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Tony Cascarino names two Arsenal players who had a 'terrific game' yesterday

Sam Preston March 1, 2021
Arsenal FC Training Session
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal duo Nicolas Pepe and Willian have come under fire at times this season – and rightly so.

But Tony Cascarino said in the Times that the wingers played a big part in yesterday’s 3-1 win at Leicester.

Willian got two assists and Pepe netted the third goal which sealed victory at the King Power Stadium.

There was some thinly veiled criticism of both men in there still; claiming Willian’s gameplay is ‘simple’ and that Pepe plays like a teenager.

Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

“Things look much better this morning after yesterday’s victory at Leicester, with two players who have underperformed most of the season having a terrific game,” wrote Cascarino.

“It amazes me that Nicolas Pépé is 25. He plays like a teenager, raw, naive, a bad decision maker. But yesterday we saw that he can be a real player.

“There was much more belief about him, especially in his willingness to take people on. Equally Willian has been one of most disappointing signings of the season but against Leicester he really shone.

“His play is quite simple – pass and move – but he has not really done it until yesterday. The club desperately need to win the Europa League and a fully rejuvenated Willian can be a key player in that quest.”

Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Mikel Arteta needs competition for places and perhaps the performances of the club’s younger players has inspired Pepe and Willian to improve.

The next thing Arsenal fans and Arteta need to see from the pair is consistency.

There’s no use in this being a flash in the pan – but it was a very promising afternoon.

Arsenal face Olympiakos in the Europa League last 16 and as Cascarino said, that tie is huge for their season.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.