Swansea sack Francesco Guidolin and bring in Bob Bradley
Former USA coach replaces Italian after Swans endure poor start to the season
Swansea City have sacked manager Francesco Guidolin. Photograph: Reuters
Swansea’s America owners finally ran out of patience with Guidolin following Saturday’s defeat against Liverpool and the club have moved quickly to appoint Bradley as the Italian’s replacement. The former United States coach met with Huw Jenkins, the Swansea chairman, last week and also held talks with Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, the club’s owners.
Bradley, who has been in charge at Le Havre in the French second division, came across impressively during the interview process, with his strength of character, experience and leadership qualities seen as key attributes.
It is understood that Jenkins was hugely impressed with Bradley and strongly in favour of giving the job to the 58-year-old, who becomes the first American to manage in the Premier League. Ryan Giggs was also interviewed for the post but his lack of experience was among the factors that counted against him.
“We are obviously disappointed to part company with Francesco,” said Jenkins. “We felt he deserved his opportunity after the work he did last season. Unfortunately we have not been able to carry performances over from last season and we felt we needed to change things as soon as possible in order to move forward in a positive way.
“We are delighted Bob has agreed to join us. He is highly regarded as a coach and has a wealth of experience on the international and domestic front. He is well aware of the club’s footballing philosophy and will provide us with strong leadership qualities and a renewed belief to compete at this level. It is never easy changing managers, but we are looking at a long-term appointment and we are confident Bob can settle us down and stabilise matters on and off the pitch.”
Bradley will inherit a Swansea side that sits 17th in the table, outside the relegation zone only on goal difference. Although they played extremely well in the opening 45 minutes against Liverpool, second-half goals from Roberto Firmino and James Milner condemned Swansea to a fifth defeat in six league games. Swansea have picked up only one point since winning at Burnley on the opening day of the season.
It came as a surprise to many when Guidolin was given the job on a permanent basis in May. He had initially taken over in January until the end of the season, with the aim of keeping Swansea up, and although the 61-year-old achieved that objective, there were doubts inside the club as to whether he was the right man.
Bradley’s first game in charge will be against Arsenal on Saturday week.