Perhaps Maitland-Niles needs a quick reality-check?

Ainsley Needs to Think Again by AI

Most of us can feel something for Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Bred all his life at Colney Centre to play in a prestigious role in the middle of the pitch for Arsenal, his first few performances there were the highlights of his life. Against Southampton and Manchester United, Ainsley played quite well.

Then the long-worn story of Kolasinac’s unfortunate injury. He was hurriedly slotted into the position and he performed admirably well, thanks to his abundant athletic qualities and a calm persona on the pitch. And when Bellerin got injured, he had to slot in there, too.

Since that time, the 22-year-old has been stuck at fullback. He has been decent, for his age and his training. One to keep an eye on.

But when things get tough, when he makes a mistake and the fans complain, Ainsley seems reluctant to accept responsibility. There’s a hint of a half-heartedness, some sort of unsatisfaction, some note of rebellion. ‘I am just doing this because I have to’, sort of thing.

Well, as it turns out, the world of football is a cruel, unforgiving world. Sacrifices need to be made. Matches need to be played. And if you are not up to the task, you quickly fall by the wayside. Ainsley might need to realize that many of the world’s best full-backs got converted to the position from other areas. Jordi Alba, Hector Bellerin, Lukas Pizeciek, David Alaba, Phillip Lahm, and now, most recently, Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Arsenal needs some of that firmness now and Mikel Arteta is the right manager to dish it out. Ainsley had been really good under him. The inverted fullback role, which is a compromise between midfield and the wide area, fitted him to a tee, bringing out the best of his qualities and instincts on the ball. Now, suddenly, at the height of his pomp, Ainsley has lost his place to a crocked Hector Bellerin just returning from injury. We haven’t caught a peek of him in action since then.

If his continued absence extends into the off-season, then Ainsley Maitland-Niles would lose the faith of the club, and would likely have to be sold to another club that can presumably satisfy his own wishes. That club is most likely to be a step-down and when you consider the opportunity that he has had here at his boyhood club to seize a starting position, it would have been a shame.

Agboola Israel

21 Comments

  1. Gunner23 says:

    I just feel that Niles is our best option on the right. Bellerin is not fit enough, and sokratis is no right back whatsoever. such a shame

    1. Grandad says:

      I agree.There must be more to this than meets the eye.AMN has the potential to be an effective box to box midfielder ,and/or RB. Complacency on the park is his biggest weakness but it is up to our Manag er and his support team to drive this out of his system and make him the class player a lot of us think he can be.He has an asset that all our other midfielders lack, namely real pace.We need to use this for the benefit of the team.If he is put up for sale in the close season, he will attract considerable interest from sides who are currently better than Arsenal.I sincerely this does not happen.

  2. Top Gunner says:

    Maitland-niles has never done anything wrong. The problem is Arteta.
    Arteta want to sell Maitland-niles and Gouendouzi, can you believe it?

  3. Top Gunner says:

    I would prefer him to compete for defensive midfielder posirion. Thats his posirion in England under 23. Maitland-niles is better than Xhaka and Torreira in that posiriin

  4. jon fox says:

    HILARIOUS TO SEE BELLERIN INCLUDED IN AGBOOLAS LIST OF WORLD CLASS FULL BACKS. Clearly Agboola is too young to have EVER seen a PROPER full back in our shirt, or he would know the difference between such a player and rank poor Bellerin.

    On AM-N, I do not think he has had a proper chance at all in his REAL position of midfield and it begins to seem as if he never will get that chance. Were I him, I would be asking for a transfer to a club who would give me at least a chance to show my abilities. No one at Arsenal has yet given him a fair chance. Just my take on things!

  5. Grandad says:

    My feelings exactly JF.

  6. AUBA_14 says:

    Not good enough and mentally weak -> Loan or sell at the end of the season

  7. Gworm says:

    Agreed. He’s done gut-busting work at right back for the team and it seems his reward is to be ostracized.

    1. Gworm says:

      I was agreeing with JF.

  8. Grandad says:

    Auba 14, you obviously don’t rate AMN, why then would you even consider a loan deal?

