Report: Steve Bould to fill U23 coaching vacancy after Ljungberg promotion

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Earlier today The Times reported that Freddie Ljungberg was to be promoted to the first team coaching staff ahead of the new season.

The Swede has been in charge of the U23s this season, presiding over an excellent crop of young players, some of whom will be hoping they’re given a chance to impress at first team level.

The connection to Freddie might well work in their favour as the club look to focus on how Academy players can be more frequently integrated, but of course it leaves a gap and a job that needs to be filled.

According to Charles Watts at Goal, the man to do that is Steve Bould who has been part of Unai Emery’s first team coaching staff this season.

The 56 year old has often been criticised for the team’s defensive instability, despite the fact he has never been responsible for that side of the team, and performs broader coaching duties than simply drilling a back four/back three/whatever.

Bould began his career as a coach at youth levels, and was promoted to Arsene Wenger’s assistant when Pat Rice retired. When the former boss left, he was retained to provide some continuity and to give Emery a presence on the training ground who knew the players as the Spaniard built his own relationships and judgements of them.

The report says he’ll work closely with Per Mertesacker with regard to player development and progression, and with some real talent emerging from the Academy, strong connections between the first team and youth set-ups make a lot of sense.

It’s a move that makes sense, and it also feels as if the Ljungberg promotion is something of a succession plan, giving him first team coaching experience but without him being too closely tied to Emery if and when a change needs to be made to the role of Head Coach.

Interesting developments.

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Henkamp
Henkamp

Looks like manager uncertainty will plague Chelski this summer (again!). Plus uncertainty over the future of Eden Hazard and their inability to sign new players. They will hopefully have a turbulent season next year.

The spuds (despite what we hear) have little cash to spend. And Utd are going to be continuous jokes with Ole at the wheel.

That’s 3 rivals shrouded in uncertainties of various degrees.

That would have been something to rejoice about. But with all the noises coming from the corridor of power at the emirates we too are fucked! It’s frustrating.

BW9

What are you on about??

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Lol

Pablo pomreas
Pablo pomreas

Good point, I think Southampton will struggle with their new kit and I hear Everton aren’t impressed by their new lawn mower.

Lettra
Lettra

At least they have a lawnmower..

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

“At least they have a lawnmower.”
Comment of the day. Thank you for cheering me up.

Sam
Sam

I feel it’s a pity for a legend like Bould to be so abused by fans. We have no idea what his duties include and expect him to drill defensive skills into Mustafi just because Bould was an amazing defender. The club keeps him employed. Blame the club for the defensive mess not the person we don’t know if he is even a part of it.

BigStick
BigStick

Bould did have a brief spell coaching our defense back in 2013, and he was doing a good job. Unfortunately Wenger felt insecure about Bould’s early success, and banned him from doing any further work with our defense. This is according to reports from David Ornstein.

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/05/arsene-wenger-and-steve-bould_n_2809779.html?_guc_consent_skip=1559731966

Stenz
Stenz

Same as Keown being removed from long-term defensive coaching when his end-of-season job drew results. Such a shame Big Weng had a blind spot and ego when it came to defensive coaching.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

I thought that was we Keown and our run to the CL finals?

rpsport
rpsport

“Unfortunately Wenger felt insecure about Bould’s early success, and banned him from doing any further work with our defense.”

Absolutely.

Venga ruined him – it was sickening.

However, now Unai is evidently getting the best out of Bould – just like he said he would when he wowed the board. We’ve become masters of defensive arts and we never (well almost never, only occasionally, and especially away from home and sometimes at corners and free kicks), concede from set pieces.

Heavenly Chapecoense
Heavenly Chapecoense

The takeaway from this link is not about Bould. It is about how a big team like Arsenal could not improve its defensive play in let’s say 10 years. At least Wenger had a flawed idealistic view of football but the new guy?

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

Why the downvotes for Bigstick? Genuinely interested why drawing attention to this article offends people? Is Wenger too sacred to be criticised still for some? (Assume you’re the Ozil apologists!!?)

Jalex
Jalex

Trouble is, there are no actual quotes from Ornstein (or anyone) in that article. Just general interpretations from random reporter who may/ may not be accurate.

Spanish Gooner
Spanish Gooner

Interesting because Bellerin did an interview with Mundial where he basically said Steve Bould worked with him 1-1 and taught him everything he knows about being a defender

Heavenly Chapecoense
Heavenly Chapecoense

That’s not in favour of Bould though. Bellerin is simply bad at defending. Lord of abject defending in big games like away game against Atletico.

