Arsenal supporters have been pretty happy in recent times after seeing their side record a seventh consecutive victory in all competitions at the weekend.
Unai Emery’s men went into their clash with fellow high-flyers Watford having won each of their preceding four Premier League matches, alongside victories over Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League and Brentford in the Carabao Cup. And the Gunners made it seven on the spin on Saturday as a Mesut Ozil strike alongside a Craig Cathcart own goal secured a 2-0 success for Emery’s men, a result which moved them up to fifth place in the Premier League table.
As such, there have been many thrilled Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been full of praise for playmaker Ozil for his goal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, his third goal of the campaign.
The former Germany international hasn’t always been in the good books of Arsenal supporters but he was given the captain’s armband by manager Emery on Saturday, a move which appeared to pay off with the 29-year-old arguably more involved at the weekend than in previous games.
And while he got the crucial second goal to put the game beyond Javi Gracia’s Hornets, Englishman Rob Holding was arguably their unsung hero on Saturday in producing a dominant display in the heart of the Gunners backline.
Ultimately, there were some concerns among Arsenal fans given the recent injury to centre back Sokratis, what with the Greece international making a fine start to life at the Emirates Stadium following his move from Borussia Dortmund during the summer.
And with fellow defender Shkodran Mustafi not overly convincing in the early phase of the season, and with Watford possessing a combative striking duo in Troy Deeney and Andre Gray, Holding and the Germany international looked set for a very testing afternoon indeed.
And while the latter somewhat struggled with the physicality of the Hornets front men, 23-year-old Holding was outstanding over the course of the 90 minutes, winning five of his seven aerial duels, alongside making six clearances and a team-high three interceptions.
Thus, it’s pretty clear that the young defender dealt pretty well with everything that was thrown at him by Gracia’s side, as while the scoreline suggests that it was a comfortable afternoon for Emery’s men, it certainly didn’t tell the whole story with both goals coming in the final ten minutes.
And while Holding clearly shone off the ball, he also did a decent job on it as well in having 57 touches over the course of the encounter, and finishing the match with a very healthy pass success rate of 89%, making 40 of the 45 passes he attempted.
As such, while there were some concerns heading into the clash that the Arsenal defender could get overpowered by messrs Deeney and Gray, that simply didn’t come to fruition – Ozil may have netted the crucial second for the Gunners, but it was 23-year-old Holding who was their unsung hero on Saturday.
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