Rob Holding reveals how Arsenal’s confidence was at an all-time low last season

Mikel Arteta finally got his Arsenal players into gear at the end of last season, with the Gunners winning every one of their last 5 games, although it was not quite enough to get us back into the European places where we belong.

But the reason we couldn’t claw back enough points was because of a devastating run of seven games without a win, strangely enough coming after a win up at Old Trafford, which should have been a massive boost to our confidence.

Instead we crashed 3-0 at home to Aston Villa immediately after and also lost at the Emirates to Burnley and Wolves, and our away results were not much better and our 7th game was a 2-1 defeat at Everton, and it looked like we were going to drop into the relegation zone. Arsenal fans were loudly calling for Arteta’s head, and the boss himself was at a loss to understand what was happening.

This is how Rob Holding remembers those dark days…. “We really struggled,” he told the Guardian. “We just couldn’t find the net and were just trying to hold on to games. The best result we were trying to get was a 0-0 because we weren’t scoring, so we were just trying to stop the opposition.

“It was something that followed us around in each game, and it was tough. At times there were real lows around the camp and it was about how we could refocus, and try to go into matches with a different mentality.”

Much was said about our “mentality” last season, but this revelation from Holding just shows how low our confidence was. And it seems to have stemmed from the loss of our captains ability to put the ball in the net. Let’s hope that is now all behind us, and we can carry on the confidence that gave our our 5 game winning streak at the end of the campaign…

Tags Holding

16 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    This is why replacing some of our CFs is essential. If the opposition’s CBs keep winning aerial duels and head the ball to their midfielders, our defenders will always be nervous

    The set-piece defending also needs a lot of improvement and I don’t think White can solve that problem alone

    1. fairfan says:

      Agreed.
      The terrible finishing from the 200 mill strike force of Abameyang, Lacazette and Pepe was truly astonishing especially as Unai had Auba and Lacazette pinging them in in his only full season as Arsenal manager.
      With another 250 mill spent since Emery’s first season we should expect a minimum of 90 goals and 3rd place this term.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        fair fan, 55 goals, with virtually no contribution from midfield, poor service to that forward line and Pepe and Lacazette being benched when in goal scoring form to play Willian. Nheketia and Martinelli being given limited opportunities and Balogun nil.
        Maybe Arteta’s emphasis on defense and the straight jacketing of attack didn’t help?

        1. Durand says:

          Agreed
          Another opportunity to bash Auba while ignoring a midfield that created nothing.

          Also excusing Arteta’s poor poor tactics and negative football.

          For example, his tactics resulted on fewer than 5 shots on goal 3 times I believe. Only happen 5 times since PL started, 3 times under Arteta last year.

          But hey, let’s ignore Arteta who set up the team, selected the players, and decided how they play. Shameful and bias to blame Auba.

          So I guess the author credits Auba when he carried the team right? Remember when he was scoring in Arteta’s first 6 months and carried the team?

    2. Ozziegunner says:

      What about having midfielders who can win the balls headed out by the opposition defense?
      GAI you are obsessed with a tall CF, when the quality in midfield is the problem. In defense – no class DM to break down attacks, win the ball back and drive forward into attack and no class ACM to provide a goal threat or provide opportunities to Arsenal’s forward line.
      How much better did Arsenal look, when ESR and Odegaard were introduced and Partey started playing injury free?

      1. gotanidea says:

        That could work too. But our CAM and two DMs must work harder and be braver to win the ground duels, after the opposition CBs head the ball down

  2. Silentstan says:

    Aubamayang, if not scoring, contributes nothing. Bad passer. Doesnt hold up ball. Doesnt help defence.
    Should be sold as team would benefit from a more inclusive player. Even Lacca is a better option for our style

  3. Dan kit says:

    Let’s hope the boss as fixed his tactics for the coming season ,I really do not want to watch football that belongs in the 80s.,
    Can’t believe some fans think that he is better tactically than our 2 previous managers .
    He as got a lot of making up to do to the fans after that diabolical season ,personally I cannot see him changing it but you never know ,maybe the players will carry him through this time .

    1. jon fox says:

      DAN DONT YOU THINK THAT, LIKE PEP, MA is by nature a micro manager and that can ONLY work when the players have huge ability.
      It works brilliantly at City BECAUSE his players are superb throughout the squad.

      OURS ARE FAR FROM THAT but will gradually improve when the forest of deadwood eventually leaves and better players, like White are more plentiful around our squad.

      In the meantime, I do essentially agree with you that lesser players are put under too much pressure by constant micro managing. Like you, I hope he learns from that !

    2. Dunchirado says:

      Dan Kit, try to be positive for once,the Sun will rise again

      1. Dan kit says:

        Dunchirado @
        I’ll be positive when the club give me something to positive about buddy .
        I was very positive when Arteta came in but coming 8th out of Europe and playing drab football really does take that away .

  4. jon fox says:

    I firmly agree that so much of the troubles of last season were down to AUBAS SEASON OFF. He was essentially doing an OZIL for the whole season and just could not be bothered, basically.

    MY PLAIN SPEAKING VIEWS ABOUT LAZY PLAYERS ARE WELL KNOWN ON JA. and with sound reasons behind them.
    I honestly believe that a greal deal of last seasons woes were down to precisely Aubas disgraceful attitude.(Not ALL about him, OBVIOUSLY, but a lot).
    LACA , on the other hand, fought valiently without much help from his mate!

    I cannot accept such an idle, even though talented, player as captain and I CALL FOR THAT TO CHANGE THIS SEASON.

  5. Gary Neville says:

    arteta really did manage to pull this out of that disaster and after thst run we have been 3rd in the pl gotta give him credits for that

  6. CorporateMan says:

    Three games in preseason so far and Aubameyang is yet to score a goal or create one
    I just hope this is not a sign of things to come in the new season

  7. Jakes Mradu says:

    Strip Auba of his captaincy and he will start scoring again………..)

  8. Ozziegunner says:

    Rob Holding’s comments are symptomatic of how far the mentality of Arsenal players has deteriorated since the days of Patrick Viera and Martin Keown standing up to Manchester United at Old Trafford. What Arsenal are left with is a group of pampered overpaid weak pea hearted mercenaries. If Arsenal players take the field believing they can’t win, then they won’t.

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