Bob Bradley expecting confident Swansea performance against Arsenal

[Photo via MaxPPP]

Swansea City has a good record against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, which is something Bob Bradley is well aware of.

The former U.S. Men’s National Team coach will make his debut with Swansea on Saturday in a stadium where Swansea has had success. The Welsh side has won three out of seven games at the Emirates, which is why Bradley likes the Swans’ chances this weekend.

“I am aware that Swansea have a good record at Arsenal,” Bradley said in his pre-match press conference. “I like that because we can go there with confidence. To win there we will have to play well — all the details need to be right. Arsenal’s football speaks for itself. All of us know what they are all about as a team. We have to make sure that defensively, the distance between our lines is right and our awareness is right.

“But we also have to go there with confidence when we have the ball. We have to go to play — to play passes forward.”

Another reason why the American tactician may have high hopes for Saturday is what he’s seen in training. Bradley spoke about the chemistry within the squad and how he’s been impressed in his short time at the club so far.

“The response of the players has been fantastic,” said Bradley. “Training has been sharp and the mentality of the players has been really good. The players have been excellent, and I can also see there are a lot of nice guys in the group. You can see they all get along well and have good camaraderie. That’s a good starting point.”

Bradley does face a selection headache as forward Fernando Llorente and winger Jefferson Montero are both doubtful. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the former Le Havre and Stabaek boss has a plan for how he wants his new team to play.

“I like to think that over time, the way we play will tell people about who I am,” he said. “Swansea City has been a passing team. I don’t want to lose that. But I mention over and over, the best passing teams play forward. They find the right windows and they play through the lines.”

It may only be October, but Premier League clubs are already looking ahead to the January transfer window. Bradley admitted that he has had conversations with chairman Huw Jenkins about any potential moves in a few months’ times.

“So far I haven’t looked far past Arsenal, but I did have some conversations with Huw Jenkins and I have had a chance to speak to our scouts, establishing some starting points.

“I will be part of the (transfer) process. I will listen, I have suggestions, but most of the work so far has been digging my hands into the group here and trying to make sure we get off to a good start.”

How do you think Bradley’s Swansea will fare on Saturday? Where do you think the team will finish at the end of the season?

Share your thoughts below.

  • M

    Well, as a former long time arsenal fan turned sour by the lack of guile/spine, I’d love to see Swansea somehow hold on to a cleansheet and snag an improbable winner.


  • run

    Interesting comment about playing forward through the lines. That was not how the US played under Bradley, but perhaps he could not with the personnel. Has he pushed his more recent teams forward?

    More importantly, can he explain this on to his son? My biggest complaint about Michael Bradley is that he plays the conservative pass far too often. Yes possession is important, but rarely tries to thread the needle forward. I’m a big MB fan but I’d be happier with him if his pass percentage dropped but his offensive contribution increased. He certainly has the skills.


    • CplDaniel

      MB90 used to thread the needle, back when he was playing in Italy. I think his passing has been decidedly less laser-like than before since taking his MLS payday. Maybe money changed him, or quality of play, or feeling that he no longer had something to prove to people around him. But something changed for the worse in years when MB90 is supposed to be at his best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Turkmenbashy

        100% agree. He went to Italy, and they taught him how to play… since coming back his passing has been off. just a hair late or wide or not quite right.


      • UclaBruinGreat

        Disagree. That is your perception of Italy and MLS playing mind games on you. Look clearly Italy has better teams and better players than MLS, but Bradley didn’t all of a sudden become horrible because he left Italy. There are many factors that people either ignore or are clueless about like:

        1. Bradley was always up and down in Europe. In Holland he looked like a prolific goal scorer. Then he looked like a scrub in his next stints (England). He found a good home in a mid-table club in Italy (similar to Bedoya in France) then all of a sudden simple minded (no offense) U.S. fans predictably overreact and were like “he’s a starter in a top 4 league he’s big time now!” Then he gets his deserved big move to Roma but now he’s a small to medium sized fish in a big pond and alot of time on the bench loomed so he took the money and left.

        2. Leagues are different from each other. Italy and Spain are similar in that teams don’t press. The play is slower and midfielders are given all the time in the world on the ball. That actually suited Bradley better. While Italy is a way better league than MLS, MLS is more physical, direct and Bradley has less time on the ball than he did in Italy.

        3. When you play with better players around you they can make your job easier and make you look better (Italy vs MLS).

        4. As far as USMNT, remember that Bradley leaving Italy was around the same time that Klinsmann decided to make Bradley the #10.

        5. USMNT form has been up and down since the World Cup. Bradley’s play similarly goes up and down along with the team.

        I could go on..


      • johnnyrazor

        One I never saw Stabaek, or Le Havre play with Bob at the helm and Egypt only twice against Ghana, but I believe they all played a more offensive style. I also don’t remember Chicago or Chivas being particularly bunker teams. I think like many great coaches Bob tries use the strategy that is best for his group.

        On the MB discussion, his promotion to captain also coincides with the US and his personal playing struggles. Not sure there is any correlation just an observation.


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