Do Arsenal need to replace Rob Holding next season?

What’s all this noise about Rob Holding? Don’t you think he’s trying? by Darren

William Saliba’s services have been missed by Arsenal in the last few weeks. The Gunners have been forced to rely on Rob Holding without their star defender. Holding hasn’t been as good as Saliba, but he hasn’t been all that bad either. In any case, ex-Premier League player Gabby Agbonlahor is unimpressed with what the 27-year-old has to offer at Arsenal. The outspoken Premier League expert states that he does not consider the Arsenal star to be PL-quality, implying that Arsenal would be better off letting him leave and sending him to a Championship club.

“You look at Holding. For me, he is a Championship defender,” said Agbonlahor on talkSPORT. “Not good enough to be the third-choice centre-half for a team who want to win the title.”

Aghbanolar may make sense to some, but don’t you think it is unfair to disparage a player who is producing, despite having had limited game time prior to Saliba’s injury? I believe Holding has tried and performed admirably. Arsenal may decide to sign another top defender to compete with Saliba, but with Holding available, it should not be a priority. Signing another defender should come last; otherwise, what if a right back is signed and White returns to being a centre-back option? Bottom line: Holding has a position on this squad, and it is up to Arteta to decide his destiny, not the media.

Darren N

Arteta proud of our comeback after Arsenal 3-3 Southampton

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  1. If Saliba leaves in the summer, Arsenal had better keep Holding. Otherwise, try to find someone better in one-on-one situations

    Evan Ndicka will be a free agent this summer and we still have Trusty, but maybe Arsenal need a right-footed CB to replace Saliba or Holding

    1. Ndicka doesn’t cut it for me. Bring in Tyrong Mings or better yet,get a proper rightback and put White back in the central defense position

  2. Holding has been an honest pro at a club where he is not good enough to represent it week in, week out. He knows it and I suspect most of us know it too. That is not to disrespect him either. He always gives his best so he can’t do any more than that if there is not enough innate talent to do more.

        1. I always struggle being critical of Arsenal players, both Calum Chambers and Rob Holding may have cut from the same cloth.

          Both loyal that gave their all for the club, unfortunately they couldn’t represent werk in week out.

  3. Depends on whether the club brings in the competition for places the centre back position needs, and hasn’t had for years. It shows how key the position is that City struggled (if that’s the right word..) until Kompany was replaced, and Liverpool look average (or downright poor) without Van Dijk. With Saliba out we’ve really struggled. As such, to consistently challenge for honours we need top cover ‘and’ quality alongside Saliba. If he stays. If we don’t get new faces in, then releasing Holding makes no sense. He isn’t a 38 match a season player, but he does his best when called on.

  4. I think attempts are unfairly being made to blame Holding for us dropping 6 points in our last 3 games.First of all, Holding has not been culpable for any of the goals conceded in these games whereas, regulars such as Ramsdale, Gabriel and Zinchenko have been.Others such as Partey and Odegaard have been well below their best, but basically, individual errors have led to our failure to win games against “lessor lights” such as WH and Southhampton.The injuries to Saliba and Tomi have limited our options to use the likes of White at CB but to me the signings of Veiira and Kiwior have been totally unproductive at a time when they were badly needed .Arteta is responsible for these signings and in the longer term I hope they prove his judgement has not been misplaced.However an investment of around 50m has not strengthened our pool and at a critical time of the season we have no alternative but to turn to the much maligned Rob Holding who is not the guy who is letting us down on the pitch.So call experts such as Agbonlahor are ten a penny and many of them speak without much thought if indeed they are capable of such consideration.Holding will line up against Man City on Wednesday and I sincerely hope he proves a multitude of Arsenal fans and pundits wrong.

    1. Thank you Grandad. I am gobsmacked about the Holding bashing as when called for this season he has done little wrong, so I have no idea where this is coming from?

      Yes, we all agree he has no pace but defensively he hasn’t put a foot wrong in my eyes?

      Where are the articles about Partey losing form and the bought replacement just isn’t good enough so we can’t drop him OR Zinchenko can be blamed for the costly mistakes he makes in a game OR Gabriel is walking a very fine line for an automatic suspension OR Ramsdale practices what he preaches and doesn’t listen to the noise outside and start doing the simple things again.

      The last three games highlighted a huge flaw in our game since the world cup. We perform for 20 to 25 minutes and we just go through the motions for the rest of it. Now that is the fundamental issue in this team this season. We cannot go into a lead and then stop playing, nor can we continue score an equaliser or winner in the last minute as it is unsustainable.

      It was gonna catch us up sooner or later.

    2. Yes Grandad, Correct. Holding is being used as a scapegoat by some. He is no more to blame (probably less) than many others.

