Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Dixon: Wenger needs to make a Bould move

Arsenal legend Lee Dixon believes that Arsene Wenger is still the right man to manage Arsenal, but says he needs to change the team’s defensive set-up, both on and off the field.

Speaking to Arseblog, Dixon believes that it’s time for a shake-up of the coaching staff and the system the team use.

Stressing the need to win regain possession more quickly and to defend better as a team, he said, “I just feel that when we do lose the ball there’s too much time goes by between us losing and trying to win it back in an organised manner.

“And that comes on the training pitch, you learn that from people telling you, people going through the same routine on the training pitch and getting a way of playing without the ball.

“Ultimately you have to say the manager takes responsibility for that. Is his back room staff right? I don’t think it is.”

And the man who won league titles under both Arsene Wenger and George Graham has urged the boss to promote from within and add another of his former colleagues to the coaching staff.

“Pat Rice is retiring in the summer, he’s been a great servant to the club but I think it’s time that happened and maybe bring in Steve Bould from the reserves, and perhaps even ask Tony Adams to come back and help out.

“That’d be my perfect scenario because I still think Arsene is the right man for the job but I just feel he’s lost his way a little bit and needs some help.”

Arsene is well known for being one of the most hands-on managers in the game. Other managers delegate the majority of training to their coaches but Wenger is out there every day, for every session. Despite this, Dixon feels it would be counter-productive to bring Bould in, with all his defensive awareness, and not to let him have an influence on the way the team operates.

“If he’s brought into a position in the first team set up then he has to be allowed to to do his defensive work, otherwise there’s absolutely no point. There’s no point bringing in anyone who is just going to go down the Arsene Wenger way because it’s clear over the last few years that hasn’t worked.”

You can hear the full, in-depth interview with Lee Dixon (covering Sunderland, AC Milan, Arsenal’s defensive woes, the North London derby and much more) on tomorrow’s Arseblog Arsecast – published around 9am on Arseblog.

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Makes perfect sense and we surely can’t lose anything for it though I’d rather have Keown over Adams just because Adams seems to be slightly mad these days.


My friend, Tony Adams has always been mad.


This is why we love him.


A good point well made 😉


Has Lee Dixon or any of those calling for Steve Bould to be assistant manager to improve the defense seen the U-18s (that he coaches) defend? They are not any better then the first team. Seems to me people are just saying “oh he was part of an immense defensive unit so he will be able to teach them to defend” when there isn’t any great evidence for this.


In fairness Michael, surely you’d struggle to find *any* U-18 team that was better – anywhere on the pitch – than its own first team?


Agree with that but at times I think blind geriatrics could defeat better then the first team and the 17, 18 don’t so maybe he isn’t a panacea.

Master Bates

Have you seen our u-18 play? They don’t drop a little bit physically in the 2nd half ,they don’t play with Handbrake on ,they can dribble on crappy pitches ,they give a fuck most of the times,they have fewer injury setbacks,they don’t have Squillaci and Djourou and they have great mental strength

Master Bates

Arsenal Youth are currently leading the youth league table , with 2 games in hand , they have conceded 25 goals in 22 matches that’s 1.1 goals in a match , while the First team has conceded 35 goals in 25 matches that’s 1.4goals in a match . So he has a better record . But that’s not enough , what qualifies him is “he was part of an immense defensive unit so he will be able to teach them to defend” ,AND the fact that he’s been coaching for a while ,AND we need a change AND because Lee… Read more »


“But that’s not enough , what qualifies him is “he was part of an immense defensive unit so he will be able to teach them to defend” ,AND the fact that he’s been coaching for a while ,AND we need a change AND because Lee Dixon says so”

A change for change sake is silly, it has to be a change for the better.

Midfield Corporal

No offence Michael but I’m probably more inclined to listened to advice from Dicko who is one of the most intelligent analysts currently in the media, than your good self. I’m quite positive Steve Bould would add something to our back room staff.

Master Bates

It’s a Change for the better ,Pat Rice will retire and that position will vacant , So in a way even firing my mum as the Assistant Manager will be an upgrade.

