Mikel Arteta has praised Rob Holding’s determination after the defender came back from injury earlier than expected to help Arsenal win 1-0 at Old Trafford for the first time in 14 years.
The 25 year old slotted in alongside the hugely impressive Gabriel, less than two weeks after tweaking his hamstring in the warm-up before the Man City game.
His willingness to push himself drew praise from the manager, who said afterwards, “I think he had one [training] session. We didn’t expect him to be back so quickly, to be fair.
“Thanks to the medical staff for the work that they’ve done, but that’s the culture that we’re trying to create.
“Rob has this determination and he’s willing all the time to play and improve and work hard. He put himself on the line when we needed him and it was an incredible performance.”
With the Gunners juggling European and domestic fixtures at the moment, there’s a need for some squad rotation, but after a big win, Arteta is pleased with the response from the players he’s calling on, and hopeful it will generate further confidence among them.
“It generates the belief and it binds everyone together,” he said.
“Everyone’s going to feel really part of it because players who haven’t played so many minutes in the Premier League until recently will be involved.
“Everybody has to be ready and if we want to perform at that level, we’re going to have to use this squad. The fixtures are crazy at the moment and the physical demands are huge.
“Everybody has to be contributing and focused on what they are bringing to the team. That’s the question you have to ask of yourself.
“It’s not just on the pitch, it’s off it as well and in training. We’re looking at what you can bring to the team, how you can help and how you are contributing. I’m really happy with the team.”