Holding sets ambitious target for Arsenal after ending year on positive

Date published: Wednesday 30th December 2020 1:14 - Dave Tindall

Rob Holding, Granit Xhaka Arsenal

Arsenal defender Rob Holding believes European football is still a realistic goal for the Gunners after they battled to a 1-0 victory over Brighton.

The Gunners had been on an awful run. In all competitions, they’d lost five times in eight matches and even a relegation battle was being mentioned.

But they reversed momentum with a 3-1 home win over Chelsea on Boxing Day.

And victory at Brighton – secured by a second-half strike from Alexandre Lacazette – made it back-to-back Premier League wins.

It means they go into 2021 with some momentum.

Central defender Holding has played a key part in the recent turnaround and he’s now looking up the table rather than down.

Arsenal have 20 points and that’s six points off the top six.

He said: “It is a massive confidence boost for us.

“Obviously we went through that really rough patch, but as soon as we got a win it gave us a lift.

“Now we’ve got another win and hopefully now we can go on a bit of a run, pick up points and climb up the table.

“Fingers crossed we can climb the league and get back into European places and push on.”

Holding says schedule helped


Looking into the Brighton game in more detail, Holding said an extra day off benefitted the Gunners.

The 25-year-old said: “I think our last couple of games when we have lost, we have had so many attempts and not scored.

“If we have two touches in the box (in the first half) and still win, I’ll take that all day.

“To be fair, Brighton had it tough. I think they had 48 hours in between their games. We had that extra day to recover, which helped.”

The Gunners are next back in action on January 2 when travelling to West Brom.

They then have a week off before beginning their FA Cup defence. Their third-round opponents are Newcastle at the Emirates.

Arsenal played 34 league games in 2020 but managed to win just 15.

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