Arsenal: Rob Holding Opening Up Grievances Account Already

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Rob Holding of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Arsenal at Riverside Stadium on April 17, 2017 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Rob Holding of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Arsenal at Riverside Stadium on April 17, 2017 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) /
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Arsenal has apparently decided that stoic Rob Holding just doesn’t cut it in their back line, meaning that the young Englishman’s account is filling up.

He was the talk of North London, that Rob Holding. After sliding into the Arsenal back three, shaking off some jitters, and proving that he, not John Pebbles, deserved the title of “future of the English defense,” Holding captured Gooner’s imaginations.

Here was the guy to anchor the future.

And now, he has already been shafted out of the 3-4-3 in favor of Nacho Monreal, whose time in North London is ticking to a close with the arrival of Sead Kolasinac.

Rob Holding may be young and malleable, but the man earned his place and now it’s been taken from him already. Why was this standard not used with Alex Iwobi when he started to slow? He was given every chance in the world to right his wrongs and at long last, months later, he was finally dropped.

Yet Holding doesn’t even have any wrongs! The Englishman has been nearly infallible in holding down that back line and, maybe most importantly, he has been a menace in the airwaves, keeping balls floated into the box from being too much of a threat.

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I’m all about teaching players, especially young ones, the power of internal competition, but not when they haven’t done anything to deserve the lesson. It has been a rough transition into the 3-4-3, but it has been successful and that roughness has certainly not been at the feet of Holding.

After going nearly the entire season without a fair shot at the starting XI, despite, at the very least, deserving a few looks, Holding already had a few coins in his grievances account. Now that he is being unfairly forced out of the starting XI, it has to be filling up pretty quickly.

Chances are though, he isn’t thinking that way. He is just grateful for the chance to play for a top tier club. And that’s fine to take that mindset, especially early on in your career. He isn’t owed anything, nor does he have a sense of entitlement. But damn, how about a little confidence for the lad for his hard work?

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Staying on the bright side, this internal competition has absolutely awoken Monreal and I don’t have any problems with giving Kieran Gibbs a fair chance as well. I just wish it didn’t have to come at the expense of Holding. He was giving us so much to look forward to.