Thanks, Mr. Rice, for everything.
According to a John Cross article in the Daily Mirror, Arsenal youth coach Steve Bould is waiting in the wings to step in as Arsène Wenger's assistant manager at the start of next season:
Steve Bould will be Arsenal's new assistant manager after Pat Rice retires at the end of the season.
In a major shake-up of manager Arsene Wenger's staff, well-regarded reserves coach Neil Banfield will be promoted to first team duties to work alongside Wenger, who has had Rice as his No.2 since taking charge in 1996.
More after the jump:
Current Assistant Manager Pat Rice, who has only been at the club in some capacity since 1964, will step down at the end of this term mainly because of a chronic knee issue, according to Cross. (Whether this explains Rice's favoring shorts over long pants, I don't know). Also, according to Cross, "Bould and Banfield are expected to be replaced from within", but perhaps a certain Mr. Martin Keown could step in to coach the youth?
Bould, of course, was a member of the famous back four under George Graham, and hopefully his defensive know-how can filter into the minds of Arsenal's current crop and improve a bit on the team's less-than-ideal goals against record this year (although Arsenal must defend better as a team, of course). Also, there's this: