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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

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.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday May 10 2012

Time: 2:29PM

Your Comments

Welcome on board Steve!
Sajit
though I have to concede that this appears to be a good and positive appointment, I was just wondering what you as fans feel? are you pleased to see an in house appointment or would you have liked to see a No2 that had no previous links with the club, perhaps with the idea that it would freshen things up at the club?
oxfordspur
All the best to Steve Bould in his new role. Oxfordspur, I'm quite happy that Bould has been appointed because he knows all the fundamentals on which Arsenal's footballing ethos is based on. Bould has existing personal relationships and knowledge of many players in our first team squad and could perhaps work on improving any perceived weaknesses that those players have in training. If a new manager is employed by Arsenal to rebuild our side, he would get the privilege of bringing in his own choice of assitant and other associated staff. Similarly AW in my view deserves the same privilege. The club has gone for incremental change as opposed to fundamental change as its a choice one can understand.
Deltaforce
I certainly dont disagree with you mate, I was just looking to see whether you as fans felt a fresh face with new ideas would be a better way forward to assist Wenger. Personally I think that the idea of promoting from within and the "if it aint broke dont fix it" policy has genuine merit and in Bould you have a man well qualified for the role and best of luck to him. To a point of course... :-)
oxfordspur
Interesting to see what Jamie from Young Guns Blog, who has an inside link to the training ground, had to say. Bould is apparently something of a ranter and raver in the dressing room and on the training ground. He is apparently very assertive. It looks like a decent blend of someone who knows the ropes and has worked with some young members of the 1st team squad and someone who'll have his say.
Little Dutch
Congratulations all round and best wishes to all the new appointees. I feel the club has made the right decision, especially seeing as it is the Manager who has made the choice. Hopefully, the new assistant will play a role in improving our defending, whether against set pieces or normal outfield play. The goals conceded stats this season is unacceptable!
Naijagunner
26th May 1989.....he earned his stripes there and then for me. I'm very happy with his promotion, it makes perfect sense. He knows the players, the philosophy and has been very successful with the youth team. I think the likes of kos, verm and mert will benefit greatly especially. It will be interesting to see if there is any improvement in our defending over next season.
gunnerman76
L.D, I hope those qualities you've described seat well with the Boss. I, for one, would prefer that we have someone on the staff who would have an opinion about how the Manager has set up the team for a game, for instance. In his praise for Rice, Wenger has described him as "insightful and loyal"; it is likely that the latter quality scores high on the Manager's Role description for his Assistant. It is time he did things a little bit different and listen to and try out the views of his assistants. Not that I can claim to know, for certain, how he works with Rice.
Naijagunner
Bould's big job will be to improve the defensive mind set of the team as a whole, particularly the mid field. I feel that has been an issue for a few seasons and not fixed yet. Vermaelen could do with a bit of work as well. I don't care if he rants and raves, or is cool and collected. As long as he gets the job done. This appointment typifies the way this club does its business, and I'm all for that.
prits
LD, the Steve Bould link in the article above also links to the Pat Rice tribute.
prits
Cheers prits, fixed now!
Little Dutch
As a member of Graham's lauded back four I'll hazard Bould will have a point to prove when it comes to improving the defensive stats. The amount of criticism its been receiving, justified or not, won't have escaped his notice. I give a qualified welcome to his appointment. I'm happy to hear that he's a man with a voice. Its just a question of whether he's a man who will be given real responsibility. I hope he stirs things up a little.
Wyn Mills
Well if anyone on Arsenal's staff can try to imbue some defensive nous upon our squad, Bould is surely the man.
Scotch Eggs Rule
Ivan G sums him up brilliantly - "There are certain people who embody the club so perfectly that it's impossible to know if the Club created them or if they created the Club". Another thing that sums him up is the word "Legend", a term that gets bandied about too much these days but is totally deserved by Patrice. Thanks for the memories, Patrice
Eboue=GOD
Anyone know how much Bould has impacted the defensive nous of the Youth squad he has coached for years? I recall reading up on quite some evidences of poor defending in the youth sides, over the years and just can't reconcile that with the expectation he will help out with the 1st team squad's defending. Anyway, the fact he is a dressing room ranter is enough for me.
Naijagunner
That article on Bould was good to read again. The one thing that struck me was Graham though - sending Bould for ballet lessons that helped his coordination. Shows that Graham was not averse to unorthodox methods at times. Sometimes I feel that the Graham era is looked down upon due to recent success under Wenger, but I admire the man and what he brought to Arsenal, reviving our fortunes. You realize his tactical astuteness, listening to his (and other players') interviews on Anfield 1989.
prits
 

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