Why Pepe and Elneny got angry with Martinelli as Arteta sets out plan for Nketiah at Arsenal

Maitland-Niles midfield magic

There weren’t too many outstanding individual performances on a night that was largely functional for Arsenal, leading the broadcasters of the game to go for the old trick of giving man of the match to the goalscorer Eddie Nketiah.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is someone whose Gunners career seems to be on borrowed time.

He came close to leaving for Wolves in the summer of 2020 after playing a key role in the FA Cup success only to end up staying in north London, before repeating the cycle in the transfer window just gone but with Everton this time the interested party.

Most of his issues have revolved around where exactly on the pitch he has been played.

Maitland-Niles’ camp claim that the England international has never asked to play in any particular position, but Sam Allardyce revealed after his loan move at West Brom last season that the 24-year-old’s desire to play in central midfield was the deciding factor in stealing his stint at the Hawthorns.

While his performances in the Midlands were OK there was never quite enough to suggest that he was someone who could start for Arsenal regularly in the middle of the park.