Ainsley Maitland-Niles responds to Arsenal fans' criticism after 2-1 win v Huddersfield

Unai Emery will have breathed a huge sigh of relief come 4:45pm yesterday afternoon.

After an underwhelming performance, the Spaniard’s Arsenal side picked up their first away win since November against Huddersfield.

Despite the Terriers having more chances, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette had the Gunners 2-0 up, before Sead Kolasinac’s own-goal in stoppage-time.

Arsenal had a number of their big hitters missing, with Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Aaron Ramsey all absent from the squad.

The Gunners did welcome back Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Henrikh Mkhitaryan back into the starting lineup, with both looking understandably rusty.

Maitland-Niles’ inclusion at right-wing back was big after Stephan Lichtsteiner’s woeful display in the 3-1 loss to Manchester City.

The Englishman is more comfortable in midfield, but is surely the best option for Emery after Hector Bellerin’s season-ending knee injury.

However, the 21-year-old has had to deal with a lot of criticism on social media following the win over Huddersfield.

But instead of ignoring or reacting in a petulant way, Maitland-Niles has decided to respond to the criticism on Instagram in very dignified fashion.

You can view some of the comments below.


One fan wrote: “You lose the ball carelessly be careful when going forward especially when you play against tight teams that don’t give space away. Anyway keep fighting.”

Maitland-Niles then replies: “Sorry, I’ll take it into consideration.”

Another supporter wrote: “Please work on not giving up the ball. Otherwise, great game! @unaiemery_.”

The versatile Englishman replied: “Thanks I’ll try better brother.”

While the criticism towards a young player being played out of position may not be warranted, it’s refreshing to see Maitland-Niles taking it in his stride and interacting with the fans.

The Arsenal academy product looks like he may have to deputise at right-back for the remainder of the season and while there will be criticism, it could help shape his career as a footballer.

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