For the first time in his management career, Steve Bould got a taste of what it’s like to be running the team during a match. Bould, who was appointed assistant manager to Arsene Wenger in June is primarily responsible for the better performance of Arsenal’s defense so far this season and it showed again last night.
The Gunners were under attack for most of the second half but better defensive shape and discipline combine with lack of quality finishing from Younes Belhanda and Souleymane Camara ensured that Bould’s first time in charge is a successful one.
“We have had a decent start to the season and we have kept the run going so it’s important all round, for the whole season,” said Bould.
“We will go to Manchester City with a bit of confidence. It is better being this way, but it is a proper test.
“It is where we want to be and hopefully we can come away saying we did okay again.”
The team as a whole played very well but Bould had particular praise for Lukas Podolski after the German once again scored a goal to bring his Arsenal tally to 3 in 5 competitive games.
“I’ve not seen many finishers as good as him, ever,” said the Arsenal assistant manager.
“In training, it’s right foot, left foot; it goes in at 100 miles an hour. He’s just fabulous – a good trainer, and a good boy. He’s really added something this year.”
Overall, I think Steve Bould did very well in his first match in charge of the Gunners. He is a more subdued character compared to Pat Rice so it was not surprising to see him stay in the team dugout the entire match rather than pacing the technical area which was what Rice tends to do. He made the right substitutions by bringing in Ramsey and Coquelin to shore up the midfield when it was obvious that Podolski and Giroud had run out of breadth.
Bould will be in charge of the team for another two matches as Arsene Wenger sees out his three match ban and if the rest can be as successful as this, we should well be on our way to the knockout rounds before December.