Twelve months ago, an intriguing story was doing the rounds. It involved one of Arsenal's most promising youngsters, the club's chief negotiator and Jule Niles, the football mammy that has presumably terrified the bejaysus out of every coach her son has ever played under.
Fast forward one year and it just so happens that Mick McCarthy is on the end of Niles' rather forthright way of dealing with some of football's most influential individuals. According to the Sun, Ainsley Maitland-Niles loan spell at Ipswich has hit the skids after his mother told McCarthy exactly what she thinks of him over a voicemail message.
The story goes that Maitland-Niles, who had been a regular in McCarthy's side up until the beginning of March, was supposed to be part of the England contingent that travelled to London for the launch of their new kit. Jules Niles was obviously keen that her son be included in the event but McCarthy thought otherwise and let it be known that he wanted the 18 year old to stay in Ipswich and prepare for a mid-week game.
Cue what we can only surmise was the mother of all angry voicemail's from the Ms Niles. After handing the phone to one of his assistants to give it a listen and ensure he was 'not going mad', McCarthy promptly dropped Maitland-Niles from the squad to face Rotherham on March 19th and the youngster has yet to force his way back into McCarthy's plans since the incident.
Arsenal have been made aware of the incident and the Sun quote a source from within the club who has said that the nature of the message was such that it even managed to shock a man of McCarthy's disposition.
Mick's a Yorkshireman and he's prepared to tolerate most things, but not something like this. The language was disgusting and so poisonous that it even shocked Mick.
The same source raised the possibility that Ms Niles may be 'having a detrimental affect' on her son's career and, together with the fact that she was arrested for allegedly striking a high ranked Arsenal official last year, we'd suggest that may not be a bad summary of the situation.