Former Wales international Danny Gabbidon picked Arsenal attacker Nicolas Pepe out for praise after his sublime strike against West Ham United on Monday night.
The Ivory Coast international cut in from the right flank to curl a delicious effort past David Martin in the West Ham goal to put the Gunners ahead in their 3-1 victory at the London Stadium.
It was the sort of goal the Arsenal fans have been wanting to see with more regularity from Pepe, but BBC pundit Gabbidon was certainly impressed with his efforts.
“What a finish Pepe,” he wrote on his personal Twitter account. “West Ham have let this game get too open. Now it suits Arsenal’s attacking players.”
What a finish Pepe. West Ham have let this game get too open. Now it suits Arsenal’s attacking players ??
— Daniel Gabbidon (@Gabbidon35) December 9, 2019
Was this the emergence of the real Pepe at Arsenal?
First of all, Gabbidon is absolutely right to take aim at the West Ham flops on Monday night. They certainly let the game get open, failing to consolidate after Angelo Ogbonna gave them a deserved lead. Manuel Pellegrini’s side then paid the ultimate price.
As for Pepe, though, this may well be the advent of a new period of success for him at the Emirates Stadium. We’ve seen this sort of explosion before, of course. He scored two stunning goals against Vitoria de Guimaraes earlier this season. However, this felt more like the Pepe we saw at Lille.
The statistics show that, while he wasn’t perfect against the Hammers, he showed real signs of improvement. As per WhoScored.com, the 24-year-old scored from his one shot, while he also completed three successful dribbles.
However, he had three unsuccessful touches and was dispossessed a huge four times. Still, his WhoScored rating of 7.66 tells you that this was a step in the right direction for him.