Steve Bould responsible for making Arsenal set-piece specialists?

What on earth has happened to Arsenal? I am not talking about the way we struggled away to Crystal Palace today, but the way that the Gunners now seem to be a different side, at least as far as set pieces are concerned.

Not only are we now scoring regularly from corners, free kicks and penalties, but we have found a way to stop other teams from scoring against us in the same sort of situation. Okay, penalties are a bit different and I cannot really give Arsene Wenger’s assistant the credit for Danny Welbeck winning and Santi Cazorla scoring the penalty that gave us the lead.

But how about recognising the fact that we are not giving any away at the minute? That is something we have been guilty of in recent years but now you very rarely see an Arsenal player making rash tackles in the box. Could that have come from the instruction and barracking in training that comes from Steve Bould? It has never really been something you associate with Wenger, that is for sure.

But it is the way we have been dealing with corners and free kicks at both ends that has been so impressive as the season has progressed. Don’t forget that not long ago we had a dreadful record of failing to score from these crucial situations as well as conceding from them. It was kind of an Arsenal trait, like losing big away games.

So should our former centre back and current assistant manager be getting a big thankyou from Wenger and the fans for the way that he has turned a problem into aa asset?

Tags Wenger


  1. Hafiz Rahman says:

    we.need to.improve or we will get hammers by man utd

    1. almostawinner says:

      swansea beat manu (at swansea). we can beat manu (at manu). totally psychological.

  2. Greg says:

    We kinda switched off in the final minutes of the palace match, and it nearly cost us all 3 points! We need to be more focus and solid in defense, holding our shape to the end, to see off teams when we are on top protecting our lead!

  3. mohawk says:

    Arsenal have done better lately defending set pieces. But to be suddenly crowned “set piece specialists” is overstating it a bit.

  4. SaveArsenal says:

    We really need to hold concentration to the final whistle.
    Everyone seemed a bit off last night, players just looked slow, Palace’s wingers were giving us all sorts of trouble with their speed and we struggled to deal with it.
    Chambers at RB is always a risk against fast players, he will be a better CB I feel.

    More concentration and it looks like more training needed so we are physically sharper for the full 90 minutes.

  5. fred cowardly says:

    I agree with above

    We have a better defense now then we did in 1st half of season (Debuchy is our only major loss)
    Coquelin and Bellerin have done wonderfully. Also signed Gabriel

    We should be tougher in defense especially with Koscielny, Mertsacker, Bellerin and Gibbs with Coquelin as DM. That is a good defense. We have a better defense than United. So I’m not sure why Hafiz thinks we will be blown away.

    1. Ospina Smalling/jones and Rojo
    3. Bellerin > Shaw
    4. Gibbs > Valencia
    5. Coquelin > Bland

  6. Mesut O-healed says:

    Definitely an improvement from earlier this season.

    Crystal palace had 10 corners + several dead balls from all those fouls we committed around our 18. We only conceded on that late corner and prob only because we don’t know how to clear the damn ball on time.

    1. almostawinner says:

      i think we’re fouling more outside the box when we get beaten. earlier we used to beaten and then panic in the box and give away penalties. we’ve become more professional in our fouling.

  7. rools says:

    Arsenal have allowed 11 headed goals this season 2nd most in the League behind Burnley’s 14.
    Yeah… 36% of Arsenal’s goals conceded are from headers I’m pretty sure that’s the worst.
    6 of those 11 headed goals came from a set play.

    First goal conceded against spuds was from a corner.
    The second one was a header.

    To give you an idea, 10 of the first 14 goals conceded this season were from set plays. We did better after that, but we are still struggling in that department.

    1. almostawinner says:

      we’re short in that department.

  8. Greg says:

    Lets turn our attention next to monaco! Lets take care of business and get the vital win against them! Coyg!

  9. adajim says:

    “It has never really been something you associate with Wenger, that is for sure.” The day things go otherwise don’t associate it with wenger. In the first half of the season we were unlucky with injury to one of our cb pairin, but now we enjoy the stability,that is the difference if u ask me. Don’t forget kos-per partnership was one of the best of last season,main reason wenger do not saw the need for strenghened that area during summer which I personally do not blame him for. AFC and Chelsea started the season with the same number of senior defenders bt AFC had badluck with injury.

  10. BarryL says:

    Since New Year, it’s also had a lot to do with Le Coq playing DM + lots of tackling back from Cazorla, Sanchez, Ramsey, Tomas, etc which helped to take pressure off back 5, instead of them being under constant pressure as we often were in first half of season.
    Still think we need additional DM to support Le Coq in big away games

  11. Redsoldier says:

    I hate articles like this because the writer is always trying to be smart by taking credit away from Wenger or make him look less influential. But the truth is Wenger CHOSE steve bould to be assisstant. So even if Steve is responsible for this which we don’t know, Wenger is indirectly responsible because he made a decision to choose a good assisstant. Perfect Management they call it. A manager is as good as the people that work for him or the people he delegates work to. FACT. So please go fing something else to make Wenger look bad.

  12. We went to sleep at the end of the game and luckily weren’t damaged during this period before the team woke up and got their act together.

    Every season is wrecked by the same mistakes and often by the same players. These mistakes are supposed to be sorted out by the team captain, something we’ve not had since Vieira left. Our overall marking and defending is not the Bould standard we were used to when he partnered Dixon, Adams and Nutty Boy. I think Bould does not have much input at all since everything has to be Wenger’s way. He toes the line now.

    We just got lucky against Palace like I said above in the first paragraph.

    When we go out of the Cups it will be for the same reasons we always do, it will be the same reasons next season and the one after, then when a new Manager arrives we’ll see a difference. A part of me thinks Wenger stays as long as he can to avoid being exposed by the next manager who will likely prove a lot of fans right.

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