Swansea City owner: Judge Bradley on performance, not 'accent or passport'


Swansea City co-owner Jason Levien understands the skepticism behind the recent appointment of Bob Bradley. However, he also understands his own belief that the club has hired who he believes is the best man for the job.

Bradley’s hiring has been met with skepticism, for several reasons. Despite a poor run of recent form, former manager Francesco Guidolin faced plenty of hurdles to start the season. After helping Swansea avoid relegation last season, the Italian boss faced an incredibly difficult start to the season as the schedulemakers booked the Swans to take on Leicester City, Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in five consecutive weeks.

While Guidolin’s departure was not entirely surprising, the hiring of Bradley, for many, was. Reportedly in contention alongside Welsh legend Ryan Giggs, Bradley was seen as a European outsider who had yet to prove his mettle in a top league. In addition, his hiring was met with cries of favoritism, as an American coach’s first chance with a Premier League team came under new American ownership.

Levien insists there’s no favoritism. Rather, he says Bradley proved to be the right candidate, one that he believes has everything needed to lead Swansea going forward.

“The reason we appointed Bob is not because he’s American but because we believe he’s the best man for the job,” Levien told TalkSport. “Neither (co-owner Steve Kaplan) nor I had met Bob before we interviewed him last Friday but we did know him by reputation – and he lived up to that high reputation. He is a top class leader, tactically very smart and has the strength of character we believe will make an immediate impact in the dressing room and on the training ground.

“Anybody who knows Bob knows he would only take a job if believed he was getting it on merit, not because we simply wanted another American at the club. We just want the fans to give him a chance and judge him on the job he does, not his accent or passport.”

Bradley takes charge of his first match with Swansea on Oct. 15 for a visit to Arsenal.

  • Snootsworth

    If he just wears a top hat and loses some teef, maybe swing a pocket watch around. Then they’ll think he’s alright.


  • quozzel

    Again, I respect Bob Bradley immensely because he’s one of the most determined and tough-minded individuals you’ll ever meet. What he’s being greeted by at Swansea is anti-American bias at its ugliest but he’s overcome it everywhere else he’s been and now that he actually speaks the language I think he’ll overcome it just fine here.

    This is a guy who took America’s best and punched with England’s best straight-up in the World Cup in 2010, and yet the Brits choose to forget that it was America and not England who walked away with the group. The year before that he took the USA all the way to the finals in the Confeds Cup and had us up 2-0 on Brazil…while England, as usual, was back home on the couch watching and making snarky comments about his tactical “naivety”.

    Well, maybe. But tactical naivete can be unlearned. Quality as an individual, not so much. And while Bob isn’t much for humor, he’s utterly focused, insanely full of belief, and will get the absolute max out of his players. He’s also utterly without ego and IMHO will not rattle – if he can survive in Egypt in the middle of an absolutely turbulent time, especially given the virulent anti-Americanism there, he’ll stroll right down the middle of the street whistling in Wales.

    If I was a betting man, I’d bet England’s about to discover just how hard it is to beat Bob Bradley. I think Swansea might have just backed into it, here, if they give him even a millimeter of a chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Brain Guy

      BB has succeeded wherever he has gone. It was “only” Norway, but he took a newly-promoted Stabæk — which ad been in shambles as they got relegated — to third place and the Europa League in two years. They are now back in the relegation zone. I wish he had been allowed to stay at RBNY, but in Jesse Marsch we have a very fruitful branch of the small but growing Bradley coaching tree.


  • Concorde

    Like your optimism. Only results matter though and it being the EPL he won’t have much time to win everyone over. Certainly no time to study up on tactics.. of course utterly ego-less Bob thinks he can hang with the best managers in the world. Not sure if he can really back up that claim with his cv, solid as it is, but we’ll see, starting at Emirates stadium in 10 days.


  • johnnyrazor

    They have Arsenal after the break, but then their schedule opens up a bit

    Watford (H)
    Stoke (A)
    Man U (H)
    Everton (A)
    CPalace (H)
    Spurs (A)
    Sunderland (H)
    West Brom (A)
    Boro (A)
    West Ham (H)
    Bournemouth (H)


    • SilverRey

      I read somewhere that one of the things that convinced them to hire Bradley was that he had laid out how to beat Arsenal during his interview. It will be interesting to see if that comes to fruition this weekend.


      • cpldaniel

        Yes, NY Times reported that the owners brought in every candidate and asked him what his plans were for the first match in charge against arsenal; What were their impressions on the strengths and liabilities in the Swan’s squad…Bradley had done the work already, prepairing for the interview & the job. Not all the managers interviewed had the work ethic and analytics drive ready. Bob Bradley’s smart & works. He will grind his way to success if needs to.


  • Dennis Downing

    We’ve had Spanish, Irish, Portuguese, English and Italian managers in the last few years so accent & passport mean nothing. The reason there is ‘anti-American bias at its ugliest’ has nothing to do with accent or passport (condescending beyond belief). It is down to the way the new owners have dumped all over everything that made Swansea City unique, treated the outgoing manager like dirt, gone for their ‘own man’ on the recommendation of their ‘own man’ (Donovan) and told us, in effect, we know nothing about football – Bradley is outstanding – which he himself has endorsed. He has put himself on par with the best managers in the world having worked with second division French club and a Norwegian side beaten by a team in the UKs 9th level (The Welsh Premier League). On top of that all we hear is how wonderful this appointment is for US soccer and US coaches (before he’s taken a training session!) but nothing about Swansea. Given Bradley has already annoyed UK football by claiming there is prejudice against Americans and I can honestly saw he has been set up with a perfect storm for criticism.
    We all hope he’s going to be an outstanding manager and he’ll be fully supported by the Swansea faithful INSPITE of the situation not because of it.


    • Brain Guy

      Nobody’s saying Bradley is Pep Guardiola, but your outgoing manager led the team to 4 points from 7 matches. Does the appointment of an American — as opposed to, say, an Italian — constitute “dump[ing] all over everything that made Swansea City unique”? I hear your pain and frustration, but why not give Bradley at least a month or so?


      • Anthony

        Their outgoing manager took over when they were in 17th last year and led them to 11th. He lost their defensive organizer (Ashley Williams) and had the hardest start of any premiership side. I like Bradley, but it looks like the American ownership had their minds made up. i’d be pissed too if I was a Swansea fan.


      • The Imperative Voice

        If you pay any attention to relegation fighters, you cannot rest your laurels on we escaped last year and this old coach helped us do it. It’s an annual ritual that someone goes with their savior and he’s not as effective year 2 and the team that beat the drop year 1 is headed to the championship after year 2. It can in fact reflect a status quo bias/ hubris/ arrogance.

        Also, as others are saying, throwing out last season, 17th on goal difference is where you are, and not playing well. Same basic spot as last season. In that spot last season they changed horses. You can do it now while there is a lot of season to change the conclusion, or you can do it later under more desperate circumstances.

        I agree they are hamstrung by losing Williams, but I also see the ability to coach a team to results better than the roster appears, as the test of a coach. If Guidolin couldn’t manage results without Williams maybe it was more about the player than the coach.


  • inkedAG

    While I would have liked Bob Bradley’s team to win on his debut, it’s against Arsenal so he’ll have to lose this first one. 🙂


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