The Standard – Kenya: Unai Emery sends message to Nicolas Pepe after tough start to Arsenal career | The Standard

The Standard – Kenya: Unai Emery sends message to Nicolas Pepe after tough start to Arsenal career | The Standard
Unai Emery has told Nicolas Pepe to deal with the pressure of playing for Arsenal. [Courtesy]

Unai Emery has told Nicolas Pepe to learn to deal with the pressure of being an Arsenal player.

The £72m record signing admitted he was lacking confidence even before his nightmare display at Old Trafford on Monday where he gave away the ball 17 times.

The Spaniard will send out a changed team for Thursday’s Europa League tie with Standard Liege with Mesut Ozil set to start.

But he is considering giving Pepe, 23, extra game time to find the form which saw him score 23 goals last season and earn his move from Lille to the Premier League.

“They are human, every player,” said the Gunners boss. “We are playing every time, as a coach or a player, under pressure.

“Under pressure is a positive. Being under pressure is because we are at a big club with a very demanding objective.

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“It’s a privilege to be here. The players are here because they deserve to be here and they are privileged to be here.

“That privilege brings pressure, of course. But it’s positive. Not for the salary, not for how much the club paid for him.

“It’s not relevant for us to speak about the money.

“The players are not thinking about the salary or what one club paid to use him. I am not thinking about my salary when I am the coach. For us it’s natural to play under pressure.”

“I am sure that Pepe is an amazing player, I am sure he is going to have a big career here but he, needs time. A lot of players when they came here, the first month, the first year is not easy for them.

“He still needs to play, get confidence, know progressively better the other players, our work. I think he is progressing.”

Emery must decide whether to play top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who scored in the opening 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt – in a cup the Spanish coach won three times with Seville.

“I want to feel not just me loves this competition – I want to feel everybody loves this competition because it is another competition we want to do something with our supporters and it is one way to the Champions League,” he said.

Asked if Ozil will be leaving the club in January, Emery replied: “He is our player now.”

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