Ainsley Maitland Niles is probably nursing a sore shin today after his clash that led to his sending off. In his defence, I’ve watched the recording over and over again and the conclusion is the same, he didn’t deserve the first yellow and the second was technically questionable. Even if the second tackle against Neil Taylor had been deemed unacceptable, it should have been his first card.
Maitland-Niles on playing right-back: ”It’s [learning to defend] not going to come overnight. It’s not where I would choose to put myself in the team, I’m an attacking player by trade & that’s all I can try bring to the team.” #afc pic.twitter.com/zQq8wCloj5
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 18, 2019
That tackle saw Maitland Niles some distance from Taylor leading him to slide in to take the ball cleanly but the momentum upended the Villa man. On closer examination, the left foot came up thus making it appear like a two footed lunge and it would be interesting to see where the ref, Jonathan Moss, was in relation to the incident.
It was interesting to watch as the ref approached both players on the floor, he seemed as if he was in two minds but with Arsenal players lining up to protest Maitland Niles innocence and the crowd noise reaching a billion decibels, he fumbled in his pocket for a card.
If he was in doubt, it was the ideal moment for VAR and in a game of this importance to both sides, why wasn’t it used ?
This is an utterly despicable decision. Maitland-Niles wins the ball and he’s not out of control. Both players clash at the exact same time. It’s a yellow card for neither but Arsenal get the red card and John Moss gets away with murder again. pic.twitter.com/A2tVEHAvKH
— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) September 22, 2019
In regards of the first yellow, Maitland Niles was slightly behind the El Ghazi and in an effort to get back in terms, the Arsenal man tangled legs mid-stride. It was nothing more than that, it was malicious or intentional and deserved nothing more than a free kick and a wag of the refs finger.
Instead, Maitland Niles got a card which in my opinion was incredibly generous to Aston Villa. Never mind the alleged penalty at the end of the game which certainly looked as if Sokratis may have dodged a bullet, Arsenal should have had ten men on the field.
It seems even with the introduction of VAR mistakes can’t be completely eradicated but at least the ref could have made his life easier by exercising his choice on how the decision was made.
Emery said of the Maitland Niles sending off,
”I was thinking we can manage. He didn’t touch the player. He touched the ball. We had to accept the referee’s decision. I was thinking it was not a red card. “
Shocking decision Maitland-Niles clearly wins the ball there is a clash of shins hardly a foul! Yet again another shocking refereeing decision!
— Gunners.com (@Gunnersc0m) September 22, 2019
I’d appeal the decision if I were the club because one of those cards needs to be revoked. In the meantime, Maitland Niles will hopefully be fit enough to take part against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the 30th of September.