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Posts Tagged ‘Welsh Football’

As I mentioned on Thursday, Wales were playing two matches over the last few days as part of their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup. On Thursday we played Austria away, and yesterday (Sunday 9 October), we played Georgia at home. Both matches ended in draws, we drew 2-2 with Austria and 1-1 with Georgia. It is a mark of the raised expectations amongst Welsh fans that both results were disappointing.

In Austria we were twice ahead, but after Austria levelled the game at 2-2 they looked the better team for much of the second half. The same was true against Georgia yesterday, after going 1-0 up through a Gareth Bale goal we were pegged back to 1-1 early in the second half, and after levelling the match it was Georgia who looked the better team.

safari001

Wales drew 1-1 with Georgia yesterday evening, in a disappointing display which saw us hanging on in a second half dominated by Georgia.

Upon reflection, an away draw to Austria is not a bad result, I think the disappointment at not winning was due to our being ahead twice and because of our fantastic run in Euro 2016. But, to not beat Georgia at home is definitely a poor result, and I expect the Welsh media to be full of inquisitions in the coming week as to why we performed so poorly.

The Wales manager, Chris Coleman, will be disappointed with the way we failed to dominate Georgia. It is a match we very much should have won, and yet for the last 20 minutes we were hanging on to keep it to a draw. Our next match is home against Serbia on 12 November, and hopefully we will have Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen back, as yesterday we certainly felt the absence of the two of them.

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Later tonight Wales will take on Austria in their second qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup. Kick off is at 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT). Building on the success of getting to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Wales kicked off their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup with an emphatic 4-0 home win against Moldova. We follow tonight’s away match against Austria with a home game on Sunday (9 October) against Georgia.

safariscreensnapz001

Tonight Wales take on Austria in the 2nd qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup.

Wales have only qualified once before for the World Cup, in 1958. As you would expect, with such a successful run in the Euro 2016 competition, expectations are high that we can qualify again this time around. Unfortunately, Aaron Ramsey will be absent for these two upcoming games, and I have read that there is a dispute going on between Wales manager Chris Coleman and Ramsay’s Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as to when he will be available for Wales.

I hope that it will be soon, as on Saturday 12 November we will have our 4th qualifying match, a home game against Serbia. Ramsey was instrumental in our run to the semi-finals in Euro 2016, and we certainly felt his loss when he was barred from competing in the semi-final match against Portugal due to having picked up two yellow cards in previous matches.

Thankfully all other first-choice players are fit, an  important thing for Wales as we do not have as much strength-in-depth as many countries. Gareth Bale is fit and will hopefully be in the same form as he was against Moldova when he scored two goals. Dere ‘mlaen Cymru!!! (Come on Wales!!!)

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Ryan Giggs turned 40 last week, and is still going as strong as ever. Many newspapers celebrated his remarkable career. He has been playing top-class football since the age of 17, playing all his games for Manchester United and Wales. As of the writing of this article, he has appeared an amazing 953 times for Manchester United (including 611 appearances in the Premier League, which is a record), and 64 times for Wales.

I thought I would include links to two of the many many articles that have been written about this remarkable Welshman in the last week. The first is from Wales’ national newspaper, The Western Mail. The link to the actual story is here.



The Western Mail, the national newspaper of Wales, ran several articles celebrating Ryan Giggs turning 40.

The Western Mail, the national newspaper of Wales, ran several articles celebrating Ryan Giggs turning 40.



But, just to show that it is not only the Welsh press who have been celebrating his career, here is a link to a story about Giggs’ enduring career from The Guardian, an English newspaper.



This article, from The Guardian newspaper, celebrates Ryan Giggs' enduring career.

This article, from The Guardian newspaper, celebrates Ryan Giggs’ enduring career.



It will be interesting to see how much longer Giggs carries on playing. Although he has lost a little of his phenomenal pace, he still seems to have the hunger to play top-flight football, and has looked after his body very very well so shows no sign of his body breaking down as so often happens to sports players once they reach their mid 30s. Let us hope that he continues to light up the football stadia of Europe for as long as he still enjoys it.

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