Nicolas Pepe thinks he can do more in the second half of the season, and he’s looking to improve between now and May.
Nicolas Pepe took a while to get going in Arsenal colours, but he’s in good form at the moment.
Pepe almost scored the winner against Crystal Palace, if not for a fantastic save and a fortunate rebound off the post. He did give Arsenal the lead against Manchester United and West Ham. His run was crucial to the winner against Leeds United as well.
The only other start Pepe made since Unai Emery’s departure was against Manchester City. Admittedly, that game didn’t go so well for anyone.
All the same, Pepe believes he needs to hit a new level in the second half of the campaign.
“I’ve done OK, but I can certainly do more,” Pepe said. “In fact, I must do more, and that is certainly something I will be looking to improve on during the second half of the season.
“The hardest period so far for me was when the team went through a difficult spell when we weren’t managing to win a game.
“We worked hard as a team throughout this time and we finally managed to get that victory at West Ham last month, which was an important moment for us and the fans.”
The clash with Sheffield United on Saturday feels like an important one for Pepe. For a start, his miss in the away fixture is probably his biggest regret so far. He also needs to step up in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s absence.
That burden isn’t on his shoulders alone. Alexandre Lacazette needs to start scoring. Youngsters Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah need to prove they’re worthy of the faith Arsenal are putting in them. Still, the £72m man has responsibilities too.