Arteta explains why he didn’t bring Holding on after Luiz red card


Following David Luiz’s 26th minute sending off against Chelsea at the Emirates, Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff looked set to send Rob Holding into the fray.

Television coverage suggested that the centre-half would more than likely replace Gabriel Martinelli, the youngster sacrificed to allow the team to rebuild defensively.

However, the Arsenal manager changed his mind. In part because of how well Granit Xhaka slotted into the centre of defence, but as explained afterwards, he felt it might be the kind of change that would put his team into a negative mindset.

“I changed my mind,” he said.

“I was thinking about that and said ‘I don’t want to send that message’ to the team and we decided to keep us as we were, give them a chance and I wanted to see how they could respond to that.

“Don’t make the response for them because I asked them to be accountable for what they do and I didn’t want to make a decision not to let them decide for themselves.

“It was a great response from them.”

And he outlined his happiness with his players even further after the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

“The spirit they showed, the character, the fight and the leadership as well was there because you have to really stand up,” he said.

“I asked them that when someone makes a mistake – it can happen in football, someone has to take a red card – what cannot happen is that after we don’t stand up for him and every single did it with belief as well.

“I could sense at half time they believed they could get back in the game and I wasn’t expecting Hector to score with his left foot obviously, but I’m very pleased.”

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Forest gooner

Make Arsenal Great Again!


Mikel Arsenal Great Again


Mikel ’Arsenal Great’ Arteta

VAR will solve the problem

Mikel Arteta Gets Arsenal!


Please stop using idiotic sayings parroting the clap trap from a moronic, imbecilic impeached president who embarasses his countrymen day and night.

Thank you, from Middle Earth.

Yankee Gooner

Complete agreement on this, especially given that phrase’s history in American white nationalism. [Google it yourself if you’ve a mind to do so.]

Reality check

Can all the racist Trump supporters move over to the lot we played last night. You were misinformed, they house all the racist scum in their stands. Arsenal is class and humanity is the their driving value. Trump builds walls and creates divisions, whereas we were the first club to help out the refugees regardless of the political situation. Can’t be more proud of the club for that..




Greta is that you?


I love the attitude. Don’t give people a damage limitation mentality. I just watched the highlights after missing the game but it’s hard to tell we were down to 10 men. With this attitude, the wins will come – it’s just a matter of time.


Even when David Luiz got sent off today it was still 11 vs 11. Fair fucking play to that Arsenal away support today because on TV it was absolutely unbelievable to hear.

Gave me goosebumps even when we went down 2-1. Without that support, I don’t think we draw that game today so well in lads.


So very true, and important to point out!
Thank you to all who travelled to… Mordor, or whatever the hell that place is called. We heard you. Everyone heard you.


Oh it was loud in there!

Cultured determination

And they thought only pepe could cut in and score on his left foot. Hehehe. Added fire power!

Tankard Gunner

Man’s a little slow on the turn and his tackling isn’t the best. But still, I see what you’re going for.

Tankard Gunner

Whoops. Wrong comment, sorry!

santi's thigh grab

Have another tankard.


Can we play Xhaka as CB next time around too? We desperately need a ball playing CB, he might just be the solution!

Tankard Gunner

Man’s a little slow on the turn and his tackling isn’t the best. But still, I see what you’re going for. I’d prefer Holding if he’s fit.


Let’s not get too carried away. Yes he was exceptional back there today, but the real solution is we need defensive reinforcements. Fair play to mustafi as well. Albeit it was a monumental fuck up he made that cost us a player and a goal, but I think minus that he would probably have a fair shout for man of the match. The look on his face afterwards was frightening like he didnt want to be there or wasnt convinced he deserved to be there. But I’m not so convinced if the roles were reversed and if David Luiz made… Read more »

Fickle Hairteta

Yeah, Mustafi was actually pretty good the whole game, bar two or three instances.
I liked how Laca had a hug with him after the game.
In general, I feel like much of the toxicity as of recent, from fans to players, is slowly being drained out.

A Different George

He is often very good. Sometimes he is very good, full stop. Sometimes he is very good except for a catastrophic mistake. My guess is that he can reestablish himself as a very good centre-half overall after he leaves Arsenal. I don’t think it is possible if he stays.

Bayo Sanni-Omotosho

Might be a turning point for Mustafi as well


What a a wise decision. If he had taken out Martinelli and brought in Holding..who would have scored? The game plan would have been not concede a lot. But I am happy he took the decision.


A 1-0 loss and a 5-0 loss costs us 3 points anyway. Rather try to go on the attack

Billy Bob

Arteta’s reasoning behind his decision made me think back to the champions league final, okay we had to bring on a goal keeper, but we took Bobby off!! I wonder if it would have made a difference lol never know, but I do like the logic behind Arteta’s reasoning


This Chelsea team cannot be compared to the Barca side of 2006. With the attacking force they have, they could easily rip us apart with one man short at the back.

Glenn Gomes

“Don’t make the response for them because I asked them to be accountable for what they do and I didn’t want to make a decision not to let them decide for themselves.”
And the ensuing result of this thought was a fine result. This guy can take us places…. What an antidote to the negativity the previous manager had sowed in the team


Arteta has improved us, but not in the way most of us predicted.

He’s given us spirit, got us playing together as a team again instead of the bunch of random strangers we looked like under Emery and – unlike Emery – he has actually made us more competitive, rather than just bragging about it.

Dominic Cassidy

The team back in November would have packed it in after the 1st goal but last night they kept going even after going behind again. That’s the kind of spirit that has been missing for a while.


