Bob Bradley, the United States coach, would be a perfect replacement for Roy Hodgson, according to Fulham striker Eddie Johnson. Bradley is reportedly on a three-man shortlist for the post at the English Premier League club, along with Ottmar Hitzfeld, the Switzerland coach, and Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England and Manchester City manager. Eriksson appeared to distance himself from claims he was about to take the post when he said he was considering an offer to extend his contract as Ivory Coast coach.
That could pave the way for Bradley, who guided the US to the second round of the World Cup. Johnson has been a regular part of the US squad since Bradley took over in 2006, although Bradley decided to omit Johnson from his final 23 for the World Cup. The 26-year-old striker, who signed for Fulham in 2008, believes there are many similarities between Bradley and Hodgson, which would make the US coach ideal for the post.
"Bob could do a good job at Fulham," Johnson said. "If you look at the statistics then it's plain to see that he has done a good job with the US. They did well in the World Cup, won their group and played really well and that's all to his credit. "He's a very similar manager to Roy. He plays attractive football but also organises his team in a defined shape that is hard to play against." Emile Heskey, 32, the Aston Villa striker, announced his international retirement yesterday.
He won 62 caps for England, scoring seven times, and was a part of Fabio Capello's side at the World Cup. "I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and worn the shirt with pride every time I have been fortunate enough to have been selected," Heskey said. Wigan, Heskey's former club, have taken Ali al Habsi, the Oman international goalkeeper, on a season-long loan from Bolton. Al Habsi, 28, had limited opportunities at the Reebok Stadium but did impress when offered a run in the side.
Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, is convinced the Omani can challenge Chris Kirkland for the No 1 shirt. * Agencies