Arsenal star Holding 'lucky' to avoid lengthy ban after red v Spurs - Whelan

By Noel Whelan

13th May, 2022 | 12:20pm

Rob Holding 'very lucky' to avoid lengthy ban as 'shocking' Arsenal footage analysed - expert

Arsenal defender Rob Holding was “very lucky” to avoid a straight red card and a lengthy ban after being sent off against Tottenham on Thursday night.

That is the view of former Leeds striker Noel Whelan who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 26-year-old’s actions were “vicious” and “dangerous”.

In footage relayed by Sky Sports on Thursday (12 May), Holding received a second yellow for catching Heung-min Son with his elbow shortly after the half-hour mark.

His first booking came for pulling Son back after 26 minutes.

Whelan insisted Holding lost his “composure” and “discipline”.

He suggested the second yellow card could have been a straight red.

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“I think he too much on his mind, thinking about how he was going to mark Son,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“He lost focus of the game and his discipline. It started off very early. It’s one thing being tight, then there’s another thing where you’re being niggly, kicking, grabbing and losing control of your own game.

“I do believe that’s what happened with Rob Holding last night. He was far too focused on just Son and stopping him by any means necessary. He’s very lucky, that could have been a straight red.

“That was a vicious shoulder or elbow, with intent, into the face of Son. He knew exactly what he was doing. The fact that he got a yellow beforehand, he only misses one of the games.

“But it was dangerous and could have really left Son a lot worse off than what it was. It was a shocking challenge. He knew exactly what he did. That composure in these big games could end up costing Arsenal.”

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