Michael Bradley To Be Re-Upped At Villa? No So Fast…

A report out today by Tim Abraham in Birmingham, link forthcoming, saying that US international Michael Bradley might still factor in Gerard Houllier’s Aston Villa plans for next year despite the lack his lack of playing time to date.

That kit may still be worn yet in 2011!

Villa assistant boss Gary McAllister, presiding over the team in as Houllier recovers from a heart condition, with the following quote, ““Michael has done enough on the training ground to suggest there might be something come the end of the season because he has an honest, hard-working guy as well as a good player,” said McAllister.

“It’s true that it has been hard to play him at a time when we have had senior experienced players available in the situation we have been in.”

“And that is purely all that has held him back, nothing else, because his attitude has been top draw.”

“He is a fantastic professional for such a young guy – he is captain of his country don’t forget and he is a top player.”

Now, before you run about or tweet about, there is a conflict here.

If Bradley was as an excellent a player as is being stated here, then why isn’t he playing. Surely if Villa were to need Bradley’s services it would be now–as he was procured for–in the middle of a relegation battle.

That conflict, as we spoke about it our previous Bradley pieces (here and here) is Nigel Reo Coker. What’s the easiest way to rattle an agent who is playing chicken with his player’s forthcoming work postal code in 2011-2012? Why that would be floating a story that his understudy is about to be signed off loan from Germany for the next year’s campaign.

Stay tuned.

16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Matt on 2011/04/27 at 6:55 AM

    NRC out in the summer, Bradley would do fine in his place.


  2. Posted by Jared on 2011/04/27 at 7:06 AM

    It’s definitely hard to believe that Villa thinks he’s such an excellent player considering that he doesn’t even make the bench. It would be one thing if he made the bench routinely but just didn’t start because of Villa’s relegation battle but not even making the 18 is another issue.

    I’m sure MB90 has at some point captained the USMNT considering he always plays 90 minutes of every game but he’s not the captain.


    • Posted by EFG on 2011/04/27 at 7:10 AM

      I read the part about him being the captain and chuckled to myself while dismissing this talk entirely.


      • Posted by cam on 2011/04/27 at 9:19 AM

        This isn’t the first time I’ve seen that. For some reason a lot of English people think Bradley is the team captain. I’m not sure if it’s because they keep hearing the name Bradley, but don’t realize that’s the coach, or what.


    • Posted by SamT on 2011/04/27 at 7:43 AM

      I noticed the captain reference, too. But it got me thinking… When Donovan, Howard, Dempsey, Dolo, and Bocanegra have all retired (and all five aren’t that far away), who will be captain then? He’s got to be on the short list.


      • Posted by Rich B on 2011/04/27 at 7:58 AM

        Bocanegra won’t be playing in Brazil. Donovan, Howard, Dempsey and Dolo will probably play in their last World Cup in Brazil. Dolo’s no sure bet that he’ll make it that far though.

        Who’s the next captain? Bradley has to be at the front of line. I don’t really think there are any other candidates at this point. Depending on how he works into the plans for the USMNT, maybe Stu Holden, but at this point he’s miles behind in the experience/leadership qualities.


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/04/27 at 8:48 AM

          That’s a very good question and something that is very hard to tell. A lot of it depends on who the next coach is and the formation that the team will play under him (probably Kreis at this point). The new coach may prefer a more standard 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 with and Edu and Holden pairing.

          I would put Bradley at the top of the list if he’s a starter even though I’m not his biggest fan because he certainly has the drive you’d like out of a captain. He’s going to have to make sure that he doesn’t end up stagnating at a club like Villa with limited playing time. The next coach may not be as flexible as Bob when it comes to the issue of playing time at a club determining playing time for country.


        • Posted by Chris on 2011/04/27 at 10:33 AM

          I wouldn’t put my money on Dolo still being around come Brazil. He will be 35 when that WC comes around.


    • Posted by RC on 2011/04/27 at 9:20 AM

      Mike was captain in the Brazil game in August for about 20 something minutes.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/04/27 at 9:48 AM

      Well, it’s hard to believe but it isn’t totally impossible, I suppose: some coaches get desperate in a battle and some get stubborn and don’t want to experiment at all. It could be that they think Bradley isn’t ready yet but will be next season; fwiw this happened in Bradley’s Heerenveen stop–took him a year on the bench to figure everything out; next season he’s a starter.

      Meanwhile, if I’m Michael Bradley, I have to be hugely embarrassed by this: Nigel Reo-Coker sucks.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/04/27 at 9:53 AM

        I don’t think Reo Coker sucks at all. He’s just wildly inconsistent.

        I can’t wait to see where Bradley goes…or if he stays. I think if Reo Coker’s there with Fabian Delph, Petrov, Makoun under contract and all already in the rotation (forget Pires he’s 37) that I can’t see Bradley being the fulltime starters. He’d play, but fulltime with those four? Not likely.

        I still think he’d be a great pick-up for Wigan (should they stay up) or Newcastle.

        It will continue to be interesting, especially if Houllier can’t coach beyond this year.


  3. Posted by EFG on 2011/04/27 at 10:26 AM

    A friend of mine just posted the Soccernet link on my Facebook wall. It appears the story is getting the legs that it wants.


  4. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/04/27 at 4:33 PM

    so the coach at forest gives praise to findley and it is dismissed, now a coach at villa gives bradley props and its like, no. unbelievable. unbelievably weird


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/04/27 at 5:14 PM

      Nearly every reporter who reported on that story believed it was fabricated to get Reo Coker back to the table.
      Question: If Bradley is good enough to play for Villa next year, why isn’t he in the mix this year? That makes 0 sense. In fact, it would make more sense to get him in the line-up now *seeing as Reo-Coker wants a new contract and might not come back.


  5. Posted by Dikranovich on 2011/04/27 at 8:24 PM

    I wonder if juniors sale price is already set by mgladbach or is that still negotiable? It seems all pretty transparent. Bradley under performed in his two apps. Then in a struggle to stay up villa has gone with experience Bradley has obviously gotten the short end of the stick. He entered the blackpool game down a man and played in a weak lineup against man city. And somehow even though he did outshine his fellow central mids in recent us games. I just can’t wait for junior to stick it to mexico in the gold cup. He will probably be partnered with Rico


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