The Myth of Steve Bould

OK, something has really been bugging me over the weekend. Many will disagree with my opinion, many will call me clueless, and some will say I am just attention seeking. What is bugging me is the current love and credit Steve Bould is getting.

I have seen two opinions about Steve Bould at the weekend which, in my opinion, are no more than myths being used to a) Make Steve Bould look like he is the saviour of Arsenal Football Club and b) Ensure that Arsene Wenger does not get the credit for us topping the table.

The two myths that I will attempt to debunk are:

1) Steve Bould has improved the defence this season and that is why we are top

2) Steve Bould has improved Keiran Gibbs

Improving Defence

At the start of last season, our defence started well. Credit for this was given to Steve Bould. Midway through the season, the defence faltered, and Arsene Wenger was criticised for stopping Steve Bould taking defensive training as he was ‘jealous’ of the praise Bould was getting.

This was ludicrous for two reasons. Firstly why would Wenger stop someone taking training if it was working? Secondly there was no proof that either Bould was training the defence or that he stopped. It was rumours fueled by the likes of Stewart Robson and a lot of the ‘Wenger Outs’.

This season, the same rumours are resurfacing, that the defence is better and the man to get the credit is Steve Bould. This a myth.

Firstly, the defence has not got better. 1 clean sheet in 8 Premier League games is not ‘good’. Secondly, we are currently conceding at a rate of over 1 a game. Last year we conceded at less than a goal a game. So ZERO proof that the defence is improving. Let alone the reason why we are top of the league.

One of the reasons the defence has got better of the last 12 months is because of the players themselves. We finally have 2 top left backs (no Andre Santos), and in the middle, we have finally had a pairing play continuous games together. A lot of the time, a defence is built on the partnership of the middle. And in Mertesacker and Koscielny, we finally have that partnership. Yes, Bould might have assisted shaping the partnership, but it is the form and leadership of a 94 capped German international who has been solid as a rock which has developed the partnership.

As for the defence being the reason why we are top. We are currently 8th in the ‘goals of the season’ table.

For me, it just feels like people are unwilling to give Wenger the credit for us being top of the league, and are therefore trying to give the credit elsewhere.

Kieran Gibbs

I have seen some people this weekend make silly claims that Steve Bould is the man to credit with Kieran Gibbs’ fine form. Again, this is no more than a myth.

Ever since Gibbs broke through in 2011/12, his talent has never been in questions. Strong, quick and plenty of ability. His problem was staying fit. This season he has done just that, playing in every Premier League game. Now correct me if I am wrong, but Steve Bould is not a physio, he is not a fitness coach. Kieran Gibbs’ form is down to himn staying fit. Nothing more. People just seem to be quick to give credit for anything to Steve Bould.


Now I am not bashing Steve Bould. I do believe he is doing a top job as a coach, and you feel the refreshing of Wenger’s back room last summer has done a lot for the club. With less yes men, and more people with fresher ideas. But it seems that there is a refusal to give Arsene Wenger any credit, and the consequence of that is Steve Bould is getting credit which he quite simply does not deserve.

I have always been a believer, if you are willing to give someone praise for a job well done, you must also be comfortable giving them the criticism when it go’s wrong. This is highlighted last season with Bould, when many were happy to give him the praise for an improved defence, but were then unwilling to criticise him when it went wrong.

Steve Bould may well be a very very good coach, but he is certainly not the nexis of all things good at Arsenal.

Lets give credit where credit was due, not make up credit in attempt to show someone else in a bad light.


6 thoughts on “The Myth of Steve Bould

  1. Santi

    Arsene Wenger was criticised for stopping Steve Bould taking defensive training as he was ‘jealous’ of the praise Bould was getting.

    You actually think you can reason with people who believed that?

    Fools will be fools. Just enjoy this glorious team, fellow gooners.

  2. Antique Gunmen

    Well the coach work as a team with Arsene as the leader. So, credit to Arsene mean credit to all his men, don’t polarize that. Steve Bould have stabilized our defense since he came. Stabilize doesn’t mean we are always have clean sheets. Our goal’s conceided, not only determinate by the capability of our defense, but also by the quality and intensity of our opponents attack. And also the team attacking minded will automatically more expose our defence. Just look at Barcelona. This was reason why we conceided 9 goals so far. The good news is our attacking side was scored 18 goals, that’s the main reason we are on top. With our recent run I’m not goin’ to doubt Bould, Per, Koz, or Gibbs contributions because I’m sure there’s an evaluation game after game to fix any mistaken.
    My vise, just don’t analyze this too much. Enjoy the football dude.

  3. Shakabula Gooner

    Let’s even assume that Steve Bould is responsible for the stronger defensive trend in Arsenal, Wenger still deserves kudos as the one who promoted him to the position and as his overall boss – for giving him the leeway to contribute his quota to the overall improvement of the club. Steve Bould hasn’t done more or less than is expected of him as a member of Arsenal’s coaching staff under Wenger’s watch.

    However, the club’s overall improvement, in my view, has more to do with astute player hiring, development and deployment (read: Flamini, Arteta, Ramsey, Ozil, Kos-Per pairing, Sagna and Gibbs). And stronger overall offensiveness of Arsenal as the first weapon in constructing a good defense. Even Wenger’s detractors will concede that Wenger has a lot to bring to the table and a long track record of stellar performance in these areas. See for example, how the myth that we don’t have strength in depth seem to be disappearing as we go deeper into the season as our injured players return to the team.

    In the end, blogs, pundits, etc., who have axes to grind with Wenger and /or Arsenal are free to choose from any number of excuses for explaining away the club’s performance; ours is to continue to look forward to stronger and consistent performance from the club in all fronts until may, 2015 when it would have won a trophy or 2 or 3….

  4. Robert Exley

    The reasons people give to why Bould has improved the defence are where we were 2 seasons ago, not from last season. In 2011/12 we had the 7th best defensive record. Last season we had the 2nd best defensive record. The defence, though not perfect, is much better than what it was 2 season ago. Giving credit where it’s due to Steve Bould isn’t a depreciation of Wenger’s achievements – a coaching team has to act as exactly that and quite possibly a prominent coaching figure is what Wenger was missing in the years prior to Bould.

  5. Rob Brown

    Once a person has made their mind up about a person, it’s hard for them to give credit, all the peeps wanting Wenger Out aint going to give him credit they would rather say its down to the tea lady or the advertising board across the ground! If Wenger brings in some silverware this season it will be interesting to see if any of the Wenger Out posse hold their hands up and say “we were wrong” who knows all I know is win, lose or draw gooner till I die!

  6. Kevin

    I can’t give credit to this please. Fair play for trying, like all blogs in that regard. But the squads improved because everyone is fighting for each other and we are playing the football that Arsene AND Steve wants us to play. Once individuals do well it breeds confidence in the team, it’s a collective effort.


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