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SBI Question of the Day: How will Bradley fare at Swansea City?

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.

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  1. Bradley will get the most our of the current roster. He has done that everywhere he has gone. With a little good fortune, Swansea will stay up.
    What Bradley has not done in the past is improve a team through the transfer market. Swansea is not a rich club but it probably has more money to play with than any club Bradley has been with. Technically adept coaches like Bradley don’t always succeed, at least at first, at identifying players that can help his squad and integrating them into the starting eleven. He’s a bright guy, but the transfer windows will be a new challenge for him.

  2. Swansea is never going to challenge for the title or Champions League without better players no matter who the manager may be. The Europa league is probably a stretch, but its at least in the realm of possible for a team like them. Bradley is a success if he keeps them in the Europe conversation, even if they fall just short. He’s a failure if they tread water to stay in the league. The line between them in the EPL can be a fine one.

  3. I wish he would have stayed and fought for promotion and then take the next step up. I feel the American owners pushed for an American to maybe boost sales and interest in the USA first, not saying he isn’t qualified but looks a little bit funny to me

  4. Really surprised at the negativity. This is a huge development and opportunity for US soccer. this is a great opportunity to break down a barrier.

    That said, BB has his work cut out for him. Avoiding relegation would be a huge victory. Though,…has he really ever delivered the big prize? Loss to Ghana? Egypt didn’t qualify for WC? Le Havre missed out on promotion last season? A moral victory with EPL money on the table is not good enough.

  5. Swansea fans be ready for some boring bunker soccer
    and questionable player decisions. He will also FD all in love with some crap players.How long before he brings Ching and Bornstein?:)

  6. Bradley is well traveled and has coached in 4 different countries. He can probably read the soccer landscape at a club as well as any new coach. I expect he will make the tactical and management moves that secure player buy-in as quickly as possible, rather than trying to woo the club/fans with some surprise transfers. I expect defensive/conservative soccer the rest of the way, but enough to stay up.

  7. I know it’s not his job to develop American talent at Swansea, but I wonder if this may present an opportunity for some Americans. He showed a willingness to use Americans at Stabaek, which given the obvious differences may be an apple-to-oranges comparison.

    • Maybe, but first, he’d have to be a smashing success. Everyone assumes a coach will recruit from areas he knows from past experiences. He’s more recently coached in France and Norway and Egypt than in the US, so it’d be far more likely that he’d bring in some players he knows from those countries than from the US.

    • already a lot of mistrust for the American owners and now American coach. I doubt they allow for that until he proves he is a successful EPL manager.. that said you know he would love to sign Bornstein and Ricardo Clark! maybe Michael too.

    • Personally I feel he needs to be around mid-table to be considered a success. Those saying that by simply avoiding regulation he would have done his job are coming at it from an American perspective that is rooting for Bradley. For Swansea fans, they have had mild success recently but are currently 17th. They are already in a probable regulation fight but not yet in the regulation zone. Simply avoiding regulation is something the fans would have expected from their manager that just got fired, and probably from any new manager. Bradley needs to do much better than that to gain favor and acceptance.

    • I feel like I didn’t make my point clearly. Basically I am saying that if Swansea avoid relegation but finish 16th or 17th Bradley would still be considered a failure by Swansea and British fans. He needs a mid-table finish. Simply avoiding relegation will not be good enough.

      • And a reasonable expectation considering we are so new into the season. If he had been hired in January with the team in 17th avoid relegation would be reasonable.

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