Peter Crouch says two Arsenal stars have had ‘egos dented’ by young Gunners aces

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BT Sport pundit Peter Crouch believes Arsenal stars Nicolas Pepe and Willian have had their egos “dented” at the Emirates.

The duo have both struggled since joining the Gunners with Pepe now in his second season in north London.

Willian signed for Mikel Arteta’s side in the summer after leaving Chelsea following the end of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Both attackers were disappointing as Arsenal saw their FA Cup reign ended at the hands of Southampton on Saturday.

And Crouch believes neither Pepe or Willian are proving themselves good enough to be in the Arsenal side with youngsters having impressed under Arteta.

“They were disappointing in my opinion,” Crouch said on BT Sport when discussing Willian and Pepe.

“I think they are very, very good players. We’ve seen the talent, Pepe at Lille and Willian at Chelsea.

“They’ve both been very, very good players I just think at this moment in time they’re maybe suffering a lack of confidence.

“I think their egos have been dented because young players have come in in their place and I know what that’s like, it’s difficult.

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“If you’re an experienced professional and you’re watching the kids play ahead of you, your ego is going to be dented.

“You’re going to be upset, you’re going to be angry and there’s two ways you can react – you can throw your toys out the pram and ask why you’re not in the team or you can knuckle down, work hard and win your place back.

“I just don’t feel like they’ve done enough today to warrant their place in the starting 11.”

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Gunners boss Arteta remained coy when it was suggested that players did not take their opportunity against Southampton.

He said: “They all tried so hard. You see it was a really intense game, again.

“Southampton really demand the best out of you as they are really aggressive, the way they play, and they always try their best.

“We are looking in the market to see else what we can do. Obviously we moved some players, we are a little bit short in one or two positions.”

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