Bradley set for tough introduction to EPL

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (AP): Ask people to describe Swansea’s style of play and most would detail the free-flowing, possession-based approach that has been the hallmark of teams under managers such as Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup over the last decade. Some have even dubbed them “Swanselona” over the years, a reference to Swansea’s passable imitation of Barcelona’s preferred style. Bob Bradley has to decide if it’s time for a change. The American coach was hired by Swansea last week, taking charge of a team that has lost five of its last six games in the English Premier League (EPL) under the fired Francesco Guidolin and languishes in 17th place. Bradley arrives with a reputation for preferring a more pragmatic, direct style of football, which would be at odds with what Swansea typically produces. A shift in approach might just be what the team needs to stay up this season. The 58-year-old Bradley said in his presentation press conference that he likes “good, passing football” and that Swansea has been a team that is “fun to watch,” but it’s not helping at the moment. Taking the game to Manchester City and Liverpool in the last two rounds, the Swans were brave but ultimately lost both matches. They haven’t kept a clean sheet since the opening round. Next up is a trip to third-place Arsenal tomorrow, something of a daunting introduction to the Premier League for Bradley. Tightening up and being harder to beat might be the name of the game for the new coach. “Whenever there’s a change at any club, it’s a fresh start for everybody,” Bradley said yesterday. “You can see that on certain faces, that’s clear. Even at a time in a season when it’s been difficult, when there’s been managerial change, you see enthusiasm and a certain amount of excitement. “That doesn’t automatically mean because you’ve changed some things, everything’s going to come together right away. But, it’s a start.” Arsenal have won their last five games in all competitions and can be a devastating force when the team’s sprightly attacking unit containing the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez is given space to perform. Sanchez, in particular, is thriving as a so-called ‘false nine’ up front in the absence of injured striker Olivier Giroud. But Arsene Wenger’s team can struggle and get frustrated when teams sit back and defend in numbers. Bradley, an experienced, savvy coach who has watched the Premier League from afar for years, values teamwork highly and that will be needed at Emirates Stadium. “I believe he is equipped to deal with what is requested of him,” Wenger said yesterday, when asked if Bradley would be a success at Swansea. Bradley will look to continue Swansea’s good recent record against Arsenal, with three wins in their last five meetings most recently a 2-1 win at the Emirates in March. “It is a tough first game (under Bradley), but we don’t mind playing that,” Swansea defender Neil Taylor said. “We would be probably written off even if we were in form.” DEVASTATING FORCE MANCHESTER CITY VS EVERTON UNBEATEN SPURS Wayne Rooney would love nothing more than to score against Liverpool tomorrow. He may not get the chance. Rooney has started on the bench for Man United’s last two league games and was also dropped by England this week, demoted to a substitute’s role against Slovenia on Tuesday. The former Everton forward has previously said he “hates” Liverpool, comments which are regularly brought up to add an inflammatory edge to what already is traditionally the biggest game in English football. Northwest rivals United (20) and Liverpool (18) have more league titles than any other teams in the country. Liverpool are in fourth place, three points ahead of sixth-place United. LIVERPOOL VS MANCHESTER UNITED It’s a first managerial meeting tomorrow between two disciples of Johan Cruyff: Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman. Koeman acted as a mentor for a young Guardiola when they played together under Cruyff at Barcelona in the early 1990s, with both players central to the style desired by the late Dutch great. Now they are two of the most respected coaches around. Guardiola, in his first season in English football, has guided City to first place in the league with six wins from seven games, while Everton are in fifth place in Koeman’s first season at Goodison Park. Boosted by a 2-0 win over Manchester City last time out, second-place Tottenham protects the league’s only unbeaten record when they visit West Bromwich Albion tomorrow, when it’s also Chelsea vs Leicester, Bournemouth vs Hull, Stoke vs Sunderland and Crystal Palace vs West Ham. On Sunday, Middlesbrough host Watford and Southampton are at home to Burnley.last_img read more

Chelsea deny sale reports, De Gea refusing Man United contract, £100m Spurs bid?

first_img TOP WORK RANKED Herrera is ready to extend his stay at Old Trafford 3 Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland targets Latest transfer news Pellegrini stayed with Roma despite interest in him over the summer The Red Devils refused to let Anthony Martial, the France forward, leave Old Trafford over the summer, and he is now prepared to stay at the club having been heartened by the decision to keep him. (Telegraph)Aaron Ramsey is not yet ready to sign a new Arsenal contract, and will instead wait until January to make a decision on his future. (Mail)Manchester United are set to revive their interest in Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini in the January transfer window. (Sun) REVEALED Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Paris Saint-Germain are ready to make a £100million move for Christian Eriksen, the Tottenham attacking midfielder, before the European transfer window closes on Friday. (Express)Manchester United made NO attempt to sign Spurs pair Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose throughout the summer transfer window, with the only contact coming when the Lilywhites offered the duo to United. (Mirror) Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star 3 Chelsea have denied reports Roman Abramovich is looking to sell the club after 15 years of ownership. (Mirror)David de Gea is refusing to sign a new Manchester United contract as he wants pay parity with Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba, the club’s highest earners. (Daily Record)However, Ander Herrera, the midfielder, will pen a new two-year contract with the Red Devils. (Sun) targets Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ IN DEMAND LIVING THE DREAM moving on three-way race Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the Chelsea midfielder, is a loan target of Monaco’s. (Sun)Loftus-Cheek’s Chelsea team-mate Tammy Abraham will reject a loan move to Aston Villa as he wants to fight for his place at Stamford Bridge. (Mirror)And here are the top talkSPORT.com headlines…Loris Karius, the Liverpool goalkeeper, has joined Besiktas on a two-year loan dealTottenham starlet Cameron Carter-Vickers has signed on loan with Swansea until the end of the seasonMesut Ozil was dropped for Arsenal’s defeat of West Ham due to a ‘row’ with Unai Emery, the club’s managerDean Ashton has told Manuel Pellegrini to worry about results on the pitch, rather than ‘having a go’ at West Ham’s fansViewers were left stunned when Joleon Lescott appeared to be working on Sky Sports – without any trousers on! LATEST 3 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade talkSPORT.com round up all the latest transfer rumours and football gossip from Sunday’s papers and online…last_img read more