Sunday, January 23, 2022

Confirmed: Rob Holding fit to play again

Arsenal have confirmed that Rob Holding is fit to return to first team action having fully recovered from the ACL injury he sustained in November.

The centre-back started training with the ball earlier in the summer and has since featured for the club’s under-23s on a number of occasions.

While it seems unlikely that he’ll start against Watford at the weekend, he’ll now compete with Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi to be back-up to current first choice duo Sokratis and David Luiz.

Arsenal’s latest medical bulletin also confirms that Hector Bellerin (knee), Kieran Tierney (groin) and Dinos Mavropanos (groin) are on the mend and hoping to resume first team training this month.

With players still returning from international duty, it’s likely that there could be a further update in the next couple of days.

Granit Xhaka revealed this week that he’s been struggling with an Achilles problem, Joe Willock withdrew from England under-21 duty with a calf problem and Lucas Torreira wasn’t in the Uruguay squad that faced the USA last night due to a muscular problem.

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Tbh I would pick Holding ahead of any of our center backs…. Saliba and Holding would be rock solid for so many years to come…

Red Arrow

Don’t jinx it!! Poor guy has only just recovered.


I get, I am actually not saying he should be played right away, but when fit, with his display before the injury, he is by far our best centre back


Him and sok were working well together before, though I want to see more of chambers too


I don’t know why Chambers doesn’t get the minutes. He did an excellent job as DM for Fulham and I think he could do the job in a back 3 or 4. He’s less prone to mistakes than Luiz, to be honest.

Obama Young

Our only clean sheet so far came with Chambers playing 90 minutes of soild, panic-free football. He hasn’t played a second since. He deserves more chances.


“I don’t know why Chambers doesn’t get the minutes.”
the coach…


Unai probably wanted to pick Socratis and Luiz for the two top 6 games (and give them a game together before)

Man Manny

Generally speaking, Arsenal has a crop of 25 year olds and below to be excited about.
If they all keep developing and bonding at this pace, we will be genuine title contenders in three seasons…or less.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

You don’t even know anything about Saliba.


Small steps now to premier league level match fitness and intensity. Would be interesting what our CB pairings will start to look like

Kran Stoenke

Let’s hope he’s coming back with his cool head and brilliant defensive trekkers. He makes the life easy for guendozi and is excellent at 1v1s. Stoked


He’s better than Cannevaro.


You mean Cannavaro? Legendary Italian defender? Why do you say that?


It’s his song mate:

“Oh oh oh Rob Holding, you know … he’s better than Cannavaro”.

Also it’s factually accurate too, you know cos it rhymes.

Kran Stoenke

Because he’s better than canavaro can’t u read pal


Caravano is 46 years old on Friday, so yes Holding is currently better than him.

Martin Dufosse

No, he’s NOT better than the legendary Italian.!!!!


Yay! Great news. I’m not going to put too much expectations on him though….we saw him mainly in a back 3, but the (unsurprising) way Sideshowbob has started, more than pleased to have an alternative option. Also given gaffer doesn’t seem to fully trust Chambers (I believe its an issue with positioning, a welcome LANS. I think we can work out midfield without Torreira and Granit with Willock-GUendouzi-Cebellos providing a rotating 3 fidget spinner approach against Watford. BUT the backline really needs to take more formal shape and we need a stable pair. Whoever is next to Sokratis IMO should… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Good analysis from Santori as usual…oops, this time.


you do realize that Luiz is 6’2″ – the exact same height as Holding and 2″ taller than Mustafi who is actually our shortest CB.


What is LANS? Yes I did try and Google and the only results are about local area networks.

Typical tantrum

Like a new signing


Where have you been?


As my 12 year old would say…’we’ve got a noob’


I hope we see Chambers at CDM.

Forest gooner

Better than xhaka on any day




I hope we see Maitland niles at CDM… not chambers.

My Cousin Vinai

I’m not sure I agree with blogs on the assumption that Sok and Luiz are automatic starters.
I think Sokratis in particular is at risk. I think his level is still questionable and I’m not convinced he and Luiz are a great fit; they’re both too front-footed as seen against Spurs.

Holding when fit, plays left side allowing Luiz to be on the right, plays more as a sweeper allowing Luiz to run forward, is technically almost as good as Luiz on the ball and better than Sokratis I suspect he provides s better balance.


Anybody who thinks Holding is going to be our defensive saviour is mistaken. Rob is a decent centre- half but no more. We still need ho go out and buy big to cover that position. In the meantime he and Sokratis should be the centre-back paring. Sideshow Bob should only play in midfield.

A Different George

It’s rare for me to agree with Fatgooner (because he is almost always wrong about everything). Rob Holding may develop into a top-level centre half, but he isn’t there yet, by a long shot. Supporters everywhere almost inevitably tend to overrate local players, but the English media help bring it to a new level. We can all see how ridiculously over-hyped players from other teams are (Trippier, Dier) and we should not fall into this same trip for our own players.

A Different George

Trap. Though trip is fine too.




The amount Holding has improved in his absence through injury is almost the amount Chambers declined while on loan.

They’re both good young players with everything to prove, I think both deserve a chance to show what they can do. The bar as it’s been set by our senior CBs is very, very fucking low, those starting births should very much be up for grabs.

Lack of Perspective

Holding was playing like a solid, reliable and mature CB for a good chunk of time before his injury.

Misery guts’ oppinion on the mattsr son’t change a thing.

Eternal doom and gloom.


