Wenger confirms that Holding will start against Liverpool

Wenger will start Holding – not that he has much choice!

Welcome to the start of the Premier League campaign of 2016/17 and the opening round of fixtures play this weekend. Arsenal face up against strong opposition, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, at the Emirates this Sunday and will be hoping to start the season off with an impressive three points.

Going into the game, both sides have injury concerns already, however Arsenal seem slightly worse for wear with three of the club’s most recognised centre backs being unavailable due to fitness. Both Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista will be out for the long term future with respective injures, whilst first choice Laurent Koscielny will miss out due to not being fully match fit to start. It leaves just the young partnership of Calum Chmabers and new signing Rob Holding in defence and Liverpool will certainly be a tough test for the pair.

Arsenal only have three recognised options to play two spots in central defence. They are Chambers, Holding and Bielik, all of whom are massively inexperienced at the top level. Chambers has the most experience playing for Arsenal, but he is still young and so to lead the line at such an age, in such an important opening match, will certainly be a tough test. Bielik, who despite showing plenty of promise, probably won’t play but will definitely be due a spot on the bench given the lack of available players.

With all this in mind, fans have already started to name their line-ups for the opening match, with no new signings likely to meet the deadline before the first round of games kicks off. Arsene Wenger too has a big decision to make in defence and although he doesn’t have much choice, he seems to be confident that a partnership of Chambers and Holding will be strong enough to hold off the threat from Liverpool.

Wenger said: “We’ve had two unexpected injuries with Mertesacker and Gabriel, and [Laurent] Koscielny came back very late so we are in a difficult position for Sunday’s game against Liverpool. He’s [Holding] done extremely well. That’s part of the game as well, you want the spectacular players to come to the Premier League, but that means young players lose that opportunity to get a chance. Arsenal are one of the clubs who still have the guts to do that. I know it’s more glamorous to sign a £60m player than to give a chance to a young player, but in my job you have to look and focus on the quality of the player, and not just the numbers.”

Personally I am up in the air about how a partnership of Holding and Chambers will do against Liverpool, especially with the added pace of Sadio Mane, another signing from Southampton. I think they may just be able to hold on and they will need plenty of help from the more experienced full backs of Bellerin and Monreal, whilst the rest of the team will also have to be very much on song to achieve all three points. But in reality, with or without the defensive injures, Wenger should not have put the side in this situation by signing that all so important central defender that every single Arsenal fan recognises we need to strengthen this team.



  1. People need to chill about this Liverpool game. Yes, Klopp is a great manager that will have improved them, but look at our previous meetings against Klopp at Dortmund.

    This wasn’t Klopp’s Liverpool team with good but not outstanding players like Coutinho, Mane and Sturridge. This was Klopp’s Dortmund, with world class players like Lewandowski, Reus, Aubameyang, Gotze and Hummels, and we stood toe to toe against them each year we faced them in the Champions League.

    We haven’t finished building a title winning side, but we do still have a very strong team. Stop doubting the quality we do have. The only worry for this game is our missing players, but we should be able to cope.

    1. is anyone noticing Westham and Everton in this transfer window ???

      They are spending Like their Lives depend on it…..while a Title contending team like Arsenal who are a few players short of glory dilly-dallys!


      1. Though I strongly support that we definitely need to add more quality to the squad, we are not like Everton or West Ham – it is pretty easy for them to improve their average squad in every position.
        We only need to add quality for ST, CB and possibly RW – and not just any player, only top top player count, especially the ST position
        I don’t want to litter our squad with expensive panic buy which add no value to the team – Balotelli, Benteke, Bony, …
        I rather stick with Giroud and use Sanchez, Akpom (he deserve a chance) as backup than spending 30M on Bony

      2. What are you talking about, Everton have only replaced in positions where they lost players:
        Stones —> Williams, Howard —> Stekelenburg, Osman/Pienaar —->Gueye.
        West Ham have made some decent signings but haven’t actually outspent us (and one player they bought they already had on loan for last season in Lanzini)

        You’re the #PanicMoaner

  2. All the best to the CBs that will start on Sunday against Liverpool…I hope we see a stellar performance from holding/Chambers/Beliek If Wenger picks any of the two. He might go with either of Monreal/Debuchy in the CB.

    Anyway, hoping some young players do a Coquelin/Bellerin if given the chance this season..

    I know we are gutted for not signing the players we need before the Liverpool game but let’s support the players we have..

    Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn Arsenal. The season is here.. .Oh Yeah Baby!

    1. Supporting our player’s isn’t the issue here mate,
      It’s Wenger and his delusional way’s that has worn most fans out! ? Let’s hope that you are still in the “Oh yeah baby” mood, come the end of the transfer window! ? I for one will not be surprised if we’re sitting in the bottom half of the table, by then. ? Come oooooon you moaners! ?

  3. Well we need to hope that Holding and Chambers can cope at the back
    Luckily we have the best GK in the PL. That will help too
    We also have Coquelin/Xhaka/Eleney

    Poor planning has led to this and I won’t blame Chambers and Holding if it doesn’t work out
    They are young and inexperienced but due to injuries they need to thrown in the deep end of the pool

    Good Luck 🙂

    1. Hahaha ? Nice one! ?Lets hope that they don’t drown in that scouser Pool ? I’m sure that their fan’s will have a spare tyre or two on them, just in case, they may even throw in some hub cap’s too. ??

  4. Unexpected injuries of Gabriel and Mertesacker? So Wenger admits there are expected injuries?(Wilshere, OX, Walcott etc.)


      I know alot of teams who just want to WIN WIN WIN ….. Especially on Matchday 1…

      But you…..would be happy with a draw…. TypicaL!

      1. It’s not like we’re winning the title this season. best case scenario is top 4 and then Wenger retires. There’s really not much to be optimistic about. This Arsenal team remains only good enough for a top 4 finish, am I wrong?

  5. If anybody had told a bLind optimistic wengerite that their Lord won’t have this team in order 2months ago….who would believe?

    Now fastforward few months Later and all the experienced defenders (Kos, mert, gab) are out!…..and still no new CF

    how come some of us were’nt able to smell wenger’s BS months back?

  6. SoOpa i do think most gunners knew in the back of their mind this would happen, but i think some think you shouldn’t attack the club. my opinion is if you pay your money your entitled to an opinion. i will be watching this season, however i will be from my living room, after all i have a budget too

    1. yea…u quite right

      so what do u make of a 32yr old Jeremy Mathieu in an Arsenal shirt?

      L()L i pray for no such Transfer

      1. please lord we have not dropped that far have we. schilachi 2
        the thing is i don’t expect us to win the league i just want us to have a good go at it, we were told we are moving into the new stadium so we can compete financially. yet now we can’t compete financially ?

  7. Perhaps Wenger should have signed a defender about 6 months ago, but I can’t helping thinking that playing Holding & Chambers is also a statement, a finger, to Morinho – pimping on Zlatan and Pogba – and the whole money circus.

    1. nope, its nothing more than the result of diddlying around in the transfer market all summer. This team needed a new CB before Mertesacker even got injured. I don’t think we’re in any position to laugh at United considering we’re over a decade with no title. Trying to make statements about spending is why we’re not taken seriously anymore.

  8. El Haddadi from barca looks like he’s heading to Valencia I wouldn’t mind him can play left or CF

  9. As a longtime fan I’d love to pretend that all will be well and the team will have a positive result, but that’s hope! reality is that the game will be tough and Wenger will require to field atleast two defensive midfielders to help the back four. This implies Coquelin, Elneny and Carzola, all in the starting eleven. I’d love to see Iwobi, Ox/Ramsey and Alexis too which means no slot for Theo in the starting eleven. The result will determine whether Arsene will sign more players before the transfer window shuts. I have a feeling that we may get away with a draw, hoping Klops guns will fail to click (mane, Sturidge,Origi, Firmino,etc)

  10. My team vs Liverpool,
    Bellerin, holding, bielik, monreal
    Cazorla, xhaka
    Campbell, Sanchez, iwobi

  11. Wenger and arsenal = 1 step forward 3 back! Oh also Per is declining?! He started this decline seasons ago! Good in the air though? We shouldn’t be in this situation before the season has even started. I do believe a cb will be done early next week ready for the next game, (fitness permitting) and a high profile signing, (cf or rw) will arrive close to the end of the window. Lewandoski, griezman, mahrez or benzema.

  12. sad situation it really is …but i suspect he might play monreal as CB and bring in gibbs as FB

    the midfield should be carzola and shaka but other than sanchez the forward line is a lottery with an unimpressive grand prize … he will probably play iwobi and walcott and probably ox over campbell

    lpool still weak at the back like us … better forward line but not as good in middle … so could be a high scoring game that goes either way but will be optimistic and say 2 2

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