Lauding Rob Holding while lowering the hype
If Arsenal’s Rob Holding was a company on Wall Street, he would be worth owning a few shares in since his stock price is on a resplendent rise.
In nine months, the 21-year-old has gone from one of those inessential transfer risks from Arsene Wenger to one of those shrewd signings from the Frenchman.
Despite his classy track record in nurturing young players over the years, the Arsenal manager does not always get it right with cheap deals; as the likes of Amaury Bischoff and Junichi Inamoto would attest to.
But for the most part, Arsene has enjoyed more hits than misses with his inexpensive moves in the transfer market. And as it stands, Rob Holding is growing into one of those ‘hits’.
The centre-back’s low price tag meant expectations were not up there in the sky regarding how he would fare in his debut campaign at the Emirates stadium.
In fact, some expected a loan spell to be his next move but we are now witnessing why Wenger allowed him to hang on to the coattails of the starting eleven while Calum Chambers was sent out instead.
Holding has produced promising displays on the few occasions he has been called upon. But let’s not forget that those have been a few occasions nonetheless.
The youngster has shown no fear in keeping up with a number of decent opponents thus far and that performance at Wembley against Manchester City was perhaps the highlight of his potential.
In a comparison with City’s own fledgling centre-back John Stones – Twitter’s favourite debate these days – Holding certainly does not seem to be as inferior as the big gap in their price tags would suggest.
However, there is also a big gap in the number of appearances the two youngsters have made. Even though Holding has been encouraging to watch, we have only seen him in action on a handful of occasions.
And regardless of how good you are as a footballer, the inevitability is; the more games you play, the more tests you face and as a result, the more flaws you uncover.
The 21-year-old ticks most of the boxes for a rising star, but in certain periods during games, he has not hidden the traits of a raw talent.
That nervy start against Manchester United which saw him unwittingly put a one-on-one chance on the plate for Wayne Rooney signaled the room for improvement there is.
Dealing with nerves appears to be one of the unrefined aspects of his game and perhaps it was the fear over how he would cope with the hostility of a derby at White Hart Lane which prompted Wenger to keep him on the bench for the clash against Tottenham despite his performance the week before.
Even though his displays in recent weeks have promised so much, we have to keep our hype in check because this really is a delicate stage of his development.
Raising our expectations so high could result in a huge drop in momentum or confidence when Holding runs into his first notable mistake.http://www.mediareferee.com/2017/05/03/lauding-rob-holding-while-lowering-the-hype/Post
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