Mikel Arteta: What Arsenal need from Nicolas Pepe
Mikel Arteta says Nicolas Pepe produced a brilliant performance in Sunday's 4-0 win over Newcastle, but the Arsenal boss wants greater consistency from the winger
Mikel Arteta has urged Nicolas Pepe to find greater consistency after his top drawer performance in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday.
The Ivory Coast international produced one of his best performances for Arsenal since his club-record £71m move to the Gunners from Ligue 1 side Lille in the summer.
Pepe scored one goal and made two assists in an influential performance in Arsenal’s second Premier League victory under Unai Emery’s permanent replacement.
The 24-year-old has struggled to find a consistent performance level in his first season at The Emirates, although Pepe hasn’t been helped by the managerial changes.
Pepe has scored four goals and has made five assists in 22 games in the Premier League this season.
Speaking at his post-match media conference after Pepe’s man of the match performance at The Emirates, Arteta said:
“We just need consistency from him,” Arteta told Arsenal’s website.
“Wide talented players in this league are not easy to get because obviously the most difficult thing to do is create things, but we’ve said some things and we need Nico to maintain game by game.
“He knows that and it’s the way he was applying himself defensively in a few moments, he was top drawer.
“That’s what he wasn’t doing in the past and when he does that, the rewards in the other box come. He made a difference.”
Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang broke the deadlock in the 54th minute before Pepe doubled the home side’s lead three minutes later.
The Gunners polished off a resounding win when Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette found the net in added time at the end of the second half.
Arsenal remain in tenth position in the Premier League table despite recording their second win in eight games under Arteta.
The Gunners will face Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday night.