They’ll want to hire someone from within the Club and Steve Bould is the best candidate

Master Bates



Sometimes the best solution is the obvious one,I agree get Bouldy in.


Ironic that he asks for former players to help out but sits on his MotD moral high horse.


Bouldy and Adams are in the management game, Dixon isn’t and surely you can’t deny that he’s right? Our coaching setup appears to be woeful at the moment. It’s a moot point anyway,. Wenger’s been in management for years he knows best….


Your last line is sarky, right? Yes, Dixon has managed ‘zero’ games so Wenger will not listen to him or anyone else, he’s made that clear enough.


Yes I was being sarcastic. Wenger wouldn’t listen to anyone regardless of experience. It’s part of the arrogance that we used to love once.

Master Bates

Make him Assistant Manager or even First team team coach as suggested here(http://1nildown2oneup.tumblr.com) .

having him will be a LANS!! It will be like having a complete new backline ,a LHACNB?


I just don’t think our defensive players as a whole are good enough compered to previous back 4’s i mean changing coaches may solve the problem but then again it may do nothing and then i wonder what the suggestions will be?


Personally, I think we should move Walcott to assistant coach once Pat Rice retires. Just having him on the bench will be a great asset to the team.


I’m glad there are people like Dixon pointing out where Wenger is going wrong. He knows what he’s talking about. We need more of the ex-players, particularly ones who played under Wenger, to point this kind of stuff out. Hopefully it will eventually be recognised at the club.


So Dixon thinks Arsene is “the right man for the job” and then says this:

“There’s no point bringing in anyone who is just going to go down the Arsene Wenger way because it’s clear over the last few years that hasn’t worked.”

Is there anyone more down the Arsene way than Arsene?

Not sure what my point is.

Cygan's Right Foot

I think he means you need someone who is going to put pressure on Arsene to change slightly. Arsene is the best man for the job (as no one can name a manager that has succeeded without spending 300m plus atr numerous clubs to buy trophies) but he just needs someone who isn’t a “yes man”. Being at Arsenal for years, Bould would be able to instil the passion into the first team (as he has done with the under 18’s), be able to take some pressure off Arsene in training and would be able to inject some new ideas… Read more »


Interesting that there is plenty of talk about who the new manager should be.

Is everyone expecting AW to resign or something?

Why bring this up at this point at all?

AW got plenty more years yet surely?


Is it just me or is everyone missing the obvious? I have slagged off so many people over the 6 seasons for saying Wenger must go. But if anyone wants a slagging off match now, so be it. This season this unthinkable is going to happen. Arsenal will finish behind Spurs. Wenger must leave. I know how hard players have been playing and workingour rivals. Not just this season, but over the past 6. Anyone con

Master Bates

If that’s true that you have been whining for the past six years then you have crappiest patience , Were you saying Wenger must go in 2006 ? because the year before we won the FA cup and that year reached the UCL final

Changing Managers and Coaches is good but it won’t bring us trophies if the Owner won’t spend ,people who think a new Manager = a bigger transfer Kitty are delusional .

Cygan's Right Foot

Changing managers also doesn’t guarantee major success – see fig. Chelsea.

Since 2006 they may have “bought” 2 league titles, 3 FA cups and 2 league cups but then think how much money they have spent and where they are now in comparison wth Arsenal.


I like reading comments made by Arsenal fans.

Words of the year 2011
-Mental Strength


hey blogs i suggest at the end of the season you dedicate one for words of the season.that would be great and helpful for next season.just to make sure fans don’t forget.


dont forget
-economic environment
-super quality
-red zone
-3-4 weeks


Don’t forget the funnier ones in the had times; the cones, the rods, the metal man thing…




As I was saying, anyone contesting this need their heads examining. How much of a Gooner is Gazidis if he thinks it’s ok Spurs finish above us? That no radical action needs to be taken? Maybe Ivan Gazidis needs to come out and tell fans that it longer worth you having expectations, Arsenal’s future is the same as Tottenham’s past.

