Opinion: That’s more like it from Nicolas Pepe

Yesterday’s first half performance against Sheffield United was certainly lacking an offensive threat. We held the ball with our defenders and whenever we moved it forward, slight pressure from their players caused us to play it all the way back and we ended the first half without having any real clear opportunities on their goal.

The second half was an improvement. Though we never changed personnel at that point, we were more offensive and were eventually able to cause Sheffield Utd problems. A really nice move from us cut them open and led to Saka grabbing the first goal with a well placed header. Then when Pepe came on, a quick one two with Bellerin saw Pepe race down the right hand side and slide the ball into the far post to score a great solo goal. He did exactly what Arsenal fans have been wanting from him more consistently and showed the quality that we all know he possesses.

For me, it’s vital that he can kick on from here. I don’t think that Willian had the best of games yesterday and so I would like to see Nicolas Pepe given the nod ahead of our next game. If he is left on the bench again for the next few fixtures it could see this spark fade again. We all know Pepe has quality and so for me, I just want to see a little more confidence and a swag to Pepe’s game. I want to see him come short sometimes and demand the ball from players, run at people and just try to impact the game himself, much like Alexis Sanchez used to do for us.

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