For years, Bob Bradley stated his belief that he was ready for the next step into the coaching elite and, after years of work away from the brightest of lights, the former U.S. Men’s National Team head coach now has the chance to prove himself in the world’s most watched league.
Swansea City announced on Monday that Bradley has been named the club’s manager, making the former USMNT boss the first American to coach in one of Europe’s top five leagues. The appointment sees Bradley take charge of a Swansea team that has endured a poor start to the Premier League season, slumping all the way to 17th place with four points through seven games.
In the years since his USMNT departure, Bradley has been quite vocal about his belief that he can coach against the very best. Yet, despite achieving overwhelming success with a previously-unheralded Stabaek side, Bradley’s next step was into Ligue 2, as he took charge of Le Havre in France’s second division. After narrowly missing promotion last season, Bradley has earned his chance at the big time and, with it, a chance to break past the perceived roadblocks that have impacted him as an American head coach.
With Swansea, Bradley inherits a club capable of better. Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Siggurdson is a high-level playmaker, even in the Premier League, while veteran options like Jefferson Montero and Fernando Llorente help to lead the attack. Up front, Llorente is joined by another Spaniard, Borja Baston, who joined from Atletico Madrid after shining through several loan spells in La Liga. However, a gap remains at the centerback position following the sale of Ashley Williams, a player who, in many ways, was the heart of the Swansea team, and Welsh soccer in general.
However, Swansea’s biggest opponents thus far might have been the schedule-makers. In their last five league matches, the Swans have faced Leicester City, Chelsea, Southampton, Manchester City and Liverpool, all clubs with European aspirations. The road has been unkind, as Swansea has earned just one point during that stretch.
With that being said, how do you see Bradley faring with Swansea? What do you expect from his first year in charge of the club? See Bradley lasting beyond this season?
Cast your vote here, and let us know why you voted the way you did.