It time for everyone's favorite time of the year! The "a lower-table Premier League club just lost their manager, give Bob Bradley the job" season is already upon us.
That's right. Sunderland and their manager Dick Advocaat have parted ways after just eight matches. As usual, candidates have been flying out of the English tabloid's pages like bats out of a cave. Among those candidates is former United States boss Bob Bradley.
Bradley himself has said that he's interested in the job.
"In a club like Sunderland, there might be a possibility, but there are a lot of managers who wants a job like that. I'm realistic, and realize that the list of candidates is long. At the same time, I'm confident." Bradley told Budstikka a Norwegian newspaper.
"I believe in myself as a coach. I know that I can enter any scenario, and give everything that I've got".
The former U.S. and Egypt boss has been with Stabaek in Norway since 2014. There is no doubt that Bradley is the pioneer of American managers abroad. Very few have even had the chance dip their toes into the water, while Bradley is headed towards the deep end.
Unfortunately, at this point in his managerial career, it's simply too early to believe he's a true candidate for a job like Sunderland's. Managing the USMNT, Egypt, and Stabaek is a decent résumé on the world stage, but it's not one that's going to impress an under-the-gun owner in the Premier League, where pressures to win and stay in the top flight are immensely stressful.
Bob Bradley is American and the British tabloids know that we as American soccer fans will love the idea of him getting a job in the Premier League. It's also no coincidence that he is always linked to clubs with American owners (Aston Villa several times and now Sunderland), so it's an easy/lazy link that's usually without merit.
Is Bradley a candidate for the open Sunderland job? He possibly could be on a long list of candidates like he says. However, until he pads his résumé it's just not a realistic outcome.
Hopefully a better club will come calling soon so that he can keep proving himself at higher levels. And eventually, down the road, that final stepping stone could possibly be the Premier League.
Defending Norwegian champions Molde FK have reported interest in Bradley, a club that was managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer not too long ago. While Solskjaer has a prestigious name in Premier League circles, it's not out of the realm of possibility for Bradley to jump from a better known club like Molde to England, like he did, than it would be from Stabaek.
As an American paving the way for our country on the managerial scene in Europe, it's going to be incredibly difficult to land a job in England. With each stepping stone he continues to surpass, that goal becomes closer, it's just not within reaching distance quite yet.