' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

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' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby Forever Blue » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:11 pm

What Wales can learn from the World Cup - Croatia inspiration and how Gareth Bale can be the world's best


By Paul Abdanato

Thursday 12th July 2018


The feeling of how well Wales could have done on this biggest stage of the lot has been in the back of minds up and down the land.

It was not to be unfortunately and whilst attention in the short term turns to the Euro qualifiers, the big aim has to be the next global showpiece in Qatar 2022.

What are the things Wales can take from the past few weeks? Here are some of the talking points...








CROATIA CAN INSPIRE THE SMALLER NATIONS

During the Croatia-England after-match analysis, Slaven Bilic turned to fellow ITV pundit Ryan Giggs down by the side of the pitch.

Patting him on the shoulder he said the smaller footballing nations 'like Wales' could take inspiration from Croatia's march to the final.

Giggs smiled, but at that point part of him must have looked ahead to Qatar 2022.


Bilic was making the point that no country with such a small population 'in the modern era' had reached a World Cup final.

Croatia have just over a million more inhabitants than Wales. Pound for pound when measured against the big guns, theirs is a remarkable success story.

In the modern era Bilic talks of, the Netherlands would be the next smallest country to reach the final. However, their population of 17 million is four times Croatia's figure.

Croatia are clearly a special case and they may well lose to France on Sunday. But you would never have thought such a small nation could even get to the final of the world's biggest tournament.

There is a clear analogy with Wales because they have been driven there by a true world class talent in Luka Modric. England lacked that type of footballer, which is why they lost.

When the going has got tough, Modric has carried Croatia through games. Just as Gareth Bale has done, of course, many times with Wales.

In 2022, Bale will be the same age as Modric is today. No-one is suggesting Wales will get to the final, they've got to qualify first, but Bilic's words offer the opportunity to dream at the very least.





THE WORLD ORDER HAS CHANGED

The power shift had started at the Euros with Wales and Iceland and it has continued two years on.

This has not been a tournament for traditional powerhouses. Germany didn't get beyond the group stage, Argentina and Spain were dumped in the last 16. Brazil failed to reach the semi-finals. Italy didn't even qualify.

Croatia, England and Belgium reaching the semi-finals are further evidence of the change.








BALE CAN BECOME THE BEST FOOTBALLER IN THE WORLD

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are football freaks, with ridiculous goal ratios that we've never seen before. Who is to say they are not going to score another bucketload for Barcelona and Juventus in the new season?

But Messi, one wonder goal versus Nigeria aside, couldn't inspire Argentina. Ronaldo started with a sensational hat-trick against Spain, but couldn't attain anything like those heights afterwards.

Ronaldo is 33 and not the force he was. Ditto Messi.

A vacuum could be opening up for the theoretical title of world's best footballer - and it is one Bale can fill.

Neymar is the natural heir apparent, but he left Russia with more talk about his play-acting than his skills and goals. If anything, the Brazilian superstar's stock dipped, rather than soared.

Eden Hazard has been a sensation for Belgium, France's Kylian Mbappe is only 19 and destined to be the best one day.

But just imagine the sensation Bale would have been out in Russia. With his skill, blinding pace, power, goal-getting, free-kick speciality and heading ability, he offers almost the complete package for a footballer.

Ronaldo's Bernabeu departure opens an opportunity for Real Madrid to build their team around Bale (you can read about that here ).

It's a chance he can grasp and establish himself for a couple of years as the world's finest.

Has the World Cup really thrown up a better player than Gareth Bale? I'm not convinced.






IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY

More than a century on, Oscar Wilde's famous quote applies to Gareth Southgate's England whose success has been built upon the very template that saw Wales roar to the Euro semi-finals.





The similarities are uncanny.

A relaxed and likeable young team, fantastic dressing room spirit, we're in it together mantra, same style of play, manager at one with the fans. They even use the same corner routine where five or six players line up behind one another to cause confusion amongst the opposition.

