Nicolas Pepe arrived in North London on Thursday night with two delightful free-kicks to save Arsenal – and Unai Emery’s – blushes, but the match leaves more pressure on Unai Emery and fans even more certain he isn’t the man for the job.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal scores his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal scores his team’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

He needed a win but, more than that, Unai Emery needed fun Arsenal to turn up in the Europa League to distract from the shit show that was their performance in Sheffield.

He didn’t get it.

the majority of the match, it looked like whatever he’s done to the first team he’d managed to do to the only joy we’ve had this season.

A team who hadn’t yet scored in the Europa League, and whose media didn’t expect that to change in London, promptly scored two and Arsenal were lucky it wasn’t more.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal scores his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal scores his team’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitoria Guimaraes at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Emery’s charges looked lost. They were worse than the team on Monday night, although many of us didn’t think that was possible before the game.

What was noticeable was that halfway through the second half we started to look like we knew what a football was. I remarked on this on Twitter and was told the players had probably forgotten what Emery had told them at halftime.

As we’ve discussed on here, Emery is showing no signs of progress and, worryingly, signs of regression in areas.

Pepe saved him on Thursday night but the win does nothing to mask the fact that he was booed at halftime and the entire Arsenal fan base seem to be united, finally, in their desire for just one thing – a different person in charge.

(Also, you can read here why I’m feeling all smug about Pepe)

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.