“That’s why he’s not at Arsenal” Souness harsh criticism of Arsenal loanee

Graeme Souness says consistency is the reason why Ainsley Maitland-Niles is struggling in his career.

The England international has joined West Brom on loan from Arsenal for the rest of the season.

He is in a relegation battle in the Midlands and would need to be in solid form to help Sam Allardyce’s side escape the drop.

Souness was speaking about his career so far and savaged him for his inability to keep a place in an Arsenal team that is still struggling for consistency.

He said the midfielder is talented, no doubt, but it takes more than that to actually succeed in the Premier League.

He adds that he will need to be more consistent and that is something he has been unable to do so far.

“Yes, he’s got talent,” said Souness on Sky Sports as quoted by HITC

“But if you want to play in the Premier League, especially for one of the big teams, you have to be consistent. The word consistency is what it’s all about.

“You have to turn up and put in a seven every week. It’s no good having a great game and then a very disappointing game. That’s why he’s not at Arsenal, right now.

“We are not talking about an Arsenal team that are tearing walls down. This is an Arsenal team that are huffing and puffing.”

That consistency will also be key if he wants to earn a place in the England national team for the Euros.

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Tags Ainsley Maitland-Niles Graeme Souness


  1. Having watched the entire WBA v Man Utd game, I have to say , I was disappointed with the display of AMN.Basically, he was deployed to keep close to Scott McTominy , and to that extent he did ok.However he had very little influence in the match and on the one occasion when he was clear in a two on one situation, he made a mess of his final pass.I appreciate he is playing in a very average side, but individually he was not impressive.

  2. What this headline, rather harshly calls “harsh” , I call honest and true. Souness is widely respected as a pundit because he does not duck the honest call, as SOME MORE TIMID PUNDITS SO OFTEN DO.

    AMN DOES lack consistence and if any Gooner TRULY thinks he is consistent, then they are not being honest! Are they!
    To be truly honest you need to put aside personal bias. So many cannot do this, to their discredit!

  3. Partly true but Arsenal have underperforming players getting regular game time so a lot of Souness’s criticism is just cliched bluster by an old school hack. Maitland Niles’s problem is that he doesn’t have any particular outstanding skill sets. Can’t really shoot,can’t pass a ball,no killer passes etc. Used as a jack of all trades, he hasn’t yet found a position which he can make his own. His best spell was under Wegner where he gave glimpses of future promise under someone who understood his strengths and weaknesses.. Unfortunately he broke a leg, Wegner left and he has been unable to adapt since. I doubt whether it will happen under Fat Sam either. AMN’s best position in my books is a similar one to how Coquiln played for us during his better years. A destructive midfeilder who could lay on simple short passes to the likes of Carzola and Ozil. For various reasons whether or not AMN gets this kind of opportunity to grow into the position under Arteta is doubtful. Xhaka is the golden boy and Eleney also ranks higher in the manager’s pecking order. AMN should go to a club which has better man management such as Leicester, Leeds or Everton.

    1. He does have outstanding athleticism and excels in one-on-one situations, especially defensively – I’d say he’s the best we have at Arsenal from that perspective. I do think its more a case of a talented player who’s never nailed down a position and fully learned the ins and outs. Not making excuses for him, maybe he needed to be more open to being a dedicated fullback, or maybe he doesn’t have a great “football IQ” (like Saka and ESR clearly do have), or maybe he’s been too complacent – I really don’t know.
      I hope he proves us wrong because he does have ability.

  4. One point he’s an England International. He must have qualities right?

    I have not seen alot of his matches he’s played in. But I think he’s a good rotational squad player being Defensive Midfielder. Am sure he’s so so much better than Willian.

    Not saying Willian is bad. But he should be sold this coming transfer n perhaps he will be better in other clubs.

    1. Almost anybody can get into Southgate’s team.
      You just need to have that hype after few good performances and boom.. you’re called.
      Niles needs to have a more composed attitude to games and a better body language. He can seem so laid back and detached from games at times that it could be frustrating to watch.
      That’s the consistency being talked about.

  5. AMN is not very good. Should go to Carlyle Utd. As far away from Arsenal as possible

    I would have put sh*te but maybe thats not allowed?

  6. He’s such an interesting proposition…I don’t think he’s talented enough to be a regular starter at this level, but I do think he would make some sense for a team with the financial wherewithal to carry more “specialist” type players who could be deployed in particular match-ups where it made tactical sense…he seems to have the athleticism required to “shadow” players, which could be deployed to great affect against teams who primarily run their offence through one midfielder…unfortunately he just doesn’t have much to offer from an offensive capacity, so his dream of being a more box-to-box type midfielder will likely never materialize…as such, hopefully he will show a glimpse of something on loan so that we can get something for him on the open market come the summer window

  7. As long as Arteta is still a manager, Maitland-Niles should consider a move away from Emirates. There are more inconsistent players who get regular game time Willian, Xhaka, and Pepe

  8. I just wish he got on with his Mum better. Is she still living in a 10foot square storage box? Surely he can make sure she has a place to live on the pittance he earns.

  9. Said this for months on here.

    Ainsley was hyped beyond belief whilst in the “Arsenal bubble”, and will not survive outside of it.

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