MANCHESTER, 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.
1 Three certainties in life: Death TaxesA Spurs bottle job— #MUFCholic (@Timo_Utd) October 24, 2018 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Failure to cling on leaves Spurs five points adrift of Inter Milan and Barcelona, who face each other tonight, and progression to the knockout stages looks increasingly improbable.The visitors dominated for most of the game. Lucas Moura and Harry Kane put them in front after Hirving Lozano gave PSV a surprise lead.But Tottenham lost their captain Hugo Lloris in the 79th minute after a rush of blood to the head.Lloris came charging off his line, not for the first time in this competition, and woefully mistimed his challenge on Lozano. no dice #PSVTOT every time #Spurs get in a point off success and then go full spurs and bottle it pic.twitter.com/dxkD1lOr5m— Josh Daniels (@JoshuaDaniels25) October 24, 2018 REVEALED PSV snatched a late equaliser huge blow LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade This is why we get called bottle jobs. #PSVTOT— Andy Miller (@SarriesandSpurs) October 24, 2018 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Absolutely brilliant finish from De Jong. Lloris + Spurs bottle job once again. Becoming a running theme #PSVTOT— kt (@tacticalviews) October 24, 2018 It was ultimately a familiar story for Spurs in the Champions League and even the most optimistic of fans will struggle to see a way out of this group.Dropping points from winning positions has become a recurring theme for the club in Europe this season – Spurs led away at the San Siro before conceding two late goals to Inter.And now some fans on Twitter suggested this late collapse was no surprise, given Spurs have a record of crumbling under pressure: Spurs bottle jobs strike again. They are specialists at snatching poor results from the jaws of victory. It keeps happening and it never gets old. Serious mentality problem at that club. #thfc— Jonathan (@JonathanLCFC) October 24, 2018 Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Wouldn’t be Spurs if they didn’t bottle a champions league match.— Séamus Walsh (@SeamusW32709713) October 24, 2018 Ten-man Tottenham crumbled from a winning position in the Champions League yet again as they drew 2-2 at PSV.Mauricio Pochettino’s men were three minutes from a vital win before Luuk De Jong flicked in from a set-piece, giving Spurs a mountain to climb in Group B. MONEY Why do Spurs always bottle it in games that matter?— Phil Simkins (@PhilipSimkins) October 24, 2018 ADVICE Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Spurs bottle. No surprises there— Side Mirror ya Ndege (@ro6ley) October 24, 2018 Spurs bottle it again shock— Sam Comer (@SamComer99) October 24, 2018 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade REVEALED BEST OF RANKED