Why Arsenal fans should not be too hard on Holding

I am not trying to telly you that the Arsenal and England under 21 international defender had a good game this week in the Europa League clash with Cologne. Far from it really, and we know what it takes for Arsene Wenger to make any sort of tactical substitution before his usual time of around the 65 minute mark, so Rob Holding and his performance against the Germans must have been a serious concern to the Frenchman who replaced him at halftime.

Not surprisingly the 21-year old was criticised for his performance and given the lowest player rating by many, but I think that the Arsenal; fans at least should not be too hard on him. It was not Holding’s mistake but that of Ospina that put the Gunners behind and the whole team struggled to recover in the first half.

Taking off Holding for Kolasinac did work but Wenger changed the system to a back four, not just the player. Who knows whether Holding would have joined the likes of Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez and come good after the break? We should remember that the young center back is still very much on a learning curve and has already proved himself to have great potential.

The other reason I think Holding deserves a break is that he was one of the few Gunners to get stuck in and show fight in that difficult first half, so let’s give the guy a chance shall we?



  1. John says:

    Difficult day at work…………he will get better……..

    1. GunnerJack says:

      He will – and he already has the desired aggression, as he demonstrated against the Chelsea nutcase Costa.

    2. John Westlake says:

      It appears to me that most of the people who comment negatively on Holding’s two bad performances this season did not watch the games close enough. When holding is bringing the ball out of defense, he has very few options to make a pass to. In the recent Europa league game he had just Bellerin and or Walcott “available”. Neither provide him with a simple outlet. In fact Walcott often runs off trying to find a man to mark him. If Sanchez played on the right I believe Holding’s distribution would improve immensely.
      Just my observations….

      1. GunnerJack says:

        ‘. . . Walcott often runs off trying to find a man to mark him.’ LOL! You think even less of him than I do! Anyway let’s wish him the best of luck if he plays and let’s hope he proves us both wrong and has a blinder:)

  2. Victor victory says:

    For now he is not a first team player.

  3. summerbreez says:

    Sorry to take you away from the main subject but well done to Burnley as they played very well they defended very well and i will push them all the way to win the premier league as a footballer Burnley turns me on really hard especially when you compare our Arsenal can we do a Burnley against Chelsea ????

  4. John Ibrahim says:

    City is trashing their way to the title

    lets be realistic, we are not gonna beat both City and Utd

    hope fans are prepare for this

    They are very likely to win the title

    followed by Man Utd

    leaving us, spud, fool and Chelsea to battle 3rd and 4th

  5. Arsenogenic says:

    @John Ibrahim, seriously? 4 or 5 games into the season and you make that kind of prediction?


  6. Sol says:

    Holding is a good just low on confidence. And my observation from Koln match was, our right side of defense was targeted due to BFG.

    And with our player I think we need to go to 4-3-3 not sure how it would work, and we need to experiment that in Europa.


  7. John says:

    Rob holding is young and will in time get better with koscienly and mustafi to nurture him, he proves he capable of doing well when he put on the arsenal shirt

  8. Grandad says:

    With respect , Mustafi is not a long term solution to Arsenals defensive problems but given time Holding could well be. As a young centre back brought up playing in a flat back four as the main ball winner, it is extremely difficult to adapt to a new system in which he is basically a defensive right back. He has more time on the ball and as such his technical deficiencies become more exposed as he tries to be constructive, much the same as Stones at Man City. Like Stones I expect him to improve very quickly and go on to become an Arsenal and England regular.

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