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Coaching-go-round: Ljungberg up, Bould down

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The club makes a couple moves.

Arsenal v Leicester City - Premier League 2
He’s got Coaching Pose down, for sure
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

It may not be the most high profile of moves, but Arsenal shook up their coaching ranks a little bit today. It was announced today that long time first team coach and Arsenal defensive legend Steve Bould is dropping down to take over as head coach of the Under 23’s, while the current head coach of the U23’s, Arsenal slightly-less-than-legend-but-still-damn-good Freddie Ljungberg, will slot into that seat next to Unai Emery on the Arsenal first team bench.

As to what effect this will have on either setup, I’m not sure? Premier League teams aren’t ever all that specific about the roles and responsibilities of assistant coaches, so I can’t really know what Bould’s job was in particular, other than sitting there looking stern. The role of Under 23 coach, though, is a bit more well-known; it’s to prepare kids for life on the big stage, either at Arsenal or somewhere else.

There was no real reason given for making this swap now, but it’s not hard to intuit some motive - Arsenal don’t have a lot of money to spend this transfer season, so it stands to reason they’ll be leaning on youth more than they have in past years. If that’s the case, it might be beneficial to have a youth team coach be part of the senior team setup, so the players can have someone there that is familiar to them as they integrate.

It could also be as simple as an issue of chemistry - maybe Emery gets along better with Freddie, or communicates better with him, or whatever. Either way, it’ll be good to have another familiar Arsenal face on the touchline every game day.