Maitland-Niles is the next to feel the wrath of Arteta

The new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has made it clear that he expects every single player to try their hardest and follow his rules, or they will be left out of the team. Matteo Guendouzi was the first to find out that you can’t mess with the boss when he was dropped from the starting line-up after an incident while in Dubai for the midwinter break.

Arteta told the Telegraph why Guendouzi was dropped against Newcastle: “The reason is that players who, in my opinion, are training better, behaving better and are more applied to deliver on the pitch, what we want, are the players selected,” Arteta said.

Now it is Maitland-Niles turn, and he has now been left on the bench for the last six weeks since Hector Bellerin returned from injury, despite looking very effective in the Spaniard’s position. When asked about his absence, Arteta told “Ainsley needs to put his head down, work hard and show me every day in training he wants it more than anybody else and that he wants to play for this club and fight for his place.”

This is another sign that Arteta is stamping his authority on his team and it makes it clear to everyone that he won’t tolerate any time wasters. I, for one, think that is one of the most important part of a managers job, to earn and retain the respect of the players, and I fully support his actions. Do you?


  1. Good. Certain Players should be put on the bench for a while. It will only make Niles more determined to improve himself and competition is good.

    1. Can you justify your facts. It pains me to see determined players being benched whilst players who dont care are always in the starting line-up. Maitland-niles is utility player and determined to help Arsenal. As compared to Ozil and Xhaka

      1. MA following the Wenger model of pleasing the coach to get a nod for the team selection.On the pitch run, jog, limp and what not, but please your coach and all will be well. AMN is the typical player for the EPL, tall, strong/robust, pacy, the lad could have been guided to be a midfield genius, but was played out of position and carrier ruined by the coaches. Trust me the same will be for Saka, once Tierney is back. It happened to Oxlade and finally he left for a lower wage.How does Xhaka and Willock even make it to the match day squad is now answered by MA -just please him in training, on the pitch what you do doesn’t count.

    1. More need to be kicked then. How is AMN singled out as the perennial underperformer in the squad?

      1. I don’t think it is about performing on game day but about training hard, attitude, discipline….

        1. if its not about performing on game day I really dont want to hear it. Hazard trained poorly and carried Chelsea every single game. Doesnt matter how hard Lacazette trains if he is not performing on the pitch.

      2. AMN isn’t and shouldn’t even be in the Arsenal first team. He’s NOT good enough. Too soft, too lazy!

      3. RSH,
        considering it’s AMN, I think it’s more likely to do with his attitude to having to play at RB (especially when one compares it to the positive approach to the same situation exhibited by Saka and Sokratis).

    2. What have he done? Ozil gets furious when substituted, and Xhaka insults supporters. What action has been taken against those. They don’t even play better than Maitland-niles. Arteta is slowly digging his own grave

      1. Trust me TG, Ozil will see Arteta out before his contract winds up in 2021. Arteta if he continues to work this way, will be gone by Christmas time for sure. Out of the EL, a poor display against Portsmouth (although we won) and hovering around the 10th spot by playing his “special” players, seems more clueless than Emery at this stage. If we are comfortable keeping company with the 10th to 12th placed teams, fine, Arteta is the man.If we looking for UCL level, sorry we made the wrong choice again. But what could the board do? Jose, Rodgers turned us down and Carlo may have had problems with the shirt merchant.

  2. I can’t stand Mourhino but yesterday he made a good point,spurs fans asking for Parrot to be played even though most of them don’t even know what he looks like(his own words),young players no matter how good need to earn their place by training hard,good behaviour….I have to agree with him young players have too easy these days, behaving like prima donnas,what happened to cleaning the boots of seniors players?that would teach them humility!

