When Bob Bradley did his first interview for BBC’s Match of the Day and pronounced “Premier League” wrong, and later on referred to a penalty as a “PK” (see video below), it was clear that the American wasn’t going to last long in England’s top flight. And after only 85 days in the job Swansea City decided to part company with one of the least successful managers in the club’s history. Coming from a country that plays football with their hands, what did anyone really expect from the Welsh side’s false saviour?
At least he didn’t refer to the game we created as “soccer”, thankfully, but aside from that the first ever Yank to manage a Premier League club (and probably the last) didn’t do much right. What the relegation-threatened club’s owners were thinking when they sacked Francesco Guidolin to replace him with Bradley nobody really knows. The American took Swansea from the brink of the relegation zone and dumped them right in it. When the man tasked with saving the Swans’ season came in they were in 17th place, when he left they were in 19th, level with doomed Hull City, and four points away from safety.
Nobody should really feel sorry for the ousted Bradley, because at the Liberty Stadium there is certainly a squad capable of remaining in the top division. They have a World Cup-winning striker at their disposal in Fernando Llorente, and possibly the best dead-ball specialist in the league with Gylfi Sigurdsson (see video below). Surely all Swansea need to do is have these two link up and they wouldn’t be considering the fact that they will probably be battling in the Championship next year.
It was perhaps Bradley’s overconfidence that made him so unprepared for the task in hand. Even after damning defeats to Tottenham, West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough and West Ham United the former USA coach was adamant that he could be the one to turn Swansea’s fortunes around. Yeah, he had a 45.95% win record at Le Havre, but nobody should go storming into the Premier League thinking an average success rate in the French second division means jack (excuse the Americanism).
In what could be another amusing turn of events, Swansea may be about to replace two failed managers with another failed manager from a different failing club. Alan Pardew had one of the worst win ratios of any manager this year but it appears he is one of the contenders in line for the job at the Liberty Stadium. Unfortunately for Swansea fans, at the turn of the year the Swans are at 1/2 with Betway to be relegated, and it will need someone bigger than Pardew to sort out this mess.
So who might come in to Swansea to take on the thankless task of guiding them steadily towards relegation? They sacked their manager a week too late it seems as Crystal Palace have already swooped for the Championship-avoidance specialist Sam Allardyce. There aren’t really that many people readily available but the likes of Roy Hodgson, Harry Redknapp, Chris Coleman and Ryan Giggs have been touted as possible successors. Swansea fans would ideally like Coleman one would assume, but would the Wales manager want to take on the job with such bleak chances of pulling the side back up?
Swansea fans can at least take some solace in the fact that their situation can’t really get any worse. If Bradley had stayed they were almost certainly doomed for relegation. Their chances are still pretty slim, but if they get a decent manager in now he may benefit them in the long run when they have to battle in the furiously competitive Championship. Because, let’s face it, Bradley wouldn’t have stood a chance in that league either.