How Is Bob Bradley Doing at Swansea?

Swansea City is playing historically bad defense under Bob Bradley, but is there still hope that he can succeed at Swansea?

When Bob Bradley took over Swansea City in early October, the team was stuck in the relegation zone. Unfortunately, 10 games into Bradley's tenure, they are still stuck in the relegation zone.

Swansea are currently sitting in 19th place in the English Premier League with 12 points and an ugly -17 goal differential. There is still more than half of the season to turn things around, but many Swansea City fans are beginning to question whether or not Bradley is the right man for the job.

Before and After

Francesco Guidolin led the Swans through the first seven league games of the season, and it was a dreadful opening seven games for Swansea City. They began the season with a 1-0 win over newly-promoted Burnley, but they followed it up with one measly point in their following six league games, which led to the firing of Guidolin.

In total, before Bradley, Swansea City had one win, one draw, and five loses, giving them four points in their first seven matches. Four points in seven matches is only getting 19% of the possible points in these games, which put them squarely into the relegation zone.

Matches Record Points Goal Difference League Placement
Before Bradley 7 1-1-5 4 -6 19th
After Bradley 10 2-2-6 8 -11 19th

Since Bradley has taken over, the team has done slightly better in terms of points achieved, but they've been slightly worse in terms of goal differential. Bradley is currently 2-2-6 as Swansea City's manager, giving the Swans 8 points in these matches.

So, since Bradley was put in charge, Swansea has gotten 26.7% of the possible points they could have achieved if they won all of their games. This is over a 7% boost from when Guidolin was in charge, but overall, it is still a disappointing total for a club with aspirations as a top-half-of-the-table team.

If a team only earned 26.7% of their points throughout an entire season, this would give them roughly 30 points for the campaign, which would almost certainly result in relegation.

Swansea is doing better under Bradley in terms of points, but it's still not nearly good enough. If the team does not improve soon, he will probably be on the hot seat.

Defense, What Defense?

One major reason for concern under Bradley is that the team's goal differential has been -11 in the 10 games that he has managed. Having a goal difference this bad in so few games is a recipe for disaster, and it indicates that Swansea is not having any sort of bad luck under Bradley -- they are playing poorly.

The biggest concern for Swansea since Bradley arrived has been their atrocious defense. Swansea has given up three or more goals in seven of their 10 games under Bradley, which is beyond atrocious. It's one thing to give up three goals to teams like Arsenal, Manchester City or Chelsea, but Swansea has given up three goals in games against middling sides like Stoke City, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Middlesbrough since Bradley took over.

Under Bradley, Swansea has conceded 25 goals in 10 games, which would be on pace to concede an astounding 95 goals over the course of a full 38-game season. The most goals ever conceded in a 38-game EPL season was 89 by Derby County in 2007-08, and that Derby team is arguably the worst team in the history of the league (they won one game that entire season).

So, basically, Swansea's defense under Bradley has been at all-time levels of horrendous, which rightly has many Swansea fans questioning if he is really going to be able to help them avoid relegation.

The Next Three Games Will Be Key

Swansea's next three games are home against West Ham and Bournemouth and then away against Crystal Palace. None of these teams are currently higher than 10th in the EPL table, so Swansea needs to capitalize on these games and secure some much needed points.

If Swansea can earn six or more points from these games, it should be enough to get them out of the relegation zone (at least temporarily), and it may quiet the critics who are proclaiming that Bradley needs to leave.

However, if Swansea continues to look like one of the worst defensive teams in the history of the league over these next three games, then Bob Bradley's career at Swansea could come to a very abrupt ending.