Sacked Arsenal manager Unai Emery was shocked by Nicolas Pepe’s struggles

Unai Emery’s failure to get the best out of record signing Nicolas Pepe contributed to his downfall, but the now ex-Arsenal head coach was surprised at how hard the £72million purchase from Lille has found adjusting to the demands of English football.

The Spaniard was given his marching orders on Friday, less than 24 hours after presiding over a shambolic Europa League defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt, witnessed by a half empty Emirates Stadium.

Freddie Ljungberg has been placed in charge of the first team on an interim basis and the Swede is expected to pick an attacking line-up for Sunday’s match at Carrow Road, which could include Pepe, who hasn’t started a Premier League game in over a month.