Football News

“It’s nothing new” – Nicolas Pepe claims he has the experience to cope with Arsenal slump

By James Richards

Published: 18:58, 9 December 2019

Arsenal record-signing Nicolas Pepe has experienced difficulties in the past and believes the Gunners will get past their current slump.

The London club are on their worst run of form since 1977 and dismissed Unai Emery at the end of November, replacing him with Freddie Ljungberg on a temporary basis.

Pepe not panicking: Five things to know…

  • Arsenal paid Lille £79 million this summer to sign Pepe, breaking their club transfer record.
  • The French-born Ivorian was Emery’s marquee addition.
  • Pepe has struggled to make an impact, netting once in 12 Premier League appearances.
  • Arsenal have not won a game since October 27, nine matches ago.
  • Pepe believes Arsenal will turn it round having experience a similar run during his time with Lille.

Ljungberg has been unable to stop the rot that saw Emery lose his job at the Emirates. Since the Swede took over, Arsenal have drawn with Norwich City and lost to Brighton & Hove Albion.

They are now without a win in nine games in all competitions, their worst run of form since 1977. Their Ivorian summer signing, Pepe, has admitted it is a frustrating time for all concerned but admits he has been through tough times before.

“Obviously it is a frustrating situation for us, but it is nothing new [for me],” said Pepe.

“When I was at Lille we had a bit of the same, we went 10, 11 games without a win and obviously this adds to the pressure. We know that our fans have a lot of expectations from us.”

Pepe went 11 games without a win while with Lille in 2017/18 but he helped end that poor run by scoring three goals in two matches as the northern club beat Metz and Toulouse.

Ljungberg has been trying to stamp his mark on the club with changes to schedule and by imparting his vision on the players but Pepe has urged supporters to give things time to settle.

“There have been some changes schedule-wise in terms of the training ­ Ljungberg has his own way of dictating training,” Pepe added.

“Obviously he has already shared his vision. There have been a few tactical changes, but it takes time for everything to settle.”

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Arsenal will be looking to end their poor run when they take on West Ham this evening. They will be feeling confident playing a Hammers side who themselves are on a terrible run of just one win in their last nine league games.