Ian Wright has claimed that Willian and Nicolas Pepe should be embarrassed by the emergence of Arsenal’s young stars so far this season.
Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have started the last five Premier League games in behind the striker with the Brazilian and Ivorian consigned to the bench.
Speaking after the win over Newcastle, the former Highbury favourite lashed out at the two wingers as he praised the young gun.
Wright said: “I think there was a time when they came in it was embarrassing. When they came in they brought that energy and enthusiasm and exuberance. We were seeing players who weren’t really at it for him. In the end, he took a massive chance and brought those guys in and they’ve done it, Emile Smith Rowe (£2.43m-rated) in particular.”
“Nobody was playing that role. Now he’s in a fantastic position because the youngsters have mobilised the senior players have to perform now.” (via Optus Sport)
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When you’ve amassed the experiences Willian and Pepe have during their long careers, compared to the likes of Smith Rowe, the two men should most definitely be embarrassed by the level they are performing at this season.
The worst thing about all of this is there seems to be no explanation as to why the duo have been awful in the Premier League.
When you compare the two players to how they performed last season, it’s chalk and cheese. Willian was an attacking force for former club Chelsea, so much so, Frank Lampard spoke of his desire to keep the ace at the club. And whilst Pepe wasn’t always consistent, he was by far the greatest threat in the final third with his outstanding dribbling ability.
We all scratch our heads as to why the two aces have been so bad, but, Wrighty is right in claiming they should be embarrassed. The fact there seems to be no desire to perform well and youth are out-shining them is a major red flag.