‘Fans make the difference in the cup’

Rob Holding in action against Liverpool
Rob Holding

Rob Holding could make his first Emirates FA Cup appearance for the club when we face Preston in the third round on Saturday.

The 21-year-old defender spoke to ahead of the game. Here’s what he said:

on his first memories of the cup…
Probably playing in it for Bolton is my first memory that I properly remember. It Eastleigh last year, away, and the pitch was just a mud bath basically.

on what makes the cup special…

I always say it’s the crowds. The crowds make it different. To a footballer it’s just another game, but the crowds are a bit more up for it and the away fans have a bigger capacity than normal, so there’s a bit of that rivalry and it gets everyone going a bit.

on whether he dreams of a Wembley final…
The new Wembley is a place I’ve never been, so I’d love to go there. Yeah, Wembley was always where the final was and you’d want to get yourself to there.

on Preston…
I played against them last year once, I played at home. They were a physical team, they played it long. We should be up for a fight because it will be.

on the atmosphere at Deepdale…
It’s quite a big stadium and I’m sure they’ll fill it with their fans. It should be a good atmosphere.

on this being the only competition he hasn’t played in for Arsenal…
If you had said at the start of the season that I was going to play seven games, I would have taken that, definitely. So to be involved in seven games already is massive for me and hopefully we’ll get a little cup run and I can keep my place in the team for the cup run.

on his highlights so far…
Basel away in the Champions League, that was my highlight. And the 4-1 win as well. Playing in the Premier League was good, walking out in the Premier League and the Champions League.

on Basel feeling ‘different’ to the Premier League…
The continental fans, they always have well-orchestrated fans. They’re loud and constant through the games so there was a really good atmosphere.


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