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Mikel Arteta told he has two big problems in Arsenal dressing room

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been told his two wingers, Nicolas Pepe and Willian, have become problems within the dressing room.

The Gunners were disappointing on Saturday as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Southampton at St Mary’s.

Despite naming a strong team, Arsenal were second-best and didn’t create enough to get anything out of the tie, and now have a competition less to focus on for the rest of the season.

Arteta gave under-fire wingers Willian and Pepe the chance to show themselves and prove they deserve a chance in the first-team.

Willian failed to impress against Southampton in the FA Cup
Willian failed to impress against Southampton in the FA Cup
(Image: Getty Images)

But they both put in poor performances, and failed to trouble the Southampton defence and force any real chances.

They’ve both been outshone by youngsters Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka this season, and will each have a long road back to getting in Arteta’s good books.

And Arsenal hero Alan Smith believes the Gunners boss has a big problem on his hands with the two underperforming stars, and compared the situation to that of Mesut Ozil, who was sold to Fenerbahce after failing to fit in under Arteta.

Nicolas Pepe was disappointing as Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup
Nicolas Pepe was disappointing as Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup

“I’m not so sure,” he said when asked if he believes Pepe can still prove his worth to the side.

“He’s in his second season now so it’s not as if he’s still adapting to a new country and league.

“He’s one of those players who can produce a bit of magic, cut inside and find the top corner. But on other occasions his football intelligence looks short.

“It’s not as if he had been tearing up trees for a long period in France. You can throw the transfer fee at him but that’s not his fault.

“The fact remains he’s a big signing and they spent a lot of money on him. If they were to sell him now they would make a huge loss, so that’s another problem

“They’ve got rid of the Ozil problem but they are still saddled with the Pepe and Willian problems.”

Original article: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/arsenal-mikel-arteta-pepe-willian-23376514

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