Wales - Euro 2021 Discussion

Gandalf

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Wales (Group A)


Wales Euro 2020 fixtures


June 12: Switzerland, 2pm

June 16: Turkey, 5pm

June 20: Italy, 5pm

Wales Euro 2020 squad: The full 26-man team
  • GK: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace)
  • GK: Daniel Ward (Leicester City)
  • GK: Adam Davies (Stoke City)
  • DF: Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur)
  • DF: Joe Rodon (Tottenham Hotspur)
  • DF: Chris Mepham (Bournemouth)
  • DF: Chris Gunter (Charlton Athletic)
  • DF: Rhys Norrington-Davies (Sheffield United)
  • DF: Neco Williams (Liverpool)
  • DF: Connor Roberts (Swansea City)
  • DF: Ben Cabango (Swansea City)
  • DF: Tom Lockyer (Luton Town)
  • MF: Joe Allen (Stoke City)
  • MF: Joe Morrell (Luton Town)
  • MF: Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea)
  • MF: Matthew Smith (Manchester City)
  • MF: Jonathan Williams (Cardiff City)
  • MF: Aaron Ramsey (Juventus)
  • MF: Harry Wilson (Liverpool)
  • MF: David Brooks (Bournemouth)
  • MF: Dylan Levitt (Manchester United)
  • MF: Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City)
  • FW: Tyler Roberts (Leeds United)
  • FW: Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City)
  • FW: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
  • FW: Daniel James (Manchester United)
Wales Euro 2020 squad: Team profile

Five years ago, Wales reached a European Championship semi-final. Five years before that, they were officially 116th in the world. What expectations can you base on that?

With their FIFA ranking’s sine wave flattening near its peak, recent success looks sustainable. Wales’ four best centre-backs are all aged 20-23 and their attack offers an array of youthful promise, while the FAW’s coaching setup earns nothing but praise. The future’s bright.

The present is less rosy. Wales played their World Cup qualifiers in spring not knowing who’d lead them at Euro 2020, with Rob Page in temporary charge since Ryan Giggs’ November arrest on suspicion of assault. Meanwhile, Jonathan Ford’s 11-year reign as chief executive ended with a no-confidence vote in March. It’s not ideal preparation.

On the pitch, Wales live on tight margins despite their attacking talent. Having reached Euro 2016 by scoring 11 goals in 10 qualifiers, they made Euro 2020 with 10 in eight. Their 2020/21 Nations League results were 1-0, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0, 1-0 and an incongruous 3-1 overseen by Page. Under Giggs, after thumping Ireland 4-1 in his first competitive fixture, Wales played 20 matches and scored 18 goals, also conceding 18. Terrace murmurs of ‘doing a Greece’ are only part-joking.

Injuries haven’t helped. Aaron Ramsey featured in just three of Wales’ 21 fixtures ahead of the Euros. Joe Allen has to reclaim a starting berth from understudy Joe Morrell. But the upside is a newfound depth: while Wales can be wondrous when their stars are aligned, the likes of Morrell, Danny Ward and Harry Wilson – a false nine now, apparently – make the starting XI hard to predict. Goodbye, David Cotterill; bore da, David Brooks. The 2016 cohort wasn’t old, yet a mere half-dozen are sure of a squad place five years later. Even a hero such as Chris Gunter, the first Welshman to 100 caps and still only 31, may miss out.

Fans will be sorely missed, however. The bond between players and The Red Wall was evident on qualification day in Gareth Bale’s delight at seeing the ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid.’ flag, and in Allen and Sam Vokes joining chants of that and Allen’s own ‘Wales. Chickens. Stoke.’ (don’t ask) at 3am on Caroline Street, AKA Chippy Lane. The ‘Together Stronger’ motto inspired Wales in France; this summer’s mood will be subdued. As Gunter would say: chin up.

Wales Euro 2020 squad: Who is Wales' best player?

Gareth Bale

Look no further than Gareth Bale as Wales' star man. The on-loan Tottenham forward seems to come alive on the international stage, despite struggling for club form during the season. Although not as formidable as he once was, Bale can inspire this youthful Wales team with his leadership.

Backing up the former most expensive player in the world is Juventus' Aaron Ramsey, another exceptional player on his day. If these two are fit and firing, Wales will always have a chance.
 
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BusbyMalone

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Done exceptionally well in the last tournament, but I really can't see them getting out of the group. They're pretty solid in defense (think they only conceded 6 goals in qualifying), but aren't exactly prolific upfront. Maybe they'll go through as one of the best 3rd place finishers.
 

Gandalf

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Done exceptionally well in the last tournament, but I really can't see them getting out of the group. They're pretty solid in defense (think they only conceded 6 goals in qualifying), but aren't exactly prolific upfront. Maybe they'll go through as one of the best 3rd place finishers.
It is a very tough group, I think we have the team to beat Turkey but Italy is a bridge too far and so the decisive fixture is the opener against Switzerland which will be a defensive struggle. Got to hope for another clean sheet and rely on our pace up top to maybe nick a goal or two on the break if the Swiss push up too high trying to break us down.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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Wouldn’t fully write them off. They are a well organised side. I thought before the red card against France last night they really competed well.
 

krentz

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Is Giggs going too?
Watched them against France last night must say i'm suprised to find theyre pretty good and look dangerous before the sent off. Daniel James especially was very lively, he left Varane dead on his feet multiple time, if only he can improve his finishing he'd be a £50M player.
 

