Soccer coach Bob Bradley is getting blamed for Egypt’s struggles
Egypt lost 6-1 to Ghana in soccer last week and coach Bob Bradley — a former U.S. coach — is getting much of the blame.
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Bradley becomes scapegoat
Two years ago, Bob Bradley — a former U.S. national-team coach — was brought to Egypt with much fanfare to help its team qualify for the World Cup amid political turmoil.
With Egypt still reeling from last week’s 6-1 loss at Ghana in a World Cup playoff match that all but ended the battered nation’s hopes to compete in Brazil next year, much of the blame for a surprisingly one-sided defeat has been pinned on Bradley.
It put Bradley’s future in doubt and raised speculation he might not be with his team for the second match in Cairo because of fears about his safety.
The criticism was a far cry from Bradley’s first year in Egypt.
Although he barely speaks Arabic and was replacing a legend in former coach Hassan Shehata, fans and pundits gave him high grades. They praised his technical skills, his experience and the commitment to returning Egypt to the World Cup for the first time in 24 years.
But the perception of Bradley, 55, has changed lately.
He shrugged off criticism that he made bad lineup choices for the Ghana match and failed to make tactical decisions and fortify Egypt’s defense as his team was being hammered.
“I am strong in these situations,” Bradley said. “As a national coach, you have some people on your side and some who are against you. I understand the disappointment. I see it when I see people in the street.”
The Ghana Football Association has asked FIFA to move the Nov. 19 second leg of the total-goals series to a neutral venue, citing security concerns if the match is played in Cairo. Soccer’s governing body has given Egypt a Monday deadline to provide “comprehensive security assurances.”
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