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Stabaek will not stand in Bob Bradley’s way amid Sunderland rumors

BobBradleyStabaek2 (Stabaek)

Bob Bradley has emerged as a surprise candidate for a Premier League gig, and his current club could not be happier for him.

Several English tabloids have linked Bradley with the Sunderland job, which was vacated by Dick Advocaat last weekend. The former U.S. Men’s National Team head coach is rumored to be in consideration along with more familiar Premier League faces in Sam Allardyce and Nigel Pearson, but Bradley is currently in charge of Norwegian side Stabaek.

Stabaek chief executive Lars Hjorth has said, however, that the club will not stand in Bradley’s way should he leave for the greener pastures of the Premier League.

“Bob has done a tremendous job here, he is a fantastic person, and if he can make the step up in his career we would wish him luck,” Hjorth told talkSPORT. “We haven’t had an approach yet but if Bob got an offer from a club in the Premier League, we would be very happy for him.

“I know that one of his biggest wishes is to train a club in the Premier League so if he gets an offer, we will wish him good luck, and we will be very proud as a small club in Norway to give him the chance to do that.”

Bradley, who would become the first American to manage in the Premier League if hired, has led Stabaek to unprecedented success during his nearly two-year tenure. On one of the league’s smaller budgets, Stabaek currently sits in second place in the Tippeligaen with just four games remaining.

“In my opinion he could take over any club in Europe without a problem, maybe apart from the biggest clubs.” Hjorth said. “He has experience of national teams with USA and Egypt, and knowing him for the last two years as a person, as a trainer, I’m sure he would get success in any league he went to.”


What do you think of the Bradley reports? How would he fare at Sunderland? Should he stick at a more stable club like Stabaek or jump at the chance to coach in the Premier League?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. What gives this rumor legs is that it comes from the mouth of Niall Quinn, who’s about as connected to all things Sunderland as it is possible to be.

    It would be taking a hell of a chance, but a really hefty paycheck along with that chance. Probably he should do it if it’s offered.

  2. What you expected them to say “sure talk to our biggest rival Molde about a job, but no you can’t leave for a different league”. I am sure they also offered to sell him his favorite players in January for the right price.

  3. Good for him if he gets it, but Sunderland gives me the willies. Would rather see Bob get a chance with another club, but I certainly understand that you only get a few chances like this during a career, so you have to take it.

    Best of luck Bob…

    • Sunderland has some of the best facilities for training and an excellent ground. We have despite our lack of achievement circa 40000 plus crowds on a regular basis and one of the most loyal noisy batch of fans in the league, if someone can sort out the directors and get manager like Bian Clough who made good teams out of a hotchpotch of players it is a huge opportunity.

  4. This is far more serious than the “Preki to the Premeir” speculation, several months ago. I do think Preki will end up in a FA club when Mandaric buys his next one, but Bradley’s move seems more positive given the fact that Ellis Short, the American owner of Sunderland has gone through managers at an alarming pace and because of that, has been given the kiss of death by more of the talented out-of-work managers in the Premiership.

    But most of these managers have been given the reigns of a somewhat functional team, given a season or two to fit in and build the team. Bradley will have non of that, and will be given a team that as been tagged as “hopeless” by Dick Advocaat, who quit when he discerned the team was going nowhere.

    Given the high priced of talent in the EPL and the fact that the new manager of Sunderland has an unknown budget, to get Sunderland to safety would be a herculean task.

    But I can think of no one better to improve the team than to bring in Bob Bradley.I mean, this guy made CHIVAS USA look good.

    • He was 11-14-10 at Chivas which I guess for them was good, but I wouldn’t say they looked good by any other standard.

  5. Sunderland would be my English team for life – even though they are Sunderland. This would expedite my ordering of a Yedlin jersey.

  6. WOW… on the one hand I am extremely happy for Bob, who has come a long way from being Bunker Bob, and has obviously shown people that he is a great coach. On the other hand, I worry for him, since Sunderland goes through coaches like, among other things, fat albert through cheesburgers, mice through cheese, bullets through metal, and cows through open praries. So, this would be good for Bob, for Yedlin, and, maybe for Sunderland, but they probably need to give the dude a couple years (i.e. even if relegated, they need to not fire him) and I just have a tough time seeing that happen. It will be interesting for sure… I might actually watch a sunderland game.

    • Wow! Bunker Bob Really? Bradley did what a smart coach would do, he put his teams in a position to win. The US would have looked pretty silly trying to play like Barcelona or Spain.
      Apparently you never watched his Fire, Metrostars or even Chivas teams play or even his Princeton teams when he had teams with talent comparable to the opposition. Are you trying to say that the US would have beaten Spain by trying to out pass them?
      I would never claim that Bradley was static in his approach to soccer. It has always seemed to me that his approach was to push his teams along to play at a higher level, tempered with the knowledge that winning games is not always compatible with that goal and a national team coach is supposed to be primarily focussed on putting his team in a position to win.

      • Well done Dennis. I have known the man and worked with him for over 20 years. People do not realize how much he likes to play the attacking game when his teams are equal or slightly inferior.
        More importantly, people have no idea the level of integrity and respect for the game that this guy has.
        He is a builder of programs, players and ideals.
        I’m sad when I think of what kind of future we could have had if he had been given the dual role of coach and Technical Director.

    • like:
      VW cars go through the ozone layer
      French politicians go through women
      D backs go through concussions
      termites go through wood
      porn stars go through wood

      • should have been:
        *Linebackers go through concussions
        *wood goes through porn stars

    • His work with Egypt was remarkable too, perfect and best record in first round of qualifying despite the circumstances in the country at the time. They just got totally screwed in having to face Ghana in the home and away qualifier.

  7. I’ve actually seen a number of Stabaek games this season, and the team is playing quite attractive attacking soccer. Especially impressive is the team’s transition from defense to offense — very quick, good passing, good runs off the ball, attacking in numbers.

    • ….what? Even Bradley supporters (myself included with that) agreed it was time to move on. Oh, my bad. You were trolling.

  8. Just being mentioned for a Prem position is outstanding for an American coach. Hope they give him (and other deserving Americans) a serious look.

    • It is sunderland after all. now had it been liverpool that would be Amazing.

      he should manage SUNDERLAND AND BRING friedel to shore up support

  9. Having a coach in a top 4 league would bring a lot of respect to US soccer.

    It would even be bigger if he could help them stay up.

  10. I was under the impression that a coach could not go from Norway directly to the EPL, unless they were a former player. Maybe that was just someone’s uninformed opinion.

    • This would be the first time its ever happened. And Bob would be the only EPL manager without managerial experience in a top league prior to his current position or having come up through that team’s player system. So if I he gets hired I’ll say I was wrong, but to say the opinion was uninformed, is sir the definition of being uninformed. And if you want to go back and look at the thread from a couple weeks ago you are apparently referencing I said his best option was as a mid-year replacement.

      • They may be looking at his time as the USMNT HC as “top league” managerial experience. They probably don’t think too much of the USMNT, but his squad finished ahead of England in their group at the ’10 WC. Now, add in how his current team’s doing, and they may want to guy who they figure will do a good job, but do it in a calm, reassuring, spotlight-on-the-players manner.

      • ” They may be looking at his time as the USMNT HC as “top league” managerial experience”

        They probably aren’t..

        It doesn’t hurt but it isn’t the same thing.

        Managing a club where you have a vital, end of the world game every single week if not more frequently is very different from having only a couple of meaningful, competitive games a year.

        I’m not saying Bob can’t handle that because he can but if being the USMNT manager was the only thing on his resume
        he wouldn’t be a serious candidate for this job.

      • No, it would not be the first time a coach with no managerial experience, or playing experience in a “top league”, has taken over an EPL team. More to the point though was the thought by the uninformed that Bradley was not ready to be called on by an EPL team because he had not gone through some progression of coaching jobs. Heck, there are still people that are trying to explain that coaching a World Cup team is different from coaching a club team. I mean Jesus!!! A guy gets pounced on for commenting about Bradley coaching in the EPL in th near future, and now the pendulum has swung the other way.

      • ” it would not be the first time a coach with no managerial experience, or playing experience in a “top league”, has taken over an EPL team.”

        Want to tell us how those cases worked out? So you don’t think a progression of coaching jobs, in other words a variety of experience doesn’t help?

        “Heck, there are still people that are trying to explain that coaching a World Cup team is different from coaching a club team.”

        That’s because it is completely different.

        Put this another way. Tell me how managing a World Cup team is the same as managing , for example, Chelsea?

        Phil Scolari won the World Cup with Brazil.

      • How the cases worked out? Ok. He did not have any major playing experience, and he was not the most successful coach in a second rate French league , and he is still coaching arsenal all these years later. That’s Arlene wenger.

        Avram grant may have failed at Portsmouth and west ham, but he guided Chelsea pretty successfully, after having only been a coach in Israel for club teams and the national team.

        This exercise is getting away from the fact that our Bob Bradley is in the running for an EPL job. Maybe he goes to molde first, then picks up a job in England in a year or two. Maybe he goes to an already relegated Sunderland. That could be his best move, but saving them from relegation would win him the highest praise.

      • First Ligue 1 would qualify as a top European League, especially a club like Monaco which Wenger led to 2nd place finish in the Europa Cup, a Ligue 1 title and a super cup title.

        2nd as was pointed out Avram Grant was a buddy of Abramovich and was put in place as much to stick it in Mourinho’s face that anyone could lead Chelsea to greatness as anything else.

        Third go to this page and look at the 300+ Premier League managers of all time and tell me how many weren’t either players in England, Managers in a lower English division, or manager in a top Euro League (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal)

        Yes, Avram Grant less than 1/3 of 1 percent of EPL managers sets a precedent.

        Were you the guy that posted 9/11 was an inside job too.

      • I’m not seeing Monico with any second place finishes in no Europa leagues, or cups, or anything else. Wenger was coaching in Japan before he took the arsenal job. Avram grant did in fact lead Chelsea to second place finish in champions league, coming from no big time coaching experience.

        I don’t know, you seem to wanna make stuff up to try and prove your point.

      • Sorry it was the Cup Winners Cup, which was merged with the UEFA Cup in 1999 which became the Europa League).

        Wenger had led Monaco to the semis of the 94 Champions League as well and was favorited to take over at Bayern but was blocked by Monaco. He was let go after a slow start in the fall of 94 and took the gig in the J-League because its season started in Jan. of 1995 (manager of the Year and took home the Emperors Cup and J League Super Cup). Your insinuation that Wenger was an unknown quantity is false and you are either ignorant or know you are the one making up stuff to prove your point.

        And again one manager out of over 300 was grossly unqualified to be an EPL manager and that to you proves that its common for anyone to become an EPL manager. Grant was seen by most as you pointed out earlier today as a failure.

      • It’s over johnny!!! You got punked. Some guy steps up a couple of weeks ago and comments that he’d like to see Bradley move to the EPL. You felt with all your knowledge from your high perch that you would set this guy straight and tell him that coaches don’t go from Norway to the EPL.

        Now you’re talking up wenger and his J league success, and trying to pretend like he did more at Monaco than he really did.

        Then you pretend as if looking the stuff up on wiki makes you even more knowledgeable. Which actually it does increase your wisdom, unless of course, you are hell bent on sticking to your little guns

      • Your right Dink, I got punked, you proved that I was right only 99.97% of the time and you were right .03% if Bob gets hired which if you bothered to read any of the other articles out there seems highly unlikely, I’ll only be right 99.94% of the time. I now hang my head in shame, not sure how I will be able to face my kids tomorrow.

      • You have only been punked once so far. If Bradley becomes coach at Sunderland, that will make twice, and you’ll be two for two.

        99.94%. You can’t be serious with that BS?

      • Does B_rcl_y’s pay you for sponsorship rights? Geez. Just like I don’t think I should have to give the sponsor name to reference the local soccer park (except there is no other name).

        If you actually think the B is for Britain, well…..hah.

  11. Id hope that Sunderland dont make it official until months end. Want him to wrap up Stabaek winning 2nd spot and getting that Europa League spot. Well done Bob

    Sunderland are odds on fav to be relegated. Not sure if he can prevent that though. But hed surely get 2months, maybe 3 to stabilize the club. And its quite a step in his journey. If he can keep them from being relegated he would havr done something.

