Nicolas Pepe breaks silence on Arsenal’s sacking of Unai Emery
Nicolas Pepe opens up on Unai Emery's sacking by Arsenal last month
Nicholas Pepe has admitted that Unai Emery’s sacking by Arsenal was “painful” for him.
The Gunners are currently on the lookout for a new manager after having opted to sack Emery at the end of last month following a dismal run of form.
Freddie Ljungberg has taken temporary charge at The Emirates but the Gunners suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion in his second game on Thursday night.
Emery brought Pepe to Arsenal in a club-record transfer deal in the summer and the Ivory Coast international has been settling into life at The Emirates.
Now, the 24-year-old has spoken out about Emery’s sacking for the first time since it was announced towards the end of last month.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Pepe said: “It was painful because he is a coach who gave me the chance to come to Arsenal.
“We must not forget that. For me, it was something painful.”
Asked about Ljungberg’s appointment, he replied: “As he was a player, he understands us better.
“He speaks a lot with us, so for us it is quite simple for us to understand him like for him it is quite easy to understand us.
“Right now there are some players who are playing others who are not. That’s football, it’s like that. It is the coach who decides.
“If I am on the bench, it is up to me to put the work in to get back in the starting line-up.”
Pepe came on at half-time during Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Brighton at The Emirates on Thursday night.
The Ivory Coast international has struggled to produce consistent form this season and has scored only once and made two assists in the Premier League so far.
He has also netted twice and made two assists in the Europa League for the north Londoners.
Arsenal will travel to West Ham United in the Premier League on Monday night.