Unheralded Arsenal star singled out for special praise after hard-fought Watford win
The Arsenal faithful have taken to social media in numbers on Sunday, to single one of the club’s stars out for special praise on the back of their downing of Watford.
ESR on target
Mikel Arteta’s men made their return to action a short time ago.
On the back of a 9-game unbeaten run across all competitions, the Gunners welcomed the aforementioned Watford to the Emirates, aware that a 3rd Premier League victory on the trot would guide them level with West Ham United in 4th.
And, when all was said and done on Sunday, keep alive their fine recent spell of form is precisely what Arsenal managed.
A hard-fought 90 minutes in north London was ultimately decided by a solitary goal, netted by Emile Smith Rowe early in the 2nd-half.
After some stellar work on the part of Ben White, the ball dropped to the arriving Smith Rowe on the edge of the area, with the midfield talent having made no mistake with a pinpoint effort beyond Ben Foster:
“Sweet as you like from Emile Smith Rowe” 😋
Smith Rowe has scored for the third successive Premier League game to put Arsenal in front against Watford! 👏
📺 #ARSWAT on Sky Sports PL
📲 https://t.co/m5zXeQ0vNk pic.twitter.com/yRBJe20Ca9
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 7, 2021
In turn, on the back of the final whistle coming to a close at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, despite their side having not exactly set the world alight over the course of the 90 minutes, it should come as little surprise to hear of Arsenal’s fans being in jubilant mood.
Several members of Mikel Arteta’s squad have been singled out for special praise, with the likes of goalscorer Smith Rowe, fellow youngster Bukayo Saka and Nuno Tavares having impressed once more.
It is another, though, who has been on the receiving end of more widespread adulation than any other.
The player in question? Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Versatile Englishman Maitland-Niles was handed a rare start in the middle of the park versus Watford, owing to the absence of Thomas Partey.
And to say that the 24-year-old went on to take full advantage of the opportunity afforded to him would be putting it lightly, with AMN having shone throughout the 90 minutes, in a complete midfield performance.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the first half for Arsenal vs. Watford:
◉= Most ball recoveries (4)
◉ Most tackles (3)
◉ Most interceptions (2)
Putting in a shift. 🏃♂️ pic.twitter.com/UP6gEi3m7u
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 7, 2021
Check out some of the best of the social media reaction to Maitland-Niles’ display below, with the Arsenal faithul evidently of the opinion that their side’s youth product has a role left to play in the setup of boss Mikel Arteta:
Maitland-niles has everything as a midfielder
— #FBG 👋🏾🦅 (@16nextdoorr) November 7, 2021
Omo, maitland Niles a strong contender for MOTM
— 🇳🇬Gatsby (@AndrewJr07) November 7, 2021
Maitland-Niles has been really good today, one of our best performers
— Sam🌶 (@sam_1afc) November 7, 2021
Maitland-Niles always puts in a shift. Man deserves more recognition
— Boipelo Segwai (@Godix_7) November 7, 2021
Ainsley Maitland Niles quietly having a solid af performance in the middle of the park. Big up him, I didn’t think he’d be able to hold in a pivot but it seems to me he’s improved his midfield game immensely 👏🏽👏🏽
— JNRGaming (@gaming_jnr) November 7, 2021
Maitland Niles has been impressive today. Really impressive.
— J.A. aka Kunte’s kid (@TheEyeOfJA) November 7, 2021
I’m glad @MaitlandNiles stayed at Arsenal, excellent performance today, want to see him play more in that midfield role.
— Angry Autistic Pigeon on Wheelz 🦼♿🐯🐦🐋🐺 (@SNolan87) November 7, 2021
Maitland-Niles B2B MOTM performances 👍🏾
— v (@vsburna) November 7, 2021
Maitland-Niles is the baller in this game.
— Specs Gonzalez MBE (@specsgonzalez) November 7, 2021
MOTM maitland miles, he’s been terrific today 🔥 #AFC
— Hass (@hassrubbani) November 7, 2021
Was worried we’d miss Partey today but Maitland-Niles has been outstanding 👏👏 #Arsenal
— Americk Pamma (@americkpamma) November 7, 2021
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