The world is addicted to over-rate mediocre coaches with excessive resources, yet being average or below. The greatest coaches by world standards is very small. They are spoilt for choice and have by far the most resources. Jose Mourinho, while taking risks looking for new challenges, pips Sir Alex Ferguson for ability. Sir Alex has stayed planted in one place with the best of everything. Arsene Wenger has been resourceful by getting the little known to greatness. David Moyes and Martin O’Neill have shown some brilliance over the years with average squads. Roy Hodgson and Mark Hughes have done some good jobs with their teams.
Arsenal and Barcelona are littered with exceptional players and I would do with that talent. I would do with a salary form Man City, who have more money than Africa has safe drinking water. Liverpool and Real Madrid have great and rich history than any other in the world. It is necessary to have the patience of Manchester United.
This is the reason why I would coach Stoke City any day over any team. They are a team that lose shape in defence and midfield when they are under siege. Stoke are never anything close to patience. Their angles of support and speeds of approach in defensive areas, distances of cover when man-marking, their tracking of opponents and the recovery runs they make are bad and ill-timed. The first thing to deal with here, will be to direct their energies to positive aggression. I would coach them to keep their defensive shape at all times. This training is not easy but will be primary.
Their transition from attack to defense is very slow, taking almost forever to get men between their goal and the ball, and this delay causes frustration that leads to diving at opposition into tackles as a desperate measure. They have mistimed ball winning skills. The most important thing on this part will be to practise recovery runs and to coach the defence to staying on their feet as soon as they get goalside of the ball.
They win the ball and lose it with the same urgency. Stoke goes through the 3 to 4 ‘win the ball – lose the ball’ cycles every minute. It will be necessary to have them trained to have patience and selfishly keep the ball to themselves with a lot of jealousy. They must deny the opposition the ball by passing and protecting it well over extended periods of time. They should let the other teams chase the ball. This can be achieved slowly to start with, and then as it becomes comfortable, the tempo gets increased. There is already an advantage as they already are a team that penetrates very fast looking for Jones.
To compliment the whole effort, it will be necessary to have a capable figure to compliment Jones, as he harasses defenders as a lonely figure upfront. He is powerful and has a wonderful work rate. Therefore, one to pick up the second ball when Jones jumps to knock them down, will be Marin from Werder Bremen. Believe it or not, Stock City would be a top four team in three years and easily.