Arsenal have been accused of having various and numerous weaknesses over the last 10 years or so and the fact that we have not been able to win the Premier League trophy in all that time has encouraged Arsenal fans and the football media alike to find the reasons why.
For a long time the main culprit was thought to be a soft centre in the team, with the defensive midfield position as well as the back four often coming under fire. But the Gunners have put that right in the last few years, by and large, and have had one of the strongest defensive records in the division.
While some will point to the fact that Francis Coquelin has made a big difference as well as other players like Laurent Koscielny being an improvement on what Arsenal had before, some Arsenal fans feel that nowhere near enough credit has been given to our former defensive star and current assistant manager Steve Bould, who was a player when Arsene Wenger arrived and helped us to win three titles, five domestic trophies and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
Hector Bellrin, however, who is one of the star performers in the current Arsenal team, has given Bould huge credit for helping him to develop into one of the best right backs in the EPL and the world, as a report in The Mirror explains.
Bellerin said, “When I first came to Arsenal, I didn’t know how to defend.
“If there was a person who I had to identify as helping me a lot, that would have to be Steve Bould.
“I was a winger but from the under-18s up, I remember him just showing me the basics.
“Even then, I remember him sometimes holding his head like, ‘What is Hector doing?’
“He’s been one of the key people in my career. He’s one of the reasons I’m here now.
“When we defended the FA Cup, I reminded Steve of all those times stressing in training, or when we lost the Youth Cup, which was such a big thing for us.
“Steve was a top defender himself and has so much knowledge.
“Sometimes when he’s speaking, I just laugh because he makes it look so easy and so obvious, and you haven’t realised before. I really enjoy learning with him.”
So Arsenal fans, a big round of applause please for Steve Bould, and who will be the next young defender to benefit from his wisdom and experience?