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Steve Boulds influence on the Arsenal back line could put an end to trophy drought
Whilst analysing the Barclays Premier League table after just 5 games may be slightly premature, early signs would suggest that Arsenal are in with a serious chance of putting an end to their 6 year trophy drought this season.
After 5 games last season, a leaky Arsenal boasted the worst defensive record in the Barclays Premier League with 14 goals already conceded. Fast forward 12 months and despite having already travelled to Man City and Liverpool, only Chelsea can equal Arsenals defensive record with just 2 goals shipped.
Whilst Arsenal haven’t strengthened their defence directly in terms of new faces. One man that a lot of the success is being attributed to, is new assistant manager Steve Bould. Bould was brought in at the start of the season to replace the outgoing Pat Rice and he seems to have instilled an immediate confidence into the Arsenal back line. Could Bould, himself an uncompromising defender during his playing days, and part of arguably one of Arsenals sternest ever defences under George Graham and later Arsene Wenger, be the man to address the obvious issues of last season’s campaign?
Arsene Wengers preferred centre back pairing of Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen looks like a blossoming partnership. Per Mertesacker in particular looks far more comfortable than he did at times last season, even when Vermaelen was ruled out of the recent trip to Manchester City, Arsene was able to call on the excellent Laurent Koscielny , who slotted in perfectly and produced an outstanding display, getting on the score sheet in the process. At times last season Arsenal also looked extremely vulnerable at full back. Injuries to key players like Bacary Sagna and losing Gael Clichy to Manchester City didn’t help in this regard. However, youngsters Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson , in particular look much improved. This is no doubt in large part, down to Boulds influence.
As we all know Arsenal have great flair going forward. Even with the departure of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United in the summer, they have more than enough in that department to cope. If Steve Bould can continue the obvious good work with Arsenal’s back line, Arsenal fans can look forward to a hugely successful season.
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