Bob Bradley's Swansea departure says more about board than boss

Swansea City manager Bob Bradley

Whether he should have been given the job or not, the Swansea board are clearly struggling to create any semblance of stability at the Liberty Stadium, following Bradley's dismissal.

Scott Nicholls

Tuesday evening brought seemingly inevitable news for Swansea City fans, and more explicitly, Bob Bradley. Bradley and Swansea would part ways after just 85 days and eleven games of trying to turn the Swans’ tumultuous season around.

Huw Jenkins — once so taken in by Bradley’s impressive candor, and ideas — hit all the usual bullets: He had great respect for Bradley, nothing but praise for Bradley, he even praised Bradley’s work-rate. But then came the relegation-bound, boiler-plate excuse that poorly run clubs give when sacking an unpopular manager: "With the club going through such a tough time, we have to try and find the answers to get ourselves out of trouble,” Jenkins told the Swansea website.

What Jenkins means is not that there will be soul searching to figure out what took Swansea from a progressive, fan-oriented, likeable club, and turned them into a circus akin to the early Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea.

Swansea City manager Bob BradleyBob Bradley during his final Swansea match

There’ll be no afterthought regarding the sales of Ashley Williams or André Ayew; no pondering how the Swans missed out on bringing back Joe Allen — instead losing him to Stoke City and Mark Hughes; and there will certainly be no apology for how Swansea’s new owners — and trigger happy chairman —, have alienated the Jack Army.

The former US national team coach got just 11 games, but Francesco Guidolin got just 25; Garry Monk 77 and League Cup winning manager Michael Laudrup 84.

Bradley’s results weren’t very good, that’s on display for all to see: Two wins; two draws; seven defeats, and 29 goals conceded in 11 games, the 4-1 defeat to West Ham United the final nail in Bradley’s coffin. The truth about Bradley, though, is that he was a dead man walking before he even took charge of a match and before any chance to right some wrongs in the transfer market.

Swansea City manager Bob Bradley during the press conferenceBob Bradley during a press conference

At the time of Bradley’s hire, Jenkins stated to the Swans website that Bradley was viewed as a "long-term appointment"; who will "stabilise matters on and off the pitch.” Realistically, though, the warning signs were apparent from day one.

The Jack Army was angry they had not been consulted regarding the decision to sack Guidolin, and many were furious his replacement was a man that had no real elite-level experience as a coach. 

Swansea City manager Bob BradleyBob Bradley

But Bradley wasn’t just sacked because of poor results — though that certainly eased the decision for the Swansea upper brass — but also arguably because of fan, and perhaps even media, backlash over his resume and nationality.

Swansea City could well be relegated no matter who is in charge this season. Perhaps that will force the Swans ownership to instil some semblance of continuity and stability going forward.

At the height of its power Swansea City had European football, and had won a major trophy under Michael Laudrup —that was just shy of three years ago. Now Swansea is a club without direction, and with no real plan to turn it around.

Scott Nicholls is an English freelance journalist. He has worked with BBC Television News, SiriusXM Radio, KICKTV, Prost-Amerika and Yardbarker.

Scott has covered three major international tournaments - the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the Copa America, and the European Championships -, Major League Soccer and the Premier League.

Follow on twitter: @scottnicholls

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