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The 49-year-old admits he will still be learning on the job but can't hide his excitement at being promoted to Arsene Wenger’s assistant manager

Arsenal's newly appointed assistant manager Steve Bould is relishing the opportunity to work with the first team after his promotion from youth team head coach, and admitted that he has some big shoes to fill.

Pat Rice's retirement has forced Arsene Wenger to reshuffle his coaching staff, a move which also seen Neil Banfield promoted from the reserve team manager to first team coach.

Rice first joined Arsenal as a 17-year-old in 1966 before becoming a coach at the club in 1984 until retiring at the end of last season.

Bould told the club's official website: "I know I have some big boots to fill with Pat having spent 44 years at the club and that is going to be the hard part.

"It is more than excitement, it is an absolute privilege and an honour.

"I will be learning on the job a little bit but myself and Neil Banfield are more than excited."

Wenger feels it is essential to have people around the club who value the identity of Arsenal.

The 49-year-old spent 11 years at Arsenal between 1988 and 1999, making 372 appearances for The Gunners, and won the league three times and the FA Cup twice. Banfield has been a coach at the club for the last 15 years, something which the manager admires.

Wenger said: "I have always felt it is important to have people around who understand what this great club is all about.

"With Steve and Neil joining the first-team staff, it ensures we carry forward our traditions and approach in a consistent way."

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