The USSF (basically the American FA) had been making please-coach-us puppy dog eyes at Jurgen Klinsmann for six long, managerless months. But their first choice rejected them last week… so they hired Bob Bradley, who had previously worked as former USA coach Bruce Arena’s assistant for a number of years.
Maybe it’s something very American, a cutthroat dedication to strive for the best, but the USSF wisely appointed Second Choice Bob as merely an interim coach. Instead of financially chaining themselves to a man they didn’t really want or who just happened to be convenient, the USSF have left their options open.
Now, a quick jaunt back in time finds the FA missing out on first choice Phil “I Beat England” Scolari, and then deciding revolutionise the England set up by hiring Sven’s assistant. And so Second Choice Steve somehow went from mediocre Premiership boss to England head coach. With a four year contract to make Stevie the smuggest git on the planet (look at the photo!).
If Klinsmann changes his mind next year, or if Guus Hiddink is chased out of Russia, or if Bob Bradley just isn’t up to the job, then it’ll be relatively painless for Team USA to make a switch. Sounds pretty good, no?
The flip side, of course, is whether or not Steve McClaren would have taken the job as interim coach. But he wouldn’t need to take the role on full time, he could simply have continued splitting time as he did when he was Boro coach and England assistant. Does anyone really think that Steve spends the months between international fixtures doing anything but pick his nose and trying out new flavour’s of Walker’s crisps? Yes, Sven usually attended dozens of football matches to scout players but as a full time Premiership manager surely McClaren already knows the ins and outs of the league’s players?
Should Sven’s trusted assistant manager prove to be as successful as, well, Sven’s trusted assistant manager then the FA could do a lot worse than taking a cue from the US of A.
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