Bob Bradley speaks, finally, on his current coaching predicament and specifically on the vacant Aston Villa job:
“I’d be honoured to have a conversation with Randy Lerner,” Bradley stated on BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek.
“I’ve had no contact with him. There have been talks with my representatives to find out the situation.”
“Villa is a massive club, with a great history and a great following. Those opportunities would of course be of interest. It’s pretty clear that Randy Lerner has done a solid job where tradition is kept.”
The TSG Skinny:
Bradley’s comments and their timing merely show that USSF and Bradley are no closer to a deal today than they were after the Ghana game. They also, in our opinion, confirm that Martin Rogers’ report on an extension below is, in fact, bunk.
You can hear the entire interview here.
The flutter of rumors over Bob Bradley’s new Premiership top table destination have finally subsided.
Then, a report on Yahoo Sports went the other way and suggested that Bob Bradley is now being courted for and offered four more years by US Soccer.
TSG followed up with USSF spokesman Neil Buethe–as we know the coaching decision, outside of finding a top-rate striker, is probably the biggest issue on the mind of US fans.
As a note, that I have no problem mentioning here, Neil Buethe is a stand-up guy at USSF and tries always to provide clarity on all reports no matter how close or far away they oscillate from the truth.
We’ll use Neil’s comments as a backdrop to provide some review and depth on what seems like a somewhat stagnant USMNT managerial situation. To Neil…
On last week’s Aston Villa rumor shenanigans….
Neil Buethe: : The rumor that Bob had resigned, or was going to resign, and that he gave a farewell speech after the game started from a fan blog which has a history of erroneous reports.
It was 100 percent not true.
Unfortunately, that report got picked up by a number of larger outlets who didn’t really consider the source of the information or take the time to call us to inquire if the report was accurate.
The false report took on a life of its own for a few days, but eventually we were able to make it crystal clear that nothing had been decided about Bob’s future with the national team.
On a forthcoming meeting between USSF and Bob Bradley…
NB: The plan is for Sunil and Dan to speak with Bob most likely this week or next. They will be figuring out the exact timing very soon. I’m not sure if a location is decided. We wouldn’t offer that information (location) anyway.
On Martin Rogers’ story…
NB: The U.S. is having discussions with Bob, but I can’t speak to anything beyond that. That is what I told Martin last (Monday) night.
On whether Sunil Gulati has had discussions with other coaches…
NB: I have no comment on that. I am not privy to that information.
Matthew, TSG: Is there a specific timeframe or stop date that USSF has in regards to signing a coach with the Gold Cup–presumably–as the next big tournament?
NB: No. There’s no specific timeframe.
So not much from USSF and understandably so.
For now, here’s how we see the situation:
• Together we stand, divided…make negotiations for both of hard…
Does USSF want a new coach? I have an inkling this is the case. Does Bob Bradley want a new gig? I have an inkling that that is the case, too.
That said, a common axiom for job seekers that applies to both parties here is, “It’s always easier to find a job when you already have one.”
If USSF wants a new coach, it’s a lot easier to negotiate with a potential candidate if there isn’t–at least perceived–an immediate need.
Further–and to use another business axiom–rule of thumb on integrating a new employee into a workforce is 3 months. It makes virtually zero sense–ZERO SENSE–for the U.S. to dismiss Bradley–if that were the choice–without the long term successor ready to go and Bradley still under contract.
What’s the sense in taking those three months to integrate a coach that is not going to be the choice anyway? Zero sense. Why spend the extra money?
Likewise, if Bob Bradley is entertaining offers from other clubs, he’s got the USMNT job in his pocket as a chip in those discussions.
• Free Readers! Get your…Free Readers
Quick, how many people in the United States? 300M.
How many people in the United Kingdon? About 50M.
Hyping things “American” in English papers drives traffic to Web sites and readers to papers. It’s that simple.
Here’s the thing, you can be sure that Bob Bradley–who we’ve all heard say he wants to coach in England–was not in serious contention for either the Aston Villa or Fulham job.
Too much risk for either of those clubs, period. Having an American coach–who is not proven at the level–doesn’t sell tickets. It risks ticket sales. Not a good economy to be doing that.
There are many candidates available, why take a shot on the risky one?
Mind you, not saying that Bob Bradley isn’t qualified, merely that there is too much risk in hiring an unproven coach in the EPL…who doesn’t have previous ties to the Queen puts a team at risk in the current economic climate.
• Judgement again by Asamoah Gyan
If you’re Bob Bradley, one of the reasons we’re suggesting he probably does want to move on–if and only if the correct situation presents itself–is because his success likely comes down to how the US does in one or two games in 2014.
As Bradley and others have stated previously, the goal for World Cups is to qualify (maybe be first in your CONCACAF group) with a team that doesn’t practice together, save for a few days before each match.
So judgment on qualifying performances aren’t something that will improve Bradley’s resume.
No, it’s the knockout rounds of the World Cup…and that’s four years away.
• So what if Old Trafford or the Bernabeu call
Highly implausible opportunities for Bob Bradley, but we’re illustrating a point.
Will Bob Bradley be able to leave before another 4-year term is up if he signs on?
If we assume that “negotiations are on-going,” one of the issues to resolve would be, “Can Bob Bradley walk away from the job if a better one to his liking comes along?”
Everything is at least somewhat about money, so the answer is, “Bradley will always be able to leave, but what is he penalized if he does? Are their restrictions on what teams Bradley can go coach for?”
Big question here, “How firm is another 4-year commitment from both sides and what does that entail…from a compensation, operations, and severance perspective.” That does take time.
• The TSG Skinny
Remember, Bob Bradley wasn’t Sunil Gulati’s first choice.
Bob Bradley likely can’t “prove” anything in the US job and certainly not prove it–and take advantage of it–until 2014.
That said, a better question may be, “What is the better alternative for either of them?”
Most conversations we here across the spectrum start with Jurgen Klinsmann, sprinkle in the name of the a coach who was just in the news: Dunga, Martin O’Neill, and throw in one of the best in MLS, Dom Kinnear to be well-rounded. None of these conversations are rooted in news or information any of the aforementioned candidates is, in fact, being considered.
U.S. Soccer is not going to make a change just to make one while Bradley would likely not take a job like, say, DC United, unless he had to.
To invoke Chris Rock–unbelievably–“a man is only as faithful as his options.” Applied here, it would seem the Bradley-USSF tandem is going to the altar for another for more years unless those options appear here…fast.