Sunday, July 14, 2024

Maitland-Niles on defeat at Old Trafford & playing in midfield

Arsenal may have been downed by a late Marouane Fellaini header at Old Trafford but there were definitely positives from the 2-1 defeat.

One of those was the performance in midfield of Ainsley Maitland-Niles who so impressed that he picked up the man of the match award from Sky Sports.

The 20-year-old was full of energy in the centre of the park, disciplined positionally and showed a few nice touches in the final third.

He spoke to Sky Sports after the game…

On the results…

We’re disappointed by the result, unhappy to concede sso late in the game. We have a young team but you learn from these experiences and it was great to be out there on the pitch.

On the having the opportunity to start such a big game…

He [the boss] trusts in us, we just tried to show what we could. We did well to come back and fight but it’s just unfortunate that we gave away a goal so late in the game.

On playing in midfield…

I’m happy playing in midfield and the boss trusts in me there. I guess I delivered.

On having the trust of Wenger…

He’s like a father figure. he likes to tell you where to improve and he gives you the confidence to play your game. I think it’s brilliant having a manager like that. It’s been like that for most of the young boys who’ve played this season, you know? I thank him very much.

In a separate chat with the BBC, he added: “It is so unfortunate to fight so hard and then to go down so late in the game.

“Words can’t describe how we feel right now and apologies to the fans to let them down late on. I love playing centre midfield and to do that for Arsenal at Manchester United in the Premier League is a dream come true.

“I guess it was a bit nerve-racking for the lads without a full squad, but we knew we had to give the manager a proper send-off and do our best.”

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Good lad. And the other youngsters were great too. Such a shame they didn’t come away with the draw.


Next best thing to happen at the club I hope. I feared his over-confidence was originating from arrogance in earlier appearances but I’m glad I’m proved wrong. He’s a very good, calculated midfielder. Cheers to him

Billy Bob

I think the young guns did a good job, not the spanking some negative bods were predicting!!! I just hope we can do the job in Madrid and the final, who cares about the rest!!!

Honest truth and nothing but

I hope Wenger stays on in some capacity within the Arsenal ranks just like Fergie

Spanish Gooner

Wenger has said he wants to keep on managing


All the youngsters gave a good account of themselves. With the right guidance from the new coaching staff next year, guys like Willock, Nelson, AMN and co. can become an integral part of the first-team squad. Really great to see AMN play so well in his favoured position- he was everywhere! As for Mavropanos, for a young lad to do so well on his first-team debut for the club, and that too at Old Trafford, was commendable.


This young man is the real deal and a winner. I love that he’s so pissed off at losing he’s not interested in the man of the match at all. Here’s to a long and successful future Arsenal career.

Hairy Bottle

Quite refreshing to watch as if the guys are liberated to play football freely. Might be the youngsters or just the occasion but so nice to see some old arsenal football back again. It has been hard to watch at times… this season especially.

David Hillier's luggage

I really hope whoever comes in doesn’t bin these youngsters. I feel AMN, Nelson & Willock all have bright futures at Arsenal, Niles in particular could be an all action Ray Parlour type player for us.


The elephant & castle Pele?

I can't spell names

Mavropanos was good man


Positives, youngsters did not let us down. They held their own and were competitive. Thought Mavropanos and Chambers did decent together, the Greek looks like he may have put himself ahead of young Holding now. AMN as per usual plenty of energy and power. Willock was OK but far from answer to midfield and merely serves to illustrate lack of depth (wenger’s own doing) even if we are saving correctly for Thursday. Nelson showed his gullibility today. Still a bit wet behind the ears, in Valencia’s pocket for most part. Iwobi looks like he was struggling through the match and… Read more »


Nobody seems to give a dam that we lost to United today??? This has become really bad…


I get you… It’s not like we put out a team of youngsters who gave us the lowest average age since the 8-2 spanking against their 1st team. It’s not like we have been losing many away goals this season irrespective of the level of opponent It’s not like we remember 2008/2009 putting out our 1st choice team and watching team B united lead by Nani putting 4 behind us. It’s not like we’ve had only 3 league wins at OT in the past 2 years. So by all means, fail to see any context… we can start a rant… Read more »


22 years*


You didn’t get the memo did you?

