Aston Villa - Manager Potential - Bob Bradley
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Manager Potential - Bob Bradley

Our very own Nimmo digs into Bob Bradley's background and career given the media excitement about his possible employment at B6.

Bob Bradley

So, what do we know about the man who is emerging as the press frontrunner to take over from Martin O`Neill?

Bob Bradley is the 52 yr old coach of the US National team that gave a good account of themselves in the 2010 World Cup. They finished ahead of England in the group after battling to the final seconds of their final group match to snatch a dramatic winner against Algeria, something England failed to do. He had his team well organised and working very hard for each other....there are even suspicions that he performed some kind of Jedi mindtrick against Robert Green to help the USA avoid defeat in their opening game.

We`ve seen the evidence of his emphasis on team work and his eye for detail in the way he analyses and identifies areas for improvement, but most of us know little about his career leading up to the World Cup.

He has a son, Michael, who impressed during the world cup and currently plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach after a 2 year spell at Heerenveen, so perhaps his knowledge of European football is not the drawback that many people are assuming. The fact that he described himself in his playing days as "[a] very, very poor-man's version of Gerd Mueller" backs this up.


Bob was born on 3rd March 1958 in Montclair, New Jersey. He comes from a sporting family with his brother Scott a professional baseball catcher for the NY Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, The Seattle Mariners and the Cincinnati Reds and his other brother Jeff a senior writer for ESPN.

He played football whilst attending Princeton University (1976-1980) and finished as top goalscorer during his senior year before moving to the Ohio University (1981-1983) where he took over as head coach at the tender age of 22 while finishing his M.A. in Sports Administration.

Bob was then hired by Bruce Arena as assistant coach at the University of Virginia some 27 years ago, before getting his first proper head coach job with a return to Princeton in 1984. He spent 11 successful years coaching the Tigers achieving two Ivy League titles (1988, 1993) and Princeton's only NCAA Final Four berth to date in 1993.

Major League Soccer Career

Bob`s Major League career started when he was hired a second time as Bruce Arena`s assistant at DC United in 1996. It proved to be a very successful partnership delivering back to back titles 1996 and 1997 and a US Open Cup in 1996.

After assisting Arena at DC and for the Olympic Team in the Atlanta games Bob Bradley took his first Major League Head Coach job at expansion team the Chicago Fire and was a huge success. He was named MLS coach of the year in 1998 for becoming the first man to coach an expansion team to a title, winning the MLS Cup and the US Open Cup double. He won another US Open Cup in 2000 before resigning in 2002 to take over his home team, the perennial underachieving MetroStars.

He had some joy in New York, getting the MetroStars to the final of the US Open Cup final for the first time in the club's history in 2003. He was eventually sacked in 2005.

He then joined second-year expansion side Chivas USA in 2006, and took them to the play-offs, reversing the worst record in the league that they had in 2005 - an achievement that saw him named MLS Coach of the Year an unprecedented second time making Bob the only coach in MLS history to receive this honour twice and the only coach to rack up over 100 wins. He has a MLS record of 124-94-54.

So, what do we think? After writing that I`m not too upset by the idea of him taking the reins at Villa Park.

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The Journalist

Writer: Nimmo Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 10 2010

Time: 3:43PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
he gets the players to play, which is simliar to Mon and also he plays positive football :)
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10/08/2010 15:58:00

With no disrespect to Mr Bradley I have to agree with Glensider. He has not got the European let alone Premiership experience. I would doubt if he has much idea of the British and European market for players. Ashley and a few others would be off straight away. He MAY turn into an outstanding manager, but AVFC cannot take that chance. I would rather run with McDonald and Cowans until the RIGHT man becomes available.
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10/08/2010 16:10:00

Good God Glensider, you really do hate all Americans. From what I have read of yours over the past 24 hours, Randy Lerner hasn't got a ******** clue and apparently Bob Bradley, is a nightmare. If it had not been for the referee calling off Maurice Edu's legitimate goal for no apparent reason, we would have been considered the domninant team in that group. Not bad for a team that the entire world thinks is full of stupid Americans that don't know a god damn thing about the game. So instead of completely writing him off, why don't you give the guy a god damn chance. That being said, and as a huge USA fan, I don't believe that he starts the correct squad, but always manages to make the propper changes to impact the game. He always has a plan b, even though I will admit he gets himself into trouble with his squad choice. Oh and he knows how to rotate the squad.
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10/08/2010 16:22:00

'The Yank' - I'm sure he's a decent coach as you say. But he has never managed a club in the European sense - dealing with transfers, big name players/ego's etc. It would be a MASSIVE risk to put him in charge of a club of this size, and there's absolutely no way on earth that it can be construed as a risk worth taking given his good but far from spectacular record. All in all - HELL NO!
Report Abuse
10/08/2010 16:38:00

