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Opinion piece: Stephen Bradley cannot be blamed for continuous individual errors of players


More pressure was mounted on the shoulders of Stephen Bradley last night as his side slipped to another defeat to bottom side Bray Wanderers.

Many fans of Rovers through pure frustration are calling for the sacking of Stephen Bradley from Shamrock Rovers.

Is it justified?

On a factual basis Shamrock Rovers this season Rovers have not been in great form and are sitting in eighth place in the current form guide (last 5 games).

Current Form Guide LOI

In his first full season in charge of the Tallaght side, Bradley led his side to a third place finish, EA Sports Cup Final and progressed through a round in Europe.

Anyone connected with the club would admit that was a good return with plenty of potential to build for the 2018 season.

With some astute signing in the off season including Daniel Carr, Sean Kavanagh, Ethan Boyle & the experienced Greg Bolger it was expected that Shamrock Rovers and Stephen Bradley would challenge for the League title this season.

So far, unfortunately it has not worked out that way with Rovers currently sitting in fifth place and eight points behind leaders Dundalk.

Current League of Ireland table

Also to note that if St Pat’s & Sligo Rovers won their games in hand they would be above Rovers and leave the club in seventh place after twelve games.

Not the return fans and the board would have expected from Bradley & his team.

However, the point of this article is to suggest that a lot of this is not the fault of Stephen Bradley and his coaching staff but down to individual errors of players.

Two perfect examples of individual errors that cost Rovers points this season come in the form of two of the clubs most experienced players Ronan Finn & Greg Bolger.

The first example is Ronan Finn’s back pass last night, the pass went straight to a Bray player to easily score and and cost Shamrock Rovers to lose the game.

The second is another individual mistake but this one comes from the experienced Greg Bolger.

By not clearing the simple cross from Chris Shields it led to a mix up with goalkeeper Kevin Horgan and the ball simply trickled into the net.

Rovers lost that game 2-1, so another point potentially lost.

Bradley ultimately takes responsibility for results but he cannot be blamed for his experienced players consistently making mistakes.

The Dubliner is regarded as a great hands on coach that is at the club from sunrise to sunset, and is continuously analysing his teams to help them develop.

Shamrock Rovers as a club have been known in the past to get rid of quality managers too early and seem to be backing their man even through turbulent periods which is good to see.

The players need to have a look at themselves and know that the mistakes are costing the club points and could ultimately cost their manager his job in the long run.

Craig Colgan

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6 thoughts on “Opinion piece: Stephen Bradley cannot be blamed for continuous individual errors of players

  1. Bradley of course can’t be blamed for individual mistakes on the pitch, but he has made plenty of mistakes himself. Why let Madden go and bring in a lesser player Boyle? Coustrain is not good enough and neither is Luke Byrne but they continue to be selected ahead of Joey O’Brien, McAllister, Lopes and Sam Bone. Rovers haven’t had a decent keeper since Alan Mannus, why was this not addressed as a priority? Brads reckons Rovers were improved against Bray…big deal, they were playing the bottom side after all….and still lost. I hope Bradley does succeed as manager, but he doesn’t know it all yet. He’s too quick with quotes and comments and needs more action and less talk.

  2. Whilst I agree that Rovers need not panic, and Bradley can’t do much about senior players making errors, but anyone can see that Rovers are wide open. Bradleys philosophy is to play total football, but in the Airtricity League you must match that with a solid defence, to win Rovers have to outscore the opposition as they tend to concede at least one goal in most games. They look to me like a collection of talented players that are lost out on the park, I think they do need a more experienced manager, and new signings in defence, midfield, and a new goalkeeper.

  3. Stephen Bradley is building a team for the future there will be lots of errors on the way as there was with Alex Ferguson’s with Man United all those years ago but look where United went a manager needs support from team and supporters to concentrate on his Job don’t gudge to early

    1. That’s all well and good and I really hope he succeeds in the future, but the present is also important, especially for the fans paying good money every week. They might even have accepted at the start of the season that Rovers may not challenge for the league this time but surely they are entitled to better performances than the likes of the first game against Bohs, and losing to the bottom side. The minimum expectation is qualification for Europe and right now that looks iffy. They should at least be closing the gap on the top sides, 11pts behind Dundalk with a game more played? The fans need something to believe and trust in…they have been patient so far.

  4. Bye the way, for those gloating tweets from Bray… season Rovers will be in the Premier Division……..where will you be, Div .1 where you belong or disappear into the Wicklow league never to be seen again and no one will care. and your best players will be hoping that the likes of Rovers will offer them a contract. This league needs serious players like Sligo , Limerick, Galway, not mickey mouse teams.

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