Arsenal fans want Mikel Arteta to drop one star for Chelsea FA Cup final after Watford win

Arsenal supporters are eager for Mikel Arteta to drop centre-back Rob Holding for next Saturday’s FA Cup final showdown with Chelsea (5.30pm kick-off) after the Gunners’ win over Watford. Arteta’s side rounded off their Premier League campaign with a 3-2 win to relegate the Hornets at the Emirates.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first-half brace helped put Watford to the sword although Troy Deeney’s spot-kick before the break threatened a fightback.

Arsenal’s win means they finish ninth in the English top flight, their lowest finish since 1994-95 when they came 12th.

But the north London outfit can still salvage some success from a chaotic campaign when they take on Chelsea in the FA Cup showpiece at Wembley.

After downing holders Manchester City in a brilliant semi-final showing, Arteta is now tasked with downing their London rivals.

And Arsenal fans think that if their side are to get the better of Frank Lampard and co, who sealed Champions League qualification on Sunday by beating Wolves, that Holding must make way.

The 24-year-old has made five starts since the Premier League restarted in mid-June and Watford was the first time he has started three consecutive top-flight matches since December 2018.

Yet the Gunners’ fanbase were not impressed by his showing at the Emirates on this occasion, with his mistake leading to the penalty given away by David Luiz for Deeney to score to make it 3-1 before half time.

One fan went as far to say: “If Holding starts next week we might aswell present the trophy to Chelsea pre kick-off…”

Another said: “I don’t want to see Rob Holding anywhere near the Wembley next weekend.”

“Why is Holding being considered ahead of Sokratis for the final? Makes no sense to me,” a third wrote.

One more fan reacted: “Rob holding cannot start the final or we’ll lose. He looks an absolute shadow of the player he was 2 years ago.”


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“Holding can’t start against Chelsea, we’ll get pumped,” warned another.

A sixth implored: “Sokratis needs to start over Holding vs Chelsea btw.”

While another said: “Arteta can’t be watching us over the last few games and think that Holding deserves a place in the XI for the final. Sokratis is 20x better than him why has he not even touched a ball since the restart.”

“Holding scares me more than Pulisic before the Fa Cup final,” one more posted.

Holding was brilliant alongside Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Chelsea in the 2017 final after Shkodran Mustafi missed out due to concussion.

And a hamstring injury means the Germany international will be absent for the big day out at Wembley this time too.

But it remains to be seen whether he will keep his place over Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the back as Arsenal chase a record-extending 14th FA Cup triumph.

Arsenal need to win the 148-year-old cup competition in order to qualify for next season’s Europa League.

They need the cash from European qualification to help boost Arteta’s chances of being able to make additions to his squad in the summer transfer window.

Funds are currently limited for the Spanish coach due to the financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic as well as a big spend last summer and an absence of Champions League football in recent campaigns.

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