I had to count our players after Luiz (another ex Chelsea man???)was sent off.
But i had to really count our players, we were playing like 11 men.
Maybe we should start with 10? ?


Arteta is trusting his players to make in-game decisions as opposed to plainly moving them like pieces on a chessboard. Me likey.


Xhaka is the best leader we have in the team, time for supporters to get over themselves and give him back the armband.


He’s fine to be the leader without the armband. Let’s keep that pressure off him.


The board,the owners who ever is there need to support the hunger the manager Arteta brought to arsenal by signing some top players,otherwise, we could end up like the likes of Leeds etc


That’s cool and all but arteta need to be more decisive with his subs, how many times has he changed his mind regarding substitution?


That will come with more experience. He has the right mindset though and that’s huge going forward.


I’d rather he took a minute to think and made the right decision than made the wrong one.


I think he wanted to keep his options open – And Lampard was unable to guess and make his subs accordingly


Plus it lets the subs warm up in front of the away fans which was good for morale.

Teryima Adi

Arteta would be a great coach. I just know that.


This proves that Arsenal have “Under Performed” in all other games; Proves Ozil is way past “Sell by Date”; Proves, that had Arsenal performed with consistency and this level of commitment (they get paid top $ every week), then Arsenal will be in “top 4” and not lingering “Mid Table”. having “Drawn 12 Games” thus far. Proves, Stan Kroenke and the Board should have listened; I had said from October 2018, “Sack Unai Emery”. Now, don’t sign mediocre “stand-is”, sign only marquee players; quality , not quantity. Arsenal Needs to shift, Mustaffi, Holding, Luiz and Ozil; these players are mediocre… Read more »


Ozil needs to step up. He’s a good player and seldom has ‘bad’ games but man is playing like an attacking Denilson, safe every time. We need more from him.


His role is to create and he does. Laca’s and £70M Pepe’s role is to goal and they don’t.

Dave cee

Ozil is done. Get over it


So Holding being injured for a year means he turns mediocre and needs to be sold?

Leicester signed Johnny Freaking Evans from WBA. If only Arsenal has your crystal ball. And I would be honestly surprised if anyone could name Watford’s entire back four without a search. So please.


We play at 10, Özil included, for 30 minutes without Chelase goaling. But i agree, Auba is useless, he would have taken Martinelli’s place.

Danger Mouse

You need to learn when to use inverted commas.


Delighted with the point yesterday after I expected a hammering going down to 10. One thing I have been critical of is our very poor and low amount of shots on target since Arteta took over…maybe even further back to when Freddie took over. I don’t know the exact number but we must have such a high goal to shots on target ratio under Arteta’s Management. Anyone have the figures? I was crying for us to have a shot on target and both were goals. Well done for digging deep lads. Was nice to see Luiz watching in a tv… Read more »


We were down to 10 men and down in score for the majority of the match, we played it perfectly.


Dave – I’m not saying the game last night we should of had 10 attempts, for obvious reasons. Even if you don’t include this match and go back the previous games, we still only have 1 or 2 shots on target.

Steve Vallins

A little thought Arteta has done so much in a short space of time and not having much time in between games other than recover train and prepare for the next one .
As we’re coming up to a 2 week winter break how much more can he put into this team , can’t wait to see the players response against Newcastle


We definitely don’t have enough attempts. Emery’s teams were mostly out-shot by the opposition. It’s a problem that goes way back. I’m confident this will change now.


We actually played better with 10 men, we were getting dominated up until that point but it seemed to galvanise us. Chelsea also didn’t seem to know how to break us down without over-committing players so were in two minds.


Mikel had already made a wrong descision by starting mustafi instead of Holding. I think that was enough.

La Pulgita

Holding was out for nearly a year and the appearances he’s made he’s been rusty as hell. I get you probably don’t like Mustafi but Holding is not a better option right now, let him be introduced slowly and get back up to speed.


The weirdest part of that Mustafi-Luiz combo is that when Luiz has fouled Abraham, Mustafi for whatever reason rushes to the ball and tries really hard to keep it in play. So even if Luiz hadn’t fouled, instead of just giving them a corner, he would have played the ball into our own box and potentially provide a tap-in to Chelsea. This is so strange.

Ya Gooner

He actually hits the ball into luiz, something me and a mate cracked up about (after the result, during it it was unbelievable).

Bai Blagoi

“Don’t make the response for them because I asked them to be accountable for what they do and I didn’t want to make a decision not to let them decide for themselves.

I like it, so Wengeresque!


P. S. Props to mustafi. He basically told martinelli / showed him to go outside the box for the corner.


I don’t think many people noticed it during the the match….but it was asif he know he was going to head the ball and Martinelli was going to have a chance to counter

W- Gunners

Tears run down my eyes yesterday.Thats tears of joy. I was overwhele to see my team show so much courage and strenght. Arteta is the right man for the job. Bravo to the Gunners

Gooners & Roses

Man Management 101. Top example


Display was superb. I think the Manager is doing the good job and must be supported


It was really moment to moment. Arteta was really responsive to on field going ons. He was about to pull the trigger on Martinelli as mentioned. Woudl have been a big mistake anyway sacrificing the pace on the counter particularly when you consider Ozil was pretty much a passenger in this game already. Then later in second half Guendouzi came on for Ozil. This could have been done much earlier. Visible effect thereafter with the energetic Guendouzi giving us more bite. Later he was going to haul off Bellerin for AMN with legit worries about the fullback’s full fitness in… Read more »