By Nick Ames

Carl Jenkinson believes that the Gunners’ improved defensive shape has been heavily influenced by Steve Bould and Neil Banfield.

The duo, who became assistant manager and first-team coach respectively during the summer, have presided over three clean sheets in Arsenal’s first three games of 2012/13 - and the right back has paid tribute to their early work.

He told the Official Matchday Programme: “It’s great having those two on board. They’re always giving us pointers and helping us with team shape, which we’ve done a lot of work on. I think you can see the benefits.

“If you’re not doing something right, or they believe they can help you in certain situations, they’re not shy to let you know. That’s what we want, especially younger players like me - I want to move forward and they’re two people I can learn from massively.”

Making 372 appearances during his playing days at Arsenal, and forming an integral part of a defence that rightly remains revered, Bould was someone that lifelong supporter Jenkinson looked up to greatly in his youth.

“Steve was a hero of mine as a player, along with Tony Adams and the rest of that tremendous back four,” he said.

“I look at what he’s achieved and to have him now as a coach is only going to be a huge help and bring me on as a football player.”

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14 Sep 2012