Arsenal information: Underneath-23s coach Steve Bould sacked


Who is bould

Bould is a former Arsenal defender who joined a legendary back four with Lee Dixon, Tony Adams and Nigel Winterburn led by George Graham and Arsene Wenger. During his eleven years at the club, the central defender won the league title three times and the FA Cup twice and made 287 appearances.

In June 2001 he returned to Arsenal as coach of the youth team and led the U18 selection in 2009 and 2010 to successive titles in the Premier Academy League and the FA Youth Cup in the 2008/09 season.

In May 2012, he was promoted to assistant director, replacing Pat Rice. He held the role for seven years before turning his attention to the U-23 on a move with Ljungberg.

Why was he released?

Arsenal academy has been in the spotlight this season under the influence of Hale End FC – the group of players led by Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe and influencing the first team – and the pressure to continue the production line is on large.

Per Mertesacker is in charge of the academy, but this wasn’t a season the younger age groups could write home about. Arsenal finished 10th in the PL2 U23 league this season, although the results are of course less significant than player development for academies.

Bould returned to the academy to lead the U23s during a coaching restructuring in the summer of 2019 after seven years as a first-team coach.

A separation of paths seems to be relevant to the friction between old and new methodology, which reflects the recent changes in the approach to scouting.

How was his time at Arsenal?

Bould was an outstanding defender for Arsenal and one of the pillars of the legendary Back Four alongside Dixon, Adams and Winterburn.

He was a very popular player when Arsenal won a lot of trophies under Graham. Bould began coaching and trained teenagers at the academy for 11 years before joining Wenger’s coaching staff.

After Wenger’s departure, he initially stayed to provide continuity in the first team when Unai Emery arrived, but ultimately preferred to lead a team rather than receiving instructions in the new line-up after Wenger.

Bould is proud to have served the club for over 30 years.

Who are the notable prospects in the U23 squad?

Folarin Balogun’s first-team debut last season was a sign of the next generation. Miguel Azeez, a technical midfielder, wasn’t far behind.

Who should replace him?

It is uncertain at the moment, but the appointment will be handed over to Mertesacker, the Arsenal Academy manager.

(Photo by David Price / Arsenal FC via Getty Images)