Arsenal have been knocked for a lot of things this season but one of the things, which they have always retained some credit for is the presence of Steve Bould among the coaching staff
Bould is seemingly being setup as a long term replacement for Arsene Wenger and he’s done some superb work with the defence of the side, which has paid off for the club statistically this season.
Arsenal have a home defence which has conceded just four more goals than Manchester United (21) and an away defence which is the best in the Premier League (14).
There are few other coaches in the world at the moment who could take the current Arsenal back four, equipped with all of their apparent weaknesses, and replicate the season that the current crop of defenders has produced.
Fresh rumours are suggesting that Tony Pulis could walk away from Stoke at the end of the season, regardless of whether the club stays in the Premier League or goes down to the Championship.
Bould could find an offer to go and manage a team the size of their magnitude very difficult to turn down, despite his current status among the coaching staff at Arsenal. Especially considering he was born in Stoke and spent the first eight years of his career there.
Wenger is not going to be retiring any time soon, which means Bould could have a very long wait on the cards and even then, he’s not guaranteed to walk into the top job at the Gunners on a permanent basis.
Steve Clarke is a very good recent example of a coach who has been in similar situations at Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham United.
He had the chance to manage West Brom on a long term basis, which was realistically more appealing to him than being an assistant at a bigger club and waiting for an opportunity which may never arrive.
If Arsenal allow Bould to walk away from the club this summer then the biggest immediate threat to the Gunners is going to be their defence.
Arsenal could warrant another top coach coming in and enhancing that area of the side, but Bould is in a privileged position where he’s played for Wenger and knows what is expected from an Arsenal defence.
The back four would be weakened by his departure, which is something Arsenal cannot allow to happen ahead of next season, especially if they are outside the top four and looking to get back in with the big boys.
Should Arsenal let him go if he gets an offer?