  3. totally,the only way to impress the boss on a regular basis is to train hard and consistantly,Wenger was too lax in that department in his final years,players knew they would be defended by him,Arteta is a different K ettle of fish he demands full compliance or you don’t play

  4. I suspect Arteta is making examples of AMN and Guendouzi because he is frustrated by their lack of application in training.Both are talented young guys who should be featuring in our midfield on a regular basis .Guendouzi has great intelligence and control on the ball while AMN is the quickest midfielder and can drive forward and make great runs off the ball.A combination of the two would produce a real star and the Manager’s challenge is to maximise their potential .A kick up the backside is one way of putting them on the right track and hopefully they will both respond in a positive way.They would both be in my first eleven,but Arteta is dealing with them daily and as a fan I respect his judgement.

    1. I think you drink too much. Delusional you’re. AMN is an example of mediocrity! Shouldn’t even be in the first 11.

  5. He is he boss so he decides and the team has been needing this type of direction for some time. I was wondering where Maitland-Niles was as Bellerin hasn’t been great, and Arteta’s statement explains things nicely.

    Arteta has also shown players that there is a route back – work hard and you will get a chance. Can’t really ask for more than that.

    I hope that AMN heeds the advice…

  6. I think MA dont see Niles as a dfender.Eventhough niles did well in the RB position bellerin is more natural as a RB and even soares.I also approve the idea but bellerin has not been good since the chelsea game and as soares is injured,niles may have a chance only because he is very good in the inverted role.Not sure though sokratis…

  7. MA is doing the right thing, as opposed to Wenger who was to lax with them lot .
    AMN isn’t and shouldn’t even be in the Arsenal first team. He’s part of the reasons why Arsenal are regressive. He’s NOT good enough. Too soft, too lazy!

  8. Maybe Niles will train better once both full back positions are fully filled and some of our midfielders have continued to be found wanting – Xhaka (MA completely blind to his lack of ability so far), Guendouzi (not come on from last year), Willock (just not up to it), Pepe (still not quite up to the mark) and we don’t know how ESR will perform back in the Prem.
    Then Arteta might start looking round for replacements and AMN will be right there, training hard and hoping to be given a chance in his correct position.
    He’s played well in positions he hates and is probably feeling a bit annoyed, just as Torreira was with Emery, that others get played where they want to be. Saka is the obvious exception of course but he’s not a good left back and I just hope he doesn’t burn out with MA’s overuse of him.

    1. … and what was that all about the other day, bringing him on in the final minute!?
      Arteta trying to show him up? What?

  9. It’s great that Arteta is stamping his authority. Those who do not train well, or cause trouble, will be dealt with. I love this! But when will MA start stamping his authority on form? Is that not the most important thing?

    Because AMN was actually improving under MA, and has seemly been permanently dropped for Bellerin…who has been shocking, and Sokratis, who is a CB! Is that helping the team?

    Why does Ozil, Xhaka, Luiz, play all the time as well? Why isn’t MA dropping them? It’s very easy to be tough with the youngsters, but will MA start getting tough with the big names?

    1. spot on, TMJW!! This is exactly what I was thinking. How does AMN get the harsh end on the stick when we have so many underperformers that keep their places no matter what? You’ve got to look beyond training if you have so many bottlers in the side. I like that Arteta wants playesr to train harder but you still need to pick a team that wins. Im sure Laca trains hard, but he is blowing it on the pitch so should be on the bench.

    2. Xhaka has actually been one of our most consistent performers under Arteta up until the olympiakos game. Ozil as well has had an upturn in performances under Arteta as well. Luiz is debatable. With AMN it’s clearly an attitude problem and him probably not wanting to play at RB I assume. He has potential and I would all honesty rather see him given a chance than willock who’s struggled lately

  10. Hapisol.I don’t know how old you are, your educational qualifications,your job situation etc etc but yet me remind you that on this site we are all entitled to our point of view.You obviously do not rate AMN. Fair enough,but please do not insult someone aged 72 ,who has achieved a great deal in his life by suggesting I am delusional.Regular contributors will confirm that I am anything but.

  11. OT:bad news reports from Turkey, apparently Beksistas are not willing to pay 1,8M for Elneny loan to buy deal even though he’s played over 20 games and impressing,meaning he will be back with us!

