Emmanuel Petit says Arsenal defender is “too soft”

Emmanuel Petit has commented on Arsenal defender Rob Holding and admits he does not trust the Englishman.

Holding has hardly played football all season as William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes form a solid partnership at the back for the club.

However, Saliba missed the game against Crystal Palace and the Englishman stepped up to replace the Frenchman.

He did well, with Bukayo Saka hugging him at full-time and singing his praises.

However, Petit does not share that view and said on Premier League productions, as quoted by HITC:

“Rob Holding, I am not a big fan of him, to be honest. 

“I think he is too soft, as a defender. It’s such as shame also to see Tomiyasu injured. I would have preferred to have played with Ben White as a central defender.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Holding is one of our reliable squad players, even though he does not play often and did well in the game against Crystal Palace.

The defender might not be as top-quality as Saliba and Gabriel are, but he is good enough to get the job done.

We need to support him whenever he steps on the pitch because that will go a long way in helping him perform well.

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Tags Emmanuel Petit Rob Holding


    1. @Billy…petition is very much a gunner as am I for over 40 years…but guess what? I agree with him…I am very nervous when he allows the ball to bounce before playing it…I may have to watch replay,but I don’t think he was all that…I believe if our opponents were stronger than palace he would have been dispossessed a few times in dangerous areas

      1. I also believe that if our opponents were stronger than Palace, Saka would not have scored 2 and assisted 1. You can only play against who is in front of you. Give the guy the credit he’s due

  1. Both holding did well Tierney was immense in the Derby, was surprised how he dealt with the opponent front line men with minimum fuss.
    There was one particular instance, where the opposition striker was through on goal, all Teinrny did was run close with him and use his upper body strength as he ease him off nicely.

    Was expecting the lad to show some sign of ring rust but he was equal to the task

  2. I just think fans have been going over the top with their praise for Holding after the Palace game. He had a good solid game but let’s be honest, it was against a very poor, in 12th on 27 point, managerless and in a relegation battle.

    Holding did fine but against Palace. Lets not over do the hype because his next mistake and knives will be out for him. We need a bigger sample size from now on because his past does not make for good reading.

    Let’s stay balanced, not overhyping and also not get overly critical..

    1. Absolutely agree. An honest pro but with limitations- hence his secondary role at Arsenal but he was very much in form on Sunday

    2. I can’t speak for others, but personally I think we’re very lucky to have him. He knows he’ll get 5-10 apps per season and is happy to stay on those terms. He’s a great character around the dressing room and has the ability to step up when called upon. He’ll never be at the same level as our first choice CBs but he’s not really meant to be.

      Also, definitely not too soft. Dodgy distribution and slow, sure, but never too soft.

      1. Fully agree with you Sean.
        IMO it’s good to have a couple of players like Holding and Elneny in our squad.
        They’re loyal, happy to be at the club, have a positive attitude and accept not to be first team starters.
        I suspect Holding and Elneny contribute much more to Arsenal’s current success than fans give them credit for.

  3. Holding has his limitations, but one thing he is not is”soft”.Petit is entitled to his opinions but at this crucial time of the season, and with a real opportunity to win the League, I would have thought an ex Gunner would have focused on the positive rather than the negative.

  4. Arsenal had to buy White for Center Back then Saliba came from loan in his (Holding) presence. Simply because he can’t be trusted.
    Good game on Sunday and that’s all what it was. Couple of times he was caught deep into middle diving into tackles and missed some. Should have those led to goals, you’ll be assassinating him.

  5. that’s true holding is unreliable player. bt let’s appreciate he did well in the match against palace

  6. To me Petit is not an Arsenal fan like me.
    You don’t lay into the only option you have at this critical time of the season. This is not January when we want to buy players. What good has he done to Holding’s confidence with such words?
    What Holding need is an encouragement which Saka gave to him. That is exactly what we need, not his rubbish talk.
    How can an Ex pro be talking about preferring an injured player who is out of the season than the only option available.
    It has happened already, let it go and talk good about the option available to give him confidence.
    That is what actual fan should do.

    Thank God Saka knows better than Petit.

  7. Petit’s comment may not be helpful to Holding, nor possibly, just possibly , to his confidence too(though I doubt he will worry at all about Petit’s view).
    But Petit is fully entitled to give his view. I do not agree that Holding is too soft, not at all.
    But I have long thought and still do that Holding is not good enough for us, even as back up.

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