Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Bob Bradley

It looked like a good fit. Bradley spoke the language and had experience of various other leagues, in addition to his success with the US national team, who won their group in the 2010 World Cup. However, it soon became clear that he had not succeeded in motivating a Swansea City side, shell-shocked from losing two managers in the space of a year. The attitude which has pervaded the team was summed up for me by the way that West Ham scored their last goal on Monday, Nathan Dyer playing two Irons' forwards, including the deadly Andy Carroll, onside, as he ambled back towards the half-way line.

Some of the seeds of the current decline can be laid at the door of previous managers (including the then-inexperienced Garry Monk) in making some poor decisions in buying central defenders. Thus, when Ashley Williams left, there was no-one ready to fill the breach and marshal the defence. However, Ronald Koeman at various clubs and Jaap Stam at Reading (currently in the Championship promotion race) have shown that a good manager with defensive experience at the top level can work wonders with players who are not out of the top drawer. In Stam's case, progress has been achieved playing the way that Swans used to do under Brendan Rodgers.

Swans are not yet completely adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table. There are good players throughout the team. Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is ever-professional, and Llorente, who is making a point to his national team manager, can be relied on to score goals. If the aimlessness particularly at the centre of defence can be cured, there is every chance that Swansea City can retain its place in the top division.

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