Arsenal legend Ian Wright slams Willian and Nicolas Pepe performances after Mikel Arteta gave them a chance in FA Cup
10th January 2021

ARSENAL legend Ian Wright blasted Willian and Nicolas Pepe for their FA Cup performances.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta handed the attacking pair a staring berth against Newcastle in the third-round tie at the Emirates.

Arsenal required extra time to edge past Steve Bruce's Magpies as goals from Emile Smith Rowe and skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured a 2-0 win.

But despite the result, former striker Wright was particularly unhappy with £72million club-record signing Pepe and ex-Chelsea star Willian.

He told BBC Sport: "Very, very poor from [Pepe] today.

"Same with Willian. These are two players we needed a lot from, and we are just not getting it, to be honest.

"In the end, Mikel Arteta had to bring on his best guys because the guys he brought in, just didn't do it in the first half.

"That was the opportunity for Newcastle to take advantage but they just didn't have the quality."

Brazilian star Willian reels in a huge £220,000 a week in North London after he signed a three-year deal in the summer.

But he has repaid the Gunners' faith with just three assists in 18 games in all competitions and was hauled off for Bukayo Saka after 66 minutes.


Former Lille man Pepe – who Wilfried Zaha claimed Arsenal signed over him – has played just 453 minutes out of Arsenal's 17 games in the Premier League and was sent off for a headbutt against Leeds.

Arsenal have more forward problems after talented youngster Gabriel Martinelli injured himself in the warm-up before the Newcastle game.

The Brazilian was 'in tears and a lot of pain' on the treatment table, according to Mikel Arteta.

Wright previously warned Arsenal are in danger of turning talented Smith Rowe into another Serge Gnabry if Pepe and Willian continue to stand in the way of his progression.

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