Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Arteta: I see a ‘different’ Maitland-Niles

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was today’s Sky Sports man of the match for his performance in the 1-0 win over Watford at the Emirates (also highest rated in our player ratings).

Ordinarily he wouldn’t have started, but a minor groin strain for Thomas Partey meant he wasn’t risked and the 24 year was given the nod ahead of the more experienced Mohamed Elneny.

He put in a disciplined midfield performance, working hard, making 100% of his tackles, 9 ball recoveries, and playing his part in our clean sheet and the three points.

His performance impressed boss Mikel Arteta, who says he’s seen a different player since the end of transfer window drama – which led to Maitland-Niles using social media to express his dismay at not being allowed leave for Everton.

“First of all, I see a different player in terms of his urgency, his commitment and the clarity in his play and purpose,” he said.

“Since we made the decision I was clear with what I was seeing, I wanted him to stay because he was going to be useful.

“He has a huge talent, and he is versatile enough to adapt to any position on the pitch.

“Today we made use of him to do what we had to in the game which was very important.”

Pressed on what he meant by the differences, he continued, “When I see him in training sessions, when I see how he prepares, asking the questions he’s asking, the level of attention to everything you talk through, as response is immediate.

“He’s a really clever, intelligent boy and I think he’s needed to transmit that and how much he cares with his body language and his determination.

“I think he’s come a long way.”

Arteta was unsure if Partey would be released for international duty given his injury, so while we hope it’s not serious, performances like today’s from Maitland-Niles provide some reassurance that we can cope reasonably well in his absence.

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Actually loving the comment about how Ainsley needed to improve his body language, 100% agree on this. He is getting away from that and the further he gets the more I believe in him being able to have a big impact as an Arsenal player.


A game or two ago he came a as sub and was joking with the 4th official. Had a big smile. Never saw that before.
folks mature differently


Lots of talent. Would love to see him come through and succeed.


He has already come through.
Arteta likes him.


He should take our penalties also. Laca first then Ainsley

A Different George

I think he would almost always score, but is it worth risking heart attacks for the coach, his teammates, and many supporters (including me)?


First AMN then Ainsley


He has the ability to fit in any position as required. The only thing he didn’t understand previously was that he has to play in the role that he was placed in and not use all his ability to play for different positions in the role chosen for him that match. Today, he stuck to his role extremely well, like his previous cameos. He knew when he plays in that particular position or when he rotates to that position, what he have to do. If he work on his offensive abilities and play smart, we can have a more fluid… Read more »


Let’s not get carried away it was at home to Watford


How is this getting carried away?

Holdings New Merkin

Don’t be a knob


He’s shut down Salah TWICE so far in his short Arsenal career. Not many can say that. He’s excellent defensively and has the pace for today’s modern wingers.


He made the correct decision to stay, Everton are not going great and spare a thought for Joe Willock. Newcastle are a mess.


Saw a couple of recent New Castle games. Joe’s body language can use some adjustment as well. He didn’t put in as much effort in the game as he is capable in my opinion. Wonder where his goal scoring drive went from last season.


We were wise to sell him when we did – his stock was never going to be as high as it was after that run. He and Newcastle have literally done f-all since then.


Bear in mind that the environment a player plays also matters. If he were at Arsenal though, he would not play much, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Willock is Ramsey 2.0

Nostalgic Gooner

Always rooting for AMN. Hopefully he gets the chance and a good run of games to nail down a position.

A Different George

I said this on a different post, but it seems appropriate here. Maitland-Niles was very good on the ball, and even better tracking back and defending. Certainly a candidate for man of the match (my choice would still be Smith Rowe). The difference between Maitland-Niles and a world-class midfielder like Partey (when he is playing well) is the latter’s ability to regularly show for the ball in positions where it is both easy to get it to him and where he is immediately able to turn and advance it, either by carrying it or picking a good pass. Maybe Maitland-Niles… Read more »

Nostalgic Gooner

This just comes with games and chemistry with teammates. If he gets a run, he will only get better and understand how he can make an impact. Today was more of playing it safe and cut out errors.


Lokonga demonstated this really well today.


Now, he’s got the turn.


Yeah, he made some amazing passes today and he’s very forward-thinking with the ball, which is something we so desperately crave as Arsenal fans of late.
I think he’s only missing “the turn”. If he can learn that, boy, he’d be the complete package


World looks different without Xhaka-tinted glasses.

Determination Cultured

I like it that we,ve found the winning formula thar suits us.
2 tough tackling monsters in midfield instead of xhaka. Gives us a good foundation. With a 442 ir means martinelli, eddie and balogun could all get game time.


I’d argue it’s having two mobile midfielders

Hank Scorpio

Agreed. I was disappointed when we extended Xhaka’s contract. I don’t think he’s rubbish like some people do but I really felt we needed to move on and injtect some more dynamism in the midfield that he just does not offer. Hopefully AMN and Lokonga continue to build on their performances and make the decision on who to play centrally a difficult one, whereas before Xhaka didn’t really have any genuine competition.

Teryima Adi

The Renaissance of Maitland-Niles


The spirit of Arsen’s best days.

Wrighty’s hats

Love this. The spirit shown by the team in the last few games does bring AW to mind, in the best ways possible.

Abdul bakar

He did well, love his determination and work ethic .. An encouraging start for him And needs to work hard in training and behind the scenes, if he keeps playing games he will better his today’s performance + he needs to be a good passer of the ball too.. AMN man of the match absolutely love this. Keep growing


Transmitting seems to be flavour of the month.


Looks like great man management to me. I bet that AMN was training the house down and Arteta felt he had to give him a run and the game against Watford was a great opportunity. Then TP, to his great credit, got a not too serious “groin strain”. Just saying …


Maitland Niles is a top player and I don’t want us to lose him.

He is still only 23 and has got lots of room for improvement


Blogs, How come you guys aren’t updating your content on FotMob anymore?


Shame. I can’t see your content there anymore and I’m wondering how to change that.


Glad to hear Arteta highlighted the sense of urgency in AMN’s game.

AMN can be a very useful tactical player as long as he keeps a high sense of urgency during the whole game. He used to switch off from to time during the game.

Ashburton Red

This might be a lazy assumption/connection as is not AMN only – but am actually loving that all the talk when Arteta arrived of being tough on how to act as an Arsenal player, the non-negotiables – is actually coming to fruition.
Seems to me that standards are demonstrably higher across the board – and recently it’s really paying off – long may it continue

The Beast

I think it helps that now we’ve got some competition for places. If you’re not at the expected standard, there’s probably someone waiting to do the job. Keeps everyone honest.


Great performance from AMN who showed a lot of composure. I thought Sambi made a few mistakes in midfield, but the team generally covered for one another well. Some people were panicking when Xhaka was injured, saying AMN & Sambi won’t be able to fill the hole. Partey was also unavailable last night, but the younger ones have proven to be good squad players. So will Xhaka once he comes back from injury and provides more depth during AFCON.


He’s really taking his chances.

Some excellent work in first half with several gorgeous slide rule balls forward.

Covered ground good and lots of recoveries.

A bit more conservative second half which is sensible.

Still a propensity to take a nap with that fortunate shout from our Twelve man.

But a welcome improvement. Hope to see more.

Jim King

It seemed more foucsed on Sunday against Watford and therefore didn’t make those lapses we’ve seen from him in the past. He should see there is a path for him at the club to succeed. Come on AMN!

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