CHARLIE NICOLAS says he cannot believe Nicolas Pepe escaped being hauled off for his poor performance against Watford. Arsenal’s £72million record signing failed to sparkle at Vicarage Road as the Hornets came from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw

Nicolas Pepe blasted as ‘dreadful’ by Charlie Nicholas after £72m summer signing’s wait for first Arsenal goal goes on

read Nicolas Pepe blasted as ‘dreadful’ by Charlie Nicholas after £72m summer signing’s wait for first Arsenal goal goes on

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Info Nicolas Pepe blasted as ‘dreadful’ by Charlie Nicholas after £72m summer signing’s wait for first Arsenal goal goes on

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  • 2019-09-18 22:50:11 4 months ago
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CHARLIE NICOLAS says he cannot believe Nicolas Pepe escaped being hauled off for his poor performance against Watford.

Arsenal's £72million record signing failed to sparkle at Vicarage Road as the Hornets came from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw.

 Charlie Nicolas claimed Nicolas Pepe was dreadful against Watford
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And club legend Nicholas says he is amazed the Ivory Coast star was not substituted - as manager Emery sacrificed Mesut Ozil and Dani Ceballos instead.

Writing for Sky Sports, Nicholas said: "Nicolas Pepe was dreadful against Watford.

"How Emery took Mesut Ozil and Dani Ceballos off ahead of him was beyond me."

Pepe is slower than Arsenal hoped to make an impact in the Premier League following his move from Lille.

The 24-year-old has yet to hit the target for the North London club - including a shocking miss when clean through against Liverpool with the match still in the balance.

But Sky pundit Nicholas believes the biggest issue for his old club ahead of their Europa League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt is sorting out the defence.

He added: "God only knows what defence Unai Emery will pick. I don't know how often we will have to say it as Arsenal fans.

"It is scary how bad Arsenal are defensively.

"What is the attraction to Sokratis Papastathopoulos? I would play Kieran Tierney on Thursday and see if Hector Bellerin could start too.

"Konstantinos Mavropanos is still game time away from being fit. It would be the end if Shkodran Mustafi was to be brought back.

"We need to get Rob Holding, Bellerin and Tierney back into the side as soon as possible. I would take a hit and play these players to give them game time and let them get match fitness.

"It is starting to effect Ainsley Maitland-Niles and some of the other young players. Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock came on and could not keep the ball.

"It is the manager's responsibility. He must resolve this and come to a conclusion on how to sort this out.

"Tierney, Bellerin, and Holding should play - I would play them this week and take a defeat if it meant they got the game time they needed."

New Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe trains on his own after news he will miss Prem opener against Newcastle

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Nicolas Pepe blasted as ‘dreadful’ by Charlie Nicholas after £72m summer signing’s wait for first Arsenal goal goes on

Ex-Chelsea boss Sarri is telling Juventus centre-backs De Ligt and Bonucci to do the opposite of what they are used to doing in defence

JUVENTUS centre-back Leonardo Bonucci has revealed that he and defensive partner Matthijs de Ligt are still adjusting to Maurizio Sarri's tactics.

The Italian has claimed that the pair have been asked to do the opposite of what they are used to doing in defence ahead of the Champions League group stage clash against Atletico Madrid.

 Juventus pair Matthijs de Ligt and Leonardo Bonucci are still getting used to Maurizio Sarri's tactics
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Speaking in the pre-match press conference about how Sarri wants the defence to play, Bonucci admitted: "It’s the opposite of what we’re used to."

Juve face Atletico without Giorgio Chiellini available, with the veteran player out for six months with a knee injury, while Atletico cannot rely on Diego Godin after he left to join Inter Milan in the summer.

Both men featured in the Round of 16 clash when the two teams faced each other last season, in which the Old Lady progressed to the quarter-finals.

Bonucci added: "They are two leaders. Giorgio is a big loss for us, both on the field and in the dressing room.

"Godin is an excellent defender and I really admire his qualities.

"Atletico have lost an important player, but they have moved on and we will try to ensure Giorgio’s absence isn’t felt.

De Ligt is going through an acclimatisation period, as am I to be honest, because the coach asks us to do more or less the opposite of what we were used to doing in defence.

"It might actually be simpler for us in the Champions League, as we’ll be against teams who come out and play rather than sit back and defend.

 The Champions League group stages draw has once again thrown up plenty of tasty clashes
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“We want to put Sarri’s ideas into practice and enjoy our time on the ball.”

Juve have won two and drawn once out of their opening three games this season, while Atletico are coming off the back of a shock 2-0 loss against Real Sociedad.

The two teams faced each other in pre-season, with Diego Simeone's side winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Thomas Lemar and Joao Felix.

Atletico Madrid v Juventus - Live stream, TV channel and kick-off time for Champions League clash

Victor Lindelof signs new five-year contract at Man Utd after impressive form under Solskjaer

MANCHESTER UNITED have extended Victor Lindelof's contract to 2024 as a reward for his fine start to the season.

Since signing in 2017, the Swede has developed gradually and is now seen as a mainstay in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's defence.

 Lindelof put pen to paper on Wednesday
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 The defender originally signed a contract to 2021
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On Wednesday, United confirmed 25-year-old Lindelof's new five-year deal.

Sun Sport revealed the offer of a new £150,000-a-week deal for the centre-back last week.

Red Devils boss Solskjaer wants to form a trusted defensive unit for years to come.

New signings Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka haven't missed a minute of action since arriving, and neither have David de Gea, Lindelof or Luke Shaw - barring the left-back's recent hamstring injury.

And Lindelof's committal follows de Gea putting pen to paper on an extension of his own, announced on Tuesday to 2023.

Speaking to the club website, the former Benfica man spoke of his personal development since signing, saying: “Since the day I arrived at United it has felt like home.

"I have grown significantly both as a player and as a person in the last two years and for that I am grateful to everyone at the club for their help and support. I love playing football and my aim now is to help the team to win trophies and repay the fans for their unrivalled support.

“I know that everyone at the club shares this vision and will give everything to get Manchester United back to where it belongs.

”I’m still young and know I can improve further but with the help of the boss and his coaching staff, I believe that only good things are ahead for this great club.”

Victor Lindelof's girlfriend Maja attends first game at Old Trafford with new baby amid death threats toward the Man United star for missing Sweden duty for birth of child

Solskjaer added that Lindelof has proven his Premier League ability in his 74 apperances for United.

He told the club: "He brings calmness on the pitch and I can see that he is determined to help this club and to be successful here.

“I’m extremely happy that he has committed his future to Manchester United."

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