Maitland-Niles makes ill-fated debut as England falter

England debut short but sweet for Ainsley Maitland-Niles!

Ainsley Maitland-Niles got his chance to showcase what he is made of for Gareth Southgate last night in the last round of Nations League games for this international break.

Having got his call up for England, Maitland-Niles had to wait for his first competitive debut, the wait was worth it when he got the pick against Denmark last night at Wembley though.

As England started the game well, Maitland-Niles quickly grew into the game and got involved, helping to create chances for the attack and linking up well with his teammates, but his night was to come to a rather abrupt end when a Harry Maguire yellow and then red card ended both players’ nights early, as Maguire was sent off, Maitland-Niles was the player to be subbed off so that Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings could come on to replace him.

In a way it was good news for Arsenal because Maitland-Niles wasn’t at risk of getting injured, but it is a shame for the young lad who I am sure was buzzing when he got told he would be starting and to be hauled off with no fault of your own can be a little disheartening. But he will return to Arsenal and no doubt maintain his place in the team under Arteta I am sure.

England fell to a defeat against Denmark though losing 1-0 and now sit third in their group. their only chance of progressing to the Nations League finals in 2021 would be as winners, which right now seems a little unlikely as our last game will be away at group leaders Belgium.

So as Maitland got 36 minutes last night, Bukayo Saka was an unused sub and both players will be looking to return to Arsenal to help the team pick up where they left off. Here’s hoping hey Gooners?

Shenel Osman


  1. After he settled Ainsley did quite well. His immediate opponent had got passed him a couple of times to get some good crosses in, but he soon took control of that left side and looked pretty safe until idiot McGuire got sent off.
    I don’t know if the inside out wing back role really suits him but you can’t criticise his performances so far, so maybe he’ll make a success of it.
    But gloves in London in October? Not a good image Ainsley!

  2. Apart from the sending off of a player who is clearly struggling, in more ways than one, the Denmark game highlighted to me the unbalanced nature of the England starting eleven which was bereft of one left footed outfield player.AMN filled in for the injured ,left footed Chillwell , but is clearly not comfortable on that side of the pitch and never will be.Saka and Foden will have great opportunities to establish themselves in the full England side in the not too distant future given the dearth of natural left footers.

    1. Grandad, To me the shape was all wrong,too defensive, with far too much unnecessary solidity in central midfiled and practically no true midfield creativity in the centre.

      It was crying out for Grealish – he would be the second name on the teamsheet after only Sterling, if I were in charge- and to leave him out was a bad error which must not be repeated.

      We do have others, Foden being one who is creative, Maddison too but we badly need someone in that central midfield with superb Grealish like skills.

      A bad night for Southgate, not ruinous, but a setback in many fans and players confidence in him. The parrot like support afterwards that Kane and Rice gave him in interviews was so pre planned as to be embarrassing and fooled no one with a brain!

  3. Agree wholeheartedly Jon.I like Southgate ,but the sooner he commits the 3 CB system to the bin the better.

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