Mikel Arteta has praised Nico Pepe’s work ethic as we prepare to play against Newcastle today. Pepe scored the goal that kept us firmly in the tie against Villarreal, via a penalty.
The ivorian forward has scored 11 goals and made 5 assists this season in all competitions. Asked about his thoughts on Pepe’s contributions, Mikel Arteta said:
I think he’s come a long way in the last few months. His work ethic has been phenomenal and he’s deciding many more games and doing what he can do in the final third in a much more consistent way. So I’m really happy with his performances and now he needs to continue like this.
Pepe has looked short of confidence at some point when he was struggling, but the former Lille mad seem to have found his confidence again. Mikel Arteta was quizzed on how much he thinks Pepe’s confidence affects his game.
Well, confidence in every player is crucial and every time you step on that field, if they feel secure, if they feel protected, if they feel like they’re supported by their manager and their teammates, it’s something that is crucial to be able to perform. Then with the things that he could do better, he’s doing much better with as well. But it’s all a mix that is reflected in his performance.
As we prepare to take on Newcastle today, Pepe would be hoping to get another chance to add to his 5 goals in the Premier League this season.
The manager spoke about the possibility of rotating some players after a demanding game against Villarreal.
Let’s see who is available. We had a really demanding game again, the boys have had so many minutes so we will assess them in the training session and see how everyone is, and try to get the line-up right.