Rob Holding has admitted that Arsenal should try to be more competitive and try to finish in a Champions League spot. The defender believes that the Gunners should look at the reigning European Champions as a competitive rival and follow suit in their attempt to bridge the gap between the clubs.
Arsenal’s recent run of performances has proved to be a sorry sight for fans and pundits alike. Having made a slow start to the previous season, Arsenal ended the campaign down in eighth and dropped out of European competition for the first time in 25 years. Chelsea, on the other hand, bounced back from a slow start to the 2020-21 season after Thomas Tuchel was drafted in to replace Frank Lampard in January, securing a fourth-place Premier League finish while going all the way in the Champions League.
Although significant changes are being undergone at both clubs, the results indicate otherwise with the Gunners struggling. It saw Rob Holding is adamant as he urged Arsenal to try and be more competitive and not necessarily emulate Chelsea’ success but try to figure out a more competitive way forward. Highlighting the recent rivalry between the London clubs, he also added that they need to hit the ground running and perform better for the new season.
“I see Chelsea as a competitive rival for us. I don’t see them as a team we aspire to be like, and I don’t think they see us that way either. There’s mutual respect between us and recent history with FA Cup finals and playing each other in big games. I don’t think that, because they won the Champions League, we need to be more like Chelsea. Our results and league position need to improve, of course, but when we play each other it’s competitive,” Holding said, reported by Goal.
“We’ve got to be aiming to get back in the Champions League. With no Europe this season we’ve got no distractions or fixture congestion and can really focus on our Premier League games. I think Liverpool did the same a few years ago, and Chelsea similarly when they won the league in Antonio Conte’s first year. So it can be a blessing in disguise in some aspects. We’ve just got to think of it that way and hit the ground running.