The more I think about how Maitland Niles has acted this week, the more I can’t get over his sense of entitlement.
He posted on Instagram ‘all I want to do is play’ assumed in response to Arsenal blocking a loan move to Everton. Something he feels he has a divine right to, apparently.
Most readers I’m sure have had a job where maybe you want more opportunities.
The majority wouldn’t upload their grievance to social media. Simply because it’s not professional.
It’s equally not very supportive of your boss who is under pressure and needs his or her team to work together.
Here though is the main point the player can’t see.
He’s not very good at his job and hasn’t been for a long time.
That’s fine. It’s not a disgrace to say he’s not good enough for Arsenal especially considering the levels we should be aiming for.
What he failed to mention is that he’s in fact played 110 times for the Gunners under three full time managers.
Watching him daily in training, all three view him only good enough to be our makeshift fullback.
That’s the most frustrating part of his career that he still can’t see. When he says ‘all I want to do is play’ that hasn’t always been the case.
110 times seems enough opportunities?
Unai Emery started him in the Europa League Final, Arteta the FA Cup Final. During that spell Bellerin suffered serious injuries which robbed him his pace.
On the other side Tierney also picked up the odd niggle or when fit could play in a three.
In other words, the door was open for him to make left or right back his own.
Especially how he played at Wembley against Man City and Chelsea. That put the baton in his hand to the point he got capped by England.
Yet he talked himself out of the role with interviews where he was adamant he was unhappy not playing in midfield.
He has since said he’s been misquoted, but Sam Allardyce this week gave insight into how he got the player at the Hawthorns.
Big Sam insisted he picked West Brom as a destination due to promises he could play CM every week.
It’s believed he picked the Midlands over the likes of Leicester and Southampton because those two also didn’t view the middle his best position.
If Wolves really did offer 20-30 million 12 months ago, Arteta convincing his employers to not negotiate seems now like a bad piece of business. Especially now that a year on, we can’t find anyone who will offer even 10 million.
It begs the question that if our manager is telling the board to turn down offers, surely, he consulted the player over where he saw him playing?
The fact that 6 months later the player is being loaned out shows a lack of communication.
Getting relegated with the Baggies cost him any chance of making his country’s squad for the Euros. He certainly didn’t do anything in the Midlands where he should have expected Arteta to have changed his mind.
If anything, it confirmed what the Spaniard had always thought – Maitland Niles is not good enough to be a CM at this level.
It perhaps highlights the problem of a young man paid so much money having achieved very little.
Having been promoted from our academy, you are surrounded by people who tell you how special you are.
Remember one reader claiming he was better than Kante?
Yes, that Kante. The one who won the World Cup and Champions League.
It remains the most deluded comment I have read from our fanbase.
Yet, if that’s the kind of fanfare you’re reading no wonder he’s not taking accountability.
Don’t get me wrong, any professional should back their ability and believe in themselves. Yet if three coaches are saying the same thing, you equally have to listen.
If Thierry Henry, Lauren, Touré, Ljungberg, etc, can trust Mr Wenger to teach them a new position, then Maitland Niles should do as well.
In the short term he’s had clear the air talks with Arteta. This again shows a lack of consistency of our manager’s principles.
He froze out Ozil while admitting zero attitude problems, yet will keep a worse talent in the squad after clear unwanted behaviour.
In the short-term Niles will be on our bench and most likely start next in the Carabao Cup. He will probably end up on loan in January.
He can’t hide behind his age anymore. He’s 24. That’s more than enough time to have proved himself.
The irony is though he was angry with perceiving that Arsenal were stopping his move to Goodison.
It’s the Toffees who wouldn’t pay 10 million. That’s how much they rated him. 10 million is hardly pricing you out of the market.
If there isn’t a club out there who will pay us 10 million, then maybe the player should ask why?
The fact that he won’t, tells you everything you need to know.
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