-Jason Davis

Or so it would seem. Baby Bradley has been chugging away at Borrussia Monchengladbach in Germany for long enough now that those of us who aren't keen observers of the Bundesliga take it for granted that he'll start every week. When we check the Yanks Abroad roundups on Monday, we have every expectation of seeing his name with a number somewhere near 90 next to it. Bradley is one of a handful of Americans we needn't worry over.

It's a bit troubling then that since the Bundesliga returned from the winter break in the new year, Bradley hasn't started. Two weeks in a row now, Bradley has come off the bench as a late substitute in games 'Gladbach ultimately lost. Yesterday, Bradley played four minutes of a 1-3 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen. Last week, he played the last 20 minutes of a 1-0 away loss to Nurnberg. From entrenched starter (and by most reports one of his side's better players) to late sub in a matter of a month is a sudden fall from grace by any standard. Bradley has a brief tumultuous period in Germany in which he tussled with management and was subsequently demoted, but we've heard nothing recently that he's having that type of trouble.

This move appears to either be a manager (Michael Frontzeck) tweaking his lineup in a desperate attempt to stave off relegation, or a club protecting a player who might be sold very soon. As Americans and USMNT fans, we'd obviously prefer it turn out to be the latter.

There are rumors of a sale, specifically to England and more specifically to Sunderland (link in German), so it's not out of the question that Bradley is being powered down before the deal gets done. Bradley has long been mentioned as a target of Premier League clubs, and seems a natural fit for England. Box-to-box defensive-minded midfielders with a nose for scrappy goals are always in demand. Bradley is a moderate value at a rating of €5 million (about £4 million), even in a tight transfer market.

Rumors are still rumors, though, and it complicates the issue that Sunderland are also reportedly on the hunt for midfielders Stephane Sessegnon (Paris St. Germain) and are lining up Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan) on loan. Add in that the Black Cats are also in need of a striker to replace the departed Darren Bent, and suddenly they don't seem such a logical place for Bradley to land.

I've put this question to people who watch and are knowledgeable about the Bundesliga, and gotten a split of opinion in response. Rumors of a transfer are hard to ignore when a player is benched for no obvious reason, but it's just as possible that Frontzeck is using Bradley as a scapegoat or sees his position as a place for easy change. It also makes little sense for Monchengladbach to sell Bradley now considering their league position. They need him in the fight to stave off relegation, and selling him in January would only hurt the effort.

If this is Frontzeck shaking things up just for the sake of change, it clearly hasn't worked.  Hopefully reverses himself on Bradley's role quickly with the evidence at hand. It would be nice to take Michael Bradley's Americans abroad reports for granted again.

blog comments powered by Disqus
    KKTC Bahis Siteleri, Online Bahis



    Privacy Policy