Rob Holding has told Arsenal’s official website that he was determined to put in a steady performance in his first game back for the Gunners, rather than stand out with a perfect display.
Holding returned after around 10 months out for the side’s Carabao Cup tie with Nottingham Forest in September. He had previously been involved in some under-23 games, so the fans were excited about his comeback.
And his return could have hardly gone better. He scored and Arsenal went on to win 5-0 against the high-flying Championship side.
Interestingly however, Holding suggested that he was just focused on doing his job rather than securing any of the headlines with his display.
“I wanted to have a solid game, I didn’t want to try to impress everyone by being perfect. I just wanted to have a steady game,” he told the club’s official website.
“People might find that odd but as a centre half, having a solid game or a quiet game is having a good game because you’ve not done anything bad to cause a goal. You’ve just kept it clean at the back. People might think you need to dribble past two people on your first game back, when in reality I just wanted to control the ball, move it on and to help the team win the game.”
To be fair, Arsenal fans will surely appreciate Holding’s attitude. The likes of David Luiz and Sokratis are capable of colossal performances. Unfortunately, they are arguably just as likely to produce a howler that costs the Gunners.
And that is how many of Arsenal’s centre-backs have been in recent years. So Holding’s mentality must be somewhat refreshing for the supporters.
Of course, Luiz and Sokratis have no intention of making mistakes. But Holding’s comments must be a bit more encouraging to those hoping to see Unai Emery’s side tighten up defensively.
And at a time when Arsenal fans are debating whether the side needs a new captain, Holding’s suggestion that he was determined to do his job with minimal fuss may just see the youngster attract the kind of plaudits that Emery cannot ignore.