Arsene Wenger has backed his assistant Steve Bould as a potential candidate to replace him as Arsenal boss in the future. Former Gunners defender Bould took over from long time No.2 Pat Rice in the summer and has already received widespread acclaim.
Arsene Wenger is still firmly in control over proceedings at Arsenal after 16 years at the club.
When asked about the possibility of Bould taking the reins one day, Wenger responded positively.
"All the players I had of that generation can be managers," said the 62-year-old, according to the Daily Mirror. "That's not down to me to choose that, but why not?
"You see people when they have to make the decisions. I have seen many strong personalities before and once you feel under pressure to make the decisions, you discover always the real personality of people--when they have the job.
"But of course, one day, why not? I think he has the qualities."
Arsenal's defense has been much derided in recent years, but this season they have looked far more solid at the back and have conceded just one goal from their opening four Premier league games. Many have put that improvement down to the work of Bould, who was part of a legendary defense at Arsenal in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
But Wenger was quick to stress that he remains the man firmly in charge after 16 years in the job.
"We've not changed anything this season," Wenger explained. "I build the training sessions and it will remain like that - I've been coaching for 30 years, so am not going to change things because Steve Bould arrived in August. But he does a great job.
"At the end of the day, it's important that we have a style of play and people are convinced of that style of play - coaches and players.
"I have chosen Steve because I think he will add something to our team, but the basis on our work - it's well integrated by everybody at the club. That's why I choose as well people who have worked with us before and are convinced by what we do."
The role of Bould has come further into focus by the responsibilities he will be forced to assume in Arsenal's opening Champions League match of the season at Montpellier. Arsene Wenger will be serving the first of a three-match European suspension following a clash with the referee in last season's exit to Milan.
Wenger will be prohibited from any contact with his team or coaching staff during the match, with Bould left to call the shots--although likely with instructions meticulously planned out by Wenger--from the touchline.
Wenger commented on his frustrated with UEFA over the ban and the confusion last season over whether he could communicate with his team when banished from the touchline. However, he claimed that his absence should not impact the result on Tuesday.
"I'd prefer to be on the touchline, it's where I feel most comfortable," he said, according to the Independent. "But we'll talk before the game and from there I'll leave it to Steve Bould, who's very experienced. I'm frustrated but I don't think it would be an excuse for a bad result."
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