By 90Min
February 22, 2018

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has criticised Arsene Wenger for not allowing Steve Bould free rein in training to work with the club's defenders.

Bould, a former defender himself, was hired by the Gunners in 2012 as Pat Rice's successor as assistant manager, but has been allowed little to no influence on the training ground by Wenger according to insider Smith.


Defending has been the north Londoners' Achilles heel for many years now, and the current crop have failed to improve.

Speaking on The Arsenal Opinion podcast, as quoted by the Express, Smith blasted: "You can only do what you’re allowed to do on the training ground.

"Bould takes some stick off some but they don’t see what goes on Monday to Friday. And I just think it is a criminal waste of his talents.

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(You may also be interested in Arsenal Fans Convinced Ozil Is Lying to Wenger - and They've Got the Evidence to Prove it).

"He’s one of the best defenders the club has ever had and not to use his knowledge, just seems senseless to me.

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"He does bits and pieces I think without really going to town on getting hold of that back four they way George Graham did.

"Arsene is still in charge of all the sessions so I do think it is a waste of someone like him because he’s not given that free hand to go out and pass on that great knowledge he’s got."

Arsenal currently lie sixth in the Premier League table, and concerningly for their fans, they have conceded 36 goals in 27 games - which is just one less than 16th-placed Swansea and four less that rock-bottom West Brom.

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