A report from ESPN today is suggesting that former United States manager Bob Bradley is the top choice for the Director of Football position at Aston Villa. Bradley was connected to the Villa managerial position in 2010 before the club ultimately hired Gerard Houllier, and his son Michael Bradley spent the second half of the 2010-11 season on loan with Aston Villa.
Bob Bradley currently manages Stabæk in Norway's Tippeligaen, where he has amassed a 16-7-14 record. The best indication of his potential, though, may be his time in charge of the USMNT. He took over after the team put in a bad showing in the 2006 World Cup and proceeded to build a youth-based team that played at a high level for several years. In the 2009 Confederations Cup, the team placed second after defeating Spain, who were then the best team in the world and hadn't lost in 35 matches. Then, in the 2010 World Cup, the United States advanced to the Round of 16 after winning their group.
There are certainly plenty of differences between a national team and a club, but given the massive infrastructure that Bradley had to manage in his time in charge of the USMNT, it wouldn't be crazy to think that he could be successful as a director of football. In addition, he led the Egyptian national team through a period of national political turmoil and managed to still get good results. One thing that remains to be seen is what Bradley would do when given the reins of transfers at a club with a bit more sway than Stabæk.
Regardless of whether or not Bradley becomes Villa's next director of football, it seems almost certain at this point that the position will exist. While it made loads of sense with Paul Lambert still around, I'm curious to see if the notoriously headstrong Tim Sherwood will be willing to accept input in his decisions from someone with ostensibly more say.