Rob Holding (16)


If we somehow managed to merge Chambers and Holding we would end up with Stones.

People over hype the whole ball playing center-back enigma. You don’t need a Xavi in defense to play out, you just need a capable defender who can pass with composure and timing.

I will genuinely never understand why Per wasn’t praised more for this in his Arsenal career, especially when you watch so many other defenders make a complete mess of it.


Part of the defense yes but if you are harping on context, in that match those goals were hardly Holdings fault. I agree with @Calum here. Being forced into a starting xi too early doesn’t make stones better lmao. If City had better options Stones would be riding the pine right now.


Holding hasnt faced opposition like Stones has ever in his career. How you can compare the two is beyond me. Stones is miles ahead in development at this current moment.


Defenders are anyway as good as the weakest link in the unit or something to that effect.
So even if Stones is more talented than Holding or otherwise, their career will show different to that comparison, if they end up with poor colleagues.

So I rather wait and see.

Holding however has a mountain to climb with Koscielny and Mustafi in such fine form. I presume we won’t see him play consistently for next 3 seasons.


If Stones wasn’t English he would still be at Everton. Vastly overhyped and also not ready for the highest level.

Experience alone is superior to Holding though.


He was very good. He looked very calm and composed. He is settling in.


I’m sorry but that is completely untrue IMO. Stones was making the same kind of mistakes at Everton. He is making them, not because of the kind of football he has to play, but because of the kind of footballer he is. I would make the argument he is in Pep’s team because Pep likes it how he plays his football, not because he can play the football that Pep wants. He is the kind of defender who is confident on the ball and sometimes too confident, he tries to showboat his skills sometimes and it costs him. What he needs to learn and improve on is that when you play defense in this level of football, even if you are Messi you can’t afford complacency on the ball. If his defensive attitude doesn’t change he will always remain a good defender that makes way too many mistakes for a top-level club to afford.


Kostafi+Holding. We are settled at the back for some years.


How many thrashings has Stones been on the end of at Everton? Because he made countless defensive errors in that time. Statistically in his first 3 PL games Holding has been making less mistakes than Stones and generally played better:|premier_league/2016/2017/john_stones/641/641/4207/37/p|premier_league/2015/2016/john_stones/165/165/4207/34/p|premier_league/2016/2017/laurent_koscielny/641/641/113/0/p#defensive_errors/errors_leading_to_goal/interceptions/total_duels_%/avg_pass_length/total_forward_passes/tackles_won/aerial_duels_won_%#90

I’m guessing the standard of ‘defensive errors’ isn’t massively high though as Stones was making far more than one every 6 games last year.

Both are young players, Holding a year younger, who are good at bringing the ball out of defense. Stones hype is completely unsubstantiated in line with his performances thus far. For Holding it really is about how much game time we can offer him to help his development.


Yeah mate. Holding is as good if not better than Stones and those 3 appearances for Arsenal in the PL this season are a good strong indication of that. My bad for forgetting that Holding has been absolutely sensational in his 3 senior appearances in the league for us that completely overwrite the last few years of Stones career. Everton were a disaster last year under their gung-ho, no defence manager last season. He’s learning his trade under a new manager.

It would have been nice if somebody had raised the very valid comparison that Holding is as good as Stones was when he left Barnsley for Everton. But their is a considerably difference in quality and experience right now.


Next up on pointless debates its Butter V Margerine and Horse and Cart V Electric Trams !


You’re talking about Stones ‘career’ as if he’s a world class player and not merely a prospect who’s been a walking liability. You make all kinds of excuses ‘Pep’s possession game means he’s more likely to cock up’, ‘it’s Martinez’s fault Stones passed to the opposition and was out of position’, when the reality is he’s been error prone defensively while looking skillful on the ball. He makes more defensive errors than Gabriel and Chambers who also both play in a high line possession orientated team:|premier_league/2015/2016/gabriel/641/165/6467/0/p|premier_league/2016/2017/john_stones/641/641/4207/37/p|premier_league/2015/2016/john_stones/165/165/4207/34/p|premier_league/2014/2015/john_stones/165/126/4207/34/p#defensive_errors/errors_leading_to_goal#avg

Would you want Gabriel and Chambers starting over Holding to? I wouldn’t because Holding is clearly performing better and looks a massive talent. It’s obviously early days

Stones is considered a top prospect not because he’s good defensively, he isn’t, but because like Ferdinand who was also error prone earlier in his career that he’s a ball playing centre back who can start attacks and is comfortable under pressure.


The problem with this conversation is that Holding is totally unproven while Stones has been a pretty mediocre defender both at Everton and City. You can’t say Holding is better than Stones, as he has proven nothing. On the other hand, “better than Stones” isn’t a very high bar, at least defensively. I wouldn’t want John Stones anywhere near our starting eleven right now, just as I don’t want Holding there either. Of course, both players are also extremely young and may improve.


Goddamnit. Are we really reaaaaalllllyyy doing this again?

Comparing Holding who has played 1 PL game to a starting CB at one of our rivals who has proven a lot more.

After Senderos, Chambers, Miquel, Bartley, Gabriel, Squillaci and many many others that were pretty hyped early on, it’s like yous don’t even want to learn.

Let’s be real, no matter what promise he has shown, it is more likely Holding will be back at Bolton or something in 5-10 years than actually becoming a world class CB here.

Of course I wouldn’t want that to happen, but that is where the majority of talents have gone in recent years.





The other thing Stones has proven is playing more fixtures in the Premier League and that doesn’t really say much when players like Squillaci and Andre Santos got loads of appearances.

For all intents and purposes he was pretty bad last season and hasn’t shown much improvement this season.

Not that I’m saying Stones isn’t better than Holding, I just don’t think Stones has proven enough to be worth a £50m price tag and that, realistically, with a little bit more experience for Holding there likely isn’t a huge gulf in quality.


Laugh all you want. Have you actually watched him? He played a huge part in the implosion of Everton’s season last year, making tons of critical mistakes in the defensive third that gifted other teams goals and penalties. He has been better this year at City but not great by any means.

He still could turn into a world class CB as he has elite ball-playing skills and the physical traits necessary to be a very good defender but he remains a very flawed defensive player at this point in his development. That’s true for almost any CB his age but it is what it is.


I have to question whether or not you even watch the guy play :joy: A lot of people agree with what you are lol’ing so heartily at. Stones is a top prospect there’s no doubt about that. And for his age he’s impressive. But yeah the last couple of seasons he’s made a ton of mistakes. I’m not sure if you’re just drinking the hype kool aid or what, but for 50m he’s way overpriced and is being shoe horned into a team with no other options. I really doubt Pep would throw the poor guy into the deep end like that against Barca if he had some better players.

Manchester City thread

The 50m price tag is just obscure. I do wonder if salary will give a closer indication of his talent, compared to his team mates.