Ashley Williams scored this way against Belgium; Harry Maguire versus Sweden.

No coincidence there. Wales' former goalkeeping coach was involved in corner routine tactics during the Euros. He has been in the England camp out in Russia.

Someone called it 'The Bus Stop' during the Euros. England have renamed it 'The English Locomotion'.

Heck Southgate has even become a bit of a Chris Coleman parrot. In a nice sort of way.

'Don't be afraid to have dreams.' 'I've told the players to write their own piece of history.'

Hmmm, where have we heard those phrases before?

England will never openly admit to copying Wales, of course, but put it this way - it's one heck of a list of coincidences.






DENMARK WILL BE A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK

Wales have a busy autumn, including games against old foe Ireland and then Denmark in the new Nations League.

Giggs has spent a lot of time at the World Cup studying the Danes, watching them beat Peru in the opener, then draw with Australia, France and Croatia. They exited the tournament on penalties.

It remains to be seen how much the Nations League will capture the imagination of the public, but it's an important competition for Wales with seedings for Euro 2020 at stake.

The Danes are resilient and have a creative spark from their talisman Christian Eriksen.

But who would you prefer in your team, him or Bale?






ON THE OTHER HAND SPAIN ARE A BIG SCALP WALES CAN TAKE

Thursday October 11 is an historic night for Wales as they return to the 74,000-seater Principality Stadium for the first time in seven years.

Spain are the glamour opposition, but they'll pitch up in Cardiff as not quite the force that won the World Cup and Euros (twice) between 2008-2012.

After a Spain 3 Ronaldo 3 Group B opener, the Spanish were less than impressive in scraping past Iran 1-0 and grabbing a last-gasp equaliser to draw 2-2 with Morocco. They were then dumped out of the tournament in the first knockout match by Russia.



Spain will have a new manager and there are issues for him to address. That includes a lack of cutting edge and an ageing midfield.

Even David de Gea, the Premier League's top goalkeeper, didn't look himself in Spanish colours.

Wales have grabbed some major scalps at the old Millennium Stadium. Could Spain follow Germany and Italy onto the list?






THE WELSH COACHING SYSTEM IS THRIVING

The work done by Osian Roberts and the FAW Trust when it comes to what they call 'a world-class coaching education system' should never be under-estimated.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool No.2 Pep Lijnders took his badges here, so too Pep Guardiola's Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta.

Belgium's Spanish-French management duo of Roberto Martinez and Thierry Henry were also on the Welsh course.

Thierry Henry doing his coaching badges in Wales... (Image: Images provided by FAW Trust)
... and with Martinez celebrating the win over Brazil (Image: Getty Images Europe)
Last year Henry chose to pass on his wisdom by conducting theoretical and practical sessions at a course organised at the Celtic Manor by Roberts instead of going to Wembley to watch his beloved Arsenal win the FA Cup.

Roberts' courses are thorough, intense, but a wonderful education.

Martinez and Henry put a lot of what they learned into practice in Wales by spearheading Belgium's march into the last four.







A BRILLIANT LEARNING CURVE FOR GIGGS

Wales' manager has spent the last five weeks in Russia, monitoring, listening, learning.

He has been able to study the likes of Southgate and Joachim Low close up, note the pressure they have been under, how they have handled it.

In that respect it has been a great experience for Giggs in his role as a TV pundit, but also with his Wales manager's hat on.

He hasn't felt any pressure himself, but he will have put himself in the shoes of those who have been and worked out a way to handle it as and when Wales' moment comes.







THE TEAMS TO AVOID FOR THOSE EUROS (INCLUDING ENGLAND)

Wales were denied the chance to host Euro 2020 games, but can still make a huge impression on the tournament by playing in it.

The top two teams from Wales' group will qualify, but Giggs' side cannot be top seeds.