  5. Disagree with the writer AND I disagree with Agbonlahor(as I ALWAYS SEEM TO DO WITH DAFT GABBY).
    In my view, Holding is low PREM LEVEL , THOUGH BETTER THAN CHAMPIONSHIP, for teams 21-44 in England.
    But he is nowhere near what a great club and much improved team such as we can afford to have to play.


  6. As far as I am concerned, Holding hasn’t done anything wrong in the defence. He gives his all whenever he is called upon. Players that have been letting us down are the regulars. Zinchenko, Odegaard, and of course, Partey. Arteta let us down by buying players who could not improve us (Viera and Kiwior. If Niles had not been sent out on loan, we wouldn’t have had this defensive crisis. He would have covered right back and White moved back to center back.

  7. This article misses a major factor in the CB depth conversation which is the injury to Tomiyasu. If Tomiyasu were fit, he could start at RB and White could shift central to provide cover for Saliba. Tomiyasu could also play as a central defender as he does for Japan.

    Holden is really 3rd (or 4th if you rate Tomiyasu more than Holden at CB) on the RCB depth chart and has performed admirably in this role. I do not think chasing another CB is a priority.

  8. There is no need taking the opinions of some of these pundits seriously. At least, Rob Holding won the FA Cup. What did Agbonlanhor win as a striker in his playing days? Partey is the guy that needs some talking to. He needs to understand that when you are in the 8 yard box, just play it long. Play it safe. Partey and Ralmsdale have been the culprit in recent games. Over confidence or concentration issues. Either of the two.

          1. A lot of people Sue on this site. He got the blame in a few games, that ‘saliba would have coped’

  9. For his patience, they can keep him for other cup competition but not for EPL or champions league.

  10. What you who are defending do not understand is the way holding affects our defensive system.. He falls back too deep breaking our offside trap.. He has no control every ball he takes is a corner or a throw in which keeps the pressure.. White has to stay more to cover for him which limits white overlapping with Saka.. He isnt doing wrong as an individual but he breaks our defensive system

    1. Rashid, At last ! Someone who can see the REAL problem that playing Holding brings.

      So many refuse to see any further than saying “he has not made any mistakes”!
      As if THAT is enough! It is NOT!

  11. Would have loved it if we could’ve used White as a replacement for WS. White and Gab were a good fit last season before the injuries

    I wonder if we could’ve used Tierney or Kiwior at RB in a similar job to when Tomiyasu played LB. In hindsight of course

    1. Tierney has played well at centre half for Scotland , why not try him if Holding doesn’t have the pace ?

  12. It seems some are trying to blame Holding making him a scape goal. Let’s be honest, the team a a whole has been poor lately and Holding has not been the worst of a bad bunch.

    He is a capable backup. Maybe more suited to not playing out from the back.

  13. Some fans are supporting Holding by stating he give his all.

    YES, OF COURSE HE DOES, just as every pro ougt to do each and every gameof their lives. But acknowledging a tryer -who is also a top man, a loyal and committed player and an excellent team mate, does NOT hide the fact that he is not good enough.

    Now I do not know about you, but personally I HAVE ALWAYS PUT THE SUCCESS OF THE TEAM and the club, WAY ABOVE, MY INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT OF ANY PLAYER, whether that player be Holding or Thierry Henry.

    We are, presumably , FIRST AND FOREMOST SUPPORTERS OF ARSENAL FOOTBAL CLUB and not apologists for a real tryer who ,sadly for him and for us all, is NOT good enough at the level we need and pray to reach.
    Sober minded reality!

    1. “Now I do not know about you, but personally I HAVE ALWAYS PUT THE SUCCESS OF THE TEAM and the club, WAY ABOVE, MY INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT OF ANY PLAYER, whether that player be Holding or Thierry Henry”.

      Since Arteta plays Holding then by this logic one can assume he supports the player > club.

      I would not call praying to reach a level sober minded as we all know prayer won’t make us reach any level above where we are now.

      1. Speak for yourself only, sws! Try being a realist and realising , prayer or no prayer, that Holding just is NOT good enough.

        Unless you areone of those odd fans who lack ambition for our team!! I AND MOST fans wish to stay at thetop level for many years ahead and with such as Holding playing, that cannot and will never happen. Him having to play instead of the brilliant SALIBA, is thekey reson why we have dropped six points in three games.

        The defence is just not sound or pacy anough with Holding in it. If you cannot see that fact, then I feel sorry for you and your lack of perception.

  14. I agree 100% with Jon fox. Arsenal can’t just keep players because they’re nice lads, committed to the cause. They must add value to the team, perform consistently at a level that helps the team win matches. Holding, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Tavares are limited and can’t really add value to the current squad. If Arteta wants to grow and advance this current team, sentiment cannot be a factor..

    1. Well said! Sensible fans know that you and I are right and those who make excuses for lesser standard players than we need, are daft and seemingly care more about lesser players than they do for the success of the team.A very ODD take for supposedly keen fans to take.

      I think such fans are thick!

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