Over the past seven years Arsenal’s defensive inadequacies have been there for all to see. The same amount of time the team has failed to win a trophy. It’s also no coincidence it’s seven years since Patrick Viera left the club too.
Arsenal fans must feel like they are caught in a very long version of Ground Hog Day. The team have forgotten how to defend.
No other top-flight side has committed so many defensive bloopers in that period of time. Conceding 8 goals at Old Trafford takes some beating, although the pathetic mistake to gift Birmingham the Carling Cup comes a close second. In fact, there are way too many to mention, so lets concentrate how the team can end the Catch 22 situation they find themselves in.
With the news that Pat Rice will be standing down as assistant manager after 48 years with the club could quite possibly be the catalyst for change at The Emirates.
Arsenal need a strong character who will challenge Wenger, a man to get them defending as a team. A man who is strong enough to tell the players off for their indiscipline’s. It’s all well and good playing attacking football but if you can’t defend it’s a waste of time and effort.
I believe in Steve Bould The Gunners have their man. An old school defender who played under George Graham. Back then Arsenal had the tightest defense in Europe. It wasn’t pretty but that side knew how to hold onto a lead, something the current team have absolutely no idea how too.
Bould, 49, has been working with the youth academy since 2001. He led the club’s youngsters to the FA Youth Cup in 2009 and to the Premier Academy League title in 2008 and 2009.
With Bould on board, the managerial team can at least inject some much needed discipline to an Arsenal team who pride themselves on scoring goals and not keeping clean sheets. Only time will tell but lack of school boy errors will be an indication if things have changed.