American Randy Lerner appears set to give fellow countryman Bob Bradley a shot as Aston Villa’s new manager. Several of the online bookmakers have now stopped taking wagers on Bradley’s appointment, this fact along with David Moyes announcement that he has removed himself from consideration, (code for I am not getting that job so why try for it) have served to fuel the speculation.
This morning "news" of Bradley resignation as US Men’s National Team manager stoked a firestorm of blogs and tabloid reports of the imminent appointment. The United States Soccer Federation or USSF has denied the reports verbally, but not issued a written statement as of 1500 hrs EST.
If Bradley goes or is already gone the USSF will need to rethink their position of having the Chief Executive Dan Flynn being the highest paid employee if they want Jurgen Klinsman, or any real manager to take US Soccer to the next level. Bradley according to tax documents made $100,000 less as Men’s National Team Coach than near invisible and the completely useless Flynn.
Sunil Gulati the face of US Soccer actually works for exactly what he is worth nothing! At least we can’t say he is over paid, but the one figure that has been present for all of the USA’s recent failings is Gulati. It was Gulati who prevented Klinsman’s hiring by refusing to pay a top class managers wage, and it will be Gulati who leaves Bradley with no choice but to leave.
Of course if Klinsman had been hired rather than Bradley the Ghana match goes differently as the entire squad is based not on politics but merit and form something Bradley or his predecessor Arena where not known for, as each would consistently run out his pet projects and personal favorites.
While Arena deserves credit for getting the USA out of the group stages and to a Quarter Final what exactly did Bradley do with that momentum? For too long now American reporters have cut the USA slack over their managerial selections, and the USMNT Managers have been allowed to operate in a world of low expectations, why?
The USA is out of excuses, Team USA went to South Africa as the Nation with the Largest Population in the World Cup and a side full of professionals, most of whom are European based. This was not the USA Team of Bora Milutinovic who featured a couple of older former European based professional players who were newly minted Americans, and a bunch of college guys who needed a good showing in the World Cup to catch on somewhere in the third division.
So Bob if you have not taken the Astron Villa job you should, but get ready. For along with that huge paycheck comes some responsibility for winning on a consistent basis. Unlike back in the States the papers will not be kind when you lose and maybe not even when you win. The writers in England have football knowledge and understand the effects of formations and tactical choices made by a manager unlike in America where they are all clueless.
Can he win, yes he can, he is a great fitness coach, and he studies the opponents well it’s just his decisions and tactical approach that I question, but given that Villa have decent tactical players who need a hard edge Bradley is a good fit, provided he retains and listens to his assistants. He will be cheaper than the other options and also gives Lerner some political cover if it doesn’t work out. “He did lead USA to the top of the group, edging out Capello that fact makes Bradley a valid choice in England period."
For the USA I see great things on the horizon, there are loads of under 20’s and under 17’s with great talent. It’s time for a real international manger with playing experience for me it’s Klinsman. He’s the clear choice but to get him you’re going to have to pay him more then you pay your paper pushers and if not Jurgen then who, some other College – MLS coach with no European or South American playing experience, no its time the USA had a manager who has actually played the game at the international level.