Mikel Arteta and Martin Keown displeased by Nicolas Pepe show against Leeds

The Ivorian star Nicolas Pepe was sent off in a 0-0 draw at Leeds United after Mikel Arteta gave him just his second start in the English Premier League this season.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has branded Arsenal forward as Unprofessional and urged to take a leaf out of Kieran Tierney’s book when it comes to displaying passion.

After a disappointing loss to Aston Villa at Emirates, manager Mikel Arteta put his faith in club-record signing Nicolas Pepe. But Ivorian did little to justify the gaffer’s decision with a poor display.

Nicolas Pepe Red Card Incident:

Nicolas Pepe was well marked by Leeds defense, and tensions boiled over at around the 50th minute. VAR intervened in an off-the-ball incident and replays of the incident showed Alioski shoving Pepe who responded by lightly headbutting him.

Match official Anthony Taylor had no choice but to give the marching orders to Ivorian.

“But it’s really silly from Pepe. When you’re not playing a lot, and you do that when they gave you a chance, don’t cry if you’re not playing the next games.”

– Evra on the Incident

Ten men Arsenal finished the match 0-0. Mikel Arteta was disappointed with the Ivorian and accused him of letting the team down.

Speaking after the match, Mikel Arteta said;

“It is unacceptable. Unacceptable. At this level you cannot do it.”

– Mikel Arteta

Kieran Tierney clashes with Alioski:

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown told the Daily Mail,

“Arsenal’s club-record signing could have used this opportunity to launch his campaign. Instead, his unprofessional behaviour put his team under pressure and, in the end, manager Mikel Arteta had to be satisfied with earning an away point with 10 men.

“This is a team that are rebuilding under Arteta. I was impressed with some of the fighting spirit on show.

– Martin Keown on Pepe

For instance, Kieran Tierney was trying to have a word with Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski at full-time, showed an impressive fighting spirit.

Tierney typified that spirit in the game itself, too. He’s not just at the back trying to keep a clean sheet. He bombs forward and puts in those extra yards for his team.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Pepe faces a potential 3 match ban including the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur. With just 4 wins in 9 games, Arsenal are already 7 points behind league leaders Spurs. With no goals from open play in nearly 8 hours. Mikel Arteta faces a huge uphill task.

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