'A joy to have' – Mikel Arteta singles out Arsenal star in crucial West Ham win

Mikel Arteta expressed his delight at seeing Rob Holding get on the scoresheet as Arsenal’s unlikely hero in their win over West Ham.

Arsenal recorded a 2-1 win away to the Hammers with defenders Holding and Gabriel both scoring from set pieces to keep their top-four hopes alive.

After 81 Premier League appearances, this was Holding’s first goal and Arteta, although not satisfied with the way his team played, was overjoyed for the 26-year-old.

‘We didn’t play so well. If I have to use a word it would be today we won ugly. Big teams have to find a way to win ugly when they don’t play well,’ he said.

‘We found a way through set pieces and defending strongly. To win here at West Ham is credit to boys and shows the spirit we have.

‘We were not fluent, we gave so many balls away. Rob Holding was great. He was man of the match.

‘He scored a goal and his contribution overall, whether he plays or does not. He is a joy to have.

‘You have to find a way to win and today we won ugly. We have to recognise that is the way we had done it.

‘We showed incredible spirit because when we could play the way we wanted to play we had to find a way to play the way they prefer. We adapted.

‘You have to find a way to win all the time to win – forcing mistakes, being brilliant, digging in, clean sheets.

‘I am really happy, especially for Rob Holding as he hasn’t played the amount of minutes he deserves. He was man of the match today. He is always there when we need him.’

Arsenal sit in fourth, two points clear of fifth-placed rivals Tottenham with the two set to face off on Thursday, May 12.

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