Ex-Sunderland defender lands Emirates No2 role

STEVE BOULD ... the one-time Sunderland defender is Arsenal's new No 2.
STEVE BOULD ... the one-time Sunderland defender is Arsenal's new No 2.

FORMER Sunderland defender Steve Bould was today confirmed as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s new assistant.

Gunners boss Wenger confirmed at a press conference today that his current No2, Pat Rice, is leaving at the end of the season.

His replacement will be Arsenal stalwart Bould, who had a spell at the Stadium of Light under Peter Reid in the 1999-2000 season.

He has recently been in charge of the youth team, after retiring following a career where he made 501 appearances for Arsenal, Sunderland, Stoke City and Torquay united.

The man he replaces, Rice, 63, has been associated with the Gunners for 44 years, having first joined the club as a youth team player in 1964 before going on to make 528 senior appearances over 14 seasons.

After a four-year spell with Watford in the early 1980s, Rice returned to Arsenal as youth team coach before joining Wenger’s backroom staff following the Frenchman’s arrival in 1996.

The Frenchman said on www.arsenal.com: “Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal football club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion to this club.

“Pat has been amazing for me over the past 16 years. When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club.”

“I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole. On the training pitches and on matchdays, Pat has always been a passionate, loyal and insightful colleague, who we will all miss.”