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Arsenal legend, Lee Dixon, has criticized centre-back, Rob Holding, for his role in Aston Villa’s 74 seconds goal against the Gunners in the Premier League on Saturday.
Aston Villa defeated Arsenal 1-0 at Villa Park, as Bertrand Traore pounced on a stray pass from Cedric Soares and passed for Ollie Watkins to score the only goal of the encounter.
But Dixon believes Holding could have prevented the goal by getting tighter on Watkins.
Analyzing the goal after Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, Dixon told Premier League Productions: “I think Cedric made a mistake, it was his first touch of the ball, it’s come to him, and he’s a little bit sloppy with it, but you think it’s not too bad because Gabriel is there.
‘But then he makes the mistake of thinking he can get to the ball instead of dropping off and waiting for the striker to come.
“Rob Holding will probably look at that and go, “Why is he having a go at me for that? I couldn’t do anything”, but it’s what goes on before the ball actually comes to him, to assess the situation.
“As a defender you’ve got to be putting fires out all the time: “If that happens I’ve got to be there, if this happens…”, you’ve got to be a pessimist.
“I think he was looking at it and going, “I’ve got a man, it’s fine” but what he should have done was look at the box and go, “There’s nobody else here and I can go really tight on him” and that just stops the position.
“If he has a little look around, he’ll realize there’s no Villa player in the box apart from Watkins and he can go, “Right, I’ll go tight and if he makes a run behind me I can kind of block him”, so you get really tight.
“The time to mark space is when there are lots of players in the box and you have to do that job because if the ball goes in, someone else will put it in, but he was the only one there.”
Arsenal’s next fixture is against Leeds United next week Sunday at Emirates Stadium.