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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 03 February 2017 > OUT OF HIS LEAGUE

OUT OF HIS LEAGUE

Did anti-American prejudice end Bob Bradley’s dream of coaching a team in the English premiership?

@TomRoddy_

EARLY IN the morning on December 27, the day after his team lost 4–1 at home to West Ham, Bob Bradley went back to work at Swansea City’s Fairwood headquarters in South Wales. The American coach took a training session with the players who hadn’t competed on December 26, rewatched their defeat to West Ham and prepared for the next game against Bournemouth, before heading home at 5:45 p.m.

Shortly after he got there, Bradley’s phone lit up with a text message. Swansea Chairman Huw Jenkins wanted to meet. A half-hour later, Jenkins asked Bradley to step down, offering little explanation besides noting that he had “come to Swansea at a difficult time.” Bradley told him it was the wrong decision, but they shook hands and parted ways. With a record of two wins, two draws and seven defeats, Bradley left the Liberty Stadium after just 85 days in the job.

It wasn’t an impressive record—but other Premier League managers had kept their jobs in spite of having worse results during the same period of time. He was sacked just days before the January transfer period, during which he would have been able to buy and sell players, the first opportunity he would have had to build his team. Many in the football world were surprised to see a coach regarded as one of the top three in America lose his job so quickly. And the nature of the criticism from fans and the British press before his firing raised a question about national stereotyping in the elite world of European football: Did Bradley lose his job because he was failing—or because he was an American?

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STATE OF RESISTANCE California is preparing to lead a national revolt against Donald Trump, fighting him on climate change, trade and that ridiculous wall. Gird your loins and pass the sunscreen.
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