Tas Gunner

Smh..arsenal under 7 team humbled by mourinhos 500m world beaters via a 92nd minute header from resident oak tree fellaini.WHAT A DISGRACE -_- . #wengerout


Even though you are being sarcastic enough with the Wenger in or out nonsense at this point. The decision has already been made – let’s give Wenger the sendoff he deserves and the next man the support and opportunity to succeed or fail he deserves.

Tas Gunner

Sarcasm is a hard sale these days…AKBs will start playing the bad cop role once the new guy comes over me thinks.nothing will really change(in terms of reaction)


It’s the fact that this bit has been done to death. It’s like the kid who only knows one joke. Funny first few times. Not by the 100th telling


Clearly the sarcasm is lost on some


I get the sarcasm but just find it obnoxious that people keep pointing to the results of one game as if it justifies Wenger staying or going. At some point it’s simply not funny if that’s what Tas is going for.


Idk why you are so offended, its a satirical comment on both the results feeble meaning and the moaning of some fans during the last two years.
Didn’t find it funny? Then down vote it or ignore it.
It made me grin and exhale through my nose.


Some version of this exact comment has been posted on virtually every match report & many articles the past several years. It’s way past the point of being original or funny & considering the club has sacked Wenger it’s time to move on.


For me it just went one step further than being sarcastic even though I got that that was what it was supposed to be.


AMN did decent with his power but frankly, he is more useful as back up to Bellerin. We still lack through authority in midfield. With Jack, Ramsey, Ozil (all protected against injuries which they are prone to) and Elneny out injured, we have little resource beyond and are again relying on development. Even with AMN as an option, would prefer to see another more ready made player form market available to push on two or more fronts next season (particularly if Jack should leave) Willock clearly isn’t the answer. Nelson and Willock have a future but they still need time… Read more »

Tas Gunner

woah santori u r a coach or something? decent analysis every week tbh.

Press Box Gooner

Whether Wilshere stays or leaves, I’d play AMN before him


Did we watch the same game?

I hope you noticed how long Pogba was talking to AMN after the match. I’d put money that Pogba was acknowledging the strength of his performance. He was brilliant.


He was probably tapping him up


Hopefully the new manager has the guts to continue with the youth project at Arsenal FC and to give these promising youngsters a chance to develop and earn their position in the side. Despite our horrendous season, we’ve been treated to a good look at the depth these youngsters possess and it would be the Arsenal-way to develop some of them into quality players.


If we only have £50m for transfers then the new manager/coach will have no choice but to continue to improve the youngsters.


AMN is so good at 1 on 1s that i thought it showed quite a bit he left his mark on that midfield. Although it quite reached the point i wandered if he also makes a more suitable right back than bellerin. It was sad to notice that after martial came on, he bested bellerin over and over, running at him. Then we saw Bellerin do sth strange. He wasn’t as brave as usual, gave Martial space and time to cross for the offside goal, thwn passed off the cross blocking opportunity against young to Monreal for their 2nd goal.… Read more »

Teryima Adi

The lad was awesome. He’ ll come out good


I’m so glad his addict mum’s outbursts to the tabloid trash a couple months back didn’t ruin his confidence. Could have destroyed a weaker young player.

This kid definately has the minerals required for a future career here.


Not necessary. What sort of fuckwit needs to make a comment like that?


A reminder…we lost to United today. Why does no one care?


No one cares because it means nothing for our position in the League. Deep down subconsciously we all care deeply. It would have been great to wipe that smug smile of Mourihino’s face, but we will have to wait till next season now.

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