THREAD: Analysis on Pepito. He's such a talented player who throughout the course of the season wasn't given the tools to succeed. A large amount of blame must go to Emery. But under Arteta, you can see what he is capable of. RTs so that more Gooners can see this would mean a lot
Our performances in and out of possession under UE were so poor. The style of football was negative, on many occasions we were playing three defensively more minded midfielders and a lack of offensive partnerships, are all factors which prevented Nico from flourishing.
At Liverpool, the FBs create partnerships with both Salah and Mane, as well as Firmino dropping between the lines and occupying players. City have two attacking midfielders in De Bruyne and Silva, combining with Mahrez and Sterling. All these players also benefit from the pace
and speed of their play. Under UE, the football was slow, and lethargic, with players taking far too many touches on the ball. Because of this, Pepe was receiving the ball with his back to goal and always isolated with minimal support down the right, regardless of who was..
selected at RB. For Pepe to be at his explosive best, he needs the ball played into space for him to run onto, creating 1 v 1 situations which he thrives on, as shown during his time in France. Dribbling and successful take-ons are two great traits of his. Under Freddie, we saw..
the same problems arise, as well as Pepe not given a consistent run of games to show what he is capable off. Thankfully, we now have a top class manager who knows what is exactly required to get the best out of Pepito
"Unfortunately, yes [that identity has slipped]," "That's my feeling and it's what I have to recover". MA recognised, back in December, that the free flowing, attractive football was lost. Its clear that his vision was to install the attractive, intricate, quick possession based
based football back into the club, that will help bring the best performance levels out of our attacking superstars. This is exactly the kind of football that Pepe needs for him to be at his lethal best.We will now see a series of tweets explaining how Nico is benefiting under MA
MA's third game in charge saw us come against United. 4-2-3-1 pre lockdown was the system deployed, with Ozil drifting in between the lines. Lack of partnerships for Nico was evident under Emery, which left him isolated in games. But under MA, the pace of our play was quicker and
we saw more partnerships develop. Not only did he score, but Pepe's overall display was great, and Ozil played a key role here. We saw Mesut drift towards the right frequently and combine with Pepe, preventing him from isolation. Here is one example of this during this game.
This was just one of many examples of where we are seeing us play more to Pepe's strengths. Against Sheffield United at home, Pepe was again a serious threat. On a few occasions during the game, after some quick build up play, Nico received the ball in favourable areas.
Games at home to Newcastle and Everton, before lockdown, we saw Pepe continuing to shine. Credit must go to MA for surrounding him with the correct system/ personal. The diagrams below provide annotations that describe situations where Pepe shown intelligence and quality.
Post lockdown, we continued to see what Pepe is capable off, particularly in the FA Cup. His performance against SU in the quarter finals was brilliant, and AMN played a key role in providing him with a partnership, occupying players and giving him time/space on the ball.
What really impressed me was his performances in the FA Cup semi final and final. What he showed us was that he possessed the ability to perform in high pressure games. The diagrams below highlights his massive influence in the game against Pep Guardiola's side in the Semi final
The first goal against City is clearly been a pattern that MA has implemented. We saw this develop against Watford on the final day of the PL. Nice build up play to begin with before Pepe is tasked to provide the final piece of quality.
His performance against Chelsea in the final was even better. MA deserves a lot of credit in this game and how he utilised him. I believe that he is at his most dangerous when given roaming licence and allowed to drift from right to left. We saw this regularly in the final.
Blistering pace, good in 1v1 situations, brilliant dribbler, exceptional quality on his left foot, productivity, intelligence on the ball are just a few attributes he possesses. Quick possession football, players to combine with is what he needs and MA knows this. Statistically,
he fairs well when compared to other high profile PL established wide players in their first seasons.

Pepe: 25 games, 5 goals and 6 assists (11G/A)
Son: 28 games, 4 goals and 1 assist (5 G/A)
Mahrez: 27 games (first season with Man city) 7 goals and 4 assists (11G/A)
Looking into this season, lets assume we bring Partey in. I think that we may see Willian play centrally, because not only does he posses certain qualities to play here but also we have heard MA speak about how he may play here.
Willian/Ceballos will provide the influence further forward, drifting between the lines. Pepe and Willian both can play centrally and on the right, therefore posses the ability to drift in and out. Bellerin could also advance forward and overlap, with Willian/Dani playing deep.
AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: From what I’ve seen of Pepe this season, I think an aspect he should work on is positioning himself more frequently in goalscoring positions. Under MA, we’ve been very left sided dominant, with overloads. We’ve seen what both Tierney/Saka are capable of in
an attacking sense. Both possess the ability to deliver good crosses and I want to see Pepe take more goal scoring positions in the near future when either Tierney or Saka are on the ball in the final third. United and Newcastle are examples where he has shown to do this.
If we look at Sterling, small off the ball movements has helped him massively in terms of improvement in goals scored. The same applies to Pepe here. Its a small action but one that can be so rewarding, and increase his tally.
Its clear to me that we have a manager who knows how to get the best out of attacking talents. His key role in developing Sterling is an example of this. Pepe was badly mismanaged under Emery. But under MA, we have seen a far better player. What also needs to be considered is..
that he has come into a completely new league that is of greater pace and physicality when compared to the French league. But as we are now in his second season at the Emirates and also a full season under MA, I believe we are going to see a different animal.
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