Former Gunner Stewart Robson doesn’t believe that Steve Bould is allowed to do much coaching at Arsenal and reckons that Arsene Wenger is behind the team’s defensive frailties.
Robson believes that Wenger – as usual – is at fault for basically everything wrong with Arsenal, modern football, and the world in general. However, joking aside, he has a point this time and it’s oddly unsettling.
The ex-Gunner doesn’t think that Bouldie gets much of a chance to do his job at all and that Wenger takes complete charge of all aspects of Arsenal’s training sessions.
“I don’t think he (Bould) has too much say, I think Arsene Wenger has all the say, Steve Bould isn’t allowed to do that much work,” said Robson.
“I think if Steve Bould was allowed to do a bit more work, Arsenal would be a better defensive unit.
“It doesn’t matter who they buy if you don’t do the right defensive work on the training ground and get a system of play.
“You could have the best three, if they’re going to play a back three, they’ve gone back to a back four in the last couple of weeks, if they’re playing with a back four you can buy the best back four in the world but you still won’t get a performance if you don’t do enough work on the training ground.”
When Bouldie was promoted from academy coach to Wenger’s assistant in 2012, fans thought it might be because Arsenal’s defence, which was mainly Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna at the time, was pretty shoddy.
As part of Arsenal’s legendary old guard, Bouldie could teach our back four the importance of positioning, awareness, communication and strength.
Over the last five years, we’ve been waiting for something to click into place and for the Gunners’ defence to finally look as if they’re confident about their jobs on the pitch. But they never really have.
Now, despite Bould still being assistant coach, our defence, at times, looks the worst it’s ever been.
With this in mind, fans are beginning to question: how much does Bould actually do at Arsenal? If anything…
Surely, if he had some control over training sessions, our defence wouldn’t be half as shambolic as it is? Was the ex-defender’s appointment just for show to placate the fans after Pat Rice left and Arsenal scraped another top-four finish? Does Wenger genuinely hold all the cards?
I don’t know what annoys me more. That our defence is infuriatingly bad or that Stewart Robson might actually be right about something.