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Why Steve Bould Will Play Such A Key Role In The Arsenal Reconstruction Under Unai Emery

Steve Bould, Arsenal Assistant Manager

As we all know Arsenal Assistant manager Steve Bould has been given a similiar role under Unai Emery although that implies sharing it with Emery’s trusted compatriot Juan Carlos Carcedo. Many expected his exit , including myself ,when Unai Emery arrived and replaced Arsene Wenger in the north London clubs hot seat.[spacer height=”30px”]

Yet Bould has survived the reshuffle and has taken up a more productive position within the training setup. It has been said that Wenger was very hands on, to such an extent that Bould was reduced to a sounding board and little more than that.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”20px”]It’s quite staggering if true because who better to drill a defence than a former defender , someone who has achieved at the highest possible level with the club , but Wenger had an almost unhealthy obsession with remaining in control , rightly or wrongly. So , can we expect Bould to exert some influence in his given area of expertise ?[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”30px”]Well , signs are that he will be allowed to coach in the true sense of the word and will be heavily involved with the creation of a durable defence Only those within the club , truly know the limitations that existed but I have it on authority that it was very restrictive and that everything had to be given the Wenger thumbs up.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”20px”]In all fairness , although Wenger inherited a fine defensive line on his arrival in 1996 , he did put together a decent group of players in those positions , once the likes of Adams , Winterburn, Dixon and Keown hung up their boots. Lauren , Toure , Campbell and Cole weren’t exactly poor substitutes for the Gunners , all of whom were part of Arsenal’s invincibles, but defence was never Wenger’s strong point. He was about attack , flair and creativity and with the financial restrictions of a new stadium , he never truly had the ability to buy the type of players the club needed.[spacer height=”30px”]

Image obtained via Twitter

[spacer height=”30px”]His departure has lead to a complete rethink and overhaul of how the club is run and fresh ideas seem to be taking root , including the use of those behind the scenes. The excitement of fresh faces, coupled with the intense work ethic of Unai Emery for their extensive season ahead has injected a degree of optimism into the club and its fan base.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”20px”]Of course it’s easy to criticise Wenger now he’s gone and forget what he achieved but even the most loyal and diehard fan would admit that it seemed as if the Frenchman has lost touch with his squad and was too soft on those that were happy to take advantage.[spacer height=”30px”]

I went on record to say that Bould should have been part of the clear out because Arsenal’s defence were astonishingly poor last season. Perhaps I jumped the gun , without knowing the real reason for the meltdown and capitulation that happened on a weekly basis.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”20px”]Bould himself, was a reliable , old school defender , who did all the simple things well. He was solid and reliable , which is overlooked when in the company of far more talented and creative players. Yet , if one of the defenders from last season had his appetite for the game , we would have shipped less goals and wouldn’t have struggled so desperately to claim a lowly 6th place in the premiership.[spacer height=”30px”]

[spacer height=”20px”]Emery likes his players to play out from the back and likes short , snappy interplay , something that will be difficult for Arsenal at first but if he can find a little bit of steel and resistance , he may even finish top four at the first time of asking.[spacer height=”30px”]

The defence has been a problem for what has seemed like a thousand seasons and it’s only now that Arsenal , and Emery have begun to address the issue with steady experienced signings and sourcing young but matured defenders to lead the lines. The big tests await but it’s going to be interesting with the banana skins that tend to ruin the clubs season, the smaller clubs , who rely on cramping Arsenal’s free flowing style.[spacer height=”30px”]

The Highbury Flyer
Anti Kroenke , anti Gazidis but always a gooner. Still wishes he could watch from the stands at the Highbury library.

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