IamaGoober

I’m sorry but that is complete nonsense.

He was the assistant manager of the first team. In order to be an assistant manger, or just work at a Premier League club in the first team set up as a coach. You have to have a minimum of a UEFA A coaching licence or potentially even a FIFA Pro licence.

Excluding his playing career as one of our best defenders ever for just a second, and the fact he was our first team assistant manager. No matter what his role was under Emery or Arsene. Those qualifications alone mean makes it 100% his responsibility to coach the first team players to the best of his ability.

I do not believe for one second he was not allowed at any point to not assist with defensive coaching of the first 11 regardless of his actual duties. He was on our training pitches every single day. He could’ve easily intervened at any point to help our defenders progress as individuals and as a collective.

Both him and Emery and even Wenger to a degree are culpable for our defensive failings.

So it boils down to two things really;
1) he isn’t a very good coach
2) he’s too close to players and subsequently cant pull himself to ever objectively coach them on their issues.

I suspect its a little bit of both.

Clarkey
Clarkey

Hooray!

IamaGoober

So Bould has basically been demoted to the U23’s? Whilst Ljungberg has been promoted… the former U23’s manager.

If he is surplus to requirements for the actual first team, or deemed no good enough — why is he getting Freddie’s old job?

Why would we not just move Bould on?

This is fairly nuts.

Was I correct in thinking Emery signed a 2 year contract with the option for a third year. Or was it straight up a 3 year deal?

Either way, are we looking at the club gearing towards bringing Ljungberg in as the manager if Emery cant deliver next year?

Frank
Frank

Why is u23 considered a demotion?

Lettra
Lettra

It isn’t I’d say both are promoted. Bouldy will get free hands and Freddy will help bed our young guns in first team as well as learn the ropes.

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

Hardly a step up from the first team is it?

IamaGoober

How is it not? You’re going from the first team at a football club, to the U23’s. And then the current U23’s manager is literally taking your position as the assistant manager?

I don’t understand how its not being considered as a demotion..

PeteyB
PeteyB

“I don’t understand how its not being considered as a demotion..”
I get the logic. Maybe better way to think is that both are being transferred sideways in order to get experience in different aspects of the club.

IamaGoober

But there isn’t any movement sideways, the U23’s literally sits underneath the first team.

As an example — the salary band for an assistant manager will be significantly higher, than the salary for the manager of the U23’s.

NtZ
NtZ

He’s not being demoted. He’s managing the U23s alongside his regular duties until the vacancy is filled.

d_j_nolan
d_j_nolan

Bould has been in charge of a youth team for us before so makes logical sense for the most part. He oversaw a very successful stint as U18 coach which is why he got the Assistant’s role in the first place. Maybe he wants to get back to it and having a longer working relationship with BFG might work in the favour of the youth set up.

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

Good point. Or maybe he’s sick of dealing with the fragile princesses in the first team and would rather work with young men seeking guidance. Might be personally more fulfilling for him. Making kids into the Bould Mold. Plus working with Per is probably awesome.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Thank you for saying this…

Black Snake
Black Snake

Does that mean our U23’s will have a non existent defence? I fail to see what that bloke brings to the table.

Frank
Frank

Do you sit in on coaching sessions or are you just talking out your hole?

Frank
Frank

Makes me think of Guardiola and Arteta tbh. Hopefully emery can turn things around next season, see out his project and Freddie can inherit a stable squad with a clear way of playing that he can continue and build on

d_j_nolan
d_j_nolan

Agreed! Also if we are looking to bring in some of those players to the squad, who better to push for their inclusion and to tell Emery about their capabilities.

SB Still
SB Still

Erm…Emrey and Ljungberg ~ Pep and Arteta or Emrey to be the next Klopp, I’m not that optimistic. It’s not that I think Emery is mediocre (I think he is unproven at an elite club despite his time at PSG).

Realistically, I think Ljungberg is being brought in to help integrate the youngsters into the first team. I don’t think the club are succession planning. I’m sure they will be more than happy if Emery develops players to sell on, on a profit, even without winning any trophies. They will be happy as long we are in with a shout, like the finals of EL. Not actually winning it only means less transfer budget, not a failure on the results to be delivered by Emery.

If the club were going to be bold enough, they would have gone ahead with Arteta as head coach. Sanllehi is too old school to be such a visionary. I think we’ll trudge along the next few seasons under Sanllehi and Emery, till the fans become restless and their is a commercial impact. Or we do a Monaco/Ajax and assemble a talented young squad, to take us up.

clockenddan
clockenddan

I like this move. I always associate Freddie with exciting, powerful football from his playing days, he’s done a great job with the U23’s and I think he will bring charisma and positivity to the coaching staff. It will be interesting to see just how much of an influence he has working alongside Emery and would be great to see him making the odd appearance on the touchline at the Emirates next season.

