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Arsène Wenger admits that Steve Bould’s technical skills “surprised” him when he took over as Arsenal manager.

The centre back was part of the famous back four that was already at the club when the
Frenchman arrived in north London in 1996.

In his first training session with his new team, Wenger says he was taken aback by how
complete Bould and his fellow defenders were.

“I had a little preconceived idea as a French guy that the English defenders were only
[about] kicking and heading the ball,” the manager told Arsenal Player.

“My first surprise starting with Steve Bould was that he was not only a good defender but
also a good player.

“When you encouraged the defenders to play they were good players. I was surprised by their technical level.

“Steve Bould was a good football player and when I came back home at night I thought,
‘Oh, you had the wrong idea of these players.

They are much better players than you thought they were’, and Steve Bould was one
of them.

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