Arsenal fans slam Mikel Arteta’s "awful decision" after Nicolas Pepe comments

If there is such thing as a 'Honeymoon Period' in management, Mikel Arteta may be fast approaching the end of his with Arsenal.

The Spaniard was a breath of fresh air to many Gunners fans last season, when he replaced the wildly unpopular Unai Emery.

His stock amongst supporters only increased further after winning the FA Cup and then Community Shield in consecutive wins at Wembley.

But a stuttering start to the season, highlighted by their dismal 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa, has left certain sections of the fanbase disgruntled – both in terms of results and performances.

Arsenal's attacking players have come in for particular criticism, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Willian all suffering dips in form at the same time.

Despite that, Nicolas Pepe has endured a frustrating start to his second season in north London, restricted to just one Premier League start so far.

The majority of his minutes have come in the Europa League and Carabao Cup, where Arteta has rang the changes.

And the £72million signing from Lille, has hinted at his unhappiness, sending a pointed message to the Arsenal boss.

"My goal is to play more. Have a little more playing time," Pepe told French outlet  Canal Plus .

"A player who plays is happy. For me, I would like to play a little more to find a smile again.

"He [Arteta] wants me to be 100 per cent focused during the 90 minutes of the match. Afterwards, I see during training that I will be a substitute the following weekend.

"But the coach speaks to me, he also has assistants who are there for that. But it is frustrating for any player to be on the bench."

And on the whole, it appears he has the support of the fans behind him, with many on social media believing his comments were completely justified.

One Arsenal fan replied: “Seems like talent doesn’t matter to Arteta but rather ‘experience’ and ‘work ethic”.

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Another posted: “He’s lost a lot of his confidence. He deserves to start”, while a third suggested: “Justice for Pepe, it’s not fair for him he’s been benched unjustly by every manager that’s arrived here”.

“Great mentality, awful decisions by Arteta week after week,” another supporter concluded.

And a fifth said: “Whenever he played he has produced an assist or a goal. I see no reason why Willian should start ahead of him.”

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