Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has pledge his support for the club’s record signing Nicholas Pepe after his disappointing red card against Leeds United last weekend, stating the winger still has his full backing.
Arteta stated this in his pre match conference ahead of Arsenal’s Europa league clash with Norwegian side Molde today. He was questioned on what would be the faith of the Ivorian in Arsenal’s colour going forward after his red card against Leeds United and Arteta has this to say,
“No, it’s absolutely not [the end of his Arsenal career after the red card],” our manager said. “It’s not about that and I don’t like that type of statement.
“I will give Nico my full support all the time. He knows where he has to improve and we all know his qualities. He has some responsibility, I have a lot of responsibility, which is to get the best out of him and get the best position for him, the best areas where he can do what he can do with the ball. I cannot fault his effort at all.
“You see the way he strives for the team, the way he’s working, it’s been the best since he’s been at the club. But there have been some aspects he can do better in because he has the ability.
“That’s where I’m going to put the pressure on him to deliver what he can do. To say it’s a threat for him to finish his [Arsenal] career… it’s not at all like that.
“The club made a huge investment on him and people expect a lot from him because he has this quality. I said many times with the strikers and attacking players, it’s the most difficult thing to be consistent when you have to create, when you have to unlock the door, when you have to score goals or get assists. This is why he’s here and he needs to embrace this challenge, and go for it. We have to provide the best possible and ideal scenarios for him to be able to do that.”
Pepe would be looking to regain the support of Arsenal’s supporters today after he suffered a lot of criticism for his unprofessional act which got him sent off for the first time in his career last weekend, and putting in good performance against Molde today will certainly be a step in the right direction to achieving that.