Tag Archives: hector bellerin

Rob Holding, Ben Chilwell & Hector Bellerin

Rob Holding

On the journey home from the game on Monday night, I was following the fall out from the game and the main discussion point was surrounding Rob Holding and a blatant handball in the area.

If given if would have meant a penalty to Leicester and surely a second yellow card for the Arsenal centre back.

Whilst it was a hand ball, it should not have been a penalty.

Everyone is focusing on what Rob Holding did, and not what the Leicester City player did in the lead up when jumping.

In the above still, it is clear and obvious that the Leicester player has his arm on the shoulder of Rob Holding.

The ball is not yet in frame, and the Leicester player has his arm across Holdings neck.

This in turn pulls Holding towards the Leicester player. His arm then bounces off the head of his opponent and towards the ball.

This is an obvious foul. And it is the weight he puts on Holding that unbalances him in the air, causing him to make contact with the ball with his hand.


Ben Chilwell

Arsenal have been linked with the young Leicester left back for a few uses now. He turns 22 in December and his progress from potential to starter has been a little slower than expected.

But against Arsenal, he showed everything he needs to become a full back in Islington.

Quick in attack and capable of putting in a good ball – no Premier League player has put in more crosses this season – he can also defend.

If Monday night was a trial for him to show what he can do, he passes with flying colours.

Would not be upset if he was on our left flank next season.

Hector Bellerin

Talking about full backs, Hector Bellerin has returned to form on the other wing.

Yes, he was caught on his heels a little bit for their first goal. With him being very unlucky with the deflection. But he has looked more solid in recent games.

And that comes down to Alex Iwobi playing ahead of him.

Bellerin at the back looks a different player with a winger in front of him.

More space when going forward, and cover when he is defending.

No longer constantly left in 2 on 1 situations.

Iwobi has grown into the right wing to the point where he is now first choice winger.

Pace, strength and skill put there. Also puts a shift in, covering his full back.

With Reiss Nelson doing bits in Germany, our right flank looks solid for a few years to come



What happened to Arsenal’s 2015 FA Cup winners?

Three years ago today, Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0.

It was certainly not as stressful as what happened at Wembley 12 months previous – when Arsenal found themselves 2-0 down with Kieran Gibbs heading off the line – but it was equally as satisfying.

Arsenal were in complete control from the first minute against relegated Aston Villa – who did not have a shot on target.

What struck me was the goal scorers that day. Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud. Who would have thought all four would have departed just 3 years later.

That day Santi Cazorla was named Man of the Match. He joins the goal scorers by leaving Arsenal this summer.

These little snippets then made me look at the entire match day squad from 2015, and investigate “where are they now?”


For Wojciech Szczęsny, the FA Cup Final would be the last time he would be seen in an Arsenal shirt. what followed was a 2 year loan to Roma before he joined Juventus as the eventual replacement for Gianluigi Buffon.

Captaining Arsenal that day was Per Mertesacker. He retires this summer. Also leaving the club this summer on a free is Santi Cazorla.

In January, we saw a quadruple of exits. Francis Coquelin went to Valencia, where he joined Gabriel Paulista  who returned to Spain in the summer of 2017.

Three of the goal scorers that day also left in January. Olivier Giroud joined Chelsea in a massive merry-go-round of players and Theo Walcott went to Everton. Alexis Sanchez joined Manchester United,

Kieran Gibbs, who saved the day with a goal line clearance the season before which would have seen Arsenal go 3-0 down, went to WBA where he got relegated.

Thinking the grass was greener, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went to Liverpool in a big money move in the summer of 2017. Inconsistent performances and injury showed that sometimes it is the player, not the manager.

Finally, Mathieu Flamini Went to Crystal Palace and became a billionaire.

With the futures of Hector Bellerin, Jack Wilshere, David Ospina and Aaron Ramsey in the balance this summer, Arsenal could be in a situation where just 3 players remain from that victorious team 3 years ago.


Arsenal on the verge of greatness?

We have had a tough season. We are battered, bruised and beaten. But last nice comfortable victory shows we have the makings of a top, top team.

It might not quite be good enough to match Manchester City, but they are a team which cost a billion quid, containing the majority of the “most expensive footballers” in their position to ever play in England. They have failed to win just 4 games this season. About to set records that they might even struggle to match in the future. But back to Arsenal.

As said, we have the makings of a good team.

In Hector Bellerin, we have one of the best right backs in European football.

Our friends over at Gunners Town asked this week “if Bellerin left, who would replace him?” and many struggled to answer.

In the Premier League, only Kyle Walker is on the same level. And I struggle to name a better full back in their early 20s throughout Europe. And he is still just 23, people seem to forget that.

Backing him up next season will be Ainsley Maitland-Niles. He has shown this season that he is a player, more than capable deputising for Bellerin if needed.

The left back is also tied up. Nacho Monreal is Mr Consistent and Sead Kolasinac will look to build on a rollercoaster first season.

Between the full backs, I still believe there is a good centre back in Shkdoran Mustafi. I think if you get a strong character next to him, a reliable leader of the defence, he will flourish. Sadly Laurent Koscielny’s game these days is filled with injury and mistakes. Get in that top CB and we have a very good back 4.

Alongside Koscielny are Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and the Greek lad.

It could be a male or break summer for the two English lads. Neither have really kicked on due to lack of game time, but both would make an adequate 4th choice CB.

One problem area is in goal.

David de Gea has shown this year how important a match winning goal keeper can be. He does not make mistakes that lose games, and makes plenty of match saving stops.

Both David Ospina and Petr Czech have the same problems. Neither is a match winner, and both have mistakes in them. One of them will be an able deputy to a new top stopper, but it is an area of the pitch that we have fallen behind on.

I am excited about our midfield.

In recent weeks we have gone to a solid midfield 3. I felt it would be our best formation once Alexis Sanchez left.

Jack Wilshere fell deep provides protection and can dictate play, meaning that Mesut Ozil does not need to drop. On the other side is Aaron Ramsey. A midfield 3 means that he has the freedom to roam, to get forward, to score goals. He truly is a brilliant player when he is able to drive forward.

Recently Granit Xhaka has been playing in between them. Like many, I am not sold on him. He is a bit of a liability – as shown with his yellow yesterday. Get in a proper defensive midfielder and it frees up Wilshere and Ramsey to do what they do best.

I wouldn’t get rid of Xhaka, however. We need a deep squad, and Xhaka will be able to cover the new defensive midfielder, as well as Jack Wilshere. Add Mo Elneny and you would have 5 (depending on buying thee DM) versatile midfielders who could be rotated and replaced depending on the opponents.

Mesut Ozil, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emrick Aubemayang. The golden triangle.

Add in Alexandre Lacazette, who I mentioned might not fit in next season, and Arsenal have an enviable array of attacking talent.

If we can improve on Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi as our wide options, then the squad will be filled with quality.

People ask “why would a top manager want to come to Arsenal”. Well to work with the likes of Bellerin, Monreal, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Aubemayang. A core of 7 top players that the rest of the team needs to be built around.

Now we just need the manager who will get the best out of them.