Goalless Arsenal and the 'Steve Bould Effect'
By Shaun Weller
All tight at the rear
So we're two games into the Premier League season and we've already faced two 0-0 draws. Following this and the departure of a certain 'Flying Dutchman' the often criticism over us being a one man team has now suddenly began again.
People seem to think that because van Persie has left we all of a sudden have the inability to score which frustrates me to say the least. People often disregard that although we may have lost a world class striker; we have brought in three brilliant attacking players in Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud. These players are quality, and although they have all failed to score as of yet, nobody remembers that only a short while ago none of these signings would have even met each other. They've had to try and structure a goal scoring partnership in a very short amount of time which is unbelievably difficult after losing such a brilliant goal scorer.
It has to be said that Cazorla looks like he's been at the club for years and he's started his career at Arsenal very promisingly, his vision is second to none and he can use both of his feet equally which has made an instant impact to the squad. Podolski and Giroud on the other hand have started their career slightly slower, both players don't look match fit and will take time to fit into our system but will score goals, there's no doubt about that. Collectively they scored over 40 goals just last season and when they have settled at the club I don't see a reason why they can't do that again, they're both class players and will bag tonnes of goals fairly soon.
If you look back to our previous season, we again hadn't scored in our first two games even with van Persie in the squad but ended up with our highest points total since the 2009 season, so please can we just get off the team’s back, the squad has improved drastically and I'm sure this will be a very successful season for Arsenal Football Club.
Another point I'm going to address is the 'Steve Bould Effect' as the defence has clearly been reshaped and reworked which has seen an amazing improvement to the solidity of the back four.
Our defenders now seem a lot more organised and are no longer constantly caught out of positions leading to a frustrating goal leakage. The whole defence now seems solid and Vermaelen for example has seemed to stop his manic runs up the pitch, which has led to us conceding no goals in our first two games of the season. Also I've noticed our exceptional organisation during set pieces with a lot better man marking, we now don't look like a liability whenever the ball is hoofed in to the box (enter Stoke joke here).
Our full backs have also been very impressive, Gibbs and Jenkinson both look capable of doing fine jobs out wide after plenty of criticism last season. Both full backs look positionally excellent and have helped out in the final third with their supportive runs down the wings without getting caught out of position when dropping back into defence. Our defence is looking far more stable and we still have the close returns of Sagna and Koscielny to help bolster our defence even further.
The amazing improvement in our defence of late can only be from the effect of Steve Bould. So I'd like to thank Mr. Bould for making the final minutes of games much more bearable and look forward to an exciting and successful season!
28th August 2012
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
Rickthegooner 19:21pm 28th Aug 2012
I'm very pleased to see someone from this publication being so positive. I totally agree with your comments. This team has goals in it, they just need to get the monkey off their back that is RVP. We will be hard to beat. We shouldn't loose 10 this season. Window not closed yet. I am very encouraged. It seems Wenger has finally awoken to the fact that youth will not repay your loyalty when it is time for payback. The futre is much brighter. - Post No. 28341
SY4 19:26pm 28th Aug 2012
Still early days and against sides that did not truly attack us plus Stoke did have the ball in the back of the net and both Stoke & Sunderland exposed our flat footed back 4 a couple of times I do agree but not getting carried away with defence yet Happy with the attack and goals will come. I would like to see Theo and Giroud up front in a 4 4 2 formation as that could be awesome Up the Gooners and here's to our first trophy in a number of years SY4 - Post No. 28342
Wanadoo 20:19pm 28th Aug 2012
"Three brilliant attacking players"?? Err...exactly what make you think Podolski and Giroud are brilliant? Is it the 1 goal per 2.7 games or the 1 goal in 4 games that really excite you? Why can't we just be objective? The 2 strikers are not brilliant - far from it. Cazorla is looking promising - but once again, if he was that good, I doubt Real Madrid and Barcelona would have let us have a free run at such a brilliant player on their doorstep. - Post No. 28343
MRMROD 20:38pm 28th Aug 2012
Hear hear Shaun; I salute your positivity. Obviously the real test(s) will come v Manure, Chavs, City and maybe even Liverpool this weekend but I, like you, am confident that defensively we're much more solid whilst offensively the goals will flourish in time - and I still think we'll win silverare this year. - Post No. 28345
Tommy 20:54pm 28th Aug 2012
We have kept clean sheets against shot shy Sunderland and Stoke.Come back after we keep clean sheets v Chelsea Man City and United in the next month then i will believe things have changed - Post No. 28346
johnnyh 21:17pm 28th Aug 2012
totally agree,the defence looks sound and even mannone looked like a decent keeper behind them.not concerned about the strikers yet but the one thing i believe would help giroud in particular would be getting the ball into the box quicker but hopefully this will come. - Post No. 28347
Bank IT 21:25pm 28th Aug 2012
financially speaking we are in great shape. we now also have a defensive coach. be grateful for small mercies ? if we get out of anfield with a point i will be pleasant suprised. we dont have a Suarez or for that matter a Carroll i.e. a match winner and without one of them we will be under alot of pressure this year - Post No. 28348
Colonel Mustard 22:17pm 28th Aug 2012
ffs...20 goals each....from them dream on....just a likely to be be Bentner and Baptista...50/50 in my eyes. Podolski has not impressed in any game ive seen him including Euros. This team is incapable of winning a league. Wegner is on 7 million to preserve a profiteering board. - Post No. 28349
CanadaGooner 22:43pm 28th Aug 2012
Shaun, some very solid points made. We have not turned any corners as far as defense goes: Stoke and Sunderland are hardly stern tests for any defense! We will see where we're at when we play a highscoring side and teams we're supposed to be competing against for trophies in the league. As for the current goal drought, again, after 2 games only idiots will be drawing conclusions. There are no conclusions to be drawn yet. For the past few seasons we've had a hopeless bunch in front of goal: Ramsay, Mr.Forehead, Walcott and the list goes on; these are players that get 2 to 3 gilt-edged chances in front of goal per game and very rarely do they score. So, provided either Giroud or Podolski can step-up with some goals, and I'm quite certain they will, we wont be worse off than where we were last season, which isnt great, but we will only do better than that if our management & ownership decide it's time to get back to being a football club and not just a business! - Post No. 28350
Tony 22:54pm 28th Aug 2012
Things are looking good for a 4th place finish,Because this season the two Manc clubs are miles ahead of us and Chelsea have improved no end.And with the sale of Wally Walnutt we will make a profit on transfers this season.Everything is wonderful in N.5.Wenger earning that £7m a year - Post No. 28351
DW Thomas 23:33pm 28th Aug 2012
You definitely aren't seeing the same team I am. Two draws against toothless attacking teams is no great improvement in defense for me. Sure, we are better, but we have not been really tested by quality. Wait till we play Chelsea and Hazard before you start raving about this team. Cazorla does look class, yet he needs other quality around him who can think. Too many of our players have physical talent with not much football sense. We need M'Vila, another quality striker, and a backup keeper of decent quality. The club's penny pinching ways won't be questioned if we keep winning that 4th place trophy. Wenger says we need oil. We still need big parts replaced in the engine as well. If Theo goes and no more are brought in, we are no better off than last year, actually worse. Theo had 11 goals and 13 assists I think last year. Combine that with Song and RVP and who will fill those gaping holes? How on earth has our club become the second rate business it now unquestionably is just 8 years on from an Invincibles season? PROFIT is the answer. I trust no one in the current regime to make this club a winner. The proof of change will be in the results and just look at our next 4 fixtures. Where we are after those games will tell us a lot. Spend some real money! - Post No. 28352
Joe S. 1:59am 29th Aug 2012
Don't wet your beds AKBa, I would rather be where liverpool are now than the way things have been developing here. Arsenal Wegner is such a cowaard for selfishly sitting on his seven million and not standing up to the board. His lame attempts at strenghening the squad are just a smokescreen to show how competitive he he is(not). In the end we only got the players nobody else were really interested in, so much for Hazard, Llorente Niang,Sahin or M'villa. Was Wegner ever serious in getting these players? Again his stance on professional saleries is ridiculous, typical of someone working in human resources covering up for company policy. Listen to the way he rolls out the crap: " we don't need to strenghen the midfield, we have Rosicky, Ramsey, Diaby, Wiltshire,Arteta,Carzola,Frimpong etc." sounds good on paper but now try to pick four from this group who you would back to defeat Manchester United with any confidence, even if they were all fully fit.Of course there is along way to go this season but I think even you zealots are going to get a reality check. - Post No. 28353
Rocco 2:16am 29th Aug 2012
Nice and optimistic as a fan should be! It's a bit hard to grasp that we've yet to score but credit Stoke for a tightly played game. Cazorla and Arteta look great, once they settle in with Pod and Giroud they'll be plenty of goals to celebrate. If we can get through this next month with 8 or hopefully 10 points and no defeats I see Silverware in our future!! - Post No. 28354
Ali 5:10am 29th Aug 2012
As you say we cannot make any conclusions about our attacking players after failing to score in only two games and the same goes for the apparent improvement in defense. It is not the first time we have kept two clean sheets in a row and the improvement needs to continue for at least ten games or more so that we can be confident about" Steve Bould Effect". - Post No. 28356
Its PROFITS not success on the pitch 6:33am 29th Aug 2012
Arsenal will make a profit this summer with our transfer business.Take a bow Wenger Gazidis and Kroenke you make us so proud to be a Gooner - Post No. 28358
