Emery urges Pepe to take the pres­sure

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport Football - By Sam Dean

Unai Emery has called on Ni­co­las Pepe to em­brace the pres­sure of be­ing Arse­nal’s record sign­ing as he told the club’s sup­port­ers to be pa­tient with the strug­gling winger.

Pepe ad­mit­ted this week that his start to life at Arse­nal has “not been easy” fol­low­ing his £72 mil­lion move from Lille this sum­mer, adding that his con­fi­dence has been af­fected by be­low-par per­for­mances.

The 24-year-old has scored once in eight ap­pear­ances this sea­son and was sub­sti­tuted in Mon­day’s 1-1 draw with Manch­ester United.

Emery has said he has held oneto-one video ses­sions with Pepe in an at­tempt to speed up the winger’s adap­ta­tion to the Premier League.

“He still needs to play, get con­fi­dence, know bet­ter the other play­ers and our work,” the head coach said. “The adap­ta­tion, some play­ers need less time and some need more. It’s a priv­i­lege to be here. That priv­i­lege brings pres­sure, of course. But it’s pos­i­tive, of course.”

Pepe could be given more first­team ac­tion in tonight’s Europa League meet­ing with Stan­dard Liege as Emery looks to build his con­fi­dence ahead of Sun­day’s meet­ing with Bournemout­h.

Mean­while, Emil­iano Martinez has said he is good enough to be Arse­nal’s No1 goal­keeper. Martinez is cur­rently be­hind Bernd Leno in the peck­ing or­der. The Ar­gen­tine said: “If you want to be Arse­nal No 1 you have to be­lieve in your­self. I be­lieve in my tal­ent, my work.” Prob­a­ble teams

Arse­nal (4-2-3-1) Martinez; Bel­lerin, Mustafi, Hold­ing, Tier­ney; Wil­lock, Tor­reira; Nel­son, Ozil, Saka; Martinelli. Stan­dard Liege (4-2-3-1) Milinkovic-savic; Vo­jvoda, Van­heus­den, Laifis, Ga­vory; Cimirot, Bastien; Lesti­enne, Mpoku, Carcela; Emond.

Ref­eree San­dro Scharer (Switzer­land).

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