Mikel Arteta did not hold his tongue when he was asked by reporters what he thought of Nicolas Pepe getting a straight red against Leeds United on Sunday for (what football calls) a headbutt.

Arsenal's French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (L) is shown a red card by atch Referee Anthony Taylor (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (L) is shown a red card by atch Referee Anthony Taylor (R) during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on November 22, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

Arsenal lost their forward at the start of the second half meaning they faced a rear-guard action against an industrious Leeds side just to leave Elland Road with a point.

Speaking after Arsenal’s 0-0 draw that sees them in the bottom half of the table below Manchester United, Mikel Arteta told reporters, “It’s unacceptable.

“I’m telling you what I think. What happened inside I cannot share with you guys, it’s the way I see it. We knew the level of intensity, aggression and how alive they are in every action.

“You have to be able to deal with that because it’s part of the plan against this team.”

Pepe had made it clear that he wanted to see more game time for Arsenal from the start and Arteta duly obliged and it’s safe to say Pepe couldn’t have done anything stupider.

He will now sit out Arsenal’s domestic games against Wolves (h), Spurs (a), and Burnley (h).