Belfast Telegraph

How Ryan Giggs' yoga DVD has helped my Arsenal career: Holding

Arsenal v Vitoria SC, Europa League - Group F, Emirates Stadium, Tonight, 8.00pm

Waiting game: Rob Holding hopes to be involved tonight
Waiting game: Rob Holding hopes to be involved tonight

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Arsenal defender Rob Holding has revealed how a Ryan Giggs DVD inspired him to take up yoga and that he now practises the discipline regularly as part of his training regime.

The 24-year-old is likely to be in the starting line-up for Arsenal's Europa League Group F tie at home to Vitoria this evening as he continues the long journey back from a serious knee injury.

He is yet to play in the Premier League this season as head coach Unai Emery eases him back into the Gunners side.

But he disclosed that he has been enjoying yoga for some time after receiving Giggs' DVD as a gift from his mother.

"There is about six players plus (assistant coach) Freddie Ljungberg, he joins in and does a bit of yoga," he said.

"It's a good group there and it's up to you.

"If you want to do it, you can do it. We come in and do one session a week. I enjoy it, so I do it. I've been doing it since I've been here, so coming up to the fourth year now.

"When I was growing up, my mum actually got me a Ryan Giggs DVD about yoga.

"It lengthened his career, so I was like, you know what, if he's doing it then I should be doing it. So I've just maintained it."

Holding enjoyed a fine run in the Arsenal side in the early part of last season and was a star of their 22-game unbeaten spell before suffering knee ligament damage in December.

Having been capped at Under-21 level, the former Bolton man admitted he had been in communication with England assistant Steve Holland about a potential senior call-up before he was cruelly ruled out for 10 months through the knee injury.

"I knew I was close before my injury," he said.

"You see it with the likes of (Fikayo) Tomori and Ben Chilwell getting in there.

"I always bring up Ben Chilwell, who's done so well to cement a place at such a young age. Trent Alexander-Arnold too.

"They're all young English players and it shows that if you're playing, you get looked at and put in there.

"I'm sure Gareth Southgate will look at me and see what he wants to do.

"I saw him in the international break before my injury. They were training and I remember as I walked past I spoke to Steve Holland, who told me they were looking at me, so I need to keep going and keep working hard at what I was doing.

"We'll see what happens in the future. I wouldn't say I'm getting any pressure from it, I'm just keeping my head down and doing my own thing.

"I just need to focus on what I need to do, which is play football for Arsenal. If it comes, it comes."

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