Bould Appointment Made As Rice Comes To The Boil
As has long been speculated, Arsene Wenger this afternoon confirmed that ex Arsenal centre half and U-18 Coach Steve Bould will be Arsenal`s new Assistant Manager for the 2012-13 season. Rice`s retirement was confirmed officially by the club today and Wenger told the gathered press at his weekly conference that Bould would be promoted to number 2.
The 49 year old played for Arsenal for 372 times between 1988 and 1999, winning three league titles, two FA Cups, a League Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1994. Bould has been coaching Arsenal`s U-18s since 2001, winning the F.A. Youth Cup in 2009 and overseeing the development of the likes of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Emmanuel Frimpong. It is understood that Reserve Team Manager Neil Banfield will also be promoted to first team coach. There has been no announcement as yet as to how Bould and Banfield`s old roles will be backfilled by the club.
Arsene told the press; 'I always want to give a chance to people who know how we coach. Steve is a very good coach and brings a continuation of our philosophy.'
The Arsenal Manager was also effusive in his praise of his long term deputy and one of the longest serving members of playing and coaching staff in the club`s history (Joe Shaw boasts 45 years and George Male 46 to Pat`s 44).
'Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal football club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion to this club.
'Pat has been amazing for me over the past 16 years. When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club.'
'I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole. On the training pitches and on matchdays, Pat has always been a passionate, loyal and insightful colleague, who we will all miss.'
'Thank you Pat, we'll miss you and all of us wish you and your family the best of health and happiness for the future. Although, we'll still see Pat a lot, as I know he's planning to come to all the home matches as a supporter!'
You can read my tribute to Pat Rice hereand as a bonus, here`s a blog I wrote on Steve Bould back in 2009. All the best from Vital Arsenal to Pat in his retirement and the best of luck to Steve Bould and Neil Banfield in their new roles. LD.