Can Holding and Chambers Survive? by Dan Smith
At 24 and 25 respectively, I still feel Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are young enough to be taught new tactics, coached to improve, still learn, which is meant to be Arteta’s strength.
Both have the issue of niggling injuries, meaning they never get a whole season to judge them on. Holding though has got himself in great shape and post-lockdown did enough to be given a chance.
Before his setback, I saw enough of Chambers on the ball to believe he has the qualities his manager wants from his defenders. Yet I’m worried Arsenal may have already shown them their cards.
They say action speak louder than words and the club’s actions worry me. Obviously Saliba has arrived, Mari’s loan was made permanent and Luiz’s contract was extended. So, if you believe reports that we are still targeting a new centre back, that will take the number up to 9!
So, is it a case of Holding, Chambers, Mustafi, Mavropanos and Sokratis at best all battling for one spot? That’s assuming long term we switch back to 4. If we persevere with a back 3 then (based on having 2 players per position) you could then justify having 6 CB. Yet I don’t know what opinions are being based on. Well In fact I do, I just don’t agree with them.
You cannot tell me that Luiz’s future in North London is secure based on a footballing decision? I refuse to believe a man who’s been taught by Pep Guardiola, judges Luiz superior to the rest. I’m not saying Holding was consistent but that can be justified by a long time on the side-lines. He doesn’t make the mistakes though someone a lot more experienced does. In fact, judged on this season, Mustafi was more reliable then Luiz. Shouldn’t the whole season be taken into consideration?
Apart from two terrific displays at Wembley, it’s hard to know what more the Brazilian could have done to not get an extension. He managed to get more red cards and penalties in one year at the Emirates, than in 7 at the Bridge. That won’t stop by the way. At 33 he won’t suddenly stop having moments of lost concentration.
I’ll be writing, and you will be reading, more articles about how Luiz cost us points. My worry is at that point will we be regretting letting Holding and Chambers go?
It wouldn’t shock me if Arteta been overruled here. I don’t see him choosing Luiz over two players he could work with on the training pitch. Nor could Mari have proved in just two starts that he was any better than what we had.
Don’t get me started on Cedric, Chambers could have been our back up right back.
What I do see, to get the investment he wants, those above Arteta are finding ways to fund his wish list and therefore the Spaniard has to pick his battles wisely.
While he might rate a Holding, is his fitness reliable enough to be a hill you want to die on? So, the business decision might be to sell the two centre backs who are at an age where they have value. The plan could be to sell them and with Luiz taking a pay cut we saved more money for Stan Kroenke.
Holding and Chambers hopes of staying won’t be helped either by our inability in the last few windows to find anyone who will pay Mustafi’s wages. Has he played well enough where that’s changed? I have this horrible feeling Sokratis might be hard to budge as well based on his salary?
What’s your opinion gooners?
If you think we should stick with a back 3 and Tierney’s our left back, pick 6 defenders to keep. If you are playing a back 4, pick 5.
Be kind in the comments