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Name Rob Holding
Gender Male
Ethnic xxxx
Job xxxx Footballer
Desc Flourished under Unai Emery before his season was derailed by an ACL injury. Should establish himself as first-choice next season

Affiliation

Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Arsenal FC

2017 08 12 Retrieve

[Rob Holding speaks about going up against Diego Costa during the 2017 FA Cup Final] An expletive, then I just called him a nutter basically. Something’s not right in his head, I don’t think. I knew what he was going to play like, I knew he was going to try the mind games and try and throw me off my game, so I just didn’t rise to it and got back into position. I think he sort of tapped my chest, so I think there was a little bit of respect there maybe – so he was alright

2019 09 25 Retrieve

[Rob Holding admits he couldn’t have written the script any better after his dream return to the Arsenal first team on Tuesday night] The dream comeback really for me. It was a proud moment to put the armband on. We’d had a couple of corners just before when I was just a little bit away from it so I could feel it was coming, then Reiss [Nelson] put a great ball in and I managed to get my head to it. I headed it down so I knew it would at least be on target. My first touch as the captain. You can’t write that any better

The way it panned out was just brilliant. For Hector Bellerin to come back and get an assist straight away, you couldn’t have wrote it any better really

[It’s been a long road back to the first team, one that has been littered with obstacles] It’s been a totally new experience. I’ve never experienced a long-term injury like that before. But credit to the club and the medical staff and the fitness people. They’ve put their arms round me and got me through it. Even though it’s horrible to say it, it helped having Hector, who was going through the same thing. You’ve got a little buddy in the gym. And when Danny Welbeck was still with us, he had a long injury, so there was three of us who were together and getting each other through it

2019 09 25b Retrieve

[Rob Holding hailed brilliant Kieran Tierney after the left-back sparkled during his Arsenal debut on Tuesday night] I think he was brilliant. I loved having him on the left side of me. He was solid and for his first game back from a double hernia operation you can’t ask for any more than that

Kieran’s a good Scottish lad who brings a bit of banter to the team. He and I are getting on really well, you couldn’t ask for a better way for him to settle in. He’s a top-quality lad and he’s a great lift in the changing room as well. He’s a really nice guy and I’m so happy for him to play and get 60 minutes under his belt

[Emery labelled Gabriel Martinelli’s performance as perfect and Holding was also quick to pay tribute to the youngster] He’s been a handful in training. He’s a sharp lad and a natural finisher. You saw the header, he’s a small lad and he got up there and won it. He’s impressive so hopefully he can continue with that

2019 09 26 Retrieve

[Unai Emery has put the Arsenal captaincy to a vote] We had a vote the other week so we’ll see what happens and see who gets named. [We had to] write names down and then give them to the manager. He will go through them obviously with his input and then we’ll see what happens. I don’t know [when the decision will be announced]. I think it will be in the next couple of days, or weeks. I have no idea. If I get it, then I’ll be more than happy and honoured to do it

[Holding admits he would love the opportunity to skipper the side again] I would love to be a captain and being captain of Arsenal is unbelievable. It would be a great feeling. We will see what happens in the next couple of weeks. If I get it, I will be more than happy. When I was told I was going to be vice-captain [against Forest] it was an honour. As soon as Mesut Ozil came off I knew I was getting the armband so it was just a great moment for me

2019 09 29 Retrieve

[It’s been 10 months since Rob Holding lay on the touchline at Old Trafford clutching his left knee] It will be coming full circle. Even if I am on the bench it will be brilliant to just walk back to the spot that it happened, take it in and have a bit of a moment. I suppose you could say it is a bit of closure. For it to happen there and then your first [league] game involved is back there. It will be interesting, but I look forward to it

[He had made himself a permanent fixture in the team under Unai Emery] It was my first long-term run in the team so it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. I was getting a rhythm by getting into the team and being, say, the first name on the teamsheet. You know yourself you are going to play and you can really get in a rhythm. That’s why it was tough to take, but I just worked on the process and understood each step. Credit to the club again for the way they dealt with it and helping me get back

[Less than a month after rupturing his cruciate ligament, Holding was sitting in the stands at the Emirates watching Arsenal take on Chelsea. He saw Hector Bellerin collapse in agony clutching his knee] I was sat with my girlfriend and I saw the video in the group chat with my friends. I thought ‘oh no!’ Because it was so raw for me it hit a spot and I got a bit emotional with it. I was two weeks post-op when he went down, I was sat up there watching the game and it was really emotional for me to see him getting stretchered off and holding his knee.

