta added: “It has nothing to do with his attitude.

He’s a player who takes risks, he’s a very creative player and that’s the hardest thing in football, when they all know what you can do. How complicated they want to prevent space, the overloads they create to defend you as well and create situations out of that is complicated.

But sometimes it’s the simple things, the deliveries, the amount of situations he’s able to create or attract, and then make the right decision to keep moving that phase of the game, the finish, the position in the game. the box.

“It needs to be more consistent. We are working on it and I hope it will do it much more effectively.

“Knowing Nico and after talking to him, I don’t think (his price) is something that worries him too much. It’s about doing her best every week.

“This is where he thinks he can do better and we have to try to help him.

Nketiah and Willock were also featured on the scoresheet against Dundalk (Photo: Getty)

Arsenal face a form Manchester United side this weekend and Arteta has admitted some of their more outlying players have made the selection ‘difficult’ with their performances against Dundalk.

“We have a great team and I wanted to give opportunities to everyone,” he explained.

“There were players who were really patient and training well and today they have shown that they are well prepared when we need them. Today they made it harder for me for selection.

“Sometimes when they’re not playing it’s not something they can do anymore. It’s because we have to pick players and sometimes we go for something else.

“Sometimes it’s about the quality, sometimes the tactical plan we have for the game but I’m very happy with the performance and the way they reacted today.

The Spaniard continued: “After losing the way we lost to Leicester, it was painful at home and took us a few days to digest this loss.

But we must react immediately with a victory, with this type of attitude and let’s get ready.

“We’re going to Old Trafford and we’re trying to win again.

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