Regardless of how well he played (and let’s not you and I pretend he was picture perfect), he played 10 league games last season. 16 all campaign, and we kept maybe 1 -3 clean sheets in those games. That’s less than a third of our campaign. If you look back at Chambers after that many games people thought he was the second coming of Adams himself, look back a bit further and Senderos had the same narrative, further still and you’d remember the chatter surrounding Matty Upson. You get people still questioning Aubameyangs goal scoring proficiency, with his record at… Read more »

Lack of Perspective

Does not change the fact that he was playing well before he got injured. Could at least pretend to be positive about something instead of whinging. Constantly


By the current standards, if Holding or Chambers came to reach the same level of Upson in their careers, it would be one hell of a deal


I agree with this. Arsenal players are perceived to get better while out injured by the fandom. Something I never understood.
Holding & Hector are prime examples.


Agree. He had a few decent games last year where he did not directly contribute to any major catastrophes, and all of a sudden he is the savior. He needs to be worked back in slowly or he will collapse mentally under the expectations created by those who think he is Van Dijk. Same goes for Tierny. He hasn’t played a game yet, yet he is the starting left back for the next 10 years. Give it a break. Let’s not undermine our own developing players by talking them up into the stratosphere of bullshit. Chambers hasn’t played lately because… Read more »



Pepe Le Piaow

I really hope that the fans give him time and don’t get on his back if he looks a little rusty. I remember Kos looking a bit shit when he came back last season and a lot of fans were saying he was past it and his career was over.

Hopefully we’re looking at a future captain in Holding.


Welcome back, sir. We need your measured head back there.

Sagebrush Farm

Rob was outstanding prior to that injury


He was alright, he wasn’t outstanding. I remember a couple of silly decisions leading to goals, a Xhaka’esq handball for a penalty… Let’s just see how he comes back after a lengthy injury but I’d be surprised if he’s first choice before Xmas.

Make Arsenal Great Again

Compete for a back up spot? He is heads and shoulders the best center defender at the club!


Per reminds us he held the line with Holding on Chelsea for that famous FA cup victory. In part, it was Wenger’s faith in his players which was ulitmately both a strength and his downfall.

A Different George

When I watched that match live, I thought both Mertesacker and Holding were amazing, the latter winding up Diego Costa and putting him in his pocket. Re-watching, a bit more calmly, I thought Holding had great spirit, worked hard, and had a lot of trouble with Costa–and that Mertesacker bailed him out repeatedly (all but once).

So, my reassessment: Holding had a decent though difficult game against a quality (if despicable) striker; Mertesacker had one of the greatest defensive performances in an important match that I have ever seen.


How about Holding Chambers as a CB pairing with Luiz and Sokratis as back ups? 🙂 and Mustafi sold by Jan window hopefully, Saliba comes back nexts season.

North Bank Gooner

Welcome back Rob, some much needed reinforcement in defence.

Three Steps Sideways

Oh still, my beating heart !


Holding Chambers or we riot!


I hope I am not alone in hoping for a back four in a line up thst consists of:


Tierney Chambers Holding Bellerin

Torreira Guendouzi

Pepe Willock/Ozil Aubameyang



No Ceballos?

Paul Roberts

Replace Willock/Ozil with Ceballos and Chambers with Luiz and I’m in! 🙂


As much as I like your lineup, there are many other factors in football such as seniority, leadership and physical presence. Unfortunately I’m not sure this team has it, which in a nutshell is why Emery continues to play Xhaka despite his mistakes.

Martin Dufosse


Thierry Bergkamp

The lad has bulked up a bit


we’ll hopefully see him start Frankfurt away or Villa at home


I’d like to see him start with Chambo in the Europa and then, if all goes well, give them a run in the Premier League. I really think we might have a decent pairing there.

A Different George

Doesn’t Chambo play for Liverpool now?


Suggested Line Up Against Watford:


Torreira Xhaka
Nelson Dani Ozil Saka
Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang


If Holding is playing, we don’t need a goalkeeper.

Paul Roberts


Paul Roberts

And of course defensive midfielders would also be surplus to demands…:-)


Oh the classic martini glass formation, how interesting.


Great news, not just for us but England as well. I’m sure Southgate will be very interested in his progress after that shambolic defensive display last night!


Why the thumbs down. Having watched Maguire last night I can’t see why a fit Holding isn’t better


sokratis is an ass. luiz is an ass. kolasinac is an ass. Monreal and Kos have left.

Its only Chambers and Holding that can save the season from Bummery and his idiocies.


he’ll show that whoever is in defence, we’ll still struggle and the problem is with the (weak defensive) coaching.

Paul Roberts

mrugunner I would like to see your report on Arsenal’s defensive training – I assume you have studied it??


paul look at emery’s defensive stats.

Paul Roberts

Look at the defence he’s had! ?

Paul Roberts

An update on the official site:
“All players who were on international duty will have returned to us by Thursday morning. No international players have reported injuries during this period.
However, all international players will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s match.”


Let’s ease the lad back into the first team slowly, and give him some leeway! He’s young and coming back from a huge injury, so let’s give him our support and not crucify him when he makes the inevitable mistake.

As supporters we can help give him the confidence to be a solid CB for us for the next decade, if we don’t break him down when his form dips. Let’s go Holdini!

Paul Roberts
Pepe Le Pew

He is better than Cannavaro!


Holdings distribution is what Emery likes the most. If he could pair Luiz and Holding he probably would.

His favourite tactics are all based on making space further upfield by inviting the high press and then breaking the press with direct actions towards opposition goal


No midfielders? Chambers at DM?

Kurt Sloan

With Holding back, I like to see Luiz in midfield, whether its DM or CM. For me hes never a center back.

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