Bould gives updates on Lacazette and Wilshere in Wenger's absence ahead of Stoke City game

Bould gives updates on Lacazette and Wilshere in Wenger's absence ahead of Stoke City game

Steve Bould took Arsene Wenger's press conference ahead of Arsenal's game against Stoke City on Sunday.

Rosie Tudball

There was a guest appearance in Arsene Wenger’s press conference this week as Steve Bould stood in for the Arsenal manager.

A lost voice was the reason for the Frenchman’s absence, however, his assistant manager Bould was on hand to answer questions to face the waiting media.

The Gunners host Stoke City on Sunday afternoon and will be looking to seek revenge on their bogey team, following defeat earlier in the campaign at the Bet365 Stadium. 

"They need points, we need points"

The former Stoke man admitted that all meetings with the Potters are ‘tough games’ and this weekends clash will be no different seeing as both sides are desperate for points, for extremely different reasons.

Arsenal are fighting for a return to Champions League football whilst Paul Lambert's Potters are fighting for their Premier League lives. 

Bould said: “Every team in this division now is very strong. They need points, we need points, it’s a tough game.

With 13 points now separating Arsenal from the top four, Bould didn’t rule out the Gunners’ chances in reaching that highly lucrative fourth spot.

The manager said it’s tough and of course it’s tough. We’re not stupid, but you never know.

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Fitness updates

Bould spoke ahead of the game, giving updates on the fitness of Jack Wilshere and Alexandre Lacazette.

He said: “Jack trained yesterday so he’s ok, we’ll find out more this morning.”

“He [Lacazette] trained yesterday but whether he’ll be involved at the weekend or not, I’m not entirely sure.”

Wenger criticism

Wenger has faced an overwhelming amount of criticism this season from fans in and outside of stadiums - and even online on Social Media with regularity. 

When quizzed about the Frenchman, Bould answered: “It’s a pleasure to sit next to him. I admire him immensely.

"He takes unbelievable stick off a lot of people & he’s just one of the great managers.

Behind closed doors, I've never known someone as hungry & determined to win football games."

Arsenal fans will be hoping the Gunners are hungry to win this weekend.