Stoke In Arsenal Battle For Bould

Stoke are pondering a shock move for Arsenal assistant boss Steve Bould as a possible replacement for current boss Tony Pulis who could be set to leave the Britannia Stadium according to several reports.

The Potters eased their relegation fears with a huge 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, but the pressure is still mounting on Pulis following a disappointing campaign. Reports have claimed that Pulis could jump ship before he is given the boot at the end of the season and Stoke chief, Peter Coates will consider making a move to lure Bould away from the Emirates Stadium. Bould has strong ties with Stoke having been born there and also cutting his football teeth there by coming through the youth ranks at the club and he also made almost 200 first-team appearances before joining the Gunners in 1988 for a bargain £390,000. Bould gained his UEFA badges following retirement and after making his way through the coaching ranks at Arsenal coaching the reserves and last summer, he was named as Arsene Wenger’s number two as replacement for retiring former assistant Pat Rice. Bould may have one eye on taking over from Wenger when the time comes but he could also be tempted to return to his hometown club if, as reported, Pulis does quit.

There has been reports of strained relationship between Wenger and Bould at times this season even though both managers have denied it. While it is an attractive job working at Arsenal and playing Champions League football and also having shots at titles, the opportunity of been number 1 at a club is also tempting.

It would be sad to see Bould go because his influence has been obvious in the team especially in the defensive structure (at the beginning of the season and in recent times). His exit could return the club to the dark ages when we conceded goals for fun.

I also doubt if he would want to quit Arsenal to return to Stoke. I am sure he is eying the chance of been Wenger’s replacement whenever the Frenchman decides to quit and with the club preferring to appoint from within, his chances would be greatly reduced if he makes a detour to coach Stoke but in football, nothing is impossible. If AVB could leave Mourinho’s camp to manage a club, Bould could also leave Wenger. In the light of him leaving, who should replace him? I know some names would be touted; Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp. I would go for the latter as the former doesn’t seem to share Wenger’s philosophy and both might not be able to work
together. Dennis Bergkamp already has experience working with the first team (at Ajax as assistant to Frank De Boer) and shares Wenger’s total football philosophy. He could just bring out the best in our strikers.

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