By 90Min
October 06, 2019

From Emirates Stadium: 

Trust the process.

It's a phrase synonymous with NBA franchise the Philadelphia 76ers, coined by ex-General Manager of the Philly team Sam Hinkie.

Trust the process.

A phrase used by Hinkie and a whole organisation set to embark upon three years of losing.

Trust the process.

A phrase that is, essentially, a call for patience from an ardent fanbase.

Trust the process.

Patience. 

Trust the process.

It's a difficult thing to ask for in the 21st century; a century in which literally everything has gotten faster.

Trust the process.

People - faster. 

Trust the process.

Computers - faster. 


Trust the process.

Transportation - faster (bar EasyJet, they've somehow become more useless). 


Trust the process.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

So with everything getting, well, faster, you can probably guess that people's ability to be patient has waned pretty dramatically. 

Trust the process.

We expect things quicker, because usually, we get things quicker. 

Trust the process.

It's not our fault.

Trust the process.

It's just human nature.

Trust the process.

So when what is expected doesn't occur. 

Trust the process.

When we are forced to wait for something which we expected straight away - a train, a plane, Big Mac.

Trust the process.


We distress. 

Trust the process.

We all-but malfunction. 

Trust the process.


We curse out conductors, fast staff, and football players alike wondering 'what the f**k is taking so long!!!'

Trust the process.

Oh, there it is, underlined and everything.

Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Trust the process.

Football players.

Trust the process.

The point of this article.

Trust the process.

On Sunday I was at a colder-than-it-looks-on-TV Emirates Stadium, watching a player who has been cursed out by Arsenal fans in recent weeks.


Trust the process.

For, yes, you guessed it, not performing to the level that was expected straight away.

Trust the process.


The football player in question is Nicolas Pepe. 

Trust the process.


When Pepe signed for Arsenal in the summer, expectations were high.

Trust the process.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Instant results were expected.

Trust the process.

Goals, assists, man of the match performances were all expected straight away. 

Trust the process.


And those lofty expectations were/are understandable. 

Trust the process.

The Ivorian international is a club record signing. 

Trust the process.

He did cost Arsenal a whopping £72m in the summer. 

Trust the process.

And he did come with a huge reputation. 

Trust the process.

TF-Images/GettyImages

So why should Arsenal fans be patient? 

Trust the process. 

Well, today's contribution was as good a reason as any. 

Trust the process. 

Although Pepe hasn't been lights out for the Gunners so far this season, there were signs of some improvements on Sunday afternoon - particularly during the first half of the game against Bournemouth. 

Trust the process. 

The former LOSC Lille star's work-rate was there for all to see. 

Trust the process. 

He was tireless on the right flank, leading the offensive press well, forcing the likes of Nathan Ake and Sergio Rico (who is a terrible footballer, let's not beat around that bush) into a number of almost costly mistakes.

Trust the process.

He linked up quite well with Aubameyang - albeit sporadically - almost creating clear-cut chances for his teammate.

Trust the process.

He also almost scored himself, curling a wonderful effort from the right hand side of the penalty area just over over Aaron Ramsdale's crossbar.

Visionhaus/GettyImages

Trust the process.

You've seen the common thread through all of the past three points, right? I've underlined it.

Trust the process.

Almost.

Trust the process.

Throughout much of the forward's Arsenal career so far, Pepe has almost forced defenders into costly errors, almost set-up a goal, almost scored a goal.

Trust the process.

Pepe has - on a number of occasions - almost been a match-winner for Arsenal. 

Trust the process.

Today, he finally was. 

Trust the process.

For while there were so many nearly moments for the record signing today, there was also one moment in which he (not to sound too condescending here) actually did something. 

Trust the process.

Pepe's eighth minute set-piece delivery proved to be the difference on the day between two dropped points and three gained for Arsenal. 

TOLGA AKMEN/GettyImages

Trust the process. 

It was his wonderful curling delivery into the near post that David Luiz converted to give the Gunners a 1-0 lead. 

Trust the process.

A lead that they would (unbelievably) hold onto for the remainder of the game, to move up to third in the Premier League.

Trust the process.

Yes, Pepe has had a slow start to his Arsenal career.

Trust the process.

That's a fact.

Trust the process.

He's been lambasted by every Arsenal fan, ex-player and pundit for not living up to expectations straight away.

Trust the process.

That's a fact.


Trust the process.

But you know who else endured a slow-start to their Arsenal career?

Trust the process.

The greatest forward in the club's illustrious history.

Clive Mason/GettyImages

Trust the process.

Thierry Henry.

Trust the process.


That's a fact too.

So before we write Pepe off immediately as 'THE BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY SINCE RONALD REGAN'S STAR WARS INITIATIVE'. 

Trust the process.

Let's give him more time. 

Trust the process.

More time to adapt to a new culture. 

Trust the process.

A new league. 

Trust the process.

A new country. 

Trust the process.

A new football team. 

Trust the process.

Let's be patient. 

Trust the process.

And let's give Nicolas Pepe the time he deserves to work on his game, and become the player Arsenal fans all want him to be.

Trust the process.

A natural-born world shaker. 

Trust the process.


Trusting the process worked for the Philadelphia 76ers - who are now one of the favourites to win the NBA Championship after years of misery. 


Trust the process.


So why can't it work for Nicolas Pepe and Arsenal?

Trust the process.


For more from Jack Gallagher, follow him on Twitter

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