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LFC

The Bob Bradley Watch Rolls On

 The Bob Bradley Watch Rolls On 

A few seconds after the final whistle sounded in the United States’ round of 16 loss to Ghana in the World Cup, speculation began on the future of men’s national team coach Bob Bradley.

OK, maybe not seconds. But not long after.

Since then, it’s come out that USSF president Sunil Gulati is less than thrilled with the team’s finish in the World Cup, thus putting Bradley’s job status in a bit of jeopardy.

Then, the dominos started falling.

Roy Hodgson left Fulham for Liverpool, thus opening a spot in the English Premier League. We then find out that Bradley might be interested in a move to Europe.

I saw it as a Tweet first, but since then, the rumors of Bradley to Fulham have been picking up steam.

Today, they’re running full blast.

The Sun calls it a done deal while other outlets are a tad more cautious.

As a Fulham supporter, I mind myself torn between my affinity for my club and the prospect of an American coach succeeding in the Premier League – and the doors it might open in terms of growing the game stateside.

Bradley’s resume does not include the sort of club stops you’d expect to find on the record of an EPL boss, but he does have experience managing a top-20 national team that just won a World Cup group that featured, of all teams, England.

Have his stops at Chivas, Chicago and New York prepared him to not only step into the cauldron of one of the most important leagues in the world, but replace a man who took Fulham from the brink of relegation to the Europa League final?

Two things are certain. Bradley would get a massive pay increase from his current deal with the USSF and a move to Fulham would instantly fuel transfer rumors for his son to follow him from Germany to London.

We might even have the Landon-Donovan-to-England circus crank up again.

Do I think it’s a good move for Bradley? Absolutely.

A good move for Fulham?

We may have a chance to find out.

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, US National Team and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to The Bob Bradley Watch Rolls On

  1. Geoff says:

    Just letting you know:

    The Sun calls it a done deal while other outlets are a tad more cautious.

    Both the links in this sentence lead to the Independent.

  2. Russ Goldman says:

    Randy, this was a great post. As a Fulham fan I am split on this as well. However, I am still not sold that this is close to a done deal with Bradley. I have been following this story and there seems to be a new name popping up regularly.

    I wouldn’t be against the move, but there are other potential candidates I would want first.

  3. jose says:

    fulhamerica in the house, for shizzle my nizzle.

  4. Russ Goldman says:

    People just want to talk about Fulham. It is great to see.

  5. CTBlues says:

    As an American Chelsea supporter I look at Fulham as a little brother and hope they do well except for when they are playing Chelsea. I also like how they give a lot of American’s a shot at playing in the EPL. As much as I would like to see Bradley managing Fulham I would much rather see Mark Hughes take the job because I don’t want to see Bradley start off bad and get canned halfway through the season.

  6. Randy Capps says:

    I fixed the link, thanks for letting me know.

    I wouldn’t mind Hughes or even Bilic. I just don’t want Sven or Curbishley.

  7. Martin says:

    If he gets a the owner’s full support, a little luck and the Dempsey move to AC Milan doesn’t pan out, BB could do well.

    While his pedigree is not the normal one for an EPL club, Avram Grant’s pedigree before he was Technical director at Portsmouth and then managed Chelsea , of all clubs wasn’t the norm either. And Grant did fairly well. Besides, Phil Brown recently was an EPL manager and there is no way he is a better manager than Bradley.

    It would be quite a complement to US football. Besides, if BB is going to get fired, I’d like to see him get it for for actually failing as opposed to not turning the US into Brazil like most US fans think he should have.

    • Dave C says:

      “Phil Brown recently was an EPL manager and there is no way he is a better manager than Bradley”.

      Two issues:
      (1) I agree that Bradley is a better manager than Phil Brown, for the sole reason that Bradley has never:
      - lost all respect of his players by chastising them in public;
      - blown millions on giving a long-term contract to a player with well-known serious knee without giving him a thorough medical first (although Brown’s superiors share some of the blame there);
      - alienated several senior players by humiliating them and refusing to pick them due to petty squabbles;
      - played two bad midfielders as premier league strikers;
      - persisted on playing the same tactics despite an EIGHTEEN MONTH slump in form;
      - subsequently got fired.

      But on that basis, I think you’re setting a pretty low bar. I think Fulham should be aiming much higher than someone who is simply “better than Phil Brown”.

      (2) Having said all that, whether he is in fact better than Brown is actually debateable. Phil Brown proved himself worthy of a chance in the Premier League by getting Hull promoted from the Championship (itself no mean feat). When has Bradley ever had such a period of sustained good form? He had a couple of shock results against Egypt and Spain in the Confed Cup last year. Other than that, I don’t think he’s ever done more than par for the course. He’s not proved much of a tactician either.

      He’s a decent manager, but I’d be massively surprised if Fulham took a gamble on him.

