Top Stories

Bob Bradley calls out Klinsmann in first Swansea press conference


In his first official press conference as Swansea City manager, Bob Bradley did not hold back on his thoughts regarding his firing and the hiring of Jurgen Klinsmann in his wake, or on Klinsmann’s congratulatory words for him.

“From the day I got fired by the U.S., I have not said one thing publicly about their team, alright? I don’t appreciate the way it was done. I think they made a mistake,” Bradley told the gathered media, “I’m glad that Jurgen says some nice things now. When he did commentary on the 2010 World Cup, he was already jockeying for the job. So I’ve shut my mouth, and continued to support the team, because I, of course, want to see the team do well. Michael’s the captain. So if he has said something in a nice way, I appreciate it. And if at some point he chooses to try to work again outside the U.S., I wish him the best.”

The blunt comments are somewhat out of character for Bradley, who typically is more reserved when asked to comment on other managers. Whether or not Klinsmann was truly pushing for the job during his stint as a commentator for the 2010 South African World Cup is a matter up for debate, but clearly Bradley feels slighted by the U.S. and believes his successor played a role.

Bradley’s first match in charge of Swansea comes on Oct. 15 at Arsenal.



  1. The two worst results Bob ever got was those two CONCACAF Gold Cup games against Mexico in which we got utterly destroyed. Now, you can go back and say the Brazil game in CONFEDERATIONS fit the category after surrendering a 2-0 lead, but never the ass whooping by Mexico those two games. Other than that, Bob got the same results or better than Klinsmann, nothing has changed.

  2. meh. I don’t miss Bunker Bob at all. He coached not to lose. It can be effective at grinding out results but it’s a soul-killing experience watching those games.

  3. The Headline’s a little sensationalist. He offered his opinion on the subject, and I think he framed it so as to not further answer any other questions about it. No harm, no foul.

  4. Ya, he should blame Bornstein, Ricardo Clark and his player selection in general for getting fired. Klinsman was a commentator and it was his job to comment. He wasn Lobbying. Everything he said was pretty accurate. I ironically his player seleccion is even worse i.e. Wondolowski .

  5. I hear that’s going to be a new feature in the next iteration of Sega’s Football Manager series at press conferences you have the options: Praise player; praise opposition coach; Call Out Klinsman

  6. The question comes at 15:55.

    I thought the answer came off harsher on paper than on the video. He clearly doesn’t think he deserved to be fired, but what manager/coach ever does. I think the next question about should England consider JK as its next manager might tell you a little more. Bob pauses and thinks a good few seconds to formulate his answer before speaking.

    I have no problem with Bob’s answer, I think the reporter is either uninformed or an idiot to think that was an appropriate question though.

    • Bradley has his fair share of dunces he routinely called up. Let’s not play revisionist history (while also forgetting he regularly called in Bedoya).

    • Do you even remember his time. He was called Bunker Bob, derisively not because it was army nickname. A lot of people b*tched about Bradley. Absence makes a heart grow founder.

      • Definitely.

        But the question if you are going to compare is what he would do now. Would he be bunker Bob with the empty bowl now?

        ( or would JK act like him back then )

      • and a lot of people acknowledged that the 4-2-2-2 fit our player pool nicely. While it was not very attractive soccer, we grinded out results and did quite well during his tenure.

        Bob had his faults, but there are plenty of us who acknowledge the positives during his tenure

  7. Weak.

    I take the “they made a mistake” as a question of his firing, not a question of JK being the wrong choice. Maybe you could say they really wanted JK and let go of him to get JK, but that is not JK’s fault.

    If you want a calling out of JK’s faults or calling out of JK, just ask, there are many on here that will provide!

    ( I think he has been fine, poor at times, I don’t like the way he talks down to the American fans)

  8. “I got fired by the U.S., my last game was the Gold Cup final against Mexico at the Rose Bowl,” Bradley said. “It was a great game, 4-2; we were ahead 2-0, they tied it up by halftime. The second half was amazing. We lost 4-2; it was a hell of a game.

    I’m one of the biggest supporters of Bradley, but that game was an all too common theme of Bradley’s tenure: get lead, lose lead & lose/tie match.

    I also don’t share the same memory of an “amazing” second half. I remember Steve Cherundolo picking up an injury and instead of slotting Eric Lichaj over to the left side, bringing on Tim Ream and slotting Carlos Bocanegra to the left side…we brought on Jonathan Bornstein. This is one of those situations where fans and media (and I have to believe some players) simultaneously breathed a big sigh for the inevitable onslaught. Basically the confusion, disdain and frustration for Chris Wondolowski, but amplified by about 10.

    Mexico immediately attacked his side and exposed him in embarrassing fashion & the rest is painful history.

    Bradley is a competitor, and I imagine like many boxers you never realize it’s past you until it’s too late, but this team needed a change. I think that general sentiment existed for a lot of people who supported the national team and ones that work within it. Even from people, like me, that loved Bradley.

