WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Martin Keown interviews Steve Bould: ‘I had to get back… I missed the ‘magic hour’ after a win’

After 33 years at Arsenal, seven of which as assistant to Arsene Wenger, Steve Bould is ready for a new adventure. He is about to start his first season in management after being named boss of Belgium’s Lommel SK, one of 11 clubs owned by the ever-expanding City Football Group.

Bould has spent the week at Manchester City’s academy preparing his players for the season ahead, although the 37-degree heat means they’ll only be doing indoor gym work on the day we meet.

The 59-year-old spent most of his career in the shadows – he wasn’t one for interviews while acting as a centre-back or as a coach for Arsenal’s Under 18s, Under 23s or the first team – but he kindly agreed. to with his old teammate Martin Keown.

Steve Bould enjoys his job as manager of Lommel, which is part of City Football Group

Steve Bould enjoys his job as manager of Lommel, which is part of City Football Group

Bould spent 33 years at Arsenal, seven of them as assistant to manager Arsene Wenger

Bould spent 33 years at Arsenal, seven of them as assistant to manager Arsene Wenger

Together they won a plethora of trophies for Arsenal and Bould is here to talk about his new job, the club he loves, management, Wenger and more. Kieran Gill listened in.

MARTIN KEOWN: You haven’t played football for just a year after you left Arsenal. Do you feel refreshed and ready to go again?

STEVE CONSTRUCTION: It was the first break I’ve ever had and I enjoyed it. I played a lot of golf! I haven’t watched much football. I wasn’t stressed – I didn’t have to win a race, I wasn’t worried about a result or anyone’s development.

But there came a moment when I thought, ‘I’m missing it’. It’s hard to explain – the way you miss winning. It only takes, what, 60 minutes after a game? That small window, that ‘magic hour’, I never replaced it. I struggled to replace that, so that was what I was missing.

Bould gained a lot of coaching experience while in charge of Arsenal's youth teams

Bould gained a lot of coaching experience while in charge of Arsenal’s youth teams

KEOWN: Have you always had one eye on management?

BUILT: I didn’t even have an eye for coaching when I stopped playing. I didn’t know what to do. I thought I was going to get my UEFA B license and when Liam Brady heard I was doing that, he got in touch to ask if I would compete against the Under 12s at Arsenal.

That’s where it started. I coached the Under 12s, Under 13s, Under 16s and so on and so forth. It’s been a journey. When I came to Wenger as an assistant, he said to me, ‘Steve, it’s not about us, it’s about players’. I just enjoy developing players.

KEOWN: How did this opportunity at Lommel arise?

BUILT: Another job came up with the City Football Group, in New York.

KEOWN: Where Patrick Vieira spent two years as manager…

BUILT: So I contacted Brian Marwood (former Arsenal player and General Manager of the City Football Group’s global football) to ask him about it. He said there might be something else somewhere, but didn’t tell me what it was.

He added: ‘You’ll have to interview though – it’s not a given.’ It turned out to be Lommel. So I went across the street, interviewed and got the job.

KEOWN: So how will it work? Are you developing players within the City Football Group’s stable of clubs? Or can you bring in your own talent in the transfer window?

Former Arsenal player Brian Marwood warned Bould about the vacancy in Lommel

Former Arsenal player Brian Marwood warned Bould about the vacancy in Lommel

BUILT: In the first instance I work with the players that the group wants there. Most of the work is developing players. It’s a great club. You would love it. It is very family oriented – there are many people who have been here for a long time.

It reminds me of when I went to Stoke in ’79. The kitman had been there for donkeys. The tea ladies. Everyone knew everyone’s name – kind of like Highbury used to be. It has a great feel.

KEOWN: Wenger is said to have published his famous flipchart now. “Goals for this season — Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup.” So what do you write on your flipchart, Bouldy?

BUILT: ‘Try to win’. I’ve had a few meetings and I’ve told them about my experience – what it felt like to win and that ‘magic hour’ after a game. That’s the feeling I want them all to have.

I have met all the players individually. I want to get to know them, who they are, what they need, where they want to go and, really, what are their goals? Their goals are more important than mine. It’s not about me – it’s about them.

**

Bould stressed that Ray Parlor's story about him ordering 35 pints of beer is not true!

Bould stressed that Ray Parlor’s story about him ordering 35 pints of beer is not true!

Ray Parlor likes to tell old stories, including one about Bould. Arsenal were on a pre-season tour in 1997 when Wenger gave them a day off.

Five of the English boys decided to go to the pub when Gilles Grimandi asked if he could join them. Bould asked Grimandi what he would like to drink.

