It’s a bit of a farce we keep having to do these man of the match pieces considering how truly shite we have been for oh so very long but there we are. This week there is only player who stuck in the mind and that was young Rob Holding. He was bought in to a new look, 3 at the back defence and picked over Les Incompétents, Dorian Dervite and the ill-disciplined, Derik Osede.
Holding, whom we’re used to seeing at right back looked solid and didn’t display the lapses expected with Dervite. He knew when to be no nonsense and clear his lines and he communicated well with David Wheater and Prince Gouano. The shape the 3 managed to maintain is cause for special praise. He is mobile for centre back but at no point looked unable to deal with the rougher side of the game.
The back three found themselves under siege for the entirety of the first half and a fair chunk of the second but remained resolute. I can’t imagine this would have been the case if Holding had been out for say Dervite. Hull looked to get another straight after the first but instead of capitulating we regained our shape and held firm.
Lennon reserved special praise for Holding after the game calling his performance ‘excellent’. The performance also good enough to prompt Lennon to say perhaps it’s time to give other younger players a chance if they’re going to outperform the older players as Holding did. If getting Thomas or Woolery in the first team at the expense of Heskey happens due to this, then Holding deserves the man of the match tag 10 times over.