AINSLEY MAITLAND-NILES was voted the worst player on the pitch on his Roma debut.
The Arsenal players on loan, 24, started his first game for his new club on Sunday night as Juventus headed to the Stadio Olimpico.
But it didn’t go according to plan for the versatile Hale End graduate, who has only trained once with his new teammates and is playing his first game since November 20.
Positioned at right-back, he was part of a defense that conceded four goals – including three in seven minutes – as Roma led 3-1 and lose 4-3 in a match in Serie A.
And the Italian media has flocked to Maitland-Niles, just days after he completed his loan switch from Emirates for the rest of the season.
The former West Brom man struggled to contain Federico Chiesa for the first half hour before the Italian winger suffered a severe injury from the ACL.
He was also determined to be at fault for at least 2 of Juve’s 4 goals conceded.
Tuttosport gave him 4.5/10, the lowest of anyone in the match, while Corriere dello Sport scored 5, equal to Roma defender Roger Ibanez.
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However, Roma coach Jose Mourinho is largely responsible, according to the newspaper.
He received 5 from La Gazzetta dello Sport and 4.5 from Corriere dello Sport, then wrote: “The special one could not find a remedy when Roma fell in the final minutes.”
But despite criticism from outsiders, Mourinho was quick to blame his ‘fragile’ players.
Mourinho furious: “Unfortunately, I can criticize the team …
“[It was] 70 minutes of absolute control, the whole team played well, with the mentality of making the game. The approach was correct, with the desire to control the tactics.
“Then we had a mental breakdown.
“With a team with a strong mentality, that won’t be a problem, but the mentality is weak.
“There is a reason why last year Roma did not win against the top teams and this year it is difficult.
“We have limits on the bench, my soul aches because I’m not used to this team’s record.”
Maitland-Niles was one of three English players to start for Mourinho’s side with Tammy Abraham and Chris Smalling also in attendance.
It’s amazing, it’s more than Manchester City was named in their starting line-up for the FA Cup win at Swindon on Friday.
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https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8183916/arsenal-maitland-niles-worst-player-roma-juventus/ Arsenal loanee star Maitland-Niles was voted the BEST player on the pitch on his nightmare Roma debut by Italian media