The long days in the gym where we had been sat on a watt bike just ticking over for 30-40 minutes, they’d been dark times. For us to both come out and put in a performance like that and for Hector to come on and get an assist straight away was a real pleasure to see

I was speaking with Kieran Tierney and we were saying there is actually a bit of pressure on me, Hector and him. Obviously the fans have been putting a lot of pressure on saying: ‘We need those three back, hopefully they can perform’. It is a healthy pressure. It is not a sort of draining pressure if you know what I mean. It is a nice pressure and it is the competition. We have been pushing each other in the last couple of weeks in training as to who is going to perform better and who is going to play. We will see what the manager does. It is a good problem for him to have

2019 10 01 Retrieve

[Tierney joined Arsenal from Celtic for £25 million on deadline day, and the Gunners are looking to be extra cautious with their new signing. Following his debut last week, Kieran Tierney’s defensive team-mate Rob Holding said he was impressed with the young Scot’s performance] I think he was brilliant. I loved having him on the left side of me. He was solid and for his first game back from a double hernia operation you can’t ask for any more than that

2019 10 05 Retrieve

[Rob Holding was arguably Arsenal’s best centre-back before his knee injury last December and is now back and ready to put pressure on Sokratis and David Luiz] We have been pushing each other in the last couple of weeks training as to who is going to perform better and who is going to play there. It is about putting pressure on the two lads [currently starting]. We will see what the manager does. It is good problem for him to have

2019 10 23 Retrieve

[Arsenal defender Rob Holding says Gunners new boy Gabriel Martinelli is a nightmare to play against] Martinelli has come in and settled really well. In training every day, he works hard. He puts you under pressure constantly and never stops running, which as a centre-half is a nightmare. You want a striker that will sort of give up on you, but he never gives up. His finishing has been unbelievable, even with his head. He’s only a small guy but the headed goals he’s scored in the Forest game and the Standard Liege game have been incredible goals, to be fair to him

I think he’s really close with [goalkeeper] Emi Martinez. He spends a lot of time with him and I think he’s translating for him as he picks up English. In yoga, he is trying to learn as much English as he can. It’s only a small group of like five or six of us, so he’s learning English as he goes along and he’s making an effort, which is important. There are about six players, plus Freddie Ljungberg, he joins in and does a bit of yoga. It’s a good group there and it’s up to you, if you want to do it, you can do it. We come in and do one session a week. I enjoy it so I do it.

2019 10 23b Retrieve

[Rob Holding is targeting Europa League redemption at Arsenal this season] I think top four is more than within our capability. I want to win the Europa League first and foremost because we got to the final last year and I was injured and didn’t get to play in it. So I would like to put that right this year as well. I think that top four and the Europa League trophy would be a brilliant way for the season to end

[Newly-elected captain Granit Xhaka dismissed suggestions the result was down to a mentality issue within the Arsenal squad] I’m not sure what the result can go down to in the end, but people will say ‘oh, Arsenal weren’t up for the fight, they’re never up for the fight’. But we knew exactly what it would be. I know, personally, from being in the Championship with Bolton, what teams like Sheffield United are like - no disrespect to them. I knew it would be a physical battle and one that we’d have to stand up to. It’s just a set-piece goal that got us out in the end. They didn’t really bully us, I wouldn’t say and we just hadn’t switched on at a set-piece where they managed to get their goal. I thought we were just in the ascendancy and trying to attack and attack and they had the deep block of five at the back and just trying to really squish the space and make it difficult for us

2019 11 21 Retrieve

[Rob Holding says Arsenal have not yet reached crisis point and can still secure a place in the Premier League’s top four come May] We just need to string a couple of wins together and I think that will lift the confidence again and hopefully set us off on a run. We just need to stay calm and stay positive. We’re sixth, we’re not a million miles off it. We’re going into a busy Christmas period now where there’s going to be three Premier League games a week. We’re eight points off the top four but if we have three wins in a week we’re back up within touching distance so it’s not crisis point by any stretch of the imagination. We need to keep calm, keep positive and keep working on what we need to improve on

Pierre’s great in the dressing room. He’s such a happy character so everyone is positive around him. He knows how to lift people and he leads by example on the pitch. Having someone like that up front, scoring goals for you always make things easier. I’ve never had any problems with Granit and none of the players have ever had any problems with him. He’s a great lad to have around the changing rooms and I just think what happened with him was between him and the fans and that is nothing to do with me. I just know I can support the team and support Granit