    • I agree Bornstein was the problem with this game, but lets not forget that Bornstein had a decent to good World Cup and was looking on the rise. Him having that much of a stinker was very hard to predict. And look how complex your solution was; not exaclty easy tactics. Also, Ream (altho I do love him) was not having a good tournament so putting Ream in was as risky as Bornstein, if not more. Today its easy to hate on the move because of the depth the USMNT has now. But when Bradley was coach, Bornstein probably was the right move. Had Cherundolo not gotten injured, I bet Bradley would have been our coach until 2010 and Lichaj would have been our starting LB.

      • People often site that World Cup, and with reason, but he was far too often a liability throughout his tenure as the USMNT left back. Two or three matches at the World Cup did not exonerate him of an well-earned poor reputation as our weakest link.

      • First, Bradley was NEVER Sunil’s man and I doubt he would have lasted through 2014. I personally don’t think coaches should have 2 full cycles (that includes you Klinsman).

        Second, Bornstein did not have a good world cup. He did even play on the first two games. He only played against Algeria and Ghana because Bocanegre had to get pulled back to CB when it became clear that Gooch was not up to it post injury (too early a comeback). He was bad in the Ghana game and the only thing saving him was that LD was the winger on his side.

    • Now my memory may be a bit hazy, I’ve slept and drank since, but I always thought Bob’s MO with the USMN was go down a goal early and then having to play from behind the rest of the match.

      Big fan of Bob and what he did with the USMN, big defender of him and MB, but I thought USSF were mistaken by re-signing him to a second tenure (afraid the program would get stale and not adapt) AND then immediately dropping him (didn’t seem to show much trust in him even though they re-signed him)

      . What was JK doing after his WC10 commentating? Was he not available for hire immediately? It just seemed strange to re-hire BB and drop him so quickly unless you were waiting on someone to be freed, which seems shady.

      • Now my memory may be a bit hazy, I’ve slept and drank since, but I always thought Bob’s MO with the USMN was go down a goal early and then having to play from behind the rest of the match.

        brett, it is I that has the hazy memory. You’re 100% correct, and I flipped our current manager with our former manager. One gave up the early goal, and one gave up the late goal.

        I also agree with not being a fan of bringing back a national team coach for a second-term (and stated my opposition for Klinsmann too). There always seems to be a decline at the national team level when this takes place and it’s not unique to our country. Call it a fatigue or tuning out a manager’s message…but it was evident with Bradley’s second “term”.

        However, I didn’t find it shady because that Mexico loss felt…different. It looked pretty clear that we were out-coached, the players didn’t look the same and the managerial decisions I think drove home the need for change.

      • one could make the same argument about JK’s loss to Jamaica in the Gold Cup.

        I agree that things felt off, and perhaps they realized their problem at that point (not re-signing managers to a second term). All in all I think the decision to cut BB worked out perfectly for both sides. We got a new manager with new tactics (although some extremely questionable decisions early), and Bob moved to the other hemisphere and worked his way to the PL.

  9. Usually when you are fired, you have a pretty good idea it is coming or at least worried about it. Bradley was totally blind-sided by Gulati.

    Like him or hate him as a coach, he was hard done by Gulati.

    This is probably the most negative thing he has said in public, and it is very mild compared to what many of us would do if we had been in his position.

    But given the unremarkable and mild nature of BB’s comments the headline is misleading.

    • No, I actually remember 2011, it was no surprise. It was being floated. It just like JK should not be surprised if was fired in late 2015/early 2016 if the poor form had continued

      • According to reports at the time, after the 2010 WC, Gulati wanted Klinsmann then, too, but they couldn’t reach agreement, so he gave Bradley a new contract. I didn’t want to just rely on my memory, so I read several different articles and it’s clear that Gulati always wanted Klinsmann and Bradley was the second choice. Bradley really had no reason to be surprised. He gave Gulati the excuse with the 2011 Gold Cup and then Gulati was willing to give Klinsmann the full control he asked for from the start. The analogy above about when you have to go for a second choise, then the first becomes available, then you dump the incumbent for the one you wanted all along. It was certainly no surprise to this fan that Klinsmann got the job; it was just a question of when.

    • Maybe surprised that it came so quickly, but I wouldn’t call it a blindsiding. Many didn’t even want his return after the WC in 2010. I’m sure some of the people around Bradley were telling him Gulati wouldn’t have the guts to pull the trigger, but he knew he wasn’t safe by any means.

  10. Yeah, like everyone else, I’d like to know the full context of BB’s comments. It’s not exactly “calling out JK”, but it’s certainly more aggressive than what I’m used to from his interviews.

