Nicolas Pepe unhappy over Unai Emery sacking at Arsenal but highlights Freddie Ljungberg positive

Nicolas Pepe has spoken out on Unai Emery and Freddie Ljungberg
Nicolas Pepe has spoken out on Unai Emery and Freddie Ljungberg (RMC Sport)

Nicolas Pepe admits it was ‘painful’ to see Arsenal sack Unai Emery but admits Freddie Ljungberg has a better understanding with the players.

Arsenal took the decision to sack Emery last week after a poor run of results and have appointed Ljungberg as an interim manager until the club’s hierarchy can agree on a permanent replacement.

Pepe struggled to find his best form under Emery, who guided Arsenal to just one win in his last nine games in charge.

But the £72 million summer signing still admits he was unhappy to see Emery lose his job.

‘It was painful because he is a coach who gave me the chance to come to Arsenal,’ Pepe told RMC Sport.

Nicolas Pepe admits it was 'painful' to see Unai Emery leave Arsenal
Pepe admits it was ‘painful’ to see Unai Emery leave Arsenal (Getty Images)

‘We must not forget that. For me, it was something painful.’

When asked about Ljungberg’s arrival, Pepe said: ‘As he was a player, he understands us better.

‘He speaks a lot with us, so for us it is quite simple for us to understand him like for him it is quite easy to understand us.

‘Right now there are some players who are playing others who are not. That’s football, it’s like that. It is the coach who decides.

‘If I am on the bench, it is up to me to put the work in to get back in the starting line-up.’

Nicolas Pepe says Freddie Ljungberg has a better understanding with Arsenal's players
Pepe says Freddie Ljungberg has a better understanding with Arsenal’s players (Getty Images)

Pepe also admits he understands criticism following his subdued start at Arsenal and insists he needs to improve in several areas.

‘I would say that my start has been a bit negative,’ said Pepe.

‘Based on my own expectations of myself, I expected a bit more.

‘I expect more and it is up to me to work hard and make the difference in each match.

Nicolas Pepe has struggled to make an impact since his £72 million move to Arsenal
Nicolas Pepe has struggled to make an impact since his £72m move (AP Photo)

‘It is normal for people to criticise me as much as they are doing because I am not making the difference in each match.

‘I understand them. It is certainly up to me to reverse this situation through hard work.

‘There are lots of aspects that I need to improve.

‘Score more quickly, take the opportunities to score that I’ve been missing. It’s like that, that’s football.

‘I also need to improve on the physical aspect because coming from France to England, there is this box-to-box aspect that you have to take into account.’

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