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Under-fire Bob Bradley on Swansea: “We are our own worst enemy”

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Bob Bradley looked dejected on the sidelines on Boxing Day.

Rightly so.

[ RECAP: Swans hammered 4-1

The American coach watched on as his Swansea City side put in another dreadful defensive display as they lost 4-1 to West Ham United on Monday to deepen their relegation fears.

With Bradley, 58, under pressure to deliver wins the home fans began to turn on him and the new American owners at the Liberty Stadium.

All is not well in South Wales as Bradley has now lost seven times in his first 11 games in charge of the Swans.

“That was a tough afternoon in all ways,” Bradley said. “You saw a team who have gone through a period where nothing goes right and today was more of the same. At the moment we are our own worst enemy. No matter what we do, we seem to put ourselves in terrible spots, and getting away from that is hard work.”

Bradley is spot on.

So many of the goals Swansea has conceded since he took charge have been preventable and that was again the case against West Ham.

Lukasz Fabianski spilled the ball and Andre Ayew put West Ham ahead, then Winston Reid headed home from a set piece, Michail Antonio made the most of Swansea’s defense being slow to get out for the third goal and Andy Carroll then peeled away to the back post to score the fourth.

With the Swans now having the worst defense in the Premier League and conceding more goals than any other team since Bradley arrived in October, the fans have turned on the New Jersey native.

He knows they must work hard to win them back.

“After 18 games we are in a very difficult position, but that leaves us 20 games to fight to stay up and to win back the supporters,” Bradley admitted. “We all heard the response in the stadium today. It doesn’t feel good, but sometimes in football you have to fight when everything is going against you. There’s no magic formula for turning things around other than not giving up and working hard to try to find a way.”

That said, the former U.S. men’s national team coach is not giving up even though he admits the latest defeat was nowhere near good enough.

“I understood this was a difficult situation when I came here. I said then I would fight every day to do the job and I continue to be fully committed to doing that,” Bradley said. “I believe in my work. I believe in the message I give to the players. Having said that, there’s no getting around the fact that when things are going against you, when the margins are so small, it is difficult. In certain moments in football, a play can go against you. It’s the ability to handle it when that happens that has to be what our players are about.

” When we go down in a game, we have to roll up our sleeves and believe. But I don’t make excuses. After a game like that, I take responsibility. It’s not good enough. We have to look at each other and say that in the second half, when we had the opportunity to fight back, we were not able to it.”

January 1 can’t some soon enough as Bradley needs defensive reinforcements.

Swansea’s game against Bournemouth on Dec. 31 will be huge in deciding not only his future but that of the Swans as they continue to battle against the drop.

10-man Real Madrid comes back to draw 10-man Arsenal

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Maybe Zinedine Zidane ought to rethink his stance on Gareth Bale?

Of course it’s just preseason, but the on-the-market Real Match forward subbed into Tuesday’s match in Maryland on Tuesday and spearheaded a comeback 2-2 draw against Arsenal.

Real won in penalties, as all International Champions Cup matches must have a winner.

[ MORE: Rich new deal for Hudson-Odoi ]

Real was down a man after 10 minutes when Nacho Fernandez handled a ball on the goal line, and Arsenal also went down a man when Sokratis Papastathopoulos saw his second yellow of the contest in the 40th minute.

Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty, then set-up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a goal 14 minutes later as the Gunners handled their business early.

The chemistry between two remains very real.

Real started new boys Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, and Luka Jovic in addition to Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Ramos.

Bale came in for Hazard at halftime and poked a 57th minute rebound home and Marcelo set up Marco Asensio two minutes later to complete the comeback.

Asensio, sadly, would only last a few more minutes, needing to be stretchered off with injury.

Champions League wrap: PSV strikes late to win thriller (video)

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Five first legs of the UEFA Champions League’s second qualifying round are in the books, including a thrilling back-and-forth with a show-stopping stoppage time winner.

[ MORE: Rodgers talks down Maguire sale ]


PSV Eindhoven 3-2 FC Basel

Bruma scored a debut opener for the Dutch hosts, who fell behind 2-1 in the 79th minute before Sam Lammers and Donyell Malen struck in the 89th minute and second minute of stoppage, respectively, to put PSV ahead.

Basel will be okay taken two away goals home via Albian Aljeti and Omar Alderete.

Lammers came in for Mexican star Hirving Lozano in the 79th minute to score the leveler within 10 minutes before Malen, who went the full 90, kept his focus to deliver this clever winner.

The New Saints 0-2 Copenhagen

Pieros Sotiriou and Robert Skov scored on either side of halftime to give the Danish powers a healthy advantage heading into the second leg.

Elsewhere
FK Sutjeska 0-1 APOEL Nicosia
Saburtalo 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Viktoria Plzen 0-0 Olympiacos

Wednesday
BATE Borisov v. Rosenborg — 1 p.m. ET
Ferencvaros v. Valletta — 2 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv — 2 p.m. ET
Maribor v. AIK — 2:15 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade v. HJK Helsinki — 2:45 p.m. ET
Dundalk v. Qarabag — 2:45 p.m. ET
Celtic v. Nomme Kalju — 2:45 p.m. ET

Rodgers says no close bids for Maguire

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Those tired of seeing Harry Maguire‘s name in the headlines, hoping his transfer saga had concluded with weekend reports that Manchester United agreed to a fee with Leicester City, well, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

[ MORE: Who is Newcastle’s new $50M forward? ]

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers credited Maguire for his professionalism — the center back scored in a friendly win on Tuesday — and said that the club’s vice chairman Aiyawatt “Top” Srivaddhanaprabha has not received a fitting bid for the 26 year old’s services.

From The Leicester Mercury:

“There’s no big pressure to sell any player. If a player does leave Leicester City, then the player would need to be met because we have a top-level player, coveted by top-level clubs and I respect that,” Rodgers said. “Harry is on a long contract here and there’s been no valuation or near to that which would make Top have a look.”

Nooooooooooo.

Look, we’ve still got a few weeks until the close of the window, and every supporter has a target they want their club to acquire and some have some assets they hope stay in the same shirt at the deadline.

The Maguire story is getting a bit tedious now. He wants to go to Manchester United, but Rodgers is happy to keep him at Leicester. Maguire’s not the player who will quit on the club if he’s not sold, and Leicester’s hope of landing a replacement will dip as the deadline draws nearer and clubs like Burnley (James Tarkowski) realize their replacements options have been lessened by the wait.

Janssen leaves Spurs for Liga MX in $8M deal

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Vincent Janssen‘s less-than-ideal tenure with Tottenham Hotspur has come to its end, and he’s moving his way to this side of the Atlantic.

Liga MX side Monterrey has agreed to buy Janssen, Spurs announced Tuesday. The deal is for a reported $8 million.

[ MORE: Rich new deal for Hudson-Odoi ]

The Dutchman turned 25 this summer. He played just 42 times for Spurs after arriving from AZ Alkmaar for around $25 million in 2016, scoring six times, but did manage five goals and four assists in a half-year loan to Fenerbahce in 2017-18.

Janssen saw his time with the Netherlands national team peter out during his tenure at Spurs. After a red-hot start, he has not been capped since 2017. Janssen has seven goals in 17 caps.

His time at Spurs cannot be labeled as anything but a gigantic bust, but Janssen is still pretty young and has a chance to recapture his career momentum.

And he looks pretty happy about it.