Arsenal were beaten 1-0 by West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Unai Emery’s side were poor throughout and deservedly lost to a home side who were determined to get a rare positive result against the Gunners. The Hammers faithful will also have been delighted to see 19-year-old Declan Rice open his account for the club with a well-taken goal early in the second half.
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Arsenal fans, meanwhile, will be furious with their side’s inability to ever really threaten to get back into the game. Despite having the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Alex Iwobi on the pitch they couldn’t break down the Irons’ resolute defence.
Too many of the Arsenal players were sloppy in possession and lacked creativity. One who was particularly guilty of this was 21-year-old Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who was chosen by Emery to play the right wing-back role ahead of Hector Bellerin.
The England under-21 international had a game to forget, and did nothing to convince that he ought to be a more regular starter.
After the game, plenty of Arsenal fans took to Twitter to criticise his poor showing…
Ainsley Maitland Niles contract should be terminated with immediate effect. That boy is just a liability #WHUARS
— Omo Mummy (@Damilare_AfC) 12 January 2019
Maitland Niles was terrible today
— Victor Olomu (@DeoJ2010) 12 January 2019
We Arsenal fans are born sufferers. Period! Top 4? We are kidding ourselves. Wrong structure. Wrong strategy. Maitland-Niles was walking part of the first half. Nobody saw that??????????????????
— The Observer (@rwong1818) 12 January 2019
Laca and Auba don’t work together. Guendozi and Maitland Niles had awful matches, too. I’m ready to see some young guys like Willock and Smith Rowe get more time. We might as well already be sitting in 7th place as that’s where we are finishing.
— Chicago Arsenal (@ChitownArsenal) 12 January 2019
Not before time!
Maitland-Niles been absolute filth!
— Joseph Farrugia (@josephfarrugia7) 12 January 2019
And also, take that Maitland Niles guy far away from the team
— The Green Turf (@eliavot_) 12 January 2019