Matt Law talks Steve Bould and why Stoke are looking to change
Stoke could appoint Steve Bould as manager as they look to alter their footballing culture, says Matt Law.
Last Updated: 25/04/13 3:48pm
Reports in Law's paper, the Sunday Mirror, have suggested that Arsenal assistant Bould is being lined up to fill the Potters' managerial hot-seat in the summer should time be called on Tony Pulis' seven-year stint in charge.
Law says Stoke, who have finished no lower than 14th ever since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2008, but have been slammed in some quarters for their apparent long-ball game, are aiming to refresh their footballing philosophy.
And he thinks Bould, who played in defence for Stoke for the majority of the 1980s, could be the ideal man to head the new set-up, though he wonders if the 50-year-old is really that eager to become a number one.
"Bould would fit the mould because he is a legend at Stoke and would be very popular with the fans," said Law, the day after the Potters won 2-0 at QPR to seemingly alleviate their fears of relegation.
"Plus, he has worked with the Arsenal academy so he would come in as more of a head coach than a traditional manager, which is what Stoke want as they are looking to move to a more West Brom and Swansea-type of model.
"Whether Pulis stays or goes at the end of the season - and I've been told no decision will be made by manager or club until the summer - there is definitely going to be change at Stoke.
"They have invested a fair bit of money in their academy and appointed a technical director, a man by the name of Mark Cartwright, in December.
"They not only want to evolve their style football, but the club as a whole, by bringing in younger players and updating their scouting network."
Law added: "It is always assumed that Bould wants to be a manager and everyone who knows him says he is fiercely ambitious.
"But you wonder if that's true or if he may wait around at Arsenal until 2014 to see if he is in the running to take over once Arsene Wenger's contract is up."
Pulis has received criticism from sections of the Stoke supporters this term with the club becoming embroiled in the relegation scrap, and while praising the Welshmen's achievements at the Britannia Stadium, Times writer Matt Dickinson reckons it could be time for him to head for pastures new.
"He doesn't deserve to be hounded out because he has done a terrific job; he knows what he's good at and he has done it very well," Dickinson said of former Plymouth and Gillingham boss Pulis.
"He has brought a solid team, improved individuals and I am told he can be a very good coach one-on-one - but if you were Stoke you would be daft not to be looking at other options and strategies."