(Reuters) - A lifetime of work led Bob Bradley to the Premier League and his ultimate job in taking on a nearly “impossible” task that proved to be just that when he was sacked last December as manager of Swansea City after 85 days.
In an article published on The Players’ Tribune website on Wednesday, Bradley said his 11-game tenure with the Welsh club, which is the second shortest in the history of the league, left a black mark on a career that has spanned the globe and included stints managing the U.S. and Egyptian national teams.
”I knew if I went there that I would be entering a tough — maybe impossible — situation,“ Bradley wrote. ”The team had started poorly and the takeover by American owners had angered the club’s supporters.
“But managing at the top level of English football was the ultimate challenge. I had worked hard to prepare for this opportunity. I had to go for it.”
Bradley’s career has been one shaped equally by triumph and failure.
After managing for nearly a decade in Major League Soccer he became the first American to manage a European first division side taking tiny Norwegian side Stabaek to a spot in the Europa League.
Following a move in 2015 to Le Havre, then a member of France’s Ligue 2, Bradley was offered a challenge he could not resist.
”All those experiences led to my opportunity at Swansea.“ said Bradley. ”The 2016–17 season had already started at Le Havre, but I got word that Swansea might be interested in making a coaching change.
”I failed. Failed to put my stamp on the team at Swansea.
“We never found consistency or confidence.”
There was no honeymoon period for Bradley who was under pressure right from the start from a Swansea fan base that never warmed to the American.
Following a 4-1 loss to West Ham, Bradley’s Premier League adventure was over before it had really began.
”One last word for the supporters. I loved my time at your club. I was committed to making it work,“ said Bradley. ”I’m sorry I couldn’t be your manager longer.
”For 85 days I put my heart and soul into Swansea City.
”To get anywhere in life you must experience failure. I am ready for the next challenge.
“And yes, I am an American coach.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto