Steve Bould is our biggest summer signing

by & filed under News Review.

Nothing like a Geoff post to get people talking eh? Wow. Who knew an opinion could draw out such extreme love (250 shares from the site, I had about a thousand @ mentions on Twitter , plus 785 comments on a Sunday) and extreme angst in 70/30 (70 in favour) proportions. I didn’t agree with everything he wrote, but I never do… clearly it struck a chord with plenty though. Surely that’s the beauty about football… if you want to read bland… there are 200 other Arsenal blogs out there that do a spectacular job of covering every opinion in crowd pleasing fashion. You won’t get that here though… and god bless that fact. Football is about emotion, sometimes it goes to far, but give me a post that sparks something inside over one that leaves me wishing I’d left the computer switched off everyday of the week.

Here’s a grand idea. If you don’t like it… don’t read it. Simple as that.

Anyway. Moving onto my thoughts on the game. I was hugely disappointed is all I can say. Geoff was right… I was too despondent to post. I thrash out my hard earned to watch some effort. I had a feeling we’d be served up something like that and sure enough we were.

That was Arsene Wenger’s 900th. That was Pat Rices last home game as number 2. We had European football riding on that. It was the last game of an atrociously average season and the players served that up. Utter garbage for the first 45minutes. I have a pal who works in the game and I was told at the start of the season that the main difference between a club like Arsenal and a club like Norwich is work ethic. We have far more talent, but sometimes that can’t match the pure hunger a team like Norwich will show.

Now, our first team 11 have a great work ethic, but as soon as you start creeping down the pecking order, you can find yourself playing games like the one at the weekend. I thought the first half was flat, ill disciplined and clueless. Norwich were first to every ball, they were more tactically aware than us and they did a fantastic job of moving the ball around the pitch. They were the better team.

The second half we came out with a lot more purpose going forward. Gervinho upped his game marginally, but he still looks a million miles away from the £15million player we’d hoped for. He has no bottle in front of goal. If anyone changed up our luck it was Chamakh. I was taking notes on the game. When I was typing ‘Chamakh’, my iPhone was auto correcting to champagne. I thought that was amusing considering he’s generally been White Lightning when it comes to turgid performances. Not at the weekend though. He gave Norwich all sorts of problems. He was knocking balls down, competing in the air in a way Robin couldn’t and he was pulling defenders out of position. It was great to watch.

Some people were asking why we didn’t elect for a 4-4-2 at home against Norwich? Why don’t we change things up when they’re going badly far earlier than we do? Wenger hand sitting is so frustrating to watch.

Chamberlain came on as well. He also made a difference. We have to take it on the chin with him though… he’s a long way off being where we need him to be. I love his spirit and his strength is impressive… at one point he brushed a lump of a Norwich player aside without any effort at all. He also has a shot on him that he’s not afraid to unleash. What I will say is that I stand by my point I made to much criticism at the start of the season. He should not have been out biggest outlay last summer. A centre back or a defensive midfielder who was mature and experienced should have been.

We’ve conceded 47 goals this season. That is a incredible number. Absolutely awful. I can’t beleive that Wenger planned to address the defence last year and we’ve ended up in a worse position. It’s truly abysmal. Now with Chamberlain, I accept you have to snap up talent like that when you spot it. He wasn’t a priority though. He should have supplemented older more mature signings, not been our flagship buy. He was another tomorrow signing. United don’t make tomorrow signings over players that can impact their current campaign. We do… all the time.

You can have a 4 world class defenders in an average unit that ship 47 goals. Or you can have 4 average players in a world class unit who are as tight as a ducks backside. I’m not sure our back 4 of the good old days on an individual level were absolutely world class. They couldn’t all get into the England side way back when… but they were drilled, knew there jobs and gave a crap about clean sheets. Can that be said of Kieran Gibbs? How can a man be caught out of position so many times yet not even sprint back to help out? Is anyone going to pull him to one side and show how he was partly to blame for each goal? I doubt it. He makes the same errors in every game.

That’s why I’m more and more convinced this summers biggest signing is the number two. If it’s Steve Bould. How much influence is he going to be given. Will he have the fresh ideas and the neck to go in and tell Arsene Wenger what he needs to do with that back 5? I hope so. Bould has it in him to be like Guardiola. He’s had the pleasure of Wenger’s attacking football at its very peak, but he’s also had the repressive defensive strategies of George Graham. If those two ideologies could be blended together, we could have quite the coach on our hands.

This summer needs to be about addressing our tactics, our attitude on the pitch and our glaring squad inadequacies.

