Rob Holding admits that the makeshift back three Arsene Wenger’s been starting in the Europa League is a strange one but he reckons it works.

Holding has every faith in Wenger’s back three which, to be fair, has kept a clean sheet for both of the matches Europa League matches they’ve starred in together.

“It is a strange one but it works,” Holding said. “Mo puts his heart into everything so as soon as he was named alongside me, I knew he would be willing to do all the dirty work that needs to be done at centre-back.  

“Right in the last minute, Red Star put a good cross in, it went over my head but Mo was in the right place to head it away. If he hadn’t have made that, the striker had a free header, so I was delighted with Mo for that. I congratulated him for that after the game.”

Against Red Star Belgrade away, Wenger debuted a makeshift back three of Rob Holding, Mohamed Elneny and Mathieu Debuchy.


Fans were a little confused, seeing as Debuchy hadn’t played for Arsenal since November 2016, Elneny is a midfielder and Holding hasn’t exactly been at the top of his game since that Leicester clash at the beginning of the season.

However, as I previously mentioned, they’ve managed to keep out the goals, at least for the time being. Debuchy, in particular, is pretty solid as a centre-back. Maybe it’s because he’s got the mindset of a defender but doesn’t have to worry about his lack of pace as much in the middle. Whatever it is, he’s done better than expected.

This isn’t to say this is the back three I would like to see every game. Elneny, for the most part, can pass well but can’t defend. Centre-back certainly isn’t his position. And Holding is yet to put in a really convincing performance this season. Although his display against Red Star at the Emirates was much better.