Steve Bould On Playing Out From The Back: We Need To Convince The Fans

By The Editor
on 22nd November 2018

Steve Bould touches on the new philosophy and how it’s taken time for the supporters to get on board…


Arsenal assistant coach Steve Bould stated that the biggest challenge of implementing the new philosophy under Unai Emery is convincing the fans, especially with the idea of playing out from the back, the former centre-back told Arsenal Player.

Emery has insisted that to control possession in the modern era, we must have a goalkeeper who’s comfortable on the ball and only uses the traditional ‘clearance’ as the final option.

It’s why many were surprised to see Petr Cech start the season ahead of new signing Bernd Leno, with the latter brought in specifically for those qualities.

Leno was used to such a philosophy at Leverkusen, while Cech is of the old guard in terms of his understanding and comfort as to what a goalkeeper’s role is.

Bould made it clear that while the makings of defenders and goalkeeper is evolving, ensuring that the fans are fully on-board has been the biggest challenge.

During the earlier games this season, one could sense the tension around the ground once the ball found it’s way to Cech’s feet, and the 37-year-old did send hearts racing on a few occasions.

“It’s a big challenge,” Bould told Arsenal Player’s, Adrian Clarke.

“It’s a big challenge to get the supporters on your side at times as well because it can be a little bit edgy, but I think it’s winning them over and it’s been a big challenge, certainly for the keepers.

“It’s changed from our day when keepers just kicked it long and big centre-forwards headed it and centre-halves had to head it.

“Now I think you’re expected, number one, to be good with your feet as a keeper, and I think as a centre back and as a full-back, you need to be able to play in deep areas.

“It can be a bit risky for sure and it might look it at times and everybody’s a little bit on edge. We can all feel it and we all know it! But I think the more we do it, the better we will become and everybody will be used to the situation.”

Bould’s mentioning of the fans is an interesting one. It doesn’t really help goalkeepers when his own supporters are making unpleasant noises every time the ball is at his feet.

Against Man City, fans cheered in unison on one occasion after Cech waved his players up the field – indicating that he was going to go the traditional route.