Bradley & Swansea Board Are Not Premier League Quality
I love America, I love working and holidaying there and who knows, down the line it may be somewhere I’d like to retire to.
So I can assure you, after all of the hyperbole about Bob Bradley, his use of Road Trip and PK to describe away days and penalties, I’m someone who finds it both odd and disrespectful when some fans use his nationality as a blanket “they don’t know anything about football, real football, not one which you throw and catch in the end zone” slight on the man or where he comes from.
I also believe that the US Men’s National Team will more than likely win a World Cup before England does again, so if I’m right the proof of the Christmas pudding will be in the eating as they say rather than lazy national stereotypes, which, if he were black, gay or a woman would be front and back page news.
I’ve seen a lot of people suggest a manager coming into the Premier League should have at least one transfer window to have his own players in, force his own methods on the team and freshen things up, and that theory does indeed have some merit, but Bob Bradley, since coming into the Premier League has seen his side ship 28 goals in double quick time, and although there’s an argument that he should be given time and one or two players, I’m afraid anyone shipping that amount of goals in the honeymoon period of his tenure at a club should be seriously worried about how his message is going down in the dressing room and whether he just isn’t cut out for this level right now.
Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis usually inherit sub standard defences, squads and fragile dressing room eco-systems too, but the first thing they do is make their sides difficult to beat, regardless of who’s in the playing staff, they work on what they have, make them tough to beat and then after grinding out a win or two, confidence starts to flow, and the other players who’ve gone missing for much of the previous manager’s time at the club come out of their shells and start to blossom. No moaning, no whining, just back to basics management, every hand to the pump and simple hard work from everyone involved.
Do I see that at Swansea? No. Why? Well as I suggested, whatever the early message from Bradley was, and I’m sure it involved the same basics of defending, fighting for each other and working through a tough time (which is the mantra of every new manager, however good they are), seems to be missing, and this ironically isn’t a guy from Argentina, Spain, or Europe who may not speak English.
Bob does, loud and clear, so he and Swansea City’s new board should be mightily worried.
If we are being honest it started to go wrong when the trusted recipe of good investment and recruitment in players, good management recruitment of young, technically able coaches with youth and hunger on their side gave way to the foreign “investment “ (where is it by the way Swansea board??), promises of advancement and grander thinking that in my humble opinion kills many a good, honest club and kids the fans that it will be the next Manchester City.
A sexy name in Laudrup, players coming in and more than likely demolishing the wage hierarchy that served the Swans well the previous years before, and perhaps a premature delusion that the club had “arrived” as a Premier League force, forgetting that not so many years before they were in the bottom tier of English football can all spook and derail a club very quickly and have them on a slippery slope to oblivion, and whereas a Villa, Newcastle, even Wolves, Norwich, Derby and Forest can rely on a very nice CV to get them sold and moving forward, Swansea, like a Hull or Cardiff are relative new boys in this brave new Premier League world, with a fan base built mostly on top tier success rather than historical success, so where a Leeds can rely on 30 odd thousand or more in whatever league they are in, Swansea could be getting less than double figures if this slide turns into something more than a poor season and they were to experience what Charlton, Norwich or Southampton did and have a double dip relegation.
I hope they don’t struggle, I love the fact that Premier League football is vibrant in Wales, and after the Euros, one or two successful club teams in the two biggest cities is a must to continue the growth and keep rugby at bay, but it just goes to show that one or two deviations from the recipe can have very dire consequences.
Do I think Bradley is Prem quality? No.
But do I think the people who have invested in the club recently are either? No, and that worries me more.