Steve Bould says he’s ‘loving’ his return to the Arsenal Academy although he admits his face often tells a different story.
After seven years as assistant first team coach, the 56-year-old traded places with Freddie Ljungberg in the summer and now coaches the under-23s.
Under Bould’s mentorship, the kids have started the Premier League 2 campaign in fine fettle, notching wins against Blackburn and Brighton.
After the latter – a 2-1 victory courtesy of goals from Nathan Tormey and Emile Smith Rowe – Bould talked to Arsenal.com.
“I’m loving it [being back with the Academy],” he said. “I know I don’t look like I’m loving it sometimes, but I think that’s just always the case! I’m enjoying coaching, planning and working with the kids. They’re good kids.”
Bould also touched on Smith Rowe’s gradual return to full fitness.
The midfielder, who scored three goals for the first team last season before heading to RB Leipzig on loan, has been battling a persistent groin problem during pre-season and is only just back kicking a ball in anger.
“It’s huge for him [scoring],” said Bould. “He played 45 minutes in the first game and got to 60 today, and we were always going to take him off, so it was great that he scored just before he came off.
“He’s building up his fitness and as far as we know he’s having no problems with his old injury, so it’s a major plus for everybody.”
It’s rumoured that Smith Rowe could yet go out on loan for the year. RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg are said to be waiting patiently with their transfer window not shutting for another two weeks.