Der Projekt ist Kaput 7:21am 29th Aug 2012
I welcome the promotion of Bouldy, but please ask yourself this: Can you ever envisage City, United or Chelsea with Gibbs or Jenkinson as their full backs, or with French-bought strikers up front like Chamakh and Gervinho (or even Giroud)? Can you ever contemplate a supporter from a top club enthuse over players like Diaby or Arteta as being their midfield maestro's? Can you think it ever conceivable that a top club would have two pub-league goalies in reserve in case their average goalie became injured? Steve Bould has surely said goodbye to what little hair he had left...still, the money's half-decent I suppose, eh Arsene? - Post No. 28359
Ron 9:12am 29th Aug 2012
Hold your horses. Nobody has attacked them yet! Liverpool will though. Cazorla's probably the next big sale if he carries on playing well.He might even beat Wilshere to the exit door! - Post No. 28360
Mike 9:19am 29th Aug 2012
Song has gone and looks like Theo is on his way -that should please most people on this site. They were probably the two most slagged off players for last season_- some saying that bigger teams would not let the likes of Cazola go - I guess Barcelona taking Song and City wanting Walcott speaks volumes for that comment. I see the moaning has started with Padolski and Giroud already -typical of the standard here - still I for one say let them settle - - Post No. 28361
RJI 9:49am 29th Aug 2012
I'm with you on new signings coming good (sooner rather than later) and the improvement in our defending but there are still a lot of concerns re squad depth (more so if Walcott leaves). Shudder at the prospect of relying on Diaby to stay fit. And who will play striker if Giroud gets injured. Whats happening with the players we're looking to shift out. The dithering and inaction of the club are really starting to annoy. Leaving it to the last minute yet again. Have they learnt nothing from last year?? In terms squad strength we aren't even close to being able to challenge for the title this year. Everyone can see that and I've reconciled myself to this fact. But what annoys me is when Arsene comes out and says that this squad is capable of challenging! - Post No. 28362
Wombledin 9:50am 29th Aug 2012
Thanks Pollyanna. Oh yes amazing, just absolutely staggering improvement in our defense..against two rubbish teams (one that plays rugby) who hardly attacked us and gave up 70% possession. Please spare us until 30 September after we've played 3 teams who will actually attack us. - Post No. 28363
Bard 10:06am 29th Aug 2012
I agree with this post but a little caution is called for. If they don't concede against Liverpool I will be more convinced that we have improved defensively. Slightly miffed about all this idealised nonsense about RVP; he only had 1 good season and now suddenly he's the lost messiah. The problems are in midfield ( santi excepted ) and out wide. Diaby, Wally and Gervinho are not good enough ( Lampard has scored 20 a season for years ). The strikers are new and will take a while to settle down. 2 more decent signings and we will have a better squad than last year which is the most we can hope for in a world where Wally wants 100k a week !! Sell him. - Post No. 28365
jjetplane 10:11am 29th Aug 2012
With Walnut hopefully going to the scousers and doing a Pennant and the Ox given his due - things aint so bad. RVP will not be winning any major medals in his career - fact. - Post No. 28366
Dan G 10:46am 29th Aug 2012
Woah woah woah! you are not allowed to be optimstic on this site! What do you think you are doing? Mr Fitzpatrick will be after you very soon for your insolance! - Post No. 28374
maguiresbridge gooner 13:20pm 29th Aug 2012
It would be fair to say Cazorla has started promisingly and indeed the other two as well, goal scoring partnership or not when you're a quality player and have the ball at your feet in front of goal with an opportunity to score or set someone up you should be taking it.I have no doubt that given time the goals will come but whether we like it or not time is something we haven't got like you say it's only the start of the season and if the goals don't start coming soon by sunday we could be doing what we were doing all last season playing catch up.I agree there has certainly been an improvement in the defence which is great to see but there will be bigger tests than stoke starting on sunday.You have forgotten another important part of the defence the goal keeper it looks like yet another season has passed without this position being addressed mannone had a decent game against stoke but he hadn't much to do lets hope chezz is back for sunday and doesn't get injured again anytime soon because mannone and flappy are accidents waiting to happen. - Post No. 28418
CanadaGooner 20:14pm 29th Aug 2012
Arsenal is no longer a football club; we're a grooming academy for clubs who are more interested in football and winning trophies. With Walcott now set to leave (noth that I think he's worth anythere near the 100k a week he wants), project youth = project GROOM, and we're just a training ground for Man City and a business for Kronke & co. What a disgrace! - Post No. 28448
Shaun Weller 20:38pm 29th Aug 2012
Thank you for all of the comments, I respect everybody's opinion on the matter and thank you for all the feedback. I believe our team HAS got goals in it, after 2 games you cannot judge new players imported from different leagues, they take time to settle. It's still early days and I believe we will have a very good season, the signs are promising. - Post No. 28449
9th December 2013
Online Ed: Spoils shared at home to Everton