Rob Holding insists Arsenal are not at ‘crisis point’ and is sure that the club can close the gap on the top four with a couple of wins on the bounce.
Having slipped from third to sixth in the Premier League during a disastrous four weeks of football sandwiched between the October and November Interlulls, the Gunners have it all to do if they are to achieve their stated ambition of qualifying for the Champions League.
While Unai Emery has been given more time to turn things around, there’s no hiding that the players need to put things right on the pitch starting against Southampton on Saturday.
“We just need to string a couple of wins together and I think that will lift the confidence again and hopefully set us off on a run,” Holding told Sky Sports.
“We just need to stay calm and stay positive. We’re sixth, we’re not a million miles off it.
“We’re going into a busy Christmas period now where there’s going to be three Premier League games a week.
“We’re eight points off the top four but if we have three wins in a week we’re back up within touching distance so it’s not crisis point by any stretch of the imagination. We need to keep calm, keep positive and keep working on what we need to improve on.”
In addition to overseeing just one win in seven games, Emery has also copped flak from supporters for the way he’s dealt with the club captaincy.
Granit Xhaka, handed the armband several weeks into the season following a player vote, was stripped of the honour earlier this month after a public spat with Gunners supporters who jeered him off the pitch in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has since taken over. Holding thinks the Gabon striker will do a great job and that Xhaka, who has been linked with a January move away from the club, still has the support of his teammates.
“Pierre’s great in the dressing room. He’s such a happy character so everyone is positive around him.
“He knows how to lift people and he leads by example on the pitch. Having someone like that up front, scoring goals for you always make things easier.
“I’ve never had any problems with Granit and none of the players have ever had any problems with him.
“He’s a great lad to have around the changing rooms and I just think what happened with him was between him and the fans and that is nothing to do with me. I just know I can support the team and support Granit.”