Pepe says sorry
Nicolas Pepe’s situation at Arsenal is set to improve after a reported meeting between player and coach Mikel Arteta bore positive results.
The Ivorian was sent off in the Gunners 0-0 draw against Leeds United at Elland Road for headbutting full-back Ezgjan Alioski. Arteta made his feelings on Pepe’s behaviour very clear after the game.
“I never like a draw but in the circumstances it’s a point. It [the red card] is unacceptable,” said Arteta regarding Pepe’s red. “With 10 men it is a big disadvantage. I really liked the personality of the team when Pepe let the team down, how we stuck to do what we had to do and had a moment or two to win the game, but obviously it makes it really difficult.”
However, since, Pepe has taken to social media to publicly apologise for his actions.
View this post on Instagram
“I let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there are no excuses for my behaviour. I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my team-mates, my coach and everyone else at the club,” the Ivorian’s statement read.
Reports have surfaced that Arteta has met with Pepe and is even set to reward the Ivorian’s apology with an immediate return to action against Molde in the Europa League. Pepe will miss Wolves, Spurs and Burnley matches but can play in the midweek European fixtures.
Since Arteta’s arrival at Arsenal he spoke about the ‘non-negotiable’ practices he intended to employ throughout the club. There is no doubt he has delivered in many of these areas including the behaviour of players on and off the pitch.
Both Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil were effectively frozen out of the club by the Spaniard. Whilst the reasons behind Ozil’s are, according to Arteta, based purely on ‘football,’ the reasons for Guendouzi’s exile is less straightforward.
Now on loan at Hertha Berlin in Germany, Guendouzi last performance for Arsenal was against Brighton. The French under 21 international appeared to throttle Neil Maupay after the French striker had caused a serious injury to Bernd Leno.
After, Guendouzi reportedly was given many opportunities to apologise for his conduct but not indication was given that one occurred. His persistent absence from the squad was additional evidence of that.
“I needed to have fun on the pitch, to regain confidence and that’s what Hertha offers me. It really is a choice I made,” Guendouzi said when asked about his departure from London.
“In the space of two seasons I have played more than 80 games with Arsenal. When you play less, you start to think and it hurts.”
Guendouzi will return to Arsenal in the summer and what follows is yet unclear. However, the contrast in both Pepe and Guendouzi’s reactions to fiery on-pitch incidents have given rise to two very different outcomes.
Pepe says sorry Nicolas Pepe’s situation at Arsenal is set to improve after a reported meeting between player and coach Mikel Arteta bore positive results. The Ivorian was sent off in the Gunners 0-0 draw against Leeds United at Elland Road for headbutting full-back Ezgjan Alioski. Arteta made his feelings on Pepe’s behaviour very clearFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed