Déjà Vu for Toshack in Macedonia

Wales versus Paraguay at the Millennium Stadium, March 2006. A warm up match for Wales’ opponents ahead of the World Cup and a match I remember well for typifying John Toshack’s Wales. The performance was satisfactory, Wales didn’t have as many shots as their opponents, but held possession reasonably well. As per the norm there were a number of defensive errors, but on this occasion, Wales were not punished. The flyer for the game had promised that “The Future Starts Now”, but this nil – nil draw had not done much to suggest this was true. Many Wales fans will regard John Toshack’s second spell in charge as lacklustre, uninspiring and fraught with internal strife. Mark Hughes had left his post as manager of the Welsh national team in 2004 after getting so tantalisingly close to qualifying for a major international competition. You would anticipate that Toshack would be under pressure from the success of the man he had replaced, but it’s not in the Welsh psyche to be too optimistic, so I can only say that he met expectations. When Toshack resigned his post in 2010, he had a fairly respectable win percentage of forty percent (twenty-one wins in fifty-three games). But his time with Wales will often be remembered for his fraught relationships with some senior players, most notably, Robbie Savage. Savage was playing under Mark Hughes at...

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