Cygan's Right Foot

You have to remember that Tottenham are basically where Arsenal were before the move to the Emirates. They will have to move to a new stadium evetually and, without the council helping them out, will have a massive amount of debt as well. This is a season of exception (look at where Newcastle, Bolton, Blackburn, etc…are, are in the league) and so everything will normalise again.


I am going to miss Pat. And the bit about the back room is very true, but staff with most problems are the ones who are sitting the offices, and not the ones on the pitch.


I’m going to miss all his yelling… One of the late come backs, I think against Sunderland, I could hear him through the TV screen shouting- MOVE THE BALL… Then not long after it got to Arshavin and the rest is history brought to you by The King… I like to think that yelling played a part… because they really did just move the ball as he said…


Anyone wants an arguement about what I said, do so after the game on Saturday when we’re probably gonna end up 13 points behind Spurs.

Midfield Corporal

Wow, wish we had more fans like you. Yes there are major deficiencies in our squad but I don’t believe you’ve been banging on about them for 6 years. In 2008 what deficiencies were you highlighting exactly? I suppose you had this mystical power to forsee how an horrendous injury to a player would affect the team. Personally I feel it is probably time for a new face in charge but I have nothing but respect and gratitude to Arsene for giving me the most exciting football I’ve ever watched, played by some truly world class players. I think you… Read more »


What game on Saturday?

Cygan's Right Foot

Maybe he has a Football Manager game on Saturday…


Dennis Bergkamp. That is all.

Gooner Sam

Tony Adams as assistant manager, Keown as defensive coach, Bergkamp as Reserve Tram Coach and Henry as striking coach. All would come, all (apart from Henry) have coached. Surely a winner?


I suppose putting Bergkamp in charge of trams as you suggest makes a kind of sense. He needs an alternative form of transport as he won’t fly.

Cygan's Right Foot

Poor Neil Banfield, what has he ever done to you to lose his job as Reserve team coach?


And Walcott on the bench.

Cygan's Right Foot

Players seem to score a lot in the reserves… might be an idea


Dejilihno – you forgot “Cones” for one of the Arseblog words of 2011 or was that 2010? Jees I’m getting old


I think i agree with Dixon, Arsene seem to have lost touch somehow in some things which is normal sometimes especially as age sets in, so seeking for assistance either by bringing in Bould or Martin Keown will do. I just hope he does that soon.


itll be great if all legends comeback to coach. adams, dixon, keown, henry, pires, bergkamp, seaman, lehman and wrighty. it disappoints me that vieira stayed at city otherwise he would of completed the package.


things needs to be changed at arsenal from the back to the front. we cant progress if we stay static.

Derek White

All well and good but has anyone actually seen how badly the U18’s defend at times.The reserves are the same.All our teams are poor under a long ball or a high ball and balls between the centre backs and fullbacks also give them trouble.I say bring in Keown and Winterburn.


Ahh, but will Bould be happy just sitting there while Wenger shouts at him, never asks for his opinion or sits with his arms folded like a deluded clown?


Pat Rice- True Gunners Legend. Nobody is doubting that. If Arsene gets a statue then Pat Rice should have a statue standing behind him because he has been there from the begining. on another note I watched Highlights of the Reserves game against Norwich and i say its about time we give Ozyakup a chance. his one touch play and ability to spray a pass reminds me of Wilshire playing in the reserves. He has been touted by many of the coaches as a next Cesc type player and its about time we took a chance i think. either that… Read more »

Simon Horrocks

I get worried about us relying on under-21 players all the time. I don’t think its good for their development to suddenly find themselves responsible for winning the PL and the CL. At the moment, our young talented players have struggled to develop or have left, or both. Considering players like Eboue, Senderos got us to the final of the CL (an event we must all be pinching ourselves over now) but then gradually became out of favour as their performances degraded (the way Walcott has). That kind of top level examination for a young player, week after week, may… Read more »


Wenger brought in Keown in 2006 to coach the defence while he was doing his badges.

We kept ten consecutive clean sheets in the run to the CL final, with Cygan at CB and Flamini at LB.