Hiddink, moyes or pellegrini. If we don't get names like these, we'll start to lose our best players like ash and gabby. If this happens, i shan't be going to vp for a while.
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10/08/2010 16:42:00

It'd be interesting to see how his run would pan out but once the honeymoon period is over, and for him it would end quick if it even starts in the first place, it will crash and so will we. His aspirations of managing in Europe shouldn't start at the expense of our success or at a big club such as us, try the lower leagues first Mr Bradley. The rumour sounds stupid as hell but it feels like there is some truth to it, just for the fact of the common ground of nationality between Lerner and Bradley. and to TheYank, there is no room for giving the guy a god damn chance, this is our season, another try at succeeding, not Bradley proving himself as an American manager. I'd take Sven over this guy any day but I still think we deserve better.
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10/08/2010 16:44:00

It's a different game played in the States though! Its pony!
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10/08/2010 16:45:00

however - there's one or two yanks id sign tomorrow!
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10/08/2010 16:45:00

To balance things out The Yank, I'm married to an American gal, my eldest daughter is American. No sir, not biased, just telling it how I believe it to be. Not attacking you or your fellow countrymen, just making my views known about Bob Bradley. Not wanted here I'm afraid.
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10/08/2010 17:02:00

no no no, only american manager i would want is a south american manager not north americanm unless villa decides to be an ice hockey club, who knows maybe thats the right directions for us:)
the jackel
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10/08/2010 17:06:00

Bradley. No No No. Robert Green throws the ball in the net against the USA, they score a last minute winner against Algeria and all of a sudden he is good enough to take on the Villa job. England failed at the World Cup because of problems with ourselves, not because Bradley was any good. Some of the comments are ridiculous on here such as 'he might be able to get Donovan'. What goes through peoples mind when they write such drivel. Is this Donovan who scored 2 goals in 13 games. When Mclaren took on a job in Holland did he suddenly sign the best English players? No!. Why would a manager of a national team suddenly be able to raid the clubs of that particular countrys teams? It is irrelevant that Donovan is average. Personally I would go for Mark Hughes. He has only signed a 2 year contract at Fulham. This is the same time that both Barry and Milner had on their contracts when they were tapped up by Redscouse and Citeh. However if Bradley comes I will be the most vocal anti Lerner person going. All of his brilliant work will be undone in one move. I am not overly concerned that MON has gone. I am concerned that the right man is given the job. And a man with no knowledge of the Premier League, no experience of the most unforgiving schedule in World football, no network of contacts in the player market, no proven ability at this level and no experience of managing and earning the respect of some of the most egotistical, over paid, prima donnas (that is Premier League Players in general, not just Villa) in the game. There is not one single reason that he should ever be considered for this job. And theyank, do not be so touchy. Glensider is not 'anti yank' as you try and fail miserably to imply. He is anti any man with no experience of the job that he would need to do at Villa Park. Any man who gets sacked for inability in the American Soccer league has more chance of knitting fog than making a success of the Villa job. Bradley may well be competent in a league that is equal to to the second or third tier of English Football, but if that is the case we may as well go for Holloway, O'Driscoll or Lambert all of whom have punched above their weight. I love what Lerner has done at the Villa. He has been superb in every aspect from funding, to fan initiatives, to building infrastructure, but this is his first test. If Bradley gets anywhere near the Villa job I will do my utmost to rally against it. How? I haven't give it that thought yet, but I will. MON going is not really an issue. Appointing the right man is the real issue and however you look at it, or dress it up, Bradley is not even remotely qualified to be the man to which Villa fans can pin their hopes and dreams.
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10/08/2010 17:13:00

Aussievilla - you could argue all day about what you feel we as villans 'deserve', but how much we deserve a good manager isn't going to pay anybody's bills. ruggaboy - don't pull a muscle handing those tickets back too quickly when the new coach isn't up to your scratch. Try spending a year with the A-League as your highest level of football and maybe you'll appreciate the blessing that being able to watch our boys play would be (a dream of mine). Pellegrini (who speaks some english, not a scolari-esque farce) i personally do not see making the decision to jet off from los Galacticos to the better side of birmingham, great as it is over this side. Moyes and Hiddink? employed, which i think is the end of that discussion. Personally i believe that in the rotten situation we've been left in, picking up somebody with PL experience (dare i say Sven) would be a cherry on top.
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10/08/2010 17:28:00

Jol, Hiddink and Moyes are all employed and unlikely. For me, bearing that in mind, my top 2 choices would be....1 - Slaven Bilic, 2 - Bob Bradley. Bilic would be better than Bradley
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10/08/2010 17:38:00

