After a 3-0 home loss to Marseille, Nice manager Lucien Favre spoke to several reporters and media houses in France. He provided a depressing assessment of his team’s performance and was less than diplomatic in his assessment of how Ivorian winger Nicolas Pépé played on his debut.
“He hasn’t played for a long time in England. He has done the pre-season with Arsenal but he hasn’t played any matches. He is lacking a bit of rhythm, intensity in his placements, in his pressing as well and in his ball recovery, because everyone has to do that. There aren’t any exceptions. If one or two players don’t do the work, the whole team is in trouble. Everyone has to do it at the same time, everyone has to defend to recover the ball.”
“We’ve already discussed this (internally). Tiredness was there, we had extra time (during the Conference League qualification play-offs), there are players who ran 17km, I understand (their fatigue). But we cannot put that as an explanation for tiredness. We have to be ready, be professional. Ball recovery is essential in all professional sports.”