Why on earth did Wenger stop doing that? Perhaps he doesn’t like being told, as he and only he runs the team.

On a totally seperate note, it was reported on ESPN monday night, that in the last 7 years, Arsenal had spent less money (nett) than ANY other Prem team. How long since we won a trophy? Just saying!

dave seago

i know that we haven’t won anything for a while, but if you’re saying that Arsene has spent the least amount (net) than any other team then surely he’s done an incredible job keeping us in the top three/four hasn’t he?


@Dave Seago,

“An incredible job” Yes, but it could have been so much more. Couldn’t it?

Cygan's Right Foot

Name one manager who is above him or better than him that hasn’t spent ludicrous amounts of money on players and/or wages.

Gearoid Kelly

I think guys like Bould would be good in and around the first team, even if not the Asst. It’s not about bringing in new blood, it’s about using the strengths and skills of whoever is brought in, as opposed to sticking another yes-man into a Nike tracksuit nd put his initials on the breast. Also, Wenger’s dislike of an enforcer and want for an interchangeable midfield 3, combined with 2 attacking full-backs is putting terrible strain on the CBs. Sure, Song is the defensive player, but he likes to get forward too. Small tactical tweaks could make a massive… Read more »


Full agree with Dixon.Wenger has left the defence to its own devices and that’s why the gunners have been leaking goals galore..When Keown was the coach,the cl defnce was one of the meanest.Since he left,the gunners defence has been like a sinking ship. To add to the horror story,Wenger doesn’t practise defence drill. It must be true .This is definitely dereliction of dut othrwise how do you account for the frequent conceding of goals from corners and set pieces. The first thing any manager of a new team does is to make the team hard to beat. Wenger doesn’t believe… Read more »


Agree wt Dixon,if wenger is to continue 2 stay,I believe he should seek the help of Adam & Bould to help out defensively,while he works on the attack.


You must be a Sp*rs fan, loser.

[…] to … er … me for today’s Arsecast, he says: I just feel that when we do lose the ball there’s too much time goes by between us losing and […]


Bring back Keown. To me Wenger has become to obsessed with technique. Now I love skilful players but i’d rather an average one who gave 100% was committed and loved AFC. Thats why I could actually live without winning a trophy if we played more of the academy and tried to grow a team and by this i don’t mean foreign players we purchased at 16 (Bendy, Vela etc.. because they have already shown they are paper followers) I mean players like Jack, Lansbury, Frimmers, Afobe etc… What also really annoys me is the constant shoe horning players into unnatural… Read more »


What worries me is IF arsene is the control freak that people make him out to be then would anyone coming in as a number two make any real difference regardless of who they are.


Someone like keown, who will scream & swear, will add some urgency to this team. Arsenal needs their version of the “hairdryer”. Sometimes talent needs a booth in the ass……


Whoever said that Pat Rice is a yes man!!!! You are all guessing, the fact that he doesn’t shout and scream in public at Wenger doesn’t make him a yes man.

[…] his injury it’s worth a read. There’s also interesting quotes from Lee Dixon about shaking up the back-room and Oxlade-Chamberlain talking about his […]

Mr. Eboue Armann Yes

Bergkamp Dennis Yes

The BearMan

The one eX player that can make the Wenger method work at a Highet level is Dennis Bergkamp!

Yes either Bould or Tony Adams to work on our shaky defense. But the sole technical player to make Arsenal great is DB!


Somthing I have been saying for some years now. There is somthing wrong with the coaching methods at Arsenal othervise there would not be so many injuries. So that is a big problem that has to be adressed who ever comes in for Rice. May be the warm-ups are inadequate.


As much as I would love to see DB at Arsenal again – it is the problem with flying that comes in to considerationn – he would be needed at the away games. I would lowe to see him as number two and taking over from Venger when that time comes.

[…] to … er … me for today’s Arsecast, he says: I just feel that when we do lose the ball there’s too much time goes by between us losing and […]


Keown-Bould combo will be the perfect answer

[…] team action next season. It’s a move that has long been rumoured and one that some of his former colleagues have been championing in recent […]

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x