  8. David says:

    I became a Fulham fan because of their USA contingent, and it would be really exciting to have an American coach. I’m already somewhat nervous for the team with Roy Hodgson leaving, and although Bob Bradley’s lack of EPL experience is an additional risk, I agree that some of the other names being mentioned (Sven) are downright discouraging.

  9. 1010 says:

    ericksson didnt finish first in the group bradley did. ericksson didnt make it to the 2nd round bradley did. ericksson didnt do well as mexico’s coach when they played against usa but bradley did good with the usa team

    • Dave C says:

      Over-simplifying things a bit – Erikson didn’t compete in the same group as Bradley, so you can’t really compare the two. If US was drawn in the same group as Portugal and Brazil, I think they’d also be fated to the same outcome.

  10. Gaz Hunt says:

    This would be great if it happens for US football.

    He’ll have Dempsey – just transfer Donovan and Altidore and you’ve got a proper training ground for American players.

    It also serves to show the respect that the US is getting.

  11. ELAC says:

    Let me tell you something about Bob Bradley that many of you know-it-alls seem to either forget or ignore. In 2006, Bob Bradley came to Chivas USA after leaving the Chicago Fire. Here in Southern California, he drafted Sacha Kjelstan and Bornstein. Together with some old Fire players like Jesse Marsch and Ante Razov, he built a team that Preki almost dismantled 3 years later.
    Bradley puts on the MLS map after that horrible 2005 season. He brought in Mexicans like Loquito Garcia and Paco Palencia and took us all the way to the Western Conference finals. No easy task.
    I’m big USMNT guy, but Bob certainly needs to get credit for his scouting, pragmatism, and desire to win. The man is hardcore.
    I like Chelsea too, but Bob Bradyley is the Tom Coughlin guy that Fulham needs.

    I don’t think he gets the gig, but I would love it if he did. He’s the best coach in America. Period. Light years better than Bruce Arena.

  12. eplnfl says:

    All USMNT and MLS fans would have to be excited if the rumor is true. Bradley does have a good eye for talent and may be able to bring some different players and tactics to the EPL. Because of the American connection over the years,especially Brian McBride, I have always had a soft spot for Fulham. If Bradley does break a barrier and lands at the Cottage then Fulham will have to become a focus for me every Saturday come the start of the EPL season.

    He would be getting off to a late start however, so do it soon.

  13. Africarules78 says:

    bob is a under rated coach whose only notible accomplishments were three lucky victories against some very good teams and he is the supposed to be the replacement of a manager who lead a underated club from the brink of relegation to the Europa league final with one of the tighest budgets in the prem, are u kidding me. The mere notion makes sick and really fearful for fulham. With all of the american connection no wonder fulham suck in the epl. Further i was the happiest person on earth when ghana put those american lamos in there place. Getting lucky does not make u good.

    • maw4bc says:

      i dont think bob is the right coach for fulham but to say the US was lucky is a little ridiculous.

      We beat some good teams in the confed cup and did decent at the WC.

      • Africarules78 says:

        oh really now after beating these good teams did you go on to win the confederations cup or anyother major tournament besides the local tournaments after beating these good teams? of course not thats what seperates the u.s from the rest of the world you lack talent and passion.
        fyi drawing with England and Slovakia and barely beating a young Algerian team isn’t anything to brag about. But i do give u credit for beating Spain.

        • Dave C says:

          So not winning “a major tournament” means you “lack talent and passion”??? In that case, I think there must be about 190 countries in the world that lack talent and passion, and at least 170 that have never even had either.

    • Dave C says:

      I’m confused – are you saying Fulham finished high enough in the premier league to qualify for the Europa League, or are you saying they suck? Or are you saying both??

      • Africarules78 says:

        i am saying that dempsey sucks and Fulham are suffering because of his inability to score goals notice goalS. As for passion and talent the u.s couldn’t even get passed hondurus in the quailifying stage and it took a missed penalty to get them through to the finals. Besides u guys are even compasionate enough to call the game by its proper name. Its called FOOTBALL.

        • Dave C says:

          (1) So they suck in the premier league AND they finished high enough to qualify for the Europa leage? Any one else see the obvious contradiction in this?

          (2) The US couldn’t get past Honduras in the qualifying stage?? I’m no expert on the US’s qualification campaing, so I just googled it. They beat Honduras 2-1 at home, and 3-2 away. They also finished four points above them in the table, and both teams qualified for the World Cup. So how is that NOT getting past Honduras?

          I don’t know how well or badly they performed in those particular games, but remember this: (a) it’s the result that matters and (b) most teams have bad results on the way through qualifying (just ask Argentina and Brazil) – does that somehow prove a lack of talent and passion??

          As for having to rely on a missed penalty to qualifying for the the WC. Again, I’m no expert on their qualifying campaign (I’m not American), but from looking at the table, I see they finished FOUR points ahead of Costa Rica. So assuming the outcome of that penalty could only have cost them at most two points (by turning a US win into a draw/tie), then regardless of the outcome of the penalty, they would STILL have qualified. (Of course, all this is assuming that you’re talking about some penalty in the Fourth Round of qualifying, please correct me if you mean an earlier round).

