Tag Archives: Watford

New Post: The Premier League finally has an American manager, Bob Bradley

In a move that had been expected by many, Swansea City fired coach Francesco Guidolin Monday after the club’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool at the weekend.

The replacement came as a shock to many as well, with American and former U.S. Men’s National Team coach Bob Bradley appointed to the position.

Bradley is the first American to be hired as a manager in the Premier League, considered by many to be the best league in the world.

Hiring Bradley came as a surprise to many of the team’s fans on Twitter, who doubted his experience and his previous coaching stops.

In a nutshell, that has been part of the problem for American coaches. Like soccer itself in the U.S., coaches from here do not get much respect. This is largely down to some still thinking American soccer feels like the wild west.

It is fitting justice, however, that Bradley was appointed to the job.No other American coach in recent memory deserves the title of being the first more.

To overcome the stereotype American coaches face is going to take a lot of stepping outside your comfort zone, something Bradley has been doing for years. I have always admired his fearlessness.

After taking over the U.S. from Bruce Arena in 2006 on an interim basis, Bradley acted like anything but an interim manager. He ran the team his way and gave plenty of new players their introduction, something Arena was not known for.

Upon being fired from the U.S. gig in 2011, Bradley could have shrank back into a cushy MLS job, like Arena eventually did with the New York Red Bulls. Bradley looked at the national team level again, though, signing on with Egypt and making them far more competitive.

To prove himself in Europe, Bradley went into the club coaching wilderness for the last two years, first with Stabaek in Norway and then Le Havre in the second tier of France. Bradley  almost guided the latter to French Ligue 1.

More than any American coach, Bradley has shown a tendency to step outside of what is known. He faced a tough task with Swansea, which currently sits one place above relegation with just one Premier League win, which came on the first day of the season against promoted side Burnley.

There are a few good players, such as Gylfi Sigurdsson and Leroy Fer, but the team’s spiritual leader Ashley Williams left in the summer, causing a big hole that was not immediately able to be filled.

Bradley has two weeks now to put his stamp on the club before a tough trio of games — Arsenal away, at home to Watford and Stoke away.

Many might not believe in him right away and things might be ugly, but Bob Bradley does have the experience and the confidence to lead a club in the Premier League.

 

 

 

New Post: Three things we learned about the EPL, Week 4. Hint, I mention an American.

By, Kyle Gibson

We’re heading into our first dark, dark international break of the season. Catch up with your family this coming weekend. 

1. It’s Now Manchester City’s Title to lose.

Chelsea lost again, this time to Crystal Palace. And while City only beat promoted Watford (which they did handily), it’s all about their latest signing. 

City added the Bundesliga Player of the Year Sunday, signing Wolfsburg’s Kevin DeBruyne for an astronomical fee (in excess of $50 million). 

DeBruyne brings pace. He brings creativity. He brings goals from the midfield. He elevates people’s games. City should start getting its title dance choreographed. 

2. Home field advantage doesn’t mean much anymore.

Only three teams (City, Southampton, Swansea) won at home this weekend. That trend actually has been the rule, not the exception. So far, only nine teams have won at home out of a possible 40 tries. It’s not just a thing this year either, as Five Thirty Eight notes. 

A good theory I’ve heard about this is that teams at home are expected to attack and push after goals. This leaves them highly susceptible to counters, which is becoming the norm in the EPL. 

3. Tim Howard ain’t dead yet. 

The Everton and United States goalkeeper made six total saves (and some great ones at that) to keep a hungry Tottenham at bay Sunday. This comes right as he’s stepping back into the U.S. National Team fold after a year off. It seems like reports of Howard’s death were greatly exaggerated.