Arsene Wenger: Don’t blame Steve Bould when Arsenal concede goals
Arsene Wenger is pleased with Steve Bould's start to his stint as assistant boss but says it's too soon to analyse defensive record
Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on Steve Bould but insists it will not be his new assistant manager’s fault when Arsenal concede goals in games to come.
The Gunners let in their first Premier League goal of the season in their 6-1 thrashing of Southampton after keeping clean sheets in their opening three encounters against Sunderland, Stoke and Liverpool.
Bould took over from Pat Rice over the summer as Wenger’s right-hand man – and the Frenchman has been pleased with his new assistant’s start.
“He’s doing his job very well. I believe it’s a bit early to speak about our defensive record, because we’ve played only four games,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.
“Don’t forget that the basis of our team is a very offensive philosophy. So sometimes, if we concede goals in the future, it will not be Steve Bould’s fault. It will only be a consequence of the way we see football.”
Arsenal travel to Montpellier on Tuesday night as they get their Champions League campaign under way against the Ligue 1 champions.
And Wenger is full of admiration for the “miraculous” manner in which the French side claimed the title last season.
“What they did [last season] is a miracle because three years ago they were in the second division,” he added.
“They were one point away from relegation to division three in France. Two years later they are champions of France, so what they did is absolutely unbelievable.
“Especially with the competition they faced with Paris St Germain last year when they moved into the final 10 games. I thought that Paris St Germain would take the upper hand but they didn’t. They have done something exceptional.
“It is the first time they are champions of France and it is a club of one man – [Louis] Nicollin, the chairman. He took this club when it was in the conference league 25 years ago and made a professional club of it.”
Montpellier v Arsenal: Pre-match facts
• The Gunners have lost two European finals in Paris: 2-1 to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League and 2-1 (aet) to Real Zaragoza in the 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup.
• Arsenal, who finished third in the 2011-12 Premier League, are taking part in the Champions League group stage for the 15th season in a row.
• New Arsenal signing Olivier Giroud spent two seasons at Montpellier, scoring 33 goals in 73 Ligue 1 appearances. He had arrived from Tours having also played for Grenoble Foot 38 and FC Istres.
• This will be Montpellier’s first game in the European Cup. They are one of three clubs making their debut in the group stage this season, along with Málaga and Nordsjaelland.