Bob Bradley getting the job at Swansea City wasn’t a surprise, given that he’d been linked with the club repeatedly recently. However, Swansea City originally choosing Bradley to be their new manager is surprising.
Probably best known for his time in charge of the US team, Bradley has been working in France’s Ligue 2 since November 2015.
In the 2014/15 season Le Havre finished 7th in Ligue 2, they then fired their coach and didn’t have a new permanent manager until Bradley took over. Le Havre finished 4th last season, and currently stand in 5th place after ten games, with a goal difference of +1.
For a Premier League club to swoop in and appoint Bradley is somewhat surprising, and it probably wouldn’t have happened without the US connection.
French newspaper L’Equipe say the timing of the announcement yesterday was a surprise, given that Le Havre were set to face Sochaux. Oswald Tanchot is stepping into the Le Havre void, but he didn’t want to take charge of the match at such short notice, so Bradley had the opportunity for a farewell game.
The crowd weren’t all forgiving despite the 2-1 win, with L’Equipe saying there were boos aimed at Bradley, largely for how it’s all been handled. Le Havre weren’t having an amazing season, it’s not like there’s a feeling they’re losing their messiah, they’ll carry on, but some supporters are understandably annoyed with the process.
Bradley himself is quoted as saying: “It was quite an honour to coach these players one last time. We experienced difficult times but the team is on track.”
The French newspaper also got the thoughts of a Le Havre fan, Jeremy, who told them: “It’s been at least a week he knows he will leave. The fact that he announces his departure a match day, it could destabilise the players.
“He insists with a tactical system with a single striker, which does not work. Duhamel needs support in attack.”
Indeed L’Equipe say that Tanchot is likely to change the system, bringing Ghislain Gimbert back into the fold, after Bradley ostracised him.
Bradley’s last six Le Havre matches, before last night, were: Auxerre (1-0 win), Brest (1-1 draw), Bourg-Péronnas (2-1 loss), Valenciennes (2-2 draw), Red Star (0-0 draw), third division Châteauroux (5-2 loss).
It’s a huge leap to the Premier League, and those in charge of Swansea City are putting an incredible amount of trust in Bob Bradley. Fans of the Welsh club can only hope it pays off.