What to do with Holding and Chambers? by Dan Smith
Many gooners were surprised last season to hear that Rob Holding and Calum Chambers had extended their Arsenal contracts. That reaction sums up where they stand in the pecking order at the Emirates, both inconsistent, so therefore it’s hard to gauge if we’ve secured our future defense or just given out new deals to maintain value on two assets.
Sometime their confidence seems too fragile to suggest they belong at this level. Then though they have their moments. Chambers got rave reviews during his loan spell at Middlesbrough while Holding will always have the 2017 FA Cup final to tell his children about. Both were offered fresh terms with uncertainty over the manager, so this has been a club decision.
How much faith Unai Emery has in either might determine Mustafi’s future. The German’s experience might prove crucial with Koscielny out for the long term. While we have signed two defenders based on experience, it might be unfair while they are settling into England to expect them to immediately lead a young back 4 or 5.
The ultimate show of faith would be to cash in on Mustafi and play Holding and or Chambers from the off to see if they sink or swim. It’s often said the centre back is the one position you can’t rotate with. It’s a role where you need to form a partnership and strike up an understanding with those around you. How are Chambers and Holding meant to gain momentum if they feature every 4 matches, sometimes starting, sometimes not making the bench? Even Arsene Wenger , accused of giving too many opportunities to young talent would only select them in fixtures he deemed less important.
It’s no coincidence that Holding looked so good the one time he got a short run in the side.
Despite relegation, Chambers looked better for having lots of consecutive minutes at the Riverside. Once their playing time became scattered, both seemed to lose self belief. So if we are in transition anyway why not give the two Englishmen a proper run with the baton. Let’s find out once and for all if they really are good enough. If your not willing to do that, what was the point in giving them new contracts?