Many Arsenal fans were left slamming the display of Nicolas Pepe in their 1-0 away loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime.
Dean Smith’s team took the lead very early on through Ollie Watkins at Villa Park after a defensive mistake from Cedric, and the Midlands club managed to hold onto it for the entirety of the game as the Emirates Stadium outfit really struggled to break them down.
Should Arsenal start Pepe?
While there were a few poor performances from Mikel Arteta’s side, Pepe’s really flattered to deceive.
The former LOSC Lille ace lost out on no fewer than five of his duels in the game, and also failed to record a single shot on target, key pass, accurate cross or long ball (Sofascore).
He also lost possession of the ball a mammoth 24 times in the match, the most out of any player to have set foot on the pitch, earning him a very measly 6.3 overall rating on Sofascore, the second-lowest out of any of his teammates.
Arsenal fan reaction to Pepe display
These Gunners slammed his performance on Twitter, with one Gooner even going as far to say that the 25-year-old was ‘ineffective’:
“How are @arsenal trying to score, what’s our game plan? Does Arteta send them out saying run around a bit and something might happen? Willian, Pepe, Xhaka not good enough. Has to play Saka, Smith-Rowe, Odegaard, Aubameyang and Lacazette together as a front five. #AVLARS”
“94mins, no goal! Saka, Pepe, Laca, Auba…wake up!!! #AVLARS #football #Arteta #aftv #rt”
“The day Pepe hits the target, I’m so gonna tell my kids about it #AVLARS”
“#AVLARS few things learned. @Arsenal poorly performing big-money players is team’s biggest issue. Never play Pepe and Willian and sell them this summer. Retain manager and every other player. Play Saka at left-wing until Kieren arrives. Odegaard is the new Cesc Fabregas”
“I don’t know who is worse between Pepe and Willian #AVLARS”
“Villa were not superb today. Two players were on yellow cards and Martinelli would have killed them off but Apprentice preferred Willian and left ineffective Pepe on. Our season is over as teams below and above us have multiple games in hand. Europa League or bust. SMH #AVLARS”
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