Nicolas Pepe blasted for “laughing and smiling” on pitch amid dire Arsenal form

Nicolas Pepe has been slammed for an apparent lack of effort by former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong.

The Gunners are on a dismal run of seven Premier League games without a win, losing five of those matches.

Their misery was added to with a heavy 4-1 home defeat by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

Arsenal’s defence was picked apart in the quarter-final clash, while their attack produced yet another toothless performance.

Pepe made little impact on the match after replacing the bright Gabriel Martinelli just after half-time, as his struggles to live up to his £72million price tag continue.

Pepe was dispossessed four times after coming on in the 49th minute against City

The Ivorian has scored five goals this season but the majority of those came against minnows in the Europa League, while he also produced all three of his assists in that competition.

Frimpong has grown exasperated with Pepe and hit out at what he sees as a lack of drive and effort from the 25-year-old.

“When I look at Pepe, I don’t see any aggression and determination,” Frimpong told PlayOJO .

Frimpong gave a scathing verdict of the Ivorian

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“When he makes a mistake, he smiles or laughs and for me, I find that frustrating.

“There was a lot of hype about Pepe coming to Arsenal and he’s been very disappointing.

“He’s another player I think needs to step up his game and if he doesn’t, we need to get him out and bring in other players to help push us up the table.”

Pepe has scored two Premier League goals this season but drew heavy criticism in November as his act of petulance was met with a sending off in the draw with Leeds.

His red card for headbutting Whites defender Ezgjan Alioski left Arsenal with well over half an hour to play with 10 men as they clung on for a 0-0 draw.

Should Nicolas Pepe be left out of Arsenal’s starting XI to face Chelsea on Boxing Day? Have your say here.

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