So who are the leading sides they ideally need to avoid to give themselves a better chance?

France are the best team in the World Cup and comfortably beat Wales 2-0 last year (read about it here ), so probably best to steer clear.

Likewise England, who also have a young team that will get better and who always do well in qualifying.

England's players celebrate after beating Sweden and go through to the semi-finals of the World Cup
Croatia have an ageing team with most of their key players into their thirties, but will take inspiration from what's just happened.

Germany and Italy will come again, Spain always do well in qualifying.

But after that? Well, Belgium's golden generation may have had their day and in any case Wales have their number.

Portugal aren't the force they were.

The dream scenario, though, would be any one of any of the Netherlands, Switzerland, Iceland or Poland, who could make the top group.

The Swiss may have been the sixth-best ranked team in the world going into the tournament, but clearly they weren't and aren't that good.

The Iceland bubble is bursting, Poland flopped, the Netherlands didn't even get there.

SERBIA WERE NO GREAT SHAKES, PROOF THIS WAS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY MISSED

What the World Cup has demonstrated, as many of us suspected back in the autumn, is that this was the big golden chance missed.

No qualifying group can be classed as easy, but on a scale of difficulty Wales had been handed an opportunity at the lower end of the scale - comfortably their best hope in a generation of qualifying.

Down the years Wales teams have had much tougher draws, pitched in with crack sides like West Germany or the Netherlands. Or teams like England, and excellent Romania and Russia outfits who they were never going to overome.

Serbia, who topped Wales' group, were unsurprisingly ineffectual in Russia. A 1-0 win over Costa Rica at least meant they managed to avoid finishing bottom of a group that saw Brazil and Switzerland progress.



The Republic of Ireland, conquerors of Wales, were a poor team who should have been seen off. Austria were no great shakes, Georgia and Moldova beatable.

The only qualifying draw that was arguably as kind was for 2002 when Mark Hughes' Wales were pitted against Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia.

But Sparky had inherited a mess from Bobby Gould and had to rebuild. The tournament had come too early. This time the players were ready and at their peak, but questionable Coleman tactics and team selection at key points proved costly.

Wales are unlikely to be handed quite so good a hand for Qatar 2022.






THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT - AND STILL RED


Looking ahead Wales have issues of their own to resolve. Ashley Williams needs regular football, Joe Allen will have to step up from the Championship to international football.

And, of course, we have no idea for certain how Giggs will fare when the games that matter come around.

But there are far more reasons to be positive than negative, with real hope offered by the fresh new brigade.

Youngsters offering hope, Ben Woodburn, David Brooks and Ethan Ampadu




David Brooks has netted a £12m move into the Premier League with Bournemouth . Chris Mepham, who Giggs rates highly, is also being talked about for a similar sum.

Harry Wilson has made dramatic strides with Wales under Giggs and could break through for Liverpool . Ethan Ampadu is fit again. Ben Woodburn, almost the forgotten teen after his wonderful World Cup exploits, will burst onto the scene once more.

There is a depth of quality that was needed to freshen up the side post-the Euros.
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' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby HarriRhys22 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:33 pm

Southgate definitely copied his former Palace team mate Coleman’s/Osian Roberts ideas and if he had a Bale with the easy route would have made the Final no problem?
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby CaerphillyBluebird15 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:01 pm

Every time I see the name Ryan Giggs it makes me want to swear.
What a bellend of a bloke.
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby HarriRhys22 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:58 pm

One of only three World Class Welsh players I’ve seen in my lifetime, John Charles,Gareth Bale and Giggs. The Welsh players certainly respect him which is important and he has certainly started his management career well. He is also the most decorated player In the Premiership and is Welsh so give the guy a chance!
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby OriginalGrangeEndBlue » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:04 pm

HarriRhys22 wrote:One of only three World Class Welsh players I’ve seen in my lifetime, John Charles,Gareth Bale and Giggs. The Welsh players certainly respect him which is important and he has certainly started his management career well. He is also the most decorated player In the Premiership and is Welsh so give the guy a chance!


