What should realistically be expected of Bob Bradley as he takes over at Swansea City?
Alexander Abnos: Mid-table finish
Obviously avoiding relegation is an absolute must for Bradley, as it would be for any other coach in his position. However, Swansea has plenty of talent and has had a murderous schedule to start the season. A solid mid-table finish is still a realistic possibility, and getting there would surely be enough for Bradley to keep his job into next season, allowing him an opportunity to mold the squad as he sees fit.
Brian Straus: Keep Swansea up
He’s been hired by a team in free-fall, losers of its past three Premier League games and winless in six. Swansea hasn’t yet recovered from the departures of André Ayew (last season’s leading scorer) and captain Ashley Williams. It might have been nice to have Éder back in the fold as well following his Euro 2016 heroics. Meanwhile, newly signed Spanish forwards Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston (a club-record transfer) have combined for one goal.
There’d be no surprise if Bradley has walked into a beleaguered and skeptical locker room. And their first game together is at the Emirates. Before the season, deposed manager Francesco Guidolin said he was targeting 40 points. Last season, that would’ve been good for 16th place. He knew there was a rough road ahead.
Bradley’s job is to keep Swansea up.
Grant Wahl: Avoid relegation, get back into top half
This season the main objective for Bradley is to keep Swansea in the Premier League. The Swans don’t have nearly the talent and leadership that was with the club in previous seasons, and staying up will be a big challenge. But after this season Swansea should have the ambition to get back into Europe. This is a club that in the past five Premier League seasons has finished 12th, eighth, ninth, 12th and 11th.
Bradley needs to find stability first, then use his coaching acumen and the January and summer transfer windows to build a team that can get back into the top half of the league.