  12. If AMN is not applying himself it is such a shame because he has the physique and pace required in modern football. Hopefully it will be a wake up call for him.

    On a different point, I’m puzzled why we took an already injured Soares on loan until the end of this season. By the time he is match fit the season will be over.

  13. Lets face it, at least half the team are not worthy of a place in the starting eleven. God knows how Xhaka and Luiz still manage to start a game after making so many mistakes or giving the ball away so often for example? or how Lacazette still gets games even though he can’t score from five yards? I guess he can only penalise so many at a time or he would only have a starting five!!

  14. I think you guys are reading into this AMN thing too much……a few weeks ago Arteta spoke about how great it was for him to help out and wanted him in his normal position … I think asking him to earn the midfield position is pretty normal….he is a good player…..and he is still young …..a well grounded humble young man……you have to be a hard worker and fast learner to be versatile…..

  15. Please don’t make me laugh, are you telling me that AMN has not been training well, before he was dropped he was one of the most improved player under arteta, and boom bellerin returned and he was dropped. Lacazette has been useless for more than 10 matches and he was picked to start a very important match against olympiacos, Martinez has been awesome in the Europa league this season and he was dropped for Leno , I mean the same Leno who should have just shoot that ball outside and it could have been game over, We were all talking about how Emery doesn’t use torrera in his best position but what did arteta did with him, he put him on the bench and later start him against Pompey before he got that unfortunate injury. The similarities between all this players i mentioned is that they are all youngsters, I meanWorld class ozil has not made any significant improvement and he’s always in the team, maybe gotanidea is right when he says that arteta doesn’t have the balls to drop the big players.

    1. Or maybe our coach wanted out of the europa cause he wanted everyone fresh for a final push up the league table and trying to win the fa cup no one knows we are all speculating so let’s see how it pans out we all knew this was going to be a rough year.

  16. He is not a RB nor Saka is, they fill holes or they benched.

    Arteta can’t help to play Xhaka or Torreira before Niles, then of course Ozil.

    It is no space for our young players to get enough play time. Pepe will be back in team, Nelson benched again.

    Unless, get rid of at least 7 players, they won’t get played enough.

    Saka is not signing for that, he sees Niles who was ahead of him, then used and benched as he was before Tierny injury

    When Tierny he will be benched. We should had sold laca Torreira.xhaka all wanted past summer and even I’m winter for last 2. Mikki and all these players and Auba can all go for 220M.
    Bring Koulibaly in and Partey, a LB and RB.

    Bellerin Koulibaly Saliba Tierny
    Niles/Willock. Rowe/Ceballos
    Nelson/Pepe. Nketiah/Martinelli Saka

    Martinelli able to play as winger allows to cover Saka injury. We also have a deadly young striker in Balogun, a big gun in motion, ready to gun down..

    That’s what our team should look like this year already, next season for sure. Allows young lady to come in. They are ready. With Nelson Nketiah Martinelli Saka on pitch we did not miss us laca Auba Pepe. Nor next year.

  17. Am not buying into all this you train well you play, we all know Martinelli has been one of our best performer this season, and yet he’s been dropped 3 times,in tge Europa league when we needed more energy and goals to qualify, MA brought him in around 113 minutes, Aubamayang has shown over and over again that he’s a better no9 than Lacazette but the coach keep playing him in the wings just to accommodate an out of form Lacazette, Luis has been useless but he keep starting, or are you guys telling me that Sokratis is a better RB than Niles? Wait till our youngsters start looking for a way out of the club because of the coach obsession with some players, am sure immediately Tierney get fit, saka will be on the bench because the coach won’t have enough balls to start him in his natural position.

    1. Sometimes I wonder if some of you understand football since Nketia came back he got more chances than Lacazette, so it’s obvious Laca only played because we had no better option. Auba is better from the left even when he played for Dortmund, Saka is still only 18years old so he needs to be managed so is Martinelli.

      1. Very well said, Mike! AMN too, has earn a place or be benched/sold, he’s NOT good enough in my opinion.

        I’m glad MA sees things differently from the lots on here, and I’m confident he’s doing things right.