I don’t know but I would imagine he talking about his private life.
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby JB1 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:14 pm

When Bilic was patting Giggs on the shoulder and saying about smaller nations doing well, I don't think Giggs was looking ahead to Qatar with Wales. He looked awkward as if he just wanted to say, 'get off me, I can't believe you just beat us in extra time. Can I go to the studio with me other English mates now'
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby Bluebina » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:55 pm

HarriRhys22 wrote:One of only three World Class Welsh players I’ve seen in my lifetime, John Charles,Gareth Bale and Giggs. The Welsh players certainly respect him which is important and he has certainly started his management career well. He is also the most decorated player In the Premiership and is Welsh so give the guy a chance!



Rush ???
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby Dessy1927 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:54 pm

JB1 wrote:When Bilic was patting Giggs on the shoulder and saying about smaller nations doing well, I don't think Giggs was looking ahead to Qatar with Wales. He looked awkward as if he just wanted to say, 'get off me, I can't believe you just beat us in extra time. Can I go to the studio with me other English mates now'


Ah man that was my exact thoughts.
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby CaerphillyBluebird15 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:58 am

HarriRhys22 wrote:One of only three World Class Welsh players I’ve seen in my lifetime, John Charles,Gareth Bale and Giggs. The Welsh players certainly respect him which is important and he has certainly started his management career well. He is also the most decorated player In the Premiership and is Welsh so give the guy a chance!


You think the players respect him?
I can assure you, some of the older ones don't...
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby dogfound » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:33 am

CaerphillyBluebird15 wrote:
HarriRhys22 wrote:One of only three World Class Welsh players I’ve seen in my lifetime, John Charles,Gareth Bale and Giggs. The Welsh players certainly respect him which is important and he has certainly started his management career well. He is also the most decorated player In the Premiership and is Welsh so give the guy a chance!


You think the players respect him?
I can assure you, some of the older ones don't...



that can be said for every player/person ever..your always going to get people that dont like you..
but ive not seen anyone who actually played say they do not respect his achievements, be a bit silly if they did really..
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby CaerphillyBluebird15 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:35 am

dogfound wrote:
CaerphillyBluebird15 wrote:
HarriRhys22 wrote:One of only three World Class Welsh players I’ve seen in my lifetime, John Charles,Gareth Bale and Giggs. The Welsh players certainly respect him which is important and he has certainly started his management career well. He is also the most decorated player In the Premiership and is Welsh so give the guy a chance!


You think the players respect him?
I can assure you, some of the older ones don't...



that can be said for every player/person ever..your always going to get people that dont like you..
but ive not seen anyone who actually played say they do not respect his achievements, be a bit silly if they did really..


His achievements are not in dispute mate. He achieved so much as a player and there's no denying that.
Respect as a person / Manager - I think not. :thumbright:
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Re: ' Wales Future & Ryan Giggs / Gareth Bale '

Postby dogfound » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:51 am

CaerphillyBluebird15 wrote:
dogfound wrote:
CaerphillyBluebird15 wrote:
HarriRhys22 wrote:One of only three World Class Welsh players I’ve seen in my lifetime, John Charles,Gareth Bale and Giggs. The Welsh players certainly respect him which is important and he has certainly started his management career well. He is also the most decorated player In the Premiership and is Welsh so give the guy a chance!


You think the players respect him?
I can assure you, some of the older ones don't...



that can be said for every player/person ever..your always going to get people that dont like you..
but ive not seen anyone who actually played say they do not respect his achievements, be a bit silly if they did really..


His achievements are not in dispute mate. He achieved so much as a player and there's no denying that.
Respect as a person / Manager - I think not. :thumbright:



i get the person bit...manager..he is a novice as was Speed / Hughes /Mike England...might be good and might be rubbish
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