Arsenal: Fans react to Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ poor performance

Image for Arsenal: Fans react to Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ poor performance

Arsenal came from behind twice to defeat Portuguese outfit Vitoria S.C. at the Emirates Stadium thanks to some individual brilliance from record signing Nicolas Pepe. Unai Emery made ten changes to the team that started at Bramall Lane on Monday and Ainsley Maitland-Niles was given the opportunity to show what he could do further forward.

The 22-year-old has been playing at right-back for the most part of his Arsenal career, filling the void left by Hector Bellerin when he suffered a long-term injury back in January. However, Maitland-Niles hasn’t been afraid to speak publicly of his desire to play further forward. He was given the opportunity to do so in the recent Europa League clash with Standard Liege at the Emirates Stadium and again on Thursday evening when Vitoria S.C. came to town.

Maitland-Niles failed to impress in either fixture and the supporters were far from impressed with his latest display.

With some claiming the player should be grateful for the opportunities he has had rather than complaining regarding his position.

Others mocked the player’s recent comments regarding his suitability to a midfield role.

What do we think?

The player certainly didn’t cover himself in glory on Thursday night. He was culpable for Vitoria’s second goal having lost possession in the middle of the park and was replaced at the break by Matteo Guendouzi.  According to, Maitland-Niles’ performance was rated at 5.3 out of 10 and that was, perhaps in many people’s eyes, generous.

In recent weeks, the London-born midfielder by trade has been displaced at right-back by Calum Chambers who returned this summer from a loan spell at Fulham. He appears to be lacking in confidence but his casual style doesn’t appear to be doing him any favours, particularly with the clubs supporters. You do wonder whether that same issue and his well-publicised comments have played some part in him falling out of favour.

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