Gunners vice captain and defensive mainstay Thomas Vermaelen believes the promotion of Steve Bould to assistant manager will benefit the side, as he is a very astute man that focuses on the finer details.
Bould, a former Arsenal centreback, was announced as Pat Rice’s successor at the end of last season, and has had the opportunity to work with and develop the defence, and improve the teams shape in this summer. Vermaelen feels that the 49-year-old’s influence will be very beneficial for the Gunners this season in their quest for some silverware that has eluded Wenger for 7 years.
The Belgian international told Arsenal Player:
Steve is really good to work with, especially for defenders as he has been a defender himself.
He knows what it is all about and gives us a lot of tips. He works a lot on the shape of the team and that is very important, so I am very happy he came to work with the first team.
He is very focused on details. A lot of players, because we are getting older, we know how to play. But he looks at details and the shape of your body and to be honest I am learning a lot from him.
The Verminator also expressed how well the new-look squad is gelling, with Cazorla fitting in well during his first week with the Gunners and youngster Serge Gnaby impressing in his first spell with the senior team, Vermaelen continued:
The squad looks strong. There are not a lot of injuries at the moment, apart from Bacary [Sagna] and Jack [Wilshere] – for the rest it looks good.
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Everyone looks fit and sharp and it is good that we have so many new players as well.
Cazorla has trained two or three times and he fits in really well with the Arsenal philosophy and how we want to play. He is a great signing.
This is the first time I have seen Serge [Gnaby], but you can see he is really quick, good with the ball and a really talented player.
The promotion of Steve Bould will hopefully be the key to the defensive frailties that the Gunners have suffered over the years. Earlier last season we were all calling for the promotion of Bould to aid the defence and sort out the issues that led to some embarrassing results last term, but now with the combination of the Englishman and the almost injury-free backline, Arsenal will keep more clean sheets and hopefully limit the forever-occuring accidents.
Like Vermaelen said, Bould is very interested in developing the teams shape which was often a shambles last campaign, but that is to be expected with new players (Arteta, Merts & Santos) coming in after the season had already started!
But this summer they have been able to undergo a full preseason with a limited amount of injuries and big name players coming in..not going out. If Arsenal can sort out their shape in defensive situations, especially when their opponent is on the counter attack, then it will go a long way in preventing soft goals against us that was often detrimental last season.
As for the young German starlet Serge Gnaby, he is an exciting prospect that recently signed his first professional contract with the club and I will be looking forward to watch against Cologne this weekend.
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