Rob Holding made Garth Crooks’ Team of the Week after his stellar defensive display against Liverpool on Saturday.
The defender, who impressed most alongside a focused Shkodran Mustafi, made seven clearances, won three aerials, four tackles, two interceptions and completed almost 92% of his passes. Only Granit Xhaka played more passes against Liverpool than the 23-year-old.
That was enough to get him into Crooks’ team even though he wasn’t even the highest-rated Arsenal defender on the day (that was Mustafi with 7.96 v Holding’s 7.21).
About his decision, Crooks wrote, “In a team very different from the one Arsene Wenger tried to create prior to leaving Arsenal, there is a particular player who has surprised me a great deal.
“I’ve seen Rob Holding play for Arsenal but never better than when I saw him against Liverpool.
“In a white-hot atmosphere, the defender was cool on the ball and played with a confidence and assurance I hadn’t seen before [Edit – clearly never watched him against Diego Costa].
“I said Unai Emery would get it together at Arsenal, I just didn’t think it would be so soon. Damn!
“Did you know? Only Granit Xhaka (97) attempted more passes for Arsenal against Liverpool than Holding (81) – the defender also won 70% of his 10 duels in the game.”