In my humble opinion, if you’re not one of the top 4 teams in any given World Cup, you should hire a new coach for the next cycle(A cycle being 4 years). Excluded from this rule are any teams that made a Cinderella run past the round of 16.
A couple reasons behind my theory.
- After 4 years of one coach shoving his style of play down your throat, if you haven’t excelled in it yet, you’re not going to. The coach most likely won’t change his style of play after 4 years, so you need a different coach, with a new strategy.
- In some cases, it isn’t necessarily the closed-mindedness of the coaches strategy, but the fact that he has now developed a bond with certain players, and wants them to win, when sometimes it’s time for some new faces on the field.
I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes, it is time for Bob Bradley to go. It’s more the second reason than the first reason for him. Although he does stay attached to his 4-4-2 formation, the thing that really grinds my gears is his lack of openness to bring in completely new players. For example, although he was injured for the World Cup, Jermaine Jones is still yet to make an appearance for the U.S. team, even though he received his eligibility to make appearances for us before he was injured, well before the real buckle down time for the World Cup. I love what Bradley has done for US Soccer, but we need a new face on the sidelines, one who brings fresh ideas to personnel choices and tactical decisions.
If I could pick any coach in the World to replace Bob Bradley, it would be, without a doubt, Pep Guardiola. His 2008 Barcelona team was, in both my opinion, and statistically, one of the best club teams in history. Barca is widely considered the best passing team in the World, and Guardiola would bring an entirely new system to the states. That all being said, the chances of him leaving Barcelona to coach any team, especially the United States, are about the same of the Phillies signing Hee-Seop Choi and inserting him into the starting lineup next week.
- Jurgen Klinsmann. Led the Germans to a 3rd place finish in 2006, and lives in LA. More importantly, the US pretty much hired him before they hired Bradley, but one small disagreement ended that. 4 years later, I would still like the move.
- Joachim Loew. If he does not resign with Germany, he’d be a great choice. He led the Germans to a 3rd place finish in 2010, but does not play a typical German style, so some of the higher-ups do not approve of him coaching the Germans. I’d love this, he loves to counter-attack, which makes for some really interesting soccer, and with the speed of Davies, and Donovan, the system makes sense.
- Jose Mourinho. This is a very far off shot, but prior to the 2010 World Cup, he said the idea of coaching an international team for a World Cup excites him. Probably doesn’t have the U.S. in mind for that, but the self-proclaimed “Chosen One” (of managing) is a tactical genius. His most recent accomplishment was winning the UEFA Champions league, the Italian league and Italian cup in 2009 with Inter Milan. He is now the coach of Real Madrid.
But, Bronco, we made it out of the group stage isn’t that good enough? No. There is no way that we should not have made it out of that group. Sure, I didn’t expect us to top the group, but, losing in the round of 16 to a Ghana team without its captain, best player CM Michael Essien is just not good enough for U.S. Soccer anymore. This is America, we are better than everyone at just about everything, and soccer should be no different.
Tonight may be Bradleys final game as the coach of the U.S.A. against Brazil at 8 PM on ESPN.