Monday Nov 23, 2020. 13:00
Ivorian star Nicolas Pepe has been slammed by Senegal-born French legend Patrice Evra after the former was shown a straight card over the weekend.
Pepe was shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor for aiming a headbutt at Ezgjan Alioski during an English Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United on Sunday.
Former Manchester United defender Evra stated that Pepe only had himself to blame as he was seen thrusting his head towards the Macedonian defender in the 51st minute in an encounter which ended in a 0-0 draw.
“Really silly from Pepe. You are not playing a lot and Arteta gave you a chance, so do not cry when you play the next game,” Evra said on Goal.
“When you do that it is a frustration. It is silly. I think [Pepe] should say sorry to all his team-mates because Arsenal had a plan and of course everything changed.”
Evra explained why Pepe is struggling for form since joining Arsenal in a deal worth a club-record £72 million from French side Lille OSC in 2019.
“I saw him playing in France, he was happy, he was smiling. You can see, the price tag, the fans are against him,” he continued.
“A good player but I am really disappointed. I always protect him but I cannot defend him.”
The retired left-back also feels that Alioski fell to the ground easily under what looked like minimal contact.
“Alioski deserves an Oscar. He played so well, if I was the Leeds coach I would be so happy with Alioski but come on, he looked like he broke his nose,” he added.
Pepe has played eight Premier League matches for Arsenal this term and netted once in the process.