By Rob Kelly
Neil Banfield believes a shared coaching philosophy will allow him and Steve Bould to hit the ground running in their new roles at the Club.
Bould has agreed to take over as Arsène Wenger’s assistant manager following the retirement of Pat Rice, while Banfield will become a first-team coach.
And the former reserve-team manager says the fact he and Bould have worked together for so long should prove to be a major benefit.
“I have known Steve since he took the Under-12s - we have had some laughs and he has worked extremely hard at his coaching and is an extremely good coach,” Banfield told Arsenal Player.
“We think the same way, and while we have our differences on things, we are very flexible. We listen and have the same coaching philosophy, the same firmness and the same direction and hopefully we can take that on together in the first team.
“When you look at someone like myself, who came in to take over the Under-14s and Steve the Under-12s, you can see the Club has a very strong coaching ethic, and that comes from the manager.
“He has always spoken about promoting from within, so you always have something to strive for. The manager has rewarded us for our hard work and we are really looking forward to it.”
Banfield says that while his role may have changed, the players know what they can expect from him.
“We have had a good relationship with all of the younger players who have come through at the Club - being in and around things will hold us in good stead,” he said.
“But we can't get away from the fact we are in a results business, winning leagues and cups, and there is a different edge to it. We are now coaching to win games, and that is a different mindset.
“I am demanding but patient. One of the biggest things is being honest with players. They know they will get honesty from me, they won't get any flannel: it will be straight down the line, good and bad. They know I am trying to help them.”
Watch the full interview with Neil on Arsenal Player.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 May 2012