Less than a week after my “Guide to Getting that European Coaching Gig” post, and Bob Bradley has been hired by Swansea City of the EPL. Mere coincidence? No clue. Honestly, Bob’s brother Steve, who is now doing PR for Toronto FC, followed me on Twitter and we had some pretty awesome, candid, and foul-mouthed exchanges.
Basically, more people read you than you think. If you are penning a profile that will shit on a coach or player, odds are likely they will read it. It’s a small world, after all.
For the record, I am happy for Bob. In my estimation, he brings positives to the table as a coach. He has clear ideas on tactics and defending setpieces. He communicates those ideas pretty well to his players. His teams are always fit and never bicker publicly. He reacts quickly to mistakes in player selection – if a guy doesn’t wrap his head around a game or an assignment, he’ll come off at the half.
Still, the Premier League is a beast. And I don’t meant the gregarious, blue haired and blue skinned X-Men character who hangs upside down and reads philosophy. No, I mean beast like the ferocious raccoons who show up to human beings fights in Quebec. Bradley is going to have his hands full with pressers. Every single word that comes out of his mouth will be twisted and turned into a headline.
Also, let’s not forget that Sam Allardyce was recently fired by England after falling prey to an “undercover” journalist sting. In fact, the life and times of Big Sam serve as a useful template for Bradley in dealing with the media.
First off, dress casually when you know you are going to get fired. Daniel Taylor of The Guardian, reporting live from Big Sam’s house in Bolton, noted that the manager, on the morning of his sacking, was wearing a dress shirt “unbuttoned to the navel.” Can you just imagine the glorious locks of chest hair flopping right and left as Big Sam, speeding along the highway in his luxury car with the windows down and the jams turned up, approached his date with destiny?
I can. In fact, I just did. In that prior paragraph. And it was amazing.
Here is an image of Big Sam leaving his house to get into his car. This pic was taken by some feverish Paparazzi stalkers aka “journalists.”
Here’s a picture of Sam leaving his house way back when he was the coach of Bolton and journalists alleged he accepted third party payments from agents. He decided to talk with journalists. He told them it was in his lawyer’s hands and he had no comment. Yet, if you had no comment, why bother stopping to talk?
Because you are a human being and you like social contact. And it’s rude to have guests on your driveway and not invite them in for tea.
Here’s a picture of Sam talking with journalists shortly after getting fired in order to tell them he had a “confidentiality agreement.” Apparently, though, the mere existence of confidentiality is not confidential. Preposterous!
Second, own a dope car, live in a nice ass house, and always dress to impress. At literally any moment, a coach in England can expect to be stalked by the media and pictures will show up in the dailies. Thus, you gotta treat your house as a studio photo shoot background – does your place have a nice brick driveway? Scenic balcony on the second story? Well-trimmed hedges? And how new is your car?
I know, I know. Americans love to roll out of bed, throw on some pajamas or, gasp, sweatpants and hoodies, and get some drive thru from Panda Express without so many as brushing our teeth or combing our hair. In numerous localities of the USA, Taco Bells don’t even bother opening before 10pm. And bathing before showing up is a crime of moral turpitude.
Thus, Bob, I know you are reading this. Ditch the tracksuits and Geo Metro. You are now an EPL coach, and it’s time to dress and play the part.