Rich
Rich

Should we really put a guy who we’re demoting for not being good enough for the first team in charge of our academy?

This seems ridiculous….

If he’s not considered as a good coach? then just usher him out the door, and then put someone in charge of our next generation who has the pedigree to take over from Ljungberg…

This type of nepotism and lack of ruthlessness is exactly why we’re in the mess we’re in….

We just don’t learn…. We need to sweep the whole club out from top to bottom, we’re just pathetic, nowhere near ruthless enough

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

The idea of him not being good enough comes from the fans not within the club.

Rich
Rich

If the idea of him not being good enough wasn’t coming from the club? Then he wouldn’t be getting demoted…..

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

This is all rather perplexing.
Aren’t these decisions meant to be made by a Technical Director, of which we don’t currently have one? So who’s making these decisions? Raul?

Also, how would Emery feel about working with a man that’s being possibly groomed to replace him? Doesn’t sound like grounds for a healthy working condition for either person.

d_j_nolan
d_j_nolan

Could also work to keep him on his toes and push him harder. Blogs has stated many times how “comfortable” and “relaxed” things are behind the scenes so why not add a bit of competition into the mix at managerial level as well as playing level.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

But blog said that in reference to players being relaxed, how does this change that? If anything, it could undermine Emery, if players feels he’s a dead man walking already.

d_j_nolan
d_j_nolan

He did not just say it about the players, he also referenced the interview with Emery where he said he felt relaxed and this was the first managerial position where he did not feel pressured

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

It sounds perfect!

Mpls
Mpls

It could be that Emery wants him in the mix to help integrate the young players.

Sancheezy
Sancheezy

Is this Emery doing a Sir Alex Ferguson and changing his staff for fresh ideas the next season? If so, I’m on board. Or maybe Ljungberg is Emery’s bridge the gap between U-23 to the first team? Or lined up for head coach by the boardroom to replace Emery should he fail to get us into the top four next season?

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Yeah probably all of this…

Lettra
Lettra

This is good very good. I’m all for it Bouldy is a legend .- I don’t get all these trolls laying our calamity defending at his feet.

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

I think Steve and Freddy should replace mustafi and Mkhi.

GoonerDane
GoonerDane

Hopefully Freddie’s inclusion in the first team coaching staff will convince players like Saka, John-Jules and especially Amaechi, who is supposedly unhappy about not being selected for the EL-final bench, that there is a future for them at the club and they will get minutes.

Cygans Parting
Cygans Parting

Hopefully Freddie proves a good link for the young players who get promoted to the first team squad.
Also, a word on our defensive coaching. We have a successful defensive coach in the under 23s at the moment. Ryan Garry was Ljungbergs assistant last season with special emphasis on coaching the defence. Daniel Ballard, Mark McGuiness and Harry Clarke have all really developed this season. The 23s and 18s have been much better defensively. Ballard who recently signed a contract extension credits Garry for their collective defensive improvement as well as his own personal development

James
James

Bergkamp incoming

Dave
Dave

Hopefully it happens: Freddie working with first team, and God being the u-23 coach or just working alongside BFG on the youth setup.

Burn Baby Burn
Burn Baby Burn

Since when did goal.com become a reliable source? Their ‘reporting’ is extrapolating stories they’ve read elsewhere and make guesses as to what is next. They’re a truck load of bollocks

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Change of reporter

baz00r
baz00r

It’s a toss up between them and TalkSport as to which site is the biggest pile of shit.

Bendtner’s Ego
Bendtner’s Ego

Wow.

You really seem to have an axe to grind against Emery.

Tbh, I see this as confirmation that we will be going with the youth players this year.

Santori
Santori

What we really need is an experienced technical director.

All this is ‘distraction’.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Edu is coming after the Copa America…I just hope he’s up to the job.

Jomki

A future arsenal main team coach..

Hi-brid
Hi-brid

I ❤ Freddie.

Stuey
Stuey

Oh no…who’s going to be ‘cone boy’ now!?!

ASH
ASH

This year Steve Bould’s voice was supposed to heard, so he could finally bring his defensive acumen to the Arsenal’s defensive record. The result is for all to see.
I still have no clue why this guy is still in job. At least, he has been demoted, so thats a start.