Sunday, March 3, 2024

Maitland-Niles: Unai Emery has filled me with confidence

Having just signed a new long-term contract with the club, and been given a new number, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a happy young man right now.

The 20 year old has secured his Arsenal future, and the fact his deal has come under the auspices of new boss Unai Emery suggests the Spaniard has got real plans for him in the years to come.

We had an inkling of that when chief executive Ivan Gazidis said that Emery had provided detailed info about the versatile midfielder during the recruitment process and that, along with a new contract, has given Maitland-Niles a real boost.

“You don’t really hear a lot of young players being shouted out by their managers, especially a new manager who hasn’t really seen them play too much,” he said in an interview with the official website.

“I think it’s brilliant to hear from him and it gives me a load of confidence.”

And the new number 15 said he’d sat down briefly with his new manager and believes he can fit into the high pressing style we’re likely to play next season.

“I think it suits me a lot,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of pace to give to the team, pressing up high and winning the ball back as soon as possible is a major factor in football.

“We had a little meeting. He said that he wants all of his players to work hard and I’m no stranger to doing that.

“It will be second nature to me.”

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Steve Boulderdash

A really exciting talent. Can’t wait to see more of him, particularly in the midfield. Will be interesting to see the make-up of our midfield under Emery, particularly if/when we sign a defensive minded addition.


Excited about him next season too! His spells out wide on both left and right wingback will help him adapt to covering the width of the pitch when our wingbacks charge forwards. With his athleticism, he should be able to get forward and support Ramsey directly or ensure Ramsey continues his third man runs he is known for.

Faisal Narrage

I know he’s not as exciting as buying a new DM, but I’m really keen to see how he performs next season in midfield. Bar high level dribbling, he has everything required to be a DM for years.


He still has some nifty dribbling though. But I’m not sure that’s a tool I want my DM to leverage too often. That is actually my primary concern with him in that rylee at this young age. Will need to curb his desireto take on players if trusted with DM role, which can be difficult for an athletic and skillful youngster.


Missing the point slightly: Great dribbling skills means he can evade the opposition’s press and wriggle out of tight spaces a la Santi. Ultimately, it means reduced loss of possesion in midfield.

Iwobi's sock suspenders

Is there a seasoned, trophy-winning, out-of-contract DM in his 30s in Europe who we could bring in to buddy up with AMN for a season or 2…

Michael Bolton Wanderers

We will soon be linked with William carvallho again. It is a summer tradition after all

Ya gooner

We already have been, he’s apparently one of the ‘free’ sporting players


I’ve heard M’villa might be available.


We will really play to the strength of some of our players. Excited for Niles, as i have been following his progress since his loan spell at Ipswich on the right wing, and with the amount of running he did, he definitely is a natural athlete with plenty of pace and trickery.


With Ramsey the right sided central midfielder and Niles the left sided, I’m really excited about this combination. As they both combined really well together when Niles was left wingback last season.

Two strong engines in the heart of our midfield.

Both able to carry the ball and play the ball forward.

And with him further forward he won’t need to concentrate on his positioning when out of possession. Just focus on getting back into shape alongside our DM/Sweeper.


This guy could go a long way; he’s a real talent. Hopefully Emery will develop him into a superstar. Subject change: am I the only football fan who’s completely underwhelmed by the World Cup? We all know what’s about to happen: a month of boring, tactical games which will culminate in a final that’s decided by an extra-time goal after nearly two hours of stalemate. When I was a kid the World Cup was great; the last two in particular have been mind-numbingly dreadful. It doesn’t help that England have sent out to Russia the worst squad of English players… Read more »


Doesn’t a shoot-out before the game lead to an attack vs defense scenario in the actual game, as one team has already won said shoot-out?

Jimbo Jones

Fats, can you explain the shoot out before games thing. You don’t mean actually before a game kicks off to take some spot kicks? Or do you mean in the group games so there aren’t any draws?


No, I mean before each KNOCKOUT game: last-16 to the final. Thirty minutes before the the game begins proper you would have a penalty competition; the winner would then have the advantage and the draw now becomes eliminated. Then you just play 90 minutes of football. And eddmc2 yes, that’s exactly what would happen: attack v defence. But defence might score a breakaway goal too. The point is that 90 minutes would be fantastically exciting because at all times during the game one team would be winning and one team would be losing, so there would be no boring sitting… Read more »

Jimbo Jones

Cheers for the explanation ?

Michael Bolton Wanderers

Loving his confidence


Congrats AMN! Just reward for the hard work and progression made so far! The hard graft really starts from here now kid. Go forth and make your mark.

Well done to Arsenal also who have developed him through all the youth ranks to a 1st team squad player thus far.

Good news!

The Bishops

Get in bro

Auba ma Ying

Bring on pressing football!

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