Wales stars find their feet with fourteen weeks to go to the World Cup
Tuesday, 2nd Aug 2022 10:54 by Keith Haynes
Joe Rodon, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, are all names which will feature in this years World Cup, injury permitting of course. It’s satisfying to see Joe and Aaron heading to France and of course Gareth Bale being enthused by his new surroundings in the USA. And of course Joe Allen made a wise and very well thought out decision as well. That’s four linchpins in an international side looking to quietly go about their business.
It’s a crucial period now, with just fourteen weeks to go to the World Cup in Qatar and the inevitable jingoistic drivel from the countries press regards England we see a thoughtful, cautious but experienced Wales side put themselves in to gear. Both countries will meet in Qatar, selected in the same group as Iran and the USA, I read now of the inevitability of England’s easy progression. I have read these things before.
On a positive note for Wales the players we have mentioned will be joined by a new group of young bloods, Brennan Johnson a fine example, the Nottingham Forest forward now in the premier league having been at Lincoln City in 2021. A marvellous feat, and a wonderfully gifted player we are so lucky to have in the national side. Wrexham born Neco Williams also made his move and joined Johnson at Forest from Liverpool this summer. Another wise signing by Steve Cooper. Another Wrexham born player is Harry Wilson who looks at last to have found his feet at Fulham. Harry is a premier league gem with ten goals to his name from thirty five games in a successful championship campaign last season. He will score goals this season for sure.
Neath born Ben Davies has signed a new contract with Spurs signalling his intention to remain settled over the next few years. A settled player is a happy player and Ben is one of those players who quietly and efficiently goes about his business for club and country. Believe it or not Kieffer Roberto Francisco Moore, yes that’s some name, and he only became relevant as a Wales player in 2019. Literally weeks before his first cap he was toying with the idea of representing China through paternal links via his grandmother. It was only his goalscoring record for Barnsley in the 2018/19 season which got him noticed. He will be thirty next week and again is a settled premier league player on the fringes of things at Bournemouth. ( Watch him get transferred now )
Sorba Thomas is a player with bags of everything people want to see in a winger. It was less than a year ago he was selected for Wales, his Newport born mother the catalyst. Again a player who is settled at his club ( Huddersfield ) and surely must be selected for the World Cup ? Connor Roberts really should be a premier league player, the oddness of last years transfer to Burnley only equalled by the low transfer fee. His drive and determination on the football pitch regardless of what county he is in is going to be crucial in this World Cup. Late on last season he proved his worth to Burnley albeit as they were relegated. If Dan James can continue to ‘taunt’ and take on premier league defences for Leeds United then that form will be needed for Wales to progress in this years World Cup. Again a player who now seems settled at his club after a few years of trying to find his feet at Manchester United.
This is what Wales needs as Rob Page selects his squad for Qatar. Personally I don’t see a more settled and focussed squad than Wales has at this moment in time.A real mixture of experience and youth all focussed on being fit and representing their country. We will of course have numerous features on the World Cup and Wales as we get closer to November.
The multi talented Ethan Ampadu is possibly the exception on the eve of the premier league season, he is in a form of wilderness with Chelsea happy to let him leave. That move hasn’t happened and now impressing immensely for the blues in closed season Thomas Tuchel has a few decisions to make. Either way Ethan being at Chelsea or wherever he ply’s his trade next season won’t be anything other than a positive for Rob Page.
Excited already ? You should be, this looks like the best Wales squad to pull on the red shirt for years. Trevor Hockey and all that.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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