Rob Holding reflects on that NLD defeat to Spurs after red card against Son

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Arsenal
(Photo by Visionhaus)

Speaking to The Sun, Rob Holding has suggested that he shouldn’t shoulder all the blame for Arsenal losing out to Tottenham in last season’s top four race.

In a dramatic end to last campaign, Spurs went unbeaten in their last six Premier League games to leapfrog North London rivals Arsenal into the last qualifying spot for Champions League football.

A 5-0 final day victory over Norwich saw the Lilywhites clinch fourth spot in style, with Son Heung-Min also securing the Premier League Golden Boot (BBC).

Perhaps the most defining result in the run-in was May’s midweek North London Derby. Spurs attacked Arsenal from the get-go, with Harry Kane scoring either side of a red card for Holding before Son added a third early in the second half (BBC).

The result swung the momentum in favour of Antonio Conte’s side, with the Gunners unable to win both of their remaining fixtures.

Holding has now voiced his disappointment at the events of the derby. He said: “There was a stage when we were fourth in the table with games in hand and we were thinking ‘we could do this’.

“But we lost five of our last ten games and we let it slip away.

“There were three games before Tottenham against Palace, Southampton and Brighton when we should really have finished it off but we dropped points.

“So people can say it was all down to that Tottenham result but if things had gone differently earlier on it wouldn’t have even been an important game.

“The day after Tottenham I was taking the dog for a walk and thinking over and over again ‘what could I have done differently?’

“I didn’t want Son to have a free run so tried to make it a bit of a physical battle and even after that we could still have got into the top four if we hadn’t lost our next game at Newcastle.

“But it is what it is. I can’t dwell on it too much. We all have to move on.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Any excuse to think about that night and I can’t stop myself from smiling. It was a victory that tasted sweeter after they had failed to show up for the first scheduled game.

I do agree with Holding, although he didn’t help his team by getting sent off, Arsenal still had their fate in their own hands and they couldn’t get the job done.

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