A final word for the keeper as well. You simply must do better. He’s been an irritant for  while in goal. The not diving for shots is starting to grate, but the kicking and the casual nature of distribution really is a longer term worry. He doesn’t seem to be improving there. I can’t work out whether it’s laziness or a lack of competition. Whatever it is, it needs to be addressed this summer. The first goal he let slip in was very weak.


I said straight after the game at the weekend that Spurs were by no means a guarantee for a win against Vila. In my heart of hearts though, I couldn’t see how Spurs, off the back of a 4-1 win over Bolton, would fail to turnover a team that are probably the worst in the league over the last 4 months. However, it seemed that my heart was wrong. As poor as Villa were, they took the lead, lost it, but managed to hold on. That puts 3rd place back in our hands as Newcastle were beaten by two against City. How the hell we keep getting away with this is beyond me. We have been though…

That said, I’m not really looking at the season with any view that it’s progress now. The only progress we’ve made is that we’ve pushed ourselves higher up the table with a far more average squad. The team needs work in the summer. If the last 6 weeks haven’t told Wenger all he needs to know about the character of some of his players, well, like Geoff said yesterday, I wouldn’t be fussed to see the back of him.

Let’s hope Podolski is one of many. Not the one and only.

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Have a great day Grovers, see you in the comments.

179 Responses to “Steve Bould is our biggest summer signing”

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  1. Arsenal Toujours

    Shirt burning ceremony outside the Emirates – genius! ‘GET RID OF THE BLUE’

    Wenger has a psychotic hatred of the fans – and an unnatural propensity to reward failure amongst his ‘boys’.

  2. K.C.

    How long can these Arsene fc fans hold onto the past?! Your hero Wenger isn’t the manager he once was. How long does this club have to suffer with this jackass just because he knew how to win a decade ago. The game has changed and Wenger never does. But the sad truth is as long as he continues to make money for the board he will forever have a job. It’s easy to see why Arsenal fans are steadily bailing over the years. The team isn’t even fun to watch anymore.

  3. Bouldy's Left Testicle

    And now we’re gunner have the french flag on our home kits as well! What a fuc*ing disgrace!!

    On saturday i had a smash fest in my livingroom! My poor decorative porcelainy things… in a thousand pieces! Now who’s gonna pay for that Arsene?? It was atleast £35…

    I’m gonna give you a list of players improving our squad;
    De Rossi

    and many more.. Never has so many great players been available on the market!



  4. The Legend That Is Dennis Bergkamp

    If we finish on 70 points then Wenger will say that he see’s that as an improvement on last season. If Bould moves up to AM then Wenger has given the green light to it based on the path of least resistance. I just hope Bould has a tongue and proves me wrong. A defensive coach, and for me it would Keown is needed badly. Oh and a few more world class signings in the summer. We need to get this team together, but these players need to change their attitude and workrate big time for us to stand any chance next season…

  5. Gunner2301


    It seems Chesney is 6th worst on saves % here are the full stats.

    And to round it all off. It seems like we have been duly dummed down in the goalkeeping department as also, as Chesney doesn’t appear to be any better than Almunia or Fabianski.

    Bravado and arrogance or should I say his pantomime persona is carrying him much further than I thought and obviously giving us a false impression of his qualities. If we are hounding out the other 2 why not him? Some might argue that the defence looks to have more confidence in him than they did in the others – Then I would ask how come we’re shipping more goals then ? 47 so far isn’t it?

    It seems as if all our keepers and I would also include Manone as he has exhibited similar failings are of a similar level, making similar mistakes and similar lack of quality. None of them are good enough. Not 1 out of 4 keepers are good enough. Wow. So as well as defensive coaching being shit, we can add goalkeeping coaching to that list also or whoever it was (Bob Wilson) who said these guys would be great is fucking delusional. And people think there is room for Wenger to carry on? Wake the fuck up!!!!

    We need a ready made experienced keeper, fuck these kids off. If Chesney moves to Barca and becomes Lev Yashin so be it. We are taking risks with “will he develop to be the next big thing or not” and this is only for the benefit of the board who see profit in anyone who does come good so they can sell them off. It’s not like he would stay with us for his career anyway (He’s already talking about leaving if we win something) as we have no ambition. So we need to ask ourselves the question WHY? Who is this benefitting and what purpose does it serve?

  6. zeus

    Szczesny is not the finished article, but its inexplicable to me that we keep conceding in increasing amounts even though we seem to have a better keeper and so called better defenders.

    Defensive deficiencies have been congenital in this team.

