Bradley Sits, Jones Plays in Villa’s 4-1 Rout of Blackburn

June 23, 2010 - Tshwane/Pretoria, Guateng, South Africa - 23 JUN 2010: Michael Bradley (USA). The United States National Team defeated the Algeria National Team 1-0 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa in a 2010 FIFA World Cup Group C match.

Michael Bradley, of Aston Villa, started and ended today’s match on the bench. Jermaine Jones did the opposite in playing the full 90 for Blackburn. By the end of Villa’s 4-1 victory, they surely wished their positions were reversed.

I wrote a full analysis for the But, in brief, the story of the day was the triumphant play of Arsenal legend Robert Pires. The Frenchman signed with Villa last fall, though today’s start was only his second appearance in Villa’s starting XI. He rewarded manager Gerrard Houllier’s faith, and, unfortunately for Michael Bradley, performed brilliantly. Pires completed 53 of 56 passes.

The thirty-seven-year-old won’t be able to participate in every match. Indeed, he was subbed off in the 78th minute this afternoon. So Bradley shouldn’t lose all hope. However, it was telling that Stiliyan Petrov, not Bradley, came on for the exhausted Pires.

It looks like Bradley will have to impress on the training ground before he sees extended playing time at Villa Park.

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