“A small glass of wine,” said the Frenchman. “No problem,” Bould said, turning to the bartender and ordering 35 pints of beer, seven per person.

BUILT: (laughs) Don’t always believe what Ray tells you!

KEOWN: His stories grow arms and legs. Every time he tells that story about the ’97 preseason, your order goes up by five pints! Half of Ray’s stories seem to be about me!

BUILT: I’m the other half, I guess! Preseasons are completely different now.

KEOWN: This must be your first time living abroad?

BUILT: It is, so it’s out of my comfort zone. The locals here don’t know who Steve Bould is or what he did, but it’s nice to experience a different culture.

KEOWN: Let’s talk about Arsenal. You left after 33 years. Was that hard to take? Do you still love the club and looking forward to their results?

BUILT: Naturally. I always look forward to the Arsenal because you know what it’s like – once you’ve been associated with them, it’s hard not to. I like the club. I have nothing to whine about anything. It happens to many people.

It’s part of football. You are always deleted somewhere. Frankly, Martin, there is no bitterness at all. People have opinions and that’s what they do, so there’s no problem.

KEOWN: Interestingly, Jack Wilshere has now been returned to Arsenal as the head coach of the Under 18s.

BUILT: I am close to Jack and he is fantastic. People forget how intelligent he is. He’s a smart kid, quiet, but he’s a lot more eager to learn than people think. He loves the club and has only good intentions for the kids there. I’m sure he will do great.

Jack Wilshere has the qualities needed to be a success as an Arsenal Under-18 coach, says Bould

Jack Wilshere has the qualities needed to be a success as an Arsenal Under-18 coach, says Bould

Bould played eleven years at Arsenal. He won his first title in 1989, a 2-0 win over Anfield, which saw Arsenal win the championship over Liverpool. His third and final title came in 1998 with a 4-0 win over Everton.

Everyone remembers Tony Adams scoring fourth in that triumph in the Highbury sun. But it was Bould’s ball over the top that created the opportunity.

KEOWN: It was an eviction, wasn’t it? Tell me the truth!

BUILT: (laughs) Well, let me ask you: who wore number 10 on the day Arsenal won the title at Anfield?

KEOWN: It wasn’t you, was it, Bouldy?

BUILT: Of course it was! I tell everyone that not only Dennis Bergkamp wore No. 10! I wore it too!

KEOWN: You had a great time as a player. I’m trying to introduce you as a manager. Are you becoming more George Graham – full of fire – or Wenger – calm personified?

BUILT: I’d like to be both! I don’t know yet – I’m just doing what’s comfortable. Some of my language cannot be repeated, that’s for sure. But that’s normal for me!

KEOWN: When I watched you in the Arsenal dugout, you were very reserved. I didn’t see much emotion.

BUILT: That’s me. You won’t see me jumping up and down.

KEOWN: So if Lommel wins the title this year and is promoted to the top league in Belgium, won’t we see Steve Bould cheering exuberantly?

During his playing days at Arsenal, Bould enjoyed great success in silverware

During his playing days at Arsenal, Bould enjoyed great success in silverware

BUILT: You’re not going to see me do David Pleat! Well, I can’t really promise that.

KEOWN: I can imagine one of the hardest things to do as a manager is to bite your tongue after a game. Do you find yourself struggling with that?

Bould wore the number 10 shirt during Arsenal's famous title-winning success at Anfield in 1989

Bould wore the number 10 shirt during Arsenal’s famous title-winning success at Anfield in 1989

Bould stated that he would like to follow Wenger's example by staying calm under pressure

Bould stated that he would like to follow Wenger’s example by staying calm under pressure

BUILT: So far I have had no excuse to get mad! It will be interesting to find out. I hope I learned from Wenger. I’m sure if I had any problems I could pick up the phone to him – hopefully he wouldn’t hang up on me – and maybe Patrick Vieira too.

The only thing that stood out about Wenger was how calm he was. That’s the direction I’ll try to go – I can’t promise it will always be that way, but I’ll try.

KEOWN: We previously did a piece with Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl on their pre-season trip to Austria and he let us watch their training session.

He said: ‘I don’t worry if you take my ideas or try to copy me – I’m convinced I can do this as well as anyone else’. It was a fantastic openness.

BUILT: You can watch my sessions anytime – I’m not sure they will be the best you’ve ever seen! But you are always welcome in Belgium.

KEOWN: Bouldy, thanks for this. Good beer in Belgium by the way. Kwak is rocket fuel at 8.4 percent. Just don’t order 35 pints of it!

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More