Despite providing an assist for Arsenal’s winning goal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles came in for a barrage of criticism from supporters after Saturday’s game, which he responded to on Instagram.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal celebrates his team's victory after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on January 19, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 19: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal celebrates his team’s victory after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on January 19, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Although Maitland-Niles had a pretty good game against Huddersfield Town in general, he was guilty of a few mistakes as well, turning over possession to the opposition. None of those errors led to anything in the end, and the 21-year-old made up for them with a game-high six tackles and a game-winning assist.

Nonetheless, a certain section of the Arsenal fanbase seemingly believe it’s their job to send Maitland-Niles their criticisms in his Instagram comments, which they did after the game. The player responded to some of them, as you can see in the tweet below:

Some of the comments made no attempt to be constructive, telling Maitland-Niles he’s ‘too lazy’ or he ‘played dead’. There were plenty more replies of that nature that he didn’t respond to. Other comments were more of an attempt to provide advice, but it’s not clear why supporters think this is necessary.

Arsenal employ coaches to identify players’ faults and to help them rectify any deficiencies in their game. An Instagram comment is unlikely to make any difference at all, other than providing a hit to that player’s confidence. When did supporters stop supporting?

Hopefully, the academy graduate’s good-natured replies are representative of how he really feels about the criticism, and he doesn’t take any of it to heart.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.