    Here’s to hoping Bouldy does well.

  7. Gunner2301


    Things have been more or less the same for 3 years or so at the back all we have are different personnel playing the dummies each season, This has to be related to coaching or lack of. Why should we wait for him to become the finished article? As I said they will all get sold when they get good. I’d rather have the finished article now, at least we know what we know.

  8. sensible old chap

    does anyone have any idea on this supposed “new signing” that “we will announce after the WBA game”??? Ppl on a few other forums and twitter have been talking about it. Bet its bollox…

  9. sensible old chap

    yeah M’vila apparently. Good stuff, we still need at least four more of these kind of players

  10. TT

    If anyone here thinks we are getting M’vila,Verthongen or any other players are delusional and in dire need of medication. We have new signings coming in August in the form of JW, Sagna, Arteta, Walnut and Diaby so learn to live with it.

  11. PhilF

    How the fuck can this get turned around? We’re going to struggle to off load the deadwood this summer…. Wenger’s not goIng to change his transfer policy i.e trying to buy on the cheap, our defensive deficiencies will not be addressed and Wenger is hardly going to change his tactics… such as they are. Kronke isn’t going anywhere and there are still plenty of deluded AKB’s out there who think the sun shines out of Arsene’s arse! How can the World’s 5th richest club be satisfied with such mediocrity? I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as the club are making money. We’re not even close to challenging for the League or CL. 7 years and no silverware and all that bollocks about moving to The Emirates so we can compete with the best. All under Wenger’s watch….. It’s all about profit margins, the fans are just another source of revenue and treated with contempt. I honestly don’t know what the solution is? I only hope that Usmanov buys out the Yank, otherwise it’s more of the same unfortunately?

  12. TT

    Then PhilF don’t buy the new shirt….in fact don’t buy any official club merchandise. If 20 to 30 % of the fans do that and stop going to games the revenue will drop off and most importantly the club will become less attractive to sponsors. Money talks bullshit walks simple as.

  13. Gunner2301


    I’ve been doing that for 3 years it needs more people to do the same. Phil F in short it can’t be turned around, not whilst Wenger is still in charge. Email Doublegooner and join the planned meeting and subsequent protest if you want change. Otherwise it won’t happen, we as fans have to force change upon them.

  14. Marcus

    To everyone claiming it’s the french flag and Wenger is responsible. Are you for real? It could just as well be the Norwegian flag or the Thai flag or…….
    If anything it would actually be the Dutch flag. Red on top, then white and on the bottom blue. Does this mean the club are sucking up to RvP? Ha ha ha. You have really lost your minds gentlemen.

  15. Gunner2301


    I’m saying on current statistics he doesn’t appear to be and nowhere near the keeper required for a top 4 Club in the PL or would you argue with that?

    You’ll tell me he’s young he’s learning this is what his first full season. I’d say so what? Who’s gaining here us as a team or Chesney? Considering he’s only staying till we win something (in his own words) should we be investing our hard earned in him?

    There are a host of better keepers about.

  16. zeus

    Now Bould will use his expertise to work with the first-team squad, and ­Banfield will be promoted to work alongside him.

    Wenger will give Bould a significant hands-on role as he changes the coaching structure.

    Bould – who will be 50 in November – will bring a new face and new ideas to training.


    If only….

  17. arsenal1886-2006

    Just watched the Blackburn Wigan game and it was shit football to watch, but the tension even as a neutral was enough to actually enjoy it.
    Feel a bit sorry for Steve Kean, he was not good enough at the end of the day but for me the biggest culprit is the so called ‘Fit and Proper Person Test’, yet again new owners who do not have a clue about football have destroyed the hopes and dreams of fans.

  18. on-the-edge

    Quality, Quality Quality…Wenger keeps barking mostly. Little does he realize that the lack of if starts from himself.

    My heart hopes Arsenal wins against WBA. But my mind says let Arsenal lose against WBA and eventually the chance of CL. Only then can a shake-up take place. Else, we will see the same old smug, same old senile and the arrogant nerd who has an unassailable control over everyone who is associated with the club, except the fans.

    Now, here’s to new hope, practical possibilities:

    Wenger leaves –> Arsenal gets a new manager- Martinez/Pardew/ Ancelotti/ Hiddink/or even Redknapp –> holds back RVP -> new manager sells at least 7 junk players including the obvious Denilson, Bendtner, Chamakh and any one goalie. And the overrated ones like Diaby, Mertesacker, Gervinho and Theo –> Buys a goalie, one top quality defender from PL, and a top top top quality striker who can start ramming in from match one.