Patrice Evra has hit out at Nicolas Pepe for wasting his opportunity to impress Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
Arteta gave Pepe a rare start for their visit to Leeds on Sunday. The Ivory Coast international had been complaining about his lack of gametime earlier this month.
Pepe put his head towards Leeds’ Ezgjan Alioski after clashing with him on numerous occasions. It left the referee no choice but to send him off after a quick VAR check.
Even if Evra thinks Alioski made the most of the contact, the Sky Sports pundit slammed Pepe for giving Arteta an excuse to drop him in future.
“I’m disappointed,” the former Manchester United defender said. “It came from being frusrated.
“You could see early on that he was already dealing with Alioski and you can see Pepe isn’t happy.
“I think he should say sorry to all his teammates because Arsenal had a plan but then of course everything changes after that.”
‘Alioski deserved an Oscar’
Evra continued: “Alioski deserved an Oscar, he played it so well.
“But really silly from Pepe, you’ve not been playing a lot and then Arteta gives you a chance so don’t come and cry when you don’t play the next game.”
Pepe had only started one Premier League game before the Leeds clash, but will now face a period of suspension. When he returns, Arteta will be unlikely to throw him straight back into the side.
Hence, it was a missed opportunity for the 25-year-old, who has struggled to live up to his price tag since becoming the club’s record signing last summer.