Bradley ready to prove himself in the big league

Bob Bradley as he looks on during the French L2 football match between Le Havre (Havre AC) and Bourg-en-Bresse, at the Oceane stadium, in Le Havre, France.
Bob Bradley as he looks on during the French L2 football match between Le Havre (Havre AC) and Bourg-en-Bresse, at the Oceane stadium, in Le Havre, France. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES • If self-belief was any guarantee of footballing success, Swansea City may have picked a winner in appointing Bob Bradley as their new manager.

The 58-year-old became the first American to be appointed manager of a team in one of Europe's top five leagues on Monday, when he was named to take over from the sacked Francesco Guidolin at the English Premier League side.

For Bradley, the appointment is the opportunity he has long craved, to prove he is capable of mixing it at the highest level after a career which has included spells as the coach of the United States and Egypt as well as stints in Major League Soccer, Norway and France.

In an interview with Sirius XM radio earlier this year, he suggested that he is in the same sort of bracket as some of the leading coaches in world football.

"When I have a chance to observe different managers, the ones that do good work, I mention (Mauricio) Pochettino, (Jurgen) Klopp, (Thomas) Tuchel," Bradley said.

"We haven't even talked about the (Pep) Guardiolas and the (Carlo) Ancelottis. But I'll tell you what, maybe I'm stupid, but I think I'm a manager in and around that level.

"I'm not saying I'm better than these guys - I haven't had those types of opportunities - but I think people that have played for me have always felt that the experience in the team was different, that training was challenging, that there were a lot of things done to help them become better players."

Bradley's appointment, though, has so far failed to capture the imagination of Swansea supporters.

Announcement of his appointment on the club's Twitter feed drew howls of anguish from fans, many of whom expressed anger at the dismissal of Guidolin by the club's new American owners after nine months.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2016, with the headline 'Bradley ready to prove himself in the big league'. Print Edition | Subscribe