“Too soft” Arsenal legend isn’t a fan of crucial defender under Mikel Arteta

Emmanuel Petit during the UEFA Champions League (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
Emmanuel Petit during the UEFA Champions League (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images) /

Filling in for injuries has been a key feature of this season for Arsenal. For example, look at Eddie Nketiah filling in for Gabriel Jesus and Jorginho filling in for Thomas Partey. Mikel Arteta is demonstrating his great use of squad depth, ensuring the Gunners aren’t thrown off by injuries which remain out of their control.

The most recent defender to fill in under Arteta is Rob Holding. The English centre back who has been at Arsenal for some time now has always been on the cusp of first-team football but now, more than ever, he is needed. William Saliba suffered an injury in the recent Europa League tie against Sporting CP, ruling him out for a short but significant amount of time.

Playing against Crystal Palace recently, Rob Holding put in an excellent shift and did well to deal with the likes of Wilfried Zaha. Although, thinking back to the horror display he put in against Spurs last season, question marks are still raised about his involvement in the first team on a sustained basis. Fans are bound to be nervous.

Holding certainly has his critics, with Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit being one of them. Speaking to the Premier League (via HITC), Petit claimed he wasn’t a fan of Holding because he sees him as too soft to be a defender for Arsenal.

I think it’s fair to criticise Holding as, in my opinion, he’s far from a perfect centre back and should be more advanced at this stage of his career. However, I do think it’s nonsensical to call him too soft. If anything, sometimes he needs to be a little softer. Yesterday did show, though, that he’s maturing under Arteta and has become less reckless in his challenges, which is obviously a good thing.

Do you think Rob Holding is “too soft”?