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'There are no exceptions!' - Arsenal loanee Pepe criticised for lack of 'intensity' by Nice boss Favre after Marseille drubbing

9:59 AM GMT 29/08/2022
Nice manager Lucien Favre called out Nicolas Pepe for a lack of "intensity" after the club went down 3-0 against Marseille on Sunday.
  • Pepe criticised by Favre
  • Arsenal loanee lacking "rhythm"
  • Marseille thrash Nice 3-0

WHAT HAPPENED? The Arsenal loanee had a debut to forget as Nice suffered a 3-0 loss to Marseille, with Alexis Sanchez scoring a brace for the visitors. Another Gunners loan star, Nuno Tavares, netted Marseille's third goal.

WHAT THEY SAID: Favre did not mince his words when asked to assess Pepe's performance as he told reporters: "He hasn’t played for a long time in England. He has done the pre-season with Arsenal but he hasn’t played any matches. He is lacking a bit of rhythm, intensity in his placements, his pressing and in his ball recovery, because everyone has to do that.

"There aren’t any exceptions. If one or two players don’t do the work, the whole team is in trouble. Everyone has to do it at the same time, everyone has to defend to recover the ball.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pepe, Arsenal's record signing who cost them £72m ($85m) when they bought him from Lille three years ago, returned to Ligue 1 earlier this month when signing a season-long loan deal with Nice. He will now hope to rediscover the form that saw him emerge as one of Europe's top prospects at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.


WHAT NEXT FOR PEPE? Nice are due back in Ligue 1 action away at Pepe's former club Lille on August 31.