I think it’s safe to say that Wales are in good spirits right now, with the success following Euro 2016, Chris Coleman’s boys are readying themselves for the World Cup qualifying round, but whatever the outcome, isn’t it time that they have a moment in the sun? Wales are riding high in spirits since their semi-final achievement at the Euros, their first major international tournament for 58 years! Wales have had a patchy history with World Cup qualifying matches, so is it time for them to get out there and take on the world? Or are they going to go back to their old habits? In many respects, they’ve set the bar really high for themselves, but if they’ve got the ace up their sleeve, surely Gareth Bale is the reason they’ll get anywhere? Bale has been out with an injury on his ankle since the Champion’s League match against Sporting Lisbon back in November as part of Real Madrid’s line-up, but now since being announced as being back for the clash between Real and Espanyol in February, he is the golden boy that is going to get Wales back into the history books. While we are ready to head to a professional footy tipster, it would be a bit premature to think the boys are going to play a blinder. The team has, by their own admission, not had a hangover from the Euros and the few matches they have played recently have ended up hanging a big question mark over their capabilities. The only big win has been against Moldova in September 2016, where they won 4 – 0. The rest have been draws.
The team are playing the best they can, but as time is wearing on, we are seeing a new Wales, one of confidence and assuredness, and the games they have played have been tough ones, and the team have recently been open for criticism. Aaron Ramsey has been criticized by Gunners fans (including Piers Morgan, so the opinion is hardly valid) for poor performance. But he’s not been up for World Cup fixtures due to an injury, but is back and ready to play. And Chris Gunter, coincidentally Ramsey’s best man at his wedding, has pointed out that he thinks this recent backlash will not affect his performance, and why should it? Piers Morgan doesn’t play football, and Ramsey doesn’t have to spend his whole career annoying people, it’s a bit of give and take. And the fact that Gunter is looking poised to be the first Welshman to get 100 caps, taking him past Neville Southall (and Gary Speed), he will be the fire that sparks Wales great performance over the next few years. And as the team remains optimistic, it surely is time for the boys to get their dues. Wales have had a difficult run in the game, but as the Euros have shown, they are a side that are diligent, resourceful, and with Coleman’s expertise at the helm, they are doing Gary Speed proud.