          (3) You need to look up what compassion means. It makes absolutely no sense in the context you have used it.

          Also, don’t stir-up the ancient flame-war about whether it should be called soccer or football. It makes you look dumb. Just take on board the following, and then please never bring up the subject again:
          (a) Soccer is an English term derived from Association Football. It is not an American invention.
          (b) Not everyone outside the US calls it football. Obviously most countries use a translated equivalent (like fussball, voetball or futball). Some countries (like Italy) do NOT even call it a directly translated equivalent. Even in the English-speaking world, many (perhaps most) countries call it soccer to differentiate it from other forms of football – eg Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Candada. Even within England, it’s occasionally referred to as soccer.

          So to imply that Americans are somehow wrong to call it soccer is really dumb.

          • zack says:

            dude u just went extremely hard. I didn’t know that being wrong on the internet was a crime, take a chill pill already. Seriously u actually went up and looked up the facts and wrote a whole essay just to prove ur point, SAD. Ur not even american so why the hostility? Also some of like calling it football it just sounds better.

          • Dave C says:

            @ Zack – I live by the mantra “go hard or go home!” ;)

            Firstly, if taking the time to look up some basic facts is “sad”, then sure, I’m sad.
            Secondly, I’m not hostile to anyone, nor do I think being wrong is a crime. I just get really confused when people make bizarre comments that don’t make any sense. I mean it’s not a matter of being just factually wrong or right, but it just seems pure inconsistent to say that both “Fulham suck” whilst also acknowledging the fact that they finished high enough in the league to qualify for Europe, where they did exceptionally well.

            I also think it’s just crazy to say the US had to somehow rely on someone else’s missed penalty to qualify for the WC, when the facts show they qualified very comfortably.

            As for calling it soccer/football. I agree – some people just like calling it football (I’m one of them). Feel free to call it whatever you want. Just don’t try and persuade anyone else that they are “wrong” to call it soccer (like Africarules did). That’s the oldest and stupidest internet-argument out there.

            Sorry if this is too much like another “essay” for you.

  14. Africarules78 says:

    i meant to say pasonate.

  15. Adam says:

    ELAC had it right. Bob Bradley is a seriously good coach. Just look at this year’s World Cup.
    1. What other managers at this year’s World Cup totally shifted the momentum of a game by making substitutions or adjusting tactics as many times as Bob Bradley did?
    2. Although he didn’t come out and say it, he admitted his Onyewu mistake by subbing him out late in the Slovenia game when the US needed offense and not bringing him back in any subsequent games.
    3. He was widely criticized for sticking to the 4-4-2 formation, but that formation never put the US at a disadvantage.
    4. No one can say that the USA has great defenders and strikers, yet the US was able to control the midfield and managed to out-possess all of their opponents except for England, who out-possessed the US by a slim margin of 52% to 48%.

    However, my only disagreement with ELAC is in regards to Bruce Arena, who is a very good coach. He’s won championships at every level he has coached — college, MLS, and international. In the last year-and-a-half he took over a franchise in shambles, reorganized the entire roster, and has them on pace for the best regular season record in MLS history. That doesn’t happen by accident. Also, if they hang on to Donovan, I’ll really be looking forward to see how they do in the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League.

    Suffice to say, I think that Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena are both very good coaches.

    • Dave C says:

      Adam,
      (1) Bob Bradley should be commended for making game-changing decisions, but it should also be recognized that a lot (perhaps all) of these decisions were because he had to dig himself out of a hole caused by his own earlier mistakes. E.g. starting off with a 4-4-2 against Algeria, Slovenia, and Ghana, all of which were bad decisions, and correctly rectified by switching to a 4-3-3/4-5-1 once the error became obvious to him. Likewise starting with Clarke (allegedly because he thought Edu “needed a rest” in the most important game of his career???), and then being forced to switch.

      While it’s good that Bradley recognized his errors and corrected them boldly, it’s bad that the same errors were repeatedly made.

      (2) I agree he deserves respect for this.

      (3) I disagree completely. The 4-4-2 allowed the US to compete with England (largely because England also played a similar system). But against EVERY other opponenent, the US was completely outclassed while playing 4-4-2, and forced to make a change to 4-3-3/4-5-1, at which point they became instantly more competetive. Look at the Ghana game for the clearest example of this.

      Furthermore, regardless of the opponents, I just don’t think 4-4-2 suits the USA’s available talent pool. The US doesn’t have 2 good strikers. It has decent attacking mids/wide mids (Donovan, Dempsey and Holden). Personally I think something along the lines of a 4-2-3-1 is a natural fit for this situation. It would also allow two fairly defensive mids to play (Bradley and Edu) without making things too negative.

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