Arsenal appointed Mikel Arteta as their new head coach in December and he has managed to bring back stability to the club which seemed to be off track under the temporary management of Freddie Ljungberg. The gunners have finally settled and we take a look at two players that have let their chance of earning minutes under Arteta slip through their fingers.
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta is said to be a strict coach that doesn’t want to pamper anyone in the squad and he has on multiple occasions said that he only selects starting elevens depending on the performances of players and the ability and fight that they show while training. There are two players that wasted the opportunities that Arteta gave them when he arrived.
1. AINSLEY MAITLAND-NILES
Ainsley Maitland-Niles played as a right back at the start of this season but he however had some poor performances and then received a lot of criticism from the fans hence him having an interview in which he says that he is not a right back and that he wants to play in the midfield. Arteta’s appointment was seen as the best thing that could have happened to Maitland-Niles career as he excelled in the system of the new boss since it would allow the fullbacks to sometimes drift into midfield in the build up of attacks.
Maitland-Niles played in all the first three matches under Arteta including the memorable 2-0 win over Manchester United and he has since then never started in the Premier League or the UEFA Europa League again. The Arsenal fans were seriously curious as to how Maitland-Niles quickly got snubbed and started missing the matchday squads and then Arteta opened up to the fans saying that the 22-year-old wasn’t committed to playing in the right back position which in simple terms could be interpreted as that he was complaining about playing as a fullback while the likes of Saka have embraced it.
2. REISS NELSON
Reiss Nelson had a wonderful campaign while out on loan in the German Bundesliga with Hoffenheim and everyone was excited to see how he will perform in the Premier League with the first team but he has however been underwhelming. Mikel Arteta seemed to have picked Reiss Nelson as the winger that he wanted to develop as a star but the young Englishman wasted the first few chances that he received.
Arteta was so committed to giving chances to Nelson when he came even if it came at the expense of Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe as the £72million signing was sometimes benched so that the 20-year-old could play. Nelson failed to use these chances to get a regular starting spot and is nowadays failing to get into the matchday squads.
These two will however be looking to win back their spots in Arteta’s 18 man squad when the Premier League returns.