Arsenal fans feeling frustrated with the team’s defensive performances this season have looked at the returns of Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin as something which will bring about an improvement.
Two flying full backs and a centre half who probably won’t do the stupid stuff the others have done provide a measure of optimism that we can tighten up at the back.
Holding and Tierney are in the squad for tonight’s trip to Old Trafford, and the Englishman is well aware that there’s some pressure on them to perform.
“I was speaking with Kieran – we were saying there is actually a bit of pressure on me, Hector and him,” he told Sky Sports.
“Obviously the fans have been putting a lot of pressure on saying: ‘We need those three back, hopefully they can perform’.
“So we had a bit of pressure going into the Forest game and the way we performed and dealt with it was great.”
The Premier League is a different beast to the Carabao Cup, and despite Man Utd’s poor form, the Gunners go to a ground they haven’t won at since 2006.
A record of just four points from twelve fixtures means that there’s a psychological hurdle to overcome, even if this current iteration of the Red Devils is as poor as anyone can remember for some time.
Holding also revealed he was left distraught at seeing Hector Bellerin suffer the same injury just weeks after he ruptured his ACL at Old Trafford in December 2018.
“I was sat with my girlfriend and I saw the video from TV in the group chat with my friends,” he said.
“I thought ‘oh no’. Because it was so raw for me it hit a spot and I got a bit emotional with it.
“I was two weeks post-op when he went down, I was sat up here watching the game and it was really emotional for me to see him go down, getting stretchered off and holding his knee.
“It happened so close together. For it to both be left knee, a weight-bearing knee for us. To go through the process with him made it a lot easier and I’m sure he’d say the same.”