Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs thankful to youth coach Steve Bould for making him a better player

The full-back can't thank the former Gunners defender enough in his progression from youth academy player to first-teamer and believes fellow graduates will bond well in the team
Arsenal defender Keiran Gibbs believes the influence of former Gunners defender Steve Bould at youth academy level has improved him as a player.

The 22-year-old has risen from the academy to the first team and he is adamant that the key to his success is Bould - who managed Gibbs at one stage in his ten-year Arsenal coaching career - and the rest of the academy's coaching staff.

The full-back told the club's official website: "Steve Bould had a big influence on me.

"Obviously he was my manager for two years and I think it was at an important stage in my development as well.

"He taught me a lot and he taught a lot of the other players as well how to live on and off the pitch."

The academy has produced a number of key Arsenal players over the last few seasons and this year's first team squad features the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong, Wojciech Szczesny and England international Jack Wilshere.

Gibbs believes moving through the ranks with the same faces helps the squad to gel quicker as they know how each other plays.

He added: "Wojciech's a similar age, a bit younger, but those players were playing with us for a few years so we all know each other quite well.

"We know what each other can do, which always helps."