Pundit feels ‘sorry’ for Arsenal star put in ‘nightmare’ position by colleagues

Date published: Sunday 20th December 2020 10:13 - Jonny Whitfield

Jamie Redknapp said that he felt “sorry” for Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe after his role in Everton’s winning goal on Saturday.

Pepe faced up against Yerry Mina at a corner just before half time at Goodison Park. However, the Toffees defender easily got away from his marker to plant a powerful header past Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

That would prove the winning goal in the 2-1 victory for Everton, which piled more misery on Arsenal. Indeed, they have now taken only eight points from a possible 33 in their last 11 top-flight games.

Speaking on Sky Sports‘ coverage of the match, Redknapp slammed Arsenal‘s lack of defensive organisation for failing to realise the “mismatch” between Pepe and Mina.

“When I see Pepe marking Mina, that is such a mismatch, lack of organisation, lack of leaders,” the pundit said (via the Daily Mail).

“That’s a nightmare position for him. You don’t see David Luiz or anyone taking responsibility. I feel sorry for Pepe because he shouldn’t be in that position.”

Graeme Souness joined Redknapp in analysing the match and took aim at Pepe’s fellow winger Willian.

Souness was unhappy with the Brazilian for his lack of effort leading up to Everton‘s first goal. The strike went down as a Rob Holding own goal after the defender deflected Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header into his net.

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“Sprint back please, you’ve got a job to defensively,” Souness said.

The pundit added that instead of stopping Alex Iwobi’s cross, Willian was only thinking ‘I’ll just jog towards him.’

“Then at the back post [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles and Pepe are not doing their job,” he said.

“You ask your players to defend with their lives, and this tells you that Arsenal are in trouble defensively and will continue to be. It’s so avoidable, top teams don’t concede goals like that.”

Arteta rues two key moments

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Arsenal’s latest poor result saw them remain in 15th in the Premier League table.

However, they will go down to 16th if Brighton beat Sheffield United on Sunday.

Speaking after the defeat, though, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insisted that his side lost following two key moments from their hosts.

Read more…

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