Arsenal continues to flourish under Mikel Arteta and their form as of late, aside from a stumble against a world-beating Liverpool side, has been impressive.
The faith shown by Arsenal’s top-brass in Mikel Arteta is finally paying off, and the Gunners are now favourites for securing a lucrative top 4 spot.
Aside from free-flowing football, reminiscent of the Wenger era, Arteta’s side has also shown professionalism and maturity in their approach.
Their objectives in recent weeks have shifted from being impressive and entertaining, with the focus being on securing valuable points instead.
A wise approach, considering the bigger picture, and they do so by executing a clever contingency plan. Their late-game tactics were once again on display, this time against Aston Villa.
With a goal to the good, the Gunners opted to play it safe, and defend their lead against the late attacking ventures put together by Villa.
They did so using a method Gooners are calling the ’emergency protocol’, and it is as typical as one might expect.
In the 88th minute, Arteta made a swap that clearly outlined the side’s intentions, as he brought off Martin Odegaard in place of Rob Holding.
As the centre back walked onto the pitch, he gestured towards his teammates indicating a tactical shift, a sight Arsenal have gotten used to seeing in recent weeks.
The fingers go up, and 5-3-2 is the message. What follows, is a stern low block, engineered to frustrate trailing opponents and kill off games.
The English centre back isn’t exactly the first choice, but Arteta has clearly found a role for him, and the importance of the Holding ’emergency protocol’ cannot be understated.
As advertised, the sub indeed ensured that Arsenal kept their advantage, as it has in the past, and proved that once Arsenal goes 5-3-2, it’s curtains for the opposition.
Needless, Arsenal fans love the footballing death sentence that is activating the Rob Holding emergency protocol –
The Rob Holding emergency protocol in full effect once again.— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) March 19, 2022
The last thing the opposition sees before they know it’s all over pic.twitter.com/gHP1qUHyiP— ∞ (@TheFalseNein) March 19, 2022
Arteta is a freak, spent 18 months coaching Rob Holding to lead the most disgusting low-block known to mankind only so he could pull it out every time we’re defending a lead. Lock him up.— James. (@afcjxmes) March 19, 2022
Opposition team trying to break Rob Holding’s 5-3-2. pic.twitter.com/VY2u7OPN93— Donny (@DonWenger1) March 19, 2022
Rob Holding coming on pic.twitter.com/8ormR58M1q— AFG (@afgfootballguy) March 19, 2022
Rob Holding 🤝 protecting 1-0s pic.twitter.com/9P5TUwj4dt— Sakazett (@AFCabuu) March 19, 2022
Rob Holding coming on whenever an opposition team starts getting into the game pic.twitter.com/ZLGeVxMyY8— Matt 🔴⚪ (@GabiMattinelli) March 19, 2022
Rob Holding invented 5-3-2. He was moulded by it. Raised by it. He didn’t see a 4 defender formation until he was a man.— ∞ (@TheFalseNein) March 19, 2022
Anytime you see Rob Holding coming on, it’s an indication that Mikel Arteta has dialled 911 😊 pic.twitter.com/m2CRO4p9MG— Je suis Salman (@Ib4Salman) March 19, 2022
Rob Holding coming on in the 85th minute when Arsenal’s leading: pic.twitter.com/LE75BDNGoU— /A\ (@primmzx) March 19, 2022
When Arteta brings on Rob Holding pic.twitter.com/N2eHUuk2O7— Bhavs (@bhavss14) March 20, 2022