Ainsley Maitland-Niles has challenged his critics ahead of Hector Bellerin’s return from injury.
Arsenal began the Premier League campaign with two wins but have crumbled since their defeat against Liverpool with two consecutive 2-2 draws – Maitland-Niles has appeared in all five games so far.
While Maitland-Niles isn’t entirely at fault for his side’s defensive capitulation – David Luiz and Sokratis certainly aren’t blameless – he’s most definitely complicit in the collective shoddiness Arsenal fans have the misfortune of viewing on nearly every away trip.
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With Bellerin set to return to action following a serious injury picked up against Chelsea in January, Maitland-Niles now faces a very real threat to his starting role in the squad.
The 22 year-old hopes to retrain his place and has asked supporters to be patient as he adapts to his defensive role.
Per Sky Sports, he said: “If I was a defender as a kid, and my defending was poor, I would understand where the criticism is coming from, but I’m trying my best for the team.”
It’s safe to say the reactions to his comments from Arsenal fans were fairly negative…
As a professional footballer you should be able to pass & dribble. You’ve been playing RB for over a year and still can’t show players onto their weaker foot or down the line. Done nothing to suggest you are good enough to play in a different position I’m afraid.
— James (@JamesL_16) September 19, 2019
His build up play and attacking skill isn’t great either. He always claims he is a MF but I just can’t see him playing well as a CM.
— tmrn (@Merci_Wenger) September 19, 2019
Unai Emery should stop playing him as a defender(rightback) he’s the architect of our defensive errors. Europa against Chelsea annoys me most.
— Kevin (@ifedibakevin) September 19, 2019
You’ve been learning for 2 years
— Vikesh Parmar (@VikeshParmar1) September 19, 2019
One year down the line still learning in his new role
— BABAKE…DC1X (@IvanHezz) September 19, 2019
It’s not even his defending majority criticise, it’s the way he lapses in concentration almost every game
— GM (@GRD_Football) September 19, 2019
Most clumsy , careless and worst complacent player! He give away balls more than any of our plates in crucial positions! Ha has no any sense of position! Can’t wait for bellerin to come back!
— #Eritrea2020 (@PaulosAlfa) September 19, 2019
that time will not come at arsenal,a midfielder that can’t pass a 6yards pass correctly is that one a midfielder with the way u play u might end up in championship
— COLLINS NWOSU (@COLLINSNWOSU3) September 19, 2019