Arsene Wenger has suggested that his assistant manager, Steve Bould, could one day replace him as Arsenal boss, as Bould prepares to take charge of the team in the Champions League against Montpellier, the
Wenger is banned from the match – the first game of a three-game suspension – after a row with Damir Skomina, the official in charge when Arsenal were eliminated from last season’s competition against Milan. It is the Frenchman’s third ban inside 12 months.
Bould, who was promoted from coaching the Arsenal youth team over the summer when Pat Rice resigned, has received a great deal of praise for his early work alongside Wenger. It is understood that Bould has worked extensively with the team’s defence, and so far Arsenal have only conceded one goal in their opening four Premier League fixtures.
Wenger claimed that each one of the famous Arsenal back four he inherited upon taking charge in 1996 – right-back Lee Dixon, centre-backs Bould and Tony Adams and left-back Nigel Winterburn – could have had successful coaching and managerial careers, if they had chosen to pursue that path.
Dixon works in the media while Adams had a brief spell as Portsmouth manager and has managed abroad as well. He was also assistant manager at Pompey to Harry Redknapp, replacing the former Tottenham Hotspur boss when he left Fratton Park for White Hart Lane.
Wenger said: “All the players I had of that generation can be managers. 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.”
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