'That’s why': Arsenal boss Arteta shares the reason behind his decision to snub Nicolas Pepe
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media yesterday after his side’s 2-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.
The Gunners were woeful from the very first minute. Things just weren’t happening for them, but that didn’t stop Arsenal from taking the lead through Martin Odegaard just before half-time.
Arsenal fans were hoping that Arteta would change a few things at the break. Whatever he told his players made them perform better than they did in the first half, but it was far from the level that was required, and that is why Everton went on to score twice to win the game.
One of Arteta’s decisions that irked a few supporters was when he snubbed Nicolas Pepe and brought on Eddie Nketiah. The Arsenal boss has now explained why.
Arsenal boss Arteta: Why I picked Nketiah over Pepe
Asked if there’s a reason why Pepe is not getting a chance, the Spaniard said, as per Football London: “Because I decided to play Eddie today.
“To bring him on. He created three chances and hit the post once in 25 minutes I think.
“He does every day in training what you see him do here. Every single day. That’s why I picked him (ahead of Pepe).”
Apart from missing an absolute sitter, Nketiah did well after coming off the bench. The youngster, in his 19 minutes on the pitch, had 17 touches of the ball and made three key passes – only Martin Odegaard made more but the Norwegian played the full 90 minutes. (SofaScore)
Arteta’s decision to bring Nketiah on probably was the right one, but it says a lot about how little faith he has in Pepe now.
The Ivorian, who is the Gunners’ record-signing, has played five minutes of football in Arsenal’s last six Premier League games. It really doesn’t look like he has a future at the Emirates, and he could well be off in January if the right offer lands on Edu and Arteta’s table.