There’s no point in getting away from the fact that Wales aren’t one of the ‘elite level’ nations in the realms of European, and even world, football. We aren’t saying that to be harsh or take away from anything they’ve done in the past, but it’s just a fact. They’ve had their moments in recent times, most notably in getting to the semi finals of Euro 2016, but we aren’t going to pretend like they’ve been able to carry that momentum forward.
Heading into the current set of European Qualifiers, there were a lot of question marks over the appointment of Ryan Giggs as the national team’s new manager. While he may have been an incredible player in his day, there’s absolutely no way in which you can say that he’s going to be able to transition successfully into the world of management.
Not what you want to see
Up to this point we’d say he’s done an okay job, and by up to this point, we mean before the game against Hungary. As reported by BBC, Giggs was unable to steer his Welsh side towards a positive result last night as they lost 1-0 in their opponent’s backyard. They never really looked like they were 100% ‘in’ the game, and while they showed more intent going forward, that didn’t mean all too much in comparison to how vulnerable they looked at the back. In many ways, actually, they were fortunate not to conceded more than they did.
In another report from BBC, Giggs himself was faced with the realisation that it’s going to be an uphill battle for them if they’re serious about their intention to qualify for next year’s Euros.
“I know there are still a lot of points but we have made it really difficult for ourselves,” said manager Giggs.
“You look at the games, we still had enough chances to win the games. In our defence, it is tough – not enough of our players were at peak fitness.
“But we have to probably win nearly every game now. We are probably relying on teams around us to drop points, which they will do because it is competitive.
“Obviously we have to start winning and, if not win all the games, then the majority of them.”
There was no point in beating around the bush, and thankfully, he didn’t. In the modern era of world football you need to do more than just rely on one or two world class stars in order to get you to the top, especially in international football. Gareth Bale is a great footballer but he missed a sitter last night, to the point where many fans were blaming him for Wales not getting a point from the game.
In reality that wasn’t the issue at all, because there are much bigger problems that need to be addressed by Giggs before their next set of qualifiers. Thankfully there’s still time for them to turn things around, especially against some of the weaker sides, but they still need to improve – and fast.