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Arsène Wenger Stopped Steve Bould's Defensive Coaching?

05/03/2013 10:44 GMT | Updated 05/03/2013 10:44 GMT

Arsène Wenger reportedly stopped Arsenal assistant manager Steve Bould's control of the team's defence.

The BBC's David Ornstein told Radio Five Live Wenger decided to stop Bould’s extra defensive training sessions after the team's first few games this season.

Arsenal conceded just three goals from their first five Premier League games, with Bould's defensive work hailed for their newfound miserliness.

However Arsenal have now let in 32 goals from 28 games - a slight improvement on the 38 shipped with 10 matches remaining last year.

Ornstein added Wenger did not want Bould to take too much credit for Arsenal’s defensive improvement, which could intensify the growing disenchantment amongst supporters regarding the Frenchman's future.

Arsenal's defence was at its porous worst at the weekend when they conceded two identical goals to Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon in the north London derby defeat at Tottenham.

arsene wenger steve bould

Bould is in his first season as Wenger's assistant

After Aston Villa equalised at the Emirates in Arsenal's 2-1 win 10 days ago, an exasperated Bould could be seen saying to Wenger, "How many times do I have to say it to you?"

With Abou Diaby still succumbing to injuries on a regular basis, Wenger is still yet to complement Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta with a defensive midfielder. Centre-backs Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker meanwhile have struggled in English football.

The left-back Andre Santos, recently farmed out on loan, will be remembered as one of Wenger's worst ever buys and right-back Bacary Sagna's recent performances have also been poor.

Wojciech Szczęsny's form has dipped this campaign yet the Pole lacks any genuine competition for the number one spot at the club.

Bould, one of the most decorated players in Arsenal's history, played for the club for 11 years and coached the Gunners' youth team before he was promoted to Wenger's assistant after Pat Rice left last year.

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