    I’m also surprised that he’s making these comments now, just as he’s trying to ease into a new job and (based on the video interview posted a couple days ago) seems to be in a all-out PR campaign to be very positive. This seems like a distraction, more than anything, like someone who hasn’t let go of hard feeling from a job 5 years ago. Coaches are fired all the time around the world, so JK “jockeying” for BB’s gig doesn’t seem like something worth bringing up so many years later.

    At this point, I doubt JK takes out these comments out on MB90. JK acts like he relishes being put under the microscope, that more scrutiny from top-to-bottom benefits soccer in America. Frankly, I think he’s full of crap, but he’s been able to maintain that front for 5 years.

    Anyway, hopefully we will get to see/read the full interview and get more context.

    • Scrutiny is what holding the sport back in this country. The lack of scrutiny of the decisions being made at the top has allowed people with no soccer experience and a personal stake in maintaining the status quo to remain in charge and do what’s best for their own self-interest. Frankly, regardless of my feelings towards Klinsmann, I am glad that he hasn’t simply been a yes man and has rightly criticised the state of soccer in the US.

  11. From a website called SBNation in a 2011 story comes the following: “Bradley’s entire time as U.S. coach has been overshadowed by Gulati’s incessant yearning for Klinsmann. When Bruce Arena was dismissed following the 2006 World Cup Gulati wanted to bring in Klinsmann to lead the U.S. team, but after courting him for four months the deal fell apart and Gulati hired Bradley . . .” So, it’s not like Klinsmann had to jockey for his hiring. As I recall, the stumbling block was how much control US Soccer would give Klinsmann that was the hold up. So, I think Bradley’s charge is rather misleading.

    • i wouldn’t call his charge “misleading”: you can “jockey” for a position while holding out for a better offer.

      i remember thinking close to the same thing back then; i just thought, from his comments, that klinsmann was pushing for the technical director position (which he eventually got, of course).

      • I would. The employer wanted someone else then hired someone else that he never really wanted all while still wanting the 1st employee. It’s like you started dating a girl who was still in love with her ex. and kept trying to get back to him. At the slight chance he was still interested she kicks you out. It’s not like the dude was trying to get your girl as much as you were just the rebound guy or placeholder.

      • i think it’s obvious that klinsmann wanted the job. him holding out for a sweeter deal doesn’t preclude him from continuing to persuade gulati that he’s the man for the job (“jockeying for the position”). hence, bradley may have been mistaken (i don’t think he was), but i wouldn’t it “misleading”.

  12. How is this calling out? Don’t get it. Of course every fired manager thinks the boss made a mistake.

    On the commentator side of things, it’s their job to be critical which is why I don’t get why Alejandro got so sensitive about Erik Wynalda saying his opinion. He is/was paid to say his opinion. They all do it. Finally, talking about getting the job behind the back why another coach still has it, that happens a lot….like in this Swansea situation. People cannot be sensitive if they enter pubic professions.

    • Supporting your point further, you have to know you’re going to be in for some hairy situations when you enter pubic professions

  13. jesus, these kids writing for SBI and the clickbait. Please, Colton, point out where exactly he “calls out Klinsmann”. I see the URL of the article is “critical of US soccer” that might have been a better headline.

  14. Did he really “call[ ] out” Klinsmann and US Soccer? Sounds like he answered a question with his perspective. Although, without having the context–i.e., what question he was actually asked– it’s tough to say.

    • from what i’ve read, he was asked about klinsmann’s “glowing endorsement” of him as the swansea manager, and how he thought klinsmann as england manager. an innocuous enough question on its face.

      however, if you consider (a) bradley’s stated opinion that klinsmann was using his analyst screentime to “jockey” for his position, (b) his likely opinion that he doesn’t need klinsmann’s approval to get a job, and (c) the tendency for all of klinsmann’s statements to have a vaguely condescending vibe, i can see why he went off (a bit).

      • “the tendency for all of klinsmann’s statements to have a vaguely condescending vibe”

        Really? Some yeah, but that is in large part loss in translation of German to American culture (I speak from 1st hand experience)

      • the tendency for all of klinsmann’s statements to have a vaguely condescending vibe

        Vaguely, i.e. non-existent, unless you’re wanting them to be?

      • @anthony

        fine, not “all”. and yes, i think internal translation, or accent, probably has something to do with it.

      • @old school

        no, that’s not what “vaguely” means. i meant it as in, “uncertain, indefinite, or unclear”.

      • I’m aware of what the actual definition means, but I was trying to translate your usage that clearly operates in the realm of fiction.

      • yeah, i’m not sure you actually know what it means. the very definition kind of prohibits dismissing it as “fiction” (or at least makes your accusation nonsensical), since no one’s saying it definitely exists. it’s more of an impression that i (and apparently others) get, partly due to an overabundance of “actually”s and “obviously”s in his speech.

        if you truly want to learn something, you could read anthony’s comment also recognizing that there is some hint of condescension, but attributing it more to 2nd language than anything else (which i concede).

Leave a Comment