Young guns come of age for Wales in absence of stars
The pull-outs of Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale would have been a disaster, for Wales but yesterday they won their first competitive game without the pair in a decade.
Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale were noticeable absentees, whilst Christopher Mepham and Ethan Ampadu also missed out.
But despite their absence, Wales managed to secure a result, against a team where Wales have found it hard to secure a result away from home from.
Considering that Ireland had a total of six English Premier League players starting, whilst Wales had seven Championship players. It was Wales who were playing more of the football, with exciting counter-attacks, as well as controlling the pace of the game, by boasting most of the possession.
Harry Wilson’s superb free-kick gave Wales the victory, as the Derby County youngster scored a second impressive free-kick, in the space of three weeks.
Wilson is one of the young guns, that is enjoying the international state. Against Spain, he looked impressive against Champions League defenders, but yesterday evening he had his match-winning moment.
Wales have match winners in their squad now, just like Ryan Giggs and his Class of 92, Wales may now have their class of 2018, with a number of first-team opportunities for these young players.
Credit must go to Osian Roberts who has worked closely with these players who are making an impact at the international level.
These players have been identified, taught the Wales way and are making for an exciting future for Welsh Football.
Roberts may have missed out on the hot seat, but his superb service in his role as the technical director has made Giggs job easier, in making a squad of quality players.
Giggs is being ruthless too. Premier League winner Andy King, May have been the usual choice to replace Ramsey, but instead, Matthew Smith, who was making his competitive debut for Wales, was given the nod.
Another big selection was the decision to go with Leeds United forward Tyler Roberts. Despite Vokes scoring against Spain, the 19-year-old was given the nod, putting in a satisfactory performance.
In what was a youthful line-up, these young guns held their own against a physical side. They showed true grit, as they dealt with late pressure from Ireland.
The Spain game had Wales fans dejected, but the victory over Ireland is a big statement, given the absentees.
Wales had their Plan B, that Ryan Giggs has previously alluded to and that was shown tonight, with a narrow victory at the Aviva.
(Featured Image: Matthew Lofthouse)