    • Sunderland may also be looking at a hire like Bradley precisely because they are likely for relegation. Bradley might be just the steadying hand Sunderland needs, so much turmoil the past few years. But even if they are relegated, Bradley would likely be happy to stay with them through relegation, right the ship, and push for promotion again once he gets things under control.

    • Why does SAFC care what Stabek does with its season, eg, European quali? That’s fanboy reasoning. SAFC is bailing water and needs a new ship captain now before it becomes absolute hopelessness.

    • On one hand, yes I’d be psyched to root for him in the Prem. On the other, Sunderland sort of seems like a career trap for Americans.

      • Yeah but a lot of that has to do with crap managers. this gives me hope for Yedlin and maybe it will provide a safer place for other americans to move to EPL like fulham was. .

      • The problem is, with the work permit rules, you can’t just sign some inexpensive Americans who can implement your system, leveraging your connections, you have to play within the limited pool of transfer or free players with the right background to get a permit. And thus Fulham signs Eddie Johnson on one of his revival years, probably knowing the risks, and he is so pitiful it becomes a running joke.

        If they didn’t have the work permit rules, it would be interesting to see an American coach pick off a bunch of MLS talent together with domestics and other cosmopolitans.

        But that is probably easier to accomplish in USA or Canada.

    • slowleftarm,

      A lot of people have suggested that Bob should try for a job in the Championship. This may be one way to do it.

      Sunderland is a disaster but if anyone outside a relegation escape artist like Tony Pulis could save that sorry team it would be Bob.
      Part of me wants him to pass on this if it happens but he ain’t getting any younger and these kind of opportunities, even this poisoned Chalice, are very rare.

    • People said the same thing about Jozy going to Sunderland (almost verbatim). Temper that optimism and remember Sunderland is a quagmire.

      I’d prefer Bradley stays away…even if that means remaining where he’s at. If Bradley’s reputation is on the rise, going to Sunderland would have adverse effects.

    • What else are they going to say? Nobody wants a coach that doesn’t want to be there and by being extremely gracious it sets them up as a destination for up and coming coaches. It is actually a very shrewd move for a club of their class.

      • Staebek knew from the start that Bob was there to use them as a stepping stone to bigger things and they were fine with that..That is SOP for a lot of smaller clubs in Europe.

        This has been widely reported in the past.

        The expectation was that he would move on to a bigger league which is why the recent speculation about Bob moving to rivals Molde was a little awkward.

    • Yeah but what happens when Sunderland goes down? Then the move won’t look so good. I have always rooted for him before and would continue if he went to the Prem!!!!

      • Generally, if you can’t keep a team up with this much time, you don’t get another chance, but if he has a good agent and they write the contract that way it could happen.

      • i guess i am already assuming they are going to go down and that the fans/board know that too 🙂

        not sure any coach can save them…

      • This is a huge question. If Sunderland are honest with themselves, and really listen to the vastly experienced coach who just left that stated, paraphrasing, Sunderland don’t have the quality to stay up, then the approach to a new coach should be
        1. long term, rebuilding
        2. Accept relegation and pray for a miracle, but don’t blame new coach if they drop.

        Give the new guy, whoever it is, a chance to build something. Stability is what Sunderland need right now.

      • Jon,

        Easy for you to say :

        1. It is early in the season yet so as bad as it looks avoiding relegation is far from impossible.

        2. You are underestimating how bad relegation is. The financial hit is massive

        3. Your basic premise assumes a return to the Premiership at some point in the near future. However, there is zero guarantee that they would ever get back to the Premiership.

        I am a huge BB fan but of the candidates mentioned, all things being equal, the most obvious choice is Nigel Pearson.

      • I think he should take the gig because realistically until someone “breaks spades,” no one is managing EPL even if of superior quality to many of the usual domestic suspects. This is probably the best chance for an American, is some desperate team in a bad way takes a risk. Otherwise you are confronting the same old stereotypes.

        That being said, SAFC’s goals allowed and goal difference suggests they simply stink and are unsalvageable. -10, 8 games in. Are they going to spend money winter window? Do they have personnel who could implement a Bradley style?

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