Sven-Goran Eriksson aka 'Ian Duncan Smith' spent six years indulging Michael Owen and David Beckham (among his other 'favourites'). That's when he wasn't pursuing other 'commitments'. Can't believe the collective amnesia on here.
Report Abuse
10/08/2010 17:47:00

voth, I live in the states. I made the trip to Villa Park twice last year, once for the game against Wigan at the start of the season and once for the game against Blackburn to end the season. I will admit that you spend more money than I, and you also spend more time at Villa Park than I, and you spend more time on this forum than I, and you spend more time talking about the Villa than I. But I have thought MON was the incorrect man for the job (justifiably as he walked out 4 days before a new season begins leaving us in a world of hurt) and never tried to start a revolution against the club. I have been hurting every time we signed a Heskey and Sidwell, and never once challenged MON. So I don't quite understand how you spending more money, talking more than I, going to more of the games and whatever else you do more than I, qualifies you as more of a fan than I. Why am I challenging your support? Because you are talking about stopping supporting the club. I never have done that, and that is why I have said what I said
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10/08/2010 18:53:00

ndruss - 'there's nothing wrong with Bradley' - that is possibly true, but that's not a good reason to get one of the best (the best) managerial posts in the world. Surely when we ignore nationalistic sentiments and connections and we look at his CV in the cold light of day we would see that he's got potential. The problem is we need someone with relevant experience at a relevant level with relevant contacts and relevant influence. I just don't think we can take someone from a (with respect) minor footballing nation and put them in a top european club. If it happens and he does well, fair play to him, but right now I can't see it, it would be a massive gamble.
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10/08/2010 19:14:00

Yeah, they were a rough couple of games. But I'd rather be there for a loss than not make it over at all
Report Abuse
10/08/2010 19:21:00

hey 26, do you know how many times a coach/manager is hired with little to no experience and it turns the person does wonders? Even people with ***** poor numbers may be a perfect fit. Would you prefer someone with league experience and ***** poor numbers or someone like Bradley who would bust their tail to get the job done? Again it's football and not some foreign new age sport.
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10/08/2010 19:39:00

ndrus - can't say I do, but it is convention that proven relevant (successful) experience gets your foot in the door. As I said before, although I can't see it happening, if does happen, fair play and good luck to him. It's my opinion that it would be a massive gamble which, if it backfired would dent the credibility of one or two senior indiviudals at AVFC.
Report Abuse
10/08/2010 20:03:00

mon oneil will be a very hard act to follow, because we no longer as it seems have the cash to flash.
the jackel
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10/08/2010 22:21:00

Success in the MLS is a long long way from success in the Premier League At best it would be an experiment A t worst a disaster that could set us back years
stella baltimore
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11/08/2010 00:59:00

Should also be pointed out that he won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the States, as well as getting them to the Confederations Cup Final. You can't say the guy doesn't know how to win trophies, he obviously does. Having spent 6 years stateside I can confirm that the guy knows how to coach as well, the coaching courses the NSCAA and USSF run are better than that of the English FA. One of the big factors in being a coach at an American University is the ability to negotiate and bring in the best high school players available. So it seems the only thing is whether or not he can handle the 'big names'...admittedly a cause for concern, but better than bringing in 6m a year Sven! Hughes has been mentioned but he hasn't had a Prem League finish above 8th I believe. Jol is gonna be hard to prise away (though if available he'd be my choice) and having lived in Southern California, I can't see Jurgen giving that up for Birmingham. Remember, a few years ago a team as big as Benfica hired a translator to be head coach. He now manages Real Madrid. Show some faith.
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11/08/2010 03:33:00

Francobaresi13...he was also Bobby Robson's understudy at Barca and if you can't learn from him...well enough said
Report Abuse
11/08/2010 07:07:00

Gappy65 is right I hope Albanista and the rest of the MON haters are happy now, I look forward to this bright new era they promised without MON, personally I cant see it, the level of Managers available isn't very high (they're available because they're not any good) I feel its going to be a long hard season.
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11/08/2010 09:11:00

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11/08/2010 09:26:00

That's very true Steve64k, Porto and Lisbon also. Another one to look at is Wenger, he was managing in Japan. I'm trying to look at the positives after years of moaning from the people who surrounded me in the Holte during my season ticket years. Bradley's past has seen him win trophies and record wins over the likes of Spain, Mexico and Switzerland. Surely the last thing we need is fans on his back from the get go if he gets the job, as the press certainly will.
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11/08/2010 13:29:00

on second thoughts there is the chance it could all horribly Jozef Venglos
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11/08/2010 15:49:00

cheers for that by the way Nimmo!
The Fear
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11/08/2010 19:37:00


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