Aston Villa’s Alex McLeish Says No To Contract for Michael Bradley, Says Report

michael bradley1 Aston Villas Alex McLeish Says No To Contract for Michael Bradley, Says Report

Photo by seriouslysilly

One of Alex McLeish’s first decisions as new manager of Aston Villa has been to pass on US international Michael Bradley, according to a report by Soccer By Ives.

The American blog reports that Bradley’s agent has confirmed that the US midfielder will not be returning to Aston Villa next season. The story says that the club, when they were under manager Gerard Houllier, were very interested in acquiring Bradley’s rights, but McLeish decided not to and wants to go in a different direction.

The son of US men’s national team coach Bob Bradley joined Aston Villa on loan in the January 2011 transfer window. Unfortunately the 23-year-old American was given very few opportunities to shine for Aston Villa. For one of the most talented players on the US men’s national team, it’s a travesty he wasn’t given more of a chance at Villa Park. Hopefully he’ll bounce back at another club in Europe where he can get the playing time to show the continent how gifted he is.

Bradley has one year remaining on his Borussia Monchengladbach contract.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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20 Responses to Aston Villa’s Alex McLeish Says No To Contract for Michael Bradley, Says Report

  1. Nik Arur says:

    As a fan of the USMNT I’m a little disappointed. I’d like to see more American players in the Premier League. Bradley’s young and he’s talented, hopefully he’ll find his way back to England soon.

  2. Buckeye Villan says:

    Got limited playing time at Birmingham B6 due to circumstances beyond his control, but sadly for Michael, when called upon, he struggled to impose himself, loooked lost, and somewhat out of his depth. Clearly a better footballer than what he suggested while at Villa Park, but he faced stiff competition for a starting role at the club, and the situation would be no different throughout the 2011-12 season, particularly with the expected emergence of talented youngsters Fabian Delph and Gary Gardner.

  3. Simon Burke says:

    Perhaps he didn’t adapt well. Travesty is a bit strong. If he was good enough he’d have started surely.

  4. Kevin says:

    Make’s complete sense Bradley would be a player to move forward, McLeish is all about defense good luck Villa and get ready for really boring games.

  5. reidscott says:

    I’d take him at Viola any day…

  6. stuart prendergast says:

    The use of the word travesty is completely unjustified and shows complete ignorance towards the premier and a bias towards your own agenda. He was quite frankly not good enough when he was playing. I have seen him play in Germany and he looked like a decent player but not in England. Other Americans have prevailed because of their level of skill, obviously demonstrated by the ever green Freidel. If your good enough you will play if your not you won’t.

    • Fernando says:

      To just counter let’s also point out that this decision is coming from a man who somehow managed to get his team relegated after winning a trophy.

      Villa, heady days ahead!!!

  7. EDub says:

    Unfortunately, this is far from surprising. As has been mentioned, McLeish is defensive/boring football defined. But maybe a blessing in disguise … hopefully Bradley can find a more offensive minded team.

    I always thought he was a c**t … this just confirms.

  8. M5Villa says:

    Best of luck at his next club but I really didn’t think he looked the part during his limited opportunities with Villa. Also, it must be asked, if he’s that good in Germany why are Borussia looking to offload him?

    • JW says:

      My understanding was not that Borussia was looking to unload, but Bradley pushed to catch on with a team in England, it’s where he wants to end up.

      The funniest/saddest part of the article above is the photo: look at LandyCakes gesturing for a card. Punk move.

  9. R2Dad says:

    Sorry, MB is just an adequate defensive midfielder. Yes he can run box-to-box but doesn’t have the dribble or passing skills to rate in the Premier league. I suspect that as soon as Bob Bradley is turned out, his son will no longer be getting the opportunities in that attacking mid position. He doesn’t have a creative bone in his body, and would play behind Jermaine Jones in the pecking order of d-mids.

    • Fernando says:

      No creative bone in his body?

      How many strikers would have attempted his toe poke finish against Slovenia at the last World Cup? He can play in England, he never got a fair shake at Villa. If he can play in Germany he can play for anyone.

      • R2Dad says:

        I’ve watched MB cough up the ball so many times it makes my head spin. Yes, he does find a way to finish around the 18 yard box, but in the run of play he is a total liability. Can’t beat a defender to save his life. His high work rate can’t make up for all the errant passes. Typical product of the US system. Fortunately, there are more promising prospects in the US pipeline, but we’ll have to wait until after Brazil 2014 for them.

        • Fernando says:

          If Jermaine Jenas and David Beatty can continue to be called Premier League footballers then MIchael Bradley is more then capable of being one as well.

          He’s 23 with plenty of time to improve. He’s got fight in him.

  10. JT says:

    He is a decent role player. Unfortunately he isn’t technically good enough to hold his own against most of the midfielders in the EPL. I can see a club in the EPL signing him as a substitute. Not a starter in my opinion.

  11. biff says:

    Goal.com for one reason or another did not want to post this comment, which includes information not included in English language news articles about Michael Bradley and Ashton Villa: Germany’s Bild Zeitung (newspaper) reported that Ashton Villa and Gladbach agreed a couple of weeks ago that MB’s contract would be bought for 3.5 million euros and that the contract had been prepared and signed by Gladbach and sent to Villa for their signature. But Villa wanted to wait until a new manager was hired. The Bild story says Alex McLeish telephoned MB recently “at the Gold Cup” and told him he had decided against the signing. The story also says that Gladbach general manager Max Eberl has tried to reach MB by phone to discuss post Gold Cup plans, but had not yet reached him. But also happy news in the Bild story, it says MB after the Gold Cup is marrying his girlfriend, Amanda.

  12. cj says:

    Well, Bradley did play for Borussia M’Gladbach, who mostly struggle against relegation these days. He might just have found the step up to a mid- size PL team too much too soon, especially considering that while he played steady he hardly set the world alight at Gladbach. (Marco Reus is the player that currently pretty much carries the team)

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