  9. A J says:

    M A wants to sell AMN, can you believe it ………..YES !

    Ainsley has to make it at Arsenal, or what lies ahead ?

    Someone please list below the level of EPL clubs that will be banging our door down for him.

    As for going abroad. Look at Rambo, a different kettle of fish I know..

    However, as soon as he left us for Juve (whatever the ins and outs of it) I thought he’ll be on and off the bench there…. what’s happened !

    Once Ainsley’s Arsenal dream is done……….. well, we,ll see (Theo ?)

    M A has been in and around a squad in the true sense of the word for the last 3 years, he seems not to fancy AMN – the man is paid well to make this type of call, there will be others we may disagree with – personally this one I don’t.

    He or we cannot live off Ainsley’s “Manure” performance at home forever.

    The writing was on the wall for Ainsley when Arteta said he needed more from him in training- is any one really surprised?

    We cannot stagnant/ regress any longer, spending years on players who will not return us anywhere near where we need to and should be.

    If AMN forms the basis of our midfield ( or anywhere else) over the next X years I’ll run ‘round the Emirates naked before Spuds at home next year !!!

    He’ll get his chance again before seasons end – take it or bust !

  10. Grandad says:

    AJ, with respect, it is our experienced players who cost a lot of money who are letting us down not the youngsters who have graduated from the Acacemy.

    1. A J says:

      Hello Grandad.

      Agreed.

      But I’m long since passed categorising players (old, young, prime, earnings and so on) you fit M A’s vision of the future or sadly (in some cases) time to move on.

      By the way I do, and will continue to, respect your experienced opinion on here, it’s just sometimes we may agree to differ – oh come enough of all that😉

      1. A J says:

        “Passed” = “past”.

        Put it down to “tapping with passion” !

        (In other words me not noticing “suggested word” has selected the wrong bloody meaning” !

  11. Jah son says:

    At AJ
    Thank you sir for a “realistic” and fair post. Some “realists” want a manager to push English born players which truly is lacking in ability. Doesn’t matter what position a coach put a player. If he’s a midfielder when he picks up the ball in space no matter where on the pitch he should show off his talent. Niles is just average at best. All I read about from so called realist is that one game against Manchester United and his time in the under 23. Boy needs to show he’s a grown man now!

    1. Top Gunner says:

      Its not about English players. Just compare the number of mistakes that Maitland-niles did as compared to the mistakes of Xhaka, Ozil, Mustafi, Sokratis, and Luis.

  12. Grandad says:

    Jah son, “a grown man” you mean such as Mustafi, Socratis, Luis, Xhaka.These are the guys who have dragged us down, not the likes of AMN.

  13. RSH says:

    I really feel like Bellerin has been riding having Barcelona on his resume for most of his career. He had a good breakout season but he’s not improved defensively at all if we’re being honest here. He’s never been a good crosser of the ball either. His pace is what set him apart from other fullbacks, but all our rivals now have quick fullbacks too who are more dependable and have more qualities. AMN is a better crosser, better defender too. His main weakness is his lack of focus, which can be said for many of our players but it doesn’t keep them out the starting lineup. I hope Arteta has for plans for AMN and is not trying to push him out the side.

  14. A J says:

    M A a couple of days ago ;

    “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.”

    Thought the above would be “non- negotiable”.

    Tells me a lot.

  15. A J says:

    18:08 Today.

    Report: Sokratis played at right-back against West Ham United as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta still has concerns over the concentration of Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

    Blindingly obvious what’s going on.

    AMN – balls in your court, or the decision will be taken out of your hands.

    You’ll be delighted to hear I’m out of this debate now.

    So much about one player in a number who aren’t up to it.

  16. RD says:

    So, AMN doesn’t work hard enough in practice but Ozil does? AMN game performances aren’t up to snuff but Xhaka, Ozil and Socratis have great game performances? GTFOH!! I don’t mind the boss making calls, that’s what he gets paid for, just be consistent or have the balls to just say, I don’t fancy the player.

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