  18. What place should he be fighting for exactly? at RB? AMN is a central box-to-box midfielder – don’t believe me, go and watch his game where he dominated a United midfield with Pogba and Matic. Because of his versatility he’s been used at LB, RB, RWB, etc.. So 3 years and 3 managers later, can we fault him for being frustrated for not being deployed where he plays best? Hopefully somebody like Everton, or Bournemouth sign him in the summer and play him there.

  19. I wish when I’d posted about Arteta kicking butt I’d added :
    Lights blue touch paper, stands back…………..😳
    I really like AMN but sometimes he seems so laid back he’d fall over……. or just had a joint…….😎……..🤔

  20. I remember Arsene Wenger saying something very similar about a young player who was on loan and couldn’t get a game. That young player lost patience, or his agent did and he’s now ripping it up at Bayern.
    Discipline is good, but I wonder if there’s an underlying problem being missed with AMN.

  21. I really don’t know why The Arsenal paid AW a reported £9 million a year, UE a reported £6 million a year and MA whatever it is reported that he gets, when we have so many fans who can do a better job.
    It’s all so easy…the only problem being that everyone disagrees with each other over nearly everything.

    Not only can they do a better job, they can spend kronkie’s money like it’s going out of fashion and at the drop of a hat.

    I’ve decided, as a supporter, to rely on whatever decisions the man in the hot seat makes – after all,(1) he is with the players a little more than I am…(2) he has a vision that kronkie has, supposedly, bought in to…(3)he has the support of the players…he has got rid of the (4)apathy,(5) toxicity and (6)laziness of the last two and a half years…(7)he has the squad playing more to their abilities..(8).he has taken us to the quarter finals of the fa cup…(9)he has got us within striking distance of a CL qualification spot…(10) he has addressed our defence – the only blip being the Olympiakos result and we are used to european disappointment anyway, aren’t we?

    So, ten positives and one negative makes him a clear winner for me, I’ll let the rest of you continue to find negatives where they really don’t exist
    IF you are really buying into what Mikel Arteta’s vision for our future is, come on board – it’s so much more exciting!!!!

  22. AMN only gonna make it at Arsenal as a central Midfield or RB. He won’t make it as a winger as he has way to many players in front of him.

    I think he could play B2B with his athleticism and also his experience at RB will help him with his defensive responsibilities. He is worth persisting with however if an offer came similar to Iwobi last year I would let him go.

  23. Booyah! Does this mean the diabolical Bellerin is showing Arteta everyday that he wants it?

    1. I’ve always supported Arteta on everything except his words(train hard and you get picked).
      Why not train hard, get picked, lose form, get drop even if you train hard.

      Bellerin is not even close to AMN performance since Arteta’s arrival and yet he got picked since his return everytime.

      Did Martinelli all of a sudden stop training hard? And if to manage him is what Arteta is doing, how is dropping him for close to 4 games managing him.
      And are you telling me Willock is better than AMN in midfield?

      Laca will always train hard everyday in training take it or you leave it, but does that guaranty a good performance on the D-day?

      I will always support Arteta but I don’t buy into his train hard get play stuff.

  24. I think AM-N has a deal of talent but my instincts tell me he is too laid back and not busting a gut in training generally and MA will never indulge players who are not desperate to get in the team and WHO DO NOT CONSTANTLY SHOW THAT DETERMINATION EACH DAY IN TRAINING. I am doubtful that AM-N has the inate desire for a stellar career. Without supreme desire too, talent is next to being useless, as OZIL PROVES YEAR AFTER LAZY YEAR.

  25. Is it your sense that Ozil is busting a gut each day in training but being lazy during the game? Cause if he’s playing then he must be training hard, right?

  26. So AMN didn’t even make the roster today. Is Arteta trying to tell us that our first choice RB right now is Socratis, an aging, slow, irrational CB. That Xhaka is the best choice CM right now? GTFOH!

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