Video: Bob Bradley's first Swansea City interview


BobBradleyStabaek2 (Stabaek)

  • The Imperative Voice

    What’s interesting to me is the disparity between the triumphal presentation here — “American to coach in Premier League” — versus the relatively skeptical reception I have seen on Welsh Swansea boards, where they moan and groan and post Ted Lasso (remember the American football coach hired to manage English football commercials on NBCSN) videos. The American owners, themselves a subject of some disgruntlement there, had to come out publicly and say don’t judge him by his nationality and accent.

    I think he’s definitely qualified but the challenges he faces over time are Swansea has of late adhered to a concept of playing passing soccer, and that’s not his style, nor is it the wisest idea for keeping a poor team right side of the relegation line; and they sold Ashley Williams, gutting the defense, and if they don’t fix that they go the way of Fulham a few years back when they got too cute with defensive transfers. By that I mean to the Championship after giving up something like 80. I don’t expect that bad especially with a Bradley team, but he faces a challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Old School

    His leadership skills always jump out in his videos and interviews. I do have some level of skepticism and hesitance that he references Swansea’s “passing football & fun to watch” style. Also adding he loves “good passing football.”

    Media and supporters are a bit ridiculous in this country and will jump on him, even if he gets results, but doesn’t make good on this claim. The Bunker Bob moniker exists for a reason, but maybe his style has drastically changed since I last saw him manage on a regular basis.

    Sidenote: (Video 4:56 mark)

    Maybe it’s my upbringing and lack of knowledge of the Argentinian culture, but Fedrico Fernandez was absolutely disrespectful in his greeting/welcoming of Bradley. Luckily Bradley is a man of class, and not some random asshole like I am because that would indefinitely burn the bridge with me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nick F

      Having lived for a short period abroad in Argentina, and taking every chance I could to play pickup soccer down there, as well as getting to know the people and the culture, I can say in general they tend to be more liberal and anti-American.

      Additionally, they understand their brand to soccer to be superior to most nations. I would imagine an Argentine in a top league suddenly being coached by an American might be a tough pill to swallow, as it goes against the grain of common knowledge down there.

      Of course there’s not an easy way to tell but I bet Fernandez is still in a bit of disbelief about Bradley being appointed. There’s also a strong cultural connection with Italy in Argentina, so perhaps he is hurt that the previous coach was let go.

      Just my notional thoughts.


    • Dennis

      When Bradley coached at Princeton,his teams were known for passing the ball on the ground and keeping possession. He took Princeton to the NCAA final 4 with no athletic scholarship players but with some very good players who bought into his vision of soccer.

      At Chicago, he did have a strong destroyer on the squad and the team is often remembered for that, but he also had Stoichkov who had his own strong personality that Bob seemed to manage just fine. They won the MLS cup in their first season.

      At the Metrostars, well it was the Metrostars. Some of the high profile signings that were made were not the best, but he did very well getting solid play from some young players he signed (McGee, Gavin, Michael, Clark, and Ward come to mind ) in 3 years there and they tried to play with possession. They finished 2nd in the US Open Cup one of those years.

      Chivas was pretty much a total mess when Bradley was hired there and he did a decent job of getting them to play something that looked soccer.

      It is unfair to claim that Bradley espouses “bunker ball”, a determined defensive posture and counter-attacks, however were what best suited the players available to the USMNT at the time, especially against any but the weakest opponents and Bradley was smart enough to put his players in positions where they were most likely to get a result (and they got some very good wins).

      The training sessions I’ve seen him run are always heavy on passing and possession in tight spaces and as far as I can tell he always tried to get his teams to play a little more like his vision of good soccer than they might be comfortable with.

      In the video of a Swansea training session, you can hear him being positive and praising the kinds of little plays that he wants to see more of (in one case he praises a nice attempt at a through ball to a running attacker and without taking a breath, praised the defender for stepping up to cut off the pass. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Swansea players take to him (probably quicker than in Norway, Egypt or France where language must have been an issue at least in the early going.)


  • Gary Page

    The questions were leading softball type questions and he gave all the right answers. Talk is cheap and what’s important is how well BB does. I have no doubt that by January he will have them playing better and with a couple of decent transfer signings he probably will have them moving up the table. The only downside is now we Americans have another team we will feel a need to follow. With so many Americans abroad now, it will be hard to catch all the games with our boys overseas.


    • Dennis

      You are right. There must be some budding producer out there who could splice together videos of the Americans Abroad with more than just goals shown that would give US fans an idea of how well (or poorly) they are playing.


  • TheFrenchOne

    First off, I’ll just say that I’m excited about BB getting a shot at coaching in the EPL and I think he will be up to the task. Having said that, I have a few comments:

    1. This video felt like a job interview, not a introduction interview. He’s never been known to be a suck-up during interviews, but he seemed to be trying extra hard to cover all his bases and make everyone happy. I’m not saying he should go all Bruce Arena and try to piss off people, but this wasn’t the BB I remember when he was coaching the USMNT. He was usually straight forward and not sugar coating. It was just the facts, ma’am.

    2. Toward the end, he makes the statement “I’m not coming here with a new plan. I’m here to continue what’s already going on” (or something close to that). I get that he’s trying to reassure the club and fans that he’s not some mad scientist who’s going to change the formation to a 3-6-1 or whatever, but I’m thinking that “coming in with a new plan” is exactly why he was hired. IDK I don’t want to make too much of that statement, but that really stood out to me.

    3. Totally agree with Old School that some of the players not standing to shake his hand, or just barely getting their butts off the bench, was very disrespectful. Now, maybe this scene was some sort of reenactment and they had already met him before, but that would not make a good impression on me if I was the coach. You’re an adult and a professional player; act like you give a crap about making a good impression on the new coach.

    4. I’m glad he gets about 10 days before the first game. This gives him a chance to connect with the players and hopefully start develop an understanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Oofda

    I can’t remember if it was a podcast or an article, but I remember reading (hearing?) a relatively long account of his time in Norway and how he ran things. Went into a lot of minutia. Talked about how he worked with players and, what I found interesting, everyone else involved in the club, from the lower-level part-time ticket sellers and up. It was very impressive. Not saying other managers don’t do the same, but I think he clearly has a process and approach that seems like it should lead to as much success as the available talent will allow.


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