Friday, January 27, 2023

Holding pleased to keep clean sheet run going

For the second consecutive Premier League game, Unai Emery’s Arsenal overcame a first half injury setback to record a clean sheet with a rejigged defence.

Last weekend, Rob Holding had to replace Sokratis on the way to a 2-0 win over Everton. Today, Bernd Leno took over from Petr Cech in goal before the Gunners saw off Watford by the same scoreline.

After the game, Holding, who put in a very solid performance at centre-back, reflected on a hard-fought three points and how squad confidence is growing with each victory.

Speaking to, he said: “It was a really competitive and physical game and we knew that coming in, we just had to stand up to the battle and late on I think they tired and we managed to get a few passes together and score the goals.

“They look to play off the second balls and work hard to get hold of them, so we just had to match them physically and we had the ability to pick them apart and score some goals.

“He [Emery] said when he came in that he wanted to bring a winning mentality and I think you get that from wins and you go into each game confident. We’re physically fit and we know that we can go and get the result.”

The 23-year-old also had warm words for Leno after he impressed on his Premier League debut.

The German, a 44th-minute substitute, made important stops to deny Troy Deeney and Andre Grey with the scores level before a Craig Cathcart own goal and Mesut Ozil’s close-range strike lifted the Emirates crowd.

“We got one [a clean sheet] last time out in the Premier League so it’s nice to get another and keep that run going,” said Holding.

“We knew that with Bernd coming in that he’s got the quality. We saw it in the Europa League and the Carabao cup games that he’s good with his feet and players the style that we want to play.”

Holding and Leno will likely get more game time on Thursday when the Gunners go in search of their eighth consecutive win in Azerbaijan against Europa League opponents Qarabag.

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Mesut O'Neill

So according to Rob winning games, gives you a winning mentality, who would have thought that?


Alot was said about Sokratis being the physical player that we are lacking in defence, but I think we actually have one in Holding. I fondly recall when he squared off to the Costa in one of the matches. Think Holding and Sokratis could be a good partnership. As for Mustafi, well….. Theres always a part of uncertainty that will surface during the season. Maybe he can be a decent squad player
What do you guys think?
? For agree
? For disagree

Jack but

The winning mentality is rubbing off Holden


Leno…bellerin holding sokratis nacho…torreira xaka ozil….auba lacazette iwobi


Nice, although doubts on Bellerin defensively and Iwobi as a starter.


Can’t remember when we last won 5 League games in a row. 5 consecutive victories and we haven’t really looked convincing in any of them.

Why not


Naija Gunner

It’s black magic!


September /October 2015 was last time I believe.

I gave us 10 games to sort defence out before facing Scousers who won’t be as wasteful as every other team we’ve given chances to during this run.

I’d hoped Emery would focus on our weak points and also prepare for opponents. Seems like he needs the first half of games to do that and we improve in second half.


He needs to repalce Mustafi in the starting 11


I second this


I’ve been a staunch Mustafi defender but I also agree with this . Mustafi seem to be withering under all the pressure while Holding is rising to the occasion


More of a staunch defender than Mustafi is, clearly


rob holding you know…


… he’s better than Cannavaro!

Cliff Bastin

That Leno save omg my heart. Holding was great!


Well played match, Robbie.

(I know he’s reading this. Of course he is.)


I am.


I hope we give Martinez some minutes against Quarabag. Let Leno play the League games.

DE Gooner

I agree with using him in the rest of the group stages, but Leno probably could use another 90min out on the pitch, if he is going to be our keeper for the foreseeable future. I know he isn’t an outfield player, but if Holding and Sokratis are picked in def, then game time with his CB’s is not a bad idea at this stage of things.


Mustafi-Holding partnership produces yet another clean sheet. Holding had an excellent game. I thought he did very well keeping composure. If anything, his merit tended to be his fault before sometimes being too calm. This time he had good measure and looks like he can kick on to be an integral part of the Cback partnerships A couple of shaky moments, got turned by Isaac Success (what a name) just as Mustafi was slightly earlier one or two errand pass like Mustafi but overall they did well covering for each other. Leno also stepped in to the breach and did… Read more »

DE Gooner

Can we assume you are a Mustafi backer? Do you really think Mustafi is a ‘key’ reason why we have two clean sheets?

Naija Gunner

Keep it coming lads. COYG


This was a real test. Watford have been a real unit of late and they are one of the more physical/fit teams. They really went at us and have been in form. I mentioned start of season that Emery does NOT have the luxury of 3 seasons to get things right. That 7 games in we will start to see the league shape up where in years gone by it was around the tenth game. How we keep in close touch with the leaders would dictate if we have a chance in the top four which is where Wenger was… Read more »


well done rob, a few more games and you will be getting a call from southgate


There’s no “run”; barely 2 games where we’ve managed to not ship in a shit ton. We can only hope that continues.

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