Albert’s Pop at Pepe
Arsenal assistant manager Albert Stuivenberg delivered a hook to Nicolas Pepe after failing to capitalize on an open goal after the 2-1 win over Leeds.
The Ivorian winger came on as a second-half substitute for Bukayo Saka in Sunday’s win at the Emirates but was unable to assert himself.
Although he could have eased the pressure in north London by scoring late after Leeds goalkeeper Islan Meslier stepped up to a corner.
Arsenal defended the set piece, with Pepe picking up the loose ball and firing towards the halfway line where it looked like he would hit an empty net.
But he oddly chose to cut in his stronger left foot rather than shoot with his right or even run longer with the ball.
This allowed Daniel James to pull off a vital tackle to stop the Gunners’ counterattack and Leeds were then able to keep up the pressure in search of an equaliser.
Luckily for Pepe, the Whites couldn’t get back to level, but that didn’t stop Stuivenberg from giving the ex-Lille player an animated overview of the pitch.
Mikel Arteta downplayed the exchange between the two in his post-match press conference, although he explained he was just as confused by the striker’s decision-making.
He said: “When you see he has an empty net in front of him and he does a touch backwards, we can’t really understand that.
“But you have to have the perception of the player at that moment, he’s the one making the decision.
“And luckily we didn’t need that goal.”
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