Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Emery keen to see Rob Holding push for the ‘first’ team

Rob Holding made his first start of the season last week against FC Vorlska, and was thrust into action when he replaced Sokratis during the first half of our 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday.

The 23 year was quietly impressive in both games, and it gave Unai Emery a chance to see the centre-half in competitive action for the first time. The Spaniard must have liked what he saw, because he spoke ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup game against Brentford to urge the former Bolton man to take the opportunity to stake his claim for more regular action.

With continued doubts over the form of Shkodran Mustafi, who has had an error prone start to the season, there’s room for Holding to usurp the German if he can continue to impress, something the new boss made clear.

“We need every player when chances and opportunities come, because we need to also take more players to play,” said Emery.

“Like on Sunday, for example, after Sokratis’ injury it was important how Rob played and helped the team to find the performance to win against Everton.

“Brentford is also a good opportunity for Holding to continue taking confidence, taking minutes and taking also our ideas of playing and I want to look at him also with our best performance, staying in the first eleven.”

It’s interesting that he refers to the Premier League selection as the ‘first’ eleven, but you can see what he means when comparing to tonight’s competition and the Europa League.

There’s not a lot of room for manoeuvre at centre-half right now, with both Laurent Koscielny and young Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos injured, but if Holding does well again, he could find himself facing Watford at the weekend.

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Big fan of Rob Holding. At 23 he still has some time but this really needs to be the season he makes a name for himself if he’s going to become a top class international defender.

And if you can’t break into a team with Shkodran Mustafi in it then maybe football isn’t your thing.


I don’t see that much pressure. You don’t see many CB’s of that age firmly holding their first team places at this level, if any. He turned 23 six days ago, if he plays 30 games including substitutions and gets 2000+ minutes he’s in a great position for the forthcoming years when Kos retires and, most likely, Mustafi leaves.


Six days ago he was 22, now he is 23. That’s just how it works.

Make Arsenal Great Again

He is right on time. By 23-24 a CB should be pushing for a first team place, which he is. By 25-26, a CB should nail down a starting role. He is doing just fine


I really hope he does well. Really enjoyed seeing him play in the Uefa Cup last week alongside sokratis becuase it was great to see a cb pairing with some decent height which we haven’t seen in a while. Generally I think all successful English teams have a British defender at their core, they just seem to have a bit more grit.

For me Rob Holding’s been ready ever since his performance in the 2017 FA cup final. Him over mustafi all day long.


To follow up on that, I don’t mind seeing a young developing cb make the odd mistake. But seeing players we paid £35m regularly doing so I do!

Arsenala Vista Baby

I think he is calmer and more composed than Mustafi. Tall & can give cover to the defensive backline during set pieces or an overhead through ball. Sokratis – Holding will do just fine while waiting for Kosc to be back.


Huge potential due to his attitude, intelligence, skill, physical attributes.

23 is still very young, he will improve year on year. If Emery thinks he can be in our first team then he must be looking good. Hope he makes it.

Ya gooner

He’s good on the ball and knows when to hoof it to touch when our players are out of position. He still needs to improve but that will come with games. I’d rather take a punt on him over mustafi the same way everton/city did it with stones. Deep end growth.


I get the feeling Emery wants to replace Mustafi so bad, he’s just waiting for a proper replacement to emerge.

Irrational Gunner

My feeling also. Reading between the lines it is almost if Emery is saying to Holding, “give me a performance so I can replace Mustafi!”


Not just Holding. I’m sure that applies to every member of the squad


Why would he want to displace Mustafi.

He has been one of our better Cbacks which isn’t saying much.

Holding did not exactly convince in pre season.

Sokratis for all recent spectacular may not be the best option we could have taken in the summer.


Mistakes have not just been Mustafi.

Inconvenient truth to some but Monreal has made plenty of errors.

Even Sokratis has been caught most recently against Everton when he lost track of Walcott’s run.

Christopher Wreh

Looked very comfortable when he came on on Sunday. Big season for him and I hope he takes his chance I really do.


well its about time, he has been here long enough

A Different George



Why is that a troll comment?

He has been around for a while and needs the opportunity now to step up.


Afan is a known troll


Holding should definitely push this season. He’s now 23yrs and has the raw attributes to make it. Height, good feet, calm demeanor and now a bit more experience.

I suppose when Chambers returns from loan he will be assessed as well and there is Mavropanos still to further develop.

But This season could be huge for Holding.

Next to Mustafi, he can add the height and power allowing the German to do the intercepts.

We’ve needed a bit more aerial security and Holding can provide this.

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