Arsenal defender Rob Holding was dropped for last Saturday’s game against Stoke City as he was suffering from a ‘lack of confidence’.
Arsene Wenger has explained why the 21-year-old was omitted from the Arsenal squad for the game against Stoke last weekend, admitting he was lacking in confidence.
“We conceded three last week so I changed a bit because Mustafi came back and Holding had lost a little bit of confidence,” Wenger said, as reported by the Metro.
Holding didn’t have a great game against Leicester, but then, neither did the rest of the defence on the night. I can’t think of many players who wouldn’t want to play the next game because of one bad performance.
I feel Wenger has developed a habit of doing this to young players. It was just last season that Alex Iwobi went from being a first-team regular to disappearing from the squad entirely when his form dipped. The initial faith seems to go as far as the first bad game.
It’s all the more questionable when Wenger said just a couple of weeks ago that while young defenders will cost you points, you have to play them if they’re talented. Holding didn’t cost Arsenal points against Leicester.
In fact, since coming into the Arsenal team against Middlesbrough last season, Arsenal have only lost twice – against Spurs and Stoke, both games he wasn’t present for.
It’s hard not to worry about what a decision like this will do for his confidence. Arsenal need central defenders, but the manager doesn’t believe he can bounce back from a poor game.