Rob Holding says Arsenal shouldn’t panic about their situation just yet, as there’s still time to get things back on track.
Going into the international break, most Arsenal fans had reached their breaking point.
They’d watched their team lose to Leicester City to drop eight points behind the top four and into a negative goal difference, seeing Sheffield United overtake them and Manchester United catch up.
Even Tottenham Hotspur, down in 14th, are now only three points behind Arsenal. They’ve also taken action over the break to change their manager, something it appears the hierarchy in North London don’t want to do just yet.
Rob Holding appears to be in support of that patient approach, telling Sky Sports that things can turn around for the better very quickly.
“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,” Holding said. “We just need to stay calm and stay positive. We’re sixth, we’re not a million miles off it.
“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.”
With the possible exception of the League Cup games and Standard Liege at home, every match has involved conceding a tonne of chances, looking lacklustre in possession and hoping the talent up front bails the rest of the team out without much creative support.
Some fans have suggested the Europa League games have been an exception, but aside from that Liege game, I’m not even sure that’s true.
The 3-0 against Frankfurt was flattering, as the Gunners could easily have let in two or three of their own before they ran away with the result in the final five minutes. The 3-2 over Vitoria was a mess, and the 1-1 away from home was dire viewing.
Bear in mind most of the lineup changes between the Premier League and the European matches, but it’s still the same football regardless. That’s what’s so worrying to the supporters, and why it does seem like more of a crisis than Holding is making out.
In fairness, the defender might be a little more detached from the situation at the moment. He’s only just returned from injury, and for so long his focus has just been on getting fit.
Holding will surely feel that when he’s playing regularly things will improve. After all, the recent defeats to Liverpool and Leicester City are actually the only two games he’s lost under Emery.
The Englishman wasn’t part of last season’s collapse, and maybe he feels like he could have helped prevent it. The rest of us will remain sceptical until we see a reason not to be.