Is former Gunner right over Ainsley Maitland-Niles?

Kevin Campbell reveals his fears over Arsenal’s struggling star

Kevin Campbell has admitted that he doesn’t think Ainsley Maitland Niles will ever be good enough to build a career for himself at Arsenal.

The former Arsenal star was speaking to the AFTV on Youtube and he revealed that unlike most other players in the squad, Mikel Arteta will have a hard time determining what to expect from the Arsenal utility man.

Maitland Niles enjoyed a good spell under Unai Emery, but he has struggled to impress Arteta in recent games and the Spanish manager has ruthlessly left him on the bench.

He has been used as a right-back in recent games but he can play in midfield as well.

He has, however, struggled to hold down any position in the team since he broke into the first team and Campbell reckons that he may never be able to make the grade at the Emirates.

He said: “There’s a new manager in town and now Maitland-Niles is going to really realise what it’s like to play for Arsenal.

“Arteta already knows what he’s going to get from Ozil, from Lacazette, from Sokratis, from David Luiz and all the experienced guys because he’s coached against them at Manchester City.

“He knows what they are, he knows they’re not stupid. But what’s he going to get from these talented youngsters, do they have the right attitude for Arsenal?

“If they don’t, they’ve got to go. It’s so important he gets ruthless with everyone because we could be waiting on a Maitland-Niles to cross that gap and it never happens.”

“You’ll always feel a bit sorry, say he never got the chance, but it’s nonsense now, it’s his fourth manager and the jury’s still out so something’s got to give.” He added.

A bold statement there from Campbell but is he right? Is it an attitude thing? Is it all down to Maitland-Niles?


  1. Campbell is talking.¥©§×^¿{
    Niles has played 1 Game in his position over the last 2seasons.. And he was fantastic.
    The youngsters being given time in midfield are not as good as Niles.

    We get rid of him to our great peril.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly Crispen.The lad has never been given the opportunity to play in central midfield which is where he can flourish.I really hope Arteta sees the light and plays him there in the not too distant future.I can guarantee that a host of Clubs will be interested in AMN if Arsenal decide to sell him.

  2. I agree with both posts above my own. AM-N has hardly had ANY real chance to show his value. He is not helped by a laid back and somewhat introvert personality, when you closely watch his body language and how he acts and reacts. You CAN accurately tell these things if you are a student of mankind as we all give out unconcious body language clues all the time and players are much on public display. It worries me more than a little that he has thus far been too accepting of his “skivvy” treatment and a more passionate and extrovert man would be more dynamic and less accepting than he has been . That is not helping him, IMO. But the talent is, IMO, definitely there, when PROPERLY used. He needs to demand he be properly used or it will be to his own detriment. In short, he needs to prove that he has what we oldies call “something about him”!

  3. The problem is he believes in the hype too much and wont work hard to perfect a position in this case right back.Fans cant know better than four managers who dont think he can play in midfield.Kevin is right Miles will probably end up leaving the Emirates.

  4. Niles is so fantastic and hard working Arteta must be some fool for not having him start games ahead of Xhaka. Ha ha ha Niles have no business being in Arsenal squad. Tired of seeing him with the football in an advance space and 1) he doesn’t have a killer pass and 2) he’s not a good striker of the football hence no goals. Defensively he’s amongst the worst I’ve in our squad. I for one want Xhaka out but Niles is still miles behind this man so we should sell.

  5. There are players who are playing every week, not meaning tnhat they are better than Maitland-Niles. Can anyone tell me that Xhaka is better than Maitland-Niles in defensive midfield. Instead of building Arsenal, Arteta is going to destroy the team

  6. I penned a rather long post with my view on this.

    Almost fortunately it somehow failed to upload- which may have been a good thing !

    I’ m not going to re- write, suffice to say I must be reading about a different player above.

    I happen to totally agree with Kevin Campbell, a man who actually knows what’s required to make it.

    Ainsley now under his FOURTH first team manager , enough said.

    They’re all wrong ?

    Again, purely in my opinion there is little chance of AMN figuring in M A’s plans going forward.

    I believe he (AMN) comes up well short on Arteta’ “Non-Negotiable” criteria., and seems to not help himself.

    A look at the amount of midfield players we are linked with( majority not true, some I believe to be realistic ) indicate where this saga is going to end.

    And yes, Mikel see’s Ainsley in midfield most days, so out of position doesn’t completely wash – and as Campbell would undoubtedly agree “play keeper if you’re told” (old school) !

    Just my opinion.

    Stay healthy all.

  7. Hi Top Gunner.

    So you want a player to play a defensive midfield role, WHO BY HIS OWN ADMISSION CANNOT DEFEND ?

    That may just “destroy the team”

    Managers work with what they have, and largely prefer to keep a tight unit.

    Right now, whether we like it or not Xhaka is a key player , yes key, in our current make up.

    Also, M A is keen to change the “dynamic” in the squad – not a word I associate with Ainsley.

    Remarkably we are still in the “European mix”.

    No manager, not one, would start “messing” (and this would be simply that) with his squad at this stage of the season – every point is crucial.

    “Sentimentality” isn’t in Arteta’s vocabulary, and long may that continue.

    No more regressing, and being 15 points behind 3 months in – WE MUST STEP FORWARD.

    I would love to be wrong here, and have a whole bloody Omelette over my face.

    In another thread I’ve said I’ll run ’round the Em’s naked before next years NLD if AMN becomes a member of a true Mikel Arteta squad.

    Seeing Mikel perform to date, and what he’s been immersed in for the last three years or so it just an’t gonna happen.

    Please prove me wrong Ainsley.

    Stay healthy all.

  8. Please don’t judge a player when they are not playing; AMN proved is value and versatility to the squad over the past few years while more senior but less productive players played in their preferred positions without defensive responsibilty and quite frankly, underachieved individually and as a team. To my mind Sokratis is going soon. Guendouzi has not played really since the arrival of MA and is not even versatile. I wonder why? And yet no stress or fuss regarding someone who cost us millions. Leave the home growns alone and support them til the end. Maybe if AMN had spanish connections he’d be treated differently 🙂

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