VorZakone

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How good are Wales lately? I have them last in group A but am willing to change my predictions...
 

Gandalf

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How good are Wales lately? I have them last in group A but am willing to change my predictions...
They are decent on their day but like a lot of the smaller nations depend very much on having their first choice players available as the drop off on the bench is pretty alarming. No real superstars in defence but they have a system and a group of players who are familiar with each other and know how to follow the plan and then up top we have a few difference makers like Ramsey, Wilson and despite the grief he gets here Dan James. Mostly though our hopes rest on Gareth Bale. When Bale switches it on he is still one of the best players in Europe and he does love playing for Wales a hell of a lot more than any of his club sides so fingers crossed he pulls out a couple of vintage performances.
 

VorZakone

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They are decent on their day but like a lot of the smaller nations depend very much on having their first choice players available as the drop off on the bench is pretty alarming. No real superstars in defence but they have a system and a group of players who are familiar with each other and know how to follow the plan and then up top we have a few difference makers like Ramsey, Wilson and despite the grief he gets here Dan James. Mostly though our hopes rest on Gareth Bale. When Bale switches it on he is still one of the best players in Europe and he does love playing for Wales a hell of a lot more than any of his club sides so fingers crossed he pulls out a couple of vintage performances.
Is Ramsey fit? Thought he had injury issues.
 

youngrell

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They are decent on their day but like a lot of the smaller nations depend very much on having their first choice players available as the drop off on the bench is pretty alarming. No real superstars in defence but they have a system and a group of players who are familiar with each other and know how to follow the plan and then up top we have a few difference makers like Ramsey, Wilson and despite the grief he gets here Dan James. Mostly though our hopes rest on Gareth Bale. When Bale switches it on he is still one of the best players in Europe and he does love playing for Wales a hell of a lot more than any of his club sides so fingers crossed he pulls out a couple of vintage performances.
Pretty much sums us up quite well.

The only thing I would add, is that we aren't really sure how good we are at the moment because since Giggs/Page have been in charge it always seems that one or more of our key players are missing, and as mentioned, for a small nation with not so much depth, those key players are really, very important.

Fingers crossed our big players are fit and firing, that will give us a lot more confidence and better odds of making it through the group.
 

Gandalf

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Is Ramsey fit? Thought he had injury issues.
He played the last 30 minutes against France yesterday and despite not playing he was on the bench for Juventus last few games, Ben Davies also came on as a sub who is equally important to our team. Fit enough to play it seems but the rust will be a concern, particularly as we have to get something out of the first game against Switzerland.
 

BusbyMalone

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It is a very tough group, I think we have the team to beat Turkey but Italy is a bridge too far and so the decisive fixture is the opener against Switzerland which will be a defensive struggle. Got to hope for another clean sheet and rely on our pace up top to maybe nick a goal or two on the break if the Swiss push up too high trying to break us down.
Yeah, beating Switzerland in the first game will give them a huge chance of going through as best 3rd place finisher. I think there are only two, 3rd place teams that WON'T go through. So they definitely have a chance, unless they have an absolute shocker.
 

FootballHQ

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Done exceptionally well in the last tournament, but I really can't see them getting out of the group. They're pretty solid in defense (think they only conceded 6 goals in qualifying), but aren't exactly prolific upfront. Maybe they'll go through as one of the best 3rd place finishers.
I agree.

Dog of a group this, Italy in Rome ffs so no chance there (unless Italy rest half their team which could happen with it being last match) Swiss are very tough to beat themselves and usually get out of groups in euros or world cup and Turkey are very decent and usually do well when they actually make tournaments.

Can see Wales finishing bottom even if they get two draws off Swiss and Turkey.

Not like their results have been that terrible last few years as they're generally a solid tier 2 european nation now and they have some exciting young players but I can't see the key players from last time like Bale, Ramsey and Joe Allen being anywhere near as effective this time as those three simply haven't played enough in last 12 months and that will be a big problem.
 

Cascarino

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Good write up!

I’m used to supporting the other home nations and Ireland, so I’ve been spoilt in recent years with 2016 and the tournament coming up.

I’m not expecting that much, but the atmosphere between the players and supporters is always excellent, there’s a real harmony and I’m excited even if I think our chances are low.
 

Abraxas

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I think they've an outside chance of getting out of the group, I would not be shocked.

Man for man Switzerland and Turkey are certainly stronger and have players at stronger clubs, but a switched on Bale is a difference maker, potentially. They also have James on the break combining with him.

Not much expectation, they can sit back, utilise the break, they could do it with an organised setup and their key players having blinding games.
 

Cascarino

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They've installed 26 of these with names from the squad at castles around the country.



 

V.O.

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They've installed 26 of these with names from the squad at castles around the country.



That's great, except that Kieffer Moore is from Torquay and almost certainly has no idea where Caernarfon even is (might be able to guess the country to be fair). :(
 

Cascarino

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That's great, except that Kieffer Moore is from Torquay and almost certainly has no idea where Caernarfon even is (might be able to guess the country to be fair). :(
Would have been hard work to link every castle to where the player was born! (or their nan). Ramsey and Bale's are their hometown though.
Joe Allen was born in the same hospital as me, and the town does have a castle, but they've given him a different location. Annoying.