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The Belgium international believes the former centre-back's extensive playing experience will prove invaluable to the playing staff following his promotion after Pat Rice retired

Thomas Vermaelen has hailed the promotion of Steve Bould as Arsenal’s new assistant manager.

The former centre-back replaced the retiring Pat Rice at the end of last season after stepping up from his previous position as Academy manager.

Bould spent 11 years at Arsenal in a playing capacity, winning three league titles, two FA Cups and one Cup Winners’ Cup in the process, and Vermaelen believes the 49-year-old’s extensive experience is invaluable to the squad.

“Steve is really good to work with, especially for defenders as he has been a defender himself,” Vermaelen told Arsenal Player.

“He knows what it is all about and gives us a lot of tips. He works a lot on the shape of the team and that is very important, so I am very happy he came to work with the first team.

“He is very focused on details. A lot of players, because we are getting older, we know how to play. But he looks at details and the shape of your body and to be honest I am learning a lot from him.”

Arsenal are currently nearing the end of their pre-season preparations ahead of the start of the new Premier League season against Sunderland on August 18.

And, with just a game against Koln to come on Sunday, Vermaelen feels the training schedule has been beneficial to the playing and backroom staff alike as they pinpoint the areas which need attention before the season kicks off.

The Belgium international added: “We have to get the shape of the team right. We have been working on it throughout pre-season and we are focusing on that.

“I think having your shape right is one of the most important things in football, whether you have the ball or don't have the ball. We are working really hard on that and Steve does the job really well.”

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