McBride: Fulham’s Next Manager?


Following the injury to Charlie Davies, there are growing cries for Bob Bradley to attempt to bring back Brian McBride to the national team (see this Matchfit post and Alexi Lalas said it last night on ESPN). I think this would not only be a mistake, but I highly doubt McBride would even entertain it.

In his post game comments last night after the Fire game, McBride refused to commit to even playing next year. He certainly could, but I think it is very far fetched to think a man who is uncertain whether he wants to play five months from now is the answer for our national team. I love McBride, but he is 37 – he would turn 38 at the World Cup – and that is just way too old, especially when there are some pretty decent options to replace Davies and partner with Altidore (even if you don’t like Kenny Cooper).

What I think is more likely than McBride starting in the next World Cup, is a move back to England next summer. Not as a player but as a manager.

Roy Hodgson has done an absolutely fantastic job at Fulham and he will likely be able to stay as long as he wants – I know if I were a Fulham fan I would sure hope he stays. But there are many rumors that Hodgson is looking elsewhere.

Hodgson was approached by Norway and Sweden after they were eliminated from the World Cup and fired their coaches. Hodgson turned them down, but he has remained very coy about signing a contract extension with Fulham even though his contract ends in June. What makes this puzzling is that Hodgson is revered right now and could certainly get a much higher salary and could ensure his presence on the Premiership sidelines for many years. So why no deal? He was quoted saying “I’m quite happy with the contract I’ve got…It runs until next June, I’m happy getting on with it and we’ll see what happens.” Well this may just be a coy negotiating strategy or Hodgson, who is 62 and has managed extensively at the international level, may prefer the more leisurely life of a national team manager and be waiting for offers to come in after the World Cup (USA???).

Fulham should do everything to re-sign him, but if Hodgson moves on this summer after the world cup and more national team openings become available, one clear candidate for the Fulham job would be former captain McBride.

McBride is absolutely revered by Fulham fans – the Fulham pub is even named after him (how sweet would it be to have a pub named after your manager). While McBride has no managerial experience, it is certainly not unusual for great recently retired players to take over – think Alan Sheerer, Gareth Southgate, or even Roy Keane (not at Man U, but still). This is all idle speculation, but I think McBride taking over Fulham is much more likely than him going to next years World Cup. And without a doubt he is the most likely to be the first American to manage in the Premier League.


2 Responses

  1. Interesting idea for Hodgson as manager of the USA, his experience at international level is second to none.

    For McBride I think the examples of “Alan Sheerer, Gareth Southgate, or even Roy Keane” are warning signs against becoming a Premier League manager so soon. Maybe a role in the PL as an assistant, Everton or Fulham, would give him time to gain experience before making that big step up.

  2. […] and other northern European countries this is definitely not the case anymore. I always thought Brian McBride would be the first American manager in Europe – most likely Roy Hodgson’s replacement with Fulham – but a victory over England […]

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