Tag: Wales

Video of the Day: Wales vs England – April 1970

There’s no Premier League football for a couple of weeks on account of a break for international friendlies, so this week we’re going to have a look back at some historical matches featuring teams that will be playing the group stages of this summer’s European Championships in France, kicking off with this selection of ITV coverage from the 1970 British Home Championships. England, of course, were still the reigning world champions at this time, but without a need to qualify for the finals of this tournament they’d been without any competitive football apart from this tournament since the 1968...

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The 200% World Cup: The Warm-Ups – No Dutch Courage Against Wales

That’s more like it. After far too much entertainment at Craven Cottage last week, this stroll in the Amsterdam twilight was what World Cup warm-up friendlies are all about. Not getting injured and making the post-match fireworks as incongruous as possible. While Ireland’s draw with Italy was put into perspective by the Azzurri’s inability to beat Luxembourg (Luxembourg!!), Wales’ tame defeat to the equally-tame but more talented Dutch put both teams in their rightful place – the Netherlands worried about World Cup group opponents Chile, Wales about September’s Euro 2016 qualifying opponents Andorra. Wales were missing the “spine of their side,” known to his friends as Gareth Bale – although BBC Wales’ commentators Rob Phillips and Kevin Ratcliffe name-checked Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams for credibility’s sake. And Ratcliffe went even further: “But you’ve got Neil Taylor,” he pleaded, although you could almost hear his conviction draining away with every syllable. Studio pundit Barry Horne had no such qualms. “Where should Gareth Bale play?” presenter Jason Mohammed asked. “Wherever he wants,” said Horne, to rapturous applause from a bizarrely-commissioned studio audience. The Netherlands, meanwhile, had Wesley Sneijder alternating with a member of the Dutch public in a Sneijder fright-mask – “Sneijder” interchanging occasional brilliance with lengths of doziness. And after half-time they were missing Robin Van Persie, who grimaced his way through the second quarter before Jeremain Lens replaced...

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European Door Slams Shut for Welsh Exiles

Last week, UEFA’s executive committee met the Football Association of Wales. They discussed the proposal to allow Welsh clubs playing in the English pyramid system to qualify for European competition through the Welsh Cup. If successful, the FAW would have succeeded in their attempt to raise the profile of the Welsh Cup by making it  more attractive to the exiles, to whom they had only recently extended an invitation back into the competition. Would the lure of an ‘easier’ path to Europe prove too irresistible to the likes of Swansea City, Cardiff City, Wrexham, Newport County, Merthyr Town and Colwyn Bay? This opportunity to qualify for Europe would only be open to the Welsh clubs playing over the border if they agreed not to take part in the equivalent competition in England. Seeing as Cardiff City have reached the final of both the FA Cup and the League Cup in recent years, and Swansea City are beating some of the best teams in the country in the Premier League, it’s probably safe to assume they would turn down the invitation. As for the rest, a viable route into Europe could still have been appealing, but the result of the bid means we’ll never know. The FAW failed to convince UEFA to change the rules, so Welsh clubs playing in England will have to qualify for Europe through English competition. We can...

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Why Welsh Supporters Are Saying No To Team GB

Wales continued their recent run of impressive results with an emphatic four-one win over Norway at the Cardiff City Stadium. Goals from Gareth Bale, Craig Bellamy and Sam Vokes earned Wales their fourth win in five games. Whilst the team on the pitch overran their Scandinavian visitors, though, the fans in the ground were largely otherwise occupied, trying to make a stand against Team GB. In recent weeks we’ve seen both Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey pose in the supporter’s kit for Team GB. The reasons why two Welsh players were chosen to exhibit the kit may be imprudent at best and politically motivated at worst. Both players have made their intentions to represent Team GB known and although only Ramsey has made it clear that Wales is his priority, I’m sure Bale feels the same way. The Football Association of Wales has consistently opposed the formation of a Team GB, whilst manager Gary Speed has voiced his concerns regarding the use of his players for a tournament mere weeks before the start of a qualifying campaign. On the face it, a British team competing in the Olympics seems harmless, how serious of a threat can there be to the Welsh national side? In years gone by, there has been a British team competing at Olympic football, as with most Olympic sports the team was made up of amateur...

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Match Of The Midweek: England 1-0 Wales

There are empty seats at Wembley this evening. The FA’s hyperbolic per-match ticket advertising for this match may have made inferences to this being the match that everybody wants to see, but the fact that the advertisements were on display anywhere at all told its own story. There are red dots pock-marking the background at the national stadium this evening, betraying the feeling that this match is more of a tussle than a battle of Britain. Perhaps the perceived gulf between the two teams makes a difference – England are currently ranked fourth in the FIFA World Rankings, whilst Wales are nestled uncomfortably between Haiti and Grenada in one hundred and seventeenth place, make of that what you wish – but perhaps we should be looking at a ticket pricing policy that never seems likely to be popular with the economy being rumoured to be set to tank again as being one of major causes of the apathy surrounding this match. At the end of last week, England overcame a potentially tricky trip to Sofia with a critic-silencingly thorough display against Bulgaria, and the icing on the cake of their highly successful evening came with the news that Wales had done them a massive favour by beating Montenegro in the group’s other match that evening. Those two results combined mean that a win this evening will put England on...

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