Thierry Henry has told Yahoo Sport that he believes Nicolas Pepe has been unfairly treated following his difficult Arsenal start, and has urged the Ivorian to ignore the critics – as well as discussing what The Gunners need to do differently.
Pepe, 24, has only shown glimpses of the form he produced at Lille last season – which saw him score 23 goals and create 12 more. The £72million signing has scored three and created four in 15 appearances for Arsenal.
Indeed, the two Europa League fixtures against Vitoria have helped his cause. Two stunning free-kicks at The Emirates saw Arsenal come from 2-1 down to win 3-2, before he laid on an assist for Shkodran Mustafi in Portugal in the return fixture.
Arsenal legend Henry discussed the form of Pepe and defended the attacker, claiming he needs to ignore the critics. Henry also discussed what Arsenal need to change to finally return to form and reach the top four.
“When you arrive like that, you’re always going to be talked about, and people are always going to target you,” Henry said, on Pepe. “He needs to make sure he doesn’t listen to that and go out and perform.
“People need to forget about the price tag. He didn’t ask to be bought for that amount of money himself. What do they need to change? I’m not in the dressing room every day to know what is happening. That’s the job of Emery or whoever is in charge.”
TBR’s view – Should Emery remain in charge after international break?
The simple answer is no, following the 2-0 defeat to Leicester. Arsenal were lifeless and lacking any kind of belief that they could achieve something against Brendan Rodgers’ side, who now sit in second place.
Emery should be relieved of his duties and The Gunners should look to the likes of Luis Enrique, Eddie Howe or even a former player in Mikel